No First Day at School for My 4 Year Old This Year

No School for Me Just Yet!
No School for Me Just Yet!

In the past as soon as my eldest 3 girls reached 4 it was always the countdown to their first day at school the following September. With Faryl turning 4 in March there should have been no reason why it would have been any different. But after having many issues with my middle girls school, I made the decision to move the children as their school was no longer working with our family. As this decision was made after Faryl’s application for reception was submitted, this meant his new application was classed as a late application.
He therefore didn’t get a place at the girls new school of choice. I very quickly came to the decision that he would not go to a different school to his siblings.
Reading in the past I knew your child doesn’t have to legally go to school until the term after their 5th birthday (something I had never considered before), so I realised that this would be our plan.
So with Faryl’s name still on the waiting list he will remain at home and attending his current pre-school until Easter when he will be 5.
Hopefully he will get a place in the next 6 months, if not I be laying the foundations of his education, starting plenty of home education activities from September.
If a place doesn’t come available in the next year I will make the decision whether he will carry on being home educated.
So no shopping for first school shoes and oversized uniform and spamming facebook with first day at school pictures, just yet! But instead we will be adding to our ever increasing book collection and res

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Time For A Big Bed

So the time has come for ‘Baby Pickle’ to vacate the cot, NOT because there is another baby on the way which was the reason for Faryl, Jolie and Lexia before her to move on to a bed. But because she is now too big for a cot at 2 years 4 months, regularly waking herself in the night by rolling over and hitting the bars in of the cot.

But this is a bigger than normal as she was not only still in a cot but still in my room. The other 4 pickles had all moved out of my room the night they hit 6 months old, but knowing that she was my final baby and there wasn’t really any room elsewhere upstairs for her cot. so the plan always to get bunk beds for her and Faryl to share (his) their room.

So we collected the bunk beds last weekend and the baby’s were very excited about their new beds, once the bunks were up, I added a Tomy bed guard, picked up at a Little Pickles Market. Aliza chose to borrow her big sister Lexia’s Frozen Bed linen and then we were ready.

(pic aliza smiles in bunk)

Once PJs were on it was bedtime, being her first night we did our usual bedtime routine a book, brush teeth and then I kissed her goodnight and tucked her into her big bed (sobs)

I came downstairs with the others and listened out for her, she crept out to have a look, so I popped her back into bed and left, so that was that she fell asleep in a big girls bed all by herself. Her first night was success I think she got up twice for a little wander and I returned her back to bed where she drifted back off to the land of nod.

Baby Pickle Happy in Her Big Bed
Baby Pickle Happy in Her Big Bed

Around 7am she toddled in saying ‘Morning Mummy’, at that moment I realised I no longer have ‘a baby’ in the house but she will always be ‘the baby or our house’!

Second night in I thought I would try popping her and Faryl, 4 to bed at the same time, otherwise with staggered bedtimes with 4 little pickles to tuck in it goes on forever. They both went straight to sleep and slept for 12 hours straight, leaving me feeling very triumphant 🙂 🙂

Lets hope this is the sign of things to come and lots of uninterrupted nights of sleep, that is a huge plus of not having a baby in the house I supposed.

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5 Rainy Day Activities

So we were promised a heat wave but that never really got started did it? So now the summer holidays are here and the odd rainy day is bound to come, here’s our top 5 tips for entertaining your Little Pickles on rainy days.

So if like me the thought of being stuck in a sweaty crammed soft play centre on a rainy summer’s day, seems like the thing of nightmares here’s some ideas.

  1. Create a Supersized Play Road – the pickles have a sizeable amount of matchbox cars and can play for hours with them. So just to make it interesting we make roads on the laminate flooring with masking tape to use as the road. You can also add a train track, house and other buildings from other play sets.
  2. Produce your own movie – if your dressing up box is anything like our it is probably bursting at the seams, why not let your pickles pick their favourite and get into character and make a movie. Decide a storyline, chose probs and practise their lines. Then I can grab the iPad and record it for us all to watch back, sure to provoke some giggles. definitely one to keep.
  3. Den making – time so good old fashioned fun grab some blankets/sheets/duvets plus dining room chairs or you could make up a home under the dining table. Once the den is up, snuggle up for a family story time with your favourite books and snacks.
  4. Magazine producing – a few of my pickles love to get creative, so love to get out the glue and scissors (supervision needed) to create magazine about there favourite things. They can think of a name, design a layout, choose a cover star, draw pictures, write story’s (for the older ones), cut and stick pictures out of catalogues in. Once they are complete, share with the rest of the family.
  5. Treasure hunt – so this one always keeps the Pickles busy for awhile, decide what your treasure will be and hide it ready to be found. A great one is to hide Duplo blocks and send the pickles off to find them and once they have a large stash, they can take it in turns to build the highest tower.


Hope these help you keep your Little Pickles entertained, if you have any other ideas please share


Written by Jessamine Hislop-Newton, Mummy to 5 Pickles, Founder and Owner of Little Pickles Markets


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We are on the Shortlist for mumandworking awards 2015

The shortlisted candidates for the prestigious mumandworking 2015 Awards as supported by have just been announced – and Little Pickles Markets are on the list, yay! Jessamine our owner has been shortlisted in ‘The Most Inspiring Business Parent 2015’ category sponsored by Amanda’s Action Club is one of the UK’s leading flexible working websites offering a wealth of employment opportunities, advice and information.

This exciting awards programme celebrates the champions of flexible working – showcasing those businesses, associations and individuals (mums and dads!) demonstrating how a fulfilling career can be balanced with modern-day family life – enjoying parenting and working together.

The awards will be held at RBS, 280 Bishopsgate on September 22 2015 and are judged both by public vote and by an impressive panel of judges – leading business women and mums who understand all too well the challenges and the rewards of juggling work and being there for your family. VIP speakers and judges also include Annabel Karmel MBE, Jacqueline Gold and Caprice Bourret.

Jessamine Hislop-Newton, Founder and Owner, Little Pickles Markets commented

‘It’s lovely to have been named in the shortlist and gain recognition for building a business whilst raising a young family and dealing with some serious ups and downs in my personal life along the way.’

Shortlisted mumandworking awards 2015

Nick Howe, Regional Enterprise Manager, NatWest Business Banking commented

‘At NatWest we are committed to supporting the UK’s female entrepreneurs. Across the RBS group, we have a team of 200 Women in Business specialists throughout the UK, who understand the market in your area. Whether you run a business today, or are planning a new business, they understand the challenges and can help you find solutions.

NatWest are delighted to be supporting the 2015 mumandworking awards and look forward to hosting the VIP awards ceremony and meeting all the finalists and winners!’ 

Award’s Event Director, Suzanne Borrell added

‘All those through to the shortlist should be very proud, the entries this year were of exceptionally high standard and I don’t envy our fabulous judging panel in their task ahead. The importance and benefits to all of flexible, family-friendly working opportunities are now being recognised at the highest levels and we are really excited to be live in the business heart of the City on September 22 to announce our winners. Thank you to NatWest for all their support’

Finalists will be announced online at by August 20th and these exceptional candidates will then be invited to attend the live awards as hosted by NatWest followed by a sparkling celebratory reception with The Mumpreneurs Networking Club.


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Eating Out with the Family – Lydiard, Swindon Beefeater Review

We love to eat out with the family, event though it can be a challenge. I think it is very important for children to experience what it is like to eat out, choosing their own food and learning table manners. But family restaurants with activities for the Little Pickles are always a draw, even if they only provide a colouring book to keep them entertained whilst waiting for our order.

I have to admit I haven’t been to a Beefeater for quiet a few years, I think when Tegan my eldest pickle was a baby so that’s about 13 years (crikey I’m old!). So was looking forward to trying it out.

For a treat the Grandma, Me and the Littlest Pickles Faryl, 4 and Aliza 2 headed to the newly refurbished Beefeater at Lydiard, Swindon.

The restaurant is just off the M4 so very accessible, with plenty of parking, it is pay and display but this can be refunded when you pay your bill in the Beefeater. So can be great to visit on a family day out, celebratory meal, shopping trip or stop off on a longer journey.

Beefeater Welcome

On arrival we were greeted by a polite waiter and shown to our table, it was early on Friday lunchtime when we arrived but soon got busier as the time went on, with a mixture of families, couples and business colleagues eating.

They were quick to bring us a highchair for Baby Pickle, we were given a kids Mr Men menus, activity books + crayons, full menus and the lunch menu.

Beefeater Menu

The kids menu was pretty impressive with a wide selection of starters, mains and desserts to cater for even the fussiest eater, as you can swap any of their sides.

They was a great selection of food, Grandma had nachos and Aliza joined her with the kids version, but to it was pretty large for her, but she made a serious dent in it. Faryl had garlic bread and I had Garlic prawns which were lush.

Beefeater Food

For main the kids both had one of their all time favourites sausages and mash, which was plenty for them, Aliza aka Little Miss Hungry woofed it down and Faryl ate most of his too.

Grandma had a steak cooked exactly how she requested it and she assured me it was lush.

I had a burger served with skinny fries and coleslaw which was yum and very filling.

We then had totally scrummy desserts to blow the diet right out of the window, oops!

Decor Beefeater

The decor in the newly refurbished restaurant is very modern with oranges and grey, a real hit with me as that is the colour of our living room. The colour scheme creates a relaxing homely feel, perfect for a family meal.

Beefeater are revamping lots of their restaurants across the country so visit their website for full details of a restaurant near you.

We were offered a free family meal at The Beefeater, Lydiard Park for our honest review.

Us at Beefeater

Written by Jessamine Hislop-Newton, Mummy to 5 Pickles, Founder and Owner of Little Pickles Markets


Twitter and

Instagram @mrsmummypickle

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