Coding Workshop

FREE Coding Workshop @GirlsCodeMK

Mum to Mum are delighted to help in promoting some brilliant, FREE opportunities to learn more about programming and web design, with GirlsCodeMK. Here’s what they have to say:

 Join GirlsCode MK to Start Your Coding Journey!

 

Not enough women are entering STEM careers and we want to do our part in changing that.

GirlsCode MK is a nonprofit based in Milton Keynes that supports girls and women in their coding journey by offering free workshops and meetups for members of all ages and skills. We host bi-weekly coding workshops for girls and women of all ages and backgrounds. A team of hero volunteers join us to help attendees overcome any hurdle they encounter.

All events are beginner-friendly and welcome those with zero coding experience, as well as those who are currently employed as programmers and web developers. Everyone is welcome and those with more experience can either get together to develop projects or coach beginners.

Our meetings are informal and relaxed. Take it as a space where you can come, have a chat about coding, swap tips, ask questions and even play some beginner-friendly online coding games.

 We study languages and frameworks such as Python, Django, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and more! 

Now that you’re asking, yes, men are welcome to attend as well, but since our space is limited we’ll prioritise women. We don’t want men out of the IT industry, we just want more women in it! We want to encourage more women to become web developers by sharing the wonderful world of coding.

We are based at The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park.

At GirlsCode we believe in co-learning. Share what you know with others and help those that are less experienced than you are. Be kind.

Find out more @ www.girlscodemk.co.uk

 

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Rebecca Reviews: Afternoon Tea at Patisserie Valerie

We are often asked on Mum to Mum: Where do you recommend for a nice afternoon tea in Milton Keynes? 

So when Patisserie Valerie asked us to visit their new cafe in the centre:mk we jumped at the chance to have our weekly meeting with a lovely afternoon treat.

Brilliant value, excellent service and clotted cream scones – five stars for: If you’re looking for somewhere to have afternoon tea with the family – whether it’s a special occasion, or just as a treat – Patisserie Valerie is perfect. 

In lovely new premises on Deer Walk in Centre:MK, just over the walk from their old venue, they offer a tempting light lunch menu, a world of delicious cakes and pastries, and an excellent value Afternoon Tea for Two.

Facilities: The café is large and there are plenty of different-sized tables to accommodate most parties, but there is still a light and spacious feeling. Families are made very welcome – baby twins there with their grownups during our visit, and there was room for their double buggy by the table too.

 

The Tea: Five different finger sandwiches (traditional smoked salmon and cream cheese, sliced cucumber, and some delicious chicken and pesto were included for us)

Mini vegetable quiche

Two deliciously light scones, served with butter, clotted cream and your choice of jam.

A good selection of little cakes, including perfectly-formed mini eclairs, victoria sponges, and carrot cakes;

Bottomless hot drink of your choice. There is a good selection of teas and coffees – I went for a breakfast blend tea, and was surprised and pleased to discover that it’s made in the pot with real tea leaves.

 

Cost: Afternoon Tea for Two is £25 – excellent value for the amount of food and drinks on offer. They are happy to cater for uneven numbers as well: so as a party of three, you will get “one and a half” teas.

 

 

Overall: It was all fresh, all delicious, and the service was attentive and friendly. Patisserie Valerie is a perfect venue for afternoon tea with the family, or for an Adults Only occasion.

 

Mum to Mum MK were invited to a complimentary Afternoon Tea for Two in exchange for this review.

See our Ask Mum section on the website for lots more questions that are asked on Mum to Mum Milton Keynes.

Afternoon tea in Milton Keynes. http://www.mumtomumuk.com at Patisserie Valerie Milton Keynes
Afternoon tea in Milton Keynes. http://www.mumtomumuk.com at Patisserie Valerie Milton Keynes
Afternoon tea in Milton Keynes. http://www.mumtomumuk.com at Patisserie Valerie Milton Keynes
Afternoon tea in Milton Keynes. http://www.mumtomumuk.com at Patisserie Valerie Milton Keynes

The Cross Keys – SME Bucks Pub of the Year 2018

The Mum to Mum team were delighted to be finalists at the SME Business Awards (Bucks) 2018 last week. There were lots of fab local businesses being recognised in the awards categories, but this was one of the standouts: The Cross Keys in Woolstone, who were winners of the Best Pub Award, and runners-up for the Best Restaurant Award– and we think that this is somewhere that our Mum to Mum community would love to know more about!

Recently reopened after a major refurbishment, The Cross Keys offers a full menu for all ages, in relaxed and welcoming surroundings. You can enjoy head chef James’s traditional, fresh, home make food with a modern twist, made with quality-assured local produce.

Booking is advisable if you’d like to eat, especially for their hugely popular Sunday lunches. www.thecrosskeys.co.uk

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Facebook www.facebook.com/CrossKeysMK and Trip Advisor are awash with glowing reviews such as these:

“A fantastic rustic country pub within the village of Woolstones yet only 2 miles from Milton Keynes centre – the pub has a wonderful atmosphere run by a highly professional but cheerful couple who offer excellent food and a great selection of wines and beers – a great place to visit and never disappointed.”

“A fabulous family meal at the Cross Keys. Food was delicious, service was great and kids loved being able to go and play outside inbetween courses. The extension and refurbishment has made an already brilliant pub even better. Well done Hannah and team xx”

“Just walked home from the newly extended and refurbished Cross Keys, it’s beautiful, food was fabulous and beautifully presented on stylish crocks, service was fantastic. It was a great place before, but it’s just gorgeous now.”

“Top-notch! Friendly attentive service. Proper selection of lagers and ales. Last but not least classic gastro-pub menu choice and fine foods. Best in MK!”

Massive congratulations to The Cross Keys team from Mum to Mum MK! We hope to see you at the awards next year too.

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Mum to Mum – SME Bucks – Community Business of the Year finalist 2018

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Precious Moments Maternity fashion show comes to Milton Keynes this September

Mum to Mum is thrilled to be working with Precious Moments Maternity fashion show this September. Everything a new parent needs all under the amazing roof of the Arena MK.

Our Early Bird tickets have been released and you can quote: MUM2MUM20 to claim your spot!

Would you like a showbiz Gender Reveal Party or Baby Shower at the event? You name it the event is going to be filled with celebrations and lots of family fun!!! Contact info@sjpoole.co.uk to book your party through Mum to Mum Milton Keynes.

We are also looking for our models at this time:

Maternity

Mens

& Tots to Teens (3yrs – 6yrs old and 7yrs – 15yrs old) 

Contact us @ pmfashionshowcasting@gmail.com or Facebook @ www.facebook.com/PMMFS for more information.

 

The first ever Milton Keynes Maternity Fashion Show will feature the latest in maternity fashion from the top local and international brands. After talking to countless pregnant women, the same reoccurring issue came up. With how to look good whilst pregnant? Here we have done the legwork for you searching all over to bring you the latest trends, making shopping that much easier.

Now, this is where it gets really exciting we are on the lookout, for pregnant models to showcase our maternity lines. We are looking for 30 models in total,  to compete to be crowned Miss Precious Moments. A prestigious title, giving you the opportunity to get scouted by modelling agencies and win fantastic prizes. If that isn’t enough at the casting 12 of you will be chosen for the live show to walk with our tv stars and 4 of you will be chosen to star in our tv serie. Aired live on Sky. Sound like this is for you or know someone then please share and apply! Contact us @ pmfashionshowcasting@gmail.com or Facebook @ www.facebook.com/PMMFS for more information.

Please Note: YOU NEED TO BE IN YOUR FIRST OR SECOND MONTHS OF PREGNANCY. 

Dates you need to be available – 29th April and 15th September

Audition details and further information is provided if chosen.

 

 

20% off tickets available now, use promo code MUM2MUM20 at the check out.

Visit the website @  www.pmfashionshow.co.uk .

Limited until the 8th of April

 

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Easter Holiday Clubs in Milton Keynes

Link to our list of What’s On over Easter: https://miltonkeynesmums.co.uk/2018/03/15/whats-on-easter-holidays/

Buzzers Academy

Our School Holiday & Half-Term Academies are aimed at children aged 5 to 12 years and are tailored to suit all sporting interests and abilities. Each day of our Academies are tailored to ensure maximum participation in a FUN and SAFE environment. Our staff will ensure that all children make new friends, try something new each day and have their say on the Academy day-to-day activities. For more information and to book, visit the website: http://www.buzzersacademies.com/schoolholiday

DRH Sports – Tennis Camp

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Our Tennis Camps caters for the complete beginner to advanced players.
At Camp GO Tennis children can learn new tennis skills and improve their game with our amazing, professional and qualified coaches.
We offer you a range of options to book (from as little as a few hours – to all week!) and each day focuses on a particular theme, shot or technique.

We believe at Camp Go! that learning and fun should go hand in hand, ensuing your children have a holiday to remember! For more information and to book, visit the website: https://www.drhsports.co.uk/camp-go-tennis-camp-april-3-6-2018.html

MK Inclusive Tennis

We have tennis camps running at Newport Pagnell Tennis Club on Monday & Tuesday 26th & 27th March, plus Thursday & Friday 5th & 6th April.  They run from 9.30am-1.00pm and cost £20 per child per day with siblings ½ price. Visit the website for contact information: https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/mkit

Musication MK

Youth Arts Practitioner, working in partnership with skilled professionals, providing Arts-based projects to young people. 26th & 27th March 9am – 3pm @ Bradwell Village Memorial Hall. £30 for both days, lunch included. More information @ Facebook

Something Less Boring – Art and Football  Easter Camp

A fantastic morning consisting of art activities and sporting fun hosted by Liddy and Adam.  Running from 8.30am-12.30pm, children will have enough time to complete an art project before enjoying a number of sporting games and activities. More details and booking information on the website: https://www.somethinglessboring.co.uk/school-holiday-camps

Drama Llama – Drama Classes and Workshops

Let their imagination run wild, confidence grow and energy flow, this Easter. Our workshop will focus on key life skills, whilst adding plenty of fun to the mix! During the workshops children will grow communicative skills, social skills, confidence and performance skills. More information and booking details here: https://www.dramallamagroup.co.uk/

AGE: 6 – 11 years old

TIME: 10AM – 3PM

LOCATION: Wootton New Life Methodist Church, Cause End Road, Wootton, Bedfordshire, MK43 9DE

DATES: Week One:  Tuesday 3rd April – Friday 6th April

Week Two: Monday 9th April – Friday 13th April

PRICE & OFFERS: £30 per child, per day — SIBLING HALF PRICE

£10 off weekly booking 

 

Football Factory 1

Martin White Football Factory – Easter Skills Camps – Ages: 4-13 years (boys & girls)

Camp 1: Monday 26th – Thursday 29th March
Camp 2: Tuesday 3rd – Friday 6th April

Camp includes:

– Skill sessions
– Challenges
– Competitions
– Football Idol day
– Tournaments
– Easter Egg hunt

All our staff have been DBS checked, first aid trained, child protection registered & hold recognised coaching qualifications,

Cost:
£30 per camp
£55 for both camps

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What’s On: #Easter Holidays

Here’s what’s on during the school holidays, in and around MK. If we’ve missed any, please let us know!

We also have a list of Holiday Camps and Clubs miltonkeynesmums.co.uk/2018/03/15/easter-holiday-clubs-in-milton-keynes

List of MK Play Association locations, throughout the Easter holidays @ MK Play Association

Saturday 17th March

Emily’s Star Easter Craft Fair, Millmead Hall, Wolverton

Mum2Mum Market Nearly New Sale, Ousedale School, Newport Pagnell

Saturday 24th March

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Rock Painting, Home and Garden Outlet

Cheeki Monkeys Table Top Sale, Lakes Estate, Bletchley

Positive Birth Movement Bumps and Babies Weekend Meet Up, @ John Lewis

Easter Family Event, Sherington

Sunday 25th March

Rock Painting, Home and Garden Outlet

Egg-cellent Easter Egg Hunt, MK Discovery Centre

Where’s My Igloo Gone? Stantonbury Theatre

Easter Fun Day, New City Church, MK

Monday 26th March

Cha Char Chimps, The Oak Tree Centre, Shenley Brook End

Ragdolly Annas, Shenley Brook End Village Hall

Telltale Tots Superhero Adventure, Thornborough Village Hall

Messy Play MK Eggstravaganza, Bletchley Youth Centre

Toddler Time, Bradville Hall

Tuesday 27th March

Ragdolly Annas, Brooklands Pavilion

Cha Char Chimps Easter Special, Wolverton (booking advised)

Positive Birth Movement Bumps and Babies Weekday Meetup, YHA Milton Keynes, Bradwell

Start the Art, Start The Art @ MK Gallery, 11am – 12pm, £1 pp

Wednesday 28th March

Easter Eggstravaganza, Mr Mulligan’s Pirate Golf with Corina’s Mascots

Ragdolly Annas, Saplings Children’s Centre, Bletchley

Cha Char Chimps Easter Special, Aspley Guise Village Hall

Jumping Beans Stay and Play Group, Springfield MK6 3JH

9am to 11.30am, older siblings welcome
£3 adult and 1 child, extra children 50p each, extra adults £1 each
Free flow play, includes reshreshments for all
Contact Marion 07962891680 (no need to book, just pop in)

Start the Art, Start The Art @ MK Gallery, 11am – 12pm, £1 pp

Thursday 29th March

Ragdolly Annas, Hodge Lea Meeting Place

Toddler Time, Medbourne Pavilion

Friday 30th March – Good Friday

Top Tots Easter Egg Hunt @ Top Jump Trampoline Park

Princess Lunches with Corina’s Mascots, Stony Stratford

Emily’s Star Easter Egg Hunt, The Secret Garden, Wolverton

Easter Decoration Workshop, Rushmere Country Park

Easter Trail, Knebworth House

Easter Egg Hunt with Brite Lites Disco, Roade

Saturday 31st March – Easter Saturday

Harry’s Rainbow Easter Egg Hunt and Coffee Morning, Bancroft Meeting Place

Telltale Tots Superhero Adventure, Swinfen Harris Church Hall, Stony Stratford

Westbury Arts Centre Family Fun Day 

Easter Trail, Knebworth House

Sunday 1st April – Easter Sunday

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Easter Sunday Fun at 360 Soft Play:

11.00 am Twizzle and Twirl’s Easter Dash

Our 360 mascots, Twizzle and Twirl, have hidden their favourite things around 360 and you have to find them. Solve the clues, find the answers and you can be entered into a prize draw to win a Quarterly Play Pass.

11.30 am Sack Races with Twizzle

1.30 pm Egg and Spoon Race with Twirl

2.30 pm Twizzle and Twirl’s Easter Disco and Games – five dance rounds (one winner per round)

In each event, there’s an Easter egg for the winner, and a sweet for taking part.

Me and My Bee, Stantonbury Theatre

Forest of Marston Vale Easter Trail

Easter Medieval Jousting, Knebworth House

Vintage and Antiques Fair, Longueville Hall, Newton Longville

Monday 2nd April – Easter Monday

FREE Easter Superheroes Fun Day with Corina’s Mascots, Stony Stratford

Forest of Marston Vale Easter Trail

Easter Medieval Jousting, Knebworth House

Tuesday 3rd April

Archaeology Day with the Parks Trust, Linford Manor Park

Ragdolly Annas, Brooklands Pavilion

Relax Kids Family Easter Fun, Stony Stratford – morning session

Relax Kids Family Easter Fun, Stony Stratford – afternoon session

ABC Playgroup, Christ the Vine Community Church, Woughton, 10am-12pm, £1.50 per child

Start the Art, Start The Art @ MK Gallery, 11am – 12pm, £1 pp

Wednesday 4th April

Easter Fun @ Medbourne Pavilion

Jumping Beans Stay and Play Group, Springfield MK6 3JH

9am to 11.30am, older siblings welcome
£3 adult and 1 child, extra children 50p each, extra adults £1 each
Free flow play, includes reshreshments for all
Contact Marion 07962891680 (no need to book, just pop in)

Start the Art, Start The Art @ MK Gallery, 11am – 12pm, £1 pp

Thursday 5th April

Ragdolly Annas, Hodge Lea Meeting Place

Toddler Time, Medbourne Pavilion

ABC Playgroup, Christ the Vine Community Church, Woughton, 10am-12pm, £1.50 per child

Friday 6th April

Cha Char Chimps, Newton Leys Community Centre

Ragdolly Annas, Oxley Park Community Centre

Telltale Tots Pirate Adventure, Swinfen Harris Church Hall, Stony Stratford

Eat Street Stony Stratford

Toddler Time, Leighton Buzzard Tennis Club

Saturday 7th April

Emily’s Star Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, The Secret Garden, Wolverton

Thrift Farm Lambing Event

National Youth Boys’ Choir, Waddesdon Manor

(free event, but normal grounds entry applies)

Easter Events

Events running over several days 

26th – 30th March

 Clay Animal Crafting, Home and Garden Outlet

26th March – 13th April

Hunt the Sheep, Thrift Farm

30th March – 1st April

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, Dunstable Downs

30th March – 2nd April

Easter Eye Spy Trail, Rushmere Country Park

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, Waddesdon Manor

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, Stowe Gardens

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, Hughenden, High Wycombe

Easter Egg Hunt, Stanwick Lakes

Easter Fun and Egg Hunt, MK Museum

Wrest Park Easter Adventure Quest

1st – 3rd April

Easter Egg Hunt, Castle Ashby

2nd – 6th April

Dunstable Downs Easter Bonnet Trail

Easter Pom-pom and Flower Pot Crafting, Home and Garden Outlet

3rd – 15th April

Rusty Rabbit’s Activity Trail, Hughenden

4th-15th April

Love on the Rocks crafting sessions, Waddesdon Manor

4th April, 11th April

Hughenden’s Young Explorers

5th April, 10th April

Hughenden Trail Trackers

Other Ideas…

360 Soft Play is open every day, including Easter Sunday

Top Jump Trampoline Park

Become an Intrepid Explorer at Stanwick Lakes

Various Easter activities at Frosts Garden Centre and Wyevale Garden Centre

Mead Open Farm Easter Wonderland

Easter Weekend Entertainment at Blenheim Palace

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Free Distance Learning Courses with @MKCollege

Milton Keynes College are offering a range of free* Distance Learning courses that can help you begin or progress within your career. All courses are accredited to NCFE/CACHE Level 2 and can be studied online around your current commitments.

Some examples of the courses on offer are as follows: 

  • Certificate in Understanding Autism

Are you interested in working with adults or children across the autism spectrum? Or maybe you have a family member with autism and would like to learn more.

  • Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems

Do you work in care or education and wish to raise your awareness of mental health? This certification can help your development and career progression.

  • Certificate in Principles of Working with Individuals with Learning Disabilities

If you would like to work with, or already working with, individuals with learning disabilities this course will help you progress in this area of expertise.

  • Certificate in Principles of Business Administration

Would you like to get into a business role or progress within your current role? This course will help you within many industries and job roles.

  • Certificate in Customer Service

Study this nationally recognised qualification to allow you further your career or help you begin a career within the customer service sector.

  • Certificate in Principles of Team Leading

Would you like to take that next step in leading a team? This course will help you develop those key skills needed if you are currently or have been a team leader. 

  • Certificate in the Principles of Dementia Care

Do you work in the care sector or have a relative with dementia? This couse will help you develop a highly valuable understanding. 

  • Certificate in the Principles of End of Life Care

If you are working in a health and social care setting or wish to develop your knowledge in this area then this would be an ideal course.

  • Certificate in Understanding Nutrition and Health

Are you interested in improving your knowledge of nutrition or would like to progress within a career in this sector? This course is applicable to many areas.

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For a full list of courses, to find out more, and for how to apply, visit the MK College website.  Apply as soon as possible to make sure you can bag a place on the course you want!

* Funding is subject to learners meeting set eligibility criteria; this may be discussed prior to the start of any course. Learners must be aged 19+ (born before 01/09/1998) and have lived in the in the EU for the past 3 years. Please note that a course withdrawal fee of £90 is payable if learners decide to withdraw from the course.

 

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A World of Magical Story Telling, Imagination and Creativity with @TelltaleTots

Telltale Tots

TelltaleTots: step into a wonderful world of storytelling, crafting, music making, playing and exploring

This is a baby and toddler activity like you have never tried before. Created by children’s writer and local mum Kirstie Watson, each session is themed around an original story: enter magical, interactive worlds with your little one, and then take your own unique “tale” home with you!

When you arrive, your Tot can dive straight in and play with the Story Discovery Area. Woodlands, the sea bed, a monster party, a witch’s house – all of the toys and props set the scene, and your child is free to play with it all as their fellow Tots arrive.

Everyone sits with their grown-up around the Story Discovery Area, and each Tot then gets a story bag – a set of props to hold and explore, and to use during the telling of the story. Then, illustrated with large storyboard pictures, the interactive story starts…and it always ends with a song, accompanied by the musical instrument each child has in their bag.

After this, the magic of the story comes to life all over again on the craft tables, which are stocked with glitter, glue, stickers, stamps, feathers, eyes, sparkles, tissue paper, scraps of all kinds and colours…and your own A5 story book, ready for you and your Tot to colour, illustrate and personalise with all of the crafting materials.

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Younger ones may not have the stamina of the older Tots for a longer crafting session, so after about 15 minutes, the Big Bag of Interesting Things comes out. Fish-shaped hats for dressing up, bottles filled with water and glitter, balloons, flashing bouncy balls, and even a sledge for parent-propelled sleigh rides around the room: just some of the wonders for your little one to explore!

Everyone can join in when they are ready, but for those who would like to craft for longer, there is another little craft to make: always simple but clever, and always related to the story.

There’s a new theme each month, and sessions are held once a month in each venue, in a variety of locations in and around Milton Keynes:

  • Swinfen Harris Church Hall, Stony Stratford x2 (once on a Saturday, and once during the week)
  • Heron’s Lodge, Loughton
  • Lace Hill Community Centre
  • Green Park Community Centre, Newport Pagnell
  • Thornborough Village Hall

Come and experience the magic of a brand new, interactive story with your little one, and create your very own book to take home and enjoy together. This month, you’re invited to a Superhero Adventure! Check the website for class details: http://www.telltaletots.co.uk/ and follow the Facebook page for latest news: https://www.facebook.com/telltaletots/

It’s £8 a session, and £7 if you book early enough to take advantage of the early bird discount, and you can also sign up for email alerts to keep you in the loop about what’s happening when. Sessions are aimed at Tots over 12 months old, but siblings younger than this are welcome at no charge. 

Some of the glowing Telltale Tots testimonials:

LOVE LOVE LOVE Telltale Tots. One of our favourite mornings every month. My 20 month old daughter, Edith, particularly enjoys the crafts at the end of the session. It’s what first made me realise just how much she enjoys arts and crafts (and where her obsession with glitter started!). Kirstie is warm, friendly, enthusiastic and incredibly creative to come up with such wonderful stories and crafts each month. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. It’s fun for kids and adults too”

“My girls (1 & 3) love going to Telltale Tots, there’s never a moment to get bored! They really enjoy the story and how much interaction there is, it’s always exciting for them at the beginning to see what props are going to be in the bag! Craft time after is great, especially if you love glitter! The toys and dressing up are really good, particularly for the younger ones. I’m always wary of trying new groups but Kirstie is so welcoming and the children find her so engaging, I wish there were more sessions we could go to!”

“Attended the Magical Woodland themed session at Cranfield during the Summer Holidays with my 4yr, 2yr, and 7mo and we had such a great time! I don’t attempt many groups with all of them as they like different things, but this really captivated all their attentions, and it was the stillest I’ve known the oldest two to sit for any amount of time! They really enjoyed it and it was a refreshing change to the same old group formats that we’ve been too before. Thank you for a fantastic hour

 

Telltale Tots

Chicken Pox doing the rounds again. Thanks @wikiHow for this #TopTip

How to Relieve Itching from the Chicken Pox with Oats

Oatmeal has been used for centuries as a soothing agent and home remedy for itchy skin, rashes, insect bites, poison ivy, and shingles. It has properties that not only moisturize skin but can act as an emollient and improve dry skin. Parents will be glad to know that it soothes chickenpox, as well. A homemade oatmeal bath can reduce your child’s itching and discomfort during this difficult time.

Mum to Mum top tip: put them in tights and hang them up as you run the bath so the water goes through the tights (or pop sock) and oats.

Great article from: https://www.wikihow.com/Relieve-Itching-from-the-Chicken-Pox-with-Oats

February at @360playmk like on #Facebook or #Twitter to hear about their special offers first!

Half term is approaching & 360 Play MK is the place to be! They are open a little later over February half term for extra play time!

Visit Monday – Saturday 9.30 am – 6.00pm Sunday 9.30am – 5.30 pm.

“Come and join us for active, creative and imaginary play – whatever the weather!”

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February Flash Sale!
Follow them on social media today to see the special offers as they are revealed.

Like their Facebook page @ www.facebook.com/360Play 

Twitter @ https://twitter.com/360PlayMK

 

 

360 Play’s February Flash Sale will feature a variety of discounts and special offers for specific activities. Full details of what’s available will be revealed throughout February via the 360 Plays social media pages and directly to members and registered customers through the 360 Play database. The offers will be announced shortly prior to them being released so those wishing to take advantage of them will have to get their skates on, as some will be available on a first come first served basis! Watch this space!

  • 3 Storey Indoor Play Frame

    Over 8,500 sq ft of play; giant wave slides, aerial gliders, interactive ball zone, assault race track, aerial swings, cargo nets and tunnels, roundabout and much, much more.

     
  • Toddler Zone

    Separate toddler play area for the little ones with slides, biff bags, trim trail and building blocks all soft padded for early builders.

     
  • Rides

    Ride all day long at no extra charge. Race dad on the dodgems or take mum for a spin on the carousel. There are over 10 different characters to ride.

     
  • 360 Street

    Our original and UK renowned role play zone 360 Street, set in over 10,000 sq ft, hosts full size shops and play settings where role play becomes almost real.

     
  • Messy Play Area

    Come and make a mess with us; paint, chalk, stick and glue. Our helpers are on hand to clean up as you go and offer that little creative help if needed.

     
  • Club 360 – Outdoor Fun (seasonal)

    Take your play outside with giant sand pits, climbing activities, water boats, play houses and much more. When the sun comes out relax and take lunch outside too.

     
  • Café

    Our 360 café prides itself in providing fresh food, from a snack to a full meal. Order at the counter then sit back and we will deliver your freshly prepared food to your table.

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360play.co.uk/miltonkeynes

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Interested in earning an income as a Freelance Recruiter? #Recruitment #MondayMotivation

Mum to Mum loves new opportunities! Especially those that allow you to use your skill set to be freelance to fit around your family.

Introducing Reecru @ reecru.co.uk

FREELANCE RECRUITER opportunities across the UK

Reecru is a platform that connects Employers with Freelance Recruiters. Hoping to change the dynamics of the Recruitment industry by encouraging industry professionals to get involved in the recruitment process. With the help of industry professionals we believe employers will benefit from better screening of candidates.

Who can apply?

Their Platform is open to both: Professional Recruiters & Industry Professionals

Recruitment and Platform training will be provided.

As a Freelance Recruiter

  • Flexibility to work your own schedule.
  • Open up recruitment opportunities to those who might not have considered working in recruitment.
  • Use the depth of your domain knowledge to help employers find the right candidates at the earliest stages.
  • Focus on simply finding top quality candidates.
  • The power to drive your own career in recruitment and be supported along the way.”

Finally, the icing on the cake, earn an income for providing your expertise in a flexible role that you can control.

Register your email today @reecru.co.uk

 

“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.”

William Arthur Ward

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So I was on the radio… @Secklow1055fm #Mum’sLifeRadioShow with Hannah Armitage #radiopresenter #businesstalk #TalkShowHost #Entrepreneur hear about Mum to Mum 2018 / 2019 here!

About Hannah @ Mums Life Radio Show

Hannah Armitage is an AWESOME local freelance radio presenter.
In March 2017 she teamed up with Secklow 105.5 FM and started her own radio show and blog called Mum’s Life.

Have a listen to the show on the link below…

Click here to tune in!

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https://www.hannaharmitage.com/mumsliferadioshow

Mum’s Life is about building a mum community, talking about everything we face, even things people don’t normally speak about.

Mum Life Radio show & Blog will cover many topics and have lots of different elements.

  • Business & Babies
  • What’s on for Mum’s in MK
  • Getting FIT
  • Raising awareness
  • Working with charities
  • Debates, discussions
  • Different people with different lives

    “I have so many ideas and so much I want to talk about but I want to hear from YOU! If you have something you want to come on the show to talk about. Or feel like you fit into one of the features above then contact me I would LOVE to hear from fellow Mummy’s!”
    Please visit my website for all my blogs and previous radio show.”
    www.mumslifeblog.comLots of Love
    Hannah x

My Show

“Last week I had the creator of Mum to Mum MK on my show discussing the recent changes to the group and clearing up a lot of questions about that!
We also announced Mum to Mum as ‘Mums life’ official sponsor!”

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Have a listen to the show on the link below…

Click here to tune in!

Booked a Holiday? Five things you should do sooner rather than later… #TuesdayThoughts #Holiday #TravelTuesday @MartinSLewis @BrilliantRuth

Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, shares his top five Must-Dos now you’ve got that holiday booked…

And if you haven’t booked one yet, have a chat with our Mum to Mum Holiday Expert, Ruth at Brilliant Travel

Quote #MumtoMum and you may also be entitled to a group discount too!

https://www.brilliant-ruth.co.uk

Here’s what Martin has to say – link to the full article here: Martin Lewis MSE website

 Booked a 2018 holiday? 5 ‘sort nows’…

 

  1. Check your documents are still valid now. Use this checklist:
    – Check your passport expiry NOW. You may need 6+ months’ validity and renewing takes weeks. Passport help 
    – Check if you need a visa. It’s easiest and safest to check with the Foreign Office. See how to find visa help.
     Travelling to the US? You’ll almost certainly need an ‘ESTA’ to get in. See how to avoid shyster ESTA sites.
    – Travelling in the EU? How to check your free EHIC is still valid (gives free/discounted medical treatment in EU + some other countries).
    – Driving abroad? Check your licence is in date, and whether you need an International Driving Permit.
  2. Get travel insurance ASAB (As Soon As you’ve Booked) – from £5/trip or £9/yr. As we ALWAYS say, get it immediately so you’re covered if you have to cancel any time BEFORE your holiday begins, eg, if you or a relative falls ill. 
  3. Slash car hire costs by booking early… Walk in during the summer hols, and we’ve heard of £40+/day prices (that’s assuming they’ve any cars left). But book now for mid-Aug and we’ve found £8/day for Tenerife, £16/day for Malaga. It paid for Dave: Booked four months ahead, 10 days for £296, could have been £900 just before I went. So glad.”
  4. … and go early on airport parking. The earlier the better, but even booking a few hours ahead can avoid grand theft related to your auto. When we checked on Tue, if you drive up to the Heathrow Terminal 2 long stay, it’s £163 for a week. Book two hours ahead though, and it’s £112, or book now for a week in August and it’s £73. 

And number 5: Martin also has tips on holiday credit cards, and all sorts of other financial matters – link to the full article here: Martin Lewis MSE website

School Applications Deadline – Monday 15 January at midnight #schools

If your child is due to start school for the first time in September this year, or due to leave their infant school and move to a junior or middle school, the deadline for applications is looming – midnight on Monday 15 January. 

It’s really important to get the application in on time, as there is no guarantee of a place at your preferred school if it’s late. MK Council’s guidance on the process says the following: 

“If an application form is not received by 15 January 2018 it will not be possible to consider it until all the other applications have been processed. This means that the majority of school places will have already been allocated. Consideration will be given to parents’ preferences, however, if all preferred schools are full, parents will be advised of their right of appeal and a place will be offered at the nearest school with places available.”

If you’re still navigating the choppy waters of school applications, our Mum to Mum guide to the process may help, in the link below – and Good Luck! 

What’s Best for You? #School admissions time again #Choices #Decisions Best Schools in #MK #MiltonKeynes #Bucks and #Beds

Is your child on #Instagram or #Snapchat do you have access? Do you know what they are doing? If not you must check now! #Bullying #SexualImages #TakeAction #StaySafeOnline

It’s the moment many parents dread – the point at which their child’s requests for a mobile phone can no longer be ignored. In the past it used to be that moving up to secondary school at the age of 11 was the trigger, but it seems now that many primary school kids are just as likely to be “phoned up”.

However, once most have the phone they want to be on the social media platforms and this enters our children into a different world, not always a ‘happy’ place, it can be a dark place where they are venerable if they are not monitored and kept safe…

What Your child could be exposed to; or encouraged to do:

  • Be a Bully or become a victim.
  • Be groomed by older children, men or women.
  • Dress and act in a sexual way to be cool, get likes or be trolled! 
  • As ex police staff these platforms are ultimately a paedophile’s dream, they can look at, stalk, follow and fantasize over your children if they have a fake profile and they have added your child as a ‘friend’. Also many children have not switched off their location so I can see where they are and so can they… this is just dangerous! They know what our children look like and they know where our children live! We have to get a grip on this trend and make sure our children stay safe!

*** The minimum age to open an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Kik, and Snapchat is 13. For Vine, Tinder and Yik Yak it’s 17. YouTube requires account holders to be 18, but a 13-year-old can sign up with a parent’s permission. Despite these clearly stated and published age restrictions, large and growing numbers of children 12 and under are using social media networks, often with their parent’s knowledge and consent. ***

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/diana-graber/3-reasons-why-social-media-age-restrictions-matter_b_5935924.html

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Do you have children using social media? Yesterday the Children’s Commissioner warned that children leaving primary school are “ill-equipped” for the “emotional risks” of social media as they head into secondary school. And she’s called on schools to be made to run compulsory digital literacy lessons. If your child is using the internet and you want some extra help to support them and you then this is a great book!

 

 

 

1. Why do kids love Snapchat?

They love the spontaneity of it. It’s been (rightfully) drummed into their heads for years that photos and videos you share are on the Web forever and are really hard to take back, so Snapchat’s a relief in a lot of ways. It’s playful and “in the moment”— a nice change from the self-presentation and reputation issues in social media services that display photos indefinitely. They don’t have to worry about some invisible audience. Most of the messages on SnapChat are ‘Streaks’ pointless images with a S on it. Not too bad, however it is the start of an addiction as they have to keep doing it everyday to keep it going. It is ok if the messages are nice but not if they are threatening.

Q: How do I keep a ‘Snapstreak’ going?

A: To keep a Snapstreak going, both Snapchatters must send a Snap (not Chat) back and forth to each other within a 24 hour window. 

2. Does Snapchat have a minimum age?

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Yes, the minimum age is 13, in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). But, when you download it, Snapchat asks for your date of birth, and—if your birth year tells it you’re under 13—you’re redirected to the kid version, called “SnapKidz.” SnapKidz users can’t add friends or share anything, and the app doesn’t send any information to the company. Instead, kids’ photos and videos are saved just to their devices’ “camera roll.” If you’re a kid, that means you can only play with the photos, etc. in SnapKidz on your own device—not share them. So you’ll be looking for work-arounds such as sharing them with a different media-sharing tool on your phone, such as texting, email, Facebook, etc. —or you can just delete Snapkidz and start over with a fictitious birth date. I did not realise it was 13+ and some of the private messages I have read have shocked me to the core…This should be 18+ and not available on a phone for under 18’s. Parents need to be educated as well as the children.

I have never heard of “SnapKidz.”

3. What are the risks in using Snapchat?

Though there’s nothing inherently dangerous about Snapchat, it’s often referred to as “the sexting app.” There’s no research showing that’s true and plenty of anecdotal evidence that it isn’t the focus for teens, but—like any media-sharing service—Snapchat can be used for sexting, harassment, etc. It can be particularly hurtful if that happens, because Snapchat is typically used among friends (or at least people who have each other’s username or phone numbers). I disagree, it is very dangerous app because under 16’s can set it up without parents permission. When a phone is sold to a parent for a child, their D.O.B should be entered and correct safety controls activated.

4. Is it good that Snapchat photos and videos disappear in seconds?

Yes, because photos and videos aren’t put on display, they’re not “out there” forever, typically, so there isn’t the self-presentation or reputation anxiety. The ephemeral aspect actually adds a degree of safety, as long as people don’t have a false sense of security about it—because media can also be saved as screenshots or photographed with another phone and shared with or without the originator’s knowledge. That can be good or bad—bad because a screen-captured image can embarrass the people in it, good because—if things do go wrong—it can be used for evidence against someone trying to hurt the people in it. I think it is bad, not good and easier for some to bully and abuse, they need to be taught to take screen shots if anyone is bullying them or being sexually explicit and report straight away. 

5. What’s the best way to help kids stay safe in Snapchat?

As with all social media, respect toward self and others makes us safer. Whether the experience is positive or negative depends so much on how people use the app or service, whether or not they’re really friends, and how they treat each other in Snapchat. Friends may kid around, but most kids treat their friends well. It just never hurts to have a conversation (never a lecture) with them about how they use Snapchat just to be sure.

My opinion some money should be spent on promotingSnapKidz’ and under 18’s should not have access to SnapChat.

www.connectsafely.org/wp-content/uploads/snapchat

*** As for our job as parents, it’s important to keep the lines of communication with your kids as open as possible and work together to figure out what’s appropriate for them, in terms of safety, privacy, reputation and time management. It generally just works better to talk with our kids about their favorite tools—with genuine interest, not fear—because they’re more likely to come to you when they need help and you’re much more likely to be kept in the loop about all the cool technology they use and you get to learn about. ***

Which leads me to Instagram

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1. Why do kids love Instagram?

Because they love media, sharing it and socializing with it on their phones, and Instagram makes all that doable in a simple, eye-catching way. Teens like taking, cropping, enhancing, sharing and commenting on photos and videos. But the commenting isn’t just commenting – in effect, they’re socializing in mixed-media conversations that include plenty of likes and links too. Parents also should know that, on Instagram, photos and videos are public by default and can contain location data. So it’s important for kids to use privacy settings to limit their audience.

2. Does Instagram have a minimum age?

Yes, it’s 13, in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. But Instagram doesn’t ask users to specify their age, and there are many younger children who use the service, often with their parents’ permission. Whether Instagram is “safe” depends more on how it’s used than on the age of the user, but Instagram will delete underage accounts if they’re notified and can verify the users are under 13. My son is proof that he has hacked the system to set it up again after the first account was deleted. Parents need more support and education on parenting children in the age of social media.

3. What are the risks in using Instagram?

Though there’s nothing inherently dangerous about Instagram, the main things parents worry about are typical of all social media: mean behavior among peers and inappropriate photos or videos that can hurt a child’s reputation or attract the wrong kind of attention. Parents are also concerned that people their kids don’t know can reach out to them directly. Kids can learn to manage these risks, which is why we wrote this guide. From my findings from my sons phone I disagree! Bullying, abuse, under age sex discussions, inappropriate images and locations on for all to see!

4. What’s the best way to help kids stay safe on Instagram?

As with all social media, being respectful of ourselves and others makes us safer. Our posts and comments reflect on us and others in our photos and videos. Whether serious or silly, they become part of our public image. Respecting others in how media is shared, tagged and commented on reduces risk. While most kids are smart about this, it doesn’t hurt for parents to be sure kids aren’t posting provocative images or having inappropriate interactions with people they don’t know, which leads to the next question…

5. Should my child’s profile be private?

For many kids, part of the fun of Instagram is developing a big following – a good thing for parents and kids to talk about. Having a public account on Instagram means anyone can follow you. A private account means that you have to approve anyone who wants to follow you, so many parents have their kids start using Instagram with a private account. Which they can switch off again! But there’s no guarantee your child won’t be seen on Instagram or any other photo-sharing service, because people post photos of each other. Even not having an Instagram account can’t ensure a child won’t appear in a photo there. How positive or negative a young person’s experience is on Instagram or anywhere online depends as much on the person and his or her friends as on the app. New research from the British Psychological Society shows our 24/7 social media culture is causing depression, anxiety and sleeplessness in teenagers.

https://www.connectsafely.org/wp-content/uploads/instagram_guide.pdf

One report by the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK surveyed 1500 young people, ages 14 to 24, to determine the effects of social media use on issues such as anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and body image. Their findings show that YouTube had the most positive impact, while Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and SnapChat all had negative effects on mental health. @ www.psycom.net/depression-teens-social-media

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How do I report a child under the age of 13 on Instagram?

Instagram requires everyone to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account (in some jurisdictions, this age limit may be higher). If your child is younger than 13 and created an account on Instagram, you can show them how to delete their account.

 

Online images – Ofcom

“Research launched to mark the event reveals that the vast majority (84%) of 8-17 year-olds have shared a photo online. Many are using the power of image to make a difference, with 4 in 5 young people (80%) admitting they’ve been inspired to take positive action by an online image or video.

However, not all their experiences are positive. More than 1 in 5 (22%) have been bullied with images or videos online and 70% have seen images and videos not suitable for their age. Almost half (45%) of 13-17-year-olds have also seen nude or nearly nude photos of someone they know being shared around their school or local community.”

www.ofcom.org.uk/latest/features-and-news

www.childnet.com/young-people

 Please check their phones ASAP and talk to your children about the dangers.

SJP 2018

The law’s there to keep children safe. So that films are suitable for their age. So they can’t just walk into sex shops. And toys are made with their safety in mind.

But the law doesn’t give children the same protection online.

Right now, the government is working on new digital laws. Join us to demand: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/talking-your-child-staying-safe-online/

https://www.net-aware.org.uk

Great feature in @CelebrateMK this month. New Website #News #MumtoMum

As featured in: celebratemk.co.uk/2018

Sam Poole, whose Mum to Mum MK Facebook group now has 11,500 members, is replacing her well-known Milton Keynes Mums blog with a brand new website called Mum to Mum UK.

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All of the current content will be migrated over and some exciting new features added.

Sam explained: “The new website has been a huge investment but we have worked really hard on a new weekly calendar facility that is going to be a fantastic tool for new parents in MK.

“Mum to Mum UK will be your ‘what’s on’ personal assistant and we’re looking to expand into surrounding areas too.”

In 2007, Sam set up a Facebook group for 20 of her friends so they could keep in touch, ask advice, and generally feel less isolated.

Slowly friends invited friends and it became the ‘go to’ group for ideas, support, advice, recommendations and raised over £5,000 for charity.

Today, her Mum to Mum MK Facebook group is known by parents all over the city. As it grew, Sam started a sister website, miltonkeynesmums.co.uk, and began blogging to store all the ‘best bits’ and help promote over 100 local businesses.

Now, parents, carers and businesses will be given a boost with the arrival of the new website Mum to Mum UK this month.

Sam added: “I hope the new website will bring this fantastic, supportive and positive community even closer together, offering bags of essential information and helping mums find the answer to whichever question they have to ask.”

Contact Sam on info@relocating2.com if you would like an online presence on the new Mum to Mum UK website.

via Sam set to launch Mum to Mum UK

Newborn Fine Art Photography Model Opportunity @AbigailSPhoto

Abigail Stewart Photography

Are you due to give birth in January or February – and would you love to own some beautiful, artistic photographs of your brand new bundle? If so, Abigail Stewart Photography would like to hear from you.

Abigail Stewart is a Fine Art Photographer working with expectant mothers, newborns and babies, to produce timeless images for families to cherish for generations. She has just opened her new, custom-built studio at her home in Little Horwood.

Abigail is looking for newborn models to help showcase the studio and her work, and is offering three Mum to Mum members the chance to have a newborn photography session in January or February for only £100, which will also include five digital images and one 7×10 print. The usual price is £125 for the session only, with image collections starting at £395 – so this is a wonderful opportunity to own some truly special images of your baby, at a much-reduced price. Abigail may also use the images she takes of your baby in marketing and promotional material, and on the website.

Only three of these very special offer sessions are available…so if you are due to give birth in January or February, and would be interested in one of these sessions, please comment on the Mum to Mum group post with your due date! The best time to photograph newborns is between 6 and 10 days old, so your provisional date will be booked initially, and can be changed to match your baby’s arrival.

For more information about Abigail Stewart Photography, what to expect at the session, and to see examples of her work, visit her website at http://www.abigailstewartphotography.com/

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#Divorce A tough subject to talk about but sadly it happens… You are not on your own #DivorceCoach #Mediation #Custody #LifeLessons #MyStory

More relationships break down in January than at other times of the year. This phenomenon has led to the first working Monday in January being dubbed ‘Divorce Day’ by the media. 

If you’ve bottled things up over Christmas and have been putting on a brave for the sake of your children, family or friends, then the earliest opportunity to do something about your broken relationship may well be the first day back to work. As everyone’s opportunities to get some private time vary, In reality ‘Divorce Day’ is more a case of ‘divorce month’ than any single day in January.

Relationships break down for many reasons, some are more serious than others and it is very scary time of your life…

If a partner is any of the following though, I ask you to talk to someone as soon as possible: A friend, family or a professional: MK Act charity Helpline: 0344 375 4307
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

  1. Adulterous
  2. Abusive
  3. Addictive
  4. Abandoning

In these circumstances it is even harder to leave but there are services out there to support you.

Relate Milton Keynes is another great service: Seek professional help before you take the big decision. A trained and certified counsellor can help in some situations, and your marriage could become stronger than it was before.

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Some may say I should keep my story private, but when you have made a ton of mistakes, it has cost £15,000 so far, 19 months of stress and not looking to be finalised for another 2 months…I want others to learn from our mistakes…

I have learnt many lessons…My children have suffered in the process, you cannot force it to be amicable, if you have children you will still be in each others lives for years, so do it right before real damage is done that cannot be repaired…

I wish I had met this lovely lady before I started this painful journey in 2015.

Based in Milton Keynes but calls can be done via Skype and FaceTime too.

Free 20 minute consultation here @ thejoypractitioner.youcanbook.me

The Joy Practitioner (13)[1]

Come through your divorce feeling positive and strong, with a clear focus for the next stage of your life.

 

“Hello, I’m Caroline Richards, and I help women going through divorce feel positive, calm and strong, so they can take the trauma out of the divorce process, save money, and find new purpose in their lives.  After a few rocky years of marriage, and having just returned from a women’s yoga retreat, my husband told me, ‘I want you to leave’. We had been together 13 years, had four children together, and although things hadn’t been great for a while, it came as a complete blow. I got the children ready for school, and visited my local Citizens Advice Bureau. I returned after a couple of hours, having made the decision that I wanted a divorce. I could not go on any longer.          

He made no attempt to dissuade me, and I began proceedings, blissfully unaware of how tough this path would be. Tough as it has been, I would not go back.”

thejoypractitioner.com/services

Services

You want to get through your divorce as quickly and painlessly as possible and start building a new life for yourself, right? But you’re so caught up in the grief and loss and anxiety of everything, you just don’t know where to start. So, what you need is help from someone who can listen,  take your struggles seriously, and to help you to find a path out and up to a better future for you and your children.  We can work together to manage your emotions, find practical solutions to your difficulties, and begin to dream up a new life for you. Focusing on the issues that you want most to resolve, we’ll use therapeutic and problem solving techniques, self-inquiry, meditations and exercises to get you through the divorce and out the other side happier and with a renewed zest for life.

 

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Another lady I wish I had meet sooner is  www.emmaheptonstall.com

Divorce Alchemy is founded on the belief and experience that with the right information and preparation, you can manage your divorce with confidence feeling in control.

About Emma: “For 13 years I worked as a legal adviser. I specialised in working with families dealing with the stress and confusion of relationship breakdown. Experiencing confusion about money and how to manage the children. even when divorce is your decision, it’s hard.  When you’re unprepared, it’s even harder. “

 

Click here to purchase the book @ www.amazon.co.uk/How-Be-Lady-Who-Leaves

 

I wish I had been advised to speak to Mediation MK first and not gone straight to a solicitor.

I had just set up a business in Spain and I had no wage coming in, I could have qualified for legal aid / support. However with a house and shares in a business, they took on the case and the cost has been taken from my settlement, our boys future! A huge mistake on my part! In parts I needed a solicitor but for most I actually did the work on my own so this has been a very costly and stressful experience for me…

This is not an anti solicitor post and some of you will need a solicitor but PLEASE go in with your eyes open. Can you afford to spend up to £15,000? Do you need a solicitor? Then visit a few ‘recommended’ solicitors before you make a decision. Once you start the process it is hard to change direction so please do it right the first time.

You are not in the right frame of mind and just want ‘help’ but Solicitors help costs £250 per hour in most cases…

When they say they are ‘helping you’ that is at the cost of £250 per hour. Not the kind of help I am used to…I was naive, I was unprepared, I was distressed, I did not understand and I do not want anyone else to make the same emotional mistakes…

Another option is: 

Mediation MK can help you agree on arrangements for your children, or what happens to your home and finances, if you are divorcing or separating. You can do this without going through court or involving big legal fees. The majority of people who start mediation reach an agreement.

Family Mediation is:

    • Quicker and cheaper than long court battles
    • Less stressful than court – with less conflict between you and your partner
    • Easier on your children when parents co-operate with each other.

Plus:

  • It gives you more control over decisions than if you go to court – and you can both agree to change arrangements if circumstances change
  • It can improve communication and make things easier for the future
  • If you can’t afford mediation you may be able to get Legal Aid to help pay for it.

Contact Mediation MK when you think you need help sorting out arrangements – you don’t have to see a solicitor first. www.mediationmk.org.uk

Reasons most of us do not divorce or stay in the ‘unhappy’ marriage…

1. The Kids

If you are thinking about divorce or separation, one of your biggest worries is likely to be about your children: where they will live and how they will continue to have a meaningful relationship with both of you. Some great advice can be found here @ www.resolution.org.uk

It is quite natural for children to feel responsible when parents split up. Make sure your children understand that your decision to divorce or separate had nothing to do with them or their behaviour.

2. Custody

Joint residency is considered to be the preferred solution as being in the best interests of most children. BUT…there are no laws or ‘rights’ that state that a child should live specifically with either the mother or father.

Assuming you both have parental responsibility it is up to you to negotiate residency on the basis of what is best for the children. Many couples neglect to consider this fact and err on the side of what they themselves would prefer (or what suits them).

If you cannot come to an agreement, you should try mediation first. If that is unsuccessful, the courts will become involved and will issue a court order based on what it sees as appropriate.

Do not be forced by your partner to agree on custody without professional advice if the divorce is not amicable. If your child has always been with you, forcing them to spend 50/50 time with the other parent can be very stressful and damaging for them. 

3. Emotional Devastation

Divorce is emotionally devastating for most people. Divorce changes our future, how we thought we would be spending the rest of our lives. It separates us from the one person we believed would always be there for us, holding our hand when we got old. We may deny the pain, but there is always pain with divorce. Divorce is a type of death, and we will need to grieve the loss just as we do when a person we love dies.

There is Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. What I am still learning is that, one doesn’t move smoothly from one stage to the other. There was no beginning, middle or end for each stage and most stages I visited several times. 

A great article @ www.huffingtonpost.com/cathy-meyer

4. Loss of Confidence

It’s not unusual to feel completely lacking in self confidence at the end of a relationship, especially if you’re not the one who ended it.

There is a sense of loss, dreams dashed and an unknown future lies ahead. It’s no wonder you become uncertain and fearful. Friends and family telling you to go out and meet people is easily said but not easily done when all you want to do is curl up in a fleece with the TV and a cup of hot chocolate.

Everyone loses confidence in themselves now and then and recognising this is the first step in regaining your self-confidence. For some who don’t recognise this, their lack of self-confidence can slip into depression. Whether it’s at work or at home everyone can benefit from feeling good about themselves and their abilities.

Luckily I met Ali Moore and she is helping me #FindYourRoar 

Finding Your Roar is all about being confident in yourself. www.bemoore.uk/coaching

5. Loss of Identity

Losing your identity can be a long process over a period of months or years, but can also happen suddenly following a major life event or trauma. Loss of identity may follow all sorts of change; changes in the workplace, loss of a job or profession, loss of a role that once defined us, as a child, as a parent, as a spouse. This leaves a gap, an abyss, an empty space. Such loss of identity can result in increased levels of generalised anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, a loss of self-confidence, social anxiety, isolation, chronic loneliness, all of which threaten our ability to connect with other people.

You can also lose your identity through the gradual merging in a relationship. A healthy relationship should be reciprocal in encouraging and maintaining an individual sense of self. Afterall, that surely should be what attracted partners to each other in the first place? We may lose some identity, even in the most healthy of relationships, as we accommodate, adjust our behaviours, and support our partners, and there may be some change in our level of independence, as a small level of co-dependency may set in. However, in some relationships, particularly abusive ones, this could be more marked, resulting in a virtual annihilation of independence, and a total loss of who you are.

If you stay in your current situation you are going to struggle to find yourself again, you can be more than a wife and mother if you want to be more…

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6. Finances

This is a very difficult subject and does depend on your situation. Sorting out money is, for most couples, the most daunting part of separation and divorce. 

The financial issues to consider during a divorce will differ from family to family. 

  • How do you make sure that you can keep things going financially, without getting into debt?
  • Maintenance? How much should be paid and for how long? https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance
  • The family home – does it have to be sold?
  • Savings and pensions?

Signs that separating your finances may be complicated

If your financial position is complicated, separating your finances and reaching an agreement could take some time and you are likely to need professional help. See if any of these apply to you. The more that you tick, the more likely it is that separating could be complicated @ www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Again mediation or websites like www.wikivorce.com may be able to help you in a more costly way.

7. Feelings of failure

Nobody gets divorced because it seems like an easy option. It will be the hardest decision you will ever make. But sometimes it is the only option, never a failure and with hope that one day you can both agree that it had to end…

“My ‘failed’ marriage made me who I am today. The marriage wasn’t a failure. It was a necessary stepping stone. It was a relationship, full of choices, some with unfortunate outcomes. It ended for various reasons but my children, the life lessons and the growth I’ve shown since have all been successes.”  — Aubrey Keefer

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/13 reasons

 

I hope this helps and I hope it raises awareness of mediation, empowerment, strength and choices…

Divorce and Separation support group by Mum to Mum

Too much to cover in just one post but we are looking at working with experts in this field real soon to bring advice and support to our members.

50% from the the heart and 50% from supporting articles.

SJP

Online articles supporting this post @ 

https://amicable.io/divorce-day-8th-january-2018-fact-fiction

 

 

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Get happier and healthier in 2018 with Caroline and #ActiveLifeRewards

Active Life Rewards is on a mission to help make the UK healthier, happier and better protected.

Family is everything. So whether you’re planning on starting one or you’re already bringing one up, protecting the financial future of those you love most is more affordable than you think – from just £1.10 per day*, including the chance to earn weekly rewards. 

There are so many fantastic rewards but an example of some of the ALR perks…

Relax over a well-earned Starbucks

Get active and enjoy a handcrafted drink every week.

“We give our members the chance to enjoy their favourite coffee, or a range of other drinks, every week at Starbucks.”

Unwind with Cineworld and Vue cinema tickets

Get active and get a ticket every week.

“Going to the movies is a great way to cut down on unhealthy stress levels. That’s why we partner with Cineworld and Vue, two of the UK’s leading cinema chains.”

Discount @ David Lloyd Clubs & Nuffield Health Gym

“50% off flexible individual Club Platinum membership fees at selected clubs. A joining fee will apply.”
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The more exercise you do – the more points you get! Active is going to save you £££ and  Caroline has even set up a Facebook group to support and motivate you too… Which is just AWESOME!

Plus what makes Active Life Rewards different is they give you one FREE Fitbit per policy or £100 towards any tracker of choice and… Children of policy holders even get an unbranded tracker to get whole family more active!

Sounds too good to be true? It’s not, and it is just 1 call away!

Contact Caroline today @ https://activeliferewards.lpages.co

Quote #MumtoMum to be offered even more discounts on big brands and services that Active Life Rewards have secured. Like on Facebook @ @activeliferewards

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www.instagram.com/activeliferewards

www.instagram.com/sjpmicro

Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time, from any phone on 116 123 free @samaritans

After a few posts this week about anxiety, depression and with Christmas around the corner, we wanted to share some stories from the Samaritans…

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LINDA’S STORY @ www.samaritans.org

Linda called Samaritans for the first time after the death of her husband of 26 years, Brian Hudson.

At the same time, Linda was undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

It was an incredibly difficult time.

HELEN’S STORY @ www.samaritans.org

Helen, 23, from Solihull, West Midlands used Samaritans’ text service in 2012 to help her through problems she was having with her partner.

“I felt calmer, more at ease, and ready to make my own decisions after confiding in them.”

Nowhere else to turn

“I have contacted Samaritans by text a number of times. It was mainly around the time I was having problems with my (now ex) partner.

“I needed someone to talk to, in confidence, without anyone knowing. I was feeling really low, upset, angry and worried about my relationship, and didn’t know where else to turn.

Donations needed to make text service fully available

“I heard about the texting service through a friend. As I have a hearing impairment, phone calls can be very difficult for me and I am more at ease when texting people, so it was a great option for me.

“Samaritans helped me by listening (well reading!) to what I said and responding by asking questions and offering support.

“My experience of using the text service was good, even though there were times when I had to wait a while for a response. The text service is still being rolled out to its branches, and Samaritans are currently fundraising to allow more volunteers to deliver this kind of support to people like me.

Calmer and ready to make my own decisions

“I felt calmer, more at ease, and ready to make my own decisions after confiding in them.

“I think my life would be quite different if I hadn’t sought help from Samaritans.

“I still experience problems with depression and anxiety, but I am much better than I was when I first contacted Samaritans.

“The Samaritans’ text service is fantastic, particularly for people like me who have problems with anxiety as you don’t have to speak. I have recommended it to a few of my friends.”

If you want to help us be there to support people like Helen, please consider donating to Samaritans. If you’re already giving to us, thank you so much  –  your support means we can be there to help the millions of people who contact us each year. @ Donate-Online

CHARLIE’S STORY

Former star of hit ITV2 show “The Only Way Is Essex” Charlie King, 28, from Essex, called Samaritans in 2011 when he was struggling with the demands of a highly stressful job, and the pressure he felt to behave in a certain way:

“I grew up with my mum and sisters, dad wasn’t around so I didn’t really have a male role model.

“I knew I wasn’t really like a typical boy. Rugby and football didn’t appeal to me, I was more interested in singing and dancing. I never really had a proper girlfriend, relationships didn’t seem to happen for me.

“My mum has a successful business, and from a young age I was thrust into a business world, I felt under pressure to do well and had to live up to high expectations.

“Before I had a chance to think about my career and what I really wanted to do, I was running the family restaurant.

Stressed, anxious and lonely

“I was working non-stop, and became obsessive about the restaurant – I had to be there all the time, wouldn’t share responsibilities with other staff, and started to believe the business wouldn’t survive if I wasn’t there every waking hour. I was highly stressed and struggled with anxiety.

“When I did take time off, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt I had no purpose, no one to share the fruits of my labour with – I was lonely. I’d end up blowing £100s on clothes, thinking it would make me feel better, but it didn’t.

“I started to get really depressed. I had no male friends, or a girlfriend. I remember walking my dog across a country park, and my head feeling like it was going to explode.

Reaching out for supportwww.samaritans.org

“I had reached the point where I felt I couldn’t go on, like there was no point in my existence. My family could see I was struggling, but they didn’t know what to do or say.

“This was when I first called Samaritans. Speaking to them really helped me to put my thoughts in order and gave me the reassurance I needed that everything would be ok. I called six or seven times in total.

“I also sought help through my GP, and joined a gym. Doing regular exercise gave me something to focus on, I felt and looked good.

“When I was halfway through a military fitness course, I broke my leg. It was the first time in my life where I was relying on other people, I needed help.

I wish I had realised it is ok to be different.

“All these events made me realise I needed to become more open and let people into my life. I wish I had realised it is ok to be different, that I didn’t have to conform to a certain stereotype of how a man should be.

“I also realised the importance of living your life. Work isn’t significant in the bigger picture of things.

“I wish I’d talked about my problems at a much earlier stage. I realise that if I had spoken to someone I probably wouldn’t have got to the point where I was considering suicide.

“If I hadn’t called Samaritans, I honestly don’t know where I’d be today. I have my life to thank them for.”

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Christmas isn’t all Instagram filters and perfect presents. 

Whether it’s family difficulties, money problems, or feeling lonely, it can be a difficult time, and Samaritans are urging all of us to get real this Christmas. 

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“We’re here round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call us on the phone. This number is FREE to call. You don’t have to be suicidal to call us.”

161 Fishermead Boulevard, Fishermead, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK6 2AB
T: 01908 66 77 77 (local call charges apply)

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Our Frequently asked questions #BeachDay #PassportPhotos #CakeMaker #WhatsOnToday #SnackIdeas #SwimmingLessons #Groups #HospitalBag #Dummy #Reviews #PartyTime #TopTwenty

Our One Page Quick Links @ Mum to Mum Milton Keynes

Top 20

  1. Passport photos @ Recommendations Blog Post
  2. Packing your Hospital Bag #NewBaby @ What to pack ideas post
  3.  Snack & Lunchbox ideas @ Top Snack Tips
  4. Clothes donations including school uniforms @ MK Storehouse and partners blog post
  5. Help with Bedwetting @ Top Tips and support post
  6. Feeling down or Isolated @ Links to support you post
  7. Bullying support @ miltonkeynesmums.co.uk/bullying
  8. Mum to Mum for Dads @ Facebook
  9. Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) @ VBAC blog post
  10. Dummy has to go @ David and the Dummy Blog
  11. Day out in London @ Day-trips-to-london
  12. Closest Beaches to MK @ MK-to-the-seaside
  13. What’s on Today? @ Whats-on-mk-summer-2017!
  14. Can you recommend a painter, plumber, mobile beauty company, nursery, gardener, removal company, party entertainer…YES we can! Click here for our Service Directory Brand new website launching in September 2017
  15. Swimming lessons and baby groups @ Local recommended groups
  16. Family first aid classes @ Daisy First Aid
  17. Days out, Pubs with great gardens, Splash Parks and lots more @ Indoors-or-outdoors blog post
  18. Holiday recommendations @ Holiday Ideas UK & abroad
  19. Please can you help me… Christmas Carols request…
  20. How can we work with you? Advertising and Social Media PR help.

 

To be continued….

 

Frequently-asked-questions

#Relocating2 to #MiltonKeynes

Relocating to Milton Keynes – Member stories

We wanted quality family life all together, and when we settled on Milton Keynes as the place to find it, we never imagined just how much more is on offer here.

For ten years, my husband Andy had been working every other week in Stockley Park at Heathrow, and driving five hours home to North Yorkshire at the end of it. North Yorkshire is beautiful; it’s where I grew up, where my communications career blossomed, and it’s where some of my family still live. We loved our cathedral town, and the Dales on our doorstep. But Baby Boy One arrived in 2011, followed by Baby Boy Two in 2013. For half of the year, all the boys saw of their Daddy was on evening video chats, during which one of them was usually having some sort of tiredness meltdown. So in January 2014, our New Year’s resolution was to find a way to live together all of the time.

A new job based with Network Rail came up, and Milton Keynes became the place where we would fulfil our family dream. We knew nothing about it except the usual old chestnuts about cows and roundabouts, and that it was close enough to London to offer us the richness of culture, diversity and attractions that are much sparser in the rural North; and we knew we wanted these things to surround our boys as they grow up.

So, we based our search area for rentals on the closest locations to the Network Rail building. We had no idea we were looking in some of the most desirable places, and the houses were being snapped up as quickly as they were advertised; so we were very lucky to get a lovely house in Loughton, only 15 minutes’ walk for Andy each morning – quite a change from five hours in the car down the M1.

We organised selling our North Yorkshire house, found a buyer, and signed our rental agreement. Packing up a house and moving four hours away is a daunting task, but we did it, and landed in Loughton in the middle of a thunderstorm in July 2014. Our possessions weren’t due to join us until the next day, so Andy found an excellent local chippie, and we had our first night as southerners.

Moving lorry

Familiarity is a huge part of feeling at home somewhere, and moving to a completely different area is like starting at a new school. I was very nervous about meeting people and getting to know the area. But having two young children is an excellent passport into a community, and there were more opportunities than I could have imagined for meeting other MK mums. I was lucky to have a warm and welcoming Parent and Toddler Group in Loughton which ran all through the summer holidays, and I started my campaign to make friends there. I got recommendations for all sorts of groups and things to do, as well as lots of information about the best local preschool options for Baby Boy One, due to start his nursery hours that September. The mums community in MK is so strong, and one of its greatest assets is the Mum to Mum MK Facebook page. This was my point of reference for so many problems which can crop up when you don’t know an area, from finding out about places to live, to which groups are on and when through the week.

With Andy more than happy with his new commute time, and the boys and me enjoying all of the many groups, clubs and activities MK has to offer, we knew it was everything we’d be hoping for – so we started to look for a house to buy here. Property for sale moves just as fast in MK as property to rent, and we came close several times before finally finding our perfect place in nearby Grange Farm. There are so many fantastic areas to choose from, each with its own special identity and features, not to mention the high number of well-performing schools, all much loved by those who belong to them.

We could not be happier that we moved here. Our little patch of MK is so peaceful, but it’s within ten minutes of terrific shopping, restaurants, leisure, acres of parks, lakes and trees, and so many great events. Short journeys outside MK take you to an international airport, all the excitement of London, and some stunning countryside and chocolate-box villages. We take the boys to rugby lessons on a Saturday, swimming lessons on a Monday, and all kinds of toddler activities throughout the week. We’ve found the right school and preschool places for them – I’ve even become a governor at one of them – and I have made more friends than I’ve ever had. A return to work for me will be the next milestone, and opportunities for that are cropping up already. We’ve really found our place in the community.

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Relocating2 – Member stories

Best of all, we’ve achieved our dream of having Daddy at home with us every night. We’ve never looked back.

Article written by Rebecca and you can follow Rebecca’s adventures @ miltonkeynesmums.co.uk/rebecca-reviews-daysout/.

Rebecca Reviews

Welcome to Milton Keynes Mums and we look forward to hearing more about your relocation journey.