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HOME & GARDEN | FOOD FOR THE FAMILY | KIDS ACTIVITIES | ENTERTAINMENT | FAMILY | REAL LIFE ISSUE 3

Back to the classroom Easy ways to support your child’s education at home

PLUS

Raising emotionally healthy children Slummy Mummy’s Weekday Dinners


T HE GILDED LE AT HER COM PA N Y

Beautifully gilded  antique leather bags

For life’s gilty pleasures thegildedleathercompany.co.uk | thegildedleathercompany@gmail.com

CHAMPIONING WOMEN IN FILM The F-Rating is awarded to films 1. directed by a woman and/or 2. written by a woman

South West England’s longest-running film festival will be using a new name and look when it presents its next celebration of new and classic cinema, talent award screenings, workshops and special events, such as outdoor screenings, in venues in and around Bath city centre from November 2–12.

If the film also features significant women on

After 27 years as the Bath Film Festival, the organising charity is changing its

screen in their own right

title to FilmBath to recognise that its activities now also include year-round

it is TRIPLE F-Rated.

promotion of The F-Rating, championing films directed &/or written by or starring women; the IMDb New Filmmaker and Script to Screen Awards, for emerging talent, and FilmScore, a competition for young screen composers. The new branding will make its debut for FilmBath Festival 2017 – an 11-day

The rating is designed to support and promote women and redress the imbalance in the film industry.

programme of UK and regional feature and documentary premieres; classics from around the world, awards-nominated shorts, director Q&As and special interest strands, with a full 50% of the films F-Rated.

hello@filmbath.org.uk

To stay up to date with FilmBath news, visit filmbath.org.uk; find FilmBath on

Phone: 01225 463 458

Facebook or follow @FilmBathUK on Twitter.

Bath Box Office: 01225 463 362


Is it just us, or is there something truly blissful about the kids being settled back in to school? We’ve managed to iron-out the morning kinks and got ourselves back in to a purposeful routine, not clockwork yet, but certainly more structured than the heady days of summer. Not only are the kids back in school, but it’s autumn – time to get the fires on, cook some wholesome food, and enjoy the calm before the storm which is Christmas. (I know, don’t mention the C word.) In this issue, we’ve got some more of Slummy Mummy’s quick and easy weekday recipes, tips on organising kid’s birthday parties, how to Airbnb like a pro, the selfish parents guide to supporting your kid’s education and heaps more. Grab a hot chocolate, or something stronger, pull a chair up to the fire and relax. We won’t promise to ‘take care of the rest’ but we can certainly offer a few handy tips to make family life that little bit easier.

Be sure to follow us on social media to stay in touch and to find out about The Little Things events.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Lisa Merryweather-Millard editor@thelittlethingsmagazine.com

PRINTED IN THE UK

Blackmore

DESIGN & ART DIRECTION

Rather Nice Design hello@rathernicedesign.com CONTRIBUTORS

Jen Chow, Katy Harris, Kate Hackworthy, Karen Leafe, Elisita Kemp, Katinka Hutchinson

© Rather Nice Design Limited 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without written consent. Rather Nice Design Limited (company number 10214533) is registered in England and Wales. The registered office of Rather Nice Design Limited is 12 Wallbridge Avenue, Frome, BA11 1RL. All information contained in this magazine is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Rather Nice Design cannot accept any responsibilty for errors or inaccuracies in such information.

thelittlethingsmagazine.com

Cover shot © Elisita Kemp

Welcome!

Contents 6 11 13 14

20 21 22 24

26 28 30 32 34 37

ISSUE 3

Crisp & Cosy Autumn What to do in your garden now Time to Clean House Cleaning hacks and putting the kids to work Literally All About The Kids Top picks from the Bath Children’s Lit Fest Slummy Mummy’s Weekday Dinners Saving time and stress during the week Local Food for Local People Frome Food Assembly heros Cause for Celebration Celebrating life’s big moments Birthday Party Perfection SuperPirates show us how it’s done The Selfish Parents’ Guide to Good Parenting Tips on how to support your childs’ learning Hide the Veg Kate Hucksworthy sneaks veg in to afterschool snacks Adult Extra-Curricular Why hobbies are important for grown-ups too Photostory Eli sita Kemp’s stunning underwater world Easy Peasy Airbnb Somerlet tells us everything about Airbnbing Behind Closed Doors Life inside the family home Connecting With Our Kids Just what is emotionally intelligent parenting? |3


Cook, Learn, Have Fun, Eat! Cookery lessons for children aged 3 to 10 with additional classes for toddlers and teenagers. We aim to show parents and children that cooking healthy meals can be inexpensive, quick, easy and – most importantly – FUN!

We provide a safe environment and all cooking equipment. Phone Katy: 07711 157995

facebook.com/Munchkinscookeryfrome/

For affordable and professional counselling and psychotherapy Frome, Bath, Bristol & Street

Counsellor training courses at all levels Phone: 01373 453355 Email: office@wessexcp.co.uk www.wessexcp.co.uk

Wednesday evenings at 6pm in Frome for young people aged 7+ For more information visit www.ftyb.co.uk or email ftyb@gmx.co.uk to enquire about joining

BOOKS & BEVERAGES PARTIES Invite friends around for a catch-up, a few drinks and — at the same time — they can buy some books for their kids. Guilt-free socialising.

PARTY HOSTS WANTED — HOST A PARTY AND RECIEVE: A FREE book (choose from those pictured) 10% of party sales in free books (free choice from entire 2,500 title range) 50% discount on new releases PLUS LOTS MORE!

TO BOOK YOUR PARTY CONTACT nicbbooks@gmail.com www.nicbbooks.co.uk facebook.com/nicbbooks


r u o y e v o r Imp d’s reading skills in chil f o s r k e FREE! e w 5 Reading Eggs is the multi-award winning online reading programme that makes learning to read easy and fun for children aged 2–13. The programme matches your child’s ability and is based on scientific research to help kids become confident and successful readers. Your child will love learning to read with entertaining characters, fun songs, interactive activities and exciting rewards. All the while, you can track their achievements with detailed progress reports, which show key areas of improvement. Join more than 10 million users worldwide and claim your special 5 WEEKS FREE ACCESS today! First Steps Phonics Letter recognition

Ready for School Sight words Vocabulary

Fun Practice Makes Perfect E-books Spelling

Continuing the Journey Comprehension Live games

Claim this offer and you’ll go into the draw to

WIN

a 12 month subscription!

5 WEEKS FREE ACCESS

Visit readingeggs.co.uk/little Offer ends 31st October 2017.

Please note: This offer is only available to new customers who register at the above URL and is not applicable for schools.

The multi-award winning online reading programme for kids!


Home & Garden

CRISP AND COSY AUTUMN The days are drawing in. Mornings are getting darker and the evenings are getting cooler, but there are still lots of things to see and do in the garden…

Words Jen Chow

A

utumn can be a time to reap the benefits of the hard work you’ve put in to the garden over the past few months. Harvesting fruit and vegetables, and enjoying the late burst of flowers, is autumnal bliss. Although the growing season has largely come to an end, it's important to keep watering your veg in dry weather. This will encourage more growth and better flavour. Beans can still be picked, or left on the plant to form seed to be used next year. When removing plants of beans or peas, leave the roots in the ground as they fix nitrogen in the soil

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and this will benefit next years crop. Spuds should be dug up now to avoid rotting in the ground and are best stored somewhere dry and cool, a hessian bag is a good idea. The way to tell if apples are ripe and ready to pick is to cup your hand gently under the apple while it’s still attached to the tree, give it a twist and if it lets go easily then you know it’s ripe. There are many things you can make with your apple harvest. You can borrow an apple press from Frome's Share Shop and make apple juice, you can use them in Slummy Mummy's Apple and Custard Flips or you can simply bake them to really appreciate the true taste of autumn. thelittlethingsmagazine.com


Home & Garden

BAKED APPLES You’ll need: ●● Eating apples ●● Brown sugar ●● Raisins or sultanas ●● Pinch of cinnamon

© Adobe Stock

●● Knob of butter

1 Wash the apples, remove the core (this is the tricky bit to ask mom or dad to help here), 2 Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins 3 Place apples on a baking tray and fill the holes with mixture adding a knob of butter on top 4 Pop them into the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned and caramelly 5 Let cool a bit and devour!

thelittlethingsmagazine.com

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Home & Garden

BULB PLANTING A great idea for Christmas prezzies – bulbs in pots ●● Find a good-sized terracotta pot and paint and decorate it. ●● Choose your bulbs. Alliums, miniature daffodils (Narcissus), irises, tulips, grape hyacinths, hyacinths are all good spring flowering bulbs and can easily be found at

PLANTS FOR FREE © Adobe Stock

A

Homebase or other garden centers. For something a little bit more unique, try an online bulb company. ●● Fill your pots with good quality potting compost. The general rule of thumb for planting depth is to place the bulb 2 ½

utumn is the perfect time to dig up and split herbaceous perennials (plants in your garden that die back in autumn/winter and re-emerge in spring). This is a good way renew a tired or overgrown clump and to have new plants for another part of the garden or for a friend. Dig

up clump, being careful to keep lots of root intact. Carefully tease out any nasty weed roots, especially things like bindweed or ground elder. Fork over the ground where you wish to re plant, place the plant in a hole just larger than the size of the plant and water it in well to settle the soil around the roots.

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3

2

4

There are thousands of different types of worms, some can even live for up to ten years! Worms have no legs, they have bristly hairs which help them to move through the soil. They breath through their skin and they must stay moist or they’ll die. When it’s hot and dry or cold and frosty they will move deeper in to the soil to survive.

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times the depth of the bulb size. ●● Try a mixed pot with larger bulbs spaced out a few inches apart and smaller ones in between. ●● Top the pot up with compost and water it. Be carefull to not let your pots get waterlogged or dry out. ●● Wait for the surprise in Spring.

Contrary to what many people believe, it you accidentally chop a worm in half, only one half survives. Worms are a gardener’s friend – they enrich the soil by eating, processing and pooping organic matter, (decomposing plant material). Have a look in your compost bin or under some debris or stones and you’ll find some to investigate. You’ll probably see worm “castings” (poop) which makes an excellent plant food! thelittlethingsmagazine.com


PICK OF THE PATCH FOR HALLOWE’EN

You can’t talk about autumn without mentioning Hallowe’en and there’s only one thing we parents fear more than the ghouls and ghosts – the last-minute dash to get costumes on. Get yourself in the mood for a howling good night with some perfect picks to ease the anxiety… SERGEI P ROKOFIE PETER A V’S ND THE WOLF If you’ve neve

r listened you’re in to this cla for a trea ssic, t. It’s a ha musical ta unting le of a yo ung boy, and vario a wolf us anima ls – all of w voiced to hom are superb e ffect by d orchestra ifferent l instrum ents. Ava online an ilable d in good music sto res.

TTOOS DRACULA TA ld, glittery tats

ly scary and go These serious r the big fright iare perfect fo er kids. by Meri M good for the k they’re too or online th night. We thin Ba s, rt be Spotty Her Available from erts.com at spottyherb

BODY PARTS

SWEETS These sweets are made loca lly by Candy House based near Br adford on Avon. If ther e are better sw eets for Hallowe’en w e’d like to know . Available from Spotty Herberts, Ba th or online at spottyherber ts.com

BLOODY M

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thelittlethingsmagazine.com

ARY A perfec t treat fo r the nigh damned t of the . Make it a Virgin M by leavin ary g out the vodka. A jalapeño dd s if you da re! We lik with ghe e ours rkins and olives – w knock on e’ll your doo r around Recipes a 7-ish. vailable o nline.

BROOM, ROOM ON THE SON & JULIA DONALD R LE FF AXEL SCHE

ce to have little chan Sadly, you’re likely gh ou en ll nsters sti of keeping your mo . ry on Hallowe’en sto a em th d rea to wrong with go n’t ca u yo , do But, if you ated ous poem illustr Donaldson’s hilari oom Br e Th Room On by Axel Scheffler. ted ina om r-n ca Os an was turned in to it 2012 and quick vis animated short in th wi u yo ard rew ll to the website wi able s activities. Avail some spooky kid s. op sh ok from all good bo .com roomonthebroom

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Home & Garden

TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE When you have a busy family life filled with kids, jobs and numerous other responsibilities, cleaning the house can seem like the straw that broke the camel’s back.

© Adobe Stock

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nlike tidying, which often gets done just before guests arrive (or not!) keeping your house clean is pretty essential. From the cess pit of the lounge and in need of considerable help keeping all the balls in the air, Amy and Caron from Busy Bees in Frome offered The Little Things their advice on how to avoid a complete and utter family meltdown. Firstly, cleaning the house is not just one person’s job – unless you live alone. Cleaning the house is a job for the whole family, including the kids. Sharing the duties is essential, particularly as often both parents work. One of the secrets to staying on top of it all is to clean little and often. While everyone here at Busy Bees has a genuine passion for cleaning, we realise this isn’t the case with most people. Get in to a routine as a family, have everyone in the house do a little bit of cleaning or tidying everyday. From the age of 2-3, children can be helping with the household chores. Start them young and get them in to the habit of sharing the responsibility. Here are some age appropriate tasks children can do to help with the cleaning and tidying: thelittlethingsmagazine.com

AGED 1–3 ●● Put dirty clothes in the hamper

AGED 6–8 All above chores, plus:

●● Put toys away

●● Vacuum floors

●● Put rubbish in the bin

●● Wash or put away dishes

●● Help clear up their own spills

●● Sort laundry, fold and put away clothes ●● Dust surfaces

AGED 4–5 All above chores, plus:

9+ All above chores, plus:

●● Make beds

●● Pretty much everything else that doesn’t

●● Clear the kitchen table after mealtimes

involve harsh chemicals

●● Dust skirting boards ●● Wiping down kitchen cupboards with soap water ●● Help tidy bedrooms

●● Sweep floors

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Home & Garden Here are our top 5 tips to cut down your cleaning time.

1

BUY A DECENT VACUUM Cylinder vacuums are good for hard floors and low pile carpets, but aren’t as effective on thick carpets or rugs. To get to the ground-in dirt and dust (think Mr Twits beard plus fleas, mould, dust mites and even poo particles), you really need a turbo brush. These are easy to find in shops that sell appliances or online on sites like Amazon and they will make a real difference to the cleanliness of your home.

© Adobe Stock

2

PROTECT AGAINST CARPET MOTH Carpet Moth is very common at this time of year. They are attracted to all natural fibres including wool carpets and your cashmere jumpers where they lay their eggs. It’s these larvae who munch through the natural fibres leaving holes in clothes and bald patches in carpets. To avoid the cost of replacing carpets and natural fibre clothing, vacuum around the edge of the carpet, under furniture and in your wardrobe regularly. Hanging lavender bags or keeping cedar balls where you keep Sunday afternoon marital bliss.

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your clothes also helps to control carpet moths as they are repelled by the smell.

3

BUY MATTRESS AND PILLOW PROTECTORS Rather than spending a lot of money changing your mattress or pillows. Protectors can be easily removed and easily washed and they will extend the life of your bedding. Again, think Mr Twit’s beard.

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USE MICRO-FIBRE CLOTHS FOR DUSTING Dust allergies are a real problem for many people. To cut down on the amount of dust in your house, it’s a good idea to use micro-fibre cloths as they collect and contain the dust better than other cloths. Not only are these clothes more effective they are also more efficient as you only need to wipe over an area once. Happy cleaning, Frome!

USE THE RIGHT CLEANING PRODUCT Frome is an hard water area, so unless you have a water softener, you need to use products designed to counteract limescale build up when cleaning bathrooms and the kitchen. Remember to wear gloves and use sparingly if a product is designed to remove limescale. It’s an acid based product and can burn your skin.


BOOKING TICKETS: In person at Bath Box Office Telephone: 01225 463362 Online: www.bathfestivals.org.uk

Bath Children’s Literature Festival is fast approaching. It’s their biggest ever programme of events, with major heavyweights from the world of children’s literature coming to the city from 29th September to 8th October. Headliners include the UK’s Number One Bestselling author Julia Donaldson, best known for The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Stick Man; Liz Pichon,

the multi-talented author and illustrator behind the Tom Gates series; much loved author and illustrator of the How To Train Your Dragon books, Cressida Cowell; Bath-born superstar, Jacqueline Wilson, best known for her books and CBBC series Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather; and last but by no means least– actor, comedian and all round national treasure, Miranda Hart!

To help families navigate the plethora of activity on offer with ease, we’ve listed the events by age range: Monday 2 October AGE 10+ CREATING DOCTOR WHO WITH GEORGE MANN, JONATHAN MORRIS, CAVAN SCOTT & MIKE TUCKER 6:30pm–8:00pm Guildhall £7.50 Tuesday 3 October AGE 5+ SIR CHARLIE STINKY SOCKS WITH KRISTINA STEPHENSON 11:30am–12:15pm Guildhall £4 AGE 9+ DRAWING MASTERCLASS WITH JOE BERGER 4:30pm–5:30pm Roman Baths £12 AGE 10+ NOVEL STORIES WITH SALLY GARDNER & KIRAN MILLWOOD-HARGRAVE 7:00pm–8:00pm Guildhall £7.50 ADULT WORKSHOP WRITING PICTURE BOOKS WITH TESSA STRICKLAND 9:30am–12:00pm BRLSI £40

Wednesday 4 October AGE 7+ DANCE WITH KIMBERLY WYATT 4:30pm–5:15pm Guildhall £6.50 AGE 10+ AWARD WINNERS WITH GILLIAN CROSS, ALEX WHEATLE & GERALDINE MCCAUGHREAN 7:00pm–8:00pm Guildhall £7.50 ADULT WORKSHOP WRITING MIDDLE GRADE WITH JOANNA NADIN 9:30am–12:00pm BRLSI £40 Thursday 5 October YA (YOUNG ADULT) LEARNING TO WRITE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH JESS BUTTERWORTH, SARAH DRIVER & AMY WILSON 7:00pm–8:00pm Guildhall £7 ADULT WORKSHOP WRITING YA WITH CLARE FURNISS 9:30am–12:00pm BRLSI £40

Friday 6 October FAMILY NADIYA HUSSAIN 4:30pm–5:30pm Guildhall £7.50 AGE 9+ HARRY POTTER WITH JIM KAY 6:30pm–7:30pm Guildhall £7.50 Saturday 7 October AGE 4+ ALIENS LOVE UNDERPANTS WITH BEN CORT 3:15pm–4:00pm Widcombe Social Club £6.50 AGE 4–7 MOOMINS MISCHIEF 1 11:00am–12:00pm Keynsham Community Space £5 MOOMINS MISCHIEF 2 12:45pm–1:45pm Keynsham Community Space £5 AGE 5+ SHIFTY MCGIFTY & SLIPPERY SAM ARE BACK! 10:00am–10:45am Guildhall £6.50 WINNIE THE WITCH STORYTIME 10:30am–11:15am Widcombe Social Club £6

MR BUNNY’S CHOCOLATE FACTORY 12:00pm–12:45pm Widcombe Social Club £6.50 AGE 6+ THE ROYAL RABBITS OF LONDON 1:30pm–2:15pm Guildhall £6.50

BOX OFFICE OPENING HOURS: Monday to Saturday 10.30am–5pm Open Sunday & Bank Holidays during Festivals only 10am–4pm

AGE 8+ KID NORMAL WITH GREG JAMES & CHRIS SMITH 10:00am–10:45am Guildhall £6.50 HARRY POTTER QUIZ 5:00pm–6:00pm Guildhall £7

AGE 7+ THE DRAGONSITTER 11:45am–12:30pm Guildhall £6.50

AGE 9+ JACQUELINE WILSON 10:30am–11:30am The Forum £8

ADE EDMONDSON 1:30pm–2:15pm Guildhall £7

MAGGIE ADERIN-POCOCK 11:45am–12:45pm Guildhall £7.50

THE FAMOUS FIVE SHOW 1:30pm–2:15pm Widcombe Social Club £7

CATHY CASSIDY IN CONVERSATION WITH KATIE THISTLETON 3:15pm–4:15pm Guildhall £7

BOX CRAFT MASTERCLASS WITH JEMMA WESTING 2:00pm–3:30pm Widcombe Institute £15 MIRANDA HART 2:45pm–3:45pm The Forum £15 THE GREATEST MAGICIAN IN THE WORLD WITH MATT EDMONDSON AND GARRY PARSONS 5:00pm–5:45pm Widcombe Social Club £6.50 AGE 7–10 ROALD DAHL’S IMAGINATION SEEKERS 11:00am–12:00pm Mission Theatre £10 ROALD DAHL’S IMAGINATION SEEKERS 12:45pm–1:45pm Mission Theatre £10 ROALD DAHL’S IMAGINATION SEEKERS 3 3:00pm–4:00pm Mission Theatre £10

LARA WILLIAMSON 3:15pm–4:00pm Guildhall £6.50 HERE BE DRAGONS WITH STEPHANIE BURGIS & CLAIRE FAYERS 5:00pm–6:00pm Guildhall £6.50 YA (YOUNG ADULT) BRIAN CONAGHAN & SARAH CROSSAN 6:45pm–7:45pm Guildhall £6.50 Sunday 8 October AGE 4+ THE ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS 3:15pm–4:00pm Guildhall £6.50 AGE 4–7 MOOMINS MISCHIEF 3 11:00am–11:50am Mission Theatre £7

MOOMINS MISCHIEF 4 12:45pm–1:35pm Mission Theatre £7 AGE 5+ ISADORA MOON WITH HARRIET MUNCASTER 11:45am–12:30pm Guildhall £6.50 THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MR TOAD 1:30pm–2:15pm Guildhall £6.50 DO YOU BELIEVE IN DRAGONS? 2:30pm–3:15pm Mission Theatre £6.50 AGE 6+ SUPERHERO MASTERCLASS 1:30pm–3:00pm Widcombe Institute £15 AGE 7 + HOW TO BE A WITCH WITH KAYE UMANSKY 10:00 am–10:45am Guildhall £6.50 AGE 8+ THE WIMPY KID SHOW 3:15pm–4:00pm Guildhall £6.50 AGE 9+ ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS WITH GILL LEWIS & KIERAN LARWOOD 10:00am–11:00am Widcombe Social Club AGE 10+ HOLLY SMALE 1:30pm–2:30pm Guildhall £7 AGE 11+ NORSE MYTHS WITH FRANCESCA SIMON & KEVIN CROSSLEY-HOLLAND 1:30pm–2:30pm Widcombe Social Club £7


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MONDAY

CHICKEN & CHORIZO VEGETABLE CRUMBLE This is a really easy dish to make and very versatile once you have practiced it a couple of times. To make it veggie just leave out the chicken and chorizo and replace with tofu or Quorn pieces, or just have the vegetables on their own. INGREDIENTS ●● 1 pack of diced chicken breasts (free range, if possible) * ●● 2 courgettes* ●● 1 large onion* ●● 2 red peppers * ●● 1 aubergine

ts In gre di en re a ’ d ‘* ke r ma from le b a il a av e Fo o d t h e From b ly assem

●● A large handful of chopped chorizo sausage ●● 3 tins of chopped tomatoes * ●● Strong grated cheddar * ●● Plain white flour * ●● ½ a pack of butter * ●● Mixed Italian dried herbs ●● 1 veggie stock cube/stock pot ●● 2 crushed garlic cloves * ●● A slosh of red wine (optional) * ●● 2 bay leaves (optional) ●● Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD 1 Fry your chicken pieces in some vegetable oil until they start to brown and are about 80% cooked, then add the diced chorizo and fry for a couple of minutes. Don’t overcook it – chorizo goes tough if cooked for too long. Set aside. 2 Chop the onion, courgettes, red peppers and aubergine into bite-sized chunks and place in an oven proof dish or slow cooker. 3 Now add the tinned tomatoes, a slosh of wine (or water instead). 4 Crumble the stock cube into the mixture and add the dried herbs, garlic and the bay leaves (if you have any). 5 Cook the mixture until the veggies are about 80% cooked. 6 Take off the heat and add the chicken/ chorizo mix, ensuring to scrape the pan clean of all the delicious chorizo flavoured oil! 8 Transfer your lovely mixture into a deep oven proof dish, the kind of dish you would use for a large lasagne. Now for the fun bit! Specific measurements for the crumble topping mix depends on the size of dish that you’ll be using so, to measure, you’ll have to imagine evenly coating the top of your chosen dish with half a centimetre of flour. Add the estimated amount of flour to a mixing bowl plus a ratio of half the amount of cold, cubed butter. Rub the butter and flour together (as you would with a sweet crumble topping) until there are no butter lumps remaining. Now add 2–3 handfuls of strong cheddar along with mixed herbs plus salt and pepper. Evenly coat your chicken/chorizo/vegetable mix with the finished topping and bake in a medium-to-hot oven until the crumble browns and starts to bubble.

© Adobe Stock

This is a really hearty and filling dish. I like to eat mine with a pile of rocket drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil and some garlic bread – and a nice cold glass of wine of course! thelittlethingsmagazine.com

APPLE & CUSTARD FLIPS This is very lazy baking but SO delicious! Get the kids to make them!

AFTER SCHOOL TREAT

INGREDIENTS ●● 2 large cooking apples * ●● 1 pack of sweet puff pastry ●● 1 tin of ready-made supermarket custard ●● A small amount of sugar ●● 2 eggs for the glaze *

METHOD 1 On a floured surface, roll out the pastry into a large square to a thickness of 5mm. 2 Cut the pastry into squares (do this to whatever size you wish but remember that once “flipped” the pastry will be half the size of the square you are cutting). 3 Brush your beaten egg around the outside of each square. 4 Over half the pastry add some sliced apple in 3 or 4 layers on top of each other, a small sprinkling of sugar and a small dollop of custard. 5 Carefully, with your fingers, flip the pastry over so it resembles a triangle shape and press the edges down. Don’t add too much custard, or it will just end up a soggy mess! 6 Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and brush more egg on top for the glaze. Bake in a hot oven until the pastry puffs up and turns golden brown. Once you’ve mastered these flips, experiment with fruit fillings – the combinations are endless!

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Family Social | WEEKDAYDINNERS

TUESDAY

SLUMMY MUMMY’S EPIC FISHCAKES WITH HOMEMADE TARTAR SAUCE My kids love these fishcakes. They love helping to make them as they are quite messy and we can really get stuck in. Don’t be put off by the length of this recipe, they are actually super easy to make, I promise. Reserve yourself some time on a rainy day to make them with the kids, have fun, get messy and bung them in the freezer for a quick and easy mid-week tea. INGREDIENTS FOR THE FISHCAKES ●● 1 bag of potatoes suitable for mashing *

80% cooked. Take off the boil and sit in a colander until they are bone dry. 2 Mash roughly leaving some chunks, set aside to cool. 3 In a saucepan, add the milk, the bay leaves and the peppercorns, bring to the boil then drop down to a very low heat. 4 Add the fish and poach until the fish is only just cooked. To tell if it’s ready, you should still be able to squeeze a piece of fish without it breaking apart but it not feel rubbery. Don’t forget the fish will be cooked again when it’s in the fishcake.

5 Remove the fish but keep the flavoured milk. 6 Now add your fish to the mash along with the herbs, lemon zest, spring onion, butter, salt and pepper, and a slosh of the flavoured milk, give it a good old stir. 7 Roll the mixture into balls about the size of a large egg. Dip into the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs, flatten slightly with your hands. 8 Once all the fishcakes are made, refrigerate. They can be kept in the fridge for 3 days or frozen and used within 3 months. Ensure the fishcakes are completely defrosted before you cook them, you can’t cook them from frozen very easily. 9 To cook, shallow fry in some oil and finish off in the oven. 10 To make the tartar sauce, just combine all the ingredients together and give it a mix! Serve fishcakes with a wedge of lemon and a salad.

●● 1 pack of raw mixed fish pieces * ●● The zest of 2 lemons ●● 1 bunch of fresh parsley and 1 bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped (use dried if you can’t get fresh) * ●● 1 bunch spring onions, roughly chopped, green stalks included * ●● 2 bay leaves ●● 1 pint of British milk * ●● ¼ pack of British butter * ●● A small handful of dried peppercorns ●● Salt and pepper to taste ●● A bowl of beaten egg * ●● A bowl of plain flour * ●● A bowl of breadcrumbs (don’t buy them, whizz up or grate any stale bread you have or the crusts from a loaf of bread)

FOR THE TARTAR SAUCE ●● 4 tablespoons of free range mayonnaise * ●● 2 teaspoons of English mustard ●● 2 large gherkins, chopped into small chunks © Adobe Stock

●● The zest of 1 lemon ●● 1 tablespoon of chopped capers

METHOD 1 Boil your potatoes until they are 16 |



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WEEKDAYDINNERS | Family Social

WEDNESDAY

slow cooker the day before and leave it all day on low. 5 Take the gammon out of the hot water and leave to cool. You will love the aroma it gives as it’s cooking!

NANNA SPILLER’S BOILED HAM WITH MASHED POTATO, PEAS & HOMEMADE PARSLEY SAUCE

I come from a long line of cooks, my mum is an amazing cook and runs an outside catering business and my Nanna was a cook in a residential home. I have fond memories as a child of going to visit her at work, as soon as you walked in you were hit with the amazing smell of her cooking. This was one of her favourite things to make my sister and I. She is sadly no longer with us but every time I make this dish I am reminded of her and my kids love it too. This is proper home comfort food at its very best. INGREDIENTS

FOR THE PARSLEY SAUCE ●● 25g of Butter * ●● 25g of plain flour * ●● 1 pint of Milk * ●● 1 pack of fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons of

METHOD 1 Wash your gammon joint in cold, running water to remove any excess salt. 2 Place in a large pan on the hob and add your cider and top the rest of the pan up with boiling water until the gammon is completely covered. 3 Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. 4 Bring the pan to the boil on a high heat with the lid on and as soon as it comes to the boil, drop the heat right down until it gently simmers. Boil according to packet instruction. For a medium sized gammon the cooking time is roughly an hour and a half. If I’m cooking this dish, I try to get organised and cook it in my

CHOCOLATE TIFFIN WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE DROPS & CRANBERRIES

D WEEKEN TREAT

My kids LOVE this. It’s very indulgent so when I make it I cut the tiffin into tiny squares and let them have some at the weekends as a treat. Once made, it will keep in the fridge for weeks.

●● 1 medium sized unsmoked gammon joint *

INGREDIENTS

●● 2 bay leaves

●● 8oz Butter *

●● A small handful of dried peppercorns

●● 4 tablespoons of brown sugar

●● 1 bottle of cheap cider *

●● 5 tablespoons of golden syrup *

●● 1 onion, cut into wedges *

●● 4 teaspoons of coco powder *

●● 1 carrot, chopped into large chunks *

●● 16oz of broken up digestive biscuits

●● 1 celery stick, chopped into large chunks *

●● A handful of white chocolate drops

●● 2 cloves of garlic *

●● A handful of dried cranberries

●● Mashed Potatoes (to serve) *

●● 16oz of broken-up dark chocolate

dried parsley * ●● The zest from 1 lemon ●● Salt and pepper to taste

1 Add the butter to a pan over a low heat and gently melt. 2 Now add the flour and stir for 2 to 3 minutes until it starts to bubble. 3 Add the milk slowly and whisk until the sauce starts to thicken. 4 Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes and remove from the heat. 5 Add salt, pepper, lemon zest and fresh parsley. Serve with fluffy mashed potato and peas just the way Nanna Spiller served hers!

METHOD 1 In a large pan on the hob, melt the butter, chocolate, coco powder, brown sugar and golden syrup. Do this over a low heat and take off the heat the very moment the ingredients have melted. You don’t want the chocolate to split. 2 Now add your crushed biscuits, dried cranberries and chocolate drops. Give it a good old mix and whilst it’s still warm transfer to a lined baking tray and press down really well. 3 Place in the fridge for a few hours until the tiffin sets. I sometimes add chopped mixed nuts to the top of mine or desiccated coconut but it’s not essential. 4 Once cooled, cut into small cubes.

●● Cooked frozen peas (to serve) thelittlethingsmagazine.com

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Family Social | WEEKDAYDINNERS

THURSDAY

TOMATO & LENTIL SOUP WITH STUFFED CROISSANTS I love home-made soup and this one is so quick and easy you can have it on the table within 20 minutes. I usually pull this one out of the bag a couple of days before payday as it costs under a fiver to feed a family of four! INGREDIENTS FOR THE SOUP ●● 2 tins of chopped tomatoes * ●● 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks * ●● 2 sticks of celery, chopped into chunks * ●● 1 large onion, sliced * ●● 2 cloves of garlic, crushed * ●● 1.5 pint of vegetable stock ●● 1 tin of cooked lentils (or butterbeans if you don’t have lentils) * ●● Salt and pepper

FOR THE STUFFED CROISSANTS ●● 1 pack of cooked croissants * ●● Mustard

●● Grated cheese * ●● Ham *

METHOD 1 Fry the onion, garlic, celery and carrot in a tiny bit of oil or butter for 2–3 minutes until they’re softened. 2 Add your chopped tomatoes and stock and boil with a lid on until the veggies are cooked. 3 Add your tin of lentils and allow to cool slightly before puting the mix though a blender. 4 To assemble the croissants, simply cut through the middle, spread some mustard on the bottom half, top with ham and grated cheese. 5 Put the top back on and bake in a hot oven until the cheese melts. Not rocket science, just quick, easy, hearty mid-week budget cooking!

BAKED PEACHES WITH ORANGE AND HONEY – A SUPER QUICK WEEKDAY PUD FOR THE KIDS There is nothing worse than the “Muuuuuummy, what’s for pudding?” question. We only have unhealthy pudding like ice cream or cake at the weekend. During the week the options are fruit or yoghurt neither of which are popular choices BUT with this recipe I’m sticking to my rules as well as making it a bit more exciting for the kids. This has become a popular, easy and healthy weekday pudding in our house. INGREDIENTS ●● 6 ripe peaches ●● 2 tablespoons of pure runny

WEEKDAY PUDDING

honey (local if possible) * ●● 1 large orange ●● A handful of flaked almonds ●● Natural yoghurt to serve * ●● Fresh mint to decorate (optional) *

METHOD 1 Take your peaches and slice them across the middle removing the stones. 2 Place them in an oven proof dish, skin side down. 3 Chop the orange in half and squeeze the juice all over the peaches. 4 Next, drizzle the honey over the peaches and scatter the flaked almonds on top. That’s it! 5 Bake in a hot oven until the peaches caramelise.

© Adobe Stock

Serve with natural yoghurt and a scattering of fresh mint if you have it. If you’re making this for grown-ups pour a couple of shots of whisky, rum or brandy over the peaches before you bake them! Ooh, Dangerous!

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WEEKDAYDINNERS | Family Social

FRIDAY NIGHT FAKEAWAY!

LAMB KOFTA’S WITH MOROCCAN COUSCOUS & MINTY YOGHURT I rarely buy takeaways – to be honest it’s much easier and cheaper to do it yourself. Get the kids involved in this one – the koftas are lots of fun to squish and mix but make sure they wash their hands afterwards! INGREDIENTS FOR THE KOFTAS ●● 1 pack of bamboo skewers, soaked in water for half an hour to stop them from burning during cooking

FOR THE COUS COUS ●● 300g couscous (cook as per packet instructions) ●● 1 tin of chick peas * ●● 1 handful of sultanas ●● 1 handful of dried apricots, chopped ●● A glug of decent olive oil * ●● The juice of one lemon ●● Fresh coriander and fresh parsley to decorate *

FOR THE MINTY YOGHURT

●● 1lb of good quality lamb mince

●● ½ pot of natural yoghurt *

●● 1 small onion, finely chopped *

●● 2 teaspoons of mint sauce or fresh

●● 2 teaspoons of dried mint ●● 1 teaspoon of dried chilli powder ●● 2 teaspoons of cinnamon ●● 2 teaspoons of ground cumin ●● A handful of breadcrumbs ●● Salt and pepper thelittlethingsmagazine.com

mint (if you have it) ●● ¼ cucumber cut into small chunks *

METHOD 1 Thoroughly mix together all the ingredients for the koftas in a large

mixing bowl. 2 Roll each kofta into a shape the same size and thickness of a large sausage. 3 Thread onto your skewers and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. 4 Bake at 180°C for approximately 20 minutes or until they are cooked through. 5 Now take your couscous and place in a bowl. Add your chick peas, dried fruit, lemon and chopped herbs and a good ol’ slosh of olive oil. Stir with a folk to break up the couscous 6 To make the minty yoghurt, simply mix all the ingredients together. 7 I like to serve this dish with the couscous on the plate first, two koftas on top and a large dollop of the minty yoghurt to finish. 7 Scatter with fresh parsley or coriander. Delicious! | 19


Family Social | FromeFooDAssembly

Meet the producers from the Frome Food Assembly

The Free Range Chef

Taylor’s Traditional Bakers

Wookey Farm

More Wine

THE FREE RANGE CHEF Orange, hazelnut and blackberry was September’s gluten-free brownie of the month. Beth also does a range of salads and dips . Super yummy. TAYLOR’S TRADITIONAL BAKERS This bakery has been in the Taylor family for three generations. There isn’t a bread they can’t bake or a sweet bun they don’t make. Thank goodness for pre-ordering. WOOKEY FARM We love Wookey Farm! It’s not just goat meat they sell, they also sell amazing goat cheeses like brie de chèvre and goat’s milk yoghurt and pork sausages too. MORE WINE This guy has more wine than a toddler on a sugar crash. Rich sells wine on tap, wine in boxes, wine in pouches, even tinned sparkling wine for purses. He does sell craft beers and ciders too.

To place your order, search ‘Frome Food Assembly’ online or visit their facebook page at: facebook.com/ TheFromeFoodAssembly

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Beth Wright TAKE OVER

Any excuse for a party Most of us would agree that having a baby is a cause for celebration. A naming ceremony can be the perfect way to welcome a child in to the family. Even grown-up children.

I

© Adobe Stock

f you don’t want a religious ceremony, it may be difficult to know just what to do to celebrate the arrival of a new family member. So, maybe you don’t do anything. Of course people visit and congratulate you then you settle in to family life, having missed a wonderful opportunity to gather everybody you love together for a party. A humanist naming ceremony can fill that gap and is the ideal way to welcome children in to the world. Naming ceremonies can be held for children of any age to welcome them in to the family, celebrate their lives and to smother them in the love and warmth of your family and friends. SETTING THE SCENE The ceremony is about to begin. A village hall is adorned with bunting and guests clasp lyric sheets in their hands. New parents stand smiling at their family and friends. Their dungaree-clad

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baby bounces on Mum’s hip whilst Dad holds baby’s hand. The music begins and all guests sing a favourite family song in unison… “In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight…” This is just one example of a humanist naming ceremony, a normal ‘day-outof-the-office’ for Frome-based Beth Wright. Trained and accredited by Humanists UK (formerly the British Humanist Association), she writes and delivers unique, non-religious naming ceremonies for parents across Somerset, Bath and Bristol. Beth explains, “You can hold a ceremony absolutely anywhere and the content with music, readings or symbolic rituals, is entirely what you want it to be. Every ceremony is a fun and significant way for you to gather together your family and friends, acknowledge your heritage and make meaningful commitments to your child.

It’s a chance to ask important people in your lives, let’s call them guide-parents, to do that too. You can call them guardians, mentors or ‘odd-parents’ if you like and, let’s be honest, some are!” A humanist naming ceremony can cost as much or as little as a family can afford. For those who aren’t particularly religious there is no hypocrisy or compromises, each ceremony is unique and completely tailored to you. There is a basic structure, but the tone can be as formal or informal as a family wants and Beth will advise and help to create that. And if its wedding bells, at the heart of your next big shindig, Beth will shortly be taking her training for unique wedding ceremonies too. In the meantime, her mum Julie does all three ceremonies to recognise those important rites of passage in our lives: namings, weddings and funerals. For more information, contact: humanism.org.uk/elizabethwright

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Super Pirates TAKE OVER


Super Pirates TAKE OVER


Cover Story

Low effort, high impact activites to support your child’s learning and give you some time to yourself!

© Adobe Stock

A

fter a full day at work, collecting children, taking care of dinner, clubs, sport, etc. who has time for extra education at home? Yes, there’s mornings in between the frenzy of sorting uniforms, packed lunches and the hallway of hell when kids are getting their shoes on. Of course, there are weekends, but we all deserve a break, don’t we? But, what if supporting our kids could actually buy us some time? What if there was something in it for us? Well, that’s a game changer! 24 |



LITERACY READING If your child doesn’t enjoy reading, this can be a real struggle. Write notes to your children. Put them in their lunch boxes or around the house. Give them written instructions or send them on treasure hunts around the house where they have to read the clues. Comic books are a great solution as well. TIME IT BUYS YOU: 5–10 minutes – at least enough to make a cup of tea.

SPELLING Those pesky weekly spelling tests are the bane of many a parents week. Make it less painful by writing the words on pieces of paper and put them in high traffic places. You can also use chalk pens or whiteboard pens to write the words on windows and mirrors. Get your children to write a sentence using the words they find around the house. They can add other words too. Once they’ve done that, get them to rearrange the words to make a new sentence. TIME IT BUYS YOU: 10-20 minutes – at least enough to drink a cup of tea or a ten minute catch up with a friend over the phone or both depending on how many sentences you make them do. WRITING Make a rule that any complaints from your children will only be accepted in writing. It’s the way big businesses manage to get away with not having to deal with minor problems. If you really want to keep them busy, get them to use the words from their spelling tests in their letter of complaint. TIME IT BUYS YOU: A little bit for now, much thelittlethingsmagazine.com


less when they master the art of rhetoric. It could end up costing you a considerable amount of time. On second thought, don’t bother with this one. WRITING Challenge your kids to write a short conversation between two people on two pieces of paper. Person 1 on one sheet, person 2 on the other. Tell your child not to share it with you until dinner when they can give the scripts out. Read the script. These are likely to be pretty funny. It’s also a great opportunity to discuss spelling and punctuation. Look out for interesting spellings of ‘horse’ and ‘beach’. TIME IT BUYS YOU: 20-30 minutes if it’s a good one – that’s enough time to assemble and cook the fishcakes on page 16. Added bonus: you can use it as a ‘when you finish your dinner’ bribe.

MATHS NUMBER BONDS Maths becomes a bit easier once children know their number bonds of 10. It helps them to do more complex maths with more confidence. Much like the words for the weekly spelling tests, you can write the numbers 1 to 10 on different cards. Place these around the house

Only 35 more sentences to go, Tommy.

and send kids on a hunt to bring back a number bond of 10. TIME IT BUYS YOU: 10–15 minutes if you make them collect them all before coming back to show you – enough time to flip through the rest of the latest edition of The Little Things. MULTIPLICATION TABLES Let’s be honest, how many of us learned this completely? The fact of the matter is, this is just old school learning by rote and repetition. If you have an older child and a younger child you can use the the numbers hidden around the house for multiplication too, all you have to do is choose the number they need to multiply by. For example, on Monday the number to be multiplied by is 4, on Tuesday it’s 6, etc. Get the kids to run around the house finding and writing down the hidden numbers, then multiply it by the number of the day. TIME IT BUYS YOU: 10–15 minutes depending on how good they are at their multiplication tables – (hopefully) enough time to go to the toilet without being interrupted.

SCIENCE PHYSICS Marshmallow and Dried Spaghetti Bridge. This is a good one and it could very well keep them entertained for thelittlethingsmagazine.com

quite some time, particularly if you set up an element of competition. You will need a packet of dried spaghetti, a package of large (not the super big ones) marshmallows and a reasonably heavy book. The task is to build a bridge that will hold a book using only spaghetti and marshmallows. Encourage them to think about triangles here. TIME IT BUYS YOU: At least 30 minutes – as a parent, what can’t you do in 30 minutes? This is the same amount of time as a pre-children afternoon. Enjoy it before you are asked to watch the book being placed on top. CHEMISTRY Butter-making. Clear out your child’s backpack, put some cream in two plastic containers or a resealable freezer bags. Put one container or resealable bag of cream in their backpack and leave one on the side of the work surface. They can use a trampoline, a bed, the sofa or they can just jump up and down. It will turn in to a lump of butter after about 20 minutes of continuous jumping. Once the butter is formed, ask them look at the difference between the bag or container in their backpack and the one on the work surface. Get them to think about why jumping turned the cream in to butter. They can use this butter on a cracker or piece of toast. TIME IT BUYS YOU: 20 minutes at the very least plus more after because they’ll be shattered – time to have a decent shower. | 25


Cover Feature | SNACKATTACK

HIDE THE VEG We've never met a kid who isn't on the hunt for food the second they return home from school. In their ravenous state, why not take the opportunity

to get some sneaky veg in to their after-school snack. Frome local, awardwinning blogger and master veg hider, Kate Hackworthy, shares an after-school snack recipe from her recently published cookbook, Veggie Desserts and Cakes, with our readers.

To find more of Kate’s recipes and a link to buy her book, go to veggiedesserts.co.uk

SWEETCORN AND WHITE CHOCOLATE COOKIES WITH BLACKBERRY GLAZE MAKES 25 Inspired by the flavours of late autumn, these cookies are a contrast of sweet and tangy. The flavour of the sweetcorn comes through very pleasantly and is lovely alongside the creamy rich chunks of white chocolate. The blackberry glaze is vibrant, and at once both sweet and tart, cutting nicely through the baked sweetness of the cookies. FOR THE COOKIES ●● 150g sweetcorn kernels (fresh or frozen) ●● 120g unsalted butter, melted ●● 150g cup granulated sugar ●● 1 tsp vanilla extract ●● 275g plain flour ●● ½ tsp baking powder ●● ⅛ tsp salt ●● 100g white chocolate, chopped

FOR THE BLACKBERRY GLAZE ●● 10 blackberries (fresh or frozen and thawed) ●● 6 tbsp icing sugar

METHOD 1 Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan). 2 Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. 3 Boil the sweetcorn for a few minutes until cooked. Rinse under cold water, drain and purée with a hand blender. 4 In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter and sugar. Whisk in the corn

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purée and vanilla, then add the flour, baking powder and salt, and combine. Stir in the chocolate. 5 Roll teaspoons of the mixture into balls, place them onto the prepared baking sheets, and flatten them slightly with your fingertips or the heel of your hand. Bake for 12 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden. 6 Transfer to a wire rack and leave to

cool completely. 7 To make the blackberry glaze place the blackberries into a sieve over a bowl and press with a spoon to extract the juice (about 1 tablespoon). 8 Stir the icing sugar into the blackberry juice and mix until smooth. 9 Add a little water or more sugar if necessary to reach a thick drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the cookies.

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10% DISC OUN T

CODE: LITTLE THINGS01

Rose & Lyons is known for its carefully chosen collection of womenswear, accessories and gifts, a modern day emporium of loveliness mixed with a dose of practicality! Take a look – you never know what you may find! Opening times Monday to Friday: 10–5.30 Saturdays: 10–5 Market Sundays: 11–3 Sparkly Saturday Join us every Saturday from 3–5 and on Market Sundays for a FREE glass of fizz!

7 A C H E A P S T R E E T , F R O M E , B A 11 1 B N • 0 13 7 3 4 6 12 9 0

SH I N Y H A PPY PEO PLE Eastern medicine identifies different chakras, or energy points, in our body. Different crystals resonate with different chakras. We are usually drawn a particular crystal depending on what our body needs. Chakras are similar to an orchestra – if one is out of sync, then the other will be too. Crystals can be carried around with us in pockets, be put under our pillow or worn in a piece of jewellery. Crystal Therapy, where chosen crystals are placed on or around the body, can also help aid and support the emotional or physical needs of the body. Children are naturally drawn to crystals as they are sensitive to them, often naturally connecting to them in different ways. With children settling back in to their studies, crystals can support their transition in to a new school, a new year or even help them deal with their first year at school. Crystals can be tucked in to a little pouch inside the child’s school bag to help them deal wth their day.

Here are some suggestions for crystals which could help support your child: ROSE QUARTZ (PINK) to feel

loved and to love others AGATE (BLUE TRANSPARENT)

to feel safe and nurtured BLUE LACE AGATE can help with anger and upset SELENITE (WHITE WAND) when you feel confused, unsure or indecisive AMETHYST (PURPLE) to sleep well or if you feel stressed TIGER’S EYE (GOLDEN BROWN) to feel protected and grounded RED JASPER (RED) for when you feel unwell

Sparklefairy products and services, such as Crystal Therapy, can be found in: Eden Rose Beauty, Cheap Street, Frome 01373 462121 www.sparklefairy.com @isparklefairy Crystal therapy should never be used as a substitute for conventional medicine. Though it can have many positive benefits for a range of ailments, it should only be used as a tool on the healing journey.


Cover Feature | ADULTHOBBIES

A HOBBY OF ONE’S OWN

Y

ou can’t drink from an empty well, yet this is the state many parents, us included, find themselves in. Parenting is an endless job which involves giving, often without much in return. We transport our kids all over the country for fixtures, practices, rehearsals, activities, extra study and so many other things but

what do we do for ourselves? Taking up a new hobby as an adult can be a slightly terrifying prospect as we don’t often intentionally put ourselves in uncomfortable situations. But starting a new hobby could be exactly what we need. Learning new things is a work-out for our brains, as it forms new synapses it can help us think differently and reduce stress.

When we experience something new or when we find something difficult, we give it all of our attention and time slows down as we focus on the minute details. The world outside disappears and we are free to commit ourselves entirely to the task at hand. In that space, there are no mortgage payments, no deadlines, no incompetent bosses, no housework, no children and no partner to worry about. Not only is this healthy for your mind, it can ease the physical symptoms of stress too. There are many places that offer adult courses and you can find information about dates and times on the Frome Diary and Frome Community Education websites: fromediary.com, fromecommed.org.uk.

BLACK PIG STUDIO Tucked away down a quiet street sits Black Pig Printmaking Studio. Chris has carefully curated his space with his guests in mind. Everything in the studio is tasteful and beautiful in its functional simplicity. It’s the perfect tonic to escape adulting.

LINOCUT

Drop-in sessions (1–3 pm) £20 per session, attend as and when you wish. Booking is advised. ●● October 5th, 12th, 19th ●● November 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th ●● December 7th 14th, 21st

Saturday Classes (10–4pm) £55. Booking is advised. ●● September 9th ●● October 7th ●● November 11th ●● December 9th

Black Pig Printmaking Studio 13 Long Ground, Frome, BA11 1PJ Chris Pig, explaining the benefits of having a hobby to The Little Things.

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Contact Chris Pig on 07435121263 or christophermaxpig@yahoo.com

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POP!

NEW KID IN THE TOILET BLOCK Like all parents, we spend a lot of time hanging out around toilets. Imagine our delight when we found POP! (not poop) in the old toilets! Owner,Helen Rochfort, tells us more about her big ideas , big business and ‘the world’s smallest shop’.

P

OP! is for all ages – kids to grown-up kids 0–110 – anyone who loves the element of fun and clever design with incredibly affordable prices. Think Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory crossed with the TIGER Store and Ikea. A bit bonkers and random, but it works. You’ll find fried egg necklaces, biscuit notepads, pens disguised as blades of grass, false teeth ice trays, ham Post-it notes, boob T-shirts, macaroon purses, milk-carton money boxes, windmill earrings, dinosaur soup ladels – see, something for everyone! It’s just a teeny weeny little shop in the old loos in Frome. Ha ha ha! Yes! It needed to be as small as possible, it’s impossible to compete with the huge retail giants, particularly when your budget is also tiny. So, I thought, go small, really small, like ‘The World’s Smallest Store’ small. It needed to be quirky, different and it needed to standout – not just locally but on a worldwide level via social media. You can buy everything that’s in the shop online and I’ve already had people from the USA, France, Belgium and Japan buying from the shop. Small is where it’s at. What made you decide to open POP!? I wanted to create something fun to make people smile. I used to own and thelittlethingsmagazine.com

run a large fashion accessories brand called Helen Rochfort. My company designed and produced handbags, watches, silk scarves, phone cases and satchels. My former life was a bit different. I was juggling trips to factories in the UK and China, showing collections in Paris, LA and London and liaising with over 200 stockists worldwide including Harrods, Fenwicks, New Look, Asos, and Very. We generated a lot of attention and appeared in Vogue, Elle, Grazia, Glamour, Italian Vogue, Look and The Sunday Times STYLE magazine. We appeared on ITV This Morning and we also had some famous fans of our brand, including Katy Perry, Little Mix, Sienna Miller, Kate Winslet, Holly Willoughby, Fearne Cotton, Kate Nash and Lauren Laverne. So POP! is only the beginning of something very exciting.

That's POP! with one 'o'.

So, you’ve done this before? Opening the smallest shop ever, in an old loo, no–this is my first time! But yes, I have run large creative companies. As well as running POP!, I’d love to help other creative companies achieve their goals so I’m completely up for collaborations and supporting other small businesses. When is it open? It’s always open. By that I mean you can always find something you like in the window and buy it online. Or, you can follow my Instagram @helenrochfort for updates, events and offers. We’re giving out extra goodies if you take a pic of POP! and add the hashtag #popshopfrome. The doors will be open on the 1st Sunday of each month and I’ll be opening for major Frome events. More dates are to be confirmed for Christmas, pop on to my Insta for more details. Like all fancy shops, I also open by appointment so you can have your own guided tour! To learn more about Helens journey pick up the Novel 'Summer Daydreams' by Carole Matthews. A Novel written about Helen, her former business and juggling family life. An autobiographical romantic comedy! | 29


Photo story

UNDERWATER ODYSSEY The Little Things Magazine teams up with photographer, Elisita Kemp, to search for the innocence of childhood. Photography & Art Direction Elisita Kemp Props & Styling Katinka Huchinson

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Photo story

T

he journey to adulthood is tumultuous to say the least. How easy it seems as a child to become a doctor, an adventurer, an astronaut or a superhero simply by changing clothes or tying a bit of fabric around your neck. All of a sudden the lounge becomes a dense jungle filled with wild animals, the bed becomes the bouncy surface of the moon and their dreams become reality. As the imagined world is increasingly lost to the real world, The Little Things dives in to the peace and tranquility of an underwater world with photographer Elisita Kemp to block out the noise, the pressure, and the expectations on our kids to let them dream again.

Special thanks to Woolley Grange Hotel for the use of their swimming pool for this shoot. woolleygrangehotel.co.uk thelittlethingsmagazine.com

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Somerlet TAKE OVER

EASY PEASY AIRBNB, SEE? The Little Things goes back to the classroom with Rowena Collins from Somerlet, who tells us how to Airbnb like a pro.

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here are no two ways about it, Airbnb is marvellous. It has totally revolutionised the travel market and opened up a global marketplace for unique accommodation. Yurts, penthouses, castles, spare rooms, quaint cottages, even an island – you can stay anywhere! A booking is made every, single, second on Airbnb and anyone with extra space to rent out can get in on the action. Holiday homes are, on average, three times more lucrative than a buy-tolet. However, with everyone jumping on the bandwagon, competition can be fierce. In my three years of being a proud holder of Airbnb’s coveted “Superhost” status, I’ve identified a few nifty ways that committed, passionate

hosts, can rise above the pack. So, take a seat, grab your Forever Friends pencil tin and Take That scribble pad, as we run through the Three R’s of Airbnb. REVIEWS A four star hotel is a good hotel, so a four star review on Airbnb is still a good review, right? Wrong. Anything less than five stars can trigger serious issues for an Airbnb host. It can have a detrimental impact on your listing – knocking your property down the search results and affecting your booking rates. Airbnb expects you to achieve five star reviews from 80% of your bookings. If you’re not, then you may get an email from the nice guys at Airbnb HQ

“Bedtime ? Now? You must be joking?”

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informing you that your listing is at risk of removal. Granted, some guests are hard to please. I once received a four star review because my sheets were “too perfumed” and “smelt of washing powder” (what would you rather they smelt of?). It’s hard not to take it personally. If you do get a negative comment, think about how you can learn from it. Crucially, you must respond courteously, swiftly and helpfully. For example, I now wash all my linen in the stream. Like I said, it’s hard not to take it personally. So, how can you attain the nirvana of five star reviews? Go above and beyond what’s expected of you. If your Airbnb has great walks nearby, create a map for guests so they can easily find them. Stock your Airbnb with local produce and make the space immaculately clean. Crucially, if you’re going to employ an agency to manage your Airbnb, you want to ensure the feedback they’re getting from guests is top notch. If you’re a host, whenever you travel, try to stay in an Airbnb yourself. As a guest you’ll pick up further insights. Just don’t tell your hosts their sheets are too perfumed ok? I’m totally over it, honestly. RESULTS Just like a Google search, you want your Airbnb listing to appear on the first page of search results for your location. So here are five little hints and tips to understand the Airbnb algorithm. Make your listing stand out. Take high quality, well lit, engaging photos and give your listing a catchy title. You want to lure people in, as the more clicks you get on your page equals a higher placement in the search results. Instant book. “Instant Book” or “Enquire to Book”? It’s a question I get asked a lot by the hosts I work with. ‘Instant book’ means that guests can book your space just like they would a hotel. ‘Enquire to book’, whereby guests reach out to you first to check


Somerlet TAKE OVER

HOST GUARANTEE Don’t place too much reliance on the £600,000 “Host Guarantee” which Airbnb offers. This has some benefits, however there are many things this guarantee won’t cover like cash, valuables or pets. So if a guest stole something from your home, the ‘Host Guarantee’ won’t cough up. It’s not a substitute insurance policy, and in fact, your standard home contents insurance could be null and void if you are doing Airbnb and haven’t informed your household insurer. Your insurer may refuse to pay out on an insurance claim, even if it has nothing to do with a guest in your home. So be warned.

Owner of Somerlet and 'Superhost, Rowena Collins.

whether it would be ok to stay, is old hat. Instant book is the way to go, as Airbnb state confidently that this generates up to double the amount of bookings, and my experience supports this. Be responsive. In Airbnb terms, that means responding to all questions and enquiries within an hour. Yes, one hour. Airbnb hosts who do this are rewarded with a higher listing position. Never cancel on a guest! The Airbnb gods hate this and punish you by knocking you down the results. So keep your calendar up to date and be realistic with how many bookings you can manage. Great reviews equals great results. The quantity and quality of reviews from past guests means that Airbnb will showcase you as a host. And guests can spot genuine, heartfelt glowing reviews a mile off. REGULATIONS Many Airbnb hosts are unaware of the regulations that apply to B&Bs and holiday letting in the UK. Airbnb places the onus for compliance squarely with the host – the company operates in 192 

countries around the world, so it takes the standpoint that as all countries have different laws, it’s up to the host to familiarise themselves with the relevant regulations and act accordingly. If you have paying guests in your own home or a property you own, you must undertake the following: ●● Fire Risk Assessment on your home ●● PAT test for all electrical items ●● Gas Safe certification for your boiler

Phew! Seems like a lot to take in doesn’t it? Truthfully, the wonderful people

I’ve got to meet over the last few years (some of whom have become friends) makes it totally worthwhile. I’m always happy to talk to other hosts to give pointers on best practice, and if there are any parts of the process you’d like Somerlet to manage on your behalf, please get in touch. We offer a full range of straightforward services to fit in around your precise requirements. Rowena Collins Rowena@Somerlet.com 07795 064069 www.somerlet.com | 33


Family Life

“I never seem to come up with the right thing.”

“WHAT’S FOR TEA?” Sometimes that’s not actually the question. Sometimes it seems there is no right answer. Sometimes you’re left wondering if it’s you who is the problem?

© Adobe Stock

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he dreaded question. I know it’ll come at some point. Like the council tax bill after 2 months’ reprieve, like the flash rain shower after I’ve hung out the washing or the surprise inspection from motherin-law (as yet not passed and never likely to be). Even though I know it’s inevitably on its way, I’m forever unprepared and the chances of getting the answer right are about as slim as my mother turning 34 |



up without another batch of rock cakes (currently 52 in the freezer). “What’s for tea?” called DH from his PC room. I’ve often seen that acronym used ‘DH’ Dear Husband, ‘DS’ Dear Son (or something to do with Nintendo perhaps?). Although I can think of more fitting words… Anyway, what is for tea? Dinner, I like to say. Tea is a drink, or an afternoon event served on a cake stand. Dinner is not

lunch. It is dinner at the end of the day, round the table. It’s a sit down meal with cutlery. I looked it up in my 1981 copy of the Oxford School dictionary: dinner n. Chief meal of the day; banquet tea n. dried leaves of the shrub grown in China, India etc.; infusion of them as a drink; meal at which this is served. I never get made tea at home. I am the only one who drinks it, so why would I? I’m told that, ‘it’s pointless to put the kettle on and make a hot drink when you don’t drink them yourself’. I scrabble to think of what’s in the fridge so I can come up with an acceptable answer. I’d planned bolognese but DH often doesn’t like pasta. Perhaps I’ll volunteer cottage pie… ah, he only likes roast or chipped potato. But I decide to go for it: “Bolognese,” I optimistically offer, “with garlic bread” thelittlethingsmagazine.com


Family Life

(oh, nice one! A bit of quick thinking to offer a more attractive proposition! I’m sure I can conjure that up, I have a freezer full of reduced price bread). “That’s not weekend food” comes the response, “I fancy something nice”. “I can make pizza dough?” The kids (DS, 10 and DD, 8) love that. I always have the ingredients in and a variety of toppings. “We have that ALL the time”. Well, perhaps we do....fortnightly sometimes on a Saturday night. But not for a while now. Actually, the children did ask when we could make it again. “Why can’t we have proper food?” DH protests, “I want something nice.” Ugh! ‘Proper food’… ‘Weekend food’… I never seem to come up with the right thing. What is weekend food? Sunday is easy, roast dinner. I’ve got that covered, although I bought chicken and I may be required to go get beef if he changes his mind. But I am unaware of any special Saturday food traditions. So I throw the ball back: “What would you like to have?” “I dunno, something nice”. Nice. Nice. nice adj. pleasant; agreeable; good; kind, friendly, considerate; punctilious, subtle, fine. As far as I’m concerned, Spaghetti Bolognese is perfectly pleasant, agreeable and nice! I choose to not be pedantic! “Shall I pop to Asda?” I’d rather not, I’ve already bought the weeks’ food and planned the meals and been back twice to get alternative food. It’s frustrating I can never manage to stick to my budget. “What, you going out again?” comes the retort from the lounge. He has been at his computer this whole time. “If you need me to get different food to eat then yes.” “Are you taking the kids? You already dumped them on me this morning” “Only for my exercise class”. “You were gone hours; we wanted breakfast”. Hours? Had I been? I hadn’t realised. I left home at 7:45am for my class. I love thelittlethingsmagazine.com

“But I do have plenty to do; the house is messy (nothing new) and DD’s room looks like it’s vomited inwardly on itself” those classes, it’s my ‘me’ time, I get to be with adults and we usually have a laugh. I did fib about the cost. We can’t afford for me to be spending money on that sort of thing. DH wants to know how long I intend to keep doing the classes; he says I’ve lost the weight so I can stop now. I did have to go to Asda afterwards to get bacon and sausages though. I’d intended to make the children’s favourite pancakes they’d asked for; I feel like a proper Mummy when they ask for my home cooked things; but DH said he’d been at work all week and wanted a proper breakfast. I must’ve got home about 9:30am after I’d done all that, and topped his diesel up. So I suppose I do go out a lot. Exercise about 3 times a week and 6 times a year I have to work extra hours in the evening. Oh, and the shopping; I enjoy a solitary walk round the supermarket, they play catchy music and I might see someone I know for a chat. And at 9pm I can fill my trolley with yellow sticker food to save money. And then there’s the odd extra trip when DH wants beer or snacks. My girlfriends went out for a night last week. They did invite me but DH likes me there when he’s home and not off out all the time. After all, I am married as he pointed out. So I ‘liked’ and put hearts on the pics they posted on FB and said I’d love to join them next time. I hope they still invite me, thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve ever had a night in town with them. Instead, I stayed in and watched TV, it was DH’s gaming night. WHAT’S FOR TEA? What IS for tea? I wouldn’t mind a stroll round the supermarket, I’m a bit bored. The kids are in their rooms and DH has his headphones on talking to his mates online. But I do have plenty to do; the house

is messy (nothing new) and DD’s room looks like it’s vomited inwardly on itself. If I could find the washing I’d do it but it’s all got mixed up with the clean stuff where that got dumped on the floor and rifled through. Sometimes I treat myself to a wash exclusively just for my clothes. It feels so decadent. And socks! So many socks! But can an actual pair be found? Somewhere, there’s a colony of breakaway rebel odd socks, being free and individual. Oh, lucky socks! TEA… aaaarrrrggggghhhhhh!!!! I still don’t know the correct answer. The words ‘take away’ will be uttered soon unless I can come up with a suitable alternative to a £30 bill for too much food that I won’t enjoy and which will leave me feeling dehydrated, with a mountain of leftovers and an empty purse. I quickly flip through Facebook. It’s full of pictures of happy families, the now compulsory ‘we’re at a chain restaurant and look at this picture of our dinner’ post, all enjoying family meals, squeaky clean children holding knives and forks properly, mum with a glass of wine and dad with his half a lager because he’s driving – but that’s ok – it’s family time and we’re all wearing clean ironed clothes, nobody has ketchup down their front and mum isn’t suffering with indigestion from her sub-standard overpriced microwave meal as she’s trying to stop the kids from killing each other because one has an extra chip and dad is getting wound up as it’s his day off and he’s come out for a treat. There are none of these pictures on my timeline. And here I am, with an increasingly hungry family and no dinner prepared because bolognese isn’t ‘weekend food’! The Oxford School Dictionary (1981), Mackenzie, C. Oxford University Press. | 35


PR

ESEN TS…

A YEAR OF

WRITING DO YOU HAVE A CHILD WHO LOVES TO WRITE?

THEN READ ON…

PAPER NATIONS Paper Nations is a research and innovation hub that connects young people to high quality writing tutors, workshops, events and support materials. We gather evidence from the writing community to: share, map and build good practice resources; identify gaps in current provision; and alert decision makers to risks, opportunities and barriers to further investment in the development of emerging writing talent.

A YEAR OF WRITING A Year of Writing has been designed as a tool to help young people connect to existing writing. Young people can also use it as a check-list, a prompt sheet, or as a way of tracking, documenting or celebrating their successes over the year. We are inviting young people to join us in our research phase to help us develop high quality support for young people in their journey to becoming creative and confident writers.

A YEAR OF WRITING IS SPLIT IN TO FOUR QUESTS DESIGNED TO SUPPORT YOUNG PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THEIR WRITING DEVELOPMENT. BELOW IS A SAMPLE OF THE TASKS IN EACH QUEST:

QUEST 1

BEGIN THE JOURNEY 1 Let’s start with a notebook… 2 Find something that you want to read 3 Develop a writing habit 4 Share your ideas with someone

QUEST 2

JOIN A WRITING GROUP 1 Attend your first writing group 2 Discover new authors 3 Start a writing project 4 Tell your group about your project

QUEST 3

EXPLORE WRITING 1 Explore your writing 2 Discover new types of writing 3 Play with styles of writing 4 Tell Your Story

QUEST 4

SHARE YOUR WRITING 1 Reshape your writing 2 Create a mini-book, product or show 3 Publish or perform your writing to friends, family or peers 4 Map out your next adventure

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SIGN UP TO HELP US DEVELOP A YEAR OF WRITING, GO TO: PAPERNATIONS.COM


Family Life

CONNECTING WITH OUR KIDS Parent & Personal Coach, Karen Leafe, tells us a bit more about emotionally intelligent parenting.

© Adobe Stock

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t’s getting late, you’re exhausted and you’ve asked your children to put their Lego, toys or tablet away for the umpteenth time. Instead, they appear to ignore you and carry on playing. How can you effectively get their attention without continually repeating yourself, shouting or dishing out a punishment which you have no intention of keeping? Getting your children to pay attention and follow your lead is one of parenting’s biggest frustrations. To become effective, we must first become aware of our OWN feelings. If we pause and pay attention to what’s happening to us in those moments, it’s likely that our heart rate is increasing and our muscles tensing as our frustration grows. Instead of giving in tp the frustration, regain control by pausing, then, take a deep breath and try to see the world through your child’s eyes. This is step one of the emotion coaching process, a five step approach designed by Dr John Gottman, to help parents raise healthier and happier thelittlethingsmagazine.com

children. Many of the parenting models we learn (from our own parents or other messages we’ve received about the acceptable behaviour of children) are based on behaviourism and can miss out how to manage a child’s emotions. From his research Gottman discovered that the parents of healthy and happy children pay attention to, and accept, a wide range of their own and their child’s emotions. This doesn’t mean your child gets away with everything, but by connecting with your child first, they feel heard and understood, making it more likely to get their co-operation. Gottman’s theory is backed up with the latest research in the field of neuroscience; leading authority, Scientist, and Psychiatric Paediatrician Dan Siegel teaches parents how to use Emotion Coaching techniques in his parenting book “No Drama Discipline”. Siegel explains that when our brains get flooded with strong feelings, it’s the oldest part of our brain, the limbic region, that takes over. This region is linked with the basic human needs of physical and psychological safety. Siegel names the emotional region of the brain, the ‘downstairs brain’. The thinking part, the pre-frontal cortex, he names the ‘upstairs brain’. When we work on regulating our own emotional states as adults, we model this for our children by teaching “emotional regulation”. This helps all parts of our brain work more effectively together. As we are all aware, emotional regulation isn’t always easy. However, through

training our brains and with practice, it gets easier and becomes our automatic response. How often do you really pay attention your emotions or the emotions of your child? What is your response to a child who is sad, scared or angry? You will likely find that your responses are mostly unconscious and come from a place of protection - from pain, hurt, embarrassment - and from messages, values and beliefs you inherit when growing up. So, how does emotional coaching work? The next time you’re in one of those frustrating situations with your child (every 10 minutes?) take a moment to pause and take a mindful breath. Kneel down to your child's eye level. Most likely what you’ll see is that your child is having fun and doesn’t want to stop. Tell your child what you notice, “I can see you're having fun and don't want to stop”, let your child absorb your words, allow a pause...then move on with as few words as possible and say what you want to direct them to; “we can play tomorrow, let’s get ready for bed now”. It takes practise and patience, but the more you connect with your child during emotional moments the more you can influence their emotional state. Being able to model kindness and compassion within clear boundaries underpins the emotion coaching approach. This isn’t to be confused with being a soft option, your child still needs to do as you ask, it’s about creating strong foundations of emotional health, for your children and for you. Somerset has a great resource in the Somerset Emotion Coaching Project, which provides information and guidance for parents, professionals, young people and children. Training and advice is available and more services, such as local schools, are now recognising the value of emotional health. If you are interested to find out more or wish to access the free online resources, please get in touch. Karen Leafe, Parent & Personal Coach Karenleafecoaching@gmail.com | 37


Frome Diary

WHAT’S ON? We don’t have a clue – but Frome Diary does!

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he Little Things Magazine doesn’t do listings – and neither do we! Instead of listings, Frome Diary offers you experiences and memories. We bring the Frome community together. Frome Diary is your very own social diary – it’s THE place to find out about local events, classes, gigs, workshops, activities, exhibitions, talks, launches, markets, fixtures, community meetings, support groups, businesses specials and so much more. Did you see that event poster in the shop window too late to get tickets? Is the poster for your favourite band hidden under old posters on a community notice board? No more Frome FOMO. With over 250 events listed at any one time, Frome Diary makes sure you will never suffer with ‘fear of missing out’ again. Search events by category, by venue

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or by date. View the website as a poster board of current events or filter to list events on a particular day, over a week or over a month – just make sure you have the number of reliable babysitter on speed dial. It’s free to post your event on the site. We also promote your event on social media through Frome Diary Facebook and Twitter accounts or on Instagram you can follow the #whereinfrome hashtag. For those that really suffer from FOMO, you can sign up to our weekly newsletter, The Frome Buzz, via the Frome Diary website for a round up of the best Frome has to offer.

fromediary.com fromediary fromediary fromediary


THURSDAYS | 11:10 - 12:00 Our free term time baby explore sessions will give you and your baby the opportunity to share and enjoy a whole range of sensory experiences at the start of the their learning adventure in our beautiful environment. The sessions will include music, art, movement, language, number fun and exploring the world around us.

13 Castle Corner, Beckington, Somerset, Ba11 6ta springmead.com info@springmead.com


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The Little Things Magazine Issue 03  

The Little Things is a free magazine for families who want to live life to the fullest. Rather than run around pandering to our children’s e...

The Little Things Magazine Issue 03  

The Little Things is a free magazine for families who want to live life to the fullest. Rather than run around pandering to our children’s e...

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