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ISSUE 04

WE LIVE

STILL* FREE!

IT TOO

No rest for the wicked? Why sleep is important

Yep! It’s St Absolutel ill yf TAKE a Cop ree. y It’s ALL YO – URS!

PLUS

Slummy Mummy’s weekday recipes Listening to your kids Mastering Maths


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 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


New Year has come and gone and so have the resolutions. BIG CHANGES 2018 (preceeded by BIG CHANGES 2017, 2016, 2015 and so-on) was a non-starter from the get-go like in years previous. Instead, at The Little Things HQ we’re resolving to maintain perspective – perspective in life, in parenting, in work, in relationships. All of it! Patience, tolerance and moderation are the lynch pins here and as all parents know, this takes constant practice, particularly after the holidays. Our commitment to perspective is one of the reasons you won’t read anything preachy in this issue or any other issues. Contentious, yes. Opinionated, likely. Relateable, we certainly hope so. Will you agree with it all? Doubtful. We don’t even agree with it all. However, we think it’s important to have the discussion and explore the issues with a sense of perspective.

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 DESIGN & ART DIRECTION

Rather Nice Design hello@rathernicedesign.com CONTRIBUTORS

Joelle Adams, Chrissy Charles-Bayliss, Dr Clare Burlinson, Kate Hackworthy, HappySleepers, Katy Harris, Serafina Hills, Rebecca Krzyzosiak, Kevin Menton, Tamsin Westbrook

PRINTED IN THE UK

Wells Printing

© Rather Nice Design Limited 2018. 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. The Little Things Magazine has taken great care to ensure the content is accurate on the date of publication. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Little Things Magazine. Therefore, The Little Things Magazine carries no responsibility for the opinion expressed thereon. The published material, adverts, editorials and all other content is published in a good faith. The Little Things Magazine cannot guarantee and accepts no liability for any loss or damage of any kind caused by errors and for the accuracy of claims made by the advertisers.

Photo © AdobeStock

Welcome!

Contents 4 5 7 9 10 11

ISSUE 04

Social Media Society How to make it work for you A Book Worm Reviews Saffy Hills reviews books for kids To The Point The contentious issue of vaccinations Master Your Health By taking time for yourself WHY Volunteer Opportuntities to support others The Selfish Parents’ Guide to Good Parenting Tips on how to support your childs’ learning Who's Afraid of Maths Not us, not anymore! Slummy Mummy’s Weekday Dinners Saving time and stress during the week Hide the Veg Kate Hucksworthy sneaks veg in to a Hulk-worthy cake Local Food for Local People Frome Food Assembly heros Time to Talk – and talk, and talk SuperPirates remind us why it’s important to listen COVER FEATURE: Resisting A Rest HappySleepers talks us through the importance of sleep for kids A Life of One's Own When it’s more than needing a little time to yourself Real Life D.I.N.KS Life on the flipside Creative Parenting & A Mother’s Life More of an artform than you thought Dye Another Grey? … or Fifty Shades Of Grey?

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Little Wren TAKE OVER

Social Media Society Rather than loosing time to social media, we could be making our favourite time-wasters work for us according to Rebecca, owner of Little Wren Marketing.

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e’re all at it – or at least most of us are. Posting on social media. Social media has had a monumental impact on our culture and has brought global goings-on literally into the palms of our hands. There’s no denying this revolution has impacted the way we all communicate, socialise and consume information. But it’s gone deeper than that. We buy through social, we’re sold to through social and this is only going to grow. As a small business, do you really need it? Yes. Yes, you do and you can learn so much about your business and your customers by being on these platforms. Because it’s now so deeply-rooted in our culture, people will seek you out in these places and with an active social media profile, you have an opportunity to develop real relationships with your customers. The more you engage with people who like what you do, the more loyal customers you’re likely to have. 4|

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But where can you forge more formal business to business relationships? It may come as a surprise to some, but one of the most powerful business to business platforms is LinkedIn. I think it’s often overlooked as a dry consultants’ forum or ‘living CV’ – as some coin it. But if you’re anything like me, it’s often the first place I go to have a gander at who I’ve just met at that business brekkie or check out who’s just called, enquiring about my services. Okay, it’s not as much fun as Facebook or Instagram because pics of your little darlings and selfies are a big no-no. This platform is for sharing thoughtful and professional content. Yawn. So why bother with it? It’s just more work, right? Well, no, thankfully. If you’re already blogging and have opinions on stuff going on in your industry, then it’s a place where you can publish your own articles and thought leadership pieces promoting the values of your brand. You can do this as an individual, through

a Company Page or both! On a personal level, it’s a great way to get recommendations from others you’ve worked with – proof you can talk the talk and walk the walk. It’s perfect for adding credibility to your brand. LinkedIn allows you to showcase your skill set and usefully these come up in keyword searches on the platform. You can get endorsed for your skills by others in your network, for example, design, editing, cheesemaking etc. Whatever it is that floats your boat. Like other platforms, LinkedIn offers a variety of ways to boost your brand; through sponsored content, adverts and also sponsored ‘InMail’. Particularly useful for events, recruitment, growing your followers and getting your articles in front of a more targeted audience in the business community. Pretty powerful overall. So what's the perfect post? Well, for any platform it has to be clear in what it is, useful to your audience and relevant to your business or brand – and most importantly have a goal. Why are you posting in the first place? Keep things positive and be inspiring. Whatever your business is, you want to prompt engagement by offering something interesting or captivating to your audience. Use images that can be seen clearly on a mobile. Where appropriate utilise hashtags so your company or content can be easily found. Provide a link so your followers can find out more information about what it is you're sharing with them or so they can learn more about you as a brand. Most of all have fun! Comment, like and share. It is social after all. Contact Rebecca at: littlewrenmarketing @ gmail.com littlewrenmarketing. wordpress.com 07401 095481


Book review

A Book Worm Reviews… WHO LET THE GODS OUT by Mazz Evans

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i, my name is Serafina Hills and I’m an eleven-year-old book blogger. You may remember me as Saffy from Child Genius 2016 (the nine-year-old who read 40 books a month). I love reading and I started a blog in 2015 of book reviews that I had written. It’s always fun to read different books – variety makes it more interesting. I’ve read books from authors such as Agatha Christie to Jacqueline Wilson and many more. I’ve also met quite a few of my heroes, including Charles Moore and Pippa Goodheart. One of the reasons I love to read is because it allows you to be absorbed into a different world and, usually, the worlds are very diverse! I’ll be writing book reviews regularly for The Little Things Magazine. If you’re inspired to write book reviews of your own why not speak to your local library or book shop to see if you can review books for them. After all, who better to recommend a book than someone your age who’s read it!

Recommended Reading Age

8+

Not everyone’s life is perfect. Elliot’s life is a bit harder than most kids of his age – actually, much harder. His mum is very forgetful and he often has to care for her. They have little money, a large bill and Patricia Porshley-Plum is doing all she can to take their farm from them . Elliot wished upon a star but he did not expect someone to actually fall from the sky – especially not celestial Virgo, the so-called constellation. Virgo is very egotistical and Elliot does not agree with many of her selfcentered opinions. Together they accidentally let out the evil daemon of death, Thanatos, and the puzzle-pieces of his evil masterplan finally start coming together. Elliot and Virgo have to stop him, and fast. They’ll need the help of Zeus and the other gods – and to work together – to sort everything out on the adventure of a lifetime. I really enjoyed this book. Everything is very well thought out and it’s a got a brilliant plot. I really like how it’swritten from the point of view of . position Elliot’s in was I if do would I what of think me makes child and I love all the characters so it’s hard to choose a favourite. They are all so I detailed and unique! They’re all lovable and cool in their own way but the of jester the like think the funniest God is definitely Hermes who’s gang and features in my favourite part of the book. I really liked how Maz Evans made the story modern – such as how cle Hermes has an iGod (geddit?) and was banned from riding his motorcy with ations convers Elliot’s find I much. too speeding because he was Virgo just hilarious – even thinking about them makes me laugh! And I love the way their friendship develops throughout the course of the book. Although it’s hilarious, it’s still got action and suspense and at some moments it can be really touching and thought-provoking. How the Gods, is Goddesses and Virgo stay by Elliot’s side to help him, no matter what, into fits really and read I’ve books funniest heart-warming. It’s one of the is its age category. If you want a book with adventure and comedy which one. this get truly moving –

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Black Swan Arts is now calling for entries to its hugely successful Young Open 2018 competition which will be on show at the Frome-based art centre early next year. The Young Open, now in its fifth year, provides an exceptional opportunity for young people between the ages of 8 and 19 to have their work curated, judged and exhibited in Black Swan Arts’ Long Gallery, cafe and Round Tower for hundreds of visitors to see. Winners in the three age categories (8–11 years, 12–15 years and 16–19 years) have the chance to take part in a one-to-one workshop with a professional artist. The Workshop Prize is a unique element of the Young Open, with local working artists and craftspeople from different disciplines offering 13 brilliant individual workshop prizes. Each of the sessions is carefully tailored to develop the skills and broaden the artistic abilities of the winners in each of the three categories. This Young Open competition demonstrates the ongoing commitment of Black Swan Arts to the development of local artistic talent and

to building strong links with the community. In the five years since the competition was launched, it has proven to be enormously popular with young artists, their families, schools and the general public: over 800 works of art have been entered and more than 600 young artists have taken part; 150 schools, clubs and youth groups have been involved; and the four exhibitions to date have received over 8,000 visitors. Submissions in all forms of art and craft are welcome, including painting, drawing, collage, ceramics, jewellery, textiles, photography, video/animation, metalwork, carpentry and sculpture. The cost is £5 for one entry, £8 for two entries, £10 for three entries and £12 for four entries. The deadline for entries is 16 February. The exhibition will continue from 17 March to 7 April at Black Swan Arts.

Mathilda – Building Collage: 2016 Winner (12–15 yrs)

Sol – 3D creation: 2016 Winner (16–19 yrs)

Violet – Dog Hamlet: 2016 Winner (8–11 yrs)

If you have any questions about the competition please visit www.blackswan.org.uk or phone 01373 473980 or email exhibitions@blackswan.org.uk


VACCINATION | Health

TO THE POINT

Dr Clare Burlinson BSc MBBS FRCA gives The Little Things Magazine an earful about why she thinks the little prick is so important…

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isten-up parents! And all those with the potential to be parents. Or anyone who knows any humans, full-stop. Vaccination is one of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine. No other medical intervention has done more to save lives and improve quality of life. Here are some examples of the amazing success of vaccination programmes world-wide:

incidence was 120,000 cases a year, it is now less than 1500. MENINGITIS C In 1999, The UK was the first country in the world to offer the MenC jab. The disease has now been virtually eliminated. Cases of Meningitis C among those aged under 20 has been reduced by 99% – 78 deaths of under-18s in 1998 was reduced to just two between 2011 and 2012.

POLIO

However, the problem with having all these amazing, miracle vaccinations is that the diseases they prevent are now so rare that it’s easy to become complacent. Very few people in recent times have seen – or heard – of a kid dying of measles, being blinded by small pox or paralysed by polio. Maintenance of high vaccine coverage – ‘herd immunity’paradoxically becomes more difficult as the diseases decline in frequency and as sophisticated populations become more likely to question medical recommendations. In order for diseases to remain a distant memory, herd immunity must be preserved. WHAT THE HECK IS HERD IMMUNITY? Herd immunity refers to the critical level of a population that is required to be immune (mostly through vaccination)

Incurable and deadly, polio has been eradicated from the UK, the rest of Europe, the Western Pacific and the Americas. Affecting children more severely than adults, the nerve-celldestroying virus paralysed over 1000 children daily at its peak. Just 50 years ago, hospital wards of children being kept alive in the terrifying but lifesaving iron lungs were commonplace. SMALLPOX Smallpox killed thousands in the 18th century and left survivors scarred or blind. Smallpox was officially irradicated in 1980 thanks to vaccination. Smallpox would cause an estimated 2 million deaths every year around the world if it were still common.

WHOOPING COUGH Before vaccination, whooping cough

Image: Creative Commons

DIPHTHERIA Diphtheria caused over 3000 deaths in the UK alone in 1940. All but eliminated by the vaccine, there were just 2 deaths between 1986 and 2002.

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Health | VACCINATION

to an infectious disease to stop outbreaks. This level is higher the more infectious a disease is. It very high – at least 95% for measles as it is so infectious. People who depend on herd immunity the most are those who are too young to be vaccinated, pregnant women, those with diseases which cause immunocompromised (some forms of cancer and those on chemotherapy), those who haven’t responded to vaccination, and the elderly. The uptake of vaccination in the UK, on the whole, is good. However, you can’t necessarily rely on that to protect your children. If you live in an area where vaccine coverage is low and your child is not vaccinated, chances are that the people who they come into contact with will not be vaccinated either. On a similar note, if you’re considering not vaccinating your child, chances are that you’re living in an area with people who have similar views. When herd immunity drops below that critical level, a highly infectious disease – like measles – can quickly spread. This is what happened during the 2013 outbreak in Wales (after MMR uptake

USEFUL RESOURCES ●● UK Immunisation Schedule ●● How vaccines work: The Green Book ●● Vaccine Knowledge Project

REFERENCES ●● nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/ How-vaccines-work.aspx ●● pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/ early/2013/04/10/peds.2012-2452 ●● jamanetwork.com/journals/ jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2203906 ●● www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/ mmr-vaccine.html ●● cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/pdf/ cdcstudiesonvaccinesandautism.pdf ●● cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/ autism.html ●● sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0264410X14006367

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When herd immunity drops below that critical level, a highly infectious disease – like measles – can quickly spread fell to around 67%) and an outbreak in 2015 in the USA which was thought to originate from a single infected visitor to Disneyland. Add to this that we’re now living in an extremely heterogeneous society where international travel is highly accessible, it’s not surprising that outbreaks still occur. OTHER EXAMPLES OF THE RESULT OF A REDUCTION IN HERD IMMUNITY In the ’70s and ’80s a scare about the safety of the whooping cough vaccine meant parents stopped vaccinating their children, leading to 3 epidemics and at least 100 deaths. Russia’s childhood vaccination program collapsed during the dissolution of the Soviet Union triggering a mass epidemic of diphtheria. MMR vaccine uptake has only just, this year, returned to 95% since the publication in 1998 of the fraudulent, un-ethical and, frankly, scandalous ‘research’ of Andrew Wakefield. If you’re still unsure – MMR categorically does not cause autism. VACCINATION UPTAKE AND SOCIAL NETWORKS Part of the problem is that people and populations don’t mix randomly. Humans exist in communities with people of similar views. As the USA Disneyland outbreak of measles demonstrated, there are communities whose members are more likely to refuse vaccination than others. Moreover, opinion and sentiments about vaccinations can spread, leading to communities with polarised views. Similar to bemoaning a particular political party on Facebook and receiving hundreds of likes because you’re not ‘friends’ with anyone who actually voted for them. Parents rarely reach a decision whether to vaccinate their children in a vacuum. They are influenced by their

social networks such as family members, friends, healthcare workers and sources whom they use for information and advice: the internet, magazines, TV and social media. It’s been shown that parents are very influenced by the people whom they socialise with, regardless of whether these people are even parents themselves. One study showed the percentage of parents’ network members recommending not vaccinating was more predictive of parents’ vaccination decision than any other variable – including the parents’ own perceptions of vaccination! Interaction with social media and online sources is rife nowadays. The internet is a vital and invaluable source of advice for most parents and there is a lot of great information out there, but there is no doubt a lot more that is incorrect or, at worse, plain dangerous. It has been shown than anti-vaccine sentiments spread more easily than pro-vaccine sentiments on Twitter. It seems that negative sentiment is more socially contagious. Even more worryingly, pro-vaccine messages seem to backfire and encourage people to tweet more negatively about vaccines. This may be because there simply is no offsetting the pro-vaccine Twitter machine; most people just vaccinate their children and then move on with their lives, unlike ‘anti-vaxxers’ who, without research, increasingly rely on social media to inflate their presence because, let’s face it, they don’t have. New parents – understandably so – question everything. If you use the internet as your primary source of information, it’s not likely that you will be left with the clear impression that vaccines are safe and effective. The fight against misinformation around vaccinations is an important one and one that everyone has the power to influence.


Hayo’u TAKE OVER

Master Your Health Local mum and founder of Hayo’u, Katie Brindle, tells The Little Things Magazine how we can sort ourselves out in a few minutes a day.

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eing a parent is a full-time job on top of a full-time job and all the other responsibilities that are a part of adulting. With so much time spent looking after others, it can seem like there is no time to look after ourselves. By the time most of us realise we’ve neglected ourselves, we’ve got our shoulders up around our ears and we’re snapping at the kids like a demented dog before finding ourselves in the doghouse after a stress induced, and entirely avoidable, argument with our partner, best friend or our kids. The route out of the doghouse is placated with promises to: eat better; get more sleep; exercise more; take up yoga or mindfulness; talk more; say no; spend more time on me. Very soon we go back to our old ways and like a rainy Sunday in mid-January we’re back in the doghouse rocking in the corner disappointed that we are back where we started. Local Mells-based doctor of Chinese medicine and founder of Hayo’u, Katie Brindle, believes that we can avoid this destructive cycle with simple one minute rituals that effortlessly fit in to the things we do every day. After all, a major contributor to the stress parents feel is a lack of time so it makes sense

that personal well-being should fit in with your life. “In dealing with stress and the pressures of everyday life many of the approaches and treatments of modern western medicine and the health industry are reactive rather than preventative”, says Katie and we wouldn’t disagree. As time-poor parents we know the symptoms of stress and neglecting ourselves are only dealt with when they are unavoidable either because of health issues or when we can no longer function normally. Rather than looking for a solution, many of us self-prescribe an entirely hedonistic night out to de-stress, but it rarely (never) helps in the long run. Alternatively, the Hayo’u Method is a proactive and preventative approach to well-being – it’s about taking a few minutes each day to really take care of yourself. Complimentary to breathing, skincare and bathing rituals are a range of products carefully designed to support self-treatment (the healthy kind of self-treatment) and stress relief. The award-winning Hayo’u Beauty Restorer, a jade Gua sha self-massage facial tool that manipulates areas of tension to relax muscles, increase blood circulation and

Katie Brindle

aid lymphatic flow, has a cult following among beauty editors and those who use it regularly. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you will as news of the Hayo’u Method reaches the national papers and glossy magazines in the next few months. Information about the one minute rituals and articles on how to master your health are available for free on the Hayo’u website at hayoumethod.com. There is also free information on how to deal with anxiety, IBS, fatigue and even advice on how to offset the effects of partying, alcohol and insufficient sleep with the Hayo’u Method. That’s the kind of wellbeing we like. hayoumethod.com A heart-shaped gem, the jade Gua sha selfmassage facial tool

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Community | VOLUNTEERING

WHY Volunteer? Tamsin Westbrook tells us about counselling charity We Hear You and how volunteers can help support those affected by life-threatening conditions.

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t’s the new year. By now you’ve probably broken a few resolutions, you’re considerably poorer than you were a month ago and you’re feeling the need for a new challenge, some self improvement. We all go through it. I found these feelings only intensified after I had kids. The idea that time is precious settled in my subconscious, frequently reminding me that my kids are growing up fast, and asking; ‘Am I making this world a better place for them?’ ‘Am I being the best I can be?’ Let’s face it though, we let these feelings float around in our minds but we don’t always do a lot about it. We are tired. We’re too busy chopping up vegetables into tiny

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pieces so the kids don’t notice they are getting their five a day to do the ‘big stuff’. But what if you could make a positive difference, set that example to your kids by doing just a little bit, now and again? Volunteering can be just that. It’s not just something for retired people or young people looking to get some experience (although those people make great volunteers too!). We Hear You is (WHY) a Frome-based counselling charity offering services across Somerset. Bath and North East Somerset and Wiltshire. WHY provides free counselling for anyone affected by a life threatening condition such as cancer or heart disease. This doesn’t just mean the person who is unwell: WHY helps their family members, carers and friends as well, including a specialist counselling service for children. We currently have ten face-to-face counselling locations, including school based counselling for children and young people, across WHY’s area. There’s even an online platform to allow people to access our service via the internet. The last two years have seen a huge increase in demand and our waiting list is longer than it’s ever been. Each session costs £44 to fund and WHY receives no central government funding. Community fundraising activities are hugely important to keep our service running as well as to raise awareness, so our volunteers are the backbone of the charity. We need to increase our volunteer base so that we can have more fundraising events and get some new creative ideas to help us improve our

profile as well as services to those in need. Parents make fantastic volunteers; we have a sense of responsibility, we understand the difference a charity can make to the lives of others and we’re not afraid of hard work (we’re used to it by now, right?). We can also get kids involved if they want to be, setting that example and bringing them up in a more ‘giving’ environment. If you’re looking to change careers (I did) then volunteering can improve your skills in new areas without necessarily having to commit to anything regular. It’s a win/win situation. We do understand that parents are also time poor. Most of us here at WHY have kids so we get it and we run a very child-friendly workplace. We are looking for people who can offer their help in short bursts as well as those who feel they are ready to devote more time. Perhaps you can help at the occasional event or organise your own fundraiser? We’re looking for enthusiastic, innovative folks across Somerset, Wiltshire and BaNES who want to make a difference. Make that your new resolution. If you want to help then please contact me, Tamsin Westbrook, on 07788 563208 or email: volunteering@wehearyou.org.uk.


Selfishparenting | Family

© Adobe Stock

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

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fter a full day at work, collecting children, 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 (supposed to be) getting their shoes on and of course there are weekends, but we all deserve a break. Here are our tips to feel good parenting while buying yourself some time to yourself. Win, win!

LITERACY

MATHS

SCIENCE

WRITING & READING THINGS YOU ALWAYS SAY Using a pack of post-its or scraps of paper ask your child(ren) to write down quotes of the things they think you say all the time. Encourage them not to add the swear words. When they’ve done this, get them to write a conversation between two people in a shop using the quotes. They can’t read it to you until they’ve done the writing. This is likely to be pretty entertaining. TIME IT BUYS YOU: Around 20–30 mins to think of the quotes and write the conversation. Time for a decent shower.

DIVISION HOW MANY FOR YOU? Using a container of Smarties (or any other confectionary that has a million individual pieces) ask your child(ren) to count the number of pieces. If the number is not easily divisible, eat a few until it is. Ask them to share the sweets between 2, 4 and 6 imaginary people. Get them to write the equations down (e.g. 30 / 5 = 6). If they write down the equations correctly, they get to eat 40% of the sweets. TIME IT BUYS YOU: 15–20mins with dividing the candy, writing down the equations and working out 40%. If they get any wrong, you get all the candy. Enough time for a chat with a friend.

BIOLOGY YOUR THIGH BONE’S CONNECTED TO? Okay, this is more for your own entertainment than anything else, but it does get them thinking about body parts and how bones and muscles work. Get your child(ren) to draw an outline of a person. Then, they need to label all the body parts and circle all the joints and think about how muscles work to make the body move. They can draw in muscles, bones and joints if they wish. Expect the private parts to be among the first to be labelled. TIME IT BUYS YOU: At least 30 mins – all the time in the world when you’re a parent!

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Numbers

Times tables, arghh. They are the bane of many a child’s (and their parent’s) week. Frustrating as it seems, the times tables are the backbone to maths. You don’t have to learn them, but it sure does make things easier. Springmead Independent Schools offers some helpful advice. earning the times tables generally leads to groaning from adults as they nostalgically remember terrifyingly snapped questions that freeze the brain and lead to the age old whine, ‘I hate maths’. Surely, though, times have changed? Yes, of course they have! Brightly coloured whizzy apps and cute animated characters now inspire our children to learn what is still considered to be an important educational milestone. Is it really maths, or a lesson in rote learning, you ask? Aah, that’s another article. What we will say is that knowing your tables is considered an important part of the National Curriculum.

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●● use music to chant the numbers ●● use specialised multiplication tables colouring books ●● use the multiplication square and practice, practice, practice.

Anything to really help the tables stick – hopefully for life but, if not, at least for the test!


Jess Hyde

Holistic & Skincare Therapist Neil and Suzy Howlett

Using only Neal’s Yard Remedies organic skincare in my treatments, I hope to replenish your mind and body, keeping you calm and ready to face the trials of everyday life, whether you have a full body massage or an Oriental facial massage.

“Delightful… witty… affectionate” Crysse Morrison (writer, poet & author)

Oriental Facial Massage £40.00 Age-Defying Frankincense Facials Luxury Facial £40.00 Complete Facial £25.00 Indian Head Massage £35.00 Body Massages Full Body Massage £40.00 Back Neck & Shoulder Massage £25.00 Manor Farm, Witham Friary, Frome, Somerset, BA11 5HF 07970 434 299 | jess@jesshyde-therapist.co.uk

There will be temper tantrums, awkward children, political secrets and danger on Kirrin Island in this brand new, unofficial novel written by Frome couple Neil and Suzy Howlett. It will delight anyone who remembers their childhood favourites and who wonders how they might have grown-up and coped in a changing world. Available at good bookshops and Amazon Search: tinyurl.com/returntokirrin


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WEEKDAYDINNERS | Family Social

MONDAY

SMOKY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH CHORIZO SAUSAGE This is my very favourite winter soup. It’s a firm favourite with the kids as the soup tastes very sweet. The paprika gives the soup a deep smokiness but without any spice or heat. I’m a vegetarian so I sprinkle the chorizo on my family’s soup individually after it’s been served.

INGREDIENTS ●● Soup ingredients/shopping list ●● 2 butternut squash, deseeded, peeled and cut into chunks ●● 3 carrots, peeled and sliced ●● 2 sticks of celery, chopped into chunks ●● 2 cloves of garlic ●● 1 large onion, peeled and sliced ●● 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika ●● 2 pints of vegetable stock ●● 8 slices of chorizo sausage,

●● Double cream to decorate ●● Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

1 In a large bowl add the chopped and peeled butternut squash. Drizzle with oil. I like to use rapeseed oil as it has a lower burn point and is excellent for roasting. It also has half the amount of saturated fats than olive oil making it a much healthier choice. 2 Melt some butter and add this to the squash. The butter will flavour the squash and help it turn a lovely golden colour. 3 Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a roasting try. 4 Bake in a hot oven until the squash is soft but not brown on top as this will discolour your soup. 5 In a soup pan, add a dash of oil and some

butter on a medium heat and add the onion, garlic, paprika, carrot and celery. 6 Fry until the veggies start to soften and then add your veggie stock. 7 Boil for 5 minutes then add your butternut squash. Boil for 5 more minutes until all the veggies are cooked through. 8 Let the soup cool slightly before placing the mixture in a blender. Whizz until the soup is smooth. Season with salt and pepper. 9 In a frying pan, add your chorizo with a tiny bit of oil and cook for a couple of minutes. The chorizo will release some lovely spicy orange coloured oils so don’t throw it away. When you have dished up the soup, add the chorizo to the top, a dash of cream and a drizzle of the lovely chorizo oil. This soup would be perfect as a starter for a dinner party.

© Adobe Stock

●● Rapeseed oil for roasting

●● British butter for roasting

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Family Social | WEEKDAYDINNERS

TUESDAY

© Adobe Stock

5 MINUTE FRESH PASTA WITH SMOKED SALMON, TROUT, PEAS AND ASPARAGUS I love making hearty family dinners but sometimes there just isn’t the time or the inclination. I cook this for my family when I want something quick and healthy for the kids with only one pan to wash up! I buy my smoked salmon and smoked trout locally. It comes vacuum packed and keeps for ages in the fridge. It can also be frozen and defrosted when I need it. If you don’t have the veggies for this recipe, just add what you do have including frozen veg like sweetcorn or green beans. It’s so versatile.

INGREDIENTS/SHOPPING LIST ●● 2 smoked trout fillets ●● 1 pack of smoked salmon ●● 2 pots of smoked salmon flavoured cream cheese (available from supermarkets) ●● 2 teaspoons of English mustard ●● 2 handfuls of frozen peas ●● 1 broccoli head, cut into florets ●● 1 pack of asparagus, chopped up ●● Parmesan cheese, grated ●● 600g of fresh pasta ●● 1 tablespoon of dried dill (or fresh if you have it) ●● Parsley for decoration (optional)

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METHOD

1 In a large pan of boiling water add the fresh pasta, the frozen peas, broccoli and asparagus. Cook for 5 minutes or until the pasta and the veggies are soft. Strain and set aside in a large bowl. 2 Using the same pan that you cooked the pasta and veg (because washing 2 pans is just silly) gently warm the 2 pots of cream cheese very slowly until they melt. Don’t let it boil or the mixture will split. 4 Add the mustard, the dried dill and season with salt and pepper. 5 Take the smoked salmon and trout and roughly chop into bite sized chunks. Add this to the pasta along with the sauce. 6 Add some grated parmesan to the pasta mix and give it a good old stir. Finish with some more grated parmesan and some chopped fresh parsley if you have it.


t aybe no Okay, m inner – d y a a weekd breakfast a more of ner snack. in d e r p or

WEDNESDAY Slummy Mummy’s ultimate brain boosting smoothie (it’s dairy free, too)

My kids are generally great eaters but my 10 year-old is a nightmare at breakfast time – especially on school days. I’ve tried everything to get her to eat before school but, other than a nibble of toast or a few mouthfuls of yogurt, she’s just not interested. It’s not enough for a busy day at school so I came up with a smoothie containing enough brain-boosting fruit and veg to start her day off with tons of much needed energy. The recipe includes Matcha powder, a powerful green tea antioxidant full of vitamins and minerals. Matcha is said to boost concentration, energy levels and brainpower. It’s not cheap (I paid £10 for a packet) but a little goes a long way due to its potency.

INGREDIENTS

WEEKDAYDINNERS | Family Social

THURSDAY

SPICY SAUSAGE AND BEAN CASSEROLE WITH HERBY, CRUSTY BREAD With the night’s drawing in and the evenings getting colder, this is the perfect comfort food. Cheap, easy and full of flavour, it’s one of my family favourites. If I’m organised I put this in the slow cooker before work then it’s all ready for when the kids come home from school and announce they are starving. Try and buy free range, local sausages and bacon if you can. You will be supporting a traditional business and trade plus it’ll give you peace of mind that the meat is ethically sourced. You can really taste the difference in the meat too.

INGREDIENTS/SHOPPING LIST ●● 3 tins of chopped tomatoes ●● 1 onion, finely chopped ●● 1 carrot, peeled and diced ●● 1 stick of celery, diced ●● ½ pint of chicken stock ●● 1 tin of borlotti beans or cannellini beans

●● 1 banana

●● 1 pack of free range smoked bacon off-cuts

●● 1 pint of nut milk (We love cashew

●● 1 pack of free range chilli and garlic pork

nut milk but experiment with others)

sausages

●● 1 tablespoon of coconut soya yoghurt

●● A large glug of red wine

●● 1 tablespoon of honey (local if

●● A handful of dried French herbs

possible)

●● 2 bay leaves

●● 1 teaspoon of paprika (add an additional teaspoon of dried chilli if you like it hot!) ●● Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

1 Bake the sausages in the oven on a medium heat (according to the instructions) until the sausages are about 70% cooked. Then, set aside. 2 Take the onion, carrot, celery and bacon bits and fry in a bit of butter or oil along with the paprika until the veggies soften and the bacon crisps up. Transfer to an oven proof dish or slow cooker. 3 Next, add the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, red wine and herbs. Cook in the oven/slow cooker until veggies start to soften and the sauce thickens. 4 Towards the end of cooking, add the beans and sausages and cook for another 15 minutes. Taste the mixture and add salt/pepper to taste. 5 For the herby bread simply chop up fresh parsley and fresh basil. Add to some softened British butter and spread over a large crusty French stick that’s been cut through the middle. Bake in a hot oven for a few minutes until the butter melts.

●● 1 teaspoon of Matcha powder ●● A handful of blueberries (fresh or frozen) ●● A small handful of fresh spinach

Place everything in a mixer and blend until smooth! It only takes 5 minutes to prepare and, because Matcha is green, I don’t even have to tell my daughter that there’s spinach in it. Ha! Clever Slummy Mummy!

© Adobe Stock

METHOD


Family Social | WEEKDAYDINNERS

FRIDAY

INGREDIENTS

FRIDAY NIGHT FAKE-AWAY SPICY BEAN BURGERS WITH APPLE, CELERY AND RED PEPPER SLAW As a vegetarian I try and encourage my meat-eating family to try new veggie meals and different flavours. These burgers are great as they ’re packed full

of veggies and beans with mild spices to get little taste buds used to more unusual flavours without overpowering them. It’s a very cheap and quick meal too!

●● 3 cans of chick peas, drained and blended until they are completely smashed up ●● 1 courgette, grated with a cheese grater ●● 1 grated carrot ●● 1 very finely chopped red onion (you can also use white onion or spring onion) ●● 1 red pepper, chopped into tiny chunks ●● 2 teaspoons of grated fresh garlic ●● 1 tablespoon of turmeric ●● 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes (or leave this out if your kids don’t like chilli) ●● 1 teaspoon of cumin powder ●● 1 teaspoon of coriander powder ●● 2 handfuls of chopped fresh spinach ●● 1 pack of fresh coriander, roughly chopped (stalks included) ●● Salt and pepper to taste ●● 1 free range egg ●● 2 handfuls of breadcrumbs (I whizz up stale bread in the blender then freeze to use in recipes like this)

METHOD

Combine all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and give it a good old stir. Season with salt and pepper and form into patties to fit in the palm of your hand. Fry in rapeseed oil until the patties start to brown, flip over making sure the patties don’t fall apart (they are delicate so be careful). Then, place them on a baking try to finish off in a hot oven so they are cooked through.

TO MAKE THE SLAW… ●● 2 apples, de-cored and sliced (skin on) ●● 1 red pepper, sliced thinly ●● 2 sticks of celery, finely sliced ●● 1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced ●● 1 pot crème fraiche

METHOD

© Adobe Stock

Combine all the ingredients with enough crème fraiche to coat the slaw. The burgers are best served in a Brioche toasted bap with sweet chilli sauce, some crunchy iceberg lettuce, sliced gherkins and your home-made slaw. Messy, delicious better than you will find from a takeaway! 18 |

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VeggieDesserts | Family Social

Kate Hackworthy’s Hulk-worthy cake!

KALE AND APPLE CAKE WITH APPLE ICING

FOR THE CAKE ●● 200g/7oz/6½ packed cups fresh kale leaves, woody stalks discarded ●● 3 large free-range eggs ●● 100ml cup vegetable oil ●● 2 tsp vanilla extract ●● 100g apple sauce (see tip below) ●● 175g granulated sugar

Serves 12

●● 2 eating (dessert) apples, peeled and grated

This is the most popular vegetable cake on my blog, with countless readers making it time and again. Kale has risen up the ranks to become the world’s trendiest leafy green, but I’ve shunned the usual kale chips and smoothies, and made it naughty by baking it into a cake. It has a delicate apple-flavoured sponge, topped with a zesty apple icing and, although there is quite a bit of kale, the flavour doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. I’ve found that the fresher the kale, the brighter the colour of the cake. When I can get my hands on freshly picked local heads of kale, the green is incredibly vibrant. Supermarket bags of chopped kale also work fine, but the colour can occasionally turn out a little less bright. But don’t be tempted to add more kale to make the colour brighter or its flavour will come through too much!

●● 2 tsp baking powder

●● 250g plain flour ●● ½ tsp salt ●● butter or non-stick cooking spray for greasing

FOR THE APPLE ICING ●● 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened ●● 2 tbsp smooth apple sauce ●● 250g plus 1 tbsp icing sugar ●● ½ tsp vanilla extract

TO DECORATE ●● 1 handful of blueberries (optional)

TO MAKE THE CAKE

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas mark 4. Grease and line two 20cm/8in round cake pans. 2 Tear the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and boil or steam them for a few minutes until tender. Refresh by running under cold water to cool, then

drain, squeeze out any excess moisture and purée well with a hand blender. Kale is one of the more difficult vegetables to purée, since it’s quite fibrous, and I’ve found a hand blender works best. Persevere for a few minutes to blitz the fibrous leaves to a paste, though it will still be slightly stringy. Set aside. 3 In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil, vanilla, apple sauce and sugar together with an electric mixer. Beat in the kale purée and grated apple. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, then gently combine. 4 Divide the mixture between the prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. 5 Leave to cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

TO MAKE THE APPLE ICING

1 In a large bowl, beat the butter and apple sauce with an electric mixer. Add the remaining icing ingredients and beat until smooth. If necessary, add a little more icing sugar or a teaspoon of milk to reach the consistency of thick frosting. Store in the fridge until ready to use. 2 Sandwich the cakes together with about a quarter of the icing, then spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cooled cake. Top with the blueberries to finish. TIP In both the icing and cake, apple sauce replaces some of the fat and sugar, lightening the texture. If your apple sauce has chunks, it’s fine for the cake, but is best completely smooth for the icing, so purée it with a hand blender. If you don’t have apple sauce, just peel, core and slice 4 apples, steam until soft, then purée with a hand blender, then measure out the amounts needed in the recipe.

To find more of Kate Hackworthy’s recipes and buy her book, go to veggiedesserts.co.uk thelittlethingsmagazine.com |

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Family Social | FromeFooDAssembly

Meet the producers from the Frome Food Assembly

Vallis Veg

Quentin Edwards

Teeny Greeny Farm

Happy Flora

VALLIS VEG Easily the brightest, biggest, most tasty looking veg around. They often have weird and wonderful alternatives to the standard supermarket offer. QUENTIN EDWARDS Quentin produces delicous, well-cared for grass-fed beef from a traditional English breed. His customers swear it’s the best beef they’ve ever tasted! TEENY GREENY FARM Urban farmer, Lee, produces organic shoots and microgreens in less than an acre of land. It’s the only form of salad our 6 year old will eat! HAPPY FLORA They’re fermenting a revolution – one bottle of Coconut Milk Keffir at a time. Lactose free and vegetarian it packs your gut full of good bacteria – literally billions in each shot!

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

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A Large hall and yoga studio for classes, events or kids’ birthday parties A Large, peaceful garden for all venue users A Brand new, contemporary art gallery A Seasonal events for children and families A Regular classes and workshops for all FOR CLASSES AND EVENTS PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE

hubnubcentre.com | info@hubnubcentre.com | 07712 523734


Super Pirates TAKE OVER

TIME T

TALK!

rying to find out how your child’s day was can be like getting blood from a stone, so we teamed up with the kids at our after school clubs to figure out how to get conversations flowing. One of the frustrating things about children is simply trying to talk to them. Sometimes it feels like they never stop, constantly repeating your name to check that you’re listening to them, yet, if you ask them how school was all you get is a monotonic “fine” or “good”. What is going on here? Children obviously have the ability and desire to share, so why not when we want them to? We researched ways to encourage two-way conversation with children and then tested them at our after school clubs. We chatted to the children about the frustration their parents have trying to talk to them, and asked what was with the one-word answers Funnily, they had a lot to say on the matter.

Children seem to talk all the time. Why do you guys just give one word answers when grown ups ask about your day? 7yo: It's a boring question; school is boring, we dont want to talk about it all over again. 9yo: Children are just more focused on what they want to do when they get home 10yo: Id prefer to talk about the future, and what I have to look forward to now that school is over. Do adults ask boring questions? What sort questions would you like grown ups to ask you? 10yo: Yes! Parents don’t ask anything specific. They should ask us about things we have told them before, like if we have fallen out with a friend. 9yo: Ask us what we want for dinner 6yo: Ask me if I want to play on my iPad

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What we found is that children come out of school feeling tired and hungry but excited to get home and spend time with you. Talking about school feels like they are reliving a long boring day when they’d rather just think about the evening ahead. This suggests that pick up time isn’t the best opportunity to try and catch up on the things that matter. As adults, we empathise with the need to unwind after a long day, and kids are no different. Try paying them a compliment when you see them, rather than asking a question – after a long hard day a genuine compliment from someone you love can be just the boost you need. Perhaps they’ve remembered their lunch box for once and it deserves a celebration!

difficult to know where to start. However, if someone asks, “What was the hotel like?” it’s easier to provide a more detailed response. Try asking questions that start with Who, What, Why or When and see how an open-ended question can lead to a more thoughtful response.

“How was your day?” is potentially too broad a question for young children to break down. Have you ever been asked, “How was your holiday?” – it can be

When asked about how well grown ups listened to them, the children commented that parents are often “thinking about other things” so can’t listen properly. How

TOP TIP!

u for along with yo Bring a snack ldren hi C ol pick up. the after scho end e th by t ou ed are often burn like us, they aren’t d un of the day, an eir eating times. in control of th oks right away od bo Get in their go e likely to want or and you’re m you to open up to

If you make your questions fun children will feel less like you’re pestering them. Ask them with a mischievous tone what the most annoying thing about their day was - we all need to vent and kids are no different. As you may have a boss, they certainly have a teacher, and we all like to moan about those! You’ll be opening a window as to what they’ve been up to while keeping the conversation light-hearted.

many times have you tried to uphold a conversation while cooking dinner or doing housework? Children are aware of this and know that they aren’t being listened to, yet, when we have something to say we demand that children give us their full attention. If your child is excitedly telling you about what they’ve built on Minecraft, try and stop for a moment to listen on your child’s terms. It’s not always convenient but it will show them that you’re interested in what they have to say. Some parents have found that creating a time to talk as part of children’s bedtime routine can work really well. Interestingly, kids are more than happy to tell you about their boring day when it’s time for bed! Saving your questions for tucking in time also gives you a special time to reconnect; when children are relaxed they’re more likely to open up to you about how they’re feeling.

Our favourite questions to get kids talking! How do you hope the world will be different by the time you grow up? What do lawyers do?

leave I hope that Pandatos Ewnilglland. China & move

They say mean words to you!

(7 year old)

What makes your parents happy?

(6 year old)

!

My parents LOVE wine (6 year old)

If you were a grown up for a day, what would you do?

uT rn into a dragon!! (6 year old)

Where would you like to live when you grow up?

Next to a supermarket. (8 year old)

like & Follow

us!  @superp iratesevents  |  @su per_pirates


Cover Story

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Exhausted from the post-holiday exercise of herding cats and playing nurse to your children's phantom bedtime illnesses? Us too. Happy Sleepers has a few ideas on how to make sure they get the shut eye they need.

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ith all the late nights of the holidays, it's always a struggle to get the kids back in to a bedtime routine. As parents we can make a huge difference to our children's education and emotional well-being by making sure they get enough sleep. Lack of quality sleep can have an enormous impact on our children’s cognitive functioning, learning and behaviour. So, prioritise sleep and put it high on the agenda.

© Adobe Stock

Is my child getting enough sleep? Firstly, let’s put this into perspective. If you come back late from a day out every now and then and your little ones end up going to bed later than normal, that’s not going to do any harm. But to regularly not get an adequate amount of quality sleep may be something to be concerned about. It’s important to recognise that individual children do differ in the amount of sleep that

they need. A good place for parents to start is with the National Sleep Foundation’s How Much Sleep Do We Really Need for an idea of the developmental norms. Many parents find that despite their awareness of the importance of sleep and wanting to encourage a sensible bedtime, their child still has difficulties. Insomnia (difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep through the night) is a common childhood sleep disorder. Although this is more commonly reported by parents of infants and toddlers, it may persist into later childhood and, in some cases, into adolescence. It’s estimated that one in four children will experience insomnia at some point and that figure is rising, in part, owing to the use of technology and social media and the drive to be socially connected. Increased use of electronic devices before bedtime, such as mobile phones and tablets, is certainly a big factor. Their bright, backlit screens disrupt the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. There’s also more packed into our children’s days than ever before and sleep is simply not recognised as the priority that it should be. thelittlethingsmagazine.com |

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Cover Story

What is the impact of lack of sleep?

© Adobe Stock

Sleep is dynamic. Sleeping brains are not resting but working hard to make sense of what children have seen and learnt during their waking hours; consolidating memories, maturing neural pathways and even actively learning. Similarly, our bodies are working hard during sleep to release hormones, renew and repair tissues and facilitate growth. Children who aren’t getting enough sleep are more likely to experience daytime behaviour problems and chronic irritability, attention problems, and hyperactivity are all associated with inadequate sleep. It is now well documented that irregular bedtimes and insufficient sleep in childhood may result in increased calorie consumption and obesity. Poor sleep also particularly impacts on the higher level cognitive skills – the organising and regulating of thoughts and behaviour, planning and problem solving. So,sleep deprived children may have more trouble managing

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emotions, have mood swings and seem irritable or anxious, as if these issues aren’t bad enough in the teen years already. More alarmingly, perhaps, there’s a growing body of work linking insufficient sleep with children’s learning and academic performance, from infant learning through to adolescents at school. Even a loss of one hour per night may have a significant impact on cognitive functioning, and the tricky part is that signs that children are tired are often overlooked or misinterpreted. Many sleep difficulties can be overcome, though. In children, most are behavioural and with the right understanding and approach they can be much improved. You may wish to seek out professional advice in one form or another but there are plenty of things that you can try on your own.

How to help your child If you feel that your child is not getting enough sleep, gather some concrete information about their sleep patterns through keeping a sleep diary and reflecting on the bedtime routines.

Where concerns arise, start with your GP or paediatrician for advice so as not to overlook physiological paediatric issues, including breathing and movement related sleep disorders. These are often undiagnosed and resolving the underlying physical causes can make a big difference to the quality and duration of sleep. Educate your child about the importance of sleep. Good quality sleep leads to improved energy levels, promotes a healthy metabolism, immune system and growth. As they get older, support them to understand the process; why it’s so key for their well-being and strategies that they can use to get a good night’s sleep. There are lots of helpful resources from picture books for younger children, to leaflets and website for older ones. Make it meaningful to your own child’s interests and motivations, particularly during adolescence. As parents, we should also reflect on ourselves as role models and our own sleep habits and, yes, our own use of electronic devices. Practice what you’re preaching and you’ll likely benefit yourself. Ensure the foundations for promoting good sleep are established by supporting a consistent bedtime routine and following advice around good ‘sleep hygiene’, as it’s known. Discuss and set limits around electronic device exposure and eliminate their use entirely in the hour leading to sleep. Limit sensory


“If I wasn't allowed my tablet in bed at night, I wouldn’t know anything about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.”

There’s a growing body of work linking insufficient sleep with children’s learning and academic performance. Even a loss of one hour per night may have a significant impact on cognitive functioning. overload and multi-tasking as you head towards bedtime and aim for a routine that helps the brain and body to wind down ready for sleep. Discourage any caffeinated drinks after lunchtime and make sure to follow regular sleep/wake times even over weekends and holidays. Keeping your child’s body clock in a regular rhythm makes it easier for them to naturally to get to sleep and wake up at the right times. Even with all of this in place, some children will still need some additional support to encourage healthy sleep patterns. For younger children, this may involve behavioural programmes to help them feel confident and secure

in falling asleep and maintaining sleep independently without an adult present at sleep onset. Other children may need psychological support to address areas such as anxiety related sleep difficulties. Cognitive behavioural programmes have an increasingly good evidence base for helping with insomnia by changing the cycle of thoughts, beliefs and behaviours around sleep. Other effective interventions promote relaxation of mind and body including mindfulness techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, which have shown great promise in helping to promote selfacceptance, relaxation and lower arousal – useful when trying to switch off.

Sleep is about far more than just recharging our batteries. It’s no accident that we spend a third of our lives doing it and it’s of little surprise that researchers, in what is a relatively new field of study, are discovering just how pivotal it is for children to get the best start in life. Like diet, exercise and education; we need to start treating sleep with the respect it really deserves.

HappySleepers, a team of chartered child psychologists offering expert help and advice on sleep; from infants through to teenage years. www.happysleepers.co.uk info@happysleepers.co.uk Facebook

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Henny & Joe’s TAKE OVER

Winter With

The team at love the Winter season – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla are just some of those nostalgic spices that are comforting on cold, rainy winter nights!

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inter is by far our favourite time of year for so many reasons. Everything from long walks through brown leaves in search of fallen conkers to the smell of burning log fires, crisp winds to beautiful morning frost. We just love it all! Autumn is also all about food. coming home after a long walk is usually followed by a cup of tea and something to nibble. So it’s no coincidence that there are so many amazing food festivals at this time of year. At all the events, markets and food festivals that we attend we often ask children to try our chai. Whether it’s a chai latte with almond milk or a hot apple chai, we have something for everyone. But before we give the little ones a sample we’ll ask them, “Do you like hot chocolate?” When they reply positively with a cheeky grin then we say “would you like to try some of this chai?” After handing it over the child eagerly gulps this golden elixir! On that first sip you can see their confusion as they realise it’s not hot chocolate but there’s something delicious there, so they go for a second sip. This is always followed by a massive grin or a thumbs up! Its like clockwork and it’s at this point we show them all the whole spices that go into our chai. Those gorgeous faces of delight suddenly turn to pure horror at the sight of these spices — spices that they probably would have never seen before. What are these 28 |

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alien items? We enjoy getting children to interact with every spice. Pick them up and smell each one. We’re not fussed about the fancy display being messed up — education and learning is more important! Pointing out how pretty a star anise looks for example. One of our favourite surprises are vanilla pods. It’s amazing how many children recognise the smell but can’t put their finger on it. As soon as we mention that it’s a flavour of ice cream they usually get it. However, the majority of these children have never seen a real vanilla pod and it always blows their minds. But here’s the great bit; if we had shown these children all the spices before they never would have tried the chai! Our

system is tried and tested! Why? Children are naturally food and drink phobic and, as parents ourselves, we know how hard it can be to get children to try new things. More often than not, getting children to try something new before they even know what it is usually works the best.

MOCKTAILS & COCKTAILS

Be adventurous! After all, what’s the worst that could happen? We have a number of cocktails and mocktails that we shout about on social media but heres one of our favourites: At this time of year, (let’s be honest who’s really still doing Dry January) we love to spice up our cocktails. This is our take on a White Russian. We like to call it a Cheeky Chai! ●● 50ml Baileys ●● 10ml Cointreau (or a slice of orange zest) ●● 25ml Black cow vodka (vodka made from milk?!) ●● 25ml Henny & Joes masala chai ●● 100ml Topped up with half and half (50% cream & 50% milk)

Simply add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake and the strain into a beautiful glass. You’ve been enlightened and you’re so welcome!


Henny & Joe’s TAKE OVER

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APPLE CHAI If winter had a flavour, we think we’ve captured it in a cup of chai. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla are just some of those nostalgic spices we associate with autumn and Christmas. And we use all of these – and more – in our chai. At this time of year, we love to spice-up plain and tasty apple juice. It gives it a cosy, warm feeling like mulled cider but great for kids! Simply add a tablespoon of chai into a mug of apple juice and heat it up. You can do this in the microwave or in a pan on the hob. Et voila! It doesn’t even have to be a “good” apple juice. We actually think the cheaper brands work best. Apple and chai (Chai-der, as we like to call it) have always been best friends. If you’re after a delicious alternative to traditional mulled wine, simply add a shot (or two!) of dark rum to the hot apple chai. It’s truly amazing. You’re welcome! thelittlethingsmagazine.com |

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Family Life

A life of one’s own

Sometimes we all just need a little time off from the family, sometimes it’s more than that.

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just can’t pull myself together. My diet is fairly good, I exercise, I go to bed at a decent time, I have a house, husband, children, job, all I could want, surely, so why am I feeling like this? Is it the impending menopause? I’m am tired and moody. Fatigue – suggests Google. Work, kids, house – I’m living in groundhog day. Loss of sex drive? I do it when I can’t avoid it anymore. A few weeks ago I took a day off work so I could be alone. I didn’t tell anyone. No one asks about my day so it’s not like I had to tell any lies. I just needed some time to myself. It’s hard for me to get time off work in a small company; often I’m the only one manning the office. At least my hours mean I can do the school run. DH’s shifts mean he could too, but as he says there’s no point if I’m going out anyway, and besides, it’s my job as a mum. I worked out how to disable the location sharing on my phone on my day off. DH had set it up. I didn’t realise until the time he phoned me while I was in Sainsbury’s to ask me to get him something while I was there! He was at work in a different town, how did he know I was there? It took a bit of research to work out how to switch it off. Only temporarily though, I’d made sure to turn it back on when I was back to routine. I felt so sneaky, almost excited, slightly 30 |

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devious and clever. Silly phone, I’d say, must’ve lost signal. Not that I was doing anything wrong, I just wanted some peace, some headspace without having to jump when someone wanted a drink or a snack. I needed a little freedom where I was in control of what I did. DH has a very busy job. He tells us about all the work he’s been given and that it’s very tiring. He has a 20 min drive each way too. He likes to relax when he gets home so I try to keep the children quiet. It’s quite a struggle; they want to let off steam when they get home from school. I would take them to the park but DH doesn’t like us being out when he’s home. I’ll try to keep them occupied with a DVD but what they really want is a Nerf battle. We could do a fun activity at the weekend, but that’s ‘family time’ and DH likes to relax and unwind, he gets annoyed if I try to fill his time and he doesn’t want to see people he doesn’t feel comfortable with. It would have been nice to catch up with a friend but it didn’t look like anyone was free. Besides, a lot of my friends have fallen by the wayside over the years. It changes when you have children, your

“I just wanted some peace, some headspace without having to jump when someone wanted a drink or a snack.”

non-child friends get on with their nonchild things. A couple of my friends DH didn’t like, so I don’t see them anymore. I tried to make new friends but never felt I fitted in at baby and toddler groups. I was the only new mum bottle feeding her baby at the breastfeeding group, I didn’t make organic gluten free vegetable muffins, and I’ve no idea what a doula is, so it was impossible to join in a conversation on the merits of having one. The friends I do have I can’t often see. I always seem to be busy with stuff we have to do in the house, otherwise my jobs will eat into the weekend and it’s not fair on DH to leave him with the children after a hard day at work. I heard once to never look at Facebook when you’re lonely. It’s like looking through a window at a party all your friends are at, but which you haven’t been invited to. Like the happy restaurant chain posts. Everyone is at a festival, out for lunch, coffee, a mid-week shopping spree. Oh, how I long for a Facebook life. If you or someone you know is affected by this article, you can find information and advice about coercive control here: rightsofwomen.org.uk.


spottyherberts.com 5 queen street Bath BA1 1HE Spotty Herberts donates 1% of all takings to sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity. Charity registration number in England and Wales (299679) and in Scotland (SC042789)

It’d be Rather Nice to work together. Get in touch. Rather Nice Design hello@rathernicedesign.com | 07530 502218 HubNub Centre, Whittox Lane, Frome, BA11 3BY


Family Life

The creative process of parenting Parenting as an art form? Psychotherapist Jon Bauer explains the link between parenting and creativity.

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he writer Susan Sontag said that, “What writing feels like is following and leading, both, and at the same time.” As a writer and teacher of writing, as well as a psychotherapist, I have started to wonder if this quote applies to more than just writing, but to life itself and everything in it – including raising children. When teaching writing workshops I spend much of the session essentially communicating one thing: It’s okay to struggle. I focus on that message because many people who attend workshops or buy ‘how to’ books see their struggle

as a sign they’re doing something (or everything) wrong. Often people don’t realise that struggling is very different to failing, whether it is with words or children or a relationship. Struggling is an essential part of creating. What makes this hard to remember is partly that the finished books we read (or the older children of friends) often seem so painstakingly created, so artfully conceived, as if they came out whole and brilliant. What we repeatedly fail to remember is that every finished artwork has been the product of a terribly uncertain and a terrifying mess. The writer Geoff Dyer says that “Only upon finishing are we qualified to write the book we’ve just written.” This wise and liberating statement reminds me that all the while a person is creating a piece of art, they are also creating an artist. Just as a parent is slowly turning themselves into a parent, so that it is only at the end of parenthood that you are fully qualified to be one. The very marmite self-help guru, Anthony Robbins, claims we need six things in life, but it is the paradox of the first two that has stuck with me. Number one on his list of life essentials is ‘certainty’. Number two? ‘Uncertainty’. We might crave certainty, but too much of it can be hell. And we certainly

“MUM, I NEED A MACBOOK!” Lynn tells us how it doesn’t get any easier with teens… Happiness… even saying the word makes your lips curl up in an involuntary smile. Such a contented word but we can be so busy making sure our kids are attaining it that we can sometimes forget about the bigger picture. For over a decade I have been making sure the kids are alright and now, as 14 and 12 year olds, they spend most of their time in their bedrooms ignoring the fact we are a family. Home life is a carousel of coming home from work, cooking supper, calling them down for supper, calling them down for supper again, and again, and again. They do emerge and for 20-odd minutes we are once again a unit. I’ve enjoyed doing all the things parents do. I’ve even

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avoid uncertainty, usually working to keep it under wraps, just as the wellkempt people who arrive for dinner at your house do not always tell you about the rows, wrong turns and laddered stockings they went through on the way. Being at peace means accepting that the creation of something new can have no road map. Guidelines, yes. Pointers and a few tips, sure. Beyond that, generating something that has never existed before, be it a book or a boy, demands a coming to terms with periods of time in the unknown. It means being partially underqualified for the task at hand. Most new artists don’t realise that much of creativity is pure slog. Much of it is simply a frothy confusion or a mucky making do, full of long agonising gaps between moments of inspiration, confidence, achievement or ease. It is more grunt than inspiration. This is not to say: be and remain in an uncertain hell. This is not to say there are not moments of confidence and prowess. It is saying that a novel or a painting or childrearing is always a leap into a groundless and scary teetering between following and leading, both, and at the same time. Contact Jon for details of creative workshops: jonbauerx@gmail. com / www.feelbetter.co.uk

hosted countless teenage parties (at great sacrifice to my wine drinking vices – wine and kids parties do not mix especially as 30 teenagers in one house can be challenging to say the least). I’ve bought container units full of branded clothing because people don’t wear just anything anymore. I’ve bought iPhones, iPads and, with schools insisting on homework on computers, according to the kids it’s now crucial to own a MacBook. Parenting is often a one way street of making sure they are happy, making sure they don’t go off the rails and making sure they aren’t left feeling like you don’t care. And all of it seems to cost money, the kind of money that keeps us on the hamster wheel and in the proverbial 9-to-5. Often, it’s not until we are forced to jump off the hamster wheel to deal with an emergency that we realise it’s not the clothes, the parties, the gadgets or the latest trends that make our kids happy, it’s that we were there for them.


Friends

TIPS FROM A COUPLE OF D.I.N.KS Joelle Adams and Kevin Menton tell The Little Things Magazine what it’s like to be smug D.I.N.KS. * *FYI, it stands for ‘Double-Income-No-Kids’, but we’ll forgive you for thinking otherwise).

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on’t get us wrong: we love your kids. It’s just that we don’t love your kids as much as you do. Call us selfish if you will (and we know you will), but we want to enjoy our lives. We also want to enjoy our time with you and our time with your kids. We know you want to enjoy your life, too, but let’s face it: you can’t think clearly. You’re all doped up on bonding hormones and suffering from severe sleep deprivation. We, on the other hand, sleep a solid eight hours every night, meditate regularly, and have more free time than is good for anyone. We’ve used some of that free time jot down some tips for maintaining good relationships with your child-free friends.

Pictured: not Joelle or Kevin but almost certainly a couple of bona-fide D.I.N.Ks

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Carve out some time just for us. We don’t always want to share you with your kids. We know it’s not always possible for you to get away, but we appreciate the gesture when you can. And it’s good for you and good for your kids. Come to us once in a while. We know it’s usually easier for us to travel to your house than for you to come to ours. Most of the time we’re totally cool with that: we don’t necessarily want your little treasures messing with our record collection or accidentally ingesting something left over from a weekend party. But we appreciate you taking some of the travel burden sometimes, too.  Stick to plans. We know your kids get sick. And you get sick. And the whole house is a horror show of bodily fluids. But don’t flake out too much: we’ve put aside time to spend with you. But yeah, we can do without the germs and grossness. So maybe we take that back: cancel if you must.

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Ask about us. Believe it or not, being childless doesn’t render our lives empty and meaningless. We have worries and interests and funny stories, too. Our stories just don’t usually involve the aforementioned bodily fluids. Well, sometimes our stories ARE about bodily fluids, but different ones than your stories are. We'll reciprocate and ask about your kids. We'll even try to look interested! Let us know if you need help. We’re selfish, remember? We’re busy with our careers and massages and creative pursuits. We forget how hard and busy your life is. And sometimes we just don’t know what you need or how to help. We can cook for you. We can listen. We can even babysit if there’s enough wine in your house. Help us help you.

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We do love your kids, especially when they are healthy, well-mannered, quiet, curious, intelligent, calm, and kind. Too much to ask? To be honest, as long as they’re reasonably cute we’ll happily spoil them rotten with our copious spare cash. Besides, we've got way too much money to spend just on ourselves.

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Lifestyle

Dye Another Grey Whether you have Grey Expectations, embrace Fifty Shades of Grey, or are planning The Grey Escape with some Dye Hard, Lisa Merryweather-Millard discovers we all have to deal with grey sooner or later.

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ype ‘Grey Hair’ in to Pinterest and the page is instantly filled with nubile beauties with expertly coiffed ash grey manes. Type in ‘Going Grey’ and it’s a different story. Going grey shows women in transition, women who have have ditched the bottle, women who are refusing to dye another grey. When I was growing up, every three weeks or so my mother would would sneak down in to the basement with a towel tucked under her arm. She descended the stairs a middle-aged woman, and triumphantly ascended from the depths at least 10 years younger and with a new lease of life. It was an unwritten rule that when Mum went to the basement with a towel, we were not allowed down and we certainly were not to ask any questions about how the transformation was achieved. At 20, when my grey hairs started coming in, my mum took me to the basement and introduced me to the bottle. I was hooked. Over the years, I graduated from the bottle to expensive hair salons. I had my hairdresser on speed dial, kept an emergency bottle in the bathroom cabinet and carried a touch-up stick in my handbag for nights out. At the height of it, I was seeing my hairdresser every 3 weeks for my fix. I was obsessed with the little white lines and I couldn’t see my way out. The preservation of perceived youth is a multi-billion pound business. Advertising and the media try to lull us in to believing that if we can hide, or 34 |

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and no amount of hair dye was going to cover up the fact that I was a fraud and she wasn’t. A recovering dye junkie, I am now half-way through my recovery. With 5cm of grey roots and bleached out dry and untamed ends myself, I met up again with Chrissy to come up with our top tips on how to ditch the dye: Find your inspiration Collect images of women or men who have successfully grown out their grey. You will need a reminder of how good it will look. There will be many (most) days you will want to give up. Don’t. It will be worth it. I found Sarah Harris (Vogue UK) a real inspiration. Get to 10 cm Once you get to 10 cm, it looks like you are making a choice to go grey rather than letting yourself go. It will get easier from here.

Chrissy Charles-Bayliss

mask, the ageing process we will be more successful, richer, more highly esteemed and more worthy of respect. Don’t get me wrong, there have been countless times when hair dye, makeup and high heels have made me feel invincible and given me a sense of strength I didn’t feel at the time, but every 3 WEEKS?! It was around this time that my friend, Chrissy, had stopped dying her hair. She was pregnant with her second child and her first was still under 2. While we were chatting, I noticed her hair. She had about 5 cm of grey roots blending in to her brown hair and newly bleached blonde ends which were dry and untamed. She was not finding life easy. Acknowledging my reaction, with a wide smile she confidently explained that she was letting her hair go grey. Eyeing up my hair line like an application of hair colour remover, Chrissy had exposed me

Lighten up Lightening your hair will make the contrast less obvious. Highlighting also helps to break up the line between your dyed hair and the grey roots coming in. Create a focus point Wearing a brightly coloured lipstick or making your eyes stand out with some eyeshadow keeps people’s eyes off your regrowth. Yes, it’s the same as dying your hair, but if you’re feeling like reaching for the bottle, makeup can help get you through the dark days. And there will be a lot of those. Use products Naturally grey hair has a different texture than hair that has been dyed. Use products that add moisture and help to smooth it. Opt for a semI If you are at your wits’ end (and you will be at some point) instead of going with a bottle of permanent dye, opt for semi-permanent. The idea is not to dye it at all, but if you can’t handle it or need to cover up the regrowth for a particular occasion, a semi (in this situation) is your best bet.


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.

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The Little Things Magazine Issue 04  

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 04  

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...