Thursday, 28 July 2011

Competition for Mums who Make...Hair Accessories!

I know there are quite a few mums out there that make hair accessories so this one’s for you! Can be children’s or adults, clips, headband, bows even fascinators etc (no hats). We’re still experimenting with what’s popular so we will keep it quite broad!

Competition Details:

The competition will be run on our More Than Mummies Facebook page.

We are running this competition through an application from Wildfire. http://www.wildfireapp.com/ The competition is run by More Than Mummies Ltd. This competition is no way endorsed by or affiliated with Facebook.

The competition is for hair accessories made by mums. There is only one photo permitted per entrant. This is open to UK mums only and it can be something you make and sell as a business or something you do as a hobby or a even something you’ve done as one off.

If you would like to submit an entry, click on the contest icon under discussions in the left hand list under the profile picture on our Facebook page. You will then be taken through some screens to enter. You will need to submit some details, country, name, email address and age (it is open to 18+). Any details received will be so we can communicate anything to you about the competition and we will also send you our newsletter.

Dates:

The submission period for photographs is from 29th July – 14th August 2011 (You should get an email when the submission period has ended informing you of the time voting begins.)

It supports photographs in .jpg, .gif, and .png. format. If you have any problems please email us and we will try to help, we won’t be able to upload photos for you. Once submitted we will need to approve the photo.

The voting period is from 15th August – 27th August 2011. And any voters have one voting opportunity throughout the contest but can vote for up to 3 photos.

The winner will be the cake that received the most votes and will be announced on the 28th August. There will also be a prize for second place.

The Prizes:

The prize for the photo that receives the most votes will be:

Lots of fab promotion including, a feature on our website, in our newsletter and on our blog. This can be either to promote you as a business or show off your talents if it as a hobby and we will liaise with the winner about the feature. (The winner will not have to have to be featured if they do not wish to.) You will also get a promotional ‘shout out’ from us both here and on Twitter and we will work on other ways to help promote you.

There is also a prize of a More Than Mummies goody bag worth at least £40!



Which includes:

· An absolutely gorgeous ‘Wee Hamish’ in a blue stripe design from Little White Cottage. http://www.facebook.com/LittleWhiteCottage

· A beautiful ‘ Home Sweet Home’ plaque from JJ’s Craft Shop http://www.facebook.com/pages/JJs-Craftshop/143041642392716

· A delicious ‘Marshmallow Fluff’ scented candle from One Stop Pamper Shop. http://www.facebook.com/onestoppampershop

The prize also includes a lovely glass pendant (which doesn't appear in this picture).

And a few things from us for you to enjoy on a night off from your making:

· A manicure/pedicure set including 2 L’Oreal nail varnishes

· A More Than Mummies ‘Tea Break’ Mug with some biscuits

· And any goodies or sample we have to give out at the time.
And...we’re even giving you a bag to put it all in! A lovely pink jute one! 

The prize for 2nd place:

The prize for second place will be a mini goody bag from us worth at least £15.

They will also get a mention here and on our website.

The winner and 2nd will be contacted by email to arrange the appearance in our newsletter and blog and to arrange for the prizes to be posted.

Very best of luck to all who enter! X


Any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would also appreciate any feedback from you about the competition and anything you experienced when using the app so we can decide whether this is something we will do regularly.

If after entering you wish to be removed from the competition please email us morethanmummes@gmail.com asap.


Terms and Conditions:

There is no cost to enter this competition.

The winner will be the photo that receives the most votes.

Competition open to UK participants only and prize includes postage.

Only one entry permitted per person.

Winners will be contacted by More Than Mummies to inform them that they have won.

Any contact details received will be so we can communicate anything to you about the competition and we will also send you our newsletter. Your details will not be passed or sold on to anyone else.

If you would not like to receive our newsletter please email morethanmummies@gmail.com with ‘newsletter unsubscribe’ in the title, your details will then be removed from our newsletter data base in accordance with Data Protection. (More Than Mummies Ltd is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is entered in the register which covers the Data Protection Act 1998.)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

July Newsletter

July Newsletter
(printed version)








Previous Newsletters:




Advertising in our Newsletter


Would you like to get your advert seen by potentially 10,000+ people? Why not advertise in our newsletter?

From just £7 per month (no minimum term) your banner/logo advert will appear on our newsletter and at the bottom of the sidebar on the blog. http://www.jill-morethanmummies.com/p/newsletter.html.

Or from £15 per month you could be our newsletter sponsor (like the AVA ad in July) and appear near the top of the sidebar on the blog http://www.jill-morethanmummies.com/ (only 1 sponsor place)

The email newsletter and blog advert will have a direct link to your website, Facebook page or etsy shop etc.

And on the day it is sent out any contributors or advertisers will get a big mention on this Facebook page as well as on More Than Mummies and on our Twitter page too!

We also print out and distribute copies at any events we attend.

There is only limited space available so if you are interested in finding out more please email morethanmummies@gmail.com for more details or to discuss further. No minimum monthly term to advertise with us. Discounts may be available for longer terms. X


Monday, 25 July 2011

The Online Tutoring Revolution

Article by: Sue Bailey


Did you know that a quarter of all children across the country are regularly tutored and in many areas this figure increases to more than three quarters? Tutoring is considered by parents for many reasons – to supplement their child’s school education, to prepare for exams and school entrance tests, to combat the school holiday learning loss issue, if their child is falling behind at school or indeed is ahead of their peers but their needs aren’t being met at school.

The problem is that with the cost of private home tutoring coming in at £20-50 per one hour session, per subject, per child, many families cannot afford to boost their children’s education this way which can leave them at a disadvantage, particularly in the battle for the “better” schools in their district. Many grammar schools in the country state that as many as ten students are applying for entrance to their school for every one available placement. Group study classes at around £25 per session aren’t any more cost effective. A large proportion of private tutors and group class leaders aren’t in fact qualified teachers, so parent’s hard earned funds are then being spent on people no more qualified to teach their children than they are themselves!

So it is with no surprise that a rapidly growing number of parents in this busy technological age are turning to online tutoring companies as a viable, more cost effective and more convenient alternative to the traditional tutoring methods.

There are many online tutoring companies available offering different services including game based exercises, targeted lessons, assessments, reports and tutoring via phone. Although many will include only one or two of these elements in their service, there are one or two which encompass them all at no additional expense.

The main benefits to online tutoring, besides the education boost and cost effectiveness, are:

- Parent’s can see in detail just how well their children are progressing.

- They can participate in their children’s education without the worry that they won’t have the knowledge needed to help them.

- The convenience of being able to use the services at any time is invaluable to busy family lives.

- Children themselves can feel more in control as they can study when they are actually in the mood rather than when they are scheduled to.

- Where a service offers game based exercises it provides them with far more motivation to study than simple dry text.

- Seeing their own progress on the system, using it for homework help or for help understanding whatever subject is currently troubling them is also a huge confidence boost for them.

A vast number of home educating parents regularly use online tutoring systems as well to aid in the structure of their children’s daily learning and to provide tangible proof that they are indeed educating their children to the Local Education Authority.

A study commissioned by the IITE (Institute for Information Technology in Education) states that in Europe and North America, as much as 80% of knowledge gained by the age of 11 is learnt from non-print media outside of the classroom.

Shouldn’t we then, as parents, have a little more control over what our children are learning for the majority of their lives in a way that won’t break the bank?

My Own Tutor is a personalised online home learning support system for students from Year 1 to GCSE level. The service concentrates on maths and English but supports all National Curriculum subjects for up to four students on one family membership.

Our service includes:

- Animated online lessons available 24/7.

- Practise exercises combined with fun games available 24/7.

- Qualified teacher support six days a week via free phone and online interactive whiteboards.

- An in depth reporting system for parents.

- Assessments and certificates.

Plus! Access to competitive online learning games and our My Own Discount Shopping club.



More Than Mummies Reader Offer

For readers of More Than Mummies, My Own Tutor is offering a two week FREE, no obligation trial of their system during which time you will be able to access all areas of the service. Included in this trial will be a guided tour of the system via telephone to ensure you can make the most of the service during this time.



To apply for your free trial, please visit www.myowntutor.info and use the promotional code 1042 MTM.



Should you then decide to take up a one year membership with My Own Tutor before the summer holidays, you will receive the month of August for free!


Prize Draw!

Any families who sign up for a one year membership or more before the end of August will also be entered into a prize draw to win a 10” android tablet!

(Sources: Institute of Education, The IITE, Daily Telegraph, BBC Learning, The Guardian)


My Own Tutor provides a comprehensive learning support service for families throughout the UK. MOT has been designed by an expert group of teachers and parents who know what families need to help their children navigate through the educational journey that they are taking. Education of our children is always in the news and is a source of concern to many parents. My Own Tutor provides a very affordable way for parents to give effective learning support to their children.

All of the people at My Own Tutor are committed to helping families to get the best from their children’s education. Advisors should be enthusiastic, approachable and an excellent source of guidance and information for parents. As an Advisor you will be based at home, work flexible hours and will be part of a fantastic team delivering a service that can make a real difference to student’s lives.

Typically an Advisor would work 4-6 hours a week however, you can choose how many hours you wish to work for My Own Tutor. You don’t need to find child care to be able to carry out your role as an Advisor. You can fit working for My Own Tutor around your family commitments, earn a rewarding income and receive FREE membership for your family, simply by joining My Own Tutor Ltd. Whether it’s extra holiday money, an income boost - whatever you are looking for, your My Own Tutor business will benefit you and your family!

My Own Tutor is a job which brings enjoyment and fulfillment. The role of an MOT advisor is one which brings respect and a sense of doing something very worthwhile within the community at the same time as being financially rewarding. You will be responsible for spreading the word and subscribing parents to our fantastic educational services and in return you will be rewarded for your successes!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Feature on Little Star Cottons Ltd - Childrens Online Patchwork Fabric Store




Founder - Emma Thompson

I'm mum to one little boy, Oliver who's almost 2 already!  I've always loved sewing, & got hooked on quilting after I struggled to find 100% cotton quilts (including filling) for Oliver who suffers from Eczema and decided to make my own!!!   Prior to being a mummy I was an accountant, maternity leave went so fast, I decided I'd miss too much mummy time working in the day so set about finding work/business ideas for the evenings and nap times - hence after much research and planning earlier this year I finally launched .....www.littlestarcottons.com


Our Products

We love bright, modern, fun cotton fabrics, and lovely soft cotton waddings, for beautiful little quilts! We also sell quilt kits these are our most popular product, we will be adding more quilt kits over the next few months - these are a great way to start quilting or if you are short on time!  We also sell a number of finished quilts, play mats & change mats for when you are too busy to make your own, great for gifts.  All our products use only 100% natural fibres.



Environment

We take great care to use as little packaging as possibly, all our mailing bags are biodegradable.



www.littlestarcottons.com





Saturday, 2 July 2011

Babynomics, By Madeline Thomas – Book Review and Fab Giveaway!


It’s been a beautiful July Saturday and I’ve spent it in the garden finishing a wonderful book- “Babynomics - Money saving tips for smart parents”, by Madeline Thomas, and writing a review so we can announce another fab giveaway for July. I don’t usually do reviews but this book really caught my eye and I thought it could really be of interest to other mums so here goes!




In summary, the book covers many aspects of the costs involved in raising a child and gives hints and tips on ways to save money. With the estimated cost for one child now being over £200,000 (!) it’s certainly worth taking the time to think about where that money is going, plan for the future and save money whenever you can. Although the title suggests it maybe just about preparing yourself financially for a new baby, there are chapters about all stages of your child’s life right the way through to university. It is useful for both parents-to-be and new parents in preparing them for what they will encounter financially in the forthcoming years.

The book covers everything from preparing for your new arrival and which items are necessities and which ones will probably end up staying in the box, to weighing up the cost of childcare, calculating the cost of birthday parties, Christmas and holidays and even ways to save money as a household. It features money-saving tips such as how to feed a family of four for under £50 a week and how to organise a child’s birthday party for under £30.

I can really relate to some of the topics, although I am yet to experience many stages of my little one growing up. One thing that really struck a chord was getting caught up in the excitement of preparing for a new baby - and with that excitement buying lots of things that to this day haven’t been used! Or buying things on impulse (can I blame the pregnancy hormones?) when I could have probably found it cheaper elsewhere or should have even considered buying second hand. I wish someone had given me a book like this whilst I was pregnant to help me to prepare and to gain a little perspective!

The book really encourages you to ‘shop around’ and gives many recommendations as to which retailers you could compare for price when looking at a particular item, plus ideas as to other places where you may just find a bargain that you may not have thought about. There are top tips and ideas all the way through the book and it draws on other people’s experiences as well as giving facts and figures.

Besides saving money on your purchases, bills and weekly shopping, the book also outlines financial considerations such as maternity and paternity leave, going back to work and childcare, tax issues; and one that is often over looked (as we don’t really like to think about it): making provisions for your children such as a will or life insurance, should the unthinkable happen.

Another really insightful and helpful chapter (still a long way off for me thank goodness) is about children feeling the pressure from their peers and wanting to fit in by having the latest gadgets or labels and suggestions of ways to overcome such pressures. It covers various possibilities from goody bags at children’s birthday parties to toys, gadgets and - the one I’m dreading - mobile phones! The book doesn’t give a view whether children should have these things or not, rather it gives you some facts and things to take into consideration so you can make up your own mind.

In fact, that’s what I find appealing about the book: it’s not telling you ‘you must do this’ or ‘you must do that’, it simply gives you ideas and suggestions and introduces topics and prepares you for situations you may not have thought about but could very well encounter.

After reading the book I feel encouraged to take stock of my financial situation and make any necessary changes to my spending and provisions for the future. And not only educate myself about financial issues but also teach my son about managing money and placing a value on things as he gets older.

The book is not about how to live a miserly existence, but how to achieve a balance between what you want and what you can afford and enjoy a good quality of life. It is extremely easy to read and the author’s conversational style and sense of humour are apparent throughout which makes it enjoyable as well as interesting and useful. I even had a giggle in places!

I’m sure this will be one guide that I will be referring back to as my little one gets older and it won’t be long before I’m re-reading the chapter on childcare and nursery as that is the next stage for me!



Jill. x



Babynomics – Money saving tips for smart parents, by Madeline Thomas.
Crimson Publishing 2010.
RRP £9.99, available at all good book shops.



Giveaway


Courtesy of Crimson Publishing we have 5 copies of this fab book to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning a copy, simply email us at morethanmummies@gmail.com with Babynomics in the subject field or body of the email - it couldn’t be easier!

The deadline for entries is 11pm on the 31st July and the winners will be selected at random and emailed on the 1st of August, and then announced on our Facebook page and in a blog update (with the winners’ permission).


Very best of luck to all who enter!

Or if you would like to be included in the draw for any of our other giveaways (http://www.jill-morethanmummies.com/p/competition-prizes.html) Just send us an email with 'Giveaways' in the title and tell us which ones you would like to be entered in.


Terms and Conditions

There is no cost to enter this competition.

The winners will be selected at random.

Competition open to UK and international participants and prize includes postage.

Only one entry permitted per person.

Winners will be contacted by More Than Mummies to inform them that they have won. On informing the winners we will need a postal address so we can send them the book.

Any contact details received will only be used to communicate anything to you about the competition and we will also send you our newsletter. Your details will not be passed or sold on to anyone else.

If you would not like to receive our newsletter then please email morethanmummies@gmail.com with ‘newsletter unsubscribe’ in the title. Your details will then be removed from our newsletter database in accordance with Data Protection. (More Than Mummies Ltd is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is entered in the register which covers the Data Protection Act 1998.)

Friday, 1 July 2011

June Newsletter

This is the first edition of our newsletter, future editions will look quite different and full articles will be available on www.morethanmummies.com instead of here on the blog. Each month I will post a copy of the email newsletter on the blog for you to view, but it won't have the full articles in just links to our website where they will be available to read in full (it will make more sense once we're up and running...I hope!)

For those involved in our newsletter, a copy has been sent out to our email subscribers and copies (a slightly different version/layout) will also be printed and distrubted or sent out.

Jill. x






So You Think You Understand Social Media…
Or Do You??
Article written by Naomi Johnson


Social media is big news – in fact massive news. It’s like the early days of the boom in internet use around 1995-97, only more so. Back then, any business that didn’t get their website up and running was considered old-fashioned and would certainly have been left behind when it came to promoting themselves.

Nowadays, businesses really need to get to grips with social media or risk getting left behind for a second time. But lots of businesses don’t really know what to do, or they simply do nothing. More importantly, they probably don’t have time to “do” social media properly because there’s a lot more to it than simply putting out a few status updates and tweets each day on Facebook and Twitter!

So, what exactly do we mean by social media??

Social media is a new way to use the web – it’s a 2 way conversation if you like – involving both listening and talking. If you thought Facebook and Twitter were just for teenagers, think again!

Any business that sells a product or service can be absolutely certain that a good proportion of their customers are chatting about them on Facebook and Twitter right now – today. And these businesses need to know what their customers are saying – they need to be able to respond to both positive and negative comments - to be able to engage their current customers and develop strategies to gain new ones. It’s all about building a community around your customers – absolutely NOT about trying to sell your product or service in every status update or tweet. Nothing is guaranteed to drive away potential customers quicker than that! Yet that’s exactly what I see so many businesses doing on social media platforms, day after day.

Facebook has over 600 million users worldwide - around 30 million in the UK alone. Twitter is catching up. People watch over 2 billion YouTube videos each day (you did know YouTube was a social media platform, didn’t you?) If Facebook was a country it’d be the 3rd largest in the world. These statistics are nothing short of phenomenal. And a new one I just read: 150 years of video are watched each year on Facebook…….

Your business needs to take note of these facts, I think you’d agree?

Social media is also important for SEO (search engine optimization) - Google now recognizes tweets in their organic results (that’s the non-paid for section below the featured sites at the top of the search page). It also recognizes Facebook profiles and fan pages. The bottom line is that Google loves fresh content, so tweets and Facebook status updates are ideal for SEO. And I haven’t even mentioned blogs yet - does your business have a blog, and is it regularly updated with interesting posts, optimized for SEO?

The take-home message here is that social media is changing the way the world does business - this is happening right now, in your town, this week, today. It’s vital to get involved, and one huge bonus is that social media can benefit small businesses just as much as large multi-nationals – possibly even more so. It’s also vital to do things properly, or miss out – the window of opportunity won’t remain open indefinitely – just as with the internet boom of the late 90s. You wouldn’t find a business nowadays without a computer or a website……

To coin a phrase, you’ve got to be in it to win it!

Article written by Naomi Johnson

I provide a range of social media solutions for small businesses, from a basic overview and audit to a complete “done-for-you” service, covering several networks of your choice. It's vitally important for businesses nowadays to be visible on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter; LinkedIn offers an excellent means of professional networking and support, and YouTube provides an easy solution for viral sharing of videos (it’s not just for music!). Oh and you must have heard of Foursquare, the "new kid on the block"?? I'm really excited to be part of the amazing, vibrant opportunity currently offered by social media – I enjoy meeting people and it will give me a real buzz to be able to help businesses build their client base and reputation through this revolutionary method of networking.




Fantastic 4D Baby Scan Competition – In Association With www.babypremier.co.uk




More Than Mummies are really pleased to announce a fabulous competition for July! A fantastic 4D Bonding and Reassurance Package worth £160 from Baby Premier at their Leeds clinic.

The 4D Bonding and Reassurance Package includes:

·         4D ultrasound scan

·         Written growth assessment report

·         A minimum of 5 x 3D black & white thermal prints

·         CD-Rom - includes a minimum of 8 3D colour images to share, print and email

·         4D DVD recording - up to 10 minutes of 4D scanning to watch on your DVD or PC

·         Gender Identification - we can tell you if your baby is a boy or girl

·         Gift Bag - includes cardboard frame, metal scan (photo frame***) suitable for your 2D and 3D scan images, Baby Premier teddy and Baby Premier pen.



Scan available between: 26 - 32 weeks of pregnancy

Time needed for the scan: allow up to 40 minutes

A 4D scan is actually a 3D scan with the added dimension of time – as in a film or video – so the baby can be seen to be moving. This is a thrilling way to see a moving image of your child for the first time (especially for the father so he can bond with the baby) with mothers and fathers who book this scan to see a "sneak preview" of their baby. 



Baby Premier offers a variety of scans, not only wonderful 4D images of your baby but also medical ultrasound examinations for various stages of your pregnancy. Their services include dating scans, anomaly and gender scans. And can be used to provide parents to be with reassurance about their baby’s health and growth as well as a wonderful opportunity to see their unborn baby. A Baby Premier Scan would also make a wonderful present for parents to be! All details available at http://www.babypremier.co.uk/packages.asp.

Baby premier provide a professional and friendly service to give you an amazing opportunity to see your baby and with photos and a DVD of your scan you will have memories to last a lifetime! It really is a fabulous memento of your pregnancy which you could even show to your new arrival when they are older.


To win this fantastic prize of a 4D Bonding and Reassurance Package worth £160 simply email us morethanmummies@gmail.com with Baby Premier Scan in the subject field or body of the email, it couldn’t be easier.
(We will reply to confirm your entry.)

The deadline for entries is 11pm on the 31st July and the winner will be emailed on the 1st of August and announced on Baby Premier’s Facebook page (with the winner’s permission).

If you would like to be the first to hear about Baby Premier’s news or promotions please ‘Like’ their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

Very best of luck to all who enter, it really is fabulous prize for any mum to be!


Baby Premier: www.babypremier.co.uk


Follow them on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/BabyPremier



Terms and Conditions

There is no cost to enter this competition.

The winner will be selected at random.

Competition open to UK participants only and prize includes postage. Please note the prize is for the scan to take place at their LEEDS clinic (Street Lane) and is only suitable between 26-32 weeks of pregnancy.

Only one entry permitted per person.

Winners will be contacted by More Than Mummies to inform them that they have won. We will liaise with the winner and Baby Premier in arranging for the prize, which will be in the form of vouchers, to be posted.

Any contact details received will be so we can communicate anything to you about the competition and we will also send you our newsletter. Your details will not be passed or sold on to anyone else.

If you would not like to receive our newsletter please email morethanmummies@gmail.com with ‘newsletter unsubscribe’ in the title, your details will then be removed from our newsletter data base in accordance with Data Protection. (More Than Mummies Ltd is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is entered in the register which covers the Data Protection Act 1998.)