Category Archives: featured

Poppy Red Ilkley – Review

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Like most grown women, shoe shopping is something I thoroughly enjoy. Actually that is a slight lie, I  would  enjoy were it not for the fact that I have enormous feet and me trying on shoes is a bit like the ugly sisters trying to get Cinderella’s glass slipper on most of the time – sad but true. However, children think slightly differently about these things, and apparently trying on shoes is not high on their list of priorities – despite the fact that the shoes are paid for by someone else – madness! There is nothing more frustrating than shelling out a load of cash for your children on something they don’t remotely care about.

In the past we’ve often done a “buy cheap buy twice” when it comes to shoes for our two sons, something which I am at pains to avoid doing in the future. So when I was offered the opportunity to review the shoe buying process at local children’s shoe shop Poppy Red I thought it would be a good opportunity to find out what shoe buying could be like.

The shop itself is just a few seconds walk from the main car park in Ilkley, and the first thing that strikes you is the inviting shop front and huge selection of children’s shoes – brands included Geox, Ugg, Lelli Kelly, Birkenstock and many many more. I think the shop at one time did ladies’ shoes but they have now decided to concentrate on children’s shoes – a really good move I think as I don’t think there is anywhere else locally doing the same thing. Word had obviously spread as there were a fair few people in the shop already, but it didn’t take long until we had our turn. I looked longingly at some pink sparkly slippers, but my 7 year old son didn’t seem too keen – so Geox it was.

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He actually stood still!

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Decisions decisions…

 

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Deciding between ninja shoes and something more sedate…

Jenny, one of the owners, was serving us and instantly “got” my two sons and how to best include them in the buying process. She’s one of those people that children instantly build a rapport with and clearly has a lot of experience with kids. Although my 7 year old son can be a bit difficult and did NOT want to be there initially, she got him excited about some “ninja” looking shoes, and he couldn’t wait to try them on! I was really impressed with her professionalism and obvious knowledge about fitting children’s shoes, it’s something that only comes from having a passion for the service you’re offering, and can’t be replicated in the chain stores in my opinion. Another thing that’s great is that Poppy Red ensure ALL their staff are properly trained in shoe fitting so that every customer has the full experience – and this really shines through.  Jenny even somehow managed to persuade my son to not go with the bright green shoes (which were awesome) and he selected some more sedate looking red and black shoes – with flashing lights (standard) which he now won’t take off! Co-owner Jenny says, “I’ve always loved working with children and and what woman doesn’t love shoes? Owning this business with my mum is my dream job! I love being front-facing and seeing our customers on a daily basis, it definitely helps influence our buying decision – sometimes I can even have a customer in mind when we’re looking at new collections.”

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Actually smiling about trying on shoes!

There’s also something really satisfying about supporting a local business and ensuring that really good shops like Poppy Red, who are clearly really passionate about what they do, carry on and don’t disappear. Every single shoe I saw in store was of a really high quality and you could just tell that this is the sort of shop that wouldn’t compromise on that. The man in front of me was buying school shoes for his son and I was really taken aback by how, quite frankly, beautiful they were!

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A bit more information about the owners and ethos of the shop…

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Owners Jenny and Helen

Co-owner Helen says:-

“All the staff are trained shoe fitters and able to advise on the best choice of shoe to fit all shapes and sizes. People often comment that they have been unable to find anything to fit in other shops but we are usually able to help thanks to the wide range of different brands we stock. We are experienced at fitting shoes with orthotic insoles, splints and other footwear inserts. Although my daughter Jenny and I have different roles, we always unite when we’re selecting new stock. What mother and daughter wouldn’t love hours of researching and buying new shoes? It couldn’t be more satisfying if we were buying for ourselves! It’s a real responsibility getting the right mix of quality and style that mums will approve of and kids will really love and we’re very particular about what brands we stock. “

The other thing that was different from the high street chains was the fact that they actually had the shoes that my son wanted in his actual size – this never seems to happen in other shops, and means that children – who don’t want to be there anyway – aren’t left disappointed.

One other thing that Jenny did, was to totally understand that my other son didn’t need new shoes, and instead she offered him some lovely flashing lights to stop him having a full on paddy whack. Nice touch. AND chocolate eggs/sweets never go unwanted at the end of some strenuous shoe trying on.

I really urge you to support this business – great service and top quality shoes. What’s not to like?

Find Poppy Red’s website here.

Find Poppy Red on facebook here.

Poppy Red also have Ladies’ shoes on their website.

I was offered a £40 gift voucher to enable me to review this store, but all thoughts are my own.

Win Win Win! Family Ticket for Thornton Hall Farm Park!

Today we were lucky enough to be the guests of Thornton Hall Farm Park in Thornton in Craven – not the Thornton in Bradford as I foolishly thought. What a lovely village Thornton in Craven is – driving up there reminded me of one of the reasons we chose to live in Bingley, namely its proximity to all things beautiful. It took us about 25 minutes to get there, door to door, which makes it about equidistant with Hesketh Farm at Bolton Abbey in times of driving time.

There was no issue parking, in fact there were so few cars there at first we thought it was shut! But we had a friendly welcome from the staff there who were all great people -persons and very warm and friendly. The place was VERY quiet when we got there – apparently their Christmas celebrations start next week and so the week before is usually very quiet which makes sense. It was great for us as my oldest son doesn’t like crowds, so they had a great time having the huge slide to themselves. Stupidly I didn’t get a photo – but it’s very similar to the large slide at Dragon’s Den and the children had to sit in sacks to go down. The boys loved it and went on over and over again. There is also a hay maze, animals to feed, ropes to swing on, an outside play area and tea rooms, as well as regular feeding sessions and egg collecting. Here’s what we got up to.

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The outside play area

I thought the outside play area was great – good quality play equipement and a good variety for all ages. Probably nice in the summer – wrap up warm it’s colder than Bingley for sure! Nearby are the quad bikes, the caterpillar rides and trailer rides (extra fee applies). They looked like good fun.

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The rope swing

This was a great idea! Lots of rope swings with mats underneath, we really enjoyed it and it was great to see the boys initially worried and unsure learn how to swing really confidently. Loved it!

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The rope swing

 

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Egg collecting

We were led outside by one of the farm guides, who was really nice, to see the chickens and collect eggs. She explained about the different kind of chickens and why the eggs looked different. Then we took some eggs home (£2.50 for 12) for breakfast.

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Bunny stroking

As well as collecting eggs there are regular animal feeding and petting times, although you can also buy food for £1 and feed the animals yourself! As well as chickens and bunnies there were cows, sheep/lambs, horses, donkeys, llamas and ostriches (or were they emus?!). The animals were all really tame and happy to be fed and stroked.

We had lunch in the cafe which could have done with being a bit bigger, though extension work is currently taking place so it’s something the farm is obviously aware of.

Thornton Hall Farm Park have kindly given me a family ticket for four to give away to one lucky Bingley Family! To enter, you need to like Bingley Mums on facebook and comment on the post pinned to the top of the page saying you’ve liked the page. Share the post and tag your friends for an extra entry! I will pick a winner at random on 5th Demember 2015. Note that only residents of Bingley can enter this giveaway as I will be dropping the ticket off at your house. The ticket is for normal entry to the farm so if you go over Christmas, you will have to pay a small additional charge to visit Santa, that sort of thing.

The Oaks Dental Practice Eldwick

NEW OFFER

First check up for new patients now reduced to £18, (normally £28)

Offer ends 31st August 2016

Bingley Mums is pleased to announce we have another generous sponsor to add to our list! The Oaks Dental Practice Eldwick!

Whether you need a new dentist, or haven’t been for a while, The Oaks Dental Practice will definitely give you a friendly welcome!

  • Nervous patients are welcome.
  • Free on site parking (no faffing about finding a space and having to use small change).
  • Open Saturdays and Evenings (very important).
  • Payment plans.
  • Modern facilities, traditional values.

Payment plans are £13  for adults per month and include:-

  • 2 dental health checks and an oral health check each year which includes a mouth cancer screen to ensure all is well
  • 2 hygiene visits to prevent gum disease and to keep your mouth feeling fresh
  • Treatment for sensitivity
  • Any necessary antibiotics
  • 2 Small X-Rays
  • 10% Off Treatments

Dr Frances Vose, BChD (Leeds), the principal dentist with over 25 years of experience, says: ” We are an independent practice totally committed to providing all of our patients with excellent dental care. We give our patients plenty of time and provide prompt treatment using the latest techniques and top quality materials, because we want our patients to keep coming back and to recommend us to others. We look forward to welcoming all Bingley Mums and their families.”

What really impressed me is the service for children (this is only open to children whose parents/guardians are patients at the practice):-

Children 6yrs to 11yrs

  • Initial examination £15.00
  • Subsequent examination FREE
  • ALL OTHER TREATMENTS TO PAY FOR.

Useful Information

  • Did you know, that if a parent or guardian is attending the practice, children come for free!*
  • Children aged 0 – 12 years old are entitled to free check-ups, including that all important diet and oral hygiene advice.
  • We welcome children of all ages and look forward to making their dental visit a fun time for them.(*initial examination £15 for 3-17 year olds; all other treatment to be paid for)Please mention Bingley Mums when you book.

Find them at the top of Swan Avenue near Taylormade Treats

The Oaks Dental Practice
Oak Glen
Swan Avenue
Eldwick
BD16 3PA

Email: info@theoaksdentalpractice.com
Tel: 01274 270 579

Find them on facebook here.

National Autistic Society Night Out!

Recently, we’ve had a brush with autism as we go down the diagnostic route with my oldest son. I’ve been lucky enough to be supported on my journey by local business owners MaFt (from MaFt’s Computer Repairs) and Laura (from Great Shakes). Here is what MaFt has asked me to share with you today…
As your local, volunteer-run NAS branch we provide support to adults and children on the autism spectrum as well as parents and carers. We run support groups in Bingley and Keighley, arrange outings and have a large library of resource books, magazines and DVDs. You do not need to be a member to use our services so feel free to come along to one of our support groups.
Event info:

This year we have been concentrating on raising funds and on 28th November we are holding a Big Night Out at Pennington’s Octagon Live with live music, casino, comedy, table magic and a grand prize draw. Tickets are only £15 and include supper – full information and ticket sales can be found on our website: http://KeighleyAutism.co.uk/BigNightOut

Throughout 2016 we will be using the funds to help our local families and will be discussing ideas over the coming months. Ideas include part-funded trips out and holidays, autism-friendly swimming sessions and more – depending on what our families need.

We have two regular support groups. The Keighley group meets at Lavender Fields on the 3rd Monday each month from 6pm-8pm and the Bingley Group meet at Great Shakes every Monday from 10am-12noon term-time. Both groups are free and all are welcome to join in discussions and listen to visiting speakers.

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We hope you can join us for a fun-filled evening!
 
Big Night Out 2015 :: Charity Fundraiser for the Keighley & District National Autistic Society
A fun-filled night of live music, food, casino, magic and comedy all for just £15

Tiny Signers Bingley

I’ve been to a fair few baby classes in my time – in fact I think I have tried everything! Baby massage, baby yoga, swimming classes, baby ballet, music bugs, rhythmtime, the lot! You name it, I’ve tried it! But I think the ONE thing I have never tried with my baby or toddler is baby signing. A few months ago, I noticed one of my facebook friends comment that her 8 month old had learn the sign for “milk”, which I thought was quite impressive. Clearly as a mother of older children I am keen to delay the ability of my children to make demands on me – though even I can see that a child asking for something with a sign is a lot more preferable than crying and performing what is known in our house as the “screaming ab dabs”. So I thought I would give it a try with local group Tiny Signers!

Tiny Signers

Tiny Signers say. “Babies quickly learn to clap, wave and point out things. They naturally use gestures. Introducing them to specific signs (hand movements) you are naturally building on this ability and give them the capacity to communicate with you, well before they are able to speak. Babies can coordinate the muscles to make signs long before they can coordinate the muscles to speak.”

I was kindly invited along to a free trial session by local baby signing franchise “Tiny Signers”. This is on a Thursday in Bingley Methodist Church on Herbert Street, and there are two sessions. I attended the 12:45 session which still has spaces, but I understand there is an earlier session which is full but has a waiting list. As well as the sessions in Bingley there are also other sessions locally including Baildon on Monday 2-3pm at St Hugh’s Centre; Saltaire on Tuesdays 10am at Saltaire Methodist Church; Keighley on Wednesdays 10am at Strong Close Children’s Centre. Please book in advance if you wish to attend as there aren’t always spaces. (see bottom of this blog post for more details).

Tiny Signers use BSL and have loads of songs and interactive activities including a puppet called Sam to really bring the signs to life. Each session means a new sign/signs to learn and they go along with a song to help everyone remember them. The children at the session I went to were all between about 7 and 12 months and seemed mainly preoccupied with putting things in their mouths (don’t they all) but seemed to enjoy watching their Mummies sign and sing. I think my little girl (who is nearly 5 months) was a bit young as she was unable to sit up unaided, and so I had to hold her up and was therefore unable to sign! However if I had brought a blanket or mat or something she could have lay on the floor and watched me sign and sing along (Tiny Signers recommend bringing babies along from 6 months of age). Handouts are also given to support learning and to help parents practise the signs with their children at home.

The classes are £5 per session which I think is really good value, especially as this includes up to 3 children – you get a cup of tea and a biscuit as well – considering the quality of the toys and props and the length of the class. I took some pictures which you can see below (permission was given).

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Tiny Signers website can be found here.

Telephone: 07742 296160

Email: enquiries@tinysigners.co.uk

Please note if you want to attend a session as mentioned above you must book in advance to ensure there are spaces. However if you just want to try it out, there is a drop in session in Saltaire on TUESDAY 9.45-10.45 a.m at Saltaire Methodist Church, Saltaire Road, Shipley, BD18 3HJ

Baby Swimming with Water Babies

What could be better than swimming with your baby. Life saving skill? Check! Healthy and good for you both? Check! Fun and exciting? Check! Bonding activity? Check! And much more besides. It’s tempting when you first have a baby to sign up to as many groups as possible just to get you out of the house, though you do have to stop yourself over committing and then becoming exhausted. However swimming with your baby really is one of those activities that is mega important, and more to the point, it tires baby out so they have a nice long snooze…zzzzz…

Here are Bingley Mums, we are delighted to be working with Water Babies who have offered to be another one of our generous sponsors. Here’s a little bit more information about them (nearest classes to Bingley are at Hazelbeck (Beckfoot School) on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.)

Water  Babies, the UK’s leading specialist baby swim school, has now opened its waiting list for new beginners for its winter term, starting week commencing 16 November and running for 10 weeks.

At Water Babies, we’re extremely proud of our world class teachers, the only ones with a national diploma in baby swimming. Together, we’ll teach you to teach your baby to swim, building your little one’s confidence and independence in the water and ensuring that safety around water becomes second nature.

Swimming is one of the most complete and beneficial activities, and with NHS guidelines stating that infants don’t have to have had their immunisations before they go swimming (even underwater), it’s one of the few things parents can do with a baby literally from birth as we swim in extra warm water hydro therapy pools. And not only is it fantastic for your baby’s health and development, it’s also a huge amount of fun.

Water Babies classes are available across the Yorkshire area 7 days a week in:

– Leeds

– Bradford

– Wakefield

– Huddersfield

– Bingley

– Keighley

– Skipton

For details of your local pools, please visit our website at: http://www.waterbabies.co.uk.

Please note your baby must be under 12 months old to start beginners classes with us. For more information, please contact Water Babies Yorkshire (Central) on 01943 862802, email: horseyhorsey@waterbabies.co.uk or visit www.waterbabies.co.uk.

Water Babies