Vicky’s Post: Everyone’s Free (to wear Sunscreen) (2 of 5)

I adore the sun. When I say I love it – I really do. I am one of those annoying people on package holidays who aim for the same sun lounger around the pool. You know, the one that gets the sun the whole entire day? No dragging my sun lounger around chasing that giant-yellow-ball-of-heat in the sky. Nope. Not me. I literally worship the sun from dawn to dusk.

BOKAC sun

Hands up if you would like to be here right now

Despite this, from the moment my daughter was born I was convinced that the big ol’ sun was evil. In my head a second of exposure to the sun would make me a terrible mother. Cue acute Mummy paranoia, copious bottles of Baby Factor 50 sunscreen and several useless parasols for the buggy, pram, car seat (delete where appropriate).

Rightly so, we all know the dangers of prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful rays without adequate protection. However and I’m sure I’m not alone here, us Mamas would smother our kids in Factor 100 sunscreen (if we could) and more than often, completely forget about ourselves.

I have lost count how many times already this summer I have forgotten to apply sunscreen to myself and have ended up with a burnt something or another. So Mummies and Daddies, when applying the suntan cream to your precious little ones – please don’t forget yourselves!

Vicky is BOKAC’s Digital Mum in Training. You can read my recent post about her and Digital Mum’s here.

You can read Vicky’s first post ‘Summer Mama’ here

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Perfect #SummerTimeOut treat! Jodie Ellis stars in Shakespeare’s As You Like It

One of our babysitters, Jodie will soon be starring in Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’.

Jodie says: “I’m going to be playing Rosalind, the lead character and Shakespeare’s most formidable heroine. As You Like It is one of Shakespeare’s only plays to be dominated by a female so is a must see for anyone who has an interest in feminism or gender representation in theatre. The play is of course a comedy and will be a really fun and laid back event to enjoy, especially when you can bring your own picnic and drinks and sit in the sunshine!”

Sounds heavenly! and we think would be the perfect opportunity for some #SummerTimeOut

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Further information: Following previous sell-out productions of Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mayhem Theatre Company are thrilled to return to Cannizaro Park in Wimbledon and Nonsuch Park in Cheam with their annual summer Shakespeare, and are excited to be adding a new third venue this year, the grounds of St Philomena’s School in Carshalton.

Mayhem’s Shakespeare in the Park has proved very popular in previous years with a high demand for tickets and limited space available at the outdoor venues. As performances sold out in advance last year the Company are urging people to book their tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Please bring your own seating or rugs. Picnics are welcome. We will only cancel a performance if absolutely necessary due to adverse weather conditions. In this instance, if possible, tickets for an alternative performance will be offered. We will not, however, be able to provide monetary refunds.

Dates

  • Sat 11 July 2015 7.45pm – St Philomena’s School Grounds, Carshalton
  • Tues 14 & Weds 15 July 7.45pm – Nonsuch Park, Cheam (dog free area)
  • Thurs 16, Fri 17 & Sat 18 July, 7.45pm – Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon (Italian Garden)

Tickets: £13/£10 (Concessions / MMTC members)

Box Office: www.ticketsource.co.uk/mmtc & 07939 144610

Vicky’s post: Summer Mama (1 of 5)

Long lazy hazy summer nights.  Aaah I remember them well. Sipping chilled rosé wine from my plush comfortable sun lounger lapping up the very final glimpses of that glorious hot summer sun.  Designer shades on, chill out tunes playing softly in background.

Pop!

Suddenly my summer dream bubble bursts as I get showered with a spade full of play sand and thwacked in the face with a bucket. I’m still reclining but on a stained and slightly sticky picnic blanket. Instead of chilled wine I have a glass of warmed up orange squash (complete with swimming fly). No chill out tunes just the shrieks and squeals of my two-year old as she throws the contents of her sand and water tray over me.  You see since my daughter was born – Summer has been a very different experience.

So here it is – a gift from me to you.  My personal guide on how to have a happy and healthy heatwave for you and your toddler (without too many summer sacrifices).

Stay tuned for post 2 next week!

Vicky is BOKAC’s Digital Mum in Training. You can read my recent post about her and Digital Mum’s here.

I am a social media expert

In case you don’t follow Babysitters of Kensington & Chelsea on social media, we are active on Twitter (@BabysittersofKC) Facebook (Facebook.com/BOKandC), Instagram (babysittersofkc) and Google+ (+BabysittersofKensingtonChelsea).

If you do follow us, you may have noticed that our channel content has recently shifted from disorganised, random, rambling thoughts into a slick, coherent, active entity. I would love to take credit for this but the truth is I have a secret weapon that i’d like to share with you.

Her name is Vicky and she is a Digital Mum.

BOKAC Digital mums

I first became aware of Digital Mums in February when Nikki got in touch to tell me about the programme. Their website describes it far better than I could so here is a bit about them:

“Mums are having a tough time at the moment. 1.2m mums are missing from the workplace. Another million want to work more hours. So many more struggle to fit their work around their family commitments and are fed up with their work-life balance.

Digital Mums removes these barriers by providing mums with social media management skills that allow them to set their own hours and work from anywhere. Ours is the only social media marketing training that has been designed with and for mums.

Everyone knows social media is vital for business, but thousands of SMEs and charities are struggling to use it effectively. So many could be using it to meet their business goals but they don’t know how or lack the time to do it.

Our qualified Digital Mums fix this problem. They are fully trained, have direct experience of developing and delivering strategic campaigns, and can work flexibly. Whether a business wants 20 hours a month or 20 hours a week, we have a Digital Mum to fit their needs.” 

BOKAC Digital mumI started working with Vicky in March and the experience has been absolutely amazing. She is surpassed all expectations in terms of ability and expertise (and I have pretty high standards!) and I have been flawed by her dedication, proactive attitude and creativity.

Vicky will be running a campaign for Babysitters of Kensington & Chelsea which you will hopefully become aware of over the next few weeks. She has also written a few blog posts which I will post on the this blog.

If you are a mum and would like to develop, hone or accelerate your social media skills, I certainly think it would be worth getting in touch with Digital Mums. If you’re a business and want help with social media, I would be more than happy to share Vicky!

Mouse Straker – Blend and Bake

Today we’re shining the spotlight on Mouse Straker who has been registered with BOKAC since January 2015. Outside of her wonderful babysitting work, she runs a baking company called Blend and Bake.

We asked Mouse to tell us a little more about Blend and Bake and how she got started:

Blend and Bake

“I have always been passionate about food, and knew I wanted to carve a career in the industry whilst studying at The Grange Cooking School in Somerset. I continued my studies with a diploma at Leith’s school of food and wine and was privileged to be offered a job working with the team.

I have worked for a number of high-end catering companies, shooting lodges and luxury resorts across the globe. During my experiences, I realised that my real interest and talent lay in the cake industry. I love the delicate, intricate skills needed to make cakes, along with pushing the boundaries to create something unique.

I went on to gain a PME masters in the art of sugar craft and cake decoration and have worked alongside Eric Landlard at Cake Boy. Eric taught me a great deal and I had a huge amount of fun learning and working with him. However I had always wanted to work for myself so took on the challenge and created Blend & Bake.

Blend and Bake 2

At Blend and Bake we pride ourselves in offering delicious, unique cakes that make a statement. We are a fun talented team who love baking, designing and pushing boundary’s to create new and innovative cakes to suit every occasion. All of our cakes are made with the freshest ingredients to make sure they taste as good as they look.

Recently, due to popular demand we have started branching out to sell our products in food markets across London, as well as exhibiting at some of the famous cake shows up and down the country. Every day we are creating and trialling new ideas, our most recent product being the ‘Mug Cake’, these have been a huge hit and top seller at the markets. We get so much pleasure out of what we do and this is reflected with our customer’s reactions when they see their cake for the first time.

Blend and Bake 3

Although Blend and Bake is my main business I also do a lot of freelance catering for clients as well. This ranges from children’s parties, freezer filling to full blown dinner or cocktail parties.”

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Mini Yorkshire puddings with rare roast beef and horseradish

So if you are looking for a cake for a special occasion or can’t face cooking a new meal every night, get in touch with Mouse at Info@blendandbake.com.

Enough about me

Our babysitters, friends and the parents who book their babysitters through us are the real stars of the show when it comes to BOKAC.

So instead of having to listen to my ramblings week in and week out (although admittedly there will still be a lot of that) I thought I would mix it up by inviting some of the amazing people who help to make BOKAC what it is, to share their world with you.

If you are a babysitter, friend or parent of BOKAC and would like to take part, please email me at acameron@bokac.co.uk