Top Six 2017 Fitness Trends

The New Year is the time of re-evaluating our lives and fitness is for many people a key area. So if you started in January with the best intentions and are ready to give up, don’t! Or if you’re still keen, finding out about the latest trends will keep your workouts fresh.

We’ve rounded up the top six fitness trends you should look out for. Adding something new to your weekly workout is bound to keep you motivated throughout 2017.

Count Steps!

Short on time? Trying to juggle home, family and work? Log your daily steps with a wearable fitness tracker or smartwatch from brands such as Garmin, Apple or Fitbit. This year’s wearables, not only track distance they will also provide heart rate readings, GPS route tracking, move reminders and more. Top tips: avoid the car, walk up the stairs and you’ll be surprised at how many more steps you can do in a day.

Fitbit-Alta_Lifestyle-3

Virtual boxing

The boxing fitness trend will continue into 2017 but the news is it’s going digital. The Boxx Method  is an online virtual boxing workout programme, which is super easy to do at home. All you need is a pair of 1kg weights and you can stream expert instructors to your PC/TV/Tablet/Mobile whenever you want.

Image of Boxx Method

Water Workouts

Watch out for swimming fitness classes for a full body workout. Fitness clubs including Virgin Active  are offering low-impact, high-intensity water-based group High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes. These classes will offer sprint and long swims as well as resistance activities to give you a well-balanced workout without straining your joints.

Functional Fitness

Functional Fitness is the idea that you strengthen muscles every day to be able to lift a suitcase, carry your toddler etc. It’s a term that has been around for a while. However in 2017 we will see new machines to help you achieve this easily. Watch out for the new Assault Bike from Fitness First. The idea is has heaps of cardio and calorie-burning workout options plus the resistance increases automatically as you push, pull and pedal.

Image of the assault bike

Strength Training 

Strength training will be big news especially for women in 2017. The old myth that lifting weights makes you bulk-up is slowly disappearing.  Look out for lifting groups and the rise of one-to-one coaching on weights.strength

Mind & Body

The mindfulness concept has finally reached the gym. The focus will be on taking time out to sweat out your stress instead and trying to get to grips with the deep connection between mind and body. Watch out for beginner courses offered in high street gyms and chill out candlelit classes.

yoga

Help your child to love reading – win a book!

Image of Lost My Name bookChildren who are read to often go on to perform better at school. But how do you try to encourage a love of reading from an early age? We’ve five top tips on how to get the most out of reading to your child.

You could be in with a chance or winning a set of customised My Nametags stickers plus a personalised book for your child from Lost My Name. See below for details.

Let them choose

Let your child choose the book and they will instantly feel more involved. It’s very likely that your child will choose the same book, time after time. But don’t worry as repetition is good. If you’re fed up with always reading the same book then give your child a choice of two books that you would like to read.

Quiet and ComfortableImage of lost my name book

Choose a time of day that suits you and your child. It could be after lunch for preschoolers, bedtime or even bath time! Make sure it’s quiet and there are no distractions e.g. TV, other siblings, mobile phones etc. and a lovely comfortable spot to snuggle up with your child.

Talk about it

Talk about the book and ask questions as you go along to keep your child interested in the story. Get them to guess what will happen next or ask why they think something happened.

Have fun!

Bring stories to life with silly voices and actions. Children love nursery rhymes and songs too. Rhyme and repetition are great for encouraging your child to join in and learn the story. If your child has enjoyed reading a particular book, then find out more about it. Check the internet for fan clubs and the author’s website. Look for games, colouring sheets or competitions.

Read everythingImage of lost my name book

When you’re out and about read everything you see from adverts to shop signs and bus timetables and basic newspaper headlines. This will help reinforce to your child the value and joy of learning to read.

COMPETITION ALERT!

One lucky reader in each country will win a set of My Nametags stickers plus a personalised book from unique children’s publisher Lost My Name. Each book, worth £19.99, will be based on your child’s name making it completely unique to them. All you have to do is follow My Nametags and Lost My Name on Facebook and tell us why you chose your child’s name. We will pick one winner per country (UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands). Find out more about these lovely books on www.lostmy.name.

Healthy Snacks for Kids – tips from mums

We all know that we should be giving our kids healthy snacks to take to school or have after school when they’re ravenous. I know from experience it’s very easy to get stuck in a rut and grab a couple of biscuits on the way out to school pick up. So here’s the inside track (from mums at the school gate) on healthy snacks that kids like and will eat.

Get children involved with your quest for “healthier snacks” getting them to add up sugar cubes on the ‘Sugar Smart’ app. It’s simple to use. Just scan the barcode of their favourite food or drink and it pops up with how many sugar cubes it contains. My kids were shocked at how many sugar cubes were in a packet of their favourite biscuits…Image of the Sugar Smart app

Getting the 5-a-day

We all know that you can’t beat fruit or vegetables for a super healthy snack. Make getting their five-a-day fun by serving fruit on cocktail sticks or by adding stickers to a colourful bag full of fruit and veg. My 8-year old loves cucumber, celery and carrot sticks with a small pot of hummus – just perfect for a quick after school snack. And, I even write messages and smiley faces on her banana to take to school! 😉

fruit

Cheese & Eggs

Protein from cheese and eggs will help fill hungry tummies fast. Eat on their own or with oatcakes or crispbreads. A boiled egg is easy and quick to make. Buy ready-wrapped cheddar sticks or cut slices from a block of cheese to take to school.

cheese

A (healthy) Sandwich

Oatcakes, rice or corn cakes are all healthy alternatives to your traditional white bread sandwich. Top with cheese, jam (no-added-sugar of course), banana, hummus, or mashed avocado. Healthy nut butters without added sugar such as almond or cashew are great too. Apples spread with nut butter are a favourite in our house. Avoid taking nuts into school because of allergies.

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A (healthy) Biscuit

If you enjoy baking then it’s so much better to make your own healthy versions of muffins/flapjacks etc as you “know” exactly what you’ve put in them, say many mums. Alternatively, check for healthy snack bars without added sugar or additives. Some brands mums swear by are Nak’d,  Trek or Bounce Balls.

anzac-biscuits

Unsweetened Yoghurt

Avoid shop-bought yoghurts which are full of sugar and instead add fruit and honey to plain yoghurt to sweeten naturally.

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Nuts & Seeds

Choose nuts and seeds (outside of school) over crisps. Not only are they full of healthy omega oils, but they’re a filling snack. Look for natural nuts without salt or sugar. Your typical 5 year old should not eat more than 3g of salt (or 1.2g of sodium) a day, according to government guidelines and some bags of crisps will contain a high amount of salt.

Which-is-Healthier-Nuts-or-Seeds

DIY Popcorn

My kids love making popcorn with me. It’s fun to make and quite frankly it tastes so much better than buying a microwave bag or a ready-popped version. We sprinkle on both salt and sugar but you could try honey or dip in good quality chocolate for a special treat.

popcorn

Healthy H2O

If your kids love water then you’re laughing. Many mums swear by adding squeezed fruit to spice up water. My kids love their Kidzinger with built-in citrus press and straw.

Image of a kidzinger water bottle

Know Your AW16 Fashion Trends

It’s almost the end of the summer and autumn beckons. We’ve picked the best of the latest fashion trends for AW16 so you’ll know your wide-legged from your culottes and will be able to spot this season’s take on the modern ruffle from a mile away…

Dark Floral

Blooms on a black or dark background will carry you through many seasons. Wear with chunky boots for an edgier look.

Image of a Dark Floral dress

ASOS Dress £40

The Wide-Leg Trouser

Ditch the skinnies in favour of the wide-leg trouser this autumn. Very chic…and oh so comfortable…

Image of Anthropologie wide-legged jeans

Anthropologie jeans £128

Victoriana

Tap into this season’s Victoriana trend with a delicate chiffon high collar top. Pair with denim or a pretty skirt.

Image of karen Millen Victoriana blouse

Karen Millen top £115

Ruffles

Ruffles have continued into AW16 but are less romantic. Think structured wave. You’ll find ruffles everywhere on dresses and ponchos but we love this versatile tunic.

Image of Mint Velvet ruffle tunic

Mint Velvet tunic £79

Animal print

Any wild cat print (or snake for that matter!) goes this season – from leopard to cheetah. Keep it simple with just one item – a jacket or a pair of boots but not both!

Image of Zara leopard print jacket

ZARA jacket £59.99

Velvet

Velvet, the richest of fabrics will be this season’s darling. Crushed or coloured. Take your pick.

Image of My Theresa velvet dress

My Theresa dress £460

Military

Jackets and coats in the military style will be back in this autumn. Soften the look by wearing over pretty dresses and skirts.

Image of Military coat River Island

River Island coat £110

Ready Steady School – BIG school in a box!

Getting ready to start and progress through Reception is not just about turning up on the first day. It’s about families preparing together to make that transition into school a smooth and positive one. With the right tools you can help your child’s personal, social and learning skills develop and grow so they start school and progress with confidence from the very beginning.

From September onwards teachers have their own challenges to face. Just imagine 30 four year olds at the end of a tiring school day putting on coats, fastening shoes and packing book bags – all personal challenges in their own right. By practising skills such as dressing and fastenings before children start school they develop the independence needed to function effectively in the new school environment. Imagine the reward for the child who puts on and fastens their own shoes and coat and is first out of the door to play.

Ready Steady School is on a mission to help your child feel smart and confident from day one at BIG school. Developed by 2 highly experienced Early Years teachers, Tom and Pom boxes are personalised and contain illustrated, easy to follow task cards and educationally sound, fun, interactive activities for you to share with your little one.

Their Starting School Box builds on basic skills by practising simple everyday tasks helping your little one develop confidence and independence. Their Letters and sounds Box contains all the tools to support learning how to read and write.

FlyingStart

Achieve a flying start to school with www.readysteadyschool.org and check out the blog for more ideas and support.

You can enter our Facebook give-away here to be in with a chance of winning one of these BIG personalised boxes – and a set of our personalised colour stickers to make sure you kick start the new school year!

Ready-Steady-School-give-away-post

Summer Essentials for Kids – win travel games!

With the holidays almost here (and a mum of four kids myself) I thought it might be helpful to list those key “must have” items kids will need over the summer. Whether your toddler or tween is attending holiday clubs or going on holiday it’s always handy to have a backpack with all those essential items in …named of course!

To get you off to a great start this summer, we’ve teamed up with Orchard Toys who will give away six of their new mini games to one lucky My Nametags newsletter reader. All you have to do is follow My Nametags and Orchard Toys on Facebook and tell us your child’s favourite board or cards game. Good luck!

Backpack

Whether it’s just for a day trip or a week’s holiday get your kids to have a go at packing from a young age. You may have to check it over (and possibly remove the 15 cuddly toys they’ve stuck in there!) but at least they will have had a go. I’ve found buying my children a backpack each that they like is half the battle.

Mi Pac Backpack - Blue Galaxy £22.98

Mi Pac Backpack – Blue Galaxy £22.98

Toddler Backpacks & Lunchbox – Princess £27.98

Toddler Backpacks & Lunchbox – Princess £27.98

Games

Give the electronic devices a break and pack some board games or cards to while away the hours while waiting for trains or planes. Orchard Toys have just launched a collection of travel size games for £4.99 each which are sure to keep younger kids amused.

http://www.orchardtoys.com/collection/mini-games

Orchard Toys mini games £4.99 each

Water bottle

I’ve often made the mistake of forgetting a water bottle or bringing one between four which doesn’t go down well! My top tip would be to get each child a really nice water bottle and hopefully they’ll remember to fill it and keep hydrated while they’re out and about.

Dino Family £12.99

Dino Family £12.99

Bee & Friends £12.99

Bee & Friends £12.99

Sunglasses & hats

Sunglasses and hats are a must wherever you go in the summer. Invest in a hat they really like and hopefully it will get worn. I love the ones with the flap are great for younger children and are perfect for swimming in too.

Baby & Children’s Sunglasses £6

Baby & Children’s Sunglasses £6

Quick Drying Flap Hats £12

Quick Drying Flap Hats £12

Colouring Books

Colouring books are the perfect entertainment for long journeys and have had somewhat of a revival in recent years. You can find colouring books to suit all ages and tastes (even adults!)

Anti -Boredom Colouring Book £5

Anti -Boredom Colouring Book £5

Travel Games Pad £5.99

Usborne Travel Games Pad £5.99

Headphones

A good pair of headphones is essential for keeping the peace while kids play music or videos. My youngest loves her little pink headphones and they’re the first thing she packs when we travel.

Little Rockerz headphones £14.95

Little Rockerz headphones £14.95

Peppa pig headphones

Peppa Pig headphones £14.95

Charger

Needing to charge everyone’s devices all at once is part of modern family life. Or forgetting to bring one at all when you go away is also very annoying. We love this charger which is not only high powered and quick, it will allow you to charge up to 6 tablets and smartphones simultaneously.

Avantree Charging Station £19.99

Avantree Charging Station £19.99

We Surveyed, You Responded!

At My Nametags we are constantly striving to better understand our customers. That’s why in April this year we decided to survey 2,000 adults in the UK investigating how many items people lost per year. Along with our research and thanks to your impressive feedback we found some pretty startling results, heard many humorous stories and even received the occasional commendation of when My Nametags had proven to be the saving grace for lost items being returned to their rightful owners!

Our data revealed that every month, the average person is expected to lose four items. “Keys,” “phones” and “pens” topped the list for the most commonly lost items by adults and “school books,” “jumpers” and “stationery” for children. Four lost items a month might not sound like much at first, but when you consider that over a lifetime you can expect to lose on average 3000 items then it becomes a much more worrying statistic.

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lost keys

Children will lose around 1000 items throughout their school years alone and the most expensive item parent’s claim their child has lost was valued at “over £100 pounds!” On a lighter note somebody actually managed to lose “a highchair.” One wonders how that might happen… Other strange items included a “snorkel”, “fairy wings” and an actual “car in a car park!”

Another participant explained how their son’s beloved birthday present, a “Nintendo DS,” was lost while they were staying in a hotel on holiday. What’s more, his favourite game Mario Kart 7 happened to be inside the console! Having phoned the hotel persistently in the weeks that followed their departure, they were beginning to lose hope until one day 7 weeks later they received a call from a linen company revealing that the Nintendo had been discovered in a pile of sheets. She explained how it was a complete surprise and that without the aid of My Nametags labels and the honesty of the person involved the Nintendo would never have been recovered.

We are proud to hear these stories when people’s most treasured possessions go on journeys of their own into the abyss only later to be miraculously returned to their rightful owners thanks to the good nature of human beings. We encourage people to keep this momentum up by remembering to do one simple thing – nametag your most important possessions, whether that be anything from your “glasses,” “phone charger” or “camera” to your “child’s helmet,” “snorkel” or “angel halo.” Probably not your “grandmother’s teeth” though, we think they are just fine without a nametag…

Summer 2016 family camping ideas

Outside is the biggest adventure playground a child could wish for – which is why camping is so exciting for kids of all ages. As a family we’ve had so much fun camping and being together in the great outdoors. Often simplicity is best. Here are our top picks of what to look for in campsite. Whether it’s for just for a couple of nights or a whole week visit www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk to find your perfect spot.

In the Forest 

There’s simply nothing more enchanting than camping within the peace and quiet of a woodland setting. Kids will love exploring the forest. And parents will love escaping the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Image of children playing in the forest

Hollands Wood, New Forest, Hampshire

With a play area

Having a play area on site is a great idea if you’re camping with younger children. Some sites have adventure playgrounds, trampolines or even outdoor chess and swimming pools. Perfect for keeping children entertained and also meeting other little campers.

Image of a childrens playground at a campsite

Ashbourne, Derbyshire

Beside the sea

Combine beach and camping by picking a campsite near the coast. Days can be spent on the beach and evenings looking out to sea.

Image of campsite by the sea

Sennen Cove, Cornwall

Next to water

For pure relaxation and exhilaration for those into water sports what better than a campsite that is right next to water; be it a lake, loch or river. Great fun for older children (and adults who love mucking around on boats) for Swallows and Amazon style adventures.

Image of campsite by Loch Lomond

Cashel Campsite, Loch Lomond

Go Glamping!

If you haven’t got a tent or even if you have but want the luxury of not having to load up the car and put a tent up, then try glamping. Real beds, a relaxing sofa and proper cooking facilities are what you’ll get. Plus the great outdoors just on your doorstep…

Image of glamping

Ready Camp, all over the UK

Cool ways to coverup at the beach

A good beach coverup is worth its weight in gold when it comes to baring your body on the beach. Invest in a couple of pieces to throw on over your bikini or swimsuit and they will see you from the beach to lunch and then on to the bar for a sundowner. We’ve scoured the shops for our top picks of this summer’s beach coverups from simple sarongs and kaftans to more elaborate dresses and jumpsuits. Happy shopping!

The Sarong

A sarong is such a versatile piece to have in your holiday wardrobe. Wear around your waist to coverup at the beach bar, turn into a simple dress by tying around your neck or even use as a coverup from the sun.

Watercult Pareo Dress - Soft Peach £59

Watercult Pareo Dress – Soft Peach £59

The Kaftan

A kaftan is the perfect thing for layering over your bikini on the beach. Choose a kaftan that has a generous fit to keep you cool and comfortable when you’re in need of some coverage.

Sha Cha Pom Pom £85

Sha Cha Pom Pom £85

The Harem Pants

Harem pants are my new best friend! So flattering and easy to wear over your bikini or one-piece or even away travelling. Beautiful print and soft light fabric with flattering tapered legs.

Heidi Klein Hamibia Harem Pants £190

Heidi Klein Namibia Harem Pants £190

The Dress

Every woman needs a lightweight summer dress. This is the perfect white dress to show off your tan – a summer must have.

Rion Dress by PilyQ £159

Rion Dress by PilyQ £159

The Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses have become a summer wardrobe essential keeping you cool in the heat of the day and will look equally good in the evening.

Melissa Odabash 2

Katarina Dress in River £356

The Jump suit

A jumpsuit will add a modern touch to your holiday wardrobe and is the perfect way to take your daytime look to evening.

Seafolly Zone Beach Jumpsuit £83.00

Seafolly Zone Beach Jumpsuit £83