Forest Fun with Yeo Valley and the Woodland Trust

A couple of weeks ago we were invited down to Yeo Valley in Somerset for a fun woodland day to learn more about Yeo Valley and their collaboration with the Woodland Trust.

Together, they are offering shoppers the chance to win your own Woodland Trust tree through its organic yeogurt range. Trees can be either donated to a friend or a good cause, or even entrusted to the Woodland Trust to plant on your behalf.

I was very excited to finally get to visit Yeo Valley as I had heard so many great things about their farm, and had been working with them for a while! I also knew there would be lots of other local bloggers in attendance and I was looking forward to meeting them!Bloggers at Yeo Valley

We were welcomed in true Yeo Valley style with tea and biscuits for the mums and yummy fruit smoothies made with Yeo Valley yogurt for the children. We had a chance to chat and meet people before jumping on a bus and heading down to the farm for our Woodland Adventure day!P1050056The days activities were great fun and had us out exploring the stunning countryside around Yeo Valley.  We did leaf spotting, bug identification, fairy wand making and mini den building. leaf spottingWe also had the benefit of the team from Yeo Valley who were full of knowledge. Here is Les teaching the children about the history of the valley and its wildlife. He was great with the children and they really learnt a lot. Learning from LesL’s favourite activity was definitely the wand making and she is very proud of what she made! We also learnt about the Woodland Trust and L was given her very own Nature Detectives membership so we can enjoy more fun in our local woods looking for wildlife! Wand Making at Yeo Valley

We want to say a huge thank you to Yeo Valley and the Woodland Trust for inviting us to spend the day with them.

Disclosure: We were invited for a lovely day out, expenses were paid and we were given a lovely goodie bag of yogurt and Woodland Trust bits for L. I was not paid for  this post

Coke and Wimbledon with Collective Bias

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

I’m not a big sport watcher normally, but always make an exception for Wimbledon. For those two weeks I find myself tied to the telly or internet, keeping an eye on the progress of our Brits, and thoroughly enjoying the excitement! Little Lady is only 30 months so I wondered how successful I would be in sharing the excitement with her. Oh well, there’s only one way to find out I suppose!

All good telly watching requires snacks, so off we headed to our local Tesco to pick up supplies. You can see how we got on here.

All the basics were covered, from strawberries and cream, chips and dips and some Diet Coke to wash it all down! I usually rush to the supermarket while Little Lady is at nursery, so it was fun to go together, and allow her to choose some treats too! Breadsticks and strawberry milk were her contributions to the trolley!

Wimbledon Coke lunch

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Back home, and we set out the snacks (well as it was practically lunchtime this became lunch!) and filled our plates. Little Lady was very excited to know that we had found a bottle of Coke with Daddy’s name on it!

Daddy's personalised Coke bottle

We settled down to catch up on Laura Robson’s progress. Little Lady was taken in by the movement, colour and noise.

Watching Laura Robson

 

We managed about 20 minutes of Wimbledon watching before the toddler attention span ended and we had a request for something else. I was quite impressed that the request was for a specific episode of our favourite CBeebies show, Sarah and Duck. The episode is called ‘Doubles’ and features, you guessed it, a tennis match! Good linking of ideas Little Lady!

Sarah and Duck 'Doubles'

After a marathon of Sarah and Duck episodes (its not possible to watch just one!) we needed to let off some steam. So out into the garden to let off some steam. Little Lady loves to be outside in our garden, and we are really lucky to have a lovely space to play. We’d picked up a tennis set a while ago and this seemed to be the perfect time to get it out and have a play!

Tennis in the garden

 

Tennis close up

Its so important for children (and adults!) to be active in their everyday life. I know that we can be guilty of spending too much time on computers and phones, and Little Lady is an expert on the iPad, but as long as we balance that with plenty of running around and time spent outside I don’t thinks its too much of a problem!

Golf in the garden

The following day Little Lady put in a request to watch some ‘big tennis’ (as opposed to ‘little tennis’ which is a request for Sarah and Duck!) so I think it must have made an impact on her! Maybe I’ll impart my love of Wimbledon on her yet :)

Giveaway with Sainsbury’s Bank Car Insurance

Today I’ve got a fabulous giveaway for you. I am delighted to offer one lucky reader a £25 Sainsbury’s voucher, on behalf of Sainsbury’s Bank Car Insurance

Over on their Money Matters blog there is an interesting Infographic about Drving on the Continent which is an eye opening guide to exploring Western Europe by vehicle. They want to know what you ideas are for a favourite driving holiday destination. For me, I’d love to drive across France, stopping in small towns to sample the food and drinks on offer. Ending up in the South of France for some well deserved sunshine and relaxation! What about you?

How to Enter:

Log in to Rafflecopter and enter the draw by leaving a blog post comment with your ideas for: favourite driving holiday destination? You can also enter by tweeting about the giveaway.

The more times you enter, the better your chance of winning the £25 Sainsbury’s voucher!

Whether or not you’re our prize winner, your favourite driving holiday destination ideas could also potentially appear in a future Money Matters Blog post.

The winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page.

The deadline for entering the giveaway is Wednesday 5th June. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Loyalty Scheme – Ice

When I shop I like to feel like I’m getting a little more for my money, which is why I’m a big fan of loyalty schemes. Gathering points as I do my shopping which can then be used to buy myself a little treat!

When I was contacted about a new loyalty scheme called Ice, I was keen to give it a go.

Ice is a unique loyalty scheme which rewards shoppers for buying from companies carefully selected for their environmental credentials. The www.myice.com website offers a broad range everyday food and travel essentials to luxury gifts and treats from partners including , Eurostar, SSE and Stagecoach plus over 400 local food heroes. Customers are rewarded with free ‘Ice points’ which can we redeemed against future purchases. As well as being environmentally-friendly, Ice is also one of the UK’s most generous loyalty schemes (giving customers up to 11p of Ice points for every £1 they spend).

I’ve had a look around the site and it looks really interesting. There are a mix of big retailers including John Lewis and Marks and Spencer, and smaller local shops including a couple of farm shops close to my home. I’ve tested it out with John Lewis where it works as you might expect. Points are exchanged for voucher codes which can be spent on the John Lewis website. I treated myself to some gorgeous Cath Kidston fabric buttons :) The only thing I discovered while doing this was that you can only exchange point for certain values (£5 or £10) and you can’t exchange for more than one voucher at a time so I couldn’t put 2 together to get £20 off.

I’ll be sure to check Ice whenever I shop online to see if I can earn or spend Ice points!

Disclosure: I was provided with £20 of Ice Points to review the website. All opinions are my own.

Christmas Masterclass with John Lewis

Now that we have a John Lewis in Exeter, I’ve been lusting after many of their gorgeous Christmas decorations. I was very lucky to be invited into the store for a private masterclass on Decorating the Christmas Tree, and Preparing the Festive Table. Tamsin and Jo from the Visual Merchandising team were on hand to give the the lowdown on how to have a perfect display this Christmas.

First we dressed a Christmas Tree in their ‘Lapland‘ Childrens theme. This range is gorgeous and fun for the children, with its oversize baubles, felt animals and bright colours. We talked about how to approach the tree to make sure you get an spread of colour (put all the same type of decoration on at once, so you can see that they are spread out and you don’t have 2 decorations the same too close). We also talked about the benefit of artificial trees as you can manipulate the branches to fill in gaps and hold ornaments in place. We also talked about putting the lights on the tree, but this is a job I hate so luckily my tree at home is pre-lit!

I fell in love with some of the decorations and couldn’t leave the shop with out buying these wool ball decorations and these gorgeous boiled wool baubles too! These are perfect for adding to the bottom of the tree where pesky toddlers like to play with the decorations as they are perfectly safe and can’t break!

The tips on picking a theme or colour for your decorations were good, and although our tree at home remains a mishmash of things we have collected over the years, I was a little bit more careful in my selection of what went on the tree this year.

Then we moved onto the table. I was really interested in this, as this year we are hosting our very first Christmas at home, and I wanted it to be special! The theme I was shown was a beautiful, quite formal Winter Wonderland inspired theme. It was absolutely beautiful and although my table won’t look similar, I was inspired to take a theme and run with it. So my table will have a green and red Holly and Ivy theme. I’ll also be giving thought to how the table is laid out and adding little favour boxes to each place setting, again inspired by what Tamsin and Jo showed me!

My favourite touch was a wreath which had been laid flat on the table with a candle in the middle, which made a gorgeous centrepiece. Always be open to using things in a different way, just because its sold as a wreath doesn’t mean it has to be hung up!

I’ll be back to show you what my Christmas Tree and Table end up looking like :) Thanks very much to John Lewis Exeter for taking the time to show me these great hints and tips.

 

John Lewis Pop Up Shop Exeter

Ever since the announcement a couple of years ago that John Lewis would be opening a new store in Exeter, the excitement here has been growing. Before now, our closest John Lewis has been in Cribbs Causeway off the M5 near Bristol which is a good 90 minutes away. Bearing in mind that Bristol was the closest to the South West that John Lewis came, it was hardly surprising that they decided to open in Devon, opening themselves up to both Devon and Cornwall shoppers!

To build on that excitement even more, John Lewis decided to offer Exeter a preview of their new store, in the form of a Pop Up Shop on the main High Street. I was invited along on opening day to meet the team behind the shop and find out what it was all about (this is where I apologise for the terrible photos in this post. My camera hasn’t surfaced after the move and so these pictures come from an elderly iPhone – #badblogger!)

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The Pop Up Shop is a new format for John Lewis and is designed to bring a taster of the range to shoppers, before the main store opens in October. The designers were given a fairly open brief for the design of the shop. The theme they went for was building a shop, so tables are built like work benches, ladders hang from the ceiling and the whole place has a trendy vibe.

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The shop doesn’t attempt to offer a typical John Lewis experience. Only a small percentage of their lines are represented (although the store is acting as a click and collect hub, meaning that you can order online up to 9pm for collection in store the following afternoon). The photo above is the haberdashery department! Lots of fun and interesting items which make a really inviting display. In fact one of those cute button boxes made its way home with me to use as a trinket box on my dressing table (John Lewis Button Box Oyster £10).

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The store is quite small, just one unit so clever uses have been devised for all spaces. Above was one of my favourite wall displays using spirit levels and bricks to display perfumes.
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And when your legs need a rest from all the shopping you’ve been doing you can head upstairs to the chill-out zone for a rest.

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I loved the range of childrenswear on display here. The dresses in particular caught my eye. I can’t wait for the main store to open so I can see the whole range!

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My second purchase came from the ‘House’ by John Lewis range and was one of these cute 1L bottles in Teal £5. It looks lovely on my windowsill in the kitchen, and will be cute filled with water on the table when we have visitors!

Now I really can’t wait for John Lewis Exeter to open next month!

Magpie Monday 9th July

We’re hoping to move to our new house in the next month or so and in preparation I’m spending as much time as I can in our new town. I love exploring and visiting the local shops and businesses to see what’s on offer on our new doorstep!

This week I was able to spend a couple of hours in town with neither a toddler or a pushchair slowing me down! So I took the opportunity to search the charity ships for bargains and this is what I found!

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There was a huge stack of cross stitch books which had just come in that morning. I loved these two which contain patterns for kids favourite characters. I’m planning on sewing a couple to frame for Pumpkin’s new bedroom wall and some other projects too! I paid £2.50 each for the books.
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Love the Mr Men characters, and these would be quite quick to sew as they are mainly one colour.

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The ‘My Book’ pattern without the wording would make a cute pic for a toddlers room. She loves the Usborne books so I think this would go down well!

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And finally, a couple of books for Pumpkin! The Funnybones book is one I remember from my childhood, and although I thought it would be too old for Pumpkin at the moment she demanded we read it to her as soon as she saw it! And the Usborne book is to add to her growing collection. The kids books were 50p each.

I’m linking up to Magpie Monday over on Me and My Shadow
Me and My Shadow

Cybher 13 – Sponsorship Opportunity

I was really disappointed that I couldn’t attend Cybher this year, as it sounded like it would be a brilliant event, and from the write ups I’ve seen since, it sounded incredible! Over 300 influential bloggers from all across the blogosphere were there, and 2013 is promising to be bigger and better!

I really want to be there, and so I’m seeking sponsorship to allow me to attend Cybher 13.

This is me…

My name is Jo and I’m mummy to Pumpkin, my beautiful 18 month old daughter. I’ve been blogging since long before my daughter was born, and here at Devon Mummy we enjoy sharing stories about the ups and downs of life, plus news, reviews and product recommendations.

What I can offer you…

  • Sidebar advertising on The Adventures of a Devon Mummy until 30 June 2013 (one month after Cybher 13)
  • A Cybher 13 Sponsor announcement post in which I will introduce you as my sponsor and talk about your business
  • 3 Guest Post opportunities before June 2013
  • Mentions, links and logo in all blog posts referring to Cybher 13
  • Retweets of relevant content from your Twitter stream to my followers
  • Your logo on my Cybher 13 business card
  • I am open to other suggestions too so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you think we could work together!

What I need from you…

The sponsorship package will cost £350 which will cover my costs in getting to Cybher 13. This is made up of my Cybher 13 ticket, train travel from Devon and accommodation.

If you are interested in discussing this further please let me know. You can email me at jo@devonmummy.co.uk or tweet me @devon_mummy

Thanks for reading!

Mammae – The Revolutionary Stylish and Discreet Breastfeeding Bra

Launching new to the UK is the stunning award-winning range of unique maternity bras from European lingerie brand Mammae. Available in 12 countries and now here in the UK, these stylish, elegant and innovative nursing bras offers mum the ultimate in discreet breastfeeding thanks to a never-seen-before patent-pending ‘eye’ opening feature.  Not just practical, the underwired and lightly padded bras are available in a variety of beautiful colours and sizes, ranging from a B – H cup.  They start from an RRP of £75.00 and are available from selected stockists.  Log on to  www.mammae.co.uk for details.

 

The two-part under-wired inner cup opens like an eye, with a lower section which is ‘powernet’ lined to give additional breast support even whilst feeding.  Mum can opt for a minimal opening to discreetly feed or widen for maximum contact with baby.

Additional benefits include:

  • No visible nipples and breastpads through the pre-formed padded outer cup.
  • Reduced sore nipples by keeping the breast in the correct feeding position.
  • Elegant shoulder straps coupled with ‘normal’ shaped cups the Mammae bra can be worn under strappy styled tops and dresses.
  • The ‘powernet’ lining offers additional support and helps keep heavier breasts in place whilst feeding (free-ing up an extra hand which is often needed to support larger breasts whilst feeding).

Mum of baby Eve, aged four months, says; “I was quite nervous about breastfeeding in public but the Mammae bra has meant that I can do it very easily and discretely. I also love that the bra is pretty and feminine, unlike many of the other unflattering ones on the market.”

 

There are two product ranges, the Mammae Classic and the Mammae Plus.  The Classic range of designs and colours includes:

  • Purple Promise
  • Black Balance
  • White Wish

The Mammae Plus comes in Taupe Treasure (only).

The Mammae bra was designed by a nursing mum and offers true innovation in maternity lingerie.   The bra gives the wearer a great bust shape and body contour as well as all round support.

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