All Change

Well it’s been forever since I last blogged here. I’ve had real writers block caused in the main by the fact that we had lots going on but I couldn’t make it public yet. My blog is no longer a place where I can write anonymously – real life friends and family read here and I would hate for them to discover something here that I hadn’t told them in real life.

So what’s been happening? Well 1st things 1st, 2013 was a terrible year for us personally. We suffered miscarriage after miscarriage and by the end of the year I was focused on coming to terms with the fact that a second child may not be a reality for us. I think I’m close to accepting that now. We aren’t giving up, and will likely have a couple more tries this year, but it’s important for my sanity that I don’t put too much pressure on this. If one child is what we are meant to have, we are blessed to have her already.

But the bigger news is something else entirely. Husband has been working away from home more and more over the last year and finally we have decided enough is enough. We have decided to move across the country to be closer to his work so he doesn’t need to stay away so much. We will be moving from Devon to Derbyshire and couldn’t be more excited! It’s a big move but the right time for us as we should be settled before we need to apply for a school place for L for Sep 2015.

We made the final decision over Christmas, then put our house on the market a couple of weeks ago. And yesterday we accepted an offer on it. Our buyers would like to move in April so that gives us just a few months left here. We spent the weekend in Derbyshire looking at houses, and yesterday had our offer accepted on a lovely house near a good school.

Everything is happening very quickly now, I just hope it all goes smoothly!

Only problem is now I need to think of a new blog name! Hmm any ideas?

John Lewis Comes To Exeter

There has been a big build up in Exeter for some time now about the arrival of John Lewis in the city. And since the opening of the Pop Up shop last month, the excitement has been incredible!

Well its nearly here! Tomorrow is the big day when the first John Lewis in the South-West will open. I was lucky enough to be invited along with Rachel for a sneaky look around before opening. The store is striking from the outside, and the John Lewis branding is visible across the city centre. You certainly won’t be able to miss the store!

When we visited, the store was full of busy John Lewis Partners working away to get the store ready. Some parts looked ready for customers, others were a little further away but we were assured everything will be perfect for Friday morning!

This is a different type of store for John Lewis, its much smaller than their standard Department Stores and is a trial for them. If it is a success, being able to house a John Lewis in a smaller store would allow them to open up a huge wish list of cities that they could open in.

To keep a full range in a smaller store needed some creative thinking, and 75% of the fixtures and fittings in the Exeter store are new styles for John Lewis. New design ideas are being trialled here including open industrial ceilings and wallpaper accents on the walls. All in all this give a very different feel to this John Lewis.

As their are less products stocked in this smaller store, there is a big emphasis on Click and Collect. If you order online by 7pm you can collect from 2pm the following day. Around the store are a number of browse points where you can see and buy from the full range of John Lewis products.  I was pleased to see a lot of homeware including some furniture, and a fabulous children’s department. There is a nursery section too complete with trained advisors to help you pick the right products.

The clothing floors seemed almost ready, with a great assortment of brands most of which are not available elsewhere in Exeter. Both menswear and ladieswear looked great. I was really pleased to see that there was a spacious feel to the store, and plenty of room for buggies and wheelchairs around all the products.

The top floor houses the restaurant, which will serve a range of hot and cold food, drinks and snacks. Also up here are the toilets including Baby Change, Parent and Toddler toilet and a Parents Room for anyone wanting some privacy to feed. The weather was terrible on the day we visited, but on a clear day, the view of the cathedral and the city would be  stunning! I think we may be regular visitors to the top floor!

John Lewis Exeter opens on Friday 12th October 2012. Opening hours are 9amn-7pm (9pm on Thursday) and 10.30am -5pm on Sundays. If you are thinking of visiting on or near opening day, think about taking the Park and Ride. There are expected to be a lot of excited shoppers descending on Exeter!

Win a Day Out at Pennywell Farm with Britains

This competition is now closed and the winner has been notified
I’ve got a really exciting competition to share with you today in association with Britains and Pennywell Farm. Britains has teamed up with Pennywell Farm to offer 1 lucky family a free ticket to the farm plus a fantastic crop of Britains Farm Toys!

Experience the fun of farming at Pennywell Farm. This multi award winning farm has lots to offer to both children and adults. There’s a lot to see and do; along with the traditional farm animals, there are displays, activities as well as a play area. Why not take a trip on the Tractor Ride around the farm or ride the new Red Rocket? Or perhaps you might want to trot along to a pony ride? There’s lots to do whatever your age and whatever the weather at Pennywell – and it’s Devon’s Friendliest Day Out!

Pennywell Farm offers a great day out for all of the family, but the farming fun doesn’t end there! Each winner will also receive a selection of Britains Farm Toys worth over £50. The Large Livestock Building (£24.99) comes complete with Yorkshire boarded sides and added height for extra machine manoeuvrability – very useful come feed time in the barn! The Massey Ferguson 6480 Tractor with Front Loader (£21.99) is a great addition to any farm, and the front loader is just the job when it comes to moving hay bales around. Winners will also receive a set of Friesian Cows and the all-important essential feeding Troughs (£4.49) and Big Square Bales (£4.49). It’s the perfect package for young farm hands to get their Britains Farm collection started and put into practice what they’ve learned on their day out at the farm park.

Britains Farm Toys are suitable for ages 3+ and will be available now in all good toy stores. Visit www.tomy.co.uk for further information.

For more information on Pennywell Farm visit www.pennywellfarm.co.uk or call 01364 642023.

How to Enter: To enter just leave a comment telling me your favourite farm animal! The competition will close at midnight on Monday 3rd September.

Terms & Conditions

  • Only one entry per person. Multiple, automated or bulk entries will be disqualified.
  • The winner will be contacted by email and must reply with name and address within 48 hours or the prize will be re-drawn.
  • Winners details will be passed onto the PR company who will be responsible for issuing the prize.
  • The winner will be selected at random from all valid comments received by midnight on Monday 3rd September.
  • Tickets are valid until 4th November 2012.
  • A family ticket includes two adults and two children.
  • Prizes will be delivered within 28 days.
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