SE Blog Circle – Bloggers Event

Blogger event

Dear Mummy, last week you visited Pizza Express in Festival Place for the South East Blog Circle Meet-Up. It was an event organised by the lovely Jenny at Ramblings for a Jaffa Cat who also looks after the local bloggers … Continue reading

In the deep dark woods…


In the deep dark woods… Dear Mummy it’s funny how some places just get better and better with age. The Vyne in Basingstoke is one of them. It’s a large National Trust estate. We’ve been many times before and each … Continue reading

Spooktacular events in Hampshire 2015

Festival Place Halloween

We’ve just heard of some special ‘spooky’ events coming up in Hampshire and wanted to share them with you. We’re massive fans of Halloween so love participating in pumpkin carving, apple bobbing and dressing up. These are the places we will … Continue reading

Back to School Top Picks

Paperchase horses AW15

Dear mummy, I may be only small and still at nursery but we’re still interested in all the back to school ranges which pop up in September, especially all the new stationery which is available in shops.   Here’s our … Continue reading

Summer at LUSH

The Sunblock from Lush

Dear Mummy, you had a wonderful evening at the LUSH Store in Basingstoke recently. Having been invited down to a bloggers event to see some fab summer products. If you haven’t heard of Lush (where have you been?!?) it is … Continue reading

Festival Place Style Council

Find your summer look at Festival Place’s Style Council!

Dear mummy, are you stuck in a style rut?! Wearing the same black clothes and jeans? Well, help is at hand!


Festival Place Shopping Centre in Basingstoke, Hampshire are kicking off their summer festivities with an event called the Style Council. It’s a two-day event taking place on Saturday 20th June from 10am until 4pm and Sunday 21st June from 11am until 4pm, showcasing the shopping centre’s fashion and beauty retailers and providing customers with valuable advice on what to wear this season.

If you are anything like my mummy you won’t have a clue how to dress for this weather without feeling like a frump! You see she sticks to maxi-dresses to hide her bottle milk legs and baggy t-shirts to hide her mummy tummy. That’s her comfort zone, so breaking out of this would help her!

Top stylist, Melissa Murrell, will be headlining the event and is an expert in determining and dressing different bodyshapes. Hopefully she can help my mummy get out of this style rut. During the event she will be hosting masterclasses at regular intervals which will help shoppers understand how to dress for their bodyshape and for any occasion.

Shoppers will also learn how to put together a capsule wardrobe with just 20 items of clothing – handy advice for your summer holiday and bulging wardrobes!

There will also be personal beauty advice and tips from Festival Place’s retailers to help their customers feel and look great!

The event will be held in Porchester Square with two separate styling zones for beauty and fashion advice. We’re thinking it will be a bit like Gok Wan’s telly show!

For a style consultation customers can book in advance on the Festival Place website or simply turn up on the day.

Summer Festival
To keep up to date with details of other upcoming events at Festival Place visit or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

That’s not all! The very generous Festival Place are also giving you the opportunity to share your photos of the Summer Festival on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram tagging Festival Place and using #fpsummer for your chance to win fantastic prizes!

Sounds awesome! So what you waiting for? If you’re in Hampshire this weekend or over the summer, pop down to Festival Place and join in the fun! It so much more than a shopping centre…

Love Bella x

Brilliant blog posts on

The quirky side of Basingstoke

Kitschen Cafe Basingstoke

Our weekend in photos. Vintage clothes, Vintage Cafe and Vintage cars….. Dear mummy, what a chilled out weekend we had! We stayed local and explored our home town of Basingstoke. It’s a town in North Hampshire, England. Just like any town and … Continue reading

Festival Place Bloggers Meet-up

Festival Place Bloggers meet-up

Festival Place Blogger BagMy mummy doesn’t usually have the opportunity to treat herself so imagine her delight when she was invited to a bloggers networking event at Festival Place Shopping Center!

Her ‘Mummy time’ mostly consists of a 20 minute bath with a cold cup of tea! So a full 2 hours of hobnobbing with other bloggers, gaining style tips from Melissa Murrell and being treated to a manicure from Shear Beauty was utter bliss!

The new networking event was organised by Festival Place as a way to engage with local bloggers and showcase stores and services within their shopping center. They did a fantastic job and drew in a range of diverse bloggers from around Hampshire.

Blogger 1As soon as my mummy walked into Giraffe restaurant, where the networking event was being held, she recognised one of her local blogging friends NorthHantsMum (NHM) however there were a lot of new faces too. Canapes and drinks lined the tables along with goodie bags for the attendees.

Beauty and fashion bloggers were eagerly chatting to one another, commenting on the clothes rail that was set up at the end of the hospitality room.

A stylist and personal shopper called Melissa Murrell was presenting her business and giving us some style tips on how to dress for our body shapes. Move over Gok Wan, you may be the local boy (Winchester) but you’ve got some serious competition in the shape of this blonde bombshell 😉

Blogger 2Melissa was great putting the non-fashion bloggers (AKA my mummy) at ease by explaining that ‘it isn’t all about the numbers’ while presenting her with a tape measure to record the 3 points on her shoulders, tummy and hips to determine her body shape.

This is quite daunting as my mummy’s shape has changed quite dramatically since having me two years ago and she’s uncomfortable about the way she looks now. However Melissa put her mind at ease and could easily relate after have two children of her own. The majority of her clients are in fact mummy’s who have lost their style mojo.

Earlier my mummy had picked up 2 illustrated cards off Melissa Murrell’s demonstration table. A pear drawing and rectangle drawing of her possible body shape…and she wasn’t far off! After calculating her proportions she was a very healthy pear shape.

Melissa then ran through how to dress for her shape.

Here’s a quick run through of the tips and tricks she picked up. But we don’t want to give everything away. Visit Melissa Murrell’s website and see for yourself.

Blogger 3Style tips and tricks.

It’s all about ‘broadening’ (not adding pounds but changing your shape by optical illusion).

Balance is key.

Try and emulate an hourglass figure.

Straight up and down is easy to dress but make it a bit more interesting by adding detail either at the shoulders if you are pear, or shoulders and hips if you are boyish.

A lot of the fashion and beauty bloggers were a dab hand at this, but the mummy bloggers in the crowd (my mummy) didn’t have a clue, so found her little style talk invaluable! We’ll be checking out her website for more style tips! A very educational and enjoyable hour.

Festival Place have always been good with their shopper and community engagement. They explained during the night that more events are being held this year to give shoppers a unique experience when they visit in 2015.

On April 3rd – 4th (Easter Weekend) Eat Street is back which is a weekend event allowing shoppers to taste from local stores and stall food, immerse themselves in cookery demonstrations and enjoy the easter weekend with treats from Hotel Chocolate, perfect for when my mummy finishes Lent and can start eating chocolate again! There will be entertainment featuring top celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli too. Woweee mummy! Sounds good.

It’s nice that the stores within Festival Place shopping centre get onboard with the seasonal activities and offer competitions and discounts to shoppers during the events the shopping centre hosts.

Blogger 5While the Festival Place team were talking, my mummy noticed that two beauty technicians had turned up to offer us complementary nail manicure from Shear Beauty. Woweee, now you really are being spoilt mummy. This epitomizes the way that Festival Place treat their customers and my mummy felt very pampered. This is a lovely feeling when you are rushed off your feet at work all day and being a mummy to a mad toddler.

My mummy had a great couple of hours and it was one of the friendliest blogger meet ups she’s had so far. Well done Festival Place.

From your local ‘shopping family’

Bella and her mummy x

Blogger-4P.s No serious blogging event would be complete without the goodie bags. And they were amazing! BlogFest and BritMums take note! 😉 We can’t wait to explore the products and showcase the beauty products in the next couple of weeks 🙂


Shear Beauty Blogger BagBrilliant blog posts on


#Lockyourlove this Valentines Day

“Love is in the air, everytime you look around”

Dear mummy, I think that’s how the song goes?!? This week at Festival Place Basingstoke they are holding a very special event called #lockyourlove just in time for Valentine’s Day.

#Lockyourlove Festival PlaceHave you ever been abroad and seen padlocks on railings from tourists leaving their initials marked onto them? This is the idea behind #lockyourlove to leave your mark on a place and someone…

Festival Place is a huge shopping centre in Hampshire and they are offering shoppers the chance to ‘lock their love’ on a special heart sculpture in Porchester Square this Valentine’s Day.

Robin Jones at The Digital South.

Copyright Robin Jones at The Digital South.

This creative idea launched last week and is running until Valentine’s Day on 14th February, shoppers will be given the opportunity to personalise a padlock with a tribute to their loved one and attach it to the Festival Place heart.

Giant heart at Festval PlaceBy taking a picture of their padlock and sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the #lockyourlove hashtag shoppers will also have the chance to win super duper prizes from Festival Place retailers including Nando’s, Giraffe, Wagamama, Build-A-Bear, Thorntons and The Perfume Shop. Sounds good right? Festival Place are really sharing the love!

Shoppers are also encouraged to share the love by donating to Festival Place’s chosen local charity, the Ark Cancer Centre, when they receive their padlock in centre.

Robin Jones at The Digital South.

Copyright Robin Jones at The Digital South.

The heart sculpture is a living art installation which is growing and changing everyday, the more people add their padlocks to it the more it comes to life. It was created by local artists Helen Dyne and Louise Hight, who met recently through All Our Own Crafts, a pop-up shop in Festival Place promoting local crafters. We popped in there before Christmas and wrote a post about this fantastic shop. We love how Festival Place is encouraging arts in the community and supporting charities.

Want to find out more about #lockyourlove campaign at Festival Place? Then visit or find them on Facebook and Twitter. But be quick it’s only on until Saturday 14th.

Lots of #lockyourlove

Bella x