Mum Panel Focus group


We are looking for 10 people to come to a focus group in the Reading/Basingstoke area on the 8th October @ 7.30pm for 45 minutes (venue – Warbrook House, Hook RG27 0PL).

It’s to discuss some new snack ideas.

We are looking for a variety of people – parents, grandparents (men and women) and people over 45 who don’t have children.

And if you happen to be French we’d be very interested in you coming along!

You will receive £30 high street vouchers for your time.

If you fit the bill and would be interested in taking part please fill in this quick questionnaire – we’ll be in touch if we’d like you to attend

Feel free to share this post or email to anyone you know who might be interested.


Nic at MumPanel

Review 2014: Debenhams Personal Shopping (plus a freebie! :-D)

As part of my review of Festival Place, the team very kindly arranged for me to have a personal shopping experience at Basingstoke Debenhams.

You can keep up with the latest activities at Festival Place via Facebook, Twitter and their website.

Look out for the FREE special offer that Basingstoke Debenhams are offering NHM Readers until 11th October…

Debenhams Personal Shopping

Debenhams Basingstoke


I never had a personal shopping experience before Miss NHM was born. I always wanted to but I wasn’t sure if you had to pay for them or what was involved. I WISH I had gone to one sooner!

The first time I went, Miss NHM was only 6 weeks old. We had a wedding to go to and I had absolutely nothing to wear. I was desperate to find something that would fit my post natal body.Not helped by the fact that I don’t really like clothes shopping as I’m short and didn’t relish clothes shopping with a newbie in tow!

The personal shopper lady was fantastic. A friend came with me (Hi Kate!) with her little one who was a few weeks older than Miss NHM. We were both feeding our babies and the personal shopper lady didn’t blink an eye at me breastfeeding. There was enough room for two pushchairs AND it is an air conditioned room, which did make a world of difference.

The second time I went for a personal shopping experience was just before I returned to work. I was desperate for some work clothes that fitted and gave me that little bit extra confidence that I desperately needed at that time. My requirements were something that fitted me and that I could breast feed with as I was still expressing when I first returned to work.

Both times, the whole personal shopper experiment at Debenhams was fantastic, and I wasn’t even reviewing the service then!

On Saturday morning I went along to the Basingstoke Debenhams Personal shopper service. I wasn’t expecting too much as I’ve been a couple of times before. How wrong was I!!!

I met Sam, the personal shopping lady, who was lovely and really helpful.

I was first given a tour of the store (which was so cool! I felt like royalty! Hehe). I learnt lots of things that are available in Debenhams that I had no idea of!

Debenhams Services

The following services are available at Basingstoke Debenhams

  • Wedding registry
  • Suit hire and made to measure men’s suits
  • Watch repairs
  • Free WiFi throughout the store
  • Travel Money (The rates looked very competitive)


  • Beauty club with a generous reward scheme
  • Nail and Brow bar
  • Beauty demonstrations (which are free and I’m booking up for a free 5 minute facial very soon! lol)

057They also have a large shoe section which features a lot of cobalt blue and winterberries which are strong for the next season.

They aim to cover all ranges, seasons and prices.

There are also still Holiday items available if you are lucky enough to have a late holiday abroad.

Debenhams Facilities for parents

The facilities for parents at Debenhams are excellent.

The restaurant is on the top floor and has a baby food warming area with lots of highchairs.


The also have children meals which looked healthy and reasonably priced.


I was really pleased to see they have changed the layout of the restaurant so it’s easier to navigate now with pushchairs.

The baby changing facilities are very close to the restaurant.

042I was a little disappointed to see that there wasn’t a chair in the feeding section of the baby changing room. This would be a great area if you were nervous about feeding your baby and wanted so privacy as this room is lockable.

I also learnt that they have family toilets which looked very big.



The children clothes are also next to the restaurant and they cater for all ages


On the ground floor they have a very trendy maternity range

There is also a bra fitting service and the staff are all trained to fit maternity bra’s. Apparently there is extensive training to be completed for maternity bra’s, before you can fit them.


The ladies who fit the bra’s are also trained for masectomy bra fittings.

Debenhams also has a very good shape ware section and a Fuller bust section which goes up to J cup.


My personal Shopping experience

Debenhams is the only place in Basingstoke town centre that offers the personal shopping experience.

I’ve been meaning to get some new tops for work so I was really pleased to be able to have something to specifically shop for.

Sam and I went through my requirements and whilst Sam was searching through the store, I got to relax for 10 minutes with a drink in an air conditioned room. You’ve got to snatch those moments! lol.


Sam came back with 25 different tops for me to try on, which I took my time trying on in the lovely air conditioned, very large dressing area. Did I mention that it’s air conditioned? lol.


I’d been given permission by Mr NHM that I could purchase two tops but I had whittled it down to five. At this point Sam proved to be very valuable as she talked me through which ones she would choose and why.

This is one of the perks of personal shopping. It’s Sam’s job to give you impartial advice, not say what she thinks you want to hear, which your friends or partners might say.

Also, sometimes you don’t want to go shopping with your partner or friends, especially it’s not so easy to coordinate a shopping trip with friends once you have children. (I’ve had two shopping trips with friends in the past three and a half years! Lol).

I picked out two tops in the end which I am very pleased with.


It’s free and there is absolutely no obligation to buy.

They cater for all budgets.

You can take your baby. There’s space for a pushchair in the room.

No queues for a changing room.

Air conditioned.

Lovely relaxing experience.

Personal shopping experience isn’t just for special occasions. You can use the personal shopping service for work or casual as well.

Mega week 20% from Tues to Sun

This week Debenhams are having a Mega week so it’s 20% off from now until Sunday (28th September) so my recommendation is to try to book up a personal shopper experience this week, so you can take advantage of this discount.

Special Offer

If you book a personal shopping experience with Sam before the 11th October, and quote NorthHantsMum you will receive a free goody bag. The offer will run out on 11th October 2014.

You can either call Sam on 01256 865070 or book online. Make sure you quote NorthHantsMum to get your goody bag.

Thank you very much to Festival Place for organising my personal shopping experience and to Sam at Debenhams for being so lovely and making it such a great experience!

Oh and thank you to Mr NHM for looking after Miss NHM whilst I was being pampered 😉

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Debenhams Basingstoke Personal Shopper service in conjunction with Festival Place. My experience was supplied free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

NHM Meet Up – September 2014 is today!

The NHM September Meet Up is today! It starts at 9.30am at Playdays.

This event is open to everyone whether your little ones are big or small.

Adults have free entry so please pop along if you have time even if your little ones are in pre-school or school.

Lovely Liane from Smallprint  showing her there Keepsake jewellery.

Creative Chloe from Sew the Seams will be showing her handmade items.

Happy Heidi (I couldn’t think of anything else positive with H at this time in the morning! lol) will be showing her wonderful cards from Heidi Wadsworth Independent Phoenix Trader

Razamatazal (it’s early!!) Routine Riots will also be there doing face painting and THE Ariel will be coming along for story time at 10.30am.

Don’t forget to register at the eventbrite link to gain a discount on entry to Playdays: (

You have until 8.30am before I print the list! lol

See you there!!! 😀

NHM Meet Up – September 2014

Future Dates for your Diaries!

Meet Up’s

These events are open to everyone.

The next Meet up is on Friday 19th September, from 9.30am to 12pm.

Please register at the Eventbrite link in the FB event, so that you qualify for a discount on entry.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

NHM Meet Up – September 2014

NHM Christmas Expo!!!!

Networking Meetings

These meetings are for local parents who run their own businesses.

NHM Networking Lunch – September 2014

NHM Networking Evening – September 2014

NHM Networking Lunch – October 2014

NHM Networking Evening – October 2014

NHM Networking Lunch – November 2014

NHM Networking Evening – November 2014

Please let me know if you would like more details about any of the events above, but please give me a couple of days to respond as I’m VERY busy at the moment.


Future NHM Networking Dates

Please find enclosed the dates for future NHM Networking meetings in the evening and lunchtimes.

The next lunchtime meeting is on Monday, next week!

I hope you can make it!


NHM Networking Lunch – August 2014

(Please note the new location for lunchtime Networking meetings from September onwards)

NHM Networking Lunch – September 2014 (Monday 15th September)

NHM Networking Lunch – October 2014 (Tuesday 14th October)

NHM Networking Lunch – November 2014 (Thursday 13th November)


NHM Networking Evening – September 2014 (Wednesday 17th September)

NHM Networking Lunch – October 2014 (Tuesday 21st October)

NHM Networking Evening – November 2014 (Monday 17th November)

Poll: Payable Events over the 2014 Summer Holidays

There are lots of paid events going on over the summer in North Hampshire.

These are the ones I know about:

[polldaddy poll=8160858]


If there are any that you would recommend please add a comment and I will add them in. Thanks!

Related Links

Great Dorset Steam Fair

New Forest & Hampshire County Fair

Day out with Thomas

Battle Proms at Highclere

Routine Riots Fun Day


NHM Summer Picnic – This Saturday morning! (12th July)

This Saturday morning we (me, Mr NHM and Miss NHM) will be at Basing Lime Pits from 10.30am until 1pm.

We will be having a picnic at around 12pm.

As this is not a “proper” event, this will just be a group of parents meeting up at Basing Lime Pits at the same time ;-).

This will be a chance to meet other parents and children from North Hampshire.

Please bring your picnic blanket, some picnic food and sun cream (hopefully).

Hoping that the weather will be nice!!!

If you would like to register to come along please click HERE.

I have also set up a Facebook Event HERE.

Looking forward to meeting you there!

Poll: Free Activities over the summer holidays

I recently put out a plea on NorthHants Mum on Facebook and Karen had this great suggestion.

[polldaddy poll=8160849]

Please feel free to add other suggestions, via comments, into the poll.

I’m also putting together a number of comprehensive posts for the summer holidays which I’m hoping to start publishing next week, so look out for these!

Related Posts

Review: Micheldever Wood

Review: Basing Wood

Review: Basing Lime Pits

Review: California Country Park, Finchampstead

Review: Farleigh Mount

Poll: Best North Hampshire pubs with children’s play areas

I recently put out a plea on NorthHants Mum on Facebook asking people for suggestions of which polls they would like to see.

This was one of my original suggestions and I had a lot of interest in this one, so here it is!

(I had absolutely no idea where to start with this poll, so I would really love your input for other pubs in the area that you would recommend. Thank you!)

[polldaddy poll=8160770]


Thank you to everyone who came along yesterday!

Thank you very much to everyone who came along to the NHM Meet Up yesterday.

It was a brilliant event!

I’ve had some lovely comments from people who came along, so I’m glad you all had a lovely time.

Thank you as always to the Playdays team who allowed me to use their facilities for free for the morning and a special thank you to Leah who helped us to set up first thing.

Thank you also to the lovely people who came along and represented their businesses:

photo 5

  • Tinkerbell from Routine Riots – who went down a storm! She had the cutest little helper too, who was so excited to meet her 😀

photo 2

photo 4

photo 3


photo 1

Unfortunately I didn’t get to take as many pictures as I wanted (Sorry Lynsey and Sarah!) but thank you to those parents who agreed I could use these pictures on the blog.

It was such a successful event that I’m hoping to do another one in September, however it will be on a different day as I think I’ve exhausted the “Wednesday” people!

I will probably send out a poll soon asking people to let me know the best day for them to attend a Meet Up, so keep an eye out for that.

Don’t forget the next NHM event is the Summer picnic on the 12th of July. I hope to see you there!

Thank you again to everyone who came along yesterday and for your fabulous support!

I can’t say enough how much it means to me to know that I’ve got such an awesome NHM community supporting me :-D.