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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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#Guest Post: Get Dad Something He Actually Wants

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 13-06-2017

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Father’s Day in our house is usually a bit of a last minute affair. A handmade card from the kids (probably some sort of painty handprint affair), maybe a Toblerone and some novelty socks if he’s lucky.

But this year I’m on the ball. I’ve had a search round the Internet for some unique Father’s day gift ideas that he’ll actually want and enjoy using. If you’re stuck for a good Father’s day present too, here’s my shortlist so far:

1. Leather wallet

A good wallet is always a safe option when it comes to buying presents for guys. These leather wallets from Colville Leather make a particularly special gift. They’re handmade to order in their Devon workshop, which means that each one is unique. You can also get 10% off any wallets, belts or accessories at the moment by using offer code FATHER2017.

2. Phone mount for the car or bike

If you want to go for practicality over sentimentality, a car phone mount or a bike mount is a great idea. He’ll be able to use his phone to navigate safely on the go and they have the extra benefit of being really affordable. It’s not something I’d go wild about myself, but I know a few men who’d be pretty chuffed with a gadget like this.

3. Posh pen

At the top end budget, this brass fountain pen would be a bit of a treat for Father’s Day. It’s practically indestructible and pretty compact, so perfect for slipping into a back pocket. Or head over to Etsy and personalise a pen with your own message – this one comes in its own wooden presentation box.

4. Charging station

Got a gadget lover on your hands? A charging station that can hold his various devices is the perfect gift. It looks much better than trailing cords and chargers all over the place and keeps his gadgets all in one place.

5. Pocket Speaker

A pocket speaker is the ideal gift for music lovers. I’m a real fan of this mini wood style nut speaker which would also double-up as a key ring.

6. Bonsai tree

OK, maybe not the most practical gift, but a bonsai kit is a unique and quirky present that green-fingered guys would love. I stole this idea from my friend’s wish list – its all he wants for Father’s Day!

7. Home brew kit

This is an original gift idea for adults to buy their Dad on Father’s Day. Get a fancy starter kit gift set online, or head over to Wilko to pick-up all the bits you need.

8. Personalised keyring

If all else fails, print a photo of your kids on a keyring and add a personalised message. Everyone can use a keyring! Notonthehighstreet have some really nice wooden designs.

Whether you’re looking for presents for your own Dad, or helping your kids find something special for Father’s Day, I hope some of these ideas have inspired you. If not, there’s always that trusty Toblerone to fall back on!

Great Looking Skin On Little Sleep

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 16-01-2015

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The constant struggle for someone who is busy and on-the-go is how to keep your skin looking flawless even when you aren’t getting the proper amount of sleep. These tips will help your skin stay perfect even when you’re yawning all day.

1. Moisturize

Dry, flaky skin is never the way to go, and boosting your skin’s moisture content will help you look awake and perky too. Use a moisturizing cream that will let you achieve a delicate and clear skin. You can also use effective skin products that prevent break-outs. If you have particularly dry spots on your face, try using oil in that area.

2. Eat well

The only thing worse than not sleeping enough, is not eating well. Focus on nutrition and healthy fats to keep your skin looking great. Leafy greens like spinach and kale, berries, and fiber-rich foods are great nutrition that will make your skin look firm and clear. Healthy fats like avocado and nuts will brighten up your complexion. Eating healthy is important especially if you aren’t getting enough hours of sleep.

3. Use the right products

Treat your skin kindly and it will look great. In addition to moisturizing, make sure you use a gentle cleanser to get the day’s grit and grime off your face. Ensure that you take off all makeup before heading to sleep with a liquid cleanser or a makeup removing wipe. When blemishes arise, swiftly treat them with a product to reduce redness and swelling. Additionally, try a night cream to maximize your moisturizing during the overnight hours.

4. Morning improvements

If you wake up after a few hours of sleep looking a bit haggard, perk up with a product that has tea ingredients or peppermint oil. Keep a spoon in the freezer and press it to your under eye area when you wake up in the morning to reduce puffiness and dark circles.

Keep these tips in mind during those busy, sleepless times and you’ll keep your skin looking fresh and bright, even when you haven’t gotten the amount of sleep you really need.

Guest Post: Introducing A New Partner To Your Family

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 03-10-2014

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Finding the right partner is tricky enough in this day and age but when you are committed to your faith it can be difficult to find someone who shares your beliefs. When you are lucky enough to find someone, whether that is through a shared interest, volunteering or a Christian singles dating site, choosing the right moment to introduce that special someone to your family can sometimes be stressful. Read on for help on deciding when to take the plunge.

Leader of the pack

You might want to introduce your partner to your family as soon as possible. Within many family units there is very often one person who has the ultimate say on everything and everyone.

If this sounds familiar, pick a time when you can introduce your partner to this one specific person on an individual basis. Take them out to lunch and make them feel special by actively letting them be the first family member that you introduce your partner to. If your partner only needs to pass this one person’s test to be accepted into the family make sure that you give them the best opportunity to do so.

Family celebrations

Birthdays and Christmas get-togethers can be a great time to introduce your partner to a large number of your family all in one go. Spirits will be high and a large gathering can be a relaxed way to meet those who are important to you. The chance to mingle without the spotlight being on your partner limits the opportunities for a never-ending supply of quick fire personal questions which can obviously make someone feel uncomfortable. Your partner will get a good sense of your family life in such a social situation.

Shared values

Dating someone who shares your faith means that they will already have something in common with your family. Introducing your partner to your relatives at an occasion based around your faith is a great way to make them feel at ease. A family wedding, a christening or church event for example, can offer a great opportunity to start things off on a level playing field.

Guest Post: Keeping The Children Entertained

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 18-09-2014

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Entertaining the kids is a tough task at the best of times but during the school holidays it becomes even more difficult, week after week of having the children with you can be a rewarding experience, but can also leave you tearing your hair out at times in frustration! With that in mind below are a few ideas on how to keep them engaged and happy without having to re-mortgage the house to do it, all ready for half term:

Rainy days

We should know better than to expect days of endless sunshine throughout the summer months & with September well and truly underway it’s good to have a few back-up ideas for when the outdoors is a no-go. Pop down to your local stores or online to check out new dvd releases to keep them entertained chances are you’re more likely to keep them engaged if it’s something they haven’t seen before. Alternatively dust of some old board games if you want to keep them away from the television, they are a great way to get the whole family together.

Let your imagination run free

Create a tent with bedsheets, close the curtains and have your own personal indoor disco, create a treasure hunt around the house or simply sit down for some quality time play time. These are just a few ideas you can use to pass the time. Getting involved creatively through Lego, play-dough or finger-paints is the best way to unleash their (and your own!) inner artiste.

Head to the Park or local playgroup

On the days where the British weather permits, getting out into the fresh air is a great way to let them expand some energy and blow off steam. Swimming classes are a good option for those wanting to get a head start with toddlers or sports teams for slightly older children will offer you some free time for yourself and also enhance their physical and mental wellbeing.

Whatever you chose during the next school break, with a little forward planning and a pinch of patience, the holidays will soon become your most valued time of the month – What are you favourite activities? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Image used under creative comms licence: Credit Don Graham


Guest Post: Female Hair Loss

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Guest Post | Posted on 28-05-2014

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Hair loss in women is extremely common and can affect most women at some point in their lives.

Shuna Hammocks, a consultant Trichologist at Sussex Trichology explains that genetic thinning in women is pattern thinning affecting the top of the head, which can cause a lot of distress and the patient to feel very self-conscious about their hair. Patients feel that it is difficult to style the hair and that it has a real impact on the quality of their life.

Androgen Dependant Alopecia causes female hair loss and can affect women from any age, from puberty up to the menopause. At Sussex Trichology this is the most common condition that Shuna treats. It is a condition that causes the top area of the head and the crown to thin and make the scalp more transparent. It comes about when the circulating androgens topically on the top of the head cause the hairs to appear finer than the sides and the rear of the scalp. It is quite progressive and really quite slow. This condition can be treated very well at Sussex Trichology.

Other women consult us with hair shedding, perhaps following child birth, a nutritional deficiency, a medicine side effect or stress related hair loss and many more.

Telogen effluvium, thyroid hair loss, post-partum hair loss, scarring hair loss and even where people pull out their own hair (Trichotillomania) are all conditions that we regularly diagnose and treat at Sussex Trichology.

Female hair loss can have a devastating effect. Women often question “Why is my hair falling out?” and it is at this point that they should seek advice from a good Trichologist such as Shuna Hammocks at Sussex Trichology. Shuna understands how important hair is to women.


www.sussextrichology.co.uk info@sussextrichology.co.uk





Guest Post: 5 Things Every Mummy Should Own, But Are a Tad Expensive

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Preparing For Baby | Posted on 11-04-2014

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Once a mother, life changes completely. You now have a new, helpless, little soul dependent on you for just about everything. Time for yourself is a luxury. As your child grows you begin to wonder if life gets easier as it goes along. Truth is, things will get better, but just as you ease out of one phase of childhood, you will enter another one.

With every growing phase of your child, you will find yourself buying things that you feel is just right for them. This may be purchases for their wardrobe, their play, their physical and mental growth and much more. But have you ever stopped to think, that you are entitled to a few nice purchases yourself? As a mother, you tend to lose track of yourself and your needs. Here is a list of some things that you must own, even if they are a little out of your budget.

1. A fashionable wardrobe: Nobody steps out for a day of shopping and comes back with a whole new wardrobe in a single day. Working out those few fashion staples that may be mixed and matched to create the perfect look will take some time and searching. Rather than go with regular denim, invest in a pair of dark, stretchable jeans that flatters your body and your looks.

2. Quality skincare: Invest in a quality make-up brand to create a fresh look when you step out for that PTA meeting. It will do a world of good for your personality and your self-esteem. Buy a high-end bag one day, and invest in a chic pair of shoes. Work slowly on your wardrobe, and you will find yourself stepping out with more confidence.

3. A membership at a spa: So you have your hectic life going full steam ahead– children, work, home, husband and all the demands that go with it, so you never catch a break. Invest in a membership at a spa and make sure to never let anything come in the way of that appointment. Opt for the works each time– from a full body massage to manicures and pedicures, body wraps and scrubs and a hair spa. Such treatments serve as great pick-me-ups, giving you the energy and motivation you need to carry on with your lifestyle without a break for a longer period to come.

4. Regular trips out with the girls: Every mother has her trustworthy circle of friends whom she turns to when she needs them. Save enough each year to go on a short break with the girls, where you have nothing else to worry about other than choosing a hotel and travel package. Such rejuvenation is always welcome.

5. Diamonds: No matter how much we deny it, a diamond can always get our spirits up. Invest in a solitaire – be it a ring or a pendant or both. This is something that you may use to instantly spruce up a drab outfit. It is also a piece of jewellery that immediately boosts your self-esteem and the way you look. On those really tough days, diamonds can really help soothe those nerves. Of course, a diamond is not something you can just buy on a whim. You’re either going to have to save up for a few months, possibly even longer, or get some financing, in which case you may be interested in what cbonline has to offer.

Being a mother is not easy, and it is important that we learn to take time out for ourselves as well.

Guest Post: Hair & Scalp Advise from Sussex Trichology

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 01-04-2014

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Shuna Hammocks is a working Mum of 2 kids, as a Consultant Trichologist who qualified with The Institute of trichologists and gained 14 years’ experience working in the world renowned Philip Kingsley clinic in London. She opened Sussex Trichology in 2011 and following recent expansion would like to spread the word “Trichology”.

The subject of women’s hair and scalp concerns is an emotive one, but my profession of Trichology is my absolute passion! I will discuss in detail various conditions that I diagnose and treat at Sussex Trichology (http://www.sussextrichology.co.uk/ ) with the aid of my assistant; we successfully treat most hair loss, scalp problems and out of condition hair.

I find the most upsetting part of losing one’s hair is fear of the unknown and of feeling “out of control” with the changes that can seem to deteriorate overnight.

Having worked for a large company and wanting to follow an ambition of owning my own practice nearer to home- Sussex Trichology opened its doors in 2011. I wanted to ensure the very high standard of ethical practise I provided in London was available to the people of Sussex (without the commute)!

sussex trichology sussex mummy

Case history example-

“Hi, I’ve been experiencing hair thinning on and off for the past 12 years and recently the problem has become much worse, therefore i would like to book a consultation appointment. look forward to hearing to from you.”

This is a typical enquiry, it’s a specific thinning condition as the photograph below shows- this patient is unlikely to shed hair but notice a gradual reduction in the density of the hair in one area called Androgen Dependant Alopecia ( female pattern thinning). In women the hairs are not lost permanently, but become finer hairs therefore I am able to both arrest this genetically inherited condition and improve the density. My honesty and holistic approach are applied to each case, so every individual leaves with a clear understanding of their condition and how to treat.

My Facebook page may be of interest also https://www.facebook.com/SussexTrichology

While the majority of my patients are women who attend for themselves (often with a friend for moral support), I see many Mothers and Daughters attending together, in fact my assistant is the daughter of a patient of mine who was so impressed with my plight to “put back into the community” that she applied for the position of Trichotherapist. It is lovely to see families who support each other with conditions which can totally demoralise you and impact massively on the quality of your life and self-esteem!

I regularly see women with post-partum hair loss, hormonal issues following breast feeding and deficiencies which can cause the hair to shed- as a mother myself, I know it is difficult to juggle the many balls of life we need to, but your health and well-being are as important as your child’s.

Thank you for reading, please email me to find out more info@sussextrichology.co.uk or call 01444 448 082.




Guest Post: Romantic Crafts For Valentines Day

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 30-01-2014

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Valentine’s Day is a couple of weeks off so here are some ideas for romantic crafts you can do yourself for your loved one. A home-made gift can make a greater impression that a shop-bought one, so why not get creative and show your special someone how much you care?


Okay, so this may seem very obvious and a bit dull, but you would be surprised at the effect a personalised card can make on your loved one. Homecrafts.co.uk has lots of choice when it comes to materials and can also give you some inspiration if you’re stumped for ideas. A hand-written poem inside a card adds a personal touch and you can even pick something witty or funny if sappy sentiments aren’t your thing. If you’re feeling really ambitious you can make your own card from scratch and add a photo, child’s drawing or even mementoes of your first date, such as movie stubs or pressed flowers.

Photo frames/albums

Giving someone a photograph as a present is special enough, but if you really want to go for gold, you can try making a personalised photo frame or album to match. Using your loved one’s favourite colours, shapes or decor styles, you can create a wonderful gift that shows that you put both thought and effort into their present. If you can, try to match the frame to the picture to really bring home the personalised touch. If it is a snap of you and your beau on a sunny beach, why not decorate your frame with seashells, sand and blue glass beads?


Most of us have specific memories when it comes to our loved ones, whether it is a first date, anniversary, favourite song or a funny story, and you can use this knowledge to make them a really special gift. Gather your treasured mementoes and place them in a frame to create a stunning collage that charts your relationship, or decorate a keepsake box for your loved one to keep their special memories inside. This is a gift that truly embodies the saying ‘it’s the thought that counts’ so make yours count with a memorable gift.

Food and drink

Food and drink are not only essential parts of our daily lives, they are also sumptuous, decedent, stimulating and relaxing. Cooking together and eating together is a pleasure many couples share so get in on the fun! Create a personalised picnic hamper containing all of your loved one’s favourite treats – it doesn’t matter where you choose to enjoy them as long as you do it together. And if they also enjoy cooking food as much as they do eating it, why not try cooking something new and exotic together instead of ordering your usual takeaway?

Office romance

While your special someone is away all day at their office while you work at yours, treat them to a gift that they can look at all day long when they are missing you most. An office desk gift is sweet and simple and is a lovely, subtle way to say ‘I love you’. A small picture frame, a hand-made pencil pot or a personalised photo calendar are all practical and romantic gifts that should make your loved one’s desk a better place to be stuck at all day.

This article was written by freelance writer and mother of three, Kathryn Thompson.  Follow her on Twitter: @katht35

Guest Post: Introducing Elegance To Your Bathroom

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Home & Lifestyle | Posted on 23-01-2014

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There are a myriad of different bathroom interior design ideas that are popular right now but one of the most coveted, is the elegant bathroom. Bringing elegance into a room can be as simple as adding a few choice accessories, or as complex as fitting an entire new bathroom suite; whether you choose to renovate entirely or simply use your style nous and throw in some candles and chic lighting, let bella bathrooms guide you through the process and help you create an elegant, timeless bathroom that all the family will enjoy.

The foundation of the room is crucial to the rest of the look. Whether opting for tiling, wallpaper or paint on the walls and whether choosing stone or vinyl for the floor, it is important to get the foundation of the room just right before attempting to fill it with elegant furniture. Natural stone tiles look fantastic and exude an aura of elegance that other wall and floor coverings often cannot achieve, though porcelain tiles and some wallpaper can also create a beautifully timeless look. The key is not to be too garish or too overtly modern; glossy paints can be banished and vinyl, whilst a great option for budget bathrooms, does not tend to convey elegance too well.

Elegance can be achieved simply through a well-planned colour scheme. Soft neutrals spread through the bathroom can create an atmosphere of supreme glamour and laid-back elegance; bold colours tend to disturb the tranquillity of an elegant bathroom, so pastels and neutral shades of beige are necessary to creating the right backdrop for the rest of the room.

If you are renovating the entire room to make it more elegant than it already is, there are a myriad of classic bathroom suites on the market that will transform the room entirely. From free-standing bath tubs with the traditional claw-footed supports, to basin and toilet sets that combine gentle curves with functionality and conventional design, elegance is easily achievable in the bathroom. Bathroom furniture is also important. Opt for a traditional washstand or a vanity unit and watch as the elegance levels begin to rise in the room.

For those who have no plans to entirely renovate their bathroom, elegance can be added with just a few choice accessories. Opt for an ornate bathroom mirror rather than a modern one with hard edges. Introduce elegant paintings or canvas artwork to the walls and choose a lighting fixture that is both functional and stylish; a chandelier, for instance. Add candles and other decorative pieces such as reed diffusers to surfaces like windowsills and counters (this will also have the advantage of making the room smell wonderful – choose jasmine and ylang-ylang for a truly relaxing scent) and if you really want to go the whole way, decant your shampoo, conditioner and other toiletry liquids into vintage bathroom bottles for a wholly elegant look that everyone will admire. Attention to detail is important for this look; ensure there is no chipped paint, no tatty bath mats and no mildew or water streaks on the shower enclosure. The whole look should be put together, immaculate and easy on the eye.

This article was written by freelance writer and mother of three, Kathryn Thompson.  Follow her on Twitter: @katht35

Guest Post: Learning The Risks Of Driving

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Information | Posted on 16-01-2014

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When embarking on learning to drive you need to learn to be confident, while being aware of the dangers. This time of year it is even more important as the harsh weather sets in. A recent interview conducted by Gary Lineker for ingenie shows just how devastating a car accident can be.

Gary interviewed Sophie Morgan who was paralysed at 18 years old, having only passed her test just six months before. She now campaigns to raise awareness in young people as they begin their journey in to becoming a fully-fledged driver. Watch her tell her detailed and harrowing account of how this accident changed her life forever…

Once you get behind the wheel, you put lives in your hands. Driving is dangerous. Fact! Be aware of yourself, your surroundings, including those around you, and those around other road users, and most of all, stay safe.