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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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Review: Original Toe Stretchers

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in New Year New You, Pregnancy, Product Reviews | Posted on 14-01-2014

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I know lots of you have started 2014 with a resolution to get fit. There’s been lots of people jogging on my Twitter feed, going to fitness classes and generally working out. Working out is not something I do. Ever. And now I’m pregnant again, it’s not the time to start. But with all the exercising that you’re doing, how many of you are exercising your toes? No, I’m not crazy. Did you know that exercising your feet can help improve posture, restore that natural spring in your step, and also correct and help a host of problems like sciatica, varicose veins and bunions? I hurt my back several years ago and it got that little bit worse when I was pregnant with Little Man. Back pain happened much sooner in this pregnancy so I’ve been on the hunt for something to help ease it as medication is pretty much a no no. Bump bands are helping support my growing tummy and easing the pressure on my back but when I was recently offered a set of “Toe Stretchers” with the promise it would help I thought I’d give them a go.

Toe Stretchers Sussex Mummy
I tweeted a photo of these when they arrived and received several “What on EARTH are those…?” replies. Once you see them in use though they make a lot more sense. The easiest way to put them on is in the bath. Getting them wet makes them stretch over your toes, and after the initial – and perfectly normal – feeling of stretching, they sit in place. As you can see I tested them out in the bath and was surprised how pleasantly comfortable they felt.

Toe Stretchers In Bath Pedi Sussex Mummy

There was no discomfort at all, and the initial stretch was a brief sensation but in no way painful. Now of course you can wear them out of the bath, when you’re sat in front of the TV in the evenings or when you’re at your desk at work. For me though they are a great addition to my relaxing in the bath, and I have noticed an improvement in my back pain.

These Toe Stretchers come in one size which fit from a size 4 right up to a large size 12. They are currently available from JD Harris for £14.95 a pair and come with a lifetime money back guarantee which is pretty awesome.

Christmas 2013: Breville Blend Active

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Christmas Gift Guide, Foodie, New Year New You, Product Reviews | Posted on 04-12-2013

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Christmas is a time for indulgence. I’m sure we’re all guilty of overdoing things a little during the festive period with too much food or drink. Huge Christmas lunches, boxes of chocolates and biscuits, and just one more slice of cake. January dawns and everyone starts panicking about how much weight they’ve put on, as well as how much they’ve spent. If you or a loved one is planning on embarking on a new diet and fitness regime come 2014 then a Blend Active by Breville may well be the best present you get this Christmas.
“Not another blender/smoothie maker!!” I hear you cry. Well this one is a little bit different. This compact blender comes with two 600ml drinks bottles which you use to mix your drink in, and then take out with you to the gym or on the school run or for a healthy drink later in the day thanks to the none spill lids. The one-touch blending system is super easy to use, and the blades and bottles are all dishwasher friendly. The Eastman Tritan Copolyester bottles are also durable, shatterproof, and odour, taste and stain resistant.
Now I don’t do exercise – apart from running around after a three year old all day – and my school run is particularly lame as I take the car because my stamina is pathetic due to me being pregnant, so I gave this nifty little blender to my Dad to review – also known as Pops. He works four days a week for a taxi company in Chichester and generally tends to leave for work at 4am – don’t ask me how he does it, I have no idea! Leaving that early means his meals are generally at random times and he tends to grab things on the go. Not the healthiest way to live. He’s a fan of smoothies but has never had the facilities to take them with him. He is the PERFECT guinea pig for this little review then.
I must confess I expected the novelty of this to wear off pretty quickly, but I can report that Pops has been using this machine daily – even when he’s at home –  since I took it over several weeks ago. He’s having a huge range of fruit smoothies with yogurt in and fruit juice, and the machine is so easy to use.
He is a huge fan. The convenience of the pieces being dishwasher proof is a huge plus point as he can make his smoothie at 4am before he leaves and pop the blades in the dishwasher. Having two bottles is brilliant as there is always one in use and one getting washed.
Its the ideal healthy drink for someone who spends the day in a car driving, and its much more cost effective than stopping and buying food and drinks when you’re out on the road.  You can currently get this Blend Active for just £20.00 on Amazon which is great value for this nifty bit of equipment.

I was sent a Breville Blend Active to review by Amazon.

New Year, New You: Maxitone Pack

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, New Year New You | Posted on 15-01-2013

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I’m sure I’m not the only person who is thinking more about healthy eating and exercise this new year. It happens every January. We all think about the mountains of cakes, chocolate and other treats we’ve devoured over the festive period and proclaim that this year will be different, and that we’re going to eat better and exercise more. And I’m sure I’m not the only person who fails completely at this every January. This year however I’m on a slightly different mission, thanks to the team at Maxitone.

This January I’m not looking to lose weight. I’ve always been a slim size 10 and generally have never weighed enough according to medical charts and BMI calculators. Even when I was pregnant I didn’t put much extra weight on at all, and must confess to being out of my maternity jeans and back in to my regular ones within a couple of weeks, or at least until the appendicitis hit and I was back into my elasticated waist jeans again whilst I recovered. Two years on and I’m still have a slim width figure, but like all Mums I no longer have anything approaching a flat stomach. There is that little lump that is the sign of motherhood as much as grey hairs and bags under your eyes. Glamorous isn’t it?

So I’m on a mission to get toned. I’m clearly never going to have perfectly flat stomach as I just don’t have the motivation, or the desire, to do hundreds of sit ups every day. What I do have the motivation to do however is follow the Maxitone Definity Toning program. Armed with a tub of Definity Strawberry Shake and a box of Definity Crisp Bars I have the right drink and snack to have following exercise. My exercise will come courtesy of The Firm’s range – a Power Ball Kit and a Cardio-To-Go set. Thankfully I also have a rather nice pampering set from Sanctuary Spa to use when relaxing is called for.

I don’t plan on doing a blow-by-blow account of my toning mission, but I will let you all know how things are going and how good, or not, the products I’m using are.

Maxitone are also running a competition to be the face of the brand this year. Sign up online and share your “Thank You Protein” moment – maybe getting your body confidence back thanks to your Mum’s help, running 5K with your best friend, or losing weight for you wedding – for a chance of winning a years supply of products, a years gym membership, a private training session with Charlotte Ord, and seeing your face on Maxitone advertisements this year. Go to http://www.maxitone.com/thankyou to sign up!

Disclaimer: I was sent all items mentioned above by the Best British Bloggers team to use. All opinions given will be entirely honest and in no way affected by the Best British Bloggers team.

New Year, New You: Job Seeking Advice

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, New Year New You | Posted on 09-01-2013

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Looking for a new job, especially after an absence from the workplace, can be a challenging task. The feeling of ‘going it alone’ can make finding employment stressful, with job searches, CVs and interview preparation to consider. As anyone who has been job seeking for a substantial amount of time is aware, all these areas demand time and dedication to master. However, there are numerous resources you can take advantage of in order to make your job search easier.

Parents who have been working hard looking after their children, but who have reached a point where they are able to carry out paid work again, can also find the jobs market a bewildering place to be, mainly because it is likely to have changed substantially since they last worked. But as with all job seekers, resources and assistance is available.

Local job centres often have special schemes set up specifically to help parents back into work, sometimes run in conjunction with other organisations. These groups cover important aspects of job seeking such as finding vacancies, filling in forms and writing CVs. Job centre schemes such as these will also provide advice and information on educational courses that can be taken, some of which may be provided free of charge. If there has been a long absence from the workplace, then new skills may be required. The way businesses operate changes all the time, so it is natural that job seekers may need to brush up on certain skills. Doing so can make a jobseeker much more attractive to a potential employer.

New types of job

If a job seeker has spent a lot of time way from the jobs market, they may not be aware of new job types that have developed. Many of these will have occurred within the Information Technology sector. And overall, there are a great many vacancies related to IT. But while these jobs are often placed under the umbrella of ‘IT’, they are often very diverse, ranging from administration roles, to computer programming and website maintenance positions. Some of these might require specialist courses to be taken, while others may offer on-the-job training, so long as certain computer skills already exist.

Fortunately, there are many specialist employment agencies that can assist in finding these kinds of jobs – right across the UK. Whether you are looking for IT recruitment in Sussex or in Southampton, you will find these dedicated agencies in all parts of the country. By signing up to one of them, you may have a better chance of finding out about new IT jobs than someone who searches using only newspapers and the Internet. This is because of the relationships such recruitment firms have built up with employers, which gives them fore-knowledge about new roles. In addition, they will be well placed to give advice on how to approach targeted CV writing, and interviews – if one is offered. And finally, they can take the pressure off job seekers, since they find jobs for a living.

Fitness: Aching Muscles & Weight Control

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, New Year, New Year New You, Product Reviews | Posted on 04-01-2013

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Still feeling full from all the eating, drinking and being merry that’s been going on? You and me both. But as the New Year dawns – and I truly hope you all have an amazing one – its the time of year when people tend to hit the gym and start exercising more. You may have put some weight on over Christmas that you want to shift, or you might have just had your final blow out before a healthy eating regime begins. You might simply just want to stay fit and maintain your current weight. Here’s some exercise ideas for you, as well as some products you might need to help you on your way.

We all know the importance of exercise, but a lot of us struggle to find the time to do it. We are intimidating by the prospect of joining a gym so ideally doing some in the safety of our own home is best. Persil & Comfort have teamed up to provide two exercise routines which you might want to consider, one for those of you who may be pregnant, and one for those who may have just had a baby and want to get back to working out. Both routines include movements that would benefit anyone, pregnant or not, so why not take a look and consider including a few into your daily workout. You can view the Antenatal and Post Natal routines online, and then print them out for future reference. I tried out a few of the Post Natal routines in the comfort and privacy of my own home using the resistance band which Persil & Comfort sent me over. It takes just a few minutes of your day and its ideal for when your little one is asleep. As well as helping with your fitness and weight it gives you an energised feeling too, which is vital when there’s a baby in the house!

With any exercise there is always the danger of injury. Working out in a suitable space with the right footwear and equipment is vital, but sometimes accidents do happen. Its probably a good idea to have some pain relief on hand in case. Deep Heat and Deep Freeze use temperature to help soothe injuries. I’m a fan of Deep Heat as I think the warming sensation it creates gives a feeling of comfort to an injury, but the benefits of cold compresses are well known too. Deep Relief combines ibuprofen with Levomenthol. Its a clear gel that provides non-sticky and non-greasy pain relief with a mild scent of menthol. Whilst I’m personally not a huge fan of the smell of menthol I did find Deep Relief providing fast pain relief without the use of temperature changes, so this is ideal for people who aren’t a fan of Deep Heat or Deep Freeze. All three gels are available from your local pharmacy without prescription.

So you’ve started a new exercise regime and started eating better. You want to know if your hard work is paying off, and you want to keep track of your progress. Its time to invest in a good set of scales so you can monitor you weight. These new scales from Brabantia are not only accurate but their also a sleek design and a bit of a fun gadget too. They are Solar Powered. You don’t have a window in your bathroom? Fear not. Neither do I. These scales have taken up residence in our ensuite in an attempt to prevent Little Man from playing on them, and that bathroom has no window. This is not a problem though, as these scales come with Dual Solar Cells which means they gain their charge from natural and artificial light sources. So as well as charging up from day light, they are also charged from the light from your bathroom light bulbs – perfect for bathrooms without windows. They are comfy to stand on, non slip, and have an integrated handle so you can move them around easily. These are brilliant scales which will not only help you watch and monitor your weight, but will also reduce your impact of the environment. Fantastic.

I hope this has inspired you to get out there and start exercising this new year, and may I take this opportunity to wish you all an AMAZING 2013.

New Year, New You: Picking The Perfect Eyewear

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Information, New Year New You | Posted on 01-01-2013

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Glasses can make a huge impact on your image.

It’s no coincidence that when costume designers want to add intelligent gravitas to a character in movies they always equip them with a thick set of frames. Similarly, the amount of specs-wearing action heroes found in Hollywood blockbusters can be counted on the fingers of one fist.

With the amount of time we spend staring at a screen every day increasing rapidly for many of us the need for corrective eyewear is growing alongside it. Picking the perfect pair of glasses for you, or even deciding not to become bespectacled, is a big choice that will quite literally stay with you for months, or even years, to come.

So before you head to the opticians use the tips in this post to get an idea of the perfect frames for you.


Buying frames because they’re fashionable is a risky business; by definition fashion is a fickle thing and you can quickly find yourself falling from the top to the bottom of the style spectrum. Think of all those big, brightly-coloured glasses frames which were incredibly popular in the 1980s and yet today wouldn’t be seen outside of a circus.

The current trend is for thicker frames, resembling the old NHS prescription style, to the point where some ‘hipsters’ wear them even without lenses in. However, this could all change in the blink of an eye, so it’s much better to pick eyewear that you’re comfortable with and which you think suits you personally.

Similarly, it is good to pick a frame colour that works with several outfits; classic black or chrome frames will match with nearly every look. If you want to go for a bolder colour be particularly mindful of how it works with your hair tone, as this is something that will likely remain constant.

Face Shape

Your face shape is an important consideration when picking a style of glasses to suit you. What looks great on one person may have a completely different effect on another. Opticians split people into four basic face shape groups:


An angular hard jaw and high square forehead can be offset with rounded frames that soften the angular shape of the face.


Longer faces with high cheekbones and foreheads can use a thicker, wider frame to round out their face shape. A solid upper part to the frame is particularly effective.


If you have an oval face you can consider yourself particularly fortunate when it comes to eyewear – as nearly every glasses style will suit you. Why not take the opportunity to be a bit experimental until you find a pair that you really love?


Shorter than an oval face, rounded face shapes benefit from angular frames which draw attention to your eyes and give your face height.

Ask the Experts

Whatever style you’re looking for you nobody will be able to help you more than a qualified optician. You can even get advice online with glasses guides to help you pick the perfect frames.

Remember that in the end the only person who has to like your glasses is you, as you’ll be spending a lot of time with them. So be sure before you buy.

Picture by Evil Erin