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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: Grand Hotel Eastbourne Spa Day If you are looking for a last minute gift idea for someone in your family, or perhaps you're thinking of spoiling yourself with a trip to the spa in the New Year to help recover from the Christmas madness,...

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Making Christmas Easier With Asda We all want to create a magical Christmas this year for our families, and especially our children. Hopefully you have all got your presents bought - and no doubt some of your efficient enough to have them...

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Moving To A Big Boy Bed If you follow me on Twitter (@SussexMummy) you'll know that last Friday we took the sides of Little Man's cot bed. We were a little nervous about doing this in case he woke up at 2am and came running down...

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Play Patrol: Ferry Boat with Cars

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Bigjigs Play Patrol, Product Launch, Product Reviews | Posted on 15-11-2013

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You’d think after all the Green Toys that we already own I’d struggle to find anything new and exciting about other items from the range. Well, thankfully, I didn’t. Play Patrol strikes again, and once again Bigjigs has sent me over a Green Toy to review. This time, a Car Ferry.
This Car Ferry is brand new from Green Toys, and Little Man and I were lucky enough to receive it first from Bigjigs, at least once George had finished playing with it!
The Car Ferry comes with two cars – one yellow and one red – and has an extendable ramp which allows the cars access on and off the ferry. Now we all know that the Green Toys are dishwasher proof but it never occurred to me to put them in the bath. Until now. This is the ideal bath toy, and Little Man has really enjoyed testing it out at bath time. It has been sailed up and down the bath with the cars on board, they’ve been driven around the edge of the bath, and the ramp makes a rather fun water slide. The ramp is easy enough to use for Little Man to be able to do it himself, and the bottom of the boat is removable for easy cleaning and to bail out when there’s an inevitable capsizing incident!
Educationally wise this would be a great purchase if you’re about to embark on a journey on a car ferry, or if your child is learning about different modes of transport at school or nursery. I think all it really needs is a few people to stand on the deck or maybe a few faces inside the cars.
I can see more of our Green Toys ending up in the bath, especially the Rocket. Little Man has always been a big fan of bath time and its great to now be able to change around the toys he currently uses, and add some of his favourites from outside the bath.

Foodie: Hoops & Crosses from Walkers

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Foodie, Product Launch, Product Reviews | Posted on 09-05-2013

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The team at Walkers sent Little Man some new Hoops & Crosses to try out recently, as well as a rather cute Monkey which he is currently cuddling in bed! Hoops & Crosses are a new range of crisps from Walkers which are made from wholegrain and contain just 85 calories per bag. They come in 3 flavours – Roast Beef, Prawn Cocktail and Salt & Vinegar. All three are also suitable for vegetarians, which when you look at the flavours available IS a tad alarming, but hey ho.


We were sent a bag of Roast Beef to try, and we enjoyed them with our lunch the other day. Little Man devoured his share pretty swiftly, but then again he never stops eating. Thankfully I also enjoyed mine. They were really tasty and didn’t essentially taste “healthy” so the fact that Little Man would happily eat a bag is great. An alarming 27% of children don’t get ANY wholegrain in their diets, so these crisps are an excellent way to sneak some in there without them really noticing.

Whilst I don’t let Little Man eat too many crisps – despite Mummy being somewhat addicted to them herself… – I am quite happy for him to have these as a treat. They’d make a great addition to a lunchbox or picnic on a day out, or to munch on whilst he watches yet more episodes of Peppa Pig.

Walkers Hoops & Crosses are available now at supermarkets across the country.

Shop At Zulily – Daily Deals For Mums, Babies, and Kids

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Launch | Posted on 09-05-2012

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Zulily launched in the UK last month after a press event in Central London. Zulily provides heavily discounted branded items – up to 90% off retail prices – for short periods of time. Each sale event lasts 72 hours and then they are gone, making way for a new brand and new deals. A group of bloggers and national press were invited to morning tea and to preview some of the clothes, shoes, books and accessories which would be on sale via Zulily in the coming weeks and months.

 

Every day at 6am a new selection of goods are added, and over the past week there has been clothing, changing bags, maternity bras, books and furniture on offer at great prices.

We bought this last week for Little Man to give him somewhere to sit whilst colouring or playing with his Lego or puzzles:
This desk for Pkolino currently retails for £79.99 from Amazon. I got it through Zulily for just £45, and it was delivered this morning 10 days after ordering. A sturdy flat packed desk which is suitable from age 2 up to around 6 – so a great investment too.

Ordering from Zulily is simple and you pay just one postage charge per day, so if you order something in the morning then have another browse later on you will get free delivery on anything else ordered before midnight.

Joining Zulily is free, so why not head over there now and take a look at what’s on offer today by clicking here.

Product Review: Tidy Books Bookcase

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Product Launch | Posted on 23-04-2012

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Well it was only a matter of time before my book buying for my Little Man habit got out of control and we needed a better storage solution! Books have previously been piled in the lounge with his toys or in boxes upstairs but they’ve never been very tidy or easy to access for him without causing chaos. How’s this for tidy and accessible:

 

Whilst this is only a fraction of his books there is still loads of room for more on the shelves. With them being nice and deep you can put taller ones towards the back and smaller ones at the front. I love the fact that the books are facing the front so Little Man can see which one appeals and then get it out himself without scattering books across the room.

The bookcase comes flat packed and is so easy to build with the help of the included Alan key and a screwdriver – I managed to build it fully myself even with Little Man “helping” by moving the screws around. The panels on the front with the alphabet on are reversible, so you can have those parts plain and use it for other things when its been outgrown by your little one. The bookcase tilts back against the wall and attaching it is very important to avoid tipping it over – Little Man does try and reach the top shelf the best he can!

I guess the key question is does it work? Well I built it and propped it up against the lounge wall and put a few books on just to test out if the larger ones fit. It didn’t take Little Man long to do this:

That is Little Man reading his favourite “In The Night Garden” book. I can only apologise for the lack of trousers – not uncommon for him at the moment!

A brilliant piece of furniture that would look at home in any child’s bedroom or, as we have it at the moment, in the lounge.

Want to win your own?

Tidy Books Bookcases come in a variety of colours and finishes, and you can win your very own now by clicking here. Competition closes May 11th 2012.

 

 

Book Review: “Biscuit” by Miranda Gore Browne

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review, Information, Product Launch | Posted on 20-04-2012

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Sussex based Miranda Gore Browne will be instantly recognisable after making her way into the last three of the first series of “The Great British Bake Off.” Coming a fantastic third overall Miranda was mostly remembered for her exquisitely hand decorated biscuits that looked far too beautiful to eat, and for keeping Mel and Sue well fed as they repeatedly stole her ingredients before she’d even used them! Miranda has been busy doing baking demonstrations and working with Squires Kitchen, The National Trust, and West Dean College. Now she is back with her first book, the aptly entitled “Biscuit”.

 

“Biscuit” contains over 100 recipes for biscuits – who knew there were so many? – and has handy hints and tips for decorating them and presenting them as gifts. Classics make an appearance such as the Bourbon and Jammy Dodger, and there are also exciting new recipes straight from Miranda’s own kitchen. My personal favourites include “Fruity Little Teds” which are destined to be a big hit with Little Man, “Jam Roly Poly Biscuits” which look just like slices of the sponge based dessert we all know and love, and “Pesto & Pine Nut Pieces” which are mouthwatering and delicious – and this comes from someone who hates pesto!

On Wednesday of this week I attended a demonstration which Miranda was doing in the epic Waterstones on Piccadilly.  Watching her in action as she whipped up with ease a large batch of “Double Chocolate Chunk Biscuits” and a batch of “Pesto & Pine Nut Pieces” was hugely inspiring and needless to say had the entire room salivating as the smells wafted from the oven. As plates were passed around I nervously tried the pesto based biscuit and was instantly won over – it was delicious. I have since been out to the shops this morning to buy some ingredients and hopefully I’ll get a batch baked this weekend. I will also be doing the “Fruity Little Teds” for Little Man. Top tips were also dished out and I think everyone went away planning a trip out to buy a small ice cream scoop for creating perfectly identical biscuits, and I imagine they all have at least one log of biscuit dough stashed in their freezer already. I know I will do soon!

For me “Biscuit” is a must have book for all parents and all biscuit fans. There are recipes for all occasions and some even claim to be vaguely healthy! You can buy “Biscuit” now from all good booksellers – and I highly recommend that you do! You can also find Miranda on Twitter @MirandaBakes.

John Lewis Opens First Store In Sussex

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Product Launch | Posted on 04-04-2012

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Retail giant John Lewis is opening its first ever store in Sussex on Thursday with a “John Lewis At Home” store on the Portfield Way Retail Park, just outside Chichester. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview on Tuesday and take a tour around the new store with branch manager Claire.


Boasting 40,000 square feet of selling space over two floors this new store has a wide range of products you’d commonly find within their bigger shops. There is a large selection of home décor and furnishing, as well as an extensive kitchen and lighting section.

Downstairs you will find the Click & Collect Service which makes shopping even easier – you just order the item and collect it from store the next day, and the only selection of Olympic Merchandising outside of a London branch. Perfect if you want to grab yourself a piece of memorabilia for this summers event without having to fight your way into the capital.

Jubilee fever has also struck with a number of Union Jack emblazoned products throughout the store from cushions to deck chairs and food gifts – I can highly recommend the Emma Bridgewater Biscuit Barrel!

Upstairs you will find a comprehensive electrical and gadgetry department which includes the brand new iPad and a number of TV’s – ideal distraction for the men! You will also find a small but well stocked baby section to pick up a few nursery essentials for your little ones, including cots, toys and a bedding.

The familiar John Lewis cafe is also upstairs where they’ll be selling a range of drinks, snacks and light lunches, as well as children’s lunch boxes. A supply of high chairs is ready and waiting! Customer toilets can also be found nearby along with spacious baby changing facilities, and a feeding room – something which is rare even on the high street!

One of my favourite “trends” on offer in John Lewis At Home is the ‘Playnation’ range. Here is the foyer of the new store, decked out in the range.


Can you believe that colourful book display is actually wallpaper? I love it and definitely want some for our home office!!

The ‘Playnation’ range is beautifully bright and encompasses a huge selection of products from table ware to garden items, home decor to office organisation. The mix of wood and colour looks brilliant and I can imagine several pieces finding a place in my home soon. Here are a few of my personal favourites:

This Tiffin Box would be great on family picnics this summer with four handy compartments for your lunch time favourites.

Office storage needn’t be dull with this brightly coloured unit featuring six large deep drawers.

Every cook and baker needs a good set of measuring spoons and I love this set of four – colourful additions to any kitchen.


Summer trips to the beach or just sitting in the garden will be stylish and comfortable for your little ones in this traditional deck chair.

John Lewis At Home opens on Thursday April 5th and with the extended Easter weekend it’s sure to be a busy one – I suggest you start queuing now!!

Brit Mums Live: Introducing My Sponsor…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Blogger Event, Brit Mums Live, Information, Product Launch | Posted on 15-03-2012

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It is with great excitement and much enthusiasm that I can officially announce my Brit Mums Live 2012 sponsor is… InspirationWorks!!!

How many people just said “Who?”

Whilst you might not have heard of InspirationWorks specifically, if you have children there is a reasonably high chance that you own a product which they have played a major part in.  Launched in 2005 InspirationWorks develop and distribute licensed electronic learning products in the UK. They have a huge range of laptops and phonics learning toys aimed at children from 12 months and upwards. Their licensed products feature popular characters including Peppa Pig, Bob The Builder, Waybuloo, Ben & Holly and the newest star of CBeebies Mike The Knight.

2012 will see InspirationWorks become more known as a brand as they release the Kurio – an Android tablet for children and families. The Kurio is a multimedia and entertainment device for children which has the benefit of full parental control and internet content filtering making the Kurio is THE safest tablet around to let your children use. You can even set timers for how long they play on it. What they are really going to love is the ability to personalise their own interface with their favourite licensed character. What you will love is that you don’t have to have Peppa Pig on your interface! Profiles are available so that it can be used by the children for fun and games, but can also be used by parents as a work device. Skins and cases will also be available for both children and adults for even more personalisation. Being Android it also means you can download any App you want from the same Android Market you’d find on your SmartPhone or other tablet.

The Kurio will be available to buy in July 2012 and comes in three sizes:

  • 7 Inch 800 x 480 capacitive multi-touch screen priced at £149.99 – Available from July
  • 9.7 Inch 1024 x 600 capacitive multi-touch screen priced at £199.99 – Available from Autumn
I’m sure you’ll agree that for something of this quality those are not-to-be-missed prices.
If you want a sneaky preview of the Kurio you’d better come and find me at Brit Mums because I will have a pre-release 7 Inch Kurio with me! The Kurio has advanced multimedia capabilities with a USB key and a SD card portal – it also comes with HDMI connection so can be used as a mobile HD video player.  A dedicated car mount system will be available to purchase to mount this in cars as a mobile DVD player – perfect for the children on car journeys. The Kurio has 4GB integrated memory, extendable up to 36GB using the micro SD card slot. The Kurio 7 Inch comes with a front and rear side camera so you little one can take photos of the world around them, or portraits of themselves!
I will be using it throughout the event for taking notes during the breakout sessions and tweeting, but I will also be demonstrating it to anyone who wants a look. The Kurio is guaranteed to be on your child’s Wish-List this summer so this is the ideal chance to get a first hand look at exactly what it can do. Bearing in mind that the Gadget Show Live named Kurio “Best of Show Gadget” at Toy Fair 2012 there is no doubting that this tablet is going to be huge.
I am so excited to be going to Brit Mums Live and so proud to be representing such a great company, and such a fantastic product. If you have any questions about InspirationWorks or the Kurio specifically don’t hesitate to tweet or email me and I’ll do my best to help!

Product Launch: Philadelphia… with chocolate!

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Launch, Product Reviews | Posted on 02-02-2012

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Yes you did read that right – chocolate.

On Monday this week Kraft announced their new flavour of Philadelphia at an event in Central London and invited some bloggers along to try it out. I think I can confidently say we were all a little surprised when we found out it was chocolate – general consensus beforehand was another savoury option – so it was with some trepidation we stepped forward to try it out.

Delicious!! Seriously!! I mean who is going to dislike anything with Cadbury chocolate in it? Certainly not me! It maintained the light cool consistency of Original Philadelphia but tasted decadently of Cadbury. A win, win situation in my book! I find other leading chocolate spreads quite thick to eat, but this was much nicer. And if you want to feel even better about the idea of Cadbury flavoured Philadelphia: it is a mere 86 calories per serving and has less than half the fat and less sugar than other leading chocolate spreads.

As well as tasting delicious and being (almost) good for you, Philadelphia with Cadbury is hugely versatile. Spread it on toast, a bage, a croissant or a biscuit. Smoother your pancakes in it this Shrove Tuesday. Make Chocolate Cheesecakes out of it. Use it to ice cupcakes or as a filling in sponge cakes. Dip fruit in it. Eat it straight from the tub with a spoon… just me? Oh.

Philadelphia with Cadbury is available now from most good supermarkets. It is being launched this week so will hopefully make it to a store near you soon. It is available in standard 160g tub size as well as 4x30g mini-tubs.