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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: Paw Patrol DVD Release

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 27-07-2015

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As he gets older Little Man is much more selective about what he’ll watch on TV, something I’m hugely thankful for. There was once a time where he would sit down in front of anything and everything, but nowadays he has some clear favourites when it comes to shows on TV. One of those is definitely Nick Jr’s Paw Patrol. It’s a show he loves to watch and act out, and more often than not sing a long with. And thankfully it’s one I am happy to watch with him.

Today marks the release of a brand new Paw Patrol DVD and there was much excitement when we were sent a pre-release copy.

Join Ryder and his pup pals on their heroic adventures in eight brand new episodes, when family favourite PAW PATROL: MARSHALL AND CHASE ON THE CASE scampers onto DVD from 27th July. 

This action-packed preschool adventure series from Nickelodeon and loved by parents and children alike returns as the perfect summer holiday watch. Starring six brave pups – Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Zuma, Rubble, and Skye, this time they undertake a new batch of educational escapades led by a tech-savvy 10-year-old boy named Ryder.

Having burst onto our screens for the first time last year, teaching that there is no adventure too big and no pup too small, the Paw Patrol delighted children and their parents, and this summer their amazing activities are back again. From fighting fire and rescuing monkeys to aiding baby owls, the Paw Patrol is always on guard in Adventure Bay. Marshall, a clumsy firefighting pup, is all action, but combined with Chase – the leading police pup – they make the perfect duo to tackle any problem – as long as it does not involve cats or feathers, because Chase is horribly allergic!

No matter how big the task, the fun-loving friends will always have smile on their faces. But have they finally met an obstacle they cannot overcome? When Ryder goes on a hike along Big View Trail he gets into trouble – will he be able to rally the troops in time?

These are eight brand new episodes featuring all our favourite characters and they are perfect viewing for some quiet time during the holidays, or rainy days like we seem to be largely forecast this week. Little Man loved watching these for the first time and when he needs a bit of a rest from all the rushing around, this is the ideal DVD to pop on for a bit of peace for us all.

Paw Patrol: Marshall & Chase On The Case is out NOW!

#Review: Oxo Tot Feeding Range

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 17-07-2015

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Followers of my blog and my Twitter will know that Little Dude is something of a keen independent self feeder. Purees were pretty much rejected from day one of the weaning process, and generally the only foods he will accept via a spoon are rice puddings and Weetabix. Every other meal and snack has to be self fed using his hands, which as I’m sure you can imagine causes something of a mess.

Lunches tend to be pretty standard meals involving a selection from cheese, crackers, sandwiches, cocktail sausages, cooked chicken, toddler crisps, grapes, and things like that. Evening meals are generally things he can pick up himself, so pasta is quite frequently served, but there is also fish fingers, pizza, sausages, and so on. When we eat foods that need cutlery like cottage pie for example we are usually successful in spoon feeding, but sometimes there’s a lot of arm waving and batting away of the spoon to contend with.

At 14 months old he is hugely keen to copy his older brother in all things. At meal times he sits opposite Little Man and watches him intently, and we are hoping that this will encourage him to realise the benefits of using cutlery as opposed to just his fingers. To aid with this as well, we were sent a feeding set from Oxo Tot so he has his own set of cutlery to get to grips with.

The set consists of a fork and spoon set which features large easy to grip handles and are ideally sized to scoop food onto and fit in little mouths. There is a plate with high sides – part of which can be removed once children get to grips with it – and curved edges that make picking up the food easier. There is also a bowl with a lid that is nice and deep to avoid spillages.

My favourite feature of the plate and bowl is the weight of them. They aren’t heavy by any means but they are much heavier than other toddler plates we have which do tend to get dropped frequently. These set from Oxo Tot sit comfortably and firmly on the table and so far haven’t been moved. The bowl is used daily for snack time and Little Dude is able to sit on the floor and hold the bowl whilst he helps himself to whatever is inside. Because of the weighted base there’s no tipping it over and he seems really comfortable holding it.

OxoTot-Self-Feeding-SussexMummyThe cutlery is being held, and he is excellent and spoon feeding himself air. Actual food? Not so much but the ideal is there so I’m sure it’ll only be a matter of time before he gets to grips with them. For now I’m eternally relieved that we have a large mat underneath his highchair.

Oxo Tot also sent us a matching divided plate. I don’t know what it is with young children but separated food seems to be very important to them. In a similar fashion to the feeding set the plate has high sides, again with a removable top section. The plate itself is divided into four sections – a large one which is suggested for vegetables, two smaller sections for proteins and carbs, and then a small pot in the middle for dip. The underside of the plate features images of what they recommend you place in each section to ensure a balanced meal but by no means should you feel this is anything more than suggestion.

6113700UK_1_(1)This divided plate is our go to plate for lunch each day. Yesterday for example it contained cheese spread sandwiches, fish crackers, chopped cooked sausages, and a few halved grapes. Little Dude loves sitting in his highchair with this plate in front of him, picking out what he wants to eat. He’s very independent and this plate allows him ultimate control over what he’s eating.

I really like the items from Oxo Tot and at the minute they are the only things we use with Little Dude. I’m sure he’ll get the hang of the cutlery soon, but for now he’s content holding it with one hand at meal times whilst merrily feeding himself with the other. The bowl is instantly recognised as his snack bowl nowadays, and I can see this being used out and about this summer thanks to the handy lid. All the items we received are great quality and do precisely what they are designed to do. Meal times aren’t essentially less messy at the moment – he thinks dropping things on the floor is the best game EVER – but he’s certainly on his way to somewhat cleaner meal times!

Feeding Time

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 03-06-2015

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I’d never really appreciated the comment “No two children are the same” quite so clearly as I have since Little Dude was born. He turned one a couple of weeks ago – mind blowing – and he is so different to his older brother in so many ways. He took eleven and a half months to start sleeping through the night consistently – his brother did it in four. He will only sleep on a mattress on the floor – his brother loved his cot. He is into EVERYTHING – we barely baby proofed with his brother. And he insists on feeding himself – Little Man was blissfully and cleanly spoon fed.

Meal times are just chaos. He has an incredible appetite and he will try and eat pretty much everything. Everything needs to be cut into bite-size pieces and put on a mat on the table so he can help himself. An awful lot goes in, and rather a lot goes on the floor. At the end of an average meal the area around his highchair and this mat are like a battleground. Tonight we’ve had pasta bolognese and needless to say everywhere – including his gorgeous face – is a rather amusing shade of orange.

Clean up is a mission, and its essential for me to clean his mat and anywhere on his highchair that he might drop food and then pick it up again to eat with something safe. After every meal I wipe down his chair and his mat with a cleaning wipe – these things are brilliant and perfect for quick yet efficient cleaning. Once a week – or sooner if things get a bit apocalyptic – I get out the big guns and grab a heavy duty trigger spray and blitz the area. Like I said though, I want to use something powerful and something safe, so my weapon of choice is the Power & Pure range from Dettol.

Dettol is a brand name all parents know and trust. We’ve used their wipes in our kitchen and bathrooms for years. The Power & Pure range is ideal for the eating area though as it provides impressive cleaning ability without leaving behind any chemical nastiness that you wouldn’t want your little one digesting.

I also use their No Touch Hand Wash system at my kitchen sink. The kitchen is, obviously, where I prepare all the family meals and the endless supply of snacks for my two permanently hungry boys. For the protection of my children I need to make sure my hands are squeaky clean and free from any nasty bacteria so washing my hands before preparing food with this nifty device is essential. The sensor ensures it dispenses just the right amount to thoroughly wash your hands and I love the fact it doesn’t drip like manual dispensers tend to.

Dettol-SussexMummy

How do you deal with meal time messes? Most days I generally consider letting him eat outside…

#Review: Swashbuckle Magazine

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Launch, Product Reviews | Posted on 13-05-2015

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Whilst CBeebies isn’t watched all that much in our house at the moment – Little Man seems to have progressed to Harry Potter and Star Wars way too fast, and Little Dude is at In The Night Garden level – one show we do all like to watch is Swashbuckle. When I heard that a companion magazine was being released I was very excited, so it was an honour to receive a pre-release copy to review.

Swashbuckle-SussexMummyThe magazine is released today and follows the same generic format you’ll recognise from any other CBeebies show magazine. There’s the free gift, an array of stickers, and loads of puzzles, games and tasks for the children to complete. It follows the format of the show itself, so you’ll find lots to recognise if you’re an avid watcher. You are on a quest throughout the magazine to win back Gem’s jewels, and they replicate what you’ve watched on the show as well as they can. The magazine is bright, colourful and appealing, and Little Man instantly recognised it and in fact began marching around the playroom doing his very best Swashbuckle cheer.

Issue 1 features a selection of free gifts, including your very own set of Gem’s jewels, a pirate hat, and a spinner, perfect for deciding who gets to walk the plank and jump into the ships mess. There are loads of stickers, needed for both completing the tasks and to mark a page as finished. There’s a poster to go on your wall with the famous Swashbuckle song on, and lots of fun and also educational activities.

At £2.75 an issue its a fairly standard price for a magazine of this format so I’d be more than happy to pay for it for the entertainment value it provided for Little Man. He was a big fan of the stickers and hiding the jewels around the playroom. He also enjoyed using the Blippar app on certain parts of the magazine to unlock extra fun content. For the grown-ups you can follow the magazine on Twitter @SwashbuckleMag and get involved in competitions and chat.

A great accompanying magazine for the show and one that’s certain to appeal to any fan. You’ll find Swashbuckle down at all good retailers from today.

#Review: Riverford Recipe Box

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Foodie, Product Reviews | Posted on 13-04-2015

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Riverford are well known for their vegetable box delivery service – we’ve had a few of them ourselves in our time – but they have recently started doing “Recipe Boxes” as well. Each box contains all the ingredients – save for the salt and pepper – that you need to create three meals for two or four people. You get all the vegetables, the meat where appropriate, the herbs, and anything else, all measured out and individually wrapped. There’s a choice of three box options – Original, Quick, and Vegetarian – and all promise tasty seasonal meals. We were sent the Quick box to try – the one I thought would be most appropriate for us. Three meals all ready in around 30 to 40 minutes with virtually no preparation apart from chopping a few vegetables. Sounded ideal to me.

The box we received contained the ingredients to make Baked Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Herb Ricotta, Lamb Steaks with Saute Potatoes, and Pork & Apple Sausages with Braised Vegetables. All sounded delicious to me and the box itself looked brilliant when it came. The packaging and organisation that went in to it was first class.

RiverfordRecipeBox_SussexMummy

There was a complete list of what you’d received in case anything had gone missing or you were unsure as to what something was, and details were included as to where to store things. All the meat and anything that needed to be chilled – in this case butter and some cheese – were stored in a reusable cool bag which, along with the box, can be returned to your driver upon his next delivery. Everything which arrived was in first class condition and looked as if it had been packed mere moments ago.

Conveniently for us this box arrived a few days before our seventh wedding anniversary. We had planned a takeaway to celebrate, but instead took the opportunity to make one of the meals. We have in fact made all three meals, but the one we had for our anniversary was the one I actually remembered to photograph – I will never make a very good food blogger… – and as luck would have it, our overall favourite.

Here are all the ingredients needed to make the Sausages with Braised Vegetables.

RiverfordRecipeBox_Ingredients_SussexMummy

As you can see everything comes fully weighed out for you, including the pots of butter and caraway seeds, and you even get sent a stock cube. I’m sure you’re all thinking those carrots look far too clean to come from a vegetable box but yes, I did wash them before taking their photograph. Everything looks beautifully fresh and is indeed seasonal.

Along with the ingredients are simple to follow recipe cards. There’s notes and information on the recipe, a list of equipment and utensils you may need – nothing too fancy, serving number and preparation times, and then step by step instructions. This recipe was completed with just eight steps, and to be fair they were incredibly simple and nothing more strenuous than occasionally stirring a pan. After about half an hour we served up the meal.

RiverfordRecipeBox_Sausages_SussexMummy

Super easy to make, much healthier than the planned takeout, and, most importantly, delicious. Everything was beautifully cooked and seasoned, I used items which typically I would never have picked up in my weekly food shop, and it was, as described, quick.

Now these boxes start at £33 and that gets you three meals for two people. If you want to feed a family of four it goes up to £58. Its not a cheap way to eat, but as an occasional treat or even as a quirky gift for someone, I think its ideal. Its clearly not something that I’m going to be buying every week, but its something I would certainly consider once in a while, particularly for special occasions when we’d perhaps typically go out for a meal. The quality is incredibly high and the attention to detail is such that it makes your cooking experience easy, which is precisely what you’re looking for when buying a box like this. A definite success.

You can find more details on the Recipe Boxes as well as all the other box delivery options available via the Riverford website.

Water and Sensory Play with Munchkin

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 09-01-2015

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Long before Christmas we were sent a big box of Munchkin’s bath toys to play with. We are practically drowning in bath toys so I set about finding different things to do with them as well as adding them to the already bustling bath where there’s barely any room for the boys any more.

Water play was an obvious but popular choice with regards to Little Man. Being able to splash about in water with his new toys outside of bath time was lots of fun. Stood in his Little Helper at the kitchen sink or using a giant mixing bowl laid on a waterproof mat in the playroom and he was entertained for ages. Little Dude on the other hand much preferred playing with the bath toys on dry land, mainly with his mum not being keen on having him loitering around open bowls of water! Little Dude is all about the sensory play experience, and some of the Munchkin bath toys provided him with ample opportunity for this.

Here are our favourites from the box.

This Bath Shape Sorter is the ideal toy for out of the bath play and Little Dude was happy to oblige. It claims to be suitable from 18 months plus but it doesn’t strike me as particularly dangerous to me. Admittedly Little Dude can’t get the pieces in the right holes – by choice anyway – but he does love bashing the pieces about and having a bit of a chew on them. Little Man thinks this is great fun mainly because to him it looks like our tortoise Oscar!

These Float & Play Balls have never made it near water, instead spending most of their life being shaken, rolled and cuddled by Little Dude. He’s a big fan of sensory balls and these are a brilliant version which can be used in and out of the bath. They are a great size for his little hands to grab and he loves watching the spinner fly around or the penguin bounce about.

We put the Swimming Bath Bugs in Little Man’s Christmas stocking and they’ve been enjoyed by both the boys at bath time. A quick pull on the tail – something which Little Man can do himself which is essential for bath toys – and the wings spin around and the bug swim all round the bath. They dart around for a great length of time in a kamikaze fashion which Little Dude tries to catch them.

MunchkinBathToys

Pour and Strain Whales are ideal for water play, and I can see them getting used in the garden in the summer for outdoor water play. Pouring water from whale to whale, or just watching the water fall through the holes is great fun for Little Man, and when he’s doing it in the playroom Little Dude loves to sit and watch giving mummy five minutes to make a cup of tea. Bring on the summer.

A surprise hit were the Cupcake Bath Squirters. Little Man likes to make as much watery mess as he can in the bath but he’s yet to discover the squirting ability of these cakes. Instead these play a crucial role in his provision of tea and cake in the bath. Apparently its the best place to play with these cakes and his tea set. Who knew eh?

 

 

A New Year… A New Changing Bag

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 07-01-2015

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I am SUCH a changing bag addict. That and clothes from Fat Face, but that’s another story.

Before Christmas the very lovely team at BabyDino sent me a SkipHop bag to review. Now my knowledge of SkipHop pretty much consists of their cute toddler backpacks so being introduced to their changing bag range was very exciting for me. They aren’t the typical changing bags I go for to be honest as I typically choose those that look more like handbags than obviously changing bags, but after doing a bit of online research I was happy to make the exception.

I received the SkipHop Duo changing bag which features an impressive 11 pockets so storage is never a problem. It also comes with a changing mat for when you’re out and about, and special clips to help you attach it securely to your pushchair. There is also a padded shoulder strap to make carrying it nice and comfy.

SkipHopDuo

Despite the 11 pockets – and yes, I did count them – I didn’t find this bag as spacious as I would have liked. Things ended up in pockets all over the bag and when it was full the outer pockets did seem to impede on the large central one. The zip pockets on the top were most helpful as they were handy to access. I found these best for putting my purse, phone and keys in, and items like dummies and teething gel for Little Dude. I was hopeful that with it having so many pockets I’d be able to fit all Little Dude’s bits in, add my essentials too and then have a pocket free for Little Man’s few items – sonic screwdrivers predominantly – but I did keep filling every available space before that became an option.

The included changing mat was a very good size and designed to fit neatly within the bag which was good. It was also very comfy to carry and fit on my pushchair well with the main strap. I am yet to successfully attach the bag with the special clips, but I think that’s more user error than anything else! I tend to just sling the bag over the pushchair handle and get on my way rather than fiddle with the clips.

This is a great changing bag which I tend to use when I’m out with just Little Dude and when Little Man is at preschool. Its ideally sized for just one baby, and despite my issues with its size I do manage to fit in his changing essentials and milk and food for him. Design wise I think it clearly looks like a changing bag so wouldn’t be usable after he doesn’t need it any more like a lot of my existing bags are, BUT it is a great gender neutral bag so Daddy much prefers using this than my other bags which look much more like handbags. A great bag for organising your bits and pieces – and there are a lot of them with young babies – though not ideal if you have multiple children. Needless to say I’ll be off now to discover the rest of the SkipHop range!

BabyDino have a great array of changing bags on offer from SkipHop and other brands. You can also find them on Facebook and on Twitter @BabyDinoUK.

#Review: Braun ThermoScan 7

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 18-12-2014

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“Did you know the definition of fever changes with age?”

As a parent who has to Google my child’s temperature every time she takes it because I can never remember what is classed as “normal” you won’t be shocked to find my answer to this question is no. I don’t even know what the definition of fever is for any age, hence my need to have my smart phone handy whenever I am called upon to take either of my son’s temperature. I have the memory of a sieve when it comes to this information, but thanks to the latest release from Braun, I no longer have to fail to to remember it. We were sent a Braun ThermoScan 7 to test out a few weeks ago now, and it is without doubt one product I am eternally thankful for.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”

And its also the cold and flu season. With a vengeance. Daddy has been flailing around with man flu for weeks now, and Little Man has been sniffling a bit for a while too. The perils of preschool strikes again. But in the last week Little Man, and shortly after Little Dude both turned into snot dripping coughing monsters. Apologies for that rather graphic image, but its been far from pleasant over here I can tell you. Whilst I am a firm believer in fully testing out a product before reviewing it and not just throwing information onto a blog post the moment the product arrives, I’ve had far too much need to use this thermometer in the last couple of days as a result. Both boys, but mainly Little Man, have gone from feeling comfortable to being hot at the drop of a hat. Typically this would result in me taking his temperature, and then hitting Google to establish just how worried I should be. Thanks to the ThermoScan 7 I don’t need to.

Firstly you select the age of the person who’s temperature you are taking. Either 0-3 months, 3-36 months, or 36 months plus. Now I was aware that newborns struggle to regulate their temperatures so you have to be massively alert to them being to hot or too cold but other than that I didn’t realise levels were any different for older babies and children. Once you’ve selected the age of the child you pop a disposable lens filter over the pre-warmed tip and pop it into the persons ear. You get a little beep when you are in the right position and with the touch of a button their temperature has been taken. Now for the clever part.

Thermoscan7-SussexMummy

As well as displaying the temperature the screen glows a certain colour depending on the reading. Its rather like the popular Gro Egg from the Gro Company. Green means the temperature is normal, yellow means its raised, and red means its feverish. So you don’t need to know the actual temperatures as you know precisely what is going on with a simple glance at the screen. Ideal for me. Also if you’re child is poorly for a length of time and you are taking regular readings it stores the last nine temperatures for reference, telling you which age it was for as well. With a four year old and a seven month old in the house, both displaying symptoms that called for regular temperature checks this was a life saver. Everything I needed to know was stored within this handy device meaning I could focus on dispensing Calpol and cuddles, and not worry about writing things down or looking things up.

The ThermoScan 7 is the ultimate in thermometer and is reminiscent of the one used by the doctors and nursing staff on me after I gave birth to Little Dude in the summer. They had to take my temperature very regularly for a number of days – lets just say I was a little poorly – and I spent my time having a thermometer jabbed into my ear as if they were trying to poke my brain. Thankfully my bedside manner is a little friendlier when it comes to my children. They both willingly allow me to take their temperatures this way, despite Little Man being use to a forehead thermometer usually, and the positioning system means I know just where to put it so I don’t cause any unnecessary additional suffering. The lens filters also keep it hygienic whilst is very important with young children.

Whilst I of course hope none of you have need for one of these this festive season, if you are on the lookout for a new family thermometer, I doubt you’ll find one better.

Review: Tommee Tippee Steri Bottle

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews, Travel | Posted on 10-11-2014

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On my recent trip to the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough I decided I didn’t want to drag our steriliser all that way just for one night, and what was eventually just a few hours in the hotel. Its a large, though essential piece of equipment and as you will all know packing space is often at a premium when travelling with babies. We are Tommee Tippee fans here, having used their bottles and equipment with Little Man and repeating this with Little Dude. A few weeks before my trip I was offered the chance, purely by coincidence to review their brand new Steri-Bottles, and thought I’d found the perfect solution.

Steri_Bottle_TommeeTippeeWe were sent two packs of their Steri-Bottle twin packs to test out on our trip. Little Dude has been using Tommee Tippee bottles since day one after a rather traumatic birth left me unable to even consider breastfeeding so I thought these bottles would be ideal for him. The bottles come ready to use and already sterile. They are incredibly well packed, and the instructions ensure you don’t touch the teat or the inside of the bottle when unpacking them or when preparing your feed. They are single use BUT are recyclable which I love. They sounded too good to be true.

Sadly for Little Dude they were. Despite almost six months of daily Tommee Tippee bottle use these bottles were not for him. The teats were too different to the ones he’s been using that he simply refused to drink from them. We use ready made formula which he isn’t the biggest fan of, much preferring it to be made fresh in the Perfect Prep machine, but whether it was cold or warm, or ready made or fresh, he just wouldn’t drink it. I’d taken some of his usual bottles with me too, so we had to do a bit of make shift sterilising by soaking bottles and teats in boiling water fresh from the kettle.

In theory these are brilliant. A safe sterile way of feeding your little one if you’re away for the night and can’t face lugging your steriliser with you. I guess the ultimate test is whether your baby is as fussy as mine! Great idea Tommee Tippee, sadly not for us though.

Review: Brabantia Perfume Your Bin

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Product Launch, Product Reviews | Posted on 08-11-2014

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There’s nothing worse than a smelly kitchen bin. With the array of rubbish that gets thrown in there – even by the most efficient recycler – its no wonder that over the space of a few days things become less than pleasant. I’ve seen bin freshners on the market before, but Brabantia’s new “Perfume Your Bin” range is that little bit more clever thanks to its refillable capabilities. Replacement capsules can be purchased to pop in the holder, and each last up to 6 weeks. Too good to be true? Well the lovely team at Brabantia sent me a “Perfume Your Bin” starter kit to test out, and a rather posh new kitchen bin to use it in.

Perfume-Your-Bin-SussexMummy

The holder fastens to the inside of your bin lid with a sticky pad, and its advised that you leave it in there for 24 hours before adding your fragrance capsule to make sure its secure. The capsules aren’t particularly heavy, but it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve lost a bin freshner by it falling into the rubbish so I waited a full day to add the capsule just to be safe. The capsules come in two scents – pine and flowers. I’m not a lover of pine fragrances so I popped a flower capsule in. The scent is subtle but with its positioning its the only thing you smell when you open the bin lid. No more questionable and unknown smells any more. A really neat idea, and I like the fact that you can get replacement capsules as opposed to buying entire new units.

FlatBack-BrabantiaAs for the new bin, well I was sent one of Brabantia’s brand new Mineral Blue Flat Back bins. This is pretty much as it sounds – a bin with the large capacity you need but with a flat back so it fits flush against a wall, as opposed to a round bin which wastes an awful lot of space. Its finger print resistant which is ideal when you’ve got small children that touch everything, and it has Motion Control (TM) technology which means the lid opening and the pedal action is silent and can’t be slammed. One of my favourite features is the strap on the back which makes carrying the bin really easy and comfortable. When you open the bin there is a removable inner bucket which your bags fasten to, so there’s no more straining to get the full bag out when it comes to emptying it. The inner bucket also has handles to make using it easy.

I think they make a very stylish and space saving addition to any kitchen, and would also work well in a bathroom or even the kids bedroom. To be honest I don’t think there’d be anything to stop you using it as a laundry bin either, as the removable bucket would make transporting your clothes really easy.

The FlatBack bins come in a range of colours and are available in 30l or 40l versions.