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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: Asda Slow Cooker

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Foodie, Product Reviews | Posted on 10-01-2013

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Slow cookers are nothing new. From the looks of my Twitter feed I’d say about 75% of you have one and use it regularly. I was intrigued by the idea of owning one, mostly due to discovering that you weren’t all eating stew every night of the week. The range of foods and meals that were being created was brilliant, and I could see how useful one might be in our house. Days when we visit Grandma and are generally getting home with barely any time to cook dinner. Days when I’m at meetings or events and Daddy is looking after Little Man and there are only so many times you can eat fish fingers and chips again. Days when I just fancy trying something different.

I was reasonably confident one would get used but I must admit to being a little put off by the price. Most of the branded ones I found for £30 to £40. For a kitchen gadget which I might dislike or might get used once and then put away in a cupboard, that was a lot of money to spend. I went searching for a cheaper option but from a brand I could trust. Once again I found what I was looking for at Asda. I don’t know why I ever look anywhere else first.

Asda do a wide range of own brand electrical items, including several kitchen appliances. Their Slow Cooker has a 3 litre capacity so is perfectly sized for our little family, and is similarly sized to its higher priced competitors. It has a brushed steel exterior and a removable ceramic dish inside which makes it really easy to clean after use. Its compact size means it doesn’t take up too much room on the kitchen bench, and I’ve even managed to find a home for it on some open shelves when not in use. It has two settings – High or Low – depending on just how slow you want your food cooked, and the handles on the side and lid are cool touch so there’ll be no danger of burning yourself. My favourite thing about this Slow Cooker though is the price. It retails for just £14.96 – at least half the price of other cookers with the same capacity. The only down side was there were no recipes included, but the internet and book shops are flooded with recipes and cook books so you wont have to look far to get started. I picked myself up a book in Lakeland recently which has lots of great sounding recipes in for all the family.

We’ve used this cooker a few times and every meal has been a success. We made bolognese sauce to start with – something simple – and it was delicious. It even made enough to freeze some for two more meals. We’ve also tried out a packet mix for Slow Cookers which I found in store recently. This makes slow cooking even easier because everything is there for you, you just need to add a few fresh ingredients.

I can see this Slow Cooker being used time and time again this year and it fast becoming an important part of our kitchen. If you’re considering a Slow Cooker but have also been put off by price, or perhaps you’re just not sure how often you’re going to use one, test out the Asda one. Its a great price and a quality piece of equipment. You can find them in store or you can order them online for home delivery or free collection at your local store.

 

Halloween Party Ideas

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 28-10-2012

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October Half Term is upon us which signals Halloween is just a few days away. If you’re planning on throwing a party this Wednesday night for your children, or perhaps next weekend, here are a few ideas for some great value items to help make your party nice and spooky!

Here is our party table:

There are loads of Halloween decorations and party items available now in most high street stores, but everything you see on this table is from either Wilkinsons or Asda and all cost less than £4 each. Halloween is fast becoming another expensive event for parents, and with Christmas just around the corner money might be a little tight already. You don’t have to break the bank though the provide a fun and spooky themed night for your little ghouls.

Lets start in Wilkinsons should we?

This black cupcake stand in made from cardboard and is bought flat packed. It’s simple to put together and if you’re careful can be taken apart and stored till next year. We made small cupcakes and could fit 24 on here which is a great capacity for something which costs just £3.

I love these holders. Here we’ve just used them as decoration, but you can sit a cupcake in them or I even popped an empty muffin case in there and used it for a few sweets. A silicone case would be perfect, especially if you can get them in a Halloween colour. These metal holders are just £1 each so you can pop a few on your table, or use them as goodie bag fillers.

What child doesn’t like biscuits? With this pack of four cutters you can make your own creepy cookies and get the children involved in decorating them. This pack of four includes a bat, a ghost, a skeleton and a cat shape and is a bargainous £1. Again these can be washed and put away until next year.

Silicone bake ware is a big trend at the moment and I use it a lot at home. Its so easy to clean and getting the cakes out when baked is much simpler then in a metal tin. This cake mould features six individual moulds – 2 bats, 2 pumpkins and 2 ghosts – so you can make little cakes for everyone instead of one large cake or the traditional cupcakes. I think this would also be great for making individual jellies. You can get jelly in a wide range of colours and flavours and they’ll set quickly in the fridge inside the moulds. This cake mould is £4.

A full selection of party decorations, treats and costumes can be found now at your local Wilkinsons store and online.

Heading over to Asda, here are a few bits to pop into your trolley this week.

No party is complete without something to eat and drink from. Save on washing up and worrying about breakages with paper plates, bowls and cups from Asda. Bright orange featuring black bats these sets are great for eating or drinking out of, as well as holding sweets and treats on the table. You can also get a matching wipe clean table cloth to protect your table. Prices start from just £1.

Sweets are essential at Halloween, either for your own party, or for the trick or treaters who come to your door. The Fangs and Bats come in plastic reusable screw top jars, and the striped Wands in multi-packs. All start from £2 a pack.

If you don’t have time to make biscuits you can buy some gingerbread shapes from Asda. These graveyard ghouls come feature pumpkins, bats and skulls, and are a bit of hit with my Little Man. A box of 18 is just £1.

Dressing up is a great part of Halloween, especially if you’re out trick or treating. If you want something a little more subtle, and a lot cheaper than a full blown costume, try one of these great spooky tshirts. A steal at just £2.50 each.

Check out the huge range of Halloween decorations, sweets, treats and costumes in store and online now.

Also on the table are Ella’s Kitchen Munchy Biccies in Cinnamon & Orange flavour, ideal for your younger guests.

All the homemade cakes and cupcakes you see were made using a huge pack of decorations, recipe books, aprons and supplies sent from Ladbrokes. We had a lot of fun making the cakes in skull covered cases and finishing them off with coloured icing, sugar shapes and sugar sparkles. Once the kids have finally gone to bed and you’ve got your feet up, why not take a look at the new spooky promotions and Halloween slot games available on the Ladbrokes website.

 

Kids Clothing At Tesco

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 16-08-2012

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Is it just me, or does your child have infinitely more clothing than you do? My Little Man is nearly 2 and he has so much clothing. And that’s if you just include things that actually fit him! We are drowning in clothes that he’s grown out of, and we also have a drawer of clothes in the next size up, ready for that sneaky growth spurt.

I would say that 80% of his clothes come from the same shop, and that shop is Tesco. When I buy clothes for my son – and to be honest its something I probably do too often – I am looking for bright colourful pieces that mix and match easily and wash well. I am also looking for affordable clothes. We live on one full time income and I work one Saturday morning a month, so money isn’t exactly something we have in great supply. Even if we were rolling in it – and I do keep trying to win that Lottery – I wouldn’t spend a fortune on his clothes at this age. I am relieved that he’s nearly 2 and the manic growth of the first two years has slowed to a more manageable state. I’m sure we all have clothes we bought for our little babies that they never even wore because they grew so fast, or things they wore once or twice. Nowadays we get much more wear out of his clothes but affordability is still key.

Clothing At Tesco offers brilliant prices on some gorgeous clothing, and the quality is great too. Little Man loves to clamber about the lounge, rush about the garden, and seems to think his clothes are mere extensions of his bib at meal times. His clothes get a real beating and the average t-shirt must be washed dozens of times in its life. I love the fact that clothes I buy him from Tesco’s remain in one piece and looking as bright and colourful as the day I bought it by the time it is resigned to life in the “Outgrown” pile.

Whilst I do get my food delivered – I can’t imagine taking Little Man food shopping without one of both of us ending up in tears – I often pop in to my local store to pick up bits I have inevitably forgotten, or to top up on milk and fruit during the week. Its so easy to just pop a couple of cheap tshirts or pair of jeans on the basket as well, and you hardly notice when you get to the checkout. There is more often than not a sale of some variety on, and by keeping an eye out for bargains in sizes to come I spread the cost of clothing my Little Man too.

Clothing At Tesco also has a fantastic website which I also browse for bits. At the moment they have some great deals on ‘Back To School’ wear and it won’t be long before the Autumn/Winter range appears. With the Summer Clubcard Exchange that’s currently going on you can get some superb deals on kids clothing AND get them ready for September. I can definitely see a lot more Tesco clothing in my son’s future, and once in a while Mummy even gets something too!