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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: 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

Small Bathroom Solutions

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Home & Lifestyle | Posted on 27-07-2013

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In the age of city living and decreasing house sizes living with a small bathroom is something that many of us face. But, there is still a multitude of ways to create the illusion of space, lighten up the room and accessorize it with style.

#1. Bathroom Cabinets

In a smaller bathroom you’re likely to only be able to fit in one cabinet above and below your sink. Therefore, picking the right cabinet is crucial to opening up your bathrooms floor space but still provide for all your storage needs.

Try opting for a sink cabinet that doesn’t extend all the way to the floor and take up vital floor space. You’ll be surprised at what a difference it makes and the assistance it provides in being able to lean over your sink with ease.

For above the sink cabinets, again to allow you to lean over with ease, make sure the top cabinet is around half the width of your sink.

#2. Shelving

Any bathroom cabinet needs as many shelves as possible to store all your daily essentials that will prevent you from cluttering up any available windowsills with bottles and toiletries. Try using open metal shelving as an alternative to cabinets, which put all your items into an easy to reach space. These add a nice touch of style and couldn’t be easier to fit as they slot neatly around the sink’s plumbing.

A shower caddy is a great shelving solution for any small bathroom. It not only tidies up all your shower gels, shampoos and scrubs, it gathers them in one easy to reach place (instead of fumbling around your window sill).

#3. Shower Curtains

By simply changing your shower curtain you can dramatically alter your small bathroom space. If you have fairly neutral walls, try opting for a brighter colour or patterned design that adds a dash of personality and light. Where possible, opt for brighter colours or pale creams and blues that reflect the light well and enhance light levels.

#4. Accessorize

A mirror is an essential item for any bathroom. Use your mirrors to maximize the space and light of the room where ever possible. Rectangular mirrors that expand the whole length of an available wall are a great way to achieve this, especially when placed opposite a window that floods the room with light. Aside from this, bathroom mirror cabinets are a fantastic use of the surfaces available to you.

A touch of personality and quirky style can be added with other bathroom accessories. There are little touches, such as, a toilet seat, toilet roll holders, hangers that can come together to create a cohesive theme. For example, for a modern yet homely feel opt for softer light wooden accessories over polished metal.

#5. The Shower

Lastly, but probably where you should start, is the shower. Both mira showers and triton showers have a range of styles and fittings that can easily slot into your existing shower. Upgrading your shower could transform how you view your bathroom with the option of a refreshing power shower; massage modes and luxurious rainfall heads.

If you’re looking for a complete refit again be mindful of the floor space its footprint demands. If possible opt for showers that will slot neatly into bathroom corners with a curbed sliding door that gives you the room to shower in comfort but takes up no more floor space than necessary.

How To Create A Child Friendly Bathroom

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle | Posted on 20-07-2013

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Once upon a time, your perfect bathroom may have consisted of a gleaming white freestanding bath, elegant monochrome décor and a minimalist design. Having kids changes everything, and interior design is no exception – but you can still create a stylish bathroom that is simultaneously a child’s watery playroom and a serene haven to escape from the stresses of daily life.



homebase roll top bath

Add a splash of colour

If you choose to stick with white for the bathroom fixtures, such as the tub and the sink, this creates a great neutral backdrop for colourful accessories. Children love bright colours that instil a sense of fun so brighten up a neutral bathroom with colourful towels, shower curtains, bath mats and accessories such as soap dishes.

A splash of colour will also add interest to the overall design, keeping it looking fresh and on-trend. If you want to inject some colour into the fixtures themselves you could opt for wood end bath panels rather than white to warm up the room and give it a more welcoming vibe.

Infuse a sense of fun

They might moan about the prospect of having a bath initially, but bath time can actually be one of the more fun everyday rituals for kids. From ample splashing to foamy bubbles, this is the one room in the house where it’s okay to make a mess!

While busy mums and dads may not appreciate this aspect of bath time (which can be combated by investing in a bath screen), it’s always a joy to see your child having a good time. Reflect this sense of fun with bath crayons and plenty of toys to keep them occupied and distract them from the ‘boring’ cleansing part.

Baths: safety first

Fun is hugely important when it comes to decorating any room that will be used by children, but safety should always be at the forefront of your mind. From double baths to whirlpool models, there is plenty of choice so weigh up all your options.

Once you’ve made your selection, you should garnish it with safety features including baths mats and grips. However, functional doesn’t have to mean drab – slip resistant bath mats come in all shapes, colours and sizes so you can find one your child likes. 

Review: John Lewis Bath Sheet

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Product Reviews | Posted on 12-07-2013

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white bathroom with blueberry coloured john lewis towels

There are few things I enjoy more in life than a nice long relaxing soak in the bath. The water nice and hot, a glass of wine to hand, and probably my e-reader too. Queue a bit of chilled out “Me Time” and a well deserved break. Baths don’t happen all that often though, as time tends to not allow. Showers are more likely – much quicker and easier, but certainly not as relaxing. When I get out of the bath I like a nice soft towel to wrap around myself, but a lot of the ones we own are inadequate. Bath towels are just not big enough more often than not, and despite my best efforts they don’t tend to have a lasting softness either. Until now.

John Lewis recently sent me a pair of their Egyptian Cotton Bath Sheets to review in a gorgeous Blueberry colour, as can be seen here. Measuring 165cm by 90cm these bath sheets are generously sized, and the height of luxury in any bathroom. They are super soft and snuggly, and this softness lasts. I’ve used the bath sheets on a number of occasions and washed them a few times too. They are still cosy and soft when I wrap them around myself after a rare relaxing bath, or a more common speedy shower.

These towels are of course available in a huge range of colours, and you can get towels of other sizes too if you want to get a complete set. I adore this Blueberry colour – its such a glorious shade – but I do also like the Slate, the Claret and the Chocolate. Our bathroom doesn’t really have a defined colour scheme. The walls are cream and there are white tiles and a white bathroom suite. Its basically a blank canvas. I think maybe I could get a few matching hand towels in three or four different colours just to add a hit of brightness to the room, which I can change whenever I wish.

You can find the full John Lewis Egyptian Cotton Towel range online and in store, with prices starting from just £3.

Luxury Work Tops From Margrasil

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle | Posted on 27-02-2013

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We don’t play the lottery very often, mostly because we forget to buy a ticket, but once in a while we get one online. Like a lot of people we eagerly await that email on a Sunday morning to tell us we’ve won. It rarely comes, and when it does, it tends to be for £10. On the odd Friday night when I’m buying my online ticket I like to look at local estate agent websites and Rightmove to decide which house I’m going to buy with my winnings. My husband thinks I’m nuts, but I just see it as being prepared. Whilst looking at potential houses – most of which would fit my own house in the lobby – the first room I like to see is the kitchen. Its the most important room for me, mostly because I have so much kitchen equipment to fit in there, but because its the room I spend so much time in. I see the kitchen as the heart of any home and I dream of owning a large spacious kitchen. Ideally I’d love a kitchen with an island in the middle for preparation as well as benches all around, a large range cooker, and a large traditional pine table for family and friends to gather around. You see why I need a bigger house for this? Fingers crossed those numbers will come up soon.

One of the first things I see when I look at kitchens is the work tops. I spend a lot of time preparing foods, baking and working in my kitchen, so my work tops are something I spend a lot of time looking at. In my dream kitchen they’d be black granite, probably with a fleck of another colour in there. A colour that would match any cupboard design and kitchen appliance, but something that would look classy and luxurious. A nice clean shiny surface that is easy to care for and clean that will give me many years of service. When it comes to purchasing my luxury kitchen work top I’ll be looking no further than local company Margrasil.

Situated in Partridge Green, West Sussex, Margrasil use skilled stonemasons from across Sussex and Surrey to provide the height of luxury for your kitchen or bathroom. They provide quality natural stone which you can use for kitchen work tops or for units in your bathroom to all areas of the UK. Items are available in granite, marble or quartz, and come in a huge range of colours and designs so you are certain to find something that will match perfectly with other decor in your room. For my dream kitchen I’d choose Star Galaxy from their range of quality stone granite work tops. As well as providing you with a quality and luxurious work top, Margrasil also provide you with advice on how to clean and care for your work tops. They want to ensure your work tops lasts, so they provide tips on using it, protecting it, and cleaning it.

The team at Margrasil are passionate about what they do so are keen for customers to visit them at their workshop so you can see for yourself the quality and range of stone available, and so you can make the right choice for you  home. You can contact them today on 0845 504 2841 to arrange a visit and make your dream kitchen a reality.

Review: Fun To See Wall Stickers

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Reviewer, Home & Lifestyle, Product Reviews | Posted on 12-01-2013

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Decorating a child’s bedroom when they are old enough to really appreciate it is great fun for parents. One of my Guest Reviewers recently turned 1 and her parents were sent an Enchanted Fairies Room Decor Kit from Fun To See to use in Daisy Doo’s room.

Here’s what they thought:

“We loved the room stickers from FunToSee.  They are easy to put on the wall and to peel off again. They are bright and pretty and have really transformed Daisy Doo’s room. We were able to personalise the design and the fairies, bugs and flowers blended in well with the rest of the room. As you can see from the photos, Daisy Doo is delighted with her enchanted garden!”

The Room Decor set contains 30 movable stickers featuring flowers, fairies, toadstools and enchanted creatures sure to brighten any little girls room. The stickers are great because you can re-position them time and time again without danger of damaging your walls.

Fun To See also sent Little Man an Undersea Adventure Mini Wall Art set which contained 28 smaller stickers designed for a small space. We used these in our bathroom to add a child friendly nautical theme. He is very pleased with them, and waves goodnight to his underwater friends every night after his bath. 

So if you’re planning on doing any redecorating this Spring, head over to Fun To See and take a look at their extensive range.