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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: simplehuman Slim Touch-Bar Bin

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 11-01-2013

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I’ve never understood why kitchen bins are round. Its a completely unhelpful shape. You can’t push it neatly against a wall, or fit it comfortably between two appliances. It is a space wasting shape, and in our kitchen our round bin tends to just float about the place and get shoved into a gap its not really designed to fit.

If you have a small kitchen or, like me, have a good sized kitchen but with a lot of “stuff” in it, finding the ideal bin is difficult. I have a bench running all round my kitchen, with cupboards, the cooker, the washing machine and a small freezer underneath. There is also a set of open shelves – formally Little Mans changing table (trust me, it works) – and his Little Helper all jostling for space. Once you’ve arranged all that there is very little room for a bin. The round bin we currently own is squashed in a gap that’s not really big enough, or the right shape, and the bin spends its life being pushed out the way.

I went on a mission to find a bin that would actually fit in my kitchen and not be constantly in the way. I wanted something fairly slim fitting as the gap available was worryingly small, but it needed a big capacity for all the rubbish we seem to accumulate day by day. I spent a long time scouring the internet for the right width bin, and was alarmed to find a very limited selection. So limited in fact that I could only find one bin that would fit. Clearly my ideal bin. I found this, from simplehuman.

Measuring a slender 26cm in width this was the only bin that would fit in the gap left beneath our bench. Being 43cm deep and 71cm high the bin comes with an impressive 40litre capacity which is ideal for us. It has several other features which I think are rather stylish too.

Firstly to open the bin you just press the bar on the front and the lid flips open. Crucially it doesn’t close again without you pushing it shut, which is great if you have your hands full or if you have multiple trips to the bin. The entire bin is a classic brushed steel colour, and it stays that way thanks to the fingerprint-proof finish. No more metal bins covered in prints for you to clean. This bin remains smudge and stain free. Beneath the bin are nylon discs which make it slide gently and effortlessly on your floor without scratching or damaging it. The bin lid doesn’t open fully under our bench – though it does open enough for general use – so being able to slide it out is key. The whole lid section lifts off easily for the removal and change of the bags. What I really like about this bin is that the bag can’t be seen. There is no unsightly black liner hanging around the rim, its all neatly self contained. The bag sits within a durable plastic bucket which can be removed for easy cleaning.

This genuinely is the perfect bin for my busy and full kitchen. Its compact, hygienic, and clean looking which is key with a small child rampaging around. It allows you to do things with your hands full as the bin can be opened with the touch of a finger, or the nudge of a hip, or if you’re lucky the help of your child!

You can find out more about the simplehuman bin range, and their other products, at their website and find them on Twitter @simplehuman.

Product Review: Brabantia Wall Fix Washing Line with Protective Storage Box

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 22-03-2012

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Washing. I swear it breeds when I’m not looking. With an active toddler, a husband out at work, and me, there is an inordinate amount of dirty washing in our house. Just the other day Little Man went through three pairs of trousers in one day. THREE! So now the glorious weather is upon us – unless I’ve just jinxed it of course – being able to hang the washing outside is essential. Having recently moved from a flat to a house a washing line was something we’d never owned. Browsing them was hardly thrilling so we never got around to buying one in preparation for spring. Luckily for us, Brabantia came to our aid.

Now I’m a little embarrassed by this next sentence, but please stick with me: I LOVE my new washing line. There, I said it. I’m THAT weird. Take a look for yourselves at the Wall Fix Washing Line from Brabantia.

Isn’t it amazing? No? Just me? *ahem*

In a compact garden like ours, or one with a toddler running around it (also like ours…) a washing line pinned into the grass would take up valuable space. Plus I’m too lazy and too busy to be putting it away when its not in use, so my Little Man would just run into all the time. He’s good like that. This marvellous washing line from Brabantia fixes to the wall, as you can see above. Yes, that is my (slightly dirty) back wall. As you can see the washing line lives in a rather neat storage box which protects it from the elements when not in use, but also looks much tidier than having it hanging there without. You can probably just make out the blue button on the front about halfway down. Pressing this causes the box to open and the sides to automatically fold back – handy one-handed opening there, especially if you’re carrying your laundry basket or child. You then pull out the washing line until it clicks into place. The outer lines are an impressive 4 foot long meaning you can easily fit double bed sheets on there, and there is sufficient capacity for a couple of loads of washing easily. Here’s my washing line in use:

When up it takes up hardly any room and doesn’t impede on the garden at all. As you can just about see its height means I can still have plants growing beneath it. Installation was easy – thanks Grandad – as there is a template included to show you where to drill the holes. Simplicity itself.

Luckily for my husband I’m still a little excited about having this in our garden so I’m quite keen to do the washing. I’m sure it won’t last.

The Brabantia Wall Fix Washing Line with Protective Storage Box can be bought from their online store.