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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: Are You A Mercedes Mummy?

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 28-10-2013

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Busy mothers know better than anyone just how helpful modern technology can be.

When you’ve got a million and one things to do, with one child bawling in your arms, another one tugging at your skirt and the third engaged in smearing mud up the walls, anything that can take something off your to-do list or merely reduce the amount of stress you are suffering from is very much appreciated. Quite simply, the little gizmos and gadgets that scientists and other innovative people are able to create can make a huge difference to your life. The same is true of cars.

Mercedes showcase the very best in automotive innovation. From producing the first ever motor car in 1886 right through to pioneering the development of both seatbelts and airbags inventiveness is the hallmark of Mercedes; as synonymous with the brand as salt is with vinegar. This still applies in 2013. Mercedes are fully committed to pushing the boundaries, to testing the limits of technology, making your car better and your life easier. Even though it might seem hard to improve on anything, every little tweak could make a big difference – even if it saves just five minutes of your day or takes one troublesome thought out of your head.

Any mother knows just how vitally important family cars are in their day to day lives. In ferrying your children to sports practice, doing the school run, doing the weekly shop and all manner of other chores, you are more often than not to be found at the wheel. So mums tend to spend a lot of time in the car – more than they might like to admit, perhaps – and that means it becomes a home from home.

When you spend a lot of time in a particular place, you personalise it. You add your own touch, make it your own. If you had to work abroad temporarily and spend four months in a hotel room, you’d take photographs of your family with you, scatter your things about, make it feel like home. Why should your car be any different?

Travel: 5 Reliable Cars For The Family

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 19-04-2013

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When you’re in the market for a new—or used—car, reliability is probably near the top of your priority list. You want to make sure that you and your family are safe when on the road, even in harsh conditions. There are some auto makers with a decades-long reputation for dependability, and each year major consumer testing organizations conduct on-road tests to rate the latest models for reliability. The length of the warranty isn’t always the best sign of a car’s reliability, however. Here are a few of the most reliable cars on the market today.

Toyota Yaris: Reliable Sub-Compact Auto

Image via Wikimedia Commons

The Toyota Yaris leads the pack in terms of sub-compact cars for reliability. This dependable ride comes standard with vehicle-stability control and traction control. While this model has been around since 2007, it has had numerous safety updates over the years. Both the Scion xD and the Honda Fit are also highly rated for reliability among sub-compact models.

Toyota Prius: 5 Stars from J.D. Power and Associates

Image via Wikimedia Commons

The Toyota Prius earns a perfect five-star rating in three of the four rating criteria used in J.D. Power and Associates’ latest reliability testing. It’s also a top pick from U.S. News and World Report, earning good scores for side impacts and rear crashes, as well as frontal offset and roof strength. This car is a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Nissan 370Z: Reliable Sports Car

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If you prefer sports cars, you don’t have to sacrifice reliability. The Nissan 370Z is rated best among compact premium sporty cars by J.D. Power and Associates. This car gets positive consumer feedback for each of its model years for mechanical quality and body quality, as well as powertrain mechanical quality. It also has both side and front-impact airbags, an anti-lock brake system and anti-whiplash restraints.

Toyota RAV4: Most Reliable Among Compact Crossover SUVs

Image via Flickr by robad04

Clearly, you won’t find many complaints about Toyotas, as the auto maker leads the pack in yet another category with the RAV4. Considered one of the most reliable compact crossover SUVs on the market, the Toyota RAV4 has a four-wheel anti-lock brake system, side head and rear head air bags, side air bags, brake assist, traction control and plenty of other features that make it one of the safest cars on the road today. The Scion tC is another option earning good reviews for reliability in this category.

Ford Fusion: Top-Rated Among Midsize Cars

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If you’re looking for a reliable, midsize auto, you can’t go wrong with the Ford Fusion. This car comes with a three-year, 36,000-mile new-car warranty and a five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty—which also covers the safety restraint system. Corrosion perforation is also covered with no mileage limitations for five full years. The Ford Fusion earns a Predicted Reliability Score of 4.5 in J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study.

When it comes to reliability, Toyota models are almost always a safe bet as these models earn positive reliability ratings from most major testing organizations. Check out Big Motoring World complaints and other dealership reviews and testimonials in your area before making your purchase.

Half Term Fun At Beaulieu Motor Museum

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 17-10-2012

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With half term almost upon us you’ll no doubt be looking for ways to keep the children entertained. How about a day out at Beaulieu Motor Museum? And before you panic, its not just for petrol heads!

Situated in the middle of the beautiful New Forest, Beaulieu Motor Museum is a fantastic day out for all the family. For the petrol heads amongst you there is the museum itself. This houses over 250 cars and motorbikes from old classics to some familiar stars of TV and movies. There are F1 cars, the record breaking Bluebird as well as a giant orange on wheels – quite a comical sight I can tell you. Plus if you visit before January 6th 2013 you can admire the largest collection of James Bond vehicles in the world. To mark Bond’s 50th Anniversary 50 famous vehicles from the hugely successful movie series are on show, from an Aston Martin DB5 to Speedboats, as well as three vehicles from the brand new movie “Skyfall”.

We took Little Man to Beaulieu last month and he was fascinated by the vehicles on show.

If looking at cars isn’t quite your thing and you’d rather leave the more enthusiastic members of your group to it, take a stroll past the museum – or take the Monorail or Veteran Bus – and head towards the Palace House, Abbey and gardens. Now when we visited we didn’t make it to the House or Abbey – I have two very keen petrol heads in my family – but we took a ride on the Monorail and saw the gardens from above. They look incredible, and I will definitely take a ground level look next time we go!

On your way to the House and Abbey you may well walk past the children’s play area. This was an immediate hit with Little Man. Cars to ride about it as well as bigger ones to sit in, a huge tractor and the very popular bus were all a great success. Little Man went from one to the other and round again several times. A great little area to let the kids let off a bit of steam after all that walking about the museum. There are all handy picnic benches nearby for lunch.

This October Half Term you can enjoy spooky stories in the Abbey and a Halloween Trail within the museum. There’ll also be a Witches’ Cauldron Lucky Dip and Gruesome Face Painting. Plus if you visit on the 27th from 3pm you can enjoy fun fairground rides, candy floss and hot food, before an evening of spectacular fireworks. Live music will be provided by Wave 105, and there will even be prizes for the best fancy dress so do get into the spirit of things!

To find out more about Beaulieu including opening times and admission charges, as well as more details about the facilities on offer, head over to the website now.