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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: Joules Tweed Jacket

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Product Reviews | Posted on 11-03-2014

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A tweed jacket isn’t something I’d ever consider buying for Little Man, but the offer to review one was all too tempting. I’ve seen children of Little Man’s age wearing them in the local supermarket and it looks a bit odd to be honest, but then again at 3 they are hardly likely to go striding through the fields with a shot gun over their shoulder and a pack of dogs. Bit too stereotypical? Apologies.

We were sent a Joules’ boys Tweed Jacket and whilst their clothing is renowned for its quality and I knew that it would be a decent jacket, it far exceeded even my expectations. The detailing on it is exquisite and you can tell its going to be a long lasting jacket. It feels nice and warm, and I am thankful that I ordered it in a size up so he’ll be able to wear it in the Autumn and next Winter.

The design of the jacket is a very classic style for a tweed, complete with elbow patches and cord detailing on the shoulders. It has four front pockets – two with popper fastenings and two with none – and it has a full length zip and poppers to fasten it. I love the tiny details – the word “Joules” on each metal button, the Joules rabbit embroidered on one of the pockets, and the checkered lining. I also adore the name “Mr Toad Jnr Fieldcoat” – very Wind In The Willows! It has a light wadding to it which makes it cosy without being a bulking thick coat, and its sure to keep Little Man warm on chilly Autumn days and even those cooler Spring ones we’re experiencing at the moment.

Joules Tweed Sussex Mummy

At £79.95 it is far more than I would ever spend on a jacket for Little Man, but it truly feels worth the price tag. Its a classic piece of clothing and one that will never go out of style, so hoping Little Dude will get chance to wear it too when he’s old enough. A gloriously British jacket and certainly one that could be defined as an investment.

 

Buy MORE Clothes…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Guest Post | Posted on 02-08-2013

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There’s nothing we like more than a good bargain. It used to be that there were only a couple of sale periods each year – straight after Christmas and in the summer. Now, sales, bargains and offers are available all year round, which means you can get more for your money without really trying.

Most of us work to some sort of clothing budget. Some budgets are more generous than others, but no matter how much you have to spend, it’s always worth trying to make the very most of it. The easiest way to do this is to look for clothing that you know works for you, but is available at a lower cost or as part of a deal. Men’s polo shirts are often used in this multibuy deal way in order to make you spend more money. The mistake that many people make is to buy anything, regardless of whether you really want it, because the price is low. In fact, with a little thought and planning, you can do much better than that.

colour choices for polo shirts on cotton traders website poppy bright blue pink cress dark purpleHow can you save money on your dresses, jeans, tops, jackets, knitwear and more? Easy. Know what clothing works for you, which brands you like, the colours that suit you and keep a constant eye out for bargains on your favourite websites such as Cotton Traders website for womens trousers. You can keep your costs down in a number of ways.

First, watch out for sales. Stores will slash up to 70% on normal prices and keeping updated with the progress of the sale, or having your eye on something from the main range and waiting for it to go into the sale is a great way to get exactly what you want for less. Second, look for offers. These are the “buy one, get one free” deals, or “three for the price of two” bargains. This gives you the opportunity to increase the amount of clothing you buy, whilst spending less. Third, use discount codes and cards if they are available. You don’t have to sign up to long-term buying; just use the discount available to get more for your money.

Retailers want you to buy their clothes and they are constantly coming up with new, innovative ways to help you make your money go further. Take advantage of this, as well as thinking creatively about the clothes you already have and searching out stores that always offer great value at low prices, and you’re well on the way to growing your wardrobe without losing too much from your wallet.

Review: Regimental Jacket from me&i

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Product Reviews | Posted on 15-07-2013

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You might recall that earlier in the year I previewed some of the new Spring Summer range from me&i. Well as they prepare to welcome the new Autumn Winter range in there are still a few pieces left to last you through the Summer and beyond. My absolute favourite of those pieces is this Regimental Jacket, and the lovely team at me&i sent me one to review.

khaki green military style jacket worn over white topI just love this on trend double breasted jacket in a gorgeous khaki colour with silver buttons. Its perfect for Spring and Autumn when the days are a little cooler, but also for the warm Summer nights ahead when the evenings get a little chillier than the balmy days. This jacket looks gorgeous teamed with jeans and a tshirt, making it a staple for Mums on the go, but its also smart enough to look great on a night out with the girls. As you can see from the picture is looks great fastened, but even when its left open it still looks very classy.

I love the colour, the shape and the design. I love the fact that it contains elastane which gives it a comfortable amount of stretch, whilst looking sleek and fitted when you’re wearing it. At £65 its not a cheap jacket but it is a long lasting one. I can see me wearing this well in to the Autumn and early next year. Its already had plenty wear this summer because its so versatile. It goes with so many things I own and so can be just pulled on as you head out the door.

I can’t wait to see what me&i have in store for us this Autumn Winter season – hopefully the weather won’t take us there too soon!

Spring Summer Range From me&i

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Information | Posted on 11-03-2013

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The brand new Spring Summer range is out now for Swedish retailer me&i. Here are my favourite pieces, including a couple of things for Mum as well. You’ll find all these pieces and more on their website now.

This medallion dress is perfect for summer. Brightly coloured and made from a quality jersey material its sure to provide a comfortable fit. The tie string at the back allows for a defined waist and despite being sleeveless the wide straps provide good coverage.

The military style jacket is great for mums on the go. Its very on trend and although military in styling has a feminine cut to it. It is double breasted and a nice fitted feel to it, but looks just as good open as fastened.

This A-line tunic is a cute one for any little girl. It has elasticated edging at the neck and sleeves to make getting dressed and undressed easy, and the contrasting piping detail on the pockets really makes them stand out. The adorable velour panda peeping out of one pocket is a lovely feature and one I’m sure children will love.

Little Man is definitely going through a dinosaur loving faze at the moment so he would adore this t shirt. Brightly coloured and comfortable to wear its a lovely unisex t shirt for the summer. I love the way the orange dinosaurs stand out against the turquiose background.

We own the long sleeved t shirt version of this cute bodysuit which was a hugely popular part of the Autumn Winter range last year. I’m sure this bodysuit will be just as popular. Multi-coloured vehicles facing in all directions make this a great bright item, and the green trim frames the whole thing nicely.

If your little one is a fan of “helping” with DIY tasks around the house – Little Man certainly is – then this is the t shirt for them. A solid black background with bright outlines of an array of tools makes this the ideal outfit for helping out in. Again a bright contrast trim on the collar and cuffs sets of the t shirt beautifully.

Fairtrade Fortnight: Boys & Girls Tshirt

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Product Reviews | Posted on 08-03-2013

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Fairtrade fortnight is just coming to an end but I have one brand great brand to share with you before it does. Boys & Girls create high quality bright and fun unisex clothing for toddlers and children. Designed to look and feel good their range certainly stands out from the crowd. They want children to be able to have fun in their clothes and for them to last, so quality and design is very important to them. Boys & Girls also has a line of fun Fairtrade Tshirts which will make your child look great and you feel great when they wear them.  Here’s my favourite design:

Made from 100% organic Fairtrade cotton this tshirt features the Fairtrade Certification Mark so you know its the genuine article. Its bright and colourful print makes is ideal for summer and its totally unisex.

The quality is great and it feels nice and soft so won’t irritate even the most sensitive of skins. My Little Man will look great out and about this summer in this tshirt, but it would look equally good on a little girl. A nice pair of shorts, some sandals and a hat and your little one is ready for anything.

All of Boys & Girls clothes are equally bright and stylish, so why not head over there now to grab your little one a quality Fairtrade tshirt and a few other bits for their summer wardrobe.

We Love Squirrels…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Reviewer, Product Reviews | Posted on 29-10-2012

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“We Love Squirrels” is a great online boutique to check out if you’re looking for something a little bit different for your little one to wear. Featuring Scandinavian inspired wear and animal patterns – largely squirrels obviously – the clothes are bright and colourful designs, perfect for grey winter days.

The team at “We Love Squirrels” sent my newest guest reviewer a dress and legging set to review from the Little Green Radicals range. The ‘Woodland Smock‘ features a gorgeous embroidered scene around the bottom which includes lots of squirrels, and the matching ‘Teaberry Button Leggings‘ are a versatile pink colour with button details on the cuffs. Both items are made from 100% organic cotton so its super soft to touch – essential on Little Daisy Doo’s skin.

Do you think Little Daisy Doo likes her new outfit?

I think the grin says it all doesn’t it?

If you’re looking for something for the little boy in your life then I highly recommend this great nautical shoes from Poco Nido. They are suede soles so are ideal for those first tentative steps, and I LOVE the design.

“We Love Squirrels” features some great unique brands. As well as the ones mentioned above you can also find fantastic items from Red Urchin, Toby Tiger and Beau LOves. They also offer FREE UK delivery which is excellent news for all you shopaholics out there!

“We Love Squirrels” can also be found on Twitter so get following @WeLoveSquirrels for all the latest news.

Product Review: Joe Browns

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Product Reviews | Posted on 17-09-2012

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Joe Browns was set up to provide something that little bit different from other clothing catalogues, and when you flick through their book or browse their online store that difference is clear. Their clothes are a lifestyle choice. You won’t find anything in the Joe Brown catalogue that you might find similar somewhere else. Joe Browns clothes are distinctive and add something a bit special and unique to your wardrobe.

This Easy Livin’ Dress is one of my favourites from the new Autumn/Winter range. A knitted pointelle top with two handy front pockets and a floral hem which gives the appearance of layers, this top is perfect for the cold season. On chillier days paired with dark jeans and boots, or on those rare warmer Autumn days worn with brown or black leggings. This top is ideal for casual day wear, or can be dressed up and accessorised for a night out at the local pub with friends.

The Joe Browns summer sale is currently on where you can snap up a few last minute bargains whilst the late summer just about lasts. I found these great Floral Espadrille Pumps.

They are SO comfortable and extremely versatile. Pottering around the house, hitting the high street shopping, lazy evenings in the pub or out for a date – these shoes will get you through most events and gathering, and you’ll wonder how you ever survived without them.

The NEW Autumn/Winter range is available now from the Joe Browns website, and there are still a few bargains to be had in the sale!

Disclaimer: I received the items mentioned above to review from Joe Browns, but all opinions are my own and were not affected by the company.

Guest Post: Bonnie Baby Sample Sale in Hove on 19th May!

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Guest Post, Information | Posted on 04-05-2012

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Local designer baby/childrens clothing company Bonnie baby are teaming up with another local brand Bob and Blossom on the 19th May 2012 to hold a great clearance sale.
Products from both brands are sold in stores such as Selfridges, Harrods, Liberty and Harvey Nichols, but prices at this exclusive sale will start from as little as £3.00 and will include clothing for both baby and child; Bonnie baby recently launched Bonnie Kids and many of their items are now available in sizes up to 5 years. You will find great summer dresses, babygrows/playsuits, lovely knitted cardigans and sweaters, baby blankets plus much, much more.
The sale is taking place in Holy Cross Church Hall, Tamworth Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 5FQ, 10am – 4pm. Holy Cross church hall is easily accessible from the centre and outskirts of Brighton. If travelling from the centre of Brighton, jump on one of the following buses; #2, #46, #49 and jump off at the Westbourne gardens bus stop, Tamworth Road is on the right hand side just past a Sainsburys Local. If travelling by train the nearest station is Aldrington with the church hall just a 2min walk away. Parking is available on the road side however this is on a pay and display basis.
This is definitely a date for the diary and I suggest that you pop along early in order to get your pick of the best bargains. Once you have visited the sale there is a park directly opposite which is always very popular with the children and also has a lovely cafe for the mums.
Have you been to a Bonnie baby clearance sale before? Did you find some great pieces? Leave your comments below and let us know what you found!!

Alternative Easter Gift’s For Under 5’s

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 30-03-2012

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Despite temperatures being almost Caribbean at the moment it is in fact only Spring, which means Easter is approaching. A two week break for the children from school and a glut of chocolate beckons. What about the little children though? Giant chocolate eggs aren’t ideal so I’ve come up with a list of none chocolate based gift ideas for the smaller children in your life.

Biscuit Village
Okay so this might not be an entirely healthier alternative to chocolate eggs, but seriously – how cute are these biscuits?

 

15 assorted shaped biscuits decorated in with Royal Icing in flower, chick, rabbit and egg designs. Great for sharing with the children –  if you don’t eat them all yourself . The biscuits themselves are nice and plain in flavour, but the addition of the intricate decoration makes them a stunning visual feast. If you’re after something smaller you can also buy a lovely set of three chicks. Check out the Biscuit Village Easter Range, and their other biscuits for every occasion here.

Green Baby
You should all be aware by now what a big fan I am of clothes, especially for my Little Man. He has tonnes of gorgeous clothing, and if I had the finances, and thought Daddy wouldn’t think me crazy, I’d buy him to much more. One of my favourite online stores for clothes is Green Baby, who do a brilliant range of organic clothes. They are fantastic quality and long lasting, and seem to cope with the rough and tumble nature of my Little Man, and the necessary endless washing. My two favourite items from their current Spring/Summer Range are below – one for the girls and one for the boys.
This denim pinnie is so cute. I love the detailing on it – especially the tiny pockets on the front. It is a perfect year round outfit for any little girl, and is available now from the Green Baby website from birth to 5 years.
This hooded cardigan makes an ideal jacket for this season. Its fully lined so is great for the cooler spring days or for summer evenings. Its available in red or blue stripe, and from birth to 2 years from the website.

Green Baby also has a new product out – the Reversi-T. This t-shirt can be turned inside out and back to front so can be worn an amazing 4 different ways – 4 t-shirts in 1! You can see the Reversi-T in action here – much easier than trying to explain it – and take a look at the current range. There are some brilliant new designs due out soon this summer which will prove very popular, especially for those sporty children. Reversi-T’s are available in a range of designs for boys and girls in sizes 2 to 11 years.

TP Toys
Toys are brilliant, but keeping children active whilst playing is also important. I am a big fan of this trampoline from TP Toys, which is designed for children from 1 year plus.
Its neat and compact design is one of its main appeals. With a press of the button on the front you can fold down the handle so the trampoline can be easily put away when not in use. It can also be used indoors or out, making it a great toy whatever the weather. My Little Man is still getting to grips with this. Standing on it is not a problem. Its just a little difficult explaining the idea of bouncing to him. Apparently my demonstration using his Makka Pakka was not sufficient. The Bubble Bouncer can be bought direct from TP Toys at their website, where you’ll also find a range of larger outdoor trampolines for older children.

Leapfrog
If you’re looking for a something a little more educational this Easter then Leapfrog are sure to have the answer. As you all know my Little Man is a lover of books and merrily flicks through pages looking at the pictures… admittedly the book is often upside down AND back to front but the idea is there. We read books to him but he’d rather just look at the pictures, so when I saw this product I was immediately interested.
The Tag Reading system from Leapfrog is brilliant. Your child is given a handheld device – the little green creature in the image above – which they can hold against a page in one of the special Tag books. The book then comes to life, with the device reading the text on the page to your little one, or talking about a certain image depending on where you child touches. When you set up the device using a USB cable and your computer you even get to personalise it, so it always greets you child by name, something my Little Man found very entertaining. The only problem I’ve found with the Tag Junior Book Pal is that the on/off button is rather prominent. This will be great for independent reading with the books, but at the moment my Little Man mainly turns it on and off and on again. I’m thinking a supply of batteries will be needed!! The Tag Reading system starts at 12 months with the Junior Book Pal and moves on to the Tag Pen from age 4. A huge range of books, educational packs and carry cases are also available. The full Tag range can be found at your nearest toy store and on the Leapfrog website.

WOW Toys
I think its great to buy British toys, and WOW do a fabulous range from 18 months plus. They have some new designs out, and here are two of my favourites.
“Whizz Around Amy” is a cool motorbike and side-car which comes with a girl called Annabelle, a bouquet of flowers, Ted the Teddy Bear and Tilly the kitten. The characters can all ride in the bike and side-car or sit on the sidelines whilst Amy whizzes about. The bike makes impressive engine noises and the wheels are very responsive for easy whizzing about. Great for all action girls!
“Ryans Road Trip” is all ready for this summers ‘staycation’. Equipped with truck, trailer, tent, camp fire, dog, Dad and son, this is a camping trip that’s ready for anything. Everything fits together so that the truck can set off on its adventures with tent in tow on the handy trailer, or the truck can nip out on its own leaving the trailer at the camp site. I think every summer holiday needs one of these!

Both toys require no batteries – brilliant news – and can be found on the Wow Toys website.

JellyBox
Now Easter is all about eggs I know, but the Easter Bunny is a popular character and I think this little chap would make a great one!
Available in beige, pink or blue this would make the perfect 1st Easter gift for any newborn. Beautifully soft and cuddly this lovely rabbit comes in a lovely reusable box with magnetic fastening, which would make a great memory box. He is also machine washable which any parent will tell you is essential! If you fancy spoiling your little one with a JellyBox bunny this Easter I can exclusively offer you 15% off between now and Easter Monday with code SUM01 which you can use at the checkout on the JellyBox website.

Next Spring/Summer 2012 Range Preview!

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Blogger Event, Information | Posted on 28-11-2011

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Last week I was amongst a select few bloggers who got to take a trip up to Next HQ in Leicester to view their new range for early 2012. What a brilliant day out, and what gorgeous clothes! I love buying clothes for my Little Man. If I could afford to I’d spend a fortune on him as I just adore all the tiny outfits that you can get for children. Having seen what Next are going to be offering next year I can assure you they won’t disappoint.

First up in my preview is their new unisex range. I was nervous about the prospects of unisex – I expected beige, white, cream – but I was thrilled to find bright colourful clothes in every colour of the rainbow.

 

I then focused on the boys range – sorry to anyone with a girl, but you have some lovely clothes to come too – as I wanted to make a start on my list of things that I’ll be buying when the range fully hits the shelves in January. Here’s my pick of the best!

I especially love the blue jumper at the top – the hood sports cute dinosaur detailing and it say “Roar!” on the back. I think Little Man can look forward to wearing that in the New Year.

The full range hits the shelves of your local Next store in early January – keep your eyes peeled!