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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: Due Patent Diving Blue Fitflops

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Fashion, Product Reviews | Posted on 24-10-2013

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When I think about Fitflops I automatically think of those chunky flip flops that were all the rage several years ago. Not my idea of nice footwear – I don’t do flip flops unless I’m honeymooning in Hawaii. When I was contacted by the team at Fitflop to take a look at their website and choose a pair to review I wasn’t particularly hopeful. How wrong was I. After a bit of surfing I’d found several pairs that looked amazing – like “real” shoes, not just flip flops. After much deliberation I settled on a pair of Due Patent in Diving Blue.
Fitflop Due Patent Diving Blue Shoes

How pretty are they!

Here’s what the website says about them:
“Built on a super-cushioned, height-enhancing midsole – our ultra-versatile DUÉ looks like a ballerina and feels like a sneaker. Scoop cut with a rounded toe cap, it’s flirty, feminine, can go formal or fun, works equally well with skinny jeans or a skirt, and feels amazing underfoot. Ladies, it’s that shoe you’ve been looking for your whole life.” 

The idea of Fitflops is simple enough. Ultra comfortable shoes that make you look and feel amazing. I was very keen to try them so put them on immediately. The curved sole does make them a little “bouncy” and going back to “normal” flat soled shoes afterwards was a bit odd. The Fitflops were really very comfortable and this style is both practical and fun. Flat shoes are all I wear so this pair is perfect for me, and I’ll no doubt end up wearing them with my jeans, but also with skirts and dresses, and in the summer months may be even with a pair of shorts. They can genuinely be worn with anything. And if the colour is a bit much for you, you can also get them in nude.

Now I own a lot of shoes – just ask my husband – and a lot of them are this style of ballerina flat. Finding shoes in this style to fit can be a bit of a mission though. Whilst I have fairly average size 5 feet my toes are quite long – yes, I have freaky feet – so I often struggle with standard size 5’s. With the Fitflops I was thrilled to find they did half sizes, so ordered these shoes in a 5.5. Perfect fit. It not only means I can wear them despite my weird toes, but also means I can wear them over socks if needs be or over thick tights in the winter, making them a truly versatile and year round shoe.

Overall I am really pleased with my new shoes. Yes, they take a bit of getting used to with their bouncy soles, but they are comfortable and stylish, and to be honest that’s all I’m really looking for in a pair of shoes. The pair I nearly chose was “The Cuddler” – and I think I’ll be popping a pair on my Christmas Wish List!!

Keeping School Uniforms Clean

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Back To School, Product Reviews | Posted on 10-09-2013

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Well the children have been back at school for about a week now – or longer if you’re north of the border. Little Man had his first morning at preschool last Thursday and, despite a few tears once I’d left, coped really well. Very proud mummy. What I did notice though when I picked him up was the fact he looked rather grubby. Paint and pens on his fingers, but also sand and dirt on his clothes. To be expected, particularly when you have a little boy.
He has two tshirts which he wears as his uniform, along with some shorts when its hot and trousers when its cooler. His tshirts are a bright green colour and have the preschools logo on the front. I want to keep them looking bright and colourful right through the school year, and maybe into next as they do swamp him at present.

Washing Little Man’s clothes is a bit of a minefield as he does suffer with eczema – the perils of being related to me sadly. We have medicated cream and moisturiser to protect his skin but we do have to watch what we use to wash his clothes. Non-bio is generally the safest bet, but I do tend to use a fabric softener as well, just to make sure everything is comfortable against his skin.

Clothes will probably start getting the Persil Small & Mighty with eraser ball treatment. This works wonders on really hard to get out stains like tomato sauce, simply by popping some straight onto the stain and rubbing it in with the eraser ball. I’ll also be using the new Comfort Bright Colours fabric conditioner with his school uniform. As well as keeping his clothes nice and soft, it also works to keep them looking nice and bright too.

Best get plenty Persil and Comfort in. Based on day one, its going to be a long messy school year!

Guest Review: Sanamama Carrier

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Reviewer | Posted on 03-01-2013

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The New Year brings another new guest reviewer on Sussex Mummy. Local mummy Louise carries her daughter Evelyn around all the time and is somewhat of an expert when it comes to carriers, slings and all things “Baby Wearing”. She was therefore an ideal candidate to test out the Sanamama carrier. This is how she got on.

“Being an attachment minded parent for me (and my husband) meant that leaving my daughter to cry wasn’t an option and I enjoyed nothing better than holding and nurturing her – good job really as she hated to lie on her back so as you can imagine car seats and prams weren’t designed with her in mind.

My daughter is now 20 months old and still loves to be carried, as do many toddlers I’m sure, and using a sling or carrier enables you to do this without the back breaking side effects of trying to multi-task when pushing a pram, allowing you to have your hands free for the pushchair you bought out anyway and the dog you are supposed to be walking.

The Sanamama is so easy to use and is ideal for this age group as they can be standing up and clipped into the fabric seat section and ready to go in seconds. The fabric is soft and the clips are strong enabling you to safely manoeuvre them on to your back with little experience of baby wearing and back carrying. There is one large clip that does up around your stomach and thick padded straps that can be adjusted on your shoulders. The carrier has wide fabric on each side that you can cover your little ones legs with before fastening or the fabric can go under their legs, either way, supporting babies back and bottom with no pressure  through their the spine, hips or crotch area.

The durable fabric enables baby to have their arms tucked inside and snuggled against mummy or out ensuring they can still read a little book or enjoy their favourite snack.  The back of the sling comes up nice and high so it supports the neck of your child enabling them to relax, or in Evelyn’s case, sleep.  Evelyn slept for two and a half hours on my back while I successfully completed my Christmas shopping hands free.

The sling comes in neutral colours making it ideal for daddy to wear.  Also, the seat pouch section they sit in means it is easy to swap from mummy’s back to daddy’s back and vice versa, easily adjusting the straps to suit when she is in situ. I must also mention the zip pocket for those all important snacks to nibble on along the way was rather handy.

The Sanamama is machine washable which is ideal and is so lightweight it can be worn as a rucksack until they are ready to be carried. It is also compatible with my Peekaroo fleece that fits over both of us and also works great with a standard poncho with enough room for both of us with none of the bulkiness of huge winter jackets under the sling.

I would definitely recommend the Sanamama and would have liked to have had this as an option among my many carriers when my daughter was smaller too. I think it is the easiest of my slings to have used around the house while hoovering or while she was taking a nap as I like the internal seat harness for its quickness and support while getting her on and off my back awake or asleep.”

You can find out more about the Sanamama carriers at their website and you will also find them on Twitter @MySanamama.

New Shoes For Christmas From Hotter

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Product Reviews | Posted on 22-11-2012

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If you’re looking for something stylish and comfortable to wear on Christmas Day this year, or want to spoil your other half with a good long lasting pair of shoes then here are a couple of Hotter’s newest additions, perfect for the festive period.

For the man in your life the new “Thor” shoe is a very versatile style. A great sporty appearance which is also smart enough for a trip to the pub or date night these shoes are superb. They also benefit from being Gortex so you don’t need to worry about puddles or heavy rain, plus you could use them if you’re taking the children for a walk in the park or woods and find yourself a but muddy!! My husband has a pair of these and he uses them on “Casual Fridays” to go to work. He has to walk to our local train station which is about a mile then about three miles to his office when he gets off the train. Whilst he has said that the soles are a little harder then he is used to – typically he wears trainers to walk to work – he was impressed that they withstood all weathers and as a daily commuter this was very important. “Thor” shoes are available in Mahogany (shown here) or Mushroom and are priced at £95.
For the girls, if you’re looking for a nice comfortable heel to wear on Christmas Day whilst you’re dashing about after the children and cooking up a feast in the kitchen then the “Amethyst” might just be your perfect shoe. A stylish court shoe with a quirky off-set strap this comes in Brown (shown here), Ocean or Taupe. Its ideal for wearing with skirts or dresses for something formal, but would also work fine with a pair of jeans for a day out with the girls or a trip to the shops. This shoes features a new sole with additional padding around the heel and ball of your foot making it even more comfortable to wear for a long time. The shoe also fastens with a simple velcro patch which makes them quick to get on and off whilst also looking smart. I am a huge fan of Hotter shoes as you’ll know from previous posts, but these are without doubt my favourite pair. They are so comfortable, and for someone who lives in flats this is quite a feat. I will definitely be wearing these on Christmas Day and no doubt for a long time to come.

You can find these latest styles from Hotter and many more in store or online now.

Product Review: Joolz Day Pram

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Holiday, Product Reviews | Posted on 12-07-2012

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Having the right pram for your child is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a parent. You need them to be totally safe, secure and comfortable, but you also want the best pram for you – one that is easy to manoeuvre, perhaps one that fits into a compact car, maybe you need one that can go off-road. You know what you need and you can bet there is a pram out there that is perfect for you. One you might not have heard of, but should definitely consider, is the Joolz Day.

The Joolz Day is the ultimate pram. Above you can see it as we mostly used it – as a forward facing pushchair. Little Man loved riding about in this pram – he was that little bit higher up than with other prams so had a better view of his surroundings, his feet sat neatly on the adjustable footrest, and he held on tightly to the safety bar. The large back wheels had great suspension on them so he was never bounced and shaken around, he was always gliding about in total comfort – even when we took the pram onto the beach during our holiday in Devon, though we did have to balance the pram just on the back wheels!

The Joolz Day also gives you the option of turning this seat around so your child can be facing you. On the occasions where we pushed him around like this it made handing him snacks and drinks much easier. Having the seat in this position would be ideal for younger babies who had recently progressed out of the carry cot. Little Man wasn’t overly keen as he’d much rather look at where he’s going then whoever is pushing him around!

The Joolz Day comes with a carry cot which has a hypo-allergenic breathable mattress inside. I only wish Little Man had been small enough to fit in this as it feels so soft and cosy. It is a good size and can be carried around by transferring the safety bar across from the pushchair. The carry cot would make an ideal bed for your newborn when at home, as well as if you’re visiting friends or relations – one less thing to pack in the car!

Moving from carry cot to pushchair is simple – whether forward or rear facing. Each component simply clicks in and out of position with ease, and when not in use they take up very little room.

One of my favourite features on the Joolz Day was the handlebar which is adjustable. By simply pulling on two small latches you can raise or lower the handlebar to suit whoever is pushing it. This was a great feature which came in very handy on holiday as both myself, my husband and Little Man’s grandparents were on pushing duty at some point, and it allowed each user to push in comfort. A handlebar at the wrong height makes pushing a pram very uncomfortable so this feature is a godsend.

I also loved the ease with which we could manoeuvre the Joolz Day. Its turning circle is tiny, and with it being lightweight (just 12kg) and having swivelling wheels on the front and the giant back wheels, the pram literally glides on its journey. You could push it around easily with just one hand if needs be, making it a good choice for anyone with an older child who perhaps doesn’t need a pram any more, but still needs to be kept an eye on! I could safely push Little Man around in this with one hand with a takeaway coffee in the other, safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t put him (or any passers-by) at risk.

When it comes to collapsing the Joolz Day to put it in the boot of your car or take it on board public transport it is a bit of a hassle unfortunately. To go in the boot its fine – you need to take off whichever seat you are using and then fold the chassis up. Now it does fold fairly flat and if you’re putting it into the boot your child will have already been placed into a car seat. If you’re taking them onto a bus or train however and you’re alone it could be a bit of a nightmare. You are going to struggle getting this pram onto public transport in one piece, so if that is your only means of travel, this pram might not be the one for you. Whilst on holiday in Devon we went on a cliff railway. Luckily there were four adults so one of us carried Little Man, one of us carried the seat, and another carried the chassis. That journey of only a couple of minutes would have been impossible on my own.

At £649 this is a pricey pram, but if it meets your needs it is a sturdy piece of equipment which is certain to last you for as long as your child needs a pram, and maybe even for any future additions. A list of your nearest retailers can be found online here.

Product Review: BedStar Memory Foam Pillows

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 27-02-2012

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I love sleep. I never really realised how important sleep was to me until I had my son, and those first few weeks passed in a sleep deprived fog whilst you got used to the idea that you were never going to sleep properly again. At least until you convince your children to move out anyway! Due to my love of sleep, and my intense need for it, I demand comfort when I’m in bed. From a comfy mattress to good pillows and perfect duvet. You can imagine my enthusiasm therefore when BedStar offered my two memory foam pillows to test out for them.

BedStar is an online store selling all manner of beds, mattresses, pillows and bedroom furniture. I was sent a pair of their memory foam pillows which are currently on offer at just £49 with free delivery.

I’ve tried a memory foam pillow before but found it far too solid. To this day in fact it is still brick like and has never dipped even slightly. Unfortunately the BedStar ones were the complete opposite. I used it every night for a week, and for the first two or three nights it was brilliant. It supported my head well, I was comfortable and I genuinely think I slept better than usual. Sadly this didn’t last. By night four the pillow was almost pancake flat and has only puffed back up a bit by me not using it, which somewhat defeats the purpose. To use occasionally this pillow is fine, so would make a good guest bed pillow, but it didn’t work for me as a regular pillow.

You can see the complete BedStar range on their website.

Disclaimer: I received these pillows as a review product, but all opinions are my own.

Product Review: Pillow Pets

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 23-02-2012

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This spring sees the launch of the Original Pillow Pets in the UK, thanks to Mookie Toys.

At first glance this is just a large cuddly toy, but underneath is a small Velcro strap. If you undo that and secure the protective flap over, you are left with a large soft pillow. This makes an ideal pillow for on long journeys, or to use at nap time, or if you’re my Little Man something to lie on whilst you watch television.

 

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at these at Toy Fair 2012 a few weeks ago. They are so soft and cuddly it was hard to put down, and since Little Man’s Monkey friend arrived in our house he’s had to fight Mummy and Daddy for cuddles with it!

There are a lot of similar style products on the market but this is the original, and without a doubt the best. Available in a range of styles – Panda, Penguin, Unicorn, Puppy, Monkey, Ladybird, Pig and Bee – you can pick up a Pillow Pet from Amazon, Toys R Us and other major retailers. They will soon be available direct from the Pillow Pets website.

Product Review: Hotter Shoes

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 18-02-2012

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On an average day, how many hours do you spend on your feet? Do you spend the day doing school runs, house work or running after a toddler with boundless energy? Do you do all three? I have a 16 month old who is always on the go plus I seem to go up and down the stairs a dozen times a day with washing, nappy changes and the odd bit of house work. When it comes to my footwear comfort is paramount. Long gone are the days of wearing anything remotely heeled – though to be fair those days were few and far between anyway. Nowadays you’re more likely to find me in a pair of well worn trainers then anything else. I want comfortable shoes that are going to last, but I also want them to be pretty – I am a girl after all – so I was thrilled to discover the Cleo Shoes from Hotter.

These are billed on the Hotter website as “Mary-Jane styling meets contemporary sports shoe” so sounded ideal for me. The shoes are lightweight and adjustable using the strap across the top. They come with a good solid sole and have a soft comfortable fit. When the packing talked about it feeling like you were walking on a million air bubbles I was a little sceptical and thought the design team had gone a little overboard with their description. I was delighted to be proven wrong. These are, without a doubt, the comfiest shoes I have ever owned, and my husband and mum will attest for my long term shoe addiction.

The Cleo shoe is available in three colour schemes, and the Violet, Beige and Aqua I received is new for Spring 2012.

You can find out more about the glorious Hotter range now at their website.

Persil Non Bio and Comfort Pure’s Exclusive Online Skin Care Tool

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 18-10-2011

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This Autumn Persil Non Bio and Comfort Pure will present their first ever bespoke online skincare tool for mums and their babies. The tool, developed in partnership with the British Skin Foundation and a leading pediatric dermatologist, aims to educate mums on skincare – whether it’s their own throughout pregnancy or that of their new baby.

Skincare is an important consideration for new mums and mums to be and with the new Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure tool they will receive credible and tailored advice at the click of a button. It is simple and easy to use, with results appearing in just a few minutes – perfect for even the busiest mum!

Why not take a peek here and get some indispensable advice for yourself if you’re pregnant or for your new bundle of joy.