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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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December 1st

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas Gift Guide | Posted on 01-12-2016

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I have been rubbish at blogging recently. I have no idea where the time has gone, or how it is already the start of December. But today I decided would be the ideal time to show off this awesome product that arrived many weeks ago.

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I love this mug. Looks like a plain boring white mug yes? Nope. How about now?

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Cool huh? Or what about this?

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Yep. Same mug. Bit proud of the penguin I must confess.

You see this mug comes with a special pen which lets your draw on a design of your choice. It looks permanent, but it washes off, so you can change your mug every day if you wish. Or you can write a special message for a friend or loved one before you give it them as a gift. Maybe even your child’s teacher as a Christmas present. The pen makes it totally personalised and unique, making it the ultimate bespoke gift. And you can give them the pen too so if they wash the design off, they can re-doodle their own.

Eat Sleep Doodle do lots of products with the same doodling feature. As well as the mug, they sent me two of their Placemat-To-Go’s.

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Each cotton sheet features a printed on plate and cutlery on one side and a graph paper design on the other. It comes in a handy carry bag and includes a set of ten coloured pens. We’ve not tested this out yet – I’m thinking it’ll get lots of use over Christmas though. Ideal for taking to the grandparents for when the kids are waiting on their food, or for when you’re eating out at restaurants. The children can draw to their hearts content – maybe try and doodle their dinner – and then you simply pop them in the washing machine and they are ready for next time. I’m thinking they’ll also come in handy in the car for keeping the boys entertained on our way to visit family over the festive period. The fact it comes in a bag is just super convenient. Hopefully I’ll get some action shots of this in use over on my Instagram in the coming weeks.

Do make your way over to the Eat Sleep Doodle website and take a look at their awesome products – lots of Christmas gift inspiration for those of you who haven’t finished shopping yet. Fingers crossed, for the first year ever, I might be done by December 1st… hopefully.

Guest Post: Romantic Crafts For Valentines Day

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 30-01-2014

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Valentine’s Day is a couple of weeks off so here are some ideas for romantic crafts you can do yourself for your loved one. A home-made gift can make a greater impression that a shop-bought one, so why not get creative and show your special someone how much you care?

Cards

Okay, so this may seem very obvious and a bit dull, but you would be surprised at the effect a personalised card can make on your loved one. Homecrafts.co.uk has lots of choice when it comes to materials and can also give you some inspiration if you’re stumped for ideas. A hand-written poem inside a card adds a personal touch and you can even pick something witty or funny if sappy sentiments aren’t your thing. If you’re feeling really ambitious you can make your own card from scratch and add a photo, child’s drawing or even mementoes of your first date, such as movie stubs or pressed flowers.

Photo frames/albums

Giving someone a photograph as a present is special enough, but if you really want to go for gold, you can try making a personalised photo frame or album to match. Using your loved one’s favourite colours, shapes or decor styles, you can create a wonderful gift that shows that you put both thought and effort into their present. If you can, try to match the frame to the picture to really bring home the personalised touch. If it is a snap of you and your beau on a sunny beach, why not decorate your frame with seashells, sand and blue glass beads?

Mementoes

Most of us have specific memories when it comes to our loved ones, whether it is a first date, anniversary, favourite song or a funny story, and you can use this knowledge to make them a really special gift. Gather your treasured mementoes and place them in a frame to create a stunning collage that charts your relationship, or decorate a keepsake box for your loved one to keep their special memories inside. This is a gift that truly embodies the saying ‘it’s the thought that counts’ so make yours count with a memorable gift.

Food and drink

Food and drink are not only essential parts of our daily lives, they are also sumptuous, decedent, stimulating and relaxing. Cooking together and eating together is a pleasure many couples share so get in on the fun! Create a personalised picnic hamper containing all of your loved one’s favourite treats – it doesn’t matter where you choose to enjoy them as long as you do it together. And if they also enjoy cooking food as much as they do eating it, why not try cooking something new and exotic together instead of ordering your usual takeaway?

Office romance

While your special someone is away all day at their office while you work at yours, treat them to a gift that they can look at all day long when they are missing you most. An office desk gift is sweet and simple and is a lovely, subtle way to say ‘I love you’. A small picture frame, a hand-made pencil pot or a personalised photo calendar are all practical and romantic gifts that should make your loved one’s desk a better place to be stuck at all day.

This article was written by freelance writer and mother of three, Kathryn Thompson.  Follow her on Twitter: @katht35

Christmas Stocking Fillers: For Children…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Christmas Gift Guide, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 14-11-2012

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Its Christmas!!

Well at the very least its approaching fast, and no doubt most of you have begun your shopping already. If any of you have finished your shopping… I hate you. Joke.

If you’re looking for inspiration for a few stocking filler for your little ones, or topping up a main present, all of the gifts below are available now for less the £15.

1. Justin’s Funny Faces Sticker Activity Book
The phenomenal Justin Fletcher – star of Something Special, GiggleBiz, Justin’s House – brings you this brilliant sticker book. Full of faces and reusable stickers your children will have hours of fun creating and recreating lots of funny faces. This has an RRP of £3.99 and is available now from Amazon.

2. Wow Toys: George’s Dragon Tale
Join Sir George and Smokey as they go on a quest in this excellent set from Wow. Complete with a chariot and boulder which can be fired at any foe they might meet, this is a great little set for the boys. This retails for £7.99 and is available from all good Wow Toy stockists.

3. Colour Me Fun Crayons: Gingerbread Men
This festive edition of the popular Colour Me Fun Crayon sets comes with eight gingerbread men in a range of colours. Non toxic, high quality and super cute these are a great buy for any budding artist. Other festive sets are available or you can get their names. Prices start from £2.49. See the complete range here.

4. Deadly 60 and The Simpsons Games
Fans of either show will love these boxes trivia games. The games are simple to play and quick fire so nobody will get bored. Each comes with 400 multiple choice questions on either show. The Ruckus Deadly 60 card game is a fast paced card collecting game where anything could change up till the last moment. All games are suitable from 8 years plus and prices start from £5. You’ll find all the games in your nearest toy store, or online here.

5. Festive Books: Everything’s Rosie, Thomas The Tank Engine, and Mr Men
Books make great gifts for children, and these Christmas themed titles are even better. Featuring characters from their favourite TV shows children will enjoy reading these again and again, and probably not just during the festive period. Priced at £3.99 each you can find these titles in your local bookstore.

6. The Hungry Frogs ‘Magic Sound’ Board Game
An ideal first board game for pre-schoolers this is a simple game of turn taking, counting and moving around the board. You are on a mission to collect flies, and the first to make it home with 5 flies wins. Every time its your go you also get to press the ‘Magic Sound Button’ which makes a loud croaking sound – without a doubt Little Man’s favourite feature. You can find stockist details here.

7. Wow Toys: Arctic Archie
Archie the Snow Mobile is a lovely toy for Christmas, particularly if you are looking forward to snow this year. Joined by Scott and Penelope the Penguin Archie is a great push along toy, and whats more its quiet too. A nice peaceful gift perhaps? Retailing at £8.99 you can find a list of stockists here.

8. Pirate Rag Doll
Whilst Rag Dolls are traditionally for girls, Little Lucy Willow has created this very trendy Pirate for all the little boys out there. Beautifully made of 100% cotton you can even undress the Pirate if you want to. A great toy for any fans of Jake & The Neverland Pirates!! This Pirate retails for £15 and it available from Little Lucy Willow now.

9. Wow Toys: Pocket Friends
If you’ve already got your little one a new Wow Toys set this Christmas, or perhaps they have them all already, the Pocket Friends are a great idea. Each packet comes with one new friend and an activity sheet and you can choose either a boy or a girl. These toys are only available at existing Wow Toys stores and Road Chefs and are not available online. They are £1.99 each.

10. Artzooka Rock Painting Kit
A great little craft set which I was amazed to find included the rocks, this set gives you everything you need to create 5 rock animals. You get the rocks, paint, stickers, brush and fixings needed, as well as the instructions. Another great way to keep the children quiet for a while so you can relax after all that turkey eating! This retails at £5.99 and is available now from Amazon.

11. The Hive: Rubee
Disney Junior’s “The Hive” is very popular in our house and they have a new range of plush toys out this Christmas featuring your favourite characters. This 6.5inch plush of Rubee is great for any little girls who watch the show. Its a good size too for cuddling, which is essential. She retails at £9.99 and can be found in all good toy retailers.

Stocking Filler ideas for Mum and Dad will be online soon!

 

 

More Alternative Easter Gifts For Under 5’s…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 03-04-2012

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Twinkle Tog
Sleeping bags are brilliant for babies, especially those that wriggle around in their sleep – bags mean that you’re not up half a dozen times a night because your little one has kicked their covers off. When your little one becomes a toddler though and they are more mobile, a sleeping bag can be restrictive. When I go in to his room in the morning my Little Man tends to stand up and give me a wave as I come through the door. In a traditional sleeping bag this is usual followed by him falling over. With a Twinkle Tog the problem could be solved.
The Twinkle Tog is a duvet body suit, with defined legs which mean your little one can wander around in it if needed. It keeps them nice and warm throughout the night, and can even be used easily in a car seat if you’re travelling at bed time. I think this cute sheep design makes a great Easter gift too! Twinkle Tog’s are available from all good retailers, including Amazon and Mothercare.

Munchkin
Bath time is  always popular in our house and we like to make sure we have a good supply of toys in there to keep Little Man entertained. Munchkin do some of the best bath toys we’ve found, and we particularly enjoyed playing with this – the Dolphin Divers.
Water is scooped up using the whale and then poured through, making the dolphins spin around. Lots of splashing fun! Plus the whale sits neatly on the top when not being used. The unit fixes securely to the wall using suckers too! You can see the full Munchkin bath toy range online.

Mam
Another item now ideal for babies first Easter – an Oral Care Rabbit.

Babies oral hygiene is important from day one – not just when teeth start to appear. This cute rabbit is designed to keep tiny mouths clean and free from bacteria, as well as provided relief from the itchy gums caused by teething. It can also be used to clean those tiny first teeth. Your newborn is bound to enjoy chewing and sucking on it, and whilst you’re keeping their mouths clean they’re getting used to the idea of  brushing teeth. I think this is very cute, and a great Easter gift. Mam Oral Care Rabbits are available from baby sections of most high street stores and online. You can learn more at the Mam website.

Clintons Cards
Whilst you’re buying your Easter cards from Clintons this year – for me you can never go wrong with a Boofle card – why not take a look around on the shelves for your gifts too? As well as a lovely set of Lindt Bunnies – technically not eggs – they also have some craft activities to keep your children quiet during the holidays.
This set makes 3 foam chicks, using push out pieces in a variety of shapes. A great craft activity, and the three finished chicks can be used to decorate Easter cards, the dinner table, or just around the room for Easter weekend. These are designed for children aged 3 plus, so would be a good introduction to the world of craft. Cards, gift wrap, Lindt bunnies and Easter Craft Sets are available now at your local Clintons Cards.

Galt
If you want to get your children interested in gardening you might not automatically think of going to Galt first, but they have a great product which would be a cool Easter gift to teach them about how things grow –  Grow-A-Head Bugs!
Available in four styles – Ladybird, Bee, Butterfly, or Grasshopper – the grass grows after just a few days. Once its long enough you can start trimming or styling to your hearts content.  The Grow-A-Head is a simple yet effective first step towards gardening, allowing children to grow their own unique wild-haired creature. Grow-A-Head’s are available now from the Galt website.

Just Jaks
Baking with children is a fun, and messy, activity. The team at Just Jaks have found a way to hopefully reduce the mess and make delicious fruit flapjacks at the same time.

In your postbox sized parcel you’ll receive a bag of flapjack mix and a bag of mixed fruit, depending on which flavour you go for. To that all you will need to add is about a glass full of apple juice, and in the case of one mix a grated apple. After a good stir you pop it into the oven and 20 minutes later you have a delicious flapjack all ready. Whilst you don’t get the chewy consistency you get from sugar and syrup based flapjacks, you do get a yummy fruity flapjack which is altogether healthier – I know which I’d rather give to my Little Man!! Head over to the Just Jaks website now to check out their range.