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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: Apple & Ginger

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle | Posted on 14-09-2015

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I’ve shared a few images of Little Dude’s bedroom on here before, but for those of you that don’t know there is a farm theme running through it. We did this in the simplest way possible with some of those reusable wall stickers which we have running along with top of his bed, and we’ve recently bought him some proper bedding, and gone for one set with animals and tractors on.

One of his favourite toys is a farm set which we keep in a box in the playroom, but we’re always looking for other farm related items which we can add to his bedroom. I was recently approached by Rachael from Apple & Ginger and asked if I’d like to review on of her new wall pictures and when I came across a tractor print, I couldn’t say no!

Apple&Ginger-Tractor-SussexMummy

I just love this picture. It’s so bright and vibrant, and I adore how it can be personalised with your child’s name – the rhyme quote is also optional.

This is now hung on Little Dude’s wall, complete with his name and the quote. We received it beautifully framed and with a safe acrylic as opposed to glass covering making it less likely to break. I bursts out from the wall and Little Dude rather enjoys pointing at it and shouting out his favourite word, “DAT!”

Now of course there are other prints to choose from to suit any bedroom or playroom theme, from fire engines to balloons to even an ice cream van. You can buy just the print or a framed version in either A4 or A3 sizes, and there is even optional gift wrapping available too.

You can find Apple & Ginger on both Facebook and Instagram.

Review: John Lewis Bath Sheet

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Product Reviews | Posted on 12-07-2013

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white bathroom with blueberry coloured john lewis towels

There are few things I enjoy more in life than a nice long relaxing soak in the bath. The water nice and hot, a glass of wine to hand, and probably my e-reader too. Queue a bit of chilled out “Me Time” and a well deserved break. Baths don’t happen all that often though, as time tends to not allow. Showers are more likely – much quicker and easier, but certainly not as relaxing. When I get out of the bath I like a nice soft towel to wrap around myself, but a lot of the ones we own are inadequate. Bath towels are just not big enough more often than not, and despite my best efforts they don’t tend to have a lasting softness either. Until now.

John Lewis recently sent me a pair of their Egyptian Cotton Bath Sheets to review in a gorgeous Blueberry colour, as can be seen here. Measuring 165cm by 90cm these bath sheets are generously sized, and the height of luxury in any bathroom. They are super soft and snuggly, and this softness lasts. I’ve used the bath sheets on a number of occasions and washed them a few times too. They are still cosy and soft when I wrap them around myself after a rare relaxing bath, or a more common speedy shower.

These towels are of course available in a huge range of colours, and you can get towels of other sizes too if you want to get a complete set. I adore this Blueberry colour – its such a glorious shade – but I do also like the Slate, the Claret and the Chocolate. Our bathroom doesn’t really have a defined colour scheme. The walls are cream and there are white tiles and a white bathroom suite. Its basically a blank canvas. I think maybe I could get a few matching hand towels in three or four different colours just to add a hit of brightness to the room, which I can change whenever I wish.

You can find the full John Lewis Egyptian Cotton Towel range online and in store, with prices starting from just £3.

Happy Birthday Total Greek!

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Blogger Event, Foodie | Posted on 14-06-2013

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I was very lucky last night to be invited to the Total Greek Birthday Bash, celebrating 30 years of Total Greek Yogurt in the UK. At a venue in Central London a small group of food bloggers gathered for a special masterclass from Master Pâtissier Eric Lanlard. After arrival drinks we watched as Eric took two sponge cakes and sliced them into horizontally before layering them with a mix of Total Greek Yogurt and cream and fresh fruit. Each sponge layer was brushed with a naughty sugar syrup mix laced with ouzo, before the whole cake was surrounded by white chocolate cigarellos and topped with fresh fruit and a special gold leaf caramel. As you can imagine it looked amazing. And he then told us that WE had to replicate it. Mild panic set in amongst the bloggers at this point!

As you can see our stations were well equipped with all the ingredients, a selection of fresh fruit, and plenty bowls, knives, spatulas and piping bags. Having never used a piping bag before I was rather worried, but thankfully the piped cream mix was inside the cake so you can’t really see it. I must confess that it was A LOT of fun. Intimidating yes having Eric wandering around whilst you worked but he was really lovely and offered motivational advice when needed. It was all a bit “Generation Game”-esque with about 10 people frantically making their own cakes but working so close together meant we could all help each other out when needed.

Clearly Eric’s cake looked stunning. His is the one on the left here, and mine is the one on the right.

Now I must admit that I’m rather proud of my cake. Neat cake decorating is not something I do. I tend to bake with a toddler “helping” so it all becomes a bit carnage like. This is the poshest cake I’ve ever decorated in my life. My caramel shards do look a tad menacing compared to Eric’s more delicate ones, but you can probably blame Tea, Cake and Make for that, with whom I shared caramel making and breaking duties! I’ll be tucking in to this cake this evening – its currently being hidden from Little Man!

After the cake decorating extravaganza the room was transformed into a Greek haven, with music, cocktails and delicious canapes courtesy of Tonia Buxton. A lovely evening of food, drink and excellent company followed. A fantastic party and a brilliant way to celebrate Total Greek.

Home: Time To Redecorate

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Information | Posted on 03-05-2013

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I am loving this warm weather at the moment, and with prospects of it continuing for a while, it should be a great Bank Holiday weekend. There’s something about the sunny weather that makes people feel more optimistic and energised, and I seem to find myself achieving much more lately. Hubby and I have been talking about getting some more decorating done this summer in the house, and I think its high time our bedroom got a new look. I’ve been wanting to paint a wall or two in there since we moved in – the house was literally a blank canvas with pale cream walls in every room – and we’ve been thinking a green colour would be nice. Spring like but also, apparently, good for helping you sleep.

I do have a bit of a thing for bedding too. I’m under strict instructions that I don’t buy any more new bedding without getting rid of existing sets first. To be fair all the bedding I’ve bought in recent years has been for Little Man, what with monkeys and Buzz Lightyear being high on his list of favourites. I’m hoping for something a little subtler in our bedroom. Something to compliment the green wall, like yellows, creams or browns. Chances are I won’t be able to sneak a new complete bedding set into the house, but perhaps I can convince Hubby to a new throw, blanket or bedspread. Something a bit luxurious, just to treat ourselves for a change as opposed to Little Man.

Maybe we’ll brave the shops this weekend and pick up some bits and pieces. Ideally I’d like some nice paint, a matching throw for the bed, and perhaps a couple of bedside lamps instead of coping with just one and someone invariably walking in to the bed each night! Our bedroom is our little haven – mostly – and I think its time we spruced it up a bit. At least until Little Man decides to use our bed as a trampoline again!

Product Review: Sweet Treats Cake Pop Maker

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 14-09-2012

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When I was offered a Cake Pop Maker to review I was a little sceptical. The whole Cake Pop phenomenon has somewhat passed me by. The idea of a ball of cake on a stick seemed totally bizarre to me, and I really didn’t get the appeal at all. When my Sweet Treats Cake Pop Maker arrived I was pleasantly surprised, to the point I can see me becoming something of an addict!

The only Cake Pop recipe I’d seen was to get pre-baked cake, crumble it, stick it back together, and cover it in melted chocolate. The first thing I liked about the Cake Pop Maker was that I’d be making them fresh and there wouldn’t be strange bits of cake making up my Pop, but a whole mouthful of fresh cake. Following the simple recipe which came with the machine – of which there are 5 to choose from – I set about making a batch. Now each recipe makes 30 – ideal for a party or gathering, but somewhat excessive for a trial run – so I halved it and ended up making 14. The recipe I used was a traditional sponge recipe so I knew what it should look like before baking. I was a little nervous about portioning it into the Maker – which makes 6 at a time – because I didn’t want to overfill them and end up with cake batter everywhere!

Within 4 minutes of closing the lid I had 6 round balls of cake. Now if you’re going to make these for a party or guests generally decoration is key. They are not the most attractive of things naked. Just warm out of the Maker they are delightful and alarmingly addictive. Little Man and I polished off the first batch very quickly. What surprised me was that whilst I was waiting for the second batch to bake my mind started ticking over of ways I could decorate them and events I could use them for. I already have plans to serve them at Little Man’s 2nd birthday next month, and there are ideas forming for Christmas designs as I type. Sticks are part of the Cake Pop process – mainly because they make decorating them so much easier – but I can imagine a pile of them on a plate, Ferrero Rocher style!

If balls of cake still don’t appeal to you – and I implore you to try them out – there is also a recipe for mini doughnuts. Yes, doughnuts. The batter mix is slightly different and whilst warm you roll them in sugar, but the idea of being able to create a batch of mini doughnuts within about 10 minutes is something to be investigated endlessly.

So whilst there is nothing more satisfying then a leisurely afternoon baking a delicious cake for my family, I must confess that I am now somewhat addicted to Cake Pops – I have a pile of sticks ready and am considering a Cake Pop Cookbook. For quick and simple treats for your children, or for a gorgeous centre piece at a party instead of a large cake, Cake Pops may well be the future.

The Sweet Treats Cake Pop Maker is available now from Lakeland.