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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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How About Holidaying In Barbados?

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Fashion, Holiday | Posted on 21-05-2013

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With the weather we’re currently experiencing – where DID summer go? – a bit of sunshine would be nice wouldn’t it? How do you fancy a 7 night half board break at the 4* Bougainvillea Beach Resort in Barbados? Sounds good doesn’t it. A bit of relaxation in this beachfront resort sounds like my idea of heaven right now. Well the team at Littlewoods is offering just that. A family of four – 2 adults and 2 children under 12 – can jet off to Barbados and enjoy all this island and resort has to offer. The resort itself has so much to do from water sports and spa treatments, to a great kids club so you can get a bit of me time whilst they play.

Littlewoods has just launched Myleene Klass’ first swimwear range which you’ll find in the Littlewoods Online Holiday Shop. Here you’ll find a range of bikinis, tankinis and suits that will be perfect for that Barbados trip. As well as Myleene’s beautiful range you can also pick up all the clothes, shoes, accessories, skin care and travel products for all the family that you’ll need, whether you end up in sunny Barbados or enjoy a holiday at home instead.

So if you fancy winning the trip to Barbados head on over to the Littlewoods Facebook page where you’ll find all the details. Entry is simple: just “Like” the page and then design your own swimwear, using the tools on the page. There’s already a gallery full of them if you need inspiration, or you could just check out what’s available at Littlewoods. Not only could you win the holiday of a lifetime, but you could see your design featured in Littlewoods next summer. Good luck!

Product Review: Packard Bell Easy Note TV Laptop

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews, Tech Review | Posted on 02-10-2012

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As a busy blogger my laptop is probably the most important piece of kit I use. Yes I use my phone to take photos and send and receive emails, but when it comes to sitting down to do the major parts of my work – writing the blog posts, researching products, making first contact with PR’s, scheduling tweets – that is all done from my laptop. So you can imagine my distress when my laptop slowed to a practical stop a few weeks ago. Thankfully my in-laws had a spare laptop they weren’t using – don’t ask my why – so I’m currently using that until we sort out a new one for me. In the mean time I was contacted by the team at Packard Bell asking if I’d like to review one of their new models. This seemed an ideal opportunity to try-before-you-buy, or at least take a look at what is out there.

I was sent a black Easy Note TV laptop to test out. When it comes to choosing the best laptop for me it needs to be comfortable and easy to type on. The keyboard is nicely spaced out – no danger of hitting the wrong keys when typing at speed – and the palm rest area is a good size. The touchpad is 20% bigger than on other laptops of this size and is “multi-gesture” which gives you complete control.

The screen is 15.6″ HD display which makes it bright and clear which is essential when you’re staring at text on a screen for hours on end. Its not the greatest screen for videos or gaming, but websites and text documents are beautifully clear. The sound isn’t the best I’ve heard, but if you want a bit of music playing whilst you work, its absolutely fine.

As a blogger I am a keen and frequent user of social media, so I must admit that the feature which excited me the most was the “Social Networking Key.” Just one tap of this button and you are instantly connected to your social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Youtube. Social media is an essential tool for bloggers so this is a great function.

If you are after an all-singing and all-dancing high-tech piece of equipment which you can do multiple things on at once and play the latest games on, this might not be the right choice for you. If you are a blogger like myself who needs fast internet access, a good clear screen for reading text and writing, a comfortable keyboard, and super fast access to your social media, then this definitely is the laptop for you. It was a joy to use and work on and is one I may well consider getting myself when we take a proper look at whats out there in the new year.

The Packard Bell Easy Note TV has a RRP of £399 and can be found at all good laptop retailers.

Product Review: Colour Changing

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Product Reviews | Posted on 21-09-2012

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Colour Changing offer a wide range of products which, as the name suggests, change colour. They sent me a couple of items to try out, and offer my readers the chance to win.

UV Nail Polish: Apricot to Red Apple
The first product was a nail varnish. This nail varnish brushes on like any other and is a soft apricot colour when it dries. You need to use this varnish as either a top coat or alone because when you go out into the sun and the UV rays hit your nails it transforms into a bright red apple shade! Made by Solar Active the varnish is strong and chip resistant, as well as providing UV protection to avoid discolouration. It is removable with any usual varnish remover. Whilst its a fun product to wear – ideal for parties, fancy dress or dressing up games with little girls – its not something to wear everyday. The colour change is fast and very impressive, but I don’t think its something to go to work wearing for example!

London Skyline Colour Changing Umbrella
Next up was an umbrella. Living in the UK means it rains more often than not, so an umbrella is a handbag essential. There is no reason however for that umbrella to be dull. This black and white umbrella features a white silhouette of the London skyline around the edge. As it rains and the umbrella becomes wet the white skyline turns a mix of bright colours. Designed by Squid Of London, and inspired by Jackson Pollack, this is more than an umbrella, its a functional piece of art. As someone who visits London regularly and has been caught out in more than my fair share of rain showers, this is now a permanent feature in my handbag!

Competition!
To win your choice of colour changing nail varnish AND a London skyline umbrella just head over to the Colour Changing Facebook page and “Like” it . Then head back here and let me know you’ve done it by commenting below. A winner will be chosen from all entries on Friday 28th September received by 8pm.

Product Review: Little Helper Fun Pod

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 07-09-2012

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My love of baking and cooking is hardly news, especially with the number of cook books I’ve been featuring recently. Its also not news that I really want to get my Little Man involved and the best product to help me do that is the Fun Pod from Little Helper.

The Fun Pod is designed to stand beside your kitchen bench or sink and allow your child t0 stand safely in it and “help” with the cooking, baking or washing up. As you can see above it has five adjustable height levels so that as your child grows they are still safe. When not in use it fits neatly underneath your bench. It has a handle on either side for carrying it around – empty of course! – and also for moving it into position. Every time I go into the kitchen with Little Man nowadays he goes straight to the Fun Pod and tries to get it out, so its clearly a winner with him.

As you can see from the photos we’ve had a lot of fun using it. Little Man “helped” me bake a Lemon Drizzle cake and greased the tin for me – a job he took very seriously. We do also have the occasional “Flour Incident” when he gets just a little carried away with his mixing. Sadly I can’t seem to tempt him into wearing an apron! Once we’re done baking he is always keen to help wash up which is fantastic for me, though I tend to just let him loose with a few spoons and plastic plates. I promise you he is not about to eat that foam, despite how that photo looks!!

The Fun Pod is the ultimate kitchen accessory if you want to get your children baking with you. Compact, light weight and so easy to build, it is a much safer alternative to standing them on a chair with you. Getting them involved with baking also keeps them entertained and allows you time to get on with what you’re trying to do.

We were sent the brand new Walnut Fun Pod for the purposes of this review. With modern kitchens becoming much darker in decor the team at Little Helper wanted to make sure the Fun Pod complimented the kitchen it was in instead of clashing or being something of an eyesore.

Competition!

I have a brand new Walnut Fun Pod to give away to one lucky reader, and entering is simple.

1. Head over to the Little Helper Facebook page and click “Like” then write on their wall telling them that Sussex Mummy sent you.
2. Follow Little Helper on Twitter and send them a Tweet including my Twitter handle @SussexMummy.
3. Either of these will gain you ONE entry into the draw. Once you’ve done one or both of these things come back to this page and write a comment below telling me how you’ve entered.

The competition closes at 8pm on Friday 5th October 2012 and winners will be notified via Facebook or Twitter once the draw has taken place.

 

Product Review: Little Baby Bugs Bibs

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 12-08-2011

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The bandana bib reviews continue – bet you thought they were long gone didn’t you?

“Little Baby Bugs” is owned and run by two WAHM’s Becky and Louise who are based in Rochdale. They design, make and sell all their products themselves, and their range is very impressive. They hand-make bibs, reusable wipes, tag blankets, wet bags and cloth nappies in a range of colourful designs. They are even beginning offer a bespoke service where they’ll use specific colour stitching or embroidery to make your item super unique and personal to you and your little ones.

“Little Baby Bugs” sent me two bibs to test out, and I can officially say these are the cuddliest bibs I have ever felt. The quality is incredible too, and they work beautifully. Not a drop of dribble made it on to my little man’s clothing and I think he rather enjoyed cuddling his bib too. I think the only time I wouldn’t use these bibs would be during especially hot weather. The soft fluffy fleece and minky material of the bib is rather warm and snuggly and so overheating and sweating may occur, but to be fair in heatwaves most babies tend to be naked apart from their nappy anyway!

Now I failed to take photos of my little man modelling these bibs but I did get shots of the gorgeous way they were packaged up!



“Little Baby Bugs” can be found on Facebook where there is a Folksy shop, but they will be launching their website soon. You can also follow them @LittleBabyBugs_

Product Review: Stuck On You Height Chart

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 31-07-2011

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Acknowledging milestones in your babies life is all part of parenthood, and watching your little baby grow is one of the greatest. Being able to record these milestones is essential, and thanks to the people at Stuck On You doing this is not only easy but fun.

My fellow CyberMummy attendees will recognise Stuck On You as the people who supplied the cute ‘Blogger Survival Kits’ in CyberMummy Central. Well Stuck On You sell a veritable supply of stickers, labels and personalised items for all manner of things, and they were kind enough to send me a personalised height chart to sample. Supplied ready to hang the height chart is personalised with your little one’s first name and date of birth, making it a perfect keepsake.

Isn’t it just gorgeous? From a choice of over 20 designs each height chart comes with a set of co-ordinated stickers to mark your little one’s height over the years.

The quality of the height chart blew me away. High quality fabric and beautifully thought out stickers makes this a gorgeous addition to any child’s bedroom, and will last for years to come.

Height Charts cost £29.99 and are available from the Stuck On You website.

Website: http://www.stuckonyou.biz
Twitter: @StuckOnYouTweets
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stuckonyouofficial

Product Review: Ella’s Kitchen – First Tastes

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 13-07-2011

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 A second review now from one of my favourite – and little man’s too – baby food brands. As you all know from a previous post Ella’s Kitchen is much used and much enjoyed in our house. There organic food pouches provide a brilliant range of flavours and tastes for your little one, right from the start of weaning up until Stage 3 and even beyond with their lovely range of snacks. I was delighted to again be giving the opportunity to sample and review their products when I was contacted about their new “First Tastes” range.

First Tastes is a range of super smooth pure fruit pouches. They have just one single flavour so are perfect for those first tentative steps into weaning when you don’t want to overwhelm your little ones sensitive pallet. As always with Ella’s products they contain only organic ingredients and none of those nasty additives or E numbers that we want to avoid giving our little ones.

Now my little man is almost nine months old – he will be on Friday in fact – so is long since past the days of weaning. He began his big adventure into solids at 16 weeks so is a little old to appreciate First Tastes as just that. What I’ve found though is that mixed with yoghurt for his breakfast or frozen into cubes and put into his Nuby Nibbler as an ice lolly or teething relief he adores them. We’ve only tried the apple version so far but I’m ready with a batch of fruit cubes in my freezer for when the heat wave starts again, or when the teething reappears. When he’s a little older and has a few more teeth I will also add it to cereal for him to munch through, or he could have it as a simple snack or dessert. The possibilities are fairly endless.

First Tastes are available in four delicious flavours: Apple, Pear, Mango and Banana. If you head over to their website now you can win the chance to sample these new flavours for free.

Find out more over at the Ella’s Kitchen website, or follow them on Twitter and ‘Like’ them over on Facebook.

Website: http://www.ellaskitchen.co.uk
Twitter: @EllasKitchen
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ellaskitchen

Product Review: Shelta UV Protector Beach Mini Tent

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 09-07-2011

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With the recent heat wave that came – and went! – with a bit of a flourish in recent weeks I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of the sun safety products that are available to protect your little ones. Using the brilliance of Twitter I found myself in contact with KoolSun who sell a variety of sun safety products including clothing, sunglasses, wet suits and lotions. The product I was donated to review was their Shelta UV Protector Beach Mini Tent, which originates in the much sunnier Australia. 

The tent is made using durable fibreglass framing covered by a fabric which provides UPF 50+ sun protection for your little one. The flooring is water resistant – always a bonus with babies – and pegs are included to ensure it’s anchored securely. There are also sand pockets around the sides for added security. The tent measures 120cm square and at its peak is 90cm high. Weighing in at 1.4kg and packed in a handy storage bag it can easily be carried around with the rest of your beach items.

The website and the packaging of the tent tells me it has “Quick and Easy Operation (Opens and Closes in seconds)”. Now I’ve never been particularly good with tents so I thought I’d see just how “easy” it was to put up. I did this in my parents back garden with no help from my husband or my parents – they were all too busy fussing over the little man!

Unpacking the tent was hardly difficult. I will admit that I didn’t find the instructions until after I’d put it up – they are sewn into the storage bag so you don’t lose them, or in my case so you can’t find them!!

Here are the included pegs should I have needed them, which I did. Good old windy British summer weather!!

Looks a bit like an umbrella doesn’t it? Now there were a few labels on the frame telling me to “Pull” and “Push” so I gave it a go.

 
 

Phenomenally easy to put up even without reading the instructions. All that was needed was a small mallet to secure the pegs into the ground. This was the point when I went to find my little volunteer to show just how big this tent is. 

 

My little man is a rather tall nine month old and as you can see he could fit several of his mates in there with him. As you can see the doors roll back and can be fixed to allow ventilation, which is essential should we ever get a hot day again!

 
 

On either side of the tent are roll up windows to allow views but to maintain protection from the elements. The eagle eyed amongst you will be able to see my little man peering out the window at me!! Putting it down was even easier. I literally had to push down where it told me too and the tent collapsed before my eyes.

Sun protection for babies is vital, and this tent provides that perfectly. As you can see it works just as well in a garden as it would on a beach or in a park. I have even put it up in my lounge and given my little man a fun den that I’m sure he’ll enjoy for many years to come. I hope to get a photo of the tent full of some of his NCT baby friends, and I will post that at a future date.

The featured tent is available from the KoolSun website and retails at £40.85

Website: http://www.koolsun.co.uk
Twitter: @KoolSunKidz
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KoolSun

Bandana Bib Reviews: Dribbz

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 16-06-2011

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Back to the bandana bib reviews – apologies for the delay, I have a clingy teething little man – and a bib from Dribbz. Dribbz bibs are handmade in Hampshire by a team of mummies and nannies. They use a lot of fabric from France and America that is exclusive to Dribbz, so you’re little one will stand out from the crowd. Sam, who owns Dribbz, uses her little boy Cal and his friends as models for her creations and is thrilled that his dribble rash cleared up within two days of wearing her bibs! Here’s my poor little man modelling the bib that we were sent:

As with the previous bib we looked at this one is shaped to fit around the neck comfortably. The bibs have a super-soft cotton top layer to absorb any dribble, and a fleecy lining to protect clothes from moisture. The bibs come with two nickel-free poppers to make them fully adjustable and able to grow with your child. This is another bib that I was thrilled with. My rather dribbly little man looked so cute in his bib and his clothes remained dry. I also found that this bib provided one of he neater fits of all the bibs we’ve tried out. I’m sure I’ll be putting in an order for a few more!

Dribbz range in price from £3.40 to £4.80 and ANY bib can be personalised for just 90p. With every order of 5 bibs you make you’ll receive a free plain bib and delivery throughout the UK is free of charge.

Website: http://www.dribbz.co.uk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dribbz

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 10-06-2011

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 Third up in my bandana bib review is from Funky Giraffe Bib. Funky Giraffe was set up in 2009 by a mum with a wealth of experience in the fashion industry. The business prides itself on being green, ethical and considerate, and is keen to provide excellent quality and great value. The lovely Yasmin was kind enough to send me three bibs for review, which means more lovely photos of my little man!!

    

Funky Giraffe Bibs are different from the two previous bibs I’ve reviewed because instead of being a traditional triangle shape, they are shaped to fit more snuggly and neatly around babies neck.

The bibs are made from 100% cotton with a soft fleecy backing which prevents dribble getting on to babies clothes. They come in a huge array of bright designs, in a mixture of plain bold colours and funky patterns – you are bound to find something for any baby and any occasion.

Funky Giraffe bibs are available direct from their website and cost £4.00 each, but for an extra £1.50 you can buy two, for an extra £3.00 you can buy three, and for an extra £4.50 you can buy four. The discounts and deals on this website are incredible. Buy 10 of these amazing bibs for just £19.50!

Website: http://www.funkygiraffebibs.co.uk
Twitter: @FunkyGiraffeBibs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FunkyGiraffeBaby