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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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Gardening: A Pond For Your Children

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Sponsored Posts | Posted on 03-04-2013

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The Easter holidays are upon us and its FINALLY looking a bit more Spring like outside. This break is a perfect opportunity to get the children outside and give them a project, or at least something to help you with. As a child I was lucky enough to have a pond in my back garden. We had two at one house – a large one for fish and a smaller nature pond which we had frogs in. I spent hours out there in the garden watching the frogs and you could often find me sat there with one in my hand. They were fascinating creatures and it was great fun to have them in my own garden. The larger pond was brilliant too – it house several large fish and lots of plants. During the summer I was hardly ever indoors, instead choosing to spend my time running about the garden spotting fish and frogs in our ponds.

Building your own pond might seem a daunting task, but there are some great supplies out there to help make it easier. Its also a great garden task to get the children involved with. If you’re making a nature pond you just need a large hole, a liner and some plants and weeds. If you’re planning a pond for fish you’ll need more equipment, the most expensive of which is probably going to be the pump. The pump will make the water flow, often with a fountain or water fall, and that keeps it clear. Whilst it is the priciest part of your pond, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you know where to shop. One of the best places to get your pump would be Swallow Aquatics, who stock a range of high quality and good value pumps for your garden pond. Swallow Aquatics are leading pond and aquatic specialists in the UK with stores in Essex, Norfolk and Kent, as well as a easy to navigate online store. They sell everything you need to create your own garden pond, from liners, pumps and plants, to lighting, fish food, and books.

Visiting your local Swallow Aquatics is a great fun family day out. They have a huge selection of fish and underwater creatures on display so your children can choose which ones they want in their pond. There’s also supplies for the family cats, dogs and other small animals, as well as a well stocked reptile centre for any snakes, lizards or chelonian you might have. I only wish I’d known about Swallow Aquatics when I was getting my tortoise recently! Some stores also share their sites with garden centres and coffee shops – check for your local store here – where you can look around the plants and grab a cup of tea and a cake before you head home to get to work on your new garden feature.

Building your own pond not only brings a great focal point to your garden and provides your children with something to do this Easter holidays, but it also provides long term educational opportunities as the year and the seasons progress. Its a great chance for your children to spend time outdoors learning about all the creatures that inhabit the pond, from fish and frogs to all the little mini beasts and insects. I’m sure Little Man would get lots of enjoyment from a pond. Maybe next year.

 

Recipe: Salmon En Croute

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Foodie, Information | Posted on 28-03-2013

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With Easter just around the corner, Asda’s fishmonger, Darren Wrend, has created a series of simple recipes to show you how to cook a delicious whole salmon. This is my favourite of the recipes – a delicious Salmon En Croute.

Salmon En Croute filled with Parsley, Lemon and Lemon and Pepper Butter

This recipe will serve 6 people

Ingredients needed:

2 skin-less salmon fillets (fillets taken from a whole salmon)
Bunch of flat leaf parsley
1 lemon
3 lemon and pepper butter ovals (available from the Asda fish counter)
Cracked black pepper
Sea salt
Cup of milk
2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
1 sheet of baking paper

Cooking instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 230oC/ Gas mark 8
Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper on a oven dish/tray, and on top of this lay flat one sheet of rolled out pastry
Place one salmon fillet on top of the pastry, skin down (if the fillet is too long for the pastry tuck the tail under to fit)
Along the middle of the fillet place sprigs of flat leaf parsley, then finely grate the lemon over the parsley, along with some cracked black pepper
Crumble on the lemon and pepper butter ovals for additional flavour
Place the second salmon fillet skin side down on a chopping board and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper
Once seasoned place the second fillet on top of the other fillet skinless side down
Brush the visible edge of the pastry with milk, then lay the second sheet of pastry on top of the salmon
Using the side of your hand go around the edge of the fillet and seal the pastry together, cutting off any excess pastry
Using the excess pastry decorate the top of the en croute and brush the top layer of pastry with milk
Place the salmon en croute on the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven and cook for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry has gone a light golden brown colour

 

Brighton Sealife Centre – Timmy Time Fun!

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out | Posted on 05-08-2012

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The Brighton Sealife Centre is famous for being the oldest aquarium in the world still running since its opening in 1872. Despite its age the centre is still one of the biggest tourist attractions on the south coast and keeps visitors of all ages thoroughly entertained whilst teaching them all about the world beneath the waves. This weekend we took Little Man on his first – and no doubt not his last – trip to the Brighton Sealife Centre to take part in their Timmy Time celebrations.

The centre itself is much bigger than you expect and has a vast array of marine life on display. Little Man was fascinated and spent most of his morning signing “Fish” at everyone and everything. The Glass Bottom Boat Ride is a must, largely because its entertaining watching everyone step on the glass bottom nervously as they get on board! The short journey across the tank gives you an amazing view of the creatures below – which you can view again from the glass tunnel later – and your guide provides you with great facts about what you’re looking at. We were a big fan of the huge sea turtles and the giant ray who got up for us even though it was still a little early for him.

From the 21st July until the 2nd of September there are daily Timmy Time inspired activities on at the centre to help promote “Timmy’s Seaside Rescue” which premièred this summer, and if you visit between August 6th and August 22nd you can meet the sheep himself! Every hour from 11.30am to 4.30pm Timmy will be appearing inside the centre ready to meet his fans. He was meant to be there from August 3rd but sadly he got lost on the way. Thankfully Little Man didn’t notice!

So book your tickets now and get your little ones down to Brighton to meet Timmy this summer. Tickets are available on the door, or in advance from the Sealife Centre website. You can now buy “Timmy’s Seaside Rescue” on DVD from Amazon.