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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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Health: Good Food & Drinks For Christmas & New Year

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Foodie | Posted on 18-12-2012

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Overindulging is one of the best parts of Christmas – I certainly do it, and I’m sure everyone reading this will be guilty of it this year too. As the New Year dawns we’ll all start thinking about resolutions and no doubt healthy eating and a new fitness regime will be part of that for some of us. I’m pretty sure we all start each new year with the best of intentions, but no doubt by the end of the first week all hope is lost!

Here are a few recipes for drinks, meals and snacks which might just help you have a healthy Christmas and New Year. By using Philadelphia Light, Total Greek Yogurt or making “Mocktails” with Welchs Purple Grape Juice, you can eat well, and eat healthier.

Turkey & Cranberry Bites
This is a great way to use up Christmas Day leftovers and create some tasty nibbles for Boxing Day and beyond. Take a 375g pack of ready rolled puff pastry and cut it into 24 little squares. Top each square with a dollop of Philadelphia Light, some Cranberry Sauce and a few pieces of cooked turkey. Cook for 10-15 minutes at 220degrees/Gas 7 until the pastry is golden. Allow to cool a little before serving.

Mini Cheesecake Bites
These are also a great party food, or you could make a large one anytime. Take a packet of mini chocolate chip cookies, shortbread rounds, or oat biscuits and top generously with spoonfuls of Chocolate Philadelphia. Top with fresh fruit of your choice, such as strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.

Creamy Lincolnshire Sausage Hot Pot
For a great family friendly meal try this delicious hot pot.

Prep time: 45mins
Cooking time: 1hr
Serves: 4

454g Lincolnshire pork sausage (8 sausages)
2 Eating apples (preferably red to add colour to the dish)
1 Leek
2 Large carrots
1 Medium onion
1 Clove of garlic (crushed)
½ pint Chicken stock
300g TOTAL Greek Yoghurt Classic
4 Medium potatoes
50g Butter
Olive oil for cooking

Method:
Pre heat the oven to Gas Mark 6/400F or 200C.
Peel and par boil the potatoes in a saucepan of salted water, drain and allow to cool.
Cut each apple into four wedges and remove the core. Gently sauté in a frying pan with a little olive oil for around 3-4 minutes then remove from the pan and place to one side.
Roughly cut the carrot, leek and the onion into 1 inch pieces.
Gently sweat with the garlic for approximately 5 minutes until they start to soften, then add the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
When stock has boiled, remove from the heat and add the yoghurt.
In a frying pan, quickly fry off the sausages in a little olive oil whilst cooking the par boiled potatoes into ¼ inch thick slices.
Place the sausages and apples into a large casserole dish. Then pour over the carrot, onion, leek and yoghurt mixture.
Next, lay the sliced half cooked potatoes over the top in an even layer. Generously brush with melted butter and bake in the middle of oven for approx 1 hr until crisp and golden on the top.

This is delicious, and a great recipe for hiding vegetables from little ones too!

Black Forest Gateau In A Glass
This is a lovely healthy twist on the classic dessert, and served in individual glasses looks great too.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
500g TOTAL Greek Yoghurt (0%, 2% or Authentic)
1 tin Pitted black cherries
½ pkt Luxury chocolate cookies
100g Nutella
1 Cadbury’s flake

Method:
Drain the cherries, but keep the juice.
Crush the cookies and chop the flake into small pieces

To Serve:
Take four sundae glasses – or any quirky glassware you have – and layer the ingredients. Start with the cookies and drizzle with the juice from the cherries. Next add a layer of cherries, a layer of chocolate spread and a layer of yoghurt.  Keep adding the layers until glass is nearly full. Finish with a sprinkling of crumbled flake!

These look amazing, and taste delicious!

Mock Mulled Wine
Try this festive juice this year instead of the traditional alcoholic version. Put 300ml of Welchs Purple Grape juice, 2 cloves, 1cm stick of cinnamon, 1 star anise and a 2inch piece of orange peel into a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a hot drinks glass – removing and pieces first of course – and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Tasty and much better for you.

 

Making Christmas Easier With Asda

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Foodie, Information | Posted on 17-12-2012

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We all want to create a magical Christmas this year for our families, and especially our children. Hopefully you have all got your presents bought – and no doubt some of your efficient enough to have them wrapped as well – and houses are probably decorated too. The thing I find that needs the most organisation after the complications of what to buy people, is food.

We have a traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, lots of vegetables, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes and stuffing. There’s usually some bread sauce and cranberry sauce too. Dessert is never a problem as Grandma always ensures we have trifle – the best EVER – and meringues to go with and cake, mince pies and pudding that there may be too. As you can see, food is a big part of Christmas.

Little Man is also a big part of Christmas, and this year as he’s so much more aware of whats going on, and beginning to recognise Santa and understanding what presents are, I don’t want to be spending all Christmas Day in the kitchen. I want to be spending it with my family, and my most important member, my son. So this year I’m going for a nice easy Christmas, without scrimping on quality. I want to be able to pop things in the oven as necessary, but not spend hours preparing and watching over the oven or the hobs as things cook.

This Christmas I am relying entirely on Asda, and I know I wont be disappointed.

Firstly my turkey is coming from there. A nice sized turkey, enough to feed four adults and a toddler on Christmas Day and then give us some leftovers for the next few days. My fresh turkey from Asda’s Butchers Selection is costing £18 which I think is pretty reasonable for the size of it, and for the fact its fresh, not frozen. The turkey will be pimped up a little with some butter which I’ll be placing between the skin and the meat to make it nice and moist, and I’ll probably stick a couple of clementines inside to add to the flavour. Nothing too fancy. This should take about 2 and a half hours to cook, depending on weight of course, and hopefully I’ll be able to cook this then leave it to rest for an hour or so whilst I get the accompaniments cooked.

Next up is a mountain of vegetables. I want to make sure there’s a good variety of vegetables – mostly due to the epic quantities of cake and chocolate which will be coming later – but I don’t want to be wasting precious time peeling, chopping, slicing, and prepping. You could be uber efficient and prepare your vegetables in advance and pop them in the freezer to bring out the night before – and I do know a few of you have done that already and I salute you. Me? I’m going for the lazy approach and using Asda’s Extra Special Prepared Vegetables this year. There is a great range to choose from and I’ve ordered four packets – 2 packs for £4 is the offer on at the moment – which should keep us all happy. On my table this year you’ll find Baby Parsnips with Parmesan Crumb, Baby Sprouts & Bacon with Sage Butter, Slowly Braised Red Cabbage with Apple & Cranberry, and Clementine Roasting Vegetables. The vegetables take between 30 and 50 minutes in the oven to cook, you literally just pop them in there. The Sprouts are even more efficient and take just 5 minutes in the microwave or a quick fry on the hob. More than likely I’ll peel and boil a few carrots for Little Man who is a bit carrot obsessed, but that should be the height of my effort this year.

I am cooking my Roast Potatoes myself, despite the temptation to buy those ready to roast too. This year though we are using Asda’s Extra Special Rudolph Potatoes. These have a distinctive red skin – hence the name – and are perfect for roasting. I’ll be parboiling them, some with skins on and some without, and then roasting in goose fat for about an hour. I’m still debating mash too, and also debating whether it’ll be made by me, or Asda. Rudolph Potatoes come in 1.5kg bags for £1.75 and you can get two 220g jars of Extra Special Goose Fat for £4.

When it comes to drinks those too are coming straight from Asda. I recently attended a wine tasting event organised by Asda. This was great fun, but also the perfect opportunity to discover new wines, and decide precisely what would be on my table this year. I’m a big fan of white wine, and despite many attempts I’m not keen on red, so there will be plenty of white in my house this year. Being drunk in my house this Christmas will be Asda’s Extra Special Prosecco – perfect for the party season and a bargain at just £6.48 a bottle – the French Etoile De Nuit Sauvignon Blanc, and a tasty Spanish bottle of Alba Rino. No doubt these will be getting drunk with Christmas dinner, but also enjoyed later that evening with a few tasty snacks. I advise you all to go and buy a few boxes of All Butter Gruyere & Poppy Seed Twists to nibble on. My newest addiction.

So Christmas this year for my family is definitely an Asda one, but its going to be affordable, easy and above all else tasty. For me, there is nothing better than a great family Christmas, and because of Asda, I’ll be able to enjoy one. Happy Christmas.

Have A Foodie Christmas…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Christmas Gift Guide, Foodie, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 28-11-2012

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Food is a huge part of Christmas. After the presents have been unwrapped the main focus for us on Christmas Day is the food that we’ll be tucking into later. Here are a few suggestions of great gifts for Foodies this Christmas, or things you might want to be eating over the festive period.

Taylors Eye Witness Knife Set
Any good cook needs a good set of knives. They are indispensable in any kitchen, and these from Taylor Eye Witness are not only functional but they are also decorative. This set includes 5 knives – Chef, Carving, Bread, Utility and Paring Knife – and each knife features a colourful flower pattern that is very 60’s. The blades are super sharp stainless steel and are also non-stick so you can cut through pretty much anything without problems. They are without doubt the sharpest knives I’ve ever used in my kitchen, and also the funkiest. The knife handles are soft grip acrylic and coloured to match the blades. When they are all in the block it adds great colour to the kitchen.  Taylors Eye Witness Knives are available in a variety of colours and patterns, but I think these are my favourite design, and whats more they are British made too – perfect for Christmas.

 

Montezuma’s Christmas Chocolates
Who doesn’t love chocolate at Christmas? Sussex based Montezuma’s has got a delicious range of chocolates for this Christmas and I was very happy to test them out. First up there were two boxes of “Snowball”, one Chilli & Lime flavour and one Orange & Geranium. I was very keen to try the Chilli & Lime and was not disappointed – nice zesty flavour with a sudden hit of chilli. I will definitely be buying more of these. I approached the Orange & Geranium with some trepidation, but they too were delicious. Both have a milk chocolate truffle centre with the relevant flavourings but are wrapped in white chocolate, hence the snowball. Next  up was a bag of Chocolate, Orange and Geranium Truffles. These are basically the centres of the “Snowballs” but without the white chocolate coating. They come in a lovely little sellophane bag and would make a great stocking filler. We also got a takeaway cup containing “Christmas Nuts” – Brazils, Cashews and Walnuts covered in chocolate. Perfect for any nut fans in your family, and a great way of presenting it. Finally there was a box of “8 Chunky Chocolate Snowmen”. Yummy individual dark chocolate Snowmen these would work as a box slipped into a stocking, or you could separate them and place them inside an Advent Calender. These are also available in White or Milk chocolate versions. All these items can be found in your local Montezuma or their online store and cost just £4.99 each.

Savora Kitchen Gadgets
Anyone who loves baking or cooking loves gadgets. My kitchen is bursting at the seams with them! For me gadgets should be attractive as well as functional and fit in to the colour scheme or aesthetics of a kitchen, especially if they are going to be on show. After receiving a Boysenberry Kitchen Aid for my 30th Birthday this year any new kitchen items have tended to be as close a shade of purple as I can find. The Raven coloured gadgets from Savora are a VERY impressive match, and are also brilliant.  In the set we received was Peeler (probably the most attractive peeler I’ve ever seen), a Rotary Grater (much quicker and easier than a manual grater, and also usable by both left and right handed people), a Garlic Press (which is SO easy to clean unlike any other press I’ve owned and then stopped using because of the effort to clean) and an Oil Mister (perfect for reducing fat content in cooking and also for greasing baking trays. My favourite was without doubt the Garlic Press. The part you push the garlic through actually separates from the rest of the press so you can quickly and easily remove every last bit of garlic which may be left behind in the holes. A brilliant yet simple feature. Prices for Savora gadgets range from £10 – £25 so they’re not the cheapest out there, but they are so well made they are bound to last for many years to come. You can find them online or in your local John Lewis.

Pyrex
I’m sure EVERYONE has something from Pyrex in their kitchen, whether it be measuring jugs, mixing bowls or casserole dishes. Its a classic brand that has been used in kitchens for almost a hundred years. I DO own the jug, the mixing bowls AND the casserole dish, but this year Pyrex launched a new range which they are calling Kitchen Lab. With echoes to science and providing me with flashbacks to chemistry lessons at school, I love the style of these new products. First up is a Measuring Glass. Straight sided with a small pouring lip the Measuring Glass has precision measurements and is made from Borosilicate Glass which makes it “thermal shock resistant.” Its also microwave and dishwasher safe. This is ideal for measuring flour, sugar, rice or liquids quickly without digging out your scales. They also launched a Shaker which looks exactly like something a chemical potion should be mixed in. Instead this version is for mixing your salad dressings and then storing them in your fridge thanks to its leak proof silicone lid. Two fun and quirky items that would look great in your kitchen, especially for any science minded chefs you might know. Prices start from £5.


Product Review: Sweet Treats Waffle Stick Maker

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Foodie, Product Reviews | Posted on 24-10-2012

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You’ll all no doubt recall my enthusiasm for the Sweet Treats Cake Pop Maker which I reviewed recently. You can therefore probably imagine my excitement and being offered a Waffle Stick Maker from the same company. I was giddy!

The Waffle Stick Maker works in a similar fashion to the Cake Pop Maker. You heat it up whilst you mix your batter and then pour it inside. The maker is then closed and the waffles cook. This Waffle Stick Maker is very similar to a sandwich toaster really. After the cooking time – around 3 – 4 minutes – you are left with six golden sticks of waffle. Each “stick” is about an inch in width and I found it a great size to give to Little Man as a treat, though admittedly whilst we were making these he ended up eating about 5!

Now the batter makes around 36 and you can only make 6 at a time so prepare to be wiping out the hot plates after each batch and re-greasing them. If the idea of eating all 36 in one go is making you nervous do not fear – these waffles freeze VERY well. You can then reheat them as you want straight from the freezer in either the toaster or by popping them back into the Waffle Stick Maker for a few minutes. The top drawer of my freezer is in fact where you’ll find my stash of Apple & Cinnamon Waffle Sticks, ready to munch at a moments notice.

Whilst the “sticks” alone make a great snack or are ideal for breakfast, you can also jazz them up a little. The included recipes have details for making both the “sticks” and a dipping sauce, or you can turn them into “Waffle Sticks ON a Stick” by using cake pop sticks to poke in one end. By doing that you can then dip one end in chocolate, sprinkle on a few sugar strands or chopping nuts, and you’ve got instant party food. There is even a recipe included for savoury sticks and a cheese fondue sauce if your party isn’t full of small children!

You will find the Sweet Treats Waffle Stick Maker in your local Lakeland or online here.

National Baking Week

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Foodie, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 16-10-2012

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National Baking Week is upon us once more and all over the country people are getting baking to raise money for the wonderful Great Ormond Street Hospital. When it comes to baking the ingredients you use are crucial, but having the perfect equipment can help transform a baking disaster into something to be truly proud of.

This weekend was Little Man’s 2nd Birthday. Unfortunately he’s smothered in a cold and has a rather impressive cough, but on Sunday we managed to have a lovely afternoon party with all his grandparents and rather a lot of cakes and biscuits which I’d spent most of Saturday creating. Two great pieces of equipment helped me on my way – as well as Little Man of course – and I’d like to tell you more about them.

Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin
When I make biscuits more often than not I use recipes from Miranda Gore Browne’s book and she suggests using a small ice cream scoop to ensure all your biscuits are the same size. It is also a super fast way of churning out lots of biscuits which I highly recommend. For Little Man’s birthday however I was making Gingerbread Teddies. Now I’m not hugely fussy when it comes to the appearance of biscuits for Little Man – as long as he gets to eat them he doesn’t mind what they look like – but with it being his birthday I wanted to make a bit of an effort. I used Miranda’s recipe to make Gingerbread Men but when it came to rolling it out – after about an hours chilling in the fridge – I used the new Joseph Joseph rolling pin.

I am a big fan of Joseph Joseph products and have always wanted to try out this rolling pin. It comes with four sets of discs which you fit to either end of the pin. The sets are different sizes which means your biscuit dough or pastry or homemade pasta dough is rolled out to a certain thickness, and no more. You can basically roll away whilst perhaps watching a toddler run around your feet, or keeping an eye on the timer for the cakes you are also baking – both of which I was doing – and the dough will only go to the thickness you want. You will end up with perfectly rolled even dough, which is precisely what I got. I used the 6mm discs for the gingerbread dough and ended up with 18 identical little bears. Obviously my son wasn’t particularly interested in this, but I was rather proud to be honest!
You get 10mm, 8mm, 6mm and 4mm discs with the pin so its ideal for biscuits, or pastry, making your own lasagne or tagliatelle. The pin also has width measurements in the wood so you can make sure anything you’re rolling out if the perfect size too.
This rolling pin is a must have addition to any bakers kitchen where precision and consistency is key! You can buy them online direct from the Joseph Joseph online store.

Lekue Kids Muffin Set
Baking with my Little Man is very important to me. He really enjoys himself, I get to do something I love, and its a great skill for him to learn. Admittedly at the moment he’s mainly interested in scattering flour around the kitchen, but I’m sure this will pass. For his birthday baking he didn’t join in but usually I get him involved. He has his own mixing bowl and apron set, as well as a small wooden spoon and rolling pin. Lekue sent us one of their Kids Muffin Set’s to test out, and this is now a great addition to his baking equipment.

The set includes a spatula, six silicone muffin cases, a set of recipes and a Decopen. I own lots of silicone bakeware – it is so easy to use and clean – so Little Man is used to seeing these in the kitchen. The Decopen was an interesting a new addition to our baking. When used in baking the Decopen and its four included nozzles allows you to add decoration to your baked goods. In the case of muffins its great for drizzling icing or melted chocolate on the top of cooled cakes to give them that personal touch. It could also be used to create chocolate shapes to stick into the top of  icing or buttercream. The Decopen is easy to fill, use and clean which is very important in any kitchen. Its a good size for little ones to hold as well. Little Man hasn’t used it yet – I admit to being a little nervous! – but I had a go and it was great fun. I’m sure Little Man will love using it when I let him try it out.
The Lekue Kids Muffin Set is available from the Lekue online store.

 

E-Book Review: Indian Supermeals – Baby & Toddler Cookbook

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review, Foodie, Information | Posted on 09-10-2012

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This week is – amongst other things – National Curry Week. Hubby and I love a nice Indian takeaway or very rarely I cook one at home, but its not something we’ve ever tried with Little Man. I vaguely recall him trying an Ella’s Kitchen pouch that was spicy but never anything other than that, so I was intrigued when I was offered a new Indian cookbook for babies and toddler to review.

Zainab Jagot Ahmed wrote “Indian Supermeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook” whilst weaning her little girl Aaliyah. Zainab was keen to introduced Asian flavours and cooking to her daughter for cultural and culinary reasons, but when she went searching for recipes she found that the baby weaning industry didn’t cater for her needs. Zainab spent a lot of time researching flavours, dietary requirements and superfoods before coming up with her own recipes which she fed to her daughter. Soon family and friends were asking for her recipes to use on their own children, and before long a cookbook was born.

The cookbook is a wealth of information and education before you even reach the recipes. There is detailed information on diet and nutrition and everything is explained clearly. There is information on recommended daily intakes based on age and clear details about how much of what your little one should be eating using the popular Eat Well Plate. I read a couple of weaning books before we started the process with Little Man – probably the same ones most parents read! – but got much more insight and relevant information from Zainab’s book. I was obviously aware of what nutrients Little Man needed but not really what his recommended intakes were. I clearly knew not to pump him full of salt or sugar, and always took an “Everything In Moderation” approach to treats, which we still do nowadays. This books was educational for me, and I think it would make a great read for anyone about to start weaning or curious about maybe giving their little ones something more interesting and less bland than the usual baby foods.

The recipes themselves begin from 7 months when you can introduce foods which are a bit more interesting and you’ve generally progressed from simple purees. They are all clearly set out with specific nutritional information, approximate preparation and cooking time, how many servings you’re going to get, and whether it is freezable. I found bulk cooking and freezing a god send when Little Man was weaning. I had a drawer full of pots in my freezer. There are no intense spicy flavours in any of Zainab’s recipes, just different flavours to ones you’ll find in the usual cookbooks or store bought baby food. You’re not about to serve your 7 month old a spicy vindaloo, you’re just looking to widen their tastes and reduce the likelihood of fussy eating later in life.

By the time you reach Stage 4: 1-3 Years you are no longer doing separate cooking for your little one, you are instead adapting your family favourites. Curries and Tagines begin to appear in the book which you can cook for your whole family. This is the chapter that I must get myself into and actually try out a few of the meals on Little Man and Hubby. They sound delicious to me and I’m sure Little Man would be willing to test a few out as he is a very good eater, though he is beginning to develop his own sense of taste and favourites.

Whether you are of Asian decent or not, and whether you’ve already started the weaning process with your little one or been through it before with older children, I highly recommend this book. As well as providing you with delicious meals and finger foods, it also provides essential knowledge and nutritional information to ensure you are raising healthy eaters, as well as varied eaters.

Indian SuperMeals: Baby &Toddler Cookbook (published by Autharium RRP £4.99) is available online at retailers including Amazon.co.uk, Tesco, WHSmith, Waterstones and ordered through all good e-bookshops.

You can find Zainab online too at her website (www.ZainabJagotAhmed.com) and on Twitter @ZainabJagAhmed

 

John Lewis Opens First Store In Sussex

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Product Launch | Posted on 04-04-2012

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Retail giant John Lewis is opening its first ever store in Sussex on Thursday with a “John Lewis At Home” store on the Portfield Way Retail Park, just outside Chichester. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview on Tuesday and take a tour around the new store with branch manager Claire.


Boasting 40,000 square feet of selling space over two floors this new store has a wide range of products you’d commonly find within their bigger shops. There is a large selection of home décor and furnishing, as well as an extensive kitchen and lighting section.

Downstairs you will find the Click & Collect Service which makes shopping even easier – you just order the item and collect it from store the next day, and the only selection of Olympic Merchandising outside of a London branch. Perfect if you want to grab yourself a piece of memorabilia for this summers event without having to fight your way into the capital.

Jubilee fever has also struck with a number of Union Jack emblazoned products throughout the store from cushions to deck chairs and food gifts – I can highly recommend the Emma Bridgewater Biscuit Barrel!

Upstairs you will find a comprehensive electrical and gadgetry department which includes the brand new iPad and a number of TV’s – ideal distraction for the men! You will also find a small but well stocked baby section to pick up a few nursery essentials for your little ones, including cots, toys and a bedding.

The familiar John Lewis cafe is also upstairs where they’ll be selling a range of drinks, snacks and light lunches, as well as children’s lunch boxes. A supply of high chairs is ready and waiting! Customer toilets can also be found nearby along with spacious baby changing facilities, and a feeding room – something which is rare even on the high street!

One of my favourite “trends” on offer in John Lewis At Home is the ‘Playnation’ range. Here is the foyer of the new store, decked out in the range.


Can you believe that colourful book display is actually wallpaper? I love it and definitely want some for our home office!!

The ‘Playnation’ range is beautifully bright and encompasses a huge selection of products from table ware to garden items, home decor to office organisation. The mix of wood and colour looks brilliant and I can imagine several pieces finding a place in my home soon. Here are a few of my personal favourites:

This Tiffin Box would be great on family picnics this summer with four handy compartments for your lunch time favourites.

Office storage needn’t be dull with this brightly coloured unit featuring six large deep drawers.

Every cook and baker needs a good set of measuring spoons and I love this set of four – colourful additions to any kitchen.


Summer trips to the beach or just sitting in the garden will be stylish and comfortable for your little ones in this traditional deck chair.

John Lewis At Home opens on Thursday April 5th and with the extended Easter weekend it’s sure to be a busy one – I suggest you start queuing now!!

Date Night at Giraffe, Horsham.

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 23-01-2012

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On Friday Hubby and I went out. On a date. In the evening. Without Little Man. This is pretty exciting for me because we worked out its probably been about two years since our last evening date. Hubby blames me of course: “Well you were pregnant and fussy about what you could and couldn’t eat.” You’d think we ate out at particularly weird places wouldn’t you? Anyway, we decided to give Giraffe a go. I’d eaten there previously for lunch one day with Little Man. I’d been feeling frivolous and decided to take him out for his lunch after our Sing & Sign Christmas party. He fell asleep before we arrived, but I’d really enjoyed my meal and was keen to go back. So the grandparents were booked and we headed up to Horsham for our date.

We got a lovely table with a bench seat downstairs. It was slightly strange to sit next to one another, but I suppose it was date night. We’d already had a nosey at the menu online so had a rough idea what we were going to have, though I did keep debating which cocktail to go for.

Hubby eventually settled on a Hippy Hippy Shake Smoothie, Chicken Potstickers to start followed by a half rack of BBQ Baby Ribs.

 

I had the Mango & Lime Daiquiri, started with the Crunchy Coconut Shrimp and had the Parmasan Chicken Schnitzel Kiev as my main.

 

The food was amazing. It was beautifully presented and tasted delicious. I could have willingly eaten several more servings of the Coconut Shrimp! Obviously we had to try a bit of each others and the Potstickers were nicely different to anything I’d eaten before. The ribs melted in my mouth – I was surprised Hubby didn’t go for the full rack. The portions were spot on too – I didn’t feel hideously uncomfortable but I wasn’t starving either.

The Daiquiri was sublime and the Smoothie was like a meal in itself, but neither interfered with the food.

“Would you like to see the dessert menu?” We were asked by our waitress. “Most definitely!”

Picking one each was hard. I think we could have willingly taken one of each. Hubby settled on the Baked White Chocolate, Mascarpone and Passion Fruit Cheesecake whilst I went for the Banana Waffle Split.

You should all be drooling over your computer screens at this point.

Needless to say they tasted as delicious as they looked. The cheesecake was huge and a great combination of sweet chocolate and sharp passion fruit. The waffle was to die for. The bananas were warm and everything was dripping in toffee sauce. I may have eaten a little more than I really should and felt slightly uncomfortable at the end!

Giraffe is a great place to go for date night, or even with the family. They have a lovely children’s menu available as well as the adult menu and its all very reasonably priced. I think we’ll be heading back there with Little Man at some point soon.

Giraffe’s menu can be found on their website. You can follow them on Twitter @GiraffeTweets where they run a competition every Friday to win a £40 voucher.

Top up your shopping with Milk&More

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 19-12-2011

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In a time where we’re all busy, generally doing and thinking about half a dozen things at once we can all forget something or another. When you busy mums (or dads!) are at the supermarket doing your weekly shop how often do you get home and realise you’ve forgotten to buy milk? Eggs? Bread? Cereal? When I do this I generally can’t face traipsing back to my nearest supermarket to pick up the missing item, and this is for two reasons. Firstly I hate supermarkets, especially with a child in tow. My Little Man doesn’t have the patience for sitting in a trolley for ages as it is, and the overcrowded chaos generally sends us both potty. Secondly I know I won’t just pick up the missing milk/eggs/bread/cereal. I know for a fact that I’ll end up spending another £30 on bits and pieces that I don’t really need. What I needed was a solution – what I found was milk&more.
milk&more is run by Dairy Crest and products are delivered by your friendly local milkman, just now you can order things online, and it doesn’t just stop at milk and other dairy products. Bread, breakfast cereal, seasonal fruit and vegetables, drinks, soup, pet food, biscuits, tea, coffee and chocolate. The list is endless. In fact they now supply over 250 essential items direct to your front door. The products on offer are big brand names too, not unknown and potentially poor quality. Kelloggs, Tropicana and Cathedral City are all on offer, so you know you’re going to get good quality products in your delivery.
milk&more to provide an online food shopping experience that fills in those gaps between your big supermarkets shops, and is ideal for when you forget items. Deliveries are made early in the morning and are free with no minimum order value (though pay as you go/single payment customers are subject to a £2.50 minimum charge). You can order items up to 9pm the night before your next scheduled delivery and you can do all your ordering, paying and managing of your account online from the comfort of your sofa.
milk&more provide a wide ranging fruit and vegetable delivery. From individual items like a bag of apples or some carrots, you can also get fresh fruit and vegetable boxes delivered to your door. These are of course seasonal and depend upon what is available.
For me the best thing about milk&more is the convenience and the knowledge that you will be getting the same friendly milkman delivering to you each time. When you set up your account online with milk&more you are told which day’s deliveries are available to you and the name of your milkman, and that milkman doesn’t change. You will get the same person every single time you get a delivery. A totally friendly service.