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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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#KidsGrowWild Gardening Challenge

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 19-06-2013

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“This post is an entry for BritMums’ #KidsGrowWild Challenge”

One of the best things about our house is that we have a garden. Having spent years living in flats with Hubby we thought it was important to get a house with a garden once we had Little Man. Plenty of space for him to run about in, as well as somewhere to put the all important outdoor toys! What I also love about having a garden is that I have space to grow things. I’ve got lots of flowers and plants growing at the moment, as well as a selection of fruit and vegetables. Our garden even has a special miniature garden for Oscar our tortoise in it!

Little Man isn’t a particularly keen gardener. He’d much rather dig in his sand pit than in the ground, but I wanted to give him his own little patch to grow a few flowers in and encourage him into gardening, as well as teaching him about seeds and growing things. The #KidsGrowWild Challenge from Brit Mums in association with Money Supermarket seemed the ideal opportunity. We were sent a very cute gardening set which included a small bag, a watering can, gloves, tools and all important seeds.

I’ve got him a tub all of his own and in it we are going to plant some of the seeds he was sent and he can be in charge of watering that tub and watching it grow. Watering is one activity I can get him interested in, so I’m thinking this is the best way to get him started. He is also a fan of picking the fruit when its ready, so perhaps I need to make him Chief Fruit Picker. Fingers crossed the raspberries and strawberries will be ready soon. Now if the weather can just stay nice for a while we might have a better chance of getting out there and gardening together!

Foodie: Snack Time

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Foodie, Product Reviews | Posted on 29-04-2013

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Do children ever stop eating? Little Man is 2 and a half and he seems to be permanently eating something or asking for food. Aside from his three meals a day snacks are very popular. He has the occasional “naughty” treat – Smarties are usually a winner, or those small Lindt Rabbits – but he does love fruit. Strawberries and grapes are probably his favourites, but he also eats blueberries, apples, bananas and satsumas by the bucket load. When we’re at home fruit is an easy snack to provide, but when we’re out and about transporting soft fruits can be a bit of a nightmare. Strawberries have been very disappointing this year, most of them are squashy and wet by the time they make it from the supermarket so I tend to leave them at home instead of popping some in a pot to take out on trips and days out. The team at Fruit Bowls however sent Little Man a couple of packets of their newest product Fruit Peelers to try, and may well have solved the strawberry problem.

Fruit Peelers are made from 100 fruit and nothing else, so I’m happy to give them to Little Man. He thinks he’s getting a treat or some much requested “treasure” when in fact he’s getting a healthy snack. Available in three different flavours Fruit Peelers come in packs of 3, and each peeler contains 1 of your 5 a day – another positive. They look like 6 strawberry laces stuck together, and they are peel-able – as the name suggests – so you can eat one lace at a time. Little Man ate the first one lace by lace, but now – with all the samples long gone, and numerous others bought since – he just eats them as a complete stick or bar. The great thing about these from my point of view is that you can chuck one in your handbag or changing back when you go out, and if your little one doesn’t eat it you can just leave it in there till your next trip out. There’s no mess to find in the bottom of your bag a few days later.

Fruit Bowl also do other products which are ideal for taking out and about without the mess. Fruit Flakes are another big hit with Little Man, as are the School Bars. Both make great things to pop into a handbag, or to use in your little ones lunch boxes for nursery, preschool or school. The Fruit Flakes are also great for baking – perfect for use in cakes, biscuits, muffins or scones.

The complete Fruit Bowls range is available from most supermarkets.

Lunchbox Fillers

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 02-09-2012

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As well as making sure your child has the right uniform and equipment for school, if you are providing a packed lunch, you want to make sure they have the right food to keep them going during the day. Healthy school meals is a long standing discussion, but with a packed lunch you know precisely what your child is getting. Here are a few things that I think would make a great addition.

My Pocket Buddy
Not a food or drink but an important lunch box addition all the same, the My Pocket Buddy alcohol-free hand sanitiser should find its way into every lunch box. The 8ml pen style spray makes it easy to slip into their lunch box – or pencil case or bag – to make sure their hands are clean before and after eating. The spray is made from pure and natural ingredients, so is chemical free and much kinder to skin than normal alcohol hand washes. The spray delivers just enough to wash their hands quickly and its leaves them feeling fresh and dry and ready for the rest of their day. We all know children aren’t the cleanest of creatures, so a My Pocket Buddy should be the first thing you pop in to their lunch box each day.

MU Cheddar Sticks
Made from 100% cheddar and with each stick being equivalent to a glass of milk a Mu Cheddar Stick is a handy and tasty way to get calcium into your children. Each stick is individually wrapped and suitable for vegetarians. You can also get Mu 100% Cheddar Patz which  are discs of cheese ideal for using in sandwiches or on homemade pizzas. These are a great way to get children involved in food preparation – I even managed to get Little Man to help me put a few patz on our pizza last week, and it tasted great. You can find the full Mu Cheese range on their website.

Happy Monkey Smoothies
If getting fruit into your child is becoming something of a battle smoothies might be the best option. These tasty smoothies from Happy Monkey are perfect for lunchboxes. Available in two delicious flavours – Strawberry & Banana and Orange & Mango – the smoothies contain one full portion of fruit and are made from 100% pure fruit. Best served cold straight from the fridge, they keep their cool out of the fridge for up to 12 hours making them a great addition to your child’s lunchbox. Little Man is a fruit-a-holic and getting fruit into him is never a problem, but we tried him out on these and he loved them. Anything with a straw is generally a winner with him, but he was a big fan of these and finished them in one before asking for “More?” pretty much straight away! Happy Monkey Smoothies are available from most supermarkets, and to find your nearest stockist check out their website, where you’ll also find a great range of games to keep your child entertained!

 

 

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.

Product Launch: Philadelphia… with chocolate!

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Launch, Product Reviews | Posted on 02-02-2012

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Yes you did read that right – chocolate.

On Monday this week Kraft announced their new flavour of Philadelphia at an event in Central London and invited some bloggers along to try it out. I think I can confidently say we were all a little surprised when we found out it was chocolate – general consensus beforehand was another savoury option – so it was with some trepidation we stepped forward to try it out.

Delicious!! Seriously!! I mean who is going to dislike anything with Cadbury chocolate in it? Certainly not me! It maintained the light cool consistency of Original Philadelphia but tasted decadently of Cadbury. A win, win situation in my book! I find other leading chocolate spreads quite thick to eat, but this was much nicer. And if you want to feel even better about the idea of Cadbury flavoured Philadelphia: it is a mere 86 calories per serving and has less than half the fat and less sugar than other leading chocolate spreads.

As well as tasting delicious and being (almost) good for you, Philadelphia with Cadbury is hugely versatile. Spread it on toast, a bage, a croissant or a biscuit. Smoother your pancakes in it this Shrove Tuesday. Make Chocolate Cheesecakes out of it. Use it to ice cupcakes or as a filling in sponge cakes. Dip fruit in it. Eat it straight from the tub with a spoon… just me? Oh.

Philadelphia with Cadbury is available now from most good supermarkets. It is being launched this week so will hopefully make it to a store near you soon. It is available in standard 160g tub size as well as 4x30g mini-tubs.