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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: Argos Outdoor Toys

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 03-05-2013

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Hurrah!! Sunny weather!! At last!! I’ve been waiting to write this review until the weather was decent enough. Promoting outdoor toys during snow, rain and ice seemed slightly foolish! So here we go.

Little Man has been spending far too much time indoors recently, what with it being so cold and wet all the time. I’m afraid I’m not one of those parents that puts waterproofs and wellies on and goes out in all conditions. I’d much rather wait for dry weather, and ideally warmth too. I want to make sure he spends as much of the summer outside in the garden, either at home or when he visits his grandparents, so I was thrilled when Argos got in touch asking if I’d like to review some of their outdoor items. We chose 2 – one for at home, and one for at his grandparents, where the garden is considerably bigger.

First up was the Plum Products Sand & Picnic Table. Little Man loves to play in sand and we wanted to get him a sandpit this summer. This one from Plum seemed ideal, as it has a removable top. It can be used as a sandpit, but with the top on its a normal picnic table for eating at, or doing colouring or playing outside. I liked the fact that Little Man can sit at it to play, though he does tend to stand next to it anyway. It was pretty easy to build, and Little Man enjoyed helping Daddy. Do excuse the hats and coats in these photos – it wasn’t quite as warm as it is now when I made Daddy build this!
Now Grandma and Grandad have an altogether bigger garden. Its a big like a field really. Little Man already has a wooden playhouse down there along with a sand and water table and a picnic table – we’re down there at least once a week so its not totally insane for them to have all this! With so much space available it seemed logical to add on more large outdoor toy into the mix.

Also from Plum Products this is an 8 foot trampoline with enclosure. The ladder you can see was part of an extra accessories kit which Grandad bought that included a cover for when Little Man isn’t visiting. Now the trampoline was a little trickier to build, but I suspect the cold weather didn’t help. The instructions were easy for Daddy and Grandad to follow but as you can imagine fitting the surface of the trampoline became easier as they got the knack. The enclosure was very important for me as theoretically Little Man is too small for this trampoline at the moment at just 2 and a half. However he has been using it under close adult supervision for over a month now and he’s absolutely fine in there. He bounces a little bit, but more often then not he just runs laps and then throws himself down. We’ve put a few plastic balls in there with him for more fun. If we are outdoors at his grandparents house we can pretty much just pop him in there, zip up the entrance and leave him to it. Hours of fun, and a bit of rare peace for his parents.

These two items and many more great outdoor toys are available now from Argos, including a brilliant range of bouncy castles, playhouses, and sports toys. Plus if you shop at Argos at the moment you get a £10 voucher if you spend £100 and a £5 voucher if you spend £50. A great time to get down there today and get some outdoor toys for the lovely Bank Holiday weekend ahead.

Product Review: Ella’s Kitchen Munchy Biccies

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 20-03-2012

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Since my Little Man has become more mobile and begun walking he is desperate to go outside every day. This is brilliant I know, but it does mean I have to keep finding new places to take him! I’d let him rampage around in the garden but its currently a work-in-progress whilst Grandad and Daddy sort out some new grass. So we find ourselves going out every day, and more often than not twice a day!

Going out and about with an enthusiastic toddler brings a whole range of challenges, but the one that is probably most important to Little Man is snacks. Mummy has to have a good supply of snacks with her at all times to ensure whatever he fancies at a moments notice is available. Whilst I generally carry around his bodyweight in blueberries, grapes and satsumas – seriously this child would live on fruit if I let him – I do also like to have a few biscuits with me too. Whilst his usual biscuit of choice is the humble digestive, we were recently introduced to a toddler friendly alternative.

Munchy Biccies from Ella’s Kitchen come in three flavours – Cheese & Apple, Cinnamon & Orange, and Banana – and as with all Ella’s Kitchen products are 100% organic. They are healthy wholegrain biscuits which don’t contain any concentrates or refined sugars. So whilst my Little Man thinks he’s getting a yummy treat, I know he’s only getting the best. My Little Man is renowned for eating pretty much anything without complaint and these biscuits are another hit. They are perfectly sized for little hands – I admit they do look a little unappetising – and come is handy packs which you can pop straight into you bag or pocket.

So if you’re ever in Sussex and see me and Little Man on one of our MANY outings, you’re more than likely going to find us with a packet of Munchy Biccies close at hand.

Munchy Biccies are available now from all good supermarkets.

Product Review: Lindam Easy Fit Push To Shut Safety Gate

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 12-03-2012

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So Little Man has learnt to walk. We’ve had months of merrily cruising around the lounge using the sofas or the table for support, but last weekend he just set off across the room with a confident swagger, as if he’d been doing it for years. This means the lone safety gate we have on the kitchen doorway is no longer enough. Thankfully he doesn’t climb the stairs – not successfully at least – so we just needed one for the top. I’m sure falling down the stairs would be something he’d excel in! I wanted something simple to use that I could open easily with one hand. For most trips upstairs I am carrying Little Man so I don’t want to be struggling to open the gate, or having to juggle him whilst I use two hands. Hardly good stair safety! The new Easy Fit Push To Shut gate from Lindam is perfect.

 

As you can see, he’s not going anywhere!

My Little Man is fairly strong and rattles at the gate when he’s wandering about upstairs and it is rock solid – probably due to the great fitting skills of Grandad I’m sure – but it is so easy to fit. Pressure fit between the wall and the banister post, the safety gate has a simple one handed press and lift opening. It can open in either or both directions and the opening is nice and wide. There is a bar to step over which you have to be aware of – especially when positioned like this at the top of the stairs – but I think this is an ideal gate for this placing. I can now go up and down the stairs carrying Little Man easily, and I know he is perfectly safe when I leave him to wander around upstairs.

The  Lindam Easy Fit PushTo Shut Safety Gate is available exclusively from Argos, and is currently half price in their sale at just £14.99 – I think we might be buying one for the bottom of the stairs soon!

Product Review: Persil Small & Mighty

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 24-08-2011

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As wonderful as it is to have children they do come with a few less than wonderful features.  My least favourite part of parenthood is the seemingly endless mountains of washing they create.  From the earliest days of explosive nappies and regurgitating milk, to the weaning period where puree seems to end up everywhere, till they start toddling around and getting in to all manner of dirt, the washing never ends.  
Now I’ve tried lots of different brands of washing powders and liquids to try and get rid of these stains but so many of them just seem to be unbeatable.  I’ve tried several of the settings on my washing machine from the short intense washes to the long hot washes.  Bibs covered in food and juice go in to the machine and at the end of a cycle out comes a bib stained beyond repair.  I was beginning to think that this was just the way it was, but thankfully I’ve discovered that you can get these stubborn stains out – even out of long given up on casualties of the baby food chaos.  And what’s better it even works at 30 degrees!
Persil Small & Mighty to the rescue!
“New Small & Mighty is the most powerful liquid detergent from Persil to date so only needs one small dosage – measured simply in the shuttle device – to deliver mighty cleaning power, proven on a 30 minute wash cycle.  The unique concentrated liquid formulation contains five new ingredients specially designed to work even on the quicker and cooler wash programmes of your machine, to tackle the toughest stains and deliver thorough cleaning.”  And it really does work.
Now I could have taken before and after photos of my Little Man’s most disgusting bibs but I didn’t want to scare anyone who isn't weaning yet!  The other day whilst visiting his Grandma and Grandad my Little Man enjoyed a mid-morning snack of fresh strawberries.  A full body bib was called for and by the time he’d finished most was in him, but lumps of strawberry and juice was all over his bib.  The bib was put in a small carrier bag to transport it home and then sadly – and rather embarrassingly – forgotten about for a few days!  With a degree of cynicism and expectations for further washes or even throwing out the bib I threw it in with a load of other bibs and muslins and turned on the washing machine.  When it finished I set about hanging the wash up to dry but kept my eyes open for the no doubt terminal bib.  Nowhere to be seen!  Every bib came out beautifully clean and strawberry free.
Thank you Persil for making one parenting task that little bit easier!