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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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Mothers Day Gift Guide

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 02-03-2012

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Mothers Day is just over a fortnight away – March 18th if you’re curious – so if you’re looking for something a bit different for you own Mum or your Mother In Law, or you want some inspiration for what to drop hints about for yourself, take a look at this lovely lot. You’re bound to find something to suit!

Hotel Chocolate
You can’t go wrong with a nice box of chocolates, and The Jewellery Box from Hotel Chocolat is a guaranteed hit. The box contains 10 individually wrapped chocolates – which were delicious by the way – and when they’re all gone it leaves a stylish box with mirrored lid that is perfect for storing your own treasures in. You can buy this gorgeous box from the Hotel Chocolat website.

So…? Perfume
For a slightly longer lasting gift how about a bottle of the classic So…? Perfume or a Body Spray? So…? has been around for years and its range gets larger every season. The Original So…? fragrance combines tangerine and orange blossom with vanilla, sandalwood and patchouli and has been a favourite in my house for a long time.  It is available in a 75ml body spray, a 100ml eau de toilette, or a choice of two gift sets from the So…? website.

Pinky Knits
If you’re after something a bit different for a Mum who enjoys crafts why not try a Pinky Knits Kit? Launched this year at Top Drawer the Pinky Knits Kit allows you to knit without using needles. In fact all you need are your fingers! Casting on is simple following the instructions on the side and then you work the wool to create a knitted “noodle”. This “noodle” can then be transformed into anything your imagination can come up with! There are instructions for making a snood or a coil twist scarf, but the “noodle” can easily be turned into a hat, a cushion cover, or even a bag! Pinky Knits Kits come in a range of colours and can be found online at their website.

Mama Baby Bliss
The Little Bag Of Mama Bliss is the ideal gift for Mums celebrating their first Mothers Day. The bag contains some “Ooh” Relaxing Bath Soak which as well as providing some much needed chilling out for Mum also aids post-natal healing with its calendula, aloe vera and  geranium. There is also a tube of “Aah” Soothing Mummy Baby balm which is perfect for soothing sore nipples or chapped skin. I use this on my eczema and its amazing, and my Mum is also using it on some flaky skin caused by an operation she had last year and its working a treat for both of us. Finally there is an “Uplifting Bliss Stick” which gives Mums a little boost when applied to pulse points. The Little Bag Of Mama Bliss can be found at the Mama Baby Bliss website a long with hints and tips for creating a blissful mama this Mothers Day.

 

Keep Calm For Mums
Parenthood can be difficult and at the end of a long day Mums can often be left feeling fraught and reaching for the nearest bottle. If you need a helping hand to get your through those days get yourself a copy of “Keep Calm For Mums” from Summersdale Publishing. This lovely pink book is packed with witty and uplifting quotes which are sure to bring a smile to your face and get your through even the most nightmarish day. “Keep Calm For Mums” is available from all good bookshops, or direct from Summersdale.

Stockwell Ceramics
Stockwell Ceramics is based in Cornwall and they produce a range of buttons, pendants, brooches and earrings made from beautifully coloured ceramic. You might have spotted their items in the V&A in London, or The Natural History Museum. As well as their standard range they often create bespoke commissions, but I think my favourite of their items is this lovely bird brooch. You can view their range now at their website.

Period Features
If you’re looking for a gift with a slightly more classical look to it you’d be best going to Period Features. Period Features primarily sources products for period homes, such as wallpaper, furnishings and heritage paints. However they also do a range of classic items like napkins and feather dusters. I particularly like the French Soaps and the traditionally packaged bath salts. The soaps are traditionally hand made and look beautiful as a decoration as well as in use. The bath salts look exactly as you would expect in their period paper packets. Period Features can be found in Leek, Staffordshire or online.

TeaJay Tea
Every Mum I know loves a good cup of tea. I know I certainly do. Whilst I am typically more like to reach for my usual brand of tea, I do occasionally fancy something a bit different. Why not send your Mum some TeaJay Tea to try? Their teas are inspired by music so are all named after songs. They have a wide range of herbal, fruit and Rooibos to choose from which make ideal teas all year round – they can all be made into delicious ice teas during the summer months. I rather enjoyed the Corazon De Melon which is delicious mix of honey, melon and guava with a hint of strawberry. TeaJays tea can be bought in varying quantities at their website.

Honey Tree
Honey Tree are bespoke stationers who create personalised stationary, invitations, labels and sell unique artwork from their online store. For Mothers Day they have a lovely range of labels for those Mums who enjoy making jams and preserves, or their own drinks. Labels can have just an image on or text too are designed by you so you are getting exactly what you want. The quality is great and ordering couldn’t be simpler.

Limited Edition Prints are also available, and these make a lovely gift. There is a wide range available and they come either mounted or framed and mounted and are signed too. You will find prints that are kitchen and garden themed that any Mum would be proud to hang. I am a big fan of the Fork & Spoon print which I think would look great in the kitchen, or the range of Heart prints would be a great way to show your Mum just how much you care. You can view the full range of prints, and the array of labels at the Honey Tree website.

Wood And Willow
Wood And Willow is a small family run business and #SBS winner who sells items to “Make Your House A Home”.  They sell a beautiful range of gifts for both the house and garden, and also feature a lovely selection of UK Handmade items. You will be spoilt for choice on the Wood And Willow website when it comes to buying something for your Mum, or at other times of the year, but my favourites include the Heart Shaped Frame Trio and the Red Gingham Apron Set. The frame trio is off-white in colour and would be ideal for photos of Mum, Dad and Baby. The Apron Set comprises an apron, oven glove and quilted pot stand. It comes direct from France to add a little French chic to your kitchen. The Wood And Willow website can be found here.

Boots
If your Mum is in need of a little pampering and you’re thinking a nice gift set is the way to go then you can’t go wrong in Boots where there is a great range from Champney’s on offer.  My picks are the “Indulgence Oriental Opulence Travel Collection” and the “Best Of Spa” sets which both contain handy sized products including bath soaks, shower gels and hand creams. If you’re after a gift for a Soon-To-Be-Mum how about the “Extracts Fairtrade Mini Body Butter Collection” which will be perfect for keeping bump nice and soft, and includes a Cocoa Butter which is good for helping prevent stretch marks. A full range of Boots Gift Sets can be found in store, or online.

Gumigem
How about a gift that’s both for Mum and for their little one? Jewellery wearing is generally a nightmare when you have a small child so most Mums forgo their collection until their children are older. With Gumigem you don’t need to! The stylish necklaces feature what look like solid stone pendants so are fashionable, but the “stone” is actually made from the same material as most traditional teethers. This means you can look stylish whilst your baby can safely chew on your necklace during times of teething, and if they do pull hard on it the safety catch at the back releases meaning no more strangling Mum! The necklaces come in four shapes and a range of beautiful colours, and are even worn by celebrity Mums like Denise Van Outen and Michelle Heaton. The full range can be viewed here but if you want to buy a Gumigem this Mothers Day I sell them with prices starting at £10, so get in touch for details!

Curvety
If you’re after clothing for that slightly curvier figure take a trip to the Curvety website. They stock a range of glamorous and fashionable clothing to dress your beautiful curves in style. From dresses, trousers and skirts to an amazing Bridal range as well as the all important shoes Curvety covers everything you could possibly want. In addition to their vast clothing range they also sell accessories including the gorgeous necklace you see below, which would look great on any woman, regardless of size. The full Curvety range can be found online.

The Old Bag Company
Perhaps a new bag is in order for Mum this year, but you want to get her something a little different. What about the “Sophie Canvas Bag” from the Old Bag Company? The bag comes with an array of pockets to store all Mum’s bits and pieces and has a waterproof liner in case of any spills. It’s machine washable and inside every bag is a message from the Old Bag Company children (who all the bags are named after) so you know you’re getting the genuine article. Available in six colour choices this bag is perfect as a handbag, shopper, beach bag, hand luggage or funky work bag. This bag, and the rest of the spotty and stripey range, can be found at the Old Bag Company website.

Swanky Maison
If you want to get your Mum something totally different whilst supporting new and up-and-coming UK designers head over to Swanky Maison. Swanky Maison is an online boutique that sells gifts and items for the home that have been designed and made here in the UK. The range of items on there is mind-blowing – I was on there for hours pouring over the gorgeous things – and I defy anyone to not find something they love. One of my favourite designers on there is ‘Red Brick Glass’. Based in Dorset, Wendy the founder of ‘Red Brick Glass’ creates a stunning array of glass items using a her kiln, finishing them all by hand and packaging them beautifully. I adore these glass lanterns, available in a set of three, with their delicate butterfly print on them which are fired in the kiln to ensure they won’t scratch off. I think these would look pretty in the garden, as centre pieces at a spring wedding, or just around the bath when Mum has that much deserved relaxing soak. ‘Red Brick Glass’ and a host of other talented designers can be found on the Swanky Maison e-boutique website.

Tesco Nail Varnish
If your children are just reaching an age where they understand the significance of Mothers Day and perhaps want to spend “their” money on a present for Mummy then Tesco might just have the answer. Their “All About Nails” range is perfectly priced at just 99p per bottle and they have large number of colours available from the brights to the on-trend pastels, and whilst the price is cheap the quality is fabulous. So come on Dads, why not nip out to the supermarket with your children this weekend and grab Mum a present they can buy themselves? ‘All About Nails’ is available now from your local Tesco store.

Yankee Candle
A Housewarmer candle from Yankee Candle is a gift that Mum, and the rest of the family, can enjoy for up to 150 hours. Presented in a large glass jar with glass lid this is an epic candle that will also make a lovely decorative feature in any room of the house. When it comes to scented candles I prefer something subtle to provide a nice background smell as opposed to something overpowering, so for me the ideal Yankee Candle would be the Vanilla Satin – a gentle classic fragrance. This fragrance, and others, is available in several sized candles from small tea-lights to the mighty large glass jars from the Yankee Candle website.

Afternoon Tea
She’s probably spent years slaving over your tea, and now she can have a fantastic time unwinding with a different type of tea, scones, and a selection of scrumptious cakes on her tea for two experience. Whether you opt for afternoon tea at Harrods or you whisk her away to any of 20 elegant rural locations across the UK, she’ll simply love this traditional treat. Tea For Two days out are available from the Buy-A-Gift website.

Product Review: Just Trade Toddler Hats & Stylish Accessories

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews, Trade Show Discovery | Posted on 28-01-2012

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Whilst at Top Drawer the other week I also stumbled upon Just Trade, a family run business supporting fair trade projects in Lima, Peru. We all know the importance of fair trade products, but how many of you actually own something fair trade? Maybe I can tempt you with Just Trade.

Just Trade stock a range of jewellery and accessories for both parents and children. Necklaces, bracelets and earrings in a variety of materials and designs feature heavily in their online store, as well as belts and a cute range of hats and booties for little ones. For children my favourite product has to be this:

Since before he was born I’ve been drawn towards hats with ears for my Little Man – much to his Dads despair – and this one is a definite contender for cutest.  Cosy and warm and a natural oatmeal colour – no dyes or pesticides here – this hat is made by members of the Mama Ursula project who aim to provide employment for women to support their families.

If you’re after something a bit different for yourself though, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw their range of brooches. Guaranteed to brighten any coat:

There is a huge selection of handmade crocheted brooches in a range of fruit and vegetable designs, as well as a few little creatures. Grandma was a big fan of this, from their Garden Helpers range:

Just Trades huge range can be found online.

 

Mio Solo Nappy Challenge Week

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 21-01-2012

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Last week Little Man and I embarked on something new. We used real nappies. Since day one we’ve used disposables and I’d never really considered using anything else. I envisaged the washing machine being permanently on, and I wasn’t particularly keen on getting any closer to the contents of his nappy than I needed to – especially those early explosions! Just after he turned one in October last year and money seemed to become even tighter than usual I gave real nappies a thought. People kept raving about how much money you could save by using real ones, and how amazing they were, so I did a bit of research. The choice out there is wide and varied and I felt a little out of my depth. It was brilliant therefore when I was contacted by Bambino Mio and asked if I’d like to take part in their Mio Solo Nappy Challenge. I immediately said yes, and then, I must admit, wondered what on earth I’d let myself in for!

My parcel arrived at the beginning on January and I was rather excited to open it and take a look at the new Mio Solo. The Mio Solo is a one-size-fits-all nappy that is suitable from birth right through to potty training. It comes in six colours all with a sweet themed name, and is designed to be simple to use and super-absorbent. It features velcro fastenings, poppers across the front to adjust to fit any sized baby, and a pull out inner to make them quick drying.

 

In our pack we received the blue (Flying Saucer), yellow (Sherbet Lemon) and white (Marshmallow) Mio Solo, a Mio Boost – an additional absorbent pad to use during the night, some Mio Wipes, some Mio Fresh Nappy cleanser to use in the washing machine and a roll of Nappy Liners. The nappies looked simple enough to use – the fastening is very like that of the disposables we already used – and the washing didn’t sound unrealistic either. In theory I was ready for the challenge – but how would I fair in practice?

Challenge 1: The Stay At Home Challenge
This sounded a perfect way to start – staying in! I was glad to do this as it meant I had clothes on hand in case of a leak and a stock of other nappies in case I panicked. I also had cream to hand in case my Little Man’s sensitive bottom reacted to the real nappies by coming out in a rash. The first nappy went on without any problems. Little Man didn’t notice anything different and the elasticated leg cuffs meant he could cruise around the furniture with ease as he always had. When it came to changing they were simple to take one off and replace, though the liners did tend to stick to his bottom a bit. At the end of our first day I was still happy and there was no rash – perfect.

Challenge 2: The Out & About Challenge
One day two we had to venture out. This was fine as it was our Sing & Sign class that morning. Into a Mio Solo he went and into the car seat. The class is a short drive away but it would be the longest he’d sat with a Mio Solo on so I was curious about leaking. He also spends the whole class crawling and cruising around, standing up and climbing about – all that action would put some strain on the nappy. I changed him at the end of the class and it was simple to do even away from the well stocked changing table at home. The liner and wipes went into one nappy sack to be thrown out, and the wet Mio Solo went into another to be taken home and washed. A successful out and about challenge.

Challenge 3: The Overnight Challenge
This was the challenge that caused the greatest sense of dread and panic amongst the bloggers taking this challenge. I wasn’t going to take any chances so when we put the nappy on before bed I put the Mio Boost in straight away and added a liner. Little Man sleeps on his front with his bum in the air so I was worried that any overnight wee would gather at the front of the nappy and leak out. He went to bed at 7.30pm and the sceptic in me expected a wake-up call around midnight with a wet bed. I checked on him at 10.30pm when I went to bed and all was well – no leaking, no smells. Everyone slept through and he started chattering to himself at 8am as usual. Unfortunately when I went to get him up the front of the nappy was wet, as were his pyjama bottoms and the bed sheet. Thankfully he hadn’t got the duvet too! Admittedly there wasn’t anything like as big a leak as I’d expected, but sadly gravity won. I will be retrying this challenge after advice from the Bambino Mio team but I think I did everything they’d suggested. We’ll see what happens.

Challenge 4: The Dad, Grandparent Or Babysitter Challenge
Dad was probably more sceptical than me at the start of this challenge. His parents had used terry towelling nappies on all four of their children and being the oldest he can just remember the washing machine being on 24/7. He was concerned that I’d be spending my days washing and that nothing else would ever get done! Dad was impressed with the design of the nappies and happily changed a couple during the course of the challenge week. No problems at all. They really are totally simple. I plan to get Grandma to change one next week!

Challenge 5: The Washing & Drying Challenge
My biggest fear was all the washing. Would they dry quickly enough? Would they come out clean and reusable? Would my washing machine be on for the rest of my life? Well obviously with the fact I only had three nappies I can’t really comment on how often the washing machine would be on if we were doing this “properly”. To only use Mio Solo’s for every nappy change would require a larger supply and a few more washes, but that wouldn’t be a major hardship. Washing them at 60 degrees with the sanitiser in and my usual non-bio washing liquid was fine. I put them in with towels which could also withstand the temperature and I was pleased when they came out perfectly clean. After an incident involving poo and Mummy forgetting to put a liner in for the first time I was a little scared – especially with is being the beautifully white nappy – but even this came out crystal clean and sanitised. Pulling out the inner pad meant they dried very quickly and fastening the velcro tabs back during washing meant I didn’t have everything stuck together during the cycle.

If you disregard the minor overnight problem these nappies were great. A lot less complication and fuss then I’d expected, and the fact that Little Man didn’t seem to notice at all was a bonus. At the end of our challenge week I think we’ve all thought a lot about washable nappies, and whilst we won’t be making the change 100% we will definitely keep using washables during the day, and saving disposables for night time. I highly recommend trying the Mio Solo to anyone considering making those tentative first steps into washables, especially if you’re a past user of disposables. I’m always available on Twitter if you want to chat (@SussexMummy) or if you want to share any comedy poo related incidents. I don’t think my Twitter feed has ever been so full of chatter about poo, wee and nappies ever. Thankfully it wasn’t our house that experienced the “Poonami!”

Thanks Bambino Mio for letting me take the challenge – I had great fun!

Product Review: Riverford Medium Vegetable Box

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 16-12-2011

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If you follow me on Twitter (@SussexMummy) then you may recall a couple of weeks ago I was asking about the organic vegetable boxes you can get delivered by a variety of companies. Abel & Cole and Riverford are the main ones I’ve heard of so I was trying to gauge opinion on them both. I must admit that people are pretty much divided on who is the best! The person behind Riverford’s Twitter feed contacted me and offered to send me one of there’s to sample and review – now who would say no to that?

Riverford was born in Devon after Guy Watson began delivering vegetable boxes to around 30 of his local friends. Nowadays Riverford – with the help of its delivery team and its regional farmers – delivers approximately 40,000 boxes per week.  As well as providing delicious organic vegetable boxes, Riverford also offers fruit, meat, salad, milk, eggs, bread and all manner of food items direct to you front door.

Here’s the medium sized vegetable box we received:

A medium vegetable box is designed to feed 3-4 people and comes with 10 varieties of vegetable, generally always having potatoes, carrots and onions. The contents change with the seasons and the availability, and so the week we got a box we received potatoes, carrots, onions, vine tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, Jerusalem artichokes and leeks. Now there are two adults, one 1 year old, and two fat guinea pigs in our house and the box has lasted us two full weeks. Obviously how long it lasts will depend on your cooking style and the appetite of the people in your house.

The difference in taste and flavour of the vegetables from what I usually buy in my weekly supermarket shop was phenomenal. Something as simple and basic as a carrot tasted totally different. When I’m preparing vegetables for cooking I’m always snacking on it as I peel and chop. That one taste of a slice of raw carrot had me converted instantly. Whilst I still buy supermarket vegetables for my guinea pigs – they need a constant supply of green beans – I won’t buy it for the family any more. A fortnightly medium box will be getting delivered to me from now on. In fact only yesterday I placed my order for a box for next week – Christmas is going to be very tasty and healthy… kind of! The contents are already listed on the Riverford website and we’re getting parsnips, cabbage, sprouts and more.

With Riverford I know its organic and I know its fresh. With each delivery I get a leaflet telling me how to store my vegetables and some handy recipes using the contents of my box. What I loved about the recipes was that they don’t just include one vegetable, they include multiple to ensure you use up the contents of your box. The Riverford website is also bursting with more recipes. If you get anything you don’t recognise or know what to do with – I did get a bit stuck with my Jerusalem artichokes but thankfully Grandma was on hand to cook them for me – you can give them a ring and they’ll help you out.

Go to the Riverford website now to order your Christmas Vegetable Box – they come in a variety of sizes so you’re bound to find one that suits you and your families needs – or any other of their delicious produce.

Christmas Gift Guide: Mia Tui Bags

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas Gift Guide, Product Reviews | Posted on 28-11-2011

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I love handbags.

When I had my Little Man back just over a year ago I was a little sad to say goodbye to my (embarrassingly large) collection of handbags. I had at least one for every occasion and several more just because they were pretty/on sale/there, but what I didn’t have was any that were suitable for use as a changing bag. Somewhere to store nappies, wipes, food, snacks, drinks, toys, muslins, more wipes… even my largest handbag was completely unsuitable. So I went out and bought a rather dull looking – though incredibly functional – changing bag which worked wonders. I knew where everything was, I always had what I needed and Little Man always had a toy/drink/snack/wipe to hand.

Now my Little Man is that bit older the variety of “stuff” I need to carry round with me has changed – I no longer need dozens of nappies, we don’t need gallons of milk, and thank god we no longer need a hundred wipes on standby at all times. What I need now is a range of snacks, some toys and a drink. So I wanted a new bag – any excuse really – so I was overjoyed when Charlotte at Mia Tui bags offered me TWO of her bags to review.

Mia Tui bags aren’t primarily changing bags. They are bags for women – all women – for any occasion. And they aren’t wrong! These gorgeous leather bags look like handbags – they larger of the range looks like an overnight bag – and that satisfies my first need. My second was that is was big enough for what I needed and that I’d be able to find what I was looking for instantly.

The first bag Charlotte sent over was the Grace bag.

It looks like a handbag!!

This bag comes with a matching clutch, a bottle holder – for milk or water, a key clip, a pen pocket and a mobile phone pocket. There are multiple zip pockets inside it allowing your to keep your baby items separate if that’s what you’re using it for, plus a large main section for items you want immediately at hand. The long cross-body strap can also be adjusted to a shorter shoulder strap. I love this bag… but my Mum loves it more! My Mum is now the proud owner of this bag and she uses it daily as her handbag. Her love of handbags is similar to mine and she has been drooling over this bag since she first saw it back at the Baby Show For Trade where we first met Charlotte. She can find her keys, can produce a pen at a moments notice, and always answers her mobile phone – something she was previously notorious for not hearing or finding in time. A fantastic bag ideal for Mums – or Grandma’s – and a perfect gift this Christmas.

The second bag we received was the Amelie bag.

This bag is HUGE!!

This is Mia Tui’s signature large tote… and they aren’t kidding. I think my Little Man could live in this bag! It comes with two clear internal bags – airport security size for travel, a matching clutch, a bottle holder, pen pocket, mobile phone pocket, key clip, clips to secure your separate bags, and a hands free shoulder strap. Measuring an epic W39cm X D16cm X H40cm this bag is for “the woman who wants it all, all the time.” This bag is ideal for parents with multiple children who need a wide range of things to carry, or if you are going on a long car/train/plane journey and need to have plenty supplies to hand. You could use it as an bag to take to the office,  you could take it to the beach, you could use it as luggage for a weekend away. This bag has so many uses – it is phenomenal.

Both the Grace and the Amelie bag are available now in a range of colours from the Mia Tui website.

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! 

Product Review: Boots Nappy Rash Spray

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 22-07-2011

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Once in a while a baby product comes along that makes you think "Why didn’t I think of that?" and that was certainly the case when I received this product from Boots.

Nappy Rash Spray just seems to logical doesn’t it, yet its something I’ve never seen before or even thought to look for.  The whole idea of just spraying your babies sore bottoms as opposed to rubbing in often thick creams is genius.  Two or three short sprays is all it takes and my little man’s bottom had a thin layer of cream on it without the fuss and crying often associated with applying the creams and lotions I used to buy.  Boot Nappy Rash Spray protects from and helps prevent nappy rash and soothes and softens sore skin.  Clinically tested it is suitable for use of even the youngest of babies, and can easily be operated one handed – another plus as cream application usually ends up in a gloopy mess!!

Once again though the key question is does it work?  I’m happy to report that yes it does.  My little boy only gets nappy rash on two occasions – if we can’t get hold of his usual brand of nappy and have to buy an alternative leading brand, or when he’s teething.  Teething has returned to our previously serene (ish) household so his little bottom was getting a red tinge.  Grandma babysat for me yesterday and she used this spray each time she changed him, and she was thrilled to see the redness disappear by the end of the day.
 
A brilliant product that I highly recommend.
 
Boots Nappy Rash Spray can be bought online (http://www.boots.com) or instore for £5.60.

Hipp Organic Coffee Morning, Brighton

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 31-03-2011

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 As a member of the HiPP Organic Baby Club, and someone who has used their formula since my little one was born, I was very excited when they announced a coffee morning was being held at the Debenhams cafe in Brighton.  It was advertised as being an interesting and informative event:

"Our midwife and nutritionist are going to be giving short talks on topics like baby sleep patterns and the best nutrition for a new mum.
If you’re interested in coming along and asking their advice over a free cup of tea or coffee, as well as picking up a few HiPP goodies and the chance to win even more in our competitions, come along and see us."

Sadly this wasn’t the case.

For some inexplicable reason the staff of the Debenhams cafe had decided the best place to locate the numerous mums and their babies in buggies was up a, albeit short, set of steps – thankfully I’d taken Grandma along who helped hoist the pram up! We did get our free cup of tea, though sadly I’m not convinced it was ever particularly hot.  When the midwife eventually turned up – sadly late – she spoke for about three minutes on the importance of sleep, before dishing out goodie bags which contained items all members of the Baby Club would already have received directly, and then the event seemed to end!

A disappointing trip out I’m afraid, and not one that I imagine did any favours to HiPP.  That being said I continue to be a huge fan of their formula and their range of foods which my little one enjoys as well.  Luckily for HiPP I was already a fan before I attended, otherwise I may have looked elsewhere for my babies needs. 

Better luck next time HiPP.

The Baby Show 2011, London Excel

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 21-02-2011

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A fun filled day was spent at the Excel yesterday and the exceedingly popular Baby Show. Having never visited a baby show before, but being a veteran of other exhibitions aswell as a new mummy, I was massively excited and thankfully not disappointed.
Driving to the show was the best idea we had, and not just because of the amount of parcels we ended up with! A previous trip to the Excel had been done on train and tube and had become a mission of epic proportions. Driving was surprisingly easy and parking simple and reasonable (we paid £10 for 5 hours).
I was a little surprised to see a queue of eager shoppers, expectant mothers and buggies waiting at the door but once we were let in it all became clear. A vast array of stalls and stores faced me selling anything and everything a child from conception to age three, and mummy, might need. Familiar brands and high street stores were interspersed with the lesser known but equally good quality makes.
My highlights include the lovely people at Ellas Kitchen and Plum who were offering feeding advice, free samples and great deals on their organic food ranges. The outstanding baby changing facilities offered by Pampers with free nappies and wipes. The giant baby bouncer and ring stacker displayed by Fisher Price – though I didn’t have a go! And the priceless Shopping Drop Off point provided by Emmas Diary – something we certainly used!
Unfortunately there were lowlights too. The Mothercare stand was one of the largest and had a phenomenal number of people staffing it. That being said whilst I was there looking into Group 1 car seats for almost ten minutes nobody came over to provide information or a sales pitch. They all seemed more intent on chatting amongst themselves, standing around making the area cluttered and impossible to navigate, and drinking coffee. My other lowlight came at the Britax stand. They weren’t selling their products, meerly providing information and advice which was sufficient for me. On the car seat mission once again I chatted with one of the team about features and most importantly for me, price. I was looking for a good quality car seat as cheap as possible – as I’m sure most people are. “I can’t understand why people want cheap stuff.” He said as he showed me a £300 seat. Maybe because we don’t all have £300? Not the way to tempt me to buy your product!
Despite these two faults I found the show a brilliant day out. Grandma and I left heavily laden with bargains for my little boy who’d had a fun day at home with Daddy. I don’t think a repeat visit would be necessary, but its a one off must for all mummies.
Oh and by the way, whilst driving home we stopped at a retail park for lunch and spotted a Boots Clearance store. If there is one near you get in there. I bought a brand new unboxed ex display Maxi Cosi Axiss car seat for £100 – £120 less than the rrp. I was almost tempted to go back to the show and beat the Britax man around the head with it…

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A Brief Introduction, And A Bit Of A Rant…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 19-02-2011

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Blogs by Mummies are hardly a rarity on the Internet, but I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring.  I’m a keen amateur writer (largely fanfiction based) and a new Mummy (as of October 2010) so what better way to combine my two passions? I doubt I’ll be particularly earth shattering or profound in my ramblings, but as every child is different (you just need to look at my antenatal class to prove that) I hope to bring something new to the Mummy Blogger genre. What will be written here will purely be my experiences and opinions as a Mummy. You might share my experiences, and you might not. You may agree whole-heartedly with my opinions, and you may not.  Please do have your say on what I ramble – I look forward to reading peoples responses to this new foray into writing.

So to begin with a little bit about myself and my reason for blogging.  I’m 28 and living in the midst of the Sussex countryside with my husband of three years and our baby boy who is just four and a half months old.  He is our first child, and at the moment I think it’s a little early for definitive decisions on whether or not he’ll be our only!  Whilst pregnancy was a fairly easy time, the final week and the labour which followed was somewhat fraught and at right now its not an experience I’m keen to repeat.  I am more than happy enjoying my little one and giving him my undivided attention before I consider adding to our little family.

Whilst I’ve never been somebody that fit in – I was never in with the popular kids at school and when we moved house we changed counties – I’ve never felt part of a minority group until recently. Until I became a Mummy in fact. I’m not a single parent. I’m a Stay At Home Mummy. I’m not on maternity leave. I have no job to go back to. Before you ask, no I’m not wealthy. I don’t have the luxury of endless savings or a Hubby that earns a fortune. We struggle to make ends meet, yet I choose to stay at home. I realise this is not an option for some, but for those people who can afford to stay at home, why go back to work when can do the most valuable job ever at home?

As I said my Boy is four and a half months old, and has recently taken his first tentative steps into the world of weaning.  Debate is wide on the subject of weaning, but thankfully my Health Visitor takes the “every baby is different” approach.  We started at four months because my Boy was guzzling gallons of milk and seemed impossible to fill.  Now he’s enjoying daily spoonfuls (or sometimes three) of pureed fruit and vegetables, and the occasional bit of baby rice, though he doesn’t seem too keen on that.  Food is enthusiastically chomped and swallowed, so I take this as meaning he’s ready for solids and happy to eat them.  We’ll see how it goes.

Tomorrow I am heading to London’s Excel for the final day of The Baby Show.  Boy is staying at home with Hubby for some “male bonding” whilst I take Grandma shopping.  We’re hoping to pick up some bargains and grab a few freebies and samples along the way.  I’ll let you know how it goes.