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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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Guest Post: Who Needs Men To Move House?

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Information | Posted on 05-11-2012

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Ah, the home-move. In most households, it’s usually a time where the leading family male jumps at the chance of taking over the almighty task of moving the whole family, from one humble abode to the next. Why? Because they feel it’s their manly duty to of course.

But, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that sometimes us women are better off just doing it on our own. After all, packing up the family home involves meticulous planning, strategic wrapping and careful sorting, right? And sometimes your husband’s inner Neanderthal ways just don’t seem to understand this.

So, reason one to why you don’t need your man to help you move house? Well, just cast yourself back to when he’s left in charge of the supermarket shop; freezer foods in the tinned foods bag, and fridge foods in the same bag as the cat food.  And, this is exactly what happens when they’re left in charge of packing the house up; little Jack’s room in the same box as teen Sarah’s room  – it just makes for more work once you’re on the other side. And, this is all before they’ve even considered wrapping up that expensive china tea set you received from your great aunt as a wedding present…

However, if you’re finding that moving that heavy wardrobe without your man’s help is proving more difficult than originally thought, get a little professional help without your other half knowing, Hiring a removals company such as UShip, will help to make sure your items are moved from one house to another with absolute precision.

This article was written by Kathryn Thompson, a freelance writer and mum to three daughters aged 12, 10 and 5.  Kathryn once bought a leather Filofax for her eldest daughter in a last minute shopping panic, as she convinced her they needed to record all their homework in it.  Her daughter was in year one at the time.

Guest Post: Local Bookstores Suffer the Wrath of Ebooks

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Information | Posted on 24-09-2012

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“There is a strong feeling of pessimism amongst people within the book industry. This feeling spans from novelists to publishers, largely down to financial reasons. The worry these individuals have comes from the introduction of the eBook, the digitalised version of the traditional book. The impact of this new form of literary medium is causing massive reverberations throughout the field, and none more so perhaps than that of quaint local bookstores.

There has been plenty of coverage over the closure of independent record stores over the past five years or so, due to the explosions of internet downloads and mp3s. But the troubles local independent bookstores are going through seem to have been neglected somewhat in the media. This may partly be down to the appeal it has to people, as believe it or not, everyone enjoys reading, but to find someone who doesn’t like music of any kind? Impossible, surely.

It is quite a serious issue however, and one that I did not really contemplate until the last local bookstore in my nearby town was forced to close after over a twenty-five year residency there. When interviewed in the local paper the owner of the store explained that he simply could not compete and keep up with the conglomerates, the big chain stores and the influx of online literature, particularly their prices. He did manage to joke however that one the final books he sold was The Great Gatsby, jesting that had he perhaps read it he’d have been able to put up more of a fight into keeping is dream alive.

He had a fair point though concerning the financial competition, as eBooks are almost always sold for a cut price in comparison to physical books, with companion books such as Twilight and Philosophy – Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality available for under half the price of a hard copy. It’s not even unusual now for many eBooks to be made available online for free now, and it makes you wonder, how can anyone really compete with that?

There are not many independent bookstores left in the UK now, but hopefully, if communities band together, more and more can be saved and keep the true essence of the book alive.”

I love the concept of e-readers, and there is no escaping their popularity. But sometimes, for me, nothing beats a real book. I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Guest Post: Five Things Your Child Doesn’t Need For School…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 19-08-2012

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For any parent with school age children, you will undoubtedly have experienced that black day I have labelled ‘Operation Uniform’

It isn’t a fun day, but one filled with queuing, changing rooms, tears (mine) and more queuing.  Over the years my children have discovered that towards the end of the day I am so desperate to get out of the shops, I say yes to pretty much anything they wave in front of my face, as long as they tell me they need it for school.

For any parent likely to be in this situation over the next couple of weeks, I thought I would give you the benefit of my experience and the heads up on what they really DON’T need:

  1. Suitcase on wheels.  Their friends do not take their PE kits in these.
  2. Tinkerbell costume.  Not even for school trips.
  3. iPad.  Homework doesn’t need to be in a slide show format…yet.
  4. Basketball net.  Schools generally have their own.
  5. Cool box. A lunch box is fine.

My advice would be to do as much uniform shopping online as possible.  Check out the great deals and offers at Promo Codes first.

This article was written by Kathryn Thompson, a freelance writer and mum to three daughters aged 12, 10 and 5.  Kathryn once bought a leather Filofax for her eldest daughter in a last minute shopping panic, as she convinced her they needed to record all their homework in it.  Her daughter was in year one at the time.

Maximising Space In A Child’s Bedroom

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Information | Posted on 25-06-2012

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I’m sure I’m not the only mum to be taken aback by just how many toys my child has amassed over the years, and just how much space these headless action figures and broken bits of Lego take up in my home. Yes, the irony here is that despite having no income of his own, my five year old son seems to own more personal possessions than I do, and so now we face a problem whereby his small bedroom can no longer house all of his belongings. The solution is of course to either win the lottery and buy that million-pound multi-room mansion, or – perhaps more realistically – to think about how to make the most of the space available in my child’s small bedroom.
Clearing clutter away and finding a home for each and every item is a good way to create a sense of space in any bedroom. Having practical storage solutions such as toy boxes and shelves around your child’s room is a good way to help control the chaos of books and toys being scattered everywhere. Creating a consistent routine with your child where they know where to return each item after they have finished with it is a good way to keep on top of maintaining a sense of space and order in their bedroom. They will also getting into the good habit of picking up after themselves, and praising this tidy behaviour will help them to develop a sense of pride about the space around them, encouraging them to want to keep it clean.
A bed can typically take up more room in a bedroom than any other item, and so one practical way of creating space is by doubling the bed up as both a place of sleep and relaxation for your wee one, and as a storage unit for their toys and trinkets. Practical divan beds are a good bet for doing this, and specialist bed and mattress provider Silentnight offers a wide range of different models to match the size of storage required, including specialised beds for children and toddlers.
Clothes can often be the biggest cause of clutter, and so finding a way to organise these with perhaps a closet system or shelving unit is a good way to avoid the unsightly image of socks and underpants strewn all over the furniture. Even something as practical as hanging a pocket shoe organiser on the closet door can be useful in making that extra bit of space. Again, try to use positive reinforcement to encourage your child to be responsible for putting away their own clothes, and for learning that every item in their room has a home, whether it’s their favourite Action Man or just a lonely old sock.