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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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Halloween Treats…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Foodie | Posted on 31-10-2014

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Hopefully today my Twitter feed – and later tonight this blog post – will be full of photos of my baking exploits with Little Man. I’m not overly optimistic – its been that kind of week and he’s being 4 with impeccable skill – but we’ll see what mood he woken up in. I hope to be making an array of Halloween goodies – biscuits, cupcakes and a traybake if things go really well. We were sent a hamper of Nestle bits and pieces last week to help us create something ghoulish as well as a few recipes for inspiration. If things go well, we’ll be making this later today.

Squeamish Squares:Halloween2014
150g Shredded Wheat
6 x Yorkie Bars
50g White Marshmallows
200g Golden Syrup
1 pack of Strawberry Laces
1 pack of Jelly Tots
1 bag of Milky Bar Buttons

Grease & line a 20cm square tin. Melt the Yorkie bars and Golden Syrup in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. In another bowl mix the Shredded Wheat, 1/2 the Jelly Tots and the Strawberry Laces together. Stir in the chocolate syrup mixture. Pour into the tin and chill for at least an hour in the fridge. Once set remove from the tin and cut into bite sized pieces. Drizzle over some melted buttons and scatter over the remaining Jelly Tots before it sets.

So its not going to be the healthiest thing ever, but it certainly sounds like it’ll meet the creepy quota with all the worms and bugs lurking. I also like the sound of this as there’s no real cooking involved apart from the early melting, so its pretty child friendly. Definitely my best hope with the feral four year old I seem to have in my midst this week. Half term is nearly over with yes?

Looking Forward To Halloween

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Sponsored Posts | Posted on 26-09-2014

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October? Can you believe its almost October already? Now the children have all gone back to school its pretty much full pace through until the dreaded C-word, but with October on the horizon there are two other events to look forward to in our house next month. One is Little Man’s fourth birthday, but a couple of weeks after that is Halloween. Now whilst I wasn’t much of a Halloween fan myself as a child – I think it was the idea of wandering around outside in the cold and inevitable rain that put me off – , and whilst I’m still not keen on my two going trick or treating, I am thinking a bit of a Halloween party might be in order for us this year. I’ve got a box of decorations and party wear in the loft I think that I acquired in the sales last November – its pays to forward plan here! – so I just need to sort out some costumes for the boys. Little Man will be at preschool that morning so hopefully there’ll be some kind of dressing up going on there, and I’m sure Little Dude will be happy to get into the “spirit” of things as well.

I’m thinking perhaps something subtle like this t-shirt from Asda might work for Little Man during the day. It doesn’t “scream” Halloween so it could be worn more than once, and its looks pretty stylish too. At just £3 its a bargain too! Little Dude will be joining in as well, probably wearing the My First Halloween sleepsuit. I definitely think something a bit cute is required for your first Halloween, and this fits the bill perfectly. No Halloween is complete without somewhere to stash your treats. Whilst Little Man won’t be heading out around the streets just yet, I’m sure I can supply a few ghoulish sweets for him all the same. A Frankenstein bucket will be just the job. This year we have our new playroom to decorate as well, so purple fairy lights seem appropriate don’t you agree? I think I can have some fun setting up some Halloween activities and decorations whilst Little Man is being spooky at preschool. I’ll have to get up into the loft to see what other bits and pieces I have. I’m sure the stores will be filling up with snacks, treat and sweets soon enough. Maybe its time to brave some more baking with my boys, and perhaps create some Halloween cupcakes. Believe me, there’s nothing “scarier” than our kitchen after a baking attempt with Little Man!

How do you celebrate Halloween in your house?

Halloween Candles From Scented Candle Shop

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Information | Posted on 11-10-2013

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With Halloween just a few weeks away no doubt you’re getting organised with costumes for the children and things for any trick or treaters that come to your door. Maybe you’re even having a spooky Halloween party and you’ve been looking for decorations and finishing touches to make it a truly memorable event. We don’t really do Halloween in our house – Little Man will be 3 and whilst he appreciates sweets he doesn’t really get the point of the event yet. We’ll probably do something small, maybe a spooky cake or I’ll get him an outfit he can wear on the day without looking too crazy. His preschool are holding a Pumpkin Party the week before so hopefully we’ll go along to that and he can get dressed up.

If you are having a party, or perhaps you’re just looking to decorate your house a bit for the children, how about some Halloween candles? If you head over to the Scented Candle Shop you’ll find a great range available whatever your needs. Here are my favourites.
Yankee Candles Scented Candles HalloweenYankee Candles have some great Halloween pieces this year. Two great Housewarmer Jars are available – one Candy Corn scented and one smelling of Witches Brew. I love Housewarmer Jars and these two would look great on a shelf or mantelpiece on Halloween night. My favourite item though is the Black Cat Tea Light Holder. A spooky looking cat which holds a single tea light in the arch of its back. Jet black apart from two bright yellow eyes, this would make a really good party decoration or would look nice and spooky in a window by the front door. If you’re after something a little more subtle the Scented Candle Shop also do a range of purple, black, orange and red candles and holders to add a coloured theme to your gathering.

And once Halloween is over and November dawns it’ll no doubt be time to really start thinking about Christmas which is approaching at an alarming speed as it does most years. You’ll be pleased to hear that there are plenty Christmas candles to choose from too.

Halloween Party Ideas

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 28-10-2012

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October Half Term is upon us which signals Halloween is just a few days away. If you’re planning on throwing a party this Wednesday night for your children, or perhaps next weekend, here are a few ideas for some great value items to help make your party nice and spooky!

Here is our party table:

There are loads of Halloween decorations and party items available now in most high street stores, but everything you see on this table is from either Wilkinsons or Asda and all cost less than £4 each. Halloween is fast becoming another expensive event for parents, and with Christmas just around the corner money might be a little tight already. You don’t have to break the bank though the provide a fun and spooky themed night for your little ghouls.

Lets start in Wilkinsons should we?

This black cupcake stand in made from cardboard and is bought flat packed. It’s simple to put together and if you’re careful can be taken apart and stored till next year. We made small cupcakes and could fit 24 on here which is a great capacity for something which costs just £3.

I love these holders. Here we’ve just used them as decoration, but you can sit a cupcake in them or I even popped an empty muffin case in there and used it for a few sweets. A silicone case would be perfect, especially if you can get them in a Halloween colour. These metal holders are just £1 each so you can pop a few on your table, or use them as goodie bag fillers.

What child doesn’t like biscuits? With this pack of four cutters you can make your own creepy cookies and get the children involved in decorating them. This pack of four includes a bat, a ghost, a skeleton and a cat shape and is a bargainous £1. Again these can be washed and put away until next year.

Silicone bake ware is a big trend at the moment and I use it a lot at home. Its so easy to clean and getting the cakes out when baked is much simpler then in a metal tin. This cake mould features six individual moulds – 2 bats, 2 pumpkins and 2 ghosts – so you can make little cakes for everyone instead of one large cake or the traditional cupcakes. I think this would also be great for making individual jellies. You can get jelly in a wide range of colours and flavours and they’ll set quickly in the fridge inside the moulds. This cake mould is £4.

A full selection of party decorations, treats and costumes can be found now at your local Wilkinsons store and online.

Heading over to Asda, here are a few bits to pop into your trolley this week.

No party is complete without something to eat and drink from. Save on washing up and worrying about breakages with paper plates, bowls and cups from Asda. Bright orange featuring black bats these sets are great for eating or drinking out of, as well as holding sweets and treats on the table. You can also get a matching wipe clean table cloth to protect your table. Prices start from just £1.

Sweets are essential at Halloween, either for your own party, or for the trick or treaters who come to your door. The Fangs and Bats come in plastic reusable screw top jars, and the striped Wands in multi-packs. All start from £2 a pack.

If you don’t have time to make biscuits you can buy some gingerbread shapes from Asda. These graveyard ghouls come feature pumpkins, bats and skulls, and are a bit of hit with my Little Man. A box of 18 is just £1.

Dressing up is a great part of Halloween, especially if you’re out trick or treating. If you want something a little more subtle, and a lot cheaper than a full blown costume, try one of these great spooky tshirts. A steal at just £2.50 each.

Check out the huge range of Halloween decorations, sweets, treats and costumes in store and online now.

Also on the table are Ella’s Kitchen Munchy Biccies in Cinnamon & Orange flavour, ideal for your younger guests.

All the homemade cakes and cupcakes you see were made using a huge pack of decorations, recipe books, aprons and supplies sent from Ladbrokes. We had a lot of fun making the cakes in skull covered cases and finishing them off with coloured icing, sugar shapes and sugar sparkles. Once the kids have finally gone to bed and you’ve got your feet up, why not take a look at the new spooky promotions and Halloween slot games available on the Ladbrokes website.

 

Half Term Fun At Beaulieu Motor Museum

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 17-10-2012

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With half term almost upon us you’ll no doubt be looking for ways to keep the children entertained. How about a day out at Beaulieu Motor Museum? And before you panic, its not just for petrol heads!

Situated in the middle of the beautiful New Forest, Beaulieu Motor Museum is a fantastic day out for all the family. For the petrol heads amongst you there is the museum itself. This houses over 250 cars and motorbikes from old classics to some familiar stars of TV and movies. There are F1 cars, the record breaking Bluebird as well as a giant orange on wheels – quite a comical sight I can tell you. Plus if you visit before January 6th 2013 you can admire the largest collection of James Bond vehicles in the world. To mark Bond’s 50th Anniversary 50 famous vehicles from the hugely successful movie series are on show, from an Aston Martin DB5 to Speedboats, as well as three vehicles from the brand new movie “Skyfall”.

We took Little Man to Beaulieu last month and he was fascinated by the vehicles on show.

If looking at cars isn’t quite your thing and you’d rather leave the more enthusiastic members of your group to it, take a stroll past the museum – or take the Monorail or Veteran Bus – and head towards the Palace House, Abbey and gardens. Now when we visited we didn’t make it to the House or Abbey – I have two very keen petrol heads in my family – but we took a ride on the Monorail and saw the gardens from above. They look incredible, and I will definitely take a ground level look next time we go!

On your way to the House and Abbey you may well walk past the children’s play area. This was an immediate hit with Little Man. Cars to ride about it as well as bigger ones to sit in, a huge tractor and the very popular bus were all a great success. Little Man went from one to the other and round again several times. A great little area to let the kids let off a bit of steam after all that walking about the museum. There are all handy picnic benches nearby for lunch.

This October Half Term you can enjoy spooky stories in the Abbey and a Halloween Trail within the museum. There’ll also be a Witches’ Cauldron Lucky Dip and Gruesome Face Painting. Plus if you visit on the 27th from 3pm you can enjoy fun fairground rides, candy floss and hot food, before an evening of spectacular fireworks. Live music will be provided by Wave 105, and there will even be prizes for the best fancy dress so do get into the spirit of things!

To find out more about Beaulieu including opening times and admission charges, as well as more details about the facilities on offer, head over to the website now.

Asda Halloween Costumes

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 25-10-2011

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After Christmas, Halloween is the biggest festival for parents in the UK. Little ones get the chance to dress up, pumpkins get carved and adorn windowsills across the country, and everyone gets to eat too many sweets. A perfect night really! But as that unavoidable recession continues to bite affordable costumes are hard to find… until now.

 

You’ve got to love Asda haven’t you?

Now these cute outfits, and many more, are available from Asda now for less than £10 each making them super affordable as well as nice and scary! This Halloween night my lovely Little Man will be wearing the skeleton outfit on the left and during the day he will be sporting this rather sweet bib:

And if they weren’t already available at bargain prices if you shop online now you’ll find these gorgeous costumes at a fabulous 25% off!