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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: Tangle Teezer

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 14-09-2016

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Tangle Teezer’s have been around for ages. They are one of those things I’ve wanted to try out for a while, so when a bright and funky Lemon Sherbet teezer landed on my doormat a few weeks ago, I was very excited.

sherbetlemonCute isn’t it? I love the contrasting colours. The sharp lemon and the softer pink make this stand out from the rest, and perfectly epitomises its name. I love how compact it is. It pretty much lives in my handbag, handy for keeping my hair looking neat when I’m constantly on the run. I love the shape. It is ergonomically brilliant, fitting perfectly in the palm of my hand giving me complete control.

Banish tangles and knots with a minimum of fuss, breakage or damage with the Tangle Teezer detangling brush uniquely designed with teeth that glide through your hair leaving it soft and shiny without tugging and pulling.

Using the brush leaves my hair smooth and sleek, and I think it works very well with my short bob style. A welcome addition to my handbag.

The Salon Elite Tangle Teezer is available in a range of fun and funky colours. There’s one for everyone.

Product Review: Jute Bow Bag from Fox & Chave

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 17-08-2012

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Anyone that knows me will tell you that I have a bit of a handbag obsession. I own loads of them, and when Little Man came along my handbag obsession switched to a changing bag obsession. I have rather a lot of those too. Now Little Man is a bit bigger and the list of paraphernalia I need to carry around with me to satisfy his every whim is somewhat smaller, I like the idea of using a more “Yummy” and less “Mummy” bag. So the latest addition to my bag stash comes from the rather stylish Fox & Chave.

Okay its a plain black jute bag and it has two rather strange holes in the front. But I assure you I am not insane and that I honestly adore this bag. Here’s why.

Not a cat lover? How’s about some flowers.

Pretty huh?

With the simple addition of a Fox & Chave silk scarf this plain black jute bag is transformed, and with a range of over 90 scarves available you’re sure to find one to suit any outfit, occasion or mood. The two featured here are from the Caroline Gardner range – my favourite of the designers.

The bag itself whilst plain without the addition of a gorgeous scarf provides a large space to put purses, nappies, wipes, a few books, the odd toy, some snacks, well, you get the idea. There is an internal zip pocket too to keep keys or money safe. You can also get the bag in other colours – though I think the black shows off the scarf range better.

The Jute Bags are £14.99 and come without a scarf. The vast range of scarves start from £29.99 and are all pure silk.

To see the range of scarves and decide which colour bag you want, head to the Fox & Chave website now.

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.

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.