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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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HomeSense Brighton

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Home & Lifestyle, Information | Posted on 06-09-2013

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A few weeks ago the brand new HomeSense store opened in Brighton, just up the road from the existing TKMaxx Store. Unsurprisingly it was a rather popular event, as these images show.
brighton homesense openingI popped along recently to take a look at the new store and see what I could find on the shelves.

The store itself is in a great spot and a perfectly chosen building. Lots of glass allowing the light to flow in and illuminate the store which is spread across two floors. I have only been in one other HomeSense store and Brighton’s is much better. Its logically laid out and well stocked. The other store always tends to be chaotic, manic and unloved. I found a wealth of great bargains and quality products from some impressive brands in the Brighton store, and plenty to encourage me to return.

The kitchen department is my favourite, and probably one of the biggest. Great items from Le Creuset and Bodum stood out for me, as well as cookbooks from much loved chefs as well as hidden gems from lesser known people. If you want to bake a cake HomeSense is your destination for tins and pans in a huge range of shapes and sizes. Plastic storage boxes are also present in their multitude, along with a mind boggling array of gadgets and gizmos. I am terrible when it comes to kitchen bits and pieces and my kitchen is already groaning under the pressure. I tried my best to avoid buying the whole department.

Now HomeSense is all about finding something that little bit different, that little bit unique for your home without breaking the bank, as you can see from their new advert.

Well they’ve also teamed up with Abigail Edwards to provide you with some top tips from decorating YOUR home this year, whatever your style.

How to Achieve the ‘Urban Cool’ Look:

  • Keep it simple and slick using graphic shapes to achieve a minimalistic vibe
  • Look for accessories such as clean glass shapes, graphic cushions and simple accent colours

How to Achieve the ‘Country Chic’ Look:

  • Natural tones and textured fabric are essential for achieving a modern country look
  • Illustrated cushions and cut-out shapes add a contemporary twist
  • Try grouping lots of clocks together to make a room look more eclecti

How to Achieve the ‘Global Traveller’ Look:

  • Homeware items collected from your travels are ideal for achieving this look
  • Try layering cushions and rugs to achieve a naturel and thrown together feel
  • Don’t worry about mixing patterns – overlapping colours, shapes and different textures will add interest
  • Accessorise with imagery and vintage pieces you’ve gathered from places visited on holiday

Key Autumn Trends:

  • Texture
  • Weaves
  • Chunky knits
  • Mixing patterns
  • Tribal
  • Ombre

Tips for Easily Transforming a Room:

  • The easiest and most affordable way to style your home is by adding cushions and throws as it doesn’t affecting anything else in the room and it adds colour and texture quickly
  • Lighting also makes a massive difference so rather than having just one pendant light in the middle of the room, try having little table lamps dotted around and task lighting is also a good alternative
  • Filling a sofa with lots of different cushions is a quick way of changing the look of a room and adding a splash of colour
  • Pictures are another quick way of adding interest to your room

Feeling inspired? Well you can find more in the way of hints, tips and advice on HomeSense’s Twitter and Facebook pages. What’s even more exciting though is that I have a £50 voucher to give away to one reader, to spend in the new Brighton store. To be in with a chance of winning this voucher you need to comment on this post and tell me which look you’d like to achieve in your home this Autumn. Closing date for entries in Friday September 20th at 8pm and one winner will be chosen from all the entries and notified as soon as possible.

Guest Post: The Finishing Touches

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Home & Lifestyle | Posted on 11-07-2013

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There is nothing nicer than coming home after a long day to a warm and welcoming environment where you can relax and forget all about your stresses and strains. For most of us busy mums, this means creating a little sanctuary of our own, either in a bedroom or snug, where we can add special luxurious touches away from inquisitive little fingers!

Clever interior design can completely doesn’t have to cost the earth, and it’s amazing how small changes can completely alter the look and feel of a home. Beautiful accessories are the best way to create ambiance and style within a room and, and often it’s the simplest items that pack the biggest punch.

Lighting

Natural lighting will always be the best kind of light for a room, and there are several ways to maximise the natural light in your home, which includes choosing light and bright paint colours and using mirrors.

Electric lighting should be used to create an atmospheric background – soft lighting feels cosy, and bright lighting can be dramatic. It’s a good idea to layer the lighting around a room using table lamps, uplighters and ceiling lights.

Cushions

Available in all shapes, sizes, colours and prices. Cushions are one of the most popular accessories as they fit perfectly within any room, add an injection of colour and are used for comfort.

Big and fluffy, small and decorative or large floor cushions, these accessible accessories look set to increase in popularity over time as they’re the ultimate in quick, easy and affordable interior design.

Rugs and Mats

Wood and tiled flooring are one of the most common choices in homes across the country. Although they are incredibly stylish, they can easily leave a room, and its users, feeling cold.

brown shaggy rug beneath coffee table

Rugs and mats are the ideal solution to this problem. Shaggy rugs in particular are ideal to create a warmer environment whilst remaining stylish and in keeping with the design of the space.

Tables

Not only are they the ideal accessory for practical purposes, but they also finish off the intended feel of a room. A Victorian desk can tie in with a shabby chic or vintage theme, whilst glass coffee tables can reaffirm a modern minimalist look. They are universal and available in every style, shape, size and colour.

Home: Time To Redecorate

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Information | Posted on 03-05-2013

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I am loving this warm weather at the moment, and with prospects of it continuing for a while, it should be a great Bank Holiday weekend. There’s something about the sunny weather that makes people feel more optimistic and energised, and I seem to find myself achieving much more lately. Hubby and I have been talking about getting some more decorating done this summer in the house, and I think its high time our bedroom got a new look. I’ve been wanting to paint a wall or two in there since we moved in – the house was literally a blank canvas with pale cream walls in every room – and we’ve been thinking a green colour would be nice. Spring like but also, apparently, good for helping you sleep.

I do have a bit of a thing for bedding too. I’m under strict instructions that I don’t buy any more new bedding without getting rid of existing sets first. To be fair all the bedding I’ve bought in recent years has been for Little Man, what with monkeys and Buzz Lightyear being high on his list of favourites. I’m hoping for something a little subtler in our bedroom. Something to compliment the green wall, like yellows, creams or browns. Chances are I won’t be able to sneak a new complete bedding set into the house, but perhaps I can convince Hubby to a new throw, blanket or bedspread. Something a bit luxurious, just to treat ourselves for a change as opposed to Little Man.

Maybe we’ll brave the shops this weekend and pick up some bits and pieces. Ideally I’d like some nice paint, a matching throw for the bed, and perhaps a couple of bedside lamps instead of coping with just one and someone invariably walking in to the bed each night! Our bedroom is our little haven – mostly – and I think its time we spruced it up a bit. At least until Little Man decides to use our bed as a trampoline again!

Guest Post: How to Create a Shabby Chic Bedroom

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle | Posted on 28-03-2013

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Shabby chic is a huge buzzword in the interior design industry right now – it’s generally taken to mean a romantic, vintage-inspired interior, with pieces picked up from antiques fairs, flea markets and charity shops. Shabby chic is what you make it, but it’s really all about creating a warm, comfortable and homely environment that you’d be happy to sit back and relax in with a glass of wine. So how do you create the perfect shabby chic bedroom?

Start with White

The whole look would look a little bit cluttered if you started with a coloured or printed base on the walls, so build your shabby chic bedroom from a white or neutral base – try shades of white like cream, vintage white, aged white, and bring in your colour using your accents, soft furnishings, fabrics and furniture. White or cream furniture is also a great base to start from – this cream range from Lights and Furniture would work beautifully in a shabby chic bedroom, but you could also use it as the base for almost any bedroom – all you’d need to change would be the accents and the colour on the walls.

Be Careful with Prints

You can use a vintage-style wallpaper in a shabby chic room, but keep it to just one or two walls (one wall behind the bed, and one opposite), rather than all of the walls – too much print can look old-fashioned, especially if you pick a vintage ditsy print. When picking fabrics for your bedding and for your soft furnishings, keep in mind the overall colour theme that you’re sticking to. You can mix and match prints, but keep them in a similar colour palette so that the room has some sort of theme – too many different coloured prints could make your room look like a jumble sale. Steer clear of large flower patterns – these are fairly modern and would look out of place in the look that you’re trying to create.

Think About Colour

Most shabby chic rooms stick to a muted pastel colour palette – rose, sage green, lavender grey, and light blue, but you can definitely sway from these colours. Keep the colours you choose muted, washed out or light and they’ll have a definite vintage vibe. Remember though that the colours you choose will influence the type of mood your room creates – blues create a calm, cool feel, pinks and lilacs add depth and warmth and greens add a cheery vibe. Don’t make colours too matchy-matchy, either – instead of buying everything in baby pink, add a complementary shade of sage green or cool blue to the mix. It keeps the look much more contemporary and interesting.

Add Iron

Iron pieces will add an antiquey, vintage-inspired feel to any room – and you can pick them up for relatively little money. Look out for iron photo frames, candlesticks, mirrors, dressing tables, stools – they’ll instantly add a shabby chic vibe to your bedroom.

Don’t Be Afraid to Buy Second Hand

Scour local charity shops, flea markets and antique markets and fairs for furniture and accessories – you can snap things up second hand for a fraction of the price that you’d pay new. And don’t be afraid to re-purpose objects that you find – think about painting them, re-covering an old chair or re-working old fabrics into new cushions or bedspreads. Let your creative juices flow and don’t write off items just because they’re second hand – embrace them and their story.

And finally, don’t get sloppy! Remember that there is only a fine line between a cosy, comfortable shabby chic space, and a messy space with no apparent “look”. Only buy what you need and what there is space for.