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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: Introducing Elegance To Your Bathroom

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Home & Lifestyle | Posted on 23-01-2014

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There are a myriad of different bathroom interior design ideas that are popular right now but one of the most coveted, is the elegant bathroom. Bringing elegance into a room can be as simple as adding a few choice accessories, or as complex as fitting an entire new bathroom suite; whether you choose to renovate entirely or simply use your style nous and throw in some candles and chic lighting, let bella bathrooms guide you through the process and help you create an elegant, timeless bathroom that all the family will enjoy.

The foundation of the room is crucial to the rest of the look. Whether opting for tiling, wallpaper or paint on the walls and whether choosing stone or vinyl for the floor, it is important to get the foundation of the room just right before attempting to fill it with elegant furniture. Natural stone tiles look fantastic and exude an aura of elegance that other wall and floor coverings often cannot achieve, though porcelain tiles and some wallpaper can also create a beautifully timeless look. The key is not to be too garish or too overtly modern; glossy paints can be banished and vinyl, whilst a great option for budget bathrooms, does not tend to convey elegance too well.

Elegance can be achieved simply through a well-planned colour scheme. Soft neutrals spread through the bathroom can create an atmosphere of supreme glamour and laid-back elegance; bold colours tend to disturb the tranquillity of an elegant bathroom, so pastels and neutral shades of beige are necessary to creating the right backdrop for the rest of the room.

If you are renovating the entire room to make it more elegant than it already is, there are a myriad of classic bathroom suites on the market that will transform the room entirely. From free-standing bath tubs with the traditional claw-footed supports, to basin and toilet sets that combine gentle curves with functionality and conventional design, elegance is easily achievable in the bathroom. Bathroom furniture is also important. Opt for a traditional washstand or a vanity unit and watch as the elegance levels begin to rise in the room.

For those who have no plans to entirely renovate their bathroom, elegance can be added with just a few choice accessories. Opt for an ornate bathroom mirror rather than a modern one with hard edges. Introduce elegant paintings or canvas artwork to the walls and choose a lighting fixture that is both functional and stylish; a chandelier, for instance. Add candles and other decorative pieces such as reed diffusers to surfaces like windowsills and counters (this will also have the advantage of making the room smell wonderful – choose jasmine and ylang-ylang for a truly relaxing scent) and if you really want to go the whole way, decant your shampoo, conditioner and other toiletry liquids into vintage bathroom bottles for a wholly elegant look that everyone will admire. Attention to detail is important for this look; ensure there is no chipped paint, no tatty bath mats and no mildew or water streaks on the shower enclosure. The whole look should be put together, immaculate and easy on the eye.

This article was written by freelance writer and mother of three, Kathryn Thompson.  Follow her on Twitter: @katht35

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.

Guest Post: Protecting Your Children From Accidents In The Home

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Home & Lifestyle | Posted on 16-11-2012

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Our children are the most important things in the world; and hence why we want to protect them from any harm that they may face in their life. Unfortunately we can’t watch them every second; therefore we have to find other ways to protect them from potential harm. Babies and toddlers have a habit of experimenting in the home, and by touching and feeling things they are learning about their surroundings.

This is why as parents we have to use simple tools to ensure our children are as protected as possible:

My first piece of advice is to secure all of your windows in your home. By installing window guards your children are protected from the dangers that open windows can cause. These don’t have to be particularly expensive as they can be window bars or simply window covers.

My second piece of advice goes hand in hand with protecting children from open windows. Secure all blind cords, and ensure if there is a wire connected to your blind, either cut the cord or tie it up where your children have no access to it. Alternatively you can purchase plastic cords from Vertical blinds direct which can be another suitable way to protect your kids. Strangulation is an all too common occurrence of child death; however by taking these simple measures you can eliminate any cause of potential injury.


My final piece of advice is to ensure all corners of furniture are protected with plastic guards, when children are crawling on the floor it is easy for them to hit their faces on the side and edges of furniture. By purchasing plastic guards you are giving your children a greater protection from accidents in the home.

Do We Do Too Much?

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 06-09-2012

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We’re all busy aren’t we? Whether you’re a Stay At Home Parent or a Working Mum or Dad, you are busy. You have a child, and that is the most time consuming and demanding job in the world, and if you’re juggling full or part time work alongside that, you probably don’t sleep! Modern lifestyles are so much busier than every before, and research from Lindam has found that our children’s safety might be suffering as a result of that.

In a recent poll of 2000 parents a staggering 70% said they regularly left their child playing unsupervised whilst they carried out domestic chores, and 40% of parents admitted that their child had been injured as a result of this. The Top 10 most common accidents for a child to suffer whilst in their home are:

  1. Tripping in garden
  2. Falling from sofa
  3. Falling from bed
  4. Slipping on the floor
  5. Banging head on a sharp corner
  6. Shutting fingers in a door
  7. Being hurt fighting with a sibling
  8. Falling down the stairs
  9. Hurting themselves on broken glass
  10. Suffering a burn from the cooker
The research discovered that the most common time for these injuries to be sustained is whilst the parent is in the kitchen cooking the evening meal. The lounge, garden and bedroom were the most likely places for injuries to happen during this time. Parents have a lot on their plate whilst looking after their child and running the home. There is so much other stuff that needs doing that often distracts attention away from a child. The most common distractions for Mum’s in the home are:
  1. Cooking
  2. Being on the phone
  3. Another child requiring their attention
  4. Working from home
  5. Cleaning the house
  6. Doing the hoovering
  7. Doing the ironing
  8. Being in the shower
  9. Hanging out the washing
  10. Getting dressed
Parents are often looking for ways to distract their child whilst they get on with these tasks, and 80% of parents admitted to using the TV for this purpose regularly.
Claire Rayner, a spokeswoman for Lindam, says “Many accidents experienced by young children in the home come about because mum is understandably not able to keep a constant watch. She can’t be in several places at once and the results show that, it only take a minute for an accident to happen. It’s therefore about using safety products to make the home as accident-proof as possible and allow Mums at least some peace of mind. It’s so easy and quick to put in place some very simple safety equipment such as stair gates, corner cushions and cupboard locks to ensure that parents can rest a little easier knowing that their children are protected.

We have launched our first Safety Day as we are committed to reducing childhood accidents in the home and we feel it’s these small but important steps that can go a long way to reducing the amount of childhood accidents in the home.”

To learn more about Lindam’s Safety Day, and find ways to ensure your home is as safe as possible for you child visit the Lindam website.