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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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Brabantia: The Secret Life Of Laundry

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Home & Lifestyle, Product Reviews | Posted on 28-05-2014

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Nobody enjoys laundry. Its one of those necessary evils, and one you really can’t ignore. It was a shock how much our dirty laundry increased when we had Little Man. Little Dude’s arrival earlier this month eclipsed that. Baby grows, vests, muslin cloths, and the odd piece of Mummy and Daddy’s clothing seems to get covered in milk every day, and there’s also the occasional wee incident to look forward to as well. The washing machine seems to be permanently on, and with the questionable weather we’re experiencing we are starting to run out of places to hang it too.

Brabantia have created this infographic full of fascinating – and often amusing – facts and figures about the laundry habits of people in the UK as well as across Europe. Do take a look, and at the bottom you’ll find a great little competition to win a great 50 litre laundry bin so your washing can at least look stylish!

Brabantia Sussex Mummy
Who knew laundry habits could differ so much!

Brabantia Sussex Mummy LaundryBrabantia recently sent me one of their brand new 50 litre laundry bins. They heard I was expecting a new baby and thought it might help. As well as having a great big capacity the bin is nice and slim meaning it fits neatly in Little Dude’s bedroom without taking up too much precious floor space. It has a “quick drop opening” so you can easily throw small items in without having to remove the lid – perfect for Little Dude’s tiny clothes – and when the time comes to do the laundry there is a removable bag inside which you can take out quickly and easily without having to carry the whole bin to your washing machine. The bin comes in white or steel colours, and we chose the white. For me the steel looks a little too like a kitchen bin, and I thought the white would go better in the nursery.

Now Brabantia has another of these laundry bins to giveaway to one lucky reader. You can choose either the white or the steel, and you have the choice of either the 50 litre bin or the 30 litre bin. To enter just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below, and GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Portable Laundry Bag from Brabantia

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 04-04-2013

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Since becoming a parent – and also a product reviewer – I find myself getting weirdly excited about the strangest things. You’ll all no doubt recall my maddening enthusiasm for a washing line last year, well this year I’m continuing the washing theme by getting a little carried away with a laundry bag. Yes, a LAUNDRY BAG. Clearly I need help.
Its so pretty. *Ahem* Anyway, the team at Brabantia have done it again with this functional yet fun laundry bag. It has a round opening at the top to toss in your laundry. Whats a bit genius about this bag however is that the top folds out so the round opening forms a handle which you can either carry with your hand or wear over your shoulder.
It has a capacity of 55 litres and once full that equates a standard 10 kg load in your washing machine. We are using ours as somewhere to put dirty towels which previously used to fill our existing laundry baskets. Now once this is full I know I have a full load for my washing machine. I can just carry the bag downstairs and load the machine up. So easy and so convenient. What’s more the bag looks nice. Available in a range of colours – Pansy Purple which you see here, Caribbean Blue, Lipstick Red, Lemon Yellow and Grey – the bag will brighten up the corner of any room, or in our case, in the hall upstairs.


As well as be a stylish laundry bag, you could also use it to store your children’s toys in. One of these would look great in their bedroom or play room filled with soft toys and teddy bears. 

 

You can find the full range of Laundry Bags on the Brabantia website.
 

Product Review: Ryman Stationery

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 31-08-2012

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Everyone needs stationery. Whether you’re heading to school, college or university and you need a veritable supply of pens, pencils and rulers, or you run your own business and you need accounts books and ledgers, or perhaps you have a penpal in a distant country and you need lots of writing paper and envelopes, or maybe you’re just an enthusiastic toddler who just can’t get enough crayons, stationery plays a part in most people’s lives. If you’re looking to top up your stationery collection, your first stop should always be Ryman.

Available on most high streets and with an extensive online store, Ryman is the most popular destination for office and stationery supplies. Whatever you could possibly need for your home office, or your enthusiastic toddler, can be found in your local store.

Little Man has been an avid user of crayons since he first picked one up and inadvertently drew a line on a piece of paper. He has since progressed to swirls and zigzags, and also drifted from paper to walls and carpets, but thankfully not too often! Whilst he doesn’t need much in the way of “Back To School” – not yet 2 so a few years off for us – he is always keen to receive shiny new crayons. All the ones he’s had so far have come free with a magazine – Something Special more often than not… – so it seemed time for him to get some brand new ones.

Navigating the Ryman website is so simple, and within a few minutes I’d filled my basket with quite an alarming array of crayons, colouring pencils, coloured pens and a brand new pencil case to keep them in. I know he’s too young for school, but its never too early to encourage him to be vaguely tidy, as futile as that sometimes is. So here’s my Little Man’s latest additions to his colouring fun:

I also found a great product for all you parents out there who are in the final stages of sorting out their children’s uniforms, kits and bags for school. Putting names into everything they take with them is essential but I know that I for one couldn’t face hand sewing labels into everything, and as tempted as I’d be to get my Mum to do it, I think this is a much kinder option to everyone concerned! The Sharpie Laundry Marker Pen is water proof and quick drying to avoid smudging and is permanent on most surfaces. This pen is ideal for school items, as well as labeling camping or sailing equipment.

Check out your local Ryman store this weekend for your last minute Back To School essentials or, for a much calmer experience, get online and take a look at their vast website.

Washing Machine Repairs

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 25-06-2012

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I’m certain that I’m not the only Mum (or Dad) who feels like their washing machine is on all the time. As soon as a child arrives into your life your washing seems to multiply overnight. Newborns have this unfortunate tendency to bring their milk back up on themselves, and quite often you, whilst as soon as you bring food into the equation things just get messier. Once they are crawling and eventually walking about by themselves they have a brilliantly helpful ability to seek out the dirtiest place and cover themselves. My Little Man enjoys nothing more than spending his days sat in the garden, either shovelling soil onto himself, or sitting in puddles of water. If he’s feeling really helpful, he often combines the too. Needless to say his clothes are permanently caked in mud, so the washing machine tends to be on more often than not at the moment.

I can’t imagine what I’d do if my washing machine broke down for any length of time – I’d probably end up at my Mum’s house! But if it ever does happen my first phone call will be to Domestic & General Repair And Protect. By calling their free phone number I can get a quote, choose a date for the repair to be done which is convenient to me, and decide which of their payment options works best for me. All prices which are quoted are totals – there’s no hidden labour or parts costs, and if for any reason their engineers can’t fix the fault, I don’t pay them. Their engineers are all manufacturer specialists and only use official brand parts making sure that you get the best possible repair.

As well as fixing washing machines Domestic & General Repair And Protect offer repairs from dishwashers, fridges and freezer, ovens, hobs and cookers. They should definitely be your first port of call when one of your appliances breaks down.

Product Review: Flexibath from Whitestep

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Product Reviews | Posted on 25-04-2012

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Baby baths are notorious for being bulky and difficult to store out of the way, especially if space is limited. We bought one before Little Man was born and finding somewhere to keep it when not in use was a bit of a nightmare, especially in a small flat. But when your baby is small its not really a good idea to put them in a big bath of water, with baby baths being a much safer option.

If you’re short on space, or if you’re looking for a portable bath you can take on holidays or when staying at family or friends, a Flexibath might just be what you need.

The Flexibath is the size of a traditional baby bath – perhaps even a little bigger – and provides a good sized and easy to use bath for newborns and babies. (It holds 39 litres of water when full.) The beauty of it is then when you’re finished you simply drain it using the plug in the base – a plug designed to be difficult for children to pull out – and fold it flat.
Just like that! There’s even a handy clip on the top to hold it flat so it can be slid conveniently under a bed or chest of drawers, or propped up in the corner of a bathroom until next time. It also fits easily into a suitcase for holidays and takes up minimal room in the car for overnight stays.

I was sent a Flexibath to test out with my 18 month old Little Man, as the bath is sold as suitable for use from birth to 4 years. If your child is happy to just sit in the bath then yes, I am sure you’ll fit a child of 2 years or more in there without a problem. Unfortunately my Little Man is more of a “walk around and wriggle about” kind of bather, so keeping him happy in this was a little tricky… and wet!

But do not fear! If you buy a Flexibath for your newborn – and I only wish I had when Little Man was born – it doesn’t become obsolete as soon as your child gets too big or starts moving around. The Flexibath makes a great toy box, or could be used for laundry. We even used ours to store books in until our Tidybooks Bookcase turned up, and it holds 100 plastic ball pit balls with ease. Away from using it for your children I think it would make an attractive colourful planter for your garden, and the transparent one with turquoise trim which we were sent to review could even be fashioned into a mini greenhouse to protect your seedlings during Britain’s dubious weather. A multitude of uses for a brilliant and ingenious product!

Flexibaths are available now from Whitestep but I have one to give away to a lucky SussexMummy reader. All you need to do is click here and fill in your details to be entered into the draw.  The competition closes on Friday May 4th at 8pm so get clicking!!

Product Review: Brabantia Wall Fix Washing Line with Protective Storage Box

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 22-03-2012

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Washing. I swear it breeds when I’m not looking. With an active toddler, a husband out at work, and me, there is an inordinate amount of dirty washing in our house. Just the other day Little Man went through three pairs of trousers in one day. THREE! So now the glorious weather is upon us – unless I’ve just jinxed it of course – being able to hang the washing outside is essential. Having recently moved from a flat to a house a washing line was something we’d never owned. Browsing them was hardly thrilling so we never got around to buying one in preparation for spring. Luckily for us, Brabantia came to our aid.

Now I’m a little embarrassed by this next sentence, but please stick with me: I LOVE my new washing line. There, I said it. I’m THAT weird. Take a look for yourselves at the Wall Fix Washing Line from Brabantia.


Isn’t it amazing? No? Just me? *ahem*

In a compact garden like ours, or one with a toddler running around it (also like ours…) a washing line pinned into the grass would take up valuable space. Plus I’m too lazy and too busy to be putting it away when its not in use, so my Little Man would just run into all the time. He’s good like that. This marvellous washing line from Brabantia fixes to the wall, as you can see above. Yes, that is my (slightly dirty) back wall. As you can see the washing line lives in a rather neat storage box which protects it from the elements when not in use, but also looks much tidier than having it hanging there without. You can probably just make out the blue button on the front about halfway down. Pressing this causes the box to open and the sides to automatically fold back – handy one-handed opening there, especially if you’re carrying your laundry basket or child. You then pull out the washing line until it clicks into place. The outer lines are an impressive 4 foot long meaning you can easily fit double bed sheets on there, and there is sufficient capacity for a couple of loads of washing easily. Here’s my washing line in use:


When up it takes up hardly any room and doesn’t impede on the garden at all. As you can just about see its height means I can still have plants growing beneath it. Installation was easy – thanks Grandad – as there is a template included to show you where to drill the holes. Simplicity itself.

Luckily for my husband I’m still a little excited about having this in our garden so I’m quite keen to do the washing. I’m sure it won’t last.

The Brabantia Wall Fix Washing Line with Protective Storage Box can be bought from their online store.