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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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My Switzerland Events

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Days Out, Holiday, Information | Posted on 16-11-2012

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If you happened to be around Canary Wharf yesterday you may well have spotted what looked like a giant ice cube just outside the tube station. You may have taken a second look to make sure you weren’t hallucinating – you weren’t. Yesterday was the first of the My Switzerland Events around London. Ice sculptures are being created all over London in the coming weeks and by going a long to have a look you stand a chance of winning one of 75 prizes – the top one being a trip to Switzerland. Loitering around these sculptures will be the My Switzerland team – unmissable in bright red winter coats – handing out cards with unique codes on. Enter that code online at the My Switzerland website and you could be heading off for some ski fun soon.

This sculpture at Canary Wharf last night was creating quite a crowd as it glowed rather festively I thought. And you can see the artist hard at work chipping away at it.

Future My Switzerland Events are taking place at the following locations:

22nd November at Broadgate, Fulcrum
24th November at Westgate, Shepherds Bush
27th November at St Pancras International
29th November at The Southbank Centre

They all run from first thing in the morning throughout the day so you’ve plenty chance to pop along and hopefully win a great prize! You can also follow the events on Twitter using the hashtag #SwissWinter.

Did I #SleepWellAtIbis ?

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Blogger Event, Product Reviews | Posted on 30-10-2012

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Last Monday I joined a small group of bloggers at an event to learn more about sleep. We were based at the brand new Ibis hotel in Shepherds Bush which had opened just a week earlier. We were joined for the day by Sleep Expert Sammy Margo who gave us all indispensable tips and advice for getting good quality sleep, and I must admit that I’m sleeping better since the event – I put it down to bed socks and a glass of milk before bed!

The reason for basing the event at the new Ibis hotel was to give us all the opportunity to test out the brand new ‘Sweet Bed by Ibis’. I’m sure you’ve all seem the advert on the TV at the moment where there’s a man sleeping in a bed when a team of people tiptoe in, lift him up and swap his bed. The new ‘Sweet Bed by Ibis’ has begun rolling out across the chain already and by the end of October 66,000 beds will have been replaced worldwide. The entire network will have been completed by the end of 2013.

When it came to changing the beds the research and design team focused on the three key components of the bed – the frame, the mattress, and the topper. The new frames feature hygienic multi-slat technology which can sustain 500kg of weight without becoming deformed. The new mattress is made from recycled mattress foam so its a very sustainable product, but also provides support without sagging. The topper is 7cm deep which is very generous, and is present across the whole Ibis chain, not just the high-end upscale hotels.

Here’s the bed in the room I was given for the night, where you can clearly see the three defined layers:

Honestly? Most comfortable bed I have EVER slept in. As soon as you sat on the bed you felt instantly comfortable as the topper makes you relax. Its so cosy and comfy and believe me, getting out the next morning was something of a challenge! I think all the bloggers wanted to take their bed home with them the next day.

I’d never stayed in an Ibis before, it was not a hotel I’d ever really considered, but after this stay I will be looking at them more closely in future when I’m hotel hunting. The rest of the room was great too. There was a large flat screen TV on the wall at the foot of the bed, generous hanging space and shelves to unpack into, tea and coffee making facilities, and a good sized bathroom with a nice large shower. The room also had facilities for you to control the temperature. I particularly liked the system for opening the room door – by tapping your key card on a sensor, in the same way you use an Oyster card. I always seem to battle with the usual scanning machines! Another feature of the rooms I liked was the Free Wifi. A lot of hotels claim to provide Free Wifi, but its often just in reception or the bar. This is throughout the hotel so if you need to work – or Tweet – there is free accessible Wifi in the comfort of your own room.

So the next time you’re looking for a hotel do take a look at the Ibis. This branch only has Double or Twin rooms – they can put cots in some of the bedrooms for small children and have rooms with adjoining doors for larger families – but there are a lot of other branches within London and the surrounding area, as well as throughout the country and across the globe. To find out more about the Ibis chain and to book your next break visit their website now.

And if you or your children are having trouble sleeping I suggest you check out Sammy Margo’s books: “The Good Sleep Guide” and “The Good Sleep Guide For Kids“.

Product Review: Colour Changing

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Product Reviews | Posted on 21-09-2012

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Colour Changing offer a wide range of products which, as the name suggests, change colour. They sent me a couple of items to try out, and offer my readers the chance to win.

UV Nail Polish: Apricot to Red Apple
The first product was a nail varnish. This nail varnish brushes on like any other and is a soft apricot colour when it dries. You need to use this varnish as either a top coat or alone because when you go out into the sun and the UV rays hit your nails it transforms into a bright red apple shade! Made by Solar Active the varnish is strong and chip resistant, as well as providing UV protection to avoid discolouration. It is removable with any usual varnish remover. Whilst its a fun product to wear – ideal for parties, fancy dress or dressing up games with little girls – its not something to wear everyday. The colour change is fast and very impressive, but I don’t think its something to go to work wearing for example!

London Skyline Colour Changing Umbrella
Next up was an umbrella. Living in the UK means it rains more often than not, so an umbrella is a handbag essential. There is no reason however for that umbrella to be dull. This black and white umbrella features a white silhouette of the London skyline around the edge. As it rains and the umbrella becomes wet the white skyline turns a mix of bright colours. Designed by Squid Of London, and inspired by Jackson Pollack, this is more than an umbrella, its a functional piece of art. As someone who visits London regularly and has been caught out in more than my fair share of rain showers, this is now a permanent feature in my handbag!

To win your choice of colour changing nail varnish AND a London skyline umbrella just head over to the Colour Changing Facebook page and “Like” it . Then head back here and let me know you’ve done it by commenting below. A winner will be chosen from all entries on Friday 28th September received by 8pm.

The Jubilee and Beyond

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 21-05-2012

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We’re just a few weeks away from celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee and you won’t have failed to notice the huge array of merchandise – both official and otherwise – that has been springing up in every shop you go in. There are products to help your party go with a swing interspersed with what can only be described as “novelty” items, as well as the companies cashing in.

If you’re looking for commemorative items that you can use beyond the extended weekend in early June, look no further than this little selection here:

Leanne Shoes (Jubilee Edition) from Hotter
The popular Leanne shoe from Hotter has been given a 2012 twist with the help of red, white and blue laces and decorative insoles. These shoes come with all the comfort you’d expect from Hotter but with a subtle hint of patriotism, and a pair of plain white laces to use as well. The Leanne shoes are limited edition with just 1,200 pairs being sold via the Hotter website and each pair comes in a Union  Jack shoe box with a certificate of authenticity. Once the Jubilee ends these shoes won’t look out of place at Olympic Events and any future sporting occasion, such as Wimbledon or the next Test Match.

Offer: For 10% off your first Hotter order PLUS free delivery enter code PFAUBS at the check-out before July 1st. Cannot be used with any other offer.

Charlotte Beach Bag (Union Jack Edition) from Old Bag Company
The Charlotte Beach Bag was the first bag designed by Sally, founder of the Old Bag Company. Its been given a Union Jack make-over for this year only to commemorate the Jubilee. The bag has plenty of pockets both inside and out, is waterproof and can be put in the washing machine. The ideal bag if you’re planning on celebrating on the beach – weather permitting – but also a great bag for use this summer on holiday and for years to come.
Head over to the Old Bag Company website to check out this, and their other Union Jack products.

London Set from Carddies
The super cute and portable colouring kits make a return with a new design perfect for the Jubilee. “London” features the iconic skyline with the Thames and London Eye, and the characters include the Queen and a corgi, as well as a Policeman and Beefeater. This will be ideal for entertaining little ones on the journey if you’re taking them into London this summer, or if you want a bit of peace whilst you watch the celebrations.
Sets can be bought from the Carddies Amazon store here.

Great British Bear Kit from Gift Horse Kits

This adorable red bear is available in kit form from Gift Horse Kits and has been specially created for this year. The beautifully presented kit includes everything you need to craft this little bear for a loved one or for yourself – needles, wool, stuffing, fabric for details, and the Union Jack flag – as well as very simple and well written instructions, complete with pictures. This little bear is made with a simple knit and purl stitches so is perfect for even the novice knitter. The Great British Bear is available now for £16 with free postage from Gift Horse Kits.

So…? Brit Perfume from So…?

So…? Brit is a fusion of British flowers and fruits – Peony, Rose, Vanilla and Iris – that will leave you smelling patriotic as you party this Jubilee year. The packaging also features a feminine and quirky take on the Union Jack. This perfume will see you through the Jubilee celebrations and beyond with its beautiful summery floral scent. The So…? Brit collection is available now direct from the So…? website.

Lion King T-Shirt from Fabric Flavours
Okay so this is a little tenuous, but I couldn’t resist including this great new design t-shirt from Fabric Flavours. Featuring Simba from the hugely popular Lion King movie with the slogan “Future King” makes this t-shirt a potential for Jubilee celebrations. “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” is also written inside the collar for an added detail. So no, its not exactly Jubilee related, but its pretty darn cute!
You’ll find this t-shirt over on the Fabric Flavours website.

Union Jack Tshirt from K9 Pet Products

Who said the celebrations had to be limited to humans? Beautifully modelled by my parents dog Monty, this t shirt features a sparkly Union Jack which means your pet can party on with everyone else. The same design is also available as a hoodie and an ID tag. It fits brilliantly, and won’t look out of place at any point this summer. Check out the full range here, all of which has 15% off until the end of May.