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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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Preparing For Baby: Mummy Style

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Preparing For Baby, Product Reviews | Posted on 13-03-2014

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I am 30 weeks pregnant today – can someone explain where the time has gone? Little Dude could be here in as little as seven weeks if I end up getting an early induction – which is still up for debate! – so we’ve spent this week making sure we have everything we need for the hospital bag, or at least have everything we still need written down. Its all about lists at the moment, especially now my brain has turned into some form of mush.

This week I finally had to dig out my maternity jeans – I’m sorry! – but I’ve been wearing maternity tops for a while now. I’m so pleased the weather is improving and I can stop wearing big baggy jumpers and can now wear t-shirts and more spring like tops. A while ago I was lucky enough to get sent some of Mothercare’s brand new Spring/Summer range to review, and I’m so excited that I can finally get it out and start wearing it without freezing. I was especially lucky to be given a pretty free reign to choose five tops to review, so I went for four that I could breastfeed in after Little Dude arrives if all goes to plan, and one top that isn’t feeding friendly. All the tops I chose will be fine to wear both before and after Little Dude’s arrival so I hopefully have my wardrobe sorted for the next few months at least!

mothercare spring summer sussex mummy review

First up is a Navy Wrap Top. It has 3/4 length sleeves and a hidden discreet layer that allows for “access” for feeding. I love this top – which you’ll notice I also have in red – as its smart and can be used for dates or events. It can easily be dressed up or down depending on whether I’m wearing it to go shopping, or to go out with Daddy or friends. I also really like the easy access panel which means I can feed Little Dude whilst wearing it without any trouble. The Red Wrap Top is basically the same, but I would mention that its more an orange colour than being red. Think more tomato soup red than post box red.

I also got a two pack of Grey and Black Nursing Tops. These are both incredibly comfy and ideal for everyday wear and for casual wear. I have been practically living in these two tops since the weather improved. Both again have 3/4 length sleeves and the hidden layer for feeding access, so they are both practical as well as comfortable. A must when you’re pregnant. The simple design makes them really versatile too, and they can be worn with jeans or skirts, and hopefully with shorts if it gets much warmer!

Another great smart top I received was the Green Bow Print Nursing Top. Again this is ideal for events, and would make a great back to work top. The length of it means I can’t wear it whilst I’m pregnant as my cute bowling ball bump does still out a little, but the short sleeves mean that I can wear it comfortably this summer whilst feeding my new baby boy. Again it has a discreet hidden layer for feeding, but as with all the other tops that have this feature I don’t think they are obviously maternity wear and could be worn even if you aren’t breastfeeding.

The final top I chose was a simple Blue & Cream Stripe Jumper. Its only a thin jumper and with the 3/4 length sleeves its perfect in the current weather. In fact I’ve worn this a few times without a coat on, though I’m not sure if that’s the weather or my own body temperature! This is the perfect partner for a pair of jeans and some comfy shoes for a relaxing walk round the park with Little Man or a trip to the shops with Nana.

I love all the items that Mothercare sent me. They are all really comfortable and show off my growing bump well. Its nice to be wearing clothes that flatter my shape instead of clothes that swamp it. All these tops are available in store and online now, and the jumper is in fact currently reduced in the Mothercare sale. The ideal time to buy!

Mothercare also sent me some of their “Its Your Body” toiletries to test out. Some of those bits are now packed and ready in my hospital bag and I’ll be reviewing them all once Little Dude makes his grand entrance in May.

The Bentall Centre in Kingston – and my first competition!

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 26-08-2011

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With the British summertime less than summer like a fun day for the children may have to be indoors.  The Bentall Centre in Kingston may well be the answer you’re looking for.  With ample parking in spacious car parks that are connected to the centre by a footbridge The Bentall Centre provides endless entertainment for children of all ages.

Mothercare and the Early Learning Centre are on hand for the little ones, with Build-A-Bear also available for creating the trendiest bears.  Fun Learning provides entertainment and inspiration for children aged 3 and up with a brilliant range of toys, games and products that are as educational as they are fun.  Waterstones has a newly redesigned children’s area with a huge range from cloth books for babies to short stories for older children. 
If fashion is more your thing then I can’t recommend Polarn O. Pyret highly enough.  A Swedish company that makes clothes for babies, children and even mums-to-be they do a beautiful range of day-to-day wear right through to outdoor wear – perfect for changeable British weather!  
Now if you want a break from the children and to do a bit of “me-time” shopping in peace there is a well-stocked crèche full of plenty toys and games to keep your little ones entertained.  Why not pop into the Bentalls department store, grab a fish pedicure, or even use the centres very own Virgin Active Health Club?
Yes that’s right – there is a Virgin Active Health Club within the shopping centre!  With numerous activities on offer including zumba, spinning, swimming and relaxing spas this luxurious health club is cleverly hidden away on the centres upper floor.  
So if you’re in the area – and Kingston is easily accessible via road, train and bus – get yourself to The Bentall Centre for a fun filled day out – perfect for one last family outing before the children go back to school!
COMPETITION!
Now the lovely people at Virgin Active gave me a ‘Complimentary Visit Voucher’ which I’m giving away to one of my readers.  To be in with a chance of winning this voucher – which can be used at any Virgin Active Health Club across the country – just follow the instructions below.
1) Comment on this post.
2) Tweet “I want to win a Virgin Active Complimentary Visit thanks to @SussexMummy”
The competition closes on Friday September 2nd at 8pm and the winner will be notified shortly afterwards!

The Baby Show 2011, London Excel

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 21-02-2011

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A fun filled day was spent at the Excel yesterday and the exceedingly popular Baby Show. Having never visited a baby show before, but being a veteran of other exhibitions aswell as a new mummy, I was massively excited and thankfully not disappointed.
Driving to the show was the best idea we had, and not just because of the amount of parcels we ended up with! A previous trip to the Excel had been done on train and tube and had become a mission of epic proportions. Driving was surprisingly easy and parking simple and reasonable (we paid £10 for 5 hours).
I was a little surprised to see a queue of eager shoppers, expectant mothers and buggies waiting at the door but once we were let in it all became clear. A vast array of stalls and stores faced me selling anything and everything a child from conception to age three, and mummy, might need. Familiar brands and high street stores were interspersed with the lesser known but equally good quality makes.
My highlights include the lovely people at Ellas Kitchen and Plum who were offering feeding advice, free samples and great deals on their organic food ranges. The outstanding baby changing facilities offered by Pampers with free nappies and wipes. The giant baby bouncer and ring stacker displayed by Fisher Price – though I didn’t have a go! And the priceless Shopping Drop Off point provided by Emmas Diary – something we certainly used!
Unfortunately there were lowlights too. The Mothercare stand was one of the largest and had a phenomenal number of people staffing it. That being said whilst I was there looking into Group 1 car seats for almost ten minutes nobody came over to provide information or a sales pitch. They all seemed more intent on chatting amongst themselves, standing around making the area cluttered and impossible to navigate, and drinking coffee. My other lowlight came at the Britax stand. They weren’t selling their products, meerly providing information and advice which was sufficient for me. On the car seat mission once again I chatted with one of the team about features and most importantly for me, price. I was looking for a good quality car seat as cheap as possible – as I’m sure most people are. “I can’t understand why people want cheap stuff.” He said as he showed me a £300 seat. Maybe because we don’t all have £300? Not the way to tempt me to buy your product!
Despite these two faults I found the show a brilliant day out. Grandma and I left heavily laden with bargains for my little boy who’d had a fun day at home with Daddy. I don’t think a repeat visit would be necessary, but its a one off must for all mummies.
Oh and by the way, whilst driving home we stopped at a retail park for lunch and spotted a Boots Clearance store. If there is one near you get in there. I bought a brand new unboxed ex display Maxi Cosi Axiss car seat for £100 – £120 less than the rrp. I was almost tempted to go back to the show and beat the Britax man around the head with it…

Posted via LjBeetle