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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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Travelling Made Easier Thanks To Fox

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Travel | Posted on 21-08-2015

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We’re a little over halfway through the summer holidays and I’m sure long journeys have been undertaken with the children to get away for a week or so. We’ve just got back from a weeks staycation at my in-laws, but I’m sure lots of you have been off to sunnier climes and no doubt some of you have found yourselves trailing the kids through the airport and onto long flights to get there.

We’ve not put either of our boys on to a plane yet, but its something we’ll inevitably do at some point in the future. Whilst the idea of lengthy flights with bored confined children is bad enough, the hour or two or more you have to hang around an airport before you can even depart strikes me as torturous. Thanks to a new initiative by Fox though, departing from Gatwick might not be too bad.

As of last week (August 10th) they launched a new service where holidaymakers can download movies onto their portable devices – phones, tablets, laptops, etc – from their “Movies On The Move” selection before they travel whilst at the airport. Films include Night At The Museum, Penguins Of Madagascar, and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. So many short haul flights or package holidays don’t have in-flights movies so keeping the children entertained is vital.

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For me this service would also be indispensable whilst waiting at the airport itself, and clearly cheaper then taking the kids around the duty free shops! And what’s even better is that films will be available to download via a free, high speed, wireless, broadband connection in the children’s soft play area, located in the upper South Terminal departure lounge. And you can also download a special “Movie Of The Day” app which will give you special flash sale prices on selected movies meaning you can set your child up with with lots of quality entertainment for less. Result.

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I think this sounds brilliant. Little Man is addicted to his tablet so would no doubt love being able to watch movies whilst we wait at the airport and on-board. I can see us taking the boys on a short haul flight in the years to come so we would all benefit hugely from this service. Long haul with these two will have to wait!

A Family Trip To The Cinema

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Product Reviews | Posted on 30-07-2013

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Last weekend we went to the cinema with Little Man for the first time. He’s watched movies at home before with Tangled, Monsters Inc, any Toy Story movie and currently Despicable Me being amongst his favourites. What he tend to do though when watching films at home is wander about, play with toys, and more often than not fast forward the dull bits and watch his favourite sections. In Toy Story for example he tends to focus on any bits with Buzz or Zurg in. Going to the cinema was going to be an entirely different proposition for him. Not only would he not being to skip bits, but he’d have to sit still and stay fairly quiet. We were also at the end of week 2 of potty training. It was going to be an experience, that’s for sure.

We arrived at the cinema in good time so that Little Man would have chance to get used to the place. We’d told him that we were going to see “Monsters University” which had the same characters in as “Monsters Inc”. We took his Mike and Sulley toys with us, as well as his new Munchkin Monsters Click Lock cup. We told him we’d be seeing a movie on a really big TV which he thought was very exciting indeed. After collecting our tickets and buying some all important snacks for the movie we went inside and settled into seats on the front row. We wanted to make sure we could have a speedy getaway in case of toilet trips or if it all became too much for him. You could collect a booster seat from the lobby for little ones to sit on but we’d taken our new BoostaPak from Trunki. This seemed an ideal opportunity to test out its uses outside of the car. It fit perfectly in the seat and stopped it from closing on Little Man as he merrily climbed aboard and settled into his special chair. Needless to say the sight of the “really big TV” got him even more excited, even though nothing was showing. Try as we might to take his photo in the seat it was impossible, but I did get this shot of his little friends.

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He didn’t seem at all concerned when the lights dimmed and the TV came on, despite the volume and he happily watched the trailers and adverts whilst munching on his popcorn and drinking his Monster juice. When the film eventually started – I think 30 minutes of adverts before a children’s movie is insane – he instantly recognised Mike. “Monsters University” is a prequel to “Monsters Inc” and shows the early lives of Mike and Sulley and how they meet and come to work together. Its full of great comedy moments, and whilst the plot is hardly the work of genius this is a children’s film after all. I loved it. Little Man and Daddy did enjoy what bits they saw. Like I said, Little Man is currently potty training – and doing VERY well – so about 30 minutes after the actual movie had started let us know he needed to go. Daddy took him and they came back about ten minutes later. Apparently after weeing Little Man had spent five minutes running up and down the lobby. You wont be surprised to hear that ten minutes later he claimed to need to go again, and spent ten minutes running up and down the lobby. Upon his third trip to the toilet Daddy decided it’d be easier to just stay outside! “Monsters University” is a great family movie, but perhaps not one to watch if you’re potty training!

I am a huge fan of the Munchkin Monsters range too. We have the click lock cup which is perfect for dark cinemas as it doesn’t leak, as well as the toddler feeding set which comprises a bowl, sectioned plate and fork and spoon. We use the sectioned plate daily. Its great at lunch time to put Little Man’s sandwiches in one section, a pile of fruit in the other, and usually a small pile of toddler crisps or rice cakes in the third. We also use it at breakfast with brioche rolls, blueberries and grapes. The rubber rim on the base of both the plate and the bowl is ideal for toddlers as it stops it from sliding about – very important for enthusiastic eaters!

“Monsters University” is showing at cinemas nationwide now and you can find the Munchkin Monsters range in store now.

I was provided with a voucher for cinema tickets and the Munchkin Monsters range for the purposes of this review.

Guest Post: Great Ideas For A Date Night

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 28-03-2013

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You’re in a relationship, and you have your hands full with the kids. On top of that, you both have to go to work five days a week, meaning you have little time to yourselves. Whatever time you do have, you might feel too jaded to do something together, but it’s important to enjoy each other’s company once in a while.

Rekindle the romance

If your relationship is in a bit of a lull because you’re spending so little time with one another, you could do worse than think back to when you first met. Think about the first few dates you had and what made them so special and use them for inspiration.

Going on a date if you’ve been together a few years might sound like a strange thing to do, but if you have a night away from the kids or have a week away from work, there’s no end of things you could do together. If you’re short on ideas, I’ve got a few suggestions that might tickle your fancy!

A night at the movies

Going to see a film isn’t the most original idea, but if you want to get out for a few hours, why not watch something you both might enjoy? You could see a rom-com, a drama or something you both agree on. One of the best things about a night at the movies is that it’s not too expensive, and there’s plenty you can do before and after the film.

Spend the night in

Staying at home might seem like the lazy option, but there’s so much you can do such as play board games together, although you don’t need a physical game to play them! All you need to do is head online, and all your favourites plus some new ones are available at the click of a mouse.

If you both like game shows, then you might be interested in the Deal Or No Deal game, that is one of many on offer from Ladbrokes Games which is based on the popular TV quiz. As well as Deal or No Deal, the classic, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire can played on sites like this and is something you’re both likely to enjoy.

Wine and dine

Going out for a meal together might is probably the most romantic thing any couple could do, no matter how long they’ve been together for. Unlike a trip to the cinema, there’s a lot of choice in terms of food and restaurants you have – for something really romantic and fun, Italian restaurants are perhaps the best option.

Once you’ve chosen your restaurant, you’re both free to spend a few hours eating your favourite food, talking about whatever’s on your mind. You don’t need a special occasion to go out – all you need is to love each other!

Whatever you decide to do, it should help to make your relationship shine again. All you need to do is make a little time for each other when you can, and you’ll be able to have fun together like you both did when you first met. Something you should remember is to choose something you’ll both love, so one of you doesn’t end up bored.

A Great Night In With Ladbrokes

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Information, Sponsored Posts | Posted on 28-11-2012

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I was recently sent a party pack by Ladbrokes who are encouraging people to have great nights IN with their family and friends, and one of their packs. The party pack was amazing and included everything we needed for a night in. The contents were actually used over a variety of nights in, and one night out.

Little Man’s Birthday – Ladbrokes sent loads of party plates, serving platters, straws and table decorations and we used them during Little Man’s birthday party last month. They were all plastic so we didn’t need to worry about breakages, but they were washable and reusable so we can use them again and again. There was also some toddler friendly music playing, thanks to the iTunes voucher – lots of Justin Fletcher!

Date Night – “Casino Royale” is one of the few James Bond movies I’ve watched in recent years and actually enjoyed. I think its probably the Daniel Craig factor more than anything… Hubby and I had a quiet date night a few weeks ago with Little Man packed off to his Grandparents for the night. We sat down in front of the TV and thoroughly enjoyed re-watching the movie, and their may have been a cocktail or two enjoyed courtesy of the recipes books and cocktail set we were given. Shaken but not stirred, naturally.

Poker Night – I’ve never been a fan of poker but my two brother-in-laws are, so they were thrilled to receive the poker set we’d been given. They got their mates round and had a lads night playing poker and invariably enjoying a few beers. The set was excellent and came with everything they needed for a proper game, without having to head out.

Family Night Out – We did use one of the items outside the house, but that was only because Pizza Hut don’t deliver to us! We went to our nearest restaurant and took Little Man for pizza. The voucher was really appreciated and we could all sit down and enjoy some delicious pizza together. A great family night out, which would work at home too, if you are in a delivery area.

I’d like to thank Ladbrokes for providing the pack and some great family entertainment. If you fancy a family night in head over to Ladbrokes Casino and get playing – you never know, you might just hit the jackpot!