Featured Posts

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

“The Motherhood”

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 16-12-2012

Tags: , , , , ,

1

Motherhood is one of the most amazing, challenging, rewarding and wonderful roles a woman can undertake in her life. We’re all mothers here, and whilst I’m sure you all agree with that sentiment, we can all agree that life isn’t always plain sailing.  Our lives are changed forever from the moment we get that positive test, and changed beyond comprehension from the moment we hold that little bundle in our arms for the first time.  I think we can all agree that there is nothing glamorous or easy about Motherhood.

The fantastic team at Fiat have come up with this great fun video that I think depicts life in “The Motherhood” to a tee.

I was in hysterics after watching that for the first time, but I was also nodding along with most of what was being said.

I think most mornings begin with a dropped bowl of cereal doesn’t it? Sticky clutter covering most surfaces, comparing horror birth stories and scars, leaky breasts and expressing milk, and the end to ever leaving the house with clean clothes or handbags again. Body hangups and the latest diets, a sudden and intense knowledge of all children’s TV characters, balancing work and life, and the 101 roles a mother now has each and every day. And really, do we mothers have any topic of conversation that doesn’t revolve around our children? My Twitter feed certainly doesn’t suggest we do.

We’ve ALL been there, and as the video reminds us, we’re all there for good.

The best things that comes from this video for me is the obvious pride of the mother in it. Yes, she’s complaining about the end of life as she knows it, the end of her body being her own, and the fact that she hasn’t slept for months. But the line “I wear my nursing bra like a bullet proof vest” is brilliant. She is fighting and battling every day, but she is proud. Life is hard. Life is a permanent challenge. But we are all proud. We are all proud to be parents, to be mothers, to be part of this great community, this amazingly supportive community.

Life is chaotic and messy and loud and relentless and constant and stressful and pressured.

And I know that none of us would change that for the world.

Christmas Stocking Fillers: For Mum…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Christmas Gift Guide, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 27-11-2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

More stocking fillers now, but this time for Mums…

NSPA Products
Available exclusively from Asda this range of beauty products is deliciously fruity. Body butters and lip balms which smell divine whilst also leaving your body and lips super soft and smooth. These butters are not edible despite how delightful they smell, but are exceptionally good value for money. Each of these featured sets costs just £5 and if you go in-store on online you can find a huge range of products for women and men.

Beurer Mini Massager
Perfect for getting rid of those niggling aches and pains at the end of the day this mini massager fits neatly into your hand. Its great used on the shoulders or legs to ease tired muscles after a hectic run up to Christmas. I used this myself after long days at work on my tired calves and it relieved any tension or aches with ease. It has three individually vibrating heads and its compact size also makes it great to carry in your handbag or briefcase in case you need a little relaxation at your desk or on your commute. Every Mum deserves one of these in her stocking this Christmas. Available in a choice of colours, this model costs £11.99 and more details can be found on the Beurer website.

Rosie’s Pantry Measuring Cups
Part of Boots’ famous 3 for 2 gift sets this dinky collection of measuring cups would look great in any kitchen. Recently coveted by GBBO very own Cat, the set comes with four cups – 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbs and 1 dsp – each with a pastel colouring in the shape of miniature tea cups. Available now from Boots for just £10.

Betty & Walter Commendably Practical Cosmetic Purse
Again available from Boots this is new range for the store. The cosmetic purse comes with a Rose Lip Balm in a tin, a tub of Elderflower & Lemon Hydrating Hand cream, a Patterned Nail File and a Compact Mirror all inside a Printed Cosmetic Purse. Its a brilliant set and the hand cream included is a great product. It absorbs quickly into the skin and leaves hands feeling soft and cared for. The purse itself will slip neatly into any handbag for taking cosmetics on the go, or for keeping on your dressing table with your favourite odds and ends in. Buy it now from Boots for £14.

Touchscreen Gloves
Most of us own something with a touchscreen, whether it be a phone, an e-reader or a tablet. Touchscreen devices are excellent but when its winter and your hands and fingers need covering in gloves, using a touchscreen device is impossible, and taking your gloves on and off can be tiresome. These Fair Isle patterned gloves from Asda are a great solution and are available at a bargain price of just £5.

 

Race For Life

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 27-07-2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

1

Recently I took part in Worthing Race For Life with my Mum. Its a brilliant event and supports a charity that is very important to us as a family. In 2010 my Mum beat two forms of cancer, so the work done by Cancer Research UK is invaluable. Our race this year was done to support two friends who have recently been diagnosed and are fighting this disease right now.

Now we didn’t run, but I like to think we maintained a good walking pace and thanks to the slightly overcast weather we finished in our best time out of the three times we’ve taken part in the race.  Another reason I think we did it in our personal best time was thanks to the comfortable footwear I was wearing. I’d been contacted a couple of months before the race by Sports Shoes about another project where they were trying to encourage women to get more active. Any Mum will know that inactivity is never an option with children around, but getting out and doing some exercise without their “help” is great for fitness, stress relief, and for getting some me-time. Running is a good cheap option – you just need to head out your front door.

Sports Shoes were generous enough to send me a pair of running shoes to do Race For Life in. I went for these from Asics:

The shoes are Gortex so I knew if the usual inclement British weather kicked in and we were racing in a downpour my feet would stay dry. The first time I put these shoes on was the morning of the race – I won’t lie and tell you I was in training! – and they were SO comfortable and by the end of our 5K walk my feet were still comfortable and there wasn’t a blister in sight!

You can take a look at the great range of shoes available at Sports Shoe here.

Whilst my Race For Life is over for this year – I’ll be back in Worthing next summer – you can still donate to support Cancer Research UK here.

Book Review: “A Passion For Baking” by Jo Wheatley

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review | Posted on 06-07-2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

I love baking. It’s something I’ve enjoyed doing since I was little and used to “help” my Mum in the kitchen. Now I’m a Mum myself finding the time to bake does prove tricky. I can’t wait until Little Man is old enough to join in, though I don’t look forward to cleaning up afterwards! When I do find the time – usually at weekends when Daddy takes over – there’s nothing I enjoy more than whipping up a cake or a batch of biscuits for my little family to enjoy, and this book is perfect for doing just that.

Available exclusively at Sainsburys for a bargain price of £7.99 “A Passion For Baking” is the debut book from the winner of The Great British Bake Off Jo Wheatley. Whenever I get a new cookbook – and yes, I own a ridiculous number – I flick through it immediately to see what stands out for me. After a few moments of flicking through the pages of “A Passion For Baking” I was salivating. Not only does this book contain loads of recipes that I actually want to make, but the photography makes me want to make them right now! Page after page of beautifully photographed food, either as a completed bake or as partial ingredients, makes this book a visual feast. My personal favourites are the photos of the Mini Mississippi Mud Pies and the Raspberry Torte. But this book contains so many recipes which I can’t wait to try out on my family.

For Fathers Day this year we had Jo’s American Pancakes with some fresh fruit. My Husband and I have been to the USA twice – once when we’d been dating a year, and again for our honeymoon – and on both occasions visited New York. Our main memory from these visits is the food – mostly the sheer size of it – but specifically the breakfasts. Nothing started the day better than a stack of pancakes, more often than not with maple syrup and some crispy bacon. Jo’s American Pancakes are JUST as delicious, and brought back amazing memories. They were light and fluffy, and super easy to make. I can see them being made again and again in our house for years to come.

Baking conjures up so many memories for me, and I look forward to making lots of new ones with my Little Man, and this book.

“A Passion For Baking” is out now, and available from Sainsburys.

Guest Post: Mum Essentials – Coffee Machines

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Information, Sponsored Posts | Posted on 19-06-2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

Being a mum is a full-on job, as we all know, and a steady flow of coffee is the only way many of us make it through the day. When instant coffee just won’t do it, it’s tempting to pick up a coffee machine, but some of these machines involve a complicated multi-step process that requires a certain level of caffeination to master in the morning. Step back and invest in a simple machine that will keep you going with the minimum of effort – here are four of our favourite picks for easy capsule coffee makers.
Illy x7.1 
This super-stylish Italian machine has a retro design that looks great in the kitchen, and uses Illycapsules to brew perfect espresso with the touch of a button. Make espresso or longer drinks, and use the milk frother to cut down on your prep time in the morning. Capsule machines cut down on clean up time (no ground coffee all over the countertop) and offer quick and tasty results.
Lavazza A Modo Mio Piccina
This small coffee machine takes up very little counter space but packs a big punch. It uses Lavazza coffee capsules to brew a quick cup, and the 4-cup capacity is perfect for when you have company. It also has a hot water tank for making tea, so this multi-tasker is ideal for families.
Nescafe Krups Dolce Gusto Piccolo
These small machines use capsules of pre-ground Arabica coffee to create a range of drinks from coffee to a cappuccino. The main benefit of the Piccolo is the incredibly simple interface, which involves sliding a lever to determine what strength of coffee you need that day (kids at school: single cup of milky coffee; mother in law visiting: triple espresso).
GaggiaUnica Bean-to-cup
If you’re serious about espresso, this all-in-one GaggiaUnica coffee maker takes you all the way from whole bean to aromatic crema. Pour your beans in the top and grind them to your desired consistency, then use the easy control panel to select which coffee drink you want. It contains a built-in milk steamer and hot water function, but best of all, the cup area is adjustable so it can accommodate your favourite giant mug.

Mothers Day Gift Guide

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 02-03-2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

Mothers Day is just over a fortnight away – March 18th if you’re curious – so if you’re looking for something a bit different for you own Mum or your Mother In Law, or you want some inspiration for what to drop hints about for yourself, take a look at this lovely lot. You’re bound to find something to suit!

Hotel Chocolate
You can’t go wrong with a nice box of chocolates, and The Jewellery Box from Hotel Chocolat is a guaranteed hit. The box contains 10 individually wrapped chocolates – which were delicious by the way – and when they’re all gone it leaves a stylish box with mirrored lid that is perfect for storing your own treasures in. You can buy this gorgeous box from the Hotel Chocolat website.

So…? Perfume
For a slightly longer lasting gift how about a bottle of the classic So…? Perfume or a Body Spray? So…? has been around for years and its range gets larger every season. The Original So…? fragrance combines tangerine and orange blossom with vanilla, sandalwood and patchouli and has been a favourite in my house for a long time.  It is available in a 75ml body spray, a 100ml eau de toilette, or a choice of two gift sets from the So…? website.

Pinky Knits
If you’re after something a bit different for a Mum who enjoys crafts why not try a Pinky Knits Kit? Launched this year at Top Drawer the Pinky Knits Kit allows you to knit without using needles. In fact all you need are your fingers! Casting on is simple following the instructions on the side and then you work the wool to create a knitted “noodle”. This “noodle” can then be transformed into anything your imagination can come up with! There are instructions for making a snood or a coil twist scarf, but the “noodle” can easily be turned into a hat, a cushion cover, or even a bag! Pinky Knits Kits come in a range of colours and can be found online at their website.

Mama Baby Bliss
The Little Bag Of Mama Bliss is the ideal gift for Mums celebrating their first Mothers Day. The bag contains some “Ooh” Relaxing Bath Soak which as well as providing some much needed chilling out for Mum also aids post-natal healing with its calendula, aloe vera and  geranium. There is also a tube of “Aah” Soothing Mummy Baby balm which is perfect for soothing sore nipples or chapped skin. I use this on my eczema and its amazing, and my Mum is also using it on some flaky skin caused by an operation she had last year and its working a treat for both of us. Finally there is an “Uplifting Bliss Stick” which gives Mums a little boost when applied to pulse points. The Little Bag Of Mama Bliss can be found at the Mama Baby Bliss website a long with hints and tips for creating a blissful mama this Mothers Day.

 

Keep Calm For Mums
Parenthood can be difficult and at the end of a long day Mums can often be left feeling fraught and reaching for the nearest bottle. If you need a helping hand to get your through those days get yourself a copy of “Keep Calm For Mums” from Summersdale Publishing. This lovely pink book is packed with witty and uplifting quotes which are sure to bring a smile to your face and get your through even the most nightmarish day. “Keep Calm For Mums” is available from all good bookshops, or direct from Summersdale.

Stockwell Ceramics
Stockwell Ceramics is based in Cornwall and they produce a range of buttons, pendants, brooches and earrings made from beautifully coloured ceramic. You might have spotted their items in the V&A in London, or The Natural History Museum. As well as their standard range they often create bespoke commissions, but I think my favourite of their items is this lovely bird brooch. You can view their range now at their website.

Period Features
If you’re looking for a gift with a slightly more classical look to it you’d be best going to Period Features. Period Features primarily sources products for period homes, such as wallpaper, furnishings and heritage paints. However they also do a range of classic items like napkins and feather dusters. I particularly like the French Soaps and the traditionally packaged bath salts. The soaps are traditionally hand made and look beautiful as a decoration as well as in use. The bath salts look exactly as you would expect in their period paper packets. Period Features can be found in Leek, Staffordshire or online.

TeaJay Tea
Every Mum I know loves a good cup of tea. I know I certainly do. Whilst I am typically more like to reach for my usual brand of tea, I do occasionally fancy something a bit different. Why not send your Mum some TeaJay Tea to try? Their teas are inspired by music so are all named after songs. They have a wide range of herbal, fruit and Rooibos to choose from which make ideal teas all year round – they can all be made into delicious ice teas during the summer months. I rather enjoyed the Corazon De Melon which is delicious mix of honey, melon and guava with a hint of strawberry. TeaJays tea can be bought in varying quantities at their website.

Honey Tree
Honey Tree are bespoke stationers who create personalised stationary, invitations, labels and sell unique artwork from their online store. For Mothers Day they have a lovely range of labels for those Mums who enjoy making jams and preserves, or their own drinks. Labels can have just an image on or text too are designed by you so you are getting exactly what you want. The quality is great and ordering couldn’t be simpler.

Limited Edition Prints are also available, and these make a lovely gift. There is a wide range available and they come either mounted or framed and mounted and are signed too. You will find prints that are kitchen and garden themed that any Mum would be proud to hang. I am a big fan of the Fork & Spoon print which I think would look great in the kitchen, or the range of Heart prints would be a great way to show your Mum just how much you care. You can view the full range of prints, and the array of labels at the Honey Tree website.

Wood And Willow
Wood And Willow is a small family run business and #SBS winner who sells items to “Make Your House A Home”.  They sell a beautiful range of gifts for both the house and garden, and also feature a lovely selection of UK Handmade items. You will be spoilt for choice on the Wood And Willow website when it comes to buying something for your Mum, or at other times of the year, but my favourites include the Heart Shaped Frame Trio and the Red Gingham Apron Set. The frame trio is off-white in colour and would be ideal for photos of Mum, Dad and Baby. The Apron Set comprises an apron, oven glove and quilted pot stand. It comes direct from France to add a little French chic to your kitchen. The Wood And Willow website can be found here.

Boots
If your Mum is in need of a little pampering and you’re thinking a nice gift set is the way to go then you can’t go wrong in Boots where there is a great range from Champney’s on offer.  My picks are the “Indulgence Oriental Opulence Travel Collection” and the “Best Of Spa” sets which both contain handy sized products including bath soaks, shower gels and hand creams. If you’re after a gift for a Soon-To-Be-Mum how about the “Extracts Fairtrade Mini Body Butter Collection” which will be perfect for keeping bump nice and soft, and includes a Cocoa Butter which is good for helping prevent stretch marks. A full range of Boots Gift Sets can be found in store, or online.

Gumigem
How about a gift that’s both for Mum and for their little one? Jewellery wearing is generally a nightmare when you have a small child so most Mums forgo their collection until their children are older. With Gumigem you don’t need to! The stylish necklaces feature what look like solid stone pendants so are fashionable, but the “stone” is actually made from the same material as most traditional teethers. This means you can look stylish whilst your baby can safely chew on your necklace during times of teething, and if they do pull hard on it the safety catch at the back releases meaning no more strangling Mum! The necklaces come in four shapes and a range of beautiful colours, and are even worn by celebrity Mums like Denise Van Outen and Michelle Heaton. The full range can be viewed here but if you want to buy a Gumigem this Mothers Day I sell them with prices starting at £10, so get in touch for details!

Curvety
If you’re after clothing for that slightly curvier figure take a trip to the Curvety website. They stock a range of glamorous and fashionable clothing to dress your beautiful curves in style. From dresses, trousers and skirts to an amazing Bridal range as well as the all important shoes Curvety covers everything you could possibly want. In addition to their vast clothing range they also sell accessories including the gorgeous necklace you see below, which would look great on any woman, regardless of size. The full Curvety range can be found online.

The Old Bag Company
Perhaps a new bag is in order for Mum this year, but you want to get her something a little different. What about the “Sophie Canvas Bag” from the Old Bag Company? The bag comes with an array of pockets to store all Mum’s bits and pieces and has a waterproof liner in case of any spills. It’s machine washable and inside every bag is a message from the Old Bag Company children (who all the bags are named after) so you know you’re getting the genuine article. Available in six colour choices this bag is perfect as a handbag, shopper, beach bag, hand luggage or funky work bag. This bag, and the rest of the spotty and stripey range, can be found at the Old Bag Company website.

Swanky Maison
If you want to get your Mum something totally different whilst supporting new and up-and-coming UK designers head over to Swanky Maison. Swanky Maison is an online boutique that sells gifts and items for the home that have been designed and made here in the UK. The range of items on there is mind-blowing – I was on there for hours pouring over the gorgeous things – and I defy anyone to not find something they love. One of my favourite designers on there is ‘Red Brick Glass’. Based in Dorset, Wendy the founder of ‘Red Brick Glass’ creates a stunning array of glass items using a her kiln, finishing them all by hand and packaging them beautifully. I adore these glass lanterns, available in a set of three, with their delicate butterfly print on them which are fired in the kiln to ensure they won’t scratch off. I think these would look pretty in the garden, as centre pieces at a spring wedding, or just around the bath when Mum has that much deserved relaxing soak. ‘Red Brick Glass’ and a host of other talented designers can be found on the Swanky Maison e-boutique website.

Tesco Nail Varnish
If your children are just reaching an age where they understand the significance of Mothers Day and perhaps want to spend “their” money on a present for Mummy then Tesco might just have the answer. Their “All About Nails” range is perfectly priced at just 99p per bottle and they have large number of colours available from the brights to the on-trend pastels, and whilst the price is cheap the quality is fabulous. So come on Dads, why not nip out to the supermarket with your children this weekend and grab Mum a present they can buy themselves? ‘All About Nails’ is available now from your local Tesco store.

Yankee Candle
A Housewarmer candle from Yankee Candle is a gift that Mum, and the rest of the family, can enjoy for up to 150 hours. Presented in a large glass jar with glass lid this is an epic candle that will also make a lovely decorative feature in any room of the house. When it comes to scented candles I prefer something subtle to provide a nice background smell as opposed to something overpowering, so for me the ideal Yankee Candle would be the Vanilla Satin – a gentle classic fragrance. This fragrance, and others, is available in several sized candles from small tea-lights to the mighty large glass jars from the Yankee Candle website.

Afternoon Tea
She’s probably spent years slaving over your tea, and now she can have a fantastic time unwinding with a different type of tea, scones, and a selection of scrumptious cakes on her tea for two experience. Whether you opt for afternoon tea at Harrods or you whisk her away to any of 20 elegant rural locations across the UK, she’ll simply love this traditional treat. Tea For Two days out are available from the Buy-A-Gift website.