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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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Baby Gifts: My 1st Years

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 10-04-2014

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When a new baby is born it is inevitable that gifts are going to be bought. When Little Man was born we had an influx of presents bought for him. Mostly clothing, but a few toys and the odd item that we’ll always keep. I like the idea of keepsakes more than disposable items like clothing, which is why I love the items on the My 1st Years website. They do a huge range of keepsakes for children, including a personalised baby clothes range – something a bit more special than a pack of plain sleepsuits – and a gorgeous range of personalised baby blankets. In fact you can get an amazing range of personalised items from the website, so when they got in touch and asked me if I’d like to review something I was rather spoilt for choice!
After MUCH deliberation I eventually picked this beautiful Wooden Abacus. A white frame and pale pine rods are instantly brightened by the multi-coloured that make up this abacus. As you’d expect you can get this personalised too. I went for the old style personalisation which has my Little Dude’s name in red text down one side of the abacus – photos of which will follow once he’s born and his name has been announced – but now you can get a more subtle inscription of up to 20 characters engraved on the front, as you can see from this image. A great solid toy for him to play with when he’s older, but also something that he can treasure as it will always be his abacus, despite Little Man’s best attempts to play with it now! Now only did I love the abacus itself but I also adore the packaging. A stunning blue box which you could easily use if you were buying something from My 1st Years as a gift. A truly quality service.
As I said there’s a lot of amazing products to choose from. As well as those already mentioned there’s a gorgeous range of teddies, comforters, booties and even a teepee, all of which come with the option of personalisation. There are items to suit all budgets and all tastes so you are bound to find something that would be just perfect for that newborn in your life. I’m sure Little Dude is going to love his new abacus, and I’m sure it’ll be something that takes pride of place in his bedroom for years to come.

Hive Active Heating

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Information, Sponsored Posts | Posted on 27-01-2014

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Most of us have our central heating on some kind of timer control, generally coming on in the mornings and evenings to keep the house nice and comfortable whilst we’re getting up and when we’re getting in from work or school. I’m sure we’ll also all agree that sometimes plans don’t quite work out. What if you’re out late one evening and your heating has long since gone off by the time you get home and you are welcomed by a chilly house? What if you’re on holiday and you don’t know exactly what time you’ll be home and your house is cold after a week or two empty? Or, more relevant perhaps to me in a few months, what if you’re in hospital and you want to come home to a warm house with your new baby and the heating has been off for hours? Putting it on when you get in is all well and good but there’s nothing quite like stepping in to a cosy house as opposed to waiting around for it to reach a warm temperature. With a new app you won’t have this problem again.

Hive Active Heating is a genius piece of technology that allows you to instantly control your heating or hot water from your smartphone, tablet or computer. Your state of the art kit begins with a thermostat which allows you to adjust the temperature and set timers whilst you’re at home, much the same as your current thermostat. You also get a hub which connects to your broadband router and also connects wirelessly to your thermostat, allowing remote control. Next you get a receiver which is discreetly fitted by your boiler, allowing it to communicate with your thermostat, once again totally wirelessly. Finally there’s the app, which is available on both Android and Apple devices. This lets you monitor the temperature of your home wherever you are, meaning you can adjust the timer, pop the heating on or off, and even make sure you have a full tank of hot water when you get home.

Countless times we’ve come home to a cold house, mainly when we’re away on holiday. Our house is generally pretty comfortable during the day, especially when we’re at home, and with it being a terrace – or town house if you’re fancy – we do benefit from the added insulation of having a house on either side. We don’t put our heating on a timer as we have such busy lives. I pop it on when Little Man and I come downstairs in the morning, and again if it gets cold during the day, but with schedules always being so mixed there’s no consistent times to have it coming on or off. With a new baby on the way we do need to ensure our house is a good temperature all the time. Hopefully with our new Little Dude due in May we shouldn’t have much trouble, unless the British weather goes haywire of course.

I am really impressed with the sound of Hive and for £199 with full professional installation it seems pretty affordable too, and by saving you money by not wasting heating on an empty house its bound to pay for itself quickly too. Definitely one to consider.

Review: Baker Days Valentines Cake

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Foodie, Product Reviews | Posted on 28-01-2013

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If you are looking to send your loved one something by post this Valentines Day and want to try something a little different to the usual flowers and chocolates, take a look at Baker Days. Yes, they send CAKE by post. Whats more the cake your Valentine receives won’t just be a plain sponge or fruit cake. It will be iced and decorated – and personalised if you wish – in a way you’d expect a much larger cake to be, yet still fit through your loved ones post box.

When I was contacted and asked if I’d like to review one of their cakes I was never going to say “No, thanks” was I? I was directed to their Valentines Cakes page and asked to pick a design out, including personalisation if I wished, and also asked which flavour cake I wanted. Within a few days my delivery arrived, neatly and safely packaged in a post box friendly box. Inside was a lovely tin containing my cake.

Now you’re just going to have to trust me here but the cake was chocolate. I intended on take a sliced photo, but once it had been sliced and tried, it didn’t last very long. It was delicious. Its not a huge cake – four reasonable portions, or two if you’re greedy like us – but its perfect for Valentines Day.

Obviously they also do cakes for a range of other celebrations – Engagements, Driving Tests, Get Well Soon, New Baby – and they come in other sizes too; Small with 8-12 portions or Large with 50-60 portions. When ordering you even get to choose the flavour of your cake – sponge, carrot, fruit, chocolate and even gluten and wheat free, though only in some sizes.

I think the Letterbox Gift Cakes are a lovely idea. They are a really cute way to let someone know you are thinking of them, whatever the occasion, and the personalisation options are amazing for something so small. As you can see above I sent this cake to my husband for Valentines Day, though he was very pleased to learn he was allowed to eat it early.

Go to the Baker Days website now and check out their huge range of delicious cakes. A great treat for anyone this Valentines Day, and beyond. You can also find them on Twitter @BakerDays.