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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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Tips On Buying The Perfect Christmas Gift…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 30-10-2012

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From a new sweater to edible underpants, a bottle of vintage Rioja to a state-of-the-art iPod, when it comes to buying Christmas presents knowing what to buy our loved ones can be a mind-boggling predicament. Will they like it? Have they already got it? Is this the right size? All these questions occupy our thoughts as we battle through the Christmas shopping crowds desperately trying to find the one we love the perfect gift.

The good news is that buying Christmas presents needn’t be such a struggle and help is at hand with these following tips.

Shop online

To avoid the crowds, queues and general Christmas run-up consumer madness, why not shop online? You can browse through all the leading retailers at your leisure, with your feet up and shopping for Christmas gifts in such a relaxed and stress-free manner, means that you will be less rushed and therefore less likely to make a Christmas gift blunder.

Most retailers now offer online shopping to consumers, for example you can buy many great Christmas gifts from Waitrose on the Internet without even having to leave your armchair.

Ask your partner what they would like for Christmas

Avoid having to battle through the even more densely populated shopping malls, supermarkets and retail parks in the post-Christmas sales because that dress you bought your wife was too small, or your boyfriend doesn’t like that particular aftershave or granddad’s slippers don’t fit, by simply asking your loved ones what they would like for Christmas.

In times of such economic hardship why should we waste our precious pennies on Christmas gifts that get discarded to one side as soon as they are opened? Avoid this incredibly common dilemma by simply asking loved ones what they would like for Christmas.

Food can be a firm Christmas gift favourite

When we buy clothes for somebody for Christmas, the chances are that they won’t fit properly. When we buy somebody a new CD, a fashionable gadget, or a kitchen appliance or something else for the home, the chances are they have already got one or simply don’t like what you’ve bought them. If you know someone well enough, the chances you will know what they like eat. Food can therefore make a great Christmas gift as filling your loved ones stomach with their favourite nibble or topple is bound to go down well on Christmas Day.

Foxy Bingo

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 26-09-2012

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As the rain batters down outside pretty much constantly at the moment the idea of going out in the evening might not really appeal. If its not the weather putting you off the issue of child care might be a problem. If you’re looking for a fun social activity that you can do in the warmth and comfort of your own home, check out Foxy Bingo.

Launched in 2005 Foxy Bingo is one of the biggest online bingo communities in the UK, and its also one of the friendliest. With regular promotions and busy online chat rooms not only are you getting a great social activity, but you might just end up winning a tidy some of money too.

When you Join and deposit £10 into your account Foxy Bingo will give you £20 absolutely free to use to buy tickets and join in the games. There are free games and weekly specials, and at the moment you can get a ticket to win £100K free. There are chat rooms to make friends and have a good natter with the other players, regular competitions to win prizes, and even an online magazine featuring celebrity interviews and winners stories.

Foxy Bingo is totally secure so your bank details are never in danger, and they also provide support if you ever think your gambling has got out of control. Whilst Foxy Bingo is meant to be fun there are also dangers when it comes to gambling, but the support and guidance is there if things ever get out of hand.

I’m not a regular gambler – largely because I never remember to buy a Lottery ticket – but I have played a little online bingo in my time. It is great fun. Not just the prospect of winning money – and we can all hope that it’ll be us – but also the excitement of the games and friendly chat at the same time. Its also great because you can play any time. So if the idea of heading out tonight doesn’t appeal, log on to Foxy Bingo – and if you do win, remember who sent you yeah?

Guest Post: Local Bookstores Suffer the Wrath of Ebooks

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Information | Posted on 24-09-2012

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“There is a strong feeling of pessimism amongst people within the book industry. This feeling spans from novelists to publishers, largely down to financial reasons. The worry these individuals have comes from the introduction of the eBook, the digitalised version of the traditional book. The impact of this new form of literary medium is causing massive reverberations throughout the field, and none more so perhaps than that of quaint local bookstores.

There has been plenty of coverage over the closure of independent record stores over the past five years or so, due to the explosions of internet downloads and mp3s. But the troubles local independent bookstores are going through seem to have been neglected somewhat in the media. This may partly be down to the appeal it has to people, as believe it or not, everyone enjoys reading, but to find someone who doesn’t like music of any kind? Impossible, surely.

It is quite a serious issue however, and one that I did not really contemplate until the last local bookstore in my nearby town was forced to close after over a twenty-five year residency there. When interviewed in the local paper the owner of the store explained that he simply could not compete and keep up with the conglomerates, the big chain stores and the influx of online literature, particularly their prices. He did manage to joke however that one the final books he sold was The Great Gatsby, jesting that had he perhaps read it he’d have been able to put up more of a fight into keeping is dream alive.

He had a fair point though concerning the financial competition, as eBooks are almost always sold for a cut price in comparison to physical books, with companion books such as Twilight and Philosophy – Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality available for under half the price of a hard copy. It’s not even unusual now for many eBooks to be made available online for free now, and it makes you wonder, how can anyone really compete with that?

There are not many independent bookstores left in the UK now, but hopefully, if communities band together, more and more can be saved and keep the true essence of the book alive.”

I love the concept of e-readers, and there is no escaping their popularity. But sometimes, for me, nothing beats a real book. I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Product Review: Joe Browns

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Product Reviews | Posted on 17-09-2012

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Joe Browns was set up to provide something that little bit different from other clothing catalogues, and when you flick through their book or browse their online store that difference is clear. Their clothes are a lifestyle choice. You won’t find anything in the Joe Brown catalogue that you might find similar somewhere else. Joe Browns clothes are distinctive and add something a bit special and unique to your wardrobe.

This Easy Livin’ Dress is one of my favourites from the new Autumn/Winter range. A knitted pointelle top with two handy front pockets and a floral hem which gives the appearance of layers, this top is perfect for the cold season. On chillier days paired with dark jeans and boots, or on those rare warmer Autumn days worn with brown or black leggings. This top is ideal for casual day wear, or can be dressed up and accessorised for a night out at the local pub with friends.

The Joe Browns summer sale is currently on where you can snap up a few last minute bargains whilst the late summer just about lasts. I found these great Floral Espadrille Pumps.

They are SO comfortable and extremely versatile. Pottering around the house, hitting the high street shopping, lazy evenings in the pub or out for a date – these shoes will get you through most events and gathering, and you’ll wonder how you ever survived without them.

The NEW Autumn/Winter range is available now from the Joe Browns website, and there are still a few bargains to be had in the sale!

Disclaimer: I received the items mentioned above to review from Joe Browns, but all opinions are my own and were not affected by the company.

Kids Clothing At Tesco

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 16-08-2012

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Is it just me, or does your child have infinitely more clothing than you do? My Little Man is nearly 2 and he has so much clothing. And that’s if you just include things that actually fit him! We are drowning in clothes that he’s grown out of, and we also have a drawer of clothes in the next size up, ready for that sneaky growth spurt.

I would say that 80% of his clothes come from the same shop, and that shop is Tesco. When I buy clothes for my son – and to be honest its something I probably do too often – I am looking for bright colourful pieces that mix and match easily and wash well. I am also looking for affordable clothes. We live on one full time income and I work one Saturday morning a month, so money isn’t exactly something we have in great supply. Even if we were rolling in it – and I do keep trying to win that Lottery – I wouldn’t spend a fortune on his clothes at this age. I am relieved that he’s nearly 2 and the manic growth of the first two years has slowed to a more manageable state. I’m sure we all have clothes we bought for our little babies that they never even wore because they grew so fast, or things they wore once or twice. Nowadays we get much more wear out of his clothes but affordability is still key.

Clothing At Tesco offers brilliant prices on some gorgeous clothing, and the quality is great too. Little Man loves to clamber about the lounge, rush about the garden, and seems to think his clothes are mere extensions of his bib at meal times. His clothes get a real beating and the average t-shirt must be washed dozens of times in its life. I love the fact that clothes I buy him from Tesco’s remain in one piece and looking as bright and colourful as the day I bought it by the time it is resigned to life in the “Outgrown” pile.

Whilst I do get my food delivered – I can’t imagine taking Little Man food shopping without one of both of us ending up in tears – I often pop in to my local store to pick up bits I have inevitably forgotten, or to top up on milk and fruit during the week. Its so easy to just pop a couple of cheap tshirts or pair of jeans on the basket as well, and you hardly notice when you get to the checkout. There is more often than not a sale of some variety on, and by keeping an eye out for bargains in sizes to come I spread the cost of clothing my Little Man too.

Clothing At Tesco also has a fantastic website which I also browse for bits. At the moment they have some great deals on ‘Back To School’ wear and it won’t be long before the Autumn/Winter range appears. With the Summer Clubcard Exchange that’s currently going on you can get some superb deals on kids clothing AND get them ready for September. I can definitely see a lot more Tesco clothing in my son’s future, and once in a while Mummy even gets something too!

Product Review: Kiddicare

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews, Sponsored Posts | Posted on 24-06-2012

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Kiddicare is branded as the “UK’s Favourite Baby Website” and its one I’ve visited frequently since the arrival of my Little Man. Its a great place to see a huge range of different items, and is especially good if you want to compare brands and styles of a product before buying. We used it when we were looking at prams and travel systems, and to look at car seats too. I took a look around it more recently when I was researching Potty Training!

Little Man is very confident on his feet nowadays and that’s bringing a new range of problems for us. More often than not he’ll grip tightly onto one of our fingers when we’re out and about, especially if its somewhere new for him to be walking. I’m sure if he’s worried we’re going to run off and leave him, or if he just thinks he’s going to fall over, but I’m certainly going to enjoy it whilst it lasts. If its somewhere he’s walked before however, he is sometimes a little more reluctant to hold our hands, and feels certain he doesn’t need our help. Quite often this is okay if its somewhere safe, but when walking by the side of a road its too dangerous for him to be let loose, which is why my most recent visit to the Kiddicare website was to look for reins. A search for reins on the Kiddicare website led me to a list of choices, from the basic to the slightly more decorative, and that in turn led me to the purchase of these cute reins from Littlelife:

I chose these – apart from the great design – because it allows Little Man to feel like a “big boy” whilst carrying around his own very special rucksack, and because the adult strap is detachable. It doesn’t need to be attached all the time, so sometimes the bag can be used purely as a rucksack, and when needed the adult strap clips neatly to a D-ring on the top and you’re back in control for a while.

As well as wandering around and exploring my Little Man’s other favourite activity is bath time – something I’m sure all children enjoy. The reluctance to get out the bath every evening is very loud proof of this! When he’s in the bath we like to keep him distracted so he’s not aware that he’s actually being washed, especially when doing his hair, so we keep a large supply of bath toys in there. Whilst browsing the Kiddicare website I came across this Octopus and was unable to resist:

Needless to say this has become a new favourite in our bathroom. Water can be poured into the octopus’ head and its sprays out holes within its tentacles, and your little one can also practise their aim by tossing the three rings and trying to get the octopus to catch them. This isn’t something Little Man has quite mastered yet, but he does enjoy using them as teethers too!

So next time you’re looking to buy something for your little one, whether it be something as big as a pram or as small as a new bath toy, get over to Kiddicare where you’re bound to find what you’re after, and much much more!