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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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Review: New From Munchkin

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 18-03-2013

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Munchkin is a brand I’ve featured a few times on my website. They produce consistently quality products, and these two additions to their range are no exception.

Tug Along Boat
I seem to review a lot of bath toys, but its a great fun time of day, and in our house its Daddy’s job and a lovely opportunity for father son bonding. Daddy has been saying for a while that Little Man needed a boat for the bath, something I’m surprised in hindsight that we’ve got this far without. When Munchkin offered us this Tug Along Boat to review I couldn’t say no.
This brightly coloured boat comes with a red raft which attaches to the back or can be used independently. The boat itself has holes in the top to collect water which can then be poured out through the wheel at the front. The green handle is a great size for both children and adults alike so everyone can get involved with the water play. Beneath the handle you can see through to where the water collects and its made to look like a glass bottomed boat, giving a great view of some fish. The boat comes with two water squirting crew members – a penguin and a seal – who man the craft and also add an extra fun dimension. Little Man loves playing with this boat at bath time. He steers it around the bath with the handle and pours lots of water out past the wheel. Water squirters are always popular so these are much loved too – just remember to take cover if you’re in the bathroom with him!!

Click Lock Bento Mealtime Set
This mini version of a Bento Box is incredibly cute and functional. We like to go on picnics when the weather allows or if we’re out at a zoo or theme park, and Little Man will be heading off to preschool in September (Eeek!) so some kind of lunch box was going to be needed. This is perfect.
The box comes with three compartments – a main area for sandwiches or something savoury, and then two smaller compartments for fruit, vegetables or even yogurt. Each compartment has its own lid, and the two smallest ones have removable inserts for easy cleaning. Fitted into the main lid are a toddler sized fork and spoon, and there is a space on the base to write your child’s name. This Bento box is part of the popular Click Lock range, so once you hear the click upon securing the lid, you know its fastened and nothing will be escaping. I am a big fan of this and can see it getting lots of use for years to come – I just wish they did one in my size!!

You can find these, and the rest of the Munchkin range online.

 

Product Review: Sit & Go

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Product Reviews | Posted on 20-08-2012

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With festival season well under way and the summer weather back for another go, long days out are becoming increasingly likely. So if you’re heading down to the beach for the day, going to a festival, heading to the Paralympics, or even taking up residence in the local park for an all day picnic, you’re going to need something to carry your food in. Picnics are brilliant as you always know what you are getting and wont have to battle the queues – or the inflated prices – by buying food when you arrive. You want something strong and sturdy, ideally that will keep your picnic nice and cool, and that’s easily transportable. What you need, is a Sit & Go.

Now I realise it looks a little bit like one of those shopping trolleys that you see elderly people dragging down the high street and around the supermarkets, but I assure you it is much cooler than that. Literally.

The bag itself is insulated meaning your food will stay nice and cool – or warm – in there as you pull it around the Olympic Park, or park it up on the beach or at your next music festival. Its very easy to move about and it stands up by itself. But this is no ordinary bag. Oh no. This bag is much cleverer than your average shopping bag. The Sit & Go comes with a fold down chair built in, and the Union Jack model comes with a parasol/umbrella too. You might not fancy sitting down on the floor, or you might have an elderly relative with you who just can’t sit down on the floor, so this chair is ready and available. You can sit in comfort whilst helping yourself to the food stored in the bag behind you.

This bag would also be great for an elderly person to do their weekly shop in. They could pull it up to the shops, store their food safely in it as they head home, and if they need a rest they have a chair with them so they can sit down for a while.

Perhaps you’re a frequent visitor of food fairs and shows which are often large and crowded with limited seating. You can buy all your tasty goodies without worrying about the carrying them or returning to the stands as you leave, and you’ll be able to take a seat for a well deserved cup of tea in comfort and style.

The Sit & Go would also be great at Wimbledon or at the cricket for some patriotic support, and I can see us using it this summer in the garden to keep drinks cold in during picnics or barbecues.

The Sit & Go is available now in four designs from the Direct To Your Door online store.

Summer Holiday Essentials: Hammamas

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Holiday, Home & Lifestyle, Product Reviews | Posted on 18-08-2012

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I love products that when you get them and use them you end up finding a million and one uses for them and you wonder how you ever survived without one. A Hammamas is such a product. What looks like a simple large cotton towel transforms into a multitude of uses, and all you need is a bit of imagination.

Hammamas are based on the traditional Turkish bath towel, and are available in a huge range of colours and patterns. Their generous size adds to their variety of uses.

First and foremost they make great towels. Absorbing water as fast as a traditional towel they dry super fast making them the perfect partner for bath time, visits to the swimming pool, or a dip in the sea. They are ideal for children as you can wrap them up in no time at all, making sure they don’t get too cold when they get out the water.

They are perfect for travelling. If you’re off on holiday take a Hammamas. They are compact enough to fit in your luggage, in the car, stored in a caravan, packed into the limited space of a boat or barge, they would even fit neatly into a tent. You could even use them if you’re off on your gap year and all you have is your rucksack.

A Hammamas makes  a great blanket. Whether you’re on the beach and want something to lie on, or your in the park or your own back garden having a picnic, a Hammamas is big enough to relax on. Perhaps you’re heading to a festival and want something to wrap around you in the cool evenings, or you might be planning a romantic evening on the beach watching the sunset. Get a Hammamas!

The perfect beachwear accessory. If you’re heading to warmer climes this summer – and to be fair who could blame you – travel light by using your Hammamas as beachwear. It makes an ideal sarong, and with a bit of creativity it can also be worn as a dress over your bikini – great when heading away from the beach for lunch.

Home decoration with a Hammamas. Whether you’re dining inside or out this summer you might want to put a tablecloth down. Use your Hammamas. Thrown over a table – especially a wooden table in the garden – the Hammamas looks amazing, and it protects your table and adds some colour to the occasion. And you don’t to worry about spillages as they can be thrown in the washing machine at 40 degrees and will be dry in no time.

You can view the extensive range online at the Hammamas store.

 

Summer Holiday Essentials: Picos Pack Pacapod

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 23-05-2012

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Summer has FINALLY arrived and no doubt you’re all thinking about your holidays. Whether you’re staying at home, taking a UK break, or jetting off somewhere further afield it is essential to pack the right things for your little ones. This is the first in a series of “Summer Holiday Essentials” which I think will make your holidays that little bit easier.

A good changing bag is one of the most important purchases for any parent. I’ve featured a couple on my blog in the past year, but I was looking for something that was practical and would fit in with an outdoors lifestyle. Country walks, trips to National Trust Gardens, a day at the beach, visiting a theme park or farm – these are all activities you might be undertaking this summer. You still need to make sure you’ve got everything you need for your little one though, and that probably includes nappies, wipes, snacks, drinks, toys, books, and a hundred and one other items too. You need a bag that can hold all these things, and you need to be able to put your hands on them at a moments notice, ideally a few seconds before your little one requests them!

Our first ever changing bag was a black Pacapod, and it remains a favourite to this day – especially with my husband who isn’t a fan of my somewhat feminine Mia Tui bag.  We have found a new favourite in the Picos Pack from Pacapod.

This rucksack style changing bag is ideal for trips out where you are doing a lot of walking, or perhaps can’t take the pram in to attach your bag to, and are instead using a sling or carrier for your child.  We have used it a lot in recent months and it was indispensable on our recent holiday to Devon. As is a feature of all Pacapod changing bags, the Picos Pack comes with two internal “pods” – a feeder pod which is insulated and a changer pod with pockets and spaces for all your nappy changing needs.  There are also two external pockets to carry drinks bottles in, and a front zip pocket which can hold keys, wallets and other items. With the two pods inside the main bag there is still room for other bits to be slipped in – we took this bag to the Eden Project with us recently and packed it full of picnic food for four adults and a toddler, and there was just about room! It really is a tardis! Even better is that it survived a rather epic downpour whilst we were outside the Bio-domes, and came home unscathed.

What I love about Pacapods is that you can always go straight to whatever you need because everything has its own place, and your know that as long as your pods are full, that you’ve got everything you need. Toy Pods are available separately and can be used in exchange for one of the other pods, depending on your needs that day.

The full Pacapod range, including the brilliant Picos Pack, is available now from the Pacapod website.

John Lewis Opens First Store In Sussex

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Product Launch | Posted on 04-04-2012

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Retail giant John Lewis is opening its first ever store in Sussex on Thursday with a “John Lewis At Home” store on the Portfield Way Retail Park, just outside Chichester. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview on Tuesday and take a tour around the new store with branch manager Claire.


Boasting 40,000 square feet of selling space over two floors this new store has a wide range of products you’d commonly find within their bigger shops. There is a large selection of home décor and furnishing, as well as an extensive kitchen and lighting section.

Downstairs you will find the Click & Collect Service which makes shopping even easier – you just order the item and collect it from store the next day, and the only selection of Olympic Merchandising outside of a London branch. Perfect if you want to grab yourself a piece of memorabilia for this summers event without having to fight your way into the capital.

Jubilee fever has also struck with a number of Union Jack emblazoned products throughout the store from cushions to deck chairs and food gifts – I can highly recommend the Emma Bridgewater Biscuit Barrel!

Upstairs you will find a comprehensive electrical and gadgetry department which includes the brand new iPad and a number of TV’s – ideal distraction for the men! You will also find a small but well stocked baby section to pick up a few nursery essentials for your little ones, including cots, toys and a bedding.

The familiar John Lewis cafe is also upstairs where they’ll be selling a range of drinks, snacks and light lunches, as well as children’s lunch boxes. A supply of high chairs is ready and waiting! Customer toilets can also be found nearby along with spacious baby changing facilities, and a feeding room – something which is rare even on the high street!

One of my favourite “trends” on offer in John Lewis At Home is the ‘Playnation’ range. Here is the foyer of the new store, decked out in the range.


Can you believe that colourful book display is actually wallpaper? I love it and definitely want some for our home office!!

The ‘Playnation’ range is beautifully bright and encompasses a huge selection of products from table ware to garden items, home decor to office organisation. The mix of wood and colour looks brilliant and I can imagine several pieces finding a place in my home soon. Here are a few of my personal favourites:

This Tiffin Box would be great on family picnics this summer with four handy compartments for your lunch time favourites.

Office storage needn’t be dull with this brightly coloured unit featuring six large deep drawers.

Every cook and baker needs a good set of measuring spoons and I love this set of four – colourful additions to any kitchen.


Summer trips to the beach or just sitting in the garden will be stylish and comfortable for your little ones in this traditional deck chair.

John Lewis At Home opens on Thursday April 5th and with the extended Easter weekend it’s sure to be a busy one – I suggest you start queuing now!!