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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: Apple & Ginger

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle | Posted on 14-09-2015

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I’ve shared a few images of Little Dude’s bedroom on here before, but for those of you that don’t know there is a farm theme running through it. We did this in the simplest way possible with some of those reusable wall stickers which we have running along with top of his bed, and we’ve recently bought him some proper bedding, and gone for one set with animals and tractors on.

One of his favourite toys is a farm set which we keep in a box in the playroom, but we’re always looking for other farm related items which we can add to his bedroom. I was recently approached by Rachael from Apple & Ginger and asked if I’d like to review on of her new wall pictures and when I came across a tractor print, I couldn’t say no!

Apple&Ginger-Tractor-SussexMummy

I just love this picture. It’s so bright and vibrant, and I adore how it can be personalised with your child’s name – the rhyme quote is also optional.

This is now hung on Little Dude’s wall, complete with his name and the quote. We received it beautifully framed and with a safe acrylic as opposed to glass covering making it less likely to break. I bursts out from the wall and Little Dude rather enjoys pointing at it and shouting out his favourite word, “DAT!”

Now of course there are other prints to choose from to suit any bedroom or playroom theme, from fire engines to balloons to even an ice cream van. You can buy just the print or a framed version in either A4 or A3 sizes, and there is even optional gift wrapping available too.

You can find Apple & Ginger on both Facebook and Instagram.

The Volvo V70 and A Trip To Cowes Week

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Blogger Event, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 14-08-2013

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I’ve got to do some pretty cool things since starting this website. Most recently I was given the chance to borrow a Volvo V70 AND go along with the Volvo team to Cowes Week. I’ll admit that beforehand I was most excited about the chance to use the car for a few days, but I have to confess, Cowes was amazing. Here’s how I got on.

Firstly, the car. Volvo sent me a rather fancy V70 to review. It barely fit on my drive. It was a massive car and I was really intimidated. I am a confident driver, but compared to our own car the Volvo looked huge. I was also confused when I got in the car to find it had no ignition and no handbrake. A read of the handbook, some trial and error, a call to my Dad, and about forty minutes later I got the car to start. A few pointers from the person who dropped it off would have been much appreciated. Doing this in 30+ degree heat with a bored toddler in the back seat was not the best way to get used to a new car! Once we were started there were no other problems. The car was a dream to drive. It was so quiet you could barely hear the engine, the boot was HUGE and housed so much stuff, and the built in sat nav was actually a joy to use. We were given special permission to take the car on our day out to Longleat Safari Park – as long as we didn’t go into the monkey enclosure of course – and it was excellent. The drive was comfortable and cool thanks to the great air conditioning and the electrically adjusted seats, and the journey simple with the sat nav which displays routes on the main screen AND on the dials behind the steering wheel. We managed to pack cool boxes, pushchairs, coats, potties, and an overnight bag into the boot and there was still space for more. My favourite feature? The boot. Push button opening AND closing. We played with this for hours!

Now I could go on about the technical specifications, the colour choices and all that important stuff, but you can find out the finer details of the V70 on the Volvo website. I think the V70 is a great family car – ideal for ferrying your little ones about with all the equipment that comes with them too!

Volvo were one of the main sponsors of Cowes week, with several vehicles at Cowes for visitors to look at as well as sponsoring races and several of the sailors themselves. A group of us were bounced over to Cowes on a RIB to enjoy the sights for the day, but I was rather lucky to be selected to spend my first couple of hours in the company of Oman Air on their rather fancy trimaran. At 75 feet this boat was massive, and apparently the fastest at Cowes. I can tell you that sitting on the trampoline section whilst it whizzed up and down at 33 knots certainly felt fast, especially when you were hanging on as tightly as I was. It was an incredible experience – one that several people I have spoken to since are very jealous about – and one that I am extremely grateful to Volvo and Oman Air for setting up.

The early afternoon was spent on an Elan 450 which was supposed to sail gently about in the Solent and give each of us chance to sail a little. Sadly within 5 minutes of leaving Cowes the heavens opened and it absolutely belted it down. Despite wearing a wide selection of waterproofs I was much happier to sit below deck with a nice cup of tea and a piece of cake. Some members of the group did remain on deck and did resemble drowned rats by the end of the trip!

The final event of the day – and the main one for Volvo and us – was the Volvo Sailing Speed Challenge. This saw four men racing against each other on very different vehicles. A kite surfer, a wind surfer, a man on a moth and a round the world yachtsman battled it out in the Solent. The early favourite was the kite surfer. Here’s how they got on.

An epic battle which we had the privilege of watching from on board our RIB just off Cowes. I was pretty sure Nick Dempsey was going to take the win before Alex Thomson soared to the winning line.

Cowes Week was a truly unforgettable experience. Hopefully I’ll make it over there again next year!

Foodie: Thermapen Review & Giveaway

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Foodie, Product Reviews | Posted on 02-04-2013

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Keeping our family safe and healthy is our ultimate priority is everything we do. When we’re providing food for them its also a priority, whether that food is babies milk or a Sunday roast. Making sure what we’re serving is fully cooked and at the right temperatures ensures their safety, and one of the ways to do that is to invest in a Thermapen.

A Thermapen is a probe which you can use to make sure what you are cooking or warming is the ideal temperature. You can use it when you are warming your babies milk to make sure its the correct and safe temperature. It can be used in baking to make sure cakes are cooked, for making sugar syrups, in jam making and for tempering chocolate. It is an essential piece of kit for your Summer barbecue, when most food poisoning accidents occur with under cooked meat and poultry. We received a Thermapen to test out and my Mum has been using it relentlessly when she’s been cooking in the kitchen, ensuring the Sunday roast is always the right temperature throughout.

The Thermapen is so easy to use – opening it turns it on, and closing it turns it off again. The digital screen is easy to read at a glance and the bright range of colours available means there’s no danger of it getting lost. You could even get a Thermapen to match your kitchen colour scheme! For more information on Thermapen’s check out their website and follow them on Twitter @Thermapen_.

Now I have a brilliant GREEN Thermapen to give away to one of my lucky readers. In order to win you MUST be following me on Twitter and then Tweet the following:

I want to win a @Thermapen_ from @SussexMummy #FoodSafety #FamilySafety

One winner will be chosen from all the entries received by 8pm on Friday April 12th and the winner will be DM’d as soon as possible, so make sure you’re following me. Good luck!

 

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.

Review: Wonderworld Toys at DKL

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 08-01-2013

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I am a huge fan of wooden toys. Whilst I do love getting Little Man plastic toys like Happyland and WOW Toys, the wooden ones are always going to last that little bit longer – though Happyland and WOW Toys are a very close second! Little Man has a few wooden toys around the house, and he got a great wooden garage and set of cars this Christmas from his grandparents. We were also lucky enough to receive a couple of wooden toys from the brand Wonderworld which were sent out by DKL.

The first was a wooden Police Car. This was an immediate hit as Little Man has just become fascinated by anything with wheels – hence the garage this Christmas. Its a great size for a toddlers hands and he drives it all round his bedroom, and quite often throughout ours.
The figure is fixed which is ideal because otherwise he’d be out and under some furniture never to be seen again. There is a hinged flap on the back which you can lift up and put your prisoners in – we often find Happyland figures hanging out the back! Its a nice sturdy little vehicle which I think is a great addition to any little boys toy collection.

Next up was a set of Rainbow Sound Blocks. Now I must admit to being a little unenthusiastic by these when I took them out the box. Yes they looked very bright and colourful, but I wasn’t entirely convinced that Little Man would be all that impressed either.

How wrong was I. They were out of the frame within seconds and he has barely put them down since. He doesn’t use the frame they came in – that’s just a handy place for me to store them on the rare occasions we manage to tidy up! – but he spends ages stacking them up, knocking them down, and looking through the coloured perspex. He shakes them around and makes a noise and if you’re really lucky he dances to the beat too. Most mornings during the Christmas break involved him running into our room at 7am, dragging the nearest parent out of bed – generally Daddy, thankfully – and leading them into his room just so he can show the blocks to them. Within minutes he’s back in our room dragging the next parent down so they can see them too. He is fascinated by them. A great sensory toy which has provided Little Man with literally hours of entertainment.

You can learn more about DKL and their toy ranges at their website or by following them on Twitter @DKLToys