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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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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.

Product Review: Mama’s & Papa’s Trek Lightweight Buggy

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Product Reviews | Posted on 23-04-2012

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So Little Man has been walking – alarmingly confidently at that – for a couple of months now, and with summer coming – hopefully – we’ve been considering a second pushchair. Something lighter which he can easily get in to and out of, and something that takes up a little less boot space. We’re going to Devon in a few weeks on holiday so we’re going to need all the boot space we can get for toys and clothes, so we don’t want three quarters of it taken up by a pram he’s becoming increasingly reluctant to stay in.

The range of lightweight buggies seems about as large and daunting as the range of prams was when we bought ours almost two years ago. The prices are often equally scary too – I’m not a cheapskate, especially when it comes to my Little Man, but I’m not paying more for a lightweight buggy than we did for an entire travel system! I wanted something that cost less than £100 and starting thinking I was asking for too much, but we had our “Eureka!” moment in Mama’s & Papa’s – the Trek in Marine Dots.
This lightweight buggy features a five point harness, large shopping baskets, and optional weather pack which contains a rain cover and hood. The backrest is easy to adjust and there are three height options for the harness. It is suitable from 6months to a maximum weight of 15kg, so should easily see us through the toddler years. The buggy costs £45 and the weather pack is £20, making this a very affordable buggy system. The Trek is also available in a pink “Candy Dots” option for the girls. My only criticism is the rain cover – it attaches beautifully using poppers down the side, but it basically only covers from the brim of the hood down the front, meaning that the hood of the buggy itself is still getting wet, as is anything in the shopping basket. Little Man stays nice and dry though!

This is still a brilliant buggy though, and one that is ideal for holidays and days out. Here’s is Little Man modelling just how comfortable it is during a recent trip to Paulton’s Park when it was a little more summer like:

All together now “Awwwww!”

The Trek Lightweight Buggy is available now from your local Mama’s & Papa’s Store, and online.

Product Review: Ellos Clothing

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Fashion, Product Reviews | Posted on 12-04-2012

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I love clothes shopping. It’s something I have always enjoyed since the days of going into to town with my Mum on a Saturday when I was younger. Before I had the responsibilities of mortgages and bills to pay the majority of my wage would go on new clothes, and I was terrible for finding things hanging in my wardrobe months after buying it with the label still attached. It was like buying it all over again as more often than not I didn’t recognise it either! With the arrival of Little Man 18 months ago – how is he THAT old already! – my clothes buying went firmly out the window. Any clothes that I buy nowadays are considerably smaller than they used to be and often feature cute pictures on the front or easy nappy access. When Ellos offered me some of their new range to review therefore, I jumped at the chance to add some new items to my much less full wardrobe.

Nowadays my clothes need to be easy to wash and comfortable – style never really comes into it. I don’t want to look totally dull, but I’d rather wear something that I can just throw in the washing machine when its covered in snot/sick/mashed banana/blueberries then have to worry about hand washing or low temperatures. Given the task “Pick a couple of things from the website…” I was given a fairly free range – within a budget of course – so decided on two items. Firstly I went for this lovely casual double layer effect top:

Made from a nice comfortable stretchy material this long sleeved top is perfect for spring. The sleeves are very long – which I personally love – and come down to my knuckles, but can be easily pushed back (like in the photo above) if you want your hands free and clear. I think the pink colour is great – nice and spring like – and the gathering at the front and the seam along the bust adds a simple detail. This top is going to be well used during the spring and summer, and will definitely be finding its way into my suitcase when I go on holiday. The top is also available in black and white.

The second piece I chose was for my slightly more professional look. As a blogger I get invited to lots of events and try my best to look smart for them. These events are often my “Me Time” and its nice to wear something other  than jeans and a t-shirt, even if its only for a few hours. I’ve been on the look out for some summery “work wear” for a while and was pleased to stumble upon this blouse whilst browsing the Ellos website:

This blouse is nice and fitted but still comfortable. Its a little see through in places – thankfully nowhere rude! – but I might be inclined to wear a cami-top underneath it. The three quarter length sleeves are elasticated at the cuffs so fit neatly around your arm, and have a lace and ruffle detail. I love the ruffles around the neckline and down the front of the blouse and the detailing on the buttons make them stand out, and stop this being just another plain off-white blouse. This blouse looks great teamed with tailored trousers and I think it would also go well with a pencil skirt. If you’re a fellow blogger you’ll probably spot me wearing this blouse at an event very soon! The blouse is also available in light pink.

Ellos has a lovely range of clothes for women, men and children. Take a look now at their 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!!

Fabric Flavours Summer Pop-up Shop at Brent Cross

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 15-08-2011

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Fabric Flavours have a Summer Pop-up shop at Britain’s second largest shopping centre Brent Cross. The shop will be open all Summer and is stocking their entire range. Characters from the designs will also be making appearances at the shop throughout the Summer.

Shop opening hours:
Mon-Friday 10am-8pm
Saturday 9am-7pm
Sunday 12 noon – 6pm

Take a peek at their website to see what you fancy beforehand!!