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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: Pink Lining Bramley Tote Bag

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Pregnancy, Preparing For Baby, Product Reviews | Posted on 03-09-2014

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I am addicted to bags. Since having my first son this addiction shifted slightly to include changing bags, and looking at the changing bag market whilst I was pregnant with my second son I saw things had come a long way. Changing bags no longer looked like changing bags. They looked like handbags. This excited me greatly. Now I did spoil myself somewhat after Little Dude’s dramatic arrival and bought myself a rather pricey changing bag which is just gorgeous. Prior to that however I arranged with Pink Lining to test drive one of their famous Bramley Totes.

Pink Lining has been a hugely popular changing bag brand for a very long time. Their “Yummy Mummy” bags must be one of the most instantly recognisable bags on the market, but if I’m truly honest they never really appealed to me. I wanted something a little more subtle from my changing bag, and something a bit less obviously a changing bag. When I fell pregnant with Little Dude I was rather excited at the chance to get a new changing bag, generally ignoring my husbands protestations that we had several in the loft and was I crazy. The bags in the loft were not going to suffice – I had two children now. I needed to carry all those baby essentials around with me – nappies, wipes, bibs, muslins, bottles, milk cartons, spare clothes… – as well as any bits and pieces my eldest might need – sonic screwdrivers, pine cones, interestingly shaped leaves, sticks for daddy… – and occasionally maybe even things for me – purse, keys, phone, headache pills…! You get the idea. There is a veritable mountain of stuff. I needed a much bigger bag.

Bramley Tote bags are very much similar to a TARDIS – yes, I live with a three year old Doctor Who obsessive. It rubs off. Its HUGE on the inside and stores so much more than you might expect. I get insane amounts of stuff in there, and more often than not to the point where lifting it becomes tricky. But that is not a problem thanks to the nifty straps. They attach to the bag with a clip at either end, and you can attach and detach them easily. You can attach them to use the bag as a shoulder bag or, when it gets a little heavy or for pure convenience,  to fasten the bag onto your pushchair. Switching between the two is quick and easy and it is my favourite feature of the bag.

Being a Tote bag it is not technically a changing bag, so it doesn’t come with anything like a changing mat or an insulated space for bottles which you see in most changing bags. This isn’t a major issue for me as I tend not to use included changing mats when I’m out and about as everywhere I go tends to have a dedicated changing area with no need for a separate mat. In the past week I’ve just loaded up my Designer Change Mat from Munchkin and chucked that in my bag. This fits easily, and still allows plenty of room for the boys’ bits and pieces, as well as my own. There’s even space for small bits of shopping.

I’ve used this bag now for about a month. I’ve used it most days when I go out with the boys, whether that be to the shops, the park, the garden centre, or to visit Nana and Pops. I’ve also used it when I’ve nipped to the shops without either child, effectively using it as a handbag. The design which I went for was the Cream Bows On Navy print. Its a truly beautiful bag and one that works fine with or without the children. In fact the only giveaway that it might be intended for use with small children in the distinctive bright pink lining. I’m sure fans of Pink Lining spot that a mile away.

I love my Pink Lining bag, and at £60 I think its very reasonably priced for something so classy, so well sized and so gorgeous!

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.