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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: Grand Hotel Eastbourne Spa Day If you are looking for a last minute gift idea for someone in your family, or perhaps you're thinking of spoiling yourself with a trip to the spa in the New Year to help recover from the Christmas madness,...

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Making Christmas Easier With Asda We all want to create a magical Christmas this year for our families, and especially our children. Hopefully you have all got your presents bought - and no doubt some of your efficient enough to have them...

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Starting Preschool With Marks & Spencer

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Back To School, Product Reviews | Posted on 29-08-2013

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One week to go until Little Man’s first day at preschool. I’m sure he’s going to be fine. I hope he is at least. He’s often a bit nervous in new places, but we’ve been to several drop in sessions at whenever we drive or walk past he points preschool out and wants to go in. Whenever we’re there he’s perfectly happy, playing with the toys and running around the garden. I know it’ll be different being there without Mummy there too, but I’m sure he’ll settle in soon enough. The preschool he’s going to is just a small one in the village. There’s no official uniform but there was the option to buy t-shirts with the name and logo on, and jumpers too. Little Man has always been a fan of routine and consistency, doing things to same way and doing the same things with the same person. This is why we decided to get him a couple of t-shirts and a jumper. So he’d have a consistent outfit to wear. So he’d know that it was his day to go to preschool. We were told he could wear anything he wanted on his bottom half – shorts, trousers, whatever. Preschool did request no open toe sandals but otherwise any sensible footwear. When Marks & Spencer got in touch after reading a previous post on here and asked me if I wanted to look at their Back To School Range I wondered whether he should have a specific set of clothes to wear. I wondered whether a uniform of sorts, albeit not official and not compulsory would help with the settling in process. I had a look around on their website and picked out a few items which looked ideal for Little Man’s first day.

Marks&Spencers Back To SchoolFirst up I wanted a pair of trousers. I wanted something that would be hard wearing and long lasting. We’re advised by the school to not put them in anything new when they start as they do a lot of playing in the garden as well as painting and water play. There’s also lots of Playdoh going around. They are bound to get messy/wet/dirty so wearing something new would be a waste. The trousers I chose from M&S have Stormwear+. They repel both water and stains to keep them looking newer for longer. They also have Supercrease. This means the crease down the front stays there, even after washing. No extra ironing for Daddy. The trousers also have adjustable waists. Perfect for my skinny Little Man. The best thing though is that there are no fastenings on them on sizes below 5-6 years. They just pull up. As you know we have just potty trained Little Man – with incredible success, both during the day AND the night – and he is very keen to be independent. He wants to pull his own trousers down and up when he goes to the toilet at home, and I wanted to make sure he could do it at preschool too when I’m not there to help.

Back To School Shoes

Footwear was next on my list. Something smart yet comfortable. Something again which would be hard wearing and which he could take off himself if needs be. Did we mention him being rather independent? Anyway, I found what I hope will be the ideal pair. Black, leather, proper quality soles and scuff resistant. Even better is that they come with Marks & Spencer’s patented Fresh Feet technology so hopefully, even after a day running around like a mad thing, his shoes at least will still be fresh and clean. I’m sure these shoes will become a fast favourite and no doubt he’ll end up wearing them all the time. Another reason I chose them – they don’t look specifically like school shoes.

And finally whilst I was wandering – virtually of course – around the Back To School pages of the M&S website I found socks. All of Little Man’s socks are brightly coloured, socks you’d expect an almost three year old to be wearing. Some have Angrys Birds on and others feature the cast of Toy Story. Hardly the most appropriate for preschool, especially when you’re so smartly dressed otherwise! So I thought a few pairs of plain black socks would do the trick nicely. And what better way than to plump for some Fresh Feet ones. Little Man should hopefully be spending his time at preschool in comfort.

I think we can safely say that clothes and footwear wise Little Man is ready to start his preschool adventure. I hope he loves it. It’ll be very strange not having him here one morning a week, but I can’t wait to see what he gets up to.

Product Review: Tidy Books Bookcase

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Product Launch | Posted on 23-04-2012

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Well it was only a matter of time before my book buying for my Little Man habit got out of control and we needed a better storage solution! Books have previously been piled in the lounge with his toys or in boxes upstairs but they’ve never been very tidy or easy to access for him without causing chaos. How’s this for tidy and accessible:

 

Whilst this is only a fraction of his books there is still loads of room for more on the shelves. With them being nice and deep you can put taller ones towards the back and smaller ones at the front. I love the fact that the books are facing the front so Little Man can see which one appeals and then get it out himself without scattering books across the room.

The bookcase comes flat packed and is so easy to build with the help of the included Alan key and a screwdriver – I managed to build it fully myself even with Little Man “helping” by moving the screws around. The panels on the front with the alphabet on are reversible, so you can have those parts plain and use it for other things when its been outgrown by your little one. The bookcase tilts back against the wall and attaching it is very important to avoid tipping it over – Little Man does try and reach the top shelf the best he can!

I guess the key question is does it work? Well I built it and propped it up against the lounge wall and put a few books on just to test out if the larger ones fit. It didn’t take Little Man long to do this:

That is Little Man reading his favourite “In The Night Garden” book. I can only apologise for the lack of trousers – not uncommon for him at the moment!

A brilliant piece of furniture that would look at home in any child’s bedroom or, as we have it at the moment, in the lounge.

Want to win your own?

Tidy Books Bookcases come in a variety of colours and finishes, and you can win your very own now by clicking here. Competition closes May 11th 2012.

 

 

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.