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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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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!

 

Join the #PeppaThemeParkParty

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Information | Posted on 22-03-2013

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The afternoon of Tuesday 26th March will see Twitter come alive as parents join in with a Peppa Pig Party. The party is going to be promoting the new Theme Park toy range, which features all the rides and attractions you’d find at Peppa Pig World in Paultons Park. There’ll be prizes and goodies to be won and lots of fun throughout the afternoon, so make sure you are following @UKMUMSTV and following the hashtag #PeppasThemeParkParty for all the latest news, and to take part on the day.

I’m going to be tweeting from Peppa Pig World itself where I’ll be taking part in a party with fellow bloggers, friends, and of course the children. I’m sure Little Man will have a great time and I’m really looking forward to playing with all the new toys with him. Its sounding like a really fun day with a great party atmosphere. I’m so looking forward to joining the party, and I hope to see some of you there too. Get tweeting!!

Product Review: Packard Bell Easy Note TV Laptop

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews, Tech Review | Posted on 02-10-2012

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As a busy blogger my laptop is probably the most important piece of kit I use. Yes I use my phone to take photos and send and receive emails, but when it comes to sitting down to do the major parts of my work – writing the blog posts, researching products, making first contact with PR’s, scheduling tweets – that is all done from my laptop. So you can imagine my distress when my laptop slowed to a practical stop a few weeks ago. Thankfully my in-laws had a spare laptop they weren’t using – don’t ask my why – so I’m currently using that until we sort out a new one for me. In the mean time I was contacted by the team at Packard Bell asking if I’d like to review one of their new models. This seemed an ideal opportunity to try-before-you-buy, or at least take a look at what is out there.

I was sent a black Easy Note TV laptop to test out. When it comes to choosing the best laptop for me it needs to be comfortable and easy to type on. The keyboard is nicely spaced out – no danger of hitting the wrong keys when typing at speed – and the palm rest area is a good size. The touchpad is 20% bigger than on other laptops of this size and is “multi-gesture” which gives you complete control.

The screen is 15.6″ HD display which makes it bright and clear which is essential when you’re staring at text on a screen for hours on end. Its not the greatest screen for videos or gaming, but websites and text documents are beautifully clear. The sound isn’t the best I’ve heard, but if you want a bit of music playing whilst you work, its absolutely fine.

As a blogger I am a keen and frequent user of social media, so I must admit that the feature which excited me the most was the “Social Networking Key.” Just one tap of this button and you are instantly connected to your social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Youtube. Social media is an essential tool for bloggers so this is a great function.

If you are after an all-singing and all-dancing high-tech piece of equipment which you can do multiple things on at once and play the latest games on, this might not be the right choice for you. If you are a blogger like myself who needs fast internet access, a good clear screen for reading text and writing, a comfortable keyboard, and super fast access to your social media, then this definitely is the laptop for you. It was a joy to use and work on and is one I may well consider getting myself when we take a proper look at whats out there in the new year.

The Packard Bell Easy Note TV has a RRP of £399 and can be found at all good laptop retailers.

Product Review: Little Helper Fun Pod

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 07-09-2012

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My love of baking and cooking is hardly news, especially with the number of cook books I’ve been featuring recently. Its also not news that I really want to get my Little Man involved and the best product to help me do that is the Fun Pod from Little Helper.

The Fun Pod is designed to stand beside your kitchen bench or sink and allow your child t0 stand safely in it and “help” with the cooking, baking or washing up. As you can see above it has five adjustable height levels so that as your child grows they are still safe. When not in use it fits neatly underneath your bench. It has a handle on either side for carrying it around – empty of course! – and also for moving it into position. Every time I go into the kitchen with Little Man nowadays he goes straight to the Fun Pod and tries to get it out, so its clearly a winner with him.

As you can see from the photos we’ve had a lot of fun using it. Little Man “helped” me bake a Lemon Drizzle cake and greased the tin for me – a job he took very seriously. We do also have the occasional “Flour Incident” when he gets just a little carried away with his mixing. Sadly I can’t seem to tempt him into wearing an apron! Once we’re done baking he is always keen to help wash up which is fantastic for me, though I tend to just let him loose with a few spoons and plastic plates. I promise you he is not about to eat that foam, despite how that photo looks!!

The Fun Pod is the ultimate kitchen accessory if you want to get your children baking with you. Compact, light weight and so easy to build, it is a much safer alternative to standing them on a chair with you. Getting them involved with baking also keeps them entertained and allows you time to get on with what you’re trying to do.

We were sent the brand new Walnut Fun Pod for the purposes of this review. With modern kitchens becoming much darker in decor the team at Little Helper wanted to make sure the Fun Pod complimented the kitchen it was in instead of clashing or being something of an eyesore.

Competition!

I have a brand new Walnut Fun Pod to give away to one lucky reader, and entering is simple.

1. Head over to the Little Helper Facebook page and click “Like” then write on their wall telling them that Sussex Mummy sent you.
2. Follow Little Helper on Twitter and send them a Tweet including my Twitter handle @SussexMummy.
3. Either of these will gain you ONE entry into the draw. Once you’ve done one or both of these things come back to this page and write a comment below telling me how you’ve entered.

The competition closes at 8pm on Friday 5th October 2012 and winners will be notified via Facebook or Twitter once the draw has taken place.

 

Product Review: Stuck On You Height Chart

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 31-07-2011

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Acknowledging milestones in your babies life is all part of parenthood, and watching your little baby grow is one of the greatest. Being able to record these milestones is essential, and thanks to the people at Stuck On You doing this is not only easy but fun.

My fellow CyberMummy attendees will recognise Stuck On You as the people who supplied the cute ‘Blogger Survival Kits’ in CyberMummy Central. Well Stuck On You sell a veritable supply of stickers, labels and personalised items for all manner of things, and they were kind enough to send me a personalised height chart to sample. Supplied ready to hang the height chart is personalised with your little one’s first name and date of birth, making it a perfect keepsake.

Isn’t it just gorgeous? From a choice of over 20 designs each height chart comes with a set of co-ordinated stickers to mark your little one’s height over the years.

The quality of the height chart blew me away. High quality fabric and beautifully thought out stickers makes this a gorgeous addition to any child’s bedroom, and will last for years to come.

Height Charts cost £29.99 and are available from the Stuck On You website.

Website: http://www.stuckonyou.biz
Twitter: @StuckOnYouTweets
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stuckonyouofficial

Elastoplast ‘Adventures 4 Kids’ Launch Event

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 21-07-2011

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A rather posh London hotel was the venue for Elastoplast’s ‘Adventures 4 Kids’ campaign launch today, which is being fronted by naturalist Nick Baker of, amongst other things, CBBC fame. Nick is hugely enthusiastic about adventures and out door play having spent his early years “learning in the woods.” He now takes great pride, and amusement, in the fact that he gets to be a “professional 10 year old.”

In a world where televisions, computers and games consoles provide constant distraction for children from a steadily younger age traditional adventures are becoming a thing of the past. Parental concerns about the safety of their children, their own increasingly hectic schedules and the current economic downturn means that a startling 85% of children crave more “adventure” in their lives, according to a recent survey by Elastoplast. Camping in your own back garden, scavenger hunts and rambling through the woods is just not done anymore, but Nick Baker is out to change this.

Children getting cuts and scrapes is all part of this campaign – as is patching them up with Elastoplast products – but Nick sees this as a key part of childhood. When talking about his own little girl – and believe me the scrapes she gets into rival her fathers – he is hugely passionate about encouraging her to get out there into and experience an adventure. She is often adorned with cuts and scrapes but he believes that once she’s done it once she learns not to do it again. An incident with a stair gate now means she respects the stairs and won’t be falling down them a second time. Bumps and bruises are an integral part of childhood. “Our bodies are our tools for adventure” according to Nick, and for him every scar tells a story.

And that’s where Elastoplast comes in. They want your children to tell their own “Elastoplast Stories” and recreate their own adventures and cuts and scrapes online. Using a multitude of plaster shapes they can build their own story-boards and make their own version of the new Elastoplast advert. The top five stories will win a family adventure to Greece, and for the first 1000 stories submitted to the website, Elastoplast will donate £5 to children’s charity ‘Over The Wall’. This charity provides life changing experiences and adventures for children with serious illnesses who often spend all their time in hospitals and never get the chance for their own adventures.

Now whilst my little man is a bit young to fully appreciate the world of adventures and cuts and scrapes – despite repeatedly banging his head on the floor – meeting with and listening to Nick talk so enthusiastically has certainly given me food for thought. We are already members of the National Trust – which Nick is a Ranger for – and visit Petworth House when we can. This is something I want to ensure we continue into the future. I want to get my little boy interested in the world around him, whether it be trips to places like Petworth House or Pulborough Brooks, or just rampaging around in his own back garden (when we get a house with one!). I don’t want my little boy glued to the TV set or the latest games console. I want him out there in the fresh air, climbing trees and creating his own adventure. And for him to know that Mummy will always be waiting for him back at home with a box of plasters and a cuddle.

Head over to the Elastoplast website for more information including downloadable Adventure Packs and details on the Elastoplast Story-Teller competition: http://www.elastoplast.co.uk

Nick Baker can be found on Twitter at, rather appropriately @bugboybaker

Product Review: Ella’s Kitchen – First Tastes

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 13-07-2011

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 A second review now from one of my favourite – and little man’s too – baby food brands. As you all know from a previous post Ella’s Kitchen is much used and much enjoyed in our house. There organic food pouches provide a brilliant range of flavours and tastes for your little one, right from the start of weaning up until Stage 3 and even beyond with their lovely range of snacks. I was delighted to again be giving the opportunity to sample and review their products when I was contacted about their new “First Tastes” range.

First Tastes is a range of super smooth pure fruit pouches. They have just one single flavour so are perfect for those first tentative steps into weaning when you don’t want to overwhelm your little ones sensitive pallet. As always with Ella’s products they contain only organic ingredients and none of those nasty additives or E numbers that we want to avoid giving our little ones.

Now my little man is almost nine months old – he will be on Friday in fact – so is long since past the days of weaning. He began his big adventure into solids at 16 weeks so is a little old to appreciate First Tastes as just that. What I’ve found though is that mixed with yoghurt for his breakfast or frozen into cubes and put into his Nuby Nibbler as an ice lolly or teething relief he adores them. We’ve only tried the apple version so far but I’m ready with a batch of fruit cubes in my freezer for when the heat wave starts again, or when the teething reappears. When he’s a little older and has a few more teeth I will also add it to cereal for him to munch through, or he could have it as a simple snack or dessert. The possibilities are fairly endless.

First Tastes are available in four delicious flavours: Apple, Pear, Mango and Banana. If you head over to their website now you can win the chance to sample these new flavours for free.

Find out more over at the Ella’s Kitchen website, or follow them on Twitter and ‘Like’ them over on Facebook.

Website: http://www.ellaskitchen.co.uk
Twitter: @EllasKitchen
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ellaskitchen

Product Review: Shelta UV Protector Beach Mini Tent

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 09-07-2011

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With the recent heat wave that came – and went! – with a bit of a flourish in recent weeks I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of the sun safety products that are available to protect your little ones. Using the brilliance of Twitter I found myself in contact with KoolSun who sell a variety of sun safety products including clothing, sunglasses, wet suits and lotions. The product I was donated to review was their Shelta UV Protector Beach Mini Tent, which originates in the much sunnier Australia. 

The tent is made using durable fibreglass framing covered by a fabric which provides UPF 50+ sun protection for your little one. The flooring is water resistant – always a bonus with babies – and pegs are included to ensure it’s anchored securely. There are also sand pockets around the sides for added security. The tent measures 120cm square and at its peak is 90cm high. Weighing in at 1.4kg and packed in a handy storage bag it can easily be carried around with the rest of your beach items.

The website and the packaging of the tent tells me it has “Quick and Easy Operation (Opens and Closes in seconds)”. Now I’ve never been particularly good with tents so I thought I’d see just how “easy” it was to put up. I did this in my parents back garden with no help from my husband or my parents – they were all too busy fussing over the little man!

Unpacking the tent was hardly difficult. I will admit that I didn’t find the instructions until after I’d put it up – they are sewn into the storage bag so you don’t lose them, or in my case so you can’t find them!!

Here are the included pegs should I have needed them, which I did. Good old windy British summer weather!!

Looks a bit like an umbrella doesn’t it? Now there were a few labels on the frame telling me to “Pull” and “Push” so I gave it a go.

 
 

Phenomenally easy to put up even without reading the instructions. All that was needed was a small mallet to secure the pegs into the ground. This was the point when I went to find my little volunteer to show just how big this tent is. 

 

My little man is a rather tall nine month old and as you can see he could fit several of his mates in there with him. As you can see the doors roll back and can be fixed to allow ventilation, which is essential should we ever get a hot day again!

 
 

On either side of the tent are roll up windows to allow views but to maintain protection from the elements. The eagle eyed amongst you will be able to see my little man peering out the window at me!! Putting it down was even easier. I literally had to push down where it told me too and the tent collapsed before my eyes.

Sun protection for babies is vital, and this tent provides that perfectly. As you can see it works just as well in a garden as it would on a beach or in a park. I have even put it up in my lounge and given my little man a fun den that I’m sure he’ll enjoy for many years to come. I hope to get a photo of the tent full of some of his NCT baby friends, and I will post that at a future date.

The featured tent is available from the KoolSun website and retails at £40.85

Website: http://www.koolsun.co.uk
Twitter: @KoolSunKidz
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KoolSun

Product Review: Tommee Tippee Wrap&Go

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 05-07-2011

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Tommee Tippee is a brand that has been used by us since our baby was born. Bottles, sterilisers, dummies, breast pumps, bowls, spoons, nappy bins, the list is endless. My husband and I often joke that our little man is practically sponsored by Tommee Tippee with the amount of their produce he owns!! It’s one of the brands I definitely trust and love, and am therefore always looking out for their new additions. The lovely people over at Tommee Tippee were kind enough to offer me one of these new additions to take a look at, and I of course jumped at the chance.

Tommee Tippee Wrap&Go is basically a dispenser for nappy sacks for when you’re out and about, or you could even use it at home. Doesn’t sound exciting does it? Believe me – its brilliant. The surprisingly cute dispenser attaches neatly to a changing bag so that nappy sacks are always to hand. I’m sure I’m not the only Mum whose changed her little one only to discover she’s run out of sacks, and I refuse to just toss the dirty nappies in the bin.

The sacks themselves are antibacterial and kill 99% of germs on contact and also have a fresh lemon fragrance. Now the fragrance is a little overpowering, but to be fair they smell much better than the average dirty nappy! What I love about the sacks is the bright colours – why should nappy changing be dull – and the feel of them. A lot of nappy sacks are flimsy plastic bags that I am eternally nervous about tearing. These are thicker and clearly not going to leak.

The Wrap&Go Dispenser costs £4.99 and comes with two rolls of sacks.
Refill sacks – each roll containing 15 sacks – are also available in packs of three for £4.99.

For further information please go to:
http://www.tommeetippee.co.uk/department/wrap_and_go

Follow on Twitter at: @tommeetippee_UK

Bandana Bib Reviews: Sa~Be Baby Wear

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 30-06-2011

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 Next up on the bandana bib reviews – yes there are even more brands out there than even I imagined when I started this – is a lovely bib from Sa~Be Baby Wear. Sa~Be have been manufacturing their bibs since 2008. Here’s my little man modelling their camouflage design – specially requested by me because it matches his sunglasses. Yes, I am weird.

Another shaped bib designed to fit snuggly under the babies chin, this bib is made from a super absorbent top layer and a soft fleece backing protects clothes from dribble. Air circulates through the fleece layer ensuring fast drying from dribble and also after washing. This bib has been through the wash several times since it arrived and does dry incredibly quickly. My only problem with this bib is the poppers. There is only one set so there is no room for growth. This bib fits my little man well now, but I don’t see it continuing to do so.

Sa~Be bibs cost £2.95 each and postage is incredibly reasonable at £1 for up to 3, £2 for up to 6, £3 for up to 9 and so on.

Sa~Be bibs can be bought from their official website, or they have agents up and down the country who can sell to you direct. Full details of which can be found on their website, along with their lovely range of baby carriers – something they are very passionate about.

Website: http://www.sabebabywear.com
Twitter: @SaBeBaby