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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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Guest Post: Romantic Crafts For Valentines Day

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 30-01-2014

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Valentine’s Day is a couple of weeks off so here are some ideas for romantic crafts you can do yourself for your loved one. A home-made gift can make a greater impression that a shop-bought one, so why not get creative and show your special someone how much you care?

Cards

Okay, so this may seem very obvious and a bit dull, but you would be surprised at the effect a personalised card can make on your loved one. Homecrafts.co.uk has lots of choice when it comes to materials and can also give you some inspiration if you’re stumped for ideas. A hand-written poem inside a card adds a personal touch and you can even pick something witty or funny if sappy sentiments aren’t your thing. If you’re feeling really ambitious you can make your own card from scratch and add a photo, child’s drawing or even mementoes of your first date, such as movie stubs or pressed flowers.

Photo frames/albums

Giving someone a photograph as a present is special enough, but if you really want to go for gold, you can try making a personalised photo frame or album to match. Using your loved one’s favourite colours, shapes or decor styles, you can create a wonderful gift that shows that you put both thought and effort into their present. If you can, try to match the frame to the picture to really bring home the personalised touch. If it is a snap of you and your beau on a sunny beach, why not decorate your frame with seashells, sand and blue glass beads?

Mementoes

Most of us have specific memories when it comes to our loved ones, whether it is a first date, anniversary, favourite song or a funny story, and you can use this knowledge to make them a really special gift. Gather your treasured mementoes and place them in a frame to create a stunning collage that charts your relationship, or decorate a keepsake box for your loved one to keep their special memories inside. This is a gift that truly embodies the saying ‘it’s the thought that counts’ so make yours count with a memorable gift.

Food and drink

Food and drink are not only essential parts of our daily lives, they are also sumptuous, decedent, stimulating and relaxing. Cooking together and eating together is a pleasure many couples share so get in on the fun! Create a personalised picnic hamper containing all of your loved one’s favourite treats – it doesn’t matter where you choose to enjoy them as long as you do it together. And if they also enjoy cooking food as much as they do eating it, why not try cooking something new and exotic together instead of ordering your usual takeaway?

Office romance

While your special someone is away all day at their office while you work at yours, treat them to a gift that they can look at all day long when they are missing you most. An office desk gift is sweet and simple and is a lovely, subtle way to say ‘I love you’. A small picture frame, a hand-made pencil pot or a personalised photo calendar are all practical and romantic gifts that should make your loved one’s desk a better place to be stuck at all day.

This article was written by freelance writer and mother of three, Kathryn Thompson.  Follow her on Twitter: @katht35

Review: Valentines Chocolates By Genevie

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Foodie, Product Reviews | Posted on 10-02-2013

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Valentines Day is just a few days away, and if you’re looking for a last minute gift for your loved one, you can’t go wrong with a delicious box of Belgium chocolates. If you want something that is not only delicious but convenient too, you can’t go wrong with Chocolates By Genevie.

 

The red box with cute heart shaped window is the perfect choice, as it can be delivered direct to your valentine and fits easily through their post box. Its well packaged so all the chocolates remain intact, and you can include an optional gift card for that special message. Included in the box are 12 Belgium chocolates – nougat, pralines, truffles, marzipan, and my favourite, pineapple and coconut – which my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed testing out. There was a lovely range of flavours and each was as delicious as the last. I much prefer plain chocolate to boxes of flavoured offerings – I’m a Dairy Milk kind of girl really – so my husband never buys me boxes of chocolates. He tends to end up eating most of them himself. With these he did have to wrestle a few off me. I loved the pineapple and coconut one the most – I do like a nice Pina Colada – and the fruit flavours mixed nicely with the chocolate.

Chocolates By Genevie have a great range of boxes of chocolates available which are ideal for this Valentines Day, and with prices starting at just £9.95 they won’t break the bank either. You can find this box, and many others, on the Chocolates By Genevie website.

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.

Product Review: Swizzels Matlow’s Lovehearts

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 07-02-2012

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Love is in the air…

Yes Valentines Day is just around the corner – its next Tuesday all you men out there – so you’ve no doubt spotted that your local card shop has had an explosion of red and pink inside it. Some of you might be wondering what to get your other halves, or maybe are after some inspiration for keeping the children entertained. Well Swizzels Matlow sent me a goody bag of their new Lovehearts collection, released in time for Valentines Day, to take a look at.

First up is a Limited Edition Tin of Mini Love Hearts. The Love Hearts in the tin are about half the size of the traditional ones, but still contain all the usual cute phrases and terms. Next came a tube filled with mini packets of full sized Love Hearts. The tube bears the “I Love You” text down the side. Both ideal gifts for that special man or woman in your life.

We also received a pack of four giant rolls of Love Hearts, again in their full size. Now whilst I don’t think these make particularly interesting gifts as they are, I decided to try something with them that will hopefully keep your children entertained, and be fun at the same time.

Now who doesn’t love a cupcake? I made a tray of mini cupcakes complete with buttercream icing and adorned them with Love Hearts. Perfect if you’re hosting a party for Valentines Day or perhaps your children want to use them as gifts to their sweethearts? Or maybe you just want to eat them yourself! Whatever your excuse, they take no time at all and taste delicious. Little Man certainly enjoyed his… minus the Love Heart of course.

You can view and buy the entire Love Hearts range from their website.