Double the Monkey Business

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#parentingscoop Dear Bear and Beany

It is my pleasure to have Laura from Dear Bear and Beany on #parentingscoop this week. I am certain that a…

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Room Decor – The Finishing Touches

Room Decor – The Finishing Touches
I offer some top tips on adding the finishing touches to room decor. What are your favourite things to make you feel at home?

I think one of the hardest things to get right is the finishing touches to room decor.  I find it hard to get the balance right.

We are busy planning our new home and we are constantly talking about what we plan to do. From the big stuff – knocking down walls – to the small stuff – lighting.

I have been thinking about ideas for how we can really finish off the house and I would love to share these with you.

*This is a collaborative post*

Room Decor – The Finishing Touches

Wall Art

Room Decor

It is so easy to brighten up a room with some art.  As we have moved from city to city, we have managed to collect some fabulous art to hang on the walls.  I feel like it tells a story of our life so far.

Wall Stickers

This is a really fun way to brighten up a children’s room, or to add an interesting twist to a plain wall.  What I like about these is that it is fairly inexpensive and easy to change at a later date.  You just need a hairdryer and they peel off, easy!


I am a huge advocate for nice lighting.  I can stare for hours at beautiful lamps and shades. It really finishes off a room. You can really change the look of a room with the ceiling light; retro or glam it is really up to you!


This another obsession … scented candles! I love them and have so many scattered around the house.  There is nothing nicer after a hard day, than lighting a candle and pouring a glass of wine. Bliss!


Family photos of special occasions and those that you care about are so nice to have around the house.  Especially if, like me, you live far away from family.  It is nice to feel that they are close by.



Introducing a mirror to a room is a great trick to make it look bigger.  In our hall we have a large mirror that goes along the wall.  It makes it look a LOT bigger.  I think this is a really useful trick.

So, with all these great ideas in mind, I really need to get removals booked so I can put all my lovely ideas into action.  With a bit of luck we will get that sorted this week, eek!


#CraftyCorner | Month Two | May

#CraftyCorner | Month Two | May

We are onto the second month of #craftycorner !  Laura and I were thrilled to see so many lovely posts link up to use last month!  We would love to get more crafty bloggers out there to link up with us and share their ideas, so would love you to spread the word!


Last month we had some incredible creations link up with us.  Laura’s favourite was Bunny DIY Pom Pom Garland Tutorial by Girl about Townhouse and my favourite was Easy Paper Flower Craft by Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs.  

You can grab our shiny new featured badge:

Double the Monkey Business


So what is #craftycorner?

This is a place to link up all your creative posts and show us your creative flair! We love to see new ideas and to be inspired and cannot wait to see what you link up with.

Any posts with a craft theme is welcome, not just kiddies crafts!

Any posts with vertical images will be pinned as well to give you some extra exposure!

#CraftyCorner is a monthly linky, giving you plenty of time to join us.


Rules – We need to have some rules to make it fair for everyone…

  1. You can link up to 2 posts each month, new or old posts are welcome. Be sure to paste the #craftycorner badge on your post (code below – paste it into the HTML option of your blogging platform)
  2. Please visit and comment on one of Laura’s post’s and one of my post’s.
  3. Comment on at least the post before yours please.
  4. Please use our hashtag #CraftyCorner when you comment so that we all know where you visited from
  5. If you would like us to retweet your posts via Twitter please mention us in your tweets (@dearbearandbean and @von_nee) and include the hashtag #CraftyCorner
  6. Once you link up we will add you to the monthly email reminder. We promise, no spam!

Of course it would be lovely if you commented on more posts, as that is what makes the blogging community so fabulous!

Each month Laura and I will choose our favourite post and feature it in our linky post the following month.


Please add this badge to your post:

Double the Monkey Business


 Thank you so much for joining us, we can’t wait to see your creations!!!


The Pirate Craft Book | Review

The Pirate Craft Book | Review
15 things a pirate can't do without! All on the blog today as we review The Pirate Craft Book. Come and see what this fab book has to offer!

A few weeks ago the youngest of the twin monkeys went to his eye appointment. At the appointment the doctor confirmed that one of his eyes was working harder than the other.  So the wee guy has to wear an eye patch for a few hours a day for the next few months.

I have to admit, I thought this was going to be a nightmare.  How on earth was I going to get him to wear this every day without ripping it off.  I was worrying for no reason.  The brave wee guy instead thought the eye patch was the best thing every.  Why?  Because it makes him look like a pirate!

So when I was asked to review The Pirate Craft Cook from Laura Minter and Tia Williams, I was thrilled.  Perfect timing seeing as I am living with my very own little pirate.

Premise – The Pirate Craft Book

This book is filled with great pirate craft activities.  There is everything your little one could need in this book, you can make a pirate ship cake, treasure map, cutlass and belt.  You can even make Buccaneer Boots which the boys are hugely impressed with.

I have to say there is one particular craft that we have to try out though.  Building a pirate ship from cardboard boxes. We move house in two months, so I think we will have plenty of boxes, I could see me making one each for them! Don’t worry I will share it on the blog!

There is so much to do in this craft book, you can look like a pirate and have all the kit that you need.

Twin Thoughts

D: “I am so excited to move to London and have my very own pirate ship.  I want to paint it purple”

L: “I like the cake, can we make the cake?”

My Thoughts

I love this book, it is such a fab idea and gives me plenty of ideas for things to do with the boys over the next few months.  We may have to have a pirate themed birthday party!

A little bit about Laura and Tia

Laura and Tia are two creative and inspiring mums based in Brighton.  They started out with a blog: Little Button Diaries, which led to working with Hobbycraft and Paperchase, as well as winning awards.

In 2016 they launched their books, combining their two great loves, crafting and children!  Ladies after my own heart.


You can purchase this fabulous Pirate Craft Book (written by Laura Minter and Tia Williams) from or you can call 01273 488005.  Books cost £6.99 each.

Details of the books are: The Pirate Craft Book, ISBN: 9781784943288, Publisher GMC Publications, Publication Date: April 2017.

There are other books available in this series: The Princess Craft Book, The Knight Craft Book, Mini Makers and The Big Book of 100 little activities.

The Pirate Craft Book





Helping your little one with Read with Fonics

Helping your little one with Read with Fonics

This month I have been speaking to a lovely lady Sophie, who has created a new app; Read with Fonics.

The app is an educational app which helps children to learn and practise all the different phonics sounds to support them with learning to read.

There are 44 different phonics sounds which, once learned, help children to unlock new words and learn to read them. The app uses a series of games to help children learn these sounds, one by one.

Sounds good right?

I have to admit it sounds even better for me.  My boys start school in September which is incredibly exciting – school places confirmed and everything!

The problem we have is that they have not been in a pre-school setting, as they currently attend a German kindergarten.

They have the added problem of their mum not really knowing enough about how to teach phonics to help them out!

So I have been concerned that they would be a little behind some of the other kiddies when they start school.  So this app has come at a perfect time for us.

The app is a fun and creative way to learn phonics.  The boys played with it for ages when we were testing it out.

I helped them at first but soon realised they didn’t need me to watch over them.  They were perfectly capable of doing it “all by self.”

In fact I was astounded as to how much they knew.

I was astounded by how much they picked things up by following the steps on the app.

There are four levels to explore, each with different levels of difficulty.  We started off with the water level first, the easiest of the four levels.  Within the levels they have sections they need to follow, starting with the letter ‘a’ they entered the app to then take on 7 fun activities based on that phonics sound.  I was amazed as they matched short words to the pictures.

They took it in turns and did it together, which rarely happens.  Usually all I hear is “It’s my ipad!”.

Read With Fonics

The boys lived for the alien cheers at the end of the level, giggling every time.  I am going to be honest, I truly don’t think they realised they were learning anything.  To them it was just a fun game.  Which, at nearly 5-years-old is the best way to do it.  Learning and having fun!

The Read with Fonics app is available on the Google Play, App Store and Amazon. The full version of the app which allows access to all four levels costs £7.99.

I received the full version of the app in return for sharing a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.