Double the Monkey Business

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One of the things the boys are most excited about when it comes to Easter is the chocolate!  They have…

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Mibo Book Review

Mibo Book Review

This week we reviewed the Mibo Book Range.  The boys love books. They also love animals.  So I was pretty excited to receive this new set of animal-themed books.

The Polar Pack, The Safari Set and The Jungle Crew are part of the Mibo series.  The books were released in March 2017 through Button Books and are brilliant value for money at only £4.99 each.

Premise – The Mibo Book Range

This fabulous range of books is written by Madeleine Rogers and are filled with colourful and vibrant illustrations.

Each book features five animals and focusses on a different environment, which is explored through rhyme.  I don’t know about other parents, but I much prefer reading books that have a rhyme to them, they seem so much more fun to read somehow and it captures the child’s imaginations more.  I find that the boys remember the words more easily as well, and start to finish sentences for me.

As a parent, I loved that at the end of the book they have some fun additional facts about the animals.  I think this is a fabulous extra touch, and the kids love it as they have a constant thirst for knowledge at the moment!

The Safari Set

Mibo Book Series

The Safari Set’s animals are a hippo, a giraffe (D’s favourite), an elephant, a lion and a zebra (L’s favourite).  This book as you can imagine is a bit of a hit.  They have L’s and D’s all-time favourite animals in this book, so we have read it over and over again.  The book follows the characters, introducing facts about their habits and environments.

“Elephants are really smart, with super sense of smell”

The animals are beautifully illustrated. I was particularly drawn to the illustration of the giraffe, which is my favourite:

The Jungle Crew

This book looks at animals who would live in a jungle setting: a monkey, a tiger, a tree frog, a parrot and a toucan.

Now as you can probably imagine from the title of my blog, I adore monkeys.  Which is probably a good thing, as I also live with two little monkeys!

We have been talking a lot about parrots this week, so it was quite timely that these books turned up when they did.  The boys have been asking their usual questions that make me have to think – quickly – on the spot.  This week the question was “do any animals talk like me”.  Which as you can imagine is how the subject of parrots came up.  So it was really lovely to be able to point them out in the book this week.

The Polar Pack

Christmas and winter is over.  However, the boys are still obsessed with all things snowy and wintery.  This book was perfect as it follows: a penguin, a polar bear, a snowy owl, a walrus and a reindeer.

All kids are obsessed with Santa’s helpers: the reindeer. My two are no exception to this.  They were soooo excited to see reindeers in this book.

Someone in kindergarten also showed them how to walk like a penguin this week, which they have been doing in fits of giggles intermittently throughout the week, so they loved to see the illustrations of penguins in this book.

Twin Thoughts

D: “They are really cool.  Because they have ALLLLLL the giraffes and good tigers too.”

L: “I like the zebras, they are my favourite animal ever.  I like the giraffes like Dylan too.”

My Thoughts

I really loved these bright and colourful books.  They would make a fabulous gift for little ones.  They are board books and wipe clean so they are perfect for even the smallest of children.

I loved that they included facts about the animals, and teaches them about their local environment.  It is always a plus when they are learning new things as they read.

I would definitely recommend this book, particularly for those looking for birthday ideas.

A little bit about Mibo

Madeline Rogers founded Mibo in 2001.   She was keen to create affordable, yet beautifully designed printed homeware products.  This has so far included tea towels, paper animals and greeting cards.  Her trademark bold prints have set this range apart, gaining success in the media.

Where to buy

You can purchase this fabulous Mibo book series (written by Madeline Rogers and published by Button Books) from or you can call 01273 488005.  Books cost £4.99 each.

Details of the books are:

The Polar Pack ISBN 9781908985842
The Jungle Crew ISBN 9781908985828
The Polar Pack ISBN 9781908985835




Social Media Blast – Facebook Page Week – Thumbs Up!

Social Media Blast – Facebook Page Week – Thumbs Up!

There are so many pieces and parts to running a great blog, it’s hard to keep up with it all. Social Media helps you to connect with others, get your posts seen and shared. Are you blogging to yourself? Do you want to be noticed but don’t know how to get there?

Running your blog in a vacuum is a futile process. “Build it and they will come” is just a line from a movie. Instantaneous Stardom rarely happens in real life. You have to be seen to be noticed.

Social Media connects us with others who find value in our posts. It helps to grow our audience and hone our skills. It will put you in the position to be noticed by Brands. Brands who do business with bloggers.

Social Media and Monetizing your Blog

Brands want bloggers that are connected. Not only are they looking for a large following, they search for bloggers who have an engaged following. You may have a million followers on Twitter, but are you interacting with them? If not, you won’t be as valuable to a Brand as someone with 5,000 followers that are interactive.

Building a large, committed platform can take years. It’s a lot of work and it takes a concentrated effort. Let’s work together to speed it up a bit.

Meet your hosts:

Social Media Blast. Thursday at 9 PM EST Bloggers working together to grow our social media platforms. Brands are looking for large, engaged communities, let's work together to grow and prosper.

Nikki from View From In Here Jessica from Adventures of a Cavemom
Lindsey from Lindsey Tradup Yvonne from Double the Monkey Business
Rena from Fine, Whatever Blog Gidget from Mommy Perfect
Leah from Elm Photo Studio Leanne from Smiles and Sundays
Tinese from Inspired by A3  

Social Media Blast

We have partnered together to bring you the Social Media Blast. Each week we will feature a different social media platform, link up your account and follow the others in the linkup. Your social media numbers will grow, but follower growth is just one part of the equation. We can help you with the numbers, it’s up to you to make the connection.

When you are clicking through to each social media account in the linkup, take some action. Like a few status updates, comment or share. Make a connection.

If you are working to make yourself attractive to Brands, size does matter. Honest. Brands want to work with Bloggers, make them take notice of you, take action and grow!

Grow Big and Grow Quickly

In order to grow quickly and begin making money from your blog you need to build your platforms.  The quickest way to grow is to join with other bloggers, working together to build each other. Add your link below, follow and be followed! Let’s work together and make 2017 a phenomenal year.

Social Media Blast will be live on all of our Blogs each Thursday, giving you the opportunity to hang out with us and meet our Social Media Following.

There will be a different Social Media Platform for you to build each week, we will focus on the platforms Brands and Sponsors like to see. This is where the Blog Karma sets in, the more people you follow, the more that will follow you.

Social Media Blast Requirements

ONE Add the link to your Social Media Account. It must be a Public account or Facebook PAGE not personal.

TWO Follow everyone in the linkup, come back later in the week to follow those that have joined after you. This linkup will be open for a week, so come back and follow more as the week goes on, and get followed back!  This is not a link dump, if you aren’t following others your link will be deleted. Thanks.

THREE Share. Click to Tweet. The more people that link up, the bigger we all grow.

Social Media Blast. Thursday at 9 PM EST Bloggers working together to grow our social media platforms. Brands are looking for large, engaged communities, let's work together to grow and prosper.

This week is Facebook week.

Make sure you are adding your Business Page to the linkup and liking or following all the pages with your personal account, likes from a Business Page do not raise your follower count! When I like someone from the linkup I will leave them a message that I found them here so they will make sure to follow my Business Page back. Blog Karma! 

To find the URL to your Facebook Page, open up Facebook, click on your business page and copy the URL.

Yours should be similar. 

By the way, share this, let’s reach out to as many bloggers as we can, we’ve made it easy to Tweet above. Let’s make 2016 a year for blogging community!

PS did you know that Brands will pay you good money to post their products on Facebook? The larger and more involved your Facebook Following the more money you can be paid. Let’s get some dollars in your pocket! 


#parentingscoop Cuppies N Cream

#parentingscoop Cuppies N Cream

This week on #parentingscoop we have the lovely Natalie from Cuppies n Cream. So grab a cuppa and read about her pregnancy / parenting journey

This week on #parentingscoop, we have the lovely Natalie from Cuppies n Cream sharing her pregnancy and parenting journey with us.

Natalie runs a blog Hello Cuppies and a business Cuppies n Cream.  They are well worth checking out if you have a sweet tooth (like me!).

So let me pass you over to Natalie as she shares her story with us.

Bio – Natalie at Cuppies n Cream

Natalie and Coby - Cuppies n Cream

Coby and Natalie

I’m a Mum to 11-year-old Coby and 11-year-old step-daughter Lucy. I split with Coby’s dad when Coby was three years old and met my current boyfriend – Steve, when Coby was 5. 

There is only a 3-month age gap between Coby and Lucy which is nice and they treat each other just like any other brother and sister.  We have alternative weekend arrangements with the other parents – yes, we get every other weekend to ourselves – it’s bliss and it’s lovely to have our own time too.

Tell us about you when you are not in ‘mummy mode’

I bake a lot! And I teach cake decorating over at The Cake College too.  I love to blog and I find baking cakes and teaching really expands my knowledge and it’s lovely to meet other people too. 

We love to travel and I managed to take six holidays last year! Work hard, play hard is our motto 😉

Tell us about your pregnancy / pregnancies

I was 22 when I had Coby. A young Mum full of energy and positivity.  Once the morning sickness had gone I had the perfect pregnancy and worked right up until one week before my due date. I loved my bump and how people treated you differently – kind of special!

Where did you give birth? Did you have any complications?

I developed pre-eclampsia and was admitted to Reading hospital with a liver and kidney infection too! My idea of a water-birth and no pain medication went right out of the window. 

Still positive and after refusing three inductions (my baby was healthy and I really wanted to start naturally) I gave in and had the pessary, didn’t work so I accepted the drip – BOOM – labour started in full swing. 

20 hours later, still no baby.  Coby’s dad noticed that his heart was dropping dramatically on the heart monitor and went to fetch a midwife.  The next thing I knew I was signing a consent form and was being prepped for an emergency c-section!

At this point I was scared – really scared!

The midwife – and the spinal block with strong gas helped – but I was petrified.  I was asking every question possible and then started talking rubbish. I’d was nil-by-mouth, desperate for food and thought the anaesthetist was a pizza delivery man – very amusing. 

Next thing I knew I had a baby boy who weighed 8lb 15oz and I was so shocked as I was sure he would be a girl.  I couldn’t hold him very well so they balanced him next to me which was lovely and then things started to go wrong. 

I was experiencing extreme pain in my chest and was losing my breath.  Turns out the stitching wasn’t quite right and I was leaking blood up through my diaphragm.  I was put to sleep, fixed up and the next thing woke up in recovery and needed two blood transfusions. 

Writing it all down seems quite dramatic but I actually stayed pretty calm and recovered very quickly.  I was home within three days and had a lovely summer of maternity leave.

What were the first few weeks like with a newborn?

I can’t really remember. Tiring!

I was breastfeeding and he was such a greedy baby he just didn’t stop! I holed up at home and just soaked it all up. 

He was, and I hate to say this, a dream-baby! We lazed and ate – both of us.

Coby - Cuppies n Cream


Do you have any advice for new parents?

Trust your instincts.  So many people will try to tell what’s right and what to do but you know best. 

Your body is trained to do this and your protective instinct will pretty much always be right.  And that ‘sleep when they sleep’ rule – totally do it!

What is your favourite thing about being a parent?

Unconditional love – pure and simple. 

What is your funniest parenting story?

Oh wow – there are so many! From embarrassing shopping incidents, loud farts, grabbing women’s boobs in supermarkets… erm I think I must go with this one:

Collecting Coby from nursery one day the nursery nurse was looking quite sheepish and told me Coby may have a green tinge to him…

Turns out he wanted to be hulk so had taken a pot of green paint to the toilet, stripped naked and painted his whole body!!

What made it worse… two days later I turned up and the same thing had happened again BUT he had a friend this time – who painted himself blue.

All that weekend I kept on having to explain why my son had a green tinge to his face.  Funny looking back, but not at the time!

Thanks you so much for joining us Natalie! I definitely want to hear all about your other stories now, I love that he found a friend to ‘paint with’ the second time around.  That made me giggle.
You can find Natalie from Cuppies n Cream being social here, pop over and say hi:

If you would like to take part in #parentingscoop then leave me a comment below, or email  We would love to have you on the blog.


Easter Bunny Puppet

Easter Bunny Puppet
On the blog we are getting into the Easter spirit and making a super quick and easy Easter Bunny Puppet. Why not give it a try as well?

The boys are very excited about Easter this year, the promise of chocolate and having time off to do fun things is appealing I think!

This weekend we decided to do a couple of easy Easter crafts and baking, which I am going to share with you in the lead up to Easter.  I would love you to try it out at home as well and share your results with me.

We did what we always do when we and thinking about new crafts, I ask the boys what they want to make.  They are in love with rabbits at the moment so it was not a huge surprise for me that D asked for an easter bunny puppet.

We still have loads of paper plates in the cupboard, which you will know if you managed to catch my paper plate animals post.  So it made sense to use these.

What you need to make an easter bunny puppet

Easter Bunny Puppet

What you need:

  • glue
  • scissors
  • googly eyes
  • a paper plate
  • coloured card
  • a pen

We started off with cutting out a circle from the paper plate.  We just cut out the inner circle using safety scissors, so the kids could help.

Then we used the coloured card to cut out a circular face.  I am all about using what you have to hand to help out, so we used a coaster to get the perfect shape.

Cheating… maybe, but I am not very good at drawing ‘freestyle’.

Once that was cut out, we stuck it onto the top of the paper plate.  We then made a face with the googly eyes and used the pen to draw the mouth.  In our craft box, we have lots of little fuzzy balls – sorry I don’t know the technical term – which we used for the nose.

We then cut out ears, with a different colour for the inside.  We glued them together and then stuck them onto the bunny as well.

Then all we needed to do was cut out two little circles for the ‘legs’ – i.e. our fingers – to make the puppet.

Here is the finished product:

D was very happy with his new puppet! However, L wanted to make something a little different.  We will be sharing that on the blog next week.

I would love to see your creations, please tag me on social media or let me know what you are making for Easter in the comments below.