Double the Monkey Business

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Walking Wounded – Book Extract

I have a little something different on the blog today, as I have an extract from new book Walking Wounded.…

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Itty Bittys | Batman Vs Superman Review

Itty Bittys | Batman Vs Superman Review
The boys have been reviewing the new Itty Bittys range from Hallmark. Which has worked well with their Batman and Superman obsession!!!

Like most children, the boys are obsessed with superheroes – in particular Batman and Superman.

When they play D is batman and L is always superman, when dressing up or role-playing.  They also had a lot of fun the other week reviewing the Lego Marvel Super Hero series.

“How does Batman’s mum call him in for dinner?  

Dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, batman.”

They had little batman and superman t-shirts, when they were newborns.  We managed to keep it up and every time they grew out of their clothes, we replaced the batman and superman attire.  As they have got older it has progressed with fun capes and onesies being added to the equation.

Cinema Antics

A few weeks ago we decided to be brave and take the boys to the cinema for the first time.

What did we go to see?  The Lego batman movie of course!  We have never been sure if they would sit through a movie before but we had a feeling that they would for this one.  And we were right, the boys loved the excitement of putting their 3D glasses on and getting to choose a bag of sweeties from the counter.  They loved seeing their favourite characters on the big screen.

Lego Discovery Centre

Then… last week we went to the Legoland Discovery Centre, where we saw full-sized Lego batman and superman characters.  The boys squealed with delight when they saw them.

It was a fun day out, however we did have the moment all parents dread.  They fell asleep on the way home – at 4pm!!!!  Which of course meant the boys did not want to go to bed and were awake for hours.  On a Sunday.  Therefore, they were also tired and grumpy on Monday.  Any parent will know the knock on effect this has!

Itty Bittys fun…

Superman and Batman from Itty Bittys

Superman and Batman looking cute

With all this going on in recent weeks, the boys were so excited to receive a new range of soft toy’s – Hallmarks Itty Bittys range – to test out.  You have probably guessed which characters they choose, Batman and Superman of course !!!

The boys have loved these cuddly Itty Bittys characters.  They have taken them to bed with them every night, cuddling the soft toys tight. They are the perfect size for them to have in their school bag for comfort when needed.

The best thing is they have been using them to recreate bit out of the films that they have seen.

The boys have been cuddling their new Itty Bittys superman and batman range

L and D love to snuggle up to their new Batman and Superman from the Itty Bittys Hallmark range

They really are the cutest thing and the boys have been wondering what other toys they have in the superhero Itty Bittys range.

So we had a quick glance online and the answer is more than you can imagine!

They have wonder woman, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Aquaman and green lantern.  The range doesn’t just stock superheroes, they have loads of other characters as well, with just about every Disney and Star Wars character you can think of.

These make fantastic birthday gifts.  At only £6 a toy they are very reasonably priced.

All-in-all, the kids are not going to stop loving these characters any time soon!  The boys can’t wait to watch the proper movies. They will have to wait a year (or ten) before I will allow them to watch the grown up movies.

Shhh… please no one tell them the ending to Batman vs Superman.  I am not sure I will ever get over that!!!

Disclaimer: We were gifted these products in return for providing a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Five Little Doves | #parentingscoop

Five Little Doves | #parentingscoop
I am so excited to have Laura from Five Little Doves on the blog today as part of the #parentingscoop series. #parentingscoop is a guest series for bloggers

I am so excited to have Laura from Five Little Doves on #parentingscoop this week.  I have followed her blog for a long time and she is one of the loveliest people I have come across in the Blogosphere!

Laura blogs openly and honestly about her life.  Her blog covers so much including, parenting, chronic illness, mental health and baby loss.

She was also blog of the day over on Mumsnet last week!

So, without further ado, I will hand you over to Laura….

Five Little Doves Logo

Five Little Doves logo

Bio – Five Little Doves

My name is Laura, wife of one, mummy of 5, writer, blogger and self confessed Dairy Milk addict.

I live in Lancashire with our children – Lewis 12, Eva 4, Megan 3, Harry 2, my husband Gaz and our dog Oscar.

My second son Joseph was stillborn in 2006 and would have been 11 this Summer.

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

When I’m not breaking up arguments or mopping up spillages, you will find me at the laptop, typing away, working on my blog and nosying on social media.

I love writing, always have, and use my blog to document our lives as a family and champion the causes close to my heart – mental health, chronic illness, miscarriage and stillbirth.

When I’m not writing you’ll find me lay on the couch, eating a Wispa, watching trash TV and engaging in my guilty pleasure – reading celebrity gossip on the Daily Mail website…..shhhhh!!!

Five Little Doves - Family picture, as they sit within long grass.

Laura and her family

Tell us about your pregnancy / pregnancies

I have been pregnant twenty times, fifteen of those times resulting in miscarriage between six and thirteen weeks, one of those times in stillbirth, to my son at full term, and four of those times I gave birth to two healthy sons and two daughters.

Understandably, my pregnancies were fraught with worry and I spent a lot of time at the hospital having scans and reassurance. With my youngest three I self injected with Clexane every day of my pregnancy, a small price to pay for a positive outcome.

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

With my eldest I gave birth at our local midwife led unit, where I had the speediest of labours (eleven minutes!) and the most straight forward of births.

I was induced with Joseph the day after he had died, that was a long and gruelling labour, very emotional as you can imagine, and although physically I was fine afterwards, mentally was a different story.

Eva, Megan and Harry were all induced at 35 weeks following abnormal ECG’s and worries about their growth. All were straight forward labours and yet Harry wasn’t breathing at birth. We endured the most traumatic experience of watching the crash team try to resuscitate him. All the more painful given what we had been through with Joseph. Thankfully after a few weeks in neonatal he was home, absolutely fine.

I was more than happy for Gaz to book in for the snip just a few months later!

What were the first few weeks like with a newborn?

With Lewis, as my first, it was a very different experience than with say, Harry, my fifth.

With just one child I was able to sleep when he slept or lounge around in my pyjamas all day after being up all night feeding.

When Harry was a new born I already had a 12 month old, a 26 month old and a 10 year old, all of whom needed me in their own individual ways, and I’ll be honest with you, it was the hardest thing I have ever done!!

The Five Little Doves family 🙂

Do you have any advice for new parents?

My advice would be to trust your instinct.

When I had Lewis, I wish I had listened to my gut instinct more. I was so caught up in doing everything “by the book”. I made myself ill over worrying about following advice from the midwives, the health visitors, from family and friends.

If I had trusted my instinct more and let my baby lead the way, my battle with PND would have been a very different story.

What is your favourite thing about being a parent?

My favourite thing is seeing all of the children together, either snuggled up on the couch, running together in the park, their little heads together plotting my demise.

I waited for such a long time to give Lewis a sibling.  Then three came along at once. I will never tire of that sight, nor of being able to say “my children”.

I am a very lucky Mummy and I never ever take that for granted.

What is your funniest parenting story

My favourite is from our summer holiday last summer. We were on the beach down in Devon and Harry found a stick and kept hitting Lewis with it on the head. “Stick head!!” he kept shouting, although due to him only being two he struggled with the pronunciation of the word. “Stick” came out as something very similar starting with a “D”.

On seeing our hysterical laughter, Megan decided to get in on the action. She spent the remainder of the holiday shouting “D*ckhead!” to anyone and everyone. I was absolutely mortified but it still makes me laugh out loud at the memory!

Laura is kissed on each cheek by her daughters

Laura from Five Little Doves with her beautiful daughters

Thanks you so much for guest posting with us Laura! It has been a pleasure.  Your “stick” story had me giggling!!!

I cant imagine how difficult it was to go through so many miscarriages and to lose Joseph.  You are an inspiration, sharing your story and helping others. 

You can find Five Little Doves 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.


Easy children’s crafts with the letter B

Easy children’s crafts with the letter B

Work with your preschoolers to learn the alphabet! Why not try out these EASY children's crafts with the letter B? We made a bear and a bumble bee!

The boys were busy last week making crafts with the letter B.  It doesn’t seem long ago since we did our letter A, I can’t believe it has been a month already!

We had a few really lovely days last week, where the sun was shining!  We managed to get to the park two days in a row.  However, Friday saw rain, rain and more rain.  So we took advantage of this and baked cakes (which I didn’t get to eat due to No Sugar February!) and did some fun crafts.  We somehow managed to completely wear D out, when I was making dinner, he fell asleep on the couch.  Any parents out there will know what I mean when I say that is my worst nightmare.  When I eventually managed to wake him up, he was 10 / 10 on the grumpy factor!

Anyway, back to our craft afternoon. I let the boys pick an animal to make with the letter B, they chose a bear and a bumble bee.  Good picks and both make use of the googly eyes, which causes so much excitement in our house for some reason!  The boys are googly eyes obsessed,  I blame Mr Maker!

So we have two different crafts for you today on the blog, and I am going to show you how we did it and what the outcome was.

Easy Children's Crafts With The Letter B - Bumble Bee and Bear

Crafts with the letter B!  B = Bear

So first up is daddy bear, as named by D!

What you need:

  • Coloured card
  • Black Pen
  • Googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Something to draw a circle – or freestyle it if you are braver than me!
  • glue

First cut a large letter B out of brown card.  Then cut out three circles for the ears and mouth.  Then some shapes for the hands and feet.

Once everything is cut out, glue them into place.  Then stick the all important googly eyes into place and decorate as required.  It really is as easy as that.  It doesn’t take long to do and the kids can help with the majority of the task (my two needed a little help with the cutting out of the letter.)

Crafts with the letter B!  B = Bumble Bee

  • Coloured card
  • Black Pen
  • Googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • yellow pom poms
  • glue

Once again cut a large letter B out of yellow card. Cut out wings with yellow and black card.  Cut out antennae and a small sting with black card.

Glue all the all wings, antennae and sting into place.  Then, glue the googly eyes and yellow poms poms into place. Then get the black pen to colour in the stripes.

Out of the two I really loved the bumble bee – we were really chuffed with how that turned out!  Although the bear looks pretty cool as well.

When we were doing the task, as with the letter A task, we talked about the letter B.  D was great saying all the different things that started with the letter, ball, bee, banana….

When L was asked what starts with the letter B, he said A – so think he needed a bit more guidance.  Once I said B is for ball, he then went onto name the usual suspects that start with B.

Next on the list is the letter C, the boys are both adamant that this should have something to do with cats.  So I need to get my thinking cap on !

If you enjoyed this craft, the please check out our other crafts and activities here:

If there is a particular craft you would like to see, then leave me a note in the comments.  I will speak to the monkeys and see what we can do!


Follow Me Around the House | Children’s Book Review

Follow Me Around the House | Children’s Book Review
This week the children have been reading Follow Me Around the House. This book has gorgeous illustrations and was written by Camille Garoche

This week the boys have been going crazy for a new book that we received,  Follow Me Around the House!  They have been so lucky to be sent this for review and we have spent hours looking at it.  That is no exaggeration by the way!!!

Premise – Follow Me Around The House

follow me around the house book cover

The book sees Siamese cat Luna, show three curious puppies around their new home.

Luna has a wild imagination as she warns the puppies what to expect!  She want to make sure they know about crocodile in the bathtub and horrible beasts in the attic.  But what will the puppies really find?

Follow Me Around the House has an incredible 50 lift the flaps to open and explore.

“Follow me, Follow me. This is the living room.  

Be careful near that old cabinet.

Trust me, trust me… I think it’s full of ferocious spiders.”

Twin Thoughts

D: “First, we have the page with all the doggies, that is so cool.  Then, they have found a spiderweb in a cupboard with is funny.  They find lots and lots and LOTS of stuff. My favourite bit is the attic, because that is when they are having fun.”

L:”I like it!  I like the bathroom page, because I love the ducks that I found.  I like ducks.  ducks are my favourite. The cat is silly!”

My Thoughts

The thing that stands out for me is the illustrations in this book.  They look incredible and have so much detail in them.  Every time you look at this book you see something different!  I love Luna’s incredible imagination, it is just like the boys and I am sure that is why this book captured their imagination.

The flaps encourages children to be fully engaged with the book.  The kids loved exploring and finding out what was really behind the doors and curtains.

It is such a lovely book and probably one of the loveliest books we have read this year.