Double the Monkey Business

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German Christmas Markets

Imagine you are walking through the German Christmas markets. Lights are twinkling all around you.  The smell of sweet bread…

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Christmas is only two weeks away, I can’t quite believe it!  I don’t know about everyone else but desperately need to finish off my Christmas shopping!

This week has been a busy one in the monkey household.  Daddy monkey was away with work all week and I was flying solo.  This had its ups (more cuddles for mummy) and downs (mummy has to do all the cooking and telling off) but we are through it now and daddy is home – phew!

It was a busy week for me on the blog as well as I have been trying to get all my posts written so I can take time off over Christmas.  This had mixed success as I got distracted a lot with editing images (which seems to happen a lot – anyone else?).

The elf has been busy this week, see his post on my blog from yesterday.  That all went smoothly, apart from on Friday morning!  If you want to know what happened, check out my post here.

Oh and I have to mention this:

We have a celebrity among us! 

Oh yes my super friend Gemma at Life at Knutts was having a fun time last week at the Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert in London (jealous!).  Then the next day she found out that the photo she had posted on Instagram had been featured on the NME Magazine website!!  How amazeballs is that!!!!!!!  To see the photo in question check it out here.

Thanks to everyone who took part in #capturingtheday this week.

Keep tagging us please! Everyone is welcome to join in this instagram hashtag. We want to see anything that you feel captures your day.  Gemma  and I love seeing everything you have all been up to.


It is no secret that I love Christmas by now is it?  Anyway, I am sticking firmly with a festive theme!  As all these reflect this time of year so  perfectly.  Love every single one of them.

I have to point out I found it really hard to pick this week, I had more than double this which I picked out and it was so hard to narrow it down!

Instagram Hashtag Week 14 - 4 Images. A little girl in a blue jumper stands in front a fireplace decorated with Christmas lights and snowmen. A close up of little hands hanging up a red bauble on a Christmas Tree. Two girls in wooly hats and a boy stand in front of lots of fairy lights, the boy looking forward, the girls looking at the boy. A little one with his back to the camera, stands at a fence staring at a christmas tree (decorated in red and white) and a reindeer.

From top left (clockwise):

  1. Little Hearts, Big Love: Blog & Instagram
  2. Hot Pink Wellingtons: Blog & Instagram
  3. Way Too Much Luggage: BlogInstagram
  4. Rhyming with Wine: Blog & Instagram


Pop over to Gemma’s blog to find out more about her week. 
Four pics: A little sits looking reflective at her pregnant tummy. Three ladies all glamed up for the office panto. A frozen log with a lake in the background. A grandmother adoringly holds her grandaughters hands.

From top left (clockwise):

  1. Rachael Kellett: BlogInstagram
  2. The don’t want to be working mum: Blog &  Instagram
  3. Life at Cooks Cabin: Blog & Instagram
  4. Little Hearts, Big Love:  Blog & Instagram


Pop over to Gemma’s account to see what she has picked this week.  I love this photo, where the family has went to pick out their Christmas tree, which they have named Bob.


If you are discovering this instagram hashtag for the first time, it is easy to take part.

We want to see a selection of photos, regardless of the topic! So tag #capturingtheday – we want to see variety!

We didn’t want a hashtag that just represented one niche because we want to see them all!  You don’t have to be a blogger to take part, everyone is welcome!

It is so easy to join, next time you post a photo tag us using: #capturingtheday.


Every Sunday we will do a blog post and every week we will feature our eight favourite photos – four each.

These featured images will also appear on our Instagram account with a tag back to your account.

So what are you waiting for?  Join us as we are #capturingtheday.  

Help us spread the word! We want everyone to join in!

I hope you all have a great week, we can’t wait to see what you have for us this week.




Our Instagram Hashtag Community #capturingtheday is on week 14. Pop over to the blog to see find out how to take part.

Doodles the Elf: Week One

Doodles the Elf: Week One

Join us as we share our elf on the shelf ideas. 

Doodles the Elf has been making himself at home in week one!

Last week we welcomed our elf, Doodles back to the family.

It has been a bit of a quiet start for the elf, as week one has flown by in a blur.

Daddy Monkey was away.  Mummy was flying solo and I think the elf knew he had to be kind to mummy (in other words Daddy Monkey has all the bright and inventive ideas!).

So here is what he has been up to in week one, for some elf on the shelf ideas:

Elf on the Shelf Ideas- The elf on the shelf has arrived. 7 photos which shows what he has been up to - description in the blog post.

From top (clockwise):

  1. The elf arrives and brings a note to say hi
  2. Doodles decides to tuck into D’s breakfast box for kindergarten – whoops, D wasn’t hugely impressed with this one
  3. The elf brings cake ingredients and leaves a note that mummy needs to help – thanks for that elf!
  4. Doodles stands guard by the boys boots, as Santa visits and leaves a note.
  5. Doodles decides to tuck into Daddy’s haribos while Daddy was away – cheeky!
  6. The elf plays Daddy’s guitar – don’t tell him…
  7. Doddles decides to is too tired to fly home to Santa and just calls instead

Meanwhile, those that follow my Facebook page may have already seen that this happened:

As you can imagine this was not my finest mummy moment.

Face palm moment!

I really think I need to set a reminder on my phone, to remind him to fly back to Santa each night.  For those wondering how I managed to get out of this particular situation – I told the boys they had woken up too early.  I thought it might set me up nicely for them starting to sleep a little later.  I thought wrong. Anyway crises averted, for now.

Wonder what he will get up to next week? I would love to know what antics your elf has got up to this week.  Please tell me that our elf is not the only one that sometimes forget to visit Santa in the night.

Not an Elf on the Shelf fan?  Why not check out my friend Gemma’s alternative: Deer with a Beer!

*This is not a sponsored post, we already had an elf coming to stay*


Doodles the Elf is making himself at home. Find out what he has been up to #ontheblog and find out the disaster that happened on Friday morning!!!!







Christmas Decorations – Crafty!

Christmas Decorations – Crafty!

We have been getting crafty this week and made some Christmas decorations.  They were so much fun to make I thought I would share them.

Christmas Bauble Decorations

Do you have any christmas decorations that are looking a bit tired? Why not let the kids lose with some paint and make some unique baubles to hang on the tree?

All you need:

  • Paint
  • Decorations
  • Little helpers with paintbrushes and fingers

A little boy dips his finger into orange paint ready to put fingerprints on red baubles. A little boy paints a red bauble white and blue.

We had some baubles that we haven’t used the last few years so we just let the kids paint them.  L used his fingers to make spots and D painted them.

Easy peasy and once dry you can hang them on your tree.

Two red bauble decorations, newly painted and hanging up to try.

P.S. Don’t do what I did. I dropped them on the carpet when hanging them up to dry – whoops!

Frosty the Snowman

I have to admit I cannot take the credit for this fun craft, it was Daddy monkey who came up with the idea.

So all you need is:

  • black card
  • potato cut in half
  • scissors
  • black and orange pen
  • white paint
  • String

A little boy uses a potato to stamp white paint onto black card, making snowman shapes.

So, this is also very easy but you need to do it in two parts.

Part One:

You dip the cut in half potato into white paint and use them as stamps to make snowman shapes on black card.

You need to then leave this to dry completely

Part Two:

Use the scissors to cut out the snowman shape, including a black hat on top.  This saves having to cut out a hat later and sticking it on.  Then use the black and orange pen to make the eyes, nose, mouth and scarf.  Then just thread some string through the hat to hang them up.

Three snowman decorations lined up and ready to be hung up on the tree.

I would love to know how you get on if you try this out.  These crafts are great for a rainy December day.

I love it because I can keep these crafts in years to come, little keepsakes of Christmas 2016.

We made Christmas decorations with the monkeys this week. Check out the blog to see how we made festive snowmen and upcycled baubles for the tree.

Christmas German Tradition: St Nikolaus

Christmas German Tradition: St Nikolaus

This evening sees a lovely tradition in our family, St Nikolaus day.

On the evening of the 5th December children in Germany leave a boot Nikolaus Stiefel (Nikolaus boot) outside their door before bedtime.

In the morning, their boots are filled with sweet treats if they have been good.  However, if they need to work on their behaviour then they will receive a stick.  I guess it is a bit of a hint on whether they have been good or not, giving them a chance to change before Christmas Eve.

To me it seems like no time until C-day. However, the kids have been complaining that it is a ‘big long’ time away. So this nice tradition is a little bit of excitement in the long lead up to Christmas.  It keeps them going and it is so nice to see their faces in the morning.

As a Brit this tradition was pretty new to me, but one that we have embraced.

Leaving out the boots

So last night I gathered the boys and reminded them to leave a boot out.

They were pretty excited, although were feeling pretty confident that they would get sweets.  They met Santa on Sunday, who told them they had been good.

They also wrote out their Christmas list for Santa to take with him.  He is going to get a surprise though, there are a few new items on this list.  I am sure this will cause him a slight panic as I believe Santa has already sorted out their pressies……

Two red boots sit on the floor, with a rolled up christmas list in each. All ready for St Nikolaus

Wake Up Mummy

It was so nice in the morning to wake up and see their faces light up.  They were so excited to see sweets and fruit in their boots.

Two boots filled with sweet treats - bananas and chocolate. A little elf sits by a sign from St Nikolaus which says: "Thanks for your christmas lists. You have been good boys, keep it up!"

Keeping St Nikolaus Going

So I guess the big question is, will we keep this tradition going when we return to the UK?

We certainly plan to, it is a really nice start to December.  The kids love having a little something extra to look forward to.

To see a little bit more of our family Christmas, check out our Instagram page.

I would love to hear of any traditions that you do with your family on the lead up to Christmas.  Let me know in the comments.

Have you heard of St Nikolaus visiting on the evening of the 5th December?  

Do you practice this tradition? 

Do you celebrate St Nikolaus on December 6th?  We talk about this festive tradition and what that means in Germany