The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep Review

You may remember way back last year we reviewed the amazing The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep, we are huge fans of using the story to help the monsters relax and fall asleep quickly, but I won't lie sometimes, you know when they have a monstrous week and you are on day 7 of reading the same story it gets a bit boring, both for you and the kids, so when Ladybird got in touch and asked us if we would like to preview the all new story The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep we jumped at the chance! The thought of a new story that did the same thing really appealed to me!

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The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep became a ground-breaking bestseller as parents across the globe
high fived each other at the success the story gave in helping their children to fall asleep at night!

The Little Elephant, features an all-new cast of lovable characters, but has been created with the same objective of helping children fall asleep. Written by behavioral scientist and parent, Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin, and  use all-new child-tested, parent-approved techniques alongside a calming story to help children relax and unwind.

The book tells the story of Ellen the Elephant as she travels through a magical forest that leads to dreamland. Along the way, she meets different sleepy characters and has soothing experiences
that are intended to help children relax and fall asleep quickly. The book aims to alleviate the stress often associated with bedtime routines. Additional content includes tips on how to get the most from the book and answers to frequently asked questions, giving parents the tools to feel confident in creating a calm, soothing bedtime routine that doesn’t take all evening! Hallelujah!!

The monsters have always been good at going to bed, and sleeping, bar the odd night BUT since the clocks went forward in spring, I ain't gonna lie...it has been HORRIFIC! Some nights it can be gone 10 when they have all fallen asleep. We spend some nights constantly going up the stairs go to sleep...go to sleep...GO TO SLEEP! Then during the summer, during a clear out, I found our rabbit book and so bedtimes became a little easier. Until after 3 weeks when they were starting to get fed up of hearing about Rabbit. And by 4 weeks, Jenson had completely refused to even listen to the story, so we were ready for a new tactic, especially with the new school year due to start, so when I received an email asking if we would like to receive a copy of The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep I did a fist pump and savoured in the glory that I, the Mum would be winning again one day soon!

I'll stop beating around the bush and get to the point...did it work? Off course it worked, The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep uses the same kind of distinct language pattern that the rabbit book did and will help your child to relax and fall asleep at bedtime. On the first page there are a few pointers, you need to read the book in a certain way.

Buy the book in the following versions (click to buy) 
* Hardback 
* Paperback
* Kindle Edition
* Audio Download





DIY Trick or Treat Bags #BostikBloggers

We love Halloween in our house, it's our most favourite seasonal event (after Christmas of course!) and as we love all things crafty we also love to make our own Halloween bits and bobs too. Last year we made paper pumpkins for the fireplace and window ledges and we made the cutest Halloween Mummy Bunting for the playroom. This year we have made a trick or treat tin can alley game and we have also made these cute trick or treat bags...

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All you need for this craft is white paper bags (why not ask in the local takeaway of they could spare one!) and either homemade cardboard stencils (made from an old cereal box) or foam Halloween shapes. You could also use paint instead of Blo Pens.

All you need to do is use Blu Tack to stick down the stencil/foam shape and then use the Blo Pen's to shade around the outside, we used orange and black for a real Halloween effect!

Watch Jenson and Evie show you just how easy it is to make your own trick or treat bag in our video we made for the Kids Make and Bake Club. Remember to subscribe for weekly uploads every Monday evening at 6pm. You can also share your creations with Kids Make and Bake on Instagram and Twitter just use the hashtag #KidsMakeandBakeClub so we can see what you have been making and baking!




5 School Disco Guilty Pleasures!

I was recently asked to create a music playlist, 5 school disco guilty pleasure's. Easy, or at least, I thought it was going to be easy. But whittling it down to just five was actuallyreally hard. My music collection is quite broad. Our CD collection holds everything from The Time Warp through to Tiesto (who ever knew they would be in the same sentence!) so without further ado here are the five tracks I chose, most of them (OK all of them) revolve around getting drunk with friends...

Number 1 on my list will always, and has always been The Jam - A Town Called Malice, I may not have been born when it was released but I am a HUGE fan of The Jam and Paul Weller and it's the song I always used to ask the DJ to play first. It holds many a happy memory....ahhh fun times!


Next up, Queen - Don't Stop Me Now I love this song so much! It's a good one to get me on the dance floor!


A bit more up to date now* and, another one that will always get me on the dance floor is David Guetta - Sexy B*tch, serious I have so much excitement just thinking about this song! Takes me all the way back to 2009, quite literally the BEST summer of my life, when me and my sister used to sing it to each other drunk! Weird? Probs, but she was and still is my best friend!!! 

*Hang on....did I just say more up to date? How was this 8 years ago! EEEPPPSS!!


Talking of 2009. . .me and my friends changed the words to Brian Adams - Summer of '69 to Summer of '09 and made it our anthem that year! Ahhhh good times!


The last one is so hard to chose, I have a choice of three...its so hard to just chose 5, would you be able to do it? I would love to hear your 5 so please leave me a comment in the box below, I'm actually going to go with The Killers - Mr Brightside, because it is a song that will alway always ALWAYS get me smiling!


Listening to all these songs has made me think about updating my CD collection for the car, we don't tend to have CD's in the house anymore as a lot of our music we listen to through YouTube but I think that CD's will always have a place in the car! Right? 

This is a collaborative post

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday #88

Welcome back to Toddler Approved Tuesday, the weekly link-up for you to share everything your little ones, 0-5, have been loving! Have you enjoyed a day out recently and your little one loved it? Maybe you made something awesome and your little tot enjoyed it? Maybe you spend half term week doing something really awesome and want to share it! Come and share your posts with myself and Clare, from Clares Little Tots, we would love to see your posts, old posts welcome too.


So you know last week when I said I wanted to up the ante with Elsie? It still hasn't happened! But I have grabbed the planner and it is sat next to me waiting to be filled in! I have lots of ideas that I can't wait to get started (our theme next week is monsters as Elsie is currently OBSESSED with Halloween, which you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram). So if you have any posts hidden on your blog, share them below and inspire me some more!

This week I am sharing our Halloween Tin Can Alley, what a perfect way to kick off the Halloween season with this awesome gross motor activity. And Clare is sharing a yummy Chocolate Hedgehog cake recipe!



My faourites last week were Cook with Toddlers 4 ingredient recipe challenge! What a brilliant idea, we will definitly be taking part (but I best be quick it closes on 30th September!) and I also really loved Let Them Be Small Number Jungle Sensory Bin! I can't wait to try this with Evie, who struggles to recognise numbers!


Now it's your turn! Remember if you have a Monster activity hiding in your archives go find it and link that up too!!

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5 Ideas For...Homemade Juices and Smoothies

It has been so so long since I last shared a 5 Ideas For post, and I forgot how much I enjoy seeking out blog posts to share with you all. This week I am making a promise to share a 5 ideas for post at least once a fortnight and this week I thought I would share 5 of the monsters favourite juices and smoothies.

1. Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice My Frugal Adventures


2. Watermelon Smoothie Eats Amazing


3. Carrot and Orange Juice My Fussy Eater





This last one isnt strictly a juice, or a smoothie but I know that if I gave it to my monsters they would be fooled into thinking it was actually juice! So I am going to include it...



I would love to know your favourite juice or smoothie recipe, leave me a comment below! Don't have a juicer why not check out juicers by Panasonic, they have just unveiled the juicer of all juicers for delicious, healthy fresh drinks and frozen desserts. Compact, quiet and easy to handle and if you are partial to a morning orange juice or two it features stainless steel screw rotates to extract maximum juice all the while retaining important vitamins, nutrients and anti-oxidants! Buy it here:  http://amzn.to/2dgjbo1


This is a collaborative post.

Halloween Tin Can Alley

It's September, and almost the end of the month at that so I am sure that you won't mind me talking Halloween! The shops are full of tricks and treats, but you can also make so much stuff from the comfort of your own home and costs from as little as looking in the recycling box! This tan can alley game is a fun make or kids and is perfect for a Halloween party too!


You Need:
6 tin cans
Felt in a choice of Halloween colours
Scissors
Glue

Now just cut your felt to size and cut out the features for your chosen characters. Starting with the base and then the features, stick it all onto the clean (remember to sand the rim) tin can. Leave them to dry, pile in a pyramid, grab a ball and you are ready to play!


Why not set it outside on Halloween night, half fill them with treats and make those trick or treaters work for their treats, they win what they empty!!

Remember to subscribe to the Kids Make and Bake Channel uploads every Monday at 6pm and check out the brand new monthly week of feature challenges! Check out the Challenge's here.







2 Different Lunchboxes, Same Fillers

We are very lucky that at the monster's school children from reception up to year 2 get free school meals, this doesn't mean that we don't have pack ups though! I'm not sure how it came about but it has become somewhat of a 'tradition' that Thursdays are packed lunch days, and now with 2 mini monsters at school, who never want the same, for no other reason than to be generally awkward, it's going to get tough to fill the lunchboxes with yummy and exciting fillers without breaking the bank! Then along came the #FloraLunchboxChallenge...


I like to think, without tooting my own horn, that I am one of those parents that get's the lunchbox right, because did you know that only 1.6% of children in England receive a packed lunch that meets nutritional standards. And that just 17% of children’s lunches contain any kind of vegetables or salad.

Alongside this researchers found that 60% of packed lunches contain a packet of crisps and 52% contained some form of confectionary. I'll hold my hands up and say that each week the monsters lunchbox contains one of these, but I also think that as the rest of their lunchbox is balanced a small treat at lunch time once a week is not going to harm them!

We looked at the lunchbox meal planner together and they both chose what they would like. Different, as I knew would happen! One wanted pitta bread, the other wanted bagels, of course! I didn't let this stop us and so doubled the challenge to come up with 2 different lunchboxes, using generally the same fillers (without the monsters knowing!) 

Here is what was on my shopping list: 

Pitta Bread
Bagels
Flora Light
Tuna
Sweetcorn
Mayonaise
Bananas
Stawberries
Nutella 
1x small hand picked snack/yoghurt/treat

Lunchbox 1. 


1/2 Bagel with Flora spread, tuna and sweetcorn
Pitta chips (made from 1/2 a pitta bread) and mayo dip
Banana and Strawberries fruit pot with Nutella dip
1x small hand picked snack/yoghurt/treat
Bottle of water


Lunchbox 2.

1/2 a pitta bread filled with tuna mayo and sweetcorn
Toasted bagel quarters (made from 1/2 a bagel) spread with Nutella
Strawberries and Banana fruit pot 
Snack from our snack box
Bottle of water



Right now, Flora are making it easier than ever before for parents to provide healthy balanced packed lunches with the introduction of their lunchbox guide and meal planner,  every tub of Flora contains plant oils, and is lower in saturated fats than butter and provides a source of healthy Omega 3 and 6. All these essential fats contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels and are also needed for normal growth and to support the development of children, so they kinda know what they are talking about when it comes to providing healthy choices for our kids.

 

And if you are still stuck for ideas then why not check out the Healthy Kids section on the Flora website, from lunchbox recipes to tips to get your kids to eat veggies it's all over there, so really do go and check it out!



3 of The Best Online Home-ware Retailers

If you are shopping for home-ware online, where do you go? Depending on the styles, the selection, decor you have in place, and items you are actually looking to purchase, there are a few great sites you can visit to find excellent options. When you are ready to buy items for the home, these are some of the very best places to consider visiting when online home shopping.


Stylist.co.uk

Find home furnishings for every price range at stylist.co.uk From unique decor, bedding, tables, chairs, and more. If you want to decorate a home, a room, or even an exterior portion of the home, this is a great place for you to shop, and start your search for the home- ware you are shopping for.

Nest.co.uk 

If contemporary is the style you love, this is a great place for you to shop. With new styles, high end fashion extremes, bold design aspects, and high quality material and distinct brands, you are going to find all of these things when shopping this site. And, you can find great deals and savings with online financing options offered on the site as well.

Roseandgrey.co.uk

If quirky is the term used to describe your home decor, look no further. This site has it, from furniture, to linens, to new lighting, or even table and dining accessories, you will find it here. Bold, distinct, and absolutely quirky design options, are some of the many different products you can find when shopping through this online retailer.


No matter what your style or home decor theme, there are many places you can shop and visit for new home-ware and decor. These are a few of those great sites, and a few places you can go to find some of the best deals and financing when you are ready to buy.

Where do you shop online for homeware? Let me know in the comments below.

Collaborative Post

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday #87

Welcome back to Toddler Approved Tuesday, the weekly link-up for you to share everything your little ones, 0-5, have been loving! Have you enjoyed a day out recently and your little one loved it? Maybe you made something awesome and your little tot enjoyed it? Maybe you spend half term week doing something really awesome and want to share it! Come and share your posts with myself and Clare, from Clares Little Tots, we would love to see your posts, old posts welcome too.

So you know last week when I said I wanted to up the ante with Elsie? Well last week we kind of went out and enjoyed the last of the summer sunshine, and the last week of having Evie at home that we didn't actually do many at home activities, or at leats none that I have gotten around to writing a post about yet. So for the last week my poor blog has sat empty! I am hoping to rectify that this week and now we can start to get into some sort of school routine, a solid home routine will follow.

This week I am sharing a mermaid peg doll matching game, Elsie loves this game and has had it out every day since I made it!


Clare is sharing a paper tube friendship bracelet activity.

paper tube friendship bracelets

My favourites from last week came from The Butterfly Mother and Jess and Bodhi. The Butterfly Mother shared a lovely mosaic activity, my guys would love it. And Jess and Bodhi shared some bubble wrap painting, something we actually had on our preschool plan for last week (that we never followed!) Click the photos for links to the posts to find out more..





Remember come and join the #TAT community! 
If you are a blogger we want to see your posts below in the linky and your insta pics!! If you are a Mum, Dad, childcarer or Early Years Worker we want to see your photos on Instagram too, you can join in by using the hashtag #ToddlerApprovedTuesday and why not give myself and Clare a follow too? You can find our accounts @clarestots and @3princesses1dude and we will try and repost a couple each week too, you can use the hashtag as many times as you like! We would love it to become one of your regular hashtags!

Bloggers remember you can link up to 2 posts each week this summer, link up below, it would really be appreciated if you could copy and paste the #ToddlerApprovedTuesday badge onto each post you would like to link up, if you cant do that at least try and pop by and comment on as many as you can. Let's aim for at least the 1 behind you. Can't comment? Why not Pin It, Tweet it or maybe share on Facebook instead? It only takes 2 seconds to click the share button!

Remember to share your post and the linky party using the hashtag #ToddlerApprovedTuesday on your social media, I will Retweet all your posts via Twitter (make sure you mention us in your tweets @3princess_1dude and @clarestots for us to be able to Retweet).

Now it's your turn grab the badge and link up below.


tat

 
   

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday #86 We're Back!

Welcome back to #ToddlerApprovedTuesday, we are back after a crazy 7-week summer break. We have had chicken pox, a camping trip, evening walks on the beach, carnival fun, water fights, days out, a christening, baking, shopping trips, paddling pool fun, Pokemon hunts, chips at the seaside, icecreams, lots of cooking with the kids, science fun, explored new places, picnics, clear-outs, hangovers (well, just me, of course!), train rides, road trips, face paint fun, bike rides, bouncy castles, thunder storms and sooooooo much more all finished of with an end of summer Bank Holiday party. To see what fun we got up to and keep up to date with us follow us over on Instagram for daily updates! Oh and be sure to go and check out Clare's blog to see what she has been up to this summer!


This week saw the monsters head back to school, you would think that would mean it has calmed down a little in our house, but it hasn't as I have upped the ante with activities for Elsie and we have been having so much fun playing and learning about mermaids! 

Remember come and join the #TAT community! 
If you are a blogger we want to see your posts below in the linky and your insta pics!! If you are a Mum, Dad, childcarer or Early Years Worker we want to see your photos on Instagram too, you can join in by using the hashtag #ToddlerApproved Tuesday and why not give myself and Clare a follow too? You can find our accounts @clarestots and @3princesses1dude and we will try and repost a couple each week too, you can use the hashtag as many times as you like! We would love it to become one of your regular hashtags!

Bloggers remember you can link up to 2 posts each week this summer, link up below, it would really be appreciated if you could copy and paste the  #ToddlerApprovedTuesday badge onto each post you would like to link up, if you cant do that at least try and pop by and comment on as many as you can. Let's aim for at least the 1 behind you. Can't comment? Why not Pin It, Tweet it or maybe share on Facebook instead? It only takes 2 seconds to click the share button!

Remember to share your post and the linky party using the hashtag #ToddlerApprovedTuesday on your social media, I will Retweet all your posts via Twitter (make sure you mention us in your tweets @3princess_1dude and @clarestots for us to be able to Retweet).

Now it's your turn grab the badge and link up below.



tat
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Mermaid Sensory Bin/Messy Play

If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know my monsters love a bit of mess! A messy sensory bin is most definitely the most favourite invitation to play in this house, I thought an under the sea themed sensory bin would be the perfect way to make use of a tub of blue hair gel that has been hanging around in the bathroom cabinet for the last few years! Obviously, this activity is NOT taste safe so be sure to not try this with babies or toddler who like to taste everything!

Gardening Fun...Its Not Just For Summer!

When we think about gardening, spring time and warm summer weather come to mind. But now the weather is turning cooler it doesn't mean fun in the garden has to end!



Under The Sea Mermaid Sensory Bin

It has been so long since I have made a sensory bin for the monsters, so we decided it was about time we rectified that! We have had a pack of water beads hanging around in our bits and bobs box, I thought they would make the perfect base for a mermaid sensory bin.


Mermaid Peg Doll Matching Game

Elsie is obsessed with things that match, so I thought we would use it to our advantage and make some DIY games for her to play. As she is obsessed with mermaid I thought I would make some mermaid peg dolls that she could colour match with.


6 Back To School Hacks For Mum's and Dad's

We are back at school and I thought I would share with you 6 last minute back to school hacks, to help get your school run year off to a cracking start!


Playroom Wishlist

Did you see my blog post last week about a  kitchen makeover? I'm telling you, I have DIY on the brain! I always think of September as a great time for a fresh start, I think it's the whole back to school thing, with fresh uniforms, fresh stationery etc that really gets me thinking about changes I want to make. I've been thinking about setting up our dining room as a sort of play room, please someone give me back my living room, there are so many fun easy ways to turn a boring room into something awesome...


Rainbow rug £39.95 benuta

Hanging mirrored balloon lights £18.95 notonthehighstreet.com

Hanging wall decoration £22 etsy

You Are My Sunshine cushion £23 etsy

Sunshine cushion £17.99 ebay

I love the idea of an 'up in the clouds' theme, with rainbows, sunshine, clouds and balloons, it would make the perfect unisex play and learning area, along with folding doors to really open up the indoor play area to the outside play area. What do you think of my picks? I would love to know which your fave piece is, let me know in the comments below!

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3 Children's catalogues to consider when online shopping

Catalogue shopping is a great way to buy from the comfort of your own home while saving money. When shopping for the kids, there are some great children's catalogues to consider when shopping with as a parent. Why not give the following three a try.


1 .24Ace

With more than 30 years of experience, you can find fashion, clothing, accessories, and top designer styles you want your kids to wear. It is one of the most developed catalogues for kids, and has an express shop and gift section as well, if you are searching for a gift your child (or friend's child) will love.

2. Fashion World

Another long standing leader in catalogue shopping, Fashion World also has a great children's section for you to shop through as a parent. More than 20 years in business, affordable pricing, great selection, designer styles and name brands, this catalogue truly makes online shopping enjoyable and a breeze. With great financing items, return policy, and free shipping, you will save even more when buying items for your kids through it.

3. Very

Financing options galore through this reputable catalogue. You can choose from 6 month or annual financing terms depending on how much you spend. And, it doesn't end with low prices and reasonable payment terms, the quality of the clothing, accessories, and items you buy is superior. Add in the great selection from which to choose, top designers, and several great styles for your child to choose from, and you aren't going to find many catalogues out there which are comparable to this one.

When shopping for your kids, you have several places from which you can choose to buy. For excellent financing, selection, and online reputation, and of course the best financing terms for low weekly or monthly payment options, these are a few of the many places to consider as a parent for your catalogue shopping needs.

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