|FUN|duplo colour and pattern matching


When we were at the doctors recently, they had a new tub of duplo for the children to play with, we had a 45 minute wait for the appointment and so we started to do some pattern and colour matching.  I created a tower and T copied me.  We were quite limited at the doctors, but he loved it.  So decided to create a sheet of towers for T to copy.


It wasn't long before T asked to do some of these again and so now we keep our sheet in the duplo box.


Here's a closer look at those towers, I was really pleased with how this sheet turned out.

I've stacked some of the colours to make it a little trickier for T, he actually enjoyed counting how many blocks are the same colour and choosing his colours before stacking them in the correct order.


This is definitely something which I could have done with T before now, but he does seem to be enjoying it.

Obviously you may not have all of the blocks I used, like the bumble bee, eye and clear blue blocks but I've created a download for you in case you'd like it.


Click the image above or click here to be able to download my file, this should be printed on A3 sized paper.

My usual disclaimer - this is a very basic download, please do not expect high quality, it's designed for a busy parent or child carer to print quickly to provide a speedy and basic activity.

LarabeeUK
Mummascribbles
The Little Life of Ickle Pickle

|#toddlerapprovedtuesday|week 36 - 30 June


Wow!  Another really quiet week last week, where have all our linkers gone? Hopefully this week we'll get back to normal and see the return of some familiar faces.  Having said that, there were a few new linkers last week so welcome and thank you to them.
 Remember you can post your weekly post to the #toddlerapprovedtuesday Facebook page too, Becky and I will like every one which will mean you continue to show up in our feed when you post new posts! 

We'll be running another social media follow over there to make sure that we follow or like everyone, sometimes it's hard keeping up with that when you link, so do pop over to Facebook and request to join the #toddlerapprovedtuesday page.  Thanks to everyone who have joined in.



We have a really simple duplo colour and pattern matching activity this week, with a printable so you could get started straight away if you wanted to.





Becky, has some letter writing practice for us this week, so pop by and check that out!

Featured in my showcase this week are:


Our very own Becky guest posted over at Clare's tots, and it was such a great activity I had to choose it!  Clare linked this great tissue paper painting.




Two under Two linked up this bedtime routine post, there are some great tips if you are trying to establish a bedtime routine in your house.

Here are the rules:-
1. Link as many posts as you like (well with in reason!) BUT please remember to paste the #ToddlerApprovedTuesday badge on each post you would like to link up. 
No badge, no comment, no share, and your posts will be deleted. 

LarabeeUK

2. Pop by and comment on two or three other posts, more would be great if you can.

3. OPTIONAL: Share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #ToddlerApprovedTuesday) on your social media, Becky and I will retweet all your posts via Twitter (make sure you mention us in your tweets @3princess_1dude/@larabeeuk). Even if you don't have a blog, please do join in by using the hashtag for your toddler approved tweets and Instagram posts, they will still be counted for the showcase! We have changed the way we share your posts, it takes so much time to pin and tweet and comment etc, so heres what is going to happen: We are opening up the Toddler Approved Tuesday Pinterest board to you guys too. Just send myself or Becky an email with your Pinterest name and we will add you, there is no limit on how many you add, it doesn't just have to be the post you link up with.

4. We will now only be RT'ing posts Tweeted to us, and our showcased posts will also be RT'd too. We also have a fab new Facebook group for the Toddler Approved Tuesday community. Pop over and join us, share your posts, share any photos from inspiration you have had from a Toddler Approved Tuesday link up. 


|ACHIEVE|goal setting for greatness - goals progress 29 June


Another ok week, I don't think I put in as much effort as I should have but with T's party this weekend something had to give so I could concentrate on that. I've just completed a webinar from Female Entrepreneur Association entitled 'How to build your audience' my head is now swimming with things I should do and I have 8 a5 pages of notes and actions from it. 

My monthly goals are:-

Blog
K+ at least 1 person a day - same as last week really, not every day but bouts of activity. 
Keep improving daily page views - stats fell even more this week. At least I know why and will now endeavour to join linkies the day they come out! 
Use my blog diary & planner - no again!! Need to imagine that thing is part of my being!!  As I sit here in bed with T trying to get him to sleep it in next to me. I need that all the time. 
30 posts this month - this will be post 32 this month on 29 June so this one is achieved. 
Create a facebook strategy - still no, but actually realising this is bigger than just Facebook or Twitter. I need a complete social media strategy so this will change this month. 
'Wedding anniversary' series - 1 post published another due this week. 
Goals progress posts scheduled & linked Monday - yup this will be done in time!! 

3 new weekly goals I must do this week!!
• finish folly farm post
• link #countrykids
• do my weekly round-up

Sorry just wanted to add those as I really need to do them this week!

Personal
Get up at 5.00 every morning (an hour and 45 minutes earlier) - yes, yes, yes!!  Not doing it at weekend though, now starting to contemplate that!
Do 30 minutes 'me time' - not really, would like to try a run this week. 
Drink 1 litre of water - yes but only on work days again! 
Use commute more effectively - I've been using the morning commute time to schedule in hootsuite. Not doing anything in the evening though. 
Lose 8lb - no. 
Only drink at weekends (fri-sat) - only drank 2 raspberry ciders friday didn't feel like anything yesterday. 
Take packed lunches to work - yes except I day I met a friend for lunch. 
Be more patient with T's tantrums - think this one is busted, I know I sound cocky saying it but we've not had any tantrums for over a month. 
Floss every day - yes
T's after nursery activities - I am convinced getting into a bedtime routine is helping with T's moods. 

Household
10 x 30 minute purges - no
Help T make his bed everyday - yes, he attempts by himself now.
Leave T's clothes out so he can get dressed himself - yes. 
Clear the ironing - yes, none outstanding at time of writing. 

Work
Make sure I only work contractual hours - 3/4 days

I'm linking up with Single mother ahoy's #goalsettingforgreatness linky

Single Mother Ahoy Goals for Greatness

|PRODUCTIVITY|facebook I love you but...


As I'm putting pen to paper for this series of posts, I'm realising that these enhancements are only really applicable to me as a blogger not me as a 'regular' user, but never-the-less I may be able to find hacks or be told I can do what I'm trying to by getting them out there!  

Some of these Facebook developments may already be there or be possible but Facebook is certainly not one of my strengths and so if you know any of these can be done, PLEASE do correct me, I'd love it if I could do just one of these things!

1. Please allow me to see all of the posts from people I like (and vice versa). Now I get that you are basically marketing on  Facebook when you have a page, but personally I think there are better ways or to pay a small subscription per year (£20) to reach all your likers. Any additional reach, I agree, should be paid for. 

2. Please let me schedule posts from the app. 

3. Please enable me to switch from my page to my personal account when I post a comment from the app.

4. Please let me write a review as my page and add a url to a Facebook review. 

5. Please allow me to switch off comments to a thread that I've commented on, unless someone has directly replied to a comment I made. 

6. Please let me create different viewing 'streams' eg blogging, personal, groups I run that way I can focus more. 

7. Please don't notify me there's a 'new post' when I've just shared something. 

8. Please let me join groups as my page not my personal account. 

9. Please explain to me why sometimes I can tag someone else's page just by writing the page name, sometimes I have to add @ and sometimes I can't tag people at all. 

10. Please let me choose whether to share from my personal or page when sharing instagram or Twitter accounts.

11. Please allow me to schedule posts to my own groups. 


Mums' Days

|FOOD|Chocolate fondants



It was our wedding anniversary at the beginning of the month and The Hubs and I had a night to ourselves which was lovely.  Rather than go out, we decided to stay in a cook a nice meal, the only problem was that we very rarely agree on meals and we wanted something quick, easy and delicious to make.

I found a recipe on pinterest for chocolate fondants and in true Larabee style I adapted it to suit us and this is what we ended up with!  They were delicious and had a very thin layer of sugar coating which was gorgeous and ours were just the right size for 2.  The measurements are so basic it would be easy to double or treble if you needed to - I've promised the kids we'd make this for them next time they are round.

Ingredients
120g milk chocolate
2 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp self-raising flour
Cream to serve

Small amount of butter for greasing
1 tsp granulated sugar

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 220oC.  Grease 2 muffin tins with butter and coat the butter with the granulated sugar, tip out any excess.

2. Melt your chocoalate, we used the microwave on bursts of 30 seconds but you could do this over a pan.

3. Cream together the butter and the sugar using an electric whisk.

4. Add the eggs and beat until mixture starts to foam.

5. Add the flour and continue to beat until combined.

6. Mix in a little chocolate with a spatula - don't add it all in one go as it's still hot and you do not want to cook the egg.

7. Fold in the remaining chocolate until thoroughly mixed, divide between the muffin tins.

8. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until the top is set and you can see the sides coming away from the tin.

9. Leave for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a plate, I was amazed that they came out of the muffin tins with ease, I just held an oven glove over the second one whilst I was tipping out the first, which worked well.

And that's it, we served with just cream and they really were delicious, and a lot quicker than the method above looks!

Our main course for this meal was delicious too, you can find our beer battered halloumi recipe here.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Cuddle Fairy
Gym Bunny Mummy

|CREATE|confetti candle DIY


I've been wanting to make some candles for the loooooongest time, I can't tell you!!!  I've even been saving all my old candle jars to refill.  The picture below shows a candle which I loved and decided to refill.  For my birthday, I received a hobbycraft voucher which I used to get some microwaveable soy wax!

So, onto this weeks DIY!


Supplies
Microwaveable soy wax
Wick
Candle Jar (not shown)
Mod podge
Fragrance oil
Cake sprinkles
Kebab sticks

I really wanted to create a candle which smells really fruity cute, I used some sprinkles which look like multi coloured paper punches.  I'll be making some more of these for Christmas gifts, sorry to mention the C-word but it is only 6 months until Christmas Eve!

Method


1. Paint the inside of your jar with mod podge.


2. Wipe around the top with a baby wipe.


3. Put a few sprinkles into the jar and tip round so that the sprinkles stick to the glue, fill in any missing gaps.


4. Glue the wick in place.

NOTE: I'm not going to show you how to measure and melt the wax, because every wax is different, So you do need to follow the instructions for your product.


5. Once my wax was melted I added my fragrance oil, I chose cherry which smells just like cocktail cherries - yum, it's gorgeous!


6. I then poured into the jar.


7. Use kebab sticks to keep the wick central.

And that's it, it really is so simple, I'm loving this craft and now working on my Christmas ones!

I was also fortunate enough to be sent a candle kit from Sykes Cottages so I'll be showing that soon too.

The Little Life of Ickle Pickle
Mummascribbles

|FUN|safari animal habitats


Continuing our safari theme, one of our after school mat activities was this quick and easy to set up habitat matching game.  To be honest T found this a bit too easy and I think it would have been better maybe a year ago, he still had lots of fun and enjoyed doing it.  We talked about the animals and where they actually sleep eg lions sleep in dens, birds live in nests etc


First I did a quick search on Google images, I used safari habitats but obviously this could be adapted for any.  I printed the Masai Mara, an acacia tree & a lake.


I then rounded up a selection of T's safari animals and set it all out for him.

This month we are studying all things safari , our other safari posts can be found here and you can follow our pinterest board here for more safari ideas from other people.

LarabeeUK

Binky Linky

|#toddlerapprovedtuesday|week 35 - 23 June



It was a quiet week last week, thanks to everyone who linked up with us, we hope to see some regular faces back again this week. Remember you can post your weekly post to the #toddlerapprovedtuesday Facebook page too, Becky and I will like every one which will mean you continue to show up in our feed when you post new posts! 

We're still running some social media follows over there to make sure that we follow or like everyone, sometimes it's hard keeping up with that when you link, so do pop over to Facebook and request to join the #toddlerapprovedtuesday page.  Thanks to everyone who have joined in.


This week I have a quick and easy to set up animal habitat activity.


Becky, Ellie and Jenson have been making these delicious sweetcorn fritters we'll definitely be trying them!

Featured in my showcase this week is:


This great Meeting Mr Bloom post from Our footprints on the world because it's Mr Bloom and he's awesome and I *loved* the barefoot trail, such a fab idea.  Thanks for linking Kelly, hope to see you this week :)
and


I love busy bags and think they are a wonderful idea for keeping little ones occupied!  These ideas from Monkey and Mouse would be great for your summer holiday's.  

Here are the rules:-
1. Link as many posts as you like (well with in reason!) BUT please remember to paste the #ToddlerApprovedTuesday badge on each post you would like to link up. 
No badge, no comment, no share, and your posts will be deleted. 

2. Pop by and comment on two or three other posts, more would be great if you can!


LarabeeUK


3. OPTIONAL: Share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #ToddlerApprovedTuesday) on your social media, Becky and I will retweet all your posts via Twitter (make sure you mention us in your tweets @3princess_1dude/@larabeeuk). Even if you don't have a blog, please do join in by using the hashtag for your toddler approved tweets and Instagram posts, they will still be counted for the showcase! We have changed the way we share your posts, it takes so much time to pin and tweet and comment etc, so heres what is going to happen: We are opening up the Toddler Approved Tuesday Pinterest board to you guys too. Just send myself or Becky an email with your Pinterest name and we will add you, there is no limit on how many you add, it doesn't just have to be the post you link up with.

4. We will now only be RT'ing posts Tweeted to us, and our showcased posts will also be RT'd too. We also have a fab new Facebook group for the Toddler Approved Tuesday community. Pop over and join us, share your posts, share any photos from inspiration you have had from a Toddler Approved Tuesday link up.

|ACHIEVE|goal setting for greatness - goals progress 22 June


So how did I do last week??? Well this is going up, scheduled on Monday morning which is good, but I realised that although I finally managed to get my post done last week on Wednesday, like an idiot I didn't link it up!  Can't believe that. Also it was littered with typo's which I'm pretty cross with myself about, it's one of my pet hates but something that I'm doing more and more of as I hastily attempt to get posts done and published. 

My monthly goals are:-

Blog
K+ at least 1 person a day - not bed actually, whilst I don't think I did one each day I have done more than 30 this week, just need to spread it out a bit! 
Keep improving daily page views - unfortunately they took a bit of a nosedive this week, a combination of reason I think because of non-existent scheduling on Twitter some days, I missed lots of my usual linky's, didn't join in #archiveday and #toddlerapprovedtuesday was really quiet this week. 
Use my blog diary & planner - No, need to have it within arms reach at all times and keep it open to check all thre time. 
30 posts this month - on track
Create a facebook strategy - still going up on this area. I did pay £3 for a boost to my Beer Battered Halloumi recipe which was already very popular. I'm never sure if you should boost posts which are getting no attention or maximise on those which are clearly more popular. Need to do some research in that area. 
'Wedding anniversary' series - another 2 posts due this week. 
Goals progress posts scheduled & linked Monday - at the time of writing this is almost scheduled ;)

Personal
Get up at 5.00 every morning (an hour and 45 minutes earlier) - I've now changed this as I'm actually  up at 5am every morning and god, it's amazing the difference it makes. I actually feel more energy, the only problem is that T has started to join me around 5.30, but by the time we head out the door at 7.45 he's in a great mood and has been happy at nursery. 
Do 30 minutes 'me time' - no progress
Drink 1 litre of water - yes but only on work days. 
Use commute more effectively - 2 days not car sharing so lost those but 1 day worked from home, good news I gained an extra 3 hours, bad news nothing to show for it!
Lose 8lb - no. 
Only drink at weekends (fri-sat) - had 1 bottle over the 2 days, could do with getting back on spirits though. 
Take packed lunches to work - yes except I day I met a friend for lunch. 
Be more patient with T's tantrums - no tantrums
Floss every day - yes
T's after nursery activities - yes, he's also getting involved asking for particular activities and setting up his #afterschoolmat

Household
10 x 30 minute purges - no
Help T make his bed everyday - yes, he attempts by himself now.
Leave T's clothes out so he can get dressed himself - yes. 
Clear the ironing - yes, none outstanding at time of writing. 

Work
Make sure I only work contractual hours - 1 out of 4 days I had a lunch break and Thursday evening I worked for 2 hours.  I do have a major project on at the moment which needs a bit more hand holding than it should!

I'm linking up with Single mother ahoy's #goalsettingforgreatness linky

Single Mother Ahoy Goals for Greatness