This is the tale of a duck in a truck -
a truck that was stuck in some yucky brown muck.
A sheep in a jeep and a frog in a bush
saw the truck stuck and gave it a push.
But the truck stayed stuck!
What now, can you guess?
Could a goat in a boat
get them out of this mess?
The duck in the truck is a beautiful book written and illustrated by Jez Alborough. We’ve been reading it for the last couple of weeks and Amy loves the rhymes that tell the story of the duck whose truck gets stuck in the mud and its friends’ attempts of saving it. Will they succeed?
Colourful illustrations guide little readers through the book and an innocent sense of humour made Amy and me giggle when one animal after the other landed in the mud. All in all, the Duck In The Truck by Jez Alborough is a lovely book for toddlers and pre-schoolers.
We had great fun pointing out the different animals, spotting colours and imitating animal sounds and the detailed illustrations gave Amy lots to discover and talk about.
Yeo Valley is partnering with HarperCollins to give away thousands of top children’s books with a special on-pack promotion across its range of children’s yogurts, including Yeo Baby, Little Yeos and Yeo Tubes. Parents and children can choose their favourite story from a wide range including ‘The Lorax’, ‘Martha and the Bunny Brothers: I Heart School’, ‘The Rescuers’ and ‘Ruby Redfort: Look into My Eyes’. Look out for Yeo Valley children’s packs in all major retailers and visit www.yeovalley.co.uk for more information.
To celebrate, I have teamed up with Yeo Valley and I am offering one lucky reader the chance to win a gift set containing three HarperCollins books and a goody bag packed full of Yeo Valley’s tasty yogurts, which are made with British organic milk from the Yeo Valley farm.
I don’t know about you, but as soon as I found out that I was pregnant with Amy, I became more aware of all the bad things that happen in the world. The wars, the hunger, the poor sanitary conditions that millions of people have to suffer under and the crimes – small or big.
Before my pregnancy, I lived in this big pink bubble and I felt invincible. Throughout my entire life, I never had to suffer from anything even remotely devastating and my childhood was what you would call very protected. I grew up in a small town, went to the local primary school and had the same friends until I went to off to uni – 25 minutes away. Everyone knew everyone and everybody looked after another
By the time I was pregnant, I had moved not only towns, but countries. From a little 8.000 inhabitants town in the north of Germany to multicultural Bristol. Suddenly, I experience crimes in my neighbourhood, heard about murder close by and got to know people that struggled – financially and emotionally. People that had no perspective in life, despite people trying to help them.
I suddenly asked myself, why oh why was I putting a baby into this world? An innocent, vulnerable little being exposed to so much misery and do you know what? I promised myself that I would do everything possible to ensure that Amy and her generation have a life filled with health and happiness – in the UK, in Europe and all over the world.
I’m not a millionaire, but I try my best whenever I can. I support different charitable courses, try not to be wasteful and recycle. The most important thing for me though is to teach Amy to be a good person: to share, support and be there for her friends and family when they need help. I truly believe that you can make a big change by making small changes in your day to day life.
Someone who will make a change on a much bigger scale is Unilever, who have started a new initiative called Project Sunlight. Project Sunlight aims to motivate millions of people like you and me to make a change in their life and adopt a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle by following a simple three step programme: see into a brighter future, act and do small things that make a difference and join communities and initiatives that aim to create a better world – locally or globally.
To celebrate the start of their campaign and Universal World Children’s Day, Unilever will make a donation that will help change the lives of 2 million children on 20th November. If you want to find out more about Project Sunlight, check out the official website of the campaign here or use the hashtag #brightfuture when chatting about it on Facebook or other social media channels. First of all, make sure to watch this video though. It sends a very strong message:
Disclosure: This video was sponsored by Unilever, but all words are my own and something that I have truly felt when becoming a mum.
Christmas is well and truly creeping up on us, if you like it or not and so it’s time for some Christmas activities that get even the most bitter Grinch in the spirit for the jolly season. Sit down with a hot chocolate and your little ones and help them write a letter to Santa. I loved doing this when I was little. When I was little, my mum would sit down with me and help me spell out the names of toys that I wanted Santa to bring me and when I was older, I would lock my bedroom door, get the big catalogues (that shows you how old I am) from the living room and start writing page after page after page.
I then went ahead and drew mistletoes, crippled Christmas trees (did you ever manage to make both sides look the same?) and pretty little parcels on my list, but if I’m being completely honest with you, I do wish I had had a pretty printed template for my letter to Santa. You know – to make my masterpiece stand out from the other childrens’ letters and guarantee the fulfillment of ALL my wishes.
Vertbaudet now make my childhood wish come true. Just in time for the festive period, their little elves have designed three beautiful Letter to Santa templates that you can download for free on their website. Go on, you know you want to!
Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Vertbaudet, but ho ho ho am I looking forward to Christmas!
I love Stollen! Being German, it’s just the epitome of Christmas for me, so in a quest to find some lovely recipes for advent, I have hit Pinterest and as always, it didn’t disappoint. I have pinned dozens of tasty of recipes and because caring is sharing, here my top 10 delicious Stollen recipes for Christmas – just for you!
- Stollen Spirals
- Vegan Stollen Bread
- Garmish Nut Stollen
- Christmas Stollen Muffins
- Cherry And Pistacchio Mini Stollen
- Stollen Wreath
- Sticky Stollen Cupcakes
- Nutty Stollen Buns
- Stollen Scones
- Traditional German Christmas Stollen
Do let me below, if you have any interesting Stollen recipes on your blogs or if you are planning on making a Stollen this year. I can really recommend them!
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest; most parents with a finger even vaguely on the pulse probably know what they’re dealing with when these social networks crop up. But a new, trendy online platform seems to pop up every 5 minutes and they all have ridiculous names.
If you don’t know your Huglrs from your Tinders, it’s time to find out more about the platforms your kids are using online and on their smartphones. Some are harmless, others are less innocent. Today the quib.ly web safety experts will be taking a closer look at Tumblr…
What is Tumblr?
This is a trendy blogging platform which allows users to write posts, share images, share video, share quotes and repost interesting things from all over the platform. It’s a young, ‘cool’ crowd and the vibe is, in general, pretty good. There’s a lot of strong feminism, freedom of expression, equality and plenty of creative inspiration – however, as with anything on the internet, there’s also plenty less desirable stuff too.
The majority of teens use Tumblr to blog about their lives and share the only too ubiquitous ‘selfies’ or ‘gpoys’ (Gratuitous Pictures of Yourself) – this can be a concern for parents, but at least they’ve added ‘gratuitous’ to their vocabulary…
Is it dangerous?
You can set up a private account, but the vast majority of users have public profiles as sharing and discovery are central to the Tumblr experience. There is an automated ‘ask me anything’ option on most profiles, allowing anonymous messages to be sent to the Tumblrite in question. Equally, there’s plenty of sexual content out there, but this can be blocked and, in order to find it, your teen would need to go searching for it.
There’s no minimum age limit, which means that parents of younger teens and children may want to be vigilant about sign ups. Meanwhile the “block” feature is not what it could be. It prevents users from contacting you, but it does not prevent them from seeing your posts.
And the upsides?
On the upside, Tumblr is a generally artistic and intelligent online community – and there are a range of effective settings which allow you to limit the type of material which is visible to users. Sexual content can be removed by implementing the website’s safe mode.
It’s also a really fun creative place which makes blogging a less lonely experience. It’s also great for self-expression if you’re tired of being boxed in by personality-free networks like Facebook. If your teen is interested in fashion, feminism, post rock, football or anything in between, they’ll find a like minded community on Tumblr where they can inspire and be inspired in turn.
Can teens use Tumblr?
With good privacy settings (the ‘ask me anything’ option can be removed) and in safe mode Tumblr is a relatively safe space for older teens, but as with any platform, it’s advised that you take the time to sit down with them and ensure all privacy features are correctly set up.
There have been some concerns from parents who fear that Tumblr is a haven for pornography, pro-anorexia blogs and blogs which promote self harm – but this type of content accounts for a very small sub-section of the platform and is no different to the kind of content found elsewhere on the web. There are bad eggs everywhere and it is a shame to write off a great platform because of them. Make sure you teen feels that can talk openly to you about their online experience and remain vigilant.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your teen about the importance of not sharing personal information and thinking carefully about their digital footprint. Although content can be deleted and Tumblrs can be closed, the content they upload can be downloaded and saved by others, so users should think carefully before they post.
Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Quib.ly – I hope you found it as helpful as I do, because I have a Tumblr account and don’t really know what to do with it.
Fleas are one of the most annoying aspects of owning pets. Despite a wide variety of medicine and prevention methods they are still a major problem, in fact, last year there was even an estimated rise in the amount of flea reports in the UK. The problem can be worse if you own both cats and dogs in the same house as the variety in behaviours can let fleas in from all areas. If you’re in this situation, is one more likely to get fleas than the other? Here is some speculation on whether cats or dogs have a higher chance of getting fleas in the UK.
Leaving the house
Assuming that we’re talking about house pets, it can be easy to think that going outside will be the biggest source of fleas. While they obviously have to come from outside, it can often depend on where you live. The main things fleas like are long grass with a warm and damp climate. Unfortunately, this is also the perfect area to walk dogs, and cats often hang around in long grass too, although dogs are much more likely to catch fleas in this environment.
Cats often catch fleas by socialising with each other outside. If one owner doesn’t treat their cat for fleas in an area then it creates a recurring problem that can be hard to get rid of.
Because long grass is such an issue, rural living tends to have more fleas in fields and canal paths as they have better living conditions for the fleas. City parks tend to be better kept so have less chances of getting them from the grass, but they’re also more densely populated with dogs so it’s easier to catch them from other people’s pets. City parks tend to be better kept so have less chances of getting them from the grass, but they’re also more densely populated with dogs so it’s easier to catch them from other people’s pets.
Does that mean dogs are more likely?
If you live in a rural area there are fairly even chances. Urban living and dog-dense walking parks mean that dogs are probably more susceptible there, but there are so many factors that it’s definitely worth looking at prevention straight away.
How to avoid getting them
Hopefully you’ve not been so unlucky yet and none of your animals have fleas. Prevention isn’t too hard, although it is basically impossible to prevent them without spending any cash. Finding the best flea application can be hard, but spot on treatments tend to be the most effective, lasting around eight months. While there can be some side effects, they are generally found across the board of flea prevention techniques, and the natural ones aren’t that effective.
Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Ved Medic and I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to treat your cat’s fleas. We had a flea infestation last year and it was not fun!
Before becoming a parent, I thought I’d be the perfect mum. You know, the one that always cooks from scratch, takes her child on daily play dates or sits down and crafts with them until the sun goes down. Of course, my child wouldn’t watch TV until they were three, be out of nappies by the age of 15 months and eating her all food without moaning, especially carrots as those make you develop night vision, right?
I was convinced it would be true, because clearly it worked for all these other perfect parents out there, but let me tell you something: As soon as Amy started moving about, I got a wake-up call and was sent back straight to reality.
Parenting can be a pretty tough job, because sometimes you are pretty unprepared for what life as a parent throws at you. Think stroppy toddler, colicky baby and food refusal and pair them with uncertainty, sleep deprivation and every day worries. Sounds like a rough ride, doesn’t it and believe me sometimes this ride will make you feel like an absolute failure, but you aren’t. You can be stressed and worried sometimes and still be a great parent – without all the silly and outdated advice out there.
If you are struggling sometimes or you would like to learn more about parenting techniques, then why not check out CANparent? CANparent is is new initiative that the government are trialing and it’s aiming at providing high quality parenting classes to support the parenting skills of both mothers and fathers. Sounds good, doesn’t it? For more information, watch the video below or like CANparent over on Facebook.
Before you’re running off, make sure to tell me about your biggest parenting challenge to date and maybe how you dealt with it! I’d love to hear from you.
Disclosure: I was compensated for sharing this information with you, but I do think that parenting classes are a great idea and I am currently looking into those available in Bristol. Broadening your horizon can’t hurt, can it?