Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Groovy Jewellery

Look at this beautiful piece of jewelery! I found it at the Annette Piper Jewellery Blog.

Annette says "Mookaite is an Australian jasper (actually radiolarian siltstone) found under the Mooka Creek bed in the Kennedy Range in Western Australia and is often spelled in a variety of ways - eg. mookite, moukaite and so on. It often comes with a mustard-yellow combination but these ones are all in the purple tones (except for just a touch of yellow on the stone right at the very end if you look closely). Its a jasper that you don't see all that often which only makes it all the more special."

I like it because it is earthy and natural ~ I think that is the Capricorn in me coming out! ;-)

Monday, June 29, 2009


I have finally taken the plunge and written my first press release!! You can read it in full over at PR Log.

Have a read and let me know what you think!!

My good friend Michelle Hayward also has a recent press release at PR Log too about the release of her new book - you can read her press release HERE!

On the same topic of press releases, the current issue of Business Mums Magazine has some great articles on press releases and the media.

Konstant Kaos July Giveaway

Konstant Kaos is giving away a map pencil case with the winners co-ordinates on it - how cool!! Visit the blog HERE to find out how to enter this one.

Heavenly Handmade Giveaway

3 Matchbook Notebooks up for grabs!! - Go HERE to find out how to enter!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

TagNCuddle - Your Cheeky Monkey Fabric

Woooohooooo!!! My first product with the gorgeous 100% Cotton fabric I had printed at Spoonflower just had to be a TagNCuddle (one of my most popular products). I am so impressed with how these turned out, the Spoonflower fabric is beautifully soft and I used very thick traditional white Flannelette on the underside.

Still at just $16 too - Check them out HERE

Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Bits and Pieces

Well I have been having lots of fun lately making up some new and revised products as I talked about a couple of weeks ago.

Here we have a "My Little Monster" just for girls!! Funky flower print very reminiscent of the 1970's (am I showing my age now?) partnered with pink wool felt and always with my soft toys stuffed with pure wool stuffing ~ Pure wool stuffing does make a difference to children, I have noticed my sons like my soft toys the best and cuddle them when they go to sleep, I think it is because of the comfort and breatheability of the wool & cotton, with no synthetic components of the soft toy.

Here too are my new Fabric Covered Notebooks - in an A5 size, they make a lovely gift or they are great to use as a journal or a pregnancy record book. You can even use the flaps at the side to put things under.

And last but not least is the baby beanies I have re-vamped and they are listed as "Cupcake Beanies", this name just hit me when i was photographing them they look just like little cupcakes. I can make them in Sizes newborn - 3 months old, right through to 9-18 months old.

Available at the moment in this multi-pink or khaki birdsfeather, they are lined with beautiful bamboo/organic cotton knit which is so soft and breathable against a baby's head.

My original beanies always included in my Gift Packs are still the same beautiful traditional design.

Keep your eye out for lots more gorgeous little things currently on the drawing board!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Introducing.. Jayne of Swish Lily

I had to make a mention today of the online store Swish Lily - I noticed these gorgeous Seed Organic Baby Cradles and wish I had seen these when my boys were babies.

How gorgeous is it??? I can just imagine putting my bub in to sleep in one of these!!

Swish Lily has lots of other beautiful things too including baby leg huggers, sleep wear and lots more too!

Jayne also has a lovely blog called Relax and Beautify, with lots of beauty tips, pop over and have a look!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What on Earth are Irish Twins?

I first came across this term a few years ago reading one of the many baby care books around. Little did I know I would come to know very well just what that term means!

Basically Irish Twins are not twins at all, but siblings born within 12 months of each other. The exact date of the term origin is not known, but it was originally a derogatory term, referring to the stereotypical fertility of Irish Catholic families, who traditionally do not use birth control, and therefore tended to have children in very quick succession.

The term is not generally used in polite society due to its origins, but as is the case with many terms with derogatory origins, some people use it without thinking about the implications of the deeper meaning.

There are both very strong advantages and very strong disadvantages to having Irish Twins (all of which I am writing about here from personal experience). When I fell pregnant straight away after having my first son my GP laughed and said “well you are going to be very busy for a while!”. Boy, little did I know!

Some of the benefits include:
• Irish twins often end up being very close and affectionate with each other, since the space between them is so small, and it intensifies the sibling bond. They end up being fantastic playmates (or partners in crime is a better term I think). After the first year or so it really is like having real twins.
• You get all the “baby stuff” such as bottles and nappies over and done with in a few years.
• They learn together with a lot of things.
• There is NO sibling jealousy. This was one of the greatest benefits I thought. When the second baby is born, you don’t have to try and explain why there is a new baby taking up all of Mummy’s time.
• Its fun explaining to people how close they are!!

However there are downsides to this situation and they are:
• Having babies in quick succession does put a HUGE strain on your body. You don’t have a chance to get back into shape, and you body and hormones are already run down. You need to take lots of vitamins and iron, eat well and take really good care of yourself.
• It is really hard taking care of a new baby when you are pregnant again, especially if you suffer from any pregnancy complaints like morning sickness.
• It is a huge juggle taking care of a newborn and a (still) baby of 12 months or under. You basically have 2 babies completely dependent on you who both have completely different needs and sleep patterns.
• It really doesn’t get easy until your children are aged 2 and 3.
• You go through a LOT of nappies for a year or 2!
• You do need a lot of help and support – take it if it is offered!
• As with all mothering you get REALLY tired at times.

So in hindsight now, if I had known how hard it would be I would never have had two babies one straight after the other, but now down the track with two sons who are the best of friends I would not change one single little thing.

Are you disorganised?

I have just found a very interesting article at the blog "Organize Your Life" - and how being pro-active about keeping your life organized can help keep depression at bay. Its very interesting reading and if you would like to read this in full visit the blog post HERE.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Inner Earth Soap Giveaway

I am a huge fan of Inner Earth Soaps (I just purchased the Blokes Soap for DH - made with beer!!) - and they are having a blog giveaway!!! Just visit their lovely Blog HERE to find how out to enter!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

NEW Limited Edition TagNCuddle

After my first Limited Edition Jungle TagNCuddle flew out the door, I decided this week to do a new Limited Edition TagNCuddle - this one in BUTTERFLIES.

I have ONE Jungle TagNCuddle left HERE, and the new Butterflies TagNCuddles are HERE.

They are only $16 each - a super affordable handcrafted product for your own baby or a gift. I am getting wonderful feedback from customers about these, why not see what all the fuss is about?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Little Monster Review & Giveaway

My newest soft toy "My Little Monster" has had the most fantastic review on Kookie Blog!! A huge thank you to the beautiful Amy of Giggleberry who wrote the review!

You can also WIN one of these for your very own!! Just pop over to Kookie Blog to find out how!

Or if you can't resist and would like one of your very own now visit them in my store HERE!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Check out this prize!!

I am the very lucky recipient of a prize from the Aussie Handmade Giveaway!!

The giveaway was courtesy of Liz from Hundreds of Buttons - if you want to see some really cool and unique things have a look at her Etsy Store.

I originally found the Aussie Handmade Giveaway by offering to donate a prize myself, so keep your eye out in a month or two for an offering from me!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What I wish i knew before I became a Mother

I am proudly stocking the beautiful new book "What I wish I knew before I became a Mother" - This book is being released on the 19th June, I will be picking these up on this day and if anyone pre-orders I will be able to express post to you that Friday night! Be one of the first to own this gorgeous book!

Once you become a mother nothing is ever quite the same again, your life changes in a million new and unexpected ways, you discover love like you have never known before and also find that yes you can actually survive on just 3 hours sleep. As new mothers Peace and Katy found the reality of life as a mother completely different to what they had previously imagined. Unprepared for the adjustment from full time careergirls to the role of round the clock motherhood they struggled with the challenges of motherhood such as isolation, a changing identity, sleep deprivation, loss of independence, conflicting advice, self doubt and breastfeeding issues.

After speaking to many other women with children of all ages they found they were not alone and that these challenges were common experiences for new mothers in contemporary Australian society.

"The original idea for this book came from the realisation that becoming a mother is not simply about giving birth and waiting for your maternal instincts to kick in. The skills necessary for motherhood are learnt. Times have changed and for many mothers the first time they hold a newborn is when their own baby is born, our society has lost many of the skills which were traditionally learnt incidentally as part of everyday life in a large close-knit family. Our goal was to create a book to encourage, support and empower mothers and help make their journey a little easier."

What I wish a knew before I became a Mother is that book. Written for new and expectant mothers the book, addresses topics such as pregnancy, preparing for birth, coping with post natal depression, encouraging communication with your partner, breastfeeding, ensuring you have a strong support network and knowing when to ask for help in a positive and uplifting way. This book aims to help new mothers adjust to the demands of life with a newborn and reminds women to value themselves and their own needs too.

Featuring beautiful photography and practical advice this book is the perfect gift for new and expectant mothers!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I have been featured!

I am honored to be the feature Mum this week on Australian Mothers Online!

"A big thanks to Monique from Your Cheeky Monkey for being our featured Aussie Mum blogger this week. Monique is a 35 year old mum of two boys aged 3 & 2, resides on the fabulous Gold Coast in QLD and when she is not busy being a mum, wife and writer on her blog, she runs the online store Your Cheeky Monkey, selling beautiful gifts for babies and toddlers........."

If you would like to read the full post please click HERE!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cheeky Monkey Fabric - I am so excited!!

I am SO EXCITED!! In the mail was a little package from a company called Spoonflower in the USA that prints your own design on fabric... well here is my Cheeky Monkey logo printed on beautiful cotton fabric, I can't wait to start using it for all sorts of projects!!

I have to say a big thank you to Jodie of The Haby Goddess for introducing me to this company, thank you Jodie!!

The Low Down on Twitter

It seems everyone is twittering these days, from banks to hollywood stars to small business owners.

Click HERE for a fantastic short article called "What's All This About Twitter?" written by Kylie Short of Tilda Virtual Services.

It is a fantastic summary of what Twitter is and how to use it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I won a prize!

I won this gorgeous prize for a Mothers Day Giveaway from The Enchanted Closet.. in this lovely pack was a bangle, body scrub, body cream and bag tags (already in use so not in the picture!).

Thank you so much!! I will get heaps of use from all these items!

I have also been the very lucky recipient of a couple of other prizes too, which I will blog about when they arrive!

Product Review: Sweet Bula


When you think of beauty products from Fiji, you think of an overpowering coconut smell, like using too much body oil at the beach as a teenager!

So when I opened the bottle of “Coconut Milk & Honey Body Lotion” from www.sweetbula.com.au I was very pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous scent of milk with underlying honey tones. It is almost evocative of the smell of new babies, which I find absolutely divine. There is just the faintest touch of coconut scent too, which is true to the origin of the product. On the bottle it also mentions the lotion is a “Pure Plant Source” which adds to the appeal of the product.

When using this body lotion I found it to be nice and light, without being greasy. I was happy to use this product day after day, it kept my skin nice and moisturized, while having a delicious light scent that still allowed for the wearing of perfume. A little went a very long way too, which is great as you know you don’t need to waste or over-use it.

Finally I wanted to mention that after perusing the products over at www.sweetbula.com.au I think they are a fantastic price for a really top quality product.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the appealing nature of Coconut Milk and Honey scents!

I am honoured to be conducting this review as part of the product review team at CONNECT 2 MUMS – visit www.connect2mums.com.au to find out more!

Product Review: Vital Earth Traditions


Where do I start with this product review? There are so many different and unique features of this cream from Vital Earth Traditions!

This is a most deliciously thick and rich cream, just divine for the cooler weather now my skin has started to dry out. Along with a thick cream like this I sort of expected it to be a bit greasy, like a body butter usually is. But its not! You can just smooth it on and it soaks in leaving your skin feeling gorgeous.

The ingredient list on the back of the bottle is just amazing. No wonder it leaves my skin feeling so lovely!! From Aloe Vera Gel, to 10 different oils, to rose water, to essential oils – Wow! A lot of research has obviously gone into the ultimate ingredients for a body lotion.

To wrap up this review I need to tell you about the scent of this lotion – White Tea & Ginger. It is JUST GORGEOUS. My take on it is that it is earthy, rich, slightly sweet, slightly citrusy, slightly oriental White Tea with under-tones of ginger. To me it would be ideal to wear when pregnant or just had a new baby, you know when you can’t bear the smell of perfume but you still want to smell delicious and feminine. This would have been perfect in my books! It is a very unique scent that just seems to work perfectly!

I would love to hear your thoughts about ALL NATURAL products, like the one reviewed here from Vital Earth Traditions?

I am honoured to be conducting this review as part of the product review team at CONNECT 2 MUMS – visit www.connect2mums.com.au to find out more!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Little Monster

Introducing.... My Little Monster!!! I just adore this little critter, inspired by my 2 sons. I made similar soft toys for them a while ago but have made some changes and here is my final product.

My Little Monster stands about 24 cm high (from toes to top of ribbon horn), and is constructed from pure wool felt backing and eyes, 100% cotton quilting fabric front panel (this print in orange with cute bugs and butterflies in green and blue), ribbon hands and horns, buttons for eyes (sewn on with floss - an old belly-dancing trick - floss never breaks!), and as always with my soft toys stuffed with pure wool stuffing, gentle and natural for your little one :)

I have to admit, though, I had inspiration for the zig-zag eyes from a couple of other soft toys I have seen on other blogs - The Snigglebottoms from Little Diva, and George the Octopus from f.pea. Its just so much more fun using pinking shears to cut the eyes than plain old circles stitched on.

You can find My Little Monster at Your Cheeky Monkey for just $19.95.

Keep an eye out for more colours and patterns soon! Also I will be stocking this week some fabric covered note-books, the baby beanies that I have previously only sold in my gift packs (with a twist, can't wait to show you these!), and I will be putting together some gorgeous gift packs for new mums too. How exciting!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Review on my Tote Bags

I have had the most lovely review on my Recycled Fabric Tote Bags from Paula at Connect 2 Mums!!

This is what she has to say about them:

When I first saw the ‘denim totes’ available for women at ‘Your Cheeky Monkey,’ I instantly wanted one! Being the ‘Imelda Marcos of bags’, I knew straight away that that these were unique, chic and very LA cool. Monique Nickalls, designer of kids clothing & toys, mumpreneur & ‘YCM’ owner, immediately suggested that I wait as she was constructing four unique totes made from genuine MOSCHINO recycled cotton jeans. Oh, I was like a kid waiting or Christmas! As you can see from the pic, the Moschino makes up the quirky front panel and the sides, bottom and back of the tote are from animal print upholstery off-cuts, giving my tote a luxurious, velvety, winter feel. The bag lining is 100% cotton quilting Cheetah Swirl fabric, in a gorgeous silver/grey/taupe colour. The only ode to this being from a ‘kids label’ is the cute ‘doggy button toggle’ between the handles, which works with the quirkiness of this piece!

Handmade by Monique, the craftsmanship is superb and has banished any thoughts of 'handmade equals second best' from my mind once and for all! The ‘Your Cheeky Monkey’ label inside the tote gives the bag a professional finish, as do the ‘Your Cheeky Monkey’ care instructions. My tote is roomy without being obscenely large, dimensions being approx. 32cm W x 29cm H x 9cm D.

If you are a woman who loves the ease of entry and exit of items into a bag, you will love this one. I took it as my ‘afternoon bag’ on a recent hospital stay and 12 handy items, including a book and small items of clothing were easily accommodated...mind you I nearly lost it five times to Nurses! It could easily double as a ‘tres cool nappy bag’; it’s comfortable to wear and in my book, ticks all of the boxes. A steal at $39.95 for a unique, handcrafted tote, be quick as there are only 3 more available with the MOSCHINO panel, at www.yourcheekymonkey.com.au

I have also subscribed to Monique’s newsletter so that I am kept updated on more hot products like this one and I follow her blog at http://www.yourcheekymonkey.blogspot.com/

To see more reviews on other fantastic products simply visit Connect 2 Mums!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I have been invited to be a judge!

I am very flattered and excited to have been invited to be a guest judge for a competition for Cradle Fables - Independent Publishers of Children's Picture Books.

All you have to do is join their Facebook Fan Club, then write a sentence or two about their favourite Alice in Wonderland moment/memory/character etc - Easy Peasy!!

The prize is a copy of the beautiful "Alice in Wonderland" DVD.

Click HERE to go to the Cradle Fables Facebook Fan Club!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New & re-vamped products in the pipeline!

I have so many things on the go at the moment, chiefly some new projects (and re-vamping of current products!).

First up is a new soft toy called "My Little Monster", my 2 boys have inspired this one and I can't wait to show you pictures.

Also coming soon is some gorgeous covered notebooks for Mum, I just adore my notebooks and I am working on a fabric cover that you can re-use when you need a new notebook. I am also looking at putting together a "New Mum" Gift Pack which I am really excited about!

Due to the arrival of Winter, I am also going to be listing my gorgeous little baby beanies on their own. These were one of my very first creations, which I have only ever included in my Gift Packs of handmade products - the Twin Gift Pack, the Luxury Baby Gift Pack (which also includes my beautiful crochet baby wraps), and the Practical Baby Gift Pack. So keep your eyes peeled for my baby beanies with a twist!

As always, custom order enquiries are welcome!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Konstant Kaos Giveaway!

Another great giveaway, this one from Konstant Kaos - a gorgeous little coin purse.

This one closes 8th June so be quick!!

June BrisStyle Giveaway

The June giveaway is up on BrisStyle now!!

Two generous giveaways, one from Strat Designs and one from Raspberry Pink.

Monday, June 1, 2009

May Competition Winners!

First up is the Newsletter Subscriber Winner - Jane from Cookey Cat was drawn as the winner of the $15 voucher! Hope it comes in handy Jane!

The winner of the Blog Giveaway was the lovely Leisa from The Handmade Expo, Leisa won a TagNCuddle and a $10 voucher.

Finally the photo comp was won by Lesley who sent in 3 gorgeous photos of our products in use. Here is one of the photos - one of my limited edition Jungle TagNCuddles being well loved! You can see all the photos soon on our Photo Gallery Page. Lesley has on the way to her a Barefoot Magazine, one of our organic Cheeky Monkey bibs, and a crocodile Finger Puppet - enjoy!

Keep your eyes peeled for a new Blog Giveaway being posted soon!