Friday, December 31, 2010

Cosima Skincare Review + GIVEAWAY

The past week or so I have had the privilege of trying out two beautiful natural skincare products from Cosima Skincare.  Cosima is a new brand on the market founded by Angela Tyler, which has been developed from many years of research prompted by noticing that many 'natural' brands contained only 1 or 2 natural ingredients in a mix of other chemicals.  Cosima is 100% Australian owned and made, and guarantees to fight the visible signs of aging (and other skin related problems) using the highest quality natural, organic ingredients packed with active compounds with no fillers or other synthetic chemicals.  Which all sounds very exciting and completely suits my personal and business philosophy.

The first product I have been trying out is the Gentle Foaming Cleanser - This is a lovely light foaming cleanser that is surprisingly effective.  Gentle enough to use morning and night without irritation, yet removed my light make-up cover without trouble.  I love that this cleanser contains papaya as a gentle exfoliant and you can feel the light tingle when its on your skin.  The smell is also divine, sweet and natural (honeysuckle essential oil is listed on the ingredients list).  Big thumbs up on this product for me.
I also have been using the Flawless Eye Cream - this is described as a luxurious eye cream containing Myoxinol ("Nature's Botox") to help achieve flawless eyes without injections.  The first thing I really liked about this product was the airless pump packaging.  You might think this is a silly comment, but I'm quite averse to having to stick my fingers in skincare products and contaminating them every time you use them.  This eye cream is a lovely almost gel-like product that you only need a tiny amount of (I actually have to be careful not to pump out too much as I found a full pump was about twice what you need and just a waste).  Verdict - lovely and soothing, great to use either morning or night, leaves my eyes looking fresh and hydrated, and smells delicious.  Another thumbs up for the eye cream too.

The lovely Angela from Cosima Skincare is also going to send one of my readers a Gentle Foaming Cleanser (RRP $22.50) and a Flawless Eye Cream (RRP $69.00) to try out!  I'm sure whoever wins will love these products just as much as I do.

To enter (required):
Have a look at the Cosima Skincare website, and then comment here with what other product you like the look of and why (not the ones mentioned in this review).

You can also leave a separate comment for each of the following for further entries:
1. Follow this blog on Google Friend Connect
2. Join the Your Cheeky Monkey facebook page
3. Join the Cosima Skincare facebook page
4. Tweet this giveaway =
Cosima Skincare Giveaway at @YrCheekyMonkey

Conditions (please read):
Australian Entries only ~ Be sure to leave your email address in your comment if your profile is private, if I draw you as a winner but have no way of contacting you I will re-draw the prize ~ Winner drawn randomly and contacted by email ~ Giveaway closes in one week's time on Friday 7th January at 8pm (Qld time) ~ If winner does not claim prize within 7 days another winner will be selected ~ Prize will be sent directly to winner from Cosima.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Top Reading List of All Time

A recent tidy-up in our household got me putting aside all my favorite books to re-read over the Summer, so I thought I would share my top reading list of all time with you.
  • The Earth's Children Series by Jean M. Auel.  Of course beginning with "Clan of the Cave Bear" (1984), there is currently 5 books in the series.  The sixth and final book "The Land of Painted Caves" is due out in March 2011, which is very exciting if you have, like me, followed each book as it has been released over the past 27 years.
  • The Harry Potter Series.  I love reading these, and feel distinctly sad there is no more in the series to look forward to.
  • Each and every book by Barbara Erskine.  I own them all and quite regularly go back and read one or another of them.  The latest is "Time's Legacy" and is a must read if you haven't already.
  • The 'Temperance Brennan' series by Kathy Reichs.  Each year I also buy the new novel in this series.
  • The 'China Bayles' series by Susan Wittig Albert.  This series began in 1992 with 'Thyme of Death' and I have avidly awaited the next herbal mystery each year.  Although I don't own these books (they are from the USA and you can't very often find them in bookstores here) I am always getting them from the library to re-read. 
  • 'The Sunbird' by Wilbur Smith.  I think this is my favorite Wilbur Smith novel ever.  This was first published in 1972, my copy was printed in 1978 and is looking very fragile from all the readings over the years.  I think I love this because (like most Barbara Erskine novels) the story comprises 2 tales linked over time.
Well they are some of my favorite reads of all time, feel free to share yours with me here on this post.  I'd love to discover some amazing new books!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Aden + Anais Review & GIVEAWAY

If you have a new baby, swaddling is one of the most vital things you can do to make Bub feel happy and secure and to help her sleep better.  It stops the reflex motion from waking them up during sleep, and it mimics how they felt in the womb.

After having had 2 babies myself, I know just how important swaddling is.  Baby wraps would have to be on my top 5 list of 'must-have' items for a newborn.  So this week I have been very happy to be able to have a close look at the gorgeous Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddles.

The Aden + Anais Swaddles have loads of great features and benefits:
  • They are 100% cotton muslin.  I live in a very warm climate and you can still wrap your baby if you use muslin as its so breathable.  Muslin is also lovely and soft on Bub's skin.
  • Large 120x120cm size.  One of my pet hates is those wraps that are about 75x100cm.  Too small!  With this nice big size you can keep wrapping your baby as they get older and not have to buy new swaddles.
  • Aden + Anais have a lovely range of cute prints, I received the Jungle Jam Swaddle pack and I just love them.
  • You can use these for lots of other uses too.  As a light blanket, use in the car or pram, for nursing in public, and the list goes on.

One lucky reader of my blog is going to be lucky enough to win their choice of a gender-neutral, girl or boy 4-pack of classic swaddles valued at $49.95!  Read on for how to enter.

To enter (required):
Leave a comment here on this post with your thoughts on swaddling.  You also need to follow Aden + Anais on their facebook page and twitter.

You can also leave a separate comment for each of the following for further entries:
1. Follow this blog publicly
2. Join the Your Cheeky Monkey facebook page
3. Tweet this giveaway =
@adenandanais Swaddle Giveaway at @YrCheekyMonkey

Conditions (please read):
Australian Entries only ~ Be sure to leave your email address in your comment if your profile is private, if I draw you as a winner but have no way of contacting you I will re-draw the prize ~ Winner drawn randomly and contacted by email ~ Giveaway closes in two week's time on Wednesday 5th January at 8pm (Qld time) ~ Prize will be sent directly to winner from Aden + Anais.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The things they don't warn you about

There's a lot others don't tell you before you become a parent.  An awful lot.  I don't know why - maybe people don't like to sound negative?  Or maybe they just think "hehe now someone else has to go through all these things".  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  I know everyday that the good outweighs the bad.  But to be honest (and if you are a parent I'm sure you will agree) there are some things that absolutely drive you nuts!  For example:
  • The constant loud noise.  I can't speak for girls because I don't have any, but my boys (unless they are sleeping) pretty much never shut up for 2 seconds in a row.  And its all at the loudest pitch possible.
  • The mess.  Even when I tidy the house up on kindy days, as soon as they get home they leave a magical trail of toys and rubbish behind them.  Was I like this?  I'm not sure.  Maybe my Mum was just better at getting my sister and I to clean up.
  • The never ending eating.  I feel like a feeding machine most of the time.  Breakfast, snacks, lunch, snacks, dinner, pudding, milk.  And what worries me is in 10 years time how much they will be eating when they are teenagers.  My 5 year old eats 3 weet-bix for breakfast no worries and is hungry an hour later.  Oh well maybe its time to invest in shares in Coles.
  • The amazing ability kids have to repeat something a thousand times.  When your children are babies its SO exciting when they say 'Mum' for the first time.  Now on some days I sort of feel like running away when I hear it repeated a trillion times.  You know how it goes "Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum....."  I truly believe repetition is a form of torture.
But wouldn't life be boring if all was perfect?  I love my boys along with all their idiosyncrasies, and as easy as it is to have a whinge, all is good with the world xx

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Note to Authors and Writers

If you are an author of any sort of writing, whether it be books or simply articles like I write, here is a tip for you.  Occasionally google your name and see what comes up.

The other night I googled my name, and found one of my articles used by a well known Australian Organisation.  Which is fantastic, except they put my name after the article and didn't use the rest of my credit blurb. 

It's very disappointing, as they have used my writing for their content without wanting to give me full credit or link to my website.  I received an email back saying they are mindful of crediting the authors of the articles they use.  Yeah right.

And I guess the same goes in reverse too - if you are a business or organisation, if you use somebody's articles or writing please give them full credit.  Otherwise you eventually will be found out and your reputation will be damaged.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Picnic Pack Winner

Congratulations to nellbe, who I just drew as the winner of the Picnic Pack & Tea Tree Giveaway.

And a big thank you to everyone else who took the time to enter!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tea Tree Oil Spray Review & GIVEAWAY

Summer is on the way, and in Australia that can mean hot humid weather, which is in turn ideal growing conditions for mould and other lovely things.  If you are like me and hate having to turn to chemical solutions, tea tree oil is the best all-round answer.  I keep bottles of tea tree oil in the laundry (put a couple of drops in your wash to combat fungus and bacteria), in the bathroom (wipe a little on insect bites or cuts and scrapes), and in the kitchen (a couple of drops wiped over surfaces smells great and ensures there is no nasties left after chopping meat).  Now you can also - woohooo! - buy tea tree oil in a spray can.  This has been so fantastic for me lately, I've sprayed it around the dog kennel and bedding, used it on bathroom surfaces and the toilet for cleaning, in my husband's smelly work boots, and around the room where my sick son has been sleeping.  Best of all, the tea tree spray saves you money because it has so many uses, and you don't need to buy 10 different products for around the house!

If you want to try the Bosisto's Tea Tree Spray (RRP$12.95) you will find it in the medicinal aisle in Woolworths and in pharmacies - and if you would like more information you don't hesitate to contact FGB Natural Products directly through their website.

Now have a look at the picture below.  FGB is very kindly going to send one of my blog readers one of their Picnic Packs!!  This is valued at $120 and contains a 2 person picnic backpack set, Tea Tree Oil 50ml, Tea Tree Spray, and an information brochure.  What a fab prize!  And just in time for Summer too.

To enter (required): Simply leave a comment here on this post where you might use this fabulous prize pack over Summer.

You can also leave a separate comment for each of the following for further entries:

1. Follow this blog publicly
2. Join the Your Cheeky Monkey facebook page
3. Tweet this giveaway =
$120 Picnic Pack Giveaway at @YrCheekyMonkey

Conditions (please read):
Australian Entries only please ~ Be sure to leave your email address in your comment if your profile is protected, if I draw you as a winner but have no way of contacting you I will re-draw the prize ~ Winner drawn randomly and contacted by email ~ Giveaway closes in one week's time on Friday 3rd December 2010 at 8pm (Qld time) ~ Prize will be sent directly to winner from FGB Natural Products.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christmas Star Decorations

Welcome to the November Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.

The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is "Technology and Design". This is about being able to design or make something to solve a problem. Check out the links at the bottom to find some other great posts on T&D.


In this post I am doing a fairly easy but none the less fun craft - Christmas Stars made from ice-block sticks.  They are suitable for toddlers as well as older children to make.  I have just used what we had in the house without purchasing anything extra.

What you will need is:
  1. Ice-block or lollipop sticks - Craft shops usually have these in bulk and cheap.  You need 6 for each star
  2. Craft glue
  3. Ribbon or similar for hanging
  4. Decorations - glitter paint, sequins, jewels, etc.

Begin by gluing 2 triangles together and then let them dry (this is a good time to explore and talk about triangle shapes!)

Then glue one triangle on top of the other, each triangle the opposite way around to the other.

Then decorate as simply or as wildly as you (and the kids) like.

Some other ideas for these Christmas Stars are:
  • Use them as name place settings for the Christmas table - Don't put a hanger on, write the persons name on the straight bit, and decorate around.
  • Could also use as above on gifts.
  • Attach another ice-block stick to the bottom (no hanger) so you can stand it in a pot.
  • Attach lots along a string to make a special Christmas bunting.
This is a great craft for Christmas, simple but still effective. And a really fun introduction to technology and design!!


Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival. Teach/Learn Please take the time to visit the other participants and find more Christmas themed posts on Technology and Design.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beautiful Bamboo

For all the right reasons, bamboo is the newest natural fibre to revolutionize clothing manufacture.  It is wonderful for Eczema and Allergy sufferers, it is eco-friendly, and it feels divine!  A few of the many benefits of bamboo are:
  1. Bamboo fabric is softer than cotton, and has a texture more similar to silk
  2. It is a naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic product grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides
  3. Quick to absorb moisture which means it keeps you dry and odor free  
  4. Bamboo plants are very quick growers and do not require fertilisers or pesticides to grow well, they require very little water and can survive drought conditions as well as flooding
  5. Bamboo is a sustainable and renewable resource as it is so extremely fast growing
  6. Bamboo fibre also has an anti-ultraviolet function
So, i am just adoring some of the bamboo products now on the market.  I was recently lucky enough to win a yoga/sports top from Bamboo Belle (pictured below)... well I'm in loooove!  So soft, comfy AND flattering too.  I have now purchased the bamboo pants to go with the top, and to be honest I think they will be getting worn to death in time to come!

Our latest bamboo product in-store at Your Cheeky Monkey is the Shinwa Organic Bamboo Baby Wraps.  These are a large muslin type wrap measuring 115 x 130cm.  They are Australian designed and made from 100% organic unbleached bamboo with an organically dyed raw silk border. They are hand printed with natural pigments from hand painted original designs.  I am totally in love with these too, and I'm sure any new Mum will adore swaddling her little baby in one of these!

And don't forget about our other super gorgeous bamboo products in-store:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Easy Rum Balls Recipe

One of the things I really love about Christmas is the excuse to eat Rum Balls.  And what makes it even better is that they are so easy to make.  Here is a recipe I have had for ages (I can't even remember where I got it from), I recommend you make 2 or more batches.  Once made, you can pop them in fancy jars to keep in the fridge all ready to give on Christmas morning.

Easy Rum Balls
1 packet crushed sweet biscuits (I like arrowroot)
1 cup coconut
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
2 T cocoa powder
4 T Rum
1/2 c sultanas

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.  Roll into ball shapes in your hands, then roll through coconut.  Store in an airtight container.

Other Christmassy Links to get you in the Christmas Mood!
**Christmas shopping for gorgeous baby products online**

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    Christmas Gift ideas for Young and Old

    Well I'm trying to be organised and have started my Christmas shopping, I don't know about you but I'm a very practical sort of person (being a Capricorn), so I like most gifts I buy or make to have a usable and practical element about them.  Here are some of my ideas for Christmas gifts (including some ideas for those that are hard to buy for):
    • Get in the kitchen and start cooking.  One of my faves to make for gifts is Rum Balls, but you could also try something like Christmas Puddings to make and package up nicely to give.  Foodstuffs you have made yourself are great gifts for grandparents and men.
    • Colin over at Super Parents has mentioned recently that he doesn't like his kids to receive too many Christmas presents.  I'm in total agreement with that sentiment, and like him we give our kids a mix of things just for fun as well as things they need.  This year I think swim toys will be big for us, and they have on their wish lists things from Ben 10, Transformers and Lego.
    • I love the post Melissa from Business Mums has recently written about Charity Gifts for Christmas gifts, and I think its a fab idea. If you need to purchase corporate gifts for your business this is definitely one area to look into.
    • I just love the cute Kids Christmas Mug and Finger Puppet Gift Sets I have listed in-store - very cute, but very practical!  Great gift idea for a pre-schooler if you don't want to get into all the licensed things.
    • Jewelery is always a special option for that Mum, wife or girlfriend in your life.  If you are not sure what to buy I noticed a link to a Style Tips page over at the Annette Piper Jewelery blog - lots of great tips and ideas on face shapes, a persons style etc.
    • Who needs to buy gifts for teachers?  This year I am getting Sample Packs from Green Tea Frog for each of my boys kindy classes for the teachers to divvy up between themselves.  I usually struggle with what to get for their teachers (that doesn't end up costing a fortune), and I think these are a perfect idea.
    • If anyone has a tiny Bubba to buy for, what about Sophie the Giraffe - I am just passionate about Sophie and the range of Organic Baby Gift Sets currently out.  Sophie is a true icon, and is made from natural rubber, plus babies LOVE Sophie!
    Feel free to share any of your Christmas Gift ideas here, I love hearing what other people like to buy and make and hopefully getting some more inspiration for my Christmas shopping too!

    Other Christmas links:
    Christmas Gift Ideas
    Loving Christmas Crafts
    Christmas Music
    Photo Christmas Cards

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Family Friendly Chilli Con Carne Recipe

    I threw this recipe together yesterday afternoon, and it was so easy and delicious I thought I would share it here.  Its also fantastic value, it made 3 meals for our family from 500g mince!  I have used Herbies Mexican Spice Blend, as it has no msg, chemicals or other nasties.

    Family Friendly Chilli Con Carne

    1 large onion, diced
    500g beef mince
    1 - 2 T Herbies Mexican Spice Blend
    1 red capsicum, de-seeded and diced
    800g tin diced tomatoes
    400g tin red kidney beans, drained
    400g tin corn kernals, drained
    Approx 1/4 c tomato paste
    Approx 1 cup vegetable stock

    In a large deep saucepan, heat a dash of olive oil and fry the onions for a minute or so.  Add the mince and Mexican Spice Blend and cook until mince starts to brown.  Add capsicum, tomatoes, beans, corn, tomato paste and stock.  Give a good stir and simmer without a lid for about 3 hours (add some water if it starts to cook too dry).

    Divide into 3 (One for dinner, one for dinner the next night, and freeze one lot for another night).  Serve with brown rice, as a filling for baked potatoes, or with crusty bread. 

    Some of my other recipes you might like to try:
    Zucchini Slice
    Easy Bacon & Broccoli Pasta
    Slow Cooker Casserole

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Why doesn't an Igloo Melt Inside?

    Welcome to the October Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.

    The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is "Studies of Society and the Environment" which covers all the humanities, from history to finance, geography, politics and of course the environment. Check out the links at the bottom to find some other great posts on SOSE.


    I found the theme for this month's Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival to be interesting and a bit of a challenge.  Studies of Society and the Environment has such a broad range, and the topic that ended up coming to mind (with Christmas coming up/Santa/North Pole/snow.... get my drift?) was Eskimo's and Igloo's, and in particular the fascinating question of why don't houses made of ice melt when a fire is lit inside them?  So, my kids and I did some reading about this topic, and we also found some cute crafts and colouring along the way (links of our favorites below).

    Igloo's are built from blocks of ice laid in circles upon circles, each layer shaved down so they make a narrowing spiral.  The man making it works from the inside.  Then finally at the top a block with edges wider than below is dropped in to the last space left.  Finally all the cracks are filled in with soft snow.  Next comes the important bit.  An Eskimo takes a very hot lamp inside, then closes the igloo with a block of ice to make everything airtight.  When the ice starts to melt, instead of all dripping down to the ground, the water runs with the curve of the igloo and soaks gradually into the ice bricks so that they are nearly wet through.  When the blocks are all wet, the door is removed, and when the cold air rushes in the house is transformed to a incredibly strong dome of ice!  It's so strong a polar bear can crawl over the roof without breaking it!  However, igloo's only last for the winter as once spring arrives and the temperature rises the igloo does melt and cave in.

    Igloo's are a fascinating topic for those living in a warm part of Australia, and it has been fun exploring and thinking about these little ice houses.

    To expand on this theme these are the activities I chose for us to work on further:

    Igloo Colouring Page (with practice writing on it as well)
    Read the book 'Diego's Arctic Adventure' by Emily Sollinger
    And if you are looking for a group activity save up your milk bottles and build a milk jug igloo!


    Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival. Teach/Learn

    Please take the time to visit the other participants and check out their posts on "Studies of Society and the Environment."

    • The Planning Queen has pulled together some of the many great sources that you can use to keep kids up to date with world news.
    • SMMART Ideas is writing about how your 2 year old isn't too young to learn the names and locations of the state she lives in and those around her...or even countries of the world!
    • For Adventures with Kids, photos can provide a great starting point for telling or discovering history, from family history to world history. Find out some questions to ask about the photos to get you started and where you can find historical images.
    • Narelle at A Bunch of Keys has been having lots of fun learning all about volcanoes and how they work.
    • Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey knows that kids are fascinated with igloos - how they are built and why they don't melt. We investigate why!
    • Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now has a fun treat to celebrate the end of a geography unit on land and water forms.
    • At Homeage, almost every day they get another piece of the world delivered to their door, helping them learn about where and how other people live.
    • Deb's girls at Science@home have been building their family tree and talking about all their relationships.

    Thanks for visiting our carnival, have fun reading all the posts.

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    Special New Baby Gifts

    When I had my sons I was given lots of gift packs and nappy cakes that, while they were gorgeous to look at, contained cheap products that you buy in the $2 shops, or they were (obviously) expensive bouquets which had a lot of extraneous materials and a couple of pairs of baby socks and a singlet (or similar).  Which was SO disappointing!  If you have had babies, I'm sure you know what I am talking about.

    This is actually a topic I am now quite passionate about, especially after starting Your Cheeky Monkey, and hearing feedback about how useful the new Mums found all the items in our packs (and being quite surprised about it).

    My newest gift pack for a new baby contains the most divine products for a new Bub, and is called "Welcome to the World Little One" and contains Australian products like a Babyjo Bamboo Beanie, Baby Billie Goats Milk Soap Wash, one of our very popular Burp Cloths, a Bonds Singlet and more.  There is absolutely no wasteful packaging either as it comes in a handy re-usable zippered case for Mum!!

    So, if you need to purchase a special new baby gift, head over to Your Cheeky Monkey and let me create a gift for you that the new Mum will just love (and not have to throw most of it away!).

    You might also like to read the amazing write-up Babyology did on our New Mum and Baby Bag a while ago!

    New Mum Bag
    Cuski Baby Comforters

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Small Steps for Big Changes

    Over the past few years I am ashamed to say I have not paid very much attention to my weight or fitness.  With a young family and 2 businesses it really seems to take last place on my list of priorities.  So, while I don't actually feel too unfit, the kilo's have sort of crept up with that yucky re-distribution of squishy bits to hips and tummy (a while ago I even wrote an article about Exercise and Working from Home).

    Because I want to start feeling a bit better about myself I have been trying to implement some SMALL changes to my life to incorporate better foods into my diet, eat less calories, and consequently have more energy and be happier.  The main things I have successfully been doing are:
    1. Replacing all the coffee (and milk in it) I drink with green tea.  I still have 1 or 2 cups of coffee in the morning, but the rest of the day I am only having green tea.
    2. Every morning having a good women's multi-vitamin and also Evening Primrose Oil tablets. 
    3. Eating a good breakfast.  At the moment I love 'Table of Plenty' Muesli (with lots of nutritious ingredients), with a little bit of yogurt and milk.
    4. Eating fruit when hungry in-between meals.
    5. Ensuring I have a little 'Me' time each week - doing a facial or body scrub at home, going for a predicure, etc.
    I suppose that doesn't sound like much, but I guess I am trying to implement the small changes gradually, otherwise it can be such a shock to the system and you end up giving up and reverting to all the old habits!

    What are your 'small steps'?  Comment away, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Learning to Tell the Time

    Welcome to the September Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.

    The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is "Maths", which isn't just about counting! Our bloggers have written about games, materials, memory, shapes, graphs and more. Check out the links at the bottom to find some other great posts on Maths.


    Is it just me, or does it seem a lot of kids (and consequently some adults) are not able to tell the time on an analogue watch?  I'm not sure if its being old-fashioned on my part, but I think its quite important to be able to read an analogue watch or clock (also to understand 24 hour time as well, but that's not what I'm writing about today).  My sons just had their 4th and 5th birthdays, and we bought them a watch each as one of their gifts.  They just looove them and think they are so grown up having their own watch. 

    When a child learns to tell the time on their own, it seems to give them more of a comprehension of the sequence of the day,  the process also involves recognition of numbers, number sequences, counting, general numeracy, and even starts the brain thinking about addition of numbers.

    Here are some free and low cost learning time ideas I have found:
    • Apple has an iphone application to help pre-school age children tell the time on an analogue clock! How cool is that!
    • There are heaps of books available to help children learn to tell the time.  One of our favorites at the moment about time is "The Grouchy Ladybug" by Eric Carle.  My five year old is enjoying reading it himself, and telling the time on each page (remember to hire from the library if you don't want to buy).  
    • You can find heaps of free online computer games, worksheets, and tutorials for learning to tell the time.
    • There is heaps of fantastic (and good value) resources for parents and teachers at Kids Learning is Fun for learning time.
    And the most important thing I am finding at the moment is just repetition over and over again with your child about how to tell the time - What is the short hand pointing to?  What is the long hand pointing to?  How many minutes in an hour? Etc etc.  It can be quite a complicated thing for a child to get their head around, so lots of patience and encouragement go a long way too!

    Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival. Teach/Learn
    Please take the time to visit the other participants and check out their posts on "Maths."
    • Marita at Stuff With Thing writes about meal time maths with the help of our dinner table centrepiece and other food related maths fun :)
    • AmandaB at HomeAge talks about numbers, shapes and sizes, who knew that nested building blocks could be so much more fun than just building them up and knocking them down!
    • For Cass at Schooling Choices the car is one of her favorite learning tools. She thinks you could teach a child almost everything they needed to know about Math without ever leaving the car.
    • Deb at Science@home let her kids raid the chocolate to measure and compare with scales and graphs.
    • Backyard Safari is a right-brained person who spent a lifetime struggling with math, but comes to see the light through the wonder of nature.
    • SMMART Ideas is another food learner, estimating with beans, noodles and cereal...and getting a little number writing practice in there too!
    • For Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey, learning to tell the time is an important part of learning for a child, and it incorporates areas of Maths such as number recognition, counting, sequences and general numeracy.
    • Narelle at A Bunch of Keys has a simple sorting activity that can be done with young children using things found around the home.
    • Colin at Super Parents is writing about the discipline of maths, memory, and recall at 7 years old.
    • Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now loves all the Montessori math materials. But there’s one material she says is absolutely brilliant.
    • Miss Carly from Early Childhood Resources has a range of different mathematics activities that you can play with your children of all age groups!
    • Ash from Mm is for Me has been having some number fun for little learners!
    • The Planning Queen at Planning With Kids has games to teach number recognition to preschoolers - so they don't know you're doing it!
    • Julie at Works For Me Homemaking says it might surprise you to know that maths is heavily reliant on language. Here is a brief discussion of some of the "language" of maths and why children struggling with language development may find maths difficult.

    Thanks for visiting our carnival, we hope you find some interesting new blogs.

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Lavender Spray GIVEAWAY

    As busy Mums we all love natural products that have multiple uses around the home.  Along with Eucalyptus and Tea Tree, one of my absolute favorites is Lavender Essential Oil.  I use Lavender as a natural remedy for headache, sleeplessness, in my essential oil burner, and as a deodorizer and to make things smell great.  Lavender is perfect to use around a baby too to help induce sleep and as a natural antiseptic for areas such as the change table or nappy bucket.  Now Bosisto's have put Lavender into their handy spray cans to make life even easier for us Mums!

    The new Bosisto's Lavender Spray (RRP$12.95) can be found in the medicinal aisle in Coles and in pharmacies - if you would like more information you can contact FGB Natural Products through their website.

    Would you like to try out some of the new Lavender Spray?  Well I have 5 full-size 100g cans (and info brochures) to give away to my readers!  Read on to find out how to get your hands on one...

    To enter: Simply leave a comment here on this post about a use you can think of for Bosisto's Lavender Spray.

    You can also leave a separate comment for each of the following for further entries:

    1. Follow this blog publicly
    2. Join the Your Cheeky Monkey facebook page
    3. Tweet this giveaway =
    Lavender Giveaway from @YrCheekyMonkey

    Australian Entries only please ~ Be sure to leave your email address in your comment if your profile is protected, if I draw you as a winner but have no way of contacting you I will re-draw the prize ~ Winners drawn randomly and contacted by email ~ Giveaway closes in one week's time on Friday 17th September 2010 at 8pm (Qld time).

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Thoughts of Christmas Food

    Christmas, The Silly Season, and Christmas Food Shopping ~

    With the Silly Season fast approaching, thoughts of food for Christmas Day (and indeed the Christmas Season) start knocking at my consciousness.  I don't actually mean getting excited about all the yummy food and having an excuse to make a glutton of myself (although ok I do), I mean its nearly time to order the Christmas Hams and start considering just how damn hot it usually is in Queensland for Christmas lunch!!  I just had to share this poem about shopping for a Christmas turkey I came across with you, it gave me a bit of a giggle!

    It was Christmas Eve closing time, nearly
    Where a last minute shopper, frustrated clearly
    Was rummaging through the freezer cabinet
    At her nearest out of town super market
    Desperately searching for a frozen turkey
    And couldn't find one big enough for her family
    Then she saw a young shop assistant pass by
    And decided that she would give him a try
    "Do these turkeys get any bigger?" she said
    Puzzled he replied "No madam, they're dead."

    I'm also planning my Christmas Crafts (as I talked about in an earlier post) and Christmas gifts for family members.  It's always a huge challenge of what to buy the adult male members of my family - do you find this too?  And don't forget if you have a little baby to purchase for you will find some gorgeous products and gift sets over at Your Cheeky Monkey :-)

    External Links about Christmas you might like:
    But we don't have a chimney
    Christmas Gifts and the Santa Clause Club
    Christmas is Coming
    Christmas Gift Ideas

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Yuck its Magpie Season

    I really hate being swooped by Magpies in Spring, there is always nesting birds around my house and I literally don't go out of the house I'm so scared of them.  It's even worse seeing my boys being attacked, so my husband put these on the boys helmets to scare the maggies off (he said he has seen cyclists with similar on their helmets) - and guess what, it works!!

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Finding Inspiration, or maybe not

    Not sure what it might be, maybe the coming change in seasons, but there has been lots of mentions and whispering of inspiration and where it comes from around the internet.

    As lots of other Aussie families have, we have had a winter of constant minor sicknesses.  Just bad enough to keep kids home from kindy and have you feeling rather rotten.  Coupled with my over-crowded and well lived in sewing room, I have to admit I don't have many creative juices flowing at the moment.  Mostly I have been working on lots of my handmade Bunny Rugs, for some reason these are quite popular at the moment, but I am happy to sit and crochet even if I am feeling under the weather!

    Amanda over at Busy Mum 2010 recently blogged about getting the creative juices flowing - She is very clever to keep a journal handy for inspirational thoughts, designs & patterns, and also uses music to help kick start the creative part of her brain.

    Annette over at Under The Loupe is also talking about how hard it is to get inspired at times.  She thinks a little escape works wonders, such as taking a drive outside your normal area.

    Hmm I think for me a spring clean of my creative space will work wonders, as well as getting my family 100% well again.  All I can say is "roll on spring"!!

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    Learning About the Human Body

    Welcome to the August Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.

    The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is "Science", because this is National Science Week. Science includes all sorts of practical activities and exploration and we have lots of different ideas in this carnival. Check out the links at the bottom to find some other great posts on science.


    At what age can you start teaching kids about their bodies?  Well I think as early as possible!  As I am a biological science nerd by education, its something I am having so much fun with at the moment with my 2 kids.  The outer body parts are all sort of on the way to being ingrained now (my boys are nearly 4 and nearly 5), so we are beginning on the internal organs - and I thought I would show you some of the things we are doing at present.  The first picture below is a fantastic floor puzzle I found at the Social Book Club - every time we do it I can talk about some of the body parts, what they do, and where they are located.

    Books are also a vital resource for our learning.  They are great to have on hand so when questions or discussion comes up about a body part or organ, you can get some books out to look at and talk about.

    Finally, here is my first ever You Tube movie effort.  Don't under estimate your children's school or kindy to access for resources - I have found ours to be extremely helpful if I tell them what we are doing at home and they lend us some things to relate.  In the movie is a very cool vest with organs on I loaned from the boys kindy - the boys thought this was 'so cool' and we have had heaps of fun looking at it.  Here is a little clip I took of my 4 year old.

    So, there we have it.  A few of the fun things we are doing to begin on the path of knowing and understanding the human body's parts and their function.  Hopefully I can help to instill a lifelong love of Science in my children!

    Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.
    Please take the time to visit the other participants and check out their posts on "Science."

    • CatWay at Adventures With Kids is Magnifying It by playing with magnifying glasses and microscopes to help your child explore the world of the very small.
    • Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now was never very scientifically minded. One year, though, we participated in a homeschool co-op science fair. Two months later we moved and didn’t have the opportunity to participate in a science fair again. But that experience was a great learning opportunity – and, yes, it actually was fun!
    • Monique from Your Cheeky Monkey is commencing on the road of learning about the Human Body (both inside and out). Find out a few of the things we are doing to learn about our amazing bodies!
    • SMMART Ideas shows how you can enjoy making these sticky spiderwebs with your child, learn how spiders actually make their webs and other arachna-facts!
    • Amanda B at HomeAge says that science is not her forte, but for young children the world is one big science lesson. How do we answer all their questions so that these answers are meanings rather than facts?
    • Narelle from A Bunch of Keys has some simple kid friendly activities to do to help attract birds into the garden.
    • Deb from Science@home's daughter has decided to be an alienpologist, and she's reflecting on all the different ways kids are exposed to ideas and fun activities.
    • Staci at Teaching Money to Kids has a simple sorting activity that kids can do anywhere to get them to observe and compare.
    • Ash from Mm is for Me have been running their own family Science Week with lots of fun activities.
    Thanks for visiting our carnival, we hope you find some interesting new blogs.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Harry's Rocky Road Winner

    A big congrats to the lucky winner of the Harry's Rocky Road Chocolate Freckles ~ drew number 58, so the winner was...... S.Franssen.

    Please note that some comments had to be deleted & these have been taken into account when determining the winner.

    Thank you everyone for your entries!

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Facebook Auction for Ugly Fabric Craftathon pieces!

    {AUCTION THIS FRIDAY, 13th August at 8PM EST}

    The Handmade Coop will be holding a mini auction on their facebook fan page this coming Friday night 13th August.  They will be auctioning off all of the fantastic creations from the UGLY FABRIC CRAFT-A-THON. Please remember that these items are strictly a ONE-OFF, so if you loved a particular piece this is your ONLY chance to make it YOURS.

    Pieces were created by 1 Puddle Lane, BabyGalah, by Connie, IndigoElephant, Simply Dollicious and Your Cheeky Monkey. A photo album of the items on offer will be uploaded tonight so that you can check them out over at the Handmade Kids Cooperative Facebook Page.

    My entries which are going to be auctioned were a gorgeous patchwork baby quilt, along with matching Baby Play Ball and TagNCuddle Tag Comforter.  The quilt wadding is bamboo, while the soft play ball is stuffed with pure wool.  Each item is beautifully handmade.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Loving Christmas Crafts

    I'm going to do it.  Say the C word.... just don't shoot me!!

    Yes, its creeping up on us - Christmas, that is.  About this time of year we all break out the lists of Christmas gifts to buy, and start worrying about family feuds on Christmas day.  Also a bit daunting can be the very real and scary issue of having kids a bit older who no longer believe in Santa... what on earth do you do to stop them telling the younger kids and spoiling the Christmas fun for them?  Check out the Santa Claus Club, it is truly a wonderful invention!

    But there is two things I love doing about this time of year.  Firstly is working on getting a nice photo of my 2 boys together. I LOVE LOVE doing photo Christmas Cards with my sons, it's really a highlight of my year getting the photo and making up cards - in thinking about it, it really is a bit of a tradition for me now as I have done it every year since my first son was born.  Thought I would share with you the picture below that DIDN'T make it into the Christmas cards a couple of years ago.

    I also like to start planning some Christmas crafts right about now.  Whether making a fabric tree skirt or a table runner, crocheting a new Christmas tea towel topper, making some baby Christmas Applique Singlets, or getting the kids to help me make some new tree decorations. 

    This Christmas craft project that I found is going to be first on my list this year - this is SO COOL to use up some of your old Christmas cards (if you are like me and always keep them all) - a Recycled Christmas Card Basket - can't wait to get stuck into some of these!

    And to get you all in the mood here's some Christmas Music hehe.

    What do you start planning for Christmas at this time of year??

    Also see:
    Using up the Christmas Ham

    External Links:
    Keeping a Gift Closet
    Christmas is Coming

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Harry's Chocolate Freckles Review + GIVEAWAY

    Put your hand up if you love chocolate!  Put your hand up if your love handmade!  Well, as you probably know I am passionate about both, so was pretty happy a couple of weeks ago when I was given the opportunity to review a brand new product from Harry's Rocky Road - Harry's Handmade Chocolate Freckles.

    I had my blog review all planned out, I was going to do a lovely post with photos and feedback comments from my sons.  But guess what.  I opened the packet when they were at kindy.  I couldn't help myself.  I ate all of them.  What a piggy.

    So, all I can really say in this review is that actions speak louder than words.  These were so delicious I just couldn't stop myself eating the whole packet.  But upon reading the product information, the chocolate freckles are hand poured discs of Callebaut Couverture chocolate, which are sprinkled with naturally coloured hundreds and thousands.  Now, does that sound like something you would waste on a child?  No I say, keep these for yourself as a truly delicious adult treat!!!

    They come in 6 different varieties - milk or white chocolate, sprinkled with multi-coloured, blue or pink hundreds and thousands.  Wouldn't the pink or blue varieties be perfect for a baby shower??

    Now we come to the fabulous part for you - Harry's Rocky Road is going to send one lucky reader of this blog TWO packets of his new Chocolate Freckles!!

    To enter:  Comment here why you would give anything to try Harry's new Chocolate Freckles?

    You can also leave a separate comment for each of the following for further entries:

    1. Follow this blog publicly
    2. Join the Your Cheeky Monkey facebook page
    3. Join the Harry's Rocky Road facebook page
    4. Tweet this giveaway = Chocolate Giveaway from @Y_C_Monkey & @HarrysRockyRoad
    5. Blog about this giveaway and leave the post URL in your comment
    Australian Entries only please ~ Be sure to leave your email address in your comment if your profile is protected, otherwise I can't contact you if you win ~ Winner drawn using and contacted by email ~ Giveaway closes in one week's time on Friday 13th August 2010 at 5pm (Qld time).

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Busy busy week

    The Connect 2 Mums Conference and Ausmumpreneur Awards was held over the weekend in Brisbane.  I had such a wonderful time seeing old friends and meeting lots of new Mums in business, and have come home with lots of lists of things to work on for my business.  Sadly I didn't win the Handmade Mumpreneur Award, but it was certainly fun to be up there on stage with the other amazing finalists!  A big congratulations to Antonette Golikidis of Little Innoscents who won the Ausmumpreneur of the Year Award.  I'm sure it is going to be a fantastic year for Antonette with this recognition of her business achievements.

    It was wonderful to come home on Sunday to my family, its always fun to go away but even nicer to arrive home I always think.  I also came home to lots of orders which was nice, so Monday was a very busy day making up lots of TagNCuddle Tag Comforters, packing orders and sending them out.  Melissa at Business Mums has just blogged about location, which got me thinking - I try and be as transparent as I can for my business (without advertising my home address as I have a home based business), and one thing I am happy to do for customer is arrange for customer pick up for those on the Gold Coast so locals don't have to pay for post if they don't want to.  Lately I have included "Gold Coast" through my website quite a lot, and now that google is picking up on it I am getting many telephone calls and emails from local ladies arranging to pick up their orders.  So, if you live on the Gold Coast don't forget I am always happy to offer this service.

    The weather has been divine the last couple of days here on the Gold Coast, I totally agree with Annette that Spring certainly seems to be on its way no matter what part of the country you are in!

    And to finish off this post, here is my latest Handmade Bunny Rug ~ Cheeky Monkies just for your own cheeky little monkey!  It's just so cute, I'm getting seriously clucky at the moment with all the gorgeous baby products around!!

    Thursday, July 29, 2010

    Product Review: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair for Eyes

    I have to admit straight up that I have never used Estee Lauder products.  Why?  I'm not sure really.  Not because I didn't like the image of the brand, or that I didn't think they were good products.  I believe its because I never had a friend or family member who used the brand - you know what its like, someone says "I love this new product I'm using, you just have to try it too".

    So, a few weeks ago I was mightily chuffed to be chosen by Soup to be part of the test drive team for the brand new Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair for Eyes.  I was happy to be given this opportunity not only to give a top of the range product a try, but to also experience an Estee Lauder product for the first time.

    I have now been using Advanced Night Repair for Eyes for a few weeks, and I thought it was about time I blogged some of my thoughts about it.

    Advanced Night Repair for Eyes is more of a gel than a cream - first big plus in my opinion, I live in Queensland where its hot most of the time and its SO much nicer to use a gel than a heavy cream on your face.  Another thing you notice straight away is that this product smells serious - let me explain, you can tell its not filled with perfumes and other rubbish, it smells like there are lots of active ingredients and they are not trying to fool you with over the top scents or colours.

    I am in my mid 30's with 2 young sons and a business, so admittedly my skin care routine has suffered badly over the past few years.  It really has seemed like a low priority, however now with wrinkles starting to appear I know I'm going to have to pick my game up.  I also like simple skin care routines, where I can just put the products on and go without having to muck around. 

    The product information tells me initial results should be brighter more radiant looking eyes, and increased hydration and smoother looking skin.  Well, I do have to agree with this.  The fine lines and tiredness around my eyes have improved noticeably.  I will definitely be continuing to use the product nightly.

    What I didn't like:  The Advanced Night Repair for Eyes comes in a little tub with a little stick thing you are supposed to apply it with, then wash it each time.  Well, I am too busy and too lazy to bother doing that (yes I know I'm not the expert and there is probably a reason for having to apply it like that) so for me I end up sticking my finger in it to use it.  Which I know you are not supposed to do because it contaminates the product.  I personally like those little airless pump container things that you don't have to worry about contaminating it with your finger, or dropping it and losing half on the floor or something along those lines.

    In conclusion: I actually really like this Eye product - its fantastic to use, it actually does something, and apart from my thoughts on the packaging I would recommend it to anyone, especially if (like me) you are in your 30's or 40's and noticing some signs of aging or sun damage.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010

    Will you please vote for me??

    Hi everyone!!!  I would really appreciate it if you could take a moment and vote for me (YOUR CHEEKY MONKEY) over at the Handmade Kids Cooperative - I have taken part in an 'Ugly Fabric Challenge' and the result is a baby quilt, baby fabric ball and TagNCuddle Tag Comforter.

    All you need to do is go to the Handmade Kids Cooperative Blog and click on YOUR CHEEKY MONKEY at the top right hand side.

    THANK YOU THANK YOU if you can take the time to do this! Monique xx

    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    Some things I love about being a Mum

    Early morning snuggles (even if they are wriggly little worms)
    The way they smell (not thinking about the teen years yet)
    The way they say "I love you mum" all the time (and burning those words in my mind)
    Watching them when they sleep (and hoping I can protect them for many years to come)

    Sunday, July 18, 2010

    The Value of Storytelling

     Welcome to the July Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival. 

    The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is “English”, including Speaking, Listening, Reading and Viewing. I think our bloggers have covered all of these and there are lots of resources and game ideas, plus a giveaway. Please read through to the end to find links to the other participating blogs.
    This month's Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival is being held in respect of the Literacy and Numeracy Week coming up at the end of the month.  As I read up on what the Week is all about, I thought about what it might mean to me and my children at the ages they are of 3 and 4.  The most important factor that popped into my brain was 'storytelling' - which is what I decided to write about today.

    Storytelling is one of the oldest traditions of mankind.  It happens in all cultures, not only to entertain children (and adults too) but to perform the most important task of passing on traditions, cultural history, and as a communication tool.  Storytelling plays a vital part in the learning process for babies and children, it can help them understand situations and feelings, it brings a sense of closeness to the child and the teller of the story, and it can be incorporated into lovely daily routines that help a child feel secure and in control of the world around them.

    Storytelling and books also help parents to get involved early in their child's learning, which research has shown to be a most important factor in educational achievement.

    Story time at the end of the day is one of the most treasured times of the day for me as a Mum... well when my husband doesn't turn it into silly play which he so often does!  But seriously, sitting quietly with my sons reading their favorite books each night is very special to me.  I am a complete bookworm, and have always hoped that my children would turn out the same.  That remains to be seen in our family, but we can only do our best and show what an amazing place it is when you get lost in a book.

    Some of our favorite picture books to date (some old fave's and some new ones too) are:
    • Fix It Duck by Jez Alborough
    • The Very Hungry Caterpiller by Eric Carle (my favorite book as a young child)
    • George the Dragon and the Princess by Chris Wormell
    • Duck by Janet A Holmes and Jonathan Bentley
    • The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky
    • A Very Proper Fox by Jan Fearnley
    • Little Monkey by Kimberley Ainsworth
    There are lots more of course, but they are just some honorable mentions for ones that get a LOT of use.

    Some ideas on extending the practice of storytelling also deserve a mention here in my post.  Just a few things that spring to mind could be:
    • Act out the story with props or puppets, let your child's imagination go and create a puppet show from the story in the book.
    • Let your child (even if they can't read) turn the pages and "read" the story on their own out loud.  It is really quite amazing listening to the story they tell.
    • Use really crazy, funny or over the top voices for the story.  Lots of fun!
    • Use a book to spot different colours, or shapes, or name the animals.  The list goes on.
    And finally, if you have a child or children aged 5 or under, I have to recommend one Australian organisation to you - The Little Big Book Club is a not for profit arts organisation committed to the promotion of literature, reading, and Australian authors and illustrators.  I have been a regular reader of their website for many years, and a few months ago discovered they have a facebook page too where they post information, giveaways and more.  I can't say enough about this amazing organisation and what they do for young Australian families and the creators of picture books for kids.

    Storytelling to me is a truly vital part of life for both children and adults, and I hope that my sons keep their love of books through their lives and in turn pass it down to their children.  Then I know I will be happy!

    Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.
    Please take the time to visit the other participants and check out their posts on “English.”
    • Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey has written about why her family thinks storytelling is so important, some storytelling ideas, and a few of their favorite books.
    • Julie at Works For Me Homemaking is encouraging sound play with preschoolers and not just for fun. It is an important tool to develop sound awareness skills and enhance early literacy development.
    • Staci from Teaching Money to Kids reminds us that sometimes language and interaction need to be explicitly taught and practiced, and has some ways to teach the language of sharing.
    • Leechbabe from Stuff with Thing asks what happens when your child interprets everything said to them in a very literal way? How do you aid their understanding of the funny things people say?
    • Squiggle Mum was reminded recently that you don’t have to be a literacy specialist to know how to read aloud to a young child.  After all, it ain’t rocket science…
    • Lisa at SMMART Ideas has a LETTER MATCHING activity to help you practice spelling words, or even foreign language vocabulary.
    • Deb from Science@home has a giveaway to help you go on an expedition on your bookshelf.
    • Colin Wee at Super Parents is teaching his kids to argue by learning how to create a reasoned argument for English creative writing and the OREO Acronym.
    • The Planning Queen from Planning With Kids had her own bookclub when she and her son read the same book.  It was a great experience to have a book discussion with her son where she hadn’t been reading the story “to him”.
    • Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori agrees with Maria Montessori that young children have a natural love of learning. Thanks to matching Montessori sandpaper letters with small objects, her son decided as a toddler that learning to read was just a fun game.
    • Amanda at HomeAge posts that we all know The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but Eric Carle has so much more to offer to young readers, particularly those interested in the natural world. With bright, beautiful artworks and simple, repetitive stories these books are a wonderful way to entice the young “reader”.
    • Miss Carly from Early Childhood Resources has steps and advice in creating a literacy rich environment for children of all ages.
    • Christie at Childhood 101 points out that  the process of sharing stories through oral storytelling is an age old tradition amongst families, but does it have a place in our busy modern day family life?
    • Sarah at Bringing up Baby Bilingual describes her public library’s Writing Buddies program where high school student volunteers lead groups of at-risk fourth and fifth graders through a series of outer-space-themed writing activities.  Writing prompts and resources included in the post!
    • CatWay at Adventures With Kids asks What is phonics all about?  Is this something I should know more about to help my child learn to read and write?
    • Narelle from A Bunch of Keys has some simple suggestions for making your own literacy resources for children at home.  Includes ideas for books with simple rhymes, books with puppets, books about family trips and making felt boards.
    • Zoe at Playing By the Book has gone fishing for words in illustrated dictionaries to support her early reader.
    Thanks for visiting our carnival, we hope you enjoy some of these posts and have found some interesting blogs.

    Welcome to the July Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.

    The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by”>Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and
    learners all the time.  This month our theme is ”English”,
    including Speaking, Listening, Reading and Viewing.  I think our bloggers have
    covered all of these and there are lots of resources and game ideas, plus a
    giveaway.  Please read through to the end to find links to the other
    participating blogs.


    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    And the Winner is....

    The winner of the Cool Things for You Giveaway has been drawn!!  We had a total of 73 entries which was very impressive, all you Mums must need a bit of a treat.

    Entry number 27 was the winner as determined by which is..............

    Be A Fun Mum - YAY big congrats!

    Thanks everyone for entering, sorry there could be only one winner, but keep an eye out for another giveaway down the track a bit.

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Handmade Mumpreneur of the Year Finalist & Mag Feature

    I am so excited to be 1 of 5 finalists that has made it through to the final round for the 'Handmade Mumpreneur of the Year' in the upcoming Ausmumpreneur Awards.  Many other extremely worthy Mumpreneur designers and business women have also made the final, so its certainly going to be a very exciting night come the Awards ceremony.  You can see all the awards and finalists at Connect 2 Mums.

    Your Cheeky Monkey has also been included in a "MWWAH" (Mums who work at home) Feature in the July Issue of Soap World Magazine, which I am very chuffed about!  Check out the image of the feature below to see all the other fabulous businesses included.  A big thanks to Jess of MWWAH for extending this opportunity to all of us.

    This week also brings one of our Bunny Rugs being featured in the Handmade Kids Cooperative Blog, the theme being "Warm and Fuzzy" - too cute!

    I am also very busy with end of financial year stuff - its time to get the bookwork in order not only for the last quarters BAS, but to finalise everything for the 09/10 Financial Year.  School holidays are also in full swing, although with my oldest only stating Prep next year they don't really affect us.  I love this idea which I saw at the Business Mums Blog as a kids activity - Decorating Envelopes - sounds like heaps of fun for both Mums and Kids (bring out your inner child!  Send those business letters with some fun stickers if you dare!).  And over at the Under the Loupe Blog, Annette suggests reading books in front of the fire in this wintery weather - now that's my idea of heaven!

    Don't forget too my GIVEAWAY ends tomorrow evening - click {HERE} to enter.

    And the last bit of exciting news is that Sophie the Giraffe has a whole new organic range called 'So Pure' which has just been released, and Your Cheeky Monkey is one of the very first stockists in Australia.  There are 4 beautiful new packs to choose from in the So Pure Organic Sophie Range.

    Related Posts:
    Hip Little One Feature 
    New Mum & Baby Bag