Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Making Easter Hats on a Budget

This week we had to make Easter Hats at home for the boys to take to Kindy for their Easter parade. I have never had to make Easter Hats before so it was certainly a learning process for all of us.

I decided I wanted to arrange something that the boys were able to do mostly by themselves.  I also wanted to make them without having to go to the shops and spend heaps of money on craft items to make them. Our finished product ended up using only things we had in the house, you can adjust decorations to anything you might have in your house!

What you will need is:
A large cereal box
A large piece of sturdy cardboard (for the ears)
Some Easter themed pictures printed out to colour in (or you can free-style draw)
Cotton wool
Glue & a stapler
Various pens, paints, etc

We started with the bunny ears. I drew 2 bunny ears each on the sturdy cardboard. Then I cut them out and the boys coloured them in. Finally, I put a squiggle of glue down the middle and the boys stuck the cotton wool on. We then left these aside to dry.

Next I cut the cereal box down the side and cut 2 long strips about 7-8 cm wide for the headband. Leave flat. I cut out the pictures they wanted, then they stuck them on themselves with the glue stick.

Then it was time for a play outside and something to eat while everything dried!

After the glue had dried the boys decorated the pictures on their headbands with glitter paint - I couldn't find any paintbrushes so we improvised with cotton buds!!

They really enjoyed the painting bit, and did a beautiful colourful job.

After the paint has all dried, put the cardboard band around each child's head and staple together to fit. Then staple the bunny ears on and you are done!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Countdown to the Connect 2 Mums 2010 Conference

The Connect 2 Mums 'Connect '10 Conference' is on from the 30th July to the 1st August in Brisbane ~ I am so excited about this event, it will be the highlight of my professional calendar! If you are a WAHM (or a SAHM too) this event provides inspiration, motivation, celebration and connection. You get to attend fantastic seminars, network with heaps of other fabulous women, and make new friendships for life.

The Earlybird package ends on the 31st of March - you can save $100 on the conference price if you book and pay in the next couple of days (normal cost $395 - earlybird price $295 not including accommodation).

For more details see the Connect 2 Mums blog.

In conjunction with the Conference will be the awards dinner for the Ausmumpreneur Awards. I thought I might share with you a photo from last years awards - that is me third from the right. Also in the picture is Kelly Lynch Ring of Vital Earth Traditions, Nicole Grant of Nicole Grant Occupational Therapist, Annette Piper of Annette Piper Jewelery, Paula Kuhnemann the founder of Connect 2 Mums, Jo Debnam of The Toy Bug, and Sally Naughton of Strawberry Jam Designs (photo above was taken by Studio Promise).

I was happier than you can imagine to WIN 'Most Popular Site' and also receive Highly Commended in the 'New Mumpreneur' Award!

So if you think you might like to join us for a fabulous weekend of learning, fun & networking, read all about it {HERE}!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Happy Easter from the Handmade Cooperative

Its Happy Easter! this week from the Handmade Cooperative ~ Australian Handmade for Kids Shopping Blog ~ I am very pleased to have one of my handmade bunny soft toys in the line up.

Be sure to pop over and have a peek at all the other gorgeous Easter themed products from so many talented Aussie crafters.

This super cute pic of my bunny was taken by Murray Photography - thanks Matt!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Someone to do a review, & 3 giveaways

I have just listed in-store a new Transport TagNCuddle Sensory Tag Comforter Blankie for Baby - these are already selling and I think they are going to be quite popular.

I thought I would like to ask someone who has a baby and a blog, if they would like to write a review for me on their blog about one?

If you would like to receive one of these cute TagNCuddles to write a review on, just leave a comment here on this post with your blog, where you live, and your babies age, and a way to contact you, and I will pick someone on the 31st March.

Your blog will need to be an active one, and review will need to be written and posted in a reasonable amount of time please, with links back to Your Cheeky Monkey.

Ok now for the exciting bit of this post - all the GIVEAWAYS I have to let you know about!

First up is a $20 voucher from Little Bird Decor - You have to be QUICK for this one, it ends tonight at 5pm - Just leave an entry over at the Handmade Cooperative for Kids Blog.

Over at the Inspired By Children Blog, you can be in the running for lots of different prizes in their Mad March Giveaway... all you need to do is be a blog follower and leave a comment to enter!!

Finally, at the Annette Piper Blog I saw a huge Giveaway worth $1,000 just commencing - To enter you need to make a purchase from a participating store, and then fill out the entry form. All details can be found in this post at Under the Loupe.

That's all for today folks!
Monique x

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Announcing the My Green Nappy Initiative

My Green Nappy is a simple environmental initiative encouraging all families to have one green nappy for their baby to wear.

Over 300 thousand babies are born each year in Australia and New Zealand.

Imagine if ALL of them had 1 modern cloth nappy in their wardrobe.

If they wore it once a week, that’s 300 thousand LESS single-use disposable nappies heading off to landfill.

Yes, ONE ‘GREEN’ NAPPY will make a difference!

- It will prevent 1 disposable nappy from ending up in landfill each time it is worn by your baby.

How simple is that?

The question My Green Nappy asks you is:

“Do YOU have 1? Your one ‘green’ nappy – yet?”

Start with one, and find it by looking around My Green Nappy and meeting all the suppliers of modern cloth nappies ‘down under’. There are over 300 listed! Clearly the modern cloth nappy is no longer a fringe trend, it is a thriving industry driven mainly by mums working from home, working with their families, with you, to lower your expenses, to lower your environmental impact. To help you raise a ‘lower carbon’ baby!

My Green Nappy is a nappy nexus for parents in Australia and New Zealand: a place for you to discover all the shops offering modern cloth nappies and eco disposables- the environmentally friendly, ‘green nappy’ choices.

You can join My Green Nappy to help us with our mission to encourage all families to have that one green nappy for their baby to wear – every day, once a week, whenever – it all adds up, collectively.

As a valued member you will benefit from joining My Green Nappy in many ways:

  • You’ll have guided access to My Green Nappy Guide, a personal online guided tour of your many ‘green’ nappy options: from reusable baby wipes to AIO’s, (the reusable version of the disposable nappy.) From DIY resources to the trendiest ways to save money with your first green nappy! Be sure to read this guide before you buy!
  • You’ll be able to enter to win a special ’Green Promise Nappy‘, one of a hundred that will be donated seasonally on behalf of the Earth to reduce nappy waste and promote greener choices.
  • You will be offered exclusive special offers-discounts accessed with secret codes only available to members.
  • You will be kept ‘in the loop’ about all things ‘green’ and ‘nappy’ as they apply to families down under.

Have a browse around these interesting and unique resources at My Green Nappy; and before you go, be sure to sign up as a member!

My Green Nappy

Monday, March 22, 2010

Guest Post: Baby Shower Ideas

Are you having a baby shower soon or hosting a baby shower for a friend or family member. Here are some ideas for a great baby shower. Today I am sharing organizing the photo card invitations and food for the baby shower.

1. Order baby shower photo card invitations from Include the name of the mother, when and where the party will be held and possibly the host details. And of course don't forget RSVP details. Other details that can be added to the baby shower photo card invitation includes the due date and gender of the baby, details of a gift registry, any items that may need to be brought for party games, details about whether the party will cater for children, cost per head if held at a restaurant or cafe. Photo cards can also be personalised by adding the guests name to the photo card invitation.
2. Don't send out the photo card invitations too early and make sure the RSVP isn't too far after the invitations have been received, but not too long before the party either.
3. Decide on a venue. If you are hosting the party you need to decide whether to have the venue at your place, in a public area such as a park or at a catered site such as restaurant or cafe. When deciding on location you need to consider how much effort is required by the host, conditions such as weather that may adversely affect the location, cost for either the host or guests, facilities required and on offer at each venue option and what you will be permitted to do (if you have party games or not)
4. Select food for the party, this is applicable regardless of the location as you may need to organise food or a set menu before the party at catered sites or check to make sure that the menu has some pregnancy friendly options. Remember the mother is pregnant so you will need to steer clear of under cooked egg, deli meats and salads, some seafood, pates and soft cheeses. If the mother is okay with it you can offer the guests a small glass of champagne or alcoholic punch, but don't forget to provide non-alcoholic beverages for the mother to be and any other pregnant and breast-feeding mummas there.

Some party food suggestions include:
  • Small sandwiches with tinned salmon or tuna mixed with mayonnaise (commercial bought) and finely sliced shallots;
  • Small sandwiches with roast chicken with mayonnaise mint and finely sliced celery;
  • Small sandwiches with roast beef, mustard and rocket leaves;
  • Mini-quiches either home-made or store bough, but make sure they are cooked well;
  • sushi rolls, but not near pregnant ladies (especially the ones with raw fish in them);
  • Gourmet party pies;
  • Spring rolls or rice paper rolls (but make sure they are freshly made to avoid any contaminants and skip the prawn ones) with dipping sauce;
  • Mini filo triangles, but the ones with feta in them need to be well cooked;
  • Selection of dips with crackers, pita chips and crudites;
  • Meat balls with dipping sauce (don't forget to provide napkins);
  • Drumsticks or cutlets;
  • Home made mini pizzas;
  • Mini muffins,
  • Cookies,
  • Fruit platter or skewers;
Tea and coffee are great drinks along with fruit punch (non-alcoholic)- throw some mint leaves and pieces of fruit in to make it look more extravagant, juice, non-alcoholic mocktails blended up - either creamy and/or fruity and of course plenty of water with a mint leaf and slice of lemon in a pitcher.

Amanda Lapthorne is the owner of iliv Cards and kindly shared this article with Your Cheeky Monkey!

Friday, March 19, 2010

We Heart Camo!

Well here at Your Cheeky Monkey headquarters, we think Camo is going to be the big print this winter. Funk up your little one in these super cool products:

The ultimate in hearing protection for babies and children can be found at Baby Ear Muffs. My absolute fave is these Baby Banz Ear Muffs in pink camo (also available in blue and green camo). If you ever take your Bub to concerts or they are around any sort of loud machinery, these are a must have... and anyway, how cool are they?!

I have also just listed one of my Handmade Baby Wraps in Camo... These are a great multi-use products from swaddling Bub, to a breast feeding cover, to a light blanket for the car or pram, and more. I'm just loving the camo print and am on the hunt for more camo fabrics to extend my collection of handmade products for the winter.

Feel free to post a comment here if you spot any other cool camo products :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Visit us at the Family Market Extravaganza

This Sunday the 21st March, you will find Your Cheeky Monkey at the Family Market Extravaganza!

The market is being held at MacGregor State School - located on McCullough St, Sunnybank.

If you are in the area, come along and say hi! There will be a sausage sizzle, dance performances, 35 stalls, and much much more! The markets will be running from 1.30 - 4.30.

Sponsor of the event is Connect 2 Mums - Find out more details at the Family Market Extravaganza Connect 2 Mums Event Page, or at the Family Market Extravaganza Facebook Page.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our Other Business!

I thought I would write today about our other business, as I'm sure most of you just know me as the person behind Your Cheeky Monkey - which is an online store for products and gifts for the newborn baby to Mum.

We also own and run a business called Empire Property Maintenance, which covers services from Brisbane to the Southern Gold Coast.

We specialize in lawn mowing, garden work, tree trimming and cleaning, gutter cleaning, pressure cleaning, and all sorts of other outside work.

So for all your lawn mowing and property maintenance needs on the Gold Coast be sure to check us out! All contact details are on the Empire Website :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Nursery Pack Winner

A big congratulations to Lahela (Rachel) who was drawn as the winner of the Nursery Pack Giveaway. Rachel has been emailed already, we hope the products come in handy with the coming winter and pending birth of her 4th child.

And a big thank you to FGB Natural Products and Vicks for the opportunity to do the review and giveaway here on the Your Cheeky Monkey Blog!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Guest Post: Photographing your Children

Well, where do I start? The lovely Monique from Your Cheeky Monkey invited me to write a paragraph on the one thing that I absolutely love, photographing children. Of course I jumped at the chance, photographing children can be so much fun but every session has its challenges even for us seasoned photographers. I am a natural light, location photographer so I offer something unique and take a different approach from your usual studio portraiture.

Firstly, I think location is everything, I take the time to research where I think the portraits could look good and it helps to tell the story.

Time of day is crucial to getting the best light for your outdoor portraits the early morning or afternoon sun works best. Of course you can use open shade or window light any time.

Styling your family or children for the portraits also is a great way of pulling the photo all together. A colour story for timeless portraiture of subdued shades looks great but of course for something more edgy brighter shades can look good too.

Make sure your children are rested during the day especially if doing your photos in the afternoon.

Don’t take it too seriously, kids have a small attention span and just want to play, words of encouragement, singing songs, making funny noises are all guaranteed to get your little ones smiling.

Happy snapping, Maureen xx

Maureen Haynes Photography is based on the Gold Coast in Queensland ~ Visit her at her website or blog to see more examples of her beautiful work. Maureen has also very generously offered all Your Cheeky Monkey readers 10% off a portrait session and any subsequent purchases.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Autumn Beauty & Lace Box is on its way!

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Beauty and Lace put out a seasonal sample box they call "The Beauty and Lace Box". Each box is filled with samples and products (some full-size) from businesses that want you to try their products. I LOVE these - in the past I have received make-up, books, even an Envirosac (and you all know how I feel about re-usable bags!).

I have just noticed they are putting together their Autumn box, and the exciting thing is brands like Guinot, Jelly Belly, Le Tan, and heaps more are distributing products this season in them!

I have a feeling they usually sell out way before the release date (and no wonder they only cost $29.95 or $26.95 for members - this includes post), so if you are interested in receiving a very exciting parcel in the mail shortly filled with really cool stuff check them out (before they sell out!).... I have already signed up for mine :-)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Monster Goodie Bag Giveaway!

Kids in Australia are having a MONSTER GOODIE BAG GIVEAWAY!! Up for grabs is 50 bags worth up to $500 each - All you have to do is answer a short survey about your experiences shopping online (here's a great chance to pass on your comments about Your Cheeky Monkey!).

Its that easy, so go then off you go - Get entering and get yourself a Goodie Bag!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Clever Crafter Feature + A GIVEAWAY!

I am really honored to be the first feature for the "Meet our Clever Crafter" over at the Handmade Cooperative! You can read the full feature {HERE} ~ and don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY, but be quick it ends tomorrow night (Thursday 11th March) at 5pm.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Using Facebook

Over the past few months I have seen some very interesting things on Facebook. Actually if I'm completely honest it astounds me what some people write on a public forum. And not only on personal pages, but business fan pages as well.

I have watched with awe out and out fights, I have seen nasty accusations, I have seen personal attacks on people from others who barely know that person, I have heard of teen and pre-teen bullying and hate targeting. It truly saddens me that people feel the need to express their feelings like this in a public written form for so many others to see.

Melissa from the Business Mums Blog has written some interesting posts lately too on various subjects to do with Facebook. She writes some interesting things about 'unfanning', and people who add you as 'friends'. Certainly has made me think harder about using Facebook.

I thought in light of all I have seen lately this would be a timely reminder to just think twice before you post something negative online, whether it is on facebook or another public forum. What you write is recorded, others will see it, and it will reflect on your character (and your business too if you have one). If you have a complaint to make to someone, email or pick up the telephone. Stay polite, don't make accusations (especially if there is any chance it could be unfounded), and if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all.

Maybe it all comes back to the old adage "treat others as you would have others treat you".

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hip Little One Feature

Yesterday we had a lovely write-up over at the very popular blog Hip Little One. You can read the full post at Hip Little One. Simone chose 3 products to talk about:

Our 'New Mum & Baby Bag'

And our ever popular Cuski Baby Comforters.

Make sure you pop over to Hip Little One for a look if you haven't heard of it yet, Simone offers heaps of great giveaways and reviews on wonderful products and businesses.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Its Autumn at the Handmade Cooperative Blog

The Handmade Cooperative Blog - Australian Handmade 4 Kids has just released it's second shopping guide post for the year. This weeks post has an Autumn inspired theme "Honied yellow dripping gold, Leaf of autumn in the cold (S.K. Linderman) ... An Ode to Autumn" and showcases everything from hair clips to summer dresses to wall stickers to crocheted shoes in all of the beautiful autumn golds, oranges and reds.

My contribution to the team this week is one of my Googly Eye Bunny Soft Toys in Autumn Themed Fabric. Perfect for a special Easter gift for a little one :)

If you love handmade and are always looking for unique kids products be sure to pop over and follow. Oh, and there is going to be weekly giveaways too!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Harry's Rocky Road Winner

We have drawn the winner of the Harry's Rocky Road Easter Egg Giveaway - and the winner was entry number 9 (from, so a big congratulations to Michelle! Both winner and Harry's Rocky Road have been notified.

Thanks everyone for your entries!