Monday, June 28, 2010

TagNCuddle Squeezie Toy

If you didn't know, I make quilts.  Not commercially, just for my family.  I love making them.  Anyway, I have a huge pile of 9 block squares that I once got rather carried away making.  I made the quilt they were for, and there were heaps left over.  Maybe 100 believe it or not.  So they have sat in my sewing room for ages and I have been trying to figure out what to do with them, as I didn't want to make another quilt with them.  I was mucking around the other day and this is what I came up with - a fun little version of my TagNCuddle... this is a soft toy for a baby - the 9 block square one side with soft flannelette the other, and some tags, ribbons and ric-rac sewn in around the edge.  Gently stuffed with fibre fill.  I love this toy because it has no hard bits so you don't have to worry about baby falling asleep with it, it is also fantastic for strengthening bub's hands with the squeezing and playing with tags.  It is 6 inches across each way so perfect to keep in your handbag or nappy bag to keep baby entertained on outings.  And at $12 great value too.  Find the TagNCuddle Squeezie Toy here.

Related Posts:
Why Cuski Comforters are so Fabulous
New Mum & Baby Bag
Hip Little One Feature

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Delicious Muesli Slice Recipe

A while ago I saw a recipe for a Choc Chip Muesli Slice Recipe posted on Planning with Kids - Muesli Slice is something I love but have never cooked much, so I thought I would give this one a whirl as it looked so easy.  Well, I can't even tell you the number of times I have made this now - it is a firm family favorite, and I'd love to share my version of it with you.

Muesli Slice Recipe
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 packet milk chocolate bits
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar (or I substitute Organic Coconut Palm Sugar - which is delicious!)
  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 cup canola or olive oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.  Line tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl place oats, coconut, choc bits, sultanas and sugar.
  3. Sift plain flour and baking powder into mixture in bowl.
  4. Into bowl put oil, milk and egg and with a large cooking spoon mix all together well.
  5. Tip into prepared pan and press mixture into pan.  (**Tip - have a glass of water and use a metal spoon - dip spoon into water and press mixture evenly into pan.  Whenever spoon sticks to mixture dip it in the water again.  Then smooth over top).
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until top is golden.
  7. Allow slice to stand in the pan for 15 minutes, and roughly cut before it cools completely and hardens.
  8. Store in air tight container.
I have made a couple of adjustments of my own to this recipe, like adding sultanas, and using the Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, it seems a very flexible recipe and I'm sure you can adjust it too to your family tastes.

Related Posts:
Best ever Zucchini Slice Recipe
Mock KFC Twisters

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gold Coast Champers & Shopping

To celebrate the stocking of the Babyjo Bamboo Blankets & Beanies, I am putting on a shopping morning this coming Friday morning the 25th June 2010.

Join me for something to eat and a glass of champers if you wish, some adult chit-chat, and have a relaxed browse of our products including Sophie the Giraffe, handmade bunny rugs, & I will have in stock by then the NEW organic range of Cuski Comforters.  If you are planning on coming along and would like any products in particular out, please let me know during the week.  

A discount will be offered for purchases on the day (as well as no postage costs of course).

From 10am to 12 midday, I am in the Bundall area - please contact me if you would like more information.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Babyjo Bamboo Blankets & Beanies

Just in time for winter, Your Cheeky Monkey is over the moon to now be a stockist of the fabulous Australian owned & designed Babyjo Bamboo Blankets and Beanies.  I am so pleased the lovely Jo accepted us as a stockist, as I feel the Babyjo 2 layer Blankets and matching Beanies for babies perfectly match & complement our other ranges at Your Cheeky Monkey, as well as fitting with our store philosophy.

The benefits of these gorgeous bamboo products for baby are:
Organically grown
Eco friendly & Sustainable - fastest growing plant on the earth and it improves soil quality as well
Softer than the softest Cotton imaginable
Highly breathable, much more so than cotton
60% more absorbent than cotton.
Wonderful for Eczema and allergy sufferers - Soothing to the skin
Wicks away moisture to keep you fresh and dry
Odour resistant - great for babies!
Washes and irons beautifully

You might also be interested for your baby in the wonderful Organic BAMBOO Fair Trade Cuskiboo Cuski Baby Comforter ~ These are made from organically grown bamboo and are just so soft and beautiful.  You can also have a read of my previous post about why I think Cuski Comforters are so Fabulous!

Find the full range of matching Babyjo Blankets & Beanies at Your Cheeky Monkey - The 6 colour-ways available are:
Natural Eco (Plain cream with brown trim)
Little Miss (Dusky Pink Stripes)
Little Master (Blue stripes)
Little Akai (red stripes)
Little Apple Blossom (green stripes)
Natural Babe / Cocolatte (brown stripes)

All products are in-store & ready to ship.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Brisbane PBC Expo on THIS WEEKEND

If you’re in Brisbane make sure you drop into the Brisbane Pregnancy Babies & Children’s Expo this weekend to enter Connect2mums fabulous competition where you’ll have the chance to win over $2000 in prizes including fabulous prizes from us! They also have gorgeous hot pink goodie bags for every one who enters the competition! Monique from Your Cheeky Monkey will be there on Friday to chat.

The expo runs from Friday 18 June – Sunday 20 June at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and Connect2mums will be at stand F09. Visit Connect2mums for more details.

The Expo provides expectant parents and parents with young children with access to friendly professionals from government departments, health organisations and respected support groups and companies. It also showcases the newest and most practical products. Visitors can benefit from the hands on demonstrations and leave with an appreciation of the best options available to suit their needs. There is also lots of fun free entertainment for parents to enjoy with their children, including Dorothy the Dinosaur and Old McDonalds Farm. Visit the expo website for free ticket information and with over 200 exhibitors participating, you can also check out the Brisbane Expo Planner to plan your day.

Brisbane PBC Expo: 
18th – 20th June 2010
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, South Bank
Friday: 10am – 4pm (last admission 3pm)
Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 5pm (last admission 4pm)

Plus get your FREE ENTRY TICKET by visiting the Brisbane PBC Expo Website!

And are you in Perth?  Find out more about the Perth PBC Expo in August.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cutting to Collage

Welcome to the June Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival, 'Kids and Learning.'

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 "Art" which doesn't just mean doing craft - it includes music, performance art and appreciation as well! Our bloggers have come up with many different thought-provoking takes on this theme. Please read through to the end to find links to the other participating blogs.

With the cold winter weather now well and truly here, arts and crafts are perfect to help fill in days where you might not be able to get outside to play much. The favourite in our house at the moment by far is cutting with scissors. My two will literally spend hours happily cutting up old magazines and junk mail and putting all their clippings into a container. And its just brilliant for keeping them occupied while I am putting on dinner!
I also love this activity because using scissors and practicing cutting like this is, for pre-schoolers, one of the best things your child can do to build up hand and finger strength and dexterity, which in turn benefits their pencil holding skills and hence how well they learn to write. Which for this age group is really one of the priorities of learning. If a child is not doing things to build up hand strength he will have trouble with writing skills.

There is a huge range of age appropriate scissors available these days. A while ago I bought the boys a pair of scissors each (different colours of course!) suited to their ages - as you can imagine they just love having their own scissors each! I keep them well out of reach when not in use, and make sure this is a well supervised activity when I know I won't be disturbed or called away. Its also a good idea to reiterate rules for scissor use each time - no pointing them at each other, do not get down from the table with them, hold them correctly, etc.

So, yesterday I thought I would let the boys loose with their scissors and a big pile of junk mail and those free magazines, followed by collage with the clippings, little bits of cut up fabric scraps of different colours and textures, & other crafty bits and pieces. You could also adapt this activity into something fun like making dress up crowns or similar like my previous post Making Easter Hats on a Budget.

We had an absolute ball filling in the morning with this activity, and the boys had some fantastic collages to show their dad when he arrived home from work!!

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 “Art.”
  • CatWay at Adventures With Kids is getting the most out of a trip to the art gallery with ideas of how to prepare children and interest them while they are there.
  • Mamapoekie from Authentic Parenting argues for the importance of art and why we should be encouraging it as our children get older.
  • Miss Carly from Early Childhood Resources talks about how to create an environment that encourages young children to explore art.
  • Sharon at Hear Mum Roar has done a fantastic video post by getting her children to do an activity two different ways and letting you see the very different results.
  • Amanda at HomeAge has been admiring art with her daughter since she was a baby, taking her to several art exhibitions and reading books.
  • Kate from Picklebums talks about why art is important for little people and has a huge list of activities you can try.
  • The Planning Queen from Planning With Kids has tips for visiting the art gallery with kids, including links to different galleries and some ideas for activities afterwards.
  • Colin Wee at Super Parents is thinking about his son’s musicality as he learns to play the violin.
  • Deb from Science@home has her children investigating materials while making sculptures and bravely let the 2 year old use a hot glue gun.
  • Leechbabe from Stuff with Thing started out looking at patterns in nature, but the activity changed because she followed her children’s lead.
  • Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey has used an indoor activity, giving her children magazines to cut out and create collages.
  • Lisa at SMMART Ideas has a sidewalk chalk festival in her own driveway!
Thanks for visiting, we hope you enjoy some of the posts in our carnival.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Basic Internet Safety for Pre-schoolers


Now that my oldest child is 4, we let him have a little time on the computer each week to play some educational games and I guess get used to using the keyboard and mouse. Which has really started to bring home to me the big dangerous world out there for kids which is the internet. I'm in no way any sort of expert on the matter, apart from being a parent myself, but I thought I would share with you a couple of things we have done for a child starting out on computers and the internet.

For us, supervision is the number one priority. Have the computer in your living room or similar (with the screen facing out towards you, not towards the wall) when your child is using it so you can keep an eye on exactly what they are doing. For pre-schoolers it is a matter of watching that they don't click accidentally on undesirable links, however for older children it allows you to watch what they are doing. For example it is easy for you to check to see they are not on facebook when they are supposed to be doing their homework (in a previous post I touched on Using Facebook and some of my thoughts in regards to this).

I love the Australian Governments initiative Cyber Smart (which used to be 'Netty’s World'). Cybersmart provides activities, resources and practical advice to help young kids, kids, teens and parents safely enjoy the online world. Cybersmart also offers training and resources for schools and materials for library staff. Developed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority , Cybersmart is part of the Australian Government’s cybersafety program. It is a fantastic FREE resource for the whole family.

Install safety filters on your computer – Check out this informative post on free internet filters and software for some great tips from Super Parent.

When looking for online games stick to well known and trusted sites such as the ABC, Fisher Price, and Thomas & Friends (some of our favorites).

Plus have a look at the great hints contained in Superparents post on Three Techniques to keep your child safe Online. In particular the issue of cyber-bullying is discussed, a terrifying modern phenomenon we could certainly all do without.

I would love to hear some of the methods you employ to keep your child safe on the internet, for us it is a journey just beginning and its a scary thought of having to keep on our toes to keep abreast of technology and internet safety!

Monique Nickalls JP BSc (hons) Dip Prof Couns
Your Cheeky Monkey
Baby | Infant | Mum

Friday, June 4, 2010

MEGA Giveaway!

Have you been getting your entries in for the MEGA GIVEAWAY over at the Handmade Cooperative for Kids??? There is 2 giveaways per day, and you can enter EVERY ONE!!!

And if you would like to win one of my little totes made of Suede and Babushka Doll fabric (plus a gorgeous boys t-shirt from Monkeys in my Pocket), pop an entry in on Giveaway No. 12 ~ but be quick the entries for this one close on the 6th June.

Good luck!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why Cuski Comforters are so fabulous!

Anyone that has had a baby knows that one of the most vital things you can provide to your child is a comforter that baby will take to, and that will be comforting and secure for your child.

The most wonderful comforter I have ever come across is the Cuski Comforter. Cuski is derived from a Welsh term and means "to sleep". It is a super soft comforter that can be machine washed, and is the perfect size to be able to take anywhere and is also just the right size and texture for baby's hands and to cuddle.

One of the most important features I think with the Cuski is that is has no face. How often do you give a cool toy to a baby (well what we think is cool), and Bub gets very upset by the face? The Cuski simply provides a comforting round shape for baby to feel comfortable with. One of the other most vital features is the ability of the Cuski to absorb Mum and Dad's scents, so you can just wear the Cuski against your skin for a while and it will hold your smell, which you will find your baby will just love.

The Cuski replaces a normal blankie or lovie, and the best thing is that it is easy to replace if your child's treasured Cuski gets damaged or lost.

You can also have a look at my recent blog post on what products you need for your newborn baby, where I mention comforters for baby. Find the full range of Cuski Comforters (including the organic and Fair Trade range) at Your Cheeky Monkey.