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

Friday, July 2, 2010

Cool Things for You GIVEAWAY

I'm well overdue to post a giveaway, in fact its been on my to-do list for ages.  So I thought this time I would put together a pack of products for Mums (not kids) because I think we all tend to buy or win things for our children but not usually for ourselves (selfless creatures that we are).  The pretty pic below is everything that one reader of my blog will win:

  • Magnetic shopping list
  • T-shirt with my funky monkey logo printed on the front - Size M (I am a size 12-14 and this is the size I wear and there is still heaps of room in it)
  • One of my handmade kitchen hand towels with a crochet topper and really cute farmyard design.  I just LOVE these hand towels in the kitchen, with little kids they don't slip off the rail all the time leaving you to always be hanging it back up.
  • One of my cute mini totes, dark blue suede-ette lined with pink fabric.
  • 500ml Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer Gel - perfect for winter and all the bugs around, also great for using on your hands after nappy changes etc when you are busy with baby and don't have time to put bub down to go and wash your hands at the sink.
  • All packaged up in a Fregie Sack bag (you use these when fruit and veg shopping so you don't have to use plastic bags).
  • Plus YCM pen, bookmark etc.
So how cool is that?  Lots of handy bits and pieces someone can WIN!  Now, here's the fine print of how to enter:

To enter visit Your Cheeky Monkey and comment here what you would purchase for a new baby gift and why? 

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. Subscribe to the Your Cheeky Monkey newsletter
  4. Tweet this giveaway = Cool Things Giveaway from @Y_C_Monkey
  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 Friday 9th July 2010 at 5pm (Qld time).