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.

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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!


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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 "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 ~

Random.org 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 http://www.yourcheekymonkey.blogspot.com/
  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 Random.org 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!!