Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Giveaway!

A big hello to you all!  I have some fab packs for you all to win to help clean your home naturally and chemical free after this busy Christmas season.  I won't ramble on and bore you, read on to find out all about these great products and how to enter :-)

WIN 1 OF 3 SIMPLY CLEAN PACKS

Simply Clean have come out with a product range that is so simple and fabulous that it's one of those ideas that you wonder why no one ever thought of it before!  Simply Clean is, quite simply, a range of cleaning products which are printed with their use so they are very easy to identify and and then use for each particular area of the house.  They are designed by a Mum of 3, so you can imagine just how practical they are for busy families.  You can get them in Kitchen Pack, Bathroom Pack, and Microfibre Cloths Pack - each pack has 4 products in it and is great value at $6.99.  I just adore these packs of cleaning cloths and scrubs, they are all exactly the products I use anyway, but now I keep the toilet cloth just for the toilet... and not the kitchen bench or the babies room!  Big thumbs up for me on these little gems....

WIN 1 of 3 complete sets of Simply Clean products valued at $21 each.


WIN 1 OF 4 BOSISTO'S LAVENDER PACKS

Ahhhh Lavender.... one of my favorite smells in the whole world!  And not only does Lavender smell absolutely beautiful, it has an amazing range of uses.  You can use Lavender for Insomnia, Anxiety and Stress, Headaches, as an Antiseptic, and on Insect Bites and Acne and Pimples. I especially love to use Lavender in the Laundry (leaves clothes and towels smelling divine), and in my babies room (a little squirt of the spray at bedtime relaxes both her and me).  And the great thing about Bosisto's is that you know you are using 100% Lavender Oil, not some synthetic or watered down product.

WIN 1 of 4 Bosisto's Lavender Packs containing Bosisto’s Lavender Oil, Bosisto’s Lavender Spray, Bosisto’s Lavender Solution, and Lavender Handy Hints Guide valued at $50 each.



To win one of these fantastic packs, please use the form below to tell me which pack you would like to win and why, and like each facebook page.  You need to do all these to be eligible to win a prize, and please note winners will be chosen on their answers creativity.  Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions, and most of all - Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 WINNERS - GAYLE, CLAIRE, NATALIE, REBECCA, ELEISE, HELENA, AND JODI

Monday, December 10, 2012

Who decorates your Christmas Tree?

Who decorates the Christmas Tree in your house?  Do you do it, or do you swallow your pride and let the kids do?

I have to admit, it did take some doing a few years ago to let go and not worry about the result, but now I really enjoy watching the fun my kids have decorating the tree.

Oh, I do get the top bit though where they can't reach ;-)



Some Christmas recipes you may enjoy:
Easy Rum Balls Recipe
Using Up the Christmas Ham

Some other posts you may enjoy reading:
10 Things to do in the First Trimester
10 Things to do in the Second Trimester
10 Things to do in the Third Trimester
Your Cheeky Monkey Review at Hip Little One
What products do you really need for your newborn baby?


Having a Baby?
Check out our Hospital Bag Checklist

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Some things that make me happy

A little while ago I wrote about how I am struggling a bit with things.  Normally I do try to see the positive side of life, but I guess we are all human and things can get to us all sometimes when life gets too hectic.  So I have been trying to take a little time out to appreciate all the wonderful things in my life, no matter how simple they are, and trying to take a few minutes here and there to wind down my mind from the busyness of everyday life (or groundhog day as I call it!).  Sometimes it does take conscious effort to take a deep breath and feel happy rather than caught up in everything going on around you.  Here is a few of the things I have been doing:

 Sitting out by the pool and enjoying the sun when baby is having a nap.

Having a pedicure and putting on some bright nail polish.

Watching bubby sleep and enjoying the peace.

Looking at the beautiful jacaranda's in the park across the road from our house.

What do you do to make yourself feel better when you are feeling down?


Some other posts you may enjoy reading:

10 Things to do in the First Trimester
10 Things to do in the Second Trimester
10 Things to do in the Third Trimester
Your Cheeky Monkey Review at Hip Little One
What products do you really need for your newborn baby?
Baby Gift Baskets for delivery to Pindara Hospital

Monday, October 22, 2012

Visit to the Gold Coast 600

Last week I received a pretty exciting email - I won the V8 Supercars Giveaway over at the Mummy Smiles Blog!  The gorgeous Natalie drew me as the winner of this incredible prize, so I wanted to post a great big thank you and also some pictures.

The prize included tickets for the weekend to the GC600 event, merchandise packs, and early entry into the Disney Pixar Cars Experience on Sunday before it opened to the public.  As we have a little baby, I didn't end up going along, but my husband and sons had an absolute ball!!









Thank you again Natalie, it was an incredible weekend for my family xxx

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Baby Update: Six and a half months

I can't say enough how devastated I am how quickly time is passing right now.  I have said it before, but at the risk of repeating myself, I know I wished away my sons babyhoods because I just didn't know any better, so I wanted to treasure every second of this my third and last baby. 

At 6 1/2 months, there is so much happening in a little baby's life.  They are certainly becoming so much more aware of the world around them, coupled with the ability and desire to reach out and explore everything they can with their hands and mouth.  Teeth are starting to come through, crawling is not far off (we are at the rocking on hands and knees stage, doing face plants, and getting very frustrated because she knows sometime is supposed to be happening but it isn't).  I am finding joy in the smallest things, like the big open mouth bite kiss thing they do on your face, and the way they sit like a little bird with their mouth open when you are feeding them, and the knowledge that you are their whole world at the moment.

We had our 6 month check-up and immunizations the other day.  I sort of knew she was big, but at 70cm and nearly 9kg I now know why she is already out growing some of her size 0 clothes!!  It's funny, at the 6 week check-up at the paediatrician, the first thing he said when we walked in the room was 'well she is going to be taller than her Mum'.  I told the GP this the other day and she was amazed at the experience the pead has to make this comment at such a young age.  The GP also laughed at my little one, she does this pilates thing where when she is lying on her back she lifts her head and neck and shoulders and legs and just stays there, the GP said she has never seen a 6 month old have such amazing core strength to do that.  So, very happy we have such a healthy little Bub.

I'd also like to write about me right now.  I don't really know how to start or what to say, but I'm definitely out of mojo at the moment.  At the risk of sounding like a whinger, because I know there is heaps of Mums out there busier than me and facing much bigger challenges than me, I have pretty much hit a brick wall.  It's funny, I look back on when my sons were babies, and the 6 month mark was challenging for me then too, maybe its my breaking point.  When my first son was 6 months old I was 3 months pregnant, and I know I was doing it tough with morning sickness and pregnancy tiredness.  When my second son was 6 months old my oldest was 18 months and looking back I think I was definitely at breaking point.  I was working, taking the kids with me, and at this point I ended up putting my oldest in kindy because I just wasn't coping.  I sort of feel its happening again now, life is just so busy, especially in the mornings and evenings with not only looking after bub but school routines, cooking dinner, homework, housework, and trying to fit real work in around it all.  I have to admit, I have actually said to a couple of people I'm not coping very well at the moment, and its interesting to see how quickly they change the topic.  I don't blame them, what do you say to someone who says that to you?  I am a qualified professional counsellor, and I have to admit I wouldn't know what to say to a Mum who when you ask how is she going says not very well.  I remember reading or hearing once that when someone asks you how you are all they want to hear is good thanks.  No-one wants to hear the answer I'm not doing so well.  It's not their fault, people are just busy and wrapped up in their own lives.  I sort of feel really negative about the whole RUOK thing... I saw everyone posting it on their facebook pages a while ago, but I don't really believe anyone cares that much.  And I don't really even know what I want people to say.  Maybe just some acknowledgement of the hard job it is instead of the attitude they are your kids, you wanted them, so shut up and get on with it.  It also doesn't help that when I look in the mirror I know I look like crap.  I'm off for a leg and underarm wax tomorrow.... maybe that will cheer me up a bit?




Some other posts you may enjoy reading:

10 Things to do in the First Trimester
10 Things to do in the Second Trimester
10 Things to do in the Third Trimester
Your Cheeky Monkey Review at Hip Little One
What products do you really need for your newborn baby?
Baby Gift Baskets for delivery to Pindara Hospital

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Announcing the winners of the Mega Giveaway

What a huge number of entries we had for the Mega Review & Giveaway!  It was heaps of fun (and heaps of work to be honest) organising the products, writing the reviews and giveaways up, and picking the winners.  Many entries were unfortunately invalid for various reasons.  I'll definitely be doing it again in another couple of months (don't be shy, feel free to contact me if you would like to take part) and already have some great brands and prizes on board (have a read here why it's such a great benefit).  There was 19 winners of the Giveaway, all have been notified by email however there is still a couple I am waiting to hear from (if you think your name is on the list... check your junk mail folder hehe).  The winners were drawn as follows:

Hatchlings Cloth Nappy
- Liz

Joli Cuticle Oil
- Sarah R

i&u Breastfeeding Dress
- Pam

Papermate InkJoy Pens
- Alannah
- Michelle
- Eva

Chook Chook Mei's Secret Pets Book
- Fiona

Table of Plenty NoNo Bars
- Mel
- Amanda

Forever Clover Swap Cards
- Darya

Mindful Parenting Magazine iTunes Voucher
- Wendy

Grubby Bubby Bibs
- Cathy

Monkey Swimmers
- Christine

Nads Nose Wax Packs
- Rachel
- Sarah A
- Kell

Moonpig Voucher
- Yvette

Seven Wonders Moroccan Argan Oil
- Lara

Chewable Bracelet
- Marita - Unclaimed - redrawn winner is Emma

Thank you all for your entries, and if you missed out keep an eye out for our next Mega Giveaway!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Motivating Mum September Blog Carnival


Welcome to the Biz Mums Blogging Carnival for September!

I am really happy to have the opportunity to be lucky enough to host the Motivating Mum Blog Carnival for this month!  You will find lots of great reads, and heaps of inspiration from all these wonderful ladies.  Don't forget to leave some comment love on a couple of the posts!!  If you would also like to be included in the Biz Mums Blogging Carnival – click HERE for more details.

Loren from Impactiv8 has blogged 8 Tips For Running A Competition On Facebook That Complies With Facebook's Guidelines - This post explains Facebook's competition guidelines and provides handy tips to ensure you get the most out of any competitions you conduct on Facebook.

Facebook
Twitter

Lisa from Babyweights has blogged Mums multi-task themselves into fitness - This article helps mums lose the excuses, get motivated and get moving, by providing examples of achievable ways to fit in exercise without putting extra time aside!

Facebook
Twitter

Lou from MumSpeak has blogged From Boys to Men - A lifelong Mother Son Friendship - A heartfelt journey about my relationship with my son and how I'm watching it deepen and develop into a life long friendship of love and respect.

Facebook
Twitter

Sarah from Willoughbys Finance Accounting & Taxation has blogged Are you saving for your tax liabilities? - No more Mr Nice Guy – the tax office is chasing your overdue debts!

Twitter

Amanda from Adventures and Misadventures of a Mummypreneur has blogged about A critic like no other - Silencing the inner critic...

Facebook
Twitter

Linda from Mums on the Go has blogged Are we too busy to ask RUOK? - Having given birth to my 3rd baby 6 weeks ago I have noticed how few people make contact and ask how I am going. Are they too busy or simply worried about disturbing me?

Facebook
Twitter

Virginia aka the Queen of Fun at Tick The Box has blogged about her Lipstick Confessions - I spent the best part of this morning hunting through handbags for my new lipstick...

Facebook 
Twitter

Chris from C Squared Virtual Admin has blogged How Do You Become A VA? - You can have it all – run your own Admin business from home!

Facebook
Twitter

Michelle from Consider It Sorted has blogged Do you use Pinterest for your business? - Many small businesses can benefit from using Pinterest to market their business which uses images rather than words to convey the message. Here is a step by step guide on how to set up your Pinterest boards and start pinning away.

Facebook
Twitter

Alli at Motivating Mum has blogged 8 ways to find the angle for your press release - Stuck for what’s special about your business, product or service? Here’s 8 ways to find the best angle for your press release.

Facebook
Twitter

Amanda at Sunshine Mumma is talking about Purees vs Baby Led Weaning - Her experience.

Facebook 
Twitter

And last but not least, I have been very busy planning and writing the Mega Giveaway currently running here on this blog (so be sure to head on over and enter to win 1 of 19 fabulous prizes)!

Facebook
Twitter

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mega Review & GIVEAWAY - 15+ Prizes To Be Won!

I'm so excited to be hosting our first Mega Giveaway!  With heaps of great prizes to be won, this is one giveaway you won't want to miss out on.  I'll be telling you a little about each product, then entry is easy, just use the Rafflecopter form to like all the facebook pages and answer a very easy question.  There is over 15 prizes to be won with a total value of $475!  So without further ado, here are all the brilliant goodies you can win.

Hatchlings Cloth Nappies
Modern Cloth Nappies are without a doubt exponentially increasing in popularity here in Australia.  Even the difference from when I had my boys 7 years ago to this year when I had my daughter is amazing.  I do have to admit I am a part time user of cloth nappies... if this is you too, just remember each time you use a cloth nappy means one less disposable in the rubbish.  So I'll own up to being less than perfect, but I do know I am making a small difference.  Being a Mum of 3 now, I have tried many brands and styles of Cloth Nappies, and I'm most impressed with the Hatchlings Cloth Nappy I have been using on my daughter.  What do I like about this one?  Firstly, they are Australian owned and designed, and a large portion of the nappy is Australian made.  It is easy to use, because the liner goes in a waterproof wrap and off you go.  It is really absorbent and easy to wash.  I hate mucking around with nappies when they aren't waterproof and you have to use covers over the nappy... sort of defeats the purpose of a MCN I think.  On a lighter note, I looove the pretty pink (rose buds) of the nappy we are using!  Win a Complete Snap-in-one cloth nappy in the winners choice of colour and size RRP $29.95


Joli Natural Skincare Cuticle Oil
I have to admit I am totally slack at looking after my hands.  Life just seems to busy to worry about manicures or putting cream on or making the nails look all shaped and pretty.  But, there is one product that I am a long time user of and that is the Joli Cuticle Oil.  This amazing little product comes in a tiny little bottle, but it lasts absolutely forever because you use such a small drop each time to do your nails.  Even though it is an oil, it soaks in quickly so it doesn't leave your hands feeling greasy.  I just apply it at my desk on the odd occasion when I'm reading or something.  Win a bottle of Joli Cutile Oil RRP $15.00



i&u Breastfeeding Dress
A few weeks ago I posted a review on the I&U Breastfeeding Dress, and now I'm excited to let you know you can win one of these gorgeous breastfeeding dresses too!  Win a Red i&u Breastfeeding Dress with Striped Overlay in your choice of size RRP $50.00



Paper Mate Ink Joy Pens
Stationary is a bit of an addiction for me.  You would probably laugh if you saw my desk and the very wide array of pens, highlighters, and other bits and bobs scattered everywhere.  So I was very happy to be sent a selection of the new Paper Mate Ink Joy Pens to try out a while ago.  These pens are now usually the first I pick up, because they come in such a wide range of colours (I use different colours for different things... yes I'm that pedantic!).  They are lovely and smooth to write with, and I'm finding my husband and sons are snaffling them too when I am not looking!  Win 1 of 3 cute gift boxes each containing a range of InkJoy Pens RRP $20.00 each gift box



Chook Chook Mei's Secret Pets Book
When I put the call-out for people to be involved in this post, I received an email from a lovely author called Wai Chim.  Wai has just published a gorgeous book for girls aged 8 and up called "Chook Chook Mei's Secret Pets".  Wai sent me one of her books for review, and because my daughter is only 6 months old, I thought I would read the book myself.  Well, I got rather engrossed in the story and polished it off in one day.  To summarise, the story is about a young girl called Mei, who lives on a farm in China with her Mother and big brother.  After her father passed away her mother got rid of all their animals.... but Mei finds 2 baby chickens, and the story evolves from there.  I found the book very heart-warming, a little sad in a couple of places, very funny in a couple of places, and most of all you leave with the feeling of kindness and hope.  I highly recommend this darling book for your own daughter too.  Win a signed copy of Chook Chook Mei's Secret Pets RRP $14.95


Table of Plenty No No Bars
If you follow this blog at all you would have seen me mention more than once the fantastic goodies from Table of Plenty.  Now they have a brand new product out for kids called NoNo's Better Bars for Kids!  We have sampled both the Berry Blast and Cocoa Crush Bars (Cocoa of course being the favorite of my boys), and we were most impressed.  These are definitely a great natural healthy nut-free alternative to the other bars on the market.  NoNo's avoid problematic ingredients such as dairy, wheat, nuts, soy and sulphites, so you can rest easy your kids won't have a reaction to them.  Win 1 of 2 Cartons of NoNo’s Bars, each carton containing 6 boxes (3 Berry Blast and 3 Cocoa Crush) RRP $25.50 each carton   



Forever Clover Swap Cards
My daughter is currently only 6 months old, but my boys who are 6 and 7, are so into their swap cards at the moment its not funny.  I also remember as a child loving swap cards (probably even more so than my sons do!).  So I know without a doubt that in a few short years my daughter is going to be collecting and swapping cards of her own with her friends.  I will definitely be getting her started with the Forever Clover Swap Cards.  Why?  Forever Clover Cards are first and foremost very sweet and innocent (let's keep our daughters like that as long as possible)!  The cards are environmentally friendly as they are 100% recycled with a natural plant based packet.  And the range of cards and accessories (tins to keep them in etc) are just simply gorgeous.  Plus the cards are all printed in Australia.  These cards are a great idea and a great initiative for girls.  Win a Forever Clover tin with a rare glitter swap card inside and two packets of cards RRP $17.85


iTunes Voucher from Mindful Parenting Magazine
Mindful Parenting Magazine is an online magazine about kids, parents, and everything in between. The wide range of articles are written to be inspiring, empowering, relevant & authentic. You can read it online for free or purchase the iPad version via iTunes!  Win an iTunes Voucher to read the Magazine on your iPad $20.00



Grubby Bubby Extra Long Bibs
You may have noticed if you read this blog or our facebook page that my daughter has very recently started solids.  As Mums, we all know how messy that can be!  So I am just loving our Grubby Bubby Extra Long Bibs.  I have quite a collection of them now to use at our mealtimes.  The Bibs are fantastic for so many reasons.  The neck is very stretchy so they are easy to get on and off.  They wash and wear really well.  The prints on them are very cute!  And of course, they are really long so they catch all the spills and mess.  If you have a messy Bub like I do, you definitely need to try these bibs!  Win a 3 pack of Grubby Bubby Extra Long Bins RRP $24.95


Monkey Swimmers
Summer is fast approaching, and while both my sons can swim, that is a new hurdle we have to jump with our daughter.  We all know those horrid blow-up armbands we use when our kids are learning to swim - you know, the ones that pinch and grab the skin.  So I'm really excited to see a new product on the market that is an alternative to blow-up armbands, and they are called Monkey Swimmers (and of course I am going to love these just on the name alone hehe).  Monkey Swimmers are the latest in swimming technology for our children, and the best thing is how safe they are.  They are a slim design so they don't interfere with your child's swimming, and its a fabulous design how you take each layer off to reduce buoyancy as your child gains confidence swimming.  Your Monkey Swimmers also come with a great bag to use, a progress chart, and also a book called "Monkeys Can't Swim".  So, as you can see, the pack is great value and a great aid to helping your child learn to swim.  Win a Monkey Swimmers Pack RRP $29.95


Nad's Nose Wax Treatments
I have to be really honest, when I first heard of this new product to wax nose hair, I did have a little chuckle!  I did think that I would pass on this one, as how could nose hair be relevant to my reader's?  But then I thought, hang on, we all have husband's and they are notorious for ugly nose hair.  And then upon further reading, I discovered Nad's Nose Wax can also be used on top of the nose to remove blackheads (and don't try to tell me you don't get blackheads!).  So, I was very interested to try this product out.  I did try to get my husband to use it on his nose hair, but I'm sorry to say he chickened out on me.  So, how did it go?  It was very easy to use with detailed instructions, surprising quick (I thought I would be mucking around for ages with it), and it left the skin on my face feeling really smooth and fresh.  Win 1 of 3 Nad's Nose Wax Packs RRP $29.95 each for a 3 month supply

Moonpig $25 Voucher
Moonpig is an online greeting card shop where you can create personalised cards and mugs using their 10,000+ card templates and customise them with your own text and/or photos where applicable. Once you design your cards, they print these real cards (not e-cards!) from their office in Sydney and mail them out directly to you or your recipient.  As my husband's 40th (shhhh) birthday is coming up later this year, I thought this was a really good opportunity to design and print a birthday card through Moonpig.  Once your account is set up, you just select the category of cards (or mugs) that you want, find one your like best, then follow the steps to personalise with your own text and photo.  As it is a special occasion, I selected the "large" size card, and the total amount for the order including post was $13.25.  Which is really good value I think.  It was a very easy process from beginning to end.  My sons birthdays have just been and I really wish I had known about Moonpig to get special cards for them for their birthdays because I can never seem to find really nice "Son Birthday" cards, but I will definitely be utilizing this service next year for their cards.  Win credit with Moonpig to put towards your own cards and mugs $25.00



Moroccan Argan Oil Skin Serum
This skin product is one I have actually never heard of.  I have heard the buzz about the hair care products, but definitely not this one for the skin.  So it was very interesting to receive a bottle of this serum to trial.  Seven Wonders Moroccan Argan Oil Skin Serum contains organic argania spinosa kernal oil, vitamin E, and rose essential oil.  It smells absolutely divine, and being a serum, it absorbs beautifully into your skin.  I have loved using it lately at night with the cooler weather, my skin gets quite dry so it was lovely massaging this into my face before bed at night, especially after an exfoliation.  Being a busy Mum with 3 children and 2 businesses (and this blog!) I really do neglect my skin, but this is a quick and easy solution to making my skin feel soft and smooth.  I also love that it is such a natural serum for the skin, with no harsh chemicals.  And as you only use a few drops at a time, the bottle lasts for ages!  Win a bottle of Seven Wonders Moroccan Oil Serum RRP $24.95

Chewable Jewellery
And last but not least, Your Cheeky Monkey is putting in a fabulous MummaBubba Chewable Teething Bangle.  My little girl is 6 months old now and chewing absolutely everything in sight!  I LOVE wearing my bangle (in sky blue), it is so easy to pop off and let her chew on when we are sitting at a restaurant or cafe table, and it keeps her occupied for ages for some reason.  When it is time to go... pop it back on and off you go!  I adore these multi-use products!  Win a Gold Swirl Chewable Teething Bangle RRP $14.95




Right-e-o.... now you want to know, how do I enter to win one of these fantastic prizes??  Well, just use the Rafflecopter form below to answer one simple question and like all 14 of the businesses facebook pages.  You must like each page to be eligible to win a prize.  Please read the Terms and Conditions attached to the giveaway.  This giveaway closes in two weeks time (as per the Rafflecopter form).  And finally, a huge big thank you to all the businesses and PR companies who have been so generous in providing all these wonderful products for review and giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Quick Tip: Baby Food Pouches

As I mentioned in a previous post a couple of weeks ago, we have recently started on solids.  Of course by solids we all mean the lovely purees and runny cereals that really aren't solid at all!  As much as I have dreaded this event approaching, it is all going smoothly so far, and little Miss P loves her organic rice cereal.  So.... where to next?  Including vegetable and fruit puree of course!  Being a tad busy at the moment, I investigated the baby food now available in the supermarkets.  What a difference to 6-7 years ago!!!  Back then, the only commercial baby food I bought was the 'Only Organic' jars, which are still available.  But now... all these little pouches of organic baby food to choose from!  Very exciting ;-)

After purchasing a couple of try, I read on the packet when I got home it is to be used within 2 days of being opened.  As you all probably know, the amount of food you give a baby when starting on solids is so tiny, I knew I would end up throwing most of it out.  So why not freeze it like you do homemade baby food, I thought?

One pouch was enough for 14 serves in the ice-tray (shown below) of about a teaspoon each.  I'm using this at this stage to mix in with the rice cereal.  She is turning her nose up at it still, but patience and persistence when it comes to trying new foods!



Some other posts you may enjoy reading:
My Baby Wish List
10 Things to do in the Third Trimester
Your Cheeky Monkey Review at Hip Little One
What products do you really need for your newborn baby?
Baby Gift Baskets for delivery to Pindara Hospital

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mega Review & Giveaway Call-out

Hi fellow business owners,

In September I am planning a mega review and giveaway post here at the Your Cheeky Monkey Blog.  I already have some fabulous products taking part, but thought I would let everyone else know about it too.

So, what's involved?  I will be writing a short review on the relevant product, and the same product will be offered as part of the giveaway.  The idea is that the more products are involved in the giveaway, the more popular it will be.  I thought I would conduct it like this to be fair to the products and brands already involved.

What will I offer in return for your generosity in taking part?  First of all, you will be providing me with some of your keywords, which I will link to your site, which is great for your SEO (and much cheaper than paying someone to improve your SEO ranking!).  It will also be a condition of entry to 'like' each businesses facebook page, so you will also build your facebook likers by taking part.  The only condition is that I won't accept items in direct competition with my store, and the products need to be family friendly things the readers of this blog will be interested in.

If you would like to be involved, you will need to provide your product (no vouchers) for review in the next week or two, and be able to offer the same item for the winner once winners are drawn.  The giveaway will be open only to Australian residents.  I will also be running the giveaway at the time the Cloth Nappy Hunt is on (of which I am a sponsor), which will generate many more entries.

If you think you might be interested drop me a line with your details and we will go from there!

Thanks for your interest! Monique x

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: I&U Breastfeeding Dress

Sometimes something comes along that makes you wonder how you ever did without it.  Sometimes it is that one piece of clothing that you end up wearing to death because it is so comfortable and looks so good on you.  But to be honest, with a post-baby body, you just don't expect that piece of clothing to turn up in your life.  It's actually really hard to hide that flabby belly that still looks pregnant (but you can't wear tight clothes and show it off like you did while pregnant!).  And if you are like me and struggle to make time to try and lose the baby kilos, you end up dressing in those daggy old trackies pants and hubby's t-shirt to cover up that body you are so self-conscious about.  Which is a bit sad really isn't it?

After you have a baby its just so hard to get back into your ordinary clothes, and its a bit of a no-no to keep wearing maternity clothes.  So I would now formally like to thank Laila from I&U Natural Breastfeeding Loungewear for introducing me to her divine Bamboo Breastfeeding Dresses.  I have had the pleasure of wearing a lovely long black dress with patterned grey bust overlay lately, and I regret only one thing - that I didn't have it to take to hospital when I had my baby!  Comfy enough to sleep in, stylish enough to accept visitors and look decent in photos, and easy to breastfeed in.  What more could a new Mum want?

What I love most about this dress:
  • The number one thing for me is how comfortable the dress is.  Because it is made from bamboo, it is so soft and gentle on my skin.
  • The dress is very flattering and because of its design it hides my tummy.  I am no longer a young skinny mini, but I really feel good about myself in this dress.
  • The adjustable straps.  I am very short from shoulder to bust, and the fully adjustable straps allow me to adjust the dress to the right fit.
  • Bust support.  Many breastfeeding clothes don't have good support, but this dress allows you to wear it without a bra.  The support is not quite as much as a bra, but it is still more than enough for comfortable wear.
  • Whether breast or bottle feeding, these dresses are for every new Mum. 
  • Great for summer wear, or pop on a cardi when the weather is cooler.
  • The clasps are actually magnetic, so once you get the hang of them they are super easy to snap open and closed for feeding. And they are strong enough that they don't just fall open unexpectedly (has that ever happened to you?  So embarrassing!!).
  • The price.  Get ready for it..... only $55.  Amazing!  How can such a fabulous dress be so affordable?
  • As you probably know, I work from home.  So now I can be stylish and attractive, even if I haven't managed to get changed (which is usually the case around here).   
  • You can stick your breastpads in and not only do they stay there but they don't show up through the fabric.
  • The length of the maxi-dress is just perfect for me!  Long enough to hide my unwaxed legs but enough off the ground to pop on some cute sandals ;-)

 

Now, obviously the pictures above are not professional (as you can see I snapped them myself), but you can see how flattering the dress is.  I have taken a couple of close-ups for you to see the bust features, as well as a full length one to get an idea how nice it looks (excuse the chopped off head).  


 We will also have a dress to giveaway in the next month or two, which I am sure is going to be one of our most popular giveaways, so check back and be sure to enter.

Finally, be sure to pop over and 'like' the I&U Breastfeeding Loungewear Facebook Page to stay up to date with all their news!  Why not pop over and say hi to Laila, I'm sure she would love to hear your comments about her dresses :-)

Disclaimer: I was sent a I&U Dress to review.  All opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are my own honest words.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Baby Update: Approaching 5 months

Oh my, time is slipping by way too quickly.  With the new baby, 2 boys in school, and 2 businesses run from home, I am finding my days zooming by (in a good way though).

Our new Cheeky Monkey is nearly 5 months old.  So, lots happening in baby land.  We have had a few rough days which I put down to teeth, otherwise she is still such a beautiful easy-going bub.  All she wants to do is use her legs, so off hubby went and got a jumperoo as well as a high chair.  Big tick on the jumperoo, she just LOVES jumping up and down in the thing.  It's very cute and makes me laugh just watching her in it.  Plus it wears her out and she ends up having a nice little nap after being in it.


She is also a fantastic baby because she sleeps 12 hours through the night.  I'll be completely honest with you and admit this is nothing to do with anything I have done, it's just her nature and a pattern she has settled into herself.  This is nothing like what my 2 boys were like as babies, my second son in particular was a nightmare and it was a very long time until he slept though the night (12 months or so I think), and he has never ever slept 12 hours that's for sure.  So, I feel very blessed to have a good sleeper for my third (and last) baby.

The last few mornings she has been waking up, she has pretty much refused a feed even though it has been over 12 hours since her last feed.  So, time I thought to start her on 'solids'.  I didn't plan to start right now, but she is a big baby (7.7kg last time I weighed her), and I thought I would give it a whirl in the mornings.  We have started on an organic rice baby cereal which I have kept very runny.  And the verdict is she likes it!  She very happily sits and sucks it off the spoon, so we will continue with it for now just once a day.


Our family in the last few weeks has also been struck down with a horrid strain of influenza.  My 5 year old son bought it home from school, and boy did it knock him for a 6.  A week off school and he ended up in hospital one night after we called Medcall and the doctor sent him straight to hospital he was so worried about his breathing and very high temperature.  I had the misfortune to get it as well, and could barely crawl out of bed for 4 days.  Two weeks later I am still getting over it.  Thank goodness for my husband and Mum who looked after the baby (and thank goodness she didn't get it as well).  One tip from our GP - if you come down with the flu (high temp, shivering, aching body and joints), get straight to your doctor to get Tamiflu, it will shorten the duration of the flu from 5-7 days to 3-5 days, but you have to have it in the first 24 hours.


So, life is keeping itself eventful around here but I guess at least its better than being bored!!

Some other posts you may enjoy reading:
My Baby Wish List
10 Things to do in the First Trimester
10 Things to do in the Second Trimester
10 Things to do in the Third Trimester
Your Cheeky Monkey Review at Hip Little One
What products do you really need for your newborn baby?
Baby Gift Baskets for delivery to Pindara Hospital

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review & GIVEAWAY: Hallmark Interactive Cards

I don't know about you, but sometimes a birthday comes along that you just want to buy a really special card for.  Not just any old card, but something that is fun and eye-catching and even a little bit cool.

Hallmark have now bought out a super cute range of greeting cards... but not as we know them!  These cards sing, dance, light up, pop up, and you can even interact with them.  My favorite is the Tweety Bird birthday card... you blow a kiss to Tweety to make him blush.  Very cute.

These fabulous Hallmark Interactive Cards are a brand new range just out, and are now available from newsagencies.




Now for the exciting part - We have to giveaway 2 packs of the Hallmark Interactive Cards including a selection of cards from the interactive range, the licensed Disney range, the polka-dots range, and classic range, as well as a double forever friends CD featuring tracks from The Script, Michael Buble, Delta Goodrem and many others, and a Hallmark recordable storybook, all worth $115!!

For your chance to win one of these packs, just scroll down to the entry form below and tell me what your star sign is and what attribute describes you.  Also be sure to read the Giveaway T&C at the bottom of this post.

It would be great if you could pop over and like our facebook page too :)

Fill out my online form.
Giveaway Terms and Conditions (please read):
~ Australian Entries only
~ One entry per person
~ Two winners will be picked from correct entries lodged via entry form.  Chance plays no part, winners judged and selected on answer provide. The judges decision is final.
~ Prize includes shipping cost.  Prize will be sent to winner directly from Communicado. Your Cheeky Monkey takes no responsibility for delay, loss or damage of prize.
~ By entering this giveaway your email address will be automatically added to the Your Cheeky Monkey mailing list.  Your email will never be shared or used in any other way.  If in future you wish to unsubscribe from our newsletter, you can easily do this via the unsubscribe button on one of our newsletters
~ Winners will be notified on our facebook page and by email.  Prize will be re-drawn if winner does not respond within 7 days.
~ This giveaway closes in 1 weeks time on Wednesday 15th August 2012 at 11.59pm (EST)

Disclaimer: I was provided with a pack of the new Hallmark Interactive Cards for the purpose of reviewing them for this blog post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guest Post: Introducing a new little brother or sister

Introducing a new little brother or sister

Bringing home a new baby is an exciting time, although Mum and Dad are super busy getting everything ready for the big day. But how do you handle the little one in the house who might be a wee bit anxious about the new baby coming?

How do you introduce baby to their older brother or sister?

Here are some of my Mum’s little secrets:

Discuss the pregnancy in terms that kids can understand
Don’t overload them with detail. Answer questions simply and clearly, always keeping in mind your child’s age. The idea of the third trimester might go above their heads.

Activities to help them get involved include reading age-appropriate books about childbirth and thinking of potential baby names together.

Stick to your regular routine
It makes for a smoother transition. Any major changes like switching rooms around, or teaching your child how to “go potty” should happen well before the date of the birth.

Let your child know what the plan is on the day of the birth, so they know what to expect. Maybe even let them visit you in the hospital as soon as possible to share in the new baby excitement.

Include your kids in caring for the new baby
Your older kids won’t feel left out if they’re being involved in the new routine and they’ll be interact with their new sibling in a positive way. Depending on their age, these helpful activities can include pushing the pram, talking to the baby or helping burp their new little brother or sister.

And remember to spend some time one-on-one with your older children - such as those precious moments when baby is sleeping. This time helps reduce the kind of residual jealousy they may be feeling. Encourage them to tell you exactly how they feel and to reassure them that the new baby is a positive addition to the clan.

It may take time, but it’ll be a real joy to see your little family getting to know and love one another.

Author bio: Hannah Story is a young writer from Sydney. She plans to become the Mia Freedman of her generation. 

This guest post is sponsored by Karimums.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Winners!

A big thank you to everyone who entered this month's giveaways.  We certainly had a lot of entries!  If you missed out this time, keep your eye out for a couple more great giveaways coming up in the next month or so. 

So, were you a winner this time?  The lucky ladies were as follows:

Onesie Bummsie Bodysuit Extender Packs:
Helena M
Amelia B

Fisher Price Tracking Lights Musical Gym:
Kellie S

A big congrats to you all, hope you enjoy your prizes!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Review & GIVEAWAY: Tracking Lights Musical Gym

My 3 1/2 month old baby has been getting a tad bored.  You know that stage they reach, where they want to grab things and play, but they just don't have the control and strength and then they end up getting cranky and frustrated.

But for the past few days we have had one very happy little baby.  And the reason is our beautiful shiny new Fisher-Price Tracking Lights Musical Gym.  Little Miss P loves the thing.  And I do too, what fun it is to watch her under laughing and talking and grabbing at the toys.


Once you take the pieces out of the box, the Musical Gym does require some assembly.  Do not do what I did.  In my excitement, I gathered up all the plastic bags the individual pieces came in and chucked them in the bin.... along with the screws required to put it all together.  Resulting in a big family manhunt for the missing screws, yes eventually found buried in the rubbish bin!  Anyway, the crisis was then averted and we could get to putting it all together.


One great thing about this toy is that is came with the required batteries.  I'm sure every single parent in the world would agree there is nothing worse than getting a new toy home and it doesn't include the batteries.


The Tracking Lights Musical Gym has a nice padded mat for bub to lay on.  The 3 toys are all very different and so easy for babies to grab, hit and play with.


It's heaps of fun watching them figure out how to make the lights and music work on their own!!  And I know it will be brilliant as she gets older too, with all the features on the stand and mat.


And here is a short video clip of little Miss enjoying the Musical Gym :)


Now for the exciting part - Mattel has kindly offered a Fisher-Price Tracking Lights Musical Gym for a Your Cheeky Monkey Blog reader!!

For your chance to win this amazing Tracking Lights Musical Gym, all you need to do is scroll down to the entry form below, fill in your details and tell me what feature of the Musical Gym you think your baby would love.  Also be sure to read the Giveaway T&C at the bottom of this post.

It would be great if you could pop over and like our facebook page too :)





Giveaway Terms and Conditions (please read):
~ Australian Entries only
~ One entry per person
~ One winner will be picked from correct entries lodged via entry form.  Chance plays no part, winners judged and selected on answer provide. The judges decision is final.
~ Prize includes shipping cost.  Prize will be sent to winner directly from Mattel. Your Cheeky Monkey takes no responsibility for delay, loss or damage of prize.
~ By entering this giveaway your email address will be automatically added to the Your Cheeky Monkey mailing list.  Your email will never be shared or used in any other way.  If in future you wish to unsubscribe from our newsletter, you can easily do this via the unsubscribe button on one of our newsletters
~ Winners will be notified on our facebook page and by email.  Prize will be re-drawn if winner does not respond within 7 days.
~ This giveaway closes in 1 weeks time on Friday 20th July 2012 at 11.59pm (EST)

"This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mattel. All opinions are my own."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Onesie Bummsie Bodysuit Extenders

Time for a giveaway!  I have 2 packs of the fabulous Onesie Bummsie Bodysuit Extenders to give away!  Pack 1 consists of one long + one medium extender in a funky print.  Pack 2 consists of one short + one medium in green.  Mums and expecting Mums, this is one giveaway you can't miss!


Haven't heard of these little gems?  Onesie Bummsie's are panels you use to lengthen your baby's bodysuit at the crotch press studs. They can be used for 2 reasons - for a bulkier night time nappy or just with a cloth nappy in general, also use them to extend the life of a bodysuit especially when at that awkward "in between" size.  The picture above is of my little girl, we use them to get more use out of her bodysuits, you can clearly see that the bodysuit she has on would be way too tight to wear if it wasn't for the extender.


For your chance to win one of these packs (pictured above), all you need to do is scroll down to the entry form below, fill in your details and tell me why you would love to use a Onesie Bummsie Bodysuit Extender.  Also be sure to read the Giveaway T&C at the bottom of this post.

It would be great if you could pop over and like our facebook page too :)






Giveaway Terms and Conditions (please read):
~ Australian Entries only
~ One entry per person
~ Two winners will be picked from correct entries lodged via entry form.  Chance plays no part, winners judged and selected on answer provided
~ Prize includes shipping cost
~ It is a condition of this giveaway that your email address will be automatically added to the Your Cheeky Monkey newsletter list.  If in future you wish to unsubscribe from our newsletter, you can easily do this via the unsubscribe button on one of our newsletters
~ Winners will be notified on our facebook page and by email.  Prize will be re-drawn if winner does not respond within 3 days.
~ This giveaway closes in 1 weeks time on Wednesday 18th July 2012 at 11.59pm (EST)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Newborn Essentials

It has been so much fun having a baby again, I can't even begin to say how much more I have enjoyed it than I ever expected.  You probably think that is a bit of a strange comment considering it is my third baby, but what I expected in my mind in regards to juggling 3 kids, and how it is in reality are 2 different things.  I can't even tell you the reasons... I guess just because she is a content easy-going little person who is not much trouble at all!

So now after my "10 Things to do" series of posts (see end of this post for links) I of course have to follow on with a list of my newborn essentials.  Some things are things I have used and loved for all 3 children, and some are new discoveries that I wish were around when I had the boys.  So, here we are, my top products for a newborn baby.

Jazsling Baby Sling - Sometimes its just easier to pop bub in a sling when out and about if you don't need the pram.  I have been using a divine organic Jazslings Baby Sling and we love it!  So easy to use, and comfy for both of us.


Cuddledry Towel - Can I admit to you that when I had the boys I really dreaded bathing them on my own?  It seemed such a juggle and a hassle rather than something relaxing and enjoyable.  Well, I can't rave enough about how easy my Cuddledry Towel makes bathtime.  It has a halter strap that goes around your neck so you don't have to worry about holding the towel, then its just so easy to lift bub up out of the water straight onto your chest in the towel.  I love this invention!


Strawberry Jam Floor Cushion - Anyone that has had a baby knows that no matter how much you adore holding them, there comes times when you just have to put them down to get things done.  A nifty product I have been using since bub was born is my Strawberry Jam Floor Cushion.  I just carry it around the house to where I need to be, and my little darling is quite content to lie and look around at the world or have a little nap.  The arrangement of the cushions just seems to cradle her body perfectly (and I know she won't be able to roll off it easily and hurt herself).



Bubbalog Baby Journal - Any Mum knows what a blur the first few weeks are after baby is born.  Sleep deprivation plays havoc on your memory.  So the Bubbalog to me is an absolute life-saver!  It's basically a journal for the first 6 weeks where you keep track of feeds, sleep, appointments, and anything else you need to.  It's Australian too so all the info is relevant for us Aussie Mums rather than so many other books which are from the US or UK.


Bugaboo Bee Pram - When the boys were babies we had a Bugaboo Chameleon, which was sadly sold many years before baby #3.  This time around, I knew I couldn't even look at another brand of pram but we had to take into consideration me having a small car at the present time.  The solution?  The Bugaboo Bee.  I can't even tell you how much I love this pram.  It is so easy to use, it is super cute, it has been able to be used for a newborn, it is easy to fold up and down, and its easy to push and negotiate around things.  The pic below is the boys and I at the park, with little miss enjoying being very comfy and cosy in her Bee.  At the moment I am resisting the urge to buy the Missoni Accessory Package... I love love love it and am trying to find an excuse for my husband why we NEED it!


Burp Cloths - What can I say, babies spew up a lot.  Generally all down your back and on your shoulder.  So we all need something a bit funkier to use than old cloth nappies don't we?  My solution is my handmade burp cloths in super cute fabrics.  That's me there with baby girl fast asleep on my shoulder.  I have to say, with all 2 babies I used these things to death... they are just so handy to have on hand for all sorts of uses, not just as a burp cloth.



Copious numbers of bunny rugs, swaddles and wraps - I get a bit obsessed with these when I have a baby.  I use them for so many things - as a swaddle, as light blankets, in the car and pram, as a privacy cover, and the list goes on.  I really think these are the most well used things you can have on hand for a baby.  My favorites this time have been are my Natural Kids Bamboo Swaddle (super soft, extra large size and super stretchy), my Aden + Anais Organic Muslin (extra large size and beautiful light organic muslin), and a hemp wrap with silk edging from Natural Transition


Baby Billie Goat Bath Powder - When I bath my bubs I like to put a little something in the water (as babies don't get dirty but its still nice to bath them), but I hate using those chemical cocktails that are generally on the market.  I felt there had to be a compromise, and I found it in the form of Billie Goat Bath Soak.  I love this little gem of a product I stock it at YCM, its just heaven on your babies skin and leaves them smelling divine.



Well that wraps up my newborn essentials.  Keep an eye out soon for my top picks for older babies!



Some other posts you may enjoy reading:
My Baby Wish List
10 Things to do in the First Trimester
10 Things to do in the Second Trimester
10 Things to do in the Third Trimester
Your Cheeky Monkey Review at Hip Little One
What products do you really need for your newborn baby?