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.