Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review: White Soda Swimwear for Kids

Living in Queensland, good swimwear is certainly a big priority for all of our family. We are all big swimmers and spend many hours in the pool over summer. I definitely appreciate good quality swimwear, and know from experience the cheap swimmers you can buy only last a few swims and then they start to disintegrate.

White Soda Swimwear is an Australian business that makes swimwear for kids of the most impressive quality, and we have had the pleasure of testing out a one-piece for my daughter over the last few weeks.

What I love about this brand of swimwear:

  • Amazing quality - the fabric is really thick compared to other brands, plus it is chlorine resistant which means the life of the swimwear is excellent if you rinse after every use.
  • UPF 50+ - Fantastic protection from the sun.
  • The one piece bathers are SO cute with the frill on the back! Plus they have adjustable straps to allow for different body shapes and to last longer when your little one grows.
  • A great range available for both boys and girls including swim nappies, rashies, and one piece bathers for girls.

Your kiddies (and you!) will love the one piece bathers (see images above) – These carry the highest possible sun protection rating of 50+ to block the sun- they will not fade or stretch. Available in sizes 2-8 in an assortment of colours and bold prints, WHITE SODA has splashed into the season with style!

Conclusion - A big thumbs up from us for this brand, plus when you buy from them you are supporting an Australian company which is so important in this day and age.

Disclaimer: We received a one-piece swimsuit to use for review. No payment was received for this post and any opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hilarious things kids ask Santa for at Christmas

Every year I get a giggle from the crazy things my kids write on their Santa letters. A couple of years ago it was an iPhone 5.... my thoughts at the time was that perhaps I could write to Santa too asking for one! I posted this on my Facebook page along with "WHAT THE??" and my goodness, did the perfect Mums come out in force accusing me of being materialistic and that their child would never ask for something like that. Hmmmm yeah right.

 Another good one was a pet snake last year....  uuuummm NO I don't think so!

And here's some other good ones from some of the Mums over at the Your Cheeky Monkey Facebook page:

Jodi's son is requesting a "C5 Galaxy (apparently it's an airplane) and crickets for my scorpion"

Vicki's 17 year old also wants a pet snake!

And Karen's son wants to go to Disneyland because when they last went he was only 2 and didn't get to go on any of the rides :)

What are some of the funny/outrageous/unrealistic things your kids have asked for? I'd love to hear about them!

Finally, I would like to wish each and every one of you a wonderful, happy, and safe Christmas and here's to a fantastic 2015!

Monique xx

Monday, October 27, 2014

Back to School with Name My Stuff

Are you like me and spend a fortune on name labels for your kids for school and kindy? I can't even count how many orders I have placed over the years for labels for THREE kids (because just having your surname is a no-no apparently). Plus they do tend to come off over time, or as in the case of one of my sons, they get picked off everything and you have to keep putting them on. Use permanent marker you say? Well, I guess that works sometimes, but I have found after a few washes permanent marker does fade into nothing which is a bit of a pain as you have to then keep writing names on things. And if you DON'T name things, they get lost in about a millisecond!

So.... you might get a little bit excited when I tell you there is a business that can permanently print your child's name on everything from dummies to drink bottles to lunch boxes and more. Name My Stuff is based here in Australia and sources the highest quality products to permanently print on.

I must admit I was a little unsure how it would work, but on receiving our Contigo Drink Bottle and putting it through its paces with washing in the dishwasher everyday, I can definitely say the printed name has not faded or rubbed off.

Each product has the name printed on it in a different spot according to what works best for that product. On the Contigo Drink Bottle it is right up on the handle part, quite unobtrusive but still obvious especially if sitting on a table with lots of other drink bottles at school or kindy.

A little note also about the Pink Contigo Autospout Bottle. My toddler LOVES it. She loves the handle to carry it, and likes drinking from the straw part. It is actually non-spill (have you noticed how many 'non-spill' bottles do leak?). And the parts I love as a Mum - you can wash the whole thing in the dishwasher, it is BPA free, there are no fiddly little bits to take in and out, and you can press the drinking spout down so it is protected from dirt and germs. It's really a winner and she is not interested in any of her other bottles now.


Name My Stuff is an absolutely amazing business idea, I love the option to now purchase permanently named things for my kids for school and kindy. The prices are all very affordable and I will be shopping there again soon as my sons are now nagging me for named drink bottles of their own!

Would you like to try out one of their products asap? Simply use the discount code "CheekyMonkey" for 10% off store-wide at Name My Stuff.

I also have a fabulous Personalised Contigo Autospout Drink Bottle to giveaway to one of our blog readers. They come in both pink and blue so you can choose which one you desire. Simply use the Rafflecopter form below and most of all, good luck :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: A Contigo Drink Bottle was sent to us to review for this post. No payment was received and any opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, October 20, 2014

5 Things to Know about your Brand New Baby

Unless you are a midwife or other birth-related professional, there are some things that really come as a surprise when you have a baby. I know that when I had my kids, there were some things I just had NO idea about.... and was a little embarrassed about as I really didn't know if it was normal or not. The following points are things I personally wish I had know before having kids, it would have made the whole 'brand new baby' thing a whole lot easier!

  • The genitals of both boys and girls are swollen after they are born. Well, you can sort of see with this one why no one really talks about it, but there we go. Due to excess fluid in the body and hormones, it is a little scary to see if you are not expecting it.
  • When some babies are born they are really wrinkly (and ugly). When my second son was born his face was so squished and wrinkly I was downright embarrassed. Luckily it does disappear and smooth out after a few days or weeks. Likewise, some babies can be covered in hair when born... which would also be a bit freaky if you are not expecting it.
  • Birthmarks are really common in newborns... about 80% have them in fact. Most fade eventually but others persist for a life-time.
  • New babies are extremely time-consuming... and can take up literally ALL your time. Whether feeding them or burping them or rocking to stop the crying or just sitting looking at them, life with a newborn just doesn't leave much time for much else. And that's the way it should be, I believe women are programmed like that to allow for proper bonding between mummy and baby.
  • There is a whole list of weird and wonderful skin conditions babies can have as newborns. One of my sons had the WORST skin I have ever seen, blotchy and red and sore looking. The paediatrician had some weird latin name for it, and luckily it went away after a few weeks. If your baby has less than perfect skin make sure to ask your midwife or doctor if it is something you are concerned about (better to be safe than sorry).
Did anything surprise you after the birth of your baby? Please share here so other Mums-to-be can have a read and not be surprised after the birth of their baby!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

10 Things to add to your medicine chest once you have kids

BC (that's Before Children) I don't think I would have believed it if you had told me the copious amounts of various medicines and other bits and pieces you need. I can certainly see that a pharmacist sees dollar signs when a Mum or Dad walks in the door. Our cupboards are overflowing with all the "stuff" you need to keep on hand in case one of our kids gets sick.

Busily writing yet another list for chemist shopping, I thought I would jot some of the essentials down here. Also, a quick mention that all families are different, and as such have different ideas on what you need... this is simply my thoughts on the subject :-)

  1. Nit Comb. I know there are heaps of chemical type applications, but I have always found a simple nit comb along with conditioner does the trick and gets rid of them in one hit.
  2. Baby Panadol / Baby Nurofen / Kids Panadol etc, depending on age of your child. When sickness hits, its hits quickly and if (for example) your child develops a very high temperature in the middle of the night you need something to bring it down as soon as possible.
  3. Band-aids. Yes, even when a toddler doesn't have a scratch, they are essential to soothe those little ow's. I have also found as my boys have got older, I need to keep a pretty extensive supply of various bandages, wound pads, etc etc, as they always seem to get injuries that a little old band-aid just won't work on.
  4. Daktozin. When the good old nappy rash gets out of hand this is the only stuff that works. Living in Queensland we do get hot humid weather and there is nothing worse than a raw sore bum from nappy rash so its best to clear it up quickly.
  5. Stingose or Calamine. It's hard for young kids not to scratch itchy bites (even as an adult its hard not to scratch!) so I always have this on hand in the event of bites... especially at bed-time when having itchy bites can make it hard for kids to sleep.
  6. Dettol/Savlon/Betadine. To soothe an assortment of scrapes and grazes!
  7. A Vaporizer and the essential oil liquid to go with it (I like the Bosisto's brand). When coughs, colds and flu's hit, one of these in your child's room can help them breathe easier and be more comfortable.
  8. Thermometer of some sort. We have ended up with about 5 over the years, but have at least one so you can keep an eye on your child's temperature if they have a fever.... if it gets too high it is very dangerous.
  9. Ice-packs or Cold Compresses in the freezer. Sometimes kids come a cropper and you need an ice-pack to get the swelling down a bit.... mind you with a young child it can be a challenge to keep it on long enough to be effective!
  10. Oral rehydration liquid or ice-blocks. These are for after vomiting and gastro's. Mind you, all my kids hated the taste when really young and it was really hard to get them to swallow it, but I keep it on hand just in case a bad gastro bug hits the house. Once opened I chuck it out and buy a new lot.

What are your essentials for children in the medicine chest?

Some other posts you might enjoy:
My Top Bathtime Tips for a Newborn Baby 
Not Putting a Name On It
Outside Play ideas for Winter 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: 'lil Fairy Door

In this day and age of technology and digital games and movies, it can sometimes be hard to give our children the opportunity to expand their imaginations. As busy parents, we sometimes forget to slow down and allow out little ones to create their own little worlds of fantasy and play.

And sometimes there is something really exciting about finding a simple little prop to encourage our sons and daughters to let their imaginations run wild. Enter this darling little invention - 'lil Fairy Door.

The first thing you notice about the 'lil Fairy Door is how beautifully packaged it is. A tiny little door along with a vial of glitter sets your thoughts running on how much fun it will be for your kids to have an entry into your home for the fairies.

So simple to set up, the package even comes with mounting tape and a fairy foot-print stencil to create your own fairy door set-up.

The detail in the door is just beautiful, it is just so well made and realistic. The colours are gorgeous too. I put ours on a bookshelf as we have big skirting boards around all the walls. It looks absolutely darling sitting there!

While my sons (at ages 8 and 9) are too old and my daughter is currently too young to understand (at 2) I'm going to keep our beautiful 'lil Fairy Door until she is just a bit older to appreciate it.

I think these Fairy Doors are an absolutely wonderful idea for the pre-schooler age group. The looks on their faces would be a joy to behold and I'm sure every child that has one would spend many hours watching for their own little fairies to come visiting through the door!

Disclaimer: I received a 'lil Fairy Door to review. No payment was received for this post and any opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: Jeanie B Beach Bags

Well I can't quite believe I'm writing this as Winter is still upon us (well for a couple more weeks anyway), but the way the weeks slip by it will be warming up soon and the hot Summer months will be here.

With the warmer weather, while we are not particularly beach people, we will again be braving Whitewater World at Dreamworld where we have season passes, and where I always seem to have to drag along 3 or 4 bags to hold all our towels and other things for 5 of us... which is such a pain!

Do you always end up doing the same thing when going to the beach or pool or even sports mornings for the kids? There just never seems to be a spacious enough solution. Ok, I have to admit I have used those horrid blue Ikea bags before, just because they hold so much stuff.

But now I have found an alternative... YAY! :)

The Jeanie B Beach Bags are not only funky they are HUGE! They say they fit at least 5 beach towels, and I have to agree, I put 6 in with heaps of space to spare. There is a little pocket inside to pop your mobile in and other little bits and pieces, and it also comes with a storage bag to keep it folded up in.

Made from 100% cotton, and triple stitched for strength and durability, you can even wash them if it gets dirty. While my favourite is the red stripe pictured, there are lots of other fabric choices too.

I love our Jeanie B Beach Bag, it really is the handiest bag I now own when heading out and about with the family :-)

Disclaimer: I received a Jeanie B Beach Bag for review on this blog. No payment was received for this post and any opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I have learnt with my third child

I have learnt many many things along my journey with 3 children. But there is one thing that I have definitely learnt now I have come to number 3.

And that is that there is no rush for things. We seem to be in such a hurry to toilet train, to get them in a big bed, to get them talking, to get them reading.

But you know what? Who cares. What about enjoying the journey, and relishing the moments they are so small. Because it goes so very quickly.

With my third I am in no rush to toilet train, no rush to put her in kindy, no rush to turn her cot into a toddler bed. Because I know it will all happen with time. They all get there in the end.

I want to enjoy every precious moment with her. I'm by no means a perfect Mum, but where I wanted to rush everything along with my boys, I want to let my little girl find her own pace and her own way... and I think it will all work out in the end.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: Skeanie Ruffle Tights

As a Mum of a girl after 2 boys, its tons of fun to be able to dress my daughter in lovely little girly clothes. But there is usually a downside of this and that is that cute girly clothes are quite often impractical. Girls, just as much as boys, love to run and jump and climb and slide, and being in a skirt  does hamper movement I think.

However there is some gorgeous little new tights out from Skeanie (you might remember I reviewed their darling little shoes a while ago) that combine girliness with practicality, and what makes these tights different is the funky ruffles around the bottom of the legs.

Made from 80% Cotton 18% Nylon and 2% Elastane, Ruffle Tights come in a range of sizes from 1-2 years up to 4-5 years, and are able to be machine washed. Although the instructions say not to tumble dry, I have to admit they went through the dryer in a load of washing and came out just fine.

We were sent a pair to review and there are lots of things I like about the Skeanie Ruffles:

  • You can dress them up with a dress over the top, or dress them down with just a tee.
  • Nice enough for dinner out, and tough enough for a day at the park or kindy.

  • Comfy enough to climb on things (yes even things that aren't supposed to be climbed on like lego) and play on the trampoline.
  • Nice and warm in the cool winter weather we are having at the moment.

The Skeanie Ruffle Tights are adorable and practical, and I'm sure your daughter will love wearing them as much as mine does!

Disclaimer: We received Skeanies Ruffles to review. No payment was received for this post and any opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What do you need in a Nappy Bag for a Newborn Baby?

What do you need in a Nappy Bag for a Newborn Baby?

I remember vividly when my first son was born nearly 9 years ago having so much trouble knowing what to put in the nappy bag!! It sounds silly now, but for a new Mum heading out the door with my new baby, I really didn't know what I would need while out and about. Now after 3 kids it is second nature, but I was looking through my nappy bag the other day and thought I really should put a blog post up with some suggestions of what is good to pack when heading out with your baby.

So, what things do you need to pack in your Nappy Bag when heading out the door with your newborn baby? Here is my list for an outing:

  • A nice roomy nappy bag! You always need more than you think you do!
  • Nappies - always keep quite a few in your nappy bag
  • Nappy sacks
  • Travel pack or 2 of wipes
  • Nappy rash cream if needed
  • Change mat (either a nice fabric padded one, or disposable ones if you prefer)
  • Bub's Comforter (I always keep one permanently in our nappy bag so I don't leave the house and forget it)
  • Muslin 
  • Blanket
  • Change of clothes for baby
  • Bibs and burp cloths
  • If Breastfeeding a privacy cover, or use your muslin
  • If Bottle-feeding, bottles already filled with boiled water, and a container with formula in (I take pre-warmed bottles in the insulated bottle packs)
  • A Sweet Dreameezz Black Muslin to drape over the pram when bub is asleep.
  • Dummy if you use one

Saturday, June 7, 2014

5 Essential Things for Bub You Didn't Know You Needed

Having a baby can open up a whole new world of gadgets and goodies you probably never even knew existed. Shopping for baby items can certainly be fun and exciting and daunting all at the same time! While you do discover newborns actually need very little apart from food, sleep, lots of nappies, and to be near mum and dad, there are a few things I have discovered as essential things to have on hand from my journey with my own 3 children.

1. A specifically designed baby comforter. While most parents end up giving their baby a soft toy or a muslin wrap, there is a whole range of safe and specially designed comforters to give to babies. These are made from breathable fabric, are easily replaced if lost or loved to death, and they are easily washed and dried. Safe to give a baby from birth, I recommend a Cuski Baby Comforter, Save Our Sleep Comforter, or Sophie the Giraffe Comforter – the shape is designed to be safe for your baby, absorb smells well, and they are easily washed in the washing machine. They are also very affordable. When you introduce a comforter to a baby, you are also introducing a signal to sleep, which makes naptime and bedtime routines much more predictable for your child and way less stressful for you. My daughter adores her Pinkee!

2. While we all adore carrying our babies, sometimes we do need to put them down to get things done around the house. There are many types of baby rockers and swings available, and one of these is a must in my books. Do your research and pick one according to your needs. For example, do you need to move it around the house easily? Would you manage with an electric one that plugs into the wall? Do you prefer the old-fashioned bouncers? Do you require organic fabric? Whichever one you choose, your baby and you will love the convenience and comfort. Just remember to keep it on the floor at all times rather than up on a table, bench or bed.

3. One (sometimes unexpected) thing that happens with babies is that they do tend to need to be burped a lot. Along with burps comes upchucks, and there is nothing worse than it ending up all over your shoulder and down your back (especially if you are out and about and can't get changed). Did you know though, there is an alternative to putting a daggy cloth nappy over your shoulder? They are called Burp Cloths, and are one of the handiest little things you will ever come across. So easy to pop over your shoulder when burping bub, they look great, and you can even use them for lots of other things such as under bubs head in the pram or to wipe up all sorts of messes.

4. A feeding chair for babies room. I never thought I would be including this one in a list of essential baby products. For my first 2 children I didn’t have a specific feeding chair, I just fed them on the lounge in the living room. However, my Dad kindly bought me a special feeding chair for my third baby – you know the ones, they rock and have a footstool as well. I can now honestly say it has been the best thing ever! My daughter is now 2 and it has been one of the most well used things I have ever had. Night feeds have been a breeze without having to put lights on in the rest of the house, its easy to get away from the noise of other family members, and it has been lovely sitting and rocking with my feet up with my baby. We still use it to this day for a cuddle before nap time and bed time.

 5. My last essential baby product you didn’t know you needed for this article is a night light for babies room. For all 3 of my children I have had different types depending what has been on the market at the time, but whichever one you do purchase, make sure it is easy to turn on in the dark and that it is only just bright enough to feed and change baby. It is so important to teach baby day from night, and this means keeping things as quiet and dark as possible when doing night feeds and changes.

I hope this list has given you some inspiration for your list of things for baby. If your baby is yet to arrive, I wish you a beautiful birth, and if your baby has been born, congratulations on your beautiful bubba!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Giveaway: Minty Cuski Baby Comforter

Yay another giveaway! Up for grabs is one of our best-sellers, one Minty Cuski Baby Comforter for one lucky Mum! Valued at $29.95, with easy entry via the Rafflecopter form below.

Please take a comment to read the T&C of the giveaway and be sure to do all mandatory steps. Prize is not transferable for cash, and is open to Australian residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner - Jackie

Monday, May 19, 2014

Giveaway: Angads Cot Set

What a divine giveaway I have for you this month! Angads are kindly offering one of our readers a beautiful cot set for one lucky Mum (or Dad).

The Angads 'Bambini' cot set is valued at $89.00 and includes cot quilt with a matching pillow case. The Bambini cot set is 100% cotton and machine washable and has an adorable alphabet and doll pattern on it.

Enter via Rafflecopter Form below.... and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner - Nikita

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Skeanie Classic Infant Pre-walkers

Put your hand up if you have a baby or toddler aged newborn to 2?? Well then please read on!

My daughter (who has just turned 2) has been wearing in a super cute pair of Skeanies Classic Infant Pre-Walkers lately. While she has been walking for quite a while, these soft little shoes are still fantastic to have in the wardrobe, especially with winter coming up, they are perfect to keep on her feet all day to keep them warm and protected.

The Skeanies super soft, light and flexible soles ensure natural movement of baby’s feet without obstructing soft bone cartilage, tissue, muscles, and nerves. Heralded as the “Transition Shoe,” the pre walkers feature “Flex-EASE technology (elastic around the back of the ankle) and textured suede soles which provides superior grip to prevent bone deformities later in life. As you can see in the picture below, the shoes are made of lovely soft leather, and have the gentle elastic around the back which means they actually stay on her feet. They are also recommended as the Preferred Provider of The Australian Podiatry Foundation (NSW & ACT), so you know they are good for your child's feet.

The pair my daughter is wearing are a Size L (EU22), which fit her perfectly, and they go up to an X-Large. I'll be checking out the Junior range also offered by Skeanies, which is for kids aged 1-5 years.

As you can see, Skeanies Classic Pre-Walkers are totally adorable little shoes for kids. They are well priced (RRP$29.95), they fit beautifully, they stay on, and most of all, they are obviously comfortable (or believe me, a toddler would not keep them on his or her feet!!). So in conclusion, they get a big thumbs up from us... and we wish we had discovered them sooner! 

Disclaimer: We received a pair of Skeanies to review. No payment was received for this post and any opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

3 Things I have Discovered since becoming a Mum

  1. Your baby is born with their personality, and it has nothing to do with you as a parent. A difficult baby is not caused by anything you are doing wrong, and an easy baby is not that way because you think you are relaxed. While its really nice to credit our children's good qualities with something we are doing as a parent, I don't believe this is so. After having 3 children, all with vastly different personalities, one thing I noticed was that they were certainly born this way... in other words their core personality is nature not nurture. Definitely as they get older you need to channel their qualities and energy in the right direction, but we are all born with our own personalities and we need to support and rejoice in that, not try and change someone to the person you think they should be.
  2. You really don't have any concept of what total tiredness and utter exhaustion is until you become a Mum. Weeks and months of getting by on minimal sleep takes it toll on us Mums, and you really can't compare it to partying all weekend or missing out on a nights sleep for whatever reason BC (before children). I think most Mums have experienced the passing out in the middle of the night with bub on lap feeding, or driving somewhere and having no memory of getting there because you are so incredibly exhausted. But at least it does pass in time and become a distant memory (however even saying that my youngest is 2 and I think there is very few nights I haven't been woken by her at least once for various reasons!).
  3. Normal everyday tasks like having a shower, going to the toilet, and going grocery shopping are luxury activities if you get to go them on your own and without being uninterrupted in any way. I'd even go so far as saying I get absolutely desperate sometimes to do things ALL ON MY OWN. Just getting to pop to the library on my own is heaven (without taking a toddler who I know will throw a tantrum), or getting groceries (without my 2 sons who ask for every toy in sight).... or going to the toilet without ONE person needing my attention that exact second. Need I go on? Hehe.
So tell me, what have you discovered since becoming a Mum??

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Giveaway: Let's Get Boobalicious E-Book

If you are a new Mum or a soon to be Mum, you will be very interested in this new e-book which has just been released today (so exciting!).

Let’s Get Boobilicious is a New Mum’s Guide to Enjoying Breastfeeding & Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges.

Breastfeeding is a gift from nature, yet this gift isn’t always unravelled as easily or confidently for every new mother. We all prepare for a gentle transition into motherhood, but the initial baby storm can be an emotional tunnel and turbulent learning journey, particularly in breastfeeding successfully. Let’s Get Boobilicious is an informative, supportive and fun guide for new mothers wanting to enjoy nourishing their babies confidently, free of confusion, expectation & judgement. This is a one stop guide for breastfeeding basics, giving practical & helpful information to guide and progress mums through the early days from birth through to baby’s first year of feeding & gives tools to help mothers overcome any breastfeeding challenges that are sprung on them along the way. Anthea Thomas is a mother and a widely respected antenatal educator in Australia. She draws on her vast experience of caring for pregnant and new mothers and through this delightful book, Anthea shares practical skills and advice on pregnancy and preparation, the first feed, feeding positions, good attachment, coming home, getting into a routine, when milk supply is low & tips to increasing milk supply, unsettled babies, supplementation, expressing, biters, nutrition, weaning, introducing solids and much more. ‘New mothers have so many intricate questions about how often, how much, how to, when, where & why, that in the early days, these details can become overwhelming. ‘Let’s Get Boobilicious’ breaks this information down into simple and straight forward advice, so that you can get on with breastfeeding, enjoying the journey and trusting yourself to deal with each bump in the road as you reach it’ – Australian Birth & Parenting Network. Pick up your copy of Let’s Get Boobilicious today to learn to love your breastfeeding journey & have the tools & support to help it all come together.


I have 2 copies of the e-book worth $9.95 each to give away to 2 lucky Mums! Just follow the Rafflecopter prompts and you will be in the running. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review: Beetle Bottoms and the Eyes in the Night

You might remember a review I did a little while ago on the divine products from Beetle Bottoms? A glorious range of books, wall decals and story cards all based on the sweet little Beetle Bottoms characters that live in the garden (or 'Bubba's' as my little 2 year old calls them!).

Now there is a new addition to the family with another darling book called Beetle Bottoms and the Eyes in the Night, written by Madison Holroyd, Sarah Hill and Fiona Whyte.

With the surprise arrival of a new Beetle Bottom, the original character Pip is a bit shocked by his different skin colour, although that certainly doesn't stop them from liking each other straight away! An adventure then follows... illustrated with all the tiny Beetle Bottoms people that kids just adore looking at.

This new book in the series celebrates acceptance of people, races and cultures, as well as emphasising the beauty of seeing the world through a child's eyes. My 2 year old loves sitting looking at the pages and the beautiful illustrations. There is just something about the sweet faces and big eyes that she loves.

'Beetle Bottoms and the Eyes in the Night' is now available from the Beetle Bottoms online store for only $12.50. You can also join their Facebook page to stay up to date on all the Beetle Bottoms news.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Silly Sunday

New Parent Tip #168 When checking a babies nappy be wary of how far in you stick your fingers unless you want them covered in poo

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mammograms and Childbirth - Why the Negativity

I'm of a "certain" age now. It's that age where your doctor sends you off for the free mammogram. Which I duly went and had done last week. I'm waiting on the results, but I'm sure they will be fine.

On the morning of the mammogram, I was really nervous. Really really nervous. Because all I have ever heard is how much it hurts to have your boobs squashed in that machine. So I did NOT fancy putting myself through all that pain. Aren't you proud of me I still went and had it done.

But guess what. It really wasn't that painful. The lady that took the scans was lovely, and explained what was happening. I was in there for about 10 minutes so it was very quick. But it didn't hurt. Maybe uncomfortable, but it didn't hurt. When we had finished I told her how nervous I was because I had been told it hurt so much, and she got quite angry that the women that say things like that have a lot to answer for, because it makes some women to scared to go and get a mammogram... and what if they are the ones with cancer??? So I wanted to tell you please don't ever hesitate to get one if you haven't already - it really isn't as bad as they make out. A few minutes of your time and it could literally save your life.

This experience also got me thinking about the other issue in a women's life other women seem to take such pleasure in telling horror stories about. Childbirth. What is it with that? I know some women go through terrible experiences in childbirth (including my mum with me)... but do we really really need to make the young women in our life scared? I want to tell my daughter what an amazing experience birth is.... it is so exciting and so fulfilling and so beautiful... and you end up with this beautiful little baby at the end. Nothing else in life comes even close.

So please please ladies, re-consider your painful stories told in great detail, if a young women hasn't been through it herself, she really doesn't need that negativity in her life does she? What about the positives in every story... lets look for them instead.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Recipe: Apricot Satay Beef

I'll admit right away that I REALLY love satay. There are two downsides however - it is not the healthiest dish normally, and its not something my husband is too fussed on. So its not something I cook very often because the rest of the family turns their noses up at it, boohoo.

So I have been experimenting a bit, and I have come up with a dish that, while its not very pretty to look at, it satisfies the whole family... in fact everyone's plates are usually clean when I serve this.... yay!

It's also a favourite type of cooking of mine... throw everything in the slow cooker at once in the morning and then, tah-da! Serve it up at dinner time. So easy.


1kg diced gravy beef (my butcher has Wagyu gravy beef which is worth every cent, I recommend you try it if you can)
1/2 cup beef stock
1 can satay sauce
1 405g can apricot nectar
1 T red curry paste
1 packet French Onion Soup
Tin of diced tomatoes
1 onion, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
4-6 potatoes, peeled and diced (depending on size)

Put all ingredients in the slow cooker, give a quick stir, and cook on low in your slow cooker for at least 8 hours.

Serve on brown rice.

For a toddler - chop everything up small and serve.
For a baby - Blend a small amount of stew and rice with a little milk to desired consistency.

Some other posts and articles you might enjoy: 

10 Things to do in the First Trimester
10 Things to do in the Second Trimester
What products do you really need for your newborn baby?
My top bathtime tips for a new baby
BubbaLog makes those first few weeks easy
5 Common Herbs to avoid during Pregnancy
5 Top Tips for using a Baby Comforter 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Back to School with LeapReader

I really do have to admit that getting my sons to read books can be fighting an uphill battle sometimes. For me, reading is an absolute pleasure and I want all my children to feel the same way about books and reading. As my sons are going into Years 2 and 3, they are past the beginner reader age, and my daughter who is 22 months is not yet up to learn to read age.

On the other hand, the boys are completely obsessed with technology and there is no fight to ever get them to play with computers and video games! In fact it really is a constant effort to compromise about playing time.

So when a product comes along that combines technology and games with reading and learning, I am very interested to learn more. The LeapReader from LeapFrog ticks all these boxes for us... and I'm going to tell you why!

Before your child even opens the box, they are chomping at the bit to get inside and start using it. It really does look colourful and fun! I love the Interactive World Map that comes separately to the LeapReader... so much fun for kids to play with and learn at the same time.

Once set up and working you can use LeapReader to trace letters and numbers and write words stroke-by-stroke with interactive guidance as magic ink appears on special mess-free paper. On the special books, touch the LeapReader pen to any page to sound out words letter by letter, read sentences in lively character voices and play fun games that build comprehension. You can also certainly select books and activities to suit your own particular child's personality as well. For example, select a dinosaur book for your little boy, or a writing activity for your little girl who loves to trace around letters!

The only downside for me as a parent was that you can't just take it out of the box and use it.  You have to connect the Leap Reader to your computer to install the software and do any updates. For me, as a person who is not very computer savvy, this was definitely a bit of a mission and took me ages to figure it all out! But if I can do it anyone can, just keep in mind you need to do this before your child can use it so it might be a good idea to take it out and do all this before you give them the box.

Conclusion: We love LeapReader because it is easy to use for children, it combines learning with fun, and there are so many books and applications you can use it with... so you can work on an area they need help with such as writing their letters or learning cities around the world or learning to read words. Suitable for ages 4 to 8, they are also a fabulous learning aid to complement school work. I also love that while my boys are using it now, I know it will also be well-used in a couple of years by my daughter as well (and with LeapFrog you know their products are great quality and will survive being passed from child to child). You won't be disappointed with this incredible learning product for your child.

Disclaimer: I received a LeapReader to review. No payment was received for this post and any opinions expressed are my own.