Dinosaur sightings in Melbourne’s West?

Mimi McNish Yarraville The Urban Ma blogStyling Daniel and daddy The Urban Ma blog

It’s something that until D came along I had forgotten the simple joy of – playgrounds! Before I see his face light up, I can hear his cute little voice from the back car seat saying “Ooooooohh dinosaur!”, or “Ooooooohh slide!” in a sing song almost melodic tone. Wide-eyed and excited to explore a brand new place, D always hurriedly gets out of the car in anticipation of the fun about to be had and the hubby and I can’t help but join in his enthusiasm.

It really is the simple things hey? Either that or I just love the openness of parks right now because D is turning two and this little toddler of mine is a hot ball of energy – open spaces like parks and playgrounds means I don’t have to constantly chase after him or constantly feel anxious that he’s going to break something or take something (he loves touching and checking out everything in the stores we visit when out in shopping centres). I can just let him roam freely as he discovers the different textures or grass, sand, bark and the awesome play equipment.


Mimi the Muttaburrasaurus

 Mimi the Muttuburrasaurus
McNish Reserve, Yarraville

free parking – little shade – benches – tables – water fountain

Did you know the the Muttuaburrasaurus was a prehistoric dinosaur – a herbivore whose skeleton was found in Queensland in the 1960’s?

Mimi is a model of the dinosaur thought to be uniquely Australian.

Mimi is an interactive dinosaur with a slide for a tail and several eggshells scattered around.

The Yarraville Community Garden is also nearby.

The structure was funded by Medibank with the the support of the Maribyrnong council made by the local artists at BigFish.

McNish collage The Urban MaMimi slide McNish Yarraville Egg hiding with daddy

Foodie Friday – Gami in my tummy!

Gami in my tummy (1)

A couple of weeks ago I had a nice night out with my bro, my sis and our loves and bubs at Gami. Well known for its KFC (Korean Fried Chicken), I’d been to Gami only once before with friends and loved it. I didn’t know there were multiple locations in the city and with my auto pilot on (tsk tsk tsk) we ended up at the opposite end of the city at the King st restaurant rather than the Lt Lonsdale one where we were booked. Nevertheless we made it just in time as the food came out and yet again Gami filled our tummies with fried chicken goodness.

We ordered:

- Half half: Fried chicken with two flavours (you can choose from sweet chilli, spicy, sweet soy garlic, sweet mustard. Mmmmmm mouth-watering! You can also choose boneless)
Kim chi pancake
Fried dumplings
Mae Hwa Ju (plum wine) and some beer

For a cheat day, you can’t go wrong with KFC!

P.S Look out for the cabbage salad and pickled radishes that come with all chicken dishes…I couldn’t stop eating them – a perfect mix of crunch and salty sour flavour! Make sure you book ahead as it gets quite packed out.

Gami at Lt Lonsdale on Urbanspoon

Kim chi pancake The Urban MaKorean style fried chickenThe Urban Ma blog at Gami Melbourne

Gami collageThe Urban Ma Melbourne

Foodie Fridays – A bite at 8bit

8bit header The Urban Ma8 Bit friendly staff
A Bite at 8bit.

Our grey and dreary afternoon last week was totally turned around by our first time at 8bit. Bright colours, awesome tunes and happy staff and customers greeted us as we scrambled from the carpark in the pouring rain. As soon as we saw the menu line up of milkshakes, burgers, hotdogs and cheese and bacon fries we were sold.

We came in just in time to grab a table and just before the evening crowd. Daniel the arcade machine around the back and we loved all the little touches from the window decal to the table number holders. Memories of playing Gradius, California Games, Robocop 2, Alien 3, Mario Bros etc on our NES got me feeling a bit nostalgic as we basically inhaled our meal it was so good!

8bit. on Urbanspoon

The Urban Ma daddy and son ootd 8 Bit burgers The Urban Ma blog 8 bit Footscray The Urban Ma8 Bit table number Jacqfruit
8 Bit salted caramel milkshake The Urban Ma JacqfruitBoys and Cars 8 BitThe Urban Ma and Styling Daniel at 8 Bit8 Bit exterior

5 tips for taking a toddler to the Royal Melb Show – plus loads of photos!

Royal Melb Show The Urban Ma Jacqfruit2014 ferris wheel

 To take or not to take a toddler to the Show. That was the question.
Knowing how excited Mr D gets when he sees animals, trucks, rides, anything colourful or anything new, it actually was a no brainer – I knew he would absolutely seeing all the sights! And as soon as we drove into the carpark Mr D loudly exclaimed “Helicopter! Helicopter!” He sees everything before we do and always loves letting us know!

This year it was so much fun seeing Daniel run, walk, smile, eat, and gawk at everything we walked past – he was in such awe. The Show is a wonderful playground for people of all ages where you get to learn all about agriculture, livestock, locally made products (the relishes, dukkah and caramel tasted so amazing!) plus have some fun checking out all the rides and activities. Mr D found lots of fun things to do so without further ado, here is my photo heavy post for this year’s Royal Melbourne Show experience! (For last year’s Show roundup click here.)


Masterchef 2014Mr D was asleep when we got to the Showgrounds (yessss!) so we took advantage of the opportunity and headed straight to the “Tastes of Victoria” Pavilion for some delicious treats and to watch the cooking demonstrations. Mr D woke up by the time we were lining up for the Masterchef kitchen tour – he didn’t want to miss out on meeting the finalists!

My Backyard collageGrassy Hens Royal Melbourne ShowThe “My Backyard” area is a favourite of ours because Mr D can freely run around the bales of hay, watch the little ducks and get busy with different activities for young kids. Last year he took home some herbs and this year he decided to do some rock painting. The weather was gorgeous!
Show ridesRide watching The Urban MaWe didn’t go on any rides this year but Mr D looked like he totally was ready to go on some of the big ones – he was staring at them for ages! 
Woolies PavillionThe Woolies Pavilion was fun for both Mr D and the hubby and I as we got to taste lots of different food and Mr D got plant and make a cress head :) (It has already started sprouting 7 days later!).
IMG_9870IMG_9848Mr D loves getting hands on with anything from coloring in to play dough and at this year’s Show he was so happy to do a few more different things than what he normally gets to do at home :)
IMG_9846Obsessed with Disney’s Cars and Planes movies and you can only guess how excited Mr D got when he saw a huge model of Dusty!
Show animals 2014We spent quite a bit of time at the arena and also the animal nursery (I love seeing piglets!!!)
The Showbag pavillionWe survived the line to the Showbag Pavilion (don’t be deceived by its length as it actually moves along quite quickly, thank goodness!), plus I was armed with food for the little man! We got a few showbags for my bro, sis and a Thomas the Tank Engine one for Mr D – he loved opening it and playing with the puzzle, scroll down further to see!
Melb Show foodtrucks 2014Before heading home, we found a nice little spot outside with some nice open space and a few foodtrucks, so we devoured some burger bagels from Round the Way and Mr D enjoyed the lemongrass chicken skewer from Oodlelishious. Check out my Instagram for more pics!


Heading to the Show!? Here are my top 5 tips when taking a toddler:

1) If possible, time the trip after a nap – they’ll be able use all their renewed energy when they get there!
2) Check out the Royal Show’s website so you have an idea of what you want to see and do (there are some shows and activities that occur at certain times during the day)
3) Wear sunscreen, bring your sunnies and a cardigan/jacket – you know how Melbourne’s weather is!
4) Bring lots of snacks for the little one (and maybe yourself!) so they don’t get bored if you have to wait in any lines – I bought some blueberries, strawberries, rice crackers and water and it totally saved us when we were lining up for showbags!
5) Finally bring some patience if you can. As always there are loads of people but the bustling  crowd is all part of the atmosphere and Mr D used some of the waiting time to make a few friends as we waited in lines and for our food!

The above tips helped us enjoy our day at the Show this year (we were there from around 1-6pm) but I’m sure there are loads more! – what are some of your suggestions for having a great time at the Royal Melbourne Show? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below or on my Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

Thanks so much for visiting and see you again on my next post! xx
Daniel's showbagTotally chuffed with his showbag!
The Urban Ma Melb show showbagsHe couldn’t wait to open his showbag and check out the goodies inside. Ahhh thank you to the Royal Melbourne Show for another great year and a wonderful family day out!

Love never fails


Corinthians The Urban Ma blog

 Friendship and coffee in Hoppers

20 years ago was when it started. A friendship between high school friends going through everything from the deb ball, VCE exams, uni, finding ourselves and our first jobs, through to 21sts, engagements, weddings, and now babies. It only seems fitting then that along a row of shops across the station back in the suburb we met in high school stands Corinthians.

You’re probably well acquainted with the verses from Corinthians as it is the most popular reading recited at weddings. And as much as it can get repetitve hearing it over and over again, I guess it’s so popular because people can relate. “Love never fails“. And I am so grateful for the love that I have experienced between a group of girls I met several kms down the road from this cute little cafe.

A friend and I caught up for lunch on a cruisey weekday afternoon enjoying good coffee with a mushroom burger and risotto. We even got a take away coffee for another friend who couldn’t join us so we took it to her work – how’s that for a personalized delivery service :) And thank goodness for midweek catchups, this  – yayyy for parental leave and flexible workplace arrangements!

Even though everyone has moved and we don’t live as close to each other, I love every catch up that we have as I always learn something new, always feel at ease and relaxed, and always leave having so much gratitude for everything we are blessed with.

#itsthesimplethings. Really!

Corinthians on Urbanspoon

Melbourne cafes The Urban Ma blogCorinthians The Urban Ma blog risotto Mushroom burger The Urban Ma blog
Corithians decor Corinthians The Urban Ma blog menuSuch a variety of sweets and savouries available with gluten free options as well

Corinthians The Urban Ma blog Corinthians Urbanspoon The Urban Ma The Urban Ma Corinthians decorD got so excited seeing a bicycle hanging on the wall lol!
Corinthians kid friendly cafe The Urban Ma blog


Kid -friendly with some toys for Daniel to play with while we eat!

Move more, nourish your body

Lyle and Matt workshop

JT Dancers Workshop at Passion Studio
1/594 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

After listening to one of Michael Hyatt’s recent podcasts (Slay your Dragons before Breakfast), attending a conference in the Gold Coast, taking part in the Steptember Challenge and not fitting into a few of my work clothes (eeek!) I have been wanting to get back into the studio for some good old dance love.

I love the feeling of being surrounded by happy, active people. It always makes me feel so energized and inspired to just enjoy movement and music. I don’t think we were made to just sit and watch tv or lounge around, which don’t get me wrong, is totally what I need and crave sometimes! But sometimes it’s just getting up and being active gives you that thrilling rush. Whether you like to dance, run, surf, ski, ride, walk it doesn’t matter. Anything that gets your body moving will benefit your body, mind and soul. Last night was definitely no exception at the workshops of Lyle Beniga and Matt Aylward who are down in Australia for JT’s concert.

I missed out on the first class due to mummy duties but thankfully my wonderful sis was able to look after D so I made it to the second class. Even just by standing there watching and listening to the choreographers, you learn so much. It’s getting me more and more excited for this year’s ADCC finals in November (tickets available on Moshtix).

Hope everyone can make it down to MOD tonight for the second lot of classes this time with Lyle and Ivan Koumaev. Last night it was a full house at Passion Studios so make sure you get in early! See Triple8Funk here for more info.

What gets your body moving? And if you do like to walk or run, let me know where! – I can always use some new places to see :)

Happy hump day everyone!

This is the routine Matt taught last night. Super fun! Thanks so much Matt! Subscribe. Like. Comment!

Check out Lyle’s channel for more amazingness. Subscribe. Like. Comment!

And finally got to meet and watch Ivan dance live. Here’s a clip of one of his pieces from SYTYCD awhile back now from Season 2 with Alison

We are so blessed to be able to take class and enjoy dance. There are many others who don’t get that same opportunity. If you would like to help those with cerebal palsy I am currently completing the Steptember Challenge with some work colleagues. Cerebal Palsy is a physical disability that affects a person’s body movement and their muscle coordination, balance and control. See here if you would like to help our team out or find out more information.

The Urban Ma Steptember

Chasing Father’s Day lunch

The Urban Ma TGIFTGIF Parmesan meatballs

Father’s Day lunch at TGIF
Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre

What a Sunday adventure! We got the address mixed up and went to the wrong TGIF – Doncaster instead of Forest Hill Chase shopping centre. But all was good in the end and D got to have a meat-filled Father’s Day lunch with his YeYe (Chinese for grandfather!) and his uncles, aunty and cousin Will at TGIFriday’s. Thank goodness for the online menu – I looked it up on the drive there and sent a message to my sister-in-law so she was able to order for us!

A family friendly atmosphere with high chairs and change facilities for the babies and toddlers. Also situated next to the games and movies so D was free to run around afterwards. The staff were friendly and happily refilled our lemon, lime bitters and made sure we were happy with our meals. Now I just have to eat right for the rest of the week and get  my running shoes on!

Parmesan Meatballs – Three breaded meatballs smothered in marinara, melted Monterey Jack, Parmesan & Romano. Topped with fresh tomato-basil bruschetta
Jack Daniels Mixed Grill - Crispy Shrimp, Half-Rack of Ribs, Chicken
Baby Back Ribs – Slow-cooked baby back pork ribs basted in Tennessee BBQ sauce, then fire-grilled. Served with seasoned fries and ginger-lime slaw

TGI Fridays on Urbanspoon

IMG_5034 TGIF ribs Taster Platter The Urban Ma Father's Day Father's Day 2014

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