Life Lately #4 – Winter Warmers

The Boys

Even with the icy cold winter breeze settling in we managed to spend lots of time outdoors all rugged up and soaking in the sun’s warm rays. There is always so much to do in Melbourne and these past two months I continued to make the most out of mat leave enjoying this special time with family and friends and also working on personal development.

Here are some things we got up to:

– birthdays galore! 😀
– catch ups and coffee at some lovely Melbourne cafes
(The Cornershop, Carlisle Wine Bar, VicPies, Tasty T, Top of the Bay and Chase Kitchen – see post here)
– family time with the grandparents, great grandparents and in-laws
– took a turn at the mic and MC’d for a dance comp (a little scary but heaps of fun!)
– first club gig with the Mishanda girls post-partum (Yayy!)
– another successful AHC (Australian Hip Hop Championships) prelim at MSAC
– attended a talk on “Personal Branding”
– met speaker Catherine Moolenschot and listened to her “Funnel of Greatness” talk
– attended a seminar by Tim Gill “Expanding Children’s Horizons”
– mothers group chill sessions 🙂
– dinner at Father Noel’s with past and present WYD (World Youth Day) pilgrims
– date night with the hubby….and Superman ;P
– finally got back to the gym
– organizing Baby’s room
– baby photo shoots
– watched Baby start to stand confidently, climb the stairs and get excited as his first two teeth cut through
– tried hand sewing some pants for Baby (need a lot more practice! :/)
– watched some of the hubby’s ball games
– ended the first half of 2013 with a relaxing mini-getaway to Redesdale, Victoria
– and of course did a little shopping 🙂 (see my Instagram @Jacqfruit)

Mishanda gigMishanda gigging at Red Bennies on Chapel street – so much fun to be back on the dance floor!

AHCThe Melbourne preliminary round of AHC 2013 – always makes me happy seeing the dance community together and supporting each others passions.

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A lovely brunch at Friends of Mine on Swan st in Burnley – you have to order the banana bread!!
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Baby loves the camera!
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MC gig with Hasmin at the first ever Fired Up Dance Competition run by the council of Greater Dandenong, FREEZA and Tracy from Replay Dance Productions.Camilla's 1st birthdayIMG_0767

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you!
IMG_0349IMG_0366Enjoying Williamstown with the grandparents <3

leavesChillin’ at Highpoint with Lolo – Baby was so enthralled by the plants and the leaves.

shesaysSheSays Personal Branding talk at SpeakEasy on Chapel street.

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Tim Gill at the St Kilda Town Hall – great talk about bringing up our children in a risk-averse society.Carlisle

After talk sweets at the Carlisle Wine Bar – these donuts were amazing, and so was the ambience 🙂Mother's groupBaby D’s mothers group buddies are all growing up so fast!

sewingOk so I made him pants that were a little too tight :/ I need more practice.

WYD dinnerAlways an abundance of food when you have dinner with Father Noel – good food, great cheese, gorgeous wines!

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Mel’s famous chicken pho! 😀 A perfect winter warmer.redesdale

Our cozy “little” cabin – “The River House” in Redesdale.IMG_0733

So grateful to wake up to this little bundle of smiles everyday!

What have you been up to recently and what is one thing that are you grateful for?

xoxo

Chase Kitchen – the new kid on the block

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Can you tell by my clean plate that I thoroughly enjoyed my meal? 🙂

With Baby D coming down with his first real cold in the past week (more on baby colds and sicknesses in another post!), I haven’t had the time, chance or energy to put into my blog posts the effort and passion that I would like. Sleep-deprived whilst trying to maintain a clean household, sane self and happy family is proving to be tough, let alone keeping on top of my blog posts and social media channels. Slowly but surely I’ll be back with my regular posts and in the meantime you can find me on Instgram: Jacqfruit, Twitter: @jacqui_medilo and Facebook: The Urban Ma.

Now let’s get into it!!! 😀 Unfortunately with all the rushing around I forgot to bring my camera so the pics in these posts are taken on my iPhone. More of a reason to visit this lovely new cafe again! 😉

Chase Kitchen, 80 Hudsons Road, Spotswood 

Chase: To pursue, to hunt.

A bright, sunny day in the middle of winter in Melbourne means you MUST get yourself outdoors and make the most of it! That’s what we did on Friday before the rain set in and what we uncovered is sure to be a new favourite! Out and about chasing the winter sun found us in good ol’ Spotswood at Chase Kitchen.

A friend tipped us off about a new player in the Hudsons Road coffee game and being just up the road at the Point Cook Town Centre, we took the freeway straight down to check it out. Right across from Candied Bakery, Chase’s wide open bi-fold windows welcomed us inside followed by the friendly staff and owners. We were originally just going to come in for a coffee but after seeing some tall, juicy burgers whizz past us to eagerly awaiting patrons, we decided to sit down for a meal.

After scanning the easy-to-read menu we quickly decided on the Boston burger and Pulled Pork roll. There are also vegetarian options, smoothies, fresh juices and a kids menu! I like that the menu offers a nice variety of meals and snacks without being too lengthy like other places we’ve been to. When it’s lunch time I just want to eat and not have to read through pages and pages of options.

There is easy wheelchair and pram access and a funky little Ikea highchair waiting for Baby D to occupy. As we wait, we are serenaded by some cool tunes and charmed by the local artwork from Lifestyle DNA that embellish the walls of this 6 day old cafe. Our coffees come out first with beautifully textured milk and a warm and lasting taste that showcases the signature Di Bella blends. Our lunch is brought to us not on the cliche wooden serving boards or mason jars that have become such a mainstay in many Melbourne cafes, but on crisp white plates and I am pleased. I don’t have to try and stay within a narrow piece of wood as I devour my roll – I can be a messy eater! My roll is packed with tender pulled pork and crisp Asian slaw and I like how the roll is soft and easy to bite in to. The better half’s Boston burger is a hit, I’m totally going to try this next time we visit. With its Jalepeno mayo, it gives the meal a slight kick, complimenting the burger and bacon wonderfully!

As we pay for our meals we are greeted with scrumptious cakes and treats baked fresh in the morning to take away with us for dessert. There is a cute little coffee card reel where you can leave your loyalty card ready for your next visit – it means one less card to keep in your wallet and no chance of losing it!

I can’t wait to visit this cafe again and try more of their menu. Be sure to look for Chase Kitchen on Hudsons road – the place with the red frontage. As the owners Jay and Tracey settle in they tell us they are working on the dining room and a funky little beer garden out the back – can’t wait for summer brunches! If you’re looking for a place to get your morning coffee (these guys open at 6.30am), or somewhere for lunch or an all day breakfast 7 days a week, this new kid on the block will have you hooked 🙂

Chase Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Sizzling Pepper Lunch!

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Pepper Tokusen Rib eye before… IMG_0018

Pepper Rice Salmon before…IMG_0019 IMG_0021

Pepper Rice Salmon after! IMG_0022

Pepper Tokusen Rib Eye after!IMG_0016Yummy condiments 🙂

Pepper Lunch – 311 Elizabeth st, Melbourne

Just discovered Pepper Lunch a couple of months ago after hearing rave reviews from friends. We visited on a Sunday night and it was pretty busy but we managed to score ourselves a table and the staff were very helpful in accommodating our pram.

When you arrive you place your order at the counter, take a number and grab a seat. They have many meat and salmon dishes for you to choose from and the rib eye is so tender and juicy! You can purchase your dishes in a meal with your choice of drink, fries, or soup and you can also add an all-you-can-eat extra from the veggie bar.

Mix up your plate’s contents to cook as you desire and then add the sauces – ginger or sweet! You’ll be hooked on your first visit! 🙂

Yim Yam in Yarraville

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Yim Yam Yarraville – 40A Ballarat st, Yarraville 9687-8585

Thai Laos Cuisine

After finding out Pok Pok in the Docklands was closed, a friend from the other side of the bridge asked for recommendations on good Thai places for our weeknight catch up. Yim Yam Yarraville came to mind as it is not too far for them to travel and I adore their dishes – especially the toasted rice and coconut salad! There were 6 of us dining in so we were able to order quite a few dishes to taste as much of the huge menu as we could!

Yim Yam’s menu is quite lengthy and after having eaten here a few times with experienced Yim- Yammers we took our Eastsider buddies on a gastronomical tour of Thai Laos cuisine! I’m excited to say they loved it so much that they ordered takeaway for later! 🙂 If you haven’t been here before dive into the menu and don’t be afraid to take a risk and order something you aren’t familiar with! – you will be rewarded with a tasty, new discovery 😉

Here are the dishes we ordered:

Seared chicken satay skewers ($7.90) These were so good we were eating the leftover satay sauce with spoons!

– Marinated Grilled Chicken with Chilli Tamarind Dip (Guy yang gup jaow mark kham) ($15.90) First time trying this dish and I loved it! Full of flavour and slightly tangy, perfect with rice.

Pad Thai Chicken ($14.90) – the tastiest pad thai I’ve had yet! So saucy!!!!!

– Toasted Rice & Coconut Salad ($13.50) Love this light, crunchy dish.

Tom Yum, prawn ($8.50)

– Massaman Curry (gang mutsamun) ($13.90)

Thai Fried Rice, chicken ($11.90)

– Thai Milk Tea

Just a word of warning – stick to the mains! After enjoying and being wowed by our entrees and main dishes, you should’ve seen the deflated look on our faces when our desserts landed on the table. What a way to end an evening. No need for words, just take a look at the photos below…

If you are looking to get dessert, the pandan crepes were probably the least disappointing out of the mixed berry crumble & coconut ice cream wafers that we ordered. Or better yet just get a chocolate sundae from McDonald’s on your way home.

We left baby at home with the grandparents because this place is very tightly packed with no room for prams. They recently opened up and took over the space next door but if you choose to dine in make sure you book in advance! All in all the desserts haven’t deterred me – Yim Yam is one of my favourite Thai restaurants and their specialty dishes are worth coming back for.

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Yim Yam Thai Laos on Urbanspoon

Made in Melbourne – June edit

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AACUTE package with surprise melts and a handwritten message – love the personal touches!
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AACUTE – Handmade Candles and jewellery

With the arrival of the cold winter climate last month, a scarf, coat and the Klassic Kelly AACUTE necklace were just a few things I was could not stop wearing. Simple, unique and made in Melbourne. After missing AACUTE at a few markets I decided to visit their Etsy store and with such cool, pretty pieces I had just wanted to buy everything! After asking the Etsy ladies for a colour combo that wasn’t listed I was so excited when I received my purchase in the mail and super impressed with their customer service, speed of delivery and friendliness!

When I first wore my new AACUTE piece on a day out with Baby D I was surprised when two people in a row asked me “Is that AACUTE?!”, “Do you know Julie!!?”. I answered yes and, no I’ve never met the lovely AACUTE ladies yet – only through Etsy conversations 🙂 Seems like Julie and Kelly have made their mark here, next step, world domination! 🙂

 The above colour combination of peachy, and neutral tones with a hint of aqua and gold flakes is now back in their Etsy store as well as a whole brand new range for the season! -I am currently crushing on the Archipelagos necklaces. AACUTE will also be making an appearance at the Round She Goes market in Box Hill on Saturday 13th of July so don’t miss out and head on out there to shop their new range!

Curious Grace – 7a Kent st, Yarraville and Shop 3, 107 Victoria st, Seddon

“Danish style furniture. Scandinavian and Modern Industrial Designs” is the description on Curious Grace’s website and last weekend we went to the opening of their new Yarraville furniture store with special guests Kim & Matt from the current season of The Block. I’ve been trying to get my act together at home trying to fix up Baby D’s nursery and, with some helpful tips from interior designer Ally Batties the hubby and I eagerly explored Curious Grace’s wares. Not only do they stock quality solid timber furniture, they also have original art pieces, homewares and locally made jewellery (AACUTE stocked here!) adorning their new space in Melbourne’s inner west.

The service here is friendly and welcoming and I love their website where you can shop online and also get to know the artists behind their art collection through interviews they update regularly. Click here for the latest Curious Conversation with Kim & Matt 🙂

For inspiration and ideas make sure you visit this exciting new space and head down to Curious Grace.

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