Hoy! Let’s go to the night market.

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Luna1878 Night Market – Queen Victoria Market, cnr Elizabeth and Victoria streets
Every Wednesday in August 2013 (last one tonight!)

Last Wednesday night we rugged up and headed out to the Luna1878 night market. It seemed a lot more spacious than the night market held in the summer months when we arrived early at 5pm but the area soon filled up with excited visitors wanting to taste the array of cuisines and street food on offer. Lines began to form and there was an energetic buzz buzz as everyone was deciding what delicious dishes they should try out.

From Nepalese, Sicilian, Hungarian cuisines to Filipino bbq and mulled wine there was such an impressive variety of food it was a great sight! Every food stall at Luna1878 offered something different and I just wanted to try the lot!

 There were bar tables, picnic tables and some live music being performed that further lifted the vibrant atmosphere in this undercover foodie haven! If you haven’t been yet, then head on down there tonight as it is the last night for the August series this year! Come early with an empty stomach and lots of mula! It’s going to be an awesome night tonight 🙂

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Top Fathers Day gift ideas at UniHill Factory Outlets

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UniHill Factory Outlets – Janefield Drive, Bundoora
Open 7 days 10am-6pm www.uhfo.com.au

I can’t believe I hadn’t visited this factory outlet til recently! Thanks to UniHill’s bloggers event held last week I was finally able to make it down to Bundoora to check out all the bargains just in time for Fathers Day! The UniHill Factory Outlet was just over 30 minutes drive from the city and situated right off the freeway exit off Plenty rd. I didn’t realise it was that close! Unlike some of the other factory outlets, UniHill has both the retail & eateries and grocery side of things covered so after my little Father’s Day shopping trip, I was also able to get some groceries bought all before heading home.

With up to 70% off fragrances and cosmetics all year long my first stop was Cosmetic Fragrance Direct. Store manager Emma gave such an awesome and detailed run through of some of the top men’s fragrances that I was able to smell the individual top notes and middle notes as she specified them! It was such a nose-opener having someone there to go through the gorgeous scents with such precision.

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Here were some of Emma’s top picks with my fav being the Dolce & Gabbana Sport as its scent makes me think of an active, sporty man who loves to keep fit and toned! 😉

Versace Eros 50ml for $76 – a vibrant fresh scent that mixes both woody and oriental tones of amber, geranium flower and vanilla.
Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men (Sport) 100ml for $75 – watery top notes of grapefruit blended with rosemary and cardamon produce an energetic feel to this scent.
Rochas Man 100ml for $59 – coffee, lavender, amber and sandalwood create a sweet but masculine fragrance.

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Cosmetics Fragrance Direct has something for everyone from discount perfumes to lipsticks, nail polish and beauty items.
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Testers were readily available for all the perfumes making it easy for me to find the ones I liked!IMG_9854

I loved how Cosmetics Fragrance Direct had labels on their testers outlining in detail what each scent was made of.

For the dad who loves video games, I asked EB Games for their top picks and bestsellers. Below are some of the best sellers! I like watching the better half play God of War as it has plenty of puzzles and problem solving obstacles to overcome. 
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How cool is this clear mini basketball ring and ball!? Dads could put it up in the office to keep them awake and energized especially when 3.30-itis is looming!
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I found this wallet from Strandbags that would be a practical and useful pressie for the grandads.
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With spring just around the corner, some comfy shorts and polo shirts and casual footwear would get dad all ready to enjoy the warmer weather whilst spending quality time sporting around with the kiddies. I got so excited to see a Platypus outlet store at UniHill and there were some really good sales for both adults and kids shoes!

Of course there was no way I could visit all these stores and walk past their discounted goodies without having a look for myself and Baby D – how cute are these tiny Adidas kicks!!? 😀

I stopped by Capz to find some cool head gear and also shopped up a storm at Melbourne’s largest Nike Factory store! I also found beautiful DIY inspiration and products at the Kaisercraft store. Sarah and the Unihill Kaisercraft girls run workshops and kids creativity parties there with a card making class being run on Sunday September 1st so click here to book your place.

My last stop saw me filling a whole bag full of letters, stamps and prints for $5 at Typo before resting my feet whilst sipping coffee at Degani Bakery Cafe.

With nice wide walkways and a large, clean baby change room, my first trip to UniHill Factory Outlets will definitely not be my last. Head on over there for some last minute Fathers Day gift shopping. Politix, Aquila, Tarocash, Gloweave, Stafford Direct, Cotton On, Factorie, Espirit and Man to Man are some of fantastic retailers situated at UniHill. With friendly and helpful staff you are sure to find something to suit your man, the occasion and your budget!

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Besides lots of love, hugs and kisses, what will you be giving your dad this Fathers Day?

Be sure to stay tuned for a giveaway coming up soon!

One banh mi, two banh mi, three banh mi, four!

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Food truck Saturday – Lil Nomnoms & Banh Mi Boys, Yarraville.

It seems that it’s becoming a fun Saturday tradition – food trucking with friends and a play in the park! My past three Saturdays in a row have been something like this: wake up and have a quick breakfast of cereal or toast, vacuum, mop and clean the house and once all of that is done, we drive to the park for some lunch and fun times at the playground!

If you missed out last week, head down to Yarraville this Saturday (24.08.13) to taste the fresh flavours of the latest food truck to join Melbourne’s scene , Lil Nomnoms.

Last weekend we were lucky enough to visit both Lil Nomnoms and Banh Mi Boys on opposite ends of the Yarraville Gardens and boy were their rolls and steamed baos amazing! We got to taste nearly everything on both menus as we came with a group of friends! Lil Nomnoms has a a value meal deal where you can taste everything on their menu for $15! Hopefully the bar is open tomorrow otherwise make sure you bring your own drink just in case.

My favs were the corn fritter Bangin’ Banh Mi from the Banh Mi Boys and the braised pork belly steamed bao from Lil Nomnoms.  After waiting a while for our food we enjoyed the good company and fun with the playground equipment. I can’t wait until the weather gets warmer, it’ll be a much loved Saturday tradition – food trucks and playgrounds!

What food trucks and/or playgrounds have you visited lately? Any suggestions on other kid-friendly places to eat are always welcomed! 🙂 Check out my post on FreshChilliDeli for more banh mi goodness in a couple of bricks and mortar locations!

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Cafe Style Lemon slice

Getting my bake on! This week’s recipe – Lemon Slice

Well actually you don’t have to bake it in the oven! You just mix all the ingredients together and viola!…a lovely, citrus slice that freezes well which you can easily add to the kids’ lunchboxes, or in my case, my little sister’s take away bag :). I can’t believe I have never eaten lemon slice before – I had to get some volunteer taste testers to make sure I made it right and it was a success 🙂 I love finding easy, no fuss recipes that produce yummy treats for the family. I found this one at Best Recipes but added a little squeeze of lemon juice to the base, not just to the icing mixture and slightly changed the icing amounts (see below). If you’re looking for a simple, zesty, party-pleaser this recipe is a must!

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Ingredients

1 packet of Marie biscuits
125g butter, melted
3/4 desicated coconut
1/2 tin condensed milk
1 lemon

Icing Ingredients

2 cups icing sugar (I used a little less than 2 cups as I don’t like too much icing on my slices)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
lemon juice

Method

Step 1:  Crush biscuits and mix in coconut.
Step 2: Add finely grated lemon rind and mix.
Step 3: Combine melted butter and condensed milk and add to dry mixture. Add a little squeeze of lemon juice. Stir well.
Step 4: Press into a lined slice tin and set in fridge.
Step 5: Mix all ingredients and ice when cooled.

Enjoy!

Do you have a simple dish or dessert that you can whip up with minimal fuss and energy!? I’d love to hear from you! These past few nights Baby D has been sick and very unsettled resulting in a cranky, sleep-deprived ma. Luckily last weekend we got some much appreciated take away dishes (pansit, menudo and kare kare, YUM!) from a Filipino family party we attended so dinner this week has been a breeze – comfort food, leftovers! Filipinos love having a abundance of food at their parties and equally love being able to take it home to eat for dinner the rest of the week LOL! Anyways I get side tracked easily. I was able to try this slice out because instead of having to cook dinner, I had the time to try the above recipe! If you have a go-to meal that is simple but flavorsome let me know in the comments 🙂

Thanks and have a wonderful weekend lovelies! -xx-

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Breakfast with truffles in Footscray, oh my!

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Guerilla Espresso, Shop 228, 81 Hopkins st, Footscray

What better way to enjoy the morning sunshine than brekkie with the hubby, the bubby and one of these bad boys – the infamous truffle toastie found at Guerilla Espresso. After reading about this exquisite sounding concoction  on my Twitter feed the night before, I knew exactly want I wanted for brunch the next day! Found amongst some fresh green grocers in the Footscray market, this cafe is occupies a small space but boasts smooth coffee, a delicious menu and lovely service. The layers of fresh crusty bread, shaved truffle, mozarella, gruyere, watercress and shaved pecorino, with a touch of lemon and olive oil was a beautiful bite of luxury taking me away from the sleepless nights I’ve had of late (the little one has been sick but more of that on another post). This well put together sandwich is already calling me back as I post this blog entry. Make sure you ask for the truffle toastie when you visit Guerilla as it is not up on the menu. Enjoy!

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Guerilla Espresso on Urbanspoon

Greatness starts with the Arts

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“Greatness starts with the Arts” – Susan Wright, Author and Chair of Arts Education at the University of Melbourne.

“Of all the gifts with which individuals may be endowed, none emerges earlier than musical talent” (Gardner, 1983).

What a lovely  July morning for a trip to the Abbotsford Convent last week. The sun was shining and the air was fresh. I took Baby D with me to a Culture Mamas event where we listened to Susan Wright talk about the importance of drawing, mark-making and engaging in musical babble in early childhood learning. There was a moment in the talk where Susan demonstrated this and started to mimic the sounds that our chatty babies and toddlers were making. All of a sudden the noisy room went quiet as all the babies turned around listening to Susan copying their sounds “kahh kahh”, “ooh ooh”, “wee” – or in other words, she was talking to them in their language.

It’s always nice to see Daniel interacting with other babies – it makes me smile 🙂

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How the new Trailer Park at Village hits all the spots!

The Village

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Trailer Park Melbourne,Village, 557 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Saturdays and Sundays 12-8pm
Kid-friendly, Pram friendly, Take away, Dine in (out), Food, Drink and Dessert.

After eagerly following their Twitter updates, we finally headed out to Trailer Park Melbourne yesterday!

With 5 food trucks in the one place and full service from the bar at Village Melbourne, we enjoyed some food truck tucker with baby in tow. Beatbox Kitchen, Gumbo Kitchen, The Curry Truck, Cornutopia and newcomer The Brulee Cart were the trucks on show and we were spoilt for choice!

It was a cold Melbourne day so we rugged up and were warmly greeted by lots of heaters and even an undercover area with plenty of tables, benches and a row of gazebos – well planned. Our little ones kept nice and toasty sitting under the outdoor heaters as we went to order our food. The large communal tables also meant that you could easily get into friendly conversation with the fellow food truck diners sitting next to you at this much loved watering hole (Village Melbourne is the former Belgian Beer Cafe – I wonder how long it’ll take for us all to stop saying that!).

We arrived just after 12:30pm and it wasn’t as busy as I expected it to be. The waiting time for most of the food truck wares was around 15-20mins. Lucky we ordered when we did because it got busier about an hour later. Going with a group of friends meant that we were able to taste everything from the po’ boys, curry and burgers, to the tacos and creme brulee. My faves were the Buffalo chicken po’ boys from Gumbo Kitchen (tender, well-flavoured chicken) and the dark chocolate and peppermint creme brulee from The Brulee Cart (smooth with a crisply torched top). The better half and some friends had the epic double burger from Beatbox Kitchen where they asked for both the Raph and Shroom burger in one (is there an official name for it!?). It is $15 and so worth it! You gotta try it! We’ll be back again to try the Tequila and lime creme brulee and more!

If you are after a kid-and-adult friendly place to share good food, drinks, dessert and conversation in an outdoor venue that considers Melbourne’s crazy weather, Trailer Park hits all the spots…complete with hanging flamingos! Just make sure you stick to the path as there is currently construction taking place on the grounds.

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The kids approve! – all smiles!! 🙂

Trailer Park

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