Mummy Mondays – Catch ups and Catwalks

The Urban Ma Kmart launch production The Urban Ma and Daniel on stage

Catch ups and Catwalks

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a winning grand final weekend!

With spring here and summer just around the corner, Baby D and I were excited to check out Kmart’s spring/summer launch this morning. What a start to the week with bright cheerful colours splashed across the stage and upbeat music filling the room – I just wanted to get up there and dance! 😀 It was so great to see “real” people having fun on the catwalk from different sizes to different genders and a mix of ages and backgrounds – such a great vibe in the room! Keep an eye out for the new shop fit outs as Kmart opens up brighter stores, wider styles and a tropical paradise of fashion for the new season!

For lunch I took advantage of the fact that quite a few friends are on mat leave at the moment and so we shared a meal at the huge Brunetti’s institution on Lygon street. With school holidays in full swing  the place was packed and buzzing with happy patrons consuming pizza and dessert goodness.

I can’t believe that Baby D is 11 months old! Where did the time go? I always hear parents talk about how fast kids grow up but I never really realised it until now! I have a nearly one year old little man!!! 😀 Time to get cracking on his birthday party!

How did you spend the last day of September?

The Urban Ma at Kmart chevron The Urban Ma at Kmart launch activewear The Urban Ma at Kmart launch maxi dress The Urban Ma at Kmart launch real sizes The Urban Ma at Kmart stylingCamilla and Daniel
After all the cauliflower and broccoli he ate, Baby D got a hold of this! :/
The Urban Ma with Daniel and Snoopy
Heya Snoopy! How’s it goin’?The Urban Ma and Motivating MumThe production and details from this morning’s launch!

Dinner with Strangers & biryani!

IMG_4757[1]IMG_4753[1]It doesn’t look like we all just met in this photo – a meal is best when shared with others 🙂


Vanakkam India, 359 Barkly St, Footscray

As much as I like to plan and be organised, I equally love randomness and spontaneity so when I read that Consider The Sauce was organising another dinner feast (CTS Feast number 1 was last month, click here to visit Kenny’s blog), I quickly emailed in to reserve a couple of spots! – A random dinner feast with a table full of strangers, count me in!

Having never really ventured down the Barkly street eateries for a meal, I couldn’t wait to try the biryani that Kenny so highly speaks of!  The CBD has been a more central option for me catching up with friends living in different areas of Melbourne and I’m so excited to observe that recent times have seen more and more catch ups on this side of town! – seems like everyone is slowly but surely catching on to the boundless choice of amazing places to dine in Melbourne’s west that so often get sadly overlooked by so-called restaurant guides and lists.

Thanks to Kenny and Vanakka India, three tasty appetizers, one huge chicken biryani main, plenty of drinks and many a story were shared amongst ten strangers all sharing a love for good food, friendly conversation and the CTS blog! 🙂 The following dishes were brought out to us by the hospitable staff:

Gobi 65 – florets of cauliflower marinated in spices and deep fried (if you don’t like cauliflower then this is a must. Bursting with flavour, you’ll be converted.)
Onion bajji – round sliced onion coated in chickpea batter and deep fried (Onion ring goodness!)
Chicken 65 – boneless cubes of chicken marinated in spices and deep fried (these tenderly moist chicken pieces went down a treat)
Chicken biryani (the most fragrant dish I’ve I had all year. As soon as our serving spoons dug into the rice a tantalizing aroma filled the air. Thankfully the generous serving allowed me to take some home for later!)
Mango lassi (a perfectly smooth and creamy end to our meal)

Vanakkam on Urbanspoon

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The red sauce is quite chilli! – I was a bit too generous with lashings of it all over my rice so I balanced it out with the raita!

IMG_4744[1]Vanakkam door

A nice quote above the door as you exit.

MAngo lassi

T-Rex Tuesday!

 

The Urban Ma and TRexThe Urban Ma kids take a photo in the egg

Dinosaur Adventures at Watergardens Town Centre – 399 Melton Highway, Taylors Lakes
Monday 23rd September – Sunday 13th October 2013

We spent Sunday morning at the preview event as paleontologists searching for the dinosaurs at Watergardens with our animated tour guide Ranger Dino! It was so cute seeing all the little ones dressed in oversized lab coats and yellow safety hats. During the last school holidays the dinosaurs were living at Eastland and these September holidays they’ve migrated to Watergardens to fascinate and entertain the kids and adults alike across Melbourne.

We went for a walking tour around the centre with the kids eagerly holding onto their binoculars in order to be the first one to spot a dinosaur. We even took a detour out to the parking lot to see a smashed up car like the one in the Jurassic Park movie (I love that movie!). Back inside we learnt all about the dinosaurs including of course the mighty T-Rex. I think there was also one called Irritator? – but I got distracted watching all the kids’ faces light up I’m not sure if I heard that correctly! – Let me know if you find that one 🙂 We also watched a short educational video before the fossil digging began! With all the exploring, walking and learning we did, sandwiches and refreshments were devoured before our final stop at the giant egg for a photo! My favourite was seeing the Triceratops family – even the little baby ones were moving and roaring out loud!

Educational fun for everyone these September school holidays:

– Dinosaurs include T-Rex, Triceratops, Allosaurus, Dimetrodon, Parasaurolophus, and Styracosaurus
– Dino Library and bench for some light reading
– Fossil dig and shop
-Dino Tour with Ranger Dino (meet near Boost Juice)
– Dino photos with the Triceratops family
– don’t forget to grab a Dinosaur Treasure map to navigate your way through the centre and also on the back is the chance to win a $100 prize pack

Alyssa and her dinosaur fossil The Urban Ma jacqfruit Baby Jacqfruit getting his safety glasses on Paleontologists for a day The Urban Ma at Watergardens
The Urban Ma jacqfruit kids the urban ma dinosaurDinosaur Adventures tag

My weekend market haul

MMmarket haul

Melbourne Mammas Market – Williamstown Town Hall

 We headed down to the Melbourne Mammas Market to get our shopping fix last weekend and grabbed some great bargains on some of our favourite kidswear labels. With so many shopaholics around it was a relief to get in early as it got quite busy inside with prams taking over the aisles – everyone was excited to shop! 🙂 There were around 35 friendly stalllholders ranging from kidswear to toys and storage goods. I left my little one with the better half so I could try and be swift with my shopping so below are the goodies I came home with.

My shopping haul – Styling Daniel!

From left to right in the pictures below:

  •  I started off at the Oranges and Lemons stall and bought a black and grey Alphabet Soup long sleeved top and a Mista TJ flat cap ($44.95 & $19.95 down to $15 each!),
  •  the Funky Little Fella stall was a must-visit and I purchased a cool pair of Sage Oishi-M shorts for my little man ($49.95 down to $20). I was so excited when I found these as I bought great pair of Oishi-M skinny jeans at the last market in March and they’re such good quality not to mention and uber cool! It was also nice to finally meet the lovely ladies behind Funky Little Fella, Caroline and Jo, having bought some cool thread from their online store on previous occasions. 
  •  I bought this beautifully soft and organic brown fox top from the Master & Miss stall ($30 down to $15),
  • Right at the end of the second room of stalls I visited the Mr Wolf ladies and bought a pair of comfy, grey Mini Rodini flamingo leggings, ($39.95 down to $18) similar here. I wish there were more sizes for my little one – I would have bought everything displayed! 😉
  • I scored a lovely wooden toy set including a maraca and shaker bells from Just Toyn Around ($14.95 down to $10). Baby D absolutely loves these and has not put them down since I gave them to him!,
  • And lastly I purchased a gorgeous blue coat from A Little Pocket which I had been eyeing from the last Markit at Fed Square back in May ($65 down to $15!).

I also bought some presents for friends but thought I’d better not post them up here in case they’re reading this!

What were some of your market purchases over the weekend? I’d love to see the bargains you snapped up 🙂 xx

Market haul blue shakers blue coat

Life Lately #5 – Springtime sunshine



anniversary roses The Urban MaIMG_0890

You wouldn’t have picked it from today’s rainy antics but along with the glistening rain, we’ve also already been able to enjoy quite a few days of glorious sunshine here in Melbourne as spring returns. As usual we did a lot of eating, playing and exploring and I also got to meet and catch up with some fellow Melbourne bloggers.  Lately I’ve also gotten the hang of making sure I purposefully close off some days on my calendar so I can just breathe and just…be! Instead of saying yes to every single thing, I have been able to say no leaving me more time to spend doing things I really like. My little Baby D has also recently been sick with his first real cold and this, plus his teething had me suffering from sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Thankfully Baby D has gotten back into the swing of things and is now sleeping quite well again.

Here are some things we got up to in the recent weeks!:

– 1st birthdays galore (post coming up soon on our friend’s dress up party!),
– bloggers events see here, here and here,
Culture Mamas Go Go dancing event (so much fun and I was sweating by the end of it!),
– eating out (Flower Drum, Trailer Park food trucks, Lil Nomnoms food truck, the Winter night market at Vic Market, truffles in Footscray at Guerilla Espresso), Burger Culture)
– also tried cooking pho at home for the first time but I think next time I’ll use stock to lift the flavour a little more!
– attended the open day at Passion Dance Studio and did a KPop dance class!
– celebrated our wedding anniversary and finally got to try Mamasita (we were baby-free for the night, hence the opportunity to wait in line for places that don’t take bookings)
– attended the launch night of council Leadership Alumni and had a lovely night networking with people passionate about making a difference in the community
– attended a Motivating Mum and SheSays event (I love meeting and learning from an array of motivated individuals),
– lots of family time and celebrating Wes’ first fathers day!
– took the dogs to Lort Smith Animal Hospital for a check up (two dogs and a baby in one car equals headache!!)
– did a “little” bit of shopping! (see post here, here and here)
– watched Baby D grow more confident in standing on his own, clapping his hands , pointing to objects we ask about and listened to him turn into a lovely little chatterbox! 🙂

So thankful for life’s everyday blessings -xx-

What everyday blessings are you thankful for?

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morning view

Circle of Moms Top 25 Australian Moms - 2013 - Vote for me!

Discovering Burger Culture in Williamstown

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Burger Culture – 3 Cole street, Williamstown 

After an original plan was thwarted by the newly opened cafe being closed, Consider the Sauce’s Kenny, took me an old favourite of his, Burger Culture. Check out Kenny’s take on Burger Culture here! What a nice surprise – a bright, cheery atmostphere (or maybe that was Melbourne’s gorgeous spring sunshine coming through) and such great value burgers. As we approached Burger Culture I could already feel the busy buzz and we took our seats outside so as to accommodate Baby D and his pram.

I ordered the Yankee Culture burger and it was bursting with flavour from the mustard, pickles and tasty cheese melted all over the beef pattie. With a side of chips and a can all for under $12, Kenny and I were winning! 🙂 Such great value for the quality and taste!  We didn’t have to wait too long for our orders either! Will definitely be back here soon as the other half loves his burgers and I can’t wait for him to try these!

Have you tried a Burger Culture burger? Which one should I try on my next visit!? Suggest a burger below 🙂

Have a great week everyone!

Burger Culture on Urbanspoon

 

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IMG_1194 burger culture exterior IMG_1199

The voting for Top 25 Aussie Mum blog list is closing this Thursday September 19th so if you like following my blogging journey check out the link below to support The Urban Ma 🙂 -xx-

Circle of Moms Top 25 Australian Moms - 2013 - Vote for me!

A date with foodie bloggers and Cacao Green

The Urban Ma ham and melted cheese

Cacao Green, Chadstone Shopping Centre

With the latest Cacao Green frozen yoghurt (froyo!) chapter opening a couple of weeks ago, myself and some fellow bloggers were invited to taste the wonderful array of waffle and froyo goodness at Chadstone Shopping Centre. Cacao Green specializes in providing all natural, organic yoghurt and supports fair trade and sustainable ingredients and is the sister company of Red Mango who have been operating since 2002 in several countries around the world.

We were presented with a banquet of frozen yoghurt-filled cups dressed with various delicious toppings like lychee popping pearls and chewy marshmallows (YUM!), savoury and sweet waffles, fresh fruit smoothies, parfaits and coffee to finish it off. I couldn’t pick a favourite from the froyo flavours as they were all so good and very well complimented with the extra toppings chosen. My favourite parfait however was the mixed berry parfait and the classic strawberry and choc waffles really hit the spot.  While all the food and desserts were nicely presented and delicious, greater attention could have been paid to the coffee art on my soy latte, especially since they serve quality St Ali beans. If you’re not much of a sweet tooth, Cacao Green also offer savoury waffles and are even open for breakfast – I enjoyed the ham and cheese waffle, you can’t go wrong with anything melted cheese!

All in all, it was a great way to spend an afternoon. It was so lovely finally put a face to the name of some foodie bloggers I’ve seen online. We sure knew how to eat, chat and take photos , so much so that we didn’t realise all the shops around us were closing for the day.

Have you tried Cacao Green? If so, what were your faves? If not, they can be found at several locations in the CBD and eastern suburbs.

Cacao Green on Urbanspoon

The Urban Ma and Little PiggyThe Urban eats sweet wafflesThe Urban MaThe Urban Ma kiwi and watermelonThe Urban Ma strawberriesThe Urban Ma parfaits at Cacao GreenThe Urban Ma pigs out!The Urban Ma treat yourself wellThe Urban Ma with foodie bloggersThe Urban Ma with NuffnangThe Urban Ma coffee
Melted cheese and ham waffle, getting ready for the froyo adventure with blogger Jenny from Confessions of a Little Piggy, banana and almond waffle, spinach, kiwifruit and watermelon fruit smoothies, mango and raspberry & mixed berry parfaits, our froyo feast!.

A big thank you to Valissa from Nuffnang and the crew at Cacao Green Chadstone for organising this event and bringing us together.