Life Lately – 2013 The Year of D

2013 has been nothing short of amazing. Not only have I spent a lot more time hanging out with my family but I have also had the most memorable and eye-opening experiences mainly thanks to my little man who turned one just a couple of months ago. Having a baby not only leaves you sleep-deprived and tired it also gives you another view of the world – a more simpler, happier and down-to-earth view. I have never been so excited to see bubbles blowing in the air or so enthralled by little feet with toes as soft as marshmallows that I just want to bite them every time they push into my face (yes our 1-year-old still sleeps in our bed!).

Baby D has definitely been the highlight of 2013. I now realise why so many proud mums can do nothing but talk about their kids all day long! Thanks to Baby D and the better half these past 12 months were filled with:

– Food…and lots of it!

This year we continued eating our way through an array of amazing cafes and restaurants, and chased foodtrucks around Melbourne. I am so grateful that there is always an abundance of good food to be had and in case you missed some of my blog posts, see here, here and here to see some of the places we loved!

– Personal growth and development
I love learning new things about myself and the world. Just because you finish, school or uni it doesn’t mean the learning should stop there. Thanks to Baby D and a nice long round of mat leave, I attended seminars, networking events, and completed a course which gave me the opportunity to meet many motivated people. Their success and passion in doing what they love has kept me uplifted and inspired and hopefully I have inspired others also!

– Shopping and blogging
As a girl who loves to shop I was blessed this year to have the opportunity to shop for myself and my little one having participated in the Shop Til You Drop 2013 Shopper of the Year and also becoming a UniHill Ambassador (see posts here and here!). This year I took full advantage of the time I had to devote to blogging as I had done so much with Baby D and taken so many photos of the things we got up to. I want to thank you all so much for following the start of our journey together and all your support, comments and requests! Through my blogging I have also had the chance to meet fellow Melbourne bloggers from foodie bloggers to mum bloggers and also likes of inspiring people like Gok (see post here). I have enjoyed blogging more regularly this year and am so grateful that you have enjoyed it to! I can’t wait to show you what 2014 has in store. πŸ˜‰

– Dancing post partum
I wasn’t sure if I was going to get back into dancing after having the bub having not danced for a year but I am so grateful to have such an amazing dance family in Rewind and Mishanda – I was able to perform at the 2013 St Kilda Fest and also a couple of club gigs around Melbourne. Some fellow first time mums and I also got together along with some talented choreographers and videographers to put together a fun little clip that we released on Mothers Day 2013. Click here to watch it πŸ™‚ Dancing is such a fun way to let go and just be. It’s also an awesome way to burn off all those calories from all the cupcakes I ate this year! I’m so grateful to have such a hardworking dance family and also grateful for UEG Events for continuing to give aspiring dancers the opportunity to shine on a huge stage during their annual Australian Hip Hop Championships. Stay tuned for more to come in 2014!

– New experiences
Being on mat leave I decided to try out signing up with an agency and the hubby and I were excited to be part of the Moving Victoria TVC (currently being aired)! Baby D was also cast for his first ever still shoot and even though he started crying halfway through it was still a fun experience. Hopefully in 2014 you can also try something you’ve always wanted to do! – just go for it and stop making excuses. πŸ˜‰ Whether it’s entering a singing contest, travelling to Helsinki, proposing to your girlfriend or whatever else you might be thinking of I wish you all the best and would love to hear all about it! Comment below with a link to your blog or social media page.

– Family and baby time…and lots of it! <3

The Urban Ma Baby D ootd
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No words can describe the joy and wonderment Baby D has brought into my life this year. Bring on 2014! More friends, family, food, travel, special occasions and love! Life really is about the simple things so wherever you are enjoy the now and love like there’s no tomorrow! See you next year!

P.S. To ring in the new year with a bang, I’m happy to share with you a special new year’s mix by the one and only DJ Atomik! See here. xx

Santa’s Magical Kingdom 2013 – Melbourne

Merry Christmas 2013!

Santa’s Magical Kingdom Nov-Dec 2013, Burnley Oval

With all the Christmas parties, gathering and festivities finished for another year I finally got to sit down and post some photos from our trip to Santa’s Magical Kingdom! We were invited to the opening preview night and there were many a happy face ready to meet Santa and Mrs Claus and experience all the magic under the big tent.

It was our first visit to Santa’s Magical Kingdom and it was so much fun for both the kids and the adults! My husband and I took my 11 month old, my 6 year old goddaughter and my 18 year old cousin and we all had such a memorable time We attended the evening time slot and the anticipation built up outside while we were waiting for the doors to open. From outside we could see the huge tent, a ferris wheel and a giant slide. As soon as they opened the doors everyone was greeted by Mrs Claus and festive music playing throughout the whole place. Lights, rides, laughter and a snowfall lit up the magical kingdom as we walked around deciding what to do first.

The kids when on the caterpillar ride about 3 times and loved getting their hands on some sand art. My little one was mesmerized by the falling snow and all the lights and baubles. There was also gingerbread decorating, story time with Mrs Claus and lots of rides to cater for kids of all ages. After having explored the big tent we were all invited into the second tent to watch the circus and having not been to a circus since I was a little kid I enjoyed it as much as those decades younger than me! The talented performers all had us on the edge of our seats and I really liked watching the lady in the wheel – so graceful and flexible.

The night was well planned out with just the right amount of proplr to create a joyous atmosphere yet still keep the queues for the rides to a bearable wait time. There is food, show bags and merchandise available and an ATM at the entrance. There was ample space to bring a pram and there were roving mascot characters that we got to take photos with. We also spotted a celebrity or two!

Make sure you don’t miss out next year and book your tickets as soon as they go on sale as nearly all of the sessions this year were sold out! There were two sessions a day to choose from, an afternoon or an evening session. So many activities in one place for the kids to take part in on their school holidays, we’ll definitely be back again next year! Thanks for having us πŸ™‚ xx

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Christmas Shopping with my little man

Christmas shopping

This year I did the majority of my Christmas shopping online and last week went to pick up some last minute things from UniHill. I only discovered this factory outlets a few months ago and it has fast become a favourite shopping destination because of it’s spacious layout and of course the amazing bargains! – I love how we don’t have to wait until Boxing Day to find awesome sales and discounts.

On this shopping trip we were armed with vouchers from Cotton On and Milu shoes and I bought the some pretty, white wedges for my auntie. I had never been into Milu before and they have such great pumps and comfy flats. We also bought a whole heap of basics and summer gear for my cousins and I bought another black bikini because it was only $5! We stopped by the beautiful Christmas tree near the food court where gift tags for children in need hung waiting for someone to shop for them.

With only 6 days until Christmas, if you still have some shopping to do or want to bring a smile to the children and young people assisted by OzChild, check out the sales at UniHill – you’ll wonder why you didn’t visit sooner!

Outfit details:

Baby D
– Zara long sleeve top
Cotton On Kids leopard print leggings
Freshly Picked mocassins

Jacqfruit
– black basic top from Cotton On
TopShop leopard print bottoms
Lipstick jellies

The Urban Ma shopping haul

Saturday Styling – Pink and burgundy

DJ Atomik

Saturday Styling with DJ Atomik

Totally crushing over this combo that Wes put together revolving around his latest TopMan purchase – a pink short sleeve shirt printed with animal print all over it! Such a versatile combo, Wes wore this to a baby shower and then minus the blazer and bowtie to attend a jungle-themed first birthday!

– bowtie from Tarocash at UniHill FO
– blazer from Zara
– pink short sleeve shirt from TopMan, Highpoint
– burgundy jeans from TopMan, Highpoint
– cream Vans from UniHill FO

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The 2013 Philippine Fiesta

The Urban Ma at the Philippine Fiesta 2013Filipino food fiesta

The 2013 Philippine Fiesta – Melbourne Showgrounds 23rd-24th November

Last weekend was the annual Philippine Fiesta and this year it was again held at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Anticipating Melbourne’s unpredictable weather, all the stalls, stages and exhibits were held undercover in the Exhibition Pavilion. We visited on the 2nd day of the fiesta and as always there was a festive vibe with singers and dancers lighting up the stage and the smell of bbq calling us over to the food stalls – Filipinos love to sing, dance and eat! It was great to see the newly launched Cafe Rende serving up smooth coffee using beans from Benguet in the Philippines.
We devoured at least a dozen sticks of bbq and at 4 for $10 it was a pretty good deal compared to the Night Noodle Markets we attended recently! The skewers from soon-to-be-opened Jasmine’s Cafe and Restaurant were tasty and tender and we also tried halo halo (crushed ice dessert with a variety of fillings) from two different stalls at $5.50 and $8 each, the difference being one had ice cream and leche flan (a Filipino creme caramel) and the other didn’t.
Filipino dishes are not really known for their appetizing appearance but give it a go and I’m sure you will get hooked on dishes such as sisig (chopped pork pieces seasoned with calamansi and chilli), kare kare (a stew with ox tail and peanuts) and Β lechon paksiw (pork and vinegar stew).
The Philippine Fiesta is in its 31st year and even though there was a cheerful atmosphere when we arrived I did notice that there was a drop in numbers – both in the number of patrons and the number of stallholders that were present at the fiesta this year. It was pretty sad to see this and maybe the car park and entrance fee along with other issues have slowly deterred many people from showing their support year by year. Were you there this year? What did you think?

 

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BBQ skewers!

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A busy opening for Cafe Rende

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Daniel wishes Filipino celebrity Isabel Granada good luck for her performance

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Paquiao wins his fight!