Mama Mondays – Est 1906 A kid-friendly lazy afternoon

Est 1906 iced coffee MelbourneEst 1906 – 81 Charles st Seddon
Lazy Sunday afternoons with kids and cousins

Thank goodness for places like Est 1906 you can have it all – a nice cafe to catch up with friends, smooth coffee and good food, and somewhere where the kids are welcome. A couple of weeks ago we spent a Sunday afternoon hanging out with the cousins in the gorgeous outdoor area at the back of the cafe complete with a sandpit, beanbags and toys for the kids to play with.

We ordered:

– iced coffee, a range of juices
– roasted bone marrow
– chicken burger with sweet potato fries
– roasted bone marrow with sides
– salmon bagel
– kids meals of ham and cheese muffins
and a few more things that I forgot to snap

Est 1906 salmon bagel Melbourne

This was my second visit to Est 1906, both times with at least two or three0¬†toddlers accompanying us, and it won’t be my last. As more of friends pop out new additions to their families I will definitely be recommending them to this cafe that makes you feel so comfortable and at ease.

Est 1906 is also a great little place to dine without the kiddies as there are so many different seating areas you’re bound to find a space to suit the occassion ūüôā

Est 1906 bone marrow MelbourneEst 1906 Chicken burger Melbourne burgersEst 1906 Chicken Burger Sweet potato friesEst 1906 kid friendly Melbourne cafesEst 1906 exterior Est 1906 interior 1 Est 1906 interior 2

32 things to see in Melbourne City this Christmas – 2015

Hot air ballooning Melbourne

Christmas time in Melbourne

From beautiful weddings to Christmas decorations, this weekend we could definitely tell that December was just around the corner. The city of Melbourne really brought it this weekend – the weather was just right and everywhere we turned there was something bright and cheery.

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne over to attend a wedding of a dear family friend and ended up having an awesome adventure in the city as well! Daniel was so happy (except for the little time we spent in H&M trying to buy him some clothes, he was crying so loud wanting to get out of the store – must’ve been too crowded for him!).

Melbourne public transportDaniel here excited to be catching a tram right outside our hotel!

It’s not often you can be a tourist in your own city and I think this festive season is the perfect time! There were so many things to do and see and lots of them free! Here are some of the things we saw last weekend –¬†it felt¬†like we were on a huge scavenger hunt looking for different Christmas items around the Melbourne!

1. Christmas Square in the City Square РSwanston StreetCity Square Christmas 2015

Just down the road from our hotel was the City Square.¬†A giant Christmas tree, daily visits from Santa and plenty more activities. A nice open area in the middle of the city for kids to let off some steam after being dragged around shopping! ūüôā
Melbourne City Square Christmas 2015
The magical Christmas forest on Swanston street’s City Square

2. Melbourne Town HallMelbourne Town Hall projectionsMelbourne Town HallThe majestic Melbourne Town Hall. When the sun goes down you can see amazing projections on its facade. We loved watching them last year! Рa must-see during this Christmas season from 9pm each night!

Also, starting today the great Gingerbread Village¬†display is back with new scenes added! A gold coin donation is all you need to get in and all proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.¬†Gingerbread Village 2015Photo courtesy of Gingerbread Village, EpicureCafe L'Incontro Swanston street Melbourne¬†We stopped by Cafe L’Incontro for some brekkie before continuing on to see more Christmas sights

3. Bourke Street Mall  
Bourke st Mall Melbourne
Bourke street Mall decorated with the season’s festive colors¬†and the long lines for the Myer windows.

These¬†colorful¬†Myer windows are now in their 60th season and this year showcases a tribute to the children’s book Little Dog and the Christmas Wish. The animated displays this year include some of Melbourne’s iconic sights such as Flinders Street station and the Block arcade. The detail in each scene is impeccable after requiring more than 17,000 hours of work.

You can view the windows from 7.30am-1am each day until January 6th 2016.

4. The Lego Christmas Tree in Fed Square

IMG_7697 IMG_7693

How amazing does this pixelated tree look! The Lego Christmas tree in Fed Square weighs 3.5 tonnes and took more than 1,200 hours to build! Look out for a few Aussie touches such as the cricket playing elf and the mischievous kookaburras!

You can even build your own Lego Christmas tree decorations to take home and other Christmas activities in Fed Square until December 27th 2015!

IMG_7695IMG_7696This Lego tree in Fed Square was just awesome!
IMG_7712It felt like there were Christmas decorations everywhere – brilliant!

5. Markit@Fed Square
Fed Square Markit

IMG_7714The Markit@Fed Square happened to be on this past weekend too Рit is held twice a year in May and November! Loads of gorgeous things designed and made by local artists. 

Don’t worry if you missed out on this November’s Markit! – The Big Design Market is on this week from the 4th until the 6th of December at the Royal Exhibition Building. Shop exquisite and unique gifts for you loved ones just in time for Christmas. Check out what we purchased at last year’s Big Design Market¬†– we bought a heap of cute jewelry from Aacute!

6. Good Food Month’s Night Noodle Market – Birrarung Marr

Watermelon cake and fried mushrooms from Wonderbao

It was final weekend of the Night Noodle Markets at Birrarung Marr just a short walk from Flinders Street Station behind Fed Square. The markets were just one of the events held in November as part of Good Food Month (we were also at the Brisbane¬†event¬†in August). This year there were 3 different sections that we found a bit hard to navigate as¬†we couldn’t get hold of any map to find the stalls we were looking for.

Luckily we walked over to the stalls just before the lines started to expand to intolerable lengths (an active three year old is not a very patient line-dweller!). We didn’t have to wait long at all and also easily found tables and chairs. My favourite out of all the things we ate was the Bombay Spider Crab taco. The hubby and I had been to Mr Miyagi for my birthday early this year and loved it so we just had to try their tacos at this year’s markets!

If you like the foodie festival type of atmosphere then you can find food, music and drinks at the weekly Night Market each Wednesday at the Queen Victoria Market from 5-10pm.

City of Melbourne council Christmas decorationsCity of Melbourne tourism map of Christmas decorations

When we arrived home on Sunday night look what we found in the mail! A Christmas Festival event guide from the City of Melbourne council. Complete with an illustrated map pointing out 32 locations of Christmas decorations this year! РI want to walk over the Mistletoe Kissing Bridge, meet you there!?

If you didn’t get yours in the mail you can find all the information here.

Merry Christmas everyone! Happy first of December!



A curry delivery from St Albans – Xuan Xinh

   Sunny and hot. Rain and hail. Then out comes the sun again. Yep, just another typical Melbourne day in terms of the weather so we decided to stay in. Thanks to our friend over at Consider The Sauce, there was a knock at the door and lunch at hand.

Kenny came over for lunch after an overdue catch up and served us up some delicious Vietnamese chicken curry and freshly baked bread.

What a perfect combo from Xuan Xinh, a small Vietnamese eatery on St Albans’ colorful Afrieda street strip¬†that offers up banh mi and a few other Vietnamese dishes from the bain marie so I’m informed by Kenny. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it next time! These days I still lack the experience and energy to attempt to take a toddler and a newborn out to lunch where there is no easily accessible parking and play area! Thank goodness for friends who continue to introduce us to new places!
  Soft potatoes and tender chicken swimming in this creamy curry sauce that is perfect for dipping in fresh baguettes.

Pinoy Fridays – Sharing the love of Pinoy food


SBS radio interview The Urban Ma Pinoy Melbourne

A few months ago I was interviewed by Maridel from SBS radio about this blog post I published. I totally forgot to share the link so in case you missed it here it is!

I am interviewed in Tagalog but answer the questions in English so for those of you that don’t speak Filipino have a listen and see if you can still understand it! ūüôā

Hope to see you all at the 2015 Philippine Fiesta tomorrow and Sunday Nov 28-29 at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton.

A new Filipino cafe hits Braybrook 

   Pusong Pinoy РFilipino Cafe, Groceries, Catering
168 Churchill avenue, Braybrook

This new little cafe shines brightly among its fellow neighbors along this short strip of shops where the longstanding Masarap (delicioustasty) Bakery can be foumd. It occupies the old location of Quiapo, a Filipino/Asian grocery, who are now focusing on distribution. Pusong Pinoy (Filipino Heart in English) has transformed the space into a clean, welcoming and cheery cafe complete with USB ports and power points right next to the tables!

My cousin and I took the kids to get some lunch however being so new, the shop didn’t have their gas connected and as such the bain marie was empty. Jocelyn and her sister inform us that once everything is up and running they’ll be serving up some Filipino favorites such as adobo, pancit and other Pinoy staples.

In the meantime they offered us some sandwiches however the Filipino desserts and cakes caught my eye so we ended up trying out their coffee and sweets while Daniel bought a packet of cheesy Clover chips! The dessert fridge was filled with classics such as suman, puto and espasol – hopefully next time we visit they’ll have some egg pie! The cappuccino and cassava hearts were such a good combo and it was lovely to meet and chat with the excited new owners.¬† We’re told that Pusong Pinoy also provide catering so if you’re interested in ordering, you can find their details on Facebook ūüôā

The annual Philippine Fiesta is coming up this weekend so for those of you who can’t get out to Braybrook to check out Pusong Pinoy, you can find this year’s fiesta at the Royal Exhibition Building in the Carlton Gardens. Jocelyn and her sister are¬†multi-talented busy bees! Jocelyn informed us that she’ll be¬†performing with a Pinoy choir this weekend in Geelong for Panunuluyan 2015 Celebrating the Joy of Christmas, while her sister is performing some Zumba moves at the Philippine Fiesta on Saturday!

¬† Daniel liked the cute little teacup lights above the counter ūüôāGrab some cofee and cake from Pusong Pinoy or you can walk a few shops down to Masarap Bakery for some fresh pan de sal bread!

And right across the road is a great park for the kids to play to run off some of the sugar from the desserts! Braybrook Park features a huge wooden airplane structure and a BBQ area. (Update 23/12/15 – The playground was destroyed by a suspicious fire and is currently closed.)

Pusong Pinoy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mama Mondays – 1 month post partum update

Bump photo 1 month post par1 month post partum update The Urban Ma


Mama Monday – 1 month post partum update

We’ve survived the first four weeks of sleep deprivation and life with two little ones! At times it was so hectic but all the cuddles and cute little baby coos and ahhhhs helped us to momentarily forget how tired we were and just take it all in. This newborn time is so fleeting. If we spend too much time focusing on the negatives, we’ll regret it later when our babies are teenagers and no longer want to hang with us!

So here is our 4 week update!

Height/weight:¬†Baby – At Hannah’s 4 week check up, the nurse was happy to see her gaining lots of weight and growing well. Hannah measured 4.1kgs and 54.5cms long putting her just above the 50th percentile of girls length-for-age for her weight and 75th percentile for her height. Compared to Daniel at his 4 week check up, Hannah is a lot lighter with Daniel weighing 5kgs and measuring 56cms long.
Hannah is just starting to grow out of her onesies that are sized 0000! Daniel he grew out of them within the first two weeks! Onesies are my current fave item of clothing for her as they’re so easy to wear…especially the ones with the zip! Only recently have I started to dress¬†Hannah¬†in separates.
Mama – I haven’t weighed myself recently but I don’t think I’ve lost any more weight than in my last post…I actually feel bigger around the belly than last week but that’s probably because I’ve been so bad lately – I can’t stop eating sweets!!! Macarons, chocolate, vanilla ice cream with chocolate cake warmed up in the microwave, OMG somebody stop me! So sizes-wise I’m still wearing my maternity jeans on the rare occasion that you see me¬†changed out of my pj’s and leggings!

Routine: Baby – Hannah doesn’t really have a set routine as yet – I feed her every 2-3 hours after which she is awake only for a little while and then straight back to sleep. Lately she’s stayed up a little longer for some play time with us! Mama – We stayed home for the first 4 weeks post partum with the exception of a couple of outings to the hospital and photoshoots and so I try to start my morning routine off with a load of laundry, breakfast and some more decluttering around the house (I try to declutter as much as possible before going to bed). Then in the evenings I try to get my blog posts done which as you can tell by this late 1 month update, I’m still trying to work on!

Sleeping: Baby Hannah is still feeding and sleeping all day and night long but I’ve noticed that recently instead of going straight to sleep after a feed, she’s awake a little longer. We normally start our day at 6 or 7am and go to bed at 9pm. Hannah then wakes up around twice at night – once at 12-1am and another time at 3-4am. It’s such a big change from when I got to sleep in every morning until 8:30-9am with Daniel on those 5 weeks of maternity leave I had before Hannah was born! Mama – I try to nap whenever Hannah is asleep but we had Daniel’s birthday parties and some events to attend recently and I was unable to nap during that day. I am really going to try my best this week to take a break and sleep during the day…wish me luck!

Eating/feeding: Baby –¬† Hannah is still feeding every 2-3 hours throughout both day and night, hence the lack of sleep for me!¬†I’m still exclusively breastfeeding on demand and my milk supply has regulated now and my boobs don’t hurt as much thank goodness. Like Daniel, sometimes Hannah seems really irritated after feeding and it seems to be because sometimes I haven’t got that burp out of her so I really need to be diligent with that.
I really want to go to my work Christmas party this week but I haven’t left Hannah longer than an hour or two yet and also haven’t yet tried giving her the bottle eeeek! Looks like there won’t be any partying for me anytime soon!

1 month post partum The Urban Ma bumpHow cute is Hannah’s Urban Junior pink¬†and¬†red elephant muslin wrap? – It was a present from one of the hubby’s thoughtful¬†work colleagues.
1 month The Urban Ma blogHow cute is this onesie Hannah received as a present. It’s from Next and I love the polka dot pattern all over with the bunny detail and those cute, little pink bows at her feet!
Next baby girl outfit The Urban Ma

Milestones:¬† Baby – Hannah has been smiling a lot more lately and I’m still not sure whether it’s just coincidence and reflex or if she really means it! From baby acne and now cradle cap (ugh it’s so hard to resist picking at it!), Hannah’s skin feels a little rough and dry but the nurse and my other mama friends say this is normal for newborns. I guess Daniel was just lucky that he never got it. Sometimes it looks like Hannah’s going to roll over from her back to her tummy but I’m sure that’s not the case as it’s way too early right?
Mama – We went on our first outing the other day and it was so tiring! – it felt like our car was full of bags – mine and Hannah’s and Daniel’s. I felt stressed out every time I saw a red light approaching as Hannah cries each time the car stops…arghhh! We really need to get a new car!
We went to Highpoint the other day and thank goodness I know exactly where all the bathrooms and lifts are¬†located. With Daniel needing to all of a sudden go to the loo and Hannah requiring¬†nappy changes or a feed, I’d be so stressed if I had to fight the crowds and search for these life-saving rooms! It feels like even a short ten minute trip to the shops has expanded to take an hour just by adding a newborn to the mix.
I’m feeling a little better down there but I’m still not lifting anything heavier than Hannah as I feel like everything will fall out if I do! I’ve been doing my pelvic floor exercises consistently everyday and can’t wait to get back to dance class/gym classes.The Urban Ma 1 month post partum updateSelfies with my little lady¬†and discreetly breastfeeding on our trip to Santa’s Magical Kingdom
IMG_7200Daniel at one of his birthday parties! I’ll post some pics from his birthday celebrations soon!

Santa’s Magical Kingdom 2015 – Melbourne

The Urban Ma at Santa's Magical Kingdom 2015

Santa’s Magical Kingdom 2015
Caulfield Racecourse

People who know me know I tend to get quite excited come Christmas time, heck I have my Christmas tree and decorations up around the house by the end of October! We decorated our Christmas tree¬†early one year because I wanted it to be up by Daniel’s birthday party (his birthday is at the end of October). Once up, our whole home immediately brightened up! From then on Christmas arrived early in our home because:

  1. The tree and Christmas decorations gave our home a merry, festive feel!
  2. It gave us time to just enjoy Christmas and the festivities and traditions,¬†and I didn’t feel like I was rushing around in December trying to get everything done all at once
  3. Having the tree up reminded me of any presents I needed to buy and gave us a place to put them!
  4. With all the Christmas decorations in full view around our home, it’s always easy for me to figure out if I needed to purchase any other decor (ie. wreaths, garlands, nativity scenes, candles, etc) and then take advantage of the early Christmas decor sales as the stores put up their Christmas sections!
  5. We just love Christmas time! ūüôā

My cousin has¬†told me that in the Philippines everyone¬†actually puts up their Christmas decorations in the “Ber” months (months ending in ‘ber’!). So that means we’re not so early starting in October because they’re singing Christmas carols by September lol!

Anyways I digress…back to talking about the opening night we were invited to¬†on Friday night – see how side tracked I get with all this Christmas stuff!

Santa's Magical Kingdom Her Lust Palette

Santa’s Magical Kingdom opened yesterday at Caulfield Racecourse and this year my husband and I took along our 3 year old son, 1 month old baby daughter and my sister, brother, sister-in-law and my 2 year old niece. It was so cute seeing Daniel and Madison enjoying the magical kingdom together! They got up to quite a few things!

Loads of rides for both the little kids and big ones ūüôā

Gingerbread men decorating

Photo opportunities everywhere!

Roving mascots

Craft – Christmas bauble decorating

Ice princesses and fun in the falling snow

The spectacular circus featuring talented and super entertaining acts

Letter writing to Santa

Santa photos and meeting Mrs Claus

A truly magical experience as you enter the two big tents with colorful lights and Christmas carols playing everywhere!


Santa's Magical Kingdom 2015 snowThis year I had baby girl in tow so here we are in front of the Snow land with falling snow! Always a hit with the kids!


Santa's Magical Kingdom 2015 review ridesSomeone’s a little excited riding in the teacup! Daniel with Katrina Pia and Madison from Her Lust Palette¬†¬†
The Urban Ma Santa's Magical Kingdom craft DIY The Urban Ma Santa's Magical Kingdom Melbourne eventsBauble decorating – a little something to put up in our Christmas tree this year


¬†Santa's Magical Kingdom Euro SlideThe huge Euro slide! I didn’t get to ride on it this year because I was busy tending to Baby Hannah but this slide is super fun and very popular!

Fun under the big top with the kids and their big light wands and swords! ($10 each)

IMG_0772Melbourne bloggers invite The Urban Ma Santa's Magical Kingdom

We love the Santa’s Magical Kingdom experience as all the rides and craft activities are all included in the entry price! It is such a well organised kid-friendly event with easily accessible bathrooms and ATMs. No wonder it sells out every year! Get in early so you don’t miss out on your tickets!

The Details

Address: Gate 21 Station st. Caulfield Racecourse

Dates: Saturday Nov 21 – Thursday Dec 24, 2015
Three sessions per day to choose from:
10am – 1pm or 2pm – 5pm or 6pm – 9pm

You can find all the tickets and extra information on the Santa’s Magical Kingdom site.

Have you visited Santa’s Magical Kingdom? How was your experience?