Mama Mondays – 8-9 months post partum update

9 months of funMama Mondays ‚Äď 8 and 9 monthpost partum update

I can’t believe that it’s already the end of July and Hannah will be turning one in a few months.

Height/Weight: Hannah’s growing up fast and we got her checked and measured at the maternal child health nurse. She now weighs 9.9kgs! I was looking at hers and Daniel’s check up books and she is roughly around the same size as Daniel when Daniel was her age. Hannah is still fitting into size 0’s and with this cold, winter weather, she’s been wearing shoes more often. My favourites are Moccs Made With Love, Bobux and Attipas this month – they’re so easy to put on and don’t fall off as frequently as other brands plus they keep her little toes super warm.

Routine/Sleep: Hannah is now mostly having only two naps during the day time with the occasional three when she’s super tired or we’re driving around somewhere (she falls asleep in the car all the time!) She still isn’t sleeping straight through the night and the hubby loves it when she snuggles up next to him trying to find a comfy position.

Eating/Feeding: In her eighth month, Hannah loved being fed food that was mashed instead of being pureed. She liked feeling the texture and feeling like she was chewing something even though she still hasn’t got any teeth! Lately in her ninth month, I’ve found that she wants to be holding her food more and feeding herself, so she’s been eating lots of crackers, steamed veggies and fruit. We just need to keep an eye on her that she doesn’t bite off more than she can swallow. I love watching her little fingers trying to hold onto her food and her lips as she munches are so cute!

9 months post partum

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p style=”text-align: center;”>Milestones: By her eighth month Hannah was well on her way at winning the fastest crawler award. If I turned my head for even just a couple of seconds, she’d disappear into the cupboard, under the dining table or behind the couch. She’s so quick to crawl now on her hands and knees instead of her caterpillar-type movement which she started off with. Currently in her ninth month Hannah has just started to stand up on the sides of the couch or ottoman – I think the fact that Daniel tries to keep some of his toys up there out of reach is Hannah’s main motivation for standing up!IMG_8754

Hannah is also quite the conversationalist constantly babbling to herself and Daniel and trying to talk in the middle of storytime before bed. The hubby swears he heard her repeat the word “propeller” to him while he read Daniel his book about pilots. I wouldn’t be surprised – she’s able to make so many different sounds now, I love watching her mouth and lips move. Cutest thing ever!

Daniel has been such a big help especially with Hannah being so fast at getting around the house these days. He always makes sure the floor is clean for her by taking of his shoes and putting them away as soon as we get home, and if he sees her touching something she shouldn’t, he stops her and turns her in another direction. Daniel also knows just how to entertain her in her cot while I’m in the shower, singing nursery rhymes to her and making funny noise and faces to make her smile.

The past couple of months has also seen me head out to the club for my sister in law’s birthday! It had been so long since I went out and drank that it took me weeks to recover! Hannah also had her first sleepover at grandma’s house just last Thursday. I think I actually slept worse not having her with me because my boobs were SO sore and hard because she normally still feeds at night. By 5:45am I just couldn’t take the pain anymore so even though it was so cold and pouring down rain, I quickly drove to mum’s house and fed her.

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p style=”text-align: center;”>This past month we also went away with the whole fam to Silverwater Resort in Phillip Island and had so much fun! I’ll write up a separate post on the resort and the things we got up to as there is too much to mention!
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I feel so very blessed to have these two in my life and every night just after we finish saying our prayers I love hearing what our little family is grateful for. Tonight Daniel was so funny, I just kept hugging him and kissing his face!

IMG_7701I just love him so much…rain hail or shine, he just wants to be playing outdoors!

Grateful Daniel

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p style=”text-align: center;”>Me: Daniel what are you grateful for today?
Daniel: Dear God, thank you for mummy and daddy and Hannah and Tita Arielle.
Me: Awwww that’s nice…do you miss Tita Arielle?
Daniel: Yeah I miss her.
Me: Really? What do you miss? Like what do you like about Tita Arielle?
Daniel: I miss her and Tagalog (Filipino language)
Me: Awww! But doesn’t Mummy talk to you Tagalog more now?
Daniel: Yeah but I like Daddy to talk Tagalog too. Daddy needs to learn I think.

Hahahah! Gosh he just surprises me everyday. Looks like we really have to get our act together and speak more Tagalog to him!

Do you practice daily gratitude with your little ones? Try it – you’ll be amazed at the things they say ūüôā

Have a great week everyone.

Night! xx

Date night CalMex style by the bay


Bay City Burrito interior bar Bay City Burrito interior

Date night in St Kilda

“Do what you did in the beginning of the relationship and there won’t be an end.”

When I used to hear the words date night I used to think why does it have to have a specific name? Isn’t every night date night? Going out on spontaneous trips to the movies, rollerblading by the beach and flying to new destinations to explore the world with your bae. But that was before we had kids. Before having to juggle breastfeeding, nap times and various other preschooler and baby needs before ours.

Our world has become a much more colourful place since our two little munchkins joined us. I never thought I’d get so excited to watch Sesame Street again (it helps when people like Usher, Bruno Mars and Emma Stone appear on it!) or be so enthralled watching Hannah’s little fingers trying to grasp¬†food for the first time.

In the midst of hearing the monster truck song on YouTube over 20 times in one day that my son is completely obsessed with, and having to remember doctor appointments, nurse checkups, dinners with friends, catch ups with my mothers group, visiting relatives, play dates, birthday parties and events, the kids are on my mind 24/7. And that means sometimes someone misses out…hence the need for highly anticipated date nights! I remember when we got engaged and started our marriage preparation, one of the many questions our priest asked us was about communication. How were we going to talk¬†and stay close to each other when/if we had kids? I thought well we’d just make sure we find time to listen and talk. Hahaha! A lot easier than it sounds. Little did I know it would take a little bit more than just positive thinking to be able to get out and about with the hubby

Thankfully we have family close by who also believe in the importance of spending time together even if it’s just for a couple of hours, so last Thursday we headed off somewhere new that we hadn’t been to before…the Mission district in San Fran.

Bay City Burrito menu

Just kidding – although going back to States for a family holiday is on our list!

Instead of the fourteen hour flight across the Pacific, we headed out to Bay City Burrito in St Kilda right next to the iconic Luna Park¬†to try their Mission San Fransicso – style burritos. With Hannah already nine months, we’ve been able to get out a lot more lately as she is now on solids and lasts longer in between her breastfeeds.¬†Our last date night took us on a tour of Europe at the alluring Copper Pot restaurant in Seddon. This time round we switched¬†it up and got our CalMex on.

Bay City Burrito’s St Kilda installment has been open for three years now,with their¬†first Hawthorn restaurant serving customers seven years strong. We met ever-charismatic owner Gary, who informed us that their style of food is Californian Mexican as opposed to TexMex. It’s widely known that Californians generally tend to want more healthy options¬†in the food they consume and, as a result CalMex cuisine utilises more of the fresher ingredients¬†such as lettuce, tomato, avocado, black olives and leaner cuts of meat in their dishes. Fish tacos and other fusion extras can also be found on the menu of CalMex style eateries.

The hubby ordered the Bay City Bomber burrito and it was seriously massive! He had to take a break towards the end to have a breather but it tasted so good he still managed to finish it off!

At first glance of the BCB menu, I was excited at the huge variety of burritos I could choose from, and then even more impressed when I saw that there were some flavoursome vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options as well Рneed to keep this place in mind next time I have a catch up with friends!

We ordered:

– the Bay City Nachos – warm tortilla chips smothered in BCB’s home made queso sauce & topped with fresh pico de gallo
– Sangria
– The Mission Special Burrito –¬†Pick any two items (grilled chicken, lean steak, carnitas pork, tofu or veggies – I picked the lean steak and pork…it was amazing!) with cheese, black beans, Spanish rice & mild salsa in a grilled flour tortilla
– the Bay City Bomber Burrito – steak & chicken, black beans, Spanish rice, cheese, guacamole, lime sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, Spanish onions, black olives, & mild salsa in a grilled flour tortilla

There were also specials like their warm chicken and tortilla soup and the Sampler Basket which included a small chicken burrito, a steak street taco, with chips and salsa. Maybe we’ll try those next time.

Ambience:

We had such a fun date night thanks to the vibrant music, comfortable furnishings and of course the alcohol we consumed – it doesn’t take much these days to get me a little red and happy as I am quite out of practice when it comes to the drinking side of things haha!

Service:

We were served by a really friendly guy who I also saw go around to each of the tables afterwards just to check if everyone was ok with their meals. It was nice to see the attention they paid to their customers even though they also had quite a few takeaway orders coming through. I loved my burrito so much that I actually ordered another one to take away. Yes,Little Miss Piggy right here!

How cool are these coasters under our drinks!? The colours of the decor and furnishings¬†were a great combination drawing inspiration of the Mission district back in the States. And see that plate of Bay City Nachos there? You can’t see the special queso sauce because it is perfectly layered underneath so that it is evenly distributed – every single tortilla chip gets a dunk in the cheesy goodness.
We almost licked the plate clean. That queso sauce was sooooo good! Check out our warm, tightly packed foil packages…ahhhh I was in burrito heaven. It was nothing like I had ever tasted. So jam packed with a balance of rice, beans, cheese and meat.¬†
Bay City Burrito St Kilda
The hubby’s burrito compared to mine. The menu got it right – “It’s MASSIVE”! You’ll have to try it for yourself as the picture just doesn’t do it justice. Even just looking through these now makes me want to drive out there to get my hands on one…or maybe I’ll go for lunch tomorrow…Ok so I haven’t tried everything on the menu but this has got to be a winner – the Mission Special Burrito with beef and pork.Bay City Burrito service St KildaThe hubby loves hot sauce. He puts Tabasco on everything. I never used to be able to eat spicy food before…even when I worked at Nando’s back in the day, I always only ordered my chicken with the lemon and herb dressing. That all changed when I tried tom yum at a Thai restaurant for the first time. It was sooooooo spicy but the flavours were so spectacular that I had to just keep slurping the soup even though the spice levels were insane. Ever since then I love spicy food and luckily so. The hubby and I tried out the sauces on our table and they elevated our burritos even more!
Bay City Burrito hot sauces
hot sauce Bay City Burrito St KildaThese two sauces were amazing! The Chipotle and Cayenne one on the left had a gorgeous smokey taste while the one on the right had a kind of acidic vinegar taste to it. Very different but both complemented our meal really well.

All in all we had such a fun night out together chatting about anything and everything without the kids interrupting our train of thought. We were so full that even though it was cold out, we took a nice stroll down Acland street to get a little air. When we left Bay City Burrito we saw these cozy blankets just outside the door for people who may have wanted to dine in the outdoor area. How thoughtful!

Burritos N’ Blankets for the homeless

Speaking of blankets and Melbourne’s freezing weather, not only do Bay City Burrito aim to make the best burritos in town, the crew at BCB also aim to help the homeless by going out every fortnight to hand warm, clean blankets to those in need. I found this on their Facebook page!

Here’s how it works and how you can help:

For every clean blanket you drop off to our St Kilda OR Hawthorn store we will match it with a fresh warm burrito and every fortnight go hand them out in Melbourne to the homeless in need.

But we need YOU, yeah YOU. Have a check in your closet, donate some of your extra blankies or if you are especially a kind soul buy a nice new one for someone that really needs it.

Help us help those in need. Changing the world one burrito at a time.

One world, one love…

BCB Crew X
Hawthorn: 838 Glenferrie Rd
St Kilda: 4 Shakespeare Grove

CalMex Bay City BurritoSan Fran Bay City BurritoDate night Acland St St Kilda Bay City BurritoA relaxing stroll down Acland street. All those windows filled with neverending shelves of cake were sooooo tempting!

Do what you did in the beginning of a relationship…keep dating, keep learning and trying new things. Something so simple is as good as a holiday and can help strengthen and nurture your connection to each other. We found a new place we both loved and a cuisine we thought we new but learnt more about thanks to BCB! Next time we’ll be back for Happy Hour. Meet you at the bar – cheers!

Where was the last place you went to for date night?

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IMG_0046When we got back to my mum’s house ready to pick up our little ones, this is what we saw – a content little boy cozy in bed with his aunty! Awwwww!

#The Urban Ma dined as guests of BCB. All opinions are our own.

Owls and other feathered friends are visiting Watergardens – The Aviary

The Aviary, Watergardens Shopping Centre
Saturday 2nd РSunday 10th July, 2016

“Escape to a paradise of natural beauty and bird life in Watergardens‚Äô very own aviary. See Parrots, Cockatoos and Owls soar and dive in breathtaking shows, delight in the colourful plumes of exotic birds and learn all about our feathered friends from specialised handlers.”

It’s raining, it’s pouring and there are so many things to do no matter what the weather, especially during the school holidays. You’ll find adventures to be had everywhere if you just take a look.

On the weekend our little explorers took to Watergardens Shopping Centre and spotted some feathered friends including exotic parrots and a wise and handsome owl with their talented handlers.

Live bird shows, teepee talks and fun activities for the kids – another great way for the kids to learn something new plus have fun during the July school holidays. And it’s all free, which leaves mama with more money for shopping!

Saturday 2 July to Sunday 10 July
Live bird show in Town Square, 11am and 1pm
Activity Centre located opposite Pumpkin Patch, 11am ‚Äď 2pm daily
TeePee talks in Town Square, 12pm and 2pm.
FREE

Below are some more free school holiday fun for the kids!:

Marvellous Messengers – Communicating at Wartime – Shrine of Remembrance (designed for 6-10yr olds)
Can you decipher the coded message in the walls of our courtyard?
Discover the fascinating ways, both openly and secretly, that service people on deployment have communicated with each other, headquarters and home. Learn how ‚Äď before the internet ‚Äď people from faraway countries kept in touch with their families and how news from home travelled to them. Children will be given an opportunity to create a mysterious message of their own.

Wild Things at Woodrove Shopping Centre
Get wild these School Holidays with our life size animatronic Zoo animals. Join us on one of the educational Zoology Tours, plus learn all about threatened & endangered species at our Live Shows with real endangered animals!

Daily snowfall 5-8pm at South Wharf
Experience a touch of European winter in the heart of South Wharf, Melbourne. Explore Dukes Walk Promenade through gently falling snow, enchanting lighting and fir trees. Take advantage of an abundant variety of restaurant and bar winter offers at South Wharf.

Playground and cafe fun at Woodlea 
A brand new playground with flying foxes, trampolines, a tall towering slide and more! Plus there’s the wonderful Go West cafe where the ham and cheese croissant is a must-try! Something for both the kids and adults.

Friday Fireworks at Docklands Waterfront
Start your weekends off with a spectacular fireworks show, free at Docklands. Every Friday night in July and August live music and roving performers will be entertaining crowds from 6.30pm with the fireworks starting at 7.30pm. Make sure you check social media for last minute cancellations.

The Waterboy Cafe – Phillip Island

The Waterboy Cafe
58 Chapel st, Cowes Phillip Island 

Last time we stayed at the Island my dad found the best pie place on Church street called Pieland. We had to go back for more this time round and whilst in the mood for some coffee we spotted a sleek modern cafe across the road.

The Waterboy Cafe serves 5 Senses coffee and the menu was perfect for breakfast or lunch. Or brunch as we had it!

Water views towards the back of the cafe. Plenty of tables inside and outside the front. The place was buzzing with customers waiting for their take away coffee but we just sat back, read the paper and waited patiently for our meals.

Mum ordered the ricotta pancakes and we all couldn’t help but have a mouthful or two…or three¬†– they were amazingly! Soft and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness from the coulis and other toppings.

I ordered fried eggs on sourdough toast with extras on the side – the pork and fennel sausage and mushroom were so tasty!

And finally the almond croissant -please can I have some more? I love almond croissants! Especially when they’re sweet and dense like the ones from Laurent and this one from the cafe was fabulous.

So far we’ve tried a few eateries on the Island which have been amazing in both their food and their service.

I wonder where else we should eat next time we’re there..

Any suggestions?

One of the best ways to spend a winter’s night – Your own private degustation

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p style=”text-align: center;”>It’s winter. It’s wet. It’s cold. Actually it’s freezing.
You want to go out and indulge in a gastronomic affair but at the same time you’d rather just stay within the comforts of your own cozy home.
Recently we pampered ourselves with both.
With the organisation and creative skills of some friends, the date, table and decor was set.
Simple, sophisticated and inviting.
All that was needed were the dinner party guests and oh, maybe a master chef?
Enter Chef Sang Tran.

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p style=”text-align: center;”>I had seen these private dinners with a personal chef before on sites like Maynila where they come to your home to cook for you.
Chef Sang completely exceeded my expectations of what the evening would be like as he not only put together plate after plate of beautiful modern French cuisine, he also shared his knowledge of food with us. And the L&D nerd in me came out – I was so excited to not only eat but learn. Nerd alert!

From his favourite cuts of meat and places to shop, to his infamous ash emulsion where we had to guess the main ingredient (which I swear tasted like Cheetos Cheese n Bacon balls!), the drinks, laughter and conversation flowed like wine. I love learning new things and Chef Sang’s professional yet easy going nature got the whole table enthralled each time he presented his next course.

And did I forget to mention that we had matching wines for each meal? It was perfect.

And with no need to drive home from the city I would have completely finished each glass of wonderful wine had I not had a big night out the night before and the responsibility of having to breastfeed when I got back home.

Nevertheless I was excited to be able to taste each one and loved ending the night on the sweet note of the Punt Road Semillon pairing with the ginger bread sponge dessert. The flavours of cumquat marmalade, citrus peel and honey complimented the our last dish brilliantly. And that mascarpone ice cream – please can I have some more?

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Using fresh seasonal produce, Chef Sang’s menu moves with the seasons. Below was our menu for the night including the matching wines which I may have to buy a few bottles of – I see a winery road trip coming up!

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p style=”text-align: center;”>- Arrival drink
(NV Dominique Piron Cremant)

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p style=”text-align: center;”>- Sang’s version of Sunday roast with charred pumpkin, pumpkin pearls, beef essence, smoked yoghurt, pickled radish and baby herbs
(2015 Chalmers Rose)

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p style=”text-align: center;”>- Seared scallops, miso cauliflower puree, chorizo foam and an ash emulsion
(2014 Shadowfax Chardonnay)

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p style=”text-align: center;”>- Texture of beets, purple carrots, shaved radish, curd, olive oil powder and mushroom soil
(2014 Airlie Bank Pinot Noir)

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p style=”text-align: center;”>- Hanger steak, charred cauliflower, brussel sprout leaves, onion jam and a parsnip puree
(2011 Balnaves Cabernet Sauvignon)

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p style=”text-align: center;”>- Ginger bread sponge with spiced carrot fluid gel, rhubarb ribbon, candied walnuts, and mascarpone ice-cream
(2013 Punt Road Botrytis Semillon)

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Chef Sang made us guess what ingredient the base of the ash emulsion was – you’ll have to book him in to taste it and let me know what you think!
Who knew two trestle tables, overgrown ficus trees in the front yard and a spare curtain could transform the area into this! Nice work Chloe and Anna ūüôāI love the beautiful presentation and freshness of nouvelle cuisine.
This cut of meat is so flavoursome 
Bringing it home – I am still dreaming of this grand finale of a dessert!

From the gorgeous plates, wine glasses, cutlery and even a sous vide cooker, to the food, wine, experience and expertise, Chef Sang and Cynthia brought everything leaving us all to just sit back, relax, eat, drink and be merry. Ahh if only this was every night!

For an unforgettable and easy night in I highly recommend having a personal chef do the work for you while you relax with friends. Thank you for having us and I can’t wait for the change of season to see what Chef Sang has in store next. A must add to your foodie bucketlist!

Chef Sang Tran is at your service.