This time last year! – Problogger 2014

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The Urban Ma Problogger Gold Coast

A collection of photos from last year’s Problogger conference at the QT Hotel, Gold Coast.

It was our first time attending. The hubby and I bought tickets to it as soon as we found out Pat Flynn and Chris Ducker were presenting – we love listening to their podcasts! It was great to see that not only were their keynote speeches amazing, there were so many other talented and inspiring presenters that graced the stage over the 2 days.

We met some lovely people and learnt so many things that I was exhausted by the end of it. I can’t wait to see what new learnings and new connections we will take away from this year’s event! See you there 🙂


What’s your favorite staycation destination? This is one of ours…

Kyneton The Urban MaKyneton Bushland Resort For over three decades our family has been enjoying staycations at the Kyneton Bushland Resort. Now with our little bubbas, a new generation has started enjoying the family tradition of staying at these self contained cabins surrounded by gum trees, kangaroos and all inclusive activities keeping us outdoors and active.

Mini golf
Bike rides
BBQ areas and more

As a child I always remember papa playing tennis and us kids with family friends and relatives riding our hired bikes from one activity to the other. For a treat we’d go into Kyneton’s town centre for some sweets at the local bakeries. Now we love checking out all the cafes and cute little boutiques on Piper street. Definitely a family friendly place to visit and can’t wait for many more decades of outdoor fun!

Where are your favourite family staycations? You know, those places that are a home away from home and not too far away!
I’d love some suggestions on other great places to visit.

The Urban Ma BBQ time at KynetonIMG_0198 IMG_0203 Cozy houseLazing around in our comfy cabin

Piper Street Kyneton The Urban MaKyneton Victoria AustraliaDuck Duck Goose LarderOrganic ethicalDuck Duck Goose Kyneton

Duck Duck Goose & Larder on Urbanspoon

The 2013 Royal Melbourne Show Wrap Up!

wes and daniel at the show

The 2013 Royal Melbourne Show – Melbourne Showgrounds Epsom Road, Ascot Vale Saturday 21 September – Wednesday 2 October 2013, 9.30am – 9.30pm

I hadn’t been to the Show in over 10 years so this year I made up for it by taking in the sights over 2 days! I knew Baby D would get excited seeing all the animals and I wanted to take family and relatives visiting from overseas. My parents had taken me as a kid and now as a big kid I found so many new things to see, eat and enjoy that I already can’t wait for next year! – there truly is something for everyone!

So before my stream of photos begins here are some tips if you’re planning on making the most of the last day of the Show:

#1 Events and show times schedule: Check out the Royal Melbourne Show’s iPhone app  or their website if you’re planning on making the most of the events, free cooking masterclasses, show times, celebrity appearances, blue ribbon competitions etc.
#2 Pack some drinks: Keeping hydrated will see you through the queues and crowds if the day is busy. There are plenty of food stalls and also many free samples to keep your tastebuds happy! (See below)
#3 Set a budget: With an 11 month old baby we didn’t really spend much on rides or showbags and we were lucky to have media passes to take care of the entrance fee. If you’re coming with older kids setting an expectation of how many rides and how many showbags they can purchase is a good idea. There are so many free things to do and take home – you’ll be pleasantly surprised! I came home with my own bag of free goodies! – mostly from the My Backyard area and the Woolworths & Tastes of Victoria Pavillion! See below.
#4 Bring a  camera and some patience 🙂 Being Baby D’s first time at the show, I was so happy to capture his expressions and wonderment as we watched the goats in the Animal Nursery, watched the rides spinning around and all the people having a great time. We went on both Sundays and the first Sunday was perfect! We arrived at around 2:30pm and didn’t have to line up for most of the activities. Even with all the queues on the second Sunday, Baby D loved it! He loved watching all the different faces, prizes, showbags, and stuffed animals walk by. I learnt a thing or two from my little one that day –  Don’t rush. Take it easy. Everyone will get their turn and meanwhile, enjoy a bit of people-watching to pass the time! Ahhh the things our kids can teach us at such a young age!
#5 Cash out: There are plenty of ATM’s around the Showgrounds and when buying showbags most places do take EFTPOS but cashing out beforehand will help you avoid unnecessary queues 😉

Here is my photo-heavy blog post including my top 40 things to do at the Royal Melbourne Show! I hope this helps you take advantage of the last day! 😀

The Urban Ma jacqfruit visits My Backyard

My Backyard

1) Check out Animals of Oz were you can meet some of Australia’s native animals. 2) Bring home a grassy caterpillar and watch it grow (free). 3) Plant some seedlings to take home – we got some basil, coriander and parsley (free). 4) Check out the chook enslosure and pat-a-chook! 5) There are also some ducks to see (this was Baby D’s favourite, ahhh the simple things!) 6) You can even dress a scarecrow! (free). 7) Check out the salvage and permaculture gardens for ideas for your own backyard! – the better half still owes me a herb wall from Mother’s Day so we got some ideas from this area of the Show! 😉

The Urban Ma at The Royal Melbourne ShowMY Backyard free jacqfruitmy backyard collage MY Backyard collage 2 The Urban MaThe Urban Ma grandma with Daniel

The Tastes of Victoria Pavilion

8) Visit the pop up restaurant of the day on your left as you enter the pavilion. We were lucky to taste the delectable desserts of Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, when we got to this stall it was close to the end of the day and the desserts ranged from $3-$5! Mum & I loved the coconut, passionfruit, ginger and mint tube and the caramel chocolate hazelnut choux (bliss!!!). 9) Stop by the Caramelicious stall and taste their salted caramel butter! 10) I also tried some goat chorizo and sausages! 11) If you get there early, check out Kids’ Food Fun with Alice at 11.30am! 12) There are lots of Masterclass sessions and the one we caught was the beer tasting session. 13) Right next door to the Masterclass stage are the cooking demonstrations where you can learn how to cook a variety of dishes and maybe even get to taste them at the end!


IMG_0364 IMG_0368Tastes The Urban MaTastes The Urban Ma blog

Masterchef Kitchen

14) We visited the Masterchef Kitchen late in the day so we didn’t have to line up. It was so cool to see the set up and it was quite warm inside. 15) There are some Masterchef celebrities to meet and greet and on the day we went Lynton was there at the front of the building greeting fans. 16) Outside at the front of the Masterchef Kitchen are all the little gardens of veggies and herbs! 17) Right next door to the Masterchef Kitchen was the Advance Dog Pavilion but we didn’t have time to check it out.

IMG_0285Masterchef collage The Urban MaKale and Masterchef The Urban Ma

The Animal Nursery

18) We visited the animal nursery late in the afternoon and there was a line to get in but it moved pretty swiftly. I suggest you come in early at 9.30am if you want to visit the animals when it’s not so busy! Baby D was in awe of all the animals walking around! We didn’t spend too much time in here as it was so crowded but it was lovely to see all the little ones so enthralled by all the farm animals as we walked through the big shed. 19) You can get your photo with a little lamb as you exit but my camera was full of pics of Baby D that we skipped this one.

The Urban Ma and Daniel in the Animal Nursery Animal Nursery The Urban Ma Paddock to Plate, Weekly Times Livestock Pavillion and the Arts, Craft and Cookery building

20) Check out the award winning livestock in the Weekly Times Livestock Pavillion. We got to this pavilion quite late in the night so we just walked around to see the animals up close! We saw the Merino studs and beef cattle. 21) Next door to the livestock pavilion was the Arts, Craft and Cookery Building. Check out the yarn car and caravan as you walk in – so colourful! 22) Again we visited this shed quite late in the day so there were no arts and craft workshops taking place so we walked around admiring all the works of various competition entrants. 23) Check out the cake decorating entrants! Ranging from Christmas themes to Disney characters these cakes had so much detail! 24) The Paddock to Plate building is in between the Masterchef Kitchen and My Backyard and there we saw some cows being milked. 25) There are also some interactive activities like grain grinding and an activity to get the kids thinking about where their food actually comes from.

The Urban Ma visit the Royal Melbourne ShowLivestock and ArtsPaddock to Plate

Coca Cola Arena and the CommBank Entertainment Dome

This year was the first time I had visited the show in the evening and it had such a great vibe! 26) Check out the Commbank Entertainment Dome for a DJ dance party at 5pm and Looney Tunes and Yo Gabba Gabba shows throughout the day! We got to this dome late so we didn’t get to see the Looney Tunes show but the Comic Daredevil and DJ Dance party rocked it! 27) In the Coca Cola Arena we saw some polocrosse action (lacrosse on horses!) and the fireworks lighting up the Melbourne skyline.

The Urban Ma entertainment dome djThe Urban Ma arena

Woolworths Pavilion

28) The Woolworths Pavilion offers many different cuisines and as we visited this Pavilion around dinner time there were people everywhere! We weren’t too hungry so we had some Kaiser sausages. There were gozlemes, donuts, po boys, pies, and plenty more to choose from!  29) Mum and I also bought the two for $15 Taste showbags and we got some great samples of food, snacks, and household goods to try out at home (oh how our tastes change as we get older LOL!! Now I’ve got dinner sorted out for 2 nights! – Malaysian Chicken Curry and Tacos!) 30) The $2 Cheese Toasties were a hit with the crowd, with lines at this stall on both days we were there! Who said eating at the Show had to be expensive!?) 31) We also tried some free samples of Beechworth honey and saw some busy bees working hard. 32) If you get a little tired and need a massage or some timeout, the Smooth FM stand is for you! With comfy couches and smooth tunes playing, let the kids go crazy on the rides outside while you mind their showbags and put your feet up! 33) Baby D was excited to see Thomas the Tank Engine so we took a picture with the big blue train and the Controller! 34) If your kids are wanting to get their face painted, there’s a stand just outside the Woolworths Pavilion.

Woolworths The Urban Ma Woolworths The Urban MA dinnerThe Urban Ma showbag

Showbag Pavilion

35) The Showbag Pavilion or “crazy hall” is the must stop pavilion for almost everyone that attends the show and looking around at all the showbags there seems to be a showbag for every age, gender and taste! You have to line up to get in but like the Animal Nursery the line moves along pretty quickly. If you don’t want to line up you can pick up a showbag just outside the Showbag Pavilion and also some food showbags in the Woolworths Pavilion. When I was a kid I remember eagerly reading the weekend newspaper and circling the showbags I wanted within the budget my parents gave me. I bought my sis a Nerds showbag and didn’t buy Baby D anything – he’s happy with me just blowing bubbles! 😛

The Urban Ma at the Showbag PavillionShowbags galore with the Urban Ma

The Rides – Thrill Seekers Carnival, Family Carnival, Kids Carnival and the Adventure Zone

36) The Thrill Seekers Carnival is buzzing with people, rides and lights. We didn’t go on any of the rides in this section but my cousins went on the Sky Flyer and tried their hand at winning a huge stuff toy! 37) The only ride I went on this year was the Giant Sky Wheel ($8). It has the best view of the Showgrounds and Melbourne’s surrounds! The carriages fit 6 people in each so we spent some time up there chatting to the family we share a carriage with 🙂 Try playing Where’s Wally while you’re up and look for the giant crocodile and giant shark! 38) On the way out with some vouchers left for a few last rides, my cousins used them up on the fun slide 🙂 39) For one last sweet hit on the way out to the car there are vendors selling fairy floss and ice cream etc for the ride home. 40) Don’t forget to check the number of the area that you park in if you are driving to the Show! The car park is huge and I always forget to check! (Car parking $20).

All in all we had such a fantastic time at this year’s show and can’t wait for next year!

What were some of your favourite sights and activities this year? What tips do you have for those planning a trip to the Show today?

The Urban Ma ridesIMG_0243

Rewind ladies at Auto Salon – A Nationwide Tour

Last year we secured our place as the 2010 Auto Salon main stage feature act. Touring Australia with hotted up cars and the Mighty Mods fellas we tore up with stage 4 times a day in order to provide some half time entertainment. Whilst there were a lot of late night rehearsals, costume brainstorming and studio time, it was all worth it as we showcased the latest choreography by Melbourne dancers to an audience in the thousands. A collaborative effort with Vince Calingasan, Shane Clarke and the Rewind ladies meant we were able to perform different styles in a 10 minute set. Thank you to all of you who came out to see the cars & the show. Hopefully we get to do it again! x

Mighty Mods