The Variety Santa Fun Run

Ditching the Friday after work drinks for a Friday night fun run

Variety Santa Fun Run – Melbourne

What better way to end the week than with a fun run. It was our first ever time committing to something of the sort. After watching my little brother complete his first ever run I was inspired. Albeit I didn’t do nearly as many kilometres as him! – he completed 22kms and we were so excited and proud! We had been meaning to start running the other year…but then I got pregnant and didn’t think it would be a good time to start on that activity so I just kept up with my daily walks and pregnancy pilates. Our biggest inspiration would definitely have to be my dad. I always remember him telling us the story of when he joined in a fun run and ran over the Westgate Bridge while it was so heavily pouring down rain. The rest of the story may be TMI so you’ll have to ask him for the rest of the details yourself. Let’s just say it was good it was raining so much.

We joined in the 5km stretch and walked/ran our way around the Yarra with some of Melbourne’s iconic landmarks in the background. Melbourne’s buzzing happy hour crowd seemed surprised to see a plethora of Santas running under the Princes Bridge, and everyone cheered us on as we endeavored to make our way to the finish line before our two kids in prams started wanting to get out of their seats for a little run around of their own. We had to keep them occupied with drinks and snacks!

It was a fun way to help kids be kids and spread the Christmas spirit of hope to those in need. And get a little exercise in there too!

Us and the kids in a sea of Santas – Variety, the Children’s Charity help when others can’t helping children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs through the provision of specialist equipment and services when families can’t afford it, and when government assistance isn’t available.Variety Santa Fun Run santa squad Melbourne eventsIt was a kid-friendly, family-friendly and pet friendly event!
warm up fitness Variety Fun Run SantaWarm ups before it started
Variety Santa Fun Run Melbourne Held at the Alexandra Gardens there were food trucks and we were spoilt with goodies at the finish line with yummy Jalna yoghurts, Bellamy’s organic baby food, Ardona water and even vouchers and mini pancakes from The Pancake Parlour. The smoky BBQ rolls from Smokin Barry’s food truck were a hit!

Care to share any tips for us newbie runners? Thanks in advance! xx

Blogmas 2016 – Day 3 Our first Wiggles concert

Melbourne Town Hall projections Christmas in Melbourne

Just got home a couple of hours ago from attending our first ever Wiggles concert and spending the rest of the evening in the city. It was the perfect evening to be out and about as the weather was so balmy it really felt like summer may finally be here. Tonight I am grateful for:

– having my parents close by who are so happy to look after our little ones while we went out and partied last night. It felt so good to be able to sleep in and wake up together and just be
– being able to take the kids to their first ever Wiggles concert. Music and dance. What more could you ask for? Makes me so happy inside!
– living in such a vibrant and interesting city with both amazing sights and beautiful people
– being close to my siblings and being able to make memories with my niece and nephew
– our two kiddos for constantly giving us new things to experience. If it weren’t for Mr D wanting to go, I never would’ve thought I could enjoy a kids concert so much hehe! Thank you little munchkins for always being so full of wonder and appreciation. Here’s to many more firsts with you!

Blogmas 2016 The Wiggles concert

Style Saturdays – Lola and grandson’s day out in the city

The Urban MA blog Melbourne City

Trams, Christmas trees, coffee and Melbourne’s famous laneways. A wedding at the Grand Hyatt Hotel prompted us to book a room and have an impromptu staycation in the most liveable city in the world.

With so many merry things to see and do (most of them free! – see my previous blog post here), Daniel and Lola’s (grandma in Filipino) outfits of the day were comfy and chic. A waterproof jacket just in case it started raining – Melbourne often experiences 4 seasons in a day, and a spare pair of flats for Lola to change in to after walking for hours takes a toll on her feet.

Styling Daniel waiting for the tramDaniel absolutely loves catching trains and trams! 

Gucci tote bagThe Urban Ma lifestyle blogger Melbourne bloggerHand in hand with his mama lola
City Square Christmas SquareDaniel – Jacket (not sure where this is from!), checkered shirt (H&M), mustard jeans (Target), boots (Zara). Lola – sunnies (Tiffany & Co), dress (TopShop), bag (Gucci), bracelets (Tiffany & Co and Pandora)
Christmas in Fed Square MelbourneGrandma duties 🙂
The Urban Ma Degreaves Melbourne lanewaysMum exploring Degraves street, Melbourne city.

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 – Swanston 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! 🙂
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! – a 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 – it 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! – I 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!

xo

#melbxmas

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! 🙂

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 🙂

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?

xx