Life Lately #4 – Winter Warmers

The Boys

Even with the icy cold winter breeze settling in we managed to spend lots of time outdoors all rugged up and soaking in the sun’s warm rays. There is always so much to do in Melbourne and these past two months I continued to make the most out of mat leave enjoying this special time with family and friends and also working on personal development.

Here are some things we got up to:

– birthdays galore! 😀
– catch ups and coffee at some lovely Melbourne cafes
(The Cornershop, Carlisle Wine Bar, VicPies, Tasty T, Top of the Bay and Chase Kitchen – see post here)
– family time with the grandparents, great grandparents and in-laws
– took a turn at the mic and MC’d for a dance comp (a little scary but heaps of fun!)
– first club gig with the Mishanda girls post-partum (Yayy!)
– another successful AHC (Australian Hip Hop Championships) prelim at MSAC
– attended a talk on “Personal Branding”
– met speaker Catherine Moolenschot and listened to her “Funnel of Greatness” talk
– attended a seminar by Tim Gill “Expanding Children’s Horizons”
– mothers group chill sessions 🙂
– dinner at Father Noel’s with past and present WYD (World Youth Day) pilgrims
– date night with the hubby….and Superman ;P
– finally got back to the gym
– organizing Baby’s room
– baby photo shoots
– watched Baby start to stand confidently, climb the stairs and get excited as his first two teeth cut through
– tried hand sewing some pants for Baby (need a lot more practice! :/)
– watched some of the hubby’s ball games
– ended the first half of 2013 with a relaxing mini-getaway to Redesdale, Victoria
– and of course did a little shopping 🙂 (see my Instagram @Jacqfruit)

Mishanda gigMishanda gigging at Red Bennies on Chapel street – so much fun to be back on the dance floor!

AHCThe Melbourne preliminary round of AHC 2013 – always makes me happy seeing the dance community together and supporting each others passions.

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A lovely brunch at Friends of Mine on Swan st in Burnley – you have to order the banana bread!!
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Baby loves the camera!
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MC gig with Hasmin at the first ever Fired Up Dance Competition run by the council of Greater Dandenong, FREEZA and Tracy from Replay Dance Productions.Camilla's 1st birthdayIMG_0767

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you!
IMG_0349IMG_0366Enjoying Williamstown with the grandparents <3

leavesChillin’ at Highpoint with Lolo – Baby was so enthralled by the plants and the leaves.

shesaysSheSays Personal Branding talk at SpeakEasy on Chapel street.

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Tim Gill at the St Kilda Town Hall – great talk about bringing up our children in a risk-averse society.Carlisle

After talk sweets at the Carlisle Wine Bar – these donuts were amazing, and so was the ambience 🙂Mother's groupBaby D’s mothers group buddies are all growing up so fast!

sewingOk so I made him pants that were a little too tight :/ I need more practice.

WYD dinnerAlways an abundance of food when you have dinner with Father Noel – good food, great cheese, gorgeous wines!

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Mel’s famous chicken pho! 😀 A perfect winter warmer.redesdale

Our cozy “little” cabin – “The River House” in Redesdale.IMG_0733

So grateful to wake up to this little bundle of smiles everyday!

What have you been up to recently and what is one thing that are you grateful for?

xoxo

Sizzling Pepper Lunch!

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Pepper Tokusen Rib eye before… IMG_0018

Pepper Rice Salmon before…IMG_0019 IMG_0021

Pepper Rice Salmon after! IMG_0022

Pepper Tokusen Rib Eye after!IMG_0016Yummy condiments 🙂

Pepper Lunch – 311 Elizabeth st, Melbourne

Just discovered Pepper Lunch a couple of months ago after hearing rave reviews from friends. We visited on a Sunday night and it was pretty busy but we managed to score ourselves a table and the staff were very helpful in accommodating our pram.

When you arrive you place your order at the counter, take a number and grab a seat. They have many meat and salmon dishes for you to choose from and the rib eye is so tender and juicy! You can purchase your dishes in a meal with your choice of drink, fries, or soup and you can also add an all-you-can-eat extra from the veggie bar.

Mix up your plate’s contents to cook as you desire and then add the sauces – ginger or sweet! You’ll be hooked on your first visit! 🙂

Yim Yam in Yarraville

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Yim Yam Yarraville – 40A Ballarat st, Yarraville 9687-8585

Thai Laos Cuisine

After finding out Pok Pok in the Docklands was closed, a friend from the other side of the bridge asked for recommendations on good Thai places for our weeknight catch up. Yim Yam Yarraville came to mind as it is not too far for them to travel and I adore their dishes – especially the toasted rice and coconut salad! There were 6 of us dining in so we were able to order quite a few dishes to taste as much of the huge menu as we could!

Yim Yam’s menu is quite lengthy and after having eaten here a few times with experienced Yim- Yammers we took our Eastsider buddies on a gastronomical tour of Thai Laos cuisine! I’m excited to say they loved it so much that they ordered takeaway for later! 🙂 If you haven’t been here before dive into the menu and don’t be afraid to take a risk and order something you aren’t familiar with! – you will be rewarded with a tasty, new discovery 😉

Here are the dishes we ordered:

Seared chicken satay skewers ($7.90) These were so good we were eating the leftover satay sauce with spoons!

– Marinated Grilled Chicken with Chilli Tamarind Dip (Guy yang gup jaow mark kham) ($15.90) First time trying this dish and I loved it! Full of flavour and slightly tangy, perfect with rice.

Pad Thai Chicken ($14.90) – the tastiest pad thai I’ve had yet! So saucy!!!!!

– Toasted Rice & Coconut Salad ($13.50) Love this light, crunchy dish.

Tom Yum, prawn ($8.50)

– Massaman Curry (gang mutsamun) ($13.90)

Thai Fried Rice, chicken ($11.90)

– Thai Milk Tea

Just a word of warning – stick to the mains! After enjoying and being wowed by our entrees and main dishes, you should’ve seen the deflated look on our faces when our desserts landed on the table. What a way to end an evening. No need for words, just take a look at the photos below…

If you are looking to get dessert, the pandan crepes were probably the least disappointing out of the mixed berry crumble & coconut ice cream wafers that we ordered. Or better yet just get a chocolate sundae from McDonald’s on your way home.

We left baby at home with the grandparents because this place is very tightly packed with no room for prams. They recently opened up and took over the space next door but if you choose to dine in make sure you book in advance! All in all the desserts haven’t deterred me – Yim Yam is one of my favourite Thai restaurants and their specialty dishes are worth coming back for.

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Yim Yam Thai Laos on Urbanspoon

FOMO – Melbourne Mondays

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FOMO Thai, um Ped Krob, Crying Tiger, Moo Krob Tod

FOMO Thai – 171 Bourke st, Melbourne

Sorry for the late Monday post! I’ve had no net access at the apartment so I wasn’t able to schedule today’s post for the normal morning time. Better late than never though right?

Last week we were finally able to catch a table at FOMO Thai and the staff were friendly and helped us arrange the baby and the pram so we could dine comfortably. We sat near the kitchen and the wafting aroma made us order 3 dishes in a hurry! – it all smelt so good! The place has a very modern interior including it’s tableware – no jade green plates and saucers to be found here. Clean, fresh and crisp.

We ordered the Thai style crispy duck salad and for those that need a little help eating their veggies, this is a great salad to seduce your tastebuds! We also ordered the char grilled beef tenderloin medium rare served with tangy dipping sauce. The meat was so tender and was complemented nicely by the dipping sauce that came with it. Our third dish was the roasted pork bellies servied with 3 speciality condiments, definitely not for those who are on a diet but a must-try anyway because of the amazing crackling that is on offer with every piece you eat. Perfectly crunchy.

This place hasn’t been open for very long but if you want to check it out make sure you either make a booking or come in early so that you get a seat because it is always a full house at FOMO.

Chuckle Park

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Chuckle Park on Little Collins st, meatballs, pork slider, the best corn on the cob EVER!, Chuckle Park menu stuck onto the alleyway wall, yummy corn, Mary on top of the caravan shop front, yummy pear cider, leafy tops

Chuckle Park Bar and Cafe, 322 Little Collins st, Melbourne 03 9654-5594

No need for expensive chandeliers or even a ceiling! – just some interesting jam jar lights and upside down umbrellas and you have yourself a quirky little place to enjoy a slider and cider. I had never really noticed Chuckle Park before as I had always known this part of Little Collins st as the place I go to to check the shoe store Zomp and other retailers such as FCUK and Witchery. But walking slower than usual, the colorful flowers at the end of this little lane way caught my eye.

Cuisine: Spanish-feel, burgers, ciders

Location: hidden in a laneway – so Melbourne! 🙂 easy access when we brought baby in the pram and a great atmosphere!

Service: We had a late lunch here at around 2pm on a weekday and didn’t have to wait long for our meals to come out. The staff were friendly and cheery which really brightened up the grey Melbourne day. They were also very enthusiastic and took the time to make sure baby also enjoyed the dining experience 🙂

Food: The menu is short and simple. Easy to read with something for everyone. The meatballs and crusty bread went down perfectly in the cold Melbourne weather and hubby ordered the pulled pork slider which looked amazing and I’m told tasted exactly that! It was the grilled corn covered in parmesan, coriander, lime and sauce however, that blew my mind!!! – it tasted like  my all-time childhood favourite…Twisties! Only with real ingredients and not just junk! I’m drooling now just typing about it. Definitely worth going back for! Apparently another place in Melbourne also serves up this corn sensation so I’ll have to check it out and report back to you.

Drink: The better half ordered a pear cider and I only had a sip or two but I am definitely going to order that next time!!

Kid-Friendly?: Having a late lunch meant that we found a table easily accessible with a pram and the crowd at the time were people on lunch from work or those catching up with friends, so it was kid-friendly as we sat away from the people smoking.

I will definitely be dining back here and maybe ordering more than one corn next time! I would also like to check this place out at night for drinks as I’m sure it would be so pretty and happening with all the cute jar lanterns and DJ!

Happy Monday everyone!

Chuckle Park Bar and Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Melbourne Mondays – St Kilda Festival 2013 and Lunar New Year

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Rewind performing in the Dance Zone arena, Wes ordering a hot dog with the lot from the Grill Kings, Daniel & I in front of Luna Park, lunch at Dahon Tea Lounge in South Melbourne, dinner at Kotaraya in Elsternwick

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St Kilda Festival – DanceZone (Sea Baths carpark area)

The weather was perfect yesterday for the 2013 St Kilda Festival and the first day of the Lunar New Year of the snake! Rewind performed from 1pm until 1.45pm at the DanceZone arena alongside special guests, Kstar and Mute Crew. Initially we were worried that the crowd was a bit sparse but once the music got going and MC Steve took over the mic, the huge crowds came in to watch! It was so great to see these crews continuing to inspire the community to get involved through their love of dance. If you are interested in dance classes these crews teach in various locations around Melbourne teaching 1 year olds right through to adults!

Dahon Tea Lounge – 111 Cecil St, South Melbourne

After performing at the DanceZone arena and stopping at a hot dog stand we made our way through the crowds with Baby in his pram and walked back to our car to have lunch somewhere a little more comfortable for a mamma and Baby ;P You know I never really paid much attention to prams in shopping centres or out and about, but since having a baby I really admire the courageous mums who get out there despite constantly have people cutting in front or not acknowledging that they may need a little more space than normal to get by.

We had lunch just off Clarendon street at a Filipino tea lounge called Dahon. It was nice to relax and sit down with a cold rockmelon drink and refreshing iced tea. I ordered the garlic rice with chicken adobo and pork tocino skewers which I chomped down quickly as I was so hungry from performing earlier. For dessert we had halo halo – a Filipino shaved iced dessert which is a different version of the Malaysian cendol or the 3 coloured drinks. It was nice and big and full of toppings. If you are not familiar with the Philippine cuisine then I suggest you ease into it buy ordering the rice and skewer combo and by trying the rockmelon iced drink 🙂

Kotaraya Asian Multi cuisine – 237 Glenhuntly Rd, Elsternwick

After just chilling at Dahon for a while and having some rest time with Baby, we made our way to the east side for a dinner to celebrate the Lunar New Year with hubby’s side of the family. Filipinos celebrate the western new year on January first but with hubby’s family being Malaysian/Chinese we headed to Kotaraya to have traditional Lunar New  Year dishes like Yu Shang! The first time I had this dish was in KL – see previous post! We had about 8 different dishes to share and they were all so tasty! Especially a fish dish – I didn’t get to take I picture of everything or even look at the menu because baby was unsettled and needed to sleep). I really want to come back here again so I can get the names of the dishes we ordered for you, I think they were part of a special new year’s menu. The desserts were colourful as you would have seen in other restaurants of this type and very sweet and we finished off with a juicy, cold fruit platter.

All in all even though it was a little tiring, we had a great day with family and friends. With a friend suddenly passing away  last week, it just reminds me that making time for your loved ones should always be at the top of your list of things to do. Life is short and you can never shower anyone with too much love so if you haven’t seen you mum, dad, cousin, friends in a while then why not call them up for a catch up? 😉

Have a great week! Love.Live.Laugh <3

Melbourne Mondays – Broadening my palette

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Bopha Devi’s dishes – I was caught up in conversation with my besties so sorry I can’t name the dishes for you in the above photos! The staff were very helpful though, so just ask them for their recommendations if you are not sure what dish to order!

Bopha Devi – Yarraville and Docklands 

The thing I love about Melbourne is no matter how long I have lived here I am always discovering new places that are perfect for catching up with friends. Bopha Devi is one of them. A cute little restaurant in Yarraville serving Cambodian cuisine. I have never tried Cambodian cuisine before and its light, fresh tasting dishes had me hooked in one spoonful! With much more understated flavours than other Asian cuisines that I’m used to, the Cambodian food at Bopha was very tasty and elegantly presented. For me the freshness reminded me of the fresh Vietnamese food I ate in Saigon last year and the flavours in the curry dish reminded me a little of Thai food but not as strong.

If you’re looking for a place to catch up with friends on a relaxed weeknight, the Yarraville institution is perfect! For more of a special celebration then I suggest Bopha Devi in the Docklands as it is a lot bigger and the interior a little fancier than its Yarraville sibling.

What is something new that you have tried lately?

Bopha Devi on Urbanspoon