2014 – Thank you, you were amazing…Warning: photo-heavy post!

 Here is my ode to 2014. To those of you who laughed, played, cried and celebrated life with us, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your time and presence. Whether it was a second or a day of your time, I’ve learnt so much from each and everyone of you and hope that 2015 holds more unforgettable moments – xx-

Styling DanielThis littke guy’s ootds were the most clicked on posts this year! Check him out on Instagram @jacqfruit
IMG_0108 IMG_0324Lots n lots of family time at some of our favourite destinations. See post here!
The Urban Ma 2014 family time
IMG_0378Some party people. Yes here’s a pic of the males bathroom – thought it looked pretty cool lol!
The Urban Ma 2014 nights out
Family comes first - The Urban Ma blogBest friends - high schoolSo much fun with all the dedicated mammas!
ProBlogger 2014Met so many unbelievably talented bloggers and podcasters this year…can’t wait for what’s coming up in 2015. Never stop learning!
Radio interview The Urban MaFirst radio interview
The Urban Ma 2014 workWork life – one of my favourite years with the most amazing people! So very grateful and blessed for the opportunity to work with super knowledgeable, hardworking and inspiring people. Best!
Brighter Futures Suncorp
NGV Melbourne exhibitionLoads of things to do in Melbourne – NGV is amazing!
airplane lifeOur little one was obsessed with planes, trains and automobiles this year!
This is Queensland The Urban Ma Gold Coast StayzFun in the Gold Coast for my bro’s big 30th bash and also the inspiring ProBlogger Conference
Lolo time Ballarat Wildlife Park The Urban Ma
Kare Kare The Urban MaFilipino kare kare but not as you know it! Wow!
Chef Sau William AnglissTried to cook some Filipino dishes and also met some talented Filipino chefs
GJ's Grill lechon The Urban MaNew Filipino restaurant in Melbourne’s CBD – GJ’s Grill (next to Vic Market)
The Urban Ma Spunky Ones JacqfruitStylish daddy and son duo #thespunkyones Lots more ootd’s to come in 2015!
The Urban Ma 2014 weddingsWedding ladies Mandy's weddingWeddings and bridesmaid duties were so much fun with this crew!
Daniel's 2nd birthdayWe celebrated loads of happy birthdays this year including our lola and our little man turning two!
Christmas with the YuansAwkwardly testing out the timer on our camera…Daniel is not impressed!

Our first video went live on YouTube today and I hope you find it helpful! Let me know what else you’d like to see in 2015. xx

And on hot, sunny days let’s do this!

Werribee water park The Urban Ma blogStyling Daniel sun smart Werribee water park the Urban Ma blog The Urban Ma blog Werribee water park

Water park fun…and it’s free!

Holidays. Sun. Clear blue skies. An adventurous toddler.

Off to the playground we went!

And not just any old playground. We drove to “new Werribee” to explore the water park nestled in the Riverwalk estate. Always looking for places to discover and things to do, D squealed with joy as he played with the water fountains.

Water park fun that won’t break the budget. This free playground has got to be one of Melbourne’s best new public spaces. With a full sized basketball court, mini skate park, bbq’s and playground there is something for everyone. And once you’re done with it all, the wide open fields of fresh, green grass is just calling out for you to lie down and daydream away!


Werribee water park The Urban Ma blog rules

You are invited to celebrate life!…The Urban Ma way 🙂 #celebratelifetumw

What: Explore Melbourne’s playgrounds – featuring a fantastic water park!
Where:
 Newmarket Road, Werribee (in the Riverwalk estate) Just off the M1 freeway Werribee exit
When: All year round. October to March 9am to 8pm. April to September 10am to 5pm. (Sometimes the water features are not in operation so to avoid disappoint, check before you head there! Places Victoria or Wyndham City Council)
Cost: Free!
Features: a net swing, monkey bars, climbing wall, water park fountains and features, a basketball court and skatepark, toilets, bbq facilities, shaded areas with picnic tables, slides.
Age: Fun for all ages with toddler friendly playground equipment
What to bring:
– sunscreen, a hat and sunnies – let’s stay sun safe!
– a change of clothes and a towel
– pack a picnic or bring some bbq essentials (we packed some yummy sandwiches filled with leftover Christmas ham, nectarines and chocolates from Christmas presents!)
– a bottle of water to keep hydrated
– thongs for when you get wet and comfy shoes if you want to run around the basketball courts
– a basketball/skateboard/kite to fly in the open, grassy space
Fun Facts! This park area occupies 1.4ha and cost $4.8 million to complete. Village Park is found in the new Riverwalk estate and opened in October 2014. Just make sure you check that the water features are working before you visit.

Water park Werribee Riverwalk basketball courtsDon’t forget to bring a ball, skateboard or your rollerblades!
Water park Werribee collage The Urban Ma jacqfruitThe perfect way to spend a sunny day
Water park Werribee Styling Daniel The YuansMy rock climbing little man

sun bathing The Urban Ma blogThe wooden decking areas surrounding the water park are perfect for sun bathing and watching over the kids
Playground Werribee water park The Urban Ma blog
bridge water The Urban Ma blog BBQ Melbourne playgroundBring some snags and burger patties for a satisfying meal
The Urban Ma blog Melbourne playgroundRide your bike here and you can park it just opposite the bridges and basketball areas
The Urban Ma blog Melbourne playgroundOpen space with seating areas…a place for fabulous future events I think!
The Urban Ma blog water park MelbourneThe water features can be operated by the little ones. Simply find the buttons scattered around the water play area on poles

Melbourne playground The Urban Ma blogThis structure had him occupied for ages! Bark was the feature and he loved it! Lots of tunnels and holes to push the bark through
The Urban Ma blog Daniel Places Victoria The Urban Ma blogFresh, green grass…perfect for throwing frisbees, flying kites or just lazing around with an antipasto platter!
Mother and son Playground funDigger playground fun
Werribee water park Melbourne playgrounds The Urban Ma blog jacqfruit Werribee water park Styling Daniel The Urban Ma blog sun smart The Urban Ma blog Werribee water park tunnel The Urban Ma blogToo much fun to be had with this little guy!

For more things to do and see in Melbourne, sign up for email notifications 🙂 Thank you so much for your support in 2014. I appreciate each and every one of your clicks, comments and likes!

Interested in other playgrounds visited by The Urban Ma? Check out our post on Dinosaur Mimi!

Food lovers, this one is for you – dish’d Melbourne

dishd home delivery The Urban MaThe Urban Ma dish'd delivereddishd order next day delivery Melbourne

dish’d Food Store – 31 Izett St, Prahran, Melbourne
http://www.dish.com.au – Frozen cuisine delivery

The delivery of this big, white box this week was a godsend. With Christmas planning, shopping and decoration duties in full swing and the work year coming to a close, there was nothing more tiring I could think of doing than having to stop past the local grocery store in search for something to eat for dinner, and get home only to start chopping, marinating and prepping the table for an evening meal that’s not only tasty but nutritious.

I don’t know about you but after a long day at work during this festive season I just want to come home, get cuddles and put my feet up. So when we were invited by the team at Nuffnang and dish’d to try out the dish’d home delivery service I immediately jumped at the chance to taste their cuisine and spend more time relaxing with my family.

“Enjoying great food with friends and family is a joy, and one we want to help you share often and effortlessly, by providing you delicious meals, ready when you are.” – dish’d

What:
dish’d is an online food delivery service that serves quality frozen food with taste and seamless service. From prawns en papillote to Baci ice cream and chocolate ganache and salted caramel tarts you can create your very own restaurant style feast for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Who:
With award winning chefs such as Jacques Reymond joining the team you can expect nothing less than world-class creations.
Where:

Online and with the success of its online launch in August, dish’d Food Store has now just opened it flagship store in Prahran, Melbourne
How:
It’s as easy as visiting the website, drooling over the mouth-watering dishes and once you’ve placed your order it is delivered the very next day. Delivered in a sturdy box with dry ice, its contents will stay frozen after being delivered to your door step up to 10pm that night just in case you come home a little late. Free delivery is also available for orders over $50.

dishd order The Urban Ma blog Melbourne

The dish’d website was well laid out and easy to navigate and the only problem the hubby had was deciding what to order since everything looked so amazing. This may be attributed to that fact that the creators of dish’d are passionate about making quality dishes for time-poor food lovers.

You can choose from component ingredients or frozen meals depending on what you feel like devouring.We ordered the following and are fans of each and every item we chose:

– 4 Ratatouille steam bags (eggplant, onions, zucchini, and red and green capsicum) $4.95
– 6 vegetable and mushroom cones wrapped in a rice lattice shell $4.45
– marinated scallops in extra virgin olive oil, tomato and lemon $10.95
– 8 petits gratins de crab $11.95
– 2 raspberry sorbet slices $9.45
– 2 love apples x2 $16.90 ($8.45 each)
– 2 black pearls $10.45
– tiramisu gelato $2.75
– 2 New York cut beef porterhouse steaks, premium grass fed $22.00
– 2 beef eye fillet steaks $20.00
– chopped coriander $2.25
– chopped chives $2.25
– Baci gelato $7.45
– Chocolatissimo gelato $2.75

dish'd steaks

Our package was delivered at 1pm and by the time I got home the hubby had prepared some mash and veggies to go along with the vegetarian cones and the premium steak cuts we ordered. We were all extremely impressed with the quality and presentation and will definitely be trying out more items in the following weeks! With such perfect looking dishes on the website, we were pleasantly surprised that they were also reasonably priced…I think someone has a new favorite online store! 🙂

dishd vegetarian conesIMG_0352
As we made our way through all these beautifully prepared dishes, I had a thought that this would be the absolute perfect present to give to my friends who have recently given birth! Imagine being greeted at the door with a delectable dinner ready to go!
dishd Melbourne The Urban Ma blog Jacqfruit review

 The above photos are from my Instagram and Twitter feeds and I can’t rave enough about all the items we tried and the raspberry sorbet slice! Robust flavor on a delicious base, these are perfect for a candlelit dinner date at home on a balmy summer night or if like us you have a toddler, they would love it too!

Would you like to experience high quality cuisine at home?
Are you a food lover in search for new and tasty meals?
Would you love to find a new way of creating a fabulous breakfast, lunch or dinner for your family and friends without the stress of having to prepare it all on your own?

We were so happy with the food we tried that we would love for you to have a chance to try it for yourselves. We are giving one lucky follower the chance to win $50 to use at dishd.com.au.

All you need to do is leave a comment below and tell us what you would like to spend your $50 on and a lucky winner will be announced next Friday 19th of December.

Terms & Conditions

Australian entrants only living in VIC 0r NSW metro.
The winner will be selected by their comment and will be notified by email (so make sure you email theurbanma@hotmail.com with your email address if you are not already a subscriber to my blog).
By entering this competition you agree to be automatically subscribed to The Urban Ma blog. Your privacy is protected and your email address will not be used for anything other than notifying winners directly and, where applicable, being subscribed to The Urban Ma Blog newsletters and information.
This competition closes 5pm Friday 19th of December.

Brought to you by Nuffnang and dish’d.

dishdfoodstore

The new Bond.

Bond Bar MelbourneBond Bar fluid

Bond, 24 Bond St, Melbourne

Fluid. Black. Gold. Sleek. Sexy. Alluring.

A weeknight out in the city for Bond’s Industry Family & Friends preview was a nice end to my Wednesday. Drinks, entertainment and familiar faces. This has got to be one of Melbourne’s best lounge bars. Congratulations to everyone involved in the the rebirth of a classic. Check out their website for information and bookings.

 

Bond Bar The Urban Ma
DJ booth Bond Bar main roomIMG_0369Bond Bar interior designBond Bar Melbourne outdoor areaBond Bar designIMG_0384Bond Bar opening night family and friends MelbourneBond Bar DJ Tang eventsBond Bar Melbourne agency SAMGThe Urban Ma Collins St Bond Bar Melbourne blogger

Mummy Mondays – My week in pictures

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Hardly felt like summer this week but that didn’t stop Mr D brightening up our days with his new found singing voice, his never-ending chatter and his big, big hugs! Here are a few pics from my iPhone this past week 🙂

IMG_7656A new studio opened in the west – get your dance on at Bkode Studios
IMG_7674Donuts and morning coffee with my work colleagues at Bonnie Coffee Brewers on Collins street
IMG_7725Pic courtesy of my sister 🙂
IMG_7640A favorite Filipino snack – mangoes and shrimp paste. Don’t knock it til you try it! 😉
IMG_7759Birthday fun with the cuties from mother’s group xx
IMG_7791Chilling on the couch with my man – date night, movie night 
IMG_7805“Empanada, I want YOU!”
IMG_7817Yesterday Daniel ordered his very own baby-sized pho ga…and he finished it!
IMG_7834The Big Design Market was a hit with the whole fam…except for this little guy who just wanted to storm the puddles outside
IMG_7573Front of house with this birthday boy at the 2014 Australian Dance Crew Championships last weekend at the Melbourne Town Hall
IMG_7624Spectacular lighting entertainment on the facade of the Melbourne Town Hall – come and see it every night from 9-11pm!
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Just some of our buys at the Big Design Market this weekend 🙂

Big Design Market – Melbourne Dec 2014

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A collection of happy snaps from last night’s trip to the Big Design Market.

Every stall was so pretty I had to stop at every single one! So lovely to talk to these passionate people and with such beautiful work I just had to follow quite a few of them on Instagram! 🙂

Hope you guys can visit the Big Design Market this weekend and find some wonderful little treasures of your own to take home to your loved ones.

IMG_7679 IMG_7680 IMG_7689 IMG_7690 IMG_7693 IMG_7697 IMG_7699 IMG_7701 IMG_7704 IMG_7707 IMG_7711The Urban Ma Aacute Big Design Market

The Best Vegan Lasagne EVER!

Best ever veggie lasagne The Urban Ma

 

I came across this recipe early last year and had a bit of time last Sunday so I spent the afternoon chopping and roasting and baking away. This is not an easy dish to complete with a curious toddler who constantly needs attention so it’s no wonder I hadn’t made it in a while! This recipe is from Like A Vegan who share amazing culinary creations from smoothies to main meals. Check out their website for endless vegan recipes! I had to change few ingredients when I baked mine so below is what I used:

Ingredients

  • 2 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 large pumpkin, thinly sliced
  • 1 eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 packet instant lasagne sheets
  • 1/3 packet blue style Cheezly (you can find this in the refrigerated section of some vegetarian outlets)

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 “beef style” stock cube
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Béchamel Sauce

  • 1/2  cup Nuttelex or vegan margarine
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • 2-3 cups soy milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a large rectangular baking dish and baking trays.
  2. Evenly spread out vegetables on baking trays and bake until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce, combine stock cube and boiling water and set aside until water has been absorbed.
  4. In a large pan, lightly fry the finely chopped red onion and garlic before adding the stock, tomatoes, brown sugar, herbs and salt and pepper. Allow to fully heat through.
  5. To make a quick and easy béchamel, melt Nuttelex in the microwave in a large jug.
  6. Whisk in flour and nutritional yeast before cooking in the microwave for a further minute.
  7. Slowly whisk in soy milk until your desired consistency is achieved and season with salt and pepper.
  8. In the base of the baking dish, place down a layer of lasagne sheets (you may have to cut some to size).
  9. Pour on a thin layer of tomato sauce followed by béchamel, pumpkin and mushrooms.
  10. Add another layer of lasagne sheets before more tomato sauce, béchamel, eggplant, potato and onion.
  11. Lay down a final layer of lasagne sheets and finish off with the remaining tomato sauce and béchamel.
  12. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes before grating Cheezly on top. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until Cheezly has melted.
  13. Serve piping hot!

 

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