Travel Thursdays – 7 Things We Love about the Tesselaar Tulip Festival

The Urban Ma blog Tesselaar Tulip Festival 2015Kids Day out Tulip Festival

Tesselaar Tulip Festival
357-359 Monbulk Road, Silvan (40km east of Melbourne)

Now in its 62nd year, the Tesselaar Tulip Festival opened today with over 100,000 tulips planted across 25 acres brightening up the Dandenong Ranges. We went for a drive with the family last year taking our aunties, cousins and grandparents and great grandparents with us – there was something to do for the whole family!

With a different theme each week, you can make a weekend of it and even organize a relaxing stay in the Dandenongs.

Sept 11th-13th – Turkish Weekend
Sept 14th-17th – Yarra Ranges Week
Sept 18th-20th – Dutch Weekend
Sept 21st-24th & Sept 28th-Oct 1st – Childrens Weeks
Sept 25th-27th – Food, Wine & Jazz Weekend
Oct 2nd-4th – Irish Weekend

Things we love about the Tulip Festival:

1 – Food and Entertainment We ate some gozleme, Dutch pancakes, ice cream and German sausages while listening to live music by some talented musicians. There is also entertainment with dancers and

dutch pancakes Tulip Festival Melbourne The Urban Ma reviewgozleme Tulip Festival The Urban Ma blog MelbourneThe Urban Ma eats Tulip Festival Melbourne

2 – Open spaces and opportunity to be out in the open among beautiful flora spending quality time with family

The Urban Ma picnic Tulip Festival Melbourne

3 – Big clogs and novelty things that you can find around the 25 acres that interest the little ones and the young at heartbig clog Melbourne Tulip Festival Melbourne

4 – Loads of photo opps – smile!

Tulip Festival 2014 selfie

5 – The Sculptor exhibit and plenty of market stalls to purchase goodies from

Windmill Tulip Festival Tulip Festival Melbourne 2015

6 – The new Tulip Train which you can ride on to view the colorful fields

school holidays activities Tulip Festival

7 – The beautiful and bright tulips. You can even grab a bunch to take home.

What’s your favorite thing about the Tesselaar Tulip Festival?

tulips at the Tulip Festival Melbourne

Bump Diary #13 – 31 week update

Pregnancy update – 31 weeks

  

How far along are you? 31 weeks and 5 days

How big is baby? This week Baby weighs as much as a coconut. On average around 41.1cms long and weighing just over 1.5kg and heading into a growth spurt, beginning to plump up with essential fat that is accumulating underneath its skin.
Body and changes:
Weight gain I’m sure I’ve gained heaps of weight again this week feeling a little more uncomfortable with my walk definitely turning into a waddle these days.
Stretch marks Those little faint lines I first started seeing last week are definitely stretch marks. I saw them a lot more prominent in the mirror yesterday morning and when I realised that they were stretch marks I immediately felt surprised as I thought that since I didn’t really get many in my first pregnancy, it would be the same with this second one. Wrong! After a few minutes, I got used to the fact that they’re normal and are only a sign that a human life is growing within me and I have accepted that it’s all part of the journey of motherhood.
Sleep I’ve been finding it really uncomfortable to sleep these days and need pillows around me to help me get into a comfortable position. Mr D has also been having a few nightmares this week for some reason…and he’s been waking up a few times in the middle of the night crying 😦
Maternity clothes I bought a black top and some leopard print pants from Target the other day and they’re so comfy even though they’re not specifically maternity wear! I’ve been pairing them with a black blazer to dress them up a little for work 🙂

The Other Stuff:

Reflux is still hanging around this week. I’ve been getting Mr D to learn how to put his shoes on by himself this week so as to help me out since I can’t bend over that low these days. My tummy has also been feeling a lot heavier this week and it feels like it’s really weighing down into my pelvis and I can feel pressure down there. Baby is moving so much this week especially when we went for a dip in the pool yesterday!

  

Eating lots of cucumber, tomato and cheddar cheese at work lately
Feeling really out of breath again this week and less mobile – I took the elevator to go down two floors today when normally I take the stairs! Tsk, tsk, tsk!
Needing to get as much as rest as possible as I’ve found I feel super tired if I’m at it all day
Wanting to declutter the desktop on my laptop and sort through all the videos and photos on there
Watching music videos while hanging out at our hotel this week up in the Gold Coast
Bookmarking podcasts and videos to listen to and watch
Noticing how friendly people are on the planes to Mr D 🙂
Enjoying seeing just how much Mr D has loved flying and travelling with us over the past few weeks. It’s so exciting to see how enchanted he is by everything he sees and everyone he meets. This past week he got to spend some quality time with Daddy, his uncle and his cousin. Even though the two toddlers loved annoying each other, they had a great time!

    

     

 

gratefuldaniel #11

Daddy: What are you grateful for today Daniel?

Daniel: Thanks to God for planes and clouds and fast cars at Movieworld. 

Have you been continuing to practice gratitude in the past week? What have you been grateful for?

Travel Thursdays – Your guide to making the most of a road trip from Brisbane to Noosa

 Destination Queensland – 8 sights to see from Brisbane to Noosa

It’s raining, it’s pouring…but not in Brisbane and Noosa! As you can tell from my Facebook and Instagram posts, we recently enjoyed an amazing time away from the cold up in the Sunshine state. When I was younger mum and dad would always make sure we went on a long drive somewhere during the school holidays. There are so many great places to visit right in our backyard so I knew when I started a family that road trips were something I wanted to do together.

Attending a conference at the start of the week for work, I had my family then joined me in the second half of the week for a quick getaway and boy did we have a great time!

We saw so much in just four days and still had time to relax so for those of you on a tight schedule but still wanting to make the most of say, a long weekend, or a few days off, here are 8 sights that you can hit up driving from Brisbane to Noosa.

Brisbane City Travel Guide The Urban Ma blogBrisbane sights The Urban Ma blog

DAY 1
1) Brisbane City

Thursday was spent shopping, sightseeing, eating and exploring. Queen Street Mall was our first stop as we stayed right in the heart of the mall at Next Hotel (let me know if you’d like me to do a blog post on it – I’ve got loads of cool pics from our stay there!). A vibrant shopping precinct with over 700 retailers and loads of entertainment. We shopped some great bargains at Forever 21! The Treasury Casino and the Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower are also nearby. A lovely stroll across the Brisbane River over the Victoria Bridge (one of fifteen major bridges over the river) gave us sweeping views of Brisbane and the Southbank precinct, and we were lucky to be there for the Night Noodle Markets as the bright lights were so pretty at night, our little one loved the sight of them backed by the 60 metre high Wheel of Brisbane. There were dinosaurs inside the Queensland Museum and many different exhibits that kept the family interested for hours.

IMG_6457Australia Zoo The Big Pineapple Ettamogah Pub

DAY 2
2) 
Australia Zoo
3) 
Aussie World/Ettamogah Pub
4) 
The Big Pineapple

Driving from Brisbane, we passed the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains and made our way to Australia Zoo – Steve and Terri Urwin’s wildlife conservation facility. It was Bindi’s birthday so we were lucky enough not only to see all the animals but also got a slice of Bindi’s birthday cake! After hours of fun at the zoo (blog post on that coming up soon!) we continued to make our way to Noosa with two quick stopovers. We took some selfies in front of the Big Pineapple which I hadn’t been to in decades (I remember being so excited going there when I was little), so I really wanted our little one to see it! We also used  to take long drives to Ettamogah Pub in Albury years ago so we stopped by the version in Palmview on the Sunshine Coast for another photo opp. Aussie World was closed by the time we got there so we had dinner when we arrived in Noosa. We stayed at the Noosa Crest Resort which had the best views overlooking Noosa Heads (let me know if you want me to do a blog post on our accommodation here!).

Day 3 TRavel Tips Eumundi markets The Urban Ma blogEumundi Markets Noosa beach Hastings The Urban Ma blog

Day 3
5) Eumundi Markets
6) Noosa Beach & Hastings street

There is something for everyone at the Eumundi Markets only a short drive from the main area of Noosa Heads. We ate hot, fresh mini donuts, I shopped some pretty silver bracelets from a stall called Frankie Lea Jewellery. We also stopped by the Berkelouw bookstore and ended up leaving with some goodies (I love bookstores!). Then after the morning of walking around the markets we spent the rest of the day relaxing in the sun, sand and sea on the Noosa Heads Main beach. A night time stroll along Hastings street saw the trees lit up with thousands of fairy lights and we topped of the day with some yummy ice cream!

The Big Pelican NoosavilleNoosa Marina seafood platter Noosaville The Urban Ma blog

Day 4
7. Noosa Marina
8. Noosaville

Before driving back to Brisbane to catch our flight home to Melbourne, we drove along the Noosa River and enjoyed more sun and sightseeing at the Sundays markets at Noosa Marina. We had a big seafood platter for lunch at Noosaville at Maisie’s Seafood and Steakhouse and took a leisurely walk along the street passing cute little boutiques.

There you have it – a fun way to spend an extended weekend with something for everyone in the family!

Do you have any more tips to add on what to see around Brisbane and Noosa? I can’t wait to go back and explore some more 🙂

  Here is how I planned out the drive from Brisbane to Noosa on Google Maps

P.S This post has been entered into the Problogger Virgin Australia competition!

5 Basic Travel Hacks for Flying with Toddlers – Tips from a 2 year old

Flying with a toddler Travel tips

5 Basic Travel Hacks When Flying with a Toddler

Hello everyone! I thought it would be a good idea to take over mummy’s blog today while she’s watching Friends since I haven’t spoken to you all for such a long time (see blog post here and here when I was just under a year old!). I am still so excited about our recent trip to Queensland and so grateful that Mummy and Daddy took me along that I wanted to share with you some travel tips for when you’re travelling with little people like me.

I have noticed that Mummy and Daddy have worried in the past that I might cry lots and annoy people in the plane on our previous trips,  but on those flights where they took me to Malaysia when I was 5 months old, and to the Gold Coast and Sydney last year, I was totally fine! So this time I thought I’d take note of what they did, and how I felt so that I could share it with you so that you too can have a fun and comfortable plane ride with the precious little people in your lives.

Travel tips for flying with toddlers #1

1) Let us know what’s going on – We are small but we can take a lot in, and we like to know what is happening just as much as you do. So one thing Mummy and Daddy did that I liked very much was they prepared me for our plane ride by explaining what was going to happen and that we would be flying high in the clouds! I was so happy to know that I was going to be on a plane because I always see them in the skies above and seeing them makes me want to go zooming through the air! Daddy also bought me a book about pilots from his last work trip to Sydney and he read it to me at bedtimes before our trip. By the time we got to the airport I could recognise all the things around me like the flight attendants, the check in counter and even the scanning stations – such a great book!

 

2) Let us pack and carry something too! – We want to help you out and getting us involved in the packing is a way for us to be part of the action. Mummy, Daddy and I packed my little backpack with goodies, spare clothes (scarves and hats so that you can layer on and off in case it is cold on the plane) and wipes, and I felt all grown up carrying it on my own!

3) Get to the airport early and let us run off some steam – Us toddlers are quite a handful if you do not know that all we want to do is explore and play and, explore some more. There are too many new and wondrous things in this world that we are constantly wanting to experience and be a part of, so one thing that mummy and daddy did on this trip that I loved was this – they bought me bubbles (I think it was only $1 from Target – I’m guessing $1 is cheap? From Mummy’s tone of voice I think it is!) and all kids love bubbles right? They played with me until we had to board the plane. It was great! – it kept me occupied whilst waiting to board and let me run off all my energy 🙂 #itsthesimplethings

4) Food and entertain is what we need – When taking off and landing Mummy and Daddy made sure I was either sipping some water or juice or gobbling up some yummy strawberries and snacks to help avoid ear pressure and discomfort.

Also to keep me occupied throughout the 2 hour plane ride, I played with cars, (I LOVE cars! And monster trucks! And airplanes! And diggers!), did some painting in this cool coloring book (don’t worry, it was a mess-free coloring/painting book! When I find out from Mummy where she got it from I’ll share it with you) and watched the clouds outside the window with Daddy!

Another great idea is to wrap up some toys that we already have from home prior to the trip and then your toddler can have fun opening them up like presents. Don’t worry, even though we know they are our old toys, we will still get excited for you! If all else fails you can also bring out the iPad – just remember to also bring some earphones – no one else on the plane will want to hear repeats of Peppa Pig and The Wiggles!

5) Enjoy the ride – It will all be ok! Do not stress too much mummies and daddies out there! As long as you look like you’re making an effort keeping us occupied throughout the plane ride, I’m sure the other passengers will see that and appreciate it. Have fun with us and watch out for signals when we are feeling tired or bored and adjust activities accordingly. This will make for a pleasant plane ride for everyone!

I hope some of my observations will be of help to you next time you are flying with your toddler. I cannot wait for our next trip next week to the Gold Coast! I heard Mummy saying something about getting some stamps?! – I LOVE stamps! I used to get them all the time after my Mini Maestro music lessons. I heard Mummy and Daddy talking about something called a High Flyers Passport for little people like me? – I will have to check that out 🙂

Anyway I had best sign off now so I can have a bath before bedtime – hopefully Daddy reads me the pilots storybook again 🙂

If you have any other tips for flying with toddlers let me know 🙂 I hope to hijack Mummy’s blog again soon with some travel tips on travelling with kids to Noosa!

Bye and good night!

– Toddler D –

Travel tips for flying with toddlers The Urban Ma blog

P.S This post is Mummy’s entry into the #pbevent Problogger Virgin Australia competition. Good luck Mummy!

Travel Thursdays – Island Dreaming Part 2

The Urban Ma cocktails PHi PHi IslandThat smile – husband material.
Phi Phi Island Resort details
As they say, it’s all in the details – and our room was full of details!…right down to the toilet water…

Phi Phi Island Resort details hotel room

The Urban Ma Phi Phi Island resort spa
Decore de de! Outdoor shower.

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Freshly made pad thai
Breakfast banquet all you can eat
Breakfast with rice!
The Urban Ma beach vitamin see
Serene seaside
The Urban Ma cocktails bar
More cocktails!
The Urban Ma bikini body
Getting my vitamin sea 🙂
Honeymoon Phi Phi Island resort
Selfie mode
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Nothing beats a poolside bar
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Continuing on from last week’s throwback post here where we took over Phi Phi Island Village Resort’s spa menu, we also spent a lot of our time eating, drinking cocktails and swimming in the sea and the pool. Talk about getting our vitamin sea! The resort was perfect for us with separate village and lots of green plants and colourful flowers everywhere. All the staff we encountered provided quality customer service and we thoroughly enjoyed the live musicians that went around and played every request that was thrown at them – how talented they were!

We loved how the resort had its own beach and was in a quiet relaxing location as this was a nice contrast to our next stop, Phuket, where it was busy with people and markets.

IMG_0347The Urban Ma DJ Atomik honeymoon
And even more cocktails!
Holiday Inn The Urban Ma Phuket
Next hotel with beautiful dark, wood interiors – the Holiday Inn, Phuket
Phuket The Urban Ma Travel blogger ThailandOff to find some markets and dinner!

Travel Thursdays – Island Dreaming Part 1

Phi Phi Island tour
Phi Phi Island resort villa
Our own private villa amongst the tropical and tranquil surroundings

Phi Phi Island Phuket The Urban Ma travel blog
T
he official scent of our honeymoon was that of the simple frangipani. They were everywhere on the grounds including in our hotel room in the most unexpected places (see next week’s post!)

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This week’s #tbt is Phi Phi Island resort which was our first stop on our honeymoon.
Far away from the hustling streets of Phuket, we were greeted by a cool pina colada, minus the alcohol, and spent blissful days and nights together devouring the local cuisine. One of the most memorable things we did was to indulge ourselves in deep massages, milk baths, facials and foot spas. We went through almost the entire spa menu while on our stay at Phi Phi Island Resort and with each treatment, their attention to detail was so on point. From the moment we were picked up from our villa by the resort buggy, relaxing herbal teas awaited us and soothing hair and scalp treatments, plus fresh tropical fruit concluded each spa experience.

I can’t wait to go back.

IMG_0162 spa menu Phi Phi Island Thailand The Urban Ma
It’s all in the little details. They sure know how to make your skin and body feel relaxed a luxurious

PHi Phi island resort spa timeSpa Phi Phi Island The Urban Ma travel blogger
With each treatment they braided up my hair and covered us in floral wraps.Phi Phi island resort show
Entertainment during our dinner each night

The Urban Ma travel lifestyle blogger Melbourne
P
hi Phi Island Resort – so glad our friends recommended it.

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.

Canoeing
Tennis
Mini golf
Swimming
Squash
Bike rides
Playgrounds
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