Friday, September 30, 2011

Five for Friday :: Baked Goodness

Freshly baked bread, warm hearty pies and delicious sweet cakes are some of the simple things in life we all enjoy from time to time. Here are five family friendly cafes that have excellent baked goodies, treats and eats that are sure to please. Have a great weekend.

Aquarium Bakery Café
High Chairs, Change Table, Books and Toys

Abbotsford Convent Bakery
High Chairs, Change Table, Historic Gardens

Our Kitchen Table

High Chairs, Kids Menu, Take Away Home Cooked Meals

Provision Café
High Chairs, Kids Menu, Books

Beechworth Bakery
High Chairs, Change Table, Play Area

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Malaysian Adventure: Laksa King : Flemington

On a very wet and cold night we decided we needed some hot and spicy comfort food to warm us up. We’ve been to the Laksa King in Flemington many times and we knew this place would deliver the goods; we also knew it had high chairs and a change table for Mr 1.

Upon arrival the place was absolutely packed, mind you it was right on 6pm and it was filled with families coming home from the Royal Melbourne Show. Service at the Laksa King is speedy and efficient. My only complaint is that it’s so fast that you feel like you have to eat your meal in record time so that they can get the next lot of customers into your seat.

Mr 1 enjoyed chewing on some Roti Bread while we shared our entrée serve of Peking duck rolls, which were melt in mouth and filled with loads of Hoisin Sauce. They are at the pricey end of the entrée menu but totally worth it. For mains it was simple. I’m a huge Laksa fan so it was Chicken Laksa for me and a pork dish for the Mr Man. The Chicken Laksa at the Laksa King would be the best l’ve ever tasted outside of Malaysia. It’s so creamy and fragrant while also packing the right amount of spice. Sometimes a Laksa can be so spicy you can’t enjoy the flavour but this one is spot on.

Mr Man is a die-hard pork fan so it was the Spare Ribs in Guinness Sauce (which l would believe to have an Irish-Chinese influence with that name??) It was sweet (loaded with pineapple) and the sauce was thick and rich, luckily we had all that Roti Bread to soak it up with, even Mr 1 loved the sauce.

Our meal was satisfying but very quick and rushed; there was a line out the door when we left! It’s a great place to grab a quick bite if you’re on the way to an event or want a quick meal with the family; they also cater for the kids by providing high chairs and a change table. The restaurant is so loud that any toddler squeals or squeaks are easily drowned out by the packed tables of diners. If you don’t mind sharing a table with other people and the noise level then this is a must to visit for a great spicy Laksa, well he is the king after all!

**Hey Bambini features :: High chairs and a Change Table**

Monday, September 26, 2011

Malaysian Adventure: Satay Anika : Brunswick East

I love Friday nights. It’s my night off from the kitchen; yes no slaving over a hot stove for me. Instead we usually take the boys out for an early dinner, which can be anything from fish ’n chips to Indian, sushi or pizza. We have a wonderful variety on offer in the busy restaurant strip which is conveniently situated around the corner from our house. This particular Friday night we chose to have a quick Malaysian meal for dinner.

We’ve actually dined in Satay Anika many times as it’s our “local” Malaysian restaurant. We don’t even have to look at the menu anymore as we always end up ordering the same thing. To begin with it’s a round of Roti Bread, Chicken and Beef Satays with extra peanut sauce and Spring Rolls. Mr 3 loves Spring Rolls, especially the plum sauce they come served with for dipping. Also the Roti Bread doesn’t last long on the table and is devoured within minutes, kids and carbs hey!

For us big kids we also have some family favourites. I’m a Laksa fan and always get the Seafood Laksa which is filled with fish, shrimps, bean curd and bean shoots. My favourite part is the mild curry soup they are all floating in – l could drink a bowl of the creamy coconut soup just on its own.

Hubby goes for the more manly selection of Beef Rendang Curry with Malaysian Noodles washed down with a few Singa beers.

I guess what we love most about Satay Anika is that it’s a casual place to take the family that has a simple fit out and provides a relaxed atmosphere. It’s been a local of ours for years and that’s why we keep returning. The bill always comes back relatively cheap and our tummies always leave very full. For a no fuss Malaysian dinner with the family that’s full of flavour and value, check out Satay Anika. The Roti Bread gets a BIG thumbs up by Mr 3 - now if that’s not an incentive to visit l don’t what else is!

**No Hey Bambini Family Friendly features but we still {heart} it!**

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Creative Space

I’ve been so flat out lately with Bambini stuff, the family and general household tasks that sometimes l look at my watch and it’s already 4pm! The days seem to fly by quick, hardly leaving anytime for me to do some of the things l enjoy most.

I have however made an effort to log off at night and do something l love, which is spending time with hubby on the couch to watch some telly and crochet.

I love to crochet and here is my latest project – granny squares. They are for the blanket I’m making for our bed. The kids both have hand-made blankets and l thought it was high time l made one for us.

What do you love to do in your spare time?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Five for Friday :: Calling all GreenThumbs!

Well here we are again people. It’s Friday and the weekend is just a moment away. What do you have planned? Whatever it is here are FIVE cafes to inspire your weekend adventures.

With spring in the air it’s time to get planting and watering so here are FIVE Family Friendly cafes that are in or next to Nurseries.

Ceres Cafe
Chooks - Sandpit - Kids Menu - Babycinos

Kew Nursery Cafe
Kids Corner - High Chairs - Kids Menu

The Oaks Cafe
Playground - Kids Corner - Change Table - Kids Menu

Bay Road Cafe

Change Table - Kids Menu - High Chairs

Warren Glen Cafe
Thomas the Tank Playground - High Chairs - Babycinos

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Road Test :: Funky Fun Plaster Kit by Colorific

We love visiting Grandma and Grandpa up on the farm. Mr 3 loves riding the motor bike, feeding the chooks and chasing the dogs. But sometimes, because he is still only 3 years old, he just wants to chill out and do a creative activity while the grown-ups enjoy a cheeky beverage and talk. So when we visited Grandmas last week l packed a Funky Fun Plaster Painting kit for him to play with.

While we sat under the shady trees unpacking nibbles and champagne, he was unpacking his Plaster Painting Kit which came with one plaster figurine, paints and brush which were all included in the light weight box. All we needed to provide was some water in a jar to clean the brush and some newspaper to protect the table. He was in creative heaven, although the only colour he wanted to paint his dragon was blue. Which was ok until the blue paint ran out then he had a try of the other colours.

All in all it was a fun activity which kept him amused while we had time to catch up with family. It was easy to bring along to mums and the paints were contained to small plastic containers so the mess was minimal. It would be a good kit to take away on holidays or mini breaks if you wanted the kids to “just sit” for 30 minutes. Although Mr 3 didn’t follow Plaster Painting Kit “painting guide lines”, he still had fun and enjoyed showing his master piece to Grandma and Grandpa. I’m sure an older child would have taken more time to complete painting the Dragon in more detail.

Our Blue dragon is now part of the family and has even had a trip to kindergarten this week to show the other kids.

Funky Fun Plaster Painting Kits are also available in Cars, Dragons and a Magical Castle Kits.

We have a kit to give-away to one lucky reader. Just tell us what your child loves doing when they visit their Grandparents.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Five for Friday :: Water Babies

Yippy it's Friday!

Here are FIVE lovelies for the weekend.

Not only are these places family friendly but they are also situated near the water.

With the weather looking sunny this weekend maybe a 'spring dip' is in order.

Have a splash, a coffee and some cake with your water babies.

Elwood Beach House
High Chairs - Kids Menu - Change Table - Beach

Watson Bay Tea Gardens

High Chairs - Kids Menu - Playground - Beach

Manly Wharf Hotel

High Chairs - Kids Menu - Good Pub Food - Beach

Cafe Moby
High Chairs - Kids Menu - Playground - Beach

Seahorse Inn : The Brasserie
High Chairs - Kids Menu - Change Table - Beach

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Malaysian Adventure: Little Malaysia Restaurant: China Town

We had the opportunity to duck out and leave the kids at home last week so we decided to take the tram into China Town for a quick dinner. We met up with another couple and first stop was cocktails at Ginger Boy then off to dinner at Little Malaysia.

We sat down and with very prompt service, before we knew it we had wine, beer and entrée’s at the table. Seeing as there was four of us, we decided to order an entrée and a main each, and then put it all in the middle to share. I guess this is what l enjoy most about Asian food, you get to share and try a little bit of everything. We once went out with a couple who hated sharing and guarded each of their dishes like junk yard dogs, making sure no one took a mere morsel from their plate and using their chopsticks like small samurai swords. I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to share, maybe it’s just me but isn’t that what Asian food all about? Malaysian is a prefect cuisine to share.

We probably ordered too much in the end as we rolled out of the restaurant. We tried the Archar Salad, Saan Choi Bau, Satays and Tofu Goreng for entrée and for mains we ate from the Hawker Style menu which included Thai Mee Hoon, Roti, Beef Randang and Chilli Calamari.

To conclude the dinner we sipped on traditional Malaysian tea. I have fallen in love with Teh Tarik and would drink everyday if they sold it at my local café. It’s a mixture of black tea and condensed milk with a creamy sweet taste which is absolutely divine. A must to try next time you visit a Malaysian Restaurant.

Pop Little Malaysia restaurant on your list of “must try”. It’s not fancy and the wine list is a bit naff but the food was good and the service was quick and uncomplicated.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Shake Your Booty! :: Coloured Rice for Music Shakers

A few weeks back it was my turn to host the Playgroup Activity. Each week the mums in our group bring along something fun for the kids to make or to learn about. We’ve done music, craft, cooking and water play. I decided to do something crafty and we made Music Shakers out of old water bottles and dyed rice.

I dyed the rice beforehand at home and provide the empty bottles so when we got to Group all we had to do was fill empty bottles with the colourful rice and start ‘shaking!” So many mums asked me how l dyed the rice so I thought l’d share how l did it on the blog.

What you need
Food Dye
Baking Paper
Plastic Containers to Store

1. Get a cheap bag of rice
2. I used normal food dye from the supermarket.
I used some green, blue, red dye.
3. Set your oven to 180 C
4. Get one large tray & line it with baking paper
5. One large bowl & spoon for mixing

*Don’t use a wooden spoon if you want it to stay a
‘wooden colour’ I used a desert spoon from the cutlery draw.

How To
1. Line tray with baking paper
2. Pop a medium amount of rice in the mixing bowl
3. Pop in a few drops of food dye
4. Mix dye through the rice until all the rice is coated
5. Pour into baking tray & smooth out making sure all the rice is even
6. Put in the hot oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the rice is completely dry
7. Let cool rice cool in ceramic bowls them put into containers

When rice is completely cool you can then place the rice into different shaped clear bottles making a fun, cheap & colourful musical instrument.

Have fun shakin your booty! Shake, Shake, Shake!! Shake your booty!

**Additional Tools
Clear small water or juice bottles in all shapes & sizes with the labels soaked off
Cheap funnels so the kids can easily pour the rice into the bottles
Colourful electrical tape to tape up the bottle tops of the shakers nice & tight

Friday, September 9, 2011

Five for Friday :: Kids in the Kitchen

Can you believe it's that time of the week again!

Here are FIVE child friendly cafes that have one
thing in common - it's all about the KITCHEN.

Have a grand weekend all

Our Kitchen Table
Highchairs :: Kids Menu :: Baked Goodies

Bean Counter
Play Area :: High chairs :: Change Table

Three Sugars
Playground :: Kids Menu ::Toys

Big Dish
Babycinos :: High Chair :: Toys

Flying Tea Pot
Change Table :: Toys :: LIVE music on the weekends

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Children’s Training Chopsticks

Our little family has a bit soft spot for Asian food. I guess it would be safe to say that we eat Asian food at least once a week. Whether it’s a trip over to Victoria Street for some Vietnamese, a stroll up the road to our local Japanese restaurant to enjoy some fresh sushi or a weekend yum cha lunch in China Town or Box Hill.

Yep we eat it a lot but we are lucky too that Mr 2 loves it just as much as we do. He’s never afraid to try new things and just the other day when he and l ducked in for a quick sushi plate for lunch he had a try of raw fish and octopus. Although he wasn’t a huge fan of it, l was chuffed that he even at least gave it a try and didn’t turn his nose up straight away. He especially loves the steamed dumplings we have at Yum Cha and just recently we bought him some training chopsticks so he can feel like one of the adults.

We purchased them from a little shop in Richmond for a few dollars and now they come with us everywhere in the nappy bag, along with his café bag of toys and his Bubbaccino Cup. They are super cute and very easy for him to use. He just stabs a dumpling and snacks away. He did try in vain to use the ‘grown up ‘chopsticks but he is still too young to master these. (I also still struggle some days!) The training chopsticks are great because they are all one piece of cutlery, kind of like a giant pair of plastic tweezers. They have a cute little bear face and are easy to wipe clean with the nappy wipes. Maybe in a few years he will master the adult chop sticks but for now he is happy with his“baby chops chops”

We purchased our Training Chopsticks from Dasio in Richmond for $2.80. You can also buy them online HERE.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cafe of the Week :: CAKE :: Ballarat

Nestled on Main Rd next to all the best vintage shops (my husband calls them ‘junk shops!’) is Cake Bake Shop. This sweet little café is the perfect destination for morning or afternoon tea. They have a few seating options including a large communal table in the middle of the room which would be perfect for mother’s groups. On the menu is a selection of homemade mini cupcakes, macaroons and of course warm drinks. They don’t do lunch, dinner or breakfast – just morning and afternoon tea.

Read the rest of this review HERE

Friday, September 2, 2011

Five Fluffy Fur Balls For Friday

Grab the kids and find a cute and cuddly cafe this weekend.

High Chair :: Change Table :: Kids Menu

Mr Wolf
High Chairs :: Kids Mini Pizzas :: Activity Sheets

Flying Fox Cafe
Playground :: Kids Menu :: Change Table

Squirrel Cafe

High Chairs :: Books :: Kids Menu

Birdie Num Nums
Play Area :: Change Table :: Kids Menu


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