Monday, October 31, 2011

Melbourne Museum Café

Firstly l don’t have to tell you how fantastic the Melbourne Museum is for kids. Secondly l also don’t have to tell you they have all the child friendly facilities we love featured in their onsite café. {Yes the highchairs, kid’s meals, changing facilities and playground}and thirdly do you know how many emails l receive from readers telling me how great the Melbourne Museum Café is and that l should put it on the site? Hundreds! So l thought it was way high time to at least blog about it! Although it doesn’t really meet the criteria of a standalone café and you most probably wouldn’t go out of your way to drive across town for the coffee, but if you team it with a tour of the museum it can be quite a fun experience.

We are members of the Melbourne Museum and have visited the café in the museum more times than l care to remember. Sometimes we take our own lunch and pop in for a cupcake and coffee afterwards and sometimes through sheer laziness on my account we’ve had lunch at the museum café as well.

The prices are ok, they’re certainly not the cheapest I’ve seen nor do l believe its highway robbery. Menu wise they offer a variety of salads, sushi, sandwiches, hot fried food, cakes, biscuits and all your standard hot and cold café style beverages.

They aren’t supersized servings and most items are pre-packaged off site and there is no table service, basically it’s catch and kill your own! But they have (like l mentioned before) all the family friendly features we love at Hey Bambini. There is AMPLE room for prams, the café is loud and bright, so noisy toddlers can be a little on the vocal side and the sweetener in my book is the enclosed outdoor playground complete with loads of table settings scattered nearby.

My kids love it there, and we always pop into the café for a pit stop. It’s not flash; there are no white table cloths, funky furniture or hip tunes pumping through the sound system. It’s your basic functional café with reasonably priced food and beverages with fast and efficient service and of course they love having families through. So next time you visit the Museum make sure you pop on down for a cheeky cupcake, a hot chocolate combined with a climb on the playground.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Five for Friday :: Colour Me Happy!


I know - can you believe it, yes it's Friday. What's on for your weekend? We will be having a cheeky 'punt'on the races, eating yummy food and of course indulging in a cupcake or two, all washed down with a glass of bubbles.

This weeks Five for Friday is all about COLOUR. Here are Five Family Friendly Cafes that have fab selection of Crayons and Paper to keep the kids busy while you eat. Have a grand weekend all.

Pearl Oyster
Roll of Butcher Paper - Crayons - Highchair - Toys

Mr Wolf
Colouring Sheets - Crayons - Kids Pizza - Highchairs

Lemon Tree
LOADS of Colouring Sheets - Kids Menu - Books - Mini Chairs for the kids

Love Grub
Colouring Sheets - Pencil Cases - Toys - Shady Grassed Area for Playtime

Manly Wharf
Colouring Sheets - Large Crayons - Kids Menu - Change Table

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Colorific Bloggers Morning Tea

Happy Thursday folks! How is your week going?

Did you know we've recently welcomed a new cafe reviewer and writer to the Hey Bambini family? The lovely Mel from the NORTH side of town and mum of 2 is just as passionate about eating out with her "little bambini's as we are.

She has already shared with us her FAVOURITE local cafe haunts : Two Monks and Veri Koko on the Hey Bambini website and just recently she attended a bloggers morning tea on behalf of Hey Bambini.

You'll see more a Mels reviews popping up on the blog and the website soon but for now lets read all about her experience at her FIRST Melbourne Bloggers Morning Tea which was held by lovely folk over at Colorific.

I was lucky enough to attend the Colorific Bloggers Morning Tea this week with a whole lot of other mummy bloggers.

Colorific are an Australian company who have been producing a whole range of toys and craft activities for babies through to toddlers and young school-age children for 21 years. I didn’t really know anything about the company prior to the event, but recognised a lot of their brands once I saw the packaging. While there I was taken through the product range by Maud and was amazed by all the fun products out there. Oh to be a kid again!

Not only was the showroom set up to display the toys and craft supplies to the adult bloggers, but a corner was set aside for all the kids to play to their hearts content. The Little Man enjoying rolling around and playing with some of the ‘Giggle’ range of toys, while the bigger kids had fun drawing, playing with cars, plasticine and craft. Little Miss would have been in heaven!

As adults, we weren’t forgotten in the craft stakes either. Divided into three teams, we had a Mastercraft invention test, where we had to use our imagination to come up with a scene using the craft supplies. One group had ‘Up in the air’, one ‘Jungle’ and ours was ‘Underwater’. Reverting to our childhood was great fun and it was wonderful to make silly sea creatures with giant pipecleaners, foam balls, paddlepop sticks and felt. At the end of the day, the Little Man helped to judge the ‘jungle’ group as the winners, as he loved their big red elephant. No favouritism there!

Thanks to the very generous folk at Colorific, I took home a bag full of crafty bits and pieces and a toy each for the kids. The Little Man is probably a bit young to really appreciate the Wooden Pounding Bench (other than chewing on the hammer, which he loves), but I’m sure his big sister will keep it well worn in the mean time. Little Miss LOVED her Waddling Ducks, so much so that she ended up taking them to bed!

What a wonderful way to spend a morning. Thanks Colorific!

Little Kitchen Around the World

Yes, we are all loving the cute little kids in the kitchen on Master Chef Australia. The thrills and spills and the chaos that surrounds little ones and desserts! Has it inspired your little one to pick up an apron and a whisk? Well if it has then l have a little secret to share with you on how to get them pointed in the right direction. Of course you need all the right kitchen equipment but have you seen this fab little cook book for kids which has just recently hit the market? (Great timing too l might add!)

I present to you “Little Kitchen around the World”- delicious international recipes that kids can actually make at home.

With dishes such as Almond Crescent Biscuits from Greece to Potato Gems from Japan your little Master Chef will have you dining out in the four corners of the world with just one meal.

This inspiring book has been written by the lovely Sabrina Parrini and published by the folk over at Hardie Grant; it has beautiful photography throughout making it easy for the kids to visualize what their prize dish may look like. The recipes also let parents know if they are easy, medium or tricky and, depending on your patience and time, it will allow the kids to explore all the fun aspects of cooking.

It’s a pretty special little cook book to have around and Mr 3 has just recently decided he likes to help out in the kitchen too. We are just starting to explore the world of Italy with Mum’s Lemon Biscotti (Page 79!)The more involved the kids become with food and cooking the more likely they are to eat the healthy stuff. Maybe your little one can take you to Morocco tonight with Preserved Lemon Roast Chicken?

Want to get your hands on a copy?

Share with us the fun dishes your little ones like to cook up in the kitchen with Mum or Dad.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Parents Retreat :: Melbourne Central

We are in the process of re-designing our house and have spent many hours one on one with our architect, who is always up with the latest local and international designs.

Recently he pointed me in the direction of Clare Cousins who recently re-designed the Parents Retreat Room in Melbourne Central.

This stylish yet functional room is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city to attend to the children. I think you'll agree it's one of the most beautiful parents rooms in the whole of Melbourne.

I think I'll have to give it a Hey Bambini Road Test with the cherubs soon!

What do you think? Are you loving this stylish colourful parents room?

{Images by Shannon McGrath Via the Design Files}

Friday, October 21, 2011

Five for Friday :: I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside

Hey folks – how has your week been? We have been super busy and need a BEACH holiday! So with that in mind – sun, sand and surf here are FIVE Family Friendly cafes near the sea side. Don’t forget to SLIP SLOP SLAP and have a grand weekend.

Flying Fox Cafe
Playground - Kids Menu - Beach Views

Main St
Kids Menu - Change Table - Beach 5 Minute Walk

Spice Island
High Chairs - Kids Menu - Farm Animals - Beach Views

Silverleaves Store
High Chairs - Babycinos - Books - Beach 2 Minute Walk

The Zoo
Books & Toys - Kids Menu - Beach 5 Minute Drive

Monday, October 17, 2011

Road Test :: Oxo Tot Range Supplied Billy Lids

We love a cheeky road test over here at Hey Bambini. I like to think it makes products more real and likeable if a ‘real’ mum and bub have been using them, not some glamorous model with a ‘stand-in baby’ who’s worn-out-sleep-deprived mother stands on the sides lines waving a teddy bear to get the bubba to smile and giggle.

The folk over at Billy Lids sent us a great little dining package for Mr 1 to try out, and actually it couldn’t have come at a better time as he has just up-graded from a bottle to a Sippy Cup and making and effort to use a spoon and fork.

In the dining out pack sent by Billy Lids we received an Oxo Tot Sippy Cup, Plate and Spoon and Fork Set. (Very generous of them – thank you!)

First let’s talk the Sippy Cup Set by Oxo. It’s easy for Mr 1 to grip because it’s made from non- slip plastic that is good for kids to use when they are just starting out. The cup is suitable from 6 months and up and actually is inter-changeable as your child grows and develops. The handles can be removed when your child has obtained a good grip and also the flow of the beverage can be changed to suit the stage your child is at. Mr 1 is still learning so we still have the plastic filter in the cup to make the beverage move at a slow pace so he doesn’t drown in juice! He is still trying to work out how to hold it but the handles are helping him to steady the drink. These small milestones take time you know!

Also we got to try out the Plate and the Fork and Spoon set by Oxo. The spoon is great! (I even used it myself the other day when l couldn’t be bothered going to the cutlery drawer! Lazy: yeah l know!) The handle is great for Mr 1 as it also has the non-slip plastic on it, which makes it easy for him to grip and try to get spoonful weeties into his mouth. We’ve made quite a mess at home of late but again, it’s another small learning milestone!

The plate has been the best actually as the non-slip plastic is on the bottom making it not swish around the highchair table when Mr 1 is trying to scoop his weeties out. The edge also has a curved lip making most food fall back into the plate, not all over mum’s ‘semi-clean ‘floors.

The Oxo feeding range has been easy to wash and also easy to transport – it’s recently just returned from a weekend in the country – hey this table ware gets around! It’s light weight, brightly coloured and will be around for a long time while Mr 1 learns the “eating ropes”

All these FAB little Oxo products can be purchased online HERE at Billy Lids.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spotted & Hearted :: Crayon Fun

Check out these cute hand-poured crayons by Colour Me Fun. The range is pretty amazing, from Space Invaders to Ballet Slippers and Jungle Animals to Mini Car Crayons.They are sure to have a little something for all the tiny Monet's and Van Gogh's in your life.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Eating and Drinking Melbourne

Well we all know our family loves to eat and drink out on the odd occasion. From pizza to sushi and yum cha to a good old pub meal, we’ve tried it all. Just recently l got my hands on the newly released Eating and Drinking Melbourne food guide. It lists over 700 of the best restaurants, nifty bars and cheap treats this beautiful town has on offer. (I know 700!!)

Published by the folk over at Hardie Grant this great little guide has reviewed some of Melbourne’s best. You can search by area, cuisine or restaurant name. My personal favourite is searching by cuisine, because sometimes you just get a hankering for a great curry laksa or a fabulous pizza dripping with melted cheese, so l always flick to the end of the book to search by cuisine. Some of the fun interesting ones listed under cuisine are Korean, Croatian, African, Turkish, Cambodian or Venezuelan. ** Memo to Me** Must pop Venezuelan on the list of things to try.

There are a few pretty pictures featured throughout the book but it’s more about giving the reader a detailed overview of the restaurants and bars, listing great things like opening times, starting prices of meals or drinks, if a booking is required and of course if they take cash only or card. (I know some places still take CASH only – crazy but true eh?)

For all you single folk (which l hardly think any of my readers would be!) they have an amazing bar listing section, which is also handy for parents when they have a date night planned and want to find some of Melbourne’s secretly hidden funky bars for a cheeky cocktail sans children.

They also list little fun quip’s throughout the book like places to visit for “Top ten date nights” -“Top family friendly” and "Top 10 Cocktails in Melbourne” giving the reader more ideas and suggestions of venues to select.

We’ve pulled the guide out many times since it arrived in the post and found it was useful especially when looking for something different in our area that we may not have known about. I’m looking forward to try the Top Ten cocktails listing, although since having children there is no way l could drink ten cocktails let alone be able to look after them the next day with a blistering hangover!

It’s a most essential guide to have on your book shelf for any foodie loving family and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a different guide to Melbourne’s best foodie and drinking spots.

Like the sound of this book – want to get a copy for FREE – leave a lovely comment to go into the draw. We have ONE to give-away to a lucky reader. GOOD LUCK!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Five for Friday :: For the Little Bums

Happy Friday! Here are Five for the little bottoms today. Five Family Friendly cafes with the BEST Changing Facilities. Not only go these places have change tables but they also provide nappies and wipes at a small cost if you have an emergency. How thoughtful! Have a grand weekend all.

Jack and Daisy
Kids Menu - High Chairs - Change Table - Friendly Folk

Miss Marmalade
Play Area - High Chairs - Change Table - FAB food for adults

Teatime and Tales
Kids Menu - High Chairs - Change Table - Craft Activities

Pampered Mummies
Play Area - High Chairs - Change Table - Beauty Services

Babycinos Garden Cafe
Play Area - High Chairs - Change Table - Kids Parties

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dear Mr One

Thank you for coming,
Holding me dear,
Although you have known me
No more than one year.
Know that I know what
Your words want to say,
Older than sunshine
Upon a new day.

You're as cute as a bug
So precious to hug
A darling child
Who's nice to be near.
So.. hope turning one
Is happy and fun
And takes you along
To a second great year

My dear little boy who is little no more...
hope you had a Happy 1st Birthday

Love Mummy


Friday, October 7, 2011

Five for Friday :: Party Animal

Hello Friday - when did you sneak in?

We have a few birthday's in the house in October so we thought we'd share with you some GREAT venues to have a children's birthday party at.

All these places have entertainment, party food and most of all they family friendly. Pop them on your list for your next big event.

Family Life
Change Table - Play Area - Cater for large groups

Fairfield Boathouse
Change Table - Play Area - Cater for large groups - Boat Hire

High Chairs - Play Area - Host Baking Parties for kids

Bursaria Fine Foods
Change Table - Gardens - High Chairs - Good venue for summer

Bundoora Park Cafe
Change Table - Play Ground - Cater for large groups - Animal Shows


Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Creative Space

This month to date has been filled with first birthday planning activities. So far l've been sewing, baking and running around like a mad women to make Mr 1's BIG day special.

Here are a few flags that l'm currently sewing to the ever growing bunting l plan to have hanging around at the party.

It's been fun to make but it's taken me a good while to put it all together. The fabric is a mixture a new and vintage prints all sourced from op-shops and fabric stores.

Hopefully l'll have some pictures of the bunting in action for you soon.

**Sigh** Is it wine o'clock yet? Sewing makes me thirsty....

Monday, October 3, 2011

Road Test: :: Whole Kids Frooshie

As you may know from our past blog posts we are a family who are constantly on the move. I blame my husband for most of our adventures; he has ants in his pants. Most Monday mornings about 7am he is already organising the up-coming weekend while I’m only just recovering from the previous one.

With us being on the move, often holidaying in the countryside or down the beach, it sometimes can be hard to pack wholesome snacks for Mr 1. I’m a no-fuss type of mum who loves to give my kids the best when it comes to meals and snacks. Although Mr 1 can often be a fussy eater when it comes to fruit, l can rest assured when l have Whole Kids Frooshies on hand, it will be gobbled up in no time at all with no arguments.

I didn’t know about Whole Kids when my older son was still on the mushy stuff and only discovered it when Mr 1 arrived. I was given a sample of A Whole Kids Organic Fruit Bar months ago which the bubba loved. Then in some family friendly café’s we had been visiting just recently, they were also stocking Whole Kids Frooshies, which was when our “eating relationship” started with Mr 1 and Fruit Frooshie.

What l love most about the Whole Kids Frooshie is the convenience of the screw top pouch and that it’s not jam packed with artificial colours, flavour or additives. It’s pure certified Organic fruit and Mr 1 especially loves the Banana, Strawberry and Apple but most importantly he enjoys the texture and the flavour.

Have you even heard of Whole Kids? I’m babbling on aren’t l! Well here is a little about them…

Whole Kids was established by husband-and-wife team James & Monica Meldrum over six years ago with one simple belief – to help kids experience the joy of a healthy life and a healthy world. As parents themselves, they were fed up with unhealthy children’s food made with unnecessary and potentially harmful artificial additives, preservatives, colours and flavours. They were also fed up with the “health” claims made by big food companies about their products when, in fact, many of them contained high levels of sugars, fats and sodium.

So concerned by these issues, James and Monica decided to leave their “proper jobs” and create a healthy range of certified organic snacks specially designed for kids. They decided on using organic ingredients as they believe organic food is more nutritious, tastes better, and is a more sustainable way to make food.

The Whole Kids range includes organic popcorn, corn chips, fruit bars, juices and yummy fruit smoothies. All products are free from artificial additives, preservatives, colours, flavours and other nasties. They’re also GMO free and suitable for many allergy conditions (gluten free, nut free, diary free, etc). And they’re ideal as school lunchbox snacks.

Whole Kids snacks are available at leading organic and health food stores, independent grocers and speciality food stores. You can also buy online at

We are proud to announce that Whole Kids will be a part of the Hey Bambini Dining out Survival Kits which are coming soon to the site to WIN and BUY.

They will include things like the Bubbaccino Cup, Disposable Bibs, Crayons, Books and more, which will make dining out with baby less stressful. Watch this SPACE for packs coming soon!


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