Monday, January 30, 2012

Spotlight On :: "Much Loved" :: Castlemaine

{Much Loved}

This week Miss Mel shares with us her recent day trip to Castlemaine with the family. Mel stumbled upon a gorgeous children’s boutique that caters for families and she also visited a sweet local café with homemade treats and kids activities. Sounds like it was a really fun day. Most jealous indeed! Happy reading! x

On a recent trip to Castlemaine I was lucky enough to stumble across the magical ‘Much Loved’. This beautiful store, selling kids new and pre-loved clothes, shoes, accessories and toys, is located on one of the main streets in Castlemaine.

Just six weeks young in its new location, the store is run by Kelly Bell, mother to a lovely little boy, who has a passion for fashion and children. The beautiful space is a haven for gorgeous kids clothes with activities to keep the kidlets occupied while you shop.

A cubby house, comfy couch for breast feeding mummas, toys galore and the beautiful old dog, Bella, will keep the little ones entertained while you (too easily) spend some money! Plenty of room to manoeuvre prams also takes the stress out of shopping with little ones in tow.

Not content with the quality of kids clothing available in Castlemaine, Kelly decided to start her own business, stocking a wide range of designer fashion. She hopes to expand the range to include more organic fabrics and is on a mission to clothe the kids of Castlemaine and beyond with good quality basics.

‘Much Loved’ is a pleasure to visit, with its bright colours, neatly organised clothes and shoes, cute and quirky toys and accessories. It is definitely the place to visit in Castlemaine. Kelly plans to open an online store soon, so that all the Melbourne mums can stock up on goodies without the drive.

The Hey Bambini Dining Tip while in Castlemaine.....

{Jen's Cafe}

If you’re in need of a quick coffee and bite to eat after all that shopping, then Jen’s Place down the road (85 Mostyn Street) is a good place to stop. With a stack of books, toys, pencils and paper, there is enough to keep the little ones quiet while you re-fuel. The menu is short and simple, but has tasty breakfast and lunch options for young and old. While there isn’t specifically a kids menu, kidlets are likely to find something tempting anyway. There are no other Hey Bambini features, so it’s really just a quick place to visit. The inside is quite small, so there isn’t much room for prams, but there is plenty of room on the wide footpath to park. Outdoor tables are nice if you need a bit of fresh air and sunshine.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

21 Hot Chocolate Flavours in Werribee

Mel has been at in again, searching the suburbs for cool kid-friendly cafes. Here is her latest adventure, which saw her out in Werribee. She just happen to stumble across a fun place that's serves 21 varieties of Gourmet Hot Chocolate for the little ones and Mum too. Enjoy!

If you LOVE gourmet hot chocolate and yummy treats from Phillippa’s Bakery, then Jaffa Espresso Bar is the place to go!

This small café on Werribee’s main street only has a few of the Hey Bambini features, so is better suited to those with small babies still in the pram, or well behaved little ones who are happy to sit still for a short time.

The bright and colourful room has plenty of room for prams and a variety of tables and chairs or couches to sit at. There are also a couple of tables out on the footpath, under umbrellas, but being on a VERY busy road, it’s not the safest place for wandering toddlers.

The kids menu really is just a drinks list of babycinos, kiddie milkshakes, hot chocolate or iced chocolate. For eats, there is a display case and counter full of yummy treats. Little Miss loved her mini chocolate caramel tart and my savoury muffin with homemade relish was delish.

Due to a limited kitchen, the menu is just what is on display – freshly made foccacias, soup, muffins, cakes, tarts and biscuits. All the bread and a lot of the cakes and biscuits are from Phillippa’s, so you know they’ll be tasty.

The coffee is good, but the specialty of the café is the 21 flavours of hot chocolate. I was in heaven! Whether you like a bit of chilli with your chocolate, orange and cinnamon or mint, your tastebuds will be delighted. The Fraus ‘Seriously Rich’ range of hot chocolates are produced in the European style, blending ‘the most precious and aromatic cacao, with a variety of natural products to create a drinking chocolate regarded amongst the worlds finest!’. Other amazing flavours in the range include vanilla, caramel, white chocolate with hazelnut, meringue, coconut and nougat. Yummo!

Lining the walls of Jaffa are quirky artworks with a coffee or chocolate theme, which are all for sale. Coffee, tea and chocolate gift packs are also available. Great for last minute gifts or as a treat for yourself. You can also pick up the Fraus hot chocolate powder to make your own decadent indulgence at home.

There are no activities for the kids, so you might need to take your own pencils and paper or books to entertain the kidlets. Also, there is no toilet on-site and so no facilities to change the little ones.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Crafty Crush :: Crochet Heart

It’s no secret that l’m a crochet junkie and l adore pouring over different patterns and pieces on the internet. Here is a cute little find, which also comes with a FREE pattern, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Road Test :: Toosh Coosh Kids Support Seat

Another family summer holiday down and another milestone for Mr 3 to mark off, yep he can use his cutlery like a super star, drink from a big boy cup without a lid and yes he is sitting at the table with the grownups all thanks to our new Toosh Coosh.

Mr 3 has been dining at his own little mini table and chairs for some time now, but as he is growing, his bed time is getting later along with his meal times and he wants to join in on Mamma and Dadda’s nightly conversation. We were using cushions to boost him up until we got our hands (or bottoms) on a Toosh Coosh. Unlike the slippery fabric cushions the Toosh Coosh is a soft portable booster seat which makes little bottoms comfortable at meal times and is suitable to fit any style of dining table and chair.

Let me just explain exactly what a Toosh Coosh is. Apart from its very cute name the Toosh Coosh is a kid’s support booster seat. It’s proudly Australian made (yippy!), environmentally friendly and best of all easy to clean after meal times. It’s made from a soft rubbery material which is not only light but can be easily transported from venue to venue. Whether that be from your place to grandmas or to a trendy local café or restaurant the Toosh Coosh can come everywhere with you thanks its light weight design and convenient travel bag.

The Toosh Coosh holds Mr 3 firmly in his seat so he is not up on his knees in the chair leaning all over the table or falling off unstable cushions. Meal times have become fun and easy and if he makes a mess the Toosh Coosh is quickly cleaned with a damp cloth. Mr 3 enjoyed using it so much at meal times he insisted it come down to the beach house as well, hey this seat gets around!

If you like supporting Australian business and Australian made products (which is a rarity these days) pop a Toosh Coosh on your list to make meal times fun and easy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cook Book Crush :: One for the Kids

I am loving the look of these super cute cook books for kids which l spotted over at LMNOP a few weeks back. The perfect thing to cue school holiday boredom!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hello 2012!

Well all good things must come to an end. And it is with regret to announce my family summer holiday is OVER! Boo Hoo! Loads of hours were spent at the beach, eating good food, reading, drinking wine and of course catching up with family and friends.

I must say l really enjoy the festive season but am also glad to see the back of it so we can just get on with the rest of the year!

It’s going to be a big year for the Hey Bambini family personally and professionally. We have a few “life” hurdles to jump and clear and we also still want to provide foodie families with quality online café reviews and news. {Deep Breath!}

So here’s to a FANTASTIC 2012, l hope it will also be a ripper year for you too.

P.S Is it time for another holiday? When is the next long weekend??


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