Friday, August 31, 2012

Fiji With Kids

Our lovely guest reviewer Mel shares with us her recent holiday to Fiji with the wee ones in tow. Most jealous indeed! We are craving some fun in the sun….Enjoy! xx

We were lucky enough to escape the cold, Melbourne winter with a week-long trip to Fiji. This was our first holiday overseas with the kids, so we wanted to go somewhere warm but not too far away. 16 hour plane rides are not my idea of fun, especially with two kids!!

So, off we set on our adventure. “Off we go!” as my Dad would say EVERY holiday when we were kids.

Normally we’d be a little bit adventurous with our holidays, but we really just needed a break doing nothing. Essentially we wanted to stay in a resort, swim, have massages, drink cocktails and relax. A perfect holiday in my books!

Now, I had heard that Fiji was kid friendly, but I didn’t realise just how much. All the restaurants in the resorts have a kid's menu and plenty of high chairs, there are kids clubs with great activities for the little ones, cheap babysitting ($15 for 3 hours for 2 kids!), pools and fun galore.

The Fijians are such friendly people and just LOVE children. You can’t walk past them without them wanting to pick up the kids for a cuddle or play with them. We used the babysitters everyday for three hours and the kids loved it.

Little Miss and the Little Man loved swimming in the pool everyday and going down the water slide that was at our resort.  They loved having lots of ice cream and going out for special meals. Fish and chips and pizza were great, but the tempura prawns and veggies were a hit!

Unlike a lot of the kids menu’s here, the food on offer for the little ones was a little more exciting. Lamb and pumpkin stir-fry, tempura, roasted pumpkin, feta and spinach pastries, to mention a few. Of course, pizza, pasta and burgers were on the menu too, along with local fish and chips, fresh fruit and other yummy desserts.

A week certainly wasn’t long enough and we’ll definitely be back again for another holiday some time soon.

For a relatively cheap holiday with family and friends, I don’t think you can go past Fiji for a great, relaxing time.

Looking for some fun in the sun with the kids?

Then check out some of these fab sites for more cheeky info on taking the family to Fiji.

Holidays with Kids :: Fiji
Tourism Fiji
Radisson Blu Resort

Friday, August 24, 2012

Road Test :: Kambrook Cupcake Maker

Cupcakes in 7 minutes.

Yes you read correctly.

Delicious fluffy cupcakes in 7 sweet minutes.

How can this be done l hear you ask.  Well you need to get your hands on a Kambrook Little Chefs Angel Cupcake maker of course!

The folks at Kambrook have certainly outdone themselves this time and are the ones behind this wonderful invention. We’ve been lucky enough to give one a workout thanks to the Bloggers Brunch. And may l just add it’s been getting a real work-out here in the Bambini kitchen.

We are simply addicted to cupcakes in this house.

The machine is very simple to use and of course to clean. With its non-stick surface you can whip up a batch of cupcakes and have it all clean with a damp cloth in around 30 minutes.  Of course this depends on how many batches you are making and don’t forget your preparation time.

A standard pre-bought cake mix makes around 21 cupcakes. There is room to make seven cupcakes at one time and the cooking time is 7 minutes per batch.  The cupcakes are the perfect size for lunch boxes and little hands. You could even bake up a batch and pop them into the freezer.

The only negative thing l can say about the Kambrook Little Chefs Angel Cakes Cupcake Maker is that it’s not good for the waist line! Now there is only 7 minutes standing in the way of me and baked goodness.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spotted & Hearted :: Landscape Dinner Set

We are loving this Landscape Dinner Set by Doiy Design.
Check them over HERE.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dining out with Kids :: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good :: Vinh Vinh on Victoria St :: Richmond

Everyone has their dining up’s and downs, and lately we’ve been getting the best of both worlds.  Yay for us! When the kids are good, oh my they are sooo good and when they are bad, it’s bad!

Let’s step back a few Friday’s nights ago….

Mr Bambini had a craving for Vietnamese food, so called me in the afternoon to prepare the troops. I’m now super organised when it comes to dining out with the kids. Our bag is packed with sippy cups, the kiddy chopsticks, extra wipes, a few toys and a fully charged Iphone filled with games. 

This particular Friday night the kids were angels. We all snacked on spring rolls with Vietnamese mint, sipped on our apple juice, munched out on prawn crackers, dunked home-made dim sims in soy sauce and demolished a whole plate of delicious Vietnamese coleslaw.

The kids sat still, ate everything on their plate, asked for permission to check out the fish tank and ate all of their ice-cream. Mr Bambini and l chatted about our day without a fuss and we were all out the door by 7pm. It was heaven!

The Bad and the Ugly! :: Matsumoto on Lygon St Brunswick East

The following week l think we got a bit cocky and decided we’d do another dinner. “The kids were so perfect last week let’s do it again” piped Mr Bambini. {Note :: We usually do breakfast and lunches here at Hey Bambini, dinner out needs to be a well prepared affair for us since our kids still have strict bed-time routines. Just saying.}

We LOVE our local Japanese restaurant and frequent it often with the kids.

The experience on this particular occasion was a complete dining disaster! As soon as we sat down Mr 2 didn’t want to sit in his booster seat. He didn’t want to sit on my lap. He wanted to run around the restaurant instead. Well not on my watch! Between restraining him and trying to eat my sushi Mr 2 had kicked over one chair which hit another diner’s table and also somehow managed to land his size two foot in our tempura prawns sending it flying across the table. Yummy! Not even the bribe of ice cream was going to settle him down. In fact he refused to eat. Yep my Two year old knocked back ice-cream. I guess now you can gauge what kind of “mood” we were dealing with. Mr 3 on the other hand was an angel. He ate, chatted with us and played with his cars. We ate and left in the all record time of about 40 minutes. Mr 2 went straight to bed and l went straight to a bottle of wine.

I guess what l’m trying to say even though our kids are exposed to eating out on a regular basis and while l can have all the right tools sometimes it’s doesn’t go in our favour. Who on earth can control the unpredictable mood of a toddler! But it all makes for a good belly laugh for me and Mr Bambini once we get home and pop them to bed. What else can you do really?! This week we’re going to be “dining in” at home me thinks.

Vinh Vinh :: High Chairs :: Booster Seats :: Small Ice Cream Serves and a fantastic colourful fish tank to keep wee ones amused

Matsumoto :: High Chairs :: Booster seats :: Some Toys & Books :: Children’s Chopsticks available for purchase :: Bookings MOST essential if you’re bringing the pram.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Spotted & Hearted :: Baby Spoons

 We are loving these baby spoons by the folk over at Donkey.
You can check out more designs HERE

Monday, August 6, 2012

Kids Art and Eats :: South Bank

Last Wednesday the kids and l had nothing pencilled in the diary. Yes NOTHING! No kinder, no child-care, no sport, visiting family members or doctors’ appointments. We were most excited and decided to jump on a tram and have an adventure in the city. I’d been promising Mr 3 a visit to the NGV. He has been keen to check out some art work which was inspired by a recent episode of Gasper and Lisa. The characters had just recently visited an art gallery in Paris. He loves Gasper and Lisa and their “frenchy” ways. How cultured of him!

So off we went. The gallery opens at 10am so first stop after our tram ride from Brunswick was a stroll down Spencer St. Mr 3 took great delight in spotting all the street sweepers, police cars and colourful window displays. We also stopped by Dame Edna’s 'Gladdies' for a cheeky peek too.

The galley was spectacular, as always. We threw some coins in the fountain out the front and made a wish, admired the water windows and swung by the NGV kid's corner. Both boys loved running around this child-friendly space, we did some colouring, danced on the beautiful carpet lights, made a paper crown and sailed the high seas, all inspired by Napoleon of course.

Once we were done there we had a quick whip around the gallery to have a look at some of the amazing art works. We then parked ourselves on the carpet in the great hall to have a mini picnic, while admiring the stunning glass roof. ** Note::  Food or Beverages CAN NOT be consumed in the gallery. Please see signage and staff on appropriate places to eat and drink.**

After the galley the boys decided that they were still hungry so we paid a visit to South Bank, which is about a five minute walk from the NGV. We went into the South Gate building in search of food and by the time we got to the food court both boys were asleep. Talk about timing. But it didn’t stop me from doing a bit of “kid-friendly” food research! So here are my top picks of family friendly dining in South Gate.

Joy Cupcakes :: Freshly cooked cupcakes that come in a variety of sizes and flavours. The mini ones are perfect for little hands. They also have seating inside to rest weary legs. We’ve visited them before which you can read about HERE.

Wagamama :: Kids EAT free!! (Conditions apply) :: Large tables for big groups :: Pram access :: High Chairs ::  No booking required

Lindt Chocolate Cafe :: This visit is mainly for the mammas! I didn’t know Lindt were located at South Gate and thought they are well worth a mention! This place is filled with chocolaty goodness and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. Need I say more!

South Gate also has a PARENTS ROOM on Level Two.

NOTE :: There is a food court on the ground level in South Gate. It’s also good a good spot to re-fuel; but don’t get too excited, it’s just a run of the mill type food court serving everything from sushi to fried food, pizzas, smoothies and ice-cream. It can be the ideal pit-stop if you have the wee ones in tow. Plenty of room for the prams, some highchairs and of course it comes with a cracking view of the city.

So next time you plan your trip to the city with the wee ones just keep a note in the memory bank that South Gate can be an ideal place for eats and treats, making it an ideal spot for a family day out.


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