Oh! Hello Little ones! A special week long feature + Giveaways!

Babies and kids…they make us laugh, they do lots of funny things and they just know how to make us smile. No matter what shape, size or package they come in, we think every tiny tot is perfect. So we here at Oh! Hello Geelong have decided to dedicate an entire week to all the little ones we love…welcome to Oh! Hello Little Ones!

Just to give you an idea of what’s in store…some of our lovely local friends have kindly offered giveaways for some of our lucky readers to enjoy and special deals that will run throughout the week! Pretty amazing huh! We will also be featuring posts about five special people who make, sell and design some of THE cutest toys, clothes and accessories right here in Geelong (and down the coast). And…we have put together a little directory listing places that WE love to go when we’re looking for special things for mums and little ones as well as kid-friendly things to do and places to go.

We hope you enjoy our special week, we’ve had so much fun putting it together – oh to be a little one again!

 

Oh! Hello Geelong has called on some of our local friends to take part in one gigantic fantastic Oh! Hello Little Ones giveaway and special deal bonanza! Yep, you read correctly, as part of Oh! Hello Little Ones we are doing our biggest GIVEAWAY to date.

It’s so super easy to take part…all you need to do is leave a comment on one of our blog posts this week with your name and postcode and LIKE us on Facebook (if you haven’t already) for your chance to win one of our AMAZING giveaways. And as for the special deals, they’re open to everyone so make the most of them; but remember they’re only available during Oh! Hello Little Ones week! PLEASE READ the terms and conditions listed below, we don’t want anyone disappointed!

1. Buxton BabyWishbone Flip (rrp $149.95) – the question everyone wants to know; is it a rocker or push toy or ride on? We’ll leave it up to you to decide, but what we do know is that the AWESOME Wishbone Flip gives growing little ones hours and hours of mobile fun!

2. Bambolotta – Gift pack includes Mozi bath bag (rrp $59.95) which makes a great storage bag for carrying around baby bits, Milk baby sunscreen (rrp $22.95) for those fun days outside and Love Luck & Wonder baby shoes size 0-3 (rrp $39.95) for those precious little toes. If only Oh! Hello Geelong could enter the giveaway!!!!!

3. La De Dah Kids – Large stripe dog (rrp $55), large spotty dog (rrp $55), 3 x monkey hand rattles (rrp $15 each), Soldier Sam hand rattle (rrp $15) and babushka hand rattle (rrp $15) – so much crotched and knitted loveliness. These adorable soft toys are a favourite with little ones; but seriously, how could you not fall in love with these little cutie pies?

4. Yoga-Dojo – $20 off – 8-week term 4 kids’ classes starting October 2012 (you pay $60 instead of $80) when you mention Oh! Hello Little Ones! Yoga is no longer just for adults; kids are joining in the fun. With over 20 classes a week in its timetable, Yoga-Dojo has something for everyone, big and small!

5. The Flower Dispensary – A bunch of flowers to the value of $50 (wow) and a Voila Noah’s Ark (rrp $189) – this wonderful wooden Noah’s Ark can be pushed along on rollers and features a removable house with lift up roof, rope ladder, a large door with latch, 14 pairs of animals and Noah and his wife. This special toy has been built to last.

6. Endota Spa Geelong – Dermalogica facial valued at $100 – a facial at Endota Spa is pure bliss and a perfect way for mums and dads to take a little time out to relax and unwind after a day of doing one of the hardest and most important jobs in the world!

7. Flower Bowl20% off your flower purchase this week only if you mention Oh! Hello Little Ones (one purchase per person)! Is there any better way to make a lovely someone feel special than giving them a gorgeous bunch of flowers – we don’t think so!

8. Nurture By Nature –  Gift pack which includes one size 2 purple singlet top by Lilli Lou Lou and Studio Skinky Playon Crayons (in primary or pastel colours).  These crayons are amazing, not only do they look really cool, they feel good to use and come in fab colours that kids love. Nurture By Nature would also love to offer readers 20% off Tortellini Cushions during Oh! Hello Little Ones week, just mention Oh! Hello Geelong when you visit the store.

9.  Atha Yoga – First time participants in term 4 (2012) prenatal class get their week one class FREE when they mention Oh! Hello Little Ones! It’s really important to look after your mind, body and spirit especially when you’re carrying special cargo. With years of yoga experience, Atha Yoga has something for little ones, older ones, men and women and caters for first time yogis and the more experienced!

10. Maternal Instinct – Boy’s Bebe t-shirt size 2 and girl’s Eeni Meeni Myni Moh leggings for 6-12 month old – kids clothes are so much fun, especially when they’re nice and bright like these cuties from Maternal Instinct. This sunny yellow tee and oh so cute red and white polka dot leggings will brighten even the most cloudy day! If only they came in adult sizes!

11. Oishi-m – $150 gift voucher to spend at the Oishi-m Torquay store  – with spring and summer at our doorstep, a shopping spree at Oishi-m is a must. You’ll have no trouble finding something quirky and fun at the Torquay store. The girls behind the Oishi-m counter are happy to help give you and your little one some handy fashion tips!

And last but not least!

12. GOOSE Brio Country Railway Train set  – 50 pieces!! (rrp $180)  – who doesn’t love a train set? The Brio train set is a magical toy that children can use to build, play and imagine. It’s also a classic toy that will become a treasured keepsake filled with special memories in years to come. PLUS if you mention Oh! Hello Little Ones in store you’ll receive 10% off Kids Fashion this week only!

 

 

VERY IMPORTANT!   Terms, Conditions and things to note:

  • This competition is open ONLY to Victorian residents.
  •  Small prizes ie: vouchers can be either posted or picked up in person. Larger prizes must be collected from the featured stores.
  •  To enter you must like our Facebook page and leave your name and postcode in a comment on one of the Oh! Hello Little Ones posts during this week.
  •  Competition closes Thursday 4th October at 5pm.
  •  Winners will be drawn at random by Oh! Hello Geelong and announced on the blog Friday 5th October.
  •  Prizes cannot be returned or exchanged for other products, cash or vouchers.
  •  Special offers and discounts listed are only available during Oh! Hello Little Ones week (final day of the week for businesses is 7th October 2012).

Q&A with Jodie Connoley from Flower Bowl!

Who: Flower Bowl

Where: 8 Ormond Road, East Geelong

When: Mon – Fri 8.30 to 5.30 & Sat 10-noon

Beautiful flowers can bring life to a room, a smile to your face and even a little love to your heart (aaaaw), so just imagine how a shop full of gorgeous blooms can make you feel! Oh! Hello Geelong has recently stumbled across another stunning flower shop – Flower Bowl, in East Geelong. Flower bowl is a florist in the classic sense of the term, highlighted by the stunning variety of traditional and contemporary flowers, and the seriously beautiful arrangements put together by the Flower Bowl team. The shop itself has a sunny garden feel, with flowers displayed above and below and all around you, as well as a scattering of silver birch logs, vases and vessels, teacup arrangements and cute glass bottles and jars. We especially adore Flower Bowl’s little wedding station, a cosy meeting corner dedicated to brides and all their flower (and invitation) needs for that special day (very clever indeed). We also love Flower Bowl’s range of Mor products, Alimrose baby rattles and toys as well as Victor Fox and Peace, Love & Letterpress cards. To help share this new find with you all, we have been lucky enough to borrow a little of Flower Bowl owner Jodie Connoley’s time for a quick Oh! Hello Geelong Q&A – thanks Jodie!

Can you tell us a bit about your own background in the industry? Have you always had a love of flowers?

I began my arty path with graphic design but I hated spending so much time on a computer. I have always had a love for flowers and was forever arranging and rearranging my mum’s flowers at home. I decided to approach Glenn at the Flower Farm, and was lucky enough to work there, which was a job I loved. I also spent a couple of years working in a florist to gain experience in weddings and corporate work.

As for owning a small business, my parents have always been business owners and so it was always a path I wanted to go down too. So when I spotted the run down old pizza shop in East Geelong, I knew it had to be Flower Bowl!

How long have you owned the store?

I opened Flower Bowl in May 2005, which is 7 ½ years ago and it has flown! It’s hard to believe that I was only 20 at the time!

Flower Bowl is well known for its beautiful displays especially its window displays, who is behind this?

I have a fab team of four girls and me so we all have input into the windows. I am often the one with the concepts but we all work together to make things happen and put them together. We have a really nice balance within the team, Verity and Rachel are the arty ones whereas Ellie and Emily are a little more practical and I’m somewhere in the middle so it’s a good combination. We love the window! (and so does Oh! Hello Geelong!)

What are your three favorite flowers?

Even my husband knows the answer to this one! Hydrangea, hyacinths, peonies and bouvadia…oh can I have 4? They are the ones that I always seem to choose to take home and they are almost always white!

What are the trends for spring 2012?

Defiantly vibrant colour especially yellow, which we are loving! We are also in love with some old school favorites at the moment such as sweet pea and anemones, which both come in a fab range of colours. Oh, and as we begin the wedding season it’s all about natural and pretty; David Austin’s and peonies along with a large range of berries, silver suede and hydrangea is always popular.

Do you have any special trade secrets for people at home? 

Keep it simple, and always use clean water! At my own home I usually stick to small vases and bottles where you can pop in a couple of stems and the room already looks more loved and that way you can have flowers in every room!

Thanks Jodie!!

Love Penny + Laura

Have your cake and eat it too! – Armageddon Cake

Who: Armageddon Cake

Where: 7 McLarty Place Geelong

When: Thur –Sat 8pm to 11pm

Since Oh! Hello Geelong began blogging way back in January there is one particular place that locals have been constantly recommending to us and now we totally understand why. The place we’re referring to is a wonderful little guilty pleasure, which is open only after dark from Thursday to Saturday and goes by the kooky moniker Armageddon Cake! We really can’t believe it’s taken us until now to experience this little night time indulgence…that’s nine months worth of missed cake eating opportunities!

Warm, cosy, chilled…love! 

Whilst some may say Armageddon Cake is a tad hard to find, there’s a cutesy pastel blue bike complete with twinkly lights at the entrance of McLarty Place to help guide you to the front door. Armageddon’s interior style is a little bit nanna’s living room, a little bit inner city Melbourne share house and a little bit graffitied lane way  – with an overall vibe that is warm, cosy and very chilled. We totally loved poking around the little nooks and pointing out the random mix of kitsch treasures dotted around the place, especially the old radios, layers of stencil art and paste ups on the walls, menus made out of Scrabble letters, vintage birdcages, the massive photo enlarger machine, pretty + nana-ish lamps and little vases of fake flowers adorning the tables. Oh, and we thought the smooth jazzy tunes humming from the vinyl record player was THE perfect touch.

Sweet goodness…

The menu is simple; a list of the most delicious tasting desserts ever and a list of sweet sides to give your dessert that extra umph…the hard part really is choosing what to eat. After lengthy deliberations Oh! Hello Geelong went with the red velvet cake from Sweet Indulgence with a divine chocolate ganache from the talented girls at Gobble and the raspberry brownie (also from Gobble) topped with a chunky raspberry coulis and cream made on the premises. Oh! Hello Geelong also had a few bites of the evil brownie from Cocoa Tree that was drizzled with a heavenly butterscotch sauce…so so YUM! But not only did our sweet treats taste oh so glorious, the presentation was a foodie’s dream. Our mouths are watering as we write this. Oh! And coffee beans supplied by none other than our fav local roasters Cartel.

Dates, catch ups, celebrations…

For Oh! Hello Geelong, we’re pretty confident that we’ve found the perfect place in G-town for all those things we love to do when the sun goes down. Whether it’s a date, a fun catch up with friends, or time to celebrate with those we love, Armageddon Cake’s four walls of casual cosiness and its decadent menu really takes the cake. Thanks to Sarah and the boys and girls at Armageddon Cake for treating us (and our respective sweet tooths) to a lovely Thursday night out, our apologies for not making your acquaintance sooner!

Love Penny + Laura

FUEL Coffee + Food

Where: Shed 2 Gore Place, Geelong

When: Mon – Fri 7.30 to 4

0423 224 808

www.fuelcoffeefood.com.au

As readers of Oh! Hello Geelong may well know, we are two long time tea devotees who love nothing more than sipping perfectly brewed loose-leaf tea morning, noon and night. However, not even two chai loving ladies can ignore the force of the coffee revolution that has taken over G-town! One of the major players in this revolution is FUEL Coffee + Food, which produces bold, no-nonsense coffee (and tea + food – yay) from a fabulous little shed in G-town’s CBD. As well as making damn good food and drink, owners Greg and Georgie Matheson have done quite a job turning a little old shed into a very cool and superbly designed / decorated café space . Think: super cool industrial features and furniture, yellow pops of colour, natural wooden panelling and a few push bikes suspended here and there.

Oh! Hello Geelong was lucky enough to borrow a little of Georgie Matheson’s time for a Q&A – thanks Georgie!

What was the inspiration behind Fuel? Who is behind Fuel’s amazing interior design?

There were two main inspirations behind FUEL. Firstly, we wanted to create a destination in Geelong where you could get consistently great coffee regardless of who was behind the machine whilst at the same time providing friendly and welcoming customer service.  Secondly, with two young children and years of split shifts and weekend rosters under Greg’s belt, our main objective was to find the perfect work/life balance that suited our family.

I’m not sure if many people are aware, but Greg has over 23 years experience in hospitality, it’s been his life and it’s all he knows. He set out from day one to make it his profession, and I honestly believe that it shows in his work, through his dedication, energy and attention to detail.  Many of our customers have followed Greg from Le Parisien, Lotus Living, The Cottage and even from his early days at Cafe Boticelli (under Lindsay Powell) and Cats Bar & Cafe (in it’s heyday) which is a testament to his warmth and professionalism.

With Greg’s experience and our shared inspiration, we decided to open our own venue. During the early stages of developing the café, we visited Melbourne regularly and were impressed with the direction and style cafes were taking and wanted to bring a little bit of Melbourne creativity to Geelong. It was really important for us to find the perfect location and as luck would have it one of Greg’s loyal customers mentioned that he had a tiny unused garage in a CBD laneway; it was perfect!

The fit out process was really simple – I had a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve and took cues from the shed’s bone structure and history as an old mill.  We stripped away decades of paint, plaster and carpet tiles to reveal stunning red brick walls, a polished concrete floor and the original timber beams and trusses. I must admit that I have become a bit obsessed with the styling of the cafe as interior design and visual merchandising are passions of mine (Oh! Hello Geelong just discovered that Georgie designed and operated @Luxe designer homeware concepts in Geelong West back in 2001!).

Where did the name come from?

The fit out of FUEL is industrial and a little quirky, with plenty of references to Greg’s other great passion in life – cycling and motorbikes; hence the name FUEL!  It’s what your body needs everyday and so do his machines!

Who are your Tea/Coffee suppliers?

Our coffee is from Campos (roasted in Carlton) and our tea is from LoveChai Love Tea (a wonderful Geelong family who recently located to Byron Bay). They are both an absolute pleasure to do business with!

Can you give us an overview of the range of food available at Fuel?

Our simple breakfast and lunch menu showcases a range of delicious seasonal choices including vegetarian and gluten-free options. A wonderful local artisan baker makes our bread, cakes and pastries daily.  Perhaps for breakfast you’d like to try the Irrewarra Granola served with Gippsland yoghurt and housemade rhubarb compote or for lunch perhaps one of our toasted paninis with spiced beetroot relish, Meredith Goats cheese and rocket (yum!).

What three words describe best describe Fuel?

Bustling, friendly and consistent

What is your favourite coffee and why?

Greg – A short Macchiato – If done correctly, it’s a punchy little coffee with a silky finish.

Georgie – I love a Latte using our Campos Superior Blend – its creamy, and has hints of caramel.

What makes THE perfect coffee?

A knowledgeable barista, spotless equipment, a superior product and great customer service!

Fuel is perfect for…

anyone who’s after a great coffee whilst in town!

What are your G-town loves?

Melbourne is only one hour east and the Great Ocean Road is only one hour west!  Two of our favourite destinations all within an easy drive!

Where was the last great meal you had in Geelong? And drink? 

It was definitely at Empire Grill.  Greg and I don’t get the opportunity to go out for dinner that often, especially without the children, so if we do, we like to go somewhere that’s not too formal.  We enjoy relaxing at the bar for a little while before taking a seat for dinner, especially if the open fire is going. Empire Grill is a great spot to unwind and it’s lovely to be on the other side of the counter for a change!  The service is always amazing and the food is contemporary and delicious.

PS from Georgie – We are absolutely thrilled with the way Geelong has taken to us and appreciate everyday FUEL is open.  It’s a tough climate for small business at present and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers, friends and family who continue to support us!

This has been an exciting journey for us, and we look forward to the next chapter.  Stay tuned

So, go on! Get yourselves down to Fuel, dear readers! We know we’ll be back there very soon. 

Thanks again to Greg and  Georgie for the wonderful insight to the story behind such a fab place and space.

Love Penny + Laura