After the birth of my second child I got the baby blues big time. My little mate had a few issues because he was born prematurely and wouldn't feed and wouldn't sleep. As a result I wandered through life in a haze of lack of sleep and tears, as well as quite a few tantrums of my own. I hated leaving the house - I was scared that I was going to have a meltdown in public and that all of the other "perfect" Mums sipping on their lattes would judge me. In hindsight, I so should have left the house (and I also probably should have sought medical help). I needed to get out and into a cafe like I had before. What I really needed to do, was go to a cafe like the Creative Spirit Cafe in Minchinbury, where I could have found some nourishment not only physically, but also mentally.
The Creative Spirit Cafe is hidden in a business park (M Centre) behind the Great Western Highway in Minchinbury - you need to turn off the highway (into Colyton Rd) near the Golden Arches. And don't be tempted to just do drive thru at Maccas because you look a mess, and it is easier than getting the kids out of the car - you will regret it later when the fast food turns to lard and slows down your body. Keep going, because a home cooked meal is waiting for you just around the corner!
The Creative Spirit Center/Cafe is a one stop shop for all things mind, body and soul. Besides the cafe the centre is home to a mini marketplace where there are little stores selling clothing, jewellery, crystals, home décor items, candles, books and more. They also provide quite a few beauty, healing and spiritual services within the centre, so make sure you check out their website for more information. You will also find a crafty crochet club that meets once a week in the cafe for a crochet, coffee and gossip, as well as other activities that are available on a weekly or monthly basis. So if you don't have too many mates, joining in one of these sessions could be a great way to meet new people.
The Creative Spirit Centre is very family friendly - they have loads of parking; they have easy access and loads of space to park your pram; they have a little kids play area; the inside of the cafe has a fairy land theme, courtesy of a beautiful big mural on the wall; they can host kids birthday parties; there are baby change facilities in the toilets in the M Centre; they welcome and encourage breast feeding; or they can heat up a bottle for you. And the staff are just so darn nice. Nothing seems to be too much trouble for them, and they have a real community spirit, hosting work experience students from the local area, some of whom may have a disability.
Now lets chat about the cafe. The Creative Spirit Cafe's menu features yummy home made food. Food kind of like what your Mum makes (unless of course your Mum is Donna Hay!). Old fashioned cakes, pancakes, toasted sandwiches, lasagne, salads and that sort of thing. And the best bit is that it is all really cheap. For example raisin toast costs $2.00 and a cold meat & salad plate with a bread roll will cost you $9.00, I don't think I saw anything that cost more than about ten bucks on the menu. When you are Mum stuck as home with kids and you aren't as cashed up as you used to be, it is a welcome relief that there are some cafes out there that won't send you broke when you eat out with all of your brood.
Kids are really well looked after in the cafe too! Fairy bread, tubs of yoghurt, fruit salad, baked beans on toast, plain sandwiches, hash browns and kid size pancakes are just some examples of what might impress your little ones. My little mate had the gorgeous kid size pancake ($5) which not only looks fabulous but also tastes great! There is a full range of drinks and juices in the fridge as well an array of icy poles available in the ice cream freezer, if your kidlets just want something to cool them down - and their sprinkle milkshakes also look totally yum.
I tried out the cafe's home made date cake with caramel sauce, which hit the spot perfectly. As it was quite a warm day, I decided to forgo my usual coffee for a mango smoothie which was cold and creamy, just as they should be. If however you prefer something warmer, the Creative Spirit Cafe actually specialise in herbal teas which they hand blend themselves. There are teas that aid digestion, help to calm you, help you sleep etc. You can also purchase the tea mixes to take home with you.
The Creative Spirit Centre and Cafe host special events throughout the year. Their annual Fairy & Fantasy Day would impress all of the little princesses in your life (I'm sure the little princes would also have fun). It's a charity day full of magic and creativity for kids. Something else which sounds like a load of fun is their Psychic High Tea - grab a bunch of girlfriends together and you can enjoy a high tea in the cafe and also have a "chat" with the Creative Spirits. Your high tea is served on vintage china, and you receive a selection of cakes, pastries and sandwiches. You can also bring along the kids as they offer a kids high tea too.
When we finished our morning tea I took my little man for a wander around the rest of the Creative Spirit Centre. A couple of things that I noticed that I'm sure would interest you all, were that they have a cute range of hand made baby clothing for sale; and there is the most fab little store called Natasha Marie that sells retro 1950's clothing and costume jewellery that includes a range of funky maternity and breast feeding outfits!! I just wish I had somewhere to wear the oh so pretty petticoats pictured below (says the Mumma who spends way too much time in active wear and jeans).
If I had been on my lonesome I probably would have spent quite a bit of money in the centre, as I would have had more time to check out the gorgeous clothes properly, and I would also loved to have had a psychic reading. Oh and a massage would have been nice too! There is a fully qualified massage therapist on site who specialises in infant massage and is also qualified to teach you how to massage your babe.
The Creative Spirit Centre and Cafe welcomes people from all walks of life - there is no judgement here. So if you are feeling a bit nervous about heading out by yourself with the kids, why not try the this place. There is no pretension, it is very calming and relaxing experience and the best bit is that it won't cost you a fortune.
If you are suffering from the baby blues big time, please don't be a goose like I was - seek help. The PANDA website is a great place to start, as is your local GP x
The M Centre
43/44 40 Sterling Rd, Minchinbury NSW
Tue - Sat: 10am - 5pm