Thursday, 21 July 2016

A Girls' Night Out with Absolutely Fabulous

This post is made possible by support from Fox Searchlight Pictures. All opinions are my own.

As most of my mum friends know, trying to get a little "me time" without the kids around seems almost impossible. This is only amplified when you're a stay at home mum. Especially over Summer break with three kids home full time. At least one of my kids is with me literally 24 hours a day - and by literally, I mean literally, not figuratively! I've got to tell you, it's making me pretty crazy. Well, crazier.

With all of my family living on the opposite side of the world this only makes things trickier. Back when we lived in Australia, in the same city as both sets of Grandparents, going out was easy. We had two sets of (free!) babysitters who actually wanted to babysit as often as possible. I kind of took it for granted at the time but now that we don't have this luxury it's definitely something I miss.

Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my kids, but it can be pretty draining to hear "Mum, Mum, Muuuuum..." all day - and several times in the middle of the night from Mathilde. Sometimes we mums need a break to recharge. A break to do grown up things that don't revolve around our kids. The things that we took for granted before kids came along, or in my case, when I had access to free childcare at a moment's notice! Going to a non-animated movie with grown up friends, going out for dinner at a restaurant that doesn't have chicken strips or plain noodles on the menu, or even just a coffee date with someone who doesn't ask for a chocolate milk and a cake pop!

I've decided that I need to start making time to do things for myself every now and then a priority. Especially with my other mum friends who are in the same boat as me. When the opportunity to go to a preview screening of the new Absolutely Fabulous movie came up, I knew it was the perfect time to start. A girls' night out with Patsy and Eddie - and a little champagne? Perfect!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Berkeley's Adventure Playground

Here in Berkeley we're lucky to have one of the most amazing playgrounds you'll ever see right on the waterfront. This playground is definitely not your run of the mill suburban playground. You won't find mass produced play equipment with rubber on the ground to soften falls. You won't find swings or a sand box.    

But what you will find, just like other playgrounds, is a lot of children having fun. And oh what fun!

The Adventure Playground at Berkeley Marina has been a favorite destination with Bay Area families since its inception in 1979. The concept of the Adventure Playground is very different from your average playground. Here the play equipment, made from scrap wood, tires, ropes, nets, old boats, pianos, and other recycled materials, is ever evolving. And it's definitely unique. Much of the playground has been, in part, designed, made or decorated by the children who visit themselves. 

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Flower Piano 2016

Yesterday the girls and I spent the afternoon in San Francisco Botanical Gardens playing piano.

Yes, you read correctly. We spent the afternoon playing piano in a garden. How cool is that? 

At the moment San Francisco Botanical Gardens is home to Flower Piano, an amazing installation bringing music to an unlikely place. Throughout the garden there are twelve different pianos set up for visitors to play. You may remember our visit from last Summer which you can see here.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Hoover Dam

One last post from our Spring Break trip...

Our last stop during our Spring Break trip back in April was Hoover Dam. Admittedly, we hadn't actually planned to visit Hoover Dam until I noticed that it was on our drive back to Las Vegas from the Grand Canyon. We knew that the kids would love to visit such an iconic site so we made sure to start our drive from the Grand Canyon a little earlier than planned to make it to the dam before it got dark.

We had pretty good timing as we arrived at Hoover Dam just as the sun was starting to set. The light was still good when we arrived, and just before we left twilight had set in and the structures were aglow in man made light. It was quite pretty seeing the dam in such different light conditions over a fairly short amount of time.  

Friday, 8 July 2016

Fourth of July 2016

This past Monday we celebrated our fifth Fourth of July since we moved to America. I still can't believe that we've been here for almost five years! All three of my girls have now spent more time living in America than they have in Australia. 

Like we've done in the past we spent the afternoon at the festival held at Berkeley Marina. Before we headed down to the marina the girls played construction workers and built the White House. No, not out of Lego or blocks, but out of cookies! I couldn't resist when I saw this White House cookie kit at Trader Joe's. Just like a gingerbread house for Christmas! It doesn't look quite as nice as the real thing but it sure does look tasty!

Friday, 1 July 2016

San Francisco Pride Parade

Last Sunday Lola, Mathilde and I joined what seemed like half of San Francisco and headed to Market Street to watch the annual Pride Parade. It was out first time going to Pride and the girls absolutely loved it! I had hoped to make it a whole family outing but Ava, ever the jaded tween, declared that parades are boring and didn't want to come along. So Kim stayed home with her while I took the younger girls into the city. To be honest, I think she was a little jealous when we got home and she saw how much Pride loot her little sisters had scored at the parade, but she wouldn't admit it.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Gerber Lil' Beanies

Summer vacation may mean a break from school for my big girls, but it doesn't mean a break from their regular activities which, for the most part, are running right through the Summer just as they do through the school year. This means that not only are we out and about a lot doing fun Summer Vacation type stuff, but we're also out a lot at Ava and Lola's (twice weekly) karate and swimming classes. While Ava and Lola practice their swim strokes or their sparring techniques, Mathilde and I get a little one on one time - much of which is spent eating!

When you spend a lot of time out and about with a toddler there a lot of things that you really need to have on hand with you. A change of clothes, spare underpants or diapers, baby wipes, small toys or activities to keep them occupied... But as any parent knows, the most important thing to have on hand when out and about with toddlers is snacks! A hungry toddler is not a happy toddler, and we all want happy toddlers, right?

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