Sunday, 13 May 2018

Mathilde's Wild Kratts Birthday Party

I feel like I've been starting every post with this lately, but here I go again...

I've been a little behind here on Little Hiccups, so it's time to play catch up!

Ok, when am I never behind? Between the kids' schedule, travel and writing for other web pages (which you can see here) Little Hiccups tends to get a little neglected. But my goal is to catch up so fingers crossed I can keep it.

Anyway, enough of that. Let's take a look at Mathilde's 4th birthday party from a few weeks back...

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Making City Adventures Easier with Good2Go

This post is sponsored by Good2Go but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

The kids and I spend quite a bit of time out and about exploring San Francisco. Exploring the city is one of my favorite things to do with the kids. We love finding new (to us) playgrounds and parks throughout the city  

I'm generally pretty prepared for our adventures in the city with bags of snacks, wipes, bandaids, tissues, toys, spare clothes... You know, all that stuff that moms find themselves carrying around. But there's one thing that I can't always be prepared with, and it's a big one. A bathroom! Our adventures in the city find us in a variety of different places, but there's one thing they generally have in common - no public bathrooms. And when there are public bathrooms available, well, let's just say that they're not always up to scratch. Finding a nearby cafe is my usual go to when the kids need a bathroom pit stop, but it's not always so easy, especially if I'm not familiar with the area - which is often the case. How do I know if the bathroom will be clean, or if they'll even have one. 

This is where the new app Good2Go, comes in super handy! 

Good2Go partners with cafes and retail spaces around the city to provide safe, well maintained and clean bathrooms for the community. Each bathroom is all-gender with a baby station and plenty of space for wheelchairs and strollers. The fixtures are all hands free so there's no need to worry about germs when opening the door, flushing the toilet or using the sink. And it's all controlled through your phone! It's a dream come true for parents out and about in the city with kids!

Recently Mathilde and I were hanging out in a (new to us) playground in the Mission District and I knew that she'd be needing a bathroom break soon. Wanting to be prepared, I pulled up the Good2Go app on my phone and found the nearest partner bathroom. What luck; it was just a short walk way in a nearby cafe!

Ever the tech savvy preschooler, Mathilde was excited to see how the Good2Go app works and press the buttons for me. The simple to use app brought up our nearest bathroom location and a big yellow button for directions. Mathilde pressed the directions button and our route was marked out for us. 

Mathilde was keen to follow the map right away, so we followed the directions on the map, and sure enough, a few minutes later we found ourselves at the cafe. See the Good2Go logo there on the sandwich board out the front? Mathilde was excited when she spotted it and pointed out that it matched the one on my phone! She can't read yet, but she sure is good at recognizing logos!   

It wasn't quite time for a bathroom break just yet, so we sat down with a delicious cookie and a chai latte. When Mathilde was ready I pressed the "Join Queue" button on the app. Now, if there were other people ahead of us the app would show us that we were in the queue and would alert us when we had reached the front. In this case, there was no one else ahead of us so we headed straight to the bathroom. 

Once you've reached the front of the queue, the app gives you a certain amount of time to make it to the door. If you don't happen to make it in time, the app will give you the option to rejoin the queue in your original place. Once you are within close distance of the door, the app will bring up a QR code "key" which can be used to unlock the door hands free. In our case, we were about 2 feet away from the door when the key popped up.

I placed my phone under the scanner by the bathroom door and the door unlocked and opened for us. The door then locked behind us once we had entered the bathroom. No hands needed! Not only is that good in terms of avoiding germs, but it made access with a stroller so much easier.

The bathroom was roomy with plenty of space for the two of us plus Mathilde's stroller. It was very clean and well stocked.  Everything from the toilet flusher, to the sink and hand dryer was automatic so there was no need to touch anything. Mathilde thought it was all pretty magical.

Even the door was hands free on the way back out again! Mathilde simply waved her hand in front of the sensor and the door opened back up for us. A magic bathroom indeed!

After our cafe and bathroom pit stop we headed back to the playground for a little more fun before hopping on Bart and heading home. 

Using the Good2Go app made finding a clean bathroom nearby super easy for us. We'll definitely be using it for future adventures in the city. As time goes by, more and more new bathrooms around San Francisco are being added to the program. Bathrooms that are coming soon are marked on the app and show up as grey, rather than green. I was pleased to see a lot of new bathrooms coming soon in locations all around the city.

Good2Go is available for both Apple and Android. You can find Good2Go onthe App Store here and Google Play Store here

Hooray for being able to find a clean bathroom when out with the kids. It really is the little things that make a difference to your day, right?

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Earth Day Festival of Colors

This weekend was a super busy one for our family.

If you're following Little Hiccups on Instagram and saw my stories this weekend you would've seen why. We had Cal Day (UC Berkeley's super fun and family friendly open day), a friend's birthday party, and an Earth Day Festival of Colors today at Ava and Lola's school. I'm exhausted just thinking about it all!

I have a lot of photos from the weekend to share, so let's start with the Earth Day Festival of Colors...

This was the third year that our school has held this particular event and it's always a lot of fun. The festival is based on the Indian Spring festival Holi and features yummy Indian food, a pedal powered mango lassi station, henna tattoos, making wildflower seed bombs, lots of fun Bollywood music, and Indian dancers. The highlight of the day is when all the kids, and the adults, get to throw colored powder at each other. It's so much fun!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Magic Blooming Flowers for Mother's Day

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Parabo Press and contains affiliate links. 

Mother's Day is coming up in just over a month's time. Can you believe it? This year is flying away so fast! 

In preparation for Mother's Day the kids and I have been working on some small, personalized gifts to send to their grandmothers back home in Australia. Because we need to post our gifts half way around the world, we're a little limited in what we can make; for example, painted flower pots and home baked cookies are not an option. Rather than seeing this as a hurdle, I like to take it as a creative challenge and come up with a fun idea for the kids to work on. 

This year, our Mother's Day project actually comes courtesy of my kids. These magic blooming flowers are super simple to make but really make an impact. So what's magic about these flowers? Give them to a loved one with the petals folded in, pop them in some water and they magically bloom revealing a beautiful flower, perhaps with a hidden message inside! Ava and Lola have both made these at school before to celebrate Spring, and Lola often makes them at home. They're really so easy to make, and I've made it even easier for you with a printable template. Hooray for simple DIY projects!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Easter 2018

It's been a week since Easter Sunday, but the kids and I have been away on Spring Break so I'm playing catch up today and sharing our Easter celebration with you. A little late, but better late than never, right?

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Macy's Spring Flower Show 2018

Every Spring selected Macy's stores around the country celebrate the coming of the new season with a beautiful flower show. San Francisco's flagship store is one such location for this display, and every year I make sure to check it out. This year's show is on right now, so Mathilde and I headed into the city to check it out.

Each year the flower show is based on a particular theme. This year's theme is "Once Upon a Springtime" and features magical fairy tale inspired displays with woodland creatures, a dragon, knights, a castle and a big pink throne for visitors to sit on. The displays are mostly located on the first floor through the cosmetics and accessories departments, and change from Winter to Spring as you walk through the store. 

Let's take a look...

First up, Mathilde and I checked out the window displays on O'Farrell and Stockton Streets. Mathilde was captivated by the cute creatures hidden among the toadstools and flowers. The corner window contains a giant book and a waterfall, but given the harsh sun during the time we visited I was not able to capture this well in a photo. You'll just have to go see for yourself!


Saturday, 24 March 2018

Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Easter is almost here!

Only one more week to go until the big day. Are you ready?

If not, don't worry because today I'm sharing some of my favorite non-candy Easter basket goodies for the kids.

First up,  here are my favorite picks for big kids...

🐰 Duck! Rabbit!
🐰 Gummy Bear Bubbles
🐰 Gummy Bear Night Light
🐰 Hello Shiso Bunny Hairclips
🐰 Seedling Design Your Own Butterfly Wings
🐰 Hello Shiso Bunny Headband
🐰 Lego Easter Chick
🐰 Bling2o Penny Candy Goggles
🐰 Smencils Scented Pencils
🐰 Candyland
🐰 Eggling Crack & Grow

And now for the littlest kids...

🐰 Crayola Palm Grasp Crayons
🐰 Peppa's Easter Egg Hunt
🐰 Plui Rain Cloud Bath Toy
🐰 Haba Shakin Eggs
🐰 Bunny Teething Toy
🐰 Grimm's Wooden Balls
🐰 Tubby Todd Bath Bombs
🐰 Infantino Good Bites Carrot Teether
🐰 Kid O Floating Duck Bath Toy
🐰 Skip Hop Dunck Stacking Bath Toy

Can you believe that Easter is only one week away? It really did sneak up on us this year. Hopefully these lists will help those of you who, like me, have left Easter preparations to the last minute!
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