Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Big Break Regional Shoreline

Recently we've been getting out and about exploring "new to us" Bay Area parks on weekends.

We're really lucky to have so many amazing and varied parks within such a short distance of our home. Beaches, rivers, mountains, cliffs, redwood forests... there's a little bit of everything. With so much shoreline along the San Francisco Bay and its tributaries, there is no shortage of picturesque water front parks to visit. What could be better than visiting a waterfront park on a Summer's day?

This past weekend we visited Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley. Big Break is located in the California Delta, a 1,150 square mile area where fresh water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers meets saltwater from the ocean. The Delta is the largest estuary on the west coast and is home to a large variety of fish, birds and mammals including beavers, river otters, muskrats and mink. It's also home to cool Delta breezes which were much appreciated on this hot day!

Despite the size of the Delta, the shoreline park is relatively small and makes for a great afternoon destination. There is an informative visitor center filled with interactive displays, picnic areas, an amphitheater, a kayak launch, a shaded sand play area, a small hiking trail and an observation pier perfect for fishing or taking in the views. 

Sunday, 15 July 2018

3 Ingredient Chocolate Ice Cream

It's National Ice Cream Day today!

To celebrate I'm sharing a super simple, yet super scrumptious ice cream recipe that Ava made a while back. It only takes three ingredients and you don't even need an ice cream maker. It really doesn't get any easier!

Most of these photos Ava actually took herself with my camera set up on a tripod as she planned to make a video to share on her YouTube channel. She hasn't gotten around to making the video yet so I'm hijacking them for my blog for now. I'll make sure to share her video when she gets around to finishing it.

As I mentioned, this recipe if super simple and only needs three ingredients - which you may have in your kitchen right now. This recipe is for chocolate ice cream, but you could always switch out the chocolate for any other flavor you might like to add. I'm not normally a fan of chocolate ice cream, but this is so good. It's seriously one of the best chocolate ice creams I've ever eaten!

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Flower Piano 2018

It's that time of year again when the most peculiar "flowers" pop up all over San Francisco Botanical Garden. Large, musical flowers that draw crowds of children and adults alike. 

I'm talking about Flower Piano, the annual event, now in its fourth year, that pops up to delight garden visitors and music lovers. Over twelve days twelve different pianos make the Botanical Garden their home. Visitors can have a turn at playing these pianos for themselves or listen to performances from professionals and talented visitors alike. 

Lola, Mathilde and I headed to the San Francisco Botanical Garden on Thursday to check out this year's event.

4th of July 2018

Ahh... Summer break!

That time of year when I think I'm going to be able to play catch up on the blog because I'm not running backwards and forwards between school and kid activities all day. Ha! With three kids home all day (and still plenty of kid appointments and activities to attend) I think I'm even busier than usual. But I'm making it a priority to catch up on the blog because I have a ton of fun stuff to share with you all.

First up let's take a look back at last week's 4th of July celebration...

As usual, we spent much of the holiday at the festival at Berkeley Marina. We ate corn dogs, went on pony rides and bounce houses, made animal friends in the petting zoo, watched some fun performances, and soaked up all the red, white and blue spirit of the day. Oh, and took a ton of silly photos! 

Friday, 29 June 2018

San Francisco Pride Parade 2018

Last Sunday was the day that Lola had been counting down to for weeks. It was the Pride Parade!

Unlike other kids who had been counting down the days until the end of the school year, Lola had been counting down to her favorite day filled with color, fun and well, a few nudies. This year's Pride parade did not disappoint. There was plenty of color, lots of love and happy vibes, goodies for the kids and, yes, the odd nudie every now and then.

The girls dressed in rainbow attire and decorated their faces with rainbow zinc cream (protection and decoration all in one!) and then we hopped on BART to head into the city for the day.

The Pride Parade is always such a fun day out. I love that the whole city comes together to celebrate. We watched the parade for over four hours and in that time we saw people from all walks of life. Local companies featured heavily in the parade (and hand out a lot of goodies to the crowd) but there  were also community groups, schools, politicians, sporting groups, churches, activists, social clubs and, of course, nudists.

Let's take a look at some of the fun...

Saturday, 23 June 2018

School's Out 2018

Today we're finishing up our first week of Summer vacation so I figured it was about time I shared the end of the school year here on the blog.

The last week of school was a big one for our family. It was Ava's last year of 5th grade and elementary school. It was also the last week that Ava and Lola will ever be at the same school together. Knowing that my oldest baby will be going into middle school in the Fall is daunting enough, but knowing that she'll never be at the same school as either of her sisters again is well, kind of a little sad. I went to a school that encompassed Reception (Kindergarten here in the US) through to 12th grade, so my younger brother and sister were always at the same school as me, even though my sister is eight years younger. My girls, on the other hand will go to three different schools for elementary, middle school and high school. Lola and Mathilde will have a few years together in elementary plus one year together in high school, but for Ava, that's it. No more sharing a school with her sisters.

As always, the last week of school was crazily busy. This year was even more so than usual with graduation celebrations for Ava including the 5th grade dance, the annual 5th graders versus the teachers kickball game, her big graduation ceremony and a grade wide picnic in the park. Lola and Mathilde also had end of year celebrations, which just happened to coincide with Ava's graduation ceremony, so that left me running around town like a crazy person! Or, you know, like my usual self! 

Of course, I was taking a gazillion photos at all of these events, or at least the ones that I was able to attend, so here's a look at our last week of school for 2018...

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Home Made Sparkling Jello

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

Now that Summer is upon us the warmer weather has got me craving cold refreshing drinks. It can be so tempting to grab something sugary like soda, but we all know that isn't the best option, especially not for the kids. The kids drink an awful lot of water, which is great, but sometimes it's nice to be able to give them a sweet treat instead. This is where Sparkling Ice saves the day! All natural fruity flavors, vitamins, antioxidants and no sugar. It's flavored sparkling water at its best! With the new mystery flavor added to the range, it's also fun!

Everything is better when it's fun!

The kids were pretty keen to put their taste buds to the test and work out just what the Sparkling Ice mystery flavor might be. With no color and no clues on the label, the girls were stumped when it came to guessing the flavor, so we moved straight onto the best bit: tasting it.

Well, all three girls had completely different ideas about what they thought the mystery flavor was after tasting it, but there was one thing they all agreed on. It was delicious! Ava decided that it tasted like blue raspberry flavor. Lola said it tastes like "fake cherry, but a really good fake cherry. Not like medicine". Mathilde declared that it tastes like "strawberry mixed up in lemon, but it's too bubbly for me". Ha! To be honest, I feel like I could taste all those flavors when I tried it. The girls are onto something! Make sure to keep reading to the end for your chance to take a guess at the Sparkling Ice mystery flavor and win big.

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