Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Monterey Day Trip



Here in the Bay Area we're pretty lucky to be surrounded by amazing natural beauty. Stunning beaches, towering redwoods, snow capped mountains, rolling hills, lush forests, natural hot springs... all of these can be found within just a few hours drive of the Bay Area. We're pretty spoiled for choice.

One of our favorite places to visit either for a weekend away or a day trip is Monterey county, located just a two hour drive along the coast south of San Francisco. We've visited Monterey many times and we always find something new to do. Whether it be spending a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, taking in a little of California's history at the Carmel Mission, soaking in the views along the Big Sur coastline, playing in the amazing Dennis the Menace Park, or just relaxing at the beach, we always enjoy our visit to Monterey and can't wait to come back.


This past weekend we took a day trip to down Monterey and it was the perfect day out. We spent much of our time at the beach, with the kids chasing waves, exploring tide pools, searching for treasure, climbing on rocks and making sand castles. We also visited the quaint Point Pinos Lighthouse for a little history, and took a drive along the famous 17 Mile Drive.



Keep reading to see more of our adventure in Monterey as well as your chance to win tickets to Monterey Bay Aquarium and MY Museum.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Ready for Summer with Galileo Camps


Summer is almost here! Can you believe it? Ava and Lola have just five weeks of school left before the Summer break and they couldn't be more excited. We have some pretty fun plans lined up for this Summer. We have friends and family from Australia coming to visit, a little bit of travel, and, the most exciting thing for the girls, Summer camp


Summer camp is still a relatively new thing to this Australian expat. To me, sending the kids off to Summer camp feels like we're taking part in an American institution; another thing, like Halloween and handing out Valentines at school, that growing up I only experienced through American television shows. Another box to check off in our list of embracing American culture.


While I love that sending the kids to Summer camps fulfills that sense of embracing American culture, more importantly it's an amazing experience for the kids. One of my favorite things about the girls going to camp is the sense of independence it instills in them. They're encouraged to step a little further out of their every day comfort zone and experience new things in a fun and friendly environment. Whether that be pushing themselves a little further physically through trying new activities, like the slack line we tried out in the park this weekend, or pushing themselves creatively through activities that challenge and inspire their imaginations, Summer camp truly provides a trans-formative experience. 


This Summer Ava and Lola will be experiencing Summer camp with Galileo Camps. Galileo offers Summer day camps for pre-K to 8th grade children with locations all throughout the Bay Area. The camps teach kids to explore and create through a curriculum based on art, science and outdoor activities. Kids will learn lasting innovation skills and build confidence in their own abilities. Imaginations will be sparked and kids will learn the ability to create without fear, which is such an important and often overlooked skill. I just know that Ava and Lola are going to have a blast at camp and will bring home new skills, confidence in their abilities and long lasting memories.


Reading through the Galileo Camps curriculum makes me wish that I could go to Summer camp too! You can check out the curriculum, locations, dates and rates here. And even better, Little Hiccups readers can save on Galileo Camps with a $40 discount per family. Simply use the code CAMP17 when signing up here.


Did you go to Summer camp as a kid? Have your kids been to Galileo Camps before? I can't wait for my girls to experience Galileo Camps for themselves. I just know that it's going to be an amazing experience that's going to make for a memorable Summer.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Mathilde's Dinosaur Party

This time of year is always super busy for us with fun events most weekends, and this past weekend was no different. In fact, this past weekend saw one of the most fun events for us: Mathilde's dinosaur party!


Mathilde had such a fun time celebrating her 3rd birthday with all of her little (and big) friends. We were lucky that Sunday was an absolutely beautiful day weather-wise and this year, there were no other parties up on our roof deck at the same time. Last year there were other tenants using the pergola area on our roof deck during Mathilde's digger party so were not able to use the table and chairs, and we had nowhere to hang a piñata. But this year we were in luck and had the whole roof deck to ourselves. Or maybe all of the dinosaur roars coming from the kids scared everyone else away!


Saturday, 6 May 2017

Dinosaur Party Invites

Last week my little baby turned 3 years old! Can you believe it? This weekend we'll be celebrating Mathilde's birthday with a dinosaur themed party.


As you probably know, organizing parties for my kids is one of my favorite things in the whole world. I love the chance to get creative with fun themes and a dinosaur theme certainly is fun. This past week I've been so busy creating all sorts of dino fun including a t-rex piñata, a dinosaur dress up activity, a dinosaur bone dig, dinosaur footprint cookies and lots more. 

As always, the first thing I created was the invitations. A few years back Ava had a reptile themed birthday party and I made invitations featuring plastic reptiles wearing little party hats that I made out of paper. You can see those invites here. The party hats made the otherwise "scary" animals look cute and friendly. Those invitations ended up being a huge hit and I get asked about them all the time. I'm working on getting an invitation shop up and running, I promise! Anyway, I decided to go with the same idea for the invites for Mathilde's dinosaur party, so I got three of her favorite Schleich dinosaurs and dressed them up ready to party.    


I put them all together with a little text and voila!


I printed matching address labels and sent the invites off in nice t-rex green envelopes.


Aren't they fun invitations? The top photo of Mathilde in her Mitz Accessories dinosaur dress roaring at her t-rex would've made a fantastic invitation too. I snapped that shot after the invitations were posted out, but you will be seeing it at her party - along with that amazing dress!
 
Stay tuned for lots of dino themed fun coming up!
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