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!

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Rainy Day Wear for Kids

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

The rainy season is in full swing here in the Bay Area, and much of the country, so today I'm sharing my favorite rain gear for the kids. It may not rain often here for much of the year, but when it does, it's generally pretty heavy, so decent rain gear for the kids is a must - especially seeing as we're outside so much.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Karate Competition

Yesterday Ava and Lola competed in their second ever karate competition. 

Back in December the girls competed in their first competition, a sparring competition, and they've been eager to compete more. This weekend's competition was a kata competition. Kata is the choreographed moves that karate, and other martial arts are based on. So rather than sparring against other competitors like their previous competition, the girls performed their moves in front of the judges and were awarded points.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Girl Power Books

Today is International Women's Day. To celebrate I'm sharing nine of my favorite kids' books about inspirational women and girl power. These are books that I love reading with my girls. They're full of inspirational stories that tell little girls (and boys) that they can do and be anything they set their minds to.

You can find links to shop (affiliate links) below.

She Persisted: 13 American Women who Changed the World
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Malala's Magic Pencil
This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for your Life of Epic Adventure
Little Feminist Board Book Set
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers who Changed the World

As well as all these great books, my girls have a subscription to Bravery Magazine, a quarterly magazine that focuses on a trailblazing woman each issue. The magazine is aimed at girls and boys ages 4 -9 and is full of inspiration for exploring, crafting and being brave.
For more recommendations on books and magazine that inspire and empower young girls make sure to check out

Monday, 5 March 2018

Our New Garden

For the past six and bit years our family has been living in a two bedroom apartment. It gets a little tight at times with five people in quite a small space, but for the most part it works pretty well for us - although I'm sure that Ava would tell you we need an extra bedroom so she doesn't have to share with her little sisters!

When we moved here from Australia way back in 2011 we made the shift from a three bedroom house with a relatively large yard. I say "relatively large" because by suburban Australian standards our yard wasn't big, but by Bay Area standards it was massive! We had lots of space for the kids to run around on grass, an undercover porch, an area for outdoor dining, a large cubby house for the kids (complete with a slide), fruit trees, and a big veggie patch. Growing our own fruit, vegetables and herbs was something I really enjoyed, and it's one thing that I've really missed with apartment living. 

But all that has just changed...

No, we haven't moved. We're still in our apartment, but after about five years on the waiting list we were offered a plot in our local community garden! You guys, I can't tell you how excited I am to have a garden again! I can't wait to start growing strawberries, leeks, beans, tomatos, garlic... All that good stuff we used to grow in our garden in Australia. 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

St Patrick's Day Style for Kids

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

St Patrick's Day is coming up in less than a month. Time to dig through the kids' closet for that one piece of green clothing to avoid getting pinched!

If your kids dress as colorfully as mine then you'll likely have no problems finding something green in the closet for them to wear for St Patrick's Day. I know that green tends to be a color that a lot of people struggle with, but it's definitely one of my favorites.

Today I'm sharing my some of my favorite kids' basics in green, plus some rainbow fun for St Patrick's Day. These are all items that can be worn all year round and pair well with every day basics such as denim, black leggings or white t-shirts. 

Click the links below to shop:
🍀 Primary babysuit
🍀 Mitz Kids rainbow t-shirt
🍀 Yellow Owl Workshop clover and rainbow necklaces
🍀 Primary long sleeved dress
🍀 Mitz Kids rainbow leggings
🍀 Primary socks (3 pair pack)
🍀 Duns striped socks
🍀 Primary pocket skirt
🍀 Pride Socks knee highs
🍀 Hello Shiso rainbow hair clips
🍀 Native Jefferson shoes
🍀 Nathalie Verlinden Mingus Rainbow boots
🍀 Primary classic t-shirt
🍀 Frugi rainbow tights

Do you dress your kids up in green for St Patrick's Day? I'm a sucker for dressing up for holidays and green has always been my favorite color, so you can expect to see my girls looking like leprechauns chasing that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Here's my littlest leprechaun last year.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Capturing Childhood Photography Workshop

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Icarian Photography. All opinions are my own.

I have always considered myself a somewhat amateur photographer. 

I love taking photos, and as you've probably noticed, I take a ton of them. I love composing photos, finding the perfect lighting and background, and I'm a big fan of the rule of thirds. All the artsy stuff. 

But when it comes to the technical side of things, I've never really had much idea what I'm doing with my camera. Yep, I'm that mom with the fancy camera that leaves it set to auto and hopes for the best! 

Sound familiar? It's definitely a trap that a lot of people fall into, but it's especially true for a lot of moms. We buy that fancy camera with all the manual settings, with grand plans to take amazing photos of our kids. But then it all gets a little overwhelming and we forget about all those settings and leave it set auto. 

I'd always wanted to learn how to use my camera to its full potential (and to my full potential) but I didn't know where to start. YouTube videos and online tutorials were a little helpful, but they lacked that hands on experience and personal help that I really needed. When I discovered the Capturing Childhood workshop run by Melissa Schmidt of Bay Area based Icarian Photography I knew it was exactly what I was looking for.  

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Lunar New Year in Berkeley 2018

This weekend we had hoped to head into the city to watch the annual Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown. Unfortunately Ava has been sick with the flu, so a trip to the city and sitting outside in the cold for hours were off the cards. We've had a pretty quiet weekend at home instead, and I've been thinking back to last weekend when we celebrate the Lunar New Year here in Berkeley. 

Every year Berkeley's Fourth Street shops are home to a small Lunar New Year festival. The festival features martial arts demonstrations, crafts for kids, lion dances, a store blessing procession, and the girls' favorite part, stores handing out candy to kids. Candy is always the best part of any festival or parade if you ask my kids!

Here's a look back at last weekend's festival...

Monday, 19 February 2018

Ready for Summer with Galileo Camps

Summer may seem pretty far away right now, especially for those of you in the colder parts of the country, but it's sneaking up on us and will be here before we know it. And that means the end of the school year and the start of long Summer break will be here before we know it. Time to start making plans for the Summer!

Growing up in Australia, Summer camp was only something I knew about from American movies and TV shows. I had no experience with it myself, but I always thought it looked absolutely magical!

Now that we're living in America, I love that my kids get to take part in things that I only ever saw on TV at their age. Trick or treating at Halloween, playing in the snow over Christmas, handing out Valentines to their classmates, and yes, Summer camp!

Last year Ava attended Camp Galileo for the first time and she had an absolute blast. At pick up on that very first day she was asking me to sign her up again for this year. Now that's a sure sign of a great camp!

Galileo offer a range of innovative camps for children from pre-K through to 8th grade. Their STEM focused camps teach kids to explore, create and make mistakes without fear, and I can tell you that Ava had so much fun with all of these aspects last year. She loved the medieval inspired projects that she worked on during her week at camp, and was so proud of the working catapult that she designed and made on her own, as well as her stain glass griffon (that still hangs in our living room window today). She brought home the skills she learned in making these projects and set about teaching both Lola and Mathilde - and even produced a stain glass DIY video to share on YouTube!

Ava not only learned new skills from her week at Camp Galileo, but also gained confidence. Confidence in herself and her own abilities. Confidence to try new ideas even if they might fail. Confidence to make new friends. That confidence that she came home with was so inspiring and I can't wait for it grow again this Summer.

That's the thing about Galileo. The camp curriculum sparks kids' imaginations and gets them excited to learn in creative ways. They focus on team work and build a camaraderie among the campers and staff through fun games, outdoor activities and spirit days. The staff are carefully selected and they're all great with kids, making the camp experience as fun as it should be.

Galileo offer two camp options for children of different ages. For kids Pre-K through 5th grade there's Camp Galileo, which Ava took part in last year. Kids work on art and science projects as well as outdoor activities. Through teamwork they create works of art such as spinning solar system mobiles and glowing neon signs, as well as engineering inventions like slingshot cars and rideable scooters. This year's camp will be organized around the following exciting themes:
  • The Incredible Human Body – The Art and Science of Being Human
  • Space Explorers – Cosmic Art and Astronaut Science
  • Road Trip Adventure – Art and Engineering on Route 66
  • Galileo Makers: Materials Challenge – Extraordinary Art and Inventions with Ordinary Supplies
For older kids, entering 5th grade through 8th grade, there's Galileo Summer Quest. Each week kids choose from 11 immersive majors for which they are mentored by expert instructors with professional tools and materials. Campers can produce YouTube videos, engineer robotic pets, create delicious confections and so much more. This year's Galileo Summer Quest majors include:
  • 3-D Modeling & Printing
  • Catapult Builders
  • Chefology: Breakfast Club
  • Chefology: Supreme Sweets
  • Go-Kart Builders
  • Mobile Game Design 
  • Mod Design with Minecraft
  • Mystery Room: The Great Escape
  • Robot Pet
  • Virtual Reality 
  • YouTube Producers 
Ava is super excited to take part in, well... pretty much all of these! The Minecraft and Escape Room camps are definitely at the top of her list.

Now is the time to sign your kids up for Summer camp with Galileo

Click here to learn more, find a camp near you and sign up. Little Hiccups readers can save $30 on one week of Camp Galileo or Galileo Summer Quest with the code INNOVATE18. Simply enter the code at the checkout. Discount is redeemable for one week of Camp Galileo or Galileo Summer Quest per family only. One-time use. Combinable with our Refer-a-Friend and Multi-Session discounts. Not combinable with any other marketing discounts.

Are you ready for Summer? It will be here before we know it!

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Candy Heart Key Chains

Valentine's Day is just around the corner so the girls and I have been busy getting our craft on!

With dietary restrictions at school (no candy or nuts allowed) and several classmates with food allergies we decided to come up with a non-edible gift for the girls to give out on the big day. In the past we've made heart shaped bath bombs and packets of wildflower seeds, or "seeds of love" as we labelled them, and they've been popular with the kids. This year the girls wanted to make something inspired by the classic conversation heart candies. While the candies themselves don't taste all that great, they are rather cute and perfect for Valentine's Day.

We've been working with Sculpey Clay quite a bit lately and it's a medium the girls really enjoy playing with. It's also the perfect medium for making faux conversation heart candies! We thought about making badges or hair clips (similar to the ones we made for Pride and Fourth of July last year) but decided to mix things up a little and go with key chains. Kids at our school seem to love hanging decorative key chains from their backpacks so I'm hoping these will be a hit with Ava and Lola's classmates. They can hang them on their backpacks or use them to hold keys. Maybe even the key to someone's heart! It's Valentine's Day - I couldn't help but add something cheesy to the backing card!

Don't they look cute?

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Museum of Ice Cream... Again!

A few weekends back we visited the Museum of Ice Cream here in San Francisco. It was the second visit for Mathilde and I (you can see you first visit before it was open to the public here) but the first time going for Ava, Lola and Kim.

It was much busier this time around, as I had expected, but we were still able to take our time and see everything at our own pace - it just meant waiting a little longer for photos every now and then. With plenty of fun stuff to see and delicious treats to eat, the girls didn't mind one bit! Although there were plenty of tears from Mathilde when she didn't get to spend as long in the sprinkle pool as last time! 

Because I've already shared our original visit here on Little Hiccups, and a more detail "what to see and do" post on Mommy Nearest (which you can see here) I won't go into too much detail this time around and will just let the pictures speak for themselves. There are a lot of pictures so grab yourself a coffee, or an ice cream, and enjoy!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Valentines Day Style for Kids

Dislaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Valentine's Day is coming up in just a few weeks so today I'm sharing my favorite small brand kids' clothes and accessories for dressing the part on the big day.

I love dressing my girls up for specific holidays but I'm not a fan of buying clothes that are only worn once or twice. All of these items are perfect for Valentine's Day but they can also be worn as everyday outfits too. Even better, most of these items are from small businesses run by super talented mamas. It's a total win! 

Lots of hearts, lots of red and pink, a few gender neutral pieces for both boys and girls, a super cute book and some sweet lunchbox notes. A little something for kids of all ages! 

❤️️ Whistle & Flute Kawaii Heart Top
❤️️ Freshly Picked Moccasins
❤️️ Primary Reversible Twirly Skirt
❤️️ Pocket Kisses Mini Notes
❤️️ Whistle & Flute Je T'Aime Beanie
❤️️ Rags Valentines Romper
❤️️ This is Not a Valentine
❤️️ Rags Valentines Baby Pouch
❤️️ Small Lot Mary Janes
❤️️ Hello Shiso Heart Headband
❤️️ Hello Shiso Sweetheart Clips
❤️️ Hello Shiso Mini Heart Hair Tie Set

Do you dress your kids up for different holidays throughout the year? I'm a total sucker for it!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Ladybug Migration at Redwood Regional Park

We get some pretty amazing animal migrations happening here in the Bay Area.

There are the monarch butterflies that call coastal areas such as Pacific Grove and Santa home during the Winter months. There is the ever so creepy tarantula migration around Halloween on the aptly named Mount Diablo just east of the Bay Area. Seriously, that's a real thing! There are the majestic grey whales that migrate along the California coast from Mexico to Alaska. And right here in Oakland there is a ladybug migration! Ladybugs! Can you think a cuter animal migration to witness?

Yesterday we decided to go check out the ladybugs for ourselves after seeing a few friends sharing about them on social media. I knew that there were going to be thousands of ladybugs, but I really wasn't prepared for just how many we would see. It really was amazing.

Every Winter huge numbers of ladybugs make their way to a particular spot in Redwood Regional park in the Oakland Hills. They come here in swarms. Thousands and thousands, maybe even millions, of ladybugs all in the one spot. It really is a sight to see.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

A Look Back at 2017

Each year around late October or early November - or who am I kidding, sometimes December - I post a recap of our past year in America. Ava, Lola and I moved here from Australia on October 25th 2011 and I like to share what the past year has held for us in our adventure living half way across the world.

This past October marked our 6 year anniversary of living in America. I fully intended to share a recap post as I have done in the past, but time slipped away and here we are, the second week in January and I still haven't even started it. So instead, of sharing a post with the highlights of our 6th year in America, I thought I'd be a little more conventional and share our highlights from 2017. After all, one of my absolute favorite things from 2017 didn't even take place in the country!

Here's a look back month by month at some of my favorite moments from 2017. It's a long one so you might want to grab yourself a hot drink and a snack to enjoy while you're checking it out. And maybe a bathroom break. Ha! As always, to read more about a particular event or place we visited click the bold and underlined link for a more detailed post.

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