Friday, 8 November 2019

My favorite Costume Making Supplies

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Ok, I hear you...

Halloween was last week. No more costumes!

But if you ask me, dressing up in costumes is for all year round - especially when they're easy to make accessories that can be worn with anything. Plus, I know that if I don't share these easy tips now while it's all fresh in my mind, I'll forget to share before next Halloween too! Shh... pretend I didn't say that!

You may have noticed through the years that our Halloween costumes are almost always made up of clothes and accessories that can be worn over and over and over. These are my favorite types of costumes as they reduce waste, can be worn by multiple kids (or adults!), and they encourage fun dress ups at any time of year. If you know Mathilde, then there's a good chance that you've seen her dressed as a coyote at random times. Oh look, there she is being a coyote on squirrel patrol - and it's not even Halloween!

So, today I'm sharing my favorite costume making supplies, including one very special "secret ingredient" that saves a ton of time and makes costume making easier no matter your crafting skills. Make sure you read through to the end for that one.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Halloween 2019

Another Halloween done and dusted!

This year's Halloween came with quite a few firsts for us. Our first Halloween in Colorado, our first year having a house to decorate, our first year handing out candy, our first time trick or treating in the snow! That last one was pretty unexpected! It was also the first year that Kim didn't wear his class nerd costume that he's worn every Halloween since we arrived in the US. Unfortunately it was far too cold for a thin polyester onesie - no matter how hilarious it looks! Ha!

This year we ended up with an inadvertent computer game theme! Ava dressed as Link from Legend of Zelda, Lola was a Minecraft panda, Mathilde was Bendy from Bendy and the Ink Machine, and I was Pikachu. Without his class nerd costume, Kim chose not to dress up this year. Trust me, we won't allow that again next year!

We had a day filled with celebrations with school parades and parties followed by trick or treating in the early evening. It was so chilly we headed out a little earlier than originally planned and we didn't stay out quite as late as we usually would, but the kids scored quite the haul in our neighborhood so they were pretty happy. Given that none of us look especially warmly dressed it may not look all that cold in my pics, but trust me, the kids were layered up with thermals underneath their costumes and once the sun went down the warm mittens and jackets came out. 

Here's a look at Halloween 2019...

Glow at the Gardens

Disclaimer: I was provided with complimentary tickets for this event.

Last week I visited Denver Botanic Gardens for the annual Glow at the Gardens Halloween event.

It was a frosty cold evening after a a day of snow, but the lights and displays were worth rugging up in layers for. The gardens were filled with amazing light displays, sculptures made of pumpkins, jack-o'lanterns of all sorts, spooky characters, and lots of children (and adults) in costumes trick or treating. It was such a fun event.

Last year when we visited Denver over Christmas break we attended the annual Blossoms of Light event and we loved it. So when I saw that there was a similar event in the lead up to Halloween, I couldn't wait to go.

Here's a look at all the fun...

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Googly Eye Door Wreath DIY

This year is the first time we've been able to decorate our home for Halloween as, well, it's the first time we've had a home since we moved to the US! 

After eight years of checking out neighborhood houses decked out with skeletons, pumpkins and crazy lights it's finally our turn to decorate. The kids have been super excited about it, and I must admit, so am I. Our front yard looks like it's been hit with a kitsch Halloween bomb! Nothing goes together and it's all kind of cheesy, but that's just the way I like it. We have a giant inflatable sand worm from Beetlejuice, skulls on stakes dotted across our lawn, pumpkins on our porch, flickering blood red lights, and our lawn flamingos have turned into skeletons. You may have already seen some of our Halloween decorations on Instagram (like this one) but I'll be sharing more pics on the blog soon too.

Today I'm sharing the latest Halloween decoration that I've added to our home, as well as a super simple DIY to make one yourself. It's a googly eye wreath! Isn't it cute? I think it's a great option for families with little kids as it's kind of monstery (that's totally not a word!) but it's not at all scary.

This was an easy decoration to make with only a few materials needed, and not much time at all. Here's a look at how to make one for yourself.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Lola's Potato Party

A few weekends back we celebrated Lola's 9th birthday with a potato themed party.

Ok, I know what you're thinking... A potato themed party? Huh?

I know, it's a weird one, but if you've ever met Lola then you'll know that she tends to be, well, a little weird at times too!

I have no idea what this potato thing is all about, but Lola and her friends at school have a potato club and so it seemed only fitting that it should also be the theme of her birthday party - especially seeing as most of the guests are members of this esteemed club!

So just what does a potato themed party involve?

Potatoes, of course!

We smashed a fancy potato pinata that I made (although it looked a little more like a Mr Monopoly egg due to the balloon shape!), we played "Pin the Top Hat on the Potato", sang "Happy Birthday" over a cake featuring a fondant kawaii potato (not all potatoes are fancy!), ate Irish potato candies that I remember from my childhood and potato latkes, handed out realistic looking potato stress balls as thank you gifts, and Lola wore a potato t-shirt.

Here's a look at all the fun - well, some of it, because the kids spent half their time playing hide and seek in the house and it's hard to take photos of them when you don't know where they're hiding!

Friday, 18 October 2019

Our First Snowy Day

If you're following Little Hiccups on Instagram, or if you happen to live in Colorado, you'll know that we had some pretty crazy weather last week - including our first snow!

The week started off with fairly typical (or what we've found to be typical so far) Fall weather: sunny days with temps in the 60s and 70s F (10s and 20s C) and cool nights. It even got as warm as 79F (26C) on Wednesday. But as Wednesday evening drew near, the wind picked up and grew stronger and stronger bringing colder temperatures down from the mountains. Thursday morning we woke to light snow falling outside and a dusting of white across our yard.

By the time Lola, Mathilde and I were ready to walk to school, the snowflakes had become large and fluffy and our yard was transformed into a Winter wonderland. It was a pretty magical sight and the girls couldn't wait to get out there in the snow.

Decked out in our warmest puffy jackets, beanies, mittens and snow boots (all of which took forever to put on!) we headed outside and started our slow walk to school. Usually Lola and I ride our scooters while Mathilde zooms along on her trusty balance bike and we get to school in about fifteen to twenty minutes. With snow on the ground and the sidewalks icy I figured that wheels were probably not the best option so we stuck with walking instead. This meant that our journey to school took about half an hour as the girls slowly trudged through the snow.

When we arrived at school we discovered a yellow flag on the school's flag pole. This meant that instead of waiting outside their classrooms for the bell to ring as usual, the kids were to enter their classrooms right away. I had wondered what the procedure would be for snowy days.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Fall Fun at Anderson Farms

It's finally Fall!

Well, it has been for a few weeks now, but it's finally starting to feel like Fall. The leaves are changing color, the nights are getting cooler, and there are pumpkins and Halloween decorations everywhere. 

To celebrate the coming of my favorite Season we headed to Anderson Farms in nearby Erie for a Fall Festival with Kim's work recently. It was such a fun event and a super fun place to celebrate the season.

Visiting a pumpkin patch is always one of my favorite Fall activities and just like everything with our move, a new pumpkin patch was on my "must find" list! Anderson Farms perfectly fit the bill checking off all my pumpkin patch favorites, plus more! Tractor rides, pumpkin picking, a corn maze, cheesy photo opportunities, a petting zoo, fun rides and amusements... it's all there.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Halloween Style for Kids

It's October - one of my favorite months of the year!

The weather starts cooling down, there are fun Fall festivals, we celebrate Lola's birthday, and we end the month with a big bang on Halloween. Such a fun and busy month. We might even get our first snow this month if we're lucky - or unlucky, depending on your views on snow!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Having spent much of my life in Australia Halloween is still a huge novelty for me as we've only been celebrating it since we moved to the US eight years ago. This year will be our first year decorating our house for Halloween and we just might even get trick or treaters for the first time ever! I can't wait!

To get into the Halloween spirit, I love to dress the kids in Halloween themed gear. While I'm a big fan of dressing for the holidays, I'm not keen on buying outfits that are worn just once or twice. Instead, I like to buy cute Halloween themed clothes that can be worn all year round. 

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite Halloween themed outfits and accessories. These are all perfect for Halloween but also for anytime of year. These are also all from some of my favorite small independent brands, so I love knowing that while I'm dressing my kids I'm also supporting some talented artists.  

πŸŽƒ Whistle & Flute Kawaii Bat Sweater
πŸŽƒ Gunner & Lux Sugar Tote Bag
πŸŽƒ Whistle & Flute Glow in the Dark Kawaii Pumpkin T-shirt
πŸŽƒ Hello Shiso Spider Hairclips
πŸŽƒ Baby Teith Squad Ghouls Onesie
πŸŽƒ Rags Expressions of Jack Romper
πŸŽƒ Mochi Kids Kawaii Ghost T-shirt
πŸŽƒ Hello Shiso Ghost Hairclips
πŸŽƒ Mochi Kids Kawaii Skull Tote Bag
πŸŽƒ Baby Teith Boo Monday T-shirt
πŸŽƒ Whistle & Flute Candy Corn Baseball T-shirt

Aren't these all cute? Perfect for Halloween or any time of year. My kids love the kawaii designs from Mochi Kids and Whistle & Flute, and this stuck in the 80s mama is quite fond of the Baby Teith designs inspired by some of my favorite bands.

Stay tuned for my favorite Halloween inspired style for grown ups coming soon! Kids shouldn't get all the fun to themselves, right?

Saturday, 28 September 2019

26 Fun Things to do in New York with Kids

New York City.

It's my favorite city ever and one of the few places that I'm happy to visit over and over again on vacation. With so many amazing places to visit around the world I like to spend my vacation time visiting somewhere new, but there's something about New York City that always draws me in.  There's always something new to see, something new to taste, something new to experience. You could visit over and over again and never do the same things twice. There really is something for everyone no matter where your interests lie.

While I find New York to be a very family friendly destination, I often see questions pop up in travel groups about just what to do and where to go while visiting there with kids. So today I thought I'd share twenty six of my favorite kid friendly activities in New York City.

Some of these are popular destinations on every visitor's list, while others are lesser known in tourist circles, but still definitely worth a visit.

So here they are, in no particular order, my top twenty five things to do when visiting New York City with kids...

Saturday, 31 August 2019

A Summer of Exploration with Galileo

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Galileo Camps.

Summer Break has come to an end for another year and that means it's time to...

...start planning ahead for next Summer Break! 

What? Already? Yes!

This Summer Break was pretty hectic for us but we made sure to squeeze in a couple of weeks of Summer camp among all of the moving madness and our trip back to Australia. Despite how busy we were, it was important to me that the kids have a little normalcy and something special just for them during all the change. Plus, it got them out of the apartment while I was busy packing. Ha! Everybody wins!

Anyway, one of our very favorite Summer camps is Galileo. Ava has been going for the past three years and has always had a fabulous time. This year Lola joined her big sister for her first ever Summer camp experience. They both had a blast and learned new skills at the same time. 

Galileo camps are structured in a way that maximizes both the fun and the learning opportunities for kids of all ages, from incoming kindergarteners through to eighth grade. The younger kids (Pre-K to 5th grade) take part in Camp Galileo, a traditional Summer camp with science, art and outdoor activities focused on a fun weekly theme. The older kids (5th to 8th grade) take part in Galileo Summer Quest, a specialized camp focusing on a single major based on varying interests including drones, YouTube production, robotics and, Ava's choice this year, cooking. Both camps foster creativity and team work while teaching the kids important skills and boosting their confidence. The camps look so fun I wish I could sign up for myself! Summer camp for adults... wouldn't that be great?

Let's take a look at Ava's week at camp first...

This year, Ava's major for Galileo Summer Quest was Chefology: Decadent Desserts. As you can imagine, she spent her week learning how to make deliciously sweet treats. Seriously, this was the best camp ever as she brought something home to share pretty much every day! She learned how to make sugar cookies with royal icing, sweet crepes, ice cream sundaes (made with home made ice cream and sauces) and delicious fruit pies. She also learned important skills such as how to read and write recipes, how to accurately measure ingredients and how to use various pieces of kitchen equipment. It did wonders for building her confidence in the kitchen. The kids worked in teams as well as on their own throughout the week and came together on the last day to make a delicious presentation for family members. We were treated to sugar cookies, crepes and pies, and I've got to say, they all tasted delicious.   

Lola's week at camp was based on the theme Expedition Everest. This theme was carried across all parts of her day at camp including her art and science classes. In art class Lola worked on creating a Nepalese style puppet from paper mache, fabric and various craft materials. She kept her puppet's identity a secret all week, so it was a nice surprise to meet "Mr Whiskers" her purple cat puppet on the last day of camp. Mr Whisker's arms move about and Lola was pretty excited to show me that he can even dab! A very important skill for any puppet! Along with her creative work during art class, Lola put her imagination to work in science class creating a mountain rescue robot prototype. With popsicle sticks, foam, plastic tubing, lots of hot glue and a syringe she created a walking rescue robot designed to scale the heights of Mount Everest to rescue trapped hikers.

Along with their set curriculum, both Ava and Lola took part in plenty of fun outdoor activities including fun games and plenty of free play time. There were daily spirit days (dress in your team color, Galileo spirit day etc) with the highlight being Water Day in which the kids took part in all sorts of fun activities that left them dripping from head to toe! 

As I've already mentioned, the girls had a fantastic time at Galileo again this Summer. Ava's confidence in her cooking skills grew immensely and Lola became much more independent after her first week of Summer camp. Lola had been a little nervous about not knowing anyone in her group at first, but even after the first day I could see that her independence and confidence had grown, which is just what she needed with the move to a new school coming up.

At the end of their week at camp the girls both received certificates from their team leaders and a pin to attach to their name tag lanyard. Lola was pretty excited to come home with the Galileo rubber chicken pin (for first year campers) and Ava added another badge to her collection.

Galileo camps really are a special place for kids. The curriculum is fantastic, from both the parents' and kids' perspective, and the staff really are the best. The staff work hard to make all the kids feel welcome and to create a fun atmosphere while keeping everyone safe at the same time. They do such a great job, and I was happy to recognize plenty of faces among the camp leaders from previous years.

To learn more about Galileo camps and to find a camp near you head on over to

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Back to School Sleep with Natrol

Dislcaimer: This post is sponsored by Natrol but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 
The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.

Yesterday I shared everything we've been up to over the past few months, including our busy Summer break with our trip to Australia, moving to Colorado and our big road trip. Now that that's all come to an end there's one thing on my mind - and no doubt on the kids' minds. The new school year! 

Ah, the start of a new school year. It's always a time of year that's part exciting, part terrifying and a whole lot of tiring - for everyone involved! This year the emotions are extra big with all three kids starting at new schools in a new city and state, as well as Mathilde moving up from preschool to "big kid" school. All three kids go back to school this week (on different days!) and in the lead up we've had all sorts of school events, appointments and lots of back to school shopping. 

Among the pencils, markers, binders, crayons, new shoes and backpacks on my back to school list, I had another must have for the kids - and myself - this year. Sleep! Ok, so I can't actually buy sleep, but I can help my kids out with natural ways to promote a good night's sleep, which is so essential at this busy time of year.

After our recent trip to Australia the kids were hit with pretty bad jet lag. They were pretty good on the way to Australia (the time difference meant they were going to bed earlier and waking at a decent time) but when we got home their sleep was all over the place. Mathilde was up wide awake until 2am two nights in a row! Eek! Luckily help came in the form Natrol Kids Melatonin gummies. 

I'd taken melatonin myself in the past to help combat jet lag so I was excited to find that my favorite brand had released this gently formulated product made specifically for kids. Along with adjusting their schedules, the melatonin worked a treat and I soon found the kids not only falling asleep more easily, but waking so much more rested too. After a few days they were over their jet lag and back to their usual selves. 

But then I let their night time schedules slide! It has been Summer break after all, and I've been so busy with the move and settling into out new house that I haven't been as strict with bed times as I should be. The kids have been up late, they've been Facetiming friends in California way past bedtime, and they've had more than a little too much YouTube in the evenings. Not the best at any time, but especially not so in the lead up to starting school.

With the kids needing to adjust their sleeping patterns again in anticipation of the new school year (and their much earlier start times) I was reminded of their jet lagged days last month and how helpful Natrol Melatonin had been. Along with simple techniques Natrol Kids Melatonin has become a temporary part of our night time routine in the lead up to school going back this week.

Each night we've been creeping bed time slightly earlier, we've been limiting screen time, we've been reading together in their snuggly new beds, and the kids have been taking one Natrol Kids Melatonin gummy right before brushing teeth and jumping into bed. These changes combined have helped the kids get the much needed rest they need for the busy days ahead. And with school starting an hour earlier than what they've been used to in the past, trust me, they need all the rest they can get!

Are your kids struggling with getting enough sleep after the long Summer break? Along with taking a safe and effective melatonin supplement there are plenty of things you can do to help them get the rest they need. 

Here are some of my favorites:

Get active outside! Playing outside and staying active is not just great for keeping little bodies fit and healthy, it helps with their sleep too. Playing outside in the afternoon or maybe an after dinner family walk is a great way to tire kids out. With our new backyard the kids have been spending a lot of time outside, but even when were living in an apartment we made sure to get outside to play everyday and we went for lots of walks.

Create a cosy sleep environment. In our old apartment the kids shared one room which also doubled as their place and homework space. It wasn't the most most ideal sleep environment, but we made the best of the limited space. In our new house I've been able to give the girls their own spaces and have had them help set up their rooms with their favorite blankets, books and snuggly toys. My girls all sleep rather hot, so airflow from windows and ceiling fans has made a huge difference. Creating an environment where they feel comfortable is great for helping kids to enjoy bed time.

Limit screen time. I'll admit it, this is where I struggle the most. All three of my kids love playing games like Minecraft, and with all their friends either interstate or overseas, their electronic devices are how they keep in touch. This has been especially hard with our recent move as they're yet to make new friends here. Limiting screen time makes a huge difference at bed time though, so I'm working on being stricter with this one. 

Create a night time routine. Most parents understand the importance of a night time routine for their children when they're young babies, but maintaining a routine throughout the school years is just as important. Whether it be books at bed time, an evening walk before bed or a warm bath, find what works for your kids and stick with it. My kids love baths before bedtime, but they often get a little excited playing in the tub. A few drops of a calming lavender oil or a lavender body wash helps. I also spritz their pillows with a lavender spray and use an essential oil roller on their chests when they get into bed.

Don't forget that parents need restful sleep too! The adjustment to the new school year can be tough on kids, but don't forget to look after yourself too. Those early morning starts are just as hard for me as they are for the kids. Actually, given that I'm waking up before everyone else to get everything ready for the day, I think I'll go as far as to say that they're harder on me! It's not just the early morning starts either. Laying in bed at night thinking about all the things I need to be doing prevents me from falling asleep. I've been taking Natrol Melatonin at night myself too and it has really helped me fall asleep, stay asleep and wake rested. Oh, and they come in gummy form for grown ups too! 

Don't forget to add Natrol Kids Melatonin to your back to school shopping list! It comes in both gummies and fast dissolve tablets, is recommended for children ages four and up, and is 100% drug free and non-habit forming.  It's also vegetarian friendly, non-GMO and free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

For more information and to download a coupon to save visit
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