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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Lola's 10th Birthday

This past weekend we celebrated Lola's 10th birthday (10 - eek!) with a small birthday party at home.

Now, when I say that it was a small party, I mean small. Slightly bigger than Mathilde's party back in April, but only one person bigger. We celebrated with just our family and the girls' friend who lives next door. 

We did, however, have a special visitor at the start of Lola's party. As a special surprise I organized for Denver based pastry chef and drag queen, Chocolatina the Pie Queen to deliver home made pies and quiches along with a song! Lola knew there was a surprise in store for her birthday, and thanks to a few clues she guessed it may have something to do with a drag queen, but she never guessed just what it would be. It was definitely a surprise when Ava called out "The surprise is here" and Lola ran out the front to see Chocolatina making her way up our drive way to the sounds of "Dancing Queen"! 


After delivering the pies and quiches (which were divine) Chocolatina serenaded Lola with a song for her birthday. Nope, not "Happy Birthday", but rather "Copacabana"! Much better! We then posed for some photos before Chocolatina made her way to her next delivery. 

Sunday, 11 October 2020

My Favorite Halloween Books for Kids

October is my favorite month! I love everything about it. The leaves start changing color, the weather starts cooling down, we have Lola's birthday, and we finish the month with my favorite holiday of all: Halloween!

If you're anything like me then there's a good chance that you've been celebrating the spooky season all month long too. Who am I kidding? We celebrate all things spooky all year round! October is when we ramp things up though. Our front porch is decorated with skeletons, spooky lights and my googly eye wreath (you can find the DIY here), we've been watching our favorite Halloween movies, and we've been reading lots of spooky books.

 
Speaking of spooky books, Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite must have Halloween books for kids. I've been collecting Halloween themed books for the kids over the years so some of our favorites are classics that we've had for a long time, while others are new to us books this year. One thing they all have in common is that they're spooky good!

 
Here are Mathilde's favorite spooky books at the moment. These are books that we've been reading on heavy rotation. 


The Scariest Book Ever by Bob Shea
This cute book combines several of my favorite things: spooky characters, cute illustrations and bright colors. This one is definitely Mathilde's favorite at the moment. Along with the cute illustrations the book has a nice tactile feel to it with the ghost character being slightly raised and glossy. He's covered in finger prints from Mathilde and Lola touching him so many times!

Seriously, how adorable are the illustrations in this book? The illustrations are definitely what caught my eye at first (aren't they always) but the sweet story is what keeps us reading.  

We have a few books in this series and I love the simplicity of them. The kids love that I have to say funny words while reading them!

This gorgeous book is an anthology of 50 scary folk tales from around the world. I love that it includes the story of the Bunyip from Australia. Fun fact; when I was in high school I played the  bunyip in my school musical! 

This one's not so much a Halloween book but rather an all year round badass alphabet book. E is for elephant or egg? I don't think so! E is for Evil that lures and entices!  

All three of my kids have enjoyed these I Spy picture riddle books over the years. Lola is especially a fan of them. This particular book features all sorts of spooky items to be found within the illustrations.  

Ghostbusters Little Golden Book by John Sazaklis
You can't go past Little Golden Books for the classics, right? Did you know they have a whole series of classic movies as children's books too? We have a few of them and Ghostbusters is definitely a favorite for Halloween. We have the original Ghostbusters movie book, but the recent remake is available as a book too.

It's impossible not to sing this book when I read it! It's written to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas, but with far spookier gifts. Two headed snake, anyone? This book has been a Halloween favorite here since Ava was Mathilde's age. 

 
Looking for more book ideas? I've got you covered! Head over to the Little Hiccups Amazon Storefront where you'll find a list of over 65 Halloween themed books for all ages. Board books for a toddler? Check! Picture books for young kids? Check. Chapter books for tweens and teens? Check! Activity books? Check!


Do you have any favorite Halloween themed books? I'd love to hear what they are! 

Friday, 9 October 2020

Gut Health for Active Kids

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided. ese statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

With the weather cooling down a little and the smoky air clearing the kids and I have been getting outside riding our scooters and bikes a little more. Ok, a LOT more! If you've been following my stories on Instagram you may have seen that Mathilde is finally riding her "big kid" bike after 4 years on her trusty balance bike. Woo hoo! We've been visiting local parking lots to ride our bikes around (the streets around us are too hilly for Mathilde just yet) and we've been exploring skate parks for extra fun on our scooters.  

After months of being stuck inside for much of the day, especially with the kids home learning it's so nice to be out and about again - while taking precautions, of course. One of the issues I was finding with the kids being inside for much of the day was that they were feeling sluggish and would tire easily. All this extra physical activity is definitely helping, but another thing that has helped has been focusing on their gut health.

Gut health is something that we tend to overlook when we're not feeling 100% - unless there are obvious gut related issues. But let's not go there! We tend to look for other reasons why we're not feeling well. Something a little more obvious that seems to fit in with how we're feeling. So often though, it all comes down to our gut. Our gut health is so much more important than we give it credit for. Did you know that 70% of our entire immune system is found in the gut? I had no idea until recently. 

A healthy intestinal microbiome is an important factor in children's growth and development as well as their ongoing health. Adults too. But how do we look after our gut and keep that microbiome balanced? Obviously eating well and keeping active are super important, but let's face it, we all slip up from time to time. Pizza is just too good, am I right?  

In order to keep their gut health in check I've been giving the kids Gut Connection Kids by Country Life supplements. This range has something for everyone with supplements for Digestive Balance, Cognitive Balance, Sleep Balance, and Immune Balance. Each one of these has been scientifically formulated to connect gut health to individual issues and contains clinically studied functional ingredients. A whole food prebiotic is at the core of each supplement and this reinforces the immune system's first line of defense. And it does it fast - like, within two hours fast! 

We've mostly been taking the Digestive Balance supplement to help with occasional tummy problems (let's face it, we all have them from time to time) and the Cognitive Balance supplement to help with concentration and staying on focused which is proving to be a little tricky with home learning. 

Gut Connection Kids supplements come in tasty flavors that kids will be happy to take. A supplement is no good if kids hate the taste and refuse to take it, right? The Immune Balance, Cognitive Balance and Digestive Balance supplements come in the form of sweet and sour flavored chewables. The Sleep Balance supplement comes in a chocolate flavored powder that can be mixed mix your child's favorite drink. Mmm... chocolate milk!


Gut Connection Kids by Country Life products are suitable for children aged 4 - 12. They're perfect for adults too. To learn more and to purchase supplements visit www.countrylifevitamins.com. Little Hiccups readers can save 20% when ordering direct from Country Life. Simply use the code MOMS20 at the checkout to save!


How do you take care of your gut health? Is it something you've focused on in the past or is it new to you too?

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

My Favorite Masks for Kids

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I will make a small amount of money if you purchase through these links but it won't cost you any more. Thanks for your support. 

Today is a big day in our house, with Mathilde returning to in person learning at school!

I was starting to think that this day would never come, but it's finally here almost seven months after schools abruptly closed. For now, it's just Mathilde attending school in person as our school district has decided to start with the youngest learners (Kindergarten through second grade) returning first. Ava and Lola will likely return in person some time in October or November. The schedule is still in the planning stages so we'll have to wait and see.

As with our home learning, Mathilde's in person learning will run from Tuesday through to Friday. Mondays have been set aside as a teacher planning day with the kids working independently at home. This is great as it gives us a little more flexibility on Mondays. The kids still have work to do, but as there's no set time so we can get out and explore on nice days. Yesterday we went for a short hike in Boulder Mountain Park and it was so nice to be out without the weekend crowds. 

Anyway, with school partly returning in person, the main focus has been on keeping the kids, staff and families safe. This means lots of handwashing and hand sanitzer, daily health checks, social distancing, and, of course, wearing masks. I'm sure by now you've seen lots of pics of my kids out and about in masks as we've been wearing them every time we step out of the house since April. In the six months that we've been wearing masks we've accrued quite the collection and have had plenty of time to work out what works best for each member of our family. 

So, today I'm sharing my favorite masks for the kids! You'll find a few different styles here as different situations (or hair styles!) call for different masks. Plus sometimes we just like to mix things up!


For the most part we wear Mochi Kids and Joah Love masks on a daily basis. 

The Mochi Kids masks are Lola and Mathilde's favorites as they are super comfy and come in cute kawaii designs. They're made of a super soft cotton a little thicker than t-shirt fabric.  Lola and Mathilde wear the kids' size while Ava and I wear the adult size. Lola can also wear the adult size if needed but it's a tiny bit big for her for now. I have a simple hack for making mask straps shorter below, so make sure to keep reading!

Ava mostly prefers to wear a plain black mask so Joah Love masks are her go to. We have lots of them in black! Joah Love masks have a really clever way of adjusting the ear straps which makes them one of my favorites. Like the Mochi Kids masks they're made of t-shirt soft cotton so they're really comfy to wear. I've just bought their new infinity strap masks which we can hang around our necks when we take them off. Super handy for when we're out hiking and only come across people every now and then.

Kim wears both the Joah Love masks and Hedley & Bennett masks. I have both of these too. The Hedley & Bennett masks are made of a stiffer, yet still soft, cotton and are a little more structured. In both brands I wear the small/medium and Kim wears the large. We're yet to try out the kid sizes, but as they're made just the same as the adult sizes I know they're great quality and will be very comfy.

Another brand that we've been wearing is Lilla Barn. These masks have long stretchy straps that tie around the back of the head rather than ear loops. This makes them great for wearing with glasses as there's less bulk behind the ears. They're also super adjustable and can be pulled down to hang around your neck when not is use. They can be a little fiddly to tie though.

You can see the masks mentioned above plus a few other favorites below. As always, click the bold and underlined links below to shop.


😊 Joah Love Infinity Mask with Filter Pocket

😊 Hanna Andersson Kids Mask 2 Pack

😊 Mochi Kids Mustard Happy Mask

😊 Primary 3 Pack Rainbow Navy Masks

😊 Lilla Barn Mask

😊 Hedley & Bennett The Kids Mask 3 Pack 

😊 Mochi Kids Kawaii Halloween Mask

😊 Joah Love Black White Stripes Mask

Along with our masks there are a few accessories that make our mask wearing days easier. I like to keep our clean masks by the front door so they're always ready to grab on our way out. I found this  faux leather hanging folio at Target a little while back and it's prefect for storing masks by the front door. If we have masks that have been worn very briefly and will be worn again later that day they hang on the hooks, otherwise they go straight into the wash. When we're out and about I keep spare masks in snack size Stasher bags or ziplock bags. They're a handy way to keep masks clean before use. 

There are a few accessories that make mask wearing a little easier. If your mask pulls uncomfortably on your ears mask extender straps (also known as "ear savers" will help with comfort. If your mask straps are too long (which is the case for a couple of Mathilde's) my simple hack to shorten them is to tie small clear elastic bands about a centimetre in from the end - or how ever long you need to shorten them. I keep a handful of these in my handbag both for Mathilde's hair (she's growing out her fringe and wears it in a tiny ponytail at the moment) and also incase I need to shorten mask straps on the go. Mask lanyards are handy for when you need to take your mask on and off regularly. I like the lanyard below with the breakaway safety snap. This will come apart should the strap get caught on something that could cause strangulation. My last "hack" is for those of us with glasses (ie. three out of five in our family). If you've worn a mask with glasses you'll know that they tend to fog up easily. Using an anti fog wipe, drops or spray will make a difference. Make sure to purchase a product that's suitable for any coatings your glasses might have.

  


😊 Entryway Faux Leather Hanging Folio

😊 Anti Fog Cloth

😊 Stasher Bag Snack Size

😊 Breakaway Safety Lanyard

😊 Goody Clear Ouchless Rubber Bands

😊 Optix 55 Anti Fog Treatment


Do you have any favorite masks you'd like to share? Or maybe accessories that make mask wearing a little easier? 

Saturday, 26 September 2020

Crush Walls 2020 & RiNo Street Art

Lat weekend the kids and I spent a day in Denver's RiNo neighborhood checking out the annual Crush Walls street art festival.

By now, you'll know I'm a big street art fan. You won't need to look back far through the archives to see that as my last post was also about a street art festival. Ha! Actually, this is our third street art festival in just a few months. 

Anyway, Crush Walls is an annual festival that takes part in Denver's River North, or RiNo, arts district every September since 2010. I had been worried that it would be canceled this year due to Covid, so it was a pleasant surprise when I read that it was still going ahead - with masks and social distancing, of course. The festival features events throughout the week culminating in the main event on the weekend. We attended on the Sunday. I always like to go to these sorts of things a little later as we get to see more finished pieces. 

Let's take a look at all the color and fun of Crush Walls 2020 - plus a lot of other murals that we checked out in RiNo. 

Monday, 31 August 2020

Babe Walls

By now you guys probably know that I'm a big fan of street art. I share a lot of it here on the blog and especially over on Instagram. Finding colorful walls is one of my favorite things to do and I love it when there are a lot of murals all in the same area. For this reason, street art festivals are one of my favorite things. 

You may remember that we went to Colfax Canvas a little while back and watched the artists at work. Well, more recently there was another street art festival near us called Babe Walls. My favorite thing about this particular festival? All 25 of the artists involved were women and non-binary folks! In a field that's often dominated by male artists this was such a refreshing change.

Now, we didn't actually make it to the festival to see the artists at work, however the kids and I did go check out all the murals once they were done. They're so good! If you're in the Denver metro area make sure to head to  Westminster to check them all out. And if not, well, you can see them here! I've shared the Instagram handles of each of the artists under their work if you're interested in checking them out. 

Mural by @seewalker_art & @r0melle
Mural by @chelsealewinski, @ashleyjoonart & @taylorherzog
Mural by @annacharneyart & @reverieink
Mural by @kaitlinziesmer & @kjorin
Mural by @lindeezimmer & @olivemoyer
Mural by @kokonofilter
Murals by @reveryart & @alexandrea_pang
Mural by @seewalker_art & @r0melle
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