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Sunday 29 September 2013


Last weekend we took the girls to visit the Exploratorium. This was actually our second trip to the Exploratorium, but our first to it's new location at Pier 15.

Sunday 22 September 2013

Mission Murals: Clarion Alley

Yesterday we had a look at the amazing murals that decorate Balmy Alley in San Francisco's Mission District.

Today let's have a look at another mural adorned alley in the Mission District: Clarion Alley.

Clarion Alley is not as well known as Balmy Alley but it is just as colourful. Not being on the tourist map, it's a little more grimy and a tad stinkier than Balmy Alley, but it is a back alley way after all!

Ava and Lola both really liked Clarion Alley. In a few areas the murals spill off the walls and onto the street. The girls were pretty impressed by this and loved being able to walk on the murals, especially the  bright and happy Murakami inspired flowers. The Rolling Stones tongues were another big hit with the girls. Any excuse to stick their tongues out for the camera!

Here's a look at the colour and fun of Clarion Alley...

Saturday 21 September 2013

Mission Murals: Balmy Alley

San Francisco's Mission District is known for being a colourful neighbourhood. Talk a walk down Mission Street (and many of the surrounding streets) and it feels like you've just taken a trip south of the border to Mexico! The streets are lined with fruit and vegetable vendors selling exotic produce, travel agents advertise flights to Guadalajara, stores sell Mexican wrestling masks and much store signage is in Spanish.

But the streets of the Mission District are not just colourful in a cultural way, they are literally colourful. Murals abound and there's barely a street that isn't adorned with colour.

Two streets in particular are especially colourful and we recently headed to the Mission District to check them out: the famous Balmy Alley and the not as well known, but equally colourful, Clarion Alley.

Today let's have a look at Balmy Alley...

Saturday 14 September 2013

Cooking with Kids: Hand Drawn Cookies

Today Ava and Lola celebrated their friend Solly's 3rd birthday with a party in a nearby park.

The girls wanted to give Solly something special that they had made themselves so we decided to bake some cookies. To make the cookies special the girls personalised them with drawings.

Here's a look at the hand drawn cookies we made and how you can make them yourself too...

Happy birthday cookies

Friday 13 September 2013

My Littlest Ballerina

Another day, another first...

In stark contrast to Sunday's skateboarding, on Monday Lola took her first ballet class.

And did she love it? Absolutely.

Dressed in her leotard, skirt and ballet slippers she pranced around the studio on tippy toes, arms in the air, spinning here and there.

When it came time to follow instruction from her teacher she was super serious and concentrated very hard. Ava has always been the same too. Ballet, ice skating, cheerleading... what ever she's doing there's always a serious look on her face that tells me she's concentrating as hard as she can on getting it right. Lola had the same serious face throughout the whole class but I knew she was having a ball.

Here's my littlest ballerina enjoying her first class...

Little dancer

Monday 9 September 2013

Skater Girls

Yesterday we were a family of skaters!

Ok, not quite... I let the team down with my lack of wheels, but three out of four of us were skaters so close enough.

Yesterday morning Kim bought himself a skateboard to ride to and from the train when going to work. That probably sounds a little odd to my friends back home but here in Berkeley and San Francisco skateboarding is a relatively common way to get around.

We knew that Ava would be keen to get her own skateboard once she saw Kim's. She has a tiny Dora the Explorer skateboard which she has enjoyed playing on over the past few years, but it's really getting too small for her. Plus, she getting a little grown up for Dora ;)

So the Dora skateboard was handed down to Lola and we headed back to the skate store to get Ava her very own real skateboard.

On the way to the store the girls wanted to skate. So with helmets and knee pads on they skated their way down the sidewalk and through a park; Lola on the Dora skateboard and Ava on Kim's. 

Riding Daddy's skateboard with a little help

At the park Ava practised riding on her own

Saturday 7 September 2013

Cooking with Kids: Slime Pie

Earlier this week Ava brought home a recipe from school. A recipe for Slime Pie. She's been so eager to try her hand at baking and cooking so we thought this would be the perfect recipe for an afternoon of cooking together.

Slime Pie is pretty disgusting looking! It's green, it's full of worms and of course, it's slimy! In reality though, it's really just a take on key lime pie, and it actually tastes pretty good.

Lots of worms

Here's how to make Slime Pie...

LEGO KidsFest

Last Sunday we headed down to San Jose for an afternoon of Lego fun at Lego KidsFest.

There were Lego bricks as far as the eye could see. And kids as far as the eye could see too. The whole event was sold out so it was incredibly busy with excited kids rushing around everywhere.

Of course, our two were among the excited kids rushing around. They wanted to try and do everything all at once: looking at Lego sculptures, building cars to race, building little houses, burying each other in Lego blocks, making Lego angels in the piles of Lego and Duplo, making artworks to display...

So much Lego fun to be had.

Here's a look at our afternoon at Lego KidsFest...

Excited to arrive at Lego KidsFest

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Lola's First Day of Preschool

Today my baby is a big girl. A big preschool girl.

Lola's first day at preschool started out promising this morning. 

She was super excited about going to preschool and couldn't wait to get her backpack on her back and head off. In fact, she told me that when I'm big enough I can get a backpack and go to preschool too!

She was excited the whole way to preschool on the bus...

Waiting for the bus

Monday 2 September 2013

Happy (Australian) Father's Day 2013

Yesterday was Father's Day number two for the year, otherwise known as Australian Father's Day. Lucky Kim gets to celebrate Father's Day twice each year (American Father's Day was back in June), while I get just one Mother's Day.

We had organised to spend the day at Lego KidsFest in San Jose so I figured that a Lego themed card would be just the thing for this Father's Day. I played around with a few different ideas (trying to write out different messages in Lego) but kept coming back to the simplicity of a Lego heart. Much easier to make than a Lego message and it ties in nicely with this year's Mother's Day cards, which you can see here.

Here's a look at our Lego inspired cards plus a few shots from our photo shoot. I really wanted to take photos up on our roof but as always the wind came out as soon as the camera did so Ava has some interesting looking hair! 

Don't "Lego" my heart!
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