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Tuesday 29 December 2015

52 Weeks: Week 51

Week 51: Los Angeles

We're almost to the end of the year. Can you believe that there are only a few days left of 2015?

We've been away on vacation in Southern California since the girl's Winter break started last week and I've gotten a little behind with blogging. Time to catch up starting with last week's installment of my 52 week project.

We started our vacation with a few days in Los Angeles. I'll have a few dedicated posts coming soon about places we visited, but for week 51 I'm sharing our stay at the Ace Hotel in Downtown LA.

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Elf on the Shelf 2015: Week 3

I can't believe that three weeks with Elfie Pokie Nokie in our home has gone by already.

Here's a look at what he's been up to this past week...

Day 15
It looks like Elfie decided to do a little cooking on Lola's play stove. I wonder if he realizes the stove isn't real. His saucepan was empty so I guess so. Maybe elves eat imaginary food. 

52 Weeks: Week 50

Week 50: Karate Belt Test

This past week both Ava and Lola took karate belt tests - and passed!

I'm so proud of my little karate kids! Ava is now an orange belt and Lola is now a yellow belt.

Here's a look at my karate kids in action...

Monday 21 December 2015

Holiday Circle of Lights

Saturday night we took the girls to go see a beautiful Christmas light display - at a cemetery!

I know, I know... It sounds kind of morbid and such an odd place to have a Christmas light display, but trust me, it was absolutely beautiful.

Sunday 20 December 2015

Visiting Santa 2015

Last weekend we spent a day in the city doing a little festive sight seeing. First up we visited the Fairmont Hotel to see the Giant Gingerbread House and then the Westin St Francis Hotel to see the Sugar Castle. You can see them both here

Our next stop was Macy's to go see Santa and tell him our Christmas wishes

Saturday 19 December 2015

Gingerbread House & Sugar Castle

Last Sunday we spent the day in the city taking in the sights of Christmas. I always love how festive San Francisco feels at this time of year. The city is filled with Christmas cheer with festive street lighting, Christmas trees, ice skating rinks, ornate decorations in windows and lobbies, and crowds of holiday shoppers and tourists.

We made sure to visit all of our favorite holiday spots: the giant gingerbread house at the Fairmont Hotel, the sugar castle at the Westin St Francis, Union Square and, of course, Santa at Santaland in Macy's.

Here's a look at the giant gingerbread house and the sugar castle...

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Elf on the Shelf 2015: Week 2

Another week with Elfie Pokie Nokie, our Elf on the Shelf, has gone by.

Here's a look at what he has been up to...

Day 8
Uh oh! It looks like Elfie got into the Halloween candy... again! He does this at some point every year and for some reason it's always Lola's Halloween bucket that he chooses. Lola was not impressed. Mathilde, however, thought it was pretty funny. She has a pointy red Hanna Andersson hat that we refer to as her "naughty hat" as she seems to do extra cheeky things when she wears it. When she saw the mess that Elfie Pokie Nokie had made with the candy she sat next to him, pointed at his head and said "hat" while nodding knowingly. It wasn't Elfie's fault, it was the "naughty hat"! On a side note, I didn't notice until after I'd cleaned up Elfie's mess that there was a smear across my camera lens - hence the bad photos.

Monday 14 December 2015

52 Weeks: Week 49

Week 49: Jack London Square Tree Lighting

I'm a little behind with my weekly post so this one is almost two weeks old. Oops!

A few Fridays back the girls and I got into the Christmas spirit by attending the annual Christmas tree lighting festivities at Oakland's Jack London Square.

We arrived a little late thanks to BART delays leaving us waiting on the platform for quite some time in Berkeley, but the girls enjoyed the night even though we missed the official "lights on" moment.

Thursday 10 December 2015

Hand Print Christmas Trees

Christmas is always such a busy time for crafts in our home. One of the kids' favorite holiday crafts is making painted hand print pictures. In the past they've made Santa hand prints and reindeer hand prints. This year they wanted to make something different so we decided to go for Christmas tree hand prints.

Making festive hand print pictures may be fun but it can also be pretty messy work, especially when there are toddlers involved. Trust me, there was about as much paint on Mathilde's t-shirt when we were done as there was on her actual hand print Christmas tree! Luckily we have method 4x concentrated laundry detergent to keep everything nice and clean once we're finished with all that messy paint.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Elf on the Shelf 2015: Week 1

Elfie Pokie Nokie has been back in our home since the beginning of December and he's already been getting up to all sorts of mischief. The girls are so excited to see what he's doing when they wake up each morning.

Here's a look at his first week in our home this year...

Day 1
Usually Elfie Pokie Nokie begins his stay in our home by appearing in the advent calendar. This year I was a little bit slack and didn't have the advent calendar up in time so he decided to be true to his name and was an elf on a shelf. Or cabinet, rather. Close enough! Also, how cute is that family portrait Ava painted when she was six? I must commission her to paint a new one with Mathilde included!

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Puff Pastry Pizza Scrolls with Bertolli Riserva

Our after school schedule gets pretty hectic around here. Between swim team/class and karate class, Ava and Lola have something on every day after school. Swim team three times a week for Ava, swim classes twice a week for Lola, and karate class twice a week for both. They're definitely busy girls, and that makes me a busy mum!

With all of that physical activity after school it's important that the girls have something good to eat to fuel their bodies. They tend to eat a lot of fruit and dairy after school, but sometimes they need something a little more substantial, especially considering that swimming coincides with their regular dinner time.

I'm always on the look out for quick and simple foods that I can make for the girls. Something that will give them a boost of energy and act sort of like a mini dinner to tide them over until we get home. It needs to be delicious, not too heavy, and, most importantly for me, easy to make with little effort.

Thanks to Bertolli Riserva I'm sharing a recipe for a super simple snack that is really fast to make, tastes delicious and fills kids up just the right amount. Adults too! Puff Pastry Pizza Scrolls are so easy. Only four or five ingredients are needed and they're done in around 20 minutes. Oh, and they taste good. So good!

Monday 7 December 2015

Win Christmas Giveaway

Snuggling up by a toasty fire with peppermint hot chocolate in hand while the kids open gifts and the snow continues swirling by outside isn't exactly how Christmas morning goes for everyone. The "happiest time of year" can be a huge stressor and disappointment if you can't afford presents for loved ones, let alone new clothes or something to eat — Which is exactly why I teamed up with 8 other bloggers to bring Christmas to the door of one lucky family! We want you to enjoy your time with loved ones this Christmas, not worry about disappointment. Keep reading to learn all about the great goodies we have in this easy-to-enter giveaway. Good Luck!

Sunday 6 December 2015

Berkeley Snow Day 2015

Today we had snow!

Well, kind of. We had snow that very quickly turned to slush thanks to the fact that we also had rain. Snow and rain - two rare things in the Bay Area! Ok, so unlike the rain, the snow wasn't actually real, but it was still fun none the less.

Today was the annual Berkeley Snow Day in the Gourmet Ghetto. The girls look forward to this day every December. This year's snow day was a little wetter than the last three that we've been too, but the kids couldn't care less. We all come home drenched right through our clothes but happy to have had our fun in the snow.

Friday 4 December 2015

Our Christmas Cards 2015

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

I'm so excited to share this year's Christmas cards with you. This year I made our cards with Minted and I'm so happy with how they turned out. Aren't they gorgeous?

When it comes to making Christmas cards, there are so many companies out there to choose from that it can be a little overwhelming. I found myself looking at so many different webpages and different styles of cards, but I kept coming back to Minted. Their designs just clicked with me. Modern yet classic. Festive but not fussy. Hand drawn designs, bold colors, letterpress and foil details, original designs by independent artists... All of these details spoke to me and I knew that Minted was the one.

Thursday 3 December 2015

52 Weeks: Week 48

Week 48: Sunsets

This week's installment of my 52 Week Project is a little different. Instead of sharing what the kids have been up to I'm sharing sunsets. And oh boy, are they beautiful.

We're lucky enough to live in an apartment building with a roof deck that overlooks the San Francisco Bay. On evenings when we're not busy with swim classes, the girls and I head up to the roof to watch the sunset. It's always pretty, but lately the sunsets have been just spectacular.

Over the past week (plus a little bit as I just had to share one from the previous week) we've been blessed with a variety of amazing sunsets. Some evenings have been foggy diffusing the sun's glow across the sky. Some evenings have been perfectly clear with not a cloud in the sky resulting in a perfect ombre from blue to orange. Other evenings have ended with the sky full of cotton candy pink clouds. The one thing in common is that they've all been stunning.

Monday 30 November 2015

Gifts for Little Ones + Freshly Picked Giveaway

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Freshly Picked. All opinions are my own.

Today I'm sharing a few of my favorite gift ideas for the littlest ones on your holiday shopping list. Plus I'm giving away a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins! How cool is that? Keep reading for more details...

52 Weeks: Week 47

Week 47: Pajama Day

Last week Lola's class celebrated the last day of school before the Thanksgiving break with a pajama day. Or "Hibernation Day" to be exact. And I have to be exact, because Lola and her classmates made sure to correct every parent who dared call it "Pajama Day"! Trust me, if Lola could read (and happened to be reading this post), she'd make me change the title right away! I love how little kids like to be precise like that.

Anyway, the reason for the name "Hibernation Day" was because Lola's class has been learning about bears. Seeing as the weather is starting to get cool (by coastal Californian standards!) it seemed only fitting that the kids go into hibernation as well. So all of Lola's class, including her teachers, came to school in their snuggliest pajamas and brought along a favorite stuffed toy or blanket to cuddle. Lola brought along Fishy, her plush Salmon from Seattle! In the afternoon the class watched a Berenstain Bears movie and warmed up with hot chocolate. I'm sure that's how bears hibernate too!

Friday 27 November 2015

My Favorite Black Friday Deals

Today is Black Friday which means it's the craziest shopping day of the year. I personally can't bring myself to attend one of those door buster sales, but thanks to a little online shopping I have been able to snag a few great deals. Half price Hanna Andersson pajamas? Yes, please! $15 Tea Collection dresses? Time to stock up. 30% off Swedish Hasbeens clogs? My feet NEED those now!

I've been sharing a few of my favorite sales on my Facebook page but I figured it would be more helpful if I compiled them all here on Little Hiccups. So without further ado, here are my favorite Black Friday sales this year. Just click the store name to be taken through to their website.

Please note: Some sales are for today only while others last the weekend. Restrictions may apply. Please make sure to check all conditions of sale on each website before purchasing. 

Hanna Andersson
The best ever kids pajamas are on sale!
All kids' organic long johns and sleepers only $20
* Extra 15% off everything
* Prices as marked

Quality British designs for the whole family
* 30% off everything plus free delivery with the code 7J4Z

Tea Collection 
The best play dresses ever - plus lots of other great styles
* Tons of Tea styles for just $12, $15 and $17
* Select items only
* Prices as marked

My go to store for basics and every day wear
* 50% off EVERYTHING with the code BLKFRIDAY

Whistle and Flute
Super cute kawaii t-shirts, sweaters and accessories for kids and adults
* 25% off everything with the code BLACKANDWHITEFRIDAY

Ginger Caftan
Super comfortable and stylish modern caftans made in California
* 30% off everything with the code PLAIDFRIDAY2015

Covetable Swedish clogs and boots
* 30% off all styles
* Prices as marked

Mama and Little
Stylish silicone teething jewellery
40% off storewide
* Prices as marked

So Young
Cute backpacks and lunch boxes for little ones
Up to 60% off overstock, discontinued items and seconds

Land of Nod
Gorgeous furniture, decor and toys for kids and babies
20% off plus free shipping.
* Restrictions apply
* Prices as marked

Bright Lab Lights
Super stylish ball lights. I want to hang these everywhere!
* Save 20% on everything with the code color20

Oh Happy Day 
The best party supplies around
* 25% off everything with the code HOLIDAY25

* The coolest temporary tattoos around
35% off with the code THANKS35

Tubby Todd
The loveliest smelling bath products for little ones
* 15% off everything with the code TUBBYBLACKFRIDAY

Wednesday 25 November 2015

30+ Simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas

It's almost that time of year again when Elfie Pokie Nokie, our Elf on the Shelf, makes his appearance in our home.

Every year I try to come up with fun situations for the girls to find Elfie Pokie Nokie in each morning. They've found him making coffee, tangled in Christmas lights, pilfering candy from a Halloween bucket, playing board games with other toys, dancing ballet, stealing a kiss from Barbie under the mistletoe, hanging out in the fridge, and many other crazy situations. The girls are always excited to find what Elfie Pokie Nokie has been up to over night while they sleep.

I know it can be a little tricky to come up with ideas for the Elf on the Shelf sometimes, especially when you wake up early before the kids and realize that you forgot to move him the night before. Trust me, I've been there plenty of times! I've put together more than thirty of my favorite Elf on the Shelf ideas from the last few years to help inspire you and your own elf. Enjoy!

Sunday 22 November 2015

Grand View Park

A few days ago I shared a post about our visit to the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps (you can see it here). After we climbed to the top of that beautiful staircase we found ourselves in front of yet another staircase. This particular stair case wasn't pretty, but I knew that when we reached the top the view would be spectacular.

And it was!

Saturday 21 November 2015

Gifts for Peanuts Fans

Do you have little (or big even) Peanuts fans in your home?

My girls are huge fans, and with the release of the new movie they've been pretty excited to see a lot of Peanuts merchandise hitting the shelves. Of course, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and co have always been in stores, but right now there are a lot of great collaborations around with some of our favorite brands. It's great to find a few Peanuts products that go beyond the usual low quality character stuff out there.

I thought I'd share some of my favorite Peanuts items with you, just in time for Christmas shopping.

1. Hanna Andersson Peanuts Backpack
Hanna Andersson backpacks are perfect for every day school use. They're really well made, have lots of useful pockets and come in a great range of designs. I couldn't go past this Peanuts backpack for Ava. She loves it! With the new Peanuts movie out we get stopped all the time by parents asking where her backpack is from. I have a feeling she won't be the only kid in her school with this backpack for much longer!

2. Baby Gap + Peanuts Mittens
What can I say? These Charlie Brown baby/toddler mittens from Gap are adorable!

3. Gap Kids + Peanuts Sweatshirt
I just had to buy these Snoopy sweatshirts for Ava and Lola when I saw them. I was even tempted to buy a larger size for me! The pattern is cute without being too cutesy and they are super comfy. They look great with a pair of leggings - just maybe not the matching leggings! These are now on sale and are going fast so if you want one you'd better get in quickly.

4. Gap Kids + Peanuts Printed Leggings
Because it never gets overly hot (or cold) here in the Bay Area my girls wear leggings all year round under dresses or skirts. Usually they just stick with plain colors, but I couldn't resist these Snoopy print leggings. In fact, I bought these in almost every size so the girls can wear them for years to come! Just like the coordinating sweatshirt, these leggings are no on sale and going fast.

5. Gap Kids + Peanuts Sweater One Piece
Perfect for the littlest Charlie Brown fans this Winter! I am so tempted to buy this for Mathilde. The whole Peanuts range at Gap is adorable.

6. Hanna Andersson Peanuts Long Johns
Hanna Andersson pajamas are the best! They are made from the softest cotton and are so snuggly. The quality is fantastic and they can be passed down from sibling to sibling. They come in a huge range of designs including a few Peanuts themed Christmas designs which are all pretty gender neutral.

7 & 8. Itty Bitty Peanuts Characters
These cute little stuffies from Hallmark make the perfect stocking fillers. I have even used them in our advent calendar this year (which you can see here). They're available in Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Linus.

9. Classic Stuffed Snoopy
Every Peanuts fan needs a Snoopy to cuddle! Mathilde has this particular Snoopy from Hallmark and he's so soft and cuddly with no dangerous small parts, making him perfect for the littlest Peanuts fan.

10. Peanuts Holidays Through the Year book
This book from Hallmark is a lovely collection of all the Peanuts holiday stories throughout the year. My girls love reading the stories that they recognize from the classic Peanuts holiday movies.

11. Hanna Andersson Peanuts Short Johns
For when it's not quite cold enough to wear long johns, Hanna Andersson have their classic pajamas available in a short version. Like the long johns, the designs are pretty gender neutral.

12. Moleskin Peanuts Weekly Notebook Planner
Moleskin pocket sized planners are my go to diary every year. They fit perfectly in the front pocket of my diaper bag yet they have enough space for writing all of my appointments etc. Usually I just go with boring black, but for 2016 I'm going with Snoopy!

13. Cambridge Satchel Company Peanuts Mini Satchel
Umm... I NEED this satchel!

14. Peanuts Mini Notes
These little notes are great for writing little letters to Peanuts fans. Ava has a set of these are they are adorable. They'd be perfect for lunch box notes.

There are so many other great Peanuts collaborations out there too. Lacoste have a range of Peanuts polo shirts (which Kim may be finding under the Christmas tree), OPI make Peanuts nail polish, Coach have a range of Peanuts handbags (these are from 2014 and may be tricky to find), and there is a fun Snoopy game available for Wii, XBox, Playstation etc (which may also be under our tree this year).

I hope this guide helps you find the perfect gift for your little (or big!) Peanuts fan this holiday season.

Friday 20 November 2015

52 Weeks: Week 46

Week 46: The Peanuts Movie
This past weekend we took the girls to see The Peanuts Movie.

Ava and Lola have been huge fans of Charlie Brown and co since we visited Santa Rosa last year and saw the Peanuts sculptures dotted around town (you can see them here). They've been so excited about the new movie coming out and couldn't wait to see it. I figured that it would be pretty busy on the opening weekend so decided to wait a week. I can't count how many times Ava and Lola asked if we could go see the movie in that week that it was out before we made it there!

Tuesday 17 November 2015

16th Avenue Tiled Steps

Back in August I shared a beautiful location in San Francisco that the girls and I stumbled upon by mistake: the Hidden Garden Steps (which you can see here). We came across the Hidden Garden Steps while on our way to the more well known 16th Avenue Tiled Steps which are just a few blocks away. At the time I hadn't realized that there were two sets of tiled steps so close to each other and I thought I'd just made a mistake with the address. I felt pretty silly when I realized that we'd come so close to our intended destination without actually making it there!

During the Summer vacation the girls and I headed back to San Francisco's Sunset district to go see the famous tiled steps. This time we knew exactly where to go and we knew that there were two staircases. In fact, we made sure to walk via the Hidden Garden Steps to check those out again. Mathilde had been asleep in her baby carrier the first time around and this time she was awake.

First let's have a look at the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps...

Sunday 15 November 2015

52 Weeks: Week 45

Week 45: Holiday Photos

Last weekend the girls and I visited the flagship Gap store in San Francisco for a fun holiday photo event in collaboration with Tiny Prints.

It was a slightly chilly day so I was actually able to dress the girls in something a little wintry for the photos. Red hooded duffle coats, grey knit dresses, tights, boots and a cute hat for Mathilde. They looked like we actually get a proper Winter here!

Thursday 12 November 2015

An Advent Calendar with Hallmark Itty Bittys

Can you believe that Christmas is almost here again? Well, it's still a little way off, but it will be here before you know it, trust me.

I'm not usually the best at being organized for Christmas far in advance, but this year with a little help from Hallmark Gold Crown I'm getting a jump on this whole Christmas thing and starting my preparations early.

Today I'm sharing a DIY for an advent calendar featuring Itty Bittys from Hallmark. These tiny stuffies are the perfect surprise for an advent calendar and help make counting down the days until Christmas a little more fun. Itty Bittys come in a range of beloved characters including Star Wars, Disney Princesses, Frozen, Mickey Mouse, Peanuts, Muppets and Rainbow Brite (she's back!). My girls are huge fans of Peanuts so I chose Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and Snoopy as treats to go in the advent calendar. Lola, like lots of little girls, is also kind of obsessed with Frozen, so I had to add Elsa, Anna and Olaf to the mix as well. If I was making the advent calendar for myself it would've been filled with Muppets. As a small child I wanted to grow up to be a frog so I could marry Kermit! Ok, that's a story for a different day...

Pumpkin Patch 2015

Now that the Halloween madness and the girls are back to regular school hours (they had short days plus a day off last week) I'm playing catch up on the blog. Today I'm sharing our visit to the pumpkin patch from a few weeks back.

Our annual visit to a pumpkin patch is always greatly anticipated by Ava and Lola. They love choosing their own pumpkins to carve for Halloween and they can't wait for the other fun activities that await them at the pumpkin patch. In the past we've visited Petaluma Pumpkin patch (you can see our previous visits here and here) but this year we thought we'd try somewhere different for a change. We still wanted to head north as the landscape around there is so pretty so we decided to choose another pumpkin patch near Petaluma. After checking out the websites of several pumpkin patches in the area we settled on McClelland's Dairy. The girls were pretty excited about one particular activity that McClelland's Dairy featured that the other's didn't. The pumpkin blaster! 

As excited as we were for the pumpkin blaster, we decided to hit the field and choose our pumpkins first before heading to the activity area. Lola wasn't too picky about her pumpkins and pretty much just chose the first two that she came along - which admittedly, were pretty good pumpkins. Ava, however, had to check as many pumpkins as possible before deciding which two she would like. Mathilde just tried (unsuccessfully!) to pick up every pick up every pumpkin she saw. And she refused to wear shoes. Oh my were her feet filthy by the end of the day!

Friday 6 November 2015

Mathilde's First Haircut

For quite some time now Mathilde's hair has been a scruffy mess. It's cute, but it's always in her eyes - and nose! - and she hates wearing hair clips or a headband. The only way I've been able to keep it kind of neat is to tie the front back in her trademark "palm tree" pony tail!

Today I finally took the plunge and had Mathilde's fringe/bangs cut to tidy it up. I'd been putting it off as I was worried it might not suit her. Neither Ava nor Lola had a fringe when they were little so I wasn't sure what it would look like. I imagined a horrible 90s bowl cut reminiscent of Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky's twin boys on Full House! Those kids sure did have bad hair!

Anyway, my other concern was that Mathilde would freak out at the hairdresser and would end up with her hair half done. Kind of like Lola's first haircut attempt (which you can see here).

As it turned out, both of my fears were unfounded. Mathilde sat in the chair like she'd been going to the hairdresser for years and her hair came out cute. Look at that little smile as she gets her hair cut!

Wednesday 4 November 2015

52 Weeks: Week 44

Week 44: Puddle Jumping

It doesn't happen often here, but this week it rained! And not just a little bit of drizzle either, mind you, it was proper rain. The rain started on Sunday evening and continued through the night and until Monday morning. By the time we were ready to leave for school the rain was mostly gone, but it had left something just as exciting... puddles!

We made sure to leave the apartment a little earlier than usual so we would have time to jump in a few puddles on our way to school. The girls were pretty happy when the first big puddle appeared - although they did have to make sure not to splash too big and saturate their clothes at the start of the day!

Sunday 1 November 2015

Halloween 2015


Halloween is over for another year.

The girls had lots of fun dressing up yesterday. They loved trick or treating and seeing their friends as we made our way up and down our favorite trick or treating street. And Mathilde has discovered that if she goes to people's doors and holds out a bag, strangers will give her candy! Ok, that last one doesn't sound so great, but that is what trick or treating is about, after all!

You've already seen the girls' costumes from my post yesterday about the Halloween celebrations at school, so there's no surprise there. But... there were a few extra modifications that were added for the big day which you'll see soon.

This year was our first Halloween on a weekend. Usually we celebrate Halloween at school and then head out to trick or treat in the evening at a nearby street that is blocked off to traffic for the evening. This year though we got to extend the celebrations. There were the school festivities on Friday (which you can see here if you missed it) and then yesterday we went trick or treating twice. Double the fun!

Saturday 31 October 2015

Halloween at School

Yesterday Ava and Lola celebrated Halloween at school.

There were class parties.

There were costumes.

There was a school wide parade.

It was such a fun day!

Friday 30 October 2015

52 Weeks: Week 43

Week 43: Halloween Karate Party

This week the girls' karate class had a fun Halloween party. The kids all came dressed in costumes, they karate kicked a pinata, they wrapped each other in toilet paper like mummies, there was lots of candy, and, of course, there was karate.

The kids looked so cute practicing karate in their costumes. Ava and Lola wore old costumes rather than this year's Halloween costumes - mostly because I hadn't finished making them yet! But also, because I wanted them to save their real costumes for Halloween (and the Halloween celebrations at school today). Ava wore her vampire costume from 2013 (you can see it with full hair and make up here) and Lola wore a fairy dress and tiara from the girls' dress up drawer.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Four Years in America

This Saturday just gone, marked the fourth anniversary of Ava, Lola and myself arriving in America. Four years! I can't believe it's been that long. Kim's four year anniversary came in August as he moved here a few months before the girls and I. And of course, little Mathilde has lived here her whole life. Actually, Saturday also marked her one and a half year birthday.

As I do every year when the anniversary rolls around, I'm sharing below some of the highlights of our life in America over the past twelve months. It's going to be a long post so settle in with a coffee and prepare for lots of fun highlights. You can find the full story for each event by clicking the bold links.

Our fourth year in America started with an exciting week - my best friend Kylie came to visit from Australia with her husband and baby son! We did all of the regular touristy stuff together including a big walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as all of the fun seasonal traditions that fall at this time of year. We visited a pumpkin patch, we carved pumpkins, we celebrated Halloween at Ava's school, we went trick or treating, and we celebrated Day of the Dead at two festivals. I loved being able to share these traditions (which are still pretty new to us) with friends who were experiencing them for the first time. It was also Mathilde's first Halloween so that was pretty exciting. Look at how tiny she was back then!

Sunday 25 October 2015

52 Weeks: Week 42

Week 42: Pumpkin Fun

California's weather may not have gotten the memo yet, but despite the lingering Summer weather, it's well and truly Fall now. And of course, that means it's pumpkin season!

One of my favorite places to take the girls in Fall is our local greengrocer, Monterey Market. Each Fall they have the most amazing pumpkin pile that kids can climb around on inside the store. You may remember my post from last year when Lola's preschool class went on a field trip to climb on the pumpkins (you can see it here).

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Cooking with Kids: Fresh Pasta

It's been a while since I shared a Cooking with Kids post so when the opportunity to work with Bertolli® (who this year are celebrating their 150th birthday) came up I knew it would be a great opportunity to get the kids back in the kitchen.

Monday 19 October 2015

Lola's Metal Detector & Penny Finding Party

This weekend we celebrated Lola's 5th birthday with a birthday party with a very specific theme: Lola's Metal Detector and Penny Finding Party! Lola came up with the theme herself and I have to say that despite it sounding kind of weird, it was one of the most fun parties we've ever thrown.

Wondering how such a party theme came about? Well, Lola is kind of obsessed with finding pennies. It's amazing just how many she finds when we're out and about. She's so good at finding pennies that she refers to herself as a "penny finding machine"! That said, quite some time ago she decided that an actual penny finding machine (ie. a metal detector) would help her find many more pennies. I have no idea where she got the idea about a metal detector from (presumably tv), but she has been asking for one for her birthday or Christmas since she was two! I figured she was a little small for a metal detector back then and told her she'd have to wait until she was at least five. Well, she didn't forget and when it came time to start planning her party this year she came up with this wonderful theme. Of course, that meant that a shiny new metal detector was unwrapped on the morning of Lola's birthday!

52 Weeks: Week 41

Week 41: Happy Birthday Lola

This past week Lola turned five!

To celebrate Lola's birthday we had a big party with friends over the weekend. I'll have a post about the party coming soon, but for last week's 52 Week Project post I wanted to share Lola's actual birthday day.

Lola's birthday fell on a weekday this year and now that she's a big school girl, she spent her special day at school. Usually the birthday kid gets to have a special celebration at school but because Lola is in Transitional Kindergarten and ALL of the kids in her class have birthdays in either September, October or November (they're the kids who just miss the Kindergarten cut off) her class just has one big celebration at the end of each month instead. Her class did sing Happy Birthday to her though.

After school we headed to the girls' karate class where once again everyone sang Happy Birthday to Lola. The girls' karate sensei is also an amazing artist and she gave Lola the most adorable water color portrait for her birthday. I still can't get over how cute this is and what a special gift it is. Thanks Sensei Julia! (You can see more of Julia's artwork here).

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