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Saturday 31 January 2015

San Francisco Heart Treasure Hunt

This post is sponsored by Galileo Learning. All opinions are my own.

Summer may seem like a long way off right now but in actual fact it's creeping up on us. Before we know it Summer will be here and with that comes the kids being home from school for weeks and weeks on end. Eleven long weeks. That's a lot of time to fill with activities to combat boredom.

One of our favorite things to do over the Summer break is explore San Francisco. We're so lucky to live on the doorstep of such a wonderful city full of amazing places to visit. Some days we'll spend the day visiting a particular museum or gallery, some days are spent at playgrounds and other days are spent just exploring with no particular destination in mind.

"Abstracting Sights" now located at Dataway, 255 Golden Gate Ave (private)

Today I've teamed up with Galileo Learning to bring you a fun San Francisco exploration idea.

Friday 30 January 2015

52 Weeks: Week 4

Week 4: Cookie

This week has been a quiet one for our family. All three girls have been sick with a nasty bug so we've been pretty much housebound all week. No swim classes, no playgrounds, days off school... I'm sure the girls don't mind that last one!

With three snotty noses, three pairs of bleary, red eyes and three tired little bodies I didn't think I'd have any photos to share this week. But then the girls decided to build a Duplo fort for Ava's pet gecko Cookie and I knew I had to share it.

Cookie was Ava's birthday present last year. With her birthday coming up next week that means Cookie has been living with us for pretty much a whole year now. He has definitely grown a lot in that time. You can see how little he was when we first got him here.

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Salvation Mountain

A few years back I saw some photos of the most amazingly colorful art installation in the desert and I just knew that we had to visit there one day. As luck would have it, that explosion of color in the desert happens to be right here in California, just over an hour's drive from Palm Springs, and a perfect destination for our recent Southern California road trip.

Salvation Mountain is a completely surreal place. I never really know how to describe it to people. The creation of outsider artist Leonard Knight, Salvation Mountain is a 50 foot high and 150 foot wide "mountain" made entirely of adobe clay, straw and donated paint. Leonard started working on the mountain in the 1980s to promote his message "God is love". The mountain features many biblical texts as well as recurring motifs of birds, flowers and waterfalls. Leonard continues his work to this very day and the mountain continues to evolve.

Monday 26 January 2015

Nine Months Old

Nine months old!

I know I say it every month, but I really can't believe how quickly the time has gone by. Nine months feels like such a milestone. In just three months time Mathilde will celebrate her first birthday. How is that even possible?

Saturday 24 January 2015

Grumpy Cat in Berkeley

Today a celebrity was in town.

Grumpy Cat, the "demotivational" sensation and star of several books (and even a movie) was in Berkeley as the special guest at the ribbon cutting of Berkeley Humane's new Mobile Adoption Center.

Berkeley Humane provides care for homeless animals, from rescue to rehabilitation to placement with loving owners. Their new Mobile Adoption Center is a state of the art, temperature controlled RV with custom built modular and detachable kennels. Roll up windows allow the cats and dogs inside to be viewed from the outside, and doors at both ends allow potential adopters to walk through and engage with the animals. This amazing vehicle provides limitless opportunities for Berkeley Humane to bring homeless cats and dogs to communities throughout the East Bay in the search of new families for these lovable animals to join.

To celebrate the launch of "The Grumpy Guide to Life" last year, Grumpy Cat's publisher Chronicle Books ran a nation wide competition to find "Grumpy Town USA", with the prize being a visit from Grumpy Cat herself. Berkeley Humane submitted an entry to raise awareness of the good work that they do throughout the community and to celebrate the launch of their Mobile Adoption Center. With the support of Berkeley's Mayor, the Police Association and Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley Humane's entry was successful and here we are; officially Grumpy Town USA!

So this afternoon we put on our best grumpy faces and headed to Berkeley Humane's headquarters to meet the grumpiest cat on the planet.

Thursday 22 January 2015

52 Weeks: Week 3

Week 3: At the playground

We're so lucky to have so many great parks within walking distance of our apartment building. There's one particular park a few blocks from our home that we frequent the most. Ava and Lola take karate classes there twice a week, they like to ride their their bikes/scooters/skateboards there, and several times a week we head to the playground to play.

This week I thought I'd share some shots from our visit to the playground on Monday afternoon.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

A Few Days in Los Angeles

On our recent trip to Southern California we spent a couple of days in Los Angeles.

I'll be honest. LA isn't my favourite place but I figured we couldn't travel all the way down there and not see any of the city. Ava and Lola had only briefly visited Los Angeles in the past (a quick breakfast in Hollywood with my sister on the way to Disneyland and a transfer at LAX when we first arrived from Australia) and there were a few things they were pretty keen to see.

Ava and Lola couldn't wait to visit Santa Monica Pier, the stars on Hollywood Walk of Fame, the handprints and footprints in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater, and La Brea Tar Pit. But most of all, they couldn't wait to buy cupcakes from the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM! Ok, I was pretty excited about the cupcakes too!

The girls enjoyed Los Angeles and I must admit that I actually kind of warmed to it a little too. You won't be seeing us moving there any time soon but my opinion of the city has improved a little!

Here's a look at our time in Los Angeles...

Thursday 15 January 2015

A picnic with Yuba Flip Flop

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

If you follow Little Hiccups on Facebook or Instagram you've probably already seen Lola's new wheels. For the last few weeks Lola has been zooming around Berkeley on a bright pink Yuba Flip Flop balance bike. It goes everywhere with us: preschool, karate, swim class, the playground, the supermarket... If Lola's there, there's a good chance her Flip Flop is too. And now it's here on Little Hiccups!

I'm so excited to share Lola's new bike with you. When I first heard that Yuba Bicycles were releasing a balance bike I knew we had to get one for Lola. Our Yuba Mundo cargo bike has been such a great ride and I knew that Yuba's offering for the littlest members of the family would be just as high quality and as thoughtfully designed. And I was right!

Wednesday 14 January 2015

52 Weeks: Week 2

Week 2: Bath time

Bath time can be a pretty crazy time in our home with all three girls in the tub together. So much for a nice relaxing soak before bed!

Mathilde is the trouble maker of the trio. She splashes, climbs over her sisters, walks around the tub, pulls hair... She just doesn't stay still. I think the photo below says it all! I always have to take Mathilde out early so Ava and Lola can bathe without being terrorized by their little sister. 

Saturday 10 January 2015

Mission Santa Barbara

On our recent trip away over Christmas we spent a few days in beautiful Santa Barbara. As we were there for Christmas and to catch up with friends who were visiting from London we didn't get out and about an awful lot. We did make sure to spend one day playing tourist though and out first stop was the Mission Santa Barbara.

A few years back we stopped by Mission Santa Barbara for a quick look on our road trip home from Disneyland. Given that we were spending that day driving along the coast all the way back to San Francisco we didn't have time to actually go in. I snapped a few shots of the exterior of the mission and we continued on our way. Since then I've been eager to get back to Santa Barbara and take a proper look at the mission.

Mission Santa Barbara is located up in the hills overlooking the ocean. The views from the mission are just lovely. We were lucky to have a sunny day with clear blue skies - or maybe that's every day in Santa Barbara! 

Wednesday 7 January 2015

52 Weeks: Week 1

This year I have decided to take part in a 52 Week Project.

Each Wednesday I'll be posting a photo (or a few photos) showing a moment of our family life from that particular week. Ava, Lola and Mathilde will be the main focus and I love the idea of having a year's worth of their every day moments to look back on at the end of the year.

I look forward to sharing our lives with you over the next 52 weeks.


Week 1: Karate class

Every Tuesday and Thursday Ava and Lola attend karate class after school. Their karate class is held in a park a few blocks from our home. I love that they get to practice their karate outside in the sun rather than in a studio. At this time of year the sun sets quite early so the park has a lovely golden glow.

Right now the girls are practicing for their next belt test. Ava is working towards her yellow belt and Lola is working towards her white belt with one black stripe.

Mathilde is working on boosting her immunity by sucking on the playground equipment as she watches her big sisters!

Hooray for karate girls!

Windmills & Christmas Trees in Solvang

On our recent trip away over the Christmas break we visited Solvang, a Danish inspired village in southern California.

I'd been eager to visit Solvang since I first read about it a year ago. A little slice of Scandinavian cuteness right here in California, Solvang is a popular tourist town. The town's center is filled with quaint European style architecture: wood shingled roofs, windmills and half timbered "fachwerk" (I only know the German name) abound making for postcard perfect streetscapes. The town was originally established in 1911 by a group of Danes however most of the Danish inspired architecture dates from the period following World War 2, much of it built with tourism in mind.

Sunday 4 January 2015

Christmas 2014

Time for a look back at our Christmas for 2014.

This year we were away on vacation over the Christmas break and we spent the big day in Santa Barbara. The idea of staying in a hotel room over Christmas felt a little weird so I organised a house through AirBnB to stay in rather than a hotel. The logistics of Santa visiting us while we all slept in the same hotel room just seemed too tricky plus I wanted to be able to make a traditional Christmas lunch. I found a cute house on AirBnB that was perfect for our family and the owner was even kind enough to leave up their Christmas tree and decorations for us. That certainly made it feel more like Christmas for the kids.

Saturday 3 January 2015

Elf on the Shelf: Week 4

Ok, Christmas is over but I still have a few more Elf on the Shelf photos to share with you. So here's a look at week four of Elfie Pokie Nokie in our home - and on vacation with us!

On the twenty second day we caught Elfie playing with Ava's Lego. Ava had built a wagon and it just so happened that it was the perfect size for Elfie to sit in. That poor horse seems to be struggling though! 

Friday 2 January 2015

Eight Months Old

Due to our recent family vacation I'm a little late with Mathilde's latest update. But don't worry, I haven't forgotten.

For much of month number eight there wasn't a huge amount to report. Mathilde was growing and learning new things but nothing all that major. More just honing skills she'd already learned. And then about a week before she turned eight months old she pulled herself to standing against me (nothing new) and let go. And guess what? She didn't fall down! She just stood there, sturdy on her own two tiny feet. Since then Mathilde has been doing a lot of standing. Standing and clapping. The clapping is new too. I guess we applauded her standing so many times that she picked up on it. And now she applauds herself with a little clap too! I love how proud of herself she looks when she stands. Like she knows it's a big achievement. 

Mathilde refused to stand for me during her eight month photo shoot (I take the photos on my bed so it's a little squishy for standing) but you can see her here on Instagram. Are you following Little Hiccups on Instagram? If not, make sure to follow me to keep up with what we're doing when I'm too busy to blog.

Ok, back to Mathilde...

Happy New Year 2015

Happy new year!

It's been a little quiet here on Little Hiccups. Our family has been away on vacation and while I planned to blog about our adventures as they panned out it, it just never happened. A clingy baby who refused to sleep on her own, late nights for the big kids, and patchy hotel wifi don't make for the best blogging environment. Plus sometimes it's just nice to have a little break from the computer.

But I'm back now and I have lots of posts lined up.  I usually try not to post more than once a day but over the next week there may be a few extra posts (Mathilde's monthly update follows directly after this one, for example). Coming up I'll have posts about our adventures in Southern California, our Christmases (we celebrated twice: on Christmas Day in Santa Barbara and back home on New Year's Day), one more Elf on the Shelf update, a slightly delayed Christmas craft (inspiration for next year perhaps!)... Plus I have loads of other posts that I've been meaning to share. Can you believe that I still haven't written detailed posts about our trip to Seattle and Portland over the Summer?!

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