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Thursday 28 May 2015

52 Weeks: Week 21

Week 21: Long Weekend Getaway

This past weekend was a long weekend for Memorial Day here in America. Kim had the Monday off work so we decided to go on a three day trip to the High Sierras region of California. I'll have more detailed posts coming soon about each of the places that we visited over the weekend but for now I wanted to share a quick look at our adventure.

On a side note, here's a strange thing about working in America that my Australian friends might find interesting... While there are quite a few public holidays each year, your employer decides which ones you get off. And I don't just mean for people working in stores or restaurants that may happen to be open on a public holiday, I mean for everyone! Your employer sets how many public holidays you are entitled to each year and then they chose which holidays those will be. How weird is that?

Anyway, back to the story...

I've been keen to visit a ghost town for such a long time. A friend recently took a trip through the High Sierras and visited the ghost town of Bodie. When I saw the photos on Facebook I just knew that we had to go there. Bodie is a real life ghost town that boomed back in the late 1800s gold rush and then died off as the gold petered out. The whole town is now a State Historic Park and has been preserved in a state of  "arrested decay", existing just as it did when the last residents left.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Cooking with Kids: Fruit Yoghurt Popsicles

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Mountain High Yoghurt but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

It's been a while since I've shared a cooking with kids post on Little Hiccups so today I'm sharing a super easy and delicious recipe that is perfect for the warmer weather.

Like many kids, my girls love yoghurt. They eat it on it's own, with fruit, with granola, and mixed in smoothies, but by far their favorite way to eat it is as a popsicle! Our freezer is always stocked full of home made yoghurt popsicles. The girls feel like they're getting a treat when they eat one, and I know that they're actually eating something wholesome and healthy. It's a win-win for everyone!

The other great thing about yoghurt popsicles is that they are super simple to make - easy enough for kids to make on their own. Plus there's no end to the flavor combinations you can make. We usually make ours with berries but they would work well with pretty much any fruit. Mango and passionfruit would be divine.

Saturday 23 May 2015

Maker Faire 2015

Last weekend was a super busy one for us. On Saturday Ava competed in the Berkeley Kids' Marathon (and won!) and on Sunday we headed down to San Mateo for the 10th Annual Bay Area Maker Faire.

This was out third year visiting Maker Faire and just like our previous visits we had a blast - not literally of course, although there were plenty of things there that go kaboom!

There's always so much to see and do at Maker Faire. Admittedly, we only ever see about half of the displays. It's such a huge event that you'd really need two full days to experience it all. While I'd love to see all of it, the kids are always exhausted by the end of the day. All that fun is tiring!

Thursday 21 May 2015

52 Weeks: Week 20

Week 20: Bike to Work (School) Day

The last week was one filled with lots of physical activities for the kids, especially Ava. On top of their usual karate, swim and dance classes, and riding and scooting to school, we also had a runathon at Ava's school, the Berkeley Kids' Triathlon (which Ava won!) and Bike to Work (School) Day. What a busy week!

Last Thursday was Bike to Work (School) Day and Ava was super excited to ride her bike to school. She usually rides her scooter as it's easier in the mornings. She'd love to ride her bike every day but we're always in a hurry and collecting her bike from the garage plus locking it up again at school adds too much time. So riding her bike to school for this special day made it more of a treat.

Saturday 16 May 2015

Berkeley Kids' Triathlon 2015

Today Ava competed in the Berkeley Kids' Triathlon for the third year in a row.

I can't wait until the end of the post so I'm just going to blurt it out now...

...She won!

She won! She won! She won!

I'm so happy for my little triathlete.

Friday 15 May 2015

Get Well Cards

Yesterday Ava and Lola were making get well cards for a family member and it got me thinking about a card that I made back in 2008 when Ava was a toddler. At the time my Grandma was in hospital and I thought that seeing her little great-grand daughter playing doctor would cheer her up a little.

So we got out the toy doctor's kit, some bandaids and bandages, and a patient - in this case, one of Ava's teddy bears. I bandaged up the bear's arm and Doctor Ava set about checking his heart rate and temperature, feeding him medicine, giving him needles, and putting spare bandages across his face!

Here's a look at the collage card I put together.

Thursday 14 May 2015

52 Weeks: Week 19

Week 19: Art Show

Last Thursday we visited an art exhibition featuring our very own little artist.

Students at Ava's school take part in an art education program with teachers from Kala Art Institute here in Berkeley. Now that the school year is coming to an end (eek!) the educators at Kala have put together an exhibition of work created by all students at Ava's school. Unlike a regular school art show that would generally be on display in a school auditorium, this exhibition is on display at the Kala Gallery. An actual gallery! How cool is that?

Last Thursday was the opening night of the exhibition so we headed to the Kala Gallery to check out the artwork on display.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Circus Party Invitations

A few weeks back we celebrated Mathilde's first birthday with a circus themed party. (You can see it here.) I still have a few posts to share with you about her party so let's get back into party mode.

Today let's have a look at the party invitations...

There are so many circus themed invitations available out there. It's such a popular party theme for kids (and even adults) that you can always find something ready made. But if you know me you'll know that I'm not a fan of ready made. I like to make my own invitations - even if it means late nights and being driven crazy by a printer that chooses the worst times to play up! I was originally going to go with a more traditional circus theme for Mathilde's invitations (big top, carnival tickets, circus font...) but decided to go with something a little different. Something that looked more like my style. I was really happy with the reptile invitations that I made for Ava's 7th birthday party last year (you can see them here) so I decided to stick with that format albeit with circus animals this time around. A few Schleich animals, some felt and feathers, a hot glue gun, a white background and I was done.

Saturday 9 May 2015

Take Your Child to Work Day

Every now and then the kids get the opportunity to do something that seems straight out of an 80s American sitcom to me. Something I never got to experience during my own childhood in Australia but saw on countless American TV shows as I grew up. Carving pumpkins, trick or treating, handing out Valentine's to the class, long Summer vacations, cheer leading, selling homemade lemonade for a quarter... All of these things were completely foreign to me as a child but have become favorite experiences for my own kids. Recently we got to cross another American childhood institution off the list: Take Your Child to Work Day.

Two weeks back it was Take Your Child to Work Day at YouTube where Kim works. The kids were so excited about going to work with Daddy. Ok, so was I! Not only was I keen to see Kim's workplace, but I was kind of excited to be able to live vicariously through my kids and take part in something I'd seen on TV so many times as a kid. Admittedly, as a kid I did actually go to work my parents on many occasions. Our family owned a transport business and I spent many hours riding in a truck with my Dad, my little brother and my cousins. But on TV Take Your Child to Work Day almost always took place in a large city office building so to me riding in a truck just wasn't the same. It never involved a day off school either!

The other reason to be excited about Take Your Child to Work Day? We knew that there was a fun day full of exciting activities in store for us!

Thursday 7 May 2015

52 Weeks: Week 18

Week 18: Family Fun Night

Last Friday night Lola's preschool held a Family Fun Night fundraiser. Lola was super excited about it and counted down the days all week. And there was good reason for her to be excited. With craft activities, yummy food, a make your own dessert stand, and a petting zoo there was plenty of fun to be excited about.

First up Ava and Lola made "beautiful" headbands complete with long ribbons and tulle bows. They wore these all night and looked rather '80s!

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Free To Be Adventurous with all free clear

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by all free clear but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

My three girls love to be in the water. Swimming pools, beaches, lakes, creeks, the bathtub... you name it, they love splashing in it. With the weather warming up as we approach Summer playing in water is on the girls' minds more and more. We may live in California but we don't live close to any decent beaches so when the weather is hot and we want to cool off we tend to head to a nearby creek in one of our favorite Berkeley parks.

Ava and Lola always love splashing around in the creek at Live Oak Park and Mathilde has just started to join them. The water is never very deep which makes it perfect for paddling around in, and with the towering redwoods along the edge, the creek is always shady and cool. Smooth rocks line the creek bed with larger rocks sticking up acting as stepping stones - perfect for when we want to cross without getting too wet. The edges of the creek are smooth and make the perfect place for Mathilde's little feet to get wet without the risk of slipping on the rocks.

Saturday 2 May 2015

Drop Everything And Read Day

Yesterday Ava's school celebrated Drop Everything And Read Day (D.E.A.R Day).

To celebrate, students were invited to come to school dressed as a favorite book character. You know we can't miss an opportunity to play dress up so the girls and I were pretty excited about this.

When I was a kid in Australia we always celebrated Book Week at school with a dress up day and a parade. Every year I see my friends' kids dressed up for Book Week on Facebook and I feel like my girls are missing out. Of course, we get Halloween which is much bigger, but still I feel a little jealous that we're missing out on the fun. So when the opportunity to dress up for D.E.A.R Day came up I jumped on it.

Friday 1 May 2015

How to Throw a Circus Party

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Today I thought I'd share some of the details from Mathilde's recent circus themed birthday party.

A circus theme is so much fun and is always popular with both boys and girls of all ages. There are so many great options out there for decorating for a circus theme, and you can keep it as simple or as over the top as you like. I like to aim for something right in the middle. A definite theme but not too much. The items I'm sharing below can be mixed and matched depending on how much of a theme you'd like.

Here's a look at some of my favorite items for a circus themed party. You can click the links below to purchase.

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