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Monday 28 September 2015

Super Blood Moon

As I'm sure you're all aware, tonight's moon was pretty damn special.

Tonight we experienced a Super Blood Moon; the result of a full lunar eclipse coinciding with a super moon (the moon being at its closest orbit to earth). Separately, these two events are not uncommon, but to have them happen at the same time is quite rare. The last Super Blood Moon was back in 1982. The next one won't be until 2033.

We were lucky to have a pretty clear night here in Berkeley. There was low lying cloud over the hills and I was a little worried that it would block our view, but once the moon rose above the cloud we were in for a spectacular sight. We watched the red moon rise over Downtown Berkeley and the UC Berkeley campus with the iconic Campanille tower lit up in the foreground.

Sunday 27 September 2015

YouTube Summer Picnic

Time to play catch up on some of our adventures from the Summer Break... 

During the last week of the girls' Summer Break we attended the YouTube Summer Picnic which was held at Long Branch Saloon & Farm, a replica old west town near Half Moon Bay.

We spent the day playing wild west themed side show games, panning for gold, petting farm animals, eating yummy food, and playing mini golf.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

52 Weeks: Week 37

Week 37: Cedar Rose Park

This past weekend the girls and I took a walk to our local REI store to purchase a new tent to camp out in at the upcoming Hoesdown Festival at Fully Belly Farm.

Our walk home was quite long and the girls were in need of a break so we stopped to play at Cedar Rose Park; a park that we often pass through while bike riding, but never stop at to play.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

A Perfectly Simple on the go Snack

Like most Mums, I find myself on the go with the kids a lot. Between school drop off, school pick ups (at two different times), swim classes, karate classes, grocery shopping, errands, appointments and play dates etc I often find myself a little stretched when it comes to finding time for myself. Especially seeing as I'm always on foot. I love that we're able to live car free here in Berkeley but it does mean that all of my errands etc take a little longer.

As crazy as it sounds, I often find myself forgetting to eat. I always make sure that the kids are fed, but it's quite a common occurrence that I get to dinner time and realize that I haven't consumed anything other than coffee since breakfast time. Of course, if I'm not eating regularly then I'm not at my best for my kids or myself.

While I was pregnant with Mathilde I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. During my pregnancy it was more important than ever that I made sure to eat regularly, especially with the diabetes. That said, I was on the go even more than usual with all of the appointments I had to attend. To make sure that I didn't miss out on eating I kept my handbag stocked full of protein bars. My gestational diabetes may be long gone, but my habit of carrying protein bars with me has remained.

Zone Perfect Perfectly Simple bars are a great choice as a snack on the go. They're packed full of ingredients that not only taste good, but are actually good for you too. With flavors like Bing Cherry & Almond, Almond Toffee Crunch, Roasted Cashew & Dark Chocolate, and Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk there's a Perfectly Simple bar for whatever I'm craving. I like to keep an assortment of bars in my handbag at all times.

Tuesday 15 September 2015

52 Weeks: Week 36

Week 36: Baseball, Green Day & Fireworks

I'm a little behind with my 52 Week Project posts so this fun evening from week 36 already feels a world away.

Over the recent long weekend we attended an Oakland A's baseball game. We try and make it to one or two baseball games a year as it's always a fun day out. It's especially fun when it's a firework game; a game with a fireworks display after the final innings. This particular firework game caught my eye when I saw it advertised thanks to two little words: Green Day. Bay Area locals Green Day were being honored at the game after their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. The trio were presented with A's shirts before the game, Billie Joe Armstrong threw the first ball, and an amazing fireworks show set to Green Day music provided much entertainment after the game.

Saturday 12 September 2015

Nestlé Crunch Mocha Frappe + A Give Away

Now that my two big kids are at school all day it's just Mathilde and I at home.

For the most part, I'm just as busy as I was with two, or even three kids at home. Being a toddler, Mathilde is definitely the most demanding of my time out of the three kids. Ava and Lola are old enough to keep themselves occupied without getting into trouble - most of the time! But not Mathilde. She's a little trouble maker, this one! If she's not drawing on furniture with markers, or pouring soil from a potted plant on the carpet, or spreading yogurt all over the couch, then she's climbing on top of me to nurse constantly, or bashing at the keyboard while I try to work, or spreading dirty clothes from the laundry hamper everywhere - while getting frustrated as she tries to dress herself in them. Being at home with just one of my kids isn't necessarily as quiet as I imagined that it would be. 

All that said, being a toddler, Mathilde still takes a pretty long nap each day. And what a glorious thing that is! Just one kid at home and she's sleeping. For a whole hour. Sometimes even two! 

Like most busy Mums I usually make the most of nap time by catching up on house work. Or I get a little work done on the blog. But every now and then I take this time just for myself. It's not something I get to do often, but having an hour just to myself, to sit down with a coffee and a book - or even a little trash tv - is like a little piece of heaven. Of course, a little piece of heaven isn't complete without a little piece of chocolate. Ok, maybe a big piece of chocolate!

It's been pretty hot here over the past few weeks so I've been mixing up my coffee break routine with an icy cold coffee rather than my regular latte. To make my coffee break even sweeter I've been adding one of my favorite chocolate bars, Nestlé® Crunch®, into the mix - literally! I call this my Nestlé® Crunch® Mocha Frappe. It's cold, it's frothy, it's chocolatey, it has teeny, tiny crunchy pieces, and it's got that all important shot of coffee to get me through the rest of the day.

Sound's good, right? And it looks good too. Just look at that frothy, chocolately goodness!

Ok, so now you're probably feeling like drinking one of these bad boys. I know I am. Here's how you make it...

Wednesday 9 September 2015

52 Weeks: Week 35

Week 35: Swimming

With the hot weather that we've been experiencing lately it seems fitting that this installment of my 52 Week Project (which is actually for last week as I'm behind... again!) features some water based fun.

As an end of Summer Vacation treat the girls and I spent an afternoon with friends at Lake Anza in Tilden Park, high up in the Berkeley Hills. We had such a fun time at the lake that before we knew it, the whole afternoon had slipped away. The girls splashed about in the cool water, they made sand castles, they chased each other with water pistols, and they played all sorts of made up games. Definitely a fun afternoon to remember.

Sunday 6 September 2015

Happy (Australian) Father's Day 2015

Today is Father's Day in Australia.

Well, it was actually Father's Day in Australia yesterday, but it's Australian Father's Day in America today. It's already tomorrow in Australia. Damn time zones!

Anyway, today we are celebrating Father's Day. Lucky Kim gets to celebrate Father's Day twice a year as Australia and America hold Father's Day on different dates (June for America and September for Australia). Not so lucky me only gets one Mother's Day as they're held on the same day in both countries. Technically we missed American Father's Day this year as we were on a plane to Australia at the time and due to crossing the international date line we skipped ahead a whole day. We boarded the plane on a Saturday and less than 24 hours later we arrived in Australia on a Monday. The Sunday, which happened to be American Father's Day, just disappeared into thin air. Confusing, right? Even though we missed American Father's Day, the girls still treated Kim with presents and home made cards when we arrived in Australia.

For Australian Father's Day the girls also treated Kim with gifts and home made cards. They always choose a pair of socks each to give Daddy for Father's Day, because that's what Father's Day is all about, right? Socks and underpants! I love the colorful designs from Swedish company Happy Socks so the girls chose a crazy pattern each to make Kim's feet a little happier.

And here's a look at the cards that Ava and Lola made for Kim. Lola was over drawing by the time she made Kim's card so it was a little rushed! Ava's card has some interesting spelling!

Thursday 3 September 2015

First Day of School 2015

Yesterday was the first day of school for the new year - and the first day of school ever for Lola!

I can't believe I have two school kids. Ava is now in third grade and Lola is in Transitional Kindergarten.

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is a relatively new class created for kids whose birthdays fall just after the cut off for Kindergarten. In the past kids were allowed to start Kindergarten if they turned five by the end of December. Over the past few years the cut off date has crept forward, and as of this year kids now need to turn five by the first day of school. Lola misses out by just over a month, which really sucks! I would have much preferred for her to go straight into Kindergarten but at least we had the option for her to attend TK.

The girls were pretty excited as they got ready for school in the morning. Ava was obviously eager to get back to school as she woke up around 6am, made herself breakfast, and was dressed and ready to go by 7am! School doesn't start until 9:10am so that gave her plenty of time to play Minecraft. Lola slept in a little longer, as usual, but was excited about her big day none the less.

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