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Friday 30 December 2016

Elf on the Shelf: Week 4

Christmas is over for another year but I still have a few Christmas themed posts to share with you. First up is the last week of Elfie Pokie Nokie's adventures in our home.

Here's a look at what he got up to in those last few days before Christmas...

Day 22
We already know that Elfie likes to try out other holidays and celebrations (we've found him getting into the girls' Halloween buckets before and playing dreidel for Hannukah) but this time we found him playing with left over party props from Lola's rainbow unicorn themed birthday party. For Lola's party (which was back in October) I made a unicorn pinata and the girls loved it so much they wanted to keep it. The broke it open ever so carefully - or as carefully as you can when hitting something with a stick! - and then Ava taped it back up again. She made a little mess with the tape so she wrapped the unicorns "wound" with a bandanna bandage. Elfie used the bandanna to his advantage and tied it around his waist so he could sit comfortably on the unicorn. Looks like a comfy spot, and let's face it, who would pass up the chance to ride a unicorn?

Monday 26 December 2016

Christmas Day 2016

Christmas has been and gone for another year. Did you celebrate yesterday? After spending the past two Christmases travelling we decided to keep things a little more quiet this year and spend Christmas at home. 

Christmas morning the girls woke up early, as I'm sure every other kid did, and after nursing Mathilde we made our way into the living room to see if Santa had visited over night. The first thing the kids saw were sparkly footprints in the hallway. Looks like Santa visited!

Saturday 24 December 2016

Tilden Park Carousel

It's Christmas Eve! Can you believe it?

I feel like this whole month has just flown by and we haven't had a chance to do as much festive stuff as we had hoped - sick kids make it tricky to get out and about. The girls have been off school this past week so we managed to fit in a few days of Christmas fun - before the next kid sickness hit. It's been a bad month for sick kids in our home.

Wednesday night we jumped in a Zipcar and headed up into the Berkeley Hills to visit the Tilden Park Carousel. We've been to the carousel several time during the day but never before at night. In the lead up to Christmas each year the carousel is open in the evening for rides under the twinkling Christmas lights. A festive display of lights and inflatables surrounds the carousel building and on certain nights Santa even makes an appearance. It's a fun Berkeley Christmas institution that we haven't taken part in until now.

Friday 23 December 2016

Elf on the Shelf: Week 3

We've been pretty busy around here preparing for Christmas and it seems that Elfie Pokie Nokie, our Elf on the Shelf, has been just as busy. 

This week has seen Elfie try his hand at ballet, playing with toys, eating tasty cookies, getting a little wrapped up in the bathroom, and just hanging around. Here's a look...

Day 15
In past years we've found Elfie practicing ballet with Barbies from the Nutcracker, but this year it looks like he decided to take it a step further and dress up himself! That Barbie dress is a perfect fit! The tights are a little long though! Sugar Plum Fairy Barbie seems pretty happy with Elfie's effort.

Monday 19 December 2016

Christmas Tree Farm Visit 2016

Can you believe that Christmas is less than a week away? Eek!

We've been getting into the Christmas spirit little by little this year. I had planned to have a super festive month in the lead up to the big day, but with Ava being so sick (a week of croup followed by a week of pneumonia) and all the running around that comes with this time of year, things haven't been as festive as I would have liked. But we do have a Christmas tree so that's a great start, right?

This year we visited a Christmas tree farm and cut down our own tree. We had to put it off a few times due to heavy rain and Ava being unwell, but we finally got there last Sunday. In the past we've headed north to Sebastapol to visit a Christmas tree farm, but this year we decided to stay local to the East Bay and visited Castro Valley Christmas Tree Farm just a half hour drive south of Berkeley.

Thursday 15 December 2016

Elf on the Shelf: Week 2

Another week with Elfie Pokie Nokie in our home has gone by. 

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

Day 8
Elfie Pokie Nokie spent day 8 in our home just hanging around - literally! We have air plants in glass planters hanging in our dining room window. One of them died so I took it out and Elfie obviously decided he would take its place. He doesn't look at all comfortable but he spent the whole day there so it mustn't have been too bad.

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Holiday Reading with Kindle for Kids

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Amazon. All photos and opinions are my own.

Can you believe that the holidays are almost here? I must admit that I'm in disbelief that the kids will be finishing up school for the Winter Break at the end of this week. Of course, the kids are super excited about it. Two weeks off school with their favorite holiday right in the middle - what could be better than that?

This year we don't have any major travel plans for the Winter Break but we will be making the most of the time off with local day trips and adventures. We'll also be making sure to spend plenty of quiet time relaxing. Things can get pretty chaotic at this time of year and we've also been dealing with a few illnesses over the past few weeks, so some much deserved rest and relaxation is definitely on the cards. For everyone! 

When it comes to relaxing, there are few things that could be better than finding a cozy spot and getting comfortable with a good book. This is true for the kids as well as us adults. Ava, in particular, is an avid reader and spends a lot of her spare time curled up with a favorite book, whether it be in her bed, on the couch, in a blanket fort, or under a tree in a park on a nice day.

Saturday 10 December 2016

Our Christmas Cards 2016

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Minted and contains affiliate links. All photos and opinions are my own.

It's finally starting to feel like Christmas around here. We may not have a tree yet, or any decorations up, but I did send our Christmas cards out yesterday! 

This year, like last year, I printed our Christmas cards with Minted. I was so happy with the quality of our cards last year and the variety of the designs available that I just couldn't go past Minted when it came to making this year's cards. I am so happy with how they turned out!

Thursday 8 December 2016

Elf on the Shelf: Week 1

Elfie Pokie Nokie, our Elf on the Shelf has been back in our home for the past week now, and, as usual, he has been getting up to all sorts of mischief. Here's a look at what he has been up to over the past week...

Day 1
Elfie arrived from the North Pole for his annual stay in our home on December 1st. As always, he arrived with our advent calendar. No crazy antics for the first day, but the girls were happy to see him back in his regular spot. He blends in quite nicely, don't you think?

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Berkeley Snow Day 2016

This past Sunday we spent a day in the snow - without even leaving Berkeley!

It may not actually snow here in the Bay Area, but each December Berkeley's kids (big and small) can spend a few hours playing in the snow right here in our very own backyard thanks to our annual snow day event, Snow? In Berkeley?.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Our Family Photos

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you thanks to San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer, Sarah Sloboda. All opinions are my own. 

I'm so excited to share with you today the photos from our recent family photo shoot! This was the first time we'd ever had real family photos taken, and I'm so happy with how they turned out. 

For our family photos I booked a mini shoot with San Francisco Bay Area Photographer, Sarah Sloboda. Our shoot was held outside Lawrence Hall of Science in the Berkeley Hills, with the simple 1960s lines of the building as a backdrop.  

As you can see, it was a pretty rainy, grey day when we had our photo shoot. At first I had worried that we'd have to reschedule for a day with sunshine predicted, but Sarah assured me that the overcast weather would result in beautiful light. And she was right! No harsh shadows, no one squinting... Just lovely diffused light.  

We had a mix of photos taken; some with all five of us, and some with just the kids. Of course, there were plenty of silly faces from the kids, especially Mathilde, and a few grumpy faces from Lola (she wasn't happy about being out in the cold at first), but these made for fun candid shots.

The rain wasn't particularly heavy so we braved a few shots out in the open. I really love the falling rain in the shot below. It almost looks like snow! We can pretend, right?

Our photo shoot with Sarah was just right for our family. It was pretty relaxed and the kids felt very comfortable with Sarah. The 20 minute long mini session was the perfect amount of time - especially given how cold and rainy it was!

Sarah offers seasonal mini shoots throughout the year at selected locations, as well as one hour packages at the location of your choice. Wouldn't a booking for a family photo shoot make a wonderful Christmas gift? You can find more details about photo shoot packages and pricing at http://sarahsloboda.com/.

Thank you so much Sarah for our amazing photos!

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Five Years in America

I'm almost a month late with this post, but better late then never, right?

As of October 25th Ava, Lola and I have now lived in America for five years! I'm still in disbelief at how quickly the time has flown by. I know it sounds like such a cliche, but it really does feel like we just moved here yesterday. Those five years have gone by so quickly. So much has changed in that time. When I look back at the photos from the day we said goodbye to our friends and family back home in Adelaide, I see Ava as a pre-schooler and Lola as a one year old. They were so little. And, of course, Mathilde wasn't even born.

Like I've done in previous years, today I'm going to share a look back at the last twelve months of our life in America. As always, to read more about a particular event, vacation or outing just click the bold and underlined link. This is going to be a long post with lots of fun pictures (I always struggle to narrow down my favorites) so get yourself a cup of coffee, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy our fifth year in America...

Friday 11 November 2016

Lighting my Office Space + an OttLite Giveaway

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by OttLite. All pictures and opinions are my own.

I don't talk about our home that much here on Little Hiccups, but it's something that I get asked about fairly often by those who know me. With five people living in a small-ish, two bedroom apartment I'm often asked how we make it work. Our home is definitely not a tiny home (despite Ava's wishes that it was!) and by Bay Area standards, a 900sf apartment certainly isn't considered small, but it can get a little squishy at times.

There are many challenges to living in a small space, and I hope to share some of my solutions on the blog one day (once I get around to fixing the biggest one - clutter!) but for now I wanted to share the space where I spend the majority of my waking hours - my "office". Creating an office space in which I can work comfortably has been a challenge in our apartment. I'm not a fan of working on a laptop on the couch, especially when editing photos, so a dedicated desk space with a large monitor is important. Considering that I spend many hours a day sitting at it, having my desk located somewhere comfortable was a top priority when we moved into our apartment three years ago. As luck would have it, our apartment features a long entryway, wide and long enough to fit my desk (Ikea Besta Burs), filing cabinet (CB2 tps 3 drawer) and replica Eames dining chair. As you can see, it's also where we store Mathilde's stroller! While this area fits everything I need perfectly, it is lacking in one important factor... there are no windows, and therefore no natural light.

Friday 4 November 2016

Halloween 2016

Halloween has been and gone for another year, and once again the girls had an absolute blast celebrating. If you're following Little Hiccups on Instagram then you would've already seen a few pics from our Halloween, but I thought it was about time I shared all the fun on the blog.

This year I managed to convince the girls to go with a group costume! I still can't really believe I managed to pull it off, and I'm sure it will be the last time that Ava agrees to dress like her little sisters, but I'm so happy with how my little Powerpuff Girls turned out! I mean, look at how cute they are in their costumes together!

Friday 28 October 2016

My Morning with Oakland Coffee

So, today I had planned to spend the day finishing Halloween costumes. But then late last night I saw an email that changed all of that. Mike Dirnt from Green Day would be at a local Costco promoting the launch of his coffee brand Oakland Coffee!

Being a huge Green Day fan, and having missed out on tickets for last week's show at the UC Theatre, I just had to go! So costume making plans were pushed aside and Mathilde and I headed to Costco in nearby Richmond straight after school drop off.

Mathilde, being a toddler, had no idea who we were there to see, but when Mike pulled up in his little Volkswagen truck she was pretty excited. Not to see Mike, of course, but to see the truck! I mean, that is a pretty cool truck - and she is slightly obsessed with anything with wheels.

Thursday 27 October 2016

Fall Family Photo Shoot

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you thanks to San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer, Sarah Sloboda. All opinions are my own. 

Can you believe that we've never had family photos taken before? Crazy, right? We have plenty of terrible family vacation snaps taken at touristy spots by passing strangers (who never seem to be able to hold the camera still or compose the photo nicely!) but when it comes to professional photos the only ones we've ever had taken were newborn photos of Ava when she was two weeks old! Oh, and our wedding photos! Considering that we're now a family of five (and have been for two and a half years), I don't think either of those really count as family photos.

So this year I decided we needed to do something about our lack of family photos. I'm excited to say that we'll be working with San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer Sarah Sloboda on a family photo shoot in November. I can't wait to share our photos with you, but in the meantime I want to share some of Sarah's work with you.

When I was a kid, family photo shoots meant dressing in semi formal outfits and standing awkwardly with your family in front of a pretend background in a studio. They also involved lots of forced smiles that looked more like grimaces! I can assure that I grimace every time I see the family photos at my parents' house. Sorry Mum! But, I can also assure you there will be none of this for our family photos. 

What I love about Sarah's family photography is that the personality of each person shines through. Her casual style results in photos that feel natural rather than forced. The little quirks are what make the photo in my opinion. That cute toddler poking her tongue out below? Totally the highlight for me! Knowing Mathilde, we'll definitely end up with more than one tongue poking out shot! And knowing Lola, there may just be duck face too. 

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Halloween Candy Bunting

Earlier this year the girls and I made Easter bunting for our front door using bunny shaped Peeps. The colorful bunting was a big hit with the girls, so when I spotted ghost shaped Peeps for Halloween in the supermarket recently, I just knew that we had to get creative with squishy marshmallow again.

So, yesterday Lola and I made Halloween bunting out of ghost shaped Peeps and that Halloween candy that everyone loves to hate - candy corn.

The instructions for making this bunting are pretty much exactly the same as out Easter bunting (which you can find here) but I thought I'd share them again.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Camping at Pinecrest

Disclaimer: This post made possible thanks to Toyota. All opinions are my own. 

The weather here in the Bay Area is finally starting to cool down. I love the cooler weather, but it has got me thinking about our last adventure of this Summer: our camping trip to Pinecrest in the Sierra Nevadas over the Labor Day long weekend. If you follow Little Hiccups on Instagram you would've already seen a few of my favorite shots from that trip, but I figured it was about time I shared all of it here on the blog. 

Our camping trip to Pinecrest Lake Resort was our first proper camping trip with the kids. We've camped out in our tent several times at the Hoes Down Festival, but this was our first time at a proper camp ground, cooking our meals over a fire, and roasting marshmallows for s'mores in the cool mountain air. It was such a fun experience and the girls are keen to do it again soon - although not with weather like we currently have, and definitely not in the mountains over Winter! The early morning temperatures over our camping trip were approaching freezing even at the end of Summer. I can't imagine how cold it must get over Winter!

Sunday 23 October 2016

Lola's Rainbow Unicorn Party

Yesterday we celebrated Lola's 6th birthday with a rainbow unicorn themed party on our roof deck.

After the grey and rainy weather of last weekend (when it was actually Lola's birthday), we were in luck with perfect weather for the party. It was a little overcast, and the view over the bay was foggy, but the sun was shining and the temperature was just right. Not too hot, not too cold. 

Monday 17 October 2016

P is for Places: An ABC of Travel

It's no secret that we are a family of travelers. There's nothing I love more than packing our bags, hopping on a plane and finding ourselves in a new location, with new and exciting things for the kids to discover. Sure, travelling with kids can be stressful at times, but what we gain from the experience makes it all worth it.

Travel really is such a great way to educate kids about the world. It gives them the chance to learn about different cultures, different environments, different foods... But that education doesn't have to begin and end with the travel itself. My kids love to learn about places that we'll be visiting before our trip even begins. We read books, watch documentaries, and search the internet to learn about where we'll be going. Not only do the kids learn something new, but so to do I.

Once we're back home from a trip, the learning doesn't stop. We still read about the places we've visited, we look through our photos, and we talk about what we've seen and experienced. I often make photo books of our vacations and it got me thinking about how else we can use our travel experiences for education. Then it occurred to me... An ABC book of all the places we've been! 

I've always loved the idea of making an ABC book featuring my own photos of items/people/places that the girls are familiar with. Considering that we love travel so much, an ABC book of places was the perfect fit. 

Sunday 9 October 2016

Orange & Green Karate Belts

My two karate kids, Ava and Lola, had another belt test yesterday and I'm happy to say that they both passed. Hooray! Ava is now a green belt and Lola is an orange belt. These kids are accruing karate belts faster than I ever imagined.

The girls and their classmates did such a good job. Everyone passed the test and we now have three green belts and three orange belts in the class. The test was held in the park where we meet for classes. There were quite a few other people around but the kids were so good at staying focused and weren't bothered by all the people watching them or the kids and dogs playing nearby. As you can see, it was quite late in the day so the sun was starting to set as the test progressed. It made for the most beautiful light.

Saturday 8 October 2016

Hoes Down Harvest Festival 2016

Last weekend we left the city and headed to Fully Belly Farm in Yolo County for the annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival. This was our third time attending the festival and it was just as much fun as it was in previous years. Even better - it wasn't scorching hot like it has been in the past! And it wasn't stormy overnight like last year, so camping out was a little more comfortable. 

Monday 3 October 2016

Stop Motion Animation Fun with Goldfish

Between swim team and karate classes, my girls are generally pretty busy after school. Weekends, however, are a different story. I like to keep weekends free from regular activities so we can be free to do whatever we want without having to work around a schedule. We tend to spend a lot of our weekend time just hanging around at home relaxing. It's nice to have a little down time after such a busy week, but at the same time it can get a little, well... boring! To keep the kids from heading straight to the tv I like to have a few activities up my sleeve to keep them busy. Simple things like painting, coloring, building with Lego, playing board games, or making puzzles generally go down pretty well, but sometimes they want to do something a little bit different.

A while back we visited the Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco and the girls made their own animated movies. They had a blast making their little movies and have been asking if they can make their own at home. Stop motion animation is actually really easy to make at home with just a few items: a camera (or smart phone/tablet), a tripod, a background, and small items to be the star of the show. You can really use anything: toy animals, dolls, building blocks, toy cars... even food! We decided to go down the food route and made Lola's animation with one of her favorite snacks. Goldfish crackers!

Goldfish crackers are a big hit in our home when it comes to snack time so we've always got a pack or two in the pantry. They're oh so moreish and the whole family loves them. With their smiley little faces, Lola decided that Goldfish would make the perfect characters for her animation. Well, that, and it gave her a fantastic excuse to them afterwards!

Here's a look at how we made our animation...

Friday 30 September 2016

Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle

Ok... so when I started writing this post it was Thursday, and National Coffee Day, the holiest of all the food holidays - expect for maybe National Donut Day which is filled of holes. Ha! See what I did there?

Anyway, National Coffee Day seemed like the perfect day to share our visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery. Or at least, it would have been had I finished writing this post on the actual day. Of course, now it's no longer Thursday, so National Coffee Day is sadly a thing of the past, but hey, I'm only a few hours late so let's just pretend!

Today it's National Coffee Day (shh... we're pretending, remember?) so what better day to share our visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle over Summer. I know, I know... a post about a Starbucks store doesn't sound all that interesting, but trust me; this isn't your regular Starbucks. This is swanky Starbucks. The fancy Starbucks. A Starbucks for true lovers of coffee. Scroll through the photos below and you'll see that not only does this Starbucks look nothing like a regular Starbucks, there's something different about the people too. Not a single person is sitting in front of a computer - well, apart from the guy controlling the coffee roasting machine, but we're not counting him. The customers are engaging in conversation. They're taking time to enjoy their coffee. They're watching the roasting and brewing processes. This is not a Starbucks to grab a paper cup of coffee in order to make use of the free wifi for hours - don't get me started on how much that very American practice still drives me crazy. This Starbucks is a destination. Oh, and look at the cups... they're ceramic. They're glass. They're not paper and they don't have names spelled strangely on the side in Sharpie. Of course, they do have paper cups for take out though, but they're fancier paper cups!

Thursday 29 September 2016

Monterey County for Families

Monterey and the Big Sur Coastline is one of my favorite places for a weekend getaway from the Bay Area. It's a relatively short drive down the coast, yet it feels a world away from home.

The world class Monterey Bay Aquarium is definitely the biggest draw card for our family of sea life loving kiddos, but the beaches and the stunning coastal views are enough to make Monterey County a great destination on their own.

Here's a look at some of our favorite destinations in Monterey County for families...

Monday 19 September 2016

Roadworks Festival 2016

This weekend Mathilde and I spent an afternoon in the city at one of our favorite annual festivals.

Each year, San Francisco Center for the Book hosts the Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival. It's a fun day full of printing and book binding activities with a market place for local print makers to sell their artwork. The highlight of the festival is the steamroller printing. A vintage steamroller rolls over a carefully place linoleum block, paper and layer of blankets to produce amazing prints. It's such a fun and novel way to produce prints.

This year, there was not one steamroller at the festival like previous years, but two. Double the steamroller fun! One steamroller was used to produce the large 3' x 3' prints as per usual, and another was used to print smaller prints to order, four at a time. This meant that there was twice as much steamroller action, something that Mathilde was pretty excited about.

Saturday 17 September 2016

Better Things + A Giveaway!


Parenting can be pretty hard at times.

Diaper blow outs. Potty training disasters. Fussy kids refusing to eat. Fussy kids refusing to eat off anything other than the pink plate. Toddlers discovering that they can literally flush money down the toilet. Meltdowns when someone else presses the elevator button. Two year old tantrums in the middle of the supermarket. Three year old tantrums in the middle of the supermarket. Four year old... ok, you get the picture!

There are so many times throughout a parent's day when being the adult just feels like it's too hard - especially when you've got multiple kids who seem to be ganging up on you. Not my kids, of course - no, never! Ha... totally my kids! But despite how bad a lot of these little parenting dramas seem at the time, many of them are actually kind of funny in hindsight. That toddler flushing money down the toilet thing that I mentioned above? Yep, that happened in our home last weekend when Mathilde discovered that "pennies" (or rather, a pile of quarters that she stole out of my purse) are fun to flush down the toilet. It was pretty stressful at the time as I worried about what else she might be flushing away, but when I look back on it now, I have to admit that it makes me laugh. Until, of course, I discover that she has flushed something important, which, fingers crossed, she hasn't.

One thing that helps with feeling stressed about these sorts of little parenting dramas, is knowing just how many other parents are experiencing the same sorts of things. Chatting with other parents, in real life or online, about the crazy things that our kids do is a great help. Hearing other parent's stories and knowing that they are there with you in solidarity helps. And sometimes, we can all get a chuckle about of the crazy things our kids have done - even if it didn't seem so funny at the time.

Sometimes, it's not real people that help us get through the craziness of parenting. Sometimes it's TV shows and movies that show us that we're not alone. Better Things, the new comedy from Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K., is one such show. Airing on FX, Better Things shares the story of single mom Sam Fox and her trials of parenting her three daughters. It's a funny take on real life parenting dramas and it's a refreshing break from the typical family sitcom mold.

The kids on the show may be older than mine, and their dramas may be a little more grown up than diaper blow outs and toddlers flushing money down the toilet, but they're still something that I, and many parents can relate to and laugh about. In fact, the opening scene of the first episode really resonated with me, and I'm sure it's one that many parents would be familiar with. Sam sits on a bench in a mall while her youngest daughter stands next to her crying. An older lady also sitting on the bench starts to stare at Sam, like really, glaring at her. Sam asks the older lady "Do you want to buy her the $6 earrings? Because that's what she's crying about". I just had to laugh, because it's definitely a scenario I've found myself in with my girls when they're playing up in public, and strangers begin to judge. We've all been there, right?

I know that I'm not alone when it comes to crazy kid antics that drive us up the wall, and this is where my give away comes in. Yay!

Simply check out Better Things here then share one of your craziest parenting moments in the comments below and you're in the running to win!

So what's the prize? To celebrate the launch of Better Things, FX have put together a goodie bag filled with parenting must haves to help when those crazy moments get a little too much. Here's what's inside...
  • Ray-Ban sunglasses
  • Chipolo bluetooth keyring
  • Baggu leather clutch
  • Emergency beauty kit
  • Hypoallergenic travel pillow with ultra soft pillow protector
  • Essential oils blend mini
  • Skinny lip balm
  • "Credit Card" mints

What a great prize!

This give away is open to US readers only and closes September 29th at 11:59pm PST. The winner will be selected at random and contacted by email.

Make sure to check out Better Things on FX Thursday at 10pm. 

Thursday 15 September 2016

My Favorite Lemon Chicken Recipe

When I think of comfort food from my childhood there is one particular dish that always springs to mind: my Mum's Lemon Chicken. The sauce is so tangy and delicious with its combination of lemon, garlic and soy sauce. It's the one dish that I find myself literally licking the plate clean afterwards! I just can't get enough of that sauce! Not only is it super tasty, but it's a dish that brings back memories every time I eat it. Lemon chicken was always my favorite dish when I was a kid and even after I moved out of home, my Mum would make sure to serve it up for dinner when I visited - with lemon meringue pie for dessert. Can't just stop at one lemon dish for dinner!

I've been meaning to share my Mum's Lemon Chicken recipe here on Little Hiccups for quite some time, so when the opportunity to work together with Foster Farms came up, I knew it was the perfect time to share. Locally grown chicken, raised with no antibiotics ever, baked in my favorite tangy lemon sauce? The perfect combination!

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Baby Wearing Mathilde

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by The Baby Cubby.

When people find out that our family of five has been living car free for almost five years now, they're almost always surprised. With three young kids surely it must be a struggle, right? Of course, there are times when owning a car would come in super handy, like when we decide at the last minute that we want to take a day trip and all of the local Zipcars are already reserved, but in our regular day to day life we get by without a car just fine.

Where we live is definitely the biggest factor in how easily we are able to live car free. We live downtown in a fairly bike and pedestrian friendly city where most places we need to go are within a ten to twenty minute walk. School is a ten minute walk away. Karate class is a ten minute walk away. Swim team is a twenty minute walk away. The supermarket is in the bottom of our apartment building. Ok, that last one definitely helps a lot! Pretty much anywhere else we need to go (including Kim's work) can be reached pretty easily by BART (the Bay Area's train system) or bus - both of which are within a ten minute walk of our building.

We're lucky that the public transport here is pretty good, but no matter how good a public transport system is, it's always a little trickier to take with small kids in tow. Lugging a stroller up and down bus stairs isn't fun. Neither is folding it up and holding everything, baby/toddler included, when you get a driver who sticks to the (ludicrous!) rules about strollers on buses. Just as bad are the dirty looks from other passengers on busy trains when the stroller takes up a little extra space. And don't get me started on the horrible state of the BART elevators that seem to be commonly mistaken for public restrooms! So, to get around these relatively minor, but still irksome, hassles I try to baby wear as much as possible. This makes it much easier to get on and off buses, we take up less room than we would with a stroller, and, my favorite, we can avoid taking those stinky BART elevators!

When it comes to choosing the right baby carrier for your needs it can be a little overwhelming. There are so many different options to choose from and a lot of products on the market. And so many questions... Should you go with a wrap, a sling, or a structured carrier? How do you want to wear your little one? On your front, on your back, forward facing...? Do you need something for extended use into toddlerhood or just for that first year? It can all be pretty daunting, especially when you're a new parent. The Baby Cubby, an online (and bricks and mortar) store and resource for all things baby, have an informative baby carrier buying guide that makes finding the right product for your needs easier. You can find this super helpful guide here.

Below are my personal experiences with baby wearing and the various carriers that I've used with Mathilde...

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