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Sunday 31 July 2016

Berkeley Kite Festival 2016

Yesterday the girls and I headed down to Berkeley's waterfront for the annual Berkeley Kite Festival.

Thursday 28 July 2016

A Ferry Trip to San Francisco

Last week the girls and I took a ferry trip from Oakland to San Francisco with friends. Despite the fact that we've lived in the Bay Area for almost five years now, this was only the second time I'd taken the ferry, and the first time in this direction. But I can tell you, after this little trip, it won't be the last! There just really is something special about travelling by boat. 

When we lived in Sydney I would catch the ferry from our apartment on the lower north shore to my office near Darling Harbour every now and then and it would always make for a great start to the day. It wasn't the most practical way for me to get to work, but it was certainly the most scenic. And the most fun! The same goes for taking the ferry to San Francisco for us now. It certainly requires a lot of planning as the ferry doesn't come all that often, plus we have to take BART to Downtown Oakland and then walk to Jack London Square to get to the ferry in the first place, but it is definitely more fun than taking the train under the Bay!

Tuesday 26 July 2016

A Freshly Picked Giveaway

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

Ever since Mathilde was a little baby she's been wearing the same shoes. Well, not the same pair, of course, because, well... that would be weird! After all, her feet have grown just a bit since she was a baby! Rather, she's been wearing the same style and brand of shoes since she was a little baby. And guess what? I'm giving Little Hiccups readers a chance to win a pair for their own little one! Keep reading for details on how to enter.

Monday 25 July 2016

Pedalfest 2016

This past Saturday we spent the day at Oakland's Jack London Square for our favorite annual bike festival, Pedalfest. We watched BMX riders do amazing stunts, we helped provide pedal power to the pedal powered stage, we rode around on crazy bikes, the girls decorated their bikes with ribbons and stickers, we ate tasty food, and the girls took part in the kids' bike rodeo to learn bike safety skills.

Thursday 21 July 2016

A Girls' Night Out with Absolutely Fabulous

This post is made possible by support from Fox Searchlight Pictures. All opinions are my own.

As most of my mum friends know, trying to get a little "me time" without the kids around seems almost impossible. This is only amplified when you're a stay at home mum. Especially over Summer break with three kids home full time. At least one of my kids is with me literally 24 hours a day - and by literally, I mean literally, not figuratively! I've got to tell you, it's making me pretty crazy. Well, crazier.

With all of my family living on the opposite side of the world this only makes things trickier. Back when we lived in Australia, in the same city as both sets of Grandparents, going out was easy. We had two sets of (free!) babysitters who actually wanted to babysit as often as possible. I kind of took it for granted at the time but now that we don't have this luxury it's definitely something I miss.

Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my kids, but it can be pretty draining to hear "Mum, Mum, Muuuuum..." all day - and several times in the middle of the night from Mathilde. Sometimes we mums need a break to recharge. A break to do grown up things that don't revolve around our kids. The things that we took for granted before kids came along, or in my case, when I had access to free childcare at a moment's notice! Going to a non-animated movie with grown up friends, going out for dinner at a restaurant that doesn't have chicken strips or plain noodles on the menu, or even just a coffee date with someone who doesn't ask for a chocolate milk and a cake pop!

I've decided that I need to start making time to do things for myself every now and then a priority. Especially with my other mum friends who are in the same boat as me. When the opportunity to go to a preview screening of the new Absolutely Fabulous movie came up, I knew it was the perfect time to start. A girls' night out with Patsy and Eddie - and a little champagne? Perfect!

Monday 18 July 2016

Berkeley's Adventure Playground

Here in Berkeley we're lucky to have one of the most amazing playgrounds you'll ever see right on the waterfront. This playground is definitely not your run of the mill suburban playground. You won't find mass produced play equipment with rubber on the ground to soften falls. You won't find swings or a sand box.    

But what you will find, just like other playgrounds, is a lot of children having fun. And oh what fun!

The Adventure Playground at Berkeley Marina has been a favorite destination with Bay Area families since its inception in 1979. The concept of the Adventure Playground is very different from your average playground. Here the play equipment, made from scrap wood, tires, ropes, nets, old boats, pianos, and other recycled materials, is ever evolving. And it's definitely unique. Much of the playground has been, in part, designed, made or decorated by the children who visit themselves. 

Saturday 16 July 2016

Flower Piano 2016

Yesterday the girls and I spent the afternoon in San Francisco Botanical Gardens playing piano.

Yes, you read correctly. We spent the afternoon playing piano in a garden. How cool is that? 

At the moment San Francisco Botanical Gardens is home to Flower Piano, an amazing installation bringing music to an unlikely place. Throughout the garden there are twelve different pianos set up for visitors to play. You may remember our visit from last Summer which you can see here.

Monday 11 July 2016

Hoover Dam

One last post from our Spring Break trip...

Our last stop during our Spring Break trip back in April was Hoover Dam. Admittedly, we hadn't actually planned to visit Hoover Dam until I noticed that it was on our drive back to Las Vegas from the Grand Canyon. We knew that the kids would love to visit such an iconic site so we made sure to start our drive from the Grand Canyon a little earlier than planned to make it to the dam before it got dark.

We had pretty good timing as we arrived at Hoover Dam just as the sun was starting to set. The light was still good when we arrived, and just before we left twilight had set in and the structures were aglow in man made light. It was quite pretty seeing the dam in such different light conditions over a fairly short amount of time.  

Friday 8 July 2016

Fourth of July 2016

This past Monday we celebrated our fifth Fourth of July since we moved to America. I still can't believe that we've been here for almost five years! All three of my girls have now spent more time living in America than they have in Australia. 

Like we've done in the past we spent the afternoon at the festival held at Berkeley Marina. Before we headed down to the marina the girls played construction workers and built the White House. No, not out of Lego or blocks, but out of cookies! I couldn't resist when I saw this White House cookie kit at Trader Joe's. Just like a gingerbread house for Christmas! It doesn't look quite as nice as the real thing but it sure does look tasty!

Friday 1 July 2016

San Francisco Pride Parade

Last Sunday Lola, Mathilde and I joined what seemed like half of San Francisco and headed to Market Street to watch the annual Pride Parade. It was out first time going to Pride and the girls absolutely loved it! I had hoped to make it a whole family outing but Ava, ever the jaded tween, declared that parades are boring and didn't want to come along. So Kim stayed home with her while I took the younger girls into the city. To be honest, I think she was a little jealous when we got home and she saw how much Pride loot her little sisters had scored at the parade, but she wouldn't admit it.

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