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Thursday 26 January 2017

Puddle Fun on a Winter's Day

The Bay Area has experienced some pretty wet and wild weather over the past month, which has seen us spending a little more time inside than usual. But as soon as the sun has come out, we've made to sure to make the most of it by getting outside for some of the girls' favorite Winter fun: puddle jumping!

With all the rain we've been having there are plenty of pretty big puddles to be found near our home. One day after school this week we made our way to a nearby park where we knew there would be lots of big puddles for splashing. We grabbed our raincoats, rain boots, snacks and drinks - everything we needed for a fun afternoon out at the park.

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Cragmont Rock Park, Berkeley

There's nothing I like more on a weekend that taking my girls out to explore our own backyard. Usually this means heading across the bay to explore an area of San Francisco that we've never been to or hopping in a Zipcar and travelling to the outer parts of the Bay Area. Sometimes though, it's just as nice to stay local and explore our immediate back yard right here in Berkeley.

A few weekends back we headed into the Berkeley Hills to visit Cragmont Rock Park, a small park that Lola, Mathilde and I had been to for a birthday party last year. Cragmont Rock Park is located on Regal Road just a short distance from Codornices and Indian Rock Parks, two of our favorite places in Berkeley. Like Indian Rock Park, Cragmont Rock Park features, you guessed it, large rocks! It's a great place for kids to scramble up and down rocks, climb trees, explore and play. Being located high in the hills, it also boasts fantastic views over Berkeley, San Francisco and the Bay.

Sunday 22 January 2017

Oakland Women's March

Today 100,000 people took to the streets in Oakland for the Women's March. I'm proud to say that our family was among them.

Worldwide millions of women, men and children marched peacefully in solidarity for women's rights. It was a such an amazing moment that will go down in history and I so glad that my girls got be part of it.

I took a ton of photos as we made our way through the streets of Oakland, so today I'm sharing my favorites. I usually write quite a lot with each post here on Little Hiccups, but this time I'm going to let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy!

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Goldfish Mandala

This past weekend was incredibly rainy here in the Bay Area, and the kids and I found ourselves stuck inside for the most part. With such limited space in our apartment, the girls tend to get cabin fever when they're stuck inside for extended periods of time, so I made sure to keep them occupied with lots of fun activities. We baked cookies, we drew pictures, we made jigsaw puzzles, we built forts out of blankets and pillows, we played restaurants with wooden food, and yes, there was plenty of TV and computer games. Lots and lots of rainy day fun. However, the stand out activity for both the girls and I, was when we decided to play with our food! Yes - playing with our food!

We always have a pack or two of Goldfish crackers on hand in the kitchen as they happen to be one of the girls' favorite snacks. This time we happened to have the Colors variety of Goldfish, and as I was getting a pack for the kids to snack on it struck me that these colorful little treats might make for an amazing art work. We've made stop motion animation with Goldfish before (which you can see here) but this time a mandala made with varying colors jumped into my mind. The kids loved this idea and right away they got to work creating. 

Ava and Lola emptied their Goldfish crackers into a bowl while I laid down a large piece of white card as a back drop. After discussing what they would like their mandala to look like the girls got to work.

They started off working from the center of the mandala, adding one row at a time. The girls worked together so well deciding which color to use, which direction the crackers should point, how the colors should alternate... It was so nice to see them working together as a team and making decisions together.

The girls really put a lot of effort into making their mandala as neat as possible. I was a little worried at first that there may be arguments over one bumping the other, or maybe Lola not making her parts quite as neat as Ava would like, but they were so keen to make their mandala look great that they helped each other out when needed.

Of course, there were a few snack breaks while they worked!

Back to work!

 Once the mandala was finished, Ava decided to add a few extra touches on the sides.

The girls were really happy with how it turned out and so am I. It's amazing how something as simple as Goldfish crackers placed in circles can have such an impact.

The girls were keen to animate their mandala, so with a few adjustments, we made a few rows of Goldfish crackers change direction and created a simple GIF.

Such a fun and creative way to play with your food! And the best bit? The girls got to eat all of it when they were done!

For more fun inspiration visit the Goldfish Pinterest board here.

Thursday 5 January 2017

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

Happy new year everyone! I hope that 2017 is off to a good start for you. We've had a quiet start to the new year with grey days spent at home, but I'm hoping that this year will be a year of amazing adventures for our family. It's also going to be the year of catching up (and staying caught up!) with my blog as my travel posts have been a little neglected as of late. So expect to see lots of travel posts in the coming months as I catch up - and hopefully from new adventures too!

Speaking of new adventures, today I'm sharing our last adventure of 2016; our day trip to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve just south of San Francisco.

Sunday 1 January 2017

Christmas in San Francisco

One last Christmas post to finish the year...

The week before Christmas the girls were on Winter break from school, so we decided to take advantage of their free time and get into the Christmas spirit by heading into the city to visit a few of our favorite festive places. 

Our first destination of the day was the Fairmont Hotel and the giant gingerbread house. To get there we caught the cable car up California Street. We don't take the cable car all that often, but when we do we almost always take the California Street line. It's just as fun as taking the more popular Powell Street lines, but without the huge lines of tourists. We always get an outside seat (or inside if we want) and the views up and down California Street are pretty amazing. That's one hell of a steep street! I always feel like the California Street line is almost like a local secret! It's definitely not as well known with tourists and, even better, the conductor usually doesn't charge up when he sees me holding out our Clipper cards to pay fare. Shh... 

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