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Saturday 23 February 2019

A Fun Toast Snack for Minecraft Obsessed Kids

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Little Northern Bakehouse.

Do your kids like eating toast?

My kids love it, and while I always stick with a healthy, heart-friendly whole grain bread for their toast, they tend to want sugary sweet toppings on it, like jam, cookie spread or Nutella. I get it - these are all super yummy, but they're not the healthiest toppings around.

In a bid to get the kids eating something on top of their toast that's as healthy as the toast itself, I came up with this fun Minecraft inspired snack. All three of my kids, like so many others, are kind of obsessed when it comes to Minecraft (You may remember Ava's Creeper costume from Halloween), so turning their toast into a Creeper character was a hit. And the best part, it's super simple to make!

While the kids were at karate class today I whipped up some healthy Creeper toast as an after karate snack. They're always hungry after their class and I knew that they'd want to fill up on junk if I didn't have something healthy ready on hand. This fun toast is so simple to make and you'll only need three ingredients: bread, avocado and either blackberries or black beans depending on what your kid prefers. 

My favorite bread for the whole family is Little Northern Bakehouse. Their products are made from gluten free, non-GMO whole food ingredients so I know I'm giving the kids a healthy choice when it comes to their sandwiches and toast - no matter what they top it with! Unlike other gluten free options we've tried in the past, Little Northern Bakehouse products have all the softness of regular grain bread, and some of the products, including the Sprouted 7 Grain bread (my favorite) are 100% plant based and egg free. This means that Little Northern Bakehouse products are suitable for a wide range of diets without sacrificing taste or texture. It's a win-win!

Lunar New Year Festival 2019

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

It's the year of the pig; Ava's favorite animal and coincidentally, the Chinese year she happened to be born in.

Every year I love taking the kids to the various Lunar New Year celebrations around the Bay Area, but given that this year happens to be Ava's favorite animal of all time, it feels a little more special.
Last weekend we braved the rain and headed to Berkeley's Fourth Street shopping district for the annual Lunar New Year festival.

We arrived just as the lion dance was about to begin. Every year the lion dance is based on a story relating to the animal of the year. This year the lion dance was based on the three little pigs story. Children from the crowd was chosen to be a part of the show - acting as the little pigs. They were divided into three groups, those with a house made of straw, those with a house made of sticks and, you guessed it, those with a house made of bricks.

Sunday 17 February 2019

A Tuk Tuk Tour of San Francisco with Dylan's Tours

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Dylan's Tours. 

One of my favorite things about living in the San Francisco Bay Area is that there are so many amazing places right here in our own back yard to explore. We've got it all here. Natural beauty, historical sites, cultural and artistic highlights, delicious food and fresh local produce, amazing architecture, inquisitive wildlife, fun playgrounds and parks... And so much of this can be found right within the 49 square miles that make up San Francisco itself.  

With San Francisco just a short train ride across the Bay (or rather, under it) we like to spend a lot of our free time out and about exploring the city. Usually we'll pick just one particular place to explore and we'll do it on our own, discovering new (to us) things along the way. Every now and then it's nice to play tourist for real and let the experts show us around.

A few weeks back the kids had a day off school so we decided to go play tourist in San Francisco with a tour of the city. But it wasn't a tour bus that took us around this beautiful city, it was something much more fun: a tuk tuk! How cool is that? 

Thanks to Dylan's Tours we spent the afternoon exploring the city with the wind in our hair (literally!) as our very own tour guide drove us around the city pointing out highlights and regaling us with stories of the city's past and present. Even though we've lived in the Bay Area for seven years now and are pretty familiar with the city, we still learned so much that was new to us. With the open sides and low speed of this fun three wheeled vehicle we were able to see so much more than we would have in a car or bus. The kids decided that this needs to be our new mode of transport and tried to convince me to buy a tuk tuk for ourselves! 

Dylan's Tours are fully customizable, visiting pretty much any area of the city that you choose. We decided to go for the standard tour that took us to most of the popular tourist sites including Chinatown, North Beach, Lombard Street, Palace of Fine Arts, Crissy Field, the Presidio, Nob Hill, Union Square, and the Ferry Building where we started and ended our fun adventure. We chose the Ferry Building as our pick up point for our tour as it's nice and handy to Embarcadero Bart Station and is a great place to pick up snacks for the ride, but you can select pretty much anywhere in the city as your pick up point, including hotels. 

Monday 11 February 2019

Roasted Vegetable Red Lentil Pasta Bake

This post is sponsored by Barilla but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Last week I shared all about my new favorite pasta from Barilla.

Barilla's Red Lentil pasta range is my new go to pasta for the family. It has the taste and texture of regular wheat pasta, but it's made from only one ingredient - red lentils. No gluten, no grains, no GMOs... just high fibre, vegetarian and vegan friendly red lentils.

Today I'm sharing another recipe that's perfect for the cooler days that we've been having lately. This pasta bake is packed full of veggies and tasty mozzarella cheese. It's hearty, but not heavy. Pasta comfort food!

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Sun Dried Tomato & Red Lentil Rotini

This post is sponsored by Barilla but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Our family eats a lot of pasta. Like, lots of pasta! It's pretty much a staple food in our home. If I ask the kids what they want for dinner, the answer is almost always some sort of pasta dish.

I've always been a big fan of pasta, but all those carbs really aren't the best thing to be eating so often. In recent years there have been all sorts of healthy pasta alternatives hitting the market, but like so many "healthier" options, a lot of them have been lacking when it comes to taste or the texture hasn't felt quite right.

Barilla, one of my all time favorite pasta brands, has the solution to this with their Red Lentil pasta made from just one ingredient. You guessed it... red lentils! The texture feels just the same as regular wheat pasta when cooked. The pasta keeps its shape and there is no mushiness like I've experienced with other grain free pasta options. The taste is great too and the red color, well, that just makes it a little more fun, right?

We put Barilla Red Lentil Rotini to the test with a recipe that Ava came up with by herself and the results were delicious!

A little while back Ava wanted to pasta for dinner for the family and she came up with her own recipe for the sauce. It's so good we've been making it for lunches and dinners ever since. It's pretty simple and only contains a few ingredients, but it packs of ton of flavor. It's a really flexible recipe too. I never really measure the ingredients, so the amounts I've listed below are an approximation of what I usually use. You can add as much or as little of each ingredient as you like.

Here's how to make Ava's Sun Dried Tomato & Red Lentil Rotini...

Sunday 3 February 2019

Valentine's Style for Kids

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  

Valentine's Day is almost here!

I'm a big fan of dressing my kids for holidays, but I like to buy styles that can be worn any time of year. Valentine's Day means lots of love hearts, red and pink - all styles that can be worn year round with a little mixing and matching. 

Here are some of my favorite Valentine's Day items for the kids...

Small Lot Poppy Mary Janes
Aren't these just the sweetest little shoes? Perfect for Valentine's Day or any time of year. They come in gorgeous colors but poppy is my favorite. They also come in a gender neutral lace up oxford style.

Whistle & Flute J'Taime Beanie
This gender neutral beanie is perfect for any day of the year that calls for keeping you noggin warm! My favorite thing? It comes in both adult and kid sizing for twinning with your littles!

Primary Long Sleeve Dress
My go to basic dress for my girls! Like everything from Primary, this dress comes in a great range of colors with sizing up to 12 years. This raspberry color is perfect for Valentine's Day or any day for your pink loving kiddos.

Primary Rainbow Heart Pajamas
Primary pajamas are my go to when it comes to costume bases for Halloween (you can see how I've used them here and here) and with this new rainbow heart design they're now my favorite for Valentine's Day too!

I heart Guts Plush Heart
Ok, so this one isn't something to wear, but I couldn't resist this super cute plush heart. It may not be a love heart, but I still think it makes a cute Valentine's Day gift. There's a whole range of organs available. I bought Mathilde the plush tonsil after she had her tonsils out a few years ago and it's one of her favorite toys to cuddle.

Hello Shiso Hair Clips
Hello Shiso is my go to brand for hair accessories for my girls. The cute designs are perfect for any occasion and they make the most adorable gifts.

Rags Geo Heart Romper
If you've been following Little Hiccups for a while you're sure to have seen Mathilde wearing Rags rompers before. They're such an easy all in one outfit to throw on, they're super comfy and they come in great designs that are just a little off beat. This heart romper is perfect for Valentine's Day. It also comes in a matching t-shirt.

Mochi Kids Shooting Heart T-shirt
How cute is this kawaii heart graphic? This baseball style t-shirt is perfect for year round wear and I love the simple styling. I comes in tiny baby sizes all the way up to size 12 which makes it perfect for twinning siblings - which you know I'm all about!

London Littles Kings Cross Rainboots
Valentine's Day falls at a particularly rainy time of year here so rain boots are a must. Actually, these boots are so cute I think they're perfect to wear all year round. This red color looks great on both boys and girls, and is sure to make every outfit look cute!

Primary Reversible Twirly Skirt
Sometimes you just can't decide between pink or red for Valentine's Day, so why not go for both with this fun reversible skirt? These skirts are great for twirling and they're perfect for every day wear. 

I hope this provided you with some fun inspiration for Valentine's Day!

Friday 1 February 2019

Clear Skin with Bioré

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Bioré, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Can you believe it? My oldest baby is almost a teenager! Where have the years gone?

As the teenage years approach, so too do all the fun teenage skin problems. Pimples, blackheads, oiliness, blocked pores... ugh. I would say that it brings back memories, but I'm still dealing with most of it myself. However, it does bring back memories of my younger years and learning to care for my skin. Yes, I can remember back that far!

In the past few months Ava has really started to take an interest in caring for her skin and treating those nasty breakouts when they occur. Being a kid in the tech age, she's always looking up product reviews online and watching YouTube videos of all sorts of beauty and skin related topics - including those pimple popper videos. You know the ones!

Intrigued by just what's inside her pores, Ava was keen to try out Bioré Pore Strips. She'd seen them in videos and wanted to see what sort of gunk was hiding in her skin! Seeing as she's still quite young and her skin is on the sensitive side, I'm often hesitant to let her try any skin treatments that my be a little harsh, but knowing that Bioré products are trusted and dermatologist tested, I was happy for her to give them a try. Plus, it IS kind of fun and rather satisfying to see just what comes out of your pores!

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