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Thursday 27 February 2020

Moorten Botanical Garden in Palm Springs

This weekend I'll be travelling to Palm Springs to attend the blogging conference Alt Summit. This will be my third time attending Alt Summit in Palm Springs and I can't wait. While the conference itself is jam packed full of fun activities and workshops, and amazing keynotes and panels, there is always plenty of time available for a little exploring around Palm Springs.

In past years I've headed out with friends on a colorful door tour (Palm Springs has the BEST mid-century architecture and loads of colorful doors), a hike through a slot canyon, and most recently a visit to the Moorten Botanical Garden - which I'm sharing here today.

If you're a nature lover, gardener or even just intrigued by desert life, Moorten Botanical Garden is a must see in Palm Springs. This iconic garden may be tiny, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in the sheer number of stunning cacti and desert plants on display. I've never visited a spikier garden!

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Ice Castles: Day and Night

Last month I shared our recent visit to the fabulous Ice Castles in Dillon, Colorado. If you've been following along on Instagram you'll know that this wasn't our first visit to the Ice Castles. We also visited the Ice Castles when we came to Colorado on vacation over Winter break 2018/19.

Today I'm sharing that first visit to the Ice Castles for two reasons. First, because I never got around to sharing it before and I have lots of fun photos. Second, and more importantly, our first visit took place later in the day and we were able to experience the colorful lights on the ice structures. Our most recent visit was only during the day (I prefer the natural ice colors), so I wanted to share our earlier visit so that anyone planning on going later in the day or in the evening will know what to expect.

Friday 14 February 2020

A Rainbow Valentines Box

This year the kids and I made Valentines boxes for the first time ever.

At our previous school in California the kids made either bags or boxes to collect their class Valentines as a school project rather than at home, so it wasn't something I ever had a hand in. When I learned that we'd be making them at home this year I knew it was a chance to get creative.

Having never made a Valentines box before, or knowing what was really required, I did a lot of searching on Pinterest (complete aside - if you're not following Little Hiccups on Pinterest, head over by clicking here and follow for lots of great ideas). I found a huge range of ideas, mostly made from shoe boxes. The problem was, we don't have shoe boxes. I don't tend to keep them when we buy shoes. We do, however, have tons of larger boxes from buying new furniture for our house. These boxes were all way too big to use on their own, but perfect for cutting up to create something new.

But what to make was the question...

I figured it would be easiest to make the same thing for both Lola and Mathilde, so I put my thinking cap on to come up with interests they both share. The first thing that popped into my mind was rainbows. Perfect!

Using my standard pinata creating techniques (which you can see in a really old post here) I got to work creating a basic rainbow shape out of cardboard. Once the structure was done, the girls glued on a ton of tissue paper, and voila... we had rainbow Valentines boxes!

Here's a look at how we made them.

Monday 10 February 2020

Whistling You a Sweet Valentine's Day

Ah, school Valentines...

Hands up if you're still scrambling to get goodies sorted out for your kids to hand out to their classmates!

Don't worry - I am totally there with you! I'm also here to help with a super simple DIY that's sure to be a hit with the kids.

This year for Valentine's Day Lola and Mathilde were keen to make the strawberry heart meringues that we made last year (you can find the recipe here). Lola will be making them later this week for her class, but unfortunately Mathilde's class was required to bring in their Valentine's goodies today. That meant that I had to come up with a non-perishable option for her to hand out instead.

While ordering Chupa Chups lollipops on Amazon for Ava's recent birthday party something caught my eye. It was a treat that I loved as a kid and hadn't seen in an awfully long time. Melody Pops! Do you remember those? The lollipops that double as a whistle and actually change notes when you move the stick. As soon as I saw them I knew that they'd be perfect for class Valentines and my head started filling with ideas for cheesy card text - because a Valentine's gift isn't a Valentine's gift without a cheesy card attached, right?

Anyway, I ordered those suckers (pun totally intended!), made up a simple backing card with a cheesy Valentines caption, Mathilde wrote "Love Mathilde" on each and every card, and I stuck everything together. Voila! Valentines sorted!

Here's what you'll need (with shoppable links):
Melody Pops lollipops
White Card Stock
Cutting Knife, Ruler & Cutting Mat or a Paper Trimmer
Adhesive Dots
Baker's Twine
Darning Needle

I use these supplies for so many different crafting purposes so they're not just a one off purchase. You'll be able to use them all for a lot of different activities. They're all great basics in a crafting kit.

You'll also need the template for the backing card which you can download here.

Print the backing cards on card stock and cut them out with either a paper trimmer or a cutting knife and ruler. If you do a lot of cutting I highly recommend investing in a paper trimmer or guillotine. It saves so much time.

I made sure to leave space at the bottom of the design for kids to write a small message, so get your kids involved personalizing each card. Trust me, they'll complain, but they've got to do something, right? 

Take an adhesive dot and stick it to the back of a Melody Pop, then place the Melody Pop down onto a card. The adhesive dots hold pretty well, but I decided to add a little extra reinforcement (and an extra detail) by also tying the Melody Pop stick to the card. There are always random candies sitting loose at the bottom of the Valentine's box each year so we want to avoid that happening.

To tie the Melody Pop stick to the card, thread the needle with the twine, poke it through the front of the card along side the stick and then back through the card on the otherside of the stick. Cut the thread about 1.5" on each length and tie a bow.

Now repeat this 30 times (or however many kids you need to make them for) and you're done!

See that rainbow below? That's Mathilde's Valentine's Day box. Isn't it cute? This was our first year making Valentine's Day boxes and I had a lot of fun being creative with the kids (Lola made one the same). I'll be sharing the DIY soon. Spoiler alert, it's pretty much exactly the same as my pinata DIYs!

 Let me know if you make these simple Valentines. I'd love to hear!

Monday 3 February 2020

Valentine's Day Round Up

January is finally over - and that means that Valentine's Day is almost here!

Today I'm sharing a round up of some of the past Valentine's Day goodies that the kids and I have made for their classmates. We've made all sorts of fun things in the past, some food related and some not, so if you're looking for ideas for this Valentine's Day you're sure to find something here. Best of all, they're all easy-peasy to make! Just click the bold and underlined title for each for the DIY.

Let's take a look...

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