Robe of Feather is a little design studio in Hamburg, Germany, owned by Nele Hinrichsen. After having lived in Italy and London and having worked at Vivienne Westwood Couture for many years, Nele Hinrichsen started Robe of Feathers and now makes a collection of clothes which are so, so adorable. I love the sweet and simple designs and the uncomplicated retro feel of them (some of Nele’s designs are inspired by her mum’s originals from the ’50s!).
Nele sent Ava a few pieces from her collection to try (she’s wearing the balloon dress in these photos), and we love them. They look adorable on, are easy to care for, and she will be able to wear them for a few years — the pieces are generous enough, but without being oversized at all. And, as Ava can attest: they are also super comfortable to wear!
All the Robe of Feathers garments are manufactured in small or limited editions with love and care by Nele in Germany.
Last week my friend Maud Fontein took some photos of my kids… And I thought she did such a great job! I love the sweet set-up she made, with the trunk and the cloud on the wall — so simple yet so effective.
Maud is amazing with kids (she has two little ones herself) — she puts them to ease within seconds and is able to take a series of beautiful photos before they even get enough of it. (It’s just impossible for me to take photos of my 4 children in which they all look nice, so I’m so impressed by her talent!).
Maud also takes beautiful photos of newborn babies and pregnant mamas — for bookings, you can contact Maud here.
Shan & Toad is a gorgeous high-end boutique, run by the super kind Shana, who is mum of four sweet little girls and still finds the time to curate the most beautiful collections for her shop. We’ve selected a few of our favourites and listed them for you below. Enjoy!
1. Bonnet Aimee. How adorable!
2. Hove Baby Dress. Vintage inspired, with beautiful little details.
3. Norman shirt. I think Pim needs this for his summer tennis camp.
4. LMJ Girl’s PJ. So cute. (For nights AND days!)
5. Birds Bubble. What else does a baby girl need for a summer picnic?
6. Striped Shorts. Unisex, and so on trend!
7. Trimmed Fedora. Goes with every outfit. Practical and ever so cool.
8. Kumar overall. We have this for Casper — what a great colour.
9. Sailboat romper. What else does a baby boy need for a day at the beach?
10. Axe Girl Lily Tee. So cool, it’s killing me.
11. Cache Couche. Sigh.
12. Grace Skirt. Leather skirt. Keep forever.
13. Carmensita Romper. What a sweet piece.
14. Striped Bow Swimsuit. My size please!
A while ago Courtney and co visited us in Amsterdam and she brought the sweetest present for our girls — they each got a little Maileg bunny with a darling little dress. So cute! The girls haven’t parted from their bunnies since — they have been to Portugal, Paris, school and crèche – -everywhere! For her 8th birthday, we gave Sara a bigger size bunny, with a bikini, ballet outfit with tutu and dress with tights. She loves, loves, loves it! (And I had fun shopping for her!)
The Maileg bunnies come already dressed in sweet underwear and can be a boy or a girl. There are also little pieces of furniture, baby bunnies (with nappy!), and plenty of clothing and shoes, all so adorable! Definitely a recommendation for any little girl.
PS Sister’s Guilt has a huge selection of Maileg bunnies and accessories!
A few days back I took a photo of the porringer I had as a baby, and which I still use daily for my children. It is just the perfect size and shape, shallow with a ridge, so it’s easy to scoop out the purees or soup. The thick stoneware ensures the food quickly cools down a little, but also keeps the food naturally lukewarm afterwards. I love that porringer, and I still remember eating from it as a child! (On Instagram, there were a few people who told me they had exactly the same porringer as a child, and many of them still have them! Do you still have yours?)
I really treasure these old relics from my childhood, and I love it when I visit friends or family from my parents’ generation, and they pull out the stoneware dishes and silverware they used as a child and still have and use for their grandchildren.
Sarah Nicholas Williams of Radish Moon recognised the beauty and practicality of those vintage dishes, and started producing a series of handmade stoneware porringers adorned with her gorgeous, whimsical watercolour illustrations. And they are absolutely beautiful! They are dishwasher and microwave safe, so practical for families, and have a similar shape and thickness to my vintage Peter Rabbit dish (which I’ve tried and tested for long enough to know it is perfect)! I have already placed my order, hoping that one day, my children can pull out a Radish Moon porringer for their grandchildren.
This year we celebrated Ava’s birthday in Paris! We happened to have booked a trip there that weekend, so we invited our Parisian friends over to the apartment we were staying for a little party. Of course Emilie came with her girls, and we asked the local bakery to make a chocolate cake — Ava’s favourite! For decoration, I used a few party supplies from Numero 74, which I had brought over, and it worked out so well! The magnetic fish looked so pretty on the table (plus, they provided for some immediate entertainment). There were also little butterfly gift bags with little Numero 74 party favours, like cute crochet cherry necklaces and bracelets. They were so cute and the girls loved them.
Numero 74 is a French/Italian brand established by two cousins with the aim to create a selection of party kits that appeal to children as well as to parents. The collections are poetic and dreamy, with pretty muted colours. There are a variety of themes (like butterflies, pirates, and unicorns), in which you can find gift bags, invites, garlands and notebooks. There are tasteful party favours, like the adorable crochet details I mentioned before, so pretty! I’m really impressed with the sweet and simple, understated but tasteful styling of it all — such a far cry from the flashy commercial party merchandise one can get in the supermarket.
There is also a beautiful line of Numero 74 party clothes, which are rich in design and materials used (organza, velvet) and are of the sort of quality that they will be used for years and years, and will then be handed down to friends. Adorable!
All Numero 74 products are handcrafted by artisans and women co-operatives in Thailand, providing these women with a steady source of employment and income whilst being able to work from home and look after their family. All good!
Jumping Rupert is the coolest octopus ever! An original concept by German brand Gommini, this Jumping Jack octopus is made from thick white cardboard, comes in an A4 size package and can be easily put together by your kids. It is lovely as is, cool and minimalistic white, or can be coloured in using felt tips, paint, or watercolour. Fun!
Gommini also has some other very clever products. I love the idea of the Wiegentisch, a doll’s bed which can become a seat or table, and the Minigoms, building elements which can be put together in different ways to create a great environment for pretend play. My kids would love to play with these!
(Gomini products can be purchased here.)
PS If you happen to be in Amsterdam tomorrow & Saturday, you can try out and purchase the Jumping Jacks at this event!
Sweetcase is a most wonderful concept started by mother of two Murielle Sitruk. When Murielle was expecting her second child, and was preparing her hospital bag, she was looking for one place where she could find the most practical and beautiful bedding and clothing for her soon to be born baby. And unsuccessfully so! Thus, she decided to start producing her own suitcases, solely focussing on a mother’s stay in the maternity ward.
I’m super impressed with the design and functionality of the suitcase. It’s made from a thick and sturdy, mouse grey cotton canvas with leather details, and it is lined in cotton voile with one of the two gorgeous signature prints, designed for Sweetcase by studio Minakani — birds or triangles. There are some very handy pockets and compartments both on the inside as the outside of the suitcase (one being the perfect size for baby’s health book). This suitcase is not only perfect to bring to the hospital, but will continue to accompany you and your child on your future travels without a doubt.
The suitcase can be purchased by itself or pre-filled with a selection of newborn essentials of the best quality. There’s a beautiful collection of baby bed linen & accessories and newborn basics designed by Murielle herself for Sweetcase — all the clothing is made from the softest and finest pima cotton you can imagine, and the bedding and accessories are available in a thin cotton voile in the pre-mentioned darling signature prints. Besides this, Muriel has selected some great clothes for the first weeks of baby: organic, pima cotton pajamas by Limo Basics, and simple, soft and casual chic designs by kidscase, Pequeno Tocon and Bieq.
A complete Sweetcase pack (suitcase plus content) is available in different colour choices and can be completely customised (all the products are for sale separately as well). What a perfect and luxurious present — either to yourself, to your wife, or to a good friend!
We have raved about Macarons before (and here) — the innovative and original company from Germany. We just love the clever fabrics and designs, it is all so cute and practical, and we admire their strict ecological, sustainable and fair trade manufacturing standards. So we were happily surprised to see their first summer collection — oh my! Both Courtney as I couldn’t resist and picked up some pieces for our kids: the cosy kimono style overall Orel for Marlow and Casper, made of a double-face 100% GOTS organic cotton — stripy from the outside and polkadots on the inside. Super soft and so sweet! Ivy got the beautiful Dora dress (see photo), with darling details, and I got Ava the yellow overall Ola, lovely and wide with pleats front and back. We are both so impressed with the design and quality of all the pieces we got for our kids!
If you happen to be in Amsterdam this weekend, you can come and admire this impressive collection ‘live’, and shop it with huge discounts! There will also be a few other of my favourite shops, brands and people. You can try out the best scooters from Micro-step (and purchase them with a nice discount!), browse the collections of the darling boutique Polpettine, try homemade jams by Kate’s Slow Jam, and on Friday Maud Fontein will be there, with a lovely set-up for mini photo shoots with your kids. Of course there will be a little crafting table as well, to keep the kids occupied while you browse, try and shop. It will be great fun — so I hope to see your there!! (Click to see the invite below!)
My kids and I are really into making rice paper rolls these days — a very fun and healthy cooking activity, which they love! Dried rice paper is available from the Japanese store (you get about one hundred sheets for a few euros). The fillings can vary — we’ve tried cucumber, carrot, avocado, celery and crab sticks. Other good filling are: red pepper, prawns, tofu, bean sprouts, spring onion, Chinese cabbage, egg omelette, fresh herbs (coriander, mint) and chicken strips. They can be completely veggie or kosher, depending on the fillings you choose, and are gluten free!
Place the fillings in little bowls on the table, together with a bit of (Japanese) mayonnaise. My kids love cutting veggies (and are pretty good at it!) so I slice them in fairly big chunks and let them do the rest. Soak a sheet of rice paper into a bowl of lukewarm water until it’s soft, about 15 seconds, and place on the table. Spread a little bit of mayonnaise onto the paper, and choose the topping you like to use. Fold over sides of paper and roll up to close. Done!
You can make a quick dip sauce (combine rice vinegar, lime juice, sping onion and a bit of fish sauce, minced red chilli, mint and coriander) or serve with sweet chili sauce.
Archie’s is a London-based baby boutique with ‘beautiful little things for beautiful little things’. There’s a lovely curated collection, full of original and fun designs, often with great colours and interesting patterns, and always produced ethically. If you’re looking for a present for a little baby (either your own or someone else’s!), you will find something at Archie’s for sure. Toys, shoes, essentials, fashion — there is even a darling vintage selection.
The gorgeous yellow dungarees from UK brand What Mother Made, that Caper is wearing in the photo above, come from Archie’s, and I love them. They’re fun, fresh, sturdy, cute, and cleverly made — adjustable straps and rolled up legs will assure that he can wear them for a long time!
Nash Alpine, a graphic designer by trade, started her small business Happi Yumi after becoming a mother. Unable to find lovely, personal pieces for the parties she was organising, she started creating her own customised partyware – et voila!
Nash made some darling Fairy Princess Cake Toppers for Ava, and they are so, so cute! She was so proud, taking them to her crèche today. It made the cupcakes look super special, and so very ‘Ava’!
Nash designs other personalised products too, like original invites, fun party bags, and cool balloon hangers. The ordering process is super easy — just send over two of your favourite photo, and Nash will create something wonderful and personal from it. Sweet!
Just cut the top part of a paper carrier bag, and cut out two ears from the left-over top part. Put some little presents in the bag, pin the ears to the top to help them stay in place and close the top on the sewing machine. (Or, just use glue if you don’t have a sewing machine — you can keep the ears in place with cloth pins when they’re drying.) Use white gouache to paint the eyes and snout, and when dry, use a permanent marker to add some details. Done!
I think the summer collection of French brand Minabulle is, in one word, adorable. Simple and old-fashioned in a very fresh way, and with beautiful details like copper buttons and sweet ribbons. There are some darling choices for girls, like this dress (which beautifully combines with this stylish top) — it is just perfect for everyday use as well as for special occasions. But also for boys the designer, Emilie Lefevre, has managed to create some very stylish and original pieces. I love this beautiful barboteuse (it will be so cute on Casper in the summer!), and the little Mahé shorts combined with the striped gilet. Again, so perfect for different occasions, and also so original!
We’re huge fans of Goat-Milk here at Babyccino Kids. We really like the simple aesthetics of the collection and the strong ethics behind the brand (organic, pre-washed cotton and fair trade production). Besides that, the tailoring of the pieces is just beautiful — the fit is absolutely amazing!
I recently got a few pieces from the summer collection for my kids (like this pointelle tank in a gorgeous ‘pale cloud’ colour and the cotton henley in ‘curry’), and again, Goat-Milk didn’t fail to impress. The items are delicate but strong, and will be enjoyed over and over by my kids, all four of them!
I love the look of leggings on little boys, and these ones, by new Californian brand Mason and the Tambourine, I just couldn’t resist! All the leggings by Mason and the Tambourine are handmade in California out of an excellent quality, organic cotton (with 10% lycra jersey for stretch) and printed with non-toxic, water-based soy ink.
On a side note, when I was taking these photos of Casper, I suddenly realised he was 7 months old this week! Still so little, but at the same time he’s getting so big. He is the most delightful little boy, always smiling at everyone, super snuggly, chatting and laughing out loud when we play with him. He now sits at the table with us, in his high chair, and is loving it. We’re so lucky to have him with us!
Last week was May break here in the Netherlands, and very last minute my husband and I decided to book tickets for an 8 day trip to Portugal — we just had to escape the dreary weather here in Amsterdam for a bit! The evening before we left we booked a car and a hotel for the first 4 nights, about 100 km north of Lisbon. Leaving the planning of the trip to the absolute last minute in the end worked out perfectly well, we had an amazing time! Maybe you would like to hear a little bit about our adventures? (more…)
So sweet, these simple (but strong!) graphics by Dutch company Tapete. I’ve known Judith Vulkers, the owner and designer, for a few years now, and she is as lovely and down-to-earth as her designs are. It’s not easy to create simple, strong and straight-forward prints for t-shirts that stay stylish and cute at all times, but Judith always succeeds!
Tapete designs are printed on great quality shirts — some in a soft, velvety flock; some in wonderful, funky neon colours — whatever emphasises the atmosphere of the print most. The shirts and prints truly stay in great shape, wash after wash after wash, and have a darling, snug fit.
I love Casper’s Tapete elephant shirt (see photo above)! And for the summer, I think I just can’t resist that yellow tractor tee — too cute!
We already were big fans of the Australian company Makedo, the super smart connector system that enables the creation of objects and spaces from found materials. And now they have come up with yet another brilliant and innovative way to re-use old boxes: the Box Props! So simple, but so, so fun! The system works with very easy-to-use plastic screws that (really very easily!) screw into a cardboard box. Then, you can connect the ready to use, illustrated plastic ‘Props’ to create anything from robots, pets and monster faces, even vehicles! I love how this simple idea transforms any cereal, tissue or shoebox into a character to play with. We had fun with the ‘people’ Box Props, and transformed an ordinary tissue box into a super fun guy!
This bulghur lentil salad has been a huge success in our house lately. It’s easy to make, easy to keep, easy to take along (picnics!), and easy to eat as well. Our kids love it! And I imagine it’s quite healthy too.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup Puy lentils
- 1/3 cup bulghur
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (like parsley, basil, coriander, mint)
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- fresh ground pepper, maldon salt
Cook Dupuy lentils according to instructions (don’t overcook, it’s nice when they still have a bite to them, I cook them for about 25 minutes and rinse them with cold water immediately after), and prepare the bulghur acording to instructions as well. Leave to cool. Mix all of the ingredients well. Add more salt and pepper, olive oil, herbs and lemon juice to taste.
PS I often double the recipe and keep some in the fridge for a lunch, picnic or side dish later that week.