Carlito Carlita (a good give-away!)

win, carlito carlita, give-awayCarlito Carlita is a German based boutique specialising in traditional clothing hand-picked from a selection of small, unique European labels. The collection ranges from 3 months to 10 years (so it’s a perfect destination for those looking to dress siblings in a matching fashion), and consists of classics like button-down shirts, sweet dresses, shorts with knee socks, boleros and tights, frilled collars, bloomers, and suspenders.

carlito carlita
This month Carlito Carlita are offering one lucky winner a voucher for £100 to spend on their site. I just had a look at the new collection which is starting to come in, and saw some darling items (amongst which super cute swimwear with a Vespa print!). To enter to win, click here. Good luck!

xxx Esther

Sweet and easy snowmen on our window

Snowmen craftOur children don’t have school on Wednesday afternoons, so I had all four of them at home last week. It was rainy and stormy outside, so we lit a fire and engaged ourselves with a little craft project. While my children were cutting out snowflakes, I took a quick look at Pinterest for inspiration and thought it would be fun to make some fun and friendly snowmen.

snowmen4 snowmen craft project snowmen craft projectFirst the children finger-painted the snowflakes with white gouache on black paper (Casper created a snowstorm!). Then they cut out a circle and a body from simple white paper (I traced the circle for the smaller children). From coloured paper they made a scarf and the orange carrot nose.

snowmen craft project snowmen1It was a quick and easy craft that all my children really enjoyed, independent of their age. They are all so proud of their snowman! We haven’t gotten any snow yet here in Northern Europe (a fact I suppose you can be thankful or sorry for) — but for now at least we have some cute snowmen on display on the window!

xxx Esther

Tuesday Tips: Introducing a second language in a single-language family

Babyccino Kids
Over the years, I have received a few requests to explain how it is possible that all four of my children speak English, even though we live in the Netherlands, we solely speak Dutch at home, and, from the age of four, they attend public Dutch schools like all other Dutch children. Our children speak and understand English — maybe not fluently like a native English speaker, but they can follow and initiate conversations on a very functional level without problems. So here’s what happened.

My husband and I are both Dutch, born to Dutch parents and raised in typical Dutch villages in the south of the Netherlands. We met through mutual friends when I was in my final year of my study in Delft, and less than a year later we moved to New York together, the beginning of a 7-year adventure of living abroad in three different countries.

Sara and Pim were born when we lived in England, and by the time we moved to Amsterdam, Sara was 2 years old and spoke both Dutch and English. At the time we weren’t sure if we would stay in the Netherlands, so to keep all options opened we entered Sara in the nursery of the British School of Amsterdam when she turned three.

She stayed there until she turned four, and then started a Dutch primary school here in the neighbourhood. The reason for this was very much a financial one — Dutch schools are state funded whereas the British school is a private tuition with steep yearly fees.

That year in the British school was so much fun for her, with so many great activities for a three-year-old, that we have repeated this for all of our children (Casper is currently attending the nursery of the British school — he will start the Dutch primary school in the fall). So what we (sort of accidentally) have done, is to make use of the fact that the British school offers a nursery from the age of three, whereas Dutch schools start at the age of four. The private fees that we pay in that bridge year we would have otherwise paid to the Dutch daycare, so financially it didn’t make much difference. And the big bonus is — they all got a really nice kickstart in English! So this is how we activated their second language.

To sustain their English, we have done a few things: we have always worked with English speaking nannies or baby-sitters; we let the children watch un-dubbed (English spoken) films, and even though we don’t speak English to our children, we do read to them in English (for instance, I’m currently reading Harry Potter to the bigger children, and I do so in English).

The result is, that our kids continue to speak and understand English pretty well. I actually have also noticed that they pick up written English quite easily as soon as they comfortable read in Dutch. What also helps their language development is meeting up with our English speaking friends. Like last summer, we spent a week camping with Emilie and her girls, and the children were super comfortable speaking English all day.

So here you go, this is what we have done, and it seems to work. Do you have any tips about introducing a second language in a single-language family? If so, please do share, we would all love to hear!

xxx Esther

PS Photo of a memorable trip to Belgium with the entire Babyccino clan. Still a favourite!

Sweet illustrations, by Laura Uy

Laura Uy illustrations Laura Uy illustrations

Laura Uy is a Canadian illustrator with such a lovely, playful style. Her work mainly focusses on greeting cards and prints, which make great decor pieces for children’s rooms. I love that bear in the photo above, so whimsical (the gold stars are hand-painted and make the print extra pretty).

Laura Uy illustrations Laura Uy illustrations

Laura’s greeting cards have such sweet illustrations with the cutest puns. There are cards for all sorts of occasions (loads for Valentines, too!), and they all bring a smile to my face. Lovely to send, to receive, and to keep!

xxx Esther

Thursday Thoughts: a vivid imagination

a vivid imaginationIt’s a big cliché for parents — the moment you give birth (or even conceive!), the worrying begins. And it’s true, it does. We parents worry… a lot.

Quite recently I started to realise that I have a very vivid imagination: I can see scenes taking place vividly in my head, in my imagination, like a film being projected on a screen in my head. It can be very funny: with a friend of mine, who has a similarly strong visual mind, we can really come up with entire slapsticks like this. One of us describes a scene, the other adds to it, and we see it all happening on the screen in our brains. It is hilarious!

But when that vivid imagination is applied to the wellbeing of my children, it is not so funny. I can see bad stuff happening to my children in a not-so-safe situation, when I allow my imagination to run away with me; to play with the possibilities of what could happen.
I have realised that it especially happens when heights are involved (perhaps a hidden fear of heights?), but it can also happen around water, or around traffic. I not only realise there is a potential danger here, I actually, vividly start to imagine the possible result of the dangerous situation.
It doesn’t always happen, and sometimes it doesn’t happen on the scene but a little later, when I realise what could have happened at that specific moment. Sometimes (years later even!), the scenes replay when I wake up in the middle of the night — seriously no fun!

It might sound like I’m a completely crazy, extremely stressed and over-protective parent, by I don’t think that this is the case (maybe I’m a bit crazy, but in a fun way I hope). I actually hope to believe that I’m a relaxed mama in most situations, and that I give my kids a lot of freedom to explore their little world.

It’s funny, the things we keep learning about ourselves and the people that surround us. When I started to recognise this phenomenon in my brain and started to shape my thoughts about it, and bounced the idea off some of my friends. Some of them immediately recognised what I was talking about, but most didn’t have a clue what I was talking about (including my husband, he has no such mind).

I would love to hear your thoughts about this too. Does it sound familiar at all? Are you a worrier? Or does your mind work in a different way? Please share, I would love to hear.

xxx Esther

PS Photo taken in the atlas mountains in Morocco, where we were in a 4×4 car driven by a local Berber — quite fast, and quite scary. I vividly imagined the car driving off that road.

Kittens!

growing up with pets, kittens

Over the Christmas holiday, we got a call from some good friends here in the neighbourhood with a rather strange but lovely question: they recently had gotten two kittens to extend their family of four, but now it turned out that the dad had developed an allergy for cats. So would we want to adopt their little cats? (They could also have asked us to adopt the dad, but I guess they wanted to keep him 😉 ). We didn’t have to think long — Tamar and I both grew up with animals. My dad was a veterinarian and our country home and garden was always filled with all sorts of pets, and Tamar grew up in a farmhouse also full of animals. So here we are now, proud owners of kittens for the past week. Their names are Hunter (a ginger tom) and Kitty (a black queen), and they are so funny and cute. According to the kids, this brings our animal count now to ten: we have Domino the rabbit, Peet the parakeet, Bagel the hamster which we share with our neighbours, kittens Hunter and Kitty, and then there are Pim’s 5 stick-bugs. (Although three escaped overnight and Pim so far only found 2 back!)

I find it so lovely to be surrounded by animals again, it’s so cosy. I also think it’s good for the children to have animals around: if they are sad they always have a friend to cuddle with, and it also teaches them a sense of responsibility (feed their animals, keep their surroundings clean). I wonder, do you have any pets in your house? Or are you thinking about getting one?

xxx Esther

Ida Pearl — The Moon is going to Addy’s House

Ida Pearle
When we were in NY for our ShopUp event recently, I had the pleasure of meeting the beautiful Ida Pearl, artist, writer, violinist and illustrator. Ida and I had a long chat, and we experienced that funny but special click people sometimes have when they have just met each other — that feeling of comfort, as if you have known each other for a long time.

Ida Pearl
Ida told me about becoming a mum, about the recent loss of her dad, and about the long journey of writing her beautiful book The Moon is going to Addy’s House. She told me it took her over five years to create this book — based on a simple story, a beautiful memory — simple, but by itself so strong it sums up everything about Ida’s loved, cherished, secure and safe childhood.

Ida Pearl Ida Pearl
The Moon is going to Addy’s House is a playful story about a little girl and her sister, on the way to their country home in the back of their car, playing hide and seek with the moon, which is following them in the sky above. It’s a sweet story my children love — they love the familiarity, they love pointing to the moon and the other sweet illustrations. But there’s also something soothing, more extensive about this book: the deep, thoughtful illustrations, so sensitive in their straightforwardness, and the fact that the moon is always there, as a metaphor for parental love and consistency. I think this is what makes this sweet book so relevant as only a classic can ever be.

Definitely a recommendation, and if you are a parent who sadly once lost a parent, this book will emanate a feeling of comfort and familiarity for you as well.

xxx Esther

Macarons, in Amsterdam and at the ShopUp today

macarons macarons macarons macsarons
A little while back, we spent a fun weekend morning with our friends Veit and Julie from the German brand Macarons who visited us in Amsterdam together with their cute girls Cécile and Cleo. They also brought their friend the photographer Oliver Kröning along, who took some really cool snapshots during the day.

macarons macarons macarons DSC01241 Macarons
We had a long lunch and then all went to the park for a stroll. Those are the best kind of weekends, I feel — long and lazy days with lovely food and lovely company!

macarons_12 macarons macarons_15 macarons_11 macarons_13
It was such a fun, relaxed day — with all of us wearing pieces of the newest Macarons collection. (Yes, there are adult jumpers available now, and how awesome is that green colour?)

macarons
macarons
Macarons is here in London today for the ShopUp event (I’m writing this post from the café, while there’s a lovely buzz going on around me. It’s been such a great event so far, and there is so much more fun to come!)

xxx Esther

PS Congrats to the Macarons family with their newest baby, a little boy called Charles, born just two weeks ago! : )

Katrina Campbell Photography

Katrina Campbell Family Photography Katrina_Campbell_Photography_4 Katrina Campbell photography katrina_campbell_1 katrina campbell photography
A few weeks ago we spent a lovely Sunday morning with the talented photographer Katrina Campbell, who came from London for the day to photograph our family (and to spend some time in our lovely city, of course).

Katrina told me beforehand not to worry too much about a tidy house, perfectly posing children, well, not to worry too much about anything! And I didn’t, and it was just the perfect state-of-mind for a relaxed photoshoot — my kids were running around, playing, and while I was making coffee, getting Casper dressed and chitchatting with Katrina (who really is such a lovely lady!), she was taking snapshots of our children. (I love that photo of Casper on our window sill in his underwear, with his sweet baby belly and his round little knees!)

katrina campbell photography katrina campbell photography Katrina Campbell Katrina Campbell photography Katrina_Campbell_Photography_5 Katrina_Campbell_Photography_6
We also went for a little walk outside, the kids on their bikes and climbing in trees like normal. Katrina just walked along with us, camera in hand, and took the most beautiful photos. I love how natural they are, and how the character of each child is captured.  On just two occasions, Katrina asked us to quickly pose as a family, because as she said: every family likes to have a nicely posed family photo every now and then. (So true!)

Katrina Campbell photography

What I am most impressed about, are the beautiful portraits Katrina made of the children. Again, so natural, so well done. Pim and Sara both told me that these portraits are the most beautiful photos anyone has ever taken of them!

Katrina_Campbell_Photography_1 Katrina Campbell Photography
But, Katrina’s service doesn’t stop by taking beautiful photos. She will also select some of her favourite shots, and can have those printed on beautiful, matte photo paper. If you’re in England, she can even have them framed for you! (In my case, she sent just the prints and all I had to do is take them to the framer.) What a super fantastic service for a busy parent! I never find the time to select, print and frame photos — how nice that someone does this for you, so it actually gets done for a change, and beautifully so!

Katrina Campbell family portraitsI can highly recommend Katrina Campbell‘s service to you — she really captures families the way they are, with her documentary-style photography. Plus —  she also puts the icing on the cake by selecting, printing and framing those family favourites! If you’re in London this week, you can meet Katrina at the ShopUp where she is one of the sponsors, and she can tell you all about the (fabulous) way she works.

xxx Esther

Great gifting from Sarah and Bendrix

Sarah & BendrixI’m getting more and more excited about the London ShopUp this week! We have so many amazing brands joining us, I just can’t wait to fill that extra suitcase I’m bringing over : )!

Sarah & Bendrix, gifts, the ShopUp Sarah & Bendrix, the ShopUp, gifts

Sarah & Bendrix is one of the wonderful shops setting up their booth at our great venue, offering a selection of very simple but beautifully crafted gifts. I love the darling children’s collection, with some beautiful wooden toys and gorgeous watercolour games (check out this sweet video here for gift inspiration — so sweet!). Sarah & Bendrix also offers pretty cards and complete gift boxes, to make gifting even more easy.

xxx Esther

Thoughtful and beautiful gift boxes from The London Gifting Studio

The London Gifting Studio gift boxes by Babyccino Kids
To give, but mostly to receive a gift that was chosen with care, with love, with attention to detail, with just that extra something, is so, so special. A gift that has meaning, a purpose, that is (and becomes) an experience and a memory — those kind of gifts are the best ones. But which busy parent has the time to such organise such a very special gift?

The London Gifting Studio (Babyccino Kids)
Enter The London Gifting Studio. Busy mama-of-two Annie started a service that aims to create perfect presents, consisting of beautiful products carefully assembled in a luxurious gift box. A service that is convenient, quick and easy to use for the giver, but never evidently so for the receiver. The products, which Annie sources from local companies (mostly cool East London ones), are always made by hand by talented artists, designers and makers — very often so on their kitchen table. Materials are mostly organic or recycled, but always sourced with integrity.

There are boxes for cooks, for bathers, for writers, for coffee lovers — boxes that encourage to create, to relax, to experience. The wooden boxes, which are so pretty by themselves, are wrapped beautifully in seasonal wrapping paper, ribbons and a flower posy, and personalised with a handwritten note.

The London Gifting Studio (Babyccino Kids)
Annie sent our family a Box for a Cosy Christmas, and we’re so impressed with what is inside — such pretty products, all collected with the aim to provide us with everything we need to get in the holiday spirit. A sweet Christmas tale to read, a handwoven woollen blanket to snuggle under. Hot chocolate with marshmallows. A hand poured soy wax candle. A bar of chocolate, spiced with clove, nutmeg and black pepper. And (so special) a gorgeous rag doll angel for the top of our tree, made from recycled materials — something to keep forever.

Receiving a giftbox from The London Gifting Studio means receiving a gift that was chosen with care, with love, with attention to detail, with just that extra something — a gift that becomes an experience and a memory. I will certainly be using Annie’s beautiful service myself in the near future (in fact, I just ordered some for dear friends)!

xxx Esther

PS The London Gifting Studio is one of the main sponsor of our London ShopUp event next week. Come and meet Annie personally there, and discover her beautiful gift boxes!

Cool urban clothing from ABC123me

ABC123meABC123me are a London based label offering brand free, unisex clothing made from 100% soft cotton made to be washed and tumble dried and to be worn with ease and comfort. It’s a shop I turn to for great quality and stylish basics — I love the simple styles which are so cool and on trend, but in a very simple, classic way. Pim still loves wearing his corduroy suit that he got last year (love these photos of my little guy!), this mid-season jacket in his favourite colour, and the vintage style hoodies with extra long sleeves with thumb pockets.

ABC123me is one of the wonderful shops joining us at the ShopUp next week. We’re so excited to have them join us!

xxx Esther

Maud Fontein’s Happy Holiday Shoot, again at the ShopUp!

Maud Fontein Happy Holidays Shoot 2015

It’s becoming a little ritual, my yearly trip to Maud Fontein‘s studio with my four children. It’s always a bit chaotic, because it needs to be done quickly, in between school pick-up and tennis training. Maud is great at making the kids feel at ease though and always captures them looking so cute, making use of clever little tricks and parental involvement like sitting on the whoopy cushion or throwing confetti in the air.

happy holidays 15 webres-3 Maud Fontein Happy Holidays Shoot 2015

I love the sequence of the yearly shoots (here‘s the one Maud took 2 years ago, and here is last year’s shoot). So cute to see those sweet faces develop!

happy holidays 15 webres-4 Maud Fontein Happy Holidays Shoot 2015 happy holidays 15 webres-7 Maud Fontein Happy Holidays Shoot 2015

This year’s theme with the black background and the confetti is so fun — it brings so much movement to the photos and makes for such a sweet series, with such honest, spontaneous faces.

Maud Fontein Happy Holidays Shoot 2015 happy holidays 15 webres-8

Maud will be at the ShopUp this year again, like the previous three years, so if you’re in London here’s your chance to have cute portraits of your children taken. (Or maybe you already have started a series last year?) She will be set up the full two days, so do bring your sweeties along when you come to our event! (If you would like to reserve a specific time, it’s best to drop Maud an email beforehand.

Maud Fontein Happy Holidays Shoot 2015
xxx Esther

First day of Advent (and the sweetest Christmas calendar from Fabelab)

Fabelant advent activity calendarLast year I blogged about our last minute advent calendar — not a calendar filled with gifts and sweets, but one filled with little notes suggesting a daily activity to get us in the mood for Christmas. It was a huge success and a tradition was born, so I just (quite last minute again!) put up our activity advent for this year.

Fabelab advent activity calendarI was lucky enough to get my hands on the coveted Fabelab Christmas calendar — such a clever and cute idea, where the little pockets forming the calendar are inverted to reveal the most adorable hand puppets. I love this addition to our activity advent tradition: not only do the pockets hold exciting activities for the December days to come, but also, slowly a puppet theater is formed for the kids to play with while we’re all cozying up inside.

Fabelab advent activity calendarIf you want to join in with a (last minute) activity advent, I created this easy download last year.

xxx Esther

PS Lovely posts by our team member Mo on her activity advent calendar and also her inspirational book advent with the most amazing book suggestions!

A ‘One Pot Wonder’ recipe — a video with Abel & Cole!

One Pot Wonder recipe (with Abel & Cole)

When we lived in London (already 10 years ago!), I was a huge fan of the beautiful organic food boxes that were delivered to our doorstep once a week by British home delivery service Abel & Cole. For me, it really pioneered cooking with seasonal and local ingredients, so different from the supermarket food I had gotten used to in previous decades.

So I loved the opportunity of visiting the Abel & Cole offices in South London recently with our team member Bethie. How fun to see the now size of this amazing company, to meet some of the wonderful people working there (all positively obsessed about great food!) and hey — to not only visit the beautiful Abel & Cole test kitchen (where I felt right at home!) but cook in it, too!

The video-recipe of the delicious ‘One Pot Wonder’ we prepared that day is now up on our YouTube channel — have a look and if you’re inspired and decide to try it out, do let me know what you think!

Enjoy!

xxx Esther

PS Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more inspiration!

Don’t miss our November Give-Aways!

November give-awayEvery month we have some fantastic prizes to win from our amazing and lovely shops. Of course November is no exception! Can you believe it’s nearly December… Maybe you can tick off something from your list with the below!

Bamboo-blended baby accessories specialists Nest Designs are giving one lucky winner a Keira Diaper Clutch, a stylish clutch which cleverly folds out into a changing pad, plus 3 sets of super soft Bib Bandanas!

Poppy & Hester have a cute range of high quality, fun-to-wear girls clothing featuring their own stylish prints. This month one lucky winner can choose any dress and cardigan, plus neckerchief scarf to complete the outfit!

Contemporary Spanish children’s clothing and accessories specialist Pepa & Co have picked their lovely baby moccs to give away this month! Choose from 9 cute models.

SO Awesome wallet-sized cards are modern, durable and irresistible; perfect for entertaining your little ones wherever you are! Educational and safe for ages 0+, there are two sets of the full line of Children’s Wallet Cards plus My Wallet sets to be won!

Head on over to our WIN! Page to enter! Good luck everyone!

Thursday Thoughts: When do you give your child a cellphone?

phone

For a while now we’ve been writing regular Tuesday Tips posts — posts in which we share little parenting insights, tips and things that we’ve learned or picked up over the years. We enjoy these posts a lot, both writing them and reading them, and especially the tips and tricks that our readers leave in the comments section (or sent by email).

But sometimes we just want to share a thought, a question, or an insecurity. Something we don’t know the answer to, but something we want to talk about and hear your thoughts on. So we’re going to start a new series called ‘Thursday Thoughts’, and we hope you will enjoy and join in (and we hope we will learn and grow from it)!

***

Sara is now 10 years old, and the inevitable question has come up — when does she get a cell phone? Some of her friends (including her best friend) have been given a cell phone for their 10th birthday, and apparently about a third of the children in her class now have of a phone of their own.

We are not big screen-users in our family. It seems that there are roughly two routes to take when you are raising children — you are either relaxed or restrictive about screens — we lean toward the latter. Our kids do not have an Ipad or Ipod, and hardly watch television (they do watch the occasional dvd though). But, when we are having dinner and one of the kids has an interesting question or insight that we can’t respond to accurately, we tell them to search for the Ipad and look up the answer. And, now that it’s getting colder and wetter and it’s dark early, we sometimes like to cosy up in the living room and watch a fun film together. So I guess we don’t ban out screens completely, we’re relaxed restrictive about them.

With that in mind, I always thought the age of 12 would be a good age to give my children a mobile phone. They are then in the last year of primary school, and they will have started to cycle to their school, their friends and their after-school activities by themselves. An age, I imagine, when they will need (and get) more independence, and a mobile phone might make sense. They are hopefully responsible enough by then, plus, it could come in handy at times.

As a child, I had to cycle 8 kilometers to secondary school every morning, and back every afternoon. ‘Through rain and wind’, as we say here in the Netherlands. On a few occasions, cycling was impossible — a lot of snow on the way, or a flat tyre, for example — and I would have to find a house on the way, ring the bell, and ask kindly if I could make a phone call to my mum so she could come and pick me up. I sometimes wonder, do children nowadays have a chance to develop the (social) skills to deal with these sorts of little problems in life, when they get a mobile phone at such an early age?

A friend of mine has 3 children, 2 teenage boys and a tween girl. His wife passed away a few years ago, so he has the tough job to raise his kids all alone. He has always been extremely relaxed about screens; he feels that they are such an integral part of our lives, that it’s only natural to let children grow up with them. He gave his daughter a cell phone (no smart phone though) when she was seven, so they could reach each other on the days that he was working outside the city. When she was ten she got a smart phone, and he says it’s all good.

I was talking with Courtney about this (who has even stricter views on electronics) and she nearly fainted (half joking) when I mentioned it might soon be time to give Sara a phone. She said that this is a parenting decision that is still so far away for her, that she hasn’t really even thought about it yet, but she guessed it would definitely not happen before her kids were 16, and then certainly no smart phone!

So many parents, so many opinions.

But I think I might have to reconsider mine. I wonder if maybe the age of 12 is a bit late in our Amsterdam way-of-life. If, next year, most if not all of the children in Sara’s class have a phone, should I still keep her from getting one? Even if we wouldn’t allow her to bring her phone to school yet, she could still join the class WhatsApp group, and send messages to her friends, and use it on occasions after school?

It’s a difficult decision to make, and I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions about it to help me shape my own!

xxx Esther

Classic & cosy clothes from Pepa & Co

Pepa & Co by Babyccino Kids

Pepa & Co is a London based online boutique, offering a collection of beautifully designed fashion, all sustainably made in, and sourced from Spain. The collection is handpicked by Pepa, the lovely owner, who has an eye for selecting a nice mix of classic and contemporary pieces — all so stylish and charming!

Pepa&Co_4

A highlight in Pepa & Co’s winter collection this year are the long-sleeved, organic shirts and onesies with darling Liberty collars. They are available from size 3 months to 8 years, and are so sweet, soft and cosy — and so effortlessly stylish! Baby Orla is wearing a onesie with a basic blue collar, isn’t she just divine?

Pepa&Co_6 Pepa&C0_3

I love how sweet and simple they are, and it is such a great layering piece — perfect combined with that adorable knitted all-in-one piece!

Pepa&Co_2

Last but not least, how sweet are those moccasins? Keeping tiny feet warm and adding the most adorable touch to little baby legs in teeny tiny tights… So cute!

xxx Esther

PS This post is sponsored by Pepa & Co, a company we love and respect and a long-time member of our shopping portal.

The Little Things: Making Fall Leaf Lanterns

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanternsIt’s autumn and the streets are lined with the most beautiful leaves. They’re just too pretty not to be picked up! So for this The Little Things post, we decided to make use of what is so readily available in nature: we’re making beautiful leaf lanterns with Casper and his friend Mees.

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanternsLook how excited those cute three-year-old buddies are to get started!

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanternsFor this project, we need semi-dry leaves (just put leaves in a heavy book and leave for a few days to keep them from curling — it’s best to use paper kitchen towel sheets if you want to avoid stains on the pages of the book). It’s fun to use leaves in different shapes, colours and sizes (don’t forget to collect some tiny ones too). You also need a few clean glass jars, and decoupage glue like Décopatch or Mod Podge.

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanternsFirst step is to paint a layer of glue on the jars. Then, paint the leaves, stick on the jar, and paint over again.

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanternsIt is ok if the leaves overlap, but you can also choose to use them more individually.

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanternsSome leaves can be a bit stiff — cutting the petiole of the leaf can help. Also, once the glue is bit drier, you can push stubborn leaves down quite easily.

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanternsDone! Now we just have to wait a few hours for the paint to dry, and to get completely translucent.

<a href="http://babyccinokids.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/TLT_17.jpg"> <a href="http://babyccinokids.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/TLT_17.jpg"> The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- fall leaf lanterns DIYIn the meantime, we took the boys out to the park for a run and to look for more leaves!

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- fall leaf lanterns DIY The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- fall leaf lanterns DIY The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- fall leaf lanterns DIYAutumn is such a pretty season. And we have been so lucky with the weather so far here in Amsterdam!

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids, making fall lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids, making fall lanterns The Little Things by Babyccino Kids, making fall lanterns
TLT_34Do you remember one of our first The Little Things shoots, where we were wrapping and unwrapping presents with Casper and Mees? They’ve grown so much! (But are still sooo little.)

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids: DIY Leaf lanternsWhat a fun little project — so easy with such pretty results. Now that the evenings are getting darker and colder, we love lighting candles in our homes to bring in warmth… And our little boys are super proud to see their creations on the table of course!

xxx Esther

PS – This is the newest post in a series which is called ‘The Little Things’. Thank you Maud Fontein for taking these beautiful photos and for letting us use your beautiful new house! Casper’s reversible vest is from Nieva, his pants are from Macarons and the shirt is from Mabo Kids.

Beautiful fashion and knitwear from Omibia

omibia_1

Last year at the ShopUp, a sweet lady came up to me, presenting me her beautiful business card and telling me about the brand she was setting up, a collection of luxury children’s fashion and knitwear called Omibia. She told me she hoped that next year she could join us for the ShopUp, and I told her I most certainly hoped so too! And now I’m so happy to say that indeed Omibia (and that sweet lady called Mercedes) will be there, with their first beautiful collection.

omibia_2

Omibia aims to create beautiful baby and children’s clothing of the highest quality and style, but without compromising the manufacturing process, which is respectful to the people, places and the natural processes involved. All items are made entirely from certified organic and natural fibres, like luxuriant baby alpacas, or soft cottons. I personally love the beautiful colours, patterns and detailing of the knitwear collection — Mercedes kindly sent us some samples to test over the year, and the quality of those knits is truly amazing and the fit is superb.

I can’t wait to meet Mercedes again in London next month, and this time with a collection worthy to be discovered!

xxx Esther

Older Posts »