As I mentioned in this post, I took my first yoga class when I was pregnant with Marlow and after just one class I knew it would become an important part of my life from then on. I don’t know what took me so long to start up yoga, but I am so thankful I finally did. I loved taking pregnancy yoga classes when I was pregnant, and I am so convinced it helped prepare me mentally and physically for the birthing experience I had always longed for.
When Marlow was 8 weeks old we started taking yoga classes together. Once a week the two of us hop on a bus and head over to Triyoga in Primrose Hill for the Mummy & Me yoga class with Nadia Narain. It is always a highlight of the week for both of us! I love that I get to practice yoga even though I have a little baby who still can’t be left with a sitter, I love that every Wednesday I wake up and my muscles are slightly sore from the previous day’s work out, I love being surrounded by other mums with young babies and chatting to them about motherhood and baby stages, and I love ending the class with a little dance with Marlow – a special time for the two of us to share with each other. Marlow loves the bit at the end when we sing songs (Incy Wincy Spider is her favourite!), and she loves checking out all the other sweet babies in the room — I’m certain that she loves our yoga class as much as I do.
p.s. Marlow’s romper in the photo above is from Marie Puce.
We discovered Jamie Oliver’s vegetarian chili recipe a couple months ago, and have made it nearly once a week since. It’s so yummy, and so easy to make. And it’s one of those meals you can make at the end of the week when your fridge is empty and you can’t think of anything else to make. Most of the ingredients are canned ingredients you’ll have in your pantry, or spices you’ll probably have in the cupboard. The fresh ingredients you’ll need are sweet potatoes, peppers, chillis and coriander (unless, like us, you have a stash of frozen coriander in your freezer). Give this recipe a go — I’m certain you’ll love it too!
Image taken from the Jamie Oliver website.
We have been long-time fans of Gabriela Pardo and her cool guitar pillows… so when she emailed to let us know about her new necklaces, we knew we’d love those too. She sent this one with bells and feathers for Ivy, and of course Ivy loves it. Such a fun, vibrant way to accessorise any outfit whether for normal wear or for dress-up.
My oldest has a birthday coming up. Eight! It sounds so big to me! He’s at that tender age where he is no longer a little kid in a needy way, but yet he’s still so naive and blissfully unaware of ‘cool’. Still happy to hold my hand as we walk into his classroom and kiss me when I pick him up. So sweet. I want to pickle him and keep him like this forever!
Anyway, I’m slightly stumped as to what to buy him for his birthday. (Don’t you find that the older they get, the trickier it is to buy them things? Or is it just me?!) I picked up this How To Build A Human Body book/kit the other day and I think he’s really going to love it!
The set includes a 32-page book full of colorful illustrations and intriguing facts about the human body along with 66 slotted pieces to build a 3-D skeleton. Cool, no?
ps – If you have other tips for what to buy an 8-year-old, please share!
I have been a fan of the H-Luv fabrications since I first saw them and met the designer, Heidi Iverson, at Playtime NYC years ago. The little mushroom men are sooo cute! So full of character with their little hand-stitched faces. I also love the little trees – how the trunks are weighted with polybeads so they stand upright wherever you put them. And the little dolls (below) are so sweet.
When I was at Sweet William in NYC this past March, I picked up one of the H-Luv cloud mobiles to hang above Marlow’s bed. I love the bright colours and the little rain pompoms hanging down. So fun.
Do you see Marlow’s hands reaching out of her cot in the photo above? I’m pretty sure she’s trying to say she likes the cloud mobile too! : )
Elizabeth from The Littlest blog (and our lovely LA-based contributor) has started up a wonderful new series on her blog called ‘As They Grow’ which features a different mother & baby duo to highlight the monthly stages of a baby’s development from birth up to 24 months. Each mother will describe how they engage with their baby – how they play with their baby, what songs they sing, what games they play, etc. She asked me to describe the third month in a baby’s development and Esther to describe the fourth month.
Take a peek at The Littlest blog to see our contributions and to see what other mums say about the different months. We’re excited to read about the coming months (months five, six, seven, eight, etc.) in anticipation of our own babies being at that stage. It’s always nice to hear ideas for how to engage and play with your baby at the different stages.
I recently discovered the Naef brand of baby toys at the TwentyTwentyOne shop in Islington and I was so drawn to the simplicity of the toys. Simple, but so beautiful at the same time. And all the wood is so smooth, the shapes are so perfect for little baby hands, and the sounds the toys make when you move them are so naturally pleasant. I bought this ringl-ring-rattle for Marlow and it’s one of her favourite toys, fitting so perfectly into her hands and entertaining her with the way the rings naturally fall from side to side of the circular ring.
I love the bright colours and bold prints on the tunics at Emerald August. Such happy pieces little girls will love to wear! (Laura from Emerald August sent this tunic dress for Ivy and you should have seen the excitement in opening the package – pink, purple and butterflies!! It doesn’t get better than that!!!).
Emerald August is an Atlanta-based company and each article of clothing is designed by Laura and made locally in the USA. You’ll find tunic tops, dresses and a collection of sweet graphic tees for the summer.
I met up with my friend Lindsey from Urban Mums recently and she was telling me about (and showing me) her baby’s terrible eczema. Eczema so bad that his skin, at times, became infected and needed medical treatment. Poor little baby boy. It turns out he is allergic to dairy and gluten, and that feeding him a specially formulated baby milk free from these allergens will keep his eczema at bay. His eczema has thankfully mostly cleared up… but still, Lindsay has to be really picky about the clothing and fabrics her son wears so that his sensitive skin is never irritated. Enter Silver Sense clothing.
Silver Sense specialises in clothing which helps to ease the itching, inflammation and distress caused by eczema and other skin conditions in a natural way. Their clothes are made from soft cotton fabrics which are blended with real, natural silver fibres. I had no idea… but apparently silver fibres have powerful antimicrobial properties that help fight the symptoms of eczema and other skin conditions! How cool is that? (You can read more about it here.)
I love all their cute products, both for babies and children up to 8 years. Lots of fun stripes, and cute colour combos. And Lindsey says the products are really great in person, super cute and nice fitting… and yes, soothing on her baby’s skin. Brilliant!
I popped into Elias & Grace the other day for a ‘just to browse, not to shop’ kind of thing, and ended up walking out with a couple new spring dresses for Ivy. I couldn’t help it — the sun was shining (finally!) so spring was in the air, and the dresses were too cute to pass up. I thought this simple white cotton dress by Miller was the perfect thing for summer. Is there anything sweeter than a little girl in a white dress on a summer’s day? No way.
Now let’s hope the sun stays out and this long, cold winter is over!
La De Dah Kids is an Australian brand with the sweetest collection of crochet toys, accessories and decorations. Take a peek at their bean bags and crochet floor mats – how cool are they?! They also have the most adorable collection of hand rattles and soft toys. Marlow has this little striped monkey (below) and loves playing with it – each of its legs fit perfectly into her little hands.
I was starting to think I was sick of knitwear after a long, cold winter… but these pieces from La De Dah are just so bright and fun. Love!
Yesterday was my son Quin’s 6th birthday and we had a little party for him after school. I followed Esther’s idea and told him he could invite six friends because he is 6 years old. I picked the kids up from school, brought them back home, and we played a few games in the garden, played pass-the-parcel, had a little dance party, and then they ate dinner and made ice cream ‘mondays’ (since it was not a Sunday – it was a Monday!). It was good old-fashioned simple fun. And I was really so unorganised, that all of the party prep happened in the two hours before I picked them up from school!
Thank goodness for the My Little Day party kits. They seriously saved the day! I bought this kit and it had everything I needed to set up a perfect party table. In fact, it made me look deceivingly organised when in fact I was not! Here’s a picture of our kitchen table before the chaos ensued…
And you can also buy other matching party supplies like party hats, goody bags, and bunting. All from the new My Little Day collection.
Being unorganised has never paid off so well. Thank you My Little Day!
I discovered these little swinging fishermen toys when I popped into the super charming London children’s shop, Eeenymeeny, a couple weeks ago. They had one propped up on the counter, rocking back and forth with the fish at the end of the hook, and my three kids were so impressed by how it worked! The little fisherman perches on a shelf and rocks back and forth without ever falling over. So cool! We bought a few as gifts, and we bought ourselves one too. He sits on the shelf in our living room and is greatly admired.
My sister recently suggested I read Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. She said the book had changed her life! (How’s that for a recommendation?!) Ms. Boutenko is a raw foods pioneer and natural health advocate. She writes about the immense health benefits of eating more greens — how they eliminate toxins in the body and correct nutritional deficiencies. She suggests that the easiest way to consume sufficient amount of greens is to make and drink green smoothies.
And thus began our addiction to green smoothies!! We make them every day. It’s such an easy way to eat spinach, kale, chard and other extremely healthy green vegetables. She also argues that we should be eating more of the green parts of vegetables — the green bits of strawberries (just throw the whole strawberries, stems included, into your blender!), the greens of carrots, beet greens, etc. I don’t think I’ll ever toss those green bits away again! Plus, it’s so much easier to throw it all into your blender without removing the stems.
In addition to the greens, we also add sweet fruit like bananas, mangoes, strawberries, apples, etc. So the smoothies are not only extremely healthy, they’re super yummy! My kids are as addicted as I am! Here is one of our favourite sweet green smoothie recipes from the Green for Life book:
1 cup chard
1 cup spinach
10 strawberries, stems included
1 mango, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups water
And another recipe we also like (a bit less sweet – more healthy tasting!) is this one which we’ve sort of created ourselves:
1-2 cups of spinach
1 bunch of mint, stems included
1 bunch of parsley, stems included
1 cup apple juice
Try it! It’s delicious! And please share your green smoothie recipes. We would love to have more options!
My oldest son recently started reading chapter books. Chapter books! So big! He’ll nestle himself into a chair and quietly read a book to himself. I love watching him get lost in a book — to see the joy on his face or to hear him giggle as he reads something funny. It’s amazing how confident and independent he has become!
Now that he’s reading chapter books, it feels like a whole new book world has opened up. I keep thinking of all the books I read as a young child and all the books I hope he’ll also read. Books like Where the Red Fern Grows (do you remember it?! did you cry too?!!) and The Boxcar Children mysteries and The BFG! Ooooh to be a kid again!!
So far he’s read a couple of the Mr. Gum books and he’s currently reading James and the Giant Peach (and loving it, of course). Next on his list is The Boy Who Climbed into the Moon, which I haven’t read, but it looks so cute!
So… I would love to know if any of you have suggestions for easy-to-read chapter books? I would even love to hear suggestions for girls, as I am always wondering what books to buy for all of his girl friends. Please share!
Jammies Prêt-à-Porter is a NYC-based company started by a brother and sister duo. They’ve created a line of cute and comfy baby garments packaged up in sweet little jam jars, making for unique gift-giving. Perfect for baby showers or new baby gifts!
The idea of packaging jammies in jars came from their father who, in the 1980s, would gift baby pajamas in little jars. They’ve adapted the concept, creating modern BPA-free plastic jars as packages for all their items. The idea is that the parents can re-use the little jars as storage for Q-tips, cotton balls, or anything else (I’m using mine to store all of Marlow’s dummies/pacifiers!).
p.s. Jammies is now offering an exclusive 15% discount for Babyccino Kids readers. See here for details.
I have always wanted to learn to crochet! And I was even more inspired to learn when I spent a weekend last year with Emilie and Esther and they were both crocheting the cutest little hats and accessories. They gave me a quick tutorial and it seemed quite do-able. But of course, I came back to London and a whole year has passed and I still haven’t picked up a crochet hook!
But things are about to change! I just received Kat Goldin’s new book, Crochet at Play, and I am so inspired by all the adorable crochet patterns: the sweetest clothing, cutest accessories (a crocheted crown! little hedgehog mittens! adorable baby shoes!), and fun toys. The book offers a selection of 30 patterns with easy-to-follow instructions for making each piece, and everything is so beautifully photographed that I just want to make it all.
I think I’ll start with the little crown. Stay tuned for results.
When Esther and I were in NYC last month, we stopped into the super stylish HATCH studio in Soho for a meeting with the impressively chic founder/designer, Ariane Goldman. She gave us a piece-by-piece tour through their collection, showing us the swanky new spring/summer items. Stylish, chic, swanky: three words that sum up the HATCH brand. Need I say more? Well… only to say that the clothing is truly meant for before, during and after pregnancy. The pieces are designed to be worn whether you’re pregnant or not. So, even though Esther and I will not ever be pregnant again (we promise!), we were still tempted by the weekend shorts, the boyfriend dress, the jumper and pretty much everything else!
When we were in NYC earlier this month we met up with the talented photographer, Lindsey Belle, and spent a sunny afternoon hanging out on the streets of the Meatpacking District. We talked babies and motherhood (Lindsey has an 11 month old and we bonded over sleepless nights & nursing babies!) and she snapped some quick photos of us as we walked along the cobbled streets. The babies were asleep in their buggies at first, so we got a few rare photos of just the two of us. Then both babies woke at the same time, and so we strapped them into the slings and Lindsey took a few photos of the four of us (two jet-lagged mamas with their sleepy babes!).
Lindsey has just published her photos and an interview with us on her blog. Take a peek at her blog to read our interview answers, and while you’re there you should check out her portfolio of other great photos. Thank you Lindsey for the fun photo shoot!
xx Esther & Courtney
Tiphaine Verdier Mangan started creating unique one-of-a-kind story boxes for display at the Bon Marché in Paris. Her poetic story boxes were so well received and loved that she then went on to create them for the general public. She now sells cardboard versions of her original creations, to serve as decoration in children’s rooms, or as my daughter prefers to use hers, as a home for her little Maileg mice.
Whatever the use, the story boxes are so sweet. Like a single room in a doll’s house, perfectly decorated and great for imaginative play or for decoration.
They are available to purchase directly from her website.