Beatrix from I Dream Elephants asked us to put together a little board with some of our favourite finds in her shop, and it was fun to do! We loved browsing the collections and it got us all excited for our spring shopping. (Especially now that I Dream Elephants is giving a very generous 18% off to Babyccino Kids readers!) Here is our selection:
- Lemon Striped Boatneck knit jumper, so summery, and so fresh!
- A darling Dot White Summer Tunic made from 100% organic cotton.
- We love this blue Flower Pin! It will instantly ad a dash of style to any outfit.
- Barry the Crocodile. You just got to love him.
- Pretty Voile Scarf with little bells. The perfect accessory for summer.
- And awesome Drink Milk Sweatshirt, made from super comfy organic cotton.
- Adorable organic All-in-one Bodysuit with cute teddy bear print (and cruise ships!)
- Sweet, these striped Summery Soft Pants.
- Very cool, these unisex Light Denim Chinos!
- This Animal Family Scarf is so pretty! (We want it for ourselves!)
How beautiful are these works by Dutch illustrator Lieke van der Vorst? They have something so innocent about them, and at the same time they are so incredibly wise. They would be perfect for a nursery, a kids’ room, any room in the house, really. The third picture above is an illustration Lieke designed for a birth announcement last year. So, so sweet!
If you’re interested in Lieke’s work, you can her purchase postcards and prints via her webshop, or the bear postcards are available through BijzonderMooi as well.
Do your kids love eggs so much too? Ava, our 2 year old, is especially a total egg addict — she could eat 5 eggs a day if I let her! My mum used to say that eating more than 3 eggs a week was bad for your health, it would be bad for your cholesterol level (and thus blamed for an increased risk of heart disease). Nowadays, thoughts about eggs are quite different — apparently they are great sources of protein and vitamins, and eating one egg a day has positive effects on health and cholesterol levels rather than negative ones. Good for Ava (and good for the Easter bunny)!
Spring flowers are finally in bloom in our garden — I saw daffodils this morning! This means that Spring is around the corner, with all its positiveness. A sweet smell in the air, gorgeous flowers sprucing up everywhere, fresh green leaves on the trees, the first picnics on freshly mown lawns, little boys in shorts and stripy jumpers, little girls in their new spring dresses… I can get pretty excited about it all. (I would be perfectly happy skipping the first three months of the year — cold, wet, boring and depressing as far as I’m concerned!)
I think the above dresses of the newly launched party collection by Millie Manu are just so, so perfect for any kind of celebration this coming season. I just couldn’t resist the mint green Flo Dress for Ava — so gorgeous! It’s entirely made out of silk — chiffon on the outside, and lined with silk as well. It has lovely little details and is made beautifully.
She’ll be the queen of the ball with Easter this year — and we’re all so excited because Courtney and her family will join us in Amsterdam to celebrate together!
There’s something so contradictory about the first weeks after giving birth. Of course there is that wonderful, magical feeling of bliss — the birth, that beautiful, earthy smell, seeing and holding your baby for the first time, admiring every detail of him (her), spending your days on the couch, in bed, being so proud, feeling the love, the connection between your loved ones, changing miniscule nappies, dressing that tiny wrinkly newborn in those tiny little outfits you so carefully piled in anticipation for the big day, hearing him, smelling him, learning everything once again. Amazing.
And then there’s the part no one ever really talks about. The pain! Piles of enormous pads between your legs. Walking as if you’ve been horse riding for 3 weeks straight!
Being so tired, so drained. Being angry, being sad, being emotional. The tears! The confusion! The frustration. Endless hours of breastfeeding, every 3 hours, every 2 hours, every hour. Cracked nipples, strong afterbirth pains that make you cringe, the thirst, the sweat, and then, the engorgement. Boobs the size of melons, so big, so hard, and so painful.
I wish I had these Relief Pads from Boob Design when I was suffering from engorgement after the birth of my children. Especially after Ava it was pretty bad! It took a whole week — my boobs were huge, painful, hot, they were red and white and purple and I had to ’sleep’ sitting up which wasn’t so agreeable to start with! I SO needed these pads. Made out of 100% organic cotton and filled with natural flax seed, the Boob Relief Pads can be chilled in the freezer to soothe or heal tender and swollen breasts, or help relieve blocked ducts. They can also be warmed in the microwave or oven to warm up your breast before nursing, stimulate milk flow and prevent blocked ducts. And, they have a healing effect when breasts are inflamed or if you have mastitis.
Boob Design gave me a pair when we met at the Playtime fair, and even though my boobs are now doing fine, I still like to warm my pads in the micro and stick them in to my bra every now and then. It’s just so soft, warm and comfortable! They can also be used to pre-warm baby’s bed or push chair, or to stick around your neck for some relief after carrying a baby around for too long. All in all, if you’re (planning on) breastfeeding, I definitely recommend getting a pair!
When we were in New York last week, Courtney and I made sure to reserve some time for a visit to one of our favourite New York children’s boutiques, Sweet William. What a gorgeous, inspiring shop! A true treasure chest filled with the most beautiful clothes, books, and toys for children.
We couldn’t help ourselves (of course!) and bought some little presents for each of our kids to bring home, and for the babies we picked up one of these handmade, organic mushroom rattles from Tane Organics. Cute! Tane Organics is a NY based company, believing that the purest, most luxurious natural fibers should be enveloping your newborn and toddler. They create beautiful, simple and easy-to-wear collections that I really like. What about these cute stripy coveralls for Casper this summer? I also LOVE the look of these organic vegetable rattles I just found on their website. Must be so good for them — better have them start with veggies as early as possible!
These Indian eggs were quickly made using a black marker, some masking tape and a little feather or pipe cleaner. I put them in my kids’ lunch boxes as a surprise, but I thought it would also be fun to make them for Easter. So easy, and so cute!
The Playtime trade show is always such an inspiring event. So much talent, creativity, and entrepreneurialism all in one place. You would think that after visiting Playtime Paris just two months ago we would have seen it all… but the New York show offered up a whole new vibe, new designers and of course an excuse to catch up with some of our favourite brands. Here’s a recap in photos…
1. In addition to the cool neon reversible crowns we already know and love, Noe & Zoe are making Indian headdresses now! OMG! 2. Cute, colourful hairclips & accessories by Everbloom. 3. Drum roll please… Herschel is coming out with children’s backpacks and they are cool!! 4. Belle&Beanzer is a new baby brand with super soft Pima cotton baby basics and sweet little stripes.
1. Beautiful block-printed Indian fabrics make the dresses at Ode always so special. 2. We wanted to take home every single one of the adorable Hazel Village stuffed animals! 3. We loved meeting Alexis from Little Name and seeing all her great products in one place. 4. Of course this big green balloon was our favourite balloon at the show! : )
1. We loved discovering Radish Moon and their beautiful watercolour creations. We especially loved the round porcelain children’s dishes which remind us of our childhood! 2. Misha Lulu offers up something really fun and unique! 3. A cool collection from the Spanish brand Little Creative Factory. 4. Esther admires the sustainable kidswear brand KaLLio which creates cool children’s pieces from pre-loved men’s shirts.
1. The Oeuf NYC stand was really fun. It’s hard to not fall in love with everything they do! 2. We love the new pillows and all the prints at Mini & Maximus. 3. The highlight of the show was meeting these women: Celina Bailey from Petit à Petit and Family blog, Lindsey from Darling Clementine and Amanda from Coos & Ahhs blog. It’s really such a pity we don’t all live in the same city because I think we would all have a lot of fun together! 4. The lovely Celina Bailey snapping photos of the gorgeous Jess Brown dolls.
1. That Tootsa MacGinty bear jumper!!!! One of our favourite things we saw at the show! 2. Art installation which caught our eye. 3. At the entrance to the show with Celina Bailey. 4. Meeting the lovely Maria from Shop Belle!
1. The adorable little Lief, the inspiration behind the Little Lief brand keeping busy at the show. 2. Loved the organic colour-block pieces at Noch Mini. Keep your eye out for the hooded jacket. Very cool. 3. Another great Boy + Girl collection. 4. Pretty pieces and a fun time had at the Little Lief stand.
How lucky were we to get to know the wonderful Jennifer Murphy in New York this past weekend. Not only is she such a lovely, creative and inspiring person (check out her blog!) — she’s also an extremely talented teddy bear maker and creates the most amazing, beautiful little bears, each so full of character.
Jennifer has been making vintage-inspired, collectible one-of-a-kind bears for over 25 years (she learned it as a child sitting on her mother’s lap, who is also a teddy bear maker), but she very recently launched the Polka Dot Club, a toy line for children. We had a little peek at the collection in New York and fell instantly in love with it. It is all so, so adorable!!
The Polk Dot Club collection consists of 5 different bears, completely hand made by Jennifer out of luxurious, traditional and natural materials like pure mohair, wool felt and cotton stuffing. One of a kind touches, like cute little jumpers knitted by Jennifer and unique neck ties (made out of fabric that is specially designed for Polka Dot Club by Jennifer’s sister Kindra) make each piece so special.
Right now the Polka Dot Website is still minimal, but a webshop will open very soon — join the mailing list if you would like to know more about these beautiful heirloom toys!
Frankie & Ava is a new label from sunny Venice, California, which is all about a relaxed, feel-good attitude. Garments are made from high quality (and super soft!) cotton jersey, and there are also some thicker hand-knits for chilly days or evenings. The entire collection is easy to wear and to wash, sustainable, and created for everyday adventures.
I love the simplicity of the pieces, and little details like sweet pintucks, cute prints, tiny polka dots and mother-of-pearl buttons make them really stand out. This polka-dot hoodie might be my favourite piece — how adorable!
Mikodesign is a small Dutch label owned by the lovely Erika Harberts. Erika lives in Rotterdam with her husband and two darling daughters (who have inherited 100% of their mother’s good taste and creativity!), in a beautifully decorated flat with a little studio space in which she creates all of her amazing dolls, DIY kits, and other cute accessories.
Erika is one of the most creative women I have ever met. She designs and screen prints her own fabrics (look at this gorgeous onesie she made for Casper — it has an Amsterdam skyline on it; bakfiets included!), she keeps a beautiful and extremely inspiring blog, even designed and made an adorable play house in the garden a few years ago. The birthday parties she organises for her two girls are simply AMAZING — I think my favourite must be the Magritte detective party, but this Frida party is fantastic as well (and evolved in a line of beautiful Frida dolls and DIY kits). What an amazing, creative woman! (Who also happens to be super kind and sweet and pretty!)
These Glisten Up! glitter tattoos have been a huge success in our house lately. We got them for Pim’s recent disco party, and the entire family — grandmothers included! — now is adorned with these glitter designs. They work a bit different than the usual tattoos: first you transfer the sticky design on to the skin, then brush on the glitter (three colours are provided) with the brush that comes in the package. It’s very, very easy to do, and the results are super cool!
Available through Amazon (UK or US).
Our son Pim turned 6 years old last week. Six already! Time goes so fast… Wasn’t it only yesterday that he was a tiny little baby, the cutest little toddler…? Anyway (sigh), Pim loves everything to do with music and dance, so he requested for his birthday a ‘disco party’. Even though I wasn’t too inspired about the whole idea in the beginning, I think we managed to turn the party into something fun and special!
First, Pim and I stamped the invites with potato letter stamps using neon gouache. That was a nice activity for just the two of us. Then, I ordered sweatbands for all of the kids, a disco ball (the biggest expense!), and a moustache for my husband. I found glittery tattoos somewhere and bought some hairspray. The evening before the party we quickly sewed up 9 disco outfits out of cheap, glittery stretch spandex we got from the market. Spandex is easy to sew — it doesn’t frill, so no zigzagging or seams are required. You don’t even need to pin it! It was really super fast and easy.
In the meantime, my husband kept himself busy with a playlist for the party using youtube. We had Michael Jackson, Gangham style (plus a Gangham style instruction video — see the video below!), the famous chicken dance from the ’70’s (yeah!), the Macarena (yeah!), plus some more random songs that we knew the kids would love.
The party was a grand success! First, we played Pass the Parcel and each layer revealed a disco outfit for one of the kids. After, we gave them each a couple of glittery tattoos plus made their hair wild with the hairspray. The girls got side ponytails. We played musical chairs, and afterwards danced on all of the songs. The kids loved it!
We decorated cupcakes, Pim got tons of little presents, and at the end, we had a pretty exhausted bunch of children hanging on the couch, watching cartoons. Of course all the children could take their disco outfits home, and I’ve heard that they’ve been wearing their headbands to school every day. Fun!
Kapla blocks were invented about 25 years ago by a Dutch guy called Tom van der Bruggen. Tom had bought a ruined farm in a beautiful area in France, not too far from our house there so I know it quite well. Tom started to renovate the farm, and he was using wooden building blocks to make little scale models of his ideas for the structures. Traditional building blocks didn’t work well enough for his models so he invented little planks with the proportion of 1:3:5, and called them Kapla (short for Kabouter Plankjes, Dutch for Gnome Planks). With the Kapla blocks, he could now ‘construct with the precision of artwork and the stability of stones’.
We’ve given our kids a box of Kapla blocks for Christmas and I just love the possibilities one has with it. All the blocks are exactly the same size, making it easy to create 3 dimensional structures and challenging the children to be creative and organised. The blocks are made from untreated, very smooth wood — a pleasure to play with. I just love the simplicity of this toy — even the packaging is very down to earth and simple.
A definite recommendation if you’re looking for a toy that your kids will continue to play with; I would say it’s perfect for children from 3 years and up.
A little baby, dressed in cashmere — it’s hard for me to imagine anything softer or more cuddly than that! And lucky me, haha — I have it right here with me!
Les Tricots de Margot has the most beautiful collection of cashmere baby clothes, from jumpers to coats to hats and pants. The quality of the cashmere is truly amazing, and I can tell because Casper now wears the jumpsuit that Ava wore so much when she was a baby. It has been worn and washed so many times — and it still looks like new! I also adore the little booties that Pascaline from Les Tricots de Margot sent Casper as a gift — so cute and cosy to keep his feet warm. The biggest part of the collection of Les Tricots de Margot suit both boys as girls. This way, those beautiful, soft and cuddly items can be passed on and on and on.
Finish company Lovi makes gorgeous birch-plywood postcards that can be sent as little presents and assembled as beautiful 3D puzzles by the lucky receiver — without the need of any tools or glue. All designed by Anne Paso and 100% produced in Finland by the family owned company, these cards appeal to all ages, and make beautiful little decor pieces in the house. So great to stock up on a few to send out as birthday presents, holiday cards, or these sweet bunnies as Easter gifts!
Although it definitely has a Japanese feel to it, the Pop Cutie collection is designed by Danish girl Cecilie Lindemose and produced in Denmark as well. The range consists of jewellery, cell phone straps and stationery — all equally cute and want-able.
Even though the Pop-Cutie products are mainly aimed at tween girls (and make the perfect little presents!), they are equally attractive for littler girls, teenagers or young women. When a few Pop Cutie goodies arrived to our house the other day, there was an equal run to it from both my 2-year-old and my 7-year-old daughter, and, ahum, me. Fun!
I recently met Madeleine from Lapin and Me at the ShowUP fair here in Amsterdam. Her stand was so cute and happy, with all of those beautiful retro lamps and dolls! Of course I couldn’t resist taking home one of the yellow Woodland Dolls. (Ava and I are still discussing whose doll it really is — hers or mine!)
The story behind the Woodland dolls is a cute one. Madeleine used to collect these rare dolls, that were produced in Japan in the ’70’s but were super difficult to find. She decided to start looking for the original company and after a long search managed to track it down. Now, the Woodland dolls are produced again for Lapin and Me, by an old gentleman in Japan, who spray paints each individual doll by hand! Which makes the dolls even more special and charismatic. Cute!
I picked up this wooden ballerina for Ava’s room in Antwerp last week (in a really cool eco store called Rewind). It’s really pretty and well made, by a Polish company called Bajo which I hadn’t heard of before. Established 20 years ago by Wojciech Bajor, an architect and set designer, Bajo is a small family run company located at the foot of the scenic Polish Carpathian Mountains. The company promises ‘to promote ideas we believe to be right’, and the motto is applied to the design of the toys, the pedagogic ideas behind them, and the innovative, sustainable solutions applied in the toy creation process. Every Bajo toy is individually made, making it ‘a gift from the heart’. What a beautiful company! (And Ava loves her ballerina.)