TOYS & GAMES
TomTect contruction set
January 21, 2010
One of the best presents my son received this Christmas is a box of TomTect, a contruction game I had never heard of before. The box contains small pine boards (from renewable resources) and plastic crowbars which join the boards together-- and that's it! It's so simple, so ingenious and so stylish! My son jumped ...
Bilingual alphabet book
January 13, 2010
Although my husband and I speak English for work on a daily basis, our children speak only Italian. We do make an effort by teaching them a word every now and then and by showing them some English DVDs, and we truly welcome any activity which will help our kids learn a bit of English in ...
January 7, 2010
My daughter's new treasured possession is this cool rucksack from Dabbawalla Bags. It's made of neoprene (like wetsuits) which is lead and PVC free and it's stain-resistant and machine washable. The name 'Dabbawalla' was inspired by one of the founder's travels in India where she was fascinated by the complex system of lunch-box delivery men ...
Erbaviva baby shampoo
December 16, 2009
My older son never suffered from cradle cap when he was a baby, but now at 4½, he is affected by a mild form of it! It's nothing major; we have just been advised to use very mild, oily shampoos. Which is how we discovered Erbaviva, a company that was started in 1996 to offer mommies-to-be ...
HOME AND DÉCOR
December 9, 2009
We recently moved and so we had plenty of white walls to fill up! I was looking for something to hang in my children's bedroom and landed on Mishmish studio. Artist Susie Lubell offers high quality prints of her original watercolor paintings, which means professional archival ink and professional museum etching paper. Her subjects are sweet ...
TOYS & GAMES
Doll's wooden bed from Ikea
November 18, 2009
My daughter is finally interested in the Corolle doll that she received as a gift nearly a year ago. She keeps it undressed (I know it's common, but why?) and she takes it everywhere . I guess it has joined the blanket in the transitional object set. She calls it 'baby', and for an Italian-speaking 2-year-old ...
His first Campers
November 11, 2009
I love Camper shoes. I bought my first pair 10 years ago and have added regularly to my collection since. I know they are not the most elegant shoes (I do own one or two pairs of those) but they are cool, funky and so comfortable. Somehow I've never bought a pair for my son, ...
Babyccino birthday -- Personalised gift tags
November 4, 2009
Luckily in Italy the vast majority of shops will gift-wrap any item you buy as a present. Some are stylish wrapping jobs, some are simple boxes and sometimes there's nothing more than a ribbon on a paper shopping bag. But that's normally enough for me; unlike Courtney, I'm not that good at wrapping plus I'm also ...
Babyccino Birthday - Michela's Top 5
November 2, 2009
It was hard to choose as always, but it was also nice looking back! Here are my top five favourites... 1.) A tutu for you by Emilie, because I can just feel the relaxed atmosphere in that English cottage in the evening (and the tutu is great too). 2.) Homemade maracas by Courtney, because it's such ...
CRAFTS AND DIY
October 30, 2009
Halloween is definitely not an Italian tradition, but in recent years around this time of the year we do see more pumpkins and orange stuff in the grocery stores. Funnily enough the only costumes accepted are spooky ones, which I'm not too sure are very appropriate for children. Nonetheless it's another occasion to have some ...
Fun hats from Ikea
October 27, 2009
It must be Halloween season because dress-up items are everywhere in the kid's section at Ikea! They've brought out again the funny masks that Courtney wrote about a while ago (although I could not find the ladybird or the chick), and in the same Maskerade collection they have added these fun hats which can definitely be ...
October 25, 2009
As you probably know, Italians are experts at family dinners, especially the 'special occasion' meals. We'll usually have three (or more) generations sitting, eating and chatting their time away. I love them, but real life is different. In our home it seems that even two generations is one too many as it's nearly impossible to ...
Very portable kid's desk
October 21, 2009
I just love it when people come up with different ways of using an object; it's nearly like inventing something new! Apparently the Ikea Bekvam step stool is quite prone to being reinvented. I particularly like this idea from lovelydesign to use it as a children's desk. It's great for small flats but also as ...
The city-mouse and the country-mouse
October 16, 2009
I recently bought the Italian translation of this German book by Kathrin Schärer. It's a simple story of a city-mouse visiting his friend in the country; he is shown all the beauties and simplicity of life in the countryside and he appreciates them but he feels a bit out of place. To reciprocate he invites ...
HOME AND DÉCOR
Hanging children's art
October 12, 2009
We are moving home! The new one is larger and, of course, better decorated. I have made the usual promise to myself (and my husband) to be more organised and to keep it tidier. So I'm on the lookout for smart tricks to help me keep my promise. This clever Ikea hack that I found ...
Aperitivo in Milan
October 10, 2009
Milan is an expensive city, and when you are visiting on travel it's probably even more difficult to have dinner without spending a fortune. During the day the ubiquitous bakeries allow you to eat on a budget easily but at night it's easy to have to shell out a small fortune for a dinner, however nice ...
October 6, 2009
Frittata is a delicious and extremely simple dish that you can find in any Italian region. Everybody has their own special recipe for it -- which means that you just can't go wrong. Whomever the cook, a frittata will always contains eggs (obviously), typically one or more vegetables, often some cheese and possibly some ham. ...
What did you do at school today?
September 29, 2009
"What did you do at school today?" is the first question I ask my son when I pick him up from school, and when the nanny picks him up it's the question I normally ask during dinner. The second one is "What did you eat at school today?" (Which obviously doesn't apply to the majority ...
Play-brunch at the San Vittore
September 24, 2009
Italians, or possibly just the people from Milan, have come up with their own version of brunch. In the last 10 years many restaurants have specialised in a particular Sunday lunch, that goes by the name of brunch. It's not too dissimilar from what the international crowd believes brunch should be, but it has its own ...
CRAFTS AND DIY
Funny bird collage/drawing
September 19, 2009
Last weekend we had dinner at a street fair and we ventured to the kids craft tent to see if there was anything nice and easy for my 4-year-old to do. And that's where we made these funny birds! My son loved it, and it was a super simple project... something I could even organise myself! His bird ...
DIY FOR MUMS
A year long photo project
September 16, 2009
This summer a few blogs published this nice movie which was posted on YouTube. Parents took (at least) one picture of their baby every day for the first year of his life, nearly always in the same position (basically lying on a white sheet). Then they made a movie out of it with a nice ...
Multitasking gets tested
September 10, 2009
I pride myself in being a good multitasker, and I'm sure I'm not alone! Over the years my casual (but now numerous) observations have led me to believe that women are generally better multitaskers than men. Also, I believe this quality further improves with motherhood. I may be wrong but it seems to me that ...
September 4, 2009
You know all those seemingly useless gadgets that fill up crowded bookstore counters? Well, I think I've never bought any of them (and was proud of it), but I recently bought this (not very sexy) led booklight by Energizer and I'm quite happy with it! I finally caved in to such a gadget because I ...
September 2, 2009
Both my children have spent more than a few hours in our playpen in the first year of their lives. At the beginning it was just a nice place where they could lie and look at the mobile or play with the baby-gym. When they could sit it was a place where pillows and special ...