Bamboo baby clothing from Panda and the Sparrow

panda and the sparrow
We’ve moved Marlow out of her cot and into the big bed with Ivy. The girls started sleeping together this summer after Marlow started refusing to sleep in her travel cot, and it was working well so we decided to let them continue once we returned to London. It’s funny because I was excited to take the cot down and create more play space in their room, but once it was down and the space was cleared, I suddenly realised… that’s it! my baby is no longer a baby! Gosh it went so quickly. (Remember when she was sleeping in our bed?)

I don’t know if it’s her personality or if it’s because she has three older siblings to mimic, but Marlow seems to have skipped a few months of her babyhood. No more cot, no more diapers, no more sippy cups. I’m just waiting for her to hand over her dummies and tell me she’s too big for those as well. : )

Thank goodness she still fits into her little all-in-one baby pyjama from Panda and the Sparrow. I love a baby in a one-piece suit. So snuggly and sweet! The baby clothes from Panda and the Sparrow are made from bamboo and organic cotton, making them extra soft, hypoallergenic, breathable and thermal regulating. Not to mention, I love the stripy designs and great colours!

Panda and the Sparrow is a new brand created by two mothers earlier this year and we’re excited to welcome them to the ShopUp event in December. Mark your diaries (December 3rd & 4th) and look out for them there.

x Courtney

p.s. A previous post with my thoughts about bed sharing.

Petit Bateau Rain Cape

PetitBateau_raincapeOh my, how adorable is this little Petit Bateau rain cape? And so practical for the coming months! We are a huge fan of the well known yellow rain coats (we have them for all of our kids!), and this new rain coat is just the perfect translation of this classic for any sweet little baby. (Do you think Casper would still fit in?)

xxx Esther

Amy & Ivor handmade moccasins

leather moccasins for kids
Amy & Ivor moccasins
leather moccasins

I’ve gotten moccasins for the kids before, but never ones this soft and supple! The moccasins from Amy & Ivor must be the closest thing to walking barefoot — perfect for babies and beginner walkers… and even busy toddlers who never sit still (as tested by Marlow).

Amy & Ivor moccasins are handmade to order and are made in England by a small team using high quality chrome-free and vegetable tanned leathers. The result is a wonderfully soft and absolutely beautiful shoe. (My size, please!)

x Courtney

p.s. Amy & Ivor is one of 25 amazing shops lined up to take part in this year’s ShopUp event here in London. Mark your diaries and look out for them there!

Last days of summer and the TULA baby carrier

beach walk with kids
beach walk
Our final week of summer holiday has been a really wonderful one. I turned my phone off, stuck it in the bottom of my suitcase, and haven’t checked it even once! I wanted to disconnect a bit and soak up these carefree summer days before we return to London and the kids go back to school. I’ve made a point of spending quality time with each of my children, asking questions, really listening to their answers, just being more present.  We’ve gone on long walks, played games, read books, hung out in our pyjamas and have just been generally slow and lazy. It’s not going to be easy going back to our normal routines and early morning wake-ups (plus jet-lag! eeek!), but I’m so thankful for our long summer away.

walking on the beach tula carrier
Speaking of long walks… I wanted to mention a new baby carrier I’ve discovered which has completely changed my life (or at least my walking-with-Marlow life).  Earlier this summer Marlow started to complain about being in the Ergo carrier. I would strap her in at the onset of our walks and within minutes she would ask to be put down. I started to wonder if perhaps she wasn’t comfortable in the Ergo anymore. (Sidenote: of all the baby carriers I’ve tried, the Ergo has been my favourite. I didn’t think it was possible to find a better option.)

Enter the Tula toddler carrier. I am convinced this is the best option for toddlers aged 18 months and over. The Tula is a lot like the Ergo, but it’s got a wider fabric body which is better for toddlers because it doesn’t dig into their little thighs. Also, the fabric is much softer and so it fits over their bigger body with ease and is really comfortable, both for the toddler and the mama.  Marlow has ridden comfortably in the Tula for several long walks without ever asking to be put down. It has made such a difference during the past couple weeks, especially since I haven’t had my husband to offer shoulder rides to tired children.

marlow in tula baby carrier
marlow laughin in carrier

I hope you don’t mind me sharing a few photos from a recent beach walk with my kids. I hid my phone away and haven’t taken any photos this past week, but my sister snapped these photos and I’m so happy to have them as a memory of our lazy late summer days.

x Courtney

p.s. I’ll be in London next time you hear from me. Wish me luck on that long flight back home. : )

This boy, and balls!

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Pim’s football (soccer) season has started and yesterday we went to the first training of the term. Pim really enjoys his weekly football, and Tamar and I always joke that he is a real team player, but certainly not a champ. Meaning, he loves to be in the company of his friends, chit-chatting with the boys and having a good time – and if in the meantime a ball happens to roll in front of his feet, he will happily give it a kick! Perfectly fine, of course. But now enter his baby brother Casper… This little boy is simply obsessed with balls. I took him to Pim’s training yesterday and he had the time of his life. He kept on running around for the full hour, kicking a ball behind the side lines (where I had trouble restraining him because this boy was ready to enter the fields!).

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Fact is, Casper has been completely ball obsessed since he could even grab the concept of a ball. Crawling after them, wanting them. One of his first words was ‘ball’, and he would spot them everywhere. And get rather upset when we didn’t give them to him! For example the relatively large globe on top of the cabinet in the kids’ room — he would be SO angry with me that I didn’t give hime that ball! We have also seen him kick a fancy, decorative solid wooden ball over the floor of a restaurant… (Oops!)

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We are convinced that his love for football was the trigger that made hime take his first steps. Before that, Caspie would crawl to a ball, stand up, and kick, but now he could get to the ball much quicker! And… he mastered some technique since. Of course I’m biased, but really, he does have technique – he can kick the ball really quite far and with an admirable aim!

It’s funny, because neither Tamar nor I ever had any real interest in football (until now, of course); we also don’t have a specific talent for ball-handling or anything. So we don’t know where it’s coming from, it was certainly not purposely encouraged, but it’s there nevertheless. A ball obsessed boy. Isn’t that funny? Sweet babe!

xxx Esther

 

Old school boys look, and a new collection from La Coqueta

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It’s been so-so with the weather in the Netherlands since we came back from France last week. Lots of rain, and often we’ve been wearing cardigans and socks to keep ourselves warm! It really seems that autumn is early this year… I’ve been dressing Casper (who, by the way, had a huge growth spurt the last few weeks!), in shorts and knee socks a lot and I can just eat him up. I love that old-fashioned boys look!

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It seems like the new look book from La Coqueta came perfectly in time. Isn’t everything just so adorable? (Including the models!!)

la_coqueta4 la_coqueta2 la_coqueta_3 la_coqueta7The collection will launch today… I will definitely stock up on some old-school outfits for Casper for the coming season, because if the weather stays like this, he will definitely be getting lots of wear out of it!

xxx Esther

Sweet vegetables from Mama Couture

mama_couture_veggies

How darling are these handmade vegetables from Mamma Couture? I love the different materials and shapes, and the sweet details like the little face on the peas. There are 13 different vegetables that come in their own fabric carrying bag, and the vegetables are available to buy separately as well. So pretty and so fun for the children! Ava loves cooking and grocery shopping for her doll family these days, and she agrees that these vegetables make a perfectly healthy dolls diet.

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Cambridge mum Eva, a passionate sewer and professional pattern cutter, is the creative wonder behind Mamma Couture. Eva collects materials from all over the world, creates her own original patterns, and sews every piece by hand. The production is always limited to a few exclusive pieces, and each piece is made individually, and thus unique. Besides her darling vegetables, she also makes adorable dolls, designed to bring comfort and be loved by children of all ages. So sweet!

xxx Esther

Portable sleeper for newborns

 

fisher price sleeper

fisher price portable sleeper

portable sleeper, folded

We’re visiting my husband’s family in Lake Tahoe this week where the kids are having loads of fun playing with all their cousins.  My sister-in-law recently gave birth to her fourth baby, a little girl called Ruby, and we’ve been enjoying spending time with her and getting lots of newborn snuggle time. I can’t believe Marlow was ever that tiny! Or that sweet and calm for that matter. : )

My sister-in-law has a little portable baby bed she uses for the baby, and she told me it’s the number one thing she would recommend to anyone having a baby. I love recommendations like that!

Not only does the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper fold-up easily for travel or storage purposes (or simply for moving from room to room), but the cocooned shape and inclined position of the bed is perfect for keeping new babies feeling secure and comforted. I remember my babies always hated being put down to sleep on a flat mattress and they would often wake immediately after being put down, which is why I think this little bed looks like such a perfect solution.

The sleeper is available from Amazon (US and UK ).

x Courtney

Sturdy summer sandals from Angulus

Angulus shoes
Angulus shoes for girls
Angulus shoes for babies
Marlow and I left the house the other day to pick the big kids up from school and only after we arrived to the school did I realise we had forgotten her shoes! I guess that is the sign of summertime. She ran around the entire afternoon with her bare feet and never complained!

Alas, there are times when shoes are required, and for this it’s a good thing for Angulus. The shoes are extremely well made, with sturdy straps and nice thick soles. Marlow has been wearing a pair of Angulus sandals passed down from Ivy and they’re still in really good shape.  And many of the styles are unisex, so they can be passed down from sibling to sibling, despite gender differences.

The Angulus site is in Danish (an English version coming soon!) but you can also buy them from UK-based Igloo Kids or Four Fairies and a Prince.

x Courtney

 

Marie Puce, for bigger and smaller children

Marie_Puce_tween

Marie Puce is a sweet and stylish French label, designed and ran by two sisters based in the heart of Paris. They have a lovely brick and mortar shop in the 6th arrondissement, and there’s an extensive (and newly revamped!) online store as well — for those of us not lucky enough to live around the corner from their sweet boutique.

* Beautiful sundress in a stunning bleu-grey colour, 100% cotton — hot pink Bensimon shoes — soft 100% wool scarf — simple yet stylish leather bag.

Marie_Puce_girl

What is so perfect about Marie Puce, is not just their good (French!) eye for stylish children’s fashion, but also — their sizing goes up to size 18 for most of the girls’ pieces.

It’s not always easy to find a good selection of clothes for older girls, so I’m super happy with the Marie Puce collections for older girls. (Sara just turned nine, but she’s so tall, she wears a size 12!)

* Cool jersey tee with raglan sleeves — flowery shorts with pockets and waistband — darling Liberty playsuit — red vichy check bikini in Liberty fabric

Marie_Puce_Boy

When I was browsing the renewed online Marie Puce boutique this morning, I just couldn’t resist the urge to make a few ‘my favourites’ boards for different age groups. Let’s call it a wish list. ; )

For the boys, there’s a smaller (but very simple and sweet) collection. Sizes go up to size 12.

* Braided leather belt — long sleeved and easy-to-wear Tunisian tee in 100% cotton — cotton shirt with a delicate pinstripe and Mao collar — orange 5 pocket bermudas – dotted 100% wool scarf – cool grey leather sandals

Marie-Puce_babyboyFor little baby boys up to two years of age (like Casper!), there are many perfect pieces… (Swoon!)

* Ensemble with shirt and linen bloomers – checked bib – darling sunsuit – easy jumper – classic shorts.

Marie_Puce_babygirl

And the collection for baby girls makes us very, very happy as well!

*Darling little Liberty dress – delicious bubble jumpsuit – traditional baby bonnet – flowery bib in Liberty rose.

Voila!

xxx Esther

Our little bath time zoo

zoocchini

It must have been over four years ago that I got cute animal towels for Sara and Pim, and we’ve been using them ever since, day after day. Sara the elephant and Pim the lion — it quickly became a tradition after each bath. So when Ava started to walk, we got her the zebra towel, and now we’ve gotten Casper the monkey — making our little zoo complete!

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I love how these towels (from Zoocchini) are so royal in size, made from thick cotton, and have adorable details like ears and tails. There are even little pouches in which the kids can stick their hands/paws.

Sara’s towel is sadly beginning to fall apart (not strange after all of these years of intensive use!), and when I told her it might be time to replace it, she said that she wasn’t sure it would be worth the investment — after all she might be getting too old to have an animal towel for bath time… Eeks! I figured it was time for an immediate  group photo before it’s too late!

xxx Esther

PS I might be getting the replacement elephant towel anyway, just in case. And otherwise it will be nice for the grandchildren! ; )

Perludi furniture: a cot, junior bed & ottoman (all in one)

Perludi Otto crib
Perludi Otto junior bed
Perludi Otto Ottoman
We were given a hand-me-down cot from friends when our first baby was born and it’s the cot we still use for Marlow. I think it must be at least 15 years old now, and it’s one of those cots that is ONLY a cot, and nothing else.  If I were to buy a cot now I would definitely definitely invest in a cot that transforms from cotbed to junior bed. I’ve always thought this is a brilliant, cost-saving feature.

I love the look of the Perludi ‘OTTO in the MOON’ cot because it goes one step further and gives you the added option of flipping the junior bed over and using it as an ottoman/sofa (with storage space for toys or whatever underneath). So clever! I like the sleek, modern design and love that it’s made from organic materials and is 100% recyclable (none of which can be said for the old cot we have!).

The Perludi range is available to purchase from Little Bou and usually ships (for free!) within 7-10 working days.

x Courtney

Tocotò Vintage at Brebì Little Concept Store

tocoto vintage from brebi


I am absolutely loving the lightweight, summery pieces in the current Tocotò Vintage collection. The colours are all so pretty, and I love all the subtle details. I got this dress for Marlow a while ago, and it has the sweetest criss-cross straps on the back that have little ruffles over the shoulder. Such a darling detail.

Tocotò Vintage is available from Brebì Little Concept Store where you can now get 20% off the Tocotò Vintage collection with discount code: tocoto. The discount is valid until the end of the month. Enjoy!

x Courtney

18 months, and an adorable Strawberry Sunsuit

Misha and PUff strawberry sunsuit on Marlow

Misha and Puff strawberry sunsuit

I just received this edible little sunsuit for Marlow after pre-ordering it months and months ago, and I am in love!! (both with the baby and the sunsuit).  Oooh 18 months is my most favourite age — I have always said so. They are still squishy babies, still so snuggly and needy at times, but then so wonderfully independent and determined. And they learn and advance so quickly at this age – Marlow is talking up a storm and impressing us every day with her new words, and even singing lines of ‘Frozen’ songs! So funny.

marlow and mama

And while she is adventurous and wild at times, she is still so sensitive. She’ll ask to ‘walk, walk’ when I’m holding her, and then two minutes later she’ll hear an airplane (a noise that scares her) and she’ll be back in my arms with her little head resting in my neck. Oh, I could just eat her up. Especially in that Strawberry Sunsuit from Misha and Puff. Delicious!

xx Courtney

Marlow’s favourite books (great for ages 0-3)

brown bear
marlow reading brown bear, brown bear
I thought it could be fun (and hopefully helpful) to post the favourite books of each of my children.  Not the books I think are the best — the ones with the pretty illustrations or the beautiful classics we all grew up with — but the ones that really appeal to my children, the books they ask for time and time again. Sharing each of my children’s favourites will hopefully help define an appropriate age range for each book.

I’ll go in order from youngest to oldest, so let’s start with Marlow (aged 18 months)! Her favourite books are quite typical ones, the books my other children also liked at this age. Her attention span is short, so she likes books with little text that engage her with lift-the-flap features and vibrant colours, or most importantly, books with animals (we like to make animal sounds as we read!).

We’ve been reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear lately (my copy from when I was her age!) and it’s a good one for teaching colours (and animals). This was my favourite book when I was little, and it’s been so fun for me to read it to all of my kids. Here are six of her other favourites (which I think would appeal to children aged 0 to 3):

marlow's favourite books copy

1. The Very Busy Spider : Another Eric Carle favourite! A spider lands on a fence post in a farm yard and starts to spin a web. She is visited by all the farm animals, and Marlow loves making all the animal sounds.

2. Goodnight Moon : A magical bedtime favourite of all of my children at this age. I can read this book by heart! A must-buy for any young child.

3. I Am a Bunny : Marlow loves the little bunny named Nicholas, and when he goes into his tree at the end of the book to hibernate for the winter, she always says ‘shhhhhhh’ and pretends to also go to sleep.

4. Dear Zoo : Another favourite of all my children when they were this age. There are flaps to lift on every page to reveal different animals.

5. Where Is My Baby? : Another book with flaps to lift and animals hiding underneath. Plus, we love helping the mama animals find their babies.

6. My First ABC : This is a great book for teaching babies their words. We play the game where I ask her to point to all the things in the book, and I’m always surprised by how many words she knows.

What are your toddlers’ favourite books? Please share!

x Courtney

Floatsuits and sibling swimwear from Sunuva

I’m a big fan of the so called ‘floatsuits‘ for my littlest ones. Not only are they super cute to look at, but also, they have a built in buoyancy system which gives children a feeling of added security in the water. They are nearly impossible to take off by little ones themselves (at least, my kids are not able to do so), so if they wear them in and around the pool, it gives me an added feeling of security, too. (Of course, I still keep my eyes on them at all times!)

Sunuva does a sweet range of floatsuits, and as a bonus, they do matching siblings wear as well. Which I think is such a cute idea! When I got Casper a float suit for the summer, I couldn’t resist getting matching swim shorts for his big brother…

sunuva2

Last week I took Casper and Pim over to the swimming pool for a special brothers’ outing, and to test out their new matching Sunuva swimwear. At first, Casper wasn’t so sure about the whole thing. (But I thought he looked SO adorable in his floatie suit! I could eat him up!)

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Pim, being the very sweet big brother he is, quickly made Casper feel more secure and convinced him to come in the pool with him…

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The moment Casper figured out that a swimming pool really is just a very big bath in which you can splish and splash unlimitedly, he started to lose his reservations and really got into this swimming thing. He also quickly discovered the added benefit of his swimsuit, which kept him floating, giving him enough confidence in the water to start moving around a bit. Sweet!

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An added bonus of the Sunuva swim- and beachwear is that it’s made from UPF 50+ fabric, which blocks out 97% of the sun’s harmful rays. Not at all relevant in the indoor swimming pool I took the boys, but absolutely perfect for our upcoming summer holidays on the beach and around the pool (less than four weeks to go!). There are protective rash vests available as well, and to top it off, a lovely collection of summery fashion for both boys and girls, all perfect for beach and beyond…

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xxx Esther

p.s. This post is sponsored by Sunuva, Kids UV Swimwear & Beachwear, a brand we highly respect and recommend, and one of the members of our shopping portal.

Le Carrousel de Paris

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetLast weekend, we spent entirely in our garden — there is just so much work to be done! We’ve been sewing seeds, weeding weeds, trimming trees… and the children were ever so helpful, collecting worms and snails and whatever else needed to be done. ; )

I took the opportunity to take a few quick snapshots of Ava wearing her sweet linen dress from the Parisian brand Le Carrousel. I love this dress — it’s just perfect for weekends, for parties or gardening alike!

Le Carrousel has a super sweet collection of classic French, stylish fashion. Cuts are very timeless and fabrics in sweet flowery patterns or fresh stripes make for a modern, simple silhouette. Sizes go up to age 10, and there’s an adorable baby collection too!

xxx Esther

 

 

Soor Ploom, adorable clothes for girls


I realise I’ve been posting more girl’s clothing than boy’s recently, and I promise to start paying more attention to boys!  But first, I just wanted to share a couple weekend photos of my girls in their sweet little outfits from Soor Ploom. This Brooklyn-based American label is one of my favourites for little girls – the pieces are so pretty in their simplicity, with easy-to-wear shapes and beautiful fabrics. I adore everything in the collection! Esther and I had the pleasure of meeting Marissa, the designer, when we were in NYC earlier this year, and she is lovely. You can read more about her label here and you can see a list of stockists here.

x Courtney

p.s. My girls are really starting to play together now and it’s so sweet! Marlow goes around the house all day saying Ivy’s name and following her around. They sleep in the same room and every morning I walk in to find Ivy in Marlow’s cot with her, and the look on Marlow’s face is pure pride. And when Ivy’s at school, she walks around pointing out Ivy’s shoes and Ivy’s dolls and Ivy’s toys, etc. So cute!  I was worried my girls wouldn’t be as close as my boys because of the bigger age gap between them, but hopefully (fingers crossed) their friendship will only strengthen as Marlow gets older.

Beautiful textiles and easy-to-wear pieces from Little Lelia

Little Lelia was started in 2013 by two sisters with a shared knowledge of design and a passion for beautiful textiles. Having grown up in Mexico, Spain and Germany, the sisters were influenced by this multicultural background, combining the vibrancy of a Latin lifestyle with the attention to detail typical of German design. I love stories like this! I’m always secretly jealous when sisters get to work together in this capacity. I wish my sister and I could do the same!

Their wonderful children’s line is all about beautiful, patterned textiles and easy-to-wear pieces. Beautiful but also pragmatic, designed to grow with your child and be suitable for every day play or for more special occasions.  I got the Moon Playsuit for Marlow and it’s so adorable (you can see a photo of Marlow and her chunky little legs here). I’m also impressed with the quality, which I suppose should come as no surprise, as all the pieces are handmade by discerning manufacturers in Germany.

x Courtney

The Littles, handmade accessories for little girls


I’ve recently discovered this sweet range of handmade hairclips and accessories from The Littles. I love the bright colours and beautiful materials like pompoms, leather and tulle, and I like that they are simple in design but bursting with fun! Also, they’re incredibly well made with leather lining around the clip to prevent slipping and extra thread to secure everything. Ivy has even slept in the hairclips and they’ve stayed in place and survived the pillow thrashing.

All hairclips are designed and made by hand in a little studio in Brooklyn, NY. Accessories designer, Kirsten Yadouga-Schwinn, created the range after searching for hairclips for her own daughter that were super cute and super cool… but not super embellished with little beads, sparkles and rhinestones. The result is a wonderful selection of bright and fun accessories which are non-toxic and safe for babies and children.

x Courtney

p.s. Ivy’s wearing one of the hairclips in the photo of her in yesterday’s Peanut Butter Cookie post.

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