A sweet announcement and my Top 10 Baby and Mama Products

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Hello everyone. The ones that follow my blog have read the news already but to the ones that don’t I’m over the moon to share that from this summer on I’m going to be a mama of three! I can hardly believe it. If it wasn’t for the ultrasounds I don’t think I would. We are not 100% sure yet about the sex but it is probably a girl. And Tila wants to name her Elsa! I wonder why – any ideas? :)

This is also the main reason behind my absence. I don’t know why but I handled my first two pregnancy better than great but this one was something else. I refuse to blame it on my age (at 33 I’m still technically a teenager after all) but I was extremely sick in the first trimester and have even developed a giant cold that dragged for more than a month!

But it’s over now (yaaay!) and I’m feeling great and super excited about the little avocado in my tummy, all the crafts I have lined up to share, the plans I have with my blog and another news that I want to share with you very soon!

I know you’re used to reading DIY posts from me but having a third newborn in a few months I thought it would be the perfect timing to share my favorite products for the mama and a new baby minus the unnecessary clutter we so love to heap up before the baby is even born; especially the first time around – I would know, believe me. Let’s see:

Fav Baby and mama essentials

1. Onesies from Petit Bateau are the best! I still have them from both Tila and Talan and they have many more life left in them. None others that I tried by now can’t compare with the quality of Petit Bateau. You will never regret the investment.

2. I tried a couple of as-natural-as-possible baby wipes with both of my kids but when I found the WaterWipes I stopped looking. These truly are as natural as they get. They are just cotton wipes plus (boiled) water and 0.1% of grapefruit seed extract, nothing more! And most importantly – no sign of any nasty chemicals! They are also quite thick, super soft and just the perfect size and moist enough to actually do their job properly; even at the messiest “events”.
And thanks to their gentle composition WaterWipes are suitable from birth and even for cleaning baby’s face. They promise not to irritate skin so they’re also perfect for babies prone to eczema and/or nappy rash.
If you’re from UK or Ireland here are the retailers near you, other countries check on Amazon (US, DE, FR).

3. My second one, Talan, was born in winter so a winter muff was a must! I bought this super warm and cozy one from Voksi that can be, thanks to special openings for the harnesses at the bottom, easily installed into a car seat and the pram. And I love the fact it’s made of natural materials like wool, cotton and feather which is something that is truly hard to find these days.

4. I found this baby carrier right here on Babyccino Kids blog. It’s so soft and comfy for the mamas as well as for the babies – they lie in it in a natural, pouch-like fold so it can be used immediately after the birth and it can also be worn in three other positions appropriate for babies up to 2 years but to be quite honest I’d recommend a woven type if you decide to carry after the age of one because they don’t stretch and hold the baby nicely up in place when they get heavier. You can order your Combi Cotti over this email: meeloomans(at)gmail.com

5. I absolutely adore Aden + Anais and I think everyone that ever owned at least one of their pieces does. Their swaddles are an absolute magic and they are the only thing that made my babies sleep! Swaddling calms babies down so amazingly that it’s the number 1 thing that I would recommend you buying. You can read more on swaddling here.

6. Besides the big swaddling blanket we also have their musys, smaller muslin squares that Talan uses as security blankets. He absolutely loves them and can’t fall asleep without at least one besides his face. It’s the cutest thing ever to see him rub one against his cheek. We also used them under his head to cover his pillow when he was a newborn. And on top of everything their designs are super cute too! And they just came out with a small clothing range for babies last year. Needless to say I want their every single piece!

7. If there is something you shouldn’t scrimp on it’s the Baby Monitor! I learned that the hard way. Trust me, you will hate yourself for the strange voices or sudden noises and beeps in the middle of the night or even wore – nothing! Your baby will scream his heart out and your monitor will stay silent. That are just a few features of cheap monitors. So after the third one I decided to get this one from AngelCare that also comes with an under-mattress movement sensor pad that sensors babies movement. And the monitor only turns on when there are any actual noises so you don’t hear every single breath, the transmission is perfect and the battery lasts remarkably long.

8. Now a few things for mamas. There are are few nursing bras I changed over the course of my three pregnancies but the brand I swear by is Amoralia. They truly do the carrying, keep the shape, give comfort and last for ages! My favorite two models are Cupcake Nursing Bra and the Second Skin Organic Nursing Bra, which is prefect as a sleeping bra.

9. After I gave birth to Talan I tried the Belly Band that help you get your tummy and hips back in shape sooner but I just found it too uncomfortable right after the birth. So I bought these Shaping Briefs from H&M and they were amazing! I just loved the feeling of everything being held in place if you know what I mean. They were super comfortable but at the same time they squeezed my abdominal area with just the right amount of pressure. Plus they made my tummy go back quite fast! I’m definitely getting a whole pile of them before summer!

10. The last but certainly not the least is this CushionChane from Ballab. It has three press-on buttons at the ends so by buttoning it up together you get a donut-shaped cushion and can use it for things like a resting place for your baby, as a sitting cushion after the birth and if you take it apart you get a really long cushion that can be used to help you sleep while pregnant, as a nursing pillow, support for babies during tummy time or back support when the baby starts to sit up on its own and so much more. And they look great as long couch pillows!

I am not a big fan of using cosmetic products with small babies or even children (even I reduced them to an absolute minimum) but there are times when they help with conditions that other things don’t. So there are two more products I wanted to mention: the Diaper Ointment from Burt’s Bees that works absolutely amazing on nappy rashes (nothing else helps the way this baby does) and the Siriderma Skin line for skin prone to eczema that we use since Talan had the eczema all over his body for the first year of his life, now he only has problem areas like his chin during winter. You can read more about it here.

I hope I helped at least someone with this list but I would be super happy if you shared some of your favorite’s! Are there any other products that you can’t live without and I should know about?

-Polona

To read more from Polona, go to her cute blog Baby Jungle!

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.

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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

A simple knitted beanie!

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One of my many New Years resolutions (which I started over the Christmas period) is to continue making things – just because it makes me happy. ; ) I love watching movies in the evenings, but I also like keeping busy so I have started to try to find simple projects that I can do while relaxing in front of a good movie – which is easier said than done!

My first success story (and there have been a couple of fails, I have to admit) has been this simple pattern for a slouchy beanie. I have made it for my friends, I have made it for my daughters and as a present for my friend’s little twin babies. It is so easy and I love the result. The genius thing about it is that you knit it on a round needle so you never have to do anything other than a simple pearl stitch.

Do let me know if you have any other suggestions for simple projects. I would LOVE to hear!

Emilie

Llamas!

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My friend Lisa just sent me a link to Larry the Llama at Land of Nod with a note telling me it reminded her of the fluffy llamas we recently saw in Santa Cruz, Chile. Yes!! It’s so true! How cute is Larry?! The perfect little ride-on toy/decór object! It makes me wish I had children’s bedrooms to decorate right now.

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Speaking of llamas, there is also this cute wooden llama rattle from Brimful shop…

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This organic cotton shirt with llama print from Waddler

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…and this buttoned vest from HBB Industria Argentina!

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Thank you, Lisa, for inspiring a bit of late-night random web searching for llamas! : ) (And woohoo for finally having wifi again after three weeks without it!) Happy almost Christmas everyone.

Courtney xx

Macarons, in Amsterdam and at the ShopUp today

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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.

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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!

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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?)

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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! : )

Olivier Baby and Kids, at the ShopUp this week!

Olivier Baby cashmere romper

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Olivier Baby and Kids is one of my favourite places to find cosy cashmere products for the kids. Last winter Marlow lived in her little bonnet and all the kids had one of their snoods, each a different colour to keep things easy when bundling up before leaving the house. This year they’ve added hand-knitted pom-pom hats (with ties!) to their collection and they’re so great! I love all the colour combinations.

In addition to cashmere, they also have pretty Liberty-print blouses and shirts. How cute are the floral blouses layered under the cashmere rompers (pictured above)?! So, so sweet!

Look out for Olivier Baby & Kids who are joining us at this year’s ShopUp event, taking place this week (Thursday and Friday) in London at the Chelsea Town Hall.

MamaOwl — a one-stop shop for merino wool and beautiful knitwear

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It seems like so many of our blog posts in the past few weeks have been focused on cosy knitwear!! Tis the season, I guess… and it’s a beautiful one! In addition to a roaring fire and lots of hot chocolate, beautiful, thick, cosy knitwear is one of my favourite things about the winter season. (Seeing these photos makes me miss it. Never thought I would say that!!!)

MamaOwl is the perfect one-stop shop for gorgeous knits and merino wool pieces from a selection of our favourite knitwear brands. They stock everything from chunky jumpers to hats, scarves and mittens. And slippers! And coats! And all-in-one suits for babies! And even merino wool long underwear.

MamaOwl will be back again at this year’s ShopUp event next week on the 10th and 11th. The perfect opportunity to stock up on everything you’ll need to keep your little ones warm and toasty this season.

Courtney x

Win a Set of Iconic Petit Bateau Outfits!

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I have always loved seeing my kids absorbed in an intricate game of their own making. There is something so special and touching about the imaginary worlds that children are able to create in their own heads, and encouraging creativity and imagination is one of the best ways to nurture our children.  (I recently watched my two boys pretending to be dinosaurs in the front yard, so absorbed in their role play they didn’t even notice me nearby. Long may this imaginative play last between those two!!)

One of our favourite brands Petit Bateau are celebrating the wonder of children’s imaginations and inventive natures in a beautiful new film, The Mini Factory which you can watch here.

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The film is a colourful, nostalgic journey of childhood creativity. The kids and I watched this on repeat several times and giggled along with the joyful robotics and t-shirts doing the hula (and the rubber gloves for the cow’s udder! brilliant!).

The film features a secret factory and a young factory controller (Max) who stretches and splatters, tugs and tests clothes to their limits while his little sister Louise and dog Scratch stand guard outside.

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Clothes take on a life of their own, trousers dance to the beat of remote-controlled cars and a steam engine pours chocolate over a conveyer belt packed with undergarments. It is a joyful, whimsical salute to Petit Bateau’s own factory in Troyes, France, where each item they create is the fruit of a lasting commitment to fantasy and quality.

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But what happens next? Petit Bateau would love you to come up with your very own version to end the story. If you can help write the next chapter to the film, you could win a set of iconic Petit Bateau outfits, including their trusty mariniere and weatherproof raincoats!

Here at Babyccino, we have donned our thinking caps and imagined our own ending to Max, Louise and Scratch’s adventures: in our heads, we see Max, Louise and Scratch returning to the factory for a second time, constructing their own tent out of striped sweaters, cotton t-shirts and sturdy nightwear. Once constructed and tested to its fullest in the factory, the three intrepid inventors set out for a night beneath the stars!

Indulge your creativity over on Petit Bateau’s Instagram by entering here. The contest ends on Monday the 30th of November 2015 and entries must be no longer than five sentences.

Good luck everyone!

xx

The post has been sponsored by Petit Bateau, a brand we have loved for as long as we can remember. We were thrilled to be asked to help promote this beautiful new film. 

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!

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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?

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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!

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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.

Beautiful fashion and knitwear from Omibia

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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.

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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

Sweet baby Orla (in cosy knits from Nieva)

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Remember I posted about our new Babyccino baby? Team member Helen gave birth to Orla 3 months ago, and she’s just the most adorable baby. Helen brought her over the other day (we Babyccino girls tend to work with our babies in tow), and I had so much fun with that little lady. And, I’m proud to say that I had a first — Orla was laughing out loud, a milestone! (I’m not sure if she thought I was so hilarious or my glasses were, but I don’t care — she laughed and it was absolutely delightful. And contagious too!)

Also — how beautiful are those socks and blanket/scarf from Finish brand Nieva? Nieva is a new children’s brand from Finland, producing high quality and warm — yet lightweight — knitwear. Designer Aino, a mum of two little boys herself, aims to combine timeless and practical Nordic design with the best natural materials she can source. She works with small workshops in Finland, Portugal and Bolivia, with people who work in an honest and dedicated manner and who love what they do.

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The Nieva collection is perfect to layer, and often have clever touches — the baby blanket above becomes a scarf when baby gets bigger, and this sweet alpaca striped vest is double-sided knit and can be reversed for a different look. The detailing is really beautiful, and the knits are ever so soft and strong. A special gift!

xxx Esther

Cute rucksacks from Annaliv

Marlow with rucksack from Annaliv

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Before we embarked on our trip, we bought backpacks for the kids so they could each carry their school books, journals and reading books. It’s been a great way of keeping their things organised, and it means that we have less to carry in our own suitcases.

All of the backpack options were too big for Marlow, so we ended up getting her one of these smaller, and super cute, rucksacks from Annaliv. It has been perfect for her — just big enough to store her teddy bear, crayons and smaller books. What I also like about these rucksacks is that they easily fold up into a suitcase when not in use, which is great because you can’t always rely on Marlow to carry her rucksack like the bigger kids.

I think these rucksacks are perfect for both travel and everyday adventures. I will share more soon about the bigger kids’ backpacks — and also what they carry inside, if you’re interested?

Courtney x

p.s. Marlow’s cute shoes are from Amy & Ivor. And coincidentally, both of these brands will be at the ShopUp in London next month!

Willaby

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Our friend Annie (from the lovely Brimful shop) recently introduced me to Willaby, a fairly new American brand with the most darling fashion. Willaby is the brainchild of Kim, an artist/designer from Georgia and mother of one, with a great sense of style. Collections are produced locally, ethically and in small quantities, and are just beautifully simple and timeless, while still being decidedly different in their designs and detailing.

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I love her approach to fashion (she has some beautiful tops for ladies too — I can recommend the denim dolman, a shirt I love!). Here are some photos of Ava and Casper in the Atlas mountains in Morocco last week, wearing the blue bonnet and the checked gauze shirt, that looks absolutely darling and is the right mix between relaxed and dressy for little boys.

Willaby is definitely a brand worth having on your radar (thanks, Annie!). Also, check out their lookbook here for some stunning photos.

xxx Esther

2015 Holiday Gift Guides now live!

Babyccino Kids holiday gift guides 2015

Can you believe we’re talking about the holidays already?!! I can hardly believe it’s November and time to start thinking about holiday gift-buying. Sinterklaas arrives in The Netherlands in just over a month’s time, Hannukah starts around that same time, and then Christmas comes just after that. It’s time to get busy!

The good news is that we’ve rounded up some super cute gift ideas to make it easy, and if you start now…. just think how easy next month will be! We’ve been working behind the scenes for the past month gathering a wonderful selection of gifts for boys, girls, babies and smaller gifts for stocking fillers, all from a selection of our favourite shops.

Check out this year’s Holiday Gift Guides here. Happy shopping!

A day with Ladida

I recently was asked by Ladida to select autumn outfits from their amazing collections for each of my kids — a task I took upon me with pride and pleasure! Autumn is such a beautiful season, the colours of nature are so, so pretty and the low, warm sunlight makes everything even more stunning.

I selected outfits for each of my kids that reflects their personal style and character, but I also made sure they go well together as a ‘set’ — without matching them exactly! Here goes:

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For Casper (3 since yesterday!):

  • This Navy Alien tee by Paul Smith is just too cute. The mouth/zipper opens and there’s a tongue inside!
  • Cute stripy hat and scarf by Dutch label Kidscase. So fun and so cosy!
  • Beautiful slim fitting cords by Bonton – just love that mustard colour.
  • Sweet socks with the signature Paul Smith stripes.

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For Ava (5):

  • Stripy hat and scarf by Kidscase to match her little brother.
  • Pretty teal blue corduroy Bonton dress, super adorable!

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For Pim (8):

  • Fun glasses hat by Emile et Ida
  • A bow-tie, of course, for Pim! (This specific one by Milk & Soda is sold out, but here’s another cool one).
  • Stripy Paul Smith socks to complete the look!
  • Mustard yellow slim Bonton cords, just like his little brother.
  • Absolutely gorgeous gauze shirt in an amazing teal blue, by Bonton.

 

Ladida (by Babyccino Kids)

For Sara (10):

  • Fox skirt by Emile et Ida — which tween girl wouldn’t love this?
  • This blue Neige shirt has a subtile black polka dot, very pretty.
  • Bonton mustard yellow panda shoulder bag.

Today I’m taking over the Ladida Instagram account, where you can see my kids dressed in the outfits above. I hope you enjoy!

Ladida (Babyccino Kids)

xxx Esther

PS Ladida ships worldwide, and it’s free on bigger orders!

On Casper, kickball, and La Coqueta

La Coqueta CasperThe beautiful Spanish/British brand La Coqueta recently asked me to make a selection of my favourite pieces of their new winter collection, to share on their blog and newsletter. The entire new collection is really adorable, so it was pretty difficult to narrow my choice down to only a few pieces!

La Coqueta CasperCasper’s favourite game has been football (or ‘kickball’, as he calls it) since he was a tiny baby. He would crawl after any ball he saw, stand up, kick, etc — until he found out that walking was a more efficient way to play. So we thought it would be nice to take some shots of him playing kickball (in his new La Coqueta outfit, of course!) to go alongside my picks.

La Coqueta CasperThank you La Coqueta, for having me!

xxx Esther

Some favourites from Couverture & the Garbstore

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Living in London, I was often asked to share a list of my favourite shops in the city. Couverture was always at the top of my list. It’s been a favourite store for as long as I can remember, and even if I didn’t end up buying anything, I always loved popping into the shop for inspiration. They have a well-curated collection of women’s wear, including many of my favourite brands, and one of the best selection of children’s clothes and toys in London. They also have a really great selection of pretty homewares and accessories with brands you can’t find anywhere else in the UK.

I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my favourite brands and products in store at Couverture, starting with the women’s collection. For one, Couverture is one of the few stockists of Ace & Jig in the UK, and I love the pretty tops in this current collection. (Who am I kidding? I love everything by Ace & Jig.)  I’m also a huge fan of the Steven Alan collection, and this jumpsuit is so good! I discovered the new UK brand, Sideline, last winter and I’m so excited to see them stocked here, and lastly, these Rachel Comey clogs are so cool!

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For girls, I love this Morley top, this yellow and white wool beanie, and how cute are the handmade wooden animal friends by Japanese designer, T-Lab?!! I think they make the perfect little birthday gift or stocking stuffer.

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For boys, I always love the Penfield collection of coats, fleeces and vests.  I love this little Hansel doll of the Hansel & Gretel fairytale (and dolls for boys! yay!), and the elvish bonnets from Cecilie Telle, available in several different colours. Couverture is also one of the biggest stockists of Bellerose, one of my favourite brands for my boys.

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Lastly, I love the baskets as well as all the Hay products in the homewares collection. And that vase! So pretty.

Couverture has recently launched a new website, which is good news for those not living in London, and they are now offering Babyccino readers an exclusive 15% discount, valid now until November 12th. A perfect excuse to get some holiday (dare I say it) shopping done early! Enter code BC15 for a 15% discount at check-out.

Courtney x

This post was sponsored by Couverture. All views expressed are my own, as well as my picks and preferences. I’ve been a longtime fan of this shop (since 2008 when it opened!) and am happy to be able to support them as they continue to grow. 

Beautiful, practical merino wool basics from Luvmother

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We recently spent the long holiday weekend with my family on our little island in the San Juans (off the coast of Washington State). It is my favourite place in the whole world, a place where I spent my childhood summers and where my mother and grandmother (and great-grandmother!) spent theirs. It makes me so happy to watch my children explore the beauty and nature of this special place, and it was the perfect way to finish off our summer here in the US before our big adventure begins…!

Next, we will spend a month in California (after a short visit to NYC for the ShopUp!) before heading down to discover South America in October. We fly out tomorrow, so I’ll be spending the day today packing suitcases and getting ready for the next leg of our journey.

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Ivy and Quin in LuvMother2 merino wool sweatshirt

After watching my kids spend the summer wearing only a fraction of the clothes in their suitcase, I’ve been reminded that the children don’t need much. Just the basics: a few pairs of shorts, a few tees, one or two warmer layers, and a rainproof outer layer just in case. I’ll be re-packing their suitcases with this in mind and hopefully I’ll reduce the amount of weight we’ll be lugging around with us for the next year (wish me luck!).

One brand I have very happily discovered this summer is LuvMother. This Canadian brand makes light-weight, merino basics and wonderful layering pieces that are perfect for travel and everyday adventures. The kids have been living in their hoodies and sweatshirts now that the weather has cooled a bit, and the soft merino wool keeps them perfectly warm without the need for a bulkier layer.

I also love the design details of the LuvMother pieces — like contrast pockets and elbow patches, and I like that there are no tags or gratuitous labels (the subtle double ‘x’ on the back right-hand shoulder is a perfect signature label in itself). These pieces are not only warm and functional, they’re stylish as well.

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three kids in Luvmother

The LuvMother merino layers are the perfect warm layer to pack for our upcoming travels. I’m hoping to pick up some pieces for Marlow too at the ShopUp this coming Sunday and Monday. LuvMother will be there, so please keep an eye out for their booth!

Courtney x

p.s. LuvMother is currently offering a 15% discount store wide. See info here!

This post was sponsored by LuvMother, a member of our shopping portal and a family-owned brand I adore and respect. All views expressed are my own.

What’s your child’s sleeping routine like?

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I was recently chatting to a girlfriend about our children’s sleeping routines, and I though it was interesting to hear how different they are. You see, my children have never had mid-day naps, but have always taken morning naps instead.

I think this originated from when I was a new mum, and Sara had just been born. Totally unexperienced and needing a guideline to follow, I briefly practised Gina Ford ‘s schedule. It didn’t take long (her book with super strict schedules made me a completely stressed out mum) but the accidental result was that Sara ended up having a longer morning nap instead of the more general mid-day nap.

I liked the practicality of the morning nap — while my baby was sleeping, I could shower, get dressed, do laundry and some cleaning, and then by the time she woke up we would be ready for lunch and to go out of the house. (When she was little she would have a second brief nap around 4PM, but she would be happy to have this nap in her pram or pushchair, so it wouldn’t restrict me from going out of the house.) When Pim was born not so long after, I naturally followed the same schedule, which worked great for him too. And I have been doing the same with my other children as well — they all have had longer morning naps instead of the midday nap!

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Casper still sleeps in the mornings. We usually put him to bed somewhere between 9 and 10, and he usually sleeps for an hour to an hour and a half. At the end of the day, around 7:30, 8PM, he’s ready to go to bed again —  we usually put him to bed before his bigger siblings, allowing us some quiet reading time with the older children (who are supposed to be in bed around 8:30, but if I’m honest, it’s often later, especially now that it’s summer and warm and light till late!).

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I thought it was interesting to bring up this subject, as I know that most people let their child sleep after lunch. I guess you just tweak your schedule to what works best for your family! I would love to know, what kind of sleeping schedule do (or did) you follow with your children? Are you very strict with your routines, or more flexible?

xxx Esther

Beautiful, handmade jewellery by Blanca Monros Gómez

Blanca Gomez engraved rings

When I was a little girl, my Dutch grandmother gave all her granddaughters a simple gold band for us to wear on our little right-hand ring finger. I wore it for years until my finger grew too big, and I remember being so sad when it no longer fit me. I loved wearing it and loved that my sister and I and all our girl cousins shared this little ring in common.

When my grandmother passed away earlier this year, I tried to think of something I could give my children that would remind them of their great grandmother. It was at this time that I was in NYC (for ShopUp preparations) and discovered Blanca Monros Gómez’s beautiful jewellery in a pretty Brooklyn boutique. Her timeless, heirloom pieces reminded me of the jewellery my grandmother had given us when we were young: nothing fancy or overly conspicuous — just really pretty, simple pieces to be cherished forever.

Marlow wearing Blanca Gomez necklace
marlow and ivy wearing necklaces

Ivy

Ivy wearing Blanca Gomez necklace

happy Ivy wearing Blanca Gomez

I ended up getting each of the girls a hand-hammered gold band, something to remember their great-grandmother and hopefully keep forever. Blanca, who coincidentally got in touch with me when she saw I was in Brooklyn, very kindly offered to engrave their names into the bands, making the rings that much more special. I then decided that, for now while the girls are still really young, they can wear their rings on a simple gold chain and as they get older they can choose whether to wear the ring on their finger or to keep it on their necklace.

I’m so pleased with how the rings look on their necklaces (it makes me want to do the same with my childhood ring) and I’m so happy that the girls now have these special pieces to continue a family tradition.

Blanca will have a small booth at our ShopUp event in New York next month, so if you’re interested in her beautiful work and happen to be in the NY area, you can pop by to see her pieces in person (September 13th and 14th).

Courtney x

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