Easter Picks from the Shan and Toad website

I had so much fun picking a few Easter favourites from the amazing Shan and Toad website. The new collections are just wonderful! There’s a perfect mix of trendy, classic and chic fashion available, and I love the great colours that Shana, the owner, selected this year.

1. Isn’t this little Denim Blue Vintage Dress just adorable?
2. Gorgeous Tunic with woven dots and mandarin collar. So handsome!
3. Darling Dotty Bibi Hairband, perfect to spruce up any outfit.
4. Super fresh, these Festa Lemon socks.
5. Got to love these leopard Mary-Janes!
6. Classic Skinny Jeans in an amazing colour.
7. Navy stripes never disappoint! Love this sweet Colombe top.
8. Cool Tricolour moccasins in summery colours.
9. Swoon! This Clémentine Navy Romper is just lovely — both for baby boys as girls!
10. Gorgelous green Otto baby booties.
11. On trend Festa Coral socks.

xxx Esther

My Favourite Things at Baby&Me Magazine

We’re really excited to announce a new partnership with Baby&Me magazine which has us contributing a little column in their magazine each month and rounding up a selection of cute products to fit our topic. Baby&Me is a super stylish, monthly glossy which keeps London parents updated on all the latest news, fashion, design and other interesting lifestyle topics. We are thrilled to be contributing each month and thought it would be fun to share our selection here with you as well.

In this month’s issue I wrote about getting out in our garden with the kids, sowing vegetable seeds and enjoying the onset of spring. I also rounded up some cute fruit & veg products I’m loving right now. Here they are:

You can read the digital version of this month’s issue here. You can also download the Baby&Me app from iTunes here. And lastly, you can now buy the magazine at newsagents around town.

I’m already excited for next month’s contribution! Stay tuned…

x Courtney

The intriguing techniques behind the fabulous fabrics of Macarons

Julie and Veit, the handsome couple behind German eco-brand Macarons, are some of the most detailed and dedicated founders of a children’s fashion brand we know. They go so much further than ‘simply’ creating a collection of very sweet clothes (although they do that too!). They actually keep their fingers on every aspect of the production process. First, they source only the best organic fibres from different places in the world, strictly according to the GOTS standards. Then, the rest of the production is entirely completed locally, in Germany and Austria — the spinning and dying of the yarn, the knitting and weaving process, the printing, boiling and cutting of the fabrics, to the sewing of the final product. All of this is done in impeccably managed, small family-run ateliers. This way, Julie and Veit truly know where all the materials for their garments come from (including tiny details like buttons and fasteners), how it was made, who made it, and where it was made. They can be sure that everything is free of chemicals, and that the production is completed with only the best work ethics for the staff.

The actual creation of the fabrics is something else. This is not just a matter of printing a lovely pattern on high quality, crisp and paper-like organic cotton (although they do that too!) — no, the way they create their fabrics is an extremely clever, innovative and technical process, and it results in the most beautiful three-dimensional patterns and structures. For instance, they create wonderfully soft fabrics by weaving two fabrics together at intervals. A bit like quilting, really. And after washing, the first fabric wrinkles into the other fabric, creating lovely ‘dunes’ on on side, and sweet fine dots on the other side. Another example: they combine two weaving techniques, resulting in a soft but strong seersucker cotton fabric that does not need to be ironed.

The design of the garments is also very well thought through — the way garments are cut, the way pleats suddenly reveal pockets or create special shapes, a button that is sewn on with a tread in a contrasting colour… The level of all of this is truly remarkable, and this is what really sets Macarons apart as a brand.

xxx Esther

Cosy Cashmere from La Petite V


Who doesn’t love the wonderful quality of cashmere? It’s soft, warm, natural, and because of the warmth regulating characteristics of the material, it’s just perfectly snug and comfortable —  both in winter and in summer. So we’re very happy with the discovery of the new Amsterdam based label La Petite V, which focusses entirely on gorgeously soft and cosy cashmere for babies.

I love the well thought through collection of products with which Vivien, the designer behind La Petite V, has launched her label. A hooded blanket (the perfect receiving blanket, just perfect for newborn babies). A scarf for mama that can be used to keep baby warm as well, or be used for breastfeeding. A sweet old-fashioned bonnet, and (my favourite), a darling hooded jumpsuit with clever openings that can be used in the carseat as well. Gorgeous!

xxx Esther

Mormor, gorgeous, hand-knit clothing

Mormor is a Danish company with a collection of hand knit products that I adore. The concept behind Mormor is wonderful: to pass on the knowledge and skills that many elderly women possess. Mormor currently has a team of over 130 women who are passionately knitting sweet and fashionable designs for a younger generation. I love this thought!

I often think that if I lived 100 years ago, the ability to knit, sew and embroider would not just be a hobby, it would be a necessity. If one couldn’t knit, one would freeze! Quilts and patchwork blankets were not just for decoration, they were meant to keep the family warm and cosy after the fire went out. And embroidery was used to label bedlinen and restore holes. I love that Nina, the creative owner of Mormor, explores these thoughts and skills and used them to set up her succesfull business.

Mormor designs are fashionable yet timeless. See above Ava wearing the darling Ivar cardigan, and Casper sporting sweater Dan. Pieces are designed in a way they can be worn for years (you can fold the sleeves the first year), and then passed on to siblings or friends. The materials used are 100% natural and of high quality, like alpaca and merino wool, and they are very strong and durable. But most of all, I love the fact that these items are all handmade by master knitters, who knit with love for this younger generation.

xxx Esther

FlatOut Bear

Everybody who knows Ava knows her ‘BearBear’ — the Flatout Bear she’s been inseparable from for the first three years of her life. Everywhere she went, BearBear went! It’s one well traveled bear, that BearBear… (We once nearly missed an airplane to Turkey because BearBear was left behind in the train station, and we had to go back to find it — traveling to Turkey without BearBear simply wasn’t an option!)

Flatout Bears are made in Australia out of 100% pure Australian sheepskin, which is shaped like a teddy bear. The attraction of these bears is that they are super soft, and have an interesting tactile quality to them that most babies love — to touch the fury skin and to bury their fingers in it. And because they are so flat, they are easy to hold in little toddler arms, and to be carried around.

I recently got a Flatout Bear for Casper as well, and now take it with me whenever we are traveling. He also like to bury his little fingers into the sheepskin when he’s falling asleep!

xxx Esther

(We got our Flatout Bears from VUPbaby)

ZUGS!


How fun are these children’s rugs?! And not only are they fun & cheerful, but completely 100% natural and handmade. And not only that, but extremely soft as well!

ZUGS is a new family-run boutique offering a selection of bright and colourful rugs, all made from natural wool and cut with deep piles to ensure a thick, soft surface: the perfect landing pad for jumping feet or a soft, natural surface for rolling babies. And there is something about the designs that makes me think even older children and tweens would like these rugs in their rooms. They’re funky and fun for all ages!

You can choose from eight different rugs, each one aptly named based on their colourful character (although we have Gracie the Ghost at home, and we all agree she is more of a squid than a ghost!!).

x Courtney

Harriet Hare bed linen & accessories

Harriet Hare is a new collection of beautiful bed linens and coordinating accessories. On first glance, it looks to be quite traditional with its pale blues and pinks, but I think it’s the details of this brand that really make it stand out. Like how incredibly silky soft the bed linens are! The fabrics are all woven rather than printed and the yarn dyed satin weave is made of compact and combed yarns, making it luxuriously soft and smooth to the touch. And all bed linens come in a reusable cotton drawstring bag which can be used as storage or bedroom decor.

I love the reversible duvet covers with the contrasting colour shades and the matching pillowcases in light or dark options, either to match or to contrast the duvet. Everything is so pretty and complimentary, and perfect for children of all ages.

x Courtney

NAÏF care, skincare for babies

Naïf Babycare is a new line of baby skincare products that was started by two young and cute Dutch dads, Jochem and Sjoerd. See above how very Dutch they are, with their bakfiets!
After their first babies were born, they discovered a huge gap in the market: a high quality range of pure, natural skincare products which is safe and nurturing for baby’s sensitive skin. So they quit their (high profile!) jobs, worked very hard with a Swiss laboratory, dermatologists, and basically every baby skincare expert they could find, and developed a beautiful line of products. Using only nature’s best ingredients, and formulated to perfection, of course!

Casper and I have been trying out some of the Naïf products and we really love them! The shampoo is wonderful to use, so soft and gentle. The nurturing cream is great too, it’s our number one cream for dry cheeks, but our favourite Naïf product must be the massage oil. It is just the right kind of oil — in between oily and dry, very soothing, with a lovely scent. Just perfect!

xxx Esther

Baby Degen

We LOVED meeting Lindsay Degen at Playtime last week! She’s so funky and creative and stylish (you should have seen her hair! she had one braid about half the length of the other!), and she’s one extremely talented lady too. She sat in her booth knitting the cutest pair of baby socks you’ve ever seen! After launching her adult unisex line in 2011, she has recently started a baby line called Baby Degen featuring hand-knit baby clothes and accessories in fun colours and with quirky details. She says she is trying to keep the ‘cute’ in children’s wear. I love that!

x Courtney

Some favourites from LaDiDa

LaDiDa is a US-based children’s boutique with an amazing selection of brands to choose from and the most beautiful clothes! I thought it would be fun to round up some of my current favourites from the shop, so I’ve created some outfits and have linked to the clothes below:

  • Outfit 1: I love the mint green jumpsuit and the sweet little mary jane shoes. And the stripy beach bag! I could buy this for myself!
  • Outfit 3: I love this striped orange tunic… and these shorts by Bonton are my favourite. I always buy them for my boys (so easy with the elasticated waist and simple shape). I find it difficult to buy shorts for boys – so often they’re big and baggy and oversized. I like to see my boys’ little legs not cover them up!!
  • Outfit 4: How pretty is this Bonton dress?! I want one in my size please! And the floral scarf and perfect leather sandals! It’s the ideal outfit for summery beach holidays. Summer can’t come quickly enough!
  • Outfit 5: For Marlow! Sweet top and bloomers from Neige. And I can’t get enough of these little leather sandals. So simple and yet so pretty!

Adorable Penguins at Esthex

I love the new penguin range at Esthex. How cute are Ned (who plays music!) and his little brother Georges? And that little Ned backpack is just adorable. They have so much character! (Esther, the designer behind Esthex, told me she went through so much effort to make sure her supplier had the eyes just right — and it really makes the difference.)

I also really like these doll sized bunk beds. Wouldn’t your children just love to play with these? I know mine would — my boys as much as my girls!

xxx Esther

The new Elias & Grace website!

Have you seen the shiny new Elias & Grace website?! They’ve given themselves an entirely new look and lots of great new features. You can now narrow down your search by category, gender and by child’s size (which is such a handy feature I think). You can shop new arrivals and see different trends (currently stripes and blue!). And of course, it goes without saying, that everything in store is so effortlessly stylish!

Elias & Grace is my go-to shop in London. They do such a great job of buying and always have the most stylish selection of brands. It’s always fun to stop in at the beginning of every season to see the latest trends and pick up some new pieces for the kids. It’s impossible for me to resist!

x Courtney

PS – Elias & Grace is now offering a £100 gift voucher in our BIG giveaway! So if you haven’t done so already, go enter to win!! Today is the last day!

Organic cotton knitwear from Miou Kids

So often these days, as you look around at children’s brands, you see so many things that look alike. One trend inspires the other, people naturally draw inspiration from the same things… and you end up with lots of clothes that look the same. Which is why it’s so fun to see brands doing their very own thing and making their own mark in the children’s wear world.  This new collection from Miou Kids is such a breath of fresh air! And so sweet and summery in the colour palette.

Everything in this new collection has been made from 100% organic cotton and certified eco-friendly dyes, and everything has been hand-crocheted by skilled artisans in Peru who receive a fair wage for their work. I love the crochet kimono tops and cardigans and all the adorable bonnets and booties! Such a sweet collection.

x Courtney

Instagram books from Blurb



I ordered a couple Instagram books from Blurb last year, and they’re so fun to have! The kids love looking through them, and it’s such a nice way to turn my Instagram photos into something ‘real’.

I recently ordered a book of Marlow’s first year – an entire book of her photos from the day she was born until the day she turned one — and it just arrived! Oh my gosh, you should see the way Marlow carries around this book!! She loves it! She keeps pointing to all her baby photos and saying ‘baby’ and kissing every page.

Making the books is super easy. You just have to sync your Instagram account to your account on Blurb and it automatically fills in the pages with photos. If you don’t want to use the autofill feature, you can select your own photos from Instagram and then place them onto each page. So easy! I’m definitely going to order more!

x Courtney

Ellie Fun Day blankets

EllieFunDay produces gorgeous heirloom baby blankets, made from super soft organic muslin cotton and beautifully embroidered, all done so by hand by marginalised women in India. The company is the brainchild of Sarah Lin (and her husband Elton), who after spending some time in India a few years ago, fulfilled her dreams of designing a beautiful product that would make a lasting change in the world. She remembered her own much loved baby blanket, and designed a collection of gorgeous, modern blankies.

I love the darling designs of the EllieFunDay blankets and the importance of the story behind it. The blankets make wonderful gifts (they come beautifully labeled and in a drawstring muslin bag), and look gorgeous in any crib and interior. Casper loves his Fox & Forest blanket!

xxx Esther

LuluZulu tights

Luluzulu is a new brand of ‘gender free’ tights and socks for babies. Started by husband and wife team, Katie and Richard Kendrick, they’ve set out to create fun designs with a ‘sense of style and a sprinkle of humour’ for both boys and girls. I love the ‘Fox in Socks’ style with the little fox tail on the bum and the argyle socks design. I also like that all the tights and socks have non-slip grippers on the bottom of the feet, so your babies don’t slip around in their tights.

They kindly sent a pair for Marlow and I managed to snap a quick photo (above). Such fun tights, a statement all on their own … and LOOK AT THAT BELLY!! : )

xx Courtney

New summer collections at Marie Puce


I’m loving the new summer collection at Marie Puce. Such fresh and pretty colours! My favourite pieces are the orange Marjorie Dress with the pretty embroidery and butterfly sleeves, the adorable floral baby romper (I bought one for Marlow last year and she wore it all summer!), and I am in love with the scarves! I wish they came in grown-up sizes. I had so much fun styling the outfits above. Ooooh I can’t wait for summer and shorts and sandals!!

Marie Puce is one of 16 great shops offering a prize in this week’s enormous giveaway! They’re offering a gift voucher for 125 euros to choose your favourite pieces from the new collection. To enter to win, click here!

x Courtney

Merino wool baby basics from Asolon

Designer and seamstress, Allison Tovey, from Asolon recently got in touch to introduce her collection of merino wool baby basics, and I’m so glad she did. In fact I wish I would have known about her collection when Marlow was a little baby because I love putting babies in sleepsuits – I think it’s the perfect little outfit for newborns (so snuggly and also so easy to change nappies!) – and I love the sleepsuits in her collection.

She recently sent Marlow a stripy top with matching bottoms and it’s so cute and cosy (and so easy to wash and maintain compared to other merino wool products).

Also, it wasn’t until I sat down to write this post that I read about her incredible story. And now I’m super inspired as well as impressed!

x Courtney

Toys for babies from Brimful


Brimful is a US shop with the sweetest selection of toys and books for babies. Just browsing the shop you really get the sense that every single product has been carefully chosen to appeal to babies (and their picky mamas of course)– the perfect little wooden car to fit in small baby hands, the sweetest soft dolls to snuggle, the teether/toy you will want to take everywhere with you, etc.


Brimful is one of the very generous shops offering a prize in our big Facebook Giveaway. So if you fancy winning a $100 gift voucher to spend in store (plus LOADS of other great goodies!), pop over to our Facebook page to enter to win.

x Courtney

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