Darling, handmade Waldorf dolls by Stellabyrosa

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When I was giving the pillowcase stamping workshop at the Yvestown Fair / Snor Festival a few weeks ago, my eyes kept wandering away to the Stellabyrosa stall next to me, full of the most delicate and wonderful Waldorf dolls. Rosa, the creator of the dolls, told me about how she couldn’t find the right kind of ‘natural’ dolls when her girls were little, and how she started making her own. I just completely fell in love with each and every doll at her stand — they are all so full of character!

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You can see how much work and love Rosa puts in to each doll. They come fully dressed and are made from 100% Dutch cotton jersey in the traditional Waldorf style. Eyes and mouths are hand embroidered, the hair is made of soft mohair and the doll is stuffed with cleaned and carded organic Dutch sheepwool. Cheeks are coloured with beeswax crayon. They have movable arms and legs, and come fully dressed (all the clothes are beautiful and handmade by Rosa). One doll takes her three days to make!

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I fell so deeply in love with the dolls, that I got one for each of my girls. I also couldn’t resist the beautiful dolls bed, which is made by hand by Rosa’s father and is dressed in gorgeous bedlinen and pillows made by by Rosa. It is all so perfect! My girls love their dolls, and Casper does too, so I just ordered one for him as well (he’s turing 2 on Tuesday!).

xxx Esther

 

Toto Knits, with a darling new Capsule Collection

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Slowly but steadily autumn is upon us here in Amsterdam. We’ve been super lucky with the weather so far (I’ve heard it’s been the same in other parts of the world), but leaves are falling and mushrooms are appearing. So it’s time to get ready for the cold season! I’ve been ordering socks and tights, shoes and boots, hats and scarfs. These cuties just arrived from Toto Knits, all the way from Africa, and even though I ordered them for Casper, Ava has been wearing them, aptly on top of her Indian summer dress!

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Toto Knits is a Kenya-based label, founded by Erin Brennan Allan, and offering a line of fun and funky knitwear, all handmade of organic cotton and dyed with bio-friendly dyes. Designs are always super cute (the Safari and Farm Animal Sweaters are so sweet!) and all of the products are ethically made by a group of single mothers in Kenya. I love this concept, encouraging trade not aid, and find it clever how Erin pays the knitters by the piece, so that they can decide how much they work, allowing them to make time for their families as much as needed. When a product is finished, the knitters sign the piece (the above hat and the scarf were made by Lucy and Serah), which is so nice — for the knitters because they can truly ‘sign’ their work and be proud of it, and for the client because every piece comes with a story behind it.

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Erin’s newest Capsule Collection, called Heart and Habit, is so stylish and with the muted colours so perfect for this time of year. Beautiful charcoal grey combined with burgundy red, emerald green and cream white are the basis for these pretty pieces. (Pim is wearing a cool Toto Knits striped hoodie in the photos above.) Even though we’re enjoying the favourable temperatures for as long as we can, it won’t be long before we’re all curled up on the couch!

xxx Esther

PS This post is sponsored by Toto Knits, a brand we highly respect and recommend and a longtime member of our shopping portal. Thank you for supporting the brands that support our blog!

The Dopper bottle

SONY DSCIn the Netherlands, schools don’t provide a cooked lunch so my children leave the house every day with a backpack with a packed lunch and a bottle of water. Recently, Sara has been complaining about her current water bottle making funny sounds when she drinks, so I’ve been on the lookout for a replacement. And I found it! The Dopper is a Dutch design water bottle, with an ingenious 2-in-1 function of bottle and cup: the cap becomes a cup when you turm it upside down.

The design and idea of the Dopper stems from the growing frustration of the founder of Dopper, Merijn Everaarts, with the enormous amounts of plastic waste (the ‘plastic soup’, floating in the ocean). Merijn organised a design competition and the clever idea of Rinke van Remortel was the rightful winner. The Dopper is produced following the principles of the Cradle to Cradle philosophy and consists of no harmful substances. It can easily be cleaned, and is dishwasher safe.

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Also – 10% of Dopper sales goes to the Dopper Foundation, which invests half of its proceeds in water projects in Nepal and the other half goes to water and plastic waste education projects.

An admirable bottle, don’t you think?

xxx Esther

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

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

Estella Organic Cotton Collection

Summer has finally arrived here in Europe — school is out and the weather has been warm and wonderful! My kids have been spending an awful lot of time running around in their undies, and the baby in a simple onesie or bloomers. Easy peasy!

I just picked up some sweet little summery pieces from the Estella sale which are perfect for this time of year — soft, organic cotton basics which are so easy to wear and so comfortable too. I got this little bodysuit for Marlow and it’s so sweet with the little ruffles on the bum. And this dress is such a perfect, easy summer staple.

Plus, as I mentioned, everything is now on sale, which makes the prices attractive too.

xx Courtney

Goose Game, by DEUZ

We have a version of this Goose Game which we bought ages and ages ago. It’s one of those games that has come everywhere with us, on every holiday — it’s the perfect travel game as it folds up into a nice little fabric bag and can be thrown into a bag or suitcase really easily. Plus, it’s a great game for all ages — so easy to play.

I was so excited to see this new version from DEUZ, made from organic cotton and as cute as can be. All the parts fold up and fit into the little cotton bag. Perfect! I’m going to buy some for gifts. It’s available to purchase from E-Side.

x Courtney

Oeuf NYC Welcome collection

Feeling is believing! The layette Welcome collection by Oeuf, made from 100% unbleached, untreated, organic pima cotton (‘the cashmere of cottons’), is truly as soft as it gets. Blankies, hats, beanies, onesies, mittens — you will find everything you need to dress a newborn baby, and you can be sure it is all lovely, of great quality, and free from impurities or harsh chemicals that could irritate your baby’s skin. What a wonderful selection to shop from when you’re about to give birth, or when you’re looking for a truly special (and practical) gift for a pregnant friend. Those little Welcome bags are just too cute.

xxx Esther

L’asticot at Boutikids

I have recently discovered the new Swiss childrenswear label, L’asticot, and I am so impressed! Not just by their interesting and unique style, but by the story and ethics behind the brand. L’asticot is a brand of organic clothing which is as beautiful as it is functional. Many of the pieces are unisex — meant for boys and girls alike, and can be mixed and matched together to create one-of-a-kind looks for everyday.

I love the hooded sweaters,  the sweet little twill overalls, the cosy corduroy berber pants with knee patches, and so many other pieces. The full collection is now available online at Boutikids.

(And… my very favourite piece in the collection, the knitted baby snuggle suit, is up for grabs as one of this month’s give-aways. For details on how to win, click here. )

x Courtney

Organic long underwear from Goat-Milk

In preparation for winter, I’ve recently bought my kids some organic long underwear from Goat-Milk, which is turning out to be one of my favourite new brands. I love their underwear and tanks, and now I can’t get enough of the long underwear — it’s perfect for layering under regular clothes on chilly days, or just simply wearing around the house. Cosy! This past weekend I managed to sneak a photo of all the kids in their matching sets, being silly on my bed…

xx Courtney

p.s. Goat-Milk DOES deliver to Europe, you just have to contact Tania directly to place your order.

Nui Organics new cotton collection

I’m loving the new cotton collection at Nui Organics — the colours, the simple shapes, the fun stripes, the easy-to-wear pieces and of course the fact that it’s all made with super soft, 100% GOTS organic cotton.  There are tees, leggings, bodysuits, dresses… and just looking at the cute little baby rompers gets me so excited for our little one on the way!

x Courtney

Our New Earth


I was recently introduced to Hugh Dinning and his lovely brand Our New Earth through the Australian father-in-law of my friend Elke. It’s funny how we sometimes get to know people on the other side of the world just like that!

Our New Earth is a completely organic line of baby clothes and accessories, and Hugh has passionately told me how he’s constantly striving to find the cleanest and most honestly fabricated materials for his collections. He’s now for instance working with gorgeous 100% organic and natural dyed denims for his upcoming winter collections.

In the meantime I’ve completely fallen in love with the simplicity and timelessness of the Our New Earth designs. It’s all just so adorable! The little sunsuits (see photo of Ava featuring one above), the sweet embroidered and smock dresses, all with the sweetest details, the adorable dress shirts and jackets and pants, the easy bloomers and tank tops

You can find Our New Earth on our shopping portal here, with a great 15% discount this month — and the prices are already so very, very pleasant!

xxx Esther

Olympics-Inspired Reversi-T from Green Baby

The Olympics buzz is starting to hit London, and it seems everywhere I turn these days I see hints of Olympic fever.  I love these cool Olympics-inspired Reversi-Ts from Green Baby. Get this — the Reversi-T is FOUR tees in ONE! So there are four cool designs (my favourite is the giraffe wearing the gold medal), and all you have to do is fold over the top layer to reveal the next.  The tees are remarkably light-weight and streamlined, and of course are made from organic cotton! I got this one for my 5-year-old and he thinks it’s the coolest thing he’s ever seen — a magic t-shirt!

x Courtney

Whitefox in Black Box


I wanted to share with you my latest Etsy discovery; White Fox In Black Box is a newly opened shop from London, England with the most adorable eco-friendly creatures. Alis Fox is the designer behind these lovely dolls — she creates and sews every creature from found and recycled fabrics making each and every one unique.

These upcycled dolls are 50cm or taller, most come with the cutest little baby and some even come with a removable mask or hat. I just love all the details she puts into them, especially the fabrics and color combinations, just lovely!

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Playon Crayons

A friend gave my daughter these fun non-toxic crayons for her third birthday. I wish I’d known about them sooner! They are wildly entertaining as you can color with them, stack them into towers, turn them upside down and pretend they are ice cream cones, and put them on little toddler hands as extra colorful finger puppets. I always carry a box around to keep Elodie occupied during those in-between moments when she is starting to get restless. Such a fantastic little gift!

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The Baby Papoose (by the Good Flock)

The first line of the The Good Flock website reads: ‘The products we make can be buried in your backyard’. Which I think is such a daring first sentence, and is proof of the innovative and fun nature of Nikki and Marco, the people behind The Good Flock. Their belief is to use wholesome materials (from living sources or eco-systems that are able to regenerate themselves), work with a conscience (real craftspeople, responsible manufacturing), and design with minimal waste (use only what we need). I’ve been thinking — it sounds a bit like how I like to cook our food! But then applied to product design. An interesting slide can be found here, where the difference between the creation of a plastic iPad case is compared to the creation of a Good Flock IWooly.
Reason enough to purchase The Good Flock products, but there’s more: the products are really, really beautiful. Gorgeous vegetable tanned leather, domestic waxed canvas, patterned wool and buttons made from sustainable harvested tagua nuts are the main materials that are used to create simple but stylish bags, covers and wallets. The Good Flock has also created a Baby Papoose, a warm and wonderful baby wrap, made from their beautiful materials and just perfect to keep your baby cozy in his Bugaboo (works for the Frog, Chameleon but also very well for the Bee).

xxx Esther

Little Bu Non-Toxic Nail Polish

I’m hoping I have a few years yet before my daughter is interested in nail polish (out of curiosity, when does this happen?!)… but when the time comes, I’ll be buying her the Little BU non-toxic polishes. The nail polishes are water-based, odour-less, quick drying, completely non-toxic and free of all the nasty chemicals normally found in nail polish. They’re perfectly safe for little girls (and pregnant mamas!) and come in loads of great colours. You can buy them directly from the Little BU shop or from Harrods in London.

PS – Speaking of nail polish… don’t you just love this pair of peep-toe shoes, and that all her toenails are painted a different colour?! (Image found on the lovely Pinterest, which I have become completely obsessed about! You can find all of our pins here.)

-Courtney

Little bird, Little bird


I’m not sure if it’s simply the influence of the internet or if it has another reason, but there’s more and more Australia in my life these days. I keep discovering great brands and boutiques from down under, meeting lovely Australian people and I keep hearing about how the grass is greener, the sweets are sweeter and the sun is sunnier there, far away, on the other side of the world. I hope to find out for myself one day!

Bird Textile is one of those amazing Australian brands I got to know very recently, and I’m smitten. I admire the gorgeous and unique textiles all screen-printed by hand with water-based dyes on organic cotton fabrics. The homeware collection is amazing — and by the way, it’s all created using solar energy — have a look at the pillows and how beautiful are those placemats and table runners? (Wouldn’t they make a perfect Christmas gift?) I’m also loving the new children’s collection Little Bird, Little Bird, with beautiful classic designs, all hand-crafted with care and with cute little details like smocks, pleats and fabric-covered buttons — all made from Bird Textile’s signature nature-inspired fabrics and sweet as a button.

xxx Esther

A baby play mat that’s modern and stylish (for a change)!

I remember how shocked I was with the playmats available on the market when my babies were born. I seriously didn’t know how fast I could hide them under the sofa once they were finished playing! Definitely not the case for mums who are the proud owner of one of the stylish mats designed by the cool girls from Deuz! Made from 100% organic cotton and full of energetic colors and exciting features like loops to grab, rings to hold and chew, and with a removable cover for easy wash-n-wear care, the Duez play mats will not necessarily need to leave the living room floor at all!

xxx Esther

Made from corn!


Ava is now 18 months old, and she’s quite a little character. She knows exactly what she wants and is incredibly clever in communicating it. One of the things she’s adamant about, is that she wants to eat her own food, and (attempt to) drink from her own cup. Preferred tableware: plastic.  However, most plastics have a risk of leaching BPA and phthalates, and shouldn’t go in the dishwasher because of this. So I’m extremely pleased to discover zoë b‘s newest product, the fantastic anti-plastic dishes: the world’s only dishwasher-safe dishes entirely made from corn! Safe for our kids (entirely BPA and phthalates free), safe for our environment (these dishes are completely compostable), and best of all: kind to the parents (who dislike washing up).

xxx Esther

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