Biodegradable Beach Toys


I don’t know about you, but it seems that every single beach holiday we go on, we end up buying a new set of plastic beach toys to keep the kids happy in the sand. We end up leaving the toys behind us… and then who knows whatever happens to them. I try to tell myself that the toys will get passed down to new holidayers and will be played with for years and years. The truth is, they probably end up in a landfill somewhere taking up precious space.

Anyway, if you’re anything like me and feel bad about this plastic beach toys cycle, then look no further. Zoë b Organic has just launched these cute biodegradable beach toys which, if left on the beach, would biodegrade in 2-3 years! Cool, no? Oh, and check out the video on why these beach toys outdo the others. (Very cute.)

x Courtney

Silver Jungle Books

If you didn’t know the name of Lisa Jones, you’d recognise the style of her studio’s illustrations — influenced by 1950′s design they are wonderfully vibrant and optomistic.  And now Lisa and her partner Edward Underwood have collaborated with Joanna Skipwith of Silver Jungle Books to produce 2 delightful little books about animals for little ones. I’d Chew Yew and I Choose You.

All the books published by Silver Jungle have the ambition to share enthusiasm and concern for wildlife and each one therefore helps raise money for chosen charitable conservation projects.  Sales of I’d Chew Yew will help plant Aspen and Silver Birch in the Caledonian Forest in Scotland, which hopes to help the reintroduction of Beavers into Britain, extinct since the 18th Century. I Choose You supports CERCOPAN, which aims to protect monkeys in the wild.

Aside from the fantastic work they support, Silver Jungle Books are all beautifully produced and illustrated — I really love the look of the books for older children (9+) – Rhino: Animals in Art and Tiger: Animals in Art. A great way to start getting our kids aware of protecting the world they live in.

Organic goodies from BabyBearShop


Oh, I’m in love with the cute packaging of the BabyBearShop products. So adorable! This line of organic products is maybe not extensive but it is absolutely enough for what I need. Loving the cheeky baby butter that I’m using for Ava! The lip balms are delicious too (and they come in the cutest packaging), and how cute is the soap with the bird (and again, how beautiful is the packaging with the nest drawn on it and the little holes in egg shape). All available through BabyBearShop.

xxx Esther

Bright Basics from Boys and Girls Shop

Well if these bright colours and fun designs don’t add instant cheer to your day, I’m not sure what will!! I am loving the happy factor of everything from the new UK childrenswear label, Boys & Girls. And my kids love it too. (My son has insisted he wear his new star hoodie every day since it arrived.)

All the clothes are made from 100% Fairtrade organic cotton. They’re easy to wash, easy to wear, and I love that many of the designs can be worn by both boys and girls (hence the name!). Everything is available to buy online from the Boys & Girls Shop.

-Courtney

Win! A Smiling Planet Plate and Bowl set from E-Side!

I LOVE the Smiling Planet dishes! The whimsical designs are so, so sweet. Plus they’re made from 100% recycled BPA-free plastic, they’re dishwasher safe and scratch resistant. Perfect for your little ones!

E-Side, the new eco webshop, is now kindly offering this Wonderful World Plate and Bowl Gift Set to one lucky reader. How cute! Just leave a comment below by next Wednesday, April 13th, and we’ll pick one winner at random.

Good luck!

This give-away is now closed.

Smart bags


Have you seen the Envirosax yet? Pretty clever, these foldable bags, and such fun designs too! I really, really loathe plastic bags these days. It’s just such a waste, all of that plastic, and so unnecessarily destructive for our environment. If you read these facts, you probably won’t touch another plastic bag ever again! In the Netherlands, more and more shops keep a ‘bag bubble‘ in their shop, where customers can leave plastic bags for others to re-use, which is such a clever initiative. I personally make an effort to keep a little shopping bag rolled up in my handbag at all times (loving the green robot bag from the Kids Series). And for my weekly shopping, my Trolley Dolly is still going strong! What do you do for the fight against plastic?

xxx Esther

PS Fun fact: the founder of the Envirosax company, Belinda David-Tooze, lives in one of the most innovative, totally sustainable eco houses in Australia together with her husband and three small children. So amazing!

Goodbyn lunch boxes from Toyella


My son is the proud owner of a new Goodbyn lunch box. And when I say ‘proud’ I mean it. You would have thought it was his birthday and Christmas all in one when I handed him the lunch box. He was that excited. And he immediately decorated it with the enclosed stickers, filled the water bottle with water, grabbed some snacks and took his lunch box up to his room for a picnic with his toys. Cute.

These Goodbyn lunch boxes are something else. They are so clever and tick all the boxes — they’re BPA-free, 100% recyclable, dishwasher safe, and made in the USA. The innovative design means you have 5 containers in one, eliminating the need for any wasteful plastic baggies. And not to mention, so cute and kid-friendly!

They’re available in many different colours from the fantastic new UK webshop, Toyella, which specialises in toys, games and gifts that offer something different.

-Courtney

Tiny Brokiga bedlinen

Brokiga is a brand from Sweden I have just discovered, and which I find truly adorable.  The collection, designed by (sister) Anna Hörling, is based on the illustrations of (sister) Stina Wirsén, illustrator of about 40 books in Sweden… which in fact were written by (mother) Carin Wirsén. I’m loving this sweet duvet cover, which is made of an excellent quality organic cotton and is so fun and fresh with all of those little characters! It’s just perfect for spring — makes me want to open windows and start spring cleaning. Available through the new Dutch webshop Little Robot.

-Esther

Exquisite prints from Missemai


I have something with tree prints, and ‘The Old Oak’s last Dream‘ by Missemai is among my favourites. It has something magic, and is as lovely in a kids room as it is outside of it. Missemai also makes the most beautiful bed-linen, which I love. I have the pink stripy one for Ava’s bed, and it is gorgeous. It’s made of a lovely thick and soft quality organic cotton, and the print is whimsical, and again, beautiful in children’s rooms without being childish. I’m now saving my pennies for this yellow (!) Old Oak Pillow… Exquisite!

xxx Esther

Organic luxury from Aravore

How sweet is this little party dress from Aravore? I recently got it for Ivy and I can’t wait for her to wear it this summer. (I am already dreaming about garden parties, bare feet, and days so hot even a dress like this feels like too much! Well…it’s now March after all!!)  This dress, like all the beautiful products from Aravore, is made from fairly traded, soft organic cotton and has the sweetest crochet detailing on the sleeves and skirt.  It truly feels unique in both quality and design.

Aravore also makes beautiful baby blankets, accessories and shawls made from organic merino wool. Check out their website for more products, and look out for their new Spring/Summer collection — so cute!

-Courtney

BPA-Free Snackpots from VUP baby

How cute are these little TumTum Snack Pots from VUPbaby, each with a little bug on the lid? They’re made from BPA-free plastic, are dishwasher safe and fit one inside the other for easy storage.  Cute for inside lunch boxes or for storing after school snacks. Or… you can do what I just did and give them to your 2-year-old and ask her to stack and sort them. Mine sat there for nearly 20 minutes completely entertained!

-Courtney

Laikonik — paper goods with a Polish twist


We’ve reviewed the beautiful Laikonik once-a-year books before, but they have only gotten better in the meantime! How beautiful are these Polish folk art designs, screen-printed in beautiful whites or strong reds on soft grey linen? The once-a-year books have 18 pages for photos, where once a year you can insert a picture of your child. At the back of the photo is a place for a short description of important happenings that specific year. At the end of the 18 years the book will be a short but strong documentation of childhood, beautifully documenting the changes over the years and growth into adulthood.
Kasia from Laikonik made a personalised once-a-year book for Ava, and it is such a beautiful and thoughtful gift! It came with a screen-printed hemp bag to protect it, and Kasia even wrapped the book in matching screen printed wrapping paper — gorgeous.
Laikonik also offers other beautiful paper goods, like the photograms, a mini photo book that gives space to four photos and a letter, which is a wonderful gift for far-away loved ones.

xxx Esther

Cheekeyes from Ollie & Forbes

How cute is this Cheekeyes Dinosaur set? The Cheekeyes (given their name because of the pink painted cheek on every character) are handmade from eco-friendly rubber wood and come in themed sets. We have this dinosaur set, which my son LOVES, but there’s also a Rainforest theme, an Arctic theme, an Africa and a Forest theme.

They’re all available from Ollie & Forbes, a great user-friendly site offering imaginative and sustainable toys for children.  I love that they have a currency coverter which converts the prices to your chosen currency — how smart!

-Courtney

Solids?

With the third baby, you sort of consider yourself an experienced mum. You think you get it, know how it’s done best, and it truly makes parenting a lot easier because you’re a lot less bothered. (Most third babies I know are very easygoing — must have something to do with the parents being more relaxed!)
However, when it’s regarding eating solids, Ava is in no way like her siblings, and I honestly am at a loss here. The thing is this: where Sara and Pim at six months would eagerly open their mouths for their first bite of solids (baby rice), baby Ava was not very keen to try at all, and the little bite that I managed to get into her mouth was not met with a lot of enthusiasm (if you want to see photos of me feeding Ava her first bites you can have a look here, the look on her face is classic). From that moment onwards, Ava has kept her mouth shut and turns her face away as soon as she sees a spoon coming her way. And don’t think I haven’t tried it all: home-cooked, not home-cooked, mix with breast-milk, have other people try, same taste for a few days, different tastes, etc. etc. She’s now 8 months old and not much has changed! The only thing that sort of works is to give her a plate, set her down for dinner with us and give her chunks of food (like broccoli, carrot, fish, or bread). She will suck on these (and analyse them, play with them, and throw them on the ground together with the plate). I wonder if this means we’re skipping the pureed food stage all together? It surely means we have a very stubborn little lady on our hands here!

xxx Esther

PS – the cute over-sized bib is from Coq-en-Pâte and made of 100% organic cotton and non-toxic ink.

Doudou Veilleuse — a Glow-in-the-dark bunny

Alessia from the newly launched eco shop, e-side, recently sent me this Doudou Veilleuse — a cute little rabbit, made from fairtrade and organic cotton, that glows in the dark! I’ll admit I was skeptical, but sure enough it works really well — looks like a normal little ‘doudou’ until the lights go out and you realise it’s glowing! Most importantly, the photoluminescent dye does not contain any harmful chemicals so it’s completely safe for babies and small children. My kids love it (I should order two more to end the arguing over who gets to take it to bed)!

Check out the e-side website for other great eco-friendly toys and products, including the Smiling Planet tableware which we love!

-Courtney

Stylish soft books from Coq-en-Pâte


Cute, these fabric books from Coq-en-Pâte, don’t you think? I’m loving the fresh, bright colours and the retro look of them. And if your baby decides that chewing them is preferred to reading them (like Ava), don’t worry because all of the Coq-en-Pâte products are made out of 100% GOTS organic cotton and non-toxic inks. What is especially great is that the books are machine washable, and come in a cute cardboard envelope which makes it perfect for gift giving or sending overseas.

xxx Esther

Aarrekid — fun from Finland


Loving this eco-friendly discovery from Finland! Aarrekid is fairly new on the market and as fresh as I imagine Finland to be. The pieces are made out of great quality, natural materials and the prints are really fun, telling stories from ‘outer space and enchanting forests’. My favourite piece is the short overalls pictured — they’re made out of beautiful, black linen and are adorable because of the cut, but cool because of the colour. And, of course I couldn’t resist the owl pillow… All available through Eco Bohemia, a Finish online store full of special and unique products to discover.
xxx Esther

Retro knitwear from Mormor.nu


My mother was one of the fastest knitters in the world. She seriously race-knitted, and she could easily watch a movie at the same time. Talk about multi-tasking! She would have made a good member of the knitting team of Mormor.nu… Mormor.nu is the brainchild of Nina Brandi from Denmark, and consists of a team of local knitting grannies — some of whom have been knitting all of their lives.  Nina adapted old knitting techniques to contemporary taste, and the result is absolutely darling; I just adore those sweet retro style pieces! All of the clothes are made according to fair-trade principles and of high quality, natural materials.
Available through one of our favourite webshops, Orfeo.

xxx Esther

Quality People


I am very impressed by the new label Quality People and their cute and super soft T-shirt and tops for children. The label was started by Kellie, an LA fashion designer who relocated to Paris. After having kids she decided to rethink her approch toward fashion and tried to produce clothes that make a difference. She has managed something that used to seem impossible: making organic, ethically produced clothes look good and on trend. There is not a piece of tie-dye in sight! I love the laid back, Californian style of the T-shirts, which is quite different from the style we usually see here in Paris.

I also really like Quality People’s women’s collection. Cool, relaxed, organic cashmere — sounds like music to my ears! The children’s and women’s collection are available online here in France. For the rest of the world you can find the list of boutiques here.

-Emilie

Snooshy!

Snooshy is the new style doll that is hand knit from 100% Tibetan yak wool. It’s seriously way cool. Not only because of his looks, but also because of his fashionable outfits! Made from offcuts of the fashion industry, Snooshy’s clothes are 100% recycled. And all the sets are one-of-a-kind, so you won’t know what you’re gonna get, just that it will be fun and fashionable, and fair trade made! It’s also fairly easy for bigger kids to sew clothes for their own Snooshy and start a collection like that — my daughter has a sewing machine on her wish-list for Christmas so she can start sewing clothes for her Snooshy!
Snooshy and the clothing sets are available in boy or girl varieties from the Snooshy webshop (or check the website for worldwide retailers).

xxx Esther

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