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.
This give-away is now closed.
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?
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!
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.
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Kulinary Kids NYC– The Playdate of Champions
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.
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!
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!
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!
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Cool cards from Cocodot
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.
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!
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Salmonella and other reasons why I am afraid to eat anything ever again….
• Sparkle and Spin
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!
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)!
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.
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.
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.
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.
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Djeco Geoforme magnetic toy
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).
Sometimes you just have to see and feel a product to really appreciate the quality. This blanket from Dutch eco brand Hopsan is like that. The quality of the (organic) cotton is wonderful, it’s nice and thick but still soft and supple, and the pattern is beautiful. Remember that adorable jacket I wrote about a while ago? This blanket is from that same series. And even though I think it would be wonderful for Christmas time, of course you can use it all year round (and it looks great on the couch as well!).
As a bonus it comes with an adorable hat, and is packed in Hopsan’s signature little cardboard house. What a lovely Christmas gift…
Now that the weather is gloomy and grey, I’m craving some fresh colours and fun prints to brighten things up a bit… and I’m loving these pieces from Winter Water Factory, a Brooklyn-based company specializing in beautiful and bold textile prints. All their pieces are crafted from 100% certified organic cotton and made in the USA. I just got the yellow Winterberry Dress for Ivy and it’s such a nice contrast to the dark, muted colours in the rest of her wardrobe.
There are some really great blogs around of very talented designers who do nothing better than throw the most beautiful, picture-perfect parties. I love looking at these blogs and imagining that I too one day will be so organized that I can pull together such a feat — that I will be on time with printed invites (for once!), that the birthday cake will be made the day before (and perfect), that the table will be perfectly decorated, and that the favour bags are home sewn and filled with cute, usable objects that are earth friendly on top of it. And that I wear a pretty dress, my hair looks nice and I have some make-up on for crying out loud!
If you’re like me, and love a pretty party but are somehow too busy, un-organized, or maybe not creative enough to organize your own, I suggest you tun to Acme Party Box NOW. How cute, HOW CUTE, are these party supplies? I can’t get over it — if only I knew about them before!! Think about it — the only thing you need to do is order a box! Everything you need for a perfect party is included — the favours, the crowns, the table setting, decorations, invitations… And trust me, it’s all SO cute and thoughtfully put together, you can’t possibly not be impressed! Beautiful fabrics, Holtztiger animals for centre pieces, little jars with straws for glasses, soy wax candles for the cake, and so forth… And, unlike the many plastic party goods that end up in the trash, the Acme products can be re-used over and over again (or composted).
I think the woodland theme is my favourite…
Did you know that each year in Australia close to $1 billion is spent on unwanted gifts that end up in storage, in the bin and ultimately in landfill? Isn’t it crazy? Such awful wastage! That’s exactly how Melbournite Ashley Rosshandler felt before setting up the Karma Currency Foundation and launched Australia’s first Online Charity Gift Voucher. It works so simply. You log onto their website to buy a tax deductible Charity Gift Voucher for say…Christmas… and email it off to the recipient. The recipient then logs onto the website and decides which charities the donation will go toward. They can choose to protect rainforests, educate minds, find cures, rescue animals, offset their carbon or support the soup kitchen down the road… whatever charity is closest to their hearts. Such a genius concept! I love it! I can’t imagine a more meaningful, empowering and memorable gift than spreading the karma!