Origami napkins! (by Lollipop Design)


Aren’t these origami napkins from Lollipop design the cutest? And so clever and fun too! We always use cloth napkins for our meals — for environmental reasons, but also because I simply like the look of them. These napkins are so brilliant because they look so super cute, giving a really special touch to the table — plus, they serve some entertainment for on the table as well!

Origami napkin by Lollipop Design (photo Babyccino Kids)
Origami Napkins by Lollipop Design

My kids have each adopted an animal, and love folding and unfolding the pattern at the table. (Which, I must admit, they are so much better in than I am!) Unfolded, they are just like a normal napkin — with a really nice, interesting colour-block pattern.

Origami Napkins by Lollipop Design

I think these napkins would make such a sweet present too, maybe to bring to a dinner party? (I also have already marked them on my holiday list — can you believe that we have to start thinking of Christmas soon?)

xxx Esther

The beautiful creations of Masami Akatsuka of Cocon

cocon placematsMasami Akatsuka is a Japanese mama living in the south of France, and creator of the most delightful objects. Her artful collection, called Cocon, is entirely handmade by Masami herself, and the way she uses colour, material and detail is absolutely wonderful. There’s just so much character in all of her makings!

cocon placemats cocon placemats

I’m a serious fan of Masami’s work. We have a few of her products at home, like the placemats in these photos, and I love seeing them around me. They make everyday rituals just that extra bit delightful!

cocon bird mustard

This little bird on our sideboard is another silent reminder of Masami’s amazing craftsmanship. It’s so perfectly pretty (and sturdy and stable) and has so much expression in its little face — like a tiny piece of art.

Cocon is a very inspirational collection — I’m nowhere near as artistic as Masami, but I did put my sewing machine on the table this afternoon. A quilt is in the making! : )

xxx Esther

The Furoshiki, a Japanese wrapping cloth

Have you heard of furoshikis? They are square fabric cloths used in Japan to wrap everything from lunch, presents, picnics, pillows, groceries, you name it! Made from gorgeous printed cotton fabric, furoshikis are as beautiful as everything coming from Japan.

furoshikis japanese wrapping clothBesides the primary use of a wrap, furoshikis are also great to be used as scarfs, napkins, picnic blankets, table cloths… The biggest size can even be used as a beach bag and once on the beach, it doubles as a perfect beach sheet. The uses really are endless!

Furoshiki japanese wrap cloth
You can find a lovely range of gorgeous furoshikis in different sizes at Musubi London, and here you can learn about the different wrapping techniques. (Don’t you love the wine wrap? What an awesome present to bring to a dinner party!)

xxx Esther

New in at Donna Wilson!

donna wilson plates
I’m not very adventurous with tableware — I think it’s my OCD qualities (!) that likes my kitchen cupboards to be filled with big stacks of matching plates, bowls, mugs, etc. My kids use the same tableware as we do (this range from Ikea!), that way we don’t clutter up our cupboards with different stuff for the kids.

But… I just couldn’t resist these beautiful ceramic plates from Donna Wilson! I can’t decide whether to let the kids use them for meals (and hope they don’t break them!) or to hang them on the wall like in the photo below. Don’t they look so pretty like that?


I love everything in the new Autumn collection at Donna Wilson: beautiful scarves and bags (how fun is this coin purse?), colourful lambswool cushions, and a whole range of playful items for kids.

Donna Wilson accessories
Donna Wilson scarves
donna wilson kids
I love how the Donna Wilson products always have an element of playfulness about them. They’re always beautiful, but also quite quirky and fun too.

Courtney x

SipSnap drinking lids

sipsnap lids
quin drinking
Leave it to a duo of mums to come up with something so simple yet so useful. After launching the hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, two mums, Sativa Turner and Michelle Ivankovic, have come out with a range of BPA-free, spill-proof lids that fit any cup, any time. The SipSnap drinking lids are to be used at home so you can clear out all the plastic kiddie cups taking up valuable space in your kitchen cupboards, or to be used on-the-go so you always have a sippy cup with you at restaurants or friends’ houses, etc. So smart!

There are two types of lids — the SipSnap TOT with a sippy lid or the SipSnap KID with a hole that fits any sized straw. All the lids are dishwasher safe, fit over any sized cup, come with a handy case so you can easily throw in your handbag, and come in a variety of fun colours.


marlow with sippy cup
marlow drinking juice
We tested out the SipSnap lids at Esther’s house last week and they worked perfectly. I loved that we could just slip on a lid over any of Esther’s normal drinking glasses, and my kids were safe to drink away without spilling all over her beautiful new house. : )

Courtney x

My First Opinel

h23143003-1My grandfather once told me that every good French woman had a pen knife in her handbag. Now, that might have been a slight exaggeration, but a lot of us do have a couple of Opinels, the ubiquitous French pen knife. I have a small one to slip into my handbag to slice apples and divide cakes for snacks. I also have a bigger one for picnics!

I think it is so cute that Opinel is now doing a pen knife for kids, with a rounded blade. It not a toy but a fully functioning knife that is relatively sharp and can be used to help out at picnics and possibly cut down a couple of twigs. I guess I am teaching my kids how to become good French woman from a young age. My grandfather would be proud. ; )

– Emile

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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


Hokolo is a London-based design label started by Jen Taylor, who has set out to create a brand that represents the style of her two favourite cities: Hong Kong and London (hence the brand name). Her collection features a blend of iconic British objects with a bright & modern design aesthetic.
I love the English Breakfast collection which plays on strong graphic qualities of fried eggs, tomatoes, blueberries and orange slices set against colourful backdrops and gingham-inspired patterns. The designs are bright, modern and playful and can be found on soft, lambswool blankets, placemats and coasters, cotton tea towels and other homewares.

Jen is offering Babyccino readers 15% off the entire Hokolo collection. Click here for details.

x Courtney

Weekend brownie baking and cute aprons from Odette Williams

The lovely Odette Williams sent over a couple of her cute apron sets for my kids and they arrived just in time for some brownie baking over the weekend. I managed to snap a couple photos of my little helpers and thought I would share.

If you haven’t yet discovered the Smitten Kitchen brownie recipe, you should do so immediately. It’s my go-to recipe! And if your kids need some aprons to encourage them to help you in the kitchen, you should check out these great sets. (They also make good gifts I think!)

x Courtney

An 8th birthday party with a cooking theme

It was Pim’s 7th birthday last Monday so I’m planning a little birthday party for him, and I realised that I never posted about the cooking party we had for Sara’s birthday last year!

Sara has enjoyed food since she was a baby, and she loves helping me in the kitchen. So it was no surprise when she asked for a cooking party for her 8th birthday! She invited 8 of her girl friends, and like always, party preparations took place the day before the party (let’s just say, I’m at my best the very last minute).

I bought a huge pile of cheap, unbleached cotton at the market, and together with my mother-in-law sewed 11 aprons out of it (of course Pim and Ava were invited too). I also bought cutting boards, knives, notebooks and pencils. I made a triangular stamp out of a simple eraser, and decorated everything with triangles. I also stamped the children’s names on all of the items.

We set the table with the different veggies and toppings needed for the healthy Vietnamese Style Rice Paper Rolls I blogged about earlier. The children loved cutting everything on their own cutting boards, and writing down the ingredients and recipe in their little notebook. And even very picky eaters found ingredients on the table that they loved!

Afterwards, the notebooks and pencils came in handy for the treasure hunt we had organised in the neighbourhood. And of course, they could all take home a little party bag with the items we had made for them. It was a really fun party!

xxx Esther

Famille Summerbelle new mugs and trays

I am a huge, long-standing fan of Famille Summerbelle as I really do admire the craft and hard work that goes into making each one of their beautiful pieces. (Remember this video?)

Famille Summerbelle  has just brought out a new range of mugs and trays and I am very partial toward the Paris designs. I love giving people nice souvenirs of my beautiful city and nice souvenirs like these are really not easy to come by.

– Emilie

Strong porcelain tableware from Colourful Dove

Colourful Dove creates fine bone china tableware sets for children that are really fun and different. There are four designs, each featuring their own animal, in a fresh bright colour. Each set consists of a little mug, perfectly sized for a child’s hand, and a bowl and plate.

Ava owns a Colourful Dove set (the lion!), and I’m so impressed by the quality. The porcelain is beautiful and thin, but at the same time it’s incredibly strong. I also like the clean and modern graphics of the items!

Each set comes in a beautiful gift box — a good holiday present, maybe?

xxx Esther

The Little Things… an easy-to-sew child’s apron made from a dish towel!

For this week’s The Little Things, I’m showing you how to make a super sweet, and super easy-to-make child’s apron out of a dish towel! No kidding, if you have a sewing machine (or know someone who does!), you can make this apron.

One simple dish towel and two (shoe) laces is everything you need to get started!

The sweet image above (drawn by Sara Musch) shows you exactly how to do it. Click here for your free download! And yes — it is really that easy. You only need to sew seven straight lines! Two for the arm holes, and five for the pockets…

My mum taught me to use a safety pin to easily thread a ribbon through a channel. It works really well!

The end result is cute as a button. And what a sweet gift for the holidays!

Enjoy making this… (And please share the result in the comments below!)

xxx Esther

PS  This is the third post in a series which is called ‘The Little Things’. Thank you Maud Fontein for taking the beautiful photos, and Sara Musch for the sweet download! I used an apron and shoelaces from Hema, and Ava’s shirt is from Nils & Happy to see you.

Top Ten Lunchtime Utensils

Some kids are already back at school, others will start next week. And of course, young ones are still home or will be starting at nursery. In any case, casual summer lunches are over and set lunchtimes will soon be happening in either a home or school setting. This week we’ve rounded up ten great products to make lunchtime a more stylish, eco, and efficient affair! Check out our selection here.

xx Courtney

Messy Me: stylish products made for mess

I’m one of those (unorganised) mums who doesn’t carry around a baby bag. I usually just tote around a canvas bag with my wallet, phone, snacks, toys (and various junk!) and a few spare nappies and wipes. Nothing is ordered or separated and when I need to change Marlow, I usually end up stressfully digging in my bag for that loose nappy at the bottom.

Thankfully, Helen from Messy Me just sent me one of her oilcloth clutch bags which is just the thing I needed to keep nappies and wipes in their own little designated place within my everyday tote. The bag also includes a wipe-clean oilcloth mat for changing babies on the go. Simple, but perfectly functional!

Messy Me has a great selection of oilcloth products, including bibs, tunics, highchair covers, mats, and tablecloths, perfect for messy meals and messy art projects, etc. I love the fun star designs, and how pretty is the floral design too? All the products are available to purchase on the Messy Me site.

x Courtney

Beaba Babycook

We are big fans of the Beaba Babycook! In fact, I gave ours away a couple years ago, thinking I wasn’t going to have any more babies (whoops!) … but now that Marlow is eating solids and I’m making food for her, I just had to get a new one.  It saves time, eliminates mess, and makes the whole weaning process so much easier.

The Babycook is a 4-in-1 product that steam cooks, blends, defrosts and reheats. In the initial weaning stages you can steam veggies (carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes broccoli, courgettes, etc.) and fruits (apples, pears, and anything else that needs to be steamed before blending) and then easily blend it all in the same contraption.  You can also use it to make little smoothies from fruits and veggies like strawberries, blueberries, mango, banana, spinach, etc. Now that Marlow is eating fish and chicken, I’ve also been adding that to steamed veggies and blending it all up for protein meals. Easy peasy.

The Babycook is available from VUP Baby, along with other great Beaba products (I love their spoons and storage pots!) And when you’re finished weaning, it’s wise not to give it away (!!) because you can also use it as a little mini-prep for sauces, or smaller smoothies, etc.

x Courtney

p.s. The VUP Baby sale is now on! With up to 60% off! So definitely pop over to browse their sale section.

Perfect Picnics!

Did you know that last week was National Picnic Week here in the UK? It’s an initiative to encourage people to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. (With this lousy weather we’re having, it’s true we all need a bit of encouragement! Blaaah!)

Anyway, we thought we would roll with the picnic theme and find ten cute products for perfect picnics. Check out our Top Ten selection this week. And let’s hope for warmer picnicking weather!

x Courtney

Natalie Lété water bottles

I love, love these little water bottles that I discovered today at the Noeuf Pop Up Shop, which happens to be just around the corner from where I work (If you happen to be in the rue des Petits Ecuries in the 10th arrondissement in Paris until the 22nd of June, do pop in!).

We use these types of water bottles a lot, as I try to keep our use of plastic bottles to a minimum. Often they are practical but not very pretty, so it is nice to see some pretty, colourful designs on something we use almost every day!

– Emilie

Radish Moon porringers

A few days back I took a photo of the porringer I had as a baby, and which I still use daily for my children. It is just the perfect size and shape, shallow with a ridge, so it’s easy to scoop out the purees or soup. The thick stoneware ensures the food quickly cools down a little, but also keeps the food naturally lukewarm afterwards. I love that porringer, and I still remember eating from it as a child! (On Instagram, there were a few people who told me they had exactly the same porringer as a child, and many of them still have them! Do you still have yours?)

I really treasure these old relics from my childhood, and I love it when I visit friends or family from my parents’ generation, and they pull out the stoneware dishes and silverware they used as a child and still have and use for their grandchildren.

Sarah Nicholas Williams of Radish Moon recognised the beauty and practicality of those vintage dishes, and started producing a series of handmade stoneware porringers adorned with her gorgeous, whimsical watercolour illustrations. And they are absolutely beautiful! They are dishwasher and microwave safe, so practical for families, and have a similar shape and thickness to my vintage Peter Rabbit dish (which I’ve tried and tested for long enough to know it is perfect)! I have already placed my order, hoping that one day, my children can pull out a Radish Moon porringer for their grandchildren.

xxx Esther

Got to love eggs!

Do your kids love eggs so much too? Ava, our 2 year old, is especially a total egg addict — she could eat 5 eggs a day if I let her! My mum used to say that eating more than 3 eggs a week was bad for your health, it would be bad for your cholesterol level (and thus blamed for an increased risk of heart disease). Nowadays, thoughts about eggs are quite different — apparently they are great sources of protein and vitamins, and eating one egg a day has positive effects on health and cholesterol levels rather than negative ones. Good for Ava (and good for the Easter bunny)!

xxx Esther

PS The cute heart-shaped egg cup is by Ginger from Family Nation.

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