I recently ordered some custom return address stamps from Sycamore Street Press and I am in love — both with the stamps and with the fact that I no longer have to write out my address! (How did I not do this sooner? What a time saver!) I just got around to (finally) sending thank you notes from my birthday, and I felt so special stamping the back of every envelope with my own personal address stamp.
I also love their custom monogram stamps which can be used for all sorts of things — you can stamp it onto any blank notecard, inside a book cover, or onto a gift tag, etc. I’m leaving my new stamps out on my desk and can’t wait to put them to use!
Ava will be four in less than two weeks! I can’t believe my baby girl is getting so big so fast… She went through a huge growth spurt the last half year, both physically and intellectually, and she’s rapidly developing into a little school girl. Sweet!
I love having conversations with her. She’s talking so maturely at times, but at the same time keeps making adorable grammatical mistakes, or is combining two words into one (my favourite Ava word at the moment is ‘clapplause’ — which she requests every night after she’s finished her plate).
Make History!, the company we know from the gorgeous Time Capsules, has recently come up with another beautifully designed product, the Little Quote Jar. A simple glass jar with an oversized cork top, with enough space to hold the (included) notebooks and pencil, and a slot in the top to ‘post’ your quote. I’m loving it! It permanently lives on our table, in close reach to us all, so we can immediately write down all the funny things we say. (And it looks beautiful!)
Dear Mom and Dear Dad are two adorable arts & craft workbooks for children that encourage them to think carefully about their mom or their dad… and answer a bunch of funny, sweet and delightfully clever questions. Kids can choose, draw or write the correct answer to queries like ‘what is your mum amazingly good at?’ (in my case the answer was: cooking, baking cakes, playing on my iPhone, drawing and sewing), ‘what does she say when she is angry?’ (‘do I have to do everything myself?!?’), ‘what does dad do when he’s at work’ (read messages / glue stuff / play games / fire people / work on the computer / etc).
Your child will create an honest and adorable mirror that will make you chuckle, feel loved, and — thankfully — feel like a very stereotype parent at times as well!
These books make wonderful gifts to both children as their parents. Sara has been working on her ‘Dear Mom’ book, and I love the results: how touching is this portrait she drew of me? (She sees me SO much more beautiful than I really am!!)
Dear Mom and Dear Dad have recently been brought out in English, but the original books are in Dutch and available through SNOR publishers. There’s a German version in store as well! And age-wise… I think these books are best for 6-plus. Unless your child can read and write before that, of course!
PS It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday (best to gently remind your family ASAP if you haven’t done so already!), and Father’s Day is coming up as well. (Hint!)
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:
- This cheerful Tomato Poster by Fine Little Day, available at Abacus Kids (I already have the ‘Pear‘ poster in Ivy’s room, but think I might need to get this one too!)
- The origami notepaper sets from Lollipop are SO fun! The new fruit-themed ones are especially cute.
- Giant crochet cherries to make a cheerful statement in any children’s space.
- Baby’s first foods: soft vegetable rattles of course!
I’m already excited for next month’s contribution! Stay tuned…
A few weeks ago Esther and I met up in Brussels to go to the new Little Fashion Week trade fair. One of the absolute highlights was meeting the super talented Italian designer Eloise Morandi. Esther had been following her and her brand Nina and the Little Things for a few years and I got to discover it for the first time. Such a treat!
Nina is a little girl who wears a red hat and a red dress, and who wanders around thinking about Little Things. Around this world Eloise has created cards, art, games, rag books, flip books and bags which you can have a look at in the online shop. I am sure there is much more to come! Have a peek at Eloise’s blog – it is so fun to see a designer having a great time playing around with her creations!
We are big fans of the beautiful paper-cut maps of Famille Summerbelle, so we can only love this new line of notebooks that were released today. Featuring the famous World Map and the cities of London, Paris, New York City and San Francisco, they are just perfect to plan your next city trip, or use as a stylish destination for your daily scribbles. Just lovely!
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!
Sycamore Street Press is a family run paper company that you might remember from the exquisite Baby Milestones Cards I reviewed a while ago. It is run by husband and wife team Eva and Kirk Jorgensen, who raise their two gorgeous kids together and come up with the most beautiful letter-pressed and printed designs. I love their original birthday card collection — so playful and fun!
Sycamore Street Press is giving away a $100 gift voucher to the winner of our second gigantic give-away. What a great prize to win, together with 15 other awesome prizes! You can enter this give-away HERE. (If I were the winner, I know what I would choose from Sycamore Street Press: the citron, poire and pomme letterpress art prints — so pretty!)
As you might have noticed Esther, Courtney and I quite like to blog. In fact, it was Courtney who introduced me to the concept of blogging way back when our eldest kids where only a couple of months old. Since then, we started Babyccino, but have also continued our personal blogs documenting all major events in our family lives for about 8 years now. It’s fun to browse through our personal blog, but I suddenly realised the other day that, though I had spent a lot of time documenting our lives, there was no physical photos for my kids to look at. Everything was virtually kept on the world wide web. What happens if suddenly blogspot ceases to exist? I literally would have nothing!
I did a bit of research and found that you can now print your blog and make it into a book, in my case all 8 years worth of photos. It was the best Christmas present for my children! They have spent hours looking through the book and discovering themselves as babies. The photos are not the greatest quality and I cringe at the silly little sentences I wrote to go with the blog posts, but this book really is special.
Christmas came early! The Milk Anniversary Book landed on my doormat this morning and I’ve been busy admiring all of the beautiful photos inside…
Milk Magazine is celebrating its 10th birthday this year, and to celebrate the occasion they have published a gorgeous coffee table book full of the best fashion photos from the past decade. All the photos are absolutely stunning; the exceptional creativity of the Milk Magazine team combined with numerous talented photographers gives this book an immediate cult status. Truly inspirational! To purchase visit the Milk boutique here (quote code ‘babbyc’ for 5% exclusive discount).
I’ve written about her books before (here), but Ekaterina Trukhan recently got in touch to let us know about her new range of stationery and paper products in her newly launched shop. I love her sweet and cheery designs and think they really appeal both to kids and grown-ups alike. I love the new 2014 Calendar which features illustrated children appropriately dressed for the seasons of each month.
Jurianne Matter is a Dutch designer and I’m a big fan of her work. The clever ways she uses paper and patterns is just wonderful! These XL angels are new in her collection and are such a lovely way to decorate your house for the holidays.
If you don’t know Jurianne’s work yet, check out the rest of her designs here — the pop up posters are so beautiful, and many of her other products make cute little gifts to pop in the mail for far away friends… (All available through Bijzonder Mooi.)
I am so completely in love with the spanish ilustrator Tutti Confetti. I think they are not only lovely but the overall warmth and feel of them is just amazing.
Sooo nice. But my favourite are the personalized ilustrations she makes. You send her a picture and she does the most beautiful drawing full of emotions! Nico and I already have ours. And I cannot stop looking at it.
Congratulations Tutti Confetti!!
p.s. To read more from Maria, visit her lovely blog here.
Tila got her first Friendship Book to fill out last week from one of her girlfriends in kindergarten and you should have seen how proud she was first to receive it and then when she gave it back with all the information about her and the drawing she made and she even got to glue in a picture of herself! It was all she talked about for days.
I had one when I was little too so it is definitely something she needs to have as well, to remember her little friends when she gets older. And being a family that never knows when and where we’re going to move it’s even that much more important to keep those kinds of mementos.
I found just the perfect one not that far away – in Germany. Isn’t it gorgeous with its linen and silver stamped covers? And that sweet pompom bookmark? I was immediately sold.
Pleased to Meet is a sweet little online boutique full of stationery goodies founded by a German couple Daniela and Marcel who actually met in New York. They give a great deal of attention to important details like using only finest ecologically sound paper and a guarantee on high standard local production and hand assembly of products.
My eyes are set on much, much more than just this gorgeous Friendship Book for Tila (which by the way comes in English and German) but I think it would take too much space to share it here. I can only say I’m glad that holidays are just around the corner.
To read more from Polona, go to her cute blog Baby Jungle!
Ashlyn Gibson, founder of the super duper charming London children’s boutique, Olive Loves Alfie, has recently come out with a new home interiors book, and just the idea of it had me excited. I love Ashlyn’s style, and have previously drooled over images of her own home… so it is perfectly fitting that she dishes out the decor advice in her own book.
A copy of Creative Family Home recently arrived on my doorstep, and I immediately flicked through the inspiring pages. The book starts with a chapter on creative family style, focusing on the varying demands of family living. There are ideas for using your space imaginatively, practical & stylish storage solutions, and how to use colour and pattern in your decorating.
Next, the book features 12 stylish and creative homes from all over Europe and draws inspiration from their different approaches to family life and style. The featured homes are, of course, beautiful… but in a non-conformist way. In a way that celebrates individuality and the unique families and their tastes. It also includes insightful quotes from the children about their rooms, a sweet touch to an already unique and inspiring book.
You can pick up a copy of the book here.
Since Coco started to speak, ‘why’ has been one of the main words in her vocabulary. I thought it was a phase, but it has been going on for 7 years and counting! A lot of questions I can still answer, but some are now starting to get a bit too complex and we have started to resort to looking up facts together on the internet.
During one of these searches, we stumbled upon a video called “What do babies and rockets have in common?” which we loved (I personally had never even thought about the similarities between rockets and babies, apart from the fact that they are both pretty noisy).
It is based on a book by Marcus Chown called “What a Wonderful World “, which is actually for adults and full of interesting facts (so that we can pre-empt all the WHY questions).
I love these original ‘winter cards‘ by Dutch graphic designer Bibi de Lang from Bl-ij. Such a lovely alternative to the Merry Christmas or Happy New Year card! You can even send them outside the holiday season — how lovely to receive a lovely, warm (!), old-fashioned, handwritten card when it’s cold and dark outside!
But there is so much more to discover in the beautiful Bl-ij webshop. If you love stationery and paper like me, these products are going to make you very happy (‘blij’ means happy in Dutch)!
Sending birth announcements is a wonderful tradition. Here in the Netherlands, one of the first things we do after a baby is born is to let the printer know what the name, weight and time of birth of the baby is so that the birth announcement can be printed and sent out as soon as possible. I love receiving them from my friends and family!
Aren’t these custom designed birth announcements by ColorQuarry just gorgeous? Amanda McCorkle started designing them from scratch for clients around the time her little girl Ada was born in 2010. I think they are so, so lovely — there is so much detail and originality in each and every one of them.
Amanda designs beautiful wedding announcements too. Do take a look at her Etsy shop!
Craft books and sewing books might yet lead to my downfall — I have to confess that I have a slight addiction to them. Now, I don’t make nearly half of the projects in my books, but I love looking through them, dreaming of making, baking, sewing and crafting!
Hence it was impossible for me to resist the new Bell and Boo craft book, full of super cute projects. Some can be made just with a pair of scissors and paper, others do need a sewing machine. Just to give you a taster, here is a little tutorial from the book on how to make paper hot air balloons…
My sister recently suggested I read Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. She said the book had changed her life! (How’s that for a recommendation?!) Ms. Boutenko is a raw foods pioneer and natural health advocate. She writes about the immense health benefits of eating more greens — how they eliminate toxins in the body and correct nutritional deficiencies. She suggests that the easiest way to consume sufficient amount of greens is to make and drink green smoothies.
And thus began our addiction to green smoothies!! We make them every day. It’s such an easy way to eat spinach, kale, chard and other extremely healthy green vegetables. She also argues that we should be eating more of the green parts of vegetables — the green bits of strawberries (just throw the whole strawberries, stems included, into your blender!), the greens of carrots, beet greens, etc. I don’t think I’ll ever toss those green bits away again! Plus, it’s so much easier to throw it all into your blender without removing the stems.
In addition to the greens, we also add sweet fruit like bananas, mangoes, strawberries, apples, etc. So the smoothies are not only extremely healthy, they’re super yummy! My kids are as addicted as I am! Here is one of our favourite sweet green smoothie recipes from the Green for Life book:
1 cup chard
1 cup spinach
10 strawberries, stems included
1 mango, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups water
And another recipe we also like (a bit less sweet – more healthy tasting!) is this one which we’ve sort of created ourselves:
1-2 cups of spinach
1 bunch of mint, stems included
1 bunch of parsley, stems included
1 cup apple juice
Try it! It’s delicious! And please share your green smoothie recipes. We would love to have more options!