Get organised! This month’s column in Baby&Me Magazine

Baby&Me mag

Every year I promise myself I’ll be organised come the first day of school. I’ll be ready for early morning wake-ups and prepared for the rush to school. But no matter my best intentions, I’m never ready.

We still have another two weeks until school starts for my kids, but this year I’m determined to be prepared for the inevitable routine that’s coming. This month for Baby & Me Magazine I’ve rounded up some of my favourite products to help get organised: notebooks, planners, pens, name labels and an office wall organiser I’ve coveted for years. You can find my selection in this month’s issue here.

x Courtney

Custom stamps from Sycamore Street Press

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!

x Courtney

Beautifully designed Little Quote Jars, by Make History!

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!)

xxx Esther

PS I loved reading Joanna‘s post of the sweet things her son Toby says. Toby is the exact same age as Ava!

Dear Mom, Dear Dad — sweet activity books

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!

xxx Esther

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!)

My Favourite Things at Baby&Me Magazine

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:

You can read the digital version of this month’s issue here. You can also download the Baby&Me app from iTunes here. And lastly, you can now buy the magazine at newsagents around town.

I’m already excited for next month’s contribution! Stay tuned…

x Courtney

Nina and the Little Things

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!

- Emilie

New notebooks from Famille Summerbelle

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 LondonParisNew 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!

xxx Esther

Instagram books from Blurb



I ordered a couple Instagram books from Blurb last year, and they’re so fun to have! The kids love looking through them, and it’s such a nice way to turn my Instagram photos into something ‘real’.

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!

x Courtney

Sycamore Street Press birthday cards

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!)
xxx Esther

Blog2Print Photobook

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.

- Emilie

The Milk anniversary book

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).

xxx Esther

Sweet paper goods from Ekaterina Trukhan



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.

x Courtney

XL angels by Jurianne Matter

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.)

xxx Esther

Tutti Confetti, charming illustrations

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!!

Maria

p.s. To read more from Maria, visit her lovely blog here.

Friendship Book from Pleased to Meet

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.

-Polona

To read more from Polona, go to her cute blog Baby Jungle!

Creative Family Home

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.

xx Courtney

What do babies and rockets have in common?

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).

- Emilie

Original ‘winter cards’ and more happy graphics by Bl-ij

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)!

xxx Esther

ColorQuarry — original letterpress announcements


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!

xxx Esther

Belle and Boo craft book

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…

- Emilie

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