Manimal

When Esther and I were in NYC this past weekend we had the enormous pleasure of meeting the lovely Kirsten Lombardi, founder and creator of Manimal. We fell so in love with her moccasins that we immediately bought a matching pair of baby moccasins for Marlow and Casper, and then just couldn’t resist buying matching moccasins for ourselves! (Because friends who wear matching moccasins together stay together, I guess!) : )

Manimal was started in 2004 after Kirsten’s first visit to the American Southwest.  Inspired by the traditional costumes and accessories of the area, Kristen developed a deep appreciation for the almost forgotten world of artisan crafts and craftsmanship. She went on to create a line of handmade leather moccasins and accessories for women, followed by the most adorable line for babies and children.  All the products are handmade by craftspeople in Brooklyn, NY and other parts of New England.

It’s a good thing Kristen didn’t have any of her gorgeous tote bags with her when we saw her because I’m pretty sure I would have been tempted to buy one of those too! And then I might have risked divorce from my husband for having spent all our money in NYC! Ha!

x Courtney

Anja Schwerbrock ‘Treehouse’ collection


Fashion designer Anja Schwerbrock is originally from Germany, and after spending some years in Japan (designing for Comme des Garçons!) she moved to Antwerp with her Danish husband to established her own fashion label. Quite an international affair! I loved meeting Anja over the weekend when I was in Antwerp. She’s such a fun, clever and pretty young woman. And obviously very talented — her fashion is amazing, and I hope one day I’ll be able to squeeze myself into one of her creations.

Last year, following the birth of her little boy, Anja started a baby fashion collection called ‘Treehouse‘ which is in one word adorable. I love the simple shapes, the dark colours, the natural fabrics. Most of the pieces are made so they can be worn for a long time: sleeves can be rolled and trousers can hang low and gradually become more fitted. The little outfit Casper is wearing here is from Treehouse, and it’s just perfect! I also had a little peak at the summer collection — with linen overalls and layered dresses. Swoon!

xxx Esther

Titlee, and Little Titlee

One of the exciting new discoveries we made at Playtime last weekend, is the Parisian jewellery brand Titlee (for adults) and Little Titlee (for kids). We instantly fell in love with the simple and fun designs! The strong graphics combined with the delicate chains result in very cool, contemporary and urban pieces, which are great for adults and children alike. I really love everything in the collection, and am tempted, sooo tempted…

xxx Esther

Winter Holiday Shopping Guide

….. and boom! Suddenly the holidays are upon us. I walked passed Galerie Lafayette today, saw the Christmas display and suddenly realised: summer is over and there are only a few weeks left until the holidays! How does time go so fast? As usual, I decided to get organised early this year. And as usual, that is something very, very hard to accomplish for a chaotic person like me. So I am most  thankful for the internet and for the Babyccino Holidays Gift Guide. It has so much cool stuff that I know my kids, nephews, nieces, godchildren and friends would love! Here are some of my favourites: this super cute glitter poncho, the red riding hood teamug, the retro train bed linen and the tactile racing car.

And do you know what I love most about this gift guide? It is the perfect link to send on to my brothers who are always wondering what they should get for my girls. Voila, problem solved!

– Emilie

38 weeks pregnant and thankful for Koka Mama

I have gotten to the point in my pregnancy where the only thing I can comfortably wear are leggings. (I had a funny conversation with my 7-year-old the other day where he asked me why I always take him to school in my ‘pyjamas’. I told him they weren’t my pyjamas, they were ‘leggings’ and he said ‘but they look like your pyjamas’. I had to set him straight right then and there: there are the good leggings I can wear out of the house and then there are the thinner, grosser leggings I wear to bed! And the two are DIFFERENT!) My poor kids probably think I’ve been running around town in my pyjamas!

Anyway, I’m so thankful for my good leggings – the Koka Mama pair that has gotten me through this pregnancy… as well as this tunic style dress, which is SO comfortable it practically feels like pyjamas! Actually, the entire new collection at Koka Mama is both stylish and cosy, and definitely worth the investment to get you through the 40th week of pregnancy, both stylishly and comfortably.

-Courtney

Fina Du

New collections have been coming in at Fina Du, and I’ve been drooling over the gorgeous pieces in the current collection. All the pieces are just so timeless and special, and perfect for different occasions (work, Sunday lunch, a Christmas party…). I just love the way Susanne, the Swedish born, Manhattan-based owner of Fina Du, puts her selections together. Pieces seem simple at first glance, but don’t be fooled. The high-quality fabrics and the attention to detail (like vintage buttons, clever pleats and sumptuous bows), make the pieces incredibly sophisticated, stylish and elegant, yet still very easy to wear. Don’t forget to check out the ‘details’ selection too — so super pretty (I own these earrings and love them). A good thing to keep in mind for Christmas, maybe?

xxx Esther

PS Babyccino Kids readers can now shop at Fina Du for 25% off PLUS free worldwide shopping, AND have the chance of winning a whopping $200 gift voucher — October only!

The Il Tutto Georgia Hobo: A very stylish baby bag!

The Il Tutto Georgie Hobo is a changing bag in good disguise. Not made from wipeable plastic material with ugly prints, no oversized shoulder straps or giant buggy clips in sight. Instead, it is made from luxurious and soft Italian leather, featuring the most beautiful detailing, with a cool and relaxed, slouchy look. In fact, it is as fashionable and stylish as any other it-bag of the season! But don’t be tricked — this is, in fact, a proper baby bag, with all the necessary and handy practicalities you could ever wish for. Like insulated pockets, large zip pockets, a removable change mat, bottle holder and wet pack, a dummy clip, phone holder, pen pockets… And it does come with that extra, strong and adjustable buggy strap. The waterproof lining can be easily zipped out and washed, and, best of all, once it is removed the bag is also fully lined, making it super easy to transform it into a regular handbag. Clever!

xxx Esther

Madderson London — the ultimate chic in maternity wear

Madderson London is a new London-based maternity label that is chic, comfortable, luxurious, and easy to wear, no matter what sort of occasion you’re heading off to. Be it something fancy for work, looking dressy for an evening out, or a simple but stylish dress for a weekend lunch with friends? Bingo: a Madderson London dress will make you look beautiful and make you feel ever so comfortable and relaxed. For instance the gorgeous Saturday dress: it’s much more agreeable to wear than jeans, and paired with sandals it’s great for wearing during the day, whereas with heels or cute ballet flats and some chunky jewellery the perfect option for evenings. Or the Juno dress, made from beautifully printed stretch-silk — such a statement piece! Pregnant or not: this dress is a winner no matter what. Personally, I’m wearing the Olivia dress today. It’s really flattering in all the right places, and so comfortable to wear. What a wonderful new maternity brand (I’m glad I can still enjoy it for a little while longer)!

xxx Esther

Séraphine multi-functional nursing shawl


I love the versatility of this nursing shawl from Séraphine! What a perfect piece — lovely to wear as a throw or a scarf when you’re pregnant (it’s super comfy to wear and looks very stylish), great to use as a nursing cover when it’s a bit chilly or you feel very exposed, and handy to have around as a blanket or swaddle for the baby. Best of all — this piece won’t lose it’s attractiveness after pregnancy and nursing — I’m sure it will stay a staple in my wardrobe! Available at Séraphine (online or at one of the shops).

xxx Esther

HATCH Maternity

I recently got some photos taken with my kids by the talented Sara Welch when I was home in the US this summer. Because I’m usually the one behind the camera it’s rare to find a photo of me with my kids, so it’s a special treat to have these photos. It’s also sort of fun to document my growing baby bump, no matter the qualms I have of my big pregnant body. I keep telling myself that this is the last time I’ll ever be pregnant, and I should enjoy my body, enjoy this feeling of carrying around a baby inside of me… and all the pains (and gains!) that come with it.

I wore my shirt dress from HATCH for the photos. I finally decided to invest in a few of their dresses, and I’m so happy I did. I’m really psyched about them because I think I’ll still be able to wear them even after the pregnancy is over and my body has (hopefully) gone back to normal. A worthwhile investment for sure!

Anyway, I wanted to share these photos with you. Might be the last time I ‘show off’ this baby bump. I’ve got 10 weeks to go!

xx Courtney

Pretty, feel-good maternity wear from Koka Mama

Last week I made a quick one-day visit to London, for the opening of the  Koka Mama pop-up shop in the Hop Like a Bunny store near Holland Park. I felt quite like a business woman, traveling from Amsterdam to London like that, and despite the stress of nearly missing my flight both ways (guess I’m not so much of a business woman after all), I had a really fun day. Hop Like a Bunny is a darling little shop with the best selection of some of our favourite brands, and I’m glad Maria (the owner) partnered with Tamara from Koka Mama because the beautiful children’s clothes and maternity fashion truly complements each other.

Koka Mama is a new maternity brand, with wonderful, easy-to-wear pieces that can be dressed up or down, and will also make extremely flattering additions to your wardrobe after your pregnancy. (In other words — these are gorgeous, timeless items that every woman will love, cut in a way so you can also look beautiful in them if you happen to be pregnant.) Courtney and I are so happy that we invested in a few key pieces from the Koka Mama collection — already getting a lot of use out of each piece. In the photo, Courtney is wearing the gorgeous Dress with Tie, and I’m wearing the silk chiffon Full Length Dress which I love.

The Koka Mama pop-up shop will be at Hop Like a Bunny until the 15th of July, and there will be a great discount on all the wonderful fashion. If you’re not in London, Koka Mama is also offering an exclusive 20% off to all Babyccino Kids readers (check here for details).

xxx Esther

Beatrice Valenzuela Shoes

I love when designers offer solid adult and children lines, and no one does it more skillfully than angeleno designer, Beatrice Valenzuela. Her styles are wildly popular here in Los Angeles, both for the craftsmanship and beautiful colors. All of her shoes are handcrafted by artisans in her native Mexico City and are truly unique, durable pieces. I am dying to get a pair of mama/daughter combinados! Truly the only occasion I would match clothes with my toddler.

-Elizabeth

(Second image found here)

In hopes of a stylish pregnancy

I just spent a good long time on Pinterest filling my brain with images of stylishly dressed pregnant women. Not sure if I feel better or worse! On one hand, when I look at photos of gorgeous pregnant women I feel optimistic that it’s possible to be stylish in pregnancy… but in reality, I don’t have a supermodel’s body (shame!) and I find it really tricky to be stylish and comfortable.

But… with a growing baby bump and clothes which are getting tight and uncomfortable, I spent the past week investing in a few maternity pieces which I’m hoping will help keep things somewhat fashionable around here. Here are a few good maternity pieces I found:

  • I invested in a pair of Koka-Mama black leggings. They are the best! They’re nice and thick, so you feel more like you are wearing a trouser, but they’re as comfortable as a legging (I wear these practically every day).
  • I also pulled out my old Séraphine secret support vests and bought myself a new white one to wear under all my tops. These are a must have (I sleep in them too!).
  • I went to Topshop and got this swimsuit and these jeans, both necessary maternity items. I love Topshop jeans — they’re cheap and they fit well, even the maternity ones.
  • And of course I picked up a couple pairs of these leggings (for lounging around the house 24/7). They come up over the bump, so there’s no awkward elastic anywhere near your lower belly.
  • I love the look of the entire Hatch Maternity collection (pictured above)…but so far haven’t bought anything. It’s hard to spend money on maternity pieces when you know you’ll only wear it for a few months. (Although the clothes at Hatch are meant to be worn both during and after pregnancy… so maybe it’s worth the investment?!)

What about you? Do you have any must-have maternity pieces I should know about? And… are you like me — do you immediately take your jeans off the minute you walk in your door and swap for something comfortable? Or am I just a major slouch?! (I think my postman thinks I only wear leggings and a big jumper!)

x Courtney

PS – Images from Hatch.

No cold feet! With Collegien

Do you ask your children to take off their shoes when they enter the house? It wasn’t a rule for me when I was a kid (unless I wore my wellies), nor was it a common thing in other households. Even still, adults won’t take off their shoes when they step inside a house here in the Netherlands, so I don’t ask my grown-up guests, but I do ask kids (visitors and mine) to throw their shoes in a basket next to the front door when they enter. My kids and I always wear slippers in my house — it’s so much more comfortable, and hygienic, I feel!

Collegien is a French brand  with the most wonderful slippers imaginable. I love these slippers for my kids, so cute and easy! There are many great designs and models — how cute are the short summer ballet flats in the bright colours and happy stripes. Adult sizes are also available, so you can treat your husband to a pair (it’s Father’s Day soon), and you probably could use a pair for yourself as well! These slippers are also great for babies who are just starting to walk — warm, comfy, and anti-slip.

Don’t you love all those sweet designs?

xxx Esther

Carry All

I am a bit obsessed with the spring/summer collection at baggu. With back to back trips to Bali and Turks and Caicos, I wanted some light, summery bags for the beach and these fit the bill perfectly. They fold up easily and are great for trips to the beach, market or for holding all of your little one’s coloring books, crayons and snacks for the plane. I can’t wait to get the leather one in citron!

-Elizabeth

Waanaki

I recently came across this great online shop based in LA called Waanaki (which means ‘to live in peace’). Owner Nanette Sulano focuses on carefully curated vintage pieces for children age zero to six. Check out the shoes and accessories for some great one of a kind pieces!

-Elizabeth

Avarcas USA

Anyone who is from Spain, has family from Spain, or has been to Spain will be familiar with Avarcas sandals. I lived in Spain for a bit when I was a teenager on a study abroad program and everyone I knew wore these sandals. I ended up buying a couple pairs and bringing them home to America… to envious friends and family members!

Noelia Pahissa and her husband, both originally from Barcelona but currently living in California, have decided to start a company importing and selling the treasured avarcas in the USA. They launched AvarcasUSA where you can now buy avarcas in any size and style, all originally hand-crafted in Spain. How cute are the kiddie sizes? And they come in such fun colours! (I got the saffron colour for Ivy and they are ADORABLE!).

x Courtney

Stella Cove Swimwear

It’s warm and sunny in Amsterdam so time to prepare for the summer season! (Yay!) Because Sara will pass her 3rd swimming exam today (part of the test: swimming with jeans, long-sleeved shirt, shoes and a raincoat on!), and the state of her current swimsuits is embarassing to say the least, I ordered her some new swimsuits from the wonderful Stella Cove collection. The package just arrived (very fast!), and the swimsuits are so beautiful! I love the prints, the quality (all lined!), and the models. Sweet!
Do you know Stella Cove yet? They have a stunning collection of bikinis, swimsuits, shorts and adorable cotton beach dresses, both for boys and girls, from toddler to teenager. They also have a gorgeous selection of swimwear for mamas. Very, very tempting! Too bad this mama already passed her swimming exams…

xxx Esther

Lovely trinkets from Rootsliving

Rootsliving is a new UK-based company run by Charlotte Kjeldsen, a lovely Danish mum who stays true to her ‘roots’ by sourcing all the products from Scandinavia (mostly Denmark). She carries one of my favourite Danish brands, Rie Elise Larsen, as well as other little Scandinavian treasures. Find everything from homewares and accessories to children’s fashion and decor. I like the selection of jewellery, I love these yellow candlesticks, and you’ll probably be interested to know that all the children’s clothing is now half off!

x Courtney

Koka Mama Maternity Wear

I am so excited for all you pregnant mamas to announce the launch of Koka Mama. Finally… here is a maternity label which is perfectly spot on in every way. It’s stylish and modern, it’s also quite practical and it’s very thoughtfully designed with clever cuts and special details to fit and flatter the pregnant body.

Tamara Hema, the (very stylish!) founder and designer, came over to my house recently with a big suitcase filled with her collection. She set each piece out on my kitchen table and walked me through all the tiny details which make each piece wonderful.  All the trousers, for example, have not one elastic band in the waist, but two — to support the belly from below, and also to rise a bit high in the back to fit, support and stay up. Clever!

Each piece is better than the next, and all available to purchase directly from the Koka Mama website.

x Courtney

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