Party kits from My Little Day

Yesterday was my son Quin’s 6th birthday and we had a little party for him after school. I followed Esther’s idea and told him he could invite six friends because he is 6 years old. I picked the kids up from school, brought them back home, and we played a few games in the garden, played pass-the-parcel, had a little dance party, and then they ate dinner and made ice cream ‘mondays’ (since it was not a Sunday – it was a Monday!). It was good old-fashioned simple fun. And I was really so unorganised, that all of the party prep happened in the two hours before I picked them up from school!

Thank goodness for the My Little Day party kits. They seriously saved the day! I bought this kit and it had everything I needed to set up a perfect party table. In fact, it made me look deceivingly organised when in fact I was not! Here’s a picture of our kitchen table before the chaos ensued…

And you can also buy other matching party supplies like party hats, goody bags, and bunting. All from the new My Little Day collection.

Being unorganised has never paid off so well. Thank you My Little Day!

xx Courtney

Pretty Spring party dresses by Millie Manu

Spring flowers are finally in bloom in our garden — I saw daffodils this morning! This means that Spring is around the corner, with all its positiveness. A sweet smell in the air, gorgeous flowers sprucing up everywhere, fresh green leaves on the trees, the first picnics on freshly mown lawns, little boys in shorts and stripy jumpers, little girls in their new spring dresses… I can get pretty excited about it all. (I would be perfectly happy skipping the first three months of the year — cold, wet, boring and depressing as far as I’m concerned!)

I think the above dresses of the newly launched party collection by Millie Manu are just so, so perfect for any kind of celebration this coming season. I just couldn’t resist the mint green Flo Dress for Ava — so gorgeous! It’s entirely made out of silk — chiffon on the outside, and lined with silk as well. It has lovely little details and is made beautifully.

She’ll be the queen of the ball with Easter this year — and we’re all so excited because Courtney and her family will join us in Amsterdam to celebrate together!

xxx Esther

Miko Design

Mikodesign is a small Dutch label owned by the lovely Erika Harberts. Erika lives in Rotterdam with her husband and two darling daughters (who have inherited 100% of their mother’s good taste and creativity!), in a beautifully decorated flat with a little studio space in which she creates all of her amazing dolls, DIY kits, and other cute accessories.

Erika is one of the most creative women I have ever met. She designs and screen prints her own fabrics (look at this gorgeous onesie she made for Casper — it has an Amsterdam skyline on it; bakfiets included!), she keeps a beautiful and extremely inspiring blog, even designed and made an adorable play house in the garden a few years ago. The birthday parties she organises for her two girls are simply AMAZING — I think my favourite must be the Magritte detective party, but this Frida party is fantastic as well (and evolved in a line of beautiful Frida dolls and DIY kits). What an amazing, creative woman! (Who also happens to be super kind and sweet and pretty!)

You can buy Erika’s designs from the Mikodesign webshop or her Etsy shop, and follow her on Instagram here.
xxx Esther

A disco party!

Our son Pim turned 6 years old last week. Six already! Time goes so fast… Wasn’t it only yesterday that he was a tiny little baby, the cutest little toddler…? Anyway (sigh), Pim loves everything to do with music and dance, so he requested for his birthday a ‘disco party’. Even though I wasn’t too inspired about the whole idea in the beginning, I think we managed to turn the party into something fun and special!
First, Pim and I stamped the invites with potato letter stamps using neon gouache. That was a nice activity for just the two of us. Then, I ordered sweatbands for all of the kids, a disco ball (the biggest expense!), and a moustache for my husband. I found glittery tattoos somewhere and bought some hairspray. The evening before the party we quickly sewed up 9 disco outfits out of cheap, glittery stretch spandex we got from the market. Spandex is easy to sew — it doesn’t frill, so no zigzagging or seams are required. You don’t even need to pin it! It was really super fast and easy.
In the meantime, my husband kept himself busy with a playlist for the party using youtube. We had Michael Jackson, Gangham style (plus a Gangham style instruction video — see the video below!), the famous chicken dance from the ’70’s (yeah!), the Macarena (yeah!), plus some more random songs that we knew the kids would love.
The party was a grand success! First, we played Pass the Parcel and each layer revealed a disco outfit for one of the kids. After, we gave them each a couple of glittery tattoos plus made their hair wild with the hairspray. The girls got side ponytails. We played musical chairs, and afterwards danced on all of the songs. The kids loved it!

We decorated cupcakes, Pim got tons of little presents, and at the end, we had a pretty exhausted bunch of children hanging on the couch, watching cartoons. Of course all the children could take their disco outfits home, and I’ve heard that they’ve been wearing their headbands to school every day. Fun!

xxx Esther

Djeco Stupix

My girls do think they have the most hilarious sense of humor, but it reminds me of the kind of humour pre-pubescent boys might have: It’s just not really refined. (Their idea of a good joke is making fart noises.)
You can just imagine their joy when I took them to buy a present for their friend’s birthday party recently and they discovered a prank box by made by Djeco. It contains 6 prank items, from a whoopie cushion to a camera that squirts water.
It amused me slightly that this box had been sorted under the category “educational toys”. I don’t think it is very educational — but it is a lot of fun!

I got this from Enfant Lyre, our all time favorite children’s book shop in Paris, but you can also order it off Amazon France.

- Emilie

Mini candy bars

Today I am so happy to write about Terron de Azucar, a lovely spanish brand, run by Rebeca, which makes the most beautiful mini candy bars!!! All in them are so full of details, and all of that in a mini size.

Aren’t they lovely? All made by hand by her and personalized with the theme you want. It makes a wonderful present for the kids. I have tried them myself and I can say they are just wonderful.

Great job Terron de Azucar!


DIY: Stick Horses

My daughter Coco, was born one cold night at the end of December. It was a cozy time — we stayed inside, everyone was in a festive mood as her birthday fell between Christmas and New Year, so just added in an extra celebration. But one thing that never occurred to me at the time, was the extra complexity of celebrating a party with energetic under 10-year-olds inside; it is either raining or snowing! I am really envious of Courtney, whose eldest son was born in June. She can just let the hoard loose in the garden.

Our birthday parties always need a bit of extra planning and a bit of an activity to keep everyone entertained… and this year the request by the birthday girl was a pony party.  No more, no less. So after a bit of head scratching and internet research, we decided on the following: Stick horses made out of plywood to be decorated at the party (very much inspired by Esther’s stickhorses and knight parties).

It was a ton of fun and the bonus was all the games afterwards were naturally pony-themed. Musical horses (every time you remove a horse instead of a chair), the dancing statue game done while galloping on horses, carrot cake and apple tarte as birthday cakes (’cause ponies like apples and carrots).

It was such a success that Violette has already commissioned a puppy-themed party for her birthday party in April — so it is back to the drawing board!

- Emilie

Beat the January (and February) blues!

Last Monday was apparently ‘Blue Monday’ — the most depressing day of the whole year! Courtney and I are always complaining about January and February months here in Northern Europe — it’s dark, cold, wet, the kids are sick and there is not a lot to look out to. Well, on Blue Monday, I put up a few pompoms in front of our living room window to brighten things up a bit, and it had an instant happyfying result. The pompoms are available from Visje bij de Thee — along with many more gorgeous products that would make my January/February blues melt in an instant. I also made this quick Lemon Poppyseed Drizzle cake, and treated myself to some some new Marimekko coffee cups. We’ve got to do what we can, don’t we?!
What’s the weather like where you are??

xxx Esther

Linen Party Hats from Colette Bream

For Christmas this year Esther sent my kids these adorable little party hats. It was one of the first things we opened on Christmas morning and so my kids spent the remainder of Christmas wearing them. It made for some super cute and festive photos (see here, here and here)! The handmade linen hats are so sweet and are such a fun little thing to wear for any celebration. I’m already excited to use them for upcoming birthday parties this year.

The hats are available from the ColetteBream Etsy shop along with so many other cute, cute things. (Seriously, this shop is one of my favourites on Etsy!).

x Courtney

Cake Pops

Some gadgets are essential in life, like a can opener and, for me, an espresso maker. Others are not essential at all, but really fun to have.

Take the cake pops maker, which my girls were given for Christmas. It will definitely not be used daily, but it is great to have for rainy afternoons and birthday parties. It’s actually a great alternative to cupcakes.

I know cake pops have been around a while now in the US and the UK, but they have not arrived in Paris yet, so I am looking forward to introducing them to Paris, one cake pops at a time!

- Emilie

Imaginative party selections at Carousel

I just received a little package with a selection of stocking fillers and toys from new shop on the block Carousel… and oh, how pretty it all is! Carousel recently launched with a beautifully designed webshop and a superb selection of children’s party products. Everything about Carousel is just so stylish — the website, the branding, the presentation of the products, the selection of products itself, the way orders are wrapped… Clearly a lot of thought and care went into every aspect of the design of this great shop.

You will find great decor, fun tableware, a great dress up selection, stylish stationery, and a wonderful selection of toys and sweets for stocking fillers and party bags. This is really the perfect place and one stop destination for everything you need for your kid’s next birthday party.

xxx Esther

Sewing Christmas Cards

Today I would like to share the Christmas Cards we made at home this year which I posted in eb&m this week. With craft paper and a sewing machine we made the envelopes, and the cards.

With a snowflake punch I  garnished the cards a little bit.

And then Nico painted them!! Now we have to do some more, and we are waiting for the day to send them. I love receiving Christmas Cards in the mailbox. Don’t  you?

Many people asked me about sewing paper. If  the paper has enough weight you have no problem and it sews just perfectly!

- Maria Cañal

The Kid Who — for great gift giving!

The Kid Who is a freshly launched online store with a great collection of the coolest contemporary children’s products. Simply everything is want-able in this shop, for kids and for their parents alike. I love how fresh and fun the products are.

Besides the superb collection of gifts, the collection of wrapping paper, gift-tags and cards is also really great. So fun and so original. At The Kid Who, the whole act of shopping, wrapping and giving becomes a party by itself. I will definitely be shopping by this season!

xxx Esther

Last Minute Halloween Costumes

This year for Halloween Henrik is going as a bat and Maja will be Red Riding Hood.  I like to keep Halloween costumes simple, something we have at home or they can wear over and over again as dress up.

Henrik has been talking about being a bat for Halloween for a long time now and I was happy to oblige (some of his other ideas sounded very complicated and involved).  His costume was so easy to make, for the bat body I bought a black long sleeve shirt and leggings in the girl’s section of the department store. To make the wings I cut two pieces of felt, black and gray, in the shape of bat wings.  I cut the black felt smaller and sewed it onto the gray felt.  I then sewed thick elastic at the ends of the wings as armbands for Henrik to slide his arms through.  I also tacked the top of the wings to his shirt in a few places like the neck and shoulders.  To make the mask I cut a thick band of black felt, cut out two eye holes, and attached the back onto a piece of thick black elastic.  I then cut the ears out of black and gray felt, sewed them together and attached them to the mask.

I used black washi tape to make the Haunted Castle and Henrik made the grave yard out of silver washi tape.  This was so easy to make, It only took about five minutes and Henrik and I had so much fun doing it.

Little Miss Red Riding Hood’s costume was even easier than the bat costume.  Luckily I had this darling red cape (One of the first things I bought after I found out I was having a girl!).  The rest of the outfit came from Maja’s wardrobe as well.  The wolf toy you can get here and the large log pouf here.  I bought most of my washi tape from Darly Bird, she has an amazing selection.

I hope you enjoy and have a happy Halloween!


A rock and roll birthday party

Last weekend we celebrated the 6th birthday of my son Nicolas. He and his friend Nacho wanted a party with loads of music. And they sure got it!. They very much enjoyed their birthday — singing, playing the drums, guitars and piano! All made at home with cardboard boxes and wood.

The name of the band was chosen by the two kids, and I am not sure it means something meaninful in English, but it sounded quite cool for a “spanish” band!!. The illustration of the lovely bug was made by our really good and talented friends, Mr. Wonderful.

The Hat Bugs did the sound check before the rest of the guests arrived. They had to check guitars, piano, microphones, drums… it was fun! And when the guests arrived they all wanted to go on stage and sing!! (more…)

Super hero photo booth

A few weeks ago we threw my son Henrik a super hero party.  I thought it would be fun for the kids to feel like they were real super heroes flying through the sky saving lives, so we created a city scene photo booth.  At first the kids didn’t understand why they needed to lay on the ground with their arms stretched out and their feet pointed. Once they saw the pictures they understood they were more willing to oblige and started getting into it.  The adults at the party had so much fun watching the kids strike their different super hero poses.

To make the city scene all you need is an old blue sheet, a ladder, a cloud pillow or two, buildings made out of cereal boxes and duct tape, and of course a willing super hero with a cape and mask.  For the buildings I enlisted the help of my good friend Merrilee who among her many talents is something of a duct tape genius.

All the photos are taken by the lovely Ashley Thalman.  To see more pictures from the super hero party and a leather mask DIY click here and here.

I saw this idea originally many years ago in a craft book and unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the book, maybe someone can help me out?


DIY: Personalise your party glasses

Last weekend we celebrated my son’s birthday.  Today I would like to share the glasses I made for the day. It is a simple idea that helps the kids keep track of their own glasses!!!

I got the milkshake glasses in “La Fiesta de Olivia“. They are are so nice, remind me of some “old movies”!!.  I just added a band of chalk paint to each of them.

And wrote the names of the guests!! It also works well in glass, but in glass the paint will go as soon as you wash it, which is good so you can use it just for the day of the party!!

- Maria

Apple stamping and tote bag making!

Last May it was Sara’s 7th birthday, and she wished for a ‘sewing’ party with her girlfriends. I suspect this has to do with the craft night I organise with a few of my girlfriends every 2 weeks on Monday night, which involves tea and homemade cake and lots of chit-chat. Sara loves the idea of it — she always lies awake in her bed, waiting until my friends are here and secretly joins us for a bit of cake and some knitting before I put her to bed for a second time.

For her birthday party, I decided to apple-stamp tote bags with Sara and her girlfriends. I prepared the bag linings beforehand (up to step 4 below), and cut and ironed the outside of the bags in preparation as well. At the party, we let the girls stamp their own name and apple design first. When the outside of the bags were drying (see photo) we played games and had cake. Afterwards, we let the girls sew the sides of the bags using Sara’s sewing machine (step 6 below). Nothing but two straight lines, but except for Sara, none of the girls had ever touched a sewing machine before, so this was a big success! I quickly sewed the lining to the outside of the bags so all the girls could take their personal tote bag home. It was such fun to see all the tote bags the next day at school — used as gym, book or lunch bags!

As for the making of — here is a quick how-to. I used this twenty-minute-tote-tutorial from the PurlBee for the basic idea. And in the meantime, I have been making more of these bags for personalised baby presents. Fun!


DIY: personal birthday candles

This week in escarabajos bichos y mariposas, I wrote about the candles I make for my parties. I like them being more personal. The ones in the pictures are from my son’s cowboy  birthday party. To make them long I use a wooden skewer, I attach the candle to the stick with some string and finally add a little object/goodie related to the party, in this case a blue star.


Very simple and I think it makes a difference. Kids love it!

– Maria

Engel — bunting and more

What a wonderful mini-present, this adorable bunting birthday card by Dutch company Engel. The card itself features sweet printed bunting, but in a little plastic bag attached to it (with cool neon stitching), is an adorable mini bunting — such fun to decorate the cake with, or the party table, for example! And it comes with an envelope so can easily be posted to far away friends as well.

Engel is a Dutch brand and webshop which started some years ago when Sabien Engelenburg decided to sit down behind her sewing machine to sew her daughter a bunting made from the fabric scraps her grandmother left her. Engel is most known for its beautiful buntings, but I also love the pretty and practical wipe-clean tablecloths and pompoms, and the many other cool products they sell in their webshop. Worth a visit!

xxx Esther

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