Eco-Bonk Bop Bags

It’s starting to get cold here in Montreal and so going out to play for hours is a thing of the past! I don’t know about you, but my son needs to move, run and jump and with the winter months ahead that isn’t always possible; I always thought he could use a punching bag to get all that buddle up energy out. So you can’t imagine how pleased I was to discover these Eco-Bonk bop bags and for so many reasons! These aren’t your typical inflatable bop bags, not only do they provide all the fun in the world by pushing them and having them bounce back, but they happen to be sustainable as well. The covers are removable and made from 100% organic Cotton, as well as being printed with water-based inks. The inside is made from biodegradable Vinyl, all made in the USA and a percentage of the proceeds will go towards supporting the Wildlife Alliance. Seriously, does it get any better? You can be reassured you kids are playing with a safe toy for them and the environment. So which is your favorite character? I think mine is Abigail the elephant.
There is a lot more information on the website and the Eco-Bonks can be bought online through the website as well. It’s always nice to support small family business and I was lucky enough to meet Donna, the co-founder and brains behind Eco-Bonk at the NYC gift show, it was such a pleasure talking to her and seeing the passion she had for the product. I just know my kids would love these and they are the top of my gift list this year.

– Celina

Manduca carrier

I have always been a huge fan of the Baby Bjorn carriers. I still have the same one we bought when our first baby was born, more than 7 years ago. I just love how simple it is — how easy it is to put on and strap baby in. But, I must admit I’ve always been intrigued by the carriers which you can use on the front and the back. It seems really practical to have a baby carrier which you can use as your child grows into the toddler stage.

VUP Baby recently sent me a Manduca carrier to try out, and so far I am really impressed. I like that the Manduca carrier has an integrated newborn pouch for babies, and you can adjust the height of the carrier to ensure your baby’s head is supported. I first put Marlow in the carrier when she was 5 days old (see photo), and she’ll be able to ride in the carrier (front, back or hip) until she is three (or roughly 20kg)! Plus, it’s made of organic cotton which is always a bonus. I think, after all these years, I’ve been converted!

What about you? Are you a fan of baby carriers, or do you prefer the buggy/stroller? If so, which baby carrier/sling do you use? (There are so many options!)

x Courtney

Fun*das, for a quick make-over!

I’m a big fan of my Babybjörn bouncing chair, but after the extensive use by three children (plus all of their little friends) it really has seen its best days. So I was really excited to discover Fun*das, a Spanish company that makes ‘prêt-à-porter’ covers for mentioned bouncing chair, buggies, and car seats. How clever! All the Fun*das designs are produced in Barcelona, and I especially love how modern they look, with the fresh star and stripe fabrics. My Babybjörn bouncer looks like new again. Well, actually, better than new!

xxx Esther

PS Find out below how relaxed Casper is in his bouncing chair…

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Animal Helmets

How absolutely great is this helmet?  The fact is, in France children do not seem to wear helmets as much as in the UK, so I actually have quite a time getting my girls to wear helmets. I think a cool helmet could be the decisive argument to win that battle of wills! Also check out the equally cool Zebra helmet.

While I am on the subject, I actually hope that someone soon comes up with a good looking bicycle helmet for grown-ups — it must be possible. If anyone knows of one do let me know!

- Emilie

New on the market: the NJOY Bubble Buggy

The two buggies we currently own have been with us since our first child was a baby. That’s nearly 8 years! Our Bugaboo Frog is still in great condition (really, you can’t go wrong with Bugaboo, can you?), but unfortunately I can’t say the same about the light-weight umbrella stroller we got for travelling. It is decrepit!  So… for this new baby, we decided it was time for an upgrade.

I recently received the new-on-the-market reversible Bubble buggy from Petite Star & Njoy. It’s the first umbrella stroller which is reversible, meaning it can go from rear facing to forward facing in one easy step. Because of the reclining positions and padded seat/head rest, it’s also suitable from birth onwards. How great! I’ve already tested it out and it’s easy to use, easy to fold (in either direction), easy to push, and ticks all the boxes for a great, practical buggy. (Available to purchase online here.)

x Courtney

Mopi

My daughter is in that in-between stage where half way into our evening walks she’ll abandon her tricycle and I’m stuck pushing it the rest of the way home. I wouldn’t mind so much if it weren’t for the fact that it’s blazing hot and I’m 34 weeks pregnant! So when she tried out her little friend’s Mopi I knew right then and there that it was the perfect little bike for us. Children love scooting along on it but it’s lightweight enough to pick up and carry when they get tired. Plus it comes in loads of colors and two different sizes so it’s easy to get the one that’s right for your child! My arms are thanking me already.

-Elizabeth

EBK Robots

Who says robots are for boys? Who says pink is for girls? Definitely not EBK Robots, they like robots in all the colors of the rainbow for just about anybody! I was lucky enough to have won one of the prototypes of the blue Tag Along bags for my son. We had a lot of fun testing it out and giving the EBK Robots crew some tips, the reality is that we didn’t really have anything bad to say and to this day it’s our favorite bag! The good news is the bag is being produced now and it comes in lots of lovely colors, even a girl version, you know I’ll be buying my daughter one too.
The Tag Along bag is perfect for bringing toys or a snack to the park, a change of clothes to daycare, some crayons and coloring books to the restaurant, basically great for carrying your everyday items around all day. The messenger, in my opinion is great for the older kids (mine are 3 & 5) and again great for books, going to grandmas, the pool, you name it! And just to add to the fun, EBK Robots also offers some cute plush robots, you can match them to your bag or go crazy and the sweetest part is that they attach to the bag, so they too can enjoy the ride… Honestly, have you seen anything cooler?

Everything is handmade by 3 lovely ladies in Maryland, USA from 100% renewable materials, sturdy, easy to wash and made to last. You should also check out the blog portion of their website, it makes me smile every time a post goes up!

-Celina

Hello Kitty Water Bottles

I had never given Hello Kitty a second thought… until one day, shortly before my daughter’s third birthday, she announced at the dinner table that her favourite colour was pink and she loved Hello Kitty! I nearly did a double take! Could she really be announcing a new obsession with pink?!! And Hello Kitty? Yes and yes.

Anyway, five months later and we’re still deep in the Hello Kitty phase. So I was pretty excited when I found these cute Hello Kitty SIGG water bottles. My daughter needs a water bottle for her lunchbox, and this could not be more perfect.  I found them at AlexandAlexa, who have a great selection of fun back-to-school supplies. Have you seen their Lego lunch boxes and water bottles? Fun!

x Courtney

Zoobug celebrates the London Olympics

There’s lots of excitement in town about the London Olympics! Even my kids are counting down the days… and we’re not even going to be here for the games.  It’s still fun, however, to enjoy the buzz, and it’s a nice opportunity to celebrate London and team GB!

Zoobug, the specialists in children’s eyewear, have come out with a range of London Olympics inspired sunglasses. Whether you and your kids are staying (or coming!) to London for the games, these sunglasses are a fun way to celebrate the occasion.

x Courtney

Fjallraven backpacks


I am sure you have seen these Fjallraven backpacks, and I know Mo has already blogged about them here, but I could not resist writing about them again.

I have been a big fan from way back in the ’80s when my dad had one of these, which he had picked up in Sweden — I tried to appropriate it several times. I thought it was the business because of one ingenious feature: the zip goes all around the front of the backpack — perfect to access your stuff from all sides… so simple and so clever! My dad’s pack was a boring grey functional colour, but I love the super cool bright colours these bags come in now. Very cheerful!

- Emilie

Koeka, so cool and clever!

Koeka is a Dutch brand which is really well known here in the Netherlands. The collections are so down-to-earth clever and smart, excellently designed in a very un-pretentious, innovative and functional (typically Dutch) way. The collections are very versatile, with all the necessities one needs for babies and children, and it all looks so amazingly good! Fabrics are pretty and thick and of great quality: terry cloth, canvas, and waffle weave (my favourite), softly lined with flannel or plush to make them extra comfortable. And colours are lovely, either muted, or fun and fresh.


This ‘Antwerp’ foldable sleeping bag is one of the examples of a typical Koeka product: it’s made from strong waffle weave cotton fabric, and lined with soft cotton flannelette. It can be adjusted in size with clever snap fasteners, so it will work for children aged 6 months up to 4 or 5 years. With zippers on both sides, it’s extra handy to tuck your child in. And when not in use, the sleeping bag can simply be folded away to a cool looking cushion, which makes a nice deco item and is also really handy to take with you. Of course, like all Koeka products, the sleeping bag can simply be machine washed, over and over again! I love this product, and so do my kids — Pim (5) actually fell asleep in it yesterday night in the garden! It’s also really handy to have around for little guests.


There are super handy, never-out-of-stock basics to be found in the online Koeka store, like handy towels and bibs in every colour of the rainbow, changing mat covers, buggy and carseat liners, adorable sleeping bags and blankets, sweet sleepwear and baby basics, lovely bedding products, and more! And every season they come out with a great seasonal collection too. Enjoy browsing!

xxx Esther

Bubble Bum

Every once in a while I can get very excited about a new child related invention. My latest discovery? The Bubble Bum. I grant you, it is a bit of a silly name, but check this out: it is an inflatable car seat, that rolls into a tiny bag when deflated. For non-car owners like me this invention could be the answer to a lot of problems: I spend my time dragging car seats around with me when I am renting cars which, though necessary, is such a pain.

Especially since I have started using the Autolib’ service, the great new Parisian electric cars, I have been trying to figure out the car seat situation for my girls and the Bubble Bum is a great solution!

– Emilie

P.S. The photo is of the girls on their Bubble Bum car seats on our latest outing in an Autolib’. Good times!

Ten Handy Products for Travelling with Kids

We recently compiled a list of ten handy kiddie travel products for our friends over at i-escape. Check out our list here, and while you’re there make sure to have a look at their newly launched Kids Collection offering more than 700 amazing, family-friendly holiday accommodations.

x Courtney

Little Things to Sew by Oliver + S


I was super excited to have stumbled across this little sewing book on the Oliver + S website this evening. It got me all excited about doing some little sewing projects! I love the styles of the Oliver + S patterns and I have been admiring them from afar, but I have neither trusted my sewing skills nor my attention span to attack a whole outfit. (I am the kind of person who has at least 2 unfinished scarves and 1 side of a knitted jumper laying around at any one time). This book looks perfect for me though, as these projects look easily doable and the results super cute! Look at the lovely tutu below, I would love to make something like that for my girls!

– Emilie

Springfree Trampoline

We’ve moved back to NZ… and for the first time in many years we had our first summer christmas. I do love a cosy winter christmas but there is something to be said for a hot christmas day where the kids can run around outside and burn off all that energy. As soon as I knew we were moving back I planted the idea in their heads that they could ask Father Christmas for a trampoline.  My older sister and I had one when we were growing up and I think we played on it every day.  They are great for kids as they improve flexibility, help develop their balance and co-ordination, it’s a great workout for their muscles and it develops their motor skills among many other benefits.

Trampolines have come a long way since I was a kid (we had no safety mats or nets!) but now you can buy springfree trampolines as Sara mentioned in an earlier post.  I am proud to say these were invented in New Zealand by a father who wanted a safe trampoline for his children.  Our trampoline was a huge hit and the kids have been playing on it ever since. I can not recommend these trampolines enough!!

Stephxo

Win a Minui Highchair from Blue Daisy!

I’ve seen and used the HandySitt portable seat before — you often see it in restaurants here in London. But I had no idea that it is a part of a bigger highchair system. Combined, the Minui HandySitt Chair and portable seat form a freestanding high chair. When detached, the chair is a seat for older kids and/or a sturdy step stool… and the Portable Seat is ideal for travel or for restaurants, etc. Pretty handy if you ask me!

The (also handy) webshop, Blue Daisy, is now giving away one Minui High Chair (value worth £175) to a lucky reader! Click here to enter to win.

-Courtney

Junior Chair from Ikea

I’m kicking myself now, but I never bought Stokke Tripp Trap chairs for my children when they started on solids.  I wish I had looked to the future and realised they would last them for years to come!

So I was very excited when I happened to come across these chairs in IKEA the other day.  We have a very high table to accommodate the tall Dutch folks but sitting at it with a normal height chair was a bit of a problem for my 4½- year-old. Now that she has this chair, she can sit in one spot without wriggling around trying to reach her plate. I will buy another one for my son when he grows out of his high chair. I love the simple design and the fact that they are super easy to clean!

Steph xo

So simple: Scoot ‘n Pull


As always — simple ideas are best. All of us, mummies of Microscooter-users, know that Microscooters can be tiring, and pushing a 2-year-old home on his/her scooter can result in a really sore back (and not to mention, a foul mood)! Also, the scooter doesn’t really fit in the buggy, does it? Now, with this simple invention, the Scoot ‘n Pull, you can simply pull your kid when he’s tired, and carry the scooter over your shoulder when not in use! Brilliant. I have already thrown my Scoot ‘n Pull in our buggy. Great to have around!

xxx Esther

Stripy Blankets from Milk & Coco


All mothers know — a good baby blanket is an absolute necessity! I’m loving these 100% cotton or lambswool baby blankets by the Stripy Company (found at the lovely Australian boutique Milk & Coco). Gorgeous — and super soft!
Milk&Coco is a wonderful boutique, stocking both good-looking essentials as well as luxury goods, so surely you will find that much needed item or that much wanted gift. Also — don’t forget to check out the latest from Olive’s Friend Pop, an Australian clothing brand we love, and the supersoft, sheepskin Flat Out Bears (Ava doesn’t sleep without hers).

xxx Esther

Poplico Reversible Canopies

Our Bugaboo buggy is practically vintage (nearly 7 years old!), but I must say, it has outlasted all our others and is still my favourite buggy we’ve owned! And now, thanks to a brand new Poplico reversible canopy, it looks as good (if not better) than the day we bought it. The Poplico canopies come in 8 different colour sets, are water and stain repellent, and are machine washable and easy to instal. Whether you have a new buggy and just want to customise it or your old buggy needs a facelift, these are the perfect solution. Available to purchase directly from the Poplico website, or from these retailers.

-Courtney

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