WalkyTalkies — talking socks

walkytalkies hand-puppet socks

In essence, WalkyTalkies are simply socks — albeit fun and good-quality ones. But that’s not all… WalkyTalkies offer an extra little bit of great usability to make them really awesome: the socks double up as hand-puppets!

hand puppetsI just love this clever idea from a Dutch mum (and so do my kids). Aren’t the best ideas often the simplest ones?

xxx Esther

 

Odette Williams new collection

Odette Williams basics and children's clothing

We met Odette Williams in New York a few years ago, when she was just starting her line with adorable kids aprons and cooking sets. We’ve since remained in touch as she is such a lovely lady, and her products are so beautiful and well made, and really capture the essence and innocence of childhood.

Odette Williams basics and children's clothing Odette Williams basics and children's clothing

Odette just launched a whole new product line: a collection of the softest ever, organic children’s clothing. The pieces are mostly unisex, very simple in design but as such just perfect — so sweet and oh, so comfortable.

Odette Williams basics and children's clothing Odette Williams basics and children's clothingI love the baby onesies (one even has hand drawn flowers, delicately silkscreened with gold foil — so pretty), the beautiful chambray dress, the easy pieces for babies and bigger kids. Odette send my kids some tanks and shorts to try, and since they arrived, they have refused to take them off. That’s how comfy they are!

xxx Esther

 

Hair style: messy side buns

buns_7This hairstyle is so sweet, and also a fast one once you get the hang of the technique. I like the crazy, messy look!

buns_5 buns_1 buns_6 buns_3 buns_2Have two elastic bands handy. Brush and part the hair. A messy parting is fine! Form a side pony tail with your left hand. With the other hand, pull the tail through the elastic band until halfway, so it loops. Don’t pull it through completely! Depending on the length of the hair, you can now secure the elastic band, or pull the hair through to form a second little loop.

buns_12 buns_11 buns_4 buns_8

Easy!!

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And this final photo is one of my favourites ever from Ava. Isn’t Maud the most talented photographer?

xxx Esther

PS All photos by my friend Maud Fontein.

Early exclusive discount at Elias & Grace

Elias and grace boys discount

Treat week at Elias & Grace is coming up next week with 20% off all non-sale items, and they’ve offered our readers first dibs before the sale starts! Babyccino readers can shop all weekend (starting now!) with an exclusive 20% discount code before the sale opens up to everyone else. Wahoo!

Elias & Grace discount
If you haven’t yet picked up summery sandals, shorts, swimwear and pretty summer dresses, then now is the time to do so. Use code BCTREAT15 to receive 20% off your order (more details here).

Happy weekend, everyone!

Courtney x

Little Scosha, bracelets for kids

Little Scosha bracelets
Little Scosha birthstone bracelets
Scosha children's bracelets

When I was in NYC in March, my mom and sister flew in from Seattle to spend a rare girlie weekend together without kids or husbands. We spent an afternoon exploring the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn and luckily popped into Scosha to take a peek at all the pretty jewellery.  By chance we got to meet the designer, Scosha, and talk to her about her handcrafted jewellery, art, travel, and kids (photos were exchanged and you should see how cute her kids are!!).  She then showed us the studio in the back of the shop where all the pieces are designed and crafted on site. I always love getting a behind-the-scenes peek at how other mothers run their businesses and how their products are made. It gives you such an appreciation for the final product.

Little Scosha

Before we left the store, Scosha very kindly handed me four friendship bracelets to bring back home for the kids.  The bracelets are so cool because they’re adjustable to fit any sized wrist, but include a little bead woven into the plait so it can’t stretch too far to fall off. My kids have been wearing their bracelets since I got back from New York and I really think they look so sweet on their little wrists.

This past week Scosha launched her children’s line, Little Scosha, which includes the friendship bracelets as well as the pretty birthstone cuffs (featured above). I think they make such sweet gifts!

Courtney x

 

Pretty Spanish dresses from La Coqueta

La Coqueta dresses
La Coqueta and flowers
La Coqueta spring dresses
La Coqueta headband
girls in La Coqueta
La Coqueta dresses and headbands
I was driving the kids to school the other day when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a clan of the most beautiful children scootering down the pavement next to my car. From smallest to biggest, five small, smiling kids whizzed past me followed quickly by their mama, Celia Muños, the owner/designer of La Coqueta. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself, because I’m sure she was frantically trying to get the kids to school, feeling frazzled from a busy morning (I’m only assuming), but from the outside, her sweet family looked so, so cute.

I think what I love most about La Coqueta, apart from the beautiful clothes of course, is that it is a brand started by a busy mother of five who designs every piece with an eye for timeless Spanish design, all the while knowing how important it is to find easy care clothes that will stand the test of time so they can be passed down from one child to the next.

Celia brought these dresses over for the girls when she came for tea last month, and with spring weather finally here, the girls have happily been able to wear them. (Oh, and cute cat-ear headbands too!)

Courtney x

All photos above are by Sarah Winborn who kindly agreed to snap some photos of the girls. This is not a sponsored post; I have chosen to write about a brand I know and love. 

Picking daisies (and floral bloomers!)

Marlow and daisy
Billie Blooms bloomers 2
floral bloomers 2
marlow picking daisies 2
I recently signed up for a photography course with Lesley Colvin in an attempt to really learn how to use my camera. For years now I’ve taken decent photos in auto-mode (all thanks to a good camera and some good lenses), but lately I’ve become frustrated with the photos I’m getting and I decided I really, really need to learn how to use my camera in manual mode if I want better results. I’ve tried to learn by reading and taking online courses, but what I’ve learned about myself is that I learn best by doing and that I need someone to actually show me how to do it.

Ivy picking daisies
daisies

I’ve now taken one very enlightening class with Lesley (the first of a 3-part course) and I’ve been trying to practice with my camera all week. I took my camera to the park over the weekend and got some photos of the girls picking daisies — they were so focused on their daisy picking and crown making that they actually stayed still enough while I played around with my camera settings, and I managed to take a few photos I really like!

Also, can we talk about Marlow’s floral bloomers? Aren’t they so adorable? (This style is conveniently called ‘Marlowe’ so how could I resist?!) They’re available from Darling Clementine, and if you’re interested I curated some favourites from the shop this month and you can find them here.

Courtney x

The girls’ jumpers are from Babaà (Marlow’s is from this current season and is available online). 

Hair style: twisties

twisites-3

Twisties (or side buns) have been my super-quick hairdo solution for my girls since Sara started to have hair long enough to work with (and that took years). They’re just so quick and easy and always look cute, even when they’re completely crooked (I actually like them better that way).

twisties_3 twisties_4 They’re so quick and easy to make. Just brush and divide the hair roughly in two (I personally don’t like the parting to be too straight). Then, start twisting the hair until it automatically starts to roll up.

twisties_5 twisties_6 twisites_8 Keep twisting and rolling up the hair until the ends. Secure with an elastic band. Same procedure for the other side, and voila!

twisties_2 twisties_1 It’s cute to add little clips with ribbons (the ones in Ava’s hair are from Analiv), or tie ribbons around the buns. If you have the time, of course.

xxx Esther

PS All the photos are taken by my talented friend Maud Fontein!

 

Room decór & accessories from Little Cloud

Little Cloud accessories
Marlow wearing headband
Marlow on her bed
The wall behind the girls’ bed was feeling a bit bare, and I was trying to think of what to hang there when I discovered these sweet name wire signs from Little Cloud. I ordered one for each of the girls and I think they look so sweet hanging on that wall. (It also, conveniently, put an end to the nightly arguments over which side of the bed they sleep on! Now they just want to sleep under their name!)

Little Cloud has the prettiest collection of bedroom decorations (cushions, garlands, mobiles…) which make really lovely baby gifts, as well as a sweet collection of hair accessories for girls. Marlow was playing on her bed yesterday morning and I happened to snap a few photos while she sat still enough to capture. I’m really relishing these mornings with just Marlow at home while the big kids are at school because I know these days are limited. (My other kids started nursery school at 2½, but I just can’t bring myself to sign her up yet… or ever! Haha!)

Courtney x

Marlow’s wearing the Liberty bow headband in the photos above, and her pretty chambray dress is from Velveteen

Sweet Smokks Summer Dresses (for mama and daughter)

smokks summer dresses

There’s something a little bit cheesy about matching mums and daughters outfits, but also something incredibly cute. Definitely cute. And especially these dresses from NYC based label Smokks. : )

smokks summer dresses smokks summer dresses

Hallie started Smokks a few years ago, after her husband dressed their daughter in her pyjamas for a ballet graduation, while she was away on vacation — because, as he said, he couldn’t deal with all of the buttons, zips and otherwise complicated dresses in his daughter’s wardrobe. I must say this sounds very familiar; my husband would totally do the same thing (or maybe, he would simply dress her in her jeans like he always does). Anyway — Hallie figured there was a market for effortless girls’  clothing: no zips, no buttons, no ribbons. Just a very cute and simple dress, a uniform, almost.

Smokks are, as the name implies, old-fashionedly smocked, but definitely have a modern feel to them. They are, as said, simple, but not actually as simple as it seems. I can tell that a lot of thought went into these dresses! There are deep pockets for treasures. The neckline is wide and comfortable, but flattering. The length (with royal hem) and the low arm hole means these dresses can be worn for years — layered with legging or tights and a cardigan for colder days. They are totally cute for everyday wear and play, but can definitely also be used for more formal occasions.

Hallie messengered over some dresses for our girls to try when we were in NY a few weeks ago. Since her biggest girls’ size is a size 9, she sent over a women’s size S for Sara, which is still a bit big on her… Haha, lucky me! I love it! : )

xxx Esther

PS I love Ava’s curled toes in the photos above. The photos were taken by Sara, by the way — roles reversed!

The sweetest hair bows from Free Babes

super cute hair bows
hair bows from FreeBabes
FreeBabes
Free Babes hair bows
Aren’t these just the prettiest hair bows? They’re all handmade by Etsy shop owner, Hillary Denham, who reached out to us recently from Colorado, USA. I just love all the different colours and fabrics, and I also love that the little schoolgirl bows come in two-packs, which is perfect for when your girls wear braids or little side buns (like the top photo).  So sweet!

Courtney x

Bobo Choses — not just for kids!

Bobo Choses for mamas
Bobo Choses_jumping
Bobo Choses
I think by now we all know (and love!) Bobo Choses. Their collections every season are both fun and stylish with playful graphics and easy, wearable styles. But did you know they’ve recently come out with some pieces for women too?

I know it’s a little cheesy to match your children, but I have to admit that my girls think it’s really the coolest thing ever to match their mama. When we were in Portugal this past week the girls asked me every day to wear my yellow stripy skirt like theirs! So I finally gave in and we wore our matching outfits on the last day of our holiday, and it was really quite fun. Some silly photos here to show for it. : )

Courtney x

Summertime simplicity, by Soor Ploom

Ivy in Soor Ploom
Ivy and Marlow wearing Soor Ploom
Ivy and Marlow in Soor Ploom
girls in Soor Ploom
Marlow_Soor Ploom
silly girls in Soor Ploom
Can we start talking about summer yet, or is it too soon?! At least we can start buying cute summery pieces in preparation for the warm, sunny days ahead, right?

Soor Ploom is one of my very favourite brands for girls and I think their pieces sum up those sweet, simple summer days in the most perfect of ways. The pieces are so effortlessly beautiful, breezy, and just so adorable — a perfect mix of gorgeous fabrics and simple, easy-to-wear shapes. Just look at this season’s collection — everything is just so, so pretty.

Soor Ploom SS15
girls outside in Soor Ploom
girls outside wearing Soor Ploom
green dress by Soor Ploom
Marlow outside wearing Soor Ploom

Photographer Sarah Winborn was in town from Berlin recently and stopped by to take some photos of the girls. I couldn’t help but dress them up in their new Soor Ploom pieces and pretend the weather was warmer than it actually was. ; ) I hope you don’t mind me sharing some (loads of!) photos from last week’s photoshoot.

The new Soor Ploom collection is up online and available in limited quantities. Ivy is wearing the Jade Philomela Dress and the Gingham Playsuit, and Marlow is wearing the Ines Romper in the pretty sunspot fabric.

Courtney x

All photos are by Sarah Winborn. You can view her website here and follow her on Instagram here.

Sweet summer dresses by Neige, from Ladida.com

Sweet summer dresses, Neige at Ladida.com Sweet summer dresses by Neige, from Ladida.com

When we were in NYC a few weeks ago we met up for drinks with Rebecca, the owner of the exquisite (and extensive) webshop, Ladida, and it was such a fun evening. Rebecca really rocks! She’s fun, honest and interesting, plus, a clever and inspiring business woman. She runs a gigantic online children’s fashion emporium, offering a well curated collection of the best high-end brands of the world. Also worth mentioning is that she has 5 small children (the littlest one is only a few months old!).

I brought back a few presents for my kids from NY, of course, and amongst them were these two matching Neige dresses for my girls that I got from Ladida.com. The sweetness! (I’ve been getting matching things from Rebecca for the past few years — remember these cute pointy hat winter coats? Or last year’s matching summer dresses?)

Sweet summer dresses by Neige, from Ladida Sweet summer dresses by Neige, from ladida.com

My girls love to match. And I love to see those two sweet sisters, tall and small, being so cute and excited together! (Of course they had to immediately try their new dresses, inside the house because it’s still way too cold outside. A prelude to warm summer evenings and impromptu garden parties!)

xxx Esther

Marie Puce, a pretty new collection

Panoplie Esther blanche Coralie poppy
Each season Marie Puce comes out with a collection that is reliably great — always so chic, always so classically Parisian, and always featuring the prettiest Liberty prints and coordinating bold colours. They make it easy to dress your kids stylishly, with basics like shorts and tees and all the coordinating accessories, and I also love that they have boys’ and girls’ outfits in matching colour ways like the outfits featured here.

Marie Puce outfit
Marie Puce outfits
Marie Puce outfit2
Like Esther has pointed out before, they also offer clothing for teens which is quite handy for older kids who aren’t ready for the harsher (often more provocative) teen brands. Not that MY kids will ever be teenagers…! Ha! ; )

In this collection I’m loving the Liberty rompers for girls, the soft cotton tees in pretty colours for boys, and all the classic sandals! I’ve just placed my order for the kids and look forward to the days of simple summery dresses, bare legs and easy, slip-on shoes!

Courtney x

The very best raincoats (from Petit Bateau)

Petit Bateau raincoats
mother and daughter yellow raincoats
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Petit Bateau is my go-to destination for all the staples: underwear, tees, pyjamas, swimsuits and, of course, raincoats! We now have a collection of raincoats in our house that spans all the ages, some of them are so old they’re practically vintage! And I just recently got my own adult’s version, so we are now quite the bright yellow bunch as we walk around town.

What I love about the raincoats from Petit Bateau is that they have an outside waterproof material that is soft and easy to move around in (or toss into a tote bag!) and they have the softest jersey lining on the inside, so they’re nice and thick and warm, and yet still waterproof. (Most other raincoats I’ve tried have either been too stiff or too lightweight.) I also love that they seem to last so long because the sleeves are designed to be rolled up if needed or stretched out as the child grows.

Anyway, clearly we are big fans in our family. Even my husband has one… but don’t tell him I told you so. : )

Courtney x

New adorable collection at Macarons

Macarons SS15 collection

The new spring/summer Macarons collection is online and it is so sweet! I love the timeless but at the same time modern design of the pieces.

Macarons SS15 collection

I especially love this stripy pinafore dress. Pinafore dresses are so versatile — they work great for this colder time of year, layered over a long-sleeved shirt and tights, but can also be worn with a short-sleeved tee or vest and leggings for when it gets warmer, or just as is for when we’re at the height of summer.

The denim Dora dress is another great evergreen dress. It looks absolutely adorable on, and can also be warn all year long, layered with tights and a cardigan. Oh, and this sweet overall Ola (I’m so bummed that Ava has outgrown the Macarons sizing for it! But Courtney got it for Marlow — I can’t wait to see it on her).

Macarons SS15 collection

Other pieces I love in the new Macarons collection are the Piroz pants that Casper is wearing in the photo above (with the super comfy pullover Paula).  It’s super sweet and can grow with him for a few years, it will just gradually become more cropped.  And — I’m a big fan of cardigans for my kids — cool cardy Clara is great for both Ava as Casper (in fact, they share one — I got it for Casper but Ava keeps stealing it). Like all Macarons pieces, it is made in such a clever way that one size fits more years.

xxx Esther

A sunny new collection at Amy & Ivor

spring colours at Amy&Ivor
Amy & Ivor moccasins
Amy & Ivor leather shoes
Amy & Ivor shoes
Amy & Ivor leather moccasins
After spending a snowy week in NYC last week, I was relieved to come back home to London where spring is definitely in the air. Is it just me, or does it seem to be earlier this year than the past few years? It’s soooo nice!

In the week that I was away, the kids got out their canvas sneakers and summery t-shirts from the ‘summer stash’ and I came home to messy closets with wooly jumpers and summer dresses all thrown into the same pile! I think it’s time to do some spring cleaning… and spring shopping! Right?

I’m loving all the bright colours I’ve noticed cropping up for springtime, including the fun new collection of moccasins at Amy & Ivor. I’m also excited about the new designs, including a lace-up shoe and a sandal with a plaited ankle strap, both made from soft, vegetable-tanned leather just like their moccasins. So cute for the coming warmer months ahead. (Yippee!)

Courtney x

New spring collection at Elfie

spring collection at Elfie
elfie party hats
elfie boys clothes
elfie london
These images from the new collection at Elfie are just so springy and happy! Not to mention so English – don’t you love the pairing of floral dresses with lace cardigans and the wellies worn with shorts! I also love all the colourful felt party hats. Bring on springtime. Not long to go!

Courtney x

Lennebelle, an interview and a little video

A few weeks ago, sweet Lenneke, from the gorgeous Dutch mother & child jewellery line Lennebelle, came over to our house with her husband Joey to shoot some photos and the little video above for her beautiful series ‘The Mama Stories’, in which she regularly interviews a mama about motherhood and her lifestyle choices. It was a really fun day, and I got a deep respect for Lenneke, who was 36 weeks pregnant with her second child at the time (now over 38 — I’m waiting for baby news!), and Joey, who is such a talented photographer / videographer. It’s so nice to get to know all these wonderful people through our job, entrepreneurs who seek the adventure and fulfilment of making something beautiful, and Lennebel is definitely a testimony of the talent and energy of the couple behind the brand.

I have shared some photos of the day below, you can see my children (and me!) wearing Lennebelle‘s beautiful bracelets and necklaces. And you can see more photos and read the interview here if you’re interested!

The-Mamma-Stories-featuring-Esther,-Sara,-Pim,-Ava-&-Casper-for-Lennebelle-Petites-2 The-Mamma-Stories-featuring-Esther,-Sara,-Pim,-Ava-&-Casper-for-Lennebelle-Petites-11 The-Mamma-Stories-featuring-Esther,-Sara,-Pim,-Ava-&-Casper-for-Lennebelle-Petites-15 The-Mamma-Stories-featuring-Esther,-Sara,-Pim,-Ava-&-Casper-for-Lennebelle-Petites-49 The-Mamma-Stories-featuring-Esther,-Sara,-Pim,-Ava-&-Casper-for-Lennebelle-Petites-51 The-Mamma-Stories-featuring-Esther,-Sara,-Pim,-Ava-&-Casper-for-Lennebelle-Petites-3 The-Mamma-Stories-featuring-Esther,-Sara,-Pim,-Ava-&-Casper-for-Lennebelle-Petites-25 The-Mamma-Stories-featuring-Esther,-Sara,-Pim,-Ava-&-Casper-for-Lennebelle-Petites-1 zThe-Mamma-Stories-featuring-Esther,-Sara,-Pim,-Ava-&-Casper-for-Lennebelle-Petites-1 The-Mamma-Stories-featuring-Esther,-Sara,-Pim,-Ava-&-Casper-for-Lennebelle-Petites-48 The-Mamma-Stories-featuring-Esther,-Sara,-Pim,-Ava-&-Casper-for-Lennebelle-Petites-41xxx Esther

 

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