Easter Picks from the Shan and Toad website

I had so much fun picking a few Easter favourites from the amazing Shan and Toad website. The new collections are just wonderful! There’s a perfect mix of trendy, classic and chic fashion available, and I love the great colours that Shana, the owner, selected this year.

1. Isn’t this little Denim Blue Vintage Dress just adorable?
2. Gorgeous Tunic with woven dots and mandarin collar. So handsome!
3. Darling Dotty Bibi Hairband, perfect to spruce up any outfit.
4. Super fresh, these Festa Lemon socks.
5. Got to love these leopard Mary-Janes!
6. Classic Skinny Jeans in an amazing colour.
7. Navy stripes never disappoint! Love this sweet Colombe top.
8. Cool Tricolour moccasins in summery colours.
9. Swoon! This Clémentine Navy Romper is just lovely — both for baby boys as girls!
10. Gorgelous green Otto baby booties.
11. On trend Festa Coral socks.

xxx Esther

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

Hucklebones and the Secret Garden




Photographer and stylist, Emma Donnelly, sent over some photos from her recent photoshoot with Hucklebones and I think they perfectly capture how pretty the spring has been here in England with all the beautiful cherry blossoms, budding tulips and little girls in pretty dresses and bare legs!! Such gorgeous photos!

Of course you can’t go wrong when photographing Hucklebones clothing. It is just such a beautiful, timeless brand. And goodness, how cute is that little chambray romper?! There is something about Hucklebones that reminds me of springtime (and especially Easter!), and I think these photos capture both so perfectly.

x Courtney

When your babies grow up…

You know that feeling you get when you look over at your daughter and she suddenly looks bigger? Like she must have grown a couple inches over night? Well that happened this weekend. I swear she went from squishy little toddler to tall young lady in the matter of seconds. My heart!!!

I have felt this way with the boys as well, but it seems especially quick with Ivy. Maybe it’s because she IS actually growing quickly — she’s one of the tallest in her class despite being one of the youngest, she was the first in her class to lose a tooth, and because she has older brothers she’s always playing with the big kids. (Such a contrast to me as a young girl — I was the oldest child in my family so I was incredibly naive and was always a late bloomer both emotionally and physically.) Ivy will turn five next month and those five years have sped by. I can’t believe it!

Is it just me, or does time seem to move more quickly with each passing year?!  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just slow it down a notch?

xx Courtney

p.s. Ivy’s pretty dress is from Marmalade & Mash (currently offering 15% off), and the Saltwater Sandals are from EenyMeeny. x

The intriguing techniques behind the fabulous fabrics of Macarons

Julie and Veit, the handsome couple behind German eco-brand Macarons, are some of the most detailed and dedicated founders of a children’s fashion brand we know. They go so much further than ’simply’ creating a collection of very sweet clothes (although they do that too!). They actually keep their fingers on every aspect of the production process. First, they source only the best organic fibres from different places in the world, strictly according to the GOTS standards. Then, the rest of the production is entirely completed locally, in Germany and Austria — the spinning and dying of the yarn, the knitting and weaving process, the printing, boiling and cutting of the fabrics, to the sewing of the final product. All of this is done in impeccably managed, small family-run ateliers. This way, Julie and Veit truly know where all the materials for their garments come from (including tiny details like buttons and fasteners), how it was made, who made it, and where it was made. They can be sure that everything is free of chemicals, and that the production is completed with only the best work ethics for the staff.

The actual creation of the fabrics is something else. This is not just a matter of printing a lovely pattern on high quality, crisp and paper-like organic cotton (although they do that too!) — no, the way they create their fabrics is an extremely clever, innovative and technical process, and it results in the most beautiful three-dimensional patterns and structures. For instance, they create wonderfully soft fabrics by weaving two fabrics together at intervals. A bit like quilting, really. And after washing, the first fabric wrinkles into the other fabric, creating lovely ‘dunes’ on on side, and sweet fine dots on the other side. Another example: they combine two weaving techniques, resulting in a soft but strong seersucker cotton fabric that does not need to be ironed.

The design of the garments is also very well thought through — the way garments are cut, the way pleats suddenly reveal pockets or create special shapes, a button that is sewn on with a tread in a contrasting colour… The level of all of this is truly remarkable, and this is what really sets Macarons apart as a brand.

xxx Esther

Weekend brownie baking and cute aprons from Odette Williams


The lovely Odette Williams sent over a couple of her cute apron sets for my kids and they arrived just in time for some brownie baking over the weekend. I managed to snap a couple photos of my little helpers and thought I would share.

If you haven’t yet discovered the Smitten Kitchen brownie recipe, you should do so immediately. It’s my go-to recipe! And if your kids need some aprons to encourage them to help you in the kitchen, you should check out these great sets. (They also make good gifts I think!)

x Courtney

New spring fashion from Ladida!

We’ve met the lovely Rebecca from the wonderful (online) boutique Ladida a few times at the Playtime trade fairs — in Paris and also in New York — and we always have such a blast. She’s usually attending the shows together with her BFF Estee, from the beautiful Brooklyn based brick-and-mortar children’s shoppe Posh, and they are such a happy and fun couple of friends. We always feel we want to hang out with them way more — if only we didn’t live across the ocean from each other!!

The new collections recently came in at Ladida, and I couldn’t resist the temptation of placing a little order with Rebecca. I got a few super adorable outfits for my kids (and took a couple of photos of them over the weekend). My girls are wearing their pretty dresses from Neige, and Pim his sporting the super cool indigo linen blazer from Anais & I. How lucky that the weather has been so amazing, so that they can immediately enjoy their fabulous new clothes!

xxx Esther

Laviandbelle jewellery


Laviandbelle was started by two London-based mums who wanted to create handmade yet affordable jewellery for children and teens. Unlike the disposable mass-market jewellery you can find on the high street, they wanted to offer unique pieces, all handmade in their Notting Hill studio and only available in limited quantities.

I love that their jewellery is playful and fun, but also simple and tasteful. There’s an innocence to their jewellery that I find refreshing (it’s not trying to make kids look more grown up or glamorous, but rather just offering fun accessories for everyday, or pretty pieces for special occasions).

They sent over some sweet summery pieces for Ivy, and she was absolutely beside herself. How sweet is the glitter heart necklace? And I love the simple bracelets with neon accents and little charms. Of course she wants to wear everything at once!

x Courtney

Birdie London Photo Studio









I was invited to try out the new Birdie London pop-up photo booth at Liberty last weekend, so the girls and I went over to check it out. We spent an hour in a pretty little private room in Liberty, playing dress up while they snapped some photos. It was such a fun time, and even Ivy (who hates having her photo taken) enjoyed it!  I just got the photos back, and I LOVE them!  I hope you don’t mind me sharing some with you? My favourite is the one where Marlow is crying! Such a perfect, imperfect photo! : )

Birdie London will be running pop-up photo booths in Liberty throughout the year, so it’s definitely worth checking their site and signing up for news on future dates. They offer one-hour photo sessions for £300, and then after the session they email you all the photos (for free) and you get to keep them, print them and use the files as you wish.

I’m definitely going to print some of these photos and hang them up in our house. And I’m already looking forward to the next session so I can get some photos with all my children!

xx Courtney

p.s. Marlow is wearing this super cute outfit from La Coqueta.  Ivy is wearing this pretty coral dress from Marie Puce or this Liberty London floral dress which she borrowed for the shoot.

Mormor, gorgeous, hand-knit clothing

Mormor is a Danish company with a collection of hand knit products that I adore. The concept behind Mormor is wonderful: to pass on the knowledge and skills that many elderly women possess. Mormor currently has a team of over 130 women who are passionately knitting sweet and fashionable designs for a younger generation. I love this thought!

I often think that if I lived 100 years ago, the ability to knit, sew and embroider would not just be a hobby, it would be a necessity. If one couldn’t knit, one would freeze! Quilts and patchwork blankets were not just for decoration, they were meant to keep the family warm and cosy after the fire went out. And embroidery was used to label bedlinen and restore holes. I love that Nina, the creative owner of Mormor, explores these thoughts and skills and used them to set up her succesfull business.

Mormor designs are fashionable yet timeless. See above Ava wearing the darling Ivar cardigan, and Casper sporting sweater Dan. Pieces are designed in a way they can be worn for years (you can fold the sleeves the first year), and then passed on to siblings or friends. The materials used are 100% natural and of high quality, like alpaca and merino wool, and they are very strong and durable. But most of all, I love the fact that these items are all handmade by master knitters, who knit with love for this younger generation.

xxx Esther

Denim Dress with iron-on patches, from Tootsa MacGinty


How cute is this denim dress from Tootsa MacGinty?! I love the simple faded denim smock style (coincidentally, I have a very similar dress for myself!), but I also love that it comes with a little pouch full of cute & colourful iron-on patches for kids to customise.

Leave it to Tootsa MacGinty to add a fun twist like that! I also love the clever pack-a-mac jacket which folds up into its own little handy bag, complete with smiley face. So cute!

x Courtney

Baby Degen

We LOVED meeting Lindsay Degen at Playtime last week! She’s so funky and creative and stylish (you should have seen her hair! she had one braid about half the length of the other!), and she’s one extremely talented lady too. She sat in her booth knitting the cutest pair of baby socks you’ve ever seen! After launching her adult unisex line in 2011, she has recently started a baby line called Baby Degen featuring hand-knit baby clothes and accessories in fun colours and with quirky details. She says she is trying to keep the ‘cute’ in children’s wear. I love that!

x Courtney

Playtime NY discoveries

Esther and I have just returned from a busy (and fun!) work trip to NYC. I always feel a little bit guilty calling it a ‘work weekend’ when we manage to enjoy it so much, but we did squeeze in some good meetings and spent an eventful day at Playtime NY. I was really reminded on this trip of what a lucky job we have — one that takes us to fun cities around the world for trade shows, where we get to scout out fun new brands and meet up with old favourites and where we get to meet other entrepreneurial parents who have started their own business and who are so passionate about what they do. It’s such a wonderfully supportive environment, and we feel really lucky to be a part of it.

Anyway, back to Playtime. We wanted to give you a little re-cap of the show, but this time we thought we would do things a little bit differently. Instead of mentioning all the brands we saw and loved (which is pretty much every single one!), we’ve decided to highlight just the new brands we discovered. I was actually quite surprised by how many new brands there were. Here were our favourites:

Moskiddos: Organic cotton, beautiful deep colours, easy-to-wear shapes.

AXL: A new line of super soft, organic cotton loungewear for babies. Lots of adorable baby suits, onesies and little leggings.



Home Grown Books: A new company dedicated to creating early reading content that is visually stimulating, respects the intelligence of young learners, and still engages moms and dads. They work with various artists to create different boxed sets, and we loved the beautiful designs of them all!

Odette Williams: We loved discovering these great cotton apron sets. Each set comes with apron, mitt, and three wooden utensils, and we think these would make the perfect gift for little kids!

Urban Infant: Clever backpacks with an attachable daycare nap mat and clever art cylinder. We loved the bamboo utensils pouch and the ’sidewalk not included’ crayons.

Bacabuche: If we were kids, we would want to wear these clothes! Organic baby clothing in natural colours of cream, greys and blacks featuring stylish and easy-to-wear cuts. And this kimono style baby gown!!

Muny: How cute is this skirt and these adorable Ikat pants?! We loved this brand and all the wonderful block-printed fabrics.

Rouxroo: Bold, vibrant prints that are engaging and also educational. The black and white graphic prints mixed with vibrant primary colours are meant to stimulate your baby’s brain. They’re also quite fun and stylish too.

Seesaw: A very cute Spanish brand featuring basic clothes all beautifully made. Just check out their website – how cute are those images?!

Solvej Swings: Wooden indoor/outdoor swings for babies and children 6 months to 6 years. We both want one in our gardens!

Baby Degen: A new baby line out from Lindsay Degan. We love the funky knitted socks, hats and trousers! Definitely fun and different!

Lille Huset: Cardboard doll houses that come flat-packed with all the accessories needed to decorate and play. Perfect for sending gifts in the post, or for taking with you on holiday. Our girls would love these!

Tuchinda: Gorgeous designs featuring beautiful European and Japanese fabrics and interesting textures. We especially loved the jackets!

Jonas Paul eyewear

With two very nearsighted parents, it is not so much the question of if, but when one of our children will need their first pair of glasses. I still remember when I was ‘diagnosed’ for nearsightedness by the school nurse at the age of 11, and being so sad and angry about the fact that she told me I had to start wearing glasses… (At the time, glasses were definitely not cool, and I already had braces to complete the look.) I also remember the revelation when I put my first pair of glasses on my nose — wow! I could see!
Thankfully, nowadays glasses and the nerdy look are glamorous and chic, and there are wonderful choices available for little children as well: enter Jonas Paul eyewear.

Cute NY based couple Ben and Laura Harrison launched Jonas Paul Eyewear soon after their son, Jonas Paul, was born with a rare visual impairment. Unable to find suitable and stylish eyewear for Jonas, Ben started started designing his own line of frames, trying to bridge the gap between adult and children’s styles. And he has succeeded so well! I love the darling styles of the frames, both of the prescription frames as the sunglasses. I couldn’t help ordering the Ruth sunglasses for Sara. Sooo cute!

And when the moment comes that my kids need glasses, thankfully there is nothing to feel sad about anymore. Yay!

xxx Esther

Some favourites from LaDiDa

LaDiDa is a US-based children’s boutique with an amazing selection of brands to choose from and the most beautiful clothes! I thought it would be fun to round up some of my current favourites from the shop, so I’ve created some outfits and have linked to the clothes below:

  • Outfit 1: I love the mint green jumpsuit and the sweet little mary jane shoes. And the stripy beach bag! I could buy this for myself!
  • Outfit 3: I love this striped orange tunic… and these shorts by Bonton are my favourite. I always buy them for my boys (so easy with the elasticated waist and simple shape). I find it difficult to buy shorts for boys – so often they’re big and baggy and oversized. I like to see my boys’ little legs not cover them up!!
  • Outfit 4: How pretty is this Bonton dress?! I want one in my size please! And the floral scarf and perfect leather sandals! It’s the ideal outfit for summery beach holidays. Summer can’t come quickly enough!
  • Outfit 5: For Marlow! Sweet top and bloomers from Neige. And I can’t get enough of these little leather sandals. So simple and yet so pretty!

Little Fashion Week, a new fair in Brussels

Last Saturday, Emilie and I spent a day in Brussels to visit the new children’s fair Little Fashion Week. What a fun opportunity to hang out together, and to visit the pretty town of Brussels!

The fair took place in the industrial buildings of Tour et Taxis — a stunning location. The decoration of the fair was also very beautiful. The lounge was decorated with tons of little playhouses, piles on bright coloured pallades and surrounded with gorgeous stuffed animals and toys. So stylish! (We also liked the burger from the Mi Vida food truck!)

It was fun spending the day at Little Fashion Week, getting up to date with brands and collections, and some discovering new shops and brands. And catching up with our blogging friends Florence from Pirouette and Peggy from Paul&Paula.

Here’s a little impression of our day… (more…)

The new Elias & Grace website!

Have you seen the shiny new Elias & Grace website?! They’ve given themselves an entirely new look and lots of great new features. You can now narrow down your search by category, gender and by child’s size (which is such a handy feature I think). You can shop new arrivals and see different trends (currently stripes and blue!). And of course, it goes without saying, that everything in store is so effortlessly stylish!

Elias & Grace is my go-to shop in London. They do such a great job of buying and always have the most stylish selection of brands. It’s always fun to stop in at the beginning of every season to see the latest trends and pick up some new pieces for the kids. It’s impossible for me to resist!

x Courtney

PS – Elias & Grace is now offering a £100 gift voucher in our BIG giveaway! So if you haven’t done so already, go enter to win!! Today is the last day!

Terry Rich beach robes

Terry Rich specialises in towels, beach robes, UV rash vests and all things beachy. Being from Australia, they happen to know a thing or two about sun protection and the best beach products. Every time I email with them we always speak about the weather… and it seems like, even during their winter, they’re still out on the beach!

I love their hooded beach robes. What a perfect thing for little ones to wear when they’re fresh out of the water, wet and chilly and in need of a big, cosy robe! I love that they zip up so they stay on, unlike towels which always fall off and end up in the sand.

Terry Rich is just one of the 16 amazing shops offering a prize to this week’s BIG GIVEAWAY. They’re giving away a $100 gift voucher to use online.  You can see all the great prizes and enter to win here.

x Courtney

Cute toys under £4 from Eenymeeny

Ivy has now lost her two bottom teeth!! I think it’s really young to start losing them (she’s only 4½!), but it goes to show that no matter how hard I try to keep my babies little forever, they just insist on growing up! : )

Anyway, the tooth fairy has now come twice in the past couple weeks, each time leaving two £1 coins under her pillow. (What’s the going rate for the tooth fairy these days? I’m curious to know if £2 is normal?!) So… with £4 in her pocket, we decided to pay a little visit to Eeenymeeny to see what sort of toy she could buy herself.

The selection was so good, she had a difficult time choosing! She could buy:

  • A sweet pack of handmade, earthenware marbles, painted in pretty colours
  • A wooden pop gun like her brothers got for Christmas
  • Fingernail stickers to decorate her nails
  • Swirly whirly bouncy balls, because they’re always fun!
  • Super cute knitted finger puppets
  • Magical fluttering butterflies that you twist up and then release to let them fly
  • A package of plastic daisies to create your own daisy chain bracelets (she needed a few extra pounds to buy this, but we were willing to chip in for the sake of how cool this was!)
  • She ended up with this super cool little colouring book – with 32 pages of bunnies to draw outfits and dress up! She loves it and has nearly coloured in every page! (There’s also a ‘32 ways to dress a fox‘ version too, and I’m definitely going back to buy more for little gifts.)

We don’t normally take the kids shopping with us, for fear of turning them into little consumers. But, I did think it was an interesting exercise to show Ivy what her money could buy her. I also think she really appreciated her colouring book because she knew she bought it herself and had made the tough decision to choose it over the other interesting options.

Anyway, I thought I would share in case your kids are also hoping to spend their tooth fairy money!

x Courtney

LuluZulu tights

Luluzulu is a new brand of ‘gender free’ tights and socks for babies. Started by husband and wife team, Katie and Richard Kendrick, they’ve set out to create fun designs with a ’sense of style and a sprinkle of humour’ for both boys and girls. I love the ‘Fox in Socks’ style with the little fox tail on the bum and the argyle socks design. I also like that all the tights and socks have non-slip grippers on the bottom of the feet, so your babies don’t slip around in their tights.

They kindly sent a pair for Marlow and I managed to snap a quick photo (above). Such fun tights, a statement all on their own … and LOOK AT THAT BELLY!! : )

xx Courtney

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