Beautiful, handmade jewellery by Blanca Monros Gómez

Blanca Gomez engraved rings

When I was a little girl, my Dutch grandmother gave all her granddaughters a simple gold band for us to wear on our little right-hand ring finger. I wore it for years until my finger grew too big, and I remember being so sad when it no longer fit me. I loved wearing it and loved that my sister and I and all our girl cousins shared this little ring in common.

When my grandmother passed away earlier this year, I tried to think of something I could give my children that would remind them of their great grandmother. It was at this time that I was in NYC (for ShopUp preparations) and discovered Blanca Monros Gómez’s beautiful jewellery in a pretty Brooklyn boutique. Her timeless, heirloom pieces reminded me of the jewellery my grandmother had given us when we were young: nothing fancy or overly conspicuous — just really pretty, simple pieces to be cherished forever.

Marlow wearing Blanca Gomez necklace
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Ivy

Ivy wearing Blanca Gomez necklace

happy Ivy wearing Blanca Gomez

I ended up getting each of the girls a hand-hammered gold band, something to remember their great-grandmother and hopefully keep forever. Blanca, who coincidentally got in touch with me when she saw I was in Brooklyn, very kindly offered to engrave their names into the bands, making the rings that much more special. I then decided that, for now while the girls are still really young, they can wear their rings on a simple gold chain and as they get older they can choose whether to wear the ring on their finger or to keep it on their necklace.

I’m so pleased with how the rings look on their necklaces (it makes me want to do the same with my childhood ring) and I’m so happy that the girls now have these special pieces to continue a family tradition.

Blanca will have a small booth at our ShopUp event in New York next month, so if you’re interested in her beautiful work and happen to be in the NY area, you can pop by to see her pieces in person (September 13th and 14th).

Courtney x

The beautiful new La Coqueta collections…

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La Coqueta AW15 collection

Sweet Celia of La Coqueta just sent over some shots of her beautiful new collection, and despite the fact that I’m not quite ready to wave summer goodbye, these stunning shots still made me secretly look forward to crackling fires, hot chocolate in big mugs, stews on the stove, and long wintery walks wrapped up in warm woollens…

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I love the old school fashion with the rock-chic sleepy hair in these scenes. (And seriously, how gorgeous is that wallpaper?)

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Such adorable outfits — so sweet and pretty and easy to wear. Perfect for school days or lazy weekends. You can find this collection online now!

xxx Esther

Beautiful sleepwear from Atticus & Gilda

Ivy in Atticus & Gilda pyjamas
Atticus & Gilda

Ivy in pyjamas

I discovered Atticus & Gilda at the recent Dot to Dot tradeshow in London and fell in love with this brand immediately. The gorgeous pyjamas and coordinating eye masks caught my eye, but really it was meeting and talking to the founders that drew me to this brand. Lucy Gaiger and Conchita-Maria Scott are two costume designers who have spent years working on hit musical theatre productions. They still have their ‘day jobs’ as costume designers, but decided to use their expertise to create a beautiful line of children’s sleepwear, made using the one-of-a-kind trimmings they’ve collected over the many years during their careers. The result is a collection of gorgeous, fairytale-like sleepwear, the type Wendy would wear in ‘Peter Pan’.

I managed to pick up some pyjamas for the girls before leaving London, and Ivy has been living in her pair (and eye mask) all week. I snapped the photos above while we were out visiting my grandparents in the San Juan Islands last week. I looked outside one evening and saw Ivy in her pyjamas with the setting sun behind her and quickly grabbed my camera to take a few photos. Magic hour in a magical place!!

Courtney x

p.s. They also make nice pyjamas for boys, and I was excited to see some overnight sleep sets (with toothbrush and eye mask) in their newest collection launching later this year.

A summer picnic!

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I’ve said it before, but one of my favourite things about being in this business is meeting so many inspiring women, many of them mums (most of them mums, in fact) who run a business of their own which somehow connects to ours in one way or the other. It is an industry where women support each other and where small brainstorm sessions turn into exciting collaborations. It is a world where a group of friends can plan an after-school picnic, and because of the talent behind it, it turns out to be one of the most memorable summer garden parties — including delicious food, happy children, a dreamy garden and a water fight finale to end the day!

This past Friday, Celia from La Coqueta invited us over for a picnic in her beautiful back garden, the talented Skye McAlpine offered to cook the food, and Emma Donnelly came over with her camera to help document the day. It was a merging of different talents and good friends. Together we spent the day prepping for a picnic (by ‘prepping’ I really mean watching Skye work her magic in the kitchen!), and then, after picking the kids up from school, we all sat down to enjoy.

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The kids, all dressed in coordinating outfits from La Coqueta, played so well together — like one big family. They played games, picked flowers and berries from the garden, did cartwheels in the grass… and kept returning to the picnic blanket for a sip of mint lemonade and another slice of cake! Meanwhile, we mums had the chance to talk motherhood, careers, food, photography, and everything in between. I felt so lucky to spend the day with such inspiring women, and the kids keep asking if we can do it again!

I hope you don’t mind me sharing so many photos from the picnic. Emma managed to capture the day so beautifully, don’t you think?

Courtney x

All photos above are taken by Emma Donnelly (except the last two, which were snapped by Skye).

Velveteen, a pretty collection and now on sale!

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Velveteen is a brand we’ve known and loved for a long time. Each season we make sure to check out their upcoming collections at Playtime, and we’ve enjoyed watching this brand grow over the last few years, getting better and better each season. Their current Spring/Summer collection is definitely our favourite one yet! How pretty are all the colours and fabrics?! I love that the boys’ collection is just as nice as the girls’, with cute shorts and tees that are both simple and stylish.

I’ve just noticed that the Velveteen summer sale has started and all the pieces are now 40% off! A perfect excuse to pick up some summer pieces for the warm months ahead.

Courtney x

Hand embroidered beauties from Cabbages & Kings

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Cabbages & Kings shoes
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Cabbages & Kings skirt

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How dreamy are all of these images from Cabbages & Kings? Summertime sweetness right there: bare feet, tan little limbs, happy children, long grass, and whimsical pieces so perfect for this time of year.

I am such a fan of all the colourful Mexican embroidery and unique patterns, and love that the pieces are handmade and one-of-a-kind. Cabbages & Kings works with skilled artisans from communities in Mexico and Peru, supporting fair trade and ethical craftsmanship.

The dresses and skirts are so, so pretty, aren’t they? And the little shoes and bibs would make the perfect new baby gifts. Cabbages & Kings are currently offering Babyccino readers a 22% discount on their entire collection. Click over to their profile page on our portal for details and promo code. Hooray for summer!

Courtney x

Exclusive Macarons Flash Sale!

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Macarons is a German-based fashion brand which we have always admired for their innovative way of thinking about fabrics and their never-ending enthusiasm to transform the fashion industry — for the better. Their perseverance to ensure that their collections are 100% produced according the GOTS guidelines, vouching for a strictly ecological, sustainable and fair manufacturing chain is truly admirable.

The Macarons collection are so, so adorable. The pieces are always special, made of the finest fabrics and finished in the most detailed way, with contrasting stitching or a coloured button here or there — details that prove the care and thought that the Macarons team puts in every item. I have passed down Macarons pieces from my bigger to smaller children, and once they outgrow them, my friends’ babies enjoy them and they still are like new. The quality is just so good.

So — we’re super excited to announce that Macarons is offering Babyccino Kids readers a hefty 30% off their entire collection*! This is really awesome — what a perfect opportunity to get to know this beautiful brand if you didn’t already — or to pick up some sweet summer pieces you had your eye on… (For instance — I love the stripy pinafore dress and baggy pants I got for Ava and Casper a little while ago, and if you have a toddler, this bubble suit is so, so adorable! And our babies have seriously lived in these overalls the first years — so practical!)

To redeem your discount, just check out using discount code BKSALE30. Enjoy!! (I just ordered these cool pants Pliso for Pim, he’s going to love them!)

xxx Esther

* Gift vouchers and cfm (cecile for macarons) items can not be included in the sale but all the other items are included.

Muddy Puddles — an exciting competition!

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Muddy Puddles rain gear
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My friend, Natasha, is a busy mum of three, an entrepreneur and also the managing director at Muddy Puddles. She runs the entire business out of her London home and has spent the past couple years completely revamping the brand, creating a range of outdoor clothing for kids that is both stylish, protective and functional (not an easy feat!). Their mission at Muddy Puddles is to encourage children to get outside and play, to explore the great outdoors whatever the weather…. because playing outdoors leads to bigger imaginations, better concentration, amazing memories and healthier bodies. Which is so true, true, true!

I’m a big fan of Muddy Puddles and their great collection (how handy are the pac-a-mac raincoats featured above? perfect for summertime travels and outdoor adventures!), and I love that Natasha has re-designed many of the pieces to be gender neutral and timeless, so items can be handed down from one child to the next.

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Over the past few months Natasha has spearheaded a Virgin Media’s ‘Pitch to Rich’ campaign, and has battled through to be one of 10 companies shortlisted in the ‘Grow’ category. There have been thousands of entries, but the finalists have been whittled down and Muddy Puddles is now in the final stages to qualify to win a grant of £250,000 to roll out their “Get Outdoors” campaign for children across the UK. Super exciting possibilities for this wonderful, small business!

To encourage people to vote, Muddy Puddles is offering the chance to win a luxury outdoor holiday for 10 for a week & an entire year’s supply of waterproofs & a Go Ape Family Pass. Such a cool prize to win!

To enter:
• Vote here
• Click the Facebook button on pitch page and tag 5 friends you’d take on the holiday if you won
• Let them know you’ve entered and tagged, either on Facebook, or by email to marketing@muddypuddles.com.

If you can spare a moment, please go vote. It would be amazing for this wonderful, small business to win such a big campaign and prize!

Courtney x

Pala Mino

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I now have a 9 year old who “hates” girly stuff. Now the problem is that it is very hard to understand what that actually means. When questioned the answer is: “Well, you know…. girly stuff!!!!”

What I have concluded is that it means pink and frills and nothing that is considered “not comfy”. The rest can be negotiated, like in politics.

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We recently were sent this dress by Pala Mino and to both mine and Coco’s relief it is on the thin cross-over line between what we both love. I love the beautiful cut and fabric and the fact that it is locally made in Britain. Coco loves it for the simple reason that it is, as mentioned before “comfy” and also funky.

Here are a couple photos of my Coco wearing her lovely Pala Mino Grecian Dress out and about in Marrakesh earlier this month.

– Emilie

Muny — comfortable and contemporary clothing from Brooklyn

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When we were in Le Touquet a few weeks ago we had such luck with the weather… It was seriously warm and wonderful that day. The kids were running around through the pretty parks and over the beach, there was no rush, in fact we had all the time in the world to spend with dear friends… Weekends like that will be treasured forever.

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That Sunday Casper and Ava were wearing pieces from Muny, a clothing brand from Brooklyn, and they were just perfect for the occasion — comfortable, easy, and lovely. Aren’t Casper’s Khadi pants pretty? They are so well made with a full lining, and I love the pocket detail on the back. Ava is wearing the Olivia dress, an easy piece for beach, playground or birthday party alike. All of Muny’s pieces are made from natural fabrics which are made by various textile artisans in India, using ancient techniques of wood block printing, handloom weaving and hand dyeing. Very nice!

xxx Esther

PS Shoes are from Amy & Ivor, we love them! Casper’s jumper is from Waddler (on sale now!).

PPS Muny is offering an exclusive 20% deal for Babyccino readers this month — check out our deals here.

Booboos’ Bonnets

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I received the sweetest email last month from Sophie McCurley, a mother of three and a maker of bonnets. She wrote to introduce me to her beautiful collection of handmade bonnets and I’m so glad she did. Aren’t they beautiful? I love the simple, classic styles and the gorgeous fabrics.

I ended up ordering one for Marlow and she wore it all last week when we were in Italy. I find that hats with ties are so handy for young children because they can’t just toss their hat off easily (and they don’t blow off if you’re on a boat, etc.). Not to mention, they are so adorable — Marlow looked deceivingly sweet all week. ; )

Courtney x

DIY: Hairclips

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Esther and her lovely Hair Style posts inspired me for this craft. Apparently someone’s eating Tila’s hair clips at our home because a week doesn’t go by that we don’t lose at least (!) one. Usually even more. So instead of buying them again I decided to make a few instead. And they turned out great! Like always I tried to find the simplest way and these are literally done in minutes – the thing that takes the longest is actually the drying of the glue.

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So, the things you need are:

Some fabric leftovers
Scissors
Glue
Glitter and furry pom poms (optional)
Hair Clips (I got mine from Ebay)

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Draw a shape (a star, a heart, a cloud etc.) on the back side of fabric and cut it out.

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If you want to make it glittery, first cover the front side with glue and sprinkle generously. Let it dry for about an hour or so and shake off the excess. You’ll do yourself a big favor if you do this outside or you’ll have glitter everywhere like I do!

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The bow is also really easy to do. First cut two strips about 6 and 4 centimetres long and one 1.5 cm wide and the other one half thinner. It’s even better if you have ribbons because they won’t fray on edges in time. Now glue both ends of the thicker strip together like on the second photo above. Fold in half and wrap the thinner strip around (begin and finish at the part where the thicker strip is glued together), glue in place and strip away the excess.

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Done!

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I also did one with pompoms where you only need to glue the three together but there are endless possibilities. Now all there’s left to do is glue the little embellishments on hair clips. So easy.

-Polona

To read more from Polona, go to her cute blog Baby Jungle!

Father and son swimwear from Tom & Teddy

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Tracking down nice-looking swimwear for boys is surprisingly more difficult than you would think! Especially rash tops — they always seem to have some crazy text or logos and end up clashing with the swim trunks my boys wear. Which is why I was excited when Tom & Teddy announced their new collection of simple rash tops (without any text!) to compliment their stylish collection of swim trunks. Problem solved.

The Tom & Teddy UPF50+ rash tops are not only stylish and sensible, they’re also extremely durable. Unlike traditional surfing tops which are made for saltwater swimming and not chlorinated pools, these rash tops won’t break down in chlorine water, so they really do last a long time! You can feel the quality when you hold them in your hands – they’re slightly thicker and more matte in finish than normal rash shirts.

What’s more, they offer rash tops and trunks for men — so dads can match their sons. A perfect Father’s Day gift perhaps?

Courtney x

This post was sponsored by Tom & Teddy, a long-time member of our shopping portal and a brand we have worked with for many years. All views expressed in this review are 100% my own.

WalkyTalkies — talking socks

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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

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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.

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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

 

Early exclusive discount at Elias & Grace

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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!

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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

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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.

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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

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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!)

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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.

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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). 

Room decór & accessories from Little Cloud

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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

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