We already were big fans of the Australian company Makedo, the super smart connector system that enables the creation of objects and spaces from found materials. And now they have come up with yet another brilliant and innovative way to re-use old boxes: the Box Props! So simple, but so, so fun! The system works with very easy-to-use plastic screws that (really very easily!) screw into a cardboard box. Then, you can connect the ready to use, illustrated plastic ‘Props’ to create anything from robots, pets and monster faces, even vehicles! I love how this simple idea transforms any cereal, tissue or shoebox into a character to play with. We had fun with the ‘people’ Box Props, and transformed an ordinary tissue box into a super fun guy!
Way back when, we lived in the USA. I was around 8 years old and I still remember it as clear as day, it made such a huge impression on me. I mean, the ice cream shop carried 33 different flavours of ice-cream and we got to eat our lunch at school wrapped up in a brown paper bag!
But I do think my most favourite memory is the trip we took around the US in a big old Chevy and went camping everywhere from Dakota to Colorado. It was so much fun (the first night we put up our tents, the family in the next tent heard us jabbering away in French and invited us over to eat our first ever smores!).
Anyway, my brother and I spent a lot of time in the back of the car on that journey and there were exactly two things that kept us from skinning each other alive: Uno and Mastermind. Do you remember this game? It’s a great strategy game in which you need to guess your opponents code, so it is a bit like breaking the enigma code, but for 7 year olds. It is addictive and perfect for 2 siblings, especially those with a competitive streak in them!
Usually I write about cute clothes, darling shoes, best toys, I even throw in a few recipes and some fun DIYs here and there but today I’d like to talk about something a little more boring but far more important than all that – about choosing the right type of sunscreen. The sunny days that finally arrived already call for good sun protection (Spring apparently doesn’t really exist anymore). But there’s a catch about them which I didn’t know for a very long time. I only took care that the sunscreen doesn’t contain any parabens and has the highest SPF filter possible but that is actually not enough:
There are two types of sunscreens – the ones with Physical UV filters (good!) and the ones with Chemical ones (very bad!). The main problem about Chemical Filters is that they penetrate the skin and absorb the UV light from there until they eventually release free radicals which can be even more damaging than the rays themselves! They can cause not only greater skin ageing but also skin cancer! Yes, sunscreen itself can cause the things we always thought (or at least I did) only the sun can! While Physical Filters (also Mineral Screens) stay on the skin and don’t absorb but reflect the UV light! They act as a barrier between the skin and light. So be careful and look for the sun protection with Physical Filters like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Dioxide.
I tried a few different ones already and some of them were really awful – they were just impossible to spread and left white or even yellow marks on clothes that never got washed off but I finally found two I really like. UVbio is the best sunscreen I have ever tried by far but it’s quite expensive and the other one I also like is from Lavera and it’s a lot more budget friendly.
I am always on the lookout for new craft books, for the simple reason that we like crafting so much but often do need a little boost in inspiration. This great new book is by the same lady as Let’s Make Some Art. It is such a great way of introducing children to creating new art and using other things (namely fingers) to create shapes. I also love the little video that goes with the book and also the little online games.
I completely adore the String Shelf. The String system was design in 1949 and over the last years has become one of the most popular pieces of classic scandinavian design. We got one for Nico’s room — we call it “the treasure shelf”, because this is where he keeps his most valuable toys at the moment.
Robots, dinos, rockets. But the most important toys are the Star Wars ones, because they were a present from Uncle Javi. The toys belonged to him since he was little, and now they belong to Nico, 30 years later! Such a lovely present.
We are very happy with our String ! Hope you like it!
Big Kids Magazine is an Australian magazine created by two friends living in opposite sides of Australia, and they haven’t seen each other for over 12 years! Jo, from Perth, is a dancer. Lilly, from Sydney, a visual artist. They are mothers as well — and now publishers!
Big Kids Magazine is a not just your ordinary magazine. It’s a celebration of creativity, art, words, meanings, associations and innovation. Printed on beautiful paper and full of gorgeous illustrations and ideas, this magazine is such a great inspiration for children — and adults too!
Sara and Pim love the magazine, and it’s been so inspirational for them. I see lots of ideas we discussed while reading Big Kids Magazine back in their artwork! (And do you like the crazy guy above we drew together as a family?)
Don’t you love these easy and adorable summer pieces from Mon Marcel? Originating from Barcelona and inspired by the Mediterranean and Provence, all the Mon Marcel pieces excel in their simple, rich and clean lines. The beautiful, natural fabrics used and the great attention to detail add to the high quality and elegance of the collection. Cute!
Mon Marcel is available through Bibaloo.com.
I recently discovered the Naef brand of baby toys at the TwentyTwentyOne shop in Islington and I was so drawn to the simplicity of the toys. Simple, but so beautiful at the same time. And all the wood is so smooth, the shapes are so perfect for little baby hands, and the sounds the toys make when you move them are so naturally pleasant. I bought this ringl-ring-rattle for Marlow and it’s one of her favourite toys, fitting so perfectly into her hands and entertaining her with the way the rings naturally fall from side to side of the circular ring.
I love the bright colours and bold prints on the tunics at Emerald August. Such happy pieces little girls will love to wear! (Laura from Emerald August sent this tunic dress for Ivy and you should have seen the excitement in opening the package – pink, purple and butterflies!! It doesn’t get better than that!!!).
Emerald August is an Atlanta-based company and each article of clothing is designed by Laura and made locally in the USA. You’ll find tunic tops, dresses and a collection of sweet graphic tees for the summer.
This craft idea is so simple I almost did not write about it, but I quite liked the result, so I wanted to share it anyway. Last weekend was Violette’s birthday and she had gotten it into her head that it was going to have a bunny rabbit theme and that we were going to have carrot cake cupcakes (we used Courtney’s amazing carrot cake recipe). I, on the other hand had gotten it into my head that it would be cool to have some rabbit cupcake toppers (I just need to point out that rabbit cupcake toppers are pretty much the only impossible thing to find in Paris!)
So Coco and I made some, and we had a great afternoon of painting, cutting and glueing. First Coco painted a picture of a rabbit. We then scanned it in, scaled it down and multiplied it. We printed it out and cut the little rabbits out in circles. Then we glued 2 together and sandwiched a tooth pick between the 2 pieces of paper.
Voila, the party can begin!
First I would like to start by thanking the Babyccino girls for inviting me to become a part of their amazing team of contributors. I’ve been following them ever since I started with my blog and have been quietly hoping for an opportunity like this but honestly I never dared to think I’d actually get one. But here I am and I’m really looking forward to sharing some of my best finds and DIYs with you – hope you’ll like them!
Tila is so in the princess phase right now and that was always one of my biggest fears. But I think I got over the princess phobia by finding out there’s so much more than only the pink puffy and sparkling thingies for the little royals-wannabe. Like this feather crown. I actually found the inspiration for it over on Pinterest and Tila and I both immediately loved it. I think’s it’s a nice untacky alternative to the before mentioned and still has something kids love the most – colors, lots of bright colors!
This is really easy to do and all you need is some feathers in different sizes, a fabric ribbon, glue (super glue and plain craft glue or fabric glue), scissors and some old newspaper to protect the surface.
First you need to measure the head and add a little extra before cutting the ribbon (like 40 cm – 20 for each side, you can still cut more later). Then measure from ear to ear and mark that at the middle of the ribbon and finally pile the feathers by sizes.
I started the first row with the smallest ones and made three rows ending with the longest feathers. Glue them on with super glue just because it will save you some time and nerves.
Wait until the glue dries completely and paste a piece of a ribbon over the feathers – use the craft glue or fabric one don’t use super glue because it will harden that part!
Easy peasy, right?
I totally remember tie-dying as a child — it was such fashion back then, and I remember how fun and exciting it was. You never really knew what the results were going to be like! So I picked up a packet of fabric dye from the local drugstore (there wasn’t much choice — I used Dylon dye for hand use, colour Ocean Blue), and a few simple, white cotton T-shirts for the kids (plus a onesie for Casper of course). After pre-washing the shirts, I wet the shirts (or you can just leave them wet after washing), and put the kids around the table with each a shirt to use and a bag of elastic bands. I explained some different folding techniques to them using this page, and we started! For Casper’s onesie, I made a big donut by creating a big rosette and pushing the tip back through the rubber band. For Ava’s shirt, we made a line of small rosettes which we tied together with one elastic band. Pim used the folding technique, making vertical folds and tying them at irregular intervals. As you can see he’s very pleased with the results. And Sara made random circles, bigger and small, which also gave a cool effect I think.
After tying the shirts, I prepared the dye in the kitchen sink and we submerged the shirts in the dye for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally with a big steel spoon. Then, I rinsed with cold water and let the kids untie their shirts with plastic gloves on. The excitement and surprise — they absolutely loved it! After a quick spin in the machine the shirts were ready to wear. With pride!
With summer creeping up on us, I am suddenly in the mood for cute, colourful accessories — for my girls and for me! INspiRaTiOns by la Girafe is a French brand with an adorable collection of necklaces, hairclips and bracelets, just perfect in their simplicity and innocence.
I met up with my friend Lindsey from Urban Mums recently and she was telling me about (and showing me) her baby’s terrible eczema. Eczema so bad that his skin, at times, became infected and needed medical treatment. Poor little baby boy. It turns out he is allergic to dairy and gluten, and that feeding him a specially formulated baby milk free from these allergens will keep his eczema at bay. His eczema has thankfully mostly cleared up… but still, Lindsay has to be really picky about the clothing and fabrics her son wears so that his sensitive skin is never irritated. Enter Silver Sense clothing.
Silver Sense specialises in clothing which helps to ease the itching, inflammation and distress caused by eczema and other skin conditions in a natural way. Their clothes are made from soft cotton fabrics which are blended with real, natural silver fibres. I had no idea… but apparently silver fibres have powerful antimicrobial properties that help fight the symptoms of eczema and other skin conditions! How cool is that? (You can read more about it here.)
I love all their cute products, both for babies and children up to 8 years. Lots of fun stripes, and cute colour combos. And Lindsey says the products are really great in person, super cute and nice fitting… and yes, soothing on her baby’s skin. Brilliant!
2cute2betrue is a small Dutch label set up by Judith de Ruyter when she was pregnant with her 6th (!) baby. The label offers a collection of crochet toys and accessories which are designed by Judith here in the Netherlands and are handmade in Thailand as part of a Thai government project to support local communities.
The crochet collections include darling party accessories (I really love the cake toppers!), cute dolls and darling BFFs that come with their own mini house. I just know my girls would love to play with these! Another favourite is the cloud mobile — we have one hanging above Ava’s bed and it looks so sweet in her room.
All the crochet 2cute collections are available from the website (go to ‘collections’ and move your mouse over the photos to discover the different products for sale).
There’s a little obsession going on in our house since the kind Saint Nicholas brought my kids little Sylvanian families in their shoes last year. Those little figurines with their adorable accessories are just SO cute! Sylvanians have been around since the ‘80 (do you remember them?) and are made in Japan. There’s a whole world available around the families: houses, cars, telephone boxes, doctors on bikes, school uniforms, beach set ups, camper vans — you name it! All of it is so perfectly detailed — babies come with tiny little dummies and bottles, and miniscule bloomers. The hedgehog family has their own teeny weeny hairbrushes, breadbaskets have bunny shaped breads in mini scale, and there’s a fridge packed with goodies like tiny tomatoes and cucumbers!
My kids really love to play with their Sylvanians… and so does their mama — can you tell?
I had so much fun decorating this party for a newborn. I always thought of white and craft for the occassion and sweet details for a baby girl. It was all made by hand, so it is really a handmade and natural party!
If you want to see more pictures you can see more here and here. Hope you like it and it gives you some ideas for spring parties! It seems like spring has finally arrived after a long long rainy winter!
I love this new idea that Little Fashion Gallery has come up with: Fashion Packs. If you buy several of the same items from their lovely Little Fashion Gallery label at the same time, you get a bulk buy discount. A bit like buying from Costco, but infinitely chicer!
I popped into Elias & Grace the other day for a ‘just to browse, not to shop’ kind of thing, and ended up walking out with a couple new spring dresses for Ivy. I couldn’t help it — the sun was shining (finally!) so spring was in the air, and the dresses were too cute to pass up. I thought this simple white cotton dress by Miller was the perfect thing for summer. Is there anything sweeter than a little girl in a white dress on a summer’s day? No way.
Now let’s hope the sun stays out and this long, cold winter is over!
La De Dah Kids is an Australian brand with the sweetest collection of crochet toys, accessories and decorations. Take a peek at their bean bags and crochet floor mats – how cool are they?! They also have the most adorable collection of hand rattles and soft toys. Marlow has this little striped monkey (below) and loves playing with it – each of its legs fit perfectly into her little hands.
I was starting to think I was sick of knitwear after a long, cold winter… but these pieces from La De Dah are just so bright and fun. Love!