Mikodesign — gorgeous screen prints and dolls!

I’ve written about Erika from Mikodesign before… I just love her creativity and her gorgeous range of screen-printed products. Her DIY doll kits are amazing, and so much fun to put together if you like sewing. Sara and I are in the process of making the new, special edition neon I Love Paris rabbit together — a lovely little project! It even comes with a little tote bag and a skirt with Paris print, plus an additional Eifeltower that can be turned into a really cool hanger. (In case sewing is not your thing, Erika also sells the dolls ready-made.)

And… I’m so happy that Erika is joining us for the ShopUp this weekend!! She’s told me she will bring a whole range of DIY kits and ready-made dolls, and darling clothing sets for the dolls as well. Plus tons of her adorable ornaments and accessories. All designed and handmade by Erika herself of course!
You’ll find me heading up the queue in front of her stand!! : )

xxx Esther

PS all photos are taken from Erika’s lovely Instagram feed.

Cromanticamente handmade dolls


When Elodie was turning three I found her a perfect little doll from the Italian Etsy shop Cromanticamente. These two sisters make lovely little dolls and I chose the December doll for her third birthday. I also love their seasonal dolls like this sweet Nordic inspired one and Clara & The Nutcracker. I am tempted to put their New Arrival doll in Francesca’s room as a sweet gesture of her and Elodie together!

x Elizabeth

Unique children’s room accessories from Boramiri

Pinterest is a dangerous, dangerous place. I can spend hours up there. Literally. I always promise myself to stop as soon as I find the thing I’m looking for but I end up with about 20+ new bookmarks. At least! And consequently with a thinner wallet as well.

This is how I also found this darling French boutique Boramiri started by Bora Lee, an illustrator and graphic designer from Paris with Korean origins. Inspired by both worlds she decided to combine them by using French fabrics and Korean design and the outcome is one outrageously cute collection of ragdolls and room accessories for kids and babies. I think we need the cat pouf in our lives!

-Polona

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

Tweet Toys

September has been a busy time for birthdays around here. I am always looking for cute gift ideas, especially for boys, since I am surrounded my little girls. I came across Tweet Toys which makes wooden imaginative play items for children.


I find it particularly nice that you can choose your fabric as I tend toward simple, more classic, colors and patterns. I will definitely be bookmarking them for the holidays!

-Elizabeth

To read more from Elizabeth, visit her lovely, heartfelt blog The Littlest Blog.

Cape & Mask sets from Udder

Aren’t these cape & mask sets so fun? Such a sweet, simple little costume for all sorts of imaginative role play. (It’s often the simplest things that spur the most imaginative fun, don’t you find?) I know my kids would love this!

They come from the great Australian-based brand, Udder, which deserves its own dedicated post because there are so many great products in their collection (clothing, handmade soft friends, accessories, etc.).

Also worth noting is that Udder is currently offering free worldwide shipping (for a limited time) — so now is a better time han ever to discover this great shop!

x Courtney

Drawnimal

My children are getting a bit older and with a bit of a heavy heart, I am slowly tiding away a lot of toys that just don’t get used anymore. I am even cleaning up virtually, as I also have been deleting children game apps off my iphone.

But there is actually one game that I have not deleted, just because it is so lovely: Drawnimal.

It is such a simple idea and it is designed in such a lovely fashion, I have been known to play it all by myself! I love the way it makes the phone the starting block for a picture and actually makes kids move away from the screen and go back to pen and paper. So clever!

- Emilie

Kids on Roof — Tatlin

These Tatlin toys from Dutch brand Kids on Roof are so cool! I just love the colours, the shapes — and the endless possibilities of the concept. Existing of cardboard magnets, these shapes can be used on any magnetic surface, and will surely provide hours and hours of fun — both for children and adults, I’m sure!


Next to just playing with the shapes, or using them for cool decor, there’s also a ‘game’ aspect to Tatlin, a bit like the Chinese puzzle game Tangram. It would make a really great gift for families, don’t you think? (I would love to have this on our fridge!)

xxx Esther

New collection at La De Dah Kids

I love the new collection at La De Dah. The large crochet softies are amazing, aren’t they? That whale is so cool!!! (I think I need it to decorate my boys’ bed!)

We have some of their baby toys and crochet hand rattles, and Marlow loves them. They’re really so cute, and fit perfectly into little hands.

I also love the look of the new crochet storage baskets (I think I’ve got a basket obsession), and of course the bean bags too.

The new collection is available online at La De Dah.

xx Courtney

Long Leo (by Suussies)

We’re in love with Long Leo! His arms and legs are sooo very long, so he’s extra fun to play with!

Long Leo is handmade from unique vintage materials so he’s completely one-of-a-kind. He can sit on the couch next to you, gives really good hugs, ride on your back even… What is also nice to know, is that he’ll stick around for a long time — he can just be tied to anything, so that you won’t lose him very easily! What a great friend!

xxx Esther

Guess Who? And other fun games from when we were young!

It’s such fun to have children old enough to play games! We’ve recently been playing a lot of  ’Guess Who?‘ — do you remember this game from when you were young? It was one of my favourites! We also have been playing ‘Operation‘, that silly game where you have to put the bones in the right place and not touch the sides (or else the horrible sound will buzz and the guy’s nose will turn red!). Another game I re-discovered is Pim Pam Pet, an old Dutch game which I’m not sure exists in English? And, my kids are still too young, but do you remember Scotland Yard? Or what about Twister? And have you been playing Monopoly with your kids yet? (I haven’t, but I think they are probably old enough.) Sadly, in my opinion, the new editions don’t look as cool as they did in the eighties…

Tell me — which were your favourite games?

xxx Esther

Rosie Flo’s Colouring Pool Party

My kids and I have had such fun with the Rosie Flo Colouring Pool Party! We all love crafting and colouring, so this beautiful box, which cleverly transforms into a ‘real’ swimming pool and cute little café, kept us busy for hours. There’s a slide, a dive board, there are ice creams and rubber bands, a table and chairs, a deck chair even. And lots of figures of course, which, as usual with the Rosie Flo products, are only partly drawn so the rest is left for the child’s imagination to finish and colour in.

The box and all the details are really wonderful and so cleverly made — there’s no need at all for scissors or glue to put it together. My oldest kids (six and eight) could put it together by themselves, but Ava (3) liked to play with it as well once it was finished.

The box is beautiful and sturdy so it can be used to store away the party for a next time. It would also make a really nice gift! And I love the fact that it even comes with cute little invites to organise and host a little pool party yourself.

xxx Esther

Mouse House

As a child I received a custom made dollhouse for Christmas.  I loved playing with it and spent many hours re-arranging the furniture, and adding special little touches to it.  I still have a fascination with dollhouses and everything in miniature.

Several months ago I found a vintage dollhouse at a thrift store and I couldn’t pass it up.  Henrik and I decided it would be the perfect home for our Maileg Mice.  I added a couple of coats of paint and some paper to the house and it’s as good as new.  I then added a few pieces of furniture and a mouse portrait painted by Henrik to make our mouse family feel at home.

My children have enjoyed playing with their mouse house and Henrik is already talking about moving his claymation guys in…

-Meta

Top Ten: Cool Camping!

Do you ever take the kids camping? Apart from our campervan trip up the coast of Australia a few years ago, we haven’t really ever done a camping trip. But I love the idea of it! We used to camp all the time when I was little and I have the fondest memories of it.

Luca from Deluna Kids recently told me she rented a VW van through Camperbug and went on a camping excursion with her family. How fun! I love the idea of renting a kitted out VW van – just looking at that website makes me want to do it!!

Anyway, this week’s Top Ten selection is dedicated to camping and I thought it was worth sharing. Check it out here.

x Courtney

Coq en Pate – Frisbee

School is out for the summer and we are so happy, we are kind of delirious! My children are off to see their grandparents in Italy, so we are packing suitcases (I sooo much prefer packing suitcases than unpacking them!).

Shorts, leggings and dresses have already been thrown in and I just remembered this cool frisbee I picked up the other day – made in France out of seaweed; how cool is that! There is nothing quite like throwing a frisbee around on a beach and I love the fact that this frisbee is actually made out of a product you find in the sea!

- Emilie

Shusha Toys

I spotted these brilliant wooden toys on the web a few months ago and loved the look of them immediately! Aren’t they so fun?! Kids aside, I would personally LOVE to play with the wooden face parts – to be able to create different people and facial expressions – so cool!

Over the weekend, we had the pleasure of seeing these toys (and meeting the designers!) in person at Playtime Paris and it confirmed how much I love them. Shusha toys are designed and made by a husband and wife team who recently had their first baby and turned their design interest toward toys. All the toys are made in a local workshop in their hometown in Russia and are made from eco wood and non-toxic paints. The result is a beautiful, lovingly created collection of toys which will appeal to children and grown-ups alike!

At the moment, there aren’t very many shops who stock the Shusha toys – but hopefully their visit to Playtime was successful and we’ll be seeing these toys in shops soon. I personally can’t wait to buy them! Stay tuned…

x Courtney

Ooshki Knitted Toys

Do you love collaborations? I sure do! I love it when two extremely talented designers come together to create an exceptional product. Look how cute Oliver & Olivia are! These are the result of a sweet collaboration between Elena Kovyrzina – a graphic designer and mom from Toronto and Anabel Fournier – designer (Fournier) and mom from Washington D.C./Bolivia. Elena designed the toys and Annabel produced them – a winning combination don’t you think? You can see many more cute crochet toys in Elena’s online store Ooshki, where each doll is crocheted by hand using softest 100% merino wool and detailed with finest fabrics.

You might want to have a look at Anabel’s collection of hanknitted clothes, accessories and toys over at Fournier – everything is handmade in Bolivia with only the best quality and softest wool. Now how do you choose between Oliver & Olivia? I think you just have to get both — they seem inseperable!

-Celina

Waterproof camera: a fun gift for kids!

Both of my boys asked for a new camera for their recent birthdays, and I thought it was a nice idea for them to be able to take their own photos — I was actually looking forward to seeing what sort of things they would photograph (I must say, the photos are so funny!).

After a small search on children’s cameras, my husband and I decided to buy them a ‘real’ camera instead of a specific kiddie one. After all, basic cameras are actually pretty affordable nowadays and easy enough for children to use. On top of that, we thought it would be fun to get them waterproof cameras so they could take photos under water (no question that feature would go over well with the boys!). We ended up buying them different cameras only because they had specific colour requests. My oldest wanted a yellow one, so we got him this Kodak EasyShare Sport camera, and my 6-year-old wanted a blue one so we ended up buying him a Nikon COOLPIX S30 (both were around the same price).

The boys brought their cameras with them on a recent holiday and it was really so much fun taking photos under the water!  (The control freak in me was so worried they were going to ruin their cameras in the water, but they worked perfectly!) The cameras are super basic (maybe somewhat clunky), but perfectly fine for little kids. And I love that they’re shock-proof, so no matter how many times they are dropped, they will hopefully still survive.

x Courtney

Ten Stylish Beach Products

We’ve contributed a guest post over on the i-escape blog with a selection of ten cute products for the beach. After reading about the ten stylish seaside escapes at i-escape, we are now dreaming of our next beach holiday and thought we would pick out some cute beachy products to get everyone ready for their next sunny holiday! Check out our selection here.

And don’t forget to sign up to win £500 worth of stylish family beach holiday goodies, including a £200 gift voucher at i-escape and a £300 voucher at Sunuva. Click here to enter to win!

Chalkboard Nesting Dolls from The Kid Who

Since she was a baby, Ava has had a little obsession with Matryoshka dolls or, as we say, Babushkas. She plays with them for hours! So I couldn’t resist these fun Chalkboard Nesting Dolls I spotted over at cool lifestyle shop The Kid Who, and we’re having such fun with them.

I also really like them as decor; they’re so pretty and minimalistic (at least one little corner of our house looks cool and minimalistic now)! The Kid Who also sells Animals, People and Owls Nesting Dolls, all so very pretty and such fun toys to play with. They come in a nice gift box, so they make great presents, too.

xxx Esther

Happy Vintage


Esther is the sort of person who can walk down the road in any given country and see pieces that other people considered trash and realise that it is actually a lovely vintage piece. (She still talks about the Eames armchairs she found on the streets of Manhattan).

Me, not so much. I walk past every skip and it does not even occur to me to have a peek in, to look for treasures. That is actually quite sad for me, as I love, love vintage. Especially since I have had kids, I hark back to the good old days, when toys did not have batteries and furniture made out of cane and molded plastic was all the rage.

Luckily, like Esther, there are some people who seem to have that salvage gene. Check out the great French vintage children’s shop, Happy Vintage. They seems to have managed to source a huge amount of lovely toys, objects, posters and lots more just for people like me! The website is actually only in French but super easy to navigate and translate with Google!

- Emilie

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