Beautiful art kits from KicoKids


My daughter Sara is an avid art lover — she loves to build, create, draw, and paint. From the moment she could hold a pencil in her hands she’s been drawing, and I think her baby sister takes after her — Ava also likes to hold a pen and draw already. Our 4-year-old son Pim however, is just now at a level where his sister was when she was barely three (remember this craft project?). He’s slowly gaining an interest in drawing. It’s funny how differently children do develop!

Anyway, with our upcoming camping trip in mind, I’ve given Pim and Sara each one of the cool Art Kits pictured above. These art kits are great — the canvas cover is bright and strong, the pencils are soft to draw with, there’s a sharpener attached and there’s a notebook with thick, coloured paper. KicoKids makes them, do check out their shop — such wonderful, creative products and fun concepts, and I can tell you — the quality of it all is great.

xxx Esther

Tulips!


My dad and his girlfriend sent me a few photos of the tulip fields surrounding their house. I thought they were so beautiful, I just had to share them with you. I remember playing as a child in these tulip fields, and riding my bicycle up and down the paths. These photos make me miss home! Anyway, hope you enjoy. Have a lovely weekend!

xo Courtney

p.s. Photos taken by Susie Jungemann.

Smart bags


Have you seen the Envirosax yet? Pretty clever, these foldable bags, and such fun designs too! I really, really loathe plastic bags these days. It’s just such a waste, all of that plastic, and so unnecessarily destructive for our environment. If you read these facts, you probably won’t touch another plastic bag ever again! In the Netherlands, more and more shops keep a ‘bag bubble‘ in their shop, where customers can leave plastic bags for others to re-use, which is such a clever initiative. I personally make an effort to keep a little shopping bag rolled up in my handbag at all times (loving the green robot bag from the Kids Series). And for my weekly shopping, my Trolley Dolly is still going strong! What do you do for the fight against plastic?

xxx Esther

PS Fun fact: the founder of the Envirosax company, Belinda David-Tooze, lives in one of the most innovative, totally sustainable eco houses in Australia together with her husband and three small children. So amazing!

The Mundo Cargo Bike

Another cool spotting on the streets of Tribeca!  While walking my girls back from swim class last night (all of us tired, hungry and cranky as could be) a man on a bike whizzed past us with two kids sitting snugly on the back.  Immediately one of my daughter started screaming “I WANT THAT NOWWWWWWWWW!!!!! and I looked at her and said “ME TOOOOOOO!!!”

A few blocks later and I found it parked on the street and we all went to investigate.  Turns out there is a company in California called Yuba that makes them and it is way cool.  The Mundo Cargo Bike is essentially a utility bicycle that is  made with the intent of hauling heavier loads.  It’s not much longer than a traditional bicycle and has a long sturdy plank on the back, and because it doesn’t have a large basket like a Bakfiets,  it’s more city friendly.  True, it is a bit of an investment, but the way I see it it would have saved me a lot of stress about making it to school on time.  New York is becoming more and more bike friendly these days with separate paved lanes and ample bike parking cropping up everywhere so we will probably start to see more Mundos as time goes on.  Sad I missed the boat on this one….

-Dina

Esthex Travel Collection


We’ve written about Dutch brand Esthex before and I know you’re all big, big fans, so I’m pretty sure you’ll love Esther Schuiven’s new travel collection as much as I do. There’s a fun suitcase and matching backpack in harlequinesque colour schemes with blue or pink, and the super cute character Fieke also transformed into a cool backpack. I can tell you from personal experience that those cute backpacks are the perfect size for school-going kids, and, as all Esthex products, they are machine washable, which comes in handy in case of milk spills…

Available through Esthex’s webshop.

xxx Esther

Little Eats


If you live in Melbourne or are planning a visit, a fabulous (and totally cute) website to check out is Little Eats. Little Eats is the brainchild of Jemma Reynolds — a self confessed foodie, critique and ’super-mum’ to 2 pre-schoolers. Let’s face it — dining out with kids in tow can be fraught… fraught with fear, trepidation, anxiety and a host of other raging emotions. I have certainly had my fair share of cringe-worthy cafe moments. But it needn’t be so! Jemma profiles restaurants and cafes in and around Melbourne and rates them in relation to their ‘kid-friendliness’. Pram access? High chairs? Distraction apparatus like books or paper and crayons? Welcoming smiles? With her expert eye (and with the help of her 2 adorable pint-sized side-kicks) Jemma susses out the facilities, children’s menu, table and customer service. Of course she is also obligated to road-test the menu (all in the name of ‘field research’  she assures me.) Afterall we all know that pram access, high chairs, drawing supplies, babyccinos, choc-topped gingerbread men, great food and the perfect latte are important… in equal measure.

- Sara

darling, It’s a Masterpiece!


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this brilliant placemat drawing kit from Aussie online store gadgetking. How totally cool is the wooden frame on the blank canvas? Great for kid’s parties, to keep kids entertained at restaurants or just to keep them occupied whilst you‘re preparing dinner.  It is called ‘meal time masterpiece’  but I personally would be reticent to use them as placemats in case food splattered on any potential prized collectible. You see, I am hoping to adorn the wall with them, gallery style, for all to see. There are 48 sheets in each pad, plus six markers.  Hmm, I think I just might have a go myself…

- Sara

Retro-inspired Personalized Lunchboxes

These gorgeous personalised lunchboxes by Feterie are high on my birthday list for my children this year. With a bit of a retro-cool vibe, they are of lightweight tin construction and as functional as they are stylish. I think they’d be great for toting around paper and coloured pencils too, or whatever knick-knacks it is kids love to drag around (footy cards in my son’s case).  I can also imagine them being great for keeping all my daughter’s hair paraphernaila together — those elastics, clips and ribbons crop up all over the house, yet when we need to tie her hair each morning for school, there’s never one to be found! Feterie ship world-wide.

- Sara

Safety first — buggy reflective strips from Wagalum

Pretty scary thought, that now that I have put the Wagalum reflective strips onto Ava’s buggy, the risk of us having an accident is reduced by 85%. One wonders how it’s possible we’re still alive to start with!
No kidding, Wagalum reflective strips should be installed on every buggy on the planet. They ensure the buggy is noticed six times faster by other traffic, and seen from a distance as far as 150 meters instead of the usual 30 meters, which, in the end can make the difference between life or death. Wagalum strips are hardly noticeable during the day, but at night shine nine times brighter than comparable materials. And they cost next to nothing, especially if you compare it to the price of the actual buggy, which costs the same as a small car these days. No excuses, I would say.
For stockists, check the Wagalum website.

xxx Esther

Il Tutto: stylish baby bags

Being a new mum doesn’t always bring out the physically best. For instance, after three babies my belly looks like a cross between gelatin pudding and a hot cross bun. My hair is a constant explosion of dry and frizzy dullness (and I’m losing it as we speak) and well, now that I’m at it: my bikini line looks like a Brazilian… rain forest.
Not the best ingredients for feeling like a yummy mummy. But, help is at hand: the moment I throw my uber-glamourous, luxurious Il Tutto Layla over my shoulder I instantly convert from tired looking, un-cute mum to a cool, hip and stylish mama. Or at least I feel that way! My back automatically straightens, my hair seems to look ‘interesting’ (Tina Turner looked good too after all) and surely soon the seventies will be sexy again. (more…)

Think-ets

I love, love, love this! I keep berating myself for having not conjured it up in one of my brainstorming sessions (honestly I am still hopeful that one day I will invent the next ‘lego’). In the meantime, I just marvel at gems like these… it reminds me that the simplest of ideas are the best — a game powered by imagination rather than a USB cable! Think-ets is so simple in concept — a little pouch of random, very charming ‘trinkets’ from around the world. Along with the pouch comes rules for a few games, such as “I’ll take one away, and you tell me which one is missing”, or “Make a story about the item you’re holding” — educational in so many ways, inspiring story-telling, testing memory and just fun for kids to fiddle with. (more…)

Weekend get-away: Athens

Greece is a dream holiday destination — the beautiful islands, the history, the coffee and the food. Athens is the the main hub and starting point for most trips to Greece, so why not spend a couple of days discovering this historic city, before hitting the beach?

Pepi, an Athens native, was gracious enough to give us some tips and ideas on what to do in Athens with children. She grew up in the city of Patras before coming to Athens many years ago. During her studies she spent a year in Scotland before settling in Athens.  She now lives with her husband Chris and their little daughter Alice in this city full of history. Pepi is now a full time mom and spends her time with her daughter discovering and playing. Here are her insider tips: (more…)

Summer Holidays Must-Haves

I am just about to go away on holiday for the next few weeks. I read this article in the Guardian and had to laugh… a lot of it rang so true. I thought I was the only person in the whole world who got disproportionately annoyed by my fellow passengers resting their elbows on “my” armrest on a plane. Summer holidays are so much fun but I am not a big fan of the packing, preparation and traveling, especially with kids. This time I am going away by car which is bliss. I get to take so many more extras…

So my main must-have holiday items this year are: (more…)

Battlefield backpack from Chicken Rhythm

I got this cute backpack for my son at the Kleine Fabriek trade show.  Isn’t it cool? I love the fact that it’s drum-shaped, and I love that cute image of the little rider on the horse. My son has been so much into fighting, and knights, and guns these days, without really knowing what he’s talking about… so it’s very appropriate for him! I have no clue where he gets the fighting obsession, but my husband tells me not to worry — it’s very normal for boys, apparently.
Anyway, the backpack is from Chicken Rhythm, and there are also some other prints available.

xxx Esther

Babyccino kids on Ohdeedoh

Ohdeedoh featured our newly designed city-guides — check out what they say for some insider information on Paris, New York, London and Amsterdam!!

Weekend Get-away: Barcelona

To introduce our new weekend getaway feature, here is our first post from Marta in Barcelona. Barcelona is one of my favourite Mediterranean cities. It has the perfect mixture of culture, beauty, beach life and beautiful weather. It always strikes me as such a relaxed city that is easy to explore and perfect to visit ‘en famille’.

Whilst searching for someone with inside info about visiting Barcelona with kids I remembered Marta. Marta lives with her husband and little son in the wonderful Gracia part of Barcelona. She is a professional translator and also a blogger. Her blog English in Barna, is about life in Barcelona, her blog A Bilingual Bébé gives tips to Spanish speaking parents on how to raise their child bilingually, and finally she  also blogs for the international organisation Pocket Cultures. All in all Marta is the perfect person to start off our new feature. I do hope you enjoy discovering Barcelona through her post. And please do leave us any comments or recommendations you have about Barcelona. The more ideas the merrier… (more…)

New York City — a new Babyccino Kids city guide!

In addition to our brand new design and look, we have more exciting Babyccino Kids news.  We’ve launched our NYC City Guide!! Dina has been working diligently for the past 6 months to cover off all of NYC’s best kid-friendly places to eat, see, play, shop, etc., and it is finally ready to share with you.  Like all of our city guides, it will be updated regularly with new reviews and other kid-friendly ideas.  So, if you’re planning a trip to NYC (or know someone who is), make sure to check out all of Dina’s suggestions.

P.S. Check out all of the new city designs.  The girls at Petite Alma did such an amazing job capturing each city’s look and feel. We’ve also added some handy new features which will help make your visit even easier. We are so excited about them we can hardly sit still!

P.P.S. As always, we welcome your feedback.

Amazing Travel Tote

I don’t know what it is with me and 1980’s nostalgia brands, but for the last few years I have been completely addicted to LeSportSac. I happen to live near one of their outlet stores so I have been quite fortunate in terms of getting some amazing bags for next to nothing.  The company is always rolling out new patterns so there is something that will appeal to everyone.   I think this tote makes for a perfect weekend bag and is an ideal carryall for a long day out with the kids. It’s large, but not cumbersome, and it zips at the top to hide any chaos that might lurk inside. I also like that it has plenty of pockets for keys, cellphone and loose change. And most importantly, it’s machine washable!  They also make a great baby bag. Visit one of the stores for a larger selection and if you can locate an outlet store — even better.

-Dina

Bugaboo Bee, the coolest buggy on the block!

Lucky me! Because I’m in Amsterdam — the home of the world famous Dutch company Bugaboo, I have already gotten my hands on the shiny new version of the Bugaboo Bee. And I’m loving it!! Even though my baby isn’t here yet, I’ve tested it already on my 3-year-old boy, who will have a hard time parting with it when his little sister is born.
Besides the fact that the Bee is cool because it’s modern, innovative and original, it’s also amazingly small, lightweight and easy to maneuver. At the same time it’s super complete: it’s a fully equipped pushchair that can be used from newborn up to around age four!
The seat, which can recline completely and is ergonomically designed to be suitable from birth, can be put either rear facing or forward facing in a few simple steps (the new design greatly improved as opposed to the old one, where reversing the seat took a masters degree in space-ship engineering). It may (but doesn’t have to) be taken off completely in the case you want to use it with just the car seat, which easily clips on. But, there’s no annoying dismantling in two parts before you can fold the buggy — it folds flat with seat and all, in one part and in one movement… easy peasy.  Even the grandparents got it immediately.
I must say, after two babies and three pushchairs, this IS the most versatile, handy buggy we’ve had so far!!!
More to come on the Bee after I’ve had the baby…

xxx Esther

Sweet for Baby: Travel Bag By Maud

Things handmade always have something extra precious about them. They always remind me of my mum, who was fond of sewing and was never too busy to start yet another little project for her grandchildren.
This travel bag made By Maud has that lovely handmade feel to it and you can see that a lot of attention has been paid to detail. It is beautifully made, the dino application is simple but lovely (and I love that it’s a dino for girls), and the fabrics are of great quality.
Maud, who runs her business from her garage where she has two sewing machines and a pile of fabrics, also has three little children so she knows what accessories busy mums need. With her creative talent and sense of style, she whipped up a huge collection of the cutest things!

Even though her website is in French, you surely can figure it out, right? Otherwise just contact Maud for info. And she’ll ship worldwide.

xxx Esther

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