Have you entered our October giveaways yet? It is already the end of the month, can you believe it? Please check out all of our beautiful prizes available to win this month:
Pepa & Co are offering two lucky winners a set of baby moccs and a baby grow in either their Liberty or checks collection with the value of £110.
Snuggly Ugly is giving away one cashmere doll from their new Pink Flora Collection together with two outfits. A prize worth $150!
Pillobebe will give one lucky winner a super generous store wide credit of $200 which will make you and your little one smile!
Lulaland is offering one of you an amazing $200 store wide credit to choose from their gorgeous collection!
Be sure to head over to our WIN! page to participate. Good luck!
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On our road trip up the coast of California last month, we stopped for a few days in sunny San Luis Obispo to visit my friend Mo from Pipsticks who recently moved from London with her husband and their four kids. It was so fun to get all our kids together and to explore this charming little California town. (They were lobbying hard to get us to move there after our trip is over, and it’s definitely tempting!)
During our stay, I caught Mo quickly making her son a superhero cape for his adventures in the back yard. She made it in a matter of minutes from an old t-shirt, and I thought it was so clever I asked her to show us how she did it. Soon, we had eight kids running around with colourful capes and masks, all having the best time together!
Later, we put together this little video tutorial for how to make the cape as well as cute superhero wristbands to complete the costume. It’s a fun and easy project, perfect for a last-minute Halloween costume or any time your kids need an outfit to match their superhero adventures.
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Vivi has mastered reading in French now and she is experimenting with this new found skill and figuring out how to apply it to English, which is sometimes quite easy and sometimes not so much. It is actually very cute, she pronounces the English words with a strange French accent and the translates the word into “normal English”.
At the moment she is testing all of this out on picture books and so I wanted to tell you about the lovely book “Paris, Up, Up and Away” we recently received! It might actually count as one of Vivi’s favourite books at the moment. It is beautifully designed with one laser cut page leading into the other as we follow the Eiffel tower soaring over Paris and discovering all of the sites. It is perfect to practice reading on, with a poetic text and enough illustrations to help out if there is any insecurity about a word.
I also think this would be a great book to read before coming to Paris with kids!
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Today I’m so happy to introduce you to my friend Lara Brehm, who is sharing a wonderful place in Paris with you (together with beautiful, inspiring photos and gorgeous bookplates/gift-tags that she especially designed for us!) xxx Esther
Hello friends, I’m Lara, a German graphic designer based in Paris, France. I met Esther by pure coincidence, walking into her at a groceries store in Le Marais here in Paris. While exchanging a few e-mails afterwards she suggested I could contribute to Babyccino Kids Blog with an article of my choice, I felt very honored and today I’m happy to be writing a few lines for this blog I love.
I would like to share a little part of my city with you: the greenhouses located in the South of the 16th arrondissement and their park. Called “Les Serres d’Auteuil” in French (the greenhouses of Auteuil), it is a truly special place for me, very dear to my heart.
I grew up in the district of Auteuil so since I was little I have walked many times through the alleys of the greenhouses and their gardens making it a childhood memory but also a place I still love to get lost in.
No matter from which entrance you arrive from, as soon as you set foot in the gardens you will spot the biggest greenhouse in the middle of the park and you will be probably be quite impressed by it’s huge turquoise cast iron construction.
Once you enter it, you will immediately feel like you’re on a tropical island: the heat, the humidity, the huge variety of tropical plants and the twittering and singing of all kind of birds take you far far away from Paris… If you are passionate about botanicals, you will find the name of each and every plant written on small labels beside them. They are impossible to remember for me though as they are quite complex! But wether being a connoisseur or not, it really is an amazing place for everyone.
My husband and I often take a walk there on our weekends and each time it brings me endless inspiration for my illustration projects. In this greenhouse you will find a few white iron tables and chairs dispatched along the way where you can sit down to read, write, draw or just rest and it is delightful to take in the environment and feel like being part of this dreamy magic.
You will also find a beautiful big white birdhouse and a river-like fishpond in it, adding a little interest to the place for your little ones.
As we usually arrive to the gardens from the back entrance we start our visit with the big greenhouse and continue with the gardens but if you arrive through the main entrance you will walk through the gardens first, enjoying the beautifully arranged flowers, lawns and trees. There are also a lot of benches around where you can stop for a while or enjoy a good book on a sunny day.
On each side of the main lawn there are several alleys with quite a few other smaller greenhouses – not all of which are open to the public but some of them are real highlights like the cacti greenhouse for example. Be sure to look out for it!
If you plan a visit to Paris soon you should definitely stop by Les Serres d’Auteuil, even if it is located a bit far away from the center of the city and the main attractions, it is truly worth a visit. Another positive point if you come with your children is the rather reasonable size of the gardens, making the walk shorter and leaving you more time to enjoy the inside of the greenhouses. Your kids will be kept entertained and won’t get tired too quickly.
Right now there are intense discussions going on here in Paris because the city agreed on giving a part of the place away to extend the Rolland Garros tennis courts. Nobody really knows how exactly this issue will be handled but I truly hope that even if they have to take away a part of it — which would be sad enough already — they keep the wide airy lawns and their flowers and all the beautiful constructions, statues and greenhouses.
My pictures reflect my personal inspiration during my last walk through the Serres d’Auteuil but I left a lot of amazing details out of my selection so you still have some beautiful surprises when you go! Have a wonderful visit and maybe we’ll walk into each other over there!
I told you every visit gets my creative energies flowing and this time was no different from my other walks in the park: I have designed a few bookplates inspired by the greenhouses for you to download, print out and paste into your favorite books. I hope you like them and that they make you dream of your next visit to Paris and to the Serres d’Auteuil!
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I wanted to get Tila a weaving kit for a while now but anytime I asked her she never seemed too interested. And then a Sunday came when she wanted to do nothing else but weave! And this is how this idea to make a loom from a shoe box lighted up in my head! I love when that happens. Sometimes (many times) I wish I could have a few weeks just to myself so I could do nothing else but craft – I have so many projects written down in one of my notebooks already that could easily make a crafting book or two. The only problem is time – it’s simply not cooperating with me.
Anyhow, back to the weaving loom DIY. These are the things you need:
- shoe box (I used a small one from some old (baby) Talan’s shoes)
- a piece of strong cardboard to make a needle
- crafting knife
- thin twine
- and some wool to weave
First you need to decide how wide you wish your final product to be and then mark that width on both edges of the box. In between those spaces mark an even number of the lines for the notches about 1 cm apart (or even more for younger kids) and about 1 cm deep (down the box).
Cut on those marks with crafting knife and remember to stop at the 1cm mark!
Now take the twine, tie a knot and thread it in the first lower left notch and carry the thread up to the upper left notch and thread though. Bring the twine back down and thread it through the second left notch and Continue this all the way across the loom and finish with a knot.
Done with the loom! Now for the needle I simply drew one on a small piece of cardboard (about 5 cm long), cut it out , reinforced with a washi tape at the top and made a little hole to thread the wool through. But you should do a much longer and wider needle for kids under 5 (I recommend about 10 cm long and 2 cm wide) or use a popsicle stick and make a hole through with a thin nail.
Now the fun part: cut about 1.5 m long piece of wool (or less for smaller kids), thread it through the needle and go: under the first string, over the second, under the third and so on. And remember to leave a little tail at the beginning and the end!
Now take another piece of wool and repeat the previous steps. Don’t go all the way up, leave a few centimetres so you can tie the twig together later.
At the end I just tied the loose ends (tails) into knots (although I think the more “professional approach would be weaving them through the back of the weaving a few times and trim the excess) and you can see what kind of knot I made for the first and the last one.
If you wish to embellish the weaving with a fringe cut pieces of wool as long as you wish and tie them around the bottom loops – see the photo above!
Now cut the upper threads (leave the bottom ones!) and tie warp threads two by two together. Take the bottom ones out of the notches – don’t cut those!
We also attached the weaving to a twig (another nice way to finally use a few we have lying around the house). In order to do that you need to cut a piece of twine (about a 50 cm long) and string it through the needle. Starting on one end, loop the needle through the top of the weaving and around the twig, wrapping the twig all the way until the end. Tie knots on both ends and cut the tails.
Finally to make a hanger for the twig, simply cut a piece of twine about 40 cm long (or as long as you wish), tie ends together and fold it over both sides of the twig.
Tip: to prevent the box from sliding around the table, tape a few pieces of double-sided tape on the bottom of the box and paste it in place!
To read more from Polona, go to her cute blog Baby Jungle!
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I have to admit since having children my reading habit has really slowed down. I’m either too busy packing up the lunches for the next day, or as soon as my head hits the pillow I’m asleep! However, now that they are getting a bit older and my nights are less broken (Helena still needs very little sleep) I love sitting down with a good book and drinking cups of tea.
As much as I love asking other parent’s what they are reading with their children I equally love to know what they are reading themselves. So……. we’ve started a hashtag on IG called #babyccinomamareads where we’d love you to share what you are reading now.
I’m just about to start The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. It has mixed reviews but I trust the friend who recommended it to me and I can’t wait to delve deeper into it! I’ll let you know what I think.
In the meantime, please share with us your current reads.
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While it has certainly not been as easy as we had imagined, we are gradually finding our way with homeschooling the kids. Every day the kids test our patience, get distracted and, in turn, can make a simple morning of learning be an extremely frustrating experience… but, there are both good days and bad days and the highs definitely outweigh the lows. It is incredibly rewarding to watch your children learn a concept you spent a morning trying to teach them, or to watch as one of your children suddenly grasps a concept they struggled with the day before.
At dinnertime every evening, we go around the table and ask the kids questions about the lessons we taught in the morning. Sometimes the kids need reminding, but sometimes they surprise you with their knowledge and understanding… and it is those moments where it all starts to feel worthwhile. To watch your children learn! It really is the most wonderful and inspiring thing.
While homeschooling comes with its challenges, one of the benefits is that we are able to work closely with each of our children by focusing on topics that really interest them. This way, they are engaged and excited by the topic and the learning comes more easily. For example, I know that Quin (aged 8) is visual learner. He loves drawing and learns well whenever there is something visual in front of him. While working with Quin and Ivy on their multiplication tables last week, I noticed that Quin started to lose steam. He normally excels in math, but he was getting bored of the basic memorisation. So when I saw this post on Kirsten Rickert‘s homeschool feed, @mayaclimbstrees, for these multiplication flowers, I knew it would be a wonderful way to help him learn his multiplication.
Both Quin and Ivy have really loved this little project. We’ve worked on a new number each day, and the results are wonderful both for the understanding of the concepts and the pretty artwork to show for it. I thought I would share with you all, because it’s a simple and fun project whether you’re homeschooling or not.
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I have to say Bethie’s post a few weeks ago did inspire me! I am not at all the kind of person that plans ahead, it just does not even occur to me, but the thing that struck a cord with me was sitting down with the kids and choosing the menu for the week together. I love that idea, especially as we are in a bit of a cooking rut, making the same things again and again and again.
So I decided to put this meal planning thing to the test and I sat down with my girls and a cookbook and gave them free reign to chose the menu for the next week. That responsibility was exactly what they needed and every evening they have been super keen to help out and cook. As they are quite big now I do tend to let them get on with it themselves and intervene only when asked. The book we used for this little experiment is ideal for this: the Little Dish Family Cookbook. It is full of easy, good, healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most of them are pretty fast to put together, which is essential for us if we are going to start cooking from scratch on school nights. The girls have made everything from Birchner Musesli to Stir Fry Chicken Noodles and Lamb Burgers and I am very much looking forward to the next few concoctions they come up with.
My goofy helpers who at the moment cannot keep a straight face whenever a camera is pointed at them.
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As often as we can, my husband and I sneak away to a local restaurant to catch up over drinks before enjoying a quiet, child-free dinner. We are both so busy during the week, that we have to make our date nights a priority or they simply won’t happen! Focusing on each other (instead of the kids) allows us to reconnect and really listen to each other in a way that is difficult to do with all the distractions of day-to-day life.
My favourite dates involve a leisurely stroll to dinner at a local restaurant. We hold hands and flirt and it feels like we’re dating again! Every now and then we mix things up by going to a film or an event, but the goal is to focus on each other, so we try to keep it simple.
Given that our families live nearly five thousand miles from London, it isn’t always easy for us to find someone to watch the kids. In fact, we struggled for years to find babysitters who could accommodate our frequent date nights: local sitters were often unavailable, and trading babysitting with friends was too time consuming. Needless to say, I was thrilled when a friend recommended a babysitting website that solved my childcare woes. The site is childcare.co.uk.
You can use Childcare on your computer or via an app on your phone (I prefer the app). Families create a profile for potential sitters to browse, and sitters create profiles for families to browse. You can then easily message each other within the app to ask questions and set up interviews. We have used a variety of sitters through Childcare, and are beyond relieved to finally have a network of babysitters to call on. You can also use the service to find a nanny, childminder, au pair, tutor, or even a private midwife!
We managed to squeeze in date nights the last two weekends and we ended up doing the same thing both times (drinks and dinner at our favourite local spot). I would love to hear your favourite date night outings so I can mix things up for this weekend!
Childcare is a great service that I have tried, tested and love; we are happy to have Childcare on board as sponsors of our London ShopUp this December 10 and 11!
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Florence is nearly four and goes to pre-school three times a week. On the days she’s at home we organise play dates, we bake, we read and we play puzzles. I love our time together especially knowing how quickly she’s growing – this time together is precious.
One of the games she really enjoys playing with me is the 3d Feel and Find game by Guide Craft. At first she played it like a regular puzzle i.e. we took all of the pieces out of the bag and she matched them with the correct tile. Now that the pieces are more familiar to her she plays it how it was designed – that is, by placing all of the tiles on the table and feeling in the bag for the correct piece.
Once she has correctly matched all of the pieces I extend the game. For example, I ask her to group all of the animals together, all of the colours together and all of the shapes together.
The game also comes in a really handy drawstring bag so we’ll be able to take it away with us on our half term break too. Which I am so looking forward to!
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My husband is the king of spreadsheets. I often joke that he doesn’t make a single decision without consulting a spreadsheet first. I think he may have even created one before he asked to marry me. : )
While this is obviously an exaggeration, he does use spreadsheets whenever significant finances are involved; such as buying a new car, renovating a flat, budgeting a big holiday. While I like to joke, it’s comforting to know that we’re making smart decisions based on his careful planning. It allows me to be the more emotionally driven, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of person. We make a good team.
It goes without saying that our year of travel has been carefully budgeted. Michael has worked out a weekly budget for each destination so that we can make decisions accordingly. It’s not always easy to achieve it, especially when first arriving in a new and unfamiliar place, but so far we’re doing okay. I thought it might be helpful to share some of the small things we do to help keep us on track.
- The first step is to decide what you want to spend. We had a figure we thought the year should cost, but once Michael started plugging in realistic numbers for accommodation, food, transport and entertainment, he found we were 30% over our target. So the next step was looking for ways to whittle this down. Michael uses Excel but there are many apps (including free ones) you can use to help you budget.
- Decide on a weekly budget for your accommodation and stick to it. Renting apartments or hotel/motel rooms with kitchens can help make big savings on food costs. Location matters too. Find a place within walking distance of the shops, museums, parks, etc. and you’ll save on transport costs. (I also like Emilie’s tips for making use of the many stylish hostels now available!)
- Eat at home or picnic. Whenever we get somewhere one of the first things we do is find the local grocery store. It’s always fun browsing and deciphering a foreign a market. We stock up on simple breakfast foods (yoghurts, cereals, fruits), lunch supplies and snacks. Even when we were in Yosemite, far removed from any towns, we were able to find little general stores that sold sliced bread, cheeses and deli meats. Instead of buying bottled water or other drinks when we’re out, we bring our reusable water bottles and re-fill them throughout the day if necessary.
- Eat locally and seasonally. This past weekend in Brazil, we visited the farmer’s market and paid less than one dollar for six mangos! We also stocked up on passion fruit, bananas and papayas which are abundant and cheap here. We’re chopping up these tropical fruits and putting them over our breakfast instead of the raspberries and blueberries we found in California. We’re also going for the local beer instead of our favourite imports and drinking Brazilian wine.
- Don’t wait until you get to the beach to buy your sun creams, water toys or floaties — these things are much cheaper at the local grocery stores in town.
- Talk to the locals and get insider tips! In the village we’re currently in, there are three pizza restaurants, including one that is nearer the centre and looks the most appealing from the outside. A local resident told us that we should try the other two restaurants first because the pizza is half the price and just as good.
- Transportation can be a significant cost. In each stop on our year away we are looking for the least expensive ways to get to and from the airports and around town. A big decision is whether or not we need to rent a car. In LA, the cheapest option was to rent a car. So far in Brazil we are able to walk everywhere and take the occasional taxi. Sometimes the cost of frequent taxis is still less than renting and fueling a car.
- Do a bit of research before planning your activities each day. For example, when we were in LA we discovered that some museums have a ‘free-entry’ day. We made sure to visit on those days.
- Get the right credit cards. There are only a couple options out there with no foreign transaction fees and favourable exchange rates. The Halifax Clarity card was the clear winner in the UK. In the US, a Platinum American Express card seemed the best option, despite the high annual fee. The best cards change from time to time but you can get lots of good advice on sites like Money Savings Expert.
- Use good foreign exchange services like Azimo to pay in the local currency. For example, when paying by bank transfer for our accommodation in Brazil we converted pounds to Brazilian Reais. For cash we use bank machines or exchange at a local bureau rather than at the airport.
Obviously not all of these steps are worth the effort for short breaks, but if you’re going for longer the savings can really add up. Dare I say it’s even a bit fun to find creative ways to stay on budget. As always, if you have other tips or questions, please share them below.
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I’m a big fan of muslin blankets — they are so great for all kinds of purposes: swaddling little babies, drying them, keeping them warm (or keeping them shaded from the sun), as a breastfeeding cover, or as a play mat. My kids still use them as towels, throws, play blankets — or we use them as scarfs. I always throw one in a bag if we’re going somewhere, you never know!
When I was in NY for the ShopUp a few weeks ago, I couldn’t resist picking up this beauty from the wonderful Brimful shop stand. It is just SO gorgeous! I love the poem on it, in that beautiful handwriting. Such a sweet message that makes this everyday item so much more meaningful!
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Here in Scotland we’ve already started the October half term break. We’re spending the first half on a staycation in Scotland and for the second half we’re driving to The Netherlands to visit family. For the girls, they’ve lived most of their lives abroad so they are used to long journeys and because of this we’ve built up quite a fair selection of audio CDs. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of our favourites.
1. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen (narrated by Sophie Aldred) – An absolute classic and beautifully read.
2. Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle (narrated by Gwyneth Paltrow) – Florence loves this book! It’s one of her current favourite bedtime reads and when we’re travelling she loves listening to it as she follows along with the book.
3. Mr Wolf’s Pancakes written and narrated by Jan Fearnley – Such an entertaining read and again the girls love following along with the book.
4. Mr Gum by Andy Stanton (narrated by Kate Winslet) – A brilliant series! Such silly stories and Kate Winslet reads them with such wonderful energy!
5. My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards (narrated by Jan Francis) – This was one of my favourite books as a child and I’m thrilled when Helena chooses to listen to this one. Jan Francis impressively reads this story and captures the naughty antics of the little sister perfectly.
6. Gangsta Granny written and narrated by David Walliams – Such a fun book and the audio book has Helena hooked.
7. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverley Cleary (narrated by B D Wong) – I used this book as a class reader a while back and rather selfishly bought this for the girls as I wanted to listen to it in the car. They do love it and Helena is keen to read more Beverley Cleary books now.
8. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton (narrated by Kate Winslet) – Helena has just started reading the Enid Blyton books and I was so pleased to see Kate Winslet also reads this one. I could listen to her voice all day long!
9. The Just so Stories by Rudyard Kipling (narrated by David Thorn) – Most of our audiobooks I buy or are rented from the public library, but I downloaded this one on the iPod because I loved the narrators voice and couldn’t find a hard copy of it at the time. Both of the girls are smitten with these stories. Florence doesn’t understand the morals yet behind each story but she stills loves hearing about how the whale got his throat.
9. The Borrowers by Mary Norton (narrated by Rowena Cooper) – A new one for this journey which we’re all excited to listen to. We haven’t read the book yet so I’m intrigued to see what Helena thinks of it.
We have listened to loads more we love, like the Winnie the Pooh series, Pippi Longstocking and a few by Dick King-Smith. I’m always on the look out for new audio books so please share any you love to listen to below!
Happy holidays and safe travels!
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, we spent a week in LA back in September and stayed in the beautiful home owned by Peter James and Marisa Vitale. Marisa is a talented family photographer and offered to snap some photos of our family while we were in town. I jumped at the chance to get a rare photo of all six of us and to document the start of our family’s adventure, all of us so full of excitement… and admittedly a few jitters. We met Marisa at Temescal Gateway Park fresh from an afternoon at the beach (notice Ivy’s hair is still wet!), and went for a short walk under the big oak trees while she snapped photos. I’m so happy to have these photos and thought I would share some favourites here with you. My kids, especially the boys, are getting so big. It’s funny how sometimes you don’t notice until you see it in photos.
Also, a few of you have asked for LA tips so I thought I would share some of the things we did while we were in LA (mostly Venice beach). We spent a lot of time with Michael’s family in Pasadena so we didn’t have as much time to explore the city as tourists, and we were also on a budget so we didn’t eat out as often as we wanted to. : ) But in any case, here are the highlights:
- Temescal Gateway Park (where photos above were taken): A pretty park with lots of paths to explore. Just off Sunset Blvd.
- The beach! We spent a lot of time at nearby Venice Beach because it was within walking distance of our house. We also went to the beach near Temescal Canyon and Sunset Blvd which was less crowded.
- Boogie Boarding: you can rent boards from the beach-front vendors on the boardwalk. My kids loved this!
- Venice boardwalk: we spent an afternoon watching the skateboarders and street dancers. It was quite a scene with all the music and people!
- We also walked down Abbott Kinney Blvd just to check out how much it’s changed since we last lived in LA. We have a policy of not taking our children into shops if we can avoid it, so we didn’t go into any of the shops, but it was fun to see so many great new shops there. (Burro looked really cute from the outside, and there’s even now an Aesop on Abbott Kinney!) Speaking of shopping, I kept hoping to have the opportunity to sneak into General Store for a little peak around but I never made it in. It looks SO cute (and oh my goodness, the website! dangerous!!).
- We didn’t make it here, but Marisa suggested we check out Tonga Park in Santa Monica with cool native plants, water features, benches, etc. There’s also the nearby Santa Monica solar-panelled LED ferris wheel within walking distance.
- While I was in LA for the ShopUp, Michael took the kids to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (which they loved) and the Arboretum (which, despite the heat, they found very interesting to see all the different plants and trees).
- Superba Food & Bread: This is located (dangerously) around the corner from the house we rented. Great for picking up bread and croissants (and coffee) in the morning, but they also have a wonderful menu for lunch and dinner.
- Whole Foods Market on Lincoln Blvd: We did most of our grocery shopping here. Just behind the store is Ozone park with two different playgrounds (for big and little kids) on opposite sides.
- Groundworks Coffee on Rose Ave: Great spot for coffee in a charming little spot.
- Cafe Gratitude: Unfortunately we never made it to this restaurant but I had so many friends tell me to eat here. It’s a well-known restaurant amongst those seeking organic, vegan and locally-sourced foods. Looks so good!
- We got a babysitter one evening and met Michael’s family downtown LA to celebrate his sister’s birthday at The Factory Kitchen for delicious Italian food.
That’s all I can remember, but please feel free to add more tips in the comments below. I’m sure families travelling to LA would appreciate all the recommendations!
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I recently was asked by Ladida to select autumn outfits from their amazing collections for each of my kids — a task I took upon me with pride and pleasure! Autumn is such a beautiful season, the colours of nature are so, so pretty and the low, warm sunlight makes everything even more stunning.
I selected outfits for each of my kids that reflects their personal style and character, but I also made sure they go well together as a ‘set’ — without matching them exactly! Here goes:
For Casper (3 since yesterday!):
- This Navy Alien tee by Paul Smith is just too cute. The mouth/zipper opens and there’s a tongue inside!
- Cute stripy hat and scarf by Dutch label Kidscase. So fun and so cosy!
- Beautiful slim fitting cords by Bonton – just love that mustard colour.
- Sweet socks with the signature Paul Smith stripes.
For Ava (5):
- Stripy hat and scarf by Kidscase to match her little brother.
- Pretty teal blue corduroy Bonton dress, super adorable!
For Pim (8):
- Fun glasses hat by Emile et Ida
- A bow-tie, of course, for Pim! (This specific one by Milk & Soda is sold out, but here’s another cool one).
- Stripy Paul Smith socks to complete the look!
- Mustard yellow slim Bonton cords, just like his little brother.
- Absolutely gorgeous gauze shirt in an amazing teal blue, by Bonton.
For Sara (10):
- Fox skirt by Emile et Ida — which tween girl wouldn’t love this?
- This blue Neige shirt has a subtile black polka dot, very pretty.
- Bonton mustard yellow panda shoulder bag.
Today I’m taking over the Ladida Instagram account, where you can see my kids dressed in the outfits above. I hope you enjoy!
PS Ladida ships worldwide, and it’s free on bigger orders!
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There are so many spectacular picture books out there at the moment and this one is no exception. Beatrice Alemagna’s latest book, The Marvellous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty, is a modern delight. With it’s jazzy pop of neon pink woven through the most detailed of illustrations, this is a story about a young girl who wants to find the perfect birthday gift for her mother.
Set in a charming French town (the kind of town I’d love to explore myself), Edith overhears her sister talking how she’s going to find the most amazing present for her Mum. Edith, who thinks she’s no good at anything, begins her own quest strolling through the village asking for the help from the local stores as she asks them each if they sell such a thing as awesome as she’s searching for!
Beatrice Alemagna has truely written and illustrated a spectacular book. She’s managed to encapsulate the little girl’s energetic character so you immediately warm to her. This is a heartwarming story with images full of mesmerizing detail. And if you want to see just how Alegmagna manages to create her wonderful illustrations this is an impressive video showing you just that.
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I wanted to share with you this little tip, as my kids are getting bigger and are starting to have an opinion on what they would like to wear. We don’t always have the same opinions and this results in a verbal wrangle in the mornings that we would all really like to avoid, as none of us are morning people.
The other day my daughter turned to me and said, “You know mummy, you are not the only one who has good taste. My taste is good too, but it is just different to yours”. Darn these kids growing up and being able to build constructive arguments!
So we have learned to compromise and now we all need to agree on an outfit before we buy it. After all, two good tastes are better than one. ; )
The issue we have is that I work full time, so the only time we could go shopping together is on weekends and none of us feel like doing that. So I have started to create Pinterest boards for us to quickly have a look at together. They then can tell me what they like or don’t like and I can order online or run to the shops in my lunch break. The great thing is that I just walk up to the sales assistant with the pinterest board on my phone and can ask them to pull out all the items I would like to look at. It saves me having to browse through the racks and look for them.
Up to now this has actually worked really well for us, but I would love to hear if you have any good tips about shopping for/ with tweens!
Here is a photo of Coco and Sara that we took this summer. They are both so big now and they now also each have their own individual style. Coco loves anything urban and Sara is more vintage inspired.
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Last month, when we all got together in New York for the ShopUp event, we filmed a little YouTube video. We all turned up from long-haul flights and were talking about what we like to take with us into the cabin to be as cozy as can be in a little seat for seven hours. We thought it would be fun to share all of our little tips with you!
Now the results are not very fancy, but we did have a lot of fun filming it. A big shout out goes to our friend Belinda who graciously gave up her Saturday night to wrangle and film 3 very giggly and jet-lagged girls!
Here are a couple of links to some of our favourite items: The leather tote, the lip balm, the hand wash, the little leather pouch, the eye mask and neck pillow. Both Esther and I were reading the A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler, which we both loved and it was the perfect read on a trans Atlantic flight.
You can join us on YouTube here.
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The beautiful Spanish/British brand La Coqueta recently asked me to make a selection of my favourite pieces of their new winter collection, to share on their blog and newsletter. The entire new collection is really adorable, so it was pretty difficult to narrow my choice down to only a few pieces!
Casper’s favourite game has been football (or ‘kickball’, as he calls it) since he was a tiny baby. He would crawl after any ball he saw, stand up, kick, etc — until he found out that walking was a more efficient way to play. So we thought it would be nice to take some shots of him playing kickball (in his new La Coqueta outfit, of course!) to go alongside my picks.
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Living in London, I was often asked to share a list of my favourite shops in the city. Couverture was always at the top of my list. It’s been a favourite store for as long as I can remember, and even if I didn’t end up buying anything, I always loved popping into the shop for inspiration. They have a well-curated collection of women’s wear, including many of my favourite brands, and one of the best selection of children’s clothes and toys in London. They also have a really great selection of pretty homewares and accessories with brands you can’t find anywhere else in the UK.
I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my favourite brands and products in store at Couverture, starting with the women’s collection. For one, Couverture is one of the few stockists of Ace & Jig in the UK, and I love the pretty tops in this current collection. (Who am I kidding? I love everything by Ace & Jig.) I’m also a huge fan of the Steven Alan collection, and this jumpsuit is so good! I discovered the new UK brand, Sideline, last winter and I’m so excited to see them stocked here, and lastly, these Rachel Comey clogs are so cool!
For girls, I love this Morley top, this yellow and white wool beanie, and how cute are the handmade wooden animal friends by Japanese designer, T-Lab?!! I think they make the perfect little birthday gift or stocking stuffer.
For boys, I always love the Penfield collection of coats, fleeces and vests. I love this little Hansel doll of the Hansel & Gretel fairytale (and dolls for boys! yay!), and the elvish bonnets from Cecilie Telle, available in several different colours. Couverture is also one of the biggest stockists of Bellerose, one of my favourite brands for my boys.
Couverture has recently launched a new website, which is good news for those not living in London, and they are now offering Babyccino readers an exclusive 15% discount, valid now until November 12th. A perfect excuse to get some holiday (dare I say it) shopping done early! Enter code BC15 for a 15% discount at check-out.
This post was sponsored by Couverture. All views expressed are my own, as well as my picks and preferences. I’ve been a longtime fan of this shop (since 2008 when it opened!) and am happy to be able to support them as they continue to grow.