Weekend brownie baking and cute aprons from Odette Williams


The lovely Odette Williams sent over a couple of her cute apron sets for my kids and they arrived just in time for some brownie baking over the weekend. I managed to snap a couple photos of my little helpers and thought I would share.

If you haven’t yet discovered the Smitten Kitchen brownie recipe, you should do so immediately. It’s my go-to recipe! And if your kids need some aprons to encourage them to help you in the kitchen, you should check out these great sets. (They also make good gifts I think!)

x Courtney

Let’s talk about electronics and our children

This is not your average Babyccino post but I wanted to speak openly about a topic I feel really passionate about. I want to talk about electronics and the way they are affecting our children.

I recently went on a school field trip with my 9-year-old son’s class to see the Vikings Exhibition at the British Museum. What lucky children to live in a city where they can take a short subway journey to one of the world’s best museums (and I must say, the Vikings Exhibit was incredible)! While in the museum, I noticed that some of the children had brought a Nintendo DS. The more I looked around, the more children I noticed who were playing games on iPhones, Nintendos and various other devices. I think my jaw must have touched the floor; I was absolutely shocked! Here we were, on a once-in-a-life time school field trip, in one of the world’s most fascinating museums, and these children were completely unengaged and uninterested in their surroundings. Some were sitting down against a wall with their little thumbs pounding against their device, others played as they walked around, bumping into people because they were so focused on the little machine in the palm of their hands.

When I asked the teachers if this was allowed, I was told that they weren’t supposed to be playing games, but that they were allowed to bring cameras on the field trip. It seems that nowadays iPhones and Nintendos are considered cameras because they all have photo-taking capabilities. So, the line between cameras and video games has become blurred, and to my astonishment, we now have children going on field trips with their video games in tow.

And not only this, but I am increasingly aware of young children sitting in restaurants with an iPhone, playing video games on the bus, watching DVDs on every car journey no matter how long.  It seems children aren’t being given the chance to be bored, they aren’t being encouraged to create their own fun or to be present in the moment. What ever happened to good old-fashioned conversation? Talking to our children over dinner? Encouraging them to talk to each other? Or just waiting patiently to eat? What ever happened to observation? Taking in your surroundings on the bus? Experiencing exhibits in a museum? Asking questions, sharing observations, making memories?

In a few weeks my eldest will be going on a 4-day school camping trip. In a meeting this week to brief the parents, I asked if electronics would be allowed. And I opened a big can of worms! The teachers explained that the children would be allowed to bring electronics because it ‘keeps them quiet while on the journey.’ Another teacher explained that he thinks it’s good for children to embrace modern technology and to learn how to use electronics from an early age.

This is rubbish, and I feel compelled to say so.

We did not have iPhones or iPads when we were young, but miraculously we all know how to use them. Even my technologically impaired father uses a laptop and an iPhone with ease. Is there really any advantage to be gained by letting our children play games on our iphones? No. And with regards to ‘keeping the children quiet on the bus’… Really?! Shouldn’t they be singing songs, chatting to each other, looking out their windows, making silly faces to the people in the cars they’re passing? That’s what we did when we were kids and the bus ride was often one of the best parts of school trips. Why would we give them a sedative dose of Nintendo?

Our children are only little for such a short time. The window for imaginative adventures and play is so small. They have the rest of their lives to be attached to a device. Why start now?

x Courtney

p.s. I very rarely share my parenting views on this blog. I am generally quite open minded about the decisions other parents make, and I know that I am by no means an expert. But for some reason, this feels different to me. I hope you too will share your thoughts and comments, in favour or against my view. I would love for this to become an open dialogue between us all. xx

(Image above found here)

Nina and the Little Things

A few weeks ago Esther and I met up in Brussels to go to the new Little Fashion Week trade fair. One of the absolute highlights was meeting the super talented Italian designer Eloise Morandi. Esther had been following her and her brand Nina and the Little Things for a few years and I got to discover it for the first time. Such a treat!

Nina is a little girl who wears a red hat and a red dress, and who wanders around thinking about Little Things. Around this world Eloise has created cards, art, games, rag books, flip books and bags which you can have a look at in the online shop. I am sure there is much more to come! Have a peek at Eloise’s blog – it is so fun to see a designer having a great time playing around with her creations!

- Emilie

New spring fashion from Ladida!

We’ve met the lovely Rebecca from the wonderful (online) boutique Ladida a few times at the Playtime trade fairs — in Paris and also in New York — and we always have such a blast. She’s usually attending the shows together with her BFF Estee, from the beautiful Brooklyn based brick-and-mortar children’s shoppe Posh, and they are such a happy and fun couple of friends. We always feel we want to hang out with them way more — if only we didn’t live across the ocean from each other!!

The new collections recently came in at Ladida, and I couldn’t resist the temptation of placing a little order with Rebecca. I got a few super adorable outfits for my kids (and took a couple of photos of them over the weekend). My girls are wearing their pretty dresses from Neige, and Pim his sporting the super cool indigo linen blazer from Anais & I. How lucky that the weather has been so amazing, so that they can immediately enjoy their fabulous new clothes!

xxx Esther

The Digital Neighbourhood event in Athens, Greece

One of the things I love about our job, is the wonderfully supportive online community in which we work, and the amazing friendships we have developed over the years. Bloggers (and professionals working in the children’s retail world) are such a friendly, supporting group of people, I feel it makes such a difference from the often competitive and political atmosphere in other fields of business.

One of the friends we have made over the years, is the lovely Pepi Nikolopoulou from the Greek online boutique and blog Alice on Board. Pepi wrote a Weekend Getaway about her beautiful city, Athens, a few years ago, and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.

Pepi is one of the five talented women who are organising the “Digital Neighborhood” event which will take place for the second time this year in Athens this coming Friday and Saturday. (She’s the cute blonde girl in the photo above!) The concept of this year’s event is “Growing towards the Future”, and it is open to everyone who is interested in creating a blog, would like to improve their existing blog, strengthen their Social Media presence, or is simply looking for inspiration. There will be tons of professionals walking around, like photographers, Social Media experts, journalists, portal owners, and bloggers of course, who will be there to offer knowledge, to exchange ideas, and to inspire with their success stories.

I’m so excited to be representing Babyccino Kids at the Digital Neighbourhood event this Saturday! I will be talking about how Babyccino Kids evolved from a friendship, to a blog, and then to an international business. I’ll speak about our growth, the structure of our business, our roles within the company, and our plans for the future. It will be so fun to share our story, and I’m so excited to meet some of our Greek readers and to learn from the other professionals at the event. And of course, I’m extremely thrilled at the prospect of hanging out with Pepi this weekend in her lovely city of Athens!

xxx Esther

Laviandbelle jewellery


Laviandbelle was started by two London-based mums who wanted to create handmade yet affordable jewellery for children and teens. Unlike the disposable mass-market jewellery you can find on the high street, they wanted to offer unique pieces, all handmade in their Notting Hill studio and only available in limited quantities.

I love that their jewellery is playful and fun, but also simple and tasteful. There’s an innocence to their jewellery that I find refreshing (it’s not trying to make kids look more grown up or glamorous, but rather just offering fun accessories for everyday, or pretty pieces for special occasions).

They sent over some sweet summery pieces for Ivy, and she was absolutely beside herself. How sweet is the glitter heart necklace? And I love the simple bracelets with neon accents and little charms. Of course she wants to wear everything at once!

x Courtney

Cosy Cashmere from La Petite V


Who doesn’t love the wonderful quality of cashmere? It’s soft, warm, natural, and because of the warmth regulating characteristics of the material, it’s just perfectly snug and comfortable —  both in winter and in summer. So we’re very happy with the discovery of the new Amsterdam based label La Petite V, which focusses entirely on gorgeously soft and cosy cashmere for babies.

I love the well thought through collection of products with which Vivien, the designer behind La Petite V, has launched her label. A hooded blanket (the perfect receiving blanket, just perfect for newborn babies). A scarf for mama that can be used to keep baby warm as well, or be used for breastfeeding. A sweet old-fashioned bonnet, and (my favourite), a darling hooded jumpsuit with clever openings that can be used in the carseat as well. Gorgeous!

xxx Esther

Birdie London Photo Studio









I was invited to try out the new Birdie London pop-up photo booth at Liberty last weekend, so the girls and I went over to check it out. We spent an hour in a pretty little private room in Liberty, playing dress up while they snapped some photos. It was such a fun time, and even Ivy (who hates having her photo taken) enjoyed it!  I just got the photos back, and I LOVE them!  I hope you don’t mind me sharing some with you? My favourite is the one where Marlow is crying! Such a perfect, imperfect photo! : )

Birdie London will be running pop-up photo booths in Liberty throughout the year, so it’s definitely worth checking their site and signing up for news on future dates. They offer one-hour photo sessions for £300, and then after the session they email you all the photos (for free) and you get to keep them, print them and use the files as you wish.

I’m definitely going to print some of these photos and hang them up in our house. And I’m already looking forward to the next session so I can get some photos with all my children!

xx Courtney

p.s. Marlow is wearing this super cute outfit from La Coqueta.  Ivy is wearing this pretty coral dress from Marie Puce or this Liberty London floral dress which she borrowed for the shoot.

Happy UK Mother’s Day!

I get confused every year by all the different dates for Mother’s Day. I’ve never understood why the UK celebrates Mother’s Day in March, when the rest of Europe and America celebrate in May! I looked it up, and here’s the rule: while the majority of the world (including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, China and the rest of Europe) celebrates Mother’s Day on the 2nd Sunday in May, the UK and Ireland celebrate on the 4th sunday in Lent, which is believed to go back to the 16th century when Christians would visit their ‘mother church’ annually, a day most mothers would be reunited with their children. Here in the UK, it’s also called ‘Mothering Sunday’. So… there you have it. The reason for all the confusion!

Anyway, a very happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers, grandmothers and mothers-to-be here in the UK and Ireland. Hope you’re having a wonderful, happy day surrounded by family and adoring children!  xx

Mormor, gorgeous, hand-knit clothing

Mormor is a Danish company with a collection of hand knit products that I adore. The concept behind Mormor is wonderful: to pass on the knowledge and skills that many elderly women possess. Mormor currently has a team of over 130 women who are passionately knitting sweet and fashionable designs for a younger generation. I love this thought!

I often think that if I lived 100 years ago, the ability to knit, sew and embroider would not just be a hobby, it would be a necessity. If one couldn’t knit, one would freeze! Quilts and patchwork blankets were not just for decoration, they were meant to keep the family warm and cosy after the fire went out. And embroidery was used to label bedlinen and restore holes. I love that Nina, the creative owner of Mormor, explores these thoughts and skills and used them to set up her succesfull business.

Mormor designs are fashionable yet timeless. See above Ava wearing the darling Ivar cardigan, and Casper sporting sweater Dan. Pieces are designed in a way they can be worn for years (you can fold the sleeves the first year), and then passed on to siblings or friends. The materials used are 100% natural and of high quality, like alpaca and merino wool, and they are very strong and durable. But most of all, I love the fact that these items are all handmade by master knitters, who knit with love for this younger generation.

xxx Esther

FlatOut Bear

Everybody who knows Ava knows her ‘BearBear’ — the Flatout Bear she’s been inseparable from for the first three years of her life. Everywhere she went, BearBear went! It’s one well traveled bear, that BearBear… (We once nearly missed an airplane to Turkey because BearBear was left behind in the train station, and we had to go back to find it — traveling to Turkey without BearBear simply wasn’t an option!)

Flatout Bears are made in Australia out of 100% pure Australian sheepskin, which is shaped like a teddy bear. The attraction of these bears is that they are super soft, and have an interesting tactile quality to them that most babies love — to touch the fury skin and to bury their fingers in it. And because they are so flat, they are easy to hold in little toddler arms, and to be carried around.

I recently got a Flatout Bear for Casper as well, and now take it with me whenever we are traveling. He also like to bury his little fingers into the sheepskin when he’s falling asleep!

xxx Esther

(We got our Flatout Bears from VUPbaby)

Shusha Toys, available from Toyella

We’ve mentioned Shusha Toys here before, so you might remember how much we love them. At the time of our review last year, these toys weren’t available to purchase from any webshops yet… so it was nearly impossible to get your hands on them (unless, you begged and pleaded with the designers themselves, which of course I did!!!). : )

I got an email from Toyella today announcing that they’re now stocking a few of the toys, including the super cute Zoo Game, pictured above. The game comes with 24 magnetic beech wood shapes to make all sorts of cute animals, real or imaginary! They’re also stocking the Make a Portrait toy, which we have and really love.

x Courtney

Easter decorations from Little Lulubel

We’re coming up on ‘birthday season’ in our house, where 5 out of the 6 of us have springtime birthdays! It’s always a busy time in our family, and this year I have vowed to be a bit more organised than I was last year. (Last year all of my children’s birthday parties were planned and organised the morning of!) This year, at the very least, I need to buy the party supplies and tableware ahead of time.

In my attempt to be organised, I started browsing the party kits section over at Little Lulubel (they have such cute party theme ideas!), and I stumbled upon their Spring Party Kit which is so perfect for Easter celebrations.

I also love this Bunny Ears dress-up kit for kids to make and wear on Easter day. So cute! (Last year, we got similar ones, and it made for a very festive looking Easter with loads of little bunnies sitting around the table.)

Anyway… I’ve gotten a bit distracted thinking about Easter when I have a birthday party to plan first!!  But just wanted to share these with you before I forgot. Easter is less than a month away now!

x Courtney

p.s. Little Lulubel is currently offering Babyccino readers a 15% discount. Details here.

Denim Dress with iron-on patches, from Tootsa MacGinty


How cute is this denim dress from Tootsa MacGinty?! I love the simple faded denim smock style (coincidentally, I have a very similar dress for myself!), but I also love that it comes with a little pouch full of cute & colourful iron-on patches for kids to customise.

Leave it to Tootsa MacGinty to add a fun twist like that! I also love the clever pack-a-mac jacket which folds up into its own little handy bag, complete with smiley face. So cute!

x Courtney

Sur ton Mur — affordable art prints

Montreal based company Sur Ton Mur offers a lovely collection of affordable art prints by some of Quebec’s best children’s books illustrators. The selection is carefully curated, of high quality, and very diverse thanks to the different techniques and styles of the illustrators.

All Sur Ton Mur artwork is signed (and, if applicable, numbered) by the artist. So if you like the prints above, make sure you pick them up quickly!

They would make wonderful additions to any little kid’s room, wouldn’t they? (Plus, there’s a great selection of prints for adults too!)

xxx Esther

ZUGS!


How fun are these children’s rugs?! And not only are they fun & cheerful, but completely 100% natural and handmade. And not only that, but extremely soft as well!

ZUGS is a new family-run boutique offering a selection of bright and colourful rugs, all made from natural wool and cut with deep piles to ensure a thick, soft surface: the perfect landing pad for jumping feet or a soft, natural surface for rolling babies. And there is something about the designs that makes me think even older children and tweens would like these rugs in their rooms. They’re funky and fun for all ages!

You can choose from eight different rugs, each one aptly named based on their colourful character (although we have Gracie the Ghost at home, and we all agree she is more of a squid than a ghost!!).

x Courtney

Spring is here! Say it with pillows.

Because yesterday was the (official) first day of spring, I finally finished a little project I have been working on… Pillows! I used mixed techniques to put words on them — embroidery, appliqué, and painting with textile paint. I especially enjoyed the embroidery work — it’s been a long time since I did embroidery, and I forgot how much fun it is!


Happy spring everyone!!

xxx Esther

Harriet Hare bed linen & accessories

Harriet Hare is a new collection of beautiful bed linens and coordinating accessories. On first glance, it looks to be quite traditional with its pale blues and pinks, but I think it’s the details of this brand that really make it stand out. Like how incredibly silky soft the bed linens are! The fabrics are all woven rather than printed and the yarn dyed satin weave is made of compact and combed yarns, making it luxuriously soft and smooth to the touch. And all bed linens come in a reusable cotton drawstring bag which can be used as storage or bedroom decor.

I love the reversible duvet covers with the contrasting colour shades and the matching pillowcases in light or dark options, either to match or to contrast the duvet. Everything is so pretty and complimentary, and perfect for children of all ages.

x Courtney

Wreck This Journal!




My son came home from a play date at a friend’s house the other day and all he could talk about was how his friend had a super cool journal that you are meant to wreck (!!) with funny things to do on each page!! Luckily we tracked it down in our local art store, and now he’s the extremely proud owner of his very own copy. He loves it so much, he has taken it everywhere with him for the past week, and of course my younger son became so envious of his journal that we had to go back and get him one as well!

Wreck This Journal is the coolest arts & crafts book I think I’ve ever seen!  Author Keri Smith encourages kids to engage in “destructive” acts like poking holes through pages, adding photos and defacing them, painting with coffee, colouring outside the lines, sticking fruit stickers to a page, and loads of other funny and creative activities. My boys think they’re being so ‘naughty’ by following the book’s rules. It is hilarious!

I’m definitely ordering a whole bunch more for birthday gifts, and I’ve just seen that Keri Smith has loads of other similar type books as well.

x Courtney

NAÏF care, skincare for babies

Naïf Babycare is a new line of baby skincare products that was started by two young and cute Dutch dads, Jochem and Sjoerd. See above how very Dutch they are, with their bakfiets!
After their first babies were born, they discovered a huge gap in the market: a high quality range of pure, natural skincare products which is safe and nurturing for baby’s sensitive skin. So they quit their (high profile!) jobs, worked very hard with a Swiss laboratory, dermatologists, and basically every baby skincare expert they could find, and developed a beautiful line of products. Using only nature’s best ingredients, and formulated to perfection, of course!

Casper and I have been trying out some of the Naïf products and we really love them! The shampoo is wonderful to use, so soft and gentle. The nurturing cream is great too, it’s our number one cream for dry cheeks, but our favourite Naïf product must be the massage oil. It is just the right kind of oil — in between oily and dry, very soothing, with a lovely scent. Just perfect!

xxx Esther

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