Insider tips: Positano, Italy


The lovely Joanna from A Cup Of Jo (who is expecting her second baby any minute now!!) recently asked me to share my insider tips on Positano with her readers.

We’ve now been to Positano every year for the past ten years. For us, it feels like going home — some of the locals even feel like family. It is certainly one of our favourite places in the whole wide world, and so it was easy answering her questions and sharing our tips. Thank you Joanna for featuring them on your blog!

xx Courtney

Our favourite books: by Jenny Valentine

I met Jenny Valentine when we both worked in Sesame, a lovely wholefood shop in Primrose Hill, London. (Courtney, you know it well!!) Jenny is now a very talented writer, and writes books for children. For her first novel and best-known work, Finding Violet Park (HarperCollins, 2007), she won the annual Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, a once-in-a-lifetime book award judged by a panel of British children’s writers.

She has also written another titles like “Broken Soup” or “The Ant Colony”. Also the short stories about two sisters “Iggy and me”. We have the whole collection (4 books) and we really really enjoy reading them. They are so much fun.

Jenny is married to singer songwriter Alex Valentine, and lives in Wales with their 2 children. And I am so happy for her with her success!!!!

-Maria

Adeline Klam

The coolest thing about social media, namely Instagram, is how many cool things you discover via the people you follow. For example, I discovered there was the coolest Japanese paper shop right around the corner from my flat, via Erika from MIKODESIGN, who herself is based in the Netherlands.

Obviously, since I found this little gem, I have not be able to stop going. The shop is full of the most beautiful paper, fabric, paints, tape, ribbon and bits and pieces – it is very hard not to get very excited and not buy the whole place up. The is also a webshop, so you don’t actually have to live in the neighbourhood.

Needless to say, we have been crafting a lot lately with Japanese paper!

P.S. Above are some pictures I took of Violette crafting this weekend and the result of the craft session. These little houses were super easy to make and are now conveniently housing all of my girls’ little bits and pieces…

- Emilie

This week…

1. Marlow in her sink bath
2. A beautiful drawing made by Coco
3. Ava picking radishes in her opa’s vegetable garden
4. Coco and her chic Parisian ballet friends
5. Courtney and her cute kids
6. Casper is practising his crawling skills
7. Peekaboo, sweet Marlow!
8. Pretty, pretty Paris
9. Casper, 8 kg and 71 cm
10. Sara playing a violin solo at the school concert
11. Laundry drying in Courtney’s garden
12. Vivi in a sweet summer dress

Enjoy your weekend!

xxx Emilie, Courtney and Esther

PS If you would like to follow us on Instagram, we’re emiliebabyccino, courtneybabyccino and estherbabyccino.

NUN, relaxed and natural slow-fashion from Italy

Nun is a new children’s clothing line from Italy that I think is best described as ‘slow-fashion’. The collection consists of timeless pieces, like simple trousers, tunics and overalls, all made from high quality natural fibres such as gorgeous Italian linen and Jersey cotton, some of which are coloured with vegetable dye to achieve a very pure and organic look.

I really admire the simplicity of the collection, and the quality of it all — the linen pieces stay in excellent shape, also after multiple washes, and the natural colours are as vibrant as before. Pieces are easily mixed and matched, and look darling on boys as well as on girls. Although I’ve never personally been to Ibiza (I know I need to go!), the NUN collection is what I imagine life is like over there: relaxed, beautiful, natural and easy.

xxx Esther

Beaba Babycook

We are big fans of the Beaba Babycook! In fact, I gave ours away a couple years ago, thinking I wasn’t going to have any more babies (whoops!) … but now that Marlow is eating solids and I’m making food for her, I just had to get a new one.  It saves time, eliminates mess, and makes the whole weaning process so much easier.

The Babycook is a 4-in-1 product that steam cooks, blends, defrosts and reheats. In the initial weaning stages you can steam veggies (carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes broccoli, courgettes, etc.) and fruits (apples, pears, and anything else that needs to be steamed before blending) and then easily blend it all in the same contraption.  You can also use it to make little smoothies from fruits and veggies like strawberries, blueberries, mango, banana, spinach, etc. Now that Marlow is eating fish and chicken, I’ve also been adding that to steamed veggies and blending it all up for protein meals. Easy peasy.

The Babycook is available from VUP Baby, along with other great Beaba products (I love their spoons and storage pots!) And when you’re finished weaning, it’s wise not to give it away (!!) because you can also use it as a little mini-prep for sauces, or smaller smoothies, etc.

x Courtney

p.s. The VUP Baby sale is now on! With up to 60% off! So definitely pop over to browse their sale section.

La Super Superette


A superette in France is a corner shop. Now, we do pride ourselves over here on our fabulous food but, secretly, most French do like a bit of junk: biscuits, chocolate, a frozen Lasagne — it is not all croissants and oysters over here!

Now, the good thing is that all this superette food has inspired 2 girls to come up with a genius blog: La Super Superette. They try and recreate all of this crazy food in their little kitchen, thus rendering the food from junk food to home made delicacies without any preservatives. Ever tried to make your own Kinder Egg? Ever had a craving for a Tuc biscuit? The answers are all on their blog.

There is now even a cookbook, which, unfortunately, is only in French at the moment. The blog is also only in French, but is pretty easy to read with google translate.

- Emilie

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!

Win! £500 of Stylish Family Beach Holiday Goodies!

Exciting news!  We’ve teamed up with hip hideaways experts i-escape and one of our fabulous boutique members, Sunuva, the UV-protective children’s swimwear specialist, to offer you the chance to win a fabulous, £500 value summer prize.

The prize includes a £200 voucher towards a stay at one of i-escape’s gorgeous family-friendly boltholes, PLUS £300 to spend on Sunuva’s trendy beachwear collection to help keep your little ones safe and stylish in the sun. Just click here for your chance to win!!

Good luck!

Ten Seaside Escapes

We’ve teamed up with the fabulous travel site i-escape which offers a well curated selection of stylish travel destinations along with an easy-to-use booking service. They’ve kindly agreed to scour their collection of chic family friendly hotels, villas & apartments to narrow down 10 of their favourite stylish seaside escapes. Perfect for summer holiday planning! Both Esther and I have previously booked holidays with i-escape and they were some of our favourite family vacations, so we are especially excited to discover their suggestions. Take a look at these ten great seaside escapes all hand-picked from their dedicated Kids Collection:

1.) Almyra, Paphos, Cyprus

Stressed-out parents can fully recharge their batteries on the beach, by the pool or in the spa, safe in the knowledge that the little ones are having the time of their life! This unpretentious design hotel’s superb kids’ club caters for all ages up to 17, with activities ranging from t-shirt painting, treasure hunts and tennis lessons, to banana-boating excursions and snorkelling for teens. Added to that, the staff are super-friendly and the sun shines here over 300 days a year!

2.) Fiskardo Cottages, Kefalonia, Greece

Set in a gloriously peaceful location, within walking distance of 2 unspoilt beaches, these charming whitewashed cottages (sleeping 2-6) are the perfect rural retreat and great for older kids. Head for the hills and hike through dramatic scenery, sail, snorkel, scuba dive or just play in the shared pool. The slick modern kitchens mean self-catering is a pleasure or you can walk to the nearby village tavernas for delicious local dishes and fresh seafood.

3.) The Rosevine, Cornwall, UK

This chic apartment-hotel has a wonderfully casual vibe making it a haven for families. Designed with kids in mind, they have heaps of baby paraphernalia to borrow (less to pack!) and kids will be kept well-entertained by a toy-laden playroom, indoor pool and playground in the garden. The restaurant has a kids’ menu, and at night its candlelit – pack your baby monitor and ‘dine out’. But the best bit? It’s a just a short stroll from wide, sandy Porthcurnick beach and the hotel has buckets, spades and fishing nets to borrow for rock-pooling.

4.) Txai, Bahia, Brazil

Rustic simplicity meets style and luxury at this eco-friendly estate on Bahia’s undeveloped Cacoa Coast. With an emphasis on nature, tranquility and beauty, make the most of vast unspoilt white-sand beaches and hill-top Shamash spa, take surfing lessons or go horse riding or hiking along one of the stunning trails. There are plenty of grassy areas for children to play on and our reviewer found it near-impossible to extract his young daughter from the fab kids’ pool.

5.) Azur, near Antalya, Turkey

If you’re after beachside bliss on a budget, Azur Hotel’s simple wooden cabins are the ones for you. Despite having no formal crèche, it’s a great place for kids with safe lawned gardens and hidden hammocks, a child-friendly pool, lovely staff who know each child by name and boat and jeep trips for adventurous day trips. Nearby Cirali beach, one of Europe’s loveliest, has wonderfully clear blue waters for swimming and snorkelling.

6.) Hell Bay, Bryher, Isles of Scilly, UK

Set on Bryher – the smallest inhabited island of Scilly and many people’s favourite – this 25-room hotel allows you to stay in style and comfort and its restaurant is billed as the best on these isles. Owned by Tresco’s Dorrien-Smith family you can expect solid and dependable service and rooms with a distinct New England style. Couples will revel in being somewhere so unique, so far out. But it also has special appeal for families thanks to sandy beaches, a heated pool, games room and local farm chickens which little ones can feed.

7.) Jashita, near Tulum, Mexico

Laid-back beach sophistication and a dreamy Zen style are the order of the day at Jashita. Uniquely secluded, it’s the only hotel on this pristine beach with shallow aquamarine waters that’s sheltered by its own coral reef. Families will love Villa Jasmine, a beach house for 10 that offers independence and the opportunity to self-cater, along with the use of the hotel’s facilities and restaurant. Kids will love the beach and boat trips and there are adventure parks nearby.

8.) Onar, Andros, Greece

Walking through the river from this collection of simple stone cottages (sleeping 2-7) to the beach is the sort of thing fantastic family memories are made of. The atmosphere here is secluded but the communal meals and effervescent host ensure that you’ll never feel lonely. Kids will love the natural swimming pool nearby and the small playground, while sun, sea, delicious fresh food and stylishly simple décor will reinvigorate even the most jaded workaholics.

9.) Esplendido, Puerto Soller, Mallorca

One of our most popular hotels for families in Spain, there will be lots of new friends for your kids to play with at this hip hotel in picturesque Puerto Soller. Occupying the top position in the middle of the bay, the proximity of the beach is a godsend with energetic youngsters, and means you can hear the waves lapping below from the sea view terraces. And don’t underestimate the excitement provided by the many ice-cream shops and the tram to Soller!

10.) Marari Villas, Kerala, India

Within a whisper of the sea on a white-sand beach, these boutique villas (sleeping 2-6) are great for families as they combine the privacy of a villa with room service and a private chef. Each villa offers a secluded haven (your own living space, your own garden, some with a pool) with all the luxuries of a larger resort, but they are closer to nature, more intimate and better value. There’s plenty of kit for kids (toys, books, inflatable toys, cricket kits) and babies (pushchair, backpack, car seat, sunshades), so you can pack light(er!).

………………..

We have teamed up with i-escape and Sunuva to give-away a whopping £500 summer prize! The prize includes a £200 gift certificate to use towards a stay at one of i-escapes family escapes as well as a £300 gift voucher at Sunuva to stock up on adorable and UV-protective beachwear! Click here to enter to win!

Olli Ella bed linen


What’s not to love about the new Harlequin bedding collection from Olli Ella? I recently got Pim the Harlequin Single Bed Set in dusk, and I’m so impressed with everything. First of all, the wrapping is impeccable, with beautiful tags and ribbons and a matching little tote bag. Then, the quality is fantastic — it is made from 100% organic, soft and durable, high quality cotton, printed with natural water-based inks and are free from nasty harsh chemicals. I still have some of my own sheets from when I was a child (bright yellow and orange from the ’70s!), and this is the sort of quality that will definitely survive to be on my grandchildren’s beds as well. I also like that the entire Olli Ella collection is handmade in England, and, of course, the print is wonderful — so stylish, and it fits in every sort of interior.

xxx Esther

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

Perfect Picnics!

Did you know that last week was National Picnic Week here in the UK? It’s an initiative to encourage people to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. (With this lousy weather we’re having, it’s true we all need a bit of encouragement! Blaaah!)

Anyway, we thought we would roll with the picnic theme and find ten cute products for perfect picnics. Check out our Top Ten selection this week. And let’s hope for warmer picnicking weather!

x Courtney

One Sunday

Sara turned eight last month. Eight! What a big daughter I have. She’s also very tall and skinny, so I have been buying size 10 for her clothes, sometimes even size 12. And this is where we have a little bit of a problem — most of the cute brands I know don’t go bigger than size 8. Enter One Sunday, an Australian based label specialising on tasteful fashion for girls size 8 to 14. Sara is wearing the Reversible mash-it-up dress in the photos above, which is made of two layers of jersey cleverly sewn together, resulting in a super comfortable and cute looking dress, which can be worn all year round (on both sides).

There’s also a lovely collection of accessories and stationary, all selected with older girls in mind. (I really love the look of these posters, how cool!)

xxx Esther

PS Sara is playing with giant ‘Pick up sticks’ (we call them Mikado in Dutch)!

This week…

1. Finally some sunny weather in Amsterdam — for a few days at least.
2. Marlow being adorable in her Misha and Puff sunsuit
3. Marlow on the roll!
4. School outing to the farm for Emilie’s daughters
5. A nature playground in Amsterdam
6. Casper on a Poetry Pillow
7. Pretty Paris on the weekend
8. Wild asparagus at the market in Amsterdam!
9. Casper in Esther’s kitchen
10. Courtney’s Terrace
11. Hampstead Heath on an evening walk

12. Courtney’s cute kids!

Enjoy your weekend!

xxx Emilie, Courtney and Esther

PS We though it would be a fun idea to share some of our Instagram photos each week — we hope you like it too!
PPS If you would like to follow us on Instagram, we’re emiliebabyccino, courtneybabyccino and estherbabyccino.

Misha and Puff sunsuit

We’ve raved about Misha and Puff here before… but I just wanted to quickly post about this adorable sunsuit. I bought it for Marlow and I’m pretty sure it’s the cutest thing I’ver ever seen in my life. I’m going to make her wear it every single day until it no longer fits her! It is really THAT cute.

Everything at Misha and Puff is handmade in New England and is the type of thing you will keep forever. (I’m going to hang that sunsuit up on a wall when it no longer fits Marlow.)

x Courtney

Natalie Lété water bottles

I love, love these little water bottles that I discovered today at the Noeuf Pop Up Shop, which happens to be just around the corner from where I work (If you happen to be in the rue des Petits Ecuries in the 10th arrondissement in Paris until the 22nd of June, do pop in!).

We use these types of water bottles a lot, as I try to keep our use of plastic bottles to a minimum. Often they are practical but not very pretty, so it is nice to see some pretty, colourful designs on something we use almost every day!

- Emilie

Hucklebones, a gorgeous collection (and now on sale!)

I am just so in love with this season’s gorgeous collection at Hucklebones! It is one thing cuter than the next — from darling little dresses and sweet blouses to raincoats and accessories.

I got this dress for Ivy (she’s wearing it in this photo!) and this matching outfit for Marlow, and both items are just so pretty and sunny! I can’t wait to dress them up on a warm summery day (let’s hope we get one soon!).

Hucklebones is now having a sale with up to 40% off… so hurry over to scoop up some deals!

x Courtney

Moving to London? A relocation service to help

My friend Lindsey from the London-based Urban Mums blog had the ingenious idea of creating a business to help families get settled when moving to London. I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received from other mums who are planning a move to London. These mums have so many questions (as I’m sure I would if I were moving our family to a new city!). Questions about neighbourhoods, schools, renting a home/flat, finding childcare,  learning about healthcare, shopping, dining, etc. I have always answered those questions as best as I can… but I’m not an expert. And here is where Lindsey comes in handy.

She has created Urban Living, a relocation service to help ex-pats navigate life in London. Whether you’re visiting London to explore the idea of moving here, or whether you’ve moved here and would love a local’s tips and expertise, she has created tailored services for individual needs. Plus, she is such a sweet, hip, energetic woman (and mama to three!), that even I am thinking about booking her services just to get to the spend the day with her. : )

If you, or anyone you know, are moving or have recently moved to London, definitely get in touch with Lindsey!

x Courtney

Boys & Girls Shop

If it’s not already, Boys & Girls Shop should definitely be on your radar if you’re on the lookout for cool, easy-to-wear and practical clothes for your kids. We love their collections! The pieces are so fun, mostly unisex, super comfortable to wear and easy to care for, and the bright colours and happy slogans always bring a smile to our face.

We also love the fact that all the clothes are made of GOTS organic and Fairtrade cotton. And the fact that the prices are so agreeable! 

I need to stock up on new gym clothes for my kids badly, so Boys & Girls is high on my list for my back-to-school shopping this year. (Photo is of Sara and Pim, they wore the cool star vests on their sports day this year.)

xxx Esther

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