La Coqueta

Ava and Casper were wearing their cute outfits from La Coqueta the other day… and I just had to pull out my camera and take some shots. They looked so cute together! (Ava’s dress is beautiful, but what gets me most are Casper’s adorable little baby legs sticking out from underneath those little corduroy shorts…) I had to share!




xxx Esther

PS Baby Casper will be turning one very soon… Time flies!!

Cape & Mask sets from Udder

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

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

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

x Courtney

The new Little Fashion Gallery collection

What goes around, comes around. I remember, as a teenager, there was a period where sweatshirts were ever so fashionable, and at some point we had college style university logos and emblems adorning them. Combined with loafers and smart jackets of course! I had a blast from the past when I saw the new collection from Little Fashion Gallery — college style to the return, and done with such great style!

I asked Ava to model the adorable Jules Funny horse fleece sweatshirt for me, and I swear I didn’t have anything to do with her styling. (Coincidentally she’s playing with the stick horse we made for Sara’s 5th birthday party years ago — do you remember that sweet project?) The quality and fit of these cool sweatshirts is amazing, and they’re so easy to care for too.  I got some for both of my boys as well!

xxx Esther

The Great Sleep Obsession

I recently stumbled upon this great article, written by Sarah Ockwell-Smith, about the unrealistic expectations we have of babies and their sleeping behaviour.  She writes about how modern day society has created such an obsession with babies sleeping ‘through the night’, and about how sleeping through the night is not a reality for most children until they are 2 years of age.

After reading this article once (to myself) and a second time (to my husband), I must say I feel not only a sense of relief that I’m not the only mother on the verge of a nervous breakdown (!!)…  I also found it incredibly reassuring to know that my baby (with her unreliable sleep habits) is totally normal.

Following on my last post about sleeping with your baby, Marlow is now 10 months old and still not sleeping through the night. She starts the night in her own bed, and usually wakes up around 3 or 4am when I bring her into our bed. Most of the time she will go back to sleep in my arms, while sometimes she needs to be nursed back to sleep. In any case, she is certainly not sleeping through the night. Not even close. And according to this article, it’s totally normal and natural.

Anyway, I found it to be a really reassuring article and thought I would share with you to hear your thoughts. What do you think? Do we have unrealistic expectations of our babies? Should we relax a bit more and just simply enjoy this precious time when they’re so little? Or… do you happen to have a strict schedule with your baby that works for you? Do you have a baby who does, in fact, sleep through the night? (If so, please share your secrets!) : )

xx Courtney

p.s. Photo is of sweet baby Casper, taken from Esther’s Instagram feed.

Story Tiles

How sweet are these Story Tiles, designed by Marga van Oers, a visual artist from Amsterdam. On the surface of traditional Dutch tiles, she has been using collage techniques to create something new and unique. There’s also a line of modern tiles (I have the cute jumping fox!), plus there’s the possibility to have tiles custom designed as well.

I love this new take on something so wonderful and traditional!

xxx Esther

Easy and delicious Pad Thai recipe

My daughter Violette is going through one of these major no-food phases. She isn’t eating anything, and mealtimes are taking a life and a day.

I know I should ignore it, but it is difficult, especially when I have gone to great lengths to cook something special. (I think she took the biscuit when she announced she did not like bread anymore: because baguette was too crusty and normal bread too soft!)

She did, however, eat her body weight in a bowl of the best Pad Thai I have ever made, so I quickly wanted to post about it, just in case anyone else has a non-eater in their midst. I left out the radish, the dried shrimp (as I did not have any), and the chilli (I added some chilli sauce for myself and Coco later). I also used spring onions instead of Chinese chives. Even this simplified version was delicious and easy to whip together.

I always forget how much children (and adults) enjoy eating with chopsticks and slurping noodles – the novelty factor never wears off!

– Emilie

My house, featured on Design Mom

The wonderfully kind and thoughtful Gabrielle from Design Mom has featured my home, and an interview about our family life, in her Living With Kids blog series today.  What I love about this series is that she asks such thought provoking questions — she really tries to draw out the kind of answers that give a genuine glimpse of each family’s day to day life. She goes beyond the usual ‘where did you buy that sofa’ type of question and really delves deep. (I nearly had tears in my eyes as I typed my answers out!)

I am extremely flattered to have been invited for the interview and to be included among so many other great families and homes in this series. You can see the photos of my home and read my answers here. Thank you Gabrielle!

x Courtney

La Coqueta, timeless Spanish clothing with a modern twist

Just looking at the beautiful new A/W collection at La Coqueta makes me want to give my children’s wardrobe a bit of an overhaul — to chuck out their denim jeans with holes in the knees, their tatty tees, and their old tired hoodies… and replace them with tailored, timeless Spanish pieces. There is something about this collection that, while it is obviously beautiful and polished, it’s also fun and playful. Take a peek at the Lookbook – don’t you love the little knee socks (I love that one is always scrunched down a little), and suspenders, and sweet little dresses and…!!

And this little number?! Isn’t it the cutest thing?!!

I also love the new feature where you can shop their collection by looks — for boys, girls and babies — which basically makes it super easy to replicate their sweet little ensembles. I’ll be popping into their Hampstead boutique very soon to take a peek at it all in person…

xx Courtney

New collection at Macarons

The new Macarons collection is so amazing! I am loving all the colours and textures… and sweet photos (those little models –how cute are they?).

The weather is getting crisp and colder here in London, and it’s time for warm winter woollens. (Sigh…) Thank goodness the Macarons collection is so cute, it made it less depressing to buy cosy warm clothing for the kids.

I bought this snuggly wool suit for Marlow along with this adorable matching hat, and the sweet little duo will surely become her winter wardrobe staple.  I also love the look of the jackets & coats for bigger kids.

Take a look at the entire collection here.

x Courtney

Sweet Kiddo

Have you checked out Sweet Kiddo on Etsy yet? It is my newest Etsy find and I love it! Cherie makes the cutest leggings and head bands for your babies and kids with the coolest prints ever. So cute for boys and girls, I could use a pair too! The best part is that all the fabric is 100% certified organic cotton and the ink is eco friendly as well. You need a few of these leggings in your little hipster’s wardrobe, don’t you think? I am seriously having such hard time just choosing one favourite!

-Celina

Drawnimal

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

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

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

– Emilie

Hartendief lamps

Even though we have been living in our current house for over three years, Ava still had a temporary lamp up in her room… until this weekend! We finally installed the adorable ‘miracle lamp‘ from Dutch design company Hartendief. Hylkia, the sweet and super creative owner behind Hartendief, introduced the ‘miracle lamps’ a little while ago, and I love how clever they are.

When switched off, the lamp is plain white with just a few simple balloons on the outside. Only a faint outline indicates what will happen once you switch the light on — a whole parade of darling animals appears, each holding one of the balloons!

I love the simplicity of the concept and the attention to detail with which it is carried out. The drawings of the animals are truly adorable, and the light gives a darling atmosphere in the room — switched on or off. So sweet! I bet every child would love to have this lamp in his or her room… Ava surely does!

xxx Esther

Our summer holidays in Holland

Oh! It is so nice for me to remember our holidays in Holland this past summer! We went in July and we were so lucky with everything. We are in a program of house exchange and everything went just perfect!. We really loved our house and the garden with the lovely wooden house.

Great memories and lovely times in our garden!. So much fun. But speaking about fun… how great it was for us to ride a cargo bike the whole holidays!. For us Spaniards, riding bikes is not the norm, let alone a cargo bike!. That was just amazing, and we really really enjoyed it!

We really enjoyed our area, with the lakes, and canals. We had amazing weather so we got to do many things outdoors. We also went to our nearest city, Haarlem. We adored it! One of my favourites shops was Meneer Paprika. A really cool store and cafe, the paradise for children and adults!.

A very relaxed, healthy, quiet, and amazing summer we had!!. Really looking forward to going back to The Netherlands. In fact, looking forward to next summer!!!!! ;-)

Happy to be back here!!

-Maria

To read more from Maria, visit her lovely blog Escarabajos Bichos y Mariposas.

Waterproof gear from Muddy Puddles

We recently took the kids out of London for an adventurous weekend day trip to Warwick Castle. It was one of those cold, drizzly September days that felt a bit more like winter than Autumn, and we were happy to be kitted out in waterproof jackets and wellies from Muddy Puddles.

My kids have the reversible jackets, which are fully waterproof on one side and lined with cosy fleece on the other — perfect for this time of year when the weather varies so much. They also have the matching rubber wellies, so they are both coordinated and cosy in their waterproof gear. My kids were able to run around the castle grounds braving all the elements of the blustery day.

Muddy Puddles has a wide selection of outdoor gear that is as fun as it is functional. Perfect for our unpredictable British weather and the cold, wet winter ahead of us. (It only took me 10 years to finally accept that in order to live happily in London, we just have to have appropriate warm & waterproof clothing!!)

p.s. Even on a grim day, Warwick Castle was really great! Loads of fun activities for the kids, and a really pretty setting for a lovely day out. I definitely recommend visiting.  (And the view from the tower is amazing!)

xx Courtney

Erik Bagger Bag Hook

I know bag hooks have been around for a while and that they are a wee bit gimmicky, BUT in a dirty, dusty, big city like Paris, they are actually great (If you remember to bring them). Normally they are just functional at best, but trust a Danish designer to come up with a great design for one of these little hooks. It is simple, it is elegant and it work really well! You can even wear it as a bracelet!

– Emilie

Kalon Studios

I’m in the middle of designing my youngest daughter’s nursery and keep coming back again and again to so many pieces from Kalon Studios. Their cribs and dressers are gorgeous and have such a harmony in design that they feel perfect for what should be the most soothing space in your home, your child’s room.

They use 100% natural, eco-friendly materials, and many of the pieces are designed to grow with your child. I particularly love their Caravan line and the hut hut, such a genius reinterpretation of a rocking horse!

-Elizabeth

To read more from Elizabeth, visit her sweet blog The Littlest.

Sweet pyjamas from OM Home

Nights are getting longer and colder, and my kids have each grown tremendously over the summer, so a new pyjama order was in place… The matching PJs that my kids are wearing in the photos are from OM home, and I’m just so happy with them! I love the sweet print, so cute for both boys and girls (and available in different cool colours). I also like that these pyjamas run up to size 10, so I was able to buy matching ones for all four of my kids.

OM home is a Canadian based company with Indian inspired designs with simple, fresh aesthetics. Next to the beautiful bedding and decor, there are some wonderfully cosy and clever designs in the baby collection, like fold-over socks and double lined pants providing extra cushioning for new crawlers. You can tell that Oorbee and Toni, the girls behind this brand, have 5 kids between them, and put their experience as mums to good use in their designs!

xxx Esther

Leather baby booties from Donsje

I first discovered Donsje shoes at the Bubble tradeshow last January and loved the look of them immediately. I think the little lace-up leather booties are just so cute – many with contrasting laces, some with warm lining on the inside, and all made from soft, flexible leather.

I finally got my hands on a pair for Marlow, and she’s been wearing them now as the weather gets colder here in London. (It’s definitely tights weather now!) They’re really cute!

The Donsje website is in Dutch, but I find it’s easy enough to navigate if you’re hoping to buy a pair for your little one.

x Courtney

Plum Dumplings

Have you ever tried these beauties in the photo? They are called plum dumplings and I think they originate in Austria (correct me if I’m wrong). They are also very popular in Slovenia where they are made in every household. My mom made them at least once every week or so and now I carry on the tradition. It’s one of those dishes that no one leaves a bite behind.
My favorite are plum but you can also fill them with other fruits like strawberries or apricots and I use spelt flour instead of plain white one and there’s truly no difference – except for making them a tad healthier.
And the great thing about them is that if you make to much dough you can use the extra to make gnocchi! If you don’t know them either that’s an Italian pasta that goes amazing with any kind of sauce – Tila can’t get enough of them ever since she was a baby.

I have tried a few recipes by now, but this is the one my boyfriend ordered me to stick to:

500g potatoes
250 g spelt flour (half fine and half coarse)
2 eggs
salt
nutmeg
1 tbsp butter
20 pitted plums (or any other fruit )

For the topping:
butter
breadcrumbs
sugar (I use coconut sugar)
cinnamon

Peel and boil the potatoes in a slightly salted water then drain and mash well along with one spoon of butter, a pinch of salt and nutmeg. Add the eggs and flour and shape the dough.
Now roll a quarter of the dough on a generously floured surface and cut to 5 equal pieces. Pat them flat and place one pitted plum on each, pinch together and roll in flour to shape the dumpling (there is a great demonstration by Tila on my Instagram).
Boil slowly until they pop up to the surface and then for about 15 minutes more.
Finally melt the butter in a large frying pan, stir in the breadcrumbs wait until nicely browned then roll the dumplings in the mixture until completely coated (straight from the water as the breadcrumbs stick on best this way).
Before serving sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon! Yummm I wish I has some in the freezer right now…

-Polona

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

Piupia – soft, organic cotton baby clothing

Piupia is a new London based brand featuring the most adorable line of baby clothing. All made of high quality organic cotton and adorned with darling and original graphic designs made by Claudia Carvalho, the creator of Piupia.

All the Piupia pieces are made of incredibly soft organic cotton, and a lot of effort has been put in the comfort of the pieces in general: using soft elastic bands, no scratchy tags, and very easy to put on and off. The combination of the sweet, contrasting stripes and dots with the simple and bright prints (how cute is the fish, the sun and the octopus?) makes the Piupia line so different and fresh. Perfect for sweet little babies!

(Casper finds his cute little Piupia onesie extremely comfortable too, as you can see in the photos below! ; ) )

xxx Esther

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