Playtime Paris: A recap

The three of us (plus two babies!) met up in Paris last weekend to attend another Playtime tradeshow. It was a beautiful, sunny (hot even!) weekend and the three of us had so much fun together. On Saturday we walked around Paris until the sun went down and the babies got tired. It was the perfect summery day in Paris! On Sunday we attended Playtime and, as usual, we were so inspired by the many great brands we saw — lots of old favourites, and a few new discoveries too! Here’s a brief recap in photos:

  • Aymara – Beautiful knitwear in a rainbow of cool colours!
  • Nobodinoz – A vibrant collection of toys, cushions, decorations and really cool animal backpacks.
  • Seesaw – A new-to-us brand featuring geometric designs and easy-to-wear silhouettes.
  • Shusha Toys – Such wonderful wooden toys from Russia – we want to buy every toy in their collection!

  • L’Asticot – We loved the fabrics in this collection. The little squid and the fish prints – so cute!
  • Sunchild – A great collection of brightly coloured swim trunks, nice and short – perfect for little legs!

  • Coq en Pâte – Bold graphics and colours. And we love the collection of beach toys made from seaweed – Fun!
  • Garbo and Friends – We love the illustrations and soft colours.
  • Picnik – Gorgeous, bold geometric patterns.
  • ESPno1 A great collection as always, and we especially loved this awesome playsuit!

  • It was so hot in there – the only place Marlow wanted to be was on the cold cement floor!
  • Sprout by Grow – A beautiful collection for big and small girls.
  • Aravore -We love the new collection, and how sweet is that little floral romper?!
  • Indikidual -Original cuts and patterns set this collection apart. The Jellyfish trousers are a highlight!
  • Biobu by Ekobo – A collection of dishes which are beautiful, natural and completely biodegradable!

  • Maa — Awesome, hipster trainers! We want these for ourselves!
  • More Shusha Toys – We love these wooden facial parts to create different faces. So fun!
  • Macarons – Beautiful textured fabrics. We loved the Ikat skirt!
  • Poco Nido – Fun high and low boots and cute baby shoes.
  • INspiRaTiOns by la Girafe – A beautiful stand with fresh flowers from the garden.

Recipe: Home-Made Deodorant! (Yes, you’ve Read it Right!)

I’ve already shared this recipe on my blog but it’s so amazing I just have to post it here as well. I’ve tested it during the hot summer days and it works like a charm. It’s natural, organic and like I said – it’s a recipe but it’s not food, in fact it’s deodorant! Yes, organic and home made from things you probably already have at home and it really, trully works. That’s something I had problems finding – a natural deodorant that actually does its job.

But if you’re skeptical you can simply try the baking soda first, since coconut oil is an ingredient that only makes it easier to apply and to help moisturize the skin and the essential oil is optional and you can easily skip it – it only makes it smell nicer.

You’ll need:

About two empty deodorant containers or small glass jars
6 tbs coconut oil
4 tbs baking soda
4 tbs of arrowroot or cornstarch?a few drops of essential oil (if you’d like to add a little fragrance)

Melt the coconut oil on a small fire and add the rest of the ingredients, mix well, wait so it cools down a bit pour into jars or containers and wait for it to cool down completely (you can put them into a fridge).

Voilà! That is all!

-Polona

Breastfeeding in public?

This weekend I was sitting in a park in Paris with Courtney and Emilie, feeding Casper. The three of us were talking about breastfeeding in public, and Courtney then took this photo of Casper and me which started up a discussion: Could we post this photo? Would we post this photo?

When I had my first baby I was much more shy about my boobs than I am today. Yes, I would breastfeed in public, but first I would find a dark corner somewhere and I made sure my boob and baby were covered with a scarf completely. I had the feeling breastfeeding in public was frowned upon, and it should be done in private.

Now, 8 years and 4 babies later, I don’t feel that I have to cover myself completely anymore. I’m so much more comfortable! I feel I am breastfeeding my baby, which is a very natural and beautiful thing to do, and I think I shouldn’t have to be shy about it. I also have the feeling that these last years, breastfeeding in public has become a bit more acceptable; people are getting used to it now and the general feeling about it seems to be more relaxed. Which is so great!

So, I decided to be bold and bare (!) and post a photo of me feeding Casper in a public park in Paris. Is it too much you think? Do you breastfeed in public? Would you? I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

xxx Esther

PS Joanna Goddard, who just had her second baby (a beautiful little boy called Anton), wrote a great post about breastfeeding in public here.

PPS Following up on our discussion in the park, Emilie sent me this link — a fabulous poem by Hollie McNish which helped me decide to indeed post this photo here. Nobody should have to feed her baby in a public restroom.

Hopewell

There is something special about selecting a quilt for your child. Elodie has a quilt that was handed down from her great great grandmother but I was hoping to find something a little different for my baby Francesca’s nursery. Hopewell Workshop provides a colorful, modern take on this very traditional art form.

The Los Angeles based company was founded by two friends – both artists and mothers – with a desire to create a line of artisanal products. It is so refreshing to hold a beautiful heirloom piece in your hand – one that both you and your little one will appreciate.

- Elizabeth

Yay for tennis! And Ugly is cool!


Ugly Children’s Clothing is a Norwegian brand started by three dads who after having babies decided that there were no children’s clothes available on the market that were cool enough for them. Well, for their baby, really. So they started producing an awesome collection that is hip, practical, of great quality, and allowed their babies to come skiing with them wearing their own traditional Norwegian knit baby bodies. Or let their toddlers join in their fish flying activities without them getting cold or wet. For real! How cool are those dads?

The new Ugly collection is again so, so on trend: a very retro looking gym collection! With fantastic track suits, gym bags, tube socks, and tennis outfits that John McEnroe himself must be jealous of (how cool are the sweatbands?). Our oldest two, Sara and Pim, have this week started their tennis training (in Ugly tennis outfits) because hey — the last (and only) time that a Dutchmen won Wimbledon was already 17 years ago, so we better start training now!

xxx Esther

Apology and announcement

Hello all it has been quite a while since I last posted here and also on my blog. I am sorry for that but I have some sweet excuse to share with you. After drooling over Esther’s and Courtney’s gorgeous babies Casper and Marlow for the last 8 months I have found out I get my own set of baby rolls to squish and the cutest little feet to nibble on supposedly at the very beginning of the next year! We are all super excited and can hardly believe it but I have been a little less crazy about my not-so lovely morning/afternoon/evening sickness that has decided to keep me company for the last three months. And that was actually the main reason for my absence  - I just felt too blah to do anything, even read or watch TV.

But I really think I’m out of the most annoying part of the pregnancy now (I hope I’m not jinxing it) and I am ready to party! I’m so excited to be able to share some great posts on pregnancy and newborns with you – it has been soo long since I’ve done that! But in the meanwhile I’d love to hear if you have some good tips and favorite products you’d like to share with me or suggest me to use or try during my pregnancy? I’ve actually posted a list on a few pregnancy and newborn must-haves a while ago (with a help from Babyccino girls and Peggy from Paul&Paula) but I know there’s more I need to know about! So spill please! I’m anxious to hear!

-Polona

Shusha Toys

I spotted these brilliant wooden toys on the web a few months ago and loved the look of them immediately! Aren’t they so fun?! Kids aside, I would personally LOVE to play with the wooden face parts – to be able to create different people and facial expressions – so cool!

Over the weekend, we had the pleasure of seeing these toys (and meeting the designers!) in person at Playtime Paris and it confirmed how much I love them. Shusha toys are designed and made by a husband and wife team who recently had their first baby and turned their design interest toward toys. All the toys are made in a local workshop in their hometown in Russia and are made from eco wood and non-toxic paints. The result is a beautiful, lovingly created collection of toys which will appeal to children and grown-ups alike!

At the moment, there aren’t very many shops who stock the Shusha toys – but hopefully their visit to Playtime was successful and we’ll be seeing these toys in shops soon. I personally can’t wait to buy them! Stay tuned…

x Courtney

Little Paris Kitchen

Have you heard of Rachel Khoo of Little Paris Kitchen? I have to admit, I am  a little obsessed by her. I love the idea of a cute English girl cooking French dishes in a tiny kitchen in Paris.

I think what won me over was her video I found on Youtube of how to make Croque Madame Muffins, (probably the best ever combination of French and English fusion cooking). Also check out the choquettes which are possibly my favourite French pastries in the world and the Madeleines with raspberries and lemon curd.

There is something very re-assuring to see someone make complex French dishes on two hot plates and a tiny oven. It makes me feel like I could do it too!

- Emilie

Avarcas by Castell

I discovered Castell Avarcas at the last Bubble trade show, and was so attracted to their modern colours — hip neons, shiny metallics, and even sparkly ones! Castell recently sent a couple pairs for us to road test and I am now even more impressed by the sandals given the great quality.  The Avarcas by Castell feature sturdy rubber soles and durable doubled leather straps (the straps are nice and thick and don’t get floppy with use). I also love how easy they are to slip on and take off without any buckles, etc.

Ivy got this pair… and as you can imagine, she loves the glittery style! (She thinks they are her ‘fairy shoes’ and has insisted on wearing them every day since they arrived.) For boys, they have a navy or a brown option which are both very classic and simple. I really am in love with this sandal – it’s so easy for the summer!

x Courtney

This Week…

1. Courtney and her girls, sunkissed after a sunny weekend
2. A new shelf in Violette’s room, a home to Sonny Angels
3. A simple (but pretty) flower arrangement in Esther’s house
4. Casper, from above
5. Esther had a meeting at the Hema HQ!
6. Violette’s gymnastic class
7. Strawberries growing in Courtney’s garden
8. Courtney’s boys in their swim trunks, enjoying a weekend out of town
9. Playing beach ball with Pim at the Dutch beach!
10. Ava drinking a green smoothie in the garden (she decided she didn’t like it!)
11. Beautiful Amsterdam facades
12. Ivy carrying the flowers home from the market

Enjoy your weekend!

xxx Emilie, Esther and Courtney

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

Ooshki Knitted Toys

Do you love collaborations? I sure do! I love it when two extremely talented designers come together to create an exceptional product. Look how cute Oliver & Olivia are! These are the result of a sweet collaboration between Elena Kovyrzina – a graphic designer and mom from Toronto and Anabel Fournier – designer (Fournier) and mom from Washington D.C./Bolivia. Elena designed the toys and Annabel produced them – a winning combination don’t you think? You can see many more cute crochet toys in Elena’s online store Ooshki, where each doll is crocheted by hand using softest 100% merino wool and detailed with finest fabrics.

You might want to have a look at Anabel’s collection of hanknitted clothes, accessories and toys over at Fournier – everything is handmade in Bolivia with only the best quality and softest wool. Now how do you choose between Oliver & Olivia? I think you just have to get both — they seem inseperable!

-Celina

Polpettine — true (online) boutique shopping

Polpettine is an online boutique in the true sense of the word: a small but impeccably curated collection goes hand in hand with immaculate personal service. Sandra, the owner, ensures that all of the items in the shop are of the highest quality and only available in small quantities, chosen for their detail, fine craftsmanship and comfort.

I have shopped for both of my girls at Polpettine before and love all the items I got for them: gorgeous pieces by Émile et Ida, perfect woollens by Aymara, great basics by Soft Gallery… all very special pieces and of great quality.

xxx Esther

Messy Me: stylish products made for mess

I’m one of those (unorganised) mums who doesn’t carry around a baby bag. I usually just tote around a canvas bag with my wallet, phone, snacks, toys (and various junk!) and a few spare nappies and wipes. Nothing is ordered or separated and when I need to change Marlow, I usually end up stressfully digging in my bag for that loose nappy at the bottom.

Thankfully, Helen from Messy Me just sent me one of her oilcloth clutch bags which is just the thing I needed to keep nappies and wipes in their own little designated place within my everyday tote. The bag also includes a wipe-clean oilcloth mat for changing babies on the go. Simple, but perfectly functional!


Messy Me has a great selection of oilcloth products, including bibs, tunics, highchair covers, mats, and tablecloths, perfect for messy meals and messy art projects, etc. I love the fun star designs, and how pretty is the floral design too? All the products are available to purchase on the Messy Me site.

x Courtney

CLUB CINQ simple polo shirts


It’s not always easy to find a good quality, slim fit polo shirt in a plain, classic colour and without a logo. So I was so excited to finally find them in the collection of Club Cinq! Long sleeves or short sleeves, and with a great, snug fit — simply combine with a pair of linen shorts and your boys are all set for every sort of occasion.

xxx Esther

Waterproof camera: a fun gift for kids!

Both of my boys asked for a new camera for their recent birthdays, and I thought it was a nice idea for them to be able to take their own photos — I was actually looking forward to seeing what sort of things they would photograph (I must say, the photos are so funny!).

After a small search on children’s cameras, my husband and I decided to buy them a ‘real’ camera instead of a specific kiddie one. After all, basic cameras are actually pretty affordable nowadays and easy enough for children to use. On top of that, we thought it would be fun to get them waterproof cameras so they could take photos under water (no question that feature would go over well with the boys!). We ended up buying them different cameras only because they had specific colour requests. My oldest wanted a yellow one, so we got him this Kodak EasyShare Sport camera, and my 6-year-old wanted a blue one so we ended up buying him a Nikon COOLPIX S30 (both were around the same price).

The boys brought their cameras with them on a recent holiday and it was really so much fun taking photos under the water!  (The control freak in me was so worried they were going to ruin their cameras in the water, but they worked perfectly!) The cameras are super basic (maybe somewhat clunky), but perfectly fine for little kids. And I love that they’re shock-proof, so no matter how many times they are dropped, they will hopefully still survive.

x Courtney

Ring-Rings.com: your phone number on your child

It must be one of every parent’s worst fears — losing your child in a crowd. The airport, an amusement park, the park on a warm summer day, the beach… all places where it’s so, so easy for a child to get lost. ‘She was just here a second ago’ is a phrase I know too well myself, and thankfully (touch wood!!), we’ve always found our kids back before panic broke loose. However, kids do get lost all the time, and this is where Ring-rings.com comes with a simple solution: silicon armbands with your phone number embossed in it.

I ordered two Ring-rings each for my kids, one with my husband’s number and one with mine, and so far they’ve been great! They’re waterproof, the colours are fun (glow-in-the-dark even!) and the miniature sizes are perfect for small children’s tiny wrists. They also have a very high ‘cool’ factor, my kids have not taken them off since they arrived.

This summer when we’re traveling, it’s safe to know my kids will have our phone numbers on them at all times. (But I hope they won’t need them!)

xxx Esther

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.

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