Banana Split Trousers at I Dream Elephants


Sweet, these cropped banana split trousers by Caramel Baby at I Dream Elephants. They are somewhere in between baggy and smart, and look darling on. It really is a super piece of clothing, easy to combine and great for hotter days or chillier ones. And I really love the look above with the clogs — I have been so tempted buy those cute clogs I’ve been seeing around (I’m just waiting for an excuse to get them)!

xxx Esther

School Uniforms


I am all for individualism and self-expression; they are important things to teach kids — just not at 8am in the morning when the school rush is on!!! I have become very jealous of my friends in the UK who don’t have a daily battle about favourite dresses… simply because their kids get to put on a school uniform everyday! It slightly upsets me a bit how important it is to my 5-year-old to wear a pretty dress (which basically means that it twirls and is pink). There seems already to be pressure from her friends about what she needs to wear.

Uniforms also seem to have moved on from the ’80s, when my poor Irish cousins had to wear them. The skirts were shapeless and the colours absolutely hideous! Nowadays mustard and tan have been replaced by cute gingham and little pinafores!

I would love to hear from those whose kids wear school uniforms. Are they as great as I imagine or am I missing something?

By the way, I love the school uniform (above), though I am not sure it is a typical uniform.

Kinderroom — Great toys and more!

I’ve just gotten my daughter this wooden Moover Pram from Kinderroom, and it is a huge, HUGE success! She immediately placed her baby doll inside and hasn’t stopped pushing the buggy around the house ever since. So cute. I knew I wanted to get her a wooden pram because my experience with the plastic ones is that they always fall apart in seconds. This is a pram she can play with for years, maybe even keep for her own children. Apart from it being beautiful, it’s also incredibly well-made from high-quality birch veneer and has massive wooden wheels with rubber tires (so it’s easy on my new wooden floors!).

Kinderroom is a great UK-based children’s boutique with a massive selection of toys and games, furniture, and accessories. I love their selection of Djeco toys and games as well as their collection of ride-on toys.  And really… if you know a little girl who loves babies, I suggest you check out this wonderful wooden pram!

-Courtney

Alex & Alexa Summer Looks

I had fun creating some summer looks for Alex and Alexa. The above ‘look’ is for girls, what do you think of it? I also made one for boys, baby girls and baby boys — check them out on the Alex and Alexa blog!

xxx Esther

Exciting news! (and changes ahead)


We have something exciting to tell you… No, no-one is pregnant, but it did take about 9 months to develop! Next week, on the first of June, we’re launching a new website. It will be a shopping portal, where we’ll present to you a selection of our favourite online children’s boutiques!

We feel that the last year or so, online shopping has become so much better. Payment systems are easy and trustable, shipments (usually) arrive, and the variety of shops is great. And it is just so easy for us, busy mums, to sit down behind our computers after the kids are in bed and to browse our favourite boutiques for some fun (and necessary) shopping!

It can however be a bit tricky to find the best boutiques. Search engines don’t  select quality, just quantity, and sometimes the best boutiques are hidden under pages and pages of, well, less interesting choices. Over the past years we have been working with loads of great boutiques, and we’ve invited them to become a member of our portal. Of course it will be a work in progress — we will be adding new and exciting shops all the time, but we’re starting out with a very handsome selection already. We’re already addicted!

So… stay tuned. We’re finishing everything up in the coming week, and next week on Wednesday… We’ll go shopping together!

Esther, Courtney and Emilie

P.S. Don’t worry — we’ll keep the blog, it won’t change it all!

BlaBla dolls



Oh, I am in love with the BlaBla dolls. They are just so beautifully made, and the designs are simply amazing! Too cute, the magician, the ballerina, the queen and the fairy… My kids really love their BlaBla dolls, they make up whole stories around them. And Ava loves talking to them; blablablablabla… Sweet!

xxx Esther

P.S. The BlaBla line of doll’s clothing is seriously darling!

Summer Hats


Over here in Paris we have been having an insane sun wave. We cannot believe our luck! The French, pessimists at the best of times, are telling me that this means that it is going to rain all summer. I am happily ignoring them and getting myself and my girls ready to face the glorious sunshine. My kids have inherited my addiction of wearing hats in all shapes and sizes (maybe learnt behavior?) so I have been doing some research and here are some of my favourites:

I love this classic little straw hat with a simple pink ribbon by L’Esprit de Luna Rose, the cute little denim baker boy cap by Urban Elk which is great for girls and boys, the original shape of the Bobo Choses Hat with the cute little cherries on it, the cheap and cheerful straw hat from HM, the super cool star studded cap from Zef and finally the sunny cap by Stella MacCartney Kids.

Now the big question is: which one to choose!

Karin Littlewood’s Book List

I’ve mentioned Karin Littlewood before in my review of her book, Immi (which we still really love!). Karin lives and works in London and has illustrated more than 40 children’s books published in the UK and worldwide. I got in touch with her after discovering her books and have since discovered she is not only a talented artist, but also a really lovely person. She kindly took the time to compile her top ten list of children’s books for us and I was SO excited to receive a list with not one single familiar book on it. This means I can add ten new books to my Amazon wish-list! Her descriptions and reasons for loving each book are so compelling — don’t you just want to read every single one? Here is her list (divided into two sections: books from her childhood and newer books).

CHILDHOOD BOOKS:

I have so many books on my shelves from my childhood , and they still make me feel the same when I look at them now as they did then. It was just too hard to choose only ten as there are plenty more I would love to share with you !

1. Joba and the Wild Boar — ‘Joba und das Wildschwein’ by Gaby Baldner, illustrated by Gerhardt Oberlander (a dual language English/German book)
Loose, scratchy, quite abstract black and white line drawings combined with strong blocks of colour. Looking at it now it feels so modern. I love the fact that it’s not cute and cuddly, but you love the little stripy wild boar piglet all the more for that. Set in the middle of the Black Forest it’s a lost, found, lost and found again story. Definitely something that would never happen in the Yorkshire town I was brought up in, although I really wanted it to! I loved my mum reading it to me, fascinated by her switching from English to her native German.

2. Little hedgehog by Gina Ruck-Pauquet , illustrated by Marianne Richter
Another German translation , and again a very bold use of black and white and alternate colour spreads. Lots of texture with hints of collage. Very different again in style from the English books on the bookshelf. I must have always been aware of the power of illustration, and how different each book made you feel. A naughty little hedgehog is brought home from the woods by a little girl and gets up to lots of tricks, especially with the cat!

3. The Useful dragon of Sam Ling Toy by Glen Dines
This is set in Chinatown, San Francisco, although I didn’t know it at the time! I just knew that it was ’somewhere else’, which is what books are all about aren’t they? Sam Ling Toy has a wonderful pet shop, and the little lizard he finds grows and grows and grows …. into a dragon with one red eye and one green eye, so you can imagine what happens to the traffic when he goes out. But come Chinese New Year, all’s well that ends well! The illustrations are done in coloured crayon, and it’s like opening a magical sketchbook. I felt like I’d jumped into the book and was one of those kids that had befriended him.

4. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Very, very simple 2 colour illustrations and the joy of this story is this …. Harold draws his way through the book: a pie when he’s hungry, an air balloon to stop him from falling, a home when he’s lost and a bed when he’s tired. This has been reissued, although I like my falling-to-pieces one best!

5. Algernon by Charlotte Hough
Wonderful evocative sketchy drawings … set in a thatched-cottage-filled village, but managing to steer clear of the twee, where vegetables are still delivered by donkey and cart. But Algernon the donkey can read, which comes in handy when a burglar comes to town! Some pages are two colour, some full colour, ….The old printing restrictions still proving how great a book with these limitations.

NEW BOOKS:

6. The Silver Donkey Sonya Hartnett , illustrated by Laura Carlin
This is an illustrated book for older children and I know its also the favourite of many illustrators. A beautiful, beautiful book and so good to see illustrations used in a book for older children. I love this one…. Hartnett has such a special way of writing… simple and deep, evocative and beautifully descriptive. A perfect combination with Laura Carlin’s illustrations. I could write too much about this book, but I think you should discover it for yourself! Get the hardback version if you can as it’s wonderful to hold! Also see Laura Carlin’s work in Ted Hughes’ “The Iron Man”.

7. Tiny Little Fly by Michael Rosen , illustrated by Kevin Waldron
One of the the best things about working in a studio is that you get to share with wonderful creative illustrators who just make some of the best books ever! Kevin now lives in New York — he was busy drawing animals here and he still is there …and what animals! A stunningly designed book, his bold and graphic illustrations fill the page and Michael Rosen’s simple rhythms and rhymes roll over from one page to the next.

8. Halibut Jackson by David Lucas
Another ex-studio pal who has created an absolute classic story — and what a title! How can you not want to find out about Halibut Jackson, although he’s not always that easy to find! This was David’s first book, but as soon as I read it I felt as if it had been around forever. I think there’s a little bit of Halibut in us all — so why don’t you take a look for yourself.

9. When Martha’s Away by Bruce Ingman
You don’t have to be a cat lover to love this book. You definitely don’t have to be a cat owner either, but if you are you’ll never feel quite the same when you leave the house in the morning! It’s not a cutesy cat book at all. I’ve had this clever, funny, sort of observational book for ages and it still makes me laugh. Brilliant, stylised illustrations.

10. The Bremen Town Musicians illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger
Lisbeth Zwerger is an Austrian illustrator and I know of no-one who draws quite like her. Timeless, beautiful, subtle, traditional and very modern at the same time. Look closely at her drawings and get a sense of how quietly clever she is at placing her characters on the page. She has illustrated so many classic titles I found it hard to choose one for you. I have them all at home so I don’t have to have that problem!

PS – Karin is taking part in the Pop-Up Festival of Stories event happening on the 9th and 10th of July in Coram’s Fields. Check out the site for more info.

Tissue box holders from Sparkly Pony

I am in love with these tissue holders! Esther gave the whale to my son for his birthday and it is so cute. What a great way to hide an ugly tissue box. I just love that the white tissue acts as the whale’s spout (or the horse’s tale!). Isn’t that so clever? They’re available from the Sparkly Pony Etsy shop.

-Courtney

Cerise sur le gateau


I don’t know if you are the same but I have a drawer in my kitchen in which I stuff everything: instructions for the toaster (easily the most useless thing ever printed!), loose pieces of wire, pens, and take-away menus. I also have a couple of random bags full of similar stuff peppered around my flat. In France we have an actual word for this: “un fourre tout”  – literally translated: “a stuff everything”. (I hope this does not reveal us as a nation of slobs.)

The fourre tout (on the English website it is described as a zip-up bag) designed by the lovely label La Cerise Sur Le Gateau has given me a stylish excuse to continue stuffing my stuff in little bags! I love their cute designs. They also have other super sweet things on offer — How gorgeous are these little bags for shoes and boots?

-Emilie

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Bear foods

Rhubarb Cordial

As much as our whole family LOVES the Rhubarb Polenta Cake I wrote about recently; enough is enough. The 3 kg rhubarb that my father-in-law brought from his garden last week should at least partially be used for another purpose! I remember rhubarb cordial from when I was little — my mum used to make it, and it was always super refreshening when it was hot outside. It’s quick and easy to make, and lovely served with ice cold water and a slice of lemon.

Here’s the recipe:

Rhubarb Cordial

1 kg rhubarb cut in chunks
550 g sugar
1 l water

Bring everything to a boil in a non-reactive pot. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes, then turn of the heat and leave to infuse for an hour. Sieve and bottle — keeps for a few weeks in the fridge. (You can use the leftover rhubarb for desert!)

Mix one third of cordial with cold water! Enjoy!

xxx Esther

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Bear foods

Lulu Arver — comfy and stylish maternity fashion

I disclosed already how I feel about the fact that that ‘we’re done with babies’. I’m sort of in a mid-life crises about it! Thankfully one of my best friends is heavily pregnant with a little girl, so I have the foresight of having a little baby in my close surroundings very soon. Seeing my friend so big and beautiful, so happy with the little creature growing inside, almost makes me envious of being pregnant again!

Anyway (dream on), I’m writing this to tell you about the beautiful tops by Lulu Arver my friend has been wearing. Super feminine, comfy and fashionable — perfect for working (or non-working) mamas with style! I really like the strong lines and basic colours; they emphasise the best parts of the pregnant body and work for every occasion.

xxx Esther

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Ships Ahoy! See-Saw Swing from Haba
Shoegoo

Boston Weekend Get-Away

According to my friend, Marika, who is a regular visitor — Boston is an absolutely fantastic city to visit with kids because it is jam-packed with things to do for the whole family, regardless of age and interest.  It’s also super easy to get around town, either on foot or by public transport.  The centre of the city is tiny and most sights are within walking distance of each other.
Marika lives in London and has two daughters. She also travels more than any other friend I have! She and her family (photographed below) have just returned from another family visit to Boston and she has kindly written down a weekend guide for us. Makes me want to take the kids to Boston — there’s so much to do and it all sounds incredible.

(more…)

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Ships Ahoy! See-Saw Swing from Haba
Shoegoo

Animal nightlights from White Rabbit England


I have long been a fan of the beautiful nightlights from White Rabbit England. How cute are these animals? I’m not sure which one I love most. Maybe the owl? But the dog is cute for a boy’s room!

They’re made here in England from fine bone china, and I must say… they’re even more impressive in person, especially when lit as they give off such a warm, soft glow. They’re perfect for lulling your little one to sleep.

-Courtney

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Colour-me-in T-shirt by Pure Baby
Welcome Ava!!!
Sunja Link

La Parisienne


If you have ever wondered how Parisian women manage to dress so well and make it look totally effortless, you need to get the book, Parisian Chic . Written by Ines de la Fressange, the former model, muse and designer. It is the ultimate insider guide to shopping, eating and sleeping in Paris. It is also a great source to discover what to wear and especially what not to wear in this fair city.

Maybe for most Parisiennes these tips are self evident. As a non-Parisienne, this type of vital information was not handed down to me from generation to generation, so I need the rules written down in hardcopy! I have not yet achieved the dizzying heights of effortless Parisian chic (especially not on the school run) but I am hoping with a bit more study one day, I might be able to make a pass for a local. The book is available from Amazon (UK and US).

-Emilie

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Colour-me-in T-shirt by Pure Baby
Welcome Ava!!!
Sunja Link

Win! Colour changing t-shirt from Deerling


Here’s something for the boys: this colour changing t-shirt will definitely be a hit!  When indoors, it shows merely a vague outline of a tortoise, but once your kid moves in the sunlight, the animal will pop to life in a strong, purple colour. Cool!!

If you know a little boy who will appreciate a t-shirt so magical as this one (or, honestly, a little girl will surely appreciate it as well), then we have great news: the kind owners of NY-based webshop Deerling are now giving away one colour changing tortoise t-shirt in size of choice (2,3,4 years available) to one Babyccino Kids reader. Just leave a comment below by Tuesday, May 24th and we’ll pick a winner at random. Good luck!!

This give-away is now closed.

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Amazing Travel Tote
DIY Colourful Lanterns

Littl by Lilit


This dress is possibly my favourite summer dress of the year. (Unfortunately it is not for me, but for my daughter, Coco.) It comes from the German label, Little by Lilit. I love their designs, and the idea behind them is so simple and intelligent. The clothes are designed to last for at least 3 years; they start out baggy and cute and then become more tailored and still cute. Perfect for these little people who never  seem to stop growing! This dress is available from one of my favourite webshops, Zebre à Pois.

-Emilie

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Amazing Travel Tote
DIY Colourful Lanterns

Dagmar Daley Sunsuit from Arte Bebé

Isn’t this just about the sweetest little sunsuit you’ve ever seen?! Darling! I love the 1950’s style with all the stitched gatherings at the tummy. (In fact, I wish it came in my size — I’m a big fan of anything that hides and disguises the tummy! )

The sunsuit is by Dagmar Daley and is available from cute webshop Arte Bebé (which we’ve mentioned before). Arte Bebé is now offering free international shipping on all clothing orders of $130 or more — just use code ABCCINO at check-out (offer good until May 31st).

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Win!! Priti Nail Polish set
Liz Earle, natural skincare

Taro Gomi’s Play All Day

I love Taro Gomi’s illustrations and we’ve always enjoyed his books (My Friends, Bus Stops and Everybody Poos) so I was really interested when I discovered Taro Gomi’s Play All Day activity book.  Since then, I have bought it for everyone I know — I feel like I’ve found treasure!  The book is basically the BEST book in the world for a rainy day (which we are prone to over here in Blighty).

It is cram-packed with things to make and pretty much everything you need is already in the book.  There are more then 100 innovative ‘punch-out’ pieces for making games, cities, landscapes, sculptures, hats, finger-puppets, picture frames and all in Gomi’s distinctive style.  All the ideas are simple enough for my 4-year-old to construct with a little bit of guidance.  But what I love (other then the end result actually looking good — unlike our ’start-from-scratch’ craft ideas) is that all the ideas inspire play — we made the ring-toss game last night and once made my kids played with it for 45 minutes. It’s available from Amazon (UK and US).

Mo. x

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Win!! Priti Nail Polish set
Liz Earle, natural skincare

Gorgeous summer pyjamas


Cute, cuter, cutest… these summer pyjamas by I Love Gorgeous! The colours are just beautiful and they look absolutely darling on. I love Gorgeous just knows how to strike the right tone: girly and chic, without losing its innocence or becoming too feminine. If you’re not familiar with their partywear and dresses just yet, you should really take a look — it’s all so darling (cute baby dresses too)!!

xxx Esther

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Pedal Power
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