TG Green Special Edition Mugs


Some people spend their life searching for the holy grail. I spend my life searching for the perfect mug. I was brought up with the belief that a cup of tea is a remedy to anything from a common cold to a broken heart. All the politicians out there take note: sitting down with a good cup of tea will pretty much solve the world’s problems!

So as you might be able to guess, I have tea making down to a fine art and I reckon the receptacle of the tea is almost as important as the tea itself! I don’t like fussy, little china cups or mugs with silly logos on them. My mugs need to be substantial but not too big — the result is cold tea. Check out these mugs from TG Green: Perfect! I love the colour twist on the classic cornish blue pottery. I think having a good cup of tea out of the bright yellow strippy mug is going to make me happy!

-Emilie

Dala Baking Tins from Ikea


I have visited Ikea quite a bit recently — something I both love & hate.  I love that you can fill a trolley, spend a £100 and really feel like you’re getting your home in order.  I hate that every time I go I lose someone (last time I lost my Mum for 45 minutes — imagine, if you will, a thirty-something woman approaching the info-desk with the words “I’ve lost my Mum!”).

Anyway, are they stepping up their bakeware or am I just slow on the uptake?  I was really impressed with their baking accessories, cupcake papers and doilies.  I couldn’t resist these Dala horse (Mama & Baby) bake tins – so cute! I baked Courtney’s famous carrot cake in them over the weekend, which has become a favourite recipe in our household.  However, my only problem was getting the cake out in the end — does anyone have a great cake recipe that is meant to be baked in a tin like this and therefore slips out?

-Mo. x

The Lunchbox


Unlike the UK and France, where I’ve been told kids get a warm and nutritious lunch at school, here in the Netherlands we send our children to school with the traditional lunchbox. Every morning I find myself in the kitchen preparing sandwiches for Pim and Sara, with some cold sides like fruit, cheese or vegetables (or whatever I find in the fridge). We don’t traditionally eat warm lunches here, and anyway there’s no means to warm up food in the school.

Because I’m quite often stuck in the morning for original ideas to fill the boxes, I’m thinking of creating a (printable) list of ‘ideas for the lunchbox’. Now I only have 10 minutes for this in the morning, so creating fresh sushi or sandwiches in the shape of an octopus is not for me (yes I know, my poor children). Do you have tips for me? Whether food items, easy recipes, good lunch boxes or shopping tips, I’m interested to hear. To be continued.

xxx Esther

PS Unbreakable stainless steel Eco Lunchbox from GreenJump.nl

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Little Lunalu stroller covers
Lakeshore Learning

Retro-inspired Personalized Lunchboxes

These gorgeous personalised lunchboxes by Feterie are high on my birthday list for my children this year. With a bit of a retro-cool vibe, they are of lightweight tin construction and as functional as they are stylish. I think they’d be great for toting around paper and coloured pencils too, or whatever knick-knacks it is kids love to drag around (footy cards in my son’s case).  I can also imagine them being great for keeping all my daughter’s hair paraphernaila together — those elastics, clips and ribbons crop up all over the house, yet when we need to tie her hair each morning for school, there’s never one to be found! Feterie ship world-wide.

- Sara

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Under Her Wing

Snowden Flood Mugs


I often get nostalgic for London — I spent 10 years there and it is one of my favourite cities in the world. I also like the look of London — it may not be as beautiful as Paris, but it’s much more interesting with so many different buildings from so many different eras.  Paris is very homogenous, whilst London can surprise you at every corner you turn.

I found these mugs at the great shop Loulou Addict and could not resist getting a couple. They are designed by talented British designer Snowden Flood. I love the look of them — they are perfect for my morning coffee… and if I can’t come to London at least a tiny bit of London can come to me!

- Emilie

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Bring your own bags
Home-made Playdough
De-Clutter for a Cause!

A quick word on Baker’s Twine

I have a bit of an obsession with baker’s twine.  I ordered 4 huge spools of it a few months ago and I am looking around for more. Now I’m no crafty, but even I can think of a million uses. In fact, we seem to be using it in some shape or form at least once a day (yesterday my daughter used it to make some bunting for her dolls house). Great for gift wrapping instead of ribbon, just team with brown butcher paper… It is also beautiful for wrapping baked goods. It adds a nostalgic, rustic look that is simple and classic. Traditional red and white baker’s twine is perfect but I am totally smitten with these delicious, eye-popping colors from The Twinery.

- Sara

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Do they always need a fig leaf?
Shirtylicious

Lark in Dayelsford

One place I always recommend (sometimes even insist!) our visitors to Melbourne see is the picturesque town of Dayelsford. Dayelsford is a village in rural Victoria in the heart of the Wombat Forest; so pretty, so quaint, peaceful & dignified, just as a spar town should be, but with the hippest cafes, shops and restaurants you can imagine! There are several things you must do when visiting this adorable town — have  your tarot read, take in the local markets, stroll through the forest, visit the mineral spas (the Shire boasts the highest concentration of mineral springs in the country together with an equally large array of therapists) AND stop by Lark to indulge in some retail therapy! (more…)

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Gift Elephant

MadeIt for unique handmade finds

madeit_header72dpi-newPacked to the rafters with local designers and craftspeople, MadeIt is a virtual craft market containing a wealth of handmade housewares and goodies. It is my go-to source when I want something unique, affordable and hand-crafted. It is similar to Etsy but supports only local Australian talent.

What I love about the site, apart from the fact that everything is handmade and local, is that it brings you, in one spot, everything you can’t buy at your local shopping mall. It takes the legwork out of shopping for those unique, handmade goodies which I  love to buy but can take me forever to look for.  And of course there is something gratifying about buying a locally made gift, supporting your local economy. (more…)

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Blankie
Simply silhouettes

Third Drawer Down

DAM_BROMLEY_PRINT_mediumI do appreciate a nice tea towel… and I’m fussy with mine. Perhaps it relates to my textile obsession.  Nonetheless, I like them to be made of good quality linen, aesthetically pleasing… and generally I find, the more use they get, the better they look. Now, because of this ‘pseudo fetish’, much to my husband’s amusement, and at times sheer frustration, I am always scouring the shops for tea towels.

Recently looking out of the car window at the lovely window shop display, waiting for the traffic lights to change…

Me in passenger seat: ‘Wow, is that…are they…my goodness I think they are tea towels!’
Husband in driver seat: ‘No, no darling, that’s just a painting…’
Me: ‘No husband, I really don’t think so… they look like linen… I’m sure they are tea towels. Yes, yes they ARE tea towels! Quick…STOP! I’ll be really quick!’
Husband rolls eyes and pulls over. And that was how I came to acquire 3 tea towels from Third Drawer Down(more…)

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Amos & Boris
Georges et Rosalie

Meri Meri Cupcake Kits

450108How cute are these cupcake kits!!!!  What a simple solution to make you look like a baking rock star!  Meri Meri has something for just about every occasion and the quality is just beautiful. Now that the coldest months are rolling into the city I like doing cooking projects in the afternoon to deal with those often painfully long hours between the “end-of-school” and the “start-of-dinner”.  There are tons of other really adorable and creative things on the website as well — invitations, thank you cards and notepads.  And speaking of cupcakes… I want one.

-Dina

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Finger food
Last-minute printable Valentine’s cards

A Hearty Breakfast for Valentine’s Day!

heart shaped panWith Valentine’s Day approaching soon, I couldn’t resist purchasing this amazingly cool heart shaped frying pan. I’m not yet sure whether I’ll serve the pancakes or the eggs, or maybe both… But I’m positive my family will love them (and me)!

I got mine from this shop here in the Netherlands, but it’s — among other places — also available from this UK website.

xxx Esther

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Gorgeous decorating finds
Very Sisters

Tess, a tasteful stool

Like many households with children, we are the proud owner of an Ikea Bekvam step stool, which lives in our kitchen and is used all the time. It helps the kids reach the counter, it helps our Peruvian sitter to reach the upper cabinets (mounted extra high to accommodate tall Dutch genes), and it helps me to reach the upper, upper cabinets that even tall Dutch girls can’t reach!
A handy gadget, this Bekvam. It’s not, however, the most original piece of interior (hear the architect speaking?), and to be honest, mine is so much in need of a layer of paint that I hardly dare to display it in my kitchen!

kruk tess1

Thankfully we now have the beautiful, modern, fresh, and well-designed Tess stool in the house. A lovely addition to our household! It’s being used in the bathroom to brush teeth, dragged to the kitchen when there’s a threat of a fight over the Bekvam, and used as a side table or stool where and whenever needed. (more…)

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Arty & Bella

Gift ideas for the Mini Master Chef

200809224091400167-450x600My family is in the grip of ‘Masterchef’ fever! My kids are so enthused by this reality television program that I practically have my youngest deriding me for not making the terrine for his school lunch. And while the downside for me is that the bar has been raised (my rather unspectacular cooking now looks even more… unspectacular), the show has reinforced the value of good eating, team-building and the importance of accepting constructive criticism.  My daughter particularly has been caught by the cooking bug. This morning she made us a lovely, albeit slightly burnt dish of scrambled eggs, grilled tomato, and baby spinach — we devoured it… every char-grilled morsel!

A friend recently introduced me to a great children’s cooking website called Wholesome Productions which creates a fabulous range of children’s cooking kits.  They also sell party cooking kits for those brave enough to host their own kid’s cooking party. (more…)

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Beach chic at Christmas

Cookie Cutters

cookie cuttersCookie baking is big in our house, especially when the weather is grim like today, and as you can see from the picture we’ve started to collect quite a variety of cutters. My son loves picking out which ones to use (currently the bear and the lion are particular favourites). I pick cutters up from all sorts of places but I do find Cakes Cookies and Crafts Shop a corker — especially as they usually offer 4 for the price of 3. Cox & Cox also do some good ones (but more on them later as they definitely deserve their own post).
Today however we used our new kid-friendly cutters by Swiss cooking brand Kuhn Rikon. They are brilliant because they have handles for easy pressing, and the shapes are less fiddly for transferring from work-top to baking sheet. In fact the whole Kinderkitchen range is fantastic for young cooks and is a big feature in our letters to Father Christmas (I’m personally yearning after the Mouse Measuring Cups).

(more…)

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Radiomamma.it
Madison Browne

Trip to Ikea

Charm apple slicerI went to Ikea today to get some frames and came back with some frames (although I nearly forgot them), two Lidan laundry baskets, cute paper napkins, a plant for in the bathroom (Pogonatherum, an old favourite), two little stuffed mice for the children, a dish-washing brush, a set of three small wooden boxes with lids for in the bathroom (it desperately needs to be re-organized – as always), a selection of cool looking Swedish juices and knackerbröt, a wicker basket to keep my herbs on the balcony, and the apple slicer ‘Charm‘ (pictured), that I’ve already tested and I can truly recommend.
I kept myself from buying another Norrebo storage bench (on sale now), 4-for-the-price-of-one Daim chocolate bars, more hooded towels and the Plocka plates that have a space for a small bowl and would be super-cute for breakfast.

I might go back tomorrow…

xxx Esther

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Graboski the mole
Innocent drinks

Bambu Give-away!

Bambu give-awayAn important factor in raising children is, as we are all well aware, teaching them to eat healthy and responsibly.  Offering your kids a varied diet with fresh, organic ingredients (and trying to make them eat it too) is one of the big challenges of parenthood!  These days however, we have discovered that ’eating healthy’ isn’t just limited to the food ingredients we use.  No, the tableware we all serve it on is absolutely of equal importance!

The bowls and utensils from Bambu are completely toxic-free, extremely beautiful AND non breakable, which makes them very suitable for use with children.  All the products are made from 100% organically-grown bamboo, and the bowls have a natural, matte lacquer in wonderful bright colours, derived from, who could have thought, the cashew nut tree.  A safe bet, and cool looking too!

The very stylish Joslyn from the hip eco-boutique Shakshuka has kindly offered a complete Bambu set to one lucky Babyccino reader.  The set will contain (as pictured): a mini-me bowl of your colour choice, a spork (we love it), one set of infant utensils and one set of kid’s utensils.

Just leave a comment below by Sunday, July 26th in which you give us your best tip for eating healthily (weather it’s a recipe, a trick or simply a product).  The best tip will win, AND will be published on Babyccino!

Good luck!

xxx Esther

THIS GIVE-AWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Skwish

Cooking by kids, no kidding!

Berghoff2Although she says she´ll be a princess, I think my 4-year-old daughter might become a chef.  She loves going to the supermarket, she loves helping me prepare the food, and she loves to eat (most of) it.  When I brought home a few items from the Berghoff children’s cooking line the other day I must have nurtured this thought;  I’ve rarely seen my daughter more excited!

The Berghoff children’s cooking line is one of the coolest kids’ products I’ve seen in a while.  The concept is simple: there is a little induction stove, super-easy to use (on/off, high/low).  There’s a selection of pans in different sizes, all with big, plastic handles that won’t get hot and with a big plastic Sheriff Duck knob.  Very sweet.  And there’s a selection of cook’s utensils, like a chef’s hat, an apron, a knife block (plastic) and more, all equally cute and decorated with the signature Sheriff Duck character.   Now, of course the principle of induction is smart because the plate heats only the pan, not the plate itself (although it will be hot for a short while because of the heat of the pan above it).  A parent should always be supervising, obviously, but I’ve been cooking with my daughter and she can do a lot herself!  Yesterday for instance she made a salad of green peas (which she cooked herself), goat’s cheese, raspberries and basil, with a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Very yummy, I must say!  (more…)

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Bag portraits
Family Kitchen

Smoothie maker

kitchenaid blenderA while ago I was sitting in my neighbour’s kitchen and spotted some brown bananas.  Thinking of Courtney’s delicious banana bread recipe, I asked her if I could have the bananas if she was planning to throw them out (I knew she wouldn’t make banana bread herself – it’s not common at all here in the Netherlands)!  She kindly refused, explaining that they had a family addiction to smoothies, so every over-ripe banana was very much needed!
Smoothies?  It started to make me think:

  1. Smoothies are yummy
  2. Smoothies are healthy
  3. I finally found the excuse to buy one of those cool blenders!!!

So, the next weekend I convinced my husband that for the health of our family we needed a KitchenAid blender.  (I admit, I completely went for the look of it; I didn’t read one review and didn’t compare prices!)  And I love it.

Now, having just entered the world of smoothie making, I’ve discovered it’s an art by itself!  There are a million recipes to find; you can use fruit, (soy)milk, yogurt, frozen berries, nuts, tofu, cereal, even egg whites!

(more…)

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Vanessa Berberian
Do a wash

Robot Set

robot.jpgI always find it hard getting presents for boys, as I only have girls and I don’t really know what little boys like. This melanine dining set with a cute robot design by Chaise Longue is one of my favourite presents for little guys. I found it when Courtney’s oldest son was obsessed with robots and have gifted it several times since. The boys have always loved it.

In fact, I like a lot of the Chaise Longue melamine sets, bibs and placemats. The designs are cute and I love melamine as it is seriously indestructible. I don’t know about you but in my house, more often than not, plate and cups don’t stay on the table!

Chaise Longue deliver anywhere in Europe. In the USA the company trades under the name of Baby Cie. The collection is not quite the same but it is equally as cute!

- Emilie

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Cocobohème slate stickers
Sew Bettie

Bowl from Holland

Holland Mill bowlsWhen I was working in NY city, about 5 years ago, my office was located around the corner from a lovely kitchen supply shop, the name of which I’ve long since forgotten. On one of the rare, short lunch breaks I was allowed, I picked up a wooden salad bowl made out of one single piece of wood. Beautiful. And as I am writing this, my husband is fixing us a quick salad in the very same salad bowl! We use it almost every single day, and it is still one of the most beautiful kitchen utensils we own. And there’s a very sweet detail on the bottom of the bowl: an imprint of a wooden clog and the name of the manufacturer ‘Holland Mill’, from Holland, Michigan. A bit of patriotism, after all?

xxx Esther

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Ella Osix bibs
ID Photo
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