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!

La Petite Magazine

If you aren’t already familiar with La Petite Magazine, I suggest to take a peek at their newest issue to discover the world of everything extraordinary. The online magazine is filled with inspirational fashion trends and decor tips, plus beautiful photography and illustrations. The current issue includes an homage to the ’70s and ’80s — how cool!

I think my favourite bit is always the interviews of people in the children’s world — it’s so fun to get a glimpse into the lives of other inspirational mums… which is why I was so flattered and thrilled to be invited for an interview! You can find my little interview Q&As in this current issue (pages 172-173). Hope you enjoy!

-Courtney

The delightful Anne Taintor


I always see these silly quotes from Anne Taintor in novelty shops in NYC and they always make me smile.  I saw these two refrigerator magnets the other day and immediately made an impulse purchase and they have worked wonders to keep me mentally intact when I hear one of my kids break into a “yodel-style” whine for something.  Part of me would love to get a giant size poster to hang on my wall, in fact, I am going to look into that asap – maybe I should even look into wallpaper.  Here is a link to some of their favorite quotes but there are a ton to browse through so enjoy hard-working mothers of the world!

-Dina

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Scrabble letters and my sanity

ReCrib: Out with the old in with the new

A friend just passed along this website to me and I am thrilled to see that someone took the time to put this together!  ReCrib is essentially a “Craigslist” for all things child related — a place to buy and sell cribs, baby gear, strollers and all the other wonderful and time-limited things that come along with having children.  It looks like the website is only catering to New York and New Jersey right now but I am sure once it gets rolling it will be everywhere!  The site offers high-end products from the likes of DucDuc, Stokke and Netto all for a fraction of their retail costs.  While I always prefer to donate bygone items to friends or local charities there is something to be said about recouping some cash to purchase the next needed items coming down the pipeline (ie: this crib for this toddler bed).

-Dina

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

My Very Own Fairy Tale
Grilled Baby Romaine Lettuce

Say 100! A list of voices that matter


There’s a lot of noise around us. Messages are constantly delivered to us through never stopping newsfeeds, real time alerts and advertising on the thousands of LCD screens we surround ourselves with. It’s pretty busy out there!
It can be hard to find the signal in all the noise. We are turning more and more to people we trust, be it friends or relevant voices online, to help us filter the relevant from the irrelevant and shape our opinion.

SAY Media recognises this changing state in media, and put together a list of 100 ‘authentic, knowlegeable voices online that create engaging content, drive conversation and shape opinion’. The list is divided into 10 categories, each curated by an expert in that field — say Tina Roth Eisenberg (SwissMiss) for Design, Amanda Hesser for FoodSeth Godin for Business and former health & beauty director of Cookie magazine, Dana Wood (MomOver) for Parenting.

And why am I telling you all of this? Because we have been proudly chosen to be one of those voices! You can’t believe how flattered we are to find ourselves amongst some of our heroes like Heather Armstrong (Dooce), Gabrielle Blair (Design Mom), Irene Hoofs (Bloesem Living), Joy Deangdeelert Cho (Oh Joy!) and Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist). To see the whole list, look here, and this little video explains a little more about the SAY 100 list.

xxx Esther

Little Eats


If you live in Melbourne or are planning a visit, a fabulous (and totally cute) website to check out is Little Eats. Little Eats is the brainchild of Jemma Reynolds — a self confessed foodie, critique and ’super-mum’ to 2 pre-schoolers. Let’s face it — dining out with kids in tow can be fraught… fraught with fear, trepidation, anxiety and a host of other raging emotions. I have certainly had my fair share of cringe-worthy cafe moments. But it needn’t be so! Jemma profiles restaurants and cafes in and around Melbourne and rates them in relation to their ‘kid-friendliness’. Pram access? High chairs? Distraction apparatus like books or paper and crayons? Welcoming smiles? With her expert eye (and with the help of her 2 adorable pint-sized side-kicks) Jemma susses out the facilities, children’s menu, table and customer service. Of course she is also obligated to road-test the menu (all in the name of ‘field research’  she assures me.) Afterall we all know that pram access, high chairs, drawing supplies, babyccinos, choc-topped gingerbread men, great food and the perfect latte are important… in equal measure.

- Sara

Annabel Karmel I-Phone App


Now, here is an I-Phone app that actually makes sense and is definitely more practical than Angry Birds. Seriously, who did not panic when it came to weaning their first child? If you are anything like me you spent hours trying to figure out if you should first feed the baby broccoli or a banana. I finally bought a library worth of books, one or several of which were by Annabel Karmel, the UK guru on weaning and cooking for infants and toddlers.

Annabel Karmel has now brought out her first iphone application, full of recipes from 6 months to toddler stage, a meal planner and a shopping list tool. I love the way the shopping list is automatically saved on your phone. I personally have the tendency to write up a list and then promptly forget it at home, so this type of tool is a life saver for me.

My kids have outgrown the toddler stage so sadly the Annabel Karmel app is not so useful for me anymore. I do have the Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson apps which are great for inspiration, mostly when I am in the supermarket and trying to come up with something different than pesto pasta for dinner.

-Emilie

Made by Joel it ain’t…

I absolutely adore those fantastic blogs that share such inspirational ideas of great things to craft with or for your kids (think ‘Made by Joel‘, ‘Inchmark‘, ‘Hip Hip Hooray‘).  In fact I’d go as far to say I have a slight addiction to said blogs.  I gaze at their beauty, gawp at their good ideas and sigh at the pretty photography.  All the time thinking how I must try harder to be perfect.

The sad reality is though that I’m not perfect (is this therapy?).  And when it comes to crafting with my kids I’m anything but.  I’ve always wanted to be good at arts and crafts and since having kids I can hardly pass a craft shop without popping in for some googly eyes or transparent paper for our bulging craft cupboard.  So the enthusiasm is there and the desire is there, so how come my shoe-box aquarium (above) looks nothing like Joel Henriques’? (more…)

Super cute name labels from Mooo


Summer holidays are coming to an end (phew — I need a break from all the cleaning and washing a ’stayvacation’ entails). Aussie children are back to school, the start of a brand new school year. And that means labels. Lot’s of them. Especially for my son who starts his very first year of school (so exciting) and who would be prone to losing his beautiful head, were it not so well attached to his body. These adorable name labels are from Mooo. They also do the coolest personalised books which I have always intended to get for my children but which I have never got around to organizing. Also personalised bags, pencil cases, wooden puzzels, stationery, canvas art and an array of other personalised goodies, all of which make fabulous birthday present options.

- Sara

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Call mum
Hope & Greenwood

donna hay kid’s magazine

I think the time has come to introduce my party bible! It is none other than the superb Donna Hay Kid’s magazine! What a treat! Eye-candy from the first to the last page; the photography is so stunning. Choc-full of children’s party themes, recipes and ideas,  it all appears so effortlessly stylish. I particularly love Donna’s tips on how to make cakes look half way reasonable with her ‘cheats guide’ to birthday cakes. (Truth be told, my super sombrero cake for our mexican fiesta still flopped even after following it to the letter, but for general folk, this shouldn’t happen!)

The brilliance of domestic goddess Donna Hay is widely recognized in Australia. Her cookbooks and magazines are legendary here and would, I am guessing, grace the book shelves of a great many Aussie homes. I can never wait for the next edition of the party issue to roll by (it’s a whole 12 months between editions but hey…I am very patient). Incidentally, Donna recently launched her new website. There are some irresistible party and entertaining ideas in her online store, as well as all current and past issues of her cookbooks and magazines. So, if you love to throw a party… or even dread it, I urge you to have a look!

- Sara

Tiny People, Byron Bay


If only my daughter still let me dress her!  Isn’t this little jumpsuit totally gorgeous? It is by sweet Aussie brand fabric from a shop called TinyPeople .  Tiny People is in the eclectic town of Byron Bay on the far north coast of NSW.  Byron Bay is quite a hippie little town. Think ‘bohemian cool’ … locals wearing tie-dye sarongs, frangipani sandals and wooden beads, organic produce markets every Thursday, and tempeh, veggie and chickpea burgers — a Byron Bay fast food staple. Unfortunately, I don’t get to visit Byron as often as I’d like to (it is a good 2 hour plane trip from Melbourne), but when I am there I always pop into this very cool little store. Not only do they carry some of my favourite local brands like Little Horn, Munster, Coco & Ginger, Paper Wings, Gaia, Polka and mamapapa… they also carry a small but well edited selection of imports — Wovenplay, Pop Up Shop and Mini Rodini just to name a few — lovely hand-made one-off objects and a beautiful selection of books and toys. Definitely worth a visit if you are anywhere in the vicinity!  And if not, Tiny People have a great website with worldwide shipping available. (more…)

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Absorba

My house

One of the people I admire most in blogging land is fellow Dutchwoman Irene Hoofs from Bloesem and Bloesem Kids. Her sense of style is amazing, and she’s also extremely kind — even though I’ve never met her (she lives in Kuala Lumpur) I very much see her as a friend!  Irene has posted a few pictures of my house today on her beautiful blogs Bloesem and Bloesem Kids…  If you’re curious, have a look here and here!

xxx Esther

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

A garage for drawings

Christmas selection at Smallable

Smallable recently asked us to choose a selection of our favourite products for the Christmas season… and it was nearly impossible to narrow down a list as everything on that site is beautiful!  But, we managed to choose some favourites, and, as always, they made it look so beautiful! Click here to see what we chose…

PS – Smallable is featuring an online advent calendar and every day leading up to Christmas they are offering discounts and free goodies. Just click on the day to see what’s on offer. (How cute is that advent calendar?!)

-Courtney

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

A tray for the Stokke highchair

They Draw and Cook


Isn’t the Internet amazing. I just discovered ‘They Draw and Cook‘, and have been captivated by it for the last hour or so. It’s pretty cool — every day, a recipe by an artist / illustrator / graphic designer is posted. Really, really nice.

xxx Esther

Paris vs. New York

Several people have sent me the link to this blog called Paris vs New York and I  absolutely love it. It doesn’t really have anything to do with mothers and children, but I thought you might appreciate it as well. I think the illustrations perfectly pick up on so many of the idiosyncrasies of Paris and New York and compare them perfectly.

My favourites are the taxis, (as it is completely true that there are never any taxis in Paris, while New York is full of them), the tips (the Parisian only leave a couple of coins, while in New York tipping is serious business) and the directors (I love the intense stare of Goddard versus the neurotic look of Woody Allen).

Which one do you like?

- Emilie

Sweet William opens in Manhattan!

One of my very favorite children’s shops from Brooklyn recently opened in Nolita last month — dangerously close to where I live (uh oh).   I have always admired Sweet William as it is a store that gets it just right.  The space is adorable and the clothes are incredibly well edited, wearable and unique.  I assure you,  you will want it all.  I am especially drawn to the store as a great source for newborn gifts — the teeny tiny outfits from the likes of Ketiketa and Tuss are criminal they are so cute.

-Dina

Some MOR pampering please!


Ok, I  admit to a shameless obsession with beautiful packaging, even for the most mundane of items. There is an Australian brand, MOR cosmetics, which causes me to positively swoon… though there is nothing mundane about these decadent products. Inspired by traditional apothecary and the blending of age-old and contemporary ingredients, MOR’s lotions, aromatic oils and candles make up an exquisite range of pampering goodies, enjoying a cult following around the globe.  Not only do they look amazing gracing the bathroom counter (trust me, you will be loathe to use them) but they are deliciously scented (kale and watercress, marshmallow, pistachio, kumquat…) and feel so indulgent to use. I think that their Little Luxuries collection make the sweetest stocking fillers — the marshmallow lip nectar and belladonna soapette are my favorites (check out the gorgeous re-usable tins!). For some serious eye-candy, have a look at MOR’s recently revamped website here . Good news too – they ship world-wide!

- Sara

Insourcing the Birthday Party — Customized Decor by Love the Day

If the idea of throwing a birthday party for your kids at home sends you into a total panic, I understand completely.  For me, nothing causes more constricted breathing than the thought of having twenty some odd kids over to spend two hours at my place sugar-infused and running wild.  I do have to say though, there is something really nice (and financially sound) about having a party at home — I mean isn’t that what we all grew up with?

A friend recently tipped me off to this adorable Etsy shop called Love the Day when she threw a princess-themed tea party for her daughter last month.  Love the Day offers customized paper party decor and will help to develop a complete party theme — making everything from invitations, to banners, to cupcake holders to customized water bottles and these adorable chocolate wrappers, and it is all VERY reasonable and with a quick turnaround.  The designs are all emailed to you directly and all you have to do is take them to your local print shop to produce the goods.  If I do decide to bite the bullet and bring the party home this year,  Love the Day will be the first stop in the process.

-Dina

Happy Birthday to ME! Jemma Lulu’s Charm Necklaces

When my twin girls were born I really wanted something beautiful and wearable to celebrate their arrival.   I loved the idea of having a simple charm necklace that was beautiful and that I could wear every single day.  Lucky for me, I knew where to go to get the job done -  I turned to Jemma Lulu to help me create what has become my single solitary favorite piece of jewelry ever.   Her simple and beautiful disks make for an incredible gift for a new mom or grandmother and although part of me is reluctant to give out my secret, especially in New York where there are a gazillion jewelry designers, I just wanted to share.

Each of her pieces is handmade and can be as customized as you see fit.  I chose simple brushed gold disks with birthstones and had her engrave their first names on the front and birth-dates on the back, but you can mix the metals, the stones and the details as you wish.  Some people even add charms for their husbands (and pets) as well — hey why not?!.  Jemma Lulu ships internationally and be sure to check out the rest of her line because everything she makes is truly beautiful and one of a kind.  And even better, she offers a 3-week delivery. This one shown is called the “Valentina”….

-Dina

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

I love Aztec
Paperless Post

Decorating a Kid’s Room — More posters

I really don’t want to become boring with my posts (you’d tell me wouldn’t you?) but I just keep finding great ideas for posters for kids rooms.  My latest finds are these fabulous vintage ‘Trooping the Colour’ posters from the (quite brilliant I must say) London Transport Museum.  I have long known about the wonderful archive of posters held by London Transport (I personally love this poster advertising the ‘Summer Sales‘) but I came about these in a funny way.  I spotted 4 different Trooping the Colour prints used on a gift-box of espresso cups and immediately thought that posters of the same would look great on my son’s bedroom wall, so I looked them up on the London Transport Museum poster website.

This poster from 1923 is my absolute favourite but I also love this one from 1922 and this one from 1930 — they’d make a great set together. (more…)

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Famille Summerbelle city maps
New and improved daily email
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