Ivoy Paris

When I found out I was going to have a daughter, I had this deluded idea that my child would only play with wooden toys and that there certainly would be no princess dresses in our house.  Oh, how naive I was! Five years, two daughters and about 15 polyester princess dresses later, our dress-up box has become quite famous with the under fives on our block. And now we have a reputation to keep!

Now, it turns out that even in the world of fake princess dresses, there are cheap and cheerful models and, on the other end of the scale, there’s Haute Couture. The dresses by Ivoy Paris fall into the later category. The taffeta, the ruffles, the lace and the elaborate cuts of these dresses are quite spectacular. They are probably what little girls imagine a genuine princess dress to be like. They do come with a certain price tag, but this is truely the creme de la creme of princess dress-up dresses….

- Emilie

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Titlee Jewelry
Two-Tone Tights

Cute party ideas from LMNOP Magazine

Isn’t this pint-sized berry basket such a brilliant goody bag idea? I’m definitely copying this idea for our next birthday party. I’ve always loved the idea of giving veggie seeds in a goody bag (in fact I’ve done it before!), but this whole presentation is just so perfect. It’s one of many cute party ideas in the newest issue of LMNOP magazine. Check out the rest of the issue here.

(Image designed and created by LMNOP)

x Courtney

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Darling Clementine
Kids in restaurants — do or don’t?

My Little Day

I am not as good at planning kid’s parties as some of my other Babyccino compatriates, but my kids do love a good birthday party, so I definitely need to get with the programme.

Enter the website My Little Day… which is one of the best party websites I have seen! There is a great selection of party favours, party accessories and some great costumes. For me the best part of the site is the birthday guides, full of ideas on how to organise a birthday party — great inspiration if you are at a bit of a loss. (Unfortunately at the moment the site is only in French.)

-Emilie

How to make your own Pinatas

Who doesn’t love a piñata? They make great party decorations, they offer entertainment (if you decide to bash the beauty up), and they’re filled with candy!  Such fun! Jordan at Oh Happy Day has recently started a Piñata DIY series and offers all the tips and necessary steps for how to make them. It actually seems quite easy to do — I think I might give it a go for our next party… although I’m not sure I could stand watching it get destroyed after all that work, no matter how many sweets it bears.

Images from Oh Happy Day

-Courtney

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

BB+++
Fly Away Peter

Wrap it up!


Do you know that sentiment — to be almost more excited to give presents than you are to receive them? I especially have that feeling when I know I have found something spot-on perfect, which will most certainly be well received, and is wrapped with lots of love and care…
This wrapping paper from Lollipop is just perfect for such a present — so happy and stylish with the baubles, printed on 100% recycled paper with lovely veggie inks. (There are matching gift tags and labels available too!) I’m also loving the polka dot masking tape from Petite Alma — cute with the baubles paper, but also exquisite on plain white paper (readily available from your kids’ crafting corner!). More cool party ideas can be found in this week’s Top Ten!

xxx Esther

Our 4th Birthday!

Gosh, time flies! Can you believe we have been blogging for exactly four years this week?! It’s a funny thing because in some ways it’s hard to believe four years have passed so quickly… but then on the other hand it’s almost impossible to think about life pre-Babyccino Kids (at least for us)!

To celebrate our fourth birthday, we’re devoting this week to all things party-related. We’ll also each look back on the past year and reveal our five favourite posts. But before we begin to bring you new ideas, here are some of our favourite party-related posts we’ve featured here before:

Retro class treats


I’m not sure how it works in other countries, but here in the Netherlands kids are supposed to hand out treats to their classmates when it’s their birthday. The teacher will make a special birthday crown, the class will sing happy birthday, and afterwards the treats are handed out to the other kids. Fun!
It was Sara’s 6th birthday last week, and I decided to make what my mum made for me in the ’70s: skewers stacked with yummy things (and hopefully a bit healthier than cakes and candy)! It’s easy to make — just stick things like cheese cubes, pineapple pieces, grapes, sausages and strawberries on skewers and place them in half a melon covered with aluminum foil. It looks very festive and most children love this treat!

xxx Esther

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Doodles at Dinner
Ladybird Prints

Monkey Choo



The art of organising children’s birthday parties is something I think universities should offer a degree in. Which games to play, what cake to serve,what types of entertainment, what decorations, which venue and what to put into goodie bags… all very, very important questions!

The French website Monkey Choo is a great place to pick up party decorations, cute goodies and all the bits and bobs you might need to organise a great party. Here are some of my favourites: a lovely selection of candles, pre-prepared boxes and my personal favourite, a kitsch but cute cupcake stand. The site is currently only in French, but most of their posts have been translated into English and they deliver internationally!

-Emilie

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Doodles at Dinner
Ladybird Prints

A Japanese birthday party

My daughter’s favourite food is sushi (or shushi as she calls it). She loves everything about it — the rolls, the maki, the sashimi… Personally I ate sushi for the first time when I was 25 years old — I vividly remember queuing for the first Yo!Sushi restaurant when I was studying in London in ‘98. But nowadays kids in the city seem to grow up with sushi — and love everything about it. Do your kids love sushi too?


A week ago Sara turned six, and we decided it would be cool to throw her a Japanese party. I was super busy with the launch of our new shopping portal at the time, so I couldn’t invest a lot of time in it, but with some simple ideas it became a really fun and special morning.
Sara invited 6 girlfriends. Virginie from TinyUs adjusted the text on her super cute Japanese Princess card for the purpose, and I could just print them on my home printer. Easy peasy. When the guests arrived (some of them were dressed in cute kimonos!), my husband kept the girls entertained with origami while I applied geisha style face-paint to the girls, tying their hair in a bun and sticking chopsticks through it. The girls loved this!

Other activities were playing Mikado, a race-course in the garden and a stop-dance on Japanese music we found on YouTube. Of course we had Sushi for lunch (ordered in), which we drank with green tea. At the end of the party the guests left with a gift bag made from a Japanese newspaper, filled with fun Japanese snacks and goodies found at the Japanese supermarket.

xxx Esther

Downloadable cards — for a good cause


Loving these downloadable cards that Virginie Dreyer designed for TinyUs! The downloads will be sent to you after you make a donation (however small or big you would like), of which the proceeds will go entirely to “Présence”, an educational institute for young handicapped individuals in the South of France. I love it. (The super hero one might be my favourite!)

xxx Esther

Meri Meri Cupcake Toppers


Dina has written about the Meri Meri cupcake kits before, but I had no idea that you could get them in France! (I picked mine up at my favourite kid’s book shop in Paris, Enfant Lyre). I also had no idea that such a thing as a cupcake topper existed — the cupcake revolution is still very young here in France.

For Violette’s 3rd birthday, I went cupcake crazy and it was a massive success. The little Frenchies went crazy for this Anglo invasion of sweet treats. I think there is a future here for them…. I cannot wait for the time we will find cupcakes neatly lining the bakery shelves, right along side croissants and pains au chocolat.

-Emilie

Nettle quiche


It’s the season! Stinging nettles are sprouting up everywhere, and the fight for most gardeners is on. But did you know that you can actually eat stinging nettles? They’re amazingly good, a bit like spinach, but with a bite. Last weekend we were staying with my husband’s parents in the countryside and my father-in-law barehanded picked me a colander full of stinging nettles, which I used for a nettle-ricotta quiche. Delicious!! If you want to try picking stinging nettles yourself, then know that the nettles only sting if you touch the the leaves from above, so try picking them from below. Wearing thin (cotton) gloves will also help. Just pick the tops of the new plants (top 4 leaves), these are the juiciest, and to avoid pollution it’s better to avoid those nettle growing along busy roads.

Here’s the recipe for the nettle quiche I made:
(more…)

Circus, and harlequins

I’m loving the fun circus and harlequin-inspired products I see around these days! So sunny and cheerful!
Here are a few things that put a smile on my face:

xxx Esther

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Lucky Voice at home!
Bunny Finger Puppets

William & Catherine fever!

I love a wedding as much as the next person but I have to say I must be one of the few who hasn’t quite got into our imminent Royal Wedding … yet, I’m sure I will.  And maybe this is the start for me.  I saw these in a card shop yesterday and couldn’t resist — the comedy photo opportunity was just too strong to resist.  And looking online for them I realise there is endless fun to be had — a mini Brad & Ange, Cheryl & Simon or how about John Travolta and Lady Gaga? Available here.

-Mo. x

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Kimmel Toys
Win three Jeff Friesen Wild Life Prints!!

A Cops ‘n Robbers Party


I asked Elias what type of birthday party he wanted.  Like a shot he came back with ‘Pirates’.  ”Oh No!  Really?”, I replied.  Not that I have any particular objection to Pirates but we must have been to ten pirates parties in the last year — there was absolutely no scope for originality!  So I spent the next few weeks flashing alternative ideas at him and the one that finally got him was ‘Cops ‘n’ Robbers’.

  • I’m no big-shot with Adobe so designed a simple invite based on the Metropolitan Police logo.  I got the invites printed by Moo Print, which is a hot little discovery as they use ‘Printfinity’, a technology that allows you to print a different image on every post-card, business card or sticker you print with them — I didn’t use this on the invites but couldn’t resist printing some Police logo stickers in different colours to slip in with the invites (well, all kids love stickers in my experience!).
  • I then ordered some Police tape to wrap in front of the house (it got our neighbours talking at least!), a police costume for my son and cake icing printed with the ‘new’ police logo from here.
  • My daughter already had a cute Katvig B&W striped top and black leggings so all she needed was some dodgy stubble and I had my first robber. (Other cute B&W striped ideas I like were from Bob & Blossom, P.O.P online &  gorgeous Ivana Helsinki).
  • We served food in our cellar (which we tried to make feel like a jail canteen).  My husband and mum cooked fish and chips (for 20 kids!) and I bought these brown food boxes for ease of serving (the kids found these pretty special too) and just printed some stickers labelled ‘Cell Food’ to seal them.
  • I stole another great idea from Brooke Reynolds for the place-mats — using her idea for Valentine’s Day, I adapted it to make ‘Wanted’ posters with the outline of a face and laid the table with a pencil for each kid to ‘design a robber’ (there were some fantastic results from this!).
  • I made simple draw-string ‘Swag’ bags as party-bags but also love these black and white striped paper bags for something a bit less maintenance.
  • We played ‘Cuff The Robber’ — which was basically ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’ and ‘Rob the Piggy Bank’ — which was a version of the magnetic fishing game.  I used these Mighty Magnets and attached them with string to bamboo sticks.  Then we emptied all our old coin boxes into 3 large clear boxes (with Piggy Banks on them) — the children then had to use the magnets to rob as much money as they could from the piggy banks in 20 seconds.
  • For prizes we gave away Playmobil cops ‘n’ robbers and cool Lego policeman torch keyrings.

I have to say it was a really fun theme!

Mo. x

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

The Magical Milky Way’s Super Galactic Zoo

Win! A one year membership to Cocodot

Cocodot is a really great online invite and greetings service that I’ve used a few times for my kids’ birthday parties and really love. There are tons of cute designs to choose from, and sending out the cards and mananging the guest list is really easy peasy. (One less thing to worry about in the run-up to a birthday party!)
Cocodot is now kindly giving away five yearly memberships to five lucky Babyccino Kids readers. A yearly membership will let you send unlimited online cards, invitations and greetings, manage your guest lists, etc. Just leave one comment below by next Wednesday, February 23rd and we’ll choose five winners at random. Good luck!!

This give-away is now closed.

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Scootering with style
Felafel

Cute Party Invites from Little Baby Company

As I’ve mentioned here and here, I am a huge fan of Rifle Paper Company. I love all of their designs — every single one! So I was really excited to spot some of their birthday invitation sets at UK-based webshop Little Baby Company. I ordered the Circus themed set and it arrived the next day. Perfect for the upcoming ‘birthday party season’ we have in our household every spring (my three kids were born in April, May and June)!

Little Baby Company also stocks some of the Rifle Paper Co. prints as well, including the Animal Alphabet print which I love.

-Courtney

Balloon Party

My daughter just turned 2, and this may be the last birthday party I have control over so we kept it simple — balloons were the theme. We obviously had lots of helium balloons around the house but we managed to find some more unusual balloons to spice up the theme.

  • Stripy/beach-ball Japanese paper balloons (which we hung in an alcove and gave away in party bags) available here (thanks to Irene from Bloesem, who helped me track these down!), and I love the animal versions available here.
  • Large paper baubles (which hung from our stairs) which come out for practically every party we do.  I bought them from RE over 2 years ago — a great party-staple!
  • The best ever huge round balloons which I could only find in the US, here, so leave some time for shipping.  A big hit though!
  • Rabbit shaped balloons and Balloon whistles for party favours.  Sadly my balloon shaped cookie cutters didn’t arrive in time (Christmas post!) so I had to improvise (see pictures).
  • We didn’t play many party games as I find cake, music and friends is almost all a 2-year-old can cope with but here are some to play with older children.

And I like these ideas as potential prizes or presents for a balloon themed party…

Charades


Last weekend was Coco’s 5th birthday party, and you would have thought the Queen was coming over for tea. The excitement made the whole house shake. We had a pinata (a huge success), face painting, and a few party games — nothing outrageous but great for this age group.

As usual I racked my brain (and the internet) to find a good assortment of games to play with a dozen 5-6 year olds. The game that was the biggest hit this year was a pre-school form of charades. We drew pictures of different things or animals to act out onto little bits of cardboard and put them all in a hat. Each kid got to pick a piece and act out the object/ animal on their card. Most of the kids were great at coming up with ideas of how to play out their part — they were so imaginative. Sometimes we had to help them out a little bit, but everyone definetely derserved their little prize after their performance. (more…)

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Doodle Doo’s
Touring Australia in a campervan

DIY Goody Bags

My sewing machine used to be my grandmother’s. She probably bought it in the fifties, and it’s so heavy I have to ask my husband to carry it to the table, but it still does the job wonderfully well!
These goody bags would be perfect as a classroom treat or for party favours at a birthday party (as seen on Vlijtig). I used pages from an old Milk magazine, cut out squares about 15×15 cm (6″x6″) and glued the outer ends together to make a tube. Then I sewed together one end, filled it with a mix of raisins and almonds, turned it 90 degrees and sewed together the other end. Presto! I left some thread at the ends, but you could also use zig zag scissors for an interesting twist.

xxx Esther

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

A Babyccino Party!
My Neighour Totoro
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