Enamel love!


I recently picked up some enamel pieces — I love enamel! I like the clean look of it and the timelessness of the pieces. Enamel is in fact metal with a thin layer of paint and glass over it. It is perfect for children, as it won’t scatter in pieces when it falls, but pieces of the glass and paint may chip off (showing the black metal underneath). When that happens don’t worry — the metal will naturally oxidise and is still safe to use. Enamel is also oven proof — I love the enamel oven dishes!

Here are where I found the above pieces:

1. Big jug (or vase) from Ikea
2. Tumblers from Falcon
3. Red measuring jug from De Emaillekeizer
4. Oven dish from De Emaillekeizer

xxx Esther

LunchBots Food Containers

I have just discovered Lunchbots! Do you know them yet? They’re little stainless steel food containers which are completely BPA-free and eco friendly and eliminate the need for plastic baggies and other waste. They come in different sizes and with different divisions, so they’re handy for littler snacks or for a bigger meal.  Great for inside lunch boxes, for after school snacks, for car rides or airplane journeys, etc. And the best part is that they’re dishwasher safe, so easy to clean! They’re  available in the UK from Little Acorns To Mighty Oaks.

-Courtney

The Rocking Company — cool retro finds!

I think little Ava might have inherited my love of chairs! I got her one of these beautiful little Tica chairs from the new French Rocking Company and she can’t let go of it. She takes it to her bedroom at night, and back down to the living room in the morning. So cute! Don’t you love the look of these chairs? The retro design and cool colours (we have the red one) appeal to me big time. And the size is perfect for children, both for Ava (now 22 months) and also for her big sister Sara (a very tall 6-year-old).

The Rocking Company also has a selection of durable, cool bibs, made from thick and soft fabrics with an unmistakable retro feel to them as well. A very nice selection of first products — I wonder what else Sandra (the owner) will come up with next!

xxx Esther

Wooden Utensils for fun occasions


Aren’t these wooden utensils so fun? They’re perfect for school lunches, birthdays, ice cream parties… you name it. There are loads of cute designs and themes to choose from, and you can even customise your own. There’s even ice cream paddles and chopsticks! All available from the Sucre & Spice Etsy shop.

x Courtney

Breton Bowls


I am a big fan of French beachside resorts and also of all the things that go with them. Sun (sometimes), sand, smurf-blue and bubble-gum pink ice-cream, crazy looking postcards and gift shops with a huge selection of tacky, cheap gifts in them, etc. In short, French beach resorts are heaven for kids.

In the gift shops you will almost certainly find these Breton bowls with first names written on the side, which have been ubiquitous with French seaside resorts, at least since I was a kid. I remember my grandmother coming back from a trip with one of these bowls for each grandchild. At that time, we still drank our milk out of a bowl in the morning, so it must have looked really cute having all of us sitting around the table draining our bowls.

Why were we draining our bowls? Because inside the bowl is the little iconic image of the Breton farmer and his wife and we needed to finish every bit of milk to make it appear! Last year, on a seaside holiday, I got a pair of these bowls for my girls. Partly for sentimental reasons and partly because I just think they are cute and very français!

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Coloriages, by Joëlle Jolivet
Severina Dolls

Olive Loves Alfie — a new website and discount offer

Olive Loves Alfie is one of my favourite children’s boutiques in London. I always know I can pick up a unique birthday gift, a great new children’s book, or something cute for the home whenever I stop in. Ashlyn, the owner, has such a great eye for design… and every time I leave her shop I feel full of design inspiration!

Olive Loves Alfie has now launched a new, spruced-up website and it is gorgeous — just as inspiring as the shop itself! And to celebrate the launch of their new site, Olive Loves Alfie is now offering our readers a 10% discount. Just enter code: MOLIVELOVES at check-out (offer good until 31st of May). I have my eyes on that cool miffy light. What about you?

-Courtney

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Peel away picture hangers
MadeIt for unique handmade finds

A real Fireman’s water bottle

I know it is gimicky but I just loved it… and so now my son has this as his water-bottle at Kindergarten.  He feels so cool —  like a real fireman!

Available online here.

-Mo. x

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Makedo — recycled craft
Kiki’s delivery service

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

Goodbyn lunch boxes from Toyella


My son is the proud owner of a new Goodbyn lunch box. And when I say ‘proud’ I mean it. You would have thought it was his birthday and Christmas all in one when I handed him the lunch box. He was that excited. And he immediately decorated it with the enclosed stickers, filled the water bottle with water, grabbed some snacks and took his lunch box up to his room for a picnic with his toys. Cute.

These Goodbyn lunch boxes are something else. They are so clever and tick all the boxes — they’re BPA-free, 100% recyclable, dishwasher safe, and made in the USA. The innovative design means you have 5 containers in one, eliminating the need for any wasteful plastic baggies. And not to mention, so cute and kid-friendly!

They’re available in many different colours from the fantastic new UK webshop, Toyella, which specialises in toys, games and gifts that offer something different.

-Courtney

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Kulinary Kids NYC– The Playdate of Champions

Pink Nounou

So cute, these soft dolls and pouches by Pink Nounou. I love how fresh the colours and designs are, they really make me happy! The tomatoes on that little pouch make me long for summer and my (tiny) vegetable garden…
Ana, the creative lady behind these darling designs, hand-makes everything and I really love the way she mixes printing with sewing techniques. Also check out the fairy tale bibs — the story is in fact printed on the bib, how cool is that? Ava sports the Little Red Riding Hood one and it’s darling! If you need a little happy shot — the Pink Nounou products are available through the website shop or through the Etsy shop.

xxx Esther

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Nippaz with Attitude
Resolution 2 of 999,999. Soul Cycle.

Shape your pancakes

I’m laughing because I think we have made a bigger deal of Pancake Day than we have done for any other holiday! But… it’s like Emilie said, who doesn’t love pancakes?! I’m loving these cute silicone moulds to shape your pancakes into designs your kids will love. You can use them for fried eggs too! Available from the new UK webshop, Mum et Moi, where you can find loads of other cute kid-friendly cooking tools.

-Courtney

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Melrose & Morgan
Finally — affordable maternity jeans

BPA-Free Snackpots from VUP baby

How cute are these little TumTum Snack Pots from VUPbaby, each with a little bug on the lid? They’re made from BPA-free plastic, are dishwasher safe and fit one inside the other for easy storage.  Cute for inside lunch boxes or for storing after school snacks. Or… you can do what I just did and give them to your 2-year-old and ask her to stack and sort them. Mine sat there for nearly 20 minutes completely entertained!

-Courtney

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Cool cards from Cocodot

Solids?

With the third baby, you sort of consider yourself an experienced mum. You think you get it, know how it’s done best, and it truly makes parenting a lot easier because you’re a lot less bothered. (Most third babies I know are very easygoing — must have something to do with the parents being more relaxed!)
However, when it’s regarding eating solids, Ava is in no way like her siblings, and I honestly am at a loss here. The thing is this: where Sara and Pim at six months would eagerly open their mouths for their first bite of solids (baby rice), baby Ava was not very keen to try at all, and the little bite that I managed to get into her mouth was not met with a lot of enthusiasm (if you want to see photos of me feeding Ava her first bites you can have a look here, the look on her face is classic). From that moment onwards, Ava has kept her mouth shut and turns her face away as soon as she sees a spoon coming her way. And don’t think I haven’t tried it all: home-cooked, not home-cooked, mix with breast-milk, have other people try, same taste for a few days, different tastes, etc. etc. She’s now 8 months old and not much has changed! The only thing that sort of works is to give her a plate, set her down for dinner with us and give her chunks of food (like broccoli, carrot, fish, or bread). She will suck on these (and analyse them, play with them, and throw them on the ground together with the plate). I wonder if this means we’re skipping the pureed food stage all together? It surely means we have a very stubborn little lady on our hands here!

xxx Esther

PS – the cute over-sized bib is from Coq-en-Pâte and made of 100% organic cotton and non-toxic ink.

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Little Sapling Toys
Family Life

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

Acme Party Box Company


There are some really great blogs around of very talented designers who do nothing better than throw the most beautiful, picture-perfect parties. I love looking at these blogs and imagining that I too one day will be so organized that I can pull together such a feat — that I will be on time with printed invites (for once!), that the birthday cake will be made the day before (and perfect), that the table will be perfectly decorated, and that the favour bags are home sewn and filled with cute, usable objects that are earth friendly on top of it. And that I wear a pretty dress, my hair looks nice and I have some make-up on for crying out loud!
If you’re like me, and love a pretty party but are somehow too busy, un-organized, or maybe not creative enough to organize your own, I suggest you tun to Acme Party Box NOW. How cute, HOW CUTE, are these party supplies? I can’t get over it — if only I knew about them before!! Think about it — the only thing you need to do is order a box! Everything you need for a perfect party is included — the favours, the crowns, the table setting, decorations, invitations… And trust me, it’s all SO cute and thoughtfully put together, you can’t possibly not be impressed! Beautiful fabrics, Holtztiger animals for centre pieces, little jars with straws for glasses, soy wax candles for the cake, and so forth… And, unlike the many plastic party goods that end up in the trash, the Acme products can be re-used over and over again (or composted).
I think the woodland theme is my favourite…

xxx Esther

Klean Kanteen at VUPbaby

At the beginning of the school term, my son’s teacher asked that all kids bring in a water bottle to keep in the classroom. I sent my husband to the sports store next to his office to pick up a non-plastic water bottle… and he came back with a large, clunky thing with a screw-on lid that took about ten minutes to open. I’m not sure this is what the teacher had in mind for quick water breaks. So I turned to VUPbaby who specialize in BPA-free, non-toxic drinking products. I ended up with a Klean Kanteen bottle which is perfect. It’s a lightweight, stainless steel bottle with an easy-to-use sport cap, and it comes in cool colours that kids love (we got the orange!). Klean Kanteen also makes bottles for grown-ups and sippy cups for babies.

-Courtney

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Hanging children’s art
Knitted alphabet letters

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

WasteNot Sandwich Saks

With school now back in full swing (finally!), I must say I am quite happy to be back in the routine… and yet, on the flip side, I am not at all psyched about the part about making and packing the daily lunch.  That being said, I recently stumbled upon this Etsy site the other day and thought it was such a great idea, especially for those, like me, who have relied on the plastic “baggie” for my sandwich and snack packing needs as I didn’t really know of an alternative.

The WasteNot Saks are not only stylish and easy to open but are lined with water and stain-resistant nylon.  On the website it says “After using, you may simply shake out the crumbs, turn the bag inside-out and wipe the liner down, or if you have a particularly goopy PB&J that day just toss it in the washing machine and line dry.”  The other plus — they come in a variety of very cute and kid-friendly fabrics making lunch-time at least pleasurable for someone!

-Dina

Tea Time for Tots

For the past few years my family has had the good fortune of spending a month living in London.   We are always quite sad to leave, but memories of London remain with us day to day via our much improved vocabulary, our deep appreciation for the BBC & Peppa Pig, and our proclivity for afternoon tea. You don’t often see children drinking tea in the states, however some of my friends love to serve their children chilled chamomile or herbal teas.  At first I thought it was a bit strange but now I think it’s a fantastic alternative for kids and at least one of my girls is catching on.   I found these German designed tea-bag cup loungers from Donkey Creative Labs and I think they are absolutely hilarious.  They come in all sorts of themes — mostly for adults — but I thought they were so cute I just had to share.

-Dina

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Penis envy?
Happeez clips

Let’s have a picnic!


How cool are these picnic suitcases? My kids were each given one so they could bring their own picnic to the park. They are filled with a melamine plate, a bowl, a cup and cutlery, and there’s enough space left over for food and drinks. We love them — they’re so practical and stylish! They’re made by the original French brand Minimo, and available through supercool website Peanut and Pip, where I noticed a lot of the Minimo goodies are for sale!(!!)

xxx Esther

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