My friend Lindsey from the London-based Urban Mums blog had the ingenious idea of creating a business to help families get settled when moving to London. I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received from other mums who are planning a move to London. These mums have so many questions (as I’m sure I would if I were moving our family to a new city!). Questions about neighbourhoods, schools, renting a home/flat, finding childcare, learning about healthcare, shopping, dining, etc. I have always answered those questions as best as I can… but I’m not an expert. And here is where Lindsey comes in handy.
She has created Urban Living, a relocation service to help ex-pats navigate life in London. Whether you’re visiting London to explore the idea of moving here, or whether you’ve moved here and would love a local’s tips and expertise, she has created tailored services for individual needs. Plus, she is such a sweet, hip, energetic woman (and mama to three!), that even I am thinking about booking her services just to get to the spend the day with her. : )
If you, or anyone you know, are moving or have recently moved to London, definitely get in touch with Lindsey!
If it’s not already, Boys & Girls Shop should definitely be on your radar if you’re on the lookout for cool, easy-to-wear and practical clothes for your kids. We love their collections! The pieces are so fun, mostly unisex, super comfortable to wear and easy to care for, and the bright colours and happy slogans always bring a smile to our face.
I need to stock up on new gym clothes for my kids badly, so Boys & Girls is high on my list for my back-to-school shopping this year. (Photo is of Sara and Pim, they wore the cool star vests on their sports day this year.)
The lovely Joslyn from Shak-Shuka and her two gorgeous kids came to stay with us last weekend and it was great fun! Our daughters were literally holding hands within seconds of meeting each other, bonding over princess outfits and the colour pink – so sweet.
Joslyn came bearing Shak-Shuka gifts for the kids (never a bad idea to have sweet friends who own great webshops!) and she brought these adorable shoes for Marlow. Aren’t they just the sweetest little shoes? Like everything in her shop, they’re super eco-friendly, made from vegetable-tanned leather and packaged in an organic cotton reusable bag. They’re still slightly too big for Marlow, so I’ve placed them on her dresser – they were too pretty to be stored away!
Oh it’s been way too long since I posted anything here, I am terribily sorry. I think I’ve been caught in so many projects and haven’t had the time to do some of the things I like best, like sharing some lovely things with you. One of the projects that has been keeping me busy these days is all the sewing I’ve been doing for my kids. I thought it would be nice to share a few of those with you today and maybe inspire you a little to try and make something!
I usually create my own patterns and creations, however I’ve been using patterns created by fellow blog friends and it has been such a fun process. Here are just a few from the past couple of weeks …
I created this bathing suit from a legging pattern, The Fancy Pant Legging. If you are looking for an easy knit project with really amazing results check out the Titchy Thread website, the leggings are really cute, comfortable and a quick sew. The instructiona are easy to follow with tips on how to sew knits and photos to acompany them. The legging pattern is great for newborn and little kids- they make great PJ bottom or even summer shorts to wear under dresses.
The Roly Poly pinafore is another wonderful pattern, and really great to learn how to sew. This can be worn as a tunic, a top or an art smock- it can be layered over t-shirts and therefore worn all year round. The best part is that it’s reversible! Check out Imagine Gnats for all the details. Can I just add I had such fun dip dyeing my fabric.
If you are more experienced sewer, then I highly recommend the bubble shorts by Elegance & Elephants. It comes with an elastic waistband or a sailor looking front flap. These shorts are just too cute and the large pocket are great for stuffing all your little toys!!! You might want to see the other patterns on the website, it’s all so cute.
And well, I could not leave the boys out (although the Fancy Pant Legging is great for boys too) — check out Blank Slate Patterns for a great variety of boys patterns. I use the Coastal Cargo pattern and modified into a short for these. And can you tell I’m slightly obssesed with dip dye? I just can’t seem to stop, soon all out clothes will go through the process!
I’d love to know if you try any of these patterns- send over some photos! If you need help, I’ll be more than happy to help. Happy sewing!
Robe of Feather is a little design studio in Hamburg, Germany, owned by Nele Hinrichsen. After having lived in Italy and London and having worked at Vivienne Westwood Couture for many years, Nele Hinrichsen started Robe of Feathers and now makes a collection of clothes which are so, so adorable. I love the sweet and simple designs and the uncomplicated retro feel of them (some of Nele’s designs are inspired by her mum’s originals from the ’50s!).
Nele sent Ava a few pieces from her collection to try (she’s wearing the balloon dress in these photos), and we love them. They look adorable on, are easy to care for, and she will be able to wear them for a few years — the pieces are generous enough, but without being oversized at all. And, as Ava can attest: they are also super comfortable to wear!
All the Robe of Feathers garments are manufactured in small or limited editions with love and care by Nele in Germany.
One of my favourite shops in Paris has a great reason to celebrate: It is their 10 year anniversary! I discovered Marie Puce when I first moved to Paris and had a tiny baby and now I go with my big girls; the lovely style is still the same. We call it intemporel in French. I guess the best description is timeless?
The designs are simple and cute and the fabric is often Liberty or beautiful cotton. The clothes are all designed in house and made locally in Europe. Simply put: it is the best about French children’s fashion all rolled into one. Luckily enough there is also a webshop for people who do not live it Paris!
Last week my friend Maud Fontein took some photos of my kids… And I thought she did such a great job! I love the sweet set-up she made, with the trunk and the cloud on the wall — so simple yet so effective.
Maud is amazing with kids (she has two little ones herself) — she puts them to ease within seconds and is able to take a series of beautiful photos before they even get enough of it. (It’s just impossible for me to take photos of my 4 children in which they all look nice, so I’m so impressed by her talent!).
Maud also takes beautiful photos of newborn babies and pregnant mamas — for bookings, you can contact Maud here.
Shan & Toad is a gorgeous high-end boutique, run by the super kind Shana, who is mum of four sweet little girls and still finds the time to curate the most beautiful collections for her shop. We’ve selected a few of our favourites and listed them for you below. Enjoy!
1. Bonnet Aimee. How adorable!
2. Hove Baby Dress. Vintage inspired, with beautiful little details.
3. Norman shirt. I think Pim needs this for his summer tennis camp.
4. LMJ Girl’s PJ. So cute. (For nights AND days!)
5. Birds Bubble. What else does a baby girl need for a summer picnic?
6. Striped Shorts. Unisex, and so on trend!
7. Trimmed Fedora. Goes with every outfit. Practical and ever so cool.
8. Kumar overall. We have this for Casper — what a great colour.
9. Sailboat romper. What else does a baby boy need for a day at the beach?
10. Axe Girl Lily Tee. So cool, it’s killing me.
11. Cache Couche. Sigh.
12. Grace Skirt. Leather skirt. Keep forever.
13. Carmensita Romper. What a sweet piece.
14. Striped Bow Swimsuit. My size please!
Do you recognise that baby in the photographs?! Yes, she’s mine!!! : ) I was so flattered to be asked by Belle Enfant to ‘borrow’ Marlow for their recent fashion shoot. Belle Enfant is a gorgeous brand, started by two of the sweetest women (and childhood friends), and it was so fun to dress Marlow up in all their luxurious little pieces for the shoot: this silk blouse with the matching silk bloomers (pictured), and all their super soft cashmere pieces. Wow!
Belle Enfant recently won the Junior Design Award in the best designer baby fashion category… and that is such a well-deserved award. Having been given a behind-the-scenes glimpse, I can really attest to how much work has gone into creating this beautiful brand. Attention to detail to the nth degree!! Well done girls!
Last weekend Esther and co were in town, which was a serious amount of fun! It was so great catching up, though at the end of the weekend we did start wondering what we should do, as it was literally pouring with rain the whole time. That being said, finding things to do in Paris is not very hard…. We all wrapped up and headed over to the Pompidou Centre, specifically the Children’s Gallery, which is hosting a brilliant, interactive exhibition: Ta-Da!
The artist Navid Nuur wants kids to learn again about how to play and create with everyday objects and see the beauty in them. It is really well done — I think everyone’s favourite was the 3 columns filled with play dough or the machine that made medals out of a 5 cent piece.
The Centre Pompidou is, by the way, one of my favourite places to take visitors. It has such a great view over Paris, the permanent exhibition is amazing, as are more of the temporary ones, and, not to forget, the gift and book shop are full of beautiful bits and pieces. (I do love a good museum shop!)
The photo is of little Ava arriving into the Centre, complete with rain coat and umbrella.
Esther is the sort of person who can walk down the road in any given country and see pieces that other people considered trash and realise that it is actually a lovely vintage piece. (She still talks about the Eames armchairs she found on the streets of Manhattan).
Me, not so much. I walk past every skip and it does not even occur to me to have a peek in, to look for treasures. That is actually quite sad for me, as I love, love vintage. Especially since I have had kids, I hark back to the good old days, when toys did not have batteries and furniture made out of cane and molded plastic was all the rage.
Luckily, like Esther, there are some people who seem to have that salvage gene. Check out the great French vintage children’s shop, Happy Vintage. They seems to have managed to source a huge amount of lovely toys, objects, posters and lots more just for people like me! The website is actually only in French but super easy to navigate and translate with Google!
This is a post I have been thinking about in my head for months now! It’s a post I have wanted to write, then changed my mind and thought I shouldn’t write, and then have come back to it again. I want to talk about sleeping with your baby. Not because it’s what I think you should do… but because it’s what works for us.
I have always slept with my babies, usually from birth until around 10 or 12 months when they start to sleep through the night. It’s not that I feel strongly one way or the other about co-sleeping, it’s just what has always felt more natural, and frankly more easy, to me. In fact, with every pregnancy I would set up the moses basket before the birth thinking that’s where the baby would sleep… but once the baby was born, I just never felt comfortable putting them into their own bed. My husband and I both felt more at ease having the baby in our bed, close to us, to be in tune with their little bodies and sleeping rhythm. (I’m a very light sleeper and wake at the teensiest sound or smell or touch.) Also, I just find it easier to nurse my baby in bed, often in a hazy half sleep/half awake state — I find it less disruptive to my sleep than getting up out of bed to feed and put the baby back into her own bed. Perhaps sleeping with my babies has come out of pure laziness!?!
The funny thing is, that while it feels completely normal and natural to me, it doesn’t seem to be common practice, at least not amongst my friends or the other mums at my children’s school. I remember when Marlow was a baby, even just a few weeks old, I was constantly asked ‘how is she sleeping?’ or ‘is she waking in the night?’ or even ‘does she sleep through?’. (It must be one of the most common questions a new mother is asked!) When I told people that she sleeps with me and that I feed on demand sometimes up to four times a night, I would get such shocked replies. For a while I even started to doubt our co-sleeping ways! But then I read this post about co-sleeping on A Cup Of Jo, and I also read this guest post on The Littlest blog by James from Bleubird where she shares how she sleeps with her baby. It made me feel comforted to know that other mothers do the same… and it made me wonder if perhaps it’s not really so rare?
Marlow is 7 months old (today!) and she’s still sleeping in bed with us. I usually put her to bed in her own bed around 7pm and she goes to bed willingly. Around midnight (sometimes even 1 or 2!) she will wake and I will bring her into our bed. She usually feeds a couple times through the rest of the night and then we usually wake up together around 7am. Of course I would love to have a full night of uninterrupted sleep, and some days I really do feel so tired… but I love waking up with Marlow in my arms, and I love nursing her in bed, and the way our bodies fit perfectly together like a puzzle piece. Some day… we won’t fit together as easily, and when that day comes, I will miss these wonderful sleep-deprived nights.
So anyway… I would love to hear from all of you. How goes it in your family? Do (did) you sleep with your baby? Or does your baby sleep in his own bed (or even bedroom)? What works for you? Please do share!
I have so many children’s drawings flying around my house, I think I could fill up a gallery. But there are some that are actually really good (obviously I am subjective), which I really want to keep. Some are hanging on our kitchen cupboards, but I also like the idea I stumbled upon on the super cool cushion shop Yellow Velvet. They take your kids drawing and make it into a sweet embroidered pillow. I think a cushion like that would be so nice to have in a children’s room.
They also make cushion’s out of Instagram photos, which I also love the idea of!
Soeur is a French brand that is aimed at young girls who are not quite adult yet. But their collection is so lovely and relaxed, I actually buy Soeur for myself (I always reckon I can give it to my girls later and call it vintage). I think the designers are onto something, they are making woman feel super young because they get to buy children’s clothes!
This summer the collection has a real bohemian feel — little embroideries and scarves and prints. So cute!
A while ago Courtney and co visited us in Amsterdam and she brought the sweetest present for our girls — they each got a little Maileg bunny with a darling little dress. So cute! The girls haven’t parted from their bunnies since — they have been to Portugal, Paris, school and crèche – -everywhere! For her 8th birthday, we gave Sara a bigger size bunny, with a bikini, ballet outfit with tutu and dress with tights. She loves, loves, loves it! (And I had fun shopping for her!)
The Maileg bunnies come already dressed in sweet underwear and can be a boy or a girl. There are also little pieces of furniture, baby bunnies (with nappy!), and plenty of clothing and shoes, all so adorable! Definitely a recommendation for any little girl.
PS Sister’s Guilt has a huge selection of Maileg bunnies and accessories!
Our lovely contributor, Meta, has recently designed and is now selling this beautiful and perfectly child-friendly-yet-super-stylish children’s bed. Isn’t it perfect? I wish I was in the market for a new bed for my children. I would opt for this one for sure!
Meta, an Interior Designer/blogger, designed the Henrik Bed for her son’s fifth Birthday after searching for quite some time and not being able to find exactly what she was looking for. She wanted something modern and simple, yet with a retro feel. She teamed up with a master craftsman who has been building furniture for over thirty years and together they created the perfect bed.
The bed is a twin bed fitting a standard twin mattress and is made from locally sourced Maple wood. The headboard measures 40″ high, the footboard measures 30″ high, and the bed is 42″ wide. The prices are as follows: solid wood natural finish–$800, painted white–$850, the dip (pictured)–$875.
If you’re interested in purchasing the bed, please get in touch with Meta at email@example.com. You can also visit her blog for more details.
I got Ivy one of these paper flower crowns from the Spanish webshop, Kids Me, and she just loves it! It’s a sweet little accessory for her princess dress-up days… but also something she can wear on special occasions too. And I think it would be so pretty on little bridesmaids or flower girls. (We chose this one, but there are many others to choose from.)
Kids Me has a wide selection of great products from many of our favourite brands. They stock the Fun*Das covers, the sweet Spanish brands Mon Marcel and LötieKids, and the great Spanish toy brand Lonji… all of which we have recently blogged about here!
p.s. Ivy’s dress is from Tutu du Monde and she hardly ever takes it off!
After baking it, cut it into layers and fill with your favourite filling. It was soo much fun to see the cake grow inside the tin can. And really, it was very easy. We think is a nice and different way to bake! Hope you like it!
A few days back I took a photo of the porringer I had as a baby, and which I still use daily for my children. It is just the perfect size and shape, shallow with a ridge, so it’s easy to scoop out the purees or soup. The thick stoneware ensures the food quickly cools down a little, but also keeps the food naturally lukewarm afterwards. I love that porringer, and I still remember eating from it as a child! (On Instagram, there were a few people who told me they had exactly the same porringer as a child, and many of them still have them! Do you still have yours?)
I really treasure these old relics from my childhood, and I love it when I visit friends or family from my parents’ generation, and they pull out the stoneware dishes and silverware they used as a child and still have and use for their grandchildren.
Sarah Nicholas Williams of Radish Moon recognised the beauty and practicality of those vintage dishes, and started producing a series of handmade stoneware porringers adorned with her gorgeous, whimsical watercolour illustrations. And they are absolutely beautiful! They are dishwasher and microwave safe, so practical for families, and have a similar shape and thickness to my vintage Peter Rabbit dish (which I’ve tried and tested for long enough to know it is perfect)! I have already placed my order, hoping that one day, my children can pull out a Radish Moon porringer for their grandchildren.
I really love the French style of dressing children. It is simple, easy-going and cute. Merveilles, a lovely clothing label, is one of my favourites! Their new summer collection is so lovely, a little bit bohemian, a bit romantic and so easy to wear. Check out the cotton dresses, little scarves and the really great outlet section!