Entries from June 2014

"black and white cotton baby growsuits"How cute are these black and white baby grows, shorts and tees?  A limited edition collection, I’m loving the prints especially the anchor print.  All the prints are hand drawn and then printed on to the softest cotton.  I’m all for simple style when it comes to dressing babies and these black and white baby grow suits and nappy shorts are nothing if not stylish.

"family Summer holiday ideas"

I recently met up with a friend who has grown up kids and she was lamenting the fact that this would be her last Summer vacation with all her kids as they’re off to university in Autumn.  That got me thinking that I only have (at best) 13 family Summer holidays left with Anya and that just doesn’t sound like a lot.  I definitely need to make each one count!  With the first of my 13 Summer holidays coming up very soon, I started thinking about all the wonderful places I want to return to as well as new places I want to see.  Both Richard and I dream of exploring every corner of the world one day.  We did a lot of traveling before Anya came along but now since Anya is only 5, the same holidays have a different focus as they need to cater to her entertainment as well as ours so I started thinking about my top 3 choices for now:

"family villas to rent in Tuscany"

1. Beautiful Tuscany
I visited Tuscany for the first time about 3 years ago and it was love.  We hired a villa and went on a big family vacation so there was loads of fun and company for everybody.  Tuscany truly is a beautiful and very relaxing place and I can’t wait to go back there.  In case we can’t manage a full on extended family holiday with our own villa (which can be a nightmare to co-ordinate) I’d love to stay somewhere like Villa Pia.  With 17 bedrooms, there are lots of families staying in the villa at the same time so Anya will always have ready made company which matters as she is an only child.  There are also loads of kiddy activities from the more usual swimming and playgrounds to the more unusual like cooking and art classes for kids.  And for the adults too there’s plenty of lounging, socialising and eating on offer as well as fun activity day trips for all the family.  It’s rare to find a place that genuinely caters to both adults and kids equally so it’s definitely top of my list.

"Summer holiday ideas for family"

2.  Gorgeous Goa
Nothing beats a beach Summer holiday.  Which kid doesn’t like to spend time splashing by the sea side and building sandcastles galore?  There are lots of places to choose from across the world but our last beach vacation was a glorious week in Goa a couple of years ago where we couldn’t get enough of all the sun, sand and seafood.  We chose a family friendly resort so there were plenty of other families and kids around.  Anya was never short of company and made friends wherever we went.  Much like the Italians, Indians tend to be very relaxed about kids running around and enjoying themselves around the adults even at restaurants.  Most of the restaurants are open air so that helps a lot.  I can’t wait to get back to Goa as not only is it one of the most chilled out family friendly places but the food is to die for.

"city breaks with kids"

3. Vibrant cities
Even though Anya is only 5, we have taken her on many a city break which works as long as we make sure we have one thing planned for her each day.  Sometimes a full on 2 week holiday isn’t possible due to budgets or work pressures so I find even getting away for 5 or 6 days feels like a break.  My one top tip for a city break with kids is to stay in an apartment over a hotel.  This holiday isn’t as social as the others but during our last city break to San Francisco, we found lots to do for both Anya and us.  We took her to many playgrounds, fed her ice-cream and pizza and visited museums that would appeal to her.  Every city has something to offer kids so I think it’s a shame to miss out on the culture and vibrancy that this kind of a holiday offers just because you have kids.  We can’t get away for long this Summer so we’re thinking of a city break to Berlin.  Do you have any tips for child-freindly places in Berlin? 

Where do you Summer holiday?  I’m always looking for new ideas especially recommendations so I’d love to hear where you holiday in the Summer.

This post if brought to you in partnership with Villa Pia.  All content, words and ideas are my own.  thank you for supporting my work with carefully selected partners that support my blog.

{Top, 3rd and 4th photo by ebabee, 2nd photo by Villa Pia}

"Elias and grace Summer sale"

Who doesn’t love a good bargain, especially when one of your favourite shops goes on sale.  Elias & Grace has  been a favoruite of mine for ages.  I love the chic and minimal clothes they have in their collections year after year.  They stock some of the most exciting kids clothing brands and they mix and match the various brands so well to create stylish looks.  Even just checking out their look book each season is so inspiring.  I have bought a few pieces from them and they are some of the most versatile pieces in Anya’s wardrobe.  Right now Elias & Grace have a huge sale and I have to say it’s very tempting, especially my favourite piece of all – that long black dress by April Showers.  How chic is that?

"easiest homemade pizza"

Fresh pizza is a firm favourite in this home.  My husband Richard is a very keen cook and makes the most amazing pizza’s from scratch.  Until recently, pizza was only ever a weekend treat because as much as I like cooking, making bread of any kind is beyond me and he of course is at work in the week.  But recently I spotted some frozen pizza dough at Waitrose and I couldn’t wait to try it.  Pizza is something we all enjoy including Anya and it’s so popular with her friends too when they come over for play dates.  So I saw this as my opportunity to make fresh pizza anytime I wanted but without the hassle of making the dough.

Apart from the fact that homemade pizza tastes far better than shop bought, it also allows you to be as creative and varied as you like with the toppings and everybody can have different toppings without much extra effort.  So when I tried out this new frozen dough last week, I decided to go for a basic margherita for Anya (it’s her favourite) and chose some grown-up, no tomato sauce versions for me and Richard.

Continue Reading "Easy homemade pizza three ways"

"6 of the best cushions for kids"

I’m a huge fan of cushions for both kids and grown up spaces.  I love how easily cushions can transform any room.  And in a kids room they bring lots of colour and lots of fun as they often double up as playthings too.  Here are 6 of the best kids cushions that are around at the moment:

1.  hedgehog cushions in bright colours | 2.  checked rabbit cushion | 3.  dotty dinosaur cushion | 4.  sleepy goodnight cushion | 5.  bear cushion | 6.  grey cactus cushion.

"ideas for space under kids raised bed""bunk bed designs for kids rooms""DIY bunk bed for kids"

How charming is this bunk bed for boy and girl?  Beds on top and two gorgeous little play spaces under.  It’s of course a great use of space but it’s so much more than that.  The mama has put in so much thought and imagination to create a fairytale space for her kids.  Each side has been decorated with so much attention to detail.  I adore the girls side which feels almost like a child sized dolls house.  There are loads more pictures of Vivi & Oli’s charming space on their site.

"confessions of a naughty mama"

Are you a naughty mama?  I know we’re all grown-up and supposed to be sensible and responsible all the time.  But sometimes do you do naughty things?  I do and I just can’t help myself.  Here are 5 things that I do that I probably shouldn’t:

1.  I often sometimes hide from Anya in the kitchen and eat chocolate secretly.  And if I run out of my chocolate, I start eating Anya’s after she’s gone to bed.  When she discovers that her chocolate has nearly disappeared, I blame daddy.

2.  I make up crazy stuff about things like what not eating your veggies or sucking your thumb can do to you.  I once showed Anya a completely toothless old man and convinced her that is how she would become if she didn’t stop sucking her thumb.

3.  I’m not big on swearing except for saying ‘shit’ way too much in front of Anya.  The other day she asked me “Mama, why do you keep saying shits?!”  I gave her a chocolate biscuit to distract her (after I had earlier told her there would be no biscuits today) .

4.  I tell little lies.  All the time.  Things like I don’t know how that (noisy) toy disappeared overnight.  Maybe you lost it somewhere.  That is the most beautiful painting I have ever seen (sorry Picasso!).  I will tell your teacher if you don’t brush your teeth.  The list goes on…

5.  When I’m tired, to shorten the bedtime story routine, I skip lines from the book I’m reading to her.  It used to be pages but she’s cottoned on to that little trick!

What do you do?  I’d love to hear about your naughty habits because I’m seriously hoping that I’m not the only naughty mama out there!

"yellow collection for mama and baby"

While I’m normally a black & white kind’a girl, I do like a bit of sunny yellow especially in Summer.  Yellow is a colour that makes you feel happy the moment you see it (think Pharell Williams).  So here are a few yellow things for mama and baby that I’m currently loving for the Summer months ahead:

1. pleated cotton kids dress | 2. straw storage baskets | 3. crystal bead necklace | 4. girls daffodil headband | 5. straw tote bag | 6. giraffe lambswool soft toy

It seems to be birthday party season around here.  Anya has a birthday party nearly every weekend from now till mid-July and sometimes even two per weekend.  I now know what mum’s mean when they say their kids have a more hectic social life than them!  For one of the parties coming up, the mum is a good friend and she asked me to find her some inspiration for DIY party hats as she wants to make them herself.  So of course I agreed and thought I would share my favourite finds here too in case they inspire you to make your own.

"DIY kids party hat ideas"

These fruit inspired DIY party hats are so fun.  They are bright and fresh, perfect for a Summer birthday party.  You don’t have to stop at pineapples and strawberries but can include any kinds of fruit you like.

Continue Reading "5 of the best DIY party hats"

"cool fashion for boys"

I’m naturally more drawn to girls fashion as I have a daughter.  But the world of boys fashion is exploding with style too.  Gone are the days when all you could find was basics like plain tees, trousers and shorts.  So I thought I would share some of the coolest boys looks around at the moment.  My favourites are that linen tie overall – how cool is that?  And those red striped trousers are pretty funky too.  Do you mix it up when it comes to your boys?  Which look would you choose?

1. linen tie overalls…  2.  striped anchor pullover…  3. button down vest…  4.  bison tee and baggy trousers…  5.  striped trousers and hat tee…  6.  white shirt and striped shorts.

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