"four easy Christmas crafts for kids"

Christmas is the perfect time for crafting.  It’s cold outside, the holidays are on and so it’s a great way to keep the kids entertained.  My preference is always for quick and easy crafts.  Anything too involved and I find that the kids patience wears thin and the crafts don’t get finished.  So with that in mind I’ve picked four fun and colourful crafts most of which come with free printables too.

1.  How cute are those printable Christmas crackers?  The printable templates also come as blank ones so they’re great to give to the kids and let them decorate as they wish.

2. I’m loving these playful DIY birch Christmas tree ornaments.  For these you will need to buy the birch rounds or improvise with something else like thick cardboard.  And then decorate as you wish – with stickers or drawings or both.

3. These printable tree and gingerbread pouches come undecorated so you can print on to colourful paper or plain paper and decorate.  These shapes can be used for so many things – storing little treats, making hanging ornaments, gift tags and so much more.

4.  A cute little printable geometric snowman that even comes with a hat.  This little snowman can be used on it’s own as a decoration or if you print quite a few, it would make a super cute table decoration on Christmas day.  You could even use it for place names – just write each persons name on the hat.

Have a great weekend all!  Enjoy the happy, cheerful, festive atmosphere which is the thing I love the most about Christmas.

P.S. Today is the last day for UK Christmas orders from our kids clothing shop.

Stunning simplicity

December 18, 2014

"beautiful Scandinavian dresses for girls"

Everywhere you turn, it’s all about Christmas.  So today I wanted to take a break from all the festive chatter and share these gorgeous dresses for girls.  Clean, understated pieces that can be worn for any occasion.  From one of my favourite high street stores, these dresses could not be simpler or more stunning.  Anya has last years version of the orange and pink block dress (the skirt part was black last year) and whenever she wears it the compliments don’t stop coming.  This year I’ve got my eye on the bright blue bubble dress although the black dress with the pink collar is so striking in it’s simplicity.  Styles like this really speak to me because I’m not a fan of too much fuss and embellishment but more importantly I think dresses like this really allow the child wearing them to shine rather than detracting from the child.  What do you think?  Too simple or simply stunning?

"free printable Christmas gift tags"

Every year I share some of the best free printable Christmas gift tags from around the web.  This year I had every intention of designing my own but I didn’t plan on moving house, celebrating Anya’s birthday, launching a new venture and having Christmas all so close together!  I guess my own designs will have to wait until next year but there are some amazing free gift tags to be had out there so I’ve picked my favorites.  If you’re one of the last minute types like me (still to buy Christmas gifts!) then these labels will come in handy next week as you can just print at the very last minute and they’re way cooler and so much more unique then standard shop bought ones.

1. Wee Gallery | 2. Petit Pippin | 3. Kelli Murray | 4. Studio Morran | 5. Sanae Ishida | 6. Refresh restyle | 7. Orange you lucky | 8. Fellow fellow

"toy storage baskets for kids rooms"

With Anya’s birthday in December and then Christmas, the build-up of toys, games and gifts is endless in this house.  We gather more stuff in December than the rest of the year combined!  So I’m always looking for ways to store all her junk new belongings.  I am partial to toy storage sacks as not only do they look stylish but it’s oh so easy to tidy up – just throw all the toys and mess in to them and you’ve tidied up in minutes.  Here are a few toy storage sacks I’m loving at the moment and having a hard time choosing between.  Many of them come in different designs and colours so just check out the links to see more.  And any of them would be great to store all the new Christmas goodies:

1. pair of natural and white baskets | 2. neon star paper storage bag | 3. dotty toy storage sack | 4. yellow and white storage baskets | 5. graphic print storage sac | 6. mini triangle print storage bin

"best books for 4-6 year old kids"

We are complete bookworms in this house.  I would go so far as saying almost more then adult books, I adore kids books and get excited every time we get a new one.  Christmas is the perfect excuse for me to go a bit over the top buying new books for Anya.  Last week I shared some great activity books for kids so today I wanted to share some story books.  Most of these books are suitable for around ages 4-7 years but of course can be read out loud to younger kids too.  Some of them are old classics like Puss in Boots and Aesops Fables but I’ve picked new and exciting editions which bring something different.  We already own some of these books and love them and the rest are on our wish list:

1. Once Upon an Alphabet | 2. Aesop’s Fables | 3. Ramayana: The Divine Loophole | 4. Sparky! | 5. My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I am not) | 6. The Book With No Pictures | 7. All the animals were angry | 8. The Day The Crayons Quit | 9. Animalium (Welcome to the Museum) | 10. Pippi Longstocking | 11. Puss in Boots

Whimsical art

December 11, 2014

"kids room art ideas girl""whimsical kids room art""boys room art ideas"

With our recent house move I’ve got a million decor ideas floating around in my head.  There are so many things and styles I like that I know it’s going to be hard to narrow it down and choose one particular style of decor.  With Anya’s room too I keep flitting from a vintage style to something more modern.  Then of course there is the art for her walls.  I’ve been collecting all the kids art I like on a pinterest board but when it comes down to choosing just one or two pieces for her room, I really don’t know how I will manage.  My latest find are these quirky water colour style prints that I’m loving.  I love their expressions and the whimsical style of the characters too.  This collection is by Mrs Mighetto and you’ll find most of the range at Mokkasin.  One more fab art collection to add to my ever increasing choices!  How will I ever choose?!

Beautiful baby essentials

December 10, 2014

"cotton print baby onesie""floral print baby pants and tank top""floral daisy print baby dress""blush pink baby onesie""rabbit print cotton baby onesie""animal print tees for kids"

Once in a while a new line of baby clothing comes along that literally takes my breath away.  It makes me wish for another baby simply because the clothes are that beautiful.  This is one of those times.  Brand new from California is Rylee & Cru created and designed by Kelli Murray who is mum to Rylee and Cru and an artist/designer.  I have come across Kelli’s work before and have admired her simple, understated style that really stood out for me.  The same style is now on these clothes – that swan print onesie, or the bunny print one – how beautiful are they?  Playful and cute for babies yet so sophisticated to appeal to parents too.  All the prints are hand illustrated or painted by Kelli and the subtle colour palette makes a beautiful backdrop for these drawings.  I love the off-white, grey and blush tones in the collection – in fact I love it all.  If only I had a baby to put it on… sigh!

*via pinterest

"best alternative DIY Christmas trees"

The weather’s turned freezing, we are well in to December, lights and decorations are popping up everywhere; that can only mean one thing – Christmas is coming!  As I’ve been busy moving house, I haven’t really gotten in to the Christmas spirit but now I fully intend to.

With the chaos that a house move brings and moving to a home that needs complete refurbishing getting a Christmas tree isn’t going to work out this year.  Anya looks forward to decorating the tree each year so I don’t want to disappoint her and besides I want to have a little festive corner so that we all feel a bit more Chrismassy.  I thought instead of a real tree we can make our own alternative tree which Anya can help with.  That’s my plan for the coming weekend so I’ve been collecting ideas for alternate Christmas trees which are also great if you have limited space or some of these ideas are perfect for creating a little Christmas corner in your kids rooms too.  I especially love the simple washi tape Christmas tree (no. 2) which you can create so easily in any room of your home.  And aren’t those brush trees (no. 7) a great idea too?

Here’s where more about each tree: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

New beginings

December 4, 2014

"moving house ebabee"

Today I say goodbye to my home of 8 years plus – by far the longest I have ever lived in any one home.  Growing up I never lived in any house for more than a maximum of four years but usually less as my father had a job that was transferable.  I was born in Mumbai then moved to Prague then on to Hong-Kong.  After Hong-Kong it was back to Mumbai then London and next New York.  After that it was back to Mumbai and then I moved on my own to London to pursue my career in advertising.  I always planned to go back home to Mumbai but it never happened.  At the start of my life in London I moved homes a lot.  Then I got married and Richard and I bought this place a few years later and we’ve been here ever since.  I still remember the moment when we picked up the keys; the sheer excitement we felt.  It was our first proper home together which meant the world to us.  Three years after being here Anya came along.  More joy and more memories were created in this home.

Each room, each wall, each floorboard here has a story to tell.  Everywhere I turn in this home it’s full of wonderful memories – from the hand drawn height chart on the kitchen wall to each and every mark on my off-white carpet (yes I was over optimistic).  Many crazy fun parties have taken place here with secrets shared between friends over too much wine and many a night have Richard and I sat awake and watched the sun come up while agonising over a big decision in our lives or celebrating a positive moment.  These walls have heard a lot.  Perhaps the greatest memory this home holds is the birth of Anya.  This is the place where we welcomed her in to the world with equal amounts of love, awe and trepidation (being first time parents).  This is also the last home of mine that my father will ever have seen.  But these memories are etched in to my mind and I will always have them.

I guess I needed to write this post as much like this blog, this home is so much a part of my life, my story.  That living room in the top two pictures has been my home-office too.  That is where this blog began and where I hit publish on my first ever post.  That is the room where I conceived the idea for my new shop and packaged the very first order from.  But now it’s time to move on.  Our new home has everything we could want from a home but it needs a lot of work.  It’s exactly the place we imagined living in so we are really lucky to have found it. Once the work is done, in a few months time, we can enjoy our new space as a family and start making new memories there – I can’t wait.  As I close the door on this place I look forward with huge excitement to the change and the huge challenges ahead.  But while a I do that, a small part of me will always miss this home.

Do you feel sad when you move home or is it pure excitement for you? Any tips for quick settling in to a new place?

I won’t be posting tomorrow as I’m not sure I’ll have internet but hopefully I will be back to normal posts soon.  You have a wonderful weekend and see you next week.

A huge thank-you to Abigail Fahey for the beautiful photo’s she took of my home.

I have linked up to Pouting in Heels All About You and Honest Mum’s Brilliant blog posts.

"11 of the best activity books for kids"

My absolute favourite thing to gift kids is books – any kind of book from story books, to picture books to activity books.  Christmas gifts for Anya would not be complete without at least one book included but usually I give her many more.  If you’re crazy for kids books too then you’ll love today’s round-up of gifts.  I’ve chosen a range of the best kids activity books out there from drawing books to puzzles to colouring books.  These activity books are for a range of ages mostly from around 4 to 8 years but even younger kids can get stuck in with your help.  Here’s the selection:

1. Draw Paint Print like the Great Artists | 2. My Cut-Out Pictures | 3. Paper Play: Roll it. Rip it. Fold it. Snip it! | 4. Colour Me In!: An activity book | 5. Atlas of Adventures | 6. Illustration School: Let’s Draw (book and sketchpad) | 7. My Monster Bubble Writer Book | 8. Mobile Art | 9. Maps Activity Book | 10. Make Your Mark: The Drawing Book for Children | 11. Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure

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