Autumn is definitely here and when you are surrounded by an abundance of leaves in the most amazing colours, it seems crazy not to do something with them.  There are so many fun crafts you can do with autumn leaves that kids will just adore getting involved in.  I’ve got a fun idea for a craft which I plan to do soon but in the meantime, I have collected 7 fabulous autumn leaf crafts that you can make today.  Most of these crafts don’t require anything special but instead can be done using stuff you have lying around the home.  Just get the kids to gather a bagful of leaves each and get started:

fall leaves craft ideas for kids

Paint your leaves and make fun animals.  The shapes of the leaves are so great for making all kinds of animals and the stems are the perfect ready made noses or tails.

painted autumn leaves diy idea

Instead of animal faces, you can just paint the leaves in pretty colours or patterns which is easier for younger kids to do.  How stunning do the bright colours look and I’m especially loving the polka dots.

easy fall leaf diy ideas

For a super sweet and simple DIY, how cute are these animal headbands?  All you need is a handful of leaves, some kraft paper and a pen and you’re good to go.  Easy and oh so cute!

fall leaves easy DIY ideasThis is another great idea for a craft using autumn leaves.  If you’ve got paper punchers in any shape, you can punch out autumn leaves and then what you make with them is entirely up to you.  I’m thinking collages, bracelets, bookmarks or anything at all. 

fall leaves craft ideas for kidsI think these fishy leaves are just the best.  Make a whole aquarium using just some leaves and two paint colours – fab!

autumn leaves crafts for kidsUsing leaves and other gathered bits like sticks, seeds and acorns, make the funniest leaf faces!  I love how simple this craft is, perfect even for the youngest of kids.

easy autumn leaf crafts

For older kids looking for a bit more of a challenge, try embroidering autumn leaves – create faces, patterns or even stitch up a few leaves together to make a garland.

I love each of these autumn leaf crafts and can’t choose which one to try first!  Have you done anything fun with autumn leaves?  Do share in the comments.

Image credits and find all the how to’s: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |

kids morning routine chart

Are your school mornings a mad dash?  We are already three weeks in to the new school term and nothing has changed here – no matter what, we are always running late.  Sometimes we make it just in time but often we end up being late and it’s getting embarrassing given we live next door to our school.  I had been trying to think of ways to organise our mornings better when Anya suggested a kids morning routine chart.  She said it would help her to know what order she has to do things and when.

kids morning routine chart

I decided to give her suggestion a try and I finally made one last week.  It’s a very simple DIY kids morning routine chart that outlines exactly what she has to do and when.  We’ve only been using it for a week but the chart has helped.  One of the best things about it for me is that I don’t feel like a drill sergeant anymore!  I’m no longer telling her to brush her teeth 20 times before she actually does it.  Or if I left the room, I used to come back and find she had emptied her lego box and started building a mammoth house which was impossible to tear her away from.  Now she looks at the chart and she knows exactly what to do when.  And the chart is also helping her to be more independent.

how do you get your kids to school on timeWe’ve also built in a little treat called ‘golden time’ which falls in the middle of the morning routine.  If the first part of the routine is done in time then she gets 5 minutes playtime.  This has really encouraged her (more than I imagined) to try and get things done quickly.  For us, it was always the first part of the morning that went so leisurely which meant that in the last 5-10 minutes before leaving, we were running around like headless chickens to get out the door on time.  Anya doesn’t always manage to get her ‘golden time’ but the incentive is there for her to try.  DIY kids morning routine chart

I’ve made the kids morning routine chart out of regular printer paper, spelling out the morning routine.  I used a teardrop shape because it looks pretty and used some washi tape to add colour but also to keep my walls from peeling!  And I intentionally used a stand out colour for golden time so that it can’t be missed or forgotten.  You can of course make any kind of chart – it takes just minutes and it could take some of the stress out of the mad morning dash!

Do you have any tips for taking the stress out of the morning madness?

vietnamese chicken ad rice soup

It’s no secret that chicken soup is so good for you.  So when the weather turns cooler I crave a dose of good, comforting, warming, homemade chicken soup.  Nothing hits the spot quite like this simple dish.  While I love a good old fashioned clear broth, my go to chicken soup is this Vietnamese one.  Not only is it a full meal in a bowl but the subtle flavour of lemongrass adds such a delicious dimension to the soup.  Add to that the coriander and dash of lime and you may have the best chicken soup ever.  Once you try this Vietnamese chicken and rice soup recipe, you will be hooked.  It’s easy enough to make for a mid-week meal which everybody will love, even the fussiest of kids (maybe minus the coriander!)

Serves: 4

For the broth:
1 small chicken
I medium onion peeled and quartered
2-3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
2 inch piece of ginger sliced roughly
1 dried red chili (optional)
2 stalks lemon grass cut lengthwise and lightly bruised
2 tbs fish sauce

To finish the soup:
2 stalks lemongrass cut in to 3 pieces each and lightly bruised
110gms thai jasmine rice (or any rice you like)
1 tbs fish sauce
3-4 pak choi (optional)
small handful coriander roughly chopped
1 lime cut in to wedges

Start by putting all the broth ingredients in to a large pot – as large as you have!  Add 2.5 litres of water and bring to the boil.  Let it boil for a couple of minutes.  Turn the heat down to a low simmer, cover and leave to cook for 2 hours.

When cooked, skim the fat off the broth, remove the chicken and shred it.  Strain the broth and set aside.  I usually do up to this stage in advance like in the morning so I find the fat much easier to remove once the broth is cooled.

When you’re ready to eat, heat the broth and bring it to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer, stir in the remaining lemongrass, fish sauce and the rice.  Let it cook uncovered on a low heat till the rice is cooked – around 20-25 (but it really depends on your ratio of rice to broth).  Once the rice is done, add as much of the shredded chicken in as you want (I usually keep some back for chicken sandwiches the next day!).  Add your pak choi or other veg if using and once the veg has wilted a bit and the chicken is heated, it’s ready.

vietnamese chicken and rice soup recipe

Spoon generously in to big bowls, top with lots of chopped coriander (may be not for the kids) and a good squeeze of lime and enjoy!

vietnamese chicken and rice soup recipes

The subtle flavours of this Vietnamese chicken and rice soup are not only so comforting but they are also so refreshing.  If food could give you a great, big hug, this would be the dish that does it for me.  Whenever I mention that this soup is tonight’s dinner, everybody in my house is jumping up and down.  And not just them – I’ve made it for friends too and they’ve all become addicted and taken the recipe.  If I sound a bit crazy getting over excited about a bowl of soup, all I can say is that once you try it you’ll know exactly why!

P.S. If you like your Vietnamese food, you might enjoy this delicious Vietnamese grilled chicken dish too.

*Recipe adapted from Ghillee Basan’s Vietnamese Food & Cooking

donna wilson socks giveaway

The adorable raccoon and bear socks in my ebabee shop have been a huge hit.  They are the cutest, quirkiest things and look so cool on chubby little legs.  But today it’s the turn of the adults.  I have some quirky adult socks that I am giving away.  So if you’re one of those people who like to wear your colourful socks and curl up on the sofa or in front of the fire, this is for you.  These fun socks are by none other than Donna Wilson and I am giving away two pairs – a his and hers.  And even if not for you, with the festive season coming up, these Donna Wilson socks would make fun gifts for someone.  To enter the giveaway read on.

donna wilson aw15 collection

I have been a huge fan of all things Donna Wilson for a long time.  If you already know Donna Wilson, you’ll know that her designs are always colourful and playful.  The designs are just as much for adults as they are for kids which is what I love about her creations.  So I wanted to share some of my favourite pieces from her gorgeous new AW collections.  How cool is that women’s bear shawl?  It’s a super cute shawl but I also love it as a rug or a throw on a kids bed.  And the new melamine plates and bowls are really quirky too like that hungry wolf tray which I love for adding a bit of fun to my kitchen.  Now back to the giveaway.

donna wilson socks

THE GIVEAWAY:  One lucky reader will win two pairs of adult sized Donna Wilson socks.  One pair for her and one pair for him.  The winner will receive the women’s flower socks (fits UK shoe size 4-7) and the men’s mountain bike socks (fits UK shoe size 7-11).  To enter simply leave a comment on this post and you can also follow my facebook page to stay in the loop.  The giveaway closes on Monday 5th October at midnight (UK time).  Any entries after this time will not be counted.  Sorry, this giveaway is open to UK readers only.

P.S. I’m guest posting over at the very trendy Paul et Paula blog today so take a look.

Tortoise and the Hare

September 24, 2015

bunny ears baby hatlinen bunny cape coatbunny-ears-hat-babynatural linen dress for girlsbaby hat with bunny earslinen baby overalls

When my mum was visiting over the Summer from India, she would often browse my blog and commented on the beautiful kids clothes you get these days.  She mentioned that when we were growing up there really wasn’t much choice but now there is not only such a lot more but also something for every budget and taste.  I couldn’t agree more – we are so spoiled for choice that sometimes it feels like there is almost too much.  But then a new range like Tortoise & the Hare comes out and I think, let these new kids creations never stop.  Let these talented makers keep on creating beautiful new lines of kids clothes.  After all in the adult fashion world there is incredible choice so why shouldn’t kids have the same?

While Tortoise & the Hare clothes are beautiful, the story behind the clothes is equally special.  All the baby and kids clothes are made on a family farm in Pennsylvania where the owner Rosina grew up and still lives.  The clothes are hand stitched by seamstresses who were taught to sew by their mothers.  Rosina is drawn to colours found in nature like the blue sky and nearly ripened wheat which is where the colour palette for her clothes comes from.  The whole range is natural and made in linens and chambray fabrics but also how incredibly cute is it?  That bunny cape and the bunny ears baby hat – too adorable! 

Woody the woolly sheep

September 23, 2015

wooden knitting toy

Do you know Les Jouets Libres?  I wrote about their beautiful games on the go ages ago and have been keeping an eye on their creations ever since.  I spotted a new lacing and knitting toy of theirs when I recently visited Anthropologie and I liked the look of it for Anya.  It’s a wooden sheep with holes that comes with a needle and organic wool from French sheep.  The idea is to knit the wool on to the sheep and keep the sheep as decoration after.  This knitting toy is a great introduction to working with wool because it’s not as complex as knitting, it’s more like lacing.

easy knitting toyknitting toys for childrentoys that teach patience

Anya has been showing a lot of interest in knitting and sewing so this sounded like something she would enjoy.  At first she found it a bit tricky as the needle is not one where you thread it but instead you have to almost hold the wool in place.  But that is what this crafty toy is all about – teaching patience and perseverance.  It occupied her for ages and she persevered with great concentration.  She didn’t quite follow the suggested pattern but that didn’t matter as it ended up being her own pattern.   I am a big fan of toys like this that teach and challenge a child.  Oh the concentration on her little face while she was doing it and sometimes frustration! 

Les Jouets Libres have a lovely range of eco toys and games and their range has grown quite a bit since I last wrote about them.  We weren’t sent this knitting toy, we bought it because we liked the look of it and think you will like it too especially if you have kids who like to be crafty and enjoy a bit of a challenge.  It’s sold as 4+ but I thought it more suitable for 5 or even 6 years.  We ended up buying ours online from e-side.

*{Anya wears floral mint pyjama set}

easy vanilla fruit tart recipe

I love cooking but I’m not a fan of baking.  When I have friends over I usually get so involved in the main savoury food that I end up buying a dessert or sometimes completely forget to get one at all.  Recently I started thinking that I should try and up my dessert making skills but only easy-peasy stuff that still has the wow factor.  And preferably no baking involved.  So I decided to try a no-bake shortbread vanilla fruit tart and I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious it turned out.  And the best part is that it’s so easy to make and you can just use the basic idea and get as creative as you want with toppings.  Also it’s a great dessert to get kids involved in too – it’s that simple.

easy fruit tart with cream cheese filling

This fruity dessert is a beautiful cross between vanilla cheesecake and a fruit tart but instead of traditional digestive biscuits as a base or a normal fruit tart base, I decided to try shortbread biscuits and it worked so well.  The shortbread biscuit base has just the right amount of crunch and sweetness without needing to add more sugar to it.

Serves: 8-10

340 gms shortbread biscuits
100 gms butter melted
3 tubs philadelphia cream cheese (180gms x 3)
100 gms icing sugar
300ml double cream
½ vanilla pod seeds
2 tsp vanilla extract
7 kiwi fruits

Start by putting the shortbread biscuits in to a freezer bag or similar and crush them to a fine crumb with a rolling pin.  Add the melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and mix really well.  Spoon this mixture in to your tart tin and flatten with a spoon making as even as possible.

Note: I used a rectangular tart tin (35 x 12 cms) for extra wow factor but Anya also made four individual ones in mini round tart tins (9cms diameter).  So the quantities above are for making more than a rectangular tart but you can reduce slightly to make just one big tart.

Place the biscuit bases in the tins in the fridge so they can harden and set – leave for at least an hour.  While they’re chilling, tip the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla pod seeds and extract in to a bowl and mix well.  Next add the double cream and fold it in till it’s completely mixed in.  Get the bases out of the fridge and spoon the cream cheese mixture on to them.  Smooth it out with a palette knife if you have one otherwise just a regular ol’ knife is good enough – it’s what I used.

fruit tart with cream cheese filling

Let the tarts chill and set in the fridge for 2-3 hours.  You can do all this even 5-6 hours in advance.  When you are ready to serve, chop your fruit – you can choose any fruit you like or even a few different ones.  Top your tarts, serve and enjoy!

vanilla cream cheese fruit tartno bake fruit tart recipe

This vanilla fruit tart with cream cheese and shortbread is so delicious.  And it has such a wow factor too but yet it’s so easy to make.  It is quite rich so a little goes a long way.  For the fruit toppings, you can use any fruit you like or even a combination of 3-4 fruits.  I love the slight sharpness that the kiwi fruits gave to this dessert but berries, mangoes, peaches, plums or any fruit you can think of will work just as well.

*I’ve linked up to Honest Mum’s tasty tuedays.

Gallery walls are all the rage and they look great.  I’m considering one for my living room but I think they look fab in any room especially a kids room where you can have so much fun creating one.  It’s a great way to update a room that needs a bit of life or to just change the look for a new season.  The most obvious way to create a gallery wall is to have loads of shop bought framed prints but there are other creative ways and the best part is that gallery walls don’t cost much to create.  Things like kids artworks make a great a gallery wall or you don’t even have to use art.  Some of the cutest gallery walls I’ve seen use objects and decorations and even clothes.   Here are some fun and unusual ideas on how to create a gallery wall in a kids bedroom:

how to create a gallery wallI love this monochrome nursery wall.  Lots of fun, quirky, interesting postcards, shapes and more simply taped to the wall with washi tape.  There’s no order here, they’ve just stuck lots on but I love that and because they’ve kept the tones the same it makes it even more striking.  Best of all, there’s lots for the baby to look at.

colorful gallery wall ideas

If monochrome doesn’t float your boat, this bright and colourful gallery wall definitely will.  I love the floor to ceiling effect and bright colours against the white wall.  You could create similar with your kids artwork or mix and match their art with other pieces.  This is of course a much more organised look than the one before but that’s the thing with gallery walls – you can create exactly the look you like.

gallery walls for a kids room

Gallery walls can be as full on or as minimal as you like, just like this one.  It’s very simple with just a couple of kids drawings, some postcards and some fun objects.  Even though there isn’t much on this wall, it still looks so cool especially with the bear and the bird stickers added on.  This wall shows how you can mix and match wall stickers, kids art, decorations and prints to create a wall that is entirely unique and personal to your child.

kids room gallery wall

How stunning does this gallery wall look?  Most gallery walls I’ve come across use small and medium size pictures and maybe the odd large one.  But this one has gone super-size with all the pictures and it looks great.  The choice of images is very interesting too – a mix of playful ones with more grown up ones and even an enlarged photo thrown it.  There’s lots of inspiration on this wall for any room in the house.

gallery wall how to ideas

What a fun wall!  I love the use of large prints with small but I especially love the quirky shelves, mirror and other objects thrown in.  Just shows that you can really create a gallery wall with anything you already have.  Just bring it all together in a fun and funky way.

Are you tempted to create a gallery wall?  Which one is your favourite?

Image credits: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |

newborn gift ideas girlnewborn gift ideas boycute newborn gift ideas

Whenever I hear a friend announce their pregnancy, I get so excited for them especially if it’s their first.  Although these days most of my friends are on their second or third ones and even fourth ones (what are they thinking 😉  When you’ve had more than one kid, the chances are that you have more than enough clothes, toys and all the other baby paraphernalia you can possibly need.  So when it comes to newborn gift ideas for these babies, I like to try and think outside the box.  I recently came across Ma Premiere Box and thought it was such a sweet little idea especially for those babies who have everything.

Ma Premiere Box is a ready made gift box that comes in two sizes – small or large.  The small box contains an adorable stuffed toy, a security blanket, a notebook, some badges and a funny postcard.  The larger box has all this plus scented water and a tote bag.   This is all beautifully packaged in a cute keepsake box.  And there’s a boy version and a girl version.  I love that the box is just as much for the parents as it is for the new baby and I also love that you can be sure that your gift will be unique and fun even for a baby who has everything.  It’s also a great present to give from a group of colleagues or friends of the expectant mother.  Next time a friend announces their 2nd, 3rd or 4th child, I know what newborn gift I’ll be giving.

ruffle neck blouse for girls

I am so excited to share my new autumn/winter 2015 collections with you.  Our first drop arrived this week and is now in the ebabee shop. As many of you know, I have a kids clothing shop that sells unique kids clothes from Korea.  Each and every item in the shop is hand-picked by me.  For the new collections, once again, I was really keen to bring you unusual clothes many of which you won’t find elsewhere.  While unusual, these clothes have been picked because they are all very comfy, practical and chic. 

peter pan collar shirt baby boy

For the first time I’ve introduced a small range of baby clothes that I am really excited about.  The baby collections are very simple, very easy to wear and most of all very comfortable and soft, just as all baby clothes should be.  If I ever design a baby collection myself, this is what I would want it to look like – muted colours and soft, pure fabrics.  One of my favourites in the baby range is the peter pan collar shirt.  It’s so chic and the collar is just adorable.  It can be worn on its own or will look just as cute under a sweater with just the peter pan collar visible.

raccon knee socks ebabee

My other huge excitement has been getting those raccoon knee socks and bear knee socks in the shop.  Have you ever seen socks this cute?  They look so sweet on chubby legged babies and toddlers but they also look striking on older kids.  Your kids can wear them with dresses, skirts, shorts, bloomers or even over leggings and I bet that they will be the talk of the playground!  Can you tell I’m a bit over-excited about these raccoon socks and bear socks?  😉

Besides the baby collections and the socks, there is lots more to discover in my first AW15 drop – there will also be more coming over the next few weeks.  One of my favourite new pieces for girls is the bloom ruffle neck blouse, so don’t miss that.  The print is so unusual and the top looks fabulous on.  I love it worn with a bright coloured skirt as in the picture at the top.  How stylish does that little girl look?

Lastly, I’ve also introduced a ‘lucky lasts’ section.  If there is just one piece left of any piece of clothing, it goes in to the ‘lucky lasts’ section with a huge discount.  So if it happens to be the size you want, you can get lucky and save yourself at least 50%.  The pieces go quickly so do check regularly so that you don’t miss out on some great bargains.

I will let you discover the rest of the new collections in your own time and in the meantime have a wonderful weekend!  If you have any questions about the collection or if you need any help at all, do email me and I will be happy to help.

*I’ve linked up to Mummy’s Got Style’s fashion friday.

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