"strawberries and cream presentation"

A few weeks ago we went strawberry picking.  We had such fun and of course ended up coming back with a ton of strawberries.  A few days later I had some friends and their kids coming over for dinner so dessert had to be strawberries and cream.  Not only did I have the strawberries, I also wanted a very quick and easy dessert as I was short on time.  But even with quick and easy, I wanted it to look nice and not just serve it as a bowl of strawberries and cream.  So I decided to involve some meringues and some madeleines to dress up the dessert.

"mini strawberry meringues"

These ones were mini shop bought meringues topped with whipped double cream and chopped strawberries. No added sugar here as meringues are so sweet.  It took me seconds to put together but still looks pretty.

"strawberries and cream in a cup"

With these ones I bought some delicious madaleines and layered these with the strawberries and cream, topped with a dusting of crushed meringue to add some crunch.  I also chopped the strawberries and left them in a bowl with a little bit of sugar so their juices would run.  I used these juices to keep the dessert moist, especially the madeleines.  You can use strawberry liquor too but I had made these especially for the kids.

"strawberries and cream with meringue"

It’s not always possible to make desserts from scratch so I’m totally in to using shop bought stuff and putting my own touch on it.  These strawberries and cream went down a treat with both the kids and adults and my friends even commented on how lovely they looked.  What are your favourite short-cut desserts?

"duchess and lion kids collection"

This is probably one of the most exciting kids collections I’ve seen this year.  It’s cool, it’s playful and unique.   Because of this blog I get to see a lot of kids clothes and quite often they don’t offer anything different.  Then I come across a new collection like this and it’s such a breath of fresh air.  While the clothes are seriously cool, there is no compromise on comfort either.

"duchess and lion super cool kids clothes"

Nearly all of the clothes are unisex which makes the clothes even more special.  I would happily put a little boy or girl in to any of those baggy overalls (heck, I’d even put myself in to them if they came in my size!).  My favourite of all the overalls has to be the one pictured at the top, with the big white cross.  Cool doesn’t even begin to describe it.   The dresses in the collection are no less striking especially that red and white checked one.

"super cool kids clothes"

I love the way the kids have been photographed too by the talented photographer Abi Q.  Nothing posed; just happy, playful kids doing what they normally do. There is something very natural and organic about these clothes so they don’t need any fancy backdrops and props to bring it to life.  This collection by Duchess + Lion hasn’t launched yet but you don’t have too long to wait.  It will be available from 4th of August to buy. 

*via pinterest

"family holiday rental home Amsterdam"We love to travel in this house.  If we ever win the lottery, I know we would spend the rest of our days exploring the world.  Since having Anya, we haven’t given up on travel and neither have we let distance bother us.  We’ve taken her to far flung places like Uruguay, Argentina and San Francisco, all 12 hour flights or longer.   The one thing we have changed is where we stay.  Before it was always about finding a cool boutique hotel but now it’s always apartments.

With a child, I’ve discovered that the convenience of a holiday apartment is unbeatable.  It means plenty of space for everyone, it also means you don’t have to rush out for every meal and often means clothes washing is possible – so handy with a child and you can travel with fewer clothes (in theory at least!).   Richard and I turn in to night birds on holiday and often stay up late in to the night chatting while Anya sleeps in the next room without being disturbed.  Since I’ve started booking holiday apartments, I’ve never looked back.

"family holiday rental home paris""family holiday rental home Odense Denmark""family holiday rental home London"

A while ago I discovered a beautifully curated holiday home rental site which I have been meaning to share with you ever since.  All the homes on this site are real family homes that are rented out while the families are holidaying elsewhere.    The added bonus of renting a home where someone lives means that you have all the stuff you could possibly need.  There are kids rooms with toys, living rooms full of books and kitchens with all the equipment to cook up anything you want.  All the homes are full of charm and character and look so welcoming.

"family holiday rental home near Paris""family holiday rental home Brighton"

Kid & Coe have so many beautiful homes on offer that include city residences, country cottages as well as beach retreats and mountain chalets.  Their list of holiday properties is always growing but even now there is a very good choice.  I’m hoping to get away to the Continent this Summer and if I do I would love to stay at one of these holiday homes because the idea of staying in a real home really appeals to me.  What do you prefer?  Holiday apartment or hotel?

"black and white room ideas for toddlers"

I think if I ever move to another career it would have to be something to do with decorating babies and kids rooms.  I love putting together inspiration and ideas for how to create a beautiful nursery space or a kiddy space.  My favourite style is Scandinavian and right now I’m really partial to black and white rooms especially with a subtle hint of another colour.  For this mood board I’ve added a dash of pink to brighten up the black and white.  Here’s where you’ll find the picks:

1. stars garland | 2. miffy lamp | 3. heart postcard | 4. cloud postcards and panda poster | 5. birch toddler and child bed | 6.  owl cushion | 8.  striped toy storage baskets | 9.  bunny and girl doll | 10.  beauty baby and jealous baby dolls | 11. trees duvet set

The Summer holidays have been here for a couple of weeks now and are a welcome break from the routine.  With the beautiful UK weather, we’ve been indulging in lots of outdoor time.  But since I work from home, I can’t take Anya out morning to evening every day as I need to find time to work.  If you work from home, you’ll know that the constant questions, demands for food and expressions of boredom make working nearly impossible or at least means you take three times as long to do anything!  While the TV and ipad are good at keeping her distracted, I like to use these in moderation.  So instead I’ve been stocking up on a few creative little activities which I’ve started giving her when she needs something to do.  Nothing complicated, just the very simplest little things I’ve bought which she can create with by herself.  I thought I would share the three that have been the biggest hits so far:

"best activity books for children"

Let’s Make Some Great Fingerprint Art is such a fun book.  The book is packed with loads and loads of ideas for making art with your fingers.  All you need is a colourful inkpad and a pencil to complete the pictures you create.  Anya loved this book and takes it out nearly everyday since I gave it to her.

"indoor-Summer-holiday-activities"

I spotted this massive jar of beads in Ikea a while ago.  They’re not exactly beads but mini tube shaped bits that Anya has used for all sorts of creations.  From making jewellery to sticking them on paper to make pictures, this jar has so many uses.  Anya has also used these beads to make up counting by colours kind of games.  But be warned, every time they come out, you’ll be treading on little bits of plastic for days to come!

"ways to keep kids occupied in Summer holidays"

This last one was a bit of an impromptu made-up thing but Anya loved it so I thought it was worth sharing.  I needed to get on with some urgent work so needed her occupied.  I just made a huge sheet of paper, pulled put some poster paints and told her to have fun.  She ended up painting with her fingers and had a ball.

How do you keep your kids occupied?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

"6 etsy favourites"

Here are 6 things I’m currently loving on etsy:

1.  vintage floral baby shorts | 2.  monochrome fox brooch | 3.  black and white rainbow pillow doll | 4.  linen polka dot pouch | 5.  personalised wooden toy boat | 6. deer girl kids room poster

"black and white posters for babies"

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I love black and white decor for every part of the home including kids rooms.    So this collection of mostly black and white posters for kids totally grabbed my attention.  It’s one of the cutest I’ve seen in a while and includes bunnies, mountains, type and more all presented in a clean, graphic style.

"posters-for-kids-bedrooms"You’ve probably guessed by now that these posters are from Sweden – you can’t miss the cool Scandi vibe.  These black and white kids room posters are so playful and cute and would add a touch of fun to any kids space.

"vintage linen girls clothes"

I know I talk a lot about the Summer but if you lived in London you would know why.  We get so little sunshine over the year that when it does come, it’s reason enough to celebrate!  With all this glorious weather we’re enjoying I remembered a brand of clothes that seems to capture the very essence of Summer.  Their clothes and pictures make me dream of long, sunny days spent playing outdoors, getting wet in water fountains, picking flowers, enjoying ice-creams – you know the kind of simple, timeless pleasures that only Summer allows.  Soor Ploom Clothier shines in it’s simplicity.   The clothes have a vintage touch which adds to their charm and are all made of my favourite Summer fabrics -  soft cottons and linens.  These are the kind of timeless Summer clothes that allow kids to be kids and I am truly in love!

Games on the go!

July 15, 2014

"portable travel games for kids"With the Summer holidays coming up and all the traveling many of us have planned, I wanted to share these fabulous portable travel board games with you.  Apart from being beautiful to look at, the best part of these games is that the board is made of fabric and doubles up as the bag to store all the wooden counters.  What a clever and practical idea especially for taking on long road trips or even plane and train journeys.  A French creation, these games include checkers, chess and tic tac toe.  Recently, they have also introduced some colourful card games that are just as easy to take on your travels.  Anything that makes long journeys easier has to be a good thing!  These board games are available in many countries and you can see all the stockists here.

Sharing a room is fun when you’re a kid.  Sometimes though it’s not just about the fun but a necessity if you’re short on space.  While same sex shared rooms may seem easier to decorate, boy and girl shared rooms can also work really well with a little imagination and thought.  From creating a neutral space to having specific sides decorated differently I’ve rounded up 5 of the most beautiful unisex shared rooms to inspire you:

"unisex shared bedroom ideas"

Using lots of white in the room means you can add pops of colour with boy/girl specific accessories and toys just like they’ve done in the unisex shared room above.  With all the white in the room, no bright colour is off limits.

"unisex kids bedroom ideas"

Here the boys side is decorated in blue while the girls side is decorated in creamy florals.  The similar prints and complimentary colours bring the room together even though each kid has their own side.

"boy and girl shared bedroom ideas"

Grey is one of my favourite colours for any kids room including a shared bedroom.  I love the different beds and how they’ve used wall stickers to personalise each space.  This room is a unisex space but with the addition of accessories, toys and wall decorations it becomes more girly on one side and more masculine on the other.

"ideas for shared kids rooms"

An all white, minimal space is yet another way of creating a shared boy girl bedroom.  In this room, there is nothing too specific about each side except for a few soft toys on each bed.  The decor is simple and neutral to suit both sexes.

"decorating a room for a boy and girl sharing"

From all white and minimal, this is a room exploding with colour.  Bold, bright unisex colours thrown together create a great shared space for boy and girl.  There are no boy or girl sides here, just a complete shared space that works equally for either sex.

See more of these rooms here: one | two | three | four | five

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