11.12.19

Natural handmade wooden toys

Natural handmade wooden toys

Just this Monday I published my last gift guide for this year and then I went through the things I bookmarked to share with you. And I saw that this lovely natural handmade wooden toys shop just added some lovely wooden reindeers, forest animals, and a nativity scene.

And I am pretty sure you will love these as much as I do. Because who does not love beautiful, and gorgeous wooden toys? So please see today’s post as an addition to me baby gift guide as well as the children’s gift guide. You are so welcome!

The story: Dainius and Nora are two creative people, designers, parents of two little girls, and the founders of this amazing natural wooden toy brand*. They live in Lithuania and all toys are 100% handmade.

‘Our first daughter was the inspiration for the wooden toys. We wanted to create a safe, ecological, natural and nice, long lasting toy. Wood is perfect for all of those reasons. The whole process of designing, producing and testing is happening within our family.’

 

Natural handmade wooden toys
This big set* is amazing and leaves so much room for creativity and different play options, especially role-play.

The simple designs are playful and the small size figures are perfect for little hands to hold and use in play!

 

Natural handmade wooden toys

Such a cute forest animal set*.

 

Natural handmade wooden toys

Cutest Christmas decoration and play – a wooden reindeer and his friend the fawn. The set* includes the Christmas Tree as well.

 

Natural handmade wooden toys

Gorgeous nativity scene with either 7 pieces* or 11 wooden figures*. Such a heirloom toy!

 

Natural handmade wooden toys

Natural handmade wooden toys

Natural handmade wooden toys

Natural handmade wooden toys

Natural handmade wooden toys
Dainius and Nora only  use certified sustainable European wood. And all toys are made in line with EU legal toy safety requirements. The packaging is nature friendly as well and they do like to encourage to buy less but choosing high quality, timeless and durable items. Another reason why these toys make great presents!

Now, let your child use their imagination and have fun creating their own stories!

*affiliate links
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09.12.19

Gift Guides 2019 – teens

Gift Guides 2019 – teens

I guess when thinking about a good gift for teens it has to tick quite a few boxes. Trendy, personal, useful for their daily life, stylish and, of course, something they really want.

My eldest is 12 1/2 so we are nearly there. In the teen stage. But I have to say, even the tween phase is so interesting. How her interests develop, things that get her engaged, and her reaction and opinion on big problems like the future of our world. The pureness and straight forwardness that for example my 7 year old is still so good at, is starting to fade away. Sharing your thoughts is not so ‘out of the pistol’ anymore…

But then she is also still my ‘little girl’ that loves nothing more than enjoying a good book with a cup of tea. Being creative and here her latest discovery is lettering. And wow, she did some very beautiful things. And yes, most of the things from my list today are approved by her too.

Here are some really cool ideas that I am sure a teen would love to find under the tree:

1. Sure to be one of the hottest gifts this year, and maybe even the next! The Nintendo Switch* allows you to play the latest Nintendo-developed video games. And the killer twist? You can play these games on your TV, and at any time you can un-dock the Switch, allowing you to enjoy full console games on the go. Altogether, the Switch features small, detachable Joy-Con controllers so you can play with a friend at any time.

2. 3 in 1 charging dock station. Non-toxic silicone material is used for this compact charging hub. And it is the perfect accessory to have on your bedside table or on a desk. The Charging Hub* supports your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods at the same time.
And the  cable management holes on the rear side, preventing the cluttering of your cables.

3. Bullet Journal Set* with the most bonus : A high quality notebook set with 1 Bullet Journal Notebook, 15 colours fineliner pens, 5 pieces of reusable stencils, 6 sticker sheets, 6 washi tape, and 1 black gel pen. It is perfect for someone getting into, or wanting to get into a bullet journal. And this is so much fun!

4. The Big Life Journal is all about developing a positive mindset that encourages resilience, gratitude, and positivity. With this, teens can learn how their mindset is shaped by their thoughts and experiences. It also teaches them that, with practice, they can overcome anything. Inspire, create goals, and breed positivity!

5. This health & fitness Smartwatch* with heart rate, music & swim tracking includes on-screen coaching too. An all-day smartwatch that helps your sporty teen live their best life. Because it comes with sleep monitoring as well which tells you the time you spend in each precious sleep stage. Get them to move more, track it, and have fun! Plus, this watch will track any work out automatically – no need to switch it on!

6. A very stylish touch sensor night light* that is a Bluetooth 4.0 Hifi speaker, digital alarm clock, MP3 player all in one too. Great 48 colour changing bedside lamp with sleep mode. It is touch activated and you can fully control the brightness, colour and power.

7. If you have a teen girl, you probably know that they love to do their hair. Straighten, curls… and when it comes to hair must-haves, shine always comes top. Now you can get a straightener to help you create styles whilst caring for your hair too. If you want more intense shine, to tackle frizz or to have healthier looking hair in an instant then look no further. This clever range of tools* incorporate the next generation of advanced ceramic plates. Plus they are infused with special micro conditioners, so not only will your hair be styled to perfection, it will be shiny and healthy looking too.

8. Make your own Lip Balm Kit*. This kit is the perfect gift for teens. Inside the fully recyclable box, you will receive everything you need to make 5 of your very own lip balms, along with blank labels to help you get creative. And it is a great way to learn about what goes into making a lip balm, and also be sure you are only putting the most natural ingredients onto your body.
(various kits available incl. a ‘Make your own face mask’ kit)

9. The modern version of the iconic AF1*, combining classic style and modern details. The low design offers optimum soil adhesion and a classic look. This version of the Nike Air Force 1 features rippled leather edges for a cleaner, slimmer line and more refined details. The leather and fabric upper features external layers positioned at strategic points for a lifetime durability and support. The perforated inserts favor the breathability to keep the foot always fresh and dry. These sneakers are super trendy right now, and they go with anything!

10. Day Off Jelle Beanie* Hat!

11. This one is for those that enjoy programming and tinkering around. The Arduino is a starter kit* that features flexible and easy-to-use hardware and software. It includess a guidebook and 15 different projects to complete, taking you from beginner to expert before you know it.  Think light sensors, heat sensors, electronic display screens, robotic things. This is perfect if you are interested to understand how gadgets work for example.

12. Teenagers are all about their skin and also about the environment. Therefore, this My Clarins gift set, which has fruit and plant-based ingredients, will help them to be in all their natural and nourishing glory.

 

And it is a wrap. The gift guides for this year are done and I hope that I could inspire you a bit! Ho Ho Ho and wishing you a lovely and very festive time over the coming days and weeks.

 

Gift Guides 2019 overview:

* Stocking Fillers

* Mum & Dad aka grown ups

* Christmas Decor

* Baby

* Kids

* Family Games

* Books

* Teens

 

*affiliate links
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07.12.19

Pitti Bimbo 90

Pitti Bimbo 90

Tickets are booked, a bed will will be made for me and than it is time to join Pitti Bimbo – the kids fashion fair held twice yearly in Florence, Italy. And they are celebrating its 90th edition from 16 to 18 January 2020. Which means that this incredible fair has now been running for 45 years!

The theme of the Pitti Bimbo winter fair is ‘Show your flags‘ and they will celebrate an important landmark with new creative installations, an attentive selection of brands, international collaborations and a calendar of not-to-be-missed fashion shows and exhibitions. Moreover, for 45 years it has been the epicenter of kids lifestyle. What started with the wardrobe, has expanded to lifestyle and accessories in a world that has managed to engage the entire family. Again, an extraordinary international portfolio ranging from designer labels to small experimental brands will await us for three days in January.

And what about the flags?
A rectangle of material, an inlay of lines, colours, and designs. A flag is never a silent fabric, it always has something to say; it consistently arouses emotions because it speaks in universal messages. It is expressive, enthusiastic, insolent. And it flutters, falls, is lowered, raised, carried and folded. Flags are beautiful geometrical compositions; they give pleasure to the people who see them flying. And Pitti is like the United Nations of Fashion where every brand has its own flag, but also where each one of us can become our own flag.

What’s the new?

The Top Floor of the Central Pavilion is home to THE KID’S LAB! A whole 3,000 sqm of innovative venues including KidzFIZZ, Ecoethic, The Nest and Kid’s Evolution.

One of the highlights of the 90th edition will be a prototype of  the Concept Store of the future. In collaboration with Cilab and The Playful Living which focuses on the effects of digital transformation in the retail world.

The new kids’ collection by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac for United Colors of Benetton makes its debut at the Teatrino Lorenese, within the colorful, playful and lively world of “65 Benetton Street”.

US magazine Hooligans will celebrate its 5th anniversary with an exhibition about the 5 senses. All to be seen, smelled, heard, tasted and touched, on the Top Floor of the Central Pavilion.

What else during Pitti Bimbo 90?

Two Pitti Immagine special runway shows present sophisticated collections from the Apartment section and the innovative creativity of KidzFIZZ. The labels of Children’s Fashion from Spain will also hit the runway.

The historic French children’s fashion house Petit Bateau and the online platform Treedom present a new environmentally and socially sustainable project: the planting of a tree with each purchase of a new birth kit in organic cotton

The not-to-be-missed runway show of Monnalisa returns. The Tuscan brand, a leader in premium childrenswear, will present their new collection with a charming fashion show at the Stazione Leopolda, on January 16.

The photographer James Mollison will present photographs of school yards from all over the world, exploring different environments and children’s play dynamics. Within Sport Generation in the Padiglione Cavaniglia.

 

Pitti Bimbo 90

Pitti Bimbo 90

Some figures: We will see 543 collections and more than 6.400 buyers are expected. And a total of about 10.000 visitors.

How about you? Will you be there? Let me know! First Christmas and then I will get excited about discovering all the new collections, the shows, catching up with people, and talking about children’s fashion all day long! A passion is a passion.

And of course my friend Dimitra will be there with her selection at The Nest. When small is beautiful and among the brands at this edition are: Atelier Parsmei, Jellymade, Mimookids, Mimù, Minì&Made, Naoia, Tiny Tots Barcelona, Weekend House Kids, Wool in Love, and Yay.

Pitti Bimbo
FORTEZZA DA BASSO
Viale Filippo Strozzi 1 – Florence
16 – 18 January 2020
every day 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
last day 9.00 am – 4.00 pm

 

Images: AKAstudio – collective
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06.12.19

Gift Guides 2019 – children’s books

Gift Guides 2019 - children's books

One of our favourite weekend activities as a family is to visit a bookstore. Especially during the colder months but even during beautiful summer days, we cannot walk by a bookstore without entering. It is most likely something we handed down to our children because I always loved a good book and being in a shop full of them feels like paradise.

Which brings me to the next step – walking out empty-handed is nearly impossible. I cannot resist a good read and my eldest announces every other day that she just finished a book. This means: We need supply!
On a side note: We do get books from the local library too but once in love with books you know how hard it is to resist.

Plus: I love to give books. As presents for small and big. Sharing a good book with a good friend makes me happy. Gifting a beautifully illustrated children’s book with a heartwarming story makes me happy again.

And sitting down, reading a book, is nearly a gift these days with all the screens. And yet so important.

Therefore I compelled a Gift Guide with Children’s Books for this year. It was very hard to bring it down to 12 so consider it the best of the best:

1. This is a series highly recommended by my 12 year old, because ‘A Place Called Perfect’ is one of the best books in the world! It is filled with action and twists and turns. And if you love adventures and reading, then you’ll love this book. This book is about a girl called Violet who moves to ‘Perfect’ because of her Dads new job. 9-12 years.

2. We LOVE all the Crayon books and this is another amazing story and a must-have for the Christmas time. An absolutely wonderful book with cute little surprises and interacting pieces to take out and use! It’s best enjoyed after reading the other Crayons books (but not a must) because there are a couple of running gags from the series that pay off beautifully here. All ages.
Other crayon books: The Day The Crayons Quit and The Day The Crayons Came Home

3. Such a beautifully illustrated kids book, with a lovely and important written message within it. And all children (and adults) should have a copy of this. Most significantly, it teaches about respect and tolerance. After all, I love Oliver Jeffers’ books, and this is one of the best children’s book I have ever seen. From 3 years.

4. Dive into the world of business with this lively introduction, with bright, info-graphic pictures. Describing in a child-like manner how to start your own business, manage your money and beat the competition. Serious things made easy to understand. It explains things like global supply chains and interest rates as well. This book is perfect for kids or teens who want to start/understand a business. In short: Pure inspiration! From 8 years.

5. Bursting with eye-popping and informative lists from around the world. This book will keep your curious child entertained for hours. Discover Ancient Greek monsters, presidential pets, dizzying mountain peaks, super-fast animals … and what not to mention at a donkey’s house. 6-10 years.

6. This a big favourite in our house. And a very lovely and heartwarming story, reminding us to appreciate what we have around us! The illustrations and design are magical.
Moreover I love that the story is told mostly through the pictures leaving lots of room for having a conversation about what is going on. A book where your imagination can run wild as the artwork and the words complement each other perfectly. A message of family which makes it a lovely Christmas present. From 4 years.

7. How about living in a house with chicken legs which picks itself up and runs around the world while you sleep at night? It really sparks the imagination but the books has some real life lessons to be learned too. For example: Not to take your loved ones for granted, that the pretty girls are not always the nice girls and that the grass is almost certainly not greener on the other side. This book will make you question what’s important in life and what isn’t. And it explores love, friendships and the complexities of human relationships. 9-12 years.

8.  My 9 year old boy loves this extraordinary compilation of 100 stories of famous and not-so-famous men from the past to the present day. There are people he admires and that do great things at the moment. And there are people he knows about and that did awesome things in the past. And some of them he discovered for the first time through the book.
Because Daniel Radcliffe, Galileo Galilei, Nelson Mandela, Louis Armstrong, Grayson Perry, Louis Braille, … all dared to be different. In essence, this book will educate and entertain, while also encourage and inspire. 9-12 years.

9. An unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. A family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. It is a series and the last book (4) was just published this year and read by my teen in about 3 days (one has to go to school too!). From 9 years.

10. Such a classic. And a book that is a firm regular in our house. Again, and again, and always funny. So much giggling.
Therefore I had to put it here because if you do not own it yet, please buy it!
In short, a fantastic kids book that stimulates great discussion about reading the expression of the bear to determine how he feels. Hilarious, for young and old! All ages.

11. In this wonderfully illustrated celebration of the world we travel far and wide – to Hong Kong, the Amazon, Antarctica, or India. From the villages, towns and cities where most people live, to the deserts and vast oceans that cover the surface of the planet. And there is so much to find in this book, every time we read it we find something new. Again, the illustrations are engaging and beautifully drawn. Pro: The book is suitable for many different ages, from spotting things, to starting to read it, or discovering facts. Altogether it is packed full of many interesting, weird, and wonderful things. All ages.

12. A 3D pop-up book that redefines how we tell a story. The Carousel of Animals is a book, a mobile, and a magical menagerie, expertly crafted for an interactive storytelling experience that can be enjoyed time and time again. In fact, a lion riding a dog, monkeys boxing a kangaroo, a fox steering a fire engine… . From 3 years.

 

Gift Guides 2019 overview:

* Stocking Fillers

* Mum & Dad aka grown ups

* Christmas Decor

* Baby

* Kids

* Family Games

* Books

* Teens

 

In collaboration with Amazon. All links are affiliate links.
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05.12.19

Make playtime even more special with this wooden Dolls House

wooden Dolls House

End of last week a big parcel was waiting for us when we got home. And inside was something that definitely deserves the title ‘Christmas came early’. A stylish wooden doll house.

It was quickly assembled and immediately taken over by the girls. The house has a good size (L 81 x W 60 x H 29.5cm) and it is easy for more than one person to play with it. Perfect for us. And with the four floors there is lots to do too!

The Dollhouse from Petite Amélie is beautifully designed with neutral tones and natural wood. The white, grey and black tones make it possible to have it anywhere in your home. A true eyecatcher and such a heirloom toy!

The house we received is called La Maison d’Amélie and it comes with a 19-piece wooden doll house furniture set which you can buy separately as well. And the cupboard doors and drawers actually open and the beds are made up with blankets. Plus, a set of four wooden dolls is also available and they are gorgeous. The four dolls are made with love from solid wood and beautifully painted. A mum, dad, and two children. Altogether these accessories invite children to play, to create stories, and to bring life into the house.

Leonor now wishes that she could live in a house just like this:

 

wooden Dolls House

wooden Dolls House
The minimalist design in this grand house is so lovely to look at. Leaving even more space for your child to enter a world of fantasy and fairy-tales where all kinds of characters come alive in this imaginative wooden dollhouse world.

Therefore, if you would like to make playtime more enjoyable for your little one, these wooden dolls houses are delightful and an ideal toy for your child to play with for hours on end.

By the way, the houses are dispatched the same day if ordered before 7pm!

 

In collaboration with Petite Amelie who kindly send us a dolls house to review. Here you can see how it looks in our house.
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