I’m a big fan of the Chewbeads new line of necklaces and bracelets for children called juniorbeads. Elodie is in love with the glow in the dark necklace and bracelet and always puts it outside in the morning for a charge. They are stylish and also double as a brilliant toy for teething babies. So clever!
I recently found these wonderful books for babies and toddlers called Indestructibles. Not only are they beautifully illustrated, they are also water-proof, tear-resistant, and baby-durable (I even tried to rip one myself just to see!) I have since ordered several as gifts for my friends and have some handy for when my little one starts getting interested in her big sister’s library!
I became acquainted with Bambinos & Bunny when my friend brought her toddler girl over to my house. She was wearing the cutest little harem romper with gold moccasins and I had to look the line up immediately. Having two girls I am always looking for a respite from pink and purple. Bambinos & Bunny feature bold yet sophisticated designs built for comfort and play!
We bought a new house this summer and moved in a mere two months before our baby girl arrived. Since she is still only two months and sleeps with us, I have been slow to design her nursery. It’s always so fun to pick out new artwork for the little ones and I was happy to come across the art of Los Angeles based Britt Browne. Her pieces are playful and happy – I particularly love “Dots” and “Zebra” and think “Backgammon” would be fun for a boy’s room too. I can’t wait to get our print framed!
I just came across Peas and Queues, a gem of a children’s line made right here in Los Angeles. We are having an Indian Summer so it wasn’t a stretch to buy this cheerful dress even as we move into the colder months. The silhouettes and bold patterns are perfect for your little adventurer but classic enough that I actually wish a few were in my size! I’m looking forward to seeing more from this whimsical brand.
Peas and Queues is offering Babyccino readers a 15% discount now through the end of the month. Please use BABYCCINO15 at checkout.
I am always on the look out for new music for my little girl. We try and listen to everything at home, from reggae to classical. I recently discovered that Elizabeth Mitchell released Little Seed, a new album of Woody Guthrie covers. It is such a sweet, calm collection of songs that we love listening to while making breakfast. “Little Sack of Sugar” has been known to diffuse a tantrum or two in my house. It’s hard to fuss and carry on when your mama is bouncing you on her knee and pretending to eat you up!
Playsilks and scarves are such wonderful props for a child’s imagination. I’ve been collecting ones from Sarah’s Silks since my daughter was a wee one. They are great for using with clips to create little fortresses and also for creating capes or beds for baby dolls. The line of dress-ups is new to me and I am quite sure my daughter would be overjoyed to be a mermaid or a unicorn. Halloween might be easy for us this year!
My daughter is in that in-between stage where half way into our evening walks she’ll abandon her tricycle and I’m stuck pushing it the rest of the way home. I wouldn’t mind so much if it weren’t for the fact that it’s blazing hot and I’m 34 weeks pregnant! So when she tried out her little friend’s Mopi I knew right then and there that it was the perfect little bike for us. Children love scooting along on it but it’s lightweight enough to pick up and carry when they get tired. Plus it comes in loads of colors and two different sizes so it’s easy to get the one that’s right for your child! My arms are thanking me already.
I am in the market for some new toddler bedding and found these at colette bream. I had bookmarked her etsy site ages ago and fell in love all over again with her whimsical assortment of children’s pretend play items and lovely bedding. My daughter has been dragging around a favorite silk scarf of mine, using it as a dinosaur tail, and I think I might just have to reclaim it and replace it with one of these!
My daughter’s first request when she walks in from her days at pre-school are invariably “May I have a popsicle?” or “May I paint in the backyard?”
I can easily distract her first request with a plum or some other lovely summer fruit, but I can rarely stave off her desire to paint (some days I just want to read books or do a puzzle with her, call me lazy!) Lately, she has been perfectly content putting on her bikini bottoms and painting her hands and feet, making the sweetest little prints for us.
Last year I invested in a wooden caddy with six glass jars and some watercolor paints and much prefer it to the messy little pans of paint we would run through. Plus, it just looks so much nicer. I’ll warn you now, the Nova Natural website is a little addictive, especially their dress-up and crafting sections!
Now that I’m in my second trimester of pregnancy, I find myself all of a sudden ravenously hungry. My blood sugar drops and if I don’t have a healthy snack nearby I get really dizzy and disoriented. No fun! I’ve been aiming to make one healthful salad at the beginning of the week that I can load up with veggies and feel good about eating throughout my day.
This week I made a Sesame Kale Chilled Soba Noodle Salad that my whole family loves (I’ve had to make a few batches of it!). It’s crunchy and refreshing and, best of all, easy to make!
- 8 oz. soba noodles (or rice noodles if gluten free) 1 bunch of lacinato kale, deribbed and chopped
- 3 large carrots 1 cup edamame (cooked and shelled) 1 bunch scallion (about 6) , chopped
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds A squeeze of lime
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or shoyu)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar 1.5 tablespoons sesame oil 1 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon minced ginger
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook noodles. Drain and toss with a drizzle of cooking oil so that they don’t stick together. Chill in refrigerator. Peel the carrots. Shave with a peeler or mandolin and set aside. Whisk together sauce ingredients. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add chopped kale, cook for about 1-2 minutes (tossing it as you go – bringing wilted leaves from the bottom to the top). Add edamame and scallions. Cook, stirring, for about 30 more seconds.
Pour in the dressing, noodles, shaved carrots, and sesame seeds. Toss together. (If your skillet isn’t large enough for this, transfer to a large bowl). Squeeze lime on top. Taste and adjust seasonings.
I love the playfulness of the Moroccan line Zid Zid. It is a complete line of children’s accessories, toys, and items for the home, each handmade in Marrakech. The animals on the cushions and clutches remind me of characters from a Roald Dahl or Rudyard Kipling story and will transport your child right into the exotic world of play. The cushions you can color would make a great birthday gift!
As sure as the sun, I can always count on Nico.Nico for at least one must-have item each season. Last summer I fell head over heels for the romper, this summer it’s the apron dress. I love the classic shape and the cute front pocket. The only problem? It comes in such perfect colors that it’s proving difficult to choose which to get for my little one!
My almost 3½-year-old is having an increasingly hard time going to sleep without a light at night. We have the turtle that has glowing stars on its back but it automatically shuts off after 45 minutes and we often get early morning requests to “turn turtle on please!” which can get a bit tiresome. so now I’m on the hunt for the perfect night light — harder than you might imagine! For now, it’s a toss up between the modern jonathan adler elephant and the fairy house (my daughter is obsessed with elephants and fairies) but I’m also toying with the idea of using a sun jar instead! Do you have any favorites?
I love when designers offer solid adult and children lines, and no one does it more skillfully than angeleno designer, Beatrice Valenzuela. Her styles are wildly popular here in Los Angeles, both for the craftsmanship and beautiful colors. All of her shoes are handcrafted by artisans in her native Mexico City and are truly unique, durable pieces. I am dying to get a pair of mama/daughter combinados! Truly the only occasion I would match clothes with my toddler.
(Second image found here)
The flowers are blooming in Los Angeles and it’s really starting to feel like summer. We spent the past weekend in Malibu and one of the first things I threw in our beach bag was a pair of sunnies for Elodie. When I saw this line of glasses and sunglasses by Very French Gangsters I immediately wanted a pair for her (and myself!) The cutest kids wearing the cutest frames. And the names are…very bombe!
I am a bit obsessed with the spring/summer collection at baggu. With back to back trips to Bali and Turks and Caicos, I wanted some light, summery bags for the beach and these fit the bill perfectly. They fold up easily and are great for trips to the beach, market or for holding all of your little one’s coloring books, crayons and snacks for the plane. I can’t wait to get the leather one in citron!
Elodie and I have a ritual of going to the sunday farmer’s market to get fruits, vegetables, and flowers for the following week. I tell her I am on the lookout for a bunch of beets or some mandarins and she gets so excited with this game of treasure hunt. My husband travels a lot for work but when he is home we definitely eat together. Elodie loves choosing the napkins for the table every night and is always in the kitchen helping me put together the evening’s meal.
Living in Southern California means we eat a lot of mexican food and when I’m a little rushed I turn to my go-to meal of quesadillas or molitas (recipe below), black beans and rice with a salad on the side. We mainly prepare vegetarian dishes at home and save the meat eating for dinners out. We try and use whole grain tortillas such as ezekiel rather than flour tortillas as they have loads more fiber and protein. We sometimes have black beans with just a dash of cumin and salt in them for added flavor or i will make an avocado and black bean salad. A simple pear, strawberries or whatever is in season works for dessert!
We make it a point to feed Elodie the same food we are eating. She eats a wide variety of cuisines because of this and hasn’t really said no to anything just yet. Still, getting a toddler to eat at dinnertime can be quite challenging. Someone recently said told me, “It’s not what they eat in a day but what they eat in a week that counts” which has helped me to relax a bit but i’m still known to bribe her every once in a while!
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (anything that can handle heat, like canola)
- pinch of kosher or sea salt
- 2 taco sized corn tortillas (2 for every molita)
- 1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/2 cup beans (refried, whole, or black beans)
- 1/2 cup fresh white corn (optional)
- 1/4 cup spanish rice
Heat a cast-iron skillet, flat griddle, or other frying pan over medium heat.
Sprinkle the cheese on one tortilla and top it with a 1 1/2 tablespoons each of rice, beans and corn.
Cover the bottom tortilla with the top one.
Brush one side with the oil and put that side down in the skillet, then brush the other side with oil.
Cook for several minutes on each side, until it is developing beautiful crispy brown spots.
Avocado Black Bean Salad
- 1 tablespoon lime juice or vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 can (14–19 ounces) black beans, drained
- 1/4 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
- 1 avocado (8 ounces), cubed
- ground black pepper optional
Place the lime juice or vinegar in a large bowl and gradually whisk in the oil. Stir in the beans, bell pepper, garlic, salt, and black pepper (if using). Taste and add more lime juice or vinegar if you like. Stir in the cilantro. Add cubes of avocado just before serving.
I was feeling a bit blue the other day when I stumbled upon Sharon Montrose’s Animal Print Shop. There is nothing like portraits of bunnies, ducks, and sheep to instantly elevate your mood. I am still trying to decide which animal needs to come home with us. Maybe the two bear cubs?