Handcrafted artisian sandals

AVARCAS

 

 

We recently travelled to Mallorca, the biggest of the Balearic Islands in Spain and I knew I can’t leave the island without some Avarca sandals. Avarca sandals are from the neighboring island, Menorca, where they started making them over a hundred years ago. Those sandals are packed with tradition and are also super comfortable, durable and stylish. Their roots are in the countryside where it is hot and dry during the summertime and farmers used them while working their land. They were made with leather (still to this day) and recycled tires where used as soles to keep the farmers feet cool - handcrafted from top quality according to traditional methods. Nowadays they are mostly made with flexible rubber mold soles as it is much lighter in weight. But to this day they have the same characteristics as a century ago, just now reinvented with colors ranging from traditional black & brown to bright colors and even metallic finishes.

We discovered a tiny store up a windy street off one of the main shopping avenues and as inconspicuous as it looks from the outside, the inside is packed with hundreds of shoes for women, kids and even for men. Of course the kids Avarcas are so adorable, they are just a tiny copy of the adult one. Too many colors to chose from. Once you put them on, they will quickly become a go to shoe in your daily life. They can even withstand the rain. I wanted a pair of gold Avarcas for my daughter and myself but her size was sold out so she got a more traditional color – brown.

So how do you get one of those eco-friendly slip on sandals without traveling to an island in the Mediterranean? It’s easy and you even have options as most of the following online retailers ship around the globe:

Online Shops for Avarcas:
AVARCA SHOP
PONS
AVARCA USA
MENORCAMEVA

Lets get the party started

Little Lulubel

Planning a party? In need for that little something to be different? If you also find it incredibly frustrating and time-consuming to have to go to several shops or websites to find it all, try and check out the party kits @ Little Lulubel. A one-stop shop website for children’s parties which also offers the deco individually for those of you who likes to do it yourselves. Best of all – they deliver worldwide, right to your door. Just order a few days ahead (or more if you live outside the UK) of the big day and all you have to do is lay it all out and get the party started! From standards such as balloons and funky placemats to skull cookie cutters, to pre-filled party bags, cool dressing-up costumes, hexagonal plates & fun party games.

Oh… and I also discovered those adorable shoe wings you can attach to any laced shoes by simply threading each wing with the shoelaces. They come in a moustache shape too.

Picture Poetry

REMOVABLE – REUSABLE – REPOSITIONABLE

 

 

The bright & funky wall stickers are different from the regular vinyl ones you might have come across by now. Pop & Lollis’ are not just over-sized fabric wall stickers, they are also super easy to apply and play with. No instructions needed. No tools either. And they will transform any blank wall into a world of imagination and play. They really pop!

Whether it’s a the animal alphabet, confetti, space rockets, the tree of wisdom, or the fashion farm gang … kids will love these fun and rich in detail scenes for their rooms. The South African born designer behind Pop & Lolli likes to call it “my PICTURE POETRY” and her designs are flexible to grow with any child. All of the products are re-usable and eco-friendly made with non-toxic water-based adhesive and lead free ink (actually, they use Eco-Sol Max inks, which are solvent inks that provide durability and UV resistance, but do not contain the harsh chemicals used in mild and full solvent printing).

Color your walls now & here.

Nice to know…
With every set of Pop & Lolli chic ‘experience-design’ decals you purchase, (It’s) Chic 2 Change will provide educational materials and resources to positively influence a South African child in need. Read more about their partnership with (It’s) Chic 2 Change. Oh, and they make some cute wallpapers too.

Baby Elephant for adoption

The_Animal_Print_Shop_by Sharon Montrose.jpg

Adorable art by Sharon Montrose

 

 

I recently fell in love with photographs by the super talented Sharon Montrose. You don’t have to be an animal lover to fell in love with her arts too. The California based photographer captures animals like no other. Her unique style is led by putting animals against stark white studio backdrops, keeping it minimalistic and soft in colors. Its children’s art that adults can appreciate too. Playful, yet sophisticated.

I couldn’t resist and got a few prints from her whimsical nursery art collection “Little Darlings”. You know children love animals and they're one of the first things children learn to identify & name. And its fun to point at the photographs and make the sound of each animal. Its pretty & educational.

The photographs are available in a range of sizes and editions (both open and limited), offering options for various price points, starting at affordable $25 for a 8.5" x11 print. By the way, Restauration Hardware (RH) also noticed her…. And now its part of RH baby & child.

Good news for German customers: LeoZ (based in Berlin) acts as their distributor for Germany, Austria, Swtizerland, and Luxembourg. They have a selection of the bestsellers (including the entire Little Darlings series), which are available for immediate shipment.

Nice to know… The artists states on her website that “The animals photographed for this series are real live animals, raised (and many rescued) by loving, experienced, and dedicated animal keepers and handlers who care for them as their own and ensured their welfare while being photographed (in studio or outside at the facilities where they live, then photoshoped into the backdrop). Through this series, we help support several organizations devoted to animal rescue, educational programs, and nurturing wildlife. We're also a proud sponsor of the Pablove Shutterbugs program.”

Get yourself an adorable print @ The Animal Print Shop.

All photo credits by The Animal Print Shop.

A changing pad for your peanut…

… The Peanut Changer

 

 

We originally bought this changing pad [ made by Keekaroo ] mostly due to its funky design and after the first usages we quickly realized that’s its also awesome because of its easy clean up. Now if you have a little mess, just wipe it clean - No more washing covers in case you had a standard pad before.

As we had our fare shares of accidents I noticed the peanut shape keeps the liquids in the center, making it an easy & clean swipe with a paper towel. And our daughter also really liked the surface. Kind of smooth. Oh and it is water resistant, so the fluids can’t penetrate into the pad and create molds or other yucky stuff. And even if you have a super active, wiggly baby the pad is slip resistant and doesn’t just move off the changing table. Of course, try your best to always use the safety strap.

Most of the items we review on Designerbaby.com are free of all the chemicals you don’t want near a baby. And so is the Keekaroo:

• Latex-FREE
• PVC-FREE
• BPA-FREE
• Phthalate-FREE
• Formamide-FREE
• Non-Toxic

It comes in so many (actually 6) colors – its easy to find one for your nursery style. You can get one here, just pick your color. Beware: May cause analysis paralysis.
Nice to know: It is also JPMA Certification Program certified.

Please meet Sam & Julia

Discover the world of Sam & Julia in the Mouse Mansion

 

 

Ok, this book is recommended for 4 years and up but I would say it is never too early to meet Sam & Julia. And so does my daughter - she fell in love with those two little mice when my oldest and dearest friend (gosh, almost 30 years now, this makes me feel old!) gave her the book "Das Mäusehaus". My friend lives now in Amsterdam where the book quickly became a super success after launching in 2011. Since then it has been licensed to Japan, France, Italy, Korea, Turkey, Australia and soon it will be published in the USA "The Mouse Mansion".

So, let me introduce you... Sam & Julia are 2 mice kids living in the Mouse Mansion and their stories bring the mansion to life. Julia is pretty curious and fresh, Sam on the other hand is a bit on the shy side. Either way they are best friends and experience many funny adventures in the Mouse Mansion. It took the author Karina Schaapman 3 years to build the Mouse Mansion, in which all photos of the childrens book were taken. It is nearly two meters wide and three meters high and has over a hundred rooms. They are filled with adorable little details which are all hand made by the author. Its a work of art made out of fabric from differenct centuries, paper [ e.g. see picture of little pitchers ], wood & wax. Karina says "It all began with sewing a patchwork blanket of five by eight inches. I remembered such a blanket from the book by Clinge Doorenbos. Then I made a crib which required a room to put it in and just by chance there was a cardboard orange box in my room. I put it on its side and decided it was big enough to house a kitchen, a living room, a bedroom and a bathroom." The Mouse Mansion is a cozy and comfortable world with lots of adventures happening. A lovely little minitatur world where the little ones get lost in their imagination. If you speak Dutch or German, here is a fun video about the auther and background info on the book.

The Mouse Manison is already for sale in Netherland, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Korea, Turkey, Australia and soon available for sale in the USA.