The Adventure Begins Here

Our long awaited journey to London is here and we are quickly falling in love with this wonderful city.  We've been welcomed with magnificent weather while chirping birds and cascading wisteria abound.  We rarely leave the home without a picnic blanket and frequent trips to Sally Clarke's bakery are justified only by the amount of walking we do on a daily basis.  

I'm excited to share with you our treasured moments and findings from "across the pond." Over the next four months, we'll be introducing you to wonderful makers from the UK and beyond and will take you on explorations from off the beaten path.  The adventure begins here!

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It wasn't hard for me to feel right at home here where many seem to share my appreciation for gardens, songbirds and serenity.  So we've found ourselves visiting these beautiful green spaces that the English have so painstakingly maintained.  

Among the garden crowd, "bluebells" is the buzzword these days.  A pretty little blue flower that en masse, creates a blanket of periwinkle in the woodland areas.  They can be found right now in London's Holland Park and Kew Gardens.  Further afield, the National Trust has a handy guide to bluebell fields throughout the UK.

Without further ado, I leave you with a few of my favorite garden moments from our first week in London.  May these be among the first of many adventures as our summer awaits!

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Gifting Ideas for Littles

Whoa, hello there December!  I swear this year you were two weeks early, or maybe I just need two more weeks of you.  In any case, you're here and we're in the thick of holiday gifting.  It was both fun and challenging shopping for the girls this year.  What do you get a younger sibling who seemingly has everything she could need?  I've given a lot of thought to this and other gifting quandaries and wanted to share my little list of favorite items.  Some we've had for a while and some are newly acquired but all are well loved and hail from our favorite manufacturers.  From one maker's hands to our little hands, there is something special that transpires during the holiday season of giving.  

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1. Sarah & Bendrix Handmade Wooden Dog with Xylophone - I cannot get over this gorgeous toy which was handmade in the Czech Republic from sustainable sources.  As you pull the adorable doggie across the floor, he plays a xylophone with a darling 'ting ting.'  I'm also a sucker for sentimental packaging.  With every Sarah & Bendrix toy, a special tag reads, "I have traveled from a small factory in the heart of Europe, to be your friend. You can name me and take me on all your adventures. When you grow up, pass me on to other children, so I can recount all our tales...I'm here to stay."

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2.  Eperfa The Hillside Forest Set from Over the Ocean - These darling wooden figures were inspired by the surroundings of Lake Balaton in Hungary and the hills around Budapest.  Each piece was thoughtfully created to represent the natural world that surrounds these regions.  They in turn inspire us to appreciate and protect our own environs.   

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3. 1978 Fox Boot in Chocolate from Zimmerman Shoes - I don't think I could have imagined a more perfect shoe for Mila's first steps.  As her confidence builds and with the help of her big sister, she'll be walking before long.  These gorgeous baby booties are sturdy enough to support her baby steps and double as a beautiful heirloom decoration for baby's room.  


4. Bambi Blanket Beige in Organic Cotton from Fabulous Goose - A great gift for anyone in the family, you simply cannot go wrong with a Fabulous Goose blanket.  Thoughtful Scandinavian design paired with organic GOTS certification is a recipe for one 'Fabulous' blanket.  They have served us well, from stroller rides, to picnic settings and most recently, designated dance floors for indoor lip sync parties.  

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5. Sugar Plum Adventure Belt from Oma + Jo - We've been eyeing these adventure belts from Oma + Jo for some time now so when they came out with a (gulp) shiny purple version, there was no hesitation.  We are at the age of favorite colors and purple rules the roost these days.  With a little hint of glitz and a big appetite for adventure, this belt has quicly become a favorite place to stash our treasured findings.  

Baby its cold outside!

Where in the world did that blistery air come from earlier this week?  If you're in the Northeast U.S., maybe you too experienced the SNOW we had last Sunday followed by the first chills of dare I say it....winter.  Our bodies aren't yet conditioned to the cold so we chose to stay cozy indoors and make the most of our Boston Athenaeum membership.  Behind its red leather doors the Athenaeum is an enchanting place for all ages, a hidden gem of our city.  


I was one of the many folks pressing refresh on Mabo's website during their fall launch a few weeks ago and we were lucky enough to score some wonderful pieces from this fabulous collection (although we did loose others in the process!).  This Georgie dress was at the top of my list, a perfect piece for sister matching with the Gemma Blouse for Mila.  


She's keeping court over our secret reading spot on the first floor.  Behind her, you can catch a glimpse of the gorgeous common area that is frequently used for concerts and lectures if you're up for an intellectual date night!


The children's library is the perfect spot for quite play with a collection of fairytale dolls.  It offers the best reading nook in town for our little ones and their weekly storytimes are loads of fun.  


Well at least one of us was eager to be outside!  While Mommy froze, Elise ran around chasing squirrels saying "Hi squirrel, wanna play wif me?"  And when they ran up a tree from this inquisitive toddler, she couldn't for the life of her understand why.


This little hand knit coat has kept her warm for over a year now and I'll mourn the day it no longer fits.  It is by a brand called Le roi booboo which unfortunately I can't find anywhere.  While in Sausalito for a wedding last spring, we stopped into a darling little boutique called Workshop who had a small collection of these beautiful pieces.


Summer of Sisterly Love

As another season draws near, I've been looking back on our summer adventures and will have fond memories of our first as a family of four.  Watching these two grow together as sisters brings a warmth to my heart that few words can express.  Before Mila arrived I went through a period of grieving my alone time with Elise.  But what I didn't know at the time was that my admiration for this little lady would become even greater as I watched her take on the role of big sister.  Every day she amazes me with her nurturing spirit and the pure love that she shows to this new little being.  


Elise has developed a keen sense of awareness to the reactions of others and the attention that a baby draws.  She loves being asked about her baby sister and telling the world she's hers!  Elise enjoys being "same, same" with Mila and dressing in similar styles or fabrics.  It identifies her as Mila's big sister and vice versa.  On this particular occasion, Elise's matching Mabo pinafore was being washed so we called it a "style" match with the rompers. 


Bobo Choses created a line of beautiful pieces from their "Guess Who's Coming for Breakfast" campaign this spring.  I'm always intrigued to see what's new in store from this creative label from Barcelona who are trendsetters in their own right.  The pieces fly off the shelves and we were ever so lucky to get our hands on a cotton voile Mr. Shy romper, a perfect piece for summer play and sister snuggles.