Thursday, November 22, 2012

Every day is magic - advent calendars

Although in Poland the tradition of advent calendars isn't very strong, I love the idea of building anticipation before Christmas with tiny gifts or treats. 

When I was a kid, on the 6th of December (Saint Nicolas' name day) my parents used to give me a chocolate advent calendar with small chocolate pieces hidden under numbered sections for every day of December, up until the 24th. Since I loved sweets, I couldn't resist eating all 6 chocolates from those first days of the month at once, but then I would discipline myself, and for the following days I would only open and eat one piece a day, celebrating each precious bite. I still love this memory, so every December I keep sharing chocolate advent calendars with my parents and my husband.

Chocolate calendars are the easiest way for a Christmas warm-up. But if you're not happy with a ready-made box of chocolates, how about preparing your own little piece of Christmas art? Just look at the examples below for inspiration.

Woodland calendar with handmade paper creatures and scenery - if you use them to roleplay with your kid, they will last much longer than just advent time.

Triangle envelopes form a garland filled with advent gifts. Simple and stylish - just pick the colors that will best match the interior.

On the road to Christmas, you can visit little cardboard houses which hide tiny everyday treats. How creative! 
Source: Snug Online


Decorated pegs and brown paper parcels make for very simple and pretty calendars. Great for kids and adults alike.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bookworms like us

One of the cool things about being a parent is that you can (re)discover the beauty of children's books. It's the magic of simple stories that hide deep and beautiful metaphors, the strength of fine illustrations that invite your imagination to unleash and also the bond that grows stronger when you're reading together. 

But even to those who won't be tempted by the beauty of reading, books can be really pretty objects that please the eye and decorate the room. So let's see how it can be done, shall we?

How to encourage little bookworms to reach for books? How to simplify navigation between their favorites? And how to bring out the full decorative potential of covers? Forward-facing shelves will do the trick by presenting your little one's library like a gallery.

Another go at forward-facing shelves, here made from Ikea spice racks.

A box-meets-coffee-table kind of furniture will store many books and facilitate browsing (just like vinyls in an old record store).
Source: Dejligheder

DIY mobile book-box and book-wagon - just gather your favorite books and bring to the reading nook.

 Speaking of reading nooks, have a look at some cozy little places, perfect for reading and relaxation.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hug me! Plush love.

Recently I caught myself thinking that all toys need to be developmental, stimulate senses, movement, reflexes and what not, otherwise they're not worth having. Our boy does have 3 or 4 stuffed toys at home but I just never really thought they might be special to him (at least, not yet). But last weekend we went to a toy store and only there did I realize how exciting plush toys can be for a 10 month old kiddo. We drove his stroller into the teddy bear alley and his smile and happy squeals just wouldn't end, as he was trying to pat as many toys as he could possibly reach. 

That was beyond cute, obviously, but also eye-opening. Have I forgotten how I loved my one and only shaggy, old teddy bear? How strong my feelings were for that little scruffy fellow and how much we shared together? Well, I guess I must have, a bit. So when I got back home I decided to start looking for a really lovely plushie for my boy. Perhaps one day it might also become his best plush buddy.

Below are some of my findings (and they're not just for boys, as I couldn't resist sharing some beautiful dolls). They're all unique and manually crafted. 
Let me know which one you would choose - for a kid or just for you? Also, if you know other lovely plushies, do share a link.

Baltazar the flat by Leluko

L'Aggeggio by contemori

Angelo and Lisa chez Lempicka by Little Lisa Smile

Fur coat doll by the cat in the shoe and Ida doll by Sarah Strachan

Yellow Lemon Plush by Happy Plush Plush

Laurence the pocket polar bear by OhAlbatross

Egg Fella with Striped Trousers by The Black Apple

Oh my deer! by Vibys

Young Yeti by Entala

Polar Teddy and Pink SheBear by Bambaks

Sunday, November 4, 2012

More light for long autumn evenings

Since the last daylight saving time change, days have become way too short for me and it just keeps surprising me how early it's getting dark these days. Everyday strolls with my little one guarantee a regular dose of sunlight and fresh (chilly!) air, but as the evenings are getting longer, it calls for some extra sources of light.
Once your kid starts cruising around the house, placing candles and tealights around isn't such a good idea anymore. So what are the wiser lighting options? 

Below you can find some ideas to brighten your evenings and please your and your kid's eyes with soft, atmospheric light. Enjoy! :)

String light balls will decorate the room even when they're not lit, and in the evening they'll color nearby furniture and walls with warm magic light. 

 This Miffy lamp adds a giant load of cuteness to the room and some pretty, diffused light to play or nap to.
Source: Monjolishop

A tree hut lamp - if the forest theme is too much for you, try it on a simple wall. You'll like the soft and mysterious light it brings to the room. It's nice to imagine that up there, someone is watching over you when you sleep.

Egmont White Rabbit night lamp is a half-century old classic which matches really well simple modern design. It will bring warm, comforting light to the room and chase away any bad dreams.
Source: Bodie and Fou