From a Mama in the know to Mamas on the go!

Organic self tan from Green People via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This organic self tan by Green people is wonderful. I haven’t really experienced that pregnancy glow as of yet, and I feel that this is just the ticket, and thanks to the organic nature of the product, I don’t have to worry about chemicals or anything harmful.

I haven’t really experienced that pregnancy glow in this pregnancy, not yet anyway. A few friends seem to think I’m glowing, but I honestly think they are being more generous than truthful. I don’t know if it is because it’s summer and everyone seems to be getting that delightful sun kissed glow while I seem to be staying pale and pasty!

The thing is that whatever you put on your body is absorbed into the skin and then into the bloodstream which means that it makes it’s way to baby. So what you can actually use on your skin is pretty limited and unfortunately the majority of self tans are filled with chemicals that could be harmful to baby.

That’s when I found out about the fabulous organic self tan from Green People.

It is 89% certified organic and is absolutely divine! What I really loved about the product was that it was easy to apply, didn’t streak and smelt lovely. I didn’t have to boil myself (or baby) in the sun and I didn’t have to worry about being burnt (which is a common problem during pregnancy!)

The tanning comes from DHA which is derived from sugar so is totally natural, not only that this self tan doesn’t dry your skin but leads your skin feeling super soft without the chemical smell.

If you are looking for a self tan during pregnancy, or want a fantastic non streak version that smells wonderful and has no chemicals, then this is the one for you to get that summer glow!

You can treat yourself (or a loved one!) by visiting the wonderful Green People site here.

Harriet x

Larrana occasion fashion from Spain via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love this dress, it is designed to be perfect for those hot summer days and the special occasions like wedding etc that we get to enjoy throughout the summer season.

Larrana occasion fashion from Spain via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Another one of my favourites from the collection. For me its the detail that make Larrana a really beautiful brand for summer occasion wear.

I think this brand really seems to emphasise boho fashion for summer and is the perfect style for special occasions for toddlers or young children throughout the hotter months.

The clothes are designed to be traditional but with a contemporary twist and are definitely full of romantic vibes and spanish luxury!

Check out the range over at Larrana here.

Harriet x

Tangram from Mon Petit Art via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Tangram is an ancient chinese game, and it is perfect for take with you while you are travelling with kids!

Tangram from Mon Petit Art via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Travelling with kids can be tedious but with something like this you can enjoy making over 200 designs together, how can you get bored?!

I think there is a lot to be said for traditional games, or in some cases really ancient games that are totally stripped back, without any gizmos or gadgets.

Tangram, if you don’t because I bet you will have played it as a child, is a brilliant ancient game from China which involves seven pieces of card, cut into triangles, that can be used to make limitless shapes and patterns. Remember it now? I have fond memories of my Granddad cutting up bits of paper like this and showing me how to make a swan, or a girl etc. It was wonderful and so much fun for both of us.

In their usual style Mon Petit Art (one of my favourite brands for kids art supplies and design led toys) have taken the game and given it a beautiful modern design to freshen it up. The cards for this game are double sided and come in two colours, with a sheet of over 200 designs to make and follow.

This is a great game for taking travelling with you, on a plane, ferry or even a car with a tray on the child’s lap – it provides hours of entertainment and can’t ever really get boring!

Check it out at my favourite online toy store Toyella.

Harriet x

Baby bloomers from Bonnet à Pompon via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I have to apologise for the twitching ovaries that this picture causes… really could these been any more adorable if they tried? No I don’t think so either!

Baby bloomers from Bonnet à Pompon via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Spanish brand Bonnet à Pompon are super stylish and their clothes are made using the best fabrics.

Tis the season to be HOT! It’s finally summer and over here in the UK we are getting a heatwave *happy dance time*. It’s interspersed with rain showers, but we can let that go for now.

One thing that really seems to be flying off the shelves (other than sun cream) are the most beautiful little dresses for babies and toddlers… the problem is most dresses now don’t come with the adorable bloomers of old and they are so sweet now to mention practical. Let’s be honest, little girls are no different to little boys they play the same, roll around and their dresses ride up, so little bloomers are a great way to get them used to the concept of underwear – even at a young age – and to cover up the nappy!

These baby bloomers from Bonnet à Pompon are BEYOND adorable. They are the cutest thing to come along since those pictures of Orlando Bloom baby carrying (you know which ones I mean). Bonnet à Pompon are a wonderful Spanish brand who are renowned for their sleek and stylish clothes for kids that are sophisticated and cute!

You can find them over at the lovely Lace & Ribbons boutique, which I think is a haven for summer steals and super cute buys.

Harriet x

Holidays with babies : What you really need to take via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This is Toby at 6 months old fast asleep after a very exciting journey on a plane for the first time!

I have been giving some serious thought lately to what we really need to take on holiday when we are travelling with babies and kids. I think it’s mainly been playing on my mind because we are heading off on our main yearly holiday in a few weeks, but also because I have been getting quite a few emails from people asking me for tips and advice about what to take, how to cope on the plane, how to schedule naps etc (all really genuine and valid concerns that we have as parents, because let’s face it – we’ve spent all this money we want to feel de-stressed not more stressed and we want our kids to come away from the whole thing with a positive memory of travel and holidays).

So I decided that I would put together a new series to help people cope with travelling with children at various stages and what I recommend taking on holiday with you (for the plane but also for actual holiday too). Travelling with babies and kids really isn’t as bad as people make you think (we all have those parent friends who have never been further than wales but insist that travelling on a plane is a terror right?).

Holidays with babies: Infants and Babies up to a year:

This is probably the stage where you need to take the most, but it still isn’t as much as you think.

For the plane:

  • Nappies – best advice take more nappies that you expect to need on the plane. If you usually would take 4 nappies with you on a day trip, take 8. This guarantees that if you are stuck overnight somewhere or delayed and you have checked your luggage in your have enough. The problem is if you are flying through the night and the shops are closed there will be few places to replenish. Don’t go mad though!
  • Lansinoh nipple cream or vaseline – for little ones lips. Planes are drying places, and this can be really helpful – if you are breast feeding the chances are you will need to carry something like this in your bag anyway, so just apply it every couple of hours. This can also replace your usual nappy cream. No more than that but remember it needs to be under 100ml.
  • A beaker for water – You will always be given water on a plane but they don’t have bottles and beakers readily available not every flight, so the best thing to do is take your baby’s preferred pre-sterilised beaker and ask for it to be filled with water.
  • Pre-made bottles for bottle fed babies – If you are travelling with a bottle fed baby then you are allowed to take pre-made baby formula. While liquids are restricted this doesn’t include what you need for your infant on a plane journey so expressed breast milk, formula, cow’s milk and water in a bottle to make a feed are all exempt from the restrictions. I would honestly recommend the disposable pre-made bottles, that way you aren’t carrying lots of things in transfers etc you can just throw them away. If you want to make your own bottles the cabin crew are obliged to heat/warm a bottle for you, or provide you with boiled water, however this can be a little dangerous if you have baby on your knee. A little tip too: When you are taking off, feed baby.
  • Baby food – Again the restrictions placed on airlines taking food and liquids onto planes doesn’t apply here hooray! I took all of Toby’s baby food with us on holiday when he was 6 months old because I didn’t know what would be out there and didn’t want to risk it. I always, always recommend pouches over jars, even if you have to take two. They are lighter, they are less likely to leak and they are more readily disposed of.
  • A change of clothes for baby and you – make it something really simple, like a bodysuit and shorts for baby, or a sleep suit, but keep it simple. Again for you something that folds small and is easy to take on and off – maybe a maxi dress or slip dress. Don’t go crazy. This is just for emergencies in case baby is sick or spills something on you.
  • Muslin squares - At least two or three. They are amazing things really, the act as blankets, bibs, burp cloths, wipes… pretty much everything!
  • Wipes – I don’t need to explain that one do I?
  • Portable change mat – This really only applies if you tend to use a portable change mat when you change your baby out and about. If not don’t bother, but they are hardly big so I wouldn’t worry about taking one if you need to.
  • Simple toys or tech – see my post here for more advice on this one. Babies under 1 really don’t need much if anything.
  • A sleep bag – you know the gro bags that you can get pretty much anywhere? One of those is a fab idea when travelling with a baby. Planes can be cold so this will guarantee to keep them warm while affording a comfort of home.
  • Colic medicine – if you carry something like infacol then do make sure you have it to hand on the plane, especially if baby is due to feed.

For the holiday:

  • Nappies – yes, you do need to take nappies, not 1000′s but at least one of the larger packets. I can honestly say that when I took Toby on holiday for the first time at 6 months old I had had bad experiences with switching up his brand of nappies, so I didn’t want to take the risk of having to use several different brands. I filled the bottom of my suitcase with exactly 70 nappies. Yes, 70. That saw us through 6 nappy changes every day for the 10 day holiday, plus 2 days either side. Did I need them all? Nope. The first thing sold in the store opposite our complex was pampers nappies. They were however 25€ for a small pack so in a way I saved us a small fortune. Nappies are light and if you will feel less stressed pack them in your case – 6 per day is the rule, although you will use less because of swim nappies.
  • Swim nappies – again you can get them in pretty much every tourist place in the world, however they are costly! A few packs will see you through most of the holiday (young babies may need more).
  • Swimwear – I know for babies you quite frequently have the in just a nappy on holiday however it really does depend on where you are going to be sat and what you are doing. If you are by the pool in the sun you genuinely do need a rash vet or body suit. Sunuva are one of my favourite brands and start their sets from 6-12 months, however if you are looking for a younger child you can find from birth sets from most places including my favourite Splash about. These sets protect your baby from the UV rays of the sun and you can’t do without.
  • Sun hat – you cant get these in every corner of the world, but if you take one with you, you are well prepared.
  • Sunglasses – when we took Toby on holiday for the first time people laughed and thought it was hilarious that this baby had sunglasses on, however babies are just as likely (if not more likely) to get a headache or eye damage from exposure to the sun. For small babies I love Baby Banz, they strap around the back of baby’s head and cover the whole eye are to keep them well protected. Once Toby got used to having them on, he really wasn’t fussed at all!
  • Clothes – don’t go mad with clothes! Baby won’t be in them that often, usually preferring swimwear or just a nappy especially if you are going somewhere hot. Try taking 3-4 little outfits for each week you are away. Sleepwear is another one I get asked about all of the time. For young babies take a sleep suit and leave off the body suit depending on the temperature of the room, for older babies the same kind of PJ’s you would use at home during summer. 2-3 pairs is more than enough. Always take a cardigan for evenings, travelling and returning home.
  • A pushchair or baby carrier – I always take a pushchair with me, always. I also don’t check it in but use it as my extra free item (which most airlines give you) for travelling with baby. If you are a frequent user of baby carriers and slings you might prefer to take that instead, I really don’t see the need for taking both! You can also rent pushchairs from most resorts now, although you might not want to risk it if you want a specific style or if you are hygiene concerned.
  • Floats, pool toys and beach toys – Floats are something that people seem to get really panicked about – you don’t need to! If you want to take a baby seat then do so, though you can buy them at every resort I’ve ever known, so don’t panic if you can’t get it in the case, or if you forget. You do not need armbands if you have a baby seat. Pool and beach toys are great fun too, though again for an infant you can buy them at your resort.
  • Sun canopy – do you need one? No. Will a crawler stay under one when they are awake? No. However they are very useful if you want to sit in the sun and baby drops off and you want them to be shaded. If you have a baby that isn’t crawling then it may be useful but I would suggest putting it in the category of ‘Might take one but we don’t need it’.
  • A medi-kit – I have written a separate post about medi-kits and holidays because I am a bit obsessive about medi-kits. You can take a look at the post here. Essentially each child is different, but you need to make sure that you take whatever your baby needs or may need so that includes things like nappy cream, diyoralyte for infants, calpol/ibuprofen (3months+) teething gels or powders and any relevant medication your child has been prescribed by a doctor i.e asthma inhalers etc.
  • Baby food – If you have a young baby who is new to weaning you may not be confident that your hotel, complex or resort will have the kind of food they will eat. Most places do sell baby food, however if it would make you feel better there are so many ways to take your own food. Firstly, baby is classed as a passenger on a flight so gets their own luggage allowance, you can pack food pouches and cereals in a relatively small suitcase, or if you don’t want to go to the hassle of doing that you can use boots online service that will send out however much baby food you require to wherever you require in the world. When we went away I did think I was probably being a touch neurotic taking a suitcase of baby food (I had 108 pouches) however, when we go to the hotel there was no bananas to mash, no option of pureed food and no baby food on site. There was a shop opposite but again it was very expensive to get the standard brand we are used to in the UK and US. Go with your comfort level and trust your knowledge of your baby.

That’s it! Those are my top tips and are what we take on holiday when we travelled with Toby as a really small baby. If you have any tips you would like to share or experiences that you want to tell me about then please do, I’d love to hear from you!

Harriet x

Medi kits via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I have to confess to being a touch obsessive when it comes to my medi kit, especially for our holidays, but I like to be prepared for every single eventuality so I have a tendency to take half of the over the counter pharmacy with me! Here is what I take with me on holidays and trips away.

I am a little bit obsessive when it comes to medi kits, just a touch of course, but I do tend to pack a rather large one when I go on holiday and I even have a pretty darn decent one in the car! I can’t help it, I like to be prepared for every eventuality.

I do have to make 1 million percent sure though that every single one of you knows that I am not a doctor or health expert of any kind and I am just saying what I have in my medi kits, especially for holiday. Most things in my holiday packs are non-prescription meds and I have specifically left off the specific prescription meds I do take because it isn’t relevant to everyone. What I will say is that you must always read the labels and consult doctors before you or any member of your family take anything at all.

So now I’ve done the tedious disclaimer that you didn’t need here goes:

What I take in my Medi kit on holiday (and it’s also useful to have in the car or on big day trips/weekend trips):

  • Pain killers: Paracetamol, ibuprofen (for the grown ups)
  • Calpol or paracetamol suspension for children
  • Calprofen/Neurofen for children or other ibuprofen suspension for children
  • Teething gel/powder
  • Thermometer. We use a forehead scan thermometer or an ear thermometer (don’t forget the covers if you use the ear type!)
  • Dioralyte or other child friendly diarrhoea and dehydration aids
  • Imodium (for the grown ups)
  • Anti allergy tablets for adults and anti allergy suspension for the kids
  • Nappy cream (my favourites are metanium and bepanthen)
  • Insect repellant after sun
  • Insect bite sooth cream (nappy cream also works for this)
  • Inspect bite relief click it (these can be found in Boots, and they are great for those horrible itchy bites)
  • Antiseptic cream such as savlon
  • Constipation relief (for grown ups, I believe children have to be prescribed and I find that eating lots of fruit or cereals like weetabix and drinking water is a much better relief than medication for my boys)
  • Travel sickness sweets
  • Earplugs for the boys while swimming
  • Cold and cough medicine for adults and for kids
  • Cold relief vapour (I prefer Karvol or Olbas oil but something that provides a vapour – though remember this isn’t suitable for all ages)
  • Indigestion relief (this is so important while I’m pregnant! I prefer Gaviscon)
  • Plasters
  • Bandages with tape
  • Cotton wool
  • Bump soother pad
  • Any prescription medication (Toby has an inhaler so this kind of thing can’t be forgotten, even though he only needs it during bouts of severe chesty coughs)
  • Relief for UTI’s (which are commonly caught in pools) – again for the grown ups.
  • Tweezers for splinters
  • My EHIC cards – though these are only for european citizens and are proving to be less than useful on holiday in some areas they are still good to have with you.
  • A copy of my travel insurance. I know, neurotic. I keep a copy of travel insurance in my in flight hand luggage and one with my passports locked away too…

Enough to make the average pharmacist jealous right? I haven’t included sun cream as I don’t count it as part of my medi kit but as a totally separate and extremely important part to our holiday list. As I said before, this is just what we take but you may have other things that you use, or you may have had a problem with a certain type of product – for example, though I take ibuprofen based products for the boys, Toby has a much more sensitive stomach than Reuben and ibuprofen isn’t a great drug, it does cause stomach upset, so unless he had such an extreme temperature that he required dual use, I wouldn’t give him that he would have paracetamol. If you are ever unsure then you really should talk to your doctor about what to take, or the local nurses office where they offer vaccines.

I hope this helps you keep prepared for every eventuality, I have to say I have never really needed to use anything other than a bump pad and calpol for the boys, however just knowing that I am prepared makes me feel so much happier.

Harriet x

P.s – MASSIVELY IMPORTANT REMINDER: NEVER be afraid to call for the doctor. Ever. Doctors, no matter where you are are vitally important if you or your children are unwell. Yes you can deal with the majority of incidents yourself with medication that you use at home, but for anything more severe, do call for a doctor or visit the hospital

Chicken & apple burgers via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

These chicken burgers are absolutely divine and are the perfect healthy alternative to a traditional shop bought burger (plus they sneak some fruit into the kids!)

These are delicious!

I have been making them for a while and they always go down a total treat whether it is with the kiddos or the grown ups. Usually for the boys I make a little patty style burger (about the size of a golf ball flattened out) or sometimes I make these into meatballs for them, but the last time I made them Reuben asked to have a big boy burger like Daddy… He’s growing so fast!

These don’t take long to make at all, especially if you have pre-minced chicken and you make the mixture in the morning or the night before.

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large 0r 2 small apples, grated Granny Smith are best but if you don’t have them any apples are fine
  • 500g of chicken mince or two chicken breasts, minced in a food processor
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 chicken stock cube, crumbled up
  • 2 slices of bread, made into breadcrumbs (which you can do in a food processor or blender)
  • salt & pepper to season
  • plain flour for coating
  • oil for frying

Optional suggestions for making this a grown up burger:

  • Burger bun
  • cheese
  • jalepenos
  • mayonaise
  • ketchup
  • salsa
  • lettuce
  • tomato slices
  • gherkins
  • cucumber

First things first, take your finely chopped onions and fry them until they are translucent (usually about 2-3 minutes) then place them in a large bowl.

Add to that your parsley, basil, chicken mince, crumbled stock cube, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs.

Take the grated apple and squeeze out any excess liquid (if you do this into a jug you can use the excess liquid in a marinade for pork with a bit of sugar and cider. Yum.)

Add the apple to the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly (quick tip: kids love to do this, it’s messy and squelchy so let them have a go if you are brave enough!).

Place in the fridge for 30 minutes if you have the time, but if not just take handfuls of the mixture and make into burgers. If you are making balls you don’t want them to be any bigger than a golf ball and you can just roll them into the right shape.

Coat in the plain flour on either side of the burgers (or roll the balls in it).

Fry in the oil for roughly 8 minutes for the burgers or 5 minutes for the really small patty style burgers and mini balls. Each side should be gold brown when fried.

Check these are cooked through by slicing through the middle.

Serve by themselves or use any of the suggested options for making this into a more grown up burger. Reuben just has a bun with his, my husband has some lettuce, ketchup and tomato slices and I tend to have lettuce, cheese, jalepenos, mayonnaise and tomato slices. You can add anything to these burgers because they are so tasty and they make the perfect healthy BBQ alternative to the usual burger for summer, this is definitely something that we always have on the go at family BBQs!

Enjoy!

Harriet x

The best brownies ever via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I have to confess that because this is SUCH an amazing recipe I didn’t get chacne to take any pictures of the ones that Toby & I made. I’ve borrowed this image from wikipedia.

The best brownies ever via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Excuse the blurry picture, this boy won’t stay still! This was one of the first times it has just been Toby and myself baking (Reuben had just had his jabs and was sleeping peacefully on the sofa!) – he was fab and he loved being the centre of attention (obviously!) 

The best brownies ever via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Hmm fingers in the sugar… he also managed to eat a cube of butter before I could stop him… baking with kids has it’s challenges!

Brownies are something that everyone loves and everyone can make, but this is without a doubt our favourite brownie recipe. I made these brownies for the treats table at Toby’s Christening and we do make them at home on a regular basis (which my waistline can attest to!)

The other thing I love about this is that all of the ingredients are measured out by cups (the american way I believe) and this makes it really easy with no fuss at all – plus extra easy to do with the boys!

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups of dark chocoalte
  • 1 cup of dark, milk or white chocolate for the chunks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 3/4 cup of plain (all-purpose) flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 baking soda
  • As an optional extra I make these with Irish cream on occasion (obviously I keep them separate from the others!) and they are lovely – you can add any alcohol or favouring you like – no more than 5 tbsps though or you will knock off the consistency and remember if you are adding flavourings they are really strong and you probably only want a teaspoon or few drops.

Pre heat your oven to Gas mark 4, 325C.

Combine the flour, salt and baking soda.

In a saucepan mix the water, sugar and butter and allow to simmer on a low heat. Don’t over heat it as the sugar will be ruined. If you are doing this with kids I’m sure I don’t need to tell you to be super careful near the hot sugar solution because of the high temperatures of sugar (but I’m going to anyway, because I’m a mama!)

Once the sugar has dissolved add the 1 1/2 cups of dark chocolate, vanilla and other flavourings you have chosen to use.

Set aside to cool for a few minutes – or to speed that up you can fill your sink with a bit of cold water and sit your hot saucepan in the water while stirring the mixture, just be sure not to get any water in the pan!

Once the mixture is a bit cooler and smooth add one egg at a time and beat in.

Add to the flour mixture and mix to a runny batter. Add 1/2 of the cup of chocolate chips.

Add to a greased 8 x 8 inch tin, sprinkle on the rest of the chips and bake for 35 minutes.

Slice in the tin and remove bit by bit.

Devour at least two slices before the kids do!

Harriet x

P.s – This makes a great quick dessert on a busy weekday, just add some ice cream to a brownie that has been warmed in the oven.

Root Vue Farm via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This is perfect for mini gardeners everywhere – educational and super fun, not to mention it looks pretty nifty in the garden!

This is such a cool idea, and one that I really think should be implemented in every school or home garden. Kids love to plant and grow veg, flowers… pretty much anything they can get their little mittens on.

The problem is, while the kids LOVE planting those carrots, it’s a long time (for them) between planting and seeing an end result, and they really have to take your word for it about what is going on. With Root Vue Farm that problem is solved because they can watch the seeds they have planted grow into vegetables or plants through the glass panel. So much fun!

Here is what the kit comes with:

  • Root Vue Unit High impact styrene light shield to keep plants growing at the window
  • Bio Power Grow Mix Tablets
  • Plant Identification Labels
  • Carrot, Radish and Onion Seeds
  • “Root Race”Markers and
  • Growing Chart 2-sided Poster with “If Plants Could Talk”on one side and Tested Experiments and Instructions on the other.

So you are all set up and don’t even need to worry about buying the seeds! I think that next year I will definitely be getting one of these along with some extra fun seeds from In the Koop (which you can read about here) so my mini gardeners can garden and cook veg to their hearts content!

You can get hold of one of these awesome planters here.

Harriet x

Moby Bath Kneeler from Skip*Hop via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love the idea behind this product, no more sore or wet knees at bath time!

I do love a bit of Skip*Hop, they are such a wonderful brand, and what I love even more is that we are now seeing them cropping up left, right and centre in high street retailers and the such so everyone can enjoy some of their magic.

One of their current range products that I think is ingenious is the Moby Bath Kneeler. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter how delightful your bath mat is or how quickly you wash the kids in the bath, you always end up with either wet knees from kneeling on the wet patch, or sore knees from kneeling too long. It’s no fun.

That won’t happen with a moby bath kneeler though. Firstly it is made from wetsuit material so you won’t have to keep washing it and you won’t end up with wet knees if your child has stood on it or splashed, secondly it is ultra padded and cushioned for keeping those knees comfy. Perfect.

Like I said, I love a bit of Skip*Hop! You can visit their site and see why I love them so much here.

Harriet x

Speedo swim caps via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I always hated wearing swim caps as a child, however sometimes they are a necessity and they do help to protect your child against chlorine, sun and potential ear infections.

Speedo swim caps via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

How cool is the shark? And totally PVC/latex free – the perfect swim caps for kids.

Speedo have clearly been rethinking those awesome swim caps that we used to get as kids… do you remember? Your options were solid colours or some kind of mix that looked like the plastic has stretched and strained.

These are nothing like that. These your kids will actually want to wear!

If you do a lot of swimming as a family, or you are going on holiday you may want a swim cap, they are perfect for keeping hair dry and more importantly if you are worried about an ear infection they keep those ear plugs in place and the sun/cholorine off your child’s head and hair.

There is no PVC or latex in these swim caps so they are safe for your kids, and come in a variety of fun and funky styles and patterns.

Check them out here at Speedo or over at my personal favourite Alex & Alexa and get ready for summer swimming!

Harriet x

Lomography Bauhaus baby fisheye camera for kids via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Why not encourage your kids to indulge in their passion for photograph this summer with a Lomography camera… there won’t be a selfie in sight!

I think this is a fab idea!

A friend of mine who is a passionate photographer, had her first camera at the age of around 9 and has grown in enthusiasm to everything from Lomography to underwater photography and I honestly think that it is because her parents saw her passion for the art form and encouraged it! She would take pictures of everything, from her friends (which we hated) to her animals and so on and so forth. Constantly. As she got older she saved up for all sorts of camera lenses and camera equipment. Now she is a professional photographer!

My point with this story is that children can do a lot more than we think, and when introduced to a variety of different things they grow and grow… so for the budding photographer this is a great product to explore a different style of photography that they maybe can’t do using their current camera.

Lomography Bauhaus baby fisheye camera for kids via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The fact that the camera is so small makes it perfect for a child of about 12 years old to carry.

Lomography Bauhaus baby fisheye camera for kids via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This shows ho the pictures will come out, pretty funky and totally unique. Great for older kids to explore their creative side!

Lomography is a traditon style of photography (so analogue instead of the modern digital) and is something that can be so enjoyable and educational for kids… just think where were we all those years ago when there was no instant snap shot… not a selfie in sight! What makes this camera for kids even more special is the fisheye lens which means that the pictures look super cool!

The fact that it is bright and small means that it is perfect for taking on holiday and carrying around on various trips out. While the little kids are enjoying the traditional beach play, your older kids can be taking snapshots to remember the time!

You can get one of these awesome cameras for your summer fun (or even a holiday) at Alex&Alexa here.

Harriet x

Keyboard decals from Kidecal via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love love love this pattern (that’s a lot of love too) it is fun, vintage inspired and the best thing is, if you have had enough it is easy to remove. Fab!

Keyboard decals from Kidecal via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

All of the decals come on a flat sheet, easy to peel off and stick on.

Keyboard decals from Kidecal via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Just a bit of fun for summer, and why not!?

If you are like me, you will spend a lot of time on the laptop. It can get pretty tedious at times typing away on all those boring keys right? Well I have found these fab keyboard decals from Kidecals and I can’t get enough of them! How cool! You can totally redesign your laptop and have a really funky look, just from these decals which cover your keypad. Make typing a little bit more fun in your house this summer and show your keypad a bit of love!

Find Kidecal here.

Harriet x

Amber teething jewellery via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

What I love about Amber baby amber teething jewellery is that you can choose from a variety of styles and patterns and the amber is 100% guaranteed pure baltic amber.

Amber teething jewellery via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Bracelets and anklets are also really popular to help reduce the swelling associated with teething.

Amber teething jewellery via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Succinic acid is the active ingredient inside amber which helps to alleviate the pain of swelling and inflammation.

I have to admit I never used amber necklaces for my boys when they were little and teething, however I’ve known so many who have and amber is such a beautiful, natural product.

Initially I thought it a bit strange that people were using amber necklaces and bracelets for kids, what purpose did they have? So I did a little bit of research and I think I may give it a go if baby number 3 struggles with teething.

So how does it work? Well, amber isn’t actually worn to minimise the pain in the teeth, but rather the swelling and inflammation in the body during times of teething. Essentially the heat from the baby/child’s body activates the active ingredient in baltic amber known as succinic acid, which has been scientifically prevent to have a positive effect on the body… surely if this works it’s better than dosing up on ibuprofen to minimise the inflammation, as that can cause all manner of problems (which I have been unlucky enough to discover with Toby who gets terrible tummy ache with ibuprofen!).

I have found so many retailers of amber teething jewellery for babies and toddlers, but I absolutely love these piece from Amber Baby, which you can find on Etsy. Each piece is fitted with a clasp that opens when there is undue tension and the beads are all individually knotted for extra safety.

Have you ever used amber teething jewellery? How have you found them?

Harriet x

Roxy Marj Design via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The ‘bear blanket’ is so beautiful, such a sweet bear that children will love but with a timeless style that will go in any bedroom for any age.

Roxy Marj Design via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Fun and funky, easy to wash too!

Roxy Marj Design via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I also love the quirky scatter pillows, how cute is this?

I have fallen in love with these super stylish blankets & pillows from Roxy Marj Design, they are so simplistic, but really cool and great fun for kids.

I especially love the fact that the majority of her work is black and white, because let’s face it, kids change so quickly and as they grow we have a tendency to change their rooms and re-design them, what could be more neutral than a simple black and white style?

You can check out the range over on the Roxy Marj Etsy page here.

Harriet x

How to make your own lava lamp via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Do you remember lava lamps? I do! They were so much fun and this is a super easy experiment that you can do with your kids that teaches them all about the science behind the awesome colours etc.

This looks incredibly cool and the boys LOVED it, what’s more I loved it because it was so simple and all of the ingredients were things that I had in my home, so no ordering online or or trips to the shop.

Here is what you need:

  • Water
  • A clear plastic bottle or glass jar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food coloring
  • Alka-Seltzer (or other tablets that fizz)
How to make your own lava lamp via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love crafts like this with such simple household ingredients.

How to make your own lava lamp via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Pouring is a great life skills for toddlers to learn and is fun for them too!

Pour water into the plastic bottle or glass jar until it is around one quarter full. Pouring water is a great practical life skill for toddlers to learn (it sounds silly I know but it is a great idea to encourage them to do it themselves).

How to make your own lava lamp via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The oil will automatically separate from the water, which makes it look really cool and Reuben was fascinated.

Pour in vegetable oil until the bottle is nearly full – again let the kids to this. I used a funnel for this because I didn’t want oil all over the counter.

How to make your own lava lamp via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Pouring from a normal jug makes more sense than trying to pour from the bottle, it’s too heavy for little ones and often ends in a huge mess!

Let the oil and water separate and talk to your kids about how and why this happens – it’s a great chance to explain science to young kids, though Reuben did just look at me like a headless chicken! So if you don’t know here is what is happening:

The oil and water separate from each other, with oil on top because it has a lower density than water. The food coloring falls through the oil and mixes with the water at the bottom then piece of Alka-Seltzer tablet releases small bubbles of carbon dioxide gas that rise to the top and take some of the colored water along for the ride. The gas escapes when it reaches the top and the colored water falls back down. The reason Alka-Seltzer fizzes in such a way is because it contains citric acid and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), the two react with water to form sodium citrate and carbon dioxide gas. – Explained from the fantastic http://scienceforkids.co.nz.

Pour in vegetable oil until the bottle is nearly full - again let the kids to this. I used a funnel for this because I didn't want oil all over the counter.

Though Reuben chose yellow it showed up reasonably well when in blobs, I wouldn’t recommend it as it didn’t really make a difference to the bubbles at the final stage. Blue (like in the first picture) works great, as does red.

Add around 10 ml food coloring to the bottle (choose any color you like though Roo chose yellow and it didn’t show up as well because of the oil!)

Watch as the food coloring falls through the oil and mixes with the water.

How to make your own lava lamp via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

By this point Toby had joined us so we all got to have a chat about how dangerous certain things were to put near our mouths. Its another angle of learning, which I love.

Cut an Alka-Seltzer tablet into smaller pieces (around 5 or 6) and drop one of them into the bottle, things should start getting a little crazy, just like a real lava lamp! I let Roo drop the tablet in, although we had a little chat about how dangerous they were.

How to make your own lava lamp via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Look at those bubbles!

When the bubbling stops, add another piece of Alka-Seltzer and enjoy the show!

This is one of the best science experiments for kids and so much fun – the best part is if you decide you want to make the lava lamp go again at a later date you just need to add more tablet.

Enjoy!

Harriet x

How to entertain the kids on a plane via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This picture is from our first holiday as a family of 4, Toby was only 6 months – look at that face!

For years I have worked within the baby and children’s product industry, advising parents on various topics and the such, and one of the things I would hear every single time a customer needed help with their holiday purchases would be ‘Oh god what do I do on the plane?’.

Plane journeys are not that scary when it comes to having your toddlers or even young children with you. There are so many things on a plane that can entertain a child, and so many things you can do. We’ve been away a few times now with the boys, right from when they were only a few months old up to now that they are both toddlers, so I have put together a few suggestions for how to entertain the kids on a plane.

  • Take something that usually entertains them at home – for instance an iPad, books, colouring books etc. If they will sit and enjoy it at home, they will on the plane.
  • Sticker books are great for any age, after all, although I wouldn’t take colouring books for toddlers unless you know they will stick to the book. Too often have I heard a mama shout on the plane ‘No don’t draw on that!!’ be safe and go for sticker books if you aren’t sure… the stickers will peel off the back of the seat.
  • For older kids 3+ take some small toys, like schleich animals or mini toy cars, and wrap them in gift wrap for the kids to unwrap at intervals on the journey (this is especially fun if you have a long plane journey).
  • Utilise the info packs and things that are in the back of the seats on the plane. Kids love to investigate new things, they love to take in new information, be it pictures or words for older kids. Try something like a find it game, or I spy.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
  • Don’t take everything with you on the plane in order to entertain the kids. Have you ever been stuck in a shop between 3 or 4 pairs of shoes? Too much choice is a killer. It’s the same principle on a plane for kids, too much choice is overwhelming and they will have everything out at once.
  • Watch the movies if you have older kids. Make sure you take ear phones for them, it will save you having to buy them on the plane.
  • Take a blanket, or if you are on long haul flights these are given out, because your kids will probably fall asleep, especially if they are under 4. Both my boys always sleep for about an hour on the plane – it’s great (though they are never synchronised!) a little blanket (or even your big cardigan) can go a long way.

That’s it really! Did you know that if you have any queries you can always email me them and I will do my best to help sort you out. My email is harriet@tobyandroo.com – I would love to hear from you if you have any extra tips on travelling or if you need help/advice. You can always get some great help from other Mamas via my Facebook page here.

Harriet x

Mango & Apricot chicken via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This recipe is so quick and super tasty – the kids love it, the husband loves it. Win, win I say!

This chicken is a life saver! Not only do the kids love it ( it is one of those perfect recipes for toddlers ), but with a pack of microwave rice (oh get over it) it is done in a matter of minutes! I have to confess, if I have had a really bad night with Toby, which happens more than I care to admit, then I break this out for a quick dinner for everyone and there are never any complaints!

What you need:

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 tsp honey (or if you are making this for an under 2 you can use a touch of maple syrup or sugar)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 1 tsbp apricot jam
  • 1tbsp mango chutney
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Put the sliced chicken in the honey and set aside. I usually leave this for a time while I go off and do other bits and bobs, but if you are in a jam and just need something quick there is no need to marinade. Heat the oil and fry the chicken until browned (usually 5 minutes depending on how thick you slice the chicken).

Bang all of the sauce ingredients into a pan with 2 tablespoons of water, bring to the boil, add the chicken and simmer for 2 minutes while you cook the rice in the microwave.

Done. You’re totally welcome in advance.

Harriet x

Skip-Hop Dunck stacking ducks for bath time fun with toddlers via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I can just see Toby enjoying these bath ducks just as much as this little one – so much fun!

Skip-Hop Dunck stacking ducks for bath time fun with toddlers via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

If this was our bath time Reuben would be pouring it on Toby’s head! Fun stylish alternative to a jug.

Skip-Hop Dunck stacking ducks for bath time fun with toddlers via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love the fact that these awesome toys stack – toby would have so much fun!

I see these and I just can’t help but imagine the joy and excitement that they would bring to the boys!

For our bath time toys we have a lot of figures from our favourite movies, a wonderful submarine from Plan Toys (that you can read about here) and our lovely Mini Lotta bath time doll who can actually get into the bath and is still a lovely soft toy (you can read about her here), but we also use a jug to wash hair and I find that becomes a favourite toy for most bath times!

I think that these are so much fun, not only can Toby stack them (one of his very favourite things to do!) but the pair of them can enjoy pouring water to their hearts content and let them float like little boats! Not to mention that they look pretty stylish sat on the side in the bathroom!

You can get this and other awesome bath toys for toddlers from Alex & Alexa here.

Harriet x

Wines of Westeros via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Just so awesome, maybe it’s that I’m missing the wines, or maybe it’s the fact that I’m missing Game of Thrones, but I love these wines!

Ok, I know this isn’t the kind of thing you would put in a sippy cup, and I don’t usually write about things for mama that aren’t children related BUT I couldn’t resist. This has to be shared. Everywhere.

I don’t know if it is the fact that I am beginning to miss having the option to curl up on the sofa with a glass of wine (which I hardly ever do, honest) or if it’s the fact that I am pinning for Game of Thrones to come back to my screen like a lovesick teenager without snapchat. I love that show, almost as much as I loved the books.

So earlier this week when I saw this amazing Wines of Westeros set on Cool Mom Picks, I couldn’t, simply couldn’t, resist telling you all about it!

The wines have been developed by Common Ventures as part of a fan project in Australia – so not only is the wine fun but it appears to be pretty decent wine too! I love the design on the bottles (fan girl explosion impending) it is just so cool and totally stylish… or as stylish as you can be if you are holding a bottle of wine styled on your favourite TV show!

This is there opening on the website:

“A mind needs wine as a sword needs a whetstone. Whether it’s a bottle from beyond the wall or a case from the cellars of the Iron Bank, keep your mind fit for the death of summer with the lion’s share of vino. Have a wench fetch a goblet, reject all wedding invitations and settle down for a long, harsh winter.

12 houses. 12 temptations. Where does your loyalty lie?”

Personally, my loyalty will lie somewhere near the bottom of the glass (bottle) and I’m quite happy to make like a Sellsword and switch my allegiance depending on my favourite flavour that evening.

The Stark, Greyjoy, Arryn houses and The Wildlings are all represented by beautiful Sauvignon Blancs (which my husband, who is a bit of a wine snob assures me will be delicious) while the Tyrell house is represented by a Chardonnay. As you would expect the Lannisters and Baratheons are holding it down for the red team with Pinot Noirs (you couldn’t see Cersei sipping a white could you?). The Dorathkis drown their war woes in Merlot while the Martell’s sip on Cab Sav. Finally for the grand houses, we see the Targaryen’s represented by Shiraz.

There is also a drink for the white walkers, which is a Sauvignon Blanc (white because, well duh) and is ‘best served chilled like those who came before it’ to quote the site.

That is the other thing I love about the site – each wine has a relevant and amusing little quote to go alongside the bottle which makes pre ordering oh so much fun! I think I spent forever boring my husband  (while he tried to watch the world cup final of course) by making him listen to every caption!

If you feel that a house has been unjustly ignored ( you can’t really blame them for not including the Frey’s, they are totally out of vogue since the red wedding) or you want to included the dragons or dire wolves, you can ‘send a raven’ to the team.

If you want to pre order some of this awesome wine (think about that Game of Thrones fan in the family for Christmas!) then you can do so on the Wines of Westeros site here.

Harriet x

P.s – I promise not to go nuclear fan girl on you again in the next week or two… blame the hormones!