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

LaNoire's Vegan Kitchen :: Vegan tortilla soup via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Vegan food is often thought of as bland or boring but this is packed full of flavour, plus its a great way to give the family a nutritional boost.

This is just so delicious, the perfect pick me up after a long day – plus it’s full of chunky vegetables, lentils and packed full of flavour, which makes it ideal for serving as a family meal.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 ear fresh corn
2 spring onion, chopped
3 tbsp ground cumin
2 tins chopped tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
1.5 cups cooked green lentils
salt & pepper & crushed red chili pepper, to taste
Fresh lime juice, to garnish on top
Chopped avocado, for garnish
Tortilla Chips

1. In a large pot over medium to low heat, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Preheat oven on medium broil setting.
2. Meanwhile, chop the peppers, celery, spring onion, and remove corn from cob. Add the veggies into the pot and sauté for another 5-10 minutes.
3. Add in the chopped tomatoes, cumin, and broth. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Simmer on low-medium heat for 25-30 minutes. Stir in drained and rinsed beans just before serving.
4. After the soup simmers, ladle into bowls, and top with chopped avocado, fresh lime juice, and tortilla chips. Serve immediately. Keeps in fridge for up to 5 days or can be frozen for 1 month.

Enjoy!

LaNoire x

Wall, window and door decals from Made of Sundays via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

A charming little dragon for a charming little room.

Wall, window and door decals from Made of Sundays via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Even cupboards need a little TLC from time to time.

Wall, window and door decals from Made of Sundays via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

it’s not just about wall decals anymore, these are perfect for the windows and the doors of your house.

Wall, window and door decals from Made of Sundays via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This has to be my favourite. It just has to be. So sweet, perfectly fun and adorable.

I’m quite lucky that we don’t have a closet in the boy’s room – we used to in their old room, but that was before they knew about monsters and before they started having nightmares. Now, nightmares are a frequent occurrence, and sometimes Reuben mentions monsters though usually it is about a little friend at school taking his favourite toy!

These door, window and wall decals from Made of Sundays are just the ticket to help soothe little ones and (possibly) encourage a good night’s sleep. I really do love how the little friendly faces make the doors turn from something that little ones might see as forbidding or scary, into something super fun and worth a giggling fit.

Bring a bit of happy to your doors, windows and walls with Made of Sundays super stylish wall decals.

Harriet x

i love gorgeous, perfect outfits for beautiful little girls (and babies) via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I just love this outfit selection – and the best thing is that i love gorgeous provides you with coordinated accessories for each item you choose. Is there a better way to shop clothes for girls? I just wish they did an i love handsome shop for my boys!

I find myself writing this post because, quite frankly, I neeeeed someone to be as excited as I am about this. I just do. I’ve tried to get my husband to squeal over this darling range of summery clothing from super girlie, gloriously pretty brand i love gorgeous, and he just isn’t doing it. He is failing miserably to indulge my enthusiasm – so the buck falls to you my beloved readers.

I LOVE i love gorgeous, I have admired the range from afar for a time (in fact I wrote about them ages ago here), but now that I have a daughter, I can’t help myself but coo and ahh over their styles on a pretty constant basis. It’s becoming a touch tragic to tell you the truth.

i love gorgeous, perfect outfits for beautiful little girls (and babies) via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This playsuit is my absolute favourite from the piece for babies from the new collection. I love it!

My favourite outfits at the moment have to be this darling playsuit (which I think Edith needs for her holiday this year) and this super sweet Primrose dress (which is also a necessity, obviously).

The range doesn’t stop at adorable, boutique clothes for girls but has a full compliment of accessories too, little pretty hair bows, head bands and shoes. Everything to complete the perfect outfit.

Harriet x

Leave my middle child alone via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

My middle son, Toby.

I keep coming across articles online about middle children that are really starting to piss me off. Big time. It’s just pandering to the stereotype of a middle child – the one thats always left out, the one that never gets new things, the one that feels unloved and undervalued.

What a load of crap.

I have three children and quite often before people would even congratulate me on our third pregnancy they would chuck Toby (the middle child in case you didn’t catch that) a sympathetic glance and say, ‘ Ohh your going to be left out’ or ‘Poor Toby, he’s always going to be the one stuck in the middle’ or my personal favourite, ‘No, you can’t have three children – think of the impact it will have on Toby – he’s going to really struggle.’

Firstly, at this point it was already a given that I was going to have three children – and there wasn’t anything that could be done about it, pregnancies don’t usually come with the backsy option. Secondly, at what point did this little growing bud suddenly mean I was going to loose my ability to parent and my capacity for loving my children was going to wain?

I am sick of the assumption that an odd number of children means an odd one out. It doesn’t. It means that your children will learn to take turns, learn to co-operate with others and, heaven forbid, learn to be considerate. At group activities or at school, children are expected to ‘get along’ with everyone, ‘play nicely together’ and adapt to their social surroundings. For some reason as a society we feel that this is perfectly normal and doable in this setting, but suggest an odd number in a home setting and, well, chaos will ensue.

I think what frustrates me even more about the whole ‘middle child’ thing is that it questions me as a parent. Why should I not be able to pay attention to all of my children in different ways. Take this scenario for example: Edith needs a feed so is on my lap having a feed, mean while, Reuben is sat with me completing that day’s homework (a reading book). This is crunch time – this is when it is MY job as a parent to step up and make sure that Toby isn’t feeling pushed out or abandoned… that is, if he notices that this is happening at all, because as a happy and content little boy, he’s usually too busy playing with his cows or pups to care what his siblings are doing. That being said, if he comes over to join in with Roo’s homework, guess what? We let him. I open my arm to him and welcome him into our little group, I ask him to watch, not touch and we read the words as a family.

Another thing that always surprised me is the materialistic attitude towards an odd number of children. I hear constantly how Toby will always be given Reuben’s cast offs, but as our third is a girl she won’t and that will make him resentful. Are you kidding me? He’s going to resent me for hand-me-downs? Well, forgive me for pointing this out, but what a materialistic jerk that would make him if, in years to come, he resents me for hand me downs! I would never see any child in threadbare trousers or tops, but I can tell you for a fact Reuben wore second hand clothes, Edith has second hand clothes and so do I! I plan to teach my children that clothes do not make you loved or unloved, material objects are not a show of love or affection, what really counts in life are actions.

Family doesn’t have to come in a neat, pre-packed box of only even numbers, and if it doesn’t that doesn’t mean that there is something fundamentally flawed with it. It’s like saying to someone they are being unkind to a single child – illogical and blatantly rude.

He will grow up to know that his parents adore him just as much as they do his siblings and he will flourish and grow daily.

Harriet x

A new splashy style of Memory Book from Water Babies via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I am so delighted with our Water Babies book. It means that I can keep a record of Edith’s swimming progression and it gives her something to look back on when she is older.

A new splashy style of Memory Book from Water Babies via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The books have a place for your child’s pictures and details so it’s personal to them.

A new splashy style of Memory Book from Water Babies via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

We’ve already started sticking stickers in our Water Babies journal – Edith has completed chapter 1 and is now on to chapter 2!

As you will know if you follow my blog on a regular basis, I am a Water Babies mama and an advocate for them. All of my children have been swimming since they were teeny tiny bambinos and I can’t imagine their journeys from babyhood to toddlerdom without the swimming.

You know I am a big fan of baby memory books, as a mother of three I have a lot of magic to remember and the irony is, I am less likely to remember any of it because I am a mother of three children! So when we were given these brilliant memory books from Water Babies at the beginning of Edith’s class last week, I was over the moon!

Each book is filled with info about what you little one is learning at that stage and super fun stickers to stick in with your child as they grow to celebrate their achievements – first under water swim, first dive etc. There are also lots of slots to put your own pictures in – I have some snaps of Edith in the pool that I can’t wait to get in there. With the books comes a badge at the end of each ‘cycle’ – just like we used to get when I was swimming at school!

A new splashy style of Memory Book from Water Babies via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

All of the stickers are in the centre of the book so easily accessed for sticking in with your toddler once they are old enough.

A new splashy style of Memory Book from Water Babies via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love that there is room at the back for extra pictures or cut outs. So cool. Plus each chapter has a memory box so you can jot down memories you’ve made in the pool.

The books have been included now that Water Babies are working hand I hand with ASA which is the swimming association who controls all of the badges, levels and competitive swimming lessons. It makes the whole thing feel really official (which it always has been – but somehow having a certificate and badges makes a huge difference!)

I’ve requested a book for both of the boys to back fill – the great thing is that the books track the whole swimming journey, right up to Reuben’s age. I can’t wait to share this journey with the kids when they are older, just like I love sharing it with you now.

Harriet x

Personalised ribbon via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Such pretty packaging from The Radiant Ribbon Co too – it all adds to the excitement!

At the moment I’m organising Edith’s christening which we are hosting in July, and already i have a good plan of what I want to do and how I want the decor to look. I’ve started ordering a few bits and bobs, nothing costly, but simple things that will be really effective when it all comes together. Simple things like this personalised ribbon from The Radiant Ribbon Co.

The ribbon is just so pretty and it makes a nice little keepsake to add to her baby book for her to see when she is a young woman. I wanted to share this with you because if you are planning any kind of event – a birthday, a christening, a wedding etc personalised ribbon doesn’t cost hardly anything but it can be really effective.

My plan for this ribbon is to tie it around the top of kilner jars that will be filled with sweets on a little sweetie table for the children and adults to indulge in after the buffet. I’m not going to bother doing desserts as there will be so much food, drink and cake – it seems pointless. This ribbon will just tie everything together and make it look extra pretty for Edie’s special day.

Harriet x

Gummie slip on shoes that won't rub your child's feet via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

brilliant gummie slip ons from Australian designer Chikipikas. The shoes are designed using the same rubber material as crocs but with a similar shape to an espadrille shoe – so no more nasty blisters thanks to straps or clasps!

Gummie slip on shoes that won't rub your child's feet via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love that these slip on shoes is that they have been designed to be unisex, making them just as much fun for boys as well as girls!

Gummie slip on shoes that won't rub your child's feet via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Perfect for beach trips or that all important potty training time. The must have shoes for summer!

I don’t know about you but in this house, when it comes to shopping for summer shoes to wear at the beach, we really struggle. Both the boys have wide set feet, Reuben especially, so almost every sandal that is made of plastic or jelly material rubs his feet.

It’s just the shape of a jelly sandal or a pair of crocs that seems to rub right in the wrong place, but they are so perfect for beach trips or that all important potty training time.

I’ve come across these brilliant gummie slip ons from Australian designer Chikipikas. The shoes are designed using the same rubber material as crocs but with a similar shape to an espadrille shoe – so no more nasty blisters thanks to straps or clasps!

The other thing I love about these slip on shoes is that they have been designed to be unisex, making them just as much fun for boys as well as girls!

Harriet x

Cool, contemporary fashion from SwearHouse via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The company is formed of two extremely talented people from The Netherlands, Alice and Bart.

Cool, contemporary fashion from SwearHouse via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love this rain drop bodysuit, it is beautiful and so contemporary.

Very rarely does a brand come along that suits me, not only in style, but in name too. Though I don’t often swear on the blog, anyone who knows me will know that I have a total potty mouth, so when I saw that there was an awesome clothing brand called SwearHouse, well, I had to share it with you all!

Cool, contemporary fashion from SwearHouse via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Fun and funky fashion made for your children by graphic designers.

Cool, contemporary fashion from SwearHouse via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Alice and Bert were so frustrated when they couldn’t find clothes they like for their first child, so they did what any awesome, talented artist/design couple would do – they made their own clothing range.

Apart from loving the name of the brand, I can’t get enough of their designs. The company is formed of two extremely talented people from The Netherlands, Alice and Bart. They were so frustrated when they couldn’t find clothes they like for their first child, so they did what any awesome, talented artist/design couple would do – they made their own clothing range. It started off as just for them and friends, but it grew and grew and now they are on Toby&Roo (yes, the rhyme was intentional – sorry not sorry!).

Their products are made using almost all Eco-friendly paints/dyes and fabrics, which is always a big plus for me. I just love a design that is simply and artistic. Clothing should be the art we cover our bodies with, and I feel that with SwearHouse, it is.

Harriet x

Adorable handmade, lambswool toys & accessories from Sara Carr via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Bob the bear.

Adorable handmade, lambswool toys & accessories from Sara Carr via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Walter the wolf

Adorable handmade, lambswool toys & accessories from Sara Carr via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Cecil the crocodile scarf has to be one of my favourite piece by Sara Carr. It’s so sweet and almost makes me look forward to the crisp Autumn weather… almost!

I do love lambswool, it’s such a wonderful natural fibre. There is something really ideal about a cuddly toy for a child (especially one under 2 years old) that is made from lambswool – not only is it hypoallergenic but it is perfect for providing warmth during the cold months, and breathable during the warmer summer months. Nothing smells worse than a sweaty teddy, and hell hath no fury like a toddler whose favourite teddy is in the wash.

That is just one of the reasons I love these bespoke, handmade toys from Sara Carr. Her toys are just really sweet, made out of pure lambswool and then stuffed to bring them to life. Each piece is handmade to order and embroidered by the designer. So sweet.

I also love Sara’s adorable lambswool scarves, they are just so cool. The crocodile scarf is my favourite, and I am almost (ALMOST) looking forward to the start of Autumn when they boys will need one.

Harriet x

Must have snacks for your nappy bag via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This is a really old picture of Reuben eating one of his first meals. I just love this stage and looking back makes me feel all warm and fuzzy!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about weaning as it isn’t going to be long before I get to do it with Edith and it is by far one of my favourite baby stages! I just live weaning, seeing their little faces as I feed them something new, a new flavour or texture savoured for the first time. Maybe it’s my own deep seated appreciation for food (my mum is actually a cordon bleu chef).

Anyhow, I digress. Weaning thoughts ping ponging around my head have made me keenly aware of what is in my baby/nappy bag for Toby and Reuben to snack on. I’m not talking about over the weekend when you have a full day out and you pack enough food to deal with a UN food crisis, no, I mean nibbles for those frustrating moments your child announces I’m hungry – right between the school run and swim class or during a quick errand run to the post office (these are the times that Reuben and Toby usually decide to announce their hunger – preferably when there are tonnes of people to hear their woeful pleas and scowl at me because I haven’t provided for my clearly famished kiddos). I thought I’d put together a little list of must have snacks I like to keep in my baby/toddler bag as nibbles for the boys, and soon enough Edie will be tucking into them too. I never leave the house without at least one of these in my bag.

1.) Fruit roll ups of some variety.

These are perfect for kids, especially little ones with sweet teeth (hello Toby). There are hundreds of companies that make them, but our favourites are made by Bear, the boys love the fun designed packets and the little paw shaped fruit slices. If you don’t want to buy fruit roll ups (though I have to say I recommend it purely for the pre-packaged convenience) then you can easily make them, with just pure fruit baked over a long period of time. Try Pinterest for some inspiration.

2.) Bananas and other fruit

I often think this is better for when you know the kids will want something. Many a time have I forgotten to take a banana out of my bag because I’d packed one anticipating a request and there wasn’t one. I usually say these are a must in the bag for after school, longer day trips to run several errands or if someone refused to eat breakfast (ahem, this one is for you again Toby). Raisins are really the only exception to this rule, you can get some perfect little pots too.

Bananas are a really good one to take when you have a newly weaning baby as they are mash-able. Just carry a fork and spoon in your bag with a little empty pot and you can mash it up at any point. Or if you break it into small pieces for baby to hold and suck/gnaw on then that works too.

3.) Breakfast biscuits.

These are officially a parent-snack-pack must have in my eyes. The boys love them, they think they are on to a winner because they are getting a biscuit and it’s not even lunch time and I am delighted because secretly I’m the one that got one over on them because the biscuits are packed full of nutrients and slow-release carbs to help keep them full until dinner. Toby has such a thing for biscuits, so having these around keeps us both happy as I don’t have to spend hours worrying about his sugar intake. You can even get cocoa versions that have chocolate chips in if you want to give them something slightly sweeter. Usually breakfast biscuits can be bought in a box where the biscuits are wrapped in packs of two, three or four – perfect for shoving a packet into your bag and forgetting about it until the request is unleashed on your peaceful errand run.

4.) Dry cereals

These are so easy, and perfect for baby lead weaning with an older baby too. All you need is a little Tupperware box, some shreddies (these are my boys favourite) or other slightly larger cereals that won’t disintegrate to easily, and off you pop.

5.) Baked, child friendly crisps or rice cake crips

I frequently have something of this fashion in my bag. We tend to prefer mini cheddars (the little cheese discs) and steer clear of anything over packed with additives or flavourings. I also try to use this as my last resort but sometimes it’s just the perfect nibble for your child, and you can get some really great ‘crisp’ packet style rice cakes which are great because your child feels like they are chowing down on a pack of crisps but actually they are eating something that is very healthy and full of slow release carbs (in the same way the breakfast biscuits are).

I hope those give you some ideas so that the next time a request is made out of the blue you will be able to breath easy and provide a tasty snack for your child.

Harriet x

Magnetic wallpaper for kids from Sian Zeng via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This magnetic wallpaper for kids is inventive and fun, something different where someone has thought out of the box.

Magnetic wallpaper for kids from Sian Zeng via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The boys would go crazy for this pattern – how much fun can you have with a whole Jurassic Park in your room?!

Magnetic wallpaper for kids from Sian Zeng via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Sian Zeng is an award winning London-based designer who has created a brilliant range of magnetic papers for children to bring an element of magic and fun to their spaces.

Magnetic wallpaper for kids from Sian Zeng via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I just love the way that everything has been considered – even down to the little magnetic characters to stick onto the wallpaper.

I’m always searching for things that are inventive and fun for children, something different where someone has thought out of the box. Etsy is one of my favourite places to find new ideas and hand crafted gems that I would never have thought of myself, and it certainly hasn’t failed me this time! I am in love with the brilliant magnetic wallpaper from Sian Zeng.

Sian Zeng is an award winning London-based designer who has created a brilliant range of magnetic papers for children to bring an element of magic and fun to their spaces. The wallpapers are both whimsical and fun, in fact I know two little boys who would do almost anything for the dinosaur version.

Sian was originally born in China but moved to Hungary as a child, and it’s her multicultural upbringing that she feels helps her design these beautiful products. I just love the way that everything has been considered – even down to the little magnetic characters to stick onto the wallpaper.

Harriet x

Mummy fitness :: losing the baby weight via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.Mummy fitness :: losing the baby weight via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

We have so much fun doing our little work outs – it is just so sweet to see her little smiling face and I love it.

As you know (if you read the blog on a regular basis) I am super proud to be a bridesmaid for my dearest friend Kate this summer. I have never been a bridesmaid before (you know that joke always the bridesmaid, never the bride? It’s the other way round for me!) and I have always wanted to be.

I gained rather a lot of weight during Edith’s pregnancy, which I’m still surprised by – I didn’t at all with Toby, but for some reason I neeeeded starch in my life at all times. So I had a grand total of 48lbs to lose to get to my target weight. So far I’ve lost half of that, and I still have another 23lbs to lose to reach target (which makes it 17lbs to get to my pre-baby weight). Obviously I am breastfeeding, so I have an obligation to Edith to make sure that my milk is as nutritious as it can be – no crappy diets or fasting for me. In order to help shift the weight a bit faster than I have been doing, I’ve started a little bit of what I call ‘Mummy exercise’. I do some exercises on a night, with Edith and it is something that we both think is great fun (in fact on a weekend I try to do some with the boys too to get them involved and they think it’s hilarious!).

Here are my favourites:

Mummy fitness :: losing the baby weight via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Plank chat – interacting with baby while you plank is one really effective way to make sure that you aren’t concentrating on your time.

1.) Plank Chat: Perfect for bringing back the waistline and ridding yourself of the mum-tum.

Forget pillow talk, that’s out. Plank chat is in. What I do is lie Edie underneath my head so that I am hovering above her, and then I hold a plank position above her while chatting to her and (trying) to sing to her. If you have ever tried a plank, you will know it looks so simple but it’s actually mega hard to do. The reason I do it like this is because Edith takes my mind off what I am doing and I can generally hold the plank for longer, because I’m focused on her giggly little mush. Just make sure you don’t put baby underneath your body, if you suddenly collapsed in a heap because your muscles aren’t stronger enough, you could really hurt him/her.

2.) Up and down: Push ups for fun and toning arms, while firming the chest.

Mummy fitness :: losing the baby weight via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

When doing push ups over Edith, I always make sure that I have only my head over her, so if anything happens I won’t drop my weight on her.

This is exactly the same as a plank, but instead of holding the position you are doing a push up while talking to your baby. I’ve said a thousand times that Edith will not let me put her down for love nor money, but she will if I am doing something like that where she is the centre of attention. I’m not great at push ups, so if you are like me you can still do the knee style push ups and progress as you get stronger.

3.) Ride your horse: Squats for toning the tush and loving the legs

Mummy fitness :: losing the baby weight via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

If you have a baby carrier it can make working out with baby so much easier. Perfect for helping you with losing baby weight.

It is one do the easiest things to do but also super effective. Squats are the mummy must do (and it also works in an even more effective way than a kegal – ladies, you know what I’m talking about!) plus it’s fun for your little one to join in. If you have a wrap or carrier then simply put baby in it (if you don’t then this can be done holding baby too just make sure you have them securely and you don’t over do it) and stand with your feet shoulder width apart, lower you bum down as if you are sitting in mid air and back up. The key is to clench everything and try not to go to fast. This will make Edith laugh every time provided I give. Good rendition of ‘Horsey Horsey don’t you stop’ as I do it. And yes, I neigh.

4.) Flying baby!!!! Arms and tums at the same time.

Ok, this sounds scary, I know. It’s not. Lie flat on the floor with baby in your hands, lift baby high into the air and say flyinnnggg babyyyy with a big smile on your face. As you do it, raise your feet into the air and hold them 30-40cm off the ground. Keep them in place as you lift baby up and down 5 times. Then move onto something else. I don’t need to tell you that baby should go up slowly and carefully, this is a game for them so we don’t want to go frightening them. I know I don’t need to tell you, but I’m going to anyway! All of our kids love this, in fact, my husband will still do this with Reuben and Toby. I can’t quite manage anymore as they are too heavy, but I’m trying to build up to doing it with Tobes.

5.) Twists – tense the tummy and trim the waist.

Super simple, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, hold baby in your arms (or preferably a carrier) and twist from one side to the next while tensing your stomach muscles. If you are feeling particularly energetic you can sing some kind of song while you do it to make it more fun for baby.

6.) Fast feet, fast feet, slow… – bit of cardio for you and the munchkins.

Firstly, NEVER do this holding a baby. Ever. Never ever. You run the risk of damaging their delicate little necks, however this is one to do with toddlers and older kids because they think it’s hilarious (as does the baby watching from the safety of her swing). So you start of walking on the spot and them shout ‘Fast feeeeeet’ and run on the spot as fast as you possibly can while counting to ten or shouting fast feet ten times. The boys think this is hysterical. It’s a great little bit of cardio for helping burn some calories, and it’s a game that can get the kids running around without having to leave the house.

Harriet x

birdhouse wall lights in Liberty print from House of Clouds via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Adorable birdhouse wall lights in Liberty print from House of Clouds

birdhouse wall lights in Liberty print from House of Clouds via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I think these are perfect for any little girl’s room, in fact I’ve been looking at a wall light for Edith’s room and this could be just it.

birdhouse wall lights in Liberty print from House of Clouds via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love that these are made in York – so many things are made in the South of England, it’s nice to have a Northern brand with such style!

You might remember me talking about Liberty print in one of my recent posts? It’s become my new obsession, it’s just so pretty. Of course, when I discovered House of Clouds and their adorable wall lights shaped like bird houses in Liberty print I couldn’t help but share. I have been looking for a wall light for Edith’s room and this could just be it!

The lights are made by Gemma and Angela, two York-based ladies (just like me) who take their inspiration from the beautiful world around them – the North of England is super pretty – and their children.

I just adore the lights, and because they have been safety assured they are perfect for little ones bedrooms and playrooms.

Harriet x

Edith's adorable baby bonnets from Stella & Wilbur :: Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The is the sweetest flower power bonnet I have ever seen – I just love it so much, it’s so summery and perfect for keeping this beauty in safer in the sun.

Edith's adorable baby bonnets from Stella & Wilbur :: Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

That smile could light up the darkest room, even if it’s blurry!

You might remember this piece I wrote about the lovely Stella & Wilbur a few months ago? Well, I am officially addicted to their gorgeous little bonnets and it was a given that Edie simply had to have one (or two… or three) for her summer wardrobe. As the warmer weather is approaching and some days are just so warm, the kids really do have to have something to cover their heads and protect them from the sun.

I couldn’t resist sharing Edith’s gorgeous hats with you all. The one thing I really love about Stella & Wilbur is that you can customise any hat – so for Edith’s XO grey and pink hat I added little bunny ears (which everyone has been commenting on and talking about!). You could add more conventional teddy bear ears, bows, fleece lining or even get in touch and ask for something totally bespoke for a very special bambino’s hat.

Anyway, I hope you like her pictures and her super cute hats.

Harriet x

Making the most of zoo trips via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Watching the sea lion show. This is ideal for little ones and older kids – not only does the keeper explain a lot about the animal, but the younger kids are entertained by the show.

Ever since I can remember I have always loved visiting the zoo. We are quite lucky to live really close to Flamingo Land (which is a theme park and zoo) so I have always loved being taken to see all the wonderful animals and learn about them. There is something so magical about a good zoo (and equally heartbreaking about a bad one), nothing can compare to coming close to those wonderful animals that you would otherwise never come into contact with.

Zoo trips aren’t just a super fun family day out though, they can be full of really beneficial educational moments. Take this one for example: Reuben was looking at some rhinos (his favourite animals at the zoo) and he asked me what the big red circle next to their name of the information placard meant. By this point we’d seen the mark a few times and he’d started telling me when the animal was a red, yellow or green animal, so I thought I would explain to him what it meant. We had a big conversation about animals becoming endangered and eventually extinct – why that happens, what it means and how it can affect our planet. It was great and his Dad was so impressed when he came home and explained it all to him. Children are like sponges, they suck up information and they love to learn, so I thought I’d put together a few tips for how to make the most of a zoo trip.

Making the most of zoo trips via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The rhino is Reuben’s favourite zoo animal – the last time we visited they were running about and he was so excited. He also knows that they are endangered and why.

1. Talk about every animal you see.

Don’t just look at the animals, talk about them too. Talk about their behaviour, what they are doing and ask your little ones questions like ‘Do you see the Tiger is eating? What do you like to eat the best?’ We had a fab time watching the tigers eating at the zoo one day, they were right in front of us and they were eating a calf carcass. Some people were ushering their children away because they thought it was ‘gross’ but the truth is, it’s nature. It lead to a fab conversation about the circle of life, and how the tiger eats the cow to survive, the cow eats grass to survive etc.

2. Take a few snacks to break up the day.

I always take snacks for the boys, just some rice cakes, belivita biscuits or fruit. Simple snacks that I can break out at a moments notice while they are looking at things. Hungry tummies make it difficult to concentrate on anything so we avoid hungry tummies at all costs!

Making the most of zoo trips via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Toby’s favourite animals are the big cats – he calls them Raa Raa’s despite being able to say both Lion and Tiger!

3. Try to get your children to remember one thing to take home from each trip.

This is a little trick I use for days when the boys are just wanting to run around and aren’t really in the learning or inquisitive mood. Even if they are, this works a treat. We pick one thing that we want to be able to tell Daddy (or another family member if you go as a family) when we get home. I let the boys choose the animal if they want to, or if I see a fun fact that I think they will like I will tell them that. One week I told the boys about hippos and how it was once believed that they sweat blood, but in fact they don’t their sweat has a reddish tint because of the pigments in their skin. Isn’t that a cool fact? Reuben couldn’t wait to tell Daddy all about hippo sweat and Toby learn to say hippo. It was a win win.

4. For older children, talk to keepers and schedule your trip to hear their talks.

As I was growing up my mum would frequently stop to talk to a keeper and ask them lots of questions. The last time we visited Chester Zoo (which is one of my absolute favourite zoos ever) we stopped off at the Chimpanzee house to listen to part of the keeper talk. There were tonnes of older children who were really engaged in the talk, because all of the chimps had come up to the window to see their keeper, so you got a really good view. For little ones this is a bit pointless, but for older children its a goldmine of information.

5. Take advantage of the maps, they are fun and worthwhile.

This sounds strange, but a map is your friend at the zoo. The boys are obsessed with maps – so much so that we have to get one each! Reuben will point out which animal is which, who he wants to visit first, what we need to see, and what he isn’t so fussed about. Toby likes to shout the names of the animals as we pass, and spends ages looking at the map the day after. Not only are maps useful for telling you where to go (if you get your children to navigate then this is a vital life skill and orientation tool) and planning your day, but they can act as a prompter for your child to remember the things they learnt and saw during the trip. I can pick up a map from a zoo visit and ask Reuben to tell me what he remembers seeing about a certain animal and he will tell me (please note: I make no apology for the fact that your child is more likely to remember that he saw the elephants pooing than he is to comment on how clever they were using their trucks to get leaves.)

So they are my tops tips, and I can’t encourage you enough to make zoos a fundamental part of your family time, and if you homeschool then they are imperative for learning and teaching your kids everything from history to orientation to science.

Harriet x

Forget baby sleeping bags or quilts, SurPyjamas are back! via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Perfect for cold mornings lounging around the house.

Forget baby sleeping bags or quilts, SurPyjamas are back! via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The SurPyjama meets safe baby sleeping standards, without compromising style.

Forget baby sleeping bags or quilts, SurPyjamas are back! via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This is the perfect way to make sure you know that baby is warm and cosy while sleeping.

Forget baby sleeping bags or quilts, SurPyjamas are back! via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This is my favourite style, it’s just so elegant and cool.

I’ve been exhausted recently, Edith is teething (she’s been an early teether from around 8 weeks, but the dribbling and being generally uber grumpy teething stage has kicked in now and she isn’t a happy bunny) so she isn’t sleeping well at all and it is reallytaking it’s toll on me. She seems to have a need to be really warm and close to me, to the point where I feel a bit over heated! I’ve been looking into something that would help to keep her warm in the night, especially her little arms and shoulders as the sleep bags that we use don’t cover them at all. It is only May and she does get cold really easy (just like Roo used to!)

That’s when I came across SurPyjama, a French concept that was all but forgotten until Turtle Dove stepped in to revive it!

SurPyjamas are worn over pyjamas or babygrows, instead of a baby sleeping bag or covers (it’s almost like a snowsuit but for bed). They are just so adorable and absolutely perfect for the chillier nights which are always present in the UK.

The other thing I love about these is that they make a perfect alternative to a coat or snowsuit when out and about. At the moment, most days it is too cold for Edith to not wear a coat or anything, but too hot for her big padded snowsuit… so what to do? Well, this would be ideal (and I still have easy access to the nappy in preparation for a poonami!).

Turtle Dove has taken the idea of a SurPyjama and made it a super stylish and ultra cool bedtime necessity for children from birth to age 4. I love the details on the designs, they are just so beautiful and absolutely stylish enough to be out and about in!

Harriet x

 

FREE Printables from genuinely awesome blog TinyMe. via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Bored on a rainy day, these free printables are perfect for helping you out. Not only are they creative but they are fun too!

FREE Printables from genuinely awesome blog TinyMe. via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Who wouldn’t be so excited to receive a gift wrapped in this?

FREE Printables from genuinely awesome blog TinyMe. via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This is so perfect for Reuben right now, you can guarantee I will be downloading and printing this!

Ahh some days I come across things that just make me wish I could be a touch more creative. This is one of those days.

I’ve been looking for various things that I can print to help teach Toby some more words, you know, general stuff like colours (as he is at the back end of a phase where everything is blue haha!), shapes and animals. I came across the brilliant TinyMe blog and their printables gold mine. I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot (and also incredibly inadequate as a blogger and parent!)

There is everything on here from printable cards to help your child learn colours and the such to printables for your own diary to help make it a little more pleasing to the eye. There are printable toys, such as this wonderful mail box, printable accessories (hello, fruit gift bags) and even printable chores charts (which is so up our street right now, what with Reuben’s new pocket money chart, which I wrote about here.)

So, if you are bored and it’s raining outside (because, you know, May and all) then you need to head over to TinyMe’s blog and get creative. Seriously.

Harriet x

Personalised wooden storytelling dice to help kids get creative! via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

These story telling dice are made even better because they are personalised, which means that they will become something your child can treasure forever (especially as they are made of solid oak).

Personalised wooden storytelling dice to help kids get creative! via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Me & You can visit the wishing well in the secret garden… the perfect start to any story I think.

I do love a toy that has a genuinely good idea behind it or that can double as something else. In our home we are really passionate about story telling and getting the boys to be creative, so when I came across these wonderful story telling dice from Owl & Cat Designs it was only to be expected that it was love at first sight.

The dice are made from solid oak which means they are perfect for decorating little display shelves. There are three dice, one has phrases like ‘wild wood’ or ‘out to sea’, one focuses on characters such as the ‘brave knight’ or the ‘detective dog’ and the last one features objects like the ‘wishing well’ and the ‘magic wand’. The idea is that your child and you sit together (another thing that I really wish we all did more of – sitting and talking with our children) and roll the dice. With each roll you will get the beginning of a wonderful story… Can you imagine, the ‘Brave Knight’ falling down the ‘wishing well’ in the ‘wild wood’? It’s enough to spark any great story… Especially if the ‘Detective Dog’ uses his ‘Magic Wand’ to save him!

The reason I like these particular story telling dice is because they can be personalised just for your child. That makes them just that little bit more special, don’t you think?

Harriet x

Fabulous 3D wall decals from Heidi's Hubbub via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

So realistic, printed onto specialist paper, I just love these.

Fabulous 3D wall decals from Heidi's Hubbub via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

What makes these so unique is that they are reusable and easy to move. You haven’t had to pay for a mural in your child’s room and they can up and move about as often as you like.

Fabulous 3D wall decals from Heidi's Hubbub via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

These would be so cool around Halloween, or even if you wanted a darker theme in your room.

Fabulous 3D wall decals from Heidi's Hubbub via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

These butterflies are just stunning. Plus, easy to position and clean.

Last week I was trawling through Etsy, after I had arrived at school 10 minutes earlier than usual and BOTH my little ones were snoozing in the car (mummy for the win!), when I came across these brilliant 3D butterfly wall decals.

The butterflies are digitally printed onto speciality paper and then given an adhesive back which holds them firmly on the wall. The shop, Heidi’s Hubbub, sells a variety of these super realistic wall decals and even has bats which I think would be perfect for Halloween later on in the year.

Harriet x

Darling crochet sandals from Jo Huntley Designs via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I just can’t get over how sweet Edith’s crochet sandals are. And her feet, her feet are just squishy.

Before I had Edith I always thought that baby shoes really were a waste of time. Let’s be honest, they can’t walk, they have socks or tights on to keep warm, so what is the point? Anyway, that is how I felt B.E (before Edith). I’m now a convert. Edie has already been gifted around 7 pairs on shoes, and I love them! My favourite pair for this new warmer weather are these adorable handmade crochet sandals from Jo Huntley Designs.

My Mother in Law bought these for Edie when she was on holiday in New Zealand and I was so thrilled when I saw them. They were hand crocheted by Jo, who makes a gorgeous range of crocheted goods for babies and children. If you would love some of these sandals but can’t crochet you can visit Jo’s Facebook page to get in touch with her, however, if you are a super skilled mama (which I confess I am not!) then you can find a tonne of crochet tutorials on Pinterest.

Harriet x