Mini Piccolini! a family lifestyle blog

Teeny Tiny New Earrings

November 19th, 2014

Back in the day, my bestie and I used to get together on Saturdays and do the town. Which always meant the following:

  • lunch at NK (I always have the chèvre chaud, she always has the shrimp sallad. We used to have a glass of wine, now we gulp diet coke and cappuccinos to make up for lost sleep)
  • perfume shopping (Ann is always on the hunt for the perfect scent)
  • shoe shopping
  • other shopping
  • drinks on the way home
  • dinner at home – sombreros and wine, a salad, and then candy (mostly for her) and ice cream (B&J for me, Haagen Dazs for her)
  • Hitch (yes – we always watched the same movie)

A couple of weeks ago, after hardly having seen eachother for weeks or months, we got together for a Saturday on the town. Just like old times. Except that neither of us was drinking, I had baby Léonie with me, we were both pretty tired, and both of us had realized that we didn’t need any more shoes.

Never ever did I ever think I would ever not need new shoes. But that’s what’s become of us. Instead we browsed foundations brushes, armchairs and children’s books. And bought earrings! I’ve lost all my small ones, and I don’t like wearing danglies when I’ve got little Léonie constantly in my arms – she is really in that grabby phase right now and she is really strong! So I was looking for small pretty earrings that I could put in and just not take out for a while. I was so happy when I came across these teeny tiny little gold hearts. They’re really small and I think they’re lovely for everyday. I’ve been wearing them for two weeks straight now and love them!

Also – what I want for Christmas (this list isn’t even for this year but it still stands!)

Using Less Plastic

March 11th, 2013

I am on a mission to lessen our use of plastic. Especially for the children. And especially for things that end up in their mouths (which is most things they come into contact with). It’s a health thing for me, but there are of course environmental aspects as well.

I’m not going crazy with this but I am trying to make some changes:

GLASS BABY BOTTLES

I started with the most obvious: baby bottles. We’ve switched to Life Factory glass bottles.

I love these bottles. They make me so happy. They have lovely, sunny, cheerful colors in every shade of the rainbow. They’re easy to care for – you just wash them in the dishwasher. And they are solid and sturdy – they stand up to drops on the floor (thanks to the silicone sleeve) and they can take extreme temperature changes (as you might have when cooling a bottle of almost boiling formula for a baby). There are sippy cup tops for these bottles as well, so I’ll be using them as a sippy cup for Louis when he’s ready.

On the downside, they are significantly heavier than plastic bottles. I think it will be longer before Louis can hold his own bottle, but it’s no problem for Alec to hold these (although they really are heavy when full, even though the largest size is much smaller than the large plastic bottles we were previously using for Alec). So I am keeping a few plastic bottles to use for when we are out and about or traveling. I am also keeping a close eye on the nipples because I can already see marks where Alec bites them, which concerns me. I definitely think I will need to switch nipples more often than normally. However, I also believe that you can use any bottle nipple with these bottles, so we could just switch to another brand of nipples. Finally, Life Factory glass bottles are not cheap. But I think the fact that they will hold up much longer than plastic bottles will make up for this. We’ve invested in a good stash of bottles now (both small and big) and I don’t foresee us needing to buy any more baby bottles – just new nipples – ever again.

STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLES

I’ve switched the whole family to Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles. These also come in a ton of delicious juicy colors and you can switch the cap from a regular closed cap to a sippy cap for toddlers, to a sport cap. I have a big one that I try to keep with me at home and a medium one to bring along with me when I am out and about. And Alec has a small bottle with a sippy cap. They’re lightweight, convenient to bring along, and easy to care for.

GLASS FOOD CONTAINERS

I think good BPA-free plastic containers are still the way to go for when we are out and about. But for food storage at home – in the fridge or pantry – I’m trying to use more glass and less plastic. We have some great square glass containers with lids from IKEA that I love – but they don’t sell them any more. So I am on the hunt for some new glass food storage containers (with plastic lids).

TOYS

This is a hard one, because Alec has a lot of great plastic toys that he really loves. I find it hard to make the decision to switch them all out for other materials. I do want to provide him with non-plastic alternatives to play with though. He has lovely wooden blocks, a brio train set, wooden puzzles, and some great learning toys by Plan Toys that I really like.

Louis also has a few plastic toys, but as his toys tend to find their way into his mouth, I am trying to have him play more with his natural rubber chew toys and wooden or soft rattles and other toys.

 

Is avoiding plastic something that you think about for your family too?

Paring Down our Diaper Bag Essentials

March 7th, 2013

We recently switched Little Baby L from his stroller bassinet to a regular seat. Previously he was mostly sleeping when we were out with the stroller, but now he is obviously much more awake and not always happy to be lying on his back. So he’s in the seat all tucked into Alec’s old 7 AM Le Sac Igloo.

I have also taken some steps to lighten my load when we are out and about with the stroller – which can often be all day long. We often head out before 9, drop Alec (and his stroller seat) off at nursery school and then spend the day doing errands, walking, and having lunch and coffee and play dates with friends. We pick Alec up at 3pm and sometimes head to the park for an hour or so after that. On days like that, the children and I really live out of our stroller and I need to know that we have everything we need with us.

At the same time, our set-up with a stroller room in the foyer of our building and the smallest elevator known to man (fits two adults, but you would really want to know each other quite well), means that I don’t want to be lugging a huge diaper bag and a bunch of extras up and down with me every time I go out. Now that Louis is out of his cocoon, I have him in my arms as I maneuver both kids into the elevator with whatever we are carrying with us that day (and garbage bags, recycling etc), get ourselves into the foyer, unlock the stroller room, pull out as many strollers as are parked in front of ours, and finally drag our own stroller into the entryway to get both kids settled. Right now, I need my diaper bag to be as light and small as possible.

So I decided to follow some great advice (thank you Dulcinea!) from one of you readers (in the comments here) – I decided to pare down the essentials I need to have with me for each child (Alec, 2 years old, and Louis, 7 months old) and use a Bugaboo organizer strapped to each seat. Basically, the organizers act as the diaper bag for each child. For most outings, all I have to add is my wallet, phone and keys and everything else I need is already in the organizers waiting for us. On longer excursions, I just throw any additional items I will need into my diaper bag which isn’t already and constantly stuffed to the max now that most things have moved into the organizers.

Here is what each organizer contains:

ALEC’S ORGANIZER

(2 years old, potty-trained)

  • Baby wipes, Boogie wipes, hand sanitizer
  • A pacifier – in case of un-planned stroller naps
  • Juice box, raisins, squeezie
  • Restaurant kit – disposable bib, fork and spoon, table topper in a ziploc bag
For Alec, I’m really just carrying snacks and wipes. It turns out a potty-trained toddler doesn’t really need much more than that. I’ll be moving his little restaurant kit from his organizer to Louis’ soon – Alec doesn’t need these things any more but Louis does.

 

LOUIS’ ORGANIZER

(7 months old, breastfed, just starting solids)

  • A changing kit – a few diapers, wipes, diaper cream (I just carry a few sample packs because Louis rarely needs cream), a disposable changing pad, all packed in a ziploc bag
  • Snacks for Mum and Dad – a couple of small bars of dark chocolate, a pack of mixed nuts, coffee money
  • Nursing Cover

 

EXTRA BAG of BACK-UPs

Mini Piccolini - In My Diaper Bag

I also keep a Longchamp in the under-seat basket with a baby carrier, a back-up change of clothes, and a few other back-up items – see the full contents here. I’ll be adding my high chair cover now that Louis is joining us at the table for some meals.

 

We have a Bugaboo Donkey – click here if you are on the hunt for the right double stroller and want to see our short list and read why we chose this stroller.

My diaper bag is an MZ Wallace Kate bag – click here to read all about it and why I love it so much. And click here to read what I am carrying in my diaper bag with one baby and one toddler and here for what I was carrying with one child (18 months old).

The Best Baby Jeans EVER

February 4th, 2013

I’ve spent part of the weekend sorting baby clothes. Little Baby L is growing fast. He turned 6 months on Friday and he has recently grown out of a whole bunch of his super cute outfits. Time to move some things out to make space for the next size.

A box of Alec’s 6-month clothes had gone missing but we finally found it. It’s so interesting to see how boyish Alec’s American-bought baby clothes are compared to what we would probably have had if he had been a baby in Sweden. Things are much more unisex here and it’s not at all uncommon to see little boys in pink (with long hair and painted finger nails, no less). Here is what Alec looked like when I picked him up from nursery school last week (he did not have his hair in pigtails when I dropped him off, but they had played hair salon I guess):

It was really fun to un-pack this box and find some old favorites, though. Like Alec’s little denim overalls and little flannel shirts from Baby Gap. Fun! From now on, the clothes are less babyish too. Not as many onesies and more jeans etc.

I think jeans for babies is sort of silly. But also sort of cute.

We have been through a tons of baby and toddler jeans, from Baby Gap, Zara, ebbe, Polarn O. Pyret to name just a few, but now I have found the perfect ones.

Most times the problem is that they are soft and lovely when you buy them, but then you wash them and line dry them and they lose that softness and become a little stiff and scratchy. The other problem is that babies spend most of their time lying down and scrunching around back and forth, or tucked into a baby carrier or car seat, and the heavy seams that jeans tend to have just don’t seem like the comfiest.

Size 68 (4-6 months) seem to be the size to start with jeans, so Louis has his drawers full of them now. Some new acquisitions and some of Alec’s old ones. But the only ones he really seems to be wearing are the new pair that Sigge‘s mum Cissi gave him when he was born. They are fabulous. From H&M. They were soft from the beginning and have stayed soft through all the washes. And they’re fully lined with soft cotton and just so so comfy. When we were in London, Louis wore these a ton. He is growing so fast now, so I am going to check out the version of these jeans that they make in bigger sizes – crossing my fingers that they are as great as the newborn ones!

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