Favorite children books
Reading is the central part of our goodnight routine with Lucía (and often part of my own routine too!), and also a frequent activity during the day because it enables to learn and talk about topics that are more concrete if we have the support of a book.
Here are our favorite books at the moment, for my 2 year old:
– Tina Mandarina from Laura y Mariano , our spanish friends that had the great idea to create books for educating children and their parents without following the prejudices associated to genders (ex: in this book, girls likes orange instead of pink, sometimes the mum cooks, sometimes dad cooks)
Their main character is a 5 year old girl, Tina, whose favorite color is orange and who loves to play football with her cat. What I think is very helpful for me as a parent is the section at the end of the book explaining how the tale has been constructed. This reading guide helps talking and asking questions about values and learning that your child might have already acquired or need guidance on.
We already got “Hola, Soy Tina Mandarina” and Lucía received as a present “Un Día Con Tina Mandarina” for her 2nd birthday, such a nice attention from Laura and Mariano! She reads both of them every night before going to sleep.
And even better, check their website as there are many free activities that you can print to do with your child!
– Feelgood book by Todd Parr, very colorful, easy to read and full of love. Great to talk about what does it mean to feel good and what activities help us achieve it.
– Ella’s kitchen cookbook, for great tips to cook with your kid and simple recipes that you can do in no time, every day and that are easy to eat by everyone.
– Comptines pour jeux de doigts, french songs with the hand choregraphy that goes with the song, great to help memorize it! The music arrangements are nice and the singers good. We even shared one of the french songs of this book with our daughter’s daycare so that she ears a little bit of french among the predominant swedish.
Stissu sewing session
What do you do when you don’t find the energy to sew because of fall darkness and a toddler with (temporary, please make them temporary) sleeping disorders?
Invite over good friends with sewing / knitting / crochet skills for an afternoon, once a month, and you get what we decided to call a “stissu” (from sticka- knit in swedish, sy-sewing in swedish and tissu- fabric in french. We should probably have added “cake” in the name too because that’s how we begun, eating cake and drinking tea and talking about our different sewing projects and laughing about the latest news. Then when that warm up was done, it was time to begin with sewing / cutting fabric / drawing patterns / crochetting)
We held our first one at Clémence’s place and this time around it was at my place, with Clémence and Regina.
Clémence ended up cutting the fabric for countless baby hand warmers and beanies and even repaired a tee shirt while Regina, the knitting and crochet master, crochetted almost a full hand warmer.
I could finish a dress I begun long ago for a 3-4 year old and got started on the 2 pillows that need a cover. More of that soon!
All around scarf tutorial
Scarves are not my baby’s best friends if they can’t be tied in a smart way – their lifetime to stay around her neck is close to none.
This all around scarf is a slip on, so it stays on!
It’s also a great way to use remains of fabric because you just need a rectangle of 45 x 15 cm of fabric that you sew with a 1cm allowance. If you choose a stretch fabric like I did, you even don’t need to worry about sewing the edge. Just use your fingers to stretch the fabric and create a roll-up edge.
I used the fabric from this bodysuit and this doudou, a favorite with the sweet whale in a dot.
Other baby scarf models with a smart tie hole here, here and here.
Sweet mini monster
It feels so good to welcome new members in the family! Lucía has a baby cousin who’s already 6 months. Big and small at the same time. To celebrate his 6 month birthday, and the unfortunate loss of his favorite “doudou” (that’s how we call a half stuffed animal, half bib in french), this sweet mini monster is on its way and hopefully will become a new favorite! And by the way, it’s the first time that I give a real try to embroidery, look at the mouth! (it’s just a simple chain stitch, but you always have to start somewhere).
Happy 6 months, Gabin!
Cooking with kids
This blog has always been about sharing my sewing activities with you, as explained here.
However, since I’ve become a mother, I’ve been trying to discover tips to simplify my parent life in order to have more time to make fun activities.
I’d like to share those tips with you and also here from you and your tips!
When your toddler is awake, the time allowed for your own activities is often shrunken to a few minutes a day because toddlers require a lot of attention.
I like to cook, and I found out that my toddler loved to be involved in cooking activities. She takes it as a game that we do together, and I take it as time for me to play with her and prepare a nice meal. Win-win situation as they call it!
Here is what has best worked for involving my daughter in cooking so far:
– Ask her to put the molds ready. Always a success with the cupcake molds as you can see on the picture.
– Let her be the one who smells or taste all the ingredients (if the nature of ingredients allows it, for instance fruits, vegetable, flour, milk, but no raw meet or eggs). That will broaden her smell and taste and make her discover the many ingredients we can use for cooking.
– Delegate the part of the stirring to her (always with close supervision in my case!)
– Give her an own set of bowl, spoon and seeds (small enough not to be of any dangers if swallowed, like linseeds or poppyseeds) so that she can “cook” alongside with me but without interfering. She would be so proud of making you taste her “soup” or “pasta” or whatever is her favorite food right now.
– Pretend that the big package we got from the mail is an oven and give her some “food” to bake with a protective glove so that she can bake her own cake.
– Give her the cookbook and ask her to read the recipe and lead the cooking!
– Let her decorate the cakes, especially cupcakes with frosting and all kind of fruits on top.
– And finally, enjoy and eat what you have cooked together!
Happy meal to all our little chefs!
Pompom necklace tutorial
Making these necklaces is such an instant reward it’s almost hard to believe!
Once you made mini pompoms, you just need to choose a lace of your choice (here a 2-color cotton lace, and a thin leather lace would work beautiful too) and thread the pompoms on it.
Then tie the 2 ends of the lace so that the necklace can be adjusted.
Kids loved it at Lucía’s birthday party!
Mini pompom tutorial and 6 fail-safe tips for a great looking pompom
Had I known making a mini pompom was so easy, I would have already made many pompom garlands, necklaces, hats, tops, animals, you name it!
You just need a fork, wool or acrylic yarn and a pair of scissors.
The trick is to:
– do enough turns around the fork (I did 15 for the one in the video, using 3 different yarns at the same time. I would do at least 30 with only 1 yarn if it’s medium size)
– use a fluffy yarn will make a fluffy pompom! Feel the yarn between your fingers and rub it a little back and forth to ensure it is fluffy, otherwise your pompom won’t look good or hold together
– Tie your pompom very tight. If you don’t do that, you won’t get a ball shape. Ensure the yarn you cut at the beginning to do that is around 15cm long.
– Rub the pompom between your hands once you have tied it, to create fluffiness
– Cut through all the loops
– Trim the pompom to have a perfect round ball
Happy pompom making!
Mini pompom tutorial and 6 fail-safe tips for a great looking pompom
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Stuffed heart and pompoms necklace
This little necklace is so cute I just want to make many of them and give them away for a birthday, or just to say thank you.
my neighbors, little Elvira and her parents, were so nice when they gave Lucía Elvira’s now-too-small rain trousers without wanting anything back for it.
The rain trousers are the perfect size for Lucía, who’s still growing steadily (as her hair, that seem to grow a few centimeters every night! I even need to cut her bangs every other week, like her nails. Why does that never happen to me, why??)
I felt inspired by this unexpected gift and started to think about a nice present for Elvira.
Stuffed heart and pompoms have been on my mind for a while (since I discovered talented designer Tsumori Chisato and her dreamy universe) and they turned out being a necklace this time, for sweet Elvira.
More of them soon!
The office tee – african print
I love the idea of a dressed up tee – one you can totally use at the office.
This one comes from a pattern from Aenne Burda re-edited in Burda style magazine in their january 2013 issue and they really are timeless!
Simple top with dots
I believe that strong prints work best with simple designs. The bold dots on this simple and loose top will work wonder with skinny pants.
The best part is, this is a very easy top to make. As I wanted the top to have a loose fit, I just used a basic pattern for a short sleeved kimono top and added 2 more centimeters for a looser fit. Adjusting the pattern to your own measurements is not so important when it has a loose fit.