Fantastic Halloween Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns

October 25th, 2012


What amazing pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns that are devised each year. They seem to get more and more creative. And you still have time to attempt one of these! Here was last year’s selection.


Via & Via

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Buddy Bears in Paris

October 17th, 2012


Has your city been visited by the Buddy Bears yet? Here they are proudly lined up in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Oona wants to make one like this, so she tells me…

Everything started in Berlin in June 2001, when the  ”Buddy Bear Berlin Show“ was launched. The raised arms of the upright Buddy Bears communicated a friendly attitude and optimism. The Buddy Bears were such a great success that the exhibition continued until the end of 2002. At the same time, many companies and private individuals bought Buddy Bears for their home country or hometown, which increasingly turned the Buddy Bears into global ambassadors of Berlin.




And here they are in St. Petersburg…

and in Kitzbühel in Austria (where I worked in a ski lodge in my crazier, younger days)…

and in Cairo, where I also visited.



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Sowearto T-shirts – South Africa

September 26th, 2012




Sowearto is the go-to shop for baby shower gifts and birthday gifts for little Joburgers, Capetonians, and Saffers [South Africans] everywhere. Locals adore the serious portraits of Nelson Mandela as much as they go for the “inside joke” feeling of prints which reference brands found only here, such as Inkomazi milk, Lion matches, and Sunlight dishwashing liquid — all screened onto 100 percent cotton shirts.

Sowearto (pronounced “So-WEAR-Toe) provides a fresh perspective on the “afro chic” style so beloved in South Africa. Unlike an “I ♥ New York” shirt that would be worn mainly by tourists, South African style is being fully embraced by nationals of all backgrounds, as South Africa continues to re-invent itself despite its economic and social difficulties.

Be sure to check out their fashion lines for grown-ups, too here!



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Ulriksdal Castle Garden (Ulriksdal Trägård) – Stockholm

September 13th, 2012


I took Francesca and Gray to Ulriksdal Gardens recently where you can pick-your-own produce. I knew we were going somewhere out of the ordinary. From the moment we entered and picked up our individual baskets and scissors, I think we were all equally mesmerized.



We returned with a bounty of kale, green and purple beans, potatoes and a whole lot more. We were too early for the fennel root and had just missed the Swiss chard, but apparently, one can go online to see what is currently available here.



Besides Ulriksdal’s pick-your-own gardens and The Royal Theatre, Konfidencen, Ulriksdal has strings of garden plants, greenhouses, artisan garden pottery and even an indoor cafe for lunches and coffee. The scents and colors feel like they wake winter senses like the Prince’s kiss did for Snow White. (Seriously, if you have ever experienced winter at 59 degree N, you would understand exactly what I am talking about!)



Grayson picked so many potatoes we were able to gift them to friends! We also left with kale, green and purple beans and a beautiful bouquet of 12 flowers.




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Governor’s Island – New York

August 28th, 2012


Here’s our visit to Governor’s Island, which we call “Ice-Cream Cone Island” because that’s what it’s shaped like. This small island which is really close to the southern tip of Manhattan, has a long history as a military facility and coast guard base etc. and a few years ago it was sold to the people of New York for us to enjoy. The island was also residential for the military but now nobody can live there, so you have an island full of Victorian and Greek revival houses so close to Manhattan that are empty! It’s like a ghost town in some ways.

The most fascinating fact for me is that in 1637, Wouter Van Twiller, representative of Holland, purchased Governors Island from the Native Americans of “Manahatas” (for which Manhattan was named) for two axe heads, a string of beads, and a handful of nails…almost as expensive as Manhattan!  Anyway, we chose one of the hottest days to go there in this hottest summer on record, but still had a great time. There is a really full schedule of events and things to do for the visiting period: every Saturday, Sunday and Holiday Monday from May 26 – September 30. Check out the official website for more info. You get there by free ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn and it only takes about seven minutes.


The girls at the Children’s Museum of the Arts Teaching Artists area. They have new themes and projects each weekend, including everything from painting and drawing to large-scale sculpture.  For more information, visit their website.





We got to tour Castle Williams which just opened to the public this season.

Views of Manhattan from the island


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DIY: Paper Lanterns (with LED Lights)

August 22nd, 2012


Summer is still with us, so it’s not too late to implement this beautiful idea to light up those barbeques, parties and other lazy evenings of summer. These non-flammable, versatile, paper lanterns are also an excellent kid’s craft as they are so easy to make. I love that they are made of newspapers as we all have that handy!  Check out the full tutorial on the lovely Willowday blog.





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Recycled Furniture – Chairs Made From Recycled Materials

August 21st, 2012

Chair from recycled newspaper bound together with rice glue by Seung Han Lee


As you can see here, I love chairs and am also completely fascinated by objects that are made from recycled materials – and these great pieces are no exception. I wonder how on earth they come up with these ideas…


Building block chair by Pepe Heykoop

Chair of reclaimed cutlery by Osian Batyka-Williams 


“Pollocky” Pallet Chair by  Gavin Turk

 Cardboard Kids Chair by Phillipe Nigro


Cork chair by Aaron Kramer

Via: Bridgman Garden Design


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3 Top, Free Things to Do in Barcelona With Kids

August 17th, 2012

This is a guest post from Carina of  XO- In My Room line of original furniture and blog.


1. The Labyrinth Park

The park includes an eighteenth-century neo-classical garden and a nineteenth century romantic garden. All over the park there are a large number of sculptures and many fountains, waterfalls, springs and ponds. In the middle of the park, is the Labyrinth, which is a lot of fun for children who like to get lost in it as they try to find their way out.The Labyrinth Park is the oldest park in Barcelona and since it’s located outside of the tourist radius, (in the district of Horta in the north part of the city) it’s something of an undiscovered treasure.To maintain the park’s beauty, a maximum of only 750 persons are allowed to enter each day. A small amount is required at the entrance to help maintenance and on Sundays and Wednesdays it is free.

The park was built in 1791 by the marquis and landowner Joan Antoni Desvalls of d’Ardena, at the same time the construction of the Desvall palace began. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Desvall palace was a meeting place for the society’s elite. Over the years, three kings have paid a visit to the gardens. When you walk around the garden, it’s easy to imagine how it looked during the celebrations once held there; the outdoor theatre, the beautiful outfits and exquisite food, the children playing games in the labyrinth…




2. The Magic Fountain

Quite spectacular is “The magic fountain” created in 1929 by architect Carlos Buigas for the Universal Expo. It is very popular specially during summer nights (it’s all year round) because of the high temperatures we have in the city, kids like to stand very close to the fountain, and get wet when the breeze blows. The fountain changes colours and pressure of the water according to the music. The showtimes with music now in summer are from 9 p.m. up to 11p.m. every half hour.




3. The Blue Museum, Barcelona

This is a brand new museum!

The Blue Museum designed by architects, Herzog & de Meuron, occupies 9,000 square meters distributed on two floors with modern installations and facilities, built around an immense, free-access hall which is the start and finish point for all the Museum programmes and services: the reference exhibition «Planet Life», the temporary exhibition areas, the Media library, the Science Nest for children aged 0-6 years, the workshops, the cafeteria, the restaurant and the shop and much more.

Herzog & de Meuron, were also responsible for adapting the new Museum premises and for the museographic design of the Planet Life exhibition, a journey through the history of life and its evolution in tandem with our planet, and a portrait of the present day.  The museum is always free for children under 16 and for adults the free admission is on First Sunday of every month and every Sunday after 3 pm.










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Sweden’s Archipelago

August 14th, 2012

Here is a guest post from Gina of the beautiful Swedish blog, Willowday.

Starting with the Stockholm archipelago and it’s 20,000 islands, this area is the perfect introduction to Sweden with typical countryside and sea life coexisting harmoniously. The islands are both lush and green and then, granite rock. You can find fully functioning red farms on some islands, alongside summer houses, selling their local seasonal produce at the dock or if you prefer, an island to yourself to moor up to or the opposite: a restaurant and cafes with a beat. This all begins to unfold just 10 minutes outside of Stockholm with easy ferry rides to take you to the outer limits. If you visit Stockholm, a visit to the archipelago is a must.

Drive 5 hours south west to the Atlantic and you are in Bohuslän, which, in contrast to the green Stockholm archipelago is the golden, rocky coast known as Sweden’s west coast. These islands are set on the Atlantic with restaurants teaming with seafood and sail boats speckling the blue water against the more barren backdrop of beautiful naked rock hills. Precious meadows are alive with wildflowers that magically break the strong profiles of the hills and the combination is breathtaking and compelling.






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