Archive | gift ideas RSS feed for this section

Origami Dress

12 Apr


Last year I posted about our favourite homemade Father’s Day gift, an origami shirt and tie garland.  The kids loved making it and their Papa loved receiving it.  We still admire it on a daily basis and according to my site statistics it’s the one readers come to visit the most (it’s even featured on the Disney blog Spoonful here).

As some of you may know, origami is very popular in this house (post to prove it here).  We spend hours folding everything from cranes (once we even folded 1000 for a special friend), balls, mice, pianos and even the odd piece of lingerie.  Whenever we have kids over to our house the origami box is usually the first thing that comes out and my kids love passing on their folding skills to others.

Since Mother’s Day is coming up (On May 12th in Italy) I thought it would be a nice idea to make the origami dress version of the shirt and tie garland.  My kids learned how to fold this dress a few years ago and we have a house full of them.


For this garland the kids folded tiny versions of the origami dress and then sewed them onto round pieces of paper.  The garland can be folded (carefully) up and slipped into an envelope to be opened on Mother’s Day.  Very sweet.


The kids also folded some larger dresses and made them into cards.  They only glued the top of the dress onto the cardboard which makes the skirt puff out a little.  Very pretty.  And very quick to do.

Here is a little video of my daughter showing how to fold a paper origami dress.  Please ignore the irritating music, I’ll try and find something a little more soothing soon.

Valentine’s Round Up

13 Feb

Here I am writing from a little riad in Marrakech, Morocco.  We arrived here today after spending the last few days in a tiny village in the Atlas mountains.  It was an amazing time which included lots of walks in the mountains, a camel trek and some of the best food we’ve ever eaten.  And to top it all off we’ve had amazing weather since we arrived.  Yes, we are all ecstatically happy at the moment.

Even if the Moroccans don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day it’s been on my mind the last few days.  I have secretly stashed some home-baked heart-shaped chocolate-dipped cookies in our suitcase so that I’ll have something special for the family on the 14th.  I’m pretty sure Valentine’s Day this year will be one we’ll remember forever.

Here’s a little round-up of some of my favourite Valentine’s Day treats and surprises that you can make your loved ones.


These little puffy sewn heart necklaces are the sweetest way to show your favourite little girl that she’s loved.  It’s an easy project that your kids can help you with.  Check out post and tutorial here.


I love these Valentine’s Day cards over on Classic Play.  And you can download them for free!  Check out post here.

1-IMG_5438These Brown Sugar Shortbreads are the most delicious rich cookies and are perfect for Valentine’s Day due to the little jam heart centres.  Your house will smell divine while these are baking!  Get recipe here.

DIY Edible Confetti by The Proper Pinwheel

Edible confetti!  This is one of my favorite Valentine’s Day finds this year.  Easy to make and such a fun idea for a gift for classmates (or co-workers!).  Get full details and how-to on The Proper Pinwheel.

We made these little candy bags for the twin’s classmates last year and they were a hit.  All you need are some clear plastic bags, pink and red construction paper, some colourful candy and a stapler.  Check out what we made my son’s class and the teachers here.


I absolutely adore this cupid’s arrow diy that is over on La Tete Dans Les Idees.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and make sure to tell the ones you love how much they mean to you!

Valentine’s Heart Necklace

21 Jan


Usually my 10 year old daughters take in a little Valentine’s gift or treat for all the kids in their class (last year’s treats here).  But this year things  have changed a little.  It seems as though the thought of giving the boys anything to do with love or fondness is something that makes their little cheeks turn pink. They say the boys are silly, not interesting, noisy and smelly.  In other words, they’re starting to NOTICE them.  Oh gosh.

So together with my daughters we came up with a these little puffed heart necklaces that they can give to all the girls in their class.  It’s a quick and simple project that my daughters helped with and the result is absolutely adorable.  I can just imagine their little group of girlfriends walking around school on Valentine’s Day with these little coloured fabric hearts hanging around their necks.


I cut the cotton batting heart slightly smaller than the cotton hearts so that there was no risk of it poking out after being stitched.


Now you just have to layer all the hearts and string.  Put the first cotton heart right side down then place the cotton batting heart on top.  Next place the string across the middle (or slightly higher up) and then the last cotton heart on top (good side facing up).


Now you just have to simply stitch around the outside of the heart.  For some I used the  zigzag stitch instead and it also gave a nice effect.

1-IMG_5297We then took some heavy card stock to make little Valentine’s Cards in which to give the necklaces.  We punched two little holes near the top to pass the string through and used Washi tap to fasten the rolled string on the other side.  You can add little messages and notes inside the card as well.



18 Dec

So here I am typing this blog post with my left pointer finger. It’s slow and torturous to say the least.  Just capitalizing letters makes me sweat at the moment.  Yesterday I had surgery on my right hand due to an apparent unknown fracture from my snowboarding days years ago.  The operation went surprisingly smoothly and I was even able to watch it on a monitor while they were doing it.  Fascinating and slightly repulsive at the same time.  They even gave me a copy of the operation which I made my entire family watch yesterday evening.  As you can imagine they were all extremely thrilled and enthusiastic.

Now I’m supposed to not use my right hand/arm for a minimum of six weeks.  We’ll see how that goes.  Being a mom of three very active kids who do tons of activities will make it a huge challenge.  And don’t get me started on not being able to cook, bake, sew, paint etc for that long!  Wish me luck.

I have a few blog posts prepared for the coming days but I also asked some of my favorite bloggers to help me out with some posts to keep things interesting on this blog in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned because there are some great ones.

Today I wanted to share some of my favorite kid gift ideas.  I’ve bought all these products as gifts for various people this holiday season and some have already been opened and loved (remember that our kids receive their presents on December 6th for Sinterklaas).

In our family we like to keep the whole gift side of the holidays quite low-key and simple.  We try and buy gifts that are unique and usable and we try and support small businesses/designers whenever we can.

So far we’ve made some lovely purchases.  Here are a few:

I bought my daughters these dainty little Louisa Misha bracelets.  They are made with a gold chain and embellished with ceramic beads and cotton tassels.  They come with a chain fastening that can fit the tiniest of wrists and up to when they are teenagers.  I bought them from a great online website called Mini-Mei that has a vast selection of Scandinavian clothing and accessories for kids up to 6 years old.

housse-de-guitare-titus-listrasFor my daughter who is learning to play the classical guitar I bought this guitar case from French designer Lale.  It’s so pretty with the yellow stripes and turquoise edging.  I ordered it online from smallable.

Yellow Boy

Another great gift for the little kids in the family are these Ellie Bellie Kids robots.  These absolutely adorable and soft little robots come in boy and girl versions and in seven colours (and are delivered in a funky carrying case).  An added bonus is that they are made with renewable plant based materials and are constructed ethically with a minimal carbon footprint.  What more could you want in a gift?

mala clothes Mala   Sunny clothing for happy days

Since my children were wee little ones I’ve been dressing them in the Danish kid’s clothing line Mala.  Mala clothing is always so unique, colourful and such good quality.  My kids look forward to their new Mala Christmas clothing every year.  It’s a bit on the pricey side but well worth it!

For my son we couldn’t get away from buying him Lego.  Lego is his life.  He spends hours in his little “Lego corner” in our living room and is so ecstatic when he receives a new box.  We decided that we’d buy him his Lego but from a local family-owned store and not from one of those online mega-stores (even if it was cheaper!).  We bought him this Volkswagen Camper Van for Sinterklaas and he was over the moon about it.  He spent days building it and was so proud when he had finally finished (especially since the age on the box was 16+).

Have you made any unique gift purchases this holiday season?  Do you support small, local businesses and designers as well?

%d bloggers like this: