We have been using Bobux for a long time (They have been making these shoes for over 30 years now), we started with the Bobux soft soles when Pepa was a tiny baby. And as she grew, we continued to get Bobux not only because the shoes are beautiful and excellent quality, but they are certified by podiatrists.
Good shoes are essential for the growth of a baby and toddler. The wrong shoes can damage their legs, hips, and feet permanently. My parents always told me that good shoes are better than pretty ones, but in this case, I got 2 birds with one stone.
The first pair we got for this fall and winter was their model TIMBER in a beautiful mustard color. It is more a trendy cinnamon if you ask me ;) a velvet leather dream with an ankle cuff and strap closure what makes it perfect for the colder months. The laces are elastic, so it is easy to wear when Pepa is in kindergarten. But the coolest part of this shoe is the beautiful suede it is made of.
When buying shoes at Bobux, you can select the stage where your kid is. I have a small kid that is active, and these shoes are the ones I got suggested on their website. These shoes have high-grip pattern soles for active movement with a "hive" design that provides excellent grip... perfect for running in the forest.
Just use a natural water-repellent spray on this soft nubuck leather and ready for the snow. And touching these shoes is fantastic, they are the softest and child-safe and non-toxic, all their materials and dyes are tested to EU REACH standards.
Don't always buy the enormous winter shoes for kids. They are heavy! And imagine walking around the snow with 2 kilos extra... So until the winter is raw and mean, why not use leather shoes? I wear my leather Chelsea boots every winter (even in Norway), so the next model I got for Pepa was not only partner look-ish, but a winter style too.
These boots are called Jodhpur , but they feel like a Chelsea boot to me. They are beautiful boots black in black. I was so excited to see they have a variation where the sole is black instead of the regular natural rubber color. I love black, I always did, even before moving to Berlin. So this was just screaming: Berlin Kid.
These full-grain leather boots have the same specifications as the Timber boots, grip, warm, and fantastic leather quality. They look so chic, you could wear them with a dress or a snowsuit. They close with a zipper but have that elastic on the side as any Chelsea boot. A shoe for active growing kids.
An Otis? Bobux has different levels of growth for their shoes: BABY, CRAWLER or CRUISING, FIRST WALKERS, TODDLERS, KIDS. So you can buy shoes depending on the stage your kids are. Pepa almost jumped the toddler level and wore Kids+ right away. But Otis doesn't crawl, so he is in the first stage: BABY.
Bobux Soft Soles feature a soft suede sole, an unlined leather upper, and an elasticated ankle to keep babies from kicking them off! Friendly fun characters meticulously stitched, with designs that look towards the babies (not the adults) to spark their imagination. High-quality children’s shoes should be extremely flexible, not rigid, to allow children’s feet to grow normally and give them the same range of movement they would have if they weren’t wearing shoes at all.
When I saw that they made a collaboration with The Bonnie Mob, I was like: "yeah!" So I ordered the model Imagine Rainbow. Bobux teamed up with knitwear awesomeness The Bonnie Mob to create baby shoes for little dreamers. And it has to be rainbows as we love them at home!
Besides this, I am so crazy about their new mini-collection The Wild Things that showcases the spots, stripes, and shapes of the wildest characters in the Bobux-verse. I love me some Animal Print for sure!
But how to find the perfect fit? If you have a smartphone, Bobux has the best way to buy the ideal size for your kid. They have something called STRUFIT. Here you can see the process:
Or check their video here. More than half of kids are wearing the wrong shoe size. It's hard to believe, but according to a recent study, almost two thirds of children are walking around in the wrong size shoes. According to a survey, 65 per cent of all kids are wearing shoes that are too small for them.
So, go hop to Bobux and check their stuff... they are awesome!
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Living in the Black Forest gives me more time to spend with my parents. My dad and I have been very close since forever. We enjoy walking through the forest and have shot beverages in between. So now that Pepa is older and can go on longer walks, we enjoy to go out the three of them while my mom stays home warm cuddling with Otis.
Having the right footwear is super important. On rainy days we used rain boots in the city. But after having a walk for some hours in Austria with rubber boots, my feet were pretty mad at me, and Pepa got a blister. Every year we get boots from Palladium, and every year we are super happy with them. So this year wasn't different. This time the three of us got different boots depending on our needs.
I got myself the Pampa SC Outsider WP+ in Black as they are waterproof and super light. I heard they are one of the best sellers for the German winter. I like wearing wool socks, so this was great. They are warm, totally waterproof, and super lightweight. They fit very snug, and you feel like walking in a cloud.
They look great with jeans and pants, but I can wait to wear them with stockings and a dress or skirt, they are that versatile and perfect for life in a village as well... I can sink my whole foot for several minutes in the water and still have dry feet!
On the other side, Pepa is a small toddler with only 3 years old. She needs very warm feet and easy to wear shoes; otherwise, they will hate me in Kindergarten. She got the HI CUFF WPS in black that are super warm with wool inside and had besides shoelaces, 2 zippers on each side of the boot. They are leather shoes, but you can dunk them in the water!
My dad decided on the Sportcuff Thermic WP+. He is a very outdoorsy person. He walks 20Km almost every day. It doesn't matter if it rains or snows. I wish I could join him, but I have barely time to take a shower nowadays. The shoe is made of leather with a lining of polar to keep your feet warm. Totally waterproof from toe to cuff. But there is another feature the reason why he chose these boots. They are the first heat-ready, all-weather lifestyle boot:
You see those bags or belts on his boots? They actually contain batteries to warm the shoes up. Yes! You can warm them up for hours. And if you have the thermic ic batteries, you can control it through an app on your phone. Isn't this just super cool? But if you don't want to buy the batteries, you can use your regular power bank and let them be warm for the number of hours your bank allows it.
We had such a great afternoon, walking through the rain and sipping some hot cocoa with marshmallows and some freshly brewed coffee. As the Norwegians say: there is no bad weather, but wrong clothing and they are so right. After all, we aren't made of cotton candy, and we enjoy rainy days in the Black Forest.
Some time ago, I remembered seeing some Insta-posts about origami-style mobiles. I can't remember in which account I saw them...sorry. So this isn't original-original but "Instagram-Inspired." If you follow me on Instagram, you would know that I am trying to make a beautiful kid's room. (There is a severe lack of playgrounds in this village). I am doing as much as I cant to make it Pinterest Pretty by myself and on a budget.
I have been looking for a mobile for Otis, but most of them aren't quite what I want. Herz & Blut made one that I like, but it seemed too hard for me to replicate it. So I made this one. Here is how can you make it yourself. It is pretty easy, but time-consuming, though it took me a couple of weeks to finish it.
First is the origami. I am a total newbie on this so actually anyone can do it. I found this tutorial on youtube on how to make diamonds with paper. You can use any form, from cranes to paper boats. But these look so beautiful, and I can make them later for Christmas-tree decorations too.
The next step is practice, practice, practice. And shop the supplies. You will need the following:
PAPER: Colored paper over 100 gr. Heavy. You can buy them in size A4 or a bigger one. I got big sheets at the drugstore, to be honest. I used three colors, but two would work as well. You can get them in scheme colors at Modulor like this winter pack here.
WOOD: Wooden beads, you can buy them here in Amazon or places like Etsy or Dawanda. You will need some wood stain if you don't want to leave it in natural color.
THREAD: A roll of thread in a color that fits your scheme colors.
GLUE: I used regular glue as it takes time to dry, so you have time to adjust stuff. I tried the hot glue gun, but it was a disaster as it dries so fast you can't correct it at all.
NEEDLE: I used a knit needle, the bigger and thicker the better.
HANGER: Stick, log, or hook to hang your work of art at the end.
When you are testing with regular copy paper, you should check the sizes you would like to make. I made the big ones in 20 cm, the medium ones 15 cm, and the small one is 11cm. I think I made one on 16cm too. Cut them all and don't forget you need pairs. So pair them always and keep them that way, so you don't get confused and end up with a mess.
TIPP: Fold them all like this before starting and make a small hole in the middle with your needle.. this will make it SOOOOOO much easier for you later.
Once you finished folding the parts, start staining the beads, use gloves! Let them dry overnight. I didn't add a finish to it, but you can do it. I find it too messy to paint balls.
The beads are done, the two parts of the diamonds as well, and you are just so ready to make this happen.
And this is how we roll: Cut a piece of thread about 2x lengths of your arm. Double thread your needle. Take one bead or 2 or three and knot it at the end of your thread. Pierce or string the lower part of the diamond and then the top, as you can see in the picture. Add glue on one side and paste together. Repeat until all diamonds are done and with thread.
I made an ombre effect here, using the darker color at the top and the lighter color at the bottom. But you can work your creativity here. Grab all the diamonds by its string and place them as you would like them at the end. Then make a knot at the very top of them.
TIP: It is easier to pull down a diamond than up, so start with all of them pretty close and start pulling one by one lower.
I found this wood beauty in my old backyard in Berlin, but you can use a regular hook on the ceiling, a log, a stick... anything you can fix over the baby cot. Please be sure to attach it correctly, and please be safe!
I used 4 yarn pieces, double thread tied to two hooks on the ceiling, but there are very good glues that would do the work, be sure to weight the whole thing and ask the specialist at your hardware store... always ask.
Placing the mobile: You don't need to put it in the middle of one side.. just check where exactly your baby's head will be and that is the place. Leave at least 50 cm space between your baby's nose and the last bead.
Tie the mobile really good. I went over the log 2 times, and the third was a knot, and I added tape at the back to fix it. Now you can turn your mobile like a carrousel many times, pushing one diamond with one finger and let it go. Otis gets hypnotized every time I do that.
You will be cutting loads of paper while making the diamonds. Save all pieces and keep them for later. You can do some other projects with them or even use it to create fun things like this porcupine I made with Pepa. Always try to use all the material instead of throwing them away...
I hope you guys like this DIY! If you have any questions, just ask away. It is effortless to make, and the cost is almost nothing compared to regular mobiles on the market. Not to mention how proud you will feel when you see your baby admiring it and being entertained by it.
When I think back on our weekend at Kaiserslodge, the first word that comes to mind is "details." The Kaiserlodge is the most detail-oriented hotel I have been in for a long time.
The trip to Austria was very relaxed. We took a direct train from Zürich, and they even had a family wagon with kids cinema. In about 4.5 hours, we were in the tiny station of Kufstein and after a quick taxi drive, in Kaiserlodge. To give you a rough idea where it is, in between Munich, Salzburg, and Innsbruck.
This luxurious "nature hotel" looks like a huge beautiful cottage. That is exactly what it resembled from outside: a charming cottage. All constructed in the traditional Tirol way and with a form similar to the mountains in the background. As soon as you get in the smell slaps you in the face, a good slap! It smells like different kinds of trees. Most of the hotel is wood, and you can smell it. It is like being at a sauna and a Forest at the same time.
Once we checked in, we proceeded to our suite. It was prettier than my flat, to be honest. It had a living-dining room with a kitchenette and a terrace on the first floor and two bedrooms upstairs with their own bathrooms.
The rooms we suited for families or couples. One room had a huge bed where we could sleep the three of us and had an extra bed with a room separator, and the other room had a big bed and a bunk bed so that you could fit about eight people... just like a small cottage.
The terrace was one of the highlights for us. We love water, and all suites have a terrace with access to the outdoors lake. Yes, it was raining, but thank god we aren’t made of cotton candy. We both enjoyed dipping to the lake even if it felt like it was freezing that day.
We were there on a rainy autumn weekend. Typically on a weekend like that is is hard to find a place to have fun indoors and outdoors and less with a toddler and a newborn, but Kaiserlodge made it possible.
We watched the rainbows after meditation yoga and laughed out asses off while making pictures infront of the rainy mountains
Kaiserlodge is quite young. Just celebrated its 2nd birthday on October 14th, and it’s the baby project of Kaiser, the oldest hotel from the same owner that is right next to Kaiserlodge. You can actually walk from one hotel to the next and use their facilities. I loved to walk around and see some unique stuff, like the halls filled with pictures of recurrent guests or the handprints of the kids that stayed at their kid's club.
The kids club! Most parents love the kids' clubs. I am pretty ambiguous in my feelings about them. I feel quite guilty about leaving Pepa in some of them. Sometimes they seem too small, or I feel it is a pity to be indoors with strange people with not much to do but sit and watch tv.
But once I saw the program and facilities of Kaiserlodges kids club, I was dying to let Pepa try it and spend some relaxed time together with Otis.
It was adventure pure. Remember it was raining, so most outdoors activities were off for kids, but indoors was just as good. They had a full area for climbing and jumping and discovering, a big kids cinema with great films going all day long and an activity area with all the tools you can imagine to have fun: face painting, reading, creating stuff and more. Pepa was so happy that she didn’t want to leave after the 2 hours I planned for her to be there... I lost her to their great kid's club, and it didn’t feel bad at all! This playground was made in cooperation with Wehrfritz / HABA.
We had a great itinerary planned as an after Oktoberfest detox: First, we started with some "breath walk" with Fateh Singh. Breathing and walking comprise two of our simplest activities, yet they are also two of our most powerful actions. By bringing them together in a systematic and meditative way, we can enhance our physical, emotional, and Spiritual Fitness.
It is a training method from Kundalini yoga. We walked through the forest, learning how to breathe and walk, being aware of our bodies and our movements. A bit harder than it sounds and very relaxing. The bit of rain made it even more magical to walk in the mostly forest.
We tried the Wellness Trend: Forest Bathing. This is known to the Japanese as shinrin-yoku. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.
Laura Keuthen was our leader through the Woods. Don’t think this is exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world. What helps us being healthy and happy. No pictures of this as you aren’t supposed to have a phone or camera with you.
The third seminar was "healing with herbs" with Gerti. We discovered the different healing properties of herbs and natural products. We started making the fastest bread with sweet bread clover. Pepa loved being able to mix and make buns before heading again to the kids club for their night program.
We learned how lemon, quark, bicarb and sauerkraut can help to heal your intestines when you have celiac disease and that Curcuma and bicarb can help with cancer. We all prepared stuff together and ate it afterward. Very rewarding and very detoxing.
What was very relaxing and detoxing was their spa area. I fell in love with the indoors/ outdoors pool overlooking the Austrian mountains. It was hot and steamy inside, and I got Otis butt naked and enjoyed the beach weather.
You can see how relaxed he was once we got inside. Pepa found some four-year-olds, and they were swimming from the inside to the outside pool back and forth.
I was enjoying fresh detoxing teas on my chase long with Otis on my chest, sleeping, and watching nature. Can this be more relaxing? No.
But can I finish this post without talking about food? Never! The food at Kaiserlodge was tremendous, and they were very flexible. The first night was vegan food planned, but as you may know, I am on the keto diet, and I have celiac disease. They managed to bring me some great pork medallions with salad in no time, Pepa got this beautiful dessert plate, and we both enjoyed the seasonal pumpkin cream that was delicious. Pepa’s risotto and amuse bouche was terrific.
Pepa’s risotto and amuse Boucher was terrific. The second night during the herbs seminar, she was feeling like her favorite sandwich, and they went to the kitchen and made that avocado cheese and mayo sandwich. She was so happy about it. What a service!
But for me the best was breakfast. You can cross the things you want to eat just like in Transit, remember? Or order a full breakfast, like this emperors breakfast (with it the mimosa as I was on the detox) what a treat! Can I get this served every weekend at home?
All together this place was the best getaway for a Fall Weekend, Pepa didn’t miss the outdoors as we went for walks on the Forest and had fun at the awesome kids club.
In winter, you can rent equipment even for kids, and if it doesn’t fit properly, you can change it down at the slopes. I can totally imagine coming for a cross-country weekend with the kids, and in summer, it must be beautiful as well.
Grey, grey grey! We love us some grey. Not only our Bugaboo Fox is the beautiful Classic grey, but many of our new stuff is grey. And I thought I'll show you my latest five favorite shades of grey:
Living in an icy place means you need extra gear--- Sometimes it is hard to choose what to buy. Sadly Otis is one of those babies that freezes a lot and sweats even more. Having a Walksack makes loads of sense here. This one from Hessnatur is made of pure organic merino wool from organic livestock and is environmentally friendly. And because of this, it is very similar in its properties to the human skin and naturally ensures the right body temperature.
It is Warm and wind repellent for even the cruelest of the temperatures. And as it is made with natural fibers, it breathes, and the heat doesn't accumulate. Organic wool wicks moisture away from the body because it absorbs up to 30% of its weight in moisture, without feeling wet.
What I particularly like about this Walksack, is that it meets one of my primary needs: Moving Otis from bed to stroller to car seat and bed. When Otis sleeps, he can be placed on the unfolded Walksack and packaged warmly without much discomfort. And when you are ready to put him in the car seat or stroller, you don't need to unpack him, because it has integrated belt slots.
Not to forget, this Walksack doesn't only keep him nice and warm but gives him this "limit," known from swaddling.
2. EN FANT winter leather boots:
When I was first pregnant with Pepa, I thought it was irrational to buy shoes for babies as they don't walk. But I noticed that shoes aren't just made for walking but for keeping their tiny feet warm. Even wearing thick socks and knitted boots, sometimes it is too cold for them. Not always their small feet are inside a Walksack or a sleeping bag, but hanging from a carrier, wrap, or sling.
Pepa had a couple of them, but my all-time favorite is the Sheepskin booties from EN FANT DK, they are super warm and beautiful and effortless to put on and with wool lining. Besides that, they rarely fall from their feet- thanks velcro-And this is gold, as I had at least two boots with no pair at home because of this.
3. FIXONI fleece Overall:
This super cute bear outfit is the best. It isn't just lovely (and has ears), but it is the best TO-GO item at home, for the stroller or the wrap, slide Otis in and go go go! Sometimes you need to go out quick, and even in pajamas, so this cute overall is perfect for this.
But this wasn't its primary purpose. Made of pure wool, this super cute baby felt one-piece by Fixoni is built to survive the cold. It has folding cuffs on the arms and attached feet for keeping my little fox warm. And the hood with ears peaking pout of the wraps is just adorable.
4. Artipoppe Argus Tabiti Wrap:
There is nothing more beautiful than having Otis rest next to my heart and being able to sniff the sweet baby-scent on his head. I have many baby wrap-carriers, but carriers and wraps are a very personal thing. I can't use the ergo baby as I can bend my arms to close it, The Marsupi is too noisy for Otis as it has Velcro. I tried some more, but I was afraid Otis was going to slip out, cut off his circulation, or damage his hips, I couldn't find something that worked for me. I tried fabric wrap from a friend, and I decided to get one. But one that would fit my style.
Artipoppe was the choice. I know there are plenty of baby wraps in the market, but none that is a fusion of practical babywearing and fabulous fashion style. I bought the Limited Edition Argus Tibiti made of Cashmere, merino wool, and linen. Super soft and strong enough to make me feel safe. I get so many compliments when I wear Otis in it.
5. Tonies Anthrazit
I used to have a CD player for Pepa, but she is too small for CDs, she catches them and then changes from CD to the radio, and in the end, it was more work for me. "Mooooom the CD doesn't work" "mom I can't turn it on" "Moooooooom, I cant *cries*" Running back and forth to the room wasn't the best until I heard of Tonies. A speaker box where you have figures instead of CDs.
Since we got it, we have so much fun, and Pepa can play without calling me every 2 seconds. They have stories, music compilations, and creative Tonies. Those are like back in the 90s empty cassettes. You can record anything for 90 minutes for your kids to hear from singing yourself a song or reading a book, to music from their favorite playlists. We love it!
Who doesn't become a child again when they visit Disneyland? I grew up in a family where having Minnie ears was totally normal. We used to vacation in Orlando and Visit Disney World since we were small. It is a given I will bring my kids to Disney as soon as they can enjoy it.
But what is the appropriate age? many people think you can't make memories before you are 7, but I will say between 3-7 is when the first memories start. But it all depends in your kid. On our case, I waited for the following:
- Diaper free with no leeks
- Been able to eat by herself without making a mess
- Ability of resist and enjoy long travel, and long journeys
- Be able to have a conversation about her feelings
- Recognise what Disney is, and which characters are from Disney
Once we had all checked, we watch a Disney marathon of songs in youTube and bought some movies in Amazon, watched some in Netflix and we were ready. This was our last girls vacation before "the boy" arrives, so we took it as a Girls Babymoon.
I think Disneyland Paris is a great first Disney to visit. It is small, has just two parks and it is small enough to be able to check it all out. And they have a whole area for small kids. So first thing to do is to chose where you are staying and how long.
1. Disney Tickets
As I was super pregnant with 35 weeks, I opted for staying longer and try to do less than a regular adult does in Disneyland. I checked the hotels around and I have to say the best deal was to stay in a Disney Hotel and book it from their website. Why? well, you have loads of extras when you book with them. You don't have to buy tickets to the park. If you stay 2 nights, you have automatically 3 days tickets for both parks, a basic Fast track (no need to stand in line), shuttle buses to the parks and Disney Village and most of them have pools, babysitter services.
They have different price ranges, and you don't need to stay in the most expensive ones to have all the perks and fun! We decided for Newport Bay Club. When you stay in these hotels you have an extra magic time, meaning, you can arrive at the park at 8.30 instead of 10am, what is perfect for small kids that wake up early and the park is all yours mostly, for some pictures without masses or to get fast in your favourite attraction.
A pool is a must when you are visiting Disneyland in summer. Paris is very hot, and you need to get some water time if you want to survive the heat. So we took an hour every day, noon-ish, to cool down and jump in and out of the pool. we did some bed jumping as well, but shhh, don't tell anyone!
2. Picture with the Castle Background:
What is the most important picture when you visit Disneyland? A picture with the castle, of course! But mostly these pictures are filled with other visitors and it is kind of a war to take one good one. Some different ways to make a good picture are for example as I told you before, take a picture during the extra time of magic or take a selfie walking up the castle like these two pictures,
But there are as well many spots where you are mostly alone and the castle is right there to see. We hanged my phone on BUGABOO Fox Stroller and set a timer. We took 5 good shots with no one next to us and you could see the castle completely. Our model skill could improve though. I marked pink dots in the map some places to take your perfect Disneyland visit picture:
3. Special Passes:
Everyone can buy any of the different FASTPASS, you even have a basic one when you stay in a Disney Hotel. They are very expensive though. But Disneyland thought about those with special needs.. Handicapped kids or handicapped parents will get a special pass to go directly in the attraction without queues just getting an appointment. Pregnant women get a pink pass (the one I did) I just went to the attraction I wanted to see, got an appointment and went back later avoiding standing 1 hour for BuzzLightyear or the carrousel and important for me: avoiding swollen feet.
And last but not least: the baby switch pass: Thrillseekers with young children? You can double your time by only queuing once. If two adults are visiting together with a small kid, there's no need to queue twice! The smart Baby Switch system allows adults to queue once and then take turns riding the attraction, whilst the other watches over the little one.
For any passes you just need to go to Disneyland´s City hall once you enter the park. Be sure to have any paper that say you are pregnant or just show your big bump.
4. Characters Dinner/Lunch:
Eating in Disney and meeting characters is a MUST. But getting to say hi to Goofy or Mickey Mouse takes time. You need to check in advance where and when each character will be at and then wait in a queue for at least 30 minutes to have your minute with them.
If you want to have dinner in Disneyland Paris, you have to pay for a hotdog, fries and a soda about 20 euro and an ice cream 5 euro. A total of 25 euro per adult OR child. Not to mention the horrible service at Gibson Girl where the person working there made me bite the walls and made Pepa cry, and the Casey Corner took forever, people were smoking on their court, and the food was not even IKEA level.
So I checked the prices for dinner and lunch with characters. Why not kill two birds with one stone? I already booked the hotel with half board, so we added a fee to make those meals with the characters. But If you aren't booking half or full board, the price per kid is 35 and adult 45.
For ten extra euro or less, you can sit comfortably in a restaurant and have a three-course dinner with your family while the characters parade from table to table. They say hi, sign autographs, dance with the kids, and more.
You need to reserve in advance to be sure you won't be waiting for long. We made the reservations by phone a week before our arrival. I booked a character meal for each day at the park. And we started on Friday evening at Cafe Mickey at Disney Village.
The food was a massive improvement to the dog and fries with cola. Pepa started with a Basil minestrone, followed by a cheeseburger with fries in a Mickey Mouse plate and finishing with the cutest dessert ever. I had the tuna tartare with salmon carpaccio, sliced green asparagus, sea asparagus, sambuca cream sauce, lemon confit and, Linguini pasta with prawns with shellfish sauce. In all the restaurants, they will have a vegan and gluten-free variation! Hooray! And the Mickey dessert was the crown of the evening. They included soft drinks as well.
We stayed two hours since we sat down until we left, and Pepa got to see the characters many times, she danced with Minnie Mouse, kissed Pluto at least three times and chased Tiger around. Every 10 minutes, a character would come by, and it was fun for both of us. At the park we would have waited for 30 minutes in the heat to say hi and take a picture, here we had delicious food, it was very comfortable, and we had the time to interact with them.
It was a Menu a la carte so you had a vast amount of choices, eight main dishes on the adults menu and three for the kids ones. There was something for every person...for sure
5. Princess for a Day:
I was never a "princess type" but more of a "cowgirl type" as a kid, so I never understood the whole "princess for a day" hype. But Pepa loves Princesses and continuously talks about wanting to be one. I did some research about the Princess for a day package, and the prices go from 55-350 euro. Woaaaaah!
€55 make-up and hairstyle
€120 make-up, hairstyle, and choice of a regular dress
€180 make-up, hairstyle and one of the two prestige dress (Elsa or Cinderella)
€350 make-up, hairstyle, and the Belle premium dress
And then you have to add the dinner for the princesses price or the one hour wait at the park to meet just one of them for 3 minutes.
I decided not to get any of the packages (they don't even come with a tiara). I saw close to the carrousel some princess face-painting stations, and I bought the Belle Makeup package for 10 euro. The day before we went to Disney Village and we chose a dress and a Tiara for Pepa. The dress was 60 euro, but you can bring your own dress or use a nice one you have from home.
At the Makeup Station, they finished it off with a sprinkle of pixie dust in her hair. And taddaaahh just for a fraction of the cost you have the princess experience! Pepa was in awe! She couldn't believe she was a princess... The experience didn't stop there, Pepa was showered with compliments by Cast Members throughout the day.
And instead of spending 60 euro again in fast food at the park (and as we had half board), we went for dinner with the princesses. When you are in the park, you need to wait for over 50 minutes at the Princesses Pavillon to meet just one princess, But at the Auberge de Cendrillon in Fantasyland, you get to talk to them and take pictures and even dance with them.
The menu here is a bit more expensive, but the food is worth it. The restaurant greeted us with a princess cocktail and the amuse bouche: Fairy Nibbles. Our three-course menu was 45 euro for Pepa and 70 euro for me. Luckily, it was included in our meal plan. I had the duck trio with fig jam, and Pepa had the smoked salmon with cheese.
I was all so delicious. Many princesses already came by, and they would come to your table and speak your language. They were tender and sweet and would have a conversation. The main courses waltzed in. I had the Chefs Special: beef with three kinds of mashed potatoes. Pepa had Chicken breast with creamy tomato pasta.
Pepa is a bit shy or star-trucked, but as the princesses come by more than once and are super sweet, She had to meet all of them, from Cinderella to Belle. We stayed there about 2 hours as well, and Pepa was on the moon, she danced ballet with Belle, talked about her favorite food with Cinderella and huge Snow White. The happiness in her eyes was unbelievable.
To finish the evening, we got our desserts: a Cinderella white chocolate shoe, filled with chocolate mousse and raspberry sauce... Can I get ten more of those??
An experience you must have at Disneyland Paris! Can't wait to do it all over again! Once Otis is old enough for that (and if he likes princesses too)
6. Light Show Front Row:
One of the coolest events while visiting Disneyland Paris is the Light Show at night. It is a beautiful mix of Disney music, light, water, and fireworks. To be honest, it was so amazing; I even cried a bit every time I see it.
But one of the most important things to enhance your experience is where to sit and the wait. What I do is to go to the place (I marked it in the map) and wait and watch the guy putting the line or rope. He will put this rope not to allow people to get any closer. That is your chance! Walk with him and sit next to the rope and you are front row, baby! He will mark the place 30 minutes before the show starts.
If you travel with a toddler, take a stroller and let them nap as the show in summer starts at 10.30pm. As you see here, this is how we sat, and we had the best view and the comfiest place for Pepa. Not to mention that she passed out after the show was over and it was easier to take her rolling.
7. Parade Front row:
Yet another Front Row. It gets so hard to have an awesome place to see the closing parade. I am only 159 cm short, so even putting Pepa on my shoulders, she wouldn't be able to see the show if we don't get the right place. Most people sit down for 1 or 2 hours to get a good view of it. I can't stand the wait in summer, and Pepa is the most impatient toddler. Besides that, isn't it better to ride three times Buzzlighyear than sit down waiting?
The trick in here is almost like the one from the lights show: 30 minutes before the parade, stand on the street. They will send someone to close the road. It will be a guy telling people to walk the other way. And there is your chance! Ask if that street will be closed for the parade and stand there or sit and you will be just next to all the awesomeness of the Disney Parade. I marked the map, so you know where to stand.
Be sure to have some water and snacks with you. I used a bag to sit on the floor as it was hot. And the stroller to store the food and drinks. Just go along with the Disney people and have some fun clapping, making waves and singing for 30 minutes until the parade starts.
8. Your best friend: The Stroller
Many people told me not to bring the stroller with me. But let's face it! I can't survive without our Bugaboo Fox. And we were traveling not only by train but for a long time, pregnant with a three-year-old toddler. So I decided to bring it with me.
It was the best idea ever. Not only helped with Pepa and the long (20 000 steps days) but it helped me with carrying stuff, it was Pepa's seat at the shows, napping space and more. But is it better to rent or to bring yours? Easy answer, the rental ones aren't easy to drive, hard to spot when you are looking for yours at the strollers station, and you both are already used to it.
There are several parking spots for strollers, just be sure to bring a lock, a long one to be able to attach it to a tree or the strollers zone sign. We kept the water bottles and other snick snacks in there and just took my stroller bag to the attractions. You can leave the stroller for longer periods or time if you are going to several attractions that are close to each other.
It is so helpful in waiting lines, on the hotel shuttle, when your kid is dead at the end of the day and so on! I can highly recommend it. After walking 20K steps, I was happy I didn't have muscle ache from pushing stroller, our bugaboo drives almost by itself!
9. Breakfast with the characters:
Hotel breakfast or breakfast with characters has almost precisely the same food. And at the Disney hotels, there will always be a character in the morning to meet. But then again, the perks of having breakfast with all of them and getting earlier in the park is just super cool. And from all of the characters meals, this one is the cheapest.
For our last breakfast, I booked the character one. It is inside the park at the Plaza Gardens and has two sittings: 8.15 and 9.45. Silly me booked at 8.15, and we stayed until midnight at the Lightshow, so it was tough to wake up and get there in time, but we made it.
The restaurant is enormous, so you always see all the characters walking around. Pepa kept screaming, "Daisyyy, Daisyyy!!" when she saw Daisy Duck walking. She is her favorite character.
They took a long time and played with the kids and millennial childless couples *wink wink* And it is totally worth it when you have one kid or a big troop as they take time for every person in the table. Worth it! And if you are not staying at a Disney hotel, you will have an extra hour of magic as you are allowed in the park before it opens. But don't forget to make the reservation in advance!
10. What to pack:
What to bring with you to the park? There are several places where you can refill water. I took two metal bottles, so I didn't have to spend 8 euros every time we were thirsty. Another useful thing during summer is water mist. You can buy them in every supermarket or pharmacy in France, and they help you keep cool. There isn't much A/C in Disneyland Paris.
Bring some snacks. They allow bringing that, hell! I even saw a Hindi family eating curry from Tupperware in the park. Have cash with you and bring an empty bag as they charge you for bags. Bravo Disneyland! They stopped using plastic bags at the gift shops. Don't forget sunscreen and wet wipes. A camera is great, but we took all our pictures with an iPhone. Don't forget your smartphone as there is wifi in the park, and you can use the app instead of the printed maps.
Put a sticker to your kids clothes with your name and phone number or get those temporary tattoos. I got some from a Disney worker.
Extra tip: ALWAYS ask for help:
They will always help you! Just ask! When we arrived, Pepa got a fever, and I thought the trip was over. I asked the concierge, and they took me to a pharmacy and told me what to buy. After 20 minutes she was jumping in the pool — all at no charge.
And when Pepa wanted to go on attractions that weren't allowed for pregnant women, they sent someone to ride with her. Like in the video. Can you spot Pepa and Francisco??
It was the best babymoon every. Even though my feet were sore at the end of it, we suck in all the magic Disneyland had to offer and had a fantastic time. I hope this helps you plan your next DLP trip, but if you have any questions, just hit us up!
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Last week I was using my hand mixer, and I noticed it had been twenty years since I bought it. I remembered quite well as I was living in Holland, and it was 1999. A cute orange hand mixer from Braun. I have that mixer still and works excellent. It has survived my trips from Holland to Peru, from Germany to Norway and back to Berlin. Maybe the only kitchen appliance that has to endure this much.
Though I love my mixer, it was time to get a new one as my blender, and small food processor died last summer (way too many nuts and frozen smoothies), And it was the perfect timing when KMB and Braun decided to give me the new MultiQuick 9 to test. And boy! The technology has gone a long way in the last 20 years. So let's get this bad boy for a ride and do a recipe!
I decided for a recipe with six ingredients, vegan, gluten-free, nut-full and: fast! And went for 3 of all the excellent attachments they came in my set (more than 10) Besides the MultiQuick9 you will need a pan, but if you are into raw, ditch it!! I just used it to make it more kid-friendly and pregnant friendly too!
Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 cup soaked cashews overnight or one hour with boiling water
2 tbsp Japanese soy cream or any vegan cream
Avocado oil or neutral oil
Start with the shallots. I used the small chopping attachment and pressed for a couple of seconds until it was tiny (so long crying) I used some avocado oil and fried them until transparent and set aside. I usually would leave it raw as it makes it spicier, but I can't eat it like that, nor Pepa.
Rinse quickly - chop chop! - And put the drained cashews in the same attachment. Press a couple of times and add some cream to it for a more luxurious creamier consistency. Cashew-licious!
The new ActiveBlade makes it easier and faster to chop/blend, and so on. That means 40% less time and 40% less energy. And a nice feature is that it has a "lock/unlock button" at the top of the hand mixer. Great when cooking with kids or next to them. No more splashes of pancake batter in our kitchen!
I used the julienne blade for the Zoodles. I would typically take my Spiralizer out and make zucchini noodles, but it is a hassle for a fast lunch for two. So let's see how this julienne will work out. It took me a couple of seconds, and they were ready. They looked great, and I don't miss the long zoodles or the long washing times.
Be sure you get a sweet avocado. The sauce itself is pretty light, so you will notice if the avocado wasn't good.
In the blender cup, add the onions, half avocado, the cashew cream and as many basil leaves you need. Add some more soy cream if you get a bit stuck while blending. I used the blender as I wanted a very homogeneous cream, but if you like it more crunchy, continue with the chopping attachment. Add salt until it tastes great!
This step is optional. Use a bit of avocado oil in a wok and stir-fry the noodles until they are al dente. You can use it raw.. but I think it is better if it is a bit softer.
I am now plating. If you have rings at home, it is excellent, but if not, you can always cut the bottom of a tuna can. I use to have tuna cans for years until I got myself these ones. Press gently the zoodles, 2/3 of the ring should be filled with them.
Fill the rest of the ring with the cream and let this rest. I had some extra dry cashews at home, and I used the chopper again. If you aren't into super nutty food, you can add some boiled quinoa or brown rice. I like it better with cashew dust.
I was amazed about how fast this machine is, how easy to clean as well. I was washing the attachments while cooking and reusing them right away. I can wait to try the rest of the blades (including the French fries cutter) and the mash potato stab or as I will call it: The Guac-Maker! If you want my honest opinion, this is for sure, an appliance that will steal the spotlight of my kitchen. Thanks, KMB and Braun for introducing it to me.
There is that time when you need to buy big toys for your kids, and let's face it, if you don't have a big kids room, then you are doomed to have toys everywhere in the house. I am super annoying when it comes to my flat. I worked my ass off to make it look pretty, and I was so afraid it will get filled with different kinds of wood and crazy colors. So when Pepa asked to have a Kitchen for her second birthday, I started planning the "partner look" with my kitchen.
I looked for every kitchen possible and checked the possibilities of "hacking it," and the best one was IKEA Duktig. It is already pure and mostly white like the kitchen at home. But it has a lot of greys and a different kind of wood. But that isn't too hard to change.
First things first, Open the box and decide which colors you need. Separate the parts and plan what will you do with every piece. Doing this will make it easier to work. I finish this in several days, and I took each part out when needed - this avoids unnecessary chaos.
You need to find a varnish that is kids friendly; I found the ALPINA Weißlack für Innen that is made for toys and can get licked without being worried about poisoning. Please check this! Don't forget it is a children's toy and need to be children safe. The color that matched my kitchen fronts was Cremeweiss and silk matt finish.
The working surface of the Duktig is already varnished. If you are good varnishing, you can buy a colored varnish, and after some small sanding, you can add layers of it until achieving the right color. On my case, I wanted it to seem like oiled wood. For this, you use a sanding machine like my BOSCH PMS 160A or just sand off the old vanish by hand. When you are varnish free, clean and change the wood color with wood stain. I used CLOU water-based stain in the same color as the surface of the kitchen: OAK. You can add many layers of it. Every layer will get darker than the one before. Don't forget to use gloves and a sponge for better results and cleaner fingers.
I added a coat of varnish in super matte as I am sure that Pepa will use water on hers. you can add some wood oil as well.
My kitchen sink and tap are black, so it was just intelligent to make them black as well. These parts are plastic. Use a base spray to avoid flaking and then using a kid's safe varnish spray. Cover the area you are working over as you don't want to ruin your floors. Let it dry and repeat until it is all covered.
The DUKTIG kitchen doesn't come with a wall. And that makes it easier for a kid to drop things through that gap, ergo, chaos. I measured the back of the kitchen and bought a cheap MDF/wood thin plate. Then, nail from the back. Then I bought some "tile stickers" and pasted them. You can paint it in color, or use any folie as well.
To finalize the kitchen partner look, I needed leather grips. I made my kitchen grips last time. But it would have been too expensive and time-consuming to recreate them. I found IKEA makes leather grips but not in black. I always have leather stain or dye for Pepas shoes. I just dyed the grips to black and achieved the same look.
This was a very subtle DIY hack, but I am so in love with the results. It fits my kitchen. It doesn't look like I have a toy laying around. It is like a mini-me partner look kitchen standing there. I bought plastic baskets at Superbazaro (from Maedchenitalienber) in the Mulackstraße in green for Pepa to store all the toys she uses in the kitchen. Don't they look fantastic? Add a little plant, some, and you will be ready to do some cook-offs with your toddler.
I hope this was helpful for you guys and if you have any questions, shoot!
Finally my Barcelona blog post online. As I don’t like talking wrong about people, I will say most of my pictures were “lost.” So after gathering some of the images, I downloaded to my Mac, iPhone pictures and some other ones I got back. I finally finished this.
Last year I needed a vacation. So why not Barcelona? Haven't been there since I became a mom, love their food, and they happen to speak one of my mother languages. But to be honest, I was a bit skeptic about being in my old "Party Town" with a toddler. We were invited to spend some days at Barceló Raval. It is a beautiful and centric hotel in Barcelona filled with art, elegant interior and the most beautiful (sexy) light for selfies or bed games if you are not traveling alone ;)
The cool thing about the location of this hotel is that you can walk around the city and leave your car parked. As a celiac, it is always hard to travel. Many countries have no gluten-free alternatives (Sorry France for bashing you), But Barcelona was a tremendous Gluten-free destination.
From small stores full of fresh fruit to huge markets offering cured meats, and seafood. A paradise for Gluten intolerants. Of course, you can have bread, but who needs this when you can have oysters with Cava and Ibérico with cheese?
I love traveling off-season. In October it was like Norwegian Summer, some days were pretty hot, but in the mornings a trench was needed. Here you can see Pepa early in the morning wearing a Mint & Berry Trenchcoat, Tiny Cottons t-shirt, Zara kids Jeans, Adidas Stan Smith kicks and Acne Studios beanie at 7 am. And before we were wearing shorts and sandals.
My favorite breakfast/brunch place was Caravelle: A very cool and Scandinavian style place that serves fantastic coffee. It was so good; we went there two times. They have a large gluten-free selection — for example this tortilla staple with poached eggs and avocado.
Or these "sunny side up" fried eggs with mushrooms and avocado. All eggs were on point and the second time around I had the Spanish breakfast that had pork with pork and a side of pork :)
Walking around Barcelona was fun. No need to move too much, and for a two-year-old, it was quite ok. The narrow streets and balconies are a must-see. Pepa was wearing a jumper from 1+family, a Nike jacket and Suicoke Sandals with Hipsterkid sunglasses.
Pepa wears a "coord" tank top and shorts from Gray Label, Nike jacket Socks with Adidas Stan Smith sneakers.
Another place I enjoyed wasDüal Café. A tiny spot next to the market hall. They had as well many gluten-free things (if you aren’t vegan) like this tortilla with mushrooms and tomatoes or a massive amount of delicious Iberico ham with a poached egg with hollandaise sauce.
After a great breakfast and walk, we needed a Mom-Daughter nap, but first some time at Barceló Raval´s terrace, they have an incredible 360° view terrace, and you can see the whole Barcelona from up there while tanning or cooling down in the pool. At night, that terrace turns into a hot summer party with live music and cocktails.
At Barceló they have a great gluten-free selection at breakfast and in the evening as well. They made the whole dinner gluten-free. Starting with some bubbles and cheese chips, Toast with hummus, patatas bravas, and zucchini rolls deliciously filled.
For the mains, fish with steamed veggies and for me a tender beef with sauce over mashed potatoes, I was not missing gluten at all!
A must do for someone that hasn’t been in Barcelona yet or if you are traveling with kids is go to Barcelonetta beach and enjoy the view while sipping Sangria and eating some mussels. Be sure to ask if they come with flour cause some of them do. Some Patatas Bravas are always welcome as well.
There is a fair as well, where kids can do some bungee, drive cars and do some vehicle crashing or drive on the Ferris wheel. I always have loads of fun and Pepa had a blast.
Pepa wears jumper from and hat from MarMar, I wore: Do nothing club shirt, vintage shorts, bag from Ebeth and sunglasses from Ace & Tate, and my favorite fun lipstick from MAC: Ruby Woo.
One of the things I like about Barcelona is that you can take the car and drive around, finding beaches and small towns and that is what we did. We saw beautiful beaches and hidden pearls when we decided to drive up north along the coast.
Most places were closed because it was off-season, but at least one restaurant per beach was open. They were very friendly about me not eating gluten and added extra eggs or meat. I didn't felt bad or left out because of gluten.
My tiny mermaid loves water so much that she was in every beach, pond or swimming pool wearing swimming diapers you can find at every supermarket in Barcelona or with her favorite bathing coord suit from Tiny Cottons with SPF 50 protection we got from Littlehipstar. The flamingo was from the store next to the beach in Lloret de Mar.
If you follow me on Instagram, you could have seen some outtakes of the trip and videos like this one. Yes, I was in love with this oversized T-shirt from On vacation club, I wore it almost every day as a dress or at the beach. Hooray for huge shirts.
I will return to Barcelona for sure. It is very celiac welcoming and kids friendly, the off-season is my favorite season as it isn’t full of cars and tourists, but you can still enjoy the warm weather and beaches.
Pepa´s Birthday is in May, but last May I was swamped with work and it was just impossible to pull off a big birthday party. We celebrated together at home on the actual birthday and made a cake, but she was asking for a birthday party... So why not make a "Half Birthday Party"?
Halloween was the date... So I opened Pinterest and started my mood board... Halloween without scaring all the kindergarten kids... The main thing about planning a birthday table is to check how many stuff fits in your table. I arranged plates around and ended up with 14 dishes. And here I will show you what they were:
Here is the Table. It is important to keep the taller plates at the back and the cakes in the middle. I have to accept that I didn't attempt to make my own cakes. I used instant cakes for all these recipes... No room for mistakes. 2 days before the party I baked the cakes for the cake pops. I mix them with frosting, made the small balls and froze them.
My favorite cake pops were eyeballs on forks. You can make them with just dipping the cake pops in candy melts or white chocolate and painting the veins with food coloring. The iris was candy melts as well and I added a bit of chocolate glaze to it.
For the savory treat, I carved a pumpkin and put inside a plate full with cheese sauce, added nachos and a guac-mayo sauce... I couldn't get the adults away from that corner!
The witch cake was supposed to be Witch Pepa. I baked 2 boxes of cake in three forms. Covered it with cheese frosting and started making the witch.
The legs were made with the tubes where the rolled fondant came. The legs were my dad's work. He covered them with fondant and colored the rest of the fondant with red color and piped the stripes. Thanks, dad!
With the rest of tule from Pepas costume, I made the witch skirt and I added mini marshmallows for the "underwear/skirt"
What is a Halloween party without ghosts? For this ghosts, I made cupcakes and added frosting over it. Then I put a mini Chocolate Kiss on it and covered it with a circle of rolled fondant. Then I decorated the eyes and mouth with decorating glaze in black.
Worms on earth... I made this 2 days in advance as well. Made some chocolate boxed pudding and put it in small cups, added a gummy work in it and then cover with chocolate powder. I put chocolate in my food processor and done.
During Halloween times the store LIDL has red apples... all red. That means they are red outside and inside. The best thing about this apples is that they don't oxidate. I cutted slices of them and added spekulatious cream (you can add peanut butter instead) and paste teeth gummies. If you don't have these apples, you can use regular red apples and don't peel them. And if you don't find teeth gummies (found them in IKEA) just add mini marshmallows.
The boxed cakes came with glaze. So I used them to make these monster cupcakes. I dipped them in the glaze and add a decorating eye and then piped the glaze over it to make the hair... these were my favorites.
No Birthday is complete without a chocolate cake. And I made this one. I baked two chocolate cakes in 4 forms and made chocolate mousse. The decoration is 2 spekulatius cookies as graves and a twig my mom found outside that looked just like a dead tree. Thank mom!
For the third cake pops, I used the chocolate glaze that came in a cake box and then I added some white glaze lines to make these mummies... The eyes came in a decorating set for bees.
For the hungry kids, I made vegan sausage mummies. I cut a sheet of dough and rolled it over sausages. Then baked them and added 2 eyes with piping color.
They are super simple to make and were gone after a few seconds... I make them for Pepa at home all of the time.
My mom made the ghost lollipops... Can you imagine I had only 4 left after the birthday party?? They are regular lollipops covered on a napkin and with 2 stickers on them.
For the sugar-free kids, there was some food as well... Mandarines painted as pumpkins are one of the best healthy treats IMHO.
And for drinking, besides water, I made a red punch and added some fingers inside. Plastic ones of course.
Four the adults was a separate table with chips, punch, gin, and beer... Who says it is not possible to have fun as an adult on a kids party? I love that Kettle Chips make orange and black bags.
We were witches and here you can see our costumes... My mom made Pepa's skirt without sewing. Making this all work and look good was hard, but Pepa was a witch as she wanted and she finally got her birthday party...
Thanks, Sophia for grabbing my camera and taking pictures as I was walking back and forth with all the kids and Pepa.
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...