Babies grow soooo fast. And if you have a Hungry Hungry Hippo like mine, they grow a lot and will need a high chair earlier than usual. I tried to feed Otis in our baby bouncer, but it turned impossible. We needed a high chair as soon as possible. As we already have a STOKKE Tripp Trapp, STOKKE was our first choice.
When I heard of the new STOKKE Clikk chair and how it fits our lifestyle like a glove to the hand, this was the only chair I was considering to get. It has just 7 parts, and you don't need tools to assemble or disassemble it. It is totally fool (and grandparent)-proofed.
It's beautiful Scandinavian design totally fits our interior design at home. It comes in brilliant colors, and it was hard to choose one. But white was the one at the end. I was a bit skeptical about putting together and taking it apart as it is made of plastic, but I've done it many times and still sturdy as day one.
On the STOKKE's website, it says that it takes you one minute to put it together, but as you see in my video, it only takes you 38 seconds, and it is easy for even a small person to like myself. And you just need your hands and brain and no tools at all. You can fit all parts in a big tote or an Ikea blue bag, and you don't need to worry about losing small pieces as there are NONE of those. Here is the video that shows my skills haha:
You can see here what "clicks" in the video. Those grey buttons are the ones you press to release the part or push the piece until they are in place. Did that sound, ok? We have now two STOKKE chairs, and we love them.. here you can see the difference between the Clikk and Tripp Trapp both are the same height, the TT is much more massive because it is made of wood and you can use it until you are a grownup, the Clikk is super light but sturdy and can be used from 6 months until 3 years. They look great together, don't they?
For long trips, it is a fantastic thing. When we went to Paris, The only things I took were the STOKKE Clikk, My MaraMea Global Traveller, and a XL duffle bag. As you can see, it all fits perfectly in the trunk. Add there the new travel stroller we've got, and you are set for 10 days of travel or more.
During our stay at Marriott Village in Paris/ Disneyland, this chair was a life savior. I can't imagine the muscle ache it would have been if I had to carry Otis all the time we were at our apartment. Otis wouldn't fit the chairs at their restaurant, so I just took the chair with us everywhere we went. And Otis was part of the party. Because this chair integrated him more to the family vacation as he could sit with us while we were eating.
The 5-point-harness is one of my favorite features of the Clikk. It keeps Otis safe, but it is loose enough for him to train his back muscles. Once, Pepa tried to open it, but not even a 4 years-old can do it, which makes me feel safer when I turn around my back to the kids while cooking. This harness is easy to remove for cleaning, and it is machine washable
The table or tray is quite cool as I don't need to take a space of the table for him, he has his own space. You can remove the tray later (when he grows) and change the footrest once those chunky legs get longer. The material it is made of is very similar to the Eames chairs and, it is easy to wipe clean because of its smooth surfaces from top to bottom. Did I mention it is dishwasher safe?
You have many accessories like the cushion (we love this) and bibs, plates, and a placemat. Great to make the look complete! Overall this is a phenomenal product, and I can totally recommend it. It was a PR Sample sent to us, but we love it. Check their Website for more info or their Instagram.
Last Month Braun Household sent me their beautiful ID Breakfast Collection to test it and see if it is a fit for us. I was super excited because I am not only a fan of their products, but I have been having trouble with my own breakfast appliances because they didn't fit my expectations and needs. So here is my real review of the three and why they are a perfect fit for my family of three:
1. The Kettle:
First, this product is beautifully designed. It looks gorgeous in my kitchen counter. It is made of brushed aluminum, and the grip is so soft to the touch. The kettle rotates 360 on the base, which makes it very easy to put the "pot" back on the base. Perfect for me, because sometimes I have a crying baby on my arms plus a bottle of milk. It has the water level indicator on both sides and is easy to fill with water as it has a double filling system. This beauty has a bottom to descale it as well, and it reminds you when to do it. But none of these features is the one that I love the most..
Since Otis has been sick for months and we finally find out that he is highly allergic to many proteins, We had to change to special milk. My pediatrician told me that this new milk must never touch the hot water. Anything above 40 degrees will make it so bitter the baby wouldn't drink it. I thought I could manage to use a regular kettle or mix hot and cold water, but it didn't work. I found myself throwing milk down the drain or euros to the garbage bin. This milk costs about 700 euros per month, so each time I had to throw the milk, it hurt.
This kettle has 5 different temperature settings. The first one being 40 degrees, and that is just awesome for us. The warm setting keeps the water at the set temperature for up to 30 minutes, so If I started warming water to prepare milk and I need to rush to change a diaper or pick up something quickly, I just hit that button. I don't need to boil the water all over again. I use the other temperature settings to make the perfect tea, hand brew coffee, and fill my pot with hot water for noodles, as it takes 35 seconds to boil water to 100 degrees. And no need to mention how amazed I am about how silent this kettle is. Sometimes I think I forgot to hit the "on" button!
2. The Toaster:
This toaster is beautifully designed as his sister "the kettle," and it has excellent features like, it has a lid that prevents dust or dirt from entering the toaster so that it is clean at all times, a Bagel setting that toasts the bread on one side only. Thirteen browning settings, YES! 13! So it doesn't matter what your level of brown is, I can make it for you at home. But now why I think this toaster fit us:
You can defrost bread in it. It has a defrost setting! I usually freeze bread for Pepa because I can't eat regular bread, and a loaf will get dry or rotten if I wait for her to finish it, but defrosting bread is a hassle. I need to put it in the microwave, and it gets dry, or I need to plan in advance when and how much bread I let on the counter to defrost. Now I simply press a button and tadaaah! Ready! It has a warming setting as well in case we can't eat right away. Many times, we start making breakfast, and we need to stop and do something else. This keeps it warm and fuzzy until we can sit down again.
I don't eat toasted bread at home because I share the toaster with Pepa. I have celiac disease, and it is impossible to put the bread inside a toaster and keep the gluten away from it. The removable bun attachment helps us with it. I can toast bread for Pepa and toast my gluten-free buns without worrying about contact contamination... now I don't need to turn on the oven just for my bun.
3. The Coffee Maker:
Coffee. I am a coffee addict. But I never had a regular filter machine because most of them look cheap and they are made with loads of plastic, they drip and let's face it, the coffee tastes dull in comparison with other brewing systems. But this machine exceeded all my expectations.
First of all, I can fit my reusable KINTO filter and remove the filter basket to clean in the dishwasher. This is great because it makes it zero waste. I use the coffee waste on my plants, and I don't feel bad about unnecessary paper filters in my trash bin. At the moment, I need loads of coffee because I don't sleep as much as I should. Life of a single mother of two, I guess. All the brewing methods I used need time and make just 1 or 2 cups. Here, I make 10 cups, and I am sure I won't run out of caffeine. I can make 1-4 cups on a good day using their "small amount" button as well. The water tank isn't attached, so it doesn't make a mess, and it has the same descale feature as the kettle.
About the flavor. I was stunned about the flavor. It has the AromaSelect that adjusts the intensity of the coffee to your taste: strong, normal, or mild. This implies no dull coffee, and it has an anti-drip system, meaning: no more drops falling off the filter once the coffee is made. Remember those old coffee filter machines that dripped and the drops burnt on a plate? This doesn't happen here. The filter closes immediately after the jug is removed so that you can enjoy your first cup without dripping before the end of the brewing process.
And last but not least: You might be wondering how a person can drink 10 cups of coffee in a morning. A regular coffee filter machine has a glass jug. So the coffee inside would be hot for, let's say, an hour. I can't for the love of god drink 10 cups of Joe in 60 minutes. But here comes the catch, this machine comes with a stainless steel thermos with a double wall. Coffee stays hot for up to 6 hours in the comfortably designed stainless steel vacuum jug. And to be honest, it remains "warmish" for the rest of the day after those 6 hours. Ladies & Gents, this is how I drink that amount of coffee.
So why is the ID Breakfast Collection perfect for us? Not only is it beautiful and fit with the design of our flat, but it saves us time, money and makes our everyday life better.
We prepare milk faster, more comfortably without waste. We save electricity because we share an appliance despite allergies. We save time and needless planning for breakfast. It helps a coffee lover single mom get through the day without settling for a dull flavor. I can use all of the appliances with one hand while carrying the baby, and they keep our stuff warm when we can´t enjoy it right away. This was a PR sample to test, but this is my most honest opinion, We LOVE Braun in our home and breakfast table, and we can highly recommend it.
Many people asked me about our gym mat. I used it so much for pictures and decoration. I was smitten with some mats online, but I didn’t have the budget to buy them, and they didn’t quite have the color I wanted. So I decided to make myself one. It was quite easy to make. You can use a sewing machine, but you can make it by hand as well.
You will need:
Leather or vegan leather
Thread on the color of your leather
Thread in another color
Sewing machine (optional)
Start looking for foam. You can buy it in hobby stores or on Amazon. The size and thickness it is your choice. For my mat, I went for an 80cm square and a 3 cm thick foam pad. I wanted to have a small one. But you can choose a bigger one or even a smaller one. After this, you need to get the leather. I went to Frau Tulpe in Berlin and got some vegan leather in cognac color to fit my flat decor. Any leather will work. But the thicker the leather is, the harder it will be to sew.
Start marking your leather from the back of the fabric. You will need two round pieces and a long stripe to make this mat. The size of the round pieces is the size of the mat you want plus 1cm. That means for an 80 cm diameter mat, you will make an 82 cm diameter piece. Cut to of them
and set aside.
Cut your foam. You can make it a square, rectangle, or any form you want, but I love circle mats. So I cut my foam in the size
I wanted: 80cm. You can use regular scissors or a carpet knife. Don’t worry if the edges aren’t perfect... this won’t be visible later.
For the stripe width, cut the thickness of your foam plus 1 cm per side. We are leaving this extra cm for sewing later. So if your foam is 3cm, cut this piece 5 cm wide. To know the length of it, use a regular math formula (and you thought you wouldn’t use math after school)
The formula is: π x diameter= circumference so on my case 3.1416 times 80 would be the length I need plus 1cm per side equals 251,3 + 2 =253,3cm.
Ergo: your stripe will be 253,3 x 5cm.
If you don’t have a piece as long as the diameter, just cut 2 pieces and sew them together until it reaches the length you need. Now you have three parts: the two round ones and the stripe.
Now we start assembling. First, we join the two ends of the stripe with a pin and sew them together 1 cm away from the edge. Sew inside out, please! Now you have a belt-like loop. You can sew them like in the picture, so it will look tidier.
Now take one of the round pieces and secure the belt with pins, so it is easier to baste (baste means temporary stitching). Using a thread color that is different than your leather, baste the whole round so it won’t move when you are sewing them together.
Now using a sewing machine or just by hand, sew with the same color of your leather 1.5cm away from the edge. And secure the ends with a knot.
Iron the hem, so it looks flat like in the picture. This will help when you introduce the foam at the end. You can use a hot gun for this is your leather won’t bend.
Now test with the foam to see if it fits appropriately on size before you continue. If it fits, do the same with the other side. Don’t forget we are sewing inside out. Add pins, then baste and sew, leaving a space to introduce the foam. I went 20 cm open for that.
Turn it to the right side, roll the foam, and put it inside. It is such an annoying process if you are using vegan leather as I did as the foam won’t slide easily. But don’t give up hope! Once you have the foam in place, proceed to sew the hole until its closed. Add a knot, and don’t cut the thread; just leave it inside of the mat.
Now you have yourself a mat that looks good just hanging around or laying on a wall.
But if you really like the mat and have no spare time to make it, you can buy yourself one at Lille Svend KBH or Gathre. I don’t know where you can get one with vegan leather, though. I hope this helped you guys! Don’t forget to tag me when you make this DIY. It would make me so happy! Happy sewing!
Last month we were invited for a shooting at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. We were thrilled as we really do miss Berlin and most of it, Berlin, during Christmas time. A total bomb! Berlin and staying at The Ritz.
Our trip started at 5am. We jumped on a bus towards the Swiss boarder and took a train to Zürich airport. I am so used to traveling alone with Pepa through the world, from Asia to Africa and all around Europe. Very easy going and relaxed. So this is how she has been already over 50 times on a plane.
But traveling with 2 kids is way more challenging. Not because it is hard to travel with both. But because of the number of things you have to carry around. One 20kg suitcase, a weekender backpack, a purse, the baby car seat, one toddler and her backpack, and a 3-month-old baby on the carrier. And all this over a 1.59- meter-tall woman.
Our plan was to travel by train and plane. But I remembered the fact I haven't bought the travel bag for my bugaboo Fox.
So I didn't take our stroller this time, and wow, was I wrong! I underestimated how useful and practical my Fox is.
So once we arrived in Berlin, we were amazingly greeted at The majestic Ritz-Carlton Berlin. The whole hotel has been refurbished during the past year and boy, they made it well. One of the things I liked the most is that they kept a lot of the beautiful details like their beautiful wooden doors.
If I have to describe their design in two words, it would be "marble heaven."
We needed a bath and bed after this journey, so we ran to the room. When we got into the room, and we were stunned with all the things that were waiting for us. The whole place was really prepared to host a three-year-old and a three-month-old. Two sets of robes for Pepa and Otis were lying on the bed and even a Steiff teddy bear with The Ritz-Carlton logo. Pepa was on the clouds!
The suite was so beautiful and minimalistic decorated, the bed frames were moveable, and they had such a Japanese design vibe to them. Soft beds and pillows, so we couldn't resist jumping a bit.. at least Pepa.
We usually sleep together in a bed when we are not home (and after 2am if I am being honest), but they were very thoughtful and installed us a crib with a changing table filled with all we needed, from diapers to rash creams and warm cuddly bags.
The first thing we did was have a bath. And that bathroom! Every little piece of it was marble. While Otis was sleeping, we were feeling like princesses preparing a bubble bath. We had kids' products, so I didn't have to stress about Pepa playing as a water fountain.
We laid in the tub playing with the toys and watch a film on our iPad.
The next morning was shooting day. We woke up early and met the team downstairs. Pepa had a blast while taking pictures. She even got some unicorn cupcakes, got to jump again in beds, and played with bubbles.
After the shooting was over, we went up for some quick lunch at the Club Lounge and ran back to the suite to get our gear on. Swimming time!
We three are water rats! We love water. I was born next to the sea and spent most of my life on beaches or living next to the sea, so it wasn't a surprise Pepa and Otis were thrilled when they had their first dip.
We put our robes on and our slippers and went down with their golden elevator full with beautiful buttons. The pool was next to the gym/spa, and we had it all to ourselves.
The pool has buttons one all of the edges that activate spa or jacuzzi features, and it was so much fun to turn on that waterfall. I got to test for the first time the underwater functionality of my iPhone 11 pro.
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin gave us a list of things we could do around the city and a Berlin Welcome Card. As we used to live in East Berlin, we were happy to take a wander around West Berlin.
We started with the Naturkundemuseum. I haven't been there before, and it was quite impressive. We skipped through the halls watching animals and talking about them.
Pepa got to see the dinosaurs (she loves dinos) and was a bit scared of the t-rex. I was amazed by how much she actually understood the whole museum even being 3 years old.
She even stayed to see the video about planets... 4 times! And one of my favorite parts was playing a game: which person reminds you of this stingray? We agreed they are very happy (looking) animals. Don't they all look like they are smiling?
Back at the Hotel, we had reservations to POTS, the restaurant inside The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin that opened their doors in February this year. I was so happy to be able to go eat at a gourmet restaurant for the first time with the kids. The restaurant is cozy, filled with copper details, and if you know my designs, you'll know I love myself some copper!
The concept of the restaurant is "a modern twist on German cuisine that is based on sharing". Instead of ordering a set menu, you can order different plates to share, which makes it very easy to eat with a toddler. They have a kids menu, but my "Feinschmecker" daughter prefers exciting tastes. POTS introduces an inspired collaboration between the well-known Chef, Dieter Müller, Executive Chef, Frederik Grieb, and Sommelier, Mathias Brandweiner.
We started with the starters, of course (me and my dad jokes). We had the cured fjord trout with beetroot first, and it was instantly Pepa's favorite. For me, the Marinated Holstein tartare was the absolute best. But not to forget the salad that was mouth-watering as well. A marinated lettuce heart with hazelnuts, mayo, and cured egg yolks.. amazing. They paired it with a mineral-y Hauptstadt Gewächs from Gut Hermannsberg, precisely what I like for wine.
Suddenly the main courses arrived. We had a steamed redfish with mussels and a saffron sauce that was so heavenly made. POTS is a german food concept, and they serve my favorite german dish: Königsberger Klopse. But sadly, it contained gluten. They knew I can't eat gluten, and very fast, a new fish was made: Veal with blackberries and Riesling sauce served with Jerusalem artichokes. Did I mention now I have the recipe of the Klopse? I will try them at home with GF bread instead.
Last but not least, the dish on my bucket-list: a Deer ragout with pumpkin seeds and pepper jus... My god was this GOOOOD!!! Our side dishes were: Mashed potatoes with braised onions, carrots, and savoy cabbage, and Pepa couldn't stop eating them.
The pairing was an extraordinary Van Volxem 1900 Brut Riesling sparkling produced using the traditional bottle fermentation process. With a supple texture, its beautifully integrated, fresh acidity, and its wonderfully rich aroma, it ties in with the significant era of Saar sparkling wines around 1900. I loved that Carl the restaurant manager shared these wine stories during my stay.
The hostess came by and took Pepa to see the kitchen while I took Otis for a diaper change. POTS use seasonal and regional ingredients when possible and change their menu about 4 times a year. I have to accept we were pretty satisfied at this point. But we Talavera girls have a small stomach just for dessert. At first glance, I thought about just ordering the banana souffle. ButCarl convinced me to get both desserts and he was SO right!
We got first the souffle. A very lovely banana souffle with milk chocolate ice cream, and exotic fruits. Delicate flavors served with a delicate sauce. But then my Cedric Grolet moment arrived! The Mandarine arrived at the table! ta ta ta taaaaaan! It looks like a mandarine but is indeed a cheesecake. Just like the french pâtissier does. And it was accompanied by a creamy and delicious cinnamon flower ice cream. YUM! not to mention a very subtle but gorgeous pairing with a Riesling spätlese Pfaffenberg Schörnborn.
The next morning we went to the Club Lounge and had breakfast. We were so spoiled! One of the things I really enjoyed with the kids was our meals there. It was open 24/7 for drinks, coffee, snacks, and some delicious Riesling for mamma! The breakfast was supreme. We got fresh juice, pancakes or waffles for Pepa, and they had GF alternatives for me. I had to love myself some poached eggs over freshly baked bread.
We went back to the room to plan our day looking forward to our high tea invitation later on. Gave this handsome babe a bath, got us pretty and went for a walk
Some of the exciting places to go when you are visiting Berlin with kids are listed here, and of course, over Christmas Time, you have loads of Christmas markets everywhere. We used to go to the Scandinavian one, but I'll get back to that later on.
After a nap, we finally got "girl time" while Otis was sleeping (no, he wasn't alone)
Tea time, high tea. I had no idea what we are going to do. A couple of steps from the reception, they reserved a table for us. A small one for Pepa and another for me.
While we were watching the macaroons and other goodies like caviar and champagne, the waitress came by with a wagon filled with different kinds of teas in various drawers. We smelled a couple of them until we found the ones we wanted to order. I went for a salty caramel oolong and Pepa for a pink one, her princess tea as she called it!
They came and brewed it at the table. Then two 3-tier-plates came towards us. One for each of us. Mine was gluten-free and delicious. From tiny salmon sandwiches and cheese with walnuts to buns with whipped butter and chocolate brownies.
Pepa had an exclusive second level filled with chocolate goodies like chocolate lilies, muffins, brownies, mousse au chocolate, among others. We sat down, sipping tea, enjoying ourselves for a couple of hours. One of the most relaxing times we have had together in a while.
After that, we went to pick up Otis and went shopping at Mall of Berlin, only to find out they have a small Christmas market inside. Filled with tiny lights and ballerinas giving away Christmas cookies.
We were on a Christmas market mood, so we walked to the Christmas market in Potsdam square afterwards. We slid in the "snow" slope on giant tires and took the flying chairs, sooo much fuuuun!
But no visit to a Christmas market is complete without food and drinks. We munched some caramel nuts, and I had a much-deserved Glühwein, a traditional German mulled wine I live for during December.
Filled with sugar, we returned to the Hotel and hit the Club Lounge to play backgammon and a glass of wine for me.
We had such a great time. Everyone was super friendly, but not in every Luxus Hotel way, but in a very warm kind of way. Especially Esezi, the doorman, who stole Pepa's heart.
We really appreciate the time we had with Ritz Kids. Ritz Kids is The Ritz-Carlton service for families with kids; they offer the different things we did during our trip.The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin provides various offers and activities. Like kid's check-in, where they have the cutest stairs to reach the reception, crib service, pram service, baby changing room, drawing kits that kept Pepa busy at the restaurant, kids menu at POTS for the picky ones, kids high tea and much more.
We really would recommend you visit The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin with your family, even if you live in Berlin, it is a total experience, and you and your kids will love it
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!
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...