Thursday, January 31, 2013

Carnival series with Eszter Dobó from Eszterda

Here is the second mini interview in our Carnival series, this time we have Eszter from Eszterda sharing her family tradition.

What do you and your family do for carnival?
Since we have kids and they started kindergarten and school, we prepare for the masquerade ball every year.

Do you all dress up, or just kids?
We don't dress up, it is overwhelming enough to come up with costumes for the girls. 
I never bought a costume, we always made them ourselves. One year my oldest daughter dressed as Pöttyös Panni (she is a Hungarian children's books character from 1955), I made her a dress and a little Pöttyös Panni doll. The good thing is, costumes too are handed down from one daughter to another, so we just might have 3 Pannis.

Any special foods?
Yes, same as already mentioned by Beata - donuts. I learned how to make them from my grandmother.
Thanks Eszter!. Beautiful, as always!

Read posts from others in the series!
Find me on Eastok Europe, where I talk about Eastern European carnivals!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Villa Carton City Blocks product review and a giveaway

Anybody who ever read this blog knows I am a little bit obsessed with cardboard toys. This tiny obsession of mine seems to have been passed on to my son(s). That, and re-creating the obvious:)
I first met Villa Carton through their flip dolls and I soon realized majority of their products is actually made of cardboard.Imagine my luck when they asked me to review their City blocks. Also try to imagine P. when we were handed over the big package by the postman. His question: Mommy, is this something for me to play with so you can write it on your blog? was his face as I tried to take photos.

 Set we received has a Hospital design on one side and a Fire Station design on the other. It contains seven blocks with a print on most sides. What I lover the most is that these blocks are actually boxes. Not boxy blocks! They are made like boxes that can be opened and closed whenever you want, without ruining the toy.

And just when I was happily plotting how this is totally cool, because I can also use it to store their smaller toys we are always stepping on, P decided he had a much better idea and asked me to cut out the doors on both sides of the biggest block, so he could park his cars inside.

First I was reluctant to do it, after all, we just got sense in ruining it immediately, but when he patiently explained to me how it should be done and along which lines I should cut, I just had no argument left. And he was right! I mean, this is what this toy is all about. You can use it as is, but there are numerous possibilities for kiddos to practice their creativity.

They can, for example, color it green...

or white...

Looks like this when big boy is playing:

and like this when the baby takes charge:

To be honest, I was worried how it will work with curious baby boy around, I was afraid he will ruin it in no time, but these blocks are sturdy enough for some baby roughing it around (he even sat on it several times). Baby test passed too:)
All in all, I think this is a perfect cardboard toy. I love the design, it is super practical because you can use it as storage as well as just fold it back flat when they get bored and put it away for a while since it is constructed that way. I personally love them monochrome but I can imagine how much fun it could be for bigger kids to personalize them. City blocks are also available as City/Shops and Western/Farm pairs and you can buy them here.

To read more about Villa Carton, check out this interview.

You can also win one set here by going through the Rafflecopter tool below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everybody! And thanks to Villa Carton for having us test this super cool toy! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Animal coats

I am not a big fan of animal shaped clothes, hats and all, but what this lady from Texas is creating is more than amazing. Check out Little Goodall

with a bow for girls


 Available in Europe through Coaters.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

4 wheely by Luka Jelušić - Cubodelubo

If you are a 4 year old girl whose dad is a Croatian product designer/ landscape architect Luka Jelušić who also loves reclaimed wood, this is what you get when you ask for a toy car...5 minutes before bedtime:

Also make sure to check out the fantastic zoozle and antoine.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Carnival series with Beata from Arany-ló

With carnival season lurking I asked several ladies to share what their family  traditions are. Today it is Beáta Veszely from Arany-ló sharing what she will be up to this year and how she tries to bring old Hungarian tradition back with paper masks.

What do you and your family do for carnival?
In last years we had parties in our house, when all had to dress up. 

Do you all dress up, or just kids?

This year only the children will dress up. We will go to the school carnival and to the kindergarten carnival in Tihany. The kids will be Busós of course! You can read more about them in my post on EastOk Europe. They will try the new masks. They are very excited about it all.

 Any special foods?

At home I will make the traditional Hungarian fánk (a kind of donut), that we eat with the jam I made in summer. The Fánk is not the healthiest food, as it has to be deep fried, but it is very nice when fresh, the kids love it.

Thank you for sharing Beata!

Read posts from others in the series!
Find me on Eastok Europe, where I talk about Eastern European carnivals!

If you would like to participate in this series please give me a shout!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jumina (interview with Elisabeth Grønning Rognmo)

 When I talked about Jumina the other day I had no idea I'd be so lucky to exchange e-mails with the creator of that fairytale world herself. I am bringing her to you now!

1.For introduction tell us a few words about yourself, who are the people behind Jumina?

Jumina was founded in 2007 by me and my husband of 16 years, Kim Rognmo. We have 3 lovely daughters. Julie 14 years, Mina 10 years and Viola 6 years old. The reason for starting the business was that I looked at the world of children fashion a bit differently.

AW 2011

In 2010 we launched Jumina outside of Norway for the first time and we now have retailers that carry this fun and fairytale like brand around the world.We also have several agents and distributors to do some of the sales work. I am doing everything except the web, where Kim is the magician.

2. And now Jumina? What does the name stand for?

It is our two oldest daughters JULIE and MINA The names together became JUMINA, we just got used to it and we found it lovely.

3. How did it all start? Why kids clothes?

We moved from the west coast and in the country because of Kim`s job. I was pregnant at the time and found everything to be a new start. with 2 girls and one on the way my focus was only on children, I wanted to be with them and make their surroundings fun and beautiful. When we moved to a small town I did not find the clothes I liked and I was in a place in my life where I had a lot to express. My education is to in sewing and art, I had worked for many years with interior fabrics and helped people with professional work in people homes as an interior consultant. So I had the experience to make garments and I am a playful girl and I love the children s universe so I had to go for children's fashion.

AW 2011
Girls at the Jumina Showroom


4. You have 3 daughters, is this why we don't see much of the boys in your collections?
Yes, but we are working to get something for boys as well, but I like to use time to make it perfect, we have a small collection for ss 2013 for boys Giggig by Jumina inspired by my grandfather. But there are only a few garments still.

 5. What part of the creative process do you like best?

 To make the concept for the collection, to get the story there and to start new projects like we are doing now. We will open new concept stores together with an other designer tiljamid in February.

6. Where do you see Jumina in the next 5-10 years?

In many shops all over Europe, the US and in Asia. This is markets we are already in and see we are growing for every season. We will also have more franchise shops with our brand logo :)

Autumn 2012

7. Favourite Norwegian designers!

Hmm, not easy. But I love a designer called Leila Hafzi she makes amazing dresses for women an she has ethical production. But I am sure I should have mentioned many more, there are many designers from Norway that should be known better.

8. Favourite foreign designers! 

Also very difficult. But Coco Chanel had a lovely way of doing things differently and she did not care about what people said about her being so masculine at that time. I admire people who go their own way in design or in other businesses.

Thank you for this nice chat Elizabeth!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I am back home after more that 2 weeks and I am so happy. Just as we pulled over in front of the house, it started snowing. Kids went to bed OK and I get to enjoy the view of snowflakes playing in front of my window.

I love snow! And you know what? I so don't care everybody is eager to write about Spring/Summer collections, because I am still in awe of Jumina Winter collection.

There is nothing on these photos I wouldn't want to wear myself. The colors, the pom-poms, the shoes.
And the snow, I love snow!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Curl swing

Serbian industrial designer Miloš Todorović found a way to make a playground swing more attractive to the eye. I am personally very fond of a squeaky sound chains of the old-fashioned swings make, but I am also aware of the fact they are not perfect. Miloš Todorović introduces curvy lines and a mechanical system that will increase safety and durability. What do you think?

I love the curl and the colour!

If you love swings check out my Swings board on Pinterest.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sponsor Shoutout

On the first Friday in 2013. I decided to remind you a bit of MY PRETTY SPONSORS. Please click on their links and have a look around on their sites, I promise you will like what you see.

Bugs in a jar
 I am always swooning over Marbushka boardgames, but they offer other beautiful and fun products worth a look. Be sure to check out the illustrations or their coloring books.

Monster Singlets
P is growing like a mushroom and we badly need some undershirts. I would totally have nothing against these Monster Singlets by AmorAmor. Like many other of their products these are also available as a DIY kit.

I don't think anyone can blame me form being in love with EFVVA shoes: unique, soft, warm and handmade. EFVVA is having a winter sale and you can get some really great deals.

 People reading my blog already know I am in love with all that is Bimba, check out the details on this pillow.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

World of Toys

Hello dear readers, I want to start this year with something very dear to my heart...WORLD OF TOYS.

 "At the very beginnings of civilization children's toys appear as one of the important elements of human development and one of the first records of design."

World of Toys project  of Zagreb Ethnographic Museum  consists of 4 exhibitions: Toys from the Croatian Heritage, From the World of Toys, Polish Traditional Toys and Toys Have a Heart. It was a nice winter outing for the whole family.

The most fun part was the central part of the exhibition, Toys form the Croatian Heritage. Most of the toys exhibited here belong to the Ethnographic Museum. The exhibition aims to demonstrate the wooden toy-making tradition and art of the Dalmatian hinterland, toys made in the villages of Prigorje and the Zagorje region that have been included on the UNESCO list of intangible heritage.

There are about 50 different wooden toys still being produced in Croatia (eg. horses, dollhouse furniture, wagons, whistles, birds, folk musical instruments) in the same way as in mid 19th century. Passed from generation to generation none of the toys is the same as they are made by hand, usually produced by men and painted by women.

I loved how the exhibition was set up. Dreamy wall decals were fantastic and exhibits of their own.

When I grow up I will be a Pegasus.

My Barbie.

They have a bunch of toys in a basket on the side to try out.

And a bunch of holes to stick your hands in and feel what the toys are made of...

smell what the toys are made of

Smell it!

Dig in and find out!
Nevertheless, P was still tempted to go where he shouldn't be going.

and touch what shouldn't be touched

They have set up a traditional toy making workshop...

The exhibition From the World of Toys features a selection of toys from the Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Russia and the Ukraine. Here are some of my favorites:

Doll House, Croatia 20. century
Matchbox miniatures, Germany

My absolute favorite from the whole exhibition is the Railway model made by kids from the Model making club. Specifically the grafitti written out on the railway building:

Sanja I am not as stupid as you might think!

Toys from the Croatian Heritage and From the World of Toys can be viewed until May 31st 2013
Polish Traditional Toys can be viewed until March 6th 2013
and Toys Have a Heart is only to be viewed from March 21st – May 31st 2013 (we still have to go and see that one).

You can see some more photos in my facebook album.