Friday, 19 September 2014

Merino Kids

Look at the beautiful items the folks at Merino Kids sent for Oscar! What a lucky boy. If you haven't heard of Merino Kids they're an award-winning baby and infant sleepwear and clothing company from New Zealand. I have to say I was curious, to say the least about how the clothes would be when I was first contacted. Wool's not always the fabric you think of when you're thinking of soft and gorgeous clothes for your precious little one. How wrong could I be? I was very pleasantly surprised to unwrap a pair of gorgeously silky soft pyjama's for my little grub, that fit beautifully and have lots of room for moving in their wrap-top design. My little one has been plagued by eczema since a few months after birth and so I'm very careful about what I put him in, especially at night. That, coupled with with the fact that finding a decent pair of Pj's to begin with has been nigh-on impossible in Holland. 
Merino wool is a fab fabric, as it turns out; not only does it breath and control moisture, and regulates temperature well (a concern with eczema is overheating the skin), but being a natural fibre it also reduces irritations and allergies. Naturally fire resistant, and quality that lasts. These PJ's won't be the last pair Oscar has, for sure.
As well as the beautiful PJ set, Oscar received this lovely stripy Go Go sleeping bag. For safety Oscar's been only using sleeping bags since he learned to wiggle out of his swaddles at 3 months. They're conveinient, safe as there's no risk of him getting caught up and smothered by sheets (and this kid moves a lot during the night), as well as being a great signifier of 'bedtime' in the routine. The design is smart and will fit babies from 2-3 months through to 2 years. So you'll surely get your money's worth out of it. A mix of superfine merino wool and 100% organic cotton, and again; beautiful designs and colourways. Very tasteful, and classic. These would make gorgeous gifts, too. Thank you, Merino Kids, for the introduction to these lovely products, I have one happy (spoiled!) little boy.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Braderie Treasure

This year we didn't bring home very much treasure. I think it was a combination of having been a few times so the novelty of some items wears off, and being conscious of having to carry things back on the train with the baby, and that we're moving house soon (more on that next week).  What I did pick up was. This very handsome black crow whisky bottle. Sporting very dapper attire complete with top hat, I couldn't resist him. And below, over the course of the day I picked up another 10 bunting flags for my collection. Aside from these, I bought a lovely plastic tree for Oscar's room decoration off a little French boy, and an orange 70s set of cooking scales. Fab. And that was it!!Very reserved, but I'm very happy with it all. Less was more, this time.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Braderie, continued

Saturday and Sunday were great also. Sunday was actually the best day I think. We honestly didn't buy much this year compared to previous trips (see tomorrow's post). But I just love the atmosphere and seeing the beautiful antiques.
Lots of lovely collections of items. Scissors, knives and the like above. And wonderful trinket boxes, tins, and coin purses below. It's really like spending 3 days at a museum.
And then, just like that, it was time to make it back to the hotel, grab our stuff and head to the train station for a very long train ride home. Tough going at times with a 10 month old, but he was a real trooper. Tomorrow, the treasure show.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Braderie de Lille 2014

Friday. We arrive. Braderie de Lille! I love this so so much! It's similar to King's Day in Holland, but without the drunks. This year we took Friday off and headed down by train with the Grub. Prepared for our shopping spree we had an extra empty suitcase and just a change of undies and t-shirts! Oh, and a tonne of crap for the baby. First things first, we checked into out hotel and made a bee line for the canal. It's one of my favourite places of the Braderie. Walking down the tree-lined canal people are already set up and selling on Friday. We wandered down and spied lots of beautiful vintage pieces. Rocking horses seemed to be very popular this year. We saw loads! If only we'd had a way to carry one home...
Other top items; 50s kids drum kit. And pinball machine.
Lovely old cashier and 'roo.
Fantastic mid century tuck. But, THE item of the weekend had to be this –
An incredible mid-century spaceship penny arcade ride in working order. OMG. We actually thought about it. Though it was huge. And expensive, but I think actually worth it... for €1,000 this beauty could have been yours. But not ours. Our heads over ruled our hearts and we sadly walked away...
Other delights included some of the usual suspects; old school posters.
I saw two fab tee-pees. But they were expensive and I knew Oscar would suck the decades of dust our of them so passed.
More lovely horses.
Beautiful ornate heaters.
And some pictures of the streets of Lille in full Lille swing! Though I have to say it was much more sedate than previous years. And for this I was very happy, given we were with a pram and all.

Monday, 15 September 2014


Blog catch up night tonight and I'm starting with this trip to Ardenne from a couple weeks ago to celebrate a friend's 30th Birthday. Only a few hours drive south across the Dutch boarder into Belgium you have the Ardennes. Rolling green hills and rivers criss-cross the country. Just beautiful. We stopped off at some little towns along the way. Took in the views from an old castle and caught a live birds-of-prey show that was pretty rad. We also stopped off at A'Chouffe brewery on the way back. One of many many breweries in Belgium, of course, and I think the car was chok full of beer on the return to Amsterdam. But a nice little gettaway.