something for the weekend…

Here we are again, the last weekend in June…when did that happen? As Summer Holidays loom, we’re hoping for more sun…come on July, you know you want to spoil us! While we wait, here are a few things we have loved this week.

Button and Blue

Earlier this week we featured the wonderfully crafted label Button and Blue and this is a little reminder you can get 10% off an order by entering “MINISANDMORE10” at checkout. We have not been sponsored by Button & Blue, we just think this Mama designs darling pieces which deserve a shout out.

Oh My Baby

Oh My Baby – be warned, you are likely to love everything this label has to offer. the most adorable pieces for babies and children in soft colours and designs the kids can play freely in.

Fraser & Parsley Chicken Egg box

A bit random but if either of us get chickens this personalised stamp from Fraser & Parsley is so cute. Would make a perfect gift as well (they also do personalised address stamps along with other items of gorgeous stationary).

H&M swimsuit

So not the most practical of swimsuits but this one from H&M looks so much more expensive than the £19.99 price tag!

Craftd Kids

Never mind the kids, this kids’ craft website includes ideas you’ll want to make as much as the little ones – this mini 3D cactus is such a simple yet brilliant idea. Craftd offers workshops in London as well as a blog with fab crafting ideas.

Candylab Toys

We love the retro, Americana styling of these wooden toy cars by Candylab Toys. They are selling out fast so we hope Scout & Co get some more shipped over (we’d love the family car with surfboard and caravan please!)

Organic Children Sun Care | and an exclusive 20% off offer

DSC_0939

When it comes to sun care and our children, the main thing that we all know as parents is that we need to keep the minis protected from harmful UVA and UVB rays… What not quite so many of us realise is what we are putting on their delicate skin can be causing more harm than good. This is something neither Katie nor Georgie knew much about until they had their children and met the fabulous staff at Green People.

What Green People offer is the Organic Children sun care range for all the family, which uses an expert blend of earth minerals, the mountain flower Edelweiss and other effective, gentle filters to provide broad-spectrum protection for your skin against UVA and UVB rays.

DSC_0904

Eczema prone skin…

Using natural and organic skin care for your children will inevitably be better for their skin. So many sun lotions these days contain a plethora of chemicals including synthetic UV filters, parabens, petrochemicals, urea, PEGs, DEA, TEA, irritating emulsifiers, synthetic colours and perfume.

With the rates of eczema and allergies amongst children continuing to rise, and the knowledge that some substances, when applied to the skin, may be absorbed and enter the bloodstream (as much as 60%, depending on the nature and properties of the chemical), the Organic Children sun care range is such a sensible option. Particularly as it has the additional benefit of being suitable for children with eczema prone skin.

Georgie uses it on her boys, who have suffered terribly from eczema in the past and it is the only suncream she’ll now use on them.

DSC_0908

DSC_0925

DSC_0932

Water repellent and not water proof…

The Organic Children sun care lotions are naturally water resistant, but not water proof. The repelling qualities allow children to splash about whilst remaining protected from the sun, however it is important to remember that up to 25% of sun lotion can be washed off during a 20 minute dip in the sea.

Using a waterproof suncream will keep sun protection in place whilst in the water, but they are created by mixing a combination of synthetic chemicals, such as silicones and petrochemicals that have no affinity to human skin and work by creating a seal that stops water getting through. This waterproofing ‘seal’ is a nightmare for people with sensitive skin,  who are prone to blemishes, prickly heat and allergies because they will cause irritation, rashes and may aggravate any inflammation or dryness.

The danger with using waterproof sun cream is not only that they can block your pores and cause irritation, they may also lead people to reapply sun protection less frequently, leaving them more susceptible to long term damage from UV radiation.

Why SPF30 and not SPF50…

What many people aren’t aware is that SPF50 only filters out 1% more UVB light than an SPF30. So not in fact almost double, as you would expect! So, in fact the SPF ratings higher than 30 are primarily used by sun care companies as a marketing tool.

Whilst SPF’s protect from UVB skin burning, they don’t relate to UVA rays which cause long-term damage in the deeper layers of the skin. There can be a tendency for people who use SPF50 sun lotions to reapply less frequently and stay in the sun longer than when they use lower factor sun lotions. Be careful, because this can dramatically increase the risk of sun damage because in order to get good UVA defence, you must regularly top up your protection no matter what the factor. So basically you don’t need to worry about using an SPF50 suncream, the important point is that you can just as well use an SPF30 – and follow the best advice that we’ve been given by Green People, which is… reapply, reapply, reapply!

DSC_1011

After Sun…

The Organic Children Aloe Vera Lotion & After Sun moisturises and protects young skin with its soothing blend of Calendula and Aloe Vera. Even better than it being just an after sun, it is ideal for everyday use as well as it contains mild, natural ingredients and no irritating synthetic chemical – so is perfect to use as a body moisturiser.

DSC_0951

DSC_0957

Don’t miss out! If you use the code “MINIS” at checkout you’ll receive 20% off Sun AND Baby/Children ranges until the end of JULY.

mums fashion | breton stripe tops

We all know a Breton Stripe top is a wardrobe staple which requires minimal effort to style but can pull together an outfit. You would’t think there would be many to chose from (how different can a Breton Striped top be??), but as we have discovered, there is a whole host of variations which may be the new essentials.

Breton stripe tops

1. Jigsaw £59.00 – this semi-sheer top and faded stripes works brilliantly with the relaxed fit.

2. Baukjen £65.00 – off the shoulder meets Breton stripes = perfect Summer styling.

3. Hush £65.00 – Georgie has this top of last season and wears it constantly. It is sheer but also adds warmth (no, we don’t know how either!).

4. ME & EM £59.00 – a dressier version of a Breton stripe. They also have the more classic shapes as seen on the Duchess of Cambridge (if it’s good enough for a Duchess…)

5. Wyse London £180.00 – OK, not a true Breton stripe but it’s cashmere and has a spot of neon on the hem so it’s excused!

6. Staff £60.00 – another Georgie staple, Stalf design and make relaxed pieces which just work.

7. Mon Breton £50.00 – classic Breton tops with movie star names which can also be personalised. Plus they have kids’ and mens’ Breton tops so they don’t have to feel left out.

8. H&M £6.49 – an absolute bargain.

9. Boden £20.70 – a sprinkling of gold never hurt anyone.

Need a bit of inspiration as to how to style? Here are just a few ideas.

Breton stripe tops

Source

Breton stripe tops

Source

Breton stripe tops

Source

Breton stripe tops

Source 

minis Takeover Q&A | Tulipop

Tulipop_HelgaSigny_photagrapherBaldurKristjans

Tulipop2PhotagrapherAxelSigurdsson

Welcome to the magical world of Tulipop, an original children’s range unlike any other. Created by celebrated Icelandic illustrator, Signy and brought to market with her best friend Helga, Tulipop was launched in Iceland in 2010. The ladies had a joint dream to create something unique for children… both cuddly and gothic and strongly inspired by forms and colours in nature, the Tulipop world features intriguing characters such as Bubble, a shy and dreamy mushroom boy and Gloomy, an adventurous mushroom girl, who loves surprises and cheeky little pranks.

Here we meet Signy and Helga to find out more about this delightful brand and how it came about…

Could you tell us a little about each of your backgrounds, and how it has led to a career working together designing and producing the Tulipop children’s range?

We became friends in high school. After high school we went down quite different paths. Helga completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science and began a career in marketing in the software industry, while I went to art school and graduated with a BA degree as a product designer. I didn’t have the patience to be a product designer, so I started to draw and publish some of my work on postcards, notebooks and such.

A few years down the line, Helga had completed an MBA in London and I had been getting a great response to my illustrations and the characters I had began creating. We therefore agreed that there was an opportunity to create an original Icelandic character goods brand that could become loved by kids of all ages around the world. That was the beginning of Tulipop!

Who were your design inspirations growing up, and have they changed at all as your careers have developed?

Disney, Hello Kitty…everything that Sanrio has ever made, Barbapapa, The Moomins, Brothers Grimm, Care Bears, nature, travels, animals, growing up abroad…..my mother.

Tulipop3b.PhotagrapherAxelSigurdsson

Where does the brand name Tulipop come from and what does it mean?

We wanted a cute, unique and quirky name that would fit my illustrations. After days of brainstorming and playing with words, we came up with the completely made-up name Tulipop. Tulipop doesn’t really mean anything in any language – it is as much of a fairytale as the Tulipop world itself – so it is just perfect!

Can you tell us a little more about each of the brands characters?

Mr. Tree is the oldest and wisest of the Tulipoppers, he lives with his best friend Skully the skull on Skull Rock. He’s a magic tree and can turn tears into gemstones. Each stone has a story.  His only weakness however is his stones, he doesn’t really like people touching them or moving them. The thought of it makes him feel a bit funny.

He’s the father figure to Bubble, Gloomy, Fred and Miss Maddy, he loves nothing more than gathering them all up in his leafy branches and giving them all a big hug.

map

The driving force behind the adventures on Tulipop, Gloomy is a nosy, brave, fun-loving mushroom girl who lives on top of Toadstool Hill where she dutifully keeps an eye on her friends on Tulipop! Some might call this spying but not Gloomy, she insists she’s just looking out for them.

In addition to spying, Gloomy’s favourite pastime is developing her wizard-like qualities with her book of potions, or book of trouble as her brother Bubble likes to call it. Her potions very rarely work and you’re more likely to find her turning her pet bat Ozzy pink than making him the fastest bat in the universe!

Gloomy’s hobbies include catching fireflies, telling ghost stories and writing very secret secrets in her diary. Her two favourite possessions are her book of potions and her cloak.

The daydreamer of the group and Gloomy’s brother, mushroom boy Bubble who lives in Buttercup sands on the east coast of Tulipop. He would much rather spend his days eating blueberry pancakes, gardening and taking a nap in his hammock than galavanting across the island on adventures with his friends. One of the reasons Bubble loves to garden is because he is blessed with the ability to communicate with plants and animals. They are often the key to solving the mysteries on Tulipop so Bubble can be incredibly useful.

The most important thing you need to know about Miss Maddy is that she loves pink. Her home – Cherry Berry Fields – is pink , her clothes are pink and her biggest wish is that she herself could be pink. Miss Maddy is super talented, she is particularly good at making the most stunning show stopping cakes and her singing voice is so beautiful it is known to have a hypnotizing effect on certain creatures.

Fred, his full name is Fredmund which he hates, Gloomy knows this and more often than not will call him it. He doesn’t have a house, he lives in a makeshift cave with all of his belongings scattered around the place deep in the Forgotten Forrest. He is the smelliest, most cuddly and least threatening monster on Tulipop. He tries his hardest to be scary and tough but unfortunately for Fred, he likes knitting, and is about as brave as a chicken.

Legend has it that he is part reindeer hence his magnificent glow-in-the-dark horns.  Fred also boasts an incredible sense of smell which often comes in handy, although his friends do often wonder why he can’t smell how smelly he is!

Tulipop1bPhotagrapherAxelSigurdsson

What is the design process behind designing each of the Tulipop characters?

I don’t know how to describe it but it is somewhat like giving birth with your mind. They are my “brain” children.

I somewhat get to decide what they will look like but often in the midst of the procedure (“birth”) it takes diffrent directions. I never know what it will be in the end.

When I illustrated the characters I hadn’t thought about what gender or what kind of character they should become. It just happened somehow. – It’s magic.

What do you enjoy most about creating the characters?

When I create I’m happy. I can’t be fully creative when I’m restrained by rules. Limitation is the adversary of creation. Design should be limitless and freeflowing.

I aspire to reach this state of limitless creativity and when I succeed im fulfilled and my work is enjoyable. When designing my characters I try to be completley limitless.

Could you each describe a typical day at work for you? 

On a typical day I’m at the office around 9:00. Good coffee and our beloved espresso machine is an important part of the office and I usually drink a cup of coffee when I arrive and catch up with the team. Our workplace is really diverse and always a lot going on. Most days I’m focusing on designing new items for our collection and working on developing new products and designs for the Tulipop world.

Untitled design

Untitled design-2

Do you have any advice for women looking to start a business?

You’ll need alot of patience and alot of confidence in what you’re doing or making. If you don’t believe in it no one else will either….and this goes for everyone, women and men.

With a range that covers, eco tableware, jigsaw puzzles, backpacks, stationary and homewares – what can we expect next? Can you give us any sneak peeks into any new pieces being added to the range in the future?

Yes indeed! One of the projects I’m most excited about is the Tulipop plush and vinyl figurines which are being developed by brilliant US speciality toy company Toynami, and will be launched at Comic Con in San Diego this summer. I’m really excited about that! Can’t wait to visit the Comic Con myself this summer which I believe is an absolute blast.

Bubble_Lamp1

Thank you so much to Signy and Helga for taking the time to speak with us. We’re sure you’ll agree that the Tulipop characters all sound fascinating and so magical. Don’t miss our next post on their great collections and a wonderful GIVEAWAY coming soon.