CHICKEN POX AND COCONUT OIL

A great anti-itch aide.

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In French the word for chicken pox is vericelle, but I keep saying vermicelle which are noodles slightly thicker than angel hair pasta. So my child has the noodles. Yup, really bad noodles.

The week after school ended my 3-year-old came down with a pretty bad case of Chicken Pox. There’s really not a lot that needs or can be done except ride it out and try to keep her comfortable. To soothe her skin and stop her from scratching, the best home remedy we’ve found is good old coconut oil.

The high level of lauric acid in coconut oil has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. So not only does it help to reduce the itch, it protects the skin from any further infection. The oil also helps to reestablish the skin’s acidic balance and reduce inflammation. Whenever Miss Noodles has a bad itch, we just slather some coconut oil on her and gently massage her untill the urge goes away.

While conventional wisdom has it that the blisters should dry up and scab quickly, (more…)

STUFF I MADE FOR CHRISTMAS

Handmade stuffed fabric Christmas ornaments.

When I asked my daughter what she wanted to decorate the tree with she said “les étoiles roses”. Not finding any pink stars in the stores and not wanting to disappoint, I decided to make some of my own.

I always get a little crafty at holiday time so this project quickly escalated into others.  My girl just started to draw things that actually look like things, so I decided to make keep sakes of this developmental milestone. I had her draw on fabric with special fabric markers and then turned them into puffy ornaments as well.

In France they don’t always have the same holiday traditions as in the States. For example instead of the tooth fairy money is left for a new tooth by “la petite souris” (a little mouse) and Easter eggs are distributed by giant flying bells rather than a bunny. And at Christmas they don’t do stockings (le Père Nöel just leaves presents by the tree).

I really wanted my daughter to partake in this tradition so I made her a very girly quilted stocking which I embellished with some extra stars. I explained to her that it was a tradition in the United States where Mommy grew up and that Santa would know to leave her some extra little gifts in her stocking on Christmas morning.

stocking

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SEA BUCKTHORN

Anti-wrinkle. Anti-inflammatory. Skin regenerator.  The new “it” plant.

  Botanical sketches of the Sea Buckthorn berry from the 1800’s

For the past few years I’ve been really into essential oils and natural healing solutions. Recently, I discovered an oil that I think is so amazing, I just had to share my experience here.

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MONTESSORI BUNK BEDS

The Montessori floor bed concept for 2!

 SilverSparkle by Lifetime

My friend Jo and I were talking about one of my favorite subjects the other day: Montessori floor beds!

Jo said she was thinking about doing it for her kids aged 3 and 5 because “they love sleeping on the floor”. But there is only 1 bedroom in Jo’s Parisian apartment and she wondered if the concept would work as bunk beds. Of course! So I assembled these images just for her.

Jo said they were not the handy types and couldn’t do anything to too DIY. That’s OK, because installing a Montessori bunk bed is just as easy as getting a kid’s loft bed and placing a mattress underneath. There are a ton of children’s loft beds on the market for all budgets and tastes.

  Amber in the Sky by Perludi

Take for example this beautiful bed by Austrian children’s furniture company Perludi. The bed is made in Europe from  100% birch plywood and covered in Loden, a felted fabric made from 100% virgin wool. I am a big fan of all their furniture and simply love the design and color of this bed.

   Treehouse and Original half-rise sleeper by Lifetime

Then there are these wonderful loft beds by Danish company Lifetime.  You can read more about the company’s high standards and rich history in this article at Melody Home.  All beds are modulable  and can be customized with different colors and motifed panels.

Ikea also has a wide range of  bunk and loft beds that can be tailored to your tastes and needs.

     Bedroom by Fargebarn

This family took an Ikea Tromsö and created a great space for one of their boys. You can see more pictures of this beautiful black and white bedroom on their blog Fargebarn.

Or you can take an Ikea Kura and customize it into a cute Montessori style sleep space.

    Jack and Lulu via Design Sponge | Bed by Uderbara Clara

“Well that’s great and all”, said Jo, “but they BOTH want to sleep on the floor!”.  No problem, problem solved. Just take two twin sized mattresses and turn them the other way!

 Image via Remodelista

Also from this site:

floor bed MONTESSORI STYLE FLOOR BED

floor plan DIY FLOOR PLANS

mittens HANDMADE BABY LEATHER MITTENS

Reitter-Abel_Holzarten_T047  SEABUCKTHORN

MONTESSORI FLOOR BED

Montessori style floor bed designs and our own personal story.

floor bed

 Chambre aux colors acidulé by Bonnesoeur(s)

floor bed

 Une Maison dans la Chambre by Bonnesoeur(s)

I’m kind of obsessed with Montessori style children’s floor beds. I always recommend them to sleep deprived friends to the point of sounding like a broken record. I’ve collected over 200 images of them on my Pinterest. Yes, I’m a bit obsessed.

While most of these images are from regular parents just sharing their child’s sweet sleep spot, lately I’ve seen a lot of interior designers take inspiration from Montessori concepts as well.

Take for example the above images from sister design team Bonnesoeur(s). Lélia and Thélissa from Bretagne (that’s the region just west of Normandy), do lovely eclectic design work and their Chambre aux colors acidulé (Bedroom with acidic colors) and Une Maison dans la Chambre (A house in the bedroom) both feature Montessori-esque kid-friendly floor beds with creative original frames.

Culla per il co-sleeping and Lettino Futon by Mandori

Furniture designers are taking note as well. Ilaria Vasdeki, an Italian architect, artisan, and designer creates pieces directly inspired by Montessori philosophy for her brand Mandori. Her furniture like the Lettino Futon, a Montessori like sleeper shown above, is made from untreated solid fir from PEFC certfied sustainable forests.

 
Montessori style floor bed, play gym, table and chairs by HighlandWood
Like Mandori, Highland Wood takes an earth conscious approach to their Montessori inspired custom-made baby and toddler furniture. For each item sold in Henry’s Etsy shop, a tree is planted in the customer’s name through the Create your Forrest initiative by The Carbon Farmer. I love the well crafted soft rounded edges of these designs.
 
Homemade floor bed frame by Blog à la Cart

One can also make a Montessori floor bed frame at home. James and Ashley made this amazing DIY padded floor bed frame for under $100! Their tutorial is really detailed and the results are superb. Such a lovely bed for a little girl!

Or you can hack your crib like Meryl and her husband did. They transformed the bottom of their old crib into a floor bed frame and created the really beautiful Montessori sleep space shown below.

  
Transformed floor bed frame by My Bit of Earth

Our personal story:

We moved our daughter to her own room at about 9 months and went through several transformations of the floor bed concept. At first we just put her crib mattress on the floor to see if she liked it. When we saw that she LOVED it, we took a twin sized mattress and placed it directly on the floor. Later we purchased a Tatami mat to slightly raise and ventilate the mattress.

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BABY BALLERINA SLIPPERS

DIY leather slippers for toddler girl.

Last Christmas we had a family photo shoot with my dear friend Lucia. I wanted to make my daughter some cute ballerina styled slippers for the occasion and didn’t have a lot of time. (more…)