Thursday, June 21, 2012

Munster & Missie

You know my love for Munster! Cool, edgy, clean, graphic... I could go on and on and on... Well without further ado, I will let you have a look at what is coming to Little by Little for Summer '12 by this amazing brand!

Hope you like what you see!

Chat soon!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

French Lesson Learnt

I had a very interesting information night this evening.  You see my son is doing an exchange student programme later in the year to Bordeaux France!  Lucky boy!

There were a heap of interested parents, French teachers and a few French students on exchange here.  We were told a lot of things tonight.  We were told about location, about the weather,  about the sister/brother school and about the host families.  I found the talk fascinating and what I found most interesting was the things the French girls told us.  Actually it was more like what they taught us!

The French book of the moment
What I learnt tonight mainly was of how wrong we have gotten it here with our kids

  1. 3 set meals a day, breakfast, big lunch and dinner, NO SNACKS! and if you need to have a snack it is generally cheese or fruit!  No walking everywhere with food, all meals are an experience and each meal lasts generally about an hour! WOW!  No wonder you don't see many overweight children in France!
  2. Children eat the same as adults, there is no different menu for kids or cooking a "simplified version" of the meal! And that is from a very young age! Another WOW! I have been shamed! I have been cooking sometimes 2 and 3 separate meals to please everyone!
  3. No school uniforms, it is good to have your own individuality (also good for the fashion industry!).  At the same time you have to respect that you are dressing for school not for a social event! I guess that is why the French have such strong fashion sense from a young age and know how to dress for occasion.
  4. Make sure you bring a "good" outfit because Sundays the host family might be going to church!  That is when I nearly fell of my chair!  Good outfit and church in the same sentence!  The Europeans really dress up on Sundays rather than wear their trackies all day!
  5. There are large classrooms and students need to respect the teachers and not talk or disrupt the class.  Did I hear right? R-E-S-P-E-C-T the teachers!
  6. Generally we walk everywhere... so make sure you have good walking shoes (especially the girls, no high heels needed!).  Again obesity issue solved!  Just walk everywhere...

I know there have been many books written about why the French are so good at so many things but actually hearing it from these 16 year old girls really brought it home to me.  And they were so matter-of-fact about it all!

Chat soon!


The French Food Rules

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Claesen's summer '12

Ahhhh!  Love it when the delivery man starts arriving!  New season starts again... the excitement and anticipation!  LOVE IT!

Well our new season starts arriving tomorrow and boy oh boy its a good one!  Claesens is always a crowd pleaser with their fun colour combinations!  And this year they will be sure to be a winner...  Here is a sneak peek what is coming!


Chat soon


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Recipes from my Mother's Table

I don't normally talk much about books on this blog. There are a few reasons:

  1. I generally buy books get 1/3 of the way through them and I don't finish them... I do have the best intention but I just don't finish them...
  2. I am into the chicklit genre of books... these type of books I do finish in hours or days.  I can safely say that Watermelon by Marion Keyes in my all time favourite books... sorry I am not your literary type.
  3. I LOVE Cookbooks, I love reading them and occassionally (I mean occassionally!) cook from them.  Another category of classics for me, not something to discuss in bookclub!

Which brings us to todays post.  Yesterday I bought yet another cookbook, I do have close to 70 cookbooks.  But this one is different, I know it!  This is Recipes from my Mother's Kitchen by Guy Grossi, of Grossi Florentino, Mirka at Tolarno's fame.  Apart from giving us an insight to his wonderful family's background, the recipes found here are amazing.  I guess if you had to have one Italian cookbook this would have to be it.  I love the authenticity of the recipes, it is page after page of old time favourites as well some lesser known recipes without having to use 100s of different ingredients.  A lot of the recipes have ingredients that can be found in your fridge or pantry. 

Simple recipes like Spaghetti Con Passata (sounds so much better than Spaghetti with Tomato Polenta Fritta Con Gorgonzola (Fried Polenta with Gorgonzola) Spezzatino (Briased Beef) Scaloppine Al Vino Bianco (Veal Slices with White Wine Sauce)

As for the desserts OMG!

Connoli Di Ricotta (Ricotta-filled Cannoli)...Torta Di Cioccolato (Flourless Chocolate Cake)

to my favourite dessert at the moment...Castagnole (Ricotta Fritters)

I know this will not be under my coffee table as decoration (yes! I do have cookbooks as decoration as well, remember I have 70 of them!)

Chat soon


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cupcakes and minicakes.... Yum!

How nice is it when you go to a formal do like a wedding and instead of getting a slice of cake you get your own individual minicake.  Those little miniature works of art all to yourself!

Some inspiration...

tiny rosebuds 

Tiffanys party!

so pretty

bows, pearls and chandeliers...

Lego man

more pearls this time with chandeliers and birdcages

what beautiful detail

burgers anyone... minicakes instead!

wedgewood blue

the perfect louis vuitton bag

who's the leader of the pack

Chat soon


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Farewell Big, hope this trend stop!

This week, Fiona Scanlan send a sad note to all her customers announcing the closure of all her Big stores and website.

Another week another closure, it has been happening for so many months, every week we hear of another brand or store or in this case both.  Brands that offered unique, original, creative clothes for parents to dress their kids in.  Originality of design wasn't the only things that these brands had, these brands offered superior fabrics and craftsmanship.  No mass produced copies here! These labels were the ones copied time and again.

The trend started last year when we had to advise our customers that Paul Frank and Trelise Cooper Kids would no longer be, followed by Two Belles, Tommy Rocket, Mini and Miss Metalicus, after summer we will be saying goodbye to Nolita Pockets and Rare the Kids.  These are just some designers that we have had in our shop, imagine how many others there are that we don't know about.

So why is this happening?  Why this sudden decline in kids fashion? Is it that people aren't  spending as much, or opting to purchase the cheaper copied inferior versions of these brands? Is it the appeal of the "disposable couture", cheaper clothes that are worn and thrown out! Or are parents buying from overseas?

So many reasons and so many variables!  One thing I know for sure as sad as Fiona's message was, there will be heaps more like it, if parents choose to shop overseas and not support the smaller, local, independent stores.  We try the best we can for our customers day in day out.  Our margins aren't huge and we do not have any of the rebates andpenalties that the big stores get from brands.

Farewell to all these amazing brands and hope to see you in the future.  We thank you for your creativity and dressing our kids!

Chat soon!