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To discover a new food culture could be oh-so-fascinating but also a bit tricky. When we moved to Portugal kids were (at first) struggling with new sensations. Even boiled potatoes tasted differently. Now that we are starting our second school year in Lisbon, we have learned to love the local cuisine – its fresh ingredients and traditional approach to cooking. But we still prefer simple tastes to very complex combinations…

Here are some tips if you are visiting Portugal with kids.

1 Soups

Soups are a simple introduction to local cuisine (and a nice way to eat vegetables). We love-love-love the traditional chicken soup – I think it’s something universal, everyone loves chicken soup! But also the ones with vegetables are very nice and tasty, especially caldo verde that’s made of kale, potatoes and chorizo. Nom-nom!

Vegetable soup and chicken soup with corn bread

Caldo verde soup and pulled pork sandwich

2 Fish and rice

Life by the ocean dictates that there is a lot of fish and seafood on the plate. Try dourada (sea bream) or robalo (sea bass). Sardines and bacalhau (cod fish) are typical Portuguese delicacies, there are hundreds of different ways of cooking the dried salted cod fish… but never the less grilled dourada is usually a safer choice when it comes to kids. It is super tasty and almost boneless! And we adore tomato rice. Whenever you see something with rice on the menu, try it! Portuguese cuisine is famous for its rice dishes and the Portuguese are the biggest consumers of rice in Europe. Rice with polvo (octopus) is our favorite!

Dourada with tomato rice and spinaches

3 Cakes

We always prefer to have a proper cake to all kinds of other desserts (mousses, flans and sweet rice are very nice, but they can never replace a proper cake!). Almond cake is something very typical here and goes well with five o’clock tea. It is crunchy and ideally a bit moist inside. Or! Whenever you see a  bolo de bolacha (Portuguese biscuit cake with a touch of coffee!) on menu, give it a try, even kids enjoy its sweet-bitter taste. True delight! And there usually are loads of sponge cakes (pão de ló) to choose from, which is another great option if you love cakes.

Portuguese almond cake

4 Tomato jam

Tomato jam – you will not find it in most restaurants, but it is something to bring home as a souvenir (buy it at a local market place or in a supermarket). It really is worth the effort! Sounds strange – tomato jam – (btw it doesn’t taste like ketchup, it’s a real jam, if you wonder…!) but is just perfect with fresh pancakes (or fresh cheese).

Home made tomato jam

5 Pasteis de nata

And finally, the crown jewel of the Portuguese desserts – pastel de nata or custard tart. You can find a nice one in every little coffee house and in every corner shop. But the real ones are in Belem (fancy neighbourhood in Lisbon where the president lives). Pasteis de Belem are the finest version of these famous custard tarts. They come with a touch of cinnamon and powdered sugar. Must-must-must try when visiting Lisbon! And it’s a nice gift idea to take with you later.

Classical pasteis de nata or Portuguese custard tarts

Photos: Maria Kaarep

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We are starting our second school year in Lisbon – this means another fascinating chapter is about to begin. And not just the kids, it’s a new page for me also.

To celebrate this magical new beginning we collaborated with River Island to capture the moment. I’ve been a great fan of the London-based brand for many years and I’m especially glad to share their latest collection with you since it has a lot of fashionable pieces for kids and some very cool styles for moms.

Don’t you just adore these sporty details! And I’m totally in love with the light blue coat that will definitely be my fav piece in the upcoming season!

Here’s to all your brave decisions you are about to make! Trust yourself and believe in the magic of new beginnings!

Photos: Laura Rohtlaan

Styles: River Island

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We spend a lot of time in the countryside, especially during the holidays – exploring wild nature is part of the Nordic DNA. But the end of summer means we are heading back to the city – and getting properly dressed… again. It also means discovering that everything we used to love (and wear) is too tight or too short. So hello shopping spree! If you take a bit of time, then it is actually quite fun to discover new styles and looks, even together with kiddos. These ones here are by Reserved, super kid- and also pocket-friendly brand that has a wide-wide range of designs both for boys and girls.

So city lights, here we come! But first, let’s say goodbye to this lovely summer with some proper stargazing! Because even if the Perseids have already showered and the Leonids peak on the 17th of November, it is always fascinating to stare at the stars.

Photos: Laura Rohtlaan

Clothes: Reserved

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Visiting a museum with kids can be tricky. Children’s attention span is comparable with Dory (the fish!) – they get bored very quickly if all their senses and curiosity will not be tickled. That’s why ‘Birth of a Tradition. Golden Age of Estonian Art from Enn Kunila’s Collection’ is special – it is educative, beautiful and oh-so-colorful, but also fun!

The selection is outstanding featuring the greatest 20th century Estonian artist like Konrad Mägi, Ants Laikmaa and Nikolai Triik. Kids (well actually all visitors) can grab a ‘phone’ that tells stories about the exhibits (and even smaller kids are excited about this interactive part), there’s a special room where kids can draw and last but not least – the staff is super kid-friendly.

Big bow to Enn Kunila and his wife Maris who have put the exhibition together.

The finest Estonian art can be enjoyed until the 12th of August at Tartu Art Museum. Do use this special opportunity!

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Pitti Bimbo gave a sneak peek to the coolest autumn-winter ’18 styles. Children’s fashion has never been so diverse and generous. Here are the top trends straight from Florence from the most outstanding catwalks.

Chic, oh so chic!

Soooo chic, soooo French, soooo Chanel…. Seriously! Take a look! It’s not nostalgic drive for old-school-glamour but new age charm that we will witness next season.

Urban simplicity…

…but with a new twist. Cool metallics, experimental forms and never-before-used fabrics are important key words for next autumn-winter.

Creativity and dreams

Nothing is impossible. Some designers dare to dream and to make their dreams come true (no matter how crazy they seem). Fashion as an art form, as a way of expressing yourself, is something to admire.

Retro, not vintage but retro!

Let’s turn back time (or watch again an Austin Powers movie), cos the 60s have returned. Wide-legged pants, turtlenecks, crazy mix of patterns… it’s all back!

Oversized and minimalistic 

This laid back and easygoing yet super stylish trend comes straight from grownups fashion and is not trying to impress but is here to make you feel good and unique.

Photos: G.Giannini (Pitti Bimbo)

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I absolutely adore holidays! This time of the year gives you an indisputable reason to dress up and to wear a tiara or cover yourself in glitter every day… Just because it’s Christmas (and because there is too little daylight out there so you have to shine-shine-shine yourself)! So when the Italian fashion label OVS Kids, that is famous for its festive outfits (and reasonable prices) and who just opened its first store in Tallinn, asked me to style its holiday series, of course I said ‘SI’! And loads of super cool moms said ‘yes’ also and borrowed their bundle of joys and little rebels for the shoot!

Here’s the result together with the making-of photos. Hope you enjoy this little overdose of jollity… And do check out OVS Kids store at Rocca al Mare center.

Photos: Virge Viertek

Models: Mona, Minna, Karlotta, Arman, Liam, Anton, Hugo, Hans

Many thanks to: Kadri, Kriss, Getter, Sandra, Lucien and Kristina for borrowing your treasures

Clothes: OVS Kids Estonia

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Only 5 weeks until Christmas…. are you in the mood already? Not only home and fur trees need a bit of decorating to feel the holiday vibe, we need it also. Glitz and glitter are a must this time of the year and even I (who I very seldom wear sparkling accessories) have discovered that a colourful set of rings and an outstanding necklace make you feel ho-ho-ho so good (and beautiful).

So do get what you wish for this Christmas! Whether it’s a puppy or a heart-shaped necklace by Pandora.

Photos: Tiina Annamaa

Accessories: Pandora

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3rd of September will be pretty special this year. Besides that it is the day when Kahe Silla Jooks (popular 10 km run between two bridges) takes place, there will also be something very theatrical and crazy cool going on! I will be orchestrating a kids costume party together with the national theatre Endla and Kahe Silla Klubi. It will be shown on the main stage in front of Endla theatre for thousands of sports enthusiasts and hopefully I will see you there as well.

The idea is to inspire kids, parents and everybody to have more fun. I’ll be mixing two of my great passions – fashion and sports – together but even if I’m a super big fan of both, there is no reason to take either of them too seriously. So let me entertain you with magical outfits and theatrical illusions. And maybe you get inspired for kindergarten, school and why not kids birthday parties as well!

AD and style: Kirsi Altjoe

Photos: Terina Tikka

Models: Adoree and Lisete

Thank you Endla theatre for costumes and accessories

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And it’s a wrap this time! 548 children’s fashion brands, more than 5300 buyers and 10 000 visitors made this June’s Pitti Bimbo the liveliest children’s B2B market place and a grand festival at the same time. Although there was a slight decline in the number of Italian buyers attending the fair, the number or Russian, Dutch, Austrian, Ukrainian and Chinese buyers rose.

Of the ‘big ones’ Dolce and Gabbana was back at Pitti Bimbo and the presence of John Richmond created a lot of excitement. Kids runways were amazing (as always), there were more outstanding pop up stands than before, the Nest area was full of inspiring little trendsetters and Pitti Bloom party was just fabulous. All together Pitti Bimbo was serious and fun at the same time – perfect for networking, doing business and for feeling part of the small fashion community.

Next Pitti Bimbo will take place 18-20 January 2018.

Photo credits: Pitti Immagine Bimbo (AKA Studio collective)

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So honoured and happy to invite you to my first kids fashion photography exhibition “Pärnu, children and fashion”. The exhibition that is open until the end of August at Pärnu Museum is a bow to Pärnu, the city that has been my home for the past 10 years. It also is a bow to all these amazing fashion brands, wonderful and patient kids, talented photographers and make up artists I’ve had the honour to work with. Thank you! What a journey it has been!

Photos exhibited have two things in common – they are styled and art directed by me and all shot in Pärnu and its surroundings. Plus I also hope that they all have a wow-effect on the visitors.

I started working as a stylist 15 years ago. Back then I was a media & telecommunications student at Stockholm University and my passion was design and fashion. First I worked with grownups, created fashion editorials and did cover shoots for various women’s magazines, but five years ago switch to kids. And I have not regretted it – children are the most wonderful people to work with. Yes, they are more challenging, but the result is also more precious.

Hope you enjoy the exhibition! And please share your comments and thoughts, they are much appreciated.

Photos by Laura Rohtlaan, Marilin Leenurm, Hele-Mai Alamaa

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