Lucky Things Kids: A brunch date with Little Tikes and play expert Emma Kenny

It was fun catching up with the Little Tikes and Azaria PR team to check out the new Little Tikes Baby range. On my way into London town on Wednesday, I gave up my seat for a lady as she was expecting. I started chatting to the couple who were going to become parents for the first time. They were so inspiring. They had a really fresh outlook as parents-to-be. We talked about the pressure to read lots of parenting -baby books. We agreed it was just about finding your own groove and getting to know your baby. I’m so excited about their new journey. They have lots to look forward to, especially when it comes to watching their little ones grow and develop through everyday play time.

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Time to Shine: Celebrating those winning moments as a parent – Guest post by Kimberly

Hey everyone, my pal Kimberly is back! You may have seen her cool post on confidence tips she picked up from a career in TV. Thanks to everyone who read her post and left a comment. Here’s Kimberly’s second post for Lucky Things (I’m secretly hoping there will be many more..). Parenting isn’t supposed to be straightforward. We also can’t put pressure on ourselves to be perfect parents and bring up ‘perfect’ children.

Over to the lovely Kimberly who tells us about those precious winning moments as a parent… Continue reading

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Lucky Things Out and About: Off to the Museum of Childhood…

Museum of Childhood – fun for grown-ups too!

Well Big Munch is now 3 so for I promised to have a mummy day with her to celebrate her birthday the other month. It was an exciting day out as she got to take mummy’s choo-choo train into work so she could first check out my desk and say a little hello to my workmates. We then headed to the beautiful Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green for the rest of the day. I’d been meaning to take her for ages and secretly knew I’d really love it too. It’s just one tube stop from Liverpool Street station but we jumped on the bus so we could tick another mode of transport off our list. Continue reading

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Niddle Noddle,a very cute toy shop in Crouch End

IMG_2295_6_7We love mooching about Crouch End, one of our favourite corners of London. One of Big Munch’s beloved bathtime toys (a watering can!) was found in the Niddle Noddle store. Possibly the best Christmas gift I could have bought her, apart from her broom of course. The Niddle Noddle online shop was launched 4 years ago by Eilidh Fraser and Katrine Camillo. They then opened their actual bricks and mortar shop in September 2013. Eilidh spoke to Lucky Things blog about the world of Niddle Noddle…
How did Niddle Noddle come about? Katrine is originally from Denmark and has worked in various careers including photography and I worked as a professional actress for 20 years. We met in a local park by chance when our daughters were young. My husband is Danish and Katrine overheard him speaking to my daughter in Danish and we soon got chatting. We were both looking for a more stable career, something that could easily combine work and motherhood.
What do you love about running the Niddle Noddle store?
We’re both interested in kids design and quite soon after meeting we started discussing the possibility of setting up an online kids boutique.  We also started selling at fairs and markets and began to build up a loyal following.
What’s your advice for other peeps who want to set up their own business? Any challenges you managed to juggle ok?
I think that because there were 2 of us, it was easier.  We were able to support and encourage each other. We also did some pop up shops to test the market before taking the plunge and opening a permanent shop. It’s a huge commitment and a gamble, so you have to be pretty confident you can offer your customers something they want.We go to trade shows all over Europe to source exciting fresh talent and tend to go for smaller labels which are harder to find in the UK (sometimes only in our shop) and not too expensive.
What do you think people love about coming to the Niddle Noddle store?
Lots of our customers comment on the feeling of nostalgia they get when they come into our shop, seeing lots of things from their childhood, that’s really nice. We try to keep the stock fresh and are always bringing in new finds! The shop has a easy feel and we try to keep it relaxed so that our customers come back! Children are encouraged to pick up toys and have a go. And of course there is the slide! So the kids can have fun on the slide while the adults shop! We also stock lots of one off pieces (from all over the world), hand made toys and knitwear. We do stock some of the bigger toy brands such as Djeco, Janod and Vilac because we like them but most of the things we stock  are unique to our shop.We have a big range of pocket money toys which have a traditional/retro feel as well as some actual vintage toys.
What are your top tips for juggling a busy family life and a business?
It’s always tricky finding the right balance between family and work!  In the beginning, it was just the two of us and we pretty much both had to be at the shop all time. That was really tough on us and our families but we now have some lovely staff working for us which means we’re not having to be in the shop every day. We’ve taken our kids with us to Europe to see where we source some of our stock and they were very excited to be involved. Sometimes they spend time in the shop (their choice), I think it’s fun for them and they like helping out. And of course the slide is a huge draw.We try as much as possible to be able to collect our kids from school most days. It was one of the reasons we set up the business together, to enable us to be able to combine work and family life to suit us. Of course, it does help that there are two of us to share the load.
What’s your top tip for parents and carers?
I don’t really have a top tip as far as parenting goes, it’s important to have fun but also to say ‘no’ sometimes.
What are some of your own favourite songs you enjoy playing to your children?
As far as what my daughter is listening to at the moment, quite a wide range of music, contemporary and classic – a healthy mix I think.
She does keep asking to listen to Nightcall by Kavinsky over and over whenever we are in the car!
What are 3 of your lucky things?
We’d probably say that our families and friends make us feel happy and lucky. And because we have such lovely customers, it’s a pleasure coming to work so that makes us pretty lucky!
The shop is located in Crouch End:
5 Topsfield Parade
Middle Lane
Crouch End
N8 7EP
Photos by Stuart Edmondstone and published with permission from Niddle Noddle.
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Music to my ears part 2 – interview with musician Nick Cope

nick pik shows comin up

So here’s part two of the Lucky Things music series. I first heard about Nick Cope when a friend played me one of his songs on YouTube. I was saying how we’ve been looking for some children’s music for long car journeys to Nanna’s, tunes which are kind of cool for grown ups to enjoy too. Big Munch has always been happy listening to our mix of music, bobbing her head along to the beats in the back of the car (sometimes even saying “make it louder Daddy!”). My friend Sunnah then told me how her little boy C loved Nick Cope‘s tunes as much as she and his musician daddy did.

Yay! Thanks Nick Cope for fun children’s lyrics played along to grown up acoustic folk-rock tunes. The lyrics and upbeat tunes are guaranteed to make you smile too. Nick used to be in the BritPop band Candyskins in the 90s. He’s based in Oxford but runs children’s gigs around the country. Nick is performing in one of the family concert rooms at the Royal Albert Hall in February. Here’s what Nick loved talking about in the Lucky Things blog interview…

How did you become a musician creating music for little people? I used to be in a band called the Candyskins we had a good run in the 90’s when that ended there was much thumb twiddling. Then, a friends of ours who ran a Montessori nursery asked me to run some music sessions and it went from there. It is a great to be able to say I go to work everyday with my guitar, I’m very lucky.

What do you love about making and performing music for little (and big) people? It’s wonderful to hold their attention with a narrative or to have them laughing at an amusing song. It is just brilliant fun to be able to entertain people what ever the age everyday.

Who are some of your lucky (favourite) musical influences?
I take influences from all sorts of songs/ musicians there are too many to mention. I do love Stornoway and Laura Marling and Evan Dando , Judee Sill I could go on and on…

What are your lucky (favourite) songs you like to play to your own children? We had a listen this evening to a few things on my iPhone we love Inspector Norse by Todd Terge (amazing dancey track) and Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands by Bob Dylan then it was time for dinner !

What’s your one top tip for parents?  Watch out for those teenagers they’re coming to get you!!!

What’s your favourite motto that keeps you going when things are a bit rough and tough? I’m off for a little skate at the skatepark.

What’s your top tip for peeps out there who want to set up their own business? To be prepared to make mistakes and then learn from them and to listen to advice from friends and family . Oh and don’t waste time watching rubbish on TV.

What are your 3 “lucky things”? My dog Norman the whippet, my skateboard and my guitar.


CDs make great stocking fillers for the little ones. Nick is working on some seasonal tunes, so check out his latest events and work at


Nick is also performing his children’s tunes at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 17 February 2016 (amazing!). The perfect gig for toddlers, children and grown ups.  Find out more about the venue and booking tickets here.

Time to go and pick up Big Munch in the car and listen to Why is the sky blue? on the way home…

#nickcope #royalalbertall #luckythinguk

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Book love series – In time for Christmas, special stories to share with the little people

However old we are, books can be some of the most treasured and well-thought out gifts. Coffee table books don’t always have to be ones for grown-ups. So in the run-up to Christmas I wanted to share some our beloved children’s books with beautiful images. The little people don’t have to be a certain age or reach ‘toddlerdom’ to appreciate these books. They are lovely to look at with their bright modern graphics and touching story lines. Even better for us grown-ups if we also love reading and looking at them (over and over and over again as you can imagine…)

Emma Dodd’s Forever, Everything and When..

I bought Forever for our first baby. It was Big Munch’s first ever book. I quickly read it at one of The White Company stores and it was too touching to put back on the shelf! Looking back, I don’t think it was just the pregnancy hormones that brought a tear as I read the heartfelt lyrics about a polar bear daddy hanging out with his cub. Reassuring words so the little ones know we will always be there for them.

Having caught the Emma Dodd bug, we then bought Everything. A cute story about a Koala mummy as she tells us what she adores about the little one. Nice shimmery golden graphics make the pages feel special and glow during bedtime.

The latest one to add to the collection is When…all about a little cub dreaming about the future and how they want to be in life. Like all of Emma Dodd’s books in this collection, the words have a soothing rhythm to them. For me, this makes them extra special books for bedtime even when your baby is just a few weeks old. Some of these books also come in smaller versions with hardback pages so they’re handy for travelling or being out and about.

Not a surprise really that Emma Dodd studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art. Her books can be found on here on Amazon or at

Oliver Jeffers’ How to Catch a Star and Lost and Found

Oliver Jeffers is from Belfast and now lives in Brooklyn. We’re big fans of this amazing author, illustrator and artist in our house. Both books talk about friendship and there’s also a hint of touching determination in the story lines. How to Catch a Star tells us about a boy who knew what he wanted and his adventure to find his new friend. Lost and Found is about a boy who will do anything to help a penguin who arrives on his doorstop.

Oliver Jeffers’ books can be found here on Amazon. It’s also worth checking out his website to keep up to date with his freshest story books (and enjoy some of the cute video trailers). I really hope one day he will make films out of his stories.


When I Was Born  by Isabel Minhos Martin and illustrated by Madelena Mataso

We came across this book at the Tate Modern book shop in London when I was pregnant with our second baby. I loved the cover so much, maybe it’s because of my growing love of all things monochrome. So this turned out to be Lil’ Munch’s first book. The black and white images in this book are perfect for babies, toddlers and older children. Perfect words for toddlers who just want to explore stuff and create their own mini adventures. A longer story about a little boy’s discoveries ever since he was born and left his mummy’s tummy. The pages reveal how he explores and finds out about new things using his different senses. It also highlights the simple things our little people really enjoy in life. A book reminding us learning is never-ending.

When I Was Born can be found at the online Tate Shop or on Amazon.

I Had a Favourite Dress by Boni Ashburn and illustrated by Julia Denos

Since Big Munch has been part of our crew, I’ve always bought a book for her whenever we visit different countries together. They’re cute souvenirs which remind me (if anything) of our good times on holidays. I first came across I Had a Favourite Dress in the Anthropologie store in Miami. Big Munch was only 6 months at the time but I was excited to find a book we could also read and talk about when she was a bit older (and starting to put together her own outfits). Before I knew it, she’s now two and a half and creatively decides what to wear. Note no maximum number of patterns in one outfit. Like the little girl in this book, she clearly has some favourite items of clothing of her own. As someone who loves associating my clothes with different memories, celebrations and places this was also the book for me. A cool story about a little girl who is sentimental about how one dress is transformed and helps to build memories. It’s also a cool way of talking about the days of the weeks, seasons and for us budding seamstresses and designers customising the beloved items that will always be a part of our wardrobe!

I Had a Favourite Dress can be found here on Amazon.

So what are some of your favourite stories to read to the little people? Any books where the illustrations make you smile? Go on, quickly leave a comment and share the book love…x

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