Esther van de Paal, the very Sassy Mama of four little ones and founder of Babyccino Kids, took a bit of time out of her hectic day to chat with us.
This super cool Dutch mama with an eye for all things beautiful shares her insider tips on what to get up to in Amsterdam with the family. While we’re not sure if we’ve worked up the courage to try out a bakfiet, she’s totally charmed us and her kiddos are giving us a serious case of closet envy.
What city do you live in and how long have you lived there?
Amsterdam, since 2007.
What do you love most about your city as a mama?
It’s a very relaxed and compact city, and very, very bike friendly. Amsterdam is extremely kid friendly — there are many high-quality playgrounds and parks, and restaurants always cater to children with high chairs and a nappy changing area.
What would be your top tips for a family day out for visitors to your city?
I would definitely recommend to rent bikes (a bakfiets (cargobike above) if you dare!) and cycle around town. Also, a boat tour on the canals is must-do and so easy with children.
What are your favourite fashion stores for kids wear?
Keet in Huis, Gray label – Keet is Huis and recently merged with cool Dutch kids brand Imps & Elfs. They have a fantastic fashion and lifestyle collection. My kids are skinny and tall (so Dutch!) and the Imps & Elfs jeans fit them perfectly, so I love going there.
What are your go-to mama stores for fashion and home?
The store names are Shuka and Restored. The have hip, relaxed fashion and accessories.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Our family home in the Cantal. We visit it every summer, I’ve been going there since I was a child. It is beautiful, very rural, and we love the landscape, architecture, nature, and the gastronomic food of the region.
Have you ever been to Dubai?
We have friends in Dubai that we’d love to visit. The weather is supposed to be fantastic :).
Describe your parenting style in three words
Strict, creative, relaxed.
What are your 5 must-have mama items?
My bakfiets (cargo bike), a jar of shea butter, a picnic blanket, wet wipes, a good supply of Band-Aids 🙂
How would you describe your home/interior style?
It’s a mix of styles, of things we inherited, found on the street, some modern classics, etc. I want our house to be welcoming and relaxed, both for children as adults.
How do you like to spend your weekends in Amsterdam?
In winter, we like to visit museums with the children and cook cosy dinners for our friends. In summer, we like to go out for picnics, or hang out in the garden (and organise BBQs with friends).
What’s your easy go-to meal that super fast and easy to make if the kids need to be fed now now now?
Spaghetti Carbonara! We all love it and it’s on the table in 15 minutes.
What’s great about being a mama in Amsterdam?
There’s relatively a lot of spare time, it’s a very family friendly city — there’s a lot to do for families and children (museum, festivals, workshops, exhibitions etc), plus it’s extremely bike-friendly, so we spend a lot of time outside.
Do you capture your moments through a phone or a camera?
I use my iPhone 6 for all my IG photos. For the blog, I also use my old Nikon D90. You can follow my feed on Instagram at @estherbabyccino.