Cook in a book

Ever noticed how your kid will happily eat a mud ‘pie’ they’ve made in the garden or chow down on a play doh 'pancake', but once you put real food in front of them they turn their nose up? Some kids love food, some can be picky eaters, but once they become part of the cooking process your little chef will certainly be more willing to try their culinary creations over something that is just plonked down in front of them at the table. The clever ‘Cook in a book’ series from Phaidon is a great way to introduce your little kitchen helper to the fun that food has to offer. These interactive recipe books take you through the different steps of a recipe whilst allowing the kids to ‘do it themselves’ by using pull tabs, wheels, pop outs and flaps to complete the process, minus the mess! After these books they’ll be eager to move on to the real thing and hopefully eat the real thing too. We’ve featured the ‘Taco’ book here (because who doesn’t love tacos?) but pancakes and pizza are also available.

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J.Crew Dock Short

No summer wardrobe is complete without a great pair of chino shorts. This versatile staple can get you through anything the warmer months have to offer, but we often find that you have to compromise on comfort and/or fit. Most chino shorts are ‘Dad cut’ and way too structured, so just don’t look that good and comfort-wise make laid back summer days a little less laid back. So are the J.Crew Dock Shorts the perfect pair? Well let’s just say they flatter and deceive. The combo of a slightly tailored fit and elasticated waistband means they look great in any smart/casual setting but are also supremely comfortable. Dad friendly but without the compromises.

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Bibs Pacifier

When it comes to baby products, tried and tested is often the best way to go. These classic Bibs pacifiers are certainly that and 30 years after these Danish designed dummies were created, their minimalist styling is right on trend especially in their current colourways. The round shape and small size mean they are perfect from newborn and naturally turn away from baby’s face to avoid irritating the skin. No fancy gadgets or gizmos here, but when something does the job, whilst being this stylish it’s hard to argue with a classic. 

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Lotus Grill

Sometimes you just can’t beat cooking on a BBQ. What you can beat however, is the set up and cleaning involved in barbecuing. Our favourite barbecue and one that simplifies the whole outdoor cooking process is the Lotus Grill. This German designed beauty is available in a range of colours and sizes to suit, but it’s standout features are that the Grill can be ready to cook in under 5mins thanks to an in built battery operated fan (this is true, we’ve tested) and because of its modular construction can easily be taken apart to be cleaned. Added to this the fact that most sizes are portable and come complete with a carry bag, you can be ready to bbq anywhere, anytime, fast. We recommend the XL for families and even this size is easily stored away when not in use (in the UK that’ll be most of the year then?)

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Doddle & Co 'The Chew'

First from Doddle & Co came ‘The Pop’, now comes something that once you pop you will not be able to stop. Be honest, whenever something arrives packaged in bubble wrap, can you resist the temptation to pop a few bubbles? Whether this ends up being for you or your little one, the patented design teether gives you the chance to keep on popping or help your baby develop their fine motor skills whilst soothing their teething aches and pains. ‘The Chew’ which is available in sunshine or cloud variants is also brand new (and unfortunately not shipping to Europe yet) but get your big or little fingers on one of these soon, because we know we can’t resist.

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Rhinoshield Crashguard

If you have kids, at some point one of them will drop your phone. At another point they will cover your phone in god knows what, then one day probably just chuck it across the room. Watching on as such a precious (and expensive) gadget takes a pounding can be hard, but if you’ve installed a Rhinoshield Crashguard you’ll have a little more peace of mind. The Crashguard is like an evolved bumper case, made from a super tough custom formulated polymer that won’t add much bulk or weight. Believe us, from experience this case will protect your phone. And if you find your little one trying to chew through your Rhinoshield case (it will happen) you don’t need to panic, as it is certified food grade and safe for children. You may not like them doing what they do, but your precious will remain safe. Precious child as well as precious phone that is.

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The Ordinary Skincare

It can be hard to find the time for some things. Kids can force you to prioritise and grooming can slip down the pecking order, so you have to keep things as simple as possible. Simple can sometimes mean ordinary but in the case of your skincare, ordinary can actually be best. Well in the case of The Ordinary and their range of skincare products that is. 'Clinical formulations with integrity' is how they describe their extensive range of creams, serums and oils, which avoid all of the usual fluff and branding that gets in the way of finding products that just work. This stripped back approach means not only do they focus on bringing you high-quality, but prices are kept right down too. So go for The Ordinary to keep your grooming routine time and cost-effective, without compromising on your skincare. Their website will even help you find the best product combo for your needs.

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Trove Wallet

As everything moves towards a cashless system, its time to free up some valuable EDC real estate. Especially as we get into shorts wearing weather, when no one wants to be walking around with an unsightly pocket bulge. However, we’re not quite out of the wallet woods yet and there are still times where cash is king or you need to use a card. Trove is our favourite minimalist wallet and for such a small footprint you can fit in a lot. They are handcrafted in England and their clever combo of Italian elastic and full grain leather combine to create 3 separate pockets for all of your cards and cash. Add to that its party trick of transforming into a phone stand and you may have found not just a way to streamline your shorts, but an all year round wallet solution.

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Mohinders

Hand woven shoes with a story. Mohinders are made by third-generation artisans in Athani, India and whilst this guarantees first rate workmanship and authenticity, they also look equally good in any summer setting you can find. Durable water buffalo leather paired with natural crepe, cushioned rubber soles means they are comfortable and worthy of the investment. If you get these, they will get attention and people will ask about them, but rest assured the craftsmen who make these shoes are fairly compensated and part of a non-profit cooperative so you will have a good story to tell.

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Little Herbs Baby Balm

As a Dad, not every day is filled with smug parenting wins and unfortunately, the inevitable scourge that is nappy rash is sure to strike at some point. But we have two simple words for you…Little Herbs. Their organic and natural product range includes a Baby Balm for Nappy Rash and this is the one you need. This humble sounding balm, which is made in Somerset will be your new secret weapon. Using a magical blend of herbs, it is brilliant at banishing nappy rash and other skin irritations, whilst healing and protecting delicate skin (yes, including your own). So once you have your balm at the ready, you can be prepared, prepared to be smug.

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BabyHub SleepSpace

We love multi-use products, not only because of their great value, but also being able to adapt on the fly is essential with kids especially when you’re travelling. The Baby Hub Sleep Space is one of those great products, that is not only a travel cot and baby play room, but also converts into a teepee once your child grows bigger. It opens and closes in one easy movement, making it super easy to get back into the provided carry bag. Packed inside you’ll find everything you need for all of its functions plus a handy mosquito net cover, meaning you can take this innovative product with you anywhere.

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Oli & Carol

How do you get your kids to eat vegetables? And no, putting chocolate or ketchup on them doesn’t count. Being more adventurous with food can be a challenge, but we think we have found a fun way to start this process early. Barcelona based Oli and Carol may have come up with the best solution yet, with their fruits and veggies themed teethers, getting baby used to the idea of eating the likes of kale, broccoli, avocado and watermelon. It’s a novel idea, but even if it doesn’t get your little ones reaching for the greens, it’s a great looking, fun soother that should at least help ease the pains of teething. Oh and unlike some of it’s famous (long-necked) competitors these do not have any holes, so no fears of mold! (also, keeping it in the family check out their mother's washable kids rugs- Lorena Canals)

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Gerber Dime

As a dad you should always be prepared, right? Well at the very least, prepared to tackle your latest Amazon delivery. You really don’t want to be getting into a wrestling match (and losing) in front of your kids, with the impenetrable packaging that all toys seem to be trapped in these days. Step in the pocket dynamo that is the Gerber Dime. At 8cm long, it is probably the smallest multi-tool around and Gerber have managed to pack in 12 different tools, meaning you will always have the right one at hand. The solid stainless steel construction means the Dime should stand up to most small or on the fly tasks and it is available in several different colours so will look good on the go too.  And don’t forget the included unique cutting blade that is designed to safely cut and score all forms of packaging, so dad will always be a box-opening hero.

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Banale Omni Pillow

Have you ever tried to bring your pillow with you when you travelled? Be honest...at the very least those terrible half-filled hotel pillows have at least made you consider it. Well now you don’t even have to entertain the idea of trying to jam a pillow into your suitcase, as the clever guys at Italian design company Banale have invented the Omni. What starts out as a memory foam neck or double travel pillow, also unfolds to become a full-size pillow topper, meaning no more uncomfortable journeys or nights away. It comes in a water resistant shell and with its clever ability to transform, is ready for any sleep situation (with kids, that may even end up being at home). After a successful Kickstarter campaign, it is now available in the UK from Bear and Bear.

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Mountain Buggy Bagrider

Cabin bag or stroller? Cabin bag or stroller? No space or free hands for both, so which to take? How about no compromise? How about bring both, in one? New Zealand based Mountain Buggy heard every parent's travel dilemna and found a solution, the Bagrider. This innovative product combines a two-wheeled 35l cabin friendly suitcase with a four-wheeled travel seat for toddlers up to 15kg/33lbs. There's a cushioned seat liner with a fully adjustable 5-point safety harness, meaning you can zip through the airport, whilst your little one can travel in safety and comfort. With this travel hack in play, the only question left now is, when will they make an adult version for you to be wheeled around on?

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Ebbets Field Vintage Caps

Whether it’s rain or shine or just a bad hair day, a baseball cap can rescue you in so many situations. The Mid-century Americana styling sported by Ebbets Field Vintage, instantly turns their caps from ‘Dad style’ to fashion forward. Wear any item from their range and the craftsmanship will make you feel like you’ve stepped back to a time where everything was made to last. All of the headwear and clothing they make is handcrafted and timeless so no upgrades necessary, unless of course a family member (permanently) borrows your hat (and they will) meaning having to pick another beauty from their array of different teams and styles. We especially love the ‘Trucker’ style mesh hats for spring/summer as they are slightly cooler... IF you can get your hands on one, as all Ebbets Field products are popular so they don’t hang around.

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Vaggaro One

Travelling with kids can sometimes make you feel like a cart horse. Let’s face it, those little people require so many things when you’re on the road that you end up strapped down with a million baby things, whilst you’re lucky to have fit in a change of underwear for yourself. Babies need a high chair, a place to nap, a bouncer, a baby seat, the list goes on. But what if there was a product that was all of these things, combined into one beautifully made, stylish travel sized package. Swedish designers Vaggaro have achieved this and their modular foldable furniture is every father’s new favourite travel-companion. And getting one of these might mean you can even pack a second pair of pants too.

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Bax and Bay Cub Changing Bag

What do you need when you’re out and about with baby? Changing bag, feeding pillow and baby carrier (support), sound about right? Want them all in one? Then get a Bax and Bay Cub bag. It performs all these three function, whilst also being stylish and available in a range of colours and fabrics (we like the grey faux suede or indigo linen blend for guys). These bags are made in Scotland and come with a foldable changing mat, removable insulated bottle bag and stroller friendly strap. You really couldn’t ask for anything more from a changing bag and to top it off, right now they are on sale direct from Bax and Bay who'll also donate a % of their sales to charity.

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Uashmama Storage Bags

Kids make mess. Fact. Tidying up can seem like an endless task, as soon as one disaster zone is tackled, another appears. But there is hope, for you and your house…keep everything in order, but also in style with Uashmama washable paper bags. Created by the Marconi family from Tuscany, everyone of their products will bring a beautiful minimalist touch to your home, but their smart storage bags mean you can just chuck the toys in and it’ll look like you’ve had your house restyled by an interior designer. The bags are available in a range of sizes and on trend colours, so will fit any taste, but it’s also worth taking a look at their beautiful homewares too.

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Storksak Cabin Carry Bag

Hospital bag. Nappy bag. Baby travel bag. Hanging organiser. Kid’s first suitcase. Wheeled cabin bag for you. As a parent, at some point you will probably need one or two, if not all of these things. Instead of cluttering your life with one of each, or compromising on something that never quite does any of those jobs, why not buy the one bag that will do it all? The Storksak Cabin Carry Bag is this bag. It's stylish and well-made, in a range of colours that will work for dad, mum and little ones, so it can be shared or passed on (not that you’ll want to give it up). This bag can really do it all, but the ace up its sleeve is the internal compartment, which is great for keeping the bag organised, but can also be removed and used as a hanging shelving unit at your destination. 

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Bread & Boxers Hoodie

Simple is best. Life can be complicated (especially with kids) and sometimes you just need to be able to put something on that is comfortable, looks good and will get you there, no matter your adventure. But simplicity doesn’t have to mean a lack of style or substance, as Swedish designer Bread and Boxers have proven. Originally designed by Henrik Lundqvist as an extension of the hotel mini bar to rescue travellers who had packed a little too light, this brand has now evolved into a go to for high quality basics. Their whole range is classic and refined with just the right level of styling and no unnecessary detailing, but we especially love their hoodies. Pair them with pretty much anything for a laid back style in soft yet hard wearing fabrics, that travel well too. In a world with so many perplexing choices to make, just keep it simple (stupid).

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Sony WH-1000XM2

No, these noise cancelling headphones are not necessarily designed for drowning out all the chaos in your life (read screaming kids), though finding some moments of peace and serenity can't hurt. These Sony Wireless Noise Cancelling headphones aren't totally brand new, but they are the best in a very crowded field. You may find others with slightly better sound (Bowers & Wilkins PX) or a touch more comfort (Bose QC35 II) but you'll find these Sonys the perfect all-rounder. Simple setup and touch sensitive ear pad controls, with deeper adjustment available through an IOS or Android app. 30 hours battery life, auto pressure and noise cancelling adjustment to suit your situation, mean you can find tranquility wherever you are and whatever is around you...even at home. 

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Taylor Stitch Slim Chino

Everyone can tell you that there is nothing more versatile in a Dad's wardrobe than a pair of chinos. However, telling you where you can find a pair that are comfortable and hard wearing but with a modern, flattering fit is not something everyone can do. The Taylor Stitch Slim Chino (seen above in British Khaki, but available in several fabrics to suit) is definitely one of those chinos that ticks all the boxes and will mean you can avoid navigating the endless 'Dad'-fit versions that are out there. Just because you want to wear something practical does not mean you have to sacrifice style. As with all Taylor Stitch products these will be with you for a while and are worth the investment.

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Najell Sleep Carrier

Scandinavians have been besting baby sleeping bags and carry cots for a while now and the Sleep Carrier from Swedish company Najell is no exception. Their ingenious design combines a unique safety tested sleeping bag/nest with baby carrier. If that wasn’t enough, the design also allows it to fold out and become a playmat once you reach your destination. With modern minimalist styling, every Dad will look good carrying one of these (expect questions and compliments) and being able to travel with a sleeping baby without having to transition them (wake them up), will feel like a big parenting win.

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GH Bass Camp Moc Decker Lite

This will probably not be the last time we mention GH Bass on this website as their footwear is always our go to for long lasting, laid back style for all occasions. These Camp Moc Decker Lites are the perfect spring/summer boat shoe for years to come and you'll be hard pushed to find something in your wardrobe that they don't go with (they make them in tan and the blue above). These guys have been making shoes since 1876 and are the kings of all things 'Moc Toe'. In fact, you can't go wrong with anything in their 'Camp Moccasins' range for any style or season...we especially love those beautifully crafted Camp Moc Rangers if the weather turns.

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Comotomo Baby Bottles

This may be one of the most important purchases you will ever make. No seriously, the difference between a bottle that works for your baby and one that doesn’t, could be as life-changing as buying the right car or the perfect house. There are so many bottles out there to choose from and you will try them all. A late-night dash to any shop that is open, that will sell you anything with an anti-burp valve will probably be to no avail, unless of course they have a Comotomo. Why Comotomo? They have managed to design a bottle that really does mimic breastfeeding, with its non-leaking dual air-vents to prevent colic, a wide-neck design for easy cleaning, and hygienic silicone material, they will allow for a pain-free transition to bottles. For dads this means we can be more involved in feeding, even from birth and for our daughter these were the only bottles she would use. They may seem a small purchase, but choosing these bottles and the quality time they give you with your baby, really will seem more important than MPGs or SQft, especially at 1am.

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Teva 'Original Rope' Sandals

Spring is finally in the air, so that must mean it's time to get those summer wardrobe staples in order. One thing every dad will know is that you sometimes have to sacrifice style for practicality, especially when it comes to warm weather footwear. Sandals can be a controversial choice, but with the original rope sandals from Teva you really will bridge the gap between comfort, practicality and style. Teva were created from humble beginnings- the original was crafted from an old velcro watch strap and a pair of flip flops, but they have evolved into a universally tried and tested winner for strap and go footwear. They really are a go-anywhere, do-anything choice.  You can even wear them with socks (for extra indulgent comfort)...no really you can, but maybe just around the house.

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Smartmax 'Red Riding Hood'

Once upon a time...there was a low tech, no screen time game that kept your 4-8 year old entertained for hours on end whilst also developing their problem solving and logic skills. This puzzle is the follow on to Smartmax's award winning Three Little Pigs game and includes 48 different challenges, so sure to be used again and again (rather than the usual once a Christmas outing most games receive!). Smartgames also make a range of other puzzles and magnetic building toys. So with all the kids entertained for hours on end, with an educational toy at that, we all (especially the grown ups) lived happily ever after.

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Buck Mason

The holy grail? An everyday t-shirt that goes with everything and is cut to flatter most shapes and sizes. Made in LA, these t-shirts are built to last (we have some going on over 3 years with continued use) and you are guaranteed to find one to suit your style. This may not be the holy grail, but when you’re a dad with not much time to pick out an outfit, knowing you can throw one of these on and it will just look good and be comfortable no matter what, will make you feel like you’ve found t-shirt nirvana at least. Our favourites are the pima curved hem tees.

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Lite Cup

Night light and sippy cup all in one. By day a non-spill cup for your child designed to create the most natural drinking experience possible and by night, a light providing comfort as well as no more calling out for water, meaning you sleep longer. Well this was the case with our daughter, who’s ‘magical fairy water’ has saved us from many a night time trauma. Available for £9.99-11.99 direct, a small price to pay for a restful night. Made in multiple sizes to suit your baby/toddler/big kid.

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Gray Label

If you want children’s clothing with minimalist styling that will last, you can’t go wrong with Amsterdam based kids wear atelier Gray Label. Designed by Emily Gray out of a need to bring simplicity to the world of children’s fashion and create pieces that allow young people’s personality to shine through, rather than letting their outfits do all the talking. Everything is 100% organic and designed to bring simplicity to your family’s wardrobe (and life?). Most of their lines are unisex and come in a range of colours that will work with each other, meaning mixing and matching to create an outfit is fool-proof. We especially love their playsuits, tank suits and salopettes, which are as comfortable as they are versatile. They have also just started doing a range of bed linens, so they really have got you covered.

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Nanopresso

Coffee, because when you need it, you need it. Never more true then when you become a parent, sometimes that little hit of java can really get you through. Getting a good espresso, macchiato, latte, cappuccino or whatever your preference is not always easy when you’re on the go or travelling with kids. Now you really can bring that handmade barista flavour with you with a Nanopresso from Wacoco. Improving on their already popular Minipresso, we can testify that the new Nanopresso makes a damn fine coffee no matter your coffee skill level or expertise. Available with a barista attachment (which we recommend) for a bigger shot and making cappuccinos, etc as well as a Nespresso pod attachment for an even easier brew.

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Riz Boardshorts 'Buckler'

London based sustainable mens swimwear brand Riz Boardshorts' latest offering- Buckler, brings a classic tailored swim short that can transition from beach to bar seamlessly. We love the unique prints and attention to detail in these shorts, whilst the fit is second to none. These are built to last from 100% recycled materials, so your eco conscience will stay clean. They will also give you a discount if you give them your old shorts...so no excuses not to upgrade your summer swimwear now.

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Doddle & Co

The cleaner pacifier. Two mums, both award winning designers may have finally cracked the age old problem of how to keep a pacifier (dummy) clean. The clever design means that when baby stops sucking and 'The Pop' drops, the teat part of the pacifier automatically pops back in, so no clean up required. And when baby needs its pacifier right back, this could be a godsend. Available in several colours, Doddle & Co also make teethers to compliment.

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Babyzen Yoyo+

This stroller will take you and your little one(s) anywhere. Small enough for an airplane overhead locker, sturdy enough for day-to-day, maybe one stroller can do it all. Designed in France, this stroller is suitable from newborn (with additional nest) and can be used with a range of car seats. Multiple colour packs are available, but we are partial to the ginger and peppermint varieties (no not tea).

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Nezumi Corbeau

Stockholm based Nezumi Studios are making some of the best looking watches under €400. The Corbeau is their military inspired chronograph, but it's also worth checking out their vintage rally inspired options for a slightly dressier look.

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Long Haul Jacket

A bit like Begetter, the folks at Taylor Stitch were formed out of a need to help an audience that they felt wasn't being catered for. With that passion and attention to detail, every aspect of their clothing is finely tuned, ensuring clothes that will look good and last. One of our favourites is the Long Haul Jacket. Available in a few hard wearing waxed materials, our pick would be the waxed canvas- a perfect spring/autumn transitional jacket. A little shorter, tailored fit, but sure to go with everything.

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