Decorating Elsie

Author: Sarah-Louise


Hey, all. Welcome to a post that’s a bit of a hybrid, like a cronut. It’s both a coffee shop review and the tale of the secret screen prints. Sorted? Right let’s get started… I love nothing more than a piece of cake and a skinny cappuccino in a takeaway cup with a straw.

However, working from home while simultaneously entertaining/making sure my 16-month old doesn’t stick her fingers in plug sockets does not afford much time for cake-baking. And coffee at home is never the same.

So, yay for Elsie, a new cafe-bar and deli, that’s just opened around the corner in my ‘hood, Hornsey. (The bit between Muswell Hill and Crouch End in north London, for those who don’t know.)


Not only does Elsie do coffee and cakes, it does pastries, savoury muffins, chocolate croissant bread pudding slices (top left), breakfasts, sandwiches, soups, sharing platters and big steaming bowls of chilli. And booze.

Because it’s a deli, it also does takeaway organic loaves, posh chocolate, panettone in glamorous boxes, quirky handmade cookies and chunky chutneys with amusing names.

Owner Claire has also adorned the place with her own quirky artwork, bedecked it in fairy lights and fills the airwaves with a cockle-warming mix of crackly jazz, show tunes, Bowie and James Taylor.

The result is a twinkly, relaxing little haven. You can eat here, drink here, work here – and take your toddler without causing too much chaos. There’s a mini library for you to help yourself to books, a menu of nighttime events coming up – Time Traveller’s Wife author Audrey Niffenegger is hosting an evening at the end of March –  and a primary-coloured portrait of Jeremy Corbyn in one corner. He’s promised to visit the place soon. He wouldn’t need to do up his top button here. Anything goes. Baby J and I practically live here.

Anyway, one day Claire produced a bulging Ikea bag of fabric from behind the counter and asked if we could do anything creative with it. She explained that it had come from the daughter of a local lady named Irene Kent Gouly, who had sadly recently passed away and left behind a secret stash of gorgeous handmade screen-printed fabrics.

Apparently, screen-printing was Irene’s not-shouted-about hobby rather than her profession – but judging by the sheer volume and array of beautiful, bonkers and brilliant designs she’d left behind, she could have opened her own shop or gallery.

My mum, Maria from We May Be Little, was suitably impressed and very excited by all its creative potential. She carefully opened up each new piece with an ooh, an aah or a wow – her imagination well and truly revved.  “We could do this! And this! And this! Throw! Curtains! Cushion cover! Blouse!”

The upshot of all this was that we’d thank Claire, and Irene’s daughter, back for their generosity and beauteous threads by making something decorative for the cafe. Having Irene’s work on display in a public space, in the area in which she’d always lived, felt a fitting tribute to her secret talents. My mum suggested bunting and Claire decreed it so. “Bunting is just what this place is missing,” she said.

And so, we decided on a huge swathe of abstract print fabric, splashed in neons, pastels and black brushstrokes. It was kind of 80s but kind of 2016-ies too. We figured it’d take the bunting from twee to edgy (c’mon, bunting can be edgy) and that all the random colours and patterns would give each flag its own unique look.



After knocking up a long piece to festoon the length of the bar, Maria – being the unashamed bunting-basher that she is – whipped up some mini flags for Elsie’s dressers, too. All that was left to do was get it in place.

And happily, Claire seemed chuffed with the results. We must admit, this funky bunting does look right at home in this little joint. It was like it was meant to be. Take a look and see. And if you ever find yourself in this part of north London, treat yourself with a stop-off at Elsie.


A big thank you to the ridiculously talented Irene and her generous daughter for the inspiration. We think there might be more where this came from.

Elsie, 10 Priory Road, London, N8





How to: Do New York in winter with a baby


Author: Sarah-Louise


Hello, all! I’ve just come back from an 8-day trip to New York with the fam’. I’ve always loved the place. The skyscrapers, the lights, the cabs, the rush, the hotdog stalls, the glitzy store fronts, the accents, the secret bars and glamorous cocktails, the steaming manhole covers. But then I’d only ever been with Julian (BF-turned-husband) before.

Now, however, we are in possession of a 15-month-old boddler – a baby-toddler – called Jasmine. How would this work? Both of us wanted to go to New York again but neither of us wanted to leave Jasmine at home with the monitor on and a cot full of snacks. There was only one thing for it.

And how hard could it really be?

Fortunately – “Hurrrrraaaaahhhh!” – it went pretty swimmingly for the most part.

So, for any other willing/mad parents of babies or toddlers who are contemplating it, here are our best tips and suggestions. Just so’s you know: we flew from Heathrow, London – but much of this will apply wherever you fly from.


MANAGE YOUR FLIGHT TIMES (AKA working out nap times Vs time zones)

If you’re flying from the UK like us, try and book yourself an afternoon, weekday flight. They’re much quieter. We flew out at 3pm on a Thursday and the plane was only half full. Also, it means by the time you get to New York, it’s bed time for your boddler – and customs is quieter, too.

At your departure airport, book yourself some extra leg room then smile sweetly and see if the person at the desk will block a 4-seat row out for you. This really takes the edge off the 8-hour endurance test to come. Note: this is doable on an afternoon flight; not at all doable on a Friday evening return flight, which we’ll come to. *weepy emoticon face*

We decided that Jasmine would have two hours’ sleep on the plane so she’d be ready for a night’s sleep at the other end. She walked the aisles and played with the in-flight remote for the first hour, slept for the next two – giving us the opportunity to watch an actual film from start to finish – and then we woke her with three hours to go. Those three hours weren’t easy but it was worth it.

We arrived at our hotel in Greenwich Village at about 9pm, after flying through customs and getting a cab. Once in our room, Jasmine had her milk and was soon sleeping like the proverbial baby in her snug-looking new cot. Yay. We’d beaten the ‘lag. (For this leg, anyway…)



We totally ballsed up our flight home, though. Word of warning: don’t book a Friday evening flight. They are rammed. And they’re fast. Meaning no real time to have a quasi-night’s sleep. Jasmine got 4 hours; we got none. I was so grumpy by the time we got off, in the rain, that I could barely muster up a goodbye to the airline staff. In fact, I only started to feel like there was any light left in this godforsaken world once we’d got home, slept for 3 hours and showered it all off. My advice: go from midweek to midweek!



We booked The Jade in Greenwich Village. It wasn’t cheap but nothing in New York is. (We knew this was a blow-out holiday and accepted in advance that we’d be eating beans for the rest of the year.) We had a bonus two cosy double beds (good for naps) in our Art Deco-inspired room and a luvverly view of the Freedom Tower.

Greenwich Village is also one of our favourite areas in Manhattan. It’s pretty, full of character, relatively leafy and Bleeker Playground and The High Line are within walking distance – perfect for our active boddler.

There are good deals to be had on hotel rooms in all areas of Manhattan at this time of year, however. My mum Maria came to NYC for a couple of days with her hub Colin while we were there, and found a good deal on a Midtown hotel. It was cheaper than ours and the bedroom was huuuuge. So it’s worth doing your research.




Wrap up that boddler warm – or slap ’em with suncream if you go in summer – and get out there. Early morning, preferably. You’ll feel like you have the whole city to yourself and you can squeeze into cool coffee shops and breakfast hangouts without your buggy and kid causing too much of a ruckus. Explore Chelsea Market, too.



Manhattan has a lotta dogs. Those things beloved by babies, toddlers and boddlers everywhere. Manhattan’s canines outnumber little people by 200 to 1. That’s how it feels, anyway. Many an excited squeal arose from the Bugaboo or baby backpack as we pounded the streets and encountered the city’s finest – most of whom were dressed better than us. We made special trips to the dog run in Union Square just so Jasmine could get her fix.


Another trick – and something that was initially an experiment but came to be the best thing we ever did – was splash out on  LittleLife Ranger child carrier. It’s like a huge backpack for boddlers and offers them an adult’s eye view of the world. Jasmine hates being strapped into things. She can’t ruddy stand her car seat; she’d much prefer to wander, and we weren’t particularly hopeful the first time we cooped her up into her backpack and she screamed her head off. However, once we got out there and she became aware of its benefits, she was smitten. She even took to “giddying up” her dad whenever he walked slowly.



Whether in a buggy or on your back, your little person is going to love this shiz. All you need to do is walk through the place. They’ll get a week’s worth of back home-stimulation in 5 minutes here. And if you’re feeling brave, take them into the Disney Store. If they walk, strap on the reins and let them explore. It might sound a little tiresome but, like me, you might get swept up in the joy of it all. And – corn alert – seeing Times Square through your boddler’s eyes really is magical. It made me fall in love with the place when I’d only ever been sniffy about it before.





Go to the American Museum of Natural History on a weekday. Show them the dinosaurs and the big blue whale and let them talk to the museum staff, who, like most people in New York, seem to love babies. This, I’ve decided, is because boddlers are such a novelty. I’m not sure where Manhattanites keep all of theirs; but they must exist somewhere as school-age children aren’t in short supply. Anyway, walking around Manhattan is a very different experience to walking around ten-a-penny, Kid Central, Crouch End, where we live. You’re much more likely to get someone come up and tell you how cute your kid is, which is nice. Because you’ve always thought the same thing too.

We didn’t get time to check them out, but we also heard good things about the Children’s Museum in Greenwich Village and the Brooklyn Transit Museum.



We loved Bleeker Playground; it comes complete with a sandpit, swings and toys donated by local residents. Jasmine had her first go on a scooter at Bleeker Playground, while a neon “Liquor” sign flickered in the distance. It was a very poetic moment. She also had a walk on the High Line, the tarted-up disused railway track that runs through downtown Manahattan, and where we spotted Clare Danes on a very serious jog. We didn’t make Central Park this time round as it was a bit of a walk. And a bit frigging freezing. But if we’d gone in summer rather than February, we’d have done it all.




Honestly, dining in Manhattan’s finest and funkiest eateries is not a thing of the past when you have a baby. You just have to re-jig your schedule a bit. Fortunately, thanks to the ‘lag, Julian and I have always been “morning people” in New York. It’s perfect when you have a small person too. We made it to some of Manhattan’s best new coffee shops and restaurants all before 8.30 am – and the best bit, our boddler was not turned away at the door. It’s the dining out experience, just done early.



We had coffees and pastries at new coffee joints Kava Coffee in the Meatpacking District and Third Rail Coffee, near Bleeker Street, where we spotted killer-thighed former Bond Girl Famke Jannsson and her dog. We also enjoyed brilliant brunches at Bubby’s on the High Line, The Grey Dog’s Coffee in Greenwich Village and Coffee Shop on Union Square. We also went to our old favourite, Penelope, near the Flatiron Disctrict – it does the most divine Nutella French toast you’ll ever get your laughing gear around.  We also managed to experience the legendary Reuben sandwiches at the East Village’s Katz’s Deli, – yep, the When Harry Met Sally one – with boddler in tow (see above). Our tip: get there when it opens.

Another brilliant thing about all of the above is that they PROVIDE HIGH CHAIRS. This is not a given in Manhattan so ring ahead if you’re trying out somewhere new.



Manhattan practically forces you to have a cocktail in the morning. Most menus have a breakfast cocktail section. Mimosas! Bloody Marys! Blackcurrant belinis! It would be rude not to get tipsy before 10am. Drinking a cocktail in the morning has two benefits, too: it gives you a warm Ready Brek-like glow as spend the rest of the morning, sightseeing – then brings on a totally cosy co-nap with your Little at midday. Leaving you refreshed and ready to start again at teatime.

5pm-ish is a very good time to eat out with a boddler. Child-friendly and cocktail-offering places that welcomed our Jazz included Eataly in the Flatiron area; my fave, Penelope; Dos Caminos in Times Square, and The Rink at the Standard in the Meatpacking District, where, not only will your Little get to watch the action on The Standard Hotel’s ice rink, they’ll also get their own menu, colouring book, crayons and an extremely warm welcome from the modelesque staff. (While you warm up on Cold Fashioneds).





Nightlife. Schmightlife. We all know fauxialising is the new socialising anyway. So make the most of your boddler’s early bedtime. Buy yourself a bottle of vino, order room service and watch a pre-downloaded film on your iPad – on subtitles. Sound boring? We were so tired after our full and busy days that we didn’t make it more than 15 minutes through any of the buggers. It’s all works out: you get to have a big sleep, rise and shine early, and do the above all over again.



Admittedly, we had one set of grandparents there for a couple of nights and so we let them look after Jasmine for one in exchange for a bottle of Campo Viejo and a bar of Green & Blacks. Then we hotfooted it to The Standard (when in New York…), where we got drunk on two cocktails at the ridiculously beautiful sky top bar (pictured below) and nipped around the corner for rock shrimp at Buddakhan, and the next night had fish tacos at the Mermaid Inn. During the day we brought Jasmine round to peer at the views of downtown Manhattan from our floor-to-ceiling hotel room windows. Another see-it-through-a-child’s-eyes that’s made us feel all warm inside.




  • Pack LOADS of healthy baby snacks. Jasmine’s appetite was not what it usually is, which we put down to jet lag and unfamiliar environment. Without her regular highchair, even her standby cereal and HIPP organic meals, which we brought with us, were a no-go. So for a week she mostly existed on bowls of berries (New York does good berries) Organix raisins, Organix rice cakes, Ella’s veggie pouches, BEAR’s 100% fruit sweets – and toast. She got unusually stressed and fussy if we put anything more daring down in front of her. Thank the lord for milk!
  •  Know that every Duane Reade in town stocks Pampers and Ella’s – or at least their US equivalent
  • Pack your kid’s favourite soft toy and books
  • Download a load of films and TV shows on your iPad before you leave for your ‘Netflix and Chill’ nights
  • Download some kids’ shows too
  • Pack for the season – we bought Jasmine an extra warm snowsuit, which made her look like the Stay Puft marshmallow man
  • Have extra boddler snacks on you at all times, including on both flights
  • Prevent aeroplane ear-pop: during takeoff, take measures to avoid the dreaded ear-pop. We gave Jasmine water from a bottle and had the emergency soother (okay, dummy) to hand
  • Don’t expect regular changing facilities in NYC. Most of the places we went to didn’t have baby changes. This didn’t affect us too much as Jasmine will no longer tolerate lying on a changing mat, anyway. Apparently, the big stores – Macy’s and Bloomingdales – are the best places to go. Otherwise, you might need to get creative on those big restroom floors
  • Explore Brooklyn and in particular, Williamsburg. We heard great things about how baby-friendly W’burg was, but again, ran out of time before getting to check it out
  • Just be aware that jet lag may strike once you’re home… But remember: it’s worth it!


Last of the summer holiday snaps


Author: Sarah-Louise James

We May Be Little – AKA, me, Maria and Alice – went on holiday to Menorca with a group of family members a couple of weeks ago.

While we were there, we sunbathed, baby-watched, blogged, did craft stuff, macrame’d, drank coffee, drank cocktails, came up with craft ideas, did a bit of cooking, came up with a few food ideas for the blog, ate nice food, drank more cocktails. And then we came home.

And now, if you’re UK-based, you’ll know: the weather is ruddy horrendous. And that holiday feels like a milllllllllllion years ago (sung in the voice of Youssou N’Dour).

So on this wet Wednesday afternoon in London, I decided to go through our snaps and upload some nice sunny ones in the hopes it would result in a nice, sunny feeling. It sort of worked. So we hope it works for anyone reading, too.

In no particular order are: sunsets, cocktails, things we made (there’s a paracord knot jewellery how-to coming to the blog soon), palm trees, sea views, padron peppers cooked by us and various restaurants (simply fry those devils in olive oil and a load of rock salt for one of the tastiest tapas going), us – working; scary clowns and all the other things you might expect to see on a sunny Mediterranean holiday.

Wish you were there. Oh no, hang on, we wish we were there. We wish we all there!








Funky Cheese Plate Friday!


Here’s the thing. Drinks soirees, cocktail parties, “bevvies round ours” are all greatly improved with the presence of a cheese board.

We’re not talking crusty old slabs of cheddar, triangles of something blue and a bunch of wilted grapes-cheese boards. Though still we wouldn’t turn up our noses.

These days, the hot new trend in cheese boards (yes, according to the blogosphere, that is a thing) is informal and piled-up, look-at-me-and-dive-right-in. Styled to look bright, colourful and cool as well as delicious.

Check out our tips for a funky cheese board, below the pics.


1. Get yourself a nice big board – wood, glass, colourful, up to you

2. Position your easy-to-slice cheeses on your board to start off with. Camembert and Stilton in our case

3. Chop up your tricky-to-slice cheese into easy-to-pop-in-your-gob cubes and position on board. Good old Red Leicester and cranberry cheddar in our case

4. Fill ramekins with dips. Hummous in our case. Place on board

5. Halve cherry tomatoes, slice up fingers of pepper, cucumber and apple and place on board

6. Add piles of cheesy biscuits, crackers, oat cakes, whatever takes your fancy

7. Fill the spaces on your board with tasty little buggers like mini gherkins and stuffed olives

8. Serve with sliced French bread and booze of your choice

9. Tuck in

We did all of the above for our Aperol-infused blog launch party – and the nibbles went down almost as quickly as the cocktails.

A cheeseboard is not just for Christmas, you see. A cheese board is just as much for weekends, week nights and wet Wednesday afternoons in winter.

What would you add to yours? Let us know!

Party! It’s 4 Aperol Cocktails for the Weekend






And welcome to the We May Be Little launch party! Starting as we mean to go on, we’re kicking off our first proper blog post – and the launch of our shop – with a cocktail recipe. Four cocktail recipes, in fact, all featuring our beloved Aperol.

We love Aperol. It’s the Indian-summery drink du jour. Not just a style-bar secret anymore, now its gorgeous orangey goodness casts its glow everywhere. From rooftop restaurants to wedding receptions. Everyone loves it.  Prosecco who? Rose pah-ha-ha…

COCKTAIL RECIPES (Clockwise from top left)

Classic Aperol Fizz

The regular Aperol Spritz is 3 parts fizz to 2 parts Aperol to 1 splash of soda water, served with ice ‘n’ a slice. Our take on this is a little more decadent.

  1. Get yourself a swanky champers glass
  2. Pour in a good glug of Aperol
  3. Add Prosecco – or champers if you’re feeling posh
  4. Drop in half a strawberry

The 70s 

Hello, Cinzano! Our nans loved you and we know why. Let’s bring you back.

  1. Fill half a highball glass with ice
  2. Pour Cinzano up to the 1/3 line
  3. Add Aperol to the 2/3 line
  4. Top with soda water and serve with fresh lime slice

The Aperol Julep

A take on the classic Mint Julep that you can serve with or without the standard bourbon.

  1. For four servings, bring half a cup of sugar, one cup of water and 1/4 cup of torn mint leaves to a moderate boil
  2. Reduce the liquid by a third
  3. Strain your minty sugar syrup through a sieve and leave to cool or stick in fridge
  4. Fill a tumbler with ice
  5. Add several oz of Aperol. And bourbon if you’re feeling cheeky
  6. Top with 1/4 of a glass of syrup
  7. Garnish with mint and a straw

Aperol Hardball 

This is for those after-dinner moments when you want to sit back and sip on something that will get you warm and drunk.

  1. Add a shot or two of vodka to a small tumbler
  2. Top up with a v generous splosh of Aperol
  3. Garnish with an orange slice (and enjoy one of your five a day)

To make cocktail drinking chez vous even more spesh, why not serve with an array of tasty nibbles and string up some fairy lights? We served our drinks on our ‘Aperol’ coasters* too. We hope we’ve inspired you to get a little creative/tiddly with your cocktails this weekend! What are your favourite tipples?


* `WMBL’s ‘Aperol’ coasters are now available in our shop if you like the look of them.