Preschool Book Nook Inspiration

Post by The Land of Nod and Brightly

At Nod we believe that the best gifts are those that run on pure imagination, no batteries required. And, what better gift to give your kids, than a love of reading. That’s why we’ve partnered with Brightly to put together some book nook and library inspiration for your little one. Throughout the month of March be on the lookout for tips from Nod how to create the perfect reading nook, along with tips from Brightly on how to build a library to inspire your kiddos. Not only that, we have a fantastic giveaway, but you’ll have to read to the bottom of the post for details. This is all about reading, after all.

Book Nook Design Tips from Nod:
No matter the age of your child, all book nooks need to have three attributes in their design. They need to be inviting, comfortable and quiet. You want the space to feel inviting, so your kids want to spend time there. Reading shouldn’t feel like a chore, and an inviting space can make it appealing. Comfortable, so once they’re in there, they don’t want to leave. And, quiet, so they can lose themselves in their books without the distraction of the tv or other siblings.

Book Nook Inspiration - PreschoolRainbow Tiger Wall Decal / Aqua Origami Wall Shelf / R is for Rug / Orange Stripe Teepee with Floor Cushion / Yellow Half Tone Cube Basket / Magnificent Metal LetterLocal Branch Library Cart

For this book nook, here are some of the key design elements:

  • The overall color scheme is based on gray as the foundation color with pops of orange, aqua and yellow to create a playful, gender-neutral space. This color scheme will work well when the nook lives in a shared space, as grey will compliment most any décor you have in your home.
  • The R is for Rug is soft and plush providing a comfortable foundation for the space. And, bonus, it’s also educational, showing the whole alphabet with a corresponding illustration for each.
  • We added the teepee to this design as an alternative to an architectural nook. Sure, book nooks are great in that space under your stairs, or in a dormered corner, but not all homes come equipped with that sort of architecture. So, a teepee or playhome is a great alternative to create a hideout for your kids. Don’t forget to add a floor cushion to make the space extra plush.
  • The Local Branch Library cart is perfect for book storage and is easily accessible to the little ones. You want to be sure they can access the books on their own, and that they’re in plain view.

Book Recommendations from Brightly:

Snuggling up in a cozy spot to read with your little one is of the most enjoyable parts of parenthood. The best books for the pre-K set feature gorgeous artwork, text that’s fun to read aloud, and plenty of delightful moments throughout.

Children's Book Inspiration - PreschoolOur picks:

  • Tawny Scrawny Lion – You may remember this beautifully illustrated classic from your own childhood. This Little Golden Book tells the story of a family of rabbits who convince a hungry lion to eat carrot stew … so he won’t eat them!
  • The Storm Whale – Written and illustrated by the talented Benji Davies, this gentle tale about a lonely boy called Noi who befriends a whale, and in the process forges a closer relationship with his father, will touch parents and kids alike.
  • Giraffes Can’t Dance – With rhyming text that makes it a pleasure to read aloud, this heartwarming and beautifully illustrated story will inspire every child with dreams of greatness.
  • I Want My Hat Back – This is the simple (but very clever) tale of a bear who has lost his hat. The book’s slyly subversive ending is beloved by readers and has even spawned its own Internet meme.
  • The Incredible Book Eating Boy – The multi-talented Oliver Jeffers has created a story that book lovers of all ages will appreciate. Young Henry loves books – or rather, he loves to eat books, so much so that it becomes a bit of a problem.
  • Pete the Cat – Pete the Cat is one cool customer. Although his white shoes get stained with all the colors of the rainbow, Pete remembers it’s all about the journey — a good metaphor for parenting.

Looking for more great books to enjoy with your little one? Check out 9 Clever Picture Books for Kids on Brightly.

Want the perfect kids’ reading nook? Enter to win $1,500 from The Land of Nod and $1,000 worth of books from Brightly. Ends 3/30.

Brightly is a new resource to help moms and dads raise lifelong readers. Brightly features book recommendations for every age and stage, reading tips and insights, seasonal inspirations, author essays, contests, gift guides, and more.

A Cozy Morning with a New Pal

Post by Michelle of Avery & Augustine

image001The moment Avery met Fern, it was love at first sight.  We spent the morning “welcoming” Fern to our home and getting her settled in: decorating her doll teepee (just her size!) with a garland, reading her a book and making a pretend latte for her.

A Cozy Morning with a New Pal 2Avery got to have her own caramel latte, which was super easy and fast to make!  (By the way, there’s no coffee or caffeine in this drink, so it’s a perfect treat for kids.)  Here’s how we made it.  We warmed up approximately 3/4 cup of milk (which you can do over low heat on the stove or in the microwave).  Next, we mixed in 1 tablespoon of caramel (we used Fat Toad Farm’s goat’s milk caramel) and used a milk frother to make the top layer of the drink foamy.  If you don’t have an electric milk frother, this post on The Kitchn tells you how to froth your milk.  Lastly, we topped off the latte with a sprinkle of grated unsweetened chocolate.

A Cozy Morning with a New Pal 3 A Cozy Morning with a New Pal 4A Cozy Morning with a New Pal 5A Cozy Morning with a New Pal 6A Cozy Morning with a New Pal 7Thanks to The Land of Nod for sending us the items for this post.

You can see Michelle’s work and read about her two young children and their first forays in cooking, art and everything in between at Avery and Augustine.

Removable Wallpaper – Big Impact, Small Commitment

Post by Danielle Kurtz, Creative Director at The Land of Nod

Removable Wallpaper – Big Impact, Small CommitmentWhen you have young children, things are constantly in flux. Just when you feel settled, they learn a new skill or show interest in a new activity that sends things in a whole new direction. Simply said, kids just keep changing. So it makes sense that your needs in your home will evolve right along with your growing family. This can make decorating a challenge. One minute your spare bedroom is a home office/guest room, the next it needs to become a nursery for the new baby. One minute your basement is a toddler’s playroom, the next you turn around and you need a hang out for your preteen. So just how do you deal?

Removable Wallpaper – Big Impact, Small Commitment 2I love the idea of wallpaper. I’m constantly swooning over beautiful images of rooms with gorgeous wallpaper. But, it’s a huge commitment…time, cost, aesthetic. It’s more than I’m willing to commit to with a young family. Enter removable wallpaper. Brilliant! It has all the impact of regular wallpaper, but with the commitment of a wall decal. We’ve used removable wallpaper from Spoonflower for tons of projects, there are so many incredible patterns. It’s beautifully printed, easy to apply and just as easy to remove. Win, win, win.

Here are a few patterns I’m loving, inspired by our Spring ’15 Trends.Removable Wallpaper Ideas - Spring 15 TrendsChromatic: Mix Tapes / 90s Party / Rainbow Stars

Surplus: Varies Chevrons / Holiday Pink Deer / Feather

Botanic Modern: Mint Skinny Plus / Featherland / Semi Round

Danielle is the Creative Director at Nod and an over-protective mother of two. She’s also completely obsessed with Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and her Kindle, but not necessarily in that order. Danielle loves to craft, sew and crochet. Her current craft of choice is weaving tiny wall tapestries.

How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room

Post by Lidy of Hello Lidy

How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living RoomEver since we moved into our new home 6 months ago, we’ve been busy bees trying to get our house feeling more like our home. We gave our dining room and master bedroom a makeover, but I was really stumped with our living room upstairs. I wanted it to feel more Scandinavian-inspired so it would flow with the rest of our home design, but still a space that felt playful and casual. It was a lot to fit into one room – I know!

Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room - BEFOREThe living room before was a cool and gloomy space. It was very outdated! The walls were painted green and it almost closed the space up a bit. I love to have green in my home, but in a more natural form – such as plants! The curtains were heavy and beige. The fireplace was the original stone work, which we didn’t want to paint over and lose the character. I really didn’t know how to make the space feel bright and cheery with all the cooler tones, so I opted for blue accents. I was just not satisfied.

So, when it came to redesigning the space I decided to stick to a color palette that was a mix of bright, bold and playful! I chose black and white for the modern and formal look, but threw in grey and pink for that whimsical undertone! Here’s what we did:

  1. Repainted the green walls a fresh and crisp white.
  2. Built a faux mantle to break up the stone fireplace.
  3. Took down the beige drapery and added white curtains to go with the flow of the walls.
  4. Added a built-in desk to utilize the functionality of the space.
  5. Added black, white, grey and pink accents thanks to The Land of Nod’s gorgeous spring pieces!

Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room - AFTERThe space is literally night and day! Our Scandinavian-inspired living room feels so much more brighter, inviting and calming . My family and I absolutely love our new and improved living room – and yes, there are 3 boys in our home. And no, the pink doesn’t seem to bother them in the least! The bold and graphic area rug creates an intimate and inviting feel to the room. I love to layer, so I placed a small cow hide to overlap the larger rug for fun in order to create more texture and color on the floors! It makes the room feel a little more grown up too!

How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room 2 1 ||  2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6

The pops of pink and grey from the pillows tie in the rug and that amazing grey leather pouf! Of course, the handmade feel of that darling “Home Sweet Home” banner makes everything feel so playful. That cozy throw also helps balance the room between formal and casual. It definitely has that clean Scandinavian look I’ve been trying to accomplish. I’m truly in my happy place here and it’s about time! What do you think of our living room makeover?!

How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room 3 How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room 4 How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room 5 How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room 6Lidy is the face behind Hello Lidy: a blog focusing on creating and cultivating unique spaces that integrate original handmade designs and vintage pieces while keeping up on current trends and designs. Lidy and her husband have three adopted toddlers.

The Jealous Curator – Nod Artist Interview

The Jealous Curator - Nod Artist InterviewTell us a bit about yourself…

Let’s see – I’m Danielle Krysa and I have a BFA in Visual Arts, I’m a graphic designer, an art blogger, an author, and a mom to my sweet son, Charlie. Two years ago we moved back to my tiny hometown and settled into a 100 year old farmhouse on the side of a mountain overlooking a lake. It feels like our very own little slice of heaven. I do enjoy a hit of big city every now again mind you, so I always try to have a few book or curating projects going in places like LA and New York.

HOMETOWN: Summerland, Canada

CURRENT TOWN: After years in Toronto and Vancouver, I’ve just moved back to Summerland!

FAVE ICE CREAM FLAVOR: Anything involving brownie chunks

FAVE BREAKFAST FOOD: Hashbrowns – extra crunchy

FAVE HOLIDAY: My birthday. Yes, I’ve officially made that a holiday.

FAVE COLOR: Tie between neon coral & light aqua

FAVE MOVIE: Dirty Dancing (I totally just dated myself)

FAVE DECADE: 80s (I did it again)

The Jealous Curator - Nod Artist Interview 1How did you begin curating art?

I made up fake shows! In the first year of my blog (2009), I used to curate/post my “dream shows” – collections of work that I would love to hang if I had a white-walled gallery at my disposal. It’s so crazy that less than two years after that, galleries started asking me do it for real.

Is there a story behind the name of your company?

Yes – I started “The Jealous Curator” for me, with no plans of ever having readers or a community. It was more like a form of self-prescribed art therapy. I was so overwhelmed, and depressed quite frankly, by the huge amount of amazing art that I was finding online. I was truly jealous of these artists and their work. It was eating me alive, and I was exhausted. So I decided to own it, and say it out loud as “The Jealous Curator”, because that’s what I was – a jealous curator. By sharing artists’ work that I loved, that toxic soul-crushing jealousy turned slowly, but miraculously, into admiration. It was a life changer. I’m no longer jealous – just excited and inspired – but my business cards are already printed, so the name ain’t changing!

What are the most rewarding and the most difficult parts of running your own business? 

The most rewarding part is knowing that I’m in charge of my own success. The most difficult part is knowing that I’m in charge of my own success. Yep, it’s a wonderful sense of freedom, mixed with a dash of nail-biting fear. But, I think I’ve finally arrived at a place in my life where I don’t worry as much as I used to. At the root of it all, I know that I’ll land on my feet as long as I don’t give up.

How would you describe your style?

Hm. Eclectic? I love a lot of different kinds of art, but I suppose there are a few themes that emerge: I love work with a clean/design feel, work that seamlessly blends fine art and craft, and work that looks like the artist might have a touch of OCD! Oh, and portraits. I’m crazy for portraits.

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

I went to Bali a few years ago, and I’d go back in a heartbeat. And Paris, anytime.

If you could possess a superpower, what would it be?

An all powerful healing touch. Then I could sleep at night instead of worrying about my little boy.

The Jealous Curator - Nod Artist Interview 2Tell us about your new curated collection with the Land of Nod. 

I’m really proud of this collection! I chose these artists and their works as a curator, but I also had my “mom” hat firmly on. When my son was a baby, I had a really hard time finding cool art for his room – art that he would like, but also something that I wanted to look at while rocking him in the middle of the night, and during diaper changes, and when we were lying on the floor pretending to be [insert any farm animal here].  That’s what this collection is all about. I chose fun, fresh, candy-hued pieces that are perfect for the nursery/kids’ room, but that are contemporary enough to transition smoothly into the “grown-up” areas of a home as your babies grow up (why do they have to grow up!?)

How would you style it in a room?

I chose pieces that work well together, and also purposely made them different sizes… this is a recipe for a really rich, visually interesting gallery wall! ps. Groupings in odd numbers are usually the most successful.

Check out The Jealous Curator here.

Tips for Encouraging Tooth Brushing in Kids

Post by Christina of Christina Williams Blog

Tips for Encouraging Tooth Brushing in KidsI can’t let Children’s Dental Health Month slip away without a quick post about those pearly whites. Sadly, I learned this lesson the hard way with my oldest. My husband was busy with schooling at the time, and I was an overwhelmed, exhausted first-time mom. After getting up repeatedly in the night, fighting battles over car seats, diaper changes, healthy foods, etc. all day long, I didn’t have any fight left in me at bedtime. Some nights, I completely skipped flossing or did a cursory brush job when he clamped his mouth shut and thrashed around on the bathroom floor.

Before I knew it, I had a three-year-old with several cavities between his teeth. Cavities that flossing would have prevented. The sad/ironic/embarrassing part is that my husband had just graduated dental school at this time. He was usually at school during brushing time; so the fault falls entirely on me. I knew better, and I should have done better. So I’m here to tell you that it IS a big deal. And it’s a battle worth fighting.

Thankfully, I learned my lesson really quickly after that first set of x-rays, and we haven’t had any more problems. The kids know we mean business about tooth brushing and flossing. We’re well on our way to establishing healthy dental habits that will last a lifetime. I have a lot to say about kids and their teeth, so come visit my blog where I’m sharing my favorite dental products for kids. Tips for Encouraging Tooth Brushing in Kids 1Here are a few of my favorite tips + tricks to making tooth brushing a little more fun:

  1. Take Turns: This is especially effective with the toddler (I do it myself) set. Set a timer. Let them brush for 1 minute, then you brush for one minute. They start developing the dexterity for brushing, and you make sure things are actually clean.
  2. Play Dentist: Let the little dudes brush your teeth. Then brush theirs. Or play Teddy Bear Dentist.
  3. Timers/Charts/Incentives: Anything visual helps. I made these little brushing charts that my kids like to use. You can download the free tooth brushing printable here. The charts are a good reminder and help them see how often they need to brush.
  4. Games: My youngest still clenches his mouth shut occasionally. I can usually weasel my way in there with a game. I pretend I can hear a dog (or cat or owl, etc.) hiding in his mouth and we have to search for it, with the toothbrush, of course. Or I do a “super fast race car brush” with lots of sounds and wiggling.
  5. Older Kids: My oldest is 9 now, and usually does a pretty great job with his teeth. I still check them a couple times a week; but around 8, kids are usually able to brush pretty well. There are some great rinses out there that tint the spots they miss so they can see where they need to do some more work. Tips for Encouraging Tooth Brushing in Kids 2

Tips for Encouraging Tooth Brushing in Kids 4If all else fails, just pin ‘em down and brush whether they like it or not. I’ve had to use this tactic a time or two, and it’s much better than the alternative. Cavities happen, even to the best of us. With a little prevention and effort, however, we can help to minimize them and teach our kids healthy habits.

Happy Tooth Brushing!

Christina Williams is a blogger and graphic designer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She’s a night owl and a bookworm, as well as a mother to three children ranging in age from two to eight. She shares her latest DIY and design projects along with her adventures in parenting on her self-named blog, Christina Williams.

Nod Printable Coloring Pages: Winter Yeti

Nod Fun Pages designed by Michelle Romo

We hope everyone is staying warm and cozy! Today’s printable coloring page (download it HERE) is perfect for keeping littles busy after their cheeks have turned red from playing outside.  It pairs perfectly with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Share the finished product on Instagram (use hashtag #landofnod) or our Facebook page and we may feature it!

Nod Printable Coloring Pages: Winter Yeti

Looking for more free printable coloring pages? Check out all our other Nod Printable Coloring Pages!

Michelle Romo is our newest Nod illustrator, she’s a self-taught illustrator and designer fueled by cookies and naps. Her influences include Mid-Century, Japanese and Scandinavian design, along with pretty much anything cute. When she isn’t working she spends her time eating good food, hugging her friends, playing video games and crafting.

Party On: First Birthday Starlight Starbright Moodboard

Written by Becca of CAKE. | events + design

My son Theo turned one earlier this year, and we all know this is a challenging time to host a first birthday party. Rather than fighting the winter and post-holiday blues, we decided to work with them and host a casual evening gathering with a celestial theme. I’m sharing my vision here in a new feature for Honest to Nod called ‘Party On’. These boards will offer inspiration for family friendly parties, featuring items from the Land of Nod that can be practically incorporated into both your event and your home.

I’m also showing off a few pictures and details from the real event. The rest of our first birthday extravaganza is being featured on my site CAKE., so be sure to pop over and see how it all came together.

Party On: First Birthday Starlight Starbright Moodboard 1 – Out of Stock // 2 – Out of Stock // 3 // 4 // 5 – Out of Stock // 6 // 7 // 8 – Out of Stock // 9

First Birthday Theme: Starlight Starbright

Color Palette: Indigo // Silver // Winter White

Invitation: available on Etsy

First Birthday Starlight Starbright Moodboard 1 First Birthday Starlight Starbright Moodboard 2We held the party at dusk, and luckily the weather permitted it to be held both indoors + outdoors. Because of the time, we encouraged the little ones to come in their pjs so they could head right to sleep when they got home.

First Birthday Starlight Starbright Moodboard 3Chilly though it was, we had dessert in the backyard around our fire pit. There was vanilla cake, star cookies, meringues and all the fixings for a classic s’mores bar.

First Birthday Starlight Starbright Moodboard 4 First Birthday Starlight Starbright Moodboard 5 First Birthday Starlight Starbright Moodboard 6We had benches around the fire pit with star pillows and blankets to help keep everyone warm. Sitting underneath the twinkle lights it was all very cozy and campy.

First Birthday Starlight Starbright Moodboard 7We sent each family home with a handmade favor bag that had a special surprise inside – a set of glow in the dark stars for the kids rooms. I designed a little ‘for stargazing’ tag to coordinate with the party invitation.

First Birthday Starlight Starbright Moodboard 8Becca Gorski lives in the SF Bay Area, is a working mother of two, and moonlights as an occasional designer / blogger / celebration maker. You can find her creative ideas on CAKE. | events + design, and her line of merry happy party printables on Etsy.

Wood & Feather Wall Decor DIY

Post by Danielle Kurtz, Creative Director at The Land of Nod

Wood & Feather Wall Decor DIYIn designing the master bedroom for the Nod Family Home, we wanted to create an art piece to act as a focal point above the fireplace. Our goal was to keep the entire space light, bright and serene, with a nice balance of modern minimalism mixed with natural elements.

Wood & Feather Wall Decor DIY 2We were inspired by all the creative ways we’ve seen salvaged palette wood used, so we knew we wanted to incorporate it into the piece. We took some very rough natural materials, but put them together in a very graphic and organized arrangement to strike a balance. This DIY couldn’t be any easier, and can be adjusted to fit any size space. You could add more rows, use colored peacock feathers or even paint the raw wood to fit your color story. The options are endless.

Wood & Feather Wall Decor DIY 3

Here’s how we created it.

Wood & Feather Wall Decor DIY Materials

  • Salvaged palette wood
  • Feathers
  • Double-sided tape

Instructions

  • Nail two horizontal pieces of palette wood into the wall at least 18 inches apart, it may be more depending on size of wall
  • Using double-sided tape, add feathers to wall and wood

Voila, you have a one of a kind focal piece for your wall.

Danielle is the Creative Director at Nod and an over-protective mother of two. She’s also completely obsessed with Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and her Kindle, but not necessarily in that order. Danielle loves to craft, sew and crochet. Her current craft of choice is weaving tiny wall tapestries.

Pretty & Pink Girls Bedroom Design

Post by Joni of Lay Baby Lay

Pretty & Pink Girls Bedroom Design Copper Pendant / Cloud Shelf / Alpaca Print / Arrow Heart Print / You’re the Best and the Mostest / Sleepy Stars / Crown Jewel Mirror / Heart Light / Jenny Lind Daybed / Silver Lamp / Day Dream Sheets / Neon Nightstand / Aqua Dresser / Triangle Pillow / Watermelon Pillow / Domino Lounge Chair / Swiss Dot Duvet Cover / Little Arches Curtains / Alto Bookcase / Cat Bank / Heart to Heart Rug / Ride-On Unicorn / Pink Lottie Dots / Fade Up Basket

Lay Baby Lay started in 2011 shortly after the arrival of my first baby as a place to provide fresh and unique nursery inspiration with a little dose of motherhood experience. This site is my creative outlet and the place where I am able to express all the ideas running around in my head. It is my hope that you will also be inspired to create spaces for your little ones that are full of imagination, color, and delight and maybe find a little encouragement in this crazy but wonderful journey of having babies and watching them grow.