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


  • 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.

Macaron Inspired Girls Bedroom Makeover

Post by Mindy Cone of Creative Juice

Macaron-Inspired Girls Bedroom MakeoverThis year for my daughter’s birthday I bent the rules a bit. I have always said that Aubrey would be allowed sleepovers until she was ten…but when her best friend (named Aubrey too!) was moving across the country shortly after her 6th birthday, I wanted something special that they could always remember together. Neither of them had ever had a sleepover before, and they were absolutely giddy over the idea!

We recently purchased a new big girl bed for Aubrey with a trundle and this sleepover would be the first time we put it to use. I started to search for some bedding and was over the moon when I saw The Confectionary Bedding collection! I am a macaron fanatic you guys. No joke – I literally wrote a macaron cookbook. There could NOT be a more perfect bedding for my daughter! The colors were fun, bright, and before I knew it, her room was macaron inspired as well as the theme for her birthday party!

Macaron-Inspired Girls Bedroom Makeover - 1 Macaron Kids Quilt / Confectionary Sheet Set / Bonjour Throw Pillow / Pink Sham / Pajamas & Eye Mask / Pom Garland / Macaron Print / Wooden Bonjour Sign

For her room, I focused on the pink and teal from the confectionary quilt as well as the gold from the confectionary sheet set. I love the mix of macarons and hearts and tried to carry that theme through the room as well. We created a little reading nook and added some cute decor over her bed.

She was very excited to incorporate her paintings so we chose a few pieces and had those framed. I love how they turned out and she is so proud of herself! I created two heart canvases using metallic & pink cardstock cut with my cricut machine and glued directly to a canvas – which was a miniature version of the dessert table backdrop I created for her party. One of my personal favorite pieces on her wall is the beautiful hand drawn macaron art print. It was a gift to me while on my book tour and I am so happy to have found the perfect home for it in her room. The custom wooden ‘Bonjour’ sign was inspired by Bonjour throw pillow and was the perfect compliment to the decor.

Macaron-Inspired Girls Bedroom Makeover - 2On Aubrey’s birthday I hosted several of her closest friends for a dessert pajama party using the same theme – hearts and macarons! You can see the party here. While it wasn’t practical to have all six of them spending the night on our first attempt at a sleepover – I still wanted them to feel special and included. Each of the girls received custom matching pajamas and eye masks, ate yummy desserts, played games, and had a fabulous afternoon together. While they wouldn’t all be sleeping at my house that night, they would each be in their own beds wearing matching pajamas! We planned on having her friend Aubrey return that evening for the sleepover – a strategic mom move knowing they would be tuckered out from the party and sleep soundly!

Macaron-Inspired Girls Bedroom Makeover - 4They had the best time that night! They played with dolls, watched a movie, ate popcorn, made a little craft, played tricks on her brother, and read books. When it was time for bed we went through our normal routine and then let Aubrey call home to talk to her mom and dad before bed. I was nervous we would get to this point and have a bit of cold feet but they snuggled up in their beds and fell asleep after a few minutes of giggles! Even though they have moved miles away from us now, it is a memory they will always cherish together!

Mindy Cone is the author of Party Food For Girls and Gourmet French Macarons. Her site Creative Juice is a source of inspiration for entertaining your guests and kids with style and creativity. She showcases tutorials, tips, tricks, recipes, and crafts to make every occasion fabulous.  

Mustache T-Shirt DIY

Post by Darcy of No Monsters in My Bed

Mustache T-Shirt DIYThe other day my youngest daughter announced that she wanted a mustache t-shirt (mustaches being all the rage with this year’s second graders). I’ve always wanted to try freeze paper stenciling with the kids, so this sounded like the prefect opportunity.

Mustache T-Shirt DIY Materials

  • Freezer paper (sold in most grocery stories, next to aluminum foil)
  • Brushes
  • Fabric paint
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Exacto knife (with cutting mat)
  • Plain white t-shirts
  • And some imagination


  1. We found pictures of mustaches we liked in an old coloring book. So my daughter traced some and freestyled some. My son decided to participate too, though we’re all unclear on what exactly he drew. After the kids finished their art, I cut out the stencils using an exacto knife and cutting mat.Mustache T-Shirt DIY 1
  2. My daughter figured out where on the t-shirt she wanted the mustaches and then I ironed the stencils to the shirt. NOTE – Make sure to iron the stencil so that the shiny side faces down. Mustache T-Shirt DIY 2
  3. It is important to take a break in order to “try out” the mustaches.Mustache T-Shirt DIY 3
  4. Paint!Mustache T-Shirt DIY 5
  5. You are supposed to wait for the paint to dry and then rip off the stencil (we cheated and only waited about 25 minutes, which worked fine).

The kids liked this project so much that we spent the rest of the morning making additional stencils (luckily I had a supply of cheap white t-shirts on hand). A great easy activity for cold, miserable winter days.

Darcy blogs at No Monsters In My Bed and is a mother of three children (8, 7, and 5 years old) located in Arlington, VA. She likes: sleeping in, Alice Munro, cheap red wine, old rocking chairs, shoes without heels, mix tapes, balloons, the color grey, & discovering new things.

Meal Planning with Kids

Post by Adrienne of Susie Makes Supper

020515-cooking-with-kids“Mom, what’s for dinner?” used to be the question that I loathed most in the world. I knew that regular meal planning could save me sixteen unnecessary trips to the grocery store each week. Even so, the thought of actually sitting down and creating a meal plan remained overwhelming.Meal Planning with Kids 2

The sheer volume of writing about meal planning does not make the actual planning any easier. Most often, meal planning is a pretty solitary experience. Gather your recipes. Make a list. Make a schedule. I know very few meal planners who engage their families in the process of meal planning. The truth? It is amazing how much easier meal planning is (and how many fewer meal time battles you will suffer) when everyone is included in the process. This does not mean resigning yourself to hot dogs and mac and cheese every night. Believe it or not, you can feed your family healthy, simple meals by planning them together.Meal Planning with Kids 3

Let me let you in on a little secret. Kids love the kitchen. Do you know what else they love? Kids love to eat whatever it is that they cook. The same enthusiasm is true of meals that kids plan. Here are a few great ways to get started meal planning with kids:

  1. Develop a meal planning template specific to your family. You don’t need to cook something different every night. There is a reason that Meatless Monday and Taco Tuesday are both popular things on the Internet. Who doesn’t love a taco? It is perfectly ok to jump on the theme night bandwagon for a few easier planning options. Better yet, pick a category of cooking for each weeknight that works for your family. Sports practice on Wednesday nights? Try making Wednesday your slow cooker day. Tend to lose your steam in the kitchen by Thursday? That makes Thursday an excellent night for leftovers. You can chose a theme that is as simple as a single ingredient (chicken or pasta) that everyone in the family likes.
  2. Make a “Family Favorites” recipe list. Over dinner one night, ask each member of your family to identify their favorite meals. Make a list (or better yet, a binder) of all of those favorite recipes to keep handy. Once or twice a week, you can incorporate a family favorite into your meal plan. (Friday Family Favorite Night? I think yes.)
  3. Incorporate Kid Choice Night. This can be as simple as letting one of your kids chose a vegetable, side, or main dish for your meal. Even better, let them chose the whole meal. This is a great way to teach your kids the practice of a balanced plate. Multiple kids? Great. Every Monday night, one of them gets to pick the menu. Four kids? Perfect. You’ve got a month of Monday nights covered.
  4. Breakfast for dinner is a thing. And it is very good. I haven’t met a kid yet who won’t scarf down eggs and bacon and French toast when served for dinner. Serve breakfast for dinner with a fruit (and spinach) smoothie and you are on your way to Mom of the Year.
  5. Head to the library. Kid-focused cookbooks come in all types. The best way to start with kids’ cookbooks is to borrow them from the library to get a feel for whether your kids like the concept and whether you like the recipes. Most recently published kid-centered cookbooks are good at including meals that are both healthy and kid-friendly. Many kid-focused magazines (also available at the library) also include recipes geared towards kids. Kid cookbooks and magazines are an excellent way to introduce new types of food.
  6. Order from your local CSA. The scary thing about ordering a produce box from your local CSA is that you never know what is going to be in it. The fun thing about ordering a produce box from your local CSA is that you never know what is going to be in it. Order that your produce box then create a family challenge to use the ingredients.
  7. Hand your kid a cookbook and a pad of sticky notes. When all else fails, hand your kid any cookbook in your kitchen or even a food magazine with a pile of sticky notes. We have tried more recipes than I can count using this method with our teens, and some of those recipes are now on our family favorites list.

Meal planning with kids can be stressful but it can also be fun. The successes can be huge when kids are involved in the kitchen and the failures can be memorable. Most important? Have fun. Enjoy the meal as a family from start to finish.

Have any more great ideas to get kids engaged in the kitchen? I’d love to hear them!

Adrienne is a compulsive list-maker with a very busy family and a not very clean house. She’s also a planner and a recovering perfectionist. Adrienne blogs at Susie Makes Supper, where she gives weekly meal plans and shows her successes and failures in the kitchen.

Living Room Makeover

Post by Jeran of Oleander and Palm

Hi friends, I’m excited to be here and share a little living room makeover I worked on for my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew’s house.  I think this may be a common issue that a lot of folks have.  I know I’ve seen it in more then one home. So, you buy the biggest, comfiest neutral sectional for your living room.  It’s practical and you’ll love it for ever, right?  But, then you get it home and it’s really just a giant grey (or whatever color you chose), personality-less blob in your home.  It doesn’t really say anything about your personal style. I’m going to help you out.  I’m going to share with you how I helped my sister-in-law, Jess, who lives in Idaho, give her new grey sectional a little personality.

Living Room MakeoverLiving Room Makeover 2Jess already had a couple great furniture pieces. The mid century credenza that serves as the media console was purchased really reasonably at a local thrift store in Idaho.  And the mid century coffee table I found for $25 at a thrift store in California. We had 4 main goals for the room:

  1. Give the sectional personality
  2. Create a gallery focal wall
  3. Rethink the mantel
  4. Accessorize the surfaces

Living Room Makeover 3We started by giving the sectional personality. Pillows are the best place to start.  If you can add COLOR, TEXTURE and PATTERN you are guaranteed to wake up a room.  I love Nod throw pillows.  There is nothing boring or neutral about them.  Even if the color is calm, the pillow will definitely have some sort of amazing texture, like the grey Basketweave throw pillow.  Jess already had some fun black and white pillows, so I added a pop of green and shiny gold to the grey palette. It’s a color combo I go back to over and over.

Living Room Makeover 4sectional // green ruffle pillow // antique chic basketweave pillow // gold pinstripe pillow // white faux leather pouf // nice and knit grey cotton blanket

Living Room Makeover 5Living Room Makeover 6Living Room Makeover 7To break up the grey blob even more, a textured throw is a good way to go.  And to create some contrast, I added a shiny, bright white pouf to sit up against all that grey.

For the gallery wall we started with one main statement piece, the giant letter M.  I love the unexpected size of these letters.  I made a couple pieces to go along with the things Jess already owned and had in other places around the house.  I painted a water color of Idaho, leaving a little heart where they call home.  This added a pop of green to tie to the pillows.  I also made a circular yarn hanging to add a little whimsy and fun to the room.  It gives the space a relaxed and not-so-stuffy feel.

Living Room Makeover: Gallery Wall 8 Living Room Makeover: Gallery Wall 9 Living Room Makeover: Gallery Wall 10For the mantel, we kept it simple and clean.  Hanging the mirror to the side feels less traditional.  By adding tall framed images on the other side of the mantel, some balance was created.  Accessories do not have to be expensive.  The items on this mantel were mostly thrifted or found in nature.  My father-in-law is a rock hound and cuts and polishes rocks, so the gorgeous agate came from his garage.  And the birch branches were found on a walk.  We cut them all to the same length and spray painted the tip of one with metallic gold paint.

Living Room Makeover: Mantel 11 Living Room Makeover: Mantel 12 Living Room Makeover: Mantel 13 Living Room Makeover: Mantel 14And finally the details. Yes, almost everything on surfaces is thrifted. You can find fun stuff for pennies and you’ll have a look that no one else has.  I love the thistles on the coffee table that my mother in law painted three different metallic colors.  Jess followed this tutorial to make a himmelli wreath for the wall.  And I refinished and stained a little plant stand to give the fiddle leaf fig a place of honor.

Living Room Makeover: Mantel 15Living Room Makeover: Mantel 16Living Room Makeover: Mantel 17Living Room Makeover: Mantel 18Living Room Makeover: Mantel 19Living Room Makeover: Mantel 20Living Room Makeover: Mantel 21Living Room Makeover: Mantel 22Living Room Makeover: Mantel 23A former elementary school teacher, Jeran has added her unique voice to the modern maker culture through her blog Oleander and Palm. She loves helping people find attainable beauty in the lives they live. Her creativity and industriousness were honed through years of living in third world countries, that challenged her to find novel solutions for creating livable spaces. Now a mother of three, settled in sunny California, her skills and styles are evolving in exciting new ways. Her focus is Simple California Living, designing and making livable spaces that incorporate vintage finds, handmade/DIY pieces and global inspiration.

Nod Printable Coloring Page: Presidents Day

Nod Fun Pages designed by Michelle Romo

Break out the markers and celebrate our presidents with this coloring page. You can download the full size printable coloring page HERE.

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

Nod Printable Coloring Page: President's Day

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