Modern Nautical Glam Basement Reveal

Post by Giulia Doyle, photographer and blogger at Audrey’s

Modern Nautical Glam Basement Reveal

Half Tone Basket / Pinstripe Storage Bins / Faux Leather Pouf

It’s been awhile since I talked about our basement reno – the reason is simple. It took us forever to complete it! As per usual in home renovations, we underestimated the time we really had available to us to work on the project and everything took longer than we thought it would. But here we are – project complete, ready for us to hang out and guests to sleep comfortably.

Modern Nautical Glam Basement Reveal

Ahmaze Quilt / Swiss Dot Sheets / Wood Cubby Shelf / Geo Throw Pillow

If you recall, I had created a mood board with the help of Creative Director, Danielle Kurtz at The Land of Nod. She helped me push my ‘ho hum’ nautical design ideas and make this basement a bit more fun and glam. I think all the pieces work beautifully together and play nicely off the neutral whites. This basement is now a fresh, bright and happy space.

Modern Nautical Glam Basement Reveal

Sunburst MirrorHello Pillow

So what did we do? We insulated all the walls, framed, ran electrical, dry-walled, painted, and installed sub-floors, vapor barriers and our wallpaper wall. We brought in much needed storage in neutral white, brought down our guest bed and made things much cozier with rugs, bedding, and pillows from The Land of Nod, added storage baskets, night stands, some great wall art and a mirror, a reading lamp and table lamp and seating for the kids. I was also so excited to use the giant D on our crazy wallpaper wall!

Modern Nautical Glam Basement Reveal

In Print Storage Baskets / Not Giant Enough Letter

So, along with a couple DIY’s, such as the rope wrapped support post, the white sconces I sprayed painted navy blue and the leather pulls to update my old dresser, I think this Modern Nautical Glam Basement is a success and I could not have done it without the amazing help from The Land of Nod. What do you think?

Modern Nautical Glam Basement Reveal

Wood Rock Lamp with Black Shade / Ice Cream Art / Wall Hanging

Giulia Doyle blogs at Audrey’s. She loves to share the sweet and savory, be it in the kitchen or travels. She juggles a family and a full-time job – they cook, travel and often paint a wall a new color. 

 

Kid-Friendly Healthy Bubble Tea

Post by Rebecca of Not So SAHM

Kid-Friendly Healthy Bubble Tea

Have you ever heard of bubble tea!? It’s a Taiwanese tea-based drink that is a frothy mix of milk, tea, fruit and tapioca pearls (boba). It’s also FULL of caffeine and sugar, which is probably why it is one of my favorite sweet treats. But it’s a fun experience that I always wanted to share with the kids — albeit in a much healthier way. So we came up with this fun colorful take on the drink that is much more kid-friend my kiddos LOVED it!

Kid-Friendly Healthy Bubble Tea

To make our kid-friendly healthy bubble tea, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup rainbow boba
  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen fruit (we used strawberries we picked and froze ourselves)
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • bubble tea straws (not necessary, but it’s much more fun to eat this way because you can scoop up the pearls and regular straws are too narrow to fit the boba!)

How to make:

  1. Make rainbow boba according to package directions.
  2. Blend almond milk, frozen fruit, and honey in a blender.
  3. Divide boba equally between two glasses and fill with fruit milk blend.
  4. Top with a bubble tea straw and go to town!

P.S. thanks to The Land of Nod for the fabulous + bubbly garlands!! I continue to be totally obsessed with all the Nod garlands and use them for everything from party styling to wrapping presents to permanent room decor.

Kid-Friendly Healthy Bubble Tea

Kid-Friendly Healthy Bubble Tea

Kid-Friendly Healthy Bubble Tea

Kid-Friendly Healthy Bubble Tea

Rebecca is a mom to two young kiddos and, in her spare time (ha!), likes to pretend she’s a back-up dancer, craft cocktails, and run long distances. A relatively recent SAHM, she blogs family-friendly activities, DIYs and celebration fun at Not-So-SAHM

Carry Home Dollhouse

Post by Michelle Sterling of Avery and Augustine

Kids Toys - Carry Home Dollhouse

Welcome to the dollhouse of your dreams! You’ve got four amiable roommates who all share one stylish wardrobe and go shopping together at the farmer’s market every weekend, always coming home with ingredients to make a flaky fruit pie. Or occasionally, a buttermilk chess pie.

Your new digs consist of patterns and prettiness everywhere you look, with adorable surprises under every flap. You’re dreaming…or are you? This lovely plush dollhouse will have little ones happily immersed in its imaginary world. It’s a great tool for pretend play that’s portable, carried from room to room in the house and toted out and about during mornings at the café with mom or on long road trips in the car.

Kids Toys - Carry Home DollHouseKids Toys - Carry Home Dollhouse

What stories will your little one come up with about the girls who call this unbelievable dollhouse their home? Here’s the beginning of a story told by Avery.

Lulu and Her Teddy Bear (She named the doll with pink hair “Lulu.”)

“Lulu wanted to make a pie once. And eat it with her teddy bear with some tea. She had to get the ingredients that she needed to make a pie. It was going to be a apple pie. So she got the apples and then she had all the ingredients at home in the pantry that she buyed a long time ago. She always wanted to make a apple pie…”

Anyone want to imagine what happened next? Let’s just say it was a happy ending.

Kids Toys - Carry Home DollhouseKids Toys - Carry Home Dollhouse

Thank you to The Land of Nod for sending us the dollhouse for this post.

Kids Toys - Carry Home DollhouseKids Toys - Carry Home Dollhouse

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

Guggenheim – Learning Through Art – Spotlight on PS 144 in Queens

Written by Rachel, Nod’s PR & Social Media Lead

Today’s post is a continuation of a series on The Land of Nod’s sponsorship of the Guggenheim’s A Year with Children 2015, which features art created by the Guggenheim’s artist-in-residence program, Learning Through Art. Learning Through Art teaching artists partner with classroom teachers in each of the city’s five boroughs to design collaborative projects that explore art and ideas related to the classroom curriculum.

Each Tuesday in June we highlighted of the school’s projects. Today’s spotlight is on PS 144 in Queens.

Third graders at PS 144 were inspired by architects Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright as they came up with models of their ideal classroom. The student artists considered shape, line, and form while exploring innovative ideas for redesigning a classroom space through sculpture. As young product and interior designers, they experimented with multiple possibilities by building prototypes. Students explored options for the shape of a classroom by creating small paper sculptures before they built their 3-D classroom models from wire, plastic, paper, foam, metal, and found objects.

Guggenheim – Learning Through Art – Spotlight on PS 144 in Queens

LTA students in the classroom
Third grade, PS 144, Queens, 2015
© 2015 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Guggenheim – Learning Through Art – Spotlight on PS 144 in Queens

Student Artwork
Third grade, PS 144, Queens, 2015
Photo: Kris McKay © 2015 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Molly O’Brien, Teaching Artist for PS 144, believes that, “The greatest lessons can be learned using art: expression, acceptance, confidence, innovation, teamwork, critical thinking. I look at my role as a teaching artist as an opportunity for the students and me to collaborate as artists. Students are constantly surprising me with their brilliance. I encourage them to question the world around them, and in return their questions inspire my own practice.”

This spring, we were honored to be one of the sponsors of  A Year with Children 2015, which features art created by the Guggenheim’s artist-in-residence program, Learning Through Art. This program has been serving New York City public school students for more than forty years. Learning Through Art teaching artists partner with classroom teachers in each of the city’s five boroughs to design collaborative projects that explore art and ideas related to the classroom curriculum.

Last Day to Save on Play Space Essentials

Today’s the last day to save up to 15% on play space essentials including play tables, play chairs, step stools, toy boxes and benches! And we’ve sweetened the deal with free parcel shipping today only.

extracurricular

Extracurricular Table / Squared Up Step Stools / Fruit Salad Rug / Metalwork Bookcase

If you’re stumped on how to create the perfect play space for your kiddos, here are a few tips:

  • Think about how your child will use the room. Work together with your child on the room design to make sure all the elements they want are included. They’ll feel a connection to the space and will be more likely to use it.
  • Storage, storage & more storage. Choose a mix of open and closed storage. Open storage is perfect for displaying beautiful, colorful toys & helps add personality to the room. Closed storage allowed you to store toys with lots of pieces of out sight.
  • Pick a color scheme that will grow with your kids. Your kid’s taste will change as quickly as the seasons. Try adding a pop of color with easy-to-remove decals or painting one wall.

For more design tips & tricks and how-to’s, head to our Design Library. And don’t forget, our playroom sale ends 6/29 at midnight!

Science Themed Graduation Party

Post by Colleen of Lemon Thistle

Science Themed Graduation Party

Let’s face it. Throwing parties can be stressful (with a capital S), but they can also be a ton of fun. A couple of weeks ago we traveled 8 hours by car to celebrate my little sister’s university graduation. She’s a ‘super nerd’ (we lovingly call her) and she graduated with an Honors degree in Cellular Molecular Biology and a Chemistry Degree. I wanted to throw a little graduation party for her to invite some friends to visit with our family while we were in town and celebrate her incredible accomplishments. After telling her to invite her friends over I realized a few things. I had NO idea what her house looks like… is there a good place to put a party table? I had NO room in our car (filled with playpens and snacks for our twins) to pack bunches of decorations but I really, really wanted it to be fun and special for her. PLUS, my sister is my biggest blog fan and has talked me up to all of her friends so I felt like I really had to make it look good.

So I set to the internet to find some ideas for adult science graduation parties and came up pretty empty. Then I came across this Fundamental Party kit from The Land of Nod and decided that was my solution. Since I’m a DIY’er at heart, I decided I’d DIY a science themed backdrop to go along with the decorations. I used black dollar store table cloths to cover the table and wall so I didn’t have to worry what kind of wall/ decorations I was competing with. That wall is actually brown/tan with nails sticking out of it… the backdrop covers it all! I had my sister write equations and diagrams in chalk pen on the table cloth for a chalkboard look. I created some molecules using painted Styrofoam balls and barbecue skewers for something a little extra. I’m so thrilled with how it turned out and it was a ton of fun to get to know her friends a little bit.

Science Themed Graduation Party

Nod Science Party-15061110 Nod Science Party-1506118 Nod Science Party-1506114Here’s some tips to throw a stress-free (but beautiful!) party no matter where on earth you are:

  • Find some awesome pre-made party decorations. Paper and plastic make for a fast clean up!
  • Get a table cloth and backdrop- again, disposable is best!
  • DIY a couple handmade touches ahead of time that you can toss when you’re done (like my molecules, or a centerpiece)
  • Bring everything you may possibly need (I learned the hard way that not everyone stocks tape in their house- save yourself the stress!)
  • Have food either prepped ahead of time or choose ready made options (we hit the grocery store when we got to town since we were traveling on a hot day)
  • Keep it simple – don’t get too fussy, you and your guests will enjoy themselves more if you’re not running around asking them to tape up last minute signs and arrange flowers.
  • Focus on one area – you don’t need to spread decorations around a whole house for a fun party. Make a great table and relax about the rest!

I hope these tips will help you have  a stress-free party (no matter where you are!), they certainly helped me pull this off in 45 minutes in a house I’ve never been to. Do you have any tips for a simple (but fun!) party? Share them in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

Colleen is a wife, Mama to 21 month old twins, and the DIY and lifestyle blogger behind Lemon Thistle where she shares printable art and hands on tutorials for DIY home decor, parties and gifts. Colleen believes you can have a beautiful life, home, and party without spending a lot- we’re keeping it real on a budget so everyone can join in on the fun.

Creating a Sensory Friendly Playroom

Post by Julia of Tag&Tibby

wide_roomLast summer we moved to our new home in North Carolina. Our previous home in Minnesota was small: our two children shared a bedroom and playtime happened mostly in the living room. Now that we have a playroom and I wanted to make it more personal for our children’s’ needs!

Our oldest is on the autism spectrum. He is high functioning, processes information visually, and loves routine. He is very social but at times during the day needs a quiet space to be alone. Both of our children are fun loving and silly, and I wanted to make our playroom a safe, comfortable environment for both of them to play.

I contacted Land of Nod to see if they would be interested in helping me add some sensory friendly components to the room. They graciously sent the Planetarium Playhouse Canopy. Our little guy is always asking questions about science and the weather and I knew it would be a hit. Our kids now have a soft place to sit and read, and it is the perfect spot to have a little alone time or be silly with their finger flashlights.

Creating a Sensory Friendly Playroom Creating a Sensory Friendly Playroom Creating a Sensory Friendly Playroom

Some sensory friendly playrooms use really bright, vivid colors. But I believe if the room is a place to visually relax a soft blue or green is the way to go. I added a faux wood plank wall for texture, and the star bright decals add so much character to the room.

Our two kids are 5 and 7. They are in their elementary years so we were looking to add to hobbies they have established. They both love Legos, so it was important to include that in the room. And our daughter loves to craft and read. We keep our board games and puzzles in the closets and extra books and craft supplies in the thrifted cabinet to prevent visual over-stimulation. Additionally, we chose to leave “white space” in the room for the kids to be creative and spread out their toys.

Creating a Sensory Friendly Playroom
I brought the trampoline from our porch and right away our son started jumping. Jumping, hopping, running, spinning are all forms of vestibular input and is really helpful to add in a playroom for sensory processing.

Bryce craves a daily routine. It makes a tremendous difference to his day when he knows the “plan.” That can be a little hard sometimes for me: a creative, go with the flow Mama! So I added our weekly calendar to the wall and a white board for him to draw out our daily schedule. We find that reward charts (check out my free printable) and visual timers are also helpful.

Creating a Sensory Friendly Playroom

The kids LOVE the new playroom. They are spending more time there, making it messy, and using their imaginations. We are excited to spend even more time there this summer! For more pictures of the playroom makeover visit Julia’s blog Tag & Tibby.

Creating a Sensory Friendly Playroom - Before & After

Julia is the founder and editor of Tag&Tibby: a site dedicated to simple DIY projects, home design, and recipes with a hint of vintage. She is a wife and mom to two awesome kids and has a background in product design.  

Guggenheim – Learning Through Art – Spotlight on PS 86 in the Bronx

Written by Rachel, Nod’s PR & Social Media Lead

Today’s post is a continuation of a series on The Land of Nod’s sponsorship of the Guggenheim’s A Year with Children 2015, which features art created by the Guggenheim’s artist-in-residence program, Learning Through Art. Learning Through Art teaching artists partner with classroom teachers in each of the city’s five boroughs to design collaborative projects that explore art and ideas related to the classroom curriculum.

Each Tuesday in June we’re highlighting one of the school’s projects.  Today’s spotlight is on PS 86 in the Bronx.

Sixth graders at PS 86 explored drawing techniques and created self-portraits on iPad sketchbooks.  Using technology allowed students to explore the differences between digital and analog drawing. The student artists then created portrait monoprints, allowing them to tackle different media and materials inspired by the same subject… themselves!

Guggenheim - Learning Through Art – Spotlight on PS 86 in the Bronx

LTA students in the classroom
Sixth grade, PS 86, Bronx, 2015
© 2015 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Guggenheim - Learning Through Art – Spotlight on PS 86 in the Bronx

LTA students in the classroom
Sixth grade, PS 86, Bronx, 2015
© 2015 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Guggenheim - Learning Through Art – Spotlight on PS 86 in the BronxStudent Artwork
Sixth grade, PS 86, Bronx, 2015
© 2015 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Teaching Artist Jeff Hopkins says that “art is about sharing stories and connecting with others. Students learn to ask: What stories do I have to share? What stories do others have that might connect to my own experiences? The language of visual art is a communication tool as essential as speaking or writing. When students learn to think visually, they learn a new way to connect with the world around them.”

This spring, we were honored to be one of the sponsors of  A Year with Children 2015, which features art created by the Guggenheim’s artist-in-residence program, Learning Through Art. This program has been serving New York City public school students for more than forty years. Learning Through Art teaching artists partner with classroom teachers in each of the city’s five boroughs to design collaborative projects that explore art and ideas related to the classroom curriculum.

 

Nod Printable Coloring Page – Happy 4th of July

Nod Fun Pages designed by Michelle Romo

We can’t believe that the 4th of July is almost here! We’re looking forward to fireworks, hot dogs and a summery day with our families. Download this free Fourth of July themed printable coloring page HERE. Share a pic of your little one with the finished product on Instagram (use hashtag #landofnod) or our Facebook page. We may feature it!
Nod Printable Coloring Page - Happy 4th of July

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.

Cheddar Bunny Chicken Tender Recipe

Post by Corri McFadden of Glitter & Bubbles

Transforming junk food into healthy eats is way easier than you think! You might just like these Cheddar Bunny Chicken Tenders more than your littles! These tenders are a crowd-please for all ages—and a great option when you want to put a new spin on how you prepare chicken.

Cheddar Bunny Chicken Tender Recipe

Cheddar Bunny Chicken Tender Recipe Ingredients:

  • Annie’s Cheddar Bunny Crackers (or similar cheddar crackers)
  • 1 chicken breast
  • Fat-Free Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper

How to:

  1. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then, start by placing the Cheddar Bunny crackers in a Ziploc bag and then use a rolling pin to crush them. Make sure the pieces aren’t too fine, you’ll want the pieces to be similar in size to panko breadcrumbs! Cheddar Bunny Chicken Tender Recipe
  2. Pour the cracker crumbs and the yogurt into separate shallow bowls and set aside. Slice the chicken breast lengthwise into tenders – one breast creates 4-5 tenders.
  3. Dip each tender in the yogurt then the crackers crumb and shake off any excess. Place each piece on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat until all of the tenders have been coated.Cheddar Bunny Chicken Tender Recipe
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tenders are crispy and the chicken is fully cooked. Let them cool and serve to your littles with their favorite dipping sauces!

Cheddar Bunny Chicken Tender Recipe

Corri McFadden is the owner and founder of eDrop-Off Luxury Consignment.  As a style expert and successful blogger, she hosts a weekly fashion segment on Chicago’s “You and Me This Morning” and features more tips and tricks on her website, Corri McFadden. She also recently launched Glitter and Bubbles, a savvy site for modern-day moms looking for inspiration through fashion, décor and food.