I ♥ HEARTS

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Clockwise from top left: Marc by Marc Jacobs iPhone Case, ban.do Heart Shoe Clips, Madewell heart tote, ASOS big heart sheer tights, Nan Lawson City of Heart, Kate Spade heart studs, Summerland Classic Bow Tie, ASOS Magpie Flat Shoes.

 

By Anna Passadori

Anna develops and designs exclusive product for The Land of Nod. She hails from the west coast and has traveled the world to source product. She loves anything Marc Jacobs, Sofia Coppola or stripes! (So, if anyone can get a photo of Sofia Coppola wearing a striped outfit by Marc Jacobs, please send it along.)

Boy, oh boy, oh boy.

When we asked our twitter followers if they had any decorating dilemmas they could use some help with, Shannon R. (@SAHMconsulting) responded pretty quickly. You see, Shannon has three sons and a daughter. And, next year, when the youngest turns 2, she’s hoping to move all 3 boys into one bedroom.  Brave woman, huh? The problem is that like most families, they need the room to serve a lot of purposes. They need beds for all the boys, of course. Plus, clothes storage, and the closet just won’t cut it. And a place for cuddling and reading. Oh, and somewhere to put all those toys.

It’s a tall order, but I think I have some suggestions that might get Shannon going in the right direction. Here’s what I put together.

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First, the furniture. I suggest going with painted white furniture. While it’s not the traditional choice for boys, I think it’ll not only look great, it also won’t overwhelm the room. With a bunk and a twin bed in the room, a lighter color is definitely the way to go. And speaking of light colors, I’d definitely suggest opting for one for the walls.

Next, the bedding. Shannon mentioned the boys are fond of our Robots Bedding. And, it’s actually the perfect fit. It pairs nicely with our Moving Blankets which comes in several colors, so each boy can customize his bed to his tastes. Also, there are some fun throw pillows to mix in to give each bed its own personality. I also like this set because it’s a clever take on a boy’s theme that can easily grow with the children. So, it’ll work for all three of them for some time.

Storage is definitely an issue. And by suggesting a bunk and twin bed, I’ve negated the ability for Shannon to add a dresser. Instead, I’d suggest opting for underbed storage. Our I Think I Canvas Collection comes in tons of sizes and shapes. And the underbed group is perfect for clothes storage. Also, the closet system will allow her to optimize the space in the existing closet. In a variety of colors, it can be customized to each of the boys. And there are several coordinating options for toy storage

 Next, a reading area. Our Joya Rocker is a great choice. It’s small frame allows it to fit easily when space is at a premium. Plus, it’s sleek, modern design will transition easily to another room in the house when the boys are older. And, for book storage, I’d suggest our Straight & Narrow Book Ledges. They don’t take up any floor space and allow for storage of plenty of books. They also allow the books to act as wall art for the room. Why not take advantage of all of those gorgeous books!

As for a lighting, our Bright Idea Floor Lamp is perfect for the reading nook. And, for each of the boys, a Gummy Bear Nightlight adds a little fun to the room. Last, but not least, a rug.      I’d choose a cut or loop pile wool rug. It’ll provide a soft, cushy surface for the little ones to play. Our Blue Broad Stripe Rug gives a nod to the ombre trend and adds some great saturated hues to the space.

With 4 kiddos, I’m sure Shannon’s got her hands full. So, I hope this at least gave her a few tips to get started. I love the idea of the 3 boys together in one room, like a constant sleepover with your life-long pals. Hmmm, maybe I should do some re-arranging at my place this weekend?     A 5 year old boy and an almost 2 year old girl in one room, and mommy gets a craft room out of the deal…tempting.

By Danielle Kurtz

Danielle is the Creative Director at Nod and an over-protective mother of two. She’s also completely obsessed with Pinterest, Twitter and her Kindle, but not necessarily in that order. Danielle loves to craft, sew and crochet, but all her supplies have a layer of dust on them about 5-years-thick, wonder if it's just a coincidence that her oldest kiddo is 5 years old?

A Peculiar “P” Picnic

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When I was in the first grade, my teacher threw a Peculiar "P" Party when we learned about the letter "P." My favorite part of the week was when each child brought a food that started with the letter "P." We all got to try new foods; and even as a six-year-old I was a sucker for a theme party. :) Fast-forward 25 years and now I've got two kids who are ridiculously picky eaters. My parents are totally getting the justice they deserve for putting up with my picky preferences as a child. I don't know how things got so ridiculous…but some nights I could almost cry because mealtimes are so frustrating for me. I wanted a way to make trying new things fun, and one day I thought about having our own version of the Peculiar "P" Party, but picnic style. 

My game plan is to try this again, but each time with a different letter and foods that are more of a stretch for their picky palates. We went a little safe this time around so they'd feel comfortable with the concept. First step: I took the kids to the grocery store to look for foods that start with the letter "P." It was kind of like a fun game. We came home with pomegranate juice, pistachios, pickles, pepperoni pizza (my kids will only eat cheese pizza…so even pepperoni seems like a victory to me), pesto, pineapple, and lots of other stuff. I tried to mix in a few things that I knew they liked, like pretzels, popcorn and pears just so they'd feel a little less intimidated.

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One of my kids won't eat yogurt if it has chunks of fruit in it (see what I mean?!?) So I made sure to include some peach yogurt, with chunks. ;)

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I prepped everything to be bite-size portions, like little hors d'oeuvres, and labeled everything so they'd see all of our "P" foods. And of course, plenty of "Pee" jokes were thrown in the mix by my six-year-old. Then we loaded up our plates and headed for the picnic blanket. I got the kids to try some new things. No tears, no yelling, and no gagging. I'd say it was a success. And they even liked a few of the new things they tried. The pomegranate seeds were a hit. I'll take a little victory any day.

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And Baby Nolan liked his first picnic. Soon I'll have to think about introducing him to new foods. If you've got a little one at your house, make sure to drop by my blog today and enter the Baby Bullet giveaway. Then you can make all the peach, pear, pea and plum purees your little one will love–at least until he turns into a picky big kid too. 

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Post by Christina Williams : justcallmechris.blogspot.com

Duchess Grey Tea Cookies

Hello again from Becca of CAKE.

These tea cookies make a terrific dessert for a spring garden party.  They are traditionally a buttery shortbread with a mild Earl Grey flavor, but using the Duchess Grey tea adds just a hint of citrus that lightens them up in the most wonderful way.  The best part is that they're incredibly easy to make, and when dipped in a cup of tea they melt in your mouth.  Now go and bake some… you can thank me later.

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photos © cake. 2012

 

Duchess Grey Tea Cookies
adapted from Real Simple
makes 6 dozen cookies

Ingredients 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons Duchess Grey tea leaves, approx 6 tea bags (I bought the Duchess Tea from Trader Joes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Directions 
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Pulse together all the dry ingredients in a food processor until the tea leaves are pulverized. Add the vanilla, 1 teaspoon water, and the butter. Pulse together until a dough is formed.
2. Divide the dough in half. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a 12-inch log, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
3. Slice each log into disks, 1/3 inch thick. Place on parchment- or foil-lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
4. Bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.

Post by Becca : www.cakeeventsblog.com