Vacation Scavenger Hunt

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Maybe it’s just me, but it seems to take so much planning to get my own kids to run wild outside and entertain themselves. Last summer we traveled to Maine with my family, and I had visions of a vacation spent outdoors watching the kids play in the surf while I read a good book or two. But, with 8 adults and 6 kids, it was a little more challenging than one might think. And, in an effort to find our own relaxation, we didn’t protest much when the kids spent way too much time on their iPads. 

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It left me wondering why we endured the pain of air travel with small children, when they may as well have been sitting on the couch at home playing their games. (Well, I did get to dine on freshly caught lobster every night, so that’s probably why.)

So this summer as we planned for our family vacation to Northern Wisconsin, my husband and I were determined not to let iPads take over. We agreed with the other adults that we’d try our best to institute an “electronics after dinner only” rule. But, that meant finding some way to entertain the kids. They couldn’t exactly “run wild,” I am, after all, an extremely overprotective mom, and we were on a lake with a boat and camp fires and bugs and eagles and all other forms of danger. (I’m being a teensy bit dramatic, but not about the eagle, he was totally circling us and eyeing my daughter for an afternoon snack.)

In an effort to give the kids an activity that didn’t require constant adult intervention, my husband had the great idea of creating a scavenger hunt. It was something all the kids could participate in, and they could work on it the whole week, including on the drive up. The drive was about 6 hours each way, so passing time in the car was key. We came up with a lengthy list of things to see/catch/build, and the kids loved it. They ended up forming teams based on the cars they drove up in, and it started quite the competition. They did everything from catching fish to building forts and burying each other in the sand. Here’s the one we created. 

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This could be easily personalized for any vacation location, and can be done as a competition or the whole family can pitch and do it together. We’ve already started a list of additional items we’ll include next time around. 

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It took a little bit of preparation in the beginning, but was an extra little element that everyone enjoyed throughout our trip, and hopefully it helped create some memorable moments for the kids.  Call me old fashioned, but I’m pretty sure catching a slimy toad from under a rock with your bare hands is more memorable than taking care of virtual frogs on your iPad.

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 6-years-thick, wonder if it's just a coincidence that her oldest kiddo is 6 years old?

Camping is My Favorite

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Some fun camping inspiration with the Land of Nod today!  I love this look for a boy or a girl – and it would be really fun for a shared room, too!  I really like this bright, happy feel that captures the outdoors without being too rustic. 

pop of color shadevintage arrowsbe brave foil printrifle paper co. animals

paint by number mountain landscapeventure out canvasyellow isosceles lampraccoon pillow

prism pillowweathered gray oslo cribgreen shop clockwalnut ellipse dresser

m is for mooselog pillowvintage boy scout backpackwhite leather joya rocker

teal 88 keys rugcolor edge curtainsfield guide crib sheetorange stripe teepee

natural numbers pouf

Register for these great nursery items at LandofNod.com

Post by Joni: Lay Baby Lay

Coconut Pineapple Tiramisu

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My husband will turn down dessert on a regular basis. At our children’s birthday parties, he’s the one that won’t have a piece of the three-tier chocolate cake. I really don’t comprehend this. He claims he doesn’t like cake much, especially the layered and iced ones. Now, how does one celebrate a birthday  without a cake or cupcakes? Would I bake a cake anyway, so he could blow out the candles? No. I decided to look for desserts he does like – Crème caramel and Tiramisu came to mind.

I had recently come across a different version of Tiramsu in the Tibits cookbook. Adding Coconut and Pineapple, seemed like an interesting take on a classic Italian desert. Normally, Tiramisu is prepared in a shallow dish, allowing you to get cut pieces out easily, even with all the creamy mascarpone. But, because it was his birthday, I wanted the non-cake to look more like a cake, or something equally celebratory – so I doubled the recipe and assembled it in my trifle dish. Beautiful to look at, but not very easy to serve. That didn’t stop my dear husband though to successfully blow out his candles and dig into his birthday dessert. He had a second helping and had more the next day. I call that a success.

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Coconut Pineapple Tiramisu – adapted from Tibits Cookbook

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100 g ladyfinger cookies (about one pack, or as many as fit at the bottom of your dish)
  • 100 ml Coconut Milk (about 1/4 can)
  • 160 g fresh Pineapple (roughly 2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons of light brown sugar
  • 250 g of Mascarpone (a little more than one container)
  • 50 ml of whole cream (1/4 cup)
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 5 tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • Sweetened Cocoa

Instructions

  1. Layer the bottom of a rectangular baking dish with ladyfinger cookies until bottom is covered. Cover with coconut milk.
  2. Cut pineapple into 1/2 inch pieces and mix with the 3 tablespoons of sugar. Spread over cookies.
  3. Mix mascarpone with cream, sugar and scrapped vanilla seeds until you have a smooth mixture. Spread mixture over pineapple layer.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but it's best if you prepare it the night before so the cookies have a chance to soak up all the liquid.
  5. Sprinkle with sweetened cocoa right before serving.

Notes

This is a rough translation from a metric German recipe – this recipe is pretty forgiving, so feel free to adapt to your liking. I doubled the recipe and added more coconut milk than the recipe calls for. Next time I would chop my pineapple very fine to create a nice smooth layer, rather than large chunks of fruit – it would look nicer and probably serve prettier.

If you are looking for a creamy dessert that is very easy to make and can be made ahead of time, try this. It’s different than anything I’ve had. What do you think – as good as a cake? 

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Post by Giulia Doyle : Audrey's

Hailing From London

Hailing from London Blog 1

Hailing from London Blog 2

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Hailing from London Blog 4

Bajo's iconic double decker bus hails from London and is perfect roaming around in any urban metropolis, including this charming paper city from Made by Joel.  The brilliant red bus bears Bajo's characteristic smooth surfaces and rounded edges, making it an ideal toy for a toddler or preschooler.  Pairing perfectly with the little wooden bus is Miroslav Sasek's This is London.  Time to hop off the bus for a spot of tea and raspberry scones!

Post by Michelle Sterling of Avery and Augustine

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