Spring Reading

Post by Michelle of Avery & Augustine 

Spring Reading Play ChairSpring Reading Play ChairSpring Reading Play ChairSpring Reading Play ChairSpring Reading Play ChairSpring Reading Play ChairSpring Reading Play ChairSpring Reading Play ChairThis house sitter play chair doubles as a seat and dollhouse—you can’t say that about many chairs!  It’s spacious enough for a little family and their furnishings.  Other uses for it—as a nightstand or bookshelf—make it that much more versatile.  This rainbow garland is just the thing to brighten up any reading nook for the spring.  Stored in our house sitter chair is a small collection of fresh children’s literature. Here are a few of our favorites for spring reading:

  • Lulu and Pip, an endearing tale by the author, photographer and artist who brought you Kiki and Coco in Paris.  This one has a Northern California twist to it.
  • Flashlight, an engaging book for exploring the wonder of night, nature and art.  With your flashlight, of course!
  • Opposites, from the Touch Think Learn series, which uses an important, hands-on aspect of learning–the tactile modality–to give life to a child’s first pairs of opposite words.
  • Telephone, a hilarious story about a message that goes topsy turvy as it makes its way through a group of birds (not unlike the fun game you might have played in elementary school).

Happy spring and happy reading!

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.

The Chicken & The Egg Easter Party

Post by Nicole of Making it Lovely

My kids like holidays (don’t they all?), but they’ve been really excited this year for Easter. For days, my son has been asking if it is “Easter Day” yet, so we decided to dye and decorate eggs and have a little Easter party to appease him until the holiday arrives. We hard-boiled our eggs and gathered some supplies: an egg decorating kit with stands, googly eyes, feathers, poms, and stickers, along with some egg dye and a pack of tiny bows. We had bunny ears to wear, too!

The Chicken & The Egg Easter PartyHow adorable are those paper lanterns and pinwheels? We were hosting a brunch the next day, so we got to dye our Easter eggs surrounded by some really cute decorations. We were joined by a couple of the cutest plush friend and her bunny too, for added measure.

The Chicken & The Egg Easter PartyThe Chicken & The Egg Easter PartyThe Easter egg decorating kit works well with undyed white eggs, but my kids wanted them to be colorful and I was happy to oblige.

There were six animals to make for our Easter party: two bunnies, a sheep, two birds, and a chicken. We went for the bunnies first.

The Chicken & The Egg Easter PartyThe Chicken & The Egg Easter PartyThe Chicken & The Egg Easter PartyThe Chicken & The Egg Easter PartyAw, so sweet. We made a couple of the other animals too, before things got a little weird. And by “weird” I mean totally awesome. What has six eyes, two beaks, wings, and a bow-tie? Monster chicken!

The Chicken & The Egg Easter PartyThe Chicken & The Egg Easter PartyIn the end, we ended up with our two bunnies, a sheep, a bird, our monster chicken, and a mummy. We also had plenty of giggles, a couple of happy kids, and half a dozen really interesting hard-boiled eggs to eat.

The Chicken & The Egg Easter PartyNot a bad way to celebrate Easter Day!

The Chicken & The Egg Easter PartyNicole Balch writes Making it Lovely, a design and lifestyle blog about living a stylish life and transforming the so-so. She writes about her old Victorian home, decorating and fashion, as well as her life as a wife, mother of three young children, and blogger turned breadwinner.

Book Nook Inspiration – Part 4

Post by The Land of Nod and Brightly

Welcome to our final installment of Book Nook Inspiration created in collaboration with Brightly. If you missed them, check out Parts 1, 2 and 3 for more tips. And, don’t forget to read to the bottom for details on our giveaway.

Book Nook Design Tips from Nod:
For this edition, we’ve put together a cozy lounge for your tween. We kept a focus on the three main design requirements of any reading nook, make it inviting, comfortable and quiet.

Tween Book Nook InspirationGrey Knit Blanket / Black Sequin Heart Throw Pillow / Typeset Throw Pillow / Seeing Stars Rug / Acrylic Book Cart / Open Arms Swivel Lounge Chair / Forest Poster Decal / Green Wiry Pendant / Black Spot Garland

Here’s how we put it all together:

  • Our Open Arms swivel is an ideal seat for a tween reading nook. It’s oversized and comfy, a great hang out spot.
  • We added a chunky throw blanket and sequin pillow to make it extra cozy.
  • The black accent in the throw pillow and garland make sure the space is not too sweet and contrast nicely with the soft pink and mint accent colors found in the rug and décor.
  • The acrylic book caddy brings in style and function.
  • Hang the wiry pendant above the chair for soft lighting.

 

Book Recommendations from Brightly:

The tween years are a great time to introduce a bit more complexity into a child’s reading life. At this age, kids will enjoy books with more of an emotional journey, as well as books with more sophisticated language and plot points. It’s also worth encouraging children this age to explore a wide range of books — from realistic fiction, to poetry, to fantasy.

Book Suggestions for TweensOur picks:

  • Smile – Raina Telgemeier’s real-life experiences make for a humorous coming-of-age novel filled with great artwork and plenty of dental drama. Kids will identify with Raina’s struggles to forge her own identity and find real friends.
  • The One and Only Ivan – You’ll never think about caged animals the same way again. The One and Only Ivan is a heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting read about a gorilla and baby elephant who live in a circus-themed mall.
  • Wonder – Some books change the world. Some books change us. The best books do both. Wonder pushes young readers toward greater compassion, empathy, and acceptance of differences.
  • A Snicker of Magic – This much-lauded debut novel about the magical power of words will delight middle grade and tween readers.
  • Brown Girl Dreaming – Jacqueline Woodson’s highly acclaimed poetic memoir about growing up as an African American in South Carolina and New York in the ‘60s and 70s took home the National Book Award.
  • The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy – Packed with summertime adventures and big-time family fun, this is a perfect read-aloud book for the whole family.

Curious what books tweens are recommending to each other? Check out Books Tweens Can’t Stop Talking About 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.

Gem Wall Decor DIY

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

Gem Wall Décor DIYWhen I was styling the living room for the Nod Family Home, I needed a little something to hang above this bookcase. The entire room was very light and bright, so I wanted something delicate. Also, there was already quite a bit of wall art on the other walls, so I wanted to do something a bit different, and more dimensional. We’d brought along a handful of our gem ornaments to use as baubles in styling the bookcases, maybe put them in a bowl or vase, or just set them atop a stack of books, they’re so pretty! And, even though they’re technically Christmas Ornaments, that doesn’t mean they are only for the holidays or just for a tree for that matter!

Gem Wall Decor DIYHere’s what you need to make your own gem wall decor DIY:

  • Ornaments – you could choose any that fit your décor, we chose our Gem Ornaments
  • Dowel Rod – cut to length of your space
  • Paint optional – I painted the dowel rod half peach/half a neon orangey-pink
  • Embroidery Floss – pick a color to fit your space, I used a neon yellow to add a subtle pop of color

And, really, there’s not much to the “instructions.” But, here’s how I did it.

  • Determine the overall length of the space.
  • Cut lengths of floss to double your length, you’ll need one piece of floss for each ornament.
  • Thread floss through ornament and tie at the top, tie them at varying lengths, so the gems hit at varying heights. This isn’t an exact science, just create a composition that’s pleasing to you.
  • Loop the floss over the dowel rod.
  • Cut another piece of floss about 1 ½ times the width of the dowel.
  • Tie it at each end of the dowel rod, this will be your hanging piece, you may need to adjust the length once it’s on the wall.
  • Put a nail in the wall, and loop the floss over the nail.
  • You’re done!

It’s a really easy DIY, and the materials are inexpensive and readily available. You could even make this during the holidays with holiday ornaments, as festive décor. Or, instead of a dowel rod, try it with an embroidery hoop and hang it from the ceiling. It would act more like a mobile that would add lovely texture to any space.

Looking for our other Nod Family Home DIY’s? Check them all out HERE.

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.