DIY Kids Backpack Name Tags

Post by Rebecca of A Feteful Life
DIY Kids Backpack Name TagsNew backpack time is serious business in our house. A lot of negotiation goes into picking the perfect pack, so it drives me a bit nuts when I have to write their names in permanent marker on them. Soon enough they’ll be scuffed up and filled with all sorts of odds and ends. So I thought it’d be fun to make name tags for the kids’ packs with them this year and Nod’s Jewelry Beads & String Set was the perfect way to do it! The kids loved picking out the colors, shapes, and letters themselves. And I love that it keeps their stuff labeled without permanently marking it. Plus, jewelry for the whole family are also now in the works.

No real complicated directions. Just pick out the color of string, the letters in your child’s name, and a few colorful wooden beads to go at each end. Have your kiddos string on the beads, helping them with the order and direction as necessary. Loop the finished tag through the backpack’s zipper and tie securely — leaving a little length of string for it to hang nicely. Cut off the extra string and save for other jewelry!

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Rebecca and Suzanne are bloggers, graphic designers, and event stylists living in Washington, DC.  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. Suzanne is a big fan of good design, good wine, and her two rambunctious little boys. They share DIY lifestyle and event styling projects at A Feteful Life. Rebecca also blogs kid-friendly projects at Not-So-SAHM.

Back to School Family Dinner

Post by Kelsey Nixon of Kelsey’s Essentials

Back to School Dinner IdeasIf you’re like most parents, you’ve recently sent your kids back to school for another school year. This can be such an exciting time for some kids (and parents!) or a dreaded time for others. Whether you’ve got kids who are thrilled to be back in school or kids that are requiring a pep talk each morning, one way to celebrate the big change is with a back to school family dinner. It’s a great way to celebrate your kiddos as they embark upon another year and discuss things like goals. Below you’ll find my best tips for pulling together a fun dinner that is sure to be memorable and may even turn into a tradition for your growing family.

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When it comes to the menu, let your kids be in charge! By making their favorite recipes you can really make your kids feel like a big part of this event. If you get requests like boxed macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches, consider making a grown up version of these kid favorites. Dishes like my Grilled Cheese with Bacon, Apple and CheddarSpaghetti and Meatballs, and my Skillet Bacon Mac and Cheese are great options.

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Decorate the table with a school theme to get your kids in the back to school spirit. A crown is always a fun accessory that will make any young kid feel special. Traditional items like a school bus, desk supplies (1,2), books, and a globe are a great way to pull off this fun yet simple look. Or maybe you turn over the decorating responsibilities to your kids completely!

Plan a few simple activities for your dinner that will help generate conversation amongst you and your kids. Depending on the age of your children you can take a simple Alphabet book and play a game where they identify one thing that they’re looking forward to this school year based on the letter that they flip to. For example, if your 2nd grader flips to “R” they might enthusiastically exclaim “Recess!” While your 7th grader might flip to “S” and sheepishly mention that school dances should be a lot of fun. This can be a great way to discuss all of the positive things to look forward to.

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To get the whole family involved, consider picking a theme for the year. Something that the entire family can focus on as a whole. Think of it as a yearly mission statement. Creatively displaying this theme with something like this darling banner is a great way to remind your kids of the theme day in and day out. You could also make an effort to set some personal goals with each of your children as well.

A back to school dinner is also a great time to fill out a memory book recording your kid’s stats as they enter their respective grades. Whether it’s as simple as their age and height or a bit more detailed like their favorite foods and subjects in school, your kids will get a kick out of the documentation.

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For dessert, try this simple cooking craft that will get everyone in the spirit to hit the books and head back to school. Make these flashcard graham cracker cookie sandwiches by simple spreading chocolate buttercream frosting in between two graham cracker cookies. Decorate the tops of the cookies by using white frosting to pipe on traditional numbers and letters that you’d find on flash cards. These cookies are best if you make them a day in advance and let them sit in an airtight container overnight. They get soft and chewy and are so delicious! It’s a great alternative to a traditional cookie or cupcake and easy enough that your kids can help make them. My own mom made these cookie sandwiches for me and my siblings growing up!

Kelsey Nixon  is the host of Kelsey’s Essentials on Cooking Channel and author of Kitchen Confidence. Kelsey’s Essentials is also currently airing Mon-Thurs at 3pm on Food Network. Kelsey, her husband Robby, and son Oliver (“Ollie”) live in New York City. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Back to School Breakfast Celebration

Post by Rebecca and Suzanne of A Feteful Life

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Yippee! I am SO excited that my kids are back in school (I think they are too). This year, I thought it would be fun to celebrate the occasion with a little back to school breakfast with some of the Meri Meri Toot Sweet Party Collection. I put together one of the kids’ favorite breakfast “treats”: a yogurt parfait bar. I don’t know why, but as soon as I spoon layers of yogurt into a glass and call it a parfait, they’re happy to eat pounds of fruit on it. Add in a few mini cinnamon rolls in Toot Sweet cupcake wrappers topped with whimsical party kiddos (and pets!). And some sparkling orange juice in cute cups with fringed striped straws. Now that’s a back to school breakfast party.

After they’d had their fill of goodies, I measured each of them on Nod’s “ABC Animal Growth Chart.” I’ve always wanted to keep track of their heights that way and figured now was as good a time to start as any. I also do a pretty abysmal job at keeping their baby books up to date, so I thought a “back to school interview” would be a fun way to capture their personalities and kick off the new school year. I interviewed them separately as they tend to feed off what the other says and I found their answers both accurate and hysterical. And you can find our free interview printable over at A Feteful Life!

Now off to school!

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Rebecca and Suzanne are bloggers, graphic designers, and event stylists living in Washington, DC.  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. Suzanne is a big fan of good design, good wine, and her two rambunctious little boys. They share DIY lifestyle and event styling projects at A Feteful Life. Rebecca also blogs kid-friendly projects at Not-So-SAHM.  

Top 5 Dorm Room Accessories

Written by Anna Passadori, Nod’s resident trend expert

Dorm rooms can be drab and sterile – so we’re here to help! This room will serve as a place to sleep, hang out, study and more. It’s important to accessorize, create storage, organization and make it your own. Here are the top five things to think about when picking out dorm room accessories as well as some of our favorite examples below:

1)      Storage, storage, storage!! Thoughtful storage is a must-have for tiny dorm rooms. Skip the generic plastic bins and use this as an opportunity to bring in some color & style.

2)      Wall art that reminds them of home, such as personalized maps or frames with personal photos, will help curb any homesick feelings.

3)      Make the room study-friendly with lots of task lighting. Throw pillows and cozy blankets are necessary for late night study sessions on dorm room beds.

4)      Add some poufs so friends have a place to sit, and bring in your own desk chair to complete the look.

5)      And lastly, accessories are key! A great rug, a fun clock, hooks to hang bags or a glamorous mirror keeps your room unique, fun and fresh.

Top 5 Dorm Room Must-Haves

Dewey Decimal Grey & White Drawers / Orange Perfect Pitch Storage Caddy / Black Nod Art FrameBlue Saved by the Cube Bin / Grey Sweatshirt BlanketBlue Indie Plaid Sham / Green Clip It Lamp / Green Geometric Throw Pillow / Red Hola Throw Pillow / Yellow Sun Throw PillowGreen Homeroom Metal Chair / White Shaggy Pouf / Bubble Wall Clock / Prism Rug

Perfect Circle Corkboard / Bow Hook / Where the Heart Is Wall Art / Black Houndstooth Floor Bin / White I Love Lamp / Snug As A Bug Pink Velvet Quilt / Swiss Dot Pillow Sham / Bonjour Throw Pillow / Pom Pom Throw Pillow / Bow Girl Throw Pillow / Now You See It Acrylic Desk Chair / Gold Faux Leather Pouf / Scallop Mirror / Grey Big Band Rug / Grey Chime After Chime Alarm Clock