March 23, 2012

The Ideal Bookshelf by Jane Mount - Children's Books

As I've said before, the bedtime storytime routine is a very important one.  There are so many special memories and moments created while reading to your kids.  And of course, there are books that stand out for whatever reason: it may be your child's favorite, or it might trigger a memory of your child at a certain age, or because it's one your parents read to you when you were growing up.

Children's books are impactful and they should be remembered.  That's why I so love the idea behind the "Ideal Bookshelf" by Jane Mount.  Simply put, Jane Mount paints people's ideal bookshelves.  You can choose your favorite books (any type of book, but I think children's books would be the most fun!), and she will paint your own personalized ideal bookshelf.  She also has several prints already completed of classic children's books you can purchase at very reasonable prices.

As I'm writing this it just struck me...this would be the perfect baby shower gift from a parent to their child.  What a cool way to pass on storytime traditions and memories.

March 22, 2012

Book Review: Orla Kiely's Colours and Numbers

Image Courtesy of Mirror Mirror

I've always been a fan of Orla Kiely prints and stationery, so you can imagine my excitement when I found these baby books!  These cloth-bound books are not only visually appealing to baby, but also for parents.  Some of their most popular prints have been re-worked for their Numbers and Colours books for babies.  These beginner baby books make wonderful gifts, and would be a great addition to any child's book collection.  Orla Kiely's Numbers and Colours also double as super-stylish room accessories- perfect for diplaying on bookshelves and nightstands.

March 20, 2012

Old Storybooks Turned Placemats

I found this idea in Real Simple Magazine.  What a great way to repurpose those old, worn children's books that have seen better days.  This is an easy DIY project about anyone can do.  All you have to do is put the storybook pages between lamination sheets (you can buy these at any office supply store).  Or you could take them to Kinko's and have them laminated too :)

March 17, 2012

Newborn Photography Using Children's Books

Isn't this such a cute idea for newborn photos?  Newborn photography has really evolved over the past few years - and I just love this image taken by JordanQuinn Photography of baby sleeping atop a stack of classic children's books.  If you are expecting a baby and live in the Chicago area, be sure to check them out for your newborn session.

March 15, 2012

Featured Author: Jennifer Adams

Loving these new BabyLit board books by author Jennifer Adams.  Just take a look at the titles - Pride & Prejudice, Romeo & Juliet, Alice In Wonderland, and Jane Eyre...classics adults love turned into visual masterpieces for your baby.   Finally books both babies and parents can enjoy!

To give you an idea of what to expect, an excerpt from Romeo & Juliet, which Parents Magazine named one of the 20 best children's books of 2011:

1 Balcony

2 Loves

3 People Meet

4 Roses {followed on the opposite page by the Shakespeare quote “that which we call a rose …”}

Illustrated by Allison Oliver, using bold, bright color tones and high contrast images, these books are perfect for captivating the attention of babies and young toddlers.  You can see the spreads from Jane Eyre and Alice in Wonderland over at Allison Oliver's blog and the spreads for Romeo & Juliet and Pride & Prejudice in another of her posts.  I think this idea is genius - similar to the idea behind the Rockabye Baby! - lullaby renditions of our favorite rock bands.  I think this is a new trend everyone - and a good one. 

March 14, 2012

Train Wall Decals Turned Floating Bookshelves!

If all your little one can say is "choo choo!", then you will love these Train Floating bookshelves!  I found this idea on Wee Decor's blog...some moms are just so creative!  What a great way to inspire little boys to read.  If you want to get this look for your children's reading space just follow these steps:

1) Paint the background wall the color of your choice (shown in Pale Daffodil by Behr).

2) Purchase 3 of the Straight & Narrow Book Ledge shelves in espresso from the Land of Nod.

3) Purchase 3 sets of the Classic Train Engine Wall Decals in pale blue from Wee Decor.  You will also need 3 sets of the Classic Train Caboose Wall Decals in pale blue.

4)  Hang your bookshelves first.  Use the wheels from the extra train cars underneath each bookshelf as shown.

5)  Finish the look by adding the tracks, train engine, caboose and clouds! 

March 13, 2012

Book Review: Eric Carle's 1 2 3

Eric Carle ranks high on my list of favorite children's authors - not only for his writing, but mostly for his vibrant illustrations.  Perfect for teaching number, color, and animal concepts, Eric Carle's 1 2 3, helps little readers count to ten as more animals join the group.  Each page has the corresponding number of dots and animals to help your children learn to count.  There is even a pull out "flip book" at the end to practice counting from 1-10 (which by the way my daughter has already torn out!).  However, we still like this book and read it often at bedtime.  I also like that it's padded on the outside, which makes it perfect for babies and young toddlers.

March 09, 2012

Kids Library Bags by Cocoon Couture

I should be writing a book review about now, but I have an online shopping problem so retail wins!  I found the cutest Australian-based online boutique tonight called Cocoon Couture.  I have a weakness for anything with birds and owls - so their designs immediately caught my eye.  I've been looking for cute library book bags for my kids and I think I might just have to buy the Woodland Library Bag

Also Cocoon Couture has a great promotion right now.  Just purchase one of their adorable bookends or wall hooks and your library bag will be free

For a list of US Retailers click here.

March 06, 2012

I {heart} Land of Nod!

I was flipping through the Land of Nod catalog that arrived yesterday and discovered this modern reading space for kids. I was especially drawn to the Jaya Rocker because of its versatility.  This chair has a life beyond the nursery & child's room and could truly fit in any room of the house.  And the more I think about it...the Bright Idea Floor Lamp is also a stylish, functional addition for the home.

 I love everything about the clean look of this modern children's reading space.  Of course I favor the Straight & Narrow Book Ledge because the titles are displayed lower on the wall where kids can see and reach them.  I also like that it doesn't overpower the books or protrude too far out from the wall.  I love the Grey Shag Rug they have pictured, but also think this rug would be a fun addition to any children's reading corner. 

Dot Matrix Rug

March 05, 2012

Storia: Download the New Children's App For 5 Free E-books!

I definitely prefer regular children's books, but e-books have their time and place.  I especially enjoy purchasing the e-versions of my kid's favorite storybooks, because they are so interactive and fun.  They are a perfect alternative to turning on the TV...and great for long car rides!

Scholastic is jumping into the e-book market with the launch of Storia, a new children's app with over 1,300 e-books that can be purchased directly from the publisher or retailer.  Intended for children ages 3-13, Storia is a free app, and will be available first at, then on iTunes later this month. Download the app to receive five free books!

March 02, 2012

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Opens in Theaters Today

I took my kids to see a movie today for the first time ever!  I was a little nervous to take a two and three year old to the movies, but Dr. Seuss' The Lorax was a hit.  Now I must admit we had popcorn, treats, and drinks to keep them occupied - but it wasn't even neccessary.  They were so captivated by the action, imagery, and storyline - it really ended up being a fun experience.  And we didn't even have to take a potty break!

It seems reviews are mixed on this movie.  Some critics say it strays to far from the book - but I thought it was a cute movie with a great environmental message to protect nature and understand there are consequences when we don't.  What I most enjoyed was The Lorax maintained the lively and coloful visuals we are used to seeing in Dr. Seuss books.  I can not get enough of these trees - I just LOVE the color scheme.  It makes me want to throw a Lorax themed party or decorate a room!  Here's a few ideas I found in case you are inspired to do the same...

Truffula Tree Toppers by Hank and Hunt

The Lorax Cake Pops by Bakerella

It's Party Time from Tanya Staab
The Lorax Tree Centerpiece by Gwynn Wasson Designs
Did you catch this?  A Lorax Moustache Pillow!
Ceiling Poms at Clara's Closet
Truffula Tree Craft from Babble

March 01, 2012

DIY Project: IKEA Bookshelf Turned Storage Bench

What a great idea for any living space that needs more seating and extra storage (for your kids books of course)!  This modern storage bench was created with the IKEA Lack Shelf Unit, but you could also use the IKEA Expedit Shelving Unit.  Originally featured in Better Homes & Gardens, and later featured on Apartment Therapy. 

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