Land of Nod at South Coast Plaza

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Land of Nod.  I was provided compensation.  All opinions, and I have lots of them, are mine.

land of nod front counterThe Land of Nod is now open to the public at South Coast Plaza!  I was invited to their private Grand Opening party last week to check out the store and all the amazing things it has to offer.  To start, the store is GORGEOUS!  It is styled and merchandised amazingly well and there are rad details every where you look.  Land of Nod had shared the process of painting the wall behind the counter leading up to the event on their instagram and I think it turned out so cool.  I’m trying to convince my husband that our brick fireplace needs to look like that.  If you are in Orange County, go check it out for yourself:

Land of Nod at South Coast Plaza

3333 S. Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA  92626

3rd floor of Crystal Court in the Crate and Barrel/Anthropologie wing

me and amy at the land of nod opening partyThis was my first time using my new 30 mm lens for my new camera so I was really nervous about how the photos would come out.  And in the midst of trying to take photos and instagram the party (follow #NodinCA to see all the photos!), the photos I took pretty much make it look like there is no one else in the store.  But the party was SO fun with lots of blogging friends and local creatives.  I finally got to meet some awesome ladies in person and there was a little celebrity sight seeing to be had with Joy and Emily.  My friend Amy came with me to check out the store and was so forgiving, as always, as I chatted with people all over the store.

brass pig at land of nod storeI heard from several other guests that they wanted to also purchase some of the props used to style the store.  While not every single thing in the store might be for sale, the props give you amazing ideas on how to style your new finds.  Their attention to detail is like no other and the decor is inspiring and welcoming.

land of nod opens at south coast plazaThe store is filled with great gift ideas in a range of price points, like the Spy Kit and Presidents Puzzle (how did this not come home with me?) so it is important to know that the store is much more than just decor.  My kids love to dress up and the store has a bunch of different ways to encourage this type of imaginative play, like this bin of felt glasses in fun styles.  And they have got storage covered with tons of sizes and colors of boxes and bins to help you organize your home.  What I loved the most is getting to check out the quality in person.  Land of Nod is a name you can trust but it is still sometimes nice to hold something in your own hands and feel great about the purchase.

artist collab with the land of nodLand of Nod looks for new artists to create amazing and unique art for the store decor and products. I love that they are willing to give an unknown a chance to be part of a large project.

lately lily custom illustrationAnd I was delighted to find a custom illustration done by the artist from local fave, Lately Lily, in the goodie bag!

checking out childrens books at land of nodThe Land of Nod staff opens their arms to children.  What better way to check out the play tables than to have them set up for kid’s to color at?  The displays are created knowing that children will be shopping in the store with their parents and the store is laid out accordingly.  Amy took a break from the party to check out some of the kid’s books.

gummy bear night lightI’m sure you have heard that terribly catchy “Gummy Bear” song.  My boys love it.  So I knew when I saw these gummy bear night lights that I had to get them for them.  My youngest son keeps his as close to his bed as possible at the very corner of his bookshelf.  They REALLY love them.  After I put the batteries in, they ran around the neighborhood showing them to all the neighbor kids.

gummy bear night light and death starMy older son keeps his on top of his armoire across the room from his bed.  Or at least he starts there.  I often find him in bed with my son in the morning.  We have had trouble in the past with night lights not being bright enough.  These are awesome!  Super bright and they shine a little bit of colored light up on the ceiling above them.  I think these would also make a great gift item.

binoculars from land of nodMy older son is and has been in full spy mode for a few months now.  So I had to bring home these binoculars from the party.  He keeps them on his bedroom door so he can quickly grab them should he need to go investigate something.  You know, like the little girl’s house down the street.  These spy games provide great teaching moments for all of us…

wooden fishing gameMy youngest son is a little bit more patient during play than my older son so I knew he would love this wooden, magnetic fishing game.  It is funny to see how while this is a pretty basic toy, his video gaming experience has carried over.  We played this before he headed off to preschool this morning and every time we caught a fish, he told me what kind of fish it was ie water, fire, earth etc. like in Skylanders.  Well, except when we caught an orange fish and I asked him what type of fish that was and he thought for a second and said “orange juice.”  Maybe he doesn’t know Skylanders that well after all…

stuffed chicken at land of nodThere are a few more things I have my eye on at the store.  Luckily it is super close to my house and I can pop in and browse whenever I want.  How darling is this stuffed chicken?  I stinking love it.  You can always buy online if you do not live close to a store, but if you are in Orange County, you should definitely drop by.

wall art at land of nod costa mesaAnd while we already own a ton of artwork that we are currently framing and getting ready to hang, there is something magical about a 3-D piece of art.  It adds so much whimsy and interest to a wall.  I may be in the market for this giraffe head.

Don’t forget to follow Land of Nod on Facebook for in-store events, sale info and lots of inspiring content.

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Land of Nod, but all my opinions are my own. #PMedia #NODinCA   http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.”

 

Craft with the Bloggers was SO fun!

Craft with the BloggersA few weeks ago I hosted a really fun Valentine’s Day craft event with Kelly, Lauren and Chelsea at Crafted at the Port of LA.  It turned out awesome and it was super fun to see people making our crafts.

hanging balloon valentinesThese are the samples I hung of the balloon Valentine’s.  I forgot to bring my camera so instead of making you scroll through a bunch of just ok iPhone pics (you know, like my last few posts during events) I decided to just swipe a few from Chelsea and then direct you to their recaps.  :)  I really enjoyed working with these gals and I hope we get to do something fun like this again soon!  BIG thank you to Crafted for having us.  If you haven’t been yet, you should totally check it out! And a really big thank you to all the people who came out and made crafts with us!

Chelsea’s recap

Lauren’s recap

Kelly’s recap

Images above by Chelsea and Ryan

Alt Summit is Ridiculously Awesome

roommates at Alt summitIf you saw my post from yesterday you know that Alt Summit did BIG things for me.  The outcome was totally different from I thought it would be during my conference planning but I love the way it turned out.  But the other part of Alt that is SO necessary is the social aspect and the pure awesomeness that is everywhere.  Alt Summit is ridiculously awesome.  I think Alt was such a great experience for me because the majority of the people there are all design oriented in some way.  We are like-minded, creative and driven.  That isn’t to say a “mom blogger” wouldn’t get anything out of it, but it really is geared more toward creative bloggers.  Not much traditional business or the back-end of blogging is discussed but mostly how to collaborate or get guest post spots for diys, etc.  The content was perfect for me at the stage that I am at.  Next year, I might get something totally different out of it.  Yes, I’m already planning on going next year.

The people who I met really made this trip extra special for me.  Some of them I knew online, some I had never heard of before.  Forming relationships in real life is so important for your support system as these are the gals that you can confide in, ask advice from and just laugh about blogging stuff with.  I shared a room with 4 other girls.  Yes, 5 women in one room.  I had a fair amount of anxiety about it before hand.  I’m super high maintenance so the idea that I would have to get up at 4 am everyday just to get a shower made me sweat.  But it turned out to be awesome.  I finally got to meet my online BFF Jenny (top photo).  I think angels sang.  She is just as lovely in person as she is online.  Lauren (bottom left photo) was who I get along really well with who was also an Alt first timer.  I got to meet Cyd (bottom right photo standing right next to me) who I instantly bonded with and wish I could make move to California if for no other reason than to listen to rap with.  And I met Jenn (bottom right photo standing next to Cyd and she is wearing a cape!  LOVE her) who is insanely talented with such a fresh outlook and is passionate about life.  There were so many great conversations in that room.  I learned a ton from them and I feel honored to be able to call them friends.

Wednesday night brand dinners at AltCyd and Jenny were speakers on panels at Alt.  My roommates were pretty much rock stars.  Not sure how I ended up with that group but so glad I did.  Jenny was also responsible for decorating 2(!) of the Wednesday night brand dinners (the Windows party on the left and Bing party on the right).  We ran around town helping her set them up.  I loved seeing her creativity in person and it was also really cool to check out a few restaurants around Salt Lake City since we didn’t have much time to actually see the city during our trip.

dinner with whimseybox at altThen Lauren and I headed off to dinner hosted by WhimseyBox.  It was a really fun experience hanging with the WhimseyBox gals and hearing the story of the company.  We met some great new friends like Laura and Maggie.  These dinners are a great way to ease in to not only talking to brands, but also meeting new people in a much less overwhelming way than the actual conference.

weather in slcIt was a great night until we learned that because the entire town was crazy busy with conferences the taxis were next to impossible to come by.  The restaurant suggested we walk across the street to the mall valet where we might have better luck.  So we did.  And just about froze to death.  I’m not sure I have ever been that cold.  We didn’t think we were ever going to get home.  We huddled up in the Cheesecake Factory and remembered that the hotel had a car service.  They came and got us and we were finally able to thaw out.  Have you heard?  I’m from California.  I don’t really own socks and the cold pretty much just laughed at my jacket.  Side note, how cute is Lauren’s phone case?

hank and hunt speaking at altDay one of the panels was amazing.  Jenny spoke about shooting great DIYs along with Chelsea Costa (who is just darling!!)  There are tons of Alt recaps floating around with actual tips taken from the panels so look around for those if you are looking for  content from the speakers.  I just want to share the overall experience (again with the iphone photos you must be thinking.  But I seriously can’t take pictures indoors.  I need a class on that!).  The panels were made up of a great mix of bloggers or brand reps and covered all sides of a topic.  They opened the floor up for Q&A and I never once got bored (and I have a very short attention span).

you are my fave speaking at altMelanie also spoke.  This panel talked about blog collaborations and how to get those contributor spots.  SO good!  The panels were pretty much back to back and I am so bummed that I didn’t make time to get to all the brand lounges.  I totally spaced and figured they would all be there the next day too but they weren’t!  I’m making a note of that for next year.

lunch at alt summitThis is what lunch time looks like at a table of bloggers.  I promise they were not rude and we actually did have a great time.

clue party sponsored by joss and main and la cremaAnd then it was time to party.  Night one is one big hosted party.  This year Joss and Main teamed with La Crema and Dash and Albert to put on a Clue themed party.  Everyone dressed up in a color theme that represented the names of the characters.  The furniture from Joss and Main and the rugs from Dash and Albert totally transformed the ballroom.  It was amazing.  I got to hang out with another fabulous lady, Lexy.  If there was a prom queen crowned for the conference I’m pretty sure she would be it.  I wish we would have gotten more time to spend together.  We got to hang out with Kelly and Alexandra too.  Excited to be spending time at the Crafting with Bloggers event with Kelly next weekend.  She’s local so I think I’ll be seeing more of her.  And I wanted to bring Alexandra home with me so we could hang out all the time.  I love her!  As usual, Lauren and I hung out and sampled the wines.  The team from La Crema was super fun and I’m glad I got to meet them during the party, they even used a photo of mine on their Facebook page (do you “like” them?)

Lauren and monkey I had such an awesome time with Lauren at the conference.  We have grown close over the last year or so and she and I travel really well together.  She also does my hair.  Which is cool.  And she is always willing to take silly pictures with me.  I heart you Lauren.

land of nod lounge at alt summitDay 2 I made sure to visit all the lounges.  I had seen some Pin boards by Land of Nod prior to the conference for a Marie Antoinette style tea party and was excited by what I saw.  They BROUGHT it!  The room was decked out in a gorgeous and fun way! Why yes that is a boat shaped like a swan.  Which now I have to have.  Consider it on every one of my wish lists for the rest of my life.

mini parties at alt summitNight 2 brought a bunch of mini parties.  This is such a fun idea and I kind of want to do this for my next kid’s party.  Each room is so different and it is another chance to hang out with all your new friends and the brands who are hosting.

emily henderson and orlando soria at alt summitThe Girls with Glasses and Method put on the most amazing dance party.  We spent a LOT of time in here.  Go Mighty teamed up with Red Envelope to put on an awesome party where you could make someone you admire a valentine.  And then I hung out with HGTV celebs Orlando (Or-lawn-do) Soria and Emily Henderson.  For real, they were SO gracious and willing to take pictures with everyone.  It must have been super overwhelming for them.  Emily is to bloggers as moths are to flame (boom SAT worthy right there).  I probably wouldn’t have asked them for a picture because they had just walked in and I didn’t want to spook them but one of my friends was dying to meet Emily and we knew this was her chance.  I was instructed to not let them go anywhere (in a non-threatening way) so that someone could go grab my friend.  So we took a picture.  Orlando is super cool and has his own blog.  And you can read his Alt recap right here.

smilebooth photos from alt 1And there was a Smilebooth.  SO fun.  I have a ridiculous amount of photos so I’ve only picked a few to share.  They make me smile.  Jenny, Alexandra, me and Lauren.

smilebooth photos from alt summit 2Lauren, me, one of my favorite people of ALL time Melanie and Corey (who incidentally I didn’t actually meet although we photoboothed together – so Corey, nice to kind of meet you!)

smilebooth photos from alt summit 3Danae, Jenn, Me, Cyd and Lauren.  Danae is a new friend who recently moved to LA.  She came to our Kismet PR class and I’m so glad she was at Alt.  I would have loved more time with her but I loved seeing her around!

smilebooth image for alt summit 4But if I had gotten nothing else out of Alt, finally meeting my boo, Jenny in person would have been enough.  She is a constant source of advice, support, laughs, and immense inspiration for me.  Alt was a total blast and I can’t wait for next year!

Oh yeah!  Here is one big thing I took away from my travels to Alt.  It is cheaper to take two bags rather than one extra large, heavy bag.  At least on Delta anyway.   I had to pay $115.  EACH WAY!  Yikes.

For sure go back and look at my instagram at more fun pictures from the conference.  And you can search instagram and twitter for #altsummit to see what everyone else is posting.  If you are looking for hard facts and tips from the sessions, go to the Alt blog for round up links.