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Designing the Ultimate Dream Nursery in Six Easy Steps

There are few greater joys in life than starting a family. And while getting ready for that little bundle is a job in and of itself there are certain action items on the to-do list that are also crazy fun. One being the nursery design. Whether you’re a parent-to-be with a pinterest board full of ideas or you have no idea where to start, The Land of Nod is lending a design savvy hand. They’ve crafted a punch list of six must haves that will leave your baby with a room they can enjoy for years to come.

The Crib

The one piece that is definitely worth the splurge is the crib. With your little one sleeping in it for several years, investing in a sturdy crib is a good idea. And if you choose a gender neutral option, it can last through more siblings to come.

Things to Consider

  • Be sure to check that the crib meets all US safety standards. Vintage or family heirlooms might not be the best bet for meeting all the safety standards so leave these items for decor elements.
  • Opt for a toddler rail if you have a climber who isn’t yet ready for a twin bed to keep little ones that are climbing out safe.

Carousel Crib | Larkin Gold Crib | Topside Midnight Blue Crib | Panorama Acrylic Crib

 The Crib Bedding

Consider bedding the final layer to that showstopping crib. This is the absolute perfect place to really infuse your style and set the color palette or theme for the nursery.

Things to Consider

  • Stock up on crib sheets. We’re talking at least 5-6 or more if possible so you always have a clean set on hand.
  • If you love a classic look then a crib skirt is a gorgeous addition. But if you’re all about modern, then totally fine to skip.
  • Baby’s skin is sensitive so be sure to opt for bedding that is extra soft and 100% cotton.

Freehand Crib Bedding | Well Nested Organic Crib Bedding | Wild Excursion Lion Crib Bedding | Deep Space Crib Bedding

The Changing Table

Diapers are a way of life with babies and making sure your changing station is stocked with essentials will make that life so much easier. Your options range from a freestanding changing table to a combination changing top/ dresser for smaller spaces.

Things to Consider

  • Bins or dresser drawers are great for storing all the little diapering neccessities like diapers, wipes, lotion and ointments, changes of clothes, etc.
  • Keep toys within arms reach to occupy your little one while you’re changing diapers or hang a mobile over head for a fun view.
  • Much like crib sheets, stocking up on changing pad covers will make life so much easier. Because messes are inevitable.

Topside Wide Changing Table | Campaign Changing Table | | Uptown Wide Changing Table | Wrightwood Changing Table

The Nursery Chair

A cozy corner for parent-baby bonding is such an important part of the nursery. It’s a spot for rocking your baby to sleep, feeding, reading, and most definitely some cuddling. So to say you’ll be spending a lot of time in this chair is an understatement. Make sure you craft the coziest spot possible with these nursery chair musts.

Things to Consider

  • Choose a rocking chair or glider who’s movement will help with lulling your baby to sleep.
  • Durability is another big one. You’ll want to pick fabric that cleans super easy and withstands lots and lots of use.
  • Don’t forget arm rests! They come in handy when you need a little support. Also of importance is choosing a chair that’s wide enough for cuddle time when your little baby becomes a rambunctious toddler.

Milo Glider | Toby Glider | Everly Rocking Chair | Cosgrove Swivel Glider

Storage, lots and lots of storage

Creating a dream nursery space includes making sure that space is set-up with lots and lots of storage. From toys to books, all those baby clothes and gear too, they all need a special spot in the nursery.

Things to Consider

  • Think about storage that will not only work for your current needs like diapering but will also work later on for other items like loads of toys.
  • Stock up on large floor bins. These gems are great for baby blankets but also helpful when quickly picking up toys. And if you get low-profile versions, you can easily tuck them under the crib. Baskets are everything when it comes to organizing kid’s stuff.
  • For bits and bobbles that need to stay out of baby’s reach, wall shelves are perfect. We love them near the changing table for storing supplies. You can also add bins and baskets to standard bookshelves for organizing smaller supplies that stay hidden out of sight.
  • Don’t forget hanging closet storage. They are perfect for organizing the tiniest of clothes and can be re-purposed for non-clothes gear later. Think art supplies, board games and yes, more toys.

Store by Numbers Cube Bins | Melange Floor Bin | Silver Stripe Woven Hamper | Honeycomb Wall Shelf


Now for the fun stuff, DECOR! Once you have the functionality squared away you can tackle that layer that really adds personality and includes those special pieces that make you happy.

Things to Consider

  • A great rug is key. For wood flooring, go for a plush style for cushion but forgo long pile rugs that can be a choking hazard. Have carpet? Then a flat weave is perfect for adding an extra splash of color minus the bulk. And no matter the style, be sure that rug cleans easily.
  • Curtains are another great decor layer; especially if you want baby to nap during the day. For this purpose picking a style with a built-in blackout liner or a blackout shade helps to darken the room at naptime. Roman shades or tailored panels also work well for smaller spaces that don’t need that extra bulk.
  • The final piece are those family heirlooms or even special items that you are drawn too. Fill the nursery with a style that reflects your taste and your family and it’s guaranteed to be a spot you love.

Achievement Banner Flags | Jellybean Rug | Red Positive Blackout Curtains | Unicorn Charming Creatures Decor

For more inspiration, helpful tips and really cute decor, head to The Land of Nod and get started on that dream nursery design.

The Dessert that Will Take Your Party Spread to the Next Level

This is the kind of dessert that is gone in a flash. The kind that people reminisce about for days after the last reveler has headed home and the kind worth indulging in. Scratch that, over indulging in. Crafted by Ayesha Curry and Amanda Haas for their killer cocktail party story, these Chocolate Cherry Coconut Brownies are a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

Chocolate Cherry Coconut Brownies
prep time
30 Minute/s
cook time
30 Minute/s
total time
1 Hour/s
Serves 36Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup dried sour cherries
  • 3/4 cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 cup large unsweetened coconut flakes*
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 3/4 cup unrefined (virgin) coconut oil*
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour, such as Cup4Cup or Bob's Red Mill
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar (raw cane sugar)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Oil a 9- by 9-in. baking pan and line bottom with a sheet of parchment paper large enough to come up 2 opposite ends of pan and hang over sides. Put cherries in a small bowl and pour in liqueur. Let soak 30 minutes. Meanwhile, toast coconut on a rimmed baking sheet until golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt 3/4 cup chocolate chips with the coconut oil, heating in 20-second bursts and then stirring, until chocolate is 3/4 melted. Stir until melted, then cool slightly.
  3. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla to melted chocolate and whisk to mix. Whisk in flour mixture. Drain cherries (save liqueur for cocktails). Stir cherries and remaining 3/4 cup chocolate chips into batter.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let brownies cool (or chill), then lift out using parchment paper and cut into 1 1/2-in. squares.
  5. Arrange brownies on a serving tray and top with coconut flakes.
23 Best Last-Minute Party Foods
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23 Best Last-Minute Party Foods
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Photography: Thomas J. Story for Sunset Magazine | Original Story: Sunset Magazine

These Food Stars are Sharing the Secret Recipe for a Killer Cocktail Party

Food mavens and culinary masterminds are just a few of the ways to describe these all stars. Ayesha Curry of Food Network fame and Amanda Haas, culinary director of Williams Sonoma joined creative forces with Sunset magazine to bring you the 5 step process to throwing a killer cocktail party. And if we had to add a sixth tip, it would most certainly be don a ridiculously cute skirt. Get the scoop on mastering the art of stress-free cocktailing, plus a tried and true recipe coming up next!

the Recipe for a Killer Cocktail Party

Set a schedule

“Draw up a list of tasks and add how much time each will take, so you leave enough time to do everything,” urges Amanda. “On party day, add time to nap.”

Loosen up

“Include a personal touch so people know you’re not taking entertaining too seriously,” says Amanda. Her suggestion: kid-drawn recipe labels or nametags.

Make a mocktail

Ayesha always makes a festive, nonalcoholic sip. “I have kids! And a lot of pregnant friends,” she says. “Substituting the alcohol with a refreshing fruit purée and a touch of fizz makes all the difference.”

Make cooking part of the fun

Get your guests involved in the cooking, like making biscuits, suggests Ayesha. “I like getting people’s hands dirty.”

Deputize a DJ

For music, “delegate to a friend who’s a music fanatic and ask for fun, festive, and upbeat,” says Amanda. “When in doubt … Adele!” adds Ayesha.

Signature Cocktails for Autumn Affairs
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Signature Cocktails for Autumn Affairs
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Photography: Thomas J. Story for Sunset Magazine | Original Story: Sunset Magazine