As Seen on ABC's Shark Tank

Happy 2nd Birthday (to Us!)

Posted by Jenn L. on

We're celebrating our two year anniversary this week! It seems like only yesterday that Little Nomad was born when 762 awesome mamas backed our Roam Free play mats on Kickstarter. We raised over $100k in 30 days! Since then, our community has grown to thousands and we were even featured on Shark Tank.

First LN shipment and Shark Tank pitch

Thank you so much for being a part of the journey. We've been so grateful to find other moms who are just as excited to create an amazing play space for their little nomad without turning their home into a circus.

Divider

We wanted to feature a few special supporters from our very earliest days in today's post:

Courtney, Owner of T'Nees was and still is a huge supporter. Not only does she love her LN mat but she has always shared her expertise in the business and is a true example of women bringing up other women. We've loved getting a chance to work with people like Courtney.

Courtney from T'nees Teepees

Rachel is one of our very first kickstarter backers. She first connected with founder, Elizabeth, through Instagram right before the Kickstarter began. They both had little girls around the same age and they were both named Talia/Taliah, resulting in an instant soul-sister connection. Rachel says

"not only did the play mat immediately grab my attention with the color but the print was gorgeous! When my mat arrived around the holidays before my daughter was one, it was perfect timing - my whole family was in awe at the quality and look of it!"

Rachel Original Little Nomad Kickstarter Backer

Another one of of very first backers is Laura. Laura shared with us what made her fall in love with Little Nomad:

"The LN mats were everything I was looking for: it looks like a gorgeous rug, and yet is padded and safe for my kids to play. No one who enters my apartment knows its a foam mat, but rather it looks like a proper, sophisticated rug."

Laura original Kickstarter backer

Here at Little Nomad we appreciate each and every customer. We love that we get a chance to be in your homes and a part of making some of your very first memories with your babies. Thank you for continuing to share your stories with us and be a part of our LN Tribe.

Divider

But it's not going to stop with just play mats...We understand when your little one is tucked in bed after a full day, you want to relax into a sea of calm - not in an ocean of chaos. Which is why we wanted to do more, and what's inspired our new mission:

"To help you create a beautiful safe play space that’s fun for your little one without cluttering your home."

To this end, we've been carefully selecting fun wooden toys, beautiful decor, and functional-yet-chic storage solutions handpicked from brands that share our values. Our beautiful range of play gyms, toys, and storage baskets have all been tested by us. They all have the Little Nomad stamp of approval for making mama and child happy.

New decor, swings, baskets, and wooden toys

Thank you for helping us celebrate these amazing two years!

With love,

The Little Nomad team

Read more →

Recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Posted by Jenn L. on

If you're family is anything like mine, carving pumpkins is a non-negotiable. It is a rite of passage to choose the perfect pumpkin and get your hands dirty! I love carving pumpkins but more than anything, I love the fact that at the end of it we are able to make delicious pumpkin seeds.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Ingredients

I used to keep the recipe simple until I was introduced to this simple spiced pumpkin seed recipe and there is no going back.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Ingredients

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

INGREDIENTS

  • Pumpkin seeds, cleaned of pulp, rinsed and laid out to dry overnight. 
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 
  • 1 Pinch Cinnamon
  • 1 Pinch Cumin
  • 1 Pinch Cayenne
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Lay out seeds on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. 
  3. In a small bowl, toss the seeds with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne and honey.
  4. Spread seeds back on baking sheet. 
  5. Bake for 15 minutes
  6. Scrape from pan and stir seeds as they cool to prevent them from sticking.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Roasted Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Final Product

Read more →

Cooper's Nursery Reveal

Posted by Jenn L. on

Little Nomad Cooper's Nursery Reveal

We are SO excited to be featuring a nursery created by one of our favorite LN Mama's, Addie Gundry. Addie's original post can be found here. She shares some background and her vision with us below.

"Our little nursery started out quite simple. When I was pregnant I began with all things light and airy, very neutral, and super sweet. Our house is very neutral and so I tend to design in that direction. My favorite color is white, which you wouldn’t guess after taking a look at Cooper’s room! I often say he brightened up my world, and that he sure did.

So like I said, I like things neutral, but this crazy thing happened. We had a baby, we met him, and he was spectacularly wild! Cooper James was born on September 25th of 2017 and this boy has captured our hearts with his curiosity and demeanor, his continuous smile and contagious giggle. His light and innocent room wasn’t up to par with the playful boy inside. I changed my tune and wanted it to be magical, dancing with fun. I wanted animals and color, spectacular spirit, balloons and beach balls. The famous line you hear at the circus is, “Come one, come all”, and this welcome phrase reminded me of our happy boy who smiles at everyone.

Cooper greets me with a smile when I peek over his crib in the morning, beams at servers and patrons at a restaurant, laughs at Paisley, and my favorite - his ear-to-ear grin walking down the pew in church. The magic of the circus and the spectacle it creates felt like a perfect starting point for his "new" nursery decor!

WHERE TO BEGIN?

FIND INSPIRATION IN ANYTHING

Many years ago people began using the word “circus” as a metaphor for extraordinary disorder. Audiences were dazzled by constant activity, craziness so to speak, and although the circus produced a crazy show and attracted tons of people making a town chaotic, in fact the circus itself has always been tightly organized. The movement of people, animals and supplies across the country by railroad was incredibly disciplined. On multiple occasions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Army followed circuses to learn “up to date methods of moving men, animals and baggage.” What I love about this story, and what is so intriguing to me about the circus, is that something so spectacular and chaotic, can still be organized and deliberate.

I wanted to leave behind the white and peaceful nature of his nursery decor, which was lovely for the first 6 months of Cooper's life, and create patterns and colors to emulate this controlled chaos and beauty. I love the book If I Ran the Circus and something about that book and these stories I read about the "real" circus really spoke to me. Before I go on, I know that there are some issues with animal rights when it comes to the circus and to be clear, I LOVE animals and would never want an animal harmed. When I say I love the circus, I love the spirit of it, the inclusiveness of it, the magic. So. Let's move on!

Little Nomad Cooper's Nursery Reveal Red Baskets

PICK A COLOR AND/OR PATTERN

Find a color and/or a pattern that you love and go from there. That is what I did when I saw Pehr's circus print. Cooper’s room is quite tiny and so attempting to pack it with color could get tricky. I decided to focus on two main colors (blue and red) and fill the rest in with pattern and texture. I was immediately drawn to Pehr’s design. The elephant riding a bike really cracked me up, because I once heard, and now confirmed, that Alcohol was the vice of choice for elephants. They drank beer and wine but preferred bourbon and Tennessee whiskey when they could get it. Elephants were wild! Wild animals, check! This led me to the stuffed ones.

We received so many stuffed animal gifts and these canvas containers are perfect for holding them all. The giant giraffe was a gift from my best friend, one of the first items in Cooper’s room. The giraffe needed a friend, so along came the tiger thanks to Melissa & Doug. I wanted to keep some innocence and friendliness to the space, as these wild animals can be scary, so I added a deer! And of course they are free to roam about the room, no cages ;) Ok, I am starting to sound like a circus leader!

Little Nomad Cooper's Nursery Reveal

DIY DIY DIY! DON'T SEE COLOR!

If you find a toy, a piece of furniture, a frame, imagine what color it can be not the color it is. I became a spray painting maniac and I find that it is so much easier to decorate when you can change the colors!

From the side table and bear standing on top to the bookshelf, the elephant on the door, the diaper dresser and the frames – everything started white, black or brown and became bright and bold! I also put up the wallpaper on our accent wall and it was much easier than I thought it would be! I put up the vinyl stars above his crib. I loved being deeply part of the design by making things to fit the room.

I think my favorite DIY project is his “book shelf”. People sometimes think that the circus is a form of escapism, but in reality the circus celebrated the realities of the world. The circus was at times the first place that Americans encountered new technology and Circuses staged spectacular reenactments of current events. To me the circus is as educational as it is fun, and this reminded me of illustrated books. We have a million, and I love them. I could buy ten books a day, there are just SO many! I wanted to have buckets of books, plus a way to display some of my favorite on the wall. I knew that a shelf would be tricky, as he climbs and pulls things down, so I found this cool old “chicken coop” basket display that was brown and rusted. I knew I could nail to the wall, making it safe and practical. I of course then spray painted it red!

BE PRACTICAL

My favorite story is the tale of the white fluffy rug! Let’s just say that there is no room for a white rug at a circus! So we started out with a plush shag WHITE rug. Like, was I crazy? Talk about a first time mom fail! How on earth I thought that would stay clean is beyond me. And to be clear, it did not stay clean. One morning I spilled an entire cup of coffee on it and another day Cooper spit up after eating carrots. My white rug became slightly brown and orange! I knew I did not want to replace it with another rug, because this would inevitably happen again! When decorating I think people assume rugs are the only way to get style and pattern, but I am here to tell you that there is another option! A foam mat. You may be thinking, what? But it is true. Little Nomad makes the most beautiful foam play mats that look like rugs. We covered Cooper’s room WALL TO WALL with one and I am never looking back. In fact, I spilled coffee this morning and wiped it right up!

I also really loved that the circus traveled and I wanted to find decor that he could have for awhile, as in move to his big-boy room eventually! I loved this map right when I saw it!

Little Nomad Cooper's Nursery Reveal Stool Green chest

FAVORITE PART? 

This is a hard one! I have to say that Cooper’s alcove for his crib looks like it was made for just that. I put up about a hundred or so gold stars and I imagine the animals and circus talent laying on the grass after a long day and big show, gazing up at the stars. This little room came with this little alcove that was perfectly made for a crib, and for stars. This was a no brainer and feels truly magical.

Creating a room for someone is really special. Loving every inch of that space, customizing colors and choosing permanent decor is fulfilling. I can’t tell you how much I have loved creating a circus for Cooper. Every morning it makes me smile and I love watching him explore and play in his little magical space.

If you have any questions, please reach out! adia.gundry@gmail.com or DM me on Instagram @addiegundry

Little Nomad Cooper's Nursery Reveal Red Tricycle

 

Read more →

Homemade Slime (or "Goo" as my kids call it!)

Posted by Jenn L. on

Our family is on a huge "goo" kick right now. I'm not sure why it's become SO exciting lately, but I have to say, any activity that occupies a 5-, 3-, and 2- year old for more than 20 minutes is a huge win in my book. When I realized how easy it was and how few ingredients you actually need to make it yourself we decided to give it a go!
Slime Ingredients
You will need:
  • 4 oz. of clear Elmer’s glue - Do not use white Elmer's glue as the glitter will get lost.
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • glitter (I bought mine at Michaels)
  • 1 tablespoon saline solution (make sure the ingredient list includes "buffered" saline)

Simply mix all the ingredients together! Add more a few drops of saline solution to thicken the slime if needed.

How To Make Slime

I used an old jam jar to do the mixing and you could even store it in there. I will say that similar to playdoh or any sort of messy activity, the goo should stay on hard surfaces and should not get into the hands of any little ones who might want to put it into their mouths.

Getting Slimy!

I think the little jars filled with goo would make the cutest party favors! Easy, homemade and fun for all ages!

Slime Party Favors 

Read more →

LN Spotlight: Prism Autism Center

Posted by Jenn L. on

We are thrilled to have our latest LN Spotlight be on Rebecca Giammatti of Prism Autism. When we first met Rebecca we were so excited for Little Nomad to be a part of this amazing facility that she and her Co-Founder (and twin sister!), Rachael Coburn, created. 

What is our background and how did Prism come to be?

My Co-Founder Rachael Coburn and I have been involved in the treatment of children with autism for nearly 20 years now. After summer internships during Freshman year of undergraduate studies introduced us to this wonderful population, we knew we would never leave! After many years of providing intervention in home and school settings, we also wanted to create a center where very young children could come and receive their applied behavior analytic intervention (ABA). Prism Autism Center provides this space where, using scientifically-validated, naturalistic, play-based instruction, our Board Certified Behavior Analysts and technicians work to remediate the core symptoms of autism.

Prism

Tell us a little bit about your school and services.
Due to the intensive nature of our programming, our clients spend large portions of each day, every day here. We wanted to replicate a more natural and comfortable environment. As we work with the very young, we play on the floor most of the day. The mats provide a soft, washable surface to play and learn on.

Prism
Who are your students that attend Prism? 
We serve children with autism aged 1-6 at our Center who require intensive services.

Prism
What drew you to Little Nomad play mats?
Unlike other foam mats, LN mats are not overstimulating, nor are they commercial looking. We want our client to focus on us and the intervention, and not be overly distracted by the decor.

How will the mats benefit your instructors/technicians? How does the decor affect your learning spaces?
The mats contribute to a beautiful, warm, welcoming environment for staff and clients alike, while also providing a more comfortable surface to play and learn on.

Read more →