Author Archive | rae

JUNE with kids (and a free printable calendar)

i’m sure we’re all planning on hanging at the pool, beach or splash parks a ton this month, (should prob start searching for a maternity swimsuit!) but here are a few additional ideas to keep the kids entertained during the day and pooped by the time their sweet heads hit the pillow at night!

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 1| once school is out families often turn to their local food banks to provide lunch. help keep your community pantry stocked by donating some of your kids’ favorite, healthy & delicious lunch food!

2| cool off with watermelon granitas

YOU’LL NEED

  • 8 cups seedless watermelon chunks
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint (or basil)

HERE’S HOW:

  1. place half of watermelon in a blender or food process and blend until smooth. our into a 9×13 inch glass backing dish. blend remaining watermelon with the honey and lime juice until smooth. add to baking dish and stir until combined. place uncovered in the freezer until ice begins to form around the edges (approx. 30 minutes). break up any large ice clumps with a fork and return to freezer, checking every 30 minutes to break up ice, for about 3 hours.
  2. scoop granitas into bowls or glasses, garnish with mint and serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in freezer for un to one week!

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3| to make up for the fact that i have zero gardening skills (sort of an understatement) we try to make a few trips during summertime to a local you-pick farm so my kids can get a taste for living off the land. one of our favorites farms also has some animals and fresh honey, jams and pickled veggies for sale. for most areas june is the perfect time to pick strawberries and blueberries but you can also look up  a local crop calendar to find out what else is available in your area.

4| FUN FINDS – 1 ‘sup top from little boss shop, 2 beach paddles from BD, 3 customize a penny skateboard (or a less expensive version at target) to kick around on this summer,  4 play shorts from brown sugar beach, 5 anchor hat from crewcuts

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  • JUNE CALENDAR (download, print on regular paper or card stock, cut along dashed line, circle special dates then include details on the lines below!)

if you have any fun ideas for june, please share in the comments! CHEERS to a fantastic start to summer break! xo . rae

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breakfast club: easy blender crepes recipe

there is a certain two year old in our home that will greet me in the morning with a sleepy, “make crepes, momma?” several times a week. it’s hard to resist, but this recipe (especially if made the night before) is super easy to throw together and equally as easy to clean up after. depending on the toppings, they are also fancy and filling enough for a family brunch or breakfast for dinner!

(fully recipe and gluten free alternative below…)

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Easy Blender Crepes: Makes Approx 30 Crepes, 10 minutes Prep Time, 15 minutes Cook Time

You’ll Need

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (*or all-purpose gluten free blend to make GF)

 

Sweet or Savory Topping Ideas

  • Chocolate nut butter and bananas
  • Fruit preserves and whip cream or cream cheese
  • Ricotta cheese and honey or powdered sugar
  • Eggs and sausage or bacon
  • Cheese and salsa
  • Goat cheese, roasted red peppers and arugula

 

Here’s How

  1. Mix melted butter, milk, eggs and salt in the blender. Blend until just combined but not whipped. Add the flour and blend until fully combined. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to 24 hours. Before using, consistency should be that of thick egg nog. Add milk if too thick, flour if too thin.
  2. Use an 8″ or 10” nonstick fry pan or a crepe pan. Heat pan on medium high and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. With large ladel, add ¼ cup batter and swirl around to make an even coating of batter on the bottom of the pan. Cook for about one minute, until edges start to pull away from the pan. Carefully flip crepe by sliding thin spatula underneath. Cook on the other side until lightly golden. Do the same with remaining batter, stacking crepes on a plate as they are ready.
  3. Layer leftovers between parchment paper and freeze in a ziploc bag for extra busy mornings or snack time!

* This crepe recipe can be made the night before and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

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baseball posters + we’re moving!

sooooooo, guess what?

we’re moving in a month (eeek!) just a couple miles down the road which makes things super easy as far as packing and all that good stuff goes (no bubble wrap needed here!). however, there is a small catch – baby girl will be making her grand entrance one month later. it’s a lovely way to break up the last two months of pregnancy  but it also doesn’t leave much time to unpack and decorate.

to keep things realistic and doable i’ve been setting aside a few specific items for each room in hopes that its enough to make them feel homie and settled until a later date. up until a couple days ago i’ve been a bit stumped with the boys bunk room since all three will be sharing the same space and there is a 10 year age range between them. after being inspired by one of the thing all of the boys have in common (a love of baseball) and the cute tee griffin was wearing when i shared the #shenanigans poster, i made progress and designed this poster.  you are welcome to download and print (for personal use only). links below.

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each poster is 20×30 inches and fits perfectly in the large frame from ikea and prints are cheap ($9) through the costco photo center.

one of my favorite things to do is connect with you over on instagram so tag me in your pic if one of these ends up on your wall or you share the post in your feed!

well, i’m off to start packing – but first a starbucks run!!!

xo . rae

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dinner tonight: hot dogs 3-ways

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our family eats hot dogs fairly often during the summer months. they are a great option on a busy day, when we have lots of (extra) mouths to feed or we’re simply looking for something easy to grill or roast over a bonfire.  just to make sure the fam isn’t sick of america’s fave sandwich by the end of summer i’ve put together a few simple (and regional) ways to keep them guessing and hungry for hot dogs any night of the week.

  1. west coast dog: taking a hint from a BLT add a slice of bacon (we like turkey), halved cherry tomatoes, and lettuce to your hot dog. beyond delish.
  2. NY city dog: my brother and his sweet family live in NY so i love to bring east coast flavors into our kitchen. it makes them feel closer somehow (weird?).  to make, smother your dog with sauté onions (cooked in butter or oil, chili powder and a little bit of ketchup), sauerkraut and dijon mustard.
  3. tex-mex hot dog: top your hot dog with southern flavors – pico de gallo, avocado, cilantro and corn cut from the cob (or frozen).

note: if your looking for healthier versions of hot dogs try organic beef chuck or veggie smart dogs!

now i’d love to know – do you have a favorite hot dog topping or go-to summertime dinner!?

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for more hot dog and ballpark food inspiration, check out this article i wrote for KROGER (HERE)!

Xx . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)

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crushing on: sonnet james

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happy tuesday love! how’s it going?

i’m excited to share my latest crush, sonnet james. a company that puts function first, but design and style a close second – all in the name of making it easier for moms to be more playful with their kids while also feeling cute (amen!). if you haven’t heard of them then you are in for a real treat!

i purchased a couple of their dresses  (1 & 2) to wear durning my pregnancy (and hopefully well after) and sport each of them at least once a week. i’ve worn them for everything from date night to playdates and all the kids’ activities. oh, and i must mention how well they wash so there is no need to stress when little ones use you as a napkin!

also, how do you resist a company that uses statements like,

“young at heart, present in the moment, and more playful will the ones you love.”

in their marketing… sign me up ASAP!

well, i’ve gushed enough. time to take a peek for yourself…

xo . rae

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flourless chocolate cookies for a happy weekend

have you tried the flourless chocolate cookies at starbucks yet? they are to die and i’ve bought more than my fair share lately so i figured it was time to try a homemade version. plus there is a budding baker around our home these days (named tilly) and although we’re reaping the benefits i’m always on the lookout for easy recipes with a healthier twist. now if only there was away to make them sugarless too!

(recipe details below.)

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makes 2 dozen, 15 minutes Prep Time, 15 minutes Cook Time (adapted from recipe girl)

you’ll need:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi, milk or bittersweet chocolate chips

here’s how:

preheat oven to 350 degrees. line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and spray (lightly) with nonstick cooking spray…. the cookies are super delicate so this will help them stay in one piece.

in a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. whisk in two egg whites and the vanilla until the batter is moist bust still thick like brownie batter. if too thick, add another egg white or two – one at a time. fold in chocolate chips.

scoop batter onto the prepared baking sheets and bake about 14 minutes (check after 12), until the tops are lightly cracked. slide the parchment paper onto wire racks and let cool completely.

now go check your pantry for missing ingredients and head to the store or just pop into starbucks and start your weekend on a sweet note!

xo . rae

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let’s go to the beach.

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some mini style inspiration because all i can think about with this warm weather is summer vacation with the kids and long days at the beach… #summerforever

BOY: swim goggles (j. crew factory), baseball hat (H&M) ^cute on a girl too!^, hoodie (j. crew factory), swim trunks (zara), flip-flops (tea collection)

GIRL: sunnies (crewcuts), chambray top (zara), swimsuit (H&M), coin purse (peek kids), sandals (zara) these are cute too (gap kids)

xo . rae

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TGIF, friends!

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hope your weekend is full of exactly what you need (family time, yummy food, fun, downtime, rest, catching up, friends)… and lots of sunshine!

XOXOXOXO

//images of griffin from our AZ trip by connie b photography …. still have to post the rest!//

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mother’s day gifts that support moms.

if you are still on the lookout for the perfect mother’s day gifts i have some ideas to share with you today! the best part about these shops is that they empower moms and women to rise above poverty and support their families. on top of that, they also create beautiful products.

if you’ve already checked gift giving off your to do list, these sites are still worth taking a look at. i’ve found myself getting lost in the stories behind each company and the artisans – so inspiring. you may even find a mother’s day treat for yourself and not feel guilty about it!!!

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31bits web site // their blog has fun stuff too // 31bits on instagram // throw your own house partygifts-for-moms-by-moms-KK

 

krochet kids web site // meet the artisans // KK blog // KK on instagram

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no. 41 web site // the blog // their story // donate // on instagram

if you know of any other great companies feel free to share a link in the comments below!

happy shopping & celebrating the lovely mamas in your life.

xo . rae

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kid crafternoon: may day daisy chains

last year for may day tilly and i quickly made some stickers and delivered single flowers to friends as a last minute outing. since we had such a great time i thought i’d make up some tags to share along with a fun may day project, daisy chain bracelets!

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DOWNLOAD MAY DAY FLOWER TAGS PDF then print, cut along dashed line, hole punch and add ribbon or twine to tie to a flower or daisy chain bracelet.

here’s what you’ll need for the bracelets:

  • ribbon (we used ric-rac)
  • bundle of small flowers, cut with short stems
  • floral wire
  • wire cutters
  • scissors

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(our cutie pie friend, emily)

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here’s how:

  1. cut ribbon to double the size of your child’s wrist. then have them line up a layered row of cut flowers. secure to ribbon using floral wire.
  2. add may day tags and deliver to friends and neighbors… just be sure to make extras for yourself!

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each bracelet only took a few minutes to assemble, but they already looked a little sad the next day so i recommend making them the same day you plan on delivering.

enjoy!

do you have any fun may day memories from when you were a kid!?

xo . rae

(images by kim charie)

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baby update: 6 months

things are moving along and i’ll be 6 months (yikes!) on thursday and officially in my 3rd trimester. it’s going by so fast yet at the same time, august 1st feels like forever away!

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the bump is in full force these days (although not quite big enough to rest my bowl of ice cream on!) as i’ve found myself having a harder time maneuvering in smaller spaces and actually apologizing to people for bumping into them with my belly. oops.

a  f e w   m o r e   t i d – b i t s :

baby – baby girl is the size of a head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds, 14 inches) and has had a few cases of hiccups lately. her movements are still sweet and enjoyable – the kind i’ll miss when she’s out on the other side.

names – penelope (poppy, nelly or penny for nicknames) has been in the lead for awhile now, but there are several other’s still in the running and we’re open to more ideas so if you have any to share, please do! tilly is set on elsa or anna and griffin has been suggesting baby olaf… can guess what soundtrack we sing around here on a daily basis?

hormones – make me do crazy things. one minute i’m excited, energetic and totally silly and the next i burst into tears. sorta like an emotional drunk without the alcohol. i remember feeling this way with tilly so maybe it’s a girl thing? regardless, it’s is a roller coaster i cant wait to get off. in the meantime i’ve found that a little extra sleep cures just about anything.

cravings – food (in general). any kind. i’m not picky. ice too and lots of it thanks to low iron levels.

uniform – most days you’ll find me in leggings a roomy top and denim vest, but i’ve also enjoyed throwing on dresses (easy and effortless) and bought a blazer a couple weeks ago at target that i’ve already worn a few times.

baby gear – no. 5 just received her first package of goodies (a couple rattles and bedding) from the land of nod.  we don’t have very many items on our wish-list, but i’ve been considering splurging on a video monitor and a mamaroo by 4moms – we have their pack-and-play and are totally smitten with it.

so much has changed in the world of baby gear over the 14 years i’ve been in the baby making business so if you have any recommendations i’m all ears and very appreciative!

happy monday friends!

xo . rae

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