Author Archive | rae

happy 4th + a simple dessert!


sneaking in one more 4th of july post before we take off for the long weekend (woohoo!!). i’m in charge of bringing dessert this year but instead of making something from scratch i thought i would highjack store-bought cupcakes, scrape off the extra frosting and decorate with washi tape clad toothpicks and fresh fruit. if you are looking for an easy dessert to make they turned out cute and festive and were super quick to assemble which means more time to play!


hope you guys have a fantastic 4th of july and long weekend! i’ll be sharing pics on instagram if you are into that and want to hangout, but otherwise will see ya on monday!


(images by stacy jacobsen)


red, white & blue necklace

we’re back with more red, white and blue goodness!

the last month while our house (and kids’ toys) were mostly packed up, i relied heavily on non-messy crafts (and the boob tube if i’m being totally honest) to keep the younger ones entertained. this simple paper straw necklace was one of their faves so we thought we’d craft a 4th of july version and make extras to share with friends on friday.


to make, you’ll need:

  • string or ribbon, for the necklace
  • paper straws, cut into about 1/2-inch pieces
  • beads – plastic, wood or whatever you have!

thread beads and paper straw pieces onto string, tie off necklace and wear or share! they look pretty cute on!

we can hardly wait for the independence day festivities to begin and plan on heading out to  my parent’s tomorrow to soak up some extra lake time and get the party started early! how about you guys!?

Xx . rae


 looking for more 4th of july projects, check out these fun flags (free download) i made last year:



4th of july balloon dart board

well, hello friends! i’m back from my unintentional 2 week hiatus… a lot has happened since my last post (a lot)! we packed up our family of 6, got our house ready for renters (still a work in progress), welcomed the kids home from a successful (minus some slacking off towards the end) year of school, started the official countdown to baby’s arrival (just over 4 weeks to go now!), said goodbye to good friends and then moved into their beautiful house. yep. kinda crazy.

i’ll fill you in a little more on the move, new home and all that good stuff, but with 4th of july celebrations just a few days away it’s time to get in the spirit of all things red, white and blue…


…as well as things that sparkle, bang or pop, like this supa simple dart board. all you need is a sheet of pegboard, balloons, tape, small prizes, some darts and (BAM), you’ve got some serious backyard entertainment for the kids — and most likely adults too.

head to the bottom of the post for detailed instructions.

june-2014-119 june-2014-116june-2014-123  june-2014-122 (“oh! darts!” — tilly jane)

you’ll need:

  • pegboard, cut to preferred size at the hardware store
  • balloons in festive colors
  • darts
  • various prizes (grab some kid friendly fireworks and candy or checkout the dollar isle or party section at target)
  • strips of paper with prizes written on them
  • tape (any kind)

here’s how:

  1. stuff each balloon with a strip of paper that has the name of a prize written on it then blow up and tie a knot.
  2. spacing balloons out on the pegboard, thread the knotted end through the holes in the pegboard and tape in place on the backside.
  3. repeat until your board is full!

it’s really so simple you could set all of the supplies aside and assemble day of.

stay tuned for more simple 4th of july ideas later this week!

Xx . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)



a couple weekends ago the kids and i spent the morning at the farmer’s market and came home with a bucket full of cherries.  after we ate a few handfuls and i put the younger kids down for naps, ozzie asked if we could spend time in the kitchen making something sweet and summery.  now, i don’t typically give up nap time to make a mess in the kitchen, but  because he is 12, and the words made my heart melt, i said yes…

cherry-hand-pies-armommy-1… even though he requested we make cherry pie, and i am not a pie girl unless it involves pumpkin.  not sure what it is, but desserts that involve fruit don’t really do it for me.  i prefer my fruit fresh and my desserts with chocolate. usually.

then we decided to make hand-pies which changed my perspective on fruity desserts, because they are too cute not to eat. am i right!?


(images from instagram)

INGREDIENTS to make the filling –

  • this pie crust
  • 3 cups pitted cherries, roughly chopped (1 to 1-1/2 pounds whole cherries)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • powdered sugar


  •  make pie crust according to directions (link under ingredients).
  • preheat oven to 375.  line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix together fruit, sugar, cinnamon, salt, lemon juice and cornstarch; mix until well combined. Set fruit mixture aside.
  • remove dough from fridge and let sit for 5 minutes. on a lightly floured work surface, roll out one piece of dough to a 16-by-11-inch rectangle. trim to 15-by-10 inches. cut into six 5-inch squares.  repeat with remaining dough, stacking squares in between pieces of parchment.
  • working with one square at a time, place 2 tablespoons of fruit mixture in the center. then fold in half to enclose and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. repeat process with remaining squares.
  • place hand pies on prepared baking sheet. brush pies with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar. using a paring knife, slit the center (or make a design) of one side of each hand pie to allow steam to escape.
  • place baking sheets in oven and bake until crusts are golden brown and filling is bubbling (about 25 minutes).
  • allow pies to cool slightly and finish with a little dusting of powdered sugar. serve with vanilla ice cream, if you have any handy.


so sweet and festive they would be perfect to make & bring to a 4th of july celebration.

speaking of 4th of july, what are you most looking forward to that day?  fireworks, yummy food, good company, ….? all of the above?

talk soon.

xo . rae


who that, who that.

sooooo, i was planning on posting all about dating your husband, but then i saw this video + had to share.

the most amazing thing i’ve seen in a long time.

you’ll love it.

xo . rae

(video by girls with glasses)


homemade hostess gifts

the last day of school is right around the corner (or has come and gone for some of you!) marking the start of summer! i’m sure everyone’s social calendars are filling up with backyard shindigs, and baby and wedding showers. to make sure you don’t show up empty handed here’s a simple hostess gift you can throw together in the kitchen ahead of time.

to make it easier on yourself, stock up on jars or bottles so your ready to package the sauces and go – or pick a few of your favorites and set up an ice cream sundae bar at home. just be sure and invite me! (recipe and download below)



you’ll need

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup light cream or evaporated milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

here’s how

  1. combine all ingredients (except vanilla) in saucepan. stir constantly over medium heat until mixture boils. let boil for 2 minutes.
  2. remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. let cool, poor into canning jar or squeeze bottle (add printable label) and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. reheat in microwave or hot water before serving.


you’ll need

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup

here’s how

  1. combine ingredients in saucepan. stir constantly over medium heat until sauce is smooth and sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes). be careful not to overcook or sauce will become too thick!
  2. let cool, poor into canning jar or squeeze bottle (add printable label) and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. reheat in microwave or hot water before serving.


you’ll need

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

here’s how

  1. in a small bowl combine cream, milk and cornstarch and set aside.
  2. in a saucepan combine brown sugar, corn syrup and butter. stir constantly over medium heat until butter melts and sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes).
  3. reduce heat slightly, add milk mixture and bring to a boil for a quick 30 seconds…. remove from heat.
  4. let cool, poor into canning jar or squeeze bottle (add printable label) and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. reheat in microwave or hot water before serving.


you’ll need

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed, hulled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

here’s how

  1. combine ingredients in saucepan. stirring occasionally, heat over medium heat until berries have softened and mixture becomes a sauce.
  2. let cool, poor into canning jar (add printable label) and store in refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. reheat in microwave or hot water before serving.

have fun!

xo . rae


little bites: PB&J push pops

with the weather warming up we’ve been experimenting with chilled snack ideas and wanted to share our favorite so far, PB&J pops! these push pops are a healthy mix of complex carbohydrates and protein, simple to make, and the perfect bite between lunch and dinner time. Mmmm.


Peanut butter and jelly pops (*gluten free)

You’ll Need

  • 1 cup favorite peanut butter
  • 2 cups greek honey yogurt (our fave brand is zoi)
  • favorite fruit preserves
  • dixie cups + popsicle sticks, or push-pop molds
  • food processor or blender

Here’s How

  1. In a food processor, mix peanut butter and Greek yogurt together. Spray dixie cups or push-pops lightly with cooking spray, fill the first third with yogurt mixture, add a small layer of preserves of choice and another small layer of yogurt mix, repeat until cups are filled. Put in the freezer.
  2. If using dixie cups – When mixture is starting to freeze or become hard (after 30 minutes or so) insert popsicle sticks.
  3. After a couple of hours, these pops should be ready to eat.

three cheers for warmer weather!

(images by stacy jacobsen)


raid the pantry.

about a month ago i went on our women’s church retreat and stayed at this swanky hotel with the most incredible amenities. one of my favorites was “raid the pantry” where the hotel would open up a hidden pantry in the lobby, from 10:30pm to 12:30, stocked full of all kinds of yummy food to satisfy their guests’ late night munchies – sandwiches, warm soup, pastries, fruit, potato chips and just about anything you might find in a vending machine. a pregnant girl’s dream come true if i’m being totally honest.


all i could think about while picking out my snacks was how much my kids would LOVE the whole concept. with summer right around the corner and the anticipation of kids that will inevitably be hungry and looking for snacks all. day. long. a locked cabinet seemed like the best place for sweet treats to hide. at least until a movie night or sleepover gives us a reason to indulge with friends.

so obviously (after returning from the retreat) i ran to ikea to purchase one of their lockers and then stopped at costco to stock up on goodies. have you ever shopped at costco solely for snacks and sweets? it was too much fun and really hard to not buy all the things.

raid-the-pantry-8just as i imagined the kids about died when i introduced them to “raid the pantry”. we’ve been gone so much on the weekends lately that it’s only been opened up for the kids a couple times in the last month, but it was a big hit with friends and also comes in handy when i need to throw a bribe in my purse (just in case). also there may or may not be any of those peanut butter m&m’s left. not that i had anything to do with that… ahem.

so, what do you think? would your kids love it?

xo . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)


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!


 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


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


  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!


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


  • 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


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…)


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.


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.


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