Author Archive | rae

ice cream smiles

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some people scream for ice cream, but around here we just smile.

like this.

especially when toppings are involved.

and did i mention a giveaway!?…

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… a set of the most adorable ice cream bowls from anthropology.

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because it’s way eaiser to get the littles to eat a healthy dinner when there is ice cream (in fun bowls) to look forward to.

to sign up, head over to my girl emily’s blog where she is kicking off a full month (hello july!) of features and giveaways.  i’ve peeked at some of the details and there is a fantastic lineup of goodies and blogs she’ll be sharing.

armommy-ice-cream-giveaway4one last ice cream smile con tilly jane before you go HERE to sign up for the giveaway.  may the force be with you (sorry, couldn’t resist. planning a star wars party for 7 year olds)…  we hope you win!

we’d also like to know what your fave ice cream topping is!? do tell…. we could use some fresh ideas around here!

xo . rae

ps – if you are in the mood for more ice cream, check out these posts: lemonade ice cream recipe, and this fun ice cream party invite printable!

(images by stacy jacobsen)

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salted caramel coffee DIY

Um, I will fo-sho be making one of these today….  anyone want to join me?  Happy to make extra.

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 Also, a little hint…

you can pour the caramel over the coffee and ice, but it will clump up a bit.  If that bugs you, pour your coffee, add the caramel, (stir) and then add ice.

To view or download the tags and recipe, click the image below.

Let me know if you have any questions about the tutorial…

So, now that we have our coffee, let’s chat 4th of July!  How was it?

Our day was so full of fun activities  (like a water balloon fight, blind-folded boat race, 3 legged relay…) & delicious food, it was hard to stay awake for fireworks!  Oiy.

Talk soon,

xo . rae

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ring toss DIY

This project was full of surprises for me.  The good & pleasant kind.

First, I was able to DIY with the adorable young lady in the video, Coco.  Love creating with other people.  Especially little people.  So sweet.

Second, the ring toss project was a last minute addition/change and I felt a little dubious about it, but it all came together with ease.

Thirdly, Coco and the adults had a blast playing ringtoss.  A total crowd pleaser!

To download the labels, click HERE.

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A great way to add some fun & charm to your 4th of July celebration, or any other outdoor BBQ style get together.

If you have any questions or comments about the tutorial, let us know in the comments below…  & don’t forget to pin!

xo . rae

ps – are you subscribed to Kin, yet?

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4th of july printable flags

so yesterday, when i should have been cleaning the kitchen, i decided to sit down and design some flags to take to the annual 4th of july celebration at my parents. definitely time well spent, but you should see my kitchen today (oh, my!).  i know it’s kind of last minute and all, but i thought it would be fun to share the flags as a printable. hopefully you have time to use them!

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C L I C K   I M A G E   T O   D O W N L O A D

to assemble, download, print template on card stock, and cut along guides. then tape a dowel (cut into thirds) to the back of each flag using tape. finally, as an option, decorate the dowel using washi tape…

then it’s time to get festive and celebrate this fabulous country we live in… one nation under God.  it’s a beautiful place to live.

h o p e   y o u   a l l   h a v e   a  H A P P Y   4 t h   o f   J U L Y !!!

xo . rae

ps – here is another 4th of july tutorial to checkout!

(image by stacy jacobsen)

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watermelon juice

Back in the day while visiting one of our first farmer’s market, Mr. Friis, Ozzie, & I stumbled upon a delicious invention….  watermelon juice.  We’ve been making it at home ever since.

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/picture credit—> stacy jacobsen photography/

Here is our homemade recipe:

I N R E D I E N T S
1/2 large seedless watermelon, balled or cubed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
mint leaves, strawberries & ice to serve (optional)

D I R E C T I O N S
1. Place watermelon & lemon juice into the jug of a blender.  Blend until smooth.  To sweeten, (if desired) add agave syrup.
2. Serve immediately over ice and garnish with mint.

My last trip to the grocery store, watermelons were on sale ($4 each, yo!) so it might be the perfect time to give it a try!  I think we’ll be making some today.

Do you have any no-fail summer recipes?  Please share in the comments below!

xo . rae

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homemade cleaner DIY

This week has been cray, cray.  Which means my house looks like it exploded.  Which also means that this video we did with KinCommunity is extremely appropriate for today, because I have some cleanin’ to do.

Wondering why it’s a good idea to use a homemade cleaner?  Well, it’s easy and cheap (ahem…), and free of harsh chemicals which makes it safe for your family and the earth.  Bonuses all around.

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If you missed the recipe in the video or want to use the label, download the printables by clicking on the image below or HERE.  All the details are included!

Since we are on the subject, what is your take on cleaning supplies?  Do you (A) splurge for the “green” cleaners at Target, (B) buy the old fashioned stuff you know will work, or (C) make your own?  My answer would be (D) all of the above.  Can’t seem to give up the lysol toilet bowl cleaner : )

How about you?

xo . rae

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tassel necklace DIY

Like it?  Love it?  Wanna make one?  (Fashion DIY’s get me so giddy.)

All you need is:  a swatch of leather (cut to 5 x 2.5″), a small piece of the leather to make a loop (cut to 1.5 x .25″), a necklace chain of your choice, a loaded hot glue gun or craft glue, ruler, & pencil.

STEP 1:  Cut leather.  Using your ruler and pencil, draw a line lengthwise 1/2″ inch from the top of your leather.

STEP 2:  Cut fringe up to your pencil line.

STEP 3:  Use your small piece of leather to make a loop at the top left corner of leather swatch, glueing into place.  Make a line of glue along the top length of leather and roll up.

STEP 4:  Hang on necklace chain and wear!

I found a good size piece of leather and chain at our local craft store at a great price.  Or, if you are feeling thrifty, try swinging by Good Will (or the like) and grab an old leather purse to cut up and necklace.

Also, note that if you use craft glue instead of hot glue, after glueing you will want to wrap a rubber band around the tassel to hold it in place until dry.

If you have any questions about the steps in the video, let me know in the comments below!

Now for a little bonus for the kidlets….  IMG_9817

Since returning from my L.A. trip, I’ve been wearing the tassel from the video almost everyday & Tilly has been requesting we make one for her.  So, we scheduled a play date and made a kid version out of fabric.

To DIY you need small pieces of fabric and string for the necklace.  We used leather string, but ribbon or shoe laces would work great.  Cut swatches of fabric 8.5 x 6.5″.  Then, fold them in half lengthwise and cut fringe up to the top 1/2 inch.

Flatten the fringed piece of fabric, wrong side up, and begin to roll.

Then fold in half and tie with a small strip of the fabric to hold it in place.

The project doesn’t need to be exact to come out looking cute, so it’s perfect for kids.

Even our smallest guest (a new 2 year old) got involved.

Thanks for visiting us!  Pin or share with friends if you love.

X&O, Rae

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painted doormat DIY

Last week I had the privilege of traveling to L.A. & working with KinCommunity, a fantastic & new youtube channel.  If you haven’t subscribed, I highly recommend it.  I’m partial to their DIY and EATS, but I also love (with a capital “L”) the BEAUTY & STYLE tips (faves:  cat eyessummer up-do & 1 trend 3 ways) .  If you are visiting us from Kin, welcome!  Make yourself at home and feel free to email with any thoughts, questions or just to say “hello”(rae.at.armommy.com).

Enjoy the first of several videos below:

So, what do you think!?  The doormat in the video is now adorning my front porch, ready and waiting to greet family & friends into our home.

If you are more of a written instructions type of person, I have typed them out below…

SUPPLIES:  2″, 1″, & 3/4″ painters tape, scissors, natural fiber doormat (Ikea has them for $10), acrylic art paint, sponge to dab paint, & a drop cloth or similar to protect work surface.

STEP 1:  Using the tape and scissors, make a border around your mat.  Then, create your monogram and arrow.  I used 1″ tape for the border, 2″ tape for the letter, 1″ tape for the arrow, and 3/4″ tape for the feathers on the arrow.

STEP 2:  Next get out your paint and sponge.  Dip sponge in paint and scrape off excess.  Then go to work dabbing the paint onto the mat and over the tape until the mat is evenly covered.

STEP 3:  Depending on your patience levels, let dry & then peal tape.  Or vise versa.

If you are having a hard time finding a plain doormat, try one with minor accents….

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I used this one (above) for the sample before my trip and like how it turned out.

My dearest Kin peeps….  Thanks so much for having me!  Looking forward to seeing the rest of the videos and doing it all over again in the future!

As a total side note, I also extended my trip to L.A. and was able to enjoy a short mom hiatus while spending time with my bestie, her husband and 2 amazing kids.  It was lovely.  In other trip news, as captured by instagram:

I was reunited with another old friend that goes by the name of coffee bean, (yum)

was treated to the best sushi ever at Starfish in Santa Monica, (double yum)

& rocked my first party nail….  have you tried that yet?  It actually did make me feel more partyish.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Kin and share the project with your friends!

xo . rae

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build a fort kit DIY (update)

We originally posted this tutorial a year ago in September, & it quickly became a favorite online, at Birthday parties, & in our home.  So I was thrilled when given the opportunity to make a video tutorial with KinCommunity featuring the beloved fort kit.  Click the video below and find out why! Irresistible, yes?  Doesn’t that make you want to scribble a list of all the young children in your life to make kits for!?

Here’s the scoop (you prob already know this)…  kids love building forts, but doing so typically leads to tearing apart every bed in the house & the inevitable tears that come when blankets collapse.  That is why the kits are so great.  The ties help it stay up & it’s far more pleasant to fold a couple sheets and wrangling some clips than put all the beds back together.  Plus sheets, being so light weight, are the choice of fort building champions.  For sure.

Bonus; they are fun to put together outside for playtime, summer reading, a picnic or family photo ops.

Enough chatting your ear off….  Written instructions are below and  you can download the coral tags (HERE) & green tags (HERE).

Before those of you that don’t own a sewing machine let it stop you from putting one together, think of someone you know that DOES have a sewing machine, give them a call & ask if they have 15 minutes to help you sew ribbon to the corners of a sheet.  Most likely they will be delighted to help, curious about your project, & answer with a big, “hellz, yeah!”build-a-fort-kin-rae-ann-kelly

Continue to read for written instructions, pin for safe keeping & let me know if you have any questions!

XO . Rae Want to receive goodies like this in your inbox?  Sign up below….  (it’s free).( R E P O S T )

our boys + their friends and building {weather with legos or blankets} go hand in hand.  so when espen’s friend brady invited him to his 6th birthday party, a fort building kit seemed fitting.  it ended up being a big hit with the boys and was quick and painless to put together.  you can head on over to brady’s mom’s blog to see pictures of the built fort + read below for the tutorial.

first, gather the supplies.

INCLUDED IN THIS KIT WAS:  2 flat sheets, a lantern, laundry clips, rope, hefty ribbon (for ties), tags (click to download coral or green) and a bag, pillow case or tote to hold all the goodies.  i purchased a sheet set from target for $14, but exchanged the fitted sheet for a flat one from our linen closet.

next, cut 6 to 10 long strips of heavy ribbon or strips from an old t-shirt, 16″ long.  then, find the center of each strip and pin to the corner and sides of your sheets {see drawing above}.  then sew each strip in place going back and forth several times.

lastly, stuff the goods into your bag, write a thoughtful note to the recipient and head out the door with a handmade gift that kid-os and mamas are sure to gush over!

please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for items to include in the fort kit by leaving a comment below….  i would love to hear from you!

xo . rae

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our little adventure (traveling with kids)

happy day after father’s day weekend!  hope you were able to spoil the important men in your life.  we facetimed with family on the east coast, made (and devoured) yummy food, and had a couple little adventures at my parent’s house.

i’ve missed you the last couple weeks…  despite my best intentions and a list of fun posts we wanted to publish i had trouble finding time to get them up!  however, tilly and i are back from so-cal, life has settled down and i’m excited to get the belated posts up!

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let’s start with this little travelers map we put together (before leaving for LA) so we can start keeping track of our adventures together as a family.  it’s still hanging up in the kitchen, but will probably be moved upstairs to the hallway outside the kids’ room.

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we cut triangles from patterned scotch tape (washi tape would work) to mark the places we’ve been with the kids.  our map is pretty bare….  looks like we have some traveling to do!

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—-> a little peek inside tilly’s carry-on:  trail mix, string cheese with crumbled tortilla chips to dip them in, ipod touch & headphones, colored pencils & a journal, candy wrappers to make this bracelet, sunnies for when we get off the plane, & some DIY postcards (download below).

—-> not pictured, in my carry-on: blow pops, gum & a copy of the friendship show.

(side note – no matter what kind of outing we go on i find that snacks or treats that take a longer time to eat are always a good idea…  keeps em busy & content longer!)

 i had fun putting together a carry-on for tilly’s first plane ride.  so much fun in fact that i totally failed to prep my little girl for what happens during take off.  she’s so daring and wild by nature and i was so excited to dig into her bag and play that it didn’t even occur to me!  well.  there was a minor freak-out episode involving threats of puking and wanting to get off the plane NOW.  ooops.  luckily she settled down quickly once the plane leveled out and barely acknowledged the takeoff on the way home.

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 a-few nights before our trip i stayed up late making a new messy bag out of drop cloth and this cute peacock fabric.  i fully intended for the body of the bag to be the peacock pattern, but i guess that’s what i get for sewing at 1am.  instead of getting my seam ripper out i opted for some painted polka dots to add some color and like how it turned out with such a pretty lining.

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we included these DIY postcards with the map poster download, but wanted to share them here (for freeeeeeee…. guess that movie?) to use during summer travels.

C L I C K   H E R E   T O   D O W N L O A D

speaking of summer travels, do you have any trips planned!?  road trips?  camping?  weekend getaways?  or maybe just lots of trips to fro-yo….  totally counts!

xo . rae

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play dates and picnics

before i begin this post, just want to say thanks you so much for all the sweet and encouraging comments regarding our morning show segment – you guys are the best!

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a few weeks ago, before the summer sunshine had made it’s way to the PNW, i got together with my friends trina (and her two littles – audrey & fin) and kim (who took all these great snaps!) for a picnic play date and test run of our new snack bags.

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the rain was an issue, so we planned on bringing the picnic indoors but ended up turning a boat over and sticking it under a tree – problem solved – no wet hineys!

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play dates are like a life line – “want to phone a friend!?” – don’t you think?  especially durning the summer months, so i thought it would be fun to share our calling cards as a free printable (play date cards and work for hire and babysitting cards for older kids to usetoo!).

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links to  D O W N L O A D  are at the bottom of this post.

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the girls were especially  s p i r i t e d  (ehem) that day so in addition to snack bag pics, kim took a generous amount of fun outtakes…

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the boys, on the other hand, were super chill.

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(rolly pollie finder…)

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(turned streaker…)

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(these two are sorta made for each other – audrey and tilly – so cray)

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(ozzie had recently taught us a funny hand jive about lamas, a moose and an awkward turtle.  it only felt right to pass it along to friends)

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(oh, have you guys tried honest kids juice pouches!? they are amazing and have half the sugar.  i picked these up at traget, but i’m sure they have them at other stores)

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(a picnic tote bag {with leather stripe} my mom put together that i’ve been using for almost all of our summer outings lately…  we’ll share a tutorial soon.  thanks mama!)

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now for the calling cards!  click on the links to download:

// have your people call my people, boy // have your people call my people, girl // let’s play // word bubble, boy // word bubble, girl // yard work // babysitting //

we also have some cute cards for us mamas, but the file was too big to upload, so feel free to email me and i’ll send you the file (rae at armommy dot com).

happy friday!

xo . rae

(images by kim charie) 
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