Archive | HOME SWEET HOME

SPRING REFRESH: 4 EASY WAYS TO CUT BACK ON PLASTIC

Today we’re starting a new series that puts a spin on the usual “SPRING CLEANING” topic. Instead of focusing on cleaning up living spaces I thought it would be a welcome change to talk about small ways to hit refresh on everyday habits starting with 4 simple ways to cut back on plastic use at home. Keep in mind that this is less about being perfect or making drastic changes that are too hard to sustain, and more about making small changes that will eventually gain momentum and make a big difference.

Some of you are wayyyyyy ahead of me with these environmentally friendly habits (don’t judge, ha!) and I would love for you to chime-in, in the comments with other ideas!

Here are the 4 easy, quick and do-able ways we’re cutting back on plastic use in our home:

This adorable beeswax wrap is organic, sustainable and a great alternative to plastic wrap and even plastic bags — use to cover food before putting in the fridge or wrap up a sandwich or other snacks when you’re on the go.

Buy reusable grocery bags that are easy to store and manage so you’ll actually use them! Or is it just me that gets annoyed with floppy bags that slide around in the back of my car so they end up getting stored in the pantry and are inevitably forgotten 75% of the time? Instead of constantly feeling guilty when I make it to the checkout line and realize I’ll be choosing between paper or plastic, I finally purchased these grocery totes that I love! They are so much sturdier, fit a lot (although not as much as they look on amazon) and will even stay open which makes it so easy to store in the trunk, use for other things and unload once we’re home.


If you’re shopping with kids in-tow then lugging around reusable produce bags is probably low on the priority list, but it does get easier as the kids get older and once you have one or more that’s around school age, it can be fun to put them in charge of carrying bags and also filling them with whatever’s on your shopping list! Love this set of produce bags, but there are lots to choose from or you can DIY!

Also, for anyone that buys bulk, how do you get everything through the checkout line and home without using plastic bags?

I love these straws for the colors (easier to keep track of who’s drink is who’s) and you can see inside them to make sure they’re cleaned well — unlike metal straws which I know are great but the unknown scares me a bit, lol. The smoothie size straws (pictured) are a little extra so if you have younger ones I’d suggest the skinnier version. Bonus, you can cut the silicone to fit whatever your go-to cup is! I also bought these glass straws for Johan and me… we fancy :)

Ahhhhh, these kids! I’d do anything to make this world a better place for them and always want to be a good example too.

I’ll share all the products on instagram stories later today if you want to see them IRL. We also DIY-ed a starbucks pink drink to highlight the reusable straws that I’ll share too!

Now, I’d love to know what else you would add to the list? What small-ish environmentally friendly change should we make next?

xo, Rae

5

EASY DIY KIDS ACTIVITY TABLE + A PRINTED WOOD SIGN

If there’s one thing we never seem to have enough of in our home (other than ice cream) it’s table space for playing, crafting and doing homework. So when we decided to spruce up the playroom, it only made sense to add a desk. We went back and forth between shopping around (because there are so many affordable options out there!) and DIY-ing one, but ultimately decided to make one ourselves. Aside from saving a few bucks (but honestly not much) I liked the idea of being able to touch up and paint over the scratches and marker doodles that would inevitably appear on a well loved kids table!

I’ll share the supply list and instructions below but before you scroll I have an exciting treat for you! Korie from Pretty in Polka Dots and the maker of the framed wood photo print that’s hanging above the kids desk is offering you 20% off of THIS LISTING when you use the code: RAEANN

I will be taking advantage and hope you will to… and while you’re at it take a peek at all the other cute items she has in the shop. Might need this Walt Whitman quote!

My heart is bursting over this picture that was taken of the kids when Poppy was fresh outta the oven. I actually teared up when I took it out of the box. It turned out better than I imagined… the way it’s printed and framed really makes it come to life so much more than a typical framed photo and you don’t get any of the glare either.

Also, when Poppy looks at this print she always sighs and says something along the lines of, “Ozzie is my favorite. He held me when I was a baby, baby” and then twirls off…

I love them all so much!

ACTIVTY TABLE or DESK DIY

You’ll Need:

  • 3/4″ smooth finish sheet of plywood, cut to size
  • oil based paint (or paint of choice) and/or wood stain
  • roller and/or paint brush
  • 4 hairpin table legs (We used the 28-inch legs but it would be so cute as a preschool height activity table with 16-inch legs!)
  • 3/4″ screws
  • drill

Here’s How:

  1. Decide on the size of desk/table you want — ours is 30×48″. Head to the hardware store, purchase a sheet of 3/4″ smooth finish plywood (costs about $50) and have it cut to size.
  2. At home, paint the surface(s) and edges as desired with paint and/or stain. You won’t need much! We used paint that was stashed in the garage. Let dry and add second and third coat if needed.
  3. Place legs about 1-inch from bottom corners and attached using a drill.

What do you guys think? Pretty simple, right!? Linked sources below and if you’re in the mood for another project (spring always has that effect on me!), this is one I get asked about often!

xo, Rae

SOURCES | table legs from amazon, wood photo print of the kids c/o pretty in polka dots (remember to use link and code RAEANN for 20% off!), chalkboard laptop and mini suitcase from crate & kids, dinosaur from target $1 isle (but was $5, or sold as a set online), mini basket and rainbow garland from target too, colored pencils were a marshalls find

0

CABIN FEVER CURES + A PRINTABLE

We’re smack dab in the middle of that winter grind that seems to last for-ev-errrr (read in sandlot voice). Some days we leave the house for errands and activities, other days are a welcome break that involve pj’s, cookie baking, forts and movies and the rest seem to be full of bored kids, bickering and screen time negotiations. The latter can sometimes sneak up on me so fast that by the time I notice, I’m also feeling totally drained and in no shape to be scrolling through pinterest for activity ideas. Which is why I started making a list to stick on the fridge or bulletin board and thought I’d share in case you’ve been experiencing the same thing.

We have such a big mix of ages in our family but hopefully it still helps and if you want to make your own list, I included a blank page too… CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Do you guys have little tips and tricks for limiting screen time or do you tend to not worry about it and just go with the flow when it comes to tech and tv? The biggest help for us lately has been changing the passwords to everything so they aren’t sneaking off with devices. Oh and did you guys read about the youtube situation happening?… might want to make sure your kids aren’t around if you click on it! Tilly caught a glimpse and was up twice with nightmares last night. Poor thing.

xo, Rae

2

THINGS EVERY FAMILY ROOM SHOULD HAVE

We’re in the process of painting a few walls and shuffling furniture around in our home. Mostly from the family room to the man cave slash playroom which has left us with a very empty room that’s going to need some refreshing! (YAY! Just a little excited about it.) When we redid the boys room over the summer, we made a list of everything a kids room should have in it and it was super helpful, so we started one for the family room too. A little surprised at how short the list is so I know we’re missing things, ha! Would love any and all input!

FAMILY ROOM MUST-HAVES:

  1. a stack of chat books for little walks down memory lane
  2. throw blankets + pillows
  3. a cozy couch
  4. a coffee table big enough to play games or color at.
  5. photos + art
  6. tv and a good sound bar!
  7. soft lighting (i.e. lamps)

I think the biggest challenge will be finding a couch we can afford (key word) that’s cozy to sit on and looks good but can also handle grubby fingers and a pile of people on family movie nights. If you know a good place to shop for one that checks all those boxes, please share!

I’ve also been on the hunt for inexpensive frames I can mix and match on a gallery wall in the family room and am having the hardest time finding some. Other than Ikea or the thrift store, where do you guys find them?!?

And don’t forget to share what your family room must-haves are!?

xo, Rae

(Photos by my brilliant husband, Johan.)

7

HOW TO SCAN, EDIT + BLOW UP KID’S ART

There are a number of places I look for inspiration when working… old pictures, an outing or road trip, a J.Crew catalogue (or is that retail therapy/procrastination?), going for a walk, etc. but my favorite inspiration comes from my kids’ drawings, doodles and art projects. I just honestly can’t get enough of them or the simple playfulness that they represent. So when I refreshed my office last year, I know I wanted to frame some of their art. Since then I’ve gotten several questions asking for details on editing the colors and blowing them up and I’m excited to be sharing the DIY today! I’m going to keep it pretty generic since I know there are several different photo editing options out there and I don’t want anyone to feel like this tutorial won’t work for them because there is always a way!

YOU’LL NEED:

  • a photo editing software (such as photoshop or gimp)
  • white card stock and selection of markers (we just used black) or drawings/doodles your kids have made
  • a photo or printing service you like to use (we mostly use costco!)
  • frames if desired

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Set out paper and markers and ask kids to draw/scribble/doodle. Just remember the less busy the paper get’s the easier it will be to edit… and the better it will look framed. I had asked my kids to “keep it simple” but still had to kinda watch or they would just keep adding to it! ha! I also gave my kids 4 pieces of paper each so they didn’t feel like they had to fit everything into one pic.
  2. Scan pictures into your computer — make sure the setting is high resolution and 300dpi! I always have the best luck when I save or export as a PNG file.
  3. If you want to make changes, open in photo editing program and get to work! I started by cleaning up some of their lines and things I didn’t want included in the big prints. For instance, Griffin’s apple drawing also included a sun with a face which was really cute but not as clear. So I used the healing/erase tool to take it off. You could also do a clipping mask around the things you want to keep. I also loved that he had written his name so wanted to make sure I kept that part!
  4. Next, play with the colors… if you get stuck, hop on youtube and search “how to manipulate colors in (name of program)?”
  5. When your done, export/save file as a high resolution 300dpi PNG and upload to the printer!

Taco truck by Ozzie :) the backend was a little messy so I cropped it and “tacos” was hard to read so I erased and added text in it’s place.

For Tilly’s emoji below, I made her outline white, eyes teal, and added a background color. It was originally all black like the taco truck above.

For Griffin’s lava monster I made the marker lines white, added a background and added a word bubble with text so we would always know what the drawing was of!

Love having these sweet drawings in my office and would be equally cute to do the same with toddler scribbles, don’t you think!?

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Love ya!

xo, Rae

1

THINGS WE LOVE: DANCE PARTIES + DONUTS

RECIPE FOR A HAPPY MONDAY:

  1. pump up music
  2. booty shaking
  3. donuts. 

Press play and see if you can spot Griffin’s fortnite dance move, paper-rock-scissors for the maple with chocolate chips donut, the hair flip, Tilly’s cute bestie Londan, Johan trying to spin Poppy and then Espen, and my embarrassing solo (hashtag mom-moves)!? HA!

Sent the kids off to school for the last Monday of the year and it feels so good to be almost done (last day is Thursday!).

Hope you’re having a good Monday but if not, follow the recipe above :)

XO, Rae

PS – if you aren’t already following us on youtube, CLICK HERE! 

0

STAYING IN IS THE NEW GOING OUT POSTERS (FREE PRINTABLE)

I’ve been sharing the files for these “STAYING IN IS THE NEW GOING OUT” prints via email so much lately, I thought it was time to officially make them available and easier for you guys to download!

A little bit of a back story — I designed them a couple weeks after moving into our new home and a couple weeks before Poppy was born so they’re extra special to me. After all is there anything quite as sweet as staying home to cuddle on the couch? Whether it’s date night in, movie night with the fam or all day snuggles with a newborn. I hope you guys are able to use and enjoy in your home too! Thinking about making a printable poster with the full statement on one print so it’s more versatile. If you’r interested, let me know. Until then, the link for the current design is below!

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD, “STAYING IN…” POSTERS

NOTES | The link will send you to a dropbox folder with three separate files to download. The specs for each poster are 30×40. They should be easy to resize to smaller dimensions, but will look pixelated if printed any bigger.

Most of my poster size prints I send to the costco photo center (online) because it’s inexpensive, has a quick turnaround and you can ship or pickup. If you know of any other print services, please share in the comments below!

I mean… staying in with these sweet faces is always a good idea!

xoxo, Rae

SaveSave

SaveSave

4

PLAY-OFFICE SOURCES

Thanks for all the comments and questions from my last post! As promised, I’m back with sources from our shared play-office reveal. Excuse the delay but I got a tip that a lot of the items would be on sale for memorial day weekend and wanted to make sure you got killer deals on anything you might want. Before starting, I reached out to the Land of Nod to see if they would be willing to send over a few goodies, so you may notice a big chunk of the room is from them. They are the best at designing for kids while also keeping in mind grownups and older kids and their decor always mix and matches so well with the rest of the house. I absolutely love working with them!

Keep scrolling for sources…

(see before post here and full room reveal here!)

1 | pendant light, land of nod

2 | colorful penant garland, land of nod

3 | cat + dog, land of nod

4 | arrow wall hooks, land of nod

5 | dress-up mirror, $5 at walmart

6 | red pony hoppy toy, the most played with toy in our home from amazon (also great for bday gifts!)

7 | folk denim rug, land of nod… love this so much I almost gave it a home in our family room!

8 | gold dot decals, land of nod

1 | hand drawn kid art, DIY coming soon!

2 | frame, spray painted gold from ikea

3 | pom-pom garland, land of nod

4 | frame thrifted — arrow print, coming soon as a free download

5 | play on player print, land of nod

6 | half dot garland, land of nod

7 + 11 | basket, land of nod

8 | dog balloon bookend, land of nod

9 | things divided bin, $8 at land of nod right now… also have one in the kids bathroom for toothbrushes, etc. and it works perfectly!

10 | white locker, ikea

 

1 | woven wallhanging, land of nod

2 | apple pillow, old from land of nod (so many cute throw pillows) or similar from blabla kids (scroll down for the apple)

3 | bean bag, a favorite addition from land of nod

4 | basket, land of nod

1 | ikea kitchen makeover, my blog

2 | ice cream cones, oriental trading

3 | play fridge, land of nod (obsessed!)

4 | folk denim rug, land of nod

1 | wood sign diy here, on a friend’s blog!

2 | desk top + legs, ikea

3 | chair, amazon

Let me know if I missed anything! Happy long weekend (and bargain shopping)!

xo, Rae

2

OUR EVERYDAY DINING ROOM REFRESH

Remember this post with all my dining room inspiration, ideas, and questions!? Well, we tackled the last of our to do list over the weekend and I’m excited to share the (almost) final product… because of course I have a couple more things on my wish list! Ha… my poor husband.

UPDATE: I added a few new pics that give you a better look at the full room. Take a peek and let me know what you think….  After going through all of our pics I realized that we didn’t get any of the full room from each side (oops, rookie move!) but I plan on shooting a few more once the sun is out and will add them to the post later.

I’m more of a plant killer than a plant lady, but you can’t deny the life they add to a room so I’m always on the hunt for inexpensive plants that are still cute. These both did the trick. The plant in the white planter is a Donkey Tail and the one in the copper planter is a Ponytail Palm.

Games and floor puzzles are often played in this space and I’ve found that if I leave a few out in plain sight the kids are more likely to play with them on a regular basis… Of course a stack of two quickly becomes 10 but every week or so it’s worth all the quality playtime!

I’ve been collecting art and frames to replace the three prints above with a gallery wall, but for now the “staying in is the new going out” will be well — staying. As nice as it is to switch things up, I’m happy with how it currently looks. Plus the saying is just so perfect when you have kids!

We painted our old hand-me-down dresser with a $5 “oops” can of green paint from Home Depot and then spray painted the knobs gold. Nothing fancy but it works so well as a buffet and storage.

       

(For perspective, my office is to the right of the palm tree and the kitchen is on the other side of the art print wall.)

It feels so good to gather in a room that has our vibe and meets our needs. Worth every second and dollar spent!

Thank you for your feedback on my last dining room post… reading your comments was a huge help!!! And because I lack so much confidence when decorating anything that isn’t a kid’s room or tiny nook, I called my friend Emily of JDC for her input too. She has a way of simplifying the process and make it easy to pull things together without stressing out. If you could use a design savvy friend like Em in your life, then you are in luck because she put together a class that is chockfull of ideas, tips, resources and design knowledge. You can find more info HERE.

What space have you been wanting to freshen up in your home?!?

Next up for us is turning my office into a shared playroom/office space and getting a head start on spring cleaning by going through the endless drawers in our house!

XO, Rae

DINING ROOM | wall color, simply white by Benjamin Moore | staying in prints (available in 6 different sizes. pictured are 20×30 printed at costco) | white eames chairs here + here (they are a pain to put together but so worth it!) | polka dot flatware | colorful cereal bowls (bought this set and then grab a new color to add each time I visit anthro) | pom-pom basket | wall hanging | white and copper hanging planters | round mirror | pom-pom trim curtains

P.S. – Let me know if I left out any details!

6