NEON RAE Have a happy day!



Looking for a fun indoor or outdoor crafting activity?  This gem of a craft that was inspired by our Pinterest finds and it gives you a little bit of both!  Take the little ones out on a nature adventure and encourage them to collect shells, leaves and sticks!  Once you get back home set up a fun little painting station, you can do this either indoors or outdoors (if weather allows), the fresh air will make this activity even more fun.  We suggest lining your working area with old newspaper or an old sheet.  You will need a variety of paint colors and paint brushes.  We found these great acrylic paints at Target, they come in a ton of colors from neons to metallics!  Now you are all ready to go!  Get creative and paint away.  Let the kiddos run wild with their imagination.  This is one of those activities that you will be able to sit back and observe :)  Even the little ones with little motor skills can do this one, in fact, it's a great exercise for them!  Let their painted nature finds dry for 6+ hours and there you have it!  These lovely objects make great gifts for family members too! Extra bonus about this activity!!!  This made a great activity for us when we had a little cold wreaking havoc on our house.  Staying indoors and resting can turn into a real challenge with a toddler.  Going for a short walk or stroller ride was a great way to get some fresh air and vitamin D.  We collected our nature treasures and headed home.  Painting the little treasures proved to be a relaxing and calm activity that allowed for the body to get that downtime it needed.  Not to mention this is a great way to not have to use TV or other screens as a means of rest!

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This weeks craft we found on the the Pinterest Page of Classic Play, an amazing blog from a radical Mamma from Baltimore!  Since Spring is in full effect here in Southern California why not spruce up those boring old pots! How fun to make them into smiley little holders for our plant buddies.  This is a great activity that everyone can get in on!  Classic Play decided to show us how using indoor plants, because they make us smarter duh! (thanks Science)

Gather up these things:
Unglazed Terra Cotta Pots with Saucers
Craft Paint in Various Colors
Small Houseplants
Potting Soil


Get Started!
Pencil a line around the pot.  
Make sure you are using an unglazed put, it takes the paint better!  Paint above the line with white paint.  Apply a few coats allowing each to dry before applying the next.  Now paint the bottom half with a contrasting color of choice, make sure to allow drying time between each coat.  To help fill the drying process down time, paint the saucer in between coats!  Add a little color around the rim of the planter, just for fun..  Now it is time to add on the face! Just go for it with a skinny brush, if you are feeling nervous feel free to pencil it on first :)  Almost done, just put in some soil, pop in the plant you chose and add a little water!  Easy Peasy and whoa how cute are these updated planters!

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Plastic toys are not my favorite, but of course the little ones always seem to be drawn to their colors and have to have them, ughhhhh.  Since Staley Rae started really playing with toys I have tried to be conscientious about it and seek out either toys made of recycled products or wood.  These days there are plenty of great makers of said toys, but during my searches I have found some amazing toy makers! Hand crafted, made in the USA and with eco-friendly practices.  One of my favorites is Sweet Whimsy Designs or The Whimsical Sweet if you search on Etsy.  I recently had them make a custom set of Octonauts for me.  These friends of the deep sea don't have a huge offering of goods in the US, so I was super excited to get a wooden set.  Once they arrived I was blown away with the craftsmanship! and the details!!  They also threw in a Gup vehicle out of kindness!! Needless to say, I AM OBSESSED with this company and so should you be!

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We've said it before and we will say it again, WE LOVE NEON! Neon everything, all the time!  Today we looked through our Pinterest Boards for our inspiration.  We noticed a repetition of the color neon, hmmmmm. We also noticed how beautiful neon is in nature.  The fallen leaves of yesterdays season slowly decaying but first turning to such a saturated neon that every color on the spectrum is represented.  After brushing up on our toucan knowledge we learned how their vibrant beaks act a contradicting accessory.  Helping to camouflage themselves in the canopies of the rain forest while also helping to attract their mate.  Kinda like hiding in plain site!  Lastly we have the unicorns or cactus.  I do believe this may be a photoshopped image, but I am going to pretend that it is the holy grail of cacti!  

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This weeks minute meal is courtesy of Damn Delicious, and boy is it!

Here is what you will need from the grocery store...

    • 8 ounces lo mein egg noodles*
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
    • 1 carrot, julienned
    • 1/2 cup snow peas
    • 3 cups baby spinach
    • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce, or more, to taste
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste

Here is the how to!

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger and Sriracha; set aside.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook lo mein egg noodles according to package instructions; drain well.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper and carrot. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in snow peas and spinach until the spinach has wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
Stir in egg noodles and soy sauce mixture, and gently toss to combine.
There you have it! ready to eat in less than 30 minutes total:)
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    Last year we went to Tulum for the first time in many years and we had a blast!  In spite of it being super duper hot and blindingly sunny we still had lots of great laughs, fun adventures and pasta so good we ate it for three meals a day!  Lucky for us we have great friends that own a great little Eco Hotel on the water with an excellent restaurant.  We are treated like family and they insist that we make the place our home!  As you can see here, Staley Rae is doing her daily grocery shopping in the open air restaurant!


    In the middle of the day when it was too hot to be outside there were only two things to do... Drink cocktails (we recommend the Mark Dillon, named after someone specials Dada) and reminisce over cooler times with a little dude.


    Another thing we love about Tulum is that there always seems to be a friend from home that shows up at the same time.  Staley Rae had loads of fun with Shreddy down in the tropics.   She also made some new friends, some ancient Mayans!

    After a little siesta we love to jump in the ocean and hang out in our swimsuits to stay cool, How great are these huge screen doors off of the ample sized rooms?!  They let in tons of light and allow the ocean to bathe us in the peaceful sounds.

    If you are up for an adventure there are tons of great cenotes, open ones and cave ones.  This is an open cenote that we visited.  The water was crystal clear with the most amazing hues of green and blue.  Loaded with fish as well.  Cannot wait to take Staley Rae here when she is more comfortable with the water.  It is definitely an experience you will not forget.

    Smiles for miles on these faces!  This truly was a forced family fun vacation, but the humidity and warm waters absolutely made it worth its while!  With direct flights to Cancun from most major US cities, Tulum is an easy destination whether you live on the West Coast or the East Coast.  Make sure to eat at least one meal at Posada Margherita you will NOT be disappointed, we promise!

    Sandy white beaches bring the mermaid in me out!

    Staley Rae your Neon Rae travel correspondent signing off!

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    Try to go a whole day without listening to music.  It is darn well impossible!  Music is everywhere, commercials, at the gas station, in the car next to you, on your favorite blog, the birds outside are even making music!  Music plays a huge role in our lives at NEON RAE, from work to play and beyond.  I use the SHAZAM app all the time to capture tunes that I love.  It is a great way to compile new finds in one spot.  Their platform is also getting easier and easier to use with every update.  Now you can purchase a song or album straight from their app!  Here are a couple of recent SHAZAMs I have collected and that help keep me in a positive place when I am stuck in Los Angeles traffic.  Let's not forget how important music is to children's development, it aids everything from speech to movement!  

    I was first introduced to JJ Cale by my father who was a huge lover of music.  These sounds keep me moving and happy!

    JJ CALE          


    That voice though! So smooth and filled with bass, but the beats are even better.  70's soul with a taste of disco helps me stay focused when I am in the studio creating or catching up on emails.



    Rap was pretty epic in the 90's.  They sampled some of the best beats and rhythms during those days.  I am super inspired by their great one liners.  You will often hear me saying "I stay ready so I don't have to get ready", and this is where I got it from!

      SUGA FREE      


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    We found this weeks craft activity on the really radical MY CAKIES blog.  Pie pan tambourines are a great craft with a quick reward!  Making this a great craft for toddlers as well.

    Things you will need (supplies):
    Pie pans - a variety of sizes is always smart
    Paint & paintbrush - acrylic craft paint (make take a few layers), puff paint gives great texture!
    Permanent marker
    1/8″ hole puncher
    pipe cleaners/Chenille - go ahead and cut them into 2 1/2 inch lengths
    1″ – 1 1/8″ bells

    The how to:
    1. Decorate the bottom of the pie pan. Hint: craft acrylic paint takes a couple layers, make sure to allow each layer to dry completely before applying another coat. Paint will chip with all the banging, it's ok, it gives it character.  Time to get creative!  Use permanent marker or washi tape to customize your tambourine:)

    2. Punch holes to tie on bells.  At least a 1/4 inch in from the rim, use the hole punch to make holes  1 1/2 inches apart from each other, do this three-fourths around the pie pan.

    3. Using the pipe cleaners attach the bells to the hole punched pie pan rim.  Don't forget to twist the open ends together very tightly!

    Tada!!!! Break out the noise canceling headphones, the tambourine band is in the house!  Sing loudly, dance wildly, bang those tambourines!  We cannot wait to see pictures of your little tambourine band, be sure to tag your photos with #toocraftytuesday !


    Be sure to check up on My Cakies daily, her and her family are super fun and inspiring!

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    Quick and filling meals packed with tons of nutrients and boosts of energy.  Simple to make and you can take them on the go too!

    Grocery list;























    blend for 45-60 seconds

    1 cup spinach, 1/2 an avocado, 1/2 a banana, 1/2 of blueberries, 1/2 inch of ginger, 1/2 tablespoon honey, 1 apple, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 1 cup of water.  (I substitute apple juice for water)



    blend for 45-60 seconds

    1 cup spinach, 1/2 an avocado, 1/2 of cilantro, 1 cup of mango chunks, 1/2 inch of ginger, 1/2 tablespoon of raw honey, juice of one lime, 1 teaspoon of chlorella, 1 cup of water.



    Blend together; kale, acai, spinach, spirulina, banana, dates, chia seeds, and apple juice.  Top with fresh granola, slices of strawberry and pineapple chunks.



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