TOO CRAFTY TUESDAY :) SHE SHELLS!
April 14 2015
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!
TOO CRAFTY TUESDAY :) SMARTY PLANTS!
April 07 2015
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
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!
SHOW AND TELL THURSDAY :) WOOD TOYS!
April 02 2015
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!
WOW INSPIRING WEDNESDAY :) NEON IN NATURE
March 25 2015
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!
MINUTE MEAL MONDAY :) LET'S LO MEIN!
March 23 2015
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:)
FORCED FAMILY FUN FRIDAY :) TULUM 2014
March 20 2015
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!
WOW INSPIRING WEDNESDAY :) MOVED BY MUSIC
March 18 2015
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!
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!
TOO CRAFTY TUESDAY :) PIE PAN TAMBOURINE
March 17 2015
PIE PAN TAMBOURINES!!!
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!
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!
MINUTE MEAL MONDAY :)
March 15 2015
SMOOTHIES AND ACAI BOWLS!
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!
GREEN MACHINE SMOOTHIE
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)
GREEN DETOX SMOOTHIE
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.
SUPER GREEN HARVEST BOWL WWW.THEHARVESTBAR.COM
Blend together; kale, acai, spinach, spirulina, banana, dates, chia seeds, and apple juice. Top with fresh granola, slices of strawberry and pineapple chunks.
LET'S GET GREEN TOGETHER!
TOO CRAFTY TUESDAY! THE THANKSGIVING EDITION :)
November 11 2014
Here are some great ideas on how to get the kiddos involved during the Turkey Day festivities. Let them craft while you cook or run around like a turkey with it's head cut off, is there a pun in there ? These crafts are great for all ages, not only do they get the creative juices flowing but they are also easily made with common items in your recycling bin!
What you will need to get started:
- empty toilet rolls
- construction paper
- markers, crayons, pencils, paint.. really the sky is the limit on this one.....
- found objects (twigs, flowers, buttons, etc.)
- lots of laughs and smiles :)
Once you have gathered all the items needed and desired set up a space for the kids to work, I like to keep them close enough but still far away so they aren't in the way of cooking traffic and potential hot pots, pans, plates... Try to let the big kids take the lead and let them all be a creative as they please.
This is where we go to shop! Lots of great summer sale deals going on right now :) Tiny Hollow launched last year and we are addicted! One of our favorite pieces in their shop is this amazing jacket from artist Dr. Romanelli.
If you happen to be in Soho or Williamsburg you can go into the excellently curated shops of sweet william or you can checkout their website. I love their great selection of price points and gifts for expectant families, like this ketiketa light quilt.
Last but not least we have cissy wears from the UK. This amazing mom has the best selection of designers from across the pond! Her instagram is pretty entertaining as well! Check out the awesome sale right now! You can score a radical leopard jumper like this one from MarMar Copenhagen for your little one. Following her Instagram can also be fruitful, she often finds long gone goodies in her stockroom and discounts them at great prices!
Happy shopping and have a happy day!
July 08 2014
What's better than pom poms? Poms the size of your hand!! Use super duper chunky yarn to get that mega-fluffy effect. Mind blowing fun!
You will need to gather these items first:
• One ball of chunky yarn (or multiple colors if you wish!)
• Craft knife
• Cutting mat
Step 1 Trace a 22cm circle onto cardboard and cut it out. Draw an 8cm circle in the centre, and it cut out, giving you a doughnut shape. Now make a second one. Sandwich together and begin winding yarn around the rings.
Tip: double up the yarn to make the process quicker
Step 2 Keep winding until you can’t fit the yarn through the middle any more. Cut a length of yarn about 50cm long and set aside for later. Insert scissors between cardboard discs and snip snip snip the wrapped yarn all the way round.
Step 3 Double up your 50cm length of yarn, slip it between the discs and tie lightly. Wrap and knot a few times to make sure it’s secure. Remove cardboard discs, scrunch your pom pom and give it a light trim to even up.
This tutorial originally appeared in issue 26 of Gathered by Mollie Makes. Thanks Mollie Makes!
Have a happy day!
July 08 2014
A couple years ago I came across this amazing Instagram account only to find that her blog is equally if not more inspiring! MeetBleubird Blog! What I love most about her life that she shares so openly with the public masses, is that it's so easy to identify your own self with in it. She doesn't endorse products that are unobtainable to the average person or family like most bloggers with their Celine diaper bag and Louboutin crib shoes or Hermes burp cloth. Nope, she's got lots of american made, earth friendly and local reccomendations. Her newest venture is another amazing tool for any mother or family for that matter. Yep, you guessed it another form of internet media. Mother Mag. You will absolutely become addicted to this great site. www.mothermag.com. Go on, go on over to mothermag.com and crush hard, real hard on this RAD MOM, did I mention that she is a mother to four? Two teenagers and two toddlers, she is out of this world! Thanks for being so inspirational!
Have a happy day!
July 07 2014
Looking for a yummy lunch idea? This super tasty ham melt from Martha Stewart is dynamite!
whole-wheat sandwich bread
sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
ham, thinly sliced
Fuji apple, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings
unsalted butter, softened
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread half the bread slices with mustard. Layer with cheddar, ham, apple, and more cheddar, dividing evenly. Top with remaining bread slices. Lightly butter both sides of sandwiches.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook sandwiches, turning once, until bread is golden, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer sandwiches to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in oven until cheddar is melted, about 5 minutes. Cut each sandwich in half on the diagonal, and serve warm.
Cucumber infused water is an excellent way to take the taste of nothing out of your water, staying hydrated is key during the summer months. A simple side of watermelon and feta cheese is a great way to round out his meal that gives you a healthy amount from each food group!
Have a happy day!
July 03 2014
It's hot outside! Natural fibers during the summer is a must to help keep you cool and dry. Our friends over at ALASDAIR NY made a perfect summer collection no matter where you live. Light breathable silks in neutral colors that are timeless and effortlessly chic. We have highlighted a few of our favorites and threw in some must have sandals from J.CREW. They are well priced and look great with dress to jeans and even bikinis! You can find a list of stockists for ALADAIR here and all of the J.CREW sandals can be found on theirwebsite or select stores.
July 02 2014
You can't wear the Woccasin Moccasin to skate in, but we still dig this movement. I've always admired how skate boarding is a team sport without teams. Everyone is so encouraging of each other.
Keep On Pushin' from Ricki Bedenbaugh on Vimeo.
July 02 2014
By now for sure you've heard of or seen TOMs shoes. This amazing brand pays it forward by providing footwear for the less fortunate. For every purchase made the company gives a pair to someone less fortunes through their giving partners. But they even go further that! Their newly launched eyewear division helps to enhance someones vision with every pair bought. This company eats, breathes and lives giving back and helping others. Even their brick and mortar stores are built with repurposed materials, serve fair trade coffee, healthy GMO free snacks and the list goes on. This is truly an inspiring company, everything they do has a positive impact on everyone and thing that is involved. Check out their newly stocked homewares that are also eco friendly and fair trade, the prices are right also!
Here is a little insight to where their goodness is being put to good use, take note that it is the entire earth, that is pretty impressive for a small startup that has grown huge in the past 8 years!
To read more about their awesome efforts check out the TOMs website!!
Thanks TOMs, keep on keeping on!
Have a happy day, NEON RAE!!!
July 01 2014
Mini Eco is a great resource for finding fun eco friendly crafts for all ages. Turning trash into crafty treasures is always fun while instilling creative ways to repurpose the most unassuming things. This weeks tip is showing how to reuse toilet paper rolls, plastic containers from a large yogurt, milk carton, tomato sauce, really anything.
♥ Plaster of Paris (one cup)
♥ Water (one cup)
♥ Powdered tempera paint
♥ Recycled container
♥ Parchment paper
♥ Empty toilet paper rolls
♥ Masking tape
Seal off one end of the toilet paper roll with the masking tape. Line the inside of the roll with parchment paper. If you are using silicon ice cube trays or molds you will not need to line with the parchment paper.
Mix together the water, plaster and powdered paint in the recycled container. Starting with the water then sprinkling the plaster on top (generally its a 1:1 ratio but check the instructions on the packet). Slowly adding 1 tablespoon of powdered paint to the mixture and stirring until completely combined. Add more paint if desired.
Stand each toilet roll taped side down on a flat and level dry surface that is out of the way. Carefully pour the mixture into the tubes. Lightly tap the sides of the rolls to get rid of any air bubbles.
After 2-3 days passes check to see if the plaster rolls have throughly dried, you can do this by removing them from the rolls and paper. If it still looks a little wet, wait one more day.
TIPS: If the toilet roll tube is a too big around for your taste, you can split the tube, overlap, and tape to reduce the diameter.
Remember not to pour Plaster of Paris down any drain!
Plaster of Paris can get quite hot when setting so make sure little ones are properly supervised.
- See more at: http://www.minieco.co.uk/homemade-pavement-chalk/#sthash.iNQGkeI2.dpuf
Thank you Mini Eco for the wonderful crafting idea! Pinterest is also a great resource for fun and imaginative chalk activities. Remember Reuse, Reduce, Recycle and Repurpose!
June 30 2014
Too much Mom Juice and too many greasy fries and burgers during the weekend? Berry filled smoothies are a great way to help clean out and detox the system, hydrate and not to mention use up some of those fresh fruits you bought at the farmers market. Using the soon to go bad or ones that look not so pretty are a great way to get the most out of your market purchases. A commercial quality blender is also a wise way to spend your dough, BlendTec
an american company that also makes all of their products here in the USA offers a beautiful and sleek product that is very easy to clean. Check out their site for great recipes and other offerings. With the 4th of July right around the corner bust out the BlendTec blender at your BBQ to make Blended Mom Juice and other refreshing libations. A great way to add a little something extra to your drinks you can throw in herbs from your garden! Have a fun and smoothie Celebration! :)
June 27 2014
RAD MOM Carly came up with this great idea of having one day a week of "forced family fun" somewhere that everyone enjoys. It's a great way to get the family all in one place, especially when there is a teenager involved that wants to hang with their friends and definitely not the fam. Have family coming into town? Not sure how to entertain? Hit up a local famous spot that was featured in a movie! Take a drive to your local beach or watering hole (the pond type not your local bar, unless everyone is of drinking age, then have at it), mini golf, hiking, check out you local arts district, maybe your town has a summer concert series. There is always something to do no matter what season or where you live.
June 26 2014
BACKPACKS ARE THE NEW DIAPER BAGS
Finding a decent diaper bag seems to be sort of an enigma these days. After lots of searching I conceded to the fact that I already owned the perfect diaper bag, the Christmas present I bought for my husband a few years ago! Handcrafted from super durable duck canvas and leather this Joshu & Vela bag was a no brainer. Since my daughter was born this bag has literally gone with me everywhere. I couldn't be happier with not only its quality but also its simple look and durability. Not too mention no husband will ever feel reluctant or emasculated to carry around a rugged monochromatic leather backpack.
June 25 2014
What inspires you to be Happy? Neon colors sure make us happy! Pinterest is a great place to find inspiring images, here are a few that we have found. Inspiring things help to enlighten moods, bring on smiles or even a good laugh. The right amount of daily inspiration can change the way you think about what you might be facing at that very moment. Not to mention inspiration can be found in almost anything; music, art, people, nature, a car drive, a dip in the ocean... the list goes on and on. Make sure to find time often to let yourself get inspired! Have a happy day!
June 24 2014
Looking for ways to spend the days with the kiddos? Here is an awesome craft that is also a great way to teach about the world of colors through making your own paint! The best part is you can probably find all of the ingredients in your kitchen pantry :) How many different animals can you make with your hand? NEON RAE Have a happy and crafty day!
June 23 2014
I have been asking around to all my favorite mom's for some help on compiling quick healthy meals! I will try to put up a new recipe every week. Feel free to swap out the base for what ever you prefer according to your own personal diet. These recipes are mostly improvised so don't stress, they should be easy and fun and QUICK!! This weeks Minute Meal is.... Chicken Fakasta!
Minute Meal grocery list:
- yellow summer squash
- a lemon
- fresh dill or preferred fresh herbs
- chicken breasts
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- veggie pasta maker
Use the pasta maker to spin out as much zucchini and summer squash noodles as desired. In a large sauce pan with olive oil and salt and pepper cook on low heat until you have a broth and the veggies have reached pasta consistency. Remove pasta and drain the broth into a bowl for future use.
While the oven is heating up to 400°. In a baking dish arrange the chicken breasts over the veggie broth (adding organic veggie broth if necessary), cover chicken breasts with lemon slices and sprigs of fresh dill. Wrap dish with foil and bake until chicken reaches 165 degrees or is thoroughly cooked.
Slice cooked chicken lengthwise and then return everything back into the sauce pan used to cook the "pasta". Toss in quartered tomatoes and marry on low heat.