EAT : date night in


date nights (around our house) are not usually a weekly occurrence. however they do happen more than they used to. mostly because over the years we’ve expanded the definition to include afternoon coffee dates, home depot trips (sans kids), crash your friends quiet evening down the street date, and more recently with the start of the monthly spread, put the kids down early for a night-in date.

on the menu this past month was a wine and cheese pairing. yoder and i had such a fun time (especially considering how easy it was to throw together) that i had to share with you.


                         C L I C K   H E R E   T O   D O W N L O A D   T H E   M E N U   O P T I O N S


we opted for a fancy-ish (for us) bottle of chardonnay and paired it with brie and berries.

so simple and delicious and perfect – you should definitely give it a whirl.

have any date night secrets? we’d love for you to share in the comments…

hope you enjoy!! happy monday!

xo . rae

Posted in EAT, freebie, menus, printable | 9 Comments

back to school celebration and printables

i’m a firm believer that whether you are crying tears of joy or tears of sadness over the kids going back to school, it deserves a celebration. i’m also painfully aware, around this time of year, while purchasing new everything for my kids, that there are families who can’t afford to do the same.


so this year i thought i would do the whole 2 birds, one stone thing and put together a back to school brunch for all the fantastic mamas in my life while also collecting school gear for the kids in our community.

to help me pull this shindig off, i’ve asked my friend emily to host at her gorgeous home. she will also be sharing some fun decor tutorials on her blog leading up to the event. i’ll be sure and share links, but you might also want to head over to her site and sign up for emails so you don’t miss a thing!

we would be over the moon if you wanted to join us and plan a celebration of your own! (although – side note – one giant party would be amazing! maybe next year!?) all the paper goodies have been designed and are ready for you to download, just click the links below.



because the brunch won’t happen until the week after school starts, we decided to ask guests to bring shoes as their donation that we will give to a local charity called lions 4 kids.

new shoes are such a big deal in our home – a highlight of going back to school – so i can hardly wait to pull up with a load of them to give away and pray that the kids who receive them will be blessed.


i can also hardly wait to chow down on yummy brunch foods with my girls and will be sharing menu ideas and details for putting together a mimosa bar next week, so stay tuned!

in the meantime, let me know if you have any questions about the party details or finding a charity as we would love to help as much as possible!!!

xo . rae

Posted in craft, design, DIY, freebie, MAKE, party planning, printable | 4 Comments

MAKE : painted drinkware

we recently got rid of our hodgepodge collection of drinking glasses and mason jars, and replaced them with 2 sets of these cute handled jars by libbey. with a cupboard full of the same exact glass, i knew i would need to do some embellishing – painted numbers seemed like the perfect touch!


 here’s how to  D I Y !


drinking glasses, glass paint, paint brush, rubbing alcohol, silhouette/cricut and vinyl, OR clear contact paper, exacto knife and printed page of numbers in your favorite font

armommy-makes-blog-graphics-how-toif you have a silhouette or cricut cutting machine, create your number template.

if not, don’t worry! just print off numbers the size you want, lay the contact paper over the top, trace and cutout using an exacto knife.

with a rag or cotton ball, use the rubbing alcohol to clean the glasses where you want to paint.

peel the backing off of the contact paper or vinyl and stick on the glasses.

fill in the number stencils with paint and peel off the stencil before the paint dries… (the first few glasses we did i waited until the paint dried and when i pulled the stencil off, the paint came with it!)

to finish, follow the directions on the bottle of glass paint. (mine had me let the glasses dry for 4 days and then bake in the oven before using and washing.)

the fam bam has been loving our numbered glasses and i wish we had more so i could make some with polka-dots or other fun patterns… maybe i’ll have to save that for christmas gifts!

w h a t   w o u l d   y o u   p a i n t   o n   y o u r   d r i n k i n g   g l a s s e s ?

**UPDATE: as luck would have it, my friend emily posted a similar tutorial today and shared pictures of the process.  head here if you want to take a peek!**

xo . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)

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Posted in craft, DIY, food, home, ideas, tutorial | 1 Comment

KIDS : rain makers

the other morning, while putting on my makeup, i turned around to find all 4 of my kids huddled around, asking me questions, getting into my drawers, knocking things over and hanging on my legs. now, to do this story justice i also have to add that my bathroom is the size of a small closet. soooo i was just a little flattered (but a lot claustrophobic) that in a house full of open rooms and tons of toys, they were willing to cram themselves into a tiny space just to hangout with me.

sometimes my kids make me feel so cool….


… other times i would do (almost) anything for a few (but really 30) minutes to complete a task on my own, without a little helper – and because i’m hoping i’m not the only one out there who has those moments, i’m going to start a new monthly series all about simple crafts kids can do by themselves. however there is always the chance that the project will be so much fun you can’t help but get sucked in!

one thing i highly suggest having for all of these projects is one tray designated to hold supplies.  it’s the easiest way i’ve found to keep kids craft time tame and in one place and makes cleanup (not to be confused with organizing) easy for the kids. click here to read more about my love affair with trays.  i’m slightly obsessed.


since it’s august and i’m guessing most people would welcome a little rain to break up the summer heat, i thought a rain stick would be the perfect project for the kids.  here’s what your tray will need.

(***NOTE: please use your own discretion about what is safe and age appropriate for your kids to craft with, especially without your full supervision***)


small nails (hardware store), masking tape (I bought the colored rolls from target), printer paper cut into 4ths, cardboard rolls (think paper towel, wrapping paper, or t.p.), and plastic beads (craft store – dried beans would work too!)


to make the rain sticks, cover one end of the tube with paper and tape it in place. then have the kids poke nails into the seam around their cardboard tube. next they can fill it ½ to ¾ of the way up with beads. cover the open end with paper and tape so nothing falls out. lastly you’ll want the kids to cover the tube and nails by wrapping it in tape or drawing a picture to cover the tube and taping it in place.


if you still need a little more time, have the kids make one for you too (or the dog, neighbor, etc. – whatever keeps em’ busy!) and then head outside for a little rain making dance party!


we love seeing how you use our projects and ideas so if you would like to join a hashtag party, use #armommykids when sharing images on instagram or twitter. of course you can always tag us @raefriis on insta or @armommy_llc on twitter, too!

how do you keep your child(ren) occupied while you get ready in the morning, respond to emails, do some pinning, make dinner, etc….?!

xo . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)

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EATS : anatomy of a yummy salad

i have a confession – i could eat nothing but salad all day, every day in the summer and be happy. actually, i take that back, i would need to eat ice cream too, but other than ice cream salad to me is the perfect summer treat. there is something about mixing all of the season’s best into a single chopped up meal that makes it feel like a farmer’s market in a bowl.


now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about four pieces of lettuce and some shaved carrots, (which is more of a meal for a bunny rabbit on a diet than a family of six!) i’m talking about putting together delicious crisp, cool ingredients, and then adding enough toppings to make the salad eater feel full, happy, and satisfied.

today i thought i would share some inspiration and put together a list of  tasty  ingredients to throw into your next salad – as well as our ultimate cobb salad recipe from the monthly spread (below).



ditch the ice berg and try something different such as a spring mix, arugula, kale, spinach, or red leaf lettuce – and instead of tearing off bigger pieces try chopping your lettuce.  For whatever reason my kids enjoy salads way more when they are chopped.

salad-post-add-crunchsimple toppings such as seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, pomegranate…), nuts (hazelnut, pine nuts, almonds….), crisp veggies (radishes, cabbage, sprouts….) go a long way!

salad-post-graphics-textureadd some yummy ingredients such as avocado, apple, berries, edamame, grapefruit or sliced hardboiled eggs to add texture to each bite.

salad-post-graphics-flavortry tossing your salad with chopped mint, red onion, scallions, lemon juice, salsa, blue or feta cheese, or balsamic vinegar.

don’t be afraid to mix it up (a little pun there) and have some fun! for other fantastic recipes and resources check out the monthly spread. there you will get more ideas on how easy it is to have a full pantry stocked with ingredients to make mealtime fun and easy – even with a busy family.


do you have any tips for making a tasty salad? or maybe a favorite topping!?

xo . rae

(image by stacy jacobsen)

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