30 January 2010

play dough from the pantry.

anyone who has had a child in preschool or day care has probably received a recipe for play dough so this is no big secret or grand idea.  however, in a last minute effort to occupy 5 children under the age of 6, i decided to throw together some homemade fun so i thought i would share….  especially since it worked like a gem.

1/4 cup salt

1 cup flour

1/4 cup water

mix together all ingredients and food coloring if you wish.  you may need to add extra water or flour to make the correct consistency {which feels a little like pizza dough in my opinion}.  we used plastic bags to mix our ingredients, but the directions i found said to mix in a bowl.

put some placemats out {we have some great ones here http://armommy.blogspot.com/search/label/place%20mats if you are interested} cookie cutters, rolling pins, and other extras and whalla, a play dough party!

have fun mamas!

soiree ideas

i’ve been looking for some new ideas for garlands so i can  make my home feel festive without having to spend a lot of money on decorations.  here is what i found…

garlands garlands 2 garlands 3

hope you are as inspired as i was!  don’t you love the ones that used recycled comic books and music pages?

happy decorating!

26 January 2010

meet the littlest friis.

i’ve often wondered why two year olds are considered to be in the “terrible twos”.  in my opinion, [we are raising our third munchkin], two is way easier then one.  this is our one year old, matilda jane:


she does different versions of this all day and is typically pretty pleased with herself.  this morning she figured out a way to open her sippy cup full of milk and dump it all over herself and the floor.  i calmly placed her in her crib so i could grab a wet rag without her spreading the puddle throughout the house.  10 minutes later i returned to her crib to discover that she had removed her diaper and pottied on her bedding ….  seriously?  was that necessary little girl? 

september october 2009 014

she also has a knack for unraveling herself rapidly.  after struggling through getting her dressed and her hair done i’m usually sweating, but it’s not long before she’s pulled her clip out, taken her baby legs, pants, skirt, shoes, socks, etc. off.  and i’m left wondering how such a cutie pie can look like such a rag-a-muffin.

however, i know she is not the only one.  my little brother’s nickname at this age was “the master of disaster” and my niece’s was “hurricane elisabeth”.   since our baby girl was born we’ve called her “waltzing matilda”, but it is quickly being replaced by sticky fingers. 

this too shall pass.  one day soon, i will forget how exhausting this stage is  and want another one.  however, at this moment i’m looking forward to the terrible twos.  

xo . rae . vp + mom . armommy . rae@armommy.com

25 January 2010

loving layers.

if i told you that i love layers, could you pick me out of this picture?

Pic 1 sunday

that’s me in the front row on the right side wearing a turtleneck, t-shirt, coolots, tights, leg warmers, sneakers and if you look really closely you can see the band aid on my knee.  probably my favorite part of the outfit.  i’m also pretty sure that my mom hid my rainbow colored sweatband the night before so it didn’t make it’s way into this picture.  i was not one to compromise when it came to my outfits and as you can see i loved looking a little eclectic!

i continue to love layers and not just in my wardrobe.  i love the layers in my home that are from older generations such as the copper tea kettle that hangs in tilly’s room.  it belonged to her great, great grandmother who she was named after. 

however, i had never really thought about what was so appealing about layers until i was flipping through a serena and lily catalogue and read this:

“we believe that layers make everything in life more interesting – people, poetry, a wedding cake, a winter bed.  in your home, it’s the layers that give each room character and soul – the unique mix of colors and patterns.  the photographs and treasures collected over time.  the way you choose to put it all together.  sometimes it’s part of a well=devised plan and everything matches perfectly.  other times, it’s pure improvisation and the most spontaneous combinations become your favorites.  either way, it’s about building on what you have, following your instincts and letting things unfold naturally.  just like life.”

and i thought, EXACTLY!  perfectly said.  don’t you agree?  i just love [if i could use that word one more time, lol!] that they included people in their description because it’s SO true.  anyway…  i’m not really sure how to conclude this blog post….   hmmmm….  not very professional of me, but i think i’ll post it anyway…. :)

“i am fearfully and wonderfully made…”  psalm 139:14

23 January 2010

+ j u s t f o r f u n


[doesn’t this picture make you want to jump in puddles and paint your nails a bright color?!]

sunshine or rain [or snow], have fun this weekend!  enjoy.  even in the midst of chores, obligations and little voices saying, “mom, mama, mommy, mom, ma, mom, mama, mama….” while you are in the middle of something.  take a deep breath or let out a little scream [into a pillow if possible] and then remind yourself that they are only in your nest for a little while and you will miss them when they are gone.  oh, and would you like me to tell you the best part?  one day[or probably a sequence of many] all your hard work will pay off!  that deserves an “AMEN!” i think!

++ need something fun to do?  make a vision board.  not just for your children but for you.  share your dreams and goals.  talk about places you want to go and things you want to do.  discover what is in their hearts while sharing what is in yours. ++

be blessed and laugh…  a lot.

picture by shannon sewell photography

22 January 2010

ARMOMMY friendly facebook contest.

friends We have the greatest fans and now we want to reward you for introducing our Facebook page to your friends and family!

Here are the rules: send our page to as many people as you know (here's the link:http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-R-M-O-M-M-Y/166505218789). Every time someone you referred becomes a fan both of you are entered to win a great prize. The more people you refer the better your chances of winning!

How do we know you referred them? They have to write on our wall and leave us a message letting us know that you were the one to send them our way! Everyone with over 10 friends leaving their name on our wall will get a prize and at the end of two weeks the person who refers the most new fans will be the grand prize winner. We will also select one new fan who has written on our wall at random to win a prize!  Lots of opportunities to win and to share your favorite products with your friends!

Don't forget, here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-R-M-O-M-M-Y/166505218789- and don't forget to tell your friends to let us know (via our wall) that you were the one to refer them!

Contest ends Thursday, February 4th at 11:59 pm PST.

Happy sharing!

21 January 2010

at the heart of ARMOMMY.

Untitled-45i was recently given the opportunity to write about our company.  typically this means writing about our strategies, goals and predictions.  {yuk!} because numbers and graphs make my head hurt i would not ordinarily consider this task to be an opportunity, but more like having my teeth pulled.  however, this instance required that i write about our heart, dreams and hopes.    therefore, i was absolutely  thrilled to be able to share with someone what truly matters to us. 

i have included some excerpts from my assignment below…

I am in love and devoted to my Lord and Savior, my husband of 4 years, {Johan}, and three children {Austin 9, Espen 3, Matilda 1}. I am also a friend, daughter, sister, Sunday school teacher, small group leader, classroom volunteer, stay at home, working parent and business owner. I find great joy in all things beautiful {and sweet}, creating, designing,  journaling, watching and participating in sports, singing {when no one can hear me} and adventuring. I am a big dreamer who trusts in God’s plan for my life and strives to live fully in the moment.

At 20 years of age, while playing soccer and attending Washington State University, I became pregnant. Life changed drastically for me. The years that followed were lonely and difficult, but through faith I raised my darling boy alone, while working several part time jobs and completing school.

As a result of this experience, God has gifted me with a heart for moms. At first I believed it was just for single moms, but as I have searched and prayed, there was no doubt that my heart is for all moms {working, single, stay at home, …}. I love them. I want to encourage, equip, and empower them to realize their significance. I want moms to be able to choose joy, laughter, dancing, beauty and simplicity over the ugly alternatives. I want moms to be lifted up to be able to live the best life possible , regardless of circumstances.

This is the core of ARMOMMY. This is the heart of its owner. This is a lifestyle company.

{i went on to talk about future dreams, ideas for products and various endeavors and then concluded by saying simply,}

ARMOMMY is us: our company, our dream. ARMOMMY gives us purpose, joy, and hope. ARMOMMY is how we use our talents for God’s glory and love people to His Kingdom. It is a journey and adventure we are blessed to be on.

i am not equipped or able to do these things on my own.  i make more mistakes then i care to admit.  however, i have a God that is more then able to use me, imperfections and all.  i am thankful for the friends that just this  morning reminded me of that truth.  God does not ask us to be perfect, just willing.  be encouraged darling friends, that He is more then enough, more then able,  and incredibly patient….  i should know.

xo :: rae :: vp + mom :: armommy

20 January 2010

oh dear {valentine} collection.

we’ve been hard at work creating valentine collections and think you will L.O.V.E these…

{fully customizable ::  note prices + description below :: email orders to rae@armommy.com}

oh dear square card 2  3.5x3.5” card ::  printed on textured cardstock ::  $17 for 20 + $.50 for each additional :: $12 for a custom pdf file to print them at home

  oh dear round sticker  2.5”x2.5” round sticker :: $9 per 12 :: $12 for a custom pdf file to print them at home :: perfect to seal goodie bags, or envelopes!

oh dear note card 2

  3.5”x5” folded note card :: printed on textured cardstock ::  $1.50 each, discount for larger orders :: $12 for a custom pdf file to print at home :: great to give to teachers, neighbors, family…

oh dear candy bar wrapper

  5”x5” candy bar wrapper :: printed on quality text weight paper ::  $20 for 20 + $.75 for each additional :: $12 for a custom pdf file to print them at home

charming notes to give to all the ‘dears’ in your life.  we will be revealing the rest of our heart day collections over the next couple weeks, so check back often!

email orders or questions to rae@armommy.com

sweet dreams :: rae :: vp + mom :: armommy

19 January 2010

oh baby {invitations}

inspired by my dear friend emily {who after having three boys is pregnant with a little girl!} i created these baby shower invitations::

emily invite

she has truly BEA.UTIFUL taste and loves glitter {hence the scalloped glitter border}, neutrals and has decided to use some blues along with some very girly details, in the baby’s nursery.  she was thinking about adding some pink to the color palette, so i added a small amount.  that thought was fleeting {for emily}, but i think it was just the right touch to the invitation.

i am so overwhelmed with anticipation to see her family of boys with a precious girl, for our little matilda to have a new friend and for the many mommy/daughter dates in our future.  i mean, aren’t trips to the nail salon and our local tea house always justified when you have little girls? 

not to mention how excited i am to find out what her name will be.  possibly my favorite part of the arrival of any new bambino….  after getting the news that baby and mama are healthy of course!

her shower is in a few weeks…  hoping to have some fun pictures and party planning ideas to share!

xoxo . rae . vp + mom . armommy

14 January 2010


i confessed to a friend the other day that i’m a bit of a slacker when it comes to focusing on education in my home.  it’s not how i want to be, it’s just who i am {a bit of a cop-out}.  i’m so drawn to art, music and other creative endeavors that i forget to encourage some of the more logical, necessary and beneficial subjects.  like math for my 9 year old or the alphabet for my 3 year old.  i would much rather put together a puzzle, make up a story or play a board game.  while those are all good things, there is something to be said for some good old fashioned flash cards, pop quizzes, memorization, etc.  i mean, i’ve been using flash cards for as long as i can remember so why not introduce them to my children?  in an effort to do just that i designed the first of a set of flash cards to help teach colors.

flash card example

my thought is to not only make them repetitive and pleasing but also create some converstaion.  thus making them a little more tolerable {and easy} for myself and my little ones.  i’ll let you know how it goes and what the finished product looks like.

xo . rae . armommy . vp + mom

from the mouth of babes.

hallie and nick and armommy 459

do{es} your child{ren} ever say exactly what is on the tip of   Y O U R  tongue?

this evening ozzie handed me his bowl and asked for a refill.  silly me assumed he wanted more mac and cheese and so dished up a good portion.  the result?  total disgust as he gagged, “this was my applesauce bowl!”  it was potentially the end of the world.  my response?  well, my  3 year old beat me to it.  “chil.lax ozzie!”  a common phrase in the friis home {along with "rela.ha.tte” relax + latte}.  terms that are necessary in a home full of fun loving, excitable people.  a non-offensive way to say, “take a chill pill!”.  instead of defensiveness we get giggles.  and thus, the world will continue until the next tragedy.

not a whole lot to take from this story, but hopefully entertaining.

. xo . rae friis . armommy . vp + mom .

02 January 2010


i have been busy at work in many areas of business and family and my mind is racing with things i could write about.  i’ve been contemplating what to focus on and think that as we head into 2010 passion and adventure will be a big focus of mine; being the second day of the new year, i feel an appropriate topic.  but to begin and without further adieu, some of my biggest struggles and questions from the previous year have been….

how can i be sure to put my ALL into something [or many something's: husband, children, ministry, business, friends] and fit it all in; including the ‘small’ stuff?  or, for that matter, is it truly possible to not sweat the small stuff?  if i focus on the big stuff, will the small things fall into place?  even though i have gotten really good at saying “no” over the years and trimming down my commitments, i find that i still don’t have the time to do and be everything my heart desires.  however, i am absolutely convinced that this is not how life should be.  so this year, 2010, i am trusting that if i am focused every day on God’s heart for me and my family, i will be living my best life possible.  understandably i am egger to see how things turn out.

the end of 2009 brought about so many exciting events.  we have two weddings of our treasured friends to look forward to [words cannot express how much i love the people involved] and my husband and i had a  H U G E  victory in our personal life.  nothing that had to do with our marriage, but that greatly affected our family.  until the moment that we heard the good news i don’t think i was completely aware of the toll this always looming, randomly active situation was taking on me.  while i could live by faith knowing that God’s glory would be the ultimate outcome, nothing could replace the relief that came this past month…  in that moment and after 10 years of fighting, my life simply became more about living and less about surviving.  it was a labor of love, passion and sacrifice and i cry every time i think about it.

rae and yoder wedding

[our wedding day 2005]

today i was doing what and being who i want to be in the coming year.  our afternoon was spent sledding with our friends and their children for a total of 3 couples and 10 children.  getting all the kid-os in their snow gear is an adventure in and of itself, but add to it that one of the adults is 8 months pregnant, 8 of the children were 6 and under, and getting to the sledding hill included hiking down a steep “cliff”, crossing a “river” and then trekking up another steep hill and i began to feel like lewis and clark.  we were in fact, totally out of our minds but still had the gumption afterwards to fire up the camping stove, make gourmet hot chocolate [candy canes, egg nog, cocoa, milk and whip cream] in our soaking clothes, with our exhausted children and spend a good hour or so simply enjoying each other's company as the snow fell.  i loved every moment of it. 

this evening as my husband offered his help to get the kitchen and family room clean i turned on a song that had recently moved me to tears [all i need by mat kearney] and asked him to stop and slow dance with me.  [the song is about a real life experience of a young married couple during the katrina flooding.]  luckily he agreed without hesitation.  as we danced and listened to the words i wondered, what is it about tragedy and adventure that breeds romance and overwhelming love?  not hard to answer but a worthwhile question. 

sometimes, while faced with chaos and stress i am the best version of myself.  i love good because i know in those moments what matters most.  other times i am the worst version of myself  because i forget what is most important.  i will never be a perfect person, but i always want to be better and this is where my heart and thoughts are headed into twenty-ten; with my eyes and ears turned to my Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace, Everlasting God and Savior, a devotion instead of a resolution.

wishing you more then you dream of in 2010.

[you can hear the mat kearney song on you tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0HqdJfQceo

rae :: vp + mom :: ARMOMMY