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A gathering place for inspiring stories, helpful advice, and more
“Home for me has always been a place of warmth and security and enjoying simple moments with my family. During these times of uncertainty, I’m thinking of you and wanted to share some of the things that I love, that lift our spirits, that keep us connected, that give us hope—that make us happy.
Welcome to RL at Home.”
Advice and ideas to bring warmth and cosiness to your home
The Rituals Revisited
More than ever, it’s the little things that you do day in and day out that give your life its rhythm and reward
The building blocks of our daily routine are more than simple, dull chores. They’re friendly trail markers through days and weeks of unpredictability. In the spirit of Jane Austen, they’re what gives life its sense and sensibility. Here’s to a few of our new (and newly rediscovered) favourites.
#1 Make Your Bed My calculations show that I have made up my bed close to 25,000 times. It’s a defense against disorder that contributes a continuity and shape to my days—a simple feat, but extremely satisfying. Don’t get lazy. Make sure those corners are squared and the pillows are puffed. Fold up your blankets. Straighten out the dust ruffle. A messy bed could be the thread that unravels that important sense of order. A little bit of control goes a long way when life is out of control!
#2 Share a Cup It’s not so much brewing the coffee or steeping the tea as the experience of sharing it. Find time in your day for a pause to share a mug or a cuppa, along with a homemade cookie or sweet. On your own these days? FaceTime with a friend and enjoy a virtual coffee break, or schedule a Zoom tea party!
#3 Set Your Table Set your table for dinner, even if it’s just pizza that you order in! Stash that pizza box or tinfoil container. Use china, not paper plates. And, of course, cloth napkins. Light some candles, even if they’re battery-operated. Ask Alexa to play some dreamy music. Make those dining moments special! You deserve it.
#4 Open Your Window Whatever your view, and whatever the weather, open a window first thing in the morning, even if for a moment. Take a look, then take a deep breath and think about the day ahead. Then at the end of the day, open your window again for what has become in several places a daily ritual of saluting the heroes that are keeping us going, all those who are not staying home so that we can. Raise your windows and raise your voices in one loud global anthem of love and appreciation. Let them hear you!—Mary Randolph Carter
From Our Kitchen to Yours
Recipes, treats, and rituals
Grilling Season Is Here!
Whether you’re a fan of beef, turkey, or veggie burgers, we’ve got a recipe for each, from Ricky Lauren’s The Hamptons: Food, Family, and History
- 680g minced beef
- ½ medium onion, grated
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 80g panko bread crumbs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 6 hamburger buns
- Mix the beef, onion, paprika, bread crumbs, and egg thoroughly in a large bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Divide and mold into six patties.
- Cook on medium heat under the grill or on the barbecue to your preferred doneness.
- Serve on buns.
Red Barn Turkey Burgers
- 1 large portobello mushroom
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped shallot
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 680g lean turkey mince
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 thin slices white cheddar cheese
- 6 whole-grain rolls or English muffins
- Scoop out the underside of the mushroom cap. Cut the cap into 1-inch slices.
- Pulse the cap, shallot, and parsley in a food processor until chopped.
- Transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl. Add the turkey, oil, and Worcestershire sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Mix until combined.
- Divide into 6 patties on a large plate. Cover the patties and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Grill the patties for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Top with the cheese slices during the last 3 minutes of cooking.
- Serve on rolls or toasted muffins.
- 4 handfuls shitake mushrooms, sliced
- 200g chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
- 600g shelled edamame, blanched
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- 150g chopped spring onions
- 1 large handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 hamburger buns
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil and set them aside in a large bowl.
- Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, and bell peppers in olive oil over medium heat until tender, about 3 minutes. Add them to the mushrooms.
- Coarsely chop the edamame and chickpeas in a food processor. Add them to the mushrooms and stir in the scallions, parsley, and egg. Season with salt and pepper.
- Shape the mixture into 6 patties and sauté them in oil over medium heat until golden on both sides.
- Finish cooking the burger in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Serve on buns.
The Ultimate Summer Elixir
Add an extra layer of flavour to any drink—from lemonade to the perfect dark ’n’ stormy—with this versatile yet easy ginger syrup, developed exclusively for RL at Home
Ginger Syrup Recipe
- 1 handful of fresh ginger
- 500g Demerara sugar
- 250ml water
- Peel and coarsely chop the ginger and add to a blender. Blend until as smooth as possible.
- Pour the contents into a fine mesh strainer set over a container. Use a ladle to push through all the juice. Set aside.
- Bring water to a boil, then turn off the flame.
- Add in the sugar immediately and stir until dissolved.
- To finish, add the ginger juice in equal measure to the water and sugar mixture.
- Add the syrup to ginger ale or lemonade, or as part of a Moscow mule or dark ’n’ stormy cocktail. The syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Family & Kids
The joys of being together, plus fun ways to keep your kids happy and busy
Activities for Kids
Tie-Dye:Not Just for Summer Camp Anymore
There are tons of fun activities out there—but only one that leaves you with something they’ll want to wear. Here’s how to master the art of tie-dye
Get Your Kit Together
Most craft stores sell dye kits with everything you need to get going—including cotton shirts (check to see if your local one offers curbside pickup). Or, if you’re looking for a more natural alternative, the US Forest Service has great information about creating your own natural dyes from local plant life.Either way, here’s what you’ll need:
- Coloured dyes
- Squeeze bottles
- Rubber bands
- Rubber gloves
- Soda ash and dye fixative, for better colour saturation (optional)
- Something to dye!
Choose Your Canvas
Go with garments made entirely—or at least mostly—from natural fibers like cotton, linen, and wool.Try it on socks, T-shirts, oxford shirts, sweatpants, or hoodies for relaxing at home—and, of course, you can’t go wrong with a cotton mesh Polo shirt.
Prepare your dyes (each brand will have its own instructions), then soak your garments in warm water (with soda ash, if using) and gently wring them out—tie-dye works best when the fabric is damp, but not soaking wet. Put on your gloves and find a good space to work, like a bathtub, a large sink, or somewhere outside, and you’re ready to go. Tip: If you have one, setting down a wire rack is helpful—it allows excess dye to neatly drip off your garment rather than pooling together on your work surface.
Tie It Together
Grab your rubber bands and get to work!Try the standard swirl pattern by inching the center of a T-shirt or Polo and spiraling it tight, then rubber-banding it together to form triangular cross-sections. Pinch small sections and wrap rubber bands tightly around them to create circle effects.Or, bunch your garment together and apply your bands randomly to create an abstract design. Grab a few old tees—maybe even a sheet—and try just about anything else that comes to mind, and try to guess what the resulting pattern will be. Creativity is encouraged!
Add the Dye
With your gloves on, grab your dye bottles and have at it!Try mixing and matching different colours onto the different sections that your rubber-band pattern has created. Repeat on all sides of your garment.Tip: A little bit of colour blending is encouraged, but be careful—too much can muddy the overall result.
All Set …
Place your garments into individual plastic bags and let rest according to your dye’s instructions. Then, if you’re using a fixative, soak according to its instructions.Then remove the rubber bands, unfold, and voilà—your new tie-dye!Tip: Be sure to rinse each piece of tie-dye thoroughly, then machine wash individually at least once to wash out any excess dye and prevent it from spreading onto the rest of your laundry.
Don’t let the lack of physical proximity get in the way of staying connected to your favourite special kid. Here, a few of our favourite children’s books for your next Zoom story time
Oh, the Places You’ll Go
by Dr. Seuss
A few years back, Dr. Seuss’ last book, from 1990, had a brief moment as an oh-so-cute college-graduation-speech staple, but these days, its celebration of all the adventures to come should have extra resonance with anyone stuck at home, whether they’re 2 or 102. Same goes for its evocation of a land of limbo called “The Waiting Place.” Fortunately, Seuss writes, “Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.” A dream we can all share!
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
by Mo Willems
With its simple and irresistible call-and-response structure, Willems’ 2004 Caldecott Honoree engineers a kind of story-time role reversal, putting the narrator—you!—into the role of pleading pigeon (“I tell you what: I’ll just steer. ... What’s the big deal!? ... It’s just a bus!!!”) while your young audience will find themselves falling into the role of authority figure who’s in charge of keeping the bus safe—and pigeon-free—when the actual driver is away.
The Chronicles of Narnia Pop-Up
based on the books by C.S. Lewis, with pop-ups by Robert Sabuda
It can be tricky to make a story come to life via a flat computer screen, but Robert Sabuda’s intricate and dazzling pop-ups—one for each book in C.S. Lewis’ timeless series—solve that by quite literally popping off the page. The copy is minimal, which gives you plenty of opportunity to extemporize and to bring Lewis’ fantastical tales to life in your own way.
The Story of Ferdinand
by Munro Leaf
The tale of a big, strong Spanish bull who’d rather sit and smell the flowers in the shade of a cork tree than fight with the matadors in Madrid is a welcome reminder that there are better ways to channel one’s pent-up energy than conflict with brothers, sisters, moms, or dads!
by Ian Falconer
This 2000 classic, which tells the story of a young girl, er … pig, who’s very good at a lot of things—including wearing people out, should have extra resonance with kids at home as well as moms and dads juggling work and home-school. And Olivia’s Jackson Pollock–inspired wall painting serves as both an idea for an at-home art project and a welcome lesson: Don’t break out the paintbrushes without Mom or Dad’s supervision!
TV, movies, digital experiences, and more of our favourite diversions
Learn more about the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation’s $10 million commitment toward COVID-19 relief efforts