that time we sorta had a cereal party (and freebies)

parties are fun.

parties that you don’t have to get dressed for are even more fun.

parties that cost almost nothing and don’t require cooking or getting dressed for are the mostest fun. ever.

if you agree then you’re in for a treat! (keep reading and scrolling because there are freebies at the bottom!)


it’s always been really important to yoder and me to make a home that my kids and their friends feel welcome at. for the most part i think we’ve succeeded… most days after school and on the weekends there are kids coming and going from outside in the front, to in the house, and then the backyard on repeat. after a few days (like spring break or summer vacation) it starts to feel a little messy and chaotic and exhausting. i’ve learned that it helps to have something planned — a craft, pizza and a movie, hide-and-seek, etc. so when things started feeling that way over spring break a couple weeks ago the kids and i decided to throw a cereal party where the kids could wear jammies, bring their lovies or stuffed pals and eat all the sugar cereals they would otherwise never be allowed to eat. especially not in the morning.

the actual party never came together over break (mom fail!), but we put together a smaller version to get some pics and have since rescheduled the real one. assuming it goes well, i would imagine we’ll be doing a lot of these this summer.


//balloons from target with sleepy eyes drawn on with a sharpie//


//plastic cups with lids also from target//


//actually i think almost everything from this party is from target (ha!) the cereal, eggs, bowls, greek yogurt tubes, cuties, bananas and juice//


//set up was easy. we added the menu to our chalkboard, added sleepy eyes to the balloons and a few eggs, and added wall decals (which will be coming to the DESIGN SHOP very soon!) randomly//


//cleanup was pretty easy too. just sweeping and putting food away//


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//this party theme would be perfect for a little one’s birfday//


//i also set out some alphabet beads and twine and activity cards (download below) to keep the kids entertained and avoid a food fights//

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C L I C K   T O   D O W N L O A D

school will be out for summer before we know it and i would LOVE to know, how do you entertain the kids in your life over long vacation times!?

xo . rae

p.s. – thank you so much for all the comments and emails after monday’s post. so sweet and appreciated.

(images by stacy jacobsen)


send someone a happy text.


a week ago today my sweet friend vanessa, her husband josh and their 8 month old (poppy’s future hubs) hudson went to be with Jesus. it was tragic, sudden and left a lot of people heartbroken. they were seriously amazing. always playing, laughing, encouraging and loving. the best kind of people and they were our people.

here is a blurb from a blog post vanessa wrote that sums up just how encouraging she was: “i want to seize every opportunity to brag excessively about people. i want the words that come from my lips to be so uplifting of the people around me that they can fly high on the things I say. every day and every moment is a chance to celebrate people.”

gives me the good kind of goosebumps.

aside from being poppy’s future mother in law, vanessa was also ozzie’s youth pastor and my lifeline to the teenage years. i’m so thankful for the playdates, text messages, laughter, conversations and time i had with her and her brood. there are no words to describe how much they will be missed.

in honor of vanessa i thought i’d share a freebie for something she was so good at — making people feel awesome about themselves. download these cute images to send with a text message:

// you make my heart HHAAPPYY // OMG you da best // hey GIRL, hey. //

i cannot tell you how often i think something sweet about a loved one, friend or neighbor and never share it with them. while a cute image isn’t necessary it makes it just that much more fun… sorta like emojicons :)

here’s to celebrating people and loving well!

xo . rae

(image by stacy jacobsen)


brand you: simple branding tips.

hello lovelies! i’m back from spring break with the kiddies and easter weekend to chat a bit about branding and why we love the brands we do. when i started this site a little over a year ago, i wanted to give myself time to find my voice and vision so put off adding any kind of logo, tagline or header. but lately the ambiguity has been bugging me. so last week i stayed up way too late (way too many nights) trying to decide what i want this little brand of mine to be, look and feel like. even though i’ve had lots of experience with this whole branding thing, it’s been soooo challenging trying to do it for myself.

after lots of second guessing and multiple proofs and edits (i’m a chronic over-thinker, people!) i’ve had to remind myself of some basic truths, 1) a brand is a vision and a purpose that is translated by all the design and creative elements and 2) good brands are consistent and reliable. it’s why i (and most people i know) love j. crew, anthropology and target… i love how they roll and can count on them to deliver every time.


with that in mind here are three supa simple ways to keep your brand consistent while adding personality and uniqueness. knowing which ones you love and using them as a style guide will make work easy for you and your customers which saves you time and money (for the win!).

hue do you love? pick 2-5 colors that you are smitten with to use on your marketing, web site, etc. this doesn’t mean you can’t change things up in different features or blog posts but it will give you a good foundation. just be sure to pick palettes that work well together. (still working on picking mine, but think i might stay very basic and work with navy and gray)

type hype… as any type lover knows, how your words look is just as important as what they say. pick 2 or 3 fonts that make you happy to use online and in print. make sure you find one font that’s easy to read and one that looks great as a header. consider both serif (like garamond) and sans serif (like arial) fonts that compliment each other. (i’ve been thinking about using 2 sans serif fonts to keep a clean and modern feel and a decorative/handwritten font to add some whimsy)

a voice that’s true to you… decide on verbiage and a tone to use on your site, blog, marketing and social media accounts. to use as a reference for yourself or guest contributors, put together a few writing samples and list of words, phrases and concepts that you would or wouldn’t like to be used in your brand copy. this might seem a little excessive but it can really help simplify your workflow!

there you go! some good reminders to myself as i start making tweaks to this site. hope it’s helpful to you creatives out there too! if you find yourself stuck or not wanting to DIY your way through this i’d love to help… there is a workflow i go through starting with a series of questions that pullout my clients vision, personality, style, goals, etc. (probably my favorite part… luv my clients!) then i search for inspiration and finally i start the design process. if you aren’t ready to make the full investment i’m also available for brainstorming sessions. find more info, here!

let’s chat in the comments… anything else design and brand related you’d like some tips for?

xo . rae

(pictures by stacy jacobsen)


hello from spring break.


all the babes (+ their buds) are home for spring break and i obviously haven’t found anytime to blog this week so i thought i would write a quick note to say hey, hey, friends… i’ll be back in the game on monday.

until then, i hope you have an amazing easter! i’ll be kickin’ it with the littles in our church nursery and then heading home to host a mexican feast… so not traditional, but delicious, fun and easy. what about you?

here’s a few links to past easter freebies and projects if you want to take a peek:

// freebie tags + stickers // stamped eggs // fabric eggs //

ohhhh, and i’ve been adding new designs to the shop that i’m super excited about. they’ve turned out pretty cute and in addition to the instant downloads (for $5) you can now let us do the printing and shipping (for free)!

xo . rae

ps – love this quote for easter, “all our estate of misery & sin Jesus has taken; & all that Jesus has comes to us.” by,  C.H. Spurgeon found on the she reads truth instagram feed. :)


mom + mini: dressing poppy.


poppy is almost 8months guys. i can hardly believe it. i can also hardly believe that i’ve had this mom gig for 14 years (wah!!?). so much has changed in the world of baby products during that time and i have to say one of my favorites is all of the cute clothes out there. poppy still wears mostly onesies and leggings with a tee, romper or comfy dress over the top and i do most of the shopping for her and the rest of my brood (minus ozzie) at the usual favorites: peek kids, zara kids and minis, gap kids (40% off with code YAY right now), old navy, H&M, target, mini boden and… who else am i forgetting?

it’s also nice to add pieces that are a little more unique and support all those makers and shakers while i’m at it! thought i would share a few of my favorite indie clothing designers and shops for the little ones in your life and baby showers and birthdays in your future!


// 01 riley clay // 02 hen & co. // 03 kid + kind // 04 hatch 4 kids // 05 little bow and arrow // 06 the wild // 07 childHOODS // 08 house of mia // 09 whistle and flute // 10 beau loves //

have you noticed all the gender neutral basics out there!? obsessed, but i know it’s not for everyone. what do you think?

happy (almost) friday.

xo . rae


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