Happy day after Thanksgiving friends! Thought I would give you a break from the Black Friday madness (my inbox was SO full this morning!) and share some Holiday style.

Every year Johan and I sit down and set a budget for Christmas. Every year we blow that budget. Not because we’re making it rain, buying lavish gifts for our kids (or ourselves for that matter) or being totally irresponsible but usually because we forget to include the more hidden holiday expenses. Like Christmas cards, a fancy date night, stocking stuffers or something cute for everyone to wear on Christmas. As I’m guessing many can relate, it adds up. In a hurry.


So this year I’m trying to take more of a proactive approach starting with our Christmas party outfits and decided to create an itsums board (more info on itsums below). While Christmas day is spent mostly in our P.J.’s and then whatever new sweater and joggers we unwrap, our Christmas Eve festivities are a little less effortless. Every year we get together with Johan’s big family and enjoy a traditional Scandinavian meal. It’s the highlight of our holiday season and the perfect excuse to wear something cute and festive.

There are just two requirements, 1.) outfits also have to be comfy enough for a long night of merrymaking, playing with cousins, wrestling uncles and eating a few courses of delicious food and 2.) versatile enough that everything will be worn over and over again.

It can be a little tricky, but here’s a peek at outfits options including links!


POPPY: bows, top, dress, socks, shoes

TILLY: dress, necklace, boots, socks — Tilly’s dress might be a bit casual but she’ll wear it all the time after and a couple of sparkly accessories does the trick for Christmas.


ESPEN: shirt, hat, jeans

GRIFFIN: joggers, shirt, bow tie, sweater — Sort of dying over this outfit. Griffin has unexpectedly taken a liking to neckwear and I figure my days of putting him in a sweater with a dog on it are numbered so… bring on the bow ties and puppies! A trendy pair of jogging trousers adds some cool kid vibes and balance to the outfit.

OZZIE: thermal, sweater, jeans – If you’re in need of layering pieces this winter, the thermals from peek kids are a staple in our home for the little and big kids.

SHOES: 1/2/3 (my boys will most likely be in their cleanest pair of sneakers but thought I would share other options that would work with any of the outfits)


MRS.: sweater, skirt, clutch, pumps

MR.: blazer, shirt, jeans, shoes

You can checkout my board and budget over on itsums HERE. If you see items that don’t have prices it’s because we have something similar in our closets or I wanted to include an option for something already on the board (like the 3 pairs of leopard shoes I added!). You might also notice that we are a bit over budget (ooopsies) so I’ll be checking Target to see if they have anything similar for less.

A slight adjustment to our budget might be a good idea too since it’s my shoes and Johan’s blazer that seem to be throwing things off and we have a few other dressy holiday events to attend and not a lot of options in our closet. Also, the thought of Johan in a velvet blazers makes my heart flutter and you just can’t put a price on that, LOL.

If you’ve missed my previous intros (1/2) to this brilliant online budgeting, planning and inspiration site you are in for a treat. Itsums can be used for everything from planning holidays, Birthday parties, vacations, and wardrobes, to home dec and remodeling projects. It’s super helpful for people (like me!) who are more go-with-tha-flow and probably addictive for the more detail oriented folk. I love that I can keep track of everything in one place and the budget aspect keeps my feet on the ground.

I plan on adding boards for Christmas gifts over the weekend too. Would love to see what you guys are summing so leave feel free to leave links to your boards below and  if you would like itsums to feature you on their site or social accounts, be sure to use #itsumsholiday so they can find your projects!

Cheers to making the holidays special without blowing the bank!





Hang onto your Christmas baubles friends because I have a fun little look at a shoot we did for Northernly’s new Up North Market that’s full of beautiful and cozy gift giving and Holiday goods. We shot at my friend Emily’s house for many reasons but mostly her gorgeous mantle which seemed like the perfect place to feature those faux fur stockings.

Although this happened pre-Halloween it was a lot of fun finding, making and getting Christmas decor out in preparation and definitely got me in the mood for the holidays.

 RAK-for-Northernly-winter-1 RAK-for-Northernly-winter-2 RAK-for-Northernly-winter-7One of the pros of working for yourself with a photographer that is also a friend is that every day can be bring your kid to work day. The con is that you just never know what kind of mood said kid might be in. Luckily Poppy was sweet and playful and even happy to help model that darling blanket that is now her favorite snuggle buddy.

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She also takes payment in cookies.


It used to bug me when Christmas would roll into stores the day after halloween, but now with all these babes and the business of life I welcome as much extra time to prep and trim and bake and sing carols as I can get! We already have a few Christmas items up and I’ll be adding a little at a time for the next couple week.

When do you start decking the halls? 12 days before Christmas, the DAY after Thanksgiving or are holiday decorations fair game anytime after Halloween?

XO, Rae

(Photos by Stacy Jacobsen)



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We are well into November and the home-stretch of 2015 (can you believe it?!). Things are about to get real festive around here and I can hardly wait. While I have a few Thanksgiving and Christmas posts planned I would love to know if there is anything you want to see on the blog over the next month?

DIY gifts, sewing projects, holiday home dec, after school kid crafts, easy meals, outfit ideas, snacks, printables…?

Please share your brilliant ideas and suggestions in the comments below!

XO, Rae

>>Pics from a styled shoot we did for Northernly (they have the coziest scarves, pillows and blankets) — photography by the always amazing Stacy Jacobsen <<




Thanks to everyone who is playing along with the belated Birthday giveaways. If you missed them there is still time to enter! Just scroll down to the next two posts or head here and here.

I’m back today with a reveal of the kids’ new reading nook in my office. I gave a sneak peek on Instagram a couple weeks ago and mentioned that the kids often (sometimes all 5 of them at once!) pile in my office while I’m finishing up a project or sending a quick email. Honestly I love that they want to hangout but there wasn’t anything for them to do so they would end up hovering over my desk, snooping through my piles and asking a bazzilion questions or the worst, bugging each other! Instead of enjoying their company it just ended up being a big irritating distraction and I hated it. It’s the opposite of what I want my kids to feel in their own home.

Something had to be done so I started brainstorming with my man and a couple weeks later a little reading and quite play space was born. It’s been well loved and used since. Sure they still hover over my desk but I can sweetly suggest they cozy up with a book and the pillows or play checkers or dig through the pouches and find something fun for Poppy.

I’ll list sources below and share a few DIY’s later this week or next…

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(One man game of checkers, LOL. Poor Griffin didn’t have any siblings home when we shot pics)

KIND IS THE NEW COOL PRINT (my current personal fave) // WALL COLOR // RUG // POM + CLOUD GARLAND // WHITE TABLE (painted from IKEA – similar option) // NUMBER ORGANIZER // FLOOR PILLOWS (DIY – sleepy eye fabric, check fabric) // BOOK SHELVES (DIY) // OVERSIZED CHECKERBOARD (DIY) // LAMP // SWISS CROSS CANVAS  // FABRIC STORAGE BIN (DIY)

DIY’s coming soon… Let me know if I missed anything else!

I do kinda wish the wall color was white to lighten the blow of contrast but I also wanted to make the nook feel like it’s own place and all the other walls in my office are light so we went dark. I also think it’s so easy to just go white these days… it’s so clean and crisp and “IN”! What do you think?

XO, Rae

(Photos by Stacy Jacobsen)



Ready for part two of my belated Birthday giveaway? If you missed part one, head here. You guys know how much I love design that is also functional. Well todays giveaway is the epitome of that.


If you haven’t heard of it already, allow me to introduce you to Paper Works, the brainchild of my friend Emily over at Jones Design Company. Since we are good friends and neighbors I’ve been lucky enough to get a monthly set of Paper Works since the beginning. As a natural non-planner, organizing and planning for the fam (or even just myself) can feel like a major chore but my monthly stack of organization (and design) goodness calls my name, makes planning a bit more fun and life easier. Today I’m excited to share the organizational love by giving away a 3 month subscription to Paper Works to one (1) lucky reader. 

Enter to win by leaving a comment below letting me know where you could use a little organizational helpContest closes Thursday, November 5th at 10pm PST. I’ll announce the winner here and then a direct email will be sent to the winner on Monday.

Winner: JESSICA from, congratulations! (I will send you an email in just a sec.)

Here is a peek at the November collection:

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Click here to checkout the full set.

I’m already excited to announce a winner just because I know what a treat it is to get a paper works package in the mail. Hope you win, but if not head to Jones Design Company and sign up for a subscription — there are two options — you can get a PRINTED collection mailed to you or a PRINT-AT-HOME digital collection. Wish I could pull an Oprah and give one to each of you!

If you missed it, checkout part 1 of the belated B-day giveaway :)


XO, Rae



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