DIY Summer Straw Toppers (freebie!)

H A P P Y  Memorial Day  F R I E N D S ! Mondays are way better when part of a long weekend, yes!? While we are busy soaking up the extra 24 hours of playtime my heart has been bursting with gratitude for our military (+ their families) who’s bravery I can not even begin to understand + the freedom that I take for granted everyday. To everyone who has lost, sacrificed + served, T H A N K   Y O U !

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Now for something far less meaningful but totally cute; a freebie for all your summer hangs.

Here’s How To: Download, open in Adobe and add letters to each hexagon. I used a cut paper font (this one is cute and free!). Then print on card stock, cut along dashed lines and cut small slits to the left of the letter using an xact-o knife. Add to straws or package up and give as a little gift!

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Now that summertime is weeks away we’ve been prepping the house for non-stop playdates, BBQ’s and get togethers. All the winter hats and boots have been put away and replaced with beach towels and flip-flops. We also made a gigantic Costco shopping (wish) list over the weekend. Remember this “Raid the Pantry” post!?

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(HOORAY print, IKEA locker, Urban Outfitters rug)

Can’t wait to get the locker stocked again for the kids and their friends.

What have you been doing to get ready for summer?

XO . Rae

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MINI GOLF in WHISTLE & FLUTE

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(Left to right: Tilly, Oliver holding Poppy, Jack, Espen + Griffin)

Last week Stacy and I let the kids pick out their favorite gear from Whistle and Flute and then headed out for some mini-golf adventures. Putt-putt (or golf-golf, as Griffin calls it) is one of my favorite outing to go on with kids, especially when I have a large age range. It’s easy for the older ones to go ahead and have a little taste of big-kid freedom while the rest of us straggle behind with the little (totally adorable and entertaining) cheaters. Even my oldest, Ozzie (14 years) and his friend joined us and spent time in the batting cages. Pretty sure we’ll be spending lots of afternoons here this summer and I can’t wait!

Now back to those totally cute threads the kids are sporting. It’s no secret that I love the uni-sex trend but I’m also big on letting my kids (mostly) dress themselves, most days. Tilly and Griffin are usually not that keen on uni-sex styles with the exception of Whistle & Flute which makes me an extra happy mama because that means, hand-me-downs!!! Tilly and Griffin already share (ahem, fight over) the cloud sweatshirt.

Keep scrolling for a few outtakes from our outing and a W&F coupon code just for you!

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//Poppy 9months, wearing 6-12mo.//Tilly 6, wearing 6T but could also wear 8T//

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//Griffin almost 4, wearing 4T but could wear 6T//Jack 5, wearing 6T//

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//Espen almost 9, wearing 8T//

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//The spinning putt-putt hole was a huge hit//

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So much fun, right!? And the cute clothes are just icing on the cake!

Head to Whistle & Flute and use code RAEANNKELLY to get 10% off your order. If your an Instagramer (like me) checkout their feed for even more cuteness. Thanks to Miranda for the goodies and for making such fun and stylish clothes for minis (and adults too!).

XO . Rae

(Images by Stacy Jacobsen)

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MINI MAKERS: straw wind pipe

Out of all of my kids, there’s one that lives to do arts and crafts and another that will participate if there is nothing better to do, but ALL of them love to make things. Anythings and all things they can get their hands on, food, indoor forts, outdoor forts, mobiles, race tracks, mini zip lines, obstacle courses, bracelets, etc.

Here’s a simple craft using household supplies that’s for the mini artist and makers alike and with summer vacay just weeks away I’m dying for any new projects that will keep the little ones busy for a hot minute (or ten!).

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You’ll Need:

  • Straws (plastic or paper but the sound isn’t very loud with paper – pictured are from IKEA)
  • Tape (any kind will work)
  • Scissors (kid scissors will do the trick with plastic straws)

Here’s How:

  1. Tear off a large strip of tape and lay flat on a work-surface, sticky side up. Line straws up in the middle of the tape, towards the top of the straws (we used 8). Keeping the straws flat wrap the tape around the straws to secure.
  2. Cut straws at an angle and making music! The different length straws make different sounds.

Unlike most real instruments in the hands of little humans, the sound from the straw wind pipes is very sweet and subtle so you don’t have to worry about irritating the neighbors or waking baby up.

 Have any fun and simple crafts up your sleeve? Please share!

Here is another straw craft from last summer to checkout.

XO . Rae

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moms rule, babies drool. (happy belated mother’s day)

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(Poppy – 9 months – favorite thing is baby mum-mums and her cat leggings from here)

I have always wanted to be a mom. I always imagined I would be the mom of all boys, never imagined I would have 5 kids and certainly never imagined how crazy this mom gig would be. How much I would love and question and laugh and worry and be tested and be drooled on. Or how little sleep I could operate on and how hard it would be to fit a shower into my day. It’s all so hysterical and delightful and ironic.

Last weekend I went away (with ma mama!) on a women’s retreat. The speaker talked a bit about motherhood and the different seasons of parenting and how important and affective it is to speak life into our kids. Like how sweet they are (even after pile driving their sibling) how brave they are (even though they won’t let you out of their sight) or how diligent they are (after spending hours begrudgingly making up math homework that’s late).

I’ve been doing a lot of this over the last week. Mostly while tucking my kids in and it’s amazing to see their demeanor change, heart soften and bodies relax. It’s also amazing how at the same time I’m filling them up I find myself being filled up too. I’m reminded of how important my job is and how worth it they are. Sometimes after all the wiping of spills and body parts, behavior correcting, and laundry folding the mom title looses it’s lustre. It starts to feel more like a chore than a calling and that’s not cool.

Chores are unpleasant but necessary jobs you do. Yuck. No one likes chores. A calling is a way of life, an urging. It’s inspired and exciting and frees you up to play and have fun.  A mom that is playful is hard to resist. For anyone really. Especially husbands. And it’s even effective on a child throwing a tantrum…. “I’m going out to jump on the trampoline. Feel free to join me when you are done crying.” It’s genius really and maybe a little manipulative, but effective. Unfortunately I haven’t found away to make it work at the grocery store.

Anyways, just one of the things that’s been on my heart and mind lately. Seems like I’m always learning, growing and saying lots of sorries in the process. Thankful for a God that is able to fill in where I fall short. What about you?

Happy belated Mother’s Day!

XO . Rae

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(CLOSED) Giveaway with Design Mom // Living with Kids Book

Last fall I received an email asking if I would be willing to style a couple kid-friendly home decor spaces for a Design Mom (Gabrielle Blair) book on living with kids. Of course I said yes and then immediately called my favorite person to work with, Stacy, to snap pictures.

Today we’re celebrating our work in print with a giveaway! (keep reading for all the details)

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One of my favorite things in the world is to see the people in my life (either real life or online), do awesome things and that is exactly what this book is, awesome. It’s full of useful inspiration and tips and I’m over the moon to have been a tiny part of it.

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I first got in touch with Gabby a couple years ago when I shared a living with kids feature of our old house on her blog ( you can see it here) but met her in person for the first time last weekend at her book event in Seattle. It’s always kinda a funny thing to meet people you only know through social media and web sites in person but she was so sweet and cute. Not that I expected anything else.

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There are a few more stops on Gabby’s book tour with Pottery Barn Kids where you can make this cute plate pictured above and eat yummy treats… find more info here.

To enter, simply leave a comment HERE telling me what room in your home could currently use a design upgrade. The giveaway closes SATURDAY, MAY 8th at 6am PST and is open to US and Canada only. One winner will be chosen at random and announced later that day on this post. I will also send the winner an email letting them know!

***WINNER — Congrats Abby Hunter***

Good luck!!!

XO . Rae

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