Author Archive | rae

OUTFIT OF THE WEEK (OOTW): A DENIM JUMPSUIT + SNEAKERS

For today’s OOTW (outfit of the week post) I’m sharing the newest addition to my coverall slash jumpsuit collection which I think you’ll love for two reasons 1. denim! and 2. it’s belted! So if  you’ve been looking for a coverall with a little more shape, look no more. I’ll link outfit details below!

Excuse my messy, in-need-of-a-shampoo, hair! It was definitely a hat wearing kinda day, but looked like I worked at an auto repair shop when I tried one on, lol.

When in doubt, wear sneakers! Which is my motto when getting dressed, lol. Can you tell? I’ve been trying to mix in more flats and booties, but always gravitate towards a cute and functional pair of kicks. These are extra functional because, Velcro! And I love the pop of color (can’t see it as well in this pic) around the sole. Also love this pair… so hard to choose!

OUTFIT | coveralls are TOPSHOP from Nordstrom (wearing my usual topshop size 6), striped tee from J.Crew (perfect sleeve length + 40% off rn), sneakers by Veja (fit true to size)

Excited to start this new series with you! Let me know if there are any looks or trends you’d like to see :)

Happy Friday friend!

XO, Rae

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THINGS WE LOVE: CODING FOR KIDS WITH BITSBOX

There is so much to consider when making decisions about screen time for our kids and managing it is so hard sometimes! Thankfully not all screen time is created equal. Which is so important, especially as they continue in school where being able to navigate computers and tablets is a skill that’s so helpful to have. So when Bitsbox reached out to see if we’d be interested in letting the kids try out one of their boxes, I jumped at the chance. I mean, I need alllll the help and support and resources I can get in this area of parenting!

Tilly and Griffin were dying to dig into the box and start coding and thankfully the set up process  was painless (hallelujah). No software to download… Just open your browser, type in the website and create an account. It took 2 minutes.

Once they got started, it was so cool to see Tilly + Griffin connect the dots between what they were doing on my computer and all the apps and programs they use and play with. Which immediately lead to them discussing how to turn their little coding jobs into an actual app they could charge people for, lol.

(God save me if these two ever go into business together.)

When the code they entered didn’t work out how they planned, I also got to watch them check their work and do some troubleshooting (such an important skill in life!). Not only that, but they were even able to get creative and swap out words within the code to see if they could get the characters in the app to do different things (like smile, wink, or explode, lol). Hard to explain without showing you but hopefully it kinda makes sense! I’ll try and share a little on stories once the kids are home from school today.

    

Look how cute these coding cards are… Bitsbox seriously thought of everything!

I love that Bitsbox totally gets it! They’ve created a positive, educational and guilt-free tech product that us parents can feel GOOD about, that’s equally charming and so much fun for the kids.

Bitsbox was also sweet enough to offer us a coupon code… YAY! Planning on gifting subscriptions for Christmas and can’t wait!

Use code: RAEANN for $20 off any 3 or 12 month subscription (which is basically a free month/box!).

Another detail that might be important to know is that the recommended ages for the boxes is 6-12 :) Let me know in the comments if you have any questions. I’ll get back to you ASAP and will also answer on stories later today!

XO, Rae

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BEST OF HALLOWEEN POSTS

I have a couple fun Halloween posts planned over the next couple weeks but also love so much of the Halloween posts from years past so thought I would round up some faves… It was hard to choose, but take a peek below and click on the links to head to the full post!

Still one of my favorite halloween posts and probably the oldest too!

Remember when we made Halloween headbands with the land of nod!?

Boo worthy Halloween snacks and lunch notes.

Need to print these out again to use this year.

Boo-ing — still one of my favorite October traditions!

These tattoos make a fun addition to any October playdates or classroom parties!

Must do this again this year too! Hoping those felt flags are stashed in the attic still.

This kid party is full of good inspiration.

Just bought this ghost cookie cutter to make yummy cookies and spooky shaped sandwiches too…it’s the little things you guys!

You can search “FALL” or “HALLOWEEN” in the search bar to the right to find more.

Here’s to the next few weeks being full of all things spooky (but still cute), snuggly, pumpkin-y, and yummy.

XO, Rae

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DAY IN THE LIFE VIDEO: COLLEGE FOOTBALL SATURDAY

Happy weekend you guys!!!

One of our favorite things about fall is the start of football season. If you follow along on Instagram Stories, then you know where we are most Friday evenings (Friday Night Lights!) and most Saturday mornings you’ll find Game Day on, followed by games, lots of good food and a bit of chaos :). We don’t always get to spend Saturday mornings at home (hello soccer season), but when we do, it’s my favorite!

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to wake up to five kids (+ a couple extra friends) on a weekend, press play!… also note how slow my brain function is by the end of the day, lol.

Is this what your Saturdays look like? Are there any other days of the week or parts of our life that you’d like to see?

XOXO, Rae

PS – for more videos click over to our youtube channel and be sure to subscribe!

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A LIST OF OUR FAVORITE FALL FAMILY MOVIES + PICS FROM THE HORSE TRACK

A few weeks ago, after watching Secretariat for Family Movie Night, we decided to plan a trip to see actual horse races and had so much fun! I’ll share more about it and some pics below, but first…

…Our movie inspired outing and the months of cozy weather ahead had me dreaming up a list of fall movies so I thought I would share! I separated younger kid movies from ones to watch on date-night-in or with the older kids, but you might also want to check movie reviews on Common Sense Media (if you don’t already?). Not an ad, just a really good (well rounded) resource for us parents! Takes the guesswork out.

FALL MOVIES FOR FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT

  1. hocus pocus
  2. halloweentown
  3. hotel transylvania
  4. e.t.
  5. twitches
  6. bed knobs and broomsticks
  7. it’s the great pumpkin, charlie brown
  8. casper
  9. harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone (save this one for school age kids)
  10. mom’s got a date with a vampire
  11. matilda
  12. a charlie brown thanksgiving
  13. little giants (football season!)
  14. enchanted

FAVORITE FALL MOVIES FOR DATE NIGHT (OR OLDER KIDS)

  1. scream
  2. practical magic
  3. buffy the vampire slayer
  4. ghostbusters (80’s version of a PG movie so more like a PG-13)
  5. gremlins
  6. the addams family
  7. the goonies
  8. stepmom
  9. rudy
  10. marley and me
  11. you’ve got mail
  12. the blind side
  13. good will hunting
  14. ferris bueller’s day off (fun for back to school!)
  15. sweet home alabama
  16. election (because election season!)
  17. meet joe black (might be a good one too!)

A FEW OTHER RANDOM ONES THAT ARE ON OUR MOVIE LIST (not divided by age)

  1. willy wonka
  2. the parent trap
  3. annie
  4. mary poppies
  5. the sandlot (always)
  6. mrs. doubtfire
  7. the princess bride
  8. my girl
  9. father of the bride
  10. alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad day.
  11. house of rock
  12. troop beverly hills

For those of you with different ages of movie goers (i.e. little ones that need an earlier bedtime and/or don’t sit through a full movie and older ones that are eager to stay up and watch), something that worked for us is planning a halftime or intermission after 30 minutes or so then taking a break to put the younger ones down and grabbing a snack or treat for the older ones before starting the movie again.

Now, back to our outing to the horse track, which was much more casual and laidback than I imagined. Parking was easy, there was lots of space for the kids to run around and it wasn’t crowded at all. Even better, the prices were reasonable enough to not feel pressure to stay all day (gotta get your moneys worth, ya know!).

A bunch of pics from the afternoon!

A few pics I took with my phone!

The food was bad, but still good if you know what I mean.

Now back to the big camera :)

The horses were so big and strong and the races were fun to watch but I think more than anything the kids enjoyed placing bets — even if all we were betting was $1. Made watching the races extra exciting! After each race you could see the horses being walked back to their stables. So stunning to see them up close!

In the below pics, Johan told the kids to act like their horse just won the race, lol… this is what he got!

The boys were obviously way more into it, ha! Love their enthusiasm.

Love experiencing new things with them! Also love me a good movie night with just Johan or as a family… makes me want to make a bowl of popcorn and turn on a flick right now!

Speaking of popcorn, what’s your go-to snack or treat of choice during a movie?

Something we haven’t done much of, but I remember from family nights during my childhood, is making and drinking milkshakes. We had a fancy milkshake maker and my dad would think up the best combos! Need to add milkshake fixings to my shopping list ASAP :)

XO, Rae

PS – for those that are curious, my jumpsuit is from topshop and poppy’s dress is alice and ames

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SUNDAY AT LAKE UNION, SEATTLE

Want to hear something crazy? I’ve lived in the Seattle area most of my life and have never been to Lake Union — at least not that I can remember — yet it’s so close to everything. The Center for Wooden Boats (where we spent most of our time exploring on Sunday) in South Lake Union was so fun and charming! We had a great time looking at and touring the boats, walking along the docks and playing in the water. Johan, who’s family is from Norway and Sweden, said it reminded him of his visits there and even smelled like his family summer beach home. Not positive, but I think I was more excited about the connection than he was, lol. Can’t wait to one day take our kids to visit. Can’t you just see them fitting right in?

Now back to our much more local outing… It was a little stressful keeping Poppy and Griffin from falling off the dock. They probably would have been just fine regardless of my reminders and nagging but I think I said, “walk in the middle of the dock or hold my hand” about 100 times while we were there. Not that they wouldn’t have been okay had they fallen in (we were so close!) but who wants to deal with the chaos and trauma and a soaking wet child on a not-so-hot day. Not this mama.

Borderline too many pics from our afternoon below, but couldn’t get enough of the setting and all the lines! Would make a great spot for a family photo sesh.

I am not a boat person, but left really wanting a boat.

On our way to the lake we stopped at the store and grabbed some snack-y picnic-y food. The second we found a good grassy spot near the boats that also had a playground, it also started raining. I should be used to it by now but am always spoiled by our summer weather and forget! Luckily we found a little undercover patio that wasn’t being used so were able to save the food from getting soggy (YAY!). Checkout the set up while I was making the tray of food though (HA!). Tilly with her raincoat trying to cover the grub.

Also checkout the Griffin pic in the window below… he was so excited and proud of his artistic idea and I love it too.

These little paddle boats were a big hit! $3 for 10 minutes of playtime.

We were also able to take a tour of this amazing house boat built in the early 1900’s, called the Lotus. So cool and inspiring. Seriously wanted to move in! Saved some of the videos from the day on the “Seattle” highlight on Instagram if you want to see.

A little peek of the Space Needle so you can see how close we were to the Seattle Center area which is next on our to-do in the city list.

For all the Seattlites and pacific northwesterners, what’s on your “playing tourist” to do list or fall bucket list? For everyone else, you should come visit us in the PNW!!! I just highly suggest booking sometime between July and October :)

XOXO, Rae

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THEME NIGHTS FOR OCTOBER DINNERS

(PICTURED | latte bowls and spoon (old) from anthropologie, enamel tray from amazon (came with dings/character), soup is white bean and chicken chili)

I have a love hate relationship with themes. On one hand they help limit the possibilities so decisions are easier to make and options are easier to find. On the other hand, they can also feel limiting. So in any given situation it all comes down to what is needed the most – structure or freedom – and this month for dinners I’m definitely feeling a need for a little more of the first. Which is kinda shocking considering the rest of our life is so structured lately, you’d think I’d be craving a little more creativity and endless possibilities. However, 30 days isn’t very much of a commitment and will also get us through most of soccer, football and track season on a much better diet than where my creativity would lead me, lol.

Here’s the breakdown of the theme night dinners I picked, but would be easy to switch for your family.

SALAD OR SOUP + SANDWICH MONDAY |

TACO TUESDAY | PSA, national taco day is on Friday!

BREAKKIE FOR DINNER WEDNESDAY | aside from pancakes, waffles or baked french toast

ASIAN FUSION THURSDAYthink spring rolls, curry, anything with coconut, rice noodles, etc. Here’s a few favorites!

FREE DAY FRIDAY | whatever your little heart desires. pizza, pasta (must make this ASAP), grilled cheese (the best combos here!), takeout, eat out, game day food, cereal, ice cream… (see how I’m progressively going downhill, lol.)… it all goes.

CROCKPOT SATURDAY | it’s pretty slim pickings around here when it comes to crock pot dishes but here are a few goodies.

  • this is a good make ahead dish and could work for Thursday dinner too!
  • making a batch of shredded chicken and then adding to dinners and lunches all week!
  • this apricot chicken is so good.
  • most of the soups above can be made in the crockpot too!

SHEET PAN SUNDAY | this isn’t something I’ve done a lot of but the fewer the dishes the better and I could eat roasted veggies for any meal so let’s do this sheet pan thang!

Ok, now I’m just supper hungry. And need to make a shopping list.

Let me know if you are going to join us for theme night dinners for October!!! Even if it’s not the same themes, it would still be fun. Will try and share on Instagram stories too.

XO, Rae

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THINGS WE LOVE: BEET WORLD + PAINTED FALL LEAVES

I love a good classic. Whether its a song, movie, meal or decoration, but more than anything I love a classic style and will often look for pieces to add to the kids’ wardrobes (and mine too). Problem is, classic styles are often stuffy and restrictive and have my kids pulling at their neck holes and itching to change into sweats. Enter Beet World, a local to Seattle, mom owned business that makes timeless dresses, tops, skirts and pants for girls that are also roomy and soft. A must for my girls who are active and prefer getting dirty and playing chase around the jungle gym to looking prim and proper.

Ashima, the mama behind Beet World, was sweet enough to send us a box of goodies for the girls and they loved all of it! Poppy didn’t waste anytime wearing one of her new dresses and then on Sunday they both wore a few of the pieces to church followed by a trip to the park and playground nearby.

The weather was beautiful so we decided to collect leaves to paint and check it off the fall bucket list!!!

  

TILLY’S WEARING this top and these cute pants

POPPY’S WEARING this blue stripe dress and this sweet dress in the Instagram pic

Everything washed well (hot cocoa even came out of Poppy’s light pink dress!) and  fit true to size. Tilly is wearing 9-10Y. Poppy wore size 3-4Y.

  

Luckily all the leaves were dry so after a little lunch, we started painting! The girls got creative, made self portrait leaves (the green eyed leaf is Tilly), added glitter and needed zero inspiration. I on the other hand took a quick peek at pinterest and found so many ideas!

Aren’t they cute (see below)!? Now we just need to decide how to display them… maybe a garland or taped to their bedroom doors?

Thank you for supporting the businesses and in this case, new friend and mama, that support this blog! Take a peek at the Beet World site and pick out a thing or two for all those pumpkin patch pics coming up. Also can’t wait to see what she comes out with for the holiday season! Hopefully it includes a plaid shirt like Tilly’s in my size :)

XOXO, Rae

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A FALL BUCKET LIST + SOME CUTE CORDUROY

Happy 3rd day of fall!!!

Still mourning the end of summer (sorry fall, but summer is my boo) but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to fully enjoy all of the fall activities. And of course wear all the sweaters and corduroy. Our schedule is packed with soccer and football on weeknights and weekends already so I’m a little nervous about fitting even half of this in. Definitely up for the challenge tho… we’re going to have to get creative with our scheduling!

OUR FALL BUCKET LIST

DECORATE FOR FALL + HALLOWEEN | this is a no-brainer but deserves a spot on the list…. mostly so I can check it off right away :)

GO FOR A SCENIC DRIVE +/OR ROAD TRIP | and maybe put together a scavenger hunt or eye spy activity for the drive? We have a visit to our family cabin on the calendar in November and I’ve been wanting to spend a day or two in Portland, OR too!

PERFECT OUR APPLE + PUMPKIN RECIPES | this is a no pressure one plus I’ll have lots of willing helpers!

THE PATCH + CORN MAZE | heading to the patch (probably more than a couple times) is a family tradition, but this year the kids are also earning tickets for a corn maze outing and I can’t wait!

CRAFT WITH LEAVES | because is there anything better than fall leaves!? Have you guys seen this bit by Jim Gaffigan? So funny.

GO ON A HIKE OR TRAIL WALK | one of the things we didn’t checkoff our summer bucket list that’s just as easy to do this time of year.

GO APPLE PICKING | or squeeze some cider!

PLAN A TAILGATE BEFORE ONE OF OZZIE’S GAMES | getting the most out of game days over here!

PLAN A HALLOWEEN MOVIE NIGHT FOR THE KIDS + THEIR FRIENDS | can’t you just see a family room full of cozy kids in their jammies snacking on kettle corn and a pumpkin spice milkshake?

    

Already judging my outfits, LOL. Actually I had my hands in my pockets so she was looking for hers and ended up having to twist her skirt around — it was so cute. Made me laugh!

MY OUTFIT | corduroy pants (excuse the pleats, lol), white tee (only $14), bandana (love these), sandals

POPPY’S OUTFIT | corduroy skirt, pink tee, native shoes

What would you add to the list? Also, what are your favorite movies to watch this time of year!?

XO, Rae

PS – stumbled across our fall bucket list from a couple years ago… made me tear up!

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POSITIVE PARENTING + A TICKET JAR!!!

“Parent your child’s heart, before their behavior” is one of the best pieces of parenting advice I’ve ever received. The sentiment behind it is that our hearts are really the driving force for why we do what we do. For instance, if one of the kids comes home from school and has a meltdown because she can’t find her favorite soccer socks for practice, chances are the root of the problem isn’t the socks… unless they’re two or three. And then it’s probably just the socks. Anyways, maybe not the best example, but hopefully you get the idea. The problem is that while we’re helping our kids sort through their experiences and feelings, we also need them to be active and cooperative participants of the family operations throughout the day. You know, things like getting their shoes on, finishing their food and clearing their plates, doing their bedtime routine within a certain timeframe… can you tell my kids have a tendency to take their sweet time, lol? And it can be so easy to nag them about all of the above which is exhausting and you know they are gifted with selective hearing anyways soooooo we’re fighting a losing battle. What is a mom to do?

Well, I mentioned in this instagram post last week, one thing that’s been working for me is using positive statements and asking questions like, “what else do you need to do before we leave for the bus?” instead of, “I’ve reminded you three times already… BRUSH YOUR HAIR!” Ha! For a younger kid it might sound something like, “how quick can you find your shoes?” or “if you put your shoes on, can I tie them for you?”. It works wonders you guys but there is one other way that we’ve found to motivate our kids towards being sweet, helpful members of the fam bam and that is through an incentive jar.

Here’s how it works: I bought 4 rolls of these carnival tickets (love the smiley faces), one color for each of the younger kids and then set out a glass jar for them to stuff their earned tickets into. Once the jar is full they earn, as a group, a fun family activity. The child with the most tickets get’s to bring a friend along. This way they end up competing (in a friendly way) with each other but also working towards a common goal.

The kids get tickets for things like: making their beds, doing chores, being kind/inclusive/helpful, cleaning up after themselves, making it to the bus on time, getting ready for bed “on time”, getting in the car when I ask, good problem solving, showing leadership, working hard at homework or reading and any other qualities or habits we want to encourage!

They aren’t allowed to request getting a ticket for something, but if they feel like I’m slacking on giving them out then they’re allowed to bring it to my attention in a nice way. They are also allowed to give each other a ticket if they see something their sibling is doing well. So far (thankfully!) we haven’t had any cheaters or scammers.

We recently celebrated their first full jar with a trip to the fair! Our hope in the future is to all go together, but Espen wasn’t able to miss school because of track so we made other plans for him and a friend since he earned the most tickets.

Over the weekend the kids started filling the jar for a second time and are working towards a trip to a corn maze. It’s a much less expensive but time sensitive outing since they only run through October so I’m excited to be extra generous with giving out tickets!

What I love most about this incentive program is that it still works even when we aren’t able to be consistent or it just falls off our radar for a couple days — there’s no need to catch up, find allowance money or keep anything but tickets stocked. We just pick up where we left off.

Although I have been known to pack a few strips of tickets and a ziplock anytime we are gone for a night or two, LOL.

Do you guys have a reward system that works for you?

What is the best parenting advice you ever received?

XO, Rae

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COTTON CANDY, ROLLER COASTERS + GAMES OH MY!

I might not have gotten their rain boot memo, but I definitely caught their carnival bug. It might be cliche, but there is something extra special about experiencing things with kids. They get excited about the best stuff and everything at the fair, from walking thought the barns of animals to hopping on rides to trying to win a stuffy at a game booth, is such a big deal. Makes it hard not to get lost in the magic.

We usually try to keep our fair outings to a pretty tight budget. This time however, the kids had been working towards a fair trip by earning tickets all summer so we went all out and it felt really good to be able to say yes to just about anything (with the exception of wanting to stay longer, lol).

We took little video clips of our outing on my iPhone and Johan strung them together in a quick video… press play below! Also shared a few budget friendly fair tips and tricks at the bottom of the post… because who wants to drop $100+ at the fair when there’s a cute pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on :)

Tilly really wanted to go on the swing ride but was super nervous about it so I offered to go with and then acted super brave like their was nothing to worry about. I honestly thought she was going to bail on me right before the ride started. However, the second it got going, Tilly was loving it (can you spot her above!?) and I was the one holding on for dear life, lol. At one point Tilly (who had obviously noticed my sudden change of demeanor and stomach turning) yelled over to me, “MOM! If you’re scared, just close your eyes!” Gah! My little girl that used to run-off any chance she got and tackle people during library reading time, was looking out for me… definitely a full circle kinda moment. Gosh I love her!

Thankful that these three were mostly happy with the little kid rides (winninggggg!)! Although, Poppy was not a fan of the mouse rollercoaster… did you spot her expression on the video as they were getting off?

Tilly’s been all about the Instax lately. A great kid gift idea… say cheese!

I’ve been thinking about getting the kids disposable cameras to use for special occasions. Can’t remember the last time I developed film but definitely remember what a fun surprise it was to see how the pictures turned out!

The games were a huge hit this time around. They kept trying to win the giant stuffed animals, but in the end their blow up hammers (a guaranteed win) were their favorite. They are currently banned from the house and have been mostly played with on the trampoline, but I can’t wait until they pop, LOL.

Happy Monday!!!

XO, Rae

PS – I got a few questions about budget friendly fair trips so here are a few tips… 1. spend lots of time with the farm animals. 2. do the research and take advantage of the free play areas AND shows. Any magic or juggling performers are usually a big hit with my kids. 3. eat a big meal before you get to the fair! 4. let the kids know what to expect (i.e. they can pick one treat to share like cotton candy and how many rides/games they get to pick, etc.) — I’ve found when the kids were younger and even poppy now, that you can get away with doing/not doing just about everything (LOL) and their admission is free so it’s actually a really good time to go!

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