Author Archive | rae

THAT TIME WE WENT SLEDDING


Not sure Poppy would agree with me (plenty of photo evidence below), but there are few things more magical than a snow day. Since there wasn’t any in the forecast this month or last, we decided to drive up to the mountains and I’m so glad we did!

Getting ready is the hardest part, ha! Also notice how often Poppy is missing a glove (or both). Johan and I had a long conversation on the drive home about how kids need gloves and boots that are attached to their snow gear because once things come off and get wet, it’s all over! Thankful that Hanna Andersson carries cozy one piece snowsuits in her size (4T). Couldn’t find either of them on the site, but Griffin’s star overalls and Tilly’s star jacket are on sale!


The rest of the crew did awesome in the snow… they usually do. We practically had to drag them off the sledding hill!

More tears from Poppy below… 4 has definitely been a hard age for her (emo to the max!)! It’s like it’s always the youngest kids job to make sure we don’t think we’ve figured out this whole parenting thing. Ha!

Thankful for her sweet and patient siblings. And Chardonnay.

These faces! I love them so much!

Can’t wait for a real snow day (the canceled school kind!) closer to home but luckily, living in the PNW, we don’t have to travel too far to find mountains and snow.

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NEW PRINTABLE VALENTINE’S

As promised! You’ll find a few new classroom Valentines below. They’re my favorite thing to design, so I hope you love, share and use them!!! Use the links below to download, then follow the instructions that are included.

OUT OF THIS WORLD VALENTINES
HAPPY HEART DAY VALENTINES
HEY BOO VALENTINES

Working on making all the designs from years past (that used to be in the shop) editable and will post ASAP… More to come!

xo, Rae

PS – You guys are so cute and clever and I love seeing how you use my designs so don’t forget to DM images or tag me in stories and posts so I can see the finished product!

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MEAL PLAN: JANUARY WEEK 3

Excited to share this weeks meal plan. Be prepared for lots of delicious leftover lunches and make sure to add these oreo penguins to your to do list!

LINKS BELOW.

tu | chicken parm meat balls

w | slow cooker apricot chicken over rice

th | sweet green copycat kale harvest bowl

sa | creamy tortellini and sausage soup

breakkie | we still make this protein shake on repeat, here’s some savory toast inspiration, and in case you needed an excuse to eat ice cream for breakfast try this recipe!

lunch | here’s a good example of flatbread and dippers but would add black olives for a couple of my kids (use leftover flatbread for pizza snacks after school)

snack | we’ve been meaning to make these cute snowmen!

Let me know what you think of the meal plans so far (is there something I’m missing or doing too much of, etc?) and please share your favorite recipes in the comments too!

xo, Rae

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ON DUTY MOM STYLE + A NEW HASHTAG

Never dreamed I’d ever write a blog post announcing a hashtag but here I am, claiming one that I think is meaningful, helpful, accurate and encompasses my approach to style and motherhood.

#ondutymom and #ondutymomstyle

Stay with me while I explain: 

When I was pregnant with Poppy, knowing just how much a 5th child would add to our already full life, I decided to make a few changes. Most involved slowing down, reprioritizing and being intentional (I can talk more about it in a later post if you guys are interested?) but I feel like the best, most effective and simplest change I made was a promise I made to myself to get dressed everyday.

At the time, it was an easy way for me to practice self-care (takes less time than a workout, lol) and I was already getting 4 (soon 5) other humans ready in the morning. What’s one more? I also had a strange epiphany one day at Target (shocker!) and decided that if anyone was going to run errands in their pajamas, it was going to be one of the kids, not me. So often, it had been the other way around. My kids looked like models and I looked like a hot mess. What is the point of that? What am I teaching my kids about how to treat me or how I value myself and my role as their mom!? I also believe wholeheartedly that we teach our kids how to treat and value themselves by how we treat and value ourselves. Where else are they going to learn it?

Before I go on, I should also define what I mean by “getting dressed”. If you know me then you know it has less to do with being fancy and more to do with dressing on purpose for the day depending on what’s happening… Some days all you need is a beanie, leggings and vintage tee, other’s call for mom jeans and cute shoes and others a maxi dress and sneakers. More important than anything, does it function/serve you and do you like it/feel good in it?

Hopefully you’re still with me… it get’s better (slash more dorky, lol)!

One of the challenges for me, when I decided to make getting dressed (on purpose) a priority, was finding outfit inspiration that was both comfortable and cool. Some of the outfits I was pinning happened to be of “off duty models” and why wouldn’t it be? They spend most of their time in uncomfortable outfits and crazy amounts of makeup so when they weren’t working they want to be comfy in addition to being stylish.

Our new hashtag represents just that… (with fewer crop-tops). Inspired but effortless but put together, elevated but casual, cozy but cute, cool but relaxed — all non-negotiable for me when it comes to getting dressed! 

I’m hoping you’ll join me on this journey of self-care and motherhood! Use the hashtag, start a pinterest board, share outfit inspo on stories (you don’t have to be a style blogger to do that!), spend time editing your closet, buy something for yourself and wear what makes you happy! I’ll be sharing my best tips and tricks along the way and am currently figuring out a way to work one-on-one with anyone who needs an extra styling boost!

I’ll be posting a closet haul and sharing my current wardrobe staples on Instagram Stories later this week. Will keep you posted on a date and time!

Then next week I’m going to share 5 steps to building a wardrobe you love… don’t worry, it involves using items you already have in your closet!

Please let me know if you have any questions or want to chat about scheduling a styling + closet consultation!

xo, Rae

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WEEKLY SPREADS ON INSTAGRAM STORIES

You guys, I have a couple new things planned for this year but my favorite might just be bringing back some weekly meal plan inspiration! I was initially just going to share on Instagram Stories every Sunday and then save them to highlights (behind today because we haven’t had power the last couple days!) but don’t want to leave anyone out… also wanted to make sure it was easy to find links while I wait to hit that coveted 10K on Instagram, HA!

m | 30 min. chicken in coconut mango verde sauce — so sad we won’t actually be making this tonight because of a power outage, but I can’t wait to swap it out for one of our takeout nights!

th | slow cooker white chicken chili… so easy and my go to when feeding a crowd

f | this arugula salad is still my favorite plus it’s easy to make and goes with just about anything adult or kid friendly!

su | we might opt for an easy store-bought french dip sandwich but if not, you really can’t go wrong with the pioneer woman’s version

BREAKKIE | protein pancakes, freezable breakfast taquitos

LUNCH | copycat bistro box

SNACK | no bake energy balls, yogurt parfaits (these are so good too!)

So excited to be better at meal planning this year and heard from several of you who are wanting to do the same… Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

xo, Rae

 

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A QUICK CHRISTMAS BREAK RECAP

OMGeee, it’s been way too long since the last time we chatted on the blog. I missed it. I missed you. And even thought it’s been a slow start to the new year around here it was a nice break. Plus our theme for Winter Break this year was “UNPLUGGED” which is way more easy to enforce with the kids when I’m not distracted by my own computer and smartphone :)

The kids were supposed to start school again today, but a storm and power outages means we get one last day hunkered down together at home… or actually the Y where we’ve been hanging out most of today playing with the kids, charging our phones and taking advantage of the wifi (and heat!)!

A few of my favorite pics Johan took of the kids while I finished getting ready for Christmas Eve service… they’re all pretty much the same but they’re also all my favorite for different reasons. Like the way Tilly is looking at Oz in the one below. Gah! Wish me luck picking one to frame!

  

I hope you guys had the most amazing Christmas break and New Year!!! So thankful for you and looking forward to doing life together this next year. SO MUCH FUN STUFF COMING UP!

Do you guys have a word, resolution or theme you’ve picked to focus on in 2019?

I’m decidedly undecided on anything and everything involving the new year ahead and have no idea what’s got me in this weird mood lately… Winter Blues maybe? Or just post Christmas Blues? I’m usually so ready and excited to kick things off! Over the weekend I even started looking into supplements that might help give me more energy and less of that blah feeling. If you have any recommendations, please share!

XO, Rae

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FAQ: WHAT’S IN OUR CAMERA BAG

Lots of FAQ lately that I try to always answer personally but find that some days I’m able to give more links, better details and just finish complete sentences better than others. So even though answering things on a personal level ( I love chatting with you!) is always my goal, giving you good, helpful answers is too – so with that in mind, I’m going to put all the answers to your FAQs down in blog post form making it easier for you to find what you need, pin for safe keeping, and reference whenever applicable! YAY!

Our first question is one I’ve been getting on and off for a little over a year and since none of our equipment has changed during that time (for 3 years total actually) I feel confident in sharing what has worked so well for us. Also, it’s a great time of year to invest in yourself, a new hobby and capturing memories!

Q: WHAT CAMERA AND GEAR DO YOU USE TO TAKE PHOTOS?

A: WE SHOOT WITH A CANON BODY + LENS, BUT HERE ARE ALLLLL THE DETAILS…

  • CAMERA BODY | Currently using an EOS 40D but have also used a canon EOS 5D (just an older model of the same camera body) that worked great!
  • CAMERA LENSE | Typically the most important (and expensive) part of the camera… we use a canon 35mm f/1.4L as a great everyday lens!
  • SD CARD | The better the card, the more photos you can take and the better and quicker your camera will work and click. We’ve had great luck with this SanDisk 32gb and this Lexar 64gb.
  • EDITING |  Adobe photoshop lightroom is the only program I use to edit my photos on the computer. Very user friendly in my opinion plus you can batch edit which saves so much time compared to photoshop!
  • SAVING | After I edit and save my images for print or for the blog/social, I move the original unedited raw files to an external hard-drive for safe keeping and so they don’t take up space on my computer.
  • IMAGE SHARING | I load almost all of my edited and saved images to dropbox so I can easily share with family, friends and clients and access and save to my phone too using the dropbox app.

*Another follow up question I get is regarding videos which we shoot with my iPhone 8 plus and then my husband, Johan, edits them in Adobe Premier Pro!

I love answering this question because I know how much I’ve enjoyed learning to use a camera (along with Johan!), capturing our family and having all the memories without having to be a a professional photographer. It’s the best way I know to bottle up our kids’ milestones, personalities and relationships with each other. They are getting big and growing up so fast, but they will never be as young as they are today, again. To me that’s worth photographing and remembering and while I’m all for iPhone pics (I take many!), having a big camera somehow makes me feel like I’m being more intentional and staying more present. BUT, it also takes time and commitment to learn and get comfortable with so I wouldn’t suggest making the investment in a DSLR camera until you’re ready to learn, practice, fail, grow, adjust and practice some more. Of course it’ll get easier each time and you’ll get some amazing photos along the way that will make it all worth it!

Let me know if you have any other questions about photography, family, style or momming and I’ll be sure to answer in the comments or in a follow up FAQ post!

xo, Rae

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VIDEO: AVOIDING THE HOLIDAY MELTDOWNS + EASY MOMMY + ME YOGA

The girls and I put together a little Holiday themed yoga (with lots of stretching) sequence and are so excited to share! I’ve mentioned a couple times (here + no. 11 here) that we use yoga to help all of us slowdown, wind-down and reconnect and with the hustle and bustle of Christmas and endless opportunities to consume sugar I figured we all could use some zen-ness!

Hopefully the names and moves make it easy to remember! A little description of each…

  • GINGERBREAD HOUSE – a house pose with feet apart and hands together over your head to make a roof.
  • CHRISTMAS TREE – same a the tree pose, hands together to make the top of the tree, and depending on level of difficulty and balance, place foot above or below your knee.
  • STAR – feet apart and hands out at your side… then can’t resist doing some jumping jacks (slash elves).
  • CANDY CANE – bend side to side to stretch!
  • SNOW DOG – classic downward dog, but don’t forget to lift each leg and shake the snow off.
  • MAKE COOKIES – stretch your legs and core by grabbing dough, rolling it out, then grabbing flour, cookie cutters, frosting and sprinkles as you turn to each side.
  • REINDEER – gotta get ready to pull santa’s sleigh so stretch out that booty by pulling your knee to chest and then adding antlers with your hands, because you’re a reindeer, ha! :)
  • SANTA’S SLEIGH – normally called the bow pose.
  • SUGAR PLUM – we always finish by resting on our backs or stomaches… if it’s right before bedtime we’ll add some deep breaths and close our eyes, if not it always ends up in a pig pile!

What other poses or stretches could you give a Christmas-y name?

How do you guys like to slowdown during the holidays?

xo, Rae

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OOTW: A LITTLE RED DRESS + A DATE NIGHT

I go through stages when it comes to my color preferences and the things I buy for my closet or home. Depending on the season, I tend to gravitate towards a certain color, palette or hue, but there is one color I will always say yes to no matter the season or trends:

RED.

It’s bold and bright and yet feels very classic. A red dress or coat is the perfect statement and yet a pop of red on manicured nails or a pair of shoes is just right too. It really can do no wrong.

Which is also how I feel about this red sonnet james dress (wearing xs)… it can do no wrong. I’ve worn it to church, date night, running errands and you can bet I’ll be putting it on for all of the kids’ Christmas performances and classroom parties.

A few other sonnet james red dress options, here, here and here. Oh, and don’t forget to checkout their 12 days of giving. (not an ad, just love their dresses and brand!)

A few pics from when I wore my red dress during our stay at the Palladian Hotel in Seattle — which we booked while using the kayak app and was honestly one of my favorite hotel stays to date. (also not an ad :)

Will never turndown a chance to jump on a bed. Also, there is something so silly and fun about getting our camera out when it’s just the two of us. Makes me feel like I’m a teenager again!

Crushing hard on the pic of Johan holding flowers :)

More red!

The view just to the right of our hotel. And Pike Place Market was a quick 5 minute walk away!

See what I mean by teenager, ha! “Take a pic of me snuggling Angelina Jolie!”

How this hotel managed to be fancy yet quirky is beyond me but it worked so well. My favorite part was the  unexpected paintings and pillows of famous people in vintage styles. So cool and unexpected and tasteful and fun.If you have a minute, the hotel photo gallery is worth a scroll, HERE.

All these pics really make me want to plan a date night!

Do you have a color that you love no matter the season? What color do you see most of when you look in your closet?

Just ran up to check mine (lol) and see lots of white, gray and denim with shades of red and pink… kinda makes me want to organize things by color.

xo, Rae

OUTFIT DETAILS | red dress, leather jacket, white reeboks

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FAMILY TRAVEL: WHAT TO DO + EAT IN LEAVENWORTH, WA

I’m back and ready to spill the beans on all the best things to do in Leavenworth, WA with kids! I know this won’t be as helpful to those outside of the Pacific Northwest, but hopefully the home video and images are somewhat entertaining and make you want to plan a road trip!

WHAT TO EAT IN LEAVENWORTH – starting with the most important thing because no one can be happy and hungry at the same time. If traveling with kids and the town is busy during your visit I suggest making reservations (and/or dining early) whenever possible.

  • SOUTH – Cozy atmosphere, yummy tex-mex and every once in awhile, live music. Also, every time we’ve been, our food comes so quick which is always a bonus with kids! PS –  the tortilla soup is my favorite. PPS – Los Comperos is another option (with a bigger dining area) if you’re craving mexican!
  • GUSTAV’S – my love for Gustav’s runs deep as they’ve been feeding me since I was Tilly’s age. Great place to take the fam bam or a group with lots of crowd pleasers on the menu (burgers, yummy fries, sandwiches, soups, salads, brats, etc.).
  • HEIDLEBURGER DRIVE IN – my other request as a kid was the drive-in. We’d stop on our way back to the cabin after skiing or on our way home.
  • MUNCHEN HAUS – the best place to grab a hot dog, sausage or pretzel and then sit outside (by heaters or open flame at the tables!). Plus they have the best selection of mustard and other condiments. A few pics here.
  • LEAVENWORTH SAUSAGE GARTEN – another great option for quick eating!
  • WATERSHED CAFE – Farm to table and PNW inspired, cozy atmosphere, with outdoor seating during warmer months. Just a little bit tucked away from the main street on 8th.
  • SULLA VITA – Medeterranian food, wood-fired pizza oven, amazing wine (and beer :) selection, and outdoor eating. So good.
  • BAREN HAUS – I’ve never actually eaten here, but everytime I walk by, I want to go in… Just not the biggest fan of German food and my kids don’t like sausages so always hesitate!
  • VISCONTI’S – everyone needs a good italian meal, plus they take reservations.
  • HOMEFIRES BAKERY – is it even a trip to Leavenworth without grabbing some goodies for breakfast from Homefires? When I was a kid they were located in a house along icicle road, but now you’ll find them in Dan’s Food Mart.
  • GINGERBREAD FACTORY – easy to miss, but a fun spot to stop for a quick sweet treat.
  • COFFEE – there’s a starbucks in town (yay!). It’s almost always packed during the weekends or holidays but the drive-thru is usually empty. J5 coffee is also really good, the shop is cute (the espresso maker is turquoise!), and their shelves are stocked with coffee, tea and accessories – perfect for gifts!
  • ICE CREAM – because you know we always need an ice cream break! If you have a craving or need a good bribe for the kids, try Whistlepunk Ice Cream Co. (they sell pints too!) or Viadolce Gelato.

WHAT TO DO IN LEAVENWORTH – a few of our favorites during the colder months below!

  • VISITING SHOPS – you can’t go to Leavenworth without a trip into town and a stroll along front street. A few of our faves: Kris Kringle, the Wood Shop, the Hat Shop, Der Sportsman, the Taffy Shop, Schocolat, J T Blu, and so many more. You really just have to walk up and down the streets to find all the gems… somewhere along the way there’s a cute home goods store that I can’t remember the name of, lol!
  • THE FESTHALLE – Between Thanksgiving and Christmas there’s craft booths, Santa and a Young Life booth with snacks and lanterns you can decorate ($10 each) for the Santa parade (a short walk from the festhalle to the gazebo in town. More details here, but it’s worth stopping by the halle to talk to someone and double check times!
  • FRONT STREET GAZEBO + HILL – if there’s snow, bring a sled! Great spot to grab a pizza or picnic and let the kids play during the warmer months too. It’s also where you’ll find public restrooms.
  • WATERFRONT PARK – Just a few blocks behind downtown and along the Wenatchee river. The perfect little activity if you need a break from the crowds but don’t want to drive anywhere.
  • ENCHANTMANT PARK – a great kids play area, bike track, skate park and walking tails also along the Wenatchee river and close to town.
  • SLEIGH RIDES – There are usually a couple sleighs in town or there are more scenic rides listed here.
  • SKI HILL – Also known as Leavenworth Winter Sports Club, has tubing, skiing, snowshoeing and a lodge that sells hot chocolate. We’ve gone before just to play in the snow and sip on cocoa.
  • ICICLE VILLAGE – Has miniature golf, a little arcade area (yay skee-ball!) and chicken strips if your kids have a craving.

Sandwiched between a brick and a pink building… gah!

The lights are the best part!

Outside of Kris Kringle where we stop almost every trip and buy an ornament. Can’t beat a shop entirely dedicated to Christmas decor! If you plan on bringing the kids in (there are lots of breakables!) I suggest ditching the stroller and heading up the stairs where they keep the more casual and less expensive ornaments and decorations :)

This time we brought home two, plus a couple more as gifts. The gumball machine made the cut along with a red phone booth to inspire more traveling in the new year and add more red to our tree!

Blurry, dark pics from inside of South.

The river outside our cabin. Rental info can be found here!

We’ve been to Leavenworth more times than I can count so I hope these tips help! Let me know if you have any questions.

xo, Rae

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A HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST + PHOTOS FROM THE TREE FARM

There are two different kinds of people. Ones that see what they like and devour it because it’s just so good and those that see something they like and take it in small doses so it lasts as long as humanly possible. I think this concept can be applied to almost every area of life from eating a bowl of ice cream to deciding what (or how much) to watch on Netflix and even holiday festivities. My husband, being more of a devourer, suggested we head to the tree farm last Sunday right after the kids sat on Santa’s lap and had their pictures taken. Like, in the same day you guys. And I guess I can see where he was coming from. Everyone was having fun and being good so why not take advantage and keep the christmas party train going. But the idea of doing two holiday traditions in ONE DAY almost gave me an anxiety attack (ha!) because I really like to spread things out in small bites.

So I did something I do every time I start to feel anxious about our schedule – I made a list. It started as a bucket list but ended up being a list of all the things that would be fun to do over the next month. Because really Christmas time is not like ice cream… there is more than enough holiday magic to go around. Here’s the list so far.

25 THINGS TO DO IN DECEMBER

  1. watch an old christmas movie at an old theater, preferably in our jammies
  2. attend/support a local event — we usually attend a pancake feed fundraiser at a local firestation (not Johan’s) and this year Tilly is singing with the school choir at that same event!
  3. go see the nutcracker (or other holiday play/musical — seeing elf was so fun last year!)
  4. go to the tree farm (again) for a tiny tree, the train ride and hot cocoa of course.
  5. make paper snowflakes
  6. make a garland, paper chain or countdown chain
  7. read the story of baby Jesus from the Bible
  8. collect toys, clothes, coats, warm socks and blankets to donate
  9. host a christmas movie night for the kids and their friends (this was a new addition to our fall bucket list this year — we watched transylvania 3 — and it was so. much. fun.)
  10. take the kids to see the new grinch movie
  11. make teacher gifts
  12. write and snail mail a letter to santa or a handmade christmas card to a friend or family member.
  13. go on the polar express
  14. campout in the family room by the tree!
  15. bake cookies to share (and eat)
  16. leave candy canes on car windows
  17. go caroling (hoping i can convince friends to do it with us!)
  18. go ice skating
  19. go skiing
  20. go sledding
  21. plan a staycation and swim in the hotel pool (ps – our favorite swim co is launching a resort collection on monday and i’m hoping to snag a few!)
  22. go to snowflake lane (or other Santa parade)
  23. grab hot cocoa and go look at christmas lights
  24. buy a new ornament and/or christmas book
  25. zoo-lights

Now the next time I feel like things are moving too quickly, i have a list of big and little things we can do (preferably in our pjs) to keep the celebration going.

No idea why tilly is throwing her cup and actually don’t remember Johan taking our picture… might actually be by Griffin now that I think about it!

On the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree. Everyone agreed on the same tree which is not the norm and setting it up in the family room with lights and ornaments just made us fall in love with it more. The next day, one of the kids had a friend over and the first thing out of their mouth when they saw our tree was, “why is your tree so small?” HA!

I guess we’re Charlie Brown tree kinda people.

Everyone took turns trying to saw the tree down while Poppy offered moral support.

Tilly + Poppy playing “stylist” in the pics below. I die! Mostly because Tilly usually resists anything style related… I know she secretly likes it :)

Ran into our sweet friends and their snuggly dog too!

I love you Christmas. I love you family. Missed you Oz.

When it comes to life or eating ice cream, do you prefer to fit it all in or make them last?

What’s on your holiday bucket list?

xo, Rae

PS – OUTFIT DETAILS (for those that are interested): my coat, hat, boots (jeans are levis but couldn’t find a link) | tilly’s top | kids’ rain boots

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