Author Archive | rae

MINI MAKERS: PAPER SNOWFLAKES WITH THE LAND OF NOD

Shared one of the easiest ways to make paper snowflakes with kids on the Land of Nod blog last week. Since winter calls for more time indoors (for most of us anyway ;) I wanted to make sure and give you the link. Nothing quite like a simple paper project to spend quality time with kids and keep them engaged!

(PAPER SNOWFLAKES DIY on HONEST TO NOD)

How have you guys been staying busy indoors lately?

Happy humpty-hump day! (oops — song officially stuck in my head now)

XO, Rae

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MINI MAKERS: KIDS BAUBLE NECKLACE CRAFT + DIY

Awhile back, I shared a fun backpack charm kids craft using painted wood beads and ever since I have wanted to paint more to make bauble necklaces for the girls. Well, over the weekend Tilly and I finally got around to doing it and they turned out so super cute we decided to take pics and make a post of it!

Painting with kids can be a bit messy but the steps and supply list for this project are very simple and totally worth it. Keep scrolling for the details…

YOU’LL NEEED:

  • wood beads (20mm beads pictured) these would be cute too!
  • craft paint (can’t get enough of the hand made modern paint colors at Target!)
  • small paint brushes
  • jersey knit fabric, cut to approx. 1-inch by 30-inch strips
  • fabric (or really sharp) scissors
  • wood skewers (like you use for kabobs)
  • upholstery needle or long nail (for poking the fabric through the beads)

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Cover your workspace with paper to protect from paint. Thread beads onto skewers leaving a little room between each and on either end. Paint beads however you and your little desires. Rest both ends of skewer on items that are of equal height… like two bowls or mugs. Let dry completely — about 15 minutes.
  2. Cut knit jersey fabric into roughly 1-inch by 30-inch strips. The fabric will roll naturally but might need a little help in places.
  3. Thread panted (and dried) beads onto cut fabric. Use needle or nail to help it along.
  4. Knot fabric necklace to size, trim excess fabric and you’re done! (disclaimer: be sure to supervise younger kids while they wear them.)

Aren’t they fun!?

Tilly was thrilled with how her necklaces turned out and decided to packaged some up to give to friends who have been equally excited about them.

:)

(Tilly’s red striped dress from Boden and on clearance)

Loved having a little assistant for this project! Although I’m pretty sure she thought I was the one assisting. Ha! The lighting was a little tricky for pictures (and usually is during the winter months around here) so we pulled out the white paper backdrop and set up a little studio in our kitchen nook which I think made it all seem more special than past projects she’s helped with. Can’t help but notice how easily she fits into this creative world.

Hope you had an amazing long weekend and most importantly, Martin Luther King Jr. day! What an amazing man and movement we get to celebrate.

XO, Rae

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MOM HACKS: EATING OUT WITH KIDS

My kids are loud and messy and opinionated and I can’t take them anywhere without something ridiculous happening but they are also so fun and silly and taking them out and about is one of my favorite things to do! When our older kids were little though there was one exception. Eating out. It was takeout and drive-thrus for us thank you very much. Since those days I’ve changed my thinking and approach and it’s made eating in restaurants way more enjoyable — not to be confused with easy — without having to pack up a bag of activities.

Granted my kids and their age gaps are likely different than your’s, but hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful or encouraging anyways!

  1. EXPECT KIDS TO ACT THEIR AGE: I used to have this weird expectation that my kids could pull it together for an hour or so while we ate in public. Turns out there’s only one thing I should expect from them… to be themselves and act their age. So now, during any given eating out experience I expect there to be a spill or two, that someone will decide to take off their shoes, while another thinks its fun to climb under the table and everyone is bound to be starving and act like they’re near death. The good news is that it’s rare for all of these things to happen at one sitting so I usually walk away feeling like they did awesome, ha!
  2. KEEP MY GOAL(s) IN MIND: My hope is that my kids will do their best to be a good guest and considerate of others and especially their server. All of which are learned behaviors and one of the reasons I want to take them out. I also really just enjoy sitting for most of a meal and then not having to clean up afterwards! Usually makes the moments of chaos totally worth it.
  3. DECIDE ON A DINNER WORKFLOW: Having an idea of what and when we’re ordering (are we letting kids get sodas, ordering a basket of fries or other app first, etc.), and how you want to occupy the kids while they wait, before walking in the restaurant is a big help. Something that has worked for us when we have all of the kids is to order drinks, the kid’s meals, side salads for the grownups, and usually a basket of fries or hummus plate right away. While we wait for the food we chat with the kids – go through our highs and lows from the day, etc. Once their food arrives Johan and I order. We continue chatting and micromanaging until the kids are finished and then we let them share tech (usually our phones) while we eat and attempt a conversation. It’s not perfect or peaceful but it works :)
  4. HAPPY HOURS ARE MY BEST FRIEND: kind of a given but going before or after the breakfast, lunch or dinner rush makes a huge difference!
  5. STAY POSITIVE: and if needed switch things up a bit. Taking a kid or two for a bathroom break or to the car to grab something or telling a funny joke (the spoon on the nose trip works every time!) or anything that distracts them from annoying their sibling or throwing a fit is worth a try!

(Received lots of questions about my sweater so shared outfit details with links at the bottom of the post :)

A few pics from our lunch date with Griffin + Poppy yesterday.

There were surprisingly no spills and I don’t think any complaints about being starving to death. Griffin however, did accidentally mistake his thumb as part of his cheese and let out a very loud yelp followed by major tears and Poppy spent a good chunk of time dropping things under the table so she could climb down and pick them up.

But in the end they earned ice cream.

Not really but it seemed like the perfect way to end our outing!

It’s my favorite when Johan can join us for an afternoon adventure in the middle of the week. One of the perks of being married to a firefighter. Lucky kids. Lucky me.

Happy, happy weekend you guys!

Oh, and loved reading all of the comments on my dining room post… thanks for playing along!

XO, Rae

ME | pink + orange stripe sweater, jeans

GRIFFIN | blue gray thermal (for the babes), red coat, shoes

POPPY | sweatshirt (+ for big girls), boots

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DINING ROOM PLANS + INSPIRATION

We’ve been in our home now for 2.5 years and it still feels very much like a work in progress. I can easily think of a few rooms that could use some sprucing up! I guess that is how having a home is? The room that has all my attention at the moment though is our dining room which I would like to also function as an everyday eating area. It is separated from our kitchen, but still part of the main living space, has hardwood floors and the only table big enough to seat us all. It is also the first space you see from the front door which makes this decorating project feel extra intimidating to me.

Here’s what it currently looks like:

A few of the things I know I want to do is take the rug out and possibly replace with a jute rug (with the hopes of layering in the future), add 4 more white eames chairs, paint the buffet a pretty green color, add gold nobs, and then hang big statement piece of art or a collage wall over it.

After that, I’m kinda stumped as to how to pull it all together! So last week I turned to Pinterest and started pulling images of dinning room and kitchen spaces I really like. Not surprisingly, and probably why I have a hard time starting or finishing my decorating projects, I could easily group my favorites into 3 categories…

ONE | bright + white

TWO: moody

THREE | bright + moody (basically a combo of the two)

Now I just have to decide which direction to go and I’m hoping you can help by answering a couple questions in the comments!?

  1. collage wall or oversized art?
  2. your favorite style — bright + white, moody, or bright + moody

 

Can’t wait to see what you pick!

XO, Rae

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A MENU PLAN, PENGUIN COOKIES, FAVORITE BOOK, + LIFE LATELY

It’s not often that I start my week off with a random post but — oh my goodness you guys — still over here having  a hard time transitioning out of Christmas break mode! Was hoping all the new year’s resolutions, goals and ambitions would kick my butt into gear but the haze has not fully lifted. I’ll be heading out later this morning for a meeting and long work day away from the house and kids (what, what?) and am hoping it will do the trick. Nothing like a quick break from the norm to regain focus and energy.

Here are a few other things that have been going on around here…

I may not have done much other than play and visit with the ones I love this last week but I did manage to put together a meal plan which is always a good thing. Here’s what we’ll be chowing down on this week:

M | beef + cauliflower fried rice

T | baked potato bar

W | thai chicken noodle bowls (i like this recipe but this one has some good shortcuts)

TH | eat out or takeout :)

F | skillet chicken chilaquiles + a winter margarita (cheers to the weekend!)

SA | creamy tortellini and sausage soup + rustic bread

SU | dinner with friends

BREAKKIE | cereal or smoothie with sausage, or omelets

LUNCH | leftover fried rice or bagel sandwich, apple slices with almond butter or strawberries, popcorn or veggie straws, cucumbers or baby carrots with dip

SNACK | zucchini chocolate chip muffins or greek yogurt and granola

Now let’s chat about the cute penguin cookies above that Griffin and I made last week while Poppy napped and the big kids were at school.

To make YOU’LL NEED:

  • oreo cookies
  • white baking chocolate
  • black decorating gel (next to the frosting tubes) or mini chocolate chips
  • fruit leather for the beak (or other orange dried fruit or candy), cut into small triangles
  • wax paper

HERE’S HOW (reference pics below):

  1. Cover cookie sheet or cutting board with wax paper. Melt chocolate according to instructions. Dip cookies in chocolate at an angle to make face. Lay on wax paper and then use a spoon to make chocolate lines more rounded like a heart.
  2. Use black gel to add eyes and small triangles of fruit leather for the beak.
  3. Place cookies in the fridge or freezer until chocolate hardens and then enjoy! Side note — black gel never fully hardens so if you stack them the eyes sometimes smear.

The cookies and my kids recent penguins obsession was inspired by the book, Penguin Problems. I purchased it because the cover and name was so cute (ha!) and then wasn’t sure what I thought about the story once it arrived. The kids however, fell in love and even quote parts of it too!

Those feet! Griffin’s are still cute and sweet to me but probably not for long.

The sun paid us a visit for most of last week and with it frigid temperatures. It was a nice break from the rain but kept us cooped up indoors just as much which I actually didn’t mind too much. These pictures and the pretty light is sure making me crave springtime though!

Feeling a little more ready for the week after that recap… Hope your Monday is off to a beautiful start!

XO, Rae

Poppy’s sweatshirt and sweatpants and Griffin’s sweatshirt are from childhood’s clothing. Griffin’s sweat pants are from Zara.

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OUR FAVORITE HEALTHY(ISH) SNACKS FOR THE FAM

Remember cribs on MTV? Well, the master bedroom might have been where the magic happened, but the refrigerator was always the best part. It’s so fun seeing what other people eat and since everyone in my home could use a cleanse from processed and sugary foods after the holidays, I thought it would be ‘fun’ to share our favorite (mostly healthy) snacks!

Here’s a peek at what you’ll currently find in our kitchen to snack on…

ZBARS (costco) | FRUIT LEATHERS (costco) | ALMOND BUTTER + PEANUT BUTTER (costco) | FRESH FRUIT (a must) | STRING CHEESE | HUMMUS DIPS (costco) | GUACAMOLE DIPS (costco) | HARD BOILED EGGS | PRETZELS (costco) | EDAMAME (costco) | SALAMI | RAW ALMONDS (bulk)

Obviously keeping Costco in business :)

Not Pictured: fresh veggies (Johan is so much better about veggies at snack time than I am), pirate booty, tortilla chips, greek yogurt (the kids like the chobani tubes), turkey meat (wrap around string cheese for an extra fun snack!), izze sparkling juice (as a special treat), and honest juice boxes

Edamames are a hit with half the kids. We buy the big frozen bag with smaller pouches from Costco and keep a pouch or two in the refrigerator for easy snacking or to add to school lunches without having to warm up or defrost. They are extra good with salt sprinkled on top!

I swear there mush be kid crack in Zbars because my little ones are obsessed with them. There were days this past summer where I’m pretty sure, its all Griffin ate. Half curious if they are just as bad as a chewy granola bars but am afraid to know the truth, LOL. If you have any info to share about these lifesaving, easy to pack, crowd pleasing bars, please let me know. But if it’s bad news, break it to me easy :)

Most of our “eat me anytime” snacks are kept in the bottom drawer of the fridge for easy grabbing. Pantry snacks are a little more out of reach with the exception of pretzels.

I try really hard to keep super processed and sweet foods to a minimum in our home. That being said we do indulge but usually when we are out and about or have planned a family movie or game night. Oh, and of course homemade treats (like these yummy cookies) too. So maybe we don’t do that great of a job (ha!) and it’s near impossible around any holiday, but I guess it could be worse!

If you’ve been feeling stumped on what to stock the kitchen with, I’ve been there. And go there often. Hope this helps!

What snacks do you keep your kitchen stocked with?

XO, Rae

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HAPPY 2017 + MY MANIFESTO

This year instead of just writing out my resolutions I decided to add the things that have already worked for me in the past and create a manifesto. It’s candid and simple, but filled with things I aspire to be and do. I like that it’s a mix of fun loving and spontaneous actions as well as deeper ambitions. Hoping it will be helpful to have a written list that reminds me of the things that matters most.

A couple thoughts + things that almost made the list was — say yes, but know when to say no too, keep Jesus at the center and set big goals with small steps!

Let me know what you would add to your manifesto in the comments!? I would LOVE to know!

Happy twenty seventeen friends! Here’s to honoring the past, living for today and dreaming for the future.

XO, Rae

PS – The best is yet to come… I really believe that for me and for you too!

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SLEDDING + FOMO

We’ve been soaking up the last bits of Christmas vacay and while I’m feeling ready to start taking down all the decor, I’m far from ready for the kids to go back to school. Ask me in a couple more weeks though, when their shiny new board games (pie face anyone!), legos and baby dolls lose their newness. In the meantime, excitement is high, kids are entertained, and with the exception of a few outings, we’ve mostly been staying in our jammies until noon.

One of our outings was a day trip to play in the snow and sled at Hyak in Cle Elum. The weather was perfect, the snow was falling and Poppy wanted absolutely nothing to do with any of it. Poor girl cried off and on until I strapped her into the ergo.

Now, I’m not one to complain about getting extra kid snuggles but couldn’t help but come down with a serious case of FOMO while everyone else went screaming down the hill. If Poppy had wanted to snuggle with Johan I would have felt just as left out so I guess there’s no perfect solution. Luckily I was able to start a small snowball fight before we left which made up for it!

Love these four and missed Ozzie while he stayed behind for a basketball game (another reason for FOMO). As a mom I hate that the schools schedule sports during vacation time, but as a former athlete, I totally understand.

Tilly Jane on the hot pink sled and the first to head down the hill!

You’ve probably heard before that motherhood can be lonely, but for me it’s more like FOMO. And it comes up a lot during the holidays. So if you are like me, and have been feeling left out because your nursing a baby or can’t have a glass of wine like the other adults, or have other kid centered priorities like snuggles or early bedtimes, you are not alone. And in my 16 years of parenting trust me when I say that the season will one day change and will most likely be treasured and missed.

Cheers to not having to miss out all alone!!!

Hope you enjoy the last few days of 2016!

XO, Rae

 

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THE BEST OF 2016

Happy day after Christmas you guys! I’m currently still in my jammies (at noon), listening to the kids play with their new toys, and have no plans of doing anything but eating leftovers, folding laundry and recovering from the (good) craziness that December brings.

Sorta sad that the holiday season is coming to an end but I’m excited for the fresh possibilities of 2017. It can be so easy for me to think about the past year and come up with a list of things I want to do better in the coming year but have found that it can be equally as inspiring and encouraging to reflect on my favorite parts of the past year and all the things I want to carry into the new one.

That being said, I thought it would be a good time to roundup a list of the most popular posts along with some of my personal favorites from 2016.

LIFE | a day in the life (working on a winter version!) | hook-nook refresh | living with kids (+ their toys) | first week of school | our disney land trip

FREEBIES | paper heart glasses | baby milestone cards | emoji lunchbox stickers | shareable social media graphics

MAKE | book bin diy | easy pom-pom basket | sailor hair bows | flower vases + arrangements

 

KIDS | woodland party + boot driveour favorite kid apps | diy binoculars | brown bag microwave popcorn | tin can herb garden

WEAR | that tied shirt trend | statement coat 3 ways | all things with love | WIW may

EAT | homemade pop tartssmoothie bowls + a meal plan | big batch chocolate chip freezer cookies | frozen yogurt dots

Gosh, what a fun year… that also happened to be soooo full of transition and trying to figure out what’s next for our family and business and I just want to say thank you for meeting me in this space. The online and social media world can be so much about the numbers and while that’s just part of growth and good business, it’s not what this blog is about for me. I appreciate and care about one visitor as much as I would one million. Thank you so much for sharing your time, thoughts, comments and encouragement with me and allowing me to share my family, life and creative endeavors with you. It means the world to me!

Hope your Christmas (and 2016) was everything you hoped for and then some.

XO, Rae

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SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN + MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Not sure how we are so close to Dec. 25th, but Happy Christmas Eve, Eve!!! A couple weekends ago we took the kids to see Santa and have been running non-stop ever since, just trying to cram in all the festivities, cookie baking, get togethers and gift buying. These full days are my very favorite but they are not without exhaustion, stress, and giant messes. Part of me can’t wait to wake up on Christmas morning to see it all come together while the other part never wants it to end. It all goes by way too fast! Thankful for the memories but even more thankful for the pictures to remind me :)

Here’s a look at how our Santa photos turned out this year…

Griffin has warmed up to Santa and was okay with the big guy as long as he didn’t have to sit on his lap (makes sense). 2 years ago we had to ask Santa to photobomb so Griffin wouldn’t lose it and last year he wouldn’t even take a candy cane from him while Johan was holding him. Poppy is still not a fan.

GRIFFIN’S JACKET | ESPEN’S FLANNEL | POPPY’S SWEATSHIRT | TILLY’s TEE

The jolliest bunch of elves… Love this time of year with them.

I hope Espen is never too cool for Santa :)

The big guy and my guy giving me a hard time for being on my phone but then wanting in on a selfie… typical :)

Thankful for this season where we get to celebrate in the waiting. In the preparation. And in the moment. In the little, big, magical, and imperfect things. Thankful for baby Jesus and a God who’s love is so big and wide and deep that he would send his son. Right before our Santa pics Tilly asked me, “How good do I have to be to be on the NICE list?” And I replied, “Oh sweetie, it doesn’t matter because you are always on Jesus’.”

Santa is such a fun part of the holidays, but Jesus is soooooo much better.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas that is so full of love you could burst.

XOXO, Rae

(Pics by the always amazing, Stacy Jacobsen)

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THE BEST BAKED FRENCH TOAST

Short of the occasional donut run, super sweet breakfast dishes are not the norm around here. All holiday seasons and celebrations being the exception. Thank goodness there’s always a reason to celebrate when we need a little indulging ;). The kids first full day of Christmas break this past Saturday seemed like the perfect excuse to surprise them with their favorite sugary breakkie dish, Baked French Toast. It also happens to be our go-to for Christmas morning and Easter too since it’s best to throw together the night before and bake when you wake up!

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BAKED FRENCH TOAST, serves 12

NOTE: Takes about 7+ hours start to finish. 20 minutes hands-on. Let set overnight (6+ hours). 45 minutes to bake.

FOR FRENCH TOAST YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 loaf crusty sourdough, challah or french bread
  • 8 whole eggs
  • 2-1/4 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

FOR TOPPING YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 stick butter, cold and diced — plus more to grease pan
  • maple syrup to serve
  • whip cream to serve
  • fresh fruit to serve (pomegranate seeds pictured)

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Grease 9×13 inch baking dish with butter. Tear bread into chunks and lay evenly in the pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, sugar and brown sugar. Pour mixture evenly over the bread. For most delish version, cover and store in the fridge over night…. or until you are ready to add topping and bake.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a small mixing bowl combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and all spice. Sprinkle evenly over top of bread. Dice butter and layer evenly over the top of bread too. Bake (uncovered) for 45 minutes. Dish, top as desired and serve…

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So simple and never disappoints! Plus I appreciate anything that can be thrown into the oven long enough to shower, clean or play with the kids. Especially on a holiday morning.

What are you whipping up in the kitchen over Christmas break!?

XO, Rae

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