Author Archive | rae

5 THINGS: ON REPEAT RIGHT NOW

HAPPY FRIDAY! Not that it makes too much of a difference during the summer :) Things have been a little all-over-the-place around here for the last couple weeks so thought I’d focus on and share a few things that (like tan lines) have been on repeat so far this summer.

5 THINGS ON REPEAT LATELY…

1 SWIM LESSONS | They’re ending tomorrow but Espen and Tilly have been going everyday since school got out and it was such a great way to start the summer. Gave us just the right amount of structure and a set time to have our chores and work finished by. Sad to see them end!

2 KARAOKE CARPOOL | Especially this one and this one. They are fun to watch when I need a little break or some “company” during late night laundry folding seshes.

3 MOM ON | Another youtube find (HERE) that makes me feel better about the next thing on repeat…

4 DINO CHICKEN NUGGETS | After years of avoiding these cookie cutter nuggets, I’ve given in this summer and am mostly happy about it. They are easy in every way, filling, and the kids devour them. I usually pickup a bag of Market Panty ones at Target. Serve with a smoothie for lunch or baked fries and fruit salad for dinner and I’m their favorite person in the world!

5 SUMMER #OOTD | Would wear this tank everyday with a cute bandana and sandals (on sale) or a hat, sunnies and slides.

What have you been doing, eating, wearing, this summer so far!?

xo, Rae

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2

LIFE LATELY: OUR 4th OF JULY, 2017

Johan and I spent sometime over our anniversary date a couple weeks ago, chatting about our favorite memories as a couple and family. Most of the things we discussed involved some sort of tradition, trip or outing. At the top of the list was our annual 4th of July celebration at my parent’s lake house. I shared a bit about it HERE last summer so I may be repeating myself, but the day kicks off with neighborhood festivities starting with a fishing derby that leads to relay races and a potluck that included cotton candy.

After that we meet up with friends at the house, play in the lake and eat too much food until it get’s dark enough for fireworks. It’s pretty much the best.

A few snaps from our 4th of July!

A couple photo-ops before heading to the neighborhood lodge where the games are played… and where Johan and I got married!

The sun came out for the games which is amazing but makes taking pictures tricky so please excuse the bad light and editing. Still trying to figure out the best way to deal with harsh light! (Feel free to share tips if you have any!?)

Also, if you’ve ever left or read through the comments on this blog you may have noticed some notes from “papa” (my dad). Well, that’s him to the right of me in the picture above. He’s a professional skydiver, rides a motorcycle, and since retiring almost full-time has added long hair, playing the piano and kick-boxing to his resume. He’s ridiculous and really cool and I think it’s always fun putting a face to a name. Wishing I managed to snap a pic of my mom too who is equally as cool and busy. They make a cute couple.

Heading back to my parent’s after eating our weight in hot dogs and sweets! By this time of the day we’re all a little hyper and scattered and ready to do whatever is next. Like get our swimmers on…

… and guess what? This year I managed to get all three of the boys into the same trunks! Even crazier is that it took zero begging or bribing the older two to make it happen. Just found these great swim shorts in men and mini sizes from Kortni Jeane (my go-to shop for swim suits this season) and the boys were all in!

*For size reference, Oz is in a men’s medium, Espen is in a mini boys 10/11 and Griffin is in a mini boys 4/5 — the younger 2 boys are really skinny so I love that the drawstring works in these shorts and keeps them up.

Look at that bunch of cute kids!  Sad that I didn’t try to snap this earlier when the teenagers and a couple other families were around with their little ones, but it’s still a pretty accurate depiction of the fun that took place later in the day. Thankful for all these munchkins (and the ones not pictured) and their parents… Love them all to pieces.

Hope you all enjoyed a very fun (or relaxing) 4th of July with family and friends!

xo, Rae

2

MEALTIME MANNERS + A MEAL PLAN

Yesterday, Poppy and I spent the bulk of the day watching Oz play baseball while Johan had the other two at Espen’s games (where there are lots of other siblings to play with!). Our day included a couple hours of driving which gave Poppy a chance to nap and me a chance to catch up with Ozzie which is rare these days now that he is driving. A big win, win! On the way home we stopped at a favorite outdoor spot in Gig Harbor, JW @ the boatyard, for dinner. It was such a great day but our dinner out got me thinking about two things I wanted to share and also chat with you guys about:

1. What are we going to eat this week? (simple meal plan below) and 2. How can I encourage (instead of nag) good table manners during the next few months when meals are eaten picnic style, with friends, or out and about?

With the 4th happening tomorrow and our home looking like a complete disaster at the moment, I’m keeping things super simple this week. Here’s what we’ll be eating:

MONDAY | medeteranian orzo pasta salad (add chicken and it’s a complete meal!!!)

TUESDAY | 4th of July grub!

WEDNESDAY | leftovers or takeout

THURSDAY | Cold sesame chicken and noodle salad

FRIDAY | caprese grilled cheese sandwiches and a salad

SATURDAY | salmon tacos

SUNDAY | salmon corn chowder with leftovers 

Poppy insisted on squeezing out her own ketchup packets, ha! By the time she was done, Oz was almost finished with his tacos :)

Good job Pop!

Aren’t they cute together? Best buds. Even with the huge age gap. But snuggling at the dinner table at home isn’t really allowed… hence my dilemma!

A few of the things we are usually consistent about even when eating away from our own kitchen table is saying a prayer, sharing our highs and a low from the day, and clearing our spots (if that’s an option).

If you guys haven’t heard of highs and lows (or happy and crappy for mature audiences), Oh Joy wrote about it here. We’ve been doing it for years and it’s easily a highlight of my day!

 

How do you guys encourage good table manners, especially during the summer months when routines look a little different? Do you have any mealtime games or traditions? PLEASE share in the comments.

Have a very happy and safe 4th of July holiday you guys!!!

xo, Rae

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6

LITTLE TOURIST: WHAT WE DID IN NY, DAY 2

Day 2 was our big museum and park day. We walked a ton, saw a lot of cool stuff and made sure to schedule in enough time to just play and (of course) carb load (lol). Honestly, you could spend an entire day at either museum we visited or central park but for kids and adults with A D D (ahem.) enjoying smaller parts of each place was perfect and the kids loved it way more than I thought they would!

Here’s how our day went…

First stop was the American Museum of Natural History where we visited the Dinosaur and Humpback Whale exhibits. Knowing what we wanted to see before we started was key I think or there would have been a lot of wandering and debating which always results in grumpy kids and adults. Of course I owe this wisdom to my brother and sister in law who are the best tour guides ever!

Next stop was The Met, but instead of the subway we walked through Central Park and ate our homemade PB&J’s at Belvedere Castle. The kids also bought their one and only souvenirs from the castle gift shop. Some kind of whistle, compass, flint, storage, outdoorsy gadget that I thought was amazing because I love souvenirs that are also useful, but I spent the rest of the trip taking them away, LOL.

(My brother and his sweet fam bam!!!!)

THE MET! So much to love about this museum. Again we planned out what exhibit we thought the kids would appreciate before starting….

(Cousinly love! ^^^)

The Mummies and Knights got most of our love and attention but we also stopped by the fashion exhibit and roof top which was beautiful! The main entry of the museum also had all of the nude Renaissance art and sculptures which Tilly was unsure of at first but in the end concluded that at least they all had cute butts. (hahahaha!)

The kids LOVED the maps the museum provided with hand drawn illustrations of the different areas and art too. They spent a lot of time trying to figure out where they were based on the map which kept them engaged and added to the experience so be sure to grab one if you go!

The kids (Tilly with a tic-tac dispenser in her mouth) look so confused by the statues on the rooftop, LOL. I would never in a million years consider Espen and Tilly “museum kids” but they were both interested and excited about what they saw. You could see the wheels turning.

At this point the kids were a little restless so we walked around the corner to Ancient Park to splash and play!

It’s literally right next door to The Met and is inspired by the museums collection of Egyptian art. Bonus that it had water features to cool us off.

Afterwards we were hoping to visit the Central Park Zoo but ran out of time (it closes at 5pm) and is probably for the best… not sure Espen and Tilly could have done much more walking!

In between all of this we ate food cart hot dogs in front of the Met and grabbed pizza in Brooklyn on the way home where we ate and watched a movie before completely crashing!

Love being totally exhausted from playing and being out and about. Forget sometimes that I don’t have to fly halfway across the country to do so and after sorting through pics from our trip this week, am feeling very inspired to adventure around our own cities and neighborhoods this summer! How about you?

You can find details from Day 1 HERE… Thanks again for letting me share!

xo, Rae

*Beautiful pictures snapped by my sister in law Alex, who is coming to Seattle in a couple weeks and will be hosting mini sessions for anyone that is interested, DM her on Instagram!!

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2

SUMMER OUTING CHECKLISTS (TECH + PRINT FREEBIES)

It’s summertiiiime, and the living is easy… but every parent knows that there’s a lot of planning, packing, and cleaning up that goes into those sweet summer days. That being said, summer days spent away from the house are also my favorite! To make it easier to get out the door at a decent time with my sanity and at least most of the items we need to have fun, I put together some checklists. One for each of our go-to summer outings: beach days, pool hangs, play and park time and day trips. Files can be saved to your phone or downloaded and printed. Simple directions and links are below!

To download checklists from a computer, click on link below, then right (or left) click and click “save image as…”. AirDrop, dropbox or email yourself the image and save to camera roll. From there you can save to notes or wallpaper!

To download checklist from phone, tap on link then hold finger down on image and tap “save image”. Find image in camera roll then save to notes or wallpaper!

pool checklist

day trip checklist

beach day checklist

playground checklist

Click link below to download the printable checklists!

pool, playground, day trip, + beach checklist printables, PDF

The older kids just left the house for their last (half) day of school so these checklists seemed the perfect way to celebrate and also prep for summer adventures…. I hope you enjoy!

xo, Rae

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2

LITTLE TOURIST: WHAT WE DID IN NY, DAY 1

We’ve been back for almost 2 weeks now but it’s taken me this long to go through all the pics and process everything we did in NY. I was a little intimidated by the thought of navigating the city with kids when I booked the trip but luckily we were staying with my brother and sister-in-law who have been living there for awhile and are total pros! We crammed so much in during our stay that I’m going to break up our trip day by day.

Day 1 started after a red-eye from Seattle which worked out well with my kids at their ages (Espen 10 and Tilly 8). None of us slept much (despite carrying on pillows, blankets and melatonin!) but the excitement kept us going and our exhaustion at the end of the day made the time change no big deal. Here’s a look at what we did…

First up was a drive-by past Lady Liberty. It was no.1 on Tilly’s bucket list but booking a tour costs a lot and took up most of a day and I wasn’t sure it would hold their attention much. So, my brilliant sister in law suggested hopping on the Staten Island ferry (it’s free!) instead. I googled fun facts about the statue while we road by (there and back) and got plenty of pictures which seemed to satisfy everyone. Bonus that it only took about an hour!

After getting off the ferry we walked over to Battery Park to see the Bull (and rub his balls for good luck :). The SHE statue was also still there which I was so excited about. I’m more of a humanist than feminist, but her addition to the bull gives me all kinds of warm fuzzies.

We also stopped for a ride on the sea glass carousel which was so pretty!

Next stop was a late lunch at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park which was no.1 on my bucket list. Johan and I ate there during our last trip and I’ve been craving it ever since.

The last stop of the day was Rockefeller Center and Time Square where we saw Elmo, a totally impressive subway performer, naked painted ladies in thongs, beautiful art installments (the “x” chairs and piano), a unicorn man and a really cool dance group… definitely not my normal scene or vibe but a lot of fun and totally worth it!

All in all, we ended up doing so much more on the first day and literally went until we dropped. The kids actually dozed off on the Subway ride home!

Thanks so much for letting me share our trip with you! If there are any other details you’d like to hear more about let me know and I’ll include it in the follow up posts.

xo, Rae

*Beautiful pictures snapped by my sister in law Alex, who is coming to Seattle in a couple weeks and will be hosting mini sessions for anyone that is interested, DM her on Instagram!!

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4

PANTRY PARTY MIX, GRAPE (CATERPILLAR) KABOBS, A MEAL PLAN, + A FEW PICS FROM OUR WEEKEND

We spent the weekend in our old college town (WSU in Pullman, WA) watching Ozzie play baseball on the same field he used to run bases around along with the college players post-game, as a curly-headed toddler. It was the sweetest most sentimental thing to see him as a player with that same big head of curly hair. Gah! Time is a crazy (biznich) thing but I’ll stop right there before I start crying… :)

Anyway, aside from cheering on big brother, we had a blast swimming at the hotel pool, eating at a couple of our favorite spots, and walking around our old stomping ground. Knowing that we would be spending a majority of our time watching baseball or running around town, I threw a bunch of opened bags of snacks into a tote before we left and stopped by the store once we arrived for yogurt, deli meat and fruit so we weren’t eating out for all meals and snacks. Between all that and a bag of peanut butter m&m’s we threw together a fun snack mix and grape kabobs turned caterpillars that the kids loved. They don’t require a recipe (or much prep hallelujah!) and since snack and meal ideas are always helpful during the summer months, I thought I’d share more diy details and a meal plan below!

PANTRY SNACK MIX – Grab all the half-eaten boxes and bags of snack foods from the pantry (pirate booty, popcorn, pretzels, fish crackers, bunny crackers, etc.), nuts, seeds, and dried fruit and mix together. Divide into bowls or containers and top with something sweet like sprinkles, m&m’s, and/or chocolate chips.

CATERPILLAR GRAPE KABOBS – Slide grapes onto wood skewers and then use icing to add candy eyes! (I linked to amazon so you could see what I’m talking about but usually buy at Target… although those candy eyes look like a good deal!)

MONDAY | Something from Costco because unpacking, and husband at work and really, who wants to start the week with dishes? Ha!

TUESDAY | Turkey lettuce wraps

WEDNESDAYMexi-quinoa buddha bowls

THURSDAY | FIELD DAY at the elementary school so, pulled pork sandwiches in the crock pot with blue slaw and sweet potato fries will be a nice (and easy-ish) way to end the day!

FRIDAY | homemade mac and cheese… kid request!

SATURDAY | pizza picnic or dinner with friends

SUNDAY | Thai green coconut curry so good!  (I use coconut oil and omit the cuttlefish balls and fish sauce)

BREAKKIE, LUNCH + SNACK | It’s the last week of school and only break I’ll be getting from the kitchen for awhile so we will be eating hot lunches, cereal, apples and popcorn for all other meals :)

Always celebrating this hands-on and always entertaining daddy of their’s but especially on Father’s Day. Even though he was the one that brought me coffee in bed Sunday morning (oops!). I blame Poppy who was up at least 6 times the night before. You just never know who is and isn’t going to sleep when away from home!

I think her personality is growing as fast as her little body… I love you Poppy! (her shorts from childhoods and purse from swankaroo in size L, 6-8)

Proof of the sidewalk meltdown I mentioned on instagram yesterday… still have no idea what she was upset about but luckily she bounces back quickly! A friend pointed out that it might have something to do with being the 5th child? You either bounce back or you miss out on the action i guess!?

Also, tell me Espen doesn’t look like he would fit right in with the cast from Sandlot? And I mean that in the best way. He and Tilly are knee deep in that awkward stage that lasts through 6th or 7th grade (right?) and I can’t get enough of it. It reminds me of that newborn stage where they are just too scrumptious not to adore but haven’t totally grown into their features. Ha! I have mom-goggles for sure.

The very first time I met Johan was in this coffee shop. We had both stopped in to say “HI!” to my cousin Erin who worked there. I walked through the door with Oz in a stroller and couldn’t wait to give her a hug after being gone all summer and Johan was sitting at the counter trying to mooch a free peanut butter frost (which he of course did successfully). Erin introduced us but it was almost a year before out paths crossed again. After so many years of marriage, I love thinking about all the details of our relationship and what it took God to get us together!

THE GOOD LIFE ^^^ on the hunt for ice cream!

Of all the sports my kids play, I think the baseball dugout is my favorite part!

Griff patiently waited for the coach to leave the dugout so he could hang with his big brother. He and Poppy for sure treat Oz like a celebrity.

But seriously… I grew that big man-child in my belly 16 years ago when life was hard and scary and so uncertain. The craziness of how far we’ve come never escapes me. God is so good you guys.

Okay, enough of my rambling! Hope you guys have an amazing start to your week!

xo, Rae

P.S. – Thoughts on wide leg jeans? I’m a sucker for a new trend but after seeing them in photos, I can’t decide. Some angles aren’t that flattering, but they are really fun to wear… and breezy for the summer!

 

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6

MOM + MINI: WHAT WE WORE IN NY

We’re home! Even though we had the time of our lives (Tilly was plotting ways to stay) it always feels so good to be home. I’m excited to share all the things we did and ate, but thought it would be fun to start with what we wore. I know I’m always on the lookout for cute and easy summer outfits for the kids and me that last for full days of exploring!

As far as packing goes, I followed my usual tips (blog post HERE!). It was nice having an extra top layer (either jean jacket, button up shirt, or sweatshirt), a few accessories and extra outfits to choose from. Although, between adventuring in the city and eating on the go, I really thought we would be changing more! The only other thing that surprised me was how often our days involved swimsuits. Most parks, playgrounds and even The Met had water features or a splash pad and it was always a welcome and unexpected treat for the kids!

Here’s a peek and links to what we wore…

RAE | top, jeans, similar sandals here and here (old from J.Crew), sunnies

ESPEN | crew neck (old from PeekKids), tee, shorts, shoes

TILLY similar crew neck (old from PeekKids), tee, similar shorts (old from Target), shoes

RAE | sunnies, dress, similar jean jacket (old from J. Crew), similar sandals here and here (old from J.Crew)

TILLY | dress, sneakers

ESPEN | hat, tee, old swim shorts from J.Crew (he wore these earlier in the day), shoes

RAE | jumpsuit (wearing a size small and had to knot the straps :), similar jean jacket (old from J. Crew), shoes, sunnies

ESPEN | polo, old swim shorts from J.Crew but think these are so cute (!), shoes

TILLY | tee, similar shorts (old from PeekKids), sneakers

RAE | tee, skirt, belt (thrifted), sandals (similar), sunnies

ESPEN | tee, shorts, shoes

TILLY | tee, similar skirt (old by cat and jack), sneakers

This trip was so good for my soul you guys. I need those full days of exploring and being present with my people, but I’m also so excited to (mostly) be home for the rest of summer (just a couple close rode trips!)… Ready to adventure in our own city.

Are you planning any trips this summer or staying close to home?

xo, Rae

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7

5 FUN TIPS FOR INSTAGRAM STORIES

Even though I’m not super consistent about posting to Instagram Stories, I’m a huge fan! Love how it’s (usually) less polished and more spontaneous than the little squares (which I love too!). Aside from being an easy way to share with friends, family, husbands (while they are at work or away!), and social media friends, it’s also an entertaining way of documenting the little things and moments in bite sized files (instead of the 5 minute videos no one will ever re-watch) it can also be a simple and fun way to get creative :)

Here are a few of my favorite ways to do just that!

ACCESS MORE COLORS — did you know there is a full color wheel hiding behind those little dots of color at the bottom of the screen?! Select the pen or text tool and press on any of the color dots and slide your finger up.

  1. MAKE A TEXT BLOCK — I kinda think I was the last person to discover this, but it’s never good to assume, so thought I would share! Take your picture or video and tap the screen or text tool to write a caption. Tap the “A” with a square outline around it in the middle top of your screen to make it a text block.
  2. PLAY WITH LETTER + TEXT SIZE + COLOR — Type text or letters out separately by tapping the text icon and tapping “done” in between each. Then edit each line and arrange as you want. Select the pen and different colors to make shapes behind the text for a little pop!

MAKE A SOLID BACKGROUND — Take a picture (of anything) and tap the pen tool in the top right. Select your color (hold down for the full color wheel if you want – see tip 1 above) then hold finger anywhere on the image for a few seconds and it will turn into a solid background. Tap “done” in the top right and then use the stamps, pen, or type tool to design a fun image!

 

SHARE A VIDEO or PIC/LATERGRAM FROM YOUR CAMERA ROLL ON YOUR STORY – Open your Instagram home page and swipe right or press the camera icon at the top left. Then swipe up or down to open images and videos that were taken in the last 24 hours.

If the image you want to share is older than 24 hours simply open image in a photo editing app, such as VSCO, and re-save to your camera roll. Then follow the steps above! ^^^

 

HOW TO HIDE YOUR STORIES FROM CERTAIN USERS — From your Instagram homepage, swipe right or tap camera icon. Then tap the gear icon at the top left to open which will open your story settings. If you tap the “hide story from” line it will open up a list of people following you and you can select from there.

HIDE STORIES YOU DON”T WANT TO WATCH — There is so much content on Instagram and scrolling through pics is one thing, but it can be easy for your favorite stories to get buried. To mute the ones you aren’t interested in open your Insta homepage. Press and hold the circle profile image of the accounts you don’t want to see and a “mute @account” option will pop up. You’ll still see their content in your feed and you can un-mute their stories anytime… just scroll through all of the profile images in stories and you’ll see all the ones you muted.

A couple other features I appreciate…

ZOOM IN AND OUT IN VIDEO WITH ONE FINGER — Ok, so I found out about this one from watching my 16 year old, LOL, and don’t actually use it very often but it does come in handy sometimes! Simply, open your camera in Instagram on the normal setting. Hold down the button and slide your finger up to zoom.

PAUSE A STORY – By holding your finger down on the screen! Use this all the time when there is a lot of text on a video or image, hashtag slow-reader.

I think we can all agree that social media is a lot of fun but can also be a huge distraction and time-suck. I don’t have any specific boundaries or time limits, although I probably should, but personally there is only so much screen time this girl can take each day before I start to feel tied down which I hate. So on days I have larger amounts of computer work, you probably won’t see me on Instagram. I also try to keep my phone use to a minimum once the older kids are home from school (although I could probably do better!). However, school is almost out and I take on less work during the summer so you may be seeing more stories from me for the next few months! (Follow along @raeannkelly if you are into that!)

Oh, and Espen, Tilly and I are leaving for New York tonight and I’m going to try and share lots of pics and videos… without being annoying hopefully :)

How do you keep your social media use in check? What’s your favorite feature on Instagram Stories?

XO, Rae

2

LITTLE BITES: CHUNKY MONKEY PROTEIN SHAKE

I think the anticipation of summer with kids is a lot like the beginning of pregnancy… you get so excited about all the fun parts that you forget about how much work it is! One of hardest parts about summer for me is actually keeping everyone fed. Especially on days we’re home. Because our schedule stays pretty loose, there is a ton of snacking going on between breakfast and dinner (lots of fruit, popcorn, edamame, hummus and guac happening) which makes it hard to tell who is eating what and if anyone is actually full.

Anytime I need a break from hearing the words, “I’m hungry” (which I hear more than, “I’m bored”), or from tidying up the kitchen that is honestly never clean during the summer, I have two options 1) I can make an actual lunch meal and make everyone sit together and eat or I can 2) make a protein shake I know they’ll love that also fills them up and that’s portable.

Most of the time it’s a no-brainer and I go for the shake. I’ll share our go-to combo below! Oh, and I got a lot of questions about what blender and protein (that isn’t chalky) we use in my last smoothie post so will add those links below too.

CHUNKY MONKEY PROTEIN SHAKE

serves 2 adults or 4 kids

  • 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder (if you have vanilla, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder)
  • 16 ounces milk of your choice (we usually use almond milk)
  • 1/2 banana (frozen or room temp)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • ice cubes to taste (we start with 10 cubes and then add as needed)
  • sprinkles and chocolate chips to garnish, optional

Place first 4 ingredients in blender and blend until combined, but not frothy. Add ice to taste and desired thickness and blend. Pour in cups and garnish with sprinkles and chocolate chips! Serve to your monkeys or enjoy yourself!

Favorite protein mix is THIS. It’s spendy, but if you break it down per serving and the fact that it’s almost a meal replacement for the little ones, it makes it feel more reasonable. The flavor pictured is extreme milk chocolate and it’s a hit in our home. As far as blenders go, we’ve used a ninja for years. It worked great at first but the blades dulled quickly and we’ve just been putting up with it. Johan’s been wanting to buy a vitamix and there is a great deal on one at Costco right now ($350!) but with all of our summer expenses (camps, swimming, Birthdays, etc.) I talked him into THIS kitchen aid blender and it works great so far!

Everyone’s reaction to the blender turning on, HA! Growing up my mom would always put her hand on the blender lid while it was on. If I remember correctly, the stopper part was loose and would fly off if she didn’t, but

Sprinkles makes everything more appetizing and fun to eat… not that these yummy shakes need any help. It’s really so good.

Happy Friday loves!

xo, Rae

8

WHEN IN DOUBT, HEAD TO THE BEACH!

That is exactly what we did over the long weekend and it’s safe to say we played hard and had lots of fun! Johan had to be back at work on Monday so our weekend was cut short a bit, but Saturday and Sunday we packed up and spent time at my parent’s house and lake. Between our work schedules lately (yay for those hard working daddies!) and the boy’s baseball, two full days together felt like pure bliss!

A few pics from our time together…

Griffin rarely lets me out of his sight (a serious clinger) unless he has a friend around and then I’m NBD. Makes me appreciate more and more the time I have him all to myself. One day he’ll be taller and busier and it will be harder to steal kisses so you know what I’ll be doing in the meantime!

I know from experience… You’ll notice Oz isn’t in any pics. He and a friend were with us but taking pictures of  16 year old boys is hard if not impossible. Unless of course it’s a snapchat pic from their phones (sighhhh).  On the upside, teenage boys are highly entertaining and fun to be around!

I mentioned on Instagram that we haven’t quite mastered the art of family bike rides. However, my parent’s neighborhood is a really good place to practice. Everyone grabs something with wheels and we hit the road — abandoning ride-on toys, kissing scraped knees, and looking like a hot mess as we go.

It’s my favorite thing to hang back a bit and watch the beautiful mess of it all while kindly shouting every once in awhile for people to slow down, stay together, be careful, and don’t go past the…. Ha! Maybe I’m the reason our bike rides/walks feel so chaotic?! Either way, when it’s not stressing me out, it’s the best view.

Still in swimsuits at 8pm… What summer dreams are made of!

5th child ^^^ The FOMO is real.

There’s that view!

Day 2 looked a lot like day 1…

Tilly trying to persuade me to hop on a paddle board with her the second we arrive on the beach, while I try to convince her that sitting in the sun for a bit while taking it all in and sipping on a LaCroix before jumping in the water is where it’s at!

We compromised… I hopped on the paddle board with her and a LaCroix and she promised not to tip us over. :)

Waiting for my paddler.

*I would not ordinarily post a picture of myself in a swimsuit, but since it’s that time of year and most of us are looking for something cute and functional to wear while playing with the kids, I thought I would take one for the team and share one of the suits that works for me! The top is last season from Victoria’s Secret but my bottoms are from Kortni Jean. I have a top from her line and love how easy her pieces are to mix and match with other suits I have too. I’ll share links below!

I’ve also had my eyes on swimmers by Albion… has anyone purchased from them?

Watermelon break!

And some pineapple too…?

 Since Johan had to work Monday the kids and I hung-out at home. They caught up with friends while I caught up on laundry and spent a lot of time thinking about how this weekend probably feels and looks so different for those families who know personally the cost of our freedom. Those who might cringe a little when the word “happy” is placed before memorial day. If that’s you, and I’m not even sure that I have the words or understanding, but I do want you to know I was thinking of you. Thank you for everything you have and continue to sacrifice for me and my family and for our country. I do hope you felt extra honored and loved over the weekend.

XO, Rae

SWIMMERS | Rae, top + bottom from Kortni Jean  | Tilly, top + bottoms from Kortni Jean | Espen, old from Crewcuts | Griffin, trunks from Cat + Jack from Target (these are cute too) | Poppy, suit from Olivia + Ocean

*Leave a comment if you have any questions on sizing!

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