Author Archive | rae

EASY OVEN BAKED S’MORES + A MEAL PLAN

Happy Monday guys! Feeling so behind for all the Valentine festivities happening tomorrow after a sinus cold I can’t seem to kick had me feeling all kinds of achey for most of Saturday and Sunday. But I’m on the mends today and thought I would share the only two things I managed to check off my to-do list this weekend. Some very delicious s’mores you can bake in the oven and a meal plan — both made with Heart Day in mind!

EASY OVEN BAKED S’MORES

10 minutes hands-on, 1 hour start to finish

YOU’LL NEED:

  • graham crackers
  • regular sized marshmallows
  • chocolate chips
  • sprinkles (optional)
  • parchment paper

TO MAKE:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Break graham crackers in half so they are squares and lay on prepped baking sheet. Place a marshmallow on each cracker and put in oven for 2 minutes.
  2. Now that the mallows are gooey, remove from oven and place a graham cracker on the top of each, pushing down gently so the mallow is smooshed between the crackers. Return to oven for 2 more minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. While waiting, place chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time until melted — stirring in between.
  5. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut crackers/mallow squares in half so you have two rectangles.
  6. Dip cracker/mallow rectangles in melted chocolate and then sprinkles and return to baking sheet. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or so while chocolate sets then eat up! Store leftovers in airtight container in the fridge… they taste so good chilled!

 

They didn’t last very long at our house, but would have made a very fun treat to package up and give to friends!

Now for some meal planning… Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

MONDAY | california cobb salad (wraps for the kids)

VALENTINE’S DAY | crockpot tomato basil soup with heart shaped grilled cheese dippers and oven baked s’mores for dessert (using recipe above)

WEDNESDAY | eat out or takeout (I’ve been craving thai food!)

THURSDAY | crockpot apricot chicken over rice with sliced veggies

FRIDAY | mini turkey burgers with fries and milkshakes, movie and sleepovers

SATURDAY | one pan mediterranean baked halibut with veggies

SUNDAY | eat out or takeout

BREKKIE | strawberry smoothies, heart shaped bacon, easy blender crepes with toppings, toast

LUNCH | cookie cutter sandwiches, yogurt with sprinkles, chocolate covered or plain pretzels, strawberries, + edamame

SNACK | smoothie popsicles, yogurt parfaits, apples + peanut butter

Hope everyone is staying mostly germ-free and healthy ;| if that’s even a thing this time of year? Either way, here’s to a great week with your favorite love bugs!!!

xo, Rae

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MINI STYLE: VALENTINE’S DAY OUTFITS

Gimme all the red, pink, and hearts this time of year, but I think there’s also something to be said for trying valentines day styles and decor that are a little less obvious. Since my kids (mostly the boys) agree wholeheartedly, I decided to keep that in mind while putting together outfits for all the classroom parties next week. While they will most likely be editing what I picked out, I think they turned out pretty cute and (BONUS!) will be wearable long after the Valentine festivities end.

POPPY’S HEART DAY DUDS | heart sunnies, target | hair clips, ryan and wren on etsy | bomber jacket , peek kids on sale | swing dress, june and january | leggings, peek kids on sale | metallic high tops, zara kids (similar here + here)

TILLY’S HEART DAY DUDS | striped tee, peek kids | denim pinafore, mini boden (similar here + here) | heart, eyes + fries before guys patches, ban.do | emoji, ice cream + monster patches from crewcuts | necklace, DIY here | big and small ice cream shooters, amazon

GRIFFIN’S HEART DAY DUDS | navy bomber, zara kids | eyes patches, ban.do | white button up, cat and jack | pizza patch, crewcuts | denim, peek | vans, nordstrom (similar here + here)

ESPEN’S HEART DAY DUDS | pizza shirt, crewcuts on sale | wild thing tee, peek kids (similar) | joggers, crewcuts | new balances, crewcuts (similar)

Espen’s outfit is my fave. If it could talk I think it would say… I like a good party and love pizza but don’t take all the lovey dovey heart day stuff too seriously. Which is exactly what most 4th grade boys are thinking so it’s perfect :)

Happy weekend you guys! Hope it’s a warm and cozy one. We’ll be spending ours running the kids around to their activities and putting all the finishing touches on our Valentine’s. Thankful for activities that keep us busy indoors right now because brrr!

xo, Rae

 

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SIMPLE VALENTINES DAY KID CRAFT

Inspired by our love for eyeballs and faces put on any inanimate object and these adorable jammies that Poppy has, Tilly and I painted some happy little low-fuss hearts yesterday complete with facial expressions and patterned backgrounds. It was hard to stop making them but we’re all snowed in here (10-inches and still snowing!) today so I bet we’ll be painting more when we need to warm our bones!

YOU’LL NEED: poster board or thin cardboard, craft paint, paint brushes, a pencil and a sharpie or other black marker.

TO MAKE: I cut up a poster board (thin cardboard from a cereal box would work great too!) in various sizes. If you are using cardboard and want a white or non-kraft colored background, just brush a layer of paint over your pieces and let dry. Draw a heart on each piece and start painting! Once completely dry, use a sharpie or other black marker to add faces. ;)

Valentine’s Day is a little over a week away, I can’t believe it! We don’t have much in the way of Valentines decorations around here but these hearts add a nice festive touch. They would make a fun post card too.

How have you been getting in the Love Day mood?

xo, Rae

P.S. — Tomorrow is the last day to order Valentines for your little cupids. Head to the Design Shop to order if you haven’t already… It’s been so much fun seeing what design you guys pick when the orders come through and on Instagram so don’t forget to tag me @raeannkelly

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YAY FRIDAY + A SUPERBOWL CHEAT SHEET

I love, love, LOVE playing sports but when it comes to watching them, keeping track of the score, players, numbers and especially the stats, I’m the absolute worst. My kid’s games, of course, being the main exception. The other one is the Super Bowl. Knowing the backstories, what players to watch for and team names (ha!) makes the big day so much more exciting.

Since my husband is a freaking genius when it comes to knowing teams, players and stats I always bug him for the down-low before game time and this year I thought it would be fun to share with you!

10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SUPER BOWL 51

  1. The New England Patriots are playing the Atlanta Falcons
  2. Both QB’s are amazing — Tom Brady for the Patriots vs. Matt Ryan for the Falcons
  3. Matt Ryan will probably be the MVP of the regular season
  4. Both coaches are also amazing — Bill Belichick for the Patriots (this will be his 7th Super Bowl and has a 4-2 record) vs. Dan Quinn for the Falcons (this is only his 2nd year as head coach… an extra tidbit for all my Seattle friends, he used to be the Seahawks defensive coordinator)
  5. Patriots are favored by 3 points
  6. The game is supposed to be one of the highest scoring Super Bowls with a total of 59+ points being predicted.
  7. The game is in Houston. The last time the game was there in 2004 the Patriots won and Janet Jackson had a wardrobe malfunction ;)
  8. This is the Falcon’s 2nd and the Patriot’s 9th appearance at a Super Bowl.
  9. Patriot’s Tight End, #87 Rob Gronkowski would have been one to watch for but has been sidelined due to a back injury… he also has 1.7 million twitter followers.
  10. Tom Brady (Patriots QB) is the oldest player on their team at 39 and Matt Bryant (Falcons kicker) is the oldest in the league at 41

 

No kidding you guys, when we started chatting about the game last night, I didn’t even know what teams were playing, but knew exactly who was performing at halftime ;) Super excited to see what Gaga does, but nervous to see how she uses the platform. So ready to see more unity and less protesting in our country — not that I agree with all the changes being made. Ugh. Sorry for the tangent… I’ll save that rabbit hole for a different post.

Now, I’m super curious… what do you enjoy most about the Super Bowl?

  1. the game
  2. the food
  3. the halftime show (and commercials too)

Happy Friday!

xo, Rae

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FEBRUARY ARROW PROJECT: HOT COCOA STAND

Hey friends, happy February 1st!
We’re kicking this month off with an arrow project that I’m super excited to share. The combination of the state of our country and middle of winter weather (hurry up spring!) is enough to throw anyone into a downward spiral, but there is one thing that always restores sanity… connecting with people and chocolate! They are seriously the best medicine. So for our service project this month  Tilly + Griffin put on a pop-up hot cocoa stand in my parent’s neighborhood. Lemonade stands are one of their favorite summertime activities so I knew they would love it! Although their faces in the pic above suggest otherwise, LOL.
A few more pics from our time serving up cocoa…
Filming their sales pitch on Instagram stories and making a sign!
The secret shopper, director of quality control and social media strategist. Little people doing big things, ha! But seriously, don’t you see it?
Tilly + Griffin’s work relationship was slightly explosive. Both control freaks with easy to push buttons. But we lived, still had fun and met some new friends in the process!! It was really a great way to spend the afternoon.
I read a graphic the other day that said, “There is so much life to be lived in the in-between”. Can’t think of a better way to describe this season and put things into perspective.
Here’s to living a full life in the in-between. And lots of yummy hot cocoa.
XO, Rae
P.S. – You guys have been keeping me so busy with Valentine orders and I’m so very grateful! It really is my favorite project of the year!!!
P.P.S. – Today is the last day to enter the Instagram giveaway. Head HERE for the full details and to share the love!
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BE MINE: NEW VALENTINES + A GIVEAWAY!

Sure it’s a slightly manufactured and forced day of love, but I’ve had a soft spot for Valentine’s Day for as looong as I can remember and look forward to designing a new collection of cards every year. They’re perfect for the little ones to give their playdate besties or the bigger ones to give their classroom friends and are easy to pair up with a sweet treat or small toy. Melts my heart every year to see how excited the kids get over assembling and give their Valentines. It’s seriously the sweetest thing to see them loving on others!

Oh and because V-day is just as much about celebrating friendship as it is your main squeeze,  I’ve teamed up with my real life galentine, Kendra from Hen & Co for a giveaway. Details are at the very bottom.

Llamas, pizza and narwhals, oh my… A unicorn is just about the only thing missing! These new designs and all of last years are available in the DESIGN SHOP now. The last day to order will be February 7th (only 9 days away, eek!) so don’t wait too long to order…plus it always feels good to check a few things off the to-do list!

Griffin and Tilly have already chosen the “hello valentine” in the top left along with the ice cream cone shooters and dinosaurs they are pictured with. I kinda like these ice cream cards (or the polka dots) with the shooters for Poppy too and Espen is still deciding between these googley eyed hearts, NY inspired ones (would be cute with chocolate covered pretzels!), and star wars. I guess choosing is sometimes the hardest part!

Can’t get over how adorable Poppy and Kendra’s daughter, Bellamy are with their heart day tops and cards!

A little BTS peek… wish we had a camera rolling in time-lapse to capture all the messy chaos of working with kids while also trying to keep it fun. Let’s just say I was sweating by the end of it. #momcardio

And confetti is always a good idea.

Now for some giveaway details, YAY!

We believe friends are the spice of life and want to hear what you love about yours over on Instagram. All the details will be posted HERE at 1pm today. Winners will receive an adorable tee or leo from Hen & Co and a set of 24 personalized valentines from my shop for you and a friend! I’ll send a second email later today when the giveaway is live so SIGN UP FOR EMAILS if you haven’t already!

This is my most favorite project of the entire year and I had the hardest time stopping at 6 new designs. That being said, if you have a valentine theme request let me know in the comments and I might be able to put something together for you!

Happy Monday you guys :)

xo, Rae

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MOM PRAYERS

Potty training isn’t the only milestone happening in our home this week. While our 2 year old is learning to tinkle on the toilet, our 16 year old will be getting his license. Eeek! Quite the contrast right?! Over the last month as the topic has come up I’ve been asked by several friends how I’m feeling about it.

Terrified?

Yes!

Happy dancing?

That too!

But honestly more than the butterflies and happy dances, all I can think about when I look at my 16 year old is how faithful God is. So many of the things I asked Him to do in and for Ozzie since he was a baby (I shared our story HERE several years ago) I see in him now. As he steps into a new freedom and further away from my protection though, it would be so easy for me to get consumed with worry instead of trusting God and continuing to pray big things for his future.

While I’ll most definitely be praying for his protection every time the butterflies start fluttering in my stomach, God’s been reminding me lately that there is so much more I can do with my time, thoughts and energy. Just thought I would pass that reminder onto you…

So, pray for the sweet small things — what preschool to send your kids to, for friends to play with at recess, that their cold would pass, for more playing time on the soccer team, etc. God cares about those things.

But pray big, beautiful dreams over them too. That they would know how wonderfully made and fully loved they are. That they would know God’s voice, grace, promises, purposes and presence. That they would recognize and use their talents because of the confidence they have in the one who made them.

And then no matter how small or big the ask, trust that God will give you the ideas, direction and wisdom to do your part because prayer is anything but passive.

I’m far from perfect at this parenting thing… Sure there are moments that go smoothly but we also take frequent rides on the hot mess express. Either way, I’ve found that there is nothing like prayer to keep my mind easy and heart light so I can enjoy rolling with my little homies and be the mom they deserve.

Of course coffee, girlfriends and a cute outfit help too.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday!

XO, Rae

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OH FUDGE: 5 POTTY TRAINING TIPS, A SURVIVAL KIT, + POOP EMOJI CUPCAKES

When it comes to raising babies, there are few things I dread more than potty training and this week we’ll be doing it for the 5th and final time. Never thought I could get sentimental over such a tedious, messy and pain in the butt task but here I am with all the feels about it. Guess I’ve been hanging on for dear life to this sweet toddler stage that Poppy is in and seeing her without her adorable diaper bottom takes us one step closer to being a big kid. Which is so rad too. I love watching my kids grow, but the last one is a hard one.

Like sleep training and just about every other aspect of parenting, we don’t have a system that we’ve used for all of our kids that’s been wildly successful, but I do have a few guidelines that might help.

MY 5 TIPS FOR POTTY TRAINING

  1. ALL ABOARD THE HYPE TRAIN: For a couple weeks before you start, make going potty on the toilet a big exciting deal. Talk about it, sing about it, read about it, and generally speaking, build the hype. (My older kids have been doing an amazing job of this for me this time around… I’ll share more below.)
  2. BE PREPARED: Like just about everything else in life, it’s good to be prepared. I’ll share a short list and pic of items we keep on hand and easily accessible while potty training, below.
  3. HAVE A PLAN: Are you going straight to undies, using pull-ups, or a combination of both? What about nap time, bedtime, school carpool, errands and going over to other people’s homes? Do you need to clear your calendar for a few days while getting things started? Thinking about these things will help with consistency which is half the potty training battle.
  4. BE FLEXIBLE: Nothing is worse than putting a bunch of pressure on yourself or your child over saying bye-bye to diapers. You know what you and your babe can handle so listen to your gut and try to have a little fun with it.
  5. DON’T GET DISCOURAGED: There will be good days followed by bad days and then eventually a few good weeks followed by a few horrible days and you’ll wonder when the accidents will end and if you’re doing it wrong and if you’ll ever be able to make it through the grocery store without taking a potty break. The answer is yes. And no. All at once. Just remember, no one goes to kindergarten in a diaper and no preschool teacher is caught off guard by an accident. So, just ride the wave… it’s less exhausting that way.

Remember tip no. 1? The hype has been building in our home since Christmas when Poppy got big girl undies in her stocking (I’ve just been dragging my feet). Her siblings think potty training is like the best, most exciting thing ever and have been doing more than enough hype building. It’s really sweet to watch.

Last week Griffin announced that Poppy wasn’t just potty training, she was POOPY TRAINING! Which everyone thought was hilarious and somehow lead to making poop emoji cupcakes. So, that’s just what we did over the weekend and they actually turned out so incredibly cute.

TO DECORATE THE POOP EMOJI CUPCAKES, I scooped chocolate frosting into a pastry decorating bag without a tip/attachment (a ziplock with big hole cut in the corner would do the trick too) then squeezed a swirl out on top of each cupcake and then added candy eyes (target usually carried them too). Easy peasy!

A peek at what’s in our potty training kit that I keep in or near the downstairs bathroom:

  • wet wipes — disinfectant wipes are a good idea too.
  • juiceboxes — lots of liquids makes potty training so much easier!
  • extra undies and leggings
  • small treats — I love little suckers and smarties because they last the longest but the serving size is still small.
  • stickers
  • bubbles — or other activities. This is super important if you are potty training in the winter!

We’re officially starting Poppy in big girl undies tomorrow so I would love to know what other tips or supplies would you add to the list?!

XO, Rae

 

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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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