Author Archive | rae

MINI MAKERS: MARSHMALLOW SHOOTER FRIEND GIFT DIY

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This year instead of treats the kids have decided to package up these very cute and simple marshmallow shooters to give their friends. We put together a few samples yesterday and had a blast testing them out and sampling the ammo too. Poppy (2 y.o.) was even able to make the mallows pop which lead to the sweetest belly laughs ever!

To DIY, YOU’LL NEED:

  • Mini marshmallows
  • Paper cups
  • Standard sized balloons
  • Scissors
  • Packaging (if giving away as gifts)

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Poke a hole in the bottom of the paper cups and remove.
  2. Cut off the skinny part of each balloon. (See bottom right of picture above ^)
  3. Stretch balloons over the bottom of the cups.
  4. Fill cups with marshmallows and wrap up as a gift!
  5. To shoot marshmallows, place one or more in the cup. Pull down on balloon like a slingshot and let go!

I’m sure my mommy friends will love me for this one, but the marshmallows are actually really easy to pick up as long as they don’t get wet (i.e. – licked by a toddler or pet) before shooting. :)

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Can’t wait to watch the kids deliver their handmade prezzies!!! Their excitement over the littlest things this time of year is the absolute best.

Happy Friday friends!

XO, Rae

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PLAID STATEMENT COAT 3-WAYS

I’m one of those people that swoons over statement coats but then walks away convinced I won’t know how to wear it. Or that I won’t  wear it often enough. About a month ago however, I spotted a buffalo check coat at old navy and decided to finally give it a try. To my surprise, I’ve worn it at least a couple times a week and haven’t had to work too hard to find outfits to pair with it. Thought it would be fun to play style blogger for the day and share three of my favorite looks! Linked sources too and (bonus) most things are on sale!

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OVER MONOCHROME

I chose to pair shades of whites, but all denim, gray or black would work too!

ME | coat (similar), sweater (similar), jeans, shoes (similar)

GRIFFIN | coattee shirtjeansshoes

(Outfit pics on the bridge by the always amazing Stacy Jacobsen!)

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OVER A DRESS (with tomboyish accessories)

Wore this look yesterday then dressed it up with tights and booties for date night. Another great option!

ME | coat (similar), dress (it has pockets!), beaniesneakers

POPPY | sweater, jeans (similar), shoes

GRIFFIN | coatjeansshoes

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OVER DENIM + A GRAPHIC TEE (with booties)

ME | coat (similar), denim jackettee shirtjeansbooties

GRIFFIN | coat (sold out in navy), boots (they aren’t fancy but work great in the snow!)

POPPY | coattutuboots

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Griffin is my personal bubble burster but I love that he stays close and (with the exception of parking lots of course) ALWAYS wants to hold my hand. He fills my cup, that boy.

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One more for the road, because behind every blog worthy(ish) picture there are ten like this. Well, maybe not quite this bad. Or this funny. But you get the idea. I don’t ever want to take myself (or be taken) too seriously. Not that my kids don’t already do a bang-up job of that. HA (Hashtag momlife)!

So now I want to hear… Which look do you like the best? Which would you wear most? Which would you style differently?

Thanks for humoring my fashion blogging for the day. It’s been fun!

XOXOXO, Rae

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FREE CHRISTMAS ART PRINTS (SANTA, GOLD 1225 + THE CHRISTMAS STORY)

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I have a love-hate relationship with Mondays. Sometimes I would like the weekend to stay forever and other times I’m so thankful for a fresh start and new week. After last weeks technical problems (the site and my email crashed), I’m feeling the latter. So sorry if you weren’t able to view the oversized hand warmer post or get ahold of me via email because of it! Thankfully things are back up and running now and I have some fun Christmas prints to share. Links for each are below the pictures. 

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GOLD PAINTED 12/25 ART PRINT, 12×16 PDF (click to download)

The ’25’ is a light gray and can be painted over using a small brush and gold (or any other festive color) craft paint. The font I used is very forgiving so don’t be nervous about messing up! Also, it can easily be sized down to an 8×10… and probably blown up too.

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VINTAGE SANTA ART PRINT, 8×10 PDF (click to download)

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LUKE 2 ART PRINT, 8×10 PDF (click to download)

A quick FIY, I print some stuff at home (using this printer) but also have a local printer I use and have found Costco to be very good and cost affective too. Hope that info is helpful for someone :) Let me know if you have any other questions.

Cheers to a good Monday and (hopefully) smooth week! 

XO, Rae

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OVERSIZED HANDWARMER DIY

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So excited to bring back an old favorite today, homemade hand warmers, with a new design and bigger size. Just in time for Holiday gifting and the cold winter weather that has kicked in around here!

The hand warmers pictured are available in my Spoonflower shop as a cut and sew fabric pattern (perfect project for beginners or asking a friend that sews for help!) and takes a week or two to ship, so I recommend ordering ASAP if you want to make some before Christmas! Of course you can use whatever fabric you have on hand at home too. More details, links and instructions below.

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All tied up and ready to make someone cozy-warm.

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YOU’LL NEED:

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Cut around gray lines and patterns on the cut and sew fabric or cut 4-inch squares from other fabric. Place fabric wrong sides together. Leaving 1-inch open at the end (to pour rice through – see pic below), and using a 1/4-inch hem, sew around the two squares. Back stitch when you start each.
  2. Pour rice into a small ziplock and cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners. Funnel rice into each warmer until approx 3/4 full. Place a pin next to each hole to keep rice from spilling out and sew closed.
  3. Trim around each hand warmer with pinking shears… it keeps them from fraying and looks extra cute! Trim loose threads too.

To use, place in microwave until warm (about 30 seconds). Just be careful when handling or handing over to little ones.

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One of my favorite parts (although at times an embarrassing part) is reading through old posts to see what I was thinking or feeling at that moment. One of the things I loved reading from the original hand warmer post that inspired this little DIY project was this:

“There is one thing I take very seriously… that my kids feel loved. Everyday. It would be easy for this task to become overwhelming, but luckily my kids have taught me that it’s the little things that matter.  Just one act of love goes a looooong way.”

It’s so, so true. Especially this time of year when the hustle and bustle is real and our calendars are full. The little things go a long way.

Happy 18 sleeps before Christmas!!!

XO, Rae

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PRINTABLE ADDRESS TEMPLATE + THE KIDS LATELY

rae-ann-kelly-address-template-3527Soooooo, I have some Christmas goodies for you this week but figured I would kick things off with a useful printable, if you haven’t sent your christmas cards out yet!? Worked on ours both nights over the weekend and I’m still not done! Mostly because our address book needs lots of updating, but the template really helped keep my envelopes looking nice which is not normally the case.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD the ADDRESS STENCIL

To Use: Cut around dashed lines then use an exact-o knife to cutout the 4 rectangles. Lay over your envelope and start address, using the vertical lines to help with spacing!

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A few random things the kids have been saying or doing lately…

OZZIE (16) | He’s so close to getting his license and has been a model student driver except for asking to drive short distances (like walking distance to a friends house) without an adult. When my answer is no (and it always is) he’s shocked and acts like I’m being super silly about it. Teenagers get a bad wrap and this story isn’t a great example, but they really are the best.

ESPEN (10) | Taught us all a new joke — What has 100 teeth and eats weenies?……………. A zipper! Ha! After the joke he reminisced about the run in he had with a zipper when he was 3-ish and had decided not to put undies on under his footed jammies. Funny how a relatable joke makes it extra hilarious! 

TILLY (8) | After asking Tilly why she and her brothers had come home so hyper she said, “Mom. We’re kids. Try to keep up.” Followed by, “If you can’t keep up then you are off the squad.” I would blame the tween Disney shows but we haven’t had those channels for awhile. Plus I sorta appreciate the sass. It’s just enough not to get in trouble and makes me laugh almost every time. Then on the way home from church yesterday, Baby it’s Cold Outside was playing when she asked, “Why doesn’t she just leave already? That’s what I would do.” LOL. She kills me.

GRIFFIN (5) | Anytime someone says or does something funny lately, Griffin says, “Wait! I’ll do a replay!” And then reenacts the scene. He’s the cutest and has SO much energy.

POPPY (2) | She’s at the age where every other thing that comes out of her mouth is pure gold, but most noteworthy is her current comeback when her siblings are bugging her. She says, “No, yo-da baby!” and the other kids all crack-up laughing. I swear she has everyone wrapped around her pinky.

Hope you all had an extra fun, productive and restful weekend!

XO, Rae

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OH CHRISTMAS TREE + OUR SIMPLE HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST

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I cannot believe it, but happy DECEMBER! We kicked off the month yesterday by starting our service advent calendar, stacking up a pile of books to donate, and celebrating our elf, Sven the loving elf’s, arrival. I just know this month is going to flyby — it always does. Since our un-fancy fall bucket list worked so well, I figured we would do the same for the Holiday Season. Here’s what’s on everyone’s list: 

ME | Mail our Christmas cards next week, plan a fancy date night with ma boo, see the Nutcracker, Narnia (at the Seattle Children’s Theater), or go on a Polar Express ride.

JOHAN | Lots of Christmas movie nights!

OZZIE | Go sledding.

ESPEN | Gingerbread houses and visit with his buddies that moved a little while ago.

TILLY | Make my friends Christmas gifts and see Santa.

GRIFFIN | Do a hot cocoa stand and zoo lights!

POPPY | Run away from santa (just kidding! – by Tilly).

This time of year (dark and cold) it’s easy for me to be a homebody without a list of things to do! Looking forward to checking things off over the next several weeks.

What’s on your bucket list for the Holidays!?

Now for a few pics from the tree hunting excursion we went of after church last Sunday.  

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The opposite of the Mannequin challenge, HA! A few snaps before this, Espen had jumped into the shot and photobombed. It wasn’t long before they all wanted a picture of them doing the same. Love these kids.

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(Poppy must have tooted?)

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Totally impressed with the tree wrapping machine…

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…And the little train ride they got to go on.

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And a few posed pics with the oldest because it’s hard to get him in front of the camera most of the time. Realizing how far we are moving from the making babies stage of our family but so thankful for healthy, thriving kids that entertain and impress me daily. It’s bittersweet but mostly sweet.

XO, Rae

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ME | buffalo check coat (on sale!), jeans (on double sale), black boot (also on sale)

ESPEN | sweatshirt (similar), check shirt (similar), jeans, black rain boots

TILLY | black coat, dress and boots (similar) from Boden and on sale

GRIFFIN | jeans, shoes

POPPY | jean jacket (same one in a darker wash), boots

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FAVORITE STOCKING STUFFERS FOR THE KIDS

Come Christmas morning, our stockings are mostly stuffed with gum, chapstick, socks, and starbucks gift cards, but I always love including a few special surprises too. Since we’re doing the 4-Gifts again this year it also leaves a little wiggle room in the stocking budget. Here are a few potential stocking stuffers (and a couple gifts) that have caught my eye lately.

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one | Pillowfort zebra head from Target. Love the bear one too. Actually, love them all!

two | Blue monster beanie from Crewcuts.

three | Star Wars Doodles book from Amazon.

four | Emoji bobbies from Crewcuts.

five | Toy army guys from Amazon (or just about anywhere). Perfect for target practice ;)

six| Stainless steel teething keys from Kleynimals… We’ve outgrown the need for teethers, but love these and they make great baby shower gifts too so had to share! 

seven | Pizza purse from Crewcuts. 

eight | Colorful xylophone from Land of Nod.

nine | Pro wrestling dolls for the win! Too expensive for a stocking but such a fun gift.

ten | Wood fridge play food from Land of Nod. They have a pantry set too.

eleven | The cutest knee-high socks from Bobo Choses.

Years ago, in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve, my mom realized she had totally forgotten about buying stocking stuffers. Like any good mom would do she rallied, headed to Rite Aid and filled a shopping basket with deodorant, toothbrushes, drugstore underwear and the like. From that year on (and now even as an adult), our stockings always included a slightly upgraded version of my mom’s Rite Aid finds and I don’t think anyone would want it any different! Funny how traditions sometimes get started.

Do you have any stocking stuffer traditions?

XO, Rae

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THANKFUL FOR THANKSGIVING

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Welp, we spent Thanksgiving bunked at our family cabin, gobbled till we wobbled (and not just on Turkey Day), drove 8 hours to see our college team lose the apple cup (but still had fun), walked the festive streets of Leavenworth, mediated an unnerving amount of sibling squabbles, and made lots of new memories. Thanksgiving, for no particular reason, isn’t usually my favorite holiday, but this year was so good it has me reconsidering my holiday rankings. Here’s a few pics from our long weekend –>

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(Thankful for this guy of mine — insert heart emoji.)

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(Taking a cue from my kids who see any and all public floors and grounds as a place to play, snuggle or rest… I think they are onto something!)

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(We packed feathers, googley eyes, and brown bags for any downtime we might have on our trip and love the name tags and headbands Tilly made out of them! Nothing fancy but totally perfect.)

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(The room I used to sleep in as a kid with siblings and friends. So sweet to see my kids in there together.)

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(A quick snap with Papa and Gigi at the cabin on the last day as we cleaned and packed!)

Yep. Thanksgiving is officially moving up on my favorite holidays list… Hope yours was even sweeter! 

Now if we can just get a handle on all the sibling bickering!? 

XO, Rae

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MINI CHICKEN (OR TURKEY) POT PIES

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I’m not a huge fan of stew-like dinners you guys, but the chicken pot pies we made last night were so tasty almost everyone went back for seconds. Since the meat in this dish can easily be substituted and we’ll all be needing ways to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, I thought I would share! 

MINI CHICKEN (OR TURKEY) POT PIES

Makes 8 individual pot pies, takes 50 minutes start to finish

You’ll Need:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 8 tablespoons of butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large potatoes, diced small (or use frozen diced potatoes)
  • 1 large carrot, diced small
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts or turkey meat, cooked and chopped (or sub for a rotisserie chicken!)
  • Basic pie crust (I used almost 3 boxes of store-bought — 6 round sheets) 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 Ramekins 
  • Mini alphabet cookie cutters, optional

Here’s How:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a large sauce or soup pan over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue stirring over medium heat for 4 minutes.
  2. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Pour in milk and cook for 4 more minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat and add potatoes, carrots, corn, mushrooms, and meat.
  4. Cut pie crust into 8 circles big enough to fit inside the ramekins (optional) and press into the bottom of each. Cut 8 more circles slightly larger than the rim of your ramekins and use cookie cutters to personalize. Set aside. 
  5. Fill ramekins with mixture and cover with pie crust, folding edges around the outside and crimping with a fork. Brush with egg and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until crust is golden brown and crispy. Let cool before serving!

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There were a couple nights last week that Johan played with the kids outside while I cooked in a quiet kitchen. Being able to dice, boil and dish without someone clinging to my leg, resting on my hip or sitting on the counter chatting my ear off was like a little slice of heaven.

That being said, I do love sharing the kitchen and dinner duties with a little helper or two and Griffin happens to be the most passionate about it. Especially this time of year when it’s dark, cold and rainy outside.

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Don’t let the giant pretend bite of food fool you. Despite all of his cooking efforts, the only part of the dinner he ate was a few nibbles of the cooked pie crust. Stinker. I’ve never heard of a cooking enthusiast that doesn’t like eating though, so I’m holding out hope that he’ll outgrow his picky palette!

Anyone else dealing with a  picky eater lately?

How do you use up turkey dinner leftovers?

XO, Rae

 

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LOVE DOES, ADVENT ACTIVITIES + PRINTABLE

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There is a mile long Thanksgiving to-do list sitting next to my keyboard as I type this, but there is so much that happens between Turkey day and Chistmas, it’s hard not to jump ahead a little. One of my favorite upcoming traditions is our daily advent calendar (25% off at Land of Nod) and this year we’re stuffing it with trinkets, sweets, festive activities and simple service projects.

Looking forward to spreading love and cheer this advent season. Hope you’ll join us and download the printable below or pin for safe keeping!!!

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Sign me up for this advent activity!!!! And Poppy’s adorable faces.

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(PSARyan and Wren clips are a fave… perfect for stocking stuffers and holiday outfits!)

LOVE DOES, ADVENT ACTIVITES, PDF I made one sheet editable so you can fill in with your own ideas and traditions. Simply open in Adobe, click on the text box and type. The font I used is BEBAS (it’s free to download) or use a current favorite. Let me know if you have any questions!

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Some activities are super simple while others are more involved and I’m sure we won’t complete them all, but I do hope it’s a fun addition to our advent calendar that sticks around for years to come. And that my kids will see that L O V E   D O E S. It shares and serves and gives, celebrates and encourages, and is incredibly resourceful and creative. And without it, all the gifts and glitter of the season don’t matter too much. It’s a good reminder for me too!

Now time to get back to my Thanksgiving checklist…Happy Monday!

XO, Rae 

 

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GIVEAWAY WITH STACY JACOBSEN PHOTOGRAPHY

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If you’ve been a blog reader for even a little while, you’ve probably heard me brag about my beautiful friend, Stacy Jacobsen, and her killer photography skills. I’m not exaggerating when I say, she’s amazing at what she does and is so effortless and chill to work with, yet manages to capture the playfulness of the moment and the personality of those in front of the lens.

I’ve been so spoiled by her willingness to shoot my fam bam over the last 8 years. She has captured some of the sweetest seasons in our life as well as the more everyday moments and today I’m so excited to share her with you guys via a giveaway! 

Enter to win a family photo session (in the Seattle area) by going to StacyJacobsen.com and signing up for her newsletter.  Contest closes Saturday, November 19th at 10pm PST. One winner will be chosen at random and announced here and emailed by Stacy the next day. 
 
Stacy is also running a H O L I D A Y   S A L E (<–click for details) right now through Sunday, November 20th at midnight —  5 0 %   o f f  gift cards for family sessions and mini sessions! You guys seriously can’t beat it. Even if you win the giveaway. Wish we could book all of her mini sessions…!
 
Once you’ve signed up for emails, head over to Instagram for a chance to win Santa photos for you and a friend!!! (A few of my faves from years past, below)
 
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(Don’t we all look like babes in the last one?!)
 

Good luck and happy Thursday!

XO, Rae

PS – I know this giveaway excludes many — maybe one day we’ll be able to do a destination photography giveaway!!! Until then, I’ll be dreaming up another giveaway to share soon. 

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