Author Archive | rae

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

5

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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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

4

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

2

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

9

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

2

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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