Author Archive | rae

SLIP DRESSES + SKIRTS FOR THANKSGIVING GET TOGETHERS

A couple weeks ago, Johan and I stayed a few blocks away from Pike Place at the Palladian hotel for an overnight date and had the best time. We kept things very low-key and tried a new restaurant, shopped at the market, dressed like grownups, drank coffee while it was still hot, talked about the kids, and laid in bed watching the today show just because we could. It was the perfect little break before the holiday rush and truly just what we needed to end an insanely busy month.

(Thanks to my dad for managing the kids and chaos while we were away!)

Getting a little dressed up for our date got me thinking about what to wear over the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving which is NEXT WEEK! (WHATTTT???!) So thought I’d share one of the pieces that will be my go-to over the next month or so — my silk slip skirt that I also wish I had as a slip dress and is sooooo easy to dress up or down and mix and match. As far as formal wear goes, it doesn’t get any better than that!

Linked to my skirt below along with a few other options that I also wish were in my closet and then shared a few ideas for mixing and matching too!

SLIP DRESSES + SKIRTS:

HOW TO WEAR IT:

  • pair or layer with a fitted top, tee or turtleneck (my personal fave)
  • graphic tees, oversized sweatshirts, sherpa pullover or a parka (layered over denim or a knit) adds a casual touch to a silky skirt for a less formal kinda day.
  • think texture! a chunky knit sweater with silk is the perfect mix.
  • with just about any kind of shoe… for reals.
  • by balancing the silk with a leather jacket or something men’s wear inspired like a blazer or topcoat.

 

The color of this building with the forrest green trim made me happy.

  

Thank you for our date night Johan!!! There is no one in this world I would rather do this life with…

He’s a hands-on-dad, a firefighter, special ops (which basically means he can rescue people from any sketchy situation), doesn’t mind helping out in the kitchen, takes amazing pictures, is diehard about the things he loves, and is a total babe.

Plus he plays along with just about anything I ask and thinks I’m funny.

I’m a lucky girl.

  

WEARING: tee in olive from madewell, leather jacket from nordstrom (and on sale for $52), skirt from free people, sneakers from madewell

My silky skirt was surprisingly comfy and warm enough while walking around town and has a hidden zipper that would be easy to adjust for turkey dinner, lol. Just need to be sure and bring an oversized sweater to throw on over the top!

Do you guys usually dress up or down for Holiday dinners and events? Would you like a few more outfit ideas!? Let me know in the comments!

XO, Rae

3

HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE: 4 WAYS TO MAKE HOLIDAY DINNERS FUN FOR KIDS (AND ADULTS)

Holiday meals with kids can add an extra level of stress to time with family but we’ve been at it a long time and have found a few ways to keep our sanity in tact while also making it more fun for the kids (and adults too). It took us a long time to get to this point so hopefully these tips help you in someway!

  1. Having a plan for before and after dinner. It’s a given that kids will get bored (and starving) so having a couple light snacks and a craft or activity before dinner is so helpful. It’s also a given that kids will finish eating before the adults so having a plan while everyone finished eating (and chatting) is smart too. Otherwise there will be constant interruptions by little people asking for pie! (Our pregame is usually a craft like the paper headbands or hat pictured or something from Target and postgame is a short Christmas movie like rudolph. Also, pushing nap time back a little always helped with our younger ones so they wake up right before dinner.)
  2. Getting kids involved in the table setting. Ours usually make place cards and drink tags or draw pictures on note cards to leave at each plate. Older kids can write conversation starters and fill up water glasses, etc. Putting napkins at each place setting is easy for little ones… or kick it up a notch for big kids and try fancy folded napkins (found these fun ideas!)
  3. Get on the same page! Discussing expectations of the kids (and adults) beforehand… what they eat (slash don’t eat), etc. Also, some manners refreshers the week before thanksgiving is usually a good idea in our home. Things get pretty wild (i.e. loud) around our dinner table.
  4. Ignore the haters that think it’s crazy you excuse your kids from the table when there’s still food on their plate or that don’t understand why you would let them have pumpkin pie when they didn’t eat any turkey. Just because they care doesn’t mean you have to… I mean, who wants to spend their holiday meal in a power struggle with a preschooler, toddler or grandparent (lol) over being a part of the clean plate club. Save that for normal family dinner nights ;)

(excuse the abundance of griff and poppy pics. i couldn’t narrow down my favorites!)

Do you guys set up a kids tables during holidays or mix company at the main table?

We’ve done it both ways but usually have the kids at the adult table so they can get involved in the conversation. Plus it’s a shorter walk (for me, lol) when they need seconds, or help with something!

XO, Rae

0

OOTW, THROWBACK TRAINERS + PLAYING WITH GRIFFIN

The best thing to happen to motherhood since baby carriers and wet wipes has got to be the sneakers with everything trend. I mean, the ability to wear most items in your closet AND also be able to chase after or play with a kid or two is brilliant. I’m a fan of the chunky (slash ugly) trainer and have had my eye on this pair (in all leather) but can never find them in my size and color preference so snagged these reeboks instead which are more of a throwback than chunky but also less expensive and I love them! And the best thing to happen to this plain t-shirt is for sure, this cute camisole. I tend to feel overdressed in a silk top but the two together strikes a perfect balance and feels special without being too stuffy for all the glamorous things I do all day (i.e. target runs, grocery shopping, picking all the things up off the floor, carpool + dishes). Even better, ditch the tee and add a leather jacket for date night! (just got this one for under $100)

(All blue, head to toe! GRIFFIN’S tee from j. crew, adidas sweatshirt from amazon, joggers from rockets of awesome and new balance shoes are from j.crew.)

Gah! I love this hand holding, high energy boy so much! Last week Johan and I picked him up a few minutes early from school to surprise him with a quick fro-yo date. On the way home Johan mentioned on the car ride that he only had one week left of soccer so I followed up with a question about playing next year to which he answered — “I’m kinda thinking I’ll play football instead” — it’s the best, most exciting but also stressful thing when they grow up and start making independent decisions like that!!! My reply was of course one I thought would make him think hard — “Do you think you’ll be able to hit and tackle other kids?”  — and he replied, “I tackle dad all the time!”

Ok. You win Griff. I will always try my best (with loads of wisdom of course) to support your ambitions and dreams. But I will also be praying that I get to see you play soccer next fall, lol.

When you have more than one kid, it’s easy to encourage them to play with each other outside while you do something productive (pick weeds, sweep the porch, clean out the car). But spending time playing with Griff and a soccer ball reminded me how productive it is for our relationship which carries over into our day and home and feels so good. My own dad was really good at playing outside with us. Lots of basketball, riding bikes and going for runs together so I speak from experience how powerful it can be… it’s just too easy to forget sometimes!

So, here’s my official NOTE TO SELF:

play more catch. play more tackle. play more tag.

Does playing come naturally to you or is it something that requires more intention?

Now that the weather is getting chilly, I for sure need to be more intentional about it. I’m always so cold! Sometimes my todo list gets the best of me too… adulting is hard!

XO, Rae

 

4

THINGS EVERY FAMILY ROOM SHOULD HAVE

We’re in the process of painting a few walls and shuffling furniture around in our home. Mostly from the family room to the man cave slash playroom which has left us with a very empty room that’s going to need some refreshing! (YAY! Just a little excited about it.) When we redid the boys room over the summer, we made a list of everything a kids room should have in it and it was super helpful, so we started one for the family room too. A little surprised at how short the list is so I know we’re missing things, ha! Would love any and all input!

FAMILY ROOM MUST-HAVES:

  1. a stack of chat books for little walks down memory lane
  2. throw blankets + pillows
  3. a cozy couch
  4. a coffee table big enough to play games or color at.
  5. photos + art
  6. tv and a good sound bar!
  7. soft lighting (i.e. lamps)

I think the biggest challenge will be finding a couch we can afford (key word) that’s cozy to sit on and looks good but can also handle grubby fingers and a pile of people on family movie nights. If you know a good place to shop for one that checks all those boxes, please share!

I’ve also been on the hunt for inexpensive frames I can mix and match on a gallery wall in the family room and am having the hardest time finding some. Other than Ikea or the thrift store, where do you guys find them?!?

And don’t forget to share what your family room must-haves are!?

xo, Rae

(Photos by my brilliant husband, Johan.)

7

PHOTOS FROM HALLOWEEN IN SEATTLE 2018

On Halloween We:

Dress up like — Darth Vader (Griffin), Planet of the Apes (Espen), A soccer player (Tilly), Minnie Mouse (Poppy), Mickey Mouse (Johan), and a Strawberry (Me)… Not pictured were Ozzie and his sweet girlfriend who dressed up like a baseball player and an angel for Angels in the Outfield (so cute!)

Make last minute costume changes — Poppy, who was 100% committed to being a strawberry (because in her own words, she luuuuuvs strawberries. she luuuuuv eating strawberries and she luuuuvs being a strawberry.), woke up from a nap 15 minutes before heading out to trick or treat and was repulsed by her strawberry costume. Like wouldn’t go within 10 feet of it. But luckily she was wearing a black dress and we had minnie mouse ears on hand from going to the kids’ classroom parties (costumes aren’t allowed but headbands don’t count, right?) so it all worked out.

Try something new — We usually hangout in our neighborhood with a group of friends (who we love!) but this year decided to switch things up a bit so headed to Queen Anne for their trick or treating event and then walked to Johan’s sister and brother in laws place for dinner, candy eating and a movie.

Hold hands — probably my favorite part this year was that in between going into the shops and knocking on doors, there was always someone’s hand to hold… my favorite!

Count, sort, trade and then taste test the candy — always the first thing that happens once we’re indoors after trick or treating. Do your kids do the same?

Watch the nightmare before Christmas — or at least we did this year after getting back from trick or treating. Am I the only person that isn’t into this movie?

Listen to Christmas music — after the festivities, on the drive home of course, lol.

Carry around a pet ghost balloon — Just in case one of the kids got separated so they’d be able to look up and find us…. it was kind of annoying to drag around (mostly for the other people walking on the sidewalk, lol) but actually came in handy when Tilly wandered off. I’ll explain below!

Digging into poppy’s bucket after she said it was getting heavy, lol! Just doing my part to help a sister out!

Two pics above, everyone’s in the frame while Johan is figuring out settings for the camera so we can ask a stranger to snap a family pic. One pic above, Johan hopped in the frame but do you notice someone else missing? HA! Tilly somehow wandered across the street and we didn’t notice until we were finished with the pic and saw her standing on the other side of the crosswalk looking at us like, “where have you guys been!?” Sooooo glad she stayed put and didn’t keep wandering down the sidewalk… it’s my biggest fear on Halloween. Also the reason why I appreciate starting trick or treating before it get’s dark.

(might be the world’s worst at making a kissy face, hahahah!)

Our days of trick or treating are numbered so feeling extra thankful for our little halloween together, trying something new and having the best time. Hope you guys had the best Halloween yet!

Let me know what your favorite part was in the comments please… I love it when you share!

XO, Rae

0

HAPPY HALLOWEEN + LIFE LATELY

H A P P Y   H A L L O W E E N   F R I E N D S ! ! ! 

If you’re looking for a fun activity to tide the kids over before it’s time to knock on doors, mummy making is perfect and all you need is is a few rolls of t.p. and a couple willing participants.

So much celebrating around our home this past week. Tilly turned double digits (10!) and had a big sleepover bash over the weekend. Ozzie turned 18 on Monday and we hosted a big family and friend dinner for him (it was magic!). And of course today is Halloween so we’ll be partying in the kids’ classrooms and then heading to Johan’s sister’s place on Queen Anne to trick or treat tonight!

Can’t wait to see everyone in their costumes tonight… my crew will be a mix of animals, food, athletes and star wars characters, lol. Never can get everyone to agree on a theme!

What about your fam bam… Do you try to match or does everyone do their own thing?

XO, Rae

 

0

STOCKING UP ON FALL ESSENTIALS

A little round up of things we’ve been stocking up on in preparation of fall, the holidays and time spent cozied up indoors or wet and cold outdoors. Also included a couple things I’ll be using in posts and projects coming up on the blog and instagram too!

one | so soft and cozy and only $15-$18 per set. so many colors to choose from that are especially perfect if you’re a fan of festive jammies but hate spending on things that go “out of season” so quickly. snagged a few different colors for griffin and poppy here + here. great for adding layers under snow and rain gear too!

two | knee high socks are so cute and great for little ones that don’t like tights!

three | time to stock up on boots and these were too adorable not to share.

four | inside means we’ll be baking and cooking a lot more. even with endless recipes to search on pinterest, there’s something special and refreshing about cooking from a cookbook. lots to choose from but have been using magnolia table (found at costco) and what’s gaby cooking (more summery foods but still fall-worthy!) lots lately.

five | we’ll be making ghost cookies over the weekend and would love you to join us!

six | just in case you need a new serving tray. love this one so much. you can also find a darker blue (even thought it says black) one here.

seven | i started giving the kids these probiotics just before they went back to school and they’ve kept everyone healthy and their tummies feeling good too… i would for sure grab a bottle before everyone’s sugar intake goes up with all the Halloween parties!

eight | tilly has plans to make slime to handout to classmates and friends for halloween and i thought these containers would be the perfect thing to package it in. along with a spider or googly eyes. will try and share a slime tutorial on stories tomorrow after school!

nine | we love our instax! actually it’s tilly’s (great christmas gift idea!) but we all use it. just stocked up on more film to use for making place cards for thanksgiving dinner.

ten | a coloring poster saved my sanity more than once last winter and spring so thought I’d buy one and save it for the next time we were all cooped up and struggling. ha! these coloring and activity posters look great too and are a bigger scale for younger kids.

Do you guys usually think ahead and stock up on stuff or buy as you need?

Also curious what you are most likely to purchase from the roundup above!?

Happy Wednesday!

xo, Rae

PS – did you see our mummy moves from last night?

0

SWEATER WEATHER + HELLO CUPCAKE

Last Friday after a busy week and what felt like forever since Johan and I had a chance to chat or hangout for more than 5 minutes, we took Poppy out for a little date to Hello Cupcake in Tacoma. It was such a fun and needed break and as you can tell, I’m  a happy girl anytime there’s a coffee and cupcake (or 12) in my hands!

Also love that “sweater weather” means I get to add a cozy, textured layer to my usual jeans and a tee uniform. Bonus, every time I think or hear the word “cardigan”, I can’t help but sing, “Cardi-Cardi!” in my head. Ha! Add a bright color to the mix and it does wonders to brighten up tired eyes and a fading summer tan.

Linked outfit details and more pics from our outing below!

(I typically favor cozy quarters over a giant home, but dream of having a prep kitchen with a giant pantry and fridge hidden behind swinging doors with round windows like above. A little over the top but think of how amazing it would be!)

We ordered a dozen mini cupcakes to grub on and share with friends before Ozzie’s football game later that evening. Plus one to eat right away of course! Gotta love places that make their sweets in a tiny size for kids and adults to enjoy. No sugar rush (and invitable meltdown) for them or sugar crash for us.

As we walked down the street with our basically homemade cupcakes from a small shop and stared through the windows of other small shops and restaurants along the way, I thought about how much I love supporting small businesses and appreciate the people who put their heart, creativity and finances out there to make our communities thrive and our everyday lives feel extra special. It’s honestly heroic in it’s own way — even if it means paying $2 for one mini cupcake when you could buy twelve for $5 at target. The value is so much greater. And the lack of preservatives is pretty awesome too.

I’M WEARING | sweater also available here (I sized up 1 for a bigger fit), vintage tee, jeans (similar. also saving up for these), shoes

POPPY’S WEARING | leggings, sweatshirt, hat

Our little outing also made me wonder what kind of a shop I would open…? As much as I have dreamt about opening up a clothing or home goods store (for the obvious personal perks), I would for sure open up a bakery that also served ice cream and breakfast until 10pm (def. the reason I should never open a store, lol — way too hard to decide on a niche!)…. something about knowing my bakery slash cafe would be a great place for family and friends to gather or grab treats for an afternoon pick-me-up or special occasion would give me lyfe.

Do you guys ever daydream about what kind of a shop or small business you would open? Tell me bout it in the comments!

XO, Rae

2

HIKING TWIN FALLS WITH KIDS + A WE CAN DO HARD THINGS

Have you guys ever had the kind of week or weekend that was so, so good but also so, so hard? Personally raising both hands after this past weekend which, by all regards, was amazing and guess what!? It was 4 days long! Even better, the weather was to-die-for. We crammed so much into 4 days (including a hike at Twin Falls!) and had lots of fun but at the same time, we were all a little “off”. Johan worked 3 of the 4 days, the kids bickered with each other like crazy and were (generally speaking) hard to please, bedtimes were HARD for no apparent reason, and the list goes on.

Sure there were special moments sprinkled in over the 4 days. But I fell asleep most nights exhausted and ready for a squeaky clean start!? I’ve since gone over things in my mind and think I’ve found a pretty good perspective on it all that I’ll share below but first, a few pics from our hike — AKA one of the very, very good parts from the weekend (except that Johan and Ozzie weren’t with us — we missed you!).

Tilly and Griffin snagged the big camera a couple times and snapped some pics. It’s always so fun to see what they capture — I love them all. Even the fuzzy ones :)

I think it’s just the all black outfit, but looks a little like big foot is sneaking up behind Espen and Griffin in the pic below, LOL.

It was gorgeous up in the woods and mountains and the air was crisp and delicious to breath. There were little turn-offs along the trail where we could take a break (or let people pass us, lol) and throw rocks into the river.

Our view of the waterfall – almost a mile into the hike. We made it another 1/4 of a mile before turning around. Tilly and Griff were disappointed but the other two were ready to head home.

Overall, Poppy did way better than I expected, walked almost the entire time (even the steep parts!) and slept soooo good that night!

The next best thing to chubby baby legs has to be skinny middle school legs (insert heart eyes emoji)… example: two pictures up.

Also… so many sticks, HA! Walking sticks, throwing sticks, funny looking sticks, so basically kid heaven and my worst nightmare. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little. I don’t normally mind when my kids play with sticks, but the trail was pretty busy so it was a little stressful and, like with most outings we go on there’s always one phrase I repeat constantly. This time it was, “keep your sticks pointed down, please!”

Espen stopping for a snack break and Poppy stopping for a kiss break!

Back to my fresh revelation on something I probably knew before but know in a new way now… may I always remember on the rougher days (weeks + months) that God’s working things out for our good. And that even though I might be ready for it to end so we can start over the next morning (hallelujah!) it’s not a throw away day. It hold just as much value (maybe more?) than the good days because through it I’m learning to be a better mom and human and they’re learning to be better, sweeter humans too. It’s just a little uncomfortable, ya know?

How does that saying go…? No guts, no glory. Pretty sure that applies to motherhood too but guess what?

WE CAN DO HARD THINGS.

Hope you’re having one of those good days but if not, I hope this post encourages you!

XO, Rae

4

OUTFIT OF THE WEEK (OOTW): A DENIM JUMPSUIT + SNEAKERS

For today’s OOTW (outfit of the week post) I’m sharing the newest addition to my coverall slash jumpsuit collection which I think you’ll love for two reasons 1. denim! and 2. it’s belted! So if  you’ve been looking for a coverall with a little more shape, look no more. I’ll link outfit details below!

Excuse my messy, in-need-of-a-shampoo, hair! It was definitely a hat wearing kinda day, but looked like I worked at an auto repair shop when I tried one on, lol.

When in doubt, wear sneakers! Which is my motto when getting dressed, lol. Can you tell? I’ve been trying to mix in more flats and booties, but always gravitate towards a cute and functional pair of kicks. These are extra functional because, Velcro! And I love the pop of color (can’t see it as well in this pic) around the sole. Also love this pair… so hard to choose!

OUTFIT | coveralls are TOPSHOP from Nordstrom (wearing my usual topshop size 6), striped tee from J.Crew (perfect sleeve length + 40% off rn), sneakers by Veja (fit true to size)

Excited to start this new series with you! Let me know if there are any looks or trends you’d like to see :)

Happy Friday friend!

XO, Rae

2

THINGS WE LOVE: CODING FOR KIDS WITH BITSBOX

There is so much to consider when making decisions about screen time for our kids and managing it is so hard sometimes! Thankfully not all screen time is created equal. Which is so important, especially as they continue in school where being able to navigate computers and tablets is a skill that’s so helpful to have. So when Bitsbox reached out to see if we’d be interested in letting the kids try out one of their boxes, I jumped at the chance. I mean, I need alllll the help and support and resources I can get in this area of parenting!

Tilly and Griffin were dying to dig into the box and start coding and thankfully the set up process  was painless (hallelujah). No software to download… Just open your browser, type in the website and create an account. It took 2 minutes.

Once they got started, it was so cool to see Tilly + Griffin connect the dots between what they were doing on my computer and all the apps and programs they use and play with. Which immediately lead to them discussing how to turn their little coding jobs into an actual app they could charge people for, lol.

(God save me if these two ever go into business together.)

When the code they entered didn’t work out how they planned, I also got to watch them check their work and do some troubleshooting (such an important skill in life!). Not only that, but they were even able to get creative and swap out words within the code to see if they could get the characters in the app to do different things (like smile, wink, or explode, lol). Hard to explain without showing you but hopefully it kinda makes sense! I’ll try and share a little on stories once the kids are home from school today.

    

Look how cute these coding cards are… Bitsbox seriously thought of everything!

I love that Bitsbox totally gets it! They’ve created a positive, educational and guilt-free tech product that us parents can feel GOOD about, that’s equally charming and so much fun for the kids.

Bitsbox was also sweet enough to offer us a coupon code… YAY! Planning on gifting subscriptions for Christmas and can’t wait!

Use code: RAEANN for $20 off any 3 or 12 month subscription (which is basically a free month/box!).

Another detail that might be important to know is that the recommended ages for the boxes is 6-12 :) Let me know in the comments if you have any questions. I’ll get back to you ASAP and will also answer on stories later today!

XO, Rae

0