Archive | DESIGN

10 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR DOCUMENTING MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND

OK mamas, I don’t want to give you one more thing to think about over mother’s day weekend, but I also know how important it is for all of us to capture moments in time with our families… Our moments in time. Regardless of whether you’re a planned or spontaneous picture taker, I’ve put together a list of 10 tips we use to capture all the sweet moments as well as the tiny details of life. Hope they give you a boost of inspiration for clicking the shutter any day, but especially Mother’s Day weekend!

10 TIPS FOR DOCUMENTING MOTHER’S DAY

1. Keep your camera (or phone) close!

2. Think ahead just a little and consider lighting! Of course we want things to be natural and authentic, buuuut, there’s no reason not to open up the curtains in your room when you know the kids are on their way up with a breakkie tray.

3. Tell the whole story – the big picture and little details – Snap pics of your plate of food, cute notes, flowers, gifts, hand holding, your shoes, etc. :) This pic isn’t the best example, but I love her tootsies!

4. Remember WHY you’re taking pics – often times we want something to share right away or just want to check it off our to do list for the day, but taking photos is really about preserving memories for the future and capturing those precious relationships, everyday moments and time in general.

Maybe it’s just me, although I doubt it, but I love looking back at my mom’s outfits and accessories. Especially her glasses! So tryout your best pose and take a fit pic!

5. Focus on the relationships and let go of the pressure to get the perfect pic. Love this fuzzy pic of Poppy being silly and pretending she’s asleep! You can also see one of my frayed fabric swatch she set out to use as a napkin and the double spoons in the cereal bowl we shared — Priceless!

6. Take pics of the process and routine as well as the special parts. One of my favorite pictures is of my mom braiding my hair in the bathroom when I was 6 or 7. I’m on a stool looking into the bathroom mirror with my mom behind me in a hawaiian print off the shoulder dress that I’m pretty sure she made. At the time it probably seemed like an odd moment to snap a pic but I’m so glad my dad did!

7. Don’t forget about videos – capture “small” moments, conversations and interactions. Like their little voices reading their mother’s day cards to you. Ask them questions or better yet, have the kids interview you!

8. Need a group shot? Use your self timer or ask an extended family member or stranger. Want a variety of pics or just a little break from clicking the camera? Pass it off – even to the kids!!! Poppy took this pic of me and as random as it is, it’s also an angle and perspective that only she would take.

(Poppy had just finished pointing out my neck wrinkles which prob have something to do with the 10 lbs. I added to my bod over the winter. Or maybe it’s age? Most likely it’s both tho, huh? Lols.)

9. Practice positive self talk – you don’t need to be a certain size, have all your makeup on or even be dressed to be in a photo. Of course, you can plan ahead a little (like number 2 suggests) and be in cute jammies with makeup on by the time the kids bring you breakkie, OR you can stay in bed, in an oversized tee and hipster undies with a morning face like you deserve, LOL. It’s really about what you want and what your kids will remember most. Although if the no make up thing really bugs you, just avoid eye contact with the camera… instead, engage, play and love on everyone else in the frame.

10. Selfies! Always a good idea.

Hope these help, inspire, and maybe take the pressure off too. Remember, perfection is never the goal so snap away!

Now tell me… what else would you like to learn about photography?

We’re leaving in a couple weeks with my friend and brilliant photographer, Stacy Jacobsen, for a photography workshop weekend and I’d love to share some of the things we learn, so leave me all the questions in the comments!

xo, Rae

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FREE PRINTABLE LUGGAGE TAGS (FREEBIE)

When your a pint sized traveler, vacationing usually starts once the bags are packed and loaded in the car. But for those of us adulting, it starts long after the security check. Today we’re making the process a little easier on you with some cute luggage tags you can print at home, fill-out and tie to your bags before heading to the airport. Bonus, these cuties will also make it easier to spot your suitcases on the baggage claim carousel!

Details and the download below :)

LUGGAGE TAG FREEBIES

You’ll Need:

  • card stock
  • twine and ribbon
  • do-dads, charms, keychains, pom-poms, etc. (optional)
  • hole-punch
  • scissors
  • luggage tag PDF — CLICK TO DOWNLOAD!

Here’s How:

  1. Download file, print on card stock and cut along dashed line. Hole punch at the top in the circle, fill-out, and hang on twine.
  2. Tie to handle of luggage bags. Add ribbon, pom-poms, trim and other embellishments (see ideas below).

Pom-pom and tassel is from my gift wrap stash of goodies and the monster charm is from HERE.

I decided to design the tags for our trip to Phoenix and love how they turned out. Kinda fun to add a personal touch to our bags!

(suitcase from the Love Taza line at Target!)

What’s the most stressful part of traveling with kids for you?

For me it’s getting everyone, their carry-ons, tech devices, shoes and blankets through security without annoying the mob of people behind us…. I get anxiety just thinking about it, HA!

On the way home from Phoenix (I had all the kids while Johan returned the car), the guy behind us in the security line was so impatient while I unloaded all the thiiiings into the gray bins, that he cut in front of us (!!!). It was 4:45am and we were kind of a circus so I guess I can’t really blame him, LOL. But it was a good reminder to be extra sweet and encouraging to mamas who are traveling, running errands or doing just about anything with kids. It makes all the difference, right?!

XO, Rae

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STAYING IN IS THE NEW GOING OUT POSTERS (FREE PRINTABLE)

I’ve been sharing the files for these “STAYING IN IS THE NEW GOING OUT” prints via email so much lately, I thought it was time to officially make them available and easier for you guys to download!

A little bit of a back story — I designed them a couple weeks after moving into our new home and a couple weeks before Poppy was born so they’re extra special to me. After all is there anything quite as sweet as staying home to cuddle on the couch? Whether it’s date night in, movie night with the fam or all day snuggles with a newborn. I hope you guys are able to use and enjoy in your home too! Thinking about making a printable poster with the full statement on one print so it’s more versatile. If you’r interested, let me know. Until then, the link for the current design is below!

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD, “STAYING IN…” POSTERS

NOTES | The link will send you to a dropbox folder with three separate files to download. The specs for each poster are 30×40. They should be easy to resize to smaller dimensions, but will look pixelated if printed any bigger.

Most of my poster size prints I send to the costco photo center (online) because it’s inexpensive, has a quick turnaround and you can ship or pickup. If you know of any other print services, please share in the comments below!

I mean… staying in with these sweet faces is always a good idea!

xoxo, Rae

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KITCHEN NOOK REFRESH + AN OVERSIZED CORK BOARD DIY

We took advantage of the long weekend and checked off a couple small house projects and by “we” I mean Johan. My contribution came mostly in the form of ideas, shopping and a borderline annoying amount of moral support. Since words of affirmation is Johan’s love language and acts of service is mine, this arrangement totally works for us. HAHAH! Here’s a breakdown of what we refreshed in our little kitchen nook area… which is not really a nook per say, but is way too small to function as an eating area for our fam. Plus I really like the word “nook”.

Project No.1: priming & painting the IKEA table we’ve owned since our days as newlyweds living in a tiny basement apartment. Since it’s mostly used for crafting, snacking, and homework-ing, it was in need of some TLC. Four coats of primer and three coats of paint later and it looks better than new! The color we used is “peach medley” in eggshell.

Project No.2: an oversized (3×6 foot) cork board for all the kids’ art, seasonal projects and instax pics. I was a little hesitant with this DIY, but it turned out better than I imagined… Again, aside from I had very little to do with the finished project (LOL).

HERE’S WHAT WE USED:

  • 1×2 strips of pine for the frame cut into 8 pieces (2 for each side)
  • this roll of cork board (FYI, it arrived cracked but we were able to piece it together pretty easily)
  • thin sheet (3/8-inch) particle board to mount the cork to
  • a wall mount bracket to hang board (ours was 18 inches and can also be found at the hardware store)
  • a nail gun and nails (brad nailer, to be technical, that works well on molding, etc. and is very novice handy-person friendly)
  • paint of your choice! (we used the “simply white” by Benjamin Moore that we had on hand)
  • putty or framers mud to fill nail holes in the front of frame
  • can of spray adhesive (which worked really well but glue of choice)
  • chop-saw if you want to cut frame wood at home…

HOW WE DID IT:

We wrote out the dimensions and supply list before going to home depot and asked an employee to cut the particle board to size. You could also ask them to cut frame pieces to size but Johan cut the frame at home and put it together similar to this tutorial, only the edges on our frame are flush. Next he painted the frame. While that dried he placed the particle board on top of the cork and used an ex-acto knife to trim to size. After letting it sit overnight to flatten the cork, he used spray adhesive to mount cork to particle board. Next he placed cork board inside the frame and secured in place using a brad nailer through the front of the frame, all around the edges — approx. 1 in each corner and 3 or 4 along the sides. Putty was used to hide the nails on the front side of the frame and then touched up with paint. He finished by adding the wall mount to the back side and the wall — making sure it was level! — and that’s it! Haha!

Lots of steps but Johan assured me it’s something I could tackle without him if I wanted to. Which says a lot! Let me know if I missed anything!

I wonder if that single dimple and tooth gap will ever not make me melt… I’m guessing not. (His little activity notepad is from IKEA. Couldn’t find it online or I would link!)

Completely in love with this rug by Lorena Canals. It’s machine WASHABLE, eco-friendly, and the perfect mix of color and neutrals!

I asked the kids what word they thought would be fun to put on the bulletin board and Poppy instantly shouted out, “TACOS!!!” The rest of the kids laughed and the moment was so good I couldn’t help but make her taco loving suggestion come true :)

Just one problem-o, every time I look at it I want to eat tacos.

rug / curtains (found for 50% at the anthro store) / table color / basket of coloring books / white chairs /  “things” pen bin / denim chair is old from pottery barn kids (similar)

Let me know if I missed anything! Also, I was thinking I had before pics for reference in an old blog post but the closest thing I found was this post from Christmas break. Hopefully it gives a good idea of what it used to look like!

xo, Rae

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WORK + PLAY: CURRENT PROJECTS

Happy long weekend you guys! I’m so excited to share a couple of fun projects I’ve been working on but first a little note to all of my Seattle area girls… I’ve been in the process of putting together a summer pop-up with some of my favorite shops. I have three (including the two below) that will hopefully be able to attend, but would love to add at least 4 more. If there’s anyone you want to see at the pop-up, please share in the comments! They don’t have to be local. I’ll let you know when I find a location and set a date so you can mark your calendars!

Next up is a quick peek of one of my clients spring release that has me dreaming of sunshine and pool days.

Olivia + Ocean new swim line and kickstarter:

It’s one thing to know about the girl boss behind this sweet and nostalgic brand and another to work with Danielle and know firsthand the heart, soul and hard work that goes into it. It was so much fun being apart of her Spring release… I even got to design that sweet palm print for her… but even more inspiring was to help with the launch of her Mom Bod suit and Kickstarter that goes live at 10am today!

She’s created a mom suit in a wrap style that’s sexy, empowering and totally functional! Can I get an “AMEN!”? I highly recommend taking a peek at the kickstarter and snagging your own suit for all the summer adventures in your future!

Alice + Ames galentine’s party:

We were excited to see our Valentine’s Day cards included in this sweet little celebration! If you haven’t already, go check out their new spring release. Our order arrived yesterday and everything is even cuter in person (if that’s possible). Poppy is going to flip when she sees!

There are a few pics below, but you can see more of the party here!

Last but not least, the Valentine Pop-up was a huge success and although a lot of work, it was so much fun to be apart of your holiday celebrations! I loved seeing all of the pics and stories sharing the process of filling treat bags and signing cards.

You guys are the absolute best eber, eber.

xo, Rae

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HEART DAY POP-UP IS OPEN!

I’m so excited to announce the launch of our new collection of classroom valentines! Included in the shop are 5 NEW DESIGNS that perfectly compliment existing designs from the last 3 years. After all our hard work, I love how everything has come to life and can’t wait for you to see! Hope your little ones enjoy handing them out to their friends and (as always) can’t wait to see your valentine process and finished cards.

Click here to visit the VALENTINE POP-UP

The virtual pop-up doors will close next Thursday, February 1st at 10PM PST, so time is limited!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a roundup of all our favorite sweets and treats (candy and non-sugar) to add to their cards… (YAY!) I love sharing, prepping for and celebrating holidays with you guys!

XO, Rae

PS — a few of my kids’ favorites below!

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INSTAGRAM LIVE: TOPIC IDEAS

You guys (!!!) this is only the 7th day the kids (or at least some combination of them) have been back in school and I’m already missing them and summer so much! To distract myself and make things interesting around here, I thought it would be fun to do a weekly Instagram Live. The first one will be 3:00pm (PST) next Wednesday 9/20 (so mark your calendars!). Would love to keep the day and time consistent, but may need to jump around to find what works best. We’ll see!

More importantly, since my goal is to not bore you, I need a running list of ideas, topics and projects and would LOVE your help! I don’t usually have a shortage of ideas, but for some reason I’m totally drawing a blank.

A few that popped into my head:

  • A home tour
  • Q+A (possibly conducted by the kids?)
  • An easy recipe or DIY (with or without kids)
  • Something workout related

What would you add?

In reality, I guess the fewer people that actually tune in the better (LOL) while I figure out what I’m doing, but I would actually really like you guys to join me (because friends make everything better/easier/more fun!) so mark your calendars!

xo, Rae

(#tbt image from the New Day segment I did a few years back, by Stacy Jacobsen)

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GRIFFIN’S FIRE STATION BIRTHDAY PARTY

We’re in Birthday-palooza mode around here — 4 Birthdays in one month! Last week we had our first party celebrating Griffin turning 6 and had a blast. Johan’s fire station was nice enough to let us use the bay (garage area) to host the festivities which allowed for a bouncy house and plenty of room for the kids to run around. Details, links to sources, and lots of pictures below!

FOOD | kept things simple and served PB+J’s and popcorn in these bags, cheese, crackers + salami  in these tulip cups, and watermelon and oreos in these trays. There was also a cooler with la croix, bottled water and honest juices.

Side note: the dimensions in the food tray listing are for the sides, not the bottom. I was originally hoping the food trays would hold everything but the popcorn, but they ended up being too small. However, they are perfect for snacks and the extras will come in handy for picnics!

CAKE | I ordered a basic 8-inch custom cake from our grocery store’s bakery with vanilla frosting. Nothing fancy. After picking it up, I added sprinkles to the top and oreo cookies with m+m candies (“glued” on with icing) as the eyes. Because eyes on everything please!

We actually only used the cake for singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles (ate some the next day of course!) and served ice cream sandwiches as the treat. Hip, hip, hooray candles from Target dollar isle.

DECORATIONS | #BDAY balloon sign from Target dollar isle, a few (wanted to do more but ran out of helium!) random colored balloons I had at home, plastic firefighter hats (these are cute and inexpensive!) added some color and something to play with.

GOODIE BAGS | kazoos, maze game and finger puppet monsters from Target, 2″ poppers, pop bottle candy, twisty balloons, candy buttons, teal striped bags from Amazon.

ACTIVITIES | We had a bouncy house, piñata and a firefighter game where you spray the wiffle ball off a cone to “put out the fire”. We were hoping there would be an extra firetruck there for the kids to climb in, but it didn’t work out (bummer!). I don’t think the birthday boy or his guests even noticed though!

I also set out a bucket of sidewalk chalk and table of crayons and coloring books. Neither got played with much but it’s always nice to have an extra simple activity or two.

THE PARTY THEME | I like a good theme (fire fighting was the obvious choice!) but have a hard time sticking to them. I’m way too random for that (LOL) so try to balance things out with pops of colors, classic accessories (like balloons!), and basic staples when it comes to food, paper goods, etc. I find this approach takes the pressure off and makes it easy to use things I already have around the house too!

All that being said, parties are really all about making it special for the birthday kid and their guests… keeping that in mind makes it that much more fun and easy to put together!

Can’t believe this boy of ours is 6!!!

I treasure the pics from my childhood birthday parties — remembering who was there and how we celebrated is so sweet and nostalgic. So thought I would put all the pics from Griffins party into a chatbook as a belated b-day gift and think he’ll freak about it! Might be a fun new tradition to do for all the kids?

How do you keep Birthday memories alive!?

Also, let me know if I left out any links or details!

xo, Rae

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SUMMER OUTING CHECKLISTS (TECH + PRINT FREEBIES)

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

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

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

pool checklist

day trip checklist

beach day checklist

playground checklist

Click link below to download the printable checklists!

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

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

xo, Rae

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PLAY-OFFICE ROOM MAKEOVER

Our play-office makeover is finished and even though I never in a million years thought I would be willing to share an office with my little people, I couldn’t be happier to be sitting and working in a freshly painted, decorated and kid friendly office space. It’s been getting lots of use, staying relatively clean and working out really well for everyone so far! Now, instead of my kids annoyingly moaning and rolling around on the floor while I finish up an email or save design files, they have lots of toys and activities to keep them busy. For all the mamas who understand what it’s like to try and finish a task while kids are awake, you know what a blessing that is.

Enough of me chit-chatting… welcome to our play-office! Take a peek at the pics and let me know if you have questions! I’ll work on a post with sources to share tomorrow or Wednesday.

(The dress-up corner)

(A favorite addition to the room… I think they need names!?)

(My desk area… Wasn’t sure if I would like my desk and computer in front of the window, but really love it! Bonus that it makes keeping an eye on scooter riding, street hockey playing, baseball throwing kids, super easy. Something I will be extra grateful for come summer!)

(Nothing like a pretty ceiling light and rug to make a room feel pulled together and a little more grown-up.)

(Play kitchen. The stove and sink was an ikea hack – see the post here – and the refrigerator is new and a total god-send since it easily stores lots of kitchen accessories.)

(Favorite part of the room makeover is this wall! I asked the kids to draw simple pictures and then scanned, made some small edits and had them printed as posters. Working on a full tutorial to share! The TV was another thing I was unsure of, but it’s been nice to have… you may have seen the kids following along with a yoga show on my Instagram stories last week :)

(Last but not least, a comfy reading area complete with an oversized beanbag and cute basket to hold books.)

Are there any spaces in your home that you swore you would never share with your kids, but find them using often?

For me, another room would be our master bath. In our last home the 2 upstairs bathrooms were basically the same size so there wasn’t much sharing going on. When we moved into our current home, I swore the master bath with giant tub and double sinks would remain free from kid-sized clothes, towels, and toys. However that didn’t last long, LOL. Choosing a big open space for bathing all the kids is too good to pass up, plus I get a chance to tidy up the counter and closet floor while they splish-splash for a few minutes.  It’s a win-win for all of us.

XO, Rae

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SHARED SPACES: HOME OFFICE + PLAYROOM IDEAS

We’ve been loving and using our dining room so much since the room refresh that I’m feeling ready and inspired to start another one! This time we’ll be sprucing up my office while bringing in a few more of the kids’  toys and turning it into a shared office and mini playroom.

The office has a couple things going for it; a decent sized desk, two sets of white lockers for storage and a wall full of books, but the rest of it is a total disaster. Currently, there are random toys and a helmet laying on the floor, a stack of frames and poster boards stacked in a corner that I’m not sure what to do with, 2 small rugs that are both too small for the space and have no business being in the same room together, and a tv that isn’t hooked up to anything. In other words, it is neither functional or fun to be in. But not for long!

Here are a few spaces that have caught my eye:

O F F I C E   S P A C E S

P L A Y R O O M   S P A C E S

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven

Sharing this room was something I never dreamed I would do when we moved into our home almost three years ago. Prior to that, I had a kitchen table office, a small walk-in closet office, and a dresser behind the family room sofa office. I dreamed of one day having a space for my work and ideas to come to life that wasn’t surrounded by distractions and housework and I’ve appreciated having just that — with doors and natural light even, ha! But as the ages of our kids and my work projects evolve so do my office needs. Excited to make a space that is inspiring for BOTH work and play!

Where does your family make space to work and play? Would you change how it functions?

xo, Rae

P.S. – All photos are pinned on my pinterest boardsplayrooms | little spaces | offices — and linked directly above too!

 

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