Archive | fall

HALLOWEEN 2017 RECAP

We all think it and say it and it definitely sounds cliche, but kids grow up way too fast and I don’t ever want to forget what Halloween was like at this stage of life. So here’s a little recap and some pictures we took prior to the sun going down yesterday and the real chaos beginning!

ON HALLOWEEN THIS YEAR WE…

Attended classroom parties.

Got to see Gigi and Papa.

Made last-minute adjustments to Tilly’s ghost costume (read: made Tilly’s costume, lol).

Dressed up as Pandas, Darth Vader, a super cute Ghost, and Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez.

Gigi and Papa joined in the costume fun — Gigi as the Cafe de Columbia guy and Papa as “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski (the resemblance was hilarious and worth seeing… I’ll try to share a pic on my Stories!).

Ate chili, quesadillas and apple slices for dinner.

Met up with our neighborhood friends and then ran around trick-or-treating.

Had a hard time keeping everyone together in one group (!!!) with the big kids in a hurry to fill their containers and the little ones straggling behind.

Carried a terrified Poppy around most of the night — she wasn’t a fan of the “creepy” costumes and “bad guys”.

Enjoyed all the decked out homes and vowed to get a little more creative next year on the big day!

Filled plastic pumpkins and pillow cases with candy.

And then snuck wayyyyy too many pieces (when does this not happen?).

Laughed. A lot.

Was so thankful it wasn’t raining.

Walked through EVERY pile of leaves.

Went to EVERY house in the neighborhood — although Poppy and I called it a night halfway through. Thank goodness for Daddies!

Ran out of candy (oops!) and had to pass out leftover knick-knacks from our “boo bags” for the last few groups of trick-or-treaters.

Celebrated mine and ozzie’s bday with candles, a “Happy Birthday” song and eclair cake (my traditional bday cake since I was little!).

Was up an hour past bedtime but fell asleep so fast and stayed asleep ALL night! (I was expecting lots of waking up with tummy aches or blood sugar crashes. :)

 

 

Oh, and I almost forgot! Made our 16-year-old dress up the day before for a picture because it will be too dark by the time he got home from football.

Woke up and was thankful for a late-start school day (school started at 10am this morning!).

Nursing our post Halloween hangover this morning with an hour of Mickey Mouse Club House, a trip to Home Depot for paint and lots of coffee.

Hope your Halloween was magic yesterday! How are you handling the hangover today?

xo, Rae

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

2

GOOD THINGS: HALLOWEEN AROUND OUR HOUSE

October is flying by you guys! In an effort to take it all in and freeze time for just a little bit I got my camera out a few different times over the weekend to document a few of my favorite things around our house right now. Most of which have something to do with Halloween of course but all of them are little details I don’t ever want to forget…

… Like handmade holiday decorations on the kids’ doors. It’s become an unspoken tradition that changes with each season and makes our hallway feel fun and festive to walk down. It really is the little things isn’t it!?…

BOOKS | Kitten’s First Full Moon (on sale!), B is for Boo (hands down favorite Halloween book!), How to Make Friends with a Ghost (best illustrations!)

… The constant scattering of vampire fangs, candy wrappers, Halloween books and other festive knick-knacks…

Boo bags all packed and ready to deliver!…

… Less real clothes and more jammies! Between soccer and church our weekend mornings aren’t always as long and lazy as I would like but at the same time, no one is in a hurry to get up and outside these days so pj’s stay on a little longer and get put on a little earlier than the summer months!

Pumpkins, balloons and silly decorations!

Halloween gets kind of a bad wrap for being dark and creepy (and it certainly can be) but I think the whimsical design, loads of pumpkins and easy playfulness, more than make up for it!

What little details are you loving around your home right now?

xo, Rae

4

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA CARBONARA + 12 OCTOBER DINNERS

I may not be 100% ready to say goodbye to the summer heat and sunshine, but am fully ready to embrace all the yummy fall flavors and scents. Last night I made butternut squash pasta carbonara, a family favorite (6 out of 7 of us anyway!) this time of year, and wanted to share the recipe with you along with a list of other dinner ideas. My hope is that the list below helps inspire and make October meal planning a cinch!

Warm and cozy fall comfort foods, here we come!

PASTA CARBONARA WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH SAUCE, takes 45 mins + serves 4-6

You’ll Need:

  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash, about 1 small squash
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons dried or fresh sage, optional
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (or more to taste)
  • 1-14oz can chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (1/2 + 1/2 or whole milk)
  • 8 (or more slices) of bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
  • 16oz. pasta of choice (linguini pictured)

Here’s How:

  1. Chop squash (here’s a handy video), onion and garlic and cook noodles according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining and set aside (for sauce if needed). Cook bacon as desired and set aside.
  2. To make the sauce, heat oil in a large stockpot and add squash, onion and garlic. Add sage (optional), salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a light boil for another 10 minutes. Stir in cream and remove from heat. Use an emersion blender (one of my favorite kitchen tools– so handy for soups and sauces and easy to clean!!!) to cream sauce or use a regular blender (just be sure to only fill 1/2 way when working with hot liquids so may need to blend in batches). If needed, add more chicken stock or pasta water to thin sauce.
  3. In the large stockpot, toss together noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Dish onto plates and top with bacon and parmesan.

So goooooood!

Anytime red sauce or pesto are involved my pasta of choice is usually penne so it’s easier and less messy for the kids to eat, but this butternut sauce is the perfect color and consistency for slurping, twirling and finger eating!

A list of 12 dinners that will be on rotation at our house this October below…

12 DINNERS TO MAKE IN OCTOBER

EASY

MAKE AHEAD 

30-45 MINS

(*perfect for halloween!)

What’s your favorite fall dinner?

Feeling so much better today…. thanks for all the well wishes! You guys are the best!

xo, Rae

 

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

2

OCTOBER BUCKET LIST

Pretty certain September couldn’t have gone any quicker… Can you guys believe it’s October 2nd!? I’ve been feeling under the weather the last few days so haven’t kicked the month off like I’d hoped — even asked the kids to watch Hocus Pocus with me yesterday but they opted for Cars instead — Anyways, a good to do list always makes me feel better.

After chatting with the kids, here’s what made our October list:

ONE | try a new pumpkin recipe. We’ve been making our go-to pumpkin dishes, in the form of pancakes and bread, non-stop since fall started but I think it’s time we try a new one. Maybe pumpkin cheese cake? If you have any suggestions please share!

TWO | make a list of fall + Halloween movies to choose from on movie nights. It can be challenging to get everyone to agree on a move, but having a theme or list to help narrow things down always helps! Halloweentown, Hocus Pocus, and Hotel Transylvania will probably make the list for the whole fam bam and You’ve Got Mail, Gremlins, Stepmom, The Blind Side + Dan in Real Life are all good ones for nights it’s just Johan and I or the older kids. What’s your favorite fall or Halloween movie?

THREE | visit the pumpkin patch. Probably the easiest thing to check off our list!

FOUR | help the kids make Halloween-ish goodie bags for their friends. A must for just about every holiday and Tilly’s favorite thing to do on an almost daily basis.

FIVE | plan a fall bike ride + picnic. The weather (i.e. rain) might make this one a challenge, but it never hurts to try!

SIX | go boo-ing. One of our traditions. Shared a printable and more info HERE if you want to add it to your October lineup!?

SEVEN | make our front porch pretty (+) spooky. Never got around to doing much with our front porch over the summer but want to make sure it’s ready to welcome fall guests and trick-or-treaters.  I’ve been on the lookout for outdoor lanterns to group with pumpkins and mums if anyone has a source to share?

EIGHT | dance to Monster Mash. Would be fun to put together a Halloween playlist too!

NINE | go apple picking! Can’t beat homemade apple sauce warmed up and sprinkled with cinnamon.

TEN | donate new or gently used blankets, coats and boots. The amount of need in our community, country and world right now has been overwhelming to say the least but it’s always good to remember that every little bit helps. If you are wondering how to get in touch with the right charity try asking friends, neighbors and local churches for ideas!

BONUS | plan a road trip or weekend getaway. Between sports and Birthdays our calendar is looking very full on the weekends so didn’t want to set us up for failure, but also love getting away in the fall and didn’t want to leave it completely off our list. We’ll see if we can actually pull it off! :)

I know some of these are no-brainers, but hope they are helpful in someway. Would love to hear what’s on your list this month!?

Now I’m off to take a dose of DayQuil and make a grocery run!

xo, Rae

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

0

FALL S’MORES + LONG WEEKENDS

rae-ann-kelly-fall-smores-2

Not sure how the long weekend managed to go by faster than a normal one, but it did and I was far from being ready for Monday (hence a Tuesday post :). Trying to remember everything we actually did to fill the time, but assume it must have been good :)

One of the best parts was the bonfire and s’mores date we threw together on Veteran’s Day (thank you, thank you to our brave military and their families!) and then dinner with friends afterwards. Instead of staying home, where we most likely would have filled much of our extra family time with yard work and laundry, we took off for my parent’s house to use their fire pit and pretty backyard. And of course check the mail since they were out of town… You know, just doin’ our part! Here’s a few pics from our time around the fire…

rae-ann-kelly-fall-smores-2234

Dumped all the s’mores ingredients out in this tiered tray and it made it so much easier to assemble our treats! 

rae-ann-kelly-fall-smores-2119

My “spirited” kids searching for (but mostly playing with) the perfect roasting sticks. I was sure someone was going to lose an eye during this process and tried not to follow them around, nagging them to be careful every 10 seconds. A timeless mom dilemma, but seriously, what is it with sticks, rocks and kids!? 

rae-ann-kelly-fall-smores-2241rae-ann-kelly-fall-smores-2185rae-ann-kelly-fall-smores-2243

(My happy place! Also, mad for plaid.)

rae-ann-kelly-fall-smores-2198

The three middle kids prefer a scorched mallow over a gooey golden brown one. Initially I thought they just liked the taste but now I’m thinking it has more to do with blowing out the fire and not having to wait as long to eat their s’more!

rae-ann-kelly-fall-smores-2208rae-ann-kelly-fall-smores-1

Oh, that first bite!

rae-ann-kelly-fall-smores-2191 rae-ann-kelly-fall-smores-2136

Even though Ozzie was traveling for football and Poppy was down for a nap, it felt good to have some dedicated family time while also checking s’mores off of our fall bucket list. Something I had been dying to do!!

Bringing things back to my first thought of the post, do you ever have someone ask you on a Monday, “How was your weekend?” and your like, “Ummmm, I know it was good but not exactly sure what we did!?”

That’s me everyday lately, which makes me extra appreciative of the times we grab our phones or big camera to take a few shots of these fleeting moments. Now I just need to make more photo albums (a.k.a. chatbooks) out of them!

What is your favorite way to document memories?

XO, Rae

kids-bathroom-refresh-sources

ME | buffalo check sweater, jeans, booties (similar), beanie from Target (similar)

TILLY | black coat, jeans, sneakers

GRIFFIN | buffalo check henley (similar-ish), jeans

2

ARROW PROJECT: LUMBER JACK + JILL PARTY + BOOT DRIVE

lumber-jack-and-jill-boot-drive-party

I’ve been waiting forever (almost a year) to share this fun arrow project — a lumber jack and jill turned woodland party and boot drive! To accommodate for nap times and the weather, we served breakfast, played dress up as well as a round of pin the beanie on the bear, and then wrapped things up with some yummy treats. So excited to share all of the pics, but fair warning, there are a lot of them! Also including links and party details at the bottom of the post, so keep scrolling to see it all!

lumber-jack-and-jill-boot-drive-party-2lumber-jack-and-jill-boot-drive-party-3lumber-jack-and-jill-boot-drive-party-4lumber-jack-and-jill-boot-drive-party-5lumber-jack-and-jill-party-and-boot-drive-244lumber-jack-and-jill-party-and-boot-drive-250lumber-jack-and-jill-boot-drive-party-6lumber-jack-and-jill-boot-drive-party-7

All in all, we had a great morning of eating, playing, and collecting boots for families that could use a little help. Wishing I could have found a weekend this fall to host another party and make it an annual thing… Maybe next year!

WOODLAND PARTY DETAILS

PHOTOS / Stacy Jacobsen

FOOD / Mini flap jacks, sugar cone parfaits, apples, bunny graham crackers, raisin boxes, + apple juice boxes

DESSERT / 4kids Cakes

DECOR / Blankets + pillows from Up North Market, Land of Nod and Tiny prints, Trays and bowls from Target

FELT MASKS, BEARDS + CROWNS / Opposite of Far

WOOD SIGN/ A Pinch of Pretty

PAPER GOODS / Tiny Prints

ACTIVITY / Pin the Beanie on the Bear (link to freebie coming soon)

2

BAKED APPLE COBBLER RECIPE

rae-ann-kelly-baked-apple-recipe

Pumpkin spice is already my go to drink these days, but before we get all the way into pumpkin season, I thought it would be nice to give apples some time in the spotlight. After all, we visited a Cider Mill and went apple picking with friends last week and have buckets full of apples to show for it! Since they aren’t going to eat themselves and we could use a change from our go-to apple dippers I decided to try baking some (something my mom used to do, with a drizzle of honey – so good) with a cobbler topping and whip cream. Aside from turning out delicious, I’ll take any excuse to have something yummy smelling in the oven during the fall and winter months!

BAKED COBBLER APPLES

Takes 50 minutes start to finish (10 minutes hands-on) and makes 4 halves.

YOU’LL NEED:

  • 2 apples
  • cinnamon (to taste)
  • sugar (to taste)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup flour (any kind)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • sprinkle of salt
  • FAVORITE TOPPINGS – whip cream, caramel, more cinnamon, ice cream, baked pie crust, etc.

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut apples in half and core using a spoon. Place face up in baking dish (if dish isn’t non-stick, spray with cooking spray first).
  2. Sprinkle apple flesh with cinnamon and sugar (see picture).
  3. In a saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in oats, flour, brown sugar, and a sprinkle of salt. Put a scoop of the mixture on each apple. Then cover dish with foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before adding toppings. To make the letters I used these mini cookie cutters and pie crust from the store, then baked on a cookie sheet for a few minutes.

rae-ann-kelly-baked-apple-recipe-2

I’m more of a non-fruit dessert eating girl, but these were so good we gobbled them right up! Now to try and make apple sauce out of the rest of our apples. If you have a favorite recipe, please share!

Oh, and if you are wondering what apples are best for baking, I like Mutsu, Pink Ladies, Honeycrisp, and (of course) Granny Smith. Here’s a helpful chart for more ideas.

XO, Rae

1

OUR UN-FANCY FALL BUCKET LIST + OTHER RANDOM THINGS

rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-9077

Happy Friday + second day of fall you guys!

Johan and I started the season off yesterday by taking the little kids to Lattin’s Country Farm and Cider Mill  and then discussed our bucket list with all the kids later in the evening.

I am a bucket list enthusiast, but by the end of the season we are scrambling to check things of. Since fall is a notoriously busy time of year for us (and we have a surprise vacay planned already!!!) we decided to keep our list simple and asked everyone to pick a thing or two to add.

Love how similar everyone’s ideas were and think we might have started a new tradition!

THE FAM BAM’S FALL BUCKET LIST:

  • Me – Have all Halloween costumes ordered and made ASAP (instead of finishing the day or two before), family trip to Leavenworth, + s’mores.
  • Johan – Go to Apple Cup, Leavenworth, + plan an overnight date. (I’m a lucky girl!)
  • Ozzie – Bonfire with friends.
  • Espen – Host a Halloween themed sleepover.
  • Tilly – Host a sleepover + family movie night(s).
  • Griffin – Be a skelakin (skeleton) for Halloween, eat ice cream, + do a fire.
  • Poppy – No, good, + tick-a-teat! (her responses to all of our prompts)

rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-8940

^^^ I want Poppy’s shoes and acid wash jeggings (from Target). And everything else in her closet. ^^^

rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-8913rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-9058rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-8931rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-8949 rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-9024

^^^ Don’t mind me, walking through a row of sunflowers with my basket and toddler. So very #husbandsofinstagram but I love it anyway! Also, love that basket and can’t wait to fill it with apples later today. Also, also, have been pondering my overuse of the word love and might need to find an alternative! ^^^

rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-8864

^^^ Caught in the inst-snap action. Speaking of — how are you guys liking Instagram stories? I mostly ditched Snapchat when the update happen and have enjoyed having one less app to use, but it’s just not the same! Missing that snap life! ^^^

What’s on your bucket list this fall?

XO, Rae

5

MOM + MINI: JANUARY OUTFIT + DOING ALL THINGS WITH LOVE

RAK mom + mini style january-6909

I stumbled upon Tilly’s sweatshirt while browsing Zara and wondered how I could possibly pass up such a cozy sweatshirt with the sweetest reminder. Especially since loving people with our words and actions has been a topic of conversation a lot with her lately – she can be soooo spunky! Doing all things with love seems simple enough, doesn’t it? But when I saw her running around in her new sweatshirt it occurred to me how huge that calling is. To LOVE ALL the time. Even when we don’t feel like it or the recipient of those “things” doesn’t really deserve it or it requires some sacrifice and humility.

“Do all things with love.”

Gosh I have some work to do in this area and a lot more patience to extend to Tilly while she does the same.

All that from a pint sized sweatshirt, LOL. Can’t help but laugh at myself!

RAK mom + mini style january-6871 RAK mom + mini style january-6892 RAK mom + mini style january-6902 RAK mom + mini style january-6911

RAK mom + mini style january-6865

TILLYsweatshirt from Zara, dress from Peek (similar), leggings from Old Navy, boots from Boden

MEsweater from Topshop, turtleneck from J. Crew, overalls from Madewell (on sale!), boots from gap (similar)

Are there any “things” you could do with a little more love?

For me it is defiantly bedtime! Once 8 o’clock rolls around happy mom clocks out and someone much less patient and loving checks in. It’s actually one of my goals for the year — to start enjoying bedtimes instead of dreading it everyday. Feel free to share bedtime tips below if you have any!

XO, Rae

PS – Pictures by my very awesome husband. One of the goals we made together for 2016 is to learn to take better and more pictures of our family… Wish us luck!

4

MINI BITES: CANDIED APPLE DIPPERS

yummy-apple-dippers-7Apples have definitely taken a back seat to our pumpkin obsession this fall but yesterday afternoon, as a post church, football watching snack, we put together an apple dipping tray. The kids (and a friend that stopped by) loved everything about it and lucky us, there was enough to enjoy for dessert later in the night!

When it comes to apples, dips and toppings there are endless combinations but instead of heading to the store for anything specific I grabbed what we had on hand… Yet another reason (spontaneous treats!) to keep a somewhat stocked pantry. Something I’m not always great about but that reaps major bennies. Here are a few of the items, including dip recipes, we set out.

yummy-apple-dippers-6

PEANUT BUTTER DIP – combine 8oz. of cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup peanut butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla with a mixer  until smooth and serve.

CARAMEL DIP – unwrap half a bag (about 20 pieces) of caramels and place in bowl with a splash (1 tablespoon) of cream or milk. Heat in microwave for 20 second intervals, stirring in-between until completely melted. Allow to cool and thicken before serving.

WHITE CHOCOLATE – melt chocolate chips in the microwave or double broiler, being careful not to burn, stirring lots and often. Works best (in my opinion) drizzled over apple slices instead of the main dip or topping. If you are making a larger quantity try pouring into a squeeze bottle to make it easy.

yummy-apple-dippers-5

It was a nice treat in the middle of our sunday and would make for a fun “bar” for a party or get together any day.

So now tell me… have you been all about those pumpkins or apples this fall? This inquiring mind wants to know!

XO . Rae

PS – To everyone who placed an order during our flash sale, thank you so much! Your order will be shipped later today :)

5

A FEW FALL WARDROBE FAVORITES.

long-cardi-and-cozy-hat-3

With all the new, existing and changing trends right now it’s hard to keep up or know what to add to an existing wardrobe. So I thought I would share a few of the fall pieces that are on heavy rotation from my closet these days.

Long Cardi – This sweater (similar 1/2) is a new fall addition and makes me want to do laundry just so I can wear it again, ha! Looks great layered over dresses, leggings or jeans so basically you can’t loose.

Felt Hat – I purchased this hat (similar 1/2) a few years ago at Target and wear it more and more each year. It’s been an easy way to cover up unwashed hair and all the postpartum fly-aways that don’t seem to want to grow out. Also, generally speaking I just really love hats and this one in particular. It’s like the cherry on top.

Booties – Another previous season purchase (still available in a darker color here) and the only pair of cold weather heels I own that don’t kill my feet and work with basically everything (including my flare jeans!).

//Also pictured – bag (similar) + dress (similar-ish)//

long-cardi-and-cozy-hat-1long-cardi-and-cozy-hat-4

long-cardi-and-cozy-hat-6 long-cardi-and-cozy-hat-2 So there you have it! A few fall wardrobe pieces that won’t let you down, from my closet to yours.

What have you been wearing non-stop lately!?

XO . Rae

instagram-footer-1

2