Archive | holidays

SIMPLE VALENTINES DAY KID CRAFT

Inspired by our love for eyeballs and faces put on any inanimate object and these adorable jammies that Poppy has, Tilly and I painted some happy little low-fuss hearts yesterday complete with facial expressions and patterned backgrounds. It was hard to stop making them but we’re all snowed in here (10-inches and still snowing!) today so I bet we’ll be painting more when we need to warm our bones!

YOU’LL NEED: poster board or thin cardboard, craft paint, paint brushes, a pencil and a sharpie or other black marker.

TO MAKE: I cut up a poster board (thin cardboard from a cereal box would work great too!) in various sizes. If you are using cardboard and want a white or non-kraft colored background, just brush a layer of paint over your pieces and let dry. Draw a heart on each piece and start painting! Once completely dry, use a sharpie or other black marker to add faces. ;)

Valentine’s Day is a little over a week away, I can’t believe it! We don’t have much in the way of Valentines decorations around here but these hearts add a nice festive touch. They would make a fun post card too.

How have you been getting in the Love Day mood?

xo, Rae

P.S. — Tomorrow is the last day to order Valentines for your little cupids. Head to the Design Shop to order if you haven’t already… It’s been so much fun seeing what design you guys pick when the orders come through and on Instagram so don’t forget to tag me @raeannkelly

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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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OH CHRISTMAS TREE + OUR SIMPLE HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST

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

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

JOHAN | Lots of Christmas movie nights!

OZZIE | Go sledding.

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

TILLY | Make my friends Christmas gifts and see Santa.

GRIFFIN | Do a hot cocoa stand and zoo lights!

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

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

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

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

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

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(Poppy must have tooted?)

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Totally impressed with the tree wrapping machine…

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

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

XO, Rae

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

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

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

GRIFFIN | jeans, shoes

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

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FAVORITE STOCKING STUFFERS FOR THE KIDS

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

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

two | Blue monster beanie from Crewcuts.

three | Star Wars Doodles book from Amazon.

four | Emoji bobbies from Crewcuts.

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

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

seven | Pizza purse from Crewcuts. 

eight | Colorful xylophone from Land of Nod.

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

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

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

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

Do you have any stocking stuffer traditions?

XO, Rae

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THANKFUL FOR THANKSGIVING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XO, Rae

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LOVE DOES, ADVENT ACTIVITIES + PRINTABLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XO, Rae 

 

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TILLY’S 8TH BDAY + EMOJI PARTY

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The last week of October is full of Birthdays in our home with Tilly going first, then Ozzie, and finally myself on Halloween. I usually try and squeeze a party in for Tilly early but our Disney Land trip made me think a belated celebration for her might be best. Of course we had festivities and family get togethers in between, but last weekend we ended her very long Birthday week with an emoji party with her friends at a gymnastics center. Tilly helped a ton with all the party planning, designs and decisions (so proud of her!) and was very happy with how everything turned out.

Sharing more details and party sources below!

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CAKE: Tilly had been dreaming up (and bugging me) for a tiered cake since before her last Birthday. I have zero cake baking or decorating skills and didn’t necessarily want to splurge on a custom cake, but her persistence and excitement about the possibility could not be ignored. So Tilly and I spent a few minutes on Pinterest getting ideas and then reached out to Christina of 4kids Cakes to see if she could whip up something delicious and adorable (and of course tiered) with sprinkles on one layer and hearts on another. Thankfully she agreed and then blew us away with how it turned out and the chocolate “8” topper she added. It seriously made Tilly’s day! That and her friends of course. (*Served with wooden spoons.)

BALLOONS + CONFETTI: Since we were partying at a gymnastics center, there wasn’t much point in spending time or money on decorations, so we kept it simple and ordered emoji and a number 8 balloon.

PARTY FAVORS: We filled glassine bags with confetti, and emoji stickers and gum balls. Then sealed them with washi tape and #YAY stickers you can click to download HERE.

SNACKS + DRINKS: Our party started at 3pm so we grabbed some favorite kid snacks from Costco, filled 8oz. beverage bottle (or here!) with milk, bottled waters, and LaCroix for the mamas and papas. Click to download “#DRINKS” and “#SNACKS” signs HERE

TILLY’S OUTFIT: Sweatshirt (50% off!) and leggings from Peek and boots from Target.

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T w i n n i n g (! ! !) with a bestie.

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There wasn’t much of a chance to take pictures before or during the party with the entire crew of kids and parents. But, you know those people that just don’t want to leave a good party? That’s how we roll and these are our friends who do the same thing. And I’m so grateful they did so we could get a few pics to remember the day with! Of course we love and missed the ones that had to scoot out earlier.

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(Johan sneaking in one of the older brothers :)

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Oh my goodness how I love celebrating my people. Just look at that face! 

All in all, her big day went smoothly and I’m not sure who had more fun — the kids or parents — which is always a good sign! Let me know if I missed any details.

Happiest hump-day!

XOXO, Rae 

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TRICK OR TREAT PRINTABLES

We’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on Halloween stuff the last couple days and since we spend a good chunk of our night out and about with the kids instead of answering the door for trick-or-treaters, I thought it might be nice to have a sign to leave out with our bowl of goodies. I really hate leaving the door un-manned, but think a cute display makes up for it a little!

Download printable signs below along with some Halloween goodie bag stickers I made and forgot to share last year! Perfect for class parties, ‘boo‘ bags, or trick-or-treaters.

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Then, of course, there comes a time when the candy runs out or it’s getting late (how I wish Halloween was always on a Friday!), so thought a “sorry” sign was in order.

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Click to download:

HALLOWEEN GOOD BAG STICKERS (PDF)

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Click to download:

HALLOWEEN TRICK OR TREAT SIGNS (PDF)

How is all of your Halloween prep going? 

I think we have all of our ducks in a row (despite a last minute costume change) but know I’m forgetting something(s)!

XO, Rae

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HALLOWEEN HEADBANDS WITH THE LAND OF NOD!

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We’re so excited (and just can’t hide it!), because this Saturday, Oct. 29th we’ll be crafting these cute Halloween headbands at all of the Land of Nod stores (Seattle, Costa Mesa, Chicago, + Oak Brook) . Well, I only get to be at the Seattle store (in University Village) with a side kick or two, but have sent supplies and a couple treats to all the other stores as well.

If you live in any of these areas I would la, la, love for you and your little(s) to join us, but if not you can head to the Land of Nod blog for instructions and a handy template to DIY at home or a party.

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Happy, happy almost Halloween! 

XO, Rae

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EASY HALLOWEEN COSTUMES + A TV SEGMENT

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If you are still in the market for Halloween costumes, I’m sharing some totally cute and super simple ideas below and on KING5 today at 4:15 if you are in the Seattle area! These 4 were so fun to put together and took almost no time or money. Get the DIY tips below!

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(Espen as a Pizza Delivery DUDE and Tilly as Rosie the Riveter)

COSTUMES FROM THE CLOSET

When it comes to dressing up, often times it doesn’t take much more than going through closets. Think of favorite characters or people from books, movies, history, or pop-culture. The possibilities are endless! (costume details below)

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ROSIE / jeans and jean jacket, but denim shirt would be more accurate / boots / power tool — minus the battery / red and white piece of fabric, scarf or bandana / red lipstick or wax lips

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PIZZA DELIVERY DUDE / message or raglan tee or sweatshirt / broken-in jeans / headphones / backwards cap / pizza box

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(Poppy as grapes and Griffin as an emoji, because he is actually a walking emoji in real-life)

COSTUMES FROM CARDBOARD or BALLOONS

No profession DIY skills to make these costumes. Just a few basic supplies and less than an hour of time!

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FAVORITE EMOJI FACE / 2 presentation boards (the thick foam kind) or cardboard / yellow butcher paper or craft paint / felt / hot glue / wide ribbon / X-Acto knife / double stick tape

Draw a circle onto your boards using a string (shown here) then cutout with an x-acto knife or razor. Repeat with yellow paper and cut with scissors. Use double stick tape to add paper to cardboard. Cut face details from felt and hot glue in place. Add ribbon to the inside of the boards for straps… It helps to have child around while adding the straps to make sure everything lines up and child’s head can fit in-between the ribbons!

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GRAPE CLUSTER / balloons in shades of purple or green / generous sized tee or hoodie / coordinating bottoms and shoes / green felt / hair tie or beanie / hot glue

Lay top front side up on a flat work surface, plug-in the hot glue gun, and blow up balloons to appropriate size depending on the costume wearer. Poppy is a petite two year old so I blew the balloons up a little less than halfway. Add hot glue to the tied end of the balloon and press onto shirt until glue has cooled. Turn over and add balloons to back of top if desired. I still wanted to be able to  pick Poppy up easily so only covered her front side. Cut a long strip of green felt trim so the middle is thin and both ends have a leaf shape and tie to a hairband OR cut a couple leaf shapes from felt and hot glue to a beanie or the hood of a sweatshirt.

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MIX + MATCH COSTUMES

Who says you have to pick just ONE thing to be for Halloween!? Try mixing costume ideas instead! A few examples I grabbed from our dress up pile at home — super hero alien and princess gorilla — but again the possibilities are endless.

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When it comes to tradition and pure fun (as opposed to faith and meaning), Halloween is right up there with Christmas and 4th of July in my book. Plus I’m a Halloween baby which makes the day even better for me because there is always a party or something going on, and the attention is rarely on me for more than the minute or two. Just the way I like it!

For more cute costume inspo, head to this pinterest board.

Happy hump day you guys!

XO, Rae

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EASY HALLOWEEN PUMPKINS + FELT FLAGS

Over the weekend we dressed up a few of our pumpkins for a kid friendly Halloween get together at my friend Stacy’s house.  It can be hard to find non-creepy decor that’s still festive, but a few felt flags, hats, and masks and our pumpkins were ready to party! Would be perfect for a photo backdrop, front porch display, or table top decor too! Details below…

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PAPER MASKS

Click to download the template. Print onto card stock and cut around dashed lines. Use smaller scissors or an exact-o knife to cutout the eye holes. Trace onto black or other color card stock and cutout as before. I used hot glue to stick them to the pumpkins, but they fell off so I used double stick tape and they are still stuck (go figure)!

I shared small masks last year (HERE) with a “hocus pocus” banner, but turned them into a template and added a bigger size this time around.

WITCH HATS

For the hats, I traced a circle tray onto a piece of poster board (card stock or other paper would work), cut around the line and then cut it in half. To make the cone shape a pulled the corners of the half circle together until it was a shape that I like and then hot glued in place. Double stick tape would work too.

EASY FELT FLAGS DIY

I used this tutorial to make my felt stiff (such a fun trick!). Then cut 10 x 7 -inch triangles out of it. In the past I’ve cut stencils out of butcher paper and then painted over to add words to the felt flags, but this time around I did it free hand — just a paint brush and acrylic paint which makes it easier for the kids to help too!!! Once the paint dries, simply hot glue to dowels.

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Fall decor itself is so festive there’s no need to add Halloween specific items, but I have a soft spot for whimsical or vintage designs that don’t scare the kids.

Do you decorate for Halloween or just keep things looking fall-ish!?

XO, Rae

(images by Stacy Jacobsen Photography)

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