Archive | holidays

LET’S CHAT: ESSENTIAL OILS + AN EASY DIY BEDTIME SPRAY

It’s hard to ignore the essential oil bandwagon thats been growing strong now for awhile, particularly within the motherhood community. I’m wondering if there are any other trends we can compare it to? Maybe tupperware parties? Anyways, I often find myself somewhere in the middle of most issues, political, theological, and even more often when it comes to healthcare. I believe in modern medicine, vaccines, and ibuprofen. But I also believe that we often medicate symptoms that can be treated naturally with diet, fitness, supplements and oils.

I was first introduced to essential oils a little over a year ago when Poppy started getting these little wart looking bumps on her torso and elbows. I’ll spare you the details of how gross they were and because it was summertime they were impossible to keep covered and therefore confined. The first time we took her to the Dr. they suggested we let it run it’s course (which takes 6+ months). Unfortunately it just kept getting worse so we took her back in and they subscribed a topical acne medicine. As you might imagine it was harsh, left her poor baby skin dry and red and wasn’t clearing up her bumps. Ugh, I felt so bad for her. Is there anything worse than not being able to help your kids feel better? Luckily my mom suggested we try talking to an herbalist. A quick email to Herban Wellness describing Poppy’s symptoms and they mixed up a magic concoction of oils that started working immediately! After a week her bumps were 80% better and I was in tears — so grateful to have something that not only worked, but was natural and had zero negative side effects.

We’ve since used the oil blend on just about any patch of red, puffy or irritated skin and it always clears up and takes away the discomfort. Lately I’ve been doing lots of research on oils and looking for ways to incorporate them into our lives on a daily basis without having to spend a ton of money or get involved with one of the MLM (multilevel marketing) businesses… (Not that there is anything wrong with doing either of those things!)

To my surprise, I’ve been able to find some great oils on amazon and have had so much fun putting together different blends for roller balls and spray bottles. The best part is that the kids go crazy over them! Here’s a linen spray we put together for bedtime. It helps wind everyone down at the end of the day and makes the room smell dreamy. To make it even more appealing for Poppy who’s always worried about “monsters” at night, we added a “bye, bye monster” label!

BYE, BYE MONSTER bedtime essential oil linen spray!

You’ll Need:

Here’s How:

  1. Add drops of essential oils into glass spray bottle. Fill the rest of the way with distilled water.
  2. Spray around the room, on bedding, pillows and even on jammies…. Don’t forget mamas room too!
  3. Make extra bottles for each room and to give as gifts.

Now for some exciting news!!! In my search for high quality oils I’ve found some cool suppliers and created some delicious and effective blends that will be available to purchase (along with a few other fun items!) in our online HOLIDAY POP-UP SHOP! Hoping to have it up and running starting this Friday 11/17 but will keep you posted later this week!!!

The rollers and sprays are a perfect gift or addition to stockings, teacher gifts or hostess gifts. It’s also a great way to try oils without a huge commitment, filling a cupboard with individual oils and supplies, or having to figure out all the DIY blends.

Now that I’ve spilled my guts about it, what are your thoughts on essential oils and natural treatments? Curious if anyone else feels like they fall somewhere in the middle on the issue, like I do!?

xo, Rae

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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

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MINI MAKERS: HALLOWEEN TREAT POPPERS

You guys ready for the cutest little Halloween craft eva?

I made these Halloween candy poppers (for lack of a better word because they don’t actually pop!?) with Tilly who is the goodie bag giving queen — she loves putting together little treats to give her friends whether there is a reason or not and I fully support it. Makes my heart melt! Plus I think we could all benefit from spreading a little extra love and fun with everything going on in the world.

Here’s how we made them…

YOU’LL NEED:

  • t.p. rolls (or poster board cut to size)*
  • craft paint
  • paint brushes
  • cellophane wrap (found by the gift wrap)
  • tape (scotch or washi)
  • twine
  • scissors (if you have pinking shears they’re fun to trim the cellophane ends with!)
  • candy and halloween knick-knacks

I do realize not everyone hoards t.p. rolls like I do (the kids’ classrooms often need them), but you could substitute by cutting up a paper towel roll or pieces of poster board.

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Prep a workspace and paint a solid color over the t.p. rolls. The lighter colors worked best for step 2. Let dry. (I did this part before getting any kids involved)
  2. Paint designs as desired over dried paint. Let dry.
  3. Fill with candy and little toys.
  4. Cut cellophane pieces big enough to wrap around t.p. rolls a couple times and wide enough to gather at the ends.
  5. Wrap cut cellophane around t.p. rolls and tape in place. Use twine to gather on each side. Trim ends and you’re done!

I found most of the goodies at Target, but the pencils were too long to fit it :(

The kids think these are pretty great and are lobbying to make enough for all of their classmates (3 classrooms = a butt load of candy “poppers” to make). Just not sure I have the patience to manage the painting, stuffing and wrapping. LOL.

We’ll see!!?!

Who would you (and your kids) give some to?

xo, Rae

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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

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OUR VERY HOPPY EASTER WEEKEND!

In so many ways, I was completely unprepared for Easter this year. The few weeks leading up to it, my mind and energy was being used for other life happenings… (the sorta things that come up when you have kids and careers and people in general in your life, but nothing earth shattering!) We unintentionally skipped egg dying and holiday decorating and almost everything for their Easter baskets was purchased just 2 days before. To top it off, on the day of Easter I forgot the bucket of stuffed eggs to hide at Gigi and Papa’s house later that day. Basically mom-failing left and right, but you know what happened? It ended up being a magical weekend anyways. The kids freaked out (in the best way) over their very simple Easter baskets, no one noticed or even mentioned the lack of decorations or egg dying, we got lots of family time with ALL the kids, and an “egg” hunt still happened at my parents house.

A few pics of our weekend…

Tilly was in tears on the car ride to the egg hunt at church because of the size of her basket which I strategically picked out for that reason. But because kids are so ridiculously resourceful, they found away to collect all the eggs their little hearts desired by stuffing them in their pockets and boots too, then emptying the eggs and going back for seconds and thirds! We now have way too much candy in our pantry (something I was trying to avoid) but the whole situation was completely comical.

Poppy wouldn’t sit still for the youth group girls hosting the face paint table so I took a stab at it and painted a few whiskers and a pink nose on her. Safe to say I will not be adding “face-painter” to my list of skills or volunteering for future events. Ha!

Someone at our church made the cutets photo backdrop, but getting the kids to look at us while taking a picture in front of it, instead of their candy or the bounce houses was impossible! Out of the 10 or so we took, this is the best one, lol.

After an early church service and a quick bite on the run, we finally made it to Gigi and Papa’s for some fun, a yummy dinner and egg hunt!

And of course a little dancing and glass of wine, too!

(…Excuse the totally comfy grandma sandals I dug out of my mama’s closet, but the healed huarache sandals were not working with all the gravel in their yard :)

The show (errr, egg hunt) must go on even without plastic eggs or things to stuff them with! After stopping at three different stores with no luck, we settled for a box of dixie cups, a bag of chocolate eggs, and quarters from my mom’s change jar. It worked perfectly!

(Love them… A slightly unexpected duo so I especially like seeing them together.)

Currently sitting here wishing I could turn our weekend into a metaphor for how life-giving and powerful Jesus is because He is and because I love sharing my faith with you guys, but my thoughts are much more simple this morning.

I know He loves me.

And not just because he died for me 2,000 years ago and then raised from the dead, but because He is moving and active and I can see His goodness in the best, worst and most mundane of circumstances.

I know He loves you too, which is possibly one of the more cheesy Christian things to say but it’s also the truest.

xoxo, Rae

Outfit sources:

ME | dress, jeans

OZZIE | polo

ESPEN | t-shirt, shorts

TILLY | dresses

GRIFFIN | top, shorts, navy shoes (couldn’t find online, but from target!)

POPPY | jumpsuit, dress, pink shoes (couldn’t find online, but from target!)

 

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DIY EASTER BUNNY FACE PAINT + EARS

Aside from the spiritual significance of Easter, fluffy bunnies and egg hunts are my absolute favorite parts of celebrating the holiday. However, my kids are terrified of grownup sized bunnies with neckties and baskets (who could blame them) so this year I figured we could make our own simple costume using card stock, headbands, and a little face paint. Hoping the ears will make it until our community egg hunt this Saturday! Keep reading for the how-to…

You’ll Need:

  • 1 piece of card stock
  • tape
  • headband (or extra card stock to make one, like this)
  • scissors
  • markers
  • pencil

Here’s How:

  1. Fold card stock in half. Draw a floppy ear and cutout.
  2. Color in the inside of the ears.
  3. Fold the bottom of the ears up about an inch. Wrap around the headband and tape in place.
  4. Next, add some whiskers and a black nose. I tried using a black eyeliner pencil but it was difficult to get dark lines so I would suggest finding some face paint or even under eye black (like baseball players use!).

Ta-da, your done! So simple, right?

Can’t beat that side-eye action, LOL. Like, what are you trying to do to me, mama?

Lots of practice egg hunts and bunny ear wearing happening around our house this week… Can’t wait for the official festivities to begin!!!

xo, Rae

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ST. PATRICK’S DAY GOODIE BAGS + PRINTABLE

St. Patrick’s Day is Friday and while you won’t find a ton of decorations around our home or corned beef in the crockpot, you can definitely count on us eating and wearing green or rainbows, dishing out pinches, and indulging in a yummy shamrock shake. This year Tilly also wanted to handout goodie bags to her school friends. Let’s just say she didn’t have to ask me twice! So we grabbed a few boxes of lucky charms and Trix (assuming the boys would want to make some too) and played with the designs from last years lunchbox notes to create some new goodie bag tags!

Click the link below to download:

You can find the “over the rainbow for you” flag tags HERE.

And a few other St. Patrick Day themed posts | ST. PATRICK’S DAY BITES + LUNCHBOX NOTES | GOLD + GREEN ICE CREAM SANDWICHES | SIMPLE GARLAND + PRINTABLE | KID’S CRAFTERNOON | I USED TO BE IRISH

Looking forward to seeing the kids with their finished goodie bags… and that shamrock shake! How do you like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!?

XO, Rae

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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

rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm-2016-3309-2

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.

rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm-2016-3342-2

(Poppy must have tooted?)

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Totally impressed with the tree wrapping machine…

rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm-2016-3353-2

…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

kids-bathroom-refresh-sources

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.

stocking-stuffers

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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