Archive | KIDS

LITTLE BITES: TRAIL MIX + MATCH

Trail mix is full of healthy fats and good energy and is one of my go-to snacks for grabbing on the go or adding to school lunches. The only problem with store-bought versions is that certain little someones are always sneaking into the panty to pick out their favorite parts until there isn’t much mixed about it. Ha! Maybe you can relate? So lately we’ve been making individual, made to order batches so everyone can have a mix that is full of their favorites. The process is pretty painless and actually really fun… raid your pantry (and the store) for dried fruit, nuts, seeds, bite-sized sweets, and other snacks, set out in bowls and let everyone fill a container with their own combination.

Some ingredient ideas..

  • NUTS: raw almonds, peanuts, walnuts, macadamia, pistachios, cashews, and pine nuts
  • SEEDS: sunflower or pumpkin… sesame, flax and hemp seeds are also a good addition, but a little messy.
  • FRUITS: dried apricots, cranberries, bananas, mangos, goji, pineapple, blueberries, apples, coconut, and raisins
  • SWEETS: mini m&m’s, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, carob chips, peanut butter chips, cacao nibs, mini marshmallows, yogurt covered raisins, and chocolate covered almonds
  • SNACKS: pretzels, popcorn, cheerios or other cereal, and granola

What’s your default grab-and-go snack?

xo, Rae

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LITTLE CITY GUIDE: ALKI BEACH, SEATTLE

Guess what? It’s still the weekend!

Weekends that are still going strong on a Monday? Count me in please! Can we make this a thing? Ha! I mean, there are all those national donut, puppy, pizza, etc. days now… don’t they deserve a day of observance? Totally kidding, but I could get used to Tuesday being the new Monday.

There is only one thing I like more than having Mondays off… starting the weekend a day early, which is exactly what we got to do this past week. My babes had Friday off of school and even better, Johan had the day off from fighting fires too. Since the sun was shining we headed to the one place I think we’ve all been craving since the end of fall… the beach. Here’s a few pics from our morning.

Like most little sibs, Griffin is always trying to keep up with the big kids. Mostly Espen and Tilly. At home he’s treated more like a third wheel than a play buddy, but when we are out and about it seems to level the playing field a little more. Makes my heart so happy to watch.

Caught shooting an Instagram story. Something I am so very inconsistent with but thoroughly enjoy. Almost too much :)

It might sound kinda cliche, but I love watching them explore and take in their surroundings. Even when we are so close to home.

You can’t end a cold outing at the beach where almost everyone wound up with wet feet (just can’t resist running and jumping in those waves!) without something warm to sip on. We initially saw the Starbucks but then noticed a Top Pot next-door so decided to warm up with donuts too :)

Hope you are able to soak up some extra family time this weekend!!!

XO, Rae

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MINI STYLE: VALENTINE’S DAY OUTFITS

Gimme all the red, pink, and hearts this time of year, but I think there’s also something to be said for trying valentines day styles and decor that are a little less obvious. Since my kids (mostly the boys) agree wholeheartedly, I decided to keep that in mind while putting together outfits for all the classroom parties next week. While they will most likely be editing what I picked out, I think they turned out pretty cute and (BONUS!) will be wearable long after the Valentine festivities end.

POPPY’S HEART DAY DUDS | heart sunnies, target | hair clips, ryan and wren on etsy | bomber jacket , peek kids on sale | swing dress, june and january | leggings, peek kids on sale | metallic high tops, zara kids (similar here + here)

TILLY’S HEART DAY DUDS | striped tee, peek kids | denim pinafore, mini boden (similar here + here) | heart, eyes + fries before guys patches, ban.do | emoji, ice cream + monster patches from crewcuts | necklace, DIY here | big and small ice cream shooters, amazon

GRIFFIN’S HEART DAY DUDS | navy bomber, zara kids | eyes patches, ban.do | white button up, cat and jack | pizza patch, crewcuts | denim, peek | vans, nordstrom (similar here + here)

ESPEN’S HEART DAY DUDS | pizza shirt, crewcuts on sale | wild thing tee, peek kids (similar) | joggers, crewcuts | new balances, crewcuts (similar)

Espen’s outfit is my fave. If it could talk I think it would say… I like a good party and love pizza but don’t take all the lovey dovey heart day stuff too seriously. Which is exactly what most 4th grade boys are thinking so it’s perfect :)

Happy weekend you guys! Hope it’s a warm and cozy one. We’ll be spending ours running the kids around to their activities and putting all the finishing touches on our Valentine’s. Thankful for activities that keep us busy indoors right now because brrr!

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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FEBRUARY ARROW PROJECT: HOT COCOA STAND

Hey friends, happy February 1st!
We’re kicking this month off with an arrow project that I’m super excited to share. The combination of the state of our country and middle of winter weather (hurry up spring!) is enough to throw anyone into a downward spiral, but there is one thing that always restores sanity… connecting with people and chocolate! They are seriously the best medicine. So for our service project this month  Tilly + Griffin put on a pop-up hot cocoa stand in my parent’s neighborhood. Lemonade stands are one of their favorite summertime activities so I knew they would love it! Although their faces in the pic above suggest otherwise, LOL.
A few more pics from our time serving up cocoa…
Filming their sales pitch on Instagram stories and making a sign!
The secret shopper, director of quality control and social media strategist. Little people doing big things, ha! But seriously, don’t you see it?
Tilly + Griffin’s work relationship was slightly explosive. Both control freaks with easy to push buttons. But we lived, still had fun and met some new friends in the process!! It was really a great way to spend the afternoon.
I read a graphic the other day that said, “There is so much life to be lived in the in-between”. Can’t think of a better way to describe this season and put things into perspective.
Here’s to living a full life in the in-between. And lots of yummy hot cocoa.
XO, Rae
P.S. – You guys have been keeping me so busy with Valentine orders and I’m so very grateful! It really is my favorite project of the year!!!
P.P.S. – Today is the last day to enter the Instagram giveaway. Head HERE for the full details and to share the love!
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BE MINE: NEW VALENTINES + A GIVEAWAY!

Sure it’s a slightly manufactured and forced day of love, but I’ve had a soft spot for Valentine’s Day for as looong as I can remember and look forward to designing a new collection of cards every year. They’re perfect for the little ones to give their playdate besties or the bigger ones to give their classroom friends and are easy to pair up with a sweet treat or small toy. Melts my heart every year to see how excited the kids get over assembling and give their Valentines. It’s seriously the sweetest thing to see them loving on others!

Oh and because V-day is just as much about celebrating friendship as it is your main squeeze,  I’ve teamed up with my real life galentine, Kendra from Hen & Co for a giveaway. Details are at the very bottom.

Llamas, pizza and narwhals, oh my… A unicorn is just about the only thing missing! These new designs and all of last years are available in the DESIGN SHOP now. The last day to order will be February 7th (only 9 days away, eek!) so don’t wait too long to order…plus it always feels good to check a few things off the to-do list!

Griffin and Tilly have already chosen the “hello valentine” in the top left along with the ice cream cone shooters and dinosaurs they are pictured with. I kinda like these ice cream cards (or the polka dots) with the shooters for Poppy too and Espen is still deciding between these googley eyed hearts, NY inspired ones (would be cute with chocolate covered pretzels!), and star wars. I guess choosing is sometimes the hardest part!

Can’t get over how adorable Poppy and Kendra’s daughter, Bellamy are with their heart day tops and cards!

A little BTS peek… wish we had a camera rolling in time-lapse to capture all the messy chaos of working with kids while also trying to keep it fun. Let’s just say I was sweating by the end of it. #momcardio

And confetti is always a good idea.

Now for some giveaway details, YAY!

We believe friends are the spice of life and want to hear what you love about yours over on Instagram. All the details will be posted HERE at 1pm today. Winners will receive an adorable tee or leo from Hen & Co and a set of 24 personalized valentines from my shop for you and a friend! I’ll send a second email later today when the giveaway is live so SIGN UP FOR EMAILS if you haven’t already!

This is my most favorite project of the entire year and I had the hardest time stopping at 6 new designs. That being said, if you have a valentine theme request let me know in the comments and I might be able to put something together for you!

Happy Monday you guys :)

xo, Rae

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OH FUDGE: 5 POTTY TRAINING TIPS, A SURVIVAL KIT, + POOP EMOJI CUPCAKES

When it comes to raising babies, there are few things I dread more than potty training and this week we’ll be doing it for the 5th and final time. Never thought I could get sentimental over such a tedious, messy and pain in the butt task but here I am with all the feels about it. Guess I’ve been hanging on for dear life to this sweet toddler stage that Poppy is in and seeing her without her adorable diaper bottom takes us one step closer to being a big kid. Which is so rad too. I love watching my kids grow, but the last one is a hard one.

Like sleep training and just about every other aspect of parenting, we don’t have a system that we’ve used for all of our kids that’s been wildly successful, but I do have a few guidelines that might help.

MY 5 TIPS FOR POTTY TRAINING

  1. ALL ABOARD THE HYPE TRAIN: For a couple weeks before you start, make going potty on the toilet a big exciting deal. Talk about it, sing about it, read about it, and generally speaking, build the hype. (My older kids have been doing an amazing job of this for me this time around… I’ll share more below.)
  2. BE PREPARED: Like just about everything else in life, it’s good to be prepared. I’ll share a short list and pic of items we keep on hand and easily accessible while potty training, below.
  3. HAVE A PLAN: Are you going straight to undies, using pull-ups, or a combination of both? What about nap time, bedtime, school carpool, errands and going over to other people’s homes? Do you need to clear your calendar for a few days while getting things started? Thinking about these things will help with consistency which is half the potty training battle.
  4. BE FLEXIBLE: Nothing is worse than putting a bunch of pressure on yourself or your child over saying bye-bye to diapers. You know what you and your babe can handle so listen to your gut and try to have a little fun with it.
  5. DON’T GET DISCOURAGED: There will be good days followed by bad days and then eventually a few good weeks followed by a few horrible days and you’ll wonder when the accidents will end and if you’re doing it wrong and if you’ll ever be able to make it through the grocery store without taking a potty break. The answer is yes. And no. All at once. Just remember, no one goes to kindergarten in a diaper and no preschool teacher is caught off guard by an accident. So, just ride the wave… it’s less exhausting that way.

Remember tip no. 1? The hype has been building in our home since Christmas when Poppy got big girl undies in her stocking (I’ve just been dragging my feet). Her siblings think potty training is like the best, most exciting thing ever and have been doing more than enough hype building. It’s really sweet to watch.

Last week Griffin announced that Poppy wasn’t just potty training, she was POOPY TRAINING! Which everyone thought was hilarious and somehow lead to making poop emoji cupcakes. So, that’s just what we did over the weekend and they actually turned out so incredibly cute.

TO DECORATE THE POOP EMOJI CUPCAKES, I scooped chocolate frosting into a pastry decorating bag without a tip/attachment (a ziplock with big hole cut in the corner would do the trick too) then squeezed a swirl out on top of each cupcake and then added candy eyes (target usually carried them too). Easy peasy!

A peek at what’s in our potty training kit that I keep in or near the downstairs bathroom:

  • wet wipes — disinfectant wipes are a good idea too.
  • juiceboxes — lots of liquids makes potty training so much easier!
  • extra undies and leggings
  • small treats — I love little suckers and smarties because they last the longest but the serving size is still small.
  • stickers
  • bubbles — or other activities. This is super important if you are potty training in the winter!

We’re officially starting Poppy in big girl undies tomorrow so I would love to know what other tips or supplies would you add to the list?!

XO, Rae

 

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MINI MAKERS: PAPER SNOWFLAKES WITH THE LAND OF NOD

Shared one of the easiest ways to make paper snowflakes with kids on the Land of Nod blog last week. Since winter calls for more time indoors (for most of us anyway ;) I wanted to make sure and give you the link. Nothing quite like a simple paper project to spend quality time with kids and keep them engaged!

(PAPER SNOWFLAKES DIY on HONEST TO NOD)

How have you guys been staying busy indoors lately?

Happy humpty-hump day! (oops — song officially stuck in my head now)

XO, Rae

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MINI MAKERS: KIDS BAUBLE NECKLACE CRAFT + DIY

Awhile back, I shared a fun backpack charm kids craft using painted wood beads and ever since I have wanted to paint more to make bauble necklaces for the girls. Well, over the weekend Tilly and I finally got around to doing it and they turned out so super cute we decided to take pics and make a post of it!

Painting with kids can be a bit messy but the steps and supply list for this project are very simple and totally worth it. Keep scrolling for the details…

YOU’LL NEEED:

  • wood beads (20mm beads pictured) these would be cute too!
  • craft paint (can’t get enough of the hand made modern paint colors at Target!)
  • small paint brushes
  • jersey knit fabric, cut to approx. 1-inch by 30-inch strips
  • fabric (or really sharp) scissors
  • wood skewers (like you use for kabobs)
  • upholstery needle or long nail (for poking the fabric through the beads)

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Cover your workspace with paper to protect from paint. Thread beads onto skewers leaving a little room between each and on either end. Paint beads however you and your little desires. Rest both ends of skewer on items that are of equal height… like two bowls or mugs. Let dry completely — about 15 minutes.
  2. Cut knit jersey fabric into roughly 1-inch by 30-inch strips. The fabric will roll naturally but might need a little help in places.
  3. Thread panted (and dried) beads onto cut fabric. Use needle or nail to help it along.
  4. Knot fabric necklace to size, trim excess fabric and you’re done! (disclaimer: be sure to supervise younger kids while they wear them.)

Aren’t they fun!?

Tilly was thrilled with how her necklaces turned out and decided to packaged some up to give to friends who have been equally excited about them.

:)

(Tilly’s red striped dress from Boden and on clearance)

Loved having a little assistant for this project! Although I’m pretty sure she thought I was the one assisting. Ha! The lighting was a little tricky for pictures (and usually is during the winter months around here) so we pulled out the white paper backdrop and set up a little studio in our kitchen nook which I think made it all seem more special than past projects she’s helped with. Can’t help but notice how easily she fits into this creative world.

Hope you had an amazing long weekend and most importantly, Martin Luther King Jr. day! What an amazing man and movement we get to celebrate.

XO, Rae

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MOM HACKS: EATING OUT WITH KIDS

My kids are loud and messy and opinionated and I can’t take them anywhere without something ridiculous happening but they are also so fun and silly and taking them out and about is one of my favorite things to do! When our older kids were little though there was one exception. Eating out. It was takeout and drive-thrus for us thank you very much. Since those days I’ve changed my thinking and approach and it’s made eating in restaurants way more enjoyable — not to be confused with easy — without having to pack up a bag of activities.

Granted my kids and their age gaps are likely different than your’s, but hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful or encouraging anyways!

  1. EXPECT KIDS TO ACT THEIR AGE: I used to have this weird expectation that my kids could pull it together for an hour or so while we ate in public. Turns out there’s only one thing I should expect from them… to be themselves and act their age. So now, during any given eating out experience I expect there to be a spill or two, that someone will decide to take off their shoes, while another thinks its fun to climb under the table and everyone is bound to be starving and act like they’re near death. The good news is that it’s rare for all of these things to happen at one sitting so I usually walk away feeling like they did awesome, ha!
  2. KEEP MY GOAL(s) IN MIND: My hope is that my kids will do their best to be a good guest and considerate of others and especially their server. All of which are learned behaviors and one of the reasons I want to take them out. I also really just enjoy sitting for most of a meal and then not having to clean up afterwards! Usually makes the moments of chaos totally worth it.
  3. DECIDE ON A DINNER WORKFLOW: Having an idea of what and when we’re ordering (are we letting kids get sodas, ordering a basket of fries or other app first, etc.), and how you want to occupy the kids while they wait, before walking in the restaurant is a big help. Something that has worked for us when we have all of the kids is to order drinks, the kid’s meals, side salads for the grownups, and usually a basket of fries or hummus plate right away. While we wait for the food we chat with the kids – go through our highs and lows from the day, etc. Once their food arrives Johan and I order. We continue chatting and micromanaging until the kids are finished and then we let them share tech (usually our phones) while we eat and attempt a conversation. It’s not perfect or peaceful but it works :)
  4. HAPPY HOURS ARE MY BEST FRIEND: kind of a given but going before or after the breakfast, lunch or dinner rush makes a huge difference!
  5. STAY POSITIVE: and if needed switch things up a bit. Taking a kid or two for a bathroom break or to the car to grab something or telling a funny joke (the spoon on the nose trip works every time!) or anything that distracts them from annoying their sibling or throwing a fit is worth a try!

(Received lots of questions about my sweater so shared outfit details with links at the bottom of the post :)

A few pics from our lunch date with Griffin + Poppy yesterday.

There were surprisingly no spills and I don’t think any complaints about being starving to death. Griffin however, did accidentally mistake his thumb as part of his cheese and let out a very loud yelp followed by major tears and Poppy spent a good chunk of time dropping things under the table so she could climb down and pick them up.

But in the end they earned ice cream.

Not really but it seemed like the perfect way to end our outing!

It’s my favorite when Johan can join us for an afternoon adventure in the middle of the week. One of the perks of being married to a firefighter. Lucky kids. Lucky me.

Happy, happy weekend you guys!

Oh, and loved reading all of the comments on my dining room post… thanks for playing along!

XO, Rae

ME | pink + orange stripe sweater, jeans

GRIFFIN | blue gray thermal (for the babes), red coat, shoes

POPPY | sweatshirt (+ for big girls), boots

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THE BEST OF 2016

Happy day after Christmas you guys! I’m currently still in my jammies (at noon), listening to the kids play with their new toys, and have no plans of doing anything but eating leftovers, folding laundry and recovering from the (good) craziness that December brings.

Sorta sad that the holiday season is coming to an end but I’m excited for the fresh possibilities of 2017. It can be so easy for me to think about the past year and come up with a list of things I want to do better in the coming year but have found that it can be equally as inspiring and encouraging to reflect on my favorite parts of the past year and all the things I want to carry into the new one.

That being said, I thought it would be a good time to roundup a list of the most popular posts along with some of my personal favorites from 2016.

LIFE | a day in the life (working on a winter version!) | hook-nook refresh | living with kids (+ their toys) | first week of school | our disney land trip

FREEBIES | paper heart glasses | baby milestone cards | emoji lunchbox stickers | shareable social media graphics

MAKE | book bin diy | easy pom-pom basket | sailor hair bows | flower vases + arrangements

 

KIDS | woodland party + boot driveour favorite kid apps | diy binoculars | brown bag microwave popcorn | tin can herb garden

WEAR | that tied shirt trend | statement coat 3 ways | all things with love | WIW may

EAT | homemade pop tartssmoothie bowls + a meal plan | big batch chocolate chip freezer cookies | frozen yogurt dots

Gosh, what a fun year… that also happened to be soooo full of transition and trying to figure out what’s next for our family and business and I just want to say thank you for meeting me in this space. The online and social media world can be so much about the numbers and while that’s just part of growth and good business, it’s not what this blog is about for me. I appreciate and care about one visitor as much as I would one million. Thank you so much for sharing your time, thoughts, comments and encouragement with me and allowing me to share my family, life and creative endeavors with you. It means the world to me!

Hope your Christmas (and 2016) was everything you hoped for and then some.

XO, Rae

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