Archive | KIDS

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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I HEART TJ: TILLY’S NEW YORK THEMED BDAY PARTY

A couple weeks ago we celebrated our Tilly Jane’s 9th B-day with a New York City themed party. The festivities included street food inspired eats, T-Swift jams, the cutest photo backdrop, lots of confetti and of course her sweet friends. So basically all of her favorite things!

I was extra lucky to have lots of help with ideas, prep and set up from my friend Victoria who is in the process of starting a party planning business and it made all the difference! If you are in the area and in need of help, please email me so I can get you in touch with her. She’s amazing.

For activities, the girls posed for lots of pics (the taxi, props and building background was a huge hit!), played a “pass the apple” game, danced, and made a statue of liberty crown and torch.

Confetti was one of Tilly’s requests when we started party planning and ended up being her favorite part of the party. Just look at her face!

Tilly’s other request was to have a smash cake all to herself. I’m not much of a cake eater or baker so my favorite thing to do is order simple store-bought cakes. They cost the same as their pre-made cakes and are an easy way to check something off my list!

For food we set up a drink station with apple juice, waters and new york seltzers, pizza, corndogs, popcorn, veggies and dip, blueberries, applesauce pouches, pretzels and donuts. Yum.

  

The girls took home “I heart TJ” cookies, I heart NY pencils, and “new” York peppermint patties. Goodie bags are usually my favorite thing to put together, but Victoria put these together and it was so nice not having to worry about it!

I’m a big fan of keeping things simple so usually book our kid parties at a location with built-in activities (like the swimming pool, roller-skate rink, etc.), but Tilly still smiles when we talk about her party and that makes it worth all the hours of prep and clean up! At least this time ;)

Do you like DIY-ing parties at home or at a venue?

xo, Rae

PS — We love celebrating you Tilly Jane!

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KID DATE: SEATTLE CHILDREN’S THEATER

We are a sports family to the core and even though there is often music playing in the background like a soundtrack to our day, we haven’t done a very good job of exposing our kids to the arts. Unless of course craft time counts? LOL. I guess it’s better than nothing, but there are always those thoughts in the back of my mind — am I providing them with all the experiences they need to be a well rounded human being? (Prob. not) Should we sign then up for piano lessons? (Prob. yes) What if their heart and talents aren’t on a soccer/football/baseball field? (Hmmm) If they have a knack for, or interest in music, theater, dance or art, will I notice and be able to support them in it?! (Gosh I hope so!)

I know worrying and feeling guilty isn’t the answer and trust that if I pray about it and then do something productive, things will fall into place. Which takes the pressure off, !? Anyways, our schedules are a little too full at the moment to add another commitment so Johan and I have been talking about doing a better job of taking them to performances and museums, to get a sense of what they might be interested in trying themselves.

We’ve heard so many wonderful things about the Seattle Children’s Theater it seemed like the perfect place to start so we planned a little date with Espen and Griffin to see  Go, Dog go! and it did not disappoint! Here’s a little recap…

Of course, every good boy date starts with pizza! Zeeks on Queen Anne is a favorite and right up the hill from the Seattle Center where the children’s theater is.

The booths are roomy with tall benches so we weren’t worried about bothering our neighbors when the boys got a little rowdy and loud. A dream come true when eating out with kids! Another dream come true? Delicious personal sized pizzas for only $6 (during happy hour)! No negotiating over toppings :)

Next we hopped in the car for a quick drive down to the theater which is right next to the Space Needle. It’s not often we are in this area at night so it felt like an extra treat to see it all lit up!

A few pics before the show! Cameras and phones weren’t allowed once the show started… I may or may not have gotten in trouble for trying to add a few moments to my Instagram Stories (oops!). It was just so hard to resist!

So you get a good idea of the look of the play, I grabbed a couple pics from their site:

It was definitely geared towards ages 3 to 6 or 7, but both of the kids  L O V E D  it and asked when we can go back to see another play! If you are in the area we highly recommend it. Very kid friendly and there is a family area at the top of the theater if things get a little too loud or squirmy.

You can find more info on the Seattle Children’s Theater site, facebook and youtube.

Wish we had all the kids with us, but individual time is so sweet too!

Thinking we’ll probably take the girl’s to something festive over the Holiday season and have been thinking about adding a piano to our family Christmas wishlist.

How do you guys keep things balanced (or not!) when it comes to activities, sports and art for your kids?!

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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THE BEST BACK TO SCHOOL POSTS

If you need me this week, I’ll be soaking up the last full week of summer vacay with my babes. We don’t have any major plans but will be trying to get back into a normal bedtime routine, stocking the pantry for lunch packing and after school snacking, enjoying the first of many Friday night football games, and hitting the road for one last weekend getaway before soccer games begin.

As much as I don’t want summer to end, I absolutely love back to school season — the clothes shopping, project making, food prepping, and to do list writing makes me happy. So thought I would roundup some of my favorite BTS posts from years past… scroll through for images and links!

BACKPACK FLARE :)

Will be making more of these this year!

FREEZER FRIENDLY BREAKKIE BURRITOS

Yes please! You can download and personalize labels too so you know who’s is who’s when grabbing out of the freezer.

LUNCHBOX EMOJI STICKER FREEBIES

Can’t go wrong with emojis and kids or adding a little extra love to their lunch.

HOW TO ORGANIZE A KID’S CLOSET

Doing this ^ makes everything about getting ready in the morning or packing for overnights easier.

PEANUT BUTTER BREAKKIE COOKIES

Haven’t met a person that didn’t love these cookies. Make extra to bring to a play date, drop off at a friends front door (with coffee) or for an after school snacks!

ILLUSTRATED BACK TO SCHOOL CHECKLIST

A cute way to keep track of BTS to-do’s and also remind myself that there is a reason I’m feeling a little tired and scattered this time of year… between finishing summer strong and school prep, there is so much going on!

Happy Monday Friends!

How is back to school stuff going for you?

xo, Rae

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5 MORNING HACKS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL

Whether you’re sending kids back to school or just ready to transition from lazy summer mornings to more structured fall days (hello earlier bedtimes!), getting everyone back onto the same morning routine is key. With 5 kids that have very different morning tendencies I’ve put together a list of tips and tricks that make it easier to get out of the house on time(-ish).

1 | STOCK THE DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM WITH TOOTHBRUSHES + HAIR SUPPLIES — Unless we have a good 10 minute cushion before heading to school or the bus, sending my kids back upstairs to brush their teeth and style their hair (if they haven’t already) is a terrible decision, because the distraction struggle is real. They find a million other things to do like rough house, find that toy they haven’t seen for a couple weeks, or count the money in their piggy bank. It’s a serious talent and maybe it’s just my kids but storing tooth brushes and hair supplies downstairs keeps everyone moving in the right direction.

2 |ONE + DONE OUTFITS FOR MAMA — It takes me way too long to get ready once the kids get up and I try to use as much of the hour or two before they do so to get some work done so having cute dresses and jumpsuits to throw on is everything. Add a hat or sunnies and some lipstick and 15 minutes is all it takes to be ready for the day! Unless of course it’s a hair washing day :)

At least until the weather starts to freeze in which case I stay in my sweats or jammies as long as possible, and opt for driving the kids instead of walking, LOL.

3 | CONTINENTAL BREAKKIE TO SIT AND EAT OR TAKE + GO — this is key for Tilly who would prefer not to eat breakfast until 10am. She just isn’t hungry, but not eating before going to school is not an option for many reasons but especially because she goes from hungry to hangry in a few short minutes. To make it easy on all of us we’ll be setting up a continental breakfast for the first couple weeks so there will be lots of choices and easy options to grab and go or throw in their bags for snack time later. A few things on our continental breakfast menu: no-bake energy bites, cereal, yogurt, granola, bananas, apples, peanut butter, hardboiled eggs and muffins.

4 | INCENTIVES! — Who doesn’t love a good incentive!? At the top of my kids’ wish list is Starbucks, a special after school snack, family bike rides to school, or “parent pick-up” instead of taking the bus.

5 | CUE THE MUSIC, DANCING + LAUGHTER — There is nothing worse than sending the kids off to school when one or more of us is frustrated or upset. Luckily — joy, cool dance moves and laughter are contagious. It’s also not a bad way to start the day!

I absolutely loved and appreciated all the comments regarding my thoughts on homeschooling. You guys are the best and seriously know how to encourage a girl!!! Instead of rushing into things this year, Johan and I have decided to spend more time thinking about the logistics and looking into co-ops, programs, and other resources that are out there. In the meantime the kids will be going to their usual school (that we love!) down the street and I’ll be scheduling one day a week to volunteer… something I’m sure Poppy will look forward to just as much as me!

Now back to morning routine hacks. Please share any tips you might have in the comments!

xo, Rae

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MINI MAKERS: HOMEMADE JELLO PLAY DOUGH

The kids have been on a slime making kick, which has been fun and messy in a good way, but making it seems to be the most entertaining part and trusting it in the hands of the younger ones hasn’t worked out too well (oops!). Let’s just say it’s hard to get out of fabric. To accommodate the kids’ love of mixing and making, and my general need for them to be occupied for a few constructive moments, we decided to make some good ol’ fashioned play dough with a jello twist just for fun, pretty colors and yummy smells. Oh, and lack of food coloring.

There are endless amounts of very similar recipes out there, but scroll down to see how we made ours…

JELLO PLAY DOUGH DIY

You’ll Need:

  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (veggie or canola)
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 cup flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 oz. (or 6 tablespoons) jello powder (you can sub for food coloring or kool-aid)

Here’s How:

  1. Combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat continuously until the contents “glob” together :) — see pic below.
  2. Scoop “glob” onto a floured work surface and let cool.
  3. Knead flour into play dough until no longer sticking to fingers.
  4. Play and/or store in airtight bag or container for up to a month.

The time between cooking, cooling and kneading was a little long to keep my kids’ attention, so I did all the cooking and they did most of the kneading and flouring which they thoroughly enjoyed and I had a dustpan full of flour after this project to prove it, ha! Flour is kinda like glitter in that every time you think you’re finished cleaning it up, you find more. But the mess is totally worth it or at least that’s what I tell myself (insert laugh-crying emoji)!

On a scale of 1-10 (1 being hive inducing and 10 being totally cool with it!) how do you feel about doing messy projects with the kids? I probably sit somewhere around 7, but definitely have to muster up the energy and patience before starting.

Happy play dough making… or avoiding… mamas!

xo, Rae

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DECORATED STORE BOUGHT ICE CREAM SANDWICHES + A MEAL PLAN

It’s Friday!!! We’re celebrating with an easy kitchen activity that you can do (and eat ;) with the kids and a meal plan — because getting a jumpstart on next week felt like a really good idea!

You guys know I love anything with googly eyes on it, but aren’t these decorated ice cream sandwiches cute? I had originally planned on making them for Griffin’s party, to match the cake, but ran out of time. So earlier this week, since I had all the supplies on hand, the kids and I threw some together for fun. They hardly require directions, but here’s the DIY details…

DECORATED ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

  • Straight from the freezer, dip the top of your ice cream sandwiches in sprinkles…. you don’t need to wait until they soften or melt for the sprinkles to stick.
  • “Glue” the candy eyes on with icing.
  • Return to the freezer or eat up!

Now for a meal plan… Next week is looking really yummy!

MONDAY | salmon cakes and garden salad

TUESDAY | black bean quinoa salad with chipotle steak

WEDNESDAYone pot chicken + veggies chow mein

THURSDAY | huevos rancheros

FRIDAY | ravioli + a yummy salad… my favorite lately is to toss together the following: arugula, quinoa, grape tomatoes, slivered almonds, whatever protein I have on hand and pesto with a red wine vinaigrette or coconut oil and lime juice

BREAKKIE | chilled summer overnight oats, smoothies + protein shakes, continental breakfast (yogurt, granola, fresh fruit, cereal, hardboiled eggs, peanut butter toast, etc.)

SNACK | frozen yogurt dots, chips + guac, tuna salad + crackers

Have a great weekend friends!

xo, Rae

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BACK TO SCHOOL HAIRCUT INSPIRATION

I’m really good at avoiding all things back to school and in theory, I guess it makes sense. I mean, who wants to think about going back to school when there’s still summer to soak up!? The only problem is that once the last week or two of summer rolls around we’re too busy scrambling to buy school supplies, picking out backpacks, running around to appointments, and crossing our fingers that all the first day of school outfits arrive on time, to actually enjoy it.

This year, with 40 something days left of summer, I’m doing my best to spread out the back to school preparations. A box of stylish clothes from Rockets of Awesome  should be arriving in the mail next week, I grabbed school supply sheets from Target last week, and today I plan on booking everyone a haircut. Last night I went a little crazy on Pinterest and pinned a ton of hairstyle inspirations (HERE) for the little and big kids and thought I would share along with a reminder to schedule haircut appointments… if you haven’t already :)

Here’s what I’m hoping my kids pick…!

ESPEN | His hair isn’t quite this long, but it does have that beachy look to it that I love! Definitely a good candidate for long boy hair which I can’t seem to get enough of lately.

TILLY | Last week Tilly was in a hurry to get a bob, but since our usual hairstylist was booked, I took her to someone new and while her freshly cut locks look really cute it’s not quite what she wanted. Wondering if she might like this version of a bob?

GRIFFIN | We usually do an undercut on him (checkout the DIY here!) but his hair has a mind of it’s own and that mind really likes to lay flat on his forehead. LOL. Thinking this cut would look cute and be easy to keep styled!

POPPY | she has a natural layer of bangs that have been growing out lately and I miss them! So thought we’d try and give her official bangs that are a bit thicker. Hoping they won’t be too hard to maintain… anyone have experience with their kids!?

OZZIE | Don’t want to leave out our oldest, but searched high and low for a good inspo pic for him and all I found was little kids or grown men with facial hair and that smoldering look. Neither really seemed appropriate. Luckily he has the most amazing curls and a trim is usually all he needs!

You can find all of the pics and more on my BACK TO SCHOOL Pinterest board. There’s never a shortage of fun ideas and inspiration (hashtag always pinning) so you should also follow me while your over there! ;)

Despite my aversion to starting the back to school prep, I actually love EVERYTHING about it (new clothes, school supplies and hair? Sign me up!) except sending the kids back to school.UGH. Regardless, it does feel good to get started on the checklist… What’s left on your back to school checklist?

xo, Rae

P.S. — A few posts that might make all the prep work easier and/or more fun: BTS checklist, DIY backpack charms, teacher gift, + emoji lunch box stickers

P.P.S. — The last 4 images are from old Zara lookbooks.

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GRIFFIN’S FIRE STATION BIRTHDAY PARTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you keep Birthday memories alive!?

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

xo, Rae

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MOM + MINI DATE IDEAS

We got home late Sunday night from our annual camping trip with friends (so much fun!) and jumped right into catching up on work and sleep, unpack the mountain of stuff we brought and cleaning the other mountain of dirty clothes we came home with, party planning prep for Griffin’s b-day celebration that’s happening tomorrow, and our usual schedule and life in general. After a few days of this the kids started to get a little restless (i.e. whinny and fighting with each other and who could blame them!?) so yesterday Johan and I decided it was time to divide and conquer. While he hung with the boys I took the girls on a little date to The Land of Nod for their summer camp craft time and a couple scoops of our favorite Molly Moon’s Ice cream. After that we did some shopping and then walked over to the new Rachel’s Ginger beer for a couple small drinks, before heading to Starbucks for our usual Bistro boxes to snack on while we drive home. As I walked at an incredibly leisurely pace from store to store with my girls, I thought about how much I needed this break from cleaning up the tornado that is our house, the constant beeping that comes from my phone, and the mile long to do list running though my mind, just as much as they did.

In case you could also use a break from being pulled in 10 different directions, picking up the house, and hearing about how hungry everyone is, here’s a list of mom + mini date ideas to help inspire a little quality time!

15 MOM + MINI DATE IDEAS:

  1. go roller skating or bowling
  2. learn something new together — a trick, knitting, dance moves, twisty balloon animals, etc.
  3. go to a skate park
  4. write notes or thanks you’s to friends and family together
  5. boardgames are always good
  6. go to target or the dollar store for some fun shopping (with a budget)… not to be confused with running errands kinda shopping
  7. nail appointment
  8. at home spa or nail night… you might have seen johan’s impromptu spa night on Instagram stories last week. so funny.
  9. campout in the family room or backyard
  10. bake or cook something together that they pick out
  11. do something sweet for a neighbor together
  12. do a craft (a few of our faves 1 /2 /3 /4 / 5 / 6 )
  13. for daughters, do each other’s makeup
  14. wake up early and go fishing
  15. checkout a new to-you neighborhood, restaurant, store, park, or play area

I always feel like the best version of myself when I’m able to be present with my kids, husband, work, friends, and even strangers, but it’s been such a challenging thing for me to do during the summer months (which is going way too quickly, btw!). Wish I could soak up the sweet moments and laughter and just play 24/7, but keeping up with work and order is also good, right?!

How do you find that rhythm between checking things off the to do list and making time to play?

I would also love to hear your favorite kid date ideas too!?

xo, Rae

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