Archive | KIDS

MADE YOU SMILE WITH THE ALL NEW GYMBOREE!

Having my kids home all summer gives me all the smiles for all the days (even the longer summer days that almost feel like 2 days… wait, did that happen yesterday or this morning? lol). So once we get to that part of summer when back to school becomes part of the conversation, it always bums me out. The silver lining of course is all the back to school shopping that we get to do in preparation, which is why I’m so excited to be partnering with Gymboree. They’ve reimagined their brand and we’re in love with their fresh take on style and kid friendly clothing!!! Since we’ve been shopping at Gymboree since Ozzie was little, seeing all the younger kids in their outfits made me sentimental too.

You really can’t beat a shop that makes it easy to find clothes the kids love and that are also cute, mix and matchable, super comfy and soft and also durable. It definitely makes me smile. Thought it would also be fun to ask the kids what makes them smile too. Here are their answers and a bunch more pics of them breaking in their new Gymboree digs around town!

TILLY | my friends, candy, polka-dots, + you know… funny stuff. like dad jokes.

ESPEN | my bed. (spoken like a true tween)

GRIFFIN | hugging my mom, lemon muffins (lol, if you saw his bday interview), movie night, getting gifts.

POPPY | going on an airplane. my heart blankey.

Can I get everything in my size too, please!? I especially love Griffin’s top, Tilly’s jeans, Poppy’s dress and jacket, and Espen’s sweatshirt.

Poppy didn’t want to take off her headband at the end of the night either which is rare for her and hair accessories so it must have been comfy :)

The bottom pic — when Johan told them to look serious — Griffin’s expression cracks me up!

I so wish scooters could be our main source of transportation. It’s my favorite!

All the best – go with anything – footwear. And no one complained about their feet being sore!

Thank you kids and summer for all the smiles!!! And a big thanks to Gymboree for sponsoring this post and putting together such a fun #madeyousmile campaign!

Hope this post and all the cute new back to school styles made you smile too!

XO, Rae

2

GRIFFIN IS 7 + A Q+A

You guys!!!! Griffin turns 7 today. It seems impossible that he’s another year older and as much as I would like to keep him 6 and do kindergarten all over, he’s grown up so much this year that he’s really earned the age upgrade. Remember how much fun it was to be another year older!??? Last night he insisted on sleeping in the clothes he wanted to wear on his Birthday day. Boyfriend knows what he wants sometimes and other times he’s so worried about missing out that making up his mind seems impossible (he get’s that from me)!

We put together this little interview video to celebrate his b-day and I think it really shows his personality! I’ve probably watched it a million times since Johan finished editing.

Griffin William, every minute I spend with you I fall a little more in love with you. So curious to see what you will do with your brains and humor and energy and hardworking attitude and attention to detail and attentiveness for people and sweetness in general. Daddy and I predict entrepreneur or surgeon (hello fine-motor skills), but whatever you end up doing we know you’ll do your very best and always love on people in the process. The world is better with you in it! We love you so much.

Shared a few Birthday moments on Instagram Stories this morning and are currently headed to Whidbey Island to party all day on the beach. Hope you guys are having an amazing Saturday and finding a million reasons (big and small) to celebrate!

XO, Rae

P.S. – Remember Tilly’s interview video?

2

A DAY IN THE LIFE: 5 THINGS THAT MAKE OUR BEDTIME ROUTINE EASIER

Some nights (especially during the summer) we are carrying kids from the car into bed without tubs, jammies or brushing their teeth. Other nights, bedtimes are a full-blown process that I love and look forward to.  And then there are those nights every once in a while that I’m just really ready to be “off-duty”. That being said, I didn’t think our routine (or lack there of) would be all that helpful. So instead I thought I’d share the 5 things that we wouldn’t want to do bedtimes without! Would love to know what your must-haves would be, too!

1. A GIANT FAN IN THE HALLWAY – more often than not, the kids are all at different levels of tired when bedtime rolls around so the fan does wonders to muffle the noise coming from the more energetic or overly tired kids. So I usually turn it on once we are upstairs for bedtime until everyone is asleep and then plug it in once I get up in the morning until everyone is awake. We have the Patton three speed floor fan and keep it on the lowest setting — unless of course we’re using it to make a fort :)

2. ESSENTIAL OIL BEDTIME BLEND – Another thing I turn on as soon as we head upstairs is our diffusor! Wouldn’t say it magically makes my kids fall asleep, but it does help set the tone and smells delicious. My favorite bedtime oils are: lavender, wild orange, frankincense, cedarwood (if the kids have a stuffy nose or cough), and bergamot.

3. A BLUETOOTH SPEAKER & LULLABYS – I guess we need a lot of white noise in our house, lol, but it’s so nice to have soft music on and is another way to set the tone. We have an older version of this speaker (this is a good option too!) and then i usually play a lullaby mix on pandora.

4. AMAZING BOOKS – This is a given, but I think it’s also nice to stock up on books that non-reading kids can flip through (we love this hide and seek book) while they wait for you to be done tucking in someone else, etc.. Audio books are a good idea too!

  

Last but not least, it’s always good to have a running list of seemingly spontaneous bedtime activities. A few that work for us…

5. A BAG OF TRICKS

  • Yoga or mindfulness: I’ll either make things up as we go (balance poses, stretching or laying down poses are best at bedtime!) or turn on cosmic kids on youtube which is amazing! For mindfulness or guided meditation I’ll hop on go noodle (look in the “flow” section) or search youtube.
  • “Plan” something fun: like a special bath bomb, animal face masks, painting with watercolors or eating popsicles in the tub, making a fort to read books in, etc.
  • When you need a break: not every bedtime has to be magical and despite all the studies, you can still raise kids that love to read without reading to them EVERY night. Opt for a quick show (my kids love when it’s in our bed), a few minutes of tech time, an audio book and if certain kids are extra wild I’ll ask if they (mostly Tilly) would like a melatonin :)

One other thing I do that I think helps is making sure all the overhead lights are off in the kids’ rooms and instead turn on their reading lights. Since it’s so bright at night in the summer it doesn’t make as much of a difference, but the rest of the year I swear by doing this!

There is truly nothing as sweet as spending that last hour or so of the day with my kids — it’s a sacred time that I rarely want to miss… Now if we could just get everyone to bed before 10pm that would be great. Although, who has time for early bedtimes in the summer?

Would love to know what works for you at bedtime!?

XO, Rae

2

HOW TO SCAN, EDIT + BLOW UP KID’S ART

There are a number of places I look for inspiration when working… old pictures, an outing or road trip, a J.Crew catalogue (or is that retail therapy/procrastination?), going for a walk, etc. but my favorite inspiration comes from my kids’ drawings, doodles and art projects. I just honestly can’t get enough of them or the simple playfulness that they represent. So when I refreshed my office last year, I know I wanted to frame some of their art. Since then I’ve gotten several questions asking for details on editing the colors and blowing them up and I’m excited to be sharing the DIY today! I’m going to keep it pretty generic since I know there are several different photo editing options out there and I don’t want anyone to feel like this tutorial won’t work for them because there is always a way!

YOU’LL NEED:

  • a photo editing software (such as photoshop or gimp)
  • white card stock and selection of markers (we just used black) or drawings/doodles your kids have made
  • a photo or printing service you like to use (we mostly use costco!)
  • frames if desired

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Set out paper and markers and ask kids to draw/scribble/doodle. Just remember the less busy the paper get’s the easier it will be to edit… and the better it will look framed. I had asked my kids to “keep it simple” but still had to kinda watch or they would just keep adding to it! ha! I also gave my kids 4 pieces of paper each so they didn’t feel like they had to fit everything into one pic.
  2. Scan pictures into your computer — make sure the setting is high resolution and 300dpi! I always have the best luck when I save or export as a PNG file.
  3. If you want to make changes, open in photo editing program and get to work! I started by cleaning up some of their lines and things I didn’t want included in the big prints. For instance, Griffin’s apple drawing also included a sun with a face which was really cute but not as clear. So I used the healing/erase tool to take it off. You could also do a clipping mask around the things you want to keep. I also loved that he had written his name so wanted to make sure I kept that part!
  4. Next, play with the colors… if you get stuck, hop on youtube and search “how to manipulate colors in (name of program)?”
  5. When your done, export/save file as a high resolution 300dpi PNG and upload to the printer!

Taco truck by Ozzie :) the backend was a little messy so I cropped it and “tacos” was hard to read so I erased and added text in it’s place.

For Tilly’s emoji below, I made her outline white, eyes teal, and added a background color. It was originally all black like the taco truck above.

For Griffin’s lava monster I made the marker lines white, added a background and added a word bubble with text so we would always know what the drawing was of!

Love having these sweet drawings in my office and would be equally cute to do the same with toddler scribbles, don’t you think!?

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Love ya!

xo, Rae

1

THINGS WE LOVE: DANCE PARTIES + DONUTS

RECIPE FOR A HAPPY MONDAY:

  1. pump up music
  2. booty shaking
  3. donuts. 

Press play and see if you can spot Griffin’s fortnite dance move, paper-rock-scissors for the maple with chocolate chips donut, the hair flip, Tilly’s cute bestie Londan, Johan trying to spin Poppy and then Espen, and my embarrassing solo (hashtag mom-moves)!? HA!

Sent the kids off to school for the last Monday of the year and it feels so good to be almost done (last day is Thursday!).

Hope you’re having a good Monday but if not, follow the recipe above :)

XO, Rae

PS – if you aren’t already following us on youtube, CLICK HERE! 

0

THINGS EVERY KID’S BEDROOM NEEDS

Happy, happy Friday!!!

We’ve been working on a bedroom refresh for the boys shared room the last couple weeks and it’s been a lot of fun seeing it come together… especially since the boys are so excited about it! While Johan worked on the painting part (watch his trick for getting a perfect paint line on stories under “home projects”) I made a list of all the things I thought a kids room should include. Sharing my list below and hoping you’ll let me know what you would add or take-away! Sources listed and linked when possible below too…

KID ROOM MUST-HAVES:

  1. pics of them as a baby, with their fam and/or doing something they love
  2. wall art that is encouraging or scripture/truth
  3. cozy blanket or quilt (even better if handmade… thank you gigi!)
  4. hooks
  5. bins (big and small) for alllll the thiiiiings
  6. cozy chair/pouf/bean bag
  7. their own art
  8. book bin or shelf
  9. treasure box (bonus if it locks… especially if sharing a room)
  10. reading light
  11. a clock
  12. hamper and garbage can (although, the boys room is next-door to the laundry room so I probably won’t include either of these)
  13. bluetooth speaker for music and audio books
  14. a fan (for summer and white noise)
  15. an essential oil diffusor

Long live bed jumping, foam fingers and bins of legos under the bed!!!

ROOM SOURCES | vintage flag found on etsy, red lock box from IKEA (old), duvet cover from IKEA (old), bed frame from IKEA (couldn’t find online), lion head from Target, navy strip bin from Target, Griffin’s tee and shorts from J.Crew (40% off rn!), cute sheets from crate & kids, rug from crate & kids, drum light shade from color cord company

What would you add or take-away from the list!?

Still need to hang artwork and pics, find a bean bag (if you have any recs!?) and clock and make a basketball hoop, and hang a rolling door to the closet, but should be able to share a full reveal next week.

XO, Rae

7

LET’S CHAT: SLEEPOVERS + SUMBER-PARTIES

We still have 2 weeks left of school, but our summer bucket list is filling up fast! At the top of the kids’ list is planning sleepovers with friends. For the most part we only do overnights with family or friends that are like family (most of which live in the same neighborhood) but a couple of the kids are wanting to branch out a little and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Actually I know exactly how I feel about it, LOL… and my answer would always be ‘NO’! But I also remember how much fun sleepovers were when I was a kid so then I feel a little guilty. So I’m curious, what are your rules for sleepovers? Or what rules did you have growing up?

(sibling slumber parties forever!)

Ozzie didn’t start having sleepovers with friends who’s parents we weren’t close to until his Freshman year of high school and by then we knew his friends so well and had been around their parents enough at youth events to feel comfortable with it.

My mom, on the other hand, had a “strength in numbers” take on it, so group sleepovers for birthday parties and stuff were ok and I think that worked out really well.

Anyways, would love to know your thoughts on the subject!

XO, Rae

3

TILLY LATELY AND A Q&A

I always tell Tilly she was my best surprise ever, and it’s true. Since we didn’t find out gender while I was pregnant with her, I had very similar pregnancies with my two boys, and always felt like I’d be a boy mama, I assumed she would be a boy and boy, was I wrong. It was a magical moment when the Dr. yelled out, “It’s a girl!” and laid her on my chest. I’m learning more and more everyday, how to be a girl mom to such an incredible human… She is fiercely independent, a total overachiever, super helpful when she wants to be, makes life exciting, loves crafting and making, and has the biggest sweet tooth… you’ll see more about that in the video.

I had the best time listening to her answers and hope it’s entertaining for you too… press play!

Her “special thing”, HA! She tends to need a few minutes to cool off when she’s upset,  but when we’d ask her to go to her room until she’s ready to chat, she would throw a fit on her way up. Then one day about a year ago she quietly walked up to her room without a fuss when we asked. I was shocked so followed her up a minute later and saw her snacking on a small handful of m&m’s. When I asked her about it the next day she spilled the beans and said a little bit of sugar made her feel better, LOL. Mostly amazed at how self aware she is but also realize that I’m raising an emotional eater — kinda figure that we’re all emotional eaters on some level and hope that as long as we workout the problems it won’t get out of hand!

Excited to do a Q&A video with the rest of the kids… next up will be Griffin I think :)

Happy Monday you guys!

xo, Rae

5

JOINING THE FAMILY CIRCUS

It’s no secret, motherhood can feel like a circus sometimes. Errr, a lot of the times ;). After reading the actual definition of a circus I’m more convinced than ever that it’s a pretty good metaphor. With Mother’s Day approaching and summer sneaking up on us, I’ve rounded up a few things to help make the days of juggling, managing, and accompanying your traveling group of acrobats, animals, clowns and performers, extra fun and festive!

  1. Saw flags like this at the kid party in the movie Mother’s Day and it looked so fun and festive! Plus they don’t cost much.
  2. Clown noses, just for fun.
  3. Circus food? Yes, please! I have this popcorn maker (not super efficient but the kids love it!), this snow cone maker (or this one) got great reviews, and who doesn’t want a little cotton candy sometimes?
  4. Love this dress.
  5. Just ordered this top on major sale.
  6. Animal cracker fudge seems like a good reason to spend time together in the kitchen. Don’t forget to share with friends!
  7. Cute sandals for when you take the circus on the road.
  8. Popcorn bags might come in handy for snack time.
  9. We’ve been trying to figure out a rewards/chores system for the kids this summer. Fair tickets might be just the thing! I like these star ones too.
  10. Wide stripes for the boys! Here’s one that’s on sale for your main squeeze too :)
  11. A diffusor (and some music) is the best way to set the vibe for your circus… add 4 drops grapefruit, 3 drops ylang-ylang, and 2 drops vanilla essential oils for a cotton candy blend. Unlike the sugary version you eat, the oils have health bennies that fight depression, help you destress and curb food cravings.
  12. Tilly and her friend have been having fun with face paint lately!
  13. A megaphone for those days when your inside voice isn’t doing the job and you don’t want to yell :)

cir·cus (noun): 1. a traveling company of acrobats, trained animals, and clowns that gives performances, typically in a large tent, in a series of different places.

See what I mean, LOL?

XO, Rae

0

5 TIPS FOR RAISING CONFIDENT KIDS

Kids are naturally curious, joyful, and magical little humans with their own funny quarks and uniqueness and as their parents its easy to see their genius. Yet, no matter how much I believe in their abilities and potential, life has a sneaky way of  exposing kids to criticism, comparison and the pressure to succeed.

One of our sweet babes is really struggling with this lately — stressing out about everything from what she wears, to test scores, to running days in P.E. and even whether or not a certain person likes them — which has led me to do ALL THE READING on building confidence and spunk in children while teaching them to trust in the one who Created them too. Instead of dumping an overwhelming list of do’s, don’ts and concepts on the subject I thought I’d keep things simple and share the 5 things that have stuck out to me most.

5 WAYS TO RAISE CONFIDENT KIDS

  1. Model confidence! One of our therapist’s favorite sayings is, “Your home is a school. What are you teaching your kids?” and it always stops me in my tracks! What am I teaching them about self-talk, self-care, trying new things, responding to failure, dealing with setbacks, setting goals, God’s grace, perfectionism, and all that jazz?
  2. Teaching a growth mindset which states that our intelligence, personality and creativity can be developed and cultivated through effort. (loved this book on the subject and here’s a few great children’s books too 1/2/3/4/5/6)
  3. Giving kids a safe place to fail, struggle with a task, or be upset about something. Danny Silk does a great job of explaining the concept in THIS BOOK. Here’s a quick peek at a few of the things discussed in the book. Also really good (but not related) is what he says about giving choices in this video.
  4. Provide age appropriate opportunities for kids to be independent, self-sufficient and try new things! Kitchen activities, chores, physical activities and joining sports teams and classes is a great example.
  5. Serve others! In my opinion, there is nothing that boosts confidence and self worth like building relationships and realizing that you have the ability to effect someone’s life in a positive way.

Now for a few picks from our basket shooting, roller skating and jump roping adventures from last week when it wouldn’t stop raining! Found shelter and some much needed room to run in an undercover area at the kids’ school.

Oh my, that face.

What else would you add to the confidence building list?

Also, if you have any great parenting books or resource recs, please share in the comments. Definitely need all the help I can get around here!

XO, Rae

SaveSave

3

LITTLE BITES: ESPEN’S BUENO GUACAMOLE RECIPE

Poppy’s mantra — feed me and tell me I’m pretty. So it’s no surprise she’s 100% smitten with Espen in this pic, who just finished making guacamole for them to snack on. And I kinda think she’s onto something because there is nothing cuter than a guy (big or small) that knows his way around the kitchen! Allllll the kisses for the cook!

Todays recipe is courtesy of our Latina friend Maria (who we love so much!). It’s the best guac I’ve ever tasted and is perfect for little helpers! Espen (11) and Tilly (9) are able to make it themselves (with supervision) which is kinda nice and fun to watch. And the younger kids enjoy smashing the avocados, adding things to the food processor and pushing the buttons. So you’re basically just there to make sure the lid get’s put on before any buttons are pushed :)

Recipe below!

Gotta love a bikini clad audience! Ha! She changes outfits a few times a day when we’re home and there is often either a swimsuit or a princess dress involved. (Gingham bikini from our fave Olivia + Ocean)

NOTE: If you like your guac smooth, add everything to the food processor and chop (don’t puree). If you like it with more texture, mash the avos by hand. 

MARIA’S GUACAMOLE RECIPE

You’ll Need:

  • 2 avocados, halved with pits removed
  • 1/4 onion
  • 3 roma tomatoes, rinsed and cut in half (seeds removed if desired)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, rinsed and non-leafy stems removed
  • fresh juice from 1 lemon (or more to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • garlic salt to taste

To Make:

  1. ADULT, Prep ingredients and spoon small amounts of the salt and garlic salt into small prep bowls. Get the food processor ready.
  2. KIDS, In a small mixing bowl, scoop avocados out of the skins and mash with the bottom of a glass or a fork. Set aside.
  3. KIDS (supervised), Add onion, tomatoes, and cilantro to food processor and chop. Scoop chopped tomato mix to the mashed avocado and stir until combined. Squeeze juice from the lemon into the mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt and garlic salt. Taste test and add more if needed.
  4. KIDS, serve with quesadillas, tortilla chips or nachos OR as a topping for tacos, sandwiches, toast, burrito bowls, etc.

We’re ready for ya, Taco Tuesday!!!!

I have a feeling we’ll be making a lot of this next week on vacay!

What’s your favorite thing to eat (or drink) on taco night?

XO, Rae

0