Archive | KIDS

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

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

2

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

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

1

LITTLE TOURIST: WHAT WE DID IN NY, DAY 1

We’ve been back for almost 2 weeks now but it’s taken me this long to go through all the pics and process everything we did in NY. I was a little intimidated by the thought of navigating the city with kids when I booked the trip but luckily we were staying with my brother and sister-in-law who have been living there for awhile and are total pros! We crammed so much in during our stay that I’m going to break up our trip day by day.

Day 1 started after a red-eye from Seattle which worked out well with my kids at their ages (Espen 10 and Tilly 8). None of us slept much (despite carrying on pillows, blankets and melatonin!) but the excitement kept us going and our exhaustion at the end of the day made the time change no big deal. Here’s a look at what we did…

First up was a drive-by past Lady Liberty. It was no.1 on Tilly’s bucket list but booking a tour costs a lot and took up most of a day and I wasn’t sure it would hold their attention much. So, my brilliant sister in law suggested hopping on the Staten Island ferry (it’s free!) instead. I googled fun facts about the statue while we road by (there and back) and got plenty of pictures which seemed to satisfy everyone. Bonus that it only took about an hour!

After getting off the ferry we walked over to Battery Park to see the Bull (and rub his balls for good luck :). The SHE statue was also still there which I was so excited about. I’m more of a humanist than feminist, but her addition to the bull gives me all kinds of warm fuzzies.

We also stopped for a ride on the sea glass carousel which was so pretty!

Next stop was a late lunch at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park which was no.1 on my bucket list. Johan and I ate there during our last trip and I’ve been craving it ever since.

The last stop of the day was Rockefeller Center and Time Square where we saw Elmo, a totally impressive subway performer, naked painted ladies in thongs, beautiful art installments (the “x” chairs and piano), a unicorn man and a really cool dance group… definitely not my normal scene or vibe but a lot of fun and totally worth it!

All in all, we ended up doing so much more on the first day and literally went until we dropped. The kids actually dozed off on the Subway ride home!

Thanks so much for letting me share our trip with you! If there are any other details you’d like to hear more about let me know and I’ll include it in the follow up posts.

xo, Rae

*Beautiful pictures snapped by my sister in law Alex, who is coming to Seattle in a couple weeks and will be hosting mini sessions for anyone that is interested, DM her on Instagram!!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

4

PLAY-OFFICE SOURCES

Thanks for all the comments and questions from my last post! As promised, I’m back with sources from our shared play-office reveal. Excuse the delay but I got a tip that a lot of the items would be on sale for memorial day weekend and wanted to make sure you got killer deals on anything you might want. Before starting, I reached out to the Land of Nod to see if they would be willing to send over a few goodies, so you may notice a big chunk of the room is from them. They are the best at designing for kids while also keeping in mind grownups and older kids and their decor always mix and matches so well with the rest of the house. I absolutely love working with them!

Keep scrolling for sources…

(see before post here and full room reveal here!)

1 | pendant light, land of nod

2 | colorful penant garland, land of nod

3 | cat + dog, land of nod

4 | arrow wall hooks, land of nod

5 | dress-up mirror, $5 at walmart

6 | red pony hoppy toy, the most played with toy in our home from amazon (also great for bday gifts!)

7 | folk denim rug, land of nod… love this so much I almost gave it a home in our family room!

8 | gold dot decals, land of nod

1 | hand drawn kid art, DIY coming soon!

2 | frame, spray painted gold from ikea

3 | pom-pom garland, land of nod

4 | frame thrifted — arrow print, coming soon as a free download

5 | play on player print, land of nod

6 | half dot garland, land of nod

7 + 11 | basket, land of nod

8 | dog balloon bookend, land of nod

9 | things divided bin, $8 at land of nod right now… also have one in the kids bathroom for toothbrushes, etc. and it works perfectly!

10 | white locker, ikea

 

1 | woven wallhanging, land of nod

2 | apple pillow, old from land of nod (so many cute throw pillows) or similar from blabla kids (scroll down for the apple)

3 | bean bag, a favorite addition from land of nod

4 | basket, land of nod

1 | ikea kitchen makeover, my blog

2 | ice cream cones, oriental trading

3 | play fridge, land of nod (obsessed!)

4 | folk denim rug, land of nod

1 | wood sign diy here, on a friend’s blog!

2 | desk top + legs, ikea

3 | chair, amazon

Let me know if I missed anything! Happy long weekend (and bargain shopping)!

xo, Rae

2

PLAY-OFFICE ROOM MAKEOVER

Our play-office makeover is finished and even though I never in a million years thought I would be willing to share an office with my little people, I couldn’t be happier to be sitting and working in a freshly painted, decorated and kid friendly office space. It’s been getting lots of use, staying relatively clean and working out really well for everyone so far! Now, instead of my kids annoyingly moaning and rolling around on the floor while I finish up an email or save design files, they have lots of toys and activities to keep them busy. For all the mamas who understand what it’s like to try and finish a task while kids are awake, you know what a blessing that is.

Enough of me chit-chatting… welcome to our play-office! Take a peek at the pics and let me know if you have questions! I’ll work on a post with sources to share tomorrow or Wednesday.

(The dress-up corner)

(A favorite addition to the room… I think they need names!?)

(My desk area… Wasn’t sure if I would like my desk and computer in front of the window, but really love it! Bonus that it makes keeping an eye on scooter riding, street hockey playing, baseball throwing kids, super easy. Something I will be extra grateful for come summer!)

(Nothing like a pretty ceiling light and rug to make a room feel pulled together and a little more grown-up.)

(Play kitchen. The stove and sink was an ikea hack – see the post here – and the refrigerator is new and a total god-send since it easily stores lots of kitchen accessories.)

(Favorite part of the room makeover is this wall! I asked the kids to draw simple pictures and then scanned, made some small edits and had them printed as posters. Working on a full tutorial to share! The TV was another thing I was unsure of, but it’s been nice to have… you may have seen the kids following along with a yoga show on my Instagram stories last week :)

(Last but not least, a comfy reading area complete with an oversized beanbag and cute basket to hold books.)

Are there any spaces in your home that you swore you would never share with your kids, but find them using often?

For me, another room would be our master bath. In our last home the 2 upstairs bathrooms were basically the same size so there wasn’t much sharing going on. When we moved into our current home, I swore the master bath with giant tub and double sinks would remain free from kid-sized clothes, towels, and toys. However that didn’t last long, LOL. Choosing a big open space for bathing all the kids is too good to pass up, plus I get a chance to tidy up the counter and closet floor while they splish-splash for a few minutes.  It’s a win-win for all of us.

XO, Rae

14

IT’S (ALMOST) SUMMER, COUNTDOWN CHAIN

It barely (if at all) feels like spring around here, but that hasn’t stopped my kids from asking, thinking, and talking about summer non-stop. Not that I can blame them. The chatter started a month or so ago when Griffin and Tilly began asking how many sleeps until summer (aka the last day of school). After a week of trying to figure it out in my head and give them an estimate, I gave up and started keeping the day calculator site open on my phone. But even that was getting old, so over the weekend we decided to go old school and staple together a countdown chain. Now the next time they ask, I can say, “you should go count and let me know!” Plus, it looks summery and cute hanging in the kitchen.

I’m sure you guys all know how to put together a chain, but measurements always help! I used 12×12 sheets of craft paper and was able to get 10 — 8 x 1.5 inch strips out of each sheet.

Who’s ready for suuuuuumer!? These guys are. Poppy can hardly keep her pants up she’s so excited :)

Now we just need to figure out what our summer schedule and calendar looks like. Even though we still have 50 days to figure it out, I know it’s going to fly-by! So far swim lessons and our annual camping trip is all we have planned… What’s on your schedule this summer!?

xo, Rae

GRIFFIN | tee (old from peek but on sale in baby sizes and so many other cute ones to choose from), shorts

POPPY | mauve stripe outfit, sunnies

2

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

2

WORK + PLAY WITH RYAN AND WREN

Happy second day of SPRING friends! Anyone else getting the urge to spruce up everything in your home and wardrobes? The spring cleaning bug is real I tell ya.

To celebrate the fresh new season we put together a collection of 5 clips, perfect for spring, with ryan and wren (our fave hair clip co.) that will freshen up your little girl’s accessory stash and we’re giving away a set too!

To enter to win one set of my 5 clips (pictured below) from ryan and wren, head to Instagram, follow @raeannkelly and @ryanandwren and leave a comment on this post, letting me know one thing thats on your spring bucket list. Contest closes Friday, March 24th at 12pm PST. One (1) lucky winner will be picked later that night and notified by direct message on Instagram.

For all the boy mamas out there, these clips would make a great gift so I hope you’ll enter and share with friends :)

CLIPS INCLUDED | yellow, denim, purple, spotted, and floral

So hard to pick one color and design so we double up somedays!

Will model hair clips for cake pops, lemonade, and cheap sunglasses, ha!

This set of clips will be available for purchase later this week and you should also checkout Mary’s (the mama behind ryan and wren) Easter basket clips… so much cuteness on one Etsy shop!

XO, Rae

P.S. – they work great it Tilly’s hair too! To help keep them stay in place for long (and busy) school days when she doesn’t want to bother having to adjust them, I add a little  rubber band.

11

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

0

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

1

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

0