Archive | LIFE


The countdown chain has been made, a to do list has been written and bags are starting to be packed — or should I say, piles are starting to be made — for our trip to Arizona over spring break and I would love suggestions for places to visit, eat and play! You guys always have the best ideas.

Here are a few other random things that have been happening around our abode.

  1. On the way to Ozzie’s baseball game on Monday Poppy yelled from the backseat of the car, “We for-totally-got bubble gum!” I about died. And in case you are wondering, we didn’t forget to pack the gum… gum and suckers are staples on game days!
  2. We went to the library on Tuesday and checked out a big stack of books including this cute one about a rainy day! Did you know you can checkout audio books using the app Libby now too? Anyways, it was a great way to kill an hour and the kids had fun so we’ll definitely be going back. Hopefully with a complete stack of the books we check-out last time. That kinda stresses me out, LOL. I hate late fees!
  3. Yesterday Johan and I recreated our first date! We split a burger and fries for lunch while watching a March Madness game. It was the perfect low-key date the first time (especially for a dude) and it was just as fun the second time… I forgot how much I love a mid-day date. Would you want to recreate your first date? What would it be!?
  4. Daylight savings. Yikes! I keep seeing and hearing comments about how hard it is to get kids back on schedule but truth be told, I’m the one that can’t seem to figure things out! Aside from the leftovers I served last night at 6:45, I haven’t managed to have dinner ready before 7 all week. Nor have I managed to get up early enough to workout before finishing a post and getting the kids up. Hopefully I’ll be able to make up for over the weekend!
  5. Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day! Kinda bummed that it’s not on a school day for the kids… Wearing green, getting pinched and classroom parties are the fun part! But there is still lots of fun to be had… Here’s a few ideas from the archive: lucky charms goodie bags with printables | if you need some fun snack ideas | or a sweet treat | don’t forget about this rainbow craft | a “kiss me” garland

I hope you guys all have a great weekend!

XO, Rae



I’m convinced we’re never fully ready to love, lead and steward our little people which is kind of a scary thought! Of course it’s nothing a good parenting book, glass of wine, friend, laugh and prayer can’t fix. Yet, every time I think I have things figured out, we enter a new phase of parenting. You too? I’ve found this only leaves me with a couple choices. 1. Stay set in my ways and get caught up in power struggles with my babes, or 2. Meet my kids right where they’re at and grow, learn and do better right alongside them. Sometimes it takes me awhile to catch on to what the real issue is on a parenting dilemma, but hope with all my heart that I will always choose to do number 2, eventually :). Comfort zones are so overrated.

Luckily (HA!) Tilly Jane (our 9 y.o.) always wears her heart on her sleeve so I never have to guess how I’m doing as a mom or what side of the parenting spectrum I fall on. From the second she was born a girl (I was expecting a 3rd boy) she has kept me on my toes while challenging my priorities and approach to life in general. As a toddler she was a wanderer and could disappear in a nano-second, said everything that came into her cute little head (still does), had zero fear of strangers, heights, or consequences, would lovingly tackle and wrestle people during any kind of organized event (like story time at the library), and has been fiercely independent since the day she could walk.

TILLY’S OUTFIT DETAILS | denim jacket (tucker + tate from nordstrom), joggers (Athleta), fruit tee (from J. Crew), sandals (from Target), hair clip (from ryan and wren)

I always seem to be working on something when it comes to our relationship and lately, I’m embarrassed to say, her wardrobe has been a big issue (because it really shouldn’t be). But, I think I’ve finally learned a few lesson(s) and thought I would share in case you guys have a little or big kid that is picky (with a capital P)  about clothes!


  1. If you can’t play in it, don’t wear it.
  2. Wear what you like even if what you like is in your big brother’s closet. (Her current favorite place to pick out an outfit… She loves her brother SOOO much!)
  3. Shoes, jackets and accessories make all the difference when toning down or tszujing up an outfit, flower girl dress or batman costume. (HA!)
  4. To think outside the box, store or department… (she’s been picking lots of things from the boy section of stores, like her blue sandals from Target, and I think it looks so cute!)
  5. Picking outfits out the night (or even week) before is always a good idea!
  6. Personal styles and trends come and go but confidence and self love is always “in”.
  7. My approval and appreciation is far more important than my input.
  8. How to be more present in the moment and less concerned with keeping things tidy (i.e. an outfit, the house, emotions, failures, etc.)
  9. No one else really cares what my kids are wearing — unless they think it’s cute, LOL.
  10. The world doesn’t need perfect, well-dressed kids. It needs mindful, empathetic, and unique kids that are positioned for g-r-e-a-t-n-e-s-s.

ILY Tilly Jane!

Do you guys have wardrobe struggles with your kids?

Also, working on a style Q&A series so if you have any questions, ask away in the comments!

xo, Rae



It’s one thing to have a serious conversation with someone in person on topics as heavy as school shootings, and another to just put my thoughts and ideas out there in writing and with it the responsibility and consequences (good or bad) of my words. To be honest, I’m a little nervous about sharing my thoughts, however I just can’t shake the urge to write and share and hopefully do something positive about what’s happening in our country regarding our kids and gun control.

Political positions aside, one thing I HOPE we can agree on is that what happened in Florida (and other schools) was awful and gut wrenching, and it should never have happen. Ever.

In my opinion, we have a problem with guns in this country but I also don’t think taking away guns would take away gun violence completely. So let’s save that convo for a different time and look at things from a different point of view because there’s another common thread between mass shootings. The gunman’s are boys. BOYS!!!?

As a mama of 3 of the sweetest boys, I hate this fact. However, it also gives me so much hope and here’s why… changing gun laws seems simple enough but in reality is incredibly complex (and frustrating to watch) and there is very little we can do about it on a daily basis. Changing our culture to invest and support boyhood however, seems complicated but is in fact really simple because it starts with us, our neighbors, our schools and our community and we can make a difference every single day.

That’s good news, right?! A few other things I’m believing and clinging to…

  • That being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger would change everything when dealing with conflict and challenges, but especially our effectiveness. (You guys have to listen to this message! It’s so good and highly entertaining too.)
  • That gun law reform is crucial and will happen eventually (I mean, why can an 18 year old buy a gun?).
  • That we are creative and resourceful enough to start a movement for the boys of this country that empowers, encourages and provides value, connection and a strong identity.
  • That we can influence our culture. (If hip, hop can do it, so can we ;)
  • That prayer is powerful, especially when it leads to action.

On a personal note, we’ve already had some gun related scares at Ozzie’s high school this year and next year Espen will be headed to Middle School. I’m unsure of the best way to contribute to the solution but I’m also not willing to wait for gun laws to change to do anything about the problem.

I know this is kinda heavy compared to my usually lighthearted content, and trust me that is way more in my comfort zone, but if you guys have any good resources or ideas on the topic, please share!!! There is strength in numbers and doing things together!

XO, Rae

PS — Another great (must read) article on the subject of boys is HERE!












Nothing says LOVE like a boombox serenade! Or in Espen’s case, a bluetooth serenade :)

Put together a few songs that will get everyone dancing, feeling all the feels, and aren’t too heavy on the mushy side! I couldn’t decide on a specific genre so they’re a little random, however the playlist does start out fun and upbeat and gets more mellow towards the end so it’s perfect for that morning or evening grind.

  1. be my honeypie, the weepies
  2. best of my love, emotions
  3. wildflowers, tom petty
  4. stay stay stay, taylor swift
  5. i wanna dance with somebody, whitney houston
  6. man of the woods, justin timberlake
  7. i think we’re alone now, tiffany
  8. love me do, the beatles
  9. still got time, zayn
  10. all the pennies, mindy gledhill
  11. you are the best thing, ray lamontagne
  12. i got you babe, sonny + cher
  13. my sweet darling, seth fallen + the reaction
  14. die a happy man, thomas rhett
  15. i love you, alex + sierra
  16. bottom of the sea, matt nathanson
  17. sweet creature, harry styles
  18. i do, susie suh
  19. crazy love, van morrison
  20. at last, etta james

What songs would you add?

XO, Rae



We made it through January (still celebrating over here!), the sun stays in the sky a little longer everyday, and I finally started to break out of my winter rut you guys. Hallelujah! Even though it’ll be awhile before we see a decent amount of blue skies and sunshine here in the PNW, it seems like we’ve turned the corner and that gives me all the good feels.

In addition to a general attitude adjustment :), getting out of the house always helps beat those winter blues so last week we visited a couple of our favorite local places — the second hand bookstore and the crepe shop! Anytime we can leave the house without a looong shopping or to do list is such a treat. It just takes an extra dose of motivation to go anywhere when we don’t have to this time of year, LOL. Always happy when we decided to go tho!

So many treasures for the kids to find and look at! Funny how entertaining it is to look at things that don’t belong to you and so nice to be in a store where it’s okay for the kids to touch just about anything!

Always running circles around me! Also, Griffin is never not touching a sibling or parent. It’s the sweetest thing although his sister doesn’t always agree :)

We’re still collecting books with colorful covers to fill the built-in shelves in our family room which was part of our motivation for heading to the secondhand bookstore. You’ll never guess what book I found with a vintage orange spine in the discount section…. “cheaper by the dozen”!!! Jackpot! Haha! Still so excited about it and found the perfect spot to put it.

Next stop was crepes, because well, crepes and nutella and fruit and whip are always a good idea. I also love anytime we eat while out and about (even if I pack something) so I don’t have to get a lunch spread out at home before naps! Not sure if that qualifies as a mom hack, but it should!

A little quality lego time (i.e. guess which hand is holding the lego guy) before tucking Poppy in for nap.

Aside from my attitude adjustment and getting out of the house here’s a short list of other ways to beat the winter blues!


  1. Embrace the season + accept it for what it is. (Think Turn! Turn! Turn! by the Beatles and the book of Ecclesiastes). There is a purpose and a reason for each season and God is always busy doing good things through us and with us.
  2. Re-establish part of your routine or schedule that has been bothering you or needs some refining.
  3. Mix things up! Grocery shop somewhere new, try a new recipe, take a new exercise class, paint a room, get a fun haircut, try a new lipstick color, etc.
  4. Take turns planning date nights at home
  5. Read/write/journal
  6. Plan for spring + summer
  7. Workout or have a dance party. Lots of them.
  8. Invite someone over to dinner or host a playdate!
  9. Take vitamins, go to bed earlier, and drink lots of water.
  10. Schedule more time with people you love
  11. Look for ways to make little things extra special – get the most out of tubby time, bedtime, after school snack, quiet time, etc.
  12. Start spring cleaning early
  13. Retail therapy is a thing or put on a cute outfit or dress
  14. A simple staycation can do wonders. Book one night at a hotel with or without kids, just because.
  15. Write a to do lists even if it’s just a list of movies

Here’s another fun list of activities to entertain kids on rainy bad weather days :)

How do you guys beat those winter blues???? Inquiring minds want to know so be sure to share in the comments!

xo, Rae


RAE | pants (on sale!), turtleneck, jacket  (similar and I love this oversized one by topshop!)

GRIFFIN | ski tee, jeans from gap kids (similar)

POPPY | sweater, skirt old from zara kids





The Seattle weather this time of year just about does us all in, so we’re trying to stay busy and distracted over here. A homemade treat, kitchen experiments (slime anyone?), and simple crafts always seem to do the trick tho. If you’re feeling the same way, here are a few Valentines-ey projects that have been giving us life right now and make hunkering down at home feel extra special.


Shared the recipe on my Insta Stories yesterday and added to the “eat” highlight reel for safe keeping too, but it deserves to be documented here too… it’s that good! I cut way back on the chocolate compared to other recipes and will normally add the hearts after the kids dish their bowls so they don’t get too much :)


  • 5 oz. bag popcorn or 15 cups homemade, lightly salted
  • 6 oz. white chocolate, melted
  • sprinkles + conversation hearts


  1. Pour popcorn into a large baking sheet/pan.
  2. Drizzle with white chocolate and sprinkles and then toss until incorporated. Sprinkle hearts over the top. Cover and let sit until chocolate hardens.
  3. Dish up for your little (and big) valentines!


That don’t involve eating them although we know it’s inevitable. A few ideas…

  1. Pour a bunch in a jar and have the kids guess how many, then count together.
  2. Drop a few in a glass of sparkling water or clear soda and watch them dance around. Kinda fun and science-y!
  3. Play around with making and matching patterns, or sorting.
  4. Give everyone a box of hearts, set the timer for a minute (or 5, lol!) and see who can stack them the highest! When you’re done, grab a few snack items from the pantry and use the candies to make individual trail mixes.
  5. Practice fine motor skills with little ones by scooping, and tweezing  hearts from one bowl to another. Challenge older kids to use chopsticks. Here’s a few more montessori inspired activities!
  6. Take it one step further with these fun family night games. Would be fun for sleepovers too!


Can’t beat this classic! I found colored cardboard hearts and googly eyes at target and then cut up strips of text weight paper into strips. Set all the materials out on the table and let the kids get creative. Most of the finished hearts got taped to their bedroom doors which I love!


  • Hearts cutout of card stock or construction paper (found our hearts at Target, but couldn’t find online)
  • Googly eyes
  • Text weight paper, in various colors
  • Tape or glue stick
  • OPTIONAL: smaller hearts cutout for hands and feet, black marker for making a mouth + nose, stickers, pop-pops or other items to embellish with


  1. Cutout hearts and strips of paper for the arms and legs — ours were about 1-1/2 inch wide and 8-1/2 inch long for the legs and 5 inches for the arms.
  2. Fold the strips of paper like an accordion and tape onto the backside of your hearts.
  3. Embelish with eyes, etc. and you’re done!

Aren’t they cute!? And fun for everyone!

How are you guys having fun and staying sane at home on winter days!? This past Saturday we filled the stairway with mattresses so the kids could slide down, LOL. Anything to get some of their energy out these days!

Hope your week is off to a good start!!! Don’t forget to check classroom valentines off your to-do list!

XO, Rae










A NEW ME IN 2018

I’ve been wanting to share my goals and thoughts for the new year but, TBH 2017 kicked my butt and despite all my praying, goal planning, and optimism, 2018 has been off to a rocky start too. So I’ve been holding my heart a little closer these days. Finally feeling ready, excited and just vulnerable enough to write this post… along with the pic above that I never expected to share with anyone. Ever. (haha!) Bet you never thought you’d see me in my undies!!!

A few of my goals for the year:

  1. to be a learner (especially in the area of parenting!)
  2. to let my no be no and my yes, yes. (which is soooo hard for me!)
  3. to make self-care (body, mind a spirit) a priority.

All three seem more than doable but I knew there would be that little voice of insecurity and guilt that would find it’s way into my head the second I felt like my decisions or priorities somehow disappointed or inconvenienced someone else. So I decided to also pick a word for the year and I have to say, it’s been the most helpful and empowering thing. Not to mention, I’m kinda in love with the word:


Which, to me, is just a simple way of saying that my value, decisions and behavior will not be dictated by other people’s unrealistic expectations, moods or negativity. Of course it hasn’t been easy and I’ve failed more than once, but I’m learning, embracing and enjoying the outcome!

All that to say… I’m coming for you 2018! A little slower than I would like, but with a heart full of hope and expectation that no matter how things started and regardless of how many times I fail, the journey will be better than I could dream. God just doesn’t know how to do anything less.

I would love to know how your year is going!? Did you set goals, pick a word, or just decided to do you (boo-boo)?

xo, Rae







Still pretending that 2018 hasn’t actually started… anyone else? Our tree (sans ornaments) and a few strands of twinkle lights are staying up a little longer (no shame) and I feel like I’m still process all the fun we packed into the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years. This year looked so different from years past which wasn’t our plan initially but ended up being my favorite part! There were a few things we didn’t check off our holiday bucket list, like ice skating, but there were several things I hope we can continue to do together! Here are my top 4…

1. SANTA PICS will continue to happen if I have anything to say about it! Being able to look back at pics from each Christmas is one of my favorite family keepsakes.

2. CHRISTMAS JAMMIES are a must for reasons I’m sure I don’t have to explain. As the older kids start to wear random things to bed too this tradition just keeps getting sweeter — seeing everyone in seasonal pjs gives me all the heart eyes! Maybe next year we’ll try matching :)

3. ATTENDING A HOLIDAY PERFORMANCE is one of the things we’ve been inconsistent about but this year we made last minute plans to take Griffin and Poppy to see Elf the Musical and it was definitely a highlight and something I want to be better about next year. Maybe we’ll even plan on doing something different each year… If you have any suggestions, please share in the comments!

4. PLANNING A FEW NIGHTS AWAY AS A FAMILY before Christmas, despite feeling totally overwhelmed before we left, was one of the best decisions we made last month! There is really nothing like time away to help refocus, recharge and make you feel like the luckiest person in the world. Would love to make this a tradition!

(We snuck away to our family cabin in Leavenworth, WA which we are so lucky to have but I think a couple nights anywhere other than home would have done the trick… even if it means fewer gifts under the tree!)

We have yet to establish any kind of New Year’s tradition. This year Johan worked both days, the older kids were with friends and I was asleep before midnight for the first time in forever. It was actually pretty great. However, it would be fun to figure something out that we could all look forward to every year…  or maybe not having a NYE tradition can be our tradition, LOL?

What are some old or new traditions you can’t wait to repeat next year!?

XO, Rae






This year, instead of adding activities and service projects to our advent calendar we kept things simple and filled each pocket with candy canes. While I’ve enjoyed not having the pressure of doing  a l l   t h e   t h i n g s , I’ve missed having the built-in prompts and ideas for things to do with the kids. So, I thought it would be fun to plan a week of service and kindness projects to do with them once they are out of school next week!

Here’s what I’m thinking:


SATURDAY | help firefighters handout the toys and books that were collected during the toy drive

SUNDAY | make a pile of winter coats and snow gear to donate

MONDAY | make fudge to deliver to friends and neighbors

TUESDAY | leave Merry Christmas notes and candy canes for the mail and garbage workers, baristas, and other service employees.

WEDNESDAY | say “Merry Christmas” and smile at everyone we see :)

THURSDAY | sign up to sponsor a child

FRIDAY | write a letter to military members stationed overseas

Would love for you guys to join us or share other project suggestions  in the comments… love trying new things and you guys have the best ideas!

(a pic of Griffin and Poppy for Peek Kids, promoting their #givingtuesday event!)

Another thing I like to do randomly throughout the year, but especially over the holidays, is pay for the order of the person behind me in the Starbucks drive thru. Sunday morning Johan and I snuck away (as the kids were getting up and taking over our bed) for a quick and quiet car ride to Starbucks and decided to treat the person in the car behind us. To our surprise it was Santa behind the wheel! HAHAH. Not sure why, I love buying anyone’s coffee, but the fact it was santa made it so much sweeter.

If you guys have ever wanted to buy for the car behind you but worry about ending up with a $50 starbucks charge, all the baristas I’ve talked to let me know the total charge and ask if it’s okay… its usually somewhere between $4 and $12.

Happy Monday!

XO, Rae

PS — other service project ideas: one | two | three | four




We’re only 4 days into December but just wrapped up a seriously festive weekend and half of me is wishing this is how life always was while the other half is wondering how I’m going to keep up for the next 21 days!? Yesterday after church with friends and a quick visit with my parents, we attended the kids Christmas party at Johan’s fire station. There was Santa, presents, bingo, bouncy houses and an antique firetruck that looked more like Santa’s sleigh (shared a few pics on Insta Stories!). Poppy spent most of the party trying to sneak the bingo prizes and chasing around a little girl that was dressed up like Elsa, asking her to “do the magic!” HAHA! Needless to say, bedtime was easy last night and this morning’s wakeup call was not.

Christmastime with kids is the BEST but can also be exhausting and stressful, even for the little ones. In an effort to keep things somewhat simple while also doing all the things and making it as fun, festive and special as possible — I mean, it is a holiday and birthday all wrapped up into one — I’ve decided to pick a word to focus on for the month.

The word I chose is (drumroll….!):  T O G E T H E R 

Hoping it will bring some focus and clarity to this season and feel like it’s already helping. Particularly when things aren’t going as planned, I’m having a hard time prioritizing my to-do list and commitments or I feel that tendency to compare!

Another way I’m simplifying this month is with this pretty green sweater dress. My kids and husband will attest that I’ve worn it 4 of the last 7 days. You guys know I can’t resist a one and done outfit, but this dress also feels like a snuggie, can be washed and dried on delicate, is long and warm enough not to need tights, and is casual enough for errands but cute enough for church or date night. Oh, and it’s under $100.

Would love to know what your word would be this Holiday Season and what you’ve been wearing on repeat!?

Happy Monday!

xo, Rae

PS — One more way to simplify is by shopping the pop-up and checking teacher, friend and stocking gifts off your list! Oh and don’t forget Holiday cards! Thank for everyone who has already placed an order and have loved seeing everyone’s choices and family photos so much! The shop will close this Friday and all orders will ship by the following Tuesday.




Can you guys even believe how close we are to Christmas!? Going to try, try, try, to get most of the stressful holiday to-do’s checked off this week (i.e. gift shopping and Christmas cards!) so I can enjoy as much of the season with my people as possible. If you’re feeling the same way, there’s a promo happening today for 20% off holiday cards with code HOHOHO in the POP-UP and lots of good stocking stuffers and hostess/friend/teacher gifts too!

Before I get too carried away by the Christmas magic, a little recap of our Thanksgiving. We hosted for the second time and had the best time!


We hosted friends and family — 10 kids and 9 adults.

Started the day with a 6am run and prayer time with my favorite guy, before putting the bird in the oven.

Made turkey hand drawings and ate lots of the real stuff too! (can’t believe I didn’t snap a pic of Johan carving it!)

The kids drank their weight in sparkling cider.

Made all the kids (even the biggest) drink out of a cup with a lid and guess what? Didn’t clean up a single spill all day.

Was thankful for the paper tablecloth from Target that kept the kids busy.

Played games. Lots of them.

Enjoyed the heatwave (in the 60’s!).

Were a work in progress (always) but made it work.

Had help in the kitchen from both grandmas… hallelujah.

Listened to Christmas music.

Had our Christmas tree up and nutcrackers our — Ozzie called it a “Merry Thanksgiving” ;)

Wore lots of plaid and checks!

Kept things casual.

Annnd, it goes without saying, ate way too much. Didn’t regret it.

Went to our friends post turkey dinner for pie and swimming — shared some on my instagram stories but forgot to take actual pics to share… oops.

Crawled into bed completely exhausted and overflowing with gratitude… should probably make this my goal everyday.

Gangs all here, minus my big brother who was taking the pic!

Hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday weekend, got lots of family time, ate too many servings of mashed potatoes and spent lots of time in your jammies eating leftover pie.

Thanks for being so good to us Thanksgiving!

xo, Rae

PS — Prepping this week to ship all your orders from the HOLIDAY POP-UP by the end of the week! You guys are the best! Last day to get 20% off on holiday cards with code HOHOHO… if you want to take advantage of the promo but don’t have an image yet, no worries. Order now and we’ll workout the details later.