Archive | LIFE

MUST-HAVE SUMMER SHOES + SELF CARE

You know what I love? Practical things like cute summer shoes that can get wet (I’ll share our favorites below) and easy ways to check self-care off my to do list. So I thought we’d chat about both today!

Self care can seem impossible but it really doesn’t have to be complicated or even cost money. With summer starting today for us (FINALLY!) the topic has been on my mind — particularly, how to fit it in, what it looks like and how to make it happen. More than anything I just really want my kids to have a fun, happy mom to hangout with alllll summer (burnout is real!). After all we only get 18 of them together… 18!?

Here’s my list of simple, inexpensive ways to treat yourself |

  1. the little things count… date nights don’t have to be fancy. Girlfriend time can include the kids (and mimosas), and Netflix is a completely appropriate “babysitter” every once in a while so you can catch up on the bachelor, finish a project or just take a break.
  2. Workouts don’t have to be at a gym! I’ve been using the SWEAT app (and loving it!). Also shared some ideas for an at home/on the go workouts HERE.
  3. Knowing how much time things actually take… washing your face is worth the extra 2 minutes. Except some nights it’s not, lol. Workouts only take 30 minutes if you aren’t driving to a gym and a nail, eyebrow or blow-out appointment only take an hour or less!
  4. Find a good hiding spot. Mine is in the laundry room with a la croix or glass of wine and a Friends episode while I catch up on laundry. If the kids somehow happen to find me I give them clothes to fold and socks to match. Poppy is awesome at “folding” towels and washcloths :).
  5. JUST SAY NO TO: mom guilt, people pleasing and just all the extra stuff…
  6. Going to bed. Always easier said than done but the world looks so much better after sleep.
  7. Drink water.

What would you add?

(poppy hiding from papa. me prob adding text to an instagram story.)

(making myself the president of his fan club. i love you griff!)

 

WATER (FRIENDLY) SHOES |

  • Love these slides and that they come in other colors to.
  • The waterproof birks are amazing. Johan has these, griffin has these, and I would like these.
  • Espen and tilly have the target version and so does poppy.
  • We also, love, love love natives… curious about their teva style ones. May have to give them a try!

What do you think about either or both of these topics? 

:)

xoxo, Rae

0

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

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

4

FAMILY TRAVEL: BEACH GETAWAY TO SEABROOK, WA

Oh, my life is busssssy right now, but I’m hoping it’s just the crazy before the summer-calm. Aside from the kids activities, I’ve been occupied with design projects (a couple I can’t wait to share!). Just wrapped up the major stuff, so am hoping to get caught up and spend more time and fun content with you here next week, YAY! Today however, I wanted to share about our trip to Seabrook, WA. It’s become our go-to beach getaway — we’ve been 5 times (past visits here, and here) and have loved every minute. There is so much to do, the convenience is unbeatable and the houses are all so homey and easy to relax in.  I must have gotten 20 DM’s while we were there last week asking for trip details so I’ll be sure to share my best info and tips below in case you have questions too. Because I don’t want to forget what my favorite people in the world had fun doing the most together, I also wanted to share everyone’s best parts of our visit this time…

JOHAN | had the most fun sleeping in, walking to get coffee and sitting on the balcony that was attached to our room… a feature that is now on his future home wish list, lol.

ME | I loved, loved, loved our beach time this trip and also walking everywhere. It’s always my favorite part of our stay. No buckling carseats, arguing over who sits where or fighting

ESPEN + TILLY | unanimously decided shuffleboard was their favorite. I’ll talk more about it below, but there are a ton of community areas and free equipment rentals at the bike shop in town.

GRIFFIN | give him all the s’mores and hot tub time (there’s several community fire pits and a community pool and hot tub, but this time we had a hot tub and fire pit at our house too!)

POPPY | had the best time flying her kite on the beach.

OZZIE | missed out on another family trip because of school and sports (crying emoji x3) but I’m guessing his favorite part of us being gone was the peace + quiet.

*You guys, don’t ever let your kids grow up! It’s the worst. But also pretty amazing to watch and cheer them on. But also, also, the worst, lol.

We checked into our house (The Blue Lantern Cottage) and immediately made ourselves at home and got familiar with our location and proximity to all the most important things – like the pool, coffee shop, fire pits, etc. While we unpacked and made dinner, the kids checked out their bunk room and the garage which was full of toys and a ping pong table. Then we headed to the pool just to make sure they would be tired and worn-out and happy to crawl into beds and fall asleep.

I no longer hope, expect or plan on the kids being so tired that they’ll sleep in while on vacay (even after a late night and long swim) which makes it easier to enjoy any early risers. This particular morning we got these two early birds out of the house so they didn’t wake the rest (my friend Stacy and her boys were vacay-ing with us too!) and walked a couple blocks to grab coffee and sticky-buns to share.

This to me is heaven on earth! Rolling out of bed and walking anywhere, is my favorite way to start the day. Especially when coffee and warm pastries are involved and everyone is still snuggly and in their jammies. Bonus that the coffee and treats at Red Velvet Bakery are so yummy.

There’s nothing like a little beach time to make you appreciate life and God’s goodness. Not a lot of swimming happening here (maybe later in the summer), but plenty of sand to run and play in. And we obviously like hugging while on the beach, LOL.

Also, that top pic of Tilly mid-kite-flying might be a new favorite of mine.

The 3rd floor of the house we stayed in was a bunk room complete with a bathroom, organized toys, books and puzzles and 8 beds to sleep in. Makes me want to turn our attic into a playroom slash crash pad for sleepovers and get togethers!

Signs of a vacay done right… swimmers drying on a clawfoot tub and a spontaneous nap taken on a beach ball while wearing a crown.

A few tips if you are planning a trip to Seabrook!

  • Eating + shopping: Check the store/shop/restaurant hours when you first get there and plan accordingly as they change depending on the season and day of the week.
  • Picking a house: With younger kids, we prefer staying on the town side (instead of ocean side). You sacrifice a bit of the view but the kids have more freedom to roam and walking to get coffee, swim, etc. is easier.
  • Recreation: Stop by the bike shop to checkout recreational equipment for free during your stay. Also, the pool has life jackets but we usually pack ours from home for Poppy and Griffin.
  • Family + friends: it’s a great place to go with friends… also a good way to make it more affordable.  (here’s a few other tips on the subject)
  • Deciding what to do: get familiar with the map and either walk or drive around the town so you have a good idea of where things are and don’t end up missing out on something your family would love!

I already want to go back!!!

Let me know if I missed anything or you have questions.

See you back here on Monday!!!

XO, Rae

8

MOTHER’S DAY RECAP VIDEO + PHOTOS

Finally getting around to sharing a Mother’s Day recap with you! Although, I still feel like I’m celebrating over here, lol. Anyone else? So thankful for this family of mine… Motherhood (and being a wife, too!) is probably the one thing I’ve never questioned myself about. It hasn’t always looked how I imagined, my house and car are more often than not a mess, the laundry is overflowing, I’m usually tired and running behind, but it’s exactly what I’ve always wanted. These are THE DAYS and I love them. At least until 9 o’clock when I’m ready for a little break.

Saturday morning, the kids brought me breakfast in bed then we spent the rest of the day at Ozzie’s baseball games, cheering him on, chasing Poppy and Griffin around and snacking on picnic food (my favorite). Sunday, Johan had to work, but Oz and his sweet girlfriend surprised me with Starbucks and homemade cookies and then we all drove up to my parents house for some lake time and cheeseburgers. Looks like Father’s Day weekend will look very similar and I’m not mad about it one bit. Pics below…

Wish I could have 5 more of them!

Early in our marriage, when Johan and I would talk about how many kids we one day hoped to have, 5 seemed like such a big number and I know we are considered a “big family”, but I don’t feel like we are, even in pictures.

There are however,  two scenarios when I do get a bit of a reality check 1. anything travel related – packing bags, loading the car, booking tickets or planning housing and 2. mornings when everyone is in the car and we decide to grab Starbucks and our order is  a mile long!

A very fancy breakkie in bed and a donut monster below! Don’t worry though, she gave me a bite ;)

Handmade cards with little kid handwriting! Ah!

Take us out to the ballgame! Just make sure to pack all the snacks.

Sunday at my parents…

These two have the sweetens friendship.

The kids, plus one! The more the merrier.

This seems like the perfect one to end on because I love this moment between Oz and Tilly and then… Griffin’s face! Ha! He should be a professional photobomber.

I know that Mother’s Day looks different for all of us and that there are many without family to celebrate with or a baby to hold and still others that are in the trenches of motherhood and I want you to know that you’re seen, loved, capable, incredibly significant and you deserve the world!

Love you.

XO, Rae

0

10 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR DOCUMENTING MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND

OK mamas, I don’t want to give you one more thing to think about over mother’s day weekend, but I also know how important it is for all of us to capture moments in time with our families… Our moments in time. Regardless of whether you’re a planned or spontaneous picture taker, I’ve put together a list of 10 tips we use to capture all the sweet moments as well as the tiny details of life. Hope they give you a boost of inspiration for clicking the shutter any day, but especially Mother’s Day weekend!

10 TIPS FOR DOCUMENTING MOTHER’S DAY

1. Keep your camera (or phone) close!

2. Think ahead just a little and consider lighting! Of course we want things to be natural and authentic, buuuut, there’s no reason not to open up the curtains in your room when you know the kids are on their way up with a breakkie tray.

3. Tell the whole story – the big picture and little details – Snap pics of your plate of food, cute notes, flowers, gifts, hand holding, your shoes, etc. :) This pic isn’t the best example, but I love her tootsies!

4. Remember WHY you’re taking pics – often times we want something to share right away or just want to check it off our to do list for the day, but taking photos is really about preserving memories for the future and capturing those precious relationships, everyday moments and time in general.

Maybe it’s just me, although I doubt it, but I love looking back at my mom’s outfits and accessories. Especially her glasses! So tryout your best pose and take a fit pic!

5. Focus on the relationships and let go of the pressure to get the perfect pic. Love this fuzzy pic of Poppy being silly and pretending she’s asleep! You can also see one of my frayed fabric swatch she set out to use as a napkin and the double spoons in the cereal bowl we shared — Priceless!

6. Take pics of the process and routine as well as the special parts. One of my favorite pictures is of my mom braiding my hair in the bathroom when I was 6 or 7. I’m on a stool looking into the bathroom mirror with my mom behind me in a hawaiian print off the shoulder dress that I’m pretty sure she made. At the time it probably seemed like an odd moment to snap a pic but I’m so glad my dad did!

7. Don’t forget about videos – capture “small” moments, conversations and interactions. Like their little voices reading their mother’s day cards to you. Ask them questions or better yet, have the kids interview you!

8. Need a group shot? Use your self timer or ask an extended family member or stranger. Want a variety of pics or just a little break from clicking the camera? Pass it off – even to the kids!!! Poppy took this pic of me and as random as it is, it’s also an angle and perspective that only she would take.

(Poppy had just finished pointing out my neck wrinkles which prob have something to do with the 10 lbs. I added to my bod over the winter. Or maybe it’s age? Most likely it’s both tho, huh? Lols.)

9. Practice positive self talk – you don’t need to be a certain size, have all your makeup on or even be dressed to be in a photo. Of course, you can plan ahead a little (like number 2 suggests) and be in cute jammies with makeup on by the time the kids bring you breakkie, OR you can stay in bed, in an oversized tee and hipster undies with a morning face like you deserve, LOL. It’s really about what you want and what your kids will remember most. Although if the no make up thing really bugs you, just avoid eye contact with the camera… instead, engage, play and love on everyone else in the frame.

10. Selfies! Always a good idea.

Hope these help, inspire, and maybe take the pressure off too. Remember, perfection is never the goal so snap away!

Now tell me… what else would you like to learn about photography?

We’re leaving in a couple weeks with my friend and brilliant photographer, Stacy Jacobsen, for a photography workshop weekend and I’d love to share some of the things we learn, so leave me all the questions in the comments!

xo, Rae

SaveSave

1

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

BRUNCH AT BAIR BISTRO + YAY SPRING!

I’m happy to report that it’s finally starting to feel like spring around here which has made it a little easier to get out of the house with everyone. A couple weeks ago we took the younger kids (miss Ozzie so much during baseball season!) on a brunch date at The Bair Bistro in Tacoma. We’d been meaning to go since taking our family photos in the same area last November and it did not disappoint! The atmosphere, the food, and the people were just so sweet and yummy. We ate bear pancakes, carefully played with all the antique decor, sipped on juice (with a splash of champs for me!), occupied the kids for a good 15 minute with a dime (heads or tails? which hand is it in? etc.), embraced the chaos of eating out with kids, and took a bunch of pics.

Outings make me so happy you guys. Especially when they involve brunch! Keep scrolling to see all the pics….

Gah! These two make my heart melt.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that keep the kids entertained or distracted!

  

Poppy trying to ‘floss’! Always trying to keep up with her older siblings….

Speaking of flossing, did you guys see Espen and Tilly’s dance off?

We worked on a puzzle while waiting for our table. Gotta love a restaurant or store that provides activities!

Getting everyone to decide what they want to order is typically quite the process. They ask a million questions always, usually at the sometime too, ha!… what kind of sausage? Can I get a different side? How long will it take? What about drinks? If they don’t have apple juice can I get root beer? Are we getting dessert after this? What if I’m not full from a kid meal?

So different from the days when we would order a couple things for all the kids to split and call it good. Which only lasted until the big kids started reading and now there’s no turning back, LOL. BUT it’s also really fun! Unless we’re in the drive-thru line at Starbucks – then all the mind changing and questions drive me a little bananas… 3rd world problems, I know.

Griffin pretending to be our waiter… Ha! He’s too cute and LOVES having a job to do!

That moment when the drinks come AND they all have lids!

When your food comes but you don’t have silverware yet, HA!

They don’t always get along but when they do it’s magic… (insert all the happy emojis, hearts and rainbows).

Full bellies, happy hearts, can’t loose – should be every parents battle cry, am I right!

Love this of poppy with breakfast still on her face and Espen and Tilly holding hands. Sigh.

Had to get in one more pic before we left too!

Quick question for ya… do you find it hard to get in pictures with your kids? If so, what holds you back? If not, what’s your strategy or favorite tool for doing so?

Feel so lucky to have Johan who doesn’t mind sharing camera duty, but that hasn’t always been the case. About a year ago he really started taking the time to learn more about our camera and is now a better photographer than me! That being said, I still do a lot of prompting whether it’s a pic with him and the kids or me and the kids. Being intentional without forcing things is a tricky balance!

Hope you guys have the best weekend!

XO, Rae

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

1

EMBROIDERED SPRING TOPS + GUARDING YOUR HEART

Want to hear the craziest thing!? Ok, it’s probably not all that crazy, but last week I dropped this adorable top off at the goodwill because there was a little button loop situation that I was too lazy to fix. Then, over the weekend, while trying to organize our giant mess of digital photos, I stumbled across these pics taken a year ago and was reminded of how much I loved this top as well as the photos Johan took of me in it, in front of a pink wall, with my little ones who, if I remember correctly, were pretty spunky that morning.

Kind of annoyed that I gave the top away over a little broken loop and also a little sad that I hadn’t shared the pics on the blog until now. Ironically, I didn’t put them in a post because I was afraid of what people would think… Are they too staged? Styled? Materialistic? Fake? Am I “using” my kids? The funny thing is, I would answer “No!” to all of these questions, so why do I care so much what other’s might think!?

Partially, because I’m human and a people pleaser and have an aversion to criticism and partially because I’m focusing on the wrong thing (i.e. the broken button loop instead of the cute top). After chatting with a mentor of mine and thinking about this Scripture:

“Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23

It’s more obvious to me than ever that I’m not guarding my heart when I keep what’s in it to myself. I guard my heart when I censor what goes IN it and guess what, we don’t have to listen to the haters let alone worry about them! Isn’t that so amazing!? Or is it just me, HA!

A very sweet man told me several months ago that I need to be more like Teflon and less like velcro and while I’m always needing to grow in this area, I’ve also gotten so much better! Hence, the dozens of photos of my kids and me I’ve shared since these pics were taken.

Moral of the story? There are always going to be critics that watch what people are doing and see the bad in it – and on some level we all should be okay with it because in the end if we’re able to be more free to be who God made us and do more of what we love, then it’s totally worth it! No more taking responsibility for what others think. No more holding back, creating less, being less or sharing less.

Are you with me?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

What do you shy away from for fear of what others will think or say? Could be something as simple as trying a new workout class or as big as starting a business.

  

Here’s what we have to say to the haaaattteerzzzz anyways…. ha! JK, only love coming from this crew.

Don’t forget to share in the comments!

Oh, and if you’re in the market for a pretty embroidered top for spring, ZARA has tons of them, all under $50 right now. I love this one, this one, this one and this one for the little ladies. I’m tempted to buy one but should probs go shopping at goodwill and see if I can buy my top back? Ha!

XO, Rae

SaveSave

3

FAMILY NIGHT AT THE MARINER’S GAME!

I’m back from a long weekend with one of my best friends from college. She and her family are getting ready to renovate, stage and get their rental home on the market while building their dream home on the same lot that they’re living now. Needless to say, they have a lot going on so I flew down to help pick out flooring, shop for furniture and share my designer advice on things, because — holy moly — so many decisions! If you’ve ever renovated or built a home, then you know what I’m talking about. Anyways, it was so great catching up, hanging out in L.A. (yay sun!) and doing all the home stuff. Feeling a little refreshed but mostly inspired and just happy to be home with my peoplessss.

The Monday before I left, Johan and I piled the kids in the car on a rainy day and headed to a Seattle Mariner’s baseball game… (Ozzie’s game had been cancelled and apparently we don’t see enough ballgames, lol). I was a little skeptical of the decision and the kids were pretty hard to wake up the next morning BUT it was so fun and so worth it. Monday nights at the stadium are usually quiet and also happen to be family nights. Guessing most teams have the same or similar promotion going but it’s definitely worth looking into. Bonus that a lot of the food was 1/2 price, including dip n’ dots! As if it’s not hard enough saying no to sweet treats at the ballpark!

The night got a little harry towards the end (if you saw this Instagram post, you know why, lol) but, our seats ended up being in a non-windy pocket of the stadium so we stayed relatively warm and dry. A few pics of our night.

I’m not gonna lie, this kinda monkey business freaks me out when we’re up so high even though she’s nowhere near the edge. Speaking of edge, how is it that more people don’t fall over the railings at arenas and stadiums? The walls are so low for being up so high!

Tilly and her silly faces!

Poppy was super clingy that night, but eventually came out of her shell and then wouldn’t sit still for the rest of the game. Always careful what I wish for with this crew!

We planned on leaving the stadium at 8:30 but it was such a good game and the kids were being good so we ended up staying until 9:30 and wrapped up our night with some playtime at the kids playground area. Johan and Espen also snuck off to throw a few pitches at one of those bullpens that tells you how fast you pitch. So cute. Wish I got some pics!

Have you guys been to a baseball game yet this season? Funny how we ended up going to a ball game on a night the boys didn’t have games.

XO, Rae

PS — Thankful for a little break from the daily grind, but OMG — so happy to be home!!!

0