Archive | LIFE

3 steps to family photos you’ll love

between all the newborn, family, mini sessions and blog shoots, my family has spent quite a bit of time in front of the camera. while that might not make me an expert i have learned a few tricks along the way that make the process less stressful and the day of way more enjoyable.

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1. think ahead – decide what the main purpose is for your pictures (christmas cards, document, gallery wall, etc.). do you want most pictures to be black and white? portrait style? or lifestyle with outtakes? once you know the answer to those things it’s time to do a little daydreaming. (you’ll also want to communicate those things with your photographer!) hop on pinterest for ideas or look through your photographer’s web site. to keep things looking more organic and less staged think simple – a little goes a long way. make a list of props and outfit ideas and then raid your (and your friends’) closets and pullout anything that will work. order or go shopping for anything you don’t have but still think is necessary.

2. prep the kids – i have yet to meet a child that loves participating in family photo sessions. however, i’ve found (especially for the older kids) that if i give lots of notice and reminders about our appointment they are more likely to be good sports about it. picking a bribe or planning something fun to do after pictures also works like a charm.

3. be yo-selves… and trust your photographer – you really want everyone’s personalities to shine through so as long as the kids are following instructions a little, let them be silly (and throw up duces) or shy and snuggly.  i also find that if i stay upbeat and playful the rest of my crew tends to fallow suit and play along. when all else fails take a deep breath and trust your photographer – it’s not the first time they’ve worked with a child that refused to smile, etc.!

// LAST THOUGHTS // keep personalities and personal style in mind when picking outfits. everyone does better and looks more natural when they feel comfortable in what they are wearing. also if you want the family to look put together without being too matchy, matchy try picking a neutral palette and then adding a couple different pops of color and some texture. lastly, if it’s important to you, book nail and hair appointments in advance so your not running around like crazy the day before!

here’s to beautiful (low-fuss) family photos you’ll love.

if you have more tips please share in the comments!

xo . rae

//all pics by stacy jacobsen//

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the DESIGN shop.

super bummed that i’ve been so MIA this week as i’ve been loving this blogging gig and have lots of fun things planned. however i’ve been tied up for a good and exciting reason…. :)

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yep! i’ve opened an etsy shop and now that all the fine print has been worked out and written it’s time to fill it with products and i would REALLY, REALLY like your help!

if you have any ideas for items you would like to see in the shop, please share in the comments!

already listed is the “HOORAY” flag poster (as seen here and here) if you’ve had your eye on it.

can’t wait to hear your ideas and add more goodies to the shop!

xo . rae

P.S. – i would love to give all my blog friends 20% off with coupon code BLOGLOVE20

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home tour (entry + stairs)

i’ve had some requests lately to see the inside of our home but since we moved in a few months ago, i’m super indecisive when it comes to decorating and most of our rooms aren’t “finished” (not that there is such a thing – we’re already talking about moving poppy in with tilly!) i thought it would be fun to share a different area or room each month, starting today!

welcome to our entryway off the garage and stairs…

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the hooks and clever drawers under the stairs were here when we moved in (and are the brainchild of our friend KC!) so i can really only take credit for how things are set up and organized. there are three drawers that work and (at the moment) hold our flip flops, beach towels and random things such as sunnies, sunscreen and the girls’ hair stuff. as the weather continues to cool off i’m sure they will be replaced with slippers, beanies and umbrellas!

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in theory, after school the kids are supposed to take their shoes off in the garage, hang their bags up, take out their schoolwork and lunch bags, and sit down at the craft table for snack and homework time (audible eye rolling at myself). most days however they ditch their backpacks in the garage, grab a snack from the outside fridge and hop on their bikes before i can even ask them about their day… their way is better i think.

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the other side of the stairs has 4 working drawers that hold all of the kids’ craft supplies with one drawer for them to put their favorite creations and save-worthy schoolwork. oh, and i did swap out the hardware for random knob i found at anthropology. it was a simple and playful way to change things up and works well with my indecisiveness since i got to pick 8 different styles!

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(another look without the kids)

if you have any questions about sources or how things are put together, let me know! also, what space would you like to see next? i was thinking family room or dinning and kitchen…

xo . rae

//images by stacy jacobsen//

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a picture (perfect) giveaway

NOTE: the below giveaway is for local readers (seattle-tacoma, WA area)… wish i could open this up to everyone and fly you here (wouldn’t that be fun!?) but i have another post today and lots more goodies planned for next week to make up for it!!!  xoxo

if you’ve been around here for a while or follow me on instagram, then you probably know that i have this amazing and ridiculously talented friend, stacy. i love her so much as a person (and could gush forever) and  have been so spoiled over the years by her photography and creative genius. all that to say that i’m EXTRA JAZZED for today because i get to share a little bit of the spoiling with you!

stacy has offered to giveaway 2 mini sessions at spooner farms pumpkin patch for next weekend (OCTOBER 4th + 5th – new appointments only – a value of $70) to two of my readers. all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what your favorite thing about fall is.

more details can be found on stacy’s site HERE i recommend checking out her instagram account too.

contest closes on monday, sept. 29th and a winner will be announced shortly after so be sure to come back and check or sign up for emails! if you don’t live in the area but know someone who does, please this their way… winners below!

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we’ll be headed to the patch for our family pictures this year. the last time we went for pictures ozzie was 7, espen was 2 and looked just like griffin and i was (about to pop) pregnant with tilly!

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people say it and i know it with all my heart but it still takes me by surprise how quickly the babes grow up. so excited to capture our family again next week and hope you win!

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congrats ladies! i’ll send you an email!

xo . rae

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POPPY’s (newborn) PICS

so i didn’t really share this with anyone at the time but i had a few minor-ish meltdowns during my pregnancy about having a 5th child. obviously once your pregnant it’s a little late to start worrying about things but there were certain days (probably the hard ones) when my anxiety got the best of me. i just really didn’t know how it was going to work and that freaked me out. however, i’m happy to report that she’s 26 days old and yet it feels like she’s been in our lives from the beginning. funny how that happens. in fact, with the exception of feeling like an on-call milk truck and the drama of her first week, life has pretty much gone on as usual — just a little louder, messier and sleepier. and more in love. granted, my husband is still on paternity leave for another week so i’ll let you know how things go when i’m not so spoiled.

in the meantime, here are my favorite (warning: there are lots of them) pics from poppy’s newborn session with our crazy talented friend, stacy jacobsen.

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(it amazes me that stacy was able to capture so many sweet pictures of the kids being kids seeing as how they were awesome listeners the morning of our shoot. just kidding. they were a ZOO – as usual – but i think it’s a good look on them.)

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now i just have to decide which ones to frame! #wishmeluck

xo . rae

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in my hospital bag + a checklist.

because most of the hospital checklists i found were circa 1990 and because i love to see what other mamas pack for trips, carry in their diaper bags and (in general) how they make life with kids work, i thought it would be fun to share what was packed in our hospital bag for poppy’s birth. a few things to keep in mind with regards to my list: 1) i had a scheduled c-section. if you plan on doing things au-naturale you may want to add a few items to your list for labor.  2) hospitals make me homesick so i tend to overpack in the name of comfort. 3) other than clothes to wear home, hospitals have everything you really need… right down the the (fancy) disposable mesh underwear.

details, links and download are below!

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CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD CHECKLIST 

POPPY’S GOING HOME OUTFIT – (pictured) the cutest onesie by HEN & CO (love this one too!), leggings zara, socks (old navy) and baby hat (H&M, similar). i also packed an extra onesie she could wear at the hospital.

FOR MAMA – (pictured) weekender bag (target), denim joggers (similar, similar), head scarf, sweatpantsa couple tank tops, nursing sleep bra, lightweight blanket for nursing. i also packed a simple (and inexpensive) nightie that i changed into ASAP and wished i had packed a cute robe.

THE EXTRAS – magazines (that i didn’t even peek at until our stay in the nicu), healthy snacks like larabars, fruit leathers and raw trail mix to balance out the baby brain and hospital snacks (i.e. crackers, jell-o, pudding, etc.), tumbler even though the water pitchers at the hospital are pretty fantastic and gum because i’m a gum chewer. in addition we packed all the tech stuff (phones, chargers, laptop, tablet) but mostly used our phones.  

if you can think of any must haves that i missed please share in the comments and be sure to forward to any expectant mama friends you have!

xo . rae

(images by alex kelly… my sweet sis-in-law!)

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she’s here + a birth story

allow me to introduce you to our newest addition, Penelope – number 5 and final for our rowdy brood. here’s a little peek into her birth story….

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based on the picture above you would never guess that her lungs weren’t quite ready to be breathing on their own when she was born (unusual for a full-term babe) or that we ended up spending an intense week at the hospital but that is pretty much what happened.

yet there is so much more.

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after hours of observation, a dramatic transport to a bigger hospital and a week spent in the nicu i would love to showoff my new found medical vocabulary (not really) and spill all the details about needles, tubes, and vitals (also not really), however i’m not sure how important they are to this little girl’s story. . . i’m sure one day she’ll want to know everything the doctors and nurses did to treat her and the whole story from beginning to end, but this is what i really want her to know about her birth…

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(a special visit from big brother and sister + the room we lived in for the week)

1. God is faithful and his peace, love, comfort and protection is not dependent on circumstances.

2. your name means weaver (among other things) and you’ve been weaving a very strong and unexplainable bond in our hearts and family since the day you arrived.

3. even at 7 pounds you are strong and spunky. just ask the nurses that cared for you.

4. two years ago when your dad and i thought we were done growing our family i had a very real dream about a baby girl (you) that ultimately changed our minds. at the scariest point at the hospital, when nothing seemed to be helping a friend reminded me of that dream and i immediately felt peace. if you are ever unsure of God’s purpose or plan for you i hope the promise of that dream and testimony of your birth brings you the same peace and reassurance. He’s got you.

5. as displayed by our family and friends who watched your siblings, visited us in the hospital, prayed, brought meals and (generally speaking) went out of their way to take care of us, there is strength in community and relationship. life is not meant to do alone.

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one last thing. this birth story would not be complete without a shoutout to my other half.

johan, i am so grateful for your strength. for asking the tough questions and advocating for our little girl. for leading us in prayer and speaking out scripture over poppy the first few days when i couldn’t get a word out without crying. for coaxing me out of our hospital room to get some fresh air, sunshine and food. i treasure those meals, conversations and brief moments of laughter we shared. for being the one that went back and forth between the hospital and our home and 4 other children.  and so much more. i love you and this family God’s given us.

 we love you more than life miss poppy and are so blessed to be able to watch you grow up.

xo . momma

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it’s time!

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(watermelon + my baby bump = twinsies)

we’ve been dreaming, preparing and counting down the months and weeks (and even minutes lately!) but it’s still hard to believe we’ll get to hold our baby girl later today!!!

i haven’t shared nearly as much of my pregnancy as i had planned – (still trying to figure out my voice and purpose on this little blog and how to balance it with family and work) – however, i have appreciated so much your sweet words and encouragement over the last 6 months. excited to share more adventures with you as we adjust to a newborn and growing family…

…stay tuned for pics and stats from the hospital!!!

xxoo . rae

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monday fun-day + a winner

hey lovely! hope you had a fantastic weekend!… me and my swollen feet welcomed a couple days of cooler weather  and lots of hangout time with friends. excited and anxious to say that the countdown to baby sis’ arrival officially fits on two hands (eek!). while the waiting game begins i’m oddly thankful for a never ending “to do before baby arrives” list to distract me.

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(a few iPhone snaps from swim lessons the last two weeks)

oh and before i forget, i have the teepee winner to announce!

thanks so much for playing along with our giveaway last week! i had so much fun reading comments and wish i could give everyone their very own teepee (wouldn’t that be a fun surprise!? maybe one day:) but am looking forward to more giveaways in the future.

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one of the things on my to-do list this week is to finish packing for the hospital. i’m most of the way done but in my research found most of the hospital packing lists online are stuck in the 90’s and would love to hear if you have any suggestions!

xo . rae

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a birthday note to griffin!

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happy  3rd birfffday, griffin william! the last year has been anything but terrible (unless i’m trying to buckle you into your carseat, but we’re working that out!) and just keeps getting better. we love to hear all the silly and clever things that come out of your mouth and your ability to pick up on songs (you’ve jumped onto the frozen bandwagon with big sis) and the expressions on your face while you sing them. your giggle is contagious and you have a remarkable ability to hold your own when it comes to being the youngest (although not for long!) yet you have the sweetest tender side and cuddle like it’s your job. you would like to have a baseball bat or foam sword in your hand at all times and insist on sleeping with all three of your stuffed puppy dogs at bedtime.

wish i could bottle you up and never forget what your like at this age but at the same time can hardly wait to see what the next year holds for you.

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you are the most curious, attentive and excited about my growing belly and announced at breakfast yesterday that you, “can’t wait for baby poppy to come out!”

we are looking forward to seeing you as a big brother – a job i anticipate you’ll take very seriously! thank you for the love and energy you bring to our family. we love you to the moon and back.

a million smooches, momma

(pics from a mother’s day mini session with stacy jacobsen)

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a smorgasbord of S’MORES!

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one of my favorite parts of summer is when we light up the fire pit and breakout the s’mores fixings. not because it’s an insanely yummy treat (i mostly pick at the chocolate bars), but because it’s the perfect way to fill a summer night with family time or entertain a larger group. in fact, i’m pretty sure it’s impossible to not have fun while roasting mallows with kids… (having wet wipes handy helps too)! to keep s’mores nights spontaneous and special i grabbed this camp stove by poppytalk at target (for nights when johan isn’t home – i leave fire building to the fireman of the house) and thought it would be fun to put together a smorgasbord of s’mores options for the kids to choose from.

Some S’more Fixings Ideas

  • Classic s’more with sprinkles
  • Chocolate grahams, mallow and sliced strawberry or banana
  • Graham cracker, chocolate, shaved coconut, nutbutter
  • Graham cracker, cookies and cream chocolate bar or peanut butter cup and mallow

some of those square chocolates with mint or caramel fillings would be a nice addition too as would some chocolate petite ecolier cookies by LU (double the chocolate!) at the store but no luck this time.

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and there is the pure happiness i was talking about!

what do you guys like to do on summer nights with the fam?!

or maybe you have a fave s’more combo?

xo . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)

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