Archive | LIFE

LIFE LATELY (in february).

as much as winter seems to be crawwwwling along, i can hardly believe february is almost over. life with kids is often like that don’t you think? here’s a little glimpse into what we’ve been up to lately.


F O O D  is the new 4-letter word around our house, for a couple different reasons. 1. we’ve been eating lots more of the whole kind and as you can see from tilly’s meal plan on the chalkboard, there is some protesting. more on my approach (don’t worry, it’s totally laid-back) and some resources soon. 2. pop-tart has graduated to baby food which has been fun and entertaining for the entire family. the kids love how messy she gets.


W O R K  feels more like pleasure these days as i ‘ve been busy with lots of fun projects! i’ve also compiled a list of my services HERE and would love and appreciate if you take a look and forward to any friends you think might be interested in working with me :).

left to right, invites and extras for an indie rock 5th birthday party for stacy’s son, jack. part of a branding project i recently finished. can’t wait to share the full project reveal and introduce you to the client!  just a couple more diys before our entryway refresh is complete (ya!). the interior yellow door has been a big hit… you can see in process details over on emily’s blog here and here. and last but not least is a peek at some birthday swag for tilly’s friend… the jump ropes have been a big hit because the kids can paint their own wood handles so i will share a diy next week. it makes for a very fun spring-ish project!

life-lately-feb-3what do you do when your early birds are spending the night at their grandparent’s house and you find yourself hanging out in bed on a sunday morning all by yourself? go on a pinning spree of course! at least that’s what i did. check out all my new finds here. there are some really cute one.

hope your week is off to a good start friends!

xo . rae


SAY YES. (kid-cation 2015)


for the past few years, stacy and i have packed up our kids for a weekend in january or february and headed out of town to try and get over our post christmas blues and cabin fever. usually we stay at my families cabin in the mountains (here’s our trip from last year), but this year we decided to try something a little different and booked a house in seabrook, WA — a new walkable beach town on the coast (just north of ocean shores). bonus, we got a smokin’ deal since our stay was during the off season.

our goal for the weekend is to keep things pretty low-key with lots of fun for the kids that’s also low stress on us. most mornings we spent chillin’ like villains around the house in our jammies. then in the afternoon we would venture into town and find fun things to do…


… like paint ceramics which doubled as little souvenirs for our trip…



… and eating delicious food.


at night (not pictured) we headed to the heated community pool (and hot tub) for more fun and to make sure the kids got all of their energy out for easy bedtimes. since it rained the first two days, which kept us off the beach) the pool was a lifesaver and definitely a highlight for the kids.


i personally loved the cute little coastal home we stayed in and having a kitchen made the weekend that much easier — because kids are always hungry and easily get hangry.


(tilly, poppy and espen – oz stayed behind for sports and griffin had a special auntie and uncle weekend planned!)


on the last day the sun came out to play so naturally we ditched our jackets and grabbed some ice cream.


(this airstream couldn’t be ignored!)


(while my kids nursed their ice cream – they take forever to eat treats, like their mama – stacy’s boys fit in a little photo-op)


(the ceramic creations they painted on our second rainy day)

before heading out of town we spent a couple hours on the beach (also not pictured) digging, splashing and taking in the scenery. it was the perfect way to end our kid-cation, but what i loved most about this trip was how much i was able to say yes. yes to more time in the pool, yes to being silly in public, yes to ordering something not on the kid’s menu, yes to watching their new stunt or silly face (watch, this mom!)… so many yeses.

a little break from being the schedule keeper, organizer and chaos minimizer was just what this mama needed to be filled up and feel more playful again.

xo . rae

ps – speaking of saying yes. stacy and i are planning a shootcamp that’s perfect for anyone wanting to take beautiful pictures of your families (like all the fun pics above), or creatives wanting to build a photography business, etsy shop (or the like) or a blog. i’ll also be sharing a few graphic design tips… you should totally say yes to joining us! (APRIL 25th) more details to come!


take a (winter) hike.

Y I K E S !

i did not intentionally drop off the blogosphere for so long and although it was needed and much appreciated by the fam, it feels oh so good to be back!

while organizing some of my files over break i stumbled upon these pics of a hike we took with friends last winter. after being indoors so much lately (playing with new toys, getting together with friends, etc.) i’m starting to feel a bit cabin feverish. considering all the sibling bickering that’s going on in my home lately i think my kids are feeling it too!


(tilly and espen with two of stacy’s boys, gavin and jack – snow lake trail in leavenworth, WA 2014)

leavenworth-hike-128leavenworth-hike-121 leavenworth-hike-111

there is something so refreshing and energizing about watching kids adventure in nature. that and the guaranteed, asleep before their head hits the pillow, kind of bedtime makes it worth getting bundled up and braving the cold!

how do you beat cabin fever in the winter!?

xo . rae

(hope your 2015 if off to a fantastic start. i posted a belated christmas and new year note with our family christmas card if you are into that kinda thing :) xoxoox


merry, merry christmas and happy new year!


from our family to yours… we hope you had a very merry, fun, relaxing, and altogether lovely christmas! it’s a little late to be sharing our family christmas card, but i was also late mailing them out so just know it’s not you, it’s me (hehe). and my very sad address book that looks like a pile of envelopes, flagged emails and lost text messages… luckily i have an entire year to get my act together! ha!


as for 2014, thanks for hanging out with me here and being a part of the last 365 days. it’s was a big year with lots of ups and downs but especially growth – in our family and personally for me. looking forward to reaping the harvest in 2015!

cheers to a brand-spankin’-new year, friends! hope it’s everything you are hoping for and more.

xoxo, rae


life lately…

lately we’ve been…


…in serious baby heaven, so much so that we’re talking about having a 6th… totally kidding. actually not even an option. but she is out of that colicky stage for the most part and her personality is starting to unfold and i can’t get enough. it does make me wonder if i had a touch of the baby blues with the others. or maybe this is just how you are with the last baby? i don’t know, but whatever it is it’s lovely.


…trying to make the most of the hour or so yoder and i get together after the kids are in bed by planning little date nights in. nothing fancy. it helps that we’re major nerds so it doesn’t take much more than a round of that hand slapping game and something sweet to eat, to qualify as a “date”.

…added some posters to my etsy shop. including the one’s on the wall above!

//click here to go check it out and use code BLOGLOVE20 for 20% off//


…working on some guest blog posts for the land of nod, minted and the effortless chic. the DIY instagram place cards above went live over at the effortless chic yesterday if you want to take a peek? can’t wait to share the rest!


…still trying to decide what wallpaper to put in the family room built-ins and dragging my feet on painting the wall. maybe this weekend? love paint, hate painting.


…i tried a DIY version of wallpaper and worked on a few different samples, but none of them turned out how i pictured in my head so back at square one. maybe i should just order the swiss-cross one and call it good?

….looking forward to a quiet weekend before thanksgiving and hope yours if full of just what you need!

xo . rae


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.


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//


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…. :)


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


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…


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!


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.


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!


(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//


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!


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!


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!


congrats ladies! i’ll send you an email!

xo . rae


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.

poppy-newborn-lifestyle-4 poppy-newborn-lifestyle-6poppy-newborn-lifestyle-3

(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.)


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

xo . rae


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!



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!)