Archive | LIFE

PRINTABLE ADDRESS TEMPLATE + THE KIDS LATELY

rae-ann-kelly-address-template-3527Soooooo, I have some Christmas goodies for you this week but figured I would kick things off with a useful printable, if you haven’t sent your christmas cards out yet!? Worked on ours both nights over the weekend and I’m still not done! Mostly because our address book needs lots of updating, but the template really helped keep my envelopes looking nice which is not normally the case.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD the ADDRESS STENCIL

To Use: Cut around dashed lines then use an exact-o knife to cutout the 4 rectangles. Lay over your envelope and start address, using the vertical lines to help with spacing!

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A few random things the kids have been saying or doing lately…

OZZIE (16) | He’s so close to getting his license and has been a model student driver except for asking to drive short distances (like walking distance to a friends house) without an adult. When my answer is no (and it always is) he’s shocked and acts like I’m being super silly about it. Teenagers get a bad wrap and this story isn’t a great example, but they really are the best.

ESPEN (10) | Taught us all a new joke — What has 100 teeth and eats weenies?……………. A zipper! Ha! After the joke he reminisced about the run in he had with a zipper when he was 3-ish and had decided not to put undies on under his footed jammies. Funny how a relatable joke makes it extra hilarious! 

TILLY (8) | After asking Tilly why she and her brothers had come home so hyper she said, “Mom. We’re kids. Try to keep up.” Followed by, “If you can’t keep up then you are off the squad.” I would blame the tween Disney shows but we haven’t had those channels for awhile. Plus I sorta appreciate the sass. It’s just enough not to get in trouble and makes me laugh almost every time. Then on the way home from church yesterday, Baby it’s Cold Outside was playing when she asked, “Why doesn’t she just leave already? That’s what I would do.” LOL. She kills me.

GRIFFIN (5) | Anytime someone says or does something funny lately, Griffin says, “Wait! I’ll do a replay!” And then reenacts the scene. He’s the cutest and has SO much energy.

POPPY (2) | She’s at the age where every other thing that comes out of her mouth is pure gold, but most noteworthy is her current comeback when her siblings are bugging her. She says, “No, yo-da baby!” and the other kids all crack-up laughing. I swear she has everyone wrapped around her pinky.

Hope you all had an extra fun, productive and restful weekend!

XO, Rae

2

OH CHRISTMAS TREE + OUR SIMPLE HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST

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I cannot believe it, but happy DECEMBER! We kicked off the month yesterday by starting our service advent calendar, stacking up a pile of books to donate, and celebrating our elf, Sven the loving elf’s, arrival. I just know this month is going to flyby — it always does. Since our un-fancy fall bucket list worked so well, I figured we would do the same for the Holiday Season. Here’s what’s on everyone’s list: 

ME | Mail our Christmas cards next week, plan a fancy date night with ma boo, see the Nutcracker, Narnia (at the Seattle Children’s Theater), or go on a Polar Express ride.

JOHAN | Lots of Christmas movie nights!

OZZIE | Go sledding.

ESPEN | Gingerbread houses and visit with his buddies that moved a little while ago.

TILLY | Make my friends Christmas gifts and see Santa.

GRIFFIN | Do a hot cocoa stand and zoo lights!

POPPY | Run away from santa (just kidding! – by Tilly).

This time of year (dark and cold) it’s easy for me to be a homebody without a list of things to do! Looking forward to checking things off over the next several weeks.

What’s on your bucket list for the Holidays!?

Now for a few pics from the tree hunting excursion we went of after church last Sunday.  

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The opposite of the Mannequin challenge, HA! A few snaps before this, Espen had jumped into the shot and photobombed. It wasn’t long before they all wanted a picture of them doing the same. Love these kids.

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(Poppy must have tooted?)

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Totally impressed with the tree wrapping machine…

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…And the little train ride they got to go on.

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And a few posed pics with the oldest because it’s hard to get him in front of the camera most of the time. Realizing how far we are moving from the making babies stage of our family but so thankful for healthy, thriving kids that entertain and impress me daily. It’s bittersweet but mostly sweet.

XO, Rae

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ME | buffalo check coat (on sale!), jeans (on double sale), black boot (also on sale)

ESPEN | sweatshirt (similar), check shirt (similar), jeans, black rain boots

TILLY | black coat, dress and boots (similar) from Boden and on sale

GRIFFIN | jeans, shoes

POPPY | jean jacket (same one in a darker wash), boots

0

THANKFUL FOR THANKSGIVING

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Welp, we spent Thanksgiving bunked at our family cabin, gobbled till we wobbled (and not just on Turkey Day), drove 8 hours to see our college team lose the apple cup (but still had fun), walked the festive streets of Leavenworth, mediated an unnerving amount of sibling squabbles, and made lots of new memories. Thanksgiving, for no particular reason, isn’t usually my favorite holiday, but this year was so good it has me reconsidering my holiday rankings. Here’s a few pics from our long weekend –>

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(Thankful for this guy of mine — insert heart emoji.)

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(Taking a cue from my kids who see any and all public floors and grounds as a place to play, snuggle or rest… I think they are onto something!)

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(We packed feathers, googley eyes, and brown bags for any downtime we might have on our trip and love the name tags and headbands Tilly made out of them! Nothing fancy but totally perfect.)

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(The room I used to sleep in as a kid with siblings and friends. So sweet to see my kids in there together.)

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(A quick snap with Papa and Gigi at the cabin on the last day as we cleaned and packed!)

Yep. Thanksgiving is officially moving up on my favorite holidays list… Hope yours was even sweeter! 

Now if we can just get a handle on all the sibling bickering!? 

XO, Rae

0

FALL S’MORES + LONG WEEKENDS

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Not sure how the long weekend managed to go by faster than a normal one, but it did and I was far from being ready for Monday (hence a Tuesday post :). Trying to remember everything we actually did to fill the time, but assume it must have been good :)

One of the best parts was the bonfire and s’mores date we threw together on Veteran’s Day (thank you, thank you to our brave military and their families!) and then dinner with friends afterwards. Instead of staying home, where we most likely would have filled much of our extra family time with yard work and laundry, we took off for my parent’s house to use their fire pit and pretty backyard. And of course check the mail since they were out of town… You know, just doin’ our part! Here’s a few pics from our time around the fire…

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Dumped all the s’mores ingredients out in this tiered tray and it made it so much easier to assemble our treats! 

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My “spirited” kids searching for (but mostly playing with) the perfect roasting sticks. I was sure someone was going to lose an eye during this process and tried not to follow them around, nagging them to be careful every 10 seconds. A timeless mom dilemma, but seriously, what is it with sticks, rocks and kids!? 

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(My happy place! Also, mad for plaid.)

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The three middle kids prefer a scorched mallow over a gooey golden brown one. Initially I thought they just liked the taste but now I’m thinking it has more to do with blowing out the fire and not having to wait as long to eat their s’more!

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Oh, that first bite!

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Even though Ozzie was traveling for football and Poppy was down for a nap, it felt good to have some dedicated family time while also checking s’mores off of our fall bucket list. Something I had been dying to do!!

Bringing things back to my first thought of the post, do you ever have someone ask you on a Monday, “How was your weekend?” and your like, “Ummmm, I know it was good but not exactly sure what we did!?”

That’s me everyday lately, which makes me extra appreciative of the times we grab our phones or big camera to take a few shots of these fleeting moments. Now I just need to make more photo albums (a.k.a. chatbooks) out of them!

What is your favorite way to document memories?

XO, Rae

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ME | buffalo check sweater, jeans, booties (similar), beanie from Target (similar)

TILLY | black coat, jeans, sneakers

GRIFFIN | buffalo check henley (similar-ish), jeans

2

TILLY’S 8TH BDAY + EMOJI PARTY

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The last week of October is full of Birthdays in our home with Tilly going first, then Ozzie, and finally myself on Halloween. I usually try and squeeze a party in for Tilly early but our Disney Land trip made me think a belated celebration for her might be best. Of course we had festivities and family get togethers in between, but last weekend we ended her very long Birthday week with an emoji party with her friends at a gymnastics center. Tilly helped a ton with all the party planning, designs and decisions (so proud of her!) and was very happy with how everything turned out.

Sharing more details and party sources below!

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CAKE: Tilly had been dreaming up (and bugging me) for a tiered cake since before her last Birthday. I have zero cake baking or decorating skills and didn’t necessarily want to splurge on a custom cake, but her persistence and excitement about the possibility could not be ignored. So Tilly and I spent a few minutes on Pinterest getting ideas and then reached out to Christina of 4kids Cakes to see if she could whip up something delicious and adorable (and of course tiered) with sprinkles on one layer and hearts on another. Thankfully she agreed and then blew us away with how it turned out and the chocolate “8” topper she added. It seriously made Tilly’s day! That and her friends of course. (*Served with wooden spoons.)

BALLOONS + CONFETTI: Since we were partying at a gymnastics center, there wasn’t much point in spending time or money on decorations, so we kept it simple and ordered emoji and a number 8 balloon.

PARTY FAVORS: We filled glassine bags with confetti, and emoji stickers and gum balls. Then sealed them with washi tape and #YAY stickers you can click to download HERE.

SNACKS + DRINKS: Our party started at 3pm so we grabbed some favorite kid snacks from Costco, filled 8oz. beverage bottle (or here!) with milk, bottled waters, and LaCroix for the mamas and papas. Click to download “#DRINKS” and “#SNACKS” signs HERE

TILLY’S OUTFIT: Sweatshirt (50% off!) and leggings from Peek and boots from Target.

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T w i n n i n g (! ! !) with a bestie.

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There wasn’t much of a chance to take pictures before or during the party with the entire crew of kids and parents. But, you know those people that just don’t want to leave a good party? That’s how we roll and these are our friends who do the same thing. And I’m so grateful they did so we could get a few pics to remember the day with! Of course we love and missed the ones that had to scoot out earlier.

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(Johan sneaking in one of the older brothers :)

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Oh my goodness how I love celebrating my people. Just look at that face! 

All in all, her big day went smoothly and I’m not sure who had more fun — the kids or parents — which is always a good sign! Let me know if I missed any details.

Happiest hump-day!

XOXO, Rae 

0

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME + 2 TRUTHS + A LIE.

Hiiii friends! It’s mah birfffday today, so thought it would be fun to play a little game of 2 truths and a lie for each season of my life so far. Of course, I broke the rules (oops!) and listed more than two truths, but would love to know if you can spot the lies! 

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K I D   Y E A R S :

  1. I grew up going to CUBS games and love seeing them in the World Series.
  2. I learned to walk at 9 months and could swim a lap at 4 years.
  3. My name is my mom’s college roommates name backwards.
  4. I never had a non-costume Birthday party (even as a teen).
  5. I did a dance to ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ for a 2nd grade talent show and ‘Jump’ in 5th grade.
  6. I was a ‘Natural Helper’ in elementary school.
  7. I loved my name growing up (and still do!).
  8. I always wanted to form a real life Babysitters Club like the books… it’s no wonder I have 5 kids!
  9. My childhood nicknames included, Spook, Boo, RaeBoo, and Little Me To (always wanting to tag along… FOMO!).

T E E N   Y E A R S :

  1. I got a ‘tramp stamp’ when I turned 18.
  2. I loved to teepee houses.
  3. I tried out to be a cheerleader in high school and didn’t make it but still remember part of the dance to ‘Rappers Delight’ (and might have practiced last night) we had to learn.
  4. After High School I moved to Brentwood, CA and attended Santa Monica City College for a year while playing soccer and waiting tables.
  5. I gave out samples in Costco to earn money.
  6. I played Division I soccer.
  7. I was Homecoming queen.

” A D U L T ”   Y E A R S :

  1. I didn’t travel outside the USA before my honeymoon.
  2. Our wedding venue only cost us $100 and so did my dress.
  3. With the exception of morning sickness, I luuuved being pregnant.
  4. I turned 21 the day Ozzie and I were released from the hospital, after he was born. 
  5. My husband kissed my cousin at a college party once — before we started dating of course!!!
  6. Johan and I got engaged after 5 months of dating. My dad did not approve.

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Oh, my. So fun thinking back — had to text a few peeps to fact check before posting which made it even better. Let me know in the comments what you think the lies are… hopefully I didn’t make it too easy!

Hope you have a bootiful Halloween with family and friends!!!

XO, RaeBoo

(images by Stacy Jacobsen)

4

OUR TRIP TO DISNEYLAND + CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

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This shot was taken on the last day of our trip, after a few solid hours in the rain and moments before leaving California Adventure and heading towards Downtown Disney for a little shopping, shelter, and grub. By this point a couple of the kids were on the more miserable side (guess which ones?), but I honestly think it was the best possible way to end our stay because, a) it would have been so hard to get anyone to leave the parks at a reasonable time and we had to be up at 3:00am the next morning to catch our flight, and b) I think the inclement weather will be one of the reasons this trip will be hard to forget. How we laughed at all the non-Seattlelites scrambling to buy ponchos and then regretted not getting some for ourselves, but still rallied and stood in line for rides and made sure to use the fast passes that were burning holes in Johan’s pocket. And how by the time we finally left to get food (totally famished of course) all the restaurants were packed with people smart enough to get out of the rain early and the waits were close to an hour long. So we ended up grabbing takeout at La Brea Bakery and eating while we walked back to the hotel. It was the best kind of craziness.

Here’s a few more pics and details about our trip!  

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DAY 1

We woke the kids up at 3:30am, gave them the exciting news, left the house at 3:45am with Costco muffins in our bellies and then haphazardly did the airport shuffle (park, shuttle, baggage check, security, boarding, takeoff, landing, shuttle again, etc.). Made me want to book more flights so we could get better at this kind of traveling!

Once we made it to Anaheim around 11am, we stopped at our hotel to pick up passes and then walked 15 minutes to the parks. We spent the entire first day at Disneyland while we got the hang of things. By 6pm we were all exhausted and headed back to the hotel.

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(Taken at the end of the first day! A tiiiiired looking bunch.)

DAY 2 (not pictured)

Easily the best day of our trip. The parks weren’t too busy and my friend Sadie met us with her 3 kids, (including a teenager for Ozzie to hang with!). They taught us the ins and outs of park hopping, fast passes and where to find Starbucks and a good margarita :). We crammed so much in and had the best time.

DAY 3 (not pictured)

We took the day off from Disney to swim at the hotel and wander around the Newport Beach area. I’ll share more from this day later!

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DAY 4

After a day off, our sore feet had recovered, we knew where we were going, and the kids had a list of rides they wanted to go on before we left. Sometime around noon it started raining and the rest of the day I explained at the top of the post.

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(Griffin on the last day, taking a well deserved but most likely last stroller nap of his life… sweet boy did an amazing job of keeping up with the big kids!)

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Have you guys done any Disney vacays? Super curious about the cruise.

Also, let me know if you have any questions about what and how we planned our trip. Would love to share what worked and what we will be doing differently next time!

XO, Rae 

1

KING5 SEGMENT + THE KARDASHIAN TREATMENT

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This is me last Wednesday, totally giddy and ready to share some adorable DIY Halloween costumes on our local news station. Giddy for the opportunity, but extra giddy (and ready) because of a couple of friends who fussed over my hair and makeup and spoiled me with the full “Kardashian” treatment. It was such a treat… Let’s just say, this girl could get used to a glam squad!

C L I C K   H E R E  to watch the segment, if you missed it!

XO, Rae

/makeup and iphone pic by, Stacy Jacobsen/

/hair by Carly Crossley/

0

FAVORITE INDOOR ACTIVITIES FOR RAINY OR COLD DAYS

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I appreciate a day or two of being cooped up and hunkered down with the kids due to weather, but it’s not long before everyone (myself included) starts bouncing off the walls! Since the forecast is calling for rain-magedon over the next week in the Pacific Northwest, I figured it was time to get reacquainted with some of our favorite rainy day activities. Here are the ones that come to mind:

  1. READING! Other than at bedtime, it usually takes making a fun reading space with cozy pillows, a snack, the fireplace on and/or a fort to get my kids to buy in and settle down, but once they do, it’s the best.
  2. OPEN GYM – at our local gymnastics places.
  3. KID’S MUSEUMS + OTHER LOCAL INDOOR ACTIVITIES – always asking friends or scrolling through red tricycle and parent map for ideas, events and pop-ups.
  4. COFFEE SHOP DATE – trying a new place is always fun!
  5. MATINEE MOVIE – much like reading, a daytime movie can feel like a special treat when there are yummy snacks, family room forts, and lots of snuggles involved.  Looking forward to the days when everyone can go watch (and actually sit) at a movie theater!
  6. BALLOON VOLLEYBALL – or anything involving not letting the balloon touch the ground.
  7. HOT LAVA – if you haven’t played before — lay pillows and oversized stuffed animals strategically around the room and jump around, being careful not to touch the ground.
  8. FORT BUILDING
  9. BAKING or CRAFTING – a few favorites, t.p. binoculars, god’s eye, animal charms, straw windpipes, candy wrapper bracelet, and rain maker.
  10. INDOOR SNOWBALL FIGHT – using foam balls, ball pit balls or balled up socks.
  11. GO NOODLE or other kid exercise activities like yoga on youtube. Clear the furniture in the family room, layout yoga mats and get the wiggles out!
  12. SENSORY BINS
  13. PLAY DOUGH, PUZZLES, + BOARD GAMES – all classics, but boardgames don’t usually happen unless I can sit with them the entire time and Poppy is napping :)
  14. CARDBOARD BOX DECORATING
  15. MAKE FUNNY VIDEOS or TAKE SILLY PICTURES with tablets
  16. HOST A PLAYDATE
  17. GET CAUGHT UP on CHORES
  18. LOOOONG TUBBIES
  19. SCAVENGER HUNTS or EGG HUNTS

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I tend to handle indoor days better when I have a running list of activities to draw from and would love any ideas you guys have to add!

Long live the weekend… even if we do end up being cooped up!

XO, Rae

0

THESE ARE MY MOMFESSIONS

I’ve mentioned more than once that I’m a sucker for outtakes. Even after the credits of an amazing movie, I appreciate the funny clips of mess-ups, mishaps, and couldn’t have planned it if they tried moments, just as much. Whether during the filming of a movie, clicking of a camera, or in everyday life it’s the unscripted, and unpolished moments that (happen a lot when there are kids involved) remind me not to take myself too seriously — and keeps me laughing until I cry sometimes.

Here are a few outtakes from our life lately. They may not be LOL funny, but they do make things a little more interesting around here!

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  • The day debit cards became popular should have been the day the tooth fairy died because I literally never have cash and when I do it’s definitely not in the form of one dollar bills (the baristas in my life get all of those). My kids are convinced their tooth fairy is too busy and, depending on their moods, ask me to file a complaint or help her get an assistant (which I think is a great idea, ha!). After three or seven mornings of no money under their pillow, she finally shows up and leaves $10 because she feels so guilty and awful about being late. We’ve had so many lost teeth lately that the tooth fairy is currently experiencing budget cuts.
  • Last Wednesday’s school carpool, by the numbers – SIX: the number of passenger seats in my mini van. EIGHT: the number of kids I had to transport to school. TWO: the number of high schoolers that got dropped off first. ONE: the number of toots said high schoolers squeaked out before exiting the mini (also worth noting that the tooter almost fell on their face while exiting… karma!). FOUR: the number of windows that were rolled down immediately to save lives of remaining passengers while also  unintentionally sharing their laughter and screaming with onlookers . TWENTY-FIVE: estimated number of teenage onlookers. THIRTY: the number of preschoolers that we were scheduled to provide snack for that morning. SEVEN: the number of funny looks or comments I received for bringing 6 kids into Target with me to buy said snacks. THREE: the number of meltdowns diffused during our outing. INFINITY: the number of times I reminded the kids to use walking feet ONE: the number of pumpkin spice lattes and cake-pops Poppy and I treated ourselves to after carpool…. :)
  • Over the weekend, when the kids were full and had snuck upstairs to entertain themselves (i.e. video games), Poppy included, I snuck into my office. Against my better judgement of course. 15 minutes later when I went to go check on them I discovered that Poppy had eaten THREE suckers. Not a clue where she even found them. When I asked her older siblings if they saw her they replied, “Yeah, but she was happy and quiet. So?” I guess we all appreciate when the needy toddler is entertained. Even if it means sharing suckers or cleaning up sticky messes.
  • Clowns were hiding in the woods around my kid’s elementary school last week. CLOWNS!!! I almost yanked them and started homeschooling until I realized it’s some sort of national trend. Halloween really brings out all the sickos.

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In my opinion, comic relief is one of the better parts of life. Luckily there aren’t many things more ridiculously funny than kids and motherhood!

Have any stories or confessions that come to mind?

XO, Rae

4

PIKE PLACE + TGIF

We’ve been doing a lot of waking up and smelling the routine lately. I guess that’s what happens once the school and sports grind starts, but and it had me feeling a little bit blah-ish this week. So yesterday Johan and I took a break from the ushe and made a quick trip to Pike Place Market with the littler ones in tow.

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The Great Gum Wall of Seattle… Totally gross and weird and cool. And very Seattle. :)

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There is a lot to do at Pike Place that isn’t pictured (like eating chowder, riding on the wheel, walking through eclectic shops or along the waterfront, listening to street performers, etc.), but doesn’t it look fun?

Oh, and I somehow managed to leave the market without a bouquet of flowers #fail

Guess that means we need to go back soon. Hopefully with the rest of the crew!

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I could walk city streets all the livelong day. Unless of course it’s freezing or pouring down rain which would eliminate half the year around here, but you get what I’m saying. Being out and about is so refreshing, energizing, freeing, and inspiring to me. I mean, do you see all the pretty colors!!!? Not to mention the restaurants we passed that had me planning a very ambitious menu plan on the drive home. So happy we snuck out of the house to explore the city a bit. Just the break in routine I needed!

What do you do to avoid getting in a rutt?

Happiest of weekends, friends!

XO, Rae

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