Archive | LIFE

A GRILLED CHEESE FRIDAY AT PIKE PLACE MARKET

When a cute new company, based on comfort food and a Friday tradition, reached out to see about sending us some of their tees, I jumped at the chance for 2 reasons, 1.) because I loved their designs and knew my kids would too and B.) because the name of the company alone gave us the perfect excuse to plan a trip to Pike Place Market for our favorite Beecher’s grilled cheese. Our outing didn’t quite go as planned, but we had more than enough fun to make up for it, lots of cute pics to remind us of our day and are currently working on a very yummy plan “B”.

I’ll explain more below but first I want to make sure you don’t miss the link to Grilled Cheese Friday so you can checkout their goodies and maybe snag a couple tees for back to school… I love the “grilled cheese friday” ones for the kids to wear on Fridays, but they are all really cute. Get 20% off your order with coupon code: GRILLEDCHEESE

Now for a ridiculous amount of pics because I love Seattle so much in the summer!

Instead of fighting traffic to get to the middle of Seattle and try to find reasonably priced parking, we headed to West Seattle, parked on the street and took the 6:15 water taxi from Alki Beach to Pike Place. A quick 15 minute ride that was both low stress and a lot of fun!

The jaunt from the pier to the market was a good 20 minutes (with kids anyway) and full of good people watching (did you spot captain america!?) and pretty sight seeing if you count the Great Wheel, water front, and these stairs decorated with lights and flowers along the way.

Our first attempt at a tourist pic of the market sign, wasn’t too successful. Realizing that the kids were probably starving as it’s now 7pm, we decided to head to Beecher’s for some gooey grilled cheeses…

… but it was closed. Noooooooo!

I had never personally visited Pike Place in the evening and it hadn’t occurred to me to check and see what time it closes beforehand, but now I know that things start shutting down at 6pm and Beecher’s closes at 7. :)

Starving, annoyed and a little whiny (and not just the kids) we crossed the street and grabbed our go to bistro boxes and juices from Starbucks. While we snacked, the kids shared their highs and lows from the day… their low being the obvious lack of grilled cheese… and decided we’d make up for it by trying some new grilled cheese recipes at home. Hoping to have something share-worthy for you guys next week!

Now with full bellies we attempted to take more Pike Place pics before heading back to the water taxi.

Outtakes are forever my favorite. Just look at how helpful Espen is being… Poppy loved the tickles he was dishing out and Griffin was super excited about being picked up and carried into frame, LOL. :)

Johan and I kept chatting about how comfortable Griffin looked as he walked around the city. A far cry from his anxious and OCD 4 year old self. A stage that he spent the last year growing out of. I’ll take Griffin anyway we can get him, but love seeing him so confident!

We also couldn’t help but notice how much fun Tilly was having taking pictures with my old iPhone. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

All that chatting and noticing had us loosing track of time tho, an easy thing to do on summer nights regardless, and we ended up having a home alone moment as we raced to catch the water taxi. By this time the kids were getting cold, Poppy was getting tired and we would have had to wait another hour for the next taxi, so running seemed like the only reasonable thing to do and it paid off!

(Pic of Johan and me by Griffin)

A tired and very salty Poppy by the time we made it off the boat, but even with the grilled cheese set back and missing Ozzie who had baseball, a perfect summer night.

I’m still very much in the “summer forever” mindset, but if there is anything that can get me excited for fall it’s comfort food and more specifically grilled cheese sandwiches!

Don’t forget to head to Grilled Cheese Friday and snag a couple tees at 20% off with coupon code: GRILLEDCHEESE

And if you’re feeling inspired by Poppy’s pretzel tee, here’s our favorite recipe to make some at home!

Happy (grilled cheese) Friday friends!

xo, Rae

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SUNDAY AT GREEN LAKE, SEATTLE

A few years ago some girlfriends and I rented paddle boards in this cute little neighborhood in Seattle called Green Lake. It ended up not being the best day to be on the water — cold and windy and to top it off, I fell in! Ha! But we laughed a lot, had a great time together and fell in love with the area. It just doesn’t get better than being near water with recreational options, a paved trail for walking, running, or scooting around, and places to eat within walking distance. Ever since that girl date, I’ve been thinking, “Gosh I need to take Johan and the kids there!” and last week I finally got around to it!

The kids swam a little in the lake but we mostly hung out at the wading pool and walked along the trail. It was the the perfect end to a rather hectic weekend. A few pics from our outing…

Always on the hunt for a cold treat.

Always finding one.

Look at Espey jumping off the high dive!!!! And a proud sister sharing some love below.

Love the vibe of this beach with the old school dock and diving boards and lifeguard sign and chairs. Earlier in the day they even had lifeguards rowing around the swim area making sure the kids were safe as they jumped off the diving boards. Places and scenes like this always remind me of the retreat area where Dirty Dancing was filmed. Not sure why it took us so long to plan a visit!?

Are there any places close to home that you’ve been wanting to visit?

Happy Monday Friends!!!

Oh and I wanted to remind you to checkout my meal plan HERE if you’re into that and missed it on Friday?! Personally looking forward to what’s on the menu tonight :) Hope it helps get your week started!

xo, Rae

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GRIFFIN’S FIRE STATION BIRTHDAY PARTY

We’re in Birthday-palooza mode around here — 4 Birthdays in one month! Last week we had our first party celebrating Griffin turning 6 and had a blast. Johan’s fire station was nice enough to let us use the bay (garage area) to host the festivities which allowed for a bouncy house and plenty of room for the kids to run around. Details, links to sources, and lots of pictures below!

FOOD | kept things simple and served PB+J’s and popcorn in these bags, cheese, crackers + salami  in these tulip cups, and watermelon and oreos in these trays. There was also a cooler with la croix, bottled water and honest juices.

Side note: the dimensions in the food tray listing are for the sides, not the bottom. I was originally hoping the food trays would hold everything but the popcorn, but they ended up being too small. However, they are perfect for snacks and the extras will come in handy for picnics!

CAKE | I ordered a basic 8-inch custom cake from our grocery store’s bakery with vanilla frosting. Nothing fancy. After picking it up, I added sprinkles to the top and oreo cookies with m+m candies (“glued” on with icing) as the eyes. Because eyes on everything please!

We actually only used the cake for singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles (ate some the next day of course!) and served ice cream sandwiches as the treat. Hip, hip, hooray candles from Target dollar isle.

DECORATIONS | #BDAY balloon sign from Target dollar isle, a few (wanted to do more but ran out of helium!) random colored balloons I had at home, plastic firefighter hats (these are cute and inexpensive!) added some color and something to play with.

GOODIE BAGS | kazoos, maze game and finger puppet monsters from Target, 2″ poppers, pop bottle candy, twisty balloons, candy buttons, teal striped bags from Amazon.

ACTIVITIES | We had a bouncy house, piñata and a firefighter game where you spray the wiffle ball off a cone to “put out the fire”. We were hoping there would be an extra firetruck there for the kids to climb in, but it didn’t work out (bummer!). I don’t think the birthday boy or his guests even noticed though!

I also set out a bucket of sidewalk chalk and table of crayons and coloring books. Neither got played with much but it’s always nice to have an extra simple activity or two.

THE PARTY THEME | I like a good theme (fire fighting was the obvious choice!) but have a hard time sticking to them. I’m way too random for that (LOL) so try to balance things out with pops of colors, classic accessories (like balloons!), and basic staples when it comes to food, paper goods, etc. I find this approach takes the pressure off and makes it easy to use things I already have around the house too!

All that being said, parties are really all about making it special for the birthday kid and their guests… keeping that in mind makes it that much more fun and easy to put together!

Can’t believe this boy of ours is 6!!!

I treasure the pics from my childhood birthday parties — remembering who was there and how we celebrated is so sweet and nostalgic. So thought I would put all the pics from Griffins party into a chatbook as a belated b-day gift and think he’ll freak about it! Might be a fun new tradition to do for all the kids?

How do you keep Birthday memories alive!?

Also, let me know if I left out any links or details!

xo, Rae

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MOM + MINI DATE IDEAS

We got home late Sunday night from our annual camping trip with friends (so much fun!) and jumped right into catching up on work and sleep, unpack the mountain of stuff we brought and cleaning the other mountain of dirty clothes we came home with, party planning prep for Griffin’s b-day celebration that’s happening tomorrow, and our usual schedule and life in general. After a few days of this the kids started to get a little restless (i.e. whinny and fighting with each other and who could blame them!?) so yesterday Johan and I decided it was time to divide and conquer. While he hung with the boys I took the girls on a little date to The Land of Nod for their summer camp craft time and a couple scoops of our favorite Molly Moon’s Ice cream. After that we did some shopping and then walked over to the new Rachel’s Ginger beer for a couple small drinks, before heading to Starbucks for our usual Bistro boxes to snack on while we drive home. As I walked at an incredibly leisurely pace from store to store with my girls, I thought about how much I needed this break from cleaning up the tornado that is our house, the constant beeping that comes from my phone, and the mile long to do list running though my mind, just as much as they did.

In case you could also use a break from being pulled in 10 different directions, picking up the house, and hearing about how hungry everyone is, here’s a list of mom + mini date ideas to help inspire a little quality time!

15 MOM + MINI DATE IDEAS:

  1. go roller skating or bowling
  2. learn something new together — a trick, knitting, dance moves, twisty balloon animals, etc.
  3. go to a skate park
  4. write notes or thanks you’s to friends and family together
  5. boardgames are always good
  6. go to target or the dollar store for some fun shopping (with a budget)… not to be confused with running errands kinda shopping
  7. nail appointment
  8. at home spa or nail night… you might have seen johan’s impromptu spa night on Instagram stories last week. so funny.
  9. campout in the family room or backyard
  10. bake or cook something together that they pick out
  11. do something sweet for a neighbor together
  12. do a craft (a few of our faves 1 /2 /3 /4 / 5 / 6 )
  13. for daughters, do each other’s makeup
  14. wake up early and go fishing
  15. checkout a new to-you neighborhood, restaurant, store, park, or play area

I always feel like the best version of myself when I’m able to be present with my kids, husband, work, friends, and even strangers, but it’s been such a challenging thing for me to do during the summer months (which is going way too quickly, btw!). Wish I could soak up the sweet moments and laughter and just play 24/7, but keeping up with work and order is also good, right?!

How do you find that rhythm between checking things off the to do list and making time to play?

I would also love to hear your favorite kid date ideas too!?

xo, Rae

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15 CREATIVE + EASY SUMMER DATE IDEAS

I might have had to eat salad with my fingers (so romantic!) but earlier this week Johan and I ditched the babes and enjoyed a takeout picnic on the waterfront. My favorite kinda date — no need to change outfits, spend much money, or prep anything but the babysitter :)

Summer is, hands down, my favorite dating season. Still, finding the time, money and energy can be a challenge. So I started a list of summer date ideas that don’t cost much, or require prep-work and that fit into a busy schedule! I’ll share below but first a peek at my date with the man I love so much…

I enjoy cooking and especially cooking with Johan, but takeout has my heart! We called our order in but still had time to share a beer at the bar before grabbing our food and heading to the beach.

His + hers. Not because I’m on a diet but salads have been a favorite food since I was a kid. Could eat one every night! With a side of fries of course. Snagged a few of Johan’s.

His best GQ face. HA!

Which lead to some funny commentary and serious laughter. I love making him laugh and  it’s easy for him to do the same.

A little love note we found. You can also see it in the food pic above.

A quick jaunt on the beach before heading home. But first, selfies!

EASY SUMMER DATE NIGHT IDEAS:

  1. Putt-putt golf or driving range.
  2. Takeout, dessert or wine and cheese plate picnic… setting up in the backyard or front porch after kids are asleep (or watching a movie) counts!
  3. Early morning coffee date. Hire a middle school neighbor (whose mom is home!) to come watch cartoons and eat cereal with the kids while they wake up.
  4. Meet up for lunch.
  5. Go play tennis.
  6. Minor league baseball games are fun, less expensive and totally low-key!
  7. Farmer’s Market dates always include flowers (bonus!).
  8. Trying to recreate your first date is fun and usually pretty inexpensive, LOL.
  9. Go bowling.
  10. Track-down a food truck you’ve been wanting to try.
  11. Make S’mores and play cards around the fire pit… with friends too!
  12. Go somewhere with a view of the city/mountains/water and kiss :)
  13. Play darts at a dive bar.
  14. Movie or music nights at the park in your hood. They often start after bedtime which makes picking a sitter (and paying) a little easier.
  15. Walk/skate/bike along a paved trail or pier.

Two last thoughts…

  1. Take pics! I’m always hesitant to bring the camera or get my phone out, thinking it will ruin the moment but we take pics all day long of our kids because we never want to forget the moments and season of life. I forget how much I’ll miss this season of our marriage too.
  2. An article I read recently said that moms and dads that have semi-regular date nights are happier parents (there was also something about exercising and getting enough sleep, lol). A little incentive for when leaving the little ones feels like more work than fun. There’s a huge payoff!

What’s your favorite thing to do for dates in the summer!?

XO, Rae

A couple other posts you might like: DATE NIGHT IN WINE AND CHEESE TRAY + DATE NIGHT IN FAMILY ROOM FORT

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MOM TRIBE

Forget the kids. It takes a village to raise a mom… Especially this mom! I’ve been spoiled rotten with an amazing squad of mamas that encourage, help, love and inspire me on a daily basis. A handful of them are lifelong friends I’ve had since my school years. Other’s are connections through friends, college, church, a MOPs group, our neighborhood and so on.

And then there’s the mom village that has been built from blogging here and posting on social media. It’s an amazing thing, the connections that have been made. Thanks for being a part of my village. For loving and encouraging me and letting me share my story with you. I hope I’ve done the same for you in someway. Motherhood really is the BEST HOOD and it wouldn’t be the same without you!

Now enough of me gushing :) Head over to this post and tag all the mamas you want to gush about.

xo, Rae

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LIFE LATELY: OUR 4th OF JULY, 2017

Johan and I spent sometime over our anniversary date a couple weeks ago, chatting about our favorite memories as a couple and family. Most of the things we discussed involved some sort of tradition, trip or outing. At the top of the list was our annual 4th of July celebration at my parent’s lake house. I shared a bit about it HERE last summer so I may be repeating myself, but the day kicks off with neighborhood festivities starting with a fishing derby that leads to relay races and a potluck that included cotton candy.

After that we meet up with friends at the house, play in the lake and eat too much food until it get’s dark enough for fireworks. It’s pretty much the best.

A few snaps from our 4th of July!

A couple photo-ops before heading to the neighborhood lodge where the games are played… and where Johan and I got married!

The sun came out for the games which is amazing but makes taking pictures tricky so please excuse the bad light and editing. Still trying to figure out the best way to deal with harsh light! (Feel free to share tips if you have any!?)

Also, if you’ve ever left or read through the comments on this blog you may have noticed some notes from “papa” (my dad). Well, that’s him to the right of me in the picture above. He’s a professional skydiver, rides a motorcycle, and since retiring almost full-time has added long hair, playing the piano and kick-boxing to his resume. He’s ridiculous and really cool and I think it’s always fun putting a face to a name. Wishing I managed to snap a pic of my mom too who is equally as cool and busy. They make a cute couple.

Heading back to my parent’s after eating our weight in hot dogs and sweets! By this time of the day we’re all a little hyper and scattered and ready to do whatever is next. Like get our swimmers on…

… and guess what? This year I managed to get all three of the boys into the same trunks! Even crazier is that it took zero begging or bribing the older two to make it happen. Just found these great swim shorts in men and mini sizes from Kortni Jeane (my go-to shop for swim suits this season) and the boys were all in!

*For size reference, Oz is in a men’s medium, Espen is in a mini boys 10/11 and Griffin is in a mini boys 4/5 — the younger 2 boys are really skinny so I love that the drawstring works in these shorts and keeps them up.

Look at that bunch of cute kids!  Sad that I didn’t try to snap this earlier when the teenagers and a couple other families were around with their little ones, but it’s still a pretty accurate depiction of the fun that took place later in the day. Thankful for all these munchkins (and the ones not pictured) and their parents… Love them all to pieces.

Hope you all enjoyed a very fun (or relaxing) 4th of July with family and friends!

xo, Rae

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LITTLE TOURIST: WHAT WE DID IN NY, DAY 2

Day 2 was our big museum and park day. We walked a ton, saw a lot of cool stuff and made sure to schedule in enough time to just play and (of course) carb load (lol). Honestly, you could spend an entire day at either museum we visited or central park but for kids and adults with A D D (ahem.) enjoying smaller parts of each place was perfect and the kids loved it way more than I thought they would!

Here’s how our day went…

First stop was the American Museum of Natural History where we visited the Dinosaur and Humpback Whale exhibits. Knowing what we wanted to see before we started was key I think or there would have been a lot of wandering and debating which always results in grumpy kids and adults. Of course I owe this wisdom to my brother and sister in law who are the best tour guides ever!

Next stop was The Met, but instead of the subway we walked through Central Park and ate our homemade PB&J’s at Belvedere Castle. The kids also bought their one and only souvenirs from the castle gift shop. Some kind of whistle, compass, flint, storage, outdoorsy gadget that I thought was amazing because I love souvenirs that are also useful, but I spent the rest of the trip taking them away, LOL.

(My brother and his sweet fam bam!!!!)

THE MET! So much to love about this museum. Again we planned out what exhibit we thought the kids would appreciate before starting….

(Cousinly love! ^^^)

The Mummies and Knights got most of our love and attention but we also stopped by the fashion exhibit and roof top which was beautiful! The main entry of the museum also had all of the nude Renaissance art and sculptures which Tilly was unsure of at first but in the end concluded that at least they all had cute butts. (hahahaha!)

The kids LOVED the maps the museum provided with hand drawn illustrations of the different areas and art too. They spent a lot of time trying to figure out where they were based on the map which kept them engaged and added to the experience so be sure to grab one if you go!

The kids (Tilly with a tic-tac dispenser in her mouth) look so confused by the statues on the rooftop, LOL. I would never in a million years consider Espen and Tilly “museum kids” but they were both interested and excited about what they saw. You could see the wheels turning.

At this point the kids were a little restless so we walked around the corner to Ancient Park to splash and play!

It’s literally right next door to The Met and is inspired by the museums collection of Egyptian art. Bonus that it had water features to cool us off.

Afterwards we were hoping to visit the Central Park Zoo but ran out of time (it closes at 5pm) and is probably for the best… not sure Espen and Tilly could have done much more walking!

In between all of this we ate food cart hot dogs in front of the Met and grabbed pizza in Brooklyn on the way home where we ate and watched a movie before completely crashing!

Love being totally exhausted from playing and being out and about. Forget sometimes that I don’t have to fly halfway across the country to do so and after sorting through pics from our trip this week, am feeling very inspired to adventure around our own cities and neighborhoods this summer! How about you?

You can find details from Day 1 HERE… Thanks again for letting me share!

xo, Rae

*Beautiful pictures snapped by my sister in law Alex, who is coming to Seattle in a couple weeks and will be hosting mini sessions for anyone that is interested, DM her on Instagram!!

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SUMMER OUTING CHECKLISTS (TECH + PRINT FREEBIES)

It’s summertiiiime, and the living is easy… but every parent knows that there’s a lot of planning, packing, and cleaning up that goes into those sweet summer days. That being said, summer days spent away from the house are also my favorite! To make it easier to get out the door at a decent time with my sanity and at least most of the items we need to have fun, I put together some checklists. One for each of our go-to summer outings: beach days, pool hangs, play and park time and day trips. Files can be saved to your phone or downloaded and printed. Simple directions and links are below!

To download checklists from a computer, click on link below, then right (or left) click and click “save image as…”. AirDrop, dropbox or email yourself the image and save to camera roll. From there you can save to notes or wallpaper!

To download checklist from phone, tap on link then hold finger down on image and tap “save image”. Find image in camera roll then save to notes or wallpaper!

pool checklist

day trip checklist

beach day checklist

playground checklist

Click link below to download the printable checklists!

pool, playground, day trip, + beach checklist printables, PDF

The older kids just left the house for their last (half) day of school so these checklists seemed the perfect way to celebrate and also prep for summer adventures…. I hope you enjoy!

xo, Rae

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LITTLE TOURIST: WHAT WE DID IN NY, DAY 1

We’ve been back for almost 2 weeks now but it’s taken me this long to go through all the pics and process everything we did in NY. I was a little intimidated by the thought of navigating the city with kids when I booked the trip but luckily we were staying with my brother and sister-in-law who have been living there for awhile and are total pros! We crammed so much in during our stay that I’m going to break up our trip day by day.

Day 1 started after a red-eye from Seattle which worked out well with my kids at their ages (Espen 10 and Tilly 8). None of us slept much (despite carrying on pillows, blankets and melatonin!) but the excitement kept us going and our exhaustion at the end of the day made the time change no big deal. Here’s a look at what we did…

First up was a drive-by past Lady Liberty. It was no.1 on Tilly’s bucket list but booking a tour costs a lot and took up most of a day and I wasn’t sure it would hold their attention much. So, my brilliant sister in law suggested hopping on the Staten Island ferry (it’s free!) instead. I googled fun facts about the statue while we road by (there and back) and got plenty of pictures which seemed to satisfy everyone. Bonus that it only took about an hour!

After getting off the ferry we walked over to Battery Park to see the Bull (and rub his balls for good luck :). The SHE statue was also still there which I was so excited about. I’m more of a humanist than feminist, but her addition to the bull gives me all kinds of warm fuzzies.

We also stopped for a ride on the sea glass carousel which was so pretty!

Next stop was a late lunch at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park which was no.1 on my bucket list. Johan and I ate there during our last trip and I’ve been craving it ever since.

The last stop of the day was Rockefeller Center and Time Square where we saw Elmo, a totally impressive subway performer, naked painted ladies in thongs, beautiful art installments (the “x” chairs and piano), a unicorn man and a really cool dance group… definitely not my normal scene or vibe but a lot of fun and totally worth it!

All in all, we ended up doing so much more on the first day and literally went until we dropped. The kids actually dozed off on the Subway ride home!

Thanks so much for letting me share our trip with you! If there are any other details you’d like to hear more about let me know and I’ll include it in the follow up posts.

xo, Rae

*Beautiful pictures snapped by my sister in law Alex, who is coming to Seattle in a couple weeks and will be hosting mini sessions for anyone that is interested, DM her on Instagram!!

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5 FUN TIPS FOR INSTAGRAM STORIES

Even though I’m not super consistent about posting to Instagram Stories, I’m a huge fan! Love how it’s (usually) less polished and more spontaneous than the little squares (which I love too!). Aside from being an easy way to share with friends, family, husbands (while they are at work or away!), and social media friends, it’s also an entertaining way of documenting the little things and moments in bite sized files (instead of the 5 minute videos no one will ever re-watch) it can also be a simple and fun way to get creative :)

Here are a few of my favorite ways to do just that!

ACCESS MORE COLORS — did you know there is a full color wheel hiding behind those little dots of color at the bottom of the screen?! Select the pen or text tool and press on any of the color dots and slide your finger up.

  1. MAKE A TEXT BLOCK — I kinda think I was the last person to discover this, but it’s never good to assume, so thought I would share! Take your picture or video and tap the screen or text tool to write a caption. Tap the “A” with a square outline around it in the middle top of your screen to make it a text block.
  2. PLAY WITH LETTER + TEXT SIZE + COLOR — Type text or letters out separately by tapping the text icon and tapping “done” in between each. Then edit each line and arrange as you want. Select the pen and different colors to make shapes behind the text for a little pop!

MAKE A SOLID BACKGROUND — Take a picture (of anything) and tap the pen tool in the top right. Select your color (hold down for the full color wheel if you want – see tip 1 above) then hold finger anywhere on the image for a few seconds and it will turn into a solid background. Tap “done” in the top right and then use the stamps, pen, or type tool to design a fun image!

 

SHARE A VIDEO or PIC/LATERGRAM FROM YOUR CAMERA ROLL ON YOUR STORY – Open your Instagram home page and swipe right or press the camera icon at the top left. Then swipe up or down to open images and videos that were taken in the last 24 hours.

If the image you want to share is older than 24 hours simply open image in a photo editing app, such as VSCO, and re-save to your camera roll. Then follow the steps above! ^^^

 

HOW TO HIDE YOUR STORIES FROM CERTAIN USERS — From your Instagram homepage, swipe right or tap camera icon. Then tap the gear icon at the top left to open which will open your story settings. If you tap the “hide story from” line it will open up a list of people following you and you can select from there.

HIDE STORIES YOU DON”T WANT TO WATCH — There is so much content on Instagram and scrolling through pics is one thing, but it can be easy for your favorite stories to get buried. To mute the ones you aren’t interested in open your Insta homepage. Press and hold the circle profile image of the accounts you don’t want to see and a “mute @account” option will pop up. You’ll still see their content in your feed and you can un-mute their stories anytime… just scroll through all of the profile images in stories and you’ll see all the ones you muted.

A couple other features I appreciate…

ZOOM IN AND OUT IN VIDEO WITH ONE FINGER — Ok, so I found out about this one from watching my 16 year old, LOL, and don’t actually use it very often but it does come in handy sometimes! Simply, open your camera in Instagram on the normal setting. Hold down the button and slide your finger up to zoom.

PAUSE A STORY – By holding your finger down on the screen! Use this all the time when there is a lot of text on a video or image, hashtag slow-reader.

I think we can all agree that social media is a lot of fun but can also be a huge distraction and time-suck. I don’t have any specific boundaries or time limits, although I probably should, but personally there is only so much screen time this girl can take each day before I start to feel tied down which I hate. So on days I have larger amounts of computer work, you probably won’t see me on Instagram. I also try to keep my phone use to a minimum once the older kids are home from school (although I could probably do better!). However, school is almost out and I take on less work during the summer so you may be seeing more stories from me for the next few months! (Follow along @raeannkelly if you are into that!)

Oh, and Espen, Tilly and I are leaving for New York tonight and I’m going to try and share lots of pics and videos… without being annoying hopefully :)

How do you keep your social media use in check? What’s your favorite feature on Instagram Stories?

XO, Rae

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