Archive | LIFE



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!  



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.

the-fam-bam-takes-disney-2016-0940-2 the-fam-bam-takes-disney-2016-0948the-fam-bam-takes-disney-2016-0986-2

(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!



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.


(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!)

the-fam-bam-takes-disney-2016-1431the-fam-bam-takes-disney-2016-1436By the end of day (rain and all), I was wishing we had planned one more day to enjoy the rides and take everything in. Which I guess is a really good thing. Always best to leave wanting more!

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 




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.
  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!
  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 :)

rae-ann-kelly-rainy-days-0497 rae-ann-kelly-rainy-days-0486rae-ann-kelly-rainy-days-0490

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




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/



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!


  • 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.


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



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.

rae-ann-kelly-little-tourist-guide-pike-place-market-9814rae-ann-kelly-little-tourist-guide-pike-place-market-9840 rae-ann-kelly-little-tourist-guide-pike-place-market-9805-2 rae-ann-kelly-little-tourist-guide-pike-place-market-9855 rae-ann-kelly-little-tourist-guide-pike-place-market-9866 rae-ann-kelly-little-tourist-guide-pike-place-market-9892 rae-ann-kelly-little-tourist-guide-pike-place-market-9905 rae-ann-kelly-little-tourist-guide-pike-place-market-9951

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


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!


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




It’s not hard for me to swoon over pics of my fam — especially when all 7 of us manage to be in front of a camera at once — but I’m extra in love with how our apple orchard pics turned out! Stacy (our friend and photog) is so amazing at capturing the moments and personalities as well as the more styled shots. After flipping through our proofs this time, all I can say is that if a picture is worth a thousand words, these ones have a lot to say!


Griffey is a bit of a clinger, but I don’t mind one bit :)


Also, so Griffey. Wild in the best way.


Throwing rocks, the second they thought the camera was done shooting!


How Espen (my introvert) and Ozzie feel about all the fuss! While Poppy tries to keep her big sis in line and Griffin being snuggly.


Tilly and Espen’s relationship often reminds me of twins — although they are two years apart. They just love and get each other and it’s such a blessing to see them together. Can’t wait to see how their bond grows and changes as they get older.


Such a sweet, real life moment… Johan is always keeping us entertained and smiling.


Can’t imagine loving these faces more!

Family photo day is always a little crazy. Between the prep work that goes on beforehand, the unknowns of the day, moods of those involved, and then the anticipation of how everything turned out, it ends up being a big deal for such a short amount of time in front of the camera. I shared some of my favorite tips for taking pics with the fam in this post awhile back if you have a photo session coming up.

How do you guys cope with family picture day!?

Now just to decide which ones to frame and which to use on our Christmas cards!

XO, Rae

(images by Stacy Jacobsen… she’s the best!!!)




I’m what some might call, a creature of habit. It’s easy for me to find something I like and then wear it, listen to it, do it, or eat it until it either goes out of style or I’m sick of it. There’s just one exception — encouraging thoughts. Sure, I’ll see a cute graphic or read something affirming and think, “Yes! I like that!”, or even “So true!” and then assume it will sink in and stick with me. But you know what I learned a few months ago at a women’s retreat?

Our brains don’t know the difference between a truth and a lie, but they do know repetition.

Isn’t that crazy!? Or do I just get excited about dorky things? :)

Since learning that, I’ve been trying to keep all the good thoughts, scriptures, quotes and so on, on repeat until I know and believe them. Basically tricking my brain into believing the things I know in my heart are true. The difference it makes has been amazing!!!

In addition to good vibes and thoughts, here are a few other FALL THINGS that are currently on REPEAT around here.

Wearing, all the neutrals and specifically black or gray and brown or tan.

Drinking, pumpkin spice of course, but instead of a latte I order an americano with one or two pumps of pumpkin spice and cream. I like to think it has fewer calories but have no idea if that’s true. Ha! Good thoughts, right?

Cooking, these yummy baked apples and eating crepes at a newish coffee shop down the road from us.

Smelling, all the  fall candles! Have you started lighting candles in the evenings?

Watching, football, baseball, and the debate (oh my.).

Working on, some cute decorations and costumes for a Halloween party and another segment on King5. Pictures and details for both, coming soon!

What fall things have been on repeat around your home?!

rae-ann-kelly-mom-mini-fall-9548 rae-ann-kelly-mom-mini-fall-9598 rae-ann-kelly-mom-mini-fall-9635 rae-ann-kelly-mom-mini-fall-9729-2 rae-ann-kelly-mom-mini-fall-9667 rae-ann-kelly-mom-mini-fall-9573

POPPY’S OUTFIT/ sweater is old, but love this one (on sale) / ballet dress from alice and ames / shoes are cat and jack from target

MY OUTFIT / hat from target / top old / jeans are new fave from madewell / shoes old, similar


Hope your weekend is full of pumpkin spice and everything nice :)

XO, Rae




Happy Friday + second day of fall you guys!

Johan and I started the season off yesterday by taking the little kids to Lattin’s Country Farm and Cider Mill  and then discussed our bucket list with all the kids later in the evening.

I am a bucket list enthusiast, but by the end of the season we are scrambling to check things of. Since fall is a notoriously busy time of year for us (and we have a surprise vacay planned already!!!) we decided to keep our list simple and asked everyone to pick a thing or two to add.

Love how similar everyone’s ideas were and think we might have started a new tradition!


  • Me – Have all Halloween costumes ordered and made ASAP (instead of finishing the day or two before), family trip to Leavenworth, + s’mores.
  • Johan – Go to Apple Cup, Leavenworth, + plan an overnight date. (I’m a lucky girl!)
  • Ozzie – Bonfire with friends.
  • Espen – Host a Halloween themed sleepover.
  • Tilly – Host a sleepover + family movie night(s).
  • Griffin – Be a skelakin (skeleton) for Halloween, eat ice cream, + do a fire.
  • Poppy – No, good, + tick-a-teat! (her responses to all of our prompts)


^^^ I want Poppy’s shoes and acid wash jeggings (from Target). And everything else in her closet. ^^^

rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-8913rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-9058rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-8931rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-8949 rae-ann-kelly-fall-bucket-list-9024

^^^ Don’t mind me, walking through a row of sunflowers with my basket and toddler. So very #husbandsofinstagram but I love it anyway! Also, love that basket and can’t wait to fill it with apples later today. Also, also, have been pondering my overuse of the word love and might need to find an alternative! ^^^


^^^ Caught in the inst-snap action. Speaking of — how are you guys liking Instagram stories? I mostly ditched Snapchat when the update happen and have enjoyed having one less app to use, but it’s just not the same! Missing that snap life! ^^^

What’s on your bucket list this fall?

XO, Rae




If you’ve stopped by the blog or my instagram account lately, you may notice an ice cream cone theme going on, but it’s a total coinkidink. Our love of all things ice cream related on the other hand, is not. Oh and unicorns. We love those guys too which is the reason for more ice cream cones (slash) unicorn horns today.

Over the weekend while brainstorming ideas for Tilly’s 8th Bday party I realized we never shared all the details from her 7th, Unicorn themed Birthday! Keep reading for pics, links and our struggle to plan her party every year!


PRETTY PAPER GOODS – Invites and thank you notes from Tiny Prints. The style pictured is no longer available but THESE cute ones were another fave.

MENU – Mini homemade mac & cheese cups, apple sauce, fruit & veggie platter, and animal crackers.

THE UNICORN HORN CUPCAKES – I used THIS RECIPE, but didn’t fill the cones up as much so they would still lay flat. You will also need something to hold the cones while they bake. For this we used a big disposable foil roasting pan (like what you put a turkey in), turned it upside down and cut holes for the cones to nest in. Once the cones/cupcakes have cooled, instead of frosting we dipped in melted chocolate and sprinkles.

ACTIVITIES – The party started at our house so the partygoers could eat. Then we headed to a gymnastics facility where the girls tumbled, ran, climbed and swung from things before singing happy bday and eating their unicorn horn cupcakes. Afterwards we headed back home and opened gifts!

It was totally nuts but nice that the party wasn’t over in 2 short hours.

FELT UNICORN HORN HEADBANDS – from Brooklyn Owl, easily a favorite dress up item around our home and we love giving them away as gifts too!

PARTY FAVORS – We stuffed kraft bitty bags with twisty unicorn pops (black ones would be fun for Halloween!), rainbow stickers and friendship pins that Tilly made and taped to ‘thank you’ notes I designed and printed really quick. Favors are easily Tilly’s favorite part of party planning :)


As I mentioned above, planning Tilly’s party every year is a struggle. She would like the festivities to last all day with 30 of her closest friends (always afraid of leaving someone out) at our house, the roller rink and the gymnastics place followed by a sleepover and of course a yummy breakfast. Our struggle every year is to bring her birthday dreams down to earth while also controlling my own desire to throw a costume party at a pumpkin patch (LOL).

We are totally stumped this year and also running out of time. I’ve been pinning like crazy hoping something would stick and would love any suggestions for party themes and activities!

XO, Rae



We survived the first week of back to school with minimal rides on the struggle bus, but I’m so tiiired you guys. And so happy it’s Friday!

Our week was jammed pack with open houses, soccer, football, carpool, errands, school drop offs and a playdate at the state fair with the littles. Thought I would share a few (ok, an embarrassing amount of) pics from the last few days, starting with some open house shenanigans…


Poor Espey came down with a low-fever and ended up missing the official first day of school. Thankfully he bounced back quickly!


Both wiping off THIS kiss.

rae-ann-kelly-back-to-school-8271 rae-ann-kelly-back-to-school-8513Ozzie is now a sophomore, Espen a 4th grader, Tilly a 2nd grader and Griffin a pre-K-er.

And I am dead. Can’t imagine them getting any older than they already are.


When old routines, like waiting for the bus, feel new again!

Going to the first day without her big brother was a big deal, but she killed it. Luckily Espen was feeling better the next morning!


Yesterday Griffin, Poppy, and I distracted ourselves with a playdate at the WA State Fair. Friends, a couple rides, blow up toys, farm animals and corn dogs were just what we needed!


The face Poppy makes when I tell her to smile. ^^^

I love my little, big family more than words and life. Summer with them is my love language and having them all to myself for the last 10-ish weeks has me wishing it would never end. Trying my best to find a new rhythm and embrace this next season. Currently finding comfort in pumpkin spice lattes :)

Happy weekend friends!

XO, Rae



rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-8090

This past Friday, before my interview on KING5, Johan and I took the three younger kids (Tilly 7, Griffey 5, + Poppy 2) to Fox Hollow Farm in an effort to distract my brain from being nervous and it ended up being the best idea! (Thanks for all the support and kind words you guys! It was so much fun! Use the link above to watch the segment.)

One thing that was rattling around my head during our outing was whether or not I would enjoy living on a (mini) farm. Even though I consider myself more of a city or beach girl, hanging out with the kids on the farm, watching them chase animals and roam the property had me wondering if I would love it. Or if I just love the idea of it. Probably the latter, but OMG this place is just so dreamy. I didn’t want to leave.

Here are a few pics from our day.

rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-8005

Looking for chickens to catch! After many of attempts. . . .

rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-8009

. . . . .

rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-8095

. . . She found someone else who had caught one and asked for a turn holding it. Love her!

rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-7995rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-7924

The landscaping was incredible without being fussy but I can’t imagine what it would take to design so much land let alone maintain it! Wish I could sit down with the owners (who live on the property) and ask them all the how, why, and who questions. We can barely get our tiny backyard looking put together!

rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-7954

As if the animals, landscape, creek, pony rides,  and mini playhouses (not pictured) were not enough they had a fleet of power wheels waiting to ride around their giant driveway loop.

Also, kids in sunnies? Yas please!

rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-8014rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-8039

They have the best dad that makes them laugh like it’s his job. Watching them together makes me feel like the luckiest girl!

rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-8048rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-8075rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-7935

A tired Pop-Tart.

rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-8052rae ann kelly family fox hollow farm-8056

We didn’t want to leave but ended our visit with cold popsicles and lots of hand sanitizer. Still wondering if I could be a mini farm kinda girl.

So now I’m curious… If you could live anywhere would it be by the beach, in the city, on a farm, in the mountains or a combination of two?

XO, Rae