Archive | LITTLE CITY GUIDE

BEST COFFEE IN SEATTLE + RUFFLES ON EVERYTHING

We’ve officially given into the cold weather and are trading our favorite ice cream shops for coffee shops! This one is C & P Coffee Company in West Seattle. Doesn’t that bright colored door just beg you to come in and see what’s on the other side? The answer is delicious coffee and an eclectic and cozy atmosphere. It was too busy to try and take pics inside so the equally cute front patio area will have to do, but you guys would have loved it!

The weather was decent (aka, not raining!) so we grabbed our drinks and snacks and sat outside. Americanos are my go-to but opted for a latte just for the foam. Best decision I ever made :)

I’ve also traded in my tees for sweaters (and sweatshirts of course)! And thanks to a Happy Birthday coupon code to Anthropologie, I have a new one with ruffles. There are so many cute ones out there to choose from but I’m loving the detail and placement on the sleeve.

Can we also talk about how cute Poppy’s little ruffle dress is!? I’ll link all outfit details below!

Poppy had fallen asleep on the car ride and woke up on the wrong side of the car seat, if you know what I mean? Come to think of it, she’s always kind of a bear when she wakes up! Could it be a blood sugar thing? Or just a personality thing? Snacks always help but I think that’s just a general rule of being human.

Aside from snacks, we haven’t left the house lately without a travel bag of shopkins for Poppy. They’re easy to sort, line up in a row or pretend play with.

Poppy perked up on the walk back to the car, so we decided to stop by a friend’s house just a few blocks away for some playtime. Not a bad way to spend the morning!

What’s your favorite way to spend a morning?

xo, Rae

MY OUTFIT | sweater from anthropology x straight leg cropped jeans from madewell (similar or same jean in a slightly diff wash and on major sale!) x metallic mules from nordstrom (similar)

+ POPPY’S | coat from gap (similar) x ruffle dress from rockets of awesome x tights from target x puma shoes (in black at nordstrom rack for $25)

(images by Johan)

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KID DATE: SEATTLE CHILDREN’S THEATER

We are a sports family to the core and even though there is often music playing in the background like a soundtrack to our day, we haven’t done a very good job of exposing our kids to the arts. Unless of course craft time counts? LOL. I guess it’s better than nothing, but there are always those thoughts in the back of my mind — am I providing them with all the experiences they need to be a well rounded human being? (Prob. not) Should we sign then up for piano lessons? (Prob. yes) What if their heart and talents aren’t on a soccer/football/baseball field? (Hmmm) If they have a knack for, or interest in music, theater, dance or art, will I notice and be able to support them in it?! (Gosh I hope so!)

I know worrying and feeling guilty isn’t the answer and trust that if I pray about it and then do something productive, things will fall into place. Which takes the pressure off, !? Anyways, our schedules are a little too full at the moment to add another commitment so Johan and I have been talking about doing a better job of taking them to performances and museums, to get a sense of what they might be interested in trying themselves.

We’ve heard so many wonderful things about the Seattle Children’s Theater it seemed like the perfect place to start so we planned a little date with Espen and Griffin to see  Go, Dog go! and it did not disappoint! Here’s a little recap…

Of course, every good boy date starts with pizza! Zeeks on Queen Anne is a favorite and right up the hill from the Seattle Center where the children’s theater is.

The booths are roomy with tall benches so we weren’t worried about bothering our neighbors when the boys got a little rowdy and loud. A dream come true when eating out with kids! Another dream come true? Delicious personal sized pizzas for only $6 (during happy hour)! No negotiating over toppings :)

Next we hopped in the car for a quick drive down to the theater which is right next to the Space Needle. It’s not often we are in this area at night so it felt like an extra treat to see it all lit up!

A few pics before the show! Cameras and phones weren’t allowed once the show started… I may or may not have gotten in trouble for trying to add a few moments to my Instagram Stories (oops!). It was just so hard to resist!

So you get a good idea of the look of the play, I grabbed a couple pics from their site:

It was definitely geared towards ages 3 to 6 or 7, but both of the kids  L O V E D  it and asked when we can go back to see another play! If you are in the area we highly recommend it. Very kid friendly and there is a family area at the top of the theater if things get a little too loud or squirmy.

You can find more info on the Seattle Children’s Theater site, facebook and youtube.

Wish we had all the kids with us, but individual time is so sweet too!

Thinking we’ll probably take the girl’s to something festive over the Holiday season and have been thinking about adding a piano to our family Christmas wishlist.

How do you guys keep things balanced (or not!) when it comes to activities, sports and art for your kids?!

xo, Rae

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LITTLE TOURIST: WHAT WE DID IN NY, DAY 3

We’ve been putting the finishing touches on Tilly’s New York themed Birthday party and it occurred to me yesterday that I never shared the last part of our trip! Last June, I took Espen and Tilly to visit my brother and his family who live in Brooklyn and had the most amazing time. My sister in law was sweet enough to capture so many moments from our time with them…  Here’s day 1 + day 2 if you missed them, and below are pics of what we did on day 3!

Everyday we spent in NY was a favorite for different reasons, but day 3 took the cake (literally and figuratively) because I imagine it’s what a normal Saturday would have looked like for us if we lived there. We got to be guests at Logan’s (my nephew) 5th Birthday party, grabbed lunch and bubble tea at Hanco’s in Park Slope, walked through the prettiest parts of Prospect Park, played at a splash pad and then stopped at an Italian Ice truck before walking home. It was a good day.

A kid party complete with balloons, cupcakes, popcorn served in lunch bags and quirky games? Yes please! Ha! But on a more serious side, everyone who lives far away from family probably understands just how special it was that we were able to attend Logan’s 5th bday celebration. Just thinking about it makes my heart burst again.

(LOVE YOU NEW YORKERS SO MUCH!)

Next stop was Hanco’s for Vietnamese sandwiches and bubble tea — our first bubble teas to be specific! I slurped up mine but the kids were not fans. Just look at Tilly’s confused face :)

Next stop was Prospect Park for a walk, picnic and playtime at the splash pad.

(My little brother and Espen! Family is just so sweet.)

Last stop was for Italian Ice on our way home.

Anyone else starting to feel hungry?

A little Pokemon Go on the ride home!

So proud of my little subway pros and loved watching them take care of their cousin like they would (or even more so) their own siblings.

I have always loved looking through “old” pictures and this time was no different. Kinda left me feeling homesick for family and adventure and time together. Daydreaming about our next vacation… hopefully with all 7 of us!

Where do you guys like to travel with your family?

xo, Rae

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A MORNING AT THE FAIR WITH THE LITTLES

OK, is it just me or was last week crazy town!!!!? Our days were jam-packed and even though I was able to be productive with work and have lots of family and friend time, our home is a whole other story. But I guess 2 out of 3 isn’t bad? It’s definitely the balance I prefer. At least until so many people have gone through the laundry pile that I’m not sure what’s clean and what’s dirty and cereal has been eaten for far too many meals — like dinner last night. Guess I should add laundry and grocery shopping to my to do list today, LOL.

But first, back to the thing that makes my heart burst which is time with any and all combinations of my kids and their baby daddy. Last Friday we pulled Griffin out of school and made one last visit to the Washington State Fair. As conflicted as I feel about fairs (I mean, those rides can’t be up to code and the mini heart attacks that happen anytime I lose sight of a kid can’t be good for me either), I’m almost positive it’s impossible not to have the best time ever while there. Here’s a few (dozen ;) snaps from our visit!

First stop, the carousel a.k.a. the one ride that doesn’t make me nervous. After our little ride all I could think was — we need one of these in our backyard! Wouldn’t that be amazing!? A girl can dream I guess.

Griffin giving me a hard time about my sense of direction. We were looking for the petting zoo but could only find barns full of goats. Ha!

Also, worth noting is Johan’s metallic backpack. So manly and always fun!

The hand holding a few pictures up!

Fair food is surprisingly not my favorite, but corn dogs, cotton candy and scones are usually a must for everyone else. These two kids (however) take after me regarding the scones so they tried the scone ice cream instead and loved it!

Last but not least, we had to spend the rest of our tickets on a couple games! Griffin tried SO HARD to win one of those puppies for Poppy and came really close. I just love how much he loves her. Just wish he didn’t also love to annoy her, lol (see pics below).

Hope you guys have a very happy and (mostly) balanced week doing what you love most! But if things end up being a little lopsided, just know I’m right there with you!!!

xo, Rae

PS – Thank you to everyone that played along with my Q+A. I have had a ton of fun reading your answers and (because last week ended up being a doozy) will be answering questions this week so stay tuned!

RAE | sonnet james dress, jean jacket from j. crew, old matte black hunter boots from nordstrom

GRIFFIN | old hoodie from the gap, joggers from rockets of awesome, vans from peek kids

POPPY | “salty” tee from grilled cheese friday, childhoods skirt, old tights from target, Frozen boots courtesy of a Target trip with her auntie ;)

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TINY TOURIST: SCOOTER RIDING IN FREEMONT

This past spring after taking a media training workshop that challenged me to be more present in my work, I started applying the same tools for staying present in my everyday (especially with the kids) and it has honestly changed my life and my relationships. Summertime, for obvious reasons, has brought new challenges to keeping my head, heart and body in the same place at once (ha!) but add to it the heartbreaking things happening in our country and world and a couple other changes we’re working through in our own life and being present has seemed almost impossible these last couple weeks.

In case you’ve been feeling the same way, a few of the things that have helped are:

  1. not worrying about how much or little I checked off my to-do list
  2. doing a brain-dump on paper or writing in my journal
  3. asking for help when I need it (4 of the kids stayed the night at their grandparents last night so I could catch up on work things)
  4. move my body — a quick run, walk, or jump on the trampoline is all it takes
  5. getting out of the house for an outing, treat, playtime or just a change of scenery

That last one always seems to do the trick, even under normal circumstances, but since I haven’t taken more than a picture (or boomerang) or two, lately I thought I would share some snaps from a quick trip we took a couple weeks ago to Fremont — a cute little neighborhood in Seattle. It’s also home to a riverside trail, lots of delicious and kid friendly restaurants, a Sunday Market you would die over, and a tourist attraction we all agreed was the strangest we had ever seen.

The Fremont troll lives under a freeway overpass, right along a busy street and a good walking distance away from anything else to do. Our quick stop was somewhat interesting and the kids had fun climbing on him, but we were so shocked to see how many tourists were there taking pictures! That being said, and you can take this with a grain of salt, if you ever plan a trip to Seattle don’t add the Troll to your itinerary. Unless of course you have a thing for trolls. :)

Fremont on the other hand is a total gem. You should definitely visit!

Troll visit aside, we had so much fun, spent most of our time scootering on the Burke-Gilman trail, stopped to watch the drawbridge open and grabbed some lemonade before heading home.

How do you guys manage to stay present while keeping up with kids, work, a home, and marriage!?

xo, Rae

P.S. — My dress is from Sonnet James who also happens to be having an end of summer sale! You guys know how much I love her dresses so wanted to make sure I pass on the info!

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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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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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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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WE’RE COMIN’ FOR YA, NY!

(i heart ny)

Eeek! In about a month, Espen, Tilly, + I will be packing our bags and hopping on a flight to New York to visit my brother, sister (in-law), and nephew! We’ll have 3 full days to adventure and play around the city and since you guys always have the best ideas I thought I’d ask if you have any must do, eat, or see suggestions for us…?

So far Espen wants to go swimming and Tilly wants to see the emoji movie while we’re there (“Are there movie theaters in NY?” she asked. Ha!). These kids are in for the surprise of their lives and I can’t wait to see it all through their eyes!

Johan and I have been chatting about taking the whole fam bam to NY ever since our visit several years ago (you can see the post here!) for my Birthday, yet have had a hard time figure out logistics (i.e. affording the trip without blowing college funds, etc., etc.). Booking a trip for just the three of us seemed like the next best thing even though I hate to leave the rest of the kids and Johan behind — we’ll miss them soooooo much! — but, I’m glad we didn’t wait any longer to make it happen.

Are there any trips you’ve been dreaming of taking!?

Oh, and don’t forget to let me know if you have any NY food or activity suggestions for us! We’ll be staying in Brooklyn.

xo, Rae

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LITTLE CITY GUIDE: ALKI BEACH, SEATTLE

Guess what? It’s still the weekend!

Weekends that are still going strong on a Monday? Count me in please! Can we make this a thing? Ha! I mean, there are all those national donut, puppy, pizza, etc. days now… don’t they deserve a day of observance? Totally kidding, but I could get used to Tuesday being the new Monday.

There is only one thing I like more than having Mondays off… starting the weekend a day early, which is exactly what we got to do this past week. My babes had Friday off of school and even better, Johan had the day off from fighting fires too. Since the sun was shining we headed to the one place I think we’ve all been craving since the end of fall… the beach. Here’s a few pics from our morning.

Like most little sibs, Griffin is always trying to keep up with the big kids. Mostly Espen and Tilly. At home he’s treated more like a third wheel than a play buddy, but when we are out and about it seems to level the playing field a little more. Makes my heart so happy to watch.

Caught shooting an Instagram story. Something I am so very inconsistent with but thoroughly enjoy. Almost too much :)

It might sound kinda cliche, but I love watching them explore and take in their surroundings. Even when we are so close to home.

You can’t end a cold outing at the beach where almost everyone wound up with wet feet (just can’t resist running and jumping in those waves!) without something warm to sip on. We initially saw the Starbucks but then noticed a Top Pot next-door so decided to warm up with donuts too :)

Hope you are able to soak up some extra family time this weekend!!!

XO, Rae

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