Archive | LITTLE TOURIST GUIDE

FAMILY TRAVEL: WHAT TO DO + EAT IN LEAVENWORTH, WA

I’m back and ready to spill the beans on all the best things to do in Leavenworth, WA with kids! I know this won’t be as helpful to those outside of the Pacific Northwest, but hopefully the home video and images are somewhat entertaining and make you want to plan a road trip!

WHAT TO EAT IN LEAVENWORTH – starting with the most important thing because no one can be happy and hungry at the same time. If traveling with kids and the town is busy during your visit I suggest making reservations (and/or dining early) whenever possible.

  • SOUTH – Cozy atmosphere, yummy tex-mex and every once in awhile, live music. Also, every time we’ve been, our food comes so quick which is always a bonus with kids! PS –  the tortilla soup is my favorite. PPS – Los Comperos is another option (with a bigger dining area) if you’re craving mexican!
  • GUSTAV’S – my love for Gustav’s runs deep as they’ve been feeding me since I was Tilly’s age. Great place to take the fam bam or a group with lots of crowd pleasers on the menu (burgers, yummy fries, sandwiches, soups, salads, brats, etc.).
  • HEIDLEBURGER DRIVE IN – my other request as a kid was the drive-in. We’d stop on our way back to the cabin after skiing or on our way home.
  • MUNCHEN HAUS – the best place to grab a hot dog, sausage or pretzel and then sit outside (by heaters or open flame at the tables!). Plus they have the best selection of mustard and other condiments. A few pics here.
  • LEAVENWORTH SAUSAGE GARTEN – another great option for quick eating!
  • WATERSHED CAFE – Farm to table and PNW inspired, cozy atmosphere, with outdoor seating during warmer months. Just a little bit tucked away from the main street on 8th.
  • SULLA VITA – Medeterranian food, wood-fired pizza oven, amazing wine (and beer :) selection, and outdoor eating. So good.
  • BAREN HAUS – I’ve never actually eaten here, but everytime I walk by, I want to go in… Just not the biggest fan of German food and my kids don’t like sausages so always hesitate!
  • VISCONTI’S – everyone needs a good italian meal, plus they take reservations.
  • HOMEFIRES BAKERY – is it even a trip to Leavenworth without grabbing some goodies for breakfast from Homefires? When I was a kid they were located in a house along icicle road, but now you’ll find them in Dan’s Food Mart.
  • GINGERBREAD FACTORY – easy to miss, but a fun spot to stop for a quick sweet treat.
  • COFFEE – there’s a starbucks in town (yay!). It’s almost always packed during the weekends or holidays but the drive-thru is usually empty. J5 coffee is also really good, the shop is cute (the espresso maker is turquoise!), and their shelves are stocked with coffee, tea and accessories – perfect for gifts!
  • ICE CREAM – because you know we always need an ice cream break! If you have a craving or need a good bribe for the kids, try Whistlepunk Ice Cream Co. (they sell pints too!) or Viadolce Gelato.

WHAT TO DO IN LEAVENWORTH – a few of our favorites during the colder months below!

  • VISITING SHOPS – you can’t go to Leavenworth without a trip into town and a stroll along front street. A few of our faves: Kris Kringle, the Wood Shop, the Hat Shop, Der Sportsman, the Taffy Shop, Schocolat, J T Blu, and so many more. You really just have to walk up and down the streets to find all the gems… somewhere along the way there’s a cute home goods store that I can’t remember the name of, lol!
  • THE FESTHALLE – Between Thanksgiving and Christmas there’s craft booths, Santa and a Young Life booth with snacks and lanterns you can decorate ($10 each) for the Santa parade (a short walk from the festhalle to the gazebo in town. More details here, but it’s worth stopping by the halle to talk to someone and double check times!
  • FRONT STREET GAZEBO + HILL – if there’s snow, bring a sled! Great spot to grab a pizza or picnic and let the kids play during the warmer months too. It’s also where you’ll find public restrooms.
  • WATERFRONT PARK – Just a few blocks behind downtown and along the Wenatchee river. The perfect little activity if you need a break from the crowds but don’t want to drive anywhere.
  • ENCHANTMANT PARK – a great kids play area, bike track, skate park and walking tails also along the Wenatchee river and close to town.
  • SLEIGH RIDES – There are usually a couple sleighs in town or there are more scenic rides listed here.
  • SKI HILL – Also known as Leavenworth Winter Sports Club, has tubing, skiing, snowshoeing and a lodge that sells hot chocolate. We’ve gone before just to play in the snow and sip on cocoa.
  • ICICLE VILLAGE – Has miniature golf, a little arcade area (yay skee-ball!) and chicken strips if your kids have a craving.

Sandwiched between a brick and a pink building… gah!

The lights are the best part!

Outside of Kris Kringle where we stop almost every trip and buy an ornament. Can’t beat a shop entirely dedicated to Christmas decor! If you plan on bringing the kids in (there are lots of breakables!) I suggest ditching the stroller and heading up the stairs where they keep the more casual and less expensive ornaments and decorations :)

This time we brought home two, plus a couple more as gifts. The gumball machine made the cut along with a red phone booth to inspire more traveling in the new year and add more red to our tree!

Blurry, dark pics from inside of South.

The river outside our cabin. Rental info can be found here!

We’ve been to Leavenworth more times than I can count so I hope these tips help! Let me know if you have any questions.

xo, Rae

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PHOTOS + A VIDEO FROM THE REINDEER FARM IN LEAVENWORTH

I’ve been to Leavenworth more times than I can count and most of the time I’m excited to eat, visit and do all the things at our usual spots but every once in awhile something new pops up that I can’t wait to try with Johan and the kids. This time it happened to be a Reindeer Farm and it was a huge hit. I’ll let the crazy amount of pictures and quick video below do all of the talking… we loved every minute!


I was taking pics of the kids in Santa’s sleigh when he snuck up behind me! Most of the kids thought it was hilarious. Poppy about lost her mind.

Once Santa was out of sight, someone offered to snap a family photo of us on the sleigh (love it when people do that!) and while you never quite know if it’ll turn out, I think this time we might just have a Christmas card photo!

The kids literally haven’t stopped talking about our new reindeer friends. Through all of our conversations, we all agreed that the reindeer in the movie The Santa Clause are the most accurate depiction of the very quirky and mischievous animals. Bet you can guess what’s showing next on our family movie night!?

Love when outings lead to conversations. Makes all the chaos worth it!

xo, Rae

PS – for all my local friends that might be planning a stay in Leavenworth, I’m going to share some of our favorite places to eat tomorrow. Is there anything else you’d like me to share.

PPS – sign up for emails so you don’t miss anything!

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SLIP DRESSES + SKIRTS FOR THANKSGIVING GET TOGETHERS

A couple weeks ago, Johan and I stayed a few blocks away from Pike Place at the Palladian hotel for an overnight date and had the best time. We kept things very low-key and tried a new restaurant, shopped at the market, dressed like grownups, drank coffee while it was still hot, talked about the kids, and laid in bed watching the today show just because we could. It was the perfect little break before the holiday rush and truly just what we needed to end an insanely busy month.

(Thanks to my dad for managing the kids and chaos while we were away!)

Getting a little dressed up for our date got me thinking about what to wear over the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving which is NEXT WEEK! (WHATTTT???!) So thought I’d share one of the pieces that will be my go-to over the next month or so — my silk slip skirt that I also wish I had as a slip dress and is sooooo easy to dress up or down and mix and match. As far as formal wear goes, it doesn’t get any better than that!

Linked to my skirt below along with a few other options that I also wish were in my closet and then shared a few ideas for mixing and matching too!

SLIP DRESSES + SKIRTS:

HOW TO WEAR IT:

  • pair or layer with a fitted top, tee or turtleneck (my personal fave)
  • graphic tees, oversized sweatshirts, sherpa pullover or a parka (layered over denim or a knit) adds a casual touch to a silky skirt for a less formal kinda day.
  • think texture! a chunky knit sweater with silk is the perfect mix.
  • with just about any kind of shoe… for reals.
  • by balancing the silk with a leather jacket or something men’s wear inspired like a blazer or topcoat.

 

The color of this building with the forrest green trim made me happy.

  

Thank you for our date night Johan!!! There is no one in this world I would rather do this life with…

He’s a hands-on-dad, a firefighter, special ops (which basically means he can rescue people from any sketchy situation), doesn’t mind helping out in the kitchen, takes amazing pictures, is diehard about the things he loves, and is a total babe.

Plus he plays along with just about anything I ask and thinks I’m funny.

I’m a lucky girl.

  

WEARING: tee in olive from madewell, leather jacket from nordstrom (and on sale for $52), skirt from free people, sneakers from madewell

My silky skirt was surprisingly comfy and warm enough while walking around town and has a hidden zipper that would be easy to adjust for turkey dinner, lol. Just need to be sure and bring an oversized sweater to throw on over the top!

Do you guys usually dress up or down for Holiday dinners and events? Would you like a few more outfit ideas!? Let me know in the comments!

XO, Rae

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SWEATER WEATHER + HELLO CUPCAKE

Last Friday after a busy week and what felt like forever since Johan and I had a chance to chat or hangout for more than 5 minutes, we took Poppy out for a little date to Hello Cupcake in Tacoma. It was such a fun and needed break and as you can tell, I’m  a happy girl anytime there’s a coffee and cupcake (or 12) in my hands!

Also love that “sweater weather” means I get to add a cozy, textured layer to my usual jeans and a tee uniform. Bonus, every time I think or hear the word “cardigan”, I can’t help but sing, “Cardi-Cardi!” in my head. Ha! Add a bright color to the mix and it does wonders to brighten up tired eyes and a fading summer tan.

Linked outfit details and more pics from our outing below!

(I typically favor cozy quarters over a giant home, but dream of having a prep kitchen with a giant pantry and fridge hidden behind swinging doors with round windows like above. A little over the top but think of how amazing it would be!)

We ordered a dozen mini cupcakes to grub on and share with friends before Ozzie’s football game later that evening. Plus one to eat right away of course! Gotta love places that make their sweets in a tiny size for kids and adults to enjoy. No sugar rush (and invitable meltdown) for them or sugar crash for us.

As we walked down the street with our basically homemade cupcakes from a small shop and stared through the windows of other small shops and restaurants along the way, I thought about how much I love supporting small businesses and appreciate the people who put their heart, creativity and finances out there to make our communities thrive and our everyday lives feel extra special. It’s honestly heroic in it’s own way — even if it means paying $2 for one mini cupcake when you could buy twelve for $5 at target. The value is so much greater. And the lack of preservatives is pretty awesome too.

I’M WEARING | sweater also available here (I sized up 1 for a bigger fit), vintage tee, jeans (similar. also saving up for these), shoes

POPPY’S WEARING | leggings, sweatshirt, hat

Our little outing also made me wonder what kind of a shop I would open…? As much as I have dreamt about opening up a clothing or home goods store (for the obvious personal perks), I would for sure open up a bakery that also served ice cream and breakfast until 10pm (def. the reason I should never open a store, lol — way too hard to decide on a niche!)…. something about knowing my bakery slash cafe would be a great place for family and friends to gather or grab treats for an afternoon pick-me-up or special occasion would give me lyfe.

Do you guys ever daydream about what kind of a shop or small business you would open? Tell me bout it in the comments!

XO, Rae

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SUNDAY AT LAKE UNION, SEATTLE

Want to hear something crazy? I’ve lived in the Seattle area most of my life and have never been to Lake Union — at least not that I can remember — yet it’s so close to everything. The Center for Wooden Boats (where we spent most of our time exploring on Sunday) in South Lake Union was so fun and charming! We had a great time looking at and touring the boats, walking along the docks and playing in the water. Johan, who’s family is from Norway and Sweden, said it reminded him of his visits there and even smelled like his family summer beach home. Not positive, but I think I was more excited about the connection than he was, lol. Can’t wait to one day take our kids to visit. Can’t you just see them fitting right in?

Now back to our much more local outing… It was a little stressful keeping Poppy and Griffin from falling off the dock. They probably would have been just fine regardless of my reminders and nagging but I think I said, “walk in the middle of the dock or hold my hand” about 100 times while we were there. Not that they wouldn’t have been okay had they fallen in (we were so close!) but who wants to deal with the chaos and trauma and a soaking wet child on a not-so-hot day. Not this mama.

Borderline too many pics from our afternoon below, but couldn’t get enough of the setting and all the lines! Would make a great spot for a family photo sesh.

I am not a boat person, but left really wanting a boat.

On our way to the lake we stopped at the store and grabbed some snack-y picnic-y food. The second we found a good grassy spot near the boats that also had a playground, it also started raining. I should be used to it by now but am always spoiled by our summer weather and forget! Luckily we found a little undercover patio that wasn’t being used so were able to save the food from getting soggy (YAY!). Checkout the set up while I was making the tray of food though (HA!). Tilly with her raincoat trying to cover the grub.

Also checkout the Griffin pic in the window below… he was so excited and proud of his artistic idea and I love it too.

These little paddle boats were a big hit! $3 for 10 minutes of playtime.

We were also able to take a tour of this amazing house boat built in the early 1900’s, called the Lotus. So cool and inspiring. Seriously wanted to move in! Saved some of the videos from the day on the “Seattle” highlight on Instagram if you want to see.

A little peek of the Space Needle so you can see how close we were to the Seattle Center area which is next on our to-do in the city list.

For all the Seattlites and pacific northwesterners, what’s on your “playing tourist” to do list or fall bucket list? For everyone else, you should come visit us in the PNW!!! I just highly suggest booking sometime between July and October :)

XOXO, Rae

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SEATTLE CITY GUIDE: ALKI BEACH WITH KIDS

TRUTH: There are five activities my kids will always be up for 1. playdates with friends 2. sleepovers 3. Disneyland 4. swimming 5. making (and eating) treats. Anything outside of this short list and chances are at least one of them will gripe, lay on the floor in protest and whine about how awful their day is going to be. They can be a little dramatic and I don’t mention it to complain or throw my kids under the bus, but because it’s exactly how our day started when we let the kids know we were headed up to Alki Beach after church. I also wanted to let you know because pictures have away of making things look easy and effortless and  despite how much fun we have once we we’re out, making our plan, getting everyone on the same page and following though doesn’t always look so pretty.

Now that you have a little bit of the BTS info (always want to be transparent with you guys!), here’s a photodump of our skyline looking, beach running, scooter riding outing to Alki Beach… It’s one of my favorite places to visit!

(I’ve been sharing fit pics on Instagram Stories if you’re interested! Tap the “#ootd” highlight button.)

You really can’t beat the beach town vibe of West Seattle paired with the skyline of the city. As small as Seattle is, it looks relatively big from across the puget sound. Hop on the water taxi and you’ll be at waterfront park, Seattle aquarium, the Great Wheel and Pike Place market!

If you’re visiting Seattle and would like tour guides, Espen and I are up for the job!!! Ha!

These pics of my babes! Oz met up with us later… just in time to get money for tacos as we were leaving, ha! JK, he and his girlfriend tried to meet up with us earlier but we kept missing them on our walk. Guess we’ll have to go back sooner than later (not mad about it).

The weather’s been in the upper 60’s to low 70’s and I know some of you would gladly trade us but I can’t wait til’ it’s hot enough to be in swimmers and jumping in the water… at least for me because I’m such a wimp about getting cold. The kids could care less of course!

How is she getting this big and independent!? Guess it means we’re doing our job though :)

Marination Ma Kai is the best place to grab street style tacos, but since we packed lunches this time we opted for shave ice instead and it did not disappoint. A very different treat compared to the kind you get at a concession stand or farmers market. In other words next time you stop in for tacos, stay for shave ice!

Back to the beginning of this post, and it might sound obvious but one of the best parenting lessons I’ve ever learned is to not let the kids call the shots. Especially not in the moment, because those moments are driven by how they feel and if how they feel is tired, comfortable, lazy or just “anti-everything”, those feelings will change once they start moving, seeing, and playing. Sure, we make adjustments based on our kids needs and likes – and sometimes we’ll call it a day earlier or stay closer to home to accommodate friend time, but there is always a greater purpose for getting out and exploring with our kids and I try to never lose sight of that for the sake of doing what is easy.

Do you know what happened when we got home from the beach (and after most outings)? ALL of the kids raved about how much fun they had. How much they loved riding scooters and playing on the beach and eating shave ice and spending time together.

It’s true what they say… parents know best. You’d think my kids would catch on by now, LOL.

How are your kids about going on outings!? Are they homebodies or do they love being out and about?

XO, Rae

P.S. – You can see other visits to Alki Beach here and here too.

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FAMILY TRAVEL: BEACH GETAWAY TO SEABROOK, WA

Oh, my life is busssssy right now, but I’m hoping it’s just the crazy before the summer-calm. Aside from the kids activities, I’ve been occupied with design projects (a couple I can’t wait to share!). Just wrapped up the major stuff, so am hoping to get caught up and spend more time and fun content with you here next week, YAY! Today however, I wanted to share about our trip to Seabrook, WA. It’s become our go-to beach getaway — we’ve been 5 times (past visits here, and here) and have loved every minute. There is so much to do, the convenience is unbeatable and the houses are all so homey and easy to relax in.  I must have gotten 20 DM’s while we were there last week asking for trip details so I’ll be sure to share my best info and tips below in case you have questions too. Because I don’t want to forget what my favorite people in the world had fun doing the most together, I also wanted to share everyone’s best parts of our visit this time…

JOHAN | had the most fun sleeping in, walking to get coffee and sitting on the balcony that was attached to our room… a feature that is now on his future home wish list, lol.

ME | I loved, loved, loved our beach time this trip and also walking everywhere. It’s always my favorite part of our stay. No buckling carseats, arguing over who sits where or fighting

ESPEN + TILLY | unanimously decided shuffleboard was their favorite. I’ll talk more about it below, but there are a ton of community areas and free equipment rentals at the bike shop in town.

GRIFFIN | give him all the s’mores and hot tub time (there’s several community fire pits and a community pool and hot tub, but this time we had a hot tub and fire pit at our house too!)

POPPY | had the best time flying her kite on the beach.

OZZIE | missed out on another family trip because of school and sports (crying emoji x3) but I’m guessing his favorite part of us being gone was the peace + quiet.

*You guys, don’t ever let your kids grow up! It’s the worst. But also pretty amazing to watch and cheer them on. But also, also, the worst, lol.

We checked into our house (The Blue Lantern Cottage) and immediately made ourselves at home and got familiar with our location and proximity to all the most important things – like the pool, coffee shop, fire pits, etc. While we unpacked and made dinner, the kids checked out their bunk room and the garage which was full of toys and a ping pong table. Then we headed to the pool just to make sure they would be tired and worn-out and happy to crawl into beds and fall asleep.

I no longer hope, expect or plan on the kids being so tired that they’ll sleep in while on vacay (even after a late night and long swim) which makes it easier to enjoy any early risers. This particular morning we got these two early birds out of the house so they didn’t wake the rest (my friend Stacy and her boys were vacay-ing with us too!) and walked a couple blocks to grab coffee and sticky-buns to share.

This to me is heaven on earth! Rolling out of bed and walking anywhere, is my favorite way to start the day. Especially when coffee and warm pastries are involved and everyone is still snuggly and in their jammies. Bonus that the coffee and treats at Red Velvet Bakery are so yummy.

There’s nothing like a little beach time to make you appreciate life and God’s goodness. Not a lot of swimming happening here (maybe later in the summer), but plenty of sand to run and play in. And we obviously like hugging while on the beach, LOL.

Also, that top pic of Tilly mid-kite-flying might be a new favorite of mine.

The 3rd floor of the house we stayed in was a bunk room complete with a bathroom, organized toys, books and puzzles and 8 beds to sleep in. Makes me want to turn our attic into a playroom slash crash pad for sleepovers and get togethers!

Signs of a vacay done right… swimmers drying on a clawfoot tub and a spontaneous nap taken on a beach ball while wearing a crown.

A few tips if you are planning a trip to Seabrook!

  • Eating + shopping: Check the store/shop/restaurant hours when you first get there and plan accordingly as they change depending on the season and day of the week.
  • Picking a house: With younger kids, we prefer staying on the town side (instead of ocean side). You sacrifice a bit of the view but the kids have more freedom to roam and walking to get coffee, swim, etc. is easier.
  • Recreation: Stop by the bike shop to checkout recreational equipment for free during your stay. Also, the pool has life jackets but we usually pack ours from home for Poppy and Griffin.
  • Family + friends: it’s a great place to go with friends… also a good way to make it more affordable.  (here’s a few other tips on the subject)
  • Deciding what to do: get familiar with the map and either walk or drive around the town so you have a good idea of where things are and don’t end up missing out on something your family would love!

I already want to go back!!!

Let me know if I missed anything or you have questions.

See you back here on Monday!!!

XO, Rae

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BRUNCH AT BAIR BISTRO + YAY SPRING!

I’m happy to report that it’s finally starting to feel like spring around here which has made it a little easier to get out of the house with everyone. A couple weeks ago we took the younger kids (miss Ozzie so much during baseball season!) on a brunch date at The Bair Bistro in Tacoma. We’d been meaning to go since taking our family photos in the same area last November and it did not disappoint! The atmosphere, the food, and the people were just so sweet and yummy. We ate bear pancakes, carefully played with all the antique decor, sipped on juice (with a splash of champs for me!), occupied the kids for a good 15 minute with a dime (heads or tails? which hand is it in? etc.), embraced the chaos of eating out with kids, and took a bunch of pics.

Outings make me so happy you guys. Especially when they involve brunch! Keep scrolling to see all the pics….

Gah! These two make my heart melt.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that keep the kids entertained or distracted!

  

Poppy trying to ‘floss’! Always trying to keep up with her older siblings….

Speaking of flossing, did you guys see Espen and Tilly’s dance off?

We worked on a puzzle while waiting for our table. Gotta love a restaurant or store that provides activities!

Getting everyone to decide what they want to order is typically quite the process. They ask a million questions always, usually at the sometime too, ha!… what kind of sausage? Can I get a different side? How long will it take? What about drinks? If they don’t have apple juice can I get root beer? Are we getting dessert after this? What if I’m not full from a kid meal?

So different from the days when we would order a couple things for all the kids to split and call it good. Which only lasted until the big kids started reading and now there’s no turning back, LOL. BUT it’s also really fun! Unless we’re in the drive-thru line at Starbucks – then all the mind changing and questions drive me a little bananas… 3rd world problems, I know.

Griffin pretending to be our waiter… Ha! He’s too cute and LOVES having a job to do!

That moment when the drinks come AND they all have lids!

When your food comes but you don’t have silverware yet, HA!

They don’t always get along but when they do it’s magic… (insert all the happy emojis, hearts and rainbows).

Full bellies, happy hearts, can’t loose – should be every parents battle cry, am I right!

Love this of poppy with breakfast still on her face and Espen and Tilly holding hands. Sigh.

Had to get in one more pic before we left too!

Quick question for ya… do you find it hard to get in pictures with your kids? If so, what holds you back? If not, what’s your strategy or favorite tool for doing so?

Feel so lucky to have Johan who doesn’t mind sharing camera duty, but that hasn’t always been the case. About a year ago he really started taking the time to learn more about our camera and is now a better photographer than me! That being said, I still do a lot of prompting whether it’s a pic with him and the kids or me and the kids. Being intentional without forcing things is a tricky balance!

Hope you guys have the best weekend!

XO, Rae

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WE’RE BACK + SOME PICS FROM OUT TRIP TO AZ

Heyyyyyy sweet friends! I hope you had an amazing Easter with family and friends over the weekend! Still can’t get this scripture out of my head, “GOD told them, ‘I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!”‘ (Jer. 31:3). It’s a crazy kinda love we get to experience and not just on Easter, but it feels especially overwhelming on resurrection Sunday to me.

In other news, we’re back from spring break! After a week of sunshine and family time, it was so hard getting the kids up and out the door for school this morning. I think just as much for me as it was for them, but Griffin probably more than anyone. And Tilly’s reaction was priceless when she realized she’d have to put on real shoes instead of sandals, LOL. However, we did come home to a homemade dinner waiting for us in the fridge and an egg hunt all set up for the kids in the front yard, courtesy of the most thoughtful friends ever! Sleeping in our own beds last night was pretty heavenly too.

I got several requests for a “Family Guide to Spring Training” type post which I think is a great idea and will be working with Johan to put something good together for you guys in a couple weeks. But first I thought I’d share a big photo dump today and a few details from our trip… here goes!

Of course it’s not spring training without baseball! We arrived towards the end of the season but was able to make it to 4 games. Because everything about the pre-season is easy and low-key (seats in the grass, play areas and splash pads, cheaper tickets, smaller crowds, etc.) there isn’t any pressure to stay the entire game and the kids have more freedom too!

My parent’s rented a house for us all to stay in and stocked it with food and snacks from Costco before we arrived (spoiled us rotten!) so we didn’t do a lot of eating out, but did manage to make it to Cibo and was so glad we did! The pizza and meatballs were amazing and there is nothing quite as good as being able to dine outside… it’s one of the things Johan and I are always looking for during the warmer Seattle months. We of course also indulged in stadium grub and in-n-out too.

For anyone in the Phoenix area or planning a visit, Stacie from alice and ames shared some more great ideas for food and activities in this post.

Of course, you guys know we can’t go very long without a trip to get ice cream or in this case, gelato! Found the cutest spot, complete with a splash pad and lots of room to roam, at Luci’s at the Orchard. Wish we had something similar by our house… I would probably never leave!

Most of our free time was spent swimming but we also made it to Papago park. So pretty and the kids had fun climbing the giant rock!

Peek Kids sent us some clothes to wear and photograph on our trip… we had fun driving around with the girls while daydreaming about living in the desert and scouting for a fun spot to take a few pics. We wrapped things up with a little walk and fro-yo date.

One of our last outings was to a golf course for some putting and chipping. Couldn’t believe how much fun all the kids had, how well they did and that no one got hit with a backswing (YAY!). Have to say though, that we got really lucky with the time since the main course had just closed and we were the only ones still doing any golfing. Otherwise we probably would’ve been pretty annoying and I’m not sure it would have been quite as successful.

Love the combination of heat, food, and activities that Phoenix has to offer while still being pretty casual and affordable. Not sure my kids would handle the summertime heat very well though… they tend to feel like their melting once the temp goes above 85 degrees, lol.  True Seattleites!

If you have any interest in seeing more, I saved almost all of my short videos from our trip to an AZ story highlight HERE.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I missed anything!

xo, Rae

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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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