Archive | MOM HACKS

5 TIPS FOR PLANNING FUN FAMILY ACTIVITIES

I’ve had several conversations with other mamas lately about planning activities to do with the kids and as a family and thought it might be fun and helpful to chat about it in a post. We’ve found a system that works for us (when we do it!) for getting things on the calendar and also making sure there are plenty of days at home because we all need some downtime too. I’ll share my 5 best tips below and would love to know what works for you  and your family too!

5 TIPS FOR PLANNING KID-FRIENDLY OUTINGS |

  1. MAKE A BUCKET LIST – They can seem kind of intimidating (or maybe obnoxious?), but really I find they simplify things for me because A. I don’t have to guess or assume what EVERYONE wants to do and B. it get’s the brainstorming part of planning out of the way all at once — because I can brainstorm all day everyday and would never get anything done beyond that point, LOL!
  2. FIND THE FUN – My favorite ways to find fun events or places to visit is through sites like red tricycle and google searches. Community web sites are especially handy if we have an idea of where we want to go (let’s say Kirkland), then it’s easy to go to the City of Kirkland website and see what’s available on any given day… like free concerts in the park, yay! I also made a “PLACES + OUTINGS” collection on Instagram (using the little flag option below pics) so when I find something that inspires an activity or location close to us, I can save it. Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to ask friends and neighbors for ideas too!
  3. PUT IT ON THE CALENDAR – Things rarely happen if they aren’t added to the google calendar :) We try to schedule a month out but then go over the calendar each week too… things change so much (big family and kids!) that we’re usually rearranging things or swapping activities, but it usually works out. .
  4. THINK AHEAD + PACK SNACKS! – Any prep-work I can do well before it’s time to go is a bonus and makes leaving the house less stressful, because you know there will already be potty breaks, missing shoes (or kids), and children taking their sweet time to get out the door already, LOL. Lately I’ve been leaving a basket by the garage door where I throw in all the essentials — sunscreen, hair ties, picnic blankets, etc. and either throw what we need into a bag or just grab the entire bucket. I will also try and throw everyone’s scooters in the back of my car if I think they’ll come in handy!
  5. KEEP A RUNNING LIST OF “FAN FAVORITES” – Visiting new places is fun and exciting, but during busier weeks, or longer days when you just need to break things up a bit without adding to your stress levels, it’s nice to have a list of favorite activities or places where you know there’s something fun for the kids (hello playground or splash pad), access to bathrooms, and inexpensive food choices too. Can’t lose with that combo!

A few pics from our morning at a kid’s concert to see the Recess Monkeys and a quick snack afterwards in Kirkland…

Tilly and Claira… It’s always fun when friends can join us!

Such a good sport about going to the little kid stuff.

THIS IS MY JOB… To lay in the grass and play tickle monster and listen to silly music and just show them that they are loved and amazing and worth my time and attention (someone pinch me). It’s so easy to forget this when we’re at home and there is a pile (times 10) of laundry, meals to make, e-mails to reply to and the list goes on, which is why I try (<— keyword) to be intentional with our time and planning outings or special activities at home. It doesn’t always work out or even go as planned but it is always worth it. And BONUS, sometimes things go better than we planned!

Do I look like a groupie? ha! I love the Recess Monkeys… their songs are so silly and clever. Checkout their youtube channel to see what I’m talking about.

…Even Griff has to drag me away from the stage.

After the concert and a little bit of playtime at the park, the three bigger kids went over to a friend’s house, while Johan and I took Poppy on a little date to wow wow in Kirkland. Their lemonade is delicious and I’m obsessed with the oatmeal bowls!

Sometimes we call her “pop-tart” and other times just “tart”. Ha! This would be one of those times. She’s usually quick to get out of any funk but I think having all the kids home all the time this summer has really worn her out and trying to keep the house quiet enough for her to nap is impossible most days. A couple weeks ago I started intentionally planing things that involve longer car rides because it always puts her to sleep. The other day she was holding a full conversation with us in the car and after 10 seconds of silence I look back and she is sound asleep. Literally parties ’til she drops.

Eating with a 3 year old, LOL. Also why I love eating outside… can’t get away with this kinda stuff indoors!

How do you guys feel about making Bucket Lists?

Also, don’t forget to share your tips for planning family friendly activities in the comments!

XO, Rae

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A DAY IN THE LIFE: 5 THINGS THAT MAKE OUR BEDTIME ROUTINE EASIER

Some nights (especially during the summer) we are carrying kids from the car into bed without tubs, jammies or brushing their teeth. Other nights, bedtimes are a full-blown process that I love and look forward to.  And then there are those nights every once in a while that I’m just really ready to be “off-duty”. That being said, I didn’t think our routine (or lack there of) would be all that helpful. So instead I thought I’d share the 5 things that we wouldn’t want to do bedtimes without! Would love to know what your must-haves would be, too!

1. A GIANT FAN IN THE HALLWAY – more often than not, the kids are all at different levels of tired when bedtime rolls around so the fan does wonders to muffle the noise coming from the more energetic or overly tired kids. So I usually turn it on once we are upstairs for bedtime until everyone is asleep and then plug it in once I get up in the morning until everyone is awake. We have the Patton three speed floor fan and keep it on the lowest setting — unless of course we’re using it to make a fort :)

2. ESSENTIAL OIL BEDTIME BLEND – Another thing I turn on as soon as we head upstairs is our diffusor! Wouldn’t say it magically makes my kids fall asleep, but it does help set the tone and smells delicious. My favorite bedtime oils are: lavender, wild orange, frankincense, cedarwood (if the kids have a stuffy nose or cough), and bergamot.

3. A BLUETOOTH SPEAKER & LULLABYS – I guess we need a lot of white noise in our house, lol, but it’s so nice to have soft music on and is another way to set the tone. We have an older version of this speaker (this is a good option too!) and then i usually play a lullaby mix on pandora.

4. AMAZING BOOKS – This is a given, but I think it’s also nice to stock up on books that non-reading kids can flip through (we love this hide and seek book) while they wait for you to be done tucking in someone else, etc.. Audio books are a good idea too!

  

Last but not least, it’s always good to have a running list of seemingly spontaneous bedtime activities. A few that work for us…

5. A BAG OF TRICKS

  • Yoga or mindfulness: I’ll either make things up as we go (balance poses, stretching or laying down poses are best at bedtime!) or turn on cosmic kids on youtube which is amazing! For mindfulness or guided meditation I’ll hop on go noodle (look in the “flow” section) or search youtube.
  • “Plan” something fun: like a special bath bomb, animal face masks, painting with watercolors or eating popsicles in the tub, making a fort to read books in, etc.
  • When you need a break: not every bedtime has to be magical and despite all the studies, you can still raise kids that love to read without reading to them EVERY night. Opt for a quick show (my kids love when it’s in our bed), a few minutes of tech time, an audio book and if certain kids are extra wild I’ll ask if they (mostly Tilly) would like a melatonin :)

One other thing I do that I think helps is making sure all the overhead lights are off in the kids’ rooms and instead turn on their reading lights. Since it’s so bright at night in the summer it doesn’t make as much of a difference, but the rest of the year I swear by doing this!

There is truly nothing as sweet as spending that last hour or so of the day with my kids — it’s a sacred time that I rarely want to miss… Now if we could just get everyone to bed before 10pm that would be great. Although, who has time for early bedtimes in the summer?

Would love to know what works for you at bedtime!?

XO, Rae

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MUST-HAVE SUMMER SHOES + SELF CARE

You know what I love? Practical things like cute summer shoes that can get wet (I’ll share our favorites below) and easy ways to check self-care off my to do list. So I thought we’d chat about both today!

Self care can seem impossible but it really doesn’t have to be complicated or even cost money. With summer starting today for us (FINALLY!) the topic has been on my mind — particularly, how to fit it in, what it looks like and how to make it happen. More than anything I just really want my kids to have a fun, happy mom to hangout with alllll summer (burnout is real!). After all we only get 18 of them together… 18!?

Here’s my list of simple, inexpensive ways to treat yourself |

  1. the little things count… date nights don’t have to be fancy. Girlfriend time can include the kids (and mimosas), and Netflix is a completely appropriate “babysitter” every once in a while so you can catch up on the bachelor, finish a project or just take a break.
  2. Workouts don’t have to be at a gym! I’ve been using the SWEAT app (and loving it!). Also shared some ideas for an at home/on the go workouts HERE.
  3. Knowing how much time things actually take… washing your face is worth the extra 2 minutes. Except some nights it’s not, lol. Workouts only take 30 minutes if you aren’t driving to a gym and a nail, eyebrow or blow-out appointment only take an hour or less!
  4. Find a good hiding spot. Mine is in the laundry room with a la croix or glass of wine and a Friends episode while I catch up on laundry. If the kids somehow happen to find me I give them clothes to fold and socks to match. Poppy is awesome at “folding” towels and washcloths :).
  5. JUST SAY NO TO: mom guilt, people pleasing and just all the extra stuff…
  6. Going to bed. Always easier said than done but the world looks so much better after sleep.
  7. Drink water.

What would you add?

(poppy hiding from papa. me prob adding text to an instagram story.)

(making myself the president of his fan club. i love you griff!)

 

WATER (FRIENDLY) SHOES |

  • Love these slides and that they come in other colors to.
  • The waterproof birks are amazing. Johan has these, griffin has these, and I would like these.
  • Espen and tilly have the target version and so does poppy.
  • We also, love, love love natives… curious about their teva style ones. May have to give them a try!

What do you think about either or both of these topics? 

:)

xoxo, Rae

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WHAT’S IN MY MAKEUP BAG

I’ve always hesitated to share my daily skin and makeup routine because it’s v. basic, but after seeing the royal wedding and the brides’s makeup for the ceremony (if you missed it, look here!) I was feeling inspired and figured a simple beauty routine might be interesting and helpful enough to post. I’m sure there is a lot I could change, add or upgrade but here’s a short list of products I use on a mostly daily basis!

  • MAC MATTE BRONZER – after lotion and foundation (if I’m wearing it), I’ll brush on a little bronzer around my hairline, jawline and under my cheekbones.
  • SEPHORA BLUSH IN ORANGE POP – couldn’t find the exact one, but these shades look similar or I love this one.
  • BRUSHES – are a random assortment, but I use the detail brush with my foundation to cover any skin or under-eyes situations that need extra attention. Then use the angled brush for blush (wouldn’t need to be angled, but that’s what I have, lol) and the bigger powder brush for bronzer. This set might be the most similar.

  • RODAN + FIELDS REDEFINE EYE CREAM – feels so good! Put on my eyes at night and in the morning. Favorite for sure.
  • L’OREAL VOLUMINOUS MASCARA – I’ve bought expensive mascaras before but always find myself going back for more of this. Feel like mascara is best for that first month or so after you buy it anyways so cheap is best.
  • RODAN + FIELDS LASH BOOST – it’s supposed to make your lashes grow crazy long… I’ve only been using it for a couple weeks and definitely noticed a difference, but it takes 6 weeks so I’ll report back later :)

  • RODAN + FIELDS REDEFINE EYE CLOTHS – Couldn’t find them online but use after washing my face at night and before my lash boost and eye cream. Cut cloths in half to make them last longer!
  • MAC PRO LONGWEAR FOUNDATION – but i’ll probably switch to a lighter coverage with SPF for the summer!
  • EUCERIN ORIGINAL HEALING LOTION – I’ve used it forever and should probably look into something different, but for now it works!
  • DOVE BAR SOAP – not pictured but feel like it deserves a shoutout. Just a bar of soap and a wash cloth to help exfoliate and that’s it. I’ve used expensive cleansers before and just don’t notice enough of a difference on my skin to justify the expense.
  • RODAN + FIELDS TONER – also not pictured but just started using (i.e. borrowing from my teenager) this a couple weeks ago and LOVE it. My skin feels more fresh and glowing and pretty even without makeup.

  • CLEAN FREAK DRY SHAMPOO — I’ve only been using dry shampoo for emergency situations and this brand does the trick and works as good as anything else I’ve tried. If you know of an all-natural option that works really good, please share!
  • LIVING PROOF INSTANT TEXTURE MIST – it’s a god-send on hair wash days when mine is too lazy to do anything or when I want to let it air dry. Also spray some when I want my curls to look more beachy.

Hopefully that wasn’t too boring for you guys, HA!

If you guys are wanting to try any of the R+F products, get in touch with my friend Lindsay! Her contact info is HERE! She’s super helpful and not pushy about anything either :)

Would love to hear what your favorite beauty and skincare items are. And if you have a talent for hair and makeup, please leave tips… or better yet, send help!!!

XO, Rae

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10 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR DOCUMENTING MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND

OK mamas, I don’t want to give you one more thing to think about over mother’s day weekend, but I also know how important it is for all of us to capture moments in time with our families… Our moments in time. Regardless of whether you’re a planned or spontaneous picture taker, I’ve put together a list of 10 tips we use to capture all the sweet moments as well as the tiny details of life. Hope they give you a boost of inspiration for clicking the shutter any day, but especially Mother’s Day weekend!

10 TIPS FOR DOCUMENTING MOTHER’S DAY

1. Keep your camera (or phone) close!

2. Think ahead just a little and consider lighting! Of course we want things to be natural and authentic, buuuut, there’s no reason not to open up the curtains in your room when you know the kids are on their way up with a breakkie tray.

3. Tell the whole story – the big picture and little details – Snap pics of your plate of food, cute notes, flowers, gifts, hand holding, your shoes, etc. :) This pic isn’t the best example, but I love her tootsies!

4. Remember WHY you’re taking pics – often times we want something to share right away or just want to check it off our to do list for the day, but taking photos is really about preserving memories for the future and capturing those precious relationships, everyday moments and time in general.

Maybe it’s just me, although I doubt it, but I love looking back at my mom’s outfits and accessories. Especially her glasses! So tryout your best pose and take a fit pic!

5. Focus on the relationships and let go of the pressure to get the perfect pic. Love this fuzzy pic of Poppy being silly and pretending she’s asleep! You can also see one of my frayed fabric swatch she set out to use as a napkin and the double spoons in the cereal bowl we shared — Priceless!

6. Take pics of the process and routine as well as the special parts. One of my favorite pictures is of my mom braiding my hair in the bathroom when I was 6 or 7. I’m on a stool looking into the bathroom mirror with my mom behind me in a hawaiian print off the shoulder dress that I’m pretty sure she made. At the time it probably seemed like an odd moment to snap a pic but I’m so glad my dad did!

7. Don’t forget about videos – capture “small” moments, conversations and interactions. Like their little voices reading their mother’s day cards to you. Ask them questions or better yet, have the kids interview you!

8. Need a group shot? Use your self timer or ask an extended family member or stranger. Want a variety of pics or just a little break from clicking the camera? Pass it off – even to the kids!!! Poppy took this pic of me and as random as it is, it’s also an angle and perspective that only she would take.

(Poppy had just finished pointing out my neck wrinkles which prob have something to do with the 10 lbs. I added to my bod over the winter. Or maybe it’s age? Most likely it’s both tho, huh? Lols.)

9. Practice positive self talk – you don’t need to be a certain size, have all your makeup on or even be dressed to be in a photo. Of course, you can plan ahead a little (like number 2 suggests) and be in cute jammies with makeup on by the time the kids bring you breakkie, OR you can stay in bed, in an oversized tee and hipster undies with a morning face like you deserve, LOL. It’s really about what you want and what your kids will remember most. Although if the no make up thing really bugs you, just avoid eye contact with the camera… instead, engage, play and love on everyone else in the frame.

10. Selfies! Always a good idea.

Hope these help, inspire, and maybe take the pressure off too. Remember, perfection is never the goal so snap away!

Now tell me… what else would you like to learn about photography?

We’re leaving in a couple weeks with my friend and brilliant photographer, Stacy Jacobsen, for a photography workshop weekend and I’d love to share some of the things we learn, so leave me all the questions in the comments!

xo, Rae

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JOINING THE FAMILY CIRCUS

It’s no secret, motherhood can feel like a circus sometimes. Errr, a lot of the times ;). After reading the actual definition of a circus I’m more convinced than ever that it’s a pretty good metaphor. With Mother’s Day approaching and summer sneaking up on us, I’ve rounded up a few things to help make the days of juggling, managing, and accompanying your traveling group of acrobats, animals, clowns and performers, extra fun and festive!

  1. Saw flags like this at the kid party in the movie Mother’s Day and it looked so fun and festive! Plus they don’t cost much.
  2. Clown noses, just for fun.
  3. Circus food? Yes, please! I have this popcorn maker (not super efficient but the kids love it!), this snow cone maker (or this one) got great reviews, and who doesn’t want a little cotton candy sometimes?
  4. Love this dress.
  5. Just ordered this top on major sale.
  6. Animal cracker fudge seems like a good reason to spend time together in the kitchen. Don’t forget to share with friends!
  7. Cute sandals for when you take the circus on the road.
  8. Popcorn bags might come in handy for snack time.
  9. We’ve been trying to figure out a rewards/chores system for the kids this summer. Fair tickets might be just the thing! I like these star ones too.
  10. Wide stripes for the boys! Here’s one that’s on sale for your main squeeze too :)
  11. A diffusor (and some music) is the best way to set the vibe for your circus… add 4 drops grapefruit, 3 drops ylang-ylang, and 2 drops vanilla essential oils for a cotton candy blend. Unlike the sugary version you eat, the oils have health bennies that fight depression, help you destress and curb food cravings.
  12. Tilly and her friend have been having fun with face paint lately!
  13. A megaphone for those days when your inside voice isn’t doing the job and you don’t want to yell :)

cir·cus (noun): 1. a traveling company of acrobats, trained animals, and clowns that gives performances, typically in a large tent, in a series of different places.

See what I mean, LOL?

XO, Rae

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10 WAYS TO DRESS UP A T-SHIRT OR SWEATSHIRT + JEANS FOR SPRING

I love how wardrobe options change with the seasons and get excited for cute spring and summer outfits, but the truth is that no matter the time of year, you’ll usually find me in some combination of t-shirt (or sweatshirt) and jeans. With all the denim and t-shirt options out there it’s an easy, effortless, cool-girl look and a total no-brainer for moms. Yet every once in awhile it starts to feel more like a style rutt than a style choice — especially after a long winter.  If your go-to tee and jeans look is feeling more “blah” then “YAY!”, here’s a few ideas for making your uniform feel new again for spring!

  1. with a bandana/scarf in your hair, around your wrist or tied to a purse.
  2. a cute purse
  3. something fun on your feet — a little color, unexpected detail or pattern goes a longways!
  4. a bright lip.
  5. a smile, smothering someone with kisses, laughing out-loud or saying nice things.
  6. fun sunnies, like these heart ones.
  7. candy colored denim like these that are popping up everywhere!
  8. a cropped jacket or a blazer
  9. layered jewelry
  10. full-tuck into high-waisted pants… it’s the small style updates that can make things feel fresh and on purpose!

Pandas are just like us… not happy when you wake them up from their nap in a warm car. Even if it’s for a cake-pop date! They also miss their dress-up clothes when gone for a week! Love you so much Poppy.

Kissing my coffee lid probs doesn’t count as a no.5, but cream was one of the staples we forgot to grab at the store on our way home from the airport on Sunday so the affection is real… I was so excited to have that coffee in my hand!

Hopefully there’s a few good reminders or new ideas to try in the list above.

What’s your favorite t-shirt and jeans combo? Stripes and boyfriend jeans for me please! Also kind of excited to bring back the colored jeans.

XO, Rae

MY OUTFIT | sweatshirt (wearing a small), bandana, jeans

POPPY | sweatshirt, boots (wearing lagoon green)

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10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM TILLY ABOUT STYLE + LIFE

I’m convinced we’re never fully ready to love, lead and steward our little people which is kind of a scary thought! Of course it’s nothing a good parenting book, glass of wine, friend, laugh and prayer can’t fix. Yet, every time I think I have things figured out, we enter a new phase of parenting. You too? I’ve found this only leaves me with a couple choices. 1. Stay set in my ways and get caught up in power struggles with my babes, or 2. Meet my kids right where they’re at and grow, learn and do better right alongside them. Sometimes it takes me awhile to catch on to what the real issue is on a parenting dilemma, but hope with all my heart that I will always choose to do number 2, eventually :). Comfort zones are so overrated.

Luckily (HA!) Tilly Jane (our 9 y.o.) always wears her heart on her sleeve so I never have to guess how I’m doing as a mom or what side of the parenting spectrum I fall on. From the second she was born a girl (I was expecting a 3rd boy) she has kept me on my toes while challenging my priorities and approach to life in general. As a toddler she was a wanderer and could disappear in a nano-second, said everything that came into her cute little head (still does), had zero fear of strangers, heights, or consequences, would lovingly tackle and wrestle people during any kind of organized event (like story time at the library), and has been fiercely independent since the day she could walk.

TILLY’S OUTFIT DETAILS | denim jacket (tucker + tate from nordstrom), joggers (Athleta), fruit tee (from J. Crew), sandals (from Target), hair clip (from ryan and wren)

I always seem to be working on something when it comes to our relationship and lately, I’m embarrassed to say, her wardrobe has been a big issue (because it really shouldn’t be). But, I think I’ve finally learned a few lesson(s) and thought I would share in case you guys have a little or big kid that is picky (with a capital P)  about clothes!

10 PARENTING + STYLE LESSONS TILLY HAS TAUGHT ME

  1. If you can’t play in it, don’t wear it.
  2. Wear what you like even if what you like is in your big brother’s closet. (Her current favorite place to pick out an outfit… She loves her brother SOOO much!)
  3. Shoes, jackets and accessories make all the difference when toning down or tszujing up an outfit, flower girl dress or batman costume. (HA!)
  4. To think outside the box, store or department… (she’s been picking lots of things from the boy section of stores, like her blue sandals from Target, and I think it looks so cute!)
  5. Picking outfits out the night (or even week) before is always a good idea!
  6. Personal styles and trends come and go but confidence and self love is always “in”.
  7. My approval and appreciation is far more important than my input.
  8. How to be more present in the moment and less concerned with keeping things tidy (i.e. an outfit, the house, emotions, failures, etc.)
  9. No one else really cares what my kids are wearing — unless they think it’s cute, LOL.
  10. The world doesn’t need perfect, well-dressed kids. It needs mindful, empathetic, and unique kids that are positioned for g-r-e-a-t-n-e-s-s.

ILY Tilly Jane!

Do you guys have wardrobe struggles with your kids?

Also, working on a style Q&A series so if you have any questions, ask away in the comments!

xo, Rae

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HOW TO DRESS KIDS FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND

Eeek! You guys, we made a video that I hope will take some of the stress out of dressing the fam bam for the holidays. There’s a bonus tip for all you mamas if you watch to the end! Press play below to watch…

There is definitely a learning curve when it comes to planning, shooting and editing video, but I’m so incredibly proud of Johan for his editing job… pretty impressive for a newbie! We have a couple more Holiday videos waiting to be edited and shared but are also anxious to make some adjustments and shoot new content for the winter (and valentine’s day!). If you have any topic ideas please share in the comments!

xo, Rae

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LET’S CHAT: ESSENTIAL OILS + AN EASY DIY BEDTIME SPRAY

It’s hard to ignore the essential oil bandwagon thats been growing strong now for awhile, particularly within the motherhood community. I’m wondering if there are any other trends we can compare it to? Maybe tupperware parties? Anyways, I often find myself somewhere in the middle of most issues, political, theological, and even more often when it comes to healthcare. I believe in modern medicine, vaccines, and ibuprofen. But I also believe that we often medicate symptoms that can be treated naturally with diet, fitness, supplements and oils.

I was first introduced to essential oils a little over a year ago when Poppy started getting these little wart looking bumps on her torso and elbows. I’ll spare you the details of how gross they were and because it was summertime they were impossible to keep covered and therefore confined. The first time we took her to the Dr. they suggested we let it run it’s course (which takes 6+ months). Unfortunately it just kept getting worse so we took her back in and they subscribed a topical acne medicine. As you might imagine it was harsh, left her poor baby skin dry and red and wasn’t clearing up her bumps. Ugh, I felt so bad for her. Is there anything worse than not being able to help your kids feel better? Luckily my mom suggested we try talking to an herbalist. A quick email to Herban Wellness describing Poppy’s symptoms and they mixed up a magic concoction of oils that started working immediately! After a week her bumps were 80% better and I was in tears — so grateful to have something that not only worked, but was natural and had zero negative side effects.

We’ve since used the oil blend on just about any patch of red, puffy or irritated skin and it always clears up and takes away the discomfort. Lately I’ve been doing lots of research on oils and looking for ways to incorporate them into our lives on a daily basis without having to spend a ton of money or get involved with one of the MLM (multilevel marketing) businesses… (Not that there is anything wrong with doing either of those things!)

To my surprise, I’ve been able to find some great oils on amazon and have had so much fun putting together different blends for roller balls and spray bottles. The best part is that the kids go crazy over them! Here’s a linen spray we put together for bedtime. It helps wind everyone down at the end of the day and makes the room smell dreamy. To make it even more appealing for Poppy who’s always worried about “monsters” at night, we added a “bye, bye monster” label!

BYE, BYE MONSTER bedtime essential oil linen spray!

You’ll Need:

Here’s How:

  1. Add drops of essential oils into glass spray bottle. Fill the rest of the way with distilled water.
  2. Spray around the room, on bedding, pillows and even on jammies…. Don’t forget mamas room too!
  3. Make extra bottles for each room and to give as gifts.

Now for some exciting news!!! In my search for high quality oils I’ve found some cool suppliers and created some delicious and effective blends that will be available to purchase (along with a few other fun items!) in our online HOLIDAY POP-UP SHOP! Hoping to have it up and running starting this Friday 11/17 but will keep you posted later this week!!!

The rollers and sprays are a perfect gift or addition to stockings, teacher gifts or hostess gifts. It’s also a great way to try oils without a huge commitment, filling a cupboard with individual oils and supplies, or having to figure out all the DIY blends.

Now that I’ve spilled my guts about it, what are your thoughts on essential oils and natural treatments? Curious if anyone else feels like they fall somewhere in the middle on the issue, like I do!?

xo, Rae

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5 WAYS TO TURN AROUND A BAD DAY

I mentioned in my email blast last week (if you didn’t get it, click here to sign up!) that we’ve had some sick kids at home and with it, a few Doctor visits (can home visits become a thing again, please!?), sleepless nights and exhausting days. On top of the sickies and the usual family life grind, I was also juggling graphic design projects for clients, Johan was getting our rental home ready for new tenants, it’s Birthday month for Ozzie, Tilly and me (!!!) and we’ve been in the middle of an extended family situation that’s not necessarily bad but takes up our time and energy.

Added stress or not, a normal day with kids can turn into a s*it show in a hurry. Thankfully there are always ways to turn things around and I’ve been getting a lot of practice lately using them! Haha! Thought I’d share a quick list with you guys and hope they help in someway!

10 EASY WAYS TO TURN AROUND A BAD DAY:

  1. Switch up your routine — pack up the kids after school/naps so you can all enjoy snack and homework time (for the bigs) or books and puzzles (for the littles) somewhere other than the kitchen counter. Another couple examples: 1. Do tubbies and pj’s before dinner and have a pajama party while you eat 2. Bundle up and read bedtime stories on the front porch or in front of the fire place instead of your usual spot.
  2. Break a rule — that’s what they are for anyways, right?! My kids would say, “Dad always breaks the rules, but he says only the dumb ones!” haha! Anyway, we’re pretty strict on everyone sitting down to eat dinner together (or at least whoever is at home) without tech or the TV, but after a particularly insane day last week I had the kids get their jammies on before dinner, we put blankets down on the family room floor and then we all sat and ate pizza and applesauce while watching a Halloween movie that was on Disney. Nothing all that original or special but it sure felt extra fun and put everyone in a good mood.
  3. Make a silly rule  this get’s everyone distracted! A few ideas: 1. no utensils allowed at dinner 2. you have to sing or whisper everything you say 3. do 5 jumping jacks every time you hear the word _________ (then say that word often!) 4. Give everyone their own balloon and tell them they have to keep it in the air or stuck between their knees (so they waddle like a penguin) 5. No walking allowed! Try “figure skating” instead. Give each kid two dryer sheets or dry washcloths to glide around on.
  4. Adjust expectations — This just goes with the territory!
  5. Do something the easy way — Grab pizza instead of cooking dinner, skip story time for a show on the iPad, ask for help, pick your battles, etc.
  6. Ask everyone what they are grateful for — Gratitude changes the conversation and perspective. Another good question to ask is, “How do you want to feel at the end of the day?”
  7. Change the atmosphere — dim the lights, light a candle, get out the essential oils if you have them, play some music, practice mindfulness with some yoga poses or a guided meditation (checkout Cosmic Kids Yoga or GoNoodle), etc.
  8. Dance parties are always a good idea!
  9. Get some fresh air and go for a walk.
  10. Get out of the house — head to the Target dollar isle, a friend’s house, the park or just out for a drive!

I hope these help in some way. Motherhood is the best thing ever but also so hard and exhausting and the thing I love most about the motherhood community is knowing I’m not alone in the good, bad and ugly that comes with it :)

Happy Monday! Feeling especially thankful for a fresh new week and healthier kids!

xo, Rae

PS – my side striped pants are on sale at J.Crew for $32. They’re kind of a mix between joggers and leggings (i.e. not the best fitting), but are perfect for around the house or running errands and I love them! Thinking about getting the navy pair too.

 

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