Archive | spring

WHEN SPRING FEELS MORE LIKE WINTER

I know i’ve been a broken record lately when it comes to the weather but it feels like winter and spring have teamed up and are playing a really bad joke on us. Lately, we’ve been getting a random mix or sunshine and hail with buckets of rain in between. Super fun stuff. Especially while watching a baseball game, lol. Up until last week I was feeling alone in my springtime woes here in the PNW. However, after sharing an Instagram poll asking who was having fun in the sun and who was still having to bundle up, it turns out most of us (74%) are still waiting for spring to arrive.

So I figured we could all use a little pep-talk. I just hope you guys aren’t sick of all my lists… Feeling like it’s kind of the spring thing to do :)

5 WAYS TO FAKE SPRING

  1. ADD SOME POPS OF COLOR. Pullout all all the brightly colored things from hibernation (i.e. the back of the drawer, closet or linen cupboard) and add to your lips, wardrobe or home! Flowers are always a good idea too!
  2. RETAIL THERAPY THE SMART WAY. No one wants to make a warm weather purchase that ends up going on sale before you’re able to wear it! Instead of clicking the purchase button right away, add a few things from your spring/summer wishlist to your virtual cart and wait for those sales to start! FYI: My cotton candy colored jeans are on sale plus 30% off right now at madewell!
  3. DIFFUSE OILS & TURN-UP THE FEEL GOOD MUSIC. My favorite blend right now is 6 drops grapefruit, 4 drops lemon and 2 drops peppermint. As for the music, we’ve been listening to a lot of country lately. 60’s music is always a fun way to lighten the mood too! (we have this diffusor and it works great!)
  4. LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE (even when it’s cloudy). Spring is the season of planning, organizing and being productive. Sure, I might feel more motivated to work in the yard or do other spring cleaning items if the weather was nicer, but I would probably also be more distracted.
  5. MAKE SPRING THINGS IN THE KITCHEN. Take advantage of all the new spring produce and flavors and get busy whipping up yummy desserts (like this one), cocktails and dinners! Hoping to try this drink over the weekend… good practice for Cinco de Mayo!

Hello, Spring. Are you there?

Wish I had been eavesdropping on Poppy’s convo, LOL.

Also, banana phones have been trending around our house since taking these pics. So funny to hear the kids have pretend conversations with each other!

Summer will be here before we know it so I guess I should be more thankful and intentional with this season, no matter the weather! More planning + prepping and less complaining :)

Rain or shine, what’s your favorite part about Spring?

XO, Rae

ME | top, jeans, would be cute with these sandals (also on sale)

POPPY | dress, scrunchie, love, love, love these shoes to go with

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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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MINI MAKERS: RAINBOW KIDS CRAFT

Happy beginning of the week! Or something like that? I never quite know how to feel when Monday morning rolls around. Part of me is still relishing in the weekend magic while the other half is ready to complete a few things on my to-do list. Whatever side of Monday you find yourself on, I thought a simple paper plate rainbow craft would be a good way to kick things off!

Aren’t they cute? I threw together the top one before setting everything out for Poppy and her friend Winnie, but I love how their’s turned out. Nothing compares to the artistic abilities of preschoolers!

Keep scrolling for the supply list and a few pics from our craft sesh!

PAPER PLATE RAINBOW CRAFT

You’ll Need:

  • white paper plates, cut in half (dessert size plates pictured)
  • glue sticks
  • scissors (kid safe scissors if old enough to use)
  • colorful tissue, construction &/or textured paper, cut into smaller pieces
  • pom-poms (optional)
  • googly eyes (optional)
  • cotton balls, for clouds (optional)

Here’s How:

Cut plates in half and paper of choice into pieces. Set out embellishments and glue sticks and let kids decorate their rainbows!

Poppy added a little more to her rainbow mane :) I also left all the supplies out for the older kids to use after school which they loved!

Such a fun little craft for spring (just 22 days away!) or St. Patrick’s Day which is right around the corner, so don’t forget to pin for safe keeping!

XO, Rae

(PS – For more details on the crafting area, head HERE!)

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IT’S (ALMOST) SUMMER, COUNTDOWN CHAIN

It barely (if at all) feels like spring around here, but that hasn’t stopped my kids from asking, thinking, and talking about summer non-stop. Not that I can blame them. The chatter started a month or so ago when Griffin and Tilly began asking how many sleeps until summer (aka the last day of school). After a week of trying to figure it out in my head and give them an estimate, I gave up and started keeping the day calculator site open on my phone. But even that was getting old, so over the weekend we decided to go old school and staple together a countdown chain. Now the next time they ask, I can say, “you should go count and let me know!” Plus, it looks summery and cute hanging in the kitchen.

I’m sure you guys all know how to put together a chain, but measurements always help! I used 12×12 sheets of craft paper and was able to get 10 — 8 x 1.5 inch strips out of each sheet.

Who’s ready for suuuuuumer!? These guys are. Poppy can hardly keep her pants up she’s so excited :)

Now we just need to figure out what our summer schedule and calendar looks like. Even though we still have 50 days to figure it out, I know it’s going to fly-by! So far swim lessons and our annual camping trip is all we have planned… What’s on your schedule this summer!?

xo, Rae

GRIFFIN | tee (old from peek but on sale in baby sizes and so many other cute ones to choose from), shorts

POPPY | mauve stripe outfit, sunnies

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HAPPY (SUMMER) TRAVELS: DAY TRIPPING WITH KIDS

simple-tips-for-day-tripping-with-kids

As I mentioned yesterday (in this post) we planned and took the kids on a day trip to Bainbridge Island, WA — a beautiful island in the Puget Sound with mostly rocky beaches, lots of marine life and a cute little town. It’s a quick drive and ferry ride from Seattle (4 hours roundtrip for us) making it an easy spot to visit for just the day. Trips and traveling with kids can be tricky and although we don’t do a ton of it, I did learn a few things earlier this week that I think are worth sharing. Especially since we are headed into vacay season!!!

Here are my top 3 (with a hidden 4th) tips for day tripping with kids:

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1. GETTING THERE CAN BE HALF THE FUN – I’m not usually very good at road trips. For me the journey is not half the fun, it’s a painful necessity. I prefer to arrive at our destination as quickly as possible, while a couple or all our kids sleep. But our latest day trip has me thinking differently. When I asked the kids what their favorite parts of the day was, they all mentioned the ferry ride (searching for crabs was the other unanimous highlight!). I know not every trip can involve a boat or alternate form of transportation, but there are other ways to break up the journey and enjoy the process a little more.

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^^^ Griffey randomly climbed onto the hydrant and started saying, “Awkward turtle…”, repeatedly. And it was, LOL. (insert silly monkey emoji here)

2. GEAR MATTERS SO OVERPACK – I’m a chronic under-packer. Piling a ton of stuff into the car, especially things we might not need, has a funny way of stressing me out. Is that weird? I like simplicity and organization in small spaces and I like for people not to have to climb over things to get out of the car. But again, I digress. Taking more of a cub scouts approach on day trips – be prepared – definitely adds to the experience. I can think of a couple things we packed and didn’t use (picnic blankets and beach towels) that I will be packing again and a couple other things (a baby/toddler carrier, bandaids and kites) that I wish we would have packed. This is where a car roof cargo box might come in handy!

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^^^ The scavenger hunt printable I shared yesterday ^^^

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3. IT’S WORTH SKIPPING NAP-TIME FOR – Take this with a grain of salt because it really comes down to ages and how many nappers and  high maintenance little ones you have. As you can tell by the last two pictures, Poppy was exhausted by the end of our day and not pictured were moments of complete chaos where everyone had a need, complaint or idea at the same time. But leaving mid-morning meant that Poppy got a 45 minute power nap on the way to the island which helped and having lots of snacks, quick distractions and a double stroller with a seat for Griffey (the kid would let me carry him forever I think!) helped a ton too. Overall, the meltdowns and tears passed quickly and dealing with them was totally worth it!

Now let’s talk about the hardest part (if you are like me) of skipping naps and quiet time:  giving up a solid couple hours of productivity! My business, sanity and family depends on those precious daily hours. Losing them tends to have a ripple effect and aside from asking for help or replacing them with hours of sleep, I have no idea how to make up for it. But I do know that quality time and special memories win every time!

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It’s been so much fun going back through pictures from our day. I don’t think we managed to get one with all of the kids together and smiling, but we did get this gem where they all look totally confused. Ha! I about died when I saw it and kinda like it more than a smiling one. Weird is so much better than perfect. Which I guess can be my 4th tip for traveling with kids… or doing anything with them for that matter!

What are your best tips for day tripping with kids?

XO, Rae

outfit-detials-1

TILLY + POPPY’S purses, GRIFFIN’S shorts (on sale), POPPY’S romper, TILLY’S top, TILLY + GRIFFEY + POPPY’S shoes, ESPEN’S shorts

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PIN TO WIN $100 TO TARGET

rae-ann-kelly-pinterest-party-target-giveaway

Structured days, early nights and lunchbox packing is coming to an end and being replaced by endless water play, all day snacking and impromptu get togethers. We can hardly wait so thought we’d celebrate with a PINTEREST PARTY! One lucky winner will receive a $100 Target gift card — just follow the guidelines below.

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:

  • Sign up for email updates at the bottom of this post.
  • Make sure you are following Rae Ann Kelly on Pinterest.
  • Pin at least 3 of your favorite Rae Ann Kelly blog post images from this board on pinterest or directly from their respective blog post pages.
  • Make sure your pins’ caption includes the hashtags: #raeannkellypins and #rakpinparty so we know you’ve entered!

Contest closes Monday, May 30th at 6am PST. I’ll announce the winner here and then send a message to your pinterest account by the end of the day.

THE WINNER IS: Ginger Brehl

Have fun you guys!!! I’m excited to follow along :)

XO, Rae

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BREAKFAST CLUB: SMOOTHIE BOWLS (+ A MEAL PLAN)

smoothie-bowl-recipe

I love a good “build your own” type meal. I also enjoy a good bandwagon. So, since smoothie bowls are super easy to personalize and trending at the moment, I figured it was time we gave them a whirl. Now I’m wondering what took us so long!?

If you and your kids like smoothies you will LOVE these. They are basically extra thick smoothies topped like a parfait. Toppings make everything better, yes? Yes! Here’s how we made ours…

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BERRY BERRY SMOOTHIE BOWL (makes 2 big bowls or 4 small ones)

You’ll Need:

  • 1-1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other preferred milk)
  • 1 cup spinach or favorite green
  • 2 tablespoons chia/hemp/flax/etc. seed
  • honey or agave to taste
  • ice to taste
  • favorite protein powder (optional)
  • toppings – chia seeds, shaved almonds, berries + other fruit, shredded coconut, granola, etc.

Here’s How:

  1. Toss all ingredients (except toppings) in a blender and blend until well combined and mixture is too thick to suck through a straw.
  2. Pour into bowls and prinkle with toppings of choice!

make your own smoothie bowl-3258make your own smoothie bowl-3255

Give me ALL the toppings please! I think they are the best part of any dish but especially these smoothie bowls. Aside from the delicious taste the colors and textures are so pretty and pretty food is fun to eat.

Now we just need to try acai bowls… Which I think are like smoothie bowls with an added ingredient? Have you guys tried them?

(CLICK HERE TO CHECKOUT OUR MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK)

Happy Monday!

XO, Rae

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HAPPY MONDAY + A MEAL PLAN

menu-plan-may-2Hope you guys had a snuggle filled Mother’s Day weekend with lots of handmade gifts, flowers and yummy food too! We spent most of our weekend at baseball games but also managed to sneak in a trip to the farmer’s market and a date night (watching baseball of course :). Woke up feeling tired but also very spoiled. Definitely a weekend for the books!

After any good holiday weekend I almost always find myself playing catch-up when Monday rolls around. So I spent a little time on Friday getting ahead and made a meal plan for this week and thought I would share.

Here is what we’ll be eating:

If you are curious, HERE is a post about how we meal plan, deal with picky eaters, etc.

Are there any summery recipes you’ve been looking forward to making/eating?

CHEERS to an amazing week ahead!!!

XO, Rae

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SIPPING ON THE PERFECT ICED COFFEE

rae's fave iced coffee recipe-2306

(sleepy eye fabric backdrop from my spoonflower shop)

Warm weather goes with iced drinks like Monday’s go with caffeine so it seemed appropriate to share a little tip I learned that will have your iced coffee tasting delicious and creamy to the last sip.

Ready for it?

It’s so simple… freeze your favorite milk into ice cubes!!!

rae's-fave-iced-coffee-recipe

As the cubes melt the coffee stays yummy instead of watery and blah.

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Our friends dropped off a bottle of their homemade cold brew last week, which (side note) is amazing! Not sure what has taken me so long to try, but I’m hooked. Anyways, I’ve been experimenting with different combinations and my favorite so far is:

vanilla coconut cold brew (or iced coffee) – half glass of cold brew, frozen coconut milk ice cubes, a little bit of vanilla syrup and coconut milk to taste.

What is your go-to iced drink during the warm weather months!?

XO, Rae

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THE ARROW PROJECT: MAY DAY SURPRISES (+ FREEBIE)

may day project-1978

This month we’re keeping our arrow project simple with a pretty act of kindness — May Day notes, with a dose of truth at the bottom and room to tape a bloom!

This might come as a shocker, but May Day is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate with the kids. Mostly because there is no pressure to do anything and people are almost always surprised and happy for whatever we’ve thrown together. (Download and details below!)

may day project-1981 may day project-1984

DOWNLOAD “HAPPY MAY” CARDS, PDF

MAY DAY SURPRISES 

  1. Download freebie, print on card stock and cute along dashed lines.
  2. Gather some fresh blooms from your yard, a neighbor’s, friend’s, the store, etc.
  3. Trim stems and tape to cards.
  4. Place on front doors, cars, mailbox, etc. or give to teachers, friends, neighbors, etc. as a random act of kindness.

may day project-1987

I often get caught up in feeling like the little things aren’t enough. Sharing a smile, encouraging word or single flower can’t possibly make a difference in someones heart or day but that would be a lie. Even Mother Teressa, who did BIG things and lived a BIG life, believed in the power of small things.

So this month we’ll be putting this principle into practice and learn to believe that God can do a lot with our little. Something that comes much more naturally to my kids!

XO, Rae

P.S. – Another May Day project we did when Poppy was in my belly and Tilly had the sweetest bob!

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FAVORITE FINDS FOR A GIRL’S SPRING + SUMMER WARDROBE

girl's-summer-outfits

There isn’t usaully a need to switch from cold to warm weather wardrobes around here in the pacific northwest until June-ish, but the sun has been out and showing off (with temps in the 80’s!) lately. Warm weather combined with the lack of clothes that still  fit my kids from last summer has me doing some online shopping. Which I love. Maybe a little too much!?

Here are some of my favorite finds for the girls. Everything linked is for older girls, but most have smaller versions for the babes and toddlers too.

warm-weather-girl's-wardrobe

ACCESSORIES / 1. hat / 2. hair clips / 3. purse / 4. sunnies

DRESSES + ROMPERS / 1. blue stripe dress / 2. banana shirt dress / 3. floral dress / 4. twirly play dress in charcoal / 5. red stripe skater dress / 6. wide leg overalls

OUTERWEAR / 1. poncho / 2. jean jacket (Tilly + Poppy have this jacket and it’s so soft!) / 3. yellow frilled sweatshirt cardi

SHORTS / 1. striped short / 2. cutoff jean shorts / 3. olive shorts

TOPS / 1. flower tank / 2. olive split back tee / 3. natural wonder tee / 4. tres cute sweatshirt / 5. patches tee / 6. floral print tank

SHOES / 1. slip-on sneaker / 2. converse / 3. brown sandal

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Still need to hunt for some basic tanks, play shorts and of course flip-flops and beach gear, but it was fun to play around with different outfits. Tilly has all of a sudden decided that she doesn’t like skirts (with the exception of this one) or rompers but is thankfully still ok with dresses. Can’t beat the one-and-done outfits!

Are your kids picky about what they wear?

Happy (spring/summer) shopping!

XO, Rae

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