Archive | summer

SENSORY PLAY WITH THE LAND OF NOD.

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I know I’ve been bombarding you with posts this week, but I don’t want you to miss this fun project we shared on the land of nod blog using dinosaurs, sand and water.

I find that as our family changes to accommodate the schedules and activities for the older kids, the younger ones miss out on the playtime activities that are just for them. Sensory play is one of those activities. A few weeks ago however, we set up a sand and water table and the littles have been loving it… even Tilly! To keep them engaged I’ve planned a few different activities and their favorite (which involves squirt bottles of course) is the ice and sand dinosaur excavation.

Head here for DIY details and if you don’t have a fancy activity table just use plastic or galvanized bins!

XO, Rae

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SPRING-READY CAR CADDY

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One of my many flaws in life is that I’m late. A lot. I would blame it on my kids but the truth is I’ve always been this way. Rushing around like a crazy person at the last minute trying to get ready and grab everything I need. Diaper blowouts, shoe debates and car seats only add insult to injury.

While I should probably make a “be on time” resolution I’m more of a baby step kinda girl. One of the things I know would help is packing up a few hours or (gasp!) the day before we have an outing or activity. Since spring baseball season is notoriously a busy time of year for us and little league tryouts were this past weekend I decided to put together a car caddy full of snacks, activities and other necessities for my mini spectators. Baseball might not be your thing this spring but a car caddy could easily be updated for park dates, trips to the farmers market or weekend outings and would definitely be handy for trips to the pool this summer.

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Here’s a look at what I packed:

  • Tote/Caddy/Crate – Love this basket-tote from Land of Nod and it’s on sale!
  • Blanket – We use this Gunner and Swain Mexican blanket for almost everything but I would like to find something that will work well when the ground is wet.
  • Snacks – Popcorn, Cliv Kid ZBARS, trail mix, honest kid juices, and boxed water.
  • Treats – Lemonheads and bubble gum remind me of watching my big brother play baseball so I had to throw those in there.
  • Activities – Sidewalk chalk, clipboards and coloring supplies, oversized jax game, and a soft soccer ball.
  • Misc. – Bandaids, neosporin, hand sanitizer and wet wipes.

Now if I can just keep it stocked and ready! Did I forget anything?

Are you an on-time or mostly late kind of person? Or maybe in-between? Please share any tips you have in the comments below!

XO, Rae

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SOCCER MOM + MINI

soccer-mom-4My favorite part about fall in addition to the return of pumpkins, plaid, football, and comfort food is soccer season and watching my kids play. This year is especially fun because both Espen and Tilly are playing! Our entire morning and early afternoon was spent on soccer fields (and taking a few pics) last Saturday. As a former competitive player it was the perfect way to spend the day!

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MAMA OUTFIT: midi dress (similar 1 2 3 4), chambray (similar), sneakers, sunnies (similar)

I always feel a little stumped when it comes to getting dressed for a day of watching soccer, running around and wrangling the kids. I want to be cute but not overdressed and comfortable but not frumpy. I guess it’s kinda silly to put so much thought into it, but I like clothes and getting dressed so I think about it :)

Some gamedays I’m in my workout clothes and others jeans but last Saturday I wore this cute and sporty jersey knit midi dress with fall-ish stripes, a chunky sweater (not pictured), layer of chambray and sneakers — Always sneaker, or boots when it’s rainy — and it felt just right.

Regardless of cute or sporty, being able to play in what I wear is a must. There is always a little free time to fill or bored siblings to play with. And honestly, I know I said that I love watching the kids play, and I do, but I also have a hard time just sitting and watching and end up multitasking between watching, playing with the other kids and chatting with other parents. I guess part of that is unavoidable with a one-year-old but my goal is to be better about just watching.

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POPPY OUTFIT: pants, shoes, sweatshirt

TILLY OUTFIT: top, shorts (Marshall’s), socks (Target), shoes (cousin hand-me-downs)

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soccer-mom-17soccer-mom-16Also, hard pants on Poppy! I like my babies being comfy and cozy and didn’t think she (ahem, I) was ready for jeans, but these are still nice and soft.

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What are your favorite game day digs!? Also, are you more of multi-tasker during games or do you give your undivided attention?

XO, Rae

(images by Stacy Jacobsen)

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P.S. – Just to end on a funny note. We had a real america’s funniest home videos moment during these pics when Tilly hit Poppy with the ball perfectly in the forehead. I didn’t even know she could kick like that! Anyways, Poppy didn’t cry until she saw my face. Not my finest mom moment but I could not stop laughing when I saw this photo.

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SUMMER CAPSULE FAVES I’LL WEAR THIS FALL.

Wait, what? Two fashion posts in a row!?

Yes, that’s right. Totally unintentional but the combination of not having my planned monday post ready, the cool-weather weekend we just experienced and the oodles of back to school catalogues that just showed up in my mailbox has me considering fall layers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready for summer to end. Not even close. Back to school sounds like a swear word at the moment but in a few weeks it will be unavoidable so I thought I would ease myself into it with a transition post and share a few summer wardrobe pieces that I will most likely be sporting this fall.

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FLARE DENIM – pictured

  1. free people mid-rise
  2. madewell flea market flares
  3. anthropologie high-rise flare

These puppies came back in style quickly considering it seems like yesterday I had a few pairs in my goodwill pile. Anyone else? Regardless, they are back and I’m pretty excited about it. Mostly for their 70’s charm but also because (hello!) legs for days!

Side note: Loving the mid or high-rise fit with a hem the grazes the ground (like pic 1 or 2 above).

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BIRKENSTOCKS – pictured

  1. asos in black matte
  2. nordstrom in suede

Probably not the most practical item for fall since I’m not sure I’ll be brave enough to wear with socks, but this summer I’ve had to be purposeful about not wearing them everyday so my other shoes didn’t get jealous, so I’m not sure I’ll be able quit them just because the weather changes a bit. At the least I’m guessing they’ll be on repeat through mid-October :)

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JUMPSUITS – pictured

  1. twill jumpsuit at nordstrom
  2. denim romper from anthropologie
  3. madewell zip overalls

I can hardly wait to get my overalls out of seasonal retirement and I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the jumpsuits this summer so they will definitely be in my closet this fall.

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FAVORITE RESOURCES

  1. itsums – I can’t say enough about this online app/social space where you can set a budget and then start “pinning” items to your project board and let the app keep track of all the products while add things up for you… all in one place. Seriously a God-send and worth trying.
  2. @ellabrooksblog on Instagram – she is much more California cool than mio, but I find her feed so sweet, inspiring and share worthy.
  3. Emilie Maslow and her pinterest boards – a fellow pacific northwest girl and friend who has the most amazing eye for cool real life style as well as the catalogue kind.
  4. Kendi Everyday blog – Probably the only fashion blogger I follow consistently. She wears a lot of heels and outfits that aren’t as practical for my life but she keeps it fresh, tries new things and is fun and not stuffy.

So there you have it. Summer pieces that have fall staying power and my secret weapons for doing anything stylish and on budget.

What are you looking forward to wearing this fall?

XO, Rae

(Photo magic by Stacy Jacobsen)

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HAPPY (day after) NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY.

ice-cream-cone-wrappersDuring the summer months everyday is national ice cream day but yesterday it was official and since ice cream makes everything better (even mondays) I thought I would share these cute ice cream cone wrappers.

Scroll down to download friend!

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click to download, ICE CREAM CONE WRAPPERS, PDF

To use, open the file, print on white paper (text weight or card stock), cut along dashed line, wrap around sugar cone and secure with tape.

Looking forward to using these next time we have company.

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As seen here, picking an ice cream flavor is a major struggle for this fam and I almost always end up buying more than one at a time. Lately caramel waffle cone get’s my vote. How about you guys… Do you have a favorite flavor?

XO, Rae

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SUMMER(ing) SO HARD, SO FAR.

Summer is almost halfway through and I have the pile of beach towels, messy kitchen, dirty feet, bickering kids and loads of pictures to prove it! As crazy as summertime is with all the kids home nothing beats the sunshine, chill vibes, yummy fruit and extra playtime with my peeps.

Here are a few things (and mishaps) we’ve been up to since school got out, according to Instagram and my iPhone.

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//Summer birthday party planning.//We said adios to the threenager stage (fingers crossed) when Griffin turned 4 earlier this week!//We finished up the girl’s room. Pictures coming soon.//Watermelon + cookie cutters = cheap entertainment//Perty blooms from a friends yard = friends with benefits//New work projects. YAY!//

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//KIDCATION to LEAVENWORTH, WA with stacy and her boys.//Kidcations have become one of my favorite traditions (see others 1/2) and was the perfect getaway to celebrate the end of school year.//We swam at the community pool, ate lots of pizza and hot dogs, started a kickball pick-up game and generally speaking let the kids be kids while us moms hungout and watched.//

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//Espen and Tilly both passed beginning swimming which is a huge fete since neither of them are very natural in the water. Proud mama moment!//

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//We’ve been to the farmer’s market a couple times this summer. Our last visit was more about the kids eating shaved ice (the sidewalk ate most of it!) and running around at the playground and less about picking out fresh food. Our market gets so busy it stresses me out trying to maneuver through the crowd and stands while keeping everyone together so this was a nice solution. Next time I’ll go with a smaller crew… or maybe as a date with my boo!? (rhyming is cool)//

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//4th OF JULY was magical. The end.//

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//BLUEBERRY PICKING was also a highlight of the summer. We ate as much as we picked and the kids enjoyed the entire process!//

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//Every year without fail something begins to happen around mid-summer. We all get a little sick of each other so the bickering begins. My solution is to do one of two things, send everyone to a quite space to read or build legos or get out of the house and DO something. Here are a few things that have worked for us. Not that they are very original or creative.//Bike rides.//Bracelet making.//Nearby trails close to water and lots of shade.//Tennis courts.//

Basically our summer (so far) in a nutshell minus a few outings not pictured. We have one other stay-cation planned that’s coming up and 4 birthdays to celebrate but other than that  this is pretty much what the rest of our summer will look like.

What’s been your favorite activity this summer!?

XO, Rae

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Summertime Stroller Workout

It’s challenging enough to fit a workout in while the kids are in school and with everyone home now for the summer 24/7-ish it’s hasn’t gotten any easier. So I asked my super fit friend, trainer and health guru, Tori, to help put together a workout routine the kids can tag along for either in a stroller, on bikes or at the park!

Excited to share what we came up with and a free printable to make it even easier, below:

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click to download, SIMPLE STROLLER WORKOUT PDF

Here is an example of something I might pick for a workout:

  • Cardio: 2 minute run
  • Exercises: BURPEES//overhead squat (with poppy as weight)//kettlebell swings (with poppy as weight)//crunches
  • Reps: Pyramid (12, 9, 6, 3, 1)
  • Repeat: 5x or 1 pyramid sequence

BREAKDOWN: so I would run for 2 minutes with the jogger, stop and do 12 burpees, 12 overhead squats using Poppy as my weight, 12 kettlebell swings with Poppy as my weight and 12 crunches (with Poppy most likely crawling over me :). Then run again for 2 minutes, stop and do 9 burps, 9 overhead squats with Poppy, 9 kettle bell swings with Poppy, and 9 crunches. Run again for 2 minutes and then stop and do 6 of each exercise, etc.  Make sense?

YouTube is chockfull of exercise videos so search there if you need a how-to visual. Be sure to start easy and build from there. I always try to remind myself that working out is more about progress, endorphins and being a good example for my kids then getting a six-pack in one day.

If working out is not your thing try inviting a friend (or 5) because there is power and encouragement (and silliness) in numbers. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!

XO . Rae

A HUGE thanks to Tori for helping out with this post! If you are local and looking for a gym we LOVE and highly recommend Doxsa Crossfit. They do an amazing job and always have new classes and programs going on. You can even try it out for free and kids are welcome. Maybe I’ll see you there? 

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SUMMA, SUMMA, SUMMA-TIME (prints + fake tattoos)

One thing you guys might not know about me is that I’m kind of a badass.

Totally kidding. But I do have a tattoo. One that I could hardly wait until I was 18 (and still a senior) to get with a group of my friends. Now I can hardly wait to have it removed (LOL), but I do still love tattoos. Atleast the idea of them and when they are on other people…

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…Or the fake kind!

So to kick-off SUMMAH, i designed some tattoos and little cards for the kids to handout to their classmates. For the school friends they’ve gotten extra chummy with we’ll also leave notes on the back about getting together for playdates.

You can download them here:

I just bought some tattoo paper (there are cheaper brands but I haven’t tried them) and ran them through my color printer. Follow the directions on the packaging and then cut and tape to the cards. A little tip — before using it helps to trim around the design so there isn’t as much white.

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I know many of you have already had your last day of school but think they would still be fun to handout to friends in the neighborhood or as a party favor…. or pin for next year!

XO . Rae

PS (the longest one ever!) – I’ve been summer-afying our home and can hardly wait until all of the backpacks in our mudroom are replaced with tote bags and beach towels. I also love when the decorative pieces in our home add to the summer vibe and have been working on making new prints for the shop. Here is what I have so far… (minus the “be brave”).

new-summer-printsand then I’m hoping on adding a new one every week day for the next few weeks. Head to the shop to see everything and Instagram if you want to follow along!

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DIY Summer Straw Toppers (freebie!)

H A P P Y  Memorial Day  F R I E N D S ! Mondays are way better when part of a long weekend, yes!? While we are busy soaking up the extra 24 hours of playtime my heart has been bursting with gratitude for our military (+ their families) who’s bravery I can not even begin to understand + the freedom that I take for granted everyday. To everyone who has lost, sacrificed + served, T H A N K   Y O U !

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Now for something far less meaningful but totally cute; a freebie for all your summer hangs.

Here’s How To: Download, open in Adobe and add letters to each hexagon. I used a cut paper font (this one is cute and free!). Then print on card stock, cut along dashed lines and cut small slits to the left of the letter using an xact-o knife. Add to straws or package up and give as a little gift!

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Now that summertime is weeks away we’ve been prepping the house for non-stop playdates, BBQ’s and get togethers. All the winter hats and boots have been put away and replaced with beach towels and flip-flops. We also made a gigantic Costco shopping (wish) list over the weekend. Remember this “Raid the Pantry” post!?

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(HOORAY print, IKEA locker, Urban Outfitters rug)

Can’t wait to get the locker stocked again for the kids and their friends.

What have you been doing to get ready for summer?

XO . Rae

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MINI BITES: easy freezer pops + a recipe

It’s supposed to be 75 degrees today (75!) so this pacific northwest girl is celebrating by sharing some really easy (mostly store bought) freezer pops. Perfect for an afternoon pick me up on a warm day. Plus I’ve never met a freezer pop that kids don’t like and I have some flavors for the mamas too!

easy-freezer-pops-3I’m all for homemade, handmade, diy and all that good stuff (obvi!) but there is no shame in my store-bought game. sometimes store-bought saves my sanity and i feel sooooo lucky that we live during a time where there are so many great health food brands to choose from. Bolthouse Farms is one of those brands that i love and their juices, smoothies, cafe drinks and protein shakes make doing the healthy, whole and delicious things so easy.  Here are a few of the flavors that we love to drink straight from the bottle or turn into ice pops:

ONE: want an icy treat that’s a little more grownup? There’s a flavor for that. (ha! i’m such a  dork sometimes.) I love all of their coffee drinks but especially the vanilla chai tea (pictured). Their protein plus drinks are also delicious.

TWO: you really can’t go wrong for the kids but mine practically fight over the protein plus mango (pictured), berry boost, strawberry banana, green goodness, blue goodness and protein plus chocolate.

THREE: another option is our Favorite Homemade Strawberry Protein Shake — In a blender, combine 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk, 1/2 cup vanilla or honey greek yogurt, 1 to 2 scoops vanilla protein, 1 cup frozen strawberries. Blend together. Add ice to desired consistency and honey to taste.

HERE’S HOW: pour drinks into small paper cups (or popsicle molds if you have them) on a cookie sheet. Place in freezer. After an hour or so (this is optional) place an ice cream or popsicle stick in the middle of each cup. Return to freezer until totally frozen. If you aren’t eating them right away then place in a large ziplock or container in the freezer.

There you have it! One of my favorite ways to make feeding my brood more fun and the best strawberry protein shake recipe for good measure.

When it comes to food, what store-bought items make life easier? Also, what is your favorite smoothie or shake to make!?

Also, I should mention that this is in no way sponsored by or in affiliation with Bolthouse, we just love their products so much that I had to share :)

Happy Monday Babes!

xo . Rae

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monday fun-day + a winner

hey lovely! hope you had a fantastic weekend!… me and my swollen feet welcomed a couple days of cooler weather  and lots of hangout time with friends. excited and anxious to say that the countdown to baby sis’ arrival officially fits on two hands (eek!). while the waiting game begins i’m oddly thankful for a never ending “to do before baby arrives” list to distract me.

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(a few iPhone snaps from swim lessons the last two weeks)

oh and before i forget, i have the teepee winner to announce!

thanks so much for playing along with our giveaway last week! i had so much fun reading comments and wish i could give everyone their very own teepee (wouldn’t that be a fun surprise!? maybe one day:) but am looking forward to more giveaways in the future.

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one of the things on my to-do list this week is to finish packing for the hospital. i’m most of the way done but in my research found most of the hospital packing lists online are stuck in the 90’s and would love to hear if you have any suggestions!

xo . rae

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