Archive | Uncategorized

WEEKLY MEAL PLAN TEMPLATE DOWNLOAD + MARCH WK 3

As promised, I’m sharing my meal plan templates below in both Photoshop and jpgs… will also share on Instagram Stories (and then save to a “meal plan” highlight) if you prefer to take a screen shot and then use. Let me know if you have any other requests.

So excited about our meals this week. With baseball games starting and the sun being out (yay!) I tried to stick to meals that are simple and easy to adjust — so we can all say “YES!” to impromptu outings and get togethers. Also included a very yummy recipe for Magnolia’s banana pudding for all those that made it (or wish they could’ve made it) to the silos this past weekend. Check it all out below!

m | slow cooker moroccan chicken + couscous

tu |beef + avocado quesadillas (might sub ground beef for refried beans tho)

w | chicken tenders + fries (homemade or takeout) + chopped (or costco) salad — we’ll be at a baseball game in Tacoma so plan on bringing a salad and then stopping by our favorite local spot for a few orders!

th | crispy breakfast pita

f | DAD’S CHIOCE + HAPPY HOUR– johan’s pick was kabobs on the grill (lots of ideas HERE!)

sa | spicy mint beef + rice with warm edamame

su | easy turkey lettuce cups

breakkie | muffins are always a welcome change of pace early in the morning or as a snack. we enjoy this recipe! the copycat sausage breakfast sandwiches were a big hit (plus we bought the sausage patties from costco) so we’ll be making more this week. i should’ve written “eggs” since everyone likes theirs differently (not just hardboiled) but eaten in any form with a fruit smoothie strikes a perfect balance anytime of day but especially in the morning!

lunch | chicken salad (make a batch at the beginning of the week) pitas are fun, stuffed or as a dip. homemade lunchables are my favorite to pack and parfaits just seem like a good way to spice things up!

snack | this pudding recipe is so good… perfect for a playdate treat! trying to do more prep work at the beginning of the week to make things run more smoothly with our schedules filling up, including veggies to snack on. these apple monsters are a fun snack too!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD via Dropbox.

If you don’t have a Dropbox account, it’s super easy, doesn’t cost anything and won’t clog up your email with junk either.

Let me know if you have any trouble and don’t forget to share with your friends!

xo, Rae

0

WEEKLYMEAL PLAN, MARCH WK 2

We got a little glimpse of spring over the weekend in the form of sunshine and daylight savings (yay!) and spent a ton of time outside (double yay!)! Things are moving a little slowly this morning so we’ll see how I really feel about the time change in a couple hours, lol. Crazy how one hour can mess up your routine… hopefully this meal plan helps get your week going!

M | my mom was the queen of making ramen noodle salad back in the day and will be over for dinner and Ozzie’s first baseball game tonight so it seemed like a good night to make it

TU | slow cooker pork tacos… there are lots of recipes out there but oh so delicioso recipes never disappoint!

W | eat out or leftovers… hoping we’ll have enough pork meat leftover for fun nachos or quesadillas. mexican two nights in a row, yes please!

TH | honey lime salmon bowls — these look so yum and healthy and king salmon is in season (sub other fish or meat if not available where you live) just be sure to buy WILD and not farm raised!

F | breakkie for dinner — this eggs benedict recipe is calling my name!

SA | plan a dinner with friends — daylight savings makes it easier to hang with friends for a happy hour or dinner

SU | shamrock raviolis (costco sells them in the coolers by the cheese and meat — I’ll share a visual on stories today and save under the “eat” highlight so you know what the package looks like!)

BREAKKIE | all the kids’ appetites have been crazy lately so planning on pre-making a bunch of these sausage breakfast sandwiches for a quick but still filling meal or snack, toast is my favorite comfort food (here are some savory options), and overnight oats are sooooo good too… try these recipes if you don’t already have a go-to!

LUNCH | at this point of the school year we’re in need of easy options that still feel special — leftovers, charcuterie and different PB+J combinations seemed to be perfect options!

SNACK (and a treat too!) | shared some cake pops for st. patrick’s day in this post, homemade kale chips (good tips here but I like making them with salt and coconut oil) are so good and french fries are everyone’s favorite appetizer to order at a restaurant to tie the kids over so why not serve for after school snack!?

So excited to get my shopping done and eat alllll the food this week! What do you guys think?

xo, Rae

0

24 FREE PRINTABLE CLASSROOM VALENTINES

As promised! All 24 of my classroom Valentine designs are available for download. Sign up for emails below and I’ll send you the link directly (YAY!). If you are already signed up for emails, check your inbox!

Once you’ve downloaded your favorites, follow the instructions included and then tape to a goodie bag, treat or toy. For little gift ideas and a link to the googly eyes I use, HEAD HERE.

As always, be sure to share with friends and tag or DM if you share pics of your little valentines and their cards… it always makes my day seeing how you use my designs!

xo, Rae

4

ON DUTY MOM STYLE + A NEW HASHTAG

Never dreamed I’d ever write a blog post announcing a hashtag but here I am, claiming one that I think is meaningful, helpful, accurate and encompasses my approach to style and motherhood.

#ondutymom and #ondutymomstyle

Stay with me while I explain: 

When I was pregnant with Poppy, knowing just how much a 5th child would add to our already full life, I decided to make a few changes. Most involved slowing down, reprioritizing and being intentional (I can talk more about it in a later post if you guys are interested?) but I feel like the best, most effective and simplest change I made was a promise I made to myself to get dressed everyday.

At the time, it was an easy way for me to practice self-care (takes less time than a workout, lol) and I was already getting 4 (soon 5) other humans ready in the morning. What’s one more? I also had a strange epiphany one day at Target (shocker!) and decided that if anyone was going to run errands in their pajamas, it was going to be one of the kids, not me. So often, it had been the other way around. My kids looked like models and I looked like a hot mess. What is the point of that? What am I teaching my kids about how to treat me or how I value myself and my role as their mom!? I also believe wholeheartedly that we teach our kids how to treat and value themselves by how we treat and value ourselves. Where else are they going to learn it?

Before I go on, I should also define what I mean by “getting dressed”. If you know me then you know it has less to do with being fancy and more to do with dressing on purpose for the day depending on what’s happening… Some days all you need is a beanie, leggings and vintage tee, other’s call for mom jeans and cute shoes and others a maxi dress and sneakers. More important than anything, does it function/serve you and do you like it/feel good in it?

Hopefully you’re still with me… it get’s better (slash more dorky, lol)!

One of the challenges for me, when I decided to make getting dressed (on purpose) a priority, was finding outfit inspiration that was both comfortable and cool. Some of the outfits I was pinning happened to be of “off duty models” and why wouldn’t it be? They spend most of their time in uncomfortable outfits and crazy amounts of makeup so when they weren’t working they want to be comfy in addition to being stylish.

Our new hashtag represents just that… (with fewer crop-tops). Inspired but effortless but put together, elevated but casual, cozy but cute, cool but relaxed — all non-negotiable for me when it comes to getting dressed! 

I’m hoping you’ll join me on this journey of self-care and motherhood! Use the hashtag, start a pinterest board, share outfit inspo on stories (you don’t have to be a style blogger to do that!), spend time editing your closet, buy something for yourself and wear what makes you happy! I’ll be sharing my best tips and tricks along the way and am currently figuring out a way to work one-on-one with anyone who needs an extra styling boost!

I’ll be posting a closet haul and sharing my current wardrobe staples on Instagram Stories later this week. Will keep you posted on a date and time!

Then next week I’m going to share 5 steps to building a wardrobe you love… don’t worry, it involves using items you already have in your closet!

Please let me know if you have any questions or want to chat about scheduling a styling + closet consultation!

xo, Rae

5

FAMILY TRAVEL TIPS: PACKING CARRY-ON’S

After a few requests, regarding what the kids had in their carry-on bags on our trip to AZ, I thought it would be fun to share some details and thoughts on the subject. After all, it’s one of my favorite parts of traveling! Probably because it keeps my distracted and excited mind somewhat productive while we countdown to our getaway. Just wish I could say the same thing about unpacking. HA! If you guys have any unpacking tips, puh-leez share in the comments!

One of the things I start doing 1-2 weeks before departure is throwing things in everyone’s carry-ons. My goal is always to make it fun and functional without being too bulky or cluttered. I mean, it’s hard enough maneuvering around an airplane cabin and little row of seats without having to dig through a bottomless pit to find what you really need!

Here’s a few guidelines and tech tips that have worked for us on plane trips as well as road trips. Then keep scrolling to see what each kid had in their carry-ons on our most recent trip to AZ.

MY 5 RULES FOR PACKING CARRY-ONS:

  1. Function over everything
  2. Everyone gets their own necessities – like gum (minus poppy), headphones, a tech device, favorite lovie (blanket + stuffy), and snacks.
  3.  Pack at least 1 small surprise per person
  4. Give each kid an item they can share OR a responsibility, like handing out suckers, making a bucket list, etc.
  5. Bonus points for activities they can also play during any downtime on the trip — like at a restaurant!

TECH TIPS: you may not need these as we’re all pretty experienced with prepping gadgets for our little ones by now, but just in case!

  1. If your not paying for everyone to have wifi on the flight, pre download movies and apps that don’t require wifi or a network to play. Clear out some memory space if needed too!
  2. Not all tech has to be zombie inducing like a movie or game. Prompt photo ops, play with filters, record and edit videos or download a book or piano/music app.
  3. Don’t forget about music and playlists — even for the littler ones!
  4. Leave the mom-guilt at home! There is nothing wrong with throwing all your screen time rules out the window for a handful of travel days each year. Just learn to smile at anyone giving judge-y eyes and brush it off. No one knows what time you had to get up to catch your flight, what it was like to get through security, or how your child is feeling about traveling…
  5. If too much screen time makes your kids cranky (like it does mine), take turns between screen time, snack time, and activity time. Switching things up and staying engaged with them while they play, always helps!
  6. The BEST HEADPHONES FOR KIDS. Great price and they have a share port. The end.

POPPY, 3 (toddler to preschool) | a sippy-cup for when the drink cart comes around, snacks, shopkins (a favorite activity), a hoodie for an extra layer and extra leggings, bracelets (her surprise), bunny mask for being silly and because Poppy loves dress up anything, headphones, new crayons and a mini coloring book I found at peek kids.

Johan had an old iPhone in his carry on for poppy to use, stocked with music and her current favorite game – THINK ROLLS (find more of our favorite apps HERE!). She ended up not using tech on the way to AZ and fell asleep watching a movie with Griffin on the way home.

GRIFFIN, 6 (kindergarten + early elementary) | snacks, maze game, gum, new markers, mini coloring book from target $1 isle, lunch bags for making hand puppets, headphones and iPad.

Griffin tends to be the third wheel with Espen and Tilly so I gave him the dum-dums and fruit snacks to be in charge of handing them out to his siblings. He loved it and the older kids were probably a little more inclusive knowing that he was the source of treats!

TILLY, 9 (2nd-4th grade) | roller essential oils (for anxiety and a mood boost), gum, ear buds, the book PAX (love the age where they can read chapter books! Espen and Tilly are usually happy to read), flash cards, googley eyes with adhesive backs , monkey string (like wiki stix), dot stickers, bunny book + markers (also from peek kids), rainbow post-it notes

Being overly prepared seems to help ease Tilly’s anxiety so she added a few more snacks and small pillow to her bag. She’s also really good at leading activities (future camp counselor maybe!?) so I put all of the craft stuff in her bag to be in charge of.

ESPEN, 11 (tweens :) | note pad and pens, a book, headphones, iPad, playing cards, stress ball, plastic spoons (I’ll explain)

This age group is so easy! I always think it’s good to have a book and something to write on. He’s also really into card games and practicing tricks and jokes so I thought it would be a good thing for him to be in charge of. The spoons were for playing the card game spoons or for practicing hanging them from their noses.

The last couple airplane trips we have taken have gone really smoothly which probably has a lot to do with the ages of our kids. Regardless, there is always an element of surprise and unpredictability when it comes to kids (especially babies!) which can make traveling with them slightly terrifying. But I also think that kids are natural travelers and it makes me wish we could do more of it! Plus the QT is pretty priceless.

How do you guys feel about traveling with or without kids?

Do you like packing or unpacking!? Remember to share this tips with me!

xo, Rae

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

3

FEBRUARY DINNERS

HOORAY, we made it to the end of Jan-u-ar(a)y! LOL. Did it feel as long to you as it did to me? I guess it doesn’t really stand a chance to the few months and holidays that come before it, huh? However, it does feel good to have the first month of the year under my belt… and seeing as how we ate and netflixed our way through January, I mean that literally too. Is a “cheat month” a thing? (Asking for a friend :)

Anywho, I’ve rounded up a few recipes I’ve tried and loved or want to try in February. Half of them either look delicious or would be perfect for Valentine’s Day (can you say fondue, pasta and tomato bisque with grilled cheese, please!?) while the other half are gluten free and paleo. It’s all about balance, right?

13 DINNERS TO MAKE IN FEBRUARY

EASY

MAKE AHEAD OR BAKED

30-60 MINUTES

BREAKFAST, LUNCH + SNACK IDEAS

  • bananas + peanut butter pinwheels
  • monster mouths (with marshmallows or nuts for teeth)
  • egg + cheese tacos or omelettes
  • mango protein shake (frozen mango + pineapple, almond or coconut milk, ice and vanilla protein (this is our favorite kind — not chalky!)
  • raviolis
  • edamame
  • french toast + fruit kabobs (perfect for Valentines Day!)
  • chicken salad pitas or lettuce cups
  • fresh veggies with tzatziki dip!

Which recipe looks most appealing to you? I’m kinda curious about the chicken bowl with cauliflower rice.

Feel free to add more recipe ideas in the comments…

Love you guys!

xo, Rae

5

DECEMBER MEALS + A SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE YOU’LL LOVE

Cookie baking, Holiday movie watching, hall decking, and gift wrapping, sign me up for it all. But with December 1 comes a reality check. Christmas will be here before I know it and there’s so much I want to get done between now and the 24th. Assuming you guys are in the same boat, I did my best to curate dishes and recipes that are mostly easy to make and perfect for leftovers! But first a sugar cookie recipe that does not disappoint! Seriously, I don’t eat many desserts that don’t involve chocolate and couldn’t stop snacking on these.

SUGAR COOKIE + ICING RECIPE

YOU’LL NEED (for cookies):

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • cookie cutters (I used this one)

YOU’LL NEED (for icing):

  • 2 cups shortening
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 8 cups powdered sugar (aka icing sugar)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream, less or more for desired thickness/texture
  • sprinkles
  • food coloring (the all-natural one we used)

TO MAKE THE COOKIES:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Then add egg and vanilla and cream together.
  2. Whisk the baking powder and flour together. Gradually add dry ingredients to sugar mixture, mixing in-between until well combined.
  3. Knead dough by hand for a minute then immediately roll smaller batches, on a floured surface, to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters.
  4. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven before they brown. Move to wire rack or platter and let cool completely before icing.

TO MAKE THE ICING:

  • In a large bowl, beat shortening and vanilla. Add powdered sugar in small amount (I added 1/2 cup at a time) and combine.
  • Add cream gradually and beat until desired thickness and consistency.
  • Divide icing into bowls and add food coloring to each as desired!
  • Spread onto cooled cookies and add sprinkles!

Here are a few other dinners on our menu plan this December!

12 DINNERS TO MAKE IN NOVEMBER

EASY

MAKE AHEAD OR BAKED

30-45 MINS

BREAKFAST, LUNCH + SNACK IDEAS

1

5 THINGS: ON REPEAT RIGHT NOW

HAPPY FRIDAY! Not that it makes too much of a difference during the summer :) Things have been a little all-over-the-place around here for the last couple weeks so thought I’d focus on and share a few things that (like tan lines) have been on repeat so far this summer.

5 THINGS ON REPEAT LATELY…

1 SWIM LESSONS | They’re ending tomorrow but Espen and Tilly have been going everyday since school got out and it was such a great way to start the summer. Gave us just the right amount of structure and a set time to have our chores and work finished by. Sad to see them end!

2 KARAOKE CARPOOL | Especially this one and this one. They are fun to watch when I need a little break or some “company” during late night laundry folding seshes.

3 MOM ON | Another youtube find (HERE) that makes me feel better about the next thing on repeat…

4 DINO CHICKEN NUGGETS | After years of avoiding these cookie cutter nuggets, I’ve given in this summer and am mostly happy about it. They are easy in every way, filling, and the kids devour them. I usually pickup a bag of Market Panty ones at Target. Serve with a smoothie for lunch or baked fries and fruit salad for dinner and I’m their favorite person in the world!

5 SUMMER #OOTD | Would wear this tank everyday with a cute bandana and sandals (on sale) or a hat, sunnies and slides.

What have you been doing, eating, wearing, this summer so far!?

xo, Rae

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

2

WHEN IN DOUBT, HEAD TO THE BEACH!

That is exactly what we did over the long weekend and it’s safe to say we played hard and had lots of fun! Johan had to be back at work on Monday so our weekend was cut short a bit, but Saturday and Sunday we packed up and spent time at my parent’s house and lake. Between our work schedules lately (yay for those hard working daddies!) and the boy’s baseball, two full days together felt like pure bliss!

A few pics from our time together…

Griffin rarely lets me out of his sight (a serious clinger) unless he has a friend around and then I’m NBD. Makes me appreciate more and more the time I have him all to myself. One day he’ll be taller and busier and it will be harder to steal kisses so you know what I’ll be doing in the meantime!

I know from experience… You’ll notice Oz isn’t in any pics. He and a friend were with us but taking pictures of  16 year old boys is hard if not impossible. Unless of course it’s a snapchat pic from their phones (sighhhh).  On the upside, teenage boys are highly entertaining and fun to be around!

I mentioned on Instagram that we haven’t quite mastered the art of family bike rides. However, my parent’s neighborhood is a really good place to practice. Everyone grabs something with wheels and we hit the road — abandoning ride-on toys, kissing scraped knees, and looking like a hot mess as we go.

It’s my favorite thing to hang back a bit and watch the beautiful mess of it all while kindly shouting every once in awhile for people to slow down, stay together, be careful, and don’t go past the…. Ha! Maybe I’m the reason our bike rides/walks feel so chaotic?! Either way, when it’s not stressing me out, it’s the best view.

Still in swimsuits at 8pm… What summer dreams are made of!

5th child ^^^ The FOMO is real.

There’s that view!

Day 2 looked a lot like day 1…

Tilly trying to persuade me to hop on a paddle board with her the second we arrive on the beach, while I try to convince her that sitting in the sun for a bit while taking it all in and sipping on a LaCroix before jumping in the water is where it’s at!

We compromised… I hopped on the paddle board with her and a LaCroix and she promised not to tip us over. :)

Waiting for my paddler.

*I would not ordinarily post a picture of myself in a swimsuit, but since it’s that time of year and most of us are looking for something cute and functional to wear while playing with the kids, I thought I would take one for the team and share one of the suits that works for me! The top is last season from Victoria’s Secret but my bottoms are from Kortni Jean. I have a top from her line and love how easy her pieces are to mix and match with other suits I have too. I’ll share links below!

I’ve also had my eyes on swimmers by Albion… has anyone purchased from them?

Watermelon break!

And some pineapple too…?

 Since Johan had to work Monday the kids and I hung-out at home. They caught up with friends while I caught up on laundry and spent a lot of time thinking about how this weekend probably feels and looks so different for those families who know personally the cost of our freedom. Those who might cringe a little when the word “happy” is placed before memorial day. If that’s you, and I’m not even sure that I have the words or understanding, but I do want you to know I was thinking of you. Thank you for everything you have and continue to sacrifice for me and my family and for our country. I do hope you felt extra honored and loved over the weekend.

XO, Rae

SWIMMERS | Rae, top + bottom from Kortni Jean  | Tilly, top + bottoms from Kortni Jean | Espen, old from Crewcuts | Griffin, trunks from Cat + Jack from Target (these are cute too) | Poppy, suit from Olivia + Ocean

*Leave a comment if you have any questions on sizing!

4

HAPPY TRAVELS: 10 WAYS TO MAKE FAMILY TRIPS (MORE) AFFORDABLE

We made it to our second Spring break destination last night and I can’t wait to soak up some beach time, sunshine (hoping it lasts!), and family and friend hangs! Traveling with kids can be a little daunting and cost a lot of money, but it’s one of the things I never, ever, ever, regret doing. Figuring out how to do more of it has been at the top of my to-do list lately. Which brings me to today’s post… an ongoing list of ways to make travel more affordable.

// Balboa Island, CA //

// Leavenworth, WA over Thanksgiving //

TRAVEL IN A PACK | with friends or family! There are so many ways to split costs if you don’t mind being flexible. For the trip we are currently on, we are sharing a house with friends, which helps with rental, food and entertainment costs… especially since the kids have other little humans to play with!

SKIMP A LITTLE | Probably my least favorite tip because vacays are usually the perfect reason to splurge, but if the choice is, skimp or don’t go, then it’s totally worth it! Before leaving try cutting out a monthly bill or expense (cable, Starbucks, eating out, etc.) or use Birthdays and Holidays as an excuse to travel instead of giving expensive gifts or parties! Once arriving save money by eating during happy hour, booking a cheaper hotel, walk or take uber instead of renting a car, etc. if most activities are within walking distance. My husband’s favorite way to skimp is to stay somewhere with a good continental breakfast! He is usually the one to book our hotel so I have no idea how common that is (do most places offer that?) but thought it was worth mentioning :)

DO THE RESEARCH | There is so much info out there on traveling and specific destinations so start googling!

GET TO KNOW SOME TRAVEL APPS/SITES | (Travel apps and sites are always a good idea too. A few favorites are roadtrippers, Google Flights, Kyak, and Airbnb.  This one looks like fun for group traveling too!

CASH IN ON INCENTIVES, BONUSES, COUPONS, MEMBERSHIPS + MILES | Kind of a no-brainer, but also time consuming and easily overlooked… aside from airline miles and hotel chain incentives, and depending on the type of trip, look for National Park Passes for camping or day trips, and city or museum passes that let you get into more than one activity. Purchasing passes ahead of time usually helps too!

BOOK IN THE OFF-SEASON | As opposed to the peek season. Traveling during weekdays is usually less expensive too.

STAY SOMEWHERE WITH A KITCHEN | or kitchenet and plan meals, snacks and bring groceries ahead of time.

MAKE IT A GOAL | It’s easier to save, research and get to the destination if you know where and when you want to go!

LOOK CLOSER TO HOME | this one is kinda a no-brainer but, stay cations equal less travel expenses. We have a short list of places within driving distance, that we would like to visit and are always asking friends for ideas, too!

BOOK AHEAD | keep an eye out for flight, hotel, and car pricing and be ready to make reservations when the prices drop. Every once in awhile, last minute bookings and reservations pay-off too.

 

As always, I would love to know any tips you have to share… or even destinations that are family friendly!!!

xo, Rae

0

summertime carry-alls.

If Christmas is the season of perpetual hope then summer is the season of perpetual packing — for the weekend, beach, lake, hike, park, day-trip, pool day, picnic, ball-game, you pick farm, sleepover, camping, you name it.

So I thought I’d put together a round up of some cute summery bags…

summer-totes

 

MAMA: one / two / three

BEACH: one / two / three

MINIS: one / two / three

backpacks-and-carry-alls

After Poppy was born I ditched my usual oversized bag and bought this backpack from target to tryout the trend and totally love it. What is your favorite kind of bag to carry around?

xo . Rae

1