Archive | winter

OH CHRISTMAS TREE + OUR SIMPLE HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST

rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm-2016-3309-2

I cannot believe it, but happy DECEMBER! We kicked off the month yesterday by starting our service advent calendar, stacking up a pile of books to donate, and celebrating our elf, Sven the loving elf’s, arrival. I just know this month is going to flyby — it always does. Since our un-fancy fall bucket list worked so well, I figured we would do the same for the Holiday Season. Here’s what’s on everyone’s list: 

ME | Mail our Christmas cards next week, plan a fancy date night with ma boo, see the Nutcracker, Narnia (at the Seattle Children’s Theater), or go on a Polar Express ride.

JOHAN | Lots of Christmas movie nights!

OZZIE | Go sledding.

ESPEN | Gingerbread houses and visit with his buddies that moved a little while ago.

TILLY | Make my friends Christmas gifts and see Santa.

GRIFFIN | Do a hot cocoa stand and zoo lights!

POPPY | Run away from santa (just kidding! – by Tilly).

This time of year (dark and cold) it’s easy for me to be a homebody without a list of things to do! Looking forward to checking things off over the next several weeks.

What’s on your bucket list for the Holidays!?

Now for a few pics from the tree hunting excursion we went of after church last Sunday.  

rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm-2016-3316-2rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm-2016-3321-2 rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm-2016-3341-2

The opposite of the Mannequin challenge, HA! A few snaps before this, Espen had jumped into the shot and photobombed. It wasn’t long before they all wanted a picture of them doing the same. Love these kids.

rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm-2016-3342-2

(Poppy must have tooted?)

rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm-2016-3346-2

Totally impressed with the tree wrapping machine…

rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm-2016-3353-2

…And the little train ride they got to go on.

rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm-2016-3361-2 rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm-2016-3384-3rae-ann-kelly-tree-farm

And a few posed pics with the oldest because it’s hard to get him in front of the camera most of the time. Realizing how far we are moving from the making babies stage of our family but so thankful for healthy, thriving kids that entertain and impress me daily. It’s bittersweet but mostly sweet.

XO, Rae

kids-bathroom-refresh-sources

ME | buffalo check coat (on sale!), jeans (on double sale), black boot (also on sale)

ESPEN | sweatshirt (similar), check shirt (similar), jeans, black rain boots

TILLY | black coat, dress and boots (similar) from Boden and on sale

GRIFFIN | jeans, shoes

POPPY | jean jacket (same one in a darker wash), boots

0

LOVE DOES, ADVENT ACTIVITIES + PRINTABLE

rae-ann-kelly-love-does-advent-printable-1

There is a mile long Thanksgiving to-do list sitting next to my keyboard as I type this, but there is so much that happens between Turkey day and Chistmas, it’s hard not to jump ahead a little. One of my favorite upcoming traditions is our daily advent calendar (25% off at Land of Nod) and this year we’re stuffing it with trinkets, sweets, festive activities and simple service projects.

Looking forward to spreading love and cheer this advent season. Hope you’ll join us and download the printable below or pin for safe keeping!!!

rae-ann-kelly-merry-and-bright-service-advent-2736

Sign me up for this advent activity!!!! And Poppy’s adorable faces.

rae-ann-kelly-merry-and-bright-service-advent-2746 rae-ann-kelly-merry-and-bright-service-advent-2779

(PSARyan and Wren clips are a fave… perfect for stocking stuffers and holiday outfits!)

LOVE DOES, ADVENT ACTIVITES, PDF I made one sheet editable so you can fill in with your own ideas and traditions. Simply open in Adobe, click on the text box and type. The font I used is BEBAS (it’s free to download) or use a current favorite. Let me know if you have any questions!

rae-ann-kelly-merry-and-bright-service-advent-2796

Some activities are super simple while others are more involved and I’m sure we won’t complete them all, but I do hope it’s a fun addition to our advent calendar that sticks around for years to come. And that my kids will see that L O V E   D O E S. It shares and serves and gives, celebrates and encourages, and is incredibly resourceful and creative. And without it, all the gifts and glitter of the season don’t matter too much. It’s a good reminder for me too!

Now time to get back to my Thanksgiving checklist…Happy Monday!

XO, Rae 

 

3

TOO SOON? (VALENTINES 2016)

RAK-classroom-valentines-post

Soooooo, Christmas was like yesterday and I feel like I’m still in recovery mode this week but classroom Valentines are one of my favorite things to do and plan with the kids so I couldn’t help but start designing a few. Here is a look at what I have so far but I could really use some more ideas! I’m thinking Star Wars Valentines are a must and maybe some photo cards?

RAK-classroom-valentines

Tilly and I agree that the blue goggly eye heart is our favorite but you can checkout all of the Valentines HERE. I also linked to the non-candy treats pictured in the listings to make it easy  and you can find the colorful bags in the shop as well. I’ll be designing some more over the next week so please let me know if you have any ideas or requests!

XO, Rae

P.S. – The top picture of Poppy was taken by Stacy for a Vday Mini promo… if you are in the area you should sign up and maybe I’ll see ya’ there! More info on her Facebook page.

0

MOM + MINI: JANUARY OUTFIT + DOING ALL THINGS WITH LOVE

RAK mom + mini style january-6909

I stumbled upon Tilly’s sweatshirt while browsing Zara and wondered how I could possibly pass up such a cozy sweatshirt with the sweetest reminder. Especially since loving people with our words and actions has been a topic of conversation a lot with her lately – she can be soooo spunky! Doing all things with love seems simple enough, doesn’t it? But when I saw her running around in her new sweatshirt it occurred to me how huge that calling is. To LOVE ALL the time. Even when we don’t feel like it or the recipient of those “things” doesn’t really deserve it or it requires some sacrifice and humility.

“Do all things with love.”

Gosh I have some work to do in this area and a lot more patience to extend to Tilly while she does the same.

All that from a pint sized sweatshirt, LOL. Can’t help but laugh at myself!

RAK mom + mini style january-6871 RAK mom + mini style january-6892 RAK mom + mini style january-6902 RAK mom + mini style january-6911

RAK mom + mini style january-6865

TILLYsweatshirt from Zara, dress from Peek (similar), leggings from Old Navy, boots from Boden

MEsweater from Topshop, turtleneck from J. Crew, overalls from Madewell (on sale!), boots from gap (similar)

Are there any “things” you could do with a little more love?

For me it is defiantly bedtime! Once 8 o’clock rolls around happy mom clocks out and someone much less patient and loving checks in. It’s actually one of my goals for the year — to start enjoying bedtimes instead of dreading it everyday. Feel free to share bedtime tips below if you have any!

XO, Rae

PS – Pictures by my very awesome husband. One of the goals we made together for 2016 is to learn to take better and more pictures of our family… Wish us luck!

4

SANTA (I KNOW HIM!) + TRADITIONS

Santa-12-12-2015-447Every year, from the time I was a newborn in a bunting to the time I was a teenager in a flannel and baggy jeans, my parent’s would take my brothers and me to get santa pictures. I hated it as a baby, loved it as a little girl and resented it as a teenager. So naturally Johan and I decided to carry on the tradition with our own offspring (HA!).

After several years of bringing the kids (a much smaller brood back then) to see Santa, we stopped. All the lines, coordinating and bribing (of kids and adults) just didn’t seem worth it and in all honesty I wasn’t really sure how I felt about Santa being such a big part of Christmas (but that’s another story!). So we ditched the Santa tradition.

Then, a few years ago my mom framed all of our childhood santa pics including a few from my dad’s childhood and displayed them all together. When I walked in and saw them, my heart exploded into a million pieces as I carefully examined every single one. At that moment I decided our family would pick up where we left off with the jolly old guy.

Santa-12-12-2015-443Santa-12-12-2015-449 Santa-12-12-2015-450

//Can you feel the love?//

Santa-12-12-2015-451 Santa-12-12-2015-452

//Espen’s at that in-between age and I wasn’t really sure how he would feel about Santa but when it was his turn he hopped right up on his lap and whispered in his ear and it was really the cutest thing ever. I’ll take every year I can get of him not growing up too fast!//

Santa-12-12-2015-453

//Obviously not a fan but somehow crying babies on Santa’s lap are just as cute (if not more) than happy ones.//

Santa-12-12-2015-454

//Griffin was a little more brave this year and grabbed a candy cane from Santa’s hand. Progress!//

Santa-12-12-2015-455

Now, after a few years in a row of seeing Santa I’m so happy we made a comeback. Not because it’s easy. Don’t be fooled by these adorable pics. A lot of hard work and patience went into getting everyone there and a teenagers life might have been ruined in the process :), but it was oh so worth it!

It’s crazy to me that something that requires such effort and causes chaos can end up being such a sweet memory. But I guess life is like that in general…. The crazy things end up being the best things.

Are there any Holiday traditions you are wanting to bring back, or start or maybe give-up!?

It’s a lot of work this whole Holiday Season isn’t it? Through all of the hustle and bustle, memory making and fa la la-ing, I hope you feel the love, joy and hope that comes with it! Merry Christmas you guys… It really is the best time of year!

XO, Rae

(images by Stacy Jacobsen)

2

MINI BITES: WINTER SMOOTHIES

rae-ann-kelly-best-winter-smoothies

Smoothie’s tend to fall off our menu rotation around the beginning of fall when the cold weather moves in. But lately, with the abundance of junk and comfort food and lack of daylight, vitamin D and outdoor activity I think all of our bodies have been craving the nutrition and freshness of our favorite summer snack. So we recently started  blending a few up each week using more wintery combinations… of course the usual tropically flavors are a hit even in the winter, but it’s nice to switch things up. Here are a few of our favorites so far!

rae-ann-kelly-best-winter-smoothies-2 rae-ann-kelly-fave-winter-smoothies-2

(one more of the cute smoothie models, ha!)

Don’t those look yummy!? I think I’ll go make one right now :)… What have you guys been snacking on lately?

XO, Rae

0

EASY OVERSIZED BABY BLANKET DIY (+ A NO-SEW OPTION)

oversized-jersey-knit-blanket-diy

(My friends little girl, Bellamy with one of the blankies)

Shortly before Poppy was born I splurged on a couple jersey knit baby blankets. Partially because they seemed more swaddle friendly than the muslin version and partially because I adored the fabric patterns they came in… (justifying purchases comes easy to me in the 3rd trimester). But I had no idea just how handy they would be. I used them for everything from swaddling to nursing (because of the generous size) to wiping spit up and everything in between.

I also had no idea just how simple it would be to make a few. The ones I purchased were finished with a serging machine but I’m going to show you a no-fuss way to finish the raw edges with a regular sewing machine.

(I’ll share a NO-SEW version below as well!)

oversized-jersey-knit-blanket-diy-2

YOU’LL NEED:

  • about 1 to 1-1/2 yard of cute jersey knit fabric (stretchy legging type material – I made these designs bows/brrr/bears for a collaboration with Hen&Co. and they are available in my Spoonflower shop now!)
  • coordinating or contrasting sewing thread and bobbin
  • sewing machine
  • scissors (if you have a designated pair for fabric it helps!)

jersey-knit-baby-blanket-tutorial

HERE’S HOW:

  1. If needed, trim fabric to the size you want your blankets. Mine are 36×42 inches which is a generous size but could be a little bigger.
  2. Thread sewing machine and set to: zig-zag stitch, stitch length 3, stitch width 7, and normal tension (mine is between 3-4). This is honestly the hardest part, LOL.
  3. Practice sewing a 1/8″ seem along the edge of one of your jersey knit fabric scraps. If you don’t have a needle plate with measurements on it (see pic), feed the fabric through the middle-right of your presser food. The raw edges of the fabric bunches and rolls a little which gives it a rick-rack looking edge.
  4. After a little practice, repeat the same technique, sewing a zig-zag stitch along all the edges of your blanket. Tie loose threads, trim and your done!

NO-SEW OPTION: Jersey knits don’t usually fray so you can actually just cut and use without sewing. The difference is that the edges will roll up and might get annoying so try brushing cut edges with a liquid stitch to see if that helps!

baby-blanket-finished-edgebaby-blanket-diy-3

How sweet is little Winnie Wilde  all swaddled up? You can also find leggings in the new winter fabric designs in her mama’s shop at Hen&Co on Etsy…. More on that soon!

Hopefully you have a babe or mama-to-be on your shopping list to gift one or more of these to. They really are so useful. Let me know if you have any questions about the DIY instructions or sewing in general.

XO, Rae

0

PARTY READY CHRISTMAS OUTFITS

Happy day after Thanksgiving friends! Thought I would give you a break from the Black Friday madness (my inbox was SO full this morning!) and share some Holiday style.

Every year Johan and I sit down and set a budget for Christmas. Every year we blow that budget. Not because we’re making it rain, buying lavish gifts for our kids (or ourselves for that matter) or being totally irresponsible but usually because we forget to include the more hidden holiday expenses. Like Christmas cards, a fancy date night, stocking stuffers or something cute for everyone to wear on Christmas. As I’m guessing many can relate, it adds up. In a hurry.

 christmas-outfits-1

So this year I’m trying to take more of a proactive approach starting with our Christmas party outfits and decided to create an itsums board (more info on itsums below). While Christmas day is spent mostly in our P.J.’s and then whatever new sweater and joggers we unwrap, our Christmas Eve festivities are a little less effortless. Every year we get together with Johan’s big family and enjoy a traditional Scandinavian meal. It’s the highlight of our holiday season and the perfect excuse to wear something cute and festive.

There are just two requirements, 1.) outfits also have to be comfy enough for a long night of merrymaking, playing with cousins, wrestling uncles and eating a few courses of delicious food and 2.) versatile enough that everything will be worn over and over again.

It can be a little tricky, but here’s a peek at outfits options including links!

christmas-outfits-girls

POPPY: bows, top, dress, socks, shoes

TILLY: dress, necklace, boots, socks — Tilly’s dress might be a bit casual but she’ll wear it all the time after and a couple of sparkly accessories does the trick for Christmas.

christmas-outfits-boys

ESPEN: shirt, hat, jeans

GRIFFIN: joggers, shirt, bow tie, sweater — Sort of dying over this outfit. Griffin has unexpectedly taken a liking to neckwear and I figure my days of putting him in a sweater with a dog on it are numbered so… bring on the bow ties and puppies! A trendy pair of jogging trousers adds some cool kid vibes and balance to the outfit.

OZZIE: thermal, sweater, jeans – If you’re in need of layering pieces this winter, the thermals from peek kids are a staple in our home for the little and big kids.

SHOES: 1/2/3 (my boys will most likely be in their cleanest pair of sneakers but thought I would share other options that would work with any of the outfits)

christmas-outfits-mr-+-mrs

MRS.: sweater, skirt, clutch, pumps

MR.: blazer, shirt, jeans, shoes

You can checkout my board and budget over on itsums HERE. If you see items that don’t have prices it’s because we have something similar in our closets or I wanted to include an option for something already on the board (like the 3 pairs of leopard shoes I added!). You might also notice that we are a bit over budget (ooopsies) so I’ll be checking Target to see if they have anything similar for less.

A slight adjustment to our budget might be a good idea too since it’s my shoes and Johan’s blazer that seem to be throwing things off and we have a few other dressy holiday events to attend and not a lot of options in our closet. Also, the thought of Johan in a velvet blazers makes my heart flutter and you just can’t put a price on that, LOL.

If you’ve missed my previous intros (1/2) to this brilliant online budgeting, planning and inspiration site you are in for a treat. Itsums can be used for everything from planning holidays, Birthday parties, vacations, and wardrobes, to home dec and remodeling projects. It’s super helpful for people (like me!) who are more go-with-tha-flow and probably addictive for the more detail oriented folk. I love that I can keep track of everything in one place and the budget aspect keeps my feet on the ground.

I plan on adding boards for Christmas gifts over the weekend too. Would love to see what you guys are summing so leave feel free to leave links to your boards below and  if you would like itsums to feature you on their site or social accounts, be sure to use #itsumsholiday so they can find your projects!

Cheers to making the holidays special without blowing the bank!

XOXO, Rae

1

SAY YES. (kid-cation 2015)

kidcation-2015

for the past few years, stacy and i have packed up our kids for a weekend in january or february and headed out of town to try and get over our post christmas blues and cabin fever. usually we stay at my families cabin in the mountains (here’s our trip from last year), but this year we decided to try something a little different and booked a house in seabrook, WA — a new walkable beach town on the coast (just north of ocean shores). bonus, we got a smokin’ deal since our stay was during the off season.

our goal for the weekend is to keep things pretty low-key with lots of fun for the kids that’s also low stress on us. most mornings we spent chillin’ like villains around the house in our jammies. then in the afternoon we would venture into town and find fun things to do…

seabrook-2015-101

… like paint ceramics which doubled as little souvenirs for our trip…

seabrook-2015-111seabrook-2015-116

seabrook-2015-122

… and eating delicious food.

seabrook-2015-121seabrook-2015-123

at night (not pictured) we headed to the heated community pool (and hot tub) for more fun and to make sure the kids got all of their energy out for easy bedtimes. since it rained the first two days, which kept us off the beach) the pool was a lifesaver and definitely a highlight for the kids.

seabrook-2015-142

i personally loved the cute little coastal home we stayed in and having a kitchen made the weekend that much easier — because kids are always hungry and easily get hangry.

seabrook-2015-144

(tilly, poppy and espen – oz stayed behind for sports and griffin had a special auntie and uncle weekend planned!)

seabrook-2015-159

on the last day the sun came out to play so naturally we ditched our jackets and grabbed some ice cream.

seabrook-2015-163seabrook-2015-174

(this airstream couldn’t be ignored!)

seabrook-2015-187

(while my kids nursed their ice cream – they take forever to eat treats, like their mama – stacy’s boys fit in a little photo-op)

seabrook-2015-189

(the ceramic creations they painted on our second rainy day)

before heading out of town we spent a couple hours on the beach (also not pictured) digging, splashing and taking in the scenery. it was the perfect way to end our kid-cation, but what i loved most about this trip was how much i was able to say yes. yes to more time in the pool, yes to being silly in public, yes to ordering something not on the kid’s menu, yes to watching their new stunt or silly face (watch, this mom!)… so many yeses.

a little break from being the schedule keeper, organizer and chaos minimizer was just what this mama needed to be filled up and feel more playful again.

xo . rae

ps – speaking of saying yes. stacy and i are planning a shootcamp that’s perfect for anyone wanting to take beautiful pictures of your families (like all the fun pics above), or creatives wanting to build a photography business, etsy shop (or the like) or a blog. i’ll also be sharing a few graphic design tips… you should totally say yes to joining us! (APRIL 25th) more details to come!

7

take a (winter) hike.

Y I K E S !

i did not intentionally drop off the blogosphere for so long and although it was needed and much appreciated by the fam, it feels oh so good to be back!

while organizing some of my files over break i stumbled upon these pics of a hike we took with friends last winter. after being indoors so much lately (playing with new toys, getting together with friends, etc.) i’m starting to feel a bit cabin feverish. considering all the sibling bickering that’s going on in my home lately i think my kids are feeling it too!

leavenworth-hike-130

(tilly and espen with two of stacy’s boys, gavin and jack – snow lake trail in leavenworth, WA 2014)

leavenworth-hike-128leavenworth-hike-121 leavenworth-hike-111

there is something so refreshing and energizing about watching kids adventure in nature. that and the guaranteed, asleep before their head hits the pillow, kind of bedtime makes it worth getting bundled up and braving the cold!

how do you beat cabin fever in the winter!?

xo . rae

(hope your 2015 if off to a fantastic start. i posted a belated christmas and new year note with our family christmas card if you are into that kinda thing :) xoxoox

1

merry, merry christmas and happy new year!

merry-christmas-2014-1

from our family to yours… we hope you had a very merry, fun, relaxing, and altogether lovely christmas! it’s a little late to be sharing our family christmas card, but i was also late mailing them out so just know it’s not you, it’s me (hehe). and my very sad address book that looks like a pile of envelopes, flagged emails and lost text messages… luckily i have an entire year to get my act together! ha!

merry-christmas-2014-2

as for 2014, thanks for hanging out with me here and being a part of the last 365 days. it’s was a big year with lots of ups and downs but especially growth – in our family and personally for me. looking forward to reaping the harvest in 2015!

cheers to a brand-spankin’-new year, friends! hope it’s everything you are hoping for and more.

xoxo, rae

7