Archive | winter


We made it through January (still celebrating over here!), the sun stays in the sky a little longer everyday, and I finally started to break out of my winter rut you guys. Hallelujah! Even though it’ll be awhile before we see a decent amount of blue skies and sunshine here in the PNW, it seems like we’ve turned the corner and that gives me all the good feels.

In addition to a general attitude adjustment :), getting out of the house always helps beat those winter blues so last week we visited a couple of our favorite local places — the second hand bookstore and the crepe shop! Anytime we can leave the house without a looong shopping or to do list is such a treat. It just takes an extra dose of motivation to go anywhere when we don’t have to this time of year, LOL. Always happy when we decided to go tho!

So many treasures for the kids to find and look at! Funny how entertaining it is to look at things that don’t belong to you and so nice to be in a store where it’s okay for the kids to touch just about anything!

Always running circles around me! Also, Griffin is never not touching a sibling or parent. It’s the sweetest thing although his sister doesn’t always agree :)

We’re still collecting books with colorful covers to fill the built-in shelves in our family room which was part of our motivation for heading to the secondhand bookstore. You’ll never guess what book I found with a vintage orange spine in the discount section…. “cheaper by the dozen”!!! Jackpot! Haha! Still so excited about it and found the perfect spot to put it.

Next stop was crepes, because well, crepes and nutella and fruit and whip are always a good idea. I also love anytime we eat while out and about (even if I pack something) so I don’t have to get a lunch spread out at home before naps! Not sure if that qualifies as a mom hack, but it should!

A little quality lego time (i.e. guess which hand is holding the lego guy) before tucking Poppy in for nap.


Aside from my attitude adjustment and getting out of the house here’s a short list of other ways to beat the winter blues!


  1. Embrace the season + accept it for what it is. (Think Turn! Turn! Turn! by the Beatles and the book of Ecclesiastes). There is a purpose and a reason for each season and God is always busy doing good things through us and with us.
  2. Re-establish part of your routine or schedule that has been bothering you or needs some refining.
  3. Mix things up! Grocery shop somewhere new, try a new recipe, take a new exercise class, paint a room, get a fun haircut, try a new lipstick color, etc.
  4. Take turns planning date nights at home
  5. Read/write/journal
  6. Plan for spring + summer
  7. Workout or have a dance parties. Lots of them.
  8. Invite someone over to dinner or host a playdate!
  9. Take vitamins, go to bed earlier, and drink lots of water.
  10. Schedule more time with people you love
  11. Look for ways to make little things extra special – get the most out of tubby time, bedtime, after school snack, quiet time, etc.
  12. Start spring cleaning early
  13. Retail therapy is a thing or put on a cute outfit or dress
  14. A simple staycation can do wonders. Book one night at a hotel with or without kids, just because.
  15. Write a to do lists even if it’s just a list of movies

Here’s another fun list of activities to entertain kids on rainy bad weather days :)

How do you guys beat those winter blues???? Inquiring minds wan to know so be sure to share in the comments!

xo, Rae





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?






  • 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



With the majority of winter and lots of time cooped up at home still ahead of us, we’re staying cozy and having fun while whipping up some unicorn and narwhal hot cocoa. Watch the video below to see how we make it!

Did you watch long enough to see the “cutie” platter at the end? It’s my favorite way to feed a crowd without actually having to cook or clean!

Most of the fixings got eaten before I could snap a picture for this post, so I thought I would try and put one together today and share on Instagram Stories. Come say “HI!” if you get a chance! I’ll also add it to an “eat” collection below my bio for safe keeping. For now, here’s the hot cocoa recipe…


You’ll Need:

  • whole milk (or milk of your choice)
  • powdered white mocha  powder and/or white mocha syrup (you can use both or just one)
  • 1/4 teaspoon all natural powdered food coloring (I like this kind!), or a drop of liquid food coloring
  • toppings of choice: whip cream, sprinkles, marshmallows, paper straws, etc.

Here’s How:

Over the stove or in the microwave, heat your milk. Stir in powder mix and/or syrup. Add food coloring. Once the milk has cooled enough for little ones to drink, add your toppings and enjoy!

*If you’re having the kids help you, make sure the milk isn’t scolding… spills tend to happen when kids are involved and I would hate for someone to get a burn!

Don’t forget the marshmallows and whip… Even if just for entertainment value ;)

Extra props to Johan for figuring out how to piece together the video… it was not an easy one!

Are there any videos you’d like to see in the future?

XO, Rae

PS — See you over on Instagram later today!

PPS — More unicorn fun –> HERE and HERE.





We’re only 4 days into December but just wrapped up a seriously festive weekend and half of me is wishing this is how life always was while the other half is wondering how I’m going to keep up for the next 21 days!? Yesterday after church with friends and a quick visit with my parents, we attended the kids Christmas party at Johan’s fire station. There was Santa, presents, bingo, bouncy houses and an antique firetruck that looked more like Santa’s sleigh (shared a few pics on Insta Stories!). Poppy spent most of the party trying to sneak the bingo prizes and chasing around a little girl that was dressed up like Elsa, asking her to “do the magic!” HAHA! Needless to say, bedtime was easy last night and this morning’s wakeup call was not.

Christmastime with kids is the BEST but can also be exhausting and stressful, even for the little ones. In an effort to keep things somewhat simple while also doing all the things and making it as fun, festive and special as possible — I mean, it is a holiday and birthday all wrapped up into one — I’ve decided to pick a word to focus on for the month.

The word I chose is (drumroll….!):  T O G E T H E R 

Hoping it will bring some focus and clarity to this season and feel like it’s already helping. Particularly when things aren’t going as planned, I’m having a hard time prioritizing my to-do list and commitments or I feel that tendency to compare!

Another way I’m simplifying this month is with this pretty green sweater dress. My kids and husband will attest that I’ve worn it 4 of the last 7 days. You guys know I can’t resist a one and done outfit, but this dress also feels like a snuggie, can be washed and dried on delicate, is long and warm enough not to need tights, and is casual enough for errands but cute enough for church or date night. Oh, and it’s under $100.

Would love to know what your word would be this Holiday Season and what you’ve been wearing on repeat!?

Happy Monday!

xo, Rae

PS — One more way to simplify is by shopping the pop-up and checking teacher, friend and stocking gifts off your list! Oh and don’t forget Holiday cards! Thank for everyone who has already placed an order and have loved seeing everyone’s choices and family photos so much! The shop will close this Friday and all orders will ship by the following Tuesday.





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.  

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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.


(Poppy must have tooted?)


Totally impressed with the tree wrapping machine…


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

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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


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




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!!!


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

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(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!


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 





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?


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.



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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!

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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!



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.

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//Can you feel the love?//

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//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!//


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


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


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)




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!

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(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




(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!)



  • 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!)



  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!


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