Archive | winter

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.

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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!//

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

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

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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)

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MINI BITES: WINTER SMOOTHIES

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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

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

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(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!)

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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!)

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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)

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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

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SAY YES. (kid-cation 2015)

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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…

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

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… and eating delicious food.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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(this airstream couldn’t be ignored!)

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(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)

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(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!

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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!

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

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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

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merry, merry christmas and happy new year!

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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!

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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

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winter wreath and crown (simple DIY and printable).

happy second to last friday before christmas, friends! even if your not stressing over a mile long holiday to-do list, chances are you don’t have a ton of extra time on your hands. so poppy and i have a couple easy peasy-10 minute-(maybe 15)-must make-DIY’s to share with you today.

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i can’t get enough buffalo check or pom-pons this season so let’s get started!

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GEOMETRIC WREATH: full disclosure, i’ve never taken a wreath making class or made a wreath before so i have no idea what i’m doing. however, the end product turned out super cute so i figure i’ll share how i did it and we can just fake it til’ we make it! for those of you who have mad wreath making game, please share tips in the comments!

you’ll need:

  • wire hanger
  • wire cutters
  • greenery (i gathered some from outside)
  • green floral wire
  • mini pom-poms
  • thread and needle
  • ribbon for hanging

here’s how:

  1. untwist the hanger and shape into a triangle (or whatever shape you want). twist closed and cut off excess.
  2. arrange greenery around wire, wrapping with floral wire as you go until it looks how you like.
  3. thread pom-poms to desired length and wrap around your wreath. use ribbon to hang!

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BUFFALO CHECK CROWNS: i made these for tilly’s lumber jack and jill bday party but thought they’d be perfect around the holidays. gold crowns make a festive addition too… just use the printable as a template and trace onto glitter paper.

you’ll need:

  • skinny elastic (sold on spools in the sewing + notions section at a craft store)
  • white or colored card stock (poppy is wearing the crown printed on red paper)
  • stapler
  • tape
  • scissors
  • printable crown file

here’s how:

  1. download and print file onto white or colored card stock.
  2. cutout around pattern and tape to make a crown.
  3. cut elastic to desired length (about 9 to 12 inches) and staple ends to either side of crown.

new-fabrics-for-diyingbefore i go for the weekend i also wanted to share a few things i’ve added to my spoonflower shop… 1/2/3/4

the valentine hand warmers have been such a huge hit that i had to make a second, more wintery version. i also added some simple black and white patterns that are perfect for christmas (to make napkins, pillows, tea towels, etc.) but can also last all year long. before ordering, check spoonflower’s shipping deadlines if you need your goodies before christmas!


hope your weekend is full of baking, diy-ing, tradition making and christmas movie watching :)

let me know if you have any questions about the toots above…. i’ll be back on monday with a land of nod giveaway!

xoxo . rae

{images by stacy jacobsen}

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holiday syrups with the land of nod.

land-of-nod-rae-ann-kellybaby it’s cold outside so i’m over at the land of nod today sharing one of our favorite ways to stay warm and cozy – flavored steamers! head over to honest to nod for the full post, recipes and a download so you can package all the yummy flavors and give as gifts {perfect for teachers, neighbors and friends or party favors…} …or go all out and plan a little after school steamer bar for the kids (and coffees for the mamas)! tilly and her friend claira had all kinds of fun adding flavors, whip cream and sprinkles to their drinks.

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when your done checking out the post and leaving a comment ;) always love reading notes – land of nod has made it really easy to do my other favorite cold weather activity, online shopping (ha!) with 20% off a different toy category each day over the next 8 days.

speaking of shopping, how is your christmas gifting going!?

xo . rae

//images by stacy jacobsen//

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notes to santa.

we haven’t celebrated turkey day yet, but already i feel like i’m behind for christmas! ha! how is that possible!? the only thing i have going for me is that we’ve written down our gift list and thanks to online shopping it should be pretty easy to check everything off. i anticipate however, that my children will still be telling me about a new item on their wish list about every 5 minutes from now until christmas eve. as fun and cute as it is to see them so excited it also gets annoying. in a hurry. the solution?  i made some notes so they can tell santa all about it, either in words or drawing, and set out a jar to collect them all until they are “sent” to the north pole.

fingers crossed, it works like a charm and if you want to give it a try there is a link below to download!

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(CLICK to DOWNLOAD “note to santa”)

truth be told, we don’t focus too much on the man in the red suit during christmas, but he does make a really good scapegoat. we’re also getting santa pictures taken this year for the first time since espen (now 8) was a baby (can’t wait to share!). how much santa is involved in your christmas merry making?

happy thanksgiving week friends!

xo . rae

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everyday DIY (simple garlands & a free print)

easy-banners-free-print-1garlands are one of my favorite ways to decorate for various seasons or celebrations. so today i thought i would share my obsession with some simple garland ideas (and a free art print!) that i dressed up for st. patrick’s day but that can easily be adjusted for anytime of year!

1/ chalkboard banner: use black card stock to make a banner and then write a message with chalk.

2/ gold starbursts: pick up some stickers from your office supply store and then add them to a strand (or 2) of twine.

3/ felt garland: change the colors to match a child’s room and keep it up all year! diy details here.

4/ LUCKY art print: click here to download.

xo . rae

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