Author Archive | rae

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

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LOCATION VS. HOUSE…. (+ OTHER THOUGHTS ON MOVING)


Would you rather… have your dream home in an okay location or an okay home in your dream location?

Asking because we’ve been talking a lot about moving lately and I’m surprised at how undecided I feel on the whole subject. Especially since I never dreamed I’d live in the same state I did most of my growing up and definitely didn’t think when I married Johan who studied abroad in Sweden (in high school) and Australia (in college) and had a degree in international business, that he’d end up in a career that kept him in one spot. So it feels weird to me to be indecisive about where to move…. even when we wouldn’t be moving very far away, lol. BUT there is so much that goes into figuring things out: the budget, location, THE KIDS (especially now that they’re older), friends + family, schools, community, church, commutes, conveniences, etc. And then there’s deciding between a fixer upper or something more move in ready?

Ahhhhh, it’s so hard when what you want and what’s best aren’t the same thing and when the decisions made effects so many people you love! Wishing it was just a bit easier to know what to do!

Have you guys learned any tricks or tips when it comes to moving or making big decisions for your family? Tell me I’m not alone in the overwhelm and indecisiveness…

xo, Rae

PS – can I please just move into that pink lifeguard tower on the beach? That would solve all my problems, lol.

Image source from Sf GIRL… such a great site for interior inspo.

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MOM + MINI OOTW: LAYERED JUMPSUITS FOR WINTER TO SPRING

Ah, the super easy, layer-able, go-to one piece that is the answer to anything that’s coming your way in the day — phone confrence, preschool, drop-offs, playdates, doctor appointments, date night out (or in), cooking dinner, weekend play, you name it.

Same goes for the kids!

Don’t hesitate to grab one from your spring bin and throw on over a turtleneck or purchase a cute new one and layer under a jacket or chunky sweater for extra comfort until the temps warm up… can you tell I’m in a hurry?

It’s supposed to be in the 60’s this weekend and while it’s not warm enough for a jumper with cutouts, I can’t wait to style this one with simple slides and no under layer. For now a turtleneck, socks, sneakers and felt hat will do!

WEARING | turtleneck, jumpsuit (same in red and black), sneakers, hat

Wait until you see Poppy’s adorable outfit details!!!

How cute is this jumpsuit and bow by Hadley Girl?

I’ve been a huge fan of Kelsey and her shop for years but this was our first time trying her clothes… It definitely won’t be our last. Usually my biggest gripe about buying one pieces for the girls (and boys when they were younger) is that they grow out of them so quickly but with the Hadley romper, the ties make it adjustable and also make the outfit feel extra special.

Can’t forget about our jumprope…. take a peek at the DIY HERE from a few years back. Perfect for easter baskets and bday gifts!

How do you feel about a good jumpsuit…. closet hero or not worth the extra hassle in the lou?

xo, Rae

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HOMEMADE CAKE POPS FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY

They’re bite sized, gooey and delicious and we basically keep Starbucks in business ordering them so I figured it was time to whip up a batch at home! And since St. Patrick’s Day is a week away I ordered these food safe markers and let the kids have fun drawing shamrock and rainbow inspired doodles on the outside. More details below!

Aren’t they cute? We used this recipe (yum!) and these markers and sprinkles. Making them takes about 4 steps with time to cool and harden in between. It’s almost a full day process but luckily there isn’t much hands on time or dirty dishes required.

I wasn’t sure what to expect (even after reading the reviews) but was impressed with how well the markers worked… and how easy it was for the kids to use them!

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t on a school day this year and we’re not much of a corned beef and cabbage type fam so these tiny treats seemed like the perfect way to celebrate but they could be decorated for just about anything. Oh and I also found a fun and easy shamrock shaped dinner idea too… shared in this weeks meal plan HERE!

How do you celebrate St. Paddy’s Day!?

xo, Rae

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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

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HELLO FRIDAY + CARTING THE KIDS AROUND

YAY for the weekend! It’s been such a weird week around here so I’m feeling v. ready… Bring on the Birthday parties, get togethers and sports games.

Speaking of weekend festivities and schedules, I’ve had a few convos with other mom friends about how to manage kid activities and how busy things can get and I have to admit that when I signed Ozzie up for a mommy + me swim class at 14 months old, I had no idea that it was just the beginning… We’ve been running around to classes, fields and gymnasiums ever since and it’s seriously the cutest thing… Not so ironically, I’m currently watching Poppy plié her way through ballet class as I write this!

As the kids get older there’s a lot less mommy + me and a lot more after school sports and clubs, practices and games. It’s still so fun and exciting (and even cute sometimes too), but also comes with some juggling and decision making which I’m the worst at, ha!

Should we sign up for this or that or take a break? Should I say no to that thing for this kid because they need more rest or does this child need a push to take that class because they’re always reluctant but also always happy after they go? It’s all so good but also tricky to navigate.

For me the most helpful approach has been to remember that nothing is permanent and it’s all seasonal — literally. “Jesus take the wheel” prayers always help too… ha!

How do you decide how busy (or not busy) to make your kids’ schedules????

xoxo, Rae

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SEATTLE CITY GUIDE: QUEEN ANNE HILL

Last summer I must have gotten almost a dozen DM’s from people who had plans to visit Seattle and were looking for activity and food suggestions, which totally made me geek out, ha! Is there anything better than being able to share all your favorite things about where you live with people!? Anyways, I responded as best I could but at the time was kicking myself for not having a full resource on the blog to refer people to which leads us to today’s blog post. Over the next few months I’ll be sharing our favorite things to do and see in Seattle (both touristy and non-touristy) and then linking them up into one big post before summer arrives. YAY!!!

Queen Anne Hill is one of my favorite spots to visit, it also happens to be where Johan’s sister and brother in law live and would be my pick of neighborhoods to move to if we lived in the city. With the Seattle Center (which includes the Space Needle, Science Center, MoPOP, etc.) just down the street it’s a fun local spot to grab food, walk around and kind of escape from the more touristy things without having to go out of your way or spend all day. Here’s what we like to do when we’re there!

WHAT TO DO IN QUEEN ANNE:

  • QUEEN ANNE AVE| walk, shop and scooter along queen anne ave, preferably with a coffee in hand! And if you need snacks to bring back to your hotel room there’s a Trader Joe’s (can you tell I like my creature comforts when traveling?!).
  • KERRY PARK | has the most amazing view of the city skyline and a playground too! photos above and below were taken there.
  • EAT BREAKFAST, LUNCH + DINNER | you may not want to spend more than a couple hours on the hill, but it’s the perfect place to grab any meal… or all of your meals, ha! especially if you have a packed day at Seattle Center. I’ll share our go-to spots to grub below!

WHAT TO EAT ON QUEEN ANNE:

  • COFFEE | you might want to stop by the original Starbucks at Pike Place during your visit, but the rest of your trip I suggest trying out the million other coffee shops around seattle. our go-to’s on the hill are uptown coffee and storyville.
  • CAFE STYLE | bounty kitchen (pictured below) is where I would pick if I had to eat all my meals at one place for the rest of my life (ha!) and Le Rêve Bakery is a fun spot for sweets, snacks or an easy breakfast stop. my teenage self also wants you to know there’s a dick’s drive-in close by (watch this video around minute 3) and if you’re not in the mood for fast-food style cheeseburgers an order of fries and milkshake will do!
  • CASUAL DINING | a few family friendly spots — for tex-mex fare (or margaritas) laredos grill or mezcaleria oaxaca are yummy options, zeek’s pizza is easy and good, 5 spot has a fun themed menu that changes and is a great spot for breakkie or brunch, ikiiki sushi bar is always a good idea… There are so many options tho and it’s hard to pick a bad one!
  • SWEETS | molly moon’s has THE BEST ICE CREAM EVER, there’s also a menchies or stop for milkshakes at Dick’s

A few pics from our lunch at bounty kitchen… like I said, I could eat all my meals there forever and be happy. So good and fresh and their diverse kids menu and coloring supplies makes it an easy choice!

The streets are lined with beautiful homes, shopping, restaurants, schools and churches so it feels like you’re in the city but also in a little community = my happy place!

G i v e m e a l l l l l l t h e l e f t o v e r s !

But seriously tho, leftovers are my favorite (is that word getting annoying, ha!?) but also polarizing. You either love ’em or hate ’em. Or you think you love ’em and then they rot in the fridge :) That’s me sometimes too. What about you?

Seattle friends, feel free to add more suggestions in the comments!

Where would you like to see next?

xo, Rae

You might also like these Seattle posts | pike place + west seattle, alki beach, green lake, lake union, family night at the M’s game!

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EASY DIY KIDS ACTIVITY TABLE + A PRINTED WOOD SIGN

If there’s one thing we never seem to have enough of in our home (other than ice cream) it’s table space for playing, crafting and doing homework. So when we decided to spruce up the playroom, it only made sense to add a desk. We went back and forth between shopping around (because there are so many affordable options out there!) and DIY-ing one, but ultimately decided to make one ourselves. Aside from saving a few bucks (but honestly not much) I liked the idea of being able to touch up and paint over the scratches and marker doodles that would inevitably appear on a well loved kids table!

I’ll share the supply list and instructions below but before you scroll I have an exciting treat for you! Korie from Pretty in Polka Dots and the maker of the framed wood photo print that’s hanging above the kids desk is offering you 20% off of THIS LISTING when you use the code: RAEANN

I will be taking advantage and hope you will to… and while you’re at it take a peek at all the other cute items she has in the shop. Might need this Walt Whitman quote!

My heart is bursting over this picture that was taken of the kids when Poppy was fresh outta the oven. I actually teared up when I took it out of the box. It turned out better than I imagined… the way it’s printed and framed really makes it come to life so much more than a typical framed photo and you don’t get any of the glare either.

Also, when Poppy looks at this print she always sighs and says something along the lines of, “Ozzie is my favorite. He held me when I was a baby, baby” and then twirls off…

I love them all so much!

ACTIVTY TABLE or DESK DIY

You’ll Need:

  • 3/4″ smooth finish sheet of plywood, cut to size
  • oil based paint (or paint of choice) and/or wood stain
  • roller and/or paint brush
  • 4 hairpin table legs (We used the 28-inch legs but it would be so cute as a preschool height activity table with 16-inch legs!)
  • 3/4″ screws
  • drill

Here’s How:

  1. Decide on the size of desk/table you want — ours is 30×48″. Head to the hardware store, purchase a sheet of 3/4″ smooth finish plywood (costs about $50) and have it cut to size.
  2. At home, paint the surface(s) and edges as desired with paint and/or stain. You won’t need much! We used paint that was stashed in the garage. Let dry and add second and third coat if needed.
  3. Place legs about 1-inch from bottom corners and attached using a drill.

What do you guys think? Pretty simple, right!? Linked sources below and if you’re in the mood for another project (spring always has that effect on me!), this is one I get asked about often!

xo, Rae

SOURCES | table legs from amazon, wood photo print of the kids c/o pretty in polka dots (remember to use link and code RAEANN for 20% off!), chalkboard laptop and mini suitcase from crate & kids, dinosaur from target $1 isle (but was $5, or sold as a set online), mini basket and rainbow garland from target too, colored pencils were a marshalls find

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MOM + MINI: DRESSING FOR REAL LIFE

One of the most helpful things I’ve done for my wardrobe (and wallet) was to organize it by category and then for a week or two, keep track of the types of outfits I actually wear. My categories were simple: athletic or lounge, casual (t-shirt/sweater and jeans), almost fancy (maybe a jumpsuit, sweater dress, dressier top, etc.) and fancy (think wedding or formal event). Then I tallied up what I wore throughout the week and compared it to what I had in my closet. Afterwards, there were a couple things that surprised me. 1. I change my clothes during the day more often than I realized and 2. I need to give the althetic and leisure section of my closet a little TLC because it’s what I wore almost half the time yet only made up about 10-20 percent of my closet. Ironically, it’s also not usually what I add to my online shopping carts or what I spend my clothing budget on.

I haven’t done the same thing for the kids yet, but I’m guessing they’d get similar results. The good news is (and the main reason to do this!) is that it’s harder to buy something I don’t need (i.e. another silk top I’ll never wear or jeans super similar to another pair I already have) when I know that what my closet does need (and what will make my life function better) is a new pair of leggings or joggers and a zip up instead. Same goes for the rest of the fam… if I keep buying Poppy jeans and frilly tops but she lives in play dresses, tees and leggings or sweats, then I’m wasting my money and making it harder to get her dressed in the morning. No bueno.


MY OUTFIT | tee and joggers from everlane (wearing small in both), sneakers from veja (i have these and these on my wish list too!)

POPPY’S OUTFIT | tee and sneakers from zara, sweat pants from childhoods, roller skates from amazon

I tried to take a pic of my outfit notes so you could see, but the pink pencil didn’t show up in the photo… Oops sorry!

ESPEN’S OUTFIT | we absolutely love the tees and sweatpants for boys at J.Crew

Do you guys feel like your wardrobe reflects what you wear or what you would to wear?

xo, Rae

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WEEKLY MEAL PLAN, MARCH WK 1

After a couple week hiatus (courtesy of a crazy week followed by the flu) I’m so ready to jump back into our weekly meal planning and kick March off with some momentum. In addition to getting organized and coming out of our winter hibernation mode, I’m hoping to get a head start on spring cleaning (i.e. purge) so once all the spring sunshine, park dates, and baseball games show up I’ll be ready to play…!

Here’s what’s on the menu this week…

…side note: if you make nothing else from this meal plan, promise you’ll try the Korean steak bowls? I left a few notes next to the link below to help make it more kid friendly.

m | philly cheesesteak, french dip, paninis, tuna melt, grilled cheese (these are so good!), or pick up jersey mikes, jimmy johns, etc.

t | KOREAN STEAK BOWLS we grilled the marinated flank steak and omitted the Korean Sunchang and chile paste to make it little kid (and me) friendly and it was sooooo good you guys have to try this recipe! The entire time I was eating it I was thinking, “I should take a pic and share on stories” but it was too good to put down, lol.

w | eat out or maybe just some good old-fashioned boxed mac and cheese action with a side salad and rotisserie chicken :)

th | baked potato bar (topping ideas: sour cream, cheese, bacon, salami, cooked steak from tuesday night or any leftover meat, broccoli, chopped spinach or arugula, avocado, tomatoes, salsa, chives, butter, salt and pepper…)

f | diy calzones, for a fun twist on pizza night! make or grab dough from papa murphy’s or other restaurant/store and set out all the fillings, sauces, cheese (include ricotta), meat, veggies…

sa | sheet pan chicken fajitas

su | pad thai (or grab takeout)

breakkie | shared a fun way to take smoothies and waffles to go in the “eat” story highlights, so many yummy egg bake options here, add sprinkles to cereal or yogurt for a quick upgrade!

lunch | more simple twist on classics for lunch!

snack | pantry party mix is a great way to use up snacks, and we love making grape caterpillar kabobs (add candy eyes) and energy bites!

Would love to hear from you about these weekly plans! All recipe suggestions and feedback is welcome!

xo, Rae

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CABIN FEVER CURES + A PRINTABLE

We’re smack dab in the middle of that winter grind that seems to last for-ev-errrr (read in sandlot voice). Some days we leave the house for errands and activities, other days are a welcome break that involve pj’s, cookie baking, forts and movies and the rest seem to be full of bored kids, bickering and screen time negotiations. The latter can sometimes sneak up on me so fast that by the time I notice, I’m also feeling totally drained and in no shape to be scrolling through pinterest for activity ideas. Which is why I started making a list to stick on the fridge or bulletin board and thought I’d share in case you’ve been experiencing the same thing.

We have such a big mix of ages in our family but hopefully it still helps and if you want to make your own list, I included a blank page too… CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Do you guys have little tips and tricks for limiting screen time or do you tend to not worry about it and just go with the flow when it comes to tech and tv? The biggest help for us lately has been changing the passwords to everything so they aren’t sneaking off with devices. Oh and did you guys read about the youtube situation happening?… might want to make sure your kids aren’t around if you click on it! Tilly caught a glimpse and was up twice with nightmares last night. Poor thing.

xo, Rae

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