Author Archive | rae

you are the sprinkles to my ice cream (free printable)

we are in full blown heart day mode around here and i can hardly wait to wake up tomorrow and make the yummiest, red, pink and heart themed brekkie for the fam, but first some very long overdue valentine printables….


inspired by my favorite food group while pregnant, ice cream, i put together some fun valentine’s to share with you! craft supply details and file download are available below…. the kids were very involved in the designing of their classroom valentines this year so i’m thinking my girlfriends will be getting these.

sprinkles-valentines-3 sprinkles-valentines-6 sprinkles-valentines-2 sprinkles-valentines-7 CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD VALENTINES sprinkles tubes – plastic “test tubes” found at our local craft store in the baking section, sticker paper for the valentine template, washi tape to seal the lid. baggies – plastic bags from the craft store (3″ wide), card stock for the topper, double stick tape to close things up! more on my love affair with ice cream next week… hope you are having fun prepping for heart day with the kids! let me know if you have any questions. xo . rae


d.i.y. printable valentines (repost from armommy)

(originally posted on our old blog a couple years ago, but back by popular demand :)

i’ve been busy designing valentines you can d.i.y. OR d.i.t {do it together} with your little ones by your side….

this d.i.y. set includes a pdf automatic download for 3.5 x 5″ cards in 3 designs and 2 to 4 color schemes.  add a simple supply or 2 and quality time crafting with kidlets and that’s all you need to create these fun hand crafted valentines to hand out!


 my personal fave….  the googly eyes.  find the fun plastic eyes at any craft store or buy a large quantity for about $5 from oriental trading.

whatever you don’t use is sure to come in handy later.

get messy with a little ink then place thumb prints in the shape of a heart.  sweet and personal.

tell friends just how big of smartie pants you think they are by tying a roll of smarties to their valentine card.

download is available { H E R E } .

having so much playing with ideas for valentine’s day + have more to come!

xo . rae


protein pancakes worth waking up for. (recipe)


looking for a warm brekkie idea that’s packed with protein, requires just a few ingredients and is also really easy to make and clean up after?

you’re in the right place!

after a few years of randomly throwing protein powder, flaxseed, or oatmeal into our usual (delish) pancake mix in an attempt to make them more healthy for school mornings, i finally did my research, made an actual recipe and (like the good PR person i am) ran it by a focus group.


cuteness and pickiness were a requirement for this study, making jack and tilly the perfect candidates.

ordinarily i find that knowledge is power and try to explain to the kids why they are eating things like raw almonds or green juice, but in this case i probably should have kept all the healthy details to myself until after they tried the pancakes.




 they were skeptical at first, but eventually dug in and devoured!


here is the recipe if you want to give it a whirl!


makes 10-12 medium pancakes

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (or preference)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • oil for cooking
  • feeling wild and crazy? try adding flaxseed or protein.
  • topping ideas: berries, sliced banana, strawberries or other fruit, peanut or almond butter
  1. in a medium mixing bowl, mash bananas. add whisked eggs and vanilla and stir to combine.
  2. in a separate bowl whisk together rice flour (or preferred) and cinnamon and then stir into the egg mixture. the batter will be a little thicker than normal pancakes – if it seems too thick, add a little almond milk (or whatever you have on hand) to thin it out.
  3. warm oil over medium heat and cook batter just like you would regular pancakes.
  4. add your favorite toppings and eat! side note, i thought sliced banana would be overkill as a topping, but it was quite delicious :)

what is your favorite healthy breakfast recipe?

happy hump day friends!

xo . rae


kids about town: leavenworth, WA

one of my goals for 2014 is to be more intentional about planning activities and outings with the kids or as a family. i tend to be more laid back and go with the flow when it comes to our schedule, but the older the kids get, the fuller our calendar gets and the harder it is to spontaneously throw things together.


to kick off this new endeavor i planned a weekend at my parent’s cabin in leavenworth (just a couple hours away) with the middles, my friend stacy and her three adorable boys.

(if you are unfamiliar with the area, leavenworth is a festive bavarian village nestled in the mountains. you can find lots of info here.)

when we pulled up last weekend, christmas was still alive and well with lots of lights and garlands  hanging – it was a sweet, sweet sight. we had a great time bumming around the cabin, getting outdoors (i’ll share pics from our hike later this week) and being out and about. there wasn’t any snow on the ground which is unusual and kind of a bummer (boo), but there was still pleanty of things to keep us busy.


(lots and lots of window shopping)


(we stopped at munchen haus outdoor grill where they have the most delicious selection of bratwursts and condiments.)


(naturally the kids all ordered turkey dogs topped with ketchup… ha!)


(toy stores and lots of shenanigans.)




(stopped in to the hat shop for some cheap entertainment trying on hats.)


(besties like i never imagined. i could burst watching them together.)


(finally the homemade taffy shop. you can’t go to leavenworth without visiting this store and buying a bag of taffy to bring home. it’s against the rules.)


motherhood seems to be a constant evolution doesn’t it? nothing stays the same too long, which i guess is a blessing sometimes (adios diapers!) and challenging other times. so glad we planned this weekend and am looking forward to more little adventures this year.

happy monday, friends!

xo . rae

(ps – stacy, thanks for capturing our weekend with your beautiful pics!)



getting crafty for heart day

when it comes to celebrating valentine’s day (and other holidays) you can count on a schedule that fills up quickly with volunteer opportunities, parties to attend, and lots of extra planning, baking and making. you can also count on an overwhelming amount of cuteness popping up all over pinterest and blog land. it’s fun and inspiring and (oh my) makes me want to do all the stuff…. if only there were more hours in the day and money in my budget!


(tilly & her new friend corbin)

if (like me) your not sure how or what to fit in, here are a few simple projects with short supply lists that will take very little time to complete.




(tilly & her homegirl harper)

“LOVE ALWAYS” BANNER – (paper, scissors, xacto knife, twine, hole punch or clips) download and print this black and white or colored template. cut along dashed line and then use an xacto knife to cutout the letters. hole punch and thread onto twine or use clips!


FEATHER HEADBAND/CROWN – (feathers, adhesive spray, glitter, leather string or similar) spray feather with adhesive glue (i only sprayed the top 3rd), sprinkle with glitter and let dry. shake off excess glitter and tie to string (as shown) or ribbon.

if you have little hands that want to help, have them sprinkle the glitter!

glitter-feather-crown-2  heart-crown-2

HEART HEADBAND/CROWN – (scissors, felt, craft glue, leather string or similar) cut hearts out of felt, glue to string (as pictured), ribbon, headbands or clips and then let dry.

little helpers can pick out colors and glue the hearts…. they can also help with cutting hearts if you trust them with scissors or their safety scissors work with the felt.


bam. super easy, right!?

is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to this valentine’s day? i’m a sucker for classroom valentines!

hope you have a fantastic weekend!!!

xo . rae
(images by stacy jacobsen)


currently making chicken tortilla soup

this is one of those meals i would be happy to make (and eat) every week. it’s easy to throw together, the toppings make it extra fun and leftovers taste even better the next day. one of my favorite things to do is make a batch on a lazy weekend day (when everyone is hanging out and friends come and go), set out bowls and all the fixings and let people help themselves as they get hungry. no snack time messes or negotiations necessary and the kids devour it.

the recipe is below.  hope you enjoy!

tortilla-soup-recipe-1 INGREDIENTS

1 pound shredded chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 – 7 ounce can green chilies
32 ounces chicken stock
4 cups hot water
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 -15 ounce cans black beans, drained
3 tablespoons cornmeal (optional)
5 corn tortillas, cut into strips


1. MAKE THE SHREDDED CHICKEN, place chicken breasts into a saucepan and add enough water to cover. cook over medium heat, bring to a boil, and simmer until chicken meat is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes. transfer chicken to a plate, allow to cool, and shred using 2 forks. (while chicken cooks, prep veggies!)

2. SAUTE VEGGIES, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. add onions, red peppers, and minced garlic. stir and begin cooking, then add the the spice mix and stir to combine. add shredded chicken and stir.

3. MAKE SOUP, pour in chilies, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. (if the soup is already thick, i skip this part) mix cornmeal with a small amount of water and pour into the soup. simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

time for a taste test! add more seasoning if needed.  turn off heat and let cool for 15 minutes. a few minutes before serving, stir in tortilla strips.


ladle into bowls, then add the best part… toppings!!

lime wedges  (i’m always tempted to skip this topping, but it’s a fave with this soup)
sour cream
diced avocado
diced red onion
salsa or pico de gallo
grated cheddar cheese (or mexi blend)

mmmm… now i’m hungry.

do you have an easy go-to meal that everyone loves!?

xo . rae



happy weekend + some love day inspiration


valentine’s day is less than a month away so i thought i would share some inspiration, starting with this  vday playlist on spotify that will get you singing, dancing and feeling the luv.


then there is this guy. (i mean.)  heart melter every time.


(and look at this little love fest. it’s amazing we got them all in one pic!)

earlier this week we got together with friends to help stacy shoot a promo for her v-day minis. it was crazy (like cray, cray) but fun and i’m sure entertaining for onlookers. somehow stacy managed to snap some of the sweetest pictures of the kids among the chaos… she’s good like that.

if you are in the seattle/tacoma area, you can schedule a mini with stacy for february 1st. she fills up fast so don’t delay!


i also have a few simple heart day projects (pictured) to share later next week.

prepping for v-day is such a welcome distraction from the cold winter months, don’t you think? if you have any ideas to share or projects, designs or printables you would like to see in a post, let me know!

xo . rae


easy makeup brush cleaner diy

i don’t have many makeup or beauty tricks but this one is too good to keep to myself! about a year ago i replaced a few of my most used makeup brushes and then totally freaked the sales girl out when i informed her that i had never used a brush cleaner. diy-makeup-brush-cleaner even though i didn’t purchase the $40 bottle of cleaner the brand carried, her passion about it got me thinking that it’s probably a good idea. so i came up with this simple homemade concoction and have been using it ever since. my brushes are still in great condition too so i think it’s safe to share :)

INGREDIENTS: water, hydrogen peroxide, baby soap or shampoo

DIRECTIONS: in a glass, mix together equal parts water and peroxide with a couple squirts of baby shampoo. swish brushes around in mixture and then let soak for 10 minutes or so. rinse brushes until water runs clear. sweep your brushes back and forth against an old hand towel to soak up excess water. finally, lay them out to dry completely. this takes a good 24 hours so i suggest starting the process in the morning – it feels so good to use fresh brushes the next day!

hope this comes in handy (pin for safe keeping) and that you have a fantastic tuesday!

we have some valentine shenanigans planned for later today and will try to share on instagram if you want to join us!

xo . rae


winter wardrobe: sweaters are a girl’s best friend

last fall while taking care of back to school shopping for the kids, i snatched up a few new items for myself (including the cutest sweater) and planned on putting together a “bus stop style” post for all the mamas.


//SWEATER: aritzia (& it’s on SALE!), DRESS: j. crew (similar H&M, old navy), BOOTS: zara (similar)//

however, my insecurities got the best of me (an epiphany that i’m not a fashion expert…duh. so silly) and i never hit published.

even though the post never came together, i’ve worn that sweater almost weekly for school drop offs – either layered over a cute ensemble, my workout clothes or the t-shirt i slept in the night before (shhhh… no one even knows… at least i tell myself that, ha!) and it only seems right to give it a shout out.


as well as share a few additional sweaters on my wish list.


1 j. crew / 2 zara / 3 old navy / 4 madewell / 5 spool 72 / 6 forever21 / 7 boden

what’s not to love about a cozy sweater? they are fitted yet roomy, easy to layer, requires little accessorizing, and are kid friendly… bring on the sticky fingers! unless of course cashmere is involved.


//whistle NECKLACE, j. crew (similar on etsy!)//

another thing i wear weekly is this whistle necklace (so brilliant).

when i was little my friend’s mom would pull up to their house with a car full of groceries, let out a big whistle and all 4 of her kids would run outside to help carry things in. i was so blown away by the whole concept that i filed it away in my brain under, “when i’m a mom…”.

unfortunately i whistle like a wimp.

so when i saw the necklace i had to have it.


what about you… is there anything in your closet that you find yourself wearing all the time?!






why i blog

well friends, christmas break was pretty amazing (and i hope yours was too!)… we celebrated, visited with friends and family and spent an entire week tucked away and unplugged at our family cabin in the mountains. i feel refreshed and rested and ready to jump into 2014, starting with this blog.

over the holiday i had several people ask how the new site is going, what my mission is and what i have planned in the future. um, yeah – i didn’t really know how to answer them. i mean, i guess i know the short list, at the top of it being to have fun (i am a girl after all), share and make cool stuff and document our family.


//ozzie age 10//

but then i started thinking and writing my answer down and it became much more longwinded than i had originally thought. for whatever reason i feel compelled to share it – maybe so you know what to expect when you come here or as a reminder to myself when i start to wander or loose my focus. regardless, sharing my reasons takes me a lot outside of my comfort zone, so before i change my mind, here is the long list of WHY I BLOG…


TO SHARE IDEAS, RECIPES, TUTORIALS & DESIGNS – (such as the antlers above) it’s in my nature to share what i have. clothes, food, money, whatever you need, if i have it, it’s yours… and if there is one thing i’ve learned through giving it’s that there is always more where that came from.

the same thing applies to the creative things you’ll find on this blog. what’s mine is yours and that makes me happy.


& ALSO TO SHARE LIFE – motherhood is a pretty amazing gig, but let’s just say, it’s not for the faint of heart (see exhibit a below). i hope that when you “stop by” you feel encouraged, loved and inspired.


//exibit a – dinnertime at our house… look familiar?! however, working on a post with ideas for keeping the munchkins busy while you cook.//


TO REMEMBER – we’ve all been told a million times that this season in our life will fly by. somedays that’s hard to believe. then i stumble across a picture from 3 years ago (above) and it feels like yesterday and i know how true those words are and i don’t want to miss a thing… so i’ll be using this blog as a place to document our family.

TO HANGOUT WITH YOU – it never ceases to amaze me how small the internet has made the world and i love when it leads to unexpected chats and friendships.


TO BE A WORKING MOM THAT SOMETIMES GET’S TO WORK WITH MY KIDS & HAS A FAIRLY FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE – (phew, that was a mouthful) as a graphic designer i spend a lot of my work hours in front of the computer with a sketch pad by my side. while i certainly draw inspiration from my children for some of my designs (and LOVE what i do!), blogging has brought opportunities to do more hands on projects, outings, videos and photo shoots with or for my kids. admittedly, sometimes i’m more excited about it than they are but they always get a kick out of seeing the final product and (bonus) i can do it from home!

TO CHALLENGE MYSELF – i am a people pleaser (middle child, yo) with a decent list of insecurities and if i’m being 100% honest, blogging scares me to death. it’s impossible to genuinely put yourself out there and be worried about making everyone happy. there will always be friends, family, acquaintances or strangers who don’t agree with what i share, or don’t like my style or how i explained a DIY or that we are having a 5th child or (i know i’m crazy) you name it. i mean, have you seen my grammar!? ha! but that’s ok. it’s time for me to get over it and just do my thing. :)

i also want to be a better writer and in the words of parents everywhere (my own included), practice makes perfect.

so there you have it – my longwinded explanation of why i blog.

what about you… do you have a blog? ever thought about starting one? interested in good resources or have good ones to share!? tell me all about it (with links) in the comments!

xo . rae


merry christmas & a little surprise


wishing you and yours lots of christmas cheer and oodles of fun in 2014.


and guess what? we’ll be adding a new little peanut to the mix this summer (july/august)!!!!

i’m only 8 weeks along, which is a little early to spill the beans but a 5th pregnancy has come with no will power to keep morning sickness and exhaustion a secret, particularly through christmas and new years.


but it has made me feel hugely sentimental regarding all things family, so here’s a montage of our christmas pics at the tree farm with stacy jacobsen


don’t let these sweet pictures fool you. it was pure chaos getting everyone out of the house fully dressed and somewhat on time.

and their might have been a fiasco involving dog poop and the blanket we were sitting on, but that was easily forgotten once we broke out the wet wipes, hot cocoa and snacks …


not to mention our mad marshmallow tossing skills.


{i mean, 2 mallows?…  like a boss.}



and these 4. i can hardly get enough of them all together. particularly on a morning like this one when they were too preoccupied with christmasy activities to bicker with each other.


so i’ll eat it up while the festivities last – and hope you have lots of chances to do the same over break!


{and one last pic with my boo in buffalo check… dreamy. even with the mo-vember scruff.}

see you january 1st, 2014!

xo . rae