Archive | LIFE LATELY

SPRING REFRESH: 3 EASY WAYS TO SPRUCE UP YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE

I’m back with another “SPRING REFRESH” post, yay! You can find the last one here. Since the dust has settled from all the new years resolutions, we’ve (hopefully) made it through flu season, schedules are getting more structured (and full) and the sun is coming out to play (yay vitamin D!) I’ve been focusing more on my workout routine and found a few things that have really helped spruce things up… Here are 3 changes I’ve recently made that have helped me stay more consistent!

  1. SCHEDULE IT | my trick to getting just about anything done is to actually add it to my calendar + planner. When the kids were younger we had a pretty strict routine for our days and I could always count on a 30 minute block either before or after their afternoon nap where a ride in the jogging stroller (with their lunch or snack) was a good idea. After Johan got hired as a firefighter and now that we have older kids, our routine had become much less predictable and more busy so I literally have to block out a time on google calendar and in my daily planner to workout.
  2. FIND YOUR UNIFORM | the less I have to think about working out the more likely I am to do it. I’ve found stocking my closet with enough of my go-to workout gear has been a big help! Also putting it all in the same section of my closet (instead of spread out between bins, dressers and hangers) helps keep me in autopilot. My current uniform includes my favorite leggings, a cotton tee (or one of Johan’s), a sweatshirt and a hat to keep the rain off my face.
  3. SWITCH THINGS UP | sometimes I get into a rut simply because I’ve been doing the same workouts over and over again. I used to only go for runs so when we joined a gym after Griffin was born, I felt extra inspired. After using the Sweat app for the last couple years, adding running back into my routine felt so good (although a little slow at first, lol). One day, when everyone’s in school, I hope to sign up for workout classes. However, switching things up could mean anything from finding a workout partner to going for a hike on the weekends to deciding to train for a half marathon.
  4. TURN YOUR “I SHOULD” INTO “I MUST” | as I was thinking back on my workout journey and the seasons I was more consistent, it occurred to me that there was a time when working out was more a matter of survival (I HAD TO!) than an item on my to do list. I truly needed the endorphins and moment of self care… So as I’ve been working on getting more consistent I’ve tried to tap into that mindset of “have to” and it’s made a huge difference the last few weeks :) I know that’s not long but feels like a small victory over here and something worth sharing… mindset is so powerful!

Another question I get asked a lot that I thought would be good to answer in this post…

Q: When do you find time to workout?

Currently Johan and I have been getting up at 5am on mornings that he has to leave for shift, to go for a run in our neighborhood. Luckily no one has woken up while we’re gone, but thankful for teenagers in the house… (there’s a whole new level of parental freedom when you can leave for 30 minutes without hiring a sitter!!!!). It’s my favorite way to start the day but just to be clear, I might be a morning person, but have NEVER been a morning worker-outer person (I prefer coffee and quiet time, lol) so the first mile and a half feels like torture! On days Johan is home from the station, I’ll often go for a run around 7 without interrupting dinner or bedtime (yay daylight savings!) and then all other days I bring my yoga mat and weighted ball outside while the kids are playing either in our backyard, at the park or before a baseball game/practice and go through a circuit workout on the SWEAT app.

I really need to work on my flexibility, lol.

Also, there are few things more awkward than taking pictures while pretending to workout. We had planned on snapping a few candid shots while going for a hike with the kids earlier that morning , but it rained buckets so we stayed home. Later that day after Oz’s baseball game the rain stopped (finally) so we took advantage, grabbed my mat and camera from the car and snapped a few pics… Sometimes you just gotta go with it, ha!

Since I’m not a fitness blogger by any means I’m always pleasantly surprised by the reaction I get from posts like these BUT love the comments and convos that take place… a good reminder that we really are in this season of life together! So please share where you’re at, what’s working for you and what you might be struggling with below.

XOXO, Rae

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MY TOP 5 FAMILY FRIENDLY SPRING ACTIVITIES (+ a bonus)

Okay you guys, so I could probably come up with close to 100 fun things to do as a family in the spring butttt, sometimes long lists are more of a distraction than they are productive and since I’m trying to be more present + intentional (hey buzz words) as we get into a very busy spring, I thought I’d share a few low stress ideas to add to your calendar.

Here’s our TOP 5 (but actually 6) FAMILY FRIENDLY SPRING ACTIVITIES:

  1. the batting cages and putt-putt — and for kids too young to swing a club or bat, there are usually lots of things to climb on, golf balls to hold onto and holes to hide things in… also be sure to ask for a tee if needed in the batting cages!
  2. the zoo or wildlife reserve — or save money and opt for a nature walk and scavenger hunt.
  3. exploring new parks or beaches + bringing a grocery store picnic — bonus if there’s a place to play soccer, run around, fly kites or ride scooters! This is a fun one to do after church on sundays… throw all the scooters, blankets and balls in the car, head to church, stop at the store, then drive long enough for little ones to take a quick nap before hopping out to play!
  4. a staycation — we aren’t usually able to travel much during the spring but a close to home road trip or overnight at a hotel feels extra special… still trying to finalize plans for spring break next week and am tempted to head to Seabrook again this year.
  5. any spring sporting event — we love going to Mariner’s games but sometimes a minor league game with grass seating, picnic tables and a less crowded kid zone is more relaxing and fun for us parents!
  6. BBQ’s +/or happy hour with friends at home — could become a weekend tradition to host or help plan! Since spring weather is often unpredictable having a backup plan

Just signed up for a family fun run and am hoping it will become a new spring favorite. Also wish “family bike ride” made the cut, but we haven’t had a successful bike ride since before Tilly was born, lol. We’re basically chaos on wheels.

Checked batting cages off our spring activity list Sunday night though… a few pics below!

After sitting through a dozen baseball games and practices for the older boys the past few weeks, I thought the rest of the fam deserved a chance to get some ‘at bats’ and even though they all thought I was crazy and gave me a million reasons why we shouldn’t go, I persisted and eventually got everyone in the car, ha! We ended up hitting until dark and then going out to pizza. It was a school night so you know everyone was having so much fun!

Ozzie and his smart, sweet and incredibly patient gf (you kinda have to be to hang with us!). She’s the youngest of 3 so I’m sure tagging along with Oz as the oldest of 5 has been an adjustment for her. However, she plays it off well and will do fun things for and with the kids… we love having her along for adventures!

Poppy had no interest in getting in the cage while the pitching machine was on but loved hitting off the tee! Thankful that the owner brought it over to us… We’ve been coming here for years and never thought to ask about a tee for younger kids!

Do you have any spring plans you’re excited for! What are your favorite things to do as a family once the weather warms up!?

xo, Rae


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READY TO WEEKEND + COMFORT ZONES

It’s FRIDAY (woot!) and to top it off the sun’s out and a couple of the kids don’t have school so we are feeling ready to start the weekend! If you keep up with my Instagram Stories, you probably saw that Ozzie was accepted to WSU this week which had me feeling allll the feelings (it’s where I attended school when he was a babe!) and getting very nostalgic. Johan and I have been chatting a lot about our own adolescents and college years and I was surprised to learn a couple new things about him and vice versa– even after all these years, lol!

During one of our convos something came up that I had almost forgotten about and I thought it would fun to chat about it with you…

When I was a Senior in High School, I took an acting class — something that as more of an athlete and super shy kid was very out of character for me. Of course, I wasn’t all that good even after 6 months of consistent practice and training, but it was SO GOOD FOR ME. Maybe one of the best things I’ve ever done simply because it got me out of my comfort zone and introduced me to people I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

There’s my random fact for the day :)

Can you think of a situation that was totally outside of your comfort zone but you said “yes” anyways? Or fun facts or talents that most people don’t know about you? Please share!?

xo, Rae

PS – a million thank you’s to everyone for their DM’s and messages about Ozzie’s college news… we are so proud of him and so thankful for all the support!

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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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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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WE WENT SKIING + A LOVE NOTE TO SNOW MOMS

We went skiing as a family last week which has been a dream of mine for the longest time so needless to say I’m an extra happy girl as I scroll through pics and write this post. I grew up skiing/snowboarding and always hoped I would be able to do the same with my kids but up until today, we’d only hit the slopes with portions of the fam and without any consistency. I’m excited to share a few pics but there’s something else on my mind to share first…

Since we’ve had an unusual few weeks of snow in the PNW and then with skiing last week, I’ve been thinking about all you mamas that live in cold and snowy climates because holy crap, it’s a lot of work! Sure it’s magical and fun and makes bedtimes easy (my kids sleep like babies after playing in the snow!) but the gloves and gear and layers and wet clothes and boots and constant hangry-ness and the trying to get everything dry just in time to go outside again and… gosh the list goes on. It’s a lot and I’m guessing that at this point in winter, you might be hitting a wall, so I just wanted to let you know I see you and wish I could give you a big hug and your favorite coffee drink and let you know that it matters and your kids are the luckiest!

That time Pepa Pig went skiing with us (see the windowsill below). Also just never want to forget such a pretty mess made of random but real things that got us through our day — a backpack stocked with advil, hand sanitizer, granola bars, headphones, hair ties (etc.), wet gloves, half sipped on hot cocoa, fountain drinks and skis small enough to bring into the lodge (no ski check line!). And so many other items that wouldn’t fit in the frame.

It’s a tricky thing to be content and grateful for the things you have while also planning, working and dreaming for the future… Days like these always bring a fresh new energy and perspective that make me extra grateful.

What dream goals do you have for your family?

xo, Rae

WEARING | Griffin and Tilly’s star print snow gear and Poppy’s pink jumpsuit are all sold out at hanna andersson but for future reference, they fit amazing and keep them super warm and dry. Griffin’s green coat (fits tts) and his and Poppy’s gloves (size up one) are from Polarn O. Pyret and are also great. Would love to try their rain gear! My coat (on sale!) is from Madewell (wearing a small) and is great for everyday and kept me dry but wasn’t the warmest on the mountain.

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SCENES FROM OUR WINTER WEEKEND (SO FAR) + A FAMILY UPDATE

(serious dad skills ^^^)

Yay Presidents day! Happy to say we still have a couple days left of the weekend (woot!) but I wanted to stop in with a little family update and a few random pics from Saturday morning. I’ve been doing my best to get the camera out even when the lighting isn’t good (which is most of november to march in Seattle) so these aren’t the best quality pics, but I still treasure them! Here’s what everyone’s been up to…

(Poppy’s leo is from here. Also, we chopped her hair and now it’s super wavy in the back and she wakes up with the most amazing bedhead. It’s the cutest.)

Ozzie | Has been enjoying an off-season from sports but still finds ways to be around sporting events by cheering on his friends (and sibs). He spent Saturday at his bff’s state wrestling meet. So proud of Oz for the kind of buddy and big brother he is. There are few things more important in life than giving others your time and encouragement Oz, so keep it up!

Espen | Got straight A’s on his first middle school report card. I cried when I opened it and yelled to Johan to come peek but then he pointed out that it’s not considered straight A’s if there are A minuses sprinkled in. Can you tell which one of us was an A sudent and which one wasn’t? In other Espen news, he laughs every time someone says “balls” so you know middle school humor is still alive and well regardless of GPA.

Tilly | is currently organizing and producing (aka being a bit bossy about) a youtube channel for her and Griffin. Johan made them promise that they won’t use annoying baby voices in their videos, ha! (anyone else over youtube kids?) Needless to say it’s been an adventure already… get ready for some slime videos coming your way!

Griffin | Lost one of his front teeth (so many heart eyes!) and is working on his other one. He’s also very excited about the youtube channel but is mostly focused on the potential to make money with advertisements, lol.

Poppy | Has grown to love being in the snow, hallelujah! Remember these sledding pics? Well, after our big snow storm and being able to play in the snow 8 days (almost) in a row helped so much. Guess I forget that Poppy (in particular) needs time to adjust and warmup to anything new. We’re celebrating her breakthrough with a family ski day later this week and I cannnnnot wait!

(see that front gap!? ahhhhh, too cute.)

Johan | has been bringing donuts home on Saturday and Sunday mornings after shifts lately so we decided to make it an official tradition. He’s also been making lots of batches of guacamole lately so basically he’s my favorite person eva.

Rae | Gosh, it’s hard thinking of something for myself! I’m mostly looking forward to skiing on Tuesday. Oh and I also recently started taking vitamins (with iron!) regularly and have been sleeping better and feeling better and am blown away at the difference. I’ll definitely be sticking to it through winter and spring!

What’s new with you? Have any habits or projects you’ve started or want to start?

xo, Rae

PS — Sorry for anyone waiting for a meal plan! Since it’s kind of a weird week I decided to skip and just stock the kitchen with our go-to’s. I’ll try and post a running list on Stories tomorrow. Or scroll down for past plans.

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THINGS WE LOVE: SUNDAYS SPENT AT HOME + ANIMAL CHAT BY BRIGHTER FUN

Hoping you’re not over all our food and kitchen related posts and images, lol. Guess it’s where and how we spend most of our time during the colder months… working on our winter bods of course! As I’ve mentioned, we’ve been enjoying alllllll the snow days for the last week or so. This past Sunday after Johan came home from the fire station, we whipped up a french toast breakfast (he makes the toast + I prep the toppings!) and played a fun new animal chat game by my friend Betsy with these two while Ozzie and his friends slept in and Espen and Tilly were at a sleepover. Love opportunities to spend Q.T. with one or two of the kids and am thankful that Johan grabbed the camera to snap a few pics. Always impossible to narrow down my favorites!

V. IMPORTANT: Griffin lost a front baby tooth and it’s just too cute to handle. I’m hoping it’s replacement doesn’t come in before his other front tooth wiggles it’s way out!

Aren’t these illustrated cards adorable!? I want to frame them… or request that Betsy makes a big poster that includes all of them!

Here’s the down-low on Animal Chat: it’s a playful game that helps build better understanding of emotions and feelings created by Betsy and her husband who is an educator (yay! love husband-wife teams!). There are three ways to play – or you can create your own directions!

Find tons more info and different ways to purchase on their Kickstarter page (I just purchased another set for a gift)! You can also head here to sign up for emails.

The kids had a blast looking at the cards, acting out their feelings and asking/answering questions. There aren’t any strict rules or keeping track of points so it really is a game that feels more like free-play. Definitely a good time and lots of laughing.

I especially appreciated the range of cards and emotions — mischievous, content, cool, grouchy and goofy were a few of my favorites! Lord knows there are a lot of feelings happening in our home at any given time… how helpful would it be if our kids (and adults!) were able to sort out how they feel beyond happy or mad?!

Griffin’s silly half face expression made me laugh so had to include :)

How did you spend your weekend?

More importantly, after making a sweet treat do you go for the bowl or whisk/spoon?

As friends I’m feeling like this is something I should know. I’m definitely a bowl girl — especially if I’m the one in charge of scraping out the goods as I always leave a little extra!

xo, Rae

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OOTW: IN MY FEELINGS + DAD JEANS

5 THINGS LATELY:

  1. I rarely feel clever or witty or creative enough to write blog posts (or instagram captions for that matter). As a result I have a huge backlog of content to share and I’m realizing just how much I let my feelings get in the way. How annoying is that, ha!? Like wanting to get healthy but not feeling like drinking a green smoothie or running those stadium stairs, ya know? Going to work on not being in my feelings!
  2. Wearing these 90’s dad jeans from Agolde and this turtleneck (wearing a small) on repeat. Have you guys ventured away from skinny jeans (which are still very much in style) or are they your go-to? I’ve found a few really great non-skinny denim options for under $100 that I’ll try to share next week if you guys are interested?!
  3. The power of a really cute pair of shoes to take a basic/lazy outfit to an effortless one will never cease to amaze me!
  4. Cup-O-Noodles also never cease to amaze me. My kids discovered them this past football season when we wouldn’t allow them to get candy at the concession stand and have been obsessed ever since. Every once in awhile I grab a few to surprise them with as an after school snack and can’t resist eating one myself… you guys they are as good (maybe better?) than I remember them being!
  5. I talked about Botox earlier this week on Stories after a consultation at a spa and must have received 40 messages. Almost everyone who has done it says, “it’s the best!” and the other half of people that messaged said it’s not for them (for varying reasons) and then there were a handful of undecided people (that’s me too!). My appointment was made regarding some sunspots I have on my cheeks but quickly escalated to the specialist talking about alllllll my skin flaws (ha!) and how much younger I’d look with fillers and botox, lol. What a crazy time we live in! So many options out there it’s hard to know what to do and not do. Kinda fun talking about it with you guys.

What’s been on your mind lately?

XO, Rae

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THAT TIME WE WENT SLEDDING


Not sure Poppy would agree with me (plenty of photo evidence below), but there are few things more magical than a snow day. Since there wasn’t any in the forecast this month or last, we decided to drive up to the mountains and I’m so glad we did!

Getting ready is the hardest part, ha! Also notice how often Poppy is missing a glove (or both). Johan and I had a long conversation on the drive home about how kids need gloves and boots that are attached to their snow gear because once things come off and get wet, it’s all over! Thankful that Hanna Andersson carries cozy one piece snowsuits in her size (4T). Couldn’t find either of them on the site, but Griffin’s star overalls and Tilly’s star jacket are on sale!


The rest of the crew did awesome in the snow… they usually do. We practically had to drag them off the sledding hill!

More tears from Poppy below… 4 has definitely been a hard age for her (emo to the max!)! It’s like it’s always the youngest kids job to make sure we don’t think we’ve figured out this whole parenting thing. Ha!

Thankful for her sweet and patient siblings. And Chardonnay.

These faces! I love them so much!

Can’t wait for a real snow day (the canceled school kind!) closer to home but luckily, living in the PNW, we don’t have to travel too far to find mountains and snow.

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A QUICK CHRISTMAS BREAK RECAP

OMGeee, it’s been way too long since the last time we chatted on the blog. I missed it. I missed you. And even thought it’s been a slow start to the new year around here it was a nice break. Plus our theme for Winter Break this year was “UNPLUGGED” which is way more easy to enforce with the kids when I’m not distracted by my own computer and smartphone :)

The kids were supposed to start school again today, but a storm and power outages means we get one last day hunkered down together at home… or actually the Y where we’ve been hanging out most of today playing with the kids, charging our phones and taking advantage of the wifi (and heat!)!

A few of my favorite pics Johan took of the kids while I finished getting ready for Christmas Eve service… they’re all pretty much the same but they’re also all my favorite for different reasons. Like the way Tilly is looking at Oz in the one below. Gah! Wish me luck picking one to frame!

  

I hope you guys had the most amazing Christmas break and New Year!!! So thankful for you and looking forward to doing life together this next year. SO MUCH FUN STUFF COMING UP!

Do you guys have a word, resolution or theme you’ve picked to focus on in 2019?

I’m decidedly undecided on anything and everything involving the new year ahead and have no idea what’s got me in this weird mood lately… Winter Blues maybe? Or just post Christmas Blues? I’m usually so ready and excited to kick things off! Over the weekend I even started looking into supplements that might help give me more energy and less of that blah feeling. If you have any recommendations, please share!

XO, Rae

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