Archive | LITTLE CELEBRATIONS

KID-FRIENDLY VALENTINE’S DAY PLAYLIST

Nothing says LOVE like a boombox serenade! Or in Espen’s case, a bluetooth serenade :)

Put together a few songs that will get everyone dancing, feeling all the feels, and aren’t too heavy on the mushy side! I couldn’t decide on a specific genre so they’re a little random, however the playlist does start out fun and upbeat and gets more mellow towards the end so it’s perfect for that morning or evening grind.

  1. be my honeypie, the weepies
  2. best of my love, emotions
  3. wildflowers, tom petty
  4. stay stay stay, taylor swift
  5. i wanna dance with somebody, whitney houston
  6. man of the woods, justin timberlake
  7. i think we’re alone now, tiffany
  8. love me do, the beatles
  9. still got time, zayn
  10. all the pennies, mindy gledhill
  11. you are the best thing, ray lamontagne
  12. i got you babe, sonny + cher
  13. my sweet darling, seth fallen + the reaction
  14. die a happy man, thomas rhett
  15. i love you, alex + sierra
  16. bottom of the sea, matt nathanson
  17. sweet creature, harry styles
  18. i do, susie suh
  19. crazy love, van morrison
  20. at last, etta james

What songs would you add?

XO, Rae

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MINI MAKERS: 3 EASY VALENTINE PROJECTS FOR KIDS

The Seattle weather this time of year just about does us all in, so we’re trying to stay busy and distracted over here. A homemade treat, kitchen experiments (slime anyone?), and simple crafts always seem to do the trick tho. If you’re feeling the same way, here are a few Valentines-ey projects that have been giving us life right now and make hunkering down at home feel extra special.

WHITE CHOCOLATE VALENTINE POPCORN

Shared the recipe on my Insta Stories yesterday and added to the “eat” highlight reel for safe keeping too, but it deserves to be documented here too… it’s that good! I cut way back on the chocolate compared to other recipes and will normally add the hearts after the kids dish their bowls so they don’t get too much :)

YOU’LL NEED:

  • 5 oz. bag popcorn or 15 cups homemade, lightly salted
  • 6 oz. white chocolate, melted
  • sprinkles + conversation hearts

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Pour popcorn into a large baking sheet/pan.
  2. Drizzle with white chocolate and sprinkles and then toss until incorporated. Sprinkle hearts over the top. Cover and let sit until chocolate hardens.
  3. Dish up for your little (and big) valentines!

CONVERSATION HEART ACTIVITIES

That don’t involve eating them although we know it’s inevitable. A few ideas…

  1. Pour a bunch in a jar and have the kids guess how many, then count together.
  2. Drop a few in a glass of sparkling water or clear soda and watch them dance around. Kinda fun and science-y!
  3. Play around with making and matching patterns, or sorting.
  4. Give everyone a box of hearts, set the timer for a minute (or 5, lol!) and see who can stack them the highest! When you’re done, grab a few snack items from the pantry and use the candies to make individual trail mixes.
  5. Practice fine motor skills with little ones by scooping, and tweezing  hearts from one bowl to another. Challenge older kids to use chopsticks. Here’s a few more montessori inspired activities!
  6. Take it one step further with these fun family night games. Would be fun for sleepovers too!

HEART GUYS FTW!

Can’t beat this classic! I found colored cardboard hearts and googly eyes at target and then cut up strips of text weight paper into strips. Set all the materials out on the table and let the kids get creative. Most of the finished hearts got taped to their bedroom doors which I love!

YOU’LL NEED:

  • Hearts cutout of card stock or construction paper (found our hearts at Target, but couldn’t find online)
  • Googly eyes
  • Text weight paper, in various colors
  • Tape or glue stick
  • OPTIONAL: smaller hearts cutout for hands and feet, black marker for making a mouth + nose, stickers, pop-pops or other items to embellish with

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Cutout hearts and strips of paper for the arms and legs — ours were about 1-1/2 inch wide and 8-1/2 inch long for the legs and 5 inches for the arms.
  2. Fold the strips of paper like an accordion and tape onto the backside of your hearts.
  3. Embelish with eyes, etc. and you’re done!

Aren’t they cute!? And fun for everyone!

How are you guys having fun and staying sane at home on winter days!? This past Saturday we filled the stairway with mattresses so the kids could slide down, LOL. Anything to get some of their energy out these days!

Hope your week is off to a good start!!! Don’t forget to check classroom valentines off your to-do list!

XO, Rae

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23 FUN VALENTINE’S DAY TREATS + TOYS

Thanks so much for your sweet response (+ orders) to our classroom valentines! Next step is finding the perfect surprise to include with the cards, because we all know the treat part is equally as important to the mini valentines in our lives. So, with the kids’ help, i’ve rounded up a list of favorites below.

1. parachute guys | 2. monster finger puppets | 3.  dragonfly propellers, or a combo pack | 4. googley eyes (that are already sticky on the backside!) | 5. cherry pop rocks | 6. candy necklaces | 7. ice cream shooters | 8. heart balloons here or here | 9. bouncy balls | 10. fluffy slime or play doh | 11. lip + mustache whistles | 12. paddle ball game | 13. unicorn pops | 14. glow sticks | 15. cat ear headbands | 16. pullback race cars (these are cute too!) | 17. squishy toys (tilly’s fave!) | 18. fruit candy | 19. unicorn poop | 20. plastic dinosaurs | 21. heart stickers | 22. candy buttons | 23. plastic clackers

Love and wish I could buy all these cute treats just to have on hand! Sometimes it’s the little things that go a long way.

What do your kids like giving their friends and classmates on Valentine’s Day? Excited to see what my kids’ final picks are so I can order and check it off my to do list!

xo, Rae

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I HEART TJ: TILLY’S NEW YORK THEMED BDAY PARTY

A couple weeks ago we celebrated our Tilly Jane’s 9th B-day with a New York City themed party. The festivities included street food inspired eats, T-Swift jams, the cutest photo backdrop, lots of confetti and of course her sweet friends. So basically all of her favorite things!

I was extra lucky to have lots of help with ideas, prep and set up from my friend Victoria who is in the process of starting a party planning business and it made all the difference! If you are in the area and in need of help, please email me so I can get you in touch with her. She’s amazing.

For activities, the girls posed for lots of pics (the taxi, props and building background was a huge hit!), played a “pass the apple” game, danced, and made a statue of liberty crown and torch.

Confetti was one of Tilly’s requests when we started party planning and ended up being her favorite part of the party. Just look at her face!

Tilly’s other request was to have a smash cake all to herself. I’m not much of a cake eater or baker so my favorite thing to do is order simple store-bought cakes. They cost the same as their pre-made cakes and are an easy way to check something off my list!

For food we set up a drink station with apple juice, waters and new york seltzers, pizza, corndogs, popcorn, veggies and dip, blueberries, applesauce pouches, pretzels and donuts. Yum.

  

The girls took home “I heart TJ” cookies, I heart NY pencils, and “new” York peppermint patties. Goodie bags are usually my favorite thing to put together, but Victoria put these together and it was so nice not having to worry about it!

I’m a big fan of keeping things simple so usually book our kid parties at a location with built-in activities (like the swimming pool, roller-skate rink, etc.), but Tilly still smiles when we talk about her party and that makes it worth all the hours of prep and clean up! At least this time ;)

Do you like DIY-ing parties at home or at a venue?

xo, Rae

PS — We love celebrating you Tilly Jane!

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HALLOWEEN 2017 RECAP

We all think it and say it and it definitely sounds cliche, but kids grow up way too fast and I don’t ever want to forget what Halloween was like at this stage of life. So here’s a little recap and some pictures we took prior to the sun going down yesterday and the real chaos beginning!

ON HALLOWEEN THIS YEAR WE…

Attended classroom parties.

Got to see Gigi and Papa.

Made last-minute adjustments to Tilly’s ghost costume (read: made Tilly’s costume, lol).

Dressed up as Pandas, Darth Vader, a super cute Ghost, and Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez.

Gigi and Papa joined in the costume fun — Gigi as the Cafe de Columbia guy and Papa as “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski (the resemblance was hilarious and worth seeing… I’ll try to share a pic on my Stories!).

Ate chili, quesadillas and apple slices for dinner.

Met up with our neighborhood friends and then ran around trick-or-treating.

Had a hard time keeping everyone together in one group (!!!) with the big kids in a hurry to fill their containers and the little ones straggling behind.

Carried a terrified Poppy around most of the night — she wasn’t a fan of the “creepy” costumes and “bad guys”.

Enjoyed all the decked out homes and vowed to get a little more creative next year on the big day!

Filled plastic pumpkins and pillow cases with candy.

And then snuck wayyyyy too many pieces (when does this not happen?).

Laughed. A lot.

Was so thankful it wasn’t raining.

Walked through EVERY pile of leaves.

Went to EVERY house in the neighborhood — although Poppy and I called it a night halfway through. Thank goodness for Daddies!

Ran out of candy (oops!) and had to pass out leftover knick-knacks from our “boo bags” for the last few groups of trick-or-treaters.

Celebrated mine and ozzie’s bday with candles, a “Happy Birthday” song and eclair cake (my traditional bday cake since I was little!).

Was up an hour past bedtime but fell asleep so fast and stayed asleep ALL night! (I was expecting lots of waking up with tummy aches or blood sugar crashes. :)

 

 

Oh, and I almost forgot! Made our 16-year-old dress up the day before for a picture because it will be too dark by the time he got home from football.

Woke up and was thankful for a late-start school day (school started at 10am this morning!).

Nursing our post Halloween hangover this morning with an hour of Mickey Mouse Club House, a trip to Home Depot for paint and lots of coffee.

Hope your Halloween was magic yesterday! How are you handling the hangover today?

xo, Rae

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GRIFFIN’S FIRE STATION BIRTHDAY PARTY

We’re in Birthday-palooza mode around here — 4 Birthdays in one month! Last week we had our first party celebrating Griffin turning 6 and had a blast. Johan’s fire station was nice enough to let us use the bay (garage area) to host the festivities which allowed for a bouncy house and plenty of room for the kids to run around. Details, links to sources, and lots of pictures below!

FOOD | kept things simple and served PB+J’s and popcorn in these bags, cheese, crackers + salami  in these tulip cups, and watermelon and oreos in these trays. There was also a cooler with la croix, bottled water and honest juices.

Side note: the dimensions in the food tray listing are for the sides, not the bottom. I was originally hoping the food trays would hold everything but the popcorn, but they ended up being too small. However, they are perfect for snacks and the extras will come in handy for picnics!

CAKE | I ordered a basic 8-inch custom cake from our grocery store’s bakery with vanilla frosting. Nothing fancy. After picking it up, I added sprinkles to the top and oreo cookies with m+m candies (“glued” on with icing) as the eyes. Because eyes on everything please!

We actually only used the cake for singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles (ate some the next day of course!) and served ice cream sandwiches as the treat. Hip, hip, hooray candles from Target dollar isle.

DECORATIONS | #BDAY balloon sign from Target dollar isle, a few (wanted to do more but ran out of helium!) random colored balloons I had at home, plastic firefighter hats (these are cute and inexpensive!) added some color and something to play with.

GOODIE BAGS | kazoos, maze game and finger puppet monsters from Target, 2″ poppers, pop bottle candy, twisty balloons, candy buttons, teal striped bags from Amazon.

ACTIVITIES | We had a bouncy house, piñata and a firefighter game where you spray the wiffle ball off a cone to “put out the fire”. We were hoping there would be an extra firetruck there for the kids to climb in, but it didn’t work out (bummer!). I don’t think the birthday boy or his guests even noticed though!

I also set out a bucket of sidewalk chalk and table of crayons and coloring books. Neither got played with much but it’s always nice to have an extra simple activity or two.

THE PARTY THEME | I like a good theme (fire fighting was the obvious choice!) but have a hard time sticking to them. I’m way too random for that (LOL) so try to balance things out with pops of colors, classic accessories (like balloons!), and basic staples when it comes to food, paper goods, etc. I find this approach takes the pressure off and makes it easy to use things I already have around the house too!

All that being said, parties are really all about making it special for the birthday kid and their guests… keeping that in mind makes it that much more fun and easy to put together!

Can’t believe this boy of ours is 6!!!

I treasure the pics from my childhood birthday parties — remembering who was there and how we celebrated is so sweet and nostalgic. So thought I would put all the pics from Griffins party into a chatbook as a belated b-day gift and think he’ll freak about it! Might be a fun new tradition to do for all the kids?

How do you keep Birthday memories alive!?

Also, let me know if I left out any links or details!

xo, Rae

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LIFE LATELY: OUR 4th OF JULY, 2017

Johan and I spent sometime over our anniversary date a couple weeks ago, chatting about our favorite memories as a couple and family. Most of the things we discussed involved some sort of tradition, trip or outing. At the top of the list was our annual 4th of July celebration at my parent’s lake house. I shared a bit about it HERE last summer so I may be repeating myself, but the day kicks off with neighborhood festivities starting with a fishing derby that leads to relay races and a potluck that included cotton candy.

After that we meet up with friends at the house, play in the lake and eat too much food until it get’s dark enough for fireworks. It’s pretty much the best.

A few snaps from our 4th of July!

A couple photo-ops before heading to the neighborhood lodge where the games are played… and where Johan and I got married!

The sun came out for the games which is amazing but makes taking pictures tricky so please excuse the bad light and editing. Still trying to figure out the best way to deal with harsh light! (Feel free to share tips if you have any!?)

Also, if you’ve ever left or read through the comments on this blog you may have noticed some notes from “papa” (my dad). Well, that’s him to the right of me in the picture above. He’s a professional skydiver, rides a motorcycle, and since retiring almost full-time has added long hair, playing the piano and kick-boxing to his resume. He’s ridiculous and really cool and I think it’s always fun putting a face to a name. Wishing I managed to snap a pic of my mom too who is equally as cool and busy. They make a cute couple.

Heading back to my parent’s after eating our weight in hot dogs and sweets! By this time of the day we’re all a little hyper and scattered and ready to do whatever is next. Like get our swimmers on…

… and guess what? This year I managed to get all three of the boys into the same trunks! Even crazier is that it took zero begging or bribing the older two to make it happen. Just found these great swim shorts in men and mini sizes from Kortni Jeane (my go-to shop for swim suits this season) and the boys were all in!

*For size reference, Oz is in a men’s medium, Espen is in a mini boys 10/11 and Griffin is in a mini boys 4/5 — the younger 2 boys are really skinny so I love that the drawstring works in these shorts and keeps them up.

Look at that bunch of cute kids!  Sad that I didn’t try to snap this earlier when the teenagers and a couple other families were around with their little ones, but it’s still a pretty accurate depiction of the fun that took place later in the day. Thankful for all these munchkins (and the ones not pictured) and their parents… Love them all to pieces.

Hope you all enjoyed a very fun (or relaxing) 4th of July with family and friends!

xo, Rae

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IT’S (ALMOST) SUMMER, COUNTDOWN CHAIN

It barely (if at all) feels like spring around here, but that hasn’t stopped my kids from asking, thinking, and talking about summer non-stop. Not that I can blame them. The chatter started a month or so ago when Griffin and Tilly began asking how many sleeps until summer (aka the last day of school). After a week of trying to figure it out in my head and give them an estimate, I gave up and started keeping the day calculator site open on my phone. But even that was getting old, so over the weekend we decided to go old school and staple together a countdown chain. Now the next time they ask, I can say, “you should go count and let me know!” Plus, it looks summery and cute hanging in the kitchen.

I’m sure you guys all know how to put together a chain, but measurements always help! I used 12×12 sheets of craft paper and was able to get 10 — 8 x 1.5 inch strips out of each sheet.

Who’s ready for suuuuuumer!? These guys are. Poppy can hardly keep her pants up she’s so excited :)

Now we just need to figure out what our summer schedule and calendar looks like. Even though we still have 50 days to figure it out, I know it’s going to fly-by! So far swim lessons and our annual camping trip is all we have planned… What’s on your schedule this summer!?

xo, Rae

GRIFFIN | tee (old from peek but on sale in baby sizes and so many other cute ones to choose from), shorts

POPPY | mauve stripe outfit, sunnies

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ST. PATRICK’S DAY GOODIE BAGS + PRINTABLE

St. Patrick’s Day is Friday and while you won’t find a ton of decorations around our home or corned beef in the crockpot, you can definitely count on us eating and wearing green or rainbows, dishing out pinches, and indulging in a yummy shamrock shake. This year Tilly also wanted to handout goodie bags to her school friends. Let’s just say she didn’t have to ask me twice! So we grabbed a few boxes of lucky charms and Trix (assuming the boys would want to make some too) and played with the designs from last years lunchbox notes to create some new goodie bag tags!

Click the link below to download:

You can find the “over the rainbow for you” flag tags HERE.

And a few other St. Patrick Day themed posts | ST. PATRICK’S DAY BITES + LUNCHBOX NOTES | GOLD + GREEN ICE CREAM SANDWICHES | SIMPLE GARLAND + PRINTABLE | KID’S CRAFTERNOON | I USED TO BE IRISH

Looking forward to seeing the kids with their finished goodie bags… and that shamrock shake! How do you like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!?

XO, Rae

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BE MINE: NEW VALENTINES + A GIVEAWAY!

Sure it’s a slightly manufactured and forced day of love, but I’ve had a soft spot for Valentine’s Day for as looong as I can remember and look forward to designing a new collection of cards every year. They’re perfect for the little ones to give their playdate besties or the bigger ones to give their classroom friends and are easy to pair up with a sweet treat or small toy. Melts my heart every year to see how excited the kids get over assembling and give their Valentines. It’s seriously the sweetest thing to see them loving on others!

Oh and because V-day is just as much about celebrating friendship as it is your main squeeze,  I’ve teamed up with my real life galentine, Kendra from Hen & Co for a giveaway. Details are at the very bottom.

Llamas, pizza and narwhals, oh my… A unicorn is just about the only thing missing! These new designs and all of last years are available in the DESIGN SHOP now. The last day to order will be February 7th (only 9 days away, eek!) so don’t wait too long to order…plus it always feels good to check a few things off the to-do list!

Griffin and Tilly have already chosen the “hello valentine” in the top left along with the ice cream cone shooters and dinosaurs they are pictured with. I kinda like these ice cream cards (or the polka dots) with the shooters for Poppy too and Espen is still deciding between these googley eyed hearts, NY inspired ones (would be cute with chocolate covered pretzels!), and star wars. I guess choosing is sometimes the hardest part!

Can’t get over how adorable Poppy and Kendra’s daughter, Bellamy are with their heart day tops and cards!

A little BTS peek… wish we had a camera rolling in time-lapse to capture all the messy chaos of working with kids while also trying to keep it fun. Let’s just say I was sweating by the end of it. #momcardio

And confetti is always a good idea.

Now for some giveaway details, YAY!

We believe friends are the spice of life and want to hear what you love about yours over on Instagram. All the details will be posted HERE at 1pm today. Winners will receive an adorable tee or leo from Hen & Co and a set of 24 personalized valentines from my shop for you and a friend! I’ll send a second email later today when the giveaway is live so SIGN UP FOR EMAILS if you haven’t already!

This is my most favorite project of the entire year and I had the hardest time stopping at 6 new designs. That being said, if you have a valentine theme request let me know in the comments and I might be able to put something together for you!

Happy Monday you guys :)

xo, Rae

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MINI MAKERS: MARSHMALLOW SHOOTER FRIEND GIFT DIY

rae-ann-kelly-marshmallow-shooters

This year instead of treats the kids have decided to package up these very cute and simple marshmallow shooters to give their friends. We put together a few samples yesterday and had a blast testing them out and sampling the ammo too. Poppy (2 y.o.) was even able to make the mallows pop which lead to the sweetest belly laughs ever!

To DIY, YOU’LL NEED:

  • Mini marshmallows
  • Paper cups
  • Standard sized balloons
  • Scissors
  • Packaging (if giving away as gifts)

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Poke a hole in the bottom of the paper cups and remove.
  2. Cut off the skinny part of each balloon. (See bottom right of picture above ^)
  3. Stretch balloons over the bottom of the cups.
  4. Fill cups with marshmallows and wrap up as a gift!
  5. To shoot marshmallows, place one or more in the cup. Pull down on balloon like a slingshot and let go!

I’m sure my mommy friends will love me for this one, but the marshmallows are actually really easy to pick up as long as they don’t get wet (i.e. – licked by a toddler or pet) before shooting. :)

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Can’t wait to watch the kids deliver their handmade prezzies!!! Their excitement over the littlest things this time of year is the absolute best.

Happy Friday friends!

XO, Rae

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