Archive | LITTLE CITY GUIDE

SUNDAY ON CAPITAL HILL + SAVING WHAT YOU LOVE

Aside from Yoder (a.k.a. Johan, my husband) being on shift, this past Sunday was my absolute favorite in awhile. All the kids were with me including Ozzie’s gf (who we adore), the sun was out, we fit in some park hangs, attended the kids’ uncle’s movie premier at SIFF (seattle international film festival) which was amazing, followed by the after party and finally a quick stop at Dick’s Drive-In on our way home.

Almost perfect is almost an understatement. It was a good day so figured it deserved a blog post! More photos and full story!

After being in the car and before sitting in the theater, we walked over to the park to (hopefully) get all the wiggles out. The kids all stuck together at the swing set which made my job of keeping track of everyone way easy so I grabbed the big camera out of my bag and started snapping away… How many pics can one mom take of her kids on the swings? Apparently a lot, lol. Actually, my real problem is narrowing down which ones I want to share in a post. Otherwise they’ll all make it into a chatbook at some point!

This girl (Tilly below) is coming into her own lately and I! AM! HERE! FOR! IT! A reminder that persistence, creativity, prayer and positive parenting is effective and worth all the hard-work even when you aren’t seeing the results yet. KEEP GOING! KEEP LOVING! KEEP ENCOURAGING! + KEEP PURSUING THEIR HEART!

Now if she would just stop growing up so fast, that would be cool ;)

Something about a giant park in the middle of a city full of business and buildings and busy streets makes my heart extra thankful. A little cheesy but true!

Next stop was the movie and I know I’m biased but if the wild film comes to a film festival near you (there are still some screenings happening in Seattle!), you must go and don’t hesitate to bring the kids either. Poppy loved it but she was also watching her uncle (and a little of herself) on the big screen which I’m sure helped. I’d say K or 1st grade and older would enjoy it. Even though the film is about salmon and our environment, it’s also a story of resilience, connection and industry without a spec of political undertone (Praise Jesus) making it so much more appropriate for kids. And as someone that often finds herself frustrated by so many political extremes and conflict, more appropriate for me too, lol.

I have no idea how my brother in law, Mark was able to tell such a relatable story on such a specific issue but he did and I couldn’t be more proud or impressed.

The last film Mark made came out on Netflix for a bit so i’ll let you guys know if that happens again. For anyone interested in seeing it in a theater, I’m guessing the screenings page of the web site will be updated soon!

Nothing like an afterparty to make you feel like a total rockstar and these kids were eating (and drinking) it up along with all the attention from adults and bottomless soda supply. Luckily they were serving dry soda which has half the sugar, ha! Paired with all the yummy food, beautiful view, good music and chill Seattle vibe, it really was a one of a kind event. Bummed I didn’t get a photo of the grub (lots of salmon of course!) or the view from the front of the boat (ugh!), so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

More info on the restored ferry boat venue HERE! Then if someone could please plan another event there and invite me that would make my life :)

Hanging with their auntie! Also, the progression of Poppy in the last two pics is priceless. Girlfriend hit her limit and was ready to go home! Her wild head of hair only added to the dramatic head flop.

But first Dick’s Drive-In on Broadway because my kids will only eat so much salmon before they need fries and a milkshake to round out their meal :)

Thanks for letting me gush all about our Sunday! Would love to know what you would want to do on an almost perfect day?

xo, 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!

4

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.

3

FAMILY TRAVEL: WHAT TO DO + EAT IN LEAVENWORTH, WA

I’m back and ready to spill the beans on all the best things to do in Leavenworth, WA with kids! I know this won’t be as helpful to those outside of the Pacific Northwest, but hopefully the home video and images are somewhat entertaining and make you want to plan a road trip!

WHAT TO EAT IN LEAVENWORTH – starting with the most important thing because no one can be happy and hungry at the same time. If traveling with kids and the town is busy during your visit I suggest making reservations (and/or dining early) whenever possible.

  • SOUTH – Cozy atmosphere, yummy tex-mex and every once in awhile, live music. Also, every time we’ve been, our food comes so quick which is always a bonus with kids! PS –  the tortilla soup is my favorite. PPS – Los Comperos is another option (with a bigger dining area) if you’re craving mexican!
  • GUSTAV’S – my love for Gustav’s runs deep as they’ve been feeding me since I was Tilly’s age. Great place to take the fam bam or a group with lots of crowd pleasers on the menu (burgers, yummy fries, sandwiches, soups, salads, brats, etc.).
  • HEIDLEBURGER DRIVE IN – my other request as a kid was the drive-in. We’d stop on our way back to the cabin after skiing or on our way home.
  • MUNCHEN HAUS – the best place to grab a hot dog, sausage or pretzel and then sit outside (by heaters or open flame at the tables!). Plus they have the best selection of mustard and other condiments. A few pics here.
  • LEAVENWORTH SAUSAGE GARTEN – another great option for quick eating!
  • WATERSHED CAFE – Farm to table and PNW inspired, cozy atmosphere, with outdoor seating during warmer months. Just a little bit tucked away from the main street on 8th.
  • SULLA VITA – Medeterranian food, wood-fired pizza oven, amazing wine (and beer :) selection, and outdoor eating. So good.
  • BAREN HAUS – I’ve never actually eaten here, but everytime I walk by, I want to go in… Just not the biggest fan of German food and my kids don’t like sausages so always hesitate!
  • VISCONTI’S – everyone needs a good italian meal, plus they take reservations.
  • HOMEFIRES BAKERY – is it even a trip to Leavenworth without grabbing some goodies for breakfast from Homefires? When I was a kid they were located in a house along icicle road, but now you’ll find them in Dan’s Food Mart.
  • GINGERBREAD FACTORY – easy to miss, but a fun spot to stop for a quick sweet treat.
  • COFFEE – there’s a starbucks in town (yay!). It’s almost always packed during the weekends or holidays but the drive-thru is usually empty. J5 coffee is also really good, the shop is cute (the espresso maker is turquoise!), and their shelves are stocked with coffee, tea and accessories – perfect for gifts!
  • ICE CREAM – because you know we always need an ice cream break! If you have a craving or need a good bribe for the kids, try Whistlepunk Ice Cream Co. (they sell pints too!) or Viadolce Gelato.

WHAT TO DO IN LEAVENWORTH – a few of our favorites during the colder months below!

  • VISITING SHOPS – you can’t go to Leavenworth without a trip into town and a stroll along front street. A few of our faves: Kris Kringle, the Wood Shop, the Hat Shop, Der Sportsman, the Taffy Shop, Schocolat, J T Blu, and so many more. You really just have to walk up and down the streets to find all the gems… somewhere along the way there’s a cute home goods store that I can’t remember the name of, lol!
  • THE FESTHALLE – Between Thanksgiving and Christmas there’s craft booths, Santa and a Young Life booth with snacks and lanterns you can decorate ($10 each) for the Santa parade (a short walk from the festhalle to the gazebo in town. More details here, but it’s worth stopping by the halle to talk to someone and double check times!
  • FRONT STREET GAZEBO + HILL – if there’s snow, bring a sled! Great spot to grab a pizza or picnic and let the kids play during the warmer months too. It’s also where you’ll find public restrooms.
  • WATERFRONT PARK – Just a few blocks behind downtown and along the Wenatchee river. The perfect little activity if you need a break from the crowds but don’t want to drive anywhere.
  • ENCHANTMANT PARK – a great kids play area, bike track, skate park and walking tails also along the Wenatchee river and close to town.
  • SLEIGH RIDES – There are usually a couple sleighs in town or there are more scenic rides listed here.
  • SKI HILL – Also known as Leavenworth Winter Sports Club, has tubing, skiing, snowshoeing and a lodge that sells hot chocolate. We’ve gone before just to play in the snow and sip on cocoa.
  • ICICLE VILLAGE – Has miniature golf, a little arcade area (yay skee-ball!) and chicken strips if your kids have a craving.

Sandwiched between a brick and a pink building… gah!

The lights are the best part!

Outside of Kris Kringle where we stop almost every trip and buy an ornament. Can’t beat a shop entirely dedicated to Christmas decor! If you plan on bringing the kids in (there are lots of breakables!) I suggest ditching the stroller and heading up the stairs where they keep the more casual and less expensive ornaments and decorations :)

This time we brought home two, plus a couple more as gifts. The gumball machine made the cut along with a red phone booth to inspire more traveling in the new year and add more red to our tree!

Blurry, dark pics from inside of South.

The river outside our cabin. Rental info can be found here!

We’ve been to Leavenworth more times than I can count so I hope these tips help! Let me know if you have any questions.

xo, Rae

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PHOTOS + A VIDEO FROM THE REINDEER FARM IN LEAVENWORTH

I’ve been to Leavenworth more times than I can count and most of the time I’m excited to eat, visit and do all the things at our usual spots but every once in awhile something new pops up that I can’t wait to try with Johan and the kids. This time it happened to be a Reindeer Farm and it was a huge hit. I’ll let the crazy amount of pictures and quick video below do all of the talking… we loved every minute!


I was taking pics of the kids in Santa’s sleigh when he snuck up behind me! Most of the kids thought it was hilarious. Poppy about lost her mind.

Once Santa was out of sight, someone offered to snap a family photo of us on the sleigh (love it when people do that!) and while you never quite know if it’ll turn out, I think this time we might just have a Christmas card photo!

The kids literally haven’t stopped talking about our new reindeer friends. Through all of our conversations, we all agreed that the reindeer in the movie The Santa Clause are the most accurate depiction of the very quirky and mischievous animals. Bet you can guess what’s showing next on our family movie night!?

Love when outings lead to conversations. Makes all the chaos worth it!

xo, Rae

PS – for all my local friends that might be planning a stay in Leavenworth, I’m going to share some of our favorite places to eat tomorrow. Is there anything else you’d like me to share.

PPS – sign up for emails so you don’t miss anything!

4

SLIP DRESSES + SKIRTS FOR THANKSGIVING GET TOGETHERS

A couple weeks ago, Johan and I stayed a few blocks away from Pike Place at the Palladian hotel for an overnight date and had the best time. We kept things very low-key and tried a new restaurant, shopped at the market, dressed like grownups, drank coffee while it was still hot, talked about the kids, and laid in bed watching the today show just because we could. It was the perfect little break before the holiday rush and truly just what we needed to end an insanely busy month.

(Thanks to my dad for managing the kids and chaos while we were away!)

Getting a little dressed up for our date got me thinking about what to wear over the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving which is NEXT WEEK! (WHATTTT???!) So thought I’d share one of the pieces that will be my go-to over the next month or so — my silk slip skirt that I also wish I had as a slip dress and is sooooo easy to dress up or down and mix and match. As far as formal wear goes, it doesn’t get any better than that!

Linked to my skirt below along with a few other options that I also wish were in my closet and then shared a few ideas for mixing and matching too!

SLIP DRESSES + SKIRTS:

HOW TO WEAR IT:

  • pair or layer with a fitted top, tee or turtleneck (my personal fave)
  • graphic tees, oversized sweatshirts, sherpa pullover or a parka (layered over denim or a knit) adds a casual touch to a silky skirt for a less formal kinda day.
  • think texture! a chunky knit sweater with silk is the perfect mix.
  • with just about any kind of shoe… for reals.
  • by balancing the silk with a leather jacket or something men’s wear inspired like a blazer or topcoat.

 

The color of this building with the forrest green trim made me happy.

  

Thank you for our date night Johan!!! There is no one in this world I would rather do this life with…

He’s a hands-on-dad, a firefighter, special ops (which basically means he can rescue people from any sketchy situation), doesn’t mind helping out in the kitchen, takes amazing pictures, is diehard about the things he loves, and is a total babe.

Plus he plays along with just about anything I ask and thinks I’m funny.

I’m a lucky girl.

  

WEARING: tee in olive from madewell, leather jacket from nordstrom (and on sale for $52), skirt from free people, sneakers from madewell

My silky skirt was surprisingly comfy and warm enough while walking around town and has a hidden zipper that would be easy to adjust for turkey dinner, lol. Just need to be sure and bring an oversized sweater to throw on over the top!

Do you guys usually dress up or down for Holiday dinners and events? Would you like a few more outfit ideas!? Let me know in the comments!

XO, Rae

3

SWEATER WEATHER + HELLO CUPCAKE

Last Friday after a busy week and what felt like forever since Johan and I had a chance to chat or hangout for more than 5 minutes, we took Poppy out for a little date to Hello Cupcake in Tacoma. It was such a fun and needed break and as you can tell, I’m  a happy girl anytime there’s a coffee and cupcake (or 12) in my hands!

Also love that “sweater weather” means I get to add a cozy, textured layer to my usual jeans and a tee uniform. Bonus, every time I think or hear the word “cardigan”, I can’t help but sing, “Cardi-Cardi!” in my head. Ha! Add a bright color to the mix and it does wonders to brighten up tired eyes and a fading summer tan.

Linked outfit details and more pics from our outing below!

(I typically favor cozy quarters over a giant home, but dream of having a prep kitchen with a giant pantry and fridge hidden behind swinging doors with round windows like above. A little over the top but think of how amazing it would be!)

We ordered a dozen mini cupcakes to grub on and share with friends before Ozzie’s football game later that evening. Plus one to eat right away of course! Gotta love places that make their sweets in a tiny size for kids and adults to enjoy. No sugar rush (and invitable meltdown) for them or sugar crash for us.

As we walked down the street with our basically homemade cupcakes from a small shop and stared through the windows of other small shops and restaurants along the way, I thought about how much I love supporting small businesses and appreciate the people who put their heart, creativity and finances out there to make our communities thrive and our everyday lives feel extra special. It’s honestly heroic in it’s own way — even if it means paying $2 for one mini cupcake when you could buy twelve for $5 at target. The value is so much greater. And the lack of preservatives is pretty awesome too.

I’M WEARING | sweater also available here (I sized up 1 for a bigger fit), vintage tee, jeans (similar. also saving up for these), shoes

POPPY’S WEARING | leggings, sweatshirt, hat

Our little outing also made me wonder what kind of a shop I would open…? As much as I have dreamt about opening up a clothing or home goods store (for the obvious personal perks), I would for sure open up a bakery that also served ice cream and breakfast until 10pm (def. the reason I should never open a store, lol — way too hard to decide on a niche!)…. something about knowing my bakery slash cafe would be a great place for family and friends to gather or grab treats for an afternoon pick-me-up or special occasion would give me lyfe.

Do you guys ever daydream about what kind of a shop or small business you would open? Tell me bout it in the comments!

XO, Rae

2

SUNDAY AT LAKE UNION, SEATTLE

Want to hear something crazy? I’ve lived in the Seattle area most of my life and have never been to Lake Union — at least not that I can remember — yet it’s so close to everything. The Center for Wooden Boats (where we spent most of our time exploring on Sunday) in South Lake Union was so fun and charming! We had a great time looking at and touring the boats, walking along the docks and playing in the water. Johan, who’s family is from Norway and Sweden, said it reminded him of his visits there and even smelled like his family summer beach home. Not positive, but I think I was more excited about the connection than he was, lol. Can’t wait to one day take our kids to visit. Can’t you just see them fitting right in?

Now back to our much more local outing… It was a little stressful keeping Poppy and Griffin from falling off the dock. They probably would have been just fine regardless of my reminders and nagging but I think I said, “walk in the middle of the dock or hold my hand” about 100 times while we were there. Not that they wouldn’t have been okay had they fallen in (we were so close!) but who wants to deal with the chaos and trauma and a soaking wet child on a not-so-hot day. Not this mama.

Borderline too many pics from our afternoon below, but couldn’t get enough of the setting and all the lines! Would make a great spot for a family photo sesh.

I am not a boat person, but left really wanting a boat.

On our way to the lake we stopped at the store and grabbed some snack-y picnic-y food. The second we found a good grassy spot near the boats that also had a playground, it also started raining. I should be used to it by now but am always spoiled by our summer weather and forget! Luckily we found a little undercover patio that wasn’t being used so were able to save the food from getting soggy (YAY!). Checkout the set up while I was making the tray of food though (HA!). Tilly with her raincoat trying to cover the grub.

Also checkout the Griffin pic in the window below… he was so excited and proud of his artistic idea and I love it too.

These little paddle boats were a big hit! $3 for 10 minutes of playtime.

We were also able to take a tour of this amazing house boat built in the early 1900’s, called the Lotus. So cool and inspiring. Seriously wanted to move in! Saved some of the videos from the day on the “Seattle” highlight on Instagram if you want to see.

A little peek of the Space Needle so you can see how close we were to the Seattle Center area which is next on our to-do in the city list.

For all the Seattlites and pacific northwesterners, what’s on your “playing tourist” to do list or fall bucket list? For everyone else, you should come visit us in the PNW!!! I just highly suggest booking sometime between July and October :)

XOXO, Rae

4

SEATTLE CITY GUIDE: ALKI BEACH WITH KIDS

TRUTH: There are five activities my kids will always be up for 1. playdates with friends 2. sleepovers 3. Disneyland 4. swimming 5. making (and eating) treats. Anything outside of this short list and chances are at least one of them will gripe, lay on the floor in protest and whine about how awful their day is going to be. They can be a little dramatic and I don’t mention it to complain or throw my kids under the bus, but because it’s exactly how our day started when we let the kids know we were headed up to Alki Beach after church. I also wanted to let you know because pictures have away of making things look easy and effortless and  despite how much fun we have once we we’re out, making our plan, getting everyone on the same page and following though doesn’t always look so pretty.

Now that you have a little bit of the BTS info (always want to be transparent with you guys!), here’s a photodump of our skyline looking, beach running, scooter riding outing to Alki Beach… It’s one of my favorite places to visit!

(I’ve been sharing fit pics on Instagram Stories if you’re interested! Tap the “#ootd” highlight button.)

You really can’t beat the beach town vibe of West Seattle paired with the skyline of the city. As small as Seattle is, it looks relatively big from across the puget sound. Hop on the water taxi and you’ll be at waterfront park, Seattle aquarium, the Great Wheel and Pike Place market!

If you’re visiting Seattle and would like tour guides, Espen and I are up for the job!!! Ha!

These pics of my babes! Oz met up with us later… just in time to get money for tacos as we were leaving, ha! JK, he and his girlfriend tried to meet up with us earlier but we kept missing them on our walk. Guess we’ll have to go back sooner than later (not mad about it).

The weather’s been in the upper 60’s to low 70’s and I know some of you would gladly trade us but I can’t wait til’ it’s hot enough to be in swimmers and jumping in the water… at least for me because I’m such a wimp about getting cold. The kids could care less of course!

How is she getting this big and independent!? Guess it means we’re doing our job though :)

Marination Ma Kai is the best place to grab street style tacos, but since we packed lunches this time we opted for shave ice instead and it did not disappoint. A very different treat compared to the kind you get at a concession stand or farmers market. In other words next time you stop in for tacos, stay for shave ice!

Back to the beginning of this post, and it might sound obvious but one of the best parenting lessons I’ve ever learned is to not let the kids call the shots. Especially not in the moment, because those moments are driven by how they feel and if how they feel is tired, comfortable, lazy or just “anti-everything”, those feelings will change once they start moving, seeing, and playing. Sure, we make adjustments based on our kids needs and likes – and sometimes we’ll call it a day earlier or stay closer to home to accommodate friend time, but there is always a greater purpose for getting out and exploring with our kids and I try to never lose sight of that for the sake of doing what is easy.

Do you know what happened when we got home from the beach (and after most outings)? ALL of the kids raved about how much fun they had. How much they loved riding scooters and playing on the beach and eating shave ice and spending time together.

It’s true what they say… parents know best. You’d think my kids would catch on by now, LOL.

How are your kids about going on outings!? Are they homebodies or do they love being out and about?

XO, Rae

P.S. – You can see other visits to Alki Beach here and here too.

2

FAMILY TRAVEL: BEACH GETAWAY TO SEABROOK, WA

Oh, my life is busssssy right now, but I’m hoping it’s just the crazy before the summer-calm. Aside from the kids activities, I’ve been occupied with design projects (a couple I can’t wait to share!). Just wrapped up the major stuff, so am hoping to get caught up and spend more time and fun content with you here next week, YAY! Today however, I wanted to share about our trip to Seabrook, WA. It’s become our go-to beach getaway — we’ve been 5 times (past visits here, and here) and have loved every minute. There is so much to do, the convenience is unbeatable and the houses are all so homey and easy to relax in.  I must have gotten 20 DM’s while we were there last week asking for trip details so I’ll be sure to share my best info and tips below in case you have questions too. Because I don’t want to forget what my favorite people in the world had fun doing the most together, I also wanted to share everyone’s best parts of our visit this time…

JOHAN | had the most fun sleeping in, walking to get coffee and sitting on the balcony that was attached to our room… a feature that is now on his future home wish list, lol.

ME | I loved, loved, loved our beach time this trip and also walking everywhere. It’s always my favorite part of our stay. No buckling carseats, arguing over who sits where or fighting

ESPEN + TILLY | unanimously decided shuffleboard was their favorite. I’ll talk more about it below, but there are a ton of community areas and free equipment rentals at the bike shop in town.

GRIFFIN | give him all the s’mores and hot tub time (there’s several community fire pits and a community pool and hot tub, but this time we had a hot tub and fire pit at our house too!)

POPPY | had the best time flying her kite on the beach.

OZZIE | missed out on another family trip because of school and sports (crying emoji x3) but I’m guessing his favorite part of us being gone was the peace + quiet.

*You guys, don’t ever let your kids grow up! It’s the worst. But also pretty amazing to watch and cheer them on. But also, also, the worst, lol.

We checked into our house (The Blue Lantern Cottage) and immediately made ourselves at home and got familiar with our location and proximity to all the most important things – like the pool, coffee shop, fire pits, etc. While we unpacked and made dinner, the kids checked out their bunk room and the garage which was full of toys and a ping pong table. Then we headed to the pool just to make sure they would be tired and worn-out and happy to crawl into beds and fall asleep.

I no longer hope, expect or plan on the kids being so tired that they’ll sleep in while on vacay (even after a late night and long swim) which makes it easier to enjoy any early risers. This particular morning we got these two early birds out of the house so they didn’t wake the rest (my friend Stacy and her boys were vacay-ing with us too!) and walked a couple blocks to grab coffee and sticky-buns to share.

This to me is heaven on earth! Rolling out of bed and walking anywhere, is my favorite way to start the day. Especially when coffee and warm pastries are involved and everyone is still snuggly and in their jammies. Bonus that the coffee and treats at Red Velvet Bakery are so yummy.

There’s nothing like a little beach time to make you appreciate life and God’s goodness. Not a lot of swimming happening here (maybe later in the summer), but plenty of sand to run and play in. And we obviously like hugging while on the beach, LOL.

Also, that top pic of Tilly mid-kite-flying might be a new favorite of mine.

The 3rd floor of the house we stayed in was a bunk room complete with a bathroom, organized toys, books and puzzles and 8 beds to sleep in. Makes me want to turn our attic into a playroom slash crash pad for sleepovers and get togethers!

Signs of a vacay done right… swimmers drying on a clawfoot tub and a spontaneous nap taken on a beach ball while wearing a crown.

A few tips if you are planning a trip to Seabrook!

  • Eating + shopping: Check the store/shop/restaurant hours when you first get there and plan accordingly as they change depending on the season and day of the week.
  • Picking a house: With younger kids, we prefer staying on the town side (instead of ocean side). You sacrifice a bit of the view but the kids have more freedom to roam and walking to get coffee, swim, etc. is easier.
  • Recreation: Stop by the bike shop to checkout recreational equipment for free during your stay. Also, the pool has life jackets but we usually pack ours from home for Poppy and Griffin.
  • Family + friends: it’s a great place to go with friends… also a good way to make it more affordable.  (here’s a few other tips on the subject)
  • Deciding what to do: get familiar with the map and either walk or drive around the town so you have a good idea of where things are and don’t end up missing out on something your family would love!

I already want to go back!!!

Let me know if I missed anything or you have questions.

See you back here on Monday!!!

XO, Rae

10

BRUNCH AT BAIR BISTRO + YAY SPRING!

I’m happy to report that it’s finally starting to feel like spring around here which has made it a little easier to get out of the house with everyone. A couple weeks ago we took the younger kids (miss Ozzie so much during baseball season!) on a brunch date at The Bair Bistro in Tacoma. We’d been meaning to go since taking our family photos in the same area last November and it did not disappoint! The atmosphere, the food, and the people were just so sweet and yummy. We ate bear pancakes, carefully played with all the antique decor, sipped on juice (with a splash of champs for me!), occupied the kids for a good 15 minute with a dime (heads or tails? which hand is it in? etc.), embraced the chaos of eating out with kids, and took a bunch of pics.

Outings make me so happy you guys. Especially when they involve brunch! Keep scrolling to see all the pics….

Gah! These two make my heart melt.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that keep the kids entertained or distracted!

  

Poppy trying to ‘floss’! Always trying to keep up with her older siblings….

Speaking of flossing, did you guys see Espen and Tilly’s dance off?

We worked on a puzzle while waiting for our table. Gotta love a restaurant or store that provides activities!

Getting everyone to decide what they want to order is typically quite the process. They ask a million questions always, usually at the sometime too, ha!… what kind of sausage? Can I get a different side? How long will it take? What about drinks? If they don’t have apple juice can I get root beer? Are we getting dessert after this? What if I’m not full from a kid meal?

So different from the days when we would order a couple things for all the kids to split and call it good. Which only lasted until the big kids started reading and now there’s no turning back, LOL. BUT it’s also really fun! Unless we’re in the drive-thru line at Starbucks – then all the mind changing and questions drive me a little bananas… 3rd world problems, I know.

Griffin pretending to be our waiter… Ha! He’s too cute and LOVES having a job to do!

That moment when the drinks come AND they all have lids!

When your food comes but you don’t have silverware yet, HA!

They don’t always get along but when they do it’s magic… (insert all the happy emojis, hearts and rainbows).

Full bellies, happy hearts, can’t loose – should be every parents battle cry, am I right!

Love this of poppy with breakfast still on her face and Espen and Tilly holding hands. Sigh.

Had to get in one more pic before we left too!

Quick question for ya… do you find it hard to get in pictures with your kids? If so, what holds you back? If not, what’s your strategy or favorite tool for doing so?

Feel so lucky to have Johan who doesn’t mind sharing camera duty, but that hasn’t always been the case. About a year ago he really started taking the time to learn more about our camera and is now a better photographer than me! That being said, I still do a lot of prompting whether it’s a pic with him and the kids or me and the kids. Being intentional without forcing things is a tricky balance!

Hope you guys have the best weekend!

XO, Rae

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