Archive | MOM + MINI

25 SIMPLE DATES TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS

One of the most pivotal moments in my parenting career happened when I came to the realization that my job as a mom was less about keeping all my ducks in a row and more about developing relationships with said ducks :) If that makes sense. Setting aside a little bit of one on one time (or even one on two) with our kids, away from the hustle and bustle of family life to fill their love tanks and just enjoy each other’s company has been a really good way to do just that.

Over the weekend Tilly and I planned a park date but then had to adjust our plan after Poppy came down with a stomach bug and fever. So we ended up grabbing treats from Starbuck’s and then posing for silly pictures on the couch. Even though we didn’t leave the house for long, the 30 minutes of time spent getting a special treat and being silly together did the trick!

Sharing 25 more simple date ideas to do with your minis, below!

25 REALLY SIMPLE KID DATE IDEAS

  • Head to the park to PLAYYYYYY. Bring a soccer ball, have a cartwheel contest, lay on a blanket and make pictures out of clouds, etc.
  • Plan something together! A special meal, end of the year party, outdoor movie night, or weekend getaway. Head to your favorite coffee or smoothie shop with your trusty notebook and pinterest account. You’ll not only be teaching life skills but also have another outlet for quality time!
  • Go for a bike or scooter ride (just make sure you hop on a scooter or bike too)
  • Kid’s choice! just be sure to set up some guidelines so things don’t get too extra. pretty sure 75% of my kids would choose a trip to Target with a $5 budget, lol.
  • Attend a High school sporting event
  • Take a class together
  • Visit a climbing wall (or a YMCA date if you have a membership)
  • Volunteer together
  • Play catch
  • Fly a kite
  • Plan a random act of kindness to do together 
  • Go putt-putt
  • Go to the batting cages (ask if they have a tee for younger kids!)
  • Go on a nature walk
  • Go for a run
  • Get slurpees
  • Go to the library
  • Have a picnic and make up a secret handshake
  • Visit a you-pick farm
  • Pick wild flowers to do a craft with later
  • Pick out each others outfits and then go split an appetizer
  • Visit a farmer’s market
  • Learn a new skill together like making balloon animals
  • Leave notes on the sidewalk for people using sidewalk chalk
  • Play a board-game

Another parenting tidbit I’ve learned over the years is to focus on THE BIG 3 touch, listen and look — when with the kids and it definitely helps keep those bonds and connections strong! What I find so ironic (or not so much) is that those are all things that came naturally to me during their first year of my kids’ life. They’re also things that can easily take a backseat as they get older and more independent. A good reminder that eventhough our kids’ needs evolve, they stay the same in many ways. Also another good reason to put the phone down and away whenever possible!

Tell me she’s not the cutest little date there ever was!?

I don’t want to imply that it’s more important to do this with certain kids over others and of course there will always be seasons where planning dates just isn’t in the cards — — but for the kids that challenge me the most, I would say spending one on one time has saved me from hitting burnout status and made it easier to fall in love with who they are instead of just focusing on their current behavior challenges.

Also a little footnote, sometimes all it takes is letting one kid stay up past bedtime or help you make dinner or even help you pick out your outfit (my dad used to wake me up in the mornings to help him pick out a tie for work and it is still one of my favorite memories!).

Here’s to building strong relationships — it’s something we all crave and were created for! Amen!

xo, Rae

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10 COMPANIES THAT MAKE IT EASY TO TWIN WITH YOUR MINI

Me in the pic above: Thinking about what to name our pizzeria and when I can match with one of the kids again. For all my fellow matchy-matchy type mamas out there I thought I’d share a roundup of my favorite companies that make mom + mini twinning a no brainer.

Snapped a few pics (because matching must be documented) while Johan and I took Griffin on a quick dinner date… we ordered cheese sticks (G’s fave), salad and drinks all around and then a pizza and salad to bring home for the rest of the crew. We were only out and about for a little over an hour but it was the perfect amount of time to sneak in some Q.T., finish a placemat word search together and give Griff our undivided attention.

More below!

That look on his face! (insert heart emoji)

10 COMPANIES THAT MAKE IT EASY TO “TWIN” WITH YOUR KIDS

  1. Olivia + Ocean, because the best place to match is definitely at the beach or pool!
  2. Did you see this collab between alice + ames and sonnet james?
  3. Shop doen and their kids line, it’s all sooooo dreamy and romantic but still functional.
  4. Anine Bing and bing kids… we’re wearing their sweatshirts here + here (Griff is wearing size 6-8 + it looks cute and oversized on Poppy too).
  5. Whistle & Flute has some seriously cute tees.
  6. Plain Jane usually has items in matching patterns like this buttery soft robe and play gown for your little.
  7. More super cute tees by jean & june.
  8. Albion isn’t super match-y, but they make it easy to coordinate…
  9. Tiny cottons and their newest women’s line. I want it allll!
  10. Bobo Choses is another favorite!

Don’t remember the last time I ate something I didn’t end up sharing with someone but I prefer it that way… and not just with the kids. Johan and I almost always share an app and main dish on date nights, an ice cream cone when we’re out for a treat and a venti coffee when we run through Starbucks. Is that weird? Ha! Maybe it’s the “me too” middle child in me?

Our speed date with Griffin has me thinking that it’s time to schedule more one-on-one (or two) kid dates. Would you guys be interested in date ideas or seeing what we end up planning?

Also, please share your thoughts on matching or shops you know that make it easy!

xo, Rae

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WORK + PLAY: VINTAGE POOL DAYS + A PRETTY FLORAL I DESIGNED FOR OLIVIA + OCEAN

If this doesn’t have you dreaming of pool days with your babes (big or small) this summer, I don’t know what will! I love Olivia + Ocean for their mission to make swimwear that fits into a mama’s lifestyle… so that in between all the towel drying, sun screening, meltdown managing, snack making and (fill in the blank) you can feel stunning, pulled together and more likely ready to play, snuggle, sunbathe or participate in a cannon ball contest.

Danielle (the mama behind O+O) puts equal thought into creating vintage-y modern swimmers for your mini that make sunny day adventures extra special and nostalgic.

All of this to say, O+O just launched the sweetest collection that includes a floral print I designed and am totally smitten with. The full collection coordinates too so you can go full mom + mini matchy-matchy or twin just a little bit.

Don’t you love it?!!! My favorite to date… Poppy will be running around in this for sure and I love the red bikini as well.

A pop of red for me too, please! So classic.

Some of my favorite memories are of heading to the pool almost daily with my mom and brothers during hot Chicago summers — I still have no idea how my mom managed to make time for h o u r s of splashing around while raising a busy family and home but I’m forever grateful that she did.

Not to get too sappy and sentimental, but it’s a good reminder that we won’t get these days of raising little humans back. Even more sobering is that our kids won’t get their childhood days back either… Thankful for companies like Olivia + Ocean that make it easier to be present and playful while we’re in the thick of it.

Love you guys!

xo, Rae

Images by Morgan Pansing

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MOM + MINI: HOW TO WEAR TIE DYE WITHOUT FEELING LIKE YOU’RE AT CAMP

You guys, tie-dye is back in a big way lately and even though I’m always a fan (forever a hippie, beach bum + camp kid at heart) I’m even more in love with how the carefree print has gotten a more grown-up (think skirts and silk tops) and practical (lots of color options!) update that makes it easier to add to your everyday wardrobe.

The tricky things about trends is that sometimes they stick around and become staples and other times they’re “so last month” the day after you decide to hop on the bandwagon (wah-wah) — so it can be tricky to decide what to invest in and what to pass on. Since I already have a tie-dye shirt dress from Sonnet James (I think she has a new one coming out this spring/summer) I was planning on the latter, but then I stumbled upon this t-shirt from Zara and, considering how often I wear t-shirts, decided it was meant to be.

Sharing a few ways to style the colorful swirly pattern from your youth over on IGTV but also took some snaps of my favorite look to share below and included all the links!

OUTFIT No. 1 (pictured) | tie dye tee from zara, dot pants from madewell (I sized down one), sneakers are reebok, denim jacket is old from J.Crew (similar), purse is from Target

OUTFIT No. 2 (in video) |tie dye tee from zara, agolde jeans from shopbop, slingback shoes from everyone, duster cardigan is old from nordstrom

OUTFIT No. 3 (in video)| tie dye tee from zara, leggings are from Lulu Lemon, sweatshirt is topshop from nordstrom

During my search for tie-dye I found some cute socks for Griff (who also happens to be a fan of the print)…

GRIFFIN’S OUTFIT DETAILS | pants, sweatshirt, socks and sneakers all from J.Crew (always stock up when they have a 40% off sale!)

See the top pic? When he was done leaning on me he said, “mom! lean on my back now!” and then couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working, lol. Definitely one of those “you had to be there” moments, but too funny not to write down here.

Here’s my closing argument… If you like to have fun, then wear tie-dye. Ha ha! JK, I know it’s not for everyone, but you can buy it for your kids because living vicariously through them (in a healthy way of course) is one of the best parts about being a parent!

If you haven’t already, go take a look at my IGTV video and let me know what you think!? Make sure you watch to the end to see how we embarrass Tilly :)

xo, Rae

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MOM + MINI OOTW: LAYERED JUMPSUITS FOR WINTER TO SPRING

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

Same goes for the kids!

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

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

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

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

How cute is this jumpsuit and bow by Hadley Girl?

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

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

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

xo, Rae

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VIDEO: AVOIDING THE HOLIDAY MELTDOWNS + EASY MOMMY + ME YOGA

The girls and I put together a little Holiday themed yoga (with lots of stretching) sequence and are so excited to share! I’ve mentioned a couple times (here + no. 11 here) that we use yoga to help all of us slowdown, wind-down and reconnect and with the hustle and bustle of Christmas and endless opportunities to consume sugar I figured we all could use some zen-ness!

Hopefully the names and moves make it easy to remember! A little description of each…

  • GINGERBREAD HOUSE – a house pose with feet apart and hands together over your head to make a roof.
  • CHRISTMAS TREE – same a the tree pose, hands together to make the top of the tree, and depending on level of difficulty and balance, place foot above or below your knee.
  • STAR – feet apart and hands out at your side… then can’t resist doing some jumping jacks (slash elves).
  • CANDY CANE – bend side to side to stretch!
  • SNOW DOG – classic downward dog, but don’t forget to lift each leg and shake the snow off.
  • MAKE COOKIES – stretch your legs and core by grabbing dough, rolling it out, then grabbing flour, cookie cutters, frosting and sprinkles as you turn to each side.
  • REINDEER – gotta get ready to pull santa’s sleigh so stretch out that booty by pulling your knee to chest and then adding antlers with your hands, because you’re a reindeer, ha! :)
  • SANTA’S SLEIGH – normally called the bow pose.
  • SUGAR PLUM – we always finish by resting on our backs or stomaches… if it’s right before bedtime we’ll add some deep breaths and close our eyes, if not it always ends up in a pig pile!

What other poses or stretches could you give a Christmas-y name?

How do you guys like to slowdown during the holidays?

xo, Rae

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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

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THINGS WE LOVE: BEET WORLD + PAINTED FALL LEAVES

I love a good classic. Whether its a song, movie, meal or decoration, but more than anything I love a classic style and will often look for pieces to add to the kids’ wardrobes (and mine too). Problem is, classic styles are often stuffy and restrictive and have my kids pulling at their neck holes and itching to change into sweats. Enter Beet World, a local to Seattle, mom owned business that makes timeless dresses, tops, skirts and pants for girls that are also roomy and soft. A must for my girls who are active and prefer getting dirty and playing chase around the jungle gym to looking prim and proper.

Ashima, the mama behind Beet World, was sweet enough to send us a box of goodies for the girls and they loved all of it! Poppy didn’t waste anytime wearing one of her new dresses and then on Sunday they both wore a few of the pieces to church followed by a trip to the park and playground nearby.

The weather was beautiful so we decided to collect leaves to paint and check it off the fall bucket list!!!

  

TILLY’S WEARING this top and these cute pants

POPPY’S WEARING this blue stripe dress and this sweet dress in the Instagram pic

Everything washed well (hot cocoa even came out of Poppy’s light pink dress!) and  fit true to size. Tilly is wearing 9-10Y. Poppy wore size 3-4Y.

  

Luckily all the leaves were dry so after a little lunch, we started painting! The girls got creative, made self portrait leaves (the green eyed leaf is Tilly), added glitter and needed zero inspiration. I on the other hand took a quick peek at pinterest and found so many ideas!

Aren’t they cute (see below)!? Now we just need to decide how to display them… maybe a garland or taped to their bedroom doors?

Thank you for supporting the businesses and in this case, new friend and mama, that support this blog! Take a peek at the Beet World site and pick out a thing or two for all those pumpkin patch pics coming up. Also can’t wait to see what she comes out with for the holiday season! Hopefully it includes a plaid shirt like Tilly’s in my size :)

XOXO, Rae

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A FALL BUCKET LIST + SOME CUTE CORDUROY

Happy 3rd day of fall!!!

Still mourning the end of summer (sorry fall, but summer is my boo) but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to fully enjoy all of the fall activities. And of course wear all the sweaters and corduroy. Our schedule is packed with soccer and football on weeknights and weekends already so I’m a little nervous about fitting even half of this in. Definitely up for the challenge tho… we’re going to have to get creative with our scheduling!

OUR FALL BUCKET LIST

DECORATE FOR FALL + HALLOWEEN | this is a no-brainer but deserves a spot on the list…. mostly so I can check it off right away :)

GO FOR A SCENIC DRIVE +/OR ROAD TRIP | and maybe put together a scavenger hunt or eye spy activity for the drive? We have a visit to our family cabin on the calendar in November and I’ve been wanting to spend a day or two in Portland, OR too!

PERFECT OUR APPLE + PUMPKIN RECIPES | this is a no pressure one plus I’ll have lots of willing helpers!

THE PATCH + CORN MAZE | heading to the patch (probably more than a couple times) is a family tradition, but this year the kids are also earning tickets for a corn maze outing and I can’t wait!

CRAFT WITH LEAVES | because is there anything better than fall leaves!? Have you guys seen this bit by Jim Gaffigan? So funny.

GO ON A HIKE OR TRAIL WALK | one of the things we didn’t checkoff our summer bucket list that’s just as easy to do this time of year.

GO APPLE PICKING | or squeeze some cider!

PLAN A TAILGATE BEFORE ONE OF OZZIE’S GAMES | getting the most out of game days over here!

PLAN A HALLOWEEN MOVIE NIGHT FOR THE KIDS + THEIR FRIENDS | can’t you just see a family room full of cozy kids in their jammies snacking on kettle corn and a pumpkin spice milkshake?

    

Already judging my outfits, LOL. Actually I had my hands in my pockets so she was looking for hers and ended up having to twist her skirt around — it was so cute. Made me laugh!

MY OUTFIT | corduroy pants (excuse the pleats, lol), white tee (only $14), bandana (love these), sandals

POPPY’S OUTFIT | corduroy skirt, pink tee, native shoes

What would you add to the list? Also, what are your favorite movies to watch this time of year!?

XO, Rae

PS – stumbled across our fall bucket list from a couple years ago… made me tear up!

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WORK + PLAY: WITH CHERRIES BY OLIVIA + OCEAN

The cherry doesn’t fall far from the tree… especially in these matching mommy + me suits from Olivia + Ocean. Textile design is one of my most favorite things to do and design and being able to see this ditsy cherry pattern I created come to life on the cutest suits is definitely a highlight for me this summer. Aside from being a client, I absolutely am a fan and customer of O+O. You guys would love Danielle (the mom boss behind the brand) her swimsuits and her mission.

She’s created the most adorable options for little girls that will have you feeling nostalgic and current at the same time. And for the moms she’s created a swimsuit that hugs you in all the right places, has a flattering silhouette and is super functional.

You can shop the CHERRY COLLECTION HERE!

Because Danielle is in the middle of moving her family to Texas (exciting!) she asked me to help with the photos for the launch and I jumped at the chance! Below are some of my favorites taken by Stacy Jacobsen and a couple thoughts on body image…

BONUS, the mom bod suits double as a really cute camisole! So cute with shorts or a skirt!

Passed the canon ball test with flying colors :)

Whether you have a suits you love or haven’t found a favorite yet, adding one of the Olivia + Ocean MomBod suits to your collection might be the best decision you’ve made all summer, especially if it means you’ll feel free and empowered to play more in the water with your babes. And she has lots of patterns and colors to choose from if cherries aren’t your thing!

For reference, I’m 5’7″, 127 lbs. and wearing a medium.

Now that we’re on the subject, when it comes to body image, what do you struggle with most? It’s something that has been on my mind a lot lately and I would love to chat with you about it more!

XO, Rae

 

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T-SHIRT DRESS 3-WAYS

One of my personal rules when it comes to clothes shopping, especially when something costs more than $50, is whether or not I can use it to piece together at least 3 outfits with items I already have in my closet. This one little rule has saved me a lot of money, makes shopping less stressful and keeps my wardrobe pretty functional. Of course there are always exceptions and I do have a few skirts and dresses hanging in my closet that only get worn once or twice a season, but hopefully you get the idea!

To illustrate my little shopping guideline, I thought it would be fun to share three outfits using my new-ish tee shirt dress ($58 from madewell). When it comes to “one and done” outfits, like dresses and jumpsuits, the tee dress is my all time fave. It’s  casual enough for momming, and errand running and versatile enough to dress up for church or date night. It also wins bonus points over my other favorite (a jumpsuit) for being a piece of cake when it comes to using a public loo. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Of course there are a million ways to wear this simple spring and summer staple, but here’s how I wore it 3 times over the last couple weeks…

T-SHIRT DRESS NO. 1 | bandana (very similar and love the strawberry one too!), cardigan (similar one in cream), white sneakers (similar), low-profile socks (they actually stay on and don’t show!)

Love after schools with my Griffey. He’s always high energy and the first to ask how my day was, get his school work out, eat his snack and do is chore. Mostly because he’s in a hurry to play with friends, but I’ll take it!

(No time for kisses, mom!)

T-SHIRT DRESS NO. 2 | hat (wearing a size small but could have done medium), jean jacket (similar), espadrilles (very similar or asos has less expensive espadrille options!)

Wore this combo to church followed by a trip to the nursery and then home to hang in the backyard and eat guac, set up our new trampoline and eventually make dinner.

All the kids picked out their outfits this day — one of the things I usually help with on Sundays — and I think they did pretty good. Especially love Poppy’s socks with her sandals, ha!

T-SHIRT DRESS NO. 3 | slides, sunnies (in white too), surplus/utility jacket (forgot it in the car!) love this one and this one, whistle necklace on major sale (a fun layering option)

Wore to the drive-thru for milkshakes and fries and then to Ozzie’s baseball game :)

(Holding my leg hostage. Not mad about it.)

What do you guys think!? Which combo is your favorite? What would you like to see styled 3-ways, next?!

XO, Rae

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