Archive | spring

THINGS WE LOVE: AN EASTER BASKET ROUND UP

I love finding fun items to fill the kids’ Easter baskets with, but it can be soooo easy for things to get out of control, lol. There’s so much cute stuff out there and honestly, lots of things they could use now that it’s spring. So I always try to stick to a loose theme or two. This year I’m filling their baskets with activities and accessories for rainy spring days or baseball games… and of course pajamas. Always pajamas!


HERE’S WHAT’S IN THE GIRL’S BASKETS |

HERE’S WHAT’S IN THE BOY’S BASKETS |

Shared a sneak peak on Instagram Stories yesterday if you want to go check it out! And of course Ozzie and his girlfriend are getting Easter baskets too, but they’re much more present on social media than the other kids so I didn’t want to spoil anything…

A few things I’m filling their baskets with if you need any ideas for older teenagers | a couple WSU things (like these sunnies), this cute scrunchie, bibles from She Reads Truth and He Reads Truth, water bottles, ChatBooks and bathroom caddies for the dorms as their baskets! Ha!

Cannot wait to set everyone’s basket out on Easter morning! Also can’t wait for all the egg hunting, mimosa sipping and cinnamon roll eating.

xo, Rae

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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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SPRING WARDROBE WISHLIST

We’ve been enjoying spring and all that comes with it… including the change in wardrobe! Even though the weather can be unpredictable and isn’t often warm around here, it’s been fun finding ways to incorporate spring-ish items into outfits. After cleaning out my closet and getting a good idea of what holes could be filled, I spent sometime adding things to my online shopping carts (where most of it will stay, lol) and turned them into outfit options below. Take a peek and let me know which combo is your favorite!

outfit no. 1 | cardigan, crisscross slides, wide leg pants (but I love these and these too!)

outfit no. 2 | levis (under $100), peasant top, chore coat

outfit no. 3 | utility shirt (doubles as a coat), woven slingback, wrap dress

outfit no. 4 | sweatshirt, midi skirt, high-tops

outfit no. 5 | striped tee, crisscross slides, slipdress

outfit no. 6 | carpenter jeans (also under $100), striped silk top (need to find one that’s machine washable), sandals

I was kinda surprised by the lack of pastels, but really love that most of these items will also work through summer and into the fall.

Would you guys like to see my spring picks for the kids or husband?

xo, Rae

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WHEN SPRING FEELS MORE LIKE WINTER

I know i’ve been a broken record lately when it comes to the weather but it feels like winter and spring have teamed up and are playing a really bad joke on us. Lately, we’ve been getting a random mix or sunshine and hail with buckets of rain in between. Super fun stuff. Especially while watching a baseball game, lol. Up until last week I was feeling alone in my springtime woes here in the PNW. However, after sharing an Instagram poll asking who was having fun in the sun and who was still having to bundle up, it turns out most of us (74%) are still waiting for spring to arrive.

So I figured we could all use a little pep-talk. I just hope you guys aren’t sick of all my lists… Feeling like it’s kind of the spring thing to do :)

5 WAYS TO FAKE SPRING

  1. ADD SOME POPS OF COLOR. Pullout all all the brightly colored things from hibernation (i.e. the back of the drawer, closet or linen cupboard) and add to your lips, wardrobe or home! Flowers are always a good idea too!
  2. RETAIL THERAPY THE SMART WAY. No one wants to make a warm weather purchase that ends up going on sale before you’re able to wear it! Instead of clicking the purchase button right away, add a few things from your spring/summer wishlist to your virtual cart and wait for those sales to start! FYI: My cotton candy colored jeans are on sale plus 30% off right now at madewell!
  3. DIFFUSE OILS & TURN-UP THE FEEL GOOD MUSIC. My favorite blend right now is 6 drops grapefruit, 4 drops lemon and 2 drops peppermint. As for the music, we’ve been listening to a lot of country lately. 60’s music is always a fun way to lighten the mood too! (we have this diffusor and it works great!)
  4. LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE (even when it’s cloudy). Spring is the season of planning, organizing and being productive. Sure, I might feel more motivated to work in the yard or do other spring cleaning items if the weather was nicer, but I would probably also be more distracted.
  5. MAKE SPRING THINGS IN THE KITCHEN. Take advantage of all the new spring produce and flavors and get busy whipping up yummy desserts (like this one), cocktails and dinners! Hoping to try this drink over the weekend… good practice for Cinco de Mayo!

Hello, Spring. Are you there?

Wish I had been eavesdropping on Poppy’s convo, LOL.

Also, banana phones have been trending around our house since taking these pics. So funny to hear the kids have pretend conversations with each other!

Summer will be here before we know it so I guess I should be more thankful and intentional with this season, no matter the weather! More planning + prepping and less complaining :)

Rain or shine, what’s your favorite part about Spring?

XO, Rae

ME | top, jeans, would be cute with these sandals (also on sale)

POPPY | dress, scrunchie, love, love, love these shoes to go with

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WE’RE BACK + SOME PICS FROM OUT TRIP TO AZ

Heyyyyyy sweet friends! I hope you had an amazing Easter with family and friends over the weekend! Still can’t get this scripture out of my head, “GOD told them, ‘I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!”‘ (Jer. 31:3). It’s a crazy kinda love we get to experience and not just on Easter, but it feels especially overwhelming on resurrection Sunday to me.

In other news, we’re back from spring break! After a week of sunshine and family time, it was so hard getting the kids up and out the door for school this morning. I think just as much for me as it was for them, but Griffin probably more than anyone. And Tilly’s reaction was priceless when she realized she’d have to put on real shoes instead of sandals, LOL. However, we did come home to a homemade dinner waiting for us in the fridge and an egg hunt all set up for the kids in the front yard, courtesy of the most thoughtful friends ever! Sleeping in our own beds last night was pretty heavenly too.

I got several requests for a “Family Guide to Spring Training” type post which I think is a great idea and will be working with Johan to put something good together for you guys in a couple weeks. But first I thought I’d share a big photo dump today and a few details from our trip… here goes!

Of course it’s not spring training without baseball! We arrived towards the end of the season but was able to make it to 4 games. Because everything about the pre-season is easy and low-key (seats in the grass, play areas and splash pads, cheaper tickets, smaller crowds, etc.) there isn’t any pressure to stay the entire game and the kids have more freedom too!

My parent’s rented a house for us all to stay in and stocked it with food and snacks from Costco before we arrived (spoiled us rotten!) so we didn’t do a lot of eating out, but did manage to make it to Cibo and was so glad we did! The pizza and meatballs were amazing and there is nothing quite as good as being able to dine outside… it’s one of the things Johan and I are always looking for during the warmer Seattle months. We of course also indulged in stadium grub and in-n-out too.

For anyone in the Phoenix area or planning a visit, Stacie from alice and ames shared some more great ideas for food and activities in this post.

Of course, you guys know we can’t go very long without a trip to get ice cream or in this case, gelato! Found the cutest spot, complete with a splash pad and lots of room to roam, at Luci’s at the Orchard. Wish we had something similar by our house… I would probably never leave!

Most of our free time was spent swimming but we also made it to Papago park. So pretty and the kids had fun climbing the giant rock!

Peek Kids sent us some clothes to wear and photograph on our trip… we had fun driving around with the girls while daydreaming about living in the desert and scouting for a fun spot to take a few pics. We wrapped things up with a little walk and fro-yo date.

One of our last outings was to a golf course for some putting and chipping. Couldn’t believe how much fun all the kids had, how well they did and that no one got hit with a backswing (YAY!). Have to say though, that we got really lucky with the time since the main course had just closed and we were the only ones still doing any golfing. Otherwise we probably would’ve been pretty annoying and I’m not sure it would have been quite as successful.

Love the combination of heat, food, and activities that Phoenix has to offer while still being pretty casual and affordable. Not sure my kids would handle the summertime heat very well though… they tend to feel like their melting once the temp goes above 85 degrees, lol.  True Seattleites!

If you have any interest in seeing more, I saved almost all of my short videos from our trip to an AZ story highlight HERE.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I missed anything!

xo, Rae

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MINI MAKERS: RAINBOW KIDS CRAFT

Happy beginning of the week! Or something like that? I never quite know how to feel when Monday morning rolls around. Part of me is still relishing in the weekend magic while the other half is ready to complete a few things on my to-do list. Whatever side of Monday you find yourself on, I thought a simple paper plate rainbow craft would be a good way to kick things off!

Aren’t they cute? I threw together the top one before setting everything out for Poppy and her friend Winnie, but I love how their’s turned out. Nothing compares to the artistic abilities of preschoolers!

Keep scrolling for the supply list and a few pics from our craft sesh!

PAPER PLATE RAINBOW CRAFT

You’ll Need:

  • white paper plates, cut in half (dessert size plates pictured)
  • glue sticks
  • scissors (kid safe scissors if old enough to use)
  • colorful tissue, construction &/or textured paper, cut into smaller pieces
  • pom-poms (optional)
  • googly eyes (optional)
  • cotton balls, for clouds (optional)

Here’s How:

Cut plates in half and paper of choice into pieces. Set out embellishments and glue sticks and let kids decorate their rainbows!

Poppy added a little more to her rainbow mane :) I also left all the supplies out for the older kids to use after school which they loved!

Such a fun little craft for spring (just 22 days away!) or St. Patrick’s Day which is right around the corner, so don’t forget to pin for safe keeping!

XO, Rae

(PS – For more details on the crafting area, head HERE!)

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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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HAPPY (SUMMER) TRAVELS: DAY TRIPPING WITH KIDS

simple-tips-for-day-tripping-with-kids

As I mentioned yesterday (in this post) we planned and took the kids on a day trip to Bainbridge Island, WA — a beautiful island in the Puget Sound with mostly rocky beaches, lots of marine life and a cute little town. It’s a quick drive and ferry ride from Seattle (4 hours roundtrip for us) making it an easy spot to visit for just the day. Trips and traveling with kids can be tricky and although we don’t do a ton of it, I did learn a few things earlier this week that I think are worth sharing. Especially since we are headed into vacay season!!!

Here are my top 3 (with a hidden 4th) tips for day tripping with kids:

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1. GETTING THERE CAN BE HALF THE FUN – I’m not usually very good at road trips. For me the journey is not half the fun, it’s a painful necessity. I prefer to arrive at our destination as quickly as possible, while a couple or all our kids sleep. But our latest day trip has me thinking differently. When I asked the kids what their favorite parts of the day was, they all mentioned the ferry ride (searching for crabs was the other unanimous highlight!). I know not every trip can involve a boat or alternate form of transportation, but there are other ways to break up the journey and enjoy the process a little more.

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^^^ Griffey randomly climbed onto the hydrant and started saying, “Awkward turtle…”, repeatedly. And it was, LOL. (insert silly monkey emoji here)

2. GEAR MATTERS SO OVERPACK – I’m a chronic under-packer. Piling a ton of stuff into the car, especially things we might not need, has a funny way of stressing me out. Is that weird? I like simplicity and organization in small spaces and I like for people not to have to climb over things to get out of the car. But again, I digress. Taking more of a cub scouts approach on day trips – be prepared – definitely adds to the experience. I can think of a couple things we packed and didn’t use (picnic blankets and beach towels) that I will be packing again and a couple other things (a baby/toddler carrier, bandaids and kites) that I wish we would have packed. This is where a car roof cargo box might come in handy!

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^^^ The scavenger hunt printable I shared yesterday ^^^

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3. IT’S WORTH SKIPPING NAP-TIME FOR – Take this with a grain of salt because it really comes down to ages and how many nappers and  high maintenance little ones you have. As you can tell by the last two pictures, Poppy was exhausted by the end of our day and not pictured were moments of complete chaos where everyone had a need, complaint or idea at the same time. But leaving mid-morning meant that Poppy got a 45 minute power nap on the way to the island which helped and having lots of snacks, quick distractions and a double stroller with a seat for Griffey (the kid would let me carry him forever I think!) helped a ton too. Overall, the meltdowns and tears passed quickly and dealing with them was totally worth it!

Now let’s talk about the hardest part (if you are like me) of skipping naps and quiet time:  giving up a solid couple hours of productivity! My business, sanity and family depends on those precious daily hours. Losing them tends to have a ripple effect and aside from asking for help or replacing them with hours of sleep, I have no idea how to make up for it. But I do know that quality time and special memories win every time!

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It’s been so much fun going back through pictures from our day. I don’t think we managed to get one with all of the kids together and smiling, but we did get this gem where they all look totally confused. Ha! I about died when I saw it and kinda like it more than a smiling one. Weird is so much better than perfect. Which I guess can be my 4th tip for traveling with kids… or doing anything with them for that matter!

What are your best tips for day tripping with kids?

XO, Rae

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TILLY + POPPY’S purses, GRIFFIN’S shorts (on sale), POPPY’S romper, TILLY’S top, TILLY + GRIFFEY + POPPY’S shoes, ESPEN’S shorts

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PIN TO WIN $100 TO TARGET

rae-ann-kelly-pinterest-party-target-giveaway

Structured days, early nights and lunchbox packing is coming to an end and being replaced by endless water play, all day snacking and impromptu get togethers. We can hardly wait so thought we’d celebrate with a PINTEREST PARTY! One lucky winner will receive a $100 Target gift card — just follow the guidelines below.

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:

  • Sign up for email updates at the bottom of this post.
  • Make sure you are following Rae Ann Kelly on Pinterest.
  • Pin at least 3 of your favorite Rae Ann Kelly blog post images from this board on pinterest or directly from their respective blog post pages.
  • Make sure your pins’ caption includes the hashtags: #raeannkellypins and #rakpinparty so we know you’ve entered!

Contest closes Monday, May 30th at 6am PST. I’ll announce the winner here and then send a message to your pinterest account by the end of the day.

THE WINNER IS: Ginger Brehl

Have fun you guys!!! I’m excited to follow along :)

XO, Rae

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BREAKFAST CLUB: SMOOTHIE BOWLS (+ A MEAL PLAN)

smoothie-bowl-recipe

I love a good “build your own” type meal. I also enjoy a good bandwagon. So, since smoothie bowls are super easy to personalize and trending at the moment, I figured it was time we gave them a whirl. Now I’m wondering what took us so long!?

If you and your kids like smoothies you will LOVE these. They are basically extra thick smoothies topped like a parfait. Toppings make everything better, yes? Yes! Here’s how we made ours…

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BERRY BERRY SMOOTHIE BOWL (makes 2 big bowls or 4 small ones)

You’ll Need:

  • 1-1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other preferred milk)
  • 1 cup spinach or favorite green
  • 2 tablespoons chia/hemp/flax/etc. seed
  • honey or agave to taste
  • ice to taste
  • favorite protein powder (optional)
  • toppings – chia seeds, shaved almonds, berries + other fruit, shredded coconut, granola, etc.

Here’s How:

  1. Toss all ingredients (except toppings) in a blender and blend until well combined and mixture is too thick to suck through a straw.
  2. Pour into bowls and prinkle with toppings of choice!

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Give me ALL the toppings please! I think they are the best part of any dish but especially these smoothie bowls. Aside from the delicious taste the colors and textures are so pretty and pretty food is fun to eat.

Now we just need to try acai bowls… Which I think are like smoothie bowls with an added ingredient? Have you guys tried them?

(CLICK HERE TO CHECKOUT OUR MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK)

Happy Monday!

XO, Rae

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