friday five

1.  All of my dreams came true yesterday when a Chick-fil-A opened in Folsom.  We went to celebrate the grand opening with chicken nuggets, chick-fil-a sauce, and a milkshake.  I have taken it upon myself to be Chick-fil-A's personal ambassador and spread the word of its greatness.  These Californians don't know what they've been missing.

2. Bryan's cousin is getting married tomorrow and the ceremony is on the beach.  I'm excited to go to my first beach wedding!

3.  I saw that this chair was only $7.50 at Lowe's and decided that Jilly needed it.  It's perfect for a mid-afternoon snack (and our upcoming camping trip.)

4. My friend Miranda and I had a "jam session" this week and made lots of yummy strawberry jam.  It took all the self-control I possess to put the containers in the freezer and not immediately gobble them up.

5. Jilly had a checkup for her hand this morning.  The worst part of the appointment was when we took off all her clothes and weighed her- she screamed.  The rest of the checkup was fine though, her hand is healing and we got red bandages for the 4th of July!


How to patriotify a dress (and make up a word)

Independence Day is coming and I'm full of patriotism.  Usually we're at the beach and wearing swimsuits all day, but this year we'll be home so naturally we'll be sporting red, white, and blue.

I bought this dress for Jilly early in the summer because I loved the nautical feel.  Then I realized that with a little added red, it would be the perfect fourth of July outfit.

Step One: Make 3 red fabric yo-yos.  This tutorial is much better than any explanation I could give.  I cut 2 four-inch circles and 1 three-inch circle, and used the "large stitch method" to get a tighter center.

Step Two: Pin the yo-yos to your dress at desired locations.

Step Three: Stitch the yo-yo's on the dress through the middles (you can't see these stitches as long as your center is tight.)

Step Four: Add a few little stitches on the backsides of the yo-yo's so they lay flat and layer the way you want them.

Step Five: Congratulate yourself on successfully patriotify-ing a dress.  Hang it in the closet and count down the days til July 4th!



Remember when I cut my hand a few months ago?  Well, this was way, way worse.

"Hot" was one of Jilly's first words.  We can tell her when things are hot and she knows not to touch them.  Every time she sees a pan on the stove, hot glue gun, my straightener, etc. she reminds us that it is "hot!"  So I've never been very worried about her burning herself.

Today Jilly was sitting next to me on the floor playing with toys while I straightened my hair.  I really don't know what exactly happened, but my best guess is that she stood up and lost her balance then landed on me and, unfortunately, on my straightener.

Immediately she started screaming and I could tell her hand was badly burned. I covered it with a cool wet washcloth and called the doctor.  I had to leave a message for them to call me back.  I looked all over but couldn't find any baby tylenol (emergency preparedness is majorly lacking around here) and I wanted to get some kind of burn cream so we ran to CVS.

This is when I started to unravel.  Jilly wailed as I ran around CVS grabbing random first aid paraphernalia.  I got to the checkout and my favorite cashier was there.  She kindly asked what happened and I started bawling as I told her about the burn.  A man then walked by, looked at my screaming child, made an extremely annoyed face and said, "Someone's not happy today."  I seriously could have ripped his eyeballs out.  Luckily my dear friend, the cashier, informed him that my poor girl was hurt very badly. 

Both sobbing, Jilly and I made it back home.  The nurse called and said there was an open appointment in an hour.  Jilly cried for most of that hour but finally fell asleep in my lap right before we left. By the time we saw the doctor, Jilly had woken up and was her usual happy self.  The doctor said it was a deep second-degree burn and gave us a prescription for some cream and wrapped it up very well.  

We have to keep it wrapped for 2 weeks and go back in a few days so the doctor can check for infection.  But, in the end, it didn't really phase Jilly at all.  She's been running around and happy all afternoon. 

(Not the best picture of Jilly, but isn't her little wrapped hand so cute?)


Fifty Nifty United States

One of the requirements for fifth grade is being able to label all of the states on a map.  When I taught fifth grade we spent about 3 weeks drilling the states.  We played games, sang songs, watched videos- everything I could think of to help them remember these states.  I would often race my kids to fill in a map (and always win, in case you were wondering.)  By the end almost every student could perfectly label a map.

When I saw this map on pinterest it was calling my name.  This would have been perfect in my classroom (pinterest came into my life a year too late.)   I loved picking out different fabrics for the states, I loved that I knew almost all of the states without having to look up their names (Colorado and Wyoming are easy to mix up), I even loved the tedium of stitching around every. single. curve.  It takes a huge nerd to love this map as much as I do.

Of course, I had to add a few special features for our family-

With this map to help I'm planning on Jilly mastering the states by second grade.  :)


five on friday

1.  On Sunday I had a major Mom Moment.  Jilly needed her diaper changed during Sacrament Meeting so we left, walking by about half the congregation.  When I got to the restroom my friend was there and said, "Oh Rachel, you have a fruit snack stuck to your bum."  Excellent.

2. I taught Jilly "The Wheels on the Bus" this week.  She loved to roll her hands and begged me to sing all day long.  The next morning I wasn't sure she'd remember but within 10 minutes of waking up she started rolling her hands asking to sing the song.

3.  Jilly picked out this book at the library last week.  One night she gave it to Bryan to read, and out of his mouth came the funniest black lady voice I've ever heard.  We beg him to read it every night now.

4. I always assumed that Jilly still took 2 naps a day because she woke up so early but this week I finally came to the conclusion that maybe she was waking up so early because she took 2 naps during the day.  For the past 3 days I've been giving her only 1 nap and it's been tough- a very tired and grouchy girl by the end of the day- but it's working!  She has been sleeping til 6:30 or 7 which is heaven compared to 5am!

5. I've been doing a lot of sewing this week so Jilly found something to keep her occupied.


Garden Party

I am in charge of the activities for the Relief Society in my church.  This month we had our annual Garden Party.  It was a ton of work, but I had a lot of fun planning a party on the church's dime. :)  Things were really crazy in the moments before the party so I didn't get to take as many pictures as I would have liked to.  

We went with a summery theme- lots of pink, orange, and yellow.  The tables had bright tablecloths with white gardenias as the centerpieces.  I made a few pennant banners and we found some cute yellow lanterns at the dollar store.  We served Italian Sodas, which were so yummy and fun.  Luckily there was extra syrup so they will be making an encore at future activities!

The rest of the food was a-mazing too.  Someone in our ward is a caterer and he grilled chicken for us, the women signed up to bring salads, and for dessert we had lemonade pies.  We made them with raspberry lemonade and put cool whip and a raspberry on top (after I took the picture of course.)  These cute cups were from the dollar store

One of the best parts of the night was the Photo Booth.  I made fringe banners from this tutorial and hung them on the trellis (not that you can see them in this picture.)  The props were from here and here.  (Thank you pinterest!)



Last week I heard on the radio about a free "Pet-a-Palooza" being held at a park nearby on Saturday.  Jilly LOVES dogs, and the chance of us ever getting her one are slim to none so we braved the 103 degree heat to see the dogs.  

And, boy did the dogs come out.  The park was huge and it was packed with dogs and their owners.  Jillian was constantly sprinting away from us to see a dog.  She would crouch or sit right next to them- I couldn't believe how brave she was!  And I was grateful that everyone we talked to was so nice to Jilly and let her pet their dog for a minute.  We saw dogs who were really good at catching frisbees, dogs jumping off a platform into a pool, and this giant dog that caught Jilly's heart.  

Then there were rides.  The only ride Jilly was tall enough to go on was the teacups.  At first she was not so sure (as you can see in the picture) but when we started spinning around she loved it.

The park was very conveniently located near Costco so we stopped for some hot dogs and a smoothie (which Jilly commandeered and ate almost entirely by herself.)

We were all exhausted after our hot adventure, but I'm hoping we bought ourselves a few more dog-free years.  


We ♥ Our Dads

Jilly and I are lucky to have 3 great Dads in our life.  We had fun planning surprises for them for Father's Day

My dad got this picture (which I love so much) in a frame:

Bryan's dad got this:

Bryan wanted some biking apparatus that I was not confident shopping for on my own so we just put some money in this little bag (tutorial here.)
 And Jilly also made him some handprints, just like last year.  He has a frame at work to put them in.


Thanks for being great Dads, we love you!!!


bucket list

I've seen a few summer checklists around this year and I thought it would be fun to make our own.  I found this free printable Summer Bucket List from Funky Polkadot Giraffe and on Monday night we made our list.

Should be a fun summer!



It is so fun to watch Jilly develop her own little personality.  These are a few of the funny things she's done lately.

Last Sunday we were sitting in our pew waiting for church to start and Jilly stood up and started shouting "Wooo Wooo" and clapping.  Everyone around us was laughing.  Glad she likes church so much.

Jilly loves lipgloss.  She loves to wear it and, unfortunately, eat it (though I can't really blame her, this kind is delicious.)  I try to keep my purse up high but I don't always remember and whenever it's within her grasp she finds the lipgloss in .07 seconds.  Then she heads to her favorite little hiding place under the table to enjoy her indulgence.

When we ask Jilly where her mouth is she sticks out her tongue and points at it.

Jilly's love of shoes continues.  When someone in our house isn't wearing shoes she races to find a pair for them.  Her favorite shoes for me are the highest heels I own, thus I can often be seen in the morning wearing my pajamas and 4 inch heels.

We leave Jilly's sippy cup on the bottom shelf of the fridge so she can get it herself when she's thirsty.  She's taken it a step further and brings us the whole gallon of milk when her cup is empty.  Pretty sure her muscles are bigger than mine.


Baby, you're a firework

Last year on the 4th of July we were at the beach with my family.  There was a huge rainstorm that night so we didn't get to see any fireworks.  We were bummed, but it wasn't too much of a loss because we weren't sure how Jilly would feel about fireworks anyway.  But this year we are pretty psyched about seeing fireworks.

Bryan found an app on our kindle fire called Fireworks Arcade.  It is amazing.  We all sit and just stare at the fireworks on the screen.  It's made us even more excited for our real show in a few weeks.

image via


five on friday

1.  On Wednesday I got Jillian and myself dressed and then realized we were both wearing blue and white stripes- total accident.  She's my favorite girl to match.

2.  For a few months Jilly has been signing please.  Finally this week she started saying "peez" and it makes me want to give her anything she wants (almost.)

3.  We got a special treat in the mail this week.  Go Mitt!

4. 24?  I'm obsessed.  We usually watch one episode a night and I'm kind of embarrassed to say that I spend a great part of my day wondering how Jack will get out of his latest predicament.

5.  My sister and her husband just got home from Europe.  They sent us a cute shirt from Greece for Jilly and hobnobs for me (maybe for Bryan too, but don't tell him.)  Right now Katie and Neal have a secure hold on best aunt and uncle status.  To the rest of our siblings- we accept clothes, food, and ipads.



Last week we got to see some of our favorite friends.  On Thursday Jilly and I drove to San Jose to spend the day with Lisa and Blake.  We always love getting to see them!  Sadly, this is the only picture I got of the two crazy munchkins.

Then on Saturday the Clements came over.  Jilly gets so so excited to see Baby Afton, but I'm not sure Afton reciprocates the excitement yet.  When Afton is around Jilly believes there is no such thing as personal space.


Car Wash

On Saturday Bryan took pity on my dirt-encrusted car and gave it a bath.  Jilly put on her sunglasses and was ready to help.

Thanks Bry and Jilly!


My new friend

Meet my new friend Basil (very original name, I know.)

He just sits out on our grill (so he's protected from little fingers that like dirt and pulling leaves) and basks in the sun.  When I'm in need of something tasty he allows me to take a few of his leaves and then he grows some new ones!

Seriously, I'm loving this little basil plant.  I've made this, and there were no leftovers after the first night, I've made this for us, for some friends, and for a ward activity, and there's sure to be lots of bruschetta in our future.  What basil recipes do you love?


five on friday

1.  Jilly is way into dolls now.  I love to see how sweet and gentle she is when taking care of her babies.  The other day she was helping her baby learn to walk.

2.  I retired my diaper bag this week.  That bag was well-loved and well-used, but I was very ready for something smaller.  It just makes me sad that my girl's not a baby anymore!

3. Remember how I was reading 11/22/63?  Well, I finished!  Last Friday I was only about 1/3 of the way through so I had to buckle down and basically read all weekend.  I finished right on the day it was due and raced to the library- no fine for me!

4. In Sacramento May is Bike Month.  Bryan pledged to ride 300 miles and shattered his goal riding 377 miles this month.  He's so excited to get Jilly her first bike for her birthday so she can pledge some miles next May!

5.  When I picked up Jillian from nursery on Sunday they gave me this picture.  Since no one told me differently, I'm assuming my child is an artistic prodigy.  I just wish I knew why she didn't finish the right sleeve.