The easiest skirt ever

Since Jilly wouldn't wear her Red Riding Hood cloak (I realize I've now mentioned this approximately 15 times, I'm not bitter or anything) I knew she needed something red to wear for Halloween.  So I came up with this skirt, and it was the easiest, fastest, most gratifying sewing project I've ever done.

I started with a shirt that came as a pajama set but I didn't really ever wear it so it had found a home in my giveaway/think of some way to use pile.  I cut it off right below the buttons, but with a different shirt you'd just need to measure how long you want your skirt to be and add 2.5 inches for the waistband.

 Fold under the top edge about 1/4 inch and press.
Fold over the top about 1 1/4 inch- enough for your elastic plus a little extra
Pinny pin pin pin. You perhaps are a more confident seamstress and don't need as many pins as I do, but I pin the heck out of everything I do.  
 Sew the casing.  Be sure to leave about a two inch opening to pull the elastic through.  Some tricks I have found to be helpful-
 1. Sew on the front of the skirt so it will look straight, 2. Wrap a rubber band around your sewing machine to use as a guide again so your seams will be straight
 Use a safety pin to pull your elastic through the casing.  Try it on your little person to make sure it fits then sew the ends together.
 Turn out the extra edges and sew them flat (I hope the pictures makes more sense than my explanation)
 Stretch out the fabric on your opening, pin, and sew it up (on the front of the skirt again)
 Spread out the gathers and you are done!  Easy, peasy right?  It took more time to write this tutorial than to make the skirt. 
Maybe, just maybe, you'll get to see a picture of Jilly in her costume tomorrow.  I'm digging around for every form of bribery that could possibly be used.  But, please don't hold your breath.


Halloween Fail

Some weekends are really great (like this one, this one, or this one.)   And then there are weekends that are kind of a flop.  This weekend was the latter.

On Friday we decided to go to Folsom's Night of 1,000 Pumpkins.  They encourage people to bring pumpkins and line the street in hopes of getting 1,000.  The moment we arrived we noticed something about every single child except for Jilly- they all had on costumes.  We hadn't realized that you could trick or treat at all the stores.  We took Jilly in a few stores but due to her lack of a costume and her refusal to say "trick or treat" (even though Bryan had been practicing with her for weeks) we gave up pretty quickly.  We did get to watch "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" on a big screen outside, so that was fun.

On Saturday afternoon we had our pictures taken.  Jilly was being extremely difficult, but hopefully we got some good ones.  Meanwhile, I majorly failed on time management for the day.  For some reason, I thought pictures would take much less time and I had a whole list of things to get ready before our Trunk or Treat party at church at 6.  Well, we got home from pictures at 5:50, threw our costumes on and our candy in the car and left.

Jilly was a grouchy grouch grouch and wouldn't wear her costume (of course.)  Nor would she even look at or talk to anyone.  She was so exhausted from the days' activities, she just wanted me to hold her the whole night.  Bryan's costume looked good, but could have looked better if we'd had more time to get ready, and mine was just thrown together.  We didn't even get a picture.

But, before I declare the night a complete failure note that we did eat delicious chili, did get to see lots of friends, and ended up with candy at the end so not all was a waste.  But this does solidify Halloween's status as not my favorite holiday.


friday five

1.  On Tuesday Jilly woke up early from her nap because she lost her pacifier.  I could tell she was still tired so I brought her to lay on my bed with me while I read.  1.5 hours later we both woke up from a lovely nap.

2.  Bryan sent this to me this week and it was the funniest- and truest- thing I read all week.

3.  We've been working on saying prayers with Jilly.  This how it goes- Me: "Thanks for our food"  J: "Food, Amen!!!"  Me: Thanks for our family J: "Family, Amen!!!"  Me: "Thanks for our friends" J: "Friends, Amen!!!" etc.  All "Amens!!!" are accompanied by an exuberant raising of her arms.  I'm glad she inherited some of my southern roots.

4.  Poor Jilly had a rough week.  On Wednesday she got a yucky, yucky stomach bug that was no fun at all.  On Thursday she was back to her healthy, perky self but as we were leaving JoAnns she got her fingers slammed in the car door.  Poor baby, but I think she secretly liked that she could show me her owie every 5 minutes and get kisses.
my sick girl sleeping on the couch

5.  We're getting family pictures taken tomorrow and considering we haven't had family pictures taken since Jilly was a newborn I think it is well overdue!



This past weekend we went to another pumpkin patch, this time with Bryan's family.  The little girls were in heaven with all the animals and fun things to do.

 That feisty sheep bit the bow right off Kirra's head!  He tried to chew the bow, but it wasn't so tasty so he spit it out on the ground (you can see the bow right below his ear.)  
 First pony ride- we were afraid she would get nervous and not stay on, but oh were we wrong.  She's a natural cowgirl.

 We drove back to Bryan's parents house and the girlies napped, the moms cooked, and the dads played (isn't that how it always goes...)  Then it was party time!  Apparently we're the lame ones in the family because all of Bryan's siblings had cute costumes and ours were lackluster at best (and Jilly still refuses to wear hers.)

 We played a funny game where the guys put on shower caps then we sprayed shaving cream all over their heads and threw cheese balls at them.  I love how excited Trevor is.
And the mummy game
 And then we ate and ate and ate.  Homemade corndogs, donuts, yummy dips, salad, beans, and I made this fun spidery 7 layer dip.  I'd say a successful Halloween party.


Monday, Monday

Yesterday I woke up to a dark and rainy day.  I was thrilled.  We hadn't had a day of rain since May and I was more than ready for some moisture.  But I was not ready for the disaster my morning became.

Freddy arrived, and this was obviously a stay at home and play day so I decided to make play dough.  As I stirred away and congratulated myself for being such a cool mom, Jilly sat on the floor with a pen scribbling all over her brand new outfit.  Yeah, not so cool.

I finished the play dough and managed to get blue food coloring all over my sleeve.  I got the kids all set up with play dough and cookie cutters.  The little stinkers played for all of 2 minutes and were then done with my play dough.  I was annoyed to say the least, but I got them down and started the cleanup process.  Let me explain it this way-

time kids played with play dough < time it took to make play dough < time it took to clean up play dough

luckily I got a picture during those 2 minutes

After the play dough debacle I decided I deserved a delicious bagel smothered in butter.  I tried to hide in the kitchen but Jilly and Freddy struck again.  "I wanna bite peez peez peez peez peez"  I desperately tried to convince them that graham crackers were tastier than my buttery bagel but no luck.

So I gave up and we watched movies the rest of the day...


Pumpkin Recipe #3

Last week we were Boo'd so it was our turn to spread the fun and secretly take treats to someone else.  I made cookies and copies of the note and we waited til dark then headed out on our secret mission.  When we got to the house Bryan informed me that I was going to be the runner.  I tried to protest- I had already done my part by making the cookies, he was a faster runner, etc.  But he was adamant.  And, scared as I was, it was kind of exciting to ring and dash back to my getaway car.

These are the cookies I made to deliver to our friends.  While these are Bryan's favorite pumpkin cookie, I need a little chocolate in mine.  I've had these many times before, but didn't have a recipe on hand so I had to take a chance and look one up.  Success- they were delicious.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe found here

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp milk
1 tbl vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg.

2. In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

3. Dissolve baking soda with the milk and stir in. (This step didn't make any sense to me, but I still did it. Any ideas why you dissolve the baking soda?)

4. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.

5.  Add vanilla and chocolate chips.

6. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.


five fact friday

1.  This week I switched out my summer clothes for my fall/winter ones and in the process made a nice pile of clothes to get rid of.  Jilly had fun playing dress up with the rejects and with this hat she found in her room.

2.  On Tuesday I had a meeting so Bryan and Jilly went off on an adventure together.  He rolled down her window and she absolutely loved it.  He said she never stopped laughing until they had to stop at a light and she said, "I want more!  I want more!"

3. At the library this week Jilly found her own cookbook to read- Sesame Street "B" is for Baking.  

4. This is what our computer looked like Sunday morning.  Jilly was watching Felix Baumgartner and the world's highest skydive while Bryan was captivated with Barbie Island Princess.

5. This Saturday is the annual Martinez family Halloween party which I look forward to all year for one thing- homemade corndogs.  Can't wait.


Pumpkin Picking

On Saturday we went to a nearby pumpkin patch.  We started out with the Kids Corn Maze- Jilly loved  running through the paths.
Until she got a little stuck and this nice boy said he'd help her find the end.
 Next up was the corn box- a brilliant addition to the pumpkin patch this year.
 Then the hayride and a family picture with the scarecrows.
 Searching for the perfect pumpkin
 Found it!
 Our little pumpkin family
 We went out for dinner to celebrate our pumpkin success.  Jilly and Bryan fought over the milkshake- guess we'll have to get 2 next time.
 The sign of a delicious milkshake
 It's become a family tradition for us to go to this pumpkin patch (and it's definitely getting better each year.)  Last year  Jilly was a brand new walker and it was fun to see her toddle around the place.  And the previous year I was enormously pregnant and we went in the pouring rain.


Pumpkin Recipe #2

Bryan's mom made this cake last Sunday when we were visiting and it was so delicious that when we were asked to bring a dessert to a party at church it took all of 1.4 seconds to decide to make it again.  It's a bundt cake, and just like my favorite birthday cake it's utterly moist and irresistible- must be the sour cream.

Pumpkin Marble Cake

1 cup pumpkin
1 tbl cinnamon
1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine pumpkin and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.  Mix remaining ingredients until well blended.  Add half of cake mix to pumpkin mix and stir well.  Coat bundt pan well with spray.  Alternately add two batters, swirling a couple times when done to get marble effect.  Bake 30 to 40 minutes.  Let cool completely before flipping over.  Frost with thinned cream cheese frosting, powdered sugar, or leave plain and serve with cool whip.

*Note- I completely failed at the whole "marble" part of the cake.  I think I swirled too much so it all just blended together- still delicious but not as pretty as intended.  We got over it pretty quickly.


Five on Friday

1. This week I started watching a little boy named Freddy on Mondays and Fridays.  He's just a few months older than Jillian and super sweet.  It has been an excellent exercise in sharing for Jilly, and preparation for me to one day have 2 children (luckily they nap at the same time- bless them.)

2.  Bryan has been gone for most of this week, but luckily I've had Parenthood, Lark Rise to Candleford, Flavia, and some wonderful real friends to keep me company.

3.  I made this homemade syrup for chocolate milk a couple weeks ago and at first it was a very different taste than I was used to, but now I looove indulging in a cool glass of chocolate milk once Jilly has gone to bed.

4.  We bought our plane tickets for Christmas in Virginia this year!!

5.  Fall is finally here and we are basking in the cool weather and crunchy leaves.


Our Weekend

Early Friday morning we dropped off Miss Jilly at her Nana and Papa's to be spoiled for a few days
 And we headed off to spoil ourselves.  First stop- Carmel Beach.   We walked along the beach for a bit
 Then I settled in with this lovely view while Bryan played in the water
 We checked into our hotel which had a boardwalk that went straight out to the beach so we got to see this

 Then we drove back to Carmel to eat the most delicious meal of our lives.  Bryan informed me that we are old and boring because we always go out to eat early so we made sure on this occasion to eat late with the cool kids.  On our way back to the hotel we stopped for a treat (Rocky Road for me, Phish Food for Bryan)
 After sleeping in and eating a yummy breakfast we biked through Monterey.  No pictures because I look totally ridiculous on a bike (there may or may not have been an incident involving me, my bike, a bush, and lots of watching strangers.)  But it was gorgeous and so fun to ride along the coast.
 Then it was back to the beach- the water for Bryan and a nap for me (I was taking full advantage of my childless time.)  And then we headed home so we could squeeze little Jilly before she went to bed.
 We spent Sunday eating up Jilly, General Conference, and cinnamon rolls.