Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wifey Wednesday | My Baby is Five (and a half) Months!

Riley will be six months old in 10 days, so I figured I should give her monthly update.

My goodness, she is cute.

She is sweet. Above everything she is sweet. I hear that all the time. She still looks a lot like Jeff, but I like to think she is starting to resemble me, too. Maybe. What do you think?


Riley weighed in today at 15 pounds and 2 ounces. She is on her stomach most of the time, but she doesn't know how to flip back over. She scoots a little bit and can move about 3 feet in 15 minutes. :)

Well, that's about where things are at for us.
Good night!

Monday, September 28, 2015

#MedSchoolMonday | Our Next Step

Lately Jeff and I have been discussing where to move next year. A&M has different tracks in different cities for third and fourth year. We are trying to choose between Round Rock (Jeff's current track), Houston, Dallas, and Temple. Jeff will spend most of his time in the hospital.

Does anybody have a good word to put in for any of these cities? We have been to all of them and they all have good qualities. We have to decide by December, I believe and it depends on which tracks are available when we apply. Houston has the best medical center. Round Rock and Dallas would be cool places to live, in my opinion. Temple has a great hospital, has low cost of living, and is close to bigger cities. Decisions...

In my experience I have loved everywhere I have lived; I have made great friends and enjoyed my surroundings. I know that wherever we choose will have great qualities and good people. It's just tricky deciding.

Where would you live?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Reflections on the Women's Broadcast + a Baby Shower!


I guess I could say happy would-be-SaturDIY. I had a lot on my plate today and it just isn't happening. Sorry 'bout it.

Today I hosted a baby shower for my beautiful friend Amelia. It was loosely space themed. Here's  a little peek at the food and decor.

Tonight I also attended the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints General Women's Broadcast. If you missed it you can watch on It was so good! I loved this Elaine Cannon quote that was shared:

If you saw the broadcast I hope you loved it. :) My only wish is that I could have watched it with my lady relatives out west. 

Have a great night and consider this a rain check for that bow tutorial I promised this week. See you Monday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#WifeyWednesday | What I Love About Motherhood + Family Updates

Good morning!

I am excited to post about my favorite aspects of motherhood, but first I will talk a bit about this last weekend. This was the first Saturday Jeff didn't go to school this semester! I love Friday exams (as opposed to Monday exams) because we get to spend the whole weekend together.

This weekend we went swimming, got snow cones at Bahama Bucks (Snickerdoodle snow cone with cinnamon sugar. Ahhh), and had the sweetest date: we went grocery shopping together and got all the goods for a salmon, salad, and mashed potatoes dinner then we cooked together. However, Riley wasn't too into the romance and required nursery visits every 20 minutes or so. It is what it is. :)

I loved spending time with my family. They truly are the best.

On Sunday we taught the 11 and 12 year olds about feeding Christ's sheep. It was a great lesson with fantastic participation. I am astounded by the strong testimonies of those kids. I have to share; children will tell you exactly what they think. I had this exchange with two kids during sharing time on Sunday.

Boy: Sister Falco, I like your lipstick.
Me: Thank you.
Girl: I'm not the only one who likes your lipstick today I guess!
Me: Aw, thank you!
Boy: Sister Falco, you have a long nose. It's very pointy.
Me: I do have a long, pointy nose; just like Pinocchio.
Boy: [laughs]

Honesty, I tell ya.

Now comes the main purpose of this post: What I love most about being a mom.

I love a lot of things about motherhood; maybe that's because I have such a sweet, smiley baby. Seriously, today she was bubbling over with joy. I just sat in front of her she cracked up laughing. What a cutie!

That is something I love about motherhood. I love seeing a happy baby. I love learning what makes her react. Riley loves kisses. She loves when we come into the room. She smiles like crazy while she waits for us to get her out of her crib. She loves her morning routine (particularly getting her hair and gums brushed).

Another thing I love about motherhood is how tiny babies are. I adore miniature socks and dresses and skinny jeans. Even more I love the little baby inside them. I particularly love when she is in fuzzy "feety" PJs. Hands down my favorite outfits. I love watching her little feet. I love watching her watch her little feet. My goodness, babies are cute.

I am realizing how much I am gushing here. I'm a hardcore baby fanatic as you can see.

I love, love, LOVE smelling Riley's hair. Maybe it's because it smells like lavender or because it's soft and wispy, but it's the best. I refuse to think this is weird. Go find a baby and smell his or her hair. Or don't.

I love my baby's curiosity. Since she was born I have found her interest in the mundane so funny. Today she stared at her shadow, wanted to taste a door, smiled and "talked to" a novel blanket, and tried to grab Jeff's dinner. She is kind of all over the place, but she's discovering everything around her and I celebrate that.

These are just a few reasons why I love being a mom. It's a sweet gig.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments! Also, come back for Satur-DIY where I will be sharing a knotted baby bow tutorial.

If you missed my post 20 Dates for Medical School Students, it's calling your name. Go to it.

Have a good week!

Monday, September 21, 2015

#MedschoolMonday | 20 Date Ideas for Medical Students


I hope you are having a phenomenal week so far. Today I wanted to share some dating ideas for medical-school couples.
Sometimes we go all out. We commit time and resources to dates on special occasions, but we are poor and Jeff is busy, so this is a non-comprehensive list of fun, cheap dates that accommodate a second-year medical student's schedule:

Taken by Sami Jo at Sierra's wedding

1. Go get snow cones, ice cream, or smoothies
2. Watch a local sports game--this post comes to you from a middle school football game
3. Go for a walk
4. If your community has it, rent a puppy
5. Volunteer together
6. Read out loud--we love reading Harry Potter and the scriptures mostly
7. Play games
8. Double date with friends, neighbors, or other med students
9. Exercise or go to the recreation center
10. Cook together
11. Take sack lunches to the park
12. Create a time capsule adding memories of your life together--ours includes our wedding invitations, a mixed cd, written notes, ticket stubs from other dates, and pictures
13. Host love language olympics--figure out each other's love languages then see who can out-serve the other
14. Make a five-year plan then look at real estate in your planned hypothetical location
15. Check out local attractions
16. Mini golf
17. Attend school or church dances
18. Go on a bike ride
19. Go to a restaurant you've never tried
20. Go to the farmer's market

Now get on out there and continue your courtship, scholars.

Have a good week and come back for Wifey Wednesday (I will talk about this last weekend and what I love about motherhood) and Satur-DIY (I will show how to make bows like the one below)!

If you missed my last post, go check it out! I made a cutesy macaron (fancy, delicious, French cookie) tutorial.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

#SaturDIY | How to Make Macarons + Video

Happy SaturDIY!

A few months after my little brother arrived in France (he is serving a mission en Paris maintenant). I asked him what all the hype was with macarons (I'm an uncultured swine). He told me that macarons are delicious and that he had actually had one at the esteemed French bakery LadurĂ©e (the lucky fella).  

Well, my sister and I tried our hands at these and they are really temperamental. They are the hardest thing I've ever baked. Don't feel bad if it also takes you a literal 12 batches to get these babies right. My sister and I were committed to the task. 

If you're thinking, "Dang, who has the time for that?" I did when my main summer goal was to hang out with my sister and let my parents get to know my baby. 

Here you go! Sorry the music is a little intense, haha. Jeff started watching and he said he felt like he was watching the Lord of the Rings. It was the best I could do with royalty-free music this week. Let me know how these go for you and if you have any questions. Have a great rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WifeyWednesday | Just Some Thoughts + Updates

Hi there,

Nothing too exciting or new this week. We are doing well. Riley is finding her little, squeaky voice. Jeff is doing well in school and coming home with cool information everyday. I am finishing up Riley's nursery (only five months late, haha). Everyday I have been sewing, painting, [shopping at Michaels,] measuring, hammering, you get the idea. Pretty normal stuff for this family.

Honestly, I really didn't know what to write about today. There is not much to report other than we are doing well. We are happy.

I am going to go and enjoy my family tonight. :)

See you on Saturday!

Monday, September 14, 2015

#MedSchoolMonday | A Typical Day in the Life of a Falco

J E F F ' S  S C H E D U L E :

6 AM - Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready

7 AM - 11 AM - Study/lectures/required activities

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM - Lunch

11:15 AM - 5:30 PM - Study/lectures/required activities

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM - Eat dinner, spend time with wife and daughter

7:30 PM - 9:50 PM - Study if needed or just hang out

9:30 PM - 10:00 PM - Get ready for bed and go to sleep

Fridays are the same except we hang out more.

Saturdays Jeff studies from about 7 AM - 2 PM on average (variability depending on the week).


C L A I R E  +  R I L E Y ' S  S C H E D U L E :

8 AM - I wake up either naturally or because Riley is crying (in the latter scenario I go right in her room and feed her). Otherwise I eat breakfast, start getting ready or start going through my daily list until Riley wakes up.

Once Riley has been fed I start her routine;
Diaper change, give vitamin D supplement, brush gums, bath time, brush hair and change outfit.

9 AM - At this point Riley is ready for a morning nap.
While she sleeps, I continue getting ready and checking items off my list.

10 AM - This is playtime/time for errands. We listen to music, read books, play on her activity mat and with her toys. We talk a lot and I try to use some sign language where appropriate. This usually wipes her out within two hours. I feed her again and put her down for her second nap.

12 PM - I clean the house, sometimes start a crockpot dinner at this point, make phone calls, continue working on projects and my checklist. I get things done and let Riley sleep as long as she wants.

1-2 PM - We repeat playtime and time for errands again until it's time for her nap.

3:00-3:30 PM - Naptime/me time

4-5 PM - Riley plays by herself (read: cries while I scramble to get dinner ready). I usually put her in her Mamaroo or on her mat and hope she entertains herself.

6 PM - Jeff comes home from school (he stays on campus and studies after his classes end and on Saturdays he comes home around 3 PM). He plays with Riley and then holds her while we eat dinner (it's not a perfect system. I know).

6:25 PM - We get Riley ready for bed, read one book, sing one song, feed her once more and put her down at 7 PM.

7 PM (give or take) - Jeff studies and I craft, blog, go to the store, or work out (or we both stare at social media for 20 minutes, haha).

8 PM - Around this time we watch a movie, show, or football game or we hang out, talk, plan the week, plan our Sunday school lessons, or what have you.

9 PM - Jeff wants to get ready for bed; I am immersed in a project and say I want to get ready for bed (but don't really).

9:30 PM - Jeff asks if we can go to bed at 10 PM. I say yes, but keep doing my thing (this is my downfall).

9:45 PM - I clean up the kitchen and make Jeff a lunch then run around getting ready for bed trying to meet that 10 PM goal.

10:00 PM - I run in and we read scriptures and pray. Jeff goes to bed. I finish getting ready for bed, say my prayers, do 15 push ups and an ab routine (I've done this for months).

10:15 PM - I get in bed, read my scriptures/look at social media for too long then go to bed.

1-5 AM - Riley usually has one to two night wakings. I feed her and put her back down.

5 AM - Sometimes I go to the gym and/or make Jeff a lunch if I forgot the night before.

We start our day again.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

#Satur-DIY | Easy, No-sew Felt Baby Bow Tutorial

Hey guys!

Happy Saturday! We are currently skipping the local Czech festival. That is okay. I am under the impression that we are going swimming later. First I am here to share a special little video I put together. [Sigh] I love making videos.

Here you go! I have made five of these in the last couple days. They are super easy and they don't require any sewing materials--besides scissors.

I am excited to see if you try these out! Let me know in the comments. :)

PS - My baby is so flipping cute! I love documenting her, even if it's for a two-second crafting cameo.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

#WifeyWednesday | Our Story

In the spring of 2011 I wrote this in my journal:

"My name is Clarissa and I am disinterested in getting married until after graduation."

25 hours away, Jeff decided he wouldn't get married until he was 25.

We met about two weeks later.

This is a good place to start our story.

H O W  W E  M E T :

Jeff moved into a guys' apartment in my complex just 15 feet away from my front door. I saw him the day he moved in. He was wearing khaki shorts. He wears a lot  of khaki shorts. The first time we actually talked was at church. I said hi and apparently that did Jeff in.

He reports that he felt the spirit tell him he was going to marry me. He shrugged it off and moved right along (I'm realizing this would be better if we were both writing this because his perspective is different than mine). 

The impression kept coming to him for the following weeks. He would ponder about other items and I guess the prompting that I would be his wife just kept coming back. 

Meanwhile, I continued in the way of obnoxious, attention-hoarding college sophomore girls everywhere; I dated a lot of people and was horridly lacking in self-awareness. I also talked really loud, talked in thilly voitheth all the time, and took up the viola for the first time in my life, so add screechy string instrument to the imagery. 

One day I was asked by my Family Home Evening leader to ask the guys in Jeff's apartment to make a dessert for FHE that night. I headed over and felt like Jeff would answer the door and that something significant would happen.

Sure enough, Jeff was standing there in the doorway so I said, "CanyoumakeadessertforFHEokaybye!" 

Jeff said yes and as I was walking away asked if he could have my phone number. I gave it and chalk the event up as significant to this day. :)

A little while later, I was doing my oblivious thing and "shooting Gatorade commercials" (dumping water on my face) in front of his apartment; simultaneously inviting friends over for night games. 

Jeff was standing a little way's off talking on the phone (I found out later that he was talking about me and buoying up the courage to ask me out). I approached him and asked if he wanted to come over to play games and instead walked away with the plan to go on a walk together. 180. Wow.

T H E  W A L K :

As we left for our walk (which was the first of many walks to come) I felt led to not expect romance, to be as honest as I've ever been with anyone, and to get to know Jeff. We skipped all the small talk and jumped right in to the steak and potatoes of get-to-know-yous; 

"Who do you look up to most in your life?"
"What are your core values?"

I asked him a lot of questions and told him everything I could about myself. I shared my struggles and what I wanted out of life and blah, blah, blah. At this point, Jeff told me what was up, kind of.

He told me how he felt he was suppose to let me into his life for some reason, but he only wanted to do that if I was really trustworthy. He told me that all my sharing did that for him. I was attracted to him so I thought, "Alright. Crushed it." 

I had no inkling that he thought we were going to get married though. Good thing he left that tidbit out the first time we hung out. I thought he needed to confess something to the bishop and needed moral support or something. Truly. Clueless Clarissa. 

However, when I sat on my bed that night after our walk together, the spirit hit me like a ton of bricks. It said, "If you two got married you would be very happy." I thought, "Woah, I don't even know if that was a date. I'll log that away and I will never tell Jeff."

D A T I N G :

Jeff and I were both secretly harboring these impressions and went on walks together everyday. We sat at parks and random lawns and just talked. We did this for about a month. I knew that the end was inevitable so we took things really slow. I even had him go on a date with my best friend in the budding stage of our relationship. 

We both knew we were suppose to get married and we wanted to get married. Jeff had every single quality I hoped to find in a spouse. No joke. Every. Single. One.

We dated for about six months and then came Christmas Eve 2011.

T H E  P R O P O S A L :

Jeff took me to his family Christmas party and we planned to go to Temple Square afterwards to see the lights.

When we arrived in downtown Salt Lake his family called Jeff and told him that his dad was sick and they would not be joining us. Jeff asked me if I'd still like to walk around Temple Square and I said yes. 

Just a random picture of us at Temple Square--Not the night he proposed. I'm a great blogger, haha.
We ended up going on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the snowy city. I thought that was very romantic and spontaneous of Jeff to suggest. We got to the gates of Memory Grove and the driver named Crystal turned to us and said she didn't realize how close it was to 9 o'clock and she would have to drop us off there. 

I knew something was up because Crystal was going to ride right back to Temple Square; so, I went along with it. I was like, "Okay, thanks!" and got out. Haha.

Jeff asked if I wanted to walk around and I said sure. We would walk and then he would stop and check his phone. I kept thinking, "Is he going to propose here?" He was coordinating with his family, but I had no idea. He actually stopped in front of this tiny Highland High School dedication plaque and I was pretty sure he was going to get on one knee right there. 

Thankfully he held out and we walked down this beautiful trail and reflected the time we had been dating. We both expressed how happy we were and how much we cared about each other and other such sentiments. I started to see little, twinkly lights in the distance and as I got closer I realized Jeff (and his family) had set all these little candles around a little white Christmas tree. He asked me to sit on a bench and pulled out a box with a ribbon. 

He had me open the gift and he pulled out a ring box and got on one knee. He opened the ring box to reveal my exact dream ring; a six-pronged, round cut little beauty on a super skinny white gold band. 

I said yes, put that puppy on, and never looked back.

Oh, and he filmed the whole thing. Brava!

M A W W I A G E :

We were married in the Salt Lake Temple May 23, 2012. It was a Wednesday. We had an open house at the Lion House the day before and a reception that night at the Ivy House. Everything went without a hitch and it was so fun!

We honeymooned in Hawaii, but here's the coolest part. Jeff tricked me into thinking we were going to San Diego until we got to the airport! That Jeff is pretty darn slick. 

T O D A Y :

We have been married for three years. After three moves, two degrees, and a baby, we have grown a lot. I am so extremely lucky to be married to Jeff. I have never met anyone so hard-working, Christlike, humble, and committed to doing the right things for the right reasons. It was definitely the best decision I've ever made.

Here is to many more. You go, Jeff Falco!

Monday, September 7, 2015

#MedSchoolMonday | Expectations vs. Reality

Hey! I thought I would share my medical school expectations vs. reality. Mind you, this is my husband's second year of medical school. Things could change in the future and I always plan for the worst, as you are about to see, haha.

E X P E C T A T I O N S :

Jeff would always be busy; I.e., we'd never see each other again until, like, 2027.

Although it's not how he'd want it, Jeff would miss date nights, holidays, and activities.

Jeff would never have the time to help with chores, meals, kids, etc.

We would be very sad and lonely; akin to wandering through the wilderness.

My husband's success would depend on how supportive I am.

We would slowly drift away, living different lives, becoming strangers, and wanting to die.

R E A L I T Y :

We have a date night every week and hang out for more than an hour almost every night. 

We went to all our church parties last year (and Jeff even helped me plan, set up for, and execute a Christmas party for our whole church). 

The only time we missed a party we wanted to go to was when I had Riley, so, my fault.

My husband is basically always willing and available to help when I need him. I try to support him as much as I can, but he volunteers to change diapers, prepare meals, clean up, as well as encourages me to take long naps. What a guy.

Jeff does study a lot; basically all the live long day (if you count Quizlet flashcards on his phone). I entertain myself A LOT. I don't even mind that I put that in all caps because it's so true. Here's how I do it.

Our relationship has really ripened since school started. You can read about that here.

Jeff is a scholastically self-sufficient guy, but he says it helps when I pack him a lunch and do the laundry. 

While we spend our time doing very different things, I learn a lot about the human body and Jeff's life. I am involved and we are even planning service we can do together this year.

In the last year we have made separate trips to Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Louisiana, Utah twice, Yellow Stone, and Jackson Hole. Twice. Not sure how that happened, but I can't complain.

We share quite a few friends. Many of them are medical students, too. We actually hang out with these people! Regularly.

Life is good. We do not want to die.
White Coat Ceremony 2014 
What about you, med school wives? Add your voice in the comments below.

Also, check in on Wifey Wednesday (sharing our story) and Satur-DIY (sharing a baby bow tutorial video)! Have a post suggestion? Put it in the comments. I am curious to see what y'all would want to see on this here blog. 

Happy Labor Day! 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

#SaturDIY | 4 Clean Freezer Meals!

Happy Satur-DIY!

This week's post comes to you sitting on my floor with a baby in my lap. I will share four quick, easy, clean freezer meals I put together this week. They are Latin Lasagna, Spinach-Artichoke Chicken, Turkey Sweet potato chili, and Turkey taco soup.

To prepare these meals, put the whole bag of frozen chicken in a crockpot with salt, pepper, and a few drizzles of olive oil. I cook on high until cooked through. Remove fat and shred half the chicken (this can be done quickly by using a hand mixer).

Brown the ground turkey with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and salt and pepper. Drain fat (not in the sink).

Open up nine freezer bags and lay out three 7x7 pans (I bought mine at the dollar store).  

L A T I N  L A S A G N A

This is basically a casserole. First prepare the mixture; combine 2 teaspoon cumin, 1-3 teaspoons Tajin seasoning depending on how spicy you want it, 1 teaspoon Oregano, 1 can of black beans,  2 cans of diced tomatoes, shredded chicken and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Lay down enough corn tortillas to cover the bottom of each pan. pour about a cup of the combined items on top of the corn tortillas and spread evenly. Pour 1/2 cup of corn evenly over the combined items. Cover the first layer in corn tortillas. 

Repeat the process three times in all three pans, ending with the combined items.

Cover securely with lids or tin foil. On the lids or tin foil write

Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes or until cooked through and crispy on top. Serves 4.

S P I N A C H - A R T I C H O K E  C H I C K E N

Divide remaining chicken (not shredded) into three freezer bags. Add drained artichokes, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cups of spinach, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, and 1 cup of diced tomatoes to each bag. 

This can be cooked in a pan on the stove or baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until hot in the oven. It is best served hot over pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste.

T A C O  T U R K E Y  S O U P

Divide half the portion of turkey into three freezer bags. Add 3 cups of chicken broth, 1 can of hominy, 1 can of tomatoes, 1 can of Great Northern Beans, 1 cup of corn, 1 teaspoon Tajin, 1 teaspoon Cumin, 1 teaspoon Oregano, and the juice of 1 lime to each bag.

Either cook in a crockpot or pot until cooked through. Add cilantro, avocado, and lime when serving.

T U R K E Y  +  S W E E T  P O T A T O  C H I L I

Divide half the portion of turkey into three freezer bags. Add 3 cups of chicken broth, 1 can of hominy, 1 can of tomatoes, 1 can of black beans, 1 cup of corn, 1/3 of a diced sweet potato, 1 teaspoon Tajin, 1 teaspoon Cumin, 1 teaspoon Oregano and the juice of 1 lime to each bag.

Either cook in a crockpot or pot until cooked through. Add cilantro, avocado, and lime when serving.


Happy cooking everyone! Freezer meals just really simplify life. I hope these meals serve your family as well as they have served mine. All in all, a couple hours of cooking result in 12 healthy meals (I had to stop there because we ran out of room). :)

Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

#WifeyWednesday | Thank You!

Hello cyber world,

I'm here to say thank you for a blogging award nomination! I was nominated for the Brotherhood of the World Blogger's Award by the wonderful Life of Liss. Definitely go check out her blog today! She writes about her chic perspective on a country life and her blog is seriously to die for. Thank you so much!

Here is how the nomination works:

  • Thank and link the blogger who nominated you
  • List the rules and display the badges on your blog
  • Answer the questions sent to you
  • Nominate other bloggers and notify them
  • Create questions for your nominees
  1. Why did you begin blogging? I wanted to create a place to share helpful information for future med students' wives and lots of pictures and anecdotes of every-day life for friends, family, and followers. 
  2. How has your blog changed since you first created it? I've changed the design three times in a year, and I've become more consistent in posting and content (but that's only recently). I've declared more of a niche.
  3. What do you enjoy most about the blogging experience? I love meeting people! I have made some great friends via blogging and it's kind of amazing! 
  4. What has been the hardest part of the blogging experience for you? Honestly, sharing how I feel. I can post pictures all day long (and do just that), but I have plenty of saved drafts with lots of feeling and opinions and I tend to keep those to myself. Working on that.
  5. What are three things your followers wouldn’t know about you? 1. I use to do a lot of improv comedy and love it (I know that I don't seem like the funny type) 2. I went to 20 schools by the time I graduated with my bachelor's degree. 3. I would give anything to be able to do an on point Celine Dion impersonation. 
  6. What is your favorite blog topic? Crafting/Mormon supermoms like Love Taza, Something Devine, Merrick's Art, and Hailey Josephine. ;)
  7. What is the best opportunity you have been given since beginning your blog? ...Some affiliate opportunities, but I haven't had any affiliate links on the blog.
  8. Is there anything you regret about your blogging experience? Yes! I picked a finite blog name. Medical school will only be a part of Jeff's life for three more years hopefully. I go back and forth all the time on changing the name. Any thoughts? 
  9. Where do you see your blog in 5 years? Hopefully still afloat as I manage three kids and a husband in residency, haha.
  10. Whats your favorite cheese? Queso fresco. Hands down.
I nominate:

My questions:
1. Why do you blog?
2. If you were given an extra $200 how would you want to spend it?
3. What is your favorite food?
4. Where do you see your blog in five years?
5. What lessons have you learned through your blogging experience?
6. What are your current three favorite blogs?
7. What secret skills do you have?
8. If you could live anywhere for a year where would it be?
9. What goals do you currently have?
10. What is your favorite holiday?

Thank you for reading everyone! Have a great day!

Monday, August 31, 2015

#MedSchoolMonday | How to Stay Close to your Med Student Spouse

Welcome back to Med School Monday! 

Last week I posted an interview with my husband about the second week of medical school. Feel free to go read it. Jeff's so cute and humble about his hard work. This week I wanted to share some tips for how to stay close to your medical student spouse.

When I think back to summer 2014 a few anxieties spring to mind. I was so worried. I listened to doctor-wife veterans about the doomed fate of my marriage; how I would never see my husband; how he would never have time for his family. I was terrified.

Jeff heard at one point that becoming a doctor; I.e., going through med school, residency, fellowship, etc. can make or break a relationship. We resolved to let becoming a doctor make our relationship. While that goal was established before he even took the MCAT, we are closer now than ever. We truly are! Because of this, I want to share four fundamentals that are helping this couple out, but first a gentle disclaimer:

This post is not to discount legitimate and sad testimonials. I am a part of a few doctor's wife groups and I see some pretty discouraging posts every day. I believe that we will have many hard years ahead and the struggles may continue even once Jeff is a doctor. Additionally, my husband and I are equally engaged in giving our marriage everything we've got. My husband is amazing and that makes all the difference.

1. M A K E  Y O U R  S P O U S E ' S  N E E D S  A  P R I O R I T Y

I love talking. I could talk all day. I especially love talking to Jeff. He is the Calvin Coolidge type and I speak enough for three of us. This is something worth sacrificing, and believe you me when I say that's a struggle.

I know that my husband needs undistracted study time every day (probably why he spends so much time on campus). I make this a priority. I do my best to distract myself so I don't lay on our bed and tell him everything going on in my head.

My husband also appreciates an early bedtime. I don't. I like staying up. Nevertheless, I try to make sure he at least goes to bed by 10:30 instead of talking and keeping him up.

Sometimes Jeff has an upcoming test and this means we need to forgo something I want to do. That is okay. These are all okay! It's like I'm investing in our relationship by showing that I see and respect my husband's needs.

2.  L E A R N  Y O U R  S P O U S E ' S  L O V E  L A N G U A G E S

Have you read Gary Chapman's the Five Love Languages? Okay, that is your first place to start, my friend. When I was in my Family Studies classes at BYU we talked about the five love languages at least once in all the core classes. This is my starting point for improving all my relationships, but especially in our marriage.

Let me lay out our experience with this book:

Jeff ranks Acts of Service towards the top of his love languages. Words of Affirmation is further down his list. This is inverted for me. I love receiving genuine sentiments of appreciation and affection. Jeff loves when I do the dishes for him. Conversely, when I compliment Jeff he feels like I am buttering him up and when Jeff serves me I feel like he's picking up slack. We both feel uncomfortable in those situations, even though we are both treating each other the way we most want to be treated.

Knowing this about each other helps us streamline our relationship. I can show him exactly how I feel by cooking dinner, cleaning the house, and doing the laundry. That's just my husband though. What is your spouse's love language? Share them in the comments!

PS - You can take the love language test free here.

3.  G I V E  1 0 0  P E R C E N T

I read in a doctor wife forum the other day that 50-50 is what you give in a divorce and 100 percent is what you have to give in a medical school marriage.

Everyone's 100 percent varies in appearance. The key is to give your marriage everything you've got. If that means working, great. I have a degree that yield entry-level jobs a plenty, so my 100 percent takes place at home. I make sure Jeff's needs are met and exceeded where possible. I am not perfect, but I do give my best every day.

Jeff gives 100 percent, too; he does everything he can now so he can have a family-friendly lifestyle later. In addition to his scholastic efforts (he was first in his class last year), he makes time for our family, takes me on dates, and makes sure I feel appreciated.

I don't expect reciprocation. My husband does reciprocate, but I try not to expect anything. That is service. I take responsibility for my own happiness and meet my own needs so I don't expect my husband to. I posted about that a little while back, if you want to read about that. This leads to my final principle:

4.  B E  G R A T E F U L  +  S E T  L O W  E X P E C T A T I O N S

Gratitude and low expectations are key to a happy marriage. Simply don't expect anything. Low expectations often means exceeded expectations. This can sometimes be a bit of a mind game; yes, you can feel entitled to some elements in a marriage, but pretend like you aren't entitled to anything.

When I do this, I find myself thinking, "Wow! He didn't have to do that." It makes me feel grateful for what I have instead of mourning what I don't have.

Here's an anecdote: I love to dance. Jeff doesn't. I use to coerce him into taking me to dances and such. Recently we were talking about this and our conversation went like this:

Me: I always felt a little empty once I would get you to dance with me because I knew you hated it.
Jeff:  (Jokingly) Yeah, that's because it was unrighteous dominion.

Once I lowered my expectations I became much more aware of the sweet things Jeff was already doing for me.

I N  S U M

Maintaining a happy relationship takes some intention. Through making your spouse's needs a priority, applying the five love languages, giving 100 percent, and being grateful/setting low expectations, your spouse will sense your care and appreciation for him/her.

In our case, our marriage has grown stronger in medical school than at any other time (in four years) by applying these guidelines. I love my husband, but more importantly he knows that I love him. Because we serve each other we look forward to being around each other.

PS - If you missed last week's posts, go check them out! I shared an interview with my husband, some family updates and a printable, and a wearable blanket for baby tutorial!

Have a great week.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

#Satur-DIY | Sew Your own Sleep Sack!


I am very excited about this the very first #Satur-DIY! Today I am sharing a tutorial on how to make your own baby sleep sack, or wearable blanket.

Riley can now roll over so I can't swaddle her anymore. I knew it was time to find a swaddle alternative for naps and bedtime. Enter the sleep sack. It fits the bill perfectly. Safe and warm. Here's how I made mine.

S T E P  O N E :  C R E A T E   T H E   P A T T E R N 

To draft your pattern grab three pieces of paper. On the first piece, trace the armholes and bodice of a loose-fitting onesie. On the second piece continue tracing where your first line ended and grade at an angle (see image below). For the third paper, decide how long you want the sack to be and trace to that point, rounding the corner. Mine is about 25 inches long and my baby is about 24 inches long. 

Tape your three papers together top to bottom and cut along your traced edge. The straight side of your paper (the left side in the image below) is where you will cut on the fold of the fabric.

Sorry I didn't take better pictures to explain this part, but you can get the gist I think. Let me know if you have questions, of course.

S T E P  T W O :  C U T  T H E  F A B R I C 
Fold your fabric once under your pattern, pin, and cut. I recommend using a rotary cutter and self-healing mat if those are available for use. 

Cut, cut, cut. 
Set this piece aside. This is the back of the sleep sack.

Before cutting the front piece, fold your fabric over once again and this time align the fold-edge side of your pattern a little bit (I did one inch, but recommend less than that) away from the fold of the fabric, as shown below (or less than an inch as long as it is very even and you remember the distance from the pattern). 

Pin and cut out the front piece.

Your two cut pieces should look like so:

S T E P  T H R E E :  I N S E R T  T H E  Z I P P E R

Fold the front piece in half right sides together and sew a straight line from top to bottom. Use whatever seam allowance corresponds with the distance you chose earlier (One inch in my case).

When opened up and right side facing out, your front piece should look like this:

Flip the front piece over and cut your fabric in half. Optional: you can cut your front piece in half, finish the inside edges, and then sew right sides together along the straight edge. 

Once cut, press this seam open. Lay your front piece out right side down and lay your zipper face down on the seam. Match up the zipper teeth and center of the seam as perfectly as you can. This is the key to a properly aligned zipper.

Baste the zipper in place. 

You are ready to sew the zipper. Pull out your zipper foot. 

Sew the zipper in place working down one side, pivoting and sewing across the bottom, and sewing up the other side. Still haven't figured out the best way to do this. Let me know if you have any tips!

Pull out your basting stitches.

Flip the front piece over and open up your first seam with a seam ripper. There is your perfect, little zipper!

S T E P  F O U R :  S E W  S H O U L D E R S  +  S I D E S   

Put your front and back pieces right sides together and pin in place.

Sew the shoulders and around the sides leaving the neck and armholes open.

S T E P  F I V E :  B I N D  A R M H O L E S  +  N E C K L I N E

I kind of just got on a roll while watching a couple episodes of New Girl at this point and took zero pictures of the process. My apologies. :) So here are a few links for binding armholes and necklines.



Tada! You are {this close} to finishing!

Your sleep sack still needs a tab (and a snap, which will not appear in this tutorial, because I forgot to buy one).

S T E P  S I X :  M A K E  A  T A B  

For the final step, sew two piece of fabric right sides together and sew a little curve.

So cute. It looks like a ghost. I took about three minutes to wear it on my finger.
Flip the tab inside out and attach it about where the zipper starts (and in my case, where you want to hide some sloppy technique). 

Flip your tab to the opposite side and top-stitch.

Add a snap and you are done!

Here is the finished product and a baby model to boot!

Any questions? Holla at me if you try this out or if you have any suggestions for future posts! What did you do to celebrate Satur-DIY?