Friday, August 31, 2007

Summer Love

We have a little water slide we picked up at WalMart a couple years ago, and every summer the kids have a blast with it. Even Chloe (the dog) loves watching the kids slide down. That dog would die of heat stroke before she would leave the kids while they are playing. When winter gets chilly and long, I look at the water slide pictures quite frequently.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Inspiration Friday - Wrapping Gifts

For Inspiration Friday, I will do a little post on wrapping gifts. I recently gave a birthday gift to my neighbor, and I loved how the wrapping turned out so I thought I would show you. I got this cute robin's egg blue bag a while back while shopping at The Cottage Gals, and I had to save it because I knew it would make great gift wrapping some day. Then, last week I was in Joann Fabrics, and they had a display with an entire alphabet of silver glitter letters! I had to control myself and realized that if I bought enough to spell my name, I would be spending too much money (They cost $1 each). So I bought one for my friend's gift (her name happens to be Heather), and I bought "F" "U" "N" for my scrap room. Instead of just stuffing the gift with tissue paper, I jammed my tissue paper through my paper shredder and it was a nice little improvement.

Which leads me to this picture. I downloaded this from someone's blog for future wrapping inspiration, and now I can't remember where I got it. I will diligently look through my blog roll to find the source, so I can give credit where credit is due. ***update: the photo is from Kathy's Cottage. Anyway, instead of using tissue paper, she used cellophane wrap inside the gift instead of outside. I think it really looks great.

I love the blue bag so much, I am thinking about buying a box or a case from an on-line paper seller. I'm not really into going to Target and spending $10 to wrap one gift. I think the prices of greeting cards, wrapping paper and ribbon are a complete rip-off these days. So I am always looking for different ways to wrap things up. Rhoda at Southern Hospitality recently did a post on a great gift wrapping book. I like to keep butcher paper and a blue and a purple/pink paper as a basic wrapping paper and decorate with nice ribbon and something special. This is how I store the paper.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

We Love This Game

We love to play games with our kids. It is a fun way to spend time with them without losing our minds playing Barbie or Hotwheels. Ruckus is one of our favs. This game is fast, and can be played by a pretty wide range of ages. My youngest child is 5, and my oldest is 11, and all 3 kids (and both adults) have a great time playing. Ruckus would be a great game to add to your game room, take on vacation, or give as a gift.

Each person gets 7 cards (the cards all have pictures on them). If you get a match or more than one of the same picture, you put a pile down. Then play starts and anyone can steal another person's pile as long as they have a card with the same picture as that of the pile. If play slows down and no one can steal, the dealer gives each player another card and things pick up again. When a person has 1 card left, they throw it down (or steal a pile) and say "out." You get points for the cards in your piles and deduct points for what is left in your hand. Play continues until you reach a certain amount of points, like 50. It is fast and crazy, and a lot of fun. You can get it here.

What games do you love to play?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Finished a Couple Projects

Here are some before and after pictures of a couple of furniture pieces that I painted last week. Not spectacular, but I'm getting the hang of painting before I tackle painting all of the furniture in my bedroom.

We had a garage sale this weekend, and it was successful. We had a lot of traffic, perfect weather, and all my junk is gone! Waaaaay too much work though.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What Works For Me Wednesday

For Rocks In My Dryer's What Works For Me Wednesday, I'm going to share two things I recently purchased from a store called Improvements that have really worked for me.

For the first item, I want you to imagine a set of stairs with white, builder-grade carpet in a house with 3 children, 2 dogs and a husband who loves to garden and then walk in the house with his muddy shoes on. Yes, you're feeling my pain, aren't you? Well this is the wonderful product I found to save my stairs . . . it is called CarpetSaver, and its an every-day carpet runner that goes over carpeted stairs. This is not the prettiest runner you will ever see, but it protects the carpet from daily traffic dirt. It also seriously cuts down on the amount of times I have to vacuum the stairs. Every week I pull it off the stairs and either shake it off or stick it in the washer and dryer. If someone is stopping by to visit, I have the stairs clean in a few seconds. I really love it and have found that it is worth the money.The next item is all about grout. If you have it in your house, you know what I'm talking about. My previous kitchen was all white grout counter tops, and I know how to get that stuff white. So when I walked into my current house right after I bought it and saw that the master bathroom is entirely white tile and grout, I thought I had it dialed in. Boy was I wrong. None of my tricks work to get the dingy-ness out of this grout. Until I found this wonderful product . . . it is Grout Whitener and it's basically paint that goes over the grout and makes it white-to-my-standards-white. It comes with a little bottle that has a top that rolls over the grout and paints the stuff on, so you don't have to sit there with a paint brush for hours. If you mess up, just wipe it off with a wet rag. *note: this is not a picture of my grout! Both photos are from Improvements.*

For more tips, go check out Rocks in My Dryer!

Monday, August 13, 2007

This One's For You, Kathy

I recently read a wonderful post at Kathy's Cottage about how some of us hide a little in our blog pictures, and we feel discomfort showing everyone what we really look like because we are so hard on ourselves. Oh yeah, called me out.

A lot of us are the family photographers, too. Aaaaaaaand usually the one person missing from the family scrapbooks. As Kathy puts it, our children appear to have grown up motherless. Guilty again.

So Kathy posted the most adorable picture of herself having a morning cup of coffee, just as if we were sitting at her table hanging out with her. I thought I would do the same. But I would have to take the picture on a day when I had my hair done and makeup on, and some cute pose. Wooooooooops. Not really in the spirit of Kathy's post, now is it? So I remembered that last year when we went to visit my dear mother in law for her birthday (on the 4th of July ~ isn't that cool!), I was sitting on the couch with the kids snapping off pictures of us goofing off like we were in one of those photo booths (I even had the pictures printed extra small so they would have that look in the scrapbook).

I think this is what I would love my kids to see most of all when they open our family photo books. I will have to do a photo booth session with them every year.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Pondering a Name Change

I have been thinking about changing the blog name to Mrs. Jones (old name was Heather J). In honor of this dilemma, I have added the song "Me and Mrs. Jones" to my playlist (I didn't already have this on my playlist because the content of the song is something I really approve of, but I'll include for today.)

What do you think ... change the name or keep it the same?

**Update: 1 vote was all I needed to go ahead and change it. Thanks Martha!

I've been tagged!

One of the sweetest ladies in the universe, Rhoda from Southern Hospitality, has tagged me to list 8 random things about myself, so here we go .....

1. I love my tv shows, and my 2 favorite shows that are airing right now are So You Think You Can Dance and Ice Road Truckers. I'm enjoying SYTYCD so much more than Dancing With The Stars because the dancers are *awesome* from day 1. I want to learn how to West Coast Swing now, but haven't been able to talk Mr. Jones into it yet. If you haven't seen Ice Road truckers, check it out. These guys drive big rigs over frozen lakes in Canada and sometimes they fall in!!!

2. I am very picky about hair cuts. I don't get babed out every day, and my hair is in a housewife ponytail or french twist a lot, but I want my hair cuts to be technically cut well. When the cut is great, you can do anything with your hair. And if I try a new stylist and she asks me how she should cut my hair, I run as fast as I can.

3. I love to be by water. The beach, a lake, the pool, whatever. I try to take my kids to the pool at least 4 or 5 times a week, and I even get in and swim with them. I can't justify spending the money, but have always wanted to have my own pool.

4. I love cake. I could live on cake alone.

5. I hate cats (although I have learned to love my neighbor's cat. She keeps my property pest-free, and she's a cool cat.)

6. I love guinea pigs. My daughter has 2, which I was strongly opposed to. They are sooooo cute, and they make the funniest little sounds. They also do things like popping up mid-air (there is actually a name for this .... it's called "popcorning"), and they speed around their cages (this is called "motorboating"). This is one of our pigs after a bath.

7. Blue is my favorite color, hands down.

8. I love, love, love Mexican food. The most perfect food ever is a fresh, hand-made tortilla.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Inspiration Friday

For Inspiration Friday, I thought I would stop by HGTV's Rate My Space and see what's new. Here are some pictures from my favorites:

Too see more of this designer's rooms, click here.

I liked this one too.

Here is a yummy toile bathroom. Check it out here. And check out this amazing lady's cottage rooms. I found her completely by accident, but immediately recognized the rooms as Cindy's at Romantic Home. Click on the first link to see her rooms on Rate My Space, and give her a great rating.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Proverbs Challenge

I was reading Justabeachkat's blog this morning, and she is joining in The Proverbs Challenge at My Montana Moments, which I think I will do too. I just love the book of Proverbs because it is full of the wisdom that I need. It is a great book to read with the kids too (most of it, depending on how old they are).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tasty Little Muffins and Children's Cookbook

*A note to add to yesterday's post: If you like the mirror I got on clearance, Bed Bath and Beyond still sells them, and the regular price is only a little less than $20.00 (an amazing price compared to the other store). I didn't see them online, but I did see them in the mirror section at the store.*

A while back, I tried OliveJuice's recipe for Fruit Filled Scones, and they were *so* good that I thought I would try another one of her recipes.!

This time I made her recipe for Blueberry Cheesecake Muffins. Yum! They are really good. Easy too ... you start with a box mix and add the cream cheese filling. Click on the link above to get the recipe. You have to see her aprons, too. They are amazing!

I am going to have to try all the recipes on her blog, now, since the first 2 were very tasty. Thanks OliveJuice!

I also saw this great children's cookbook the other day. I have been looking for a good cookbook for my kids, but haven't been able to find one until now. I don't want anything with weird recipes, just the basics please.

Well, I was very happy when it arrived, because not only is it absolutely adorable (it has vintage children's cooking pictures throughout), but it covers the basics of cooking and the good old standards for recipes (tomato soup, meatloaf, muffins, etc.). Tween actually picked it up and made a recipe for blueberry muffins all by herself. She substituted chocolate chips for blueberries, and she even wore a vintage handkerchief apron! *I'm so proud that she accessorized before baking ... I wish I had taken a picture!*

You can get it at among other places. I get the used books from them for a better price. They also have them on ebay and P.O.S.H. Chicago (this is a fun store to look through).

There is a sewing version of the book, called See and Sew, a Sewing Book for Children. I haven't purchased this one yet, but I would love to check it out. Either of these books would make a great gift.

This past weekend, my Honey went to Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction. He is *wild* about baseball. I have always enjoyed tagging along with him to baseball stadiums and to get autographs. I also love the old vintage baseball photos he has. (This particular photo is courtesy of

My Honey has been fortunate to meet many baseball players through his job, including Tony Gwynn. We are big Tony fans anyway, because we are from San Diego. We live so close to Cooperstown, that Mr. J was able to drive right over to see Tony's big day. He and our son also had a chance to meet Cal Ripken, and he was so kind and humble. As a mother of two young sons, I truly appreciate two baseball players who are a good example to kids, and who use their fame and talent to do good things for others. Congratulations to both of you, and thank you!

I will finish my post with a picture of Puppy's Very Bad Day.
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