Monday, October 29, 2007

Please tell me what you think about . . .


I have 2 upstairs bathrooms with tile issues. When I moved into my house, it was 2 years old and the tile was already cracking.

It is much worse now, and I believe it to be a subfloor issue. Of course, my self-described "luxury" home builder denies that they put in a bad subfloor. But the bottom line for me is, I need a new floor because any water that spills out of the bath leaks down into the ceiling of the room below. I think the cheap, quick temporary answer to my problems (at least in the kids' bathroom) is vinyl tiles. This one caught my eye as I was speeding through Home Depot the other day. It is tan and blue, actually very pretty and to me it doesn't look vinyl. Another issue . . . do you see all that grout on the current floor. Yep, that is a *real* pain in the butt to clean. I'm thinking the vinyl tiles will be much easier. At $0.99 per tile, I think it is a good plan. What do you think? Does it look like cheap vinyl, or just a little better?

**On a side note, Blogger has been driving me absolutely nuts this week. It is having issues with uploading photos, which stretches something that should take 5 minutes into 30 minutes. I have been seriously considering whether to continue blogging lately because it wastes time I should be spending on family/home, so this extra waste of time is absolutely frustrating to me!!!! Does anyone else have a free web hosting service that they like?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Go Boo Your Neighbors

We have "Boo'd" our neighbors for a few years now, and this year my neighbor Boo'd me first. She made a cute little witch's broom out of lunch sacks and a stick. This is a replica, because my kids tore up the one we received before I even got to see it. It was very easy to copy, so this is also what we made for our other neighbors.

If you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, you make a little package of candy and a sign that says "Boo" on it. Then you print out a different sheet explaining that the recipient has been Boo'd, and that they need to put the Boo sign on their door, and in turn, Boo 2 more people. It is so much fun to load the kids up in the car and attempt to secretly leave a package on a doorstep. We ring the doorbell and run. I'm sure every single person we have Boo'd has seen us, but it is fun anyway. It's really cool to see Boo signs start to show up on different houses in the neighborhood.

Click on this link to get a Boo sign and instruction sheet if you want to have a little fun. Also, here is a little website that explains in more detail what this is. If you want to get fancy, check out Skip to My Lou. She even has a cute poem to download. It is worth looking through her entire blog, because she has great Halloween Decorations, and clever ideas like this one

Friday, October 26, 2007

Finished a couple things . . .

I thought I would share a few projects I finished. Here is a chair I saved for $5. A cat scratched up the front, and the woodwork on the back was broken.
Now this little chair is in my closet to help me put my shoes on.

I moved the curtains from my formal living room to my dining room. I saw these in my neighbor, Mary's house. Her house is sooooo beautiful! (And she is one of the nicest people I know!) I am such a bad neighbor for copying.
I painted an old serving tray with chalkboard paint. I love the stuff so much, I'm resisting the urge to turn everything into a chalkboard.
Here is an old, plastic mirror I painted. I forgot to take before pictures, but it was cheap, flaking off gold paint, had a crack, and the plastic frame showed. I just filled in the crack and white-washed it a little. Now it's in my hallway.

I needed a buffet table for my formal dining room, but there really isn't enough room for a big piece of furniture at the end of my table. So I thought this little table would handle overflow and storage quite nicely. Tell me what you think ... is it too short, or does it work? The little door slides back and forth. I would like to put chicken wire over it in place of the current metal. Is it hard to find chicken wire?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I'm a Storage Star! Wooooohoooo!

I woke up to such a nice surprise today! I received an e-mail from Laura at the blog I'm an Organizing Junkie, saying that she has given me her "Storage Star" award for this post. I'm so honored! Thanks Laura!

Check out her blog, because she has lots of great information on organizing your home. She also highlights organizing products, and has started a new blog for her product reviews. My newest favorite is the Back Pack Rack. It hooks onto a door and has clips for bags and backpacks. You can slide the hooks up and down, so each Jones kid has clips at his/her level. The company didn't even charge me for shipping!

She is also having an Organizational Challenge starting November 1, which I will be getting in on. There are lots of messy spots lurking in the Jones Home that need an overhaul.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fall and Halloween at the Jones House

Mr. Jones and I just love Halloween. We are still in the process of finishing up our Halloween decorating, but I thought I would show you some pictures of what has been done so far:

This pumpkin and wreath was originally in the bird bath, but it got kicked out to make way for Mr. Jones' jack-o-lanters. I think it looks better in this spot anyway.This is the garden room off of the kitchen:
I took the shells out of this jar and put in glittery pumpkins ($1 each at WalMart):

This is my creepy centerpiece in the dining room. I got the bloody tapers at WalMart. The candles are white, but as they burn the wax drips down red. I also have some Kale, thanks to my buddy Martha. I bought the candelabra at a thrift store for a dollar. It was a yucky brass, but I spray paint everything I can get my hands on. A flat black makes it look much better.

Cheesecloth is so much fun to decorate with. I will be getting some more to make creepy curtains. Don't bother buying it at the store because their pieces are too small. Instead, get it from the painting section at The Home Depot. You'll get a lot more.

Here is my milk jar with eyeballs. I think I need to copy some labels from Martha Stewart's Halloween magazine (which, by the way, is worth every penny!!).

I am in the process of cobwebbing our front porch, so you may get an updated version of this photo soon. I think the flowers have to go because they are not creepy enough. The Kale looks great though (thanks Martha), and the bonus here is that my guinea pigs love it).

I planted this ivy in the spring, but it looks great for Halloween, don't you think?

Mr. Jones put this guy on the outside of the house, but the wind spins him around sometimes and he peeks in on us.
This is the first crow I put on the Candelabra. Rascal got to him. Would he ever think of killing a real bird? No way!
And speaking of, here he is taking a good, long nap:

Monday, October 22, 2007

10 Years Ago . . .

10 years ago Saturday (on Saturday Blogger wouldn't let me upload my photos, so I'm a couple days late), this little guy was born. Actually, we called him Baby Bunyan because he was just a little bit bigger than the standard newborn. This is a picture of him in NICU. The nurses thought he was pretty cool because he was about twice the size of most of their babies.
I still remember how that peach fuzz head smelled, and how yummy those big cheeks were.
Here is a picture of my grotesque stomach the morning he was born. I just stuck straight out and there was about 11 pounds of baby in there. Needless to say, my stomach doesn't look so hot now. (Did anyone see John and Kate Plus 8 where she has the same problem corrected? Yes, it would be a dream for me to do the same).
This white overall outfit we called "Humpty Dumpty". My extra large maternity overalls were just about the only thing that fit me.
Here is my handsome man now. Happy Birthday buddy!
And that ends Birthday Bonanza Month at the Jones house (well, not really, the birthday party is next week). I think I will go recuperate now (or start saving for next Fall).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Isn't this neat . . .

I was surfing around the other day, and came across a hummingbird chandelier. I had never heard of such a thing, but they are so cool! I think I need to get one for under my deck, or get one for my mom or something. It would make a cool gift, don't you think? They are a little pricey though. I'll start with the most expensive, and work my way down.
I found this red "Grand Chandelier" on ebay, as well as all of these other ones in ebay stores. You can also find the red chandelier at The Backyard Bird Company. (I think this red one is my fav).
I found this Grand Chandelier and the Mini-Blossom Chandelier at I was going to give direct links, but their website seems to be having problems this morning. I will try to update the link later.

And last but not least, I found this one at Creek Tree U.S.A.

Aren't they cool?!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Birthday Party

Princess had her birthday party last week, and we decided to make it a spa experience. We looked at the local birthday party places, and they were all too much money. So do-it-yourself is what we went with. It was actually pretty fun, and I enjoyed giving pedicures to all the girls. I only wish I had more time, because we didn't get to the manicures. They opted to put on makeup and do a photo shoot instead, which is just fine with me. I set up the camera on the tripod, and they went to town.
I decorated the dining room table with green and purple sheets we had in the closet, with a feather boa on top. I got these battery-powered tea lights and put them under the boa. The lights were fun, because my kids always want candles but I'm a safety freak. I had this post-card frame, and put the menu in it. I also did a "spa services" menu for the spa area of the living room. I downloaded spa music for ambiance, and had magazines out for them to look at while I pampered their feet. I also checked out some tween fashion books at the library. We made bandanna flip-flops, which I first saw at this website (check it out ... she has some adorable shoes). The girls had a lot of fun tying little strips of fabric on their flips and it kept them busy while I pedicured.
I found the flip-flops at Target Dollar-Spot, along with a pedicure pack (file, cuticle stick and toe-separator). I got a pedicure pack for each of the girls because I didn't want them to share feet germs (yes, I am a germ freak in addition to being a safety freak). I found the plastic baskets at Target for 6 cents each (yes, you heard me right!). Princess decorated water bottles and put names on them (I didn't think this was necessary but it was a fabulous idea because there were water bottles everywhere and they didn't get mixed up), and we tied my towels with fabric strips. I bought a bottle of green face mask and sliced up cucumbers so they could give themselves facials. They were so cute!
(In case you wonder why sometimes my pictures have stars on them, I am also internet-paranoid so I change the photos to protect the innocent.)

The last 2 things in the photo we didn't have time to do. If we run out of time and things get too crazy, it is important to alter the plans and not get too wrapped up in having the Perfect Party. My daughter is a mini-Martha Stewart so I have had to coach her on this issue. She lets the planning get in the way sometimes (she learned this from me), and enjoying your guests and being flexible are much more important when entertaining. But in case you're interested, we were going to make bath salts with epsom salt and store them in Crystal Light containers, and also make a paper sack scrapbook for each girl and let them decorate that.

So here is my great idea: Instead of making the scrapbook, we are making a paper sack thank you card, and will give each girl a cd with their photo shoot pictures. I didn't want to spend the money to make photo shoot prints for each guest, and we have a mega-pack of cds from our favorite warehouse store. In case you don't know how to make a paper sack scrapbook, this is what we are doing for the thank you card: Take a brown or white paper sack (Target has red ones now too!), and fold it in half. Either sew down the left side (to make a binding) or punch holes and tie ribbons on the left side. Decorate with paper. Insert photo cd in the opening, punch a hole on the right side and tie a ribbon so the cd doesn't fall out. When we are done, I will share a picture with you.

I think this is a pretty economical thank you card, and I think the party was pretty economical as well. I love to be creative and save money at the same time. It is just important to remember not to get carried away with all the details. If you want to see another birthday party idea, check out Sandy's blog, For Reluctant Entertainers. She shares wonderful ideas and advice for gracious entertaining.

In planning for the party, I found this great spa book for kids. It is called The Girls' Spa Book by Mary Wallace and Jessica Wallace. It has a lot of recipes for beauty products that they can make with things from the kitchen.
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