Friday, January 28, 2011

Birthday Party Friday

Today I would like to share with you a friend's birthday party she did for her son's 5th birthday! What I LOVE about this party is the theme (Board Games) and that mom did everything herself! I just love her cute frame idea and her Thank you Wall...take some time to meet Jessica and her adorable family!!! Thanks Jessica for sharing!

Here is what Jessica says about her party: "What I love the most about birthdays is that it is the one day out of the year that is set aside to celebrate "you". Not an achievement or a milestone just you for being you. I have also been focusing on throwing a party for less than $100"

Her son posing in his frame....the Monopoly Board!

Birthday Sign in scrabble tiles!!!

Love this monopoly frame!!! What a cute idea!!!

Game activity...ball toss!

Drink bar...
How cute is this Thank you wall with the favors!!!

Love the brownies in shapes of dominos!
Mom made her cake in the shape of the it!!!
So did the birthday boy!!!

Daddy and the the number 5!

 Hope you find some inspiration and some ideas for your next party!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Give Away Monday

Since I am starting on a new adventure of label making for parties I thought I would start it off by offering some cute circle tags for Valentines Day. Please feel free to download and use for cupcake toppers or hole punch for a bag of treats to pass out at school!!!  Or stick on some clear bags for party favors! These work with a 2 1/2 circle punch. Just download and enjoy!!! For custom labels stay tuned for my Etsy Shop...details coming soon!!! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Best Friend

There are a few things in life that I hold very dear to my heart. My relationship with the Lord, my parents, my sissy, my hubby, my children, and my friends. In that mix of love there is one person who stands out tonight. I have had the privilege to have both a sissy and a best friend. I didn't need one, but God put this friend in my life from the moment she was born. I am a little older-not by much-but at 7 months I was introduced to my BEST friend in the entire world, Anna-Banana. We were inseparable when young. You see, her mom is my mom's best friend. The only friend who my mom asks for daily and loves to be with even today. And my mom's best friend loves my mom so very much, she will do anything for her. She is one of the only friends who still comes and sits with mom and hangs out. Love her...but back to Anna. We have gone through cheer tryouts, Christmas, birthdays, formals, proms, graduations, college graduations, visits to UCSC, and weddings, and now babies. She is the kind of friend where time passes, but nothing has changed. Our families have been together forever and there is nothing I wouldn't do for anyone of them, especially my Anna. I remember one night that I spent at Anna's house...she didn't like to spend the night at my house because she had to go to church in the morning, so she was always mysteriously ill come bed time Saturday night. But I digress; it was the weekend before she was going to enter Junior High School. She asked all kinds of questions, but the one that sticks out to this very day was "Nina, is it cool to fold your socks in Junior High?" Ever so wisely I answered "yea! Of course!" 
When I gave birth to my Niko, Popi, Anna, George, and my whole family waited around for 3 and out they came to Saint Agnes Hospital waiting for this baby. Anna would come in every night and sneak me some Jello pudding she found delightful in the cafeteria...I didn't care for it much, but she came and delivered it every night...and she was there when he was first born to hold him and love him. And on January 12th she had her first baby boy. And Popi, George, my dad, my mom, sissy, and others waited for baby Aleko to enter this world. And we only waited a whole day, but I didn't get a chance to sneak in some Jello Pudding, but he came and I was there to hold him and love him. Best Friends...
I was the better singer...
I always caught more fish...
So here is my BEST friend...she did a great job looking beautiful all the way up to delivery...

and beyond! Love this girl and I am so proud of her! 

Here are my two favorite ladies. My mom will never be able to take care of Anna's little one like Popi has watched my babies (all four of them at one time!) and the way she used to come to my house every day for 5 years watching my babies, but she wanted to hold that little bundle of joy. And when she did all was right with the world. Mom wasn't sick, the best friends were together enjoying the new grand baby and mom was singing her famous lullaby that all the kids know in this house...
Kouvia, bella, epese h kopella, mesa sthn varela...

Good luck my Best friend, you don't need it, you are going to be a great mother! 
Welcome to the best job you will ever have! I love you!

Birthday Party Ideas Friday

It's my first post of many and I am so excited to share this very sweet birthday party thrown by a dear friend, Sara Karlson.  She did the sweetest job and kept a low budget, which is always great to do when throwing a party! What I loved about this party, besides how cute her daughter is and how sweet her name went with her party, was the simplicity. She kept it simple, yet so memorable. This is why she is our FIRST Birthday Party Friday! Hope this inspires you on your birthday ventures! And if you would like to share a party, please email me with your pictures!

I made the banner by just printing the letters of her name on colored cardstock and cutting them out. I also used photos of her first year. 
I took a cute picture of her with the bucket of peaches did a photo invitation. 

 I used the Martha Stewart kit from Michaels for the pom-poms.
 We held the party at my parent’s pool house and just served homemade peach ice cream (okay- along with peach punch, a few cookies and some peach and pink candies). Her birthday is at the end of August so it was hot—but having it in the evening after dinner and having swimming as the main activity helped. The other thing I did was string white globe lights everywhere. I think lighting can really change the atmosphere and make a party magical. 

I also made a playlist with lots of old, fun songs (of course we had the Ray Charles andWillie Nelson versions of Georgia on my Mind). I wish I had more pictures- you know how it goes- I was busy being the hostess. J

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I, Paul Dictos...

Today my father was sworn into the Fresno County Office as Assessor Recorder. This was a big day for my dad as he has been running for public office for a few years and hasn't won as many as he would have liked. My dad sure does like to run for public office.  When I was going through school he always made me run for office, not just any office, but for class president. He would get so excited, making my signs, coming up with slogans, buying me the best candy to pass out. One year he even made professional buttons, Vote for Nina.  Those of you who know me know that I ran 7 times, and 7 times I lost.  It became comical, but I kept running every year for my dad.  And I saw this excitement today as I stood with my dad holding a bible he brought to be sworn into office with.  As I stood there between the officiator and my dad, I could feel how proud he was to have finally won and earn such respect and support from his colleagues.  After he was done, he shared with the crowd, mostly his friends and supporters, how the Bible he brought today was in honor of his wife who could not be there physically because of her Alzheimer's. And he shared how she used to read this Bible daily and if you turned the pages you could see her notes. And even though my dad wished his wife could be holding that Bible, he gave honor and praise the God who sustains him and strengthens him every day. I am so proud to call this man my dad. He is my hero not only because of his love for the Lord and his continued support for me and my family, but for the man of integrity and honor that he is.  Even though he couldn't have Stella standing right next to him today, he had her right next to him with her Bible, the one she would always read, the one she would always share with us children growing up; making us memorize scripture. I love my parents for the example of Christ they have always been to us and the love they have for both each other and the Lord. I pray that I am half as good a mother my mom has been and still is to me. Goodnight Honorable Paul you more!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu for Jan. 10-15th

Here is our Menu for this week! When there is a birthday involved, I get a free-day! Yay! And it happens to be on Monday. With Basketball season quickly approaching I am focusing on fast, quick, and easy because we've got games to watch!

Niko's bday...eating out!

Lemonade Chicken served with broccoli and brown rice.

Chicken Tacos (using the chicken from Tuesday, soft tacos, and toppings!)

Sundried Tomatoes and feta Tri-tip Crockpot Recipe served with a green salad and rice

Spaghetti and meat sauce (ground beef and jared sauce...keepin it simple!)

Left over buffet!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Vons 1/5-1/11

VONS Match-ups that I will be purchasing this weekend. Ad is good until the 11th

Thanks to Thisfrugallife for the information and check her site out for more deals not listed here.

Frigo String Cheese | $2.99
(Limit 3, with in-ad coupon)
- $1/1 from SS 10/3
OR - 55¢/1 Frigo printable coupon
OR - 50¢/1 from SS 12/12
Final Price: as low as $1.99

Coffee-mate Flavored Creamer | $1.99
(Limit 3, with in-ad coupon)
- $1/1 from All You Magazine, December or printable here or here
OR - 55¢/1 from RP 11/14
Final Price: 99¢

Pillsbury Toaster Strudel | $1.88
(Limit 4, with in-ad coupon)
- 50¢/2 Pillsbury printable coupon
OR - 75¢/3 from GM 1/2
Final Price: as low as $1.38 each when you buy 2

Yoplait GoGurt or Trix Kids Yogurt | $1.99
- 75¢/2 from GM 11/14, 1/2 or printable here
Final Price: $1.49 each when you buy 2

Yoplait Cups | 50¢
- 50¢/4 Yoplait printable coupon
OR - 40¢/6 from GM 11/14, 1/2
Final Price: as low as 25¢ each when you buy 4

Athenos Hummus | $2.50
- $2/2 Athenos printable coupon
OR - $1/2 Athenos printable coupon
Final Price: as low as $1.50 each when you buy 2

Green Giant Frozen Veggies | $1.66
- 50¢/1 Green Giant printable coupon
Final Price: 66¢

Progresso Traditional or Rich & Hearty Soup | 99¢
- $1/4 from GM 11/14, 12/5, 1/2 or SS 11/21 or printable here
Final Price: 74¢ each when you buy 4

General Mills Cheerios | $1.79
- 55/1 Honey Nut Cheerios printable coupon or here
OR - $1/2 Cheerios printable coupon
OR - $1/3 from GM 1/2
Final Price: as low as 79¢

Quaker  Instant Oatmeal | Buy 2, Get 3 FREE ($4.99)
- (2) $1/1 from RP 1/2
Final Price: $1.60 each when you buy 5

Wish-Bone Dressing | $2.50
- 50¢/1 Wish-Bone printable coupon
Final Price: $1.50

Keebler Chips Deluxe | $2.50
- $1/2 Keebler printable coupon
Final Price: $2.00 each when you buy 2

Nature Valley Granola Bars | $2.00
Nature Valley Catalina Promo: 12/27 - 1/23
Buy 3, Receive a $1.50 oyno catalina
Buy 4, Receive a $2.50 oyno catalina
Buy 5, Receive a $3.50 oyno catalina

Deal Idea:
Buy (5) Nature Valley Granola Bars | $1.77 each
$1/2 Nature Valley printable coupon
- (3) 50¢/1 Nature Valley printable coupons or here (only one will double)
Pay: $7.00, receive a $3.50 oyno catalina
Final Price: 70¢ each when you buy 5

Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks | 99¢ (must buy 4 for price)

Betty Crocker Catalina: 12/27 - 1/23
Buy 3, Receive a $1 oyno catalina
Buy 4, Receive a $2 oyno catalina
Buy 5, Receive a $3 oyno catalina

Deal Idea:
Buy (5) Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks | 99¢ each
$1/3 Betty Crocker printable coupon
50¢/2 Betty Crocker printable coupon
Pay: $2.95, receive a $3 oyno catalina
Final Price: All 5 FREE!

Ziploc Value Pack Storage Bags, 30 to 50-ct. | $2.99
(Limit 2, with in-ad coupon)
- $1.50/2 from SS 12/5
OR - $1/2 Ziploc printable coupon
Final Price: as low as $2.24 each when you buy 2

Crest Toothpaste | $1.88
(Limit 4, with in-ad coupon)
- 75¢/1 from PG 12/26
Final Price: 88¢
"Simply Clean" Promo:
Buy 2, Get 1 FREE - Mix & Match

There are several products participating, those shown below are the only ones with coupon match-ups.

Lysol Toilet Cleaner | $3.29

- $1/2 from SS 1/2

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes | $3.69

- $1/2 from SS 1/2

Lysol Sprayers, select varieties | $3.49

- $1/1 from SS 1/2 or printable here

Clorox Wipes, 35-ct. | $2.50

$1/1 Clorox printable coupon

Deal Idea:

Buy (3) Clorox Wipes, 35-ct. | $2.50

- $2.50 from store sale
- (2) $1/1 Clorox printable coupons
Final Price: $1.00 each when you buy 3
printable here

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year...

With the New Year comes resolutions...and with resolutions comes breaking onward we go with tradition as we create some new resolutions and see how far can we last.  I am determined to keep these as long as I can, but with all the good intentions in the world, one should not be too hard on oneself if by chance a resolution is only kept for so long. Anyways, this year I am determined to go to bed earlier than I normally allow my self to do. In my old age and lack of good genes passed down from my beloved heritage, I see how one needs to take care of themselves in hopes of lasting a little longer that 55 years of age.  So, with that, along with my intent of dropping those pesky 10 pounds (will that ever go away?) I am going to get more Zzzz's.  I have read countless articles  that state how if one stays up later in the night, one can find themselves eating more, thus adding to the 10 pesky pounds one is always trying to lose. So, for the past 4 days, yes I am doing good ladies and gents, assuming there are some gents who read this, I have been lysoling my kitchen and household door knobs, and going to my bed no later than 9pm.  I will have you all know that I have actually made it to my bed by 8:30pm for the last two days, and I am only up because I don't want you to go to bed still looking at my weekly menu.  Although, the salsa chicken was a great dinner and lunch! Try it! So good night and farewell, off I go to dream land a little earlier today to benefit not only from shedding a few pounds, but also aiding my body's  recovery from the day.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Weekly Menu Jan. 3-8

Well it's back to schedules and routines. Back to having a weekly menu and saving money. The Holidays always gets me out of sinc! So here is what the Jonesy Family is eating this week. Hope it gives you some ideas for our new year!

Ravioli from Costco Frozen isle
Celery and Carrots

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

Lasagna-frozen from the other night...