Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fourth of July!

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the 4th of July! I love the BBQ's, the colors, the festivities, family gathering, and most of all my baby boy Loukas was born on this day. So parties are always big, patriotic, and full of food, desserts, and family. However, this year my little man has asked for a non-patriotic party. A motorcycle party at Pump-It-Up with no Red-White-and Blue, no fireworks, and not at home. So sad. But it is his BIG 5, so I let him have a non-patriotic birthday. But I just had to reminisce on the parties in the past and the fun times we had. Hope fully you get inspired for your BBQ this weekend! I will be making him his Flag birthday cake, no matter what!!! It's a family favorite and I will share the recipe below! Enjoy and Happy 4th of July America!

Last year's Super Hero/4th of July Cookie of my favs!

The infamous flag cake...make it every year for my little fire cracker!

4th of July Dipped Pretzels

BBQ Hamburgers and Home made Greek fries!

Fourth of July frie holders

Potato Salad containers in 4th of July attire

Love this crate from Pottery Barn...universal can use for anything!

2009 cake

4th of July cookies

Love 4th of July cupcakes

Dessert table 2009

One of the very first dessert tables I attempted...way better now:) LOL! 

My little fire cracker on his first birthday!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

10 years with Johnny Jones

Today is our 10 year wedding anniversary. I cannot believe 10 years has passed. Being married to Johnny Jones has been the best 10 years of my life. We met on September 1st 2000 and were engaged on January 1st 2001 and married on June 23, 2001. We sold his first home, lived with my parents for 6 months, built a home of our own, sold a car, traded in a car, bought two cars, had 4 children, got laid off, had thyroid removed, took care of mom daily, lost his father, done Disneyland one too many times, done Vegas not enough times, crashed car in garage too many times, balanced the checkbook monthly (are we going to live on that?), laughed and cried, and loved. I truly married my best friend. We have gone through so much in these pass 10 years and I wouldn't re-do a thing! I love you John Jones, a little more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow. Thank you for loving me, thinking I am as beautiful as the day you married me, gave me my four babies, my Louie:), my life and so many memories! I look forward to the rest of our lives as we experience the unknown together. I hope I get to be with you, both mentally and physically for a very long time! I am so blessed to have you as my husband. Love you, babe!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


On the eve of Father's Day, many emotions are experienced by all. Some sadness as they remember their dads and others in anger as they don't remember or choose to forget. Here in the Jonesy household I was blessed and fortunate to have an amazing dad, one I can never appreciate more or show enough gratitude for the life he gave and for creating the person I am today. I can't really buy him anything, because he can go out and get whatever he wants or needs. I know I have shared the greatness of this man on my blog before, but tonight it's just remembering my dad as MY DAD. When I looked up the word "Father" in the dictionary I got the following:
1. Father
a. A male person whose sperm unites with an egg, resulting in the conception of a child.
b. A man who adopts a child.
c. A man who raises a child.
When you look up Father in Nina's heart this is the definition you find:
a. A male person who instills confidence into their child.
b. A man who takes care of his family, always there, always there.
c. A man who will give their life for their own.

That is Paul Dictos. Whenever I have any new news, whether good or bad, there is one person I call first. My dad will either rejoice with me, or he will sing to me to lift my spirits up. There is something special about a dad who loves when you love, rejoices with a happy dance when you're happy, and weeps with you when you are saddened by life. I used to drive down to Calwa to do my initial student teaching and I would come home and share the bilingual stories of my day. And to this day, my dad will call me when he passes Calwa and remembers my time there. And we laugh and reminisce of those days. As a child I remember getting scratchy kisses when my dad came home on late nights. I would be dead asleep, but would wake up with that 5 o'clock shadow kiss and in the morning a little red rash on my face reminding me someone loves me. There were mornings in the Dictos home where after ironing 15 shirts each (my sissy and I, not my brother, he was the second man of the house) if they were not done perfectly there would be my dad at 6am in his whity tighties and the incorrectly ironed shirt. We would get a mini lesson on how to iron properly. Ahh...memories. I could go on as many of you probably can as well, of all those times we have had with our dads. I am a perfectionist because of my dad. I have a temper, because of my dad. I have a round face because of my dad. I am passionate because of my dad. I am confident, because I knew growing up that I was beautiful, "the best!", and able to do anything I put my mind to...because my dad told me that everyday and believed it. He believed it so much that he brought home every Ivy League college application and I believed it as I filled them all out and sent them! He believed it as I ran 7 times for student body office and lost every time! He believed it as I received flowers on the first day of my teaching job every year until I stopped. He believes it every time he picks up that phone and we chat about our day, our lives, our tribulations...everyday, multiple times a day. Not a day goes by where I haven't talked to my dad...not a day. I love you dad, more than words on a paper, more than any gift, more than any action, more than life.  Happy Father's Day to the man I admire, love, and cherish for all the things you have made me to be and will be...Ninaki

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Talented Tuesday Mom Winner

We have ONE lucky winner...Jennifer from socialworkeratheart is our winner! me your info so I can get Nicollette your info!!!! Thanks!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Talented Tuesday...featuring MOMS!

Today I have a special treat for you! A mother daughter duo! I love this team! They are too cute~~ Take some time to get to know these two talented moms!!! And they are doing a giveaway at the end of this post!!! Don't miss out! It's another good one!!!!Please welcome Nicolette and her mom Rose with Mini Man Apparel (how cute is that name?).
What inspires you?
The day I found out we were having  a baby boy, my husband and I headed to every children’s clothing store in town only to be disappointed.  First off…..the amount of girls clothes far exceeded the number of options for boys.  Second, all the boys clothes that were available were too “cutesy” and just didn’t fit my husbands and my style.  I know that I am mommy to the most adorable BABY boy….but there is a reason his nickname in Mini Man!  I wanted clothes that captured the concept that baby boys aren’t only sweet and cuddly, but also charming, studly, and cool!  Now, getting to see our designs on other Mini Men and Little Ladies in the world, keeps us wanting to explore and create more!

What's your favorite piece you have created so far?
It has to be our tie shirts!  I love all the custom orders we get for these and that often times, these are worn for some veryspecial occasions like holidays and weddings for our customers.
o    .   
How do you find balance between family and work?
Fortunately, by starting this business with my mom, we are able to split up the work so life doesn’t get too crazy.  But truthfully, I typically only work on Mini Man Apparel when my son is sleeping.  If it comes down to making a tulle skirt or reading with Waylon, I’m picking up a book and finishing the skirt when he goes to bed.  
What do u want to accomplish with your business?
Currently, Mini Man Apparel is only a side job to the full time jobs that both my mom and I have.  Eventually, we would love to make it a full time job.  However, as it is, Mini Man Apparel gives me the opportunity to spend quality time with my mom, tap into my creative outlet, and have some fun!

What are your latest designs? Anything new?
Tulle skirts! I just love creating these for our customers and pairing it with a special birthday onesie or personalized top!  So girly and perfect for so many events in life!

Personalized pillow case dresses!  The super cute and comfortable dress for the summer!  Just love them!

This is her Little Man...

We would also like to do a boy and girl giveaway.  
Red white and blue tulle skirt up to size 3t
Fourth of july tie shirt....


1. Go Click LIKE on Facebook Mini Man Apparel then tell me you did in a post below...and
2. Follow this blog and SugarPalooza Blog and tell me you did that in a seperate post.

THERE YOU GO...2 chances to be entered in a drawing that will take place MONDAY NIGHT!!!! Thanks Mini Man Apparel!!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Birthday Party Friday

Today we have a graduation party to share with everyone!!! This past Memorial Day, I was privileged to create a dessert buffet in honor of a friend's son. And what I love most about this family is their tradition of having all four of their kid's grad party on Memorial Day in Grammi's back yard. And this son was the baby, the last of the big parties. This mom takes into account every child's wishes for their party. She honors them by making the party about that particular child. This one did not want a party, he is quiet and reserved and a Vegan! So after begging he let her throw an intimate, simple, but clever, party! I had to hold back and create something that represented Joe. And take a look at these pictures and see how well this child was captured that evening. Kirstan created all the details of the table settings and food menu was created by Pardinis, all vegan! And the red velvet cupcakes are Vegan as well created by the Cupcake King. Smore's and cookies and ll labels were created by SugarPalooza, and the layer cake was made by Becky Cultoure. And the cupcake stand was purchased online through a great company called Roxy Heart Vintage that got it to me in three days! And all these BEAUTIFUL photos were taken by Michelle Temple. Thanks! Enjoy!