Tuesday, May 31, 2011

While Zach Was Away

My sweetie just recently got back from his "man-cation" with his best friend Brett. I'm so glad they had the chance to go. They figured it was probably the last time they would be able to go somewhere like this, and I guess it's true. They won't have as many chances to do this after marriage (Brett's) and kids in the future. They had a blast, which I knew they would. I told Zach that I was genuinely happy for him, but I must admit,
I was a little jealous too. :)

While he was away, I kept myself busy at the house. I did enjoy having some alone time, which I really don't get that much of. My alone time is usually when I'm in my car, and that's only a few minutes every day to & from work & home. That's when I love to pray & sing, so I enjoy that time while I have it.
I used my free time in the afternoons to do things around the house and finish a couple of crafty projects.
My main project was the table I am painting. Still working on that one, and I will definitely post pics when it is done. I started on it a few weekends ago, but it has so many stages of paint coats and drying time (and I'm too big of a perfectionist to not take care of little flaws along the way- not good),
so it's a slower process than I thought. I have started the sandpaper antiquing/distressing on it, so it's coming along. I love doing this, by the way! It makes me want to carry the sandpaper all throughout the house and start distressing everything. Probably not a good idea, though!

Instead, I'll post a pic of my other small craft, the apothecary jars:

I found this idea on a few different design blogs, and it was so incredibly easy and cheap! It made me wish I had come up with the idea. I took two candlesticks that I purchased from the thrift store for .25 each, two glass hurricanes I purchased at Dollar Tree (love it!) for...you guessed it...$1.00 each, and some E6000 (heavy duty, made for glass and ceramics) glue.
I also saw a post on using glass canisters with lids,
so I may try that later on.
Would love to have these with lids!

...now I get to fill them up with useless things! :)

I also found a little home for the moss balls I created a few weeks ago. I put them on our coffee table with my lantern from Pottery Barn (I bought it on sale & with a gift card- awesome!), and I love the way it looks. I told Zach it looks like it could be straight from the pages of a PB catalog, but at nowhere near the price.
Even better!

Anyways, it got a little lonely at night while he was gone, but I did have the two babies to keep me company. I'm going to be "that annoying person that always wants to show off pictures of her 'kids' " and post a couple of pics I took of them.
I sent them to Zach while he was gone, just to give him a little taste of home while he was away. :)

 Daisy girl sunbathing :)

I stayed the night with Mom on Friday night, and we watched Hope Floats, one of our favorites! I enjoyed shopping & eating out with Mom & Mamaw Helen on Saturday. I bought a new swimsuit, which is huge for me! I buy a new swimsuit about every 2 or 3 years, because I can NEVER find one I like! It was on sale for 40% off too, so that sweetened the deal even more. Then on Saturday afternoon when we got back, Mom & I went to the matinee & watched Bridesmaids. This movie is stinkin' HILARIOUS! On Sunday, I went to Sunday School & church, then met Mom & her friend Carol for lunch. Mom & I spent the entire afternoon laying out by the pool. It was Heaven!

I so enjoyed spending more time with Mom.
It's great to have your best (girl) friend and your Mom be the same person. :)

Speaking of, Mom just got back from her little get-away with her best friend, Gina. They went to Sandestin for the Memorial Day weekend and had a blast! She deserved to have a vacation more than anyone I know! While she was away, Mamaw Helen & I went to Mom's and straightened up the house, just to do a little something for her while she was gone.

Zach & I had a great, lazy weekend. The only thing we really did was spend the day in Chattanooga on Saturday. I hit LOFT (of course)...they were having a 50% off on sale items sale, so I couldn't resist. I ended up getting a pair of pin-striped dress pants for $7.00, a sequined cardigan for $4.00, and I splurged a little on a CUTE summer top (which I'm wearing right now, by the way) for about $17.00. I love that stinkin' store!

**Sheena- if you're reading this: First of all, I tried to comment on your latest blog post, and it wouldn't let me. Second, we HAVE TO plan a shopping trip to LOFT soon...and we may just have to hit other stores along the way too! :)

We enjoyed a small lunch at Chick-Fil-A, then I drug Zach to see Bridesmaids...yep, my second time to see it. I figured he owed me one for his vacation- he agreed. :) We then had dinner at Ichiban, one of my favorites!! I had to get some sushi, and it was yummy! I absolutely love it, but I don't have the chance to have it very often, so I get it every chance I can. Good ole' FP just doesn't have a market for a sushi bar/ Japanese restaurant, I guess. We had a short visit with Zach's mom while there which is always nice, and then headed home late that night. It's difficult to fit everything into one day each time we make a trip there. There's always so much to do!

Nothing like a long weekend, and a short work week to follow!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Maui, Hawaii- Photos of Us

I know this post is insanely late (like almost half a year late), but my hubby got an awesome new photo editing program for his birthday and has just recently sifted through all of our Hawaii photos. I have been dying for him to go through the pics, but he's so picky about his photography. I think he's awesome at it! (He's my husband, and it's my blog, so I can brag if I want to!) :)

I've included the good ones of us. There weren't really any bad ones (and I don't usually say that about pictures of myself). These haven't even been edited yet, but I couldn't wait any longer. I wanted to see these so badly! I kept asking him to take photos of just me & him on the trip, because I realized that last year, he had tons of beach, whale & flower pics, but only a handful of ones of us. I think we're a little more important than scenery, so I asked him to take MANY of us this year. Pictures are priceless, people. Believe me, my family knows that now more than ever!

This is really lengthy, just because there are so many & it was difficult to pick my favorites...Enjoy!

This one is my absolute favorite of us!! That hammock was so comfy!

At Honolua Bay

Again at Honolua Bay...sorry, couldn't pick my favorite!

In our room, about to go eat

 At our favorite spot on the beach. We also took a pic in this exact same spot last year.

Us with Gordon. We caught a boat in the background!

 At another one of our favorite spots where the waves come crashing in


Recent Happenings

Just wanted to include a few pics of what's been going on lately...

Here are a couple of pics from Easter Sunday. We always take a picture of us on that day, because we're always dressed up. Not that we don't always dress up to go to church every Sunday,
but Easter is always special.

This last picture is from a baby shower for Dana Reynolds that I helped to host.
We all had such a fun afternoon catching up!

Me, Buffy Tate, Cassie (Hooks) Parker, Dana (Shell) Reynolds & Jordan (McWilliams) Giles

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Thrifty Crafts

Spray Paint Party- Before & Afters

This has been a fun little hobby for me lately. I'll stop by a store, buy something cheap, then do something (anything) to it to change it up. I'm starting to look at things differently when I shop. Instead of thinking, "I like that, but not the color," I think, "I can easily change the color on that." Zach 's happy about this, I'm sure.


This is "Little Blue"...


"Little Blue" is blue no more... :)

I did love that shade of blue, but it doesn't work in our house. I'm planning to pick some flowers to put in it soon and place it on our little kitchen table.

And this is our little arrangement that serves the purpose of hiding the cords to the computer and speakers:

The flash really brightens it up even more than it is, but it has been sticking out like a sore thumb (to me, anyway) for a while now. It's too light for our living room, I think. So...I changed it!



And the finished product:

All bronzed up and shiny!


I bought this plain wooden frame for .50. I knew I wanted it red, and I already had some red spray paint. Simple.

AFTER (Part 1):

AFTER (Part 2):

I went a little step further and sanded the edges for a little bit of an antique look, if you can even tell that from the picture. I'm also wanting to use this technique (since I'm such an expert on it now) on the furniture that I painted this weekend, so we'll see how that goes.

Thrifty Crafts

I bought these styrofoam orbs at a thrift store for .25 each, then bought the moss (yes, I feel like an idiot for buying moss when we have a small patch of it in our yard...too much trouble & too dirty to dig up, I guess) at the Dollar Tree for $1.00 a bag. I ended up only using half of one bag, so I'll either be making some more of these soon, or find something else creative to do with the moss. All I needed were the balls, moss & my handy glue gun (which I am in love with!)
These were so much fun to make. I felt like a kid in art class again. :)



I love the fresh, Spring-y look of these! Now, I just have to find somewhere to put them! Ha!

I have one other thrifty craft that I want to start on soon. I already have the stuff for it, so I'm ready to get started. I'm hoping to create my own apothecary jars from glass candlesticks, glass vases & a little bit of E6000 glue. A simple craft involving just 3 things- not too bad.

I'm going to make another post soon on the piece of furniture that I painted, since I took a few step-by-step photos. I still have to put a few more coats on it for best coverage, then I'm planning on antiquing it, so it may take some time. I was SO surprised at how well it has turned out thus far though, because I was a little nervous about it. Looks like I have a new distraction!

Hope I didn't bore you too much with my new hobby! I get excited about it, whether you guys do or not. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Little "J" (or "L", or "T"...)


Plus this...

Equals this
(I have smoothed out the edges since this picture too).

This was my first attempt at a "thrifty" craft. I had seen some posts about making a moss-covered letter, which I loved! Well, I couldn't find the moss I wanted to use, so I did something different. This is the same fabric that I used to cover my dining room chairs (thank you to Zach & my mother-in-law, Helen, for helping with that task a couple of years ago!), and I also had Zach's Aunt Gail make a table runner with the fabric. Well, I still had a lot of that fabric left, so I put some of it to good use.

I found the "J" (or "L", or "T") at the thrift store. I really stumbled up on it. I went back & forth about it (like I always do), then ended up asking the lady that was working there. "What letter do you think this is?" Haha! We never really decided on it, so we figured that if we couldn't determine what letter it really was, who else would analyze it??

I'm planning on my next post being a long, boring one. Doesn't that make you want to read it?
I'm just going to post all of my little projects I have been working on lately in one post. That way, you can skip over it if it bores you! I'm hoping to paint my first piece of furniture this weekend also, so I may include pics of that one on it too...if I like the way it's looking so far. 

...Oh, and just for the record, Zach says it's an "L". :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend

We had a great Mother's (is it Mother's or Mothers'?) Day weekend with our families! I made it a point to bring my camera, because I now want pictures of everyone and everything. It only takes a minute to take a picture, and then you'll have that memory forever. Pictures are so important to me right now! 
(Sorry for the rant...)

On Saturday, we headed to Chattanooga to spend the afternoon with Zach's mom. We had a quick lunch at Chick-Fil-A, then we met her at her favorite coffee shop, Rembrandt's, in the art district. She & Zach enjoyed a dessert, while my dessert was a cup of their tomato artichoke soup. I had this the last time we went there, and loved it! We enjoyed visiting out in the sunny courtyard area. It was nice to sit & relax for a little while!

Zach & his mom :)

She took a couple of us too!

On Sunday, we went to Sunday School & church that morning. We sang a BEAUTIFUL arrangement of Amazing Grace, and had a guest bagpipe player. One word: AMAZING!!

Mom & I went to visit Mamaw Ruth after church and brought her food from one of her favorites, Captain D's. :) We really enjoyed our time with her. I realize that this is the hardest Mother's Day she's ever been through. I couldn't imagine. She's still hanging in there though, and that really inspires me.

We headed to Gadsden that afternoon- Mom, Jonathan, me, Zach, Mamaw Helen & Papaw Hoyt- shopped for a while, and ate to our heart's content at Top O' the River...yum!! If I have a pot of their turnip greens in front of me, I'm a happy girl! Hehe!

Mamaw Helen opening her gift

Three generations

Me, Mamaw Helen & Jon

We visited the cemetery that afternoon when we got back. Dad's grave has grass coming up and it looks nice. (Wow. It still seems so weird to say the phrase "Dad's grave" or even see it when I type it.) Mom got him a gorgeous arrangement for decoration. Slade did it, so you know it's fantastic! He included red & white flowers and a houndstooth ribbon. Roll Tide! :)

We got home fairly early that afternoon, and I headed outside for my little spray paint party. I have accumulated a few things lately that I have wanted to spray paint. Since reading a lot of design blogs, I have realized how simple it is and how much it can change something, just in a matter of minutes. I took a few "before & after" pics, so I may post those soon...if I don't think it will be too boring of a post.

Things are going well! Zach is still extremely busy, and his Leadercast Conference at The Summit this past Friday was a SUCCESS!! I'm so proud of him! :) Also, to top it all off, they made an official announcement that the great little city of Fort Payne WILL be getting a Chick-Fil-A in the near future!!! Yay!!! I don't know which one I'm more excited about- Chick-Fil-A or Hobby Lobby (it's been confirmed by the Chamber of Commerce that we're getting a Hob Lob too!) Needless to say, life is pretty good in the Jones household right now. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Going Green...the Cute Way!

I realize this is a shallow post, especially after the subject of my last post. But, something one-dimensional sounds pretty good right now. With all of these heavy events happening lately, it feels good to talk about something light.

So, I treated myself yesterday. I know that I, in no way, deserve anything (especially after seeing people lose so much in this past week), but every now & then, I just want to buy myself a little something. I know that one day, I may be spending all my money on kiddos and won't be buying anything for myself anymore, so this is my time.

I have countless purses, for Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter, but I guess I thought I needed to add just one more. I did a good deed while shopping for myself though- I bought one of these same purses for my sweet momma! I plan to spoil her this Mother's Day. I would like to think that she has always felt spoiled & pampered on Mother's Day, but I think this year, she's entitled to a little something more.

My colorful, Spring-y Lilly Bloom bag

The bag is made 100% from recycled plastic bottles. Pretty neat, huh? Actually, I'll tell on myself: this fact is just an added bonus to me. A lady came in the office last week with one, and I have wanted one ever since! The colors of the bag first caught my eye, and when I walked over to them in the store & saw them up-close, I knew they were coming home with me. After all that, I noticed the tag that said it was a "green" product. :) I'm not saying I'm not into "going green," but it's not at the absolute top of my list. Neither is buying all organic. As Zach always says, I think it's great to buy organic- if you can afford it. Maybe some day they will start to make organic products more affordable. Until then, we're just fine as we are.

All the pockets & different compartments are awesome!

I got so excited about buying this for myself & Mom. I love simple things, as you can tell. It's not an expensive designer bag, and I like that. I get tired of the same bag, so I don't need to invest a lot into just one. Also, cheap is good, as long as it doesn't look cheap. :) I bought it at an outlet here in town that I love, and the original tag on it shows $59.00, so it wasn't cheap at one time. Oh, how I love bargains!

Monday, May 2, 2011

4/27/11 Storms

Love this! A friend of mine posted it on Facebook, and I loved it, so I stole it. :)

So much has been going on all around us. The storms of 4/27/11 were some of the worst ever in our area. Only one other outbreak of storms in the state compare to them, and it was back in the 1970's. Tuscaloosa, AL was hit, and so were Rainsville, AL & Trenton, GA, along with many other countless communities. It is always a somber event to witness things like this, but when it is nearer to you, you feel it even more.

Please keep my best friend, Sheena Quizon, in your thoughts and prayers. She has lost her home and so many of her things in the Tuscaloosa tornado. I can't imagine what she's going through, and I feel so helpless to be so far away!

Since Zach & I are so close to Rainsville, we felt that there would be atleast something we could do there. We went to church on Sunday morning, which was a sad but inspiring service, then ate lunch and headed out. We ended up finding work (and plenty of it) at a relief center that had just been set up that day. It is located in Rainsville in the building of Orchard Lanes bowling alley & Zoom In photography. It used to be a Winn Dixie, so it has tons of room. When we first got there yesterday afternoon, it was almost empty, but when we left some hours later, it was filling up quickly! Praise the Lord!

See what God can do?! This building was empty just a few hours before this photo was taken. I hate that I didn't take a Before pic, but you can imagine it being empty.

There's my sweetie working. The clothes just kept coming!
Bring more, if you are able! These people will have to replenish EVERYTHING- clothes, food, home stuff, toiletries, etc.

Water and drinks galore!

Please spread the word about this place!! I have been posting things non-stop on FB (which is about the only thing FB has been good for lately, besides Bin Laden comments), and have already heard from many that have made donations. This is such an awesome set up, and I hope the word gets spread to the victims in need!! If you have any questions about it, please let me know!


Our only loss was what food we had in our fridge & freezer. From what I've seen at work with claims, the amount we lost was not much at all compared to others. If food and power for a few days are the only losses we had, WE ARE BLESSED!! Being without power gave us a chance to enjoy the little things in life, that's for sure. We spent one night playing Scrabble, and another night hanging out (by candlelight) with our friends & neighbors, David & Amy & their kids. It's amazing how much we can actually do without, isn't it??

I went into work on both Thursday & Friday, because we were absolutely covered up. It was a strange experience working in the dark and with only one phone line, but it did the job. We cooked out from a charcoal grill with things that we were cleaning out of our freezers.

After work on Friday, Zach & I headed to his mom's in Chattanooga for a mini get-away. It was nice to visit with her and enjoy power again. We had to take Miss Daisy with us, but she was actually very well-behaved. I was surprised!

We ate and shopped in Chattanooga, then headed back home before it got dark on Saturday night. The days weren't too bad without power, but the nights were boring. We were blessed, though, in that we have a gas grill for food and a gas hot water heater for hot showers. There aren't too many people around that had gas water heaters, so we were blessed in that.
Heck, we were blessed just to have each other & our home. Period. 

We had heard that some of downtown FP had power by Saturday afternoon, and I received a text that day that FBC was having the Sunday morning service. We got up and went to church that morning- my curly hair and all. It was a sad, but sweet service, with so many calling out prayer requests and telling stories of how they were touched by what had happened. We were so inspired by others who were sharing stories of helping others, that we decided to take part. We ate lunch (the best Cracker Barrel meal I have ever had, it felt like), then headed to Rainsville.

I encourage you to help others in need whenever the opportunity arises! You never know when it might be you on the other end, needing help from others.

On another note, we were resting and enjoying TV on Sunday night after we got home. We had power restored to our neighborhood sometime Sunday afternoon. We learned while watching The Celebrity Apprentice the news about Bin Laden. I did hate that we missed the end of the show, though! I caught a screen shot, just so I would have it. This will be one of those times where you will always remember where you were the day you heard the news.

I couldn't believe it when we heard it! There are so many mixed emotions surrounding this- some people on FB are posting the Bible verse on how we shouldn't be happy when an enemy falls, and I agree to some extent. I just can't help but be glad that this man is not on the face of this earth any longer. It's safe to say that the families linked to 9/11/01 feel the same way.

So many different events wrapped up in this one week. I definitely know that 2011 has been an eventful year already, and not in a good way. I pray for what God has in store for the rest of this year.
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