Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

  • My new french press. Our coffee machine took a dump last weekend. After checking Consumer Reports we decided on a new machine. Unfortunately, everyone else loves this coffee maker as well. It's sold out and on back-order EVERYWHERE. I've always wanted a french press--but it didn't seem very practical. To hold us over until the coffee maker becomes available, we bought one. I love it! 
  • That the mums I featured last week are still looking great.
  • The fact that I'm having dinner and seeing a movie tonight with girlfriends.
  • The website/blog(?) Food Porn Daily. Just visit the site, click an image and drool. They even have recipes!
  • My dad's on facebook! WooHoo!
  • When Geneva tells me she's "imagin-ating" something.
  • My husband.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

  • Hearing that my friends are expecting babies! One "cat" is out of the bag... if you've been paying attention you would know that Dave and Amy Pearson are expecting. Well, guess what? Take a close look at the photo below... Yep. It's twins!!! I love it! Another great friend of mine is also expecting... but that cat hasn't escaped yet--so that's all I'll say! 
  • Geneva's blossoming enjoyment of cuddling and snuggling (or snoogling, as we call it in the Jones Household).
  • The Oregonian's (our local newspaper) FOODday section that comes out once a week on Tuesdays. The link is to the online version (obviously) which is not nearly as good as the printed--but you'll catch the drift. I typically cutout at least 1-2 recipes per issue and I make at least 1-2 recipes per month.
  • This valentine that Geneva made me. She said, "I want to make you a valentine Mom. What do you love?" I said, "My family." While my ears are a little big, I feel good about how thin I look (I hope your giggling at that comment!).
  • Having coffee with my neighbors on Monday mornings.
  • Mums--the only flower I should ever buy because they stay looking good so long. I am famous for leaving dead flowers in vases around my house.
  • I took this picture of a picture of Greg and I that was taken circa 1999 (that's a convoluted sentence for you). Here's what I love about it: 1) the way I'm looking at him--like I know he's the one; 2) the memories attached of the beautiful place we spent the weekend; 3) his sense of humor and the fact that he's wearing a safety vest; 4) that after all this time has passed it's not the safety vest that's so funny--it's the fact that I am wearing overalls.
  • How much Avery loves being tickled--it's a hands over her head, huge smile, giggling "Again! Again!" then back arching, hysterical bursts of laughter, kind of love.
  • Throwing a few rinsed and dried chicken breasts (boneless, skinless--touch of salt and pepper) in the crock pot and letting it cook 8-10 hours on low setting. Then shredding the chicken for a few dinners during the week: chicken tacos, chicken salad, lemon-chicken pasta, quesadillas. Seriously easy. I've made lots of things in my crock pot, but until my neighbor Miffy suggested this, it had never occurred to me to just do plain chicken to "dress-up" later.
  • Reading Geneva's valentines:
  • Having a touch of sunshine this week. Oh, and Avery shouting "The SUN!" when she sees it bright outside.
  • Our zoo. More specifically, the fact that Geneva loves her zoo key and making the machines "talk to her" whenever she passes one. I remember loving this aspect of the zoo myself when my Dad used to take us to the San Francisco zoo nearly every-other weekend.
  • Hearing Geneva shout, "Mt. Hood is out today!" when the sky is clear enough for her to see it. Or having her declare, "I don't see our mountain today" when the weather is hiding it from us.
  • Taking the girls to the West Linn Public Library to check out books (and music). I didn't have my camera with me--but next time I will! Here's a picture of the outside I found online. I could not believe it took us this long to really explore it; I was definitely impressed. It's such an elegant space--like art gallery elegant. Very modern, but cozy too. The entire backside is made up of windows that look onto a small wooded area with outdoor patio space. The children's section is on the lower level and it's comfortable and relaxing with books, toys, stuffed animals, and lot's of small furniture for little bodies. We all loved it!

Pay It Forward

This is how it works...
The first three people to leave a comment on this post
will receive a gift from me during this year.
When and what will be a surprise.
BUT,in order for you to receive your gift,
you have to post this on your blog first.
(Which means that sometime during this year,
you'll send a gift to three people as well!)
Get it?
So, the first three people to comment will be the lucky ones!
Good luck!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Three-year-old Geneva has the flu. She needs a good nap. She's decided it's not in the plan today. Here's our 2pm conversation; she is laying in bed and I'm knelt beside the bed. 

Me: Geneva, you need to have a nap. Especially today because you're a little bit sick.
Geneva: But I'm not sleepy.
Me: If you lay still and close your eyes and your mouth then the medicine will work better.
Geneva: That's not true.
Me: Yes it is.
Geneva: Mom, that is not true.
Me: Yes, honey... it's true. Medicine works better if you have rest too. You can't fall asleep if your singing and playing in your bed. Please close your eyes and your mouth and take a nap.
Geneva: But I'm having a problem with my ankles.
Me: Really? Your ankles are giving you some trouble?
Geneva: Yes. My ankles are rubbing and it's making me feel the throw-ups are coming.
Me: I see. Well, be still and quiet and you might feel better.
Geneva: What are you going to do about my ankles?
Me: I'm not sure. Let's talk about it after your nap.

So, what do I tell her now???

Monday, February 16, 2009


I had such a great night with Greg on Valentine's Day. He was so on top of things this year. We had reservations made and a babysitter booked by New Years. His offices gave us a couple generous gift cards for Christmas and we saved them for this occasion--which also made it special because we really went "over the top" and it didn't hit the wallet nearly as hard as it would have otherwise!
We started at Vault. It was crowded and festive. I would love to go back another time and sit with some friends over a game of Scrabble or snuggle up next to the massive fireplace. I chose a "Savory" martini and it was delicious. There about 5 more on that menu alone I need to try mixing at home... I'll let you know how it goes.
After our drinks we walked a few blocks to Fenouil for our dinner reservation. Have I made it abundantly clear that I love food? Seriously. I could go on and on about the appetizers, entrees and desserts we had. However, I realize how boring that might read--especially given that I restrained myself from snapping any photos over the course of our evening.
The locations were great. The drinks and food were stellar. The romantic night with my husband was far and away the best!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Indulge Me...

...I really missed my monkeys while we were on vacation. I didn't miss them so much that I was unable to have a great time on said vacation--obviously.
Anyhoo, this entry is simply about how darling my girls are and how lucky I am to be their Mom.
Here's Geneva after gymnastics yesterday. Just look at that terrific mop!

They're so entertaining now that they conspire, play, negotiate and collaborate.

Geneva made Heart Cookies at preschool on Wednesday and got to enjoy her "project" after her nap. Yep, she's nude--should be no surprise if you've been paying attention to half the pictures I post. Of course the real percentage is much larger... I think Geneva wears clothes in the house about 25% of the time.

If you catch 'em early enough in the day they sometimes still have their jammies on.
Suddenly, Avery loves it when her sister holds her. It's a nice change.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Oh! And please enjoy the footage I took yesterday:


Monday, February 9, 2009

Cancun 2009

Embarking on our Grown-Up vacation to Cancun, Mexico, we had to say goodbye to the cold, wet weather and also to our sweet girlies: NeeNee, Pipes, and Lulu.

It's always a great trip because we get to catch up with our friends from across the country--oh and EVERYTHING is free (which makes it pretty nice too!).
Here are Simone and I "warming up" at the pool on Day 1:

Angela and I had to express our love for one another at first sight. It is so challenging when some of the best people you know live in Texas! I think this pictures was taken in the hotel bar where I misplaced my sobriety on the first night.

The drinks poolside, "Welcome Reception" and hotel bar were not enough to kick the vacation off... so we ventured out to a dance club (Where the theme is: "Please, don't act your age!") before calling it a night.

Reason #122 that I love Rachelle Cainey:

Our recovery on Day 2 began with room service breakfast; then a trip to the pool for "mellow" drinking; followed by a nap and finally, gearing up for the second night.

Dinner out: Cambalache. Great steak. Terrific wine. Funny people still drunk from our afternoon at the resort pool/beach. Only thing missing: Todd and Heather (just wasn't the same without you).

Day 3: Much like day two... only we got sand on our feet.
Oh wait, no...
Day three I spent mainly in bed. I woke up for our breakfast delivery at 9am and then got dressed to go to the gym. Greg asked me to wait 15 for him to get up. I sat back on the bed and woke up at 11:45 when he got up to use the bathroom. I changed out of my gym clothes and into my bathing suit. We hit the pool/beach. I drank 4 margaritas and ate some shrimp ceviche in the span of 2 hours then headed back to our room for a quick nap. I woke up at 5:45pm and started getting ready for our dinner/night out.
It was a great day.

Night 3: Portland Office Dinner
The Women: Amy P., Nikki, Lauren, Me, Steph, Dani, and Amy C.

Such and amazing dining experience at Harry's. This restaurant was not finished being built last year--it was so worth the wait.
This would be "cotton-candy tug-o-war" between my handsome husband and Mrs. Juhala. They bring cotton candy to each table at the end of dinner. I'll spare you the pictures of what we (Savage) sculpted our candy into after this photo was taken... place your mind in the gutter before trying to guess.
At Harry's even the bathrooms are exceptional.
Reason #89 that I enjoy Amy so much: She'll pose for a picture with me IN the bathroom.

Obviously, we couldn't just end the perfect meal with a quiet ride back to our hotel when we could instead tag-along with "VIP's Dan and Sara" to Coco Bongo. While the video you will see if you link to the YouTube footage is not mine, it very well could have been... I think it's like that every night of the week!
Yes, those people are on trapeze:

Day 4: Much like the others... throw in a massage here, a facial there, a round of golf for Greg, many, many cocktails, visiting, sunshine, and too much food (though I can make a pretty solid argument that there is never too much tortilla soup) and you've got a handle on our week.
I had the best time getting to know Sarah "Savage." Trust me that she might as well hang onto her maiden name forever!
The best "added excitement" to my week was finding out that Dave and Amy are expecting! I love, love, love to hear when great people are going to procreate! Now, if I could just talk Dave into waiting to find out the sex of Baby P until the delivery...

Dinner #4: The Aqua Hotel's very own "mb" restaurant.
BEYOND delicious!
I was told that mb stood for Mario Batali... (of the food network's--Iron Chef...) After doing my own research (I can't stop drooling thinking about the meal I ate there) I learned it actually stands for Michelle Bernstein, a famous chef in her own right (If you're a fan of Bravo's Top Chef where she was a guest judge or After Hours with Daniel when Chef Boulud visits her at Michy's you'll recognize her from her picture). 
This was the most amazing dinner (though the service left a lot to be desired).
Here's my crispy snapper with fresh ginger and mango:
When all was said and done, there was a head and a tail on my plate. If you're on facebook, you might see a pic of me smooching this fish's head if you start poking around a bit.

The drinks were damn good too!

A few of the Portland Crew:
Jones, Pearson, Savage-Owens, and Cleveland

Senator Jones oversees a little game of "Golf" on beach.
From the front left: Hinton, Givens, Norman, Burroughs, Pearson, and Juhala
For those of you who are here to see the scenery...
Here's a photo of one of the pools overlooking the ocean.

The lifeguards, like many "official" staff we encountered, were a bit lax on the "rules." They let me climb the tower to take this photo. It's really shocking to see how little of the "beach" there is left at the JW Marriott this year. I should go back to our pictures from the first year we stayed at the resort and compare--but it might be unpleasant... so much erosion in only 9 years!

I wish I could tell you that this was a picture of Greg and I:

Goodbye Cancun!
You were just what I needed.
I hope to see you again next year!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I Will... I Will Not...

We leave for our annual trip to Cancun in the morning. I've been having some thoughts and making predictions about our week. I thought I might share.
  • I will miss my kids so very much I will likely cry (at least the first night away).
  • I will not miss picking up toys all day long.
  • I will read at least 3 books.
  • I will not read any books with pictures in them.
  • I will see my friends from around the country and have a great time catching up.
  • I will not want to say goodbye when it's time.
  • I will eat too much and drink too much.
  • I will not skip the gym.
  • I will sleep until I want to get out of bed.
  • I will not miss doing dishes.
  • I will appreciate this alone time with my husband.
  • I will not be wearing any sweaters.
  • I will be working on my tan (through a thick layer of sunscreen).
  • I will not be wiping anyone's nose (other than my own--if needed).
  • I will get that "panicky feeling" that comes sometimes when I am out and about without the kids and think for a moment, "Oh no... did I forget them?"
  • I will not have the desire to extend our trip when Saturday rolls around...
  • I will be SO READY to return to the love, chaos, mess and routine that is my life I love!