Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve Eve and Happy New Year!

I probably won't be posting anymore until after New Year's, but I hope to capture many moments worth sharing during that time. Until then, here is a lovely version of the Christmas Story that I thought you all would enjoy. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Two days ago, my mom surprised me by giving me a special book. It is called "Our Secret Paradise".

I have very much enjoyed reading it over the last couple days, and am excited to have almost completed it! While I have noticed a couple things that I don't entirely agree with, I very much appreciate some of the valuable truths it has to offer and think I could learn many things from it to apply in my marriage - and just in time for Christmas! Sometimes I forget how valuable the gift of a good book can be when I am racking my brain trying to think of what to get someone for a special occaision. I also forget how enjoyable reading can be when you have had enough coffee not to fall asleep from it!

Thanks Mommy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Peace on Earth

I wanted to share with you my favorite Christmas song this year.
I hope it blesses you as it has blessed me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Warning: The following post presents a shameless promotion for a financial planning resource. The writer did not receive anything as a result of writing the post (except the sheer thrill accompanying its daily use). Also, there are no pictures.

Today I want to share with you all one of the most important resources in my life right now. It is called

Mint is a free and secure online tool for money management. It has literally saved my life as I have recently made the transition from single to married life. Using bank-level security, it allows you to simultaneously view transactions from all of your personal bank and credit card accounts, providing the best big-picture possible. (To read more about the privacy and security features, go here).

My favorite features on Mint are the ability to create monthly budgets and reclass transactions accordingly. I personally find it confusing when I have multiple things going on between my checking, savings, and credit cards, so this helps to make everything crystal clear. In addition, it allows you to add loans and assets to calculate your overall net worth. You can even create goals and plans for long-term savings, investments, and loan-repayment.

While this resource probably does not offer more features than an accounting software would, I love the fact that it is free and it is online so I can access it anywhere. I would definitely recommend getting some sort of budgeting program if you don't already have a good financial tracking system in place, and I would venture to guess that - even if you do - this one would be easier to use and more efficient.

Mint has definitely helped Ronnie and I stay on the same financial page for the first 6 months of our marriage, and probably been the cause of avoiding many potential money-related conflicts. I fell in love with Mint from the moment my friend Christy shared it with me, and feel completely stingy that I haven't shared it with more people since. If you at all struggle with spending or simple confusion and lack of clarity in regards to your finances, please check out; and if you do, let me know what you think!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One of those...

It is 8:00 a.m.

So far today I have almost cried from the following things:
  • My hair not cooperating
  • Ronnie getting mad about burning his eggs
  • Financial stuff
  • The Fish giving away Disneyland tickets to a military family
  • Every song I heard on the radio
  • A tree whose leaves had turned red
  • My nasal passage being clear for the first time in 2 weeks
It's going to be a fun day.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tomato dress anyone?

I found this article by Joanna Douglas on Yahoo news today so captivating and intriguing I felt I just had to share...

It is called "Edible Dresses" and showcases South Korean artist Sung Yeonju's wearable foods series. The following pictures were retrieved from the Yahoo news article.

This eggplant dress is probably my favorite.

Winner for most fairytale-esque is the bubblegum dress.

Most impractical goes to this dress made from lotus root.

I found this shrimp corset by far the most disgusting piece in the collection. 

I love the style of this banana dress/shirt.

I adore this white radish dress and spring onion puff sleeve dress

Other interesting creations include a bread dress, chive dress, red cabbage corset,
winter mushroom fringe top, and tomato dress.

Can you imagine how much work went into each piece? I am pretty impressed right now.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sugar Cookie Ornaments

I love this post I just found on the Creature Comforts blog. It is a diy post with detailed pictures and descriptions about how to make these little beauties (all pictures from Creature Comforts):

I think this is such a cute idea for ornaments for your tree, or for gifts!
I adore this wreath idea too:

Family Pictures

Here's to a long post full of pictures!
These are some more of our family pictures taken at Thanksgiving:

The Gallina Family

the sisters

Jones boys modeling

The Jones women

Gallina and Jones girls tradition

Jones kids being silly...

Becca and Michael

Ronnie and Jessica

The Jones Family

November Goals Recap

Hey friends,

SORRY for totally neglecting you all recently. I am daring to venture that this month is going to be rather busy and I may not make it here to update the blog much, but I promise I will try to as much as possible. However, I hope to take many pictures of all of the business to share in January.

I realized that not only did I forget to post a recap about my November goals, but honestly I totally forgot about them completely until after the end of the month. Fortunately I was smart and chose goals I was pretty much going to accomplish anyways, so I think I actually did all of them. Let's see...

1. Make at least one home-cooked meal from a cookbook. I must say, I totally owned this one! I made fish tacos (recipe) along with mango salsa (that I accidentally messed up) for my husband's birthday. Note: read the directions carefully - if it asks for 1/4 tsp of salt, don't accidentally put 1 tsp of salt. Other than that, they were delicious! I also made cooked carrots (totally yum!) from a recipe for Thanksgiving along with a salad and rolls but no recipe for those.

2. Have a great thanksgiving with my husband and families. Check. I think I already posted pics about this.

3. Make enough money at the boutique to present a sizeable donation to the Cliftons. Much to my surprise and joy, we actually did make more money than we expensed with the boutique, and - with the help of some direct donations - were able to make a contribution. I hope it provided some amount of significant help for you guys, Shannon!

4. Do something special for my husband's birthday. Well, in addition to buying the sweet TOMS for Ronnie, I did make those delicious fish tacos that we were both able to enjoy. It probably wasn't his best birthday ever, but at least now there is room for improvement in the future. =)

5. Memorize Psalm 70:4. I confess, I did this on December 1 when I remembered that I forgot about the goals, but nevertheless it is in my mind.

Our middle school christmas party is tomorrow night, so I plan to have some fun pictures from that to share!

Stay classy