Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday Five - 12.30.11

1. Our Christmas Tree

We still need to find a topper that we like.

2.  Our mantel in South Carolina

I found the garland at Michaels BEFORE Christmas and it was 60% off!

3. Lights covering a F-86 Sabre at MCAS Beaufort

I wish we had a better photo, but this was the best we could get using an iPhone from our car.

4. Christmas #1

Tara, Toy, Rick, Erin, Kevin, Kelly

5. Christmas #2

Vern, Belinda, Erin, Kevin, Kelly

Christmas #3 (with my parents and brother) was great as well but we didn't take a single family photo!  Pretty shocking since photos are a BIG deal in the Johnson household. :)  Oh well, we had fun and made memories. 

We had a fabulous Christmas with all of our loving families, and we hope you had a wonderful Christmas, too!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Five - 12.16.11

So, these Friday Five posts seem to be the only things I blog anymore...but at least they keep me blogging regularly!  8 weeks in a row! :) 

1.  Kevin came home this week!  He just spent 4.5 weeks training in the desert, and I'm incredibly grateful that we get to spend Christmas together.  Here's a video that one of the guys in his squadron made, and it gives you a glimpse of what Kevin saw while he was flying/working.

2.  Here's a family Thanksgiving photo that I meant to share a few weeks ago.  We had a wonderful day together, but Kevin and Adam were deeply missed!

3.  Today I'm doing something I've never done before.....I'm using my crockpot!  It's pretty sad that I've had it for at least 5 years and I've never used it, so I'm changing that today.  My hesitation wasn't due to fear of the crockpot, but the fact that it seems a little too good to be true.  You can throw some things in there in the morning, and it produces a tasty dinner 6-8 hours later?  I'm still not sure I believe it, but I'm finally willing to give it a try.  If it turns out well, I'll post the recipe I used next week.  Also, if you have a crockpot recipes that you love, please share it with me! 

4.  Kevin and I are putting our Christmas tree up tonight!  Last Christmas, we spent two weeks in Oklahoma and we were moving so soon afterward that we didn't put up our the Christmas card tree below filled the void.  One of our favorite things about Christmas season is receiving Christmas cards in the mail from family and friends.

5.  Check out this Christmas light display that honors our great military.  (My favorite part is the Marine Corps hymn, of course!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday Five - 12.9.11

1.  The 12 Stages of Deployment - My friend, Stacy, shared a link to this YouTube video on Facebook recently, and I think it is worth sharing.  Major props to this military wife for keeping a humorous attitude during a really difficult time!  Fellow military families, you will relate to this and non-military families, you will get a glimpse into life during a deployment!

2.  Another gift idea - If you're looking for a fun and very inexpensive gift then I have a solution for you. The Vera Bradley Shopper Tote in Folkloric.  It's only $8.00, and it is one of the cutest reusable bags I've seen!  You can use it as a grocery bag, carry-on travel bag or in any scenario where you need a lightweight, foldable tote. 

3.  Have you ever seen a fully furnished, multi story, adult-sized treehouse?  I hadn't either...until I saw one on The Nate Berkus Show recently.  Check it out here and I think you'll find it interesting!  I love the idea of using mason jars as outdoor light fixtures.

4.  It doesn't feel like Christmas time when you have flowers blooming in December!  What's crazy is that these flowers were gorgeous when my Dad planted them this summer (thanks, Dad!) but they died rather quickly due to sprinkler system issues (or so I thought).  Now, it's almost winter, the sprinkler system has been off for a month and they are blooming!

5.  I found this saying back in June, but I came across it again today and felt the need to share it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friday Five - 12.2.11

1.  Holiday Mail for Heroes - As a military wife, I can't help but think about the men and women who are currently serving overseas and the fact that they will be away from their families on Christmas day.  If you'd like to send a card to a servicemember, please visit the American Red Cross blog to get the address and other information you will need.  If you'd like to create a card online for $1.00, you can do so through this website and it will be printed and mailed for you.  Cards must be postmarked by December 9th.

2.  Sophia Grace and Rosie - After watching these adorable little girls (ages 8 and 5) appear on the Ellen show a second and third time, I've decided that Sophia Grace reminds me of Russell Brand!  Watch their second hilarious appearance on Ellen here.  I know it sounds bizarre that an 8 year old girl could remind me of a 36 year old man, but she really does!  Their British accents are very similar, both have bold personalities and both are laugh out loud funny!  So, you can imagine how ironic it was to see Russell Brand discussing Sophia Grace and Rosie on the Ellen show the other day!  Click here to see him talking about and imitating Sophia Grace on Ellen.  In the same segment, Ellen said she wants to have Sophia Grace and Russell Brand appear on her show together, and I cannot wait to see that!  Click here to see the girls sing along to their favorite Nicki Minaj song and click here to see the girls interview stars on the red carpet at the American Music Awards.  These videos are sure to make you smile!

3.  Union High School (our alma mater) won the Oklahoma 6A Football State Championship for the 4th year in a row last night!  Way to go, Redskins!!!

4.  I just love spending time with my friends' sweet kiddos, and I got to see some of them recently!

5.   BEDLAM - OU plays OSU Saturday night!  This is always a big game for both teams, but this year's game is huge because both teams are ranked in the top ten in the BCS.  It starts at 8:00/7:00c on ABC!

BOOMER SOONER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Friday Five - 11.25.11

1.  Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you were able to see loved ones and enjoy tasty food yesterday!  As I mentioned in a recent post, my late Grandma Johnson's pumpkin bread is my favorite Fall recipe.  I made it again this week, and I think that everyone needs this easy recipe.  So, here it is.

My Grandma Johnson’s Pumpkin Bread
3 c flour                                                                           
3 c sugar                                                                         
1 ½ tsp salt                                                                     
2 c pumpkin (approx. 1 can)                                        
4 eggs                                                                             
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon                                                   
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cloves
2/3 c canola oil
2/3 c water
1 c chopped pecans
Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well.  Divide batter between two large loaf plans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 ½ hours. 

2.  My mom and I made another pillow this week, and I can't wait to take it back to South Carolina to see how it looks in our living room!

Translation: Make yourself at home :)

3.  Gift Idea - Christmas is just one month away, and slowly but surely, I am getting my shopping done.  If you need a gift idea for someone who likes to cook or read then I highly recommend The Pioneer Woman's Cookbook or The Pioneer Woman's book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.  The cookbook is full of delicious, step-by-step recipes, and the book is intriguing and laugh out loud funny!

4.  UNION HIGH SCHOOL (our alma mater) beat Jenks High School tonight, 30-29!  What an exciting game to watch on TV with my family.  Next week, Union will play for the 6A Football State Championship...and yes, Kevin and I have been out of high school for over a decade, but high school football pride runs deep in Oklahoma. :)  Go Redskins!

5.  Operation Christmas Child - I mentioned this on Facebook, but it's such a wonderful cause that I want to post it here too.  If you're looking for a way to help a child in need this Christmas then go to this website to find out how you can pack a shoebox and send joy to a child in another country.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday Five - 11.18.11

1.  As you may have heard, Justin Timberlake attended a USMC Birthday Ball in Virginia last week.  He wasn't a special guest or anything like that, he simply accepted an invitation from Corporal Kelsey DeSantis, USMC.  I have a lot of respect for JT for accepting the invitation and attending the ball, but I have even more respect for him after reading the blog post he wrote about his experience.  His words seem very heartfelt and sincere, and I encourage you to read about the evening he calls "life-changing."  (On another note, how cool would it have been to be seated at a table with him?!)

My Night At The Marine Corps Ball by Justin Timberlake

2.  While persuing Justin Timberlake's website for the first time, I noticed a post called So You Think You Can Dance??? with a YouTube video in it.  Because I appreciate talented dancers (and I love the show SYTYCD), I clicked on it and watched.  Wow.  This guy can MOVE, and his video has had over 15 million hits!

3.  Cinnamon Rolls - My mom is the best cinnamon roll maker I know.  Last year, I wanted her to teach me how to make them (for real this time, since most years I just watch her).  We decided to make The Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls since my mom thought PW's recipe sounded a little simpler than the recipe she has always used.  We made them, my mom decided PW's recipe was easier/faster to make, and they were melt-in-your-mouth delicious!  We're talking about making them sometime in the next week, and I can't wait.  (In case you decide to make them, I'll warn you that I am not a big fan of PW's maple coffee icing, but I do love vanilla or orange icing on them.)

4.  Chickabug - I recently discovered this company and blog, and I think it will be a great resource for future parties, showers and events.  Check out this post about DIY decorative paper lanterns; what an inexpensive way to decorate vertical space!

5.  My mom knows how to sew, and I do not.  I really want to learn so she is in the process of teaching me the basics.  We've made a bunch of cute burp cloths together, and this week we tackled a new project.  A pillow cover with cording.  Although my mom has sewn many different things, this was her first time to attempt a pillow cover.  The pillow cover part was super easy for her, but the cording was rather challenging.  It was so difficult that I just observed and did a little pinning while she did all of the real work.  It's finished except for hand stitching the opening along the bottom, and I think it turned out beautifully!  Thanks, Mom!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday Five - 11.11.11

1. Happy Veteran's Day!  Thank you, thank you, thank you to those who have served and those who currently serve.  We can never thank you enough for all you do to protect us!

2. Happy 236th Birthday to THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS! (Yesterday)  The video below, The 236th Marine Corps Birthday Message, fills me with so many emotions that I can hardly put into words.  The men and women who train and fight to protect our country are so selfless, so brave and so admirable.  We as a nation are very blessed to enjoy the freedoms that we do, and those freedoms would not exist without our great military. 

3. On a lighter note, I'm in Tulsa right now and the tree leaves are almost too beautiful to be true!  I should have taken photos of some of the trees I saw in my parents' neighborhood today so I could share them.  I'll try to remember to take some while I'm here so I can post them.

4. Pedi Socks - Have you heard of them?  If you like to paint your toenails or get pedicures in the Fall and Winter, they are really handy.  You just slip them on before your start painting your nails and then you don't have to worry about ice cold feet and ankles while your nail polish dries!  My mom gave me these cute striped ones today, and I know I will use them over and over because I have ridiculously cold feet! (Just ask my husband.)

5. First ever Carrier Classic - North Carolina and Michigan State played a basketball game on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson tonight!  How cool is that?!  Here's an article about the game and here's a time lapse video showing how the flight deck was transformed into a basketball arena.  Pretty impressive.

Enjoy the weekend!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friday Five - 11.4.11

1.  If you need a crowd pleasing appetizer, try this one!  I made Veggie Pizza for the first time recently, and it was delicious.
I used a few different recipes to create my own version of veggie pizza, but the recipe in the link above has all of the basics.

2.  If I had black hair (and eyebrows), this is how I would look...YIKES!  More on this event in a later post.

3.  I made an easy dessert on Halloween (Trick or Treat Brownie Cupcakes) that could easily be made into a Christmas treat.  However, I don't recommend using cupcake liners when baking these because the brownie cupcakes will stick to them!  (I learned this from experience. :) )
I put Reese's PB cups on mine instead of miniature candy bars.  Yum!

4.  I joined Pinterest the other day, but I'm so overwhelmed by it that I haven't even "pinned" one thing yet!  It seems like a great way to organize your favorite links and get inspiring ideas so I plan to start using it.

5.  Have you seen video of the two little girls, Sophia and Rosie, who appeared on Ellen recently?  They are pure entertainment if you need a pick me up!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Five - 10.28.11

Here are five random things I'm enjoying right now:

1. This mum.  Isn't it beautiful?  I am so glad that my sweet six year old neighbor was selling mums to raise money for her dance company, because this one makes me happy every time I see it.  You should get one, too!

2. My new iPhone.  I used the camera on it to take the photos in this post.  Pretty impressive for a phone camera, huh?  Everything about this phone is ten times better than the iPhone 3G I've been using since December 2008.  Hopefully I won't splurge on another phone until 2014! :)

3. Two reupholstered chairs that round out the seating of our living room.  I'm a little giddy over them for two reasons: 1) I feel like they are my own creations (even though I didn't reupholster them myself), and they make me proud because I'm not the most creative person. 2) The geometric print is perfectly feminine, so I love the contrast it creates with our leather furniture.  Here's the backstory on the chairs:  I shopped and shopped and shopped for affordable accent chairs, and I finally settled on these two that I found on sale at World Market. The original fabric was a gold & cream geometric print, but the gold wasn't a great match for the gold tone in our rug. So, while shopping for throw pillow fabric one day, this gorgeous fabric caught my eye because it was exactly the geometric print that I wanted to add to our living room.  Since the price was only $9.90/yd, I immediately bought plenty of yards to cover two chairs and called a local reupholstering company.  Much to my surprise, the reupholstery job was very affordable....and I couldn't be happier with the results.  I'm also pleased that the colors in this fabric are neutral, because that will make it easy to move these chairs into other rooms in the future.  (Please excuse the wrinkled drapes in the background - I haven't seen our steamer since we moved across the country!)

4. Pumpkin bread.  I look forward to making my late Grandma Johnson's recipe every Fall and Winter, and I've already made three (double!) batches this year.  Thank goodness I've given over half of those away!  What's your favorite recipe this time of year?

5. The blog Young House Love. {}  This husband & wife team makes a living by writing this creative blog about renovating and decorating their house.  They are very talented, and they post a lot of inspiring "before" and "after" photos of their projects.  If you like DIY projects then I'm sure you'll enjoy their blog.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sweet Jen & Adorable Athan visit!

This post is several months overdue, but I want to publicly thank my dear friend, Jen, for visiting me in South Carolina while Kevin was deployed.  Flying is not her favorite thing to do, yet she did it anyway with her sweet one year old in tow...all because she cares for me.  I'm so blessed to call her one of my closest friends!  Here are a few snapshots of our weekend together.

Cutest turtle ever!

Jen, I truly appreciate your love and support!  Visits from my family and friends were just what I needed to get through this first deployment, and those who made the effort to come hold a very special place in my heart!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The silver lining of a deployment...

is the HOMECOMING!!!  July 18, 2011 was and will always be one of the greatest days of my life, because I was reunited with my husband, my best friend, my love.  

Since no words can truly describe the joy, relief and excitement we felt that night, here are a ton of photos to tell the story of our reunion. 

I'm beyond grateful my Marine is HOME!