Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Five - Thanksgiving Meal Edition

This Friday I only have one thing on my mind...saving that $!  Yep I'm out shopping my heart out while this is posting.  Since we just finished with Thanksgiving I'm going to share some of our holiday meal favorites.  I pinned these recipes, some of them I've tried, some of them are still on the list but look amazing...all of them are classics.
1.  Sausage and Sage Stuffing.  We made this to take to R's family dinner.  It looked and smelled delicious before we left.
2. Avocado Deviled Eggs.  We love deviled eggs on every holiday and on any given Sunday.  These look super festive and reduce the mayo.
3. Corny Corn Bread.  R's absolute favorite dish, he can't have a holiday meal without it.  I like this skinny version.
4.  Chocolate Chess Pie.  Another of R's favorites.  I've never used this recipe but it looks like all the essentials are there.  I'm still a fan of basic buttermilk chess pie with honey and sea salt topping like we had at PieBird earlier this year.
5. Pumpkin Cheesecake.  I made this for my family's meal and I got raves! Mine cracked down the center because my water bath wasn't deep enough.  Oh well, I covered it with powdered sugar and displayed it proudly.
Happy Shopping All!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

And it begins...

We are decking the halls over at the Johnson household.  Last weekend we made a few new festive purchases as shown through terrible iPhone pictures:
 From Target: faux poinsettias, dollar spot ribbon, outdoor solar lights, and mini lights for our tree.
 From TJ Maxx: tree skirt with plaid border, jingle bell dog collar, and Cypress guest towels.

 From Target: flannel sheets, I actually purchased these close to three weeks ago but I never posted them.

 From Brylane Home: burlap stockings with red plaid cuff.  Look how perfect the plaid looks with our TJ Maxx tree skirt.
 From Michaels: garland, glitter, and shatter proof crafting ornaments
Home Depot: 48 inch indoor/outdoor tree.
From Jernigans Lawn and Garden: gold glittery picks for our tree and spruce scented spray.

And a sneak peek of our tree trimming in action:

I can't wait to share this year's decorations ... we are still a work in progress.  I know a lot of people wait until after Thanksgiving to put up their decorations and we still strictly follow that rule at my moms house. However, my family technically celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday and R and I thought we would be too exhausted on Sunday evening to put up our tree.  Good call.  We put it up on Friday night and it was the best decision, a couple of extra days to enjoy it.

Plus, my favorite radio station advertised the start of Christmas music tomorrow. . . score!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Link Up: These are a few of my favorite things...Stocking Stuffers

This week's link up assignment is to share our favorite stocking stuffer ideas for ourselves and others.  It wasn't hard for me - I love to fill Christmas stockings more than I like to wrap presents.  It's a great challenge to find just the right gift that is just the right size

Stocking Stuffers

  1. Scentsy Bar
  2. Blue Buffalo Blue Bones
  3. Godiva Sampler
  4. Evelyn K. Leg Warmers
  5. Feather cat toys
  6. Cigars
  7. Pacifica set
  8. Cards Against Humanity
  9. Essie Sunday Funday
  10. Liquor mini bottles
  11. Philosophy lotion

Head on over to cheers y'all or down with the dearmore's to participate or to find out about next week's challenge.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five On Friday: Thankful Edition

This week I'm linking up with the Five on Friday hostesses to share my top 5 blessings, I have so much to be thankful for it was hard to only pick five to share.

1.  My husband.  I have a husband this year, our very first married holiday season and I'm not taking a second for granted.  I love that he will indulge my whims and support my ideas, no matter how crazy they sound.  I know without a doubt how much he loves me and I'm so grateful that he is in my life.

2.  My mom.  Of course I am thankful for my family but in particular my mom.  My father and grandparents have passed on from this life and I don't have siblings so my mom is my shining light.  We are complete opposites and it makes our relationship so much more interesting.  She will listen to me ramble for hours and I can tell her anything without judgment.

3.  My job.  I love to work with people on their dietary goals.  I love the population that I've chosen to focus on - it's the only job I have ever wanted.  It is exhausting, frustrating, and for the most part thankless but I just can't help being attached to it.  I've invested so much of myself into it because I'm thankful that I have the opportunity to work with these special people.

4.  My furkids.  Lilly has been my whole heart since my friend took her from her apartment dumpster and asked me if I was willing to take her.  The answer was no, it was always no....until I met her.  She climbed into my lap and later that night climbed into my bed and we have been inseparable ever since.  Baby has been R's dog for close to 13 years but only in my life for the past 3.  I got attached to her immediately, she earned her first nickname within a week of our first date.  It's pretty obvious that she is fond of me as well. She prefers to sleep under my side of the bed and she follows me around the house every afternoon.

5.  I saved my most important blessing for relationship with God.  It isn't always the pretty packaged relationship that some people seem to have with God.  No fancy prayers coming from this girl.  I have an open heart and I try to keep in regular contact.  I also try to remember His word when I'm in need of answers and instruction...He hasn't failed me yet.

  "I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made" Palsm  139:14

I love participating on this weekly link-up, as always big thanks to the hostesses!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Boys Behind the Blog #6

I look forward to linking up with Mallory monthly to share a little more about my hubs.  This month's questions stumped him a bit...

1.  Who is your favorite band / musician? Probably Queen or Led Zeppelin.  More recently I like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers.  If you haven't heard Charlie Boy, you're missing out

2.  What is your favorite CD / tape? "You Gotta Go There to Come Back" by the Stereophonics

3.  Who was your first concert? Moe. I was 16.

4. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?  Stuffing and Corny Corn Bread.

5. Finish the sentence: I am thankful for... my life.  "A wonderful life, a wonderful wife, a wonderful dog."

Link up y'all, let your guy in on the blogging fun!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Kate Spade 17 Month Agenda - First Thoughts

I wanted to share a review of my new Kate Spade dayplanner.  I've been using it more and more and this past weekend I transferred all of my appointments from my Lilly Pulitzer agenda for the rest of the year.  For the next 12* months this book and I will be inseparable.   It is set up very similar to the popular Lilly version including a weekly detailed option, this is my favorite for writing down appointments and daily tasks.  I like to write in this section in pencil to keep it neat.  Here is a Monday - Sunday look at how the pages are set up.
 There is a section in the front for notes.  I use this for valuable mileage information for work along with other tidbits that I need to know but can't always remember. There is also a celebration section before the notes where you can list important birthdays and anniversaries by month.
 I love the pocket in the front of the planner.  My last Lilly had one as well and I usually keep post it notes in it when I travel from one clinic to the other as well as receipts that I need to keep track of.
 For added cute, there is a sweet saying or "words of wisdom" on the first page of each new month.
 Here is the monthly view at a glance page.  The blocks are a decent size and the pages are thin so you can see the lines from the weekly view pages.  The lines make it much easier to write if you have a tendency to slant your handwriting like me.  I love the notes section on the left side, the Lilly agenda featured this too but I realize that I love setting little goals for myself each month using that little column.

And here is a view from the top, pretty gold dots and pink elastic to keep it closed.  The pattern is in fact called "gold dots" - truth in marketing.
Here is some information to better compare the two.   The Kate version is more "binder-like", think slightly slanted like a grade school 3 ring binder.  The Lilly planner is perfectly even like a small book.  Lilly agendas are usually brightly colored with fun illustrations and a sticker page to really spice up some of the calendar days---it just looks so, happy.  My one complaint with the Lilly agenda is that it's a little heavy for it's size and contains additional sections that I didn't use.  The Kate is more polished and more understated for work.  I don't love the"binder style" though, I wish it were even on all sides.  The outside of the planner doesn't feel quite as durable as the cardboard used for the Lilly version, I'm not sure how well it will take daily abuse, especially going in and out of my purse several times a day.  It is neatly organized, lightweight, and a good size for squint-free reading.  The Kate planner is $36 compared with the Lilly Pulitzer Large Agenda at $28. Both can be purchased at Lifeguard Press and I highly recommend them for future shopping.  My final thought is that you really can't go wrong with either style, I'll be able to determine my personal preference by the end of 2014.

*Both versions last 17 months, I plan to use my Lilly agenda through November 2013 and carry the Kate dayplanner exclusively in December 2014.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Link-Up: These are a few of my favorite things . . .

Link-Up: These are a few of my favorite things . . .

Kate Spade tech accessory / Bracelet bangle / White House Black Market black shoes / Metrokane bar tool / Tocca orange home accessory / Thirstystone drink holder / Lilly Pulitzer / Threshold Flannel Sheet Set

I'm joining the link up party a bit late tonight - I almost forgot it.  R asked for my wish list early this year so instead of posting "wishes" I'm posting trusty favorites.  I own the above items and I love them.  These are all items that I think would make fantastic gifts for any special lady on your shopping list.

White House Black Market flats.  Great with jeans or slacks, they are the perfect transition shoe from work to drinks.  Well for me at least, I work in the medical field and heels are not practical.

Thirstystone monogrammed coasters.  I love these, they look so nice on our table and protect our furniture.  Since I got a new monogram in this year I've been obsessively putting J's all over my house.

Target Flannel Sheets.  So soft after only one wash and great for the chilly nights we've had the past few weeks.

Lilly Pulitzer Day Planner.  I love my planner and I've had it since August 2012.  I traded it in recently to try the new Kate Spade planner for 2014 but I may go back eventually.  I love the Kate but if I was going to purchase one for a friend I think I'd stick to the Lilly.

The Rabbit Corkscrew and Aerator.  I love this thing.  I will never be without it again. As an added plus, it's fun to use.

Tocca Candle in Stella.  This is the only candle I keep in the bedroom.  The scent is super saturated and it has a long burning time for it's size.  As a bonus the smell is clean and citrus-y... and it's pretty.

Bauble Bar pave bracelet.  This is a more wallet friendly than the popular jcrew version and it looks great with everything.  Bauble Bar's customer service is fabulous and you can earn points towards future purchases.

Kate Spade Apple iPhone 5 cover.  I love the color and the print.  It was a hard choice to make though, no one does cute covers quite like Kate.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall Decor...

I thought that I would share our fall decor before we start to pull out the holiday bins...though I'm embarrassed to admit that the first one came up this past weekend.  My family is having Thanksgiving on Sunday so we aren't technically breaking tradition by starting the decorating fun on Sunday evening.  I didn't realize how many bins of decor I actually have.  It might be time to slow down - I wish I had gotten that memo before our pre-holiday splurge on Saturday.

Anyway here are the things we leave out in the weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving...

We had some pretty outdoor decoration as well, unfortunately its been far too cold and too wet for pumpkins and mums. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa...

Brown bedding / Kate Spade jewelry box / J Crew clothing / BaubleBar drop earrings / Banana Republic scarve / Tocca body moisturizer / The Game Of Things / The Great Gatsby [DVD UV Copy] [2013], $16 / Tea Forte Loose Tea Canister-Black Currant, 3.5 oz, 50 servings

R requested a Christmas wish list so I thought I'd share mine with the world...

  • Tocca Cleopatra hand cream - I usually purchase mine from Bevello
  • Bauble Bar earrings, you just can't go wrong.
  • Leopard Print scarf.
  • Great Gatsby DVD.
  • Game of Things.
  • Tea forte - I love white ambrosia the best but black currant is my second favorite.
  • J Crew Factory skinny cords in maroon
  • Target sweater throw.  Kohls had some last year with a fleece backing that was amazing too.
  • Kate Spade ring holder.  It was on our wedding registry, truly any items leftover on our registry would make an amazing Christmas gift.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Current Face Routine

current face routine

Ole Henriksen anti aging skincare / Bobbi Brown Cosmetics cream skin care / Philosophy face peel mask, $94 / Murad face wash, $54 / Murad face wash / Fresh lip treatment / ORIGINS Clear Improvement active charcoal mask 50ml, $16

I've broken out quite a bit over the past couple of months and I'm just now getting back some control over my skin.  I wanted to list the key players that are keeping my acne at bay.

Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Foaming Facewash.  I use this at night and I think it does a surprisingly good job of cleaning off my makeup.  I'm not attached to it and I'm willing to try other products but it's been reliable and I'll likely come back to it from time to time.

Fresh Sugar lip balm.  It's amazing, I use it every night after I brush my teeth and it moisturizes my lips over night so my lip product goes on smoothly in the morning.

Philosophy Microdelivery Peel.  I use this ever Sunday night and I scrub for a solid minute with each product.  I will never be without this product!  My skin not only looks better but feels so much better after I use it.  It's really helping with a few lingering sun spots.

Ole Henriksen Three Little Wonders.  I've used this for over two years and it's great.  I use both the gel and the cream at night and the serum in the am.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask.  I use this on Wednesday nights and it helps to remove any lingering gunk.  It's pretty fantastic and my skin feels great after I use it.  I think it helps with redness too.

Bobbi Brown Eye Repair.  Nothing super fancy about it, the cream is rich and it hydrates the skin around my eyes so my concealer goes on smoothly.  Its not cheap but it lasts a long time.

Murad AHA and BHA Exfoliating Cleanser.  I use this in the am before the acne cleanser.  The scrub is very gentle and I feel that it makes the acne step in my morning routine more effective.

Murad Acne Clarifying Cleanser.  Ah, my favorite part of my morning getting ready routine.  It smells like tea tree oil and is refreshing.  I love the tingle.

There it may seem like a lot of products but I have sensitive, combination, acne prone skin and during cold weather months add lovely dry patches to the list.  It's a challenge finding a routine that fits all of my requirements and for now, this is doing the trick.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


It's cold.  I got my first taste of winter today.  I didn't even need a coat at 1 pm when I went for my lunch break.
On the way home at 6 pm.

I realize that NC has the shortest fall season ever but usually I'm strutting around in tunics instead of sweaters this time of year. 

I'll need to break out the winter wear early this year.

On the plus side, I was able to make a real cup of cocoa when I got home.  The Hershey's single serving cup is the stuff of dreams.  Especially if you invite a little cinnamon or cayenne to the party.

Monday, November 11, 2013

NC Blogger Buzz Meet Up

We all know that I don't blog in real time, but I wanted to make sure that I blogged about the awesome NC Blogger Buzz event that Ashley and Angela co-hosted on the first of November.  We walked away with a great swag bags. I already blogged about my Thyme-is-Honey notepad, otherwise known as my morning date.
 Hello Darling - I love the printed pencil!

 The goods displayed.  I received several goodies from downtown Raleigh and neighboring businesses - The Cupcake Shoppe gave an excellent discount for sweets which R and I plan to take advantage of when we are out holiday shopping.
This is a close up of the anchor bracelet from SimplyEdgyDesigns.
 And the earrings from Dress2KillCloset.
We met on a Friday evening at Vestique in Raleigh and spent some time shopping before we started on the itinerary.  We were able to get to know each other better and Chelsea spoke on time management.  My favorite part of the night was devouring sampling Hannah's party food.  Oh my those pecan tassies were addicting.
 After the blog event, R picked me up so we could go out for dinner.  Mason suggested David's Dumpling and Noodle Bar and it was too good to pass up. 
 Adorable little soup shot that the owner brought out.  I think it was a carrot ginger combination.
 R loves a spring roll.

 Enjoying a beer before dinner.
 The star of the night - half fried dumplings.  I could eat a triple order of these and I'm not a pork loving person.

It was a great night! 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five on Friday: Polyvore Edition

Totally cheating for this week's Five on Friday and sharing five of my chilly day favorites...
Chilly Day Favorites

I don't own any of the above items but I hope I will collect them over the next few months.  Since the weather has been cloudy, rainy, and cool the past couple of weeks I've taken stock of my winter goods.  It's slim pickins' right now.  

Join the fun, make some friends . . .