Spring Break In Tokyo

Hello, friends and family, I hope you are all well and enjoying this lovely spring weather, though it already seems like summer here in Okinawa.   This post is from the first few days of our trip to Tokyo, over spring break.  It was our first time visiting and we were excited to check it out.  Hope you enjoy the pictures, I will share the rest of the trip with you in another post.  image

The Tsukiji Fish Market was our first destination.  It’s said to be the largest fish market in the world. The market opens at around 4 AM, if you get there early enough they give out tickets to the first hundred who want to watch the tuna auctions.  These fish can go for the price of small car, we didn’t make it that early.  It was still a site to see all the different vendors selling any and everything related to seafood and the preparation.

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The freshest of sushi prepared in front of you.

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A happy customer.

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I saw this gentleman on Pinterest when I was researching our trip.  He was so cute and had to be approaching his 90’s, he appears to be leaning over the stove, but he had severe kyphosis.  There was a nice crowd around his kitchen, I’m sure his ramen was delicious.

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This soup looked and smelled amazing, and from the look of the long line waiting I’m sure it was.

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These are large rice rolls usually mixed with a type of meat, often Spam, and then wrapped in seaweed.

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Ava and I tried these, they looked and smelled so yummy.

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Seaweed and Seasonings

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imageCrowded side streets near the fish market.

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Chocolate teeth and all, makes for perfect ending to a fun day at Tsukiji Fish Market.  Definitely worth a trip, if you’re in town for a few days check it out.

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These trees were loaded with blooms, when the wind blew it looked like snow.

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The park had groups of businessmen and women taking their lunch break.  We had a picnic and soaked in the view.

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These ladies were taking care of the gardens at the park, all decked out in their aprons and hats.

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Beautiful pink dogwoods reminded me of home.

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The azaleas were also in bloom.

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Burning some energy after our picnic.

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Daddy’s girl!

We were fortunate to experience the cherry trees in full bloom, they were so beautiful. Hope enjoyed the pictures, more coming soon, just too many to post at once.  Enjoy the rest of your week.

Take Care,

Jessica

Simple, Timeless Christmas Decor

Hello friends and family, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!  We’re less than two weeks away from the big day and I want to share with you a few of my favorite Christmas decor finds, all easy and affordable.  Let me know what you think or share some of your favorites with me.  Click the pictures for links.

Inspiring Holiday Tablescapes with Floral Designer Natalie Bowen

My favorite by far is this inspiring Holiday Tablescape by Floral Designer Natalie Bowen.  I love the black and white table linens mixed with the reds and greens.

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This is a timeless look that is easy to achieve.  Here they have used olive branches, but any greenery you have on hand would work.  Mix the greenery with various size candles and a simple table runner, makes for an elegant table setting.  Source apartment therapy.com.christmas 3

Another beautiful option using candles, greenery, and red berries.  What really grabbed my attention are the napkins, so fun and a unique twist to this timeless look.

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Here’s a completely different look, it’s a look that would work for any time of the year.  Gold finishes are the current trend, mix it with the black and white table linens and greenery for a very formal, elegant dinner party.

christmas 9This is a creative way to use succulents for your centerpiece, it looks gorgeous mixed with the gold, black, and white.  This centerpiece is great for your table year round with very little maintenance.

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It doesn’t get any more simple than this timeless look.  This would look great on an entryway table, mantle,  or your dinning table.  Use varying size vases and tree trimmings to add more interest.  If you don’t have a live tree like us on the island any greenery will work.

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A fun twist is to also add ornaments, and this is also a great option for small living spaces where a tree may not be an option.

christmas 10If you have extra ornaments or special ones, this is a great way to display them out of reach of the little hands.christmas 8

Paper whites and red ribbons are a beautiful combo.  Source www.theartoftheroom.com.

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Cute door ideas, perfect way to greet your friends and family for the holiday season.

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Hope you enjoyed the pictures and are inspired to try one of the looks.

Thank-you all for checking out my blog and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your friends!

Jessica

 

 

 

Nago Cherry Blossom Festival


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Hello friends, hope you all are having a wonderful week. I must say it feels like spring here, and with all the flowers blooming it definitely looks it, too!

This blog post is about a little road trip we took last weekend to the northern part of the island that is known for its lovely cherry tree-lined road that takes you up Mt.Nago. The 53rd Nago Cherry Blossom Festival is from January 31st to February 1st, but the trees have already started to bloom.  The cherry trees require cold temperatures to come into bloom, the pink blanket created by the trees moves slowly south from the northern mountains in one or two weeks.  It is believed that the blooms represent the end of winter and the beginning of spring.  It was a great day out with the kiddos, and I look forward to visiting again next year.

IMG_4434They had food vendors along the way selling traditional dishes and a few American favorites for the kiddos.

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imageYummy french fries and hot dogs!

imageThis was soup or soba with pigs feet and what appears to be an esophagus, I’m glad Cole chose the other bowl, I don’t think I could watch him eat that.

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On the way to the top of Mt. Nago there was a rest area with a shrine and locals selling oranges.

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imageThe Festival at Mt.Nago this weekend is expected to attract 200,000 visitors, with parades, street dances, and stage entertainment.  It’s worth the drive this weekend if you haven’t already checked it out.

IMG_4453A little Japanese translation for fun.

Cherry Blossoms – Sakura

Cherry Blossom Viewing – Hanami

Mountain Cherry Tree – Yamazakura

IMG_4455I hope you have enjoyed this blog post, and thank you for your support.  My little blog is starting to grow little by little, and I couldn’t do it without your subscriptions.

Take care and have a wonderful weekend!

Jessica

Thanksgiving Table

Hello friends, Thanksgiving is fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking about setting your table for family and friends, which can often be a daunting task.  I like the simple, timeless approach,  try to avoid buying trendy items that you may look back and say, “What was I thinking?”

This season there are many affordable options, depending where you live and what you have access to.  I’ve seen beautiful arrangements this season using cotton, pheasant feathers, wheat, just to name a few.  The colors I’m loving this fall are plum and burgundy, an easy option is always fruit and fall foliage.

Click the pictures below for the link and more info.

plumvia www.boho-weddings.com This is the color scheme my pick this fall, check out more amazing pics. on Boho-weddings.com.
via www.weddingchicks.com  How beautiful is this linen napkin, pheasant feather, and brass napkin ring combination?  
via www.blog.birdsparty.com  More of the beautiful plum color, mixed with magnolia leaves and persimmons.
 via www.vignettedesign.net  Beautiful color combination.
pomvia  www.bridalguide.com This is a beautiful combination with the pine cones, pomegranates, and orchids.        
via www.blog.xoxobride.com Another simple, yet beautiful option for using pomegranates.
via www.stylemepretty.com This is another amazing arrangement, if you have access to fresh cut cotton.
via www.findinghomeonline.com  Black and white gingham, striped tea towel, and  a small twig of lavender.
via  www.potterybarn.com  These lovely ikat napkins would be perfect on any Thanksgiving table, priced at $16.00 for a set of four.  
via www.pinterest.com  Accorns and lavender.
via  www.intimateweddings.com Another great look if you have access to fresh-cut wheat.
via www.southernliving.com  Fall foliage and miniature pumpkins,  pop against the white table linens and dinnerware. 
via www.hgtv.com  This is a great idea for your guests or kiddos, write what your thankful, a beautiful keepsake.
leaves 1via www.eastcoastcreativeblog.com  Lovely craft idea for the kiddos, also another option for guests to share what they are thankful for.
via www.eastcoastcreativeblog.com  Creative artwork idea for the kiddos, using dry magnolia leaves.
 
Hope you’ve enjoyed taking a look at a few of my favorite picks for our Thanksgiving table and it’s helped get the creative juices flowing.
 
Thank-you for reading my blog!  Don’t forget to subscribe and share with your friends.  
 
Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! 
  
Jessica
 
 
 

Halloween and Fall Decor

Happy Fall Y’all!  Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the cooler weather.  This week the hubs is headed home, so it will be especially sweet at the Johnson household.

Last week we were outdoors, so this week we are moving inside and checking out a few great ideas for decorating your home for the fall season.  The pictures below have clickable links that will take you to the source.
via  www.bhg.com   Make ordinary objects a little creepier with a coat of black paint.  Find a tree branch (the more twisted and gnarled, the better) and spray-paint it black. Once dry, insert the branch in an urn or pot. Finish by placing a few black ravens on the branch.

via  www.babble.com  This is another cute idea to hang in you entryway, above your table or island.

via www.marthastewart.com How about this for your coffee table? If you have boys, this would definitely get two thumbs up.  Made of tea-dyed eggs and fishing lures, it’s sure to make guests scream.

via  www.marthastewart.com  Another cute idea that the boys are sure to love, a nice dining room table centerpiece.

via  www.marthastewart.com  This is an option for those who have little ones that are scared of jack-o-lanterns.  These are made of daikon radishes and turnips, and an easy project to make with the kiddos.

autumvia www.countryliving.com  This a great option if you’re not into the traditional Halloween colors, keeping it simple with neutral decor.

via www.sugarpiefarmhouse.com/aunt-ruthies-autumn-home-tour, for more pics.  I like the look of the lit branches on your mantel or at an entry.  I’ve seen the pre-lit branches at Kirkland’s and Target for around $10-12 dollars.

 

via www.hgtv.com  Using leaves the kiddos have collected is another creative way to decorate your dining room, mantel, or over your kitchen sink.

via  www.MarthaStewart.com  To make this you need: miniature gourds, a drill with a fine bit, and twine. Drill a hole through the center of each gourd. Thread twine through an embroidery needle; run it through the holes, knotting it at both sides of each gourd to secure in place. Click on the picture complete step-by-step instructions.  This garland is great for indoors or out.

via www.countryliving.com  Dried gourds and squash on this mantle remind me of my grandmother.   Additional ‘Tiny Bottle’ gourds hang from a garland of chestnuts.

via www.marthastewart.com  This is a great option if you are going for a more formal look, great for Halloween or Thanksgiving.  All you need to accomplish this look is a can of silver spray paint and pumpkins in various sizes.

via www.countryliving.com Love the colors in the wreath and rug.

via  www.southernliving.com  How about this festive retreat to enjoy your morning cup of coffee.  These lovely mantle arrangements are a combination of autumn leaves, hydrangea, berries, oak and magnolia leaves.

via  www.southernliving.com  An arrangement like this is alway sitting on my dining room table as soon as the leaves start to turn, the bigger the better.   Branches of leaves cut from the yard,  can’t get any more affordable or beautiful.

via www.marthastewart.com  How about this half bat, half pumpkin pace setting?

via www.craftychickscuppacoffee.blogspot.com

via  www.diana212m.blogspot.com  How about this perfect fall potpourri to make your house smell like autumn?  Click the picture to take you to the recipe on Diana’s blog.

Hope you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to subscribe and share with your friends.  Have a great weekend!

Jessica

This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (NLT) ( Joshua 1:9 )

 

Fall Flowers

Now that the weather is about to start cooling off  and football season is well on its way, its time to start thinking about planting our favorite fall flowers.  Your choice of fall flowers will be with throughout the holiday season.  What better way to greet your guests than with two beautiful planters flanking your front door or fall flowers lining your sidewalk.   There are so many beautiful colors and combinations to choose from.  Below are a few of my favorites and a some simple steps to hopefully keep your flowers looking lovely throughout the season.

via www.homestoriesatoz.com  via www.southernliving.com  This lovely trio is orange pansies, violas, and orange panels, also paired with wheat grass and ivy.

How to care for your pansies.  Pansies are not difficult to grow. Good soil, steady moisture, and at least partial sun will provide the results you’re looking for. What they don’t tolerate is heat and humidity, which is why they thrive in spring and fall. Plant pansies 6 to 8 inches apart.  Pansies respond well to regular deadheading. As often as possible, every couple of days if you can, pinch off faded blooms and any fruit (small green seed capsules) that may be forming. This will spur plants to continue blooming.  Be sure they’re growing in a well-drained location, pansies are susceptible to saturated soil.

via www.southernliving.com   This arrangement of pink blooms of ‘Strawberry Sundae’ twin spurs (Diascia hybrid) is paired with a beautiful pale purple pansy.

via www.southernliving.com  Pair colorful pansies with an evergreen for an established planting that can still change from season to season.

via www.southernliving.com  Place two of these cheerful pots flanking your front door to welcome your guests.

via www.southernliving.com

With mums, what you see is what you get, so buy the bigger plant.  When night temps drop (mid-September), buy plants as they start to break bud. You’ll maximize bloom time. Once buds start to open, you’re pretty much guaranteed flowers―no matter where you display them, they are happiest in sun.  Another tip via Southern Living to keep flowers coming is by watering and pinching. Soil should be moist, but never wet. Check daily while weather is warm, every other day when it’s cooler. Fertilizing is not necessary. Remove faded blooms to encourage even more buds to open and you’ll have color through October.  If plants dry out, submerge in a bucket of water, or jab a sharp pencil into the soil several times and then water.

via  www.katesgarden.ca  This site has beautiful spring and fall arrangement ideas.

Kale and Ornamental cabbage plants prefer cool weather.  The best time to plant them is in the early fall.  Planting kale in August or early September will allow the plant to become established.  Ornamental Cabbage and kale should be planted in a sunny location in a moderately moist, rich soil.  Water ornamental kale if the soil dries out about 1 inch deep. Water with 1 inch of water so the water seeps deep into the soil. If your fall and winters are normally wet, you might not need to water them at all.

This gorgeous arrangement was found on www.serendipityrefined.com, absolutely beautiful.

via www.reposhture.blogspot.com  Ornamental cabbage, mixed with an established evergreen and ivy.  This arrangement has a few Christmas tree branches, pine cones, and decorative branches to transition from the fall to Christmas holidays.

cabbage 3via www.southernliving.com  This combination of evergreens, ornamental cabbage, and pansies are lovely.

via www.lovethispic.com  One last picture for a little inspiration.

I hope this post has given you a few ideas for starting your fall plantings.  The pictures above have clickable links for further details.

Thank-you for following my blog, hope you enjoyed this post.  Don’t forget to subscribe and share with your friends.  Have a great week!

Jessica

 

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