Okinawa Christmas 2016

Back porch swinging with daddy.

This may or may not be their last Santa picture.

Twinsies for church, wouldn’t pose for a pic.

Birthday dinner for Cole

Twenty-nine and holding!

Hiking on our last day of Christmas break.

Cute little local ladies serving up yummy carnival food!

Such a cutie!

Traditional Okinawan New Year’s Decor

Christmas shopping and this is how I find them.

Ava’s beautiful creation.

Squadron Christmas Party

School toy drive at the USO for a local orphanage.

Picnic at the park!

Cub Scout Christmas party with the Okinawan Troop.

Two hours of eating candy and making gingerbread houses.

This was a peek at our December through the pictures on my phone.  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your friends and family.  May 2017 bring you blessings of health and happiness.  Warm hugs to you from Okinawa.

Jessica

Yomitan Pottery Village 

If you’re looking for a fun day of exploring Okinawa you should definitely give this place,Yomitan Pottery Village, a few hours of your time.  Cole had a day off last week, so I thought I’d share a few pictures from this fun find.  You may want to wait until the weather cools off a bit, there’s said to be around 45 artists working in the village, so plan to do some walking.The Pottery Village was simple to find with google maps.

Yomitan Pottery Village

2653 Zakimi, Yomitan-son, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa-ken 904-0301

https://goo.gl/maps/KgqyjXCWMRG2

Hope you enjoyed the pictures from our day out and about, and add this place to you list of things to do before leaving the island, you won’t be disappointed.

Have a great weekend and thank-you for stopping by my blog!

Jessica

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

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

Halloween Treats for All

Halloween is only a few weeks away,  it’s time for parties and gatherings with friends and family.  This season the options are endless for goolish, tasty treats that the kiddos are sure to enjoy, and a few for mom, too!  Here are a few of  my favorites picks, sure to be tasty and not too difficult to prepare.  The pictures have clickable links to the source for recipes and step-by-step instructions.

via  www.southernliving.com  Try using pumpkins to add interesting height to your buffet this Halloween.

via www.dixiecrystals.com  This yummy treat has only six ingredients, Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles.

via www.erinsfoodfiles.com  Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles, another pumpkin truffle option, they look delish!

via www.marthastewart.com  Marshmallow skulls top madeleines shrouded in bittersweet chocolate.

via www.notquitenigella.com  How about brains, grotesque with a blood clot hidden inside the cupcake?

via  www.cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com  Love this simple vampire bite cupcake, it is vanilla cake with bloody jam centre and bloodied fang marks.

via  www.karaspartyideas.com  This is a cute idea for a fall party, using mini Oreos and Reese’s pieces.

via www.tasteofhome.com  Adorable ghosts, a simple way to decorate your juicy strawberries.

via www.annies-eats.com  If you need a chocolate fix, this colorful Halloween bark is a good balance of sweet and salty.

 

bandaids via  www.katherinemariephotography.com   This is an easy idea for the kids to help prepare.

via www.craftberrybush.com  This is definitely the cutest idea for older kids and adults, how can you resist a candy apple bar? Bite size is perfect and you can try them all. Check out Lucy’s blog for recipes and more cute ideas.

via www.pinterest.com/pin/68724549731  Beautiful presentation of a candied apple bar.

via  www.mylitter.com Here is another great option for candied apples, great for little hands.  Be sure to read the helpful tips, under the recipe on www.mylitter.com.

via www.life-in-the-lofthouse.com  If you are not into candied apples, how about a little caramel apple dip?  This recipe also looks delicious.

via  www.shewearsmanyhats.com  Here’s a simple recipe for your pumpkin seeds after carving your jack-o-lantern ,  this one has only five ingredients.

via  www.dearcrissy.com This is another simple recipe, only six ingredients, most are already in your pantry.  This with your morning coffee, yes, please!

via www.marthastewart.com  I had to add this jack-o-lattern pick, made me smile.

Hope you enjoyed this post and are hungry now!  Dont’t forget to subscribe and share with your friends.  Have wonderful day!

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 )

 

Give Your Porch Spook-Tastic Flair for Halloween

It’s finally fall, my favorite time of the year.  I love that the weather is cooling off, the Halloween carnivals and festivals, football games, pumpkin patches, and last but not least decorating my home for the fall season.  The decorative options for a pumpkin or two are endless,  I’ve found a few of my favorites and I hope they inspire you to start decorating too.  The pictures below have clickable links to the source for more information.

via www.bhg.com Love the look of this look, it’s simple, affordable and will look great through the Thanksgiving holiday.

via www.bhg.com  With this arrangement stabilize the bottom pumpkin with rocks or sand; stack the pumpkins from largest to smallest, leaving lids with stems off on all but the top pumpkin.

via www.bhg.com  If you’re into carving your pumpkins, this is a cute idea with sunflower seeds.

via www.southernliving.com  To create this topiary, sandwich bay wreaths between pumpkins stacked in concrete urns, and top with a small pumpkin.

via www.pinterest.com  This raven wreath is so simple, I would have never thought of something like this!   The ravens you can find at just about any store that sells Halloween decor.  The foam wreath is just painted or wrapped in a black ribbon.

via www.thegatheringplacedesign.blogspot.com  This wreath is a great fall decor option to get you through the Thanksgiving holiday season and simple to make.

via www.susieharrisblog.com  Check out Susie’s blog for step-by-step instructions on how to make these lovely fall wreaths.

www.bhg.com  Love the color combination of this one.

via www.marthastewart.com  This is a great alternative for the front door if you are going to be away with your own trick-or-treaters.  I have actually done this the past few years, very easy and looks great.

via www.thistlewoodfarms.com

via www.marthastewart.com

via www.countryliving.com  Another creative idea for your fall decor, a little metallic spray paint to add a nontraditional twist to your pumpkins.

via www.goodhousekeeping.com Carrying on with the raven theme, this makes a dramatic statement, sure to spook your little trick-or-treaters.

via www.marthastewart.com  This one is a little more simple, but still very cute.

www.southernliving.com

via  www.bhg.com  The door decorations made from painted gourds are sure to catch the eye and chill the heart in the dark.

via www.potterybarn.com

via www.marthastewart.com  This one is simply a large shredded garbage bag(the thin cheaper bags work best), I have also done this the past two years and looks great.  It does tend to get very tangled,  if you live in a windy area you may want to wait until a day or two before the trick-or-treaters arrive.

via www.bhg.com  Easy to pose and secure with nearly invisible fishing line, the plastic skeletons can withstand the weather and hang out the entire season.

via www.bhg.com  These spooky silhouettes are simply traced onto black paper or poster with a light placed behind. This is a project the kiddos can definitely help with.

Hope you have enjoyed this post and it has inspired you to get decorating for Halloween.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and please share with your friends.  If you have recently subscribed and haven’t received email notifications please subscribe again, I’m still trying to iron out a few glitches.  Have a great day!

Jessica

Easy projects with big impact for your daughter’s room

Hi all, I’ve been away for a few weeks with family in Alabama.  Looks like we will be on the road for a while, final destination Okinawa, Japan in late October.  Looking forward to posting our travels.

Hope you are having a wonderful summer with family and friends.

Today’s post is about cute DIY ideas for your daughter’s room that will make a big statement.  The pictures below are one day projects you can do with your daughter without breaking the bank.  Hope they inspire you to get crafty with your daughter.   All the pictures below have clickable links, most with step-by-step instructions.  via www.hankandhunt.com  This idea would be cute in front of your daughters windows, above her headboard, or outlining her bed.  You could use your daughters favorite colors and change-up the sizes and shapes.via www.alltheluckintheworld.nl/blog/  Create this work of art with your daughter using her favorite mementoes  to hang over her bed. via www.pinterest.com   What a cute idea for a night-light, use your child’s name to personalize her space. via www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?productId=4322062   The lights pictured above can be found at Lowe’s in various lengths. via www.mycakies.com/2014/02/a-heart-light/  This is the same concept as above with twinkle lights and simple wire formed to the desired shape. via www.pinterest.com/pin/76420524899658229/   These are made of tissue paper and would look great in a group of five or six hanging in a group at various heights. via www.honestlywtf.com

via  www.pinterest.com/pin/283234264034583607/

via www.brightnest.com  My daughter would love this over her headboard.  Simply a combination of the tulle fabric or tissue paper flowers and ribbons tied to a curtain rod.via www.pillowthought.com  This is an easy was to add color and interest to a room, nursery, or special occasion party.

via www.somewhere-in-the-middle.com   Cute idea, using the inner ring of a sewing loom and ribbon.

Hope you all enjoyed the post, have a wonderful weekend!  Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and share with your friends!

Jessica

Outdoor Activities for the Kiddos

Now that summer has arrived, we have to find activities to keep the kiddos happy and off the computers.  Here are a few cute activities I have found that are fun and budget friendly.  The pictures below have clickable links for more how to details about each project.
via childrenandstories.com   Now that your seeds have sprouted here are few planter options that are great for kids and will only take a small amount of space.

via www.apartmenttherapy.com,  This is a cute option for a herb garden, mix in a few f lowers to add some color.


via www.curiositiesbydickens.com  This one is great for flowers or herbs on a patio, porch, or any small outdoor space.

via www.flickr.com   This would make an amazing play area for the kiddos or a nice hiding spot for mom.  If you don’t have enough space for a circle you could always place it in the corner of your yard or fence. The shapes and design options are endless.

via www.beafunmum.com,  My little princess would love a garden with her very own flowers.  Let them decorate and arrange the garden to their taste.

via www.pinterset.com,  This idea is great for the young and old, a chess board would also be cute.  Let the kiddos decorate the stones.   These games could bring years of entertainment.

I found these cute little bird feeders on www.alphamom.com, an easy craft and fun for the kiddos.  Hang these outside the kid’s bedroom windows for them to enjoy.

via  www.weheartit.com,  These lanterns are an easy project for the kiddos if you plan on having an evening party.  They would look great around a pool, lining a sidewalk, or simply sitting on the table.  It would give the kids great pride knowing  they created this lovely masterpiece.

Hope this has given you a few ideas to get the kiddos outside this summer. Thank-you for reading my post.   Have a wonderful day!

Jessica

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