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

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

Happy Tailgating

Now that football season is well on its way, I’m always looking for a new recipe to take to fall/tailgate parties.  Convenience is priority, if you can prepare the dish ahead of time it’s a definite winner.  The recipes I chose are many of the standard tailgate dishes but with a twist to spice things up.  The ingredients are listed, just click the pictures for the recipe instructions.  I have also found a few fun gift ideas for your favorite fan, the shopping season is almost upon us, yikes!

via www.southernliving.com

via www.southernliving.com

Grilled Salsa

2 ears fresh corn, husks removed
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded (optional)
1 small sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 medium tomatoes, halved (about 2 lb.)
Vegetable cooking spray
1 small garlic clove, quartered
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Fried pork rinds

via www.myrecipes.com

Smoky Blue Deviled Eggs

12 large eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup freshly grated smoked or sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped jarred roasted red bell pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of ground red pepper

via www.bhg.com

Smoky Pineapple Guacamole

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
2 ripe avocados, halved, seeded, and peeled
2 slices fresh or canned pineapple
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
Tortilla chips or assorted vegetable dippers

www.myrecipes.com

Hot Spiced Boiled Peanuts

2 pounds raw peanuts in the shell
1/3 cup salt
3/4 cup hot sauce
1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 bay leaves

via www.chef-in-training.com

Buffalo Chicken Sliders

1 package Hawaiian rolls
10 slices Gouda cheese
Filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
⅓ cup Franks Buffalo sauce
1½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken
Blue Cheese Spread
½ cup mayo
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
¼ cup diced celery
¼ cup sour cream
Topping
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup blue cheese crumbled
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

www.ohbiteit.com

Sweet Heat Molasses Meatballs

1 cup Molasses
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Chile Powder
1 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 pinch of Cayenne..to taste
1/2 cup water

via www.lillybee.com

At Lilly Bee you can customize your ballet flats with your monogram, sorority, or team initials.  They also have rains boots available in your school colors, check them out.

www.thomasdeanco.com

These crisp, tailored dress shirts come with logos in your team colors and are a perfect tailgate outfit for both genders.

www.cabelas.com

This is a must for your favorite tailgater, it’s available in all your favorite college or alma mater colors. Found at Cabela for $379.99.

via Etsy @ RedBarnProducts

A great game for all ages, whether in the back yard, tailgating, or at the beach with friends.  This company I found on Etsy and they have all your college teams.

via www.theoldtry.com

I couldn’t help but add this print, a perfect little gift for your favorite Alabama fan.  Check out this site for other affordable prints that represent your favorite state or team.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and happy tailgating.  Thank-you again for following my blog, your support means so much!  Also,  if you have subscribed to my blog and are not receiving email notification, please subscribed again,  I’m still trying to iron out the glitches.

Jessica

Provence, France

If you are looking for a dream vacation across the pond I’ve found a few stunning rental properties that might suit your fancy.  Take a peak and get your passports ready.

This lovely home is in the heart of the Alpilles of Provence, Le Grand Mas .  The six bedroom home will run you about 1,100 euros or $1,400 per night. The home is minimally decorated allowing the architecture and views to speak for themselves in Provence’s most highly sought after region.  This provencal house of old stone, surrounded by a great pool house and gardens, is just a short walk away from the center of Saint Remy de Provence. It stands in a flourishing and manicured park of olive trees and roses. The sublimely decorated home boasts modern amenities and gorgeous scenery.

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Provence is most famous for its striking, fragrant lavender fields which bloom in early summer.  Other notable destinations include the Roman city of Arles, the city of Avignon with its famous medieval bridge, the Pont d’Avignon, and Les Baux de Provence, a fortified hilltop village.  On the coast of Provence you’ll find the fishing village of Cassis, where you can take a boat tour of the harbor.  Further west you’ll find Marseille, France’s oldest city and an important trading port throughout history.

Amphitheatre – Arles France

Avignon’s famous medieval bridge

 Cassis, France

The next home is equally beautiful, the main house offers great views of the Massif d’Etoiles. Guests have access to most of the estate including the tennis court, swimming pool, gardens and olive groves.  The house sleeps 12 and runs  about $2,000 per night.

Hope you have enjoyed taking a little peek at the lovely Provence.  The homes shown above have clickable links for more pictures and details about the properties.

Thank-you so much for following my blog.  Don’t forget to subscribe and share with your friends.

Jessica

 

Highway 30A Beach Beauties

The beautiful homes found on 30A inspired me put this blog post together.  Being from the south and having lived in the panhandle area for three plus years this highway of upscale communities is packed with sites and activities for your family to enjoy.   If you are not familiar with the area and are visiting Eglin AFB or Tyndal AFB, this is definitely a must for a road trip.  The shops and restaurants are extraordinary and the water is a beautiful crystal blue.  You will not be disappointed, Alys Beach first stop, beware of  eye candy overload.

Alys Beach is a new urban community that has joined Bermudan architecture with the gracious private courtyard living. The homes posted below are mostly rentals, click the picture for details.  There are a few available for purchase in the 1-8 million plus price range,  a girl can always dream! via  www.tutudivine.com via www.alysbeach.com via  www.alysbeach.com/amenities/caliza-pool via  www.alysbeach.com/rental-properties/25-moongate-court via www.alysbeach.com/rental-properties/223-north-somerset-street via www.pinterest.com via www.alysbeach.com/rental-properties/251-north-somerset-street via www.alysbeach.com/rental-properties/30-north-charles via www.alysbeach.com/rental-properties/75-governors-court via www.alysbeach.com/rental-properties/251-north-somerset-street via  www.alysbeach.com/rental-properties/38-whitby via  www.alysbeach.com/rental-properties/30-north-charles via  www.alysbeach.com/rental-properties/49-governors-court via  www.alysbeach.com/rental-properties/30-north-charles via  www.alysbeach.com/rental-properties/100-north-charles via  www.vrbo.com/482496 via  www.alysbeach.com/rental-properties/84-nonesuch-way via www.alysbeach.com via  www.alysbeach.com/alys-beach-availabe-homes/c6-140-charles-street via  www.alysbeach.com/alys-beach-availabe-homes/f3-22-whitby-court via  www.alysbeach.com/alys-beach-availabe-homes/a1-16-seven-wells-court via  www.alysbeach.com/alys-beach-availabe-homes/f3-22-whitby-court via  www.alysbeach.com/alys-beach-availabe-homes/c6-140-charles-street Hope you have enjoyed taking a look at Alys Beach, if you are ever in the area stop by and take a stroll.  Next stop, the lovely Seaside community.  Thank-you for reading my blog, please share and pass along with your friends.  Have a great week! 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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