Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dinner Dishes: Honey Lime Chicken, "Wingstop" Fries, and Homemade Ranch!

Now if you know me but at ALL, you know that I am not a chef. I'm not creative with food and I eat like a 5 year old (that is, I'm incredibly picky... I mean INCREDIBLY). So today Nate and I took our usual grocery shopping trip with a mission: at least ONE new recipe. We popped open a Rachael Ray cookbook and found a delicious gem. Honey Lime Chicken Sandwiches.

It all starts with a chicken breast. You create a dressing of honey, lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, and cumin. Drizzle over the chicken and grill. After grilling, slice diagonally and put on a kaiser roll. YUM! Here's the "official" recipe from Ray herself here.

Nate's sandwich prep: red onions, tomatoes, and avocados. 

Our chicken all sliced up, ready to be stacked on our kaiser rolls.

Final product! Can you guess which sandwich belongs to me? (cough, cough, the one on the right: I HATE vegetables).


Also in honor of our grocery shopping trip, we decided to create homemade ranch dressing (you can see it above next to our fries... I'll get to those in a second too). I'm sorry, but the stuff in the bottle is disgusting. It's too thick and intense. YUCK. I came across Angie's blog here where she created homemade ranch dressing. It is DELICIOUS. Mayonnaise, buttermilk, ranch dressing mix, dill, cayenne, paprika, black pepper... it's SO easy. Mix and refrigerate! 

When we created THAT new addition to our kitchen (rhyme? no?), we decided we needed some "Wingstop" fries... Now, if you know Wingstop, their fries are little pieces o'amazingness. Their secret: SUGAR (I googled it just to make sure). There's an official recipe that's a "secret" (hmph), so people online have said to add sugar and seasoned salt. We had frozen fries (I'm not in need of homemade fries too), and when they had about two minutes left to cook, we took them out and sprinkled red seasoned salt and sugar on them. YUM. Please do it. They are delicious. Especially with the homemade ranch dressing mentioned earlier.

We had a fun day of trying new things in the kitchen. What adventures have you done in the world of cooking?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Fashion

Fashion Fall Wishlist :)

THESE boots in Cognac Leather. I saw them on Erika's website after she did a post about all of the types of boots she has. As SOON as Texas decides to be cool/cold, I am pulling out skinny jeans and my new boots! I hopefully will receive them as a Christmas or birthday present, although that fact doesn't matter because they are a day apart :)

courtesy of
Speaking of skinny jeans, being such a weird body type (small thighs, a bit o'junk in my trunk) it is IMPOSSIBLE to find jeans that fit in the waist, rear, and thigh correctly. They are either too big or too snug in one of those three areas. That is why I'm so glad these jeggings were invented. 

Short post, but fun nonetheless. I'm cooking pumpkin seeds for my kiddos tomorrow! We (as in me) carved a pumpkin today and they pulled out the seeds. Tomorrow, we will eat the seeds and create a graph showing if we liked the seeds or not. They are smelling yummy! Pumpkin seeds + melted butter + Lawry's seasoned salt = muy delicioso.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Classroom Projects

During this fall season, my class has been working on some fun hallway displays to showcase their learning! Take a look!

We created apple trees with construction paper, and used our thumbs to stamp "apples" in the tree and apples on the ground. We added them together (which reinforced joining two parts to add): Apples on the ground, apples on the tree, how many apples are there for me?

One week, we learned about nocturnal animals. We created bats out of construction paper and made a Venn diagram to compare bats to birds. We also discussed comparing and contrasting. (I also have NO clue why this picture is off-centered... grrr...)

We created a fun hallway display after our field trip to a local farm. We painted pumpkins with watercolors, created personalized scarecrows with construction paper, and added black crows for our scarecrows to scare away!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Feelin' Like a Slacker

Sorry for the not-so-updated posts! We went to Dallas this weekend to visit the parents and it was a LOVELY weekend! I have some pictures, but alas... my purse w/my camera is in the other room ;)

Thursday night: arrived in Grand Prairie around 9:00. Visited with the parents and had yummyyy Taco Cabana (oh how I've missed you)!

Friday morning/afternoonish: Nate and I headed to the State Fair of Texas! We visited the new car shows, an exhibit on Tom Landry, watched a dog show, and ate the world famous Fletcher's corn dog, as well as tater twisters. YUM!

Hello there, Big Tex!

Fletcher's corn dog? Yes please!

A billion calories later? Worth every single one, even if my pants were a little snug later :)

Friday evening: We met up with my 2nd family (the Bills') and had Chinese food at one of our favorite places in Irving. YUM. Afterwards, we headed back to my parents' house to watch the RANGERS! Who, by the way, I am EXTREMELY PROUD of! I'm SO excited for them!!!!!
The little sister from another mister!! :)

Saturday: Nate and I went to Bank of America and closed our accounts (exciting, I know). Next, we headed with my parents to CHICK FIL A, I've missed you too!!!!! I had chick-n-mini's. Ummm... YES please :) Then we went to visit my grandparents, which is always a good time. After that, Nate and I met up with Emily and Scott for lunch at Pluckers (triple YUM! Can you tell this trip was about reuniting with some of our favorite food joints?). After eating, we headed to Mardel (Christian and Education bookstore... ch-ello, that's me and Nathan's careers = perfect store for us) for a quick shopping trip. We left Dallas around 5pm (after watching a bit o'the Rangers game!)

It was a GREAT weekend meeting up with family and friends, eating at our favorite places, and all around just enjoying our time.

However, we did get bit of a "bomb" dropped on us while we were home. Apparently, my dad has been having chest pains since July and they went to the doctor. It was decided that it was just reaallyyyy bad heartburn. Then in SEPTEMBER, the doctors looked at my dad's stats again (I guess they were bored?) and decided he needed to see a cardiologist... He went and had a stress test done a few weeks ago, and they were unable to detect blood flow to the bottom portion of his heart. Therefore, this coming Tuesday, they will be doing a heart catheter to inject dye in his blood stream. This will show exactly where his blood his flowing. If necessary (60% or more of blockage), they will put a stint his vein to open up for better flowage.

This is a very routine procedure and my grandpa has had it done THREE times (my dad will have the same doctor), but there are always risks. Please please please if you read this blog, keep him (Richard) in your prayers. Our God is the ultimate healer and I know He will get us all through this.

Have a great week and GOOOOO RANGERS!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Front Porch for Fall

A family from our church had their front yard all decked out for Halloween... pumpkins, scarecrows, etc. This inspired me to get busy with our front stoop. Yes, I know I put "porch" in the post title, but umm... we don't have one. We have stairs. A "stoop" if you will. So I made Sam come with me and we bought 3 hay bales (courtesy of Walmart, thank you very much) and some pumpkins and we got busy. Last fall, I bought a scarecrow from Walmart (love that place) for $8. Awesome. Except we lived in a 3rd floor apartment, which = a balcony, which = no one sees your cute scarecrow. Cue this year, new house, which means Randall, my scarecrow (yes, everything has a name) made his debut on our stoop :) We also have a fake pumpkin that has a carved-out face. I just put him out there for kicks :)

No, it's not a hard arrangement. No, it wasn't expensive. And no, it's not "magazine" styled. But it's fallish and fun and it makes me do :) when I drive up, so there. Did anyone else create a fun, fall porch that makes you go :) when you drive up? Do share!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fun Halloween Fixes

Today is a lazy Saturday at the Johnson household (Nathan is busy being productive by doing work for seminary... and I'm just hangin' out...), so I decided to spruce up a couple of things for Halloween!

Project #1: Spider Web Candy Bowl

Last Halloween, I bought this adorable spider web candy bowl:

Unfortunately, it is turquoise blue. Yes, it's a fun color and it's one of my favorites... but it does not match our house. And yes, it's Halloween decorations and so-what if it doesn't match... but hello, I'm Chrissy. Nice to meet you. I'm a Capricorn and I like things to match :) So we introduced our blue spider web bowl to our little friend: Mr. Black Spray Paint

I went outside with a piece of cardboard (from a mirror we purchased a couple of weeks ago) and got bussyyyy with my spray paintin'. Today was a GORGE day, so pardon the super bright shots :)

And voila! Now we have a sleek, black, and still creepy/cute spider web candy bowl for our candy-candy-candy (did anyone else ever watch the Garfield Halloween special when they were little?)

Project #2: Pumpkin Painting a la Young House Love

When buying Halloween pumpkins this year, I knew I wanted to paint instead of carve. I will be carving pumpkins with my class at school, so I figured I'd save the gross-ness mess of carving for my Kindergartners. Did I mention Nate was working on his Master's? I'm not allowed to bother him right now :) Teehee, I did try, but still- paint was the way to go.

I remembered reading about John and Sherry's pumpkins from last Halloween on their blog (click the link above to go straight to the post I'm talking about). It was classy, yet creepy. I'm all about that combo for Halloween. The goal: monogrammed pumpkins with an "N" for Nate and a "C" for Chrissy, all the while looking like creepy, crawling centipedes (I do NOT do bugs: just ask my Kinder students). So, I started with a big ol' pumpkin:

I bought generic, acrylic black paint from Walmart and got a variety of brush thicknesses to get started. The fantastic thing about this project is that it does NOT have to be perfect. And YAY for having beginning letters that can be make-shifted into centipedes :)

I free-handed because it's a pumpkin and I'm not THAT particular about it, but if you want to trace beforehand with a pencil or marker, have at it. After doing the "N" and "C", I got to work on the legs and antennas of my creepy crawlers with an itsy bitsy brush.

It was a-dorable and I showed Nate, and he said, "but what about Chloe?" A-ha, of course I can't forget our four-legged pooch. Now, if you haven't met Chloe... well, let's just say she LOVES life and excitement for it. Seeing as another project of ours today was bleaching our couch slipcover white, we didn't think painting her paw with black would be the best option... knowing her, she'd get SO excited, she'd run all over the house sporting her new accessory... So, Nate took a photo of her paw and I free-handed it on the pumpkin. It looks pretttyyyy legit.

So there is our Halloween pumpkin, all decked out for Oct. 31. We have one more big pumpkin, and 3 small pie pumpkins, so we MAY do a project with these... Not sure yet. We'll keep ya posted (if you actually cared enough to read this post in its entirety :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Plate Wall

I am so excited about our newest venture for the kitchen....

A plate WALL. I know, I know... What?

I saw this a-mazing idea pictured above from this blog. We are starting our collection of vintage, antique, or flea market find plates. I have so far gotten four plates that have cost me a grand total of $16 :) Here is what we did:

We went to Walmart and found these nifty plate hangers. Warning: to put these on the plates, it is definitely a two-person job if you would like to keep both of your eyeballs. BUT they are very sturdy: we haven't had any problems with them so far!

Here is my mini-plate wall. Four, yes I know, an even number. Gag. I was aiming for 3 or 5 to start with, but I didn't find any others that caught my eye. I guess I'll have to go back to the Burg's flea market this weekend :)

***Again, so sorry for the poor picture quality. You will all be happy to know that Nate and I purchased a new digital camera and higher quality images will be downloaded from now on. HooRAY!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Link Party!

I did my first link party! It was for fall projects and I linked up my fall wreath! Check it out, along with all of the other fall projects out there, at Tatertots and Jello :) I'm #182!

It was another, beautiful fall day today. Thanks be to God!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Picture Post!

I know, right?!


Excuse the quality of these images, they are all from my iPhone :)

First off, we'll start with the fall ambiance at Casa de Johnson. This is our dining room "buffet", with the new mirror we scored at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. This is also showcasing my Dollar General lamps, thank you very much :)

Here is our entertainment unit in the living room. This picture is VERY bright... I put a fall leaf garland at the top, along with a scarecrow. I have two candles that smell amazinggg and oh-so very fallish at the top corner cubbies. I also have a mini skeleton man who's holding a trick or treat sign... plus my wooden pumpkin that's cute too :)

Now onto my Warrenton purchases :)

I found this adorable Kindergarten religion book, and since I work at a Catholic school, I thought it seemed appropriate :) and only $1!

These Halloween letters are adorable!

This crate was used to pick grapes in California... now it is housing my throw blankets in my living room!

I thought this little wooden sign looked Halloweeny since it was black and orange w/crows. I've been into crows this season, Hobby Lobby has really cute decorations involving crows!

Look at this adorable yellow table! I love its color and the distressed look of it.

This chair is sitting in the corner of our guest bedroom. I like the simplicity of it and the age it gives off.

This is an old jar I found for $5 and a stenciled 'J' for $5 :) They both look great on our dining room "buffet"!

Another old jar for $2. I put fall leaves in it :) It's sitting behind the subway art I created for mine and Nathan's hometowns. It's a nice reminder when we are missing our family that's 4 hours away.

Another old jar :) and that vase has twine that I hot glued around it for a more "rustic/farmhouse" look.

So there are the latest editions to our home. Simple things that give the house character :) We are wanting to create a collected look, and not that our whole house came out of a catalog. It's getting there!

Family Fun Weekend

My parents came in town this weekend! It is always so much fun when they come :) It's nice to get a little Dallas down here in the Burg.

Friday night, we all went to the Schulenburg/Weimar varsity game. Now, Sburg and Weimar are HUGE rivals, like GP/South (my high school and its rival). It's 2A football, so it slightly varies from the 5A I grew up on, but it was still fun! We had to leave after halftime though because after the game, Nate was having a 5th quarter fellowship at the church. There was a great turnout! Over SIXTY kids... and last year, there were about 40! That is a fantastic number, showing that on average, we have about 10 kids in the youth group currently. We had food, giveaways, loud music, volleyball, pool, ping pong, etc. It was a great way to show the kids of Sburg that we care about them and that they are welcome to our church anytime. Fun way to fellowship and minister!

Saturday, we woke up superrr early and headed to WARRENTON! It's the last weekend :( Sigh, but it was fun. Dad opted to stay at our house with Chloe and watched football (he's not a fan of crowds). So Nate, mom, and I headed out around 8am. I bought...

1. Cute letters that spell out "Halloween"
I put these on our "buffet" in the dining room. They are wooden letters that are "halloween" themed (the "l"s are ghosts, there are spiders, its black/orange/purple, etc) and it's super cute. $10

2. Creepy crow sign
$7. It is wooden and orange/black with crows and says something about pegs on it. I thought it would be a nice, vintage Halloween decoration.

3. French ceramic plate
$10. I'm going to create a plate wall in the hall from the kitchen to our bedroom, more on that project later :) I'm really excited about it and it's going to be cutteee.

4. New collar for Chloe
Zebra stripes, lime green and white. Plus, hers was getting a little ragged. $10

5. Old grape picking crate
$20. I had been looking at the crates all day knowing I wanted to get one for SOMETHING. I saw a gorgeous one.. for $90, psh. Then I came across this beauty: distressed wood, imprinted with "California Canners and Growers" (?) with a splash of red (hello living room!) for $25. Yes please. I "haggled" it to $20. Holler. The salesman informed me that it was used to pick grapes. Neat! Now it will be used as a house for throw blankets.

(I will create one post that has pictures of all my fun finds from both Warrenton trips... again, it's hard without my camera charger and I have to resort to iPhone photos!)

When we got home, they all watched football and I took a nap :) Then we had Mexican food at a local restaurant! Yum! Today we all went to church, ate lunch, and the parents just left :(

Now, Sam and I are about to go shop at the Schulenburg flea market (see if I can find a couple of new plates for my plate wall), then off to buy pumpkins for my front stoop decor! Pictures to come :)