Friday, October 28, 2011

Photo Editing...





Photo editing makes such a difference :)

Let's Go Rangers!

 ::clap, clap, clap clap clap!!!::

(the bandanas for the pups are so cute, but they are BAD luck! no wearing them tonight!)

(sweet boy: Chloe doesn't stay still long enough to pose like this...)

Food: Potatoes TWO Ways (who doesn't love potatoes?!)

Happy Friday everyone! So relieved this day is finally here... this week was a bit cray-cray.

I have two new recipes to share, both involving POTATOES: one of my favorite things to eat ever. I could seriously eat them cooked a million different ways... SO good! And both ideas came from, anyone, anyone? You guessed it: Pinterest :)

1) "Mashed" Potatoes, recipe via For the Love of Cooking

Their version...

My version! 

Overview: Boil small red potatoes, when fork tender: mash lightly. Drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper, whatever other seasoning (I used garlic sea salt too: yum!). Bake until crispy :)

2) Sliced Potatoes, recipe via Sea Salt with Food

Their version...

Our version: although this photo appears to have been taken prior to baking

Overview: slice potato almost all of the way through, drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper, whatever else :) bake until crispy (again)

So easy, so delicious! Two new ways to have potatoes (instead of in french fry or baked potato form)

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday: my new Aldo bag!!!

So, I had been reading up on Rose a'la Mode, and Linda shared this a-mazing bag from Aldo that she got for her birthday. It was $50... only to be marked down to $35! Hey- $15 saved is $15 saved. And saving is my favorite.


(I reaallyyyy like me some animal print)

I got online to check it out and yuuuppp, the clearance was still there! However, I'm an impatient lady, and we just so happened to be visiting Dallas that weekend. Visit = trip to the mall to Aldo (instead of ordering online and waiting for it to arrive).

We showed up right when the store opened. They had ONE BAG on the shelf. My bag. I checked the price... $50. What the what?! I immediately asked about the online price. She checked. Bada bing, bada boom, she marked it down. Yes! It pays to ask and double-triple check!

I had this style of bag pinned on my Fashion and Style board from Marianna's blog:


it has short straps to carry on your elbow like a bowler bag, ORRR a long strap to wear the bag as a messenger bag (which I have done both of, already). It is efficient, roomy, ADORABLE, and practical! So glad I finally found my own!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Teach: Community Helper Research

I like incorporating "research" projects throughout the year within different units to get families involved in their child's learning. I usually do a Zoo research project in the spring (each child selects a different animal to learn more about) and a turkey camouflage project before Thanksgiving (hiding a turkey in another outfit so he doesn't get eaten for dinner).

This year, I added a Community Helper project for the fall. Each student selected a different community helper at the beginning of the week: it was their job to illustrate their person and write three facts (with the help of their family for spelling) about their person and how they help our community. During the week, we learned about these jobs in their various fields (health, city, school). On Friday, we shared our work! Here are a few examples.




Teach: Scarecrow Directional Art

While I was pinning away one day via Pinterest, I found the cutest (SIMPLEST) Scarecrow to make out of construction paper from No Time for Flash Cards.

Last year, my class made scarecrows, but I had to cut out overalls, patches, shirts, etc. It was frustrating. And with 28 Kinders this year, I just wasn't seeing that happening!

I set to work cutting out my pieces for my kiddos (I use all squares/rectangles: if they need a square, I use the TLC method and have them cut four corners off and "round" it out to make a circle. If you have never used TLC books for directional art, I HIGHLY recommend them. They are great!) After I cut everything out, I went back to this picture and realized I cut my pieces a bit larger... But you'll see what I mean. Here are our versions!

(This little girl decided to add eyelashes to hers, baha. And we also didn't use googly eyes.)

(This little boy wanted to give his scarecrow a scary face so he could scare all the crows away!)

Technical Issues

Since switching over my blog name to "Everyday with the Jays", my posts have not been showing up on my Reading List where I catch up with all of my blog lists' posts. If this post showed up on your reading list like normal (and you read this post), could you comment just so I have peace of mind that my posts are still showing up to you guys? They aren't showing up for me and I don't know whyyyy. Grrr. Thank you!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wow- a whole week with no posting...

Wow- I'm sorry. This week sort of got away from me.
This past weekend, Nate's parents were in town. It was so fun to catch up, eat yummy food, and relax! Plus, Nate and his dad got to do some father-son bonding over some fishing (which Nate REALLY enjoyed)!

Tuesday- we had to go out of town for a meeting and didn't get home until lateee (to us).

Wednesday- we went back out of town to BUY A NEW CAR! Wahoo! I am now the proud owner of a 2011 Kia Sorento and it is so p-r-e-t-t-y. A bluish/grey color (although the papers say green... that is false). We traded in Nate's Jetta (which is a standard, by the by, and I can't drive) to get a more practical car for the future. We were already cramped with us plus two pups, adding children in the future would have been a major issue! This car has a 3rd row seating option, Sirius radio built in, and Bluetooth connections that hook up to your phone and you can call from your car! I just want to hang out in it allllll. dayyy (sorry the photo is a bit dark: the sun was setting and I had to hurry!)

Tonight- we are attending the high school football game and having a 5th quarter fellowship for the youth in town (our church is co-sponsoring it with another church in town). Ready for some yummy dessert provided by sweet church members!

I already have a Teach-It Tuesday (two actually) that I need to share, along with catching up on What I Wore Wednesday (I am so BAD at it!), and we have a new Food Friday (is that what I even call it? baha) using some yummy potatoes.

Maybe I'll get all caught up tomorrow (in between entering info for Kinder report cards)! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Everyday with the Jays

 You may have noticed something...

Our blog name has CHANGED.

Since there are about, oh, 4.63 million Johnson's in the world, I thought I'd make the blog name a little more original. 

"Everyday with the Jays" is our new blog name and web address ( Our blog is just a little glimpse into our EVERYDAY lives, and since our last name starts with a "J", I made this letter into its word form "Jay". I hope this isn't confusing for everyone!

If you follow our blog regularly, it should switch over normally. Just double/triple check the address and bookmark/follow/whatever you need to do :) We like having you around here!

Have a lovelyyyy Sunday and go Cowboys!

(this picture was taken two years ago when Chloe was a wee little ol' pup and Mr. Oliver wasn't even born yet!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011


In case you weren't sure, the title of this post is RANGERS. As in, Texas Rangers baseball! As in, the ALCS Champions! As in, HEADING TO THE WORLD SERIES!

It's a big deal to be a Texan :)

Fantastic game, beating the Detroit Tigers 15-5, the series was won in 4 games. SO SO SO SO SO SO SO times infinity and beyond excited!


I have a signature now! Do you want one too?

I have a "signature" now at the end of each blog post! If you would like one too, I used the tutorial at Moms Who Blog: click here to go straight to the post!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Things: Fall Porch

One of my favorite pastimes of fall (well, for the past two fall seasons that we have been married) has been purchasing pumpkins and creating displays! See last year's porch display here.

A lot didn't change from last year to this year. I still brought out my $8 Walmart scarecrow (his name is Randall) and the wreath I made last year. The only difference this year is that I added a Hobby Lobby Halloween sign to the middle of the wreath (after 10/31, I will take the sign out and leave the plain wreath up until Thanksgiving).

This year, I wanted to use two brown urns that we have to create a pumpkin topiary of sorts that I pinned (of course) on Pinterest via The Soladay Family:

So Nate and I headed to our local garden store and picked up two large pumpkins and two pie pumpkins for the tops. We get home... they are TOO small for the urns. If we put them in, you could only see the tops... barely...

The urns got nixed and I stacked two pumpkins, painted some cute ol' polka dots, and added a ribbon... Now before anyoneee says it, I know: they look like SNOWMEN. Gr. But if you look past the obvious, it looks like cute pumpkins stacked together :)

(sorry for the TERRIBLE pictures: our ginormo tree in the front yard makes it impossible to get a well lit picture any time of the day...)

That's how I see it.

Hooray for fall!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

German: Liebster (n.) beloved, dear, dearest, love {definition via}

Kristen over at Life with the Ellwoods awarded me the Liebster award, which is basically an awesome and incredibly sweet gesture from her! The Liebster blog award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. 

Wasn't that sweet of her? You rock, Kristen! Thank you again!

To keep this award going and pass it along to other new deserving blogs, the recipient must now recognize five other bloggers with less than 200 followers that have really stood out in the crowd.

The rules for the Liebster Award are:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

Check out my five listed below: go visit them and say hello!

Of course I couldn't accept the award without returning the gesture! Kristen is a girl I Pinterest-stalked until I eventually found her blog (sad, right? Oh Pinterest, what you do to me!) She is expecting a sweet baby girl VERY very soon and her blog is full of home and life projects and events getting her and her hubby ready for the special day! She gives awesome tutorials for her projects as well, so go check her out!

I met Ashley on the Internet through a linky party last Christmas showing off Christmas mantles! Her decor is so cute, just you wait and see come Christmas time! Ashley and I clicked (however you do that online) immediately and we have continually kept in touch via comments throughout this entire year! She just had a beautiful baby girl named Emily Ann, so her blog is full of stories and happenings featuring her, her hubby, and her precious EA! Also, her blog features yummy recipes, cute crafts, and Auburn football (well, Auburn anything actually)! War Eagle!

I know Crystal indirectly through common friends that we have and she has the SWEETEST blog featuring her son, Mason! She posts tons of pictures which are so fun to go through and loves sharing stories, moments, and special happenings that occur between her, her husband, and their precious son! Plus, she is a Texan and a Texas Rangers fan just like me! Let's go Rangers!

Laura was my college roommate, one of my "sorority sisters", one of my bridesmaids, and one of my ABSOLUTE best friends!  I l-o-v-e this girl to death and her blog is so SO adorable! She features home decor tips and tricks, as well as cute and crafty things to feature in your house. She just had a precious baby in May named Clara, so if you are lucky, maybe she will feature some pictures featuring baby projects as well!

I went to high school with Beth and she is hilarious! She is a vegetarian and an avid runner, so her blog is full of tips on eating healthy, cooking up yummy recipes, and getting in shape! She also features crafts and tidbits of her life (like this here ol' blog), so you are sure to relate to everything she has to say! Her style of writing is so personal, it feels like you are talking to a best friend (er, reading from a best friend). Check her out!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Teach: Peep!

Please tell me you have heard of Peep, Quack, and Chirp if you teach three-five year olds... 


If not, do I have a gem of knowledge for you!

If your school subscribes to United Streaming videos, via Discovery Education, there is a whole WORLD of educational videos and images just at your fingertips! Let's face it: we are teaching technologically savvy children. They respond to technology integrations, such as videos and other media of the like.

"Peep and the Big Wide World" is owned and operated by WGBH Educational Foundation (copyrights here}. They are 10 minute cartoons that are SO cute but also teach science skills (weather, sink/float, balance/weight, gravity, animal characteristics, plants, etc).

It's fantastic because...


the kids don't know they're learning! They think it's just an awesome cartoon. Which it is, of course! After each 10 minute cartoon, there is a two minute video of real kids doing science experiments that relate to the cartoon. It's great! It's fantastic for three-five year old students who are being introduced to various scientific content.

This week, we are learning about plants, so we watched "Peep Plants a Seed" and discussed what a plant needs to grow: water, sun, and air!

For more info (for teachers OR parents: you can totally use the things online at home, i.e. videos, activities, music, games, and more), visit the show's website at

***I wasn't paid, I just think it's that awesome!***

Monday, October 10, 2011

Make: Fall Craft Letters

This week for Make it Monday, I was inspired by this pin I found via Pinterest and Then She Made.

I chose to complete the word "FALL" because a)I could leave it up for longer (through Thanksgiving) and b)my nearest Hobby Lobby (1 hour away) was all out of B's and only had one O...

So, to begin! Supplies:

Holiday themed scrapbook paper, wooden letters (which were 50% off at HobLob this weekend, yes!), Exacto knife, scissors, Mod Podge, foam brush, jute, sand paper (not pictured) and a cutting board: preferably from your kitchen :)

First, lay your paper down and your letter on top (paper: pretty side up, letter: correct direction). Use your Exacto knife to cut the paper into the shape of your letter.

Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the wood and lay your paper on top.

 After laying the scrapbook paper down, flip your letter over and look for extra paper showing past the letter. I used my Exacto knife to trim this excess... I also used sand paper to distress the edges a wee bit, but I have slight OCD, so I do both :)

Flip the letter back over to the front, apply a coat of Mod Podge, and smooth out alllllll the bubbles with a piece of cardboard. Your hands will get a bit sticky, but that is a-okay.

Sand those edges! As much or as little as you'd like.

Okay, here is the tricky part. On my inspiration photo, the B-O-O all have center openings, which makes it easy to loop each letter together for hanging... Um, F-A-L-L does not have that luxury... So I had to get a bit inventive, so I adhered jute to the back of each letter and made it hang. It could have also leaned on a shelf, or I could've put four nails into the wall and hung each letter (but Nate wasn't quite on board with that idea...) Here is the final product!

I didn't add any little fall trinkets, but you totally could have! Ta-da! A little crooked hanging, but gives it... flair? No? Oh well, my house :) Stay tuned for a Christmas-y version featuring the word J-O-Y!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Food for Friday: Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic Chips


I do not like vegetables.

There, I said it. I'm 24 years old and eat like a 5 year old. It's not even a major deal with the flavor of the food half the time... it's TEXTURE. Ew. Squishy... Slimy... Yuck-city. I'm so weird.

Anyways, back to the recipe. Nate is an avid vegetable eater and constantly tries ways to get me to eat them. His favorite veggie is green beans. If you are not from the South, just let me tell you: Southern green beans are mushy, in weird water sauce, totally unappetizing (okay, maybe they're like that where you are from too- but that's just something I have noticed at every home cookin' type restaurant I've been to).

Luckily (more for Nate than me), we found a recipe from Claire Robinson (one of our favorite Food Network stars- she's on 5 Ingredient Fix) that is called Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic Chips. I was willing to try (anything with the word "garlic" will get me all excited) but secretly I was about to freak out.

We followed the recipe (below, via Food Network's website) and Y-U-M. Crisp. Fresh. Flavorful. And the garlic chips, get out of here. Delish! I didn't take any pictures, but here is the picture from Food Network's website (ours had a bit more char on the beans and the garlic chips, fyi).


 Sauteed Garlic Beans with Garlic Chips

Claire Robinson- 5 Ingredient Fix



  • 2 pounds haricots verts, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Prepare an ice bath of water and ice in a large bowl. Drop the green beans into the boiling water to blanch for 60 seconds. Immediately remove the beans and shock in the ice bath.

In a large saute pan, over low heat, add the olive oil and the garlic. Fry the garlic chips until golden in color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove garlic chips to paper towels to drain.

Remove the green beans from ice bath and add them to the hot garlic infused olive oil in the saute pan. Raise the heat to high and cook, tossing frequently, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the cider vinegar and reduce the liquid to a glaze while tossing beans, another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mint and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Transfer the beans to a serving dish, garnish with fried garlic chips and enjoy!