Saturday, June 24, 2017

My Sweet Baby Bennett

I just thought I'd share a tiny bit about Bennett because I've been getting so many questions about him. I so appreciate everyone's concerns and reaching out to say they've been praying for him and thinking about us. It means the world to me.
Bennett has basically been sick this entire year. It started at the end of January and he's probably had RSV-like symptoms (but always tests negative for RSV) about a dozen times. He also vomits a lot which caused him to lose so much weight in the winter. It was really sad and scary. Thankfully he's been a lot better the last few months but he's still gotten sick for 24 hours here and there, the last time being on his birthday. Isn't that so mean to be sick and vomit on your first birthday? Poor guy. Even when Bennett wasn't sick, I would catch him wheezing for a minute but then it would go away. I never really knew what to make of it. Our peds always asked us if anyone in our family has asthma but nobody does.
On Thursday around lunch Bennett started getting sick. He didn't seem too bad at first but by about 4:00, I had him in a steam shower and he was crying uncontrollably--very unlike him. I picked up my phone and called my pediatricians office to see if they would PLEASE see us before they closed and they did. Our ped didn't like the way Bennett's stomach was retracting and prescribed us a steroid (Bennett's second steroid.....I've never even had one in my entire 32 years of life but my 13 month old has had two!!) and told us to watch him closely. We got home and a few hours later Bennett started vomiting profusely and it scared me so bad. It's not like we haven't dealt with this exact same situation way too many times before but this time felt different. I was crying and scared and my mommy gut just told me to take him to the ER. So I did.
They tested him for RSV (negative) and did xrays for pneumonia (negative) and after a breathing treatment (can't even count how many of those we've had to do at this point) and a little monitoring we were sent on our way.
My brainstorming went into overdrive yesterday and I feel really stupid that it's taken me so long to figure it out but I'm fairly certain Bennett has some bad allergies. Whether it's food or environmental, I have no idea. My ped said yesterday that she would like to start Bennett on an asthma preventative treatment. Just an inhaler once or twice a day for now to see if things improve and I agree that this is a good idea. I also want to test him for allergies though so I'm planning on taking him in next week to run some tests. It's so scary to see your baby struggling to breath and being unlucky with getting the stomach bug so many times no longer makes sense. Although the fact that I have gotten sick right along with Bennett most times does throw me a little bit. Very confusing.
I've had so many people send me messages with similar stories of things that have happened to their child. They've all started with saying "I don't want to over step but....here's our story" and seriously, I don't feel anyone is over stepping at all. The more brainstorming, similar situations, or thoughts from others the better in my opinion. It takes a village and I'm just hoping we can get this figured out for our sweet Bennett very soon. I will keep you all updated as we hopefully find some answers. Thank you again for your prayers. It means so much to us.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Lou & Grey

If you follow me on Instagram then you know Bennett was in the ER last night because of trouble breathing and a lot of vomiting. After several tests and some monitoring, thankfully we were able to go home last night. He's a tiny bit better, and I'll share more later, but today let's just talk about something fun instead.
This Lou and Grey dress is one of my favorites hanging in my closet. It's so soft and cozy. It's like curling up in your favorite sweatshirt....except you won't get hot wearing it in this summer heat! I love a dress with big pockets and sleeves. This dress will transition perfectly into fall and will look so cute with booties once the weather gets cooler. For now I'm pairing it with my favorite Target sandals that I can't stop wearing. My fun necklace is from Versona. I'm not linking it because their website isn't that great and they don't have very many of their products available for sale on their site. This necklace is great though and I always get asked where it's from when I wear it.
This Tory Burch bag is one of my favorite prints. I searched and searched for it online and it's all sold out everywhere. However, Tory Burch is having a semi-annual sale right now and their straw tote version of this bag is available on their site. It's already on sale + an extra 30% off!
 
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Dress // Shoes // Bag (similar)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Easy Meals Part Two

Y'all loved my post about quick and easy dinners I wrote a few weeks ago so I thought I would write another one just to give you a few more ideas. Like the previous post, these meals are super simple to make and some of our favorites here in the Johnson house. Simply click the links under the photos for the recipes.

MONDAY
 
Anything in a slow cooker automatically makes dinner easy. This dish is fantastic. It has so much flavor and everyone in my family enjoys it. The recipe says to brown your chicken on the stove for a few minutes but I skip that step. I just put it directly in the crock pot and cook it a little longer than the recipe calls for. Like I said, I'm all about easy and don't want to do the extra step of cooking it on the stove then having an extra dish to clean. But if you don't mind doing that part then go for it!
 
TUESDAY
 
I said last time that I love sheet pan dinners and this one is yummy because I also really love ranch. A frozen bag of broccoli that you can throw in the microwave is the perfect veggie to add on the side of this meal. Campbell will actually eat broccoli as long as we tell him they're mini trees. Whatever works!
 
WEDNESDAY
 
This meal is heaven. I said last time how much I love Euna Maes (do y'all follow her on IG?). She is my pastors wife and is coming out with a cookbook soon. There isn't one meal of hers I've made that wasn't absolutely delicious. This pasta is so yummy and super easy to make but it makes a ton of food so you would have plenty for leftovers the next night if you wanted.
 
THURSDAY
Zatarain's Red Beans And Rice
 
This meal really doesn't get easier. I didn't add a link because all you need to do is go to the store and grab a box of Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice. I cook it in chicken broth to give it more flavor. If I'm feeling really ambitious I'll slice then cook andouille sausage to add in with it but I normally just get a rotisserie chicken and throw in some chicken with the red beans and rice. Top with a little Tony Cachere's seasoning and you have a supper yummy, super easy dinner! We love this meal.
 
FRIDAY
 
I love BBQ and this recipe is so easy. I usually just grab some cole slaw from the store and open up a can of BBQ beans to go on the side. The easy trick to making canned BBQ beans taste good is to drain them completely, put them on a pot on the stove then mix in your favorite BBQ sauce. Sprinkle in about two tablespoons of brown sugar and you've got some yummy beans. I usually do a side of mac and cheese for the boys whenever we do BBQ. Not exactly the healthiest meal but it's Friday so who cares?


Monday, June 19, 2017

MTA

Hey all! I had a fun weekend. I decided to go to Little Rock and see my family. Scott is working a lot right now so I thought it would be a good opportunity to let him focus on that but mostly I wanted to go down because Miss Arkansas and Miss Teen Arkansas was this past weekend and I wanted to go! I haven't been since Campbell was born. It's just hard to get to Hot Springs but they moved the pageant to Little Rock this year which is way more convenient for me!! Miss Teen Arkansas was on Friday night so Dad watched the boys for me so my Mom and I could go. I'm so glad I got to attend and I hope they keep it in Little Rock so I can go every year.
Other than MTA, we spent our time lounging by the pool. The boys always have so much fun and go so hard that by Sunday they are a fussy, worn out mess!! I was nervous driving by myself with my boys and my girls but thankfully the drive went great both ways. I'm glad I was able to spend some time with my Dad on Fathers Day and we got back home in time to spend the rest of the day with Scott! I thought I was doing him a solid by giving him the gift of a relaxing, quiet, empty house for the weekend but he said he didn't like it and was lonely and bored. Aw. We're glad he loves us and missed the crazy.
We got back into the swing of things with MDO today. We had a fun weekend getaway but it feels good to get back into our routine again.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

MDO Summer Session

The boys went back to Mothers Day Out this week and it totally took my by surprise! I didn't think they started until next week. I was at the pool with some friends last week, whose kids also attend MDO, and they said something about it starting in a few days. I'm so glad they mentioned it otherwise I would have missed out on a whole week! I had the right date in my calendar but for some reason in my mind it was a different date. I think they call that mom brain. Anywho, the boys were so happy to be back and I'm not even going to pretend that I wasn't happy for them to be back too. I just love when our weeks have a routine to them. I have felt so lazy the last few weeks and we have all been bored. Plus let's be honest it's nice to have some alone time. I spent my free day by doing my morning run then I went to the pool and hung out for a little bit. It was so relaxing. I need to get a book to read because I plan on going to the pool every time they boys are at MDO (they go twice a week) and a good book would just make that time perfection. So here's the part where you recommend good books to me.
That's basically all that has been going on in our world. Nothing too exciting. Bennett is SO busy and into everything and Campbell seems more grown up every week. The girls are enjoying this beautiful weather and the fact that we spent a lot of time outdoors right now. Scott is working a lot and I'm just over here being a servant to everyone that lives in my house. Same ol' stuff!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

LipSense

I'm putting Wordless Wednesday on hold this week so I can talk about something really fun instead. I recently tried LipSense lipstick and wanted to let you guys know how awesome it is! If you haven't heard of it before, LipSense is the original longest lasting lip color. It's unlike any lipstick or stain you have ever used. It's waterproof and does not kiss off, smear off or rub off. The first time I used it, I put it on before church one Sunday and my lips still looked just as good as they did when I first applied it, even after I had lunch. It comes in a variety of colors and you can even mix them to make your own personal color.
I tend to gravitate towards pink lips and the color I have on here is Aussie Rose. It's a best seller and I can see why. It's the perfect shade of pink if you ask me! I always feel so much more put together when I have my lipstick on and the fact that LipSense doesn't disappear from my lips shortly after applying it is such a win!! You can kiss your babies all you want while still maintaining beautiful, glossy lips and you don't have to worry about getting anything on their sweet cheeks! Or when they climb all over you, you don't have to worry about getting lipstick on their clothes which has happened to my boys way more times than I care to admit. This really is such a great product. It seriously amazes me that I can wear lipstick and kiss my kids and it doesn't come off. Like, not even a little bit!!
Okay so how can you get your hands on this amazing stuff? Well, let me tell you! All you have to do is click HERE or Follow @corlescolorpop on Instagram and Heather can tell you everything you need to know! Also, if you tell her I sent you, you can get 15% off your order!! You won't regret getting your hands on this beautiful, long lasting lipstick.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Gap Inc. Fashion Show

I was asked a few months ago if the boys and I would be willing to participate in a fashion show our local Gap was putting on to raise money for the Northwest Arkansas Women's Shelter. I said yes right away because I knew it would be a fun event and for such a great cause. The show was at 7:00 so I told them Bennett would be out because there was no way he would be able to make it through it since that's basically his bedtime. I knew Campbell would be game though so we put it on our calendars and looked forward to the big event.
The fashion show was this past Friday night. Campbell and I had to be there a little early so we would know what all we needed to do. It was so fun to catch up with other local bloggers and influencers and I was able to meet a girl who was also walking in the show that I've gotten to know through Instagram but have never actually met before.
We got a babysitter for Bennett so Scott could come and watch us. Once Campbell and I changed into our special clothes, we took a few photos on the red carpet then were able to mingle with everyone and participate in the silent auction before we had to take our place for the fashion show.
Once our turn came, Campbell did great! He happily walked down the runway and even wore the sunglasses I put on him. We had a slight hiccup when Campbell saw Scott at the end of the runway. He wanted his daddy. But I scooped him up and carried him the rest of the way and he was fine.
The show ended up raising over $10,000 for the shelter and the event had an awesome turnout! They're already talking about plans for next years event!! We were so honored to have been able to participate. We had such a fun evening!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Farmers Market Shift

Hey all! Happy Monday. I have a lot of blog catching up to do since I slacked so much last week. It's mostly due to Scott taking over the computer because he's working a lot right now. So I'm basically saying it's his fault. Ha! However, he just got a new work computer and I'm able to have our old one all to myself now which is awesome and will help make blogging and photo editing a lot easier for me now. We had a fun weekend. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw on Friday night that Campbell and I were in a fundraiser fashion show for Gap. I'll blog about it tomorrow but today, in keeping with the Gap theme, I wanted to share this lace shift dress I recently found there.
I love wearing a classic white dress in the summer but it can be tricky because so many white dresses are see-through. This one has a nice, thick lining underneath it though so no worries about feeling exposed (although I do wear nude undergarments because it's still a white dress). I wore this to the Farmers Market a few weeks ago and it felt so perfect and summery. There's so much detailing with the eyelet lace and high neckline that I didn't feel the need to pair it with a necklace which I love because babies + necklaces aren't the best combo. This dress also has pockets which makes it a real winner in my book.
I paired it with my go-to sandal and carried my fun straw tote bag (which is perfect for all of those fresh vegetables and flowers we snagged) both from my favorite store --Target! 

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My tote is a few years old but these three bags are the same brand and similar. I may need to get the second bag. I've seen it in the store and it's SO cute. Check them out HERE | HERE | HERE

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

I took these photos of Bennett on the morning of his first birthday. I grabbed the camera and snapped a few photos of him hanging out in his room before his first nap and I love how so many of them turned out. I just realized I haven't shared any of them on here so I wanted to do that today.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Catching Up

Hey all! How about a little life update post? I feel like I haven't done one of those in a while. Maybe because there isn't much to update. Ha! The boys are off from Mothers Day Out for another two weeks (not that I'm counting or anything) and we are just trying to keep ourselves entertained at home until we get back into our normal routine. We've been to our neighborhood pool a few times which is fun. The water is cold though so Campbell doesn't get in which makes him a little bored. The other day he crawled under one of the umbrella tables and watched Paw Patrol on my phone. Amazingly, Bennett just sits there playing with toys so I'm able to actually lay in a chair and chill. It's wonderful and every time I go I keep wondering when he's going to start crawling all over the place and make my leisurely pool experience non existent.
Today I was driving home with the boys after picking the girls up from their grooming appointment. Campbell suddenly started freaking out telling me he had to go pee pee. This is one of those moments where you weigh all of the options quickly in your mind. There wasn't a restroom close plus I had the dogs and it's too hot to leave them in the car. Should you tell him to just go in his car seat? No....bad idea. Ask him to hold it? He can't. So what do you do? Pull into the nearest parking lot and pray nobody can see or tell what you're doing. Today I'm thankful for antibacterial wet wipes.
On a completely different note, last night I did some mock interviews for some girls competing in Miss Arkansas and Miss Teen Arkansas this summer. I always enjoy mock interviews and judging pageants and I think it's a lot of fun but what was really nice was that I got to just get out of the house and be Kara for a little bit instead of mom. I had a moment yesterday where I realized I really don't do that often enough and I probably should so I don't go crazy. When I got home, my husband felt the need to tell me how challenging it was to get the boys fed, bathed and in bed by himself. It was really interesting and informative since I've never had to do that before. #PreachinToTheChoir

Friday, June 2, 2017

Gap Fashion Show

One week from today, Campbell and I will be walking the runway for our local Gap store. They are having a fundraiser fashion show and the proceeds are for an amazing cause--The Northwest Arkansas Women's Shelter. Several bloggers and influencers from the Northwest Arkansas area will be participating as well and the event is going to be so much fun. They will be offering local food and beverage samples, guest speakers, a silent auction and then the main event--the fashion show. General Admission is just $5 or you can buy a VIP ticket (which includes swag bags) for $8. A ton of local venders are participating/donating items for this event and everyone that I've spoken with that is involved or attending is really excited about it! It's been in the works for a while and I know it's going to turn out to be really fantastic. If you are free next Friday, and live in the area, you should come! It's at 7:00 at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade Pavilion. We would love to have you there to support such a great cause and also to just have some fun!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Lace Swing Dress

Okay I know I've only been sharing Loft looks lately but I went in the store a few weeks ago and got a bunch of new stuff so that's why. I should have planned my posts out a little better and shared other looks from other places but I didn't even notice I was doing all Loft until a few days ago. Whoops! I do have other looks that I've shot but I try to get ahead on my posts and I haven't written anything for those yet so I'll do this one now then next week share something from another store because I promise I do shop at other places. Ha!
This is a dress I will keep in my closet for years and years to come. Don't you love when you find a dress that's so perfect that you keep it for years? I love the pretty lace sleeves but my favorite thing about this dress is that it's SO flattering!! If you need to look 10 pounds thinner tomorrow, just go get this dress. Seriously, I even read the reviews on the site to see what others were saying and so many commented on how flattering this dress was. The lace collar and sleevs makes it feel romantic and special but the dress is made of soft knit so it's comfortable to wear. I've worn this dress to church but I think it would be such a great dress to wear to a wedding or special event. Not to mention, it twirls so pretty--perfect for a dance floor! Also, I think this dress would wear really well into fall when it's still a little hot outside but you don't want to be sleeveless because that just feels wrong. Church, work, wedding, brunch....this dress has so many uses.
Of course I paired it with my favorite Same Edelman mules....I wear them with almost everything because I love them so much. This dress is on sale plus an extra 40% off so hurry while they last!
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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

My Favorite Easy Recipes

One of the hardest of my daily tasks is cooking dinner for my family and I know I'm not alone in this! I'm on some mom groups on Facebook and a very common question is how to cook a nice meal for your family when you have needy little kids under your feet. It most definitely can be overwhelming but my New Years Resolution was to be better about meal planning so I could cook my family nice, delicious, and mostly healthy meals every night and I'm happy to say I've really stuck with my resolution. I don't make anything complicated and everything I cook is quick, easy and minimal cleanup. Today I thought I'd share a weekly (Monday-Friday) dinner menu for those of you who need some ideas. These are my go-to's (I feel like I rotate the same dozen meals over and over most of the time) and I know you and your family will love them! (Click the links under the photos to see the recipe)

MONDAY

 
Whenever I cook this, I make it the night before but I save the last three steps for right before I stick it in the oven. It's not hard to make it during the day (or naptime) but it's just one of those easy ones where you can prep ahead of time which is why it's a go-to for me. And also because it's delicious. It makes a ton of leftovers which I love so if you don't want to cook the next night, just reheat these up!
 
TUESDAY
 
This is a recipe I just came up with (I've shared it on my Instagram stories before) and I make this almost every week because it's so, so simple. I get my trusty slow cooker out and simply throw in a pork loin, red potatoes, baby carrots and green beans. In a bowl I mix together a can of golden mushroom soup, a can of water and Liptons dry onion soup mix. I pour the mixture over the meat and vegetables and cook on low for 8 hours. Right before it's time to eat I usually throw some Pillsbury crescent rolls in the oven because they're so yummy and flaky and everyone in my house loves them. This is without a doubt the easiest meal I make and it's super yummy too!
 
WEDNESDAY
 Lawrys Crispy Oven Bake

Sheet pan meals are my best friend and this one is really yummy. I love this Lawrys Crispy Oven Bake. There are several things you can do with it but I just use chicken tenderloins and chop up my favorite veggies, throw it all on a sheet pan and bake it for 25-30 minutes. If I have red potatoes in my house I'll chop those up and throw them on the sheet pan as well, otherwise I'll just make some rice to go with this meal. Campbell LOVES this chicken which is awesome because he never eats protein....but he'll eat this! 
 
THURSDAY
 
This dish is so delicious, so easy, and the cleanup is a snap. I make a few small changes to the recipe. Sometimes I leave out the carrots unless I have them and the time to grate them. Instead of celery I do frozen green peas because my boys love peas. I also just do minute brown rice and I don't add parsley because who cares? You'll love this dish and so will your kids.
 
FRIDAY
 
Like I said before, I do a lot of sheet pan meals. They're just so easy. I usually just do chicken and veggies but when I'm craving something other than chicken, I go for this. Sometimes I go through the trouble of making the seasoning/rub they provide in the recipe but usually I just throw on my favorite pre-made seasoning and call it good.
 
So there you go! Some of our go-to's and really, really easy meals to make with very minimal cleanup. What are some of your favorites? Leave them in the comments below! If you like this post, let me know and I can do another one. I've got more simple, easy recipes if you want to hear about them!