First Weeks Favorites

First Weeks Favorites

Bull Wubbanub / Lanisoh Soothies / Summer Infant SwaddleMe / Naked Mango Smoothies / Aden+Anais Muslin Washcloths / Pampers Swaddlers / Carseat Mirror / Carter’s Fleece Sleepers / Solly Baby Wrap / Carseat Cover / Sherlock / belVita Breakfast Biscuits / Cake Nursing Bra

Everyone always says that there’s a lot of baby gear that you’ll only use for a short while, but while you’re using it, it’s indispensable. I agree! I have a lot of things that I love, or know that I will once we use them more (ahem my Jeep jogging stroller!), but here’s a list of our favorite things from the last few weeks for both momma and baby (and mental health).

Bull Wubbanub: I thought these looked pretty ridiculous, but now I’m sold on them! Wacey has a pretty intense sucking reflex, and it soothes him to have something to suck on all the time. The pacifier part is an Avent Soothie, which is one that he likes, but the best part is the bull. It keeps Wacey from launching his pacifier, and he can already hold on to it to help keep it in his mouth. We’ll be getting a couple more of these–I have my eye on the reindeer :)
Lanisoh Soothies: I will be getting a box or two of these for every new mother from now until the end of time. They work wonders when you’re just getting used to breastfeeding, and if you pop them in the fridge beforehand, it’s AMAZING. Yes, they’re a little pricey, but you’ll do almost anything to get some sweet relief and $8 a box seems like a steal.
Summer Infant SwaddleMe: These swaddles take all the guesswork out of swaddling. They’re quick, easy, inexpensive and great for littles who like to be wrapped up tight.
Naked Mango Smoothes: Since I’m breastfeeding, I’m trying to be as kind to my body as I can while still eating enough calories to keep up with Wacey. However, making a smoothie from scratch is so far down on my list that it may as well not even be on the list! I love these pre-made Naked smoothies in the big container (mango and strawberry banana are my favorite because they’re the thickest) and I have a glass every morning with breakfast. To buy: check out Costco, they’re much cheaper than at the grocery.
Aden + Anais Muslin Washcloths: These are also going to be an item I’ll buy for baby showers. I love this company’s fabrics and prints, and we have one of these on had all.the.time because they’re are the BEST burp cloths. They’re almost like a cloth diaper–thick and absorbant. Plus, I like that they come in plain white. Definitely one of my favorite baby shower gifts that we received.
Pampers Swaddlers: These are our favorite diapers so far. My favorite feature is the line that turns blue when the diaper is wet! Huggies has that same line, I just feel like these fit him a little better–they’re narrower than both Luvs and Huggies, and he’s a long and lean little guy.
Carseat Mirror: Another favorite shower gift! I don’t know what specific brand ours is, but it looks a lot like this one. I love it because it makes it easy for me to see Wacey without actually turning around and climbing over the seats in the pickup. Because we’re first-time parents, so we have a need to see him 24/7 :)
Carter’s Fleece Sleepers: Wacey LIVES in these. Literally, he just wears pajamas all the time. We had a mad dash to the store after he was born because he was smaller than we expected him to be, and so none of his 0-3 mos clothes fit, and we didn’t have enough newborn clothes. Rookie mistake, I know. Enter these! $5 and they’re soft, cute and make changing diapers a breeze.
Solly Baby Wrap: I am all about babywearing–heck, I’m wearing Wacey right now! I have two wraps: this one, and one that my friend Anne made for me. I love both, but I can’t link to Anne’s so I’m linking to this one. This one is awesome for newborns, it holds him so snugly that it makes it truly hands-free. Wacey’s a snuggler, likes to be moving when he’s awake and gets colicky in the evenings, so wraps are a godsend. Plus, it beats having to lug the carseat into the store and it frees up room in the shopping cart.
Carseat Cover: LOVE this. We’ve been to the pediatrician quite  few times, and have gone to the store (I can’t run out of milk, y’all) a couple times, so I love having one of these to keep the wind off. Mom made one out of soft flannel for us, it’s got a blue and white southwestern motif on one side and caribou/elk on the other side. But, if we ever have a girl, I’ll be hunting down a fabric like this one.
Sherlock: We’ve spent some extreme quality time with the couch lately, and I have this weird thing where watching mediocre daytime television makes me feel lazy and sloppy. So, in the absence of Netflix (ugh satellite internet), I’ve been checking out DVDs from the library because I’m cool like that. I’m obsessed with Sherlock–I’ve watched all three seasons and can’t wait for the fourth. I’ve requested the first two seasons of Game of Thrones next, and in the meantime my plan is to catch up on True Blood :) Any other TV series suggestions?
belVita Breakfast Biscuits: I LOVE these. I get the blueberry in bulk from Costco, but I also love the apple cinnamon and the cinnamon brown sugar. The brown sugar ones taste just like the animal crackers in the striped circus box :) They are wonderful with a smoothie, I can eat them while nursing Wacey and they curb my hunger for a couple of hours, which is a miracle right now.
Cake “Cotton Candy” Nursing Bra: Let me tell you, I hate nursing bras! Hate them. I mean, they’re handy for the nursing aspect of things, but I miss my old bras. Thankfully, though, my mom found this one for me, and I’m so glad she did. It’s comfy, snug, smooths out post-pregnancy back fat and wears well under clothes, so it’s more like a really fabulous seamless sports bra than a nursing bra, and for that, Cake, we thank you.

Thanks for reading! We’re figuring out life as a family of three, and so far it’s going pretty well, I think. It’ll be easier when he has a little bit of a schedule going, but for now we have lots of naps on the sofa, and the coffee table has been my work command center :)

Wacey James Johnston

Our little boy is here! He was born a week ago, on February 7th at 11:02 pm. 7 lbs, 1 oz and 21 inches long. Best Valentine ever :)

(although, I won’t say no to the box of chocolates Bert conjured from midair at five thirty this morning, what a guy!)

Right now, we’re having the laziest week in the history of the Johnston house just laying around, eating and watching TV and movies. Bert is still working, of course–time off in calving season is hard to come by, and the cows sure didn’t slow down while we were at the hospital–but he comes home as much as he can to snuggle Wacey. We’re both in love with our little guy!

My mom has been here to help with ze bebe and feeding us all (and making a weatherproof cover for his jogging stroller because she’s awesome), and we’ve done a lot of sitting on the sofa just staring at Wacey, because that’s what new parents do, right??

We’ve had a lot of questions about his name–Wacey (rhymes with Lacey or Casey) doesn’t mean anything in particular, it’s just a name that Bert always had picked out in his mind as a name he’d like for a son, and I loved it, and it’s been picked as our first son’s name for years, literally. The most famous Wacey is Wacey Cathey, who was a bullrider in the 80s and 90s and went to the NFR many times. He was around at the same time as Lane Frost and Tuff Hedeman, if you’ve seen the movie 8 Seconds. James is my dad’s first name, and so there you have it. Rockabye sweet Wacey James.








Friday Favorites: February 6th

It’s Friday again! It’s been a wonderful week (it’s 65 degrees out right now!), but I’m definitely beginning to feel super preggers. Now, we’re just waiting, and it’s SO HARD. The doc says he can come any second, so we’re both dying.

I called Bert yesterday after stopping at the dry cleaners (the boys’ rodeo shirts got pressed in anticipation of being embroidered) because the pickup wouldn’t start. I must have sounded weird because when I said “Hello” because he said “IS IT HAPPENING?!?” and I felt lame telling him no, the truck’s just acting up again. But that’s how tenterhooks-y we are!  The pickup then started of its own volition–it must have felt bad. The bright side? Everyone answers their phone toute de suite when I call :)

I hope you have a relaxing and fun weekend ahead of you–I plan on doing nothing but baking and sitting on the porch in the lovely weather.

Favorite Thing EVER: Makeup Forever Correcting Primer. Okay, you know me. I’m not big on makeup, and I’m picky. Warning: shamelss product promotion ahead.

This stuff is AMAZING. Life-changing, even. I went to Sephora yesterday for some new concealer, and was also looking for something to help even out my skin. As you know, this whole pregnancy, my skin has been super oily and broken out. While the breakouts have calmed down a tiny bit, I have LOTS of red spots and blotchiness left over from all the other breakouts, which is a problem I have even when there’s not a little human sharing my space. I hate foundation or anything I can even feel a little on my skin, and I was tired of caking my face in coverup. Enter: this stuff. It’s green, so it looks a little scary going on, but it goes on silky smooth and a little goes a looooong way. It evened out my skin so much I didn’t even try to use a concealer on the red spots. I haven’t felt this good about my skin in months. I’m sold :)


Favorite Not-Just-Wishing-For-This-One: Knit and Lace Top. Can’t wait to get this one! I try to limit clothing purchases each month, and I’m feeling pretty spendy in the recent months, but you’d better bet this is coming home to me before this summer. Flowy, can pass as western, can wear with jeans and boots to rodeos this summer–check, check and check!

brown lace

Favorite Words: A.A. Milne. I love this quote. It’s true, just like everything good ole A.A. wrote. Can’t wait to read Winnie to Junior :)


Favorite Move: Thighs of Steel. There are so many of these in my future. Not thighs of steel. These exercises.


Favorite Dream: Stone Bathtub. Bert and I have been talking about some house projects we’d like to do this summer (replace the linoleum! All of it! Bah!) so in that spirit, here’s a “Bert’s Dream House” bathroom–not too girly, with a big bathtub.


Favorite I Also Have a Dream: Laundry Room. Something in my dream house? A laundry room that’s just a laundry room. With a big huge sink. Not a dog lounge, boot depository, veterinary medicine cache, tool shed or mud hole. Just a clean, bright laundry room with room to fold laundry and keep all my home cleaning supplies hidden. Okay, if it’s big enough, it can be a dog lounge, too :)


Favorite Sparkle:  Earrings. I love me some statement earrings, and these are no exception.


Favorite Girly Dinner: Spinach, Chardonnay and Garlic White Pizza. I’m not sure how on board Bert would be with this pizza, but I’m picturing it being eaten on the back deck with a girlfriend or two this summer, and a glass of wine. Which I never crave, but it just seems perfect :)

white pizza

Favorite Indulge: Skillet Cookie. Just got me a skillet, gonna make me a cookie.


Favorite Non-Eatable Indulge: Peonies. I love peonies. They look so lush and decadent, and my mother is an ace champion at growing them. I have made an executive decision via emailing back and forth with my friend Anne. I am not putting in a vegetable garden this summer. I am putting in a flower garden. Because vegetable gardens sound like too much right now, and I know this summer I will crave pretty things like cut flowers. I’m going to haul a water trough that was supposed to go in front of the house out back, though, and put my herbs in there, because I love me an herb garden.


Favorite Thing to Put Flowers In: Tabletop Flowerbox. I’ve posted things like this before, but how lovely is this, and customizable for every season? Can you imagine how gorgeous it would be to walk in the front door to a riot of flowers on the table? I can, and it makes me so happy.

flower box

Favorite Article: Vaccinations. I don’t generally do news/politics on this blog, but this is something I feel strongly about, particularly since it’s something that we’ll be dealing with somewhat shortly. I don’t care to start a debate, either, because everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. I believe parents should vaccinate their children, unless they have a medical reason not to do so, and that voluntarily unvaccinated children pose a risk to everyone else, vaccinated and involuntarily unvaccinated alike. Herd immunity is a real thing, and it’s ridiculous that these diseases we worked so hard to eliminate are coming back. What’s next, typhoid fever?


Favorite Variation: Potstickers. I just froze three batches of pork potstickers, and I’m going to try this little more veggie-heavy option next. I’m also jealous of her folding technique, I can’t wait to try it!


Favorite I’m-So-Excited-And-I-Can’t-Hide-It: Little Cowboy Pictures. Junior is thisclose to being here, according to my doctor, so you can’t blame me for posting these. You know my schmancy camera will be busy busy! Plus, it’s common knowledge that there’s nothing cuter than babies and toddlers wearing jeans, but jeans and boots? With a cowboy hat? I die. Throw on spurs, and I’m already dead.

little cowboy

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Early Boy




DSC_0139 (2)



Early is getting friendlier and friendlier every day! He’s so curious, and he’ll let you touch him now, and rub all over his face.  I haven’t been in the pen with him yet, since he’s still unpredictable, but he lets me rub on him through the fence. He’s halter-broke, too, but Bert won’t start really working with him until he’s a little older. We’ll get him castrated in a couple of months, and turn him out with the girls–he’s still too small to go with the other geldings, but he needs to be out on pasture with some other horses. We don’t, however, want any surprise babies, so he’ll have to wait until he’s no longer a stud.

He’s getting taller, and he loves all the activity around the barn. Baby calves are his favorite! Well, next to grain. Grain is actually his favorite thing in the world. Bert rubs on him and gets in the pen with him almost every day, and I think they’re going to be good friends :)

Calf Explosion!

Bert has had about seventy calves in the last week or so. That is a lot of calves for one guy to handle! He’s been pretty worn out, but he’s happy that they’re actually getting these calves on the ground–his heifers are more than halfway through, and as far as he’s concerned, that’s a beautiful thing.

I haven’t been able to be much help, since I work at the office (all of those calves have to go in the computer, after all!) and because an 8 1/2 months pregnant gal doesn’t always move fast enough to catch those little buggers to tag them!

Although, I will say that I made a pretty spectacular catch on Sunday. I was so surprised I almost let go! I swear, my reflexes have gotten so much better since being pregnant. I caught a glass yesterday that got knocked off the counter and it was like something in the Matrix. Is this a normal thing, to prepare you to catch your child before he falls off stairs or eats something he shouldn’t? Or is it a sign that Man Cub’s going to be a handful?

Back to the barn. I did go down yesterday to help Bert get some pairs out of the pens, and to mess with some of his projects and open gates for him while he feeds. I miss being at the barn all the time, so it was fun.

He’s also got a lot of projects. If you’ve read the blog for any length of time, you know that heifers are harder to calve than cows because they have no idea what they’re doing, and this group of heifers seem to be particularly stupid.

Like getting their heads caught in the feeder stupid, even though we have had hundreds of cattle in our pens and not a single problem with that. Until now.

So, we have mothers that don’t want their calf, but they like someone else’s. We have mothers that don’t want any calf. We have mothers who want all the calves. We have mothers who don’t know what a calf is. We have mothers who like their calves, but only when no one is looking. We have mothers that want their calf, but they’d also like you to die. We have mothers that would like you and their calf to die. We have mothers that love their calves so much that they can’t let them out of their sight so they bring them to the feeder with them and the poor little guy almost gets trampled to death. We have mothers that, if they were humans, would surely be diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. We have a mother who keeps losing her calf. In the pen. When they’re alone.

We also have a mother who loved her calf so much that she snuggled it too close, rolled over on it, and killed it.

No kidding. Death by being laid on by your mother. That’ll give you a complex.

Now, this is not the majority of the heifers. These instances just occur more often in heifers, but most of them have a good idea about what they’re supposed to do, and take good care of their calves from the start. The others generally come around. If they don’t, they go to the sale barn. And from there, they typically go to Arby’s. If you know what I mean.

I brought my camera down to the barn on Sunday to capture some of the madness (and the fluffiness!)


Here’s one of our problem mothers, who doesn’t like her calf. Or us. So? Bert hobbled her back feet so she can’t kick her calf while he’s trying to nurse, until we have another cow that can take him. Then she’s off to the sale barn.


These are good mothers. I was trying to get a picture of the white-faced cow’s calf, because he has a face just like hers, except he’s red, and you know how I love my bald-faced calves. But, he’s a little camera-shy. Ah, well.


This little girl cracks me up. She’s super feisty, and is the prettiest little calf. 


Best frands.


This is our mother who squished her calf to death. We’re hoping it’s a fluke, because we gave her another calf to raise.


Normally, I don’t know that Bert would have given Miss Squishy another chance, but this calf’s mother died and we’ve been bottle-feeding him, which is always less than ideal. Hopefully Miss Squishy has learned her lesson, and learns to love this calf because this little guy desperately wants a mother. And yes, Bert is trying the skin-the-dead-calf routine with this one. “It would be sort of cute if it wasn’t sort of gross.” Wise words, my husband. But, he’s sort of right :)


Sub-par mothers come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. This gal doesn’t like her calf yet. Or us, really.


But, at least we have a barn this year! It’s mostly done–there’s still a couple of gates that need to be ordered. But, Bert’s got six or seven stalls to use for his problem children and for when it’s cold out, so he’s a happy camper.

38 Weeks

38 weeks

How far along? 38 weeks
Total weight gain:
 25 pounds
Maternity clothes? You bet! Although in this picture, I have on one of my sorority sweatshirts from college, but I’m not sure that’s necessarily advisable at this point :) Neither is the post-feeding cows hair, but hey.
Stretch marks? Not yet! Keeping fingers crossed.
Sleep: It’s okay. It’s not great, and now that I’m so close to my due date, I keep waking up and thinking my water will have broken!
Best moment this week: This week has actually been great. I’ve had a real uptick in energy, and I didn’t realize how much I missed not being exhausted! I love waking up early and getting things done and not wanting to fall asleep by two in the afternoon. I know this is short-lived, but I’m enjoying it now while I can.

Highlights from this week: had my prenatal massage at a very fancy Aveda spa, and it was GLORIOUS. I could touch my toes for the first time in months afterwards! And, they had bowls of mini Yorks and I shamelessly stuffed a bunch in the pockets of my fancy robe and it was wonderful. I ate them for days :) The nursery is finished, I got to do some cleaning, all the grocery shopping for the next while is done, and Blue Bell ice cream is on sale! I got lots of things ticked off the to-do list, and I won’t lie, I get a huge rush of happiness from to-do-list-ticking-off :)
Miss Anything? The same–being comfortable, and my old clothes. And being able to walk into a store/gas station/anywhere without someone saying “Whew! Not too much longer, eh?” or “I bet you’re ready to have that baby!”
Movement: Constantly. He’s out of room, little guy, so I think he’s pretty cramped. The doctor doesn’t even need to do an ultrasound to see if he’s head-down, because you can feel his head right above my right hipbone.
Food cravings: Smoothies! Green things! Ice cream! Honeycrisps! Milk! All food ever! And I just got a big one for homemade Rice Krispy Treats. I guess I’ll have to make a stop on my way to the doctor on Thursday. Oh well :)
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really. Just the taco seasoning. But, even though I crave all the foods, I can only eat a little bit until I’m full.
Have you started to show yet: I think that’s actually all people see now.
Gender prediction: There’s a boy in there!
Labor Signs: Still none, if you can believe it! Although, my doctor thinks he’s going to come next week due to how I’m progressing, but I still think he’s going to be late.
Belly Button in or out? At this point, it’s anybody’s guess.
Wedding rings on or off? On!
Symptoms:Still got the heartburns, of course. The swollen ankles are here to stay, and my hippity hips are so ready to carry less weight. The oily skin is also welcome to leave the immediate moment that my lovely child is born :) Oh and pregnancy brain.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Like I said, this week has been great, so I’m feeling really good.
Looking forward to: It’s the month of his birth (I don’t think he’s going to be two weeks late, ha. I’m pretty sure February’s his month)! I can’t wait to finally see our little man cub. And hold him! I’m also hoping for maybe a pedicure this week. We’ll see :)
Exercise? Ha. I walked to the barn and back the other day (like a mile, folks) and my hips hurt so bad for the next two days that I’ve decided anything longer than a half a mile is on hold until after he’s born. I had on some athletic-looking maternity wear and running shoes when I went to the doctor last week, and the lady was like “Are you still working out?!” No ma’am, this is what I wear to do my grocery shopping these days, because that’s a workout.

Biggest pregnant-lady moment this week (other than resting bowls on my tummy): I have been on a cleaning/organizing tear lately, and my wallet is not exempt. So, I pulled out all the old business cards and receipts, and my expired debit and credit cards to get cut them up and get rid of them. We went out to dinner last weekend, and I went to pull out my debit card—and guess what? No current card. Just the old ones. Yes, I cut up my good debit card, and left the expired ones in my wallet. Thankfully, Wells Fargo got my new one sent to me by the end of last week. And when I was getting my oil changed today, the girl was telling me what type of oil they recommend versus the other kinds, and she had to explain it to me twice because it was all going in one ear and out the other. Motor oil, people. Not neuroscience. How embarrassing.

Friday Favorites: January 30th

Happy Friday! I won’t bore you with talk about what I’m doing this weekend, because you know the answer: getting ready for baby! And relaxing. The doctor says he may come as early as next week, so I’m going to whip around the house in the morning, shaking out rugs, cleaning the bathrooms and washing the rest of the baseboards. That last-minute burst of nesting energy? So real.

Oh, and we totally need to install the carseat. Small detail.

I spent the week keeping up and getting ahead in the office, and doing all the grocery shopping for hopefully quite awhile. Bert spent the week being a little frantic because he’s had 40 calves in the last threeish days. Busy busy! Hopefully on Sunday I can get pictures of our newest additions.

Here are a few of my favorites from the interwebs this week, have a wonderful weekend!

Favorite Truth: Work. If this hasn’t been my motto the last week, I don’t know what has! I’ve really been enjoying this burst of energy–it’s such a nice change to feel, well, not tired, and it’s wonderful to feel motivated to get things done. I’m actually excited to go a little crazy tomorrow, and spend Sunday putting away laundry, relaxing and organizing things.

feel better

Favorite (Edible) Festive: Heart Strawberries. These look fussy, but they also look way cute! And delicious :)

strawberry hearts

Favorite (what else?) Bedroom Inspire: You Know I Love Texture. Something about this room (except the nightstand, not my style) is speaking to me. Texture, interesting neutrals, and it looks so cozy and personal.


Favorite Health Fix: Peach Raspberry Smoothie. I have been on a smoothie kick lately–my favorite are the Naked mango smoothies that you can buy by the huge bottle at Costco. Because confession: I’m scared to make my own smoothies! I don’t know why, but they intimidate me. But, I’ve got to get over that because I have a bunch of frozen peaches from my binge this summer, and it would be depressing not to use them.


Favorite “Awwwww!”: Baby Feet Love. I think this is adorable! And it could be on so many different things–canvas, plates, etc. A great grandparents’ gift, I think. Let’s see if I have the foresight/ability to get some prints of Junior’s little feetsies on something cute!


Favorite Look: Polka Dot Skirt. LOVE this look, love this skirt. My favorite part? I already have all the basic elements of this outfit (skirt not quite, but exact same color and cut), but you know what I’d put with it instead of a black shirt? You guessed it–chambray!! I’m thinking this with boots for the Christmas party next year. Or a wedding, should we be invited to one. Is it sad that those are the only two occasions to which I can imagine wearing a skirt to these days?


Favorite (non-edible) Festive: LOVE. I’ve always adored the idea of having cute little odds and ends for the smaller (read: non-Christmas) holidays, and this would look so cute propped up on our picture shelf, or on a window sill.


Favorite Printable: The Best Thing. I have this printable in our bathroom. It’s pretty, and true!

best thing

Favorite Indulge: Chocolate-Covered PB Hearts. I mean, come on.

chocolate hearts

Favorite Staple: Buffalo Plaid Shirt. You know this is right up my alley. Except it’s unfortunate that the plaid pocket doesn’t quite match up. Props to Mom for ruining me on cheap plaid non-matching-up shirts forever.

buffalo check

Favorite To-Try: Thai Sticky Chicken Fingers. Guess what we’re having for dinner tomorrow night? These babies! I’ll let you know how it goes :)

sticky chicken

Favorite Wishin’ and Hopin: Apron Sink. Bert and I talk about what we’d do if we won the lottery, and I have to admit we’re pretty boring. However, it would be hard to resist a kitchen makeover, especially if this sink was part of the deal!


Favorite Mama Style: Booties. I’m not into heels these days, but booties are really starting to grow on me. It’s pretty easy to find western-style ones with a thicker stacked heel not too much higher than the heel on my riding boots. Maybe I’ll give ‘em a whirl–I want to be a stylish mama and I do so love a boot :)


Favorite Fortune (see what I did there?): Homemade Fortune Cookies. I have always wanted to make homemade fortune cookies, and how fun would it be to make up the fortunes inside?

fortune cookies

Favorite Floral: Mason Jar Vases. Winter always makes me crave fresh flowers, and I love the abstract, rustic look of this. I think it would be awesome in the guest bathroom!

mason jars

Nursery Progress

It’s Sunday evening, and I wish we could stretch this weekend out another two days! My parents came down yesterday, and last night Bert took me on a date to town (and a dry run to the hospital, haha, which was very beneficial because the parking lots are teeny-tiny. We might let the valet deal with finding a place to park the pickup). It was great!

Here are some pictures in terrible lighting of the progress we’ve made on the nursery! I’m waiting until we get everything hung up on the walls to take more, and I’ll make sure to take those on a sunny afternoon because otherwise, that room is as dark as a cave. Which I’ll appreciate when Junior’s taking naps, I’m sure, but it makes it rough to show how cool it actually turned out!


DSC_0109We’re not sure what to put in here, so right now his town stroller is living here. The most exciting thing? His diaper bag is all packed to bring him home from the hospital!!

DSC_0089My mom painted those canvases–I found the pictures online, and she blew them up and put them on plain old craft store canvas. The painting is done by a local lady, and those are Bert’s old spurs. And, of course, my only non-farm/ranch animal decor: Elliot the Elephant. 

DSC_0112There are the Friday Favorites sheets! And a blanket and horse pilliowpet (which will come out of the crib before Junior sleeps in it, I promise) from our wonderful friends Mandi and Blaine in Walden. They sent us the coolest box of baby cowboy stuff. I cried. Literally!

DSC_0092An embroidery hoop, cardstock, spray paint and some mod podge. Plus a lot of time. 

DSC_0111Made by Caitlyn, my sister-in-law. It’s on the wall just inside the door. 

My favorite things about the room are that it’s been a family affair, and it’s not too baby-y. Actually, many of the elements in the room are from other parts of the house! My mom made the cribskirt, the curtains (which we used in Rand and in Montana!) and the cow/horse canvases, and she and my dad found the awesome rug/carpet for a steal at a flooring store. It really makes the room a lot more cozy, and will be wonderful to have when he starts tummy-timing it up! My sister-in-law, Caitlyn, made the pallet wood art, and my in-laws found some cool framed cowboy pictures. And I made the mobile, the idea of which came from a Friday Favorites via Pinterest :) I love that there’s so much love for this little guy.

What’s left? Hang things on the walls, mostly. The pictures from my in-laws will go on the wall by the chair, and we have bookshelves to hang on the other side of the closet–there’s a short wall there that’s perfect for that. His name will go above his crib, and we’re going to get another lamp to go behind the glider chair. I have curtains to hide all the diapers in his closet, and I’m going to replace the knobs on the dressers (those came from our room and were Bert’s!), I’m waiting for them to go on sale at Hobby Lobby :) It sounds like a lot, but I bet it takes us an hour this weekend to do everything.

That chair, incidentally, is probably the #1 favorite thing I have found on Craigslist. I’m not into standard gliders–they look funny and develop a squeak that drives me crazy–but I didn’t see how we could ever afford one of these because they retail for between $500-$800 dollars.

For a chair.

In a baby’s room.

However, the craigslist deities smiled down upon us one day, because I found this one for $100! Barely even used! In a color I didn’t hate! A guy who lives near my parents had it for sale because his wife just randomly went out and bought a new one, and this one was taking up space. I told him to call me any time his wife buys anything new, because if all of their “used” stuff is this amazing, I want it. It’s comfy and perfect and can be repurposed when we don’t have littles to rock anymore.

And that’s a slipcover, folks!

We’ve also been working on our room (we needed the dressers for Junior, and the bed and nightstands have gone downstairs to make our guest room a little more complete), and have made progress in there, too!


We still have to put on the door/headboard, and the curtains need something else. I’m thinking antler tiebacks. I want to shuffle around the pictures (notice how they’re just leaning?) and get some throw-type pillows. Slash make covers, because I have two Pottery Barn pillow inserts that are collecting dust in our linen closet and that’s a crime. Getting there!

Can we talk for one second about the gray dust ruffle? When we got our Sleep Number, I wasn’t at all sure what to do about a bed frame (it’s bigger than our old bed), so we just have a metal one. But, it sat waaaaay too low to the ground, so solution? Plastic risers like the college days. Classy. One problem fixed, but even though I bought the longest bedskirt I could find, you could still see those cheesy plastic things. Enter my mother, the creative genius, a billion yards of leftover (perfectly) gray chiffon, her formidable sewing prowess and problem 100% solved.

I swear, she should have a business where someone says “I don’t know what to do with this room/wall/dress/etc.” and she tells them what to do and where to find it, or makes them a custom one because she’s that good. I mean really. “Sharon’s Solutions” or something like that.

We’re also slowly tackling the bathrooms–this picture makes this look stupid, but it actually looks super cool! The wall above the toilet was so blank and sad, this makes it look much better. My mom’s idea, of course. Except the antler. I claim that one.



So there it is! This has not all happened overnight, it’s taken months, but I’m so hesitant to share “progress” pictures because I don’t like showing unfinished things. But, I decided that I should because I’m happy with how far everything has come, and I feel like we’re in the stage now where it’s more about accumulating little things to make everything more personal (and putting frames around the bathroom mirrors, ha), because we have most of the big elements happening. And, we are in the equivalent of a rental, so we have to make do with what we’ve got. One thing I always keep in mind when buying things (other than “How can I get this on sale?” is “Can we take it with us?” because we’ll likely move one day, but hopefully not for many years.)

I can’t wait to show the finished rooms, whether it’s in a week or two years from now. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the perfect mix of rustic and feminine with the exact right textures and maybe a cool chandelier won’t happen overnight :)

Friday Favorites: January 23rd

Another Friday, and another Friday Favorites!

I hope your week was excellent–ours seemed to drag a little, but I’m excited to jump into the weekend with both feet and finish my to-do list at home, and share some pictures of the nursery.

This Friday Favorites is a reflection of my inability to slow down lately, and so it’s a lot of me fast-forward thinking to after the baby’s born. I know I should slow down and savor the moment and all that, and I will, but I’m a planner and a look-forward-to-er and to be honest, I’m really looking forward to meeting our Man Cub (our alternative to Little Man) and being comfortable again at some point!!

And, we’ve gotten the tentative rodeo schedule for this summer, so that’s gotten me thinking about (what else?) mom- and baby-friendly rodeo wear, and luggage, haha. Because packing for a stay-overnight rodeo (which it looks like we’ll have at least four) isn’t like packing for a relaxing weekend at a hotel–multiple pairs of jeans and boots are required (for both me and Bert–obviously for him, but I’m never sure when I’m going to have to help with the horses or livestock, and I prefer to be able to cool out a horse or pen some calves in a jiff without being worried about my jeans!), as well as spare ropes, Bert’s gear bag with his broc-riding stuff, plus a cooler for snacks and drinks and clean changes of clothing for everyone. And, the horses and tack. And mustache wax. You know, the things that make it happen. And this year, on top of all that, we’ll have a carseat, stroller and a baby bag!

Oh, and a baby. You know, the thing that’s about to happen.

It’s gonna be a wild ride, folks, and don’t worry, I’ll document it. “The Johnstons Go To The Rodeo.”

But for now, here’s my latest picks of my favorite things on the interwebs.

Favorite Staple: Chambray Shirt. I have been itching to go through all of my clothes (nesting is real!) and eBay the ones that I don’t wear much anymore. I probably will, because I’m tired of taking up closet and drawer space with clothes I don’t wear, and I think my mom motto is going to be “Keep It Simple.” I told MY Mom that I may as well just get rid of everything else (except my big sweaters, of course) and wear chambray shirts, because they’re the #1 thing (other than my jeans) that I can’t wait to get back into. I would like about ten, in different washes and levels of yoke-embossed-ness. I’m not kidding.


Favorite Theme-On-A-Staple: Gingham Shirt. I think I’m just going to ditch everything I used to wear and replace it all with chambray, gingham and plaid button downs in different weights. They all go with jeans and boots, or skinneys/shorts and Sperrys, which is all I wear since both options are a) comfortable b) rodeo-friendly c) machine washable (aka dirt- and poop-cleanable) and d) nursing-friendly but not heinous or jersey, like so many nursing shirts are. If someone knows someone who has extra money laying around for complete wardrobe overhauls, have them call me up.


Favorite Fuzzy: Donkey Momma and Baby. I have a thing for donkeys, and a thing for baby donkeys especially. Bert and I watched a documentary once about some vaqueros, and they pack their toddlers around on donkeys (well, burros) when they ride and it’s wonderful.


Favorite Funfetti: Funfetti Biscotti. I’ve been trying to figure out a treat to bring to the nurses at the hospital, because I don’t want to make anything that won’t keep–who knows when we’ll be going! I thought about making the red velvet cookies I posted, but upon further reflection, I’ll have to make a new batch every couple of days, and that’s silly. And the last thing I want to worry about is if the cookies are fresh. I think these biscotti might be just the thing. Festive, and delicious with coffee or tea, and I already have Valentine’s sprinkles. What do you think?

Bonus is that biscotti are SUPER easy to make, and keep forever.


Favorite Top: Chiffon-Trimmed Tee. It’s just pretty. It would be destroyed in about three minutes, I think, but it doesn’t hurt to look at it. I especially love how it’s longer in the back, almost like a train on a wedding dress.


Favorite Can I Get Away With This?? Fur Pom Headbands. These are totally for toddlers, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hankering after one for myself. What do you think?


Favorite DIY: Horseshoe Tray. I’ve had an obsession with trays lately, and would love to have a couple large ones for entertaining, and for making things that would otherwise look scattered look a little more organized. Maybe I’ll try my hand at making some this summer–goodness knows we have plenty of pallet wood and horseshoes! I would love one painted turquoise.


Favorite Babywear: Carhartt Set. I can’t get enough of this onesie/coverall set! Too bad it’s a little pricey.


Favorite Food(ie?) Success: Angel Hair with Italian Sausage and Herbs. Y’all. I made this last week, and it was WONDERFUL! And SO EASY. I think next time I’m going to roast some asparagus and throw that in, too. Or, it would be excellent with a crispy shallot–it needs a little crunch or a different texture of some kind, I think. But seriously. Light, so fast to prepare, and delicious. I use a locally-made, never-frozen sausage that’s called Sara’s Sausage–if you’re reading this in Colorado and haven’t tried it, it’s amazing! I’ve found it at Safeway and Walmart both. Also, I used hot sausage instead of sweet, because that’s what we prefer, but I bet it’s delish either way.

italian sausage

Favorite Self Inspire: Cute Workout Clothes. Target strikes again! I don’t have any cute workout clothes–in college and highschool, I just wore running shorts and a t-shirt. I think, though, that having a few sets of cute leggings/tops would help motivate me to exercise post-baby. Target has some great deals that I can’t wait to take advantage of here in a few weeks!


Favorite Home Inspire: Red Accents. I have printed out this picture and am keeping it in my planner, because this is exactly how I want to incorporate red into our living room.

lving room

Favorite Funny: Dance of my People. Random people have asked us if they can ride our horses, and the answer is always no, so this made me giggle. We’ve heard a lot of “But I rode when I was a little girl!” or, “I grew up with horses, and miss them so much!” and the like. Why do we not (in effect) loan our horses out to ride? Here is a PSA for you: Ranch horses are not the same as trail riding horses, or dressage horses or what have you. We say no because a) our horses are not for rent. We own them or the ranch owns them, and you asking us is weird and sort of rude and b) we don’t want you to get in a wreck and hurt yourself or the horse. Plus, you borrowing a horse would mean you’d probably have to borrow tack. This is also weird and rude.


Favorite If-Had-A-Million-Dollars: I’d buy up this neat bag. (That’s a real neat bag, it’s true!). Please tell me you sang that to the tune of the song. If you didn’t, please do. It would warm my heart. I need a weekender bag with a zipper for all of our excursions, and I love all things leather. Although, the tooling on this bag doesn’t impress me–my father-in-law Mike makes much prettier stuff so I have a pretty high standard when it comes to leatherwork.

weekend bag

Favorite Festive: Paper Chain. I love paper chains. I make paper chains every year for Christmas, and yes I know this is a craft usually reserved for children. Buuuuuut how convenient is it that in a few short weeks (hopefully!) I’ll have a children and I bet he’ll be alllll about paper chains. Right? Right. Especially this one, which is made from hearts! Boys just love hearts.

paper chain

Favorite Dress: Dress and Scarf. I’m not the biggest dress fan anymore–I haven’t figured out how to wear them with all the dirt and everything. But, I just can’t get over how comfortable this looks! I would try out this look for sure. And if someone could please send me that gal’s skin, I would love you forever. But not literally, like in that movie. If you could bottle whatever makes her skin so clear and radiant, I would love you forever.



I’ve been getting a lot of “So how are you?” “What have you been up to lately?” “Ready for the baby?” questions lately, so I thought a “lately” post was in order.



So what’s been going on lately? Two things: Snow, and Baby Prep. In my world, at least! Bert hasn’t been as afflicted by the nesting urge (obviously), so I doubt his mind is consumed with nursery details like mine is.

We both, however, are sick of the snow. I took this yesterday afternoon at about 2:00, and we’ve gotten more snow since. I can’t remember a year being this snowy in the non-mountain parts of CO! I swear we’ve gotten snow at least once a week for two months, which is odd because it normally at least melts off in between. Oh well, there’s nothing much we can do about it, except cross our fingers that it isn’t blizzarding when it’s time to go to the hospital. And that maybe it will dry out soon, because we’re tired of the pens being so muddy and gross for the girls. It’s no fun to have to keep them so close to the barn, and it’s really no fun when it’s a sloppy, muddy mess.

We’re exactly three weeks away from Junior’s due date! I still think he’s going to be late, but theoretically he could come any day. This weekend we’ll finish the nursery (pictures!!!!), I’ll clean as much as I can, and we’ll hopefully go on a date night. My mom’s coming down to help me with things like baseboards (the bane of my existence), I really don’t know what I would do without her!

I had a doctor’s appointment today, and everything’s good! The doctor said we’ll likely not do any ultrasounds unless there’s a problem, and she said that in all likelihood, the next time we see him his when he’s born! WHAT?!? I’m measuring a little small, and he’s a big guy, so they don’t even need to ultrasound to make sure he isn’t breech, because you can feel his head by my hip. My doctor was like “Oh yeah. His head’s right there. He’s good!” Sort of cool, but also sort of weird.

After I get my projects done this weekend, I’m looking forward to (hopefully) a couple of weeks of sitting around when I’m home. Lately, I’ve had the urge to wash everything, and freeze food, and clean things, and hang up mobiles at 10:30 at night. Bert keeps telling me to SIT DOWN, but I can’t! There’s so much to do!

Except not really. The freezer’s full, hospital bags are packed,  and the nursery’s almost done, but is completely functional at this point regardless of the fact that the pictures aren’t all hung yet. In Bert’s words, “Baby rooms are supposed to have stuff all over the walls, but he doesn’t care if we don’t hang it before he’s born.” Which translates to “We’ll hang everything this weekend, don’t worry, and if he comes early and it’s not done, he won’t care, and I’ll hang them when we’re home because oddly enough, drills and hammers still operate post-baby. Don’t worry.” Which is very true, of course, but I’ve never read any baby thing that said “Welcome to week 37! It’s likely that you’re now feeling more sensible and reasonable, and you may find yourself relaxing and going with the flow even though your bathroom needs cleaned. Also, the swelling in your ankles has probably almost disappeared by now, and you’re feeling more energetic than ever.”


Long story short, I’m good, this is what we’ve been up to, and yes, physically we are ready for the baby to come. I’m not sure if any new parents are really ready, because although we have an idea about what we’re in for, every baby is different and we have no actual idea what we’re doing, having never raised a child before.

Because I’m scattered right now: Get thee to Stein Mart, because they are having some KILLER sales right now. I went to buy a lamp for Junior’s room because it’s basically a cave, and it was all I could do to not buy EVERYTHING.

Also: copper pots and pans are gorgeous. I see a copper set in my (very distant) future when it’s time to replace my Cuisinart. Or give it to my child who moved out, which is what my mom did, that dirty dog.

Except not, because now I have a full set of Cuisinart stainless cookware.

Another note: I went to Trader Joe’s for the first time today, and they had Honeycrisp apples the size of my head and I just ate one and I am officially devoted to TJ’s.