The Roots

My Michelle (Part 1)

A girl, my age.   Sitting at the window practicing piano against her will.  A requirement her parents made which she had very little interest in.  I could hear the music playing across our lawn.  I could see her little face looking out at me and I was paralyzed with shock, could it really be that I had moved so far away yet found a new friend right here?  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  There was so much possibility in this moment just rushing inside of me, so much excitement and fear all at the same time.  She finished up her lesson and made her way out to meet me.  She was taller than me, skinnier and had a head full of thick dirty blonde hair.  It felt like pure magic just being in her presence from the very first moment our eyes met.  Her name was Michelle, the same as my mom.  She was one year younger than me and loved nature, something I didn’t know much about.  For the first time in my little life I had a friend who I really connected with.  Sure I had a lot of friends in the city and was lucky enough to grow up with a different little girl next door back then but this was an entirely different ball game. My first best friend Sabina, I met when I was just five years old.  Standing on a large rock overlooking her house.  She came out and introduced herself, we were glued from there.  Her family was Muslim and as much as I fully respect their culture, they were very traditional in their ways which made being friends a little hard.  She wasn’t allowed to do things that other kids were allowed to do like, singing along to the radio for example or wear a bathing suit.  Plus, we were very young so timing had a lot to do with it too.  We never had sleepovers, a lot of her family couldn’t speak English, they also owned a duplex yet it was filled with about twenty other family members, those sort of things.  Thanks to Facebook though we did stay in touch, I actually went to her wedding shower and was invited to her wedding but opted not to attend.  It had just been so many years.  Although her family was incredibly inviting to me and my family I just felt out of place after so much time had past and we hadn’t really been able to stay in touch. With Michelle things were different from the start.  I was older yet I looked up to her with this immense respect, sometimes almost idolizing the way she was.  How thin she was, how smart and confident she was.  She always seemed to know exactly what she wanted, exactly what to do.  She showed me all the things that I had missed out on living in the city.  Like catching frogs and hosting worm weddings in the open field behind our houses. …READ MORE

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The Roots

The Roots.

As promised, I am here again shedding my truth.  Although I think I said EVERY day really what I meant was every week day.  And today is Monday so there you go, I am here doing what I promised myself I would do and you know what?  It feels really damn good.  Almost as good as I felt waking up at 5:45 this morning for the gym.  I haven’t done that in months so it honestly felt like I was a superstar when my feet hit the floor in the darkness so early.  It’s always so weird for me to get started like, where do I go with this, what do I talk about?  I want to dig deep and go all the way back story by story so I can finally share myself in a way that I never had and give a true picture of what my life is like, where I’ve been, where I’m going you know the whole bit.  In all the years (13 of them) that I have been blogging I have never been able to get myself there.  I try and try to write fluff pieces to entertain, to gain readers, to try and interest people but why?  I don’t want a tribe of mommy bloggers following me around, those are not my people I’m sorry.  I am not a perfect homemaker.  I wish I was but I am not.  The whole point of me writing is to finally let my soul free so I can become a better person.  No biggie, definitely not asking too much. Alright then, lets stop beating around the bush and take it back… way way back to the beginning.  My beginning.  SO yeah.  My name is Danielle.  I was born in a smaller city in Connecticut.  My parents were a young 26 living the apartment life, struggling to make ends meet.  My dad is a musician, a drummer and singer.  Growing up he was my IDOL.  Like American Idol but way better.  He has his bachelors degree in music from Central CT University and literally blows my away every time I get to see him play.  Seriously, he is the most talented person I know and not just because he is my dad.  He is short, dark and handsome.  The perfect celebrity package, if he had ever gone out to LA to follow his dreams… instead he had me.  And, being a wedding singer doesn’t exactly pay the bills so he also runs the maintenance department of a large nursing home.  Sounds kind of depressing when you lay it out there but, my dad was always an upbeat happy guy who loved his family and would do anything for us.  He couched our teams, taught us to fish, cooked us dinner, obsessively vacuumed the house.  You know, a typical Italian man. My mom came straight from London.  She was born there along with my aunt, my grandma and grandpa brought them over when my mom was only two …READ MORE

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Dear Diary

Breaking the Silence.

It would seem as if I should have some profound words for this but in reality I don’t.  I just know that I need to do it for my own sanity.  Because I realized recently that I absolutely suck at adulting this thing called life and I need more structure to get through my days.  All I seem to do is waste waste waste around in circles getting nowhere.  It’s just one big cycle of looserdom and I am front and center.  And although I have spoken these words thousands of times before, in the true definition of insanity I am going to believe that this time I will actually change.   SO this time I have a plan.  One that actually involves me living on a schedule and this schedule includes writing.  The stars aligned this morning so I decided today would be day one.  Unfortunately I am being interrupted by a sick toddler who has been waking up early all week despite my best efforts so I need to cut this short.  But, I have started therefore I will be back tomorrow to continue this, whatever this is.   Because I have given this A LOT of thought and I am not playing this whole monetization Better Homes and Gardens bullshit anymore.  This blog is my diary, if people find it and choose to read it cool.  I am going to still post pictures of my family because photography is a HUGE part of my life.  But I am going to ease back into social media and not put the forced emphasis on it that I was before.  I am sticking to the things that are most important to me.  This blog was supposed to be an outlet for me to release my thoughts.  Since the beginning nothing has made sense to me because I was trying to do and be something that I am not.  I am an old school blogger who just likes to write.  It clears my head.  And that is all.  

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Dear Diary

Literally, what the fuck.

I don’t really feel like addressing my absence right now but at the same time feel I need to at lease say something about why I am back or why I was away, one of the two.  But really, I honestly don’t know and maybe that is why I can’t address it because really, I don’t know what to say.  Every time I get the tiniest bit of “blogging” success I run away.  The momentum builds, the followers start to grow, the traffic starts coming, I get a sponsorship, I run away. I hate the term blogging.  It is just so completely corny to me.  I like to think of myself as a pretty non-corny person so associating myself with this world that most people either don’t understand or respect is hard for starters.  Second I have a really difficult time putting myself out there and third, I don’t want to talk about vanilla bullshit to attract people so I can earn money which at this current time is what blogging has turned into.  Every housewife on the planet is either a photographer or a blogger which honestly really pisses me off because I decided this past September to go down a different road with my life which included finishing my last year of art school instead of my last year of nursing (way too long of a story right now) so I could open my own in home studio and then starting following all these photog Facebook groups only to find it its just a whole other world of this corny bs.  Honestly though I respect the photogs and the bloggers I do don’t get me wrong.  But they are disrespected just as equally in everyone eyes which is frustrating to say the least.  Learning how to manually manipulate a dslr and control lighting is HARD, having a good eye is the least of your worries. So now I find myself back here because I need to talk some things out and I have no one to do that with right now while my husband is at work and there are just too many thoughts honestly for even him.  I have no true friends, no one I can call and cry to other than my grandma.  It’s sad I know but it is the sad reality of my life.  A few days ago my family experienced a very traumatic event that changed our lives and I need a place to go and let my feelings out.  I don’t have the time, babysitter or money for therapy so I am realizing that every time I feel this way I starting writing and that is all my blogs have ever been just me, feeling down and out, going through these bouts of depression and trying to talk myself through them. I almost gave this blog up.  Oddly enough I got a notice a few days ago saying I had 48 hours to pay my bill or I would be shut down, …READ MORE

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Dear Diary

30 Days

There is no easy way to say this.  I honestly don’t even know if I want to say this.  I have been thinking and overanalyzing what I should and should not write about on this blog for months.  Should I be something that I am not?  Should I push myself to hashtag this and hashtag that?  Should I focus on marketing and influencing and all these foreign things that blogging has become?  The internal struggle triggered my recent super bitch fest post and then I thought NO I can’t say all those things, I can’t trash all of these women it’s just not right.  I am not here to put other people down.  I might not be doing a great job of raising people up but I’m really not trying to hurt anyone in my process. My process.  What does that even mean?  Does anyone on the planet even blog like this anymore?  I honestly thought NO until this morning when I remembered dooce.com, all I had to do was read her about page and it hit me like a ton of bricks, Heather B. Armstrong is apparently my muse.  Strangely enough, we both started blogging over a decade ago, back when people actually wrote about their feelings, I can’t help but make the connection. This to me says, if she can still be writing from this place of truth and honestly, if she can talk about her kids while mixing in jokes about marijuana with a healthy dose of fuck this and ass that then, why can’t I?  I mean ok- so I obviously fucked my life up by not sticking to one handle since the beginning of time like she did.  Ergo I don’t have the following or the clout to be acting that way but you know what, fuck it. I’m at this place in my life right now where honestly, if I don’t find a way to heal myself I am going to loose everything.  Because my head is just that fucked up.  I am just that lost.  Not all the time.  Not every waking moment of my life.  I am certainly no longer the train wreck I was earlier this year but not I am just stuck in this strange limbo period where I feel like anything and nothing are possible at the very same time. I have insomnia.  I apparently have some “special” form of menstruation that causes me to go into fits of uncontrollable rage once a month.  I am also pretty sure I spent the first year+ of my son’s life unknowingly suffering from postpartum depression.  My life has had more ups and downs than I can possibly count on two hands.  I find myself feeling lost, friendless and alone.  I question if I can even be “fixed” or if my life has just been so fucked up to date that my personality has somehow formed from a mashup of all my unresolved issues. And because we cannot afford a therapist and even if …READ MORE

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Blogging

Liebster Award Nomination

What is the Liebster Award? The Liebster Award is an award given by bloggers to bloggers to get to know the person behind the blog.  Holy SHIT that was a lot of blog this blog that blog blog blog blog blog.  But anyway, moving on…  Once nominated you answer ten questions about yourself.  You are supposed to then find ten other bloggers to nominate and ask questions about themselves.  You are also supposed to credit the blogger who nominated you. So….. I don’t remember who sent this to me and it has been so long that I can’t even find the piece of social media that it was on.  We’re talking weeks here not months people!  I am just super talkative on all my fb pages.  I feel really bad about it, I want to credit the person so bad and if they happen to see this, if you are reading this PLEASE!!  Comment on this page, I WANT TO CREDIT YOU!!!  🙂 Moving on..  Here are the questions that I was asked Give a tip for other bloggers or potential blog starters If you start a blog do it because you enjoy writing, not because you are trying to make money. Name the top 3 most beautiful beaches you have visited #1.  Disney private island off the coast of the Bahamas. #2. Jamaica #3. Punta Cana Given the choice of anyone in the world whom would you want as a dinner guest and why? I am really into to Jane the Virgin right now, she is my spirit animal.  I would love to have dinner with Gina Rodriguez. For what in your life do you feel most grateful? My husband, children and family. How & when did you start your blogging career? I found blogging when I was nineteen and everyone who even knew what blogging was did it on a site called Xanga.  Blogging was secretive and no one used it to make money.  It was most literally an online diary.  There was an entire secret world of girls who had eating disorders.  At the time so did I.  So I started blogging as a way to connect with these other girls who were going through the same thing that I was. Which one is the best and more traffic post you made? My most popular post is http://littlebluehazel.com/2016/06/kid-friendly-heat-free-overnight-curls-were-in-love/ It’s one where I tried out a product but it was actually just me buying a new product on my own and trying it out, I wasn’t collaborating yet at the time, I had just started. Who is your favorite beauty and fashion blogger? Honestly some nights I’ll scroll through YouTube and watch whoever but I don’t have a specific favorite that I would be able to name.  I do need to learn how to use a one inch flat iron to curl my hair though, damn.  I cannot for the life of me figure out how my new hairdresser curled my hair so good.  That woman is a queen, …READ MORE

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Dear Diary

Two Steps Forward, One Back

To me the sound of quiet means a cat purring, a dishwasher running, a bunny stirring in his cage, my husband snoring on the couch, two different children songs playing on the monitor switching back and forth and sounds from my brother in law moving around upstairs getting ready for bed.  This is my life right now, total chaos and noise even when it is supposed to be quiet.  This is my life always.  It must be like this for everyone else, I feel like when you become parents quiet no longer exists.  I don’t know what I would do if it was quiet.  I would probably freak out. I have been in the worlds worst mood today, and my last post was just an absolute.. there is just no way to say it without using inappropriate words.  It was a low point.  I was so angry.  I should probably delete it.  Honestly, I have so much anxiety about writing, about putting myself out there, that I think I just avoid it. But I am getting to the point in my life that I realize if I don’t do something, something else is going to give.  I need to get better and be happier.  I know I am a miserable grouch of a person sometimes or a lot of the time, maybe that is why I can never make blogging friends.  Either that or because I never produce any valuable content, it could be that too.  And I know that, I know that I need to get it out there.  I finally sat down and made a blogging schedule so my plan is to put that into motion. I want to start telling my story but it makes me really super uncomfortable to tell my story.  Like really super uncomfortable.  But I know that it is the one piece of me I need to pour out so I can maybe get some closure.  There are so many things in my life that would feel so much better if I talked about them.  I just really don’t know if I can tell the entire story, it honestly might just be a bit too much for this blog because I wanted this blog to be family friendly and fun.  Maybe I will start a separate site for my story.  I don’t know, I will figure it out as I go I guess. Maybe I could just put a warning on the page that it is R rated or something, haha.  X rated, hahaha!! Anyway, I really do have blogging work that I need to get out because I was nominated for two different blogging awards, and I was honestly really excited them when I first found out, before I realized how they actually worked but who cares honestly.  I’ve put myself out there enough that the community knows me and found my name so, that is still cool.  There are a bunch of questions that I have to answer for both of …READ MORE

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Blogging Dear Diary

Be True To Yourself.

I’ve recently come to the realization that I want this blog to be more.  Mostly, because I want myself to be more.  I know that most of you don’t know me and have probably never read a single word I’ve ever written.  Even each and every one of you who now make up the 3k+ followers I’ve gained across social media in the past few months.  I know this because I have been around the block a few times. When I started blogging the entire point was to actually write.  I know, can you believe it?  We all wrote because we wanted to be writers.  SO STRANGE, I know.  We anonymously poured out our souls to each other convincing ourselves we all cared so much,  although we never actually planned to meet in real life.  There was no Twitter or Instagram, or Facebook.  There was no behind the scene pictures and videos.  Blogging was all about the words, the writing, the feelings, the stories.  OUR STORIES. You weren’t running around trying to promote your own face, monetizing and collaborating with brands.  Yet somehow over the past twelve+ years that I’ve been blogging, it has come to this.  The diary like platform I once knew and loved has turned into a full fledge industry crammed with -UPDATED- Because, I am really not the bitch this post makes me out to be. Alright, I’ve definitely said too much.  This isn’t me.  I am not a mean person, I am honestly a really easy going -Nice person.  Well, maybe not easy going but I am nice.  I respect others.  And, I will certainly help anyone who asks, whenever I can.  I have spent the past few months getting to know and help these woman because I genuinely enjoy it… who knew.  And because of my involvement I have now been nominated for two “blogging awards”.  I am pretty sure whoever invented these awards just saw it as another way to pull in page views but lets pretend they actually mean something.  Lets just say, I kinda feel like I have arrived.  The people, they are coming.  I have doubled my page views every month for the past three months.  That is seriously impressive to me.  I laid in bed last night like a crazy person studying my stats projecting my growth for the next year.  What – On – Earth is happening to me? I never saw myself being the type of blogger who could actually make money off of anything that I have written.  And, maybe that is why I have become so salty towards those who do.  In my mind somehow I have convinced myself that I just don’t fit into this world.  I am not all pink and glitter, my house isn’t ready for the pages of Better Homes at any given moment, my look isn’t refined and trendy, I don’t see why anyone would care about my life.  But maybe that is the point.  Maybe there is a place …READ MORE

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Mason's Minute Our YouTube Channel

Baby Mason walks our dog! (Click -Continue Reading- to watch the video!)

I am incredibly busy this week and haven’t had much time to post or for social media in general.  So I wanted to take a minute and share with you my absolute all time favorite video of our son Mason walking our Jack Russel Terrier Roxy, you won’t believe how determined he is!  I recorded this over this past summer while my daughter was busy playing in the splash pad, he would much rather be walking our dog! At the time he was about fifteen months old, it still amazes me how strong he was!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! All my love 🙂 Danielle + the rest of the Johnson gang!

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Our YouTube Channel Summer's Corner

Summer’s Corner Episode 1: Summer + Mommy Learn to Karaoke

Hey everyone!  We have been making videos for our YouTube channel for almost five months now!  And, all because our daughter Summer wanted to be just like her favorite YouTube family making fun and silly videos, gaming videos, baking things + doing science experiments.  I’m not gonna lie, it was really strange getting started, I was super uncomfortable being on camera!  Honestly, even Summer felt weird about it and my husband is still getting used to it!  But, I saw it as a way to bond with our daughter and do something fun as a family.  So I set out to start creating these videos that she felt so strongly about.  It started out rough, our first series “The Messy Home Tour” was really just us getting used to having our crazy house + ourselves being filmed.  Once we got rolling, hours and hours into editing, it all started to become fun and exciting!  I now see why this family and so many others Vlog and make all sorts of videos that are then shared with the world!  I get it!  We are definitely still getting used to all of it but it really has brought us closer and given us so many nice memories to look back at already in the sort five months we have been making them! That being said, today we have a very special new video series to share with you!  We are calling this series, “Summer’s Corner” entirely because Summer decided that she wanted to call it that and I lost the battle.  The name is inspired by her favorite YouTube channel FGTeeV who have a space for their son called “Chase’s Corner”.  I tried explaining to her quite a few times that we couldn’t just “copy” their name but she insists that her “channel” needs to be just like his because she is their biggest fan.  I am figuring they have millions of subscribers and we now have 22!!  Yes, 22!!  I am so proud 🙂 because last week we had only 2!  So yeah, I don’t think having a similar name is really going to be a problem. We have made a few videos for her playlist that are coming up in my editing and will be posted soon.  There are actually a few that we recorded before this one but we were working on angles and trying out a different camcorder so the quality/ sound/ view was not very good.  Because of that, I decided to make this our first official video and it is just so silly and cute!  Summer makes me laugh with her enthusiasm and excitement for not only making the video but playing the keyboard, she truly loves all things music and arts just like her momma 🙂 I hope you all enjoy the video and look out for the rest to follow!

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