Our YouTube Channel

The Johnson’s of YouTube

I have some new recipes coming out this week and a ton of videos that have made their way to our channel this past weekend so go check those out and tell me what you think!  I started a video project a few weeks ago that we now call the #messyhometour.  It started out I think as a way to motivate me towards making videos because it is something that would mean a lot to my daughter.  She has fallen in love with a popular You Tube family and it is her absolute dream right now to be just like them.  They have been making videos for years and I know nothing about making videos but I thought you know what, this is a way that we can bond.  After the year that we have just had, we really need that.  We need something to pull us closer together and give us more glue as a family.  From there I started to connect all the dots with my blog.  My blog shouldn’t be all about me and my feelings.  My blog should be a showcase of my family and all thats awesome about us!  I have a heartfelt post coming up this week about Florida and I will go in depth about what happened on our trip and why it changed me.  But for now lets just say, Florida changed my life.  I came back a different woman than I was when I headed towards that plane for our first take off.  I came home with a fire in me like nothing I have ever felt before.  And as a result of that I have completely transformed our yard and changed everything about my daily habits in the short time that we have been home.  Our house has never been cleaner and all the projects I have been putting off for years are suddenly getting done, by me, alone.  I feel great and I owe it all to the time I got to spend and bond with my family.  And now that we are home I want to continue that feeling and that closeness we had on the most memorable trip I have ever taken in my life.  So I hope you enjoy our new channel and all the new content I have in store.  Get ready to meet The Johnson’s, we are coming atcha 😉  

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Dear Diary Family Time Parenting Travel

This is the World.

So lately, I just want to fix all the things.  Every last thing in my life.  Everything I look at.  Everything I touch.  I need to fix it all, and fast. My family just came back from the most amazing trip to Disneyworld.  It wasn’t planned.  It was completely spur of the moment.  One day we are living our normal dragging our feet backwards lives, two weeks later we are in Florida.  We were planning on staying in my husband’s cousins home while my mother in law was caring for her children.  Her husband spends most of the year traveling for work while she stays home with their kids.  She is suffering from an alcohol addiction and my mother in law was the closest person to her that she trusted to stay with them while she went away to try and rehabilitate her life.  Her husband graciously flew us down there to see her because he has half a billion frequent flyer miles and he is just a really nice guy.  So, there we were two weeks later finding ourselves at this strange home in Florida with these two kids we had never met before.  Our hopes were high, and they were quickly crushed.  The ashes were blown all over the tall grass that surrounded their property.  This poor home had seen better days and these children were a mess.  We spent two nights and three days with them and by then we were done.  We packed up our kids late at night, rented a car and headed towards Disney.  Our hopes, again high.  We book a hotel room that looks great in the pictures only to show up to what looked like the Floridian version of a Motel 6 fully equipped with a Walgreens in the parking lot and we said no, absolutely not.  We came all the way down here for a vacation.  We packed up our kids and drove away from our family.  We are going to have a vacation dammit, we will not settle for anything less.  Twenty minutes later we were checking into a Disney hotel.  Everything after that is a blur.  Pure magic.  Smiling happy pointing laughing and screaming with joy the four of us pranced around Disney like we were on top of the world.  Sure it was hot, ok I will give you that.  The day we spent at Animal Kingdom was an entirely new experience when it comes to walking around soaking wet in your own sweat for an entire day, continuing into the night with a trip to Disney Springs finished off by an incredibly loud and fun dinner at Planet Hollywood.  It was the kind of vacation that changes your life.  It changed my life.  I came home from this vacation and realized A. I want my home to feel like Disneyworld.  Clean, organized with a zest for life.  Beautiful.  I want my house to be beautiful and B.  I want my children to know how much they are …READ MORE

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Blogging Dear Diary

New-ish YouTube Channel + 5 Minute Writing Update

I think the toughest part about blogging is consistency.  Choosing to write as a form of work yet also your hobby is tough because somehow actually sitting down at the computer always ends up on the back burner.  At least, that is how it has always been for me.  I think all day long about blogging while I am doing other things like housework and then at the end of the day I am too tired to actually write all the things that go through my head down. I started this series about a week ago on my YouTube Channel that really opened my eyes to writing in small spurts.  I have been making these movies every morning where I just walk through our messy house and say hey this needs to be done and that needs to be folded but here we are just me and these crazy kids here living life + we are ok in this messy house!  I can’t be the only one, right?  Raise your hand if your house stays a hot mess in the summertime!!  I have always been embarrassed to have anyone see our house messy but right now I am experiencing two children home 24/7 and I am realizing, I can’t be the only mom going through this!  Keeping the house clean this summer is going to be next to impossible!!  …  I also ask them both how their morning is going and what we are going to do that day.  Of course Mason’s response is usually grunting or throwing food at me but Summer can usually be counted on for some good commentary!  I know some day I will look back at these 2 minute clips and remember all the things about our life right now that are usually so easily forgotten and if that is all they ever are, it makes me smile knowing that I have them.  And really lets be real here, anything that makes me smile these days is absolutely necessary! So tonight as I was about to fold the mammoth pile of laundry on our couch I thought you know what, I am going to just sit down for 5 minutes, just 5 minutes and whatever comes out is good enough for me.  It is better than writing absolutely nothing and letting each day go by without any glimpse of thought into my mind.  This blog is supposed to be that for me, I know I have said this a lot but I mean it, this blog needs to be there for me!  This is like therapy for me right now in my life.  I sincerely need to hear myself talk it all out through my fingertips so when all I have is zero time or energy I am going to give just 5 minutes because when 2 can make a difference, its a magical wonder what 5 can do.  I feel like this is where I would enter that stupid crazy looking emoji with the …READ MORE

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Dear Diary Family Time Reflections

The Stages of Grief

I think the most important thing to always remember is to never give up.  No matter how many times you have tried to change, tried to become a better person, wake up early, be a better employee, wife or mother.  Whatever it is in your life that is holding you back or constantly feeling like a failure, if you give up on it then you will fail, forever.  My life is a mess right now.  I have felt like I was teetering on rock bottom for weeks.  We have never struggled harder. Unexpectedly becoming a stay at home mom isn’t at all a dream.  It has felt mostly like a nightmare from the very beginning.  First desperately trying to make money from inside the house (denial).  From there I began lashing out on everyone while giving up on my small business to accept taking on the stay at home life in all it’s glory (anger).  Next, convincing myself and my husband that we could afford this life just by living simpler + cancelling out our debt (bargaining).   And then came the depression and…  here I am.  Depressed.  I thought I would never type that actual word….  Sadness.  Sadness is ok.  But to admit depression feels so clinical.  Sure, I have probably been depressed most of my adult life and all of my late childhood.  Sure, if I went to a therapist they would say yeah you are in denial, this is depression.  But to admit that to myself, no I just can’t do it. Now please, if you are depressed, if you have a psychiatric disorder bless you.  Strength and perseverance to you, life is worth living.  I mean that from the bottom of my heart, I believe that life is worth living.  Because I believe that and because I have struggled for so long, because I have seen the glimmer, the light.  Because there have been periods of time where I can say yes I was happy then.  I just know that I don’t want to be medicated, the last thing I need now is to be numb.  I saw what it did to my mother, my aunts, my grandmother, I am trying to start my life now not end it.  I am more focused on breaking the cycle than adding to the number.  So lastly, I am searching for acceptance.  I am searching for myself, my soul, my happiness.  One day I know that I am finally going to look back at this and say I did it.  I finally did it after all these years of trying and failing.  That I am finally finishing all the things that I start.  That I am finally proud to be myself and can say that I am an adult deserving of respect.  I will get there, I will persevere, I will not give up. My 6 year old daughter looked sad today during her soccer game and I said, “Summer why do you have that frown face, you look …READ MORE

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Creative Writing: Songs + Poems Dear Diary

Choose Life

Life is hard, the struggles are real We’re all suffering, we all feel The air is heavy, we bare the weight It happens when we procreate My children deserve more, my husband too I can’t continue being so blue Today was hard, another mistake I feel defeated, more than I can take I can’t stay down here on my knees The world is ticking by I have to pick myself up, before I start to cry There has to be a light out there The struggle has to end I have big dreams I cannot see, I’m always on the mend I’m searching for the rainbow The sparkling gleam of light I’m crawling round the darkness, in the middle of the night The years are short The days are long I need to finally end this song Stop wallowing, stop crying, stop praying for change You are the only person who could possibly rearrange This shattered life, the pain and strife, the chains that bare us down The example that you set, every time you choose to frown Stop holding on and bust this frame, there’s nothing left to loose The only rock that’s left unturned is a life that you must choose   ~ Danielle Johnson ~ 05/25/17 ~ 2:25 pm ~

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Dear Diary

Good Vibes

I am in a much better head space today. I made a few changes in my day yesterday that definitely made a difference.  For starters, I went running which I haven’t done in far too long.  Running made me feel amazing, it is a feeling that I NEED every day.  Running is sanity, running is clarity, running is peace.  I couldn’t wait to go again today.  Unfortunately life had other plans and by the time I got home from my morning earrins Mason had fallen asleep in the car.  But I said to myself you know what?!  I am going to sweat somehow, someway.  So I went out back, finished picking up a pile of dirt left from when I leveled out the pool last week (small pool, very small pool) and then I said ok, I need to sweat more.  I pulled out the lawnmower and now I feel all, you know that feeling after you work out, when your muscles kind of hurt and feel engaged?  I feel that now which although running really is a mental high for me, having that feeling still really lifts my mood and makes me feel strong, powerful and ready to take on the world. Yesterday I cleaned all the bins leftover in our playroom from when I was sorting through clothes to give away.  There are still a lot more to go in the basement but somehow it looks worse than ever down there so I need to make some huge strides with all that before I make any more messes up here.  I got my first real comment on the blog yesterday!  It honestly made my day 🙂  I still haven’t written back yer because I really want to sit down and take the time to say something thoughtful and nice.  Right now I am typing as fast as my fingers will carry because I don’t know how long Mason will contently walk around before he realizes that he wants to hang all over me again. I have no choice but to bring him down to the basement with me after I finish writing this because it just needs to be worked on and there is no other way.  He should be sleeping right now but I only got about 45 minutes out of him, I didn’t realize that the lawnmower would wake him up, major fail.  Alright this post needs to dig deeper because I am feeling bored just writing it.  I have a few topics coming up that I have been wanting to write about for a long time and now that I have put myself out there once, there just isn’t any reason why I shouldn’t keep going.  I need to face all the fears.  I need to show my heart.  I did it once and look, there is one person out there who read what I had to say and said gee, I feel that way too.  THAT IS EVERYTHING.  Nuff said. Well, this tiny human …READ MORE

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Dear Diary

Is this the Beginning or the End?

I haven’t been writing I think because I have been so down lately.  After I wrote that super honest post I just haven’t been able to bring myself back to read it again.  It needs to be edited but I just can’t.  I feel like if I remember what I wrote, I will delete it.  My mother ignored my call on Mother’s Day.  She never called back, not even the next day or the day after.  She pretends on Facebook like everything is ok.  Nothing is ok.  I can’t say that I have ever felt this alone, and that is saying something.  Not saying that one thing directly correlates with the other but, it doesn’t help to feel rejected by your own mother…. I give up on her.  I give up on all things that made me this person.  I hate this person.  I give up. My husband is tired of the mess that is my life.  He expects me to fix it on my own.  I wish he understood how hard it is to overcome the sadness that has enveloped my body, it is hard to breath let alone stand tall.  I feel pathetic and useless, I feel like a failure.  I feel so many emotions that I keep inside because I have no one to share them with.  I can’t expect anything from anyone.  Not that I ever did but, I need to stop using my loneliness and this constant heel dragging state of mind as my own excuse to live the way I do. When I was working, I was so so low.  I hated my job.  I hated being alone in the office all day, every day staring at a computer screen.  The loneliness drove me insane, I escaped to blogging and Facebook until I got caught and then I just sat there prisoner to my own mistakes for another year until leaving for my maternity leave that would inevitably never end.  I swore if I could just get myself out of that atmosphere, out of that life, that I would be ok.  I swore it was my job, it was the overspending, it was the commuting, the rushing, the late dinners and lack of time.  I swore it was everything else holding me back, everything else was the reason that I never grew up, never felt like I belonged with all the other responsible adults, I wasn’t an adult, I did not could not adult.  I woke up late, scrambled around and rushed every single day.  I packed up clothes for my daughter to change into because I couldn’t get her ready myself, there was never enough time.  I often forgot important things like glasses and shoes.  I was a mess. I swore it was because I worked too many hours, I went to school, I had this big house to clean, I was only one person with barely any domestic help from my spouse.  I knew that all the stress was causing my sadness, …READ MORE

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Dear Diary

It’s Never so bad that it can’t get worse

I have been struggling to write this post to a long time.  I picture this blog being something.  I picture myself being something.  And then I just run circles around myself never really getting anywhere.  I am thirty one years old.  I am a mother, twice.  I have a husband.  Actually, I have a great husband, like one of those old fashion Red Forman types.  He seriously loves me unconditionally and that’s not something you see every day.  We own a beautiful house that we built when we were just twenty six years old which was honestly the most stressful, scary, amazing, beautiful experience of my life.  Kind of like motherhood.  It was the birth of this incredible structure that wasn’t there before, that we created.  Definitely top three biggest accomplishment of my life.  But here we are in this very sticky place and here I am. This blog is the beginning of my life.  If you are reading this right now, that probably doesn’t make any sense.  So let me back up. I met my husband when we were eleven.  Yes, you read that right.  Eleven.  Let that sink in a minute.  Think about your life when you were eleven.  You were just starting middle school, the sixth grade.  You are a nervous, shy bookworm.  And when I say bookworm I mean, you read books while walking down the hallway at school so you could avoid awkwardly trying to walk with someone else to class.  When I say shy I mean, one time you were at the grocery story with your mom and she asked you to return the shopping cart forgetting the milk underneath.  As your walking back to the car a man starts calling to you, “little girl, little girl you forgot your milk” and you run to the car so fast you can’t breath, you don’t hear what he is saying because you are terrified and crying.  Yeah, that shy. So you have this Math class that someone someway is filled with a bunch of kids who all get along and become this little click of friends.  And in this click of friends is you and your husband.  He thinks your cute so one day he passes you a note folded in the shape of a football that says, “will you go out with me?” and it gives you butterflies because a boy likes you but, you have a crush on a different boy so you say no, lets be friends.  And friends you would be, for four years you become the best of friends.  Your hiding your corded phone under your pillow whispering until the wee hours of the morning, your calling his girlfriend because she has call waiting to get through to his phone, your giving each other these hugs that last so long your own homeroom teacher is like, just have sex already.  Jk, but honestly she did tease me that I looooooved him and I was all like eh no we’re just …READ MORE

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Dear Diary

Tongue Tied

After the week that I have it is hard to know where to start with this post.  Summer is sick, again.  I am fighting off whatever germ she has on top of that wonderful monthly visit.  I swear she gets a cold virus/ diarrhea thing every month perfectly timed with my schedule to guarantee that my immune system will be low enough to catch it too.  Yesterday was super stressful between dealing with her doctors office and her school.  Yes I will admit she has missed a lot of school this year.  But, every single day that she has spent home was 150% necessary.  I do not agree with this no fever, no throw up, you’re going to school thing her doctor’s office is now trying to convince me of.  If my daughter can’t breath or is at risk for pooping her pants you better believe she is staying home, fever or not.  Yet today, I was basically forced to send her to school with a zip lock bag full of spare clothes and flushable wipes because she doesn’t have a fever.  Thanks, I will just sit here a nervous wreck all day, no problem.  The only good thing that I can say about the situation is that her teacher is a sweetheart and loves Summer, at least emailing her always makes me feel more at ease. I feel like I can’t transition this first topic into anything else right now.  We got a new piece of furniture and a rug over the weekend which I want to talk about and share pictures of but this doesn’t seem like the appropriate time.  I have always been doing some serious soul searching and have finally came to some major life decisions which I also really need to get into but, not now.  I think I am just going to go. My featured image today is my sweet napping dolly and here is one of my little stud. I can’t get enough of these overalls, they are from last season and honestly just about too small but they are too cute he needs to wear them until they can no longer button!! <3 Peace.  

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Dear Diary

The Not So Queen of Blogging.

After yesterdays sob fest I was up early today ready for war.  I need to get myself out of this rut.  I know that writing helps so I am going to continue to write.  This blog means a lot to me.  It is my dream.  Photography, this blog and flipping houses.  Those are my dreams.  If I could imagine a perfect life it would be photographing and blogging about flipping houses.  The fact that our finances are officially fucked and I really need any income I can get right now, right now, really throws a wrench in the gears but I don’t know maybe it doesn’t.  This has to be what rock bottom feels like.  Or honestly maybe not.  I still have a roof over my head, a nice roof at that.  I still have an amazing man who stands by my side with a smile on his face no matter what.  I still have these two beautiful kids who call me mom and show me their big beautiful smiles every day.  Maybe life isn’t that bad.  Even if we loose everything, I hate to sound cliche but isn’t it said that you are only free to do anything once you have lost everything? If you are a new reader or maybe you’ve been hanging around awhile, even so I would like to re-introduce myself.  My name is Danielle, I have been blogging for 12 years and I like to refer to myself as “the failed blogger”.  I say this because, I have never in my life heard of anyone trying to blog for twelve years and be here where I am still at the beginning.  Here is how I failed at blogging so maybe you won’t make the same mistakes that I did…. When I began blogging I was nineteen years old and working full time at night in debt collection.  I was alone in an office building every night and lonely.  I was also dealing with some personal issues that come along with being nineteen years old living on your own with your boyfriend.  I had very little contact with my family, we were struggling financially, everything was all just so hard and we were so young.  I found a site called Xanga and I thought it would be a great way for me to continue journaling and maybe make some online friends in between phone calls. For years I blogged on Xanga, I even taught myself some HTML and started coding my own health and fitness website called Thinspirationsinc.com.  I was excited and obsessed, I loved coding and growing my site, I would just get lost for hours in it!  But somewhere along the way I started going to school for Graphic Design and lost site of my goals.  I married my boyfriend, we bought a house, I got pregnant and switched my major to nursing thinking I was being more realistic and practical.  I stayed with the medical billing company for nearly eleven years working my …READ MORE

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