Wednesday, August 31, 2011

That Was Weird

Sometimes a year goes by and you forget to blog.

It happens.

When days pass so quickly and events begin to blur in the wake of newerfasterbettermore... I find often all I really have for proof that life is actually what it was that went rushing by, when the dust settles, are the special and not-so-special moments frozen with the help of modern technology, like iPhone photos.

Here are a few more from the recent past:

If you want to see more and you have the Instagram app you can follow me, laurel_johnston.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Sometimes things like this happen at our house. Things like putting strange apparel and costume items on small weenie dogs for sport.

It's OK; you can judge us.

But remember, it'd be so much worse if they were cats.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Zoom! (That was May zooming by.) And now it's June.
But, speaking of May, the big news there is that in mid-May Ian got hurt sailing and ended up needing to have orthopedic surgery on his ankle to repair tendons and tissue that he had ruptured. Ruptured tissue! Wheee!
Surgery, pain pills, ice packs, stitches, gauze, crutches... It's been super fun for him. And, any of you who actually know Ian can imagine how super fun it's been for the rest of us, too. Not that he's been a bad patient. He's been a trooper. But still. An immobile and in-pain Ian is not a happy Ian, understandably. But, healing is underway and he gets rid of the crutches TOMORROW! We are super excited. He'll be in a walking boot, but the external stitches will be out and he'll be able to say, carry a dish to the sink. And that will be nice. Summer will begin to get underway the right way-- a way that doesn't involve surgery.

And, speaking of summer, it's a great time to have birthday parties on the beach that include cupcakes by
yours truly... Which, as it so happens, my friend did just last weekend at Pebble Beach for her adorable youngest daughter, and my sis-in-law/photographer extraordinaire Amie (and I, her ragtag kid-photos assistant) shot it to help capture the day. You can see some of the photos on Amie's pint-sized-edition blog. Also, if you wait a minute and let the top banner load, it will scroll through other kid shoots we've done over the past few years-- including some faces and tutus some of you New Yorkers and New York defectors will recognize.

And, speaking of New York, Ian was just crutching his way around Massachusetts for a few days this week on business and I was so tempted to go with him and high-tail it to NYC. But alas, I remembered that I'm not a wealthy, globetrotting sophisticate who can zoom off to NYC at the drop of a hat. Hate when that happens.

And, speaking of hats, I was tempted to celebrate summer sun by buying a giant sunhat online the other day, but passed in favor of these Anne Klein bad boys that I found on clearance at PiperLime, which, warning, is a slightly addictive site. The heels themselves are pretty and springy-summery fun, and thanks to these heavenly heelz (aka amazing pieces of magic), totally wear-all-day comfy. (Well played, foot petals, well played). And, what sound do I make as I blur by in these sweet summer score shoes? Zoom!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Burger That Changes Lives... And Other Adventures in Eating

To celebrate NINE years of marriage (what? are we that old? how did this happen?) Ian and I took a little trip to the desert to see family and friends and to enjoy the eating treasures that Las Vegas offers. Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Huber Keller are just a few of the celebrity chefs that have restaurants there... And I intended to try as many as possible in our short trip... because the Food Network is my other bible.
Carnevino was stop number one on the Johnston Eating Anniversary Vegas Tour 2010. One word: burger. More words: pancetta (bacon), creamy white cheddar, crisp red onion and a house-made cherry and red wine mustard with black truffle mayo and... um, drool. Best. Burger. Ever.Served with a pitch perfect arugula salad with sunny fresh lemon and herb dressing-- tingly, fragrant, crispy-clean perfection. Topped off with a side of spicy red pepper sauteed spinach. Mario Batali, I love you; you, and your long, unruly hair and crazy ways and goofy Crocs... Your Carnevino burger changed my life. Crazy, crazy, crazy good.
Next stop, Hash House A Go-Go for the NY Times-touted sage fried chicken and bacon waffles with maple reduction. Um... yeah. For reals. This picture doesn't do it justice. It was more golden. And delicious! Chicken and waffles! Love it! Though I would have preferred a crispier waffle, the strips of extra crispy bacon nestled in the spongy folds of waffle goodness were divine. (If you were an extra crispy bacon strip wouldn't you want to be enveloped in light, buttery, pillowy waffle? It would be quite nice.)
Dinner was at Bobby Flay's Vegas hot spot, Mesa Grill. I neglected to take pictures of the adventures in eating, but suffice it to say everything was very, very yummy. My fillet mignon was tender and crusty and juicy and huge. The cornmeal encrusted chile relleno with white cheddar and black beans was delicioso! So was the goat cheese fundido (cheese dip,) and Ian's 16-spice-rubbed chicken was out of this world. All in all, a wonderful meal but slightly less overwhelmingly wonderful as the first.
After dinner we were on our way to see the Lion King, so, regrettably, we did not have time to get dessert. The dessert menu was tantalizing, and if I ever find myself out that way again a special dessert stop will be made. However, with almost no calorie left behind, our Vegas eating tour was a success. (And maybe in another nine years we will have worked off all those calories and can go back.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fun With Sky Mall #3

It's been a while, folks, but it's Friday, it's sunny and springy out, and I'm just in the mood for another edition of FUN WITH SKY MALL! In case you forgot how it works, the goal here is to spot the real marketing copy that accompanies this totally real product from Sky Mall. And we're off...

A) What's that smell? Mee-Owch! It's the litter box! Help your furry friend say sayonara to that stinky habit once and for all with the Litter Kwitter 3-Step Cat Toilet Training System. In just weeks, your kitty can become a fancy-free feline flusher! Pets and humans share love, why not share TP, too? Save money on litter and scoops with this reusable kit; new from the esteemed makers of the KittyTalks Translation System.

B) The best way to deal with the unpleasant task of cleaning out the litter box is to do away with it for good. With the Litter Kwitter 3-Step Cat Toilet Training System, you can teach your cat to use any human toilet in eight weeks or less. The age or weight of your cat doesn't matter and it works in multiple cat households too. This award-winning product has proved itself effective for years, and has been recommended by vets. Enjoy a cleaner home and say good-bye to the litter box forever.

C) You may wear muumuus 24-7, you may wear curlers in your hair in public, and you may knit outfits for your "kitty kiddies"-- but if you still just can't seem to get your seven cats to listen to their "mama" and use the litter box consistently, you need the Litter Kwitter 3-Step Cat Toilet Training System. Your cats will never truly be your almost-human-babies until they are tinkling toddler style, with colorful adaptive seats for Boots to boot! Soon your whole family of felines will be sharing the most intimate bathroom moments. Aww!

D) Cats everywhere are pawing for the purrfect solution to housebreaking drama! As seen on The Real Housecats of Crazyville, the Litter Kwitter 3-Step Cat Toilet Training System is the kitty choice for reversing natural instincts altogether. Fabulous felines all over the country are relieved to finally be able to relieve themselves like the rest of the civilized world-- in the privacy of their own bathrooms. As any good vet knows, training cats is super easy! That's why they recommend this award-winning system that will have your purrer potty perfect in no time!

E) Tired of those awkward moments with your cat when he wants to go outside and poop in public like a dog? Or how about when he has to slink off to the litter box to wee in a pile of chalky dust? It's time for the Litter Kwitter 3-Step Cat Toilet Training System! Trade awkward moments with your cat for awkward moments with your friends when they see the adaptive seat in the "cat's bathroom." Your cat deserves all the convenience of jumping onto a slick porcelain surface and balancing over a specialized seat. After all, he does so much for you... He kindly destroys your couch and love-scratches your arm. He also barfs up beautiful fur balls under your bed and wakes you up at 5am for food... That kind of benevolence deserves the royal treatment: get your king kitty going on his own throne today!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Newborn Rockstar

Welcome Abigail Mary Sawyer! This little rock star came into this world, complete with kick-A fauxhawk, on Saturday. Auntie Laurel and Uncle Ian got to meet her when she was just 2 hours old. My kid sis Leah, her mama, was a superchamp, and proud papa Joel was already smitten by this little peanut. We all were:

Is she in a wind-tunnel? Nope; fauxhawk! Awesome!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Ian is away on business this week. The town he is traveling to? Pewaukee. That's right (pee-wok-key). Probably some ancient Native American name for something significant and sacred and beautiful. But, in my little world, it's just plain funny to say... and to think about as a real place out there in the wild, wild Middle. He told me where he was going and the conversation went like this:
Me: So, where in Wiscaaaansin are you going again?
Ian: Some small town-- it's like Milwakee but it's not... It's um... Pewaukee?
Me: No. No it's not! Get out! Pewaukee? Like... Schmacago? Or Binneapolis?
Ian: Yes, just like that famed midwestern town, Schmacago.
Me: The schmindy city?
Ian: Yes.
Me: Where people eat deep scmish pizza? And the Schmacago Pears play? And the Slubs? And you fly into SchmO'Hare airport. And...
Ian: Stop it.

In other news, I got to help (a tiny bit) with a bird-themed baby shower a few weeks ago and pics are viewable here on Sarah's blog-- she is the mastermind behind the whole aesthetic. Her blog is private though so if you don't have access, below are a few of her photos that she kindly let me lift for display. You can see the cupcakes I made (with the mad frosting skillz of Amie) down there somewhere-- dark chocolate cakes, half with vanilla buttercream and half with peanut butter buttercream. The cute little favor's message unfurled to say "tweet, tweet, it was sweet... of you to come!" The spread was unreal-- juicy tri-tip with Clint's mouth-watering marinade, rosemary potatoes, rolls, salad, pasta salad, watermelon (in January--love it!) all artistically displayed in clear dishes nestled among nests and fresh greenery. So cool! Sarah rocks!