Overheard In November

I overheard some nice and funny things this month. One of the conversations I overheard was quite shocking and I could not bring myself to include it. I wanted a happy post.

Let’s hope December brings pleasant conversations and memories! Enjoy the last day we have in this month that went by much too quickly.


“Dude. That girl was totally jockin’ on you.”

The young man of nineteen bashfully ducked his head as he sat down with his tray of food next to his two friends.

But they weren’t done razzing him.

“And she wasn’t half bad. What are you going to do about it?”

The young man ignored the hard pressing questions and dug into his food. Head down. His friends grinned and joined him in their feast.

I look around for the “not half bad” girl who was “jockin'” this young man. I couldn’t find her. A pit settled in my stomach and I hoped it wasn’t me. ; )


As we entered Michaels, there was a homeless man begging next to the entrance. He was slumped over. I had seen him around town. This was my first time seeing him up close. Before I got up to him, he asked a woman in front of me for money.

She responded to his request with the following reply. “How about I go buy you some food next door instead?”

He smirked at her and said, “It depends. What kind of food?”

We entered the store at this point, so I could not hear her reply.

When we exited the store ten minutes later, she was still standing next to the man engaged in a conversation. He appeared agitated and had placed one cigarette behind his ear and had one cigarette in his hand as he motioned with it in response to what she was saying to him.

As we were loading our car, the lady walked by me. Her car was two cars away. She had a peaceful smile on her face. I wanted so badly to ask what had happened. But I didn’t. I decided maybe I did not want to know.


This was overheard in my husband’s car. There is a saying going around with the youth that basically ends with…”my mom.” Mothers everywhere are cringing. This is a recent conversation:

“You know who is a booger?… My mom.”

The sweetest teenage girl replied to my daughter, “If your mom was a booger, she would be a beautiful booger.”

Awwww. Best. Compliment. Ever.


At Disneyland, on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride:

“Thomas, do you see that pirate treasure?”


“Thomas, which piece of the pirate treasure do you want? I’m going to steal the pearls,” says the mother of Thomas behind me.

Thomas, the three year old, deadpanned, “I don’t want any of the treasure. It’s not real.”

“Ooooh. Thomas. You’re smarter than me.”

“I know.”


I was at the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving and I was pushing my cart back to the cart aisle in the parking lot. There was an old lady driving in front of me.

A woman in wild leopard pants jumped out in front of her and began gesturing for the lady to follow her. She led her to a front row parking spot.

The action made my heart happy. As the elderly woman was finishing parking, the woman turned to me and said, “Sometimes you just have to give them a little extra help.”

I smiled.

The old woman got out of her car and told the other lady, “Thank you!”

The lady in the leopard pants responded, “No problem. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!”

The woman replied, “You have a Happy Thanksgiving, too.”

And the exchange made me smile all of the way home.

Have you heard anything funny or nice lately?

Keepin’ It Real: November 2013

Unflattering pics
Recipe mishaps and slips
It’s just me, Jenni

November, where did you go? Please come back. I am not ready for December. No. No. No. I need more time to plan. To prepare. To enjoy. These holidays are going by too quickly.

Things I learned this month: I love all of my blog friends. You guys just give me warm fuzzies inside. You seriously make my life bigger. Thank you!

My favorite moment of the month was definitely Batkid. It had me sobbing and cheering at the same time. So neat that the city did such an amazing thing through Make-A-Wish Foundation.


I had such a nice Thanksgiving. I will admit to a few tears, but for the most part, it was a peaceful sweet holiday. I got to hold my cousin’s baby girl. My stepmom made a great turkey that rivaled my dad’s smoked one. And my dad was so tickled when some cousins stopped by to visit. It was so nice to see him so happy. I loved seeing my aunts and uncle. And my mom! My daughter was so sweet when she said she was thankful for all I do for her. And my nephew cracked me up for being grateful for dinosaurs. I hope you had smiles and laughter yesterday, too.


Afghanistan food! I tried it for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Oh! The flavors! My favorite is Sambosa. A fried pastry stuffed with ground meat and potatoes. And cilantro sauce. So good!


It was the fifteen year anniversary of my husband and my first date this month. It is one of the two dates we usually celebrate. We got engaged two weeks later, and married in March. We move fast. Well, I forgot it. And when I reminded my husband the next day, he said, “Oh, yeah.” Then he high-fived me. That is how romantic we are fifteen years later. I get a high-five. I am still deciding how I feel about this.



Some lovely pictures for you.


I tried to make that chicken dish again. Nope. Still not the one. This dish is going to be the one that haunts me. I must puzzle it out.


I spied this coat?/sweater?/wrap? in a woman’s stroller at Disneyland. She said she got it at Anthropologie two years ago. I slyly took a picture of it. It appeared to have wooden toggle buttons. The fabric is gorgeous. Any ideas about what this was or was called?

Update: Thank you Deboo for identifying the sweater as the Echoing Argyles Cardigan! I will keep my eyes peeled! : )


Today is “Black Friday.” I used to love this day, but I hate how early the stores open now. It makes me sad that consumerism has cut into a holiday centered around family. I feel sorry for the workers and for the customers who had to cut their Thanksgiving short. And honestly, nothing really stood out to me this year (except for that Nikon deal at Target. Wow!). I am bummed to miss it, but, oh, sleeping in never felt so good!

How was your day yesterday? I hope everyone had wonderful holidays that they celebrated. Are you shopping today, sleeping in or working? Did November pass by way too quickly for you, too?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey and stuffing
Giving thanks over gravy
Why won’t my jeans close?

In lieu of my usual “It’s The Little Things” today, I will be updating sporadically throughout today with things I am grateful for. I want to keep things in perspective.

My grandmother (who was the heart and soul of the family) passed away in January and today is going to be especially hard for my family. I will first travel two hours to my dad’s house, where my kids have spent the last two nights. We will prep food there (with my sister and her family) and then make our way about 1/2 a mile up the road to where my grandmother’s house is. My mom and her family will be gathered there. My heart is heavy. We will stay an hour and then go back to my dad’s house to eat.

Busy day! What are your plans? Because I feel my day will be filled with a lot of sadness, I am going to focus on the positives.


First up, coffee. Cuban coffee to be exact. Lovely goodness! I could not and did not get out of bed without it.


I made chocolate pie last night. I also made my husband some cranberry sauce. I believe he is the only one who likes it. Today, I will make green bean casserole.

I was also in charge of bringing the rolls and other pies. I ordered a pecan, pumpkin, and coconut creme from Marie Calendar’s. The yummy rolls were baked fresh at Great Harvest yesterday. I am grateful to be able to pick up yummy food and not mess up my kitchen making all of those things. I also am bringing wine. ‘Cause. Big grateful there. I did not even remove it from the trunk last night. I was scared I would forget it. Shudder.


This is what I am wearing for the drive and prep work. I am grateful to have scored these Mother’s Brand Jeans on clearance. If you have not tried Mother Jeans, you are missing out. Imagine my jeans were pulled down right.

Your bum will be grateful.

I am playing around with photo apps! Bear with me!

And we’re off! I hope your day is going great! What are your plans?


We are at my dad’s house. We are about to go outside and play a ball toss game. Here are some pictures I took on the drive to my dad’s house. Isn’t it beautiful? Look at the snow!



Played a game with my daughter. Had fun! The kids helped made these balls by drilling holes in them with my dad.


Then sat outside by the fire with my dad and talked for an hour with a glass of wine. So relaxing and nice. Grateful for this time.


Making green bean casserole on the grill outside. An adventure! We should eat by 5:00!


Turned out great! Of course, I do not eat this. Nor will I try it, but it looks yummy!


We finished the night with pie. We will be back on the road in ten minutes. It was a very nice day spent with family. I am incredibly thankful for the one I have. I hope everyone’s day was great!

Cookie Butter Oatmeal Cookies

A tasty friendship
Cookie butter and oatmeal
Together at last


So, cookie butter in cookies? Oh, yes. Honestly, this cookie dough could be eaten by itself without the addition of chocolate. But if I am going to indulge, I want it to mean something. Let’s take this relationship to the next level, cookie butter. Let’s make some babies. I mean, um, cookies. Let’s make some cookies. No need to rush things. Now, just take off that lid…


This recipe makes approximately 40 cookies.

1/3 cup cookie butter
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) softened salted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
90 pieces of Clasen sea salt caramel melting chocolate (about 2/3 pound)*
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar packed
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups oats

Preheat your oven to 360 degrees or 335 degrees convect bake.

In a mixer or with a handheld mixer in a bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar. Add vanilla. Mix. Add cookie butter mix.

Add eggs one at a time into the batter and beat approximately thirty seconds each.


At this point I change attachments from the wire whisk to the paddle. If you are using a hand mixer, mix the following in by hand. Mix in salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.

Mix in flour.


Mix in oats.




With a small cookie dispenser, dispense cookies onto a cookie sheet. Press a melting chocolate into the center of the dollop to flatten cookie. Shape cookie back into a circle around chocolate. Bake 10-11 minutes until lightly brown.

Remove from oven. With a spatula, transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat process until dough is used up.



Melt 50 melting chocolates in a small bowl in the microwave for thirty second intervals. Stir after every thirty seconds until completely melted. Place paper towel under cooling rack. Drizzle melted chocolate over cookies.

Let cookies cool and cover them. If you do not cover, cookies will harden over night. You can reverse the hardened process by placing a slice of fresh bread into the cookie container all day. Or reheat your cookies in the microwave for twenty seconds. But I would just cover them and save yourself a few steps.


And enjoy! Cookie butter you are so good to me. Hmmm, what would our babies taste look like?

* You could use Hershey’s Kisses for a chocolatey version, if you do not have access to Clasen Brand melting chocolates. You could also just mix in some chocolate chips or raisins and call it a day.