Keepin’ It Real January 2014

January is just about over. How can this possibly be? This is my monthly post where I share outfit outtakes, random musings, and stuff I could probably share if I ever got myself an Instagram account.

Instead we get this:


My massive amount of laundry I had to fold in the background. There is nothing I hate more than putting laundry away. How about you? Thankfully, I am all caught up now, but…ugh!


Picture of an outfit I have worn twice (once with the vest and once without) and have yet to get a “real” picture of.


One night I was making sandwiches for the kids’ lunches for the next day. I realized I only had three slices of bread. So, the kids each had 3/4 of a sandwich one day. They probably never even noticed.

Outfit Outtakes:



I do not want to know what is going on here. Perhaps I am trying to become one with the ostrich.


My son was sick. I had to call the school to let them know. This makes me nervous. I always mess up. Usually, I make my husband do it. But Monday I was feeling brave.

This is how the message I left went (with obvious name changes):

“This is your child’s school. At the beep, please leave the name of your child, your name, your relationship to the child, the date, and the reason they are calling in sick.

Thank you and have a wonderful day.


“Um, hi, this is Mrs. Gnomelover. I am calling my son, Little Gnome in sick today.”

I couldn’t remember the date, so I said, “Today is Monday.”

Then I decided to add in a little extra help. You know in case they couldn’t find his name. Even though at this point, I am sure they have my name memorized from the caller i.d. after all of the crazy things I have called about over the years.

So, I added, “he is in Mrs. Pepper’s class.”

I hung up the phone. Breathed a sigh of relief. It had gone better than expected.

I looked to my left. My husband was laughing at me. “What?”

“He’s not in Mrs. Pepper’s class!”

That is when I kind of woke up. Oh, yea! Mrs. Pepper was his teacher from two years ago.

I called back. Listened to the message.


“Hi. It’s me.” I wasn’t going to go through the nonsense of pretending they did not know who it was. Or that this call would not be added to my tally for “Kookiest Mother of the Year.” I know I’m winning. It isn’t even close.

And then I started laughing so hard I was crying.

So I half sobbed and half shrieked into the phone, “He doesn’t have Mrs. Pepper! He has Mrs. Lemon! Bwahahahaha! Thank you. Brawahabyehaha!”

I hung up.

Then I realized I forgot to add what he was sick with. I didn’t call back. I figured I didn’t need to. I am sure they figured he might have caught my illness. It is quite catching hereditary made up.



One of the good things about living in Southern California is barbecuing in January. Yum!


I don’t foresee many changes occurring in February with this blog. I am going to see how two outfit posts a week go over in February. And more stories.

Here are some posts that will be coming up in February:

My Husband’s Secret
Dear Children: Being a Stick-In-The-Mud
Chocolate Cake
Reading: Eleanor and Park
Next week there are two outfit posts: Classy Lady and From My Closet

And many more stories I have written lately!
I can’t wait!

What is a “real” moment you have had lately?

Here are December’s and November’s Keepin’ It Real posts in case you missed them or just like looking at bad pictures of me.

It’s The Little Things: Vanilla Beans


I had a different post ready. But you should always blog about what you are most excited. And I am most excited about these vanilla beans.


Vanilla beans can be expensive. However these beans from Beanilla via Amazon * are very reasonable. They are $5.98 for five pods.


I tried them the other day with my chocolate chip cookies. I just added half of the caviar from one bean to my cookies. Oh my gosh! You guys! These cookies are knee-weakening. They melt in your mouth. It ends up being just sixty cents extra to add these to your cookies. It is so worth it.


To get the caviar for the cookies, simply cut the pod in half.


Slice the pod open. With the back of the knife, scrape the vanilla bean all the way down. Add the caviar to the cookies at the same time you add the vanilla extract.


Have you used vanilla bean seeds in your chocolate chips cookies? What did you think? I have used the caviar from the pods in creme brûlée as well. What else have you used vanilla beans in?

It’s the little things: making your baked treats taste better. Yum!

* I am not being compensated for this post. This is my experience with this company. Your experience may be different. I just wanted to share where I like to get my beans. : )

Wanna See Somethin’ Perty?

No. It’s not me.

He. He.


It is in fact this amazing, most gorgeous sweater coat in the whole wide world. It is called Satpura Sweater Coat from Anthropologie.

Thanks to my dad and stepmom’s Christmas gift card, I was able to put it towards this sweater that I had been wanting since I first saw it. I think it is grown-up bohemian.

When my daughter saw me in it, she said, “Mom! You look like one of those rich fancy ladies!” These are the compliments you get when you spend a weekend in your pajamas (your husband’s ratty twenty year old t-shirt and bright orange polar bear pants) and then put on real clothes. I highly recommend it.

And I am not sure which rich fancy ladies she is talking about, but I’ll take it.


I love the details.


And the fringe? Forget it about it!


I went with a small and I am happy I did.


I am in love.

Shhhhh. Don’t tell my husband. His lack of sequins just don’t quite compare. Poor guy. ; )

Crockpot Pulled Pork


I. Love. Pork.

That’s all. No more commentary. Let’s just keep it simple and sweet. A lovely declaration.



21/2 – 3 pound pork roast
1 16-18 oz. bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (1/2 cup used in crockpot, remainder to use on rolls)
1 cup root beer
1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Italian dressing
1/2 Trader Joe’s container of diced onions, garlic, shallots (approximately 1 minced clove garlic, 1Tbsp. Diced Shallots, 1/4 cup diced onions)
3 Tbsp. Butter
Rolls (I buy the delicious take and bake ones from Trader Joe’s)

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray.



In a skillet, melt butter and add onion mixture. Cook on medium-low heat until onions are soft. About eight minutes. I like mine to get a little brown.


Add onion butter mixture to bottom of the crockpot. Return the skillet to the stovetop. Turn the heat to medium- high. Sear pork roast on all sides. About 1-2 minutes per side.

Add the pork roast to the crockpot.


Mix all of the other ingredients (using only 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce) except rolls. Pour over pork.


Cover. Turn the crockpot to high and cook for 4-6 hours (my old crockpot took 6) or cook on low setting for 8-10 hours. I turned my roast in the middle of cooking.


Remove pork to a large bowl. Shred with two forks, remove fat layer while doing so (discard it). Add some of the liquid from crockpot back in to the pork until it is moist. This ends up being about one-one and a half cups.


Serve on rolls. You can top with reserved barbecue sauce. I served ours with chips and salad.

Ha! Of course, I had to comment. Because. Hmmmm. Maybe, I don’t need to comment.

I’ll just add a little somethin’ somethin’. This recipe is yummy. I loosely adapted it from a pulled beef recipe from one of those small Betty Crocker pamphlets I picked up at the grocery store many years ago.

For leftovers the next day, I heat up the leftover pulled pork and serve it over steamed rice. Then I top it with barbecue sauce and chopped cilantro. A new meal!