Keepin’ It Real: December 2014

Happy New Year! I hope you are all safe and well! 2015?! Ready or not, here it is.


Can you believe it? It actually snowed at our house on New Year’s Eve! And I mean snowed! My husband woke us all up at six in the morning and we played in the snow while our neighbors slept. I am going to hope they were sleeping and were not peering out their windows at this getup. It was so peaceful and odd and thrilling. I managed to squeeze in five outfit pictures. I had worn these clothes throughout the week (minus the gnome hat, but now you know I have it. The secret is out), but my husband was gone until dark most nights so we could not get pictures. So this setup worked out perfectly. I got to quickly photograph what I wore and it was so fun! This sweater was one that I picked up at the flea market a few weeks ago. The snow was mostly gone by the time the sun set. Wouldn’t it have been crazy if it had done this last week? It was never something I ever hoped to dream of. A white Christmas. But now I ever shall do so in the future.


Here is another peek of an outfit post coming up that I took that day. I went to Anthropologie on Monday and did some reviews that I will be posting soon. This is the one thing I bought besides the most amazing Christmas tree skirt for next year’s small Christmas tree. I just had to quickly talk about this ruffled sweatercoat while the 25% off sale promo is still going on. It is amazing. It is slimming. The color (plum) in person is a zillion times better than what is shown online. This might be my best buy of the season. I used some of a gift card on it. I sized down to a small. I am wearing a black tank underneath it so it is kind of hard to see the exact shape. I am so surprised that this hasn’t sold out yet at its sale price. It is reminiscent of vintage Anthropologie.


Oh my goodness. My husband and I were driving through our town the day it snowed and when we drove by this park we saw it was filled with about thirty to forty snowmen that different children had built throughout the day. It made my heart surge with joy at the rare sight. At this point other kids had come along to destroy the creations. I wanted a picture of the snowmen while they still stood. Well, I was wearing my slippers so I could not get out of the car. As one is wont to always do after a snowstorm. My sweet husband got out of the car and as he was walking along taking pictures with his phone, the other parents (that actually had kids at the park, imagine that) stared at him leerily. I dissolved into giggles so hard that I was crying because the poor guy looked like a creeper at the park. Oh, I owe him big time.


On Monday we also drove down to Los Angeles to go to The Pompei Exhibit. I had wanted to go all year and had been planning for months to get there during Christmas break. Well, it was poor planning. The exhibit was sold out. I tried not to cry and succeeded but it was a huge disappointment.

We went to The Natural History Museum. We had planned on going there after The Pompei Exhibit, because we make a trip there any way once a year. There used to be the coolest exhibits in the children’s wing for kids, but it was different this time. Their extensive live bug collection used to be worth the trip alone, but it has dwindled in size, which was a bummer. We did enjoy the dinosaurs. They have an amazing dinosaur exhibit.


I think this mask at The Natural History Museum looks oddly like my husband. I wasn’t going to say anything, but the lady next to us looked at the mask, then looked at my husband and said, “Hey! It’s you!” So I had to get a picture of it.


Christmas presents. I received the sweetest and most thoughtful presents for Christmas this year. My mom and stepdad actually found me this antique gnome book from Poland. My mom handmade me a sweet present I will post about in a few months. My dad and stepmom gifted me the sweetest bracelet and bird hooks. My sister and brother-in-law hunted down the vintage letters with my husband and my initials and I cannot wait to display them! And my mom and stepdad gave me three unique pieces of jewelry from Etsy. Every time I will wear them, I will think of them. My sweet friend gifted me the yummiest treats, most awesome peacock ornament and a beautiful trivet.

I found my mom a vintage mother of pearl brass jewelry box along with a few other things (including framed self portraits the kids painted) and the Tavia Peasant Blouse from Anthropologie. For my stepmom I purchased a Durango Vests in purple like the one I have. My sister and brother-in-law wanted Disney gift cards to buy passes this year so we contributed towards that and I picked up my sister this shirt in the khaki color from Anthropologie. And now I want it after seeing it on her. I hope to grab mine on sale one day.


Now get thee to a Trader Joe’s stat. These Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles are the very best things ever. Ever. Must go hoard some more.


It is hard to think of things that happened in December without Christmas looming ever present. We went and saw the final installment of “The Hobbit” a few nights ago. I really enjoyed it, but I have liked them all.


Coming up in January:

The Perfect Dress
Cheesy Salsa-Chicken Empanadas
The Talent Show
Making a Snowgnome
Reading: Throne of Glass (series)

I cannot believe it is January. Instead of making a giant goal for the year or resolution, I have decided to break it down and try to do small monthly goals instead. I need instant gratification or a realistic thing to shoot for. I am trying to lose the fifteen pounds I gained last year. So, in January, I made a monthly goal to not eat anything after dinner or 7:00. Back to iced water only for me at night for the next twenty eight days (and then I hope it becomes a regular good habit again) .

Yesterday was the second anniversary of my grandmother’s passing. Instead of the usual “Overheard In” post that would typically follow this one, I wrote about the last conversation I had with my grandma. It was hard.

What did you enjoy most about December? Are you excited it is a new year? Did you make resolutions? If you live in Southern California, did you make it to The Pompei Exhibit? You still have a few days to get there before it ends and moves on to Seattle. I don’t drive on the freeway so my opportunity to see it is unfortunately gone. Maybe one year I will make it to the real Pompei.

Rose Bowl Flea Market December 2014


It happened again.

I got up before the crack of dawn.

To shop, of course.

What else is worth getting up early on a weekend for?


My husband and I both love going to The Rose Bowl Flea Market in December. The weather is nice and cool. Cold but not too cold. The vendors are a little more jolly. It is just a nice time to go. Plus, it is fun to pick up unusual one of a kind Christmas gifts for people who will truly appreciate them.


We have now worked out what is most enjoyable for us when we go to the flea market. We like to get there early and leave early. We got there at 7:05 and left at 9:05. Well, we left the first time at 9:05 and the second time at 10:05. But that is a long story involving me thinking we had lost a piece to an item only to come to the conclusion it had always been missing. You know, because items that are old… Vintage… They are always in pristine condition and you should never inspect them before you buy. Or always inspect them. It is one of those for sure.

There were so many amazing items there this time. We saw a beautiful library cabinet. It was too expensive for us, but I am sure someone grabbed it. And, of course, we did not get a picture of the beautiful piece.


An Indian wedding bench from a wedding house. Actually two of them. And the third one, a blue one, had just sold. They were $350 each. They were so beautiful they made my heart ache. I have absolutely nowhere to put them. The sweet owner said I could treat them and put them outside to which I not jokingly replied I would move my bed out there first. I would never ruin such beauties with the outdoor elements.


This green laundry bin was really cool. I have enough laundry bins. But I had not seen one like this before. And I am not quite sure it was a laundry bin, but it was perfect for the task. I hope it went to a good home. It even had wheels.


I ended up taking this old game wheel home… I know. But my bleary (not Beery) eyes fell in love.

It was probably from some hometown carnival many years ago. It was not a professional wheel, but I loved the colors and the sentiment of it. Now where to put it? I had originally planned on hanging it above my daughter’s bed. Then the grogginess of the morning wore off and I once again became aware that we live in earthquake country. Probably not the wisest move to hang a heavy wooden object with rusty metal above your kid’s bed. It is a good thing I do not make most of my life decisions at dawn.


I loved this old, I believe it was from Nepal but I could be wrong, alter. It was from the 1800s and very pretty.


Of course, I had to take pictures of the unusual, too. This old Hamburger symbol. It was huge. I do not know what someone would do with it, but I had to take a picture of it after that dream I had a few months ago.


Dolls. Dolls. Dolls.

They are watching me.


With hungry eyes.


I do not know why, but this sign made me giggle. I just pictured giving it to someone as a gift. I have since learned it was an old time actor. But I thought it was a bar sign. Both cases make me smile.


In my hoarder’s ultimate fantasy, I would have a room filled with these metal letters. And I could reach in and grab handfuls at a time and they would slip through my fingers. And whatever letters were left would be my fortune for the day.

And that would make as much sense as a bar sign advertising Beery. Which, by the way, would always be my fortune of the day.


I did not buy any of these letters, but they were neat. It was an overwhelming amount of choices.


The coat is Anthropologie Tartan Blanket Coat (previously styled here).

There is a man at the flea market that sells exotic textiles whom I think has the best taste. He was there again on Sunday. He was selling the most beautiful blanket. It was like a kantha, but unlike any kantha I had ever seen. It was white with red and blue stitching. It had patches of kantha-like material. It was subtle but beautiful. I wanted it desperately. But my sweet husband really wanted to buy me a coat at another vendor because he thought it was perfect for me and I would wear it and think of him and so he did for Christmas. And the blanket had to give for the coat. I took a picture of the blanket in my mind. The coat will stay on my body and in my heart… When I get it.


I picked up this fun little chest covered in fish for $20.


I also purchased three of these afghan cardigans. Two for me and one for my daughter. I did not really think she would like them, but my husband was insistent that she would. What would be your guess? Would a teenage girl wear one of these?

I do know the answer.

Just like I did before the purchase was made. ; )


I saw this dog and I thought it was a perfect cross of what Ollie and Murphy would look like if they had a love child.


What would one would do with these geese? They looked interesting. Almost like they were from a set of a 1940s movie. They were also in pristine condition. I would have loved to have learned what the purchaser was planning on doing with them.

Remember when that man asked me if I was looking for an iceberg detector the last time I went to the flea market? Well, my husband recognized him again right away in his booth. He actually had glowing devices and was asking people as they walked by, “Do you need an iceberg detector?”

He added a new part to the line this time, too, “Or a zombie zapper?” So, if you are looking for either of those devices, look no further. But best to have some beery before your first use.

Would you be excited or sad to get a gift from a flea market? I only purchased gifts for people there who I knew would like them. If I gave certain people a used item, I would never ever ever hear the end of it. I will show the pictures of the gifts I bought in “Keepin’ It Real” at the end of the month. July’s Rose Bowl Flea Market trip can be viewed here.

P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.

NOW CLOSED Twenty First Blog Giveaway: $50 e-Gift Card


This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered.

How is it December 10th?! How? I ask you. I have never been this far behind in my Christmas game before. For days, I was writing December 4th on my checks, hoping it was stopping time. I was shocked to see it was the eighth when I took the time to look. And now it is the tenth. And I am panicking as to what to gift my mother-in-law. But that is not what we are here to talk about today.

Blogging in the midst of this season is kind of difficult. I will still try to post daily, but if a day is skipped or if it is an influx of daily outfit posts, I apologize. I never meant for this blog to be so focused on clothing. Outfit posts are simply the easiest. And easy is my favorite right now. However, tomorrow I have a recipe post going up and Friday I have a post I find humorous. Saturday will be a littlest accessory I have been loving right now…

Wasn’t there supposed to be a giveaway?

Oh, yes. Sorry about my rambling. And I am so excited about this giveaway.

This month I am giving away one $50 e-gift card to Anthropologie or Free People or Amazon or Target. The winner can choose which of those stores they would like their $50 e-gift card from.

It is a warm time of year. Not in weather but in the bundling up of one’s self and the unfurling of gifts and emotions. I wanted to give away something someone could truly use at the end of this year.

To enter the giveaway for a chance to win the $50 e-gift card:

Please leave a comment on this post stating something you have seen, witnessed or heard about recently that warmed your heart towards humanity. I think I have been paying closer attention to people’s random acts of kindness as I go through my own this month. So because I am looking for it, every day I have seen people being kind to each other when they did not have to be. At the grocery store, I saw a woman give another woman her ticket for a free Red Box movie because it was expiring that day and she would not be using it. This morning, I saw a man pull over and help a stranded teenager with their car. I truly believe there is good in this world even when sometimes it is so hard to see. If that is too personal, you may enter with any comment you wish as long as it is pleasant.

You may earn a second entry by becoming a registered subscriber of this blog. You can do so numerous ways on the right hand side of this page. Please leave a second comment stating you are a registered subscriber. The second comment is your second entry.

Limit two entries per person in the forms specified. Must be eighteen years old to enter.

The giveaway runs from December 10, 2014 12:00 a.m. PST to December 16, 2014 9:00 p.m. PST. I will be choosing one winner from the comments entered on this post for the e-gift card using I will contact the winner on December 17, 2014 and display the winner’s name on this blog on December 18, 2014.

By commenting on this post, you are entering this giveaway for a chance to win one $50 e-gift card and agreeing to the rules outlined in this giveaway.

I will attempt to contact the winner three times with the email address provided. If I have not heard from the winner within fourteen days from the first attempt at contact, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be drawn.

Past winners are welcome to enter.

* Negative comments (chosen at the discretion of the owner of this blog) will be deleted and that entry will be forfeit.

*this giveaway and post is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the stores mentioned in this giveaway.

Overheard In December


As much as you would have thought I would have gotten out in December, the truth is, I just didn’t. And when I did, well, people weren’t talking. They were scrambling. Impatiently waiting. I still managed to overhear some funny things. One of them being from my two year old (three in February) nephew on Christmas Eve when he unwrapped my gift of a big bag of lollipops I had gotten on sale during an after Halloween sale for $1. I knew my sister would not care and I knew he would be so excited.

This is what he said when he unwrapped them:

Big intake of breath. “Lollipops! Just what I always wanted!”

I aim to please. It is fun to be the aunt.


At a local diner with just my husband and I, I heard the following conversation coming from the booth behind my husband:

“Excuse me. What were the eggs I ordered called?”

“Over easy.”

“Okay. That’s what I thought. Now, can you give me the definition of an over easy egg?”

The waitress appeared startled but quickly rattled off, “it is when the whites are firm but the inside is slightly runny when you break it open.”

“Yes. And is this how you always cook your over easy eggs? Do you think they should be dry in the middle? I just want to know for next time. So I can order an egg that is not dry.”

“Sir, I would be happy to take that plate away and bring you an egg cooked to your liking.”

Snort, “No. No. No. I can see you’re busy. I just wanted to know for next time.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.” And then the minute the waitress had passed, “You would think for $3, I could get an egg that didn’t taste like toast.”

With no reaction from his wife, he continued. “Seriously. It’s that dry.”

Still no reaction.

“Aw, well, next time, we’ll go to IHOP.”

This is when I turned my listening ears off. I suspect…And this is only a suspicion, his wife all ready had five minutes before.


I heard a wonderful story from a woman at a place I shall not name. My son had just gotten his braces off and she was commenting on his teeth.

She asked him if he wanted to eat an apple. He shyly responded, “no, thank you.” He had eaten a giant breakfast with us earlier in celebration of getting his braces off (funny story to come).

She told him, “the day I got my braces taken off, I walked to my car, and there waiting for me was the sweetest boy holding the shiniest, biggest red apple in his hand.”

Her eyes twinkled and she continued, “he was so sweet. He ended up being the man I married.”

She added, “I knew him for a long time, of course.”

This is where the smart ass that I am added, “Oh, good. He wasn’t just stalking girls in the parking lot at the orthodontist office getting their braces off and luring them with apples.”

Another woman laughed at my “wit.”

She said, “That would be a great way to pick up girls! Just wait at the orthodontist for their braces to come off.”

We both chuckled as we pictured young men stalking shining smiles with gleaming red apples.

Not to diminish the lovely romantic story, I truly did enjoy hearing it. And you could tell that even after all these years, she was still madly in love. Maybe an apple a day keeps…the attorney away? ; )


My friend overheard the following conversation at the discount store. It took place between a mother and her four year old son (who had a darling slight speech impediment).

“What’s your name, honey?”


More urgency.

“Honey! What’s your name?”

The little boy turned to his mother in mortification: “Seiously, Mom? You mean, you fogot my name?”

The mom said aghast, “Johnny! That little girl was asking you your name.” She pointed to a cute little girl a few feet away. “I just wanted you to tell her.”

My friend had a good chuckle over this and so did I. Kids do say the funniest things.


A teenage daughter to her dad at a doctor’s office:

“Dad, that’s not fair.”

The dad responded:

“It’s not supposed to be fair

Do you know what’s at the fair?

Caramel corn and apple pies

And if you are lucky credible rides.”

Yes, credible rides. I wondered if the dad knew he had sort of made an awesome rhyme. I felt sorry for the girl. That dad was so scary intelligent, she would never get away with anything.


We were at the local diner having breakfast (this seems to be a theme) and I overheard the following conversation behind me between a woman in her seventies and a man in his fifties:

“Do you think we should get Gene some shoes for Christmas?”

(Keep in mind, I overheard this on the 27th… Of December).

“I don’t know.

What kind would we get?”

I was thinking of some tennis shoes.”

“Yeah, okay. That sounds good.”


“Just make sure they don’t have velcro.”

“Oh, I know! Gene sure has some velcro issues.”

Velcro issues? Best diagnosis ever. I wish I knew what this was! I am intrigued.


Did you overhear anything good in December? What are your plans for tonight? We always stay home and celebrate in our pajamas. Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper anyone?

Can’t wait!

Everybody stay smart and safe out there!