Instagram: Please Help


Okay, I started an Instagram account (TheGnomeLover). Finally. I am a dinosaur. New technology terrifies me. I hate social media. I know. The irony. But I don’t like the thought of everyone’s business being seen by the whole world in a constant stream of information. I like to take time to contemplate things. I like to think things over. Scrutinize the importance of what I am putting out there. Look for boogers in pictures. The idea of “instant” is scary. Sometimes it takes me a year to edit a story. I like to wait at least a week to publish an outfit post.

This is me being a risk taker.

I’m outta control.

My friend has been telling me that I need an Instagram account for my blog forever. But I was resistant. Then I thought the other day, what if Gnomelover gets taken? What if one day I actually want an Instagram Account, but I can’t get my name??? Panic set in. I tried to register it. Well, it was all ready taken. Sigh. So, I took TheGnomeLover. As in the one and only. Because I like to be as obnoxious as I possibly can.

But, anyway, I kind of don’t understand Instagram. What do you post? When you hashtag, do you use spaces? I just learned the word hashtag last month. And I use the word “learned” loosely. If my kids learned the alphabet like I learned the word “hashtag,” they would still be in kindergarten and my heart would still be whole.

How do you find people to follow? Is there a home page? Is there a search feature?

What are “likes”?

How often is too much posting to Instagram? What are the etiquette rules for Instagram? What if I like to take food pictures?

Am I ready for this?

Am I overthinking this?

If I have a booger or cellulite hanging out, will you let me know?

Gosh. Do I want to know?

Wait. Are these questions even more terrifying than pictures I could post?

I realize I could probably find these questions somewhere online, but it took me a half an hour just to find the button to sign up for an account. I am hoping you might be able to guide me in the right direction.

I think I will post stuff not on the blog and on the blog. Like yesterday I posted a picture from my house that won’t make it to the blog. And a blog picture. Maybe I will post pictures of blog posts coming up. Ollie. Murphy (who is sick. Please send good thoughts his way).

Thank you for your help! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some cave drawings that need to get done before the T-Rex comes around.

The Chocolate John Do-nut And The Lemon MaJam


Since my husband and I are at this very moment in Las Vegas, I think it is only fitting to share the first trip I ever took to Las Vegas:

When I was nineteen (eeep! Mom! Shield your eyes!) I drove down with my girlfriend to “sin city.” To see what it was all about. Just to browse, you see. Nothing devious. Wouldn’t dream of it. We had very little money. We just sat in the lobby. And okay, we gambled.Cause, um, we did. And we won $40! Woot! Not that I am advocating underage gambling. Wouldn’t dream of it. Just keepin’ the story real here. Don’t be like me, kids.

So, we were sitting in the lobby of a hotel to catch our bearings before making the four hour drive back home. Thanks Mom and Dad for the gas (Sorry!). ; ). We decided the best place to not get caught in our underage deviousness was to stay by the elevator benches. The benches happened to be near three pay phones.

My friend sat on a bench across from me.

I sat all alone on my bench. And okay, maybe, just maybe I was dressed a bit on the risqué side. This was, after all, the nineties. Halter tops were all the rage. Or was that just me? It was also the point in my life where I would work out twice a day, so yeah, I kind of rocked that halter top. I can say that now, because everything that was in the halter top that was good and worth writing about has long since fallen and poofed out. Never to be seen again. Or written about in present tense. Without crying.


As I was sitting on my bench, a middle aged, short stalky bald-headed man walked up to the pay phones. He made a call. After about five minutes of staring at me, he finally approached me.

This is what I remember him saying, “Chocolate donut?”

To which I replied, “What?”

I guess that was not the correct response. He got flustered, began patting his bald head that had begun to bead with sweat with a handkerchief, and walked back to the pay phones. Before he placed another call on the pay phone, the most gorgeous blonde I have ever seen walked past. She paused at the bench I was sitting at. I will never forget her or what she was wearing.

She was wearing a creamy yellow suit that was demure and came down to just past her knees. Her ivory white top was just barely unbuttoned. She wore four inch stilettos and smelled like heaven. She exuded money and class.

I just stared at her.

Then the weird little bald-headed sweaty man approached her, too.

I wanted to warn her that he was obsessed with pastries.

But before I could, he whispered to her, “Chocolate donut.”

Instead of looking at him like he was deranged, like I had…

She calmly replied, “lemon jam.”

They He excitedly and very quickly got into an elevator together and made it up to another floor of the hotel. I’ll never forget how beautiful and poised she looked standing next to him. How very business-like and professional. Completely opposite of what I thought someone who liked lemon jam would ever look like.

Hmmm. Where do you think they were going?* Because as far as I know chocolate donuts and lemon jam do not and never will go together. Maybe they found something else to do.

I just can’t imagine what.

Do you think that little man ever got that chocolate donut he was so craving?

Because now I kinda want one. Not gonna lie. Good thing I don’t have a halter top to fit into or any lemon jam to make.


* Yes. I know. I know what they were doing. Just bein’ funny… I know they were totally making pastries that she was…um…selling.

Isn’t that what the kids are calling it these days?

Or is that just me again?

I Will. I Do. I Do. I Will.


I don’t know why, but I am addicted to those bridal shows on t.v. I don’t care what show it is. “Say yes to the dress” in any city, “Four Weddings,” and even sometimes, “Something Borrowed, Something New” (although I hate this show with a fierce passion. Fierce. Passion).

If it is on, my brain becomes fixated on the white flowy gowns.

Here is something funny I heard a mom say to her daughter on one of those shows when there were not enough sequins on her dress: “It needs more embezzlements.”

Yes, it does.

I bet a dress like that would take go for a lot of money.

My husband and I got married in a whirlwind of quick planning in Las Vegas. We loved every second of our wedding. First, that my mom planned it. We would never have done it otherwise. The cake was delicious (the most important part). It was quick. It was easy. I loved my dress. It was supposed to have a bow removed, because the original wedding was planned and all ready had a deposit at a different venue for July. Plenty of time to order a bowless dress.

Well, a little something unplanned happened. And my dress was not going to fit when July came. So, we quickly planned a wedding for March.

My dress arrived. With the bow. This is where the good part happens. I had gained a little weight (see unplanned occurrence above) and the zipper broke an hour before the ceremony. But the bow hid it! Providence.

I would only change one thing about my wedding. Okay two. My dad got so nervous about walking me down the aisle that we practically ran. Seriously, he still laughs about it.

Second, what my husband said during our vows. Growing up, every little girl dreams of the “I dos.” Some of them may even practice saying them in preparation for the day those two words actually get to come out of their mouths (definitely not dressed in white and definitely not involving a dog if any kind).

Here is a bit of trivia I was not privy to until my wedding day. Little boys. Well, little boys don’t think of that moment at all. I am pretty sure that until their actual wedding day, those two words never even enter their minds.

Sometimes they never do enter their minds.

Even on their wedding day.

I wish I had known that.

It was finally my our moment.

I listened to the officiant rattle off the long list of things my husband was to agree to. And then we waited for his answer.

I will.”

I did a double take. Wait. Wha?! What happened to “I do”? This was not what was supposed to happen! My OCD flared up. Now, my answer would not match his! The officiant turned to me and began to recite the terms I was to agree to. I didn’t hear any of it. All I could think of is, what the heck am I going to say?!


I realized it was my turn to answer. My moment.

So, I pulled a Jenni. I just repeated both things. And I added an extra one in to make up for my husband’s edited version of the words. It had to be even. You know, OCD and all of that.

This is what I said, ” I do. I will. I do.”

I think my husband realized at that moment what had happened. He had married a crazy lady. The rest of the ceremony was a blur.

A beautiful blur.

But now whenever I watch any wedding show on t.v., I wait for those two words to be spoken. Inevitably, about a third of the time, “I will,” is said.

I looked it up and the consensus is divided on which saying is correct. I guess it just depends on what sounds best to you. What your venue might prefer. What you and your dog practiced when you were little.

This just shows you that you really cannot know what is going to happen in life. Planning has never been my forte. I never thought I would be married in Las Vegas. Or that my wedding would be moved up by many months. I couldn’t predict that my husband would not choose to say the words I had rehearsed in my head for decades. But do I cherish the impulsive memories? Will I look back in fondness at the unexpected surprises?

I will.

Do you remember which words were spoken at your wedding ceremony or the last one you attended?

I do.


P.S. Yesterday was my fifteenth wedding anniversary. I wrote this in honor of it. We are at this very moment in Las Vegas celebrating where it all began. I have posts scheduled every day while we are away. If I do not get to your comments today, please know I will respond A.S.A.P.! But it might not be today. : )

Thank you! : )

It’s The Little Things: Wondra


I am about to share somethin’ kind of embarrassing.

I know.


And the thing I am going to say won’t be very shocking either.

I hoard food.

And when I find something new I like, well, I buy as much as I can of the stuff.

Just in case,

You never know.

They could stop making it.

Or, um, there could be a zombie apocalypse.

Just so you know, each of those sentences caused a tightness in my chest.

I first bought some Wondra to add to my Momma’s Goin’ Out Crockpot Chicken that I make for my family. Wondra is a special type of flour that does not clump when added to a recipe. It is very fine. This makes it perfect for gravies.

I had never heard of it before last year. And I really cannot remember how I first heard of it. But if I were to guess, I would guess my best friend t.v.

I found it, of all places, on And I assumed since I had never heard of it, well, they must not carry it at any of my local grocery stores. Of course, I did not check. Because when you are online shopping, everything is justifiable.


So, I bought five containers of it.

As one does.

When they are a hoarder.

Or watch too much “Walking Dead.” Because if there was a zombie apocalypse, the first thing one would seek out would be non-clumping flour.

I wanted free shipping with that order, so I added some snack items to the mix to make my food order come to $50.

And I waited.

And Walmart shipped my small food order in four different huge boxes.

And my husband thought I was crazy.

More than usual.

As my food. From. Walmart. Arrived. In several boxes at the door.

I do have a point, I swear.


Anyhoo, the other day I was making chocolate chip cookies from this recipe. And I ran out of regular flour. I guess my hoarder side did not recognize that this was a possibility. The shame. I ran out of flour right as I needed it to add to my cookie recipe.


So, I checked my pantry. And I saw my Wondra.

I added 1 1/3 cup of Wondra and 1 cup of regular flour (all that remained of my stash).

And I baked my cookies.

The cookies were good. I could not tell the difference.


The next day, when I pulled a cookie from the cookie platter I usually keep them in. And the cookie… It was still soft! My dears, this never happens! My cookies always get hard overnight.

The next day… Still soft!

I made the cookies again. And it was the same occurrence. By substituting a little over half of the real flour with Wondra, my cookies kept their original fresh-out-of-the-oven texture!

It is a miracle.

I had to share.

It’s The Little Things: Soft Cookies!

Have you heard of Wondra? Have you tried it? In cookies? Who knew?

My cookie recipe available in the link above uses 2 1/3 cups of flour. I tried the Wondra trick a few days later substituting 1 cup of Wondra and using 1 1/3 cup real flour. The cookies were still softer than usual, but you definitely need the first ratio of 1 1/3 cup Wondra and 1 cup regular flour. Although, if you like your cookies really flat, than the one cup of Wondra was a perfect amount. They just were not as soft the next day.

The cookies made using the Wondra flour also seem to take less time to bake. So make sure you watch them so they do not burn.

And just so you know, the other day my husband and I were shopping together at the grocery store. He nudged me and said, “Hey! Isn’t that Wondra? The Wondra that you said was only available online? And now we have a whole shelf filled with it?”

I ignored the question. I ignored the little blue containers staring accusingly at me from the shelf. I ignored the other accusing stare as well.


Yea. You can probably find this in your grocery store. And you probably don’t need to hoard it.



* this post is not affiliated with or sponsored by Wondra. I just like to write about products that I enjoy using. As with any product I review, your experience with it might vary. : )