Keepin’ It Real: September 2014

September did it. It almost broke my blog. It almost broke me. I was feeling so incredibly down. But I am feeling better. Some situations have not improved, but I am doing everything in my power to make them better. And that is all I can do. It seems as though September was felt this way by a great many people. This post by Dane on the blog, Dooce, helped bring a little more insight into what I was feeling.

And I am one day late with this post. I had been counting down the days until September would be over, and yet, my blog calendar was off. Blame it on the date on my bread (which said it expired on 9/31/14, but I forgot to get a picture of it). My husband told me that since the date does not exist, it must mean that our bread is good forever. I did not test his theory. We ate it last night with Spaghetti Carbonara.


I have been cooking and cooking all month. Nothing makes me feel better than whipping up something good in the kitchen. I even experimented with my cookie recipe. I cannot wait to share a new trick I learned.

Outfit Outtakes:


It would not be a close up without me scratching my nose (original outfit post here).


And having a moment with my son (original outfit post here).


I needed an easy read. I used to hate books filled with short stories, but as I have gotten older, they have become some of my favorite reading materials. I love David Sedaris and I am halfway through this book, “When You Are Engulfed In Flames,” I found in the Barnes and Noble bargain bin a few days ago.


September was my no-buy clothing month. So, how did I do? Well, I would love to say I made it through the whole month. But that would be a lie. I am obsessed with Otomi and when Carolina K’s (one of my very favorite designers) Aurora Dress in the Otomi-like print went 50% off, I had to buy it (my husband made me. He said the dress was perfectly “me”). It is VERY short. I layered a tulle slip underneath mine to add some length. It is dramatically low-cut, so I layer in the front, as well. I took a medium. I LOVE it. Heather from The Peacock Fairy recently wrote a post about her new Otomi inspired dress. It is so pretty.

I also finally purchased this dress when it went more than 75% off during Anthropologie’s latest promotion and this skirt (because of the over 75% off price and the Otomi-like print). So, three things went home with me. I should feel guilty, but I don’t. All three items have lifted my spirits in this hard month.

I am only purchasing things I truly, truly love. I am still not looking to purchase any clothing in October, but if something amazing comes along, then I will contemplate it. In the meantime I am having a great time shopping my closet.

Oh! I almost forgot. I also purchased an accessory with a gift card (making it free! Thanks Mandi), but I am not linking to it due to the customer service I received from the company.

Some random info: Someone wrote me awhile back about my Mara Hoffman Eye Wrap seen here. I am sorry, but I cannot find that email. I am still not selling mine (in fact, I cannot wait for it to get cold enough to wear it), but the preview for The Golden Tote in October looks like it might have it? I am not sure. I am simply basing my guess from the picture of the clothes found here. I have never purchased from Golden Tote, but if you are looking for that wrap, you might want to check their site on October 6th. UPDATE 10/6/14: The wrap is not the same as my eye shawl. It is missing the eye on the back. Sorry for getting anyone’s hopes up!


Coming up in October (I still have not posted my Pee Wee Herman story. This is because I am searching for the prop I lost in my house to photograph. Hopefully it will go up soon):

Ruffle Me This
I Hate Pigeons
Tamale Casserole
Sunny Skirt
How The Jenni Got Her Gripes

How was your September? Are you glad the month is over? Any plans for October? My daughter turns fifteen in a few weeks and I am at a loss as to what to get her. She has requested no clothes (be still my heart). Any ideas?

*If you missed last month’s Keepin’ It Real Post, it can be found here.

Keepin’ It Real April 2014

We are one third of the way through this year? How is this possible? April flew by. Flew by! Here are the random things that happened in our lives this month. If you missed last month’s “Keepin’ It Real” post, you can find it here.

One of my most exciting random things that happened this month and nobody knew about except me was, Patrick Rothfuss and I posted about coins on the same day! What are the odds?

And, okay, his post is eloquent and sweet and meaningful. And, gosh, informative. And also slightly scary (because I have a copper sink! Argh!).

And my post is disturbing. Crude. Gross…

But hey, I’ll take it!


Speaking of my post, I do not know what I ended up doing with that dime. I put it somewhere safe.

This could be anywhere.

And everywhere.

And quite possible how it ended up where it did in the first place.

Before I worry about that, I am hoping I simply slipped it into the good old American hiding place: my underwear drawer.

This could also be how it ended up where it did that day, as well.

We will probably never know.

But now that I have given you these two scenarios, I fear a repeat.

Only dime will tell.


I found a stack of Tory Burch shoes at Nordstrom Rack. None of them called my name, but I thought some of you ladies (or adventurous men) would like to see a giant pile of these discounted shoes!


This is what the aisle of Target looked like the night before Easter. Not a plastic egg to be found! But there were many frantic mommies and all you could hear was, “They have no eggs?! Where are the eggs?!”

I might have been part of the mass hysteria!

It never pays off to be a procrastinator.


This is what our Easter baskets looked like.



My husband LOVES dying Easter Eggs. He tried two different methods with the kids this year, including shaving cream. He preferred the traditional method.



Outfit outtakes.


While we are on the subject of outfit outtakes, let’s delve into the nitty gritty. This outfit post for this picture won’t be up for awhile, but look at what happens when I try to leave the house?! In trying to take better outfit pictures, I spun myself right into a cactus on Monday! I think it would have been worse if dorky me hadn’t been trying to protect this bracelet. Who cares about a hand? The bracelet was not harmed. Whew!

And I didn’t even scream…or cry.

The photographer on the other hand?!

He might have flinched a little. ; )

Believe me, the outtakes for next month all ready have a funny picture!

Also, it makes the question, “You know you’re crazy a blogger when?…” easier to answer. You know you’re a blogger when your first thought is not to pull out the needles sticking out of your skin but rather to take a picture of them!


My grandma used to make us buttered spinach noodles all of the time. And we loved them. I found fresh spinach noodles at the store and could not wait to feed this to my family. They did not like it… Yet! I am not giving up. I will keep making them. They are good for them. I think spinach noodles are delicious! How cool would this meal be on Saint Patrick’s Day?


Oh my gosh! Saint Patrick’s Day! I forgot to show you what I served that day in last month’s “Keepin’ It Real.” Green rice! This was much to my husband’s chagrin. I have a bad awesome habit of dying random food fun colors. I like to make his life interesting. I may or may not have been wearing my denim maxi skirt at the time. ; )

Did you do anything fun in the month of April? Have you tried spinach noodles? Ever fallen in a cactus? Please share!

The Winner Of The Giveaway, Cravings and Blog News


First, I want to apologize that my website has been wonky the past few days. It is the server and I am being told they are working on it. Fingers crossed it gets resolved soon! Again, I apologize!

The winner of the moon necklace is Jessica Wilhite! Congratulations! I really, really like this necklace. I hope you do, too! Enjoy! I am so happy for you!

My husband told me I should change the format of my giveaways to those easy ones. Those number-generated-generic-sterile ones. But I refused. I said, “But then I won’t get to read their cool stories!” Insert big pouty lower lip here. And I am so glad I didn’t, because you guys shared the coolest things this month! I love reading about your lives. Your beliefs. Your travels. Your loves. It honestly enriches my life so much, and I cannot thank you enough for that. But I will try.

Thank you! : )


There are a few new things going on on this blog that I wanted to share. I think there is always room for growth. And I always want to be my own blog. And not like others. So, I recently added in Past Cards and will be doing those once a month. The above picture is a peek at the next post coming up soon. : )

I am also going to be introducing my sister onto this blog. She lives seven miles from me and I love her to pieces. Plus, I am tired of just pictures of only me. Since I will not post pictures of my children and my husband does not want to be on the blog (which is smart of him because I have an underwear post of his coming up soon. I cannot imagine why he doesn’t want his picture on this blog). I figured I would pimp out put up my nearest relative. I think this will be a fun feature we can do together once in awhile. She has a completely different style than I do, so it will be nice to share a different look on this blog. However. And this is a biggie. She is younger, taller and prettier, so I am not going to allow her on here too often, though. Just kidding!…But seriously.

In other revelations:

I am shy.

Painfully shy if I don’t know you.

Shocking, right?

And it takes me awhile to come out of my shell. I feel like this last year, I have slowly been sharing myself. But I finally feel safe enough to share all of me. Or as much as the majority of the public can handle. I have made so many friends here, I feeI like I can just be myself. If you look at my old outfit photos, I look terrified. I was even scared to smile. But all of that is changing.

Kind of.

I am sick of pictures of me always in the same spot in my outfit posts. I went through my blog looking for ways to improve it and that is one of them. And I was ashamed of how bad some of my pictures are. Bad me! So from now on, I vow to try to take better pictures. This truly, truly hurts my lazy heart. But I am excited about a change. I still might resort to the fireplace if we are really in a hurry. However, the majority of the pictures will be different this month. Please let me know which ones work and which ones don’t (nicely. Please don’t make me cry. I hate spending money on tissues). This is going to be a series of experimenting. I pretty much have no idea how to pose.

But you can’t fly if you never jump. Off an imaginary building. Built from words. And pictures. Into a cloud. That I still do not understand.

All right. I think that is it on updates. Let’s move on to the stuff I am craving this month. Oh. The cravings. They hurt:


I want/need/can’t-afford-at-full-price the Vine Beaded Maxi Dress by one of my favorite designers, Vaneet Bahl. It is from Anthropologie. I am just hoping to get it on sale. So, save one in a small for me, would ya?


These whale-tale measuring cups.


Just oh.


Um. Um. Um. Do I dare share these Concha Garden Planters? These will be at the top of my budget list for May. Again try to save me one… Or two… Or ten.


Seriously, how close to Otomi could these be?





Nowhere. To. Put. Them.



Why? Why is the Plevna Top only available in petite sizing? My shirt is wet from the tears in my heart. And also, does anyone know what pants the model is wearing? They look great!

Needlework it Out Dress from ModCloth

And last, but not least, the Needlework it Out Dress from Modcloth. This dress is so awesome. The price is perfect. The color is perfect. Again, my budget is gone for thirteen more days. And the dress sold out. However, I have clicked their “I NEED IT” button in my size. They will notify me if it gets reordered. I have never seen them not reorder if an item is popular and they can.

What are your cravings this month? Do you think I should do a monthly video on this blog ? Yes. I am also thinking of doing a video blog monthly or posting a video here or some sort of recording device/contraption… Whatever those youngsters are calling the talking pictures these days. Whatcha think?

Modcloth Stylish Surprise: SHOES!


This post could also be titled, “Modcloth, you have my heart.”

You all ready know that because Modcloth embraces every woman by offering a variety of different sizes, it is the store that makes me smile the most. Add that to their amazing customer service and customer appreciation and that site just makes this girl’s shopping heart sing.

But this post really isn’t about that.

This post is about the amazing promotion Modcloh does every few months:

It took me awhile to get over my light headedness when my box containing my Modcloth Stylish Surprise* (explanation about stylish surprise at the bottom of this post) full of shoes arrived at the door. For $10, Modcloth picked a pair of random shoes for me in my size and sent them. Shipping is always free at Modcloth for orders over $50. So, I ordered five pairs (three for me and two for my daughter. This might seem selfish, but her feet are still growing. Mine are not).

My daughter and I were nervous and excited to open the box full of shoes.

But we did!

Boy, did we get lucky!


We both loved our shoes.

I found out about The Stylish Surprise the same day I put up my post about my March purchases. I had ordered the clothing surprise from them a year ago and liked what I received, but I have enough clothes. I wanted to try the shoe version. It intrigued me.

I also wanted to immediately do a post the moment I learned about the sale going on, but I did not want this blog to seem too consumerismy (another new word). I also had never ordered the shoe surprise before, and I was not sure if it was something I was willing to recommend (this is important to me. I would never speak about a product here that I would not purchase myself). I decided to wait until morning to decide. Then the Stylish Surprise Shoes sold out. So, next time, I am alerting you right away. And if it happens to be on the same day as a post about clothes, well, that will just have to be the way it goes. I don’t want you guys to miss out! I think this promotion Modcloth does is amazing!

Okay. On to our loot:



I got these beautiful Chelsea Crew Tia Pumps in mustard. They fit like a dream. I love them for evening fun. They are my favorite of the shoes I received.



My daughter got these cool Dollhouse combat boots. These are so her. She was thrilled. She has worn these all week.



I also got these Seychelles Two Birds Heels. They are SO tall. I could never actually wear these. I ended up giving them away to the sweetest eighteen year old girl I know. And she was happy. And I was happy. So, it all worked out.


My daughter got these Chelsea Crew Notch Your Step heels in red. I was jealous of these. They are adorable. More importantly, she is madly in love with them. And I would rather her have been happy than myself. Thankfully, we both were happy. She wore these last Thursday and her outfit was perfect with these shoes! So cute!



I also received these Chelsea Crew Class Treasurer Heels (funny enough, I was class treasurer… Or secretary. I can’t remember. I also do not remember doing a thing for that title. Maybe I needed these shoes). They are the most amazing orange color. I love them.

So, for $50 we received approximately $337 worth of shoes. This works out to roughly 85% in savings.

I would (and will) absolutely be partaking in these surprise sales again. Not only was it fun, but it was a great bargain, too.

Have you ever purchased a Modcloth Stylish Surprise? If yes, what did you get? If not, would you?


* A Stylish Surprise is a sale that the online company Modcloth runs every few month. For a low fee, usually between $5-15, they will send you a surprise in the category you purchased your surprise in (apartment, accessories, shoes, or clothing). They guarantee your item will be worth a certain amount, usually much higher than your initial investment. Stylish Surprises are nonreturnable. If it does not fit or if you do not like the item/items you receive, you are out of luck. It is a risk.

* In the pictures, I am wearing Anthropologie’s Midday Dress. It is currently on sale. I am wearing a medium. I have a separate post about this dress going up on Sunday.

* This blog receives a small commission when a purchase is made through this website at Modcloth. : )