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!

Keepin’ It Real February 2014

Good bye February! You were a blah sort of month. Being neither long enough to make any decent memories or short enough to skip through. March is a busy month for me. I cannot decide if I am excited about that or if I will indeed miss the carefree easiness of February. February is in no rush. It is the baby sibling of all of the other months. No responsibilities go to it. It is just a wee little thing.

Edited to add: . My husband (the sweet eternal optimist) was horrified at my less than stellar review of his birthday month.

Sorry Sweetie! I will add some happy memories to February.

The highlights:

My husband’s birthday

Discovering three wonderful new restaurants

Happy Belated Birthday Auntie M!

My sweet mom surprising me with chicken pot pie

My amazing friend Jessica painted my bathroom (sharing soon!)

A night out with girlfriends around a firepit

True Detective

My husband surprising me by coming home again after all ready having left for work to give me one last good bye kiss for the day

The Lego Movie

Many snuggling mornings

My nephew had his birthday and sweet birthday party

A three hour phone call with a good friend

I got to hold a beautiful baby girl

And she liked me more than my sister*

Wow! I guess February was a pretty good month, afterall!

Okay, enough of that. Let’s get real!:


Look! The carpet at the Pantages Theater is Humboldt’s twin! Poor Humboldt. I can’t. I just can’t stop embarrasing it.



Outfit outtakes.


Tonight for dinner I made homemade biscuits with homemade macaroni and cheese with fruit salad.

But last night, the kids and I had Trader Joes frozen breaded chicken tenders, oven fries with the most amazing new sauce that I have recently whipped up after seeing it numerous times online. Oh, the guilt! But it was so good! If you cannot wait for me to ever get to that post (cause, I mean, my picture of it is so good. How could you wait for such a delicacy? I should totally be getting a call from Bon Appetite any day). And really, who knows when that will be? Here is the easiest dipping recipe.


My daughter and son have both been working on giant paintings of our dogs in their art class. I will update when they are both finished, because I simply cannot wait. Of course, I probably will not get them framed until next November when the framing deals happen again.


I’ve started a post that is going to take me a long time to complete. I will be reviewing and rating around twelve different mascaras. It might have to be broken down into two posts. We will see. Here is the first mascara I have started.

Why am I doing this? Well, I purchased a huge mascara sampler from Sephora and just now opened it. And I have always wanted to be a scientist. So. Mascara. Check. Experiment. Check. Scientist Jenni. ????


Remember when I bought my husband that ice cream maker that I he always never wanted for Christmas? Well, I finally got around to ordering containers to start making my ice cream this week. For friends and family this is great news, because I cannot possibly eat all of the ice cream I will be experimenting with. I hope to perfect them now so I can share the recipes in the summer!


And on Wednesday night I made two small batches of homemade ice cream. One vanilla and one cinnamon. Each one has a certain twist. Brynne, you can guess what that is! The only way I will make homemade ice cream…

Unfortunately (or fortunately for my diet), ice cream and my tummy do not mix. So I just get a small taste of the stuff before passing it along. Sigh.


I also remember promising certain posts in January’s Keepin’ It Real that never made it up in February! I wrote my children a different letter instead and Stick In The Mud will go up in March. Also, My Husband’s Secret is being posted on Monday!

I really did this update so I could do a screen shot of a screen shot of my blog. I find this hilarious. I might have a problem.

I liked doing two outfit posts a week this month instead of one. What did you think? Less or more outfit posts?


You know that feeling you get the night before Christmas? That is the feeling I am having about my year blog giveaway! It starts March 10th and I am so excited!

Did you have a good February? Are you excited about March? Any fun memories to share?

*This is unfortunately not true and was added just to razz my little sis. Which is the perfect way to end the little sibling month of February! ; ). I do love you, Mandi!

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.