Happy New Year!

Whew! That year was a quick one. Am I right? Well, to me it seems quicker than usual. My kids keep getting bigger and older and more wise with each second. And all of my will cannot keep them small. Their schooling is harder. Their stress load is higher. Therefore, my stress load as a parent is astronomical.

I humbly bow to those that completed their New Year’s Resolutions. I honestly do not think I accomplished a thing. I did write a silly children’s story that I might have my kids illustrate for me, but I did not write the book I wanted to. All of my time seems to be taken or trickling into unimportant things mixed with the urgency of importance.

And I gained weight instead of the goal I made last year of maintaining it. Oh, sigh. And harumph. And oh well. I can still fit into my clothes and that is all that matters. If you must, you could sing “Jenni gained weight and I don’t care,” to the beat of “Johnny Cracked Corn…” But only if you must. I always seem to must.

I am having a hard time making goals this year. Because my heart can dream big but my soul is so lazy. It is an odd train to be upon with a thumping trumpeting heart as the conductor pulls a long train stuffed with my prostrate spirit oozing sleepiness and lethargic doom, followed by the caboose of reality. Choo! Choo!

There were so many beautiful moments with my family this year. My daughter turned fifteen and soon will be getting her driving permit. Gulp. My husband and I got away to Las Vegas. We went to Maui as a family and I had l planned upon returning this coming summer, but my son and I were convinced to take a family road trip instead. And by convinced, I mean my teenager bombarded us with the persistence of youth, to do so. The long trip terrifies me with its planning and I worry for my slothful soul. I even booked us a yurt to stay in. A yurt?! Hold my hand. 2015 is looking adventurous.

This is where most blogs put up their favorite posts of 2014. Well, most blogs did that last week. This lazy soul is late, as ever.


My favorite outfit post was Bohemian Black Lace. This is my husband’s favorite dress and my favorite shoes. Together, they made me happy.


My favorite food post was A Better Crockpot Salsa Chicken. I use this constantly and for so many recipes. I love it!


My favorite short story was My Husband’s Secret. I wrote it in bed one night and it still makes me laugh. In fact every time I see his secret, I smile. It truly is the little things.

Are you making goals and resolutions for the new year? Do you plan your vacations this far in advance? Do you party tonight? Stay home? Stay up until midnight? I watch Anderson Cooper’s New Year’s Show. It is our favorite. Ever since I saw him on The Mole, I knew he would be my very best friend. Maybe in 2015?


May 2015 be the year you are most proud of.

With or without Anderson Cooper as a bosom buddy.

Winner Of The Giveaway, A Small Announcement, & Cravings

The winner of the blog giveaway is Kel! Congratulations! I am thrilled for you. : )

I loved reading everyone’s birthday memories. Many of them made we want some do-overs for my own. And quite a few brought back beautiful nostalgic memories. I also liked that some of your favorite birthday memories are not your own. So selfless! I love learning more about each of you each month. That comment section of my blog during my giveaways is not only my favorite part, because I get to know you better. But a friend of mine recently told me it is hers, too. Thank you so much for sharing and entering!


An Announcement:

I am nervous about the announcement I am making right now. I couldn’t sleep last night. I have vowed to always be honest on this blog. I think it is important to keep it real here. After having this blog for one year, I have come to the realization that it is costing my family approximately $65 a month to keep it going. I love giveaways. I do not want to stop doing them. They are my favorite part of the blog. Giving back. To all of you. But my favorite part of life is being a wife and mother, so I must also think of my family. So, to offset some of the costs, I am going to be adding affiliate links to my posts. You probably will not even notice them. All this means is that when you click on a link such as an Anthropologie top, it will generate a very small commission for this blog. I will not be adding any more links than I normally would. I will never add links to a product I would not or have not purchased for myself. And there is always the option of just not clicking on a link. : )

I have added them to this post as a test run. All of these links in this post are affiliate links. I have also added a small Modcloth banner to my home page, because I love Modcloth! And I am happy to be working with the company.

Who knows? Maybe I could generate enough income for better giveaways. That would be a fun goal. And so, so cool!

Thank you for being understanding.

And now onto the monthly fun:

Everything in my craving list will have to wait until sale. That is just the way I like to shop. Unfortunately, I doubt we will see much in terms of big sales in April. March seems to have seen the deeply discounted winter sales.

I am not craving much. And I have a post coming up in the next week detailing my purchases for March. But twist my arm and I will reveal items I think are cool right now.


This Anthropologie Farmer’s Market Peasant Top looks so pretty in the close up shot. The pattern looks very detailed and interesting. I love this. I cannot decide if it is because of the name of it more than the shirt itself. I hope it makes it to second cuts for me.


I think these Selah Booties from Anthropologie are rad. I have no idea what I would wear them with. They would need to be under $50 for me to consider them.


I love the color of these Ankle Zip Charlie Trousers. I think they are fun.


And I NEED this Raja Wall Bust. Except, why couldn’t it be a dragon? I might be on the hunt for that instead.


This $9.99 Ear the Call of the Wild Ring from ModCloth is neat.


One more. I MUST snag at least one color of these Tassel Bloom Hoops from Anthropologie when they hit sale. They are my favorite things on their site right now.

Congratulations to Kel! I am so happy for you. There will be a new giveaway beginning April 10th.

Thank you to everyone who entered!

What are you craving? Anything on your wishlist I showed here?

P.S. Trying to claim a blog lovin’ account. Please ignore. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

My Favorite Posts Of The Year

My blog just turned one! I am so happy about its birthday!

I set out to create a blog that was fun. A blog that was a chaotic mess of everything I was passionate about. I wanted to renew my love for writing. I wanted to find people with interests similar to my own and have a connection. Make new friends. Create. A blog. An imperfect blog so that I could be my complete imperfect self. I was, for the first time in my life, optimistic.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by to read it.

Who has stopped by to touch my soul.

Thank you.

I wanted to share my favorite twenty posts over the year. Some of which I feel have been buried in the archives. And maybe you have not seen them before. These posts are the ones I remember. The ones I am proud of, or I thought they were funny, or informative, or just represented my blog the best.

In random order:


1. Hulk Hands

2. Dear Children: Hating Me

3. We’re Painting The Blanket Pink

4. Come In…


5. I Paid $40 For Closure With Sean Astin

6. Ten Cents

7. Dear Children: Doll Skirt

8. My Very First Post


9. Grandma

10. Happy Birthday “Honey”

11. Country Girl

12. Meatball Sliders


13. Rainbow vest

14. Shapeshifter Me

15. A Lion Of A Lie

16. My Library Ladder


17. Chicken Pot Pie and Tuna Pie

18. Eye Shawl

19. My Husband’s Secret

20. Dear Children: Halfway


21. “Say What?!” Darn! I forgot about this one! And it makes me giggle. Is it against the rules to add it? Hmmm. Well, since I made the rules, I am gonna let it in. The same way I am gonna use the word “gonna” three times in this paragraph. I love my rules! : )

Thank you for all of your support! As I was deciding what my favorite posts were I could not help but reflect on how much fun this last year has been for me. It is so nice to have this little creative outlet.

I know I can be wacky and a bit much. I appreciate you beyond words for sticking by this crazy blog. It has been so wonderful meeting all of you this past year.

Thank you!

Gnome Lover Turns 1 Giveaway! NOW CLOSED!


This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for entering. Any entries received after the time of this writing (9:02 p.m. PST) will be deleted.

This little blog has turned one year old! I don’t even know that I changed one single diaper. In fact, I am not sure my husband did either. That is something to ponder and worry over at another date.

Gnome Lover is still just barely pulling itself up. In fact, I would say it might be in the crawling stage. It has a long way to go before it walks.

It has a lot to say. Most of it is gibberish. I am glad a few of you can understand it. Hopefully, it will become more coherent the older it gets.

I am so excited to watch it grow.

Diapers aside.

Today is a happy day! A goal accomplished! A birthday celebration!

Thank you to all of you readers who stop by everyday. Who encourage this little blog. Who take time to comment.

Thank you!

This blog would still be unable to lift its little head if it were not for you.

I am so excited about today’s giveaway!

I have been collecting stuff for this giveaway for months.

We’ll just call them birthday presents.

Are you ready to see what they are?



I am giving away a group of items: one $25 e-gift card to Anthropologie, one West Elm Favorite Throw in grey stripes, one Clinique Chubby Stick in Richer Raisin, one Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara, one Anthropologie Heirloom necklace, one Anthropologie candle in Pumpkin Spice, and one copy of “The Magician’s Elephant.” All of these items will go to one lucky winner! These are all some of the items that I have shared on this blog over the last year. And I am so thrilled to be able to do such a big giveaway for my blog anniversary!

For such a big giveaway, you will get up to four chances to enter the drawing for the items.

First way to enter is to simply leave a comment stating your favorite birthday memory.* This is a birthday celebration, after all. If you do not celebrate birthdays, feel free to just leave a comment stating a fond childhood memory. My favorite birthday memory is when I turned eight and had my first slumber party. My dad was moving bees out of the state so my mother was all alone with about twelve of us girls in our house. And a mouse ran underneath our feet. And a rattlesnake had curled up in the dog food outside. I can still hear the screaming!…

Second way to enter is to be a follower of this blog. There are many ways to do so on the right hand side of the page. Just be sure to leave a second comment stating you are following on this post!

Third way to enter is to share this post via social media. This could be Facebook, Twitter, via your blog. Any old way will do. Just come back and leave an additional comment stating how you shared it.

Finally, you can pick any of my posts and Pin one to Pinterest. After you have pinned a post, just come back here to let me know which of my post’s you have pinned.

You can choose one of these methods or all of these methods. Just be sure to leave a comment here for each method. If you choose to do all four, then you should have four total comments here. Limit four entries per person. One entry per method per person.

Good luck!

I will be using random.org to pick one winner based on the comments posted here. This giveaway begins on March 10, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. PST and ends March 17, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. PST. I will contact the winner via email provided in the comments here on March 18, 2014. I will post the winner’s name on this blog on March 19, 2014.

Please enter this giveaway with a valid email address. I will attempt to contact the winner three times. If within fourteen days from the first time I have attempted contact, I still have not heard from the winner, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be drawn.

Thank you so much for all of your help raising this blog. I could not do it without you. You are the best. Just one more quick thing that has been bugging me since I started this post.

Um, have any of you been changing diapers? This one is gonna haunt me.

P.S. This giveaway is sponsored by me and is in no way affiliated with Anthropologie, West Elm, Benefit, Clinique or Candlewick Publishing.

* edited on March 10, 2014: if you forget to leave a birthday comment and just respond with a comment as your original entry, I am still counting it. As long as the comment left is nice. : )