August 31, 2011

A rant.

I would just like to take this opportunity to say that my neighbors are assholes. 

We have lived in our home for a year and a half now, and the only reason I’ve met any of our neighbors is because either a) Cooper bulldozed through the fence when he saw the neighbor’s dog on the other side, b) I locked myself out of the house and had to awkwardly ask to borrow a phone, c) the neighbors across the street and their little kids came trick-or-treating at our house (nine months after we moved in) or d) I forcibly introduced myself while a neighbor family was getting out of their car to go inside.

And these are people that live within feet of us, whom we share a fence with or whose houses are directly across from ours!  And still to this day, I’ve never met a single one in the family who live right next to us on one side.  Wouldn’t even be able to pick ‘em out of a lineup.  All I know is that they often have loud pool parties and one time they flung what must have been a shovel-full of their dog’s crap into our yard.

I mean, who does that?  I presume it was the teenager who did it, but still.

Then today, I was out walking my dogs and passed a lady on our street whom I see walking with a stroller nearly every morning, and she just kept her head down and said nothing as she passed.  I was looking right at her, waiting to smile and wave when she looked, but still nothin’.

And THEN, I walked past another neighbor sitting in her car, and we made direct eye contact, but just as I was raising my hand to wave happily, her eyes darted in the other direction.

What the hell, people?!?!  What happened to being neighborly?  What happened to bringing new neighbors a plate of cookies, exchanging phone numbers, letting the other know you’re there if they need anything? 

Heck, I know old peeping Billy with the binoculars and the four retarded corgies better than I know any of my other neighbors, and he doesn’t even live on the same street as us! 

I crave connection with people, but it seems like too often people already have their inner circles and simply don’t care to make new friends.  It’s been a struggle for me my whole life (growing up in a military family), and it’s still an issue now.  People nowadays are so guarded, so closed up.  And I guess I have a hard time understanding that, because I’m not that way!  (obviously, I mean geez, my life story is on the Internet for all to read!)  I know I could have done a better job of reaching out to our neighbors when we moved in, but I’d never lived in a neighborhood like this one before, and I really expected people to come to US! Not so.

An old couple walked by my front yard when I was bringing in the trash can yesterday, and though I’d never seen them before, they said hello and gave me a big, friendly smile and wave.  And I thought to myself, they’re from a time when you didn’t just keep your eyes to the ground and pretend like you didn’t see the human right beside you.

And I think we ought to all be more like that old couple.  It’s really a dying art, friendliness and warmth.  So I urge those who read this to pick it back up again.  Smile at a stranger.  Make eye contact!  If you see a new neighbor moving in, jot your name and number down on a piece of paper and go over and say hello!  It’s just the right thing to do, and if too much time passes and you don’t do it, things get weird.

Mmkay? Rant over.

(found the below on Pinterest and thought it was great! Link to the printables here.

Source: via Jenni on Pinterest


August 30, 2011

Young People In Love giveaway!

Ladies and gents, I’m SO PROUD to be offering up today’s giveaway… I know we all read blogs mostly for the bloggers themselves and not necessarily the advertorial-type info, but when I can help promote a truly gifted artist of any kind, I am just happy to do it… and I know most of you are happy to learn about these awesome peeps!

So today, we have a wonderful little giveaway from Sam of Young People In Love (you met her last week, remember?). 


Sam’s an artist, and wants to give away any 8x10 print from her shop!  Her work is absolutely enchanting… colorful, magical, and imaginative.  Here’s some examples:

il_570xN22183232-1 il_fullxfull.93495685
Any one of these would look amazing framed and in your office or bedroom or nursery or… anywhere! :)

So here’s how to enter:

Visit Sam’s shop and comment with which print you’d like to win! (mandatory)

Additional entries:
- Follow Young People In Love via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment saying you did so!
- “Like” Story of My Life on Facebook and comment saying you do!
Good luck!!


August 29, 2011

Italians do it right.

We tried out a couple new restaurants this weekend, including a joint called Mandola’s Italian Market.  Austinites, based on our first experience there, I’d recommend the place!  The food was fresh, fast, cheap, and flavorful—all of my favorite things. 

I also enjoyed browsing the little imported goodies they have in the “market.” And of course, drooling all over the cheese and bread and gelato displays.  Those Italians, they get it right.  I dream of going there for reals one day.  It’s one place we never got to while my family was living in Europe, and I regret that very much. 

One day.  But for now, places like this one will have to do… (prepare to drool)

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August 28th weekend 058 August 28th weekend 061 August 28th weekend 070 

Drooling yet?  Told you.  Happy Monday!!.jennisig

P.S. I meant to post this yesterday!  The Stella & Dot giveaway winner is…. (and not all comments on that post were entries, so the number of entries does not match the number of comments)

random winner

 BECKY! You won! Congrats darlin’!

And the rest of you, don’t forget to use your Stella & Dot discount if you saw anything you liked! (details in this post)   :)

August 28, 2011

Life is happening.

This weekend was a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Friday Matthew came home with an armful of books and binders stacked so high I could hardly see his face peering over the top, and I knew it then: law school has arrived. 

But it’s ok.  We found time to spend together, and we’ll continue to adjust. 

This afternoon he and I had a long talk about ME: my goals, my hopes, my dreams, and the ways I always find to stop myself from reaching them.  And I came away from that conversation a little teary, but so, so thankful that I have a husband who believes in me and supports those deepest desires of my heart.  Yes, sometimes I wish he’d be more cooperative when it comes to smiling for pictures or otherwise complying with my (often hormonally-driven) demands, but I suppose the day I wake up a perfect wife will be the only day I’ll have a leg to stand on. 

Point is, it was a good weekend.  Full of real-life things.  Like dinners together (even ones that don’t go as planned because one or both parties was grumpy and hot and tired), like lazing around on the couch and watching movies and reading and dreaming of rain or wind or clouds or something to break this heat wave (hey, East Coast, send Irene THIS WAY!), or like a Sunday afternoon chat about the future and where you’d like to be a few years down the road… and what it will really take to get there.

Real life, people.  It’s happening.  And it’s not perfect.  No way!  If I’ve ever made my life seem perfect, allow me to take this opportunity to assure you that it’s not.  But I wouldn’t trade this life for anyone else’s, because I believe we’re all given exactly what we need to do exactly what we want, if we’ll just get out of the way of ourselves.

And that’s what I’m going to try and do, starting now. 

Hope you have a great end to your weekend, and a perfect start to your week!

August 28th weekend 008The glasses are not a fashion statement.  I am legitimately blind.

August 28th weekend 003  He’ll be a great Daddy (to a human) some day…

August 28th weekend 010 August 28th weekend 013 I love her enormous under bite and the resulting shiny, protruding lip. :)

August 28th weekend 028


August 27, 2011

People Puppy Chow.

puppy chow 017
I made this.

And then I ate so much of it that I literally made myself ill, and I might never eat it again as long as I live.

It’s all or nothing, people.  That’s my motto.  All or nothing.  When you make a particularly sinful/mind-blowing recipe, it’s best to just get it all out of your system and eat that ish ‘til you're blue in the face… or in my case, doubled over and clutching your bloated stomach as you promise God you’ll never again partake in another gluttonous “puppy chow” binge if he’ll only make the pain go away.

puppy chow 004 puppy chow 008

puppy chow 014 
“Puppy chow.”

It sounds so innocent, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. Not innocent in the least. Quite evil, actually. I don’t really recommend making it. Yeah, it’s probably better if you don’t.

But in case you want to, here’s the recipe. :)

People Puppy Chow

9 cups chex cereal (I use corn)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter (I like Peter Pan creamy with honey)
1/4 cup butter
1&1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar

Measure cereal into large bowl. Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in small pot over medium heat, stirring continuously. Pour over cereal and mix gently. Measure powdered sugar into large storage bag and add cereal to bag, shaking until coated.

Eat in moderation.
(Just kidding. That's impossible.)


August 26, 2011

There’s some people I need you to meet.

Good morning, friends!  Friday has come around again, and I’m super excited to introduce you to today’s sponsors!  Both are fabulous bloggers in their own unique ways, and I just looove both of their blogs!

First is the hilariously snarky miss Kim from Yep, They Are All Mine .

Yep Kim

Kim is all of my favorite things: sarcastic, funny, honest, real, a great mom, a great writer, and so on.  She writes about life as a mom, wife, and WOMAN, and her blog is always good for a laugh.  She’s even been nominated for Sacramento’s Most Valuable blogger! (vote for her here!). 

And of course, go browse her blog.  You won’t regret it.


Next up we have the seriously adooorable Sam from Young People in Love!


Sam I love froyo too, Sam.

Quite simply, Young People In Love is one of the sweetest blogs on the Internet.  You just have to go there to see what I mean!  Sam and her husband Chas truly ARE in the best kind of love, and reading the blog is like stepping into a beautiful and REAL story.  Love it. 

Oh, and as if the blog wasn’t cool enough?  Sam is also an incredible artist.  See her stuff hereNo fair that some people are so talented.  Hmmph.


Have a great Friday!


And don’t forget to enter the Stella & Dot giveaway, if you haven’t already! :)

August 25, 2011

Our “free crappy portrait”

The other day I discovered a site called through Lauren, and I just HAD to have one made of me and Matthew.  So I followed the instructions on their site, sent in a couple pictures with a description of us, and received my seriously AWESOME “free crappy portrait” in my email this morning.

I cannot stop laughing.

Here’s the two pictures and the description I sent in to FCP, and of course, the free crappy portrait I received in return. :)

Easter 2011 105

Easter 2011 032

“We are Jenni and Matthew.  Jenni has big hair, Matthew has very little hair.  Jenni loves taking pictures, Matthew hates anything to do with pictures.  Jenni loves to read and blog, and Matthew loves to prepare for the end of the world and the impending attack of the robots and/or zombies. Matthew and Jenni love each other a lot, and they also love their two dogs, Gracie and Cooper, who are probably treated better than most children.”

And the free crappy portrait…




I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed.  And I’m pretty sure you need a free crappy portrait, too.  Get on that!

Have a nice Thursday!! :)


August 24, 2011

How to shop vintage and antiques (for next to nothing).

Yesterday a friend and I spent much of the day looting the Austin Antique Mall (my favorite place on Earth), and I’m happy to say, it was a particularly successful endeavor.  I don’t typically buy much vintage clothing, but at one point I came across a rack of old women’s clothes that seemed made for me… it was as if I’d stumbled into the long-forgotten closet of a woman exactly my size and with similar tastes. As a child-sized person, moments such as this one do not occur often, and I was perfectly ecstatic about it.

I found three adorable shirts, a pencil skirt that fits like a glove, a belt, and a leather purse, almost all priced around 5 or 6 dollars.

My euphoria was complete after discovering the sweetest little hand-drawn owl picture I’ve ever seen for only $20 bucks, and an old map of England for a mere .50 cents!

But you know, vintage and antique shopping can be tricky.  If you saw the size of this place (hint: it’s enormous), you’d understand that there is SO. MUCH. amazing stuff you have to pass up when hunting for ridiculous deals.  Believe me, it takes an inhuman amount of self-control.  But that’s the only way you’ll feel good about yourself and your purchases on the way out the door.  I don’t know about you, but I hate that feeling of guilt when you know you spent too much on stuff you don’t really need… but I LOVE that feeling of glee when you know you got a bunch of awesome crap for DIRT CHEAP!

So basically, the moral of the story is this: while shopping for antiques, 90% of the stuff you find WILL be amazing, but is probably priced too high.  You’re looking for DEALS, and I promise, they are there!  So be patient, and don’t settle until you find them!

Vintage finds 002 Vintage finds 009 Vintage finds 020

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Vintage finds 018  Vintage finds 021 

Have a nice Wednesday!


August 22, 2011

It’s Monday. Let’s have an outfit post, shall we?

Well, I think it’s high time we had an outfit post around these parts, whatdya say?  As I’ve mentioned before, it’s hard to maintain motivation to dress cute when anything you don will be drenched in sweat after a few moments in a boiling car, but this weekend I decided to treat my late-summer-in-Texas depression with a little J.Crew therapy.  The depression merely took on another form after what it cost me to buy one shirt and one skirt there, but I really don’t regret my purchases.  I think both are great transition into fall pieces.

Anyway, most importantly, Alyssa with Stella and Dot contacted me recently about a review and giveaway with a couple of her lovely jewels, and upon seeing what was “in it for me,” I agreed immediately and was then prepared to kiss the ground she walks upon. 

The gorrrrgeous Labradorite necklace in the following pictures can be found here, and let me tell you, it’s amazing.  I’m a little obsessed with it, and I also think it might have magical powers.  Just throwing that out there. Scroll down to see the outfit and to find out what Alyssa is giving to one of YOU!

Outfit Aug 21 054 Outfit Aug 21 055 Outfit Aug 21 051  Outfit Aug 21 067 Outfit Aug 21 073    Outfit Aug 21 137  Outfit Aug 21 155
{ Shirt and skirt: J.Crew, Belt: Target, Shoes: Enzo Angiolini, Nordstrom, Bag: Tyler Rodan, Macy’s, Bangle: F21, Necklace: c/o Stella and Dot }

That necklace is a stunner, eh?  It was even feautured in Lucky Magazine!

I have a feeling all of Stella and Dot’s pieces are just as fabulous, and guess what?  Alyssa also has something to give away to one of you, too!  The Heiress Gold Hoops, to be exact.  Doesn’t get more classy than this, ladies.


To enter, please visit Stella & Dot and let me know your favorite piece in a comment!
(only mandatory entry)

For one extra entry, like Alyssa's Stella & Dot Facebook page, and leave another comment letting me know you did!

ALSO.  Alyssa has generously offered to give you fine people 15% off ANYTHING on her site! Just email your order to and type Story of My Life in the subject line. Alyssa will manually adjust the discount on your order.

That's all folks. Hope you have a nice start to your week!

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