Home sweet home

I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction for the blog and what the content will look like in 2015. Thanks to your input, as well as what I’m finding myself interested in (and immersed in) lately, I have dozens of post ideas and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you guys in the coming months. 

One of the themes I’ll be covering is inviting you guys into my home more often. What I’m cooking, how I’m attempting to organize, thoughts on parenting and marriage and having pets, some finance stuff, and some of the home decorating projects I’m working on. I want to open that up instead of keeping it all to myself. 

I’m that generous. You’re welcome.

In the meantime, here’s a quick look in my house (with no pictures because I’m feeling exceptionally lazy. #sorrynotsorry):

There are shoes and cups and books and dog toys everywhere.

It’s pretty obvious a child lives here, too.

We have approximately 34243 iDevice chargers and 5 devices.

The kitchen counter is way too crowded with appliances, and there’s usually a cup in the sink (despite my efforts to prevent it).

Whenever I clean, it rains and basically defeats the purpose because muddy paws and shoes.

The beds are made.

The toilet seats are down. 

The floors are clean.

The mantle and blinds need to be dusted.

The walls aren’t covered in art; they’re covered in family pictures. Some are hand drawn.

They’re also in need of new paint.

The office is in desperate need of a professional organization.

The pantry could use some help, too.

The furniture is well loved.

The smell of candles or home cooking fill the house.

Sometimes the smoke detector goes off.

The TV is typically on (unless I’m home alone. Then there’s music).

We watch sports and crime shows and popular comedies and kids shows and lots and lots of movies. Sometimes we pretend to be smart and watch the news.

We treat our pets like they’re our children. If you don’t like them, don’t come over.

There are only 3 of us but sometimes, it sounds, and looks, like 47 people live here. 

We laugh a lot. We yell, too. Someone is usually talking. 

Our garage is the most hated place in the house. Except the basement. That’s worse. 

The laundry room is NEVER empty.

We lose things often. We usually find them. Sometimes we just give up and surrender to the item’s inevitable fate (probably eaten by a dog).


I’m sure there’s stuff I’m leaving out but now you know the truth: we’re about as close to normal as you can get so if you come over, you know what to expect. And when I do share pictures, you won’t be shocked at the sorry state of parts of my house. 

But I’m apologizing in advance.

Coming up tomorrow: my Thanksgiving thankfulness list.


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Random thoughts from a new(ish) cheer mom

As a second year cheer mom, I consider myself a veteran. Well, not so much a veteran as not a rookie because I still have a lot to learn but now that I have some experience under my belt, I feel totally qualified to share with you the the thoughts that went through my mind during my daughter’s first year (and, if I’m being totally honest, I still think some of these and from talking to some experienced cheer moms, some of these thoughts never actually go away; they just become more bearable).

So, just like I provided you with a special glimpse into what I think in the school pick-up line, here’s a whole bunch of thoughts from me, the relatively new cheer mom (you can also read more thoughts on cheerleading in the post that started this whole series): 

cheer mom thoughts

Everything but the competitions

Three practices a week? Competitions on Sundays? Football on Saturdays? Wow, this is time consuming. I did not expect that. 

Well, there goes my life. Good thing I really didn’t have one to being with.

Holy shit, cheerleading is expensive. Well, there goes my money. We didn’t need to eat anyway.

What do you mean, I have to pay more money? I’m going to have to sell my blood or an internal organ to keep affording this. Which ones can I go without?

Seriously, you want more money? I literally have nothing left. 

On the bright side, I’m going to get so much done during her practices! I’ll be so productive. 

I don’t know why I thought I’d be productive. I might as well just stay because by the time I get home I’ll have to come back and of course the internet connection here is the worst. 

Guess I’ll just talk to the other moms. It’s a shame I’m so awkward. I can’t imagine this going well.

I should just stay in a corner or my car and read a book.

Did my child just lift another child into the air? 

I hope she doesn’t drop that girl because that would make things really uncomfortable between our family and hers. Even more uncomfortable than me trying to make conversation. 

How much cushion is in those mats? 

Oh, my. This is a mess. 

I think I need a cheerleader to Jana dictionary because I have no clue what anyone is saying. 

Am I the only one who’s confused? I can’t possibly be the only one who doesn’t understand a word of what that coach is saying. But I look like I’m the only one who’s confused.

I’m going to be spending my fair share time Googling these words. 

Is there a subtle way to Google while the coach is speaking? 

I need to go home before I embarrass my child. I’m WAY out of my comfort zone.

At competitions

Holy fuck, Bring It On is not fiction!!! I will never mock the accuracy of that movie ever again.

It is way too early in the day for this. People should only get up this early if they’re leaving for vacation.

If Katy Perry (or Taylor Swift) is in one more team’s music, I’m going to lose my mind.

Cheer music is terrible. But not as bad as the DJ. OMG, he seriously needs to shut up. 

I’d look ridiculous in a cheer mom shirt. I should get one anyway. I mean, that dad is totally rocking his cheer dad shirt. #noshame at these things.

These vendors must make a killing at these competitions. I should figure out how to make this stuff and sell it at a competition. Then I’d be able to pay for cheerleading and keep all my organs and blood!

These older girls are spectacular. Human beings should not be able to do that. Bending and jumping that way isn’t natural.

There are an awful lot of girls here wearing knee and wrist braces. I think I’m concerned.

I have to pee. I’ve put it off long enough. 

I just found a cheerleader free bathroom! This is basically the best thing that’s happened to me all day. 

Seriously, we have to wait how long before they hand out awards? Haven’t we been here long enough?

NO!!! Don’t play “The Wobble” again!!!

The DJ is now my sworn enemy.

My daughter’s squad really was better than all the others. That’s fact.

Holy shit, they won!!! Mat magic is a real thing!!!

Oh, thank god this is over. I can’t wait to get home and take a nap.


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Friday Favorites: Celebrity Memoirs

I’m taking a break (again) from my normal Friday Favorite format (hooray for alliteration!) to bring you a special edition. This time, we’re focusing on books. Specifically celebrity memoirs. 

I love a good memoir. Not a huge fan of biographies, although I do have Jim Henson’s and Steve Jobs’s on my bookshelf, waiting to be read, but a good celebrity memoir can make for an interesting and fun read. Some are really well done. Others, not so much. It does get on my nerves a bit that we’re getting to a point that if you’re even a quasi-celebrity, you’ll write a memoir because that’s just what you do (ignoring the fact that you might not be all that interesting. Like me. If I ever become famous, I will not write a memoir because it would be the most boring one of all time. I’d call it Vanilla With Sprinkles (which, incidentally, was what I was planning on naming this blog before I came up with stand out, creatively superior “Jana Says”)). 

I don’t think everyone needs to write a memoir. Which is why I’m happy to weed out the good ones and make some recommendations. Life is too short to read crappy books.


A note before we get started: there are many, MANY celebrity memoirs I have not read so this list is culled only from ones I have read. There are a number that are on my to-read list and we’ll get to those at the end of the list. Also, there are a bunch of memoirs that I have read that I loved but are not included in the list because they were not written by celebrities but I think you should read them anyway (ex., Adam Shepard’s Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream, Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Dave Cicirelli’s Fakebook: A True Story. Based on Actual LiesJared Dillion’s Street Freak: Money and Madness at Lehman Brothers, Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, Rob Sheffield’s Love Is a Mix Tape and Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. This is turning into quite an extensive list. Maybe it needs its own post.)

In no particular order, here are my favorite celebrity memoirs so far: 

tony danza

Tony Danza. I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had. I know. Tony Danza? How could this possibly be enjoyable? But trust when I say that reading about his experience as a teacher for a year in a Philadelphia public school is time well spent.

nikki sixx

Nikki Sixx. The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star. Every kid who takes health class should be required to read this because it’s the most accurate, honest depiction of drug addiction I have ever read. It’s amazingly engrossing and disturbing and you find yourself (often) wondering how he survived.

rick springfield

Rick Springfield. Late, Late At Night. You guys already know how much I love this book. I’ve gushed about it before and there’s no way I wasn’t including it. 

the glass castle

Jeanette Walls. The Glass Castle. I don’t know that she necessarily qualifies as a celebrity but this book was so damn fantastic I’m highlighting it. This book made me feel all the feels: sadness, anger, hope, laughter–the whole gamut. When you can hit the whole range like that, you’re a book that needs to be read. And it’s apparently in development to be a movie with Jennifer Lawrence. 

Honorable mentions: Tina Fey’s Bossypants, Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out with Me?, and Joe Pantoliano’s Asylum: A Memoir About Hollywood, Mental Illness, and Being My Mother’s Son.

Coming up: Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Cary Elwes’s As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, and Danielle Fishel’s Normally, This Would Be Cause for Concern

#sorrynotsorry for all the links

In addition to everything mentioned here, there are dozens of memoirs I’ve read or have marked to read and I’ll probably do a follow up post to this some time next year. 

 Which ones do you guys recommend or think I should add to my ever growing list?

Coming up on Monday: More cheer mom series. Most likely a list of what to expect when you become a cheer mom.

Have a great weekend!

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Linking up with Amanda

Friday Favorites

Thursday things and stuff

 Hey, Thursday! How you doin’? 

Thursday has long been my favorite day of the week. I think this started in college thanks to Mug Night at The Stone Balloon (RIP) and I know I’ve mentioned that before but I’m old and I tend to repeat myself. 

You know what else is fun about being old? Having no train of thought and saying what’s on my mind in no particular order and the fact that nothing relates […] Continue Reading…

The struggle with enough

Lately I’ve been struggling with the word “enough”. Not as in “I don’t think I’ve read enough books” or “I haven’t watched enough Netflix” or “I haven’t had enough tea today” but more in the sense of:

I don’t work hard enough on my blog. 

My topics aren’t focused enough.

My writing isn’t creative enough.

The idea for my book isn’t interesting enough.

My platform numbers aren’t high enough to make an agent interested in me.

I’m not organized enough.

My house […] Continue Reading…