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42 things to do while watching TV

tv things

The other day, while looking through Pinterest, I saw yet another post spouting off about how TV is awful and a waste of time and the only way to be productive and engaged is if you just turn it off (the superior attitude she gave in the post is a whole separate topic and rant. Honestly, if you don’t want to watch TV, good for you. But please don’t condescend to those of us who do). While there might be some merit to what the post author was saying, I respectfully disagree with her. In fact, I believe there are plenty of things you can do while watching TV so you’re not just idly sitting on the couch (and if all you want to do is sit on the couch, go ahead. It’s your time, your life and you can do whatever you choose with it).

For instance:

Bloggy things

  1. Comment on other blogs or respond to comments on yours
  2. Write a post or two
  3. Optimize posts for Pinterest or SEO
  4. Check for dead or broken links
  5. Create an editorial calendar
  6. Schedule tweets and/or Facebook updates
  7. Create a new header or blog button
  8. Participate in a Twitter chat
  9. Help a new blogger (not sure how? I know a great program you can get involved in)
  10. Revise or update old posts to make them fresh
  11. Give your blog a facelift
  12. Do invoices for sponsorships, freelance work, ads, or services
  13. Finally start that eBook

Pioneer things

  1. Crochet, knit, sew, or mend something
  2. Map your garden
  3. Make soap or candles
  4. Prepare food (ex., pickles, bread, applesauce in the crockpot)
  5. Wash dishes
  6. Research essential oils or some alternative medicines that pioneers used
  7. Make homemade cleaners


Personal things

  1. Exercise (there are tons of workouts you can do during commercials or while watching a show. Or invent your own)
  2. Pay bills
  3. Fold laundry
  4. Batch cook or menu plan
  5. Read a magazine, a book, or create a reading list on GoodReads (while you’re at it, put some books on hold at the library or borrow some from the Kindle store)
  6. Do some online shopping
  7. Look for coupons (I do this with the Target Cartwheel app)
  8. Make a vision board
  9. Organize your Pinterest boards or actually make a project you’ve pinned
  10. Write out goals or a bucket list
  11. Plan/organize a party or family get-together
  12. Write thank you cards or cards in general
  13. Play a game
  14. Do a puzzle
  15. Create a workout, commuting, or road trip playlist or four
  16. Organize pictures
  17. Groom yourself–mani/pedi, dye your hair, face mask, remove your mustache (no judging here. You need to do what you need to do)
  18. Play with your pet
  19. Text a friend during a particularly interesting show and share the experience
  20. Clean the room you’re in
  21. Purge your closet or drawers
  22. Watch something helpful/educational like a TED talk or documentary 

The pioneers, from what I can tell, valued being productive over being busy. But they also enjoyed some downtime, particularly after a hard day of work. They relaxed with music, storytelling, and games; many of us relax with a TV show or two. But if you’re finding you’re hard pressed to get everything done in a day you need or want to, why not get some of it done while you’re in front of the TV?

What would you add to the list?

33 thoughts I had watching the World Series as a Mets fan

I just spent the better part of the past week watching the World Series. Here’s what went through my head, in no particular or logical order:

OMG, we’re in the World Series!!!

O.M.G. WE’RE IN THE WORLD SERIES. I hope this ends well. 

Who the fuck is Andy Grammer? Oh, he did a great job singing the national anthem. I bet Billy Joel will be better because BILLY JOEL.


This is not going to end well if that’s how we’re starting the series. 

Did the last few days cool their momentum? I think it might have. I don’t understand why they couldn’t start the series a few days earlier since both teams were done way before Tuesday. Stupid TV rules. 

My sister was not alive the last time the Mets were in the World Series. I remember watching the games. I’m really fucking old. 

Really, Fox? A worldwide broadcast and you didn’t think to maybe have a backup energy source? It’s okay, though, because at least now we don’t have to listen to Joe Buck. #everyonewins

Holy hell, if I see one more Matthew McConaughey Buick commercial I’m going to scream. These are the worst commercials ever. Who thought these were a good idea? That person should be fired. 

I cannot look at Jacob deGrom’s hair anymore. I want to send him a bucket full of hair ties. Pull that shit back, man!

So we lost the first two games. We’re going back to New York now. They’ll do better at home. 

SEE?! I knew Billy Joel would do a great job singing the Star Spangled Banner. 

Noah Syndergaard means business because DAMN. That was a hell of a way to send a message to the Royals that he’s not fucking around. 

Did we just win a game?! We did! We’re coming back, bitches!

I stand corrected. The Norm MacDonald Colonel Sanders commercials are the worst ones ever. They actually hurt to watch. 

Oh, Steven Matz is a Long Island boy, playing for the Mets. How cute is that?

Just how many broken bats have there been so far? 

I wonder which is higher–my cat’s body count or the number of broken bats in this series. I’ll bet it’s close.

We might win this game, too!!

How old is that pitcher?! I could be his mother. 

I have never heard so much nonsense come out of one person’s mouth? Did Harold Reynolds really just compare playing baseball to a rat getting cheese? I seriously can’t listen to these people. It’s almost as stupid as Alex Rodriguez saying that if the Mets catch the ball, they’ll win. #icandotheirjob 


CONFORTO AGAIN!!! The rookie is kicking some serious ass. 

Oh, hey, look at that. Daniel Murphy just fucked up. And now we’re losing. Awesome.

If I could ever have a time when I could read people’s minds, I’d love for it to be right now. Because what are they thinking???

Okay. We’re down 3-1. We can still pull this off and send it back to Kansas City. Then again, if Kansas City wins, a) I can finally get some sleep and b) at least the Royals don’t have the luxury of winning at home. Good luck to them, being the winning team in New York. 

Matt Harvey is on fire! Also, he looks like Rob Riggle. I think I might be the only one who sees that. But it’s so obvious!!

Top 9, we’re winning by two. We’re going to win another!!!

Oh, hey, look at that. Lucas Duda fucked up. At least we can stop (sort of) scapegoating Murphy.

We’re going into extra innings. Again. Splendid. 

A five run 12th? Who does that? We’re fucked. There is no way we’re winning this year. 

Being a Mets fan is the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done.

In case you missed the news, the Mets did lose the World Series. But they made mistakes which I won’t bother to bore you with, KC took advantage of them and overall, played better baseball. It was still a hell of a season for the Mets. I, and I think most other Mets fans, never expected them to come this far and they made us proud. 

Here’s to next year! 

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P.S. Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals and all their fans. Well deserved and well done. 

Humpday Confessions: TV edition

I’m so excited for my first Humpday Confession here on Jana Says. Yes, I know there are published posts but this is the first one I’ve written with my two blogs merged. It feels good. Not like “come home to a clean house with Matt Damon waiting to take me to dinner” good, but good.

That’s enough about that.

Let’s get to confessing.

Vodka and Soda

To start, I need to say that I enjoy how Ian Somerhalder is now the face of Humpday confessions. Ryan Gosling is just fine but Boone from LOST? Better. Also, I know he’s on some vampire show but he will forever be Boone. Like NPH will always be Doogie Howser.

While we’re on the subject of TV shows, does anyone else automatically think of gangs conducting illicit activities every time they see a group of bikers (motorcycles, not bicycles) ride by? I totally do and I live off a road where many, many bikers ride. What I imagine those guys–who are most likely harmless–doing is probably fitting for an episode of Sons of Anarchy (Call me, Kurt Sutter. Let’s talk scripts.)

And did anyone else watch Rising Star? I confess that I totally didn’t want to but got sucked in watching it, especially after this one kid from Long Island sang and he was incredible. I still won’t download the app and actually vote but this little message it gave my husband will keep me watching:

Apparently this edition is all about TV so let’s keep going.

I don’t watch much reality TV because mostly it sucks but when I do, I watch 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom (and I’m ecstatic it’s on for another season #noshame), and I confess I am completely mesmerized by the Duggars. As in, I want to stop watching 19 Kids and Counting because Jim Bob is the worst and it’s so painfully constructed and fake and but I can’t. They’re fascinating. I have to see what they do next.

I confess that I realize my taste in reality programing makes me essentially a 17 year old girl.

I confess I’m absolutely fine with that.

You know what else starts this week? Girl Meets World. Or, as I’m calling it, Cory and Topanga Had a Kid and Now There’s A New Show. I confess I’ve totally been following along for the last year, including watching all the trailers and getting little girl excited over the updates in my FB news feed.

I also confess that I stop my life many days to watch the reruns of Boy Meets World on MTV2. #noshame

And for my final confession, I will say that when a show I want to watch but am behind on doesn’t have the episodes on On Demand, I get stabby. Especially if it’s a show I want to keep binge watching but can’t because I’d have to miss essential beginning of the season episodes. Also, I’m starting to think that binge watching shows is my new hobby. And another also, I found this on BuzzFeed about 25 binge worthy shows you need to watch from the beginning.

To bring it back to the beginning, LOST is #5 on the list. Proving that Ian > Ryan. So kudos to you, Kathy. Excellent choice (even though I know someone made the button for you and I totally give her kudos as well but you made the decision to keep it so you get props).

Any TV confessions you’d like to share? It’s okay. This is a safe place. Confess away.

Linking up with Kathy from Vodka and Soda, as usual.


Carnival of Personal Finance #427: The Netflix binge watching edition

Although I don’t write a personal finance site, many of my friends do so I’m giving them a hand today by hosting the Carnival of Personal Finance. Hope you enjoy it!

My name is Jana and I am a binge watcher. I blame Netflix and its readily available programming for this problem. Because before this entered my life, I watched TV like a normal person. I watched one regularly scheduled episode of a few shows and then moved on with my day.

Now, thanks to Netflix, I can’t do that anymore. No. Now I must watch as many episodes as I possibly can in one day, often to the point of sleeping less because I need just. One. More. Episode.

It’s terrible. In the last year, I’ve made it through approximately 9 shows from start to finish (by finish, I really mean “what’s streaming on Netflix and then also watching the current season live”) including Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Killing. And I want my life back.

Yet, I kind of don’t. You see, not only does Netflix currently have several of my all-time favorite shows available for my immediate viewing pleasure (and these shows are not in syndication and are also kind of hard to find in reruns) but binge watching saves me money. Lots and lots of money.

Because it’s hard to spend money when you don’t leave your house and you’re too engrossed in the happenings of SAMCRO or cheering for the Dillon Panthers to bother to shop online. It also helps that there are dozens of great blog posts that also encourage me to be mindful of my money.

And I’m pleased to present them in this edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance (along with my favorite Netflix shows to binge watch).

Editor’s Picks

First, my favorite show of all time:


If you haven’t seen this show yet, cease what you’re doing and watch it.

Now, the editor’s picks. These posts stood out for me among the wonderful posts that were submitted for a number of reasons and I highly recommend that you check them out:

  • Sam from The New Business Blog presents Online Marketing Tips for the Entrepreneur, and says, “We put together a list of some excellent online marketing tips that every entrepreneur can use to build client lists, attract visitors to their websites and increase profits.”
  • Marissa from Thirty Six Months presents Things You Didn’t Know About Fall Fashion, and says, “Are you heading to the mall this fall? Here are some very interesting facts about shopping habits this fall.”
  • Matt Becker from Mom and Dad Money presents Beware the Source of Your Financial Advice, and says, “When it comes to financial advice, there’s so much BS out there and it makes me sick. When it comes down to it, you’re the only one who truly has your best interests at heart. There are people who can help you make your goals a reality, but you have to understand that there are likely even more who are much more interested in simply taking your money and running. And the financial services industry is one of the worst in this respect.”
  • Jason Hull from Hull Financial Planning presents The One Skill You Can Teach Your Children to Potentially Save Them Tens of Thousands of Dollars, and says, “Parents – teach your children this, and it can save them an enormous amount of money when they’re adults.”
  • Adam Kamerer from Stop Worrying About Money presents 5 Christmas Gift Ideas For Friends and Family Who Struggle With Money, and says, “No one likes seeing family or friends struggle under mountains of debt and other financial woes. It is even worse when Christmas rolls around.”


The Rest

Remember, it might not be an editor’s pick but these posts are all worth reading. And the shows are worth watching. I didn’t watch Orange Is the New Black in a weekend because it sucked.

Charlie Hunnam bonus: Undeclared is also on Netflix and he's on that show, too.

Charlie Hunnam bonus: Undeclared is also on Netflix and he’s on that show, too.

Never thought I'd like a Western-type show but it freaking rocks.

Never thought I’d like a Western-type show but it freaking rocks.


The only thing to ever make me enjoy football

No words. Just watch.

No words. Just watch.

Makes a mockery of fantasy football? Sign me up!

Makes a mockery of fantasy football? Sign me up!

Thanks to everyone who submitted a post for this edition of the carnival! It was a pleasure to read all your entries!

And just out of curiosity, what are you currently binge watching?

Waking at 5AM and other advice I ignore 

There’s a lot floating around the interwebz on how you can be more productive and use your time better. I find all that stuff fascinating and it’s why I read books about it, along with those articles and blog posts (and OMG, Pinterest. Holy shit is there a lot on Pinterest). I figure I can always do better, be better…self-improvement is never a bad thing. But what I’ve learned more than anything is that knowing yourself is better than following all the advice in the world. 

Knowing how you function, when you function best, what motivates you, what keeps you going…that’s the stuff that, at the end of the day, gets your shit done. However, without experimenting, there’s no way to know what works for you and what doesn’t. 

How do I know? Because I’ve tried. And what I’ve learned is that many of the go-to tips don’t work for me. For instance:

  1. Getting up at 5AM. Or some other ungodly hour. I tried to do that. To get up insanely early and be productive in those hours. It lasted about 4 days before I said fuck this and stayed in bed till a reasonable hour. I wound up not getting anything done because I was exhausted and my thoughts kept drifting back to my bed. So now I get up around 6:45 and work in the evenings instead.
  2. Weekly meal prep. I know many of you swear by it but it doesn’t work for me. By Wednesday I hate everything I’ve made or no one is in the mood for what’s prepared and have you ever tried to force feed a picky 10 year old with an attitude as big as she is? Peanut butter sandwiches only go so far and I can only fight so many battles. So I meal plan for the week and cook daily.
  3. Freezer meals. Not sure why so much revolves around food but here we are. I guess this falls under my dislike of weekly meal prep but I have done a few freezer meal sessions and OMG it is not worth the effort. Having a few is great in a pinch but I am not a freezer stocker. Not a big stockpiler, either, for what that’s worth. It’s a shit ton of effort and I always mess up something and the dishes. SO MANY DISHES. So, rather than freezer meals, I make sure there are leftovers or, if it’s a complicated recipe like stuffed shells that I’m making anyway, I double and freeze some of that.
  4. Gratitude journaling. At the risk of sounding like a bitchy asshat, I just can’t get into doing this. I’ve tried with pen and paper and with an app. I simply struggle with writing it down. I frequently reflect on what I’m grateful for but I am not, nor will I ever be, in the daily habit of writing it down. I get the benefits, especially the mental health benefits, but meh. Not for me.
  5. Eliminating TV. I actually wrote a post once listing a ton of things you can do while watching TV. Because I don’t think we need to demonize TV the way it is in many circles. It’s about striking a balance between how much and when and what else you’re doing but a show a night or a binge watch weekend? Nothing wrong with it at all. And honestly, I’m quite productive most days. That’s right. I watch TV AND I get shit done. Oh, and I read like 80 books a year, too, so you can do both.
  6. Eat the frog first. I wrote a whole post about this, too, but I don’t eat the frog first. I eat it last because for me, it’s more motivating to get the small, easy, simple, annoying tasks out of the way so I can clear my plate for the big one. Is it satisfying to get the major task done before everything else? Yes. Does it leave me with almost no energy for everything  else? Also yes.

I’m sure there’s more but I’m writing this on my phone because I’m too lazy open my laptop and also, you guys get the point. Not all the tips work for all the people so if you’re looking to improve, read all the things and then pick and choose what works for you. Experiment. Manipulate. Track how you feel when doing thing. Check progress and determine if what you’re doing really is worth it. Then make a plan or list and follow that. 

And know that if you don’t feel like getting up at 5AM, your day isn’t a waste, you’re not lazy, and sleep is a wonderful thing. 

What are some popular or conventional tips you forgo?

P.S. Next week I’ll talk about some advice I do follow. #balance