Jana Says

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Tag Archive: favorites

Friday Favorites, Halloween edition

I feel like today’s post should be about Halloween even though I can’t stand Halloween and, unlike most people, I have zero memories of being a child on Halloween. I have no recollection of my costumes (although I remember the 80s children’s plastic costumes vividly), going trick or treating, handing out anything with my parents, or anything even remotely related to Halloween.

Okay. That’s a lie. I have one memory, and it’s family tradition related. I grew up on Long Island, and not too far from my parents’ house was a place called Hicks Nursery. It’s a family owned plant nursery/pumpkin patch/Christmas store that each year had a very elaborate walk-though storyboard display, sort of like a living diorama but with placards containing a narrative. I’m doing a terrible job describing this. Here are pictures:

otto collage

We did this every year up until 2 or 3 years ago but my very limited decorations do include an Otto the Ghost stake (the ghost in the pictures is named Otto) in my front yard so I still try to keep the tradition alive. 

But that’s basically all I do. Because I don’t watch scary movies, I have no interest in dressing up myself, my husband takes the child trick or treating and I’m more than happy to put out a bowl of candy with a sign that says “help yourself” because the doorbell bothers my dogs and I don’t enjoy small talk with other people’s kids and I’d rather hide in my room with a book. I half-heartedly throw together decorations and at the pumpkin patch, I purposefully pick the small pumpkins because I like them better. Large pumpkins bug me for reasons I cannot explain. 

I’m basically the Halloween grinch. I’m fine with it. 

For this week’s edition, though, I’ll put my grinchiness aside and bring you my very limited Halloween favorites (besides Otto and small pumpkins).

Favorite Halloween song

It’s not necessarily a Halloween song in the traditional sense but Rob Zombie is basically the year round, living, breathing embodiment of the day so I’m using his song, “Dragula”.
Dragula by Rob Zombie on Grooveshark
 Favorite Halloween frugal find

My daughter was supposed to go as Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie but the costume was turning out to be a nightmare so we went on to Amazon and found a Southern Belle costume on sale for less than $20 plus free shipping thanks to Amazon Prime. Less than $20 and no crowded costume store? Score for me! (pics will be on Instagram so if you want to see my daughter in her costume, make sure you’re following me)

Favorite Halloween candy

Reese’s peanut butter cups. And I really like the mini Snickers. Too bad I’m working the low carb diet right now. I’m pretty sure my child is thrilled by this.

Favorite Halloween movie

The Worst Witch. My middle sister and I would watch it before school every single day in our respective rooms. I still love this movie and found it on YouTube and hopefully I can get my daughter to watch it. 

the worst witch

Favorite Halloween Internet reads

I liked this read from PopSugar, 15 Halloween Movies for Wimps. Buzzfeed had a wonderfully helpful post about candy and cocktail pairings. And Book Riot linked to a story on FlavorWire with 10 scary stories you can listen to right now.

Favorite Halloween funnies

 I will be drunk in about 15 minutes

I find this funnier than I should

the office

This will be my candy bucket sign

treat yoself

True story

Hope you all have a great Halloween and rest of the weekend!

Coming up on Monday: I’m not quite sure yet. It’s either the beginning of my cheer mom series or something else. We’ll see what strikes me when I sit down to write.

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Linking up with Amanda

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites, volume 24

Admittedly, it’s hard to top last week’s favorites because my husband is something else and definitely brings a certain something to the table and he’s very grateful for all the birthday wishes and the great responses to his quasi-guest post (although you might change your mind when you read my upcoming “shit my family says” post). Perhaps that’s why I’ve decided to give the categories a makeover. I tried to keep with the same themes but slightly altered them a bit. I hope you enjoy the new versions!

Favorite 90s song

Although I’ve been using 90s songs for the past few weeks, making it an official category feels like a lot of unnecessary pressure. I really want to get it right and there are so many good choices. Too many good choices. But, after careful consideration of all the candidates, I’m picking Beck’s “Loser”. This is the best song about nonsense (with a hidden meaning buried in the lyrics, I’m sure) that ever was.
Loser by Beck on Grooveshark

Favorite frugal find

I was going to say it’s all the amazing sales that Bath and Body Works has on their soaps (did you know there are pumpkin scented foaming hand soaps? Thanks to Megan, I do now. Also, I’m secure enough in my basicness to admit that I want pumpkin soap) but then Target went ahead and announced free shipping on all purchases made through December 20. All. Purchases. 

Favorite blogging tip

Writer’s block is inevitable (actually, did you guys know I was a contributing author in a book on how to combat writer’s block? I was and you can buy it here if you want. I get no money from your purchase but it’d make me feel good if you bought it. And it’s $.99 so if you hate it, you’re out less money than the cost of a soda) but one of my go-to sources for all things blogging, Melissa from Blog Clarity, came up with the idea of a swipe file. 

A swipe file is essentially a collection of posts and ideas that you can use for inspiration and brainstorming when you get stuck. It’s not posts you can copy; rather, they’re posts to use to help you overcome your block. She explains it better than I do so check out what she has to say about creating one.

Favorite book/TV/movie news

It’s hard to find something to come up with in each of these categories each week so going forward, I’m going to share what I found to be the most interesting. This week, it’s the fact that Paul Reubens, aka Pee Wee Herman, has been on The Blacklist this season. He’s fucking creepy on it, too. I always struggle when I see someone who I pigeonhole in a role playing something totally different. And it really doesn’t get much different than this.

Favorite Internet reads

So many links to choose from since I missed sharing last week. I did narrow it down to my favorite four because four seems like a reasonable number and it’s a multiplier of my favorite number (16) and also it’s about the number of minutes per day I’ve been productive lately. Speaking of that, Lifehacker had a very helpful post on turning laziness into efficiency, which, coupled with Michael Hyatt’s post on why you should nap every day, means I’ll be a model of creativity and productivity, starting next week (I still haven’t worked out the procrastination part yet).

I’m not sure how to segway to this next link smoothly so I’ll do it awkwardly instead. Earlier I said that I’m secure in my basicness. And I am. And this Buzzfeed post explains why the word “basic” is really another word for class anxiety. And it is a great read which you should follow up with reading how this guy went a year with a distraction free iPhone (if anyone is interested in trying this challenge, let me know because I think it’ll be something I do very soon, although I’ll probably start with a week or a month).

Favorite funnies

Really, I could do worse.

Books are liars.








Shame on you, Little Bunny Foo Foo.










This is true fear. And not that I know from experience, but should you clog the toilet of someone who doesn’t own a plunger, a pot of boiling water poured into the toilet will do the trick.
Thanks to everyone who agreed to participate in my meet the reader series. There’s still plenty of room for more so let me know if you’re interested! This is open to bloggers and nonbloggers; we’re equal opportunity here at Jana Says. And I might be turning this series into a podcast down the road. I’ll keep you updated on that. (Question: if I had a podcast interviewing my blogger friends, and maybe some nonblogger friends, would you listen to it?)

That’s all she wrote for this week. Coming up on Monday (most likely, unless something else strikes me when I sit down to write on Sunday): my celebrity dinner party guest list.

Have a great weekend!

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Linking up with Amanda

Friday Favorites

Friday favorites, husband edition

A few nights ago, my husband and I had this conversation. I should state upfront that I was laying in bed, half asleep, because it was almost midnight and we had just finished watching Sons of Anarchy and if you watch that show, you know how it exhausts you from all the emotions.

Husband: Are you asleep?

Me: No. I’m getting ready to run a marathon.

Husband: Okay, then. I’ll be in bed when I’m done powdering my wig for my meeting with the dignitaries tomorrow.

And, that, my friends, is a small glimpse into the mind of the man I married. The man I’ve been with for the last 18 years. The man whose 37th birthday is today (since I’m 4 months older than he, he loves to tell me that I a) robbed the cradle and b) will die first. I know. I’m a lucky lady).

Since I’m broke because, you know, I make no money, the only gift I could give my husband (who will not allow me to use his name because he’s crazy and paranoid and afraid that people will try to find him and then stalk him. And I’m the one with issues) was allowing him to take over my blog for the day. That’s a big deal, you guys, especially since writing is not his forte (he’s an idea man. I make the ideas make sense) and also, everything on the internet is forever. Which is more than I can say for the cake I might or might not bake. 

Anyway, I let the husband pick today’s favorites. What he didn’t mention in his favorites, mainly because he stuck to the structure I use, is that he also loves golf, Orioles baseball, Broncos football (even before Peyton Manning came on board), science, Kit Kats, coming up with the world’s worst jokes, bothering me with riddles that are impossible to answer, podcasts, and Jeeps. He also loves me and our daughter but that goes without saying. So does the fact that we love him back. 

And now, the rest of his favorites.

Favorite song

The husband does not like music as much as I do. In fact, he’s one of those people that probably could go for months at a time without listening to it which is just bizarre to me. However, when he does listen to songs, he does pick mostly good ones. I say mostly because when we first met, he owned Shaquille O’Neal’s CD. It’s one of his shameful secrets that you now all know. Feel free to mock. However, for his selection, he picked one of our favorite Mr. Greengenes Stone Balloon (RIP) staples, AC/DC’s “Big Balls”. 

Big Balls by AC/DC on Grooveshark

Favorite frugal find

We live in Delaware, home of Dogfish Head Brewery and at the main facility in Milton, they give brewery tours. We did that as part of our anniversary weekend this year. Also attached to the brewery is a bar/holding area and they give away 4 free samples of any beer on tap to every person who wants them. You don’t even have to be on the tour. You can just stop by after work and get your free beer. I’m glad we live over an hour away because he’d be home late. Every night.

Favorite book

The husband is not a big fan of fiction. He reads mostly biographies and magazines along with some books related to his industry (I call them textbooks. He disagrees). Occasionally he’ll read fiction. Specifically, Michael Crichton. And only Michael Crichton. He’s read through all of his books and picked this one as his favorite.

state of fear

Favorite TV shows

As far as TV goes, when it comes to picking a show we can agree on, Congress has an easier time coming to a consensus. However, we do sometimes find stuff we both like and then we watch all the shows on all the days and then we go back to fighting and that works for us. That said, some of his favorites aren’t terrible. They’re actually pretty damn good: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Big Bang Theory, Sons Of Anarchy, Family Guy.

Favorite Internet reads

The husband likes to spend his time reading and reading the same websites, and also he likes to be a pain in my ass so instead of sending links to specific posts, he sent me general websites like people have time to check them out. But, if you do have some spare time, the husband recommends Mental Floss, Cracked, and The Oatmeal. Since I’m respectful of your time, I have a ton of links saved to share with you guys next week. 

Favorite quote

Challenge accepted. 

party hard







Favorite funnies

I have not vetted all of these. So…consider yourself warned. I don’t know what’s in them.



Thanks to the husband for sharing his favorites! He’ll be making more appearances, though I haven’t quite worked out the details yet. 

This is homecoming weekend at our alma mater and since we met in college, you think this would be something we’d attend with gusto. But, alas, it is not. In fact, this year we get to spend homecoming weekend dealing with cheerleading stuff. Again. So I’m glad we’re shaking it up a bit. However, we are going out to dinner at a restaurant with actual cloth napkins! I guess that’ll have to make up for everything else. 

Have a great weekend! See you on Monday. I’ll be returning with another parenting post so stay tuned.

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Linking up with Amanda

Friday Favorites

Friday favorites, volume 22

Guys. If you follow me on Instagram, you know this already, but yesterday I took myself on an afternoon date to see Gone Girl. The movie was absolutely fantastic. The casting was spectacular, Gillian Flynn did an incredible job adapting the book (probably because she’s the book’s author, too), and really, with Trent Reznor doing the music, you know the soundtrack kicked ass. I have never been so pleased with a book to movie adaptation and no joke, you need to go see this movie. 

But the best part, besides the movie itself, was the matinee price, the virtually empty theater, and not having to worry about making anyone else happy and worrying if they’re enjoying it, too. That’s a lot of pressure. And I really did enjoy being there by myself. I think I’ll date myself more often.

I could talk about this movie, and going by myself, for many minutes but that would get boring so let’s move on to the other things I enjoyed this week.

Favorite song

Ever since I saw her on an episode of Sons of Anarchy, I’ve been thinking about the basket case that is Courtney Love. Remember back in the 90s when she had her brief period of normal? Remember how Hole had decent music? I do, and I’ve had “Celebrity Skin” stuck in a loop in my head. So let’s listen to that now.
Celebrity Skin by Hole on Grooveshark

Favorite frugal find

Thanks to Steph’s Wallet Watch, I am not shopping except for necessities. And as much as I’d like to classify nail polish as a necessity, I can’t. So I’m not even looking for deals and finds because it’ll just be too tempting. Plus, the husband and I are saving our money for when the Orioles make it to the World Series. Because we’re going. We’re not sure when and if it’ll happen again.

Favorite book/TV thing

I finished my Goodreads reading challenge! I’ve read 37 books (well, 38 but one doesn’t count, if you remember that from Tuesday. And since so many of you want to know what it is, I’ll tell you. You know Kailyn from Teen Mom 2? It’s her book. And I like Kailyn. And she lives in Delaware, like I do. But her book was awful). And in addition to The Rosie Project, I’m also reading Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. It’s definitely making me rethink about how I spend my time every week. Very eye opening. 

No favorite TV thing. Still watching the same shows. On season 4 of The Wire, which, given my background working with kids, is very difficult to watch. But still a great show.

Favorite Internet reads

One of my favorites shows growing up was The Wonder Years, and I’m still annoyed that it’s not on in reruns (but thank you Amazon and Netflix), but this post with 28 fun facts about the show was lots of fun to read. Keeping with the Gone Girl love this week, you need to read this interview with Gillian Flynn. Go read it. Then come back so you can leave me again to read these hysterically awful proofreading fails. And once you’ve dried your eyes from that, finish up my weekly favorite internet reads with this article on parenting as a Gen Xer. It is a perfect read. I wish I was astute enough to have written it.

Favorite quote

heart and head









Favorite funnies

Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion









It’s fun to keep them guessing









If it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist. Or happen.

write it down








Seriously, watch the fuck out










This weekend is filled with orange–pumpkin picking and watching Orioles games. Because I’m still in shock that they’ve made it this far. #wewontstop

Hope y’all enjoy your weekend, too!


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Linking up with Amanda

Friday Favorites

Friday favorites, volume 21

I’m not really sure what to say about this week. My motivation to do anything except read books or watch The Wire is nonexistent, I’m running on almost no sleep because my dog thinks it’s fun to jump on and off the 465104 per night and he’s too stupid to figure out how to get back on (it is at this point I ask for recommendations for places to buy doggie steps. I have officially become that person), and the child’s first cheer competition is on Sunday, meaning we have to leave at the crack of dawn to get there on time or be subjected to cheer wrath. I want no part of that.  

On the plus side, I have a great stack of books to read and if my husband drives home from the competition, I’ll get to take a nap. I’ve also started using a blog planner and it seems to be working to keep me organized in one part of my life, and I finally have a good, consolidated place to keep all my ideas. Because while I love all my pieces of paper, as well as the occasional napkin, it’s nice to not lose my ideas. Now if I could just move this newfound organization to other areas of my life, I’d be all set. 

Favorite song

I’m going 90s on this one. I have been longing for my 90s music lately. It’s not that new music is bad, per se, it’s that I’ve been, for some reason, swept up in nostalgia for my high school and college days. Let’s be clear: high school was a fucking nightmare. I have no interest in reliving that. However, we had some great music. I miss that.

 Long Way Down by The Goo Goo Dolls on Grooveshark

Favorite frugal find

Since I’m participating in Steph’s October Wallet Watch, I have not been spending money. Or even thinking about spending money. Okay, fine, I’ve been thinking about it but I haven’t been doing it. But I did have to buy the child new cheer sneakers for her competitions and thanks to the Omni Cheer website, I was able to find her new shoes for 60% off. Cheerleading is so damn expensive, I was thrilled to find something that saves me money.

Favorite book/TV thing

One of my boyfriends, Wentworth Miller, will be on TV this month and not in a Law and Order: SVU rerun (which I confess I compulsively check to see if the one episode he was on is airing). It’s for the CW’s version of The Flash and while watching Gotham fulfills my obligation to all things superhero, I’ll make an exception and watch The Flash. Because this:

wentworth miller


As far as books go, I don’t necessarily have a favorite this week but I do have a huge stack of books that I cannot wait to get through. I finished Fangirl yesterday and started Accidents of Marriage. Also on tap: The Rosie Project, Me Before You, 3 business/blogging type books, and Greil Marcus’s A New Literary History of America. That’s in addition to a bunch of eBooks and since I’m now obsessed with him, Rick Springfield’s fiction book, Magnificent Vibration, which I recently placed on hold at the library.

Favorite internet reads

If you’re like me and hate taking pictures, this post on how to look better in photos based on your body type is super helpful (I still opt for the “completely avoid the camera” pose but this stuff might work, too). Rolling Stone has long been my favorite magazine, and Sons of Anarchy (are you watching? Is this season amazing or what?) is definitely one of my all-time favorite shows, and the profile on creator Kurt Sutter is basically everything. This post on successful people posed as societal stereotypes was quite eye opening (and props to my girl Athena for sharing it on Facebook). And, finally, this Buzzfeed post on sorority rush on Instagram vs. rush in real life. It all so true, and I loved the last picture more than all of the rest because maybe that’s my sorority (not my chapter, but my sorority).

Favorite quote

weird relative


Favorite funnies

Much more practical than the academic Master’s I have

Me, every day lately










True story








I want to know who spied on me long enough to draw this

working out 
























I hope you all have a good weekend! See you on Monday with a post on how to be a shitty neighbor (or, how my neighbors do everything wrong and it makes me hate them). Oh, and if you want to see what life looks like from the sidelines of an outdoor cheerleading competition, make sure to follow me on Instagram. Pictures served with a side of snarky comments. 

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Linking up with Amanda as always 

Friday Favorites