Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Tag Archive: favorites

Friday six-pack, 2017 v5

Me, every time I look at the news:


Because, in addition to the trash fire of my government, we had a little prison riot here in Delaware that resulted in the death of a corrections officer. Oh, and the prison? A mere 10 minutes from my house. And since it’s a small state, OF COURSE we knew people who were in there when it started. 

At least I had the news of Viola Davis playing Ruth in the movie adaptation of Small Great Things as a distraction.

Other than that, let’s see what happened:

Reading. Finished Idaho. Restarted The Lilac Girls and The Best of Adam Sharp (ARC from NetGalley). Picked Up Thirteen Reasons Why and All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

Watching. Did I even turn on the TV this week? I don’t think I did. So nothing to report here. 

Listening. No new podcasts that I listened to but I am ridiculously excited for the new one from the Serial producers. It’s called S-Town, it’s a true crime podcast about a small town in rural Alabama, and it releases in March. So put that on your radar. 

Quitting. My 40 by 40. I actually quit is about a year ago but I’m now announcing it formally and officially. I’ll explain why I quit in another post.

Planning. Speaking of my 40th birthday, I have no idea what I want to do for it. I know I want to travel. I was hoping to be able to fulfill to-do list item #1, a trip to Australia, but I’m not quite sure how to logistically make it work. I mean, I understand the idea of getting on a plane and flying there but it’s so much bigger than that. So I’ll have to settle for another place that’s logistically easier but I don’t know where that is.

Laughing. Have a great weekend! I’ll be in Baltimore for another two day cheer comp and hopefully be home in time to watch the puppy bowl. See you on Tuesday for Judging Covers!

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Add It to My List

Okay, so this linkup is supposed to all of our favorites and things we recommend to our friends in real life. I’m struggling HARD with these rules because I’m not a recommender. I like what I like and assume other people do, too, and unless someone asks, I don’t offer opinions on what they should watch or use or listen to or whatever. I’m all for receiving recommendations, and I have no trouble asking for them, but giving them? Not so much. 

But because I love Lauren (and I’m assuming I’d love Bre, too, if we knew each other but we don’t yet) I dug deep and came up with a list of my favorites (no books are on the list. I KNOW. But everyone is so different that it’s hard for me to give blanket recommendations for books) in a variety of categories and in no particular order (there are no affiliate links. These are just products I love). 

I also want to make a note about cruelty free stuff. I try hard–REALLY HARD–to purchase cruelty free products. Some of the brands at one point did not test on animals and I think now they might but not in the U.S. and I’m so damn confused. I’m all for finding substitutes if they’re available and affordable and if you know of any, please share them. 

Makeup and stuff

  1. Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. Pricey but worth every damn penny. See also: Too Faced palettes.
  2. Biolage Colorlast shampoo and conditioner. I love my hair and I love the way these products treat my hair so it’s an expense I don’t mind.
  3. OGX Coconut Miracle Oil body lotion.  Smells amazing and you can get it Walgreen’s. Mid-range price.
  4. NYX Butter Gloss. Pretty much the only lip gloss that’s not sticky, that lasts forever, and is crazy affordable. See also: NYX eye liner.
  5. Wet and Wild Under the Sheets makeup remover wipes. My daughter uses these to take off her competition makeup and they are beasts. They remove most of the glitter without a problem, they don’t dissolve or shred, and you can find them anywhere. 
  6. e.l.f. brushes. Cheap, sturdy, excellent.

Food and drink

  1. Starbucks iced unsweetened green tea. I do not like their coffee but I will drink this like nobody’s business.
  2. This recipe for grain free chocolate chip cookies. You can take my flour but you can’t take my cookies.
  3. This recipe for grain free chicken and cashews. So delicious I never order this dish from a restaurant anymore.
  4. Reese’s peanut butter cups. They are my most favoritest ever and if someone ever surprsied me these with these and an iced Starbucks green tea, I would love them forever. 
  5. Ranch chicken tacos. A nice twist on tacos and they take about 9 minutes to make. You mix the taco seasoning and ranch dressing with the cooked chicken and slop into a shell and top with cheddar cheese. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can bake it in the oven for about 5 minutes so the shell doesn’t fall apart. 
  6. A crockpot. Nothing makes me feel like I have my life together more than when I put dinner in the crockpot. 

Everything else

  1. Amazon Smile. A simple way to donate money to charity with stuff I buy anyway.
  2. Josh and His Critters on IG. Tina is the woman behind the account and it’s based on her rescue group which she started a few years ago after rescuing a puppy with the cleft palate. She now rescues the worst of the worst, medically, on death row in various CA shelters and posts all the updates on the dogs (and various other creatures) she’s saved. What she does is amazing and I wish I could donate all the time
  3. Baddiewinkle on IG. Please, if you know what’s good for you, follow this woman if you don’t already. She is my absolute #lifegoals
  4. True Crime Garage, All the Books, Crimetown, and Homecoming for the podcasts. 
  5. Sneaky Pete, Bosch, Goliath on Amazon. Kimmy Schmidt, Bloodline, House of Cards, OITNB, Stranger Things on Netflix. Better Call Saul, American Crime, Billions, John Oliver, Silicon Valley on all the other TV. Too many documentaries to list. 
  6. These two songs if you’re someone who is inspired and reassured by music:

Needing recommendations

Help on the following, please:

  1. Non-UV gel nail polish. This chipping shit is out of control
  2. Non-true crime or food documentaries. It’s making me not want to ever eat or leave my house again.
  3. Kindle or Kindle paperwhite. My iPad is dying and I’m not sure how much more I can coax it to work. 

So that’s it for this month. I think this is supposed to be a monthly thing but I am so damn boring I don’t see much changing but maybe next month I’ll do a whole one devoted to reading. What do you guys think? Would that be helpful?

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Linking up with Lauren and Bre

Friday six-pack, 2017, v4: Here we go

Well, we’re one week in and I can’t. I CAN’T because WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS GOING ON? WHAT IS HAPPENING?! As those are mostly rhetorical because I know you’re all probably as befuddled as I am, I’m going to focus (well, mostly) on all the non-political things that happened because I am treading a very thin line between staying informed and having my head explode. I can’t afford to have my head explode.

Reading. Finished The Quickening and Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman. Started Idaho. Picked up A Head Full of Ghosts and Bottomland. Tabled The Lilac Girls because library due dates rule my life. Also reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins along with The Child since we had in the house and she’s reading it in school for their one school/one book thing. 

Watching. A four part documentary series on Netflix about the disappearance of this British woman. I can’t remember the name of it but it’s fascinating. 

Following. All the rogue Twitter accounts, like AltNatParkSer (for the National Park Service), RogueNASA (NASA, obviously), AltUSDA (the USDA. Also obvious) and others because science fucking matters, censorship is bullshit, and this is out of hand. A president was elected, not a dictator and the motherfucker’s blatant disrespect for the Constitution, the citizens, general common sense and decency, and the world is insane. I cannot comprehend this level of hatred and narcissism and insanity and disregard for what’s staring you in the face and I’m even more concerned for those who build him up and assure him that this is how a democratically elected leader behaves. If you can explain it to me, please do. Also, and let me say this and then I’ll stop, I feel like this country is becoming the pot, we’re the frogs, and the administration is in charge of slowly turning up the water. Well, I’ll you what. This frog isn’t getting in the fucking water and I’m going to do my damnedest to protect those who are too vulnerable to know better from getting in the pot. They can turn up the temperature but I refuse to boil. #resist

Losing. Specifically, weight. It’s not something I talk about much here because…well, mostly my own issues but as of today, I’m down 15 pounds and a full pants size. While I feel I still have a long way to go, I’m pleased with my progress, even if it is slower than I’d prefer. 

Buying. Almost nothing. 26 days into the spending freeze and I’ve spent less than $50 unplanned. Each purchase I made in defiance of the freeze was purposeful and mindful which, to me, means it’s working. Full recap next Thursday, along with the next 30 day challenge. 


Have a great weekend! We’ll be celebrating my dad’s 65th birthday and my nephew’s 9th topped off with a Sunday cheer practice (which means she practices and I read and/or nap while she’s there. In other words, a perfect Sunday for me). See you on Tuesday when I’ll be linking up with Lauren and Bre for their new monthly linkup, Add it to My List. 

Eat, Drink, and Be Lauren





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Friday six-pack: 2017, v2

What a week. Good news: my child was invited apply for the National Elementary School Honor Society (didn’t know this was a thing but I am incredibly proud of her). Bad news: Barack and Michelle are leaving the White House. I can’t even think about it anymore. Did you see that speech? My god, are they amazing (check out Ali’s post on them because I echo her sentiments). Other nonimportant news is what follows:

Reading. Finished Kissing in America and But What if We’re Wrong? Picked up Bowling Alone and Idaho and some NetGalley books including the new Graeme Simsion. Thanks to everyone who participated in Show Us Your Books and, completely apropos of all the book love, the next one is on 2/14. This might be the only year I celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Watching. The OA. I knew absolutely nothing about this show before I started watching other than people could not stop raving about it. I gave it a shot. I get why they raved. 

Listening. I was completely stoked to hear that Halestorm had a new album of covers so of course I had to listen to it the day it was released. The one stand out, for me, was their version of “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” (original by Sophie B. Hawkins). I love when Lzzy actually sings and shows how good she really is and makes a song her own. The rest? Meh. 

Ranting. I’m not going to launch into another political but please, read Steph’s post for all the reasons I’m pissed and you should be, too. In the Gettysburg address, Lincoln said that this is a government by the people, of the people, for the people. What a beautiful, eloquent sentiment that is completely being shit on by the people elected to carry out that ideal. What’s happening now is a government of vendettas, agendas, and gaslighting. I’m frustrated and angry and I want to cry, daily, because I cannot comprehend WHY they’re not listening. I can’t understand WHY getting revenge is more important than protecting our country and our citizens. I can’t fathom WHY they hate the way they do. I know that trying to understand the why is futile and I never will but I figure if I can, it might help me get through the next four years with my sanity in tact. And let’s not even go into that Utah high school assignment. It is Friday, after all. 

Anticipating. April 4th. Because that is the official date for the return of Prison Break! If you’ve read here for any amount of time, you know my love of Wentworth Miller runs deep and knowing that he, and that show, are coming back to TV makes me insanely happy. 


Have a great weekend! I’ll be in Atlantic City with the child for a cheerleading competition. Wish her and her squad luck as they’re competing for a bid to a huge national competition in Disney World. I’ll be sharing some pictures over on Instagram if you want to follow along (can’t post videos, though, until the end of the season). If not, I’ll see you on Tuesday!


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Friday six-pack: The first of 2017

Reading. Finished Today Will be Different and Salvage the Bones. Started But What if We’re Wrong? and Private Citizens (I’m trying to only read one book at a time but But What if We’re Wrong is way too intense and thought-provoking to read before bed). Picked up Blood Men, Imagine Me Gone, and Nearly Gone. Show Us Your Books is this Tuesday! Our first one in 2017! 

Writing. If you guys don’t know, I currently have a books column over at my friends’ site, Adulting. This week I introduced my Adulting reading challenge. If you wouldn’t mind, please go check it out, share it as you see fit, and if you’d like, join the challenge (it’s pretty low stress, averages to one book per month, and I’m allowing doubling up on categories. Like, I’m reading My Antonia for classic book and one written before 1950). Since I created the challenge, I’m participating in it so we can work through it together (I’m also doing one with my library and Erin peer pressured me into the Aussie Authors one, too. I’m only aiming for 3 books in that one, though. And two are authors I planned to read anyway).

Watching. On a whim, I started River on Netflix. It’s this weird British crime drama about a detective named River who is basically going crazy, hearing voices and being followed around by dead people while he’s still trying to function in reality. The main guy is the guy who was Professor Lambeau in Good Will Hunting and one of the brothers from Ray Donovan is in it, too. It’s only 6 episodes, I’m halfway through, and I really like it. Of course I do. 

Not joining. One of the moms at the child’s cheer gym invited me to join her DietBet. I’m politely ignoring declining. It’s not that I don’t like the idea, and the thought of earning money for continuing to do something I’m doing anyway is appealing, but I’m so uncompetitive that I don’t want to be bothered. Also, I don’t want to take selfies of myself in tight clothing and post it for people to see and I can’t understand why people are actually okay with doing that. I don’t even like taking selfies when I’m in regular clothing. 

Listening. No new podcasts to speak of as I’m still trying to catch up from not listening to anything over the 10 or so days the family was on vacation but I have been compulsively listening to Spotify. Specifically, Shinedown radio. For some reason, when I pick this station, Spotify insists I like Nickelback (I don’t) and Daughtry (I do) by putting dozens of their songs in the queue (thank god for the remove from playlist option). When that happens, I sometimes get to hear songs I’ve never heard before including this one from Daughtry that I *might* put on repeat. (I’ve also been listening to a lot of Phil Collins because, you know, balance)



That’s all for this first (back to school and work) week of 2017. Preparing for relatively low-key weekend with lots of cold weather (or, as I call it, the perfect reason to not leave the house). Hope you all have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Tuesday for Show Us Your Books!

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