Jana Says

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Tag Archive: lists

Things that make me happy

Over the summer, I read Kelli’s post about this and then Kristen did one, too, and it was also a topic for #Blogtober14 and I figured that was enough prompting for me to finally get on the ball and write out my own list. My happiness list.

One thing that you learn from depression is how to appreciate the small facets of life, the seemingly small, insignificant moments or items or actions that make you feel happy. When you’re in that dark place, all you’re doing is looking for a tiny ray of light to make it more bearable; to provide hope that one day, you’ll come out of it and feel as good as you can. And as I’ve been actively working on ways to manage my depression without medication, focusing on the little things that make me happy has become a constant exercise for me (which is basically the only exercise I’ve been doing lately). 

The more I think about it, there more I come up with that makes me happy and give me reason to get out of bed even when I don’t want to:
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  • The look on my daughter’s face when she accomplishes something she’s been working on 
  • New books, whether I buy them or get them from the library
  • Finding someone who likes the same books or authors as me
  • Hearing my favorite song on the radio or on Spotify
  • Finally learning the words to a song I couldn’t understand
  • Naps
  • Clean sheets
  • That moment when all the chores are done, all the errands are run, all the food’s been cooked, and I have nothing left to do
  • Crossing items off my to-do list
  • Thinking of new ideas for the blog, my book, or my upcoming podcast and then actually implementing them
  • My dogs. Everything about them. 
  • Seeing my cat comfortable in the house. While I love my dogs, I have a special place in my heart for my cat since I literally rescued her from the street.
  • Finding money I forgot about
  • Trying a new recipe and having it turn out exactly the way I want it to
  • Hot showers
  • New makeup and nail polish
  • Achieving a goal
  • When I’m driving somewhere unpleasant or annoying and a little bit of nature creeps in, like a herd of deer in a field or a rainbow or a sunset
  • Taking the moment to appreciate the aforementioned nature
  • Planning vacations
  • Office supplies
  • The beach
  • Hugs
The snowman has a point.

The snowman has a point.

 What makes you guys happy?

I’ve also written an entire series on ways to feel happier so please check that out if you’re interested. 

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P.S. You know what else makes me happy? Linkups! And Steph and I are hosting one next month! Remember the posts we did earlier in the month, Show Us Your Books? Well, we’ve turned it into a link up and we want you to join us. Whether you’ve read one book or 40, tell us all about it on November 11!

 Life According to Steph

Pet peeves. I’ve got a lot of them.

Admittedly, I have a lot of pet peeves. Probably more than the average person. Which is fine because I’ve decided it doesn’t make me high maintenance or bitchy; it makes me quirky.

I’m not ashamed of my pet peeves, either, because people really need to get it together and I’m all for helping them do so because seriously, tell me that none of these bother you:

  • Receiving an email that’s riddled with spelling errors, punctuation abuse, and incorrect forms of words (ex., using “your” instead of “you’re”). It’s even worse when it’s from a professional organization.
  • Using letters and numbers in place of words anywhere except text messages. And I can’t really stand it in texts either (true story: I have a friend who proofreads her texts before she sends them to me).
  • People who move unnecessarily slowly, especially in the supermarket or when walking on the sidewalk.move slowly
  • People singing incorrect lyrics to songs, especially songs that I like. Misquoting movies and TV show is included in this. 
  • Open shower curtains. When I’m rich, I’m replacing all the curtains with shower doors.
  • Not texting me back but posting all over social media. 
  • In what probably makes me seem all Sleeping With the Enemy-ish, I can’t handle it when the labels on cans in my pantry face different directions.
  • Wire hangers. No.wire hangers
  • The sides of the comforter on my bed being uneven.
  • Celebrity nicknames, specifically the combining of two names into something ridiculous. 
  • The term “shipping” as it refers to wanting two characters on a TV show to get together. WHY DOES THIS EVEN EXIST?
  • When people use big words and they clearly don’t know what the word means.
  • When people mispronounce common words (it’s “moot”, not “mute”) or incorrectly use a word (hey, irony, I’m looking at you).no-patience-for-stupidity
  • Employees of an establishment smoking directly in front of the entrance so that you have to walk through their cloud of smoke.
  • Rude smokers in general. 
  • People who are not 80s children claiming they miss the 80s. 
  • Putting a pitcher with 4 drops left back in the fridge. 
  • When drivers have 8786 miles and 128943 signs warning that the lanes will merge but still wait until they have 5 feet left until the lane ends to get over.

I’m going to stop here. The list could be way, way longer but:

How about you guys? What are some of your pet peeves? And if you’re interested, you can read some of my other ones, ones that are a little more substantial, in this post.

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Linking up for #Blogtober14

Helene in Between Blogtober

How to be a terrible neighbor

A little over a year ago, my family moved from our townhouse into a single family house. We lived in the townhouse for 9 years and, overall, we had great neighbors. Specifically the houses on either side of us and we knew that when we moved, we’d probably not find neighbors as good as them. 

We know how lucky we were. And we remember it. Every day.

When you move from houses that are attached to houses that are not attached, it not only puts physical distance between you and your neighbors, but it also creates a bit of a personal distance. We all live in our own little bubble and I swear, I haven’t seen the family that lives 2 houses down from us in about a month. That said, we have gotten to know our neighbors within our immediate vicinity and despite our differences, we all have one thing in common. 

We all hate the same house.

Maybe hate is a strong word. How about we all dislike them immensely and with great passion? Sounds a little better. Anyway, the reason we all can’t stand them is because they’ve essentially written the manual on how to be crappy neighbors. And, because I’m nice and thoughtful, I figured I’d share that manual with you guys in case you ever want to make your entire block dislike you (which you might, so consider this a PSA). neighbor 2

It’s a pretty easy process, and as long as you follow these steps, you’ll put yourself on track:

1. Be unfriendly. Never smile, wave, make eye contact, acknowledge or do anything that would remotely look like a friendly gesture. Forget small talk; that’s not for you. Nope, for you, it’s essential that you deliberately and purposefully ignore everyone.

2. Be noisy. Especially at inappropriate times, like midnight on a Tuesday. How are you going to make everyone dislike you if you’re not yelling at your spouse or revving your engine late a night, while people are trying to sleep? 

3. Be flagrant with your smoking. You smoke and everyone needs to know it. For you, it’s not enough to sit on your front steps smoking. Nope, you need to take that into other neighbor’s garages and leave your cigarette butts in front of other homes.

4. Never control your dogs. It’s not enough that your incessantly yappy dogs bother you. They have to bother the whole street! So make sure you have them outside, where they can serenade the whole block but also make sure that you don’t put them on a leash so they can shit in different yards. Variety is the spice of life, amirite? And as a bonus, never clean it up, either. You consider that a gift!

I love the person who wrote this note.

5. Let your kids run wild. And make sure you’re not watching them, either. It takes a village, isn’t that what they say? Well, to you, you’re not actually part of that village but it’s totally okay to let your kids run loose and let the village take care of them while you’re inside doing who knows what. You need a break, after all. 

Remember, you can balance all of this out with making sure your lawn is mowed, your trash isn’t strewn about, and you only have a few house calls from the local police (which might or might have to do with the drugs you might or might not be running out of your garage. I don’t know, though. I’m not here to judge how you make a living. If you can afford your mortgage, then have at it).

Okay, so in reality I know that my neighbors could be much, much worse. But this kind of behavior takes a lot of getting used to and I have a really low threshold for bullshit, drama, and people who don’t watch their pets, children, and have a blatant disrespect for others around them. And to be fair, it’s mainly the mom. The dad is an okay dude and the kids are necessarily horrible. I know they’re doing the best they can.

I just wish they’d be quieter. 

And corral their dogs. 

I don’t think that’s asking too much.

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More rational irrational fears

Remember last week how I made everyone feel better about themselves and also slightly less crazy when I shared some of the ridiculous things I’m afraid of? Well, friends, get ready because I’m about to do it again.

That’s right. I’m coming at you with a whole new list of completely irrational things that I am genuinely terrified of for no other reason than my brain is broken and I clearly have major issues. 


1Cocaine. Not only have I never tried this drug because, you know, it’s cocaine but also when I was in 8th grade or so I read that Sweet Valley High book where their friend Regina tries coke at a party and DIES of a heart attack. Best “just say no to drugs” campaign ever.

2. Being poisoned. I can’t even explain this one away with a back story but I legit fear someone putting something in my drink or food and then I die. 

3. Falling. Specifically, down a flight of stairs and breaking bones. I did fall roller skating when I was 7 and broke my wrist and spent 6 weeks in a cast so this one actually has basis in fact. But that was in a crowded public place. I fear doing it down the stairs in my house and being stuck and not being able to get my phone and call for help. 

4. Being impaled. See also: being stabbed. Like being poisoned, I have no reason for being scared of this but I just am. I should probably stop watching violent crime shows. It might help ease this particular fear.

5. Losing my luggage. Not that I am a world traveler nor do I fly more than twice a year, so the odds of this happening are slim, but every time I do fly and I have to check my luggage, I have a panic attack that my suitcase winds up somewhere I’m not and someone else has my stuff and then I have to buy all new things or be smelly and dirty. 

6. Getting on the wrong plane/bus/train. Sort of the same as losing my luggage except this time, I’m the one who gets lost. And then I wind up somewhere I don’t know and I have a horrible sense of direction and I get even more lost and my phone is dead and I can’t call for help or use a map and no one will help me and then I just cry. Or maybe get abducted. Either one is totally plausible.

7. Trucks. Specifically, driving behind trucks. It terrifies me when I can’t see traffic lights or other cars, and when I’m stuck between two trucks, I’m fairly confident I’m going to get smushed. I realize this puts no faith in the drivers of said trucks and I have more respect for them than that but it does nothing to ease my fear.

8. Home invasions. Again, it’s probably too many crime shows. And news stories. But this is a fear I’ve had going back to my childhood in one of the safest, crime free places on the planet. It won’t go away. It’s also the reason that when we first moved into our house, we kept our dog locked away in our room while we were out. Just in case.

9. Foul balls. I love baseball. I love going to baseball games. But unlike everyone else in the stands, when a foul ball comes my way, I don’t charge for it. Not only do I think I’ll take a tumble over my section (see: fear of falling) but when I was 16, I got hit in the face with a line drive and I can’t shake the thought that it’ll happen again. So when a foul ball comes my way, I cower.

10. My dogs being stolen. If I take my dogs with me and I have to run a quick errand, I will leave them in the car (weather dependent, of course). In the less than 10 minutes it will take to run said errand, I am paranoid that when I come out, my dogs will have been thieved from my car and I’ll never see them again. I also fear that someone will climb our fence and take them from the backyard when I let them out. It doesn’t mater that I watch them like a hawk (which, incidentally, I’m also afraid of). The fear is real.

Bonus fear, as told by a dog:

shark fear

I think this is it for the irrational fears. The rest that I have are completely rational and make sense and I don’t like to talk about them that much because they’re not really very entertaining. 

Did I miss any? What other ones do you guys have? Do you think this list covers any of them?

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Linking up with Kathy and Liz

Vodka and Soda
The Hump Day Blog Hop


8 simple ways to make a blogger happy

Bloggers are a weird bunch. Most of us are extremely introverted, we’re kind of awkward, being around large groups of people freaks us out, and being the center of attention is decidedly not our thing. We’re not quick to share intimate details of our lives with those closest to us, or even those we want to be close to us, yet we have no problem talking about pretty much anything to a whole bunch of internet strangers who then eventually become some of our closest friends then it’s bizarre when you meet in person because all the typical getting to know you stuff is out of the way and then you’re really like old friends instead of new ones and you can have all kinds of fun that maybe you wouldn’t have with normal new friends because these new/old friends already know you’re insane and you don’t have to pretend.

At least that’s how it is for me.


We might be weird but bloggers are also fairly easy to please. It really is the small things that make a difference to us and, since I know you’re curious to know what those thing are, I’ve assembled these 8 steps to keep your favorite bloggers happy and in turn, they’ll keep writing stuff you love to read. It’s quite the symbiotic relationship (look at me, using big science words). 

make a blogger happy

  1. Leave a comment. That little bit of acknowledgement that someone read your post and had something to say in response is a fabulous. Those little conversations between a blogger and a reader establish trust and let us know that you like us. We enjoy that.
  2. Connect on social media. Bloggers like getting to know their readers, and there’s really no better way to do that than to connect with us on social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or whatever, stop by and say hi.
  3. Send an email. Not comfortable sharing or connecting on social media? Send your favorite blogger an email saying how much you enjoyed a particular post or that you can relate to a story or even ask a question. Try to refrain from sending hate mail because that’s just not nice and really unnecessary.
  4. Share a post on social media. Clearly, social media is a big deal to bloggers. But it really means something to us when you take the time to share a post on  Facebook or retweet on Twitter, pin a recipe on Pinterest, or something else I’m not thinking of at the moment. It shows us that you really, really like us and it makes us feel popular (especially when we see the referral traffic coming in).breakfast club gif
  5. Buy their stuff. Bloggers work hard not only to put out good, fun content for their readers but a number of them write books, sell t-shirts, jewelry, and other products, have coaching or graphic design services, or have other small businesses and they work even harder to make that stuff great. When you’re considering using a service or buying a gift, think of a blogger and help them out.
  6. Help them sell their stuff. If you’ve used a blogger for a service or you’ve bought one of their products, tell others about it. Word of mouth is how things get done and hearing testimonies is encouraging. Plus, you’ll put a smile on the blogger’s face that what they’re doing/creating is praiseworthy. That makes us feel all warm and squishy.
  7. Participate in their challenges/projects/movements. Almost nothing makes a blogger sadder than creating a challenge and having no one participate. We love engaging with other bloggers and non-bloggers, and a fun way for us to do that is to have week or month-long challenges. Not only does it give us a goal or focus but we have now have a way to connect on a different level. 
  8. Keep reading. This is basically the single best thing you can do to keep a blogger happy. Even if you do nothing else on this list, visit the blogs you read daily (or at least on the days you know the blogger posts). While most of us would keep writing even if no one read, having an audience means that we’re not just writing for ourselves. When you leave, it hurts.  bridesmaids gif

Bonus tip for non-bloggers: if you have a friend or relative who does have a blog, ask them about it. We love talking about our sites and we love when someone takes an interest in it (real interest. We can tell when you’re faking it). 

Making a blogger happy is easy, mostly painless, and almost entirely free. So we’ve got that going for us.

Which is nice. 

What would you guys add to the list?

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