Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Tag Archive: personal life

You like me! You really like me! At least I think you do…

If you’re not reading Ali’s blog, you need to get on that. Pronto. She’s hysterical, her observations are dead on balls accurate, and she’s from Long Island so that means she has a special place in my heart (although I live in Delaware, I was born and raised on Long Island). Also, for some reason, she likes this little blog here. In fact, she likes it so much she nominated me for one of those fun blogging awards that go around. 



As part of it, she asked me (and other bloggers) 10 questions. I’m going to answer them because why not. I’m also going to post my 10 questions at the end and nominate everyone who has a blog and wants to to answer.

  1. What inspired you to start blogging? Believe it or not, this blog started out as a personal finance blog. I wanted to document our journey out of debt and how we were learning to manage our money and also, I love to write and needed an outlet for it. I eventually tired of writing about money all the time (and admittedly, I wasn’t very good at most of the time) and converted the blog to what you see now. Sorry.
  2. What song do you ABSOLUTELY hate? “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M. That song makes me want to stick sharp objects in my ears. 
  3. Have you ever written a blog post that you regret posting? Absolutely, and I’ve since deleted them. There are a few more that need to go because they’re basically shit and not at all reflective of what I want here. But I haven’t done it yet because #lazyblogger
  4. Has your blog ever faced any negativity & if so how did you handle it? If my blog has faced negativity, it’s been behind my back. I’ve been fortunate so far that no one has been openly hostile to my face or in the comments or via hate mail, but I’ve also never had a post go viral so maybe my experience is skewed. I did have a couple of posts featured on The Consumerist which received a few not so nice comments but I just chalked that up to their readers not having a sense of humor. 
  5. Who inspires you? This is probably the most difficult question for me to answer. If I’m going the celebrity route, it’s Mindy Kaling, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Poehler…all the ladies you’d expect to see on a list. If I’m going the people I know in real life, I’m going to say I’m inspired by anyone I know–specifically blogger friends–who manage to enjoy life and be all around awesome. Mostly, I’m inspired by people who live their lives for themselves and not for the purpose of impressing anyone else. 
  6. What’s in your purse right now? My wallet, phone, crayons and paper, pens, a nail file, few lip balms, hand lotion, my all purpose bag featuring band aids, ibuprofen, tweezers, gauze, etc., antibacterial hand soap, tissues, baby wipes, and my keys. I have a typical mom purse.
  7. What website are you DYING to get featured on or write for, if any? Book Riot, HuffPo, Hello Giggles, and Buzzfeed. Blogger standards, I suppose.
  8. What’s your favorite room in your house/apartment? I’d have to say my living room. It’s good for reading, Netflix binging, napping, and it’s next to the kitchen for convenient snacking.
  9. If there was a movie about your life, who would play you? I can’t think of any short, fat brown haired, brown eyed actresses except for fellow Long Islander Nikki Blonksy but I’m not sure she’s acting any more so maybe Ellen Page even though she’s not fat. I can lose weight. Or she can wear a fat suit. Definitely one of those. 
  10. What’s your most embarrassing moment? I don’t know that I have one that’s so mortifying it sticks out in any way. I did have an encounter once with the then-dean of my entire university and after he told me he worked for the school, I asked him what he did. Like I’m supposed to know what he looks like. The husband never lets me forget it and says I should be embarrassed by it. I’m really not but we’ll roll with that one. 

Now it’s your turn. Feel free to answer all or some or none of the questions below. 

  1. What websites or blog do you read every single day?
  2. If you could attend one awards show, which one would it be? 
  3. What is one thing you are deathly afraid of?
  4. What book do you always recommend to people?
  5. Open a playlist on any device you have. Hit shuffle. What are the first 5 songs that come up?
  6. When and where do you blog (as in, at what time of day and in what location)?
  7. What song is your personal anthem? 
  8. If you were selected to give a TED Talk, what would be your topic?
  9. What’s your favorite quote or saying?
  10. What is a song, movie, book, or TV show that always makes you cry?

Bonus question: Do you think Mighty Mouse could beat up Superman?

resized signature 2

This week in: Oreos, movies, and other stuff

this weekThis week in adulting…dealing with bills. Specifically my county who makes absolutely no sense in the way they issue the sewer bill and then having to choose between magically conjuring up an impossibly obscene amount of money in a very short time or getting screwed 8 ways till Sunday if we opt for a payment plan. Awesome.

This week in TV…I missed the premiere of Better Call Saul. Did anyone watch it? Was it as good as I’m hoping it is?

This week in reading…I finished All the Bright Places. I read it in about 5 hours and a few days later, I’m still not over the last 100 pages. That book wrecked me. Wrecked. Me. I’ll give a full review in next month’s Show Us Your Books linkup (March 10 so mark your calendars) but suffice it to say, I think you should read it. 

This week in cooking…I made a loaded baked potato chicken casserole. So delicious and easy. Here’s what you do: layer diced chicken, potatoes, about 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and bacon in a casserole dish. Green onions optional. Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 450 for 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are soft. We had it with the steam in a bag broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot medley but you can have it with whatever you want. 

This week in binge eating…I’m pretty confident I could subsist on red velvet Oreos and wasabi and soy almonds. Let’s just say I bought the Oreos on Monday and ate a shameful amount of them on the 10 minute ride home from the supermarket. Yep. I couldn’t even make it home before I opened them. Perhaps this is why I need to lose weight.

This week in things I don’t care about…Fifty Shades of Grey. Can everything relating to this wretched book series go the fuck away? I’m 100% confident that the movie is a steaming pile of shit as well that can’t get any worse unless Kanye West did the soundtrack because he’s a disrespectful asshole who needs to shut his trap. There is no way I will see it unless you pay me a large sum of money, have Matt Damon, Chris Pratt, and John Krasinski as my dates, and then shower me in diamonds and first edition books. And maybe not even then.

This week in 40 by 40 list update…I made plans to go to the Cherry Blossom festival this year and figured out how to pay off all of our credit card debt (admittedly, it’s not much but it’s enough that it bothers me) by June. Maybe earlier. One step closer to debt free, which is a list item. I also tried to get Jimmy Fallon tickets but by the time I got to my computer, all the March tickets had been claimed. Sonofabitch!

This week in shit that’s so awesome I can’t stand it…The Breakfast Club turns 30 this year. This is one of my all-time favorite movies and, old as I am, I was still a bit too young to see it in theaters the first time around. Not this time, though. My ass will be in one of those seats. If you want to see it, here’s a listing of all theaters in the country that will be showing it. And you can buy your tickets today. Like I am. 


That’s all she wrote this week. I’ll see you guys back here on Monday or Tuesday. If you celebrate it, have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

resized signature 2

This Week In: Doctors, cooking, and other stuff

No clever intro, diving right in except to ask if I made this topic a Friday linkup, would anyone participate? Please don’t feel pressure to say yes but I thought I’d ask. Let me know in the comments. 

this week


This week in being an adult…More doctors! I’m starting to wonder if I’m 37 or 87 and I am so sick of getting blood drawn. I basically have track marks and, seeing as how I have no diagnosis yet, they’re really there for no reason. And I don’t want to even mention the unpleasantness that is coming my way next month. Hopefully after that I’ll know what’s wrong with me and I can get effective treatment.

This week in cooking…I have been killing it with recipes this week. Hoisin meatballs (and I don’t like ground beef so you know it’s good if I’m recommending it), cheesesteak stuffed peppers, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and chicken ranch tacos. I typically don’t do recipe posts because I’m too lazy to take pictures but I think I need to do that with these. Any preferences on which ones I should share?

This week in blogging…I don’t know what’s going on but my comment plugin is eating legit comments from real bloggers and dumping them in my spam comments. So, if you’re commenting and it looks like your comment disappears, it probably didn’t. It’s in spam jail. Don’t fret, though. I check it every day and release the prisoners who deserve it.

This week in reading…Finishing up Denis Leary’s Why We Suck and started Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You. I placed The Girl on the Train on reserve at the library and I’m like 235th in line. Fortunately, Steph saved the day and is mailing me her copy. Which segways nicely into…

This week in travel planning…Since Steph is awesome enough to mail me the book, I’m returning it by going into Philly next month so we can have lunch. I haven’t seen her since roughly 1999 so this is extra exciting. 

This week in TV watching…I won’t bother to recap the Super Bowl but let’s discuss The Blacklist. Anyone else watch it? Anyone else hella frustrated by all the commercials? This is exactly why I DVR everything. No commercials. Oh, and thanks for the comedy recommendations last week. I have some new shows to check out now. 

This week in updating my look…You guys know by now that I don’t do selfies but trust when I say I had Duggar hair. I cut about 5 inches off my hair AND had long layers added to it. Plus, it’s a new color and I absolutely love the way my hair looks now. And having it cut and healthy makes me not look like shit, which is an added bonus. 

This week in saving money…Lowering my cell phone bill (thanks for the heads up, The Consumerist), actually remembering to return my library books on time (no fines!), having my very handy brother in law work with my husband to replace the brakes on our car (saving around $400!), and using my CVS coupons (thanks to the app on my phone!) for stuff we need. Being cheap never felt so good.

This week in sheer awesomeness…Everyone catch Jimmy Fallon’s Saved By the Bell reunion? No? Here it is. You can thank me later.

 How was your week? Anything exciting planned for the weekend? 


resized signature 2

More shit my husband says

I did this post once before as part of Amanda’s now defunct linkup but I love that Steph and Nadine have kept it going so I figured, much like I did with yesterday’s post, that I’d jump on the bandwagon and share with you guys all the shit my husband says. 

If the conversation I highlighted in his favorites post wasn’t a good indicator, let me warn you that my husband says some crazy ass stuff. He’s seriously insane. Most of our conversations end with me saying “what the hell is wrong with you?” because honestly, there has to be something deep in the recesses of his brain that make this shit come out as effortlessly and as often as it does and it probably needs to be fixed but in the meantime, let’s all sit back and enjoy this installment of “Shit My Husband Says?!”

scott says

After opening something way too loudly and way too close to my head:

Me: That was unnecessarily loud.

Husband: So was the Civil War but we got through it.

His enthusiastic support for a movie sequel:

I’m 51% sure I’d support a “White Men Can’t Jump 2”

While listening to Adam Sandler’s “The Goat”:

Me: If the goat is untied, why doesn’t he just run away?

Husband: Where’s he going to go? He clearly has Stockholm Syndrome.

During homework time, when our daughter had to answer a few questions about turtles:

Turtles make lousy carpenters. You rarely hear anyone say that.

As we’re going through our DVR, looking for shows to delete:

Me: You can delete 19 Kids and Counting

Husband: I’d watch 19 Thugs in County. That should be a show.

Randomly one night before bed:

Husband: I want to go to a store and buy all the items typically used to commit crimes. Then I want to go back a few days later to return them and when they ask why, I’ll look at them and say “they got away”.

Me, reaching for a pen and paper because clearly this is one for posterity

Husband: Are you writing this down?

And finally, the other night, after NASA had trouble with a rocket launch and the husband had to take a shit:

NASA might not have launched a rocket tonight but I’m about to.

I don’t know how to end this post because how do you even attempt to summarize this? There’s really no way. But this will do:


Coming up tomorrow: traits of a long lasting relationship, or How I’ve Survived 18 Years With This Guy

resized signature 2


Linking up with Liz

The Hump Day Blog Hop

It’s my life

(If you sing the title like the Bon Jovi song, it's way better)

I've told you guys before that I am not above stealing borrowing a good idea. And after I saw these types of posts from Kenzie and Liz, I figured, hey? Why not do one of these for myself? Admittedly, I am not as interesting as those ladies, and pretty much every day looks the same for me (weekends, too, which is why I never do weekend recaps. I could write one and then just recycle it every Monday. Easy writing for me. Boring reading for you) but I thought it might be fun to answer the question “what exactly it is you do here?”

It's pretty simple.

First, my alarm goes off at 6:15. I check the phone repeatedly to make sure it's not a mistake and then lay in bed while my husband storms the bathroom first. I figure since he leaves the house to go to work, I can graciously give him a 5 minute head start on the day. He finishes whatever it is he does in there, I move a dog out of the way, and get up.

They're so cute when they sleep

Then I get dressed, hopefully remember to put on deodorant, walk down to the living room and do this:

Or, as I call it, sweat in a box

I want to hate Shawn T. Yet, I don't. So starting my day with him isn't so bad and I know my workout is done for the day and that's nice. Then, while still dripping with sweat, I go to my kitchen, grab a quick breakfast and pack my child's lunch. Then, I brave her room, stepping over mountains of whatever she had been playing with the night before because cleaning up requests are laughed at and ignored, and wake her up. She usually looks pretty comfortable but I don't want to go to jail for not sending her to school so I rouse her anyway.

I swear she's in there

I then spend the next hour fighting with my child, trying to make her understand that school does not, in fact, start when she wants it to but has an actual predetermined start time and we have to be there for it. I sometimes think a cattle prod would help but then think, better not. So I settle for yelling encouraging her loudly and emphatically.
We make it to school, I drop her off, run any errands I might have, then come home to my bunker. That's what I call my office. I spend the next 5-6 hours reading the internet working and alternately thinking what I do is amazing and worth the effort or hating myself for even trying and questioning every decision I make.

It's where the magic happens. And by magic, I mean self doubt.

I eat sometime during those hours, let the dogs out in the backyard so I can get my required yard time, and think about doing laundry or cleaning my house. Those last two almost never happen.
Around 3:00, I do a quick clean up of my kitchen, put the dogs on their leashes for a short walk, and we all pile into the car to get my daughter from school.

Love my co-pilots

We get to the school and, depending on the day, can wait anywhere from 10-20 minutes (30 on a really bad day) to retrieve my daughter. The parent pickup line is a special kind of hell and I do it because it is actually easier than fighting with her to get on the bus, which she hates and is terrified of. And, since I know you're wondering, this is the view from the line. I think I was particularly close up that day.

Her school is the front one.

We get home, she has a snack and watches some TV, I somehow manage to get things done but I can't tell you what because the hour between when we get home and I start making dinner is a time warp and the hour disappears. Since this is the third time I've mentioned eating, here's my kitchen. The amount of time I spend in here really is ridiculous.

On a rare clean day

We don't really have a set time for dinner because 3 nights a week (and one weekend morning/afternoon), we go here for cheer practice. The gym is up a very long, poorly paved driveway and through a gravelly, dusty parking lot. But isn't the entrance pretty?

Or, the place that takes all my money

After cheer, I wage another battle to get her in bed by a reasonable bedtime since waking her in the morning takes more patience than I have, especially if she's tired, but she takes 87 minute showers. It's a fine line between wanting her to enjoy showering and telling her to hurry the fuck up. After she's sufficiently clean and her bathroom is sufficiently flooded, we have storytime and finally, she's in bed.

Once she's asleep, I get to enjoy adult TV time. That is either exceptionally pleasant or exceptionally unpleasant, depending on the day of the week as my husband and I don't always agree on what constitutes good TV. We do agree occasionally and that's nice. Depending on the day, we shut the TV off at either 10 or 11, walk the dogs a final time, and go to bed. I typically read for about 20 minutes before I can fall asleep (sometimes longer if it's a good book). When I'm done reading, I shuffle the dogs around so I can get comfortable enough to sleep. Then I do.

Quick note: in my house, it's a race to fall asleep first because my husband snores and if I have to listen to it while I am trying to sleep, I get ragey and want to smother him. Smothering is illegal so I settle for a subtle jab in the arm and an angry “stop snoring!” It usually works and we all sleep well after that.

And that, my friends, is my exciting life. I suppose it could be worse.

What does your average day look like? Would you like to join me in a share your space linkup where we take pictures of our desks and talk about what's on it and why?