Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Tag Archive: random

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?

Friday Favorites, volume 2

Friday Favorites

I love the idea for this linkup. Sharing my favorite things and finding out what others like is not only fun, but it’s a great way to learn about new stuff I need to try or buy. So when you’re done reading what I’m loving this week, share some of your favorite things in the comments or on Facebook. 

My favorite stuff this week:

Favorite song: Let It Go. Nope, not the one from Frozen. I’m sick of that song. This one is by Cavo, is totally different than the Idina Menzel version (fun fact: she graduated from my high school about 7 years before I did), and was in one of the Transformer movies. Have a listen:

Favorite drink: Dogfish Head Tweasonale. It’s a gluten free, strawberry flavored beer and it is delicious. It doesn’t have that typical beer taste so if you’re not gluten free (like me) but don’t like the taste of beer, you should give it a try anyway. You won’t be able to stop drinking it. Which you probably should, though, because drink responsibly, friends. 

Favorite procrastination technique: Napping. There is seriously nothing better than napping, particularly with a nice, soft polka dot blanket like the one that lives on my bed. It looks like this:


Favorite quick recipe: Crockpot BBQ Chicken. Here’s what you do:

  1. Add roughly 3 chicken breasts, a bottle of your favorite flavor bbq sauce, some garlic powder, 1 tbsp brown sugar and a dash of red pepper flakes to a crockpot. 
  2. Cook for 4-6 hours on high (if breasts are frozen, can get away with 3 or so if thawed). 
  3. Shred chicken and eat. 

Favorite day of the week: Thursday. I’m pretty sure this dates back to college and $.50 mug nights at the Stone Balloon (RIP) but for some reason, once I make it through Thursday, I feel like I’ve finished a marathon. I never feel more relaxed than I do on Thursday evenings after the child is in bed. 

someecards.com - Thursday is Friday's hot older cousin.
Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekend! 

Hump Day Confessions: She’s got a lot of rage

someecards.com - I don't have pet peeves, I have major psychotic fucking hatreds!
This is my first time participating in Kathy’s Humpday Confessions and I’m so excited because I’m using it as a chance to air a few grievances. So grab a drink, friends, because here we go:

  • I confess that people with bad grammar send me in to a blind rage. Seriously, it’s “our” not “are” and it’s “a lot” not “alot” and yes, the thing with the line and the dot is an exclamation point. It makes me sad that you don’t know that, it makes me sad that you choose to share your sheer ignorance and stupidity on Facebook, and I can’t help it that I see red every time you show up in my newsfeed which is perhaps why I no longer see what you have to say. G-d bless the “hide from timeline” feature. Am I ignoring you? Yes. Yes, I am. Because it’s better for humanity if I do that.


  • I confess that I become irrationally angry when someone says to me “I have something to tell you but you can’t tell anyone”. A) thanks for the trust and B) who am I going to tell? Do you really think I’m that gossipy? Also, I’ve probably forgotten what you’ve said 10 minutes after you told me. I’m getting old and my memory’s not that good and my brain is full of other information like “remember to pay the mortgage” and “feed the child today”. And just so we’re clear, if I do remember, I will tell my husband. Particularly if it’s something really, really good. 
  • I confess that it makes me want to spit fire when someone who has never had kids dispenses parenting advice. Guess what? Babysitting is not the same as being a parent. Owning a dog is not the same as being a parent. Having a younger sibling is not the same as being a parent. You know how I know that? Because I’ve babysat, owned a dog, and have a sibling substantially younger than me. Absolutely none of that prepared me for being a mother. So unless you’ve been a parent, shut the fuck up and keep your advice to yourself. Or you will get face full of my fist. Metaphorically, of course. I’m not going to jail because you can’t shut your mouth.
  • While we’re talking about parenting, let’s address helicopter parents for a moment. I confess that want to body slam those assholes and while I have them pinned down, I want to shout loudly that hovering is not the same as advocating and you are doing absolutely nothing to help your child by smothering them, doing everything for them, and kissing ass with teachers and coaches to get your kids special favors. It’s one thing to be your kid’s champion and fight for them when they need it it. It’s another thing to swirl around every moment of their lives and never letting them do anything for themselves. They will not fall apart if they lose or get a bad grade on a test. I promise. Let them live and fail and win and make decisions and choices on their own.
  • I confess that sometimes I hate people so much that being a hermit sounds like a wonderful, viable option. Being a hermit means I don’t have to deal with entitled assholes on the road, in parking lots, in stores, at restaurants, or any other place where people might be. I can no longer hide my contempt for how rude and disgusting society has become. Manners are almost nonexistent, and forget about someone even extending common courtesy like saying “bless you” when you sneeze. It’s horrid and if the fact that I’m raising my child to be polite and have manners means I’m strict, then so be it. I can live with it. I’m not adding to the asshole parade if I can help it.


  • I confess that every time someone says “I forgot to eat today”, I want to take a sandwich and stuff it down their lying, underfed throat. You forget keys. You forget a birthday. You forget to call your grandmother. You do not forget to eat. And if you do, you’re fucking stupid. I am almost 37 years old. I have never once forgotten to eat. In fact, some days, I start thinking about lunch while I’m eating breakfast. Food is a basic necessity of life. You don’t “forget” it, asshole. We know you’re lying so just stop it. If you don’t want to eat, don’t. But don’t pretend like you forgot. 
  • This is the last one and it’s a big one so I hope you’re sitting down and not too tired. I confess that the overuse of the word “Nazi” makes me spit nails, steam shoots out of my ears, and I go to red faster than Spaceball One goes to plaid. Let’s be clear–the Nazis were an army of murderous soldiers assembled by a psychopathic, homicidal dictator who committed genocide. When people flippantly attach the word “Nazi” to the end of something as trivial as “grammar” or “cleaning” or “homework” simply because a person happens to be a stickler about those things, it cheapens and demeans what happened to the Jews, Catholics, gays, and everyone else Hitler decided he didn’t like. Wanting a clean house or for people to use proper grammar does not make one a Nazi. Killing people for how they were born or what religion they practice does. It’s an extremely powerful and emotional word, and it should be because as long as that word stays in our lexicon, people will be forced to acknowledge that the Nazis did (and still do) exist. By using it in a cavalier manner, it strips away its power. And I don’t think we’re ready for that yet. Or maybe ever.

So there you have it. Just a few things that make me angry. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest (and I have a pretty big chest which explains why this was so much). Next time, we’ll talk about what makes me irrationally happy. Because it’s all about balance.

What about you? What makes you so angry you want to punch a baby dolphin? 


Linking up with Kathy from Vodka and Soda

Vodka and Soda

Friday Five of my favorite things

 I’m taking another Friday off from being all pioneer like to bring you some of my favorite things about modern life. Next week, all the pioneer goodness will return, including a how-to on making your own mending box and our first book club discussion (on Wednesday, complete with linkup and Facebook discussion so be sure to like The Townhouse Pioneer on FB to take part in that):


Favorite thing #1:  Trying to pick my favorite song is near impossible but right now, I’d have to say it’s “Lola Montez” by Volbeat. I genuinely cannot get enough of this song and I might listen to it more than a normal person should listen to a song on any given day. I could not find a good video to share with you so I had to use this one. It’s from a festival performance, the lead singer is horribly sweaty, and there are obligatory crowd shots. If you have to, just let the video run and listen to the song while you read the rest of the post: 


Favorite thing #2: Essie Mojito Madness. I normally shy away from green nail polish because it reminds me of fungus and really, who wants to look at their fingers or toes and think of fungus? Not this gal. But on a whim, I bought this color and I. Love. It. My nails look like complete crap right now but when they grow (and stop splitting like they don’t know what else to do), it’s the color I’m putting on.


Favorite thing #3: Taylor Kinney. Sure, the fact that he’s dating Lady Gaga makes me question his judgement (nothing to do with her looks. But she paid someone to puke on her. What the fuck?) but when you look like this, it’s easy to forgive. Plus, Chicago Fire is totally my guilty pleasure show.

Chicago Fire - Season Pilot

Favorite thing #4: Fitness Blender. For reasons that we can talk about another day, I am putting my gym membership on hold. As a result, I need to find all kinds of new things to do. Like use the treadmill in my basement. But I need to do some strength training and free weights on my own don’t cut it. I spent some time on YouTube looking for good at home workouts and found this husband and wife team and their little business. The videos are completely free (both on YouTube and their website), there are dozens of them, they range in length from quick to really, really long, and there’s a variety of types of workouts and intensity. Can’t beat that. 

Favorite thing #5: Yesterday was my 10 year wedding anniversary. Apparently it’s traditionally the tin/aluminum anniversary and my husband decided to stick with it. So he got me this vintage tin Muppets lunch box. As a Muppets fanatic since I can remember, this was the most perfect gift I could have gotten. 

photo (13)

What are some of your favorite things? 


Linking up today with the Northeast Bloggers and Amanda from Meet at the Barre

Friday FiveFriday Favorites

Back In My Day: Relationships edition

Today I’m linking up with Life According to Steph and some of her friends for a discussion of what things were like back in my day. Since I always do some sort of anniversary themed post this time of year, I figured I’d talk about how different things were when my husband and I first starting dating.

SMD's Blog


In two days, my husband and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. While that’s an accomplishment in and of itself, what’s even more amazing is the fact that we have been together for 17 1/2 years. That’s a long fucking time, especially when you consider the fact that we’ll both be 37 this year (for those doing the math, we started dating when we were both 19 and sophomores in college. The year? 1996.)

 It amazes me just how much has changed over the last 17-18 years, particularly for dating and relationships. Because back in my day:

  • Meeting someone on the brand new internet was not commonplace. It was creepy and weird, and definitely not something you talked about. Instead you met them through friends or at a party or in detention or carrying a watermelon.
  • When you wanted to stalk your crush, you had to do it like a normal person–learning his school schedule, attending his sporting event as a “spectator”, calling his house and hanging up, trying to befriend his friends. You didn’t troll his Twitter or Instagram feed.
  • Speaking of pictures, if you did something stupid, you didn’t have to worry about pictures of that shit winding up everywhere (contrary to what 80s and 90s teen movies have you believe) and your significant other/crush seeing it. You kept it on lockdown, sharing it when appropriate and maybe not even then.
  • Also with pictures, wasn’t one of the best parts of the beginning of a relationship seeing that person’s photo albums? There was just something a lot more intimate about sifting through an oversized and overstuffed photo album rather than a phone. 

someecards.com - I'm happy we're at a point in our relationship where you have told me about all the things I had already read about you on the internet.

  • You actually had to get to know a person through questions and conversations and first dates were awkward. Really, painfully awkward. Unless you did some really great pre-first date recon (or were friends first), you didn’t know shit about the other person. Facebook has completely ruined that experience.
  • When you decided where your relationship was going, you did so through a conversation, not a Facebook status change or profile picture update. 
  • Long distance relationships were exhausting. Letters and scheduled and timed phone calls (you know, because long distance rates were a bitch), maybe seeing each other once or twice every few months or so. You kids with your Skype and email and gchat don’t know how easy you have it.
  • Wedding proposals were not slick, professional produced videos designed to go viral. They were sweet and nice and to the point. And private.
  • And lastly, any of these would have done as my boyfriend (for what it’s worth, I would still not turn down Matt Damon):

back in my day collage
What did I miss? How were relationships back in your day?