Hello, friends! I am finally caught up on all of my editing for now, and I’m waiting for my hair to dry before I head to the gym to do the mural wall for November. I still have no idea what I’m going to make. Continue reading “Fifty Shades of Jan Q&A”
Blogger Recognition Award
Hello, friends! If you recall, yesterday I made a post about how I was nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award, which was super cool, but looook! I received another award nomination! Continue reading “Blogger Recognition Award”
Versatile Blogger Award 2018
Hello, friends. It’s no secret that I’ve been neglecting my blog for some time now, and I wish I had a good excuse, but I don’t. Life’s been a bit chaotic. Continue reading “Versatile Blogger Award 2018”
Blog | The Mall Facebook Contest
Hello, friends. I know it’s been a minute, and I promise I will return to writing… at some point… but for now, I have a favor to ask of you! Continue reading “Blog | The Mall Facebook Contest”
Hello, friends! Recently, I’ve been super busy with lots of fun projects (which you will learn about in the near future), as well as some real-life stuff (my birthday is this week!), and my own blog has taken a backseat for a little bit. Don’t worry, that will soon change, but in the meantime, I wanted to share with you this neat, little thing that happened today! Continue reading “Sunshine Award!”
Re: The Sandman’s Q&A
We don’t speak of it…
Hi, friends. We’re off to a very rough morning in my house today, so I decided to sneak away to the internet for a bit while the kiddos are eating breakfast. I stumbled across a little Q&A post from a fellow blogger, Sandman, and thought it would be a neat little way to pass some time, and cool my head. So here are my responses to the questions he posed!
Do you unbutton your shirts before you take them off?
I honestly don’t remember the last time I even owned a shirt with buttons! I’m a tee and sweatshirt kind of gal.
If your life was on stage, would it be a drama, a comedy or a musical (or a combination thereof)?
My life is so damn dramatic, you’d think a drama… but I find it all kind of hilarious. Kind of. Comedy. I don’t want to hear anyone around me sing!
Would you star, be an understudy, or hiding in the back doing tech stuff?
I think I could pull off any of the three. I’m not so afraid that I would shy away from the spotlight… but I certainly don’t have an ego that demands I be the star. I don’t mind being a supporting role. I also have done work behind the scenes, and have enjoyed it! Those are the real MPVs!
If you could, who (anyone living or dead) would you hire to write it?
Any of the writers from Mad TV.
Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?
Not even close. Shh. We don’t speak of it…
What do you think of Daylight Savings Time?
It can go straight to… well, not being a thing. Pleeease.
Thanks for reading this quick little Q&A, friends! I’m off to pick up the food my toddler just threw on the floor, then finish cleaning up the orange juice that was spilled all over my carpet. What a great morning.
I need coffee…
High School Memories
What the hell is wrong with kids these days?
Hey, friends. I’ve been meaning to upload a vlog about everything that has been going on lately, but honestly, I’m too depressed. Kyle has been away at school for three days now, and we just found out that his classes actually last five weeks, and not three weeks, like he was originally told. Five weeks, followed by four to six weeks of driving on the road with his instructor. I haven’t been this bored, lonely, or sad, for a very long time. Luckily, I am able to Skype with him for a few minutes after his classes, but I miss him. Liam and I both do. Continue reading “High School Memories”
Remembering Christina Grimmie
Christina Grimmie was such a beautiful, kind girl, and an amazing talent. She was my sole inspiration to upload videos of myself singing to my old YouTube channel, over four years ago, and I related instantly to her fun personality, and love of Zelda. She had a powerful, unique voice, amazing keyboard skills, and was known for performing in her room, in front of her iconic Sonic poster.
Hello, friends. I wish I had something positive to write about at the moment, but due to some recent events, I’m left feeling quite numb and sad. As many of you may have already heard, Christina Grimmie, talented YouTube phenomenon, and ex-contestant on The Voice, was shot last night while signing autographs at a hometown show in Orlando, Florida, where she was performing. The male shooter, a man who is rumored to be a deranged fan, then shot and killed himself. Christina’s brother, Mark, is being hailed a hero for tackling the shooter before any more harm could be done. Christina was in critical condition when she was brought to the hospital late last night, but her injuries were too severe, and she passed away. She was only 22.
Christina Grimmie was such a beautiful, kind girl, and an amazing talent. She was my sole inspiration to upload videos of myself singing to my old YouTube channel, over four years ago, and I related instantly to her fun personality, and love of Zelda. She had a powerful, unique voice, amazing keyboard skills, and was known for performing in her room, in front of her iconic Sonic poster. She got her start on YouTube, performing beautiful covers of popular songs, but later moved into writing her own music. The first video that I ever watched of Christina’s was her 2009 cover of Rascal Flatt’s “What Hurts the Most”, one of my favorite songs of all time, and I was blown away. She inspired me to push past my own fears, and post my first video of myself singing on my own channel.
As well as singing covers, Christina’s channel is also filled with videos of her performing her own, original works, and a handful of music videos. She put out her first album, Find Me, on June 14th, 2011. It is bittersweet to think that just three days from today will be the 5th anniversary of the release of Find Me. She later moved onto the big time, and was a powerhouse and crowd favorite on The Voice in 2014, impressing audiences across the world with her talent. She performed in numerous concerts in the United States, as well as overseas.
Last night, the hashtag #PrayersForChristina was trending worldwide on Twitter, and many YouTubers and celebrities tweeted their support. Unfortunately, this morning, the hashtag changed to #RIPChristina, with over 1.7 million people tweeting. This is a sad day for the YouTube community, as well as the rest of the world, and many YouTubers, celebrities, and fans have posted their condolences to various social media platforms following the tragic news of Christina’s passing.
Today is a sad day indeed, as the world mourns the loss of a great talent. Today is also the 25th birthday of fellow popular YouTube star, and radio personality, Dan Howell, and I sincerely hope that he has a good birthday, despite this sad news.
Rest in peace, Christina.
Thanks for reading, friends.
50 Questions You’ve Probably Never Been Asked
… What? Santa isn’t real? HOW DARE YOU.
Hello, friends! I’ve been spending a lot of time with my little family this week, since my mom is here visiting, so I haven’t had much time to focus on writing prompts, or vlogging, so I thought it might be fun to post these silly questions that I found online, and answer them. Just for fun. So here are 50 Questions You’ve Probably Never Been Asked!
1. What’s your favorite candle scent?
Despite not buying into the whole pumpkin spice everything craze that comes around autumn, I absolutely adore pumpkin spice candles. I love warm scents… and food scents. Pumpkin spice, or maple, or warm vanilla… mmm. *drools*
2. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister?
My sister? Probably Anna Kendrick, or Emma Stone… but that’s a bit awkward, since I also want to marry them both. And Mila Kunis.
3. What male celebrity do you wish was your brother?
I can’t decide between Christian Kane, who played Eliot Spencer on Leverage, or Aldis Hodge, who played Hardison. I love them both.
4. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married?
I am hoping to get married in the next year or two. We’ve actually been engaged for two years now, but we’re not in a rush to get to the altar!
5. Do you know a hoarder?
6. Can you do a split?
Ugh, I used to be able to. Not so much these days.
7. How old were you when you learned how to ride a bike?
Really, really young. Maybe 4? I don’t remember!
8. How many oceans have you swam in?
I think just one!
9. How many countries have you been to?
Two! United States, and Canada.
10. Is anyone in your family in the army?
Hm… I don’t believe so. No.
11. What would you name your daughter if you had one?
We have a name picked out actually… not telling. Although, funny enough, I recently found out that it is the same first AND middle name as a famous YouTuber. Weird!
12. What would you name your son if you had one?
Our son’s name is Liam Thomas. But we do have another boy name picked out… and it may, or may not, be after a famous pirate.
13. What’s the worst grade you got on a test?
I’ve probably failed a few.
14. What was your favorite TV show when you were a child?
I used to looove Sesame Street! And Barney. As I got a bit older I got really into Rugrats, Hey! Arnold, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Goosebumps, Spongebob… so many!
15. What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight?
I think probably a witch? I was a witch a lot. Or some kind of vampire sorceress.
16. Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight series?
Well, let me tell you, I was (and still am) obsessed with Harry Potter when I was in school. I am 26 now, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I read all the Twilight books in high school as well. Never read the Hunger Games books, only saw the movies.
17. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent?
18. Did your mother go to college?
19. Are your grandparents still married?
Actually, neither set are. Huh.
20. Have you ever taken karate lessons?
I went to karate once with my friend Kayla. Ages ago. It was fun!
21. Do you know who Kermit the frog is?
Of course I do!
22. What’s the first amusement park you’ve been to?
Hmm… probably Funtown Splashtown in Maine.
23. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in?
I would love to be fluent in French, but realistically, Spanish is the way to go.
24. Do you spell the color as grey or gray?
25. Is your father bald?
Nope, full head of hair at 51.
26. Do you know triplets?
Actually, I know one set! A million sets of twins as well.
27. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook?
28. Have you ever had Indian food?
Maybe once? I like curry.
29. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant?
I don’t have one. I do really enjoy Bonanza, Culver’s, and Steak ‘n Shake though.
30. Have you ever been to Olive Garden?
Yes, and it is overpriced, and not worth the hype. The last two times I went, in two different locations, we had bugs in our food. No joke.
31. Do you belong to any warehouse stores (Costco, BJ’s, etc.)?
32. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender?
That’s a really good question, I should ask my mom… I have no idea.
33. If you have a nickname, what is it?
Jan, Jan Jan, J, Super Jan… So original.
34. Who’s your favorite person in the world?
My son… though my fiance is a very close second. ❤
35. Would you rather live in a rural area, in the city, or in the suburbs?
Suburbs, but I actually enjoy the city as well.
36. Can you whistle?
No… and now you know my dirty secret.
37. Do you sleep with a nightlight?
Kind of. Our bathroom light stays on, with the door cracked, but mostly so I can see in the hallway if I have to get up with my son in the middle of the night. I like the dark. Sorta.
38. Do you eat breakfast every morning?
Usually, yeah, because I eat with my kiddo.
39. Do you take any pills or medication daily?
Tylenol, and a multi vitamin… because 26 is the new 46.
40. What medical conditions do you have?
None that I know of!
41. How many times have you been to the hospital?
A bunch of times when I was little for various flues and sicknesses, but never anything serious. I’ve never broken a bone, or even had a serious sprain, or any other injury. I was in a few car accidents with my mom, which warranted hospital visits, but I was always unharmed. Also, when I had my son, obviously.
42. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo?
43. Where do you buy your jeans?
JC Penny usually, or Target… that’s really it. My current favorite pair is actually from Maurice’s, but I can’t afford to shop there too often.
44. What’s the last compliment you got?
“Your son looks so much like you!” And he is pretty damn cute, so I’ll take it.
45. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning?
Usually! I write them all down if I do, and type them out into my Dream Journal.
46. What flavor tea do you enjoy?
I’m not picky. I like all the tea!
47. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own?
One pair of sneakers, which are following apart, and two pairs of boots, which it is way too hot to wear. I need new shoes…
48. What religion will you raise your children to practice?
I will not raise my children in any religion, but I also will not shelter them from the beliefs that exist. I will answer their questions honestly, and fairly, and allow them to make their own decisions on what they want to, or don’t want to, believe in when the time comes.
49. How old were you when you found out that Santa wasn’t real?
… What? Santa isn’t real? HOW DARE YOU.
50. Do you have a Tumblr?
I do! You can click here to see it, but I haven’t been giving it much love lately. Sorry.
That’s it! Hope you guys enjoyed reading my answers. Feel free to copy and paste to your own blog of choice and fill in your own. It is just a fun way for people to get to know you more.
Thanks for reading, friends!
5 Pictures, 5 Stories | Part 3 (Animals!)
Hello, friends. I’ve encountered many types of animals in my life, in both positive atmospheres, and negative. I’ve had experiences with cats, dogs, hamsters, birds, horses, pigs, chickens… you name it. I’ve lived in the city, and fed feral cats. I’ve lived in the country, and helped board horses on my ex’s family farm. I’ve owned cats. Today, I want to share with you 5 stories about some of the animals that have graced me with their magnificent presence. I will only be sharing positive stories today (well, some a bit sad). I hope you enjoy a look at some of my old, fuzzy friends in 5 Pictures, 5 Stories | Part 3 (Animals!).
Snoop was the first dog I ever owned, though he wasn’t technically mine. Snoop was a purebred, English dalmatian (he even had royalty papers!), and he was my mom’s boyfriend’s. When my mom and her boyfriend started dating, I was just a little kid, maybe 5 or 6 years old. It was so long ago, I don’t even remember. We moved in with her boyfriend and his son, who was the same age as me, shortly after they started dating. I had only had cats as pets up to that point in my short life, though my mom’s old roommate’s kids had a turtle and some hamsters, who met… not-so-great ends, and I was really excited to have a dog. Snoop was a big dog, but I wasn’t afraid of him. He was a lovable lump, and wasn’t very active.
When we moved in, Snoop was 4 years old, just a year or so younger than I was. I loved him immediately. I have so many fond memories of trying to take Snoop for walks down the country roads we lived on, with him dragging me along like an inconvenient weight behind him. My mom’s boyfriend and his son didn’t play much with Snoop, or take him for walks, but I did. I loved him. I was even the one who helped my mom remove his ticks, and helped take care of him when he got mange one year. Snoop loved me more than anyone else, and would always try to climb into my lap while I was on the couch, despite his large size.
I wish I had taken more pictures of him while he was alive. I had 11 years with Snoop. In 2006, when I was 16 years old, my mom was backing out of the driveway in her Jeep, when she accidentally ran him over. Everything slowed down, and chaos ensued. That was the first time I ever saw my mom’s boyfriend cry. Snoop was rushed to the vet, where they checked him out extensively, but deemed him to be “fine“. Three days later, Snoop died in his sleep. My mom woke us up in the middle of the night, tears in her eyes, and told us. I didn’t go to school the next day. I cried for weeks. Even as I type this, I am crying. This was the last picture I ever took of Snoop, taken a few months before his death. He is buried in my backyard back home, tombstone and all, and my mom has a memorial shrine with his picture and collar set up in our living room. He will always have a special place in my heart.
Napkin (who my mom later renamed “Hunter”), was my pet from 2005-2008, until I left Maine, though he lived until 2013 with my mom. Before Napkin, the only cats I had owned were from my toddlerhood, and I did not remember them at all, so I consider him to be my first cat. We rescued Napkin from a household that had a pet hoarding problem, after many of his brothers and sisters had run away, or had died. My mom brought him home to me late at night, and he was so terrified, that he jumped from her arms, and hid behind our computer desk in the living room for almost 24 hours. He eventually come out, with a little persuading using a can of tuna, and became my best little buddy. He received his silly moniker after I asked my best friend at the time to help me pick a name. I told him the first thing he came up with, I’d keep. He said Napkin, and I loved it. He was the cutest little fluff ball, and he would sit on my desk all day. Snoop, who was still alive at the time, had never been around cats, and we were afraid how he would react to such a tiny creature, but he loved him. He covered him with slobbery kisses, and tolerated his rough, kitten play. When Snoop passed away later that year, Napkin was noticeably distressed.
Napkin was an indoor/outdoor cat, and often brought us home “presents”. He brought a dead, baby mole into the living room once, and I cried for the whole night. I buried the baby mole in the backyard the next day, underneath my tree house. I left Maine in 2008, after graduation, and that was the last time I saw Napkin. In 2013, my mom emailed me to tell me that Napkin had been missing for a week, and she was worried, because he always came home. Two days later, she found his body on the side of the road. I was heartbroken.
This is the last picture I ever took with him, in the summer of 2008 (yes, I know this technically makes 6 pictures in this post, sue me):
He did love me, I swear!
You all know about my baby girl, Jade, who I unfortunately had to re-home after 6 years of companionship… but I don’t know if I’ve ever talked much about this little guy. This is Link. In 2011, I was living in a sketchy neighborhood by East St. Louis, where feral cats roamed free, and everyone and their mother from the apartment complexes fed them. I fell in love with a sweet little tiger cat, who had been coming to my door for months. I eventually noticed her large belly, when she was just under a year old (I know her age, because I fed her mother as well, and remember her giving birth), and watched her closely throughout her pregnancy. One day, I came home to find the small cat waiting by my door, no longer pregnant, and meowing loudly. I followed her to the other end of our deck, where she disappeared beneath my neighbor’s grill cover. When I lifted the cover, I found the tiniest kitten I had ever seen, completely white, except for three small, black dots on his head. I left the kitten alone, but kept an eye out. When mama cat did not come back for two days, fearing for the kitten’s safety, I took him in. Mama cat eventually came back, and still came to my door for food, but never seemed bothered by her lone, missing kitten.
I bottle fed this kitten every few hours with special kitten formula, and reached out to a vet about his flea infestation. She advised I give him a bath in Dawn dish soap, which did the trick. It was scary, raising such a tiny creature, but I was between jobs at the time, and had all the time in the world to care for him. Once I knew that we were out of the woods, I decided to name my new friend. I decided to name him Link, because the three dots on his head reminded me of the Triforce from Legend of Zelda. Everyone loved the name.
Despite terrorizing my grumpy, older cat, Jade, the two eventually became friends, and spent a lot of time cuddling and playing. In 2012, we moved 4 hours north, to my ex’s family farm, where we almost lost Link, after my ex’s brother shut his leg in a door, breaking the bone on the growth plate. Link was still growing, and the surgery and medication would have cost us over $1200 to fix him. We were devastated. Luckily, family helped us with the finances, and we were able to get him his surgery. He spent 6 weeks confined to a large cage, unable to run or jump, which was very hard for him, as he was born feral, and had loads of energy. He also had to wear a cone, which he hated. In the middle of his recovery, we were kicked out of our house by my ex’s family, who hated me, and were forced to move to a new town with our injured cat. He made it through just fine, however, and recovered very well. He was back to his usual self a few months later. Unfortunately, when my ex and I broke up in 2013, he kept Link, and I kept Jade. I don’t know what ever became of him after I left.
As I mentioned before, I lived on a farm with my ex for a little while, watching his family’s farm while his older brother ran off to Texas to chase a girl. A week or so after we moved in, my ex’s sister showed up with a tiny kitten. She said someone had left him in in a taped up cardboard box front of the restaurant that she worked at. We already had a handful of outdoor barn cats, as well as Link and Jade, plus my ex’s mother’s elderly dog, and two horses… but we decided to take him in. I named him Zelda, despite later finding out that it was a boy. He was skin and bones, and had a loud, wailing meow. He ate non-stop for the first few days, before he began to mellow down and socialize. He was an absolute sweetheart, and I was fairly certain that he was older than he looked, despite his stunted growth. He got along fantastically with both of our other cats, and was the only cat that wasn’t afraid of the elderly Cocker spaniel in our care. Our biggest issue with this little baby was his refusal to use the litter box, no matter how clean it was. He would poop and pee right outside it, meaning I had several messes a day to clean up. He was also very food aggressive, and would bully the other cats, who were double and triple his size, when it came to feeding. He would growl and make bizarre noises, acting as though he was starving at each meal. It was strange. He was still too little, and it was far too cold, for him to live in the barn with the other cats, so we kept him inside for the remainder of our stay there.
After we left the farm and moved into our new apartment, that behavior continued, and worsened. Despite being a cuddly, sweet, love bug, he would attack you viciously to get your food, and began getting violent when the other cats would try to eat. We also now lived in a carpeted apartment, versus the hardwood covered farm house, and he began peeing and pooping on the carpets, and even our furniture. He eventually started spraying once he became of age, and our apartment was starting to stink. Nothing we did remedied the behavior, and I debated re-homing him, or bringing him back to the farm to live with the other feral cats. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to. One night, after picking me up from work, my ex pulled over and said to me carefully, “Don’t get upset.” I immediately knew what was coming. He then told me that he had taken the cat back to the farm, and had put him down. I was devastated. Link and Zelda were best buddies, and I knew he would be upset about his sudden disappearance as well. Despite his bad behaviors, I loved that kitten, and he was absolutely enamored with me. It broke my heart, and I was both devastated, and furious. I wasn’t all that surprised, because that’s just how he, and his family of cowboys were. If an animal was sick or broken, it got put down. Period. Luckily, those people are no longer in my life.
One of my favorite past times has always been visiting various pet stores, and spending hours among the animals. I especially love smaller pet shops, verses large, corporate stores, because they have more unique animals, many of them loose in the store, which I find so cool. Shortly after moving to central Illinois, I stumbled across a family owned, exotic pet store, which specialized in rescued animals, and I visited it frequently. They had snakes, birds, a giant tortoise, and tons of lizards and fish… and Chelsea. Chelsea was a cockatoo, and was one of three birds that was allowed to be free in the store. Chelsea said a handful of phrases, and was very friendly. I had never held a bird before, let alone a large bird like Chelsea, so when the owner told me she was affectionate, and asked me if I wanted to hold her, I was hesitant. Luckily, I got over my fears, and held the beautiful, white bird. She nuzzled my face and hair, and repeated, “I love you” and “Hi Chelsea” over and over. She also had a loud, happy shriek. It was amazing. I never thought of birds as being affectionate, but Chelsea showed me just how wrong I was.
I love animals. I’ve always had animals around me for as long as I can remember. Ever since my son was born, we’ve been without a pet (due to our lease), and we hope to get more animals when we get our own home. I hope you enjoyed reading this and learning a little bit about the fur babies from my past.
Thanks for reading, friends.
And as a bonus… here are some old pictures of my fur babies, Jade, Link, and Zelda, when I had them all together. I get emotional looking at the picture of the three of them.
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