Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the wish list.

Here's a small wishlist for this holiday season, which happens to include a few big things like time with friends and family, a fun trip, and my birthday!
fantastic print from here.I'd love a large print of this for my office!
I've been wanting this hat for too long. It shows a lot of self-restraint on my part that I haven't bought it yet!

I actually really want a mousepad. I know how silly this sounds, especially for those of you who know that my sole computer is a laptop, but at work I've been using a desktop and the mousepad they gave me was a super freebie and is in pretty awful shape. Maybe something like this would be nice?

I'd also really love this book, or any of the books on my Amazon wishlist. I've haphazardly been adding to the list throughout the whole year; usually a few books at a time and then nothing for months. But! Just Kids by Patti Smith was the first book to be put on the list and is still a want. 

I really, really want the movie "You've Got Mail." Really.

And last but not least, I'd love to make janaetime.com a domain name!

It's pretty random, but that's it! What's on your list this year?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Song Saturday!



I'm bringing back a song I loved a few years ago for today's Song Saturday! I added it to a mix I listen to at work and have been loving it every day. :) Hope you do too!

Do you have all of your Christmas shopping done? I'm much more behind this year than ever but I'm slowly starting to catch up! I hope you are too!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

books!

 Like many of you, I've been a busy lady these last few weeks. I'm getting in the groove of working full-time and all that entails. I've been trying to stay warm in our very cold middle of the US that has been getting lots of snow dumped on it. The mayor was literally quoted as saying that we had over a million cement trucks worth of snow dumped on our city over this past weekend. Needless to say, there was a lot of time spent shoveling out and staying in.

I will be sharing a little wish list this week and hopefully a few other things. Please bear with me! Until then, think about how fantastic this little used bookstore is. I cannot remember the name of it, but it was in Washington D.C. and is overrun with books. Books are in the corners, in the closets, all along the stairs so much that it's difficult to get to the second level (yes there are levels!) and, my personal favorite, books for sale that live in the bathroom. What a fantastic place. The owner is a crabby old man who writes signs so you can try to find authors. He could tell you where any book you wanted was...even if it was incredibly misplaced, out of alphabetical order, and just stacked somewhere random. If you know the name of this bookstore, please remind me of it in the comments. Until then, I'm going to be dreaming of going back here and actually taking it all in and I'm sure purchasing many books!
*Please excuse the very raw photos. And have a happy day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Secrets of Inspiring Women

I recently came across this website and specifically, this series of photos of inspiring, everyday women and I strongly recommend it! Seriously, click on the link. There are beautiful, heart wrenching stories, fun quotes and incredible pictures awaiting you. It may just be the inspiration you need today.
 
"I may be just another girl chasing challenge and chance in the big city, but my life is important. And I am living it that way."


All photos from Pictory.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

snow snow snow!

Hi there friends. Like my "I just dug my car out of the snow for the 3rd time today" hair? Because it's probably here to stay. Our nice little city in the Midwest is getting hit really hard today into tomorrow and this is literally the only time I wish that I didn't have a car in the city. I'm always behind on snow emergencies and what side of the road it is okay to park on, and where did we put that shovel again? and can we just find some salt, please, because I need to make it to ___(insert destination here)___ and fast! (To which my roommates or whoever happens to be around me at that time says, "Janae, there is absolutely no way you can make it to ___(insert destination here)___ in only ____(insert time I used to be able to get to destination when there wasn't a layer of ice and a foot of snow on the ground)____ .")

Alas, this is my life as of this moment, though. After I accepted my job, one of the first things that hit me was that I wouldn't be able to move out of this area for at least a year, most likely for many more! Don't get me wrong, I love the area, I adore the people, and I have so much fun getting lost on these streets that everyday ends up being a new adventure. However, on a day like today, when all you really want is to be able to go outside of the house, get in the car, and drive to ___(insert destination here) (and include ice cream and hot chocolate and friends and laughs at said destination, please)___without spending 20 minutes scraping snow and ice, well, it's a trying moment.

I think the worst part is that this is my 22nd winter and it still never ceases to amaze me. I was born during a blizzard, for goodness sakes! Honestly, the sheen the snow gives everything and its ability to wash away any ugliness and replace it with an iridescent white glistening layer is incredible. It has the feeling of the holidays. It feels like things can happen. It feels like home.

Now if only it could have that feeling AND clear roads, I'd be in heaven.

UPDATE: Saturday morning.
My entire neighborhood was having a little 'shoveling out time!' party at 8am today and dang it, I love a good party so I joined in. At least now I can cross off "go to the gym" on my to-do list. Also, this is what I look like after I wake up in the morning, scared my car got towed (it didn't!), and then proceed to shovel it and lots of sidewalks because neighbors, even ones you don't know, deserve clear sidewalks, right?!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wintertime.

Today was the first day in quite a few that I didn't have to completely scrape ice and snow off of my car early in the morning, just to make it to work. I'm very thankful for that. I've also gotten busier at work, getting more and more things to do and relearning how to prioritize and manage my time. At one point on Monday, I sat back and thought "Wow, it feels good to be busy." I think I'm finally getting back in the groove of things that makes me, me, and it feels good. I also took a Zumba class tonight, and was laughing and having a fantastic time. It's so nice to work out in a way that makes you excited to go back the next day. This week it has become a bit of a tradition for my roommate and I to watch a movie each night. Tonight's is Love Actually (his choice!) and I'm a happy lady, snuggled up under a blanket on the couch. December is going to bring big things, I can feel it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Song Saturday!

I'm actually a bit proud of myself for posting this on Saturday, and at a decent time at that! This long weekend might be the reason, but I'm just going to pretend I'm on top of things.

Today's song comes from the band Gregory & the Hawk, and is entitled "For the Best." Listen to more from this band here or here.
Happy weekend everybody!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

My mom woke me up this morning with her famous caramel rolls straight out of the oven and now this lady came to visit before all of the festivities start! I'm a lucky girl. I'm thankful for all of you. Hope you have a fantastic, happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Today,

at the celebration for a program that I will be planning soon, a student got up in front of the crowd consisting of business professionals and her classmates and addressed us all on what she thought about the program.

She said a few things, was a bit dramatic and true to her 16/17-year-old self. And then she said this:

"This actually went off exactly as our teacher told us it would. We've all gone through so many disappointing things in our lives, but this wasn't at all. I'm thankful that we got to see that some people really do care about us and our futures."

This is why I know this job is right for me. Successful second day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm employed!

I'm officially a full-time, working woman! I've been offered and accepted a position with a fantastic nonprofit that promotes financial literacy and college and/or career readiness for high school students in Minnesota!

Today was my very first day, and it almost went by too quickly for me to really focus on it! I was up super early to get ready and on the road, only to go outside and find that my car was literally iced shut from the freezing rain we've been having. Yikes! I finally got into the passenger side of my car, and shoved the drivers side door open. (I'm super graceful at 7am.) There were a bunch of accidents on my way in, so, even though I left extra early, I was starting to get nervous that I'd be late! Thankfully, I got there on time and everyone at the office is incredibly nice. I couldn't ask for better co-workers. They all came up to me at different points in the day, purposefully using my name, offering me coffee, asking me questions, and really being warm and welcoming all around.

Now that the big first day is behind me, I already have an out-of-the-office event to attend tomorrow and another one on Wednesday! I'm really getting thrown in to the mix, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

My role is as a program associate for two of the five programs the nonprofit has. I get to network and recruit professionals to be e-mailing mentors for classes of high school students, and then plan special events where they actually meet up in real life. This is my main job during the school year, and then during the summer I'll be planning, recruiting and putting on two camps! This is going to be fantastic. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

For Kayla (and you!)

Let's listen to The Script for a moment, shall we? We shall.


For those of you who do not know me in real life, Kayla is my sister. She's been a bit upset with me for the fact that I haven't been blogging very well lately, as I am one of her tabs and she likes to postpone/delay/stop doing homework and see what I've been up to. My apologies!

Dear Kayla:

This is what I've been up to. (Okay, you're right. That's you. But we were chatting so it counts.)

Would you like to see another blog soon? I'll work on it, promise.

Love,
Janae

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Song Saturday.


Today we had the first snow in Minnesota, and man was it heavy. First of all, I'm not lying when I say that it was 60+ degrees at one point this week. And now we have so much snow that both Minneapolis and St. Paul are in snow/winter weather advisories. It's crazy!

There are all sorts of silly ways Minnesotans like to share their love/hate relationship with the flurry, white flakes, but a few of the best are claiming that we now officially live in Minnesnowta or, like in this particular situation, we are in a snowpocalypse.

I prefer a few calming songs, some delicious hot chocolate, comfy clothes, snuggling under blankets and reading or watching a movie. And that is just what I am about to do as I had to leave my warm house before 7am this morning in order to make it to a day-long conference I helped plan. It was a wonderful, productive and energizing day, but I am one tired lady who is happy to now be sitting on my bed in dry clothes instead of driving down slick roads in a car that may need new tires.

Happy first snow!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Have you been feeling neglected?

Because I've been feeling like I've been neglecting this little space of mine. It's not that I haven't been doing anything, it's more along the lines of the fact that I haven't felt like anything I've been doing is very interesting to write about.

As of the end of August, I've been unemployed. I've done a few odd jobs since, but have been facing the hard battle that is the economy for the past few months and let me tell you, it's a beast. It's been a trying time for me because I've never been someone who can't get a job. Usually, I am someone who tries to take on too many things, who has a hard time saying no to any new opportunities. Lately, I've been forced to realize that this is not always the way.

I know that I am not the only recent college graduate (or person, for that matter) who is going through this. And, I am very, very lucky in that I have a wonderful support system - full of family, friends, and past colleagues who send me tips on new jobs and give me recommendations and references. I do know that, and I definitely appreciate it.

But, even with lots of people behind you, rooting for you to succeed, that doesn't always mean it happens right away. I've been applying to jobs all over the country, am willing to move at a moment's notice, just wanting to help people, and so far I haven't gotten anything.

I've had interviews, and I know I'm good at interviews. That may sound super narcissistic but go through a 2-hour-long interview when you are 16 and trying to prove to someone that yes, they should pay for your entire summer studying abroad in Japan, even though only 17 people in the country will get that honor. And then win one of those spots. And then tell me that you can't do interviews, because if anything will get you to learn how to interview and do it well, well, that is it.

I think the real issue is realizing that even though I checked off every goal I had for myself in college, I still am coming up empty handed.

graduate in 4 years? check.
have 3 internships before I graduated? check.
study abroad? check.
get involved in at least 2 clubs? check. 
graduate with 3.5gpa or higher? check

If you are thinking "well, she had 3 internships, why don't they hire her?" I have an answer for you. I took internships for the work experience and knowledge I would gain, not for the potential for employment post-internship. This was probably a bit naive of me, yes, but what's that they say? That it's in hindsight that everything is 20/20? Because that is true.

Yet, I worked in an office in London on an online magazine. I had over 50 stories published with my name as the byline before I even took my first official reporting class in college. I helped a woman start a business. This meant long hours, lots of research, figuring out how to make podcasts, and keeping up relations with a whole host of people I'd never met in real life. I was a marketing intern for a nonprofit that I truly believe in. I got over 80 stories published about this organization in the few months I was interning, and I learned more about how a nonprofit functions on a day to day basis.

I had experiences that will definitely fuel any future endeavors that I may come across.

I just have to find that position that will take a chance on me. That will see that I am qualified and eager to learn new things. And in the mean time I have to keep my spirits up, which, I admit, was much easier to do a few months ago. The brave face is on, but that doesn't mean I'm not struggling with this.

I guess I just want to say that if anyone who reads this is in a similar situation, I feel you. I understand. It's not something a lot of people openly talk about, including myself. It is a struggle. It is hard. But we will get through it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Song Sunday!


A little song and video for your Sunday. Sorry I didn't get this posted yesterday! I started a part-time job and have been busy training in, which leaves less time for extra things like blogging. Hope you have all enjoyed an extra hour of sleep, or friends, or coffee, or a movie, or something equally enjoyable today. Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween!

I hope all of your Halloween nights were fantastic! It was the first time my roommates and I all went out as a group, so we had a lot of fun. Since I hadn't really thought of what I wanted to be ahead of time, I threw together a little Clark Kent/Superman outfit - super easy and comfortable and I already had everything I needed! The boys in the above picture are my roommates, and I can honestly say this is my new favorite picture.
What were you on Halloween?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Music Monday!

So, I got behind (actually I got a bit into the Halloween spirit) and forgot to post song Saturday!

Here is a song for the week! I chose it primarily because it was the song that was on in my car as I finished up an interview today. Hey, why not? :)

The Script - For The First Time found on Pop

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bars!

On a random Sunday, my friend Matthew called my phone and left a message that went something like this: "Hey Janae! I'd love to get together with you sometime soon and I have a few days off so if it works we could go to this new place I read about. It's called Bars Bakery and, well, I know how much you like bars so I figured we should go together."

I seriously laughed as I was listening to the message because, of course I enjoy bars! Earlier this year, I introduced him to the word "bars" for the tasty treats that they are. (In case you have no idea what I'm referring to either, bars are desserts that are usually made in a cake pan, maybe a longer version of a cookie sheet but with a higher lip. There are all different kinds - from Special K bars to banana bars to pretty much anything you can think of.) Is this a Midwestern term? Or even a South Dakota/Minnesota term?
Anyways, we met for coffee/tea and bars and man were they delicious! Bars Bakery is in St. Paul on a quaint little street, with fantastic people watching and the kind of architecture that makes you think back to when the cities were just being built. Or to London. I always seem to acquaint beautiful, old, stylish buildings with London, and Matthew acquaints them with Spain. This makes sense if you know that we both studied abroad in those respective countries.

Anyways the point of this is bars = delicious. Bars Bakery is fantastic. And I highly recommend the oatmeal, apricot, heavenly bar I devoured. (And the raspberry green tea!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

pretty prints.

These fantastic prints are all from the etsy shop The Big Harumph and I couldn't be more smitten. I'd love to frame them on my walls, making sure to hang them up close to where I get ready in the morning or in my eye-line when I'm working towards something big. I've always been a fan of maps of the world, so the gray print would be wonderful. In fact, I was one of those teenagers who had a huge map of the world in their room and stuck different colored pins in it, indicating where I'd been and where I wanted to go. Of course, the "where I wanted to go" pins constantly outnumbered the "where I'd been" ones, but it's still fun to go home and see how many places I can add to the "where I've been" list. The shop also has it in orange and yellow, which are equally fantastic.

And I'm curious, do any of you have lists or maps with places you want to go? What are those places?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Lucky Ones.


Here's another song on my traveling playlist! You can get this song for free on iTunes as one of their "Discovery Downloads." I highly recommend it!

More from Brendan James here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Song (for a traveling) Saturday


I'm headed to our nation's capital for a few days! I get to hang out with a few fantastic ladies all weekend, and then have Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday to explore all of the museums and locales I can fit in!

This will technically be my third trip to Washington in about 2 years, but the first one that I'm in D.C. for more than 48 hours. In other words, the other two times I've visited, I've done a very quick run around the monuments and that's pretty much it. I'm really excited to be able to take a little time to enjoy and actually see all of the places I've heard about.

So, this weeks song Saturday is "Strip Me" by Natasha Bedingfield - the first song on my travel playlist. I don't know why, but I can never seem to take a trip without a new playlist. It's a curse while packing (because I focus on the music more than what I should bring!), but I'm always a happy lady when I have a wonderful new soundtrack for the trip.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fill in the blank Friday!

prompts from here

1.   I am  a happy, crazy girl who fills up her time with friends, crafts, yoga and the occasional bouts of writing.

2.  I wish  it was easier to get a position in my field of choice. But then again, nothing worth getting is ever easy, right?

3.  I like chai tea lattes, cookie dough ice cream, pretty photos, storytelling, random adventures, setting off for a new place with no directions, baking for the boys, laughing, feeling free, unique rings, comfy moccasins, scarves, indie music, movies, fun people, skype to keep in contact with people far away.

4.  I can almost smell the airport now! I'm heading to D.C. tomorrow!

5.  I hope everyone can feel loved and missed and needed on a daily basis. It's a wonderful thing - knowing other people are happy when you're in their life. And vice versa. 

6.  I think it's fabulous that my room is truly clean for the first time since I moved in almost 2 months ago. And the fact that my roommates noticed and commented all on their own is hilarious. "OMG THE CLOSET DOORS CLOSE!? Look! Janae! Your closet doors are closed!"

7.  I was  reading an article describing how people act the other day and the part that I related to most was "engage in calculated risk taking." This basically means that I'm not afraid to dance on the table, take a spontaneous road trip by myself, try a new type of ethnic food. The article then said "It is unlikely that any of these things will kill you, but they will probably make you more interesting."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fondue time.

We had a fondue party!

A few good friends of mine get together on Sunday nights and cook large meals. All of the tasty dishes are eaten that night, and then the leftovers are separated so everyone has a head start on lunches for the week.

This particular week, it had been E's birthday, so they thought of an extra-special treat to celebrate and came up with chocolate fondue! H had a fondue pot handed down to her in pristine condition, but hadn't ever used it. So, we broke it in in style!
There were so many delicious things to dip: pineapple, strawberries, shortcake, grapes, marshmallows, raspberries, peanuts and bananas, oh my!
If you can't tell, we were all big fans. We even finished all of the chocolate we could scoop up on our sticks and set the rest in chocolate molds with peanuts.Yum!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Zombie Pub Crawl!

Oh man. Those who are faint of heart, please do not look any further. A group of my friends and I decided to attend the Zombie Pub Crawl in Minneapolis a couple weekends ago and it was amazing! It was such a unique night out - one of those nights you actually plan for, and then have to commit too. If you were going out, you were going out, the 'undead' way. There were thousands of people all around the area, doing their zombie walk to and from each bar, squirting fake blood everywhere and pushing up against you as if they never knew you existed.  A few of my favorite zombies were: Gumbi zombie, Lady Gaga zombie, and a nurse zombie that legitimately had some blood-looking liquid in an iv bag and drank from it periodically throughout the night. Here are just a few pictures of my life that fateful night!
p.s. have you seen the bed intruder story and song? my good friends R, B and E went as "Hide yo kids, Hide yo wife, and Hide yo husbands" zombies! I thought it was incredibly clever.

Monday, October 18, 2010

dear friends,

 I have a secret.
 I own the most fantastically comfortable scarf ever.
And it is from the Gap outlet. (I encourage you to purchase one, too.)
(silver ring from Greece 5 years ago, flowered ring from Indie and Chic)
 Seriously, this thing is fantastic.
 So fantastic, that, even though I've only worn it a few times, I've made everyone I'm with feel it...want to sleep with it...try to steal it from me.
Also, I should never be allowed to use a webcam camera late at night.

Happy Monday from me to you!