Tuesday, August 31, 2010



They get you in the door.

They allow you to feel safe when you leave.

And they are quite necessary to keep things private, secure, and away from danger.

They also open up a whole new world.

Today I handed back five keys that have opened many doors for me over the past few years.

The first two I've had since January 2008. My keys for an entire floor at my college. A locked floor that I worked on. A floor that led to incredible relationships, quirky doctors, hilarious researchers, occasional snacks, and a bunch of paper copying. A floor that led to a work family, one that I will miss dearly. A floor that led to much more than a steady income; one that let me use my organizational and editing skills in the most unlikely places. It's a fabulous floor. And I'm sure my experiences here will eventually lead to many more open doors.

The other three keys I've had for exactly one year today. My first year-long lease, ever. This time last year, when I was just getting the keys, I was in the midst of Welcome Week, a week-long orientation for freshmen students. I led 30 freshmen around, exposing them to their new home and school, and quickly moved in to my house during a break I had for a few hours. It was exhausting, physically, mentally, emotionally. But it all led to a room that I painted and loved and a place that I felt comfortable in. On Sunday night, I was cleaning this place, and then my roommates and I watched a couple episodes of a television show on DVD until, all of a sudden, we were all definitely ready for bed. It was the oddest experience as I realized that my bed was no longer there. I couldn't just walk down the hallway and plop down on my fluffy green comforter. I had to go to the new home. Use a new key. Open a new door.

And that's what I'll be doing for the indefinite future. There are a bunch of experiences just waiting for me to explore. New keys are calling. Adventure awaits.

Don't focus too hard on the door you just locked.

There is another waiting to be opened.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Song Saturday - Moving Day!

I've been slowly packing up my room and moving for a few days now, so here are two "moving" related songs for your Song Saturday!

I have brought a couple car loads full of things to the house I'm moving into already, but today my mom is bringing up a trusty pick-up so all of my larger pieces of furniture can make the trek to their new home. While I know it's time to move again (not only is my lease up, but there isn't a reason for me to be so close to campus anymore and, subsequently, pay the price for being so close), it feels much different this time. I usually move every 3-4 months, but I have lived in the same place for an entire year! (Insert big claps for Janae because this is a milestone, people.) It was the first full-year lease I'd ever signed. It was my home long enough for me to paint two walls a dapper shade of mossy green and to put up pictures and shelves and a whole heck of a lot of those 3M hooks to hang things on. I've accumulated things instead of going through a purging session every couple months and getting rid of things. I've invested in suits. Like "I'm going to wear this to a job interview" style suits, not swimsuits. Although come to think of it, I did buy one of those, too. My trusty red suitcase has been hanging out on a top shelf, way out of reach, for months because it's oh-so-handy handle that let's you roll it has been stuck in it's upright position since at least November and that out-of-the-way shelf is the only place that could accommodate such a large suitcase with an erect handle. The dresser that took my good guy friend Alex and I an entire afternoon to realize that we had no idea how to put together has been safely standing and used for months and months. (My mom and I took a crack at it a couple weeks after Alex and I decided it was a lost cause and somehow made it stand and hold things.)

It's interesting that you can graduate and feel like nothing's really changed all the much, but then comes September and you are officially done with the job you've had for 3 years (I've been filling in this last week) and it's time to move and some other random college senior will probably be taking over your room, marveling at the fresh white walls and the fact that it has a bathroom connected to it. (Yes, I've been living in luxury. A room to myself with a bathroom attached. I realize how uncommon that is for a poor college student.) But it is time to move on and get ready for the next adventure and continue putting in job applications and going on interviews and baking when you're scared. At least now I'll have 3 boys to eat all of those delicious treats.

Oh, I didn't mention the part about me moving in with 3 boys?

This is going to be fun.

Friday, August 27, 2010

fast lane.

[you're going to have to listen to this song to understand the first few texts. it's been on repeat in my world for a few days now. no judging.]

[text messages earlier this morning between me and my friend ash]

me: tryin to get my usher on but I can't let it burn
ash: Thinkin bout me, thinkin bout you, who we gonna be!
me: Ahhh love it. Sing me to a happy place nelly.
ash: played that twice this morning! get it nelly.
me: ME TOO! it was my "now you REALLY need to get out of bed" jam
ash: Exactly. Worked like a charm.

[ash is on her way to iowa for her first volleyball tournament of the season. she plays for her college team.]

ash: I can't believe it's here already!
me: I know its so crazy how fast this summer has gone!
ash: Living life in the fast lane. I just sit back and let cruise control do the work.
ash: Just thought of that. Most smartest.

and that is why we are friends.
[Sorry if this makes absolutely no sense to you.]

Fill in the Blank Friday!

prompts from here.

1. The most adventurous thing I've ever done [lately] is zip lining in Puerto Rico!

2. If I were a pair of shoes I would be a cute pair of comfy moccasins. Comfy, casual, but slightly unique. Maybe I'd add a little pop of color, like these mocs that my friend Hanna pointed me to?

3. My preferred mode of digital communication is Skype! I don't use it as often as most other forms (i.e. texting, Facebook) but I always enjoy it so much more. (Skype name is janaetime if you want to add me!)

4. I feel happiest when I am really content in life. Looking at a beautiful view, being with good people, eating delicious food, feeling productive.

5. A little dream I have for my life is to write a book. I've been talking with a very successful woman lately who has taken me under her wing a bit as I go through the process of finding a job, and after I told her everything I'd done so far, she said she didn't think it'd be long before I added "writing a digital book" to my list. I had never thought of writing a digital book before - I've always been in love with real-life paper pages - but now I can't get it out of my head.

6. The one modern convenience I could NOT do without is GOOGLE. Hands down. But I guess that also requires the internet. And a computer. Or phone.

7. Music, movies, TV or books: if I could only choose one to enjoy I would pick... oh man the hardest question is last! For the sake of choosing, I'm going to say music, which is interesting because my majors/minors in college all deal with movies, TV and books.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Moments from Everynone on Vimeo.

A good friend of mine linked me to this video and I found it so charming, I thought I'd share!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm back!

...and I'm about 6 shades darker due to the excessive amount of sun we were in!

...and I'm filling in at work until the end of August!

...and I'm preparing to move!

...and I'm officially caught up on my emails again! (I went entirely off-grid while on vacation - no email, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, Google reader (where I had almost 400 unread posts...yikes!), phone, you get the idea.)

...and I'm trying to stay on top of everything!

It will probably be pretty quiet here until I get settled in at my new home, but I really can't wait to share stories and pictures and fun from our trip. It was so, so nice, and I still wake up in the middle of the night expecting to be sleeping in a stateroom, with the waves rocking me back and forth, saying in their own way, it's okay to go back to sleep.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Song Saturday!

Our trip is (sadly) about to end and we will be home in just a few short days. Here's to going out with a (relaxing, tanned, full of happiness) bang!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, August 20, 2010

[more] cabin food.

I already wrote about the absolutely delicious monkey bread we made at the cabin, but that hardly touches on the scrumptious food we all made that weekend.

My good friend Hanna is one of the best cooks I've ever known. I lived with her the past two summers, and ate so well (and tried so many different foods) that she has actually influenced my daily cooking habits. (more spices!)

One of Hanna's specialties is guacamole. Good lord guacamole. You and I are friends.

She also made two different types of salsas - a peach mango salsa, and a spicier, more traditional salsa. Yum!
I made fruit pizza because I knew it would be fresh and easy to create at the cabin. After I put all of the fruit on the pizza, we threw a few extras slices into our wine and sipped all night long.
We also bought fresh sweet corn and grilled it, along with delicious fresh brats from the co-op.
And before we headed home on Sunday, we made quesadillas!We also had homemade pasta and potato salad. We were definitely spoiled (food and weather-wise) all weekend long!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

monkey bread!

I don't have any photos of the actual process of making the monkey bread, but this is the best monkey bread I have ever eaten in my life. And it was made on a random Saturday morning at a cabin. Using this recipe. (I'm going to finally share a few more cabin food photos tomorrow, too!)

Please try not to drool on your computer.
The flipping process! Apparently, the conservative way to do this is to put the foil on top of the bundt pan.

I'm not normally a conservative lady, so I went right ahead and took my chances with the flipping.

What did I tell you about the drooling?

This puppy didn't make it past 4pm. And it wasn't even ready until about 11:30am.

I cannot wait to make it again!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My favorite ___

I'm going to share a few favorites of mine with you today! Originally seen here.

1. Favorite hobby?
Recently, I've been learning to crochet! But more long-term, I've been a reader and music listener.

2. Favorite tv show?
Gilmore Girls. I'm a Jess fan. :)
3. Favorite restaurant food?

I couldn't decide, but I do love the Bowtie Festival at Johnny Carino's. There isn't a Carino's restaurant in Minnesota, but there is one in Sioux Falls, SD that is delicious! And I found a recipe to make it at home here.

4. Favorite thing to shop for?

5. Favorite animal?

6. Favorite song?
There are far too many to choose from, but I don't think I'll ever get sick of this one.

7. Favorite word?
Silly...maybe? I'm not sure what words I use the most...friends, insight please!

8. Recent favorite YouTube video?

9. Favorite movie?Dirty Dancing.

10. Favorite childhood memory.

Traveling/exploring with the fam. We took a lot of road trips and even a few flights to experience the US when I was little.

That was fun! Feel free to answer the questions yourself!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

eat. pray. love.

I'm sure many of you have already read this book, but if you haven't I urge you to do so. It had been hyped up so much that it took me over a year to actually sit down and get into it. (It's a personality fault of mine - if everyone else is doing it, I tend to run the other direction.) Thankfully, I swallowed that pride (or foolishness) and devoured Elizabeth Gilbert's year in Italy, India and Indonesia.

Another reason for waiting to read this is because I recently read a memoir that was very poorly done. It tarnished my ideas of what a memoir is and I was turned off from the concept for a little while. Eat Pray Love is like a breath of fresh air. I actually felt calmer while reading it. Her ventures into food and meditation and yoga and life made me stop and evaluate my own methods of doing things. It helped me realize that I am a person who needs a bit of quiet time each day, but that I also want to be hanging out with people whenever possible. I took a yoga class all last summer, and reading about the solitude and peace she felt during a meditative retreat made me long for those classes once again.

I don't want to give too much away for those of you have have yet to read it, but I do strongly encourage you to pick up a copy and revel in her witty, self-aware writing. She has an eye for detail and an uncanny ability to describe people that makes everything about the real-life characters she encounters charming and fresh. I think you'll love it.

And once you've read it, let's go to the film together!

p.s. The song in this is Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine - check it out here!

Monday, August 16, 2010

that special extra thing.

When I travel, well, actually, when I travel with my sister K, I like to do something random.

Something that will keep the spark in our travels extra bright.

Something that we will be able to have afterward, and can look back at years from now.
And sometimes, just something completely out of the ordinary that we can laugh at later.

For example, my dad had to have bypass surgery a few years ago. It was a scary day, and K and I were driving to the hospital (about an hour away) apart from the rest of our family. So, as we were packing up some of our things, expecting the day to be long and nerve-wracking, I told K I was throwing in a hat, just for fun.

She laughed and her young little heart loved it. Mine did too.

That hat is a lucky hat. It has come with us on many trips, to many places, never, not once, on anyone's head.

When we went on a vacation to Mexico, we brought a sketchbook with markers, crayons, pens and pencils that we could doodle with. We drew pictures of the crazy lady in front of us on the plane. We documented all of the silly quotes we heard. We tried to draw the outrageous pattern of the couch in the place we stayed. We wrote out long-winded stories of what happened to us at dinner. We documented our entire trip in that one book. And I know exactly where that book is, in my room, at the house I grew up in, right next to my high school yearbooks. It will always be something I treasure.

Another time, K was with me as I drove home from my first semester of college. She was never fond of the drive (that is, before she chose to come to this school as well) so I had a "Wreck This Journal" by Keri Smith all ready for her to work on as we went home. We filled in lots and lots of pages, and then she was left with it with the stern instructions (something along the lines of "uhh you should keep doing this) to finish the book.

So! Here is a (quickly taken) photo of what I made for her for the trip we are currently on. It is a journal, with extra pieces, stickers, and the coolest felt tip pens I've ever owned all ready for us to fill in with ideas and moments and memories. I'm excited to see how it turns out!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Song Saturday!

And we're off! We left the Midwest yesterday, but today we actually board the cruise ship and leave the US. But don't worry, there will be a steady stream of posts on nae-say while I'm away.

Hope you all have a fabulous week and I'll be back with lots of stories and pictures in about a week and a half. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

and we're off!

Today is the day my mom, sister and I leave for vacation! I hope you all have a happy, healthy 10 days!

p.s. There are posts lined up for my absence, so it won't even feel like I'm gone. :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

p.s. have you seen this hat?

It's my latest, favorite thing! Lots of silly webcam photos to show you what I've been keeping under wraps for weeks because I didn't want my sister to see it on here before she saw it in real life! (My mom and sister are coming to stay with me tonight as we take off bright and early for our trip tomorrow!)

I love this hat. This is my cruisin' hat. And this hat was on sale. Win!

a new currently [guilty pleasure style]

What I've been up to lately, guilty pleasure (aka a tad embarrassed) style!

Set my alarm for: 7:04am. (and finally made myself get up around 8:04am)

Guilty pleasure song of the week:

Emails: Haven't been answering most of them or dealing with the fact that I have about 50 new ones. Whoops.

Books: I woke up early to finish "A Room With A View" by E. M. Forster yesterday instead of starting in on a book club book I was supposed to have the first 5 chapters read of.

And the one that makes me feel the most guilty (and also the happiest): Today is official "Janae gets to be selfish" day. Yesterday I ran around doing errands for other people (I made about 5 stops and the only one that was for me was the post office.) Then I let my friend use my car all day. And I volunteered for 9 hours. And I wrote a couple things for a group I'm helping out. So today, I get to be selfish. (Do laundry, pack, update my ipod with a travel playlist, have a lunch date with a friend, and, of course, still write a bunch of things for other people because I didn't finish them yesterday.)

But! I definitely encourage you to take a day for yourself soon!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


You have been very good to me, lately. You have given me really genuine people to hang out with. You have offered a wide array of entertainment. You have had unpredictable weather, but somehow it always turns into a good day. I'm really glad we've gotten to know each other so well over these last three and a half years. And I look forward to the rest of the summer.

Tell me, what's your city like?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

buy the ticket, take the ride

I first came across this idea on Kara's blog, (who got it from Mandi) and have been wanting to try it for quite some time. Finally, a couple of weekends ago, I randomly went to Home Depot and got what I thought would be the right tools to make this. I didn't really do any more thinking than "this is what I'm going to make...now, hmm...I need wood. and spray paint."

Luckily for you, Samantha has since written a step-by-step instruction guide on how she made hers! So, if you like the idea of some original plywood wall art, click here to get the instructions. And I'll show you how I made mine.

I will admit, the thing that took the longest (other than waiting for it to dry) was finally deciding on a quote. I went with one by Hunter Thompson, a famous gonzo journalist. Fitting for a girl who just graduated with a degree in journalism, right? Plus I love the idea of just going. Be spontaneous. Buy that ticket. Take that ride.
So after I put letter stickers on my plywood (which I did sand a little bit), I spray painted it in my friends lot with gray primer. I told the man at Home Depot that I wanted a gray spray paint, and he said that if I just used a gray primer it would look the same, but be covered better. And since I'd never bought spray paint before, I trusted him wholeheartedly.
I absolutely love how it turned out, with the wood grain still peeking through where the letters were. It has become one of my favorite things in my room. And soon I'll be making another one for my sister and one for a friend of mine. I hope you try it, too!

Monday, August 9, 2010

weekend phone photos

This weekend was spent with a lot of friends! On Friday afternoon, I made red velvet cupcakes and then had a bunch of people over Friday night for a little party. We danced and everyone enjoyed a small hat collection my roommate has by trying them all on and chatting. It was really nice having a group of people that I know and love over.
And, one of my friends brought over some watermelon, so we cut it up and plopped it right into our drinks! It was delicious!
On Saturday I woke up much too early (6am), grabbed my friends Lucas and Ellie, and went to volunteer at the Raksha walk. I forgot my camera so I'm going to have to share pictures when other people put theirs up, but it was really fun! We worked on getting things set up and everyone registered. A good friend of ours started the Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation, so it feels really nice to be able to help her with this big event.

I went home, slept a little bit, and then started making t-shirt yarn! This weekend I was determined to finish a bath mat that I have been crocheting out of t-shirt yarn. You cut up old t-shirts in order to make it, so it's actually an upcycled project. I'll share the results soon.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Song Saturday!

Today's song is Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine. Such a fun song to play while you're getting ready to go out on a summer night!

If you like what you hear, listen to more Florence and the Machine here or here.

Happy weekend!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fill it in.

1. Today for breakfast I ate a cinnamon roll. and a small bit of chocolate cake. and coffee. Don't judge me.

2. My go to/never fail recipe is chicken tacos!

3. Something I eat that other people think is weird is hmm...I'm not quite sure. I know there are many things but they are not coming to my mind. I sometimes dip breaded chicken strips in mayo (again, no judging!) and I prefer pb&honey to pb&j. I like corn on my pizza, too.

4. My worst cooking disaster ever was perhaps when I left oil heating unattended on the stove and it caught on fire. That might have happened. Once. I'm sure only once.

5. If I could only eat one flavor of ice cream the rest of my life it would be Caribou Coffee's reduced fat (ha!) Java Chunk ice cream. Heaven.

6. One food I hate and avoid at all costs is hmm...I used to never be able to stomach mushrooms but I'm slowly getting over that. I do hate squid.

7. What is your favorite meal? Breakfast, lunch, or dinner? This one is difficult! I do love sandwiches, and tacos, but I also adore cereal and rolls and all of those breakfast foods. So I'm going to say brunch. A bit of a cop-out, but it's true, I love it!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

the last week.

This is my last week working the job I've had for the past 3 years.

It's been a sad, exciting, nerve-wracking, nostalgic, bittersweet week so far.

I work in a department of psychiatry on my college campus, so I work with secretaries, graduate students, lab assistants, doctors, fellows, etc. along with the mail guy and the coffee man and the UPS guy who always says "See you tomorrow!" as he's trying to hop right back into the elevator before the door closes.

I work next to a hospital that has an actual edible restaurant that we go to sometimes. For awhile there, they seemed to know me by my cookie purchase. (They have really, really delicious cookies!)

And this week I've had to say goodbye to all of them. The mailman, who I see for about a minute a day each and every day, said he's really going to miss me. The UPS guy too. I haven't told the coffee people yet, because I'm afraid of what that will do to my own psyche. But I'm definitely going to miss them.

My department got me a HUGE cake on Wednesday that read "Farewell Janae!" on it. It was a layer of chocolate cake, a layer of chocolate mousse, another layer of chocolate cake, and then a few layers of chocolate icing, including dark chocolate roses. I can't even begin to explain how delicious this cake was. (And will be, as I know there is still a little left over and I'm letting myself have a piece for breakfast tomorrow. It's my last day - go big or go home, right?)

Today a few of the people I got incredibly close with took me out for lunch. And by incredibly close, I mean incredibly close. I called one of them my "Minneapolis mom." I've seen her almost every work day for 3 years. She knows what my day is like just by the look on my face. When we said goodbye today (as she is working in a different location tomorrow) she was crying. And so was I.

And then she told me she's going to call me tomorrow and harass me a little bit.

I'm looking forward to it.

I guess all I'm saying is that it's the end of a chapter. A really big chapter in my life. This signals the end of college more for me than graduation did, I think. And it's difficult because I'm still not quite sure what's next.

What I do know is that I will be going through a lot of changes this August-September, and this is just the first.

But that cake...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Very soon...

My mom, sister and I will be heading off on a cruise!

We are going on an eastern Caribbean cruise for 9 days. I'm very, very excited to go on vacation and to see all sorts of different islands and relax and really revel in the all-you-can-eat ice cream bar and to tan and read and chat with my mom and sister and to do it all on a very large ship in the middle of the ocean. It's going to be spectacular!
...and according to Google images, this is what our ship will look like!

I'm very excited! Do you have any fun end-of-summer vacation plans?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

this is all I really want to listen to today.

Pursuit of Happiness (covering a Kid Cudi song) by Lissie.

The song doesn't really start until about :30 in, but it is so great. If you like what you hear, listen to more Lissie here or here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fill in the Blank [Monday]!

Fill in the Blank Friday is being brought to you on Monday this week! (from here)

1. The last thing I do before going to sleep is take a sip of water. I only seem to remember how much water I'm supposed to be getting each day late at night.

2. When I can't sleep I turn on the TV. Or read. Or write.

3. The first thing
I do when I wake up is try to remember what day it is.

4. When I'm tired I'm usually pretty loopy, thinking everything is hilari

5. My dream bedroom would be
complete with a really large window, good sound system, lots of pretty pictures (both artistic and of my favorite people,) with a really comfy chair or couch or chaise in a well-lit corner and an entire wall of books (which I want to start organizing by cover color.) My bed would also have a really fluffy, comfy duvet. And my tempur-pedic pillow.

A few bedroom inspiration photos:from herefrom herefrom herefrom herefrom herefrom here

What would your dream bedroom look like?