Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pinterest: Everything That Is Right With The Internet

So I'm slightly addicted to Pinterest. And when I say addicted, I mean that if I actually physically had one of everything I'd ever pinned, I'd be the most watched episode of Hoarders ever.

That's just how I roll.

And like all you other Pinteresting people (check that out! I just invented that word. That is how I'm going to refer to people who use Pinterest. Pinteresting. Everyone is going to start using it now. Mark my words), I have tried to recreate several of the ideas I have pinned. Some have gone well (this recipe for lemon bar "brownies" is so good you should eat them in a coffin because you're going to go straight to Heaven) others, not so well (let's just say it was a shake that claimed to only have 50 calories. After making it, tasting it and taking a second look at the ingredients, I'd say it was more like 550 calories). In other words, it's kind of a crap shoot. Some times you win, some times you just ingest a ton of calories.

Recently though, I saw a pin that claimed if you put vanilla scented candles in a small container with coffee beans, the warmth of the candle will heat up the coffee beans, making your house smell like french vanilla coffee. Seems legit, right? Even if you don't like coffee (what are you, un-American?) you can't deny the smell is full of awesome.

So while I was at Target yesterday I picked up some vanilla tea lights, a package of whole coffee beans (I literally sat in the coffee section debating what kind to get for about 5 minutes. In the end I went with the cheapest) and 3 ramekins to put them in. When I got home I busted it all out and put it on my kitchen table:

At first, all I could smell was the coffee. But low and behold, about 30 minutes later the vanilla of the candles started to mix with the coffee and my kitchen smelled so nice I just wanted to die.

Well, not really actually die, but it was pretty good.

I left the candles burning while I made dinner, which consisted of me making a batch of french fries in the oven. My husband came into the kitchen and said "It smells like coffee and french fries in here." I said "What are you saying? Our kitchen smells like McDonald's?" He said "No, I don't smell old people and a loss of hope."

So in the end? This pin had winning all over it. Even if it did make my house smell like a fast food joint.

Love, Jen

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blogging Is Hard, Like Math.

Just last month the other day, I was doing something completely mundane (like teasing the cat) when I thought "Hey...I have a blog, don't I?" and the answer was "Yes Jen, you do. But you're a bad person and you've abandoned it. For shame." Then I went back to teasing the cat and forgot all about it.

Until this afternoon. I was sitting here fairly bored (my house is clean, the kid is doing homework, I've checked Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter...several times) when I thought "Huh...maybe I should check on my blog. I bet it's been a year since I posted anything." 

Yeah. My last post was in April. Of this year.

4 months. It can seem like a year.

In those 4 long months, I've thought about blogging. I really have. Many are the times I've sat down to write something (anything at this point), but it always left me feeling like this...

But today? Today I'm feeling different. Inspired, maybe. Hopeful, perhaps. Maybe it's because I've got nothing else to do right now and I want to get it out of my system (seems legit). What I'm trying to say is I think I've missed this blogging thing. Yeah. I have. I missed writing about my mundane little life, missed reading everyone else's blogs and thinking "God, I wish I were that (fill in the blank)." 

I think it's time to climb back on this virtual horse and see where it takes me.

Just so you took me 3 attempts to spell virtual correctly in that last sentence. I'm just trying to keep it real. Real stupid. 

Love, Jen

Monday, April 23, 2012


Last week was Spring Break for us. We didn't go away or do anything hugely monumental, but we did manage to do something fun. Literally and figuratively.

This past Saturday was Record Store Day, which I would never have known about if I didn't have a 16 year old hipster living in my house. Naturally, she knew what records stores were doing what and where she wanted to go. And that was to the Newbury Comics in Faniuel Hall in Boston to see the group fun. And also to buy records but seeing fun. play was the ultimate goal of the day.

Now, this was not an event where you could buy tickets. No no no. You had to get there early, stand in line and take your chances at being one of the lucky 125 people to get a special bracelet that would let you in to see the performance.

At first I thought " into Boston early in the morning, stand outside to wait to see if we get in? I don't think so." But then I thought about it and came to the conclusion that maybe we'd get in, maybe we wouldn't, and either way we'd have fun. Besides, Newbury Comics was going to be selling a limited edition record of the Pretty In Pink soundtrack. On pink vinyl. There was no way I'd pass up the chance to get that.

So we got up early Saturday morning, headed into Boston and got to Faniuel Hall around 8:30 AM to find a line had already formed outside the store.

I'd love to tell you the entrance was right under the Newbury Comics sign, but it was not. It was further up.

Turns out we were around 80th in line, which assured us we would get it.

And we did. 

The show was scheduled to start at 1PM, and after we were given the bracelets we were told we had to be in line at the back entrance at noon. That's a lot of standing around in line for one day. Luckily, the people around us proved to be great entertainment. The girl with the iPad on the right said at one point in time "It's so hard to tell professional photographers from hipsters anymore." I think I might have that put on a t-shirt, it's that good.

A little after 1 PM they began to herd us into the store into what can only be described the world's smallest room. We were packed in like sardines which was extra fun for someone who has claustrophobic tendencies. Which is not me. I'm just saying I imagine it would be bad if you had them.

We finally got our spot and this was the view I had:

I never really think of myself as being short, but as you can see, apparently I am.

I was able to lift my camera (way above my head) and get a shot of the band:

Or at least a dozen heads and a blurry shot of the lead singer. 

Funny side story: everyone around us had their iPhones out recording the performance. This allowed me to use their phones like a Jumbotron so I could see the band.

I hate being short.

In the end? We had a great time. We saw (or in my case heard) a great band play and my daughter got to meet the band and have a couple of things signed which I know made her day.

And me? I got my Pretty In Pink soundtrack on pink vinyl. So worth it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I'm Pretty Sure I Just Saw A Tumbleweed Blow Through Here...

A few weeks ago one of my friends on Facebook wrote on my wall "Do you have a new new blog, or have you not posted for two and a half months? I am asking because I'm not sure if I'm a really crappy friend or you're just busy having a life... :)". 

She's not a crappy friend. Not at all. The reason I haven't blogged in such a long time can be summed up best in the words of John Lennon: "Life is what happens while you're thinking about blogging." Okay, he didn't really say that, but for the sake of argument, let's say he did.

My life since I last posted (which was February 27th...yikes) has been, what one might call, involved. Allow me to break it down for you...


Was the month from Hell. On the last day of the month, I literally said, outloud, "Dear March...don't let the door hit you on the ass on you're way out." Besides it being the longest month of the year (I know there are other months with 31 days as well but for some reason March feels like it drags on forever) it was filled with various doctors appointments. For all of us. Most of them were fine, but several of them dealt with my daughter and what eventually turned out to be a sinus infection. A round of antibiotics cleared that right up, but I could have done without the weeks (yes, 3 to be exact) of her being sick and not feeling well. At all. Along with the sinus infection came the MCAS tests which every 10th grader has to pass in order to graduate. My daughter, who is a straight A student and does amazingly well in school considering who her mother is, lost her mind during these tests which, coupled with being sick, was too much fun for anyone person to handle. Best part? We get to do it all again in May when she takes the last part of the exams. Yay. Pass the wine please.


I fought the urge to get myself a Pinterest account for a long time. I had several of my online friends say to me "Oh, you have to get one and follow me!" I finally decided "I don't think I waste enough time online as it is, let's add Pinterest to that timesuck" and I haven't been up for air ever since. Honestly, if I could pin the entire internet I would. Pictures of houses, pictures of cats, pictures of Josh Hutcherson (more on that in a moment), it's bordering on insanity. And the recipes? They authorities are going to have to remove me from my house on a pallet if I'm not careful (but oh, what I could do with that pallet...the ideas on Pinterst are endless!). It's gotten so bad that, last night as I was sitting with my husband on the couch I said "Is something wrong? You seem distant tonight." He turned to me, gave me a sober look and said "You've been on Pinterest for over an hour, ignoring me." Alas, he has become a Pinterest Widower.

The Hunger Games

My brother and sister-in-law got the first book for my daughter a couple of years ago for Christmas, saying they had both read it, loved it and knew she would love it as well. Naturally she read it, loved it and tried to get me to read it. And try I did. But the first chapter was so slow and boring I just couldn't get involved in it. Fast forward to last week when I decided it was high time I read it because really, the movie was out and I wanted to see it, but not before I read the book (I'm anal like that). Long story short? I'm hooked. And by hooked I mean I'm neglecting my regular life so I can read these books constantly. I read the first book in a few days and now I'm half way through the second and it's like "If you're name isn't Katniss, Peeta or Haymitch, I'm just not interested." And the things about The Hunger Games on Pinterest? It makes my head spin. My daughter has forbidden me from going on and looking at any of the memes anymore because they give away things I haven't read. Doesn't stop me from looking at other items though, like the Katniss Barbie doll that comes out in September. Yes I want it. And don't judge me over that fact.

The best part of The Hunger Games? Peeta. I'm so in love with him I can't even stand it. And Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. Everyone has been teasing me about this, including my husband who wrote on my Facebook wall "What is Jen's favorite type of bread? Peeta." Yup. It is.

So yeah. That's just a little bit of what's been keeping me away from my blog low these many days. Hopefully I can make myself sit down on a somewhat regular basis and write about the oh so exciting moments of my life. Like when my Hunger Games pajamas get here. It will be like Christmas in April.

Seriously. Stop judging me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

February Vacation Highlights

One of the things I love about living in Massachusetts is this wonderful little thing called "February Vacation". Kids get the third week in February off from school...a nice respite from all the work, teachers and cooties that always seem to be creeping around the halls of academia this time of the year.

Some people like to take off for warmer climates during this break, but not us. Our excuse has always been "Well, you never know what the weather is going to be like during vacation" which normally would be true if it weren't for the odd, snowless winter we've had thus far. So technically we could have gone somewhere, we're just too lazy for that sort of thing.

And since I know you're dying for a highlight reel of all our February vacation glory, here it is...

My daughter literally spent an entire day on her laptop, on watching music videos. Remember when we used to do that with our actual TV's?

I played my ukulele a bit. Actually, I got very frustrated with my ukulele (mostly because I made a huge mistake in my lesson and it turned out I was doing it wrong the entire time) and almost went all John Belushi from Animal House with it. But I didn't. Which was good because I figured out what I was doing wrong and corrected it. Now my lessons have added several up strums and it's messing with my head.

Our one big day trip was to the MFA where my daughter became part of the art. This was something along the lines of a man made iceberg...there was some stereo under this thing that was a recording of the sounds actual icebergs make so when you sit or stand (or in my daughter's case) lay on it, you can feel the vibrations. I'm not sure I really felt them when I sat down on it, but it was a nice way to sit and take a break.

We had one day where the weather was very indecisive. One minute it was bright and sunny, then the clouds would roll in and it would pour for about 15 minutes then get sunny again. It did this on and off most of the day until it decided that rain was boring so it started to hail and snow. True to form, 15 minutes later it stopped, the sun came out and it was all gone.

Welcome to weather patterns in Massachusetts.

Last night was the last night of vacation, so we topped it off with Chinese take out and homemade Mai Tai's. I looked everywhere on the world wide of webs for a recipe that basically used what I had on hand and didn't call for some weird syrup I'd never heard of. Luckily I found one and all I needed to get was lime juice and pineapple juice. I had all the hooch I needed to make them (which is demented and sad) but hey, that's how I roll.

Of course, the Oscars were on last night so naturally we had to watch them. Mostly I thought they were a snooze fest (can we please get Emma Stone, Will Ferrel and Zac Galifianakis to host next year? They were the best part of the 900 hour show). While we commented on what everyone was wearing (somebody tell Angelina to put that knee away please) the one that garnered the most comments was Bradley Cooper and his 70's pornstache. My daughter said he looked like the guy from the Progressive ads. Seeing as I had Mai Tai's running through my veins, I picked up my iPhone and created this work of art:

Most people do wonderful and creative things with the miraculous wonder that is the iPhone. Not me. I do this. And I'm okay with that.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Scraping The Bottom Of The Creativity Barrel

So I think it's safe to say that we all know how I feel about photography. I take pictures everyday, mostly with my DSLR and my iPhone (I do have an Olympus Pen but it is currently in the shop as I type this because it's a giant piece of crap the dial for the settings came off and they are fixing it). What you may not know is that I will take said photos and put them in my Picture Of The Day album (or the POTD for those of us in the know, which is probably just me but that's okay). It's a nice way of honing your photography skills while capturing an entire year, day by day, in pictures.

It's a one stone, two birds kind of deal, really.

Anywhoo...the pictures in the POTD range from those of momentous events (birthdays, trips, getting a really great deal on a dress at Anthropologie) to the more mundane (I'm having coffee, I actually got out of bed today, I'm having more coffee). It isn't about perfection, it's more about capturing daily moments, no matter how big or small they are.

And apparently in my life, they are getting pretty small.

Friday at our house is known as cleaning day or the day where Jen has to get the whole house clean or she goes on a bender (I'm down with OCD yah you know me). And since I was running around cleaning, doing laundry and being anal, I decided to capture this on film. I mean, why not? It's a part of my crazy daily life. It deserves to be captured on film.

Fast forward to yesterday morning...with everyone off at school and work (and Cali in a coma on the couch) I decided to catch up on the POTD. While I had kept up on taking a picture a day, I was woefully behind in actually printing them out and putting them in the album (I'd like to tell you life got in the way but that's a dirty lie...I'm just lazy). I got my camera, plugged the card into my card reader and started to upload them to my computer.

Then I went to my album to see where'd I left off. I had several days to make up for, so I went back and discovered I had left off on Friday. I went into Photoshop, brought up my pictures and went looking for the best one I took on that day. Turns out, I only took one photo all day long.

It was of the bucket that holds my cleaning supplies and a few wrappers from rolls of toilet paper.

This is sad on so many levels no human can actually count that high. But what bothers me the most is this shot was the photographic high point of my day.

Yeah. Just let that sink in for a minute or so.

Honestly, I had considered not printing it out and putting it in the POTD because I was embarrassed. What I have I sunk to? Am I really scraping the bottom of the creativity barrel with my photos? According to the above photo, I'd have to say hells yes.

In the end I printed it out and put it in because 1) it's part of my daily life (however sad that may be) and 2) as a reminder to myself that I'm better than this and I need to start thinking outside the box to get more interesting shots.

Or at least outside the toilet paper wrappers. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Oh Ee Oh Ee Oh...

Last week, while I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed (why does it take twice as long to get ready for bed than it does in the morning? It's something that plagues me on a regular basis), I heard my husband and daughter discussing something in the hallway. When my husband came into our room I asked him what they were talking about.

"Some bird that was spotted in Wellfleet on the Cape but is only seen this time of the year in West Mexico."

I had a mouth full of mouthwash at this point, but I really wanted to know what kind of bird it was because seriously...what kind of bird is spotted way up here in Massachusetts this time of the year when it's supposed to be seen in Western Mexico? It's not like the weather patterns are real similar, even for the weird winter we've had.

But seeing as I'd just started swishing the mouthwash and wanted to get the full allotted time so it would do its job, I mumbled to him "Hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm?"

He looked at me (not too nastily) and asked (not too nastily) "What?"

I then put my arms out to my sides and started to move them in an up and down motion (while still swishing the mouthwash). He looked at me and said "Oh...what kind of bird was it? The Lazuli Bunting." Then he turned and walked into our room.

I finished up in the bathroom then walked into our room as well. I looked at him and said "I love that our relationship is so finely tuned that you knew what I was asking."

Without blinking an eye he looked at me and said "Well, you either wanted to know the name of the bird or you really miss Morris Day and The Time."

Truth be told? I do miss Morris Day and The Time. Especially Jerome. Oh ee oh ee oh.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI (Or Why My Husband Is A Great Guy)

In case any of you are living under a rock (or you hate football in which case I don't blame you) yesterday was Super Bowl XLVI, which in Latin means New England was playing New York and no one outside of those two areas really cared.

My husband is a football guy. It's the only sport he enjoys watching (he refers to baseball as Major League Boring) and the New England Patriots are his team. As a child growing up in Massachusetts, he was used to them being losers. The Patriots never went to the Super Bowl, and if they did, they lost. That is until 10 years ago when they went and beat the St. Louis Rams 20-17 thanks to a last minute field goal kick by Adam Vinatieri (I cannot tell you how much is pains me that I know this).

It was during this game that I saw how much of a football/Patriots fan my husband was. During that last minute kick, he was on the living room floor on his hands and knees watching the game like his life depended on the Patriots winning.

I was a little shocked, to say the least. I mean really...this was the man I married and had a child with? We had been married 7.5 years by that time and I'd NEVER seen him act this way. Over anything. Including me. So yeah, it was shocking.

Last night was the fourth trip to the Super Bowl for the Patriots, so I figured we'd have a party...a Super Bowl soiree, if you will. But seeing as we live on the East Coast and the game didn't start until 6:30 PM and everyone had a job to be at the next morning, it ended up being a smaller affair...

It was me, my husband, our daughter, my sister-in-law and my niece.

That's right. My football fan of a husband spent the night watching his team play in the Super Bowl with four girls. Make that five. The cat is a girl too. At least she used to be.

And the mere fact that he watched the entire game with us and never once commented about being surrounded by so many females on a very manly night is exactly why my husband is such a great guy.

That and a few other things, but I shan't discuss them here because really...something should remain private between a husband and wife. 

Love you babe.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just Say Jenny

Hello dear friends of the world wide of webs and welcome to my third attempt at writing a blog Just Say Jenny!

Like how I said third attempt? You'll see why...

I started blogging January of 2006 with a little site you might recall, Scrappin Jenny. I started it when blogging was still fairly new and cool and everyone seemed to have a blog of their own (I desperately wanted to be one of the cool kids). It was a time when I scrapbooked (hence the name) and I always kept my camera on Automatic (oh how the times have changed). While I loved writing that blog and have so many fond memories of it and the people I met while doing so, by June of 2011 I just felt it didn't fit who I was anymore so I moved on...

To A Body Of Photography. When I started this particular blog, I thought it would be a fantastic way to showcase my love of photography and what I wanted to do with it. Well, I did showcase some of my pictures and I never really did figure out what I wanted to do with it so it went the way of the Dodo after 6 short months.

But lately I've found myself thinking about blogging more and more. Did I want to do this again? Is there really anymore room out there for the so-called Mommy Bloggers? I mean Dooce and Pioneer Woman have pretty much cornered the market in that particular area, haven't they? Not that I have anything against them. Quite the contrary. If anything I envy them. Anyone that can make a living off of doing this is beyond awesome in my book.

While I ate a granola bar this morning (this is the exciting kind of stuff you have to look forward to), I posted on Facebook "Just sitting here, eating a granola bar, thinking about starting a new blog...". I wasn't sure anyone was going to leave a comment but low and behold, several did. And they were all very supportive of this idea. In fact they were more than supportive. As my good friend Dana put it "Good. I miss reading you." That alone made my day and made me want to give her a big ol' hug.

So here we are...the newest and shiniest version of my blog to date, Just Say Jenny. I had been struggling with what to call it...I wanted something fun, something kitchy, something that said "Hey! This is my blog!" And so Just Say Jenny it is. Plus, it was one of the few names I had come up with that wasn't taken so booyah.

I'll bet you're wondering "What do we have to look forward to on this blog Jen?" Well, let me tell you...just about EVERYTHING! I plan on writing about my attempt at learning to play the ukulele (as of yesterday it was going well until my teenage daughter, who plays two instruments, said to me "You're not actually playing the song, just the melody"), my obsession with Jadeite (and one of the biggest reasons I hate Martha Stewart), my kid, my husband and my cat (who may or may not write as a guest blogger here. I haven't decided yet cos she's got an attitude), photography (and tons of photos) and pretty much anything that I feel like because hey, it's my blog, I can do what I want.

And on that note, I leave you with this:

See? Attitude. And a little creepy to boot.