September 11, 2014

Thinking Out Loud #15

Wow. I've only done 15 of these since I first started? 
[more info here!]

I.  Glass Animals is my new favorite Indie band. They have such a great sound! I still have yet to decipher the underlying meanings within their lyrics, but I find that makes them such an incredible band. 

II.  My first pointe class was super easy. My angelic teacher decided to take it easy on us for the first class - I did actually think it was a little too easy for me, and it ended way too soon. However, ballet was fantastic. It was quite possibly the best first class I've had in a long time. I was gently challenged (i.e. I was not worked to the bone) and I learned some new things!
[source: Pinterest]

III.  I've been faithfully taking a leisurely walk up and down my road at least once a day, and despite the fact that they are leisurely/moderate. I swear, my legs are getting more toned and even if no one else can tell, I can. I won't post any photos, because I don't have any "before" ones, but I'm so sure of it; I'll have a body like Beyonce before too long.
...Jokes. ;D

IV.  My stomach has been housing a beast that refuses to be satisfied. Normally, I wouldn't eat late at night, but for the past few nights, I have been positively ravenous!
It isn't just at nighttime either; I'm a monster constantly seeking sustenance, no matter what time it is.

V.  Fun fact: whenever I find something I really like at the discount store, I always always always write my name on the package, otherwise the rest of my family likes to polish it off for me. I found some delicious peanut butter cereal once; didn't write my name on it - my siblings ate all that was left. I'm still mourning.

VI.  I've learned that, while it may be cheap (discounted) and therefore seemingly revolting, coffee bought at a scratch & dent store is actually pretty incredible. I have found some pretty great coffee for pretty reasonable prices. Dunkin Donuts for less than $4? It's a win-win. 

VII.  Some flavors I scored are: jelly donut (great), blueberry muffin (not as incredible as I anticipated, but still good), pumpkin spice (way better than I thought it'd be), and banana bread (brand: Life is Good; score: 4 out of 5 stars). 

VIII.  I've been trying to work ahead in my studies to get caught up with the public school schedule, that way when my public-schooled friends are on break, I'm not stuck doing summer school like I was this year. Let me tell you, it's tough work spending 4 1/2 hours a day, nonstop, doing nothing but school. 

IX.  Although, believe it or not, I'm enjoying my schoolwork thus far... Geometry - dare I say it - isn't even that bad. It has to be a spell.

X.  I must be off; time to catch up on all the schoolwork I have left on my agenda for today. Hurrah. -_-

Join in on the fun! 


September 04, 2014

Thinking Out Loud #14

Happy Thursday! :)
[more info here]
I. You know me; I always always always have to put something up about school: Monday was the first time I have ever encountered a flux within the new school system...
Allow me to elaborate: after completing my History quiz, I noticed a few questions were marked incorrect - ones I was positive I answered correctly. I maneuvered my way through previous lessons and scanned over my notes; sure enough, all but two of the answers marked as incorrect were in fact correct, judging by the coursework and my trusty notes.
I sent my teacher a message and let him know that there was a glitch in the system. Thankfully, he corrected the answers that needed to be corrected - all is well. Except now I'm anxious about any future quizzes. 

II.  I have made a new discovery this week: I like eggs again. I never mentioned this, but there was a time when I despised eggs, after years of being obsessed with them. It's kind of strange how my body works, almost like it's on a schedule... "we can only like *insert food here* for x-amount of time, then we hate it. No reason. It's just how we do things" says the body. 
Why am I a maniac?

III.  Lately, I've been reading this book 
...I found it in the adult fiction section of my library and, although there are numerous swear words, I am amazed by the Frenchman who wrote it. Yes, it has been translated and therefore edited from the original (I can't read French, yet) but I am in love. If you can get past the profanity and such, you realize this guy's a literary genius.

IV.  I've had my mind set on reading Game of Thrones, but judging by the television series, I'm not 100% sure I should. I'm still working on Night Shift by Stephen King; I'll see how I feel after that.

V.  Last night while I was stretching, I popped my hip - which isn't new; I pop a lot of my joints - but this time, I think I may have done something wrong. My right hip flexor has been in on-again-off-again pain since it happened!
(FYI, these guys are the hip flexors):
Not a good injury to have right before ballet starts... 

VI.  Oh yeah, pointe classes start up today [!!!!!!!!!] My new shoes seem to be holding up pretty well thus far, except there's a lot of extra space at the heel that I'm worried about. Don't want my heel slipping out in the middle of class. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

VII.  New obsession: peanut butter + cold cereal.
Oh ma gawsh, how have I gone so long not knowing that this was a possibility?? I reserved peanut butter for hot cereal - aka oatmeal - when I could have been doing this

VIII.  I've started taking daily morning/evening walks up and down my road, and the other day I met these guys:
I used to be positively fanatical about horses; now I've more or less calmed down about it, but I cannot be expected to pass on by these guys. Just look at that face!

IX.  A fantastic life hack I read about on Pinterest is - ladies, you're gonna love this one - using baby oil in place of shaving cream. I tell ya, baby oil blows all shaving creams out of the water! I highly, highly recommend using it next time you want some really nice, baby-butt-like legs.

X.  Speaking of Pinterest...I'm currently obsessing over all the autumn/winter recipes. Ooh boy, it's gonna be tough staying healthy this holiday season.

Join in on the fun! :D


August 28, 2014

Venting ~ Thinking Out Loud #13

Happy Thursday!
[more info here]
I'm fairly sure that every TOL post I've ever written has had something to do with school.
I would like to apologize - yes, I am a professional complainer (if only that was a paying occupation...) and over the years I have become somewhat of a pessimist. I am working on it, I really am, but sometimes - such as on this blog - I have to be honest and vent a bit. And when I say "a bit" I mean pour out all my heart and soul in a few paragraphs. 

I.  I have officially begun 10th grade. I'm still in my first week, so I'm not entirely sure whether to be excited or completely terrified... I have new teachers, the website has a new layout, and - while I don't have to suffer with Algebra II just yet - I have to power through Geometry. 
Personally, I didn't think Geometry was that hard when I was doing book work for pre-Alg, but this is not eighth grade. This is the real deal now. Jesus, take the wheel.
(This describes my educational life perfectly):
II.  Every day, I write down a to-do list for the day, with two categories entitled "school" and "not school." The "school" side, more often than not, has more tasks listed than my general tasks. When I was little, I was told "it'll get easier," by many people. I think by "it" they meant "what you're doing now" not "the gorilla you're gonna have to face in the next 10+ years" because this is not at all easier. No sir.

III.  I mentioned last week that I got moved up to advanced in both ballet and pointe. Still not sure if it's all a dream or reality... either way, classes begin early September. I'm so beyond ready.

IV.  As you may already know (and I really hope you do), October follows September, and autumn begins in October; therefore, I have a great many things to look forward to as well as new dance classes!
I poetically stated my love of autumn in a letter to a friend, but I can't remember my exact words. Something about the smells and the trees...basically, autumn is my favorite season and I'm almost as excited for it as I am for ballet. 

V.  Fun fact: it's Thursday and I'm only just now writing up this post. #procrastination at its finest. (sorry Amanda, I promise I'll remember someday!)

VI.  Our garden has become overrun with grass. Not weeds, but grass. So I decided on a whim to spend an hour and a half pulling up as much grass as I could and in return I received the thanks of my mother, and three nasty water blisters on the inside of one of my fingers.
Word of advice: never. pick. blisters. Take a needle and poke a small hole, just large enough to extract the fluid, and wrap it up with a nice bandage. Do NOT pick at it under ANY circumstances. Lesson learned.

VII.  My entire immediate family has caught the flu virus. We have all been sniffling and wheezing since sometime last week, but believe it or not, I'm not bothered because I held up for a good three and a half days before catching it myself.
That being said, I haven't been doing much in order to make myself feel better, so I may be the last person to recover completely. Such is what they call 'karma'. Another word of advice: don't gloat when you happen to be the only one in your family who is healthy. It'll come around and bite you in the butt. Hard.

VIII.  Speaking of bites in the butt, this guy is my all-time favorite YouTube storyteller/short film creator. I watch a lot of YouTube (especially considering I'm kind of under the weather), and let me tell you, this dude will brighten up your day no matter what kind of horrible you're feeling.
Also, if you like illustrated stories, read Hyperbole and a Half. It hasn't been updated since October of last year, but you can fish around and find some hilarious content! [My favorites are 'the god of cake' and 'wolves'].

IX.  I really enjoy writing more personal, heart-to-heart posts when the appropriate time arises. No schedule, no outline (let's be honest, I never have an outline), no tools or tricks, rules or regulations. Just me, the keyboard, my innermost thoughts and this blog. The kind of things that really need their own posts.
That being said, I have a semi-emotional post coming up that I'm gonna need some feedback on. Because I need advice.
Let's not forget, I am still a baby both in blogging and in heart. More the former than the latter because I like to think I'm a warrior goddess at heart but we'll touch on that some other time.

Thanks for reading! Join in on the fun! :)


August 21, 2014

New Discoveries ~ Thinking Out Loud #12

First and foremost, Amanda, I am so sorry for not linking up yet again. I promise I still love you. <3 ? 
I have a reason for going MIA! I was actually lying in bed at 11 o'clock last Thursday night, when I remembered "I never published my TOL post! Dang it dang it dang it dang it dang it dang it dang. it."
And that was that. I didn't get around to posting anything, and aside from sharing some of my favorites, I didn't post at all between then and now.
The Worst Ever Blogger Award goes to yours truly! :'''''D (*sobbing*)

[more info here!]
 Fun fact: it has taken me 3+ months to memorize the URL for the ToL page...I'm not quite sure why I have it memorized, but now I do. Hooray for me...?

On to the good stuff:

I.  I have made a few new discoveries this week, including a couple of blogs that I didn't know existed until I went on a binge and was left wondering how in the world I didn't know they existed! These fantastic blogs include Minimalist Baker, Hyperbole and a Half, and an honorable mention that I follow on Instagram: Casey's Wholesome Kitchen
I found Minimalist Baker a couple of months ago whilst searching for a coconut cookie recipe. I later rediscovered it when I found a gorgeous tortilla soup recipe that I had to try, and a chocolate almond milk recipe that I definitely had to try. Both were splendid; including the cookies I made months ago. I've almost never been so lucky to find a blog where no recipe goes wrong! Granted, I've only tried three out of the bazillion [and counting] they have posted; now I am determined to made all the foods. 
I stumbled upon Hyperbole and a Half whilst reading an article on depression [random fact: I read articles about this and that when I feel the impulse]. The illustrations are hilarious (frankly, they're way better than I could ever do; especially with Microsoft paint. I never was good with that), and the stories themselves crack me up. Allie is a comical genius with the perfect words for every situation; the drawings are an extra treat. 
Casey's Wholesome Kitchen is the perfect solution for someone like me who is looking for a nice treat for one. She has some great recipes, and she takes gorgeous pictures! I love it when I can find healthy, single-serving recipes from someone who's not all that well-known, but knows what she's talking about. 

II.  I discovered that dancing means a lot to me. Not just dancing, but the fact that I have officially been moved up to the advanced level at my studio(*screaming*)!!!!!  My initial reaction:
Take note: at my studio, moving up into the advanced class doesn't make you a pro. I am by no means training to be a prima ballerina; this is Indiana, not NYC. We don't have that stuff here.
Nonetheless, I am still incredibly excited. This is what I've been looking forward to since I was four! 

III.  I discovered that I am not meant to be a professional baker. I tried making blueberry-banana bread sans recipe, and it went a little something like this:
Me: I'm going to be the greatest baker in the world; everyone will make my recipes and I'll have my own cooking show like Paula Deen but healthy!
*two days later, the entire loaf spoils for an unknown reason*
Me: Never again. 
I kid you not. The whole thing smelled rotten and I wanted to cry because it baked beautifully and the slice that I got the chance to try before it spoiled was actually pretty tasty.

IV.  I have also discovered that I don't like cabbage. I tried making a salad with it... Holy mother of nasty, that stuff was horrid!
Mom later informed me that you are supposed to remove the outer leaves and not consume them because that's the tough, bitter-tasting part. Whoops.

V.  I was looking at star signs (or sun signs?) - not because I believe in them, but just for fun - and I tell you, everything about Cancer is spot-on Janessa's personality traits. Dependable, caring, moody, self-pitying, loyal, over-sensitive, clingy... judging from this one source, I AM a Cancer.
It wasn't so accurate on my friends though. Don't be so quick to believe, young grasshopper. 

VI.  As if I didn't already know this, I discovered that I take a minimal amount of photographs throughout the week. I took one selfie...
...and that was it (yes, it was on a Sunday).

VII.  I have discovered that garage sales are a colossal waste of time. True, we only sold three days of the week for seven hours each day, but still; it was the most boring event of August. We ended up taking 3/4 of the supplies to Goodwill; in short, we sold about 1/4 of the stuff we spent hours setting out.
On the bright side, I made $10!

VIII.  This isn't really a new discovery per-say, because I discovered it in early April, but it is a discovery nonetheless.
I discovered that there's something magical about seeing someone in person whom you've never seen before. For example: I went to a Bastille concert in April (I wrote a blog post about it too) and it was light a light bulb went off in my head.
These guys actually exist. They're real people, they're really here, and I'm really seeing them with my eyes. They aren't just voices on an album! They're real!!!
It was in that moment that I was utterly sold, and have been a true fan ever since. Before the concert I was one of those "yeah, I've heard their songs" people, but now I'm one of those "HAVE YOU HEARD THEIR SONGS?!?!" people. See the difference?

IX.  Looking back on that concert recap post that I wrote up on Weebly, I discovered that I'm a little nostalgic for when Simply Janessa was a Weebly blog as well...
I feel so much better having just one blog to manage, but I worked so hard on the other one, I almost feel bad for neglecting it.  Of course, I'm not deleting it anytime soon - there is quality content as well as precious memories tucked away in there! 

X.  As you may have noticed, I finally discovered how to take a screenshot with my laptop! I feel so accomplished, it's almost pathetic. 

That is all for this week. I swear it, someday I will remember to link up every week!
Join in on the fun!


August 19, 2014


There is a bandwagon which has been going on for ages that I am just now jumping onto.
Time for a "favorites" post. Because it's a Monday evening and what else do you do on a Monday evening?

Favorite color(s): 
Turquoise, pale/pastel shades (lavender, baby blue, etc.), and white.

Favorite fruit: 

Favorite candy:
I'm torn between Reese's and Kit Kat.

Favorite chocolate:
Chocolate-covered coffee beans. Does that count?...

Favorite cold drink:
Smoothies and water.

Favorite hot drink:

Favorite ice cream:
Vanilla with peanut butter stirred in. <3

Favorite chips:
Vegetable chips from Terra.

Favorite soup:
Cream of broccoli (specifically, homemade by my mom).

Favorite car:
I don't really have a favorite, but I'll just say Volkswagen beetle because who doesn't like those? Also, hippie vans are pretty cool.

Favorite TV show:
Regular Show and Sherlock. Two very different programs, both with their own very addictive qualities.

Favorite movie:
aw jeeze this is like asking me to choose my favorite child... I'm gonna say "the Emperor's New Groove" because that's the last movie I saw.
[source: Pinterest]

Favorite book:
Once again, you cannot ask me this kind of question. Hmmmmm... I'll stick to The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien. It's the only book I've read more than once that I have yet to grow tired of.

Favorite sport:
Gymnastics. I still wish I could have taken classes when I was younger.

Favorite perfume:
Viva La Juicy because it's the only perfume I've smelled that I can remember the scent of.

Favorite meat:
I'm not a huge fan, but I can tolerate anything that's not red meat if I have to.

Favorite vegetable:

Favorite music genre:

Favorite city:
Chicago is really the only big city I've visited before. I've been to Minneapolis (and the Mall of America) but I was about 10 then and I remember very little.

Favorite celebrity:
Miley Cyrus Nick Cannon because he is the best AGT host there has ever been. I know nothing about him otherwise...

Favorite sport's team:
Did I mention I don't watch a lot of sports? No? Okay; I don't watch a lot of sports.

Favorite pet:
Wait, am I supposed to pick which one of my pets is my favorite?... my dog Rosie (don't tell my cat), because I've had her since I was six.
If I'm supposed to answer what type of pet I prefer, it's a close tie between dog and horse. Both are pretty great, I think, although I've never personally owned the latter.

Favorite flower:
Convallaria (lily of the valley)

Favorite dessert:
Holy cannoli, this is harder than any question yet. Uh, anything with frosting, chocolate, and/or loads of sugar!

Favorite smell: 
Freshly baking goodies. (example: cookies, brownies, banana bread, etc.)

Favorite game:
I used to be pretty good at hide-and-seek...
But really, I like ninja and four-square. Anything I have a slight chance of winning at.

Favorite piece of jewelry:
Earrings; plain and simple. Although I hardly ever wear them.

Favorite electronic:
I have only ever owned a Nintendo DS, a Wii, and an iPod. out of all those, the iPod takes the cake.

Favorite hair product:
Hair ties, I suppose...

Favorite sandwich:
I'm not a huge sandwich fan, but my go-to is peanut butter & banana with cinnamon & honey. Delish.

Favorite condiment:
does hummus count? No; then spicy brown mustard. Mmmm-mmm.

Favorite time of day:
It depends on the day. I really like Saturday mornings, but other than that if school is involved, I'm bitter about all the times of all the days.

Favorite day of the week:
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Certain times of each, as well.

Favorite actor(s):
Another hard one. At random...
Tom Hiddleston,

Dick Van Dyke,

Hugh Jackman,
[source: Popsugar]

Sir Ian McKellen,

and Asa Butterfield.

Favorite actress(es):
I have much fewer favorite female actresses. Top four are:
Cate Blanchett,

Anne Hathaway,
[source: Popsugar]
Audrey Hepburn,

and Evangeline Lilly.
[source: Popsugar]

Favorite season:
Autumn <3

Favorite comfort food:
Pizza and cookies. Maybe even a cookie pizza...(Google it. It exists!)

Favorite piece of clothing:
Sweaters, leggings, fuzzy socks...sweater-weather clothing. :)

Disclaimer: none of the images used are mine. I failed to find sources for some (a lot were in foreign languages...) but I claim no ownership whatsoever to any of them.