Category: Personal

The Broke and the Bookish: The End of An Era

Posted January 11, 2018 by Jana in Personal / 8 Comments

So, many of you know that I’ve been writing at The Broke and the Bookish since it was born 8 years ago. Writing there actually inspired me to open up this blog about 7 years ago because I wanted to post more than I was able to over there. Book blogging has seriously changed my life. I’ve made so many new friends, I’ve found my love of reading again, I’ve found so many books I love, I’ve discovered new genres I never would have read before, I’ve gained a new sense of confidence, I’ve found a creative outlet where I can express myself, and I even went to grad school! I’ve been offered opportunities and had experiences that I never would have pictured for myself. I’ve worked with so many wonderful authors and publishers, gone to bookish events, blurbed a book, been mentioned in acknowledgments sections, and even been a content adviser for one of my favorite authors (we talked on the phone, guys!!)! Joining the bookish community all those years ago was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Today at The Broke and the Bookish we officially announced that we are closing the blog. It was a very bittersweet decision for all of us, but we’ve all gone in so many different directions that the time had come. We embarked on this adventure as college students with absolutely no blogging know-how, and we had no idea what the blog would turn into and how it would change all of us. We developed some very special friendships there, and I’m sad to turn the page on that chapter of our lives. I love my broke and bookish ladies: Jamie, Kimberly, Daisy, Lori, Bridget, Julia, and Lauren, and I wish them all the best. I know that we will all be friends for a very long time.

Don’t worry! Top Ten Tuesday is moving to my blog, and I will be hosting it here at That Artsy Reader Girl moving forward. Check the Top Ten Tuesday tab on the top menu bar for more information. I’m really excited to carry on this blogging tradition.

Make sure to head over to the blog and read our goodbye post! We all got a little sentimental and left links for where to find us.

Happy 2018!

Posted January 1, 2018 by Jana in Personal / 3 Comments

Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited to start a new year. I’m ready for bigger and better things, happier and healthier days, and more smiles and laughs than ever before.

What’s your goal for 2018?

Merry Christmas 2017!

Posted December 25, 2017 by Jana in Personal / 7 Comments

I hope you have loved A Bookish Little Christmas as much as I have this year. I can’t believe it’s over already! Thank you so much for coming to celebrate with me and my friends, and thanks to all my friends who wrote up posts for this event. I can’t wait to put it on again next year!

I hope you have a very special day with your loved ones, and that it’s filled with happiness and cheer. For this last Bookish Little Christmas post I wanted to share a really amazing video that encapsulates everything I truly love about this holiday. The end is particularly inspiring, so make sure you get through the entire song! It’ll be the best 4 minutes of your day. Merry Christmas!


My Christmas Memories (with Little Jana Pictures!)

Posted December 24, 2017 by Jana in About Me, Personal / 4 Comments

Celebrate the Christmas season with That Artsy Reader Girl and her bookish friends! 

Celebrate #ChristmasWithJanaInstagram ✦ Twitter Event Schedule

Merry Christmas Eve! Boy, this month sure has flown! I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas Day. There’s just something about Christmas that makes me all nostalgic and look back on my life, particularly my childhood Christmases. Today I’m sharing a few pictures of my Christmases as a child. I grew up a military brat, so I’ve lived in lots of places. My mom and little sister have always been my best friends because we’ve really been the only constants in each other’s lives!

My Christmas Memories


Top left: My mom, little sister, and I have always loved baking Christmas cookies together each year. Here we are together in our kitchen living on base in Monterey, California. I wonder which cookies we were making in this picture!

Top right: This is my mom, my Oma, my little sister, and me in front of our Christmas tree in our house in Monterey again. I only wore skirts and dresses as a child and never wore a pair of pants until I moved to Louisiana (Louisiana winters are colder than California winters!) when I was 9 years old. That was quite an adjustment. lol. I’ve always loved dressing in festive colors at Christmastime!

Bottom Left: My first Christmas! We were living in Misawa, Japan at this time and my mom dressed me in my cute little dress and red tights for church. The picture is a little too small to really notice, but she also glued a red bow to my head…

Bottom Middle: My little sister and I loved throwing the wrapping paper up in the air like snow as kids. lol. This picture is in our Louisiana house. I went through a Tweety Bird phase, and this is my Tweety nightshirt.

Bottom Right: Every Christmas my family and I sit in a circle and take turns opening our presents, one by one. Here we are in our house in Arnold, Maryland. I loved this robe soooo much! The body was like a sweatshirt and the arms were like a cozy plaid button-up. We still have those same stockings, which I have always loved. They’re made out of yarn and knitted like a sweater. They hold a LOT of stuff.

What’s your favorite Christmas memory?

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

Posted November 23, 2017 by Jana in About Me, Personal / 1 Comment


Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays (aside from Christmas which, if you know me at all, you know it’s my favorite time of the year). I love getting the family together and eating tons of yummy food. My family is very small, and it has gotten smaller over the last few years. My two grandpas, my uncle, my parents, and my little sister and I will gather around the table in a few hours to eat turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole (my favorite), corn soufflé, cranberry salad, rolls, and sparkling apple grape juice. I’ll be decorating the table in with a gold table cloth, black hurricane lanterns, fall foliage, glittery pumpkins, and a million tea light and pillar candles. One of my grandpas will probably fall asleep at the table, and the other will tell us stories of his time in WWII. We will be silly and laugh and the cat might try to take a flying leap onto the table and destroy it all, but she’ll chicken out and fall asleep on the heating vent instead. We’re all pretty private and don’t like to get emotional, so we will spend the day reflecting internally on the things we’re thankful for. This is what Thanksgiving is to me. I hope your day is filled with love, food, memories, and family.

What is Thanksgiving to you? What’s your favorite thing on the menu tonight? What are you thankful for?

The Dreaded Blogging Slump | A Call for Advice/Commiserating

Posted May 5, 2017 by Jana in Discussion, Personal / 10 Comments

Hello!! Remember me!? I’m the person who you think fell off the Internet. I’m here! I’m just having trouble finding my blogging mojo at the moment. I’m reading, but I’m months behind on writing reviews. I’m staying on top of the Debut Author Challenge, but not as much as I’d like. What’s happening to me!?

We all know I’ve been in grad school the last 3.5 years, so the blog took a back seat in my life. But I graduated in December! But then I went to Hawaii and California for a month. But I’ve been home!! I’ve been reading!! What’s going on? I still love reading and blogging, so that’s not the issue. I’m not going anywhere, so it’s not like I’m phasing myself out.

What do I do?? Has this happened to you? Any tips for getting a handle on the reviews I still need to write? How do I make blogging a priority again? Every time I think of sitting down to write a review I go to Netflix or play Two Dots on my phone because I’m great at adulting and being responsible. I used to be so ON IT. Anyone else feeling this way? I need some help. Or a blogging intervention.

Throw your thoughts at me, and while you’re at it tell me what you’ve been up to!

Merry Christmas 2016!

Posted December 25, 2016 by Jana in Personal / 2 Comments

Merry Christmas, everyone! I can’t believe it’s here already. I feel like time is flying! I’ve had so much fun talking Christmas all month, and I hope you have too! Today I’m going to spending time with my family, opening presents, eating yummy food, and focusing on what this season means to me. If you celebrate, I hope you have a very lovely Christmas and that today will be everything you’ve wished and hoped for it to be.

What are some of your Christmas Day traditions?

That Artsy Librarian | I’m Graduating!!

Posted December 8, 2016 by Jana in About Me, Personal, That Artsy Librarian / 8 Comments


That Artsy Librarian is a feature all about my journey through graduate school as I work towards my Master’s degree in Library and Information Science.

Guys. I had to interrupt my Bookish Little Christmas event to express my excitement because tomorrow is graduation! FINALLY. I presented my capstone paper (basically a thesis) last night after working on it and researching like crazy for an entire semester.

In response to the Young Adult Library Services Association’s 2013 national forum on the future of library services for teens and its resulting action report, I performed a study that aimed to discover what qualifications and skills teen librarians should possess in order to be successful in their careers. I analyzed the content of 200 job advertisements for teen librarian job positions in public libraries in the United States. My goal was to discover what the ideal teen librarian is like and whether or not libraries, scholars, and the American Library Association agree by comparing the study’s findings to contemporary literature on this topic. I collected job advertisements going back to January 2015 from three online job boards over the course of four months. I then organized the results into tables of various types of qualifications and skills and discussed the implications of the results and compared them to the literature. I also make recommendations for further research.

My professor/director of the department says I should submit it for publication because it’s so well done and informative! I’m seriously considering it because it was a ton of work. This is all SUPER exciting for me. I can’t believe that after 3.5 years of being a full time student (again), I’m finally done forever. I never have to do this again (I said this when I graduated with my Bachelor’s so…)! I have written hundreds of pages of literature reviews, case studies, analyses, discussions, marketing plans, research papers, proposed literature collections, and more. I’ve done projects in conjunction with local libraries. I’ve done multiple presentations and led discussions on several of them. I’ve done a bunch of group projects (ugh). I did an internship. And it’s FINALLY OVER! I don’t know that this will actually sink in until next semester starts and I find myself not getting ready for it.

I’m graduating with a 4.0 GPA, guys! This is the best Christmas present I could have given myself (see? I still swung this in a Christmas direction!)!

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

Posted November 24, 2016 by Jana in Personal / 1 Comment


It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the USA, and I love this holiday almost as much as Christmas (if you know me at all, you know that’s a LOT). I love that there’s a holiday devoted to being thankful for my many blessings. I may not have everything I want/need in my life. I’ve got struggles like everyone else does, but I have so much to be thankful for as well.

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving today, I hope it’s a wonderful day for you, filled with family, food, laughs, and reflection. I’m so thankful for you. Thank you for being a loyal reader of my blog. :)

How are you celebrating today? What are you most thankful for?