38 years old; it ain’t the end but it sure ain’t where I began.


Holy hell.  This feels rusty.  Thoughts that used to flow freely and eloquently from my mind to my fingertips are getting stuck somewhere along the way.  I’ve re-written the start to this post about 15 times but nothing feels right.  Is that what happens when you only blog once a year?  So screw it.  How about this?


I’m 38 now.  Well, I was 2 months ago and for the first time since starting these birthday posts I am not posting on my birthday.  That kind of made me sad at the time, but I decided it’s more important to write it then to get caught up in the day I write it.  Besides, I have a four month old!  I’m busy.  (Also, how long do you think I can use that as an excuse for things?)

These posts, regardless of how few and far between (or how late) are always therapeutic for me.  They’re for me more than anything else and I actually enjoy going back and reading old posts to remind me of who I was back then.  How I was feeling.  What I was thinking or hoping for.  Here’s 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 and 37.

Last year was tough.  I remember dreading turning 37 because I wasn’t sure how I would emotionally handle turning the same age my mom was when she died.  It seems the older I get, the more often I think of her.  Which seems kind of weird because my memories have definitely faded so I’m not sure why my thoughts often go to her.  What was she like?  What kind of mother was she or would she be now?  Am I like her?

You know how some songs just speak straight to your heart?  The power of music is incredible to me….how you can be so engrossed in a song:  the lyrics, the melody, the sound that it actually impacts the way you are feeling.  I have so many songs that have this power over me, but the latest is the new John Mayer song:  In the Blood.

How much of my mother has my mother left in me?
How much of my love will be insane to some degree?
And what about this feeling that I’m never good enough?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?

There are a lot of reasons I love this song, but that first line gets me every time.  I hope I have a lot of her in me.

Looking back on 37 though, I shouldn’t have been fearful.  Yes it was hard at times and it did make me think of my mom a lot (because good grief – dying at 37 seems so unfair).  But the ironic thing, I’ve realized, is that my 37 gave me life.


I choose to believe this has meaning.

So I’ve been spending a lot of time really thinking about 38.  Lord knows I have time….every few hours around the clock….uh hem.  Thanks baby.   So I’ve been trying to figure out how I feel about this year.  Am I still in my funk from last year?


And usually I come back to this:  I.  Feel.  Happy.

Of course there are aspects of my life that I want to change that maybe I’m not happy with.  I hope there always are because that means I’m growing and changing as a person.  But holy hell you guys.  I generally feel happy right now.  I haven’t always been able to say that….in fact it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to say that.  And you know what?   I’m just going to let myself enjoy this for a little while.

I also have to say that along with a welcome dose of happiness, I find that 38 has brought me a little bit of courage.  That “fire” I’ve talked about for so many years….the one that’s burning inside me telling me I can be more.  I can do more.  I can take a leap of faith and do something out of my comfort zone.  It’s growing.  And I’m trying so freaking hard to listen to it this time.  To fuel it instead of ignore it or dampen it.

I know that probably sounds cryptic to you; but I don’t really even know what will come of it myself.  I just know that I cannot keep ignoring that feeling or I will regret it.

So maybe 38 will bring me more than I bargain for.

And I kind of hope so.

Until next year my friends….

P.S. As always, I’ve borrowed my title from one of my favorite Jewel songs, Stephenville, TX.   Take a listen here:

37 years old; it ain’t the end but it sure ain’t where I began.

Hello?  Hello?  Is this thing on?

Hi, my name is Janna and I used to live here.  I used to share adventures, stories, recipes and projects here.  I used to love coming here.

I miss coming here.

I think it’s fairly safe to say that the days of TWSST are probably gone, but I refuse to miss a birthday post!  Until the day this site is banned from the Internet or the whole thing implodes….I will write a birthday post.  Because they are mostly for me and I do enjoy going back and reading each years post (bored?  You can too!  Here’s 32, 33, 34, 35, 36).

So 37, eh?  I guess that’s where I am now.  I certainly don’t feel like I thought I would at this age (pushing 40!).  I thought I would have it ALL figured out by now, you know?  Career, Family, Life, Health, Love.  Turns out I have this sneaking suspicion that I’ll never have it all figured out so I can just quit worrying about it.

It hit me a few years ago that turning 37 might be hard for me.   My mom was 37 when she died from cancer.  At the time I was 8 years old and any age over 15 seemed ancient (likely the same time I decided I’d have it all figured out by “then”).  But once I hit about 35 I sat back and thought:  holy shit.  37 ain’t NOTHING.  There’s so  much life left to live.  How awful to be robbed of that life and all of those years watching your kids grow up.  It just really isn’t fair.  And it is really hard to be sitting here, at that same age, and think about it being someone’s last year.  So, yes, 37 is a bit of a hard year for me, and surely part of why I am entering it feeling a bit unsettled.


I’m feeling a bit different this year as opposed to the past couple of years.  It’s bound to happen from time-to-time, right?  That feeling of being in a funk.  When I sat down to write this post I thought:  Do I gloss over this feeling?  Do I mention it?  Do I just pretend like it’s not happening in an effort to make things look good and happy in my life?   I thought pretty hard about this and decided that, no, I don’t gloss over it.  It’s happening, and it’s real, and it’s just where I’m at this year. That’s the whole point of writing  these. I want to remember this year for what it really is, not for what I wanted it to be.  And it’s ok for people to know that things aren’t perfect.

The harder part for me is really pinpointing what’s causing the funk.  To look at my life from the outside, there is really nothing to be upset about.  And really, for the most part, most days I feel just fine.  Except, there’s this feeling.  This nagging feeling in the back of my head that I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing.  That I’m destined for something else.  And sometimes when I start peeling back the layers of my reality, I see glimpses of things that on their own maybe aren’t much, but together add up.  Wanting a more creative life.  Feeling unfulfilled with work.  Trying (still) to get pregnant.  Struggling with balance.  Unhappy with where I’m at with my fitness.

These are important things, and compounded they are taking a toll on me.

Which can feel selfish because these are not life or death things.  I have friends going through much harder struggles right now.  Cancer.  Divorce.  Miscarriage.  How selfish am I to complain?  I have a job.  I have one amazing daughter.  My health, according to my blood work, is perfect.

It’s just…I can’t ignore that feeling.  And it’s got me in a funk.


I think what’s most amazing to me right now, is that my old self may have felt this funk and been fearful. Depressed. Discouraged.

But honestly, what I feel mostly today, is hope.   And hope, well.  Hope changes everything.

I know I’m capable of great things.  I want to work hard and be successful at whatever it is that I do.  I think the challenge for me is having the courage to take that first step.  To make a plan for change.  Whether it be for my career, family, life, health or love.  Because maybe if I can take that first step, I can be one step closer to having it all figured out.


Until next year,
37 year old Janna

P.S. As always, I’ve borrowed my title from one of my favorite Jewel songs, Stephenville, TX.   Take a listen here:


36 years old; it ain’t the end, but it sure ain’t where I began…

I feel a tad bit rusty here, and I really should be utilizing Abby’s dwindling nap time to do some serious meal prep or yard work right now, but I wasn’t about to break my birthday post tradition.   They’ve really become one of my favorite time capsules here and I enjoy re-reading them each year as I reflect upon my year and think about the upcoming one.

Last year I had just finished my first Whole30 and felt amazing.  I focused on really trying to let myself Just Be me.  I think I did a pretty good job of that last year.  For the first time in my life it felt like my mind and body had been reset.  I felt energized, confident and happy.   I knew what foods to eat to make me feel my best both mentally and physically, and I could really tune in when things started to stray and when I needed to clean up my diet to get back to “normal.”  I still believe that Whole30 is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.


That being said, a year later…I know I’ve strayed too far from what makes me feel my best.  The stress of moving and losing Summit led me back to some old habits and I started to notice Bianca creeping back in here and there.  So as I type this I’m on day 7 of a Whole14 to try and get back to that “good” place.

Yes that means no cake on my birthday.  No wine.  No chocolate.  No Big Dipper.


But really, when I decided to do these 14 days and realized that my birthday would fall in the middle….I sat back and thought:  what better gift could I give myself?  The gift of getting back to the point where I know I’m at my best.  For me.  And my family.

Besides, I can honestly say that I enjoy a fresh mango almost as much as chocolate.  Almost.

This year it will have to do.

So as I think about the upcoming year, I’ve decided that I need to put a renewed focus on myself.  Not necessarily in the same way that I did last year, instead I want to focus on courage.  To talk more openly about my feelings.  To loosen up.  To let myself have more fun.  To give myself “permission” to make mistakes (with whatever it may be), and to have the courage to move forward the best way I know how.

It also means that I want to really start evaluating what makes me happy.  And to start to find the courage to pursue it.


Life’s just too damn short.

I can’t help but think about my mom at these times.  She died when she was 37.  Thirty seven!  Insane.  I can’t imagine, I mean, I feel like there is so much left to do with my life and she never got that chance.  It really just helps me put things in perspective that you need to find your passion, your love, your purpose and follow it.  I’ve always struggled with figuring that and this is the year I want to focus on figuring it out and DOING IT.

To have courage.

To forgive my flaws.

To smile.

To laugh.

And to maybe whip up some coconut cream with that mango.

(hey, it’s compliant).


Birthday girl who will probably regret posting this picture, but holla!  It’s my birthday.  You’re welcome.


pssst….you can my previous birthday posts here:  32, 33, 34, 35.


…they are a changing…

Why is it that the highest highs are met with the lowest lows?

In the past few weeks it feels like my whole life has changed.   We moved to a new house {finally!}.   Outside of town.   With lots of room to run and play.   A house with room to stretch our arms that has my creative juices bursting at the seams.   With a WOOD SHOP.  And my {almost} my dream kitchen.  It’s close.  Oh so close.


And then just a few days after moving in, I had to make one of the hardest and most heartbreaking decisions of my life:  to say goodbye to Summit.    I know I need to write about this more but to be honest it’s still too raw.  I miss my friend.   I miss her companionship.  I miss all of the things that I thought I wouldn’t, like how she followed me around, and her little black puffs of hair everywhere.  Losing her has proved to be one of the most heartbreaking events I’ve had to endure in a long time.  And it hurts.  I can’t honestly remember much about my life before her…she’d been with me for 14 years and through much of my adulthood.   Every memory has her in it and she was probably the one thing that had been a daily constant in my life.  Losing that is hard.  Changing your habits is hard.   Knowing who to turn to in times of sadness like this is hard.  It’s strange, but it’s hard to know how to grieve without her because she was the one I would usually go to for comfort.  Whether it be together on a hike, or just snuggled up on the couch or floor….her silent companionship often comforted me in times like this.   I feel a little lost and a little empty.


Needless to say, my emotions have been all over the board.  The highest of highs and the lowest of lows.   On one hand, trying to get excited about the house and all of my projects seems trivial.  On the other, I know that it’s a blessing to have so many things to do that will preoccupy my mind.    And in the end, I just know that focusing on things that I enjoy, and the things that I love to do will be healing.

On top of it all, we decided to potty train Abby right smack dab in the middle of all of this.  Which has turned out, quite frankly, to be the easiest thing on my plate.  She’s actually done great through all of this transition and loves her big girl room and her playroom.  I am so thankful that she is adjusting so well and she definitely brings a smile to my face everyday.  She is so funny and inquisitive and sweet.   The love I have for that little one is fierce and in some ways her innocence and not-quite-old-enough-to-understand these sort of things has been a nice distraction.


And THEN….(yes there’s more)…there’s the sugar dragon.  Yeah, after almost a full year of learning about food and really making it my focus to fix bad habits, be healthy and eat food that makes me feel my best….I’ve gone an woken up my sugar dragon.    Ok so I’m not popping Skittles and mowing down Snickers….but I definitely catch myself mindlessly eating chocolate chips, dried mango and paleo-fied baked goods.  Oh yeah, and wine.  And beer.  All of which is basically sugar.  And it makes me angry because after trying so hard, for so long, it seems like I haven’t quite broken that habit of turning to food in times of stress.   It’s frustrating.  I know there’s been a lot going on for me but I just wish I would remember that the one thing I can control is how I feed my body, and feeding my body junk (or heck, even too much “healthy” treats like dried fruit) isn’t going to make me feel good.

I honestly didn’t write this post to complain.  Or to make anyone worry.  I just need to process all of this and ya’ll know that for me, writing it out helps.   And I want you to know that I do feel hopeful.   For the first time in a long time, I have a project list.  I have things that I can’t wait to get home and work on.  I know how to slay that dragon and it’s just a matter of committing to whole30 again.  So while things have changed, I know I have the tools to find my path again.   And my support system, my family, is still right by my side so in that sense, I probably have everything I really need.

Stitch Fix Review – October

Can you believe it’s Stitch Fix time again already?!

So you know the drill…I try on the five items I received and break it down for you (what I liked, what I didn’t like), and whether or not I kept the item.  And then half of you yell at me for returning something that you think looked good.   It’s ok, I’m cool with that.

After last month’s fix I left a note for my stylist asking her to (1) omit any stripes (2) include some color and (3) include something I can dress up for the Holidays.   I also left pretty detailed feedback on why I kept items vs. returning them…and I think that’s really helped in making my fixes better and better each month.   So don’t ask me why I look so angry in all of these pictures….because so far this has been my best fix yet!

So let’s get started!

Layle Shirred Shoulder Button-Up Blouse — $58.00


First of all, I love pink.  Kinda like I love coconuts.  This shirt is a great color, perfect for skinny jeans or boyfriend jeans, and has some fun detailing on the sleeves (shirred shoulders and pinned sleeves).  I think it will be a great top for work but can also be dressed down to be a bit more casual.   This was a no-brainer.


Leo Contrast Trim Blouse — $68.00


There is absolutely nothing nice I can say about this shirt.  I knew the minute I pulled it out of the box that I would hate it.  And I do.  I mean look at my face….I can’t wait to take it off. It’s just not my style at all….the colored trim, the pirate sleeves.  No.  Just no.  The only reason I tried this on was to prove how ugly it was to you, dear readers.


Milan Lace Print Back Pleat Top — $58.00


You knew it was coming.  The one I’m indecisive about.  And I know if I returned it, this would be the item that everyone said I was crazy for returning.  I think the problem is that I just can’t quite get comfortable in it.  When I pulled it out of the box I thought it was most likely a No.  But then I tried it on and I thought….well….maybe?  It’s kind of cute.  It’s definitely different than anything I own which is actually kind of refreshing.  But would I really wear it?   I actually think this shirt is perfect for my sister.  But for me?  I don’t know.

VERDICT:  KEPT.  Live a little, Janna.  If you hate it your sister will take it.

Selfridge Cowl Neck Long Sleeve Top — $48.00


I looooooooove this shirt!  The only color I love as much as black and pink is grey.  I love the style, I love the fit.  And obviously anything that helps hide my flaws *cough, belly* I will buy 2 of and wear every other day.   So this shirt is a keeper.  I love the look with jeans and boots but also think I’ll wear it with skirts (like a pencil skirt to work).  I was too lazy to add a fun statement necklace or earrings but I think that will work well too.


Rocco 3/4 Sleeve Faux Wrap Dress — $88.00



And then there was this little number.  Another item that if I dare return everyone would yell at my face.  Don’t get me wrong…I think this dress is pretty dang flattering.  And it actually has a heavy liner so it lays nicely, is a bit warmer, and kind of “evens things out” ifyouknowwhatimean.   So here’s my “but.”  While it’s flattering in pictures, I’m not sure how flattering it would be all the time.  I feel like I would constantly be trying to stand up tall to keep everything in check and I have never ever liked anything that ties at my waist.  It’s a bit more fitting than I usually go for and maybe I just need to get over it.   On the other hand, it is super comfortable, I love the liner, I love the look of it with boots (and my scarf from the last fix!), and it would be dressed up for the Holidays with a fun chunky necklace.   So again….totally on the fence here.  I’m sure the suspense is killing you…..

VERDICT:  KEPT.  I just need to get over it!  Wear something fitted while I still can, eh?

Overall I thought this fix was fantastic.  My stylist listened to my feedback, gave me some color (successfully!), and threw in a few things I wouldn’t have necessarily picked out on my own.  And even though one of those items was hideous, I’ll forgive her.

So why, after such a successful fix am I going to change my Fix Frequency?  Because dude.  My stylists are just too good! I’m spending way too much money on clothes and momma wants a new house.   So for now, I’m changing my shipments to every other month.

Are you ready to try Stitch Fix yet?   I think you should!

Until next time….

Yes I cut my hair, and yes those are the booties that I swore I’d never wear,