Adorable All Day

my new flowchart.

I was trying to figure out a way to focus on using my time better.  I considered some other options, like a pyramid, where I had to always have the bottom completely done before I move on to the next level.  I know that for me that is an unrealistic motivator and I needed something with a little more flexibility.  So here is my Delightful Flowchart of Productivity and Funzies.  Now the real test is to see if my new snazzy flowchart helps me actually use my time better.

Jess Lonett's Delightful Flowchart of Productivity and Funzies

trying out yinzer derby.

After relocating back to the Pittsburgh area I’ve been debating over whether or not I wanted to try to join the Steel City Derby Demons.   A pretty typical internal conversation with myself:

Do I want to dedicate the time it takes to do derby?

But, think of how much more in shape you were while you were practicing regularly!

Do I want to drive 30 minutes to the rink?

But, think of how much more badass your skillz can get!

What if I can’t keep up with a team of this size or skill level?

But, think about how cute your tush looks in glitter gold booty shorts! 

So I finally decided to at least check out Steel City and see what it was like.  No pressure. No commitment. Just being back on skates and making left turns.

All day yesterday I was so anxious about going to their practice.  I was more nervous than my fresh meat try outs with Rocktown, which just happened to be exactly 2 years ago this week, weird.  I was more nervous than bout days!  I had seen Steel City skate in a couple bouts and was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to keep up at their practices.  Especially after being off skates and my non-existant work outs during the last 4 months.  I felt like a middle schooler going to a brand new high school where I knew no one and there were going to be big scary kids there.  Who was I going to eat lunch with?! Or in derby’s case, I guess, who was going to be in my pack?!

Unlike my Rocktown Fresh Meat Try Outs, I was the only unfamiliar skater at this practice.  I was super shaky as I signed the liability wavier and geared up.  A few of the Steel City girls chatted with me and were super nice, obviously! Derby girls aren’t scary when you’re on their team.

The Romp N Roll rink was a little more slick than Funky’s, plus my nerves had me looking all Bambi on ice at first.   I got warmed up and did laps with the team and felt a little more at ease.  The rest of the practice went well and I was able to keep up for the most part with everything they did.  I could definitely tell my endurance was suffering the most.  However, I even survived scrimmaging!

I’m glad I settled on giving derby in Pittsburgh a try. I guess I’m on my way to being a part of Yinzer derby!


my mental map of suburbia.

I’ve been slowly re-adjusting to living at home in good old Cranberry Township with the fam.  I haven’t lived here since the summer of 2008, so its been a little over four years.  There have been so many changes with shopping centers and restaurants popping up everywhere it’s hard to keep track of all the new things!

There are a lot of similarities between Cranberry and Harrisonburg.  Mostly a bunch of shopping centers and restaurants.  Target, Wal-Mart, Buffalo Wild Wings, Jimmy Johns, Starbucks, Office Depot, Barnes and Noble, Panera, Applebee’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Michael’s, etc, etc, etc.  You get the idea.  Lots of big box retailers and chain restaurants.  Making your suburbia eerily similar to my suburbia.  Some of these things were in Cranberry first then Harrisonburg got one or vice versa.

This is where my brain is getting super confused.  I have this mental map of shopping centers and restaurants that has morphed into one and it’s extremely difficult to differentiate between Cranberry and Harrisonburg in real life.

Earlier this week I was driving to Staples to get something printed.  I pull into one of the many shopping centers in the ‘berry and realize this is not where Staples is located.  I was in the shopping center that has an Office Depot.  In Harrisonburg, Staples and Office Depot are right next to each other, however, in Cranberry Township they are not.  I pull into a parking spot and bust out Edith, my iPhone, and search to see where Staples is.

Later that same day I ordered a handmade pan pizza, pepperoni and bacon, from Domino’s via their convenient app! (If you haven’t tried their handmade pan yet you are missing out.)  I chose carry out since I was already running errands.  I’m driving to the location of their store when I panic and start thinking that I’m actually headed to a Pizza Hut.  I pull over to double check.  I was right.  I was headed towards Pizza Hut.  I had zero clue where the Domino’s was.  Edith again comes to the rescue.  My favorite part is that Domino’s is in the same complex as my old dance studio which I attended from 4th grade until I graduated from high school.

My blurry memory of Cranberry is giving me this false confidence that I know where I’m going.  I just need to remind myself that I probably have no idea where I’m going. At all. Ever.


canceling netflix: the dawson’s creek effect

I can check off one of my Seasonal Moxie goals as complete!  There are a few reasons I wanted to cancel my Neflix account.  The main reason I got Netlix was because I didn’t have cable for the past two years, but now that I’m living at home and my parents have cable it seems silly to continue to pay for this when I can walk downstairs and find something mindless to watch on TV if I have the urge.  House Hunters? The Real Housewives of Wherever?  That 70s show?  At any point in time during a 24 hour span I am certain one of these options is available.

The more important reason is what I am going to refer to as “The Dawson’s Creek Effect”.  I just finished watching all six seasons of Dawson’s Creek.  Pegs wouldn’t let me watch it when it was originally on, so I had only ever seen random re-runs here and there.  I knew the general story, but wanted to watch the entire thing.  Plus, I had visited Wilmington, NC,where filming took place, this summer and thought it’d be neat-o to see where I had been while watching.

The thing with The Dawson’s Creek Effect is its potent combination of nostalgia and easy access that traps you before you’re even aware.  The late ’90s early ’00s fashion, teen angst, and relatability of a twenty-something you didn’t have when when you were watching the first time is all right there.  You can now identify with the college years your high school self couldn’t. All of these things rope you in and before you know it you’ve just spent your Saturday watching 6 episodes of Dawson’s Creek and haven’t had anything to eat or drink besides the coffee you made before you hit “watch next episode” the first time.

I knew if I didn’t cancel my subscription now The Dawson’s Creek Effect would get me again in the form of One Tree Hill or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  For now if I am craving some of that nostalgic TV I will just re-watch The OC or Gilmore Girls I have on DVD.  I mean changing the discs at least makes you question how long you’ve been watching compared to the next episode will start in 15 seconds feature Netflix uses to exploit your self control.


seasonal moxie: winter edition





Last January I decided to start making seasonal goals instead of yearly resolutions. You can see last winter’s seasonal moxie post here.  After winter my life seemed to be going non-stop. No other season had any moxie, how sad!  I am currently dedicated to seasonal goals, so hopefully after I dominate my winter moxie list I will be ready for a fun spring moxie adventure too!

In no particular order:

  • Organize old photos, nostalgic childhood/high school stuff
  • Digital overhaul (back up photos, unsubscribe from irrelevant emails, etc)
  • Drink more water, at least 2 Nalgene bottles a day, and no soda until my water minimum has been met
  •  Run or walk a mile a day or even this from Thanksgiving until New Years. (at least every other day will be a win, but everyday would be the best!) {Inspiration here}
  • No fast food
  • Cancel Netflix & no TV shows or movies before 8pm
  • Own an infinity scarf.  If anyone would like to make me one I wouldn’t say no and I would probably love you forever, or at least until the weather warms up.

I have also decided to choose one little word to focus on too. {Inspiration here}  My life is changing too quickly for me to pick a word that will be relevant for an entire year.  That’s correct, I am so anti-commitment right now that I can’t even choose a word to focus on for a year. I’m totally fine with it.  Here is the word I have chosen:Selfish definitely has a negative connotation associated with it.  However, I’m using it as a positive motivator to focus on growing and becoming a more rad version of myself.  I identify with self-centered more [absorbed with oneself, independent, self-sufficient] but a hyphenated word seems like cheating the one little word.  Being selfish is kind of difficult for my people pleasing self.  What do you mean I have to figure out what I want and make decisions based on me and me alone?!  Terrifying, right?

Bring it on winter.  I’m ready for you.

fall mix: certain flux

I’ve been listening to this mix for a few months now and the main thing I have to say about it is that I dig these songs.  They really speak to my twenty-something-figure-out-your-life soul.  After I had compiled all the songs, I settled on certain flux as a way of embracing this unknown next step for me.  There’s something reassuring about knowing that everything is going to be changing.


Passion Pit – Carried Away | When Gossamer came out I was listening to it on repeat.  I still do, but this song definitely stood out as my favorite on that album.

The Lumineers – Stubborn Love | Pretty much ditto about Gossomer.  I love their entire album lots.  Side note they’re opening for Dave Matthews Band and this makes me sad.

Awolnation – Kill Your Heros | I feel super pumped and badass when listening to this one.

Relient K – Everybody Wants to Rule the World | I have a soft spot for Relient K and this cover is a delight.

You can also listen on spotify here!

photo source

focused intentions: my quarter life crisis.

I officially put my two weeks notice in at work today.

The short story – I am moving out of Harrisonburg and back in with my parents for a bit to apply for jobs in the DC area.   If you would like the longer story continue reading.  I may ramble a bit to help get my thoughts out for myself and to share with the people who are important to me.

I started my job three months after graduating.  It was the first job I applied for and I got the position.  My only goals after graduating were to not move back in with my parents and join a roller derby team.  This job allowed me to do both.

Over the past two years in Harrisonburg a ton has changed.  Both in my personal life and in my role at work.  I wasn’t feeling like myself at all during the hours of 8:30-5:30 Monday-Friday.  Not feeling like me is one of the most difficult things for me to handle.  I am not the type of person who is unhappy with a situation without trying to find a solution.  I needed to make changes.

I’ve applied and interviewed for jobs in a variety of areas over the past six months or so, but nothing that I really want to do.  Most recently I interviewed at what seemed like a perfect fit.  I’m not going to say who or what because I’m still hopeful that something will work out with them.  After a couple rounds of interviews it seemed like a sure thing.   At this point I was already picturing myself out of Harrisonburg.  I was looking at apartments online and coordinating with my future roomie.  I was so caught up in the possibility of having a job that I was passionate about and what my life could be like.  After my third interview they told me I was just what they were looking for; however, it wasn’t the right timing for them to bring on a full time employee.  This was one of the most devastating things to hear.  I was what they were looking for and that still wasn’t good enough.

This is when I knew I needed to get out of my job and Harrisonburg despite not getting the job offer I was hoping for.  I needed to make changes that were more in my control.  Being hired for a new job is something that is almost entirely dependent on someone else.  I decided to focus my energy on getting someone to take over my lease which isn’t up until July 2013.  Luckily for me I live in a really cute apartment with a lot of character close to campus and downtown.  Who wouldn’t want to live here?  A super adorable girl who looks like a mini Taylor Swift was one of the first people to respond to my craigslist post.  The whole process only took 2-3 weeks to be finalized from my initial listing to mini T-Swift signing the lease.  At this point it was just a waiting game. Wait to live, wait to die, wait for an absolution that would never come.  OH WAIT, that’s from Titanic, not this situation.  I just had to wait to put my two weeks notice in and make leaving official.

The reason I decided to get out of my lease and move back home to look for jobs is because I want to make sure my next move is the right move for me.  Not just an escape from my current situation.  I knew I was at a point with my job that I was going to just take anything to get out whether it was a smart decision and something I wanted to be doing or not just because it was something different.

My main goal with moving home is to focus my intentions.  I’m planning on working in a restaurant/coffee shop/pizza place/whatever while I’m at home  to make money and give me more flexibility to apply and interview for jobs in DC.  I want to have focused goals for what I want my next career move to be.  I don’t want to apply for any and all jobs that I’m qualified for just to get a new “career” job because it will look good on my resume.  I want to apply for the positions that qualify for my life and for things that I’m passionate about.  I want to be proud to share what I’m doing with my life.  This move back home is exactly that.

I succeeded at my initial avoid moving back in with my parents and play roller derby goal.  I know I am going to be able to achieve this one too.  I’ve learned a lot in the past two years as a grown up and I am ready to take what I’ve learned and embrace whatever comes next for me.

Being a twenty something is the best!  That was kind of a heavy post.  Here is something more upbeat that I like to remind myself of often as well:



throwback playlist: college mix

I recently helped Andrew’s little sister move into her dorm at JMU for her freshman year.  That dorm just happened to be my dorm from eight years ago when I was a freshman.  As I walked across campus I felt an odd sense of calm.  I didn’t wish I was starting my college experience all over again, but I was really excited for what was in store for all these little babies moving in.  I was also pleasantly surprised no FROGS mistook me for a freshman.

Last week when I was driving back from a long weekend in Pittsburgh I busted out some old mixed CDs I keep in my car.  I popped in the one titled “College Mix” and I was instantly taken back to Hanson Hall fall 2005.

Warning slightly to extremely embarrassingly mix follows:

After listening to this mix I realized I was a lot more emo than I remember being.  I swear I had a great time my freshman year, but I do remember how difficult my transition was at the beginning.  I vividly remember talking to a friend from high school while sitting on the steps outside my dorm during a fire drill trying to explain why I didn’t feel like me.  I was also reminded of all the times my roomie and I danced to Love and Memories.

I love how so many memories are tied to this little mix I made during my first semester freshman year.  I love seeing how much I’ve grown and changed since then.  I think that’s where my sense of calm came from while walking across campus.  I appreciate my time at JMU for what it was for me at that time and who I’ve become because of it.

** The photos are from freshman year.  I’d like you to have a visual of  19 year old Jess Lonett of the past to picture listening to this mix.  You should also picture her listening to this mix on a pink discman.**

significant shirts.

Over the years there have been many significant shirts in my life.  Some of these shirts go back to high school, so please buckle up for this nostalgic journey down memory lane.  It might be worth your while, but probably only if you’re super bored or if you, too, have worn one of these shirts in your life.

The first shirt, or shirts, are my SV Pom Pon t-shirts & hoodies.  I remember practicing for try outs before my freshman year of high school.  The two main reasons I wanted to make the squad my freshman year was because one of my friends was going to be a senior so this was the only chance of being in the marching band together, and the other reason was that I wanted the shirts with my name on the back.  I didn’t care about the sequined uniform and white boots.  I wanted the t-shirt with my name on the back.

The Frog shirt is a JMU icon.  For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to have gone to JMU, a Frog is a First Year Orientation Guide.  Those yellow shirts are remembered each year by incoming students for the way they swoop in and help carry in all the mini fridges and the Frog dance.

The next shirt is the older sibling to the Frog shirt, the Orientation Peer Adviser polo.  Please see the above photo of the striped polo.  That was the polo used for years previous to the year I was an OPA.  They switched to a new polo and there had to be a team meeting about it.  People were not pleased with this change and there might have been tears involved, I can’t remember.  We eventually got over the switch and learned to love our new polos.

My Rocktown Rollers jersey is what inspired this little trip down memory lane and all the significant shirts that have come before it.  Again with the name on the back like the SV Pom Pon t-shirt. I had to wait almost a year and a half after joining the Rocktown Rollers to put that jersey on and officially go by Clarissa Pains It All.

When I got to wear my jersey and play in my first bout with the team in May I felt like the shirt is what made me an official part of the team.  Then I thought back to a conversation I had with my OPA, the dude in the striped polo photo.

Me: I feel like I have this power to be a super hero when I put this shirt on.
OPA: You don’t need to be wearing the shirt to have those powers.  You already had them before you put the shirt on.

All those years I thought I was working towards getting the shirt so I could have the power behind it. In reality the shirt doesn’t hold the power, I already do.



summer mix: nostalgic gleam

This mix has been on in my car almost non-stop for a couple months now.  Summer is my favorite and these songs are making it even better.  I love when songs sound better when the sun is shining and the windows are rolled down.

Like I said about my winter mix, I love naming playlists.  Nostalgic Gleam has the perfect amount of youthful energy that sounds best with the windows down while you’re traveling on winding back roads for a weekend out of town.


Walk the Moon- Anna Sun | You can see where I gush about first hearing them here.  My obsession has steadily grown since then and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.  Their entire album is perfect for summer time and I listen to it on repeat often, you should try it sometime.

Wolf Gang – The King and All His Men | This just makes me want to have a dance party and that is really all I need to love a song.

photo source