The Honeymoon’s Over

We’re back (and missing this view terribly).

view from balcony

While in sunny St. Lucia for our honeymoon, the JA and I…

tested the new footwear (courtesy of Nettifred),
Love Jess

made new friends,
BFFLs Cruise

had some great meals,
choc cake


and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
night kiss

While we missed Christmas with our families, we wouldn’t have traded our week away for anything in the world.

Yet, as with all good things, it came to an end. We arrived back in town to be greeted with cold, windy weather and loads of laundry. Oh well. At least we have an excuse to extend the holiday season 🙂



His and Hers: On Packing

Him = JA1
Her – JA2

As we begin packing for a week-long trip:

JA!: You can have all the room in the big suitcase, I’m just going to fit everything in my carry on.
JA2: Even your blazer and nice shirts?
JA1: Yeah, I mean, those things can’t take up that much space…can they?
JA2: And have you included your toiletries and shoes?
JA1: I told you…I’m not taking a lot of stuff!

(15 minutes later)

JA1: Hey babe – how much space is there in the big suitcase?
JA2: (laughing) I told you! How much space do you need?
JA1: (looking sheepish) Well, enough for my blazer, dress shirts and a couple pair of shoes…


If you couldn’t tell, we’re taking some time off. I may check in from time to time, but it’s save to say that I’ll be back to a regular posting schedule beginning Monday, December 31st.

Dear Students,

Dear Students,

Please stop giving my husband holiday treats. While we certainly appreciate the sentiment, I like baking my own cookies and don’t need all this on my dining room table.

holiday goodies

Mrs. A.

Something Borrowed

Since I bought a Kindle, I’ve been reading much more than usual (see my list of books on the main page sidebar or here). While I’m fully willing to buy books and support author’s incomes, if I were to purchase each book, I could easily spend my whole paycheck.


So I looked into my local library and wouldn’t you know? Those in the United States can borrow eBooks from your local library! I have two books out now and am thoroughly looking forward to stocking up utilizing this service. It’s fairly easy to download books (my library provides step-by-step instructions) but it took me FOREVER to figure out how to return them (I ended up doing it directly via Amazon). Now that I have the hang of it, though, it’s been a breeze.

I still plan on buying the books that I simply can’t wait to read, but for older books that have been on my list for a while, it’s a great option!

This post is part of my Try It Tuesday series. If you’re interested in seeing reviews of other products I recommend, check it out!


The holiday season is steeped in tradition. From lighting a menorah to placing ornaments on a Christmas tree, this time of year hold a lot of sentimental moments.

A few of the long-standing traditions include tree trimming with my family, Midnight Mass with my sister, and seeing the lights on 34th street in Hampden.

hampden 2012

Saturday afternoon, JA and I spent the afternoon with some of his college friends and creating what I hope to be a new tradition – building.

gingerbread 1

house front

house side

If I do say so myself, even with pre-made gingerbread pieces, we did fairly well. It was a wonderful afternoon and certainly created memories that will be cherished for years to come.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

Why Exam Time Sucks for Teachers, Too

Note: I am not a teacher, but my husband is. While I can not accurately say that this reflects the thoughts/processes of teachers across the board (hahah, get that? Very punny.), for most teachers who are good at their jobs, I feel that I can safely say that this time of year is one of stress mixed in with a bit of chaos.

Today is the first day of exams at the high school where both me and my husband work. Within the past few days (the past week if we’re really being honest), I’ve notice that exam time sucks for teachers almost as much as it does for students. Here’s why:

First, there’s the pre-grading. Papers and tests needed to be returned in order to used as study guides. That means that if you’re testing all your classes on one day, you have a stack a mile high to grade within a very short amount of time.

red pen

Second, there’s the teaching your regular class load in addition to holding pre/post-school study sessions. I mean, chances are that there’s still a bit more ground to cover and you really don’t want that to transfer into next semester. Plus, there will always be a student or two in need to extra help who come to you in a panic the day before the test looking for last-minute guidance.

Third, once exams are complete, they need to be graded before the end of the term. Whiles students get to relax, the teachers still have work to do.

the nemesis.

the nemesis.

Additionally, tutors are in high demand prior to exams. This week alone, JA tutored two different people for an hour+ each, and is scheduled to do the same next week.

There you have it! While students may have the pressure of studying for multiple exams, trying to cram that last bit of information into their heads before it (seemingly) explodes, the teachers are under in a similar boat – staying up late, rising early in the morning, trying to get it all done before a deadline. Oof.

Coming Clean

I’ve been a bad marketer. When I started the blog, there were a lot of unknowns – I didn’t know how it would go over being that I work in the education field, I didn’t know how long it would last (one year and counting!), and to be honest, I was scared about putting my life out there.

As a PR professional who knows a fair deal about branding, I haven’t been practicing what I preach. In this day and age, total transparency is recommended and while I’m not giving out my social security number, it’s time to come clean with you. I have multiple accounts (personal/blog) and it’s exhausting. It got worse after I got married. I wanted to change, but incorporating my new name with my maiden name (from which Janks derives) proved to be a bit more difficult than I thought. I tested different things over multiple platforms, trying on different usernames to see what ‘felt’ right.

What a hot mess.

So today, I’m cleaning things up. I’m combining accounts, streamlining usernames and making things right. Here’s the lowdown.

Twitter: @justcallmejanks will be shut down at the end of the week. If you’re interested in following me there, use @jessjanksa.
Instagram: changing from jessjanks_a to jessjanksa.

WHEW! I feel so much better. Thanks for sticking with me through this wild ride and I hope we can put this behind us and move happily into the future together 🙂