Cheap Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

What’s that? You don’t have a disposable income available to you to drown your date or significant other in expensive gifts? Guess what? Me neither.


Valentine’s Day is a tricky holiday because, at least in America, it seems to be all about those gifts and $18 tapas. Sure, fancy champagne and diamonds sound lovely to me too but that definitely is not what February 14th has in store for me. Personally, I am pretty content being at home if I get something more stimulating than watching Keeping up with the Kardashians. So here are a few ideas to make a date night special for $50 or less!


1) Spa Night

Oh yes, lets go ahead and embrace all the 90’s sleepover cheesiness! Spend the night just pampering each other! If you are somehow so stress-free that you have no knots in your back, I hate you a little. Seriously, the nights I can convince my girlfriend to give me a back massage (perferrably for more than 5 minutes) are the best ones. So why not make a whole night of it?!

Perhaps those of you who are not dating a female might have more of a challenge ahead of you with this particular date. But men need pampering too!

My suggestions: Get a bottle of wine (or like 3), some chocolate, fancy popcorn. Then give each other manicures and a nice, long massage. Follow up with a face mask and plenty of cuddles!


2) Dinner and a Movie

Janelle… that’s like the most basic, overdone date idea ever. Well, you’re right. But we are all so darn busy all the time and think, when was the last time you and your beau just focused on each other for a night anyway?

Now, if you are like me, your mate differs in your taste of movies. So I am treating mine to a night where she actually gets to choose! And to save some dough, why not enjoy cooking a meal together?

How are you going to be spending your Cupid’s day? Bonus: These work just as well with “girlfriends” as they do with a girlfriend!


Want more of Journey as Janelle? Check me out on twitter @JourneyJanelle and see what I’m Pinning @JourneyJanelle. I am adding to pinterest boards every day! Want to talk business? Email me at for a quick reply. Check in Monday’s and Thursday’s for new content or click here to read past posts. Thank you!

January Income Report

So I see these all over the blogosphere, successful bloggers bragging about the $3 million they make a month off of their blog. (Yeah, maybe I am exaggerating a teeny bit) I read them and lust over the tales of how they paid off their student loans in less than a year. It does sound amazing, of course I dream of a magical money bag-shaped angel ridding me of more than 100k debt. While my fingers are very much crossed for that event, I have to be real about situation.

The truth is, mama is broke. Yeah. Broke. I have never really had to say those words before and I have to say, it is way easier to admit than I expected it to be. I even successfully curbed my spending cold turkey. I don’t have any magic advice for that one… Basically, I freaked out about how much I need to be paying out each month and then I decided I couldn’t frivolously spend money any more.


I spent a total of $352.58 in January on “unnecessary” expenses. That was way too high (primarily because I didn’t make that no spending rule until a week had already passed) and I won’t be doing that again. What is more scary, though, is that my fixed costs were $1,203.58. WHOA. So… that sucks. I ended the month of January $428.03 in the red which I have decided will be a “fixed cost” for February.

And without further ado, my income for the month of January…


Until Next Time,


Want more of Journey as Janelle? Check me out on twitter @JourneyJanelle and see what I’m Pinning @JourneyJanelle. I am adding to pinterest boards every day! Want to talk business? Email me at for a quick reply. Check in Monday’s and Thursday’s for new content or click here to read past posts. Thank you!

How to Survive Post-Grad Depression

Using the word “depression” is difficult because, to me, it is admitting defeat. As I get older, I realize that I don’t suffer from depression on a regular basis as so many do. There was a time that I did but that feels like ages ago now.  But for a couple of months after graduating, I sunk into a hole that felt all too deep. I’ve learned some lessons in my 253 days since flipping my tassel…

How to Survive post-grad depression

1) It’s okay that you miss your “old life”

This was hard for me to admit to myself, let alone to others. My “new life” was good. I had no grounds to complain as I was able to move home to a totally happy, respectful living-with-dad situation. But all those connections I had made, my college friends, they were not nearby anymore. Suddenly, I was eating most meals alone and spending much more time with Netflix and less with a can of bud light. Which brings me to my next point…

2) Suddenly, you have so much more time in your thoughts

When you have a club or sorority, plus classes, plus a job, plus a social life, plus appeasing your professors – it is easy to be too busy to think about yourself. There were so many days in college that my calendar was far too full to have a mental breakdown. There just wasn’t time! In the darkest place of my post-grad depression I had virtually no commitments. There were no meetings to attend, events to plan, papers to write, nothing.  I found myself dedicating entire days to being sad and crying because I truly did not have anything else to do. Part of getting back on track, for me, is embracing my Type-A personality and filling that google calendar of mine with as much as I can.

3) Yes, you will be bored.

No one is going to come knock on your dorm door and cheerfully invite you to some event in your building or on campus. Your friends don’t live down the hall or a 5 minute walk away anymore. In fact, some of your friends may have even had the nerve to go off and start a career giving them less free time to entertain you! (I know! Talk about jerks) If you are anything like me and need responsibility to get you out of bed, you are going to have to find that on your own. Your community needs your help. Your blog that you ignore for months at a time could use some attention. Your old high school totally needs someone to coach soccer because Mrs. Jones has the worst flu in the history of illness. You get the point… you have to find things you like now and you have to do that on your own.

4) Be honest with the people around you

It is not uncommon to disconnect from the world around you when Sir Depression decides he is moving in. Totally normal, y’all. And I think for a time it is healthy to embrace your feelings and just be sad for a bit. But stewing in your feelings too long definitely makes them worse. It is important to tell your loved ones what is going on with you so they can keep you accountable for getting better!

5) Get help!

This is probably the hardest tip for most people. I would say this is the most literal admit of defeat in the whole process. Also, financially challenging for many of us just getting out of college. But trust me, having a great therapist is flippin’ awesome. There is no shame in realizing you can’t do it on your own.


I am happy with my life now. It is getting back to the version of myself I like most. But I will still have days where I wake up sad and can’t seem to shake it. That is life. And I just have to live it the best that I can.

Until next time,


Want more of Journey as Janelle? Check me out on twitter @JourneyJanelle and see what on Pinning @JourneyJanelle. I am adding to pinterest boards every day! Want to talk business? Email me at for a quick reply. Check in Monday’s and Thursday’s for new content or click here to read past posts. Thank you!

The Art of Coming Out

Yesterday, October 10th, was “National Coming Out Day.” While I did not actually come out to anyone yesterday it definitely got me thinking about my own experiences. I didn’t exactly make this huge statement where I let the world know I was bisexual – there was really no gesture at all. I really just let people find out on there own time.

2015 is a great time to be gay… I mean really, I couldn’t ask for better timing. The world is receptive to it and celebrities are coming out left and right. Suddenly, I have all these role models telling me that part of me I shielded for 12 years is totally welcome in the world.

Anyway, I definitely started thinking about different ways that one can announce their homosexuality to the internet…

The Weak Sauce
This gal wants the world to know but maybe doesn’t feel the need to literally climb a mountain to shout it from. Optional method, a “sly snap” …if you will. A picture of your partner with some sort of ambiguous captioning posted to the snapchat story. Perhaps an emoji covering their face. A picture of some perfectly adorable same-sex hand holding. Same sort of method works well on Instragam – just a picture of the lady friend. No caption. Leave ‘em wondering if that fox gets to kiss your face.

The Hashtagger
He wants you to know he likes the dudes and there will be no question when this day is over. Ahh the glorious celebratory days welcoming baby homo’s into the brave new world. He’s not coming out of the closet, he is breaking the damn thing down! #NationalComingOutDay was made for him and he’s not afraid to use it!

The Grand Gesture
Now these folks are the epitome of bravery. Truly, all kidding aside, I tip my hat to y’all – you are making a difference. Most infamous in my book is the beautiful fashion and beauty youtuber, Ingrid Nilsen. Her video “Something I Want You to Know (Coming Out)” (seriously, why is that such a genius title for hits) has more than 12 million views. And now we all get to lust over her *goals * relationship with fellow youtuber Hannah Hart, lovingly known as Hangrid.

The Insufferable
Now these gays… they are the real trailblazers. They know how to tell the world “I’m gay” whether they care or not! Optional method. A: Scrap your entire wardrobe. I mean everything. Schedule a Salvation Army pick-up kids, we’ve got the donation of the century. Now start shopping… if it doesn’t have a rainbow on it then it is NOT for you. That’s right, you are rockin’ ROYGBIV all day everyday you little homo you. Optional Method, B: This one is not for the faint of heart… or rather, the faint of pain tolerance. Take a drive over to your neighborhood tattoo parlor and get the words “I’m gay” inked onto your forhead! *warning* not suggested for anyone who ever wants any job ever.

I may or may not be guilty of a couple of those myself…


The “sly snap”


My “Bi Visibility Day” Selfie

Until Next time,

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Graphic Design for Dummies

First of all, it has been awhile since I actually talked to you guys… Hi!

I started this blog while I was at a job/internship for a small transportation-orientated nonprofit where I had some graphic design type tasks. The timing was kind of perfect because while I was teaching myself skills for the job I was able to make some interesting “art” for my blog as well. (P.S. I made the “Journey as Janelle” banner myself)

I liked using my own computer for that job because frankly it is faster but it is a Mac and the only copy of photoshop software the organization had was for a PC. I decided to look online for ways to design what they needed because it was pretty simple and I had made a flyer using purely online programs before… as in I did not have to purchase any software or download anything.

I found two amazing websites that I cannot rave about enough. I use both of them semi-regularly for personal projects as well as to beef up my projects for school.

1. Canva
This program could be used for just about any graphic you can think of honestly. I’ve used it for flyers, my banner, social media posts, etc. I guess you could think of it as a much more visually attractive powerpoint. Meaning that you add pretty simple things but with some creativity you could make something super orginal. They have a ton of templates, some free some $1. I’ve personally never spent any money on the website but if you wanted to make something that looks really nice very quickly I can see why a buck would be worth it.

2. PiktoChart
            This program can be used to make those amazing, expensive looking infographics that you see on the web… you know the ones that people are paid to make. Yep, you can totally make them for free! YOU! Seriously I cannot stress how user friendly both of these programs are. To publish infographics from PiktoChart without the watermark you do need a “pro” account. It is not expensive by any means and you also get something like 400 templates (which they are constantly adding to). For the sake of transparency, I do not currently subscribe to a pro account but that is mostly because I am a broke college student.
The reason I respect them and also what inspired this post is that they give free lessons on their website! They offer a ton of tips and tricks as well as a “Featured Gallery” which can be a great place to find some free design inspiration. When you make an account you subscribe to their blog which provides you with a weekly email of some new way to use infographics or make yours better. Obviously, you could unsubscribe from that feature but I actually love reading my “Harrison from PiktoChart emails.”

If you are sitting here confused about what infographics really are or if you don’t think they are all that special, check out this Buzzfeed article. Look how much cooler this article is because of some crafty design work!

Until next time,
Journey as Janelle