Flashback|When one door closes… that time I auditioned for a “Woman Inventor” show

Homemade Millionaire

One thing really does lead to another!

Originally written in 2010, this experience taught me that I have a gift for connecting and promoting others. It led me to create JenCann Productions and a part-time gig doing independent contract work and social media management. That work called me to write a social media guide for kids, “@Sophie Takes a #Selfie – Rules and Etiquette for Taking Good Care Before You Share”. Since publishing in 2014, I’ve had the honor of guesting many times on FOX29 Good Day Philadelphia, CBS3 Philly and more.

As an advocate for social media education and etiquette, I believe it is more important than ever to teach children early- at home and in school- about online safety and how to handle growing up in the digital age.

I am currently working on a couple of new book projects and writing more within this space.

Homemade Millionaire: One Reject’s Take

Processing complete (big sigh). Now that my five year old has been sent on her way to p.m. Kindergarten and I have enjoyed a nice lunch while crying my way through yesterday’s Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things, I think I am finally ready to provide my two cents on the Friday night Premier episode of Homemade Millionaire.

I tweeted myself silly…along with what seemed like about six other people. I even received a very sweet thank you DM from Kelly herself – Love you Kelly! One of the first things I was wondering as I was watching the show was “where is everyone?”

There has been a lot of commenting over on Tracy’s ProductX blog, along with what seems like a lot of explaining by the winner, Marcy McKenna (me thinks thou doth protest too much).

This first part of my blog post is kind of like what my old boss and I used to call a “therapy letter”. He would write a draft of a letter that would often start out not in the happiest of tones. I would type it up and turn it back over to him and we would hand the letter back and forth to one another with edits until eventually the letter was either never sent, or sent to the round file.

So, without further ado – here’s me sounding a bit pitiful.

I flew to Chicago to attend Kelly Ripa’s “Woman Inventor” casting call with a working prototype of my specialized cleaning tool in my hands and a prayer in my heart. I gave my best pitch… I know some of you have already heard it, and it seems VERY silly now:

“I’m a REAL Housewife in New Jersey – I haven’t been nipped or tucked, and I still clean my own house, which is why I am so excited to tell you about my invention “Grime-Out!” This revolutionary new cleaning tool allows you to simultaneously scrub and rinse those tough to reach areas in the bath…”

See? I even brought my winning personality, which I have been told by many that I do possess, albeit in an often goofballesque fashion. I even write my own material! I also have in my filing cabinet a sealed envelope which I sent to myself certified mail a while back with another idea that’s on the shelf for now.

As it turns out, and I shared this with the folks at Milojo as well, I too come from a family of inventors who have invented very significant things (e.g., Steve Jensen, invented Electronic Ballast for flourescent bulbs)

Frankly, I think I could kick some pitching ass on HSN and I know a lot of other ladies who could too (ahem, Marianne, Tracy, Ro, Ginny), especially when talking about their own product. But, unfortunately, we didn’t realize that “ready to sell” meant, ready to host.

I do think (after dishing with friends and getting lots of other opinions) that this show would have been better served had it waited to put Marcy McKenna on at a later date, therefore allowing time for the product she submitted for consideration to be, know it sounds crazy… “ready to sell”. There were thousands of women who auditioned for this show who are!

Was Tonya set up to be the black sheep of the first episode? It clearly stated in the application that you needed to have a “working prototype” and to be able to show how it worked. I know this because, since I could not bring a functioning shower with me to Chicago, my husband (not a film maker or producer) shot a demo video in our bathroom which we sent in with an online application. Yes, I applied online AND went to the casting call.

Again – bear with me because I REALLY want to see this show to succeed, but it was tough to watch the curly haired lady giving Tonya and her rollers a hard time due to the fact that THEY are the ones that brought her there! Clearly someone somewhere thought that Tonya and her MagicKurl rollers (not a working prototype) were good enough to make it on the show.

As for Stefany, I think she has a fantastic product that speaks for itself – I don’t think the cuff “barely fit” around her hair, I think she was nervous and her fingers were a little shaky. It seemed so unfair that she was out in the first five minutes of the show!

Where was all of the step by step, through the process help we thought we were going to see? I thought, along with many others, that they would at least entertain us with some fun bloopers from the audition tapes.

Okay – now here’s me with my big girl panties pulled way up:

This is what I know. This is television. No matter how much I love Kelly Ripa (and I do love her) and trust that her inentions for what she wanted to create here were/are good, there are a slew of other folks out there with their hands in it as well. Whether you want to believe it or not, these shows are about two things: entertainment and making money.

Also, cannot forget to mention what I thought was the quote of the show by Marcy that went something like “I’m not gonna have to invent something am I?” Really?

I went to Chicago and I had an experience that I will never forget and because of it, I have launched a business and am doing what I love to do. I am connected with some of the most incredible, empowering women you could ever ask to be included with and am so proud of all of them!

If you audition for a show like this and stake your life and being on it, you will be disappointed every time. We make our own destiny – I know you already know this!

Biggest lesson I think for many: You don’t need to be on a reality television show to be successful. Your target audience is NOT watching this show – your fellow entrepreneurs are.

I will continue to support and look forward to tweeting about the show Friday night – I hope it will gain some momentum and at least put a spotlight on some really fabulous inventors.

My hat is off to ALL of the ladies – Marcy McKenna, Tonya Englebrecht and Stefany DiManno! There is no questioning that you are all winners!

As always, thank you for taking the time to read and share!

Best Keto-licious Mushroom Cream Sauce

Jen’s Keto-licious Mushroom Cream Sauce *pictured over chicken breast with added asparagus

Since I have not been doing much in the way of writing over at J.J. Cannon lately, I thought perhaps sharing this recipe might count as a start. In this my 50th year on the planet, I have discovered the ketogenic program- don’t call it a diet folks- which has become a new and very rewarding way of life for me. In the case you may have found yourself struggling to lose pounds, especially in the midsection, that have been sneakily adding up over the past several years, I highly recommend you consider keto for yourself.

If you are already a keto-fanatic (and if you do also love mushrooms), you’re going to love this original recipe. Keep in mind, the recipe is for one serving, so if you plan to share, you’ll need to adjust accordingly.

BONUS: I have done all of the nutritional calculating legwork for you with the help of Very Well Fit so, yay! Also, at the end of this post, I will share a few of my favorite and most valuable resources for working the keto program correctly for the most benefit.

Jen’s Keto-licious Mushroom Cream Sauce



1 tbsp Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter
1 or 2 garlic cloves chopped *I love garlic
1 tsp Simply Balanced blanched almond flour
1 tbsp Philadelphia cream cheese
1/3 cup Simply Balanced (or other) heavy whipping cream
4 Baby Bella (portabella) mushrooms thinly sliced


Heat non-stick pan or skillet over medium low flame
Add butter, once melted saute garlic for approximately 1 minute
Add almond flour, stir constantly for approximately 1 minute to make roux
Add cream cheese and stir until melted
Add heavy cream, put flame up to right around medium, stirring, bring to a low boil
Once cream mixture is bubbly, reduce heat slightly and add mushrooms
Stir occasionally until mixture reduces and thickens
Add pinch of kosher salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Enjoy over chicken, zoodles, spaghetti squash, steaks, burgers, whatever you like!

Nutrition Label

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Favorite Keto Resources

Dr. Eric Berg Facebook

Ruled.me Excellent for calculating your daily caloric needs and more.

Keto Diet Tracker






Thanks for stopping by!

xo Jen


One Cold Day


One Cold Day | J.J. Cannon | First published by What the Dickens! Magazine November 29, 2011 – A raw and very personal poem about the relationship between my mother and grandfather.

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Like a latex glove
filled to capacity,
its accusatory fingers bulging,
pointing, wonkily in all directions,
the index eventually bursts with a force,
spewing its proverbial venom forth,
the direction suddenly clear.

‘You cocksucker!’ she shrieks,
a spray of angry spittle lands on the old man,
now in the winter of his life…

Sitting, a cold block of stone bench beneath,
a jury of trees surrounds
two narcissistic images staring,
oblivious to the fact.

Raw wind suddenly swirling up around the pair,
pigeons take cover,
no crumbs here.

A smug smile creeps
at the corners of a mouth
already lashed out
at the scared little girl who is no more.

Smoky cigar swirls,
this sickness between them has grown
over a lifetime rooted in dysfunction,
pulling, stretching
into a magnificent redwood,
they, the two branches on either side
unwilling to bend.

Permission to love unconditionally
never granted, never given, now
one cavernous emotional debt.

Profanity is the salt of their dialog now
sprinkled often, generously
over one another’s wounds
which can never be healed.

– J.J. Cannon

Dear Oprah | A Letter from Gram… circa 1988

Gram Letter to Oprah 1988

The folder containing photos, clippings and, most especially the writings from my Grandmother (like a letter to Oprah), is like a book that I never want to end. I’ve looked through it so many times searching for just one more bit of insight into the person she was. The person I loved so very much and to whom I am forever grateful for having raised me for the first eight years of my life.

Jen and Gram 1974

Each time I carefully thumb through the many letters she wrote (and thankfully made copies of before sending) I find something new. I ‘laughed audibly’ at this one.

Oh, Gram… if she only knew that commercials have become even more, in one of her terms ‘ad nauseam’ in number and what she would surely consider outlandishness.

It reads:

Dear Oprah,

Your show, 86% of the time, is so engrossing that the hour seems to pass with only two blinks of my eye lids. But there is one glaring defect. The commercials!! I realize they are necessary, that the bottom line “Make Money” is what counts and there is nothing wrong with that, but at the end of your hour I am totally exhausted.

The emotion charged experiences being relived, many times by overwrought guests, in front of our eyes, our open hearts, is all encompassing and involves deep emotions. To be jerked back and forth between a person who is baring their soul, painfully, and a commercial, prohibits any kind of continuity with the story unfolding before us. Trying to acheive this connection is so frustrating that after the end of your show I feel as if I have run the Boston Marathon, twice.

There must be a solution. Would it be possible to have the first 25 minutes devoted to commercials (I promise to watch) and then the balance of the time devoted to your extremely interesting subjects? It must be heart rendering for your guests to have to pause in the middle of the retelling of a traumatic experience. I feel for them and often wonder how or why they put themselves through the torture. There is a message to be told. We need show such as yours to enlighten us. I enjoy them and I will watch, but I hope that an answer will be found that will satisfy all goals.

Good luck and good health to you Oprah. You are a gutsy, classy Lady.

I am sincerely, Martha Dordigan
13424 Huston St. #C
Sherman Oaks, Ca 91423

p.s. I tried to write small and fit this on one page but old habits never die.

Clearly Gram put a lot of thought into this, did some math and came up with what she thought would be a great solution. I have to wonder if Oprah ever saw this letter. Was there any reply? Unlikely, but I have to believe this would have brought a smile to her face and maybe even a laugh.

My beloved and otherwise very healthy Gram died of breast cancer at the too young age of 72 in 1996. She would be in awe of technology today and would definitely have been a fan of Netflix, Hulu, and the DVR.

Obviously, it would be awesome if Oprah were to see this today – so, if you feel so inclined please do share. I’d be thrilled and thankful.

Thanks for stopping by,

xo Jen

California Chrome and Sunset Orange

Image Credit CNN
Image Credit CNN

First, big CONGRATULATIONS to California Chrome who has captured hearts everywhere and is being called a “modern-day Seabiscuit”. If my horse-racing fanatic grandfather (better known as “Doc Shah” in West Coast racing circles in the ’70s) were still alive, he would surely be swept up in the excitement of this story.  Sunset Orange… a good name for a racehorse (or nailpolish!)?  Maybe, or maybe they are just two little words I heard yesterday that captured a bit of my heart and inspired this post.

“Nick by a Nose” (working title), the YA novel I’m hoping to wrap up before the end of the year, was put on hold last fall while another book “@Sophie Takes a #Selfie” insisted on being born.  Now that she’s settling in and making her mark, it’s time finish this story.

Inspired by true events, this story revolves around Nick Motta and is told through the eyes of his twelve year old granddaughter Nicki.  It details their exciting, definitely-not-approved-of-by-Nicki’s-single-mother, adventures together in Southern California during the mid-1970’s.  There is one big mystery…maybe two… (dun dun daaa)

An only child, Nicki lives with her mother, Roxy.  There is an unspoken, but clearly understood, gag order barring any discussion of the existence or whereabouts of Nicki’s father.  Nicki cherishes the time she spends with Grandpa Nick whether they’re diving for lobsters, being treated like royalty at the best restaurants in town or going to the track.  Days spent with Grandpa Nick are always spur of the moment and exciting, especially when he picks her up extra early to watch a pre-dawn workout at Santa Anita.  Soon enough though she is exposed to the darker side of racing, but refuses to believe Grandpa Nick is anything but perfect.

Grandpa Nick’s horse, Irish Mafia, who his girlfriend Marcelle has pinned all of her hopes and diamond-ring dreams on, is a sure thing at Aqueduct in New York that Fall, and Nicki and her best friend Kelly go along for the crazy, luxurious ride.

My grandfather was one of those people who, without a doubt, lived every single day of his eighty-something years as if it were his last.  He was far from perfect, but I loved him anyway.

I didn’t set out intending to tell all of this today, but there it is.

Not sure if it’s just me, but this mind of mine never ceases to think about words and how I might string them together in an original way.  As an example, I was driving home from the store last night with my daughters (10 and 8) we were treated to an especially beautiful sunset.  We were having one of those simple, easy moments where no one was arguing and the conversation was sweet.

At one point, Sophie said, “Sunset orange is my favorite color.”

Bet you can’t guess what Nicki’s favorite color is going to be…

Thanks for stopping by,


xo Jen




Photo via abduzeeda.com

Silver white snowflakes falling steady

by the light of a sliver moon.

The smell of sparkling cinnamon

warms a firelit room

filled with Merry Christmas makers

drunk on the promises of stars wished upon all the year through…

Jingle bells and mistletoe,

Popped corn strands strung

Blown spheres of glass hung

in hues of deepest red, blue and green glowing.

A flaxen-haired angel sitting proudly atop

a tall and handsomely tinseled tree

in all her ivory finery

A thousand tiny lights twinkling,

if eyes squint just right,

light filtered through hazelnut-rimmed irises

reflect rays of amber and white.

Soon cherubic babes will take delight

in the flight of dreams

Their angel wings nestled safely

into downy beds of purest white.

Watching their sleep,

long lashes lying soft upon cheeks

still crimson from winter’s frosty kiss.

Hurry, hurry, musn’t be late!

The old Grandfather gongs its reminder…

Cue the sugarplums please,

hang the stockings with care.

And now, at last

the familiar clatter

I’d been longing to hear!

There he is, breathless,

blue eyes blinking in disbelief

as I close the pine-perfumed space

between us and say,

“Kiss me like you’ve not seen me for

three hundred sixty-five days, 

like you’ll not for three hundred sixty-four more.” 

                                                                                                             ~ J. J. Cannon

A Duck, A Hospital Bed, and The Fountain Pen



(Beautiful) Photo Credit: Spectreman’s Photos at Flickr

Two years ago, almost to the day, I was eagerly trying to be a bona fide busy writer.  I would eagerly check for my Morning Coffee Newsletter each Tuesday and peruse the freelance writing “want ads”.  

Fast forward to today.  I find myself busier than ever professionally thanks to the incredible people, who I also call my friends, at All Stages Marketing, a first novel “Nick By A Nose” (working title, in progress) and “@Sophie Takes A #Selfie” due out soon.  Additionally, being a mom to a son, 28, and two daughters ages 10 and 8 keeps me just about as busy as I can possibly be!

As I sat down to do some revisions to a manuscript another document dated 11/26/11 caught my eye.

The query said they wanted a 100 word story, which included a duck, a hospital bed and a fountain pen.  My submission:

Suddenly, Truman C. Duck was in the middle of one helluva brawl.  Next, he awoke bruised and bleeding in a hospital bed across from Central Pond.  He remembered the fabulously shiny pen he had fought so hard for in the fountain.  He thought he had it… drat!

Truman believed if he had the right pen, he could write the next great American novel.  Now he had some time.  If only he had that fountain pen! 

 Upon his discharge, a smiling nurse said “Your personal possessions Mr. Duck.  I look forward to reading your story one day.”  And there it was.

I just knew it was going to be a hit… or not.  I never heard from anyone, but I have to believe that at least one person smiled?

Hope you’re all enjoying this Sunday before Thanksgiving.  I find myself more thankful than ever for the obvious- my precious family and friends- but ever more thankful for little things… like the opportunity to enjoy this frigid east coast morning sitting next to the fire with the dog, my laptop and a large Dunkin Donuts coffee.  


Little girls are laughing in the other room, waiting patiently for me to finish this post so that they can get together and work on building their Minecraft zoo.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving and, as always, thank you for taking a moment to read.


xo Jen


First Foray in Fondant

Youngest is turning 7 tomorrow.  Where does the time go?  She is madly, passionately in love with all things pony and has requested a cake with a pony on top.  While I am more cook than baker, I do love a challenge.  I have never worked with fondant or sugar paste, but thanks to YouTube we finally found this cute little pony and decided to give it a whirl.

How did I do?

I will post a picture of the finished product later today.

Update:  My Bastille Day Baby had a great day with family, friends and some cosmic bowling.  I wouldn’t have been able to make this fun cake if I hadn’t found the perfect “How to Make a Fondant Pony” video via YouTube.


Hello and welcome to Well Adjusted on WordPress! 

I’ve successfully and painlessly made the switch from Blogger.  Feeling like a kid with a brand spankin’ new pair of sneakers and am sure I can run faster and jump higher!

Honestly, (no laughing) the most difficult part of this whole process for a lunatic like me was finding just the right theme, header pic and font.  I purchased the Custom Design package which gave me access to some beautiful fonts and, if at some point I become a technical wizard, I’ll be able to customize even more. 

I want to say thank you and acknowledge my friend Antonella for the awesome pic which I have pilfered for my own use here.  The Caterpillar symbolizes transformation.  Its slow and steady movements serve as a reminder to be patient and work methodically towards our goals, whatever they may be.

My current goals are to write more in this space and continue to share information, recipes, random musings, etc.

As always, thank you for reading ~ I’ve missed you!

xo Jen

p.s. I Love You, But…Aren’t You Forgetting Something?

First, a disclaimer – I may be the queen of disclaimers.  It is important to note before I continue that, in the world of Social Media, I am not, by definition, an expert.  I believe that becoming a stand-out in today’s vast landscape requires some very basic skills (not necessarily expertise)… the kind they don’t teach in institutions for higher learning.  I am referring (once again) to manners aka “Twittequette”.

And now, without further ado… When does one become such a BigTwig that they are no longer required or feel it necessary to acknowledge or say thank you to mutually influential folks who go out of their way to tweet, retweet, shout-out and generally spread the love about them?  Is it the sweet blue check mark?  Is it when you have become too busy traveling the world speaking and teaching others about Social Media?  Is it when you’ve authored books on the subject?  Hmmm, no, surely not that last one, because that would be like, totally *ironical* and contradictory right?

The clear answer is:  Never, especially when you have gone out of your way to solicit interaction with your audience.

Since joining Twitter in 2009 I have had the privilege of connecting with people from all over the world.  The common thread that keeps me connected and passionately tweeting and communicating with my modest 1,700 or so followers & those I follow is the fact that there is an effort made to share information in a mutually generous, mostly organic (i.e., non-automated), honest fashion.  I believe the smartest people in Social Media today are the ones who can see far enough past their own beaks to say those two little, but powerful words:  Thank You.

I’ve had the pleasure of tweeting with some insanely busy people, including mega celebs, moguls, major magazine publications, premium television networks, nationally recognized authors and fellow Social Media colleagues who are never too busy to say thank you publicly or privately.  These are people who despite working 12-18 hour days, understand the power of a Thank You. 

Recently, following a gathering featuring some “big” names in Social Media, I was thrilled to see that some friends had connected with a few of them and had even tweeted great pictures and quotes throughout their respective presentations.  I had a few “OMG” moments scrolling through their timeline, followed by a bit of “WTF” upon noticing that apparently, some are much too wrapped up in their own wonderfulness that they fail to notice their fellow Social Media man.
As it turns out, having an audience is a privilege… So, pay attention, remember who they are and take a moment to show some level of gratitude to those who are looking up to and being inspired by you. Unless you are receiving thousands of @ reply messages on a daily basis, acknowledgement in the form of a simple “Thank You” when you can legitimizes what you are preaching to all of us.