Little red stool

Alright, so I feel like most of my posts are about food, but I can’t help it.  I have always had a love/hate relationship with the stuff.  I LOVE to cook food and obviously love eating it just as much.   That’s where it has got me in trouble in the past.  God didn’t bless me with my Father’s speedy metabolism and I have had to work really hard over the years to keep my weight in check.  It has always been a struggle and always will be.  I am forever trying to figure out a balance between my passion for good eats and trying to be healthy. No easy task, right?  No magic solution.  So, I am just trying to eat less and exercise more.  Seems to be working.  

Who DOESN’T enjoy a good meal?!  I laugh every time I think about one of the psychiatrists at my previous job repeatedly asking the clients in his Eastern European accent, “Is food your friend?”  Well I don’t have a mental illness, but food is certainly my friend!  What a silly question. 

Anyway, when I come across a particularly delicious recipe I really like, I enjoy sharing it.  Even when my sister said she didn’t enjoy cooking and wasn’t too interested, I would still e-mail her recipes hoping to hook her in.  Natalie is now cooking at least 3 meals a week and I like to think my encouragement had something to do with it! 

My mom and I have always had this hobby in common.  One of the first memories I have are in the kitchen with my Mom and Grandma. I don’t think I was tall enough to see over the counter tops yet so I would stand on a kitchen chair or on my little red step stool.  Even when I didn’t feel like observing and learning my mom would say, “Come watch me do this so you know how. ” Well, at some point something must have clicked and the rest is history. 

Ok, back to the recipe.  So, this is another recipe found on Pinterest.  I didn’t take a picture, but trust me when I say this recipe is super simple and damn delicious.   I think that is the name of someone’s popular food blog, but I am stealing it. ūüėÜ The recipe only has a few ingredients- chicken breasts, bbq sauce, yellow onion, and shredded cheddar. I added some green onions on top for extra zip.  We used Weber bbq sauce and it tasted awesome…peas and Zatarains yellow rice were the sides.  Perfect meal!  I baked mine on 375 degrees for 40 minutes even though the recipe suggested 350 degrees.  Just makes me and the hubs feel safer. 

http://www.thepinningmama.com/easy-barbecue-chicken-bake/?m
Happy cooking!

Love,

J. 

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Fried plantains

I figure it’s time for another post since I have been slacking the past week.  Things are good here in the ATL.  I continue to look for jobs 2-3 times per week.  Haven’t had any calls for interviews yet, but I am hopeful that will happen soon.  

I have been exercising every day and really watching my calories so I can splurge on the weekends.  It has been fun researching new restaurants to try.   

Friday night we went to Cypress Street Pint & Plate.  It is located in Midtown in Tech Square.  We drove through Georgia Tech’s campus and saw some of the sorority and fraternity houses.  Couldn’t believe how BIG and nice they are.  I tried to be semi-healthy and had a grilled chicken quinoa wrap with jalape√Īo coleslaw.  Really good and I didn’t feel too guilty eating it. 

Last night we went to The Vortex, also located in Midtown.  David saw it on an episode of Man Vs. Food and it did not disappoint!  Fabulous burgers and good drink selection.  I had the Four Horsemen burger (minus mushrooms of course) and fried plantains. Yum!  Plantains are my new favorite side and they seem to be everywhere. We will definitely be back soon!  There was a random mixture of decor covering the the walls with red lights glowing throughout.  Very fun and ecclectic place- can’t wait to go back with out-of-town visitors. 

Check it out here-https://thevortexatl.com

   

            

Missing all of my friends and family!  Thanks to those who have called, texted, and e-mailed checking in on me the past few weeks. It’s nice to know that despite the miles, I am still able to feel close to home.  ūüíú

  
Love,

J. 

Summer nights

I am no hair expert, but I was feeling creative yesterday and found a cute updo to try.  I like it because it’s super simple and kind of elegant looking and perfect for hot, summer nights.  Basically all you have to do is put a headband around the crown of your head and starting from the outside closest to your ears take chunks of hair and wrap and tuck over the headband.  Keep tucking finishing with the middle of your head.  It doesn’t have to be perfect!  Didn’t even need hairspray and it stayed put all night.    

   Here is the link…http://www.hairromance.com/2014/06/curly-hairstyle-tutorial-rolled-headband-updo.html

We went out to dinner last night at Five Seasons Brewing Company. Super good food, and of course the beer was great too.  We will be back very soon!

   
  

             

You are where you are meant to be

Yesterday I didn’t feel like writing the blog, so I didn’t.¬† I don’t ever want to feel forced to blog if I don’t think that I have something interesting or meaningful to share.¬† Kinda defeats the purpose of this, don’t you think? Yesterday I did¬†feel like laying at the pool for two hours so that was very nice. I am getting so dark.¬†That’s the beauty of having little to no commitments right now.¬† I can do whatever I want, when I want¬†(as long as I am job hunting too!).¬†I’m just trying to make every day a little bit different so that it doesn’t become terribly monotonous. ¬†They say variety is the spice of life and it’s definitely true.¬† Right now, my options are limited.¬† After 2 weeks off of work, I am beginning to¬†miss having¬†that routine.¬† Of course having a job or not having a job does not define¬†your value or¬†who you are, but it sure adds another dimension. We all want to feel that our life is meaningful and purposeful.¬†So much of my life¬†has revolved around helping people and I do miss feeling needed.¬† I miss the hustle and bustle and having a place to go to each morning, but I know that everything happens for a reason in life, and¬†God¬†is telling me to just¬†slow down and¬†take this¬†time for¬†myself. I¬†will¬†most likely never have this opportunity again.¬† It’s a blessing and a challenge.¬†¬†I’m sure that when I do find a job, I’ll be wanting to go back to being off!¬† You always want what you can’t have, don’t you?

Right now I am very much enjoying The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  I appreciate the suggestion, Lindsay Jente!  I always know she reads the best books because she is ALWAYS reading.  For some reason I got out of the habit of reading much when I started working full-time.  I always felt too exhausted and distracted.  I am hoping I can continue on with reading more and more books.

Again, another Friday is here.¬† For those who don’t know, I have been taking David to and from work to avoid¬†paying¬†for a very¬†pricy monthly parking pass.¬† On decent traffic days, the 6 mile commute takes less than 15 minutes.¬† This is most mornings.¬† I can’t say the afternoon commutes are quite as easy.¬† The average¬†time to pick him up is¬†about 25-30 minutes.¬† I am getting the hang of the downtown driving.¬† I can’t say Atlanta drivers are terrible, although I’m sure most people from out-of-town would disagree.¬† They drive FAST, but they do not drive erratically and I RARELY ever hear anyone laying on their horn like so many people do in St. Louis.¬† It’s more like, “I have some place to be so kindly get out of my way while I fly around you.”

A couple quotes that I like.

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I hope every enjoys Father’s Day Weekend.¬† I will miss my Dad. ūüė¶

Love,

J.

Morning rituals

This is becoming a nice morning ritual.¬† Drinking my coffee while I am writing and watching Good Morning America. I also enjoy turning the TV off and reading the Upper Room daily devotional. Only takes a few minutes and sets a good tone for the day.¬† This is a tradition passed down from¬†Grandma Sterling and my Mom.¬†I know¬†mornings won’t always be like this so I am savoring every stress-free, jobless moment!¬† After a¬†hectic past few months with selling the house and moving, I needed some time to let my batteries recharge.

I am grateful for the park that I have found nearby.  Atlanta Memorial Park has a beautiful landscape with golf courses, tennis courts, walking/running trails, bridges, and streams.  It even has some old railroad tracks that you can run under.  Very scenic!

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I notice that some of the trees are different here than in the Midwest.  They look like pine trees, but have really long trunks and no leaves until the very top of the tree.  Can anyone tell me what kind they are?

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Brutus loves walking at the park and I can stop and let him drink out of stream when he is thirsty.  He enjoys getting his paws wet, of course.  Just like at the lake!

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It’s going to be a hot one today.¬† High of¬†98 degrees and head index of 105.¬† I am happy to know that these are record temperatures for this time of year and not the norm.

To close, made another great Pinterest recipe last night called Skillet Lasagna.¬†¬†Easier and possibly better tasting than classic lasagna.¬† Oh, and David gives this one a 9.5.¬† Another¬†Pinterest win!¬† The one change I made was using ground turkey instead of ground beef.¬† Can’t even tell a difference.

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Make it a good hump day. ūüôā

Love,

J.

Mourning the displacement of my recipe box

I forgot one major thing when packing essentials for our new place.  My recipe box! It is long gone hanging out in the pod in storage somewhere.  Besides missing all of our favorite, go-to recipes that are in regular rotation I am seriously missing my kitchen gadgets that make cooking so easy and fun like my crock pot, salad spinner, avocado peeler, etc.  David really misses his grill and I do too.  We have had to get creative just relying on the stove and oven.  Lucky for us there is Pinterest and this is a good excuse to try some new recipes.

The recipe I made¬†last night is¬†called Kielbasa Peppers and Potato Hash Skillet.¬† It was really tasty and easy to make if you don’t mind a lot of chopping.¬† I like that it is a colorful dish with lots of vegetables.¬† You could probably make it a little healthier by using turkey sausage instead of kielbasa, but I loved this recipe just the way it is.¬† I always make David rank new recipes and he said that this one was a “9”. Will definitely be making its way¬†into my recipe box…whenever that may be.

You can get the recipe here.

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Happy cooking!

Love,

J.

Monday, Monday

I just got back from running 3 miles this morning.¬† Since I have started running 2+ years ago it has become one of my favorite hobbies. I am trying to exercise most days not only to stay healthy and try to lose weight, but to keep my mood elevated during this transitional period of my life.¬† After feeling content with my life back in St. Louis, it is a difficult thing to be uprooted from everything that is familiar and comfortable.¬† It would be easy to slip into a negative mindset, e.g., I don’t have friends here.¬† I don’t have family here.¬† I don’t have a job.¬† I’m lonely. I’m bored. I miss my house.¬†You get the picture.¬†I have to continuously remind myself that it’s¬†not like I’m the first one to ever have to do this.¬†¬†People do this all of the time.¬† People do this ALONE.¬†¬†Now¬†THAT takes major courage.¬† At least I have my¬†TWO partners!¬†¬†Before we moved¬†my sister gave me a nice going away¬†card¬†with a lovely message and I cried my eyes out.¬† As¬†Natalie pointed out, it’s not like anyone has died!¬† We have so much to be thankful for in life and we need to keep¬†things in perspective.¬† I’m happy to say I have not shed a tear since we left St. Louis.

David thought people may like to see some pictures of our apartment.  Here are a few..

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I hope that everyone has a great Monday.¬† I will leave you with this image…

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Love,

J.

Greetings!

Good Evening from Atlanta!¬† This is my first attempt at creating a blog.¬† I need to give¬†credit to my¬†sorority sister, Erin Corkery-Risk, for inspiring me to do this. I¬†saw her¬†blog¬†that she posted to¬†facebook and thought, “I want to do this too!”¬† And why not?!¬† Since this process is new to me, I thought I would start simple by listing the reasons why I want to do this.

1.  I have always loved writing since I was very young. I find enjoyment from writing, reading, perusing inspirational quotes, and words in general.  Dictionary.com is my favorite app. right behind Facebook and Untapped!  This will be a great creative outlet for thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

2. With our recent move, I want to continue to feel connected to our family and friends in St. Louis and throughout the country.

3. Since I am currently unemployed and looking for a new job, I have all of the time in the world to pursue something new and novel.

4 . I want to be able to chronicle our life to serve as future memories and also continue to share happenings in our lives with those who are close to us.

5. In The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin she, too, challenged herself to start a blog and became quite successful at it.  She claimed that doing the things that we enjoy more often as well as conquering new, challenging tasks, ultimately increases our level of happiness and well-being.

I’m sure I will make lots of mistakes along the way and lots of typos too.¬† My goal is to blog daily.¬† Some may be very short and others will probably be¬†long.¬† Even as I type this I am finding that once I have gotten started, I am writing more than I thought that I would be.

It has been exactly¬†one week since we moved into our temporary apartment in Atlanta.¬† We have gotten mostly settled in and we are trying to make it feel like “home” as much as possible.¬†It is going to be fun exploring the city and trying to new¬†restaurants and attractions. ¬†We went to Flip Burger and Nuevo Laredo Cantina this weekend and enjoyed the pool here at the¬†apartment¬†and running trails at¬†Atlanta Memorial Park.¬†¬†Our baby (Brutus) has taken some time to adjust and is getting more and more comfortable¬†each day.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

J.