Coffee Talk

11 Aug

Welcome to Coffee Talk.  I’m your host Jennifer Miller…

It’s been like rolling tumble weeds with that whistling song thing you hear in westerns around these parts lately.  Life is hard and stressful at times (FOR EVERYONE), and rather than come on here with a woe is me bitchfest, I just retreat from this space and reserve my BFF’s a front row seat at the one woman show I sometimes perform.  That being said though, there is some catching up to do.  So, I thought it would be nice to share some of what is going on in my world lately.

Harper is about to be 3…let that sink in for a minute.  She was 10 months old when I started blogging, and now she is three.  She is equal parts funny/smart/challenging/sassy.  She has requested a “chipmunk party” for her birthday theme for about 4 or 5 months now.  She seems to still be happy with that, so we are proceeding with a Rockin’ Luau Chipmunk theme complete with tropical themed bounce house.  If I was a betting woman, I would place money on the fact that the three of us will be going as the Chipmunks for Halloween.  Harper lover her “Teo-door.”  He is my favorite, but Simon is a close second, so I am thinking I can pull off the color blue and rock some glasses.  Tim is most definitely the Alvin of our trio.  #nobrainer

Harper 3rd Birthday

Tim is still hanging in there with the job search.  We are thankful that he at least still has his part time teaching gig, but that is not going to do for much longer.  He hit the pavement hard this summer trying to land a full time job, and it was just not in the cards at that time.  The available university teaching positions for his field of study were a minuscule 6 across the nation for this school year.  He is applying for other jobs besides teaching, but as of now, still no luck.

I am still chugging along working, living life with the ones I love, and trying to lose more weight.  I have had a couple of big changes that are making me happier as of late.

I decided to seize the opportunity to sign up as a Beachbody coach after I completed the first round of the 21 Day Fix.  I loved the program and believe that it is legit. I have had plenty of opportunities to work for other companies and sell other products, but chose not to.  I am not promoting some magic pill that just melts the pounds off.  We know if that existed, we would would all look like super models.  I still have to feed my body properly and work for it.  Beachbody does not contradict that ideology. Nothing has changed.  Except that I now have the opportunity to help further support my family while continuing to work on myself and I get to help others do the same too.

And speaking of working on myself and supporting my family, I have had at least one if not two jobs since I was 14 years old.  I went straight to college from high school and quickly dropped out because of being in over my head with a poorly chosen major and the stress of work plus school.  I started back up with a more suitable major a few years after Tim and I got married.   I managed to complete a decent amount of credit hours over a couple of years, but then shortly after moving to Louisville I was promoted at work.  It was a great thing for us and for me personally feeling more fulfilled in my work life.  However, the extra hours and responsibility plus having to go to night classes proved too much for me.  So, I quit once again.

So, as Tim applies for jobs in other states, I eyeball jobs that I am qualified for, and most of them require a bachelors degree.  This is my main insecurity with my professional life.  I am an intelligent enough person.  I am capable of having a degree.  I have always had to be focused on supporting myself and now supporting my family and that has always made school the thing that could give when it got too hard.  I have decided that I have to do some things that make me happy.  That means focusing on my health more and going back to school.  I have 93 credit hours, and will be able to finish June of 2016.  I start classes on the 21st, the day after Harper’s 3rd birthday.  I have to make this time count for myself and for my family.  I have to be able to provide more for us in the future.  Tim’s time will come and his hard work will pay off.  I have to make sure that I have done what I can to be happy with my choices and that I have done everything I can to make a better life for us in the long run.

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Have any of you gone back to school after a hiatus?  Any tips for the old hag dusting off her Jansport?

Cajun…Man

5 Aug

Yesterday marked Day 1 of my second round of the 21 Day Fix!  I kept up the eating and working out about 70% of the time during the 2 weeks between rounds.  I managed to lose an additional 2 lbs during those two weeks.

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I am still loving the program.  I am eating way more than I ever have (up to 2100-2300 calories a day), and am I am slowly and steadily losing weight and inches again.  There is no miracle cure in the 21 Day Fix, it is simply balanced nutrition and exercise.  I am just getting it spoon fed to me in an easy to follow plan, which is what I needed after 2 years of chugging away at the same things.

So, here I am finding myself at the 6 week mark and wanting to get back to my creative cooking roots.  I have recently discovered  that you can puree’ cottage cheese and pretty much concoct some amazingness from that little protein snack.

I really wanted some creamy pasta of some kind so I found  this recipe at food.com and spruced it up.

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I present to you Cajun Chicken Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Eggplant…your taste buds will thank me without making your butt get bigger in the process.

Cajun Chicken Quinoa Pasta
 

The eggplant is super easy.  I cut the eggplant in half lengthwise.  Then sliced one half of the eggplant.  Seasoned with a little salt, Mrs. Dash Table Blend, and some Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes each side at 425 degrees.

Serve with a side salad and some of the best Greek dressing you have ever tasted, and you have yourself a meal!

And just because…cajun….

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What is your favorite healthy substitution that tastes like it should make you gain 10 pounds just by looking at it?

When Good Things Happen to Good People

25 Jul

For those of you who may not know, my friend, Lori is on the cover of People Magazine, and was on Good Morning America this morning sharing her weight loss story!

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I met Lori through blogging and I don’t think I have connected with a weight loss story or person behind the story quite like I did with Lori.  She is an amazing person with a great big heart, dirty mouth, and just so happens to look like a super model now.  I love her dearly and am so very proud of her for battling her demons and for sharing her story and support with others.

I posted about her a while back after initially connecting with her.  I could not help but to feel proud of her seeing her on the cover of a magazine and on national TV letting her beauty, that was always there but not always seen by others, shine.  It has to be the best feeling to be able to overcome assholes who have made you feel less than because of your appearance and come out on the other side better for having endured .

If you are not following her on Instagram, you should.  Go show her some love today for being an amazing person!