Monthly Archives: May 2014

Jillian Loves Summer Reading

Remember in school, somewhere near the end, you would receive your summer reading list?  Nerd Alert: I used to love that!  I would get so excited about new books (Okay…I won’t lie, there were definitely a few books I was not excited about, but for the most part!) and looked forward to having something to read on vacation.  My mom instilled in me a great love for reading starting when I was very young; that love led me to be an English Literature major and that love still exists today.

We are (finally!!!!) in the last week of school!  Tomorrow is the last full day and then it’s exams Friday, Monday and Tuesday, followed by 8th grade graduation on Wednesday.  Today, we handed out the summer reading lists. Each grade has a specific book to read but in addition to that, they have to pick two books off of a list.  The list is compiled from all the faculty members; we each pick a book to also read over summer and then in the fall we group together by book and talk about what we read.  It’s a fun way to connect with the students and they always like an assignment better when they have a choice to make in terms of what they pick.

I spend a lot of time researching the book I pick…but I never read it until summer.  While looking for my book, I found a bunch of other books to read as well.  I read all summer.  I like Young Adult, Biography, Autobiography, Fiction, Non-Fiction…honestly, I am pretty much open to anything.  I can go through a book every few days at the pool and even more when I am on vacation.  I cannot wait to relax by the pool with one of these books!  The hardest part is deciding which one to read first!

So far, I have a pretty good collection to get me started.



Do you have other book recommendations?


❤ Jillian


Hello and welcome to Jillian Loves!  You may have found me from Finishing is Winning, or you may be new to me all together…either way, I am glad you are here!

If you want to learn more about me, there are two very easy ways…

  • Read the Who is Jillian? tab above
  • Head over to Finishing is Winning and read the 100 and 101 things

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

❤ Jillian

Getting Healthy One Step At A Time

I have an admission to make.  I am jealous of people who can’t eat when they are stressed.  When I am stressed, all I do is eat.  That is on top of the amount of eating I do on the regular.  Working in a school keeps me stressed 9 months out of the year.  That is on top of the every day stresses of life in general.  So I eat.  A lot.

I am never going to be the type of person who doesn’t eat.  It won’t happen.  Simply put, I just love food.  I also have a tendency to get very hangry (hungry+angry) if I don’t eat for too long.  I try to balance my love of food with my love of working out, but I realized recently that I need to make a much more conscious effort to be more aware of what I am eating and how much I am eating.   I need to love a few foods less (french friends) and a lot of foods more (beans and vegetables).

It’s hard.  Damn hard.

The biggest issue for me is that when I stop thinking about it, I really stop thinking about it.  I’ll think of a plan (I really hate the word diet) and do really well for a while but then over time I just stop doing what works.  Or I’ll be so into working out that I can keep off the weight without thinking too much at all.  The problem with that is this…it isn’t healthy.  What I need to do, is change the way I live when it comes to food.  Stop coming up with “plans” and just change my lifestyle in general.  That way, it’s not even something I have to think about.

Since fall, I have made some small changes.  I have eliminated most dairy (still use regular cheeses) from my house and try to keep it at a bare minimum when I am dining out.  I use almond milk and almond flour.  I eat brown rice instead of white, wheat pasta instead of white, I cut out American cheese completely and started incorporating more vegetables into my meals.  Those are just a few ways I have slowly been making changes to my lifestyle.  In just a few months, I have become so much more cognizant of what I am putting into my body.  For years I have read labels, but now I am much more focused on ingredients and how each ingredient will work to benefit my body.  I am also being smarter about what I order when I am out to eat.

It’s amazing to me; I always thought I was aware of what was good and bad and of what I was eating, but I still have a lot to learn.   So much of what I am learning and implementing is common sense and I wonder why it has taken me so long to make these simple changes.  It’s not all stuff I didn’t know…I just wasn’t doing it.  Or even worse, there are things I didn’t know, that I feel like I should have known.  I have always thought of myself as a pretty healthy person, but I am slowly realizing that I still have so much work to do.

Are you a stress eater?  What are some steps you have taken to get healthier?


❤ Jillian