Monthly Archives: August 2014

Discriminate, It Does Not

Robin Williams committed suicide.

Everyone is talking about it.  And that is only a good thing if we are talking about it for the right reasons.

Addiction is so personal to me and I am working on a post that goes much deeper than this, in hopes that if even one person changes their attitude when it comes to how we treat those who are suffering from mental illness or addiction, it will have been worth it to open up about my personal story.  I have so much I want to say and I feel like it needs to be said right now, while people are still listening.

But for now…I will leave you with what I posted on my Facebook this morning:

I am having a hard time being on Facebook today.

Earlier this year it was Phillip Seymour Hoffman and before that, Corey Montieth, and not too long ago, it was Heath Ledger. Before that…Monroe, Joplin, Hendrix, Belushi, Farley, Houston, Jackson…the list is seemingly endless.

Robin Williams isn’t the only face of those suffering from mental illness and addiction; he is just the most recent famous one. Robin Williams has always been one of my favorite actors and the news of his untimely death saddens me greatly. But I am not shocked. The devil of mental illness and addiction will take people and swallow them whole. It robs them of reason and logic. It tells them that they are broken beyond repair.

And it does not discriminate.

We have so much sympathy when a celebrity dies. My Facebook is flooded with posts encouraging people not to judge others, reminding us that we don’t know what battles others are facing and to remember that it can happen to anyone. If only we had the same amount of compassion when it came to those suffering in our own backyards, as we do when it is a famous person. Because celebrities aren’t the only ones dying. Far too often, I see people chalk up a loss to drug use as another selfish life wasted. They are judged. Their inner struggles and battles are ignored and it is quickly forgotten that it can happen to anyone. But it can happen to anyone.

There is so much opportunity for us to educate ourselves about addiction and mental illness and more importantly, about why lives are ending far too soon. But we have to stop living under the notion that it can’t happen to us. It’s easier to think that drug addiction happens to other people; not your spouse, your kids, your siblings or your friends. No one you know. And certainly, not you. But that is a false sense of security. Here is the reality- it happens far more often than we want to believe. Chances are, that someone you know is suffering from mental illness or addicted to drugs right now. Chances are, someone you know is struggling to live.

Oh, and if you have been lucky enough to not been affected by addiction, be careful where you throw your stones because there are only two groups of people. Those who have been and those who will be.



New Food Friday- August 8, 2014

New Food Friday is a weekly post that coincides with one of the items on my bucket list; that is, to try one new food or recipe a week for a whole year.

Recently, I went on a date to Atlantic City for the day, and at night we decided to try a new (to us) restaurant.  I really do consider myself pretty adventurous with food and I am generally willing to at least try something.  However, in Atlantic City, things aren’t cheap and I worried that I would get something I didn’t like when we decided on Cuba Libre.  I will admit, I played it a little safe but still went with something I had never had.  That’s right…I never had skirt steak before.  Actually, I only started eating steak in the last year.  For so long, I didn’t eat any red meat, so I am still figuring out what I like and don’t like when it comes to meat.  I love filet, and it’s pretty much the only steak I eat, so this was definitely new for me.  Plus, it came with cooked mushrooms.  Mushrooms weird me out.  It was a “no” food until that night, and low and behold…I liked them!  It’s always fun to surprises oneself!


Grilled skirt steak, roasted garlic boniato-potato mash, lemon and onion sauce. watercress and rosemary mushroom escabèche salad.


Cuba Libre has a great vibe.  We walked in looking for a reservation for about an hour later and they were more than accommodating when we ended up calling after realizing we needed more time.  Upon arriving for our reservation, we were greeted warmly and seated promptly.  The booth was a little funky; my legs were too short and I had a hard time getting comfortable.  I ended up sitting cross legged because my feet were either hitting the middle bar or uncomfortably not reaching the ground.  Besides that small complaint, everything was great.  Our table was small and intimate and our server was knowledgeable and attentive.

I ordered our waiters suggestion of a vodka mojito (I don’t drink rum) and it was delicious!  Their bread was warm and the butter was so good!  It is a sugar butter and so ridiculously good.  Next up came the main course and I was very excited.  However, my knife was defective and I legit could not cut a single piece of the steak!  I was worried because I am used to melt in your mouth type filet, but once I had a new knife, I was good to go!  Everything about the meal was delicious and it was perfect with my glass of Pinot Noir.  The seasoning was done just right and everything went together perfectly.  I probably could have done without the greens, only because they felt a little out of place, but this was definitely a meal I would get again.  And the best part of all, is that I am looking forward to cooking with mushrooms now!

Cuba Libre has quite a few locations; if you live near one, I highly recommend you check it out!

❤ Jillian

Totally Random Thursday

No, no, no….it’s not a new weekly post thing, just the only title I could think of for today.  Let’s face it, weekly posts aren’t really my thing, especially in the summer!  I just wanted to share with you a bunch of randomness without having to think of a catchy title.  I am lazy like that.


That’s right.  I had Shingles.  What I thought was a few bug bites, multiplied itself over 48 hours and I was freaked out enough to go to Urgent Care.  Thank God I did too, because I had a really mild case and got on medication fast enough for it to still work.  That’s the thing with shingles; there is no cure and it has to run it’s course.  The course SUCKS in a way I cannot explain.  It took every ounce of self-control I had not to itch my leg.  That is also where I lucked out…location, leg.  This can show up on your face, torso, back or chest.  For me, I could at least keep it hidden.

Facts about shingles:

If you had chicken pox at any point in your life, ever, you can get shingles.

It is not an “old people” illness.

It is serious and needs to closely monitored, especially if you have a low immune system.  Again, I was really lucky to get a mild case and they are still monitoring me.

It is not an airborne contagion.  It is only contagious if it is directly touched while in the blister faze.  And the only people that can catch it, are those who have had chicken pox.  You cannot get shingles from shingles.  If you catch the virus from a person with shingles, you will get the chicken pox.  This is only if you never had the chicken pox.

It’s not a pretty sight and I was really embarrassed about it, until I started telling people and it seems everyone knew someone who had it.  No one talks about it because the think it is embarrassing.  It’s not.

2- Windows 8 is not the devil.

I finally got my new laptop and here is how I felt the first day:

windows 8

But then, I went to the Windows 7 interface and all is right with the world!

3- The coolest drink I’ve ever had!

Went to a cool little bar spot and they had the most awesome drinks.  I have to imagine if the place is busy, this is a pain in the ass to make but you can tell by the one photo how much fun the bartender had making it.  The pictures don’t even do it justice; it is a whole show!  And the drink is only $15.  I say only because it is coffee, espresso and alcohol.  And it is HUGE.  And delicious.  It had an awesome sugar rim and was topped with amazing homemade whipped cream.  It was the best dessert drink I have ever had.  I have paid more than that for drinks that sucks.  Not this one…it was worth every sip!

cool drink3

cool drink

cool drink2

4- Too much vodka on an empty stomach is a bad idea.

I was in my friends wedding last weekend.  I made the mistake of not eating and then there was no food until about 5pm.  By then, I had downed two vodka tonics and they just kept coming.  That, on top of the fried food I devoured during the cocktail hour and my stomach was not friends with me on Sunday morning.  I can’t even remember the last time I had anything fried (other than french fries) and I was seriously paying for it.  So the lesson is, don’t eat friend food and drink a lot of vodka on the same night.

Here are some pics from the wedding:




Oh, and sidebar…I caught the bouquet 😉


5- I NEED more summer!

I want more of this….


I feel like I say this every week.  But legit- HOW IS SUMMER GOING SO FAST?!?!?!?  I don’s understand how it just goes in the blink of an eye!  I am looking very forward to my vacation next week, but once I get back, I know it is grind time and then BAM the school year starts!


How has your week been?