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Category Archives: Just Jessica

Burlap & Cashmere

Just a quick little shout out to my sister and I’s new venture.  We grew up in a house that was full of creativity.  Our mother has always been extremely crafty, she started her own banner business in order to be a stay at home Mom.  She also made all of our dresses and cute outfits growing up and has made countless gifts and decorations. 

Well, Kristen and I have been crafting to decorate our respective homes as well as gifts for loved ones.

Now we have posted pictures of items that we would be more than happy to personalize and create for a gift for one of your loved ones or for a special occassion.  We are always coming up with new ideas, so check back often.  If you have a special request, feel free to ask and we will come up with a made to order treasure.

Please check Burlap & Cashmere out. 



Tupelo Honey Review- Asheville, North Carolina Gluten Free Restaurant Gems

On our last day in Asheville, NC we had the opportunity to get dinner on our own. A couple of the graduate students had definitely done their research and also looked up to make sure their choice had a gluten free menu… I am so blessed!! 🙂

Tupelo Honey was the restaurant of choice. There are two locations in Asheville.  We went to the one on the Southside of town. It was super cute inside and very homey feeling. The first thing that was brought to the table was… you guessed it… HONEY and biscuits.

I grew up eating biscuits or my Mom’s amazing homemade dinner rolls with honey. I was addicted, but once I became gluten intolerant the addiction sadly came to an end! When we placed our orders, I definitely placed mine off of their extensive gluten free menu. I ordered a chicken sandwich… mainly because I wanted to have gluten free bread after being deprived for a while. Our server asked if I would like gluten free bread instead of the biscuits the others were chowing down on… WOW this place had a great understanding of gluten free and I had full confidence in my dinner.

As you can can see there is a sheen of honey on that first bite… YUMMYYYYY I was so very happy!  I highly suggest this restaurant if you are near the Biltmore. It is not far at all and it is very very good. The other’s review on the main menu was fantastic also. Many others got grits and some fried food and fried okra. What a great way to end a wonderful trip!

Maggiano’s Italian Restaurant San Antonio

This past Saturday we went to San Antonio to pick up our couch… you might remember reading about it here.  Aaron knows that my favorite restaurant is Maggiano’s and he also knew there was one in San Antonio. 🙂 Yes sireee he took me to my favorite restaurant with gluten free pasta 🙂 🙂

I ordered the gluten free pasta with meat sauce. The last time I ate at a Maggiano’s (it is a chain) they asked if I preferred corn or rice pasta.  I ordered corn pasta. This time the only option was rice. I have to admit, the corn is a LOT better than the rice. Especially as leftovers. The rice was a lot more dry, which is Aaron’s main complaint about rice pasta versus regular pasta.

Check out those guns while I displayed my meal 😉

Aaron ordered a gluten filled meal, of course. He LOVED the bread and oil with herbs and ordered a salad that had bacon as well as avocado on it and a light dressing. It was actually gluten free, but I am not a huge salad lover so I let him enjoy it without having to share.

 He ordered a pasta stuffed with crab and shrimp with lots of alfredo sauce. It was topped with peppers also. We both had soooo much food that we took the leftovers back with us to Aaron’s parents where we had worked sheep earlier. Unfortunately, Aaron was in a HUGE hurry to get back to Lubbock to unload all of the sheep that he didn’t even give me time to run in and get the leftovers…  😦 😦

Bucket List for the rest of 2012

The year has already flown by and there is less than half of it left. With this in mind I have decided that I need some of you to hold me accountable to some items that I want/need to accomplish before 2013 arrives.

1. Try a new recipe and share it with all of you at least once a month (realistically I would like to try a new one every week… we will see)

2. Work out at least 4 days a week, every week… real goal is 5-6, but I am being realisitic- sheepercises will have to suffice somedays 😉 This includes:

  • Running/walking from the house to the pasture (approximately 1.75-2 miles)
  •  Sprinting from the gate to the pin
  • Unloading feed (50 lb sacks of feed definitely will help keep my arms toned)
  • Holding sheep in a choke hold between my legs so Aaron can give a shot, take a blood sample, or just to look at it (Hello thunder thighs!)
  • Running around trying to corral the sheep. This equals a lot of agility and being quick 😉 otherwise the sheep will get past me and away from the flock
  • Other moves as necessary to get the chores done 🙂

3. Try out a few different restaurants and give you some feedback on their gluten free menus.

4. Create a cute Christmas card pose/scene for our very FIRST Christmas card! I have a couple ideas, just depends on the weather and such.

5. Complete my Christmas shopping well before Christmas! Goal is before the middle of December. I already have a few people checked off my list 😉 Am I good or what?

6. Get all of our new house made into a home! This is top priority for me. I have waited my whole life to be able to decorate my home and make it a welcoming place for friends and family to come visit… and a nice place for us to come home to after working all day. I know with a full time job, working out, cooking meals, and other responsibilities that my house will NOT be spotless at all times and have accepted this. At the same time I want to get as much organized as possible so things are at least in their place on a regular basis. I still have some of my favorite possessions in Indiana and cannot wait to get them someday.

7. On that same note- motivate my husband to file away his items and to NOT pile things up. This might or might not be achieved in this lifetime 😉

7. Keep in touch with my friends and family- this is something I struggle with. My close friends and family know I do NOT like talking on the phone. While I do call my grandparents on a pretty regular basis and my Mom daily, I feel like there are still some people I would like to reconnect with and make sure they know how much I love them and miss them.

8. Limit my dessert intake. I have been really good about NOT eating dessert. I have been wanting to eat more “clean”. Which means no processed foods, added sugars, etc. I have been making it a goal of mine and have made some minor changes in addition to just not allowing myself to drool over a yummy item long. I have been filling my fridge full of apples, kiwis, squash and tomatoes fresh from the garden, a few bananas (very high in sugar so I have limited my intake), berries, fat-free plain greek yogurt, quinoa, and then also packing nuts and leftovers for lunch so I am not left with a growling tummy.

9. Read some books I WANT to. Now that I am done with school and research I have time to read for myself. I have purchased some books, some I left in Indiana for my Mom to read and others I have and just need to sit down and read. I really want to read Drop Dead Healthy. I have read some book reviews over it and am intrigued. Both copies at our local libraries are checked out… so I will finish reading the book I am currently on, which is the 3rd book in the Mark of the Lion series.

10. Do something spontaneous… enough said. 🙂

What are your plans and goals for the rest of the year??

To run or not to run the San Antonio Half Marathon?

Even though the half marathon is not until November 11th, it would be time for me to start training if I decided to run it.

I signed up a while back as you can read about here. I ran a half marathon in Dallas and ran 13.1 miles as part of my training.

I ran and trained with Corey and Holly. It was a blast training with some girls who were also first time racers and I have to admit it made it less intimidating to me. Plus double digit runs are soooo long by yourself I cannot imagine having down it by myself.

With this being said, I have to keep in mind that if I am going to do it I need to start running again. I have just been using the elliptical as my source of cardio and not really going all out like I should. Not to mention I remember all of the foam rolling and extra calories I ate as a result of running those long runs.

I am proud to say that I have ran one half marathon, but cannot decide if I should go ahead and start back up or not. I guess I will try to get in a few different runs this week and see how it feels… I will keep you updated. Anyone think I can convince Aaron to run and train with me??

Yeah, I don’t think I could either. 😉

Mason Wedding Shower Weekend: Friday night recap

I created this post a LONG time ago… but never published it… stay tuned for the actual shower post later today that I also had created a while ago. Fun stuff 🙂

Trouble rolled into the Jenning’s Ranch Fri night, double trouble!After dinner these two took us for an evening cruise out in the pastures. I am a sucker for some fresh air and always have my eyes peeled in case a hog runs out in front of us…

I guess my other half (Kristen) keeps her eyes peeled for snakes…

Kristen hollered that she saw a snake as we were crossing the creek. Next thing we know Aaron shoots one and Gabe shoots the other… the one Gabe shot went flying up in the air and just barely missed landing on him on the way back down.  Of course we had to pose with the kill.

I didn’t have my super zoom zoom lens on me and I sure as heck was not getting close to the water moccassins until they were dead!

Post snake shoot out we headed off to look for hogs.

Gabe spotted two and then all the babies popped up. He ended up getting a couple of the babies. Kristen hung on for the wild ride and I think she truly enjoyed the experience and can now say that she really has been hog hunting and saw some wild hogs.

I know this whole adventure has nothing to do with eating gluten free or working out… but we did have fuel/energy from the gluten free fajitas that Mrs. Jennings fixed. She purchases the pre-seasoned chicken fajita meat at Sam’s club and it is perfect for us! Add it to corn tortillas, hot sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and guac and I will be one full little lady!

I was thankful Kristen came down and we  could hang out. I sure do miss the good ol’ days when we were together a lot more and could go on countless adventures around the farm and Purdue’s campus

Another day in the life…

This morning started of with a trip to one of our friend’s garden. They are out of town and told us to help ourselves, otherwise the rabbits and bugs would. We picked some tomatoes and zucchini! 🙂 can’t wait to eat them! Fresh produce from the garden is the best!


Aaron getting his picking on!

He is excited for all of the sweet corn that has been planted. His sister makes fun of us midwesterners for eating corn all the time, but sweet corn from the garden is pretty much the cat’s meow on a hot summer day… And all my fellow midwesterners holler 😉

On our way to look at some of the sheep we had sold Aaron got a call from Dr. Ramsey to tell us that A sheep we sold to them had won Reserve Champion Southdown at the Belt Buckle Bonanza this morning. We were excited to hear the good news! Congrats to the Ramsey Family and thanks for letting us know. Great start to the day.

After looking at sheep we stopped at a Mexican restaurant in Seminole for lunch.


Gluten free chicken tacos for me 🙂 added bonus that I was not expecting was some guacamole was on my taco. Yumm-o!!

Now, believe it or not we are off to pick up some wethers to turn into teaser bucks for our embryo program. It is quite the process and a lot of work to do an embryo program with our sheep, but definitely worth it!

Enjoying our day together… Thankful to not be traveling like a crazy woman this weekend!! Hope yours is going well! Praying for rain and lower temps across the country!!!