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Ask Jess: How to stay motivated, “no recipe” recipes, and more!

May 18, 2017

Original outfit post here – pssst…this top is 40% right now!


Andd we’re back with another Ask Jess! (Our second post–yay!)

Thank you for submitting so many great questions! Today I’m answering five more–is one of them yours?

How do you stay motivated when you hit the afternoon slumps?

AH! This is a great question. I’m definitely a morning person when it comes to being the most productive, and when afternoon rolls around I crash HARD. Some things that I’ve found to be helpful in avoiding this are to hold off on the caffeine until after breakfast. Once I have my morning coffee, I’m no longer hungry, which means I’m tempted to skip breakfast. This leads to essentially what is a very bad chain reaction in terms of regulating your blood sugar, so that’s definitely a no-no.

So, that’s one thing. Another is to not eat a heavy lunch. I typically eat leftovers from dinner the night before, or make myself a sandwich on whole wheat bread with some carrots or an apple. Yes, I sound like a five year old, but it’s healthy and not so filling that it puts me into a coma. Additionally, I have a snack mid-afternoon–a few veggies with hummus or some string cheese. I also love making iced tea in the afternoon and this works really nicely as a pick-me-up, too!

What are some of your favorite “no recipe” recipes?

Fun fact about me: I LOVE cooking. It’s one of my favorite things to do. You can often find me reading old cookbooks in the used bookstore–like, THATS how much of a cooking nerd I am.

Here’s the thing though, I don’t really follow recipes. I mean, I use them for inspiration, but I don’t typically measure very many things. I just season and taste as I go, and adjust.

So to me, pretty much everything is a “no recipe recipe” however, two of my favorites are…

Ground chicken lettuce wraps: typically ground chicken, BBQ sauce, sriracha, a dash of terriyaki sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper, onion, and some cilantro if you want to get crazy, wrapped up in iceburg lettuce leaves.


Chicken with pan sauce: This varies in terms of pan sauce, but Neal’s recent favorite has been the balsamic chicken version, which is thinly pounded chicken breasts tossed lightly in flour and seasoned with salt and pepper, sautéed until cooked through, then removed from the pan. Toss in shallots or onion and cook for a few minutes, and then de-glaze the pan with 1/2 cup each chicken broth and balsamic vinegar, throw in some garlic powder and a drizzle of honey, simmer to reduce slightly, put chicken back in sauce to warm through and serve with your favorite veggies on the side.

How do you stay healthy diet-wise?

I typically try to be healthy during the week as much as I can, but I don’t like to drive myself crazy. I cook as often as possible which makes it really easy to be healthy, but when I go out to eat I don’t deprive myself. I used to do all these crazy diets in college and learned that if I ever felt deprived it would just backfire and totally derail everything I had done right, so if I really want something, I’ll eat it! (Now, in the next couple months leading up to the wedding, obviously I’ll take it more seriously :-P)

Where do you get your hair cut and how often?

I go to Sine Qua Non salon! They have several locations in Chicago and I love them so so much! I go to Stacia at the West Town location and she is wonderful. I love that their prices are super reasonable and they have a great reputation for both cut and color (although I can only speak to the cut as I don’t color my hair!) They also have their own line of hair products which are vegan, paraben and sulfate free!

I’m really bad about cutting my hair because I’m lazy and really only get in there like twice a year. (BAD). But I’m due for another hair cut soon–this mane is getting ridiculous. Anyway, if you’re looking for somewhere to get your hair done in Chicago, definitely go there!!

Which pieces are you planning to live in this summer?

Hmmm that’s a tough one! There are so many. I think the leading ladies right now include my Levi’s Wedgie jean shorts, my Splendid Colleen Sandals, my off the shoulder mini dress from ASOS (they make so many of them in tons of colors and they are SO comfortable and are like $25!) and my Gaia’s Ark bag (they sell out quickly but you can pre-order from the next batch here!) I also live in linen button-downs, like this one and this one!

Do you have a question you’d like answered in a future “Ask Jess” post? Submit it here!

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