July 4th Weekend // Part 1

I hope you all had a positively amazing July 4th weekend! Normally I do not take off, but this year I was not going to work through such a wonderful holiday. It was one of my favorite celebrations yet! I decided to break our long weekend into two parts, so let’s get to the good stuff.

Thursday // July 4th

If you love sweet and savory combos too, then this creation is for you! I cooked the last packet of Quaker organic almond date oatmeal with milk then added greens to wilt before topping with an over easy egg and freshly grated sharp white cheddar. YUM.


After getting ready and making an Aldi run, we hit the road to meet Kaci, Drew, and Axl at Frozen Head State Park for a hike! Perfect Peanut Butter Bar for pre-hike fuel.


It was hot but so pretty!


Love adventuring together!


This was an old blasting shed. Looked creepy and intriguing.




Strike a pose! At this point I think we had gone about halfway.


Kaci was sneaky and captured some action shots. 😉

#barre3anywhere of course!

A goooood sandwich that I quickly made before leaving the house: Simple Truth organic sprouted honey oat, mashed organic canned cannellini beans, Aldi sliced Sriracha cheddar, cucumber, and avocado. I ate half along with carrots and cherry tomatoes and felt satisfied.


Our attempt at getting a group shot was hilarious! I love this accidental candid so much. ❤


Matt’s smile is so adorable! A bug kept flying around his face, so he tried to blow it away then started cracking up big time.


Nailed it!


There was a cool chimney at the picnic camp ground where we stopped to eat and rest.


I’m beyond grateful to have Kaci by my side through all of life’s ups and downs. It sure is amazing building memories with my twinklet.


New Chaco sandals!


My main squeeze forever and ever.


Welp, as we started to head back, the storm and rain hit. At least it cooled it down!

Matt saw this guy just having a mid-day snack. I think he was cute!


So funny story, Axl, our fearless trail guide, just took off fast after something. I thought maybe a squirrel, but Matt saw it: a bobcat! Matt has great eyesight. The bobcat scaled the tree and went crazy high up and just rested on the branch. I know that photo is just a blob, but I wanted to try to capture it. Axl did not realize that the cats that is so afraid of are just a fraction of the size and strength of this feline. Poor Kaci was terrified at first because he’s deaf, and they couldn’t get to him. Leave it to Axl to add some more excitement to our hike!



Post-hike soaked selfie, and man did I feel accomplished. We covered approximately 7.5 miles!


Had to get some July 4th Snapchats 😉

I was really happy to make us all an easy dinner: Aldi steak fries, Mediterranean chicken burger served open-faced with pickles and pickled jalapeños, and steamed mixed vegetables with marinated artichoke hearts. This was exactly what I needed and was craving.


Unfortunately, Kaci and Drew had to work on Friday, but Matt and I took it off as well. After they went home, we showered, then I baked the last four Sweet Loren’s GF chocolate chunk cookies.

We enjoyed ours with thawed fruit and yogurt. Sadly, we had finished all of Lucifer on this evening, and now we’re at a loss until they release season five!



After getting a pretty good night sleep, we woke up early thanks to Rachel wanting to chat. Matt had fed them, but then he felt a bit awake. I decided to mix cereals like Alexis has shared: Multigrain Cheerios, last of my Kashi Go, and Grape Nuts along with flax, banana, cottage cheese, pb, and milk. ‘Twas delicious.


I took my third free Barre3 class for the week, and I absolutely loved it! I took class by Fran, an instructor that normally teaches at times I can’t attend. Despite my hike, I felt strong and capable, and I never forget how fortunate I am to have a body that can move freely.

After finally getting ready, we headed downtown to have lunch at Ruby Sunshine. The wait was about 30 minutes, unfortunately, so of course we took a photo together.


I loved the lights and some of the decor.


Hipster shoes


Love a good food pun!


My latte, which was pretty good. I’m not sure it was worth $4, though.


A very expensive Bloody Mary at $10. It was really salty too, not the best from the sip I took. Matt couldn’t even quite finish it.



They said they could accommodate GF and vegetarian, but it was rather pathetic. They just hand wrote on the menu what had to be left off, and they do not even offer GF bread. So he just had to do without completely. The waitress also waited until we placed our order to say they had run out of smoked salmon. It was getting close to their closing time, and maybe it had just happened, but I was ticked. I didn’t hide it well. So I ordered their tomato Benedict. It was really flavorful, and I love a good biscuit. But it’s not what I had wanted. I ate both poach eggs and saved one half the biscuit with fresh grilled and fried green tomato slices. It was huge!


Matt ordered their grilled fish entree with cheesy grits instead of the grit cake. It, too, was flavorful, but the fish itself was bland. I’m not really planning to go back. I wasn’t totally impressed.


But it was a good reminder that not all meals or eating occasions will be amazing, and that’s ok! There will always be another meal to enjoy. We got to see Kaci since she works downtown, and I loved chatting with her!!

We took my leftovers to the car then set out to find some pretty wall murals. I just love all of the plants and flowers.


I adore how this plant looks like a waterfall going down the planter.


This is such an impressive piece of art!



We stumbled down this alleyway behind the restaurants along one side of Market Square, and we hit the jackpot! Miss Dolly Parton herself looking pretty as ever.


The water looks oh so real here.






I think this is so beautiful.


Hahahaha! Matt had awesome pose ideas!


Me, not so much. Lol







This one was mesmerizing.



Photo bombing us!




This one is my favorite. I love all the colors, patterns, and message.




Roll that dice!


Thankfully, Matt thought to stop at Ingles so that we could get provisions for our day at the lake house on Saturday. We picked up some awesome food together.

After we got home, Matt watched some of his show, and I put some of our dried amaranth blooms in these beautiful painted bottles from Kaci and Drew’s wedding. Right now they are kept in a closet because Rachel would eat them. Lol. Whenever we move, I’ll need to find another floating shelf that will accommodate this round wooden biscuit. Any suggestions are welcome!


Dinner was a hugh jass salad with a bright lemon hummus and extra virgin olive oil drizzled overtop.


I couldn’t resist getting these “patriotic” chips. They were so festive.


Dessert included yogurt, fresh strawberries, banana, and Aldi chocolate granola. We watched two episodes of Elementary then called it a night.


And that’s a wrap! I’ll share the rest of our weekend in my part two post. Please feel free to share any fun you had and delicious food you ate!

4 thoughts on “July 4th Weekend // Part 1

  1. Oh my gosh! What an amazing holiday ❤

    Those savory oats- yummm. White cheddar has to be one of the best cheeses. This is a cheesy question (har har), but I’m genuinely curious- if you had to choose a favorite cheese, what would it be?

    This hike looks insanely cool! What a fun time!!!

    Yay for new chacos! Do you get the Chacos tan lines? Hehe.

    Oohhh love the pic of the up close snail!

    WOAH!!! So crazy you saw that Bobcat!!

    Ruby Sunshine is adorable! Bummer the food & service didn’t live up to the rest of the aesthetic.

    I enjoy a Bloody Mary on occasion, but it seems easier to find bad ones than good ones- the super high salt factor can definitely be a turn off!

    WOW! That planter- sooo beautiful. All these murals are too fun.


    1. It absolutely was!

      I honestly would have to go with sharp cheddar! It’s so versatile & is amazing with savory foods as well as chocolate. 😋

      I loved it!! Matt said he enjoyed resting at the top & eating but was excited for it to be over. Lolz. He was a trooper, though!

      I haven’t gotten them yet! I try to be careful & wear sunscreen, but I sometimes slack on my feet. Haha

      Thank you! I thought it was a pretty shell.

      Matt has such good awareness & eyesight! I didn’t see it until he pointed it out to us. Craziness!

      I know! I was just bummed with how they handled our order & just the service overall. But I love to try new brunch places!

      I believe you are so right! Finding a good one is tricky, & even though Matt loves salt, it was overwhelming.

      I was so excited to stumble upon this alleyway & find all these gems! The planter was so beautiful too. ❤️


      1. Yess, sharp cheddar is soo yummy!!

        My feet are always where I forget to put on sunscreen too – right now I have a realllly bad running tan- it’s pretty comical!


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