I Said, “It’s Great To Be a TN Volunteer”

Good Monday afternoon! Surprisingly, I do not feel like a zombie despite sleeping so poorly. I’m going to pretend I’m just living on the high that was this past weekend!


I started my Friday with…Blueberry Cheerios! So delicious. Has anyone tried them? I enjoyed mine with cottage cheese, cardamom, banana, and walnuts.


My outfit to close out a good week.


I was so grateful that Kaci and I were able to see one of our best friends and her two sweet daughters! We met at Chick-fil-a for a lovely dinner, and we caught up on all of life’s happenings. We’ve known each other since we were only eight years old! I’m quite certain she was our first friend when we moved from Knoxville to Oak Ridge.


I made some apple nachos and tea after getting settled at home. Matt and I caught up on our days then I hit the hay.



I slept so well but for some reason, I felt groggy for a bit. Maybe too much sleep? Thankfully, Kase text me just before I started eating breakfast to say she, Drew, and his sweet mom had decided to get brunch before we were all going to the UT game. I promptly put away my breakfast bowl, ate half a banana with pb, and got showered quickly.

I stopped by Mahalo and got a large coffee then met Kase and Drew at their beautiful home.

We dined at Simpl. It is beyond phenomenal! It is owned by the husband of one of Kase’s best friends. They have a gorgeous restaurant! They’re now serving coffee, though, so next time I’m trying theirs.

I love this garage area!





Love this!




Kaci chose their cheesy grits with local vegetables and an over easy egg. I enjoyed a bite of the grits, and they were deeeelicious.


Drew nommed on their chicken and waffles: fried chicken thigh, Belgian waffle, apple slaw, and maple cayenne syrup. The heat added to the maple has an amazing kick.


I had been eye-balling their grain bowl: sorghum, assorted local vegetables, chimichurri, charred carrot puree, and an over easy egg. Y’all, charred carrot puree? I wanted to lick this bowl clean!


Post-brunch smiles! Check out the creeper trying to come out the door because he just couldn’t wait a sec.


Even though I don’t follow UT football like The Sniders, I always get teary and choked up. I’m an emotional mess!



Smokey, our blue tick hound! Such an adorable puppers.


It was HOT, but it sprinkled and there were clouds most of the game, which was welcomed.


I’m pretending that I was the good luck charm because we won against UT Chattanooga! 45-0.


FINALLY post-game happiness! Maybe we can keep up better field performance now.


We made our way through the crowds and traffic and got back to their place. I ate some bran flakes with trail mix and Cruze milk. I was starving.


I had to make a trip to Kroger then showered once I put away our goods and fed the babies.

Dinner was a lovely spinach salad topped with spicy salsa, hummus, ranch oyster crackers that Susan had made, honey ginger beets, avocado, cucumber, and peppers.


I ate my breakfast for my snack: oats, cottage cheese, fig jam, berries and mango, and chai spiced cashews. I was more than ready for bed. I was pooped!



I started burning a new candle, and even though the temperatures say summer, I’m feeling excited for fall.


I prepped Erin’s Vegan Pumpkin Bread before I even made breakfast. I felt full of energy from a good night’s sleep!

Once it was baking, I enjoyed shredded wheat with cottage cheese, pureed apple from baking the bread (I made my own apple sauce since we didn’t have any), banana, oat milk, and pb.


From one loaf to another!



Unfortunately, I should’ve baked it a little longer because it’s still a bit gooey in the center. But I cooked a slice in the skillet, which gave it a crispy exterior and soft interior. YUM. I had it with carrots, cuke with EBTB seasoning, and veg egg bites. I’m aware of the irony on me: vegan bread with eggs. I just like trying different things no matter if they are vegan or not.


I managed to really find my motivation and dusted, wiped off the door and window frames, vacuumed everything including the stairs/bathroom/our closet, washed/dried/put away a load of laundry, and washed the dishes. This was even before coffee. Who am I? Ha!

Then I quickly changed and met Kase and Drew to hike at Sharp’s Ridge, a mere five minutes from their home. Yet I’ve never been with them.


It was such a gorgeous day, and we covered just over two miles. So appreciated!


Axl Rose is the best trail guide, but it’s a tough job! That side eye ❤ Also, such good news on our goob. He has two bumps on his side that they’ve been monitoring, but recently, they grew. They had them tested, and they came back benign. Given what sweet Mason went through, we’re extra sensitive to medical testing in regards to cancer. I only wish Mason had received such great news. I had a dream with him on Friday night, and it felt SO real. He was in my arms, and I was getting to take him home, then I woke up. I wanted to cry. I miss our baby boy.


Kase sweetly gave me some of her Chameleon pumpkin cold brew oat milk latte. It isn’t very sweet, but it does have a great flavor and texture.


I decided to take my ride through the car wash. She looks so sparkly and pretty now! I hate that dings and wear-and-tear, but I’m trying to take good care of her.


I showered finally, washed two more loads of laundry, got dinner going, and snacked on plantain chips and cuke with tahini and a date.


I finally made our 13-bean soup with our ham hock plus roasted garlic Brussels sprouts and my grandmother’s cornbread! The soup was seasoned perfectly, and I was proud of it. The cornbread, sigh. I again left the center gooey. Y’all, it was not my day. The corn meal/flour I have is SO fine that it soaks up all the liquid. I added extra water, but it made the batter too wet despite being the consistency of drop biscuits. Oh well, ya win some and ya lose some. We slathered our slices with butter and enjoyed this meal.


Dessert was Greek yogurt with GF vanilla wafers, pb, and a Honeycrisp apple.


As I said at the beginning of the post, I slept horribly, *but* I received a free coffee voucher at Remedy. I got my toosh moving and ready on time to swing by before going to the clinic. The morning light flowing into the café was so beautiful.


Trying to wear all of my summer clothes before it is officially fall!


Kase let me borrow her Bonnybee Designs earrings. Love.


I hope everyone has a wonderful week!


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