Quarantine & Chill

Hello, and happy Monday, friends! I don’t know about you, but for us, the weekend weather was rather rainy and chilly, but of course today it’s sunny and mild. Go figures. 😉 Let’s jump into a little weekend recap, shall we?

Friday

I started the day on a very deeeelicious note. I had the last of my carrot cake baked oatmeal with cream cheese frosting and raisins with fluffy scrambled eggs over greens with avocado. This plate had so much flavor!

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I’m slowly bringing my pixie pants back as I change out my clothes for spring/summer.

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Matt and I took our engagement photos four years ago from Friday, and it was so fun looking back at some of them!

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We basically laugh like crazy in all of our photos. 🙂

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I made this and was admittedly really proud of it. We have it displayed in our upstairs hallway. ❤

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I so love where we took our photos because it had the perfect vibe. I mean, this purple wall was so fun!

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On a whim, we decided to photograph us eating the banana muffins I had made and brought just in case we wanted a snack. So perfect for us as we love to cook together, and he introduced me to my love of cooking!

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Field of clovers.

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Alright, so back to Friday. A drug representative catered Olive Garden for us, and it was very tasty! Chicken parmesan, cheesy pasta, spaghetti, salad, and a breadstick.

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Plus a mini cheesecake cup.

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I finally hung our skeleton, and we made him first demonstrate the importance of protecting ourselves from Covid-19. Our patients are being asked to submit name suggestions.

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Matt came home earlier than I expected, and it was such a treat! We relaxed for a bit before I made dinner. I had the last of our Dr. Praeger’s burgers with a thin GF bagel spread with garlic hummus, roasted broccoli, and baby carrots. It hit the spot.

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I snacked on a mug of shredded wheat with pb and milk plus an apple and my tea with honey while we watched Ozark season three. It’s getting so twisted and crazy! Anyone else a fan?

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Saturday

I made a really enjoyable oatmeal muffin topped with thawed fruit, cottage cheese, pb, and local honey.

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I think my favorite thing about this photo is the plunger and toilet bowl brush. 😉 The babies were rather naughty, so I was up earlier than I expected to be. I was rockin’ some stellar bedhead.

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Jax is so bad but so damn cute!

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Rachel always wants to talk about allthethings at very early hours of the morning. But they’re just so cute and precious.

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We miss our baby boy so damn much!! Look at those paws. ❤

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A cat cafe that is set to open later this spring/early summer shared this fun cat bingo that I had to play.

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And Barre3 shared a word find.

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Kaci came over as I was finishing an Unmeasured workout, and then I heated this frozen butternut squash ravioli entree for lunch, and I had it over wilted greens plus an apple for a sweet finish.

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I got showered and put my “quarantine look” together. Kase and I watched The Office bloopers and had some really good laughs!

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We snuggled with the babies, and then she left to go back home and help Drew with some tasks. I tried my hand at whipped Dolgona coffee. Nailed it! Next time I’ll boil the water on the stove because I think microwaving it may have had an effect. I used my electric frother wand, but it just didn’t want to cooperate. I had it over unsweetened vanilla protein almond-cashew milk, and it still tasted really good!

I went to Aldi and then to Kroger for a few things before getting back home.

I snacked on the last of our fan-say potato chips with carrots and hummus.

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For dinner, I made Julie’s Everything Bagel Seared Tuna with sauteed green beans tossed in the dressing from this recipe. We also enjoyed Aldi’s 90-second rice-quinoa blend, and we both loved this meal! I bought the sushi-grade Ahi tuna from Aldi, and it is very high quality. Highly recommend this!

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I enjoyed yogurt with some thawed cherries, shredded wheat, and roasted nuts. We watched one episode of Ozark then called it a night.

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Sunday

I was on an oatmeal muffin kick, but this time I made it with savory spices, cheddar, greens, and a sunny side up farm fresh egg. If you have not tried an oat muffin or savory oatmeal, this is a must!

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Matt and I relaxed while we sipped our coffee, then I got ready for the day. His birthday is this Wednesday, so we went to Cruze Farm for an early birthday treat. I found him GF waffle cones that we brought. He tried their Lemon Custard-Blackberry swirl and loved it! I had my first churn, their Coffee Toffee. We both saved what we didn’t finish, so now we have more to enjoy with those cones.

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My handsome husband.

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He joined two friends to fish while I hung out with Kase. Since we ate ice cream at lunchtime, I a late snacky-lunch of Red Hot Blues, hummus, carrots, and tomatoes.

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Kase gave me a wannabe topknot, and I’m really excited to get to a point when I can wear one!

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She also used her curling iron to add waves to my locks, and I need to get one and start practicing! I’ve never felt great about curling my own hair, but I’m determined to learn how.

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I loved the volume it added.

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For dinner, we each enjoyed a simple salad and the last of our shrimp alfredo. Easy peasy.

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I ate a Kodiak Cake Strawberry Chocolate Chip muffin out of our vanilla yogurt tub with pb and an apple on the side. We’re over halfway through the third season, and I’m anxious to see what happens!

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Monday

Kaci kindly let me borrow this top, and I love it! The collar and tie is so fun.

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Have a great week!

Friday Finds + Favorites!

How are you all doing? Feeling all the emotions still? Because I know I am. Grateful to have my job, thankful to be of help, hopeful that we’ll overcome, anxious to still have to wear a mask all day every day, sad that I’m unable to go anywhere, feel trapped. I acknowledge all of these, and I encourage everyone to feel their feelings. Just because we may not have it as bad as someone else does not discount our emotions and experiences. I have a short but fun Friday favs post to share, and I would love to hear of some of your finds or favorites!

First up are two messages that spoke so strongly to me. Morgan Harper Nichols speaks truth always. Trying to live in the present and to soak up all of its beauty.

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I am perfectly imperfect. I am enough. I am me for which I don’t have to make any apologies. Same for you!

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I absolutely agree wholeheartedly with my friend, Ashley! Her posts are very informative and strong. I highly recommend you follow her on Instagram at the handle @fuel.2.flourish.

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I couldn’t resist taking a photo with my new Dyson before using it for the first time. It works like a dream! Matt kindly mounted it in the garage for us, so now I can dock and charge it out of the way. I highly recommend one! It sucked up so much hair and such, and the carpet felt fluffy.

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I do not know why, but Matt and I slept so very horrible on Monday night. Sweet Matt was up by 3:30 and just surrendered. I stayed in bed and dozed and got some more sleep but definitely lacked what I needed. Enter one of my fav go-to denim dresses that made getting ready easy. Tried to do the whole, “fake it ’til you make it”. They extended the stay-at-home order until the end of the month, so quarantine hair is going strong!

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*The* fashion accessory of 2020. I bought this from a friend who made multiple masks to donate. I wore it when I last went to Kroger for a few quick things.

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The weather started to warm up again, so I wore one of my really comfortable dresses and leggings that didn’t make the photo. Ready for spring to come back permanently! Rachel in the background is so cute!

I didn’t snap a photo and now regret it, but even though we slept horribly, I made a fantastic breakfast Tuesday morning! We split the last of our Easter asparagus frittata, and I had mine between two slices of toasted Dave’s Killer Bread with melted mozzarella, mashed avocado, wilted greens, and a local Swaggerty’s sausage. I enjoyed a small, crisp apple on the side plus a mug of delicious, strong coffee. Kath shared a recipe for Scramble Egg Sandwich with Avocado on this day, so we were on the same wavelength!

My manager catered Salsarita’s since one of our RN’s now has left for a different job, and we did a going away party. I enjoyed my first plate then went back for a vegetarian taco salad of sorts.

I finally ordered lunch from Shandi’s Boutique for myself and a friend, Andrea at work, and it was delicious! We each got their turkey, bacon, avocado, mozzarella melt with tomato and basil on toasted white bread. I chose pasta salad but saved it because I was pleasantly full. Our meals came with a free cookie each, and they were so pretty!

Earlier in the week, Andrea shared her 8-can soup that looked delicious, and it inspired me to make this creation. One can each Italian tomatoes, cannellini beans, lentils, and mushrooms; one frozen bag each vegetable soup blend, green beans, spinach, and one quart chicken broth + herbs & spices. Matt added two bay leaves, and we added a smidge extra garlic powder plus salt for him. It made a lot and is awesome to now have on hand!

Alexis shared a recipe for Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal that I will be making for us this weekend. Does it not scream spring as well as utterly delicious? I will share my creation!

Unfortunately, we have ended up having to throw away some of our glass container lids because they cracked, so I’m needing to organize our cabinet. I decided to order us more containers to pack our lunches and snacks, and I chose this set on Amazon. I love the lock lids for not only the secure seal but they also won’t warp or crack with use.

 I’ll end by sharing this precious memory of our babies. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Unconventional Easter 2020

Hello, and happy Monday! I hope everyone, despite the circumstances, had a wonderful weekend. If you celebrate Easter, I hope you were able to still have an enjoyable holiday.

Friday

I started Friday with a delicious bowl of oatmeal topped with thawed cherry medley, raspberry fruit spread, and chunky pb.

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I played around with parting my bangs in the middle(ish) and enjoyed a slightly different look. 🙂

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I roasted a huge bag of green beans as well, a bunch of asparagus, a whole bulb of garlic, and one sweet potato. We planned to eat the sweet potato and some of the green beans for our early Easter lunch on Saturday, so I prepped it ahead of time.

Dinner was a really good grilled cheese dipped into our black bean salsa tomato mixture plus a lovely green salad.

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We watched Ozark, and I could only make it through one episode before I needed to go to bed. I was pooped!

Saturday

I slept oh so well and was grateful Matt chose to feed the babies in the morning. I toasted two of my Kodiak Cakes Strawberry Chocolate Chip waffles and had them with Fage vanilla yogurt, banana, pb, and cinnamon.

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After sipping my coffee, I completed a workout by Simi on Unmeasured then got ready for our beautiful day together.

We swung by Mahalo for me to get a half caf iced latte plus the extra coffee burlap bags Trevor was kind enough to give me. You better believe Kaci, Drew, Matt, and me will be trying a coffee/potato sack race together, ha!

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Liquid gold. Then it was off to our lake house to spend the day!

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A sight I will never grow tired of seeing.

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Sadly, there were a lot of trees down from the awful storms. We had a smaller one while our neighbors had some massive losses.

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Nailed it on the first try!

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Matt setup and took this photo. I love it!

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I brought my Polariod, and we had a lot of fun using it.

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Blooper, Polaroid style. Would’ve been cute I think, but we just accidentally chose the wrong setting. Oh well!

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We mashed the roasted garlic with salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh rosemary then rubbed it on both sides of three lamb chops. We seared them in the iron skillet before finishing them in the oven. We had the green beans with Annie’s Lemon Chive dressing and split the sweet potato. I added cinnamon to it. It was such a great early Easter lunch!

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I don’t remember when we bought these. Perhaps when we tore up the carpet to have it replaced before our wedding, but it’s like we sensed Covid-19. It made me chuckle.

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Matt and I played several games of Kings in the Corner, walked around in the sunshine, checked on the house, and then packed up to head home. I don’t think I had ever been out there on Easter weekend, and it felt so very special.

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I couldn’t resist some Easter filters.

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Hahaha

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After we got home and settled, we made very tasty salads topped with Dr. Praeger’s chick’n tenders, Caesar dressing, and hummus with Red Hot Blues.

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Snackage during Ozark included thawed mango with pb powder, the last of my shredded wheat, sprinkle of muesli, and unsweetened vanilla almond cashew milk. This was such a good combo! We finished the last two episodes of season one.

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Easter Sunday

I fed the babies then came back to bed for another hour or so then got up and made us an aspragus frittata that I have to say was so easy to make and very delicious. Five eggs, two tablespoons of milk, half cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar, one bunch of asparagus roasted, salt and pepper. Butter a warmed skillet, add the warmed asparagus, pour the batter of top, then sprinkle with EBTB seasoning and smoked paprika. Cover with a lid, turn down the heat, and cook until the eggs set.

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We enjoyed ours with a white grapefruit that we split, and I sprinkled cinnamon on mine.

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Avocado toast to complete our Easter breakfast.

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Our babies have been so snuggly!

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Our friends again surprised us with two dozen eggs from their chickens, and we are so very grateful!!

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These came up on my memories and made me smile big time. Kaci and I had these taken in April 2011 to celebrate our upcoming graduation from college. I will always cherish these.

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After completing a workout by Simi, I showered and donned my Easter best. 😉

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For lunch, I made a Chocolate Cherry Green Smoothie thanks to Simi for sharing the inspiration! I added half a banana for extra creamy sweet flavor, and it was so good. I thawed a Kodiak Cakes Strawberry Chocolate Chip muffin and crumbled it over the top plus a spoonful of crunchy pb.

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I sipped on Matcha Mate Grapefruit tea with honey to warm up because the weather was dismal and chilly.

Our very own Easter basket!

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I finished a few word finds then snacked on carrots, hummus, and Red Hot Blues.

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Just as Kaci arrived, my Dyson was delivered!

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She bought a new lantern because this one won’t turn on anymore, sadly. But we added my twinkly string lights, and I just love it.

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Dinner was Cajun chicken breasts over white rice with roasted green beans and Brussels sprouts.

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I snacked on a mug of Multigrain Cheerios with the other half of my banana, pb powder, whole meal ground flaxseed, chocolate chips, and unsweetened vanilla almond cashew milk. We watched the first episode of Ozark season two then called it a night.

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I’ve seen my friends sharing their senior year photos in support of this year’s seniors, so I did the same. Class of 2006 from Oak Ridge High School. ❤

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Wishing you all a great day and week! Please feel free to share anything that you did and/or ate over the weekend that you enjoyed!

Putting a Spring in My Step

Hello, and happy Monday! I certainly hope everyone had a very lovely weekend. The weather was lovely here, and it really helped to keep me feeling calm and optimistic.

Friday

I took this after I removed my mask for the day to head home from one of my clinics. Nothing like that first good breath of fresh air.

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After I fed our sweeties, I got changed and went out on a glorious walk.

When I walked up to our place, Matt surprised me by being home earlier than I expected, and he brought Rachie outside! She plopped around, enjoyed herself fully, and of course she went straight over to eat grass.

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Then it was Jackson’s turn. Our babies make me so happy! I always think of how much Mason lit up when he got to enjoy time outside one final time before saying goodbye.

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Dinner was a huge jass salad topped with Ingles chicken salad and a Schar GF dinner roll. We love their products!

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Snackage included a banana with pb, cinnamon, and Fage vanilla yogurt. We *finally* started watching Ozark, and we watched the first two episodes this evening. It’s dark but really good!

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Saturday

I slept SO well and then made this stellar breakfast that I was proud of. Hidden avocado toast with one each farm fresh and store bought egg. The farm fresh is obviously on the right. I also had pb toast with our cinnamon apples.

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Snuggles with my girl while I drank my delicious coffee.

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I completed Simi’s latest 45-minute exercise video on Unmeasured, and it was sooo tough! But very rewarding. I wrote on my Insta story that while I so love her work, I don’t force myself if I’m just not feeling it. On this morning, I was all in, and that makes for a great experience. I took multiple breaks but still powered through to the end.

I got myself cleaned up and ordered a large cheese pizza from Cruze Farm with a special discount code they shared. I brought it over to Kaci and Drew’s, and she and I had a late lunch. I ended up having three slices and felt pleasantly full.

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I hung out while they cleaned and did some work around the house, and while I didn’t feel I was of much help, I just love spending time with them.

It’s really the little things, but my hair is now long enough to use these pretty clips I bought in January!

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Once home, I went out on another walk before eating a simple dinner of a salad with rotisserie chicken and crackers.

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Snackage while we watched Ozark included the last of our vanilla yogurt plus Greek, thawed wild blueberries, Multigrain Cheerios, and roasted salted nuts.

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Sunday

I decided to soak a packet of Bakery on Main strawberry shortcake oatmeal overnight with Cruze Farm buttermilk. I then blended it with a banana in the morning before stirring in pb. If you’ve never had a “dough boy smoothie” as Kath calls them, I highly recommend it!

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After relaxing with my cuppa Joe, I got to work on baking! I used up a box of Kodiak Cakes Strawberry Chocolate Chip to make a batch of muffins as well as waffles.

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I love having all of this on hand now.

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I felt proud of what I was able to accomplish. I took care of the dishes, laundry, scrubbed our bathroom and the toilets, dusted, vacuumed for the second time over the weekend, and then I swept off the front porch. Matt was so very kind and changed my transmission fluid and keeps up with my car’s maintenance. It felt so good to take care of these things!

I stopped for lunch partly through my cleaning frenzy and enjoyed a salad with pizza. I went back for another slice as well as an apple.

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I added these plant gifs to give me inspiration. Ha!

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I was craving another walk, and boy did it feel amazing. Ya know what also felt amazing? A much-needed shower. I even painted my nails, and at-home spa days are sometimes the best.

Are you sensing a theme? Chicken salad, roasted asparagus and bell pepper, and crackers.

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I enjoyed thawed blueberries and mango with Greek yogurt as well as a muffin plus lemon lavender tea with local honey. So good!

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Monday

This morning I had a rather nostalgic breakfast. Toasted Kodiak Cakes waffles with maple syrup and farm fresh eggs. I used to enjoy the square Eggo waffles with butter, pancake syrup, and eggs at my grandparents, so it really was comforting.

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I wish you all health, happiness, and a great week ahead!

Quarantine Times

I still have a hard time believing this is our current situation and that it is our new “normal” for an unknown time. How are you all holding up? I so hope you all are well and safe.

Friday

This is the only photo I took on Friday. It was a busy day, and I was thankful to be home. I completed a workout by Simi’s Unmeasured then made dinner for us. Jax knocked off his magnet then accidentally pulled off this panel at the bottom of our fridge. He’s such a silly baby! He helped Matt snap it back into place. 😉

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Saturday

We slept in, and it felt oh so good. I made a Kodiak Cakes Strawberry Chocolate Chip Flapjack cup with a side of banana, pb, and Fage TruBlend vanilla yogurt. Matt received a text from one of his friends that said he and his wife left two dozen farm fresh eggs on our porch. How incredibly sweet was that?! As one of my friends said, they look like naturally dyed Easter eggs. ❤️ I also then realized Kodiak Cakes had delivered my free samples that included six Buttermilk and Maple Flapjack cups. I gave Kaci three.

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After vacuuming and washing a load of laundry, I got myself ready for the day.

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I know it’s not a huge deal, but I was able to pin back my hair in my first “undo” of sorts!

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I went by Honeybee West and got myself a decaf latte, Kaci a cold brew, and I picked up the bouquet I bought for her from Flourish Flower Truck. They left it there for me to collect. I so want to support local when I can.

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So pretty!

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I went by Paysan for one of their chicken pot pies, but unfortunately, they were already sold out. Hoping to snag one for Kaci and I to split later this week. I did pick up a loaf of focaccia.

Kaci put her flowers into one of her vases, and they looked lovely.

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I apologize for the poor lighting, but my lunch was so good! I cooked two of the farm fresh eggs (check out those perfect yolks), and I had them with focaccia, basil pesto, and part of a salad kit. This was oh so good.

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I finally won a quick draw from Paris Woodhull! She’s a local artist who is so damn talented. You may recall my pretty green-blue bandana with a map of Knoxville on it or Petro’s wall mural that I shared. Those are her works of art.

She took this photo…

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and created this! I just love it!

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Kaci and I watched Aladdin together, and I realized it had been such a long time since I had seen it. One of my favorite Disney movies. I love Robin Williams, and he was perfect as the Genie!

I decided to try out a claw clip and liked it too. 🙂

Dinner was quick and really good. I marinated chicken thighs in Italian dressing then baked them along with seasoned whole baby purple potatoes and zucchini.

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I enjoyed my lemon ginger tea and a snack while we watched Murder Mystery with Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler. Anyone seen it? We thought it was hilarious! A fun movie that gave us plenty of laughs.

Sunday

We again slept well, but this time, I got up and fed our sweeties. I went back to sleep then later got up and enjoyed banana “sushi”. I cooked a sprouted wheat tortilla in a butter skillet then added cinnamon sugar. I was hoping it would be crunchy, but I didn’t think about it caramelizing into the tortilla. It was still delicious. I added pb, jam, and banana then rolled it up, sliced it, and I enjoyed Fage vanilla blended yogurt with it.

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Sweet Rachel snuggles while I sipped my coffee!

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Snap Chat fun with my girl.

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Can you even handle Jackson’s cuteness?! Kaci shared this with me, and it has always been one of my favorite photos!

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I then gave myself a mani and pedi, which was quite a nice treat. I used Essie’s ‘satin sister’ on my toes and Sally Hansen’s quick-dry ‘thyme is money’ on my fingernails. Unfortunately, the quick-dry polish stayed gummy on some nails. It states it only needs one coat, but then it looks streaky on some. I used Essie’s gel top coat but had to redo two. Oh well, still love them.

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I completed Simi’s latest 45-minute, and it was humbling. I took many breaks, but I did not feel like a failure. It was challenging and so rewarding!

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I quickly threw together lunch – leftover slice of pizza, salad, and focaccia.

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I then got ready to meet a friend to pick up a cute t-shirt I ordered from her. Fresh-faced and cozy vibes.

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Once back, I made myself a mug of decaf coffee and enjoyed some roasted nuts with a chocolate almond biscotti. Mmmm mmm.

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I decided to go for a walk because despite it being cloudy, it felt really nice. I enjoyed getting outside and stretching my legs!

I decided to rearrange some of the tubs of keepsakes/decor into our guest room closet that freed up one corner in the guest room. I was tired of seeing those tubs just stacked up there. I then vacuumed again, and there was still so much hair. #catparents

Dinner was a simple salad…

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and pasta. This pasta was really tasty, and I loved the shape. Funny thing is that the package said it can withstand being overcooked. I followed the energy-saving method of boil for two minutes then allow to sit in the water covered for 17 minutes. It was a little overdone. Haha. I added Muir Glen roasted vegetable marinara that I simmered, and I topped it with mozzarella and a sprinkle of Italian herbs.

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I sincerely hope this week will be good for us all and that we will see improvements in our current situation. Sending all the love.

Weekend Recap

Hi all. I hope that where every you are, you are safe and well. This whole Covid-19 outbreak is so surreal and strange! I never ever could have imagined all of this, and it seemed to come on so suddenly. I know every day is a bit of touch-and-go. I wanted to share a weekend recap in the hopes to add some lighthearted content to otherwise uncertain time.

Friday

I started the day on such a delicious note! I warmed a sprouted whole grain tortilla with greens and then layered cheesy scrambled eggs, one cooked vegan sausage patty crumbled, avocado, and Siete chipotle hot sauce. I also had a cutie on the side plus a wonderful mug of coffee.

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I came up with this outfit quickly and was really happy about it! I layered my fun bleached flannel over my Old Navy jumpsuit instead of wearing a cardigan.

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The day felt really weird, and I admittedly did not handle it well. They’ve now mandated that we wear a gown and mask at all times plus have our temperature taken and logged daily. The masks have been proven to be ineffective at transmitting the disease if the individual is well. But I get that companies want to show they are doing something. So it is our reality for now.

Baby Girl was oh so snuggly! I sipped on Twinings Lemon Ginger tea while I waited on Matt to get home.

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Dinner was a salad with steamed sweet potato cubes and sauteed chicken quick marinated in Greek dressing.

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I didn’t take a photo of my snack, but we settled in and watched A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. It was really sweet! But it was a little odd. I suppose Mr. Rogers was in some ways but also genuinely an amazing person. I enjoyed watching it.

Saturday

I woke up feeling really well-rested and good! I made Kodiak Cakes buttermilk waffles that I topped with ricotta and smoked salmon along with a side of lightly dressed greens and a cutie. This reminded me of a meal at First Watch, and it felt fancy.

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I used nearly the rest of the mix to make mixed berry muffins that turned out so well. I managed to do all of this before even having my coffee too!

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After showering and getting ready, I enjoyed a muffin with pb then headed out the door to go over to Kaci and Drew’s.

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My spring-but-it’s-still-cold outfit. But I even should have dressed warmer because the temperature dropped more. Mahalo tee, Not Perfect Linen scarf, teal pants (the lighting was poor due to it being cloudy).

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I swung by Mahalo and grabbed a half caf Americano. It was so refreshing!

We placed a curbside order from CFA, and I so enjoyed their spicy chicken salad! I love their avocado lime dressing.

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I went with Kaci, Drew, and Drew’s parents to help his parents’ friends (a husband and a wife) load up some furniture as they are moving soon. They are giving away some, and they’re deciding on whether they want to give me a really cute “shabby chic” desk and Aztec rug. I’d be so grateful and would certainly take great care of them. I love when items have a story, and I would know where they came from.

It was late by the time I arrived home, so I had a snack-y dinner. These garlic and onion Triscuits with poppy seeds are so good!

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I had a snack while we watched Spenser Confidential with Mark Wahlberg. I loved the movie! It had a number of funny parts as well as plenty of action.

Sunday

We slept in again and didn’t get out of bed until 9:00! I had made two smaller waffles to use up the remainder of the Kodiak Cakes buttermilk mix, and I enjoyed them toasted and topped with maple plus a banana with pb and yogurt.

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Sweet Mason!! I adore this photo of him. He was so very handsome.

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I gathered up donations to take to Goodwill (which I will need to confirm that they can accept them at this time), cleaned, and then ate lunch. I heated a tortilla with greens, hummus, and freshly shredded cheddar. I added avocado then folded it over and cut it in half. Carrots and orange pepper strips on the side. I then finished the last little bit of my Americano (I used my Pioneer Woman cup, and the ice still hadn’t melted!) with my last two Samoas.

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Jackson snuggled himself in the middle of my donations. Doesn’t he look precious?

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He’s so silly!

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Kaci came over and helped me in a huge way! I had been planning to make this coffee burlap bag ottoman for months thanks to the free bag from Mahalo, but I was admittedly intimated by the project. She helped me to start stitching after I cut and ironed the six pieces. I followed this guide. I chose not to store clothes in it, so instead, I used poly-fil and then finished stitching up the side. I really love it!

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I enjoyed tea, a snack, then we called it a night. I hope that you can find some calm and peace today and as we move forward in this time of the unknown.

Friday Finds & Favorites!

Hello, and happy Friday!! I hope your week has been a good one. As always, please feel free to add your own finds and favorites in the comments! Let’s get to it, shall we?

First up is this delicious blueberry chia pudding that Matt made for us! He warmed frozen wild blueberries then added water and chia seeds, a little sugar, and maple, and he chilled it overnight. It then congealed into this great pudding texture.

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I had it with cheesy avocado toast, apple with cinnamon, and a vegan sausage patty one morning. I loved this combo of flavors and textures!

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Another morning I had it with pb and honey on toasted whole grain bread plus an apple on the side. Check out that drippy filling. Yum.

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I recently made Ellie Krieger’s lentil tomato dish with ricotta that was oh so satisfying! The ricotta added a creamy, lovely texture and taste.

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I also made her Ancho Black Bean Chili with Orange Essence. Holy smokes, it was amazing! We’re enjoying leftovers for dinner this evening. Mmm mmm.

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Lastly on the meal inspiration front, I made Ree Drummond’s nachos but substituted one pound each chicken and vegan meat (Emerge from Kroger) for the beef. I didn’t layer them because the recipe makes a lot, so we’ll just build our nachos when we eat the leftovers. Otherwise, the chips would be soggy. I needed to have added more cheese, but it was still good.

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Target finds! I wish I had a reason to buy them all, but instead, I chose to just take photos to share. The vase was only $5, but I am trying to be intentional. It is so cute, though! An owl humidifier. I mean, how cute! Cat-print sheets and ‘cat lady’ tee. Target gets me.

I did purchase this candle, and not only does it smell lovely, the container is really cute and can be repurposed!

I have still be in search of a good antiperspirant deodorant (nervous sweat probs, just keepin’ it real), and so far, this one has worked well! Anyone else struggle with this? It’s not that I get hot and sweat. I just have nervous sweat even when I don’t physically feel nervous. Maybe I’m just weird. 😉

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I bought my first set of thermals from Target now that many are on clearance. I’ve needed some to layer with, and this brand is rather nice and comfortable if anyone is in the market for them.

I decided to put my pretty “vintage” bobby pins in my Summer and Rose trinket dish, and I love how pretty and accessible they are now! They’re too nice to put away in my opinion.

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Kylie was incredibly sweet to send me these stickers of the cute girl and her haiku about dieting! She has an awesome line of these girls who are voices against dieting. Kylie now has included them in her Ig recipe videos, and I love them.

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Our Lead RD surprised us each with a gift for National Nutrition Month + National RD Day, and I feel so fortunate to work with amazing RD’s and for an incredible Lead. This wireless mouse, complete in one of my favorite colors and personalized, is so thoughtful! I love everything down to the card design and the thoughtful message she wrote.

Now for some outfits I’ve loved lately! Kaci so kindly let me borrow this beautiful sweater that she got from Val’s Boutique. It is so comfortable and well-made!

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It’s not a huge difference, but I’ve been enjoying trying different styles as my hair grows. I pinned back both sides, and I loved how it looked and felt.

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I paired my Not Perfect Linen scarf with a linen dress I bought last year from Amazon. Complete with fun earrings by Bonnybee Designs, and Rifle Paper Co. Keds.

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Natural hair aka no styling paste. It felt nice to wear it like this for a change.

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Always ending on a positive note. ❤

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Have the best day and weekend ahead!

Fresh Air Leads to a Happy Heart

Hello, and happy Monday and new month of March! Two days into the third month of 2020. Crazy!

Friday

I started the day with such a stellar breakfast combo that included a Figgy POGO by Sweet Earth Foods that was very enjoyable. I bought it with a coupon recently, and now I want to try their other flavors! It’s like a fluffy poptart met a Fig Newton. I enjoyed it with fluffy cheesy scrambled egg topped with hot sauce, avocado, and a cutie.

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Kaci got to come over after work and hang out with me and the babies, and it was so lovely!

Once Matt got home, I whipped up dinner that turned out really well. I sauteed chicken tenders with some salt, pepper, and garlic I believe then I added a bag of fresh cauliflower hash from the produce department that I first steamed in the microwave, fresh turnip greens, and barbeque sauce. It may sound weird, but it was an excellent combo! I enjoyed mine with Bird’s Eye frozen lemony couscous and greens.

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Rachie loves a good SnapChat filter. 😉

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For a snack later that evening, I added beet powder, powdered pb, ground flax, ginger, a few raw oats, and crunchy nuggets to yogurt and had a crisp, juicy apple on the side. Matt and I have been watching a Netflix documentary on Formula 1 racing called Drive to Survive, and it’s been interesting!

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Saturday

We slept in SO well! I didn’t get out of bed until around 8:00. For breakfast, I made a Bakery on Main apple cinnamon oatmeal cup with milk then topped it with a vegan maple sausage patty. I loved the sweet savory combo. I also had an apple with pb on the side.

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I call this, “cat book ends”. 😉

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After getting ready for the day, I went down to the post office to pick up my first Not Perfect Linen dress!

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They also surprised me by sending me a scarf! They always send sample squares of all of their linen colors, and I love that they do this for their customers.

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For lunch, I heated an Amy’s Greek Spanakopita burrito topped with hot sauce and enjoyed with baby carrots.

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For a sweet finish, I enjoyed one of these chocolate almond biscotti from Aldi. The almond flavor was prominent and very good!

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I then made a Target run and found some great things that we needed! I impulsively grabbed this from the cooler at the checkout line, and while it isn’t sweetened, I still thought it was really enjoyable and refreshing. I loved the grapefruit flavor, and despite it being carbonated, it didn’t upset my stomach. Win-win.

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The latest Pioneer Woman Magazine edition was delivered, and Rachel and I couldn’t wait to dive into it!

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Mid-reading, I grabbed a snack of hidden crunchy nuggests cereal with cuties and almond milk. It was just what I was craving.

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Jackson then had to join! We were learning about DIY facemasks at this point.

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I received a notification that my trial FabFitFun box had been delivered! While I would love to maintain this subscription, it’s too costly for our budget at this time. But for just $5 and change, I received this small but amazing box.

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The babes helped me open it.

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Jax couldn’t care less about the box contents. He just wanted the box!

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I’m very grateful! I received Tula probiotic face wash, Whish overnight face mask, YumiKim travel bag, and the beautiful Summer and Rose trinket dish.

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I completed one of Simi’s Barre videos and it felt so incredible!! My body was definitely challenged but in a very good way. I didn’t not have judgemental thoughts if I had to take a break or take a modification, and that is how movement should be for us.

I showered and then got to work making “Sloppy Joannas” by Hilary’s. I had to make substitutions because apparently I was not careful when I last grocery shopped and forgot some things. I used a yellow pepper instead of green, 3/4 c ketchup and 1/4 c smoky whisky bbq sauce, and spicy brown mustard. Kroger also didn’t have their Adzuki bean burgers, so I used the root vegetable variety. Matt thought the sauce could be decreased, but I loved it as is, so feel free to play around with it! We enjoyed ours on warmed Udi’s GF buns with a spinach and avocado salad on the side.

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As we watched the Formula 1 program, I noshed on a banana with cinnamon, nutmeg, and pb plus herbal tea with honey.

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Sunday

Once again we slept until the eight o’clock hour, and it felt marvelous. Once we made our way downstairs, I finally opened one of my Kodiak Cakes mixes, their classic buttermilk, and made waffles in my baby Dash waffel maker! I topped mine with Matt’s blueberry chia pudding, pb, and maple. Mmmm mmmm mmm. So good.

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I then rolled up my sleeves and made muffins following their recipe on the back of the box. Because our bananas aren’t ripe enough yet, I omitted them and added Greek yogurt and frozen wild blueberries per the recipe variation.

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Tada!

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Because Matt can’t have any (damn Celiac), I took six to Kaci and Drew. I packed up my lunch to enjoy over at their place: spinach with Sloppy Joanna and baked polenta. Excellent quick meal full of flavor! I ate a cutie then accompanied Kaci on her Target run. She found new bedding that is so pretty! She also scored a heck of a deal on it and their new flannel sheets.

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Before embarking on our hike, I ate one of my muffins with ricotta as a “frosting” on top. Fabulous!

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The day could not have been more beautiful. The sun was a welcome sight as was the mild temperature. We hiked at IC King Park and covered about 2.6 glorious miles.

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Kaci took this portrait mode with the front facing camera on her iPhone 11, and it makes me wish I had this version! I want to wait to make such a big purchase, but I’m living vicariously through her. Also, peep Drew in my sunglasses reflection, ha!

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So artistic 😉

Once I got home, I snacked on some carrots and hummus while the babies ate then I vacuumed our home.

So, you know how I mentioned I didn’t shop well last week? Um, yea, I didn’t have what was needed for the Ancho Black Bean Chili I planned to make, *but* I was proud of these nachos! I cooked our last chicken burger and divided it over our blue corn chips and topped them with canned pinto beans and Tillamook thick shredded sharp cheddar. I warmed our plates in the microwave the topped our nachos with tomatoes, avocado, Greek yogurt, and hot sauce. I sauteed turnip greens and added the last of our jarred pickled jalapenos plus some of the brine. This was fantastic! Something that I still am so grateful for is the freedom from my disordered eating and food rules. In my past, if I didn’t know all of my meals for the day or if plans were changed, it caused me so. much. anxiety! Not anymore. I love spontaneity and being able to go-with-the-flow! If you feel stuck in food rules, know there is a life outside of them, and you can get there. ❤

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I prepped our food and my clothes for today then promptly sat my toosh on the couch with those same crunchy nuggets in our pb jar with unsweetened vanilla cashew milk and an apple. So good! Even though it is simple, this combo was perfect. We finished watching our program then made our way to bed.

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Monday

I apologize for the poor lighting (thanks, Mother Nature for the rain. We really needed more.), but here is my new dress and scarf! I layered it with my gray sweater from Amazon, belt from Planet Xchange, and shoes from Target.

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A pretty bobby pin to add some pizazz to my growing pixie.

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Wishing you all the very best day and week ahead!

Friday Favorites + Finds!

Happy Friday! I certainly hope everyone had a great week. I’ve been saving a number of favorites to share, so I will just jump right into it.

While this weather has been all over the place, I celebrate any day that is sunny and mild! Only a few days before it lightly snowed, it was so warm that I could walk in a light jacket. Mother Nature is keeping us on our toes for sure.

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When I returned, Rachel was waiting in the window!

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We made breakfast-for-dinner that included a warmed salad, over easy egg, hot sauce, and GF Schar croissant. This was delicious! I’ll need to get more of these croissants soon.

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For breakfast one morning, I had two types of toast: carrot protein bread wtih Matt’s strawberry chia jam and cottage cheese and one slice of thin whole grain with the same chia pudding and pb. A banana on the side. I really enjoyed this combo!

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I had a coupon for a Tillamook product, and this farmstyle thick cut cheddar is oh-so tasty. I love how thick it is, and the strong, sharp flavor is very pronounced.

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I made Alexis’ chickpea avocado salad but made some substitutions. I omitted the onion and celery and added additional red bell pepper, used spicy brown mustard instead of dijon, and used frozen avocado instead of fresh. It was so great! We had it as a sandwich and over a salad with corn chips for two lunches during the week.

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I found these falafel burgers at Ingles, and while they could’ve use some tzatziki, they were enjoyable. But really, look at our silly photo bombers!

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I got this outfit idea from Kaci and copied her the next day!

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Mid-morning Mahalo pick-me-up.

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Before completing a Barre3 flow at home, Jackson insisted on being snuggled. He is so stinkin’ adorable!

My wonderful hairstylist shared this with me. It’s close to the process we’re using to grow out my locks. 🙂

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Speaking of which, I can now tuck my hair behind my ears. It’s the little things!

Such a powerful reminder!

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Speaking of control, we cannot manipulate and control our bodies with restriction.

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We can, however, listen to our own intuition and engage in healthy behaviors. Simi led a free series that delved into a healthy relationship with movement. It was so insightful and supportive!

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I do love these Ennegram posts just to see which one I relate to.

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And that’s a wrap! I wish you all the best Friday and weekend ahead! Please feel free to share any favorites and/or any fun plans you have!