Love Is in the Air

Hello and happy Monday! I sure hope your weekend was filled with fun and love.

Friday

I began my day with leftover pizza topped with Siete hot sauce, wilted greens, two sunny side up eggs, and cutie.

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I was craving sweet, so I had some local salted chocolate with my coffee. Wonderful choice!

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I wore a somewhat themed with dark red tights and some pops of pink in my dress.

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These memories warm my heart so much!!

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Look at that leg extension!

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Despite what his face looks like, Mason was purring up a big storm! I miss our big, brave boy.

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He was always at home in my arms, and I always felt so much peace.

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Sweet baby Jackson! Look at those tootsies.

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I snapped this on Friday morning of our princess. Almost without fail, she snuggles in my lap every morning. ❤

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I think this was taken on Valentine’s Day 11 years ago. We were youngins.

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Lastly, Friday marked six years as a Registered Dietitian!

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Despite being exhausted, Matt and I went out to dinner to celebrate. This was just over a month away from his Celiac Disease diagnosis. 😥

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After a great day at work, my sweet friend Andrea and I went by Mahalo for their special of buy one drink and receive one for free! I chose their Red Velvet Beet Latte, and she got a caramel latte. Both with pretty hearts!

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I wasn’t feeling like cooking, but with the need for GF, finding delish take out is a chore. We decieded to order from Broadway Market, and they did not disappoint. I chose their vegetable soup, salad, and grilled sweet cornbread. Matt had a chicken poke bowl and gave me a few bites.

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For a dessert, I thoroughly enjoyed a banana split with cinnamon, Greek yogurt, pb, and Love Grown Comet Crispies.

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We decided to watch Zombieland: Double Tap, and we thought it was really funny! I don’t usually pay attention to ratings because they don’t always align with my thoughts. I loved the first movie, and this one gave me some good laughs.

Saturday

I went simple for breakfast with fresh cherries and frozen wild blueberries thawed in the yogurt a bit, cardamom, and tahini.

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I had a slice of the carrot protein bread from Earth Fare toasted and topped with strawberry jam.

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Those morning snuggles! I started to read my book, Suffer Strong, and already the words are very powerful. I need to devote time each day to read!

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I got ready and met Kaci and Drew at their place to go on a lovely hike. I ate a Clif Bar, carrots, and cucumber before we left.

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SnapChat for fun.

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Twinkies enjoying the great outdoors!

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This tree was bent very funny, and it looked like an “F”.

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We found these random stairs, so we took turns posing with our trail guide, Axl Rose!

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We hiked for about two hours, and I think we went 3.5 miles. It felt so good! It was very chilly, so I should have layered more. Live and learn.

I ate some of Drew’s woven wheats and pb because I was a starvin’ marvin when we returned. Was just what I was craving!

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I went grocery shopping at Ingles for a change of scenery, and it was fun because they do have some different products than Kroger. I found some good things!

For part of dinner, we had tomato red pepper soup with freshly grated mozzarella, which was so delicious.

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Then a huge salad with Ingles rotisserie chicken salad, pickles, and…drumroll…GF croissant! It is made by the brand Schar, and it actually was made with wheat that was said to be processed to meet the GF standards. I had to do a double check and read the label carefully because there have never been GF products that contain wheat. It tasted amazing!

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Dessert included apple, Crunchy Nuggets, butter toffee pecans, and milk. The apples I bought are rather bruised. 😦 I tried to check the bag well, but I guess I need to improve on my produce quality review.

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We went to bed around 11 and slept well, thankfully.

Sunday

I received twelve free Kodiak Cakes Strawberry Chocolate Chip cups, and I made one for breakfast. I used milk and measured it versus using the cup’s fill line. It cooked up beautifully!

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I had a banana and pb on the side.

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I also received all of these goodies courtesy of Bakery on Main! I submitted some of my favorite oatmeal creations using their products to participate in their Instagram contest, and I was so grateful to win!

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I showered and got ready to spend the afternoon with Kaci as we checked on our lake house. Matt and I split bagged salad that I added greens to plus a slice of the carrot protein bread with hummus.

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I also bought two boxes of Girl Scout cookies from one of my sweet friends, and I enjoyed a few Samoas with decaf coffee as we headed to the lake house.

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Thankfully, despite this awful rainy weather, it looked good! You can see the sticks and debris along from one side of our cove to the other where the water came all the way up into the yard. Kaci and I are going out next weekend to clean the whole yard.

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Had to get a few photos together. 🙂

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Her hair got in my face, so I tried to gently put it to the back. Unfortunately, my ring snagged it, which of course made me cheese. She wasn’t impressed with it. Hahaha

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I wish we could’ve just stayed, but sadly, we had to make our way back. We enjoyed Red Hot Blues with hummus and then I got a few carrots to finish off my hummus.

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We snuggled with Axl, Jax, and Rachel, and then she headed home. Matt and Drew had been working all afternoon on installing a sump pump into their basement because anytime we have really heavy rains, it floods horribly. I hope this helps big time! I love that we four can be there for each other.

I got off my peach and got to work on house tasks and meal prep. I roasted two each sweet potatoes, bulbs of garlic and sheet pans of vegetables: carrots + parsnips and broccoli + Brussels.

I baked chicken thighs marinated in Greek vinaigrette that we enjoyed with a sweet potato half seasoned with cinnamon and the roasted vegetables.  It was really good!

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After putting away laundry and prepping food for today, I settled down with a chopped apple, Greek yogurt, powdered pb, whole meal ground flax, and shredded wheat plus herbal tea with honey. It was just what I was craving and needed to feel nicely full.

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Monday

I enjoyed a bowl of Bakery on Main’s Maple Multigrain Muffin oatmeal made with milk + water and topped with pb and chia jam that Matt made on Saturday evening. I enjoyed my banana on the side. Matt mixed warmed water, strawberry jam, maple, and chia seeds together and allowed to congeal over night. It’s delicious!

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That sums up our fun weekend! I love a combination of plans, spontaneous plans, fun, and downtime. It seems this weeekend had a combo of all of the above. I sure hope your week is off to a great start! Please feel free to share in the comments any fun you had and/or delicious food you enjoyed.

Mother Nature Gave Us a Taste of Spring

Hello, and happy Tuesday! I’m sorry to not get my weekend recaps shared on Monday, but I would rather not rush and give some more thought to writing these posts. 🙂 I hope your weekend treated you super well!

Friday

I began the day on such a tasty note! I enjoyed the other half of my cinnamon roll from Mahalo with cheesy scrambled eggs, wilted spinach with EVOO and EBTB seasoning, and cherries.

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I came across this photo taken in my junior year AP Environmental Science class, circa 2004. Can’t resist a comparison: a side-by-side to my Friday look. Grateful to be nearly double the age I was here as each year is a gift.

After a great day at work, we came home and created homemade pizzas using these pizza crusts and Rose-infused pasta sauce I found at Aldi recently. I added fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, and jarred artichoke hearts.

Complete with roasted broccoli and yellow squash on the side. I started to feel pleasantly full, so I gave Matt a small slice from my second slice, so we were both satisfied.

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I had cancelled Barre3 because I had not slept enough and felt a bit tired. Respecting my body is my priority! After dinner, I felt like doing a 10-minute Calm flow, and it helped to stretch out my muscles and make me feel nice.

I always like to share these things as I think (and hope) it helps others who are in their own intuitive eating journey. Even though I felt full, not too long after dinner my stomach began to growl. Reading our hunger and fullness cues with absolute certainty and perfection is not the goal. We’re human, and as such, we aren’t perfect! Instead of thinking I did anything wrong, I just happily got a snack! I opened the local sea salt chocolate bar I got from Mahalo recently, and my word is it delicious. Any fellow salty sweet fans out there? I loved how it was designed. Another side note that I learned from Kylie: If you don’t want to feel pressured to portion your pizza, chocolate, etc., do not cut in perfect slices of pieces. Having these lines made me choose how much I wanted independent of the number of squares. I definitely recommend this! I enjoyed mine with shredded wheat, banana, pb, and chilly macadamia nut milk. So good!

We watched two epidsodes of Sex Education season two, and they were so good! While the show has plenty of funny scenes and sex obviously, they bring up a lot of good issues and address serious matters. Highly recommend it!

Saturday

After sleeping a glorious 10 hours, I believe, we finally got moving shortly before 10:00. While the sleep was ah-mazing, I hate to feel like I slept away part of my day!

Breakfast was a bowl of Greek yogurt with banana, hemp hearts, and pb along with a blueberry muffin that a patient’s wife made. Reminder: you can eat food that you don’t know the ingredients of and not feel fear.

I was craving movement, but I wasn’t sure for how long. So I began with a 10-minute Cardio flow then added a 10-minute Strength Training. I thought I chose a 10-minute Mindful flow, but it was 30 minutes long. I was grateful because I definitely had it in me to do that much, and it all left me feeling refreshed!

I got ready and enjoyed a slice of pizza with cuke, carrots, and hummus for lunch. I then went by Mahalo and tested out their new drive thru! I got an amazing hot coffee then headed to Cruze Farm.

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I went to their East Knoxville Asbury location, and it looked so pretty with all the decor. Paris Woodhull designs these Knoxville maps, and I adore them! You may recall she did the amazing wall mural for Petro’s Market Square location that Matt and I visited last year.

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They gave out a free beebee cone if you wore your pj’s as it was National Cereal for Breakfast Day! I chose their Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and it was perfect.

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I then went over to Kaci and Drew’s and spent some time with her, which I loved. I ordered my first dress from notPERFECTLINEN upon Kaci’s suggestion as she has two. I’m so excited to receive it! They always send fabric swatches with your order, so I took inspiration from what Kaci did with her first order and glued them to my Barre3 tote bags. Love how they look!

I snacked on some yogurt and trail mix that Kaci kindly gave me.

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I also bought a Cruze Farm red gingham neck tie/headband that is so cute. I love all things accessories.

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I also recently shared these vintage-inspired bobby pins in a Friday Favorites post, and I received them on Saturday. They’re beautiful! My makeup artist from my wedding, who I just love, said she has them. I feel even more stylish. 😉

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I tried one, and it holds very well and adds a pop of fun.

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For dinner, I made us each a salad and had my leftover steak with potatoes and ketchup while I made Matt a chicken burger.

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I believe I had a snack but must’ve not taken a photo. Whoopsies. We watched the final episode of Sex Education, and I think a third season is in the works or at least I hope so!

Sunday

We slept in again, and it was glorious. I made us Shakshuka using our leftover tomato sauce from making the vegan meatloaf and rose marinara. I added salt, pepper, Italian herbs, and garlic. I began by sauteeding frozen onion and marinated artichoke hearts, added the sauces and seasonings, then a few handfuls of spinach before the eggs went into their little wells. Topped with freshly grated mozzarella with a side of potatoes. This is a go-to brunch for us now, and I’m no mad about it one bit!

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I wanted something sweet, so I had some of the sea salt chocolate with my coffee. Perfect combo!

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Loved this message!

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I did more laundry and dishes then hurried to get ready to meet with Kaci, Drew, and Axl for a hike! Matt was kind and helped work on a friend’s truck.

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We went to Baker Creek Preserve, which we hadn’t been to before. I broke in my new hiking boots! I can feel it in my shins some from walking in them for the first time I believe. But they are very comfortable and a terrific purchase.

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A lot of the grounds were under construction as it is being revitalized and should be quite amazing. They have a ton of mountain bike trails, so we and Axl had to constantly be on the lookout for them. Axl takes the turns wide because he’s a smart pup who knows to look for humans on wheels! We twinned in our sunnies, jackets, and hiking boots. 🙂

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Our fearless leader!

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That blue sky. ❤

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We were right by SoKno Tacos, so we decided on a whim to get an order to go. Thank goodness for food freedom because spontaneity is the best!

One each Thai portobello and tofu for me plus chips and supah hot salsa. Next time I’ll stick to the medium. Haha

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I was still a little hungry, so I had two Oreos with Cruze milk. Classic!

Thanks to Kaci for the inspiration and motivation as she painted her nails beautifully, I painted mine after getting home and showering. I need to paint them more often!

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My girl!

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I made Matt a salad with Dr. Praeger’s chik’n tender sandwich.

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As for me, I enjoyd leftover tuna noodle casserole with veg and guac. Not a great photo, but it was tasty.

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We didn’t watch the Super Bowl, but I looked up some of the commercials. Loved the Avocados from Mexico and one with Ellen and Portia for Alexa! I wasn’t a fan of the halftime performance. Not my cup of tea, but to each his/her own.

Snackage included apple, yogurt, and seed butter.

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Monday

I had fun with patterns on Monday and paired my bow-print J Crew sweater from Planet Xchange with my midi skirt, animal print flats, and gingham scarf.

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One of my new bobby pins to top off my look.

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I had the best surprise when my mother-in-law and step father-in-law text that they were down at Mahalo! So I met up with them and enjoyed a wonderful visit. It was only too bad that I had to return to work. 😉

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Here’s to a stellar day and week ahead!

Tell me: Did you watch the Super Bowl? What were your thoughts on the halftime performance?

 

Owl You Need is Love

Hello, and happy Tuesday! Monday was a busy day, so I’m just now getting to my weekend recap. It was a great weekend, and I hope you all had a great one too!

Friday

I started the day with an oatmeal muffin topped with Greek yogurt, pb, cinnamon, and maple plus banana slices on the side. It was very enjoyable!

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I had to make my own #dollypartonchallenge! This was so fun and gave me a good laugh.

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But wait, there’s more! I had to make one for Matt. I think I nailed it.

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The babiesssss! That Tinder. Hahahaha

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❤ ❤ Our handsome baby boy!

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Sweet Jackson. They all know how to work it for the camera. I hope these brightened your day like they have mine. ❤

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My manager catered Marco’s Pizza, and it was a nice treat. I had planned to go to Panera Bread, but I was thankful to not have to leave in the cold for lunch.

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My incredibly sweet hair stylist trimmed my neck for free to get me to my appointment that we pushed out by two weeks. So. excited. to grow it out just to experience a different look. I have to say I love this volume, and because she cuts it well, I still feel like it looks nice.

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I had planned to go to Barre3, but I was running behind from my trim and also just wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t feel less than nor did I think of myself as a failure. Just as I practice intuitive eating, I practice intuitive movement. I never want to pressure myself if my body is just not in it, and I had felt a bit lethargic at times. Just wanted to share this in case anyone ever feels pressured to workout.

I got home and after putting on my pj’s, I started to put together our dinner. I cooked a bag of tricolor quinoa, sautéed green beans, heated the last of our baked salmon, and made a salad to go with it. Lots of color, texture, and flavors!

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Snackage included Multigrain Cheerios, banana, pb, and chilly almond milk. We relaxed together and had such a nice, calm evening. I love to go and do, but evenings at home are special.

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Saturday

We both slept so darn well, and I woke up feeling really refreshed. I ate a banana with cinnamon and drippy pb before getting ready for brunch. Here’s a reminder that you need not restrict before going to brunch. If it will be awhile until you eat, be sure you honor your body’s needs.

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We love First Watch anyway plus I had a coupon, so it was a win-win! We both ordered the beet toast, which we rarely ever order the same dish. But it was too good not to. Check out that color! Beet hummus, diced beets, pickled onions, lemon dressed arugula, herbed goat cheese, and two eggs. In writing this, I realized they forgot the avocado. Whoospies. It was still excellent!

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They now have a separate toaster to toast gf bread. Before Matt just had to order it untoasted. It’s the little things.

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After we relaxed at the house, I went to Norris Dam State Park to meet another of their resident owls, Georgie the Screech Owl.

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I *LOVE* these events! Owls are so precious, fascinating, sweet, and my favorite.

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She is so petite! They estimate that she is around 13 years old. She accidentally flew into barbed wire and lost her right eye. Poor girl! She reminds me of Jax. ❤

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She was so calm and sleepy. The nice park ranger would gently pet the back of her head, and she would just shut her eye and look so at peace.

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I wish I could have held her, but I absolutely respect her and understand that it may be intrusive to do so. Funny fact: Georgie used to be George until she laid an egg. There really is not a great way to determine an owl’s sex, but that made it apparent. Ha!

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He explained that screech owls come in either this beautiful red color or a gray depending on their surroundings. She was barely one pound!

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I went to Aldi afterwards, and I did see these cookies. I didn’t buy them, but I couldn’t resist taking a photo. Owl love!

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I found this almond butter Perfect Bar, and I don’t think I had tried it before. I snacked on it and an apple, and it was just what I needed and was craving. Side note: I didn’t realize these could be kept out of the refrigerator for one week. Not that I thought it would spoil that quickly, but I thought it would become very soft. Good to know I could carry one around (if it lasted!).

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Dinner was quick and satisfying! I sautéed sriracha marinated tofu from Aldi and served it over green beans and quinoa along with a salad on the side.

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My body was craving gentle movement, so I completed two 10-minute calm Barre3 flows that felt great!

What can I say, I’m a cereal loving gal. Multigrain Cheerios with butter toffee pecans and macadamia nut milk that I also picked up at Aldi.

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Sunday

I made overnight oats but in the morning. Bahaha. I mixed oats, yogurt, and macadamia nut milk in our pb jar and enjoyed a banana on the side.

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Matt was a sweetheart and hung my owl puzzle that he got me for Christmas! The owl puzzle in the bathroom is one I completed while I was working my first nursing home job as an RD in West Palm Beach, FL. My boss sent me there first after being hired, so I took it with me to complete in the evenings at the hotel.

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I would describe my décor as quirky and different, but while it isn’t trendy and high-end, it makes me happy. 🙂

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After a stellar and packed Barre3 class, I went by Target and then to Panera Bread for lunch. I had a $2 off coupon from their “you pick two” menu. I chose their Mediterranean sandwich and Greek salad. I removed the onions because I just don’t like raw onions.

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Because I saved the $2, I reasoned I could get a coffee. 😉

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After shopping at Kroger, I came home and finally showered then Kaci came over! She gave Jax a lift to clean Rachel’s bowl. Hahahaha! He lets Matt do this, but so far, I can’t hold him up before he puts his front paws back on the floor.

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Too cute!

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He pulled the bowl towards him. This kid is serious about his food.

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Chill time with my girl before we got started on dinner.

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I cooked Kroger’s Simple Truth chicken burgers, that I bought on sale recently, and we enjoyed them on Udi’s gf hamburger bun with mashed avocado + lemon juice and pickles. Big salad on the side.

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All stacked up and ready to be enjoyed.

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I finished the So Delicious oatmilk ice cream with chocolate square and gf graham cracker. I was still hungry and enjoyed another graham cracker with pb and fresh cherries. We watched the first episode of Sex Education season two. It started very awkward, but it has been hilarious! We love this show. Anyone else watched it?

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Monday

I ordered these headbands and am enjoying them.

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I wore this pretty blue floral one. I had to periodically stretch it out some because it’s very tight. I do love having these that don’t wrap all around my head for a change.

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Have a fantastic day and week ahead!

 

Friday Favorites!

Hello, wonderful people, and happy Friday! While time moves far too quickly for my liking, this week has felt long. I’m grateful to be near the weekend.

First up is this delicious meal I made earlier this week. Matt’s dad gave us a black peppercorn seasoned pork tenderloin that I seared and then baked in our iron skillet. I served it over cauliflower sweet potato hash with a creamy herb sauce from Aldi (cooked from frozen) plus roasted vegetables that I prepared on Sunday.

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Work catered a lunch from Brown Bag at a meeting I had to attend. I always love their food. Salad with berries and mandarin oranges, sautéed vegetables, chicken, tasty fluffy roll, and corn pudding. It had a bit of a kick this time, but it’s so good! I went back for some more salad and corn pudding before capping it off with their rich brownie studded with chocolate chips.

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I ordered these cooking utensils from Amazon, and so far we love them! Sturdy, pretty, and heat resistant.

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Kaci was so kind and gave me this free weekender bag she received from DSW after purchasing two pairs of shoes. It’s so cute and big!

I ordered Beauty Counter’s sheer lipstick in ‘poppy’, and it adds the perfect amount of color and moisture. It was very expensive, so I will use it wisely. It’s a great investment, though! If you want to order, look for Sara Guthe, a Beauty Counter Consultant.

Comfortable outfit for this rainy Friday.

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I apologize for the lighting, but here is the lipstick on me.

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On a much prettier, sunny day, I wore my black midi skirt, high-low suede top, long cardigan, booties, and Lil Bub bandana for a long, layered look.

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I ordered these joggers from Amazon, and they’re so comfortable! I love the fit and color. Highly recommend them.

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So after nearly seven years of rocking and fully loving my pixie, I’ve decided to grow it out, and I’m so excited for a change! I’m going to use this time to really learn how to embrace change and the process. While my ultimate goal is a long bob, I will love each different style. I’m thinking layers, textured ends to prevent it from being a blunt cut, my side part, and some sass and fun movement. I don’t want to straighten it, so I’ll work with my amazing hair stylist to achieve the right cut for my hair.

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Morning and evening snuggles with our babies fuels me so very much! Look at this princess. Rachel was so super snuggly.

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Jackson kisses!!

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Doesn’t your heart just melt?

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I will forever miss this hunk. He cared for me like an angel before he ever became our guardian angel. ❤ ❤

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My heart.

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At the meeting for work, I saw this display and thought it was very cute. The prints are so amazing, and I love the table with all the pretty décor items! Something I hope to include in our home one day. It would be nice to have a formal entrance for this.

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Morgan Harper Nichols has been speaking to me, as she always does with her eloquent, beautiful words.

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That’s a wrap for today! I wish you all the best for today and all weekend long!

Tell me: Any fun plans for the weekend? Matt and I will be having brunch at First Watch, and then Kaci and I will be meeting another precious owl at Norris Dam State Park. I’m really looking forward to both! I’m also pumped to go to Barre3.

Friday Favs, Finds, & Food!

Hello wonderful people! I didn’t snap a photo of our sunrise, but several of my friends did, and it was absolutely breathtaking! I hope it greeted you this morning as well. I have a lot of fun things and food to share with you, so let’s get to it, shall we?

First up is my copy of Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison! I’m so excited to dive into this book.

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I was accepted into Kodiak Cakes RD Program and received my complimentary box of goodies! I love their products and am grateful to have been included.

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I made my first ever chicken ‘ dumplings following Kylie’s recipe, and it is incredible! I used chicken bone broth + water for more flavor, and I made ours gf. Next time we’re going to double the carrots because we’re huge carrot lovers. HIGHLY recommend this!

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I made this taco casserole from Delish, and my gosh it is stellar! I have been really proud of the meals I’ve made this week. The changes I made were to use more onion and garlic, Beyond Meat ground “meat” product (because we had it, and I love to incorporate vegan and animal protein into our meals), all shredded sharp cheddar, and I omitted the chips on top.

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Enjoyed with avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, and pickled jalapenos + cuke on the side. Cook once, eat multiple times has been the theme this week, and I’m here for it!

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I shared this on Instagram, my pro tip: make brunch-like meals any day of the week! Not only will the day feel extra special, but these foods won’t feel off limits or only allowed on the weekends. Weekends aren’t for “cheat” days. By not giving yourself full permission on all foods, the only thing you’re cheating is yourself out of creative, satisfying meals. The deets: leftover seasoned Aldi salmon, wilted spinach, seasoned sunny side up egg, Dr. Praeger’s four potato hash browns with ketchup, and a Cara Cara orange.

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This sundae was phenomenal! I layered leftover TJ’s double fudge gf quinoa loaf cake (say that five times fast) with So Delicious pb and raspberry oat milk ice cream. SO. GOOD.

I ordered this blush highlighter duo by Pixi from, where else, Amazon, and I’ve been adding it over my blush for a pretty finish. I love how light and sparkly it is without being too much!

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Matt’s dad donated to an organization one time, and they keep sending him things. Matt brought these two cute pairs of socks home to me, and I love the patterns!

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I discovered this sweater all thanks to Julie, and I know it will be a staple for me! I purchased two, one in olive and one in charcoal. I’m wearing it today with this black skirt, neck scarf, and flats. I love all of these pieces and recommend them!

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I also upgraded my case to an Otterbox with a pop-socket. Love how bright and cheerful it is!

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I tend to bounce around from time-to-time on my shampoo and conditioner, and so far I love these! They are cruelty free and smell wonderful.

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Matt ordered this monocular for us to spot owls. 😉

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Jax tested it first for us!

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That’s all for now, but I’ll be sharing some more fun scores from Amazon next week. Have the best day and weekend ahead!

**This post contains affiliate links, but all ideas and opinions are my own.**

Empowered From Within

Hello, sweet people! I hope you all had an uplifting and enjoyable weekend. Let’s jump into this recap, shall we?

Friday

I started my day with Julie’s Three-Minute Egg White Oatmeal. I have never incorporated egg whites like this into oatmeal, and I loved the volume and fluffy texture!

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Had to get a portrait shot. 😉

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For dinner, we had cheesy quesadillas using Siete almond flour tortillas, Earl Grey cheddar from Aldi, and Swiss. So good! We dipped it into salsa + hot sauce and a simple salad on the side. Very satisfying. Matt made a second quesadilla, and I had another bite. Mmm mmm

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Snackage included yogurt with shredded wheat, pb, and dates. We watched an episode of The Grand Tour Season One because I didn’t recall watching it. I think I’ve seen bits and pieces, but they’re so funny, the episodes are worth watching multiple times!

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Saturday

Y’all, we slept like 10 hours I think, and it felt phenomenal! I say that as I sit here typing with six to seven hours sleep under my belt. Whoopsies. Anywho, Shakshuka is my brunch meal of choice these days! I used the last of our lasagna soup and Otamot sauce plus sautéed kale as the base for our eggs.

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I enjoyed mine over toast with an olive tapenade and freshly grate parmesan cheese over the top. Highly recommend this!

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I then cleaned up our place, got ready, and I went over to Barre3 for an amazing class!

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It’s been a long-time coming, but I finally signed up for a studio membership, and I’m stoked! It’s been a goal of mine to join.

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I enjoyed free First Watch coffee and my GoMacro bar from home then showered at their studio.

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I used their hair care products from Grow Knoxville, and I loved how it felt in my hair! I used the mousse, and without any finishing product, it had lovely volume and style. I plan to start using these products when I run out of my Aquage.

It was a nasty windy rainy day, though, so I borrowed Matt’s Carhart beanie. ❤

I dropped of Kaci and my donations at Goodwill then found six pretty tops for only $15 total! I strongly recommend you give Goodwill and thrifting a chance. It’s like a scavenger hunt, and it is so fun. Plus everything is unique. This is an H&M sweater that is so fun!

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I stopped at Whole Foods for a belated light lunch/snack. Twice baked eggplant, black eyed pea dish, cold pasta broccolini salad, falafel, gigante beans, and a dolma. Hit the spot!

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I did a big grocery haul at Kroger and saved a ton with their digital coupons! I met Kaci, Drew, and Axl at our place when I arrived home. Jax helped me with unloading the goods. 😉 Hahaha love our babies!

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Dinner was a simple salad kit and the last of our New Year’s Eve soup. Love making a meal that keeps on serving us.

Matt made a huge smoothie batch, and I topped mine with pb and Wheaties. Wheaties make me think of my grandfather, and it made me smile to enjoy them. Food is so much more than just nutrition. Remember that when the diet industry tries to demonize certain foods and food groups!

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Sunday

I didn’t sleep as well and poor Matt didn’t either. He has a cold and is not feeling well. I had a cottage cheese bowl with Wheaties, cinnamon, pb, and a crisp apple out of hand.

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I found this Forever 21 tee at Goodwill and knew it would be perfect to wear when I exercise. I didn’t read the tag, but apparently they expect one to dry clean it. Pft, not for a simple tee. It shrank some but still fit well, thankfully!

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I attended Barre3’s Workshop, which was so informative. I took my first class in August 2013 but took a few years to start attending more regularly. Lindsey helped in a big way to redirect and instruct me on my sumo squat form. Just goes to show we’re a work in progress, and I always have improvements I can make! No shame in that at all.

I went to Zoe’s for lunch, and I overheard one employee telling her coworkers what an amazing job they were doing. It was so uplifting to witness!

I enjoyed their falafel pita because my falafel craving was real. I had a Greek salad on the side, and that pita was so fluffy and so good! All hail bread and carbs for energizing my brain and body.

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I stopped by JoAnn’s for a frame and had to resist this CUTE mugs. So. stinkin’. cute!

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I bought the pretty cacti fabric at Wal-Mart initially to cover the “21st Mortgage” stitching on a duffel bag Kaci gave me. She won it at work years ago. I decided to donate it to Goodwill, and I then framed the fabric. I really love it! I apologize for the meh lighting.

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I snacked on RX almond butter and a banana.

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Then I got changed. I scored this tee from Goodwill with the price tags still attached. Somehow it was $32 originally, but I bought it for $6!

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Life goals according to cats. 😉

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I found these at Kroger on sale, so I grabbed a bag.

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Kroger also has released its own vegan line, so of course I had to give it a try.

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The burger tasted similar to a Beyond Meat burger and was great! Served over a salad with sautéed ‘shrooms, Italian dressing, pickles, and the cheesy bread bites. I ended up saving two and gave them to Matt for his lunch today. I felt pleasantly full with my plate o’ noms and two bites.

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I then got started on my owl puzzle. They sent this divider so you can divide based on the letter stamped on the back of each piece. Has anyone ever bought a puzzle that was organized like this? It took a while to organize all 1000 pieces!

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We watched The Grand Tour, so I didn’t make much progress.

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Rachel was very into the show too!

Matt and I thawed our leftover smoothies, and I had mine with Cheerios and chocolate chips. I then went back and had a little more of mine with Cheerios and nuts. It was later, and the diet industry would have you believe it is harmful to eat at that time or to go back for more. That’s where you call them out on their bs and take care of yourself.

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Monday

I didn’t get enough sleep, but today has been a great day! In part, it’s because I started with this Snickerdoodle Smoothie from Julie. Stellar recipe! I topped mine with pb and hemp hearts.

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Thank you for making my blog a part of your day, and I wish you all the very best!

Favorite Posts of 2019

While I’ve only been blogging for about 4.5 years, it’s really crazy to look back on when I first started to the present. So much has changed in my life and in my little space on the world wide web. I wanted to do a round-up of some of my favorite posts and memories in 2019. These aren’t based on statistics related to views or anything. Just times I love to look back on that give me a big smile. I hope you enjoy this walk down ole memory lane with me!

(1) Under the Sea: Matt and I visited the Chattanooga Aquarium after dining at Naked Foods Chatt, and it was just a positively amazing weekend!

(2) We’re Off to See the Wizard: Kaci and I had the pleasure of seeing the Wizard of Oz on the big screen, and it truly gave me chills! It was shown in celebration of its 80th anniversary.

(3) Re-energized, Rejuvenated, Recharged: This was just a fun weekend from start to finish! Kaci and I took a succulent class at Stanley’s Greenhouse, and while sadly, they didn’t make it through the winter, I was very proud of my arrangement! We managed to include a lot of great food in this weekend too.

(4) Rain Showers, A Bridal Shower, & a Visit to Biltmore!: I got to attend my friend’s fun bridal shower, and Matt and I were very grateful for another one of my friends for giving us a free day pass to Biltmore. We had only visited the first time on our honeymoon, so it felt special to return!

(5) She Had Magic Legs: 2019 was the first year I participated in the Lucky Kidney Run, and it did feel great to participate in a worthy cause towards bringing awareness to kidney disease. It was a really tough run as I hadn’t been running but instead was doing Barre3. I still think that helped me tremendously.

(6) Amazing Friends, K Brew Expansion, & Barre3 Intuitive + Mindful Eating Workshop: I never imagined Kaci and I would be holding our own workshop at our favorite studio, but we felt so honored to share the message of Intuitive Eating and Mindful Eating! Since then, I’ve had two or three attendees come up to me to tell them how helpful our class was and that they bought the book and began to incorporate the principles into their work with patients. ❤ So fulfilling.

(7) It Was a Treat Yo Self Kind of Weekend: Aside from poor Matt’s rash and sinus infection, this was a fun weekend! Kaci and I attended the Retropolitan Craft Fair, which they hold one in the spring and one during the holidays. Our visits get better each time! We love to support local and get out in our community.

(8) Taking Things to New Heights: After living here for our whole lives, Matt and I finally went up into the Knoxville Sunsphere for the first time!

(9) Thankful for the Brave Who Sacrificed for Our Freedom: This weekend was so epic and filled my heart! Time with one of our best friends and her sweet family at our lake house then a hike on Max Patch with the most gorgeous weather with Kase, D, and Axl.

(10) Here’s to Another Spectacular Year: Our 31st birthday weekend!

(11) Living It Up Nashville Style: For the second year in a row, Matt and I took a weekend trip together to celebrate my birthday, and this past year we visited Nashville. We had such an incredible time! Our AirBnB was awesome, and it turned out to be exactly the trip we needed.

(12) July 4th Weekend Part 1 and Part 2: This was the best July 4th I had enjoyed yet!

(13) Weekend Spent at the Track: Matt performed really well in his race, and we had a wonderful weekend! Well, except for me falling on the metal bleachers. Ha! Klutzy for life. Then we capped it off by getting to visit with one of my best friends and her sweet family as they had just moved to OH!

(14) ‘I Love Lucy’ on the Big Screen!: Another moment in which I watched my favorite show, in amazing color, on the big screen, and it truly gave me chills! I never thought I would get to experience this. I so loved dressing the part too to honor Lucille Ball and her amazing fashion.

(15) Early Third Wedding Anniversary Celebration: When Matt and I enjoyed the Ruby Falls Salad from Naked Foods, I said how I wanted to visit Ruby Falls one day. Well, we finally did! That and See Rock City, and despite it raining, I had such a good time. Then I put together a last-minute scarecrow Halloween costume for Cruze Farm’s Trunk-or-Treat, and what a super fun event! Yes, I’m in my 30’s, but I love getting dressed up and keeping my kid-at-heart mentality alive.

(16) FNCE 2019 Recap 1 and Recap 2: I had only attended FNCE once before in 2015 when I presented my thesis project, and it was in Nashville. This past year it was held in Philadelphia, and I didn’t know anyone personally, but I didn’t let that stop me. I met some incredible RD’s who I consider friends now, and I met several who I knew via social media but now I know in real life. Everyone was just as they are online, and I felt so fortunate to be in their presence!

Even though our holidays are worth mentioning again, I figured I would stop here since they were recent. Suffice it to say, 2019 treated me so well! Yes, there were some rough times, challenges, and not-so-pleasant experiences. But the good far outweighs the bad, and putting together this post further reinforced how much I have to be thankful for. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and first weekend of 2020!

 

New Year’s 2020

And just like that, we’re now in a new year and a new decade. It’s really hard to wrap my mind around the fact that this is true. I know I love a good reflection, and I, like many others, have been looking back on the last ten years. Certainly some of the best things in my life have happened – we brought Jackson into our family, I became an RD, I got married – but I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the difficult times. If you feel less than because you don’t have as many accomplishments to share, please know this does not mean you had any less of a worthy decade. We all have our own stories and journeys! These differences should be celebrated. I love the quote Karin, my step-mom, shared by Anne Frank: “what a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.”

  Tuesday // New Year’s Eve

I ended the year with a delicious breakfast that included sweet and savory, my favorite! The last two baby gf buttermilk biscuits – one with honey and one with pb, two sunny side up eggs over wilted greens, and an apple.

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These photos of the babies were taken the night before, but I had to share. They’re so cute!

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Rachel is loving all of their new toys!

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This was taken New Year’s Eve morning. ❤ ❤

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I got ready and headed over to our Barre3 studio to take an amazing class, and the sky was so pretty as I left our place!

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I treated myself to a peppermint mocha from Mahalo using my gift card, and it is the best I’ve tasted. Sweet but not too much and so creamy!

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I went by my clinic and ended up working half a day, which was just fine. I got to work with one of my sweet friends and coworkers, and we knocked out some tasks together.

Once home, I enjoyed some of our leftover lasagna soup that hit the spot.

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I also had a mug of Blueberry Cheerios with RX almond butter, chia seeds, and almond milk.

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I wore my new Lil Bub sweater from Matt and adore it! So well-made, comfortable, and adorable.

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I dropped off a bag of donations at Goodwill, shopped at Kroger, then got back home to make our dinner. I sautéed half a large onion and the rest of our zucchini and cauliflower, added the last of our roasted purple cabbage and pulled pork that I thawed from the freezer, one can of organic chickpeas, and a carton of butternut squash soup. It turned out amazing! We had homemade buttermilk cornbread and sautéed kale on the side.

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I couldn’t help but take a trip down memory lane. This was New Year’s 2015. Our hair looked similar and a mirror image. Haha

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THIS MEMORY! New Year’s 2016. Mason so desperately wanted a taste that you can see his tongue going for it the last frame. So stinkin’ cute!!

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His last New Year’s with us going into 2018. </3

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Cozy baby girl.

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Our sweet Jax!

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I believe these were the first photos we three took together when Mason was a teeny baby. It was on or just before New Year’s Eve 2010. He grew into his ears, and he always had the biggest, most amazing green eyes!

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My heart melts when I look at these!! He loved his dad, his rescuer. Without Matt there to scoop him up into our hearts, I shudder to think what would’ve happened to our baby boy.

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I couldn’t help but want to get a photo with our baby. May seem silly, but it feels so weird to have entered the decade new purrarents to him and to leave it without his body physically with us. He always is though in our hearts and memories.

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We watched more of the Grand Tour, laughed so hard, enjoyed a snack – toasted strawberry swirl bread with pb, cinnamon, chocolate, and a banana – and then crawled into bed at 11:45. We basically made it. Ha

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Wednesday // New Year’s Day

We woke up to a gorgeous day and these snuggly babies.

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But Rachel wasn’t ready to take on the day just yet. Lol!

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I snacked on a banana with pb and cinnamon to tide me over for our brunch.

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We met with Kaci and Drew at The Dancing Bear Bistro, which Matt and I have enjoyed for dinner twice for our anniversary. But we’ve never been for brunch. It was epic! Such a variety of food was offered, and we all were incredibly pleased.

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The menu.

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But first, photos ❤ We all wore plaid, so we were the plaid family.

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2020 😉

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Cuties!

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I saved my muffin for later, but it was delicious. Basically a cake with powdered sugar, which was fine by me. 🙂

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First plate for Kaci.

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My noms.

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Matt’s second plate I think. He sometimes is all, “do you have to take a photo?” and then asked, “do you not want a photo of mine?” Hahaha

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My second plate. The grits were outstanding as were the greens and hoppin’ John dish.

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Final plate, which looks sad, but I wanted to taste as much as possible. The potato hash was excellent, the seafood stew was so flavorful, and I loved the crispy parmesan with the asparagus. A chocolate coconut bite for a sweet finish.

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Such a gorgeous restaurant and grounds!

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Then it was time for more photos! This is where they hold weddings, so we took advantage of the gorgeous set-up.

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Our signature twin pose. Peace out.

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So cute!

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Smooch

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It was very bright but so pretty!

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Kaci really got some great angles. 😉

 

I couldn’t resist some SnapChat fun.

Matt’s boss bought a new shop that will be much better for them. The only downside is it doubles his commute. But we drove over to look at it before heading home.

I got changed and met with Kaci, Drew, and Axl for a New Year’s Day hike. We covered about two miles or a smidge more, and it felt so good! Axl is our trusted trail guide pup. He looks so serious, and I love it!

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I enjoyed my muffin when we got back to the car then hung out for a bit longer before I headed home to make dinner. A simple salad for us both topped with an olive spread, Hilary’s veg burger, hummus, and chips. So tasty!

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I was still hungry, so I had Blueberry Cheerios, banana, and Betsy’s seed butter. We watched the final episode of the Grand Tour, which was emotional. The three hosts have been doing the show together – formerly known as Top Gear – for 17 years. Thankfully, they have a different series that they’ve created, so we get to see more of them!

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That concludes our celebration! I sure hope you all had an incredible holiday and woke up feeling ready for this day and year. If not, give yourself grace and patience. Speaking of which, ‘patience’ is my word for the year. My intention is to find more patience with others and life in general. I’ll be back tomorrow to share a round-up of some of my favorite posts and memories from 2019!

 

Soaking Up the Last of 2019

I get so nostalgic during the holidays and reflective at New Years. I just can’t help it! This being my last post of the year feels so bittersweet. It’s been a great year overall, but it most definitely had it’s difficult times. Grateful for all that I learned and overcame.

Matt is so dang sweet and surprised me with this belated Christmas gift! I mean, come on. How precious is it? I cannot wait to finish it together and frame it!

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Friday

Breakfast was ah-mazing. Fluffy cheesy scrambled eggs over wilted greens with two mini gf buttermilk biscuits with strawberry mango jam.

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I finally rocked my Oleg Cassini blazer again! Sadly, one of the buttons came off, so I’ll have to get it threaded back on, which is no biggie.

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I put up my new box from Diane and the cat sign from my friend at work who chose my name in the gift exchange. They are at my second clinic, and they put such a big smile on my face!

Sadly, my throat started to feel really scratchy but that was the only symptom I had. I decided to try Starbucks’ “Medicine Ball” tea, and it helped a lot!

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I stopped by Marshall’s briefly, and I *loved* these trees. So cute!

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After going by Target, I came home and put together a quick meal that turned out very well. We split a baked sweet potato and topped it with seasoned roasted red cabbage, ham, melted Swiss, and avocado. Seems weird, but it tasted great!

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For a snack while we watched The Grand Tour, I enjoyed shredded wheat with pb, almond milk, an apple, and my herbal tea. This show is hilarious! I highly recommend it. I’m almost in tears sometimes. I love the three hosts.

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Saturday

So I got up earlier than I had expected and then when I took a bite of my oatmeal, it was terrible. Even though the date on my milk is well into January, it must be bad. It sucked to dump out my bowl including my pb and j. I remade a bowl with almond milk.

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After I got ready, Matt and I went to Haw Ridge Park to hike. It was a gorgeous day! Ever since 2006 when we discovered a gall at the arboretum, we’ve had fun spotting them. Had to get a selfie.

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We spotted my car from up on the trail. Haha

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Made it to the top of the ridge! It wasn’t a particularly hard hike, but there were some steep trails that definitely increased our heart rate.

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I love this! It was really bright if you can’t tell. 😉

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Being all artistic and stuff.

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After we got back to the house, Matt went to work on his race car, and I went to get a late lunch at Broadway Market.

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They just recently moved locations and reopened, and it’s so lovely!

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I ordered their chicken quesadilla with a side of vegetable soup, and it was huge! So. Good. I ate until I felt satisfied then packed up the rest.

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I couldn’t get enough of these arrangements. The café is owned by a husband and wife, and their daughter made these. They’re gorgeous!

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After I took another quick shower and cleaned our place a little bit. I sipped on some green tea and relaxed. Once Matt got home, I got started on dinner. I found these fries while at Target, and they are wonderful. Highly recommend them.

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Diane gave me this water, and while some carbonated waters can mess with my stomach, this was great!

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Dinner was made from “processed” foods, but it was still balanced. Processed shouldn’t be a word we fear. Beyond Meat burger with delish pickles, mayo, and mustard / vegetable fries with ketchup / salad kit with a creamy pepita dressing. This meal wasn’t homemade per se, but boy was it perfect!

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I had a slice of our TJ’s fudge loaf cake with yogurt mixed with beet powder and pb powder. Beets and chocolate were made for each other! We watched another episode of the Grand Tour. I know I sound like a broken record, but we typically just follow one show at a time plus it’s so good.

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Sunday

We slept well and late, and then I made a stellar breakfast. Part of my leftover lunch (I got three servings out of it, and it’s was priced so well!), wilted spinach, and an apple with sunflower chia seed butter. Love sweet and savory combos!

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I started coloring my Lil Bub Coloring Book. Isn’t she adorable?

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I committed to cleaning and organizing our place from the kitchen to the bathrooms, dusted, vacuumed, did some laundry. The whole bit. It feels so good to be clean and organized as we enter the new year!

Lunch was leftover salad with a mug of shredded wheat with butter toffee pecans.

I used the self-clean setting on the oven, which worked wonders. You can see it glowing in the photo below. However, our place smells awful. I’ll need to open the windows.

Snackage included chips, carrots, and hummus.

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Then for dinner I made Alexis’ Vegan Lasagna Soup. Five stars! I couldn’t find the pasta sauce she called for, so I used a jar of Otamot that I gave to Matt in his stocking. 😉 I met the founder at FNCE, and I thought it was a great tasting sauce.

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Tada! Freshly shredded parmesan on top. Matt went back for seconds – big compliment. 🙂

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I didn’t take a before because it was atrocious. But on the left was after the clean cycle, and on the right is after I wiped it with a wet rag. So much better!

Our babies couldn’t be any cuter!

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I had a mug of yogurt with cinnamon, banana, Multigrain Cheerios, and pb. Classic combo that will never get old.

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I hung my new Lil Bub 2020 calendar in the office of my home/main clinic, and I just love seeing her face!

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One of my coworkers and sweet friends surprised me with this lip balm. How fun is it?! I’ll take everything avocado, thankyouverymuch.

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We had to exchange my Heidi Hull necklace because it had a nick in it, but Barre3 customer service is the best! They got this replacement to me quickly, and isn’t it gorgeous?

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I adore my necklaces and more importantly, I appreciate Matt giving serious thought to them. He knows me so well!

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I truly wish you all the very best as we leave 2019 and enter 2020! May you know that you are enough just as you and do not owe anyone weight loss or manipulation of your body. Instead of a resolution, try coming up with one word or phrase that you would like to work towards in the coming year. ❤