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!

 

 

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.

From Rain to Sun Then Back to Winter

Y’all, this weather is crazy! It was rainy and gross on Saturday but mild. Sunday was frigid but sunny and beautiful. Today I left for work and saw snow flurries with the highs for the week in 30’s. Mother Nature is keeping us on our toes!

Friday

I began the day with my Kodiak Cakes high protein maple brown sugar oatmeal topped with pb and enjoyed with an apple. It was tasty, but I could detect the protein powders. But I would buy it.

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I brought Jackson upstairs to snuggle with Matt, and he tucked him into the bed when he got up. I can’t handle this cuteness!

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Craisin camps out at the bathmat while I shower. Girlfriend keeps me company.

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After enjoying my chicken ‘n dumplings, I tried a few bites of the soup a coworker made then enjoyed a slice of her homemade chocolate pie complete with homemade whipped cream. She even made her own vanilla with bourbon. It was amazing!

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After taking a Barre3 class, I came home and made us Ellie Krieger’s spinach artichoke Shakshuka. We enjoyed ours with tomato basil goat cheese, gf cheese bites, and cucumber/peppers/avocado with Italian dressing. I over baked the bread bites, so they were were very crunchy. It happens! This meal was stellar. I do love tomato-based Shakshuka, but this was a fun twist!

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Dessert was a kiwi with Wheaties, flax, almond butter, and almond milk. I worked on my puzzle, and we watched some good ole Netflix together. It was such a relaxing evening.

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Look at this sweet boy! We so love our cuddly babies.

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Rachel cozied up to me.

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Saturday

I made Julie’s three minute egg white oatmeal sans banana. I didn’t have a banana, but this still turned out well! I topped my bowl with thawed berry medley, honey, and pb. So good!

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“Uhh, whatcha working on, Mom? Can I help?”

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I got myself ready and wore one of my new pairs of cat print socks. Love them!

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Worn with my new flannel.

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I was so fortunate to get a nearly free meal from Chick-fil-a! I got free nuggets and fries with the cost of a salad. Score.

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I then went by Mahalo and enjoyed a half caf Americano in the comfort of their adorable café.

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I bought a bar of local chocolate. Love supporting local!

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I ran several errands including a good Kroger run, and then I got it all put away. It was such a rainy day, but it was nice to have a solo day.

I upgraded our coffee cart with my first bag of Mahalo coffee!

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I enjoyed a mug of Wheaties with beet powder, almond milk, and a delicious, juicy red pear.

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Then I got to work making Alexis’ incredible Brussels Sprout Kale Caesar Salad. It is so full of color and flavor! To make the dressing, I used freshly grated parmesan and spicy brown mustard because we didn’t have nutritional yeast or dijon mustard. Use recipes as a fun guide and add your own spins on them. It is so creamy and fun!

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We decided to lightly sauce ours before drizzling the dressing over top. We didn’t have nice bread to make the rosemary croutons, so we had hummus toast with freshly caramelized onions and avocado toast with EBTB seasoning. This was such a stellar meal. We love vegetarian and animal protein-containing meals. The key to both is to add plenty of flavor, textures, and colors.

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I made some apple nachos with cinnamon, pb, and dark chocolate. This was excellent while I sipped on tea and worked on my owl puzzle. We found the Jeopardy tournament on Netflix and have been watching the episodes. We used to watch Jeopardy every evening early on in our relationship, so it’s nostalgic for us. ❤

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Sunday

This is apparently my new way of photographing a meal with a whole piece of fruit. It’s really captivating, yes? Ha! This time I had Kodiak Cakes flapjack cup with pb and an apple. It was fluffy and enjoyable!

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When I was leaving Mahalo, one of the incredibly sweet baristas offered me a free cup of coffee because they were needing to brew a new batch. I let it cool then chilled it to enjoyed with some milk Sunday morning. It tasted amazing despite being brewed hot then chilled. I was so grateful!

After taking a wonderful Barre3 class, I came home and took care of the dishes, laundry, and vacuumed. Then I noshed on the sautéed salad with dressing, chips, and a Cara Cara orange.

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After a much-needed shower and a quick trip to Wal-Mart, I got to work on my latest craft: faux succulent arrangements! I have to say I’m very proud of my fake succulent babies. I hope these will last well outside. I plan to wait a little bit to put them out there, though. I used the foam, these succulents from Amazon, and I pulled them together using moss and beautiful blue pebbles.

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I really think they look quite real!

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Kaci came over, and it was such a treat to get to spend some time together! She and the family had spent the weekend at their beautiful mountain cabin. We each enjoyed one of the no-bake oatmeal bars I made from Alexis.

After she left, I meal prepped a number of vegetables. It helps me to feel calm and ready for the week, knowing we have components to a meal that will easily help in the evenings. I turned up my tunes and just went to work!

For dinner, we finished the last of the taco casserole, and we absolutely will make it again soon. We never got tired of it! I didn’t take a photo as I’ve shared some of it in a few recent posts. 🙂

I had half a frozen banana with Multigrain Cheerios, roasted salted mixed nuts, and almond milk. I love using frozen or a chilled banana with cereal because it just tastes so much better to me than room temperature with milk or yogurt.

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I finished my puzzle!! Isn’t it amazing? Matt knows me so well and has such awesome taste! Now we have to find a frame for it.

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And that’s all I have for now! Check back on Friday for a fun favs post. Until then, have the best week, and thank you for making my blog apart of yours!

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.**

For the Love of Movement & Sunshine

So it’s late on a Tuesday evening, but I’m finally going to share my weekend full of delicious food, Barre3, a hike outside, and a twin day date. So much goodness packed into a short time!

Friday

I began the day with fluffy scrambled eggs with parmesan and wilted spinach, cuties, and a slice of cake that our Lead RD made. It is a spice cake of sorts, not chocolate, and it is so moist and delicious!

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I had picked up this kombucha while at Mahalo earlier in the week and thoroughly enjoyed it! It had been quite some time since I drank one, and it was tasty. Sometimes carbonated beverages can upset my stomach, so I don’t tend to drink them often.

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I picked up free Petro’s for dinner, and it was really a treat to not cook even though I love to. Take out can be healthy and enjoyable.

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Snack-age included hidden real with banana, pb, and almond milk. Another way I practice the last principle of intuitive eating, “gentle nutrition”, is by sometimes choosing almond milk in the evening. I love cow’s milk, but if I drink it too close to bed, it can sometimes make my stomach rumbly. So I make the call to drink non-dairy milk. It’s this way we can take care of ourselves without subscribing to fad diets and restrictive eating.

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We enjoyed a relaxing evening together watching some Top Gear clips, and I worked on my owl puzzle.

Saturday

We slept so well! I’m talking about ten hours worth. O_o I was craving an oatmeal muffin like Matt made, so I whipped one up and topped with with Besty’s seed butter and both cottage cheese and an apple on the side.

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Jax worked on my puzzle a bit too!

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While Ray kept my lap warm.

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Streeetttch.

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After doing some dishes and laundry, I got myself ready for a fun day with Kaci! I rocked my unicorn float earrings. I figured since it felt like spring, I’d add a pop of it to my look.

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We first went to Mahalo for a late lunch. I had a half caf mocha and their chicken salad sandwich. So. Good!

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We couldn’t resist a little modeling session with their adorable fireplace and chair! Is Kaci not so super pretty?! She rocked her t-shirt by Effect Positivity. Kristi now has mugs available too!

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I wore my “new” H&M sweater from Goodwill. It’s so fun and comfortable!

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We went by JoAnn’s for supplies on a craft I’m going to attempt soon, and then we shopped at Aldi.

Once back home, I put together Alexis’ No-Bake Chocolate Almond Butter Oatmeal Bars, and they are phenomenal!! I highly recommend them.

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For dinner, I made us each a salad topped with GF butternut squash crackers from Aldi and served us seasoned baked salmon from Aldi as well. It was so flaky, flavorful, and well-seasoned. Definitely recommend everyone visit Aldi soon!

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Sunday

The cereal cravings continue! I had Blueberry Cheerios, beet powder, ground ginger, pb, milk, and an apple.

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This is such an important reminder for me sometimes when I can get caught up in needing more xyz. I must celebrate what I have and where I am as we all should!

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As I was sippin’ my coffee, I realized I needed to get my rear in gear to make it to Barre3. Thankfully, my meal settled wonderfully, and I felt pretty strong. I chose, “more endurance” as my sticker for the January challenge board because I felt I pushed past some points when I would normally have to take a break. It was t o u g h class, but I felt successful.

I came home and ate one of the oatmeal bars then quickly showered to meet Kaci, Drew, and Axl for a hike!

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The day was far too gorgeous to stay inside. We met at Seven Islands Birding Park, and it had been almost five years since I last visited. I need to get out there much more often!

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I loved how the trees created a covered path. It made me think of a scene out of Alice in Wonderland. ❤

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Being the youngins that we are. 😉

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Axl photo-bombed us, ha! Well, D did too with his shadow, so we all made it into the photo.

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Look natural. 😉 While I certainly LOVED the weather, it did feel strange to be wearing a short sleeve in January. The state of our climate is a bit concerning.

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The cutest!

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I tried not to be a creeper, but she had a kitten with her. So cool!

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I snacked on hummus and carrots then went to Kroger for the last of our provisions.

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I was a snack queeeeen. Pretzels, Swiss, and avocado with hot sauce.

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Then the last of my smoothie with Wheaties.

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And then grapefruit matcha mate tea with honey.

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I then made Ellie Krieger’s Southwestern stuffed sweet potato plus a salad. ‘Twas excellent!

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You can peep my puzzle progress! I had Cheerios with banana, hemp hearts, and almond milk. I’ve been craving cold cereal for dessert. Anyone else love cereal for dessert/after dinner sweet?

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And there you have it, folks. A lovely second weekend of 2020. I hope this week is treating you well, and I wish you the best Wednesday tomorrow!

Friday Favorites + Finds!

Good late Friday afternoon! I appreciate the opportunity to share some fun finds and meals lately with my sweet Dad to thank for them! He gave me a wonderful Amazon gift card for Christmas, and I had so much fun finding these items.

First up are these pants. Insert heart eye emoji. They have an elastic waist, tie belt, and I love the fabric and fit. I think they are a flattering style, and I highly recommend them! These are in “ginger”. I had fun with adding my TOMS wedding shoes, thrifted scarf, and locally made earrings.

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These are in “puce”, and I paired them with my Old Navy velvet top and new snake skin flats.

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I love polka dots, and red is one of my favorite colors, so this skirt was a no brainer! I wore it with a vintage mustard top, new animal print flats, and one of my new neck scarves.

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This shirt is so pretty! I love the big floral print, sleeve details, and the fit. I’m very into French tuck, and it helped it to feel pulled together for work.

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I bought this top from Goodwill, and I really love the neckline! Plus it gives me Rose vibes from The Golden Girls. 😉

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Alright, on to some food! I made Brittany’s almond meal-coated chicken tenders that turned out beautifully. We had Dr. Praeger’s four potato hash brown rounds with ketchup, salad with steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and a homemade honey mustard dipping sauce with them.

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Savory oatmeal that hit all the notes. Fluffy spiced oatmeal, wilted spinach, cottage cheese, over easy egg, hot sauce, and EBTB seasoning. YUM. You have to try it!

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I also got this letter board because I’ve been eyeballing them and think they are really fun.

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A new dental provider in the area offered to pay for free coffee, including espresso drinks, from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM on Wednesday. How awesome is that?! They had to brew more of their Ethiopian roast, so I waited to top off my cup. Trevor gave me another cup of 12 oz. How kind! I let it cool and then chilled it. I added milk and thoroughly enjoyed it with breakfast on Thursday.

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I *finally* joined my Barre3 studio and have been participating in their January Challenge! Not a challenge about changing one’s body but encouraging us to go inward, evaluate how a class made us feel (stronger, less stressed, greater endurance), and I’m all here for it.

This is so me!

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This is so cute but also a great message!

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I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

**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!