Labor Day 2019 // A Clean Slate

I hope this post finds you doing so very well on this Tuesday! Last weekend was so fun but also full of productivity. I amaze myself sometimes on how much I can accomplish if I just set my mind to it. Good ole motivation.

Friday

I began Friday with a not very pretty but tasty breakfast of shredded wheat, granola, pb, and mashed banana in a yogurt tub. Easy peasy cleanup this way.

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After work, I shopped at Naturally A Deal Market and ate one of the kid Larabars and some of these cocoa roasted almonds. They are so good with the addition of the salt! Sweet-salty lover forever.

Pizza night! I love a baking us each a frozen pizza and throwing together a salad. More time to then relax together in the evening.

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I enjoyed some thawed berries, Cheerios, pb, and milk for a snack later. We haven’t been keeping up with any shows lately, and as lame as it may sound, we’ve been enjoying playing Wordscapes in the evening. It’s fun and can be challenging. I love that it’s quiet and calming.

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Saturday

I slept well on Friday night and then was in the mood for stove-top oatmeal. I cooked oats with milk, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt then topped my bowl with thawed berries, honey, and pb.

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Sadly, I don’t have much UT Vols clothing, so I wore my B3 Knoxville tank to show my support for our football team. Matt and I don’t follow football closely. I do love the atmosphere this time of year and going to a tailgate with Kaci and Drew, though!

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We spent the day at the lake house, and it was so nice! Kaci very sweetly let me borrow this swimsuit. I love the print and fit. So retro and fun.

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We floated around for a while, but the water was so cold. Tear. I had hoped it would still feel so inviting, but negative.

We enjoyed our leftover pizza with Sriracha and vegetables. I later went back for the last slice and enjoyed it cold. I do love leftover cold pizza. I’m weird and make no apologies. 😉

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Matt joined me for a walk, and I left my phone at the house. I do want to distance myself from it sometimes, but the thing that stinks is it serves as my camera (duh). Shortly after we started our walk, two young male and one female deer crossed the road right in front of us. Then a little while later, a gorgeous blue butterfly landed on my left Chaco! I felt like I was the chosen one. ❤

Once we got back, we played Kings in the Corner (I won all of the games!), then I floated around once more.

I took inspiration from Anne and made baked chicken over local green beans with Bush’s grillin’ beans. Such a delicious and simple combo!

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Matt and I decided to be nosy and drive up some of the roads/neighborhoods in Rockwood where our lake house is located. There were some awful, dilapidated homes, some Victorian homes that would be so nice if they would be renovated and cared for, and then this behemoth of a home!

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After we got home, fed the babes, unpacked our things, and showered, I noshed on Cheerios with banana, chai-spiced cashews, and milk.

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Sunday

I woke up feeling great and refreshed on Sunday, and I was in the mood for sweet and savory. I toasted the last two slices of my sprouted oat bread and topped one with pb, cinnamon, and date and the other with cottage cheese, sunny-side up egg, and EBTB seasoning. SO. GOOD.

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I sliced and seasoned our local purple sweet potatoes to do time in the oven along with three whole baked, and then I pressed play on a killer awesome Barre3 workout!

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I snacked on a Chobani strawberry banana cup with chai-spiced cashews then we hit the road all ready to have a cookout at this mom and step-dad’s!

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No, we weren’t being very responsible, but yes, I love this SnapChat shots. Ha!

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We had stopped at Kroger to pick up a few things, and I grabbed these Naan dippers, which I highly recommend. So fluffy and delicious. I ate them with peppers, carrots, celery, and a Sabra hummus cup.

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We had the idea to try to do a Boomerang of us alternating squatting down then up, but the outtake was the best!

Matt’s oldest brother drove in from CA, so all three Daniel boys were present. Brian, Chris then Matt in order of age.

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Dinner was a lovely combo of some high quality steaks that Brian ordered, corn on the cob that was so sweet and tasted like summer, my roasted potatoes, salad with pickled golden beets, and Brian also roasted red and yellow potatoes that I later went back to try.

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We enjoyed each other’s company some more then enjoyed some So Delicious strawberry coconut milk-based ice cream.

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I was hungry by the time we got home, so I had a cutie, shredded wheat, pb, and milk. Hit the spot and allowed me to sleep very well.

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Monday

I made a smoothie for breakfast, but it wasn’t super tasty. Oh well, you win some, you lose some! I blended frozen berries and avocado with cottage cheese and milk. Then I stirred in local honey and topped with shredded wheat and cocoa-roasted almonds.

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I washed our bedding, got myself ready, and ate this snack plate of naan, carrots, and pb.

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I’m still all for bright, summery clothes, but I love the transition. I wore this sweater but with bright earrings and shorts. Summer outfit with fall vibes.

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I rented a carpet cleaner from Home Depot, went by Naturally A Deal to pick up our bbq pulled pork sandwiches, and then to Kroger for our weekly grocery shopping. We go through produce so quickly!

After putting away the goods, I washed another load of laundry, made the bed, then I enjoyed my sandwich with a salad I made + the graham crackers and drink came with the sandwich for only $2.50!

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I managed to pinch my left pointer finger as I got this beast out of my car, but other than that snafu, things went fairly smoothly. I vacuumed our home then cleaned the carpet like crazy. Matt’s expression kills me, ha! I didn’t take any before photos because honestly, the condition of our carpet embarrassed me. I was very ashamed of it, but it looks so much better now! It made my heart feel happier and more content.

I couldn’t help myself, and I put out some cahh-ute pumpkins to start slowly decorating for fall.

I made us both a salad topped with hummus and chips and Matt had his pulled pork sandwich as well. He had gone into work, and his boss treated them to a lunch.

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Apple nachos, a fav of mine. I sliced a Honeycrips and had it with yogurt, granola, and chai-spiced cashews.

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Tuesday

Another bright outfit to start this short work week! Have a great one!

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July 4th Weekend // Part 1

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

Thursday // July 4th

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

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

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It was hot but so pretty!

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Love adventuring together!

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

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

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Kaci was sneaky and captured some action shots. 😉

#barre3anywhere of course!

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

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

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

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Nailed it!

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

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

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New Chaco sandals!

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My main squeeze forever and ever.

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

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

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

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

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Had to get some July 4th Snapchats 😉

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

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

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

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Friday

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

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

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

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I loved the lights and some of the decor.

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Hipster shoes

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Love a good food pun!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This is such an impressive piece of art!

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

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The water looks oh so real here.

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I think this is so beautiful.

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Hahahaha! Matt had awesome pose ideas!

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Me, not so much. Lol

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Eeewww

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This one was mesmerizing.

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Photo bombing us!

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

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Roll that dice!

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 4th Weekend // Part 2

Alright friends, let’s pick up where we left off, shall we?

Saturday

I had this dreamy bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, and it included a packet of Bakery on Main Ancient Grains cooked with milk, salt, cardamom, and ginger. I topped it with half a sliced plum, tahini, Meyer lemon-infused honey, and a sprinkle of cardamom and ginger. YUM.

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I got ready quickly, and we loaded up the car to spend at the lake house. We were able to stop by Mahalo Coffee Shop before leaving town, and you guys, this cafe is so cute!! Trevor Bayne and his wife decided to go into the coffee roasting business, and Matt and I had noticed this home being converted into commercial use. It wasn’t until recently that I realized it was their coffee shop. It’s seriously a two minute drive from both our home and my work!!

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Hawaii and Australian vibes.

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That is Trevor Bayne to the right on the bar. I hadn’t followed much of his story as a Nascar driver, but in reading up a bit, I realize just how talented and sweet he and his family are. They seem like such genuinely amazing people. Incredibly wealthy, but they seem humble and approachable, you know?

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These plants ❤

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I couldn’t resist a picture in this chair!

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Matt sweetly obliged me.

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Four words: Red. Velvet. Beet. Latte. Yesssss. It was not overly sweet and the perfect chocolate earthy flavor. They offer GF oatmilk and a GF chocolate chip cookie that I was grateful to see! It’s going to be hard not to stop on the daily!

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We made awesome time and were at the lake house before lunch! Kaci graciously let me borrow this new Cupshe swimsuit, and I decided to wear my new hat from Amazon. I scored the donut towel from Aldi!

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Tried to be all modelesque 😉

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Twinning in our hats and sunnies! Trying to get a photo with my big hat proved hilarious.

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After floating under the gorgeous sunrays, we enjoyed a simple lunch of cucumber, carrots, lemon hummus, avocado, and chips.

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Pano shot of our yard.

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Pano shot of our home. ❤

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We floated, and while I tried to adjust myself to lay on the side of my avocado float, I fell into the water. It was hilarious! I was wearing my hat and sunglasses, and I only wish Matt had been looking. He missed my epic fail! It was a “happy mistake”, though, because I decided to swim across the left side cove and back like my mom did. ❤ I did some flips and floated, and it felt so calming. We got out of the water and decided to play badminton. I’m proud to say we brought our A-game. No one was there to witness our athleticism, though. Ha!

Dinner was phenomenal! I sauteed organic green beans that we bought on sale and seasoned them with Italian herbs, salt, pepper, garlic, and coriander. We enjoyed them with local sliced tomato, Sriracha cheddar, and Ingles rotisserie chicken salad that I had over Sara Lee strawberry swirl bread. You all know my love of sweet and savory together, and this was perfect!

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We got home at a great time and were able to unpack, shower, relax, and enjoy a snack and two more episodes of Elementary. I was so ready to get to bed when the credits hit on the second episode.

Sunday

Matt had made a smoothie Saturday night that had me craving one, so I made this with banana, frozen mango and blueberry, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and Fage Greek yogurt. I topped it with walnuts and had toasted strawberry swirl bread with pb.

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I was really on it with my timing and was out of the house by about 10 to run errands. After taking our glass to the recycle center, I went to Trader Joe’s to shop around. Cue the awkward bathroom selfie and a photo of this cute artwork!

I decided to try this water and found it very refreshing. I did pop into HomeGoods, but would you believe their food selection was very disappointing? That’s never happended!

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After putting away the goods, I noshed on a vegetable burger topped with tomato and a side of cuke, carrots, lemon hummus, and off-brand Triscuits.

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I had to get a sticker from Mahalo that I proudly added to my collection.

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Dinner was vegetable rice, mixed vegetables + sauteed green beans and rotisserie chicken.

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I enjoyed a snack while watching the first episode of Stranger Things 3! Anyone out there started this season? If so, any thoughts? I’m so excited to watch tonight!

I hope you all have a marvelous week ahead!

Here’s to Another Spectacular Year!

Somehow another year has flown by, and Kaci and I are now 31. Whoa. This past year, while certainly challenging at times, was a year of growth, love, fun, and truly one for the books. Had Mason still been with us, it would’ve been near perfect. He’s always in our hearts, though. I will try to keep my words short and again allow the photos to do all the talkin’.

Friday

I started the day with my last everything bagel topped with fresh tomato, scrambled egg and leftover baked wild caught salmon, and plant-based avocado pesto spread; black grapes on the side. It was amazing!

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Sleepy babies!

Outfit on my last Friday at 30.

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K Brew’s latest spritz, the Paloma: grapefruit syrup, signature espresso, and Fevertree tonic. SO. GOOD.

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It was a salad and pizza kinda night! This pizza had a sweet potato crust and chicken sausage. ‘Twas tasty!

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Snackage out of the pb jar while watching Lucifer. Tom Ellis is my celebrity crush. Love this show!

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Saturday

My use of leftover salmon was going strong! Hummus avocado toast with salmon, garlic oil Cholula hot sauce, and grapes.

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Mid-morning fuel after Matt and I completed a quick Kroger trip. Then it was off to the lake house to meet Kaci, Drew, and Axl!

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Had to get our group shot! Axl’s face kills me! Lolol

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Is Kaci not adorable in her new suit? Check out Axl in the lower left corner, ha!

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Our dude!

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D’s classic sideways shot. It’s his signature photo. 😉

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Would ya believe I remembered my Polaroid? Trying to be artsy.

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Snack in the sunshine.

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The boys chattin’ away.

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Paradise.

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SnapChats because why not.

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My main squeeze!!

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Gotta be goofy!

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Hahahahaha

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Fresh fruit with some almond butter.

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Matt spoiled us! He made us two racks of ribs, and we simmered Bush’s maple bourbon grillin’ beans, enjoyed Kroger’s Private Selection southwestern potato salad (all their classic potato salads contained wheat germ, unfortunately), and steamed green beans.

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Loren’s gf chocolate chunk cookies x 2. I went back for another!

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Matt took this before we left. ❤

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Sunday // Father’s Day

I ate a light breakfast because we were meeting Kaci and Drew for brunch at First Watch. Fresh fruit, Grape Nuts, and milk in the almond butter jar.

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My amazing dad has been the most loving, supportive person, and I’m incredibly grateful for him!!

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One of my favorite photos of us! From dancing in the living room to our father-daughter dance at my wedding. ❤

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Matt, the most amazing cat dad ever! He loves our babies so fiercely and takes amazing care of them.

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This filter was so perfect!

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Their fresh crab omelet is so full of flavor! I also just love their toast. So thick and perfect.

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We don’t normally order the same thing so that we can try each other’s, but it was too good to pass up. Unfortunately, they misunderstood he wanted the greens but to add potatoes. Oh well! We aren’t ones to fuss.

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After fueling up we four and our trail guide, Axl headed to Ijam’s Nature Center. It was hot but such a gorgeous day!

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Barre3 anywhere!

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There’s a baby turtle on the end then maybe the mom. They were so cute!

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We hiked about two miles, and I had such a blast.

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While Matt went to dinner with his dad and second oldest brother, I stayed back and meal planned, cleaned, and cooked. Snack plate.

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I highly recommend Alexis’ Vegan Peanut Butter Zucchini Bars! I added walnuts on top, and they are so fudge-y and satisfying.

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I enjoyed the second half of my omelet with green beans, quinoa with marinated artichoke salad, and the last of our potato salad. Hit the spot!

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My evening snack included Greek yogurt, frozen banana, Grape Nuts, and pb.

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I was still hungry later, so I had some nuts and chocolate.

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Monday //  My birthday!

Birthday pancakes topped with thawed fruit, tahini, Greek yogurt, maple, and sunflower seeds.

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Kaci and I switched dresses, and I loved her maxi!

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My step-mom shared this photo, and I love it! Kaci still had longer hair, I had quite the bed-head, and I love our ruffle butts. Ha!

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My dad surprised me with the most colorful, beautiful bouquet!!

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Matchy matchy! We were so grateful that Barre3 gave us each a free class for our birthday.

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They helped us to feel incredibly special and loved! They sang to us, Mila gave us a shout out before class, and then she played happy birthday as we all filed out of class. Several years ago, I never would’ve thought I’d be recognized, much less loved, this much as our Barre3 studio. I just love them so much. Another attendee said, “isn’t it a blessing to move on your birthday? It’s like thanking your body”. AMEN.

Kaci and I then had dinner at Whole Foods! I loved getting to eat with her and chat up a storm.

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Delish cookies for a suh-weet finish.

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And that’s a wrap! I appreciate each and every one who took the time to wish me a happy birthday, and I appreciate everyone who chooses to read my blog. Here’s to another wonderful year!

Thankful for the Brave Who Sacrificed for our Freedom

Good Tuesday morning! I truly hope that this post finds you all doing well and celebrating a glorious long weekend. This post is quite long and full of photos, but I’ll try to let the photos speak for themselves. So without further adieu, here we go!

Friday

First up is this incredible bowl of savory oatmeal. I prepared oats with oat milk and spices then topped them with cooked curry cauli rice, wilted spinach, crumbled queso cheese, and an over easy egg. So incredibly satisfying!

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I’ve had this maxi for 11 years, and I still love it! Wore it with one of my fav floral cardigans from Amazon.

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Dinner was stellar. Dr. Praeger high protein veg burger topped with pickles and avocado and enjoyed with roasted potatoes + ketchup and vegetables + ranch.

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I discovered that my mini chocolate pb cups in the trail mix had partially melted and turned into blobs despite being in the pantry. Really strange! I had some with apple, Cheerios, and oat milk for an evening snack while we watched the first episode of the last season of Elementary. It was a great one!

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Saturday

I woke up so refreshed and very excited for the day spent with family! I went supah simple and had shredded wheat with cinnamon, banana, pb, and milk.

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Matt, however went the fancy route and made an oatmeal muffin topped with freshly cooked spiced apple and maple syrup. He gave me a bite, and holy deliciousness.

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Sweet Jax! Look at those paws. ❤

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Finally we got packed up and went out to the lake house! First up, selfies at the point. Love our neighbor’s tri-star flag in the background.

Outtakes are fabulous. haha

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That moment when you have to stop taking photos to get a tick off your leg. #lakelife

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Nailed it! Love my husband. Fun fact: he brought out these Hurley swim trunks from about 13 years ago!

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Der de der. Just love Axl Rose! He was living his best life.

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The sweetest!

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Serious Axl.

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Throwback to when we were around eight years young! Then…

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and now!

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Miss Piper and her Aunt Keesh! Love her cute swimsuit.

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Appetizers.

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I just love Randi and her girls so much! She, all three girls, and her husband, Josh got to join us for the day, and my heart felt so full seeing the kids enjoy our place as much as we did when we were kids.

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These selfies are epic!

Fun times in the water! They convinced me to get in, and despite being cold at first, I acclimated quickly!

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Gorgeous!

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It was at this point that Lucy said, “this is summer. This is so much fun!” Sweet girl summed it up for us all!

 

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The avocado float was a big hit! Also, it can apparently accommodate many at once.

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Dinner was spectacular! I made roasted and then marinated and chilled vegetables, Kaci made a gf pasta salad, Susan made a three-bean salad, and the boys grilled the sausages.

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Some badminton fun after dinner!

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An absolutely stellar group of people!!

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Later on when it was just Kaci, Drew, Matt, and myself, I made a dessert plate with homemade banana bread by Kaci, fresh fruit, yogurt, and almond butter. Yummm

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Then we got to enjoy some beautiful fireworks across the lake!

So we have had some mice in the house but never see them. However, as I was standing in the living room, I saw it run past the fireplace. Y’all, if you could’ve seen us turning over the furniture and running around the room like crazy people, you would’ve died laughing. It was soooo comical! Matt even got rug burn from a dive and a miss. That guy was fast! Kaci and I didn’t want to hurt him, so we convinced the boys to catch and release. It was hilarious.

Matt and I played two games of Kings in the Corner then got ourselves in bed.

Sunday

I seriously sleep so so well out there. I woke up feeling amazing. I also love the natural light and getting to eat breakfast outside!

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This view never ever gets old.

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Our wedding altar ❤

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Some days you just need a lot of coffee. Hahaha

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Lunch was so full of flavor and different textures. Quinoa, marinated vegetables, roasted beets, avocado, hummus, and cauliflower crackers.

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I had the last gf brownie bite with almond butter and an apple.

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We then packed up and came home. I did laundry and the dishes, showered, and then snacked on sweet and salty kettle corn along with carrots and sugar snap peas dipped in ranch.

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I decided to go on a walk, and it felt amazing. It was really hot, though.

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I had made a rotisserie chicken and pasta salad earlier with Italian dressing thanks to Kaci for the extra pasta. I served it with a salad for dinner.

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Fresh fruit with yogurt and cereal for a snack while we watched two episodes of Lucifer on Netflix. Has anyone watched this show? We really do like it!

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This baby! ❤

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Monday

I got up with Matt who sadly had to work. Everything bagel with melted colby jack on one side and avocado, lemon, salt and pepper on the other. Over easy egg over wilted spinach with hot sauce to complete my plate. Incredible breakfast combo!

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Then I sipped coffee, got ready, went by K Brew for Kaci’s cold brew and a half caf iced latte for myself, then we hit the road for Max Patch!

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Someone had to get in a good nap so he could be ready to blaze the trails.

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We stopped at Arby’s, and I tried their Mediterranean chicken wrap. I ate half and saved the other for later. It was really good!

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Their new sign looks so lovely.

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Those rolling green hills and blue sky just makes you smile and feel calm.

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The views are just breathtaking!

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Barre3 pose at the top!

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We hiked along the trails and came across this pretty creek.

Then we hiked to Drew’s parents’ cabin. It’s looking amazing! Drew and his dad rolled this log over to the front porch and created this really pretty table of sorts. I love how it looks and that it could be used.

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I snacked on pb-filled pretzel bites and apple, and we hung out for a few hours. I love talking with them!

They drove us to our car, and then we hit the road for K-town. We stopped at a Weigel’s in Newport for a snack, and my gosh, some of those people looked r o u g h. Don’t do drugs. KIND bar to the rescue.

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Dinner looks sad but was delicious. Sauteed garlic cabbage with the last of the marinated vegetables, chips and hummus, and carrot ginger soup.

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We showered and prepped for Tuesday then made snacks. I had yogurt with banana, almond butter, some of Matt’s smoothie, and Cheerios.

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We watched an episode of Lucifer then reluctantly went to bed. I did find a tick on my head, and Matt saved my life. Gross!

Tuesday

For breakfast, I made cardamom-spiced oatmeal topped with wild blueberries, lemon curd, and almond butter. I love blueberries and lemon together!

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That about catches you up to speed! I am struggling to maintain a good attitude today. Something about vacation that refreshes you but also makes work a struggle. Please free to share your weekend in the comments!

Will Work for Pizza

Good evening, sweet people! I’m writing my weekend post late, but better late than never as they say!

Friday

I made spiced oatmeal topped with pumpkin, pb, and maple syrup. We have pumpkin open because I read it can help with hairballs in purr-babies, and Jackson seems to be having a lot. It’s because Rachel makes him bathe her. Ha!

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Cuddles with Jackson, and man is he a character! Always has been. ❤

‘Rainbow Bright’ outfit for my Friday!

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Matt was awesome and completed two 10-minute Barre3 online workouts followed by one calming 10-minute flow with me. I loved it! I was super sweaty and felt so accomplished. Then I ordered us Chick-fil-a for dinner! We often do not order out, so this felt like a treat. I chose their cool chicken wrap and enjoyed carrots for crunch.

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Matt had their spicy southwest salad that he enjoyed in gf spinach wraps from Aldi.

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I enjoyed this yogurt bowl with shredded wheat, green grapes, banana, and sunflower seeds. We watched The OA then got a good night’s sleep.

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Saturday 

I loved the grapes and shredded wheat so much that I had it for breakfast along with chia, pb, and cinnamon. I added more milk after this because I realized it was too little.

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Later after I had done some house tasks and showered, I enjoyed a matcha mochi, which was really good!

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I had the extra packet of chili lime pepitas from Matt’s salad.

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All ready for a fun day! I rocked my new pants from Maranda of Vagabondary. LOVE them!

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Kase is a sweetheart and got me a cafe au lait from K brew! Saturday’s are for extra caffeine.

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I then joined them in helping their neighbors and friends with removing wallpaper in their 1920’s house full of character. The couple married and bought the home last year I believe. It’s so lovely! They generously provided salad, fruit, pizza, and cake. The bbq chicken pizza as well as the veg were fabulous!

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Each of the two rooms we worked on had at least three to five layers of wallpaper. This was actually so pretty! We wish it had been left alone. I think it would’ve looked amazing as an accent wall. Are you a fan of wallpaper accent walls? I love it!

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Poor Kaci bought two gerber daisy hanging plants, and now one is a bird’s new home. The plants will now die, sadly, but look at these cute eggs! Also, you can see the yarn that mama and daddy bird used in the nest.

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I had prepped our chickpea salad that morning, so we enjoyed it with avocado, pickles, pickled carrots, roasted cabbage, and sweet potato chips.

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While watching The OA, I had a mug of Cheerios and Comet Crispies with nuts and milk plus an apple on the side.

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Sunday

Y’all, this breakfast was killer. We thawed our cheddar pickled jalapeño scones and enjoyed them with wilted spinach, sunny side up eggs, cutie, and grapes.

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Happy Mother’s Day to my sweet mama!!! I absolutely love that I look more and more like her as I get older. I wish I could go back as that little girl and wrap my arms around her and give her the biggest hug. I was almost ten years old and only eight years shy of when we would lose her.

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I adored my wedding bouquet charm that allowed her to be with me throughout my day. I’m so excited to one day see her again and get to catch up on all that has happened. I wish we could celebrate Mother’s Day now. Coffee date, Barre3 together, a day at our lake house, and I could cook for us. So much has changed, but I’m hoping she is always watching and smiling and us.

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I completed a Barre3 flow then showered. I wore my new top and hat from Maranda, and I love having fun with my fashion. 🙂

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I had a Canyon brownie bite with pb and yogurt, which was fabulous.

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We made our way up to his mom and step-dad’s to enjoy lunch together.

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My hat gives me my own personal space. Ha!

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We went to The Local Goat (you may recall it from this post).

I enjoyed their Autumn Harvest Salad and substituted teriyaki tofu instead of chicken. It was lovely.

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Matt had salmon, potatoes, and broccoli plus added blackened shrimp and a salad.

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We went on a wonderful walk around the neighborhood since the sun finally came back out, and I picked this pretty flower.

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We sipped tea together then made our way home.

I added more greens, carrots, hummus, and tortilla chips to my leftovers, and I finished my salad.

Have you seen this SnapChat filter? It’s hilarious!!

For dessert while we watched the last episode of The OA, I had shredded wheat, banana, pb, cinnamon, and milk. Yum! Anyone watch The OA, season two? Thoughts? We were not super thrilled with how it ended. Love the show, though!

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Monday

This morning I made hot cinnamon oatmeal with some brown sugar then added it to our pb jar and crunched on an apple on the side. The heat picks up all of the wonderful pb nicely.

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My outfit for the day.

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Hope you all had an amazing day!

 

 

Easter Weekend 2019

Happy Earth Day/Monday/Easter Monday! I hope you all are very well on this glorious day! Matt and I are unfortunately feeling a little stuffy, and my throat is scratchy. Please send me all the healing vibes. I really don’t want a cold plus it’s one of my best friend’s wedding on Saturday. So if I could avoid a red nose, that would be fabulous.

Anywho, let’s get on to the weekend recap, shall we?

Friday

I opted for a quick breakfast because I had to take Rachel and Jackson to the vets for their dental cleaning. I enjoyed shredded wheat with cinnamon, pb, blackberry jam, milk, and an apple. It always breaks my heart to leave them at the vets even though I know it’s necessary and that they’re in good hands.

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Registered Dietitians go through years of an accredited educational program where as “nutritionists” have no educational background. Be careful who you listen to.

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I left work a little early, and Kaci met me at our place to carpool over to get the babies! We stopped by K brew because I had a coupon award. I tried their latest coconut cream latte with half the sweetness, and it was awesome!

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I loved the cute decor at the vets, especially this sign! It absolutely is. ❤

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Rachel received a good clean bill of health, but poor Jax had two infected/rotten teeth. I felt horrible!! We’ve known his breath was horrible, and this confirmed why. The doctor was very sweet and said it wasn’t anything that we did wrong – it is just a genetic possibility for some babies. He hasn’t slowed down a bit!

I have followed an account called Through and Through Collective on Ig, and they sell affordable fashion in our area. I snagged a pair of J Crew pixie pants that I’ll share on my next  Friday Favorites post! I loved how they personalized the bag and card.

Before Kaci left, we watched some Robin Williams visits on Johnny Carson’s late night show and were dying laughing. We munched on corn chips with pimiento cheese. So good! The babies also ate and got all settled.

I went really simply and kind of sad for dinner. But that’s how it is sometimes! Not all meals will be gourmet. Bed o’ spinach topped with sauteed fresh squash and a can of corn, beans, potatoes, peppers, green beans, and seasonings. We added ranch and called it dinner, ha.

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I was craving sweet, creamy, crunchy, and salty, so enter this snack plate! Yogurt, banana, and pb filled pretzel bites. It was amazing.

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Saturday

I woke up refreshed on Saturday, and I decided to make “banana sushi”. I added a thick amount of pb to our last spinach tortilla then a whole banana, wrapped it up, sliced it sushi style, then I topped it with Greek yogurt and chia.

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It was very tasty!

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When Kaci and I took Barre3 in studio on that past Thursday, I bought one of their tanks on sale. I love it! The marbled style and the font were both so pretty. Our temps dropped, so I wore my pink cardigan and rain jacket. Winter’s last hurrah.

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Lunch was carrots and chips dipped into the last of our hummus. Plus I ate an apple and felt satisfied. Matt and I then went grocery shopping together, which was actually really fun. We first stocked up on the babies food, then I got a decaf latte from Panera Bread with a gift card before we braved Kroger. There were a lot of other people as you might well imagine with Easter the next day.

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Once we got everything put away and relaxed for a bit, we made our way to the movie theater inside the East Town Mall. I ate this KIND bar on the way, and I highly recommend the flavor!

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The mall is so depressing as most stores have closed. They had the Easter bunny there, but it was at least $12 to get your photo. I am a dork to the core and wanted to get one with Matt, but we opted for SnapChat filters instead. Lolz

Kaci and Drew met us not long after, and we got our seats to watch the newest Dumbo! Take one: Matt was eating his Larabar, and Drew barely made the cut. (Also, note mean mug in the background. She and her husband obnoxiously ate their popcorn during the first part of the movie. Like he chewed it loudly WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN. Then they opened several cans of Coke. Ugh.)

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Then Drew was gone completely, ha! Oh well.

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Kaci and I LOVED the movie! The boys were meh about it. I do love the original best, and Dumbo is a weird/psychedelic movie, but this had me tearing up several times.

We all went to Bonefish Grill for a double date dinner! Their fabulous bread with pesto + olive oil to start.

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Our waiter, Adam was hysterical! We all loved him and his service. So funny, personable, and chatty in a super fun way. Like he could’ve pulled up a chair and joined us, and it would’ve been a ‘more the merrier’ situation. He talked up one of their special drinks, and I really just wanted the pretty flower. So he brought it to me! He told me I needed to try it as it is edible, so I nibbled a petal. Hahaha

I enjoyed their house salad, and it reminded me I need to get hearts of palm to add to our salads at home!

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I chose their wolffish special with green beans and coleslaw. It has a firmer texture than other white fish, but it was still delicate and tasty. As he explained, this fish feeds a lot on lobster, so it has a slight lobster flavor but mild overall.

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Matt had their rainbow trout.

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The guy is Matt’s age with his birthday coming up in May. When Matt ordered his whiskey and ginger, he saw that his birthday is coming up, so he gave him a box of chocolates! So cute!

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After we parted ways, Matt and I drove home and jammed out to some tunes. We had our own dance party, and I’m sure we looked mad. I loved it so much!

We got changed, and I was still a little hungry, so I had a mug of Cheerios with plum, nuts, and almond milk. We called it a night shortly there after.

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Sunday // Easter

Poor Matt couldn’t go back to sleep after getting up to feed the babies. I got up shortly after 7:00 and went right to washing dishes and making our blueberry honey coffeecake.

Sweet Rachel was tired too!

Tada! The center unfortunately didn’t cook through quite enough, and I swore off baking for awhile. You’ll see how the joke was on me in a bit. It sure was amazing in flavor.

I enjoyed my slice with Greek yogurt and pb.

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After finishing my coffee, I got myself ready to attend church service with my sweet friend, Courtney. My Eastery attire.

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I have to say that while I haven’t been to church in a long time and am not quite sure where I stand in my beliefs, it was my favorite service ever! So relatable, fun, inspiring, and touching. The music had a rocker-type, more youthful vibe too. I also bumped into the sweet lady who had cleaned my teeth for years. Small world! I didn’t know it was her church, so it felt like a sign that it was where I was supposed to be.

After the service, Courtney and her husband joined Matt and I for lunch at First Watch. Thankfully, there was hardly a wait. That’s kind of unheard of on a holiday.

I chose their smoked salmon tzatziki toast with eggs and added a side of greens. Loved this dish! I felt awful, though, because Courtney asked for her eggs to be well-done, and they were not. Kind of disappointing of First Watch.

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Courtney and Cole were such a pleasure to hang out with, and I look forward to spending more time together!

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I ate a very small mug of cereal after I had run an errand then came home. Shredded wheat, cutie, sunflower seeds, and milk.

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I then got changed and went on a 45-minute glorious walk! The sun was shining bright, and the weather turned out much better than expected.

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So other than our sweet, precious Mason not being with us, this has been the best Easter. I thoroughly enjoyed making our dinner with Matt, and we just cut-up and laughed a ton! Ya know how I said I wouldn’t bake for a while? Oops, I did it again. I just had to make Ree Drummond’s jalapeno cheddar scones. No rolling pin? No problem! A good ole wine bottle did the trick.

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A SnapChat break while we waited for them to bake. Jackson is the best in this!!

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Rachel wasn’t here for it.

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Carrots and black bean hummus as an appetizer while Matt prepped our ham.

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Our beautiful scones!

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Complete with sauteed balsamic asparagus, greens and slaw with honey vinaigrette, and Aldi’s uncured glazed ham. Perfection.

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For dessert, I had to include chocolate because it’s a must on Easter! A simple parfait of yogurt and banana with chocolate chips on top. After hearing Matt crunch on his cereal bowl, I got some Cheerios later and felt very satisfied.

Monday

I decided to try Brittany’s Greek Yogurt Oatmeal. I cooked a packet of Ancient Grains oatmeal with milk, water, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Then I topped it with banana, pb, and yogurt. I later drizzled some maple over top as well. It was pretty good, but I like cottage cheese in oatmeal just a little better. Still fun to try!

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Florals for Earth Day!

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However, I have realized I don’t like to tuck a shirt into this skirt because it has zero stretch in the waste. So I chose to knot my shirt in front and loved it much more like this!

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Make today an amazing one!

 

 

Valentine’s Day 2019

I’ll begin by saying I don’t really understand this holiday. It’s very commercialized, *but* I love a good theme! So I wanted to share the fun I had yesterday, both with my outfit and noms.

I started the morning with an epic oatmeal muffin topped with pb and Love Grown Chocolate Power O’s. Gotta get the chocolate in multiple times during the day! I had Greek yogurt and cherry/berry/plum/cacao thawed on the side.

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A breakfast this tasty deserves a portrait shot. 😉

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My Boho V-day look. I looooove this dress! Mustard tights ftw, and I decided to wear my TOMS gun metal tie-up wedges.

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Some arm candy.

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I chose to wear one of my bobby pins from our wedding. ❤

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I noshed on this delish bar for a mid-morning snack. More chocolate!

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Yes, I’m 30 and love me some filters!

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Yes, that is a beebee teacup necklace! It’s hard to see, but I adore it.

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Daw

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I chose to visit Wild Love Bake House for a wonderful half caf latte and a treat.

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I love the hand-stamped cups!

I chose their blood orange cornmeal cake. How adorable is it?! It was sweet without being overly so, the slightest bit savory from the cornmeal, and all around made perfectly. I was picking up every crumb. Leave no crumb uneaten! ‘Tis a new motto.

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Sweet Matt and I tag-teamed dinner. I had recently bought and then frozen organic ground pork, so we made our burgers from it. He did the best job seasoning them! We had to pan-cook them, and they were fabulous. Topped with Sargento four-cheese slice and avocado. I had mine over a bed of organic arugula that I bought on clearance because of the date. I sauteed lemony green beans and baked curly fries. Matt chose to broil them, which created the perfect crunch. But he *almost* forgot about them. Yikes! This meal was everything I had hoped for and wanted.

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I wanted to share these adorable Etsy prints from Kaci that I FINALLY framed and hung on Wednesday!

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How adorable is this?

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I embrace my southern “y’all”.

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I also transferred my gorgeous arrangement from Whimsy Stems to this super fun whiskey bottle that Matt finished. Opinion: is this crowded or does it look lovely? I’m really loving it. 🙂

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Without / with flash. I can’t get a great shot in this hallway, but I adore how the flowers have dried so far!

We had every intention of making our own chocolate-dipped strawberries, but it got late. So we’ll be enjoying making and eating them this evening! Please share any fun you had from yesterday!

New Years 2019

Happy Friday Eve! I’m back to share our fun over New Years Eve and Day. It’s honestly my least favorite holiday because I always feel sad that the holiday season is over and that another year has come and gone. But I had an absolutely wonderful time celebrating this year!

Monday // New Years Eve

Matt found these GF everything bagels, but unfortunately, they were frostbitten. Bleck. But I had mine toasted with Cabot aged sharp white cheddar, pb, and spinach plus a kiwi on the side.

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This came up on my Facebook memories from 2015, and it warmed my heart so much! Mason loved smoothies!

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Sweet kitty snuggles. ❤

For lunch I enjoyed a Dr. Praeger’s black bean quinoa burger, sugar snap peas, carrots, cuke, and hummus. I also enjoyed a small mug of cereal a little bit later.

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We always enjoy ham and bean soup with greens and cornbread for good luck and prosperity for the new year. I made caramelized onion, sautéed mushrooms/kale/garlic with smoked paprika and chili powder. We split a piece of cornbread dressing that we had frozen from Thanksgiving.

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Since we didn’t buy a bone-in ham, this wasn’t as good. But it was still flavorful and satisfying!

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I bought Kaci and I each a silk pillowcase from Amazon. They’re *said* to reduce split ends and breaks in one’s hair, fine lines and wrinkles in the face, etc. I also just thought it looked fancy and pretty. 😉

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Matt and I met Kaci and Drew at Cruze Farm for a wonderful ice cream date! It was pouring complete with sideways rain such that by the time we walked there from the parking garage, we were soaked. It honestly made it really fun and memorable!

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I love these cute succulent ice cream cone planters!

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Matt enjoyed their strawberry sorbet.

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I had their Sugar Cookie Christmas Tree twisted with Candy Cane plus glittery sprinkles!

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I brought my Instax Polaroid camera, and we each took our own couple photo. ❤

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My heart!

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My crew forever and ever.

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Tuesday // New Years Day

I woke up and enjoyed a more simple breakfast of yogurt, Wild Friends nut butter, Multigrain Cheerios, and an apple. I completed my first Barre3 workout of the year then got ready for our first brunch of 2019!

We chose to dine at Sunspot, and man did they not disappoint!

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Scrunchy nose because Matt can make me laugh so much!

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Artsy coffee shot.

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Awww

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I started with their Caesar salad, and I loved the presentation!

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I ordered their Mushroom Toast that comes with sourdough bread, creamy mushrooms and root vegetables, winter herbs, avocado, cashew “parmesan”, and avocado. OHMYGOSH it was heavenly!! I added a local Circle V Farms over easy egg that just put it over ze top delicious.

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Matt chose their Omelet of the Day: citrus marinated shrimp, guacamole, cotija cheese, and kale mix. It came with fruit on the side, and Matt added their fingerling roasted potatoes.

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After our stomachs were nice and full, it was time to try to ice skate without falling. SnapChat filters as we waited to hit the ice!

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Laced up, and I was excited and nervous. I hadn’t skated in at least 13 or so years, so I had no idea how it would go.

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A sweet lady took this for us! Did you even skate if you didn’t take a photo? I am proud to say I did not take a tumble! I did spin in a circle and regained my composure once, and then I almost became a human bowling ball when a group of girls stopped in front of me. Thankfully, Matt was there to lend an arm and saved mah life. It took me a while to get comfortable and to move away from the wall, but I did it. I’m thankful I could start 2019 by pushing myself out of my comfort zone!

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We went by Kaci and Drew’s and hung out with them for a bit. I just love being with them. They are the best.

We enjoyed our beans and greens again for dinner then I used this matcha green tea mask. I’ve never looked better!

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Dessert was Celestial Seasonings Bengal Herbal Chai with manuka honey and milk. I had some berries and kiwi with Greek yogurt, walnuts, pepitas, and a GF brownie bite. We watched some of The Office then called it a night.

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Wednesday

My first work outfit of the day for the year. I just love this Old Navy suede skirt. It’s hard to tell with the poor lighting, but I wore my patterned brown tights, red suede top, and Old Navy suede booties. Suede on suede on suede.

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I hope you all have a fantastic day and rest of the week!