Ice Cream Date + The Great Outdoors

Hello, and happy Monday! I thought it was going to mostly be an ugly day, but so far, the sun has been shining, and the temperature is supposed to warm up to the low 70’s. It’s the little things that are making me happy. I sure wish we could have stayed home today. Matt’s boss bought a new shop, so they’re in the process of moving all of their inventory while continuing to ship parts that people have purchased, so he went into work both Saturday and Sunday. He definitely needed the day, but life doesn’t hit pause.

Friday

I started the day with trying this frozen entree complete with avocado and jam toast and cuties. It was okay but not the greatest in flavor. But you never know unless you try!

My ensemble for the day. 🙂 I bought this top at Shandi’s Boutique, and it’s so soft and comfortable. Plus I just love the pattern.

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Sweet Jackson wanted snuggles and to be held after I got home and fed them! Look at that swishy tail.

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Dinner was cajun seasoned baked salmon, simple salad, and pasta salad for me leftover from my lunch from Shandi’s while Matt had Bird’s Eye lentil pasta that is a great go-to.

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I just had a banana with cinnamon and pb with tea and honey while we watched Ozark. It’s getting so crazy in season two!

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Saturday

I went ahead and made these mini frittata muffins on Friday evening, and I scored our grapefruit. I used a bag of frozen Mexican mixed vegetables, spices, and Tillamook thick cut shredded Mexican cheese blend. Easy and delicious.

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I topped my white grapefruit with cinnamon.

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We completed our breakfast with avocado toast + EBTB seasoning.

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I relaxed with my coffee and cuddled with our sweeties. I loved this daily message by MHN. I finished a word find, which I enjoy doing to relax.

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Simi led the first Unmeasured live workout, and it was so invigorating!! I sweat and shook and felt challenged in a great way. Rachel kept me company too. Also, my hair has entered a very shaggy stage. Just rollin’ with it because no reason to fight it. I can’t get it cut for about two more weeks, but I’m very much looking forward to it!

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Lunch was a salad with the last of my pasta salad and some of our salmon.

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Then I got myself ready to spend the day with Kase!

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I hung out with her while she finished getting ready, then she accompanied me on my errands. I finally took our glass recycle to the recycling center, and I dropped off our batteries to be recycled. Then it was off to Cruze Farm!

I chose their Lemon Custard Blackberry Swirl in a waffle cone with sprinkles, and it was the best combination! These are two “vintage” flavors that they brought back for spring. Kaci went with their amazing chocolate with sprinkles.

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Taste the rainbow.

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Awkward selfie of me to document our twinklet time. Kaci looks so pretty! I think we look pretty similar here, which I love.

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I then went with Kaci, Drew, and Axl to hike at Sharp’s Ridge. It was a beautiful day! Just a tad chilly.

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You could see the World’s Fair Sunsphere through the trees, which I thought was neat.

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Kaci kindly took these of me on her fancy phone.

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I later discovered this hitchiker in my hair! I released him outside.

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Dinner was leftover soup I had shared in Friday’s post, and I had a tortilla warmed and stuffed with hummus to go with it.

Snackage while watching Ozark included a mug of Greek yogurt with some shredded wheat, pb, and an apple + my delish lemon ginger tea with honey.

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Sunday

Unfortunately, Matt had to leave for work before breakfast was ready. I ate a small apple with some pb and raisins while I waited.

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I made Alexis’ Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal with her Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting. I absolutely love it! It’s like spring in oatmeal form.

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I adore these memories, but they feel so long ago. 😥

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He looks annoyed, but he was purring and loving these snuggles! I miss our angel baby. That sweet face. ❤

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Rachel chose to nap like this. She’s always been such a silly girl!

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I follow the Insta page @vintage, and they shared these two of Lucille Ball. I will always be a huge fan.

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Each message just speaks to beautifully to me.

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I vacuumed the house then felt like doing an Unmeasured workout. It was stellar, as always! I then made this tasty lunch of greens, hummus, sauerkraut, sweet and spicy pickles, Dr. Praeger’s black bean quinoa burger, avocado, and fancy potato chips.

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Thin Mints and milk for a sweet finish.

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I took my time getting ready then donned my mask to shop at Kroger. For dinner, we went simple with a sweet kale salad topped with salmon and some baby carrots for more colorful crunch.

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I gave myself my second quarantine mani with a new OPI polish I got at Kroger. It felt really nice to do this for myself.

I enjoyed a small mug of Cheerios with pb powder, cinnamon, almond cashew milk, and a small banana while we just relaxed. I didn’t feel like an episode of Ozark since it sometimes wakes me up from the action. Ha.

Monday

“Rainbow Bright” look.

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I love this color and can see it being a staple for me this summer.

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Have a beautiful week!

From Fall to Winter in a Flash

Good Tuesday morning! I had not looked out our windows this morning until I saw a friend had posted about the snow we received, and I was shocked to see white when I pulled back the blinds! I cannot recall another time that we had snow this early in November. I wonder if Mother Nature is asking, “too soon?” at this point. Hahaha

Friday

Let’s rewind to Friday! I started the day with an oatmeal muffin topped with ricotta and cinnamon peach jam a friend made for us. I had thawed berries with hemp hearts on the side as well.

Comfy outfit including blue suede leggings, tunic dress (brand Kori, spelled just like my name!), booties, and super fun earrings.

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Rachie was keeping an eye out for us. Sweet girl!

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I had a good day at work then came home to enjoy a three-day weekend! Jackson standing on his tippy toes is one of the cutest things ever.

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I put together a soup based on what we had on hand, and it turned out well! One can each organic dark red kidney beans, tomatoes seasoned for chili, and turnips greens with turnips. I also added one frozen bag each of celery + onion and soup mix. To give it more flavor, I mashed in the remainder of our roasted garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, and low sodium organic chicken broth. I allowed it to simmer for an hour or more.

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It needed a little more salt and pepper, but it was tasty, and it got better with time.

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I made a grilled cheese on a gf ciabatta roll with mozzarella, cheddar, greens, and whole grain spicy mustard.

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For a snack, I enjoyed a mug of yogurt with thawed mango, Cheerios, and almond butter.

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Saturday

I was craving eggs like mad, so eggs it was! Two over easy eggs seasoned with EBTB blend and smoked paprika over wilted greens with a slice of polenta cake with ricotta. This really hit the spot!

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After completing a 30-minute Barre3 rejuvenating flow, I got myself ready and enjoyed the best chicken salad and oat milk latte at Mahalo. I love their café so much!

I channeled my love of fall through my outfit.

 

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Reflection in their gorgeous fire place.

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I quickly went home to grab my tennis shoes and feed our babies, then I met Kaci, Drew, and Axl for an incredible fall hike! Matt is really the greatest friend, and he spent his weekend helping one of his best friends on a project for his Hummer. Otherwise, I so would’ve loved for him to join us. He ended up staying at his dad’s because that’s where he could use his welder.

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I was in fall heaven.

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Tried to be artsy like Kase. 😉

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I admittedly love this shot.

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Forever and always grateful for my twin!

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I love how twinny we looked!

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I went back to their place and watched some of the LSU vs. ‘Bama game, and Kaci graciously offered me one of her tasty San Pelligrino sparkling beverages.

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I went to Aldi and found some awesome goods, then once I was home, said goods were put away, and the babies fed, I made my dinner. Leftover soup with a salad topped with avocado, leftover salmon, green beans, rice blend, and Italian dressing. This was full of flavor and so satisfying.

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After taking care of the dishes and some laundry, I made a delish banana split including Greek yogurt, almond butter, and Bakery on Main chocolate granola.

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I cored and cut up three small apples that were starting to get soft, and I cooked them in coconut butter with cinnamon and a little water. Quick cinnamon apples with no food going to waste.

Sunday

I’m telling you I slept like an absolute rock! I got up to feed Rachie and Jax then fell back asleep until 8:30. O_O

I enjoyed a bowl of Coconut Cheerios with some of the cinnamon apples, pb, hemp hearts, and milk.

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Then I did a lot of this while sipping my coffee. Coffee + kitty snuggles are the best way to start the day.

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I enjoyed an extra mug of coffee before I took care of some tasks and then showered.

Lunch included mixed greens, avocado, radish, carrots, mushrooms, leftover cannellini beans, Italian dressing, and a slice of Aldi pumpkin swirl bread with ricotta.

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Comfy Sunday outfit with a little extra from my pom pom earrings.

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Kaci, Axl, and I ran a few errands together including to Pet Smart. We rode in Kaci’s Subaru that has a sunroof, and I loved it! It was a gorgeous day for it.

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We all are looking in a different direction. Nailed it.

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While they went to family dinner, I came home and enjoyed a quick but really good dinner. Baked sweet potato stuffed with sautéed onions and peppers from frozen plus hummus, spices, freshly shredded cheddar, and chili lime hot sauce.

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I polished off a tub of yogurt with a banana, Multigrain Cheerios, chocolate granola, and tahini. This with a mug of hot herbal tea really was perfect.

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Matt finally finished with the project and got to come home! But he didn’t have Monday off, so poor guy didn’t have time to rest.

Monday

I got up with him and enjoyed a bowl of hot oatmeal topped with warmed cinnamon apples, warmed maple syrup, and pb. YUM.

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I left when he did for work and finished our grocery shopping at Kroger. I then ate my last bowl of soup with added rice medley a little before 11:00 to allow my stomach to settle before Barre3.

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I was so fortunate to get to take their first 45-minute studio class led by the studio owner! I came away feeling so strong. Confession: my muscles have been sore every since my boot camp class with The Beauty Hunters, but I don’t view it as a bad thing. Being sore doesn’t mean you are out of shape. It just means you challenged your muscles in a new way, and it honestly served as a reminder that I took time for my well-being. I’ve just made sure to keep moving.

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Once home, I enjoyed the last of our ricotta with some coconut crisps from Aldi.

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My shower was very much needed. Hello ripeness, ha! When you want to go on a walk, but make it fashion. Lolz. Oversized sweater from Planet Xchange years ago, fleece lined leggings, pretty tall socks with a sparrow print, booties, and a beanie. It honestly was quite warm by the time I got back home!

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I spotted some pretty flowers, plants, and fall décor.

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I finally swept our front porch and cleaned it up a bit. Then I prepped dinner by Ellie Krieger: Falafel Burger Plate. I assembled the falafel burgers in advance to chill per the instructions, and I decided to sauté the cabbage and carrots rather than serve them raw. We thoroughly enjoyed this meal completed with toasted gf pita and homemade tahini sauce.

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Matt stuffed his burger inside the pita. Leave it to him to take it to the next level, ha!

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I did enjoy a snack but didn’t take a photo. We enjoyed two episodes of Last Week Tonight then crawled our butts into bed.

Tuesday

(Sweet Potato) Toast Tuesday! I topped one half with Greek yogurt, pumpkin pie spice, and almond butter and the other with an over easy egg, EBTB blend, and smoked paprika. Sweet and savory combo lover for life.

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I call this, “when fall meets winter”.

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The roads were too warm for it to stick, yet schools were cancelled or pushed two hours late. School admin is becoming very soft. We never got off, but they now use the excuse, “it’s too cold”. I mean…

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Kaci so sweetly let me borrow this lovely cardigan that I paired with my orange midi dress, blanket scarf, and booties. Fall lives on in my clothes!

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I tried to be artsy, but I failed.

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Have the very best day and week ahead!

“It’s No Use Going Back to Yesterday Because I was a Different Person Then.”

Does anyone recognize the quote in my title? It’s from one of my favorite Disney movies, Alice in Wonderland! I love how it points out that physically, mentally, emotionally, we are constantly growing, evolving, and improving. We are not meant to remain the same as that would be boring. So cheers to growth and positive change!

I so hope you all are enjoying your Monday thus far and made a number of new, fun memories last weekend! I’m always grateful to get to share ours in this space and to have people interested in what we were up to. 🙂

Friday

I began the day on a very tasty note. I prepared oatmeal with dark chocolate almond milk and topped my bowl with with fresh cherries and pb. So good!

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A friend of mine shared this with me, and it cracked me up big time! Going to the bathroom while wearing a romper or jumpsuit can really take you down in the confidence department. Bahaha

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After attending our monthly quality meeting, I stopped in at this boutique while on my way back to the clinic. I browsed but didn’t purchase anything. They had some cute summer clothes while also transitioning to fall. I’m all for time to slow down, but the prospect of fall being here in about six-ish weeks is exciting to my autumn-loving heart!

All thanks to Sarah for sharing this post, I felt inspired to make these Morning Glory Cookies as well! Based on what we had, I used quick cooking oats, chia instead of hemp, walnuts instead of pecans, and our sprouted cinnamon coconut crunch product. It felt so good to whip these up before our fun evening!

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We bought tickets to join Kaci, Drew, and Axl at Ijam’s “Alice in Wonderland: Under the Stars” event, and it was amazing!

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The outtakes are sometimes the best!

As are the candids. Bahaha

My girl.

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Matt enjoyed salmon, potatoes, and sauteed spinach from Aubrey’s on the way since gf food choices would be limited for him. I got this beef stew over mashed potatoes from an Irish-Cuban fusion food cart. It would have been phenonmenal had it not tasted like he accidentally dropped the whole jar of salt into the batch. Matt loves him some salt, and one bite had him cringing. I ate what I could, but it was disappointing. However, unlike old me, it did not ruin my night one bit! Not all meals will be stellar or fancy, but it gave me energy, so there was that.

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Goob and his girls!

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Figured the stars filter was appropriate.

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It was so neat to see the movie on the big screen! Watching Alice took me back to Kaci and Drew’s wedding with her amazing Alice in Wonderland photo booth!

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Matt and I each enjoyed one of the cookies then I snacked on almonds and fruit when I got home. We didn’t go to bed until midnight because we’re a couple of party animals.

Saturday

While I didn’t sleep super well, breakfast made up for it! Two fluffy cheesy scrambled eggs cooked in butter and garlic herb seasoning, served over wilted spinach, and topped with garlic oil hot sauce. I toasted a cookie and drizzled it with honey, and I enjoyed cherries and local tomato on the side as well.

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I wore one of my fav tops with flowers and beetles printed on the front to meet up with Randi and the girls for Stanley’s Greenhouse Butterfly Festival. Figured I might as well dress with a little bit of a theme. 😉 I was so excited to receive a message from Randi earlier in the week that she and the girls were coming to TN for a visit!

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Kaci made these lovely earrings!

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I have never seen an air plant, but these were neat! No soil needed for them to grow.

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I love that Randi captured this. I’m proud to be their honorary Aunt Kori, and they are such sweeties!

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I didn’t do a great job of videoing the butterfly release, but it was fun to experience!

We walked around and saw some butterflies dining on the pretty blooms.

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I showed the girls the scene in Mary Poppins where they jump into the chalk drawing. There is a swarm of butterflies that appear during the scene, and we talked about how fun it would be to draw the beach and jump right into it!

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I stopped by Honeybee for a lightly sweetened vanilla iced latte before heading home.

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We each made a butterfly feeder, and this was my final product. Each girl and Randi chose a color scheme where as mine looked the most random of all. Ha!

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I had a coupon for free Kroger delivery, and it worked out wonderfully! The shoppers were very kind and carried it all inside so as to not have to use plastic bags. I saved $30 in coupons too, score!

For a late lunch, I enjoyed delicious bread that came with Matt’s Aubrey’s meal along with broccoli slaw, shredded carrots, roasted red onion, avocado, marinated artichoke salad, and hummus. I had a mug of Cheerios and Love Grown with pb and oat milk for a sweet finish.

Matt mentioned that one of his coworkers made pesto meatloaf, so I surprised him with it along with classic buttered white rice and roasted green beans and yellow pepper. I had wanted to make gnocchi so it would be an Italian take on an American classic, but the store didn’t have gf gnocchi at the time. This was really wonderful, and I’m looking forward to eating leftovers tonight. I made extra meatloaf in the loaf pan to slice and freeze as well.

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We *finally* were able to rent and watch Avengers: Endgame! Truthfully, it was a bit disappointing to us both, though. It seemed to drag on and didn’t really have the same level of excitement and intrigue as the others. But we loved getting to watch it! I enjoyed apple slices and pretzels dipped in yogurt with vanilla and pb powder as my movie snack.

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Sunday

I ate a light snack-y breakfast before I got ready for brunch! My last cookie with pb and dark chocolate almond milk.

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I learned that this is called a “French tuck”, and I love wearing some shirts like this! Funny that it was hip to do so in middle school, but I didn’t really look chic. 😉 What is old is new again.

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First Watch brunch dates are the best!

Because we had about a thirty minute wait, Matt so sweetly aired up my tire. When we left the house, my light came on, so he took care of it right away. ❤

I went with their classic including two over easy eggs, crispy bacon, toast, and I swapped greens for the potatoes. Plus plenty of coffee!

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Matt chose their carnitas bowl but subbed potatoes for the cornbread that he can’t have. Plus they were out of the cornbread, so win-win all around! It came with pork carnitas, poached eggs, black beans, pico de gallo, Cotija cheese, avocado, lime crema, and cilantro. I got two bites, and it was so good! We’ll need to recreate it at home.

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After we stopped at the pet store to stock up on food for the babies, we headed to enjoy the afternoon at the lake house!

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Serenity.

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We wasted no time putting on our swimsuits to enjoy the amazing water! It was warm just like I like it.

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But first photos. I accidentally took the left one early, but it turned out cute. Love when that happens. 🙂

I also found an abandoned turtle shell. I hope the turtle lived a lovely life out there.

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We both floated for probably an hour, and I swear that water just washes away worry and negativity. It’s hard to ever be in a bad mood when you’re in the lake.

We took note from Kase and D, and we setup my phone on the deck railing to get our own photo together. Success!

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The only thing we failed to do was pack snacks, so we swung by Wal-Mart, and I bought this new KIND snack bar. We each tried a package and enjoyed them.

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Once home, I took a shower and cleaned up the kitchen. I made us each a hugh jass salad including spinach, local tomato and cucumber, marinated artichoke salad, sauteed cauliflower hash seasoned with chili powder and cumin, organic canned pinto beans, roasted red onion, avocado, and Italian dressing. The last of the bread warmed for me. Random but tasty!

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We talked with one of his best friends on the phone for a while then he showered. I noshed on banana with granola and milk then called it a night. We didn’t have time to watch the final episode of Elementary, so we will be tonight. I’m excited to see how the series ends!

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That’s finally a wrap! So far today has gone well, and I’m looking forward to getting my hair cut later this afternoon. Please share any fun you had and/or delicious food you ate over the weekend!

 

It Was a Triple Coffee Shop Visit Kind of Weekend

On Friday evening, I told Matt the week really zipped on by, and here we are again on a Monday morning. But I’m grateful for both the work week and weekend and all of the experiences I’m fortunate to have! I’ll just keep soaking them up as best I can.

Friday

I started the day with the last of our baked oatmeal toasted then enjoyed with yogurt, walnuts, and maple. So good!

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I couldn’t resist this filter. It seemed to go with my floral dress 90’s vibe perfectly. 😉

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I worked in Sweetwater at our Lead RD’s clinic, and I always love to explore new areas. I realized, however, that I had explored this exact place in April 2015 when I was covering a nursing home in my first job as a Long-term Care RD Consultant. So weird to reflect on alllll that has changed since then!

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Love small towns with quaint downtown shops. ❤

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Thanks to the clinic’s social worker for telling me about Cup Runneth Over Coffee, I decided to have lunch and coffee there.

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Such a cute space! Unfortunately, I had been so cold all morning that I needed to sit outside. But I wanted to enjoy their cafe. Oh well.

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Salad with chicken Marsala and a lovely cafe au lait. Such a wonderful meal!

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I made such good timing on my work and was able to stop by Barre3 on my way home to get one of their new tanks with my 10% discount. =D

Dinner was certainly one we’ll make again soon! We reheated our loaded kale tots in the oven with more cheese then enjoyed them over wilted spinach with avocado, lime, garlic oil hot sauce, and over easy egg. YUM. Love breakfast for dinner!

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Later snackage included Love Grown Chocolate Power O’s, blackberries, banana, roasted lightly salted almonds, and almond milk. I was still hungry while we were watching Elementary, so I enjoyed a few small spoonfuls of yogurt with pb and plain Cheerios. That did the trick!

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Saturday

I was really productive on Thursday and made these stellar Flourless Zucchini Muffins by Brittany that we are loving! I made them with sunflower seed butter, and they turned out beautifully.

Before baking them / baked to delicious perfection.

I enjoyed one warmed along with yogurt, chocolate sea salt granola, and blackberries. I added more granola and felt really satisfied.

Once I was finally ready, Kaci came and picked me up for a twin day! I sported my new Barre3 tank that has an 80’s Stranger Things era look to it, and I love it! “You are golden” by the brand Spiritual Gangster. 😉

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We went to Mahalo and had the best time!

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I thoroughly enjoyed their house-made chicken salad on wheat roll with black coffee.

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We twinned in our tanks and spectacles!

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❤ ❤

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We swung by Naturally a Deal Market, and they now have local produce. Such beautiful fruits and vegetables!

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I stocked up on awesome products for us.

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Then Kaci and I went on maybe an hour long walk. Neither of us took our phones or allowed ourselves to be distracted by them. I’m working on making a conscious effort to regulate my social media usage, and it felt so nice to be connected and truly engaged.

I went by Wal-Mart with her then she had to leave to get ready for her nephew’s birthday party. I drove to West Knox to pick up our sunflower field prints, and I’m so happy to have them! I finally am beginning to fill this pretty album that Matt surprised me with.

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For some reason, several of the prunes from this container accidentally still have a pit. Yikes! I saw this, thankfully, before biting into it, but sheesh. I tried the new sprouted sour cream and chive cashews I bought at the market.

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I roasted one of the eggplants and then simmered it with organic jarred vegetable pasta sauce I had also bought at the market during my last visit. We enjoyed it tossed with TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi and a salad on the side. We both loved this dish! I highly recommend gnocchi of any kind, but TJ’s frozen makes it even more convenient.

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We split one of the peaches I bought, and lawd, it was so good! Juicy, sweet, bright. Gosh, I finally chose great peaches. Ha! I had a slice of my strawberry swirl bread that I had frozen, so I warmed it and added pb. Perfection. We watched some of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee then crawled into bed.

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Sunday

I woke up craving overnight oats, but problem was I hadn’t prepped them. Lolz. So I added oats, cottage cheese, and milk to our Sunbutter jar and let it sit while I washed dishes and prepped our coffee. I added blackberries and some Power O’s, and by the time I sat down to eat, the oats had softened perfectly.

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This memory warmed my whole heart!!

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I was in the mood for Barre3, so I did a wonderful workout with my own personal meow-tivator.

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It wiped her out, though!

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It was nap:thirty.

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I got myself ready, ate a Garden Lite butternut squash muffin, and I headed to Remedy Coffee. They kindly sent me a free drink voucher, but I realized it was only for drip coffee. Oh well! I’m saving it for my next visit to Skyway since I’ll pass by, and I chose to get their “Peggy Hill” special: blueberry milk topped with matcha. So darn pretty! I should’ve mixed it, though, because the matcha needed some of the milk’s sweetness. But it was refreshing. I brought a Larabar and munched on it as well.

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I swung by Kaci and Drew’s and got to see them for a little bit before doing our basically weekly Kroger grocery shopping. I saved a great deal, though and stocked up on plenty of goods!

My late snack-y lunch included black bean hummus, Sriracha cheddar, cuke, carrots, Triscuit Thins, and an apple.

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I roasted the other two eggplant, local zucchini, and the whole bell pepper. I warmed the last of our quinoa, some of the roasted vegetables, and a big spoonful of our Asian peanut butter sauce that we enjoyed over a bed of greens. We cooked Aldi edamame from frozen and topped the pods with salt. Easy peas-y meal.

Final snack of the weekend included half a local peach with Multigrain Cheerios, pb, and milk. I had some herbal tea with local honey, watched Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, then we got a nice night’s sleep.

I wish you all the very best this week! We’ll be heading to OH on Friday for a race weekend, and we’re excited!

And Just Like That, June Gives Way to July

June was certainly one of the best months, but I’m sad that it’s already over! But I guess since I can’t change time, I’ll just make the absolute most of each day as best I can.

Friday

I rocked another awesome dress from Abigail of Gilda_Curated on Etsy! This 1990’s floral dress is exactly what I’ve been wanting.

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I completed my annual exam with a new PCP who I am so grateful to have met. He was incredibly patient, personable, and professional but still calming. I admittedly have developed a huge fear in going to the doctor after working in the clinical environment and seeing so much disease. But it was honestly such a wonderful experience! They even called a mere three hours after I left to personally tell me everything was normal and healthy. Such a relief!

I had made this frittata on Thursday so that I could have something delicious to eat after fasting. I enjoyed it with fresh mango. So good!

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After a good work day, I went to Target Optical to have my new glassess and sunglasses adjusted, and they always treat me so well there. I swung by Earth Fare because they had recently renovated, and I was curious what had changed. I picked up two pizzas for us to have for dinner. We’re loving our Friday pizza tradition! I tried a naan-based pizza with cilantro pesto.

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It was stellar! Paired with simple salad.

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Snackage while watching Lucifer included yogurt, banana, pb, cinnamon, and Grape Nuts. Yummm. We finished the third season, and it was filled with drama in my opinion! Still loving this show tons.

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Saturday

I didn’t sleep as well Friday night, but sometimes it’s nice to be up and just ease into the day. Leftover pizza with ranch and frittata made for an awesome meal!

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All ready for a lovely day!

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First up was a stop at Wild Love Bakehouse. I thoroughly enjoyed their summer squash and ricotta croissant. They had run out of their blueberry sage hand tarts, unfortunately, but I will be getting one soon!

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I then stopped at a fun vintage store, Retrospect to browse. I loved so many things but could not buy anything this time.

My heart is broken that The Hive, where we held our 30th birthday party last year is closing! A sale hosted by Pineapple Consignment was held, and lawd, all of Knoxville showed up! It was packed. I got an iced coffee from Highline Coffee, a cute local coffee bar cart. I quickly looked around and then left. The crowd was intense.

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After shopping at Kroger and taking home our goods, I went out in search of a trunk to organize Matt’s work clothes. I stopped at this cute new store, The Bird’s Nest, then went to their sister store, Once Again Treasures.

The sweet employee at Once Again Treasures told me about a place called Peddler’s that is in our old Kmart location. There were a lot of neat vintage booths! I loved this wedding dress with a jacket. So pretty!

After going to Nostalgia and Goodwill, I finally lucked out at Four Seasons Vintage! I wanted this table and chairs but could not purchase it at this time. Super cute, though!

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I carried it upstairs by myself and got all of his clothes organized. Felt pretty badass. 😉 I love our little setup!

For a late lunch/snack plate, I had cuke, ‘shrooms, and carrot hummus along with strawberries + pb.

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I hung up our amaranth blooms to hopefully dry nicely.

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Scored this lounge shorts from Kroger for $5, and checkout Jackson’s face! He was bathing, and I snapped the photo just in time.

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I vacuumed our place including each stair (that will work up a sweat in no time), and did the dishes and laundry. It felt great to get all of that completed.

Dinner was really enjoyable! I roasted eggplant and onion that I then added to cooked black soybean pasta, wilted spinach and greens combo, reheated mushroom Marsala sauce that we had leftover, extra virgin olive oil, and organic tomatoes on top.

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You know the drill: yogurt, mango, cardamom, ginger, walnuts, and Grape Nuts with a side of Lucifer.

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Sunday

I hadn’t made stovetop oatmeal in a long time it seemed, so I prepared it with cocoa powder, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and then topped my bowl with strawberries, manuka honey, and pb.

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Cuddly babies!

I got a jumpstart on this first week of Barre3anywhere and completed a killer 10-minute flow that was awesome. I noshed on veg and chips with the last of our plant-based queso dip. I then had a mug of cottage cheese with sunflower seeds and Garden Lites blueberry oat muffin.

I quickly got cleaned up to get to spend some time with Kaci who got back from their beach vacation! “I woke up like this” tee was very appropriate. 😉

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I first went to Aldi to get some things I wasn’t able to get at Kroger.

“He who is without oil shall throw the first rod. Compressions 8-5-1” HAHAHAHA. I love their signs!

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I met Kaci at Kroger while she shopped and still found a few more things to buy. Would you believe I just finished at self-checkout, walked outside, then realized I forgot the below Epic bar? So I circled back and grabbed it from my cart and went back through. Good grief! Face-palm. I ate it an a honeycrisp later in the afternoon when I was at Kaci and Drew’s. The flavor was lovely!

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Once I got home, I ate toast with carrot hummus then got started on dinner prep.

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Matt helped to hang our new canvas art from Amazon, and I love them! They add some more fun to our dining space.

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Dinner was simple greens with ranch, brown rice with Marsala chicken thighs, and roasted spiced red onion/Brussels/green beans. Hit the spot!

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I found this fabulous granola at Aldi and obviously had to try it. Topped a mug of yogurt with thawed cherry/berry/kale blend with it. It has a great crunch and sweetness without being overwhelming. We started on season four of Lucifer, and it’s definitely taking some plot twists.

Monday

I kept it simple with apple, cottage cheese, pb, Kashi Go cereal, and a Garden Lite butternut squash muffin.

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I found this fun jumpsuit on Amazon and paired it with my cardigan from Cupshe. I love how it came together!

Have an amazing week ahead!

 

Taking Things to New Heights

Good Monday afternoon! Today has started off on a nice and productive note. I will say it’s always odd to come to work following having a sweet intern because I’m back to myself. I have lucked out with some of the best of the best interns!

Friday

Let’s rewind to Friday, shall we? I started with a fabulous bowl of shredded wheat topped with pumpkin, cinnamon, chia, grapes, pb, blackberry jam, and milk.

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I bought this Ralph Lauren skirt for $7 from a wonderful seller on Insta! She has an Etsy shop too. Her handle is @gilda_curated. I paired it with a mustard top and a floral headband. I love combining patterns. Feels fun! Also, this skirt does have pockets. 😉

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After work I finally got my hair cut! My gosh it felt amazing. It was quite the mane. As always, Nancy did an amazing job. Just wish I could style it as well, but she does cut it such that it’s mostly effortless.

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I swung by Target and picked up some items including a pizza for each of us. I decided to try this one, and honestly, I didn’t even realize it was vegan until I got home.

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I had it with a bagged salad kit, and it was fabulous! I went back for another slice and then felt very satisfied. Yay for convenience foods that allow us to fill our bodies with tasty, nutritious foods! Don’t allow the words “convenience” or “processed” to scare you.

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I made the mistake of adding too much yogurt to my snack bowl that I topped with Comet Crispies, ground flax, and thawed wild blueberries. So when I only had yogurt left, I added a drizzle of Meyer lemon-infused honey.

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Saturday

After sleeping well, we slowly rolled out of bed. Matt can now tell about what time it is based on where the sun is shining on the wall, and he was accurate on both Saturday and Sunday!

For breakfast, I made a pumpkin spiced oat muffin topped with pb and maple. Highly recommend adding pumpkin! It made it extra soft and fluffy.

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Baby Girl was so comfortable snuggling with me as I drank my coffee!

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I could just eat her up she’s so cute.

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I finally got my butt moving and completed a wonderful Barre3 flow. It felt amazing!

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Then I got ready for a wonderful day. I also snagged this jumpsuit from the same seller. I’m living for all the jumpsuits!

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Our clinic’s best RN ever, Lindsey (cute top knot and blue scrubs on the right), has found a new job where she will absolutely thrive. We are so incredibly sad to see her go, but I certainly wish her the best! We had a party for her, and I felt honored to attend and to get to work with her for almost four years.

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After I left the clinic, I swung by K Brew for a decaf latte. Yes, it was about 90 degrees, but this luscious drink was incredible. I went by the pet store to get Rachel different food as she isn’t eating as well as we would like. Trying to make sure she’s well cared for! I then shopped at Aldi and made my way back home.

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For dinner, I made us each a big salad and topped Matt’s with garlic herb marinated shrimp from Aldi.

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I decided to have one of their soy-based veggie burgers. We enjoyed tortilla chips for a carb-y crunch.

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Note the gross residue on my spoon. We’re using up the dishwasher tablets I bought so as not to waste them, but they leave a film that is so annoying. *End rant* I enjoyed Bengal Spice herbal tea then munched on some cereal with mini chocolate chips, oat milk, and an apple. We watched the latest Nancy Drew movie for fun, but it was laaaaame. I am a HUGE Nancy Drew fan, and they royally messed it up by making it current with cell phones, Nancy was 16 and a skater, and the story was ridiculous. Any other fans out there??

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Sunday

We didn’t sleep as late, unfortunately, but I still felt great. I ate this Perfect Bar to tide me over until we had brunch at First Watch!

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We had to get our typical photo out front, but it was very bright!

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Insert cliche saying such as, “brunch is life”. But really, it’s such a fun meal! Matt ordered their Elevated Egg Sandwich on Udi’s gf. I’ve had this sandwich before, and it’s phenomenal.

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I went with their Market Vegetable Hash with over easy eggs, and I substituted dressed greens instead of potatoes. This so hit the spot!

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Afterward we grocery shopped at Kroger and found a ton of awesome foods! We both overestimated our spending, but thanks to digital coupons that I had loaded to my card, we saved almost $40 and now have $0.50 off / gallon of fuel. Woop woop!

We took it all home, put it away, cared for our sweeties, and then we headed downtown to finally go into the World’s Fair Park Sunsphere. The Observation Deck is located on the fourth floor, and holy moly it’s high up!! The murals were really pretty.

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I don’t think you can fully appreciate the height until you’re there. Also, the windows were grimy, but we have no idea how they clean the outside. You couldn’t pay me enough to be a window cleaner!

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We struggled to get a photo because of the lighting, but we did snap these gems.

Then a sweet older lady offered to take our photo!

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I LOVE this one! Matt had the idea, and it turned out so fun. Selfie with the Sunsphere!

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As we walked back to our car, we saw this little area, so naturally we had a photo shoot. Matt was actually the one who offered to take these for me. He’s my personal photog. :*

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❤ ❤ Building memories together!

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Anyone else love magnolia blooms? Their fragrance is so pleasant!

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While Matt took care of some tasks related to his race car, I did some serious meal prep for the week. First up, though, was lunch. I toasted my sprouted seeded bread and added roasted garlic hummus, cucumber, spinach, pickled jalapenos (they are so good!), and spicy brown mustard. Carrots for crunch and then a banana for a sweet finish.

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Sadly, as I went to roast our whole okra, I found that they had all molded. Bummer. But I did roast cauliflower we bought on clearance along with carrots and onion seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. I roasted whole beets, sauteed the beet greens, cooked a pot of quinoa, and I made quinoa power bowls as well as soup + salad for four of our lunches this week.

I had a simple mug of Cheerios with oat milk as I did my thang in the kitchen.

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I skinned and de-boned the organic rotisserie chicken we bought with a coupon and heated it and the roasted vegetables. I then served us some of the cooked beet greens, fresh sugar snap peas, and crackers. I had Triscuits, my fav!

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Matt was beat from actually going into his work for a bit to make this week easier (a coworker is leaving for vacation for three weeks), so I went on a quick solo walk. I just love how dainty my wedding band does look on its own. Yes, I still admire my set and feel very fortunate.

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I ironed for today, got cleaned up, and then we sipped our tea. One of my favorite times of the day. I had a simple plate of apple with almond butter, Greek yogurt, and two gf vanilla wafers. We watched three episodes of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, then I crawled up to bed.

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Monday

This morning I made a fluffy bowl of oatmeal topped with almond butter and lemon curd. Yummmm

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Kaci let me borrow her incredible handmade linen dress, and I adore it! One of our nephrologists told me she loved it too. I paired it with my fun floral Keds.

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Wishing you all a beautiful week ahead!

Friday Favorites Comin’ At Ya!

I love checking in with you all on a Friday to share fun new finds and foods that I’ve been enjoying recently! If this is too many things at once, and it would be better to divide meals and finds, then please let me know. Also, please share any of your own in the comments!

First up is this wonderfully baked salmon seasoned with Old Bay and baked with sliced onion. We enjoyed it over sauteed green beans and topped with spinach artichoke tzatziki. So fresh and flavorful!

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I put together this vegetable soup one evening with just pantry staples and fresh green beans, garlic, and an onion. I love to make a meal like this! Gets the creativity juices a flowin’. I started by sauteing an onion and green beans in olive oil then added minced garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, coriander, turmeric, Italian herbs, and cumin. Next up was a 28-oz. can of crushed tomatoes with basil, one can each organic chili beans and black beans, one can of carrots, and vegetable broth. I let it simmer until we were ready to eat. If you’re interested in the health benefits and versatility of canned tomatoes, check out one of my recent posts on Why I Love Canned Tomatoes!

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We enjoyed some of the leftovers with the last of our amazing chicken marsala over spinach for lunch one day during the week.

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For a quick vegetarian dinner, I baked eggplant with jarred marinara sauce, and we enjoyed it with sautéed Brussels sprouts and Bird’s Eye frozen lentil pasta with olive oil. I highly recommend this pasta! It works so well when you’re in a pinch, don’t want to boil water, but you’re craving pasta.

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We did finish off the aforementioned soup with this meal, but I figured I didn’t need to photograph it again. 😉 We tried Dr. Praeger’s new protein burgers, which are fabulous! This is their “All American Burger”, which we had over romaine with tzatziki. It had a texture and taste similar to falafel that we both loved!

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More salmon because it’s so good! This time we had it seasoned with salt, pepper, oil, garlic, and lime. We topped it with the last of the tzatziki and paired it with Zatarain’s Whole Grain Blends Mango and Habanero Rice and Quinoa and sautéed Brussels with salt, pepper, garlic, and coriander.

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Matt spoiled us huge one morning with this incredible omelet/scramble! I bought a Green Giant veggie bowl that included sweet potato, cauliflower, and kale with a flavorful sauce packet. Instead of microwaving as it instructed, he sautéed the vegetables, added the sauce, added scrambled eggs with milk, and then he flipped it just with a flick of his wrist. I have not mastered this move at all. Ha!

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We had it with freshly grated sharp cheddar, avocado, and the last of our spinach pancakes, which I drizzled with meyer lemon-infused honey. YUM.

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On Thursday after Kaci and I completed each a 10-minute Barre3 and Yoga with Adriene flow, I put together this quick meal. Panera Bread toasted sourdough with avocado, wilted spinach, and a Morningstar black bean burger. I had frozen steamed seasoned cauliflower and carrot on the side.

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On the same day that Julie posted these Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Muffins, I planned to make them that evening! I made a few substitutions, such as using Bob’s Red Mill GF all purpose flour, canned pumpkin, and I ran out of coconut oil, so we had equal parts with olive oil. It worked beautifully! I topped six each with chocolate chips and raisins.

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We each enjoyed one fresh from the oven with yogurt and almond butter. This is living the good life, my friends!

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I used Kath’s banana smash method when enjoying oatmeal this week, and this simple change from adding sliced banana on top is a game changer! It allows each bite to contain sweet, glorious banana. I made mine with Ancient Grains instant oats (the best!), milk, water, espresso sea salt, and homemade pumpkin pie spice. I then topped it with said smashed banana, canned pumpkin, and a puddle of pb.

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For Registered Dietitian Day, I made a wonderful waffle creation. Toasted Van’s Ancient Grains waffles with one topped with cottage cheese, lemon curd, walnuts, and sprinkles and the other topped with mashed avocado, thawed fruit, and drizzled tahini. These were so good!

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For the occasion, I wore my favorite vintage red dress. I’m proud to be an anti-diet RD!

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Grey leggings and fun floral socks to complete my look.

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I loved this exercise! Here are some tidbits about me.

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If you haven’t read Intuitive Eating, I highly recommend it!

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Also, anyone else fascinated by Enneagram results? I’m a seven apparently! Where my sevens at? 😉

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Crappy lighting, but I finally added a photo to our fun frame!

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I adored our anniversary photos. That’s the same red dress too. It’s a keeper!

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I never will get enough of their sweet posts!

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These daily messages certainly breathe happiness into me!

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Gimme this outfit!! Obsessed with all things mustard, a fun cardigan, and that comfy fashionable vibe.

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Some fashion/outfits from the week, complete with a walk in the sunshine!

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First day of spring attire!

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While on my walk, I finally photographed this random art sculpture at a nearby business. I don’t understand the significance, but I love the birds carved into it.

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One of my coworkers brought in clothes she was selling, and I bought six items from her for only $6! One item was this super fun hi-low top.

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I love this comic book filter!

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My pretty photo board in my office, which truly makes me happy.

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This adorable tumbler was on sale for $5.99 at Kroger, so I snagged it! I plan to keep it and two of my four metal straws in my car so I can prevent using plastic or paper at cafes. Trying to be environmentally conscious and respectful!

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We have a generous gift card from friends for several restaurants, which includes Panera Bread. So I ordered a cafe au lait one morning, so I used my mug. Welp, they had no idea what a cafe au lait was (coffee with steamed milk, which is delish and less expensive than a latte), but whadyaknow, they charged me for a latte. Then she gave me my steamed milk in a paper cup and lid. Fail and fail. Better luck next time!

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Kaci told me about this Burt’s Bees eye cream, so I invested in a bottle. Both of us have experienced really dry skin around our eyes this winter. We both are wanting to take as good of care of our skin as possible!

 

 

THIS! Poor carbs get such a bad rap, and I, too, have fallen victim to not trusting them always. But they are vital no matter what anyone tries to say. Allow this information to sink in fully.

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I don’t know why, but this cracked me up big!

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I bought these from Naturally More Discount Market because cookie dough and marshmallow together sounded like heaven in a pillowy bite!

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And that is finally it! Hopefully these meals and/or products sparked inspiration for you! As always, I wish everyone a truly wonderful day and weekend!

 

Why I Love Canned Tomatoes!

Ever since attending the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) in October 2015, I have been fortunate to receive newsletters from certain groups, such as Tomato Wellness. They are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the health benefits of tomatoes as well as many wonderful recipes! The Tomato Products Wellness Council is currently running a contest on the topic of canned tomatoes. I would like to write and submit this blog post, detailing why canned tomatoes are a wonderful part of a healthy diet as well as recipes we have made using canned tomatoes. I hope you find inspiration, and please feel free to share how you have incorporated canned tomatoes into your meals at home!

Let us begin by discussing the health benefits of tomatoes (Live Science). Whether you identify them as a fruit or a vegetable, one thing I know to be certain is that they are delicious! Tomatoes are an excellent source of fiber, lyocpene, and vitamins A, C, and B2. Additionally, they contain high levels of three beneficial minerals: folate, chromium, and potassium.  All of these nutrients as well as many more help the body in a variety of ways to maintain cardiac function, to help regulate blood pressure, to preserve vision, to potentially combat oxidative stress, and to possibly prevent cancer.

As a Registered Dietitian, I often am asked if canned and frozen foods are as healthy as fresh, and I am here to tell you that they absolutely are (Shape Magazine)! In fact, because these fruits and vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness and flash frozen, they can often be even more nutritious. Cooking certain foods concentrates their nutrients, making them even more beneficial (Knowridge Science Report). While all produce is seasonal, and as such, they taste best and are most nutritious when consumed in season, canned tomatoes can be enjoyed year round. We always keep several varieties – whole peeled, diced, crushed – in our pantry to create quick delicious sauces, soups, chilis, and many other dishes. While I love to make some meals from scratch, we also love to keep jarred pasta sauce on hand. You can jazz it up with additional herbs, spices, vegetables, and protein sources, providing a wonderful weeknight meal to you and your family in no time at all!

One of my favorite breakfast recipes is Alexis’ Shakshuka! It is so very flavorful, filling, and satisfying. It combines rich canned tomatoes, herbs and spices, and eggs. You can enjoy it with greens, hash browns, and/or toast. It comes together effortlessly but feels so fancy!

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Spaghetti is a dish I could never grow tired of! It’s so comforting and can bring back fun memories from my childhood. If you find yourself with a smaller amount leftover, you could layer it with spinach and bake it with melted mozzarella on top for a lovely brunch or dinner.

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If you have less time to make a pan of shakshuka, you can easily make a nest in the spaghetti over spinach and bake an egg until it sets.

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We love to play around with different pasta shapes and styles, jarred sauces, and either plant or animal-based protein. One evening, we made a pasta creation with sauteed onion, eggplant, and garlic with dried Italian herbs. We then added red lentil pasta and simmered puttanesca sauce and tossed to combine. We topped our bowls with marinated braided mozzarella and avocado. It was fabulous!

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For a fast weeknight dinner, I simmered jarred sauce and spooned it over top of freshly spiraled and sauteed butternut squash along with Italian chicken sausage. To round out the meal, we made a salad with organic mixed greens, carrots, mushrooms, avocado, and dressing.

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Another pasta creation included black edamame pasta, jarred sauce that was stocked with flavor, and roasted vegetables for a warm side.

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If you’ve never tried gnocchi, then you are in for a treat! They are like Italian potato dumplings, and they are so soft and like pillows. These pictured below were made with spinach, giving them a fun green hue. Again, I utilized jarred pasta sauce and lightly dressed a bed of spinach on the side.

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I made Erin’s chili last fall for a family autumn gathering. It was such a hit! This recipe included a can of each tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.

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For a warm winter dinner, we enjoyed Erin’s Roasted Carrot Soup that uses two large  cans of whole peeled tomatoes to create a luscious texture.

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While we’re on the topic of soups, this classic homemade tomato soup is a great go-to paired with grilled cheese for a nostalgic lunch!

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If you’re in the mood for a Mediterranean-inspired chicken dish, then look no further than Anne’s Saucy Tomato and Artichoke Chicken recipe! It could not be any simpler, yet it has tons of flavor thanks to the canned diced tomatoes with Italian herbs simmered with artichoke hearts.

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As you can see, there are no shortage of recipes or ways to use canned tomatoes. Here are some tips on ways to use leftover canned tomatoes.

  • Cook oatmeal using canned tomatoes with the juice to create a savory bowl.
  • Prepare rice, quinoa or other grains using canned tomatoes or canned tomato sauce.
  • Blend canned tomatoes with herbs, extra virgin olive oil, and splash of balsamic vinegar to create a salad dressing.
  • Combine canned tomatoes with canned black beans, cumin, and pepper flakes. Spoon into a baked acorn squash half, add shredded cheddar, and guacamole for a “loaded taco squash bowl”.

We will forever be canned tomato lovers in our household, and I certainly hope this post has sparked inspiration in you to put them to use in your dishes! Please share your favorite recipes or tips in the comments! Lastly, if you truly enjoyed this post, then please share on your social media platforms, tagging myself and Tomato Wellness.