Friday Finds + Favorites!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unconventional Easter 2020

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

Friday

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday

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

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

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

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

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A sight I will never grow tired of seeing.

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

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❀

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Nailed it on the first try!

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Matt setup and took this photo. I love it!

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

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

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

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

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

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I couldn’t resist some Easter filters.

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Hahaha

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

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

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Easter Sunday

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

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

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Avocado toast to complete our Easter breakfast.

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Our babies have been so snuggly!

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

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

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After completing a workout by Simi, I showered and donned my Easter best. πŸ˜‰

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

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

Our very own Easter basket!

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

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Just as Kaci arrived, my Dyson was delivered!

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

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

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

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

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

Friday Finds + Favorites!

Hello, and happy Friday! How are you holding up during this time? Have a found ways to connect with loved ones while keeping your distance? I sure hope you have been able to soak up some sunshine. The temperature dropped back into the 50’s here, and I have a friend who has experienced spring weather to a tornado warning, rain and hail, and then snow. O_O The sun has been my saving grace!

First up is this nice band that one of my managers made to make wearing a mask more comfortable. Wear a mask but make it fun.

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I ordered this jumpsuit from Not Perfect Linen, and it’s on its way. I can’t wait to receive and wear it a lot this spring and summer!

I decided to invest in some shaving cream because just using soap + body wash isn’t the best. I wanted to buy Cremo because Kaci recommended it, but I only could find this at Kroger. It is very silky and did give me a better shave.

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I ordered this Dyson model after receiving several recommendations to invest in their Cyclone V10 for the latest motor. I cannot wait to receive it! Yes, this is not something I expected to be excited about 10 years ago, but I embrace my adulting ways. My vacuuming game just got elevated.

Mahalo debuted their new to go cups, and is it not so pretty? If we have to only use the drive thru, might as well make it pretty to the eyes as well as the taste buds. They are my fav coffee shop!

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I found GF spaghetti pasta that I think for the first time cooked right! Most long pastas turn to mush. I made a turkey meat sauce using a jarred sauce that Matt doctored up some, and truth be told, it was so much better the next day for lunch. So good!

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After buying a great deal at Kroger on Wednesday, I had planned to get us our free Petro’s (from Matt wining one year’s worth), but I didn’t want to get back out again or spend money to pay the difference for medium orders. We made huge salads topped with Annie’s Lemon Chive dressing, Bird’s Eye broccoli-cauliflower tots that I dipped in yellow mustard (was craving it), and hard boiled egg with EBTB seasoning and dipped in sriracha. So good and better than take out! Plus much safer in these times.

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Some positive words from MHN, and this experience has truly made me more laid back about some things.

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Happy Life always comes through with the best messages as well.

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Despite it being a strange, distant Easter, if you celebrate, I wish you the best! May you all have a great weekend. ❀

 

**This post contains affiliate links for which I receive no compensation. All opinions are my own.**

Putting a Spring in My Step

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

Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday

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

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Snuggles with my girl while I drank my delicious coffee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday

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

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

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I love having all of this on hand now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday

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

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

Friday Finds + Favorites!

Hello, and happy Friday! I think it’s safe to say we all may feel that March was the longest year…err I mean month…ever. Never did I suspect that partly through the month we would be mandated to quarantine, work would be so different with more caution placed on patient interaction, local businesses would be forced to close, and that the entire world would be in the same boat, so to speak. Wow. As always, I want to extend love and support to everyone during this time.

First up is some meal inspiration! I made this salad one evening after seeing Simi share their quick dinner that featured romaine. I love its crunch and flavor, so I started with it and added cucumber, roasted asparagus, freshly roasted chickepeas seasoned with cajun seasoning blend, dressed my salad with fresh lemon and extra virgin olive oil, and we crunched on blue corn chips on the side. Everything except for the chips was purchased at Three Rivers Co-op as I wanted to try to support local.

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I enjoyed the last of my mac ‘n cheese one morning over wilted greens with a sunny side up farm fresh egg. Ohmyguh, so good. I cooked the egg in butter with Italian seasoning and EBTB seasoning. I also added smoked paprika to the mac ‘n cheese. This was simply made from a box of Annie’s reduced sodium that I added butter and freshly grated cheddar to. Nothing wrong with boxed mixes, y’all!

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Matt made us cooked cinnamon apples that are oh so tasty! These apples were not crisp as they were starting to go places, but rather than toss them, we cooked with them. Waste not, want not!

I had some that evening with cottage cheese, Multigrain Cheerios, and pb while Matt had a toasted waffle with the cooked apples, cottage cheese, pb, and maple. Mmm mmm.

I have loved added coffee creamer to cereal, oats, smoothies, and Haley reminded me of doing so in one of her Ig stories recently. I soaked a packet of Ancient Grains oatmeal with milk and Chobani hazelnut creamer. I enjoyed it with said cinnamon apples and pb the next morning.

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As Matt and I were eating a Dr. Praeger’s protein veggie burger, we both said how it reminded us almost of a salsibury steak. That got us thinking, and we decided to make a fusion meal of salisbury steak meats stroganoff. Sounds weird, but it was really good! We simply made edamame fettuccine since I couldn’t find GF egg noodles, cooked the burgers then broke them into bite-sized pieces, cooked a packet of brown gravy with rinsed and drained canned mushrooms, tossed it all together et voila! Dinner (and lunch the next day) was served. Romaine and ranch on the side.

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Kaci and Drew recently enjoyed a burrito from Dead End Barbeque that gave me inspiration. I cooked us plant-based protein GF corn tortillas that I topped with rotisserie chicken simmered with peach whiskey bbq sauce, pickled jalapenos, slaw, Bird’s Eye veggie tater tots, freshly shredded Tillamook cheddar, and a side of sauteed zucchini. They were so good!

Colleen Cruze started a series detailing her family’s love of and belief in the power of buttermilk. I grabbed this bottle at Three Rivers and have enjoyed some poured over my muesli that I soaked overnight. Their buttermilk is tangy but not overly so and is very smooth and rich. So good!

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Kodiak Cakes had recently sent me their Buttermilk and Maple Flapjack cups as part of their RD program. I really love this flavor! They cook up beautiful and fluffy.

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Kaci suggested I invest in these dryer wool balls (made in Weaverville, NC) because they soften clothes wonderfully. I also bought these from Three Rivers. They will come in especially handy with my Not Perfect Linen dresses and jumpsuit!

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Sarah of @trendsetchic shared this brand of food wrap that looked and sounded fantastic! I have wanted to move us away from plastic wrap but was unsure what to purchase. Bee’s Wrap can be washed and reused multiple times, smell amazing, and they come in these beautiful patterns!

Maranda of Vagabondary has these saved on her Instagram story highlights under “wallpapers”, and they are beautiful!! Her artwork is really stunning.

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I love the colors here.

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❀

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So delicate.

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Any chance I can get to go on a walk has really helped my mind and heart feel calm. On this particular day, the sky and temperature were near perfect.

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Wishing you all peace and happiness this weekend. ❀

Another Isolated Weekend

Hi all! I hope the sun is also shining where you are. It does so much for my mood. How are you? Truly. These are unchartered waters, so to speak, and we are allowed to feel so many emotions from grateful to frustrated, at ease and then tense. At any given time, we’ll waiver between a multitude of emotions. I know I have. I wanted to share some highlights from my weekend and would love to know of something you did and/or ate that brought you happiness!

Friday

I only took these photos of my breakfast on Friday, which was very tasty. Cranberry Apple oatmeal cup made with milk and topped with pb plus half a juicy grapefruit with cinnamon. I don’t have them enough!

Work went well overall, and I got really caught up on my lab review and work. Even though Dietetic Interns are not allowed in our facilities, UTK’s Dietetic Internship Director and I created a virtual experience so that they could still learn about renal disease and dialysis. Even though this is not ideal, it at least satisfies the requirements to complete this rotation in the internship. I completed said virtual rotation with the first intern, and she did a wonderful job. I hate that she’s been “robbed” of the on-site experiences, but she’s handling it well.

Once I got home, I put on my comfy pj’s and relaxed with our sweet babies. Dinner was leftover bean soup with cornbread then we got settled with our tea for the evening. Rachie was so snuggly on her fleece, and Jackson thought he was hidden, ha! I just love them to pieces.

Saturday

Matt was kind and got up to feed the babies, so we ended up sleeping until the eight o’clock hour, leaving me without about ten hours of sleep under my belt. It was almost too much because I felt foggy-headed later in the day. I think my sweet spot is seven to eight hours.

Breakfast was a warmed sprouted grain tortilla filled with pb, banana, and cinnamon sugar plus a mug of cottage cheese with jam. I sipped my coffee slowly as I enjoyed the morning with Matt, Rachel, and Jackson. Together we tackled the trash, recycle, dishes, and it felt really nice to do that before getting ready for the day! I shopped at Kroger and got a lot of great food for the week.

Kaci shared this with me, and it gave me such a good laugh! A conversation between the Golden Girls if they were around today.

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I then met with Kaci, Drew, and Axl at the lake house to take a few things out there and to enjoy the day. It was very windy and a tad chilly because of it, but it was *such* a pretty day!

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Friends of Drew’s parents are moving and kindly gave us these chairs! Their height fits perfectly at the bar.

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Dinner was so enjoyable. I’ve been craving crunchy romaine, so I started with it as a base and added cucumber, red bell pepper, Dr. Praeger’s chick’n nuggets, Annie’s Cowgirl Ranch, and hummus toast with EBTB seasoning.

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We watched some Netflix, sipped tea, each enjoyed a snack, then crawled into bed.

Sunday

I slept closer to seven or so hours and felt great! When I woke up, a pretty bad thunderstorm was still active. Apparently it did some damage in the area, but I didn’t even realize it was in the forecast.

I made quite an amazing breakfast that included bread toasted with freshly grated cheddar and greens before being topped with avocado and sunny side up farm fresh eggs cooked in butter seasoned with EBTB and Italian seasonings. A cutie on the side.

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After seasoning the eggs with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.

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I revisited a video from Simi’s Unmeasured website, and it felt to good in my body. I felt energized and didn’t need many breaks.

I brought out this stellar tee from the bottom of my drawer. πŸ˜‰

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I split a bagged salad kit between me and Matt, and this one was strawberry harvest with toasted quinoa and almonds.

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Late July buttery crackers with pb on the side. I then enjoyed the last Kodiak Cakes muffin with Fage True Blend vanilla yogurt.

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Thankfully, the weather took a turn for the much better, and Kaci and I went on a long walk that felt so amazing!

We hung out a bit longer before she met with Drew to hike at Sharp’s Ridge. I, too, was feeling energetic, so I completed Simi’s newest 20-25 minute video. I did have to take some breaks and modifications, but I felt no less than because of it. I showered then got to work on dinner. I cooked the last of our brown rice to go with a simple salad and chicken sheet pan meal that included green beans, onion, and mushrooms. I marinated the chicken thighs in Ken’s Steakhouse Italian vinaigrette then seasoned it all with salt, pepper, garlic, and smoked paprika. ‘Twas tasty.

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We wound down with tea and a snack then went to bed.

Now we’re caught up to the present, and I will end this by saying I truly hope you have a good week despite the circumstances. Remember to take a step back from the news and statistics and to make your well-being your top priority. That includes your mental health.

Friday Finds & Favorites!

Hello, and happy Friday! I hope that despite it still being *so* weird, you have found some joy in this past week. I know some bloggers have expressed mixed feelings about sharing their usual posts, but I want to continue to bring some light to an otherwise rather dark, uncertain time. I hope you enjoy this post!

First up is some fashion fun including this Not Perfect Linen MAMA dress that I bought from a sweet friend, Sarah! She sells on Poshmark, and you can follow her on Instagram with the handle @trendsetchic.

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She also creates beautiful sustainable accessories made with secondhand clothing. Follow her other account @sustainableaccessories! She gifted me this neck scarf but would like to begin making more to sell. She made it from Jamie and the Jones raw silk that is made right here in TN! I absolutely love it.

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It’s a gorgeous mustard color. I enhanced the photo because the lighting was not great, but it is the perfect color and scarf to wear year round.

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Now that only “essential” businesses are allowed to operate, my sweet hair dresser is needing to reschedule my appointment for another two weeks. I’m really grateful I chose to grow out my hair when I did because otherwise, it would just look like a floppy pixie. I’m really embracing these changes and enjoying pinning it back. πŸ™‚ I’m considering it my #quarantinehair or #covidhairstyle, ha!

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Sarah even put forth the extra effort to ship my dress and neck scarf in this beautiful packaging. It’s the little details that can make such a difference, and it didn’t go unnoticed!

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I bought this tee from a friend in support of the Hospice Promise Foundation. It is so soft, and I love the message!

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A talented friend made these masks complete with a slit in the back to add the correct filter. Even though I cannot wear any other mask except those provided by Fresenius, I got each Kaci and I one in case we want it for the public. While I don’t think wearing a mask is all that helpful, it would be nice to have. Plus it can be a souvenir of sorts to show our future children. What we’re going through is almost unbelievable! You can follow her on Instagram at @foryoubyq. Wear a mask, but make it fashion.

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Even though my farm fresh egg yolk broke, this savory oatmeal was oh so delicious.

One morning I had delicious sweet and savory toast: hummus toast with hard boiled egg and EBTB seasoning and pb toast with cinnamon sugar.

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Matt and I collaborated on this dinner, and I was so grateful for his help! He hard boiled eggs for us and created a ranch dressing of sorts from our Italian vinaigrette, Greek yogurt, herbs, and spices. It was fantastic, and he made enough that we could make tuna salad for our lunch the next day. We wilted spinach and reheated our roasted purple potatoes and chicken thighs. I steamed a bag of frozen Brussels sprouts, added our sliced hard boiled egg, and then topped it with his dressing. It was wonderful!

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While this dinner was mostly from frozen, it was still so good and nourishing! Not to mention colorful. Dr. Praeger’s protein burger with yellow mustard and horseradish, Green Giant frozen beet spirals, frozen steamed Brussels sprouts, and roasted purple potatoes with ketchup. Evidence that frozen is healthy. Don’t believe any messages that tell you otherwise!

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We’ve been trying to cook from our pantry and freezer, and this meal never ever disappoints! We rinsed, soaked, and then cooked a bag of mixed dried beans and lentils with our frozen and thawed ham bone from Christmas. I only used half the packet of cajun seasoning and reduce the water to 5 cups instead of 8 cups. I also made my grandmother’s cornbread topped with butter and a sprinkle of salt. If you don’t eat pork, this would still be a flavorful, filling, and oh so nice meal to have. You can freeze the leftovers in individual portions too.

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I stopped at Mahalo’s drive-thru and treated myself to an iced half caf coconut mocha latte. SO GOOD!

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I found this tote bin on Amazon to finally organize my tote bags in my trunk. I’ve been so tired of them just strewn all over, and now they are nicely contained.

That’s all I have for this week! Please take care of yourselves and also get out and enjoy the sunshine! There is truly nothing like that warm, bright glow to boost my mood. Love you all!

Quarantine Times

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

Friday

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

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Saturday

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

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

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

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

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So pretty!

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

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

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

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

She took this photo…

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and created this! I just love it!

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

I decided to try out a claw clip and liked it too. πŸ™‚

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

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

Sunday

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

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Sweet Rachel snuggles while I sipped my coffee!

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Snap Chat fun with my girl.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dinner was a simple salad…

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

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

Friday Favorites

It’s hard to believe it’s been one week since the reality of Covid-19 became so apparent. Working in the medical field has certainly made it that much more real. I hope that you are all well and trying to find the joy even in this time. I’d love to share some favorites with you to hopefully bring about some inspiration and fun.

Here are some of the meals we’ve enjoyed this week! I did go to Kroger for a typical trip for us (not stocking up), but I did try to make a few meals from what we had until I went on Wednesday. For breakfast one day, I had one of the berry muffins I made from Kodiak Cake buttermilk mix crumbled over yogurt in a seed butter jar. I got this idea years ago from Kath, and I love it. Give it a try!

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For an amazing savory oatmeal twist, I added smoked salmon to my usual spiced oatmeal, wilted greens, cheddar, and egg. So good!

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I thawed our taco filling we made using Ree Drummond’s recipe, and I stuffed it in a warmed sprouted grains tortilla with wilted spinach, shredded cheddar, mango habanero hot sauce, and avocado. I also had a cutie on the side. This really was a stellar combo. If you have leftover filling like this, definitely recommend it! Matt made an omelet with it, which was also a great idea.

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I finally cooked the edamame pasta I got Matt for Christmas and combined it with frozen cooked fiesta vegetable blend, Ken’s Steakhouse Italian dressing, and freshly shredded mozzarella. I loved how much protein the pasta had because that helped this to be a well-rounded meal.

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You can’t go wrong with pizza and a salad! This is variety is gf with a sweet potato crust and chicken sausage. One of our favorites, and it was on sale. Score!

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I treated myself to Mahalo’s honey lavender latte, and even though they’re only doing drive-thru and take-out to be cautious, they still made it look so pretty! That’s quality, and it required a mini photo shoot.

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It tasted like spring. ❀

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St. Patrick’s Day snuck up on us all, but I still made sure to wear some green. My mustard top represents the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I’m so clever it hurts. πŸ˜‰

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SnapChat’s filter that turns us all into a hot commodity. Hahaha

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I couldn’t resist. Owls on owls on owls.

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We’re now to wear a mask at all times except to eat plus a shield, gown, and gloves when in direct patient contact. I have to change my gloves and disinfect in between patients. I’m charting on the floor rather than bringing lab report cards back to my office. I’m washing my hands as much as I always have. I feel safe and sometimes don’t feel like I deserve the praise as other medical professionals who are initiating treatment. But I’m here and working in the thick of it. Such weird times! I can’t help but express that multiple times.

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I admit I was really immature about this when it first became an issue last Friday. I thought people were overreacting. They may be (I’m looking at those hoarding hand sanitizer and tp), but better to be safe than sorry. Please do your part to help us all get rid of this as soon as possible. I pray our economy and the local businesses can recover!

Thursday was the first day of spring, and nature really blessed us with the perfect day! I was grateful to be able to go on a walk and relax my mind. Perhaps this is nature or God’s way of saying we’ll be ok.

Take care, and thank you for making my blog a part of your day.