Earth Day / Rain, Rain, & More Rain / Rejuvenation

Before I get into our weekend recap, I wanted share a few of our wedding photos that my amazing and sweet step-mom re-edited for us. We do not like the coloring of our photos, so my step-mom has offered to fix our favorites over time.

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My dad was incredible and kept me laughing as we came down the aisle.

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Super cheesy laugh!

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I absolutely adored our photo booth set-up in our one-room A-frame! That couch ❤

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One of my all time favs.

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My heart fell in love with my dress as soon as I saw the back.

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Dancin’ fools. 😉

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Matt’s awesome best friends!

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Our videographer shared our wedding video trailer, and I can’t tell you how pleased I am. We’ll be receiving our video tomorrow, and I cannot wait!

Alrighty, on to the weekend. I snapped a photo of my Friday breakfast, but it came out unclear. I think my camera lens was dirty, whoops. I had an open-faced English muffin with cheese, chunky eggplant tomato sauce, and an egg over greens.

I just love my Lucy desk calendar! This is Kaci and me for sure.

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For dinner, I made lemon and ‘Everything but the Bagel’ seasoned chicken with Alexia seasoned sweet potato fries and steamed Brussels sprouts.

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Dessert included green tea with honey plus Fage topped with dried mulberries, cherries, and dates, drizzled pb, and a salty caramel pecan cookie.

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I found these sweet potato Kashi flakes and decided to try them with banana and pb for breakfast on Saturday.

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Cereal is never enough to keep me full, so I had an egg over spinach + three kitty photo bombs!

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I got myself all ready to attend Tandur Indian Kitchen‘s Earth Day event. It was really fun!

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Side note was that I found a bottle of Life Wtr at Big Lots that I had to buy. Their labels are made my artists and are so pretty!

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Tandur had samples of their samosas, chicken and vegetable, that were delicious.

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I also tried their mango lassi – so refreshing.

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I received this free henna tattoo that I really like!

It didn’t stop there. They gave out potted basil seeds and a free jar of a spice blend!

They are promoting better treatment of the environment and have a Seeds of Green Pledge challenge. Each challenge completed awards you points with the person earning the most winning a prize basket. You better believe I’m participating!

I met up with Kaci, and we carpooled over to our friend, Brooke’s adorable house. She hosted a DoTerra essential oils class. It had been far too long since we all saw each other and definitely plan to get together again soon! We’ve been friends for 21 years. Wow!

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Kaci and I each one a bottle of orange essential oil!

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I snacked on carrots with Caesar, curry roasted fava beans, and smoke gouda Triscuits.

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For dinner I made baked salmon seasoned with the Tandur spice blend along with wild rice, Brussels (they were the vegetable of the weekend, apparently), and pickled beets.

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I thawed blueberries, mixed them with Fage, and topped it with cranberry orange seed/granola clusters. Matt and I watched Passengers. It was an alright movie, but it honestly doesn’t matter the movie. I just love our movie nights.

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This is how Jax was sitting before we crawled into bed. Lol!

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Saturday night I made the last of our steel cut oats. On Sunday morning, I portioned it and heated our bowls with cinnamon, milk, vanilla and almond extracts, and dried fruit. We topped them with honey, pb, and sunflower seeds.

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Thanks to Kroger’s Free Friday program, I picked up this new Jell-O pudding. Nostalgic! I made it in the morning to chill. Clearly May wanted some too!

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I had bought this salad with shrimp from Tandur and split it between us. I added spinach, cuke, and carrots. It was fabulous!

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My MIL made this beanie, and with our drop in temperature plus tons of rain, I figured I might as well wear it to the store. I love it and already received a compliment!

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That no-shower no make-up look. 😉 Rocked my Vans that I’ve had 11 years now.

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My Mac charge cord refuses to work, so I had to tape it so that my laptop would continue to charge. When push comes to shove…

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I snacked on pudding with Hippie Foods granola. Delicious! Does the pudding have the best ingredients? No, but small treats like this will not harm your health, trust me.

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Matt is a genius and suggested I use the leftover liquid from our pickled beets when cooking a grain. I cooked plan quinoa in it and added marinated artichoke hearts – gorgeous! Served with some of the leftover chicken and Brussels.

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I hope everyone is off to a fabulous start! I’m really looking forward to this week and weekend because Saturday is Matt’s birthday! This weekend thankfully recharged me for the work week ahead.

Easter 2017

Even though it’s always harder to accept it’s Monday when the weekend was so amazing, I’m always thankful for weekends that recharge me! Friday started with Glutino corn English muffin with egg, cheddar, spinach, and pomegranate jam + fresh mango on the side.

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Fri-yay morning ‘do.

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I stopped by Kroger and grabbed a Clif bar for a snack. I thought the carrot cake was really appropriate to kick off Easter weekend. 🙂

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Dinner was really simple: tuna salad, crackers, pickles, and sauteed green beans. Matt got together with a friend who came into town, so I dined solo. For dessert, I made myself a smoothie, which hit the spot.

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I got up before Matt on Saturday and had Fage with thawed berries, Honeynut Cheerios, and peanut butter. I ended up laying back down with Matt for a while then made coffee with him while he made his breakfast.

I captured all three babies in this photo!

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Then I went to Bullman’s Kickboxing and Yoga studio for…KITTEN YOGA. It’s really a thing. Young Williams Animal Center joined with the studio to help these sweeties find their forever homes. Some of the class cost went to the shelter.

This was absolutely purrfect!

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I decided to treat myself to a late lunch at The Plaid Apron. They recently opened back up after renovating, and it’s gorgeous!

I chose their market salad with a biscuit. So many flavors, textures, and colors!

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I then spent the afternoon preparing our Easter dishes. Pickled Beet Deviled Eggs, which I found the recipe shared by TheFeedFeed on Instagram. The eggs had beet rings. So cool!

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Dinner was brown rice, seasoned simmered kidney beans, sauteed beet greens, asparagus, goat cheese, and some of the pickled beets.

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They turned out so well, and I was really proud! My hairdresser surprised us with this pretty tray from Asheville for our wedding. It made the perfect platter for our eggs!

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Easter Sunday couldn’t have been more perfect.

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Matt had a wonderful idea to use the pineapple juice, from making the carrot raisin salad, to make chia pudding. We enjoyed that as an appetizer while our baked carrot oatmeal did time in the oven.

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I used banana and pineapple, so it actually tasted a little like our wedding hummingbird cake. ❤ I combined Fage plain Greek yogurt with local honey for the frosting.

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It was delicious!

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After getting ready, Matt and I made a Mexi-Italian lunch of sorts. We used herbed mozzarella and sauteed beet greens warmed between corn tortillas and then topped with Fage and tomatillo salsa. It was so so good. Look at that bubbly cheese peaking out on the side. Mmm

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Jax is such a bully. 😉

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We had to take our shots out front. Love him!

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We got stuck in traffic, so SnapChat entertainment to the rescue!

When we got to his mom and step-dad’s, we ate some appetizers.

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Then the task of taking a photo. The wind had other ideas for my dress. Bahahah

Matt and his sweet momma!

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Matt’s carrot raisin salad was so good! Everyone loved it and went back for seconds, including myself.

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We went on a post-dinner walk, which I just love doing with him.

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My Almond Flour Cake with Lemon, thanks to Erin of Wellplated, was in-credible! I felt so legit when I used electric beaters for the first time in ages. Next up is a lemon meringue pie in my grandfather’s honor. Diane made a fruit salad that paired beautifully along with a dollop of Fage. It was in basically every dish. 😉 I forgot to add our chocolate covered almonds until after I snapped this photo. Whoops!

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The sunset was really pretty, but sadly, this photo doesn’t do it justice.

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I think we rather age like a really fine wine or sharp cheddar. 😉

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I was proud that we were able to prep our lunches right after we got home, and thanks to Diane, we had these containers.

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She gave us some yarn toys that she’d made, and we gently put one around Mason’s neck. Bahahaha! Doesn’t he look dapper?

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As always, I was so sad to see the weekend end! We do not get up to see his parents enough, but we always have the best time. I loved yesterday and believe it was our best Easter yet! I hope everyone had afabulous holiday as well!

 

Cakes Squared & Other Delicious Eats

Cakes being of the pancake and salmon cake variety. 😉

On Thursday evening, I made us a double-batch of Love Grown Super Oats Pancakes that turned out really well! We each had two and split one topped with Fage, blueberries, and maple syrup.

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I received a voucher from one of our local Chick-fil-a locations for a free item for each month of April, May, and June. This month was good for their original chicken sandwich. Typically, I would order the grilled, but it wasn’t an option. So I got this to have with the salad I’d made for lunch, and you know what? It was really tasty and nostalgic!

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I did some grocery shopping at Kroger (and saved ~$30, woot!), and I finally got to try this Cinnamon Roll Larabar. It’s awesome!

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I don’t know how I ever forgot about my BUBumper sticker, but I found it in my glovebox. I put it on my driver’s side back passenger window, and she’s so cute!

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I made Kylie’s crispy salmon cakes for dinner. They were amazing! But I did a bad job of cutting up the asparagus, so the pieces were too big and prevented many of the cakes from staying together. Oh well. Matt was still really appreciative. 🙂

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Dessert included a banana with drippy peanut butter and some of our chocolate coconut Qi’a cereal.

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On Saturday, we each made banana, peanut butter, and Fage stacks with the remainder of our Love grown pancakes plus maple syrup drizzled over top. Matt included ham in his and gave me a bite. Love sweet-salty combos!

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Rachel was being so goofy and adorable as I got cleaned up for the day! She loves our tub and gets more use out of it than we do.

 

I took a Barre3 class on late Saturday morning, and it was incredible! I love being challenged. I popped over to First Watch and got an English muffin with smoked salmon along with their Morning Meditation juice. Fueled me as I ran some errands out west.

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Finally took my car through the car wash, and she looks so much better!

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I made Brittany’s apple cider vinegar chicken, which we both loved.

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I ate on a snack plate of carrots, radishes, edam cheese, avocado, and new-to-me chips.

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I cooked down the marinade and spooned it over the chicken served on a bed of greens. We enjoyed wild rice with an eggplant spread and sugar snap peas sautéed in peanut oil.

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I had Fage, frozen berries, nuts, and orange almond dark chocolate for dessert. We watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I loved it!

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We woke up with all three babies with us. Never. Gets. Old.

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I got up and did some cleaning and had a small mug of Love Grown Super Oats oatmeal.

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Once Matt was up, I made us fluffy scrambled eggs with asparagus and goat cheese over wilted greens with an orange on the side. Matt had a hash brown patty with ketchup as well. So filling and delicious! We love eggs, that’s for sure.

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I got ready and came down to K brew to enjoy their newest craft drink: The Dogwood. It includes house-made strawberry-lemon syrup, K Brew espresso, fresh basil, and candied lemon peel, mixed on ice and chilled tonic water. Holy moly. So different and so amazing!

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Happy National Siblings Day to my sweet, wonderful twinklet!

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I love this photo of us (!), but I’m not a fan of the edit or sun streak. So just ignore those, but I wouldn’t have chosen anyone else to be by my side as my Maid of Honor on the best day of my life.

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Have a great day!

My Food Alphabet

Stephanie from Avolicious nominated me to create my own food alphabet. It was a fun exercise that got me thinking of some fun foods that I really enjoy. I hope that if there’s something on my list that you haven’t tried, then you’ll do so soon. Never know if you’ll like a food unless you try it!

A avocado [Sliced, mashed, guacamole – it’s heavenly any which way you serve it.]

B beet [Can’t beet it! ;)]

C carrot [Matt and I love our carrots!]

dates

E eggplant

fish [All the seafood.]

G garlic [Minced, roasted, dried – I’ve never found a version I didn’t love!]

honey

iced coffee [Mmmm coffee.]

J jicama [Sliced and enjoyed with citrus  fruits is amazing!]

K kiwi

L lemon [I get my love of lemon from my mother’s dad. She always baked him a lemon

meringue pie for his birthday. <3]

M mango

N nuts [I have never tried a nut I didn’t like. haha]

O orange

P peanut butter [I eat it practically every day!]

Q quiche [I have been eating so many more eggs, and they really are perfect in so many

dishes!]

R radish [Sliced, layered on quality bread spread with real butter + a sprinkle of sea salt

is the best.]

S spinach [Raw or cooked!]

T tomatoes [Especially those from my grandfather’s garden during my childhood!]

venison

W white cheddar [Pretty much all cheese.]

X

yogurt [Fage is my favorite for sure!]

Z zucchini [Roasted is my favorite.]

Matt helped me to complete a few last night, and it was really fun to brainstorm together. We could not think of anything for “U” or “X”, though! Any suggestions?

A Spring Cold, Kitty Cuddles, & a Visit to Ijam’s

Good rainy Monday morning from Tennessee! We went from gorgeous weather yesterday to a downpour. April showers bring May flowers, after all.

Backing up to Wednesday night, I could feel my throat was slightly swollen/closed up some, but I tried to ignore it. By Thursday morning, it hadn’t improved. Still, I went to work, went on two walks, and overall, I felt alright. Friday was a different story. I woke up heavily congested with a cold having moved in overnight. I still had breakfast and coffee with Matt, saw him out the door, then I crawled back into bed.

Glutino GF corn English muffin with cheddar, egg, spinach, roasted pepper spread, and avocado plus grapes on the side.

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The boys know how to take care of me and gave me their sweet love. ❤

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After getting myself up, showered, and dishes + laundry tended to, I put together this smoothie. Frozen tropical fruit, beet lemon juice from Aldi, Fage plain Greek yogurt, and spinach. I topped it with shredded wheat crumbles and peanut butter.

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Lunch was a tasting plate of sorts with smoked Gouda Triscuits, ham, chicken strips, carrots, Sabra hummus, warmed pecans, and cinnamon-spiced banana.

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I did get myself out on a walk, and it felt wonderful. I tried to stay as active and productive as I could, but I was pretty puny.

I was in the mood for warm soup, so I sauteed cabbage and onion with spices, fresh roasted garlic, a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, chicken broth, and red lentil pasta. I topped ours with tomatoes and freshly grated parmesan. Mason was giving his daddy a belly massage. 😉

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Sweet Rachel curled up in my lap while we watched our show, Lie to Me.

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Matt was a sweetie and made me a mug of Earl Grey tea sweetened with local honey. Jaxxy was stretching in the background.

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This is what I woke up to. I mean, I don’t think they could be any cuter. Jackson is so snuggly with Matt now! I’m chopped liver. Haha

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I hadn’t made Kath’s banana-whipped stovetop oatmeal in forever, so I made them with cinnamon, espresso brava sea salt, and milk. Topped with the remainder of the banana sliced and peanut butter. I tried a bit of Matt’s savory oatmeal, and of course it tasted better to me than this sweet version. Lol.

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This face!

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After showering and applying some make-up, I already felt quite a bit better. I went down to The Bread Shed and had a fabulous lunch while writing this post about my story on nutrition and disordered eating.

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Target Optical let me know my new prescription glasses and sunglasses were ready. As much as I loved my teal pair, they were not correct for my face. They left a pressure mark on the bridge of my nose, so I got yet another pair. This time they, along with my Rx sunglasses, will last me many years to come. I love them! Rose pink with multicolored sides, complete with purple and turquoise. I love Target’s selection and awesome customer service!

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I did some grocery shopping at Kroger (saved almost $11 in coupons, thankyouverymuch), and I got this free LaraBar thanks to Kroger’s free Friday coupon program.

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We had the remainder of our homemade sloppy joe meat with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner. I added a slice of a delicious sharp cheddar that Matt picked up the other day.

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Dessert included Fage, apple, ground flax, pecans, and a sea salt caramel pecan cookie. After eating one, I decided that’s all I wanted, so I put the other one back. Intuitive eating ftw.

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Another morning, another cuddle sesh with these two. I couldn’t use flash because it causes Jackson to crane his neck. 😉

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I got up before Matt and made our pancakes and bacon plus ground a whole bag of organic coffee from Aldi before I woke him up for brunch. I had accidentally kept him up sniffling, so I tried to let him sleep longer. I made these pancakes a few weeks ago, but unfortunately, I should’ve saved a little of the mix. Our first batch was super fluffy, but these came out really thin. Like with most foods, there are “about” x servings. So when I used 7.5 oz of the 15-oz box, I realized yesterday that it wasn’t a full 15 oz. I just pretended these were fancy crepes. No mistakes in the kitchen, just happy accidents. =D

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One last cuddle photo because I can’t resist. That sleepy eye. ❤

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We finally got over to Ijam’s Nature Center for a walk, and it was incredible! The perfect temperature with bright blue skies. Love my man! {I was wearing my new Rx sunglasses, which are a dark green/purple torty design.}

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We saw this neat teepee of sorts, so of course I had to get a picture.

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Spring blooms.

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As we were leaving, we saw one of the employees talking to a small group of people about this adorable owl. I politely tried to get a photo. It’s blurry, but I was so excited to see an owl. I told Matt it was a sign that I should’ve been there and that we were leaving just as we were supposed to. It made sense to me.

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I treated us to a late lunch at Tandur, which I’ve wanted to try for a while now. I had to get a photo of Matt walking towards it. I told him I need to start a series of just these photos of him. Ha!

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I loved the bright, cheerful interior.

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I ordered their Tika Masala with lamb meatballs, brown rice, and okra fries.

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Matt chose their Vindaloo with lamb meatballs as well, basmati rice (they accidentally gave him double portions, which he happily polished off), and mango slaw. Everything was really tasty!

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Dinner was a really simple salad with hummus and plantain chips.

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I couldn’t miss out on National Pb and J Day, so I had the two over Fage + vanilla extract and a sprinkle of Bakery on Main GF granola.

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I’m happy to report that I’m nearly 100% over my cold and feel much better, especially now that I have well-fitting eyeglasses. Glasses > contacts for me. I hope everyone has a fabulous day and week ahead!

Sharing My Little Story

Good Saturday afternoon! I have been battling an early spring cold that knocked me down, but not out, yesterday. I have been productive at the house but still rather pathetic. I finally got ready, put on some make-up, and I’m down at one of Knoxville’s sweet local cafes. Smoked salmon panini with turkey stew and hibiscus tea. {I must share that as soon as I stepped inside, a gentleman joked with the owner that it was a bad time to have started his diet. I cringed and wished I could’ve told him to live life and not live with so much guilt and restriction.}

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I have shared about my journey in nutrition and eating on my blog, but I thought it was worth revisiting once more. As I’ve continued to read some amazing blogs by RD’s who have ditched the diet mentality and have embraced intuitive eating, I wanted to contribute to the conversation and movement as well. Admittedly, I have always pulled back from sharing so much because I worry how others will view me. But if what I share can help someone else, then it’s all worth it.

In 2007, what began as an innocent and positive choice ultimately fueled my desire for control. My sister and I joined a gym and each hired a personal trainer. They told me how many calories I needed (which was incredibly wrong), and there began my obsession with calorie counting and weight loss. I bought a food scale and began meticulously measuring and calculating my daily intake, down to the 0.5 tsp of cinnamon I used in my oatmeal…it was very extreme. Dining out became a chore and unenjoyable because I couldn’t control the food. I would review the menu online and make my choice before ever even getting to the restaurant. It was no longer about what I wanted and all about what I thought was the “right” choice. One example was from December 2008 when we went to TX for my older half sister’s college graduation. That morning I walked from the hotel over to the gas station in search of skim milk. My education had taught me this was the safe, healthy choice. They didn’t have any, so I asked my dad to go by some fast food place. They also didn’t carry any, and this caused me a lot of anxiety. I had to get x number of dairy servings a day, and it had to be fat free. By the time we all met at a barbecue restaurant, things had escalated to the point of my sister becoming really upset and a whole ordeal unfolding for all to witness. There weren’t any “healthy” options, and I was at a loss. No control. Instead of it being a fun, light-hearted day, it ended with tears and anger.

The more people commented on my appearance and my “discipline”, the further I became trapped in this behavior. By the time I entered UT fall 2008 and declared nutrition as my major, I barely weighed over a 100 pounds and was a very confused version of myself. Sometime that year I had also lost my period. How I couldn’t see this as a sign that things needed to change I don’t know. My sister told my parents, which did upset me. Later I realized it was the right action for her to take.

There were many days I would get up, and while Matt slept in a little more that morning, I would quietly go into my bathroom and weigh myself. I would weigh myself multiple times daily and would allow my self-worth to be dictated by the number I saw. It wasn’t until one day Matt just sat back and said matter-of-factly that I was no longer the girl he met, I knew I needed help. This was still many years until I finally ditched the food scale and the restrictive behaviors. I’ve been a work in progress for a long time, and I continue to be. I listen to my cravings, but there are days I still question if I should honor them or make a safer choice. If I’m having a particularly bad day thanks to IBS, I can tend to want to restrict. But I stop myself short, remembering all the pain that comes from it.

Looking back, I can see I’ve craved control for a long time. My mother was incredibly loving, sweet, and amazing, but she suffered severely from alcoholism. I couldn’t control her or our home life, but when I found nutrition, calories, and so forth, I saw I could control this. It was a false sense of security because I realize there is a lot in life that cannot be controlled. I am still coming to terms with this, but it’s a far better place to be than the former.

Lastly, when Kylie of Immaeatthat divulged that she was seeking therapy, I decided it was time I did once more. I started seeing a therapist in 2012, almost 6 years after my mom had passed. It wasn’t until then that I realized I had needed therapy for a long time. Last year, the combination of my anxiety and wedding planning hit an all-time high. Even after our ah-mazing on-cloud-nine wedding and honeymoon, I had another breakdown after we had been back home for a few weeks. Since then, I have been seeing my second therapist. I firmly believe that for me to be an effective and empathetic RD, I too need help. I’m only human and fall prey to fear and stress. I must say that I believe many things happen for one reason or another and in their own time. I am beyond thankful that my sweet man did not ask for my hand in marriage until December 25, 2015. Had it been a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy our honeymoon like I did. Eating out all that we did, indulging and experiencing, would’ve caused unhappiness. Instead, this past October I just lived in the moment, and you know what? It was healthier – physically, mentally, emotionally – than following some ambiguous diet.

So, all this is to say: please follow your own intuition. Don’t follow some ridiculous diet (because diets don’t work!), don’t base yourself on a supposedly “perfect” girl on Instagram, and don’t even base your eating on a food blogger or RD. What works for me may not for someone else and the reverse is true. If you’ve been on the fence about seeking therapy, I recommend it. All you can do is try and see if it’s right for you. I love my life more than I can say, but sometimes being an adult can be very difficult. There’s no shame in admitting we need help. I hope this is inspiring and not depressing. I don’t want attention or anything of that sort! I set out to create a positive blog with light-hearted content, but sometimes I want to get a little more serious. Everyone has their own story and struggles. Be careful with your choice of words and praise. You don’t know what someone is dealing with in private. Above all, be kind. ❤

Upin’ the Status Dough

Knoxville is quickly becoming the donut capital of the south! One of my best friends told me about the shop her brother-in-law would co-own, Status Dough. Their grand opening was last weekend, so you know I had to partake! I made sure to eat a good, protein-filled breakfast then got myself ready quickly. Wilted spinach with an over easy egg (that I made, which I was proud of), hash brown patty with ketchup, goat cheese, and a banana.

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The first 200 customers on each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday received a free donut. I made it in time, woohoo!

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It’s super cute!

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I chose their raspberry filled, which was perfectly tart and balanced the sweet dough. I ordered their special donut and a coffee, and the coffee was smooth and delicious. I ate half and felt satisfied.

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Lunch was a bean-based pasta salad I had made for the week along with melted mozzarella + parmesan and an apple on the side.

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That eye ❤

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I had made a Target run on Thursday and picked up two Kevita drinks for Matt and I to split. The first one we tried was the lemon cayenne, which we loved! On Friday, we split the mango coconut. Equally delicious. Funny side note was that Matt failed to read where it said to, “swirl gently.” He shook it, and it spewed a bit. Men, haha.

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Dinner was seasoned baked salmon with kalamata olives, beet and cucumber side, wild rice, and cauliflower rice.

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I had the second half of my donut with Fage and peanut butter. Genius combination! 😉

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Saturday morning we enjoyed Kylie’s latest recipe for overnight oat bars. Ohmygosh so good! I topped mine with thawed berries and an apple while Matt made gouda scrambled eggs for more filling protein.

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I got ready and met Kaci at the vets for Rachel’s check-up regarding her glucose management. So happy to report that she is doing incredibly well on her special diet with no medications needed! We don’t have to go back until June. We went back to Kaci’s place and hung out with Rachel before heading out for lunch. I had orginially planned for us to try A Dopo, but I failed to check their hours. Doh! So we went with plan b and dined at Central Flats and Taps. It was a delicious plan b. It was breezy, but we sat out on the patio, and it was perfect.

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We each had a salad to start, and we chose their aphrodite salad dressing that is made from balsamic vinegar, tahini, sesame oil, and fresh herbs. It was awesome!

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I ordered the Varsity: fired roasted marinara base, Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, red onions, sauerkraut, and herb cheese blend. Loved the addition of the sauerkraut!

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Kaci got the Formaggio and Herb: herb infused olive oil, fresh herbs, and a mix of gouda, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, and feta cheeses. We traded one slice each. This lunch definitely hit the spot.

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We had planned to go see the new Power Rangers movie, but the weather was too beautiful to spend it inside a theater. We went back to her place and had a girls’ day with Rachel! She was so full of sass and love. Even when Matt didn’t feed her breakfast on account of needing to fast, she still snuggled with us and never was angry. I think she knows were trying to protect and care for her as best we can!

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We walked around her townhome complex, and then I had a little mug of two types of cereal, dark chocolate covered espresso beans, and Cruze Farm milk.

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When I got home, I saw that my Pixi Beauty order had arrived. I love this brand! I got some more tinted moisturizer, violet eye liner, sunscreen, and a free ‘sweet peach’ tinted lip balm.

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I wore the eye liner today and am already obsessed. I love having fun with the color of my eye liner.

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For dinner, I made us each a salad that I topped with the remainder of our bbq chicken salad and a side of sweet potato chips. They are so good!

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Dessert include Fage, spices, a banana, and a Back to Nature Salted Caramel Pecan cookie.

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This is how we woke up on Sunday. Mason had nestled himself between us like a human. He kills me with his cuteness!

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All three of my boys. ❤ And yes, I somehow fit. We’ll need a queen bed one day.

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I wonder where Rachel could’ve been? 😉 This reminds me of the Wizard of Oz, ha!

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I came up with our breakfast and was rather proud of my savory brunch creation. Two Van’s GF Ancient Grains waffles topped with melted gouda, roasted pepper spread, mashed avocado, spinach, and a fried egg; grapes on the side.

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My sweet manager surprised me with these roses on Friday! Our clinic scored number one for quality in 2016!

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We had planned to complete a hot vinyasa class, but we decided a chill day at the park sounded like what we needed. I brought my leftover pizza plus spinach tossed with Caesar dressing. Pizza picnic in the park with my peeps – aliteration at its finest. Lolz

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It was windy and overcast and started to sprinkle, but the dogwoods were still very pretty.

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We went to Kaci’s future in-laws home to hang out with her MIL-to be. We browsed mother-of-the-groom dresses, then Kaci and I took Axl on a walk. When we got back, I enjoyed the last of the mixed nut butter with Fage and a banana. Then I let Axl lick out of it, and he was one happy pup!

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I went by our Aldi in Bearden, and they’ve already been renovated. All Aldi locations are set to get a face-lift of sorts, and it was so nice! I found these organic whole bean coffees for less than $5 each – score! I tried the Peru roast this morning, and it’s delicious!

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Jax looked like he was levitating. Such a cute loaf!

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I roasted a pan of seasoned green beans, onion, mushrooms plus two bulbs of garlic for some meals this week. I layered this on top of organic mixed greens, cauliflower rice and wild rice, cannelini beans, tomatoes, and sweet potato chips. I grated some parmesan and drizzled Casear over Matt’s bowl.

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I made a smoothie with our beet lemon juice from Aldi and an apple. We called it a night at a good time, but man it was hard to get up this morning! We toasted our leftover oat bars, and we loved them both chilled and heated. I can’t wait to make more!

Have a great day and week ahead!

So Long Winter, Hello Spring!

Although it was still really cold this morning, today marks the first official day of spring. Finally! I’m not one to rush time as I appreciate each day I’m given, but I’m thankful we’re moving into warmer weather. So, this past weekend was crazy awesome. Let’s get to the recap!

Friday began with a Modern Oats oatmeal cup. I chose the apple because it was in a green cup, and it was St. Patrick’s Day after all. Um, yea, I didn’t do so well planning for the theme this year. Lol

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But you know I wore my green. No getting pinched for me! Also, Rachel wanted to be included in my {poorly lit} selfie. 😉

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Friday marked the last day with my second of four dietetic interns this spring. It’s always sad when  it comes to a close. I really enjoy chatting with and getting to know them a little as well as sharing some fun stories and laughs. I feel fortunate I get to help them in a small way as they prepare to enter the dietetics field.

I met up with Kaci at Barre Belle for a Barre class after work. Grabbed a photo together with the front-facing camera. Not always that flattering, haha. But love my girl!

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I have now been using the five pound weights for many of the exercises, which focus on static holds and small pulses to fatigue the muscles, so five pounds is a lot in terms of the type of exercises. Feeling pretty darn strong and proud of my progress!

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I put together nachos using fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, spices, freshly shredded aged sharp white cheddar, scallions, and then topped with Fage. Side salad to complete the meal. We had run out of salsa, so I used the canned tomatoes. Overall, we enjoyed it, but the juices caused a few chips to become soggy. Whoops.

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Kaci surprised me with Maker’s Donuts’ Irish Car Bomb donut! They describe it as, “a savory Guinness reduction with a Bailey’s Irish Crème glaze on top of our chocolate cake donut dusted with chocolate cookie crumbles.” Holy deliciousness. I enjoyed it with a mug of milk, snuggles with the babies and Matt, all curled up on the couch watching one of our shows.

On Saturday, I made a larger batch of steel cut oatmeal and then topped ours with blueberries, spices, sunflower seeds, mixed nut butter, and maple.

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This kid knows how to relax!

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I actually got myself ready on time and met up with Kaci, Sara, Susan, and Cindy at White Lace and Promises to choose our bridesmaid dress!

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Sara found the absolute perfect dress, which we all immediately fell in love with. It came in the unique color we were wanting, AND it was at least $100 less from the one we initially were eye-balling. Such a score! As always, I loved spending time with them. WLP is so cute, and I love their décor!

I ran a few errands out west then treated myself to a late lunch at Tomato Head. I chose their special “Rain” pizza by the slice that included a garlic oil base, cheese, prosciutto, fresh pineapple, fresh arugula, and a lemon sorghum vinaigrette. I added a side salad with chipotle ranch. It hit the spot!

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I stopped by Matt’s dad’s to see his progress on his car. He decided to go ahead and switch out the motors. Yes, he’s crazy talented and is anxious to see how it will perform. Unfortunately, it’s proven to be a quite headache, but as always, he’ll get it all taken care of! Old motor removed / new motor put into place. I love the color he chose! The lighting makes it all look blue to me, but the motor is a unique blue-green.

I went by the store (we’re always in need of food it seems), and then I went home to begin prepping dinner. I baked a whole chicken sans the skin and seasoned with spices and barbeque sauce.

While it baked, I enjoyed this beet carrot juice from Aldi along with a wedge of gouda to tide me over until dinner. It was the perfect size appetizer.

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The babies started in on the left side of our loveseat, and once fabric was broken, it’s like they were compelled to create more damage. Enter the classy owl duct tape, which lasted all of one night. Fur-kids 😉

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We each enjoyed a thigh with roasted vegetables and Uncle Ben’s 90-second garlic brown rice and quinoa.

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For dessert, I polished off a pb jar with Fage, fruit, and mint dark chocolate. Mmm

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It may or may not get old, but I cannot get over how cute our babies are and cannot resist sharing! I did y’all the favor of blurring out my just woken up self, but Jackson was so super cuddly! Matt captured this, and his position cracked us up! So proud of his body. Lol

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I was rather proud of the brunch I thought up and executed. Fresh fruit salad with corn English muffin topped with organic pomegranate jelly.

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Asparagus, arugula, goat cheese, and smoked salmon individual frittatas. Perfect brunch, in my opinion, to welcome spring!

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My absolute favorite thing to do now is meet up with these beauties for a killer Sunday workout. This class was so tough, but I felt like I really gave it my all and was thankful for it! Post 60-minute sweaty hot sculpt yoga class ❤

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Once home, I threw together Fage, cinnamon, shredded wheat, ground golden flax, roasted salty pumpkin seeds, maple, and bacon flavored coconut.

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Kaci came over and hung out for the afternoon, which is always such a treat. The babies and I loved seeing her! After a much-needed shower, I did some cleaning and Monday meal prep. I made a big batch of rice that I then incorporated with spinach, black beans, scallions, peppers and onion, heated then topped with salsa, Fage, and chips for dinner.

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We had our dessert while watching a show on Netflix called Lie to Me. We’ve become hooked.

My Sunday workouts always help me to clear my head, boost my mood, and set the tone for the week. I hope you all make it a great one!

 

March into Spring at VIR

Matt and I had our first successful race weekend of 2017! Although despite it being called ‘March into Spring’, someone forgot to remind Mother nature that we should no longer be dealing with winter. Sheesh.

I prepped our dinner for both nights along with our dessert for the weekend. I made these epic chickpea, peanut butter, and chocolate bars by Julia of The Roasted Root.

Friday morning began with a Modern Oats oatmeal cup for us each plus TJ’s mixed nut butter and plenty of cat photo bombs!

We loaded up the truck and headed for VA! VIR stands for Virginia International Raceway. Matt has been so looking forward to visiting this track for many months. One of Matt’s acquaintenances was sweet enough to offer us their truck to tow with this past weekend.

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Grabbed a photo together 🙂

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Then I had some fun with SnapChat to keep us entertained. Ha!

I was quick enough this time to catch the ‘Welcome to Virginia’ sign. Usually I’m too late on the draw. I also got this free bumper sticker at the rest stop!

We realized after leaving that we had completely forgot pillows, blankets or towels. Major fail. But we decided to stop at Wal-Mart and purchased these items specifically to be left in the trailer from now on, so problem solved! The wind was cah-razy, so by the time we returned to the truck, I had a new ‘do.

I had packed us sandwiches with veg burgers from Aldi plus carrots and peppers for crunch on the side.

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We made great time and arrived around 2:45 for check-in and then to set-up our site.

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Our new pretty quilt and comforter on our air mattress inside our trailer.

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I had baked the pork chops and roasted the green beans/onion/mushrooms and steamed cauliflower rice on Thursday evening, so we just had to heat it along with the bag of 90-second brown rice. This was from Saturday night with the inclusion of steamed Brussels sprouts, but I figured you all wouldn’t need two photos of the same meal. 😉

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For dessert, we each enjoyed a bar with Fage Greek yogurt.

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We woke up bright and early and very cold on Saturday! One of our friends also at the track let us borrow two heated blankets, but we later realized we must’ve had it facing downward such that the heat was pushed into the mattress. Doh! After I made the freezing walk to and from the bathrooms, we made breakfast. Matt mixed his oats with sausage, wilted spinach, cheddar, egg, and spices. I kept mine separate.

It was so dang cold that Matt wore his Balaclava, which he wears under his helmet, while eating breakfast. So dang funny!

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Coffee ❤

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Despite it being frigid, it was a gorgeous morning. The first photo is taken from our spot looking up to one of the restrooms.

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Our nice set-up.

To quickly do a throwback, these popped up on my Facebook memories, and they gave me a huge smile. These were taken of Kaci, Matt, and me March 11, 2012. Five years ago, crazy!

I couldn’t resist and bought this tee off Etsy. Matt made me cheese big time. Love it!

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I made us each a sandwich with TJ’s roasted pepper tomato soup for lunch.

After finishing his food, Matt lined up in the starting grid for the first of two qualifying sessions. The sign wasn’t intended for him, but I loved that it had his number on it. We chose 32 because that’s how old he was when he went through driver’s school February 2016.

He did so well! His average lap time was 2:29, and by the end of the weekend, he shaved off seven seconds at 2:22.

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Later on I snacked on cottage cheese and GF blueberry fig bars.

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Matt completed two races on Saturday: the enduro, which lasts 1.5 hours as well as a 30-minute race. I was very proud of how well he finished in both.

We had the same dinner and bars for dessert as I posted above and then called it a night around 10. We were exhausted. Thankfully, we were able to sleep in on Sunday, and even though we lost an hour (when will we stop this silliness?), we got a good amount of sleep. Another oatmeal cup. We love these and plan to buy more! They’re so convenient.

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After showering and eating lunch, I waited in the truck for his final race of the weekend. I stole his jacket and beanie all weekend. I did not pack enough clothes to keep warm. Whoops. It was warm with the sun coming through the windows, though.

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Once Matt loaded up the car and showered, we started our drive home. We pulled over at part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and snapped these photos. Such a gorgeous view! But so high up.

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Despite it being a late drive home, we were fortunate to witness this breathtaking sunset.

We stopped for coffee then later stopped right inside the TN state line at Aubrey’s. It hit the spot! We both ordered a salad.

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I chose their citrus glazed salmon with dirty mashed potatoes, broccoli, and their lemon caper sauce.

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Matt chose their hickory chicken. Both were delicious, and we were able to save enough for today’s lunch. So despite not going to bed until almost one (!), we had healthy meals packed for our Monday work day.

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I LOVED this sign. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite Disney movies.

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We still managed to make delicious savory oatmeal this morning, then I went by K brew for coffee. For ordering a small drip coffee, I received this mug! So fun!

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Cheers to a great week ahead!