Easter Weekend at the Track

Matt and I packed up and headed to Kershaw, SC to camp and race at Carolina Motorsports Park. It was Matt’s first race weekend since attending his race school and earning his license last month.

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We stopped at a rest area and were able to get a few photos together. 🙂 Aside from cutting off our heads, this is one of my fav photos!

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I so love him.

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Matt worked really hard on Friday while I put in a half day at the office, and he loaded up the car onto the trailer.

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You know you’re an RD when you pack a sardine and eggplant spread salad for dinner on the road. 😉

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Matt’s mentor is amazing and so helpful! We arrived late, and they all jumped in to help us unload and set-up our tent.

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Matt surprised me with my own chair, and he chose this awesome print and color! He knows me incredibly well.

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The track is 2.23 miles long and is more technical than Roebling where Matt completed his school.

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Before we left for our trip, LOVE GROWN FOODS sent us an amazing package! I had asked if they had any stickers for his car, and they surprised us with all of this LOVE.

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We were set for healthy breakfasts! Hot oats cups with Barney Butter almond butter, pear, and Just Love Coffee Sidamo roast on the pour over.

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I took a shower, but unfortunately, I missed Matt’s qualifying run. He did well, and I couldn’t resist getting another quick photo together. Represented Eat Healthy Designs until I had to put on my K Brew sweatshirt. It was a rainy, chilly weekend. Burr. But so worth it!

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Our sweet set-up.

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More car decals!

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We brought a microwave that his mom gave us last year along with a new hot plate. I made Pereg‘s Southwestern quinoa complete with deviled eggs I made at home, peppers, tomato, and avocado.

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I made the deviled eggs on Thursday, and I have to say I was proud with how well they came together!

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The start/finish line.

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Late Saturday afternoon we were able to walk the track. I went ahead of the guys and ran most of it. I failed to turn on my Runkeeper app, so I don’t know exact distance or pace. Darn.

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For Saturday’s dinner, I brought TJ’s ham, butterleaf lettuce, carrot raisin salad (needs some tweaking), and sautĂ©-steamed asparagus with garlic and pepper.

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We finally finished the pumpkin cheesecake from Christmas!

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For breakfast on Sunday, we enjoyed chocolate Mighty Flakes complete with Fage 2% plain, almond butter, banana, and strawberries.

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Matt reminded me to bring my owl rain boots (thanks to my aunt!), and I was so thankful! They certainly came in handy.

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Lunch was comprised of leftover quinoa and asparagus plus sharp cheddar, peppers, avocado, and chia quinoa tortilla chips. Another yogurt cup, pb, and a dried fig for dessert.

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Lined up in the grid for the last race.

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Matt did extremely well, but his weekend didn’t end as he had hoped for. There’s a kink in the track that was causing his car to lift. He tried accelerating through it, reaching 110 mph, but it caused his car to lose traction and spin off into and across the grass, only stopping when he hit the green tire wall. He is no quitter, though and took her around the track once more (after pulling into pit lane and ensuring it was safe to do so), but there’s something off in the rear.

 

 

Watching it helplessly from the sidelines made my heart just drop, but thankfully, he was just fine. The car needs primarily body work, and he should be ready to go out again soon. She just has more character now. 😉

For Easter Sunday dinner, I assembled ham-pesto-honey sandwiches in the car with asparagus, greens, peppers, and carrot raisin salad.

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We got caught in traffic from a wreck, so that’s when I took the opportunity to make our plates.

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We later stopped in Asheville for a tea latte for me and coffee for him. I wanted to try a cute local café, but Starbucks was the only thing available.

We got in late, but it was still a nice drive home. I only wish we were still at the track! He and I are in the “come-down” phase. Womp womp.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!

K Brew – Setting Goals & then Exceeding Them Since 2013

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All credit is given to my sister & lifetime sidekick, Kaci!

When I first parked and stepped out of my car, I immediately fell in love with their new location. I so love the colors, character, and the fact that their seating is located in what used to be the garages!

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The exposed beams and every attention to detail is exquisite.

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I seriously couldn’t get enough!

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Below is Michael LaMacchia, the younger brother and co-owner of K Brew. Each barista is so warm and inviting. They all make you feel welcome and appreciated!

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Their chia pudding now is topped with blueberries and mint. I will buying one for each Matt and I very soon!

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I had to refrain from buying one of these mugs, but um, they are adorable. I think I may have a problem…also, I will be treating myself to one of those lemon bars for sure!

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Where K Brew previously had very limited seating, they now have one of the most incredible places to come hang out, study, relax, read, or just listen to the awesome music! It’s not your typical coffee shop music either. It’s full of energy and incredibly fun. I can’t get over how well they transformed this space.

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I love these rugs! They contain two of my favorite colors: turquoise and coral. =D Plus you have the option to sit at the bar, a table, or in these comfy couches.

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They *even* have hammocks! Kaci snapped this photo on her visit this morning. Wow! Now when you say you’re “hanging out”, you can mean it in the literal sense. Haha

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My first drink of choice at this location was an iced latte, and boy did it not disappoint. Naturally sweet from the Cruze, creamy, and smooth. ❀

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Going Green

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For St. Patrick’s Day! I hope y’all wore your green. 😉

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We began our day with green pancakes topped with berries, peanut butter, and maple syrup + amazing coffee.

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Up close and personal.

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It absolutely hit the spot.

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For lunch, I made a pretty awesome salad topped with a veggie burger from Aldi, Dasani black cherry sparkling water and a tangerine.

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Before dinner, we noshed on an appetizer of rice cake with eggplant spread for myself and toast with the spread for Matt.

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I got a little help from my friends, aka Whole Foods, and I bought corned beef from their hot bar. I did, however, roast a large pan of red potatoes + carrots, and I cooked down onion, cabbage, and onion in low sodium organic chicken broth from Aldi.

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Only once have I ever brined my own corned beef and cooked it completely from scratch using Alton Brown’s recipe. It sure was rewarding but time-consuming!

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*Quick wedding update* We have made what feels like a ton of progress this week: booked our videographer, made the bridal party dress appointment, I’ve already scheduled my dress alteration appointment, I’ve been speaking with an officiant, and we’re meeting with event rentals. I’m getting so excited!

I hope everyone had a wonderful day!

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Getting a Jump Start on St. Patrick’s Day

I missed National Cereal Day yesterday, but I just discovered it’s National Pancake Day, so I made the cut. Ha!

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Yesterday, while browsing my Facebook home feed, I saw a recipe that sparked my interest: Green Smoothie Pancakes. Erin of Well Plated shared this interesting creation originally made by Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean. I did some tweaking based on what we had on hand, and I look forward to making other variations soon!

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I went ahead and made a double batch so we would have pancakes stored in the freezer for quick weekday breakfasts. The changes I made were as follows: organic spring mix, plain 2% Greek yogurt, ground flaxseed, frozen banana, omitted the maple syrup, added organic matcha green tea powder, and I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all-purpose flour. They were a bit dry, but this is likely due to using flaxseed and possibly gluten free flour. I plan to experiment by adding a jar of baby food (yes, we’re adding it to everything these days!) as well as both a pumpkin and a sweet potato batch.

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They really were very easy to make, and I was even able to do so after work and before making our dinner. I felt like super woman! Well, until I went to open our white wine to make our sun-dried tomato pasta salad and realized we didn’t have an opener. Whoops. Haha

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I hope you can break out the blender and enjoy these soon, either from the original or my variation!

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Topped with Wild Friends Sugar Cookie Peanut Butter and cherry fruit spread

Weekend Daze

My trainer at the Y took these two photos of me as I lifted 125 lbs, maxing at one lift of 130 lbs Thursday night. I am so thankful he surprised me with these because I really am very thankful to have discovered how much I love lifting!

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Friday morning breakfast included Horizon Organic cottage cheese with banana, frozen berries, Nature’s Path Hemp Granola, and peanut butter.

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Rachel’s paws and both mine and Matt’s feet made cameos in this shot. Haha

 

Lunch was leftover soup that I had made earlier in the week with Swiss cheese, cucumber, and lentil crackers. The soup was another creation based on what we had in the refrigerator – steamed vegetables, sautĂ©ed greens, pecan rice, baked lemon roasted garlic chicken, organic low sodium chicken broth – and we both loved it.

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We scheduled a cake tasting at Scrumps Cupcakes for Friday evening. They are so awesome and were kind to try making their Hummingbird cake gluten free for us! Matt and I came up with quite an epic wedding cake and chose amazing cupcake flavors for our guests. It was at such an incredible price too!

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When we came home, I discovered that my prize from TN Home and Farm Magazine was delivered – a tin of Willa’s Shortbread cookies. They are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

For breakfast on Saturday, I had LOVE GROWN FOODS Sea Stars with cottage cheese, banana, and peanut butter. Photographed in the beautiful sunshine!

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We decided to finally “twin” in our Eat Healthy Designs tees!

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The weather was absolutely gorgeous (and that race trailer was finally moved by our neighbor, so our view was back!).

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They are so right! =D

A new non-profit coffee shop, The Empty Cup Coffeehouse, just opened in Cedar Bluff, so Matt and I had ourselves a coffee date.

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The wall color and every bit of the dĂ©cor is perfect! I love the eclectic mix of chairs, and they even have a kids’ room. This location was formerly a bank, so I find it even more fun to see how they worked that to their advantage.

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I *love* this cabinet!

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Bar stools upholstered with coffee burlap bags!

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I chose to enjoy their coffee flight. Since I don’t drink, I’ve never tasted a flight of anything that I can remember, so I thought this was really fun! They had to brew a fresh batch of their Costa Rican roast, so they sweetly gave me a full mug. Caffeine heaven!

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We walked down to Lemongrass for lunch before then doing some shopping together.

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I love going shopping with him. He gets as excited as I do about new foods and good deals. 😉

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I’ve been so fortunate to win quite a number of things, which now includes this gluten free gift basket from our local gluten free bakery, Benefit Your Life!

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I also received my new tank top from Eat Healthy Designs – Peanut butter is my spirit animal. Love it!

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Dinner included fresh tomato, crackers, cheddar, baked chicken and onions, baked zucchini/squash/more onions, sautéed greens with shredded baby beets, and I made a dressing out of fresh lemon juice + extra virgin olive oil + Sabra Caramelized Onion and Smoked Paprika Hummus. We thought it was great!

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I made an Earl Grey latte and enjoyed the shortbread cookies and roasted mixed nuts for dessert while we watched some of our shows.

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Baby Girl was pooped.

We came up with this unique oatmeal for Sunday’s breakfast: LOVE GROWN FOODS Super Oats made with water and Almond Breeze Almond Coconut Milk, a jar of Beech Nut sweet potato/pineapple/orange baby food, organic greens, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, cayenne, peanut butter, Honeycrisp apple not pictured for dipping.

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Matt is such a sweetheart and hung our new collage frame for us!

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Open reclaimed wooden shadow boxes.

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I bought this tea towel at the Retropolitan Craft Fair last May and *finally* hung it!

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Lunch was this bright salad and leftover sushi + a mini cupcake from our tasting.

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Dinner was more greens with avocado, jalapeno Havarti, tomato, yellow lentil hummus, and sautéed chicken/rice/vegetables/lemon juice.

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I stopped by Tuesday Morning Sunday afternoon {that certainly sounds weird, doesn’t it 😉 }after visiting the boys at my sister’s, and I couldn’t resist this stem less wine glass. This smoothie along with a mug of ginger peach green tea hit the spot.

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This morning we tried Kashi‘s gluten free waffles for the first time. One sweet and one savory. They’re primarily made with sorghum flour, and I loved the unique flavor!

imageI can’t believe it’s already Monday, but I’m so thankful we had such a perfect weekend!

K Brew Squared

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K Brew is only a little more than two years old, yet already, they are one of the most sought after local coffee shops in K-town. It’s no surprise, though if you’ve ever visited. They provide incredible drinks and always serve them with a smile. They recently rolled out a menu of grab-and-go nutritious options to compliment their beverages, and I have tried and loved each one!

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It was only a matter of time until they would either need to expand or open up another location given the number of fans that visit each day. Thankfully, us Knoxvillians can now get our K Brew fix at either North Broadway or Market Street. {They have also moved their original location as well with an opening date of March 17th, so expect one more post by me!}

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From the time that they announced their expansion to their opening day, it only took one month. The Lamacchia brothers and the entire team have always been driven since day one, and that has not changed!

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Dressing for spring even if the temperatures did dip back down to the 40’s. Boo // Rachel photo bomb!

 

Thankfully, I was able to swing by this morning, and I got to see my sister as well!

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It’s such a beautiful space with tons of character!

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The attention to detail is so amazing. I love the Knoxville map, made by Native Maps, as well as this wooden slab used as an upraised table. Everything came together perfectly. They also are selling homemade lemon bars and chocolate chip brownies, which you know I will be trying very soon. =D

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They have the map for sale as well as Maverick chocolate bars. Matt and I have quite the stash of chocolate right now, but soon I will get us one of these to enjoy!

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I realized that I have never tried an Americano by them, so I chose it with a splash of Cruze. Cold brew for my sis!

If you’re in the area, I really hope you stop by. You will be soo happy that you did!

Reliving the Weekend

Happy Leap Day!

Per usual, the weekend is over too soon. But it was so wonderful, and I’m thankful I have this platform to share it and also return to relive it!

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Backing up to Thursday, I was able to go by Maker’s Donuts for an incredible treat. I had a voucher for a free donut, but upon stating I was torn between their Lemon Drop and Blueberry Bourbon, the gentleman was incredibly sweet and gave me both! I had half of each on Thursday and then on Friday.

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During my lunch break on Thursday, I went by World Market for a new pour over since I broke mine. Womp womp. I saw this and had to snap a photo.

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What a great saying!

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I found these adorable skull stud earrings for myself and a pair for my sister. Score!

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I’m still trying to figure out the ratios for this particular pour over. I *think* I liked my previous one better. Sigh. But I’ll get this one figured out soon!

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For breakfast on Friday, we made oatmeal complete with a nice fruit blend and topped with Sriracha coconut, pb, and a drizzle of maple syrup after the photo was taken.

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I found this at Big Lots, and it’s really good! So far, I’ve enjoyed it with an apple smoothie and the above pictured oatmeal.

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I stocked up our refrigerator and pantry with plenty of great food from Aldi, including Fage single-serve yogurts! I was so happy to see them on the shelf.

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Friday was National Pistachio Day, so of course I had to have them with my afternoon snack.

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Friday’s dinner wasn’t the best, but as always, Matt was so appreciative! 🙂 I had to quickly thaw the salmon, so I believe it ruined some of the integrity and texture. Nevertheless, it hit the spot, especially with Matt’s tartar sauce. Instead of waiting until dessert, I decided to have my hot English breakfast tea with dinner. I need to do so more often!

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I polished off my donuts with a mug o’ milk before settling in to watch our show: Elementary.

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Saturday brunch included a Van’s gf apple cinnamon waffle topped with pb and maple syrup, side of banana, and toast over wilted greens and topped with roasted red pepper spread, Swiss, and an over easy egg. Big mug of coffee then followed.

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I got to visit with my sister and the babies on Saturday, and my heart felt so full! Mason was cuddly and playful. ❀

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I try to always keep at least one jar of pasta sauce in the pantry. I had found this at TJ Maxx, I believe. It was pretty tasty but not as spicy as we’d hoped for. However, it is made with whole ingredients, no additional sugar, and is appropriate in the sodium content.

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Rounded out the meal with a salad drizzled with a homemade fig balsamic vinaigrette.

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We began our Sunday with steel cut oatmeal seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla, dried apricots cooked until soft, and topped with banana and dark chocolate pb.

K Brew has had several amazing changes recently, one of which includes moving their original café to a larger location. A blog post is to come about their upgrades and accomplishments! I had to go by one last time on Saturday and enjoyed an iced latte that afternoon. I saved this wrap for lunch on Sunday, and it was incredible.

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Rachel and I both loved the spring-like weather! I took her out on the patio, and she was in heaven.

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Despite the gorgeous, albeit windy, weather, I didn’t have a great run. But it felt so wonderful to be outside!

Kaci sent me these photos. The boys were loving the sunshine too. My gosh they are the cutest!!

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The gentleman who trailered Matt’s car to GA invited us, along with three other couples, over to his and his wife’s potluck dinner. I made Sabra Caramelized Onion + Smoked Paprika hummus-roasted green beans, carrots, and parsnips. I’m proud to say they were a hit!

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All ready for the oven.

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Golden brown and so delicious, if I do say so myself.

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Before we left, we were able to get some photos together. I love this man so much!

 

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Grabbed a second for good measure. 😉

 

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Matt had to swing by the store for the parsnips, green beans, and rice, and he ended up buying all that plus two other types of rice, two types of quinoa, and breakfast sausage. He’s so awesome! Everything was just wonderful.

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Dessert was Fage topped with ground flaxseed, crumbled Fifth Avenue, and one dark chocolate-covered espresso bean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road Trippin’, Racin’, & Noshin’

It was one of those weekends that I wish I could hit repeat!

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A sleepy, early morning photo ❀

 

A few years ago, Matt became involved with ETR SCCA and participated in the Autocross competition. Over the last 10 months, he transformed his Nissan 240 into a race car for a different division. He designed and welded the roll cage completely by himself, and he even did quite a lot of body work, such as filling in the sunroof. He has worked so so hard, and all of it paid of this past weekend!

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We got up very early on Friday morning (4:30AM to be exact) and drove down to Bloomingdale, GA for him to attend the racing school at Roebling Road Raceway. I was thankful to be up early, though because the sunrise was really pretty.

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My hairdresser is amazing and had cut & styled my locks the evening before. I woke up & surprisingly didn’t have crazy bed-head. 😉  Sported my Eat Healthy Designs tee! Comfy car clothes at their finest.

 

We packed a lot of good food to eat for lunch and snacks on the drive down and throughout the weekend. He drove the whole way down, so I fed him his lunch and then enjoyed mine.

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For my morning snack, I had a hard boiled egg & a Sheffa rosemary bar.
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I packed individual Boar’s Head hummus to enjoy with Sargento garlic herb cheese snack, cuke, carrots, & Food Should Taste Good black bean tortilla chips. Cuties for dessert.

As we got closer, Matt became even more excited. It’s awesome to see him going after things he loves!

 

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The requirements are to attend the school and run two races, I believe, as a novice driver before one is given their license. I am very proud to say that after just running on Saturday, his instructor was so impressed by his performance that they gave him the option to go ahead and submit for his license!
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It looks so awesome!

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Had to snap a goofy reflection pic. 😉

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I’ve always loved how knowledgeable he is on cars. Such an attractive quality!

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After checking in to our Microtel, I promptly sat my toosh on the chair and enjoyed my Siggi’s Blood Orange with Good Habit Food apple fig topper.

For Friday night’s dinner, I packed cooked quinoa-rice blend with roasted pepper spread, freshly grated parmesan cheese, whole baked chicken, and sautĂ©ed vegetables. I wanted to make sure we ate well despite being away from home.

We enjoyed yogurt bowls at breakfast, complete with Cheerios and Crunchy flax buried by Fage 2% plain thinned out with So Delicious unsweetened vanilla coconut milk and topped with Justin’s almond butter, chia, and banana. We each had a hard boiled egg for added protein.

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Before leaving to quickly explore downtown Savannah, I enjoyed this Chobani Flip Cup. It was a great balance of sweet and spicy!

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As soon as I parked and got out of the car, I saw this chocolate shop and knew I had to visit.

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Such a gorgeous spread!

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I decided to treat Matt and myself to these fancy local honey-filled dark chocolate squares.

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They were dusted with 24k gold!

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I would love to one day visit Savannah solely to explore the city. It is so charming!

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I love this building’s architecture and colors!

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My main purpose for finding my way to this area was to enjoy a drink from The Coffee Fox.

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I love their humor!

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Amen! I accidentally snapped a fuzzy photo, but the message is too good not to share.

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The OCD-tendency in me wanted to switch these to read salt and pepper left to right. Haha

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I love visiting local coffee shops, especially when they are so fun and unique.

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Iced latte for me
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Almond milk cappuccino for Matt

I quickly made my way back to the track because once they started lining up the cars in grid, I wouldn’t have been able to get to Matt. In order to get over to where the trailer and car were parked, I had to cross the track.

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Here’s the track that he ran the whole weekend.

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All smiles after having several awesome practice runs!

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Suiting up!

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All buckled in and ready to roll.

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Checking tire pressure and setting up the camera.

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Lined up in the starting grid.

I took several short videos, and Matt also has many from his own perspective that have been really neat to watch.

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For dinner, I had researched and found this restaurant called B. Matthews Eatery that had many gluten free entrée options. I drove back downtown and picked up our dinner for Saturday to enjoy at the track that evening.

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Pickled Shrimp / pickled beets, onion, & Anaheim pepper to split
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Arugula Salad / watermelon radish, spiced pear, grapefruit, candied walnuts, & orange-sherry vinaigrette to split
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Pork Cheek / orange & sage-braised pork cheek with parsnip-apple-horseradish puree, orange jus, oyster mushrooms, & asparagus
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Autumn Vegetable Spaghetti / squash noodles shitake, white beans, mustard greens, cherry heirloom tomato, tossed in ancho creamed corn sauce

Matt ate half his pork entrée while I ate half my vegetarian entrée. That way, he was able to enjoy my leftovers for lunch yesterday, I now get to enjoy his today for my lunch.

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In order to warm said lunch, we sat it on his hot engine. Desperate times call for ingenuity! 🙂

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I got us checked out of the Microtel and of course had to wear my new tee from The Coffee Fox.

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I was so thankful that I got to meet with one of my best friends for lunch before making the loooong drive back home. He suggested The Kayak Kafe, and it was excellent! I chose their curried chicken salad on wheat. It came with a mango chutney, greens, tomato, and onion along with a side of coleslaw and a pickle spear. I got a cuppa joe, Perc Coffee – local Savannah roasting company – and it hit the spot. I failed to get a photo of us together, boo. But I chatted until it was 3PM and then realized it would be late by the time I arrived at home. But it was so worth it to get to relax and catch up. We’ve known each other for at least 13 years!

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Upon getting home, I discovered this amazing “Love Drop” by Love Grown Foods! I won a giveaway but never expected so much. They are incredibly generous and so awesome!!

Matt stayed back and is now on his way home with the gentleman who was kind enough to trailer his car to GA. I made the decision not to take Monday off so I don’t get behind in my work. Responsibility is a drag. I cannot wait for the next race!! If I had the courage, I wish I could have my own car. Matt keeps telling me I need to, but we can’t have two cars to work on. 😉

 

Sweet-Savory Oatmeal Creation

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Matt and I love coming up with different breakfast creations! Our fav meal of the day, hands down. Recently, I stocked up on several jars of Beech Nut baby food from Big Lots because they can add really awesome flavor, color, and nutrients to everything from oatmeal to smoothies to soup.

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Below is the recipe for this morning’s bowl. Feel free to use it as a guide and switch it up with different a different jar or fruit.

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Ingredients:

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 cup milk of choice

1 cup water

1 T chia seeds

ground ginger, nutmeg, clove

1 jar baby food

1/2 cup blueberries (we used frozen)

2 handfuls of baby spinach, torn

1 hard boiled egg, peeled & sliced

about 1/3 avocado, peeled & chopped

1/4 c almonds, toasted & chopped

salt, pepper, cayenne

Directions:

Add oats, milk, water, chia, and spices to a medium saucepan. Cook until most liquid is absorbed. Add the baby food and blueberries. Once warmed completely through, portion into bowls over top the spinach. Top with avocado, egg, almonds, and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Enjoy!

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