Good News + Good Vibes

I want to start by saying I love Matt and my weekday evenings together, and lately, I’ve had wonderful work weeks. But nothing beats the weekend. They always make it so hard to accept Monday again!

Friday began with a fun breakfast creation that Matt and I brainstormed together. We split a baked potato and melted cheddar into it before topping it with an over easy egg. A Van’s Strawberry Raspberry Mini Waffle sheet topped with peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, clove, and Fage. We also had a GF teriyaki beef jerky that his mom gave to him for Christmas. They don’t have a distinctly teriyaki flavor, so it’s not as strange a combo as it sounds.

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Jackson always comes downstairs to see me off in the morning! He’s such a gentleman. He tucked himself in his box, which cracked me up. Silly baby.

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I went by Kroger for several things and stumbled upon the Planter’s Nut Mobile. I’d never seen it before, I thought it was adorable! They were handing out free packets of peanuts, so I put them with my pretzels in the glove box for an emergency snack.

I spent more than I planned (this always happens when I go to Kroger), but I found some great deals. The coconut oil was from Big Lots, but was still a bargain.

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Kase came over, and I so loved our time together! By the time she left, we’d laughed so hard that my makeup was starting to run down my face. That’s when I know I had a good time with my twinklet. 😉

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I roasted the above vegetables and made Matt and I tuna salad sandwiches. I forgot the pickle, so I added them to our plates after snapping this photo.

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If you don’t move quick enough, then you’ll lose your seat around here. Haha

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We were up early Saturday morning because Rachel had her first follow-up vet appointment to monitor her blood glucose improvements. Matt and I made breakfast tacos with gluten free Mission flour tortillas. Their ingredients aren’t great, but the satisfaction of having what tastes like the real deal outweighed that fact. Sometimes you just have to live a little. We had tomato slices with Chobani Meze dip along with the last apple.

I saw these and really loved them. They are great reminders to maintain a positive attitude.

I’m so happy to report that Rachel’s glucose had come down 100 units! No insulin is needed at this time, and we will be continuing to provide her with specially formulated food. So thankful, and we were so proud of our sweetie! She behaved so well at the vets. She decided to dump out all my purse’s contents in order to make herself cozy. Love this sassy girl!

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Once home, I put those peanuts and pretzels to use. They didn’t last long in my car at all. Lol. I paired them with dried fruit and baby carrots.

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Kylie shared her ‘self care’ chart recently, and I really loved it. I decided to try my hand at my own.

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Matt and I decided to invest in an electric tea kettle for home and our race weekends. I found this Bodum model on Amazon, and so far, we love it!

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For Saturday’s dinner, I made lemon artichoke chicken thighs and served them with 90-second brown rice and warmed roasted vegetables.

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We enjoyed our fruit and yogurt for me/smoothie for Matt while watching an episode of Bones.

After getting a great night’s sleep, I made us peach and cherry baked oatmeal using Two Peas and Their Pod’s recipe. It was delicious! But while we waited for it to bake, I had some Greek yogurt out of our nearly empty peanut butter jar.

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We drizzled our servings with a little maple syrup once we had tasted it. Made it perfect.

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Matt and I were able to file our taxes. Woohoo, adulthood! I also meal planned and prepped, including this pasta salad for some of our lunches.

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I made us wraps for lunch that included Sabra Sea Salt and Pepper Spreadable Hummus, Muenster, cucumber, Sweet Fire Love Beets, and spinach. We had Chobani Meze dip with carrots on the side.

I also had sweet finish with milk chocolate covered pretzels. Clearly Mason wanted a taste.

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I visited Rural King, a store near our home. They’re like a Tractor Supply but with some animals, like baby chicks, pigs, and rabbits. I’d never been in a store quite like it.

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I made my way down to the Y, and I enjoyed an awesome walk around the field…in February!

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Once back home, I finally took a shower and washed our bedding. I always feel better if I can start the week with our food put together and home clean.

This stinker was being so adorable while I started prepping our dinner.

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I used a recipe from Whitney Bond that I made changes to based on what we had on hand. Matt later came home and helped reduce the wine-broth mixture, and we added Worcestershire and brava espresso sea salt to it. It was phenonmenal!

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We served it with roasted green beans. Matt said it was quite possibly the most tender and flavorful pork tenderloin he’d ever eaten. I was so flattered and happy to enjoy a lovely meal with him!

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One more up-close.

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This morning began early with Jaxxy demanding breakfast, and I burned my mouth on my oatmeal. Womp womp. But it’s been a fantastic day, and I’m thankful for it! Have a great start to the week!

 

Valentine’s Day 2017

Good Wednesday morning! I wanted to share a quick recap of our nice Valentine’s Day. It started with this incredible sunrise just outside our home. We have such a beautiful view!

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I made sure to wear some pink. 😉

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I also included strawberry Love Grown Power O’s and a chocolate chip cookie dough LaraBar. Valentine’s wouldn’t be the same without chocolate or strawberries. I enjoyed the Fage with nuts and cereal for a mid-morning snack and then the LaraBar as dessert with my lunch.

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I’m still waiting on our wedding photographer to reedit our photos, but here are two that I love and wanted to share. Matt is the perfect Valentine. ❤

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After a killer Barre3 workout led by one of my fav instructors, I came home to make this meal with Matt’s help. We simmered a roasted pepper spread with white wine, lemon juice, garlic, and basil then added the shrimp. We served it over top of greens, riced cauliflower + brown rice.

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My dessert included Twinings Earl Gray with lavendar and Halo Top Lemon Cake ice cream.

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This morning we tried Van’s GF Strawberry Raspberry mini waffles that I topped with Fage plain Greek yogurt + cinnamon + banana, peanut butter + banana, and maple syrup + banana. Delish!

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Have a great day!

Sister Time, Friend Time, & K Brew Cupping

This weekend was really so wonderful and just what I needed. But let’s start with breakfast on Friday. It was such a good one!

Savory oats with spinach, cheese, bacon, and a scrambled egg plus cinnamon-spiced apple and strong coffee.

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Rachel really does have it so rough. 😉

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Before I headed to a free Barre3 class, I snacked on a Van’s GF waffle with avocado, Love Beets, and Sabra sea salt and pepper hummus spread.

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After Barre3, I decided to pick up our dinner from Taziki’s. We split their lamb and pork entrees with rice, potatoes, and a Greek salad for us each. A bit salty but tasty!

Matt said my pork looked like Finding Dory, so we had to be goofy. My water bottle completed it. I love being silly with him!

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For breakfast on Saturday I had another coffee flavored oatmeal from Aldi. This time I chose the caramel macchiato and cooked it hot then ate it out of the almost empty peanut butter jar.

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I ate this lunch before I went with Kaci to my SIL’s storage unit to look through all her awesome vintage rentals. When you match your lunch, you take a photo with it. Lol

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After running a few errands, I made us a throw-together bowl for dinner that turned out quite well. Cauliflower rice, lima beans, sautéed red onion and garlic, marinated pepper, the last of our baked cabbage, basil, roasted pepper spread, and topped with jalapeno Greek yogurt dip. I added avocado and beets on Matt’s bowl.

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Both of the boys wanted to snuggle, so of course I had to hold both!

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I found this new Twinings Earl Grey with Lavender that I made after dinner.

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For dessert, I also tried Halo Top Creamery for the first time. I had a mug of the lemon cake along with an apple and nuts on the side.

We decided to watch The Accountant, and we both thought it was quite good. Not your typical Ben Affleck role!

We didn’t go to bed until midnight (I know, party animals), so we didn’t end up eating until around 10:30 Sunday morning. That’s so late for us! I made another savory oatmeal but this time with Love Grown Foods Super Oats, spices, spinach, Muenster, and an over easy egg that I made myself.

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Instead of coffee, I made a chai latte by steeping a chai tea bag, sweetening it with local honey, and then I topped it with frothed milk. Delicious.

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I finally got myself ready to go see one of my best friends and meet her newest little girl!

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After a wonderful visit, I met Kaci over at K Brew to participate in their first free cupping class. We had a blast!

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We used this chart to study and make notes on two different roasts, which have no debuted today as their newest offerings.

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San Pellegrino to cleanse our palette between tasting.

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We first smelled the grounds and discussed them before adding the water.

One of the owners shared these photos on their Ig Story, so I took snapshots to share here. 🙂

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As were leaving and walked outside, we were met with this gorgeous sunset.

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I couldn’t resist any longer, so I finally bought one of their, “Chemex and chill” tees. Love it!

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Dinner was organic black bean pasta from Aldi with steamed Brussels sprouts, marinated peppers, Love Beets, homemade lemon dressing, mozzarella, and avocado.

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I hope everyone is off to a lovely start this week!

 

 

Random Ramblings on Perspective + Happiness

I’d like to start with a little humor. After Barre3 the other night, Kaci, her sweet future SIL Sara, and I all joked that we sometimes feel like Lucy in this episode, ‘The Ballet’, during class. But no matter how awesome or not so great our form or balance, we have all fallen in love with this exercise!

Now on to a quick message that I have recently come to appreciate and realize that I would like to pass along to others. I learned a valuable lesson in perspective, and it gave me food for thought.

>>Your bad hair day may be a wonderful style to someone else.

>>That “simple” bowl of oatmeal still with allthetoppings or that meal-sized salad may be decadent to another person.

>>Your modest house may be a mansion in another person’s eyes.

>>A middle-class income may be considered wealthy to another.

The point is, we do not know everyone’s story, their experiences, the good/bad/ugly they’ve survived, so myself included, could always be reminded to have compassion and patience. Easier said than done some days! But if your smile is all it takes to turn a person’s day around, then try to smile at everyone you come across. I’ll have bad days and won’t always react as well as I could or should, but I wanted to take a moment to try and spread positivity in my circle. Then maybe some of you will do the same in yours, and pretty soon, it’ll impact countless people. This post by Mackenzie, The Butterfly Effect is spot on. If you motivate someone in even the smallest way to better themselves, then you have succeeded.

Now some sweet kitty cuddles!

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I *finally* printed photos from our honeymoon and photo shoot with the fur-babies, and I put them up in both of my clinic offices.

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Eat Healthy Designs were so sweet and shared on their Ig Story!

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Lastly, I can’t share a post without including at least one food photo. 😉 Here was our epic Waffle Wednesday breakfast. Van’s GF Ancient Grains waffles on wilted spinach topped with: Muenster, roasted veg spread, and an over easy egg / Fage Greek yogurt, thawed delicious fruit blend, and Jem Raw’s Superberry Almond Butter drizzle.

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Make today a good one!

Life is a Constant Learning Process

I am going to start by briefly saying that despite being hurtful and uncomfortable initially, a lesson presented itself recently that has given me reason to reflect. Ultimately, I have become better because of it, so while surprising, I can now say I appreciate it.

Alright, so now on to my weekend recap! I’m going to start with Thursday evening because my sister got to stay with us. We had scheduled dental cleanings for all three of our purr-babies early Friday morning, so it worked out to have her stay so we could make it on time. I loved the sleepover! Kaci and I attended Barre3 Thursday evening, but before I met her at the studio, I took the time to make Erin’s Roasted Carrot Soup. So when we got home, I simply had to heat it for each Matt, Kaci, and myself. Score! I made a nice salad and toast to complete the meal.

Post dinner SnapChat shenanigans. Kase had a bite of apple in her mouth, and I was cheesin’ so bad. I love this!! Flower crown twinkies.

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After we checked in the babies, we did some grocery shopping. Although considered a mundane task, I had a blast together because we used to run errands together a lot more before we moved apart. It’s now something I treasure even more. We picked up a fresh bouquet to take to our grandparents’ gravesite. ❤

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We had the pleasure of visiting Oak Ridge Floral Company to discuss Kaci’s wedding flowers, and we are both so excited to see how they turn out this coming October! They did my flowers, and I was beyond pleased. I treated us each to a decadent truffle from their case: mint chocolate chip for me and butter pecan for Kase. Both were perfect!

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The babies all did well and have healthy teeth, which gave us relief. Unfortunately, the pre-surgery blood work revealed that our sweet girl has either pre-diabetes or diabetes. She’s always been very active, healthy, and maintained a healthy body weight, so to say we were shocked is an understatement. I was admittedly extremely angry because I did not think it was fair to her. I also felt a great deal of guilt for not noticing sooner. But we’re feeding her specially formualted food and will go in for a follow-up in about two weeks. I hope her levels lower considerably, allowing us to avoid having to give insulin. It breaks my heart, confuses me, but I’m trying to accept it. She’s so spunky and has tons of fight in her sassy body. 😉

For dinner, I made baked lemon garlic pepper chicken breasts with baked cabbage, Jasmine rice, and avocado.

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Rachel sat in my lap, and she still looked groggy. It took hours for the meds to wear off for all three babies. Jackson, who is normally extremely sweet, growled and didn’t want to be touched. Mason did well, and Rachel was so loopy. Matt took these, and her eyes cracked us up! Check out Mason photo bombing in the second photo. Haha

Jackson was wiped out.

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But once all the meds were gone, Jaxxy was so loving and snuggly.

Matt and I decided to rent Jack Reacher with a coupon from Redbox. It wasn’t great, but we agreed that paying $0.82 was worth it given it was entertaining.

For Saturday’s brunch, we decided to enjoy the last two servings of our enchilada bake topped with extra cheddar, hot sauce, an over easy egg (two for Matt), avocado, and jalapeno Greek yogurt dip from Aldi. It was fantastic!

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So often, I want to get a lot of chores done, errands run, etc. that I sometimes don’t just slow down and relax with the babies. I decided to lay back down for a bit with Rachel, and she and I had an awesome cat nap. 🙂

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I had originally planned to go to the gym, but treating myself to a Chick-fil-A cold brew and chocolate chunk cookie (thanks to Kylie’s Ig post about them!) followed by a neighborhood walk in the sunshine sounded like just what I needed.

I finally read this sweet book Kaci gave to be to borrow. It’s filled with wonderful stories about cats who have brought so much joy to their families. I also finished a word find because I’m really an 80 year old in a 28 year old’s body. Lol!

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While simple, dinner was still amazing. Matt saved me steak that he ate at his dad’s earlier in the week, so I had it with some of the leftover cabbage, roasted green beans, and a hash brown patty with ketchup. I made the same for Matt but served him ham that we froze from Christmas. We’ve decided we need to keep ham in the freezer like this from now often because it’s so convenient!

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Rachel couldn’t wait for him to get home, and Mason later snuggled in my lap. Their love means everything.

I ordered this nut butter sampler with some of my Amazon gift card, so we tried the cashew cardamom almond butter over our oatmeal on Sunday. I made the oatmeal with almond milk, chia, vanilla, berries, and peach apple sauce. It was filling and delicious!

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I did make it to the gym on Sunday, and it felt awesome. When I got home, I saw that our Modern Oats, also from Amazon, had been delivered. We can’t wait to enjoy them at the race track! Healthy breakfasts here we come.

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For dinner, I made Erin’s Avocado Tuna Cakes. We topped with them with the jalapeno Greek yogurt dip and had a salad with marinated red bell pepper, some of our leftover roasted carrots left chilled, and Caesar dressing. I dumped the last of our sweet chili crackers and root vegetable chips into a bowl for us to split. We loved this meal! I also love having so many Jackson photo bombs in my food photos. I feel like I should make a flip book with them. Ha!

Per usual, Monday seemed to sneak up on us, BUT I have another free Barre3 class I get to attend tonight with Kaci and her future SIL. Can’t wait! Hope you all have a great start to your week!

 

Things I’m Loving Lately

I love when other bloggers share items/food/things that bring them joy, so I wanted to do the same. 🙂

Our Whole Foods has been selling Allegro’s Celebration coffee at two bags for $9, which is quite a steal! I’ve purchased them several times, and Matt and I both agree it’s a delicious roast.

My sweet hairdresser told me about the site Zenni that sells eyeglasses and sunglasses for a lot less than other stores. I’m browsing now to hopefully find a pair of prescription sunglasses!

Barre3 Knoxville – I know I mention it quite often, but I cannot get over the excitement I get before, during, and after a killer workout at the Bearden studio. The staff is so sweet, and the workout always lifts my spirits and gives me awesome strength!

All the pretty skies, both sunrises and sunsets. I can never get enough! I especially love the tree silhouettes. They remind me of my sister. 🙂 The first I took at the front of our home, and the second I took last night when I went by the salon to get a quick hair trim.

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SnapChat filters. I spend more time taking and sending them to Kaci than I do actually sharing them on SnapChat! You know you’re older when…well, I don’t know if it’s so much as age or what. haha

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I decided to put our wedding cards on display in our bedroom, and they truly bring a smile to my face every time I see them. Our friends and family passed along wonderful wishes and advice for us that I think will serve as great reminders throughout our marriage. I have since added a glittery “D” to the left end of the bottom string thanks to my SIL, Shannon for giving it to me!

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Pixi Beauty Natural Rose Lip Tint – It’s my favorite go-to lip product that adds color while still looking natural. A great product for everyday wear.

That’s it for now! I hope this was a fun list to review. Wishing every one a wonderful day!

 

Sweet Success

As always, my favorite weekend is one that is both relaxing and productive. This one was no exception. So let’s start at the beginning: Friday’s epic breakfast courtesy of Kylie’s latest oatmeal recipe, Snickerdoodle Caramelized Banana Oatmeal.

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While getting ready, all three babies snuggled up in our closet for a morning nap. They looked so cozy!

Overall, Friday was a great day but had a rough moment that I worked through. When I left the clinic, I chose to treat myself to a much-needed manicure and pedicure. I nearly fell asleep in the pedicure massage chair!

We had leftover tacos for dinner, which we made with lean ground beef, McCormick’s gf taco seasoning, roasted cabbage, avocado, salsa, hot sauce, Fage, and freshly shredded aged sharp white cheddar. I also made a massaged kale salad to go along with them. I simply added extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon, and seasonings to raw organic kale from Aldi. It was on sale for a whopping $0.99 a bag. A steal!

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Matt folded up his last two, and we thought they looked cute. 😉

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While I was preparing our meal, I got the feeling I was being watched…
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For dessert, I had half a Braeburn apple with yogurt, almond butter, cinnamon, and bacon-flavored coconut.

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I slept so deep that night! I didn’t hear the babies making any noise at all for breakfast, and Matt is a sweetheart and always feeds them on the weekends. We slept until 8:00 and then made a killer brunch. Wilted spinach with smoked gouda, root vegetable hash brown patties, two over easy eggs, avocado, and orange.

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Notice the different shades on the orange above? Funny story on that in a little bit.

It feels like a treat to wait and have my coffee after breakfast on the weekend, so I relaxed with it while perusing Pinterest for some inspirational quotes. I found three that I loved.

Mason also didn’t help motivate me to get moving!

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I finally got myself ready and met my sister, her future SIL and MIL, and Cindy at White Lace and Promises for her second wedding gown appointment. I’m happy to say that Kaci found her dress and will definitely look stunning! I just love being with all of the girls, and I can’t wait for us to get dolled up and help her wed Drew in October. At David’s Bridal, they recited a sweet message and had me ring a bell. Kaci was given an adorable cupcake! They, along with a pretty cake were on display, at the front of the store. A local baker makes these, and she clearly does a fabulous job.

We got a sweet picture together before we left. I love that Sara and I both rocked some turquoise!

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Kaci was a doll and surprised us with a dozen donuts from Maker’s Donuts! What better way to celebrate than with a locally made artisanal donut? Mmmm. I used the Boomerang app for Instagram for the first time, and I included a screenshot here. It turned out quite cute! Cheers.

I came home and had some carrots, hummus, Italian spiced roasted mixed nuts, and a banana before I went to the pet store to restock the babies’ food. I also went by Kroger and found some great deals. I received two coupons from Peanut Butter and Co. for one each free jar of peanut butter and free jar of powdered peanut butter. Score! I saw this pecan milk by Malk on clearance, so I snagged it as well.

I had been meaning to share this fun comparison of a wedding gown Lucille Ball wore for a role to my own wedding gown. I only found this photo after choosing mine, and I felt so pleased that I was drawn to a timeless style similar to her own. My mom’s gown that I shared back in my Labor Day weekend post looks even more similar!

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Blue Apron had sent me a $30 gift card, so I placed one order that we received on Friday. I made their Orange and Mirin-Glazed Cod. However, remember the different colored oranges at our brunch? I was confused how that happened since I bought a bag of Navel oranges from Aldi. I then realized I had accidentally served us the Cara Cara orange that was to go with this meal. Lol! So I just used the lemon called for and omitted the orange. Because Matt cannot eat barley, I prepared Jasmine rice with chicken broth. The last modification I made was to sauté in peanut oil rather than olive. It made it more fragrant and delicious in both of our opinion.

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When Matt walked back into the room, he snapped this photo of me holding Mason. He was begging to be held, and his little toosh and skinny tail cracked us both up!

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It was a low-key night that involved relaxing, snuggling with the babies, and watching a show that Matt has become hooked on: The 100. I rather despise it, but marriage is about compromise. 😉 I’d much rather be sitting with him enduring the show than to not be spending time with him at all!

Dessert included chai tea with the pecan milk, which unfortunately sort of curdled and didn’t flavor it like I had hoped. You never know unless you try. I Enjoyed Fage with a plum, shredded wheat, and a spoonful of the white chocolate peanut butter I got for free.

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I have a special love for Sundays because often they are relaxed, but I can get a lot accomplished in preparation for the week ahead. I’ve also taken several Barre3 classes, which always puts me in an incredible mood. However, I’m hardly ever ready to start another work week. So I still have mixed feelings towards Sunday. But enough of that melancholy talk. This is how we woke up, and it made my heart so happy.

I made us each a bowl of oatmeal using the pecan milk, espresso brava sea salt, cinnamon, and then topped them with a splash more of the milk, banana, and white chocolate pb.

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I went ahead and made our next Blue Apron meal to be enjoyed for dinner tonight. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Wild Friends peanut butter was included as an ingreident in our Blue Apron shipment!

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I assembled Brittany’s Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchilada Bake so that when I got home from Barre3, all I had to do was pop it into the oven and wait for it to finish baking.

Before baking.

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After. All that melted, cheesy goodness.

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For some reason, the package of corn tortillas I purchased only contained 27 instead of 28, so I made this with 11 instead of 12. We topped our portions with a little crumbled corn chips, avocado, scallions, Fage, and a side of steamed veg. It was great! Can’t wait to enjoy our leftovers.

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I had some fruit and yogurt, and Matt had a smoothie while we watched the latest episode of the Grand Tour. I was so pleasantly surprised when K brew shared this photo last night of Kaci and me at their main cafe! =D We love our K brew!

We didn’t sleep well, unfortunately. The babies were also mischievous, but who could be mad at this face?

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Jackson is obsessed with our recycle, which we keep in the garage. He cracks us up sitting here just waiting!

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With that I wish you all a fabulous day!

An Engagement + Our Trip to TX

On November 26th my twin sis got engaged! Her beau, Drew, asked our dad for his blessing. Dad then told me about 10 days before this was set to happen, and despite wanting so badly to tell Kase, I kept my trap shut. I was so proud of myself, especially since I met them to tailgate on the Saturday beforehand! Drew was very sneaky and invited Matt and I to meet his family at their property at Max Patch. Kaci had absolutely no clue that we would be there or that he would be popping the question!

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Is her rose gold ring not gorgeous? The center diamond was Drew’s grandmother’s. So precious.

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This reminds me of Captain Planet…with our rings combined 😉

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My handsome man. The day was incredibly gorgeous!

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Perfect blue sky.

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The cabin located right off the road was hosting a live band to play on their porch. They also had hot mulled apple cider and chili. We enjoyed some of the cider and watched the band get set-up. While walking back to their property, we snapped a photo. The sun was shining so beautifully, but it was freezing!

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Drew’s mom, Susan made these fun cupcakes to celebrate. Mmmm

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Susan set-up their camera on the tripod and took this fun photo of us all. From the left: Kaci’s future SIL Sara with her youngest, Sara’s husband with their oldest, Drew, Kaci, their puppy Axl, Drew’s parents, and then us.

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Susan was sweet to take this for us!

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We got this photo after Kaci’s first wedding dress appointment. She look fabulous in them all and now knows what style she wants! Susan, me, Kaci, Sara, and Cindy, who will be Kaci’s other bridesmaid. A fabulous group of ladies. 🙂

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On to Texas! Despite Matt and I being together for more than 11 years, he has never been to TX with me to visit my parents. We finally planned a visit, and although it was far too short, it was so wonderful and worth it! We flew down on Friday, January 13th and then flew back that Sunday.

Some photos together in the airport.

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I snapped some in-flight photos, but they don’t do the sunset justice. It was quite beautiful.

My dad picked us up from the airport, and we three at dinner at Outback Steakhouse. It was tasty, and then we headed to the house. We got changed and relaxed for a bit before getting some Zzzz.

We had a light breakfast and coffee at the house before getting ready for lunch at HG Sply Co. I read about it on Laura’s blog, www.takingbackmytwenties.com. The name stands for Hunter Gatherer. Their food was phenomenal!

We ordered three items to split.

Curried sweet potato soup // coconut milk & yellow curry spiced sweet potato soup topped with crispy shaved honey-garlic brussels sprouts, candied pepitas & pomegranate seeds

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Sweet and spicy Berkshire pork short ribs // Chinese 5-spice & citrus braised pork ribs, marinated cucumber salad with fresh mint, cilantro & toasted cashews

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The zucchini “pasta” bowl with grilled Scottish salmon // fresh zucchini “pasta” sautéed with garlic blistered grape tomatoes, roasted eggplant, rainbow chard, caramelized onion, pickled sweet pepper & green olive, topped with toasted hemp-oat crumb

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We then explored the area on foot a little bit, popping into TJ’s for oatmeal and peanut butter for Sunday morning. Unfortunately, we weren’t very bright and packed the peanut butter in Matt’s carryon luggage. They confiscated it at the airport. 😥 We also browsed in this gf bakery.

We stopped by my dad’s office and got to hang out for a while before heading home to change for dinner. It was so fun getting to see him! He wasn’t able to take off on Saturday, but we were thankful we got to still spend part of the afternoon together.

I found a restaurant called Meddlesome Moth that sounded really interesting and delicious. Dad made us a reservation, and we hoped it would turn out to be a great choice.

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I have to say I was quite proud of my selection because we were all really pleased! I failed as a food blogger because I just lived in the moment and didn’t take photos of the food. It was divine, though.

Karin took this photo of us on my phone.

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She then used her iPhone to take one of us, but the flash started to blind us. Lol.

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Two photos of my sweet parents.

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After we ate every last bite of dessert, we made our way home, changed into our pj’s, and Dad picked out the movie Philomena for us to watch. I loved it! We were party animals and stayed up to midnight their time.
On Sunday, we ate breakfast and sipped coffee, lounged around, and then we got ready and packed to unfortunately fly back home. Karin was sweet and took these photos of my dad, Matt, and me. We hadn’t planned to take photos, so she hadn’t showered yet. But I really appreciated these! Dad and Matt both started to tickle me, so we all started cheesing big time.
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I had spotted this lizard on Saturday, and Karin got some awesome photos of him on Sunday!

We flew back into Nashville and made the drive to K-town. We got in about 8:30, which gave us time to eat and unpack. Kaci and Drew had stayed at our place and cared for the babies. I was proud that despite having to go grocery shopping, I was able to make us both a great lunch for Monday. This included frozen mixed vegetables, kalamata olives, avocado, Tribe garlic swirl hummus, and toast on the side. My manager had catered Salsarita’s for the staff, so I added rice, black beans, lettuce, salsa, and pico de gallo. Perfection.

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Happy Friday Eve everyone!

 

Our First Holiday Season as Mr. & Mrs.

Man how I’ve missed this space! Considering the hiatus I took, I’ll need to back-track a bit to the holidays to help play catch up. I worked a half day on Thanksgiving but then we went up to his mom and step-dad’s and had a wonderful rest of the day!

I made a harvest salad with apples, walnuts, almonds, and homemade fig balsamic vinaigrette. I also used some of our leftover cornbread from the wedding (we froze a ton, and it has served us so well!) to make a gf cornbread dressing, complete with homemade cranberry sauce.

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Mr. and Mrs. Daniel…no, it doesn’t get old. 😉

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We also had leftover roasted root vegetables from the wedding that we simply thawed and heated. Perfect! We enjoyed his parents’ turkey with our gf gravy. An excellent meal!

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For dessert, I made us a GF Pumpkin Oat Tahini Bread. We enjoyed it with yogurt and fruit salad thanks to my MIL.

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We also spent Christmas at his mom and step-dad’s, and it too was a lovely holiday. It was unusually warm, though, so I almost burned up in my light sweater!

But first, brunch. We enjoyed Pumpkin Zucchini Baked Oatmeal thanks to Kylie. We enjoyed it with a dollop of Fage, maple syrup, Wild Friends Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter, and apple.

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A little SnapChat shenanigans before we left the house. These kill me!

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Bad lighting, but I love this photo all the same. Broke out my TOMS wedges after not wearing them for too long.

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We had eaten a small lunch beforehand, so we snacked a little on the appetizers. I found the perfect natural ham from Aldi along with adorable mini potatoes that I simply roasted with salt, pepper, and fresh sage. We enjoyed roasted green beans and honey carrots. {That ring on his finger, all the heart-eye emojis.}

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We both agreed not to exchange gifts, especially given we already had an incredible wedding and honeymoon. I couldn’t resist a little gag gift, though, so I snagged this cute tee off of Amazon. Best cat dad ever.

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My sweet parents surprised us with Amazon gift cards, so I finally bought myself a watch that I love to wear almost daily. Gray leather band with rose gold scalloped design and a pretty white face.

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I really had mixed emotions saying goodbye to 2016. While I’m so excited for our future together and always thankful for each day I’m given, 2016 was such an amazing year to us that I wasn’t ready to say “goodbye.” But I had no control over it, so we went out on an awesome note and started 2017 with an epic brunch.

Two of our friends came over New Years Eve, and we had an absolute blast! They brought fresh lobster, which was such a treat. First, we had to take an obligatory photo together as well as some SnapChats with hilarious filters. =D

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Mason and Rachel even got in on the fun!

Matt and Rippy cooked the lobster while Van and I relaxed. I had made a salad for us, and they bought potato salad from the seafood shop. It was my favorite potato salad and was nostalgic to the one I remember eating at my grandparents’ house!

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Our spread.

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We had a relaxing evening watching funny YouTube clips and stayed up until midnight. I almost didn’t think I’d make it because dinner made my sleepy. But I persevered.

We had a light snack on New Year’s Day then got ourselves ready to try First Watch for the first time. We loved it! The atmosphere was so fun, and the food was excellent. I wore my new hoodie from my SIL that is purrfect.

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I chose the smoked salmon frittata while Matt chose their hash with over easy eggs. Because the side was bread, he was able to substitute with more fruit. We were completely satisfied.

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We went to Kroger afterwards and bought everything from food to new pants and flannels for Matt. You know you’re with the right person when even grocery shopping is fun.

I hope you all welcomed the new year in a fun way and have been enjoying 2017 thus far!