Mother’s Day Weekend

I certainly hope everyone enjoyed this past weekend to the fullest! My heart felt very full, and I am grateful for it.

I’m backing up to Thursday when I went on a long walk after work. I took this photo, and it made me think of Mackenzie. She’s the flower queen!


Cheerios is so incredibly generous and sent us two boxes of their peach flavor, complete with this adorable shopping tote, after I messaged them to say I couldn’t find them in our area. We are a Cheerios loving family!


So of course I had them on Friday morning for breakfast. I added strawberries, roasted pistachios, hemp hearts, and milk.


The manager at one of my two clinics was SO sweet and catered Brown Bag for Nurse’s Week, and she always includes myself, our awesome Patient Care Techs, and the social worker. I ordered the salmon burger, spinach salad, and jalapeño corn pudding. It was all amazing!


She also got us a Magpies red velvet cake. Magpies is a local bakery that produces incredible cakes, and this one definitely did not disappoint. Lastly, she gave us a gift card for a manicure. I appreciated it very much!


I was so thankful to get to take a free community Barre3 class after work. I didn’t sleep enough/well Thursday night, but I was craving this movement. It was an amazing flow.


Then we got to go up on the rooftop! I had never been up there, and the set-up and view were so pretty.



I saw their new sign on the way home: “Be the person your pet thinks you are”. Hahahaha


I ate my salad that I had taken for lunch, which included organic spring greens, roasted carrots/parsnip/radishes, avocado, mini peppers, cuke, and green goddess dressing.


Matt made a KILLER whole baked chicken for us!! He seasoned the outside with our Aldi organic basil paste, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, rosemary, and lemon extract inside the cavity. He tossed flour in the Reynold’s oven bag and then added the chicken with all those flavors. He coated russet potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and baked them along the side in foil. It was so juicy, flavorful, and the lemon came through beautifully. We enjoyed some of our roasted eggplant tossed in basil paste + extra virgin olive oil on the side. We added mashed roasted garlic to our potatoes and a dollop of Fage.



His. Plus he went back for more chicken. 😉


I had a few bites of dried banana after my shower and called it a night.


For breakfast, I enjoyed a bowl of thawed fruit, cottage cheese, roasted nuts and sunflower seeds, and Peach Cheerios.


Later in the morning before I left the house, I had a date with cinnamon and tahini.


Then I met Kaci at OrangeTheory for a fabulous workout! I loved this sweet shoutout.


After making a Target run (and saving over $20 in coupons), I came home and had an avocado and smoked trout sandwich with carrots and peppers.


My other manager gave us a tumbler with candy for Nurse’s Week, so I enjoyed some M&M’s for dessert.

Later on after showering and doing some cleaning around the house, I had a baby mug of peanut butter granola and a small mug of coffee. That would turn out to be a bad idea, because I was a bit wired at bed. Whoopsies!


For dinner, I made my sister-in-law’s One Pot Creamy Garlic Pasta. Stop everything you are doing, make a grocery list, and put this dish on your meal plan. It is phenomenal!! I first sautĂ©ed our Aldi spinach feta chicken sausages and then added roasted garlic, rosemary onion, and Aldi Winking Owl pinot grigio white wine. Once reduced by half, I added the vegetable broth, unsweetened almond milk, and Italian seasoning and brought to a boil. I cooked one 8-oz. box of Banza shells, and I loved the shape for this dish! I used freshly grated parmesan instead of nutritional yeast, but both would be tasty. We enjoyed it with a salad and the sausage. I had half while Matt had a whole link.


Our tastebuds and stomachs were beyond happy. Sara continues to produces recipes that are unique, amazing, and easy!

For dessert, I kept it simple to an apple with peanut butter.


Sunday // Mother’s Day

Matt and I slept in until almost 8:00, but he had to get up early to feed our sweeties. I’m so grateful for a husband with such a huge heart and love for our babies!

We each made a bowl of Bakery’s on Main’s strawberry shortcake instant oatmeal and topped them with strawberries from his dad’s small garden and Bob’s Red Mill’s hemp hearts.


Although my sweet, beautiful, heart-of-gold mom passed away 12 years ago next month, I have been blessed with a number of mothers in my life. Karin, my step-mom, has so many similarities to me and “gets me” because of it! She has known me for over half of my life, and she has been such a wonderful mom. Fellow cat mama too!


Our god mom, Pat has been there for us ever since our early years in high school. After our mom unexpectedly drowned as a result of her illness and battle with alcoholism, Pat was our rock. She gave us advice, listened to us, and she helped us to process our loss. We have shared countless laughs, and her laugh is so infectious.


Was Karin not gorgeous at both my wedding and Kaci’s? She makes it look effortless too.


My mother-in-law has been a mom to me for nearly 13 years since I met Matt! Early on in his and my relationship, she shared with me that I was like the daughter she never had, which really touched me.


My selfless, vibrant, and fun mom. As I’ve gotten older, so many people tell me I look like her, which is *the*  best compliment.


We decided to change things up and meet for brunch this year to celebrate! Unfortunately, First Watch was s-l-a-m-m-e-d. We had such a long wait, but the food was worth it, and I loved having that extra time to spend with family!

Matt with his mom.


Diane and her husband, Tim.


We sandwiched her!


My heart.


I enjoyed their BLT benedict, and I would’ve licked the plate if others wouldn’t have judge me. Ha!


Matt ordered their chimichurri seasonal special along with Udi bread and a side of bacon.


Diane ordered one of their hash creations.


I didn’t photograph it, but Tim ordered ‘The Works’ omelet with a side of millionaire’s bacon.

When we got home, I did some meal prep by steaming a bag of fresh broccoli/ cauliflower/carrots, roasted mushrooms and cubed spaghetti squash seasoned with garlic herb blend, and cooked a large pot of Jasmine rice with vegetable broth.

I’m so grateful for these babies who make me a mom!




I got changed and went right back across town where we had been for brunch to take another free community Barre3 class. Despite being a little sore from my two prior workouts, I was able to really give it my all, and man oh man did it feel good!

Once home, I enjoyed some roasted nuts with lentil edamame chips then went back for more nuts and blue corn tortilla chips.

For dinner I made us vegetarian bowls complete with Jasmine rice, steamed vegetables, roasted vegetables, organic canned chickpeas, and chips + Caesar dressing for Matt and the last of the green goddess dressing for me.


Matt’s unique bond with each baby warms my heart. He has been helping Jax get his magnet (there’s one on the fridge that’s bright and gets his attention!), and then he just sat all squished on his shoulder. Precious!


For dessert, I had a smoothie made with frozen banana and fruit salad mix, Fage Greek yogurt, milk, and then I topped it with peanut butter, peanut butter granola, and M&M’s.


Here’s to a successful and productive week for us all!


Recent Eats

I’m back with another round of a few meals and snacks that I’ve really enjoyed over the past week or so!

First up is this bowl of savory oatmeal complete with smoked paprika, dried Italian herbs, everything bagel seasoning, salt and pepper, organic basil paste from Aldi, spinach, aged sharp white cheddar, and a soft cooked egg.


I came up with this waffle sandwich creation that I was really pleased with. Matt tried it too on his waffles and loved it! I toasted two Kodiak Cakes buttermilk vanilla protein waffles then spread Boar’s Head dark chocolate hummus on one and cream cheese on the other plus sliced strawberries.

Matt transferred the raw honey to a squeeze bottle, so I made overnight oats in the jar. I included Fage Greek yogurt, milk, cinnamon, cardamom, strawberries and then topped it all with peanut butter in the morning.

We had a lunch and learn at work, and the sweet representative catered Panera Bread for us. They were out of their large salad containers, so this Green Goddess Club was portioned into two containers. I ate one on Tuesday with the baguette and saved the other for Wednesday. It worked out perfectly and was so tasty!


One evening I made us a “power bowl” with white Jasmine rice (we’ve both been craving it!), roasted rosemary onions, roasted radish/parsnip/carrots/greens beans, Roots lima bean hummus, Aldi organic basil paste, and roasted sunflower seeds. We both loved all of the flavors and textures.


I served us the same rice and vegetables with Aldi adobo frozen shrimp. They were so spicy but very good. We were just surprised by how much heat they had. Allthewater, ha!


Matt and I split a Thai Nourish bowl and added the last of our adobo shrimp. I gave gim the last of our prepared Jasmine rice while I had my last slice of organic honey oat bread. A lot of “lasts” here, ha!


Another bowl that included brown rice, roasted cabbage, steamed vegetable medley, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes, turmeric, avocado, blue corn chips, salsa, and tahini drizzle. I *love* tahini!


I’ve been craving hemp hearts like crazy but couldn’t bite the bullet to buy them because they’re so expensive, and we have a lot of nuts and seeds already. However, I found a bag of Bob’s Red Mill at Big Lots: score! I added them to a bowl of Fage Greek with fresh date for a morning snack. So satisfying!


Our awesome social worker at one of my clinics surprised us all with local donuts in celebration of Nurse’s Week. I enjoyed part of the lemon-filled with powdered sugar, and it was tasty. I love all things lemon!


Have the very best Friyay Eve!

“Treat Yo’ Self”

I’m becoming more convinced that time is genuinely moving quicker as we get older. How is it Monday? At least I get to relive our weekend here! First up, Friday’s breakfast.


I soaked oats with milk, spices, and vanilla overnight then heated it in a bowl. Stirred in dark brown sugar and topped with peanut butter and chia jam.




I ran a few errands after work, then enjoyed this slice of hummus toast when I got home.


For dinner, I used this new barbeque sauce over baked chicken breasts.


It was so good! Tangy, sweet, and overall a nice flavor. I was really pleased with how juicy the chicken was, especially since they had been frozen. A simple salad to go along with it.


Dessert included Fage, thawed mango, ginger, and pistachios plus two banana pancake puff bites.




After getting a wonderful night’s sleep, I made this fabulous breakfast. One slice of avocado toast with bagel seasoning and Italian herb blend and a second slice with chia jam. I tried another Ore Ida scramble cups, and this was my favorite flavor! It had mozzarella, potatoes, turkey sausage, peppers, and onion.



Matt turned his cup into an omelet with his toppings on waffles plus powdered sugar on his chia jam. He said it tasted like a funnel cake, and I was jealous I didn’t think of doing the same. Lol


I took my first (free) class at OrangeTheory later that morning, but before I went inside, I had chocolate hummus and an apple.



It was a really good, challenging class! I’m signed up to attend with Kaci this coming Saturday. I treated myself to Zoe’s for lunch. I ordered a side of their new baked falafel along with a side Greek salad. Perfectly filling and enjoyable.


After running yet more errands, I came home and finally showered then ate cereal with frozen banana, peanut butter, and milk. I also made a small mug of coffee, and it was so delicious!


I tackled our closet, and I was able to completely reorganize Matt’s clothes as well as switch out mine for spring/summer. All in a matter of maybe two hours, which is a record!

As I walked in and out of our bedroom, I chose to stop and read our vows once more. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and sometimes let little things bother you. But then reading our heatfelt words to each other serves as such a wonderful reminder of our love. I love having these on display! I was immediately taken back to our wedding day.


Dinner was wilted spinach, 90-second rice, Tandur bbq spiced baked salmon, and pepper plus carrots for crunch.


I enjoyed Fage with fruit, chopped roasted nuts, and cinnamon frosted wheat cereal.


Me too, Jackson.



I decided to try this organic sprouted bread from Aldi. All of their breads are so good!


I topped one slice with chocolate hummus and strawberries, and I toasted a slice of organic honey oat with spinach and cheddar before topping with an over easy egg. Clearly I was on a toast kick!


Sweet Ray catching some sunrays!


Matt and I picked up Kaci and all three of us checked out the Retropolitan Craft Fair together. Their slogan is, “treat yo’ self”. Hence my blog title. 😉


They had a lot of awesome vendors, including this booth with cute pillows!


We participated in the photo booth and are waiting for the professional photographer to email the photos. I love photo booths!


We finally decided on Cru Bistro for lunch. Kaci wasn’t hungry, but she was sweet and a trooper to hang out with us while we ate. Matt got The Tower: boiled shrimp, lump crab, pico de gallo, shredded romaine, honey chipotle vinaigrette, and per my suggestion, he substituted cucumber for the chips. The corn chips are fried in oil that is contaminated with gluten.


I chose their artichoke salad and chimichurri-marinated portabello mushroom caps stuffed with red pepper cilantro quinoa and sweet chili sauce.



After we got back to Kaci and Drew’s place, we went on a lovely walk with Axl. The weather was so perfect. A nice breeze kept it cool while the sun felt like just enough.

I was in the mood for more walking, so after Matt and I got home, I went on about a 30-minute one before vacuuming and cleaning up the house. I made our lunches for today and then munched on these edamame and lentil garlic hummus chips from Aldi with salsa.


Dinner was a simple salad (apparently these temperatures have me craving them) that included mixed greens, mini peppers, avocado, Aldi prepared black bean corn salad, and cottage cheese.


For an after dinner “mint” I had this Ghiradelli peppermint bark. My MIL gave us each a package in our Christmas stocking, and I forgot about them until now! So good.

I sipped on peach black tea with honey while I cooked our oats for breakfast this morning. Stove top > microwave, so I’m wanting to make an effort to either make them ahead of time or make time in the morning.

Dessert was a Gala apple, Multigrain Cheerios, cinnamon, and milk in a peanut butter jar. Mason and I love when we get to eat out of the jar!


Matt and I watched the first episode of Marcella. Kaci loves the show, and we definitely like our crime/mystery/thriller type shows! Has anyone seen it, and if so, what are your thoughts? I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Friday Favs + Finds

Hello beautiful people! I have been in such good spirits this week and am hoping it continues. I think it’s a combination of our epic weekend getaway, overcoming some of my fears/anxiety and thus feeling more like myself, and this weather.

Haley Goodrich always shares such awesome posts, and this one resonated with me. It’s also gorgeous and would make a great phone wallpaper!


This message, complete with the reference to Alice in Wonderland, is so darn perfect! It served as a great reminder to me that we will all face hard times, but these often lead to better outcomes.


I thought this was really cute, and it gave me a smile. I sent it to Matt, and he got a kick out of it too!


Speaking of which…I bought this bag of coffee from First Watch, and we were both so pleased with the flavor!


I just found this on sale at Ingles and decided to give it a try. It was a bit too bitter prepared on the bold setting in my coffee maker, so I’m going to try cutting back on the grounds-to-water ratio. Otherwise, it was delicious.


I always love trying new yogurt brands and flavors. Chobani’s “hint of” line is fabulous. We tried the cherry and blueberry flavors, and both were just as they state: a nice taste but not overwhelming.


I *finally* got my hands on a Siggi’s Triple Cream yogurt! In lemon no less, which happens to be one of my fav flavors ever.


I don’t normally buy products with protein isolates added simply because I like to get my protein from real/natural sources. However, I love me some Kodiak Cakes, and these looked and sounded great. I had two toasted with cottage cheese, fruit, and maple (shown in my last blog post), and they are fab-u-lous! The vanilla flavor comes through so well.


On a whim, I decided to buy this cereal, on sale, and it was an awesome decision! I love shredded wheat plain or frosted, and the addition of cinnamon is lovely.


Matt first saw the advertisement for these Ore Ida Scramble Kits/Cups, and we both thought they sounded fun. This is the second flavor we’ve bought, and both were tasty. We enjoy adding toast, fruit, etc. on the side for more carbs so that it will keep us fuller longer.


While shopping at Ingles, I saw these frozen entrees. While I don’t agree with their “skinny” marketing, I wanted to try them. Being that Matt has Celiac, GF ravioli is hard to find for us.


Hummus on hummus on hummus! The Roots brand is actually made in Asheville, NC. I love their unique flavors! Aldi sold out of their dessert hummus so quickly, so we never got to enjoy the chocolate variety. I decided to get Boar’s Head to try.


I’m a sucker for Pixi tinted lip balm, and I decided to try this color, Scarlet Sorbet.


Here’s a poorly lit selfie to show how the color appears on my lips. Haha


Kylie shared on her blog about Culturelle, and I felt the evidence she presented was strong. I am always interested in improving my gut health, so I’m excited to try this supplement!


Wishing you all the best day and weekend ahead!

Meal Highlights

Good morning! I’m sipping on the last of my coffee and wanted to quickly share some delicious meals I have enjoyed lately.

First up, waffles. I topped Van’s Ancient Grains with yogurt, banana, thawed berries, sunflower seeds, spices, and honey over wilted spinach.


This morning I tried Kodiak Cakes higher protein Buttermilk and Vanilla waffles. Holy smokes, they are delicious! I topped them with cottage cheese, thawed fruit blend, and maple syrup.


Yesterday, I treated myself to breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit Company. I had to fast for my annual exam, so this was extra delicious. Behold The Reinhold: crispy fried chicken, dill pickles, and house made honey mustard on a fabulous biscuit with their maple tap black coffee on the side. DELICIOUS!


I roasted a head of seasoned cabbage to enjoy with our Asian-style peanut pork tenderloin over rice. Matt and I loved this pork recipe, and I can’t wait for him to make it again!


A very quick, simple, yet so flavorful salad one evening. It was a salad kit in a bag, and I added steamed green beans plus avocado toast on the side.


Banza spaghetti pasta plus Rao’s roasted garlic pasta sauce – match made in heaven! We hadn’t enjoyed GF spaghetti that held it’s texture well in a long time, but this was so perfect. Served with a salad topped with radish, yellow pepper, avocado, parmesan, and sautĂ©ed scallions seasoned with everything bagel blend and then simmered with white wine <– Matt’s idea!


Power bowl consisting of canned organic tri-bean blend, thawed soup vegetable blend, roasted cabbage, avocado, salsa, and roasted sweet potatoes.


For today’s lunch, Matt and I made sweet potato “fettuccine” topped with leftover pasta sauce, Tandur BBQ-spiced baked wild caught salmon, parmesan, and I’ll have a bread stick as well.


I channelled Alexis of Hummusapien one evening with avocado organic honey oat toast plus everything bagel seasoning to start.


Steamed vegetables from frozen, canned organic cannellini beans (my favorite!), marinated white asparagus that I found at Aldi, black pepper plus turmeric (as Alexis has taught me, pepper enhances the body’s ability to absorb the benefits from the turmeric), garlic, tahini, parmesan, and avocado.


One afternoon I was in need of a snack and found this at Walgreens. I’ve been on a savory kick, and this was so perfect! It didn’t hold me for long since it was low in carbs, but it was very tasty.


I enjoyed this snickerdoodle from a local bakery that was the perfect sweet to end my lunch.


I hope, as always, that this has given you some inspiration! Make today a great one!

The Need for Speed, Birthday Celebrations, Exploring Savannah

I want to begin by saying this was the very best race weekend and birthday celebration for Matt ever, and I’m beyond grateful!! I came back feeling more calm than I have in a long time, and I can’t say enough how happy it made me to see Matt enjoy himself so much. We went to the same track, Roebling Road Raceway, where he got his racing license February 2016.

I gave him his card on Thursday even though his birthday was on Sunday. I wanted to give it to him before our weekend got under way. Is it not adorable?



For breakfast, I had our last muffin with cottage cheese and fresh raspberries. Then I enjoyed an over easy egg over wilted greens with everything bagel seasoning.

Had to get our selfie out front of our place before we hit the road!


Matt had forgot to renew his driver’s license, and it was set to expire on his birthday. When he tried to do so online, it wouldn’t process. He went down to the department, and they told him the system was down across the area. Cue a mini panic given he’d be driving the truck and trailer on Sunday and Monday. Thankfully, they called us before we had left town, and he was able to get it renewed. Phew!

While he in their office, I snacked on this yogurt. I loved it!


I packed us each a Hilary’s vegetable burger with avocado, greens, and Caesar dressing on GF bread for Matt and open-faced for me. The last of our red pepper on the side. I fed him while he drove then enjoyed mine.



The last truffle plus an apple for dessert.



This flavor is so good! I had never seen it before. Snag it if you see it in the store!


I wanted some coffee, so we stopped at a Dunkin Donuts where I ordered a half caf iced latte. I don’t know what I was doing with my arm. Lol! But I thought my shirt was rather appropriate. 😉

After Matt went through tech inspection and together we got our air mattress inflated and made, tent put up over the car, and everything organized, we walked the track. It is just over two miles, and boy did it feel good after a seven hour drive! It was a gorgeous evening too.



We took photos at this tree in July 2016, so we figured we’d try to recreate them.

Dinner was so simple and tasty! I brought our baked cabbage, steamed green beans, wild rice/cauliflower pearls/brown rice, and Target cooked chicken with the last of our Asian peanut butter sauce to heat in the microwave.


Dessert for me was Fage plain Greek yogurt with half a banana, half a Nature’s Valley peanut butter filled bar, and sunflower seeds.



We slept well except for our faces freezing during the night. The temperature dropped to the 50’s, and while we were warm under our covers, our faces were definitely not. But breakfast was so good! I finally found these Ore Ida scramble cups to try. We had toast with fruit spread and split a grapefruit on the side. I added cinnamon to my grapefruit.



Lovely morning selfie for ya.


All ready for his qualifying session!


I just love this sport and my husband. Sorry to gush, but I can’t help myself.


After showering. I felt like a new lady.


I had a mid-morning snack of Fage, the second half of my Nature’s Valley bar, sunflower seeds, and raspberries. We had these cups from the hotel stay that Matt and his Dad had when they first picked up the trailer in 2016. Love the mustache.

The pine trees produced such huge pinecones at the track!


Lunch was spinach, a packet of Bumble Bee jalapeno tuna, carrot, and blue corn chips enjoyed in the sunshine.


I repainted my nails while we were waiting for his race.


After he completed his race (and did very well!), I enjoyed a banana and half a packet of Justin’s almond butter.


They always hold a dinner social on Saturday night, but we haven’t eaten due to Matt having Celiac. However, Matt just gave the roll to a friend and was careful to eat what hadn’t been contaminated. While I was at first nervous, I realized he does a great job of being careful. This was so dang delicious! I ate a little beyond my fullness but left the drumstick and roll.


We again walked the track and enjoyed so. many. laughs. together!

I noshed on half the roll with Fage, honey, and cinnamon. Hit the spot.



Up and at ’em on Sunday! Despite it being chilly, I enjoyed instant oats mixed with Fage, spices, honey, raspberries, and we split a packet of Justin’s vanilla almond butter.


Birthday photo together! He turned 35 but hardly looks 30 to me. Love my handsome man.


He ran his qualifying session and then was scheduled to be the first group on the track after lunch hour. We had some of the rice mixture with sweet and spicy tuna and a carrot. I had the last of the crunchy toppings from a salad kit in a bag while Matt had sunflower seeds.


Matt took second place in his class and fourth overall for his race!!! I was such a proud wife!


His awesome plaque.

I snacked on a Larabar while we broke down our setup and got packed to leave the track for a night in downtown Savannah, GA.


Funny story: I confirmed with our hotel that we could park our truck and 26′ long enclosed trailer in their lot. Turns out, they only do valet parking and do not have said lot. They told us to call the visitor center for a parking pass. Welp, they quit issuing them for overnight parking in January. They then directed us to the convention center across the river. We ended up having to park and leave it there before taking the free ferry back across to then walk about half a mile to the hotel…with our luggage. This was after first walking around the center trying to confirm if we could, indeed, leave our vehicle and trailer there. Everyone we spoke to was like, “yea, that’s normal.” We just felt so weird about it!

Ferry selfie. I was so proud of us both for not losing our tempers but instead, we made the most of it! We ended up thinking the ferry was a fun adventure


Look how huge some of these ships were! I was amazed by the sheer size and power of them all.


I thought this was a really pretty church as we were walking to the hotel.


Matt politely explained our ordeal to the gentleman who checked us into our room, and he immediately, without hesitation, gave us each free breakfast vouchers for Monday! I was so appreciative.

After getting ready in record time, we sat out for dinner without a plan. This is so unlike me, but I’m really learning to wing it more. We settled on Belford’s, a steak and seafood restaurant. While the photo isn’t the best quality, I definitely treasure it.



We got their Dixie Lemonade, alcoholic for him, virgin for me. I loved it! I tasted his and thought mine was better.


He then got their mule, though, and I loved it. If I did choose to drink, whiskey would be my liquor of choice. Loved the addition of the berry skewer!


We split their sautĂ©ed calamari appetizer, and man was it full of flavor! They weren’t over cooked or chewy either.


I went with their shrimp and greens with tomatoes, bacon, cheese, and that grit cake that was so stinkin’ delicious! I was pleasantly full but wanted another. Haha.


Matt chose one of their specials, halibut with greens, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and lentils. It was phenomenal too!


Our waitress was great and suggested we go to Lulu’s Chocolate Bar for dessert. I got black coffee, which was very lovely.


Matt got one of their alcoholic hot coffee drinks, and it was so good too!


They were SO sweet and surprised him with one of their white chocolate covered strawberries after I told them it was his birthday!




Matt enjoyed their chocolate flourless torte with raspberries, and it was decadent and perfect.


I had to go with their peanut butter chocolate pie. Y’all, the crust, the peanut butter mousse filling. It was so divine! Unfortunately, I left my other half in the hotel mini fridge. Womp womp.


As we were walking back to the hotel, we saw this sign. I would love to visit the cafĂ© when it’s open!



After a good night’s sleep and a hot shower, we made our way downstairs for breakfast. This was the weekend of selfies together. :*


I started with scrambled eggs, dollop of cottage cheese, sprinkle of cheddar, taste of grits, and ate this smoked salmon caper cream cheese bagel open-faced. Their coffee was really good in my opinion! The staff were all really friendly too.


I snagged a bite of Matt’s bacon too. So crispy and tasty.


I then got oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, walnuts, pineapple, and grapefruit. Loved this creation!


Matt got a big grits, eggs, bacon, cheese bowl. The boy has an appetite!


We got coffees to go, checked out of the hotel, and we made our way over to the ferry dock. Look at this enormous freight liner from China. Matt said to remember that anytime you receive a notification that something is on back order, it probably got held up on one of these ships. Craziness!


They had a statue and sign discussing the slave history, and I loved these arrangements at the base.



After dropping off our luggage at the truck, we stopped to take a few photos at this cool wall. I got Matt this t-shirt that he actually saw advertised on his Facebook page.


I loved the shirt and thought it was really fun. That smile ❀


We stopped inside the convention center to use the restroom and saw some pretty artwork on display.

Matt was so sweet and offered to take my photo with the palm trees. It was such a perfect day! The weather was lovely, not too hot or cold.


Strike a pose!


After getting back over to downtown, we set out to explore. I saw the Olde Pink House that I had discovered in my Google searches for restaurants.


Check out these cakes on window display!

The City Market is a happening place, and on the corner is Belford’s where we dined at.


We both got some free cookie samples at this fun store.

I then caught up with my good friend, Marilyn. Ha!


McD’s is apparently bringing back Snoopy to their Happy Meals.


Matt was really sweet and let me stop at The Coffee Fox to finally get my first kolache. Kylie has written about them, but I’d never been able to try one. I had half of this cream cheese and fruit nice and warm. So good!


I also got an iced matcha latte that was perfect and refreshing.


Matt and I chose to dine at Chive Sea Bar and Lounge for lunch.


It was so fancy feeling and comfortable!


SnapChat filters together as we waited on our noms.

We loved the atmosphere!



Matt ordered a cocktail, and I enjoyed a sip.


He chose one of their lunch specials of baked snapper risotto. ‘Twas fabulous.



I enjoyed about half of their mango arugula salad with grapes, strawberries, avocado, and walnuts.


Then it was time to get back to the truck and on the road.



This is where we parked. See how it seemed strange? But it worked out well!

I decided to get myself a t-shirt souvenir that I wore home.


We walked quite a lot every day of the trip! Matt’s app tallied up a lot, and he even spent time in the race car. Our little feet were movin’.


I succeeded in feeding us this bowl for dinner, which kept perfectly in the cooler. The last of our rice mixture, vegetables, chicken, and avocado ranch dressing. I fed him bite by bite while he drove. Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself! I also served as dj. 😉


I had my cookie samples from earlier for dessert.


I saw this on a sign, and it cracked up!


Once we were home, unpacked, laundry going, and babies fed, I enjoyed herbal tea with honey plus yogurt, pb, and cereal. Kaci took the absolute best care of the babies and our place while we were gone, and even cleaned their bathroom and ran our dishwasher. We are forever grateful!


I love that it’s now a short week for us. I hope everyone has a fabulous day and week ahead!

Livin’ That Brunch Life, Lots o’ Chalk, & Earth Day Celebration

I hope everyone had an incredible weekend! Unfortunately, I discovered on Friday morning that my mentor from my current RD position passed away on Wednesday. He had battled cancer for many years, and sadly, his body had experienced enough. I’m thankful he’s at peace finally, but it’s strange that he’s gone. I will be attending his receiving of friends this evening. Please keep his family in your thoughts.


I enjoyed this bowl of thawed mango with ground ginger and turmeric, cottage cheese, banana pancake puffs, tahini, and maple for breakfast. It was so good!


For lunch, my dietetic intern and I dined at First Watch. I put together these sides: green salad with delish lemon dressing, cheesy Bob’s Red Mill grits, and two poached eggs plus their new coffee. I enjoyed it all!


For dinner, I put together quite an awesome salad topped with warmed baked bbq chicken and toast on the side.


Mason had a baby bite of avocado toast!

For dessert, I had the last waffle warmed and topped with pb and chocolate chips plus yogurt and a cara cara orange. Love this orange variety!


After sleeping in and feeling nicely rested, I again had mango and cottage cheese but this time topped with an applesauce muffin and tahini.


Matt snapped these of Rachel chillin’ on my lap, and her face kills me! Girlfriend needed some coffee.

Jax is so darn cute!

Remind me not to get gel polish again for a long time, k?


For lunch, I quickly heated this meal, and it hit the spot!

Once ready, I made my way downtown. I stopped at Old City Java to enjoy a tea and pastry. It had been way too long since I’d visited!

Earl Gray with lavender, one of my favs!


I enjoyed every morsel of this savory feta scone. I’ve really been in a savory kick!


Love their café vibe.


I went downtown to check out the Sidewalk Side Show, which included amazing chalk works of art, jugglers, bands, acrobats, etc.


Are these not amazing?





After enjoying my time there, I went by Kroger and Aldi before coming home and making dinner. A salad topped with a prepared chickepea/edamame/dried cranberry salad from Aldi, baked salmon seasoned with Old Bay, and blue corn chips. We loved the sweet and spicy flavor combinations.


Dessert was a small smoothie with cinnamon frosted wheat cereal and pb.


Don’t you just want to squeeze his sweet little face?

I saw a number of couples downtown, so here’s some winners from when I attended! Gah, I was so young!


I have to say this was quite epic and ’twas my idea. Wilted spinach heated with marinated artichoke hearts, GF spaghetti, tomato vodka sauce simmered with mushrooms, parm, an over easy egg, and toast with jam. Holy deliciousness!


I made Anne’s blueberry oat muffins later in the morning, and Matt and I each enjoyed one fresh out of the oven. Perfection! I subbed pb instead of almond butter and pecans instead of walnuts. Do yourself a favor and make these soon!


I did a quick Barre3 workout that was primarily stretching, showered, and I picked up Kaci to go down to the Knox Food Truck Park for a celebration of Earth Day. We went to The Hive where they had a photo booth set-up for free. Their space is unbelievably gorgeous!!






Twinklets! It took a number of tries to get this gem.



There had been a wedding the day before, and this confetti was the last remnants of it. Kaci and Drew had seen some of it from the food truck park that evening.


If I could keep plants alive, then I’d love to have this one day!


Is she not adorable!


I put together yet another salad for Matt and me to have for lunch.


Plus chocolate ice cream and sweet salty trail mix for good measure.


Kaci, Drew, Axl, and I went out to the lake house to check on it. Axl thoroughly enjoyed himself!

Here is our fun photo booth print from The Hive!


Kaci also surprised me with this sign! Food puns can’t be “beet”. 😉


Matt made us a killer dinner!! He used a recipe from Reynold’s that was included with our oven bags. Asian-style pork tenderloin with pb, raw honey, salsa, spices, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Topped with roasted chopped nuts and scallions. I cooked the last of our brown rice with the remainder of our organic beef bone broth in the morning and roasted green beans with Tandur bbq spice blend. I used too much, but otherwise, this meal was so epic.


Late dessert was, you guessed it, mango, yogurt, and cinnamon frosted wheat cereal. Mango and I are clearly having a moment.


I’ll leave you with this, ha!


Please keep your fingers crossed for Mason. He has his appointment today, and they want to run a full blood panel to confirm that hour new chemo regimen is working. Have a great week ahead!





Recent Eats

Hello beautiful people! I hope your Friday Eve is off to a wonderful start. Mine has included a delicious breakfast I’m sharing in this post, hot coffee, kitty snuggles, and a gorgeous sunrise.

First up is this amazing savory breakfast I made on Tuesday. Matt and I split our remaining carrots and onions that were made with the beef roast, and we heated them over spinach with cheddar. I topped mine with a sunny side up egg sprinkled with bagel seasoning.


On the side, I had this delicious cinnamon frosted wheat cereal I will share about in my post tomorrow.


Instead of having waffles on Wednesday, I had a sandwich filled with cheddar, wilted spinach, avocado, and an over easy egg plus half of a cara cara orange on the side.



This morning I had amazing overnight oats made with a packet of Nature’s Path GF instant oats soaked with ground flax, milk, and cottage cheese. I put it on top of mango with sweet hummus on top.


I made Erin’s applesauce muffins on Tuesday, and my gosh they are delicious! They’re the perfect staple muffin recipe that can be left as is or dressed up, such as adding cream cheese and chai sugar on top. They’ve been fabulous either way.


Mason wanted one! I gave him the first bite, don’t worry. 😉



For lunch one day, Matt and I enjoyed roasted garlic green beans, roasted sweet potato rounds, and a Hilary’s hemp and greens veggie burger. I was able to snag two boxes on sale plus with a coupon. Score! We love these.


Lastly, we had a lovely spaghetti dinner one evening. Instead of a green salad, I made a plate of roasted green beans, marinated artichoke hearts, radish, and pine nut hummus.


No matter how I prepare GF rice-based pasta, it becomes mush. Sigh. But the vodka pasta sauce simmered with mushrooms and topped with parmesan was tasty


I hope you all have an awesome day! I’m getting my hair cut later, and I’m really looking forward to it. I love having a fresh pixie. 🙂

The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go

We had such an awesome weekend! I’m going to backtrack to Thursday to share our attendance to the Judah and the Lion concert. It was epic!


I absolutely loved this oatmeal creation. I soaked a packet of Ancient Grains instant oats overnight with milk and water then heated them in the morning. I topped with warmed berry/cherry/pom blend, swirled in cream cheese, and finished with sunflower seeds and  vanilla sweet hummus.


That evening we met Drew and Kaci at the Food Truck Park for dinner before walking over to the concert venue. Drew ordered from the hibachi truck.


Kaci and I split a Mediterranean chicken wrap and chicken pita. The pita bread was so doughy. Yum!



Matt chose the loaded tater tots again but added pulled pork and beef brisket together.


Love my girl! We dressed twinkle-like.


Such a gorgeous couple!


I, of course, had the best date ever. ❀


Kase took a portrait of us. 😉


During the concert I snapped these two gems. Love being goofy!



I didn’t take any photos but did take a few videos. They ended with ‘Sweet Tennessee’ and Rocky Top. They hold a special place in my heart because we chose ‘Sweet Tennessee’ as our reception introduction song. It’s been our alarm song ever since!


I started Friday morning with my leftover biscuit from Scrambled Jakes warmed with melted cheddar and an over easy egg plus wilted greens, avocado, and everything bagel seasoning. I ate half the biscuit and all the toppings and was full, so I saved the other half to go with jam for a snack later in the morning.


I tried this Chobani flip cup for an afternoon snack and really enjoyed the flavor. Love me some pie pieces!


Dinner was leftover roast and then kitty snuggles followed.

Dessert was a carob cauliflower rice muffin in yogurt with pb and an apple.



I finally soaked oats and almond milk with ginger, cinnamon, and clove in our nearly empty local honey jar. I split it between us and heated it through.


Topped mine with berry mix and sweet hummus.


After getting ready, I had the last of our salmon pasta with the addition of roasted asparagus plus Havarti avocado toast.


I met Kaci and Drew at their place to join them for a hike. I had checked the mail before I left, and my Lyla Taylor Boutique earrings had arrived! Kath wrote about this boutique on a recent blog post.

Since they were still getting ready, I decided to go down to the Pearl on Union to get a treat. The owners of Old City Java and Wild Love Bake House just opened this cafe. It’s super bright and pretty!



I got an iced half caf latte that was so refreshing.



I flipped through this catalogue while I sipped on my Joe.


Then it was off to House Mountain! We hiked here in November, and it was so nice to be back.

I also got myself a salted chocolate sable from Pearl on Union that I ate before we started.



I decided to join them last minute, and Matt already had plans to clean out the garage and work a bit on his car. But next time we’ll all go!


Our brave guide pup!













Panoramic shot ❀


Once I was back home, I whipped up this dinner. SautĂ©ed baby kale and spinach topped with organic tri-bean blend, broccoli slaw, ‘shrooms, artichoke hearts, mini pepper, Chick-fil-a sauce (obsessed), and Kaci was so sweet and gave me this local Tellico Grains pecan cranberry bread. I topped it with cream cheese and more pecans because it was National Pecan Day.


Dessert was yogurt, banana, and pb.



I had breakfast in two courses, starting with a sunny side up egg over mashed avocado with everything bagel seasoning and the last of the cran pecan bread.


Next “course” was yogurt, fruit, and pb. I didn’t quite finish the yogurt, so I saved it for later.


I participated in an Instagram contest and won a variety pack of RX Bars, and I was so excited to receive this message!


I sported my new earrings to meet Kaci and Drew for brunch!



The husband of one of Kaci’s fun friends is a chef that holds pop-up brunches at several cafes. He held brunch and a giveaway at Honeybee.

I enjoyed a half caf whole milk vanilla latte.


Kaci had a brown sugar iced latte. Love this letter-board!


Drew enjoyed a cold brew with the short ribs and grits.


I had the last smoke salmon tostada that was fabulous!


Kaci chose the sweet potato apple bacon hash topped with an over easy egg.


They were so sweet and gave Kaci a complimentary avocado toast with watermelon radish and bacon!


After grocery shopping, I enjoyed the rest of my yogurt with a new cereal I found. I’ll share it on my Friday Favs + Finds post!


We finished the roast with freshly roasted sweet potato and green beans.


Dessert was so good! Herbal tea with raw honey along with apple, last carob cauliflower muffin, and roasted nuts.


Today is gross and so cold, but maybe, just maybe, spring will be back for good! Make this week a great one!