Carbs + Cats

This weekend turned out to be heavy on self-care, which I greatly appreciated and needed. It actually began on Thursday with a pedicure thanks to one of my clinic managers! She treated all of her staff to one as thanks for Nurse’s Week. Despite not being a nurse, she didn’t leave me or the social worker out of the fun.  🙂

Breakfast was basically overnight oats but assembled in the morning…so morning oats. haha

IMG_8825

I wore my new “party pants” that I ordered from Boden. Love them!

IMG_8830

After getting a much needed haircut, I made a Target run and found these salads. We each had one for dinner plus an appetizer plate of sorts.

IMG_8833IMG_8834IMG_8835

Then we took the babies outside for some fresh air. Jackson is getting so brave!

IMG_8845

Dessert that includes chocolate is always the best.

IMG_8846

For breakfast on Saturday, I kept it on the lighter side because I was meeting up with Kaci, Drew, and Cindy for International Biscuit Festival downtown!

IMG_8847

Biscuit Blvd for the day.

IMG_8854

We had to get a photo with Ms. Biscuit. 😉

IMG_8884IMG_8886

With your ticket, you received five biscuits of your choice. I tried the West Egg, which was excellent. I loved the cornmeal! Kaci and Drew enjoyed The Tennessean’s ‘Pigs Can Fly’ biscuit.

It was hard to choose a favorite between OliBea’s, which included chorizo gravy, and Tupelo Honey, which had pulled pork and onion marmalade.

An awesome crew! (I kinda made a pun with my shirt and didn’t mean to. lol)

IMG_8885

Drew had Swaggerty’s sausage biscuit, one that included beef, and another that had sausage with some type of spread and herbs.

The line forthe chocolate toffee went around the building, so unfortunately I couldn’t try it. But they won the contest!

I loved the Murray’s that had two types of cheese.

After going home to change, I went back downtown for another round of kitten yoga! This time it was held at Barre Belle studio, and Young Williams again brought four sweet kittens up for adoption.

IMG_8892

One’s day cannot turn sour after biscuits and kitty cuddles. Once home again, I ate this snack plate that included a Garden Lite vegetable egg muffin.

IMG_8893

Baby Girl just loves her man.

IMG_8901

For dinner, I made lemon and Indian spiced baked chicken over garlic and olive oil quinoa, steamed green beans, and a salad.

IMG_8902

Dessert was part of a large gala apple, yogurt, nuts, cinnamon, and coconut.

IMG_8903

I saved some of my biscuits and had them with cheesy fluffy scrambled eggs, wilted spinach, cherries, and coffee on Sunday morning.

IMG_8904

I treated myself to a 90-min. massage at Wow! Massage, and it was very enjoyable and helped me to relax. I made yet another Target run then came home to finish some chores and go on a long walk. Magnolias have always been one of my favorites.

IMG_8910

I made us spaghetti with Banza chickpea pasta and a nice salad on the side. It hit the spot for both of us!

IMG_8913

Last night’s sunset looked like cotton candy. So pretty!

I snagged Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter with a cartwheel coupon, so I had it on one slice of toast with banana / melted provolone with avocado on the other.

IMG_8922

Matt went a bit more fancy.

IMG_8923

Today I’m sporting my new “Rachel” dress by Boden. Bringing some brightness to an otherwise dreary Monday.

IMG_8924

Hope everyone had a great weekend and is off to a great start!

 

Mother’s Day Weekend 2017

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Friday morning began with an egg, cheese, avocado, and roasted pepper spread sandwich with fresh strawberries.

IMG_8748

Earlier in the week I made a batch of spaghetti of sorts. I used Tolerant Foods organic black bean short grain pasta, Hunt’s natural pasta sauce, roasted green beans/onion/’shrooms/garlic, and freshly grated parmesan. I love when I can make a meal that will serve us several lunches and dinners during the week.

After work, I had my shellac polish removed and a manicure. Matt was sweet and made our dinner. He coated thin-cut chicken breasts with mayo, spicy mustard, spices, and GF panko bread crumbs. We enjoyed them with steamed vegetables, Love Beets mild vinegar beets, and roasted yellow squash.

IMG_8754

For dessert, I had Fage, frozen grapes, dark chocolate covered almonds, and two salted pecan GF cookies. I snagged another after taking this photo. We have begun watching Gotham on Netflix, and so far it’s pretty good overall.

IMG_8758

For breakfast on Saturday, I made Love Grown Super Oats with milk and topped my bowl with strawberries, avocado, roasted salted pumpkin seeds, and roasted pistachios. I loved this combo!

IMG_8759

After cleaning, I ate salmon salad on a slice of bread with cheese, cucumber, and carrots plus a banana.

IMG_8760

I went out for a nice walk, and it really was the perfect weather for it.

IMG_8761

So vibrant and pretty.

IMG_8762

I did some shopping at Big Lots and Pet Supplies Plus Saturday afternoon.

One of Kaci’s good friends was unfortunately involved in an accident while leaving work on Friday. She was crossing the street in the crosswalk when a truck turning at the four-way intersection did not see her and struck her in the left shoulder. She’s at home recovering, so I carpooled with Kaci and took a batch of oatmeal plus toppings. Kaci made her pumpkin muffins. We visited for a while, then Matt and I decided Taziki’s sounded good for dinner. Turkey Mediterranean salad for me, and I got Matt their lamb entree.

IMG_8765

I had Fage (surprise!), banana chips, dried organic apricots, peanut butter, and Honey Roasted Cheerios for dessert.

IMG_8768

This is how I woke up on Sunday. ❤

IMG_8772

I made Van’s waffles over wilted spinach and topped with peanut butter, strawberies, banana chips, Fage, and maple syrup.

IMG_8773

Before heading out for another walk, I had toast with hummus, cheese, avocado, and sunflower seeds along with Love Beets and baby carrots. This was on National Hummus Day, which I couldn’t miss.

IMG_8791

I found some photos of our mom when we were babies. She was such a wonderful person that was sadly taken too soon. But I love the memories I have of her. Look how tiny she was even after having twins!

My sweet Granmommy who I was fortunate to have for 16 years of my life.

My step-mom, who has been there for me for almost 18 years now. I love this photo of her getting ready for my wedding.

IMG_8787

Despite my mom not being physically present at our wedding, I loved having this charm around my bouquet. It was like a part of her was with me the whole time.

IMG_8789

I’m thankful for these babies who make me their fur-mama!

Whether you are a mother to your own child, a step-child or a fur-mama, I hope all were celebrated. Matt and I met up with his mom and step-dad to have dinner together.

IMG_8793

Cheesin’.

IMG_8795

My other mother, Diane. I’m fortunate to have many mother-figures in my life.

IMG_8798

Her rose bush is gorgeous.

IMG_8802

She even picked some strawberries for us from their garden!

IMG_8803

Of course you know I love this. Owl obesessed.

IMG_8804

I didn’t take any photos of our dinner, but I just wanted to be present and enjoy. We had a lovely time and were able to hang out for a few more hours before heading home. We ate a light dessert and watched another episode of Gotham. This silly boy looked so adorable before we crawled into bed.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead!

An Engagement Party + the Sun & Warmth Returned!

This weekend was really strange because the weather took a bad turn with cold temperatures and rain. But thankfully, the sun came back out late Saturday and all day Sunday.

To back track to Friday, we had a nice breakfast before Matt left for a race weekend at VIR. I couldn’t go because I was attending Kaci and Drew’s engagement party on Saturday. We forgot to pack so. many. things. Fail, but we’ll get it down eventually!

IMG_8629

Jackson exuded all that I felt too!

IMG_8635

I’ve been craving a croissant, so I had lunch at Panera Bread. I got a chai latte to go for a sweet-spicy warmth. I’m telling you, the weather sucked.

IMG_8634

Dinner was a warmed pork tenderloin sandwich with veg and hummus.

IMG_8637

This is what I woke up to (later in the morning after feeding them and going back to sleep). Such sweeties!

IMG_8643

On Friday evening I cooked the farro that we received in a Blue Apron order last year. I ate half of it warmed with milk, banana, chia, roasted pumpkin seeds, pb, and dark brown sugar.

IMG_8644

I couldn’t help myself and watched some of our wedding video. ❤

IMG_8646

Mace snoozed on the couch.

IMG_8647

Lunch was a snack plate with this hummus-chicken cup I found at Aldi.

IMG_8650

Mango and granola for dessert. I cut into the mango early, so it wasn’t ripe enough. Whoops.

IMG_8653

I still wore my spring dress to their engagement party because I’m stubborn. Lolz. I later changed earrings at Kaci’s. She let me borrow a cuter pair. 😉

IMG_8656

I had a fruit and yogurt parfait while she finished getting ready.

IMG_8657

All the while Matt was busy winning one of his races! The two other drivers in his class didn’t finish the race, so he feels like he only won by default. In order to win, one must finish, and the other two didn’t. I’m still super proud! Look at him being cute and handsome on the podium. 🙂

IMG_8659IMG_8658

Love my twinklet! I love that we coordinated outfits too.

IMG_8672

The sweet couple.

IMG_8668

Kaci’s future SIL, MIL, Kaci, and me trying to look comfortable as we froze. Thanks, Mother Nature. Such a fun group of ladies!

IMG_8704

Appetizer that I went back for seconds. It was an asparagus roll of some sort, and it was delicious.

IMG_8664

The nice spread.

IMG_8661

Pretty China.

IMG_8663

My noms.

IMG_8669

The dessert tray.

IMG_8660

A cute coffee corner!

IMG_8662

I had to try one of each…for quality control purposes. 😉

IMG_8671

I used the rest of the farro on Sunday to make a savory bowl with spinach, spices, Havarti, and a scrambled egg.

IMG_8678

Plus mango with local honey on the side.

IMG_8679

Finally it was a pretty day! Still chilly at times, but pretty.

IMG_8682

I can’t even handle Axl’s cuteness! That bowtie.

IMG_8703

Jax and Axl stand so similarly!

IMG_8689

Axl had to wear his bowtie because he, Kaci, and Drew met me at the south location of Honeybee for coffee and brunch. The husband of one of Kaci’s friends is studying in culinary school and is doing this pop-up brunch on Sundays. It was delicious! Fluffy waffles with cayenne-spiced maple syrup and a latte for me.

IMG_8690

Kaci got the pork waffles.

IMG_8691

Drew got the bananas foster. All were perfect.

IMG_8692

I loved this artwork in their bathroom!

IMG_8693

Honeybee also makes in-house donuts, one of which is savory. I’ll be trying one soon!

IMG_8694

Courtney is between us, and it’s her husband who is studying in culinary school. His pop-up company is called Simpl.

IMG_8696

We later went by the dog park. Do you think this guy had fun? He was such a tired pup when we got into the car!

IMG_8697

I did a little bit of light reading before eating dinner.

IMG_8699

I made a simple salad so my stomach could digest before yoga.

IMG_8700

A grainy pre-class bathroom selfie. 😉

IMG_8701

The class was an awesome restorative yoga routine that I loved. I had a snack, showered, and waited for Matt to finally get home. I hope you all have had a great Monday and weeks so far!

Matt’s Birthday Weekend!

This past weekend was so amazing! Matt turned 34 on Saturday, and while very hot, the weather was still perfect. I was very thankful he could have such a nice weekend because he more than deserved it.

We started Friyay morning with wilted garlic-seasoned spinach, toasted hash brown patty, cheddar, over easy egg, avocado, marinated artichoke hearts, and a cutie. Matt had double portions. 😉 All three kitties!

IMG_8485

The theme of their weekend was cuddles. ❤

IMG_8490

I had gone by Old Navy on Thursday and found some cute clothes. Wore my new fun pixie pants and loved the style and fit!

IMG_8492

Mason was given the nickname Pookie Bear from Garfield years ago, and it’s been shortened to Pooks. We’ve dubbed his scrunchy nose the ‘Pooks nose’, and when Matt saw this bridal shot of me, that’s what he thought. So I finally did a comparison. Really, who rocked it better? hahaha

IMG_8497

I treated myself to a mani and pedi after work, and oh my word it felt awesome.

IMG_8502

For dinner, I cooked a free box of Annie’s GF mac ‘n cheese and tossed it with Tandur bbq spiced roasted cauliflower + onion, wilted greens, cannellini beans, and parmesan. It was awesome! It’s now our lunch today.

IMG_8503

Dessert was Fage with vanilla, pb, banana, blueberries, salted roasted pumpkin seeds, and pecans.

IMG_8504

A little collage of Matt and me over the years to celebrate his birthday. 🙂 We went back and visited the gall, growth on the tree in the top right photo, and there’s a current photo later in this post. 😉

IMG_8509

More sunny snuggles.

IMG_8511

I made Kylie’s baked carrot oatmeal again, and it was delicious.

IMG_8512

Served with blueberries and sunflower seeds.

IMG_8513

Rocked my new Old Navy athletic top and linen shorts. The top opens in the back, and I love it.

IMG_8515

We had to get our photo together out front!

IMG_8524

We had wanted to try Veloce indoor go kart raceway, but it didn’t work out. Fortunately, the weather was so nice that it would’ve been a shame to stay indoors. We went over to the UT Arboretum, and before starting our hike through the trails, we saw this sweet kitty. It was so playful, and then it caught something in the bushes right after I snapped this photo. The little animal did get away, though.

IMG_8525

The gall has a lot of vines growing around it, so we couldn’t get closer for the same photo, but here it is! We always have to get a photo – it’s like an ongoing tradition. Lol

IMG_8535

This poor butterfly had passed away, but it was still beautiful. They are amazing creatures.

IMG_8537

So gorgeous.

IMG_8538

We decided to finally try Babalu for lunch, and it did not disappoint! They actually named the restaurant after the fictitious nightclub in ‘I Love Lucy’, and they project the show on the walls inside!

IMG_8539

We ordered two tapas to split: the salmon and the redfish. Both were excellent.

Matt ordered their steak and pulled pork tacos.

IMG_8542

I chose their duck and vegetarian tacos.

IMG_8543

Lastly, we split the shrimp taco. Perfectly filling without being overly rich.

IMG_8545

I got a video but not a photo of this lit. Our sweet waitress brought it out for Matt’s birthday! It was a sparkler. She said she had Matt for 22 or 23, not 34. We’ll keep our baby faces for as long as possible!

IMG_8547

They had this neat mouthwash station in the restroom – genius!

IMG_8549

❤ ❤

Our basil seeds have sprouted! There are actually three this morning!

IMG_8556

I opened up this wine from Aldi to make his birthday dinner.

IMG_8558

Tandur bbq spiced roasted pork tenderloin topped with a mushroom wine reduction. Roasted garlic and rosemary potatoes and zucchini.

IMG_8560

I surprised Matt with a yellow cake topped with Yum Butter espresso cocoa peanut butter + more sparkler candles. The base was from the two-tier appetizer stand one of my best friends gave to us at our wedding. She was amazing and had several delicious cheeses and pretty flowers arranged on it as a surprise to us with a sweet message on the bottom of this base. I used temporary chalk pen to write to Matt that washed off later.

IMG_8559IMG_8563IMG_8566

We enjoyed our slices with banana + milk for me. I think Matt was pleasantly surprised. 🙂

IMG_8568

For Sunday’s breakfast, Matt made an epic ham, egg, cheese, avocado, greens English muffin.

IMG_8571

I had banana whipped oatmeal with cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, and pb.

IMG_8572

Love them!

IMG_8573

Her tongue was sticking out! ❤

IMG_8575

I had a Clif bar earlier and then a light snack plate before meeting up with Kaci and Drew to help with their engagement shoot! I kept Axl, my pup-nephew calm and out of the frame when it was to just be the two of them. They had their session at Knoxville’s Botanical Garden and Arboretum. It looks like a dream there!

IMG_8581

My sister could not be any prettier. I know our mama would be so proud. Her and Drew looked amazing, and we’re all excited to see the photos! Drew was sweet and treated us to dinner from Stock and Barrel. I chose the bison burger. Holy deliciousness.

IMG_8585

If only the weekend didn’t have to come to an end. Sigh. I hope everyone has a great week!

 

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

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

IMG_8410IMG_8411

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

IMG_8408

Super cheesy laugh!

IMG_8407

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

IMG_8400

One of my all time favs.

IMG_8401

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

IMG_8402IMG_8403

Dancin’ fools. 😉

IMG_8404IMG_8405

Matt’s awesome best friends!

IMG_8409

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

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

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

IMG_8317

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

IMG_8319

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

IMG_8325

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

IMG_8326

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

IMG_8330

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

IMG_8344

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

IMG_8349

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

IMG_8350

I also tried their mango lassi – so refreshing.

IMG_8351

I received this free henna tattoo that I really like!

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

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

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

IMG_8363

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

IMG_8365

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

IMG_8356

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

IMG_8364

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

IMG_8367

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

IMG_8368

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

IMG_8370

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

IMG_8371

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

IMG_8372

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

IMG_8395

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

IMG_8396

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

IMG_8399

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

IMG_8406

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

IMG_8418

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

Easter 2017

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

IMG_8163

Fri-yay morning ‘do.

IMG_8166

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

IMG_8168

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

IMG_8170

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

I captured all three babies in this photo!

IMG_8173

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

This was absolutely purrfect!

IMG_8195

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

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

IMG_8199

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

IMG_8205

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

IMG_8206

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

IMG_8211

Easter Sunday couldn’t have been more perfect.

IMG_8222

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

IMG_8213

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

IMG_8215IMG_8220

It was delicious!

IMG_8221

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

IMG_8226

Jax is such a bully. 😉

IMG_8227

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

IMG_8240IMG_8239

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

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

IMG_8251

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

Matt and his sweet momma!

IMG_8253

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

IMG_8252

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

IMG_8254

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

IMG_8255

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

IMG_8256

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

IMG_8260

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

IMG_8261

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

IMG_8262IMG_8263

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

 

Cakes Squared & Other Delicious Eats

Cakes being of the pancake and salmon cake variety. 😉

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

IMG_8101

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

IMG_8104

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

IMG_8106

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

IMG_8108

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

IMG_8109

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

IMG_8111

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

IMG_8112

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

 

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

IMG_8116IMG_8117

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

IMG_8118

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

IMG_8121

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

IMG_8122

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

IMG_8123

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

IMG_8124

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

IMG_8125

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

IMG_8126

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

IMG_8127

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

IMG_8128

Happy National Siblings Day to my sweet, wonderful twinklet!

IMG_8134

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

IMG_8136

Have a great day!

My Food Alphabet

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

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

B beet [Can’t beet it! ;)]

C carrot [Matt and I love our carrots!]

dates

E eggplant

fish [All the seafood.]

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

honey

iced coffee [Mmmm coffee.]

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

K kiwi

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

meringue pie for his birthday. <3]

M mango

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

O orange

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

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

dishes!]

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

is the best.]

S spinach [Raw or cooked!]

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

venison

W white cheddar [Pretty much all cheese.]

X

yogurt [Fage is my favorite for sure!]

Z zucchini [Roasted is my favorite.]

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_7954

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

IMG_7967IMG_7968IMG_7969

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

IMG_7970

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

IMG_7975

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

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

IMG_7988

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

IMG_7992

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

IMG_7989

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

IMG_7993

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

IMG_7994

This face!

IMG_7997

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

IMG_8001

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

IMG_8003

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

IMG_8005

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

IMG_8012

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

IMG_8014

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

IMG_8016

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

IMG_8019

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

IMG_8020

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

IMG_8030

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

IMG_8023

Spring blooms.

IMG_8024

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

IMG_8025

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

IMG_8026

I loved the bright, cheerful interior.

IMG_8027

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

IMG_8028

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

IMG_8029

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

IMG_8034

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

IMG_8038

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