“Shrimp & Grits”

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I apologize for not taking any other photos, but I didn’t know that I would be sharing this “recipe.” After taking the first bite, Matt said I needed to share it because it was so good. A very sweet compliment! Remember that recipes are just guides, so feel free to substitute based on what you have on hand. I so hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

1 c Bob’s Red Mill GF Hot Cereal

2 c milk

1 1/4 c water

1/2 t salt

1 lb shrimp, peeled & deveined

Old Bay

Roasted garlic, mashed

Butter

Mixed greens

1/4 c roasted red pepper and artichoke spread (I found ours at Aldi)

Directions

Combine the cereal, milk, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid has absorbed.

Warm the butter, roasted garlic, and Old Bay in a sauté pan. Add the shrimp, cover, and cook for just a few minutes. Flip and finish cooking through.

To plate, lightly wilt greens and then divide hot cereal, shrimp, and spread over each bowl. We had leftover hot cereal that I ate for breakfast this morning. You eat based on your hunger level, so if you want more cereal or shrimp, go for it!

**Suggestions: use actual grits, leftover rice or oatmeal. This would taste amazing with poultry, pork or leftover steak.

If you try it, please comment and let me know what you think!

10.22.16

As the saying goes, better late than never! While it has been a little over one year (how?!), I realized that I never formally shared some photos from Matt and my wedding day. So please indulge me as I share some of my favorites and relive our amazing day.

Getting Dolled Up

 

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Bridal Shots

profile photo

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With much love, Mama

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Something blue: TOMS suede laser cut flats ❤

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It’s All in the Details

We did a sand ceremony that is proudly displayed in our room.

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Our fun centerpieces. I loved how they came together! Each table was unique from the next.

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All the heart eyes for our cheese/fruit/nut/cracker cocktail snacks…

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and our meal!

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Gluten free hummingbird cake with cinnamon cream cheese between the layers and peanut butter buttercream to finish. Mini regular hummingbird and “death by chocolate” cupcakes for our guests.

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Oak Ridge Floral Company more than exceeded my expectations!

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Even though my mom couldn’t be present physically, I kept her with me always. The lake house was her and is my favorite place on Earth, and I carried this charm around my bouquet.

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“I do”

Despite the fires and drought last year, we couldn’t have asked for more perfect fall foliage.

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Family

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We set up a photo booth in our A-frame that I adored! That couch was incredible as was all of our rentals.

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As soon as I tried on my Oleg Cassini gown, I fell in love, especially when I saw the back. I felt like Lucille Ball.

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Magical

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Our sweet family and friends!

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“Let’s Get This Party Started”

Kaci and Drew being super cute!

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We had to make Lucy and Desi props.

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This sums up our fun relationship perfectly.

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I love reflecting on this day and all that it took to get here. We experienced a great deal in our eleven years together before I became a Daniel, and I wouldn’t change our story for anything.

 

Kaci & Drew Said I Do

There are so many amazing photos that it was hard to choose which ones to share on here! I love them all and am so happy for The Sniders.

Getting Ready

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I adore this shot.

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Getting Kaci into her dream dress.

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Such a beauty!

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Incredible jewelry and rose gold engagement ring.

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The same artist for her jewelry custom made this back necklace.

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B&W ❤

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First Look

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Bridal Headshot

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It’s All in the Details

Our mom made this wall art for her dad, so this was a special photo of their rings.

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Kaci drew this all by herself!

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Their sweetheart table complete with centerpieces and signs that Kaci also made herself!

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Breathtaking floral by Oak Ridge Floral Company.

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Their delicious naked carrot cake.

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Ceremony // “I do”

Drew made her cry with his vows! He mentioned the babies, and Kase just lost it. So sweet!

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This shot ❤

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Bridal Party + Family

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Kaci with her sweet and fun sister-in-law, Sara!

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Our signature twin pose. 😉

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With my sweet and handsome husband.

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This is our godmom who has looked out for us and was there for us when our mom passed away 11 years ago last June. She is an angel, and we love her so much.

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Reception

Look at that fancy footwork!

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I play a pretty mean air guitar.

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Their Alice in Wonderland photo booth was a dream.

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Love being goofy together!

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I loved this day so much and only want the very best for my sister. I am so so thankful I got to be a part of such a magical day!

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly

This past weekend was one for the books! It was a perfect combination of down time, socializing, holiday fun, and a lovely date night. I’m also going to be sharing photos from Kaci and Drew’s wedding in a separate post today!

I saw this on Thursday and had to share. I love this account!

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Friday

It may look blah or weird, but this was awesome. I added carob powder to cottage cheese and then frozen blueberries and my last muffin crumbled.

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Delicious hot coffee in my Lucy mug. ❤

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My manager threw a fun baby shower for one of our nurses, so I enjoyed a slice of pizza to tide me over until our holiday RD late lunch/early dinner at Lakeside Tavern.

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They had such pretty Christmas trees throughout the restaurant!

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I chose their baked salmon with dill mustard sauce, broccoli, and I substituted rice mushroom pilaf instead of cheddar mashed potatoes. I enjoyed hot Earl Grey tea with honey and bread with butter. It was a lovely meal.

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I met Kaci at the nail salon, and we had the absolute best time! {One of my coworkers made peanut butter fudge that I tried while at the nail salon. I didn’t finish it because it was so rich, but I felt it necessary to mention even without a photo. All foods fit.}  We both got a mani and pedi, and Matt sent this photo to me of our sweeties. He got home before me and relaxed with them. They heard something out the front door. Jackson’s head turn cracks me up.

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One of the RD’s surprised us with these fun rock/mineral soaps! The nail salon also gifted each Kaci and me with a bottle of lotion. I’ve been using it a lot already! #winterskin

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I enjoyed a festive looking apple and spinach smoothie after getting home.

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Saturday

I made two seasoned fluffy scrambled eggs over sauteed spinach and enjoyed them with havarti and dill toast.

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I went all out on Saturday to show my holiday spirit.

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‘Beet Root’ – couldn’t be a more perfect winter color for me.

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The boys looked so adorable soaking up the sun rays!

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Nose-to-nose

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Matt and I made our way down to Awaken Coffee for festive cookie decorating. Their window display is utter perfection!

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I ordered an amazing latte, and Matt had an Americano. The cookie decorating was free! I even got another locally made cookie for free just for following the baker on Instagram. I received a number of free things this weekend. Woot.

My Christmas tree. I have to say I was really happy with it. 🙂

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My strange gingerbread man who I named Bob Newby from Stranger Things 2. Lol

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Matt can freehand so well. His cute tree!

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And his funky snowman. Hahaha

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Love! One of the owners was kind enough to take several photos of us by their tree.

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From the inside. Even the Grinch needs his coffee!

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Husband points for giving me this photo! Knoxville created a fun ‘Peppermint Trail’ marked with this sign along all downtown businesses participating with peppermint crafts, food, and drinks.

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We felt like this should be ours because of the name.

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We went up to Market Square to browse the winter farmers market. I had a blast. These owls were owldorable.

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Ice skating rink. Maybe one year I’ll get up enough courage to ice skate!

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I loved this display! You can see our reflections. Lolz

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I wanted these sooo bad for Kaci and me, but they were $50. So I settled for a photo instead.

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For lunch, I enjoyed sugar snap peas with hummus, crackers, and carrot with peanut butter.

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Before I left, I checked the mail and received my adorable free stocking earrings from Summer Grace Online Boutique! Mason helped me model them.

He was purring so big and wanted snuggles so bad. Made it hard to leave again!

I made a quick trip to Aldi then tidied up the house a bit.

For dinner, I made another recipe from The Pioneer Woman Come and Get It cookbook – Italian sausage and vegetables sheet pan dinner. I made some substitutions based on what we had, and we both loved this meal!

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Served with a salad drizzled with pumpkin vinaigrette.

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I enjoyed my Christmas tree cookie for dessert.

Sunday

For breakfast, I made hot cereal with freshly grated ginger and milk. Then I topped with grapes, pom seeds, kiwi, sweet cream coffee creamer, and cashew butter. This was so. good.

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I spent the morning listening to Pandora Christmas tunes, sipping coffee, and browsing stocking stuffers for Matt. Before completing a Barre3 workout, I enjoyed this free spicy fudge sample from the market. My workout was killer in the best way possible, and I loved the entire routine!

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We picked up this gf sourdough from the market, and I sliced it up before lunch.

I enjoyed a slice with a salad topped with cheddar, havarti, hummus, and a veggie quinoa burger. I had a peanut butter Aldi bar (similar to Larabar) before dusting and vacuuming.

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I’ve seen people already posting their most liked “best nine” Instagram photos, so I had to generate mine. A combo of homemade meals, local food, a blogger’s banana bread recipe, local art, my twin, and coffeeee. Sums up my loves nicely.

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Matt cut his hair then got ready for our date night at Surin of Thailand. Is he not the cutest? Sorrynotsorry. I hit the husband jackpot. 😉

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He always does such an awesome job on his hair. He has been cutting it for over half his life!

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Always cleaning my teeth for lipstick. Hahaha

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The lighting was dim, but I love getting photos on our dates. They’re so fun to look back on later.

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We split a roll of sushi that was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

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Matt chose their Tiger Cry, which was a 15 oz boneless ribeye marinated in Thai spices then grilled and served with Thai fresh sauce and vegetables.

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I chose their beef Masaman curry. It was heavenly! Those pieces of beef fell apart they were so tender. I saved half for my lunch today over spinach. The *only* complaint I have is they didn’t serve enough vegetables.

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Matt and I went by Kroger for several things I couldn’t get at Aldi. You would think grocery shopping isn’t fun, but I always have a blast with him. He cracks me up, and he finds so many great things. We couldn’t help ourselves and bought the most epic tacky Christmas sweater for him to wear over to Kaci and Drew’s next Sunday for their party. I can’t wait!

I enjoyed my other cookie for dessert while Matt had a smoothie.

Monday

This morning I made oatmeal with cinnamon, ground ginger, half a grapefruit sectioned and juiced, and then I topped it with creamer, brown sugar, pom seeds, and cashew butter. It’s been too long since I’ve made oatmeal with grapefruit. If you haven’t tried it, then I highly recommend that you do soon!

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When I got to work, I discovered one of my super sweet coworker surprised me with this owl gift!! I immediately hung it up in my car. Love it!

One of our sweet patients who recovered function many months ago periodically stops by and surprises us with a treat from his/her work. This time it was Jack Daniels chocolate pecan mini tarts. Holy moly, cannot wait to nibble on this.

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I hope everyone had an incredible weekend and a great start to their week!

‘Tis the Season for Baking Up a Storm

Somehow it’s Monday yet again. Hope you all are doing well! It’s a pretty, sunny day here. The last one for a while, unfortunately, so I’ll be taking advantage with an afternoon walk.

Friday

For breakfast, I mixed a slice of the banana bread into yogurt with blueberries, pom seeds, cranberry sauce, and peanut butter.

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Sweet snuggles between Matt and Jax!

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This photo popped up on my Fb memories. Matt and I have always been super photogenic together. 😉

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I went home and fed our sweeties and made a delicious mug of tea in the afternoon.

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I went to therapy, and the roles were reversed. I got home after Matt, and he had our dinner (shepherd’s pie from my previous post) all heated and plated! He also had folded the load of laundry I had washed and dried in the morning. It was really appreciated!

We finished the final season of Longmire. So sad that’s it over! I started watching it thanks to my dad when I stayed with them summer of 2013 for my dietetic public health internship.

Saturday

I made Bob’s Red Mill hot cereal on the stove with milk and then topped with cranberry sauce and cashew butter.

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Matt and I split the last tangerine and apple.

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His breakfast was definitely better, haha. He heated spinach with cornbread dressing, and cheese and then topped with cranberry sauce and two over medium eggs. He gave me a bite, and I immediately had breakfast envy.

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My snuggles with Jax while I sipped my coffee!

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So squishies. ❤

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I quickly got ready and met Kase at her and Drew’s. They had these fabulous cookies, so I took one of each from the holiday tin. I noshed on some while we headed out to run errands together. It may not seem like much, but this was like being back in the day. I LOVE shopping with her even if it’s just mundane stores or the grocery.

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I picked up this salad from Trader Joe’s, and it hit the spot!

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Matt and I will be spending Christmas just the two of us, and I am so dang excited for our day! It’ll mark two years since he asked for my hand in marriage. Cue the tears. We have plans to cook and eat amazing food, build a gingerbread house, go on a beautiful drive, watch Christmas movies, and open up stockings for each other.

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I found these Ellen DeGeneres slippers at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Unfortunately, they’re a size too big, so I’ll be exchanging them today. I need to also get an eye-mask because it’s so bright in our bedroom at night, which is making sleep really difficult for me.

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I was really happy with the meal I made. Baked zucchini seasoned with mango habanero seasoning, cumin, and curry powder. I marinated the thick pork chops in a pumpkin vinaigrette I found at Aldi, pan-seared them in our cast iron skillet, and then transferred them to the oven. I cooked rice with leftover broth and the broth from cooking the turkey then stirred in the last of our roasted celery + onion.

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Dessert was Tazo butterscotch black tea with honey and sweet creamer + yogurt with blueberries, pom seeds, and tons o’ ground flax. Mmmm

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Macey is so stinkin’ adorable!

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A friend shared an article on Fb with these sassy mugs, and I loved this one!

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Sunday

I got up before Matt, who fed the babies early all weekend (!), and I made us these deeelicious muffins. They are the first recipe I’ve made from my new Pioneer Woman Come and Get It cookbook. I have several more dishes lined up for the week and for our Christmas day. These are so perfect!

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I made my own over easy eggs, and I’m so proud that I didn’t mess them up! Getting proficient with my eggs. Next up is to learn how to poach better. It’s been years since I tried. I enjoyed them over wilted spinach along with a Macintosh apple on the side. Sweet Jackson photo-bombed me!

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SnapChat always gives me nice complexion and disguises some of my crazy morning hair. Lol

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In baking the muffins, I realized we did have cornmeal tucked away in the pantry, so I used up the rest of it plus our buttermilk to make cornbread. I’m determined to avoid wasting food. I gave Kaci and Drew each a slice and put some in the refrigerator and the freezer.

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I enjoyed a slice for lunch with turkey and leftover zucchini.

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Matt and I met Kaci and Drew at the lake house to (1) enjoy it and (2) so that Matt could fix the water. The same part of the pipe that broke last year before our wedding broke again. We believe a large truck ran over the cover and cracked the pipe. Matt is in-credible and fixed it once again. I love my husband.

I was looking for our mother’s death certificate because our utility bills are still not in our names. It’s absurd. I didn’t find it and will need to look harder, but I came across this gem. Look at that 7-year-old Kori. Babies today are more stylish than I was!

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Love my girl more than anything. D was unaware that he was captured in the background. Sneaky.

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Kaci and I lined up these pretty bottles that she painted for her wedding centerpieces. I have one from my day that I’ll take back out there to leave on display. So fun to see these reminders of our weddings at our fav place on Earth!

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Kaci gave me one of their wooden biscuits from their centerpieces as well. I love this table and how it’s come together!

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Dinner was quick, simple, and delicious. I cooked a sweet potato and split it between us. I warmed black beans with cumin, garlic, and a pepper spice blend on the stove before splitting it as well, shredded cheddar cheese over top, and then added spicy guacamole to finish it. Simple frozen vegetables with salsa on the side.

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Girlfriend is such a snuggle-bug! If you look closely, you’ll see her tooth peaking out. Matt took such cute photos of our babies in my lap last weekend.

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I had some tea and then made a mug of a small amount of cereal with cottage cheese, banana, and dark chocolate peanut butter. We watched the last three John Oliver Last Week Tonight clips then called it a night.

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Monday

This morning’s breakfast was perfect. I soaked oats with cottage cheese, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and carob powder. I topped with the last of our cranberry sauce. Super soft, doughy, and thick. My fav.

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Kaci and I are meeting for a free Barre3 class this evening, and I’m so excited! I was a little drained during last Thursday’s class, but it was still awesome. Eboni is one of my fav instructors, and the instructor tonight is wonderful. This will be my second class with her as she is working to earn her instructor title. I woke up last night and ultimately decided to take a Melatonin because I felt restless. Tea + bright lights in our room did not equal a great night’s sleep. I’ll definitely focus more on my sleep hygiene. Wishing everyone a fabulous day!

Thanksgiving Leftovers Become Shepherd’s Pie

Sadly, it has been far too long since I’ve shared a recipe on my blog! While on a walk on Sunday, I brainstormed what I wanted to make with some of our Thanksgiving leftovers. I decided that a shepherd’s pie sounded fabulous. Feel free to swap out ingredients for what you have on hand – potatoes for the sweet potatoes, different vegetable medley, different cheese. Treat this as a guide because after all, recipes are generally just suggestions. 🙂

Before topping it with the mashed sweet potatoes.

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Ready for the oven!

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Fresh out of the oven and bubbly.

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Matt and I loved it, and I hope you will as well!

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Ingredients:

Leftover roasted vegetables

1 can mixed vegetables, rinsed and drained

Leftover gravy – approximately 1/3-1/2 c

Freshly shredded cheese

Baked light and dark meat turkey, shredded

Mashed sweet potatoes

Directions:

To make the mashed sweet potatoes, steam 1.5 pounds worth cut into one inch cubes. I chose to leave the peel on but feel free to peel if you enjoy them that way better. Once fork tender, drain the water and mash with butter, salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder. Gently warm 1/4 c buttermilk on low heat setting in a small pot. Be careful not to allow it to curdle. Mash it in as well.

Simply stir together the remaining vegetables and top with the sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees until warm throughout. This made six servings for us, but you listen to your hunger cues and eat what you need. You do you, as one of my fav bloggers, Kylie says. Enjoy! Please let me know if you make it and what you think!

 

Weekend Fun & Self-Care

I hope everyone enjoyed their post-Thanksgiving holiday weekend! Matt and I went to work on Friday, and I never participate in Black Friday. Way too much for little ole me!

Friday

I made Bob’s Red Mill hot cereal with milk and spices then served it in a nearly empty pb jar with a splash of sweet cream coffee creamer and homemade cranberry sauce. So good!

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I always have to enjoy a turkey sandwich the Friday after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the bread was a little dry, but otherwise, it was tasty. I used mayo, mustard, goat cheese, turkey, and greens plus roasted vegetables on the side. One of my sweet coworkers had brought a blueberry dump cake earlier in the week for our Thanksgiving potluck, so I had that for dessert.

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After heading home, I cared for our sweeties and then got changed, hopped back into my car, and I headed to another free Barre3 class. I was fortunate to get to witness this magnificent sunset.

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Ohmygosh this class was so perfect! The instructor was so sweet and effective at keeping me motivated and engaged. I loved the flow, and I felt so good afterward! Sometimes getting  home from work and doing nothing but snuggling with Matt and the babies is self-care, and sometimes sweating it out in a room full of wonderful people is self-care for me. I loved devoting 60 minutes to my well-being, and I’m grateful my body has allowed me to experience this form of exercise.

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Once home again, Matt helped me make a fabulous dinner. I plated roasted vegetables over greens to go along with our entree.

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Our entree was shrimp alfredo with the pasta I shared in my last weekend post. I misjudged the portioning of our shrimp, so we didn’t get enough at all. But it was still filling!

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We watched an episode of Longmire and then went to bed.

Saturday

I got up before Matt (he got up early to feed the babies), so I enjoyed a slice of banana bread stirred into yogurt with frozen blueberries, fresh pom seeds, and then topped with a sprinkle of granola and pb drizzle.

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Sweet Rachie girl snuggles.

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Mason chilled behind me. Look at that face! ❤

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Jaxxy looking so adorable.

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Kaci and I had plans to meet for coffee later, but I made a small mug to sip on while I put together this salad. I took a bagged salad kit for a strawberry harvest salad and added pom seeds, turkey, sauteed butternut squash + zucchini noodles then was able to stretch it to four servings. The bag was on sale for $2.99 I believe, so I felt great about how inexpensive this meal was! It’s what I’ll be enjoying for lunch today.

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I FINALLY took my car to the car wash and filled it with gas before adding this Barre3 sticker. Yes, I’m borderline obsessed but love this style of movement and want to display that with pride. 🙂

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I met up with Kaci at K brew – our fav coffee shop! I had to try their apple cinnamon latte. I got it half caf, and it was dreamy!

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Kaci took a burst photo, and she captured this gem. A girl always needs to make sure no lipstick is hitching a ride on her teeth.

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Much better! I love my twinkie!

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I went home to feed the babies and eat the salad I had made for lunch before heading out again. I decided to browse around some local shops for Small Business Saturday. I did get a shirt and bracelet that I shared later in this post.

 

I was able to talk with my dad after I got home. I always love getting to chat with my dad! He’s a wealth of knowledge. Definitely not throwing a pity party, but this time of year for the last several years has been a little difficult. Matt makes it amazing (!), but not having any grandparents or my mom here with us anymore and then my small family living far away in TX is tough. So all that to say I’m grateful for phones and FaceTime.

After Matt got cleaned up, we met with my coworkers from one of the two clinics I work at to enjoy dinner together.

A fabulous group of people!

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Matt and I split the pork carnitas, and boy was this tasty. We also ordered a side of guacamole.

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My manager surprised us with a fun game that involved a crap-ton of plastic wrap. Lol. She used an entire roll of plastic wrap to conceal little gifts. The person to your left rolled dice as you tried to tear into the ball, and when they got doubles, you had to pass it to them. It went around the table several times.

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Post-dinner group photo!

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As Matt and I watched two episodes of Longmire, I decided to nosh on a small ramekin of yogurt, tangerine, and nuts.

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Sweet Macey with his paws on Matt.

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Sunday

I was on kitty duty, but for some reason, Jax was set to eat at 5:15. Yikes. As soon as Alexis posted her recipe for Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Bites earlier in the week, I knew we needed to make them for Sunday brunch. We had them with scrambled seasoned eggs over wilted spinach along with tangerines on the side. I had been wanting to try a product by Dr. Praeger’s, and I really love these bites.

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I spent time washing our bedding, scrubbing the inside of the oven, cleaning the dishes. Felt good to address all of those things!

This was my splurge shirt purchase, but I have no “ragrets.” <– name that movie!

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New life motto: Warrior not Worrier

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I bought a set of bracelets and gave one to Kaci as a bff gift. It may be something girls did in middle school, but I wasn’t above doing it now. 😉

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I used my leftover flour tortilla and Matt’s corn tortilla from Saturday night and made a delicious lunch. I put warmed turkey and roasted veg along with hummus in flour for savory and then pb, date, cinnamon, and pom seeds in the corn for sweet.

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I went to Wal-Mart for a few things we needed and just had to buy this cookbook. I love her writing, humor, and approach to cooking!

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It was a gorgeous day, so I was able to comfortably walk for 45 minutes while wearing a lightweight sleevless cardigan rather than needing a jacket. I enjoyed it so much!

Once back home, I meal planned and then meal prepped several vegetable dishes for the week. I caramelized onions before adding the peppers and fresh herbs to saute.

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I roasted the rest of our celery along with an onion and fresh thyme. I bought a bag of discounted broccoli and cauliflower that I seasoned and roasted. I didn’t take a picture, but I also sauteed a bag of spinach that I bought on sale as well.

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For dinner, I served us sliced fresh mozzarella with sugar snap peas (that I also bought on sale – score!) with shrimp alfredo that I added the peppers and onions to before heating.

 

For a light dessert while watching yet another episode of Longmire (I love this show), I had a banana split with yogurt, dark chocolate pb, and roasted sunflower seeds.

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This morning I made the hot cereal with espresso sea salt, pumpkin spice, and milk before topping it with roasted peanuts, raspberry jam, and pumpkin spice yogurt covered pretzels. I normally never stir in my toppings, but for whatever reason I did this morning. Unfortunately, the yogurt coating melted off and got lost, but otherwise, this was awesome.

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Some funny Lucy memes to give you a laugh!

 

Matt and I will be enjoying dinner at the Paleo Foods Cafe this evening. They’re debuting a new menu and offering all meals with a side for $8.99. A local radio station with be there, and there will be an opportunity to win some prizes. I’ll come back and add photos from it later tonight!

***

Matt and I loved our dinner at Paleo Foods Café! 

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I chose their buffalo chicken sandwich with their citrus lime cole slaw. I loved all of the textures and flavors and really enjoyed the waffles!

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Matt enjoyed their backyard burger with broccoli salad. He had some chipotle sauce on the side to dip the burger into, and my bite was excellent.

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I loved getting to do something out of the ordinary and enjoy a Monday dinner date!

Thanksgiving 2017

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I have to say I was quite proud of our meal. Once I got home on Wednesday, I got started on our side dishes. This sweet butterball helped me! Those snuggles and hugs around my neck. ❤

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It’s just not Thanksgiving if I don’t make my grandmother’s cornbread dressing.

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I finished making the roasted vegetables and cranberry sauce then got everything all cleaned up before going to bed. Jackson was waiting at the top of the stairs as I made my way to our bedroom. Our babies melt my heart.

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I got up before sleepy Matt and had banana bread with yogurt, cinnamon, dark chocolate peanut butter, and fruit. Plus a deeelicious mug o’ strong, black coffee. I read more of Body Kindness and got my kitty snuggles.

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Soaking up that warm sunshine.

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After dusting, vacuuming, and completing a fabulous Barre3 workout, I showered and then enjoyed lunch. This beautiful salad included greens, sauteed-marinated butternut and zucchini noodles, fresh pomegranate arils, roasted pumpkin seeds, lentils, and goat cheese.

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Sorry to toot my own horn, but our turkey looked so damn good! I took our roasted garlic and rubbed it with fresh organic herbs, salt, and pepper then massaged it under the skin. I added olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and organic low sodium chicken broth. Matt was clever and moved the oven rack down partly through the cooking time, so the bird cooked evenly. We nailed it.

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We packed up our noms and swung by Kaci and Drew’s because I have THE best sister who made us dessert! Then we made our way up to his mom and step-dad’s. The weater was so pretty!

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I  had a small plate of appetizers and then felt satisfied.

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I roasted seasoned turnips, carrots, and parsnips. Matt made our gravy, and his mom steamed a whole artichoke.

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Matt’s full, pretty plate.

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After dinner, Matt agreed to go on a walk with me. I want to make it a tradition. I loved it. Just time for us two, and it felt nice to move my body outside on such a nice fall day.

I couldn’t pass up a Thanksgiving filter SnapChat possibilty.

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Kaci generously gave me a slice of her homemade apple butter pumpkin pie, and she made Matt’s without a crust to be GF.

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Once we got home and the babies fed, we called it a night around 9:30. I’m so glad it’s Friday, and another sunny day as well! Plus Barre3 Knoxville offered another free class this week. Kaci and I attended on Tuesday, and I cannot wait for another awesome session this evening! I have no intentions of shopping today, but I look forward to visiting some shops tomorrow for Small Business Saturday. Tell me: what is your favorite holiday food? Have a great day!

Epic Sandwiches + New Grocery Finds

Goooood Monday morning. Phew, last night was r o u g h. I could not fall asleep to save my life. I’m thinking all my coffee at brunch and then evening mug o’ tea weren’t the brightest choices. 😉 Live and learn.

Friday

Let’s start back on Friday with this delicious bowl of oatmeal topped with homemade baked cinnamon apples, peanut butter, and vanilla creamer. Served with a side of horrible lighting and my shadow over top of it. Lol

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Rocked a bright, fall outfit for the day!

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Matt went out with friends for a bachelor party, so Kaci and I had a twinkie date! We decided to try the new Stock Burgers just down the road from Matt and my place. Our waitress was so sweet and offered to take our photo for us when she saw us trying to take a selfie.

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It was packed!

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Is she not adorable?

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We began by splitting the Caesar salad. I had asked for the dressing on the side, but they tossed it anyway. It was still good!

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We split their black and blue burger and a small order of onion rings. Their portions were so generous, and we couldn’t finish the onion rings. We were pleasantly full and both enjoyed our meal.

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When we got back to the house, Kaci and I had some fun with this photo of Jackson. Gah he’s so cute! He loves food so much, so this was perfect for him.

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Saturday

Matt got in really late Friday night/Saturday morning. I got up much earlier than him and had Love Grown Strawberry O’s out of our almost empty Peanut Butter & Co. Bees Knees jar with milk and a banana on the side.

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SnapChat and bedhead. I have been reading Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield, and it is so amazing! I highly recommend it. I won a signed copy after participating in a Kellogg’s Nutrition webinar. She is one insightful, talented RD!

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That face ❤

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After enjoying an incredible 30-min. Barre3 workout, I enjoyed this Amy’s GF broccoli cheddar noodle frozen entrée.

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I had dark chocolate almonds and a pumpkin spice yogurt covered pretzel for my sweet finish. Then I took a much-needed shower.

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I decided to sport my new owl sweater while grocery shopping. It’s so cute!

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After making three stops, I finally got home and put away all of my purchases. I enjoyed a fresh date with two Brazil nuts. Dates are sooo good.

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Some new finds included these coffees from Aldi,

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Tazo’s new dessert delights tea,

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plant-based pasta,

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lovely sounding soups,

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banana bread (totally a splurge purchase),

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frozen mashed cauliflower,

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and cauliflower crust frozen pizza. I have nothing against carbs or traditional crust! It’s very healthy. I just wanted to try this for fun.

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I saw this, and it immediately spoke so much truth to me.

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Does Rachel look cozy?

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I made Kath’s roasted vegetable stacks but admittedly took the lazy route and made ours into bowls. I added some sautéed greens for the added color. Loved the flavor combination!

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We tried the new dessert tea, and we each had a slice of the warmed banana bread. I had yogurt with tahini. It was good, but regular, not paleo, reigns supreme. We watched the first episode of the last season of Longmire then called it a night.

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Sunday

On Sunday, we had brunch plans at First Watch followed by a movie date to see Thor: Ragnarok. We used First Watch’s app to put our name in line, but it was still quite a wait. It’s such a popular place! SnapChat to pass the time.

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Their specials sounded amazing, but I was in the mood for savory.

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I chose their Elevated Egg Sandwich that included Gruyere, smashed avocado, over easy egg, bacon, and lemon dressed arugula on a brioche bun. I omitted the mayo and subbed a salad instead of the potatoes. Oh man was this good!

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Matt ordered us fruit to split. Pineapple was hiding underneath.

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Matt chose their Italian omelet.

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We killed some time at Whole Foods then made our way to the theater. Awkward selfie before the previews started. Ohmygosh Thor is hilarious!! Awesome action, acting, and Chris Hemsworth. 😉 Highly recommend it!

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Once home, I did some meal prep for today, cleaned, and changed to commit to another 30-min. Barre3 workout. It was so tough but so good! I showered then vacuumed before eating my dinner. Intuitive Eating meant having this instead of a “dinner” meal with veg. This included Fage plain Greek yogurt, Love Grown Strawberry O’s, Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Peanut butter, Aldi organic milk, and a perfectly ripe pear. Matt put together sautéed greens, our roasted vegetables, organic canned hot chili beans, and a 90-second chicken rice packet. He gave me two bites, and it was really good. He put together a bowl for me to take for lunch this week.

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I sure am hoping I can sleep better tonight. We both had it really awful. I had coffee this morning, but I’ll need to take a break to get myself resituated. I added a splash of Aldi sweet cream creamer, and for some reason, I didn’t like it in my coffee. I love it in yogurt, oatmeal, etc. Just not in the beverage it’s intended for. Haha. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving week!