Life is a Constant Learning Process

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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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

Jackson was wiped out.


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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


Things I’m Loving Lately

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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


Sweet Success

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


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

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

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



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


While I was preparing our meal, I got the feeling I was being watched…

For dessert, I had half a Braeburn apple with yogurt, almond butter, cinnamon, and bacon-flavored coconut.


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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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


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

Before baking.


After. All that melted, cheesy goodness.


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


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

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


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


With that I wish you all a fabulous day!

An Engagement + Our Trip to TX

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


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


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


My handsome man. The day was incredibly gorgeous!


Perfect blue sky.


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


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


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


Susan was sweet to take this for us!


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


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

Some photos together in the airport.


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

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

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

We ordered three items to split.

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


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


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


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

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

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


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

Karin took this photo of us on my phone.


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


Two photos of my sweet parents.


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

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


Happy Friday Eve everyone!


Our First Holiday Season as Mr. & Mrs.

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

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


Mason and Rachel even got in on the fun!

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


Our spread.


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

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


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


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

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


Guess Who’s Back

It feels like forever since I’ve shared a post! I never intended to take such a long break from blogging, but after Matt and I got married (!) then returned home from our honeymoon, I decided to take time to settle into our new married life. The last three months have been incredible, and I do feel like the luckiest girl {cue the eye roll emoji, haha}. We’ve asked that our wedding photos be reedited, so once we receive them, I will definitely share some of our favorites as well as a recap of our honeymoon in Asheville, NC.

On to a recap of last weekend! Saturday began with delicious gluten free pancakes thanks to King Arthur’s gluten free pancake mix that I found at Target. I made them with peanut oil instead of butter, and it really stood out in both scent and taste. We loved them! Topped with apple, banana, and maple with a side of steak.


I took care of some chores around the house and then finally made my way down to the Y. I had an awesome workout and then met Matt at his dad’s to eat lunch. He has been working on his race care in preparation for a track weekend in March. Can’t wait! For lunch, we had leftovers of Turmeric Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Dill Oil thanks to Rachael of Avocado A Day Nutrition. I had purchased TJ’s frozen cauliflower rice but hadn’t decided what to make with it, but once I saw this recipe, I knew. I loved it, and it was so easy!


I had to go by the store for a few things and was in awe of the pretty sky. Even though really atypical, we have been fortunate to have very mild weather lately.


Saturday night we decided to watch Keeping Up With the Jones. It was pretty cute and had some funny parts, but it wasn’t the best. My movie snack, however, was perfect. Sea salt and cracked pepper popcorn made with chia powder, roasted mixed nuts, dried fruit, and chili spiced dark chocolate.


The babies all piled on the couch with us, and we couldn’t get over how hilarious Mason looked! The boys snuggled, and Rachel melted like butter in Matt’s arms.

After breakfast on Sunday, I took my time getting ready, and in the process, I decided to throw away my bath scale. As I continue to work towards intuitive eating, I’m moving away from relying on a number. It felt freeing.


I also saw this print on Etsy and couldn’t resist it. I hung it up next to Matt’s side of the bed.


Taziki’s recently opening in West Knoxville, so I decided to try for them for lunch.


I chose their vegetable plate. It hit the spot!


I then walked next door and stood in the long line for a customized donut from Duck Donuts. I waited about 45 minutes total in line and after placing my order.


It was worth it! I went with lemon glaze with rainbow sprinkles.


This proved to be the perfect fuel for my Barre3 class. It was so awesome!! Kaci, her future sister-in-law, and I are all attending a class together tonight. Looking forward to it!


After dragging my feet for weeks, I put my warm weather clothes on the top shelf of our closet and reorganized Matt’s clothes. Then I put together a quick and tasty dinner. I roasted sliced cabbage and topped mine with tahini + dill oil while Matt drizzled warm hickory smoked bbq sauce over his. Served with warmed cornbread and curry-spiced chickpeas with sautéed mushrooms.


I’m so glad to be back on here sharing our meals and adventures, now as The Daniels! 🙂 Hope everyone has a great start to their week!


I Can Almost Hear the Wedding Bells

img_3909 I am so sorry not to be posting much at all recently, but we’ve been quite busy trying to finalize our wedding plans. October 22nd will be here before we know it, and we cannot wait! The lake house renovations are nearly complete, we met with our videographer to solidify the details, we’re almost finished choosing our songs (why has this been so difficult?), and today we’re getting our marriage license. Woohoo!! I can’t wait to share some photos from our day on here. *I also realized I’ve been uploading my photos at a much too large file size, sooo I’ll be trying to figure out how to reduce my current media as well as our wedding and honeymoon photos. Technology can be a bit difficult for me. 😉 Until then, things will be quiet on my little blog. Have a great day and rest of the week!

Long Time, No Chat

I meant to share a post last week, but work and other tasks got the best of me! Here’s a recap of our weekend fun/productivity.

Friday began with an epic breakfast creation. One Van’s Ancient Grains waffle with Fage, banana, roasted butternut squash, nutmeg, and maple syrup. Then for the savory: wilted spinach, one hash brown patty, Monterrey Jack cheese, and an over easy egg. It really was an awesome combination!


You know you’re with the perfect person when even errands are fun and feel like a baby adventure. 😉 Matt and I met at the mall after work to leave his suit to be altered and steam-cleaned. We also found ties that we really hope match my bridesmaid and MOH dresses – fingers crossed!

We came across this hat and couldn’t resist being goofy!


We went by Lowe’s to find new faucets for the lake house and when leaving, Matt spotted this gorgeous sky. ❤


We had a gift card to Bonefish Grill, so we decided to treat ourselves to a date night. I love getting these photos of him! His smile is too cute.


I chose one of their specials: Bourbon Maple Salmon with green beans, and tri-color carrots.


Unfortunately, the special that Matt wanted to try was full of gluten. 😥 So he ordered the sea bass with a side of salmon.


One of Matt’s best friends came across this photo and text it to him. They were in sophomore year, or around there, of high school. He is second from the right. He looks the same except with darker, longer hair. Ha!


I was able to enjoy my breakfast on Saturday out on the patio with Rachel while she explored. Matt slept in a little bit more. I warmed a rice-based GF tortilla (they aren’t recommended) and filled with PB, Fage, banana, chia, and bacon coconut.


I had my hair trial later that afternoon, and I’m really excited about my upcoming wedding ‘do. Kaci and I went out the lake house and began washing our China and did some more cleaning while there. Once home, I made a nice salad along with a bowl of southwestern quinoa, roasted butternut squash, peppers, onion, garlic, and tri-color peppers plus cheese and an over easy egg. I was proud of how my egg turned out as I usually have Matt make them.


Dessert was a plum filled with almond butter and pumpkin seeds, washed down with a mug o’ milk.


We decided on oatmeal for Sunday breakfast. This was banana-whipped with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and vanilla then we added butternut squash, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and drizzled it with warm maple syrup. We are excited about fall, can you tell?


I love Lil Bub’s new weather app!


I couldn’t resist! It’s very nice, and I enjoyed with a piece of aged sharp white cheddar because I can’t get enough of sweet-savory combos, apparently.


Matt met with two friends at the lake house who are helping us to finish our projects. I ate a late lunch of greens, sprouts, avocado, roasted veg, quinoa, and Caesar dressing. I then had a plum with yogurt, a drizzle of tahini, and a sprinkle of the chia-buckwheat-hemp hearts cereal for dessert.


We finally have a Kroger that just opened down the road from us! I went even in the rain, I fought the crowds, and I conquered.


While I made our dinner, I also made Kylie’s 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Bars


as well as Brittany’s Superfood Cereal Bars. Multitasking ftw!


We enjoyed meatloaf glazed with bbq sauce along with roasted green beans, and baked sweet potatoes. Yes, baked potatoes are usually served with meat loaf, but I was feeling like this variety. It did pair well.


We didn’t get enough sleep, but Matt had me laughing so hard when we were trying to go to bed. We were being goofy together, which is the best. Laughter sometimes > sleep. Hope you all have a great day!


Labor Day Weekend 2016

This past weekend was incredible and just what I needed to relieve some wedding planning stress that has been building. Friday began with 5-minute soaked oats (old fashioned oats + Earthly Choice cereal soaked in yogurt with a splash of milk). I topped it with peanut butter and Wyman’s of Maine thawed berries and kale. Mason had to try it. We love how his nose crinkles!

For lunch, I ordered a veggie wrap from Jason’s Deli with steamed vegetables on the side. My clinic manager threw a baby shower for one of the nurses, so I had a slice of cookie cake later.


Once I got home, I packed up my clothes and our food to spend the long weekend at our lake house. {Fun fact: we realized that the first time he ever visited the lake house was Labor Day Weekend 2005 after we’d been dating for a whole two months. It was the one time he, my mom, and I were out there together.} For dinner we had salmon salad, tomato, avocado, cucumber, crackers, and steamed vegetables.

The water pressure was very weak, so we crawled under the house to investigate. Despite there being nasty cave crickets (they’re awful!), I bravely crawled under too. Matt spotted this guy just hangin’ out. 😉 We also noticed a nest of baby doves on our deck. So cute!


For breakfast, we had spiced peach oatmeal with peanut butter and a sprinkle of sugar. Unfortunately, I added a little too much spice, but it was still tasty. We slept for something like 10 hours. O_o I sleep so incredibly well out there – it’s like the sound of the fan in the living room and fishing boats going across the lake lull me to sleep better than anything else.


I loved the reflection in my coffee. ❤


One of our best friends is rebuilding our deck, so that’s what the lumber is for. Panoramic shot from the deck.


I ended up eating several snacks throughout Saturday rather than having a lunch. Chobani Meze dip with crackers, roasted mixed nuts, and a banana.


I took a much needed shower and put on my swimsuit only to end up wearing it into town on three separate occasions yet never went swimming. Haha. Matt is an amazing, sweet man, and he single-handedly repaired our water pressure control valve. He had to physically dig out nasty mud to get to it and was able to fix it within a few hours. He’s so knowledgeable!! I just tagged along and watched him in action.


Another snack: carrots with tahini, cheese stick, prunes.


Then I tried Larabar‘s latest creation: mint chocolate truffles. So good!


I so wish we could eat outside at home! It’s such a luxury and a treat to eat our meals on the deck. The weather was absolutely perfect. We warmed the last of our baked chicken thighs in a parmesan cream tomato sauce, pasta, beets, and sautéed spinach.


Beautiful silhouette.


We cleaned out so much under the kitchen sink, and we discovered this bottle of bloody mary dated 1979. So nasty! But admittedly, I think it’s fascinating to stumble upon old/vintage things at the lake house. Check out that price.

We also found this coffee maker tucked away in the back – love it! I hope to get it super clean and able to be used. We’d like to try it.


I had a fruit yogurt bowl while Matt had a smoothie for dessert on Saturday. He didn’t think he’d get to have smoothies, but of course I packed the blender for him. 😉


Our neighbors across the cove put on a fantastic fireworks show! I took a video, but unfortunately, I cannot load it on the blog. It was incredible. They did another one on Sunday night too, and we had the best seat to enjoy it!


Awww 🙂


We had a scrambler on Sunday complete with greens, spices, splash of milk, egg, and goat cheese for me/cheddar for Matt.


A juicy peach on the side.


We went through the A-frame and completely consolidated our belongings + gathered up things to donate, recycle, throw away, and sell. Matt stacked all of our bins in the boathouse, so now the A-frame is ready to be used as our wedding photo booth! I found this ORHS cheerleader outfit that I wore for Halloween when I was in elementary school. My mom was able to get Kaci and I each one of the old uniforms because the school had recently bought new ones at the time. It still fit!


I also found my mom’s wedding dress from her first marriage, and I was amazed that it fit as well. I felt like a princess, and I absolutely love it! It reminds me of Lucille Ball. Another fun fact: my mom had her wedding at the lake house in this exact dress, so in some ways, I’m following in her footsteps, and I couldn’t be more proud to do so. She was an amazing woman.


These were the only two photos I could find of her wearing it, but isn’t she gorgeous? My grandfather looks so proud and handsome! I don’t know what became of the hat, but I wish we had it too!


For lunch, we each had a sweet potato spiced with cinnamon and drizzled with tahini, carrots, tomato, and avocado + the last of the salmon salad and chips for Matt.


Matt cut down some tree limbs and began burning our brush pile. He saw the sun coming through the trees and decided to take some photos. He has such an awesome eye for these things. These shots are almost magical.


Not only did he work so hard all day but he made us a rack of ribs that was fall-off-the-bone, lick-your-fingers, ‘mmm’-your-way-through-it amazing! We’ve been together more than 11 years, and I just now got to try his famous ribs, but they were worth the wait! We enjoyed simple cooked turnip greens from frozen and Annie’s gluten free mac ‘n cheese.


The aftermath.


We had never tried this barbeque sauce, but we now highly recommend it!


Another yogurt bowl for my dessert, this time with fresh mango and two Larabar truffles. Matt made a smoothie. We enjoyed this after the fireworks show from our neighbors again.


We played three games of Kings in the Corner on our nice, new carpet! He won the first two games, but I finally got my victory.


I decided to play with the Snap Chat filters and took this on Monday morning.


Van’s apple cinnamon waffles with Fage yogurt, banana, and peanut butter. Matt had three and stacked them.


I had two and made a dorky smiley face.


That swirl. Yum.


The way the sunlight dances and sparkles on the lake will never get old.


Here’s the inside of the A-frame now that it’s been cleared out and ready for use. I love those curtains!


I dusted the windowsills, chimney, sinks, etc.

We loaded up my car to the max and headed home around noon. We had lunch and then I unpacked and began doing the dishes, laundry, and so forth. I had this snack of yogurt, a peach, roasted pumpkin seeds, and LOVE GROWN FOODS cocoa goodness granola.


We had the leftover ribs and mac ‘n cheese plus roasted green beans, red onion, and mushrooms.

We brought back this sock monkey that had been down in a bin. Matt suggested we give it one of the babies’ catnip bananas. Lol! It’s waiting on them to play with when they are back at our place on Friday. They’ve been enjoying their time at Kaci’s.


I saw a recipe for an oatmeal pancake and decided to give it a try. It was so fluffy and enjoyable! I topped it with avocado, peach, and maple syrup. Matt flipped it for me. The boy has some serious talent. He can flip an omelet, pancake, or anything with just the flick of his wrist.


I’m easing back into work with this comfortable outfit that is borderline pajamas. 😉


Hope you all had a fantastic weekend and are off to a good start to this short week!