Sharing My Little Story

Good Saturday afternoon! I have been battling an early spring cold that knocked me down, but not out, yesterday. I have been productive at the house but still rather pathetic. I finally got ready, put on some make-up, and I’m down at one of Knoxville’s sweet local cafes. Smoked salmon panini with turkey stew and hibiscus tea. {I must share that as soon as I stepped inside, a gentleman joked with the owner that it was a bad time to have started his diet. I cringed and wished I could’ve told him to live life and not live with so much guilt and restriction.}

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I have shared about my journey in nutrition and eating on my blog, but I thought it was worth revisiting once more. As I’ve continued to read some amazing blogs by RD’s who have ditched the diet mentality and have embraced intuitive eating, I wanted to contribute to the conversation and movement as well. Admittedly, I have always pulled back from sharing so much because I worry how others will view me. But if what I share can help someone else, then it’s all worth it.

In 2007, what began as an innocent and positive choice ultimately fueled my desire for control. My sister and I joined a gym and each hired a personal trainer. They told me how many calories I needed (which was incredibly wrong), and there began my obsession with calorie counting and weight loss. I bought a food scale and began meticulously measuring and calculating my daily intake, down to the 0.5 tsp of cinnamon I used in my oatmeal…it was very extreme. Dining out became a chore and unenjoyable because I couldn’t control the food. I would review the menu online and make my choice before ever even getting to the restaurant. It was no longer about what I wanted and all about what I thought was the “right” choice. One example was from December 2008 when we went to TX for my older half sister’s college graduation. That morning I walked from the hotel over to the gas station in search of skim milk. My education had taught me this was the safe, healthy choice. They didn’t have any, so I asked my dad to go by some fast food place. They also didn’t carry any, and this caused me a lot of anxiety. I had to get x number of dairy servings a day, and it had to be fat free. By the time we all met at a barbecue restaurant, things had escalated to the point of my sister becoming really upset and a whole ordeal unfolding for all to witness. There weren’t any “healthy” options, and I was at a loss. No control. Instead of it being a fun, light-hearted day, it ended with tears and anger.

The more people commented on my appearance and my “discipline”, the further I became trapped in this behavior. By the time I entered UT fall 2008 and declared nutrition as my major, I barely weighed over a 100 pounds and was a very confused version of myself. Sometime that year I had also lost my period. How I couldn’t see this as a sign that things needed to change I don’t know. My sister told my parents, which did upset me. Later I realized it was the right action for her to take.

There were many days I would get up, and while Matt slept in a little more that morning, I would quietly go into my bathroom and weigh myself. I would weigh myself multiple times daily and would allow my self-worth to be dictated by the number I saw. It wasn’t until one day Matt just sat back and said matter-of-factly that I was no longer the girl he met, I knew I needed help. This was still many years until I finally ditched the food scale and the restrictive behaviors. I’ve been a work in progress for a long time, and I continue to be. I listen to my cravings, but there are days I still question if I should honor them or make a safer choice. If I’m having a particularly bad day thanks to IBS, I can tend to want to restrict. But I stop myself short, remembering all the pain that comes from it.

Looking back, I can see I’ve craved control for a long time. My mother was incredibly loving, sweet, and amazing, but she suffered severely from alcoholism. I couldn’t control her or our home life, but when I found nutrition, calories, and so forth, I saw I could control this. It was a false sense of security because I realize there is a lot in life that cannot be controlled. I am still coming to terms with this, but it’s a far better place to be than the former.

Lastly, when Kylie of Immaeatthat divulged that she was seeking therapy, I decided it was time I did once more. I started seeing a therapist in 2012, almost 6 years after my mom had passed. It wasn’t until then that I realized I had needed therapy for a long time. Last year, the combination of my anxiety and wedding planning hit an all-time high. Even after our ah-mazing on-cloud-nine wedding and honeymoon, I had another breakdown after we had been back home for a few weeks. Since then, I have been seeing my second therapist. I firmly believe that for me to be an effective and empathetic RD, I too need help. I’m only human and fall prey to fear and stress. I must say that I believe many things happen for one reason or another and in their own time. I am beyond thankful that my sweet man did not ask for my hand in marriage until December 25, 2015. Had it been a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy our honeymoon like I did. Eating out all that we did, indulging and experiencing, would’ve caused unhappiness. Instead, this past October I just lived in the moment, and you know what? It was healthier – physically, mentally, emotionally – than following some ambiguous diet.

So, all this is to say: please follow your own intuition. Don’t follow some ridiculous diet (because diets don’t work!), don’t base yourself on a supposedly “perfect” girl on Instagram, and don’t even base your eating on a food blogger or RD. What works for me may not for someone else and the reverse is true. If you’ve been on the fence about seeking therapy, I recommend it. All you can do is try and see if it’s right for you. I love my life more than I can say, but sometimes being an adult can be very difficult. There’s no shame in admitting we need help. I hope this is inspiring and not depressing. I don’t want attention or anything of that sort! I set out to create a positive blog with light-hearted content, but sometimes I want to get a little more serious. Everyone has their own story and struggles. Be careful with your choice of words and praise. You don’t know what someone is dealing with in private. Above all, be kind. ❤

Upin’ the Status Dough

Knoxville is quickly becoming the donut capital of the south! One of my best friends told me about the shop her brother-in-law would co-own, Status Dough. Their grand opening was last weekend, so you know I had to partake! I made sure to eat a good, protein-filled breakfast then got myself ready quickly. Wilted spinach with an over easy egg (that I made, which I was proud of), hash brown patty with ketchup, goat cheese, and a banana.

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The first 200 customers on each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday received a free donut. I made it in time, woohoo!

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It’s super cute!

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I chose their raspberry filled, which was perfectly tart and balanced the sweet dough. I ordered their special donut and a coffee, and the coffee was smooth and delicious. I ate half and felt satisfied.

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Lunch was a bean-based pasta salad I had made for the week along with melted mozzarella + parmesan and an apple on the side.

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That eye ❤

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I had made a Target run on Thursday and picked up two Kevita drinks for Matt and I to split. The first one we tried was the lemon cayenne, which we loved! On Friday, we split the mango coconut. Equally delicious. Funny side note was that Matt failed to read where it said to, “swirl gently.” He shook it, and it spewed a bit. Men, haha.

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Dinner was seasoned baked salmon with kalamata olives, beet and cucumber side, wild rice, and cauliflower rice.

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I had the second half of my donut with Fage and peanut butter. Genius combination! 😉

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Saturday morning we enjoyed Kylie’s latest recipe for overnight oat bars. Ohmygosh so good! I topped mine with thawed berries and an apple while Matt made gouda scrambled eggs for more filling protein.

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I got ready and met Kaci at the vets for Rachel’s check-up regarding her glucose management. So happy to report that she is doing incredibly well on her special diet with no medications needed! We don’t have to go back until June. We went back to Kaci’s place and hung out with Rachel before heading out for lunch. I had orginially planned for us to try A Dopo, but I failed to check their hours. Doh! So we went with plan b and dined at Central Flats and Taps. It was a delicious plan b. It was breezy, but we sat out on the patio, and it was perfect.

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We each had a salad to start, and we chose their aphrodite salad dressing that is made from balsamic vinegar, tahini, sesame oil, and fresh herbs. It was awesome!

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I ordered the Varsity: fired roasted marinara base, Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, red onions, sauerkraut, and herb cheese blend. Loved the addition of the sauerkraut!

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Kaci got the Formaggio and Herb: herb infused olive oil, fresh herbs, and a mix of gouda, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, and feta cheeses. We traded one slice each. This lunch definitely hit the spot.

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We had planned to go see the new Power Rangers movie, but the weather was too beautiful to spend it inside a theater. We went back to her place and had a girls’ day with Rachel! She was so full of sass and love. Even when Matt didn’t feed her breakfast on account of needing to fast, she still snuggled with us and never was angry. I think she knows were trying to protect and care for her as best we can!

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We walked around her townhome complex, and then I had a little mug of two types of cereal, dark chocolate covered espresso beans, and Cruze Farm milk.

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When I got home, I saw that my Pixi Beauty order had arrived. I love this brand! I got some more tinted moisturizer, violet eye liner, sunscreen, and a free ‘sweet peach’ tinted lip balm.

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I wore the eye liner today and am already obsessed. I love having fun with the color of my eye liner.

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For dinner, I made us each a salad that I topped with the remainder of our bbq chicken salad and a side of sweet potato chips. They are so good!

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Dessert include Fage, spices, a banana, and a Back to Nature Salted Caramel Pecan cookie.

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This is how we woke up on Sunday. Mason had nestled himself between us like a human. He kills me with his cuteness!

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All three of my boys. ❤ And yes, I somehow fit. We’ll need a queen bed one day.

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I wonder where Rachel could’ve been? 😉 This reminds me of the Wizard of Oz, ha!

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I came up with our breakfast and was rather proud of my savory brunch creation. Two Van’s GF Ancient Grains waffles topped with melted gouda, roasted pepper spread, mashed avocado, spinach, and a fried egg; grapes on the side.

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My sweet manager surprised me with these roses on Friday! Our clinic scored number one for quality in 2016!

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We had planned to complete a hot vinyasa class, but we decided a chill day at the park sounded like what we needed. I brought my leftover pizza plus spinach tossed with Caesar dressing. Pizza picnic in the park with my peeps – aliteration at its finest. Lolz

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It was windy and overcast and started to sprinkle, but the dogwoods were still very pretty.

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We went to Kaci’s future in-laws home to hang out with her MIL-to be. We browsed mother-of-the-groom dresses, then Kaci and I took Axl on a walk. When we got back, I enjoyed the last of the mixed nut butter with Fage and a banana. Then I let Axl lick out of it, and he was one happy pup!

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I went by our Aldi in Bearden, and they’ve already been renovated. All Aldi locations are set to get a face-lift of sorts, and it was so nice! I found these organic whole bean coffees for less than $5 each – score! I tried the Peru roast this morning, and it’s delicious!

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Jax looked like he was levitating. Such a cute loaf!

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I roasted a pan of seasoned green beans, onion, mushrooms plus two bulbs of garlic for some meals this week. I layered this on top of organic mixed greens, cauliflower rice and wild rice, cannelini beans, tomatoes, and sweet potato chips. I grated some parmesan and drizzled Casear over Matt’s bowl.

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I made a smoothie with our beet lemon juice from Aldi and an apple. We called it a night at a good time, but man it was hard to get up this morning! We toasted our leftover oat bars, and we loved them both chilled and heated. I can’t wait to make more!

Have a great day and week ahead!

So Long Winter, Hello Spring!

Although it was still really cold this morning, today marks the first official day of spring. Finally! I’m not one to rush time as I appreciate each day I’m given, but I’m thankful we’re moving into warmer weather. So, this past weekend was crazy awesome. Let’s get to the recap!

Friday began with a Modern Oats oatmeal cup. I chose the apple because it was in a green cup, and it was St. Patrick’s Day after all. Um, yea, I didn’t do so well planning for the theme this year. Lol

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But you know I wore my green. No getting pinched for me! Also, Rachel wanted to be included in my {poorly lit} selfie. 😉

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Friday marked the last day with my second of four dietetic interns this spring. It’s always sad when  it comes to a close. I really enjoy chatting with and getting to know them a little as well as sharing some fun stories and laughs. I feel fortunate I get to help them in a small way as they prepare to enter the dietetics field.

I met up with Kaci at Barre Belle for a Barre class after work. Grabbed a photo together with the front-facing camera. Not always that flattering, haha. But love my girl!

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I have now been using the five pound weights for many of the exercises, which focus on static holds and small pulses to fatigue the muscles, so five pounds is a lot in terms of the type of exercises. Feeling pretty darn strong and proud of my progress!

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I put together nachos using fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, spices, freshly shredded aged sharp white cheddar, scallions, and then topped with Fage. Side salad to complete the meal. We had run out of salsa, so I used the canned tomatoes. Overall, we enjoyed it, but the juices caused a few chips to become soggy. Whoops.

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Kaci surprised me with Maker’s Donuts’ Irish Car Bomb donut! They describe it as, “a savory Guinness reduction with a Bailey’s Irish Crème glaze on top of our chocolate cake donut dusted with chocolate cookie crumbles.” Holy deliciousness. I enjoyed it with a mug of milk, snuggles with the babies and Matt, all curled up on the couch watching one of our shows.

On Saturday, I made a larger batch of steel cut oatmeal and then topped ours with blueberries, spices, sunflower seeds, mixed nut butter, and maple.

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This kid knows how to relax!

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I actually got myself ready on time and met up with Kaci, Sara, Susan, and Cindy at White Lace and Promises to choose our bridesmaid dress!

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Sara found the absolute perfect dress, which we all immediately fell in love with. It came in the unique color we were wanting, AND it was at least $100 less from the one we initially were eye-balling. Such a score! As always, I loved spending time with them. WLP is so cute, and I love their décor!

I ran a few errands out west then treated myself to a late lunch at Tomato Head. I chose their special “Rain” pizza by the slice that included a garlic oil base, cheese, prosciutto, fresh pineapple, fresh arugula, and a lemon sorghum vinaigrette. I added a side salad with chipotle ranch. It hit the spot!

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I stopped by Matt’s dad’s to see his progress on his car. He decided to go ahead and switch out the motors. Yes, he’s crazy talented and is anxious to see how it will perform. Unfortunately, it’s proven to be a quite headache, but as always, he’ll get it all taken care of! Old motor removed / new motor put into place. I love the color he chose! The lighting makes it all look blue to me, but the motor is a unique blue-green.

I went by the store (we’re always in need of food it seems), and then I went home to begin prepping dinner. I baked a whole chicken sans the skin and seasoned with spices and barbeque sauce.

While it baked, I enjoyed this beet carrot juice from Aldi along with a wedge of gouda to tide me over until dinner. It was the perfect size appetizer.

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The babies started in on the left side of our loveseat, and once fabric was broken, it’s like they were compelled to create more damage. Enter the classy owl duct tape, which lasted all of one night. Fur-kids 😉

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We each enjoyed a thigh with roasted vegetables and Uncle Ben’s 90-second garlic brown rice and quinoa.

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For dessert, I polished off a pb jar with Fage, fruit, and mint dark chocolate. Mmm

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It may or may not get old, but I cannot get over how cute our babies are and cannot resist sharing! I did y’all the favor of blurring out my just woken up self, but Jackson was so super cuddly! Matt captured this, and his position cracked us up! So proud of his body. Lol

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I was rather proud of the brunch I thought up and executed. Fresh fruit salad with corn English muffin topped with organic pomegranate jelly.

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Asparagus, arugula, goat cheese, and smoked salmon individual frittatas. Perfect brunch, in my opinion, to welcome spring!

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My absolute favorite thing to do now is meet up with these beauties for a killer Sunday workout. This class was so tough, but I felt like I really gave it my all and was thankful for it! Post 60-minute sweaty hot sculpt yoga class ❤

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Once home, I threw together Fage, cinnamon, shredded wheat, ground golden flax, roasted salty pumpkin seeds, maple, and bacon flavored coconut.

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Kaci came over and hung out for the afternoon, which is always such a treat. The babies and I loved seeing her! After a much-needed shower, I did some cleaning and Monday meal prep. I made a big batch of rice that I then incorporated with spinach, black beans, scallions, peppers and onion, heated then topped with salsa, Fage, and chips for dinner.

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We had our dessert while watching a show on Netflix called Lie to Me. We’ve become hooked.

My Sunday workouts always help me to clear my head, boost my mood, and set the tone for the week. I hope you all make it a great one!

 

March into Spring at VIR

Matt and I had our first successful race weekend of 2017! Although despite it being called ‘March into Spring’, someone forgot to remind Mother nature that we should no longer be dealing with winter. Sheesh.

I prepped our dinner for both nights along with our dessert for the weekend. I made these epic chickpea, peanut butter, and chocolate bars by Julia of The Roasted Root.

Friday morning began with a Modern Oats oatmeal cup for us each plus TJ’s mixed nut butter and plenty of cat photo bombs!

We loaded up the truck and headed for VA! VIR stands for Virginia International Raceway. Matt has been so looking forward to visiting this track for many months. One of Matt’s acquaintenances was sweet enough to offer us their truck to tow with this past weekend.

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Grabbed a photo together 🙂

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Then I had some fun with SnapChat to keep us entertained. Ha!

I was quick enough this time to catch the ‘Welcome to Virginia’ sign. Usually I’m too late on the draw. I also got this free bumper sticker at the rest stop!

We realized after leaving that we had completely forgot pillows, blankets or towels. Major fail. But we decided to stop at Wal-Mart and purchased these items specifically to be left in the trailer from now on, so problem solved! The wind was cah-razy, so by the time we returned to the truck, I had a new ‘do.

I had packed us sandwiches with veg burgers from Aldi plus carrots and peppers for crunch on the side.

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We made great time and arrived around 2:45 for check-in and then to set-up our site.

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Our new pretty quilt and comforter on our air mattress inside our trailer.

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I had baked the pork chops and roasted the green beans/onion/mushrooms and steamed cauliflower rice on Thursday evening, so we just had to heat it along with the bag of 90-second brown rice. This was from Saturday night with the inclusion of steamed Brussels sprouts, but I figured you all wouldn’t need two photos of the same meal. 😉

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For dessert, we each enjoyed a bar with Fage Greek yogurt.

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We woke up bright and early and very cold on Saturday! One of our friends also at the track let us borrow two heated blankets, but we later realized we must’ve had it facing downward such that the heat was pushed into the mattress. Doh! After I made the freezing walk to and from the bathrooms, we made breakfast. Matt mixed his oats with sausage, wilted spinach, cheddar, egg, and spices. I kept mine separate.

It was so dang cold that Matt wore his Balaclava, which he wears under his helmet, while eating breakfast. So dang funny!

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Coffee ❤

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Despite it being frigid, it was a gorgeous morning. The first photo is taken from our spot looking up to one of the restrooms.

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Our nice set-up.

To quickly do a throwback, these popped up on my Facebook memories, and they gave me a huge smile. These were taken of Kaci, Matt, and me March 11, 2012. Five years ago, crazy!

I couldn’t resist and bought this tee off Etsy. Matt made me cheese big time. Love it!

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I made us each a sandwich with TJ’s roasted pepper tomato soup for lunch.

After finishing his food, Matt lined up in the starting grid for the first of two qualifying sessions. The sign wasn’t intended for him, but I loved that it had his number on it. We chose 32 because that’s how old he was when he went through driver’s school February 2016.

He did so well! His average lap time was 2:29, and by the end of the weekend, he shaved off seven seconds at 2:22.

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Later on I snacked on cottage cheese and GF blueberry fig bars.

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Matt completed two races on Saturday: the enduro, which lasts 1.5 hours as well as a 30-minute race. I was very proud of how well he finished in both.

We had the same dinner and bars for dessert as I posted above and then called it a night around 10. We were exhausted. Thankfully, we were able to sleep in on Sunday, and even though we lost an hour (when will we stop this silliness?), we got a good amount of sleep. Another oatmeal cup. We love these and plan to buy more! They’re so convenient.

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After showering and eating lunch, I waited in the truck for his final race of the weekend. I stole his jacket and beanie all weekend. I did not pack enough clothes to keep warm. Whoops. It was warm with the sun coming through the windows, though.

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Once Matt loaded up the car and showered, we started our drive home. We pulled over at part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and snapped these photos. Such a gorgeous view! But so high up.

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Despite it being a late drive home, we were fortunate to witness this breathtaking sunset.

We stopped for coffee then later stopped right inside the TN state line at Aubrey’s. It hit the spot! We both ordered a salad.

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I chose their citrus glazed salmon with dirty mashed potatoes, broccoli, and their lemon caper sauce.

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Matt chose their hickory chicken. Both were delicious, and we were able to save enough for today’s lunch. So despite not going to bed until almost one (!), we had healthy meals packed for our Monday work day.

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I LOVED this sign. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite Disney movies.

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We still managed to make delicious savory oatmeal this morning, then I went by K brew for coffee. For ordering a small drip coffee, I received this mug! So fun!

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Cheers to a great week ahead!

 

 

A Weekend Full of Delicious Food + Fun Movement

I want to start by saying I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! I believe I packed mine full of fun and productivity, so let’s start from the top. Friday’s breakfast included my leftover flatbread with goat cheese, bacon, blackberries, and balsamic glaze. I treated myself to lunch at a local adorable restaurant on Thursday, and I saved part of it. I enjoyed with two fluffy scrambled eggs over spinach with avocado. Some kitty bathing going on in the background, haha.

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Matt had one savory breakfast burrito with our last waffle topped with fruit, spices, maple, and Fage Greek yogurt.

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For dinner, I made us “power bowls” including chickpeas, beets, baked cabbage, quinoa with marinated artichoke hearts, and a dressing I made using inspiration from one of Brittany’s recent posts. Tahini, apple cider vinegar, lime, garlic, whole grain mustard, salt and pepper. I have to say my bowl also is inspired by Brittany’s latest Vegan Power Bowl. 🙂 She has fabulous recipes!

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Dessert included a cinnamon sugar muffin crumbled over yogurt with a piece of dark chocolate.

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Rachel was so cozy and seriously slept all scrunched up like this in Matt’s arms!

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As soon as Kylie posted her recipe for caramelized apple crumble bars, I immediately decided to make them on Saturday. I finally used our Pioneer Woman iron skillet, and this couldn’t have been any easier!

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We enjoyed our portions with Fage and peanut butter drizzled over the top. It was fabulous!

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I met with Kaci and Sara at Barre Belle for another hot yoga class. Matt said I take the same shot every time, but I love this view! Class was phenomenal and just what I needed.

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I packed my lunch that I ate in the car before heading home for a much needed shower. I included turkey, Swiss, marinated artichoke hearts, avocado, and spinach to a wrap with carrots on the side.

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Once showered, I wore my sweats because it was PJ Day at Bruster’s Ice Cream. You could get a free ice cream cone for doing so, and they asked that you donate to a cause they were highlighting.

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I ordered the chocolate chip cookie dough, but I realized they only gave me chocolate chip. It was so disappointing because it was boring, BUT the cone was delicious, and it was free. I was sad not to enjoy what I wanted, but I got over it. 😉

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I went to Aldi and Wal-Mart because what’s a weekend without grocery shopping? How do we go through so much food? I think we have gremlins hiding at our home…

For dinner, I made us each a salad with mixed greens, freshly grated carrots, beets, cucumber, scallions, avocado, warmed chicken from the whole bird I had baked, freshly grated parmesan, and dressing. We enjoyed a plate of root veg chips for crunch.

His and hers smoothies for dessert.

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Evening kitty snuggles! Jaxxy was so out.

For breakfast on Sunday, I had Fage yogurt, a Kodiak Chocolate Coconut Muffin from Kaci, a little Love Grown apple cinnamon granola, grapes and blueberries, and drizzled peanut butter. Matt had a bowl of savory oatmeal.

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I got myself ready and once again met Kaci and Sara at Barre Belle for BUTI. I had never taken it before, but it confirmed I’m not much of a dancer. It combines cardio with hip movements, elements of Barre, and yoga. I still enjoyed it! We decided to get brunch/lunch together at Wild Love Bakehouse. It had been too long since I’ve gone!

How does one even begin to make a choice with all these delicious baked goods?

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Since I couldn’t eat them all, I went with the veggie focaccia that includes beet hummus. I also had an iced latte. Kaci and Sara each tried a croissant. I was so torn but ultimately wanted the focaccia. It hit. the. spot.

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I went by Trader Joe’s and found two great products: mixed nut butter (!) and everything but the bagel seasoning.

For dinner, I made us each a salad that I sprinkled with the seasoning, freshly grated parmesan, chickpeas, cucumber, avocado, scallion, and the tahini dressing for me/Caesar for Matt.

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The last of our awesome spaghetti.

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The theme of my desserts clearly was: eat it out of a tub with chocolate on the side. This had pear, mixed nut butter, and spicy dark chocolate.

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While we were at fault for getting into bed a little late, we have neighbors who have no concept of time. They were blaring the TV at 11pm. Sigh.

This morning we each ate the last of the apple crumble bar. I added sharp cheddar and peanut butter to mine. It held me over for about five hours. Whoa!

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Here’s to a wonderful week ahead for everyone!

 

Goodbye February

I know it gets old to hear this, but time really is speeding by it seems! I’m not sure how we’re already about to enter the third month of 2017.

Anywho, lets backtrack to breakfast on Friday. I saw the combo of egg + peanut butter on an Instagram post, so I figured I should give it a try. Van’s GF Ancient Grains Waffles (yes, we always keep these in the freezer, haha) with one topped with peanut butter, over easy egg, and cayenne. I topped the other with aged sharp white cheddar, honey crisp, and mashed avocado. It wasn’t bad at all, but I think I’ll mostly keep them separate. Matt had maple syrup, fruit, Fage / cheese, avocado, egg.

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For dinner, we had some of the leftover pork with homemade baked steak fries and green beans.

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For dessert, I had Fage with thawed frozen fruit, mixed roasted nuts, sunflower seeds, and Love Grown Strawberry O’s. It hit the spot.

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Saturday started as it always should: with kitty cuddles. This is just so cute.

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I got up and put together this muffin mix for us to try. We really loved it, so I look forward to buying more of their products!

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We each had chia pudding with it that I added maple, spices, and thawed fruit to in the morning.

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I am trying to gather up some older photos for a post I’m working on, so I came across these two of Matt and me summer 2008. Little did we know that just over 8 years later we would be saying, “I do” out there. ❤

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After getting ready, and being a little late as always {insert eye roll emoji}, I met Kaci and Axl at K brew for local pizza and coffee!

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We split the Sicilian Grandmother, which had their own pesto, sauce, cheese, and seasoned breadcrumbs on top. Delicious!

One more up close because it was incredible.

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Unfortunately, winter returned, so this warm latte was very much needed and perfect!

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Kaci and I then walked along the pretty Fourth and Gill neighborhood, and despite it being windy, it was gorgeous. I took some screenshots from my Ig story.

I love how unique some of the homes are in this district! The owner of the second house was outside tending to the yard and was so fun. He saw me taking a photo and asked that I get one of his good side. He was so sweet!

I swung by the Fruit and Berry Patch and finally restocked our local honey with this huge jar!

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I stopped by to see Matt at his dad’s where he was working on his Nissan 240, then I came back home to dust/vacuum/clean then snack and chill before making dinner. The last of my milk chocolate covered pretzels with honeycrisp apple, peanut butter, and a side of weekly meal planning. 😉

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I combined canned wild caught salmon with Chobani Smoked Onion and Parm Meze dip. I made a simple salad and split it along with some edamame hummus. Yellow corn with lime chips for crunch.

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We rented The Edge of Seventeen. It had some funny parts, and Matt said he would rate it a 90%. I mostly thought it was rather annoying, and I wanted to smack the main character. Sooo I don’t recommend it. ha

Breakfast was the last of our baked oatmeal topped with Peanut Butter and Co. White Chocolate Peanut Butter, Fage, local honey, and strong coffee. Mason photo bomb!

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I took care of some chores and snuggled with the boys.

After quickly showering, I ate this light lunch before heading downtown to try my first hot sculpting yoga class with Kaci and Sara. We met at our Barre Belle Yoga + Fitness studio.

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Snapped a quick (grainy) picture before class. It reached 90* in the room, and I don’t think I’ve ever sweat that much at one time in my life. It was a killer class, and I was already hooked before the 60 minutes were over! I love powerful workouts like these. The fact that one of our former Vols linebackers was in the class tells you it’s a genuinely tough workout.

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After showering once more, I made this Mayfield buttermilk, banana, cinnamon + nutmeg smoothie topped with Strawberry O’s.

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I went by Aldi to stock up on some awesome things (we can’t go a weekend without grocery shopping), and then I baked this cabbage with peanut oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. The cabbage wasn’t quite soft enough, so when I tried getting it with my fork, I pushed some of pork onto the floor. Just keepin’ it real. Lol. I saved it all. Waste not, want not.

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Dessert was Daisy cottage cheese, red grapes, one of our muffins, and pistachios to celebrate National Pistachio Day.

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I was craving a smoothie, so this morning I blended all frozen fruit with Fage, buttermilk, spices, and topped with shredded wheat, honey, and peanut butter. I was fah-reezing, so not a great idea. I did have my hot coffee afterwards. Doh.

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Wishing everyone a wonderful day!

 

Good News + Good Vibes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before cooking | After cooking

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

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One more up-close.

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

 

Valentine’s Day 2017

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

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I made sure to wear some pink. 😉

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

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

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

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

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

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Have a great day!

Sister Time, Friend Time, & K Brew Cupping

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

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

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Rachel really does have it so rough. 😉

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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San Pellegrino to cleanse our palette between tasting.

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

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

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

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

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

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