The Perfect Christmas ♥ Running + A Circuit Workout

Christmas was perfect. I spent it with some of the people who mean the most to me. There were some important people missing, but I will see them soon (like this weekend soon!) November, December, and January are the months for never ending celebrations, and I love it. Writing my holiday recaps is one of my favorite parts about being a blogger, and sharing these special moments with you guys is so much fun. I hope your holidays were just as special, and I hope you’re ready for a very long recap.

Last Thursday, I woke up early, had a bowl of cheerios, and ran three miles in my neighborhood. I was running in shorts and a t-shirt because it was so nice out. The only problem with running in my neighborhood is that it’s super hilly. This is great for training, but it’s a challenge and definitely had me out of breath the entire time.
 After my run, Kyle and I went out to shop for a T.V. console. We headed to the Home Goods in South Park, but couldn’t find what I was looking for. It’s funny when you’re not looking to buy, you find things you LOVE, but when you’re looking to buy, you can never find anything you want. After the first attempt, we were so hungry! We stopped at WholeFoods to eat at their hot bar. We tried Marshalls and the Earth Market in Cotswold, but nothing. We then went to the Black Lion in Pineville, and everything was overpriced. We walked next door to a antique furniture store, but still nothing. We (me) decided to drive all the way to Ballantyne to try their HomeGoods because sixth times a charm, right? As soon as we walked in, the console was right there at the door. I ran up to it, grabbed the price tag, stood in line, bought it, and we took it home! It took us five hours to find the perfect console, but it was worth it!

The next weekend finds will be the rugs and the curtains, but I won’t drag anyone with me while searching for those! I felt so bad for how long it took, but Kyle is such a trooper and was a good sport the entire time. I was about to give up, but he encouraged me to keep looking.

I LOVE getting my readers feedback. Do you think I should keep the T.V. on the console, or mount the T.V. and put picture frames on the console? I’ve seen it both ways on Pinterest. 
My mom and dad came over on Thursday night to make some more peanut brittle and watch football. I made some homemade wings for dinner. You can find the recipes here + yummier wing flavors.

We headed uptown so Kyle could go to the gym and I could go for a run. The pups love riding in the jeep and their cuteness kills me.

I put on my workout clothes, laced up my running shoes, ate my pre-run fuel, and did a little warm up. I knew deep down inside that I did not feel like running. I kept taking deep breathes and trying to talk myself into it. Running has become routine, and I really do love it, but sometimes my body needs a break. Just because I’ve had a rest day, doesn’t mean it’s enough. It’s OK to break routine sometimes. I mentally and physically did not feel like running, and it’s so important to listen to your body. Instead of talking myself into the run, I talked myself out of it. I stripped off the running gear, threw on my comfy clothes, made hot tea, and spent the rest of the afternoon reading a book. Running and working out is super healthy, but relaxing is just as healthy. I felt so good taking that time to myself.
The rest was much-needed because I went the Hornets game with Meighan and a couple other girls on Friday night.

After the game, we headed to Fitzgeralds for a couple drinks. 
Celebrating Christmas break and a Hornets win!
I woke up pretty early on Christmas Eve so I could make breakfast and take the pups for a long walk before starting the day! 
The boys were so ready for their walk.

I hope other dog parents can relate. We decided not to get each other anything for Christmas and spend our gift money on the pups. We headed to York, SC, to shop at Dogma & Fetch. It’s one of my favorite dog boutiques because they have the cutest stuff for pets. They also have a dog bakery inside. We bought them santa hats, toys, treats, food, bones, and more! I won’t tell you how much we spent…but the dogs had a VERY MERRY Christmas. I also bought my mom a mug there that said “I love my grand dogs” and on the back it said “I will not spoil them, I will not spoil them, I will not spoil them.” That is SO her. 
I love this outfit from Stitch Fix! ♥

After shopping at the grocery store and picking up some last minute items, we headed back to my place to get ready for Christmas Eve!  I was so excited to have everyone over! 
The first snack mix I made had honey nut cheerios, honey, cinnamon, pistachios, dried cherries, white chocolate covered pretzels, sea salt, and Christmas sprinkles. I mixed the honey, cinnamon, sea salt with the cherries, cherries and pistachios and baked for one hour at 250 degrees. I let them cool on the baking sheet and then added the sprinkles and chopped pretzels! Yum! 
I also made my favorite little appetizers. Little smokies & bacon with a brown sugar glaze…the recipe is here
My parents came over just in time!

Sipping on eggnog and putting all the delicious food out.


Meighan made the coolest appetizer and it was delicious. I’m stealing this idea. It was a deviled egg with avocado and lox on top! I’ll make sure to get the recipe from her 🙂 The green was so festive and the look like little Grinch eggs. 

Loved having Becca spend Christmas with us!

Little Leo’s first Christmas.

My gorgeous friends.
My Santa baby!


 This was Kyle and Meighan’s first time having eggnog and crab legs! WHAT!?

Veggies to go with the hummus and mom’s cheesy queso dip!

Smorgasbord for days.
My dad loves preparing the crab legs each year and he does a really good job at it! I bought ten pounds this year and we were stuffed. If you follow me on snapchat, you probably saw our “crab comas”
I made roasted vegetables that had italian seasoning, olive oil, minced onion, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, brown sugar, dill weed, lemon juice and sea salt.
 
After crab cracking, I brought out the games!
I made all of us coffees to go with our dessert. 
Cards Against Humanity is literally the funniest game I’ve ever played and it’s even better when your parents play. 

This was literally one of the best Christmas Eve’s I have ever had.

Who won? Meighan. She beat my dad by one card and he can’t forget it.

The dogs were in heaven Christmas morning! Grumples taught Leo how to open gifts. It’s the funniest thing because Grumples will not touch the gifts unless we give it to him. He puts it in his mouth, drops it, puts his paws on one side, and starts ripping the wrapping paper off. He doesn’t care about what is inside, he just LOVES to open up presents. I let him open mine too!

Kyle opening up his present from his mom!

Love my boys!
 Kyle’s mom put my gifts in this holiday box. She added pictures of Grumples, Leo, and her dog, Mo! I love this so much!!!

She knows me well 🙂

 
Meighan came over around 9am on Christmas morning so we could go for our run! We decided to drive to the River walk because it was so nice out and we wanted a new scenery.

 
Running on Christmas morning was such a good idea. We had planned this run for months in advance. We are just weird like that. It was so peaceful and quiet on the trail. The run was so good and we kept a 9:20 pace. I would have ran it in 9:50, but Meighan was the pacer and she’s quick. 
When we got back, my dad and Kyle were playing the Wii!

I made some nutmeg lattes before starting breakfast for everyone.
Kyle’s mom sent him fresh oranges and grapefruits from Florida, so we decided to make fresh orange juice with them! 
Breakfast was out of this world. I am going to post this recipe soon, but it was inspired by Kyle’s mom. She made something like this when we were in Florida and they were so good! 
Leo was exhausted from all the gifts and running around.
 
I was just as tired and that latte was calling my name!

We opened presents from my parents and then watched Christmas movies while my mom made lasagna.

My mom makes lasagna for Christmas every year. Hers is the best I’ve ever had!

She also made a gluten free lasagna with brown rice pasta. It was SO SO SO SO good.

I made a salad to go with dinner. I used some of the leftover Christmas Eve vegetables. It had spinach, bell pepper, carrots, radishes, broccoli, pumpkin seed, honey mustard nut thins, dried cranberries, and cauliflower. I also used my favorite salad dressing on top!

After dinner, Kyle and I took Grumples for a really long walk to help our third round of food comas. I’m not used to eating all this heavy food, so my stomach was in knots. I didn’t even eat that much, but the type of food put my stomach in shock. The walk and drinking a lot of water really helped.

I was EXHAUSTED from being nonstop for the past few days, so I fell asleep on the couch watching a Christmas movie at 8pm. I didn’t wake up until nine the next morning! I really had the best Christmas!

I had a gym and shopping date planned with Becca the day after Christmas. I had my bowl of Cheerios and headed to the gym! We both did one mile on the treadmill before our circuit. I was really impressed because I ran my mile in 7:57 without headphones. That’s a first for no headphones. I wrote out a touch circuit and I’m embarrassingly sore today!
 
After our workout, we headed to Central Coffee Co for post-gym lattes. It’s a new spot in the Southend and they make great coffee. They also have the best vegan zucchini bread
We spent the rest of the day shopping and running errands.

I picked up Chipotle for Kyle and I before heading back.I always get salad bowl with half chicken, half steak, a little bit of brown rice, a little bit of black beans, fajita vegetables, corn salsa, hot salsa, mild salsa, sprinkle of cheese, guacamole, more lettuce and a side of their dressing.

We watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind before falling asleep! I think it’s safe to say I had the best Holiday and I cannot wait to spend time in D.C. with my brother for New Years!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU! 
1. Describe your Christmas in three four words!
2. What was your favorite gift you received?
3. Do you have any New Year Resolutions?

 

Comments

  • Wily

    Love your family!

    Reply to Wily
  • Anonymous

    Love!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    I love catching up on your posts

    Reply to Anonymous
  • sara

    Do videos!

    Reply to sara
  • Caty

    NICE RUN!

    Reply to Caty
  • Liz Harrold

    I agree, mount the tv!! Enjoy the time you have to display cute frames/vases/etc…once you have kids, it’s years until you can do it again!! My husband and I were looking at pictures from when we 1st were married, and when our oldest was first born, and we completely forgot we used to have a tv console and coffe table. Haha!!

    When I read you say it was the first time some people had “eggnog and crab legs” I thought you meant crab legs IN the eggnog. Haha! Was relieved to see I was wrong.

    My favorite “gift” was seeing my 4 kiddos light up with the Christmas spirit. They were all so excited. My oldest is 6, and my youngest is almost 2. It was heartwarming to see him come beside his baby sister and include her in all the fun. We read Jesus’ birth in the Bible and then open gifts. I love reliving the magic of Christmas through the eyes of a child.

    Reply to Liz Harrold
  • Emily B

    My Christmas described in a few words: blizzard (that’s ND for you!), long, relaxed, crazy (6 nieces and nephews under the age of 6) and blessed

    My favorite gift: my younger brother surprised me with a trip to NYC over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend to see a Broadway musical! I was totally shell-shocked!

    I don’t really do resolutions. I do, however make a list of things I’d like to see happen in the new year.

    Reply to Emily B
  • Dee

    I would totally mount the TV! If I’ve learned anything about having dogs in the house (my two and everyone else’s to visit) it’s always safer to mount them! Heaven forbid the dogs get to playing and one bumps into the tv. Or in my case some trips over the dog laying on the floor and falls into the tv. Lol! Love your blog. Have a blessed New Years!

    Reply to Dee
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yeah that is very smart! Luckily our dogs are afraid of the hardwoods! lol I want to mount it thought:)

      Thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful New Year! xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Harriet

    Wow your Xmas looked absolutely amazing.
    My Xmas in for words -was the best ever. We made the decision to have a healthy food Xmas.
    The best present I got was from my parents a sold sliver bracelet as none of my old bracelets fit me after losing weight.
    My New year resolutions are eat more healthy food, get to my goal weight, and buy a paddle board.
    I hope you have and amazing new year

    Reply to Harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I love healthy food at Christmas 🙂 Makes living a healthy lifestyle around the holidays so much easier.

      Awwww what a sweet gift and so proud of you! xo

      All great goals!!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Heather @ Polyglot Jot

    Sounds like such a lovely Christmas! Mine was busy, special, family-filled, and food-filled! Happy New Year to you!

    Reply to Heather @ Polyglot Jot
  • Melissa

    Mount the tv! It saves money on having to purchase wall decorations and gives you more room to put frames, knick-knacks,books, or even coffee mugs on the console. Plus it allows more people to see the tv when there’s large crowds for things like Superbowl!

    Also Becca looks fantastic!

    Reply to Melissa
  • Amanda

    I think the TV would be nice mounted, but not so high that it’s uncomfortable to watch from sitting height of course. Love that console!

    1. Airport wakeup, sunshine, and family

    2. A dslr camera and lenses that I’m excited to learn to use!

    3. To increase my endurance so I can hike longer distances and to higher elevations without struggling and losing my breath

    Reply to Amanda
  • Sara J

    1. Love and family time (My family, sisters, and my 1 year old niece were all together and that was the best gift!)
    2. My favorite gift was a pair of new balance running shoes! They are super cute and extremely comfortable!
    3. I would like to not focus on losing weight but on taking care of myself and respecting my body! 🙂

    Reply to Sara J
  • Shannen

    1. Fun and relaxing! For some reason this year, everything seemed so much more laid back which meant we could all enjoy ourselves a little more.
    2. I don’t know if I have a favorite! I loved all the clothes I received. Oh, I got a new lamp which I love! (You know you’re an adult when you get excited about furniture for Christmas presents!) ??
    3. I have a couple goals I want to work towards next year. Mainly get back to my healthier lifestyle. But I want to travel more and do things that I love. What are some of yours?

    Reply to Shannen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I felt that way too!

      I think having little get-togethers and cooking easy meals makes it all laid back!

      HAHAHA YES! I got excited for my throw blanket. My mom and dad got Kyle and I memory stone molds! We get to put Grumples and Leo’s paws in them! I can’t wait to do that this summer:) That is probably my fave!

      Those are great! I just want to continue living a healthy lifestyle as well and reaching toward my half marathon goal! I really stuck to a healthy lifestyle all year and didnt fall off the bandwagon and I’d like to continue!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rachael Caddell

    Your Christmas looked like so much fun!
    Mine is described as: A jolly full tummy!

    My favorite gift was definitely just spending time with my family. My one huge New Year Resolution is to reach my goal weight and to just better myself all together!

    I also LOVE where the TV is at now. I don’t think you should change it! (: Happy New Year!

    Reply to Rachael Caddell
  • Siobhan

    I’m so happy you had a wonderful Christmas! Your new house is gorgeous and I can’t wait until I can have a house like that myself. I think mounting the TV on the wall would be nice because otherwise the wall behind the TV seems kind of wasted. Also, being able to put picture frames/ other trinkets on top of the console would be really nice. That is what I would do at least 🙂
    I love reading your recap posts. You always inspire me to be productive and cook something delicious. Whenever I read your posts about running it makes me want to be a runner, so I might actually work on that this summer. I know I won’t start running in the winter up here in Alaska, but once it gets warmer I really want to give it a shot!
    Thanks for being awesome 🙂 p.s. Leo and Grumples are the CUTEST!

    Reply to Siobhan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Siobhan!

      I think you’re so right and I’m going to do that next weekend!

      Thank you for the kind words about my blog! You should definitely give running a shot:) I have a blog on the side bar that talks about how i got into running! I can’t imagine how cold it is in Alaska and I’d totally skip running there lol BUT, once it gets warmer, you’ll love it!

      & thank you! I love them so much!

      Have a good New Year!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mercedes

    Your homemade lattes look amazing!!! What is your recipe and method? And what sort of appliances do you use to make them!!!
    Thanks?

    Reply to Mercedes
  • Ali Morga Brina

    First of all, Happy holidays Taralynn!! 🙂
    I loved the TV console you bought. I would mount the TV and put frames or other stuff on the console. I did that on my living room and gave it the appearance of more space.

    1. My Christmas was excelent, very peaceful and with lots of love.
    2. I think every single thing I received was amazing.
    3. Every year I made almost the same New Year Resolutions (find a better job, read more, study a Master, buy my own place, among others) and I’m starting to worry because I’m not succeeding at accomplishing them :/

    But I’m happy because this year has been a very different one! Because I had an amazing baby boy 🙂

    Reply to Ali Morga Brina
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I think you’re right!

      So happy your Christmas was full of love and peace, just the way it should be!

      Sometimes goals can be hard to accomplish, they’re easier said than done! Just make game plans and work towards them with steps! ONE AT A TIME:)

      Congrats on your baby boy! What a wonderful gift 🙂 xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ashton Jury

    Your Christmas looked like a blast, I love the crab legs tradition. We do Beef fondue in our family, or Teppan. Super Yummy! I’d have to say that my favorite gift I received was my new Fitbit or perhaps the Barefoot Contessa cook books. ( I just love her & Giada) My new years resolution is to keep running and possibly get comfortable enough to do a half marathon. I’ve been doing 5 & 10ks this past year, and I ran the Ragnar Trail run which was 15.1 miles (And broke my arm while doing it) But a half marathon still scares me a bit. Can’t wait to get recipe for those eggs and breakfast dish!

    Reply to Ashton Jury
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Oh Yum!!

      Ahhhh I bought the new Barefoot Contessa cookbook for myself! I love her and Giada too!!! So sorry to hear about your injury:( Good for you for getting back out there and working towards a new challenge. The half scares me too because I easily get injured, but I’m excited!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ayala

    Yay! Becca’s back! 🙂 Your xmas looked lovely. 🙂

    Reply to Ayala
  • Jen

    1. Hubby worked, still great 🙂 (my husband is a first responder so holidays off are rare!)

    2. A subscription to Bean box! I was (am) so excited!

    3. No resolutions at this point. I just try to set goals throughout the year to keep myself motivated and always trying/learning something new.

    What book(s) are you currently reading? 🙂

    Reply to Jen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Awww, well your husband is a very important man!

      I love the Bean Box!

      I love the idea of doing that as well 🙂

      I’m currently reading “Settle for More” by Megyn Kelly!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Erin @ Brownie Bites

    What a wonderful Christmas you had!! I love all of the photos of the food from your Christmas Eve. That snack mix you made looks like SO much fun! I always try to relax and eat whatever I want through the holidays (while still staying as active as I can) and just keep it in my head that I will be right back on the horse after the New Year… it allows my brain to stop thinking about calories and weight and all of that business and just truly enjoy myself for a little while.

    Reply to Erin @ Brownie Bites
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Erin!

      Thanks so much! 🙂 I always pick at everything during the holidays and try to stay as active as I can as well! It’s important to remember your health 🙂 You always need to enjoy yourself too though!

      I hope you had the best holiday! I bet you made the best foods!!!
      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenny B

    It looks like you had a very cozy Christmas with friends and family. Everyone looked healthy and happy, and kind of full by the end lol!!!;)
    My Christmas in a few words… festive, generous, family, and food! It was really a great Christmas at our house too!
    My favorite gift I got was an expensive high powered hair dryer. Well expensive to me lol but it dries my thick long hair in 4 minutes, that’s right! BONE DRY=4 MINUTES!
    My new years resolution is to stop swearing so often and be positive! Way too many f bombs fly and it’s outta control lol!

    Reply to Jenny B
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Jenny!

      A cozy Christmas for sure! 🙂 FULL ONE TOO!

      So glad you had a wonderful Christmas:)

      A hairdryer is a great gift! My mom bought me a powerful one years ago and I still use that one! IT’s so amazing. I usually only blow-dry my hair once a month lol

      Lol not a bad resolution!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mila

    Merry Christmas!! Looks like you had a great time
    What do you put in your egg nog? Do you make it from scratch?
    Enjoy New Years!

    Reply to Mila
  • Carly

    Your Christmas looks like it was absolutely perfect! Mine could be described as Full and Busy with Travel (apparently I can’t do a limited number of words ha!) My favorite gift is either the Blue Apron gift cards… who doesn’t look forward to delicious food thats fun to make, or a flight across the world that my parents gave me for my best friends wedding next summer… looking forward to the adventure is half of the fun!

    I showed your blog to my sister in law over Christmas and her first comment was “I love that TV console”! I still have yet to hang curtains anywhere I have lived (hello apartment living), but I’ve found some really great rugs on Wayfair! Awesome quality and not too expensive if your up to scanning through their billions of choices!

    I don’t have any resolutions yet, but always try to pick something to work on or a goal to accomplish. I might try “improving my handwriting”. I always am impress by someone with good handwriting, and usually mine is lucky to be legible! My husbands resolution is to learn to cook a weeks worth of dinners (since I’m usually the chef in the house)… I’m actually really excited about his! ha!

    Do you have any resolutions?

    Reply to Carly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Carly!

      lol it’s hard to limit words. I get it ;)WOOOO LOVE blue apron, and speaking of…I’m doing them tonight!! That was so sweet of your parents!

      Well tell her thank you!! I only hung curtains because I lived on the bottom floor of my last apartment. I have the previous owner’s curtains up, but I want my own in there for are! Wayfair is where my mom gets all of hers!

      haha that is so funny. I love that resolution though! I’ve been proud of how much I ‘ve been cooking more!

      My resolution is to run at least three half marathons this year!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Amie

    Mount the tv!

    I’m going to try and “meal prep” more healthy snacks each week. It’s so much easier to not eat junk if the items are ready to eat!

    Happy holidays!

    Reply to Amie
  • Mary

    LOVE your style

    Reply to Mary
  • Jessica

    Taralynn, I just love your blog so much! Never commented before but just felt compelled. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Reply to Jessica
  • Diana

    It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! The deviled eggs look amazing, as well as all of the food! Hope you have a lovely week xo

    http://mylovelierdays.com

    Reply to Diana
  • Carly

    Hey Taralynn! I’ve been following you for years and find you so inspirational! I recently moved to a new city and am single. I was wondering how you and Kyle met as I’m finding it challenging to meet good guys!

    xoxo 🙂

    Reply to Carly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey Carly!

      I am going to do a “Meet Kyle” post soon and I’ll have the story 🙂

      There are soooo many good guys out there, believe me! Just don’t settle for the wrong one! 🙂 You can meet guys at the gym, out with friends, running clubs or the wonderful dating apps that everyone uses nowadays! xo xo

      Have a wonderful holiday!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Carly

        Aww amazing! Can’t wait to hear your story–I’m sure it’s so cute! 🙂

        Reply to Carly
  • Jessie @ The Acquired Sass

    1. SO. MUCH. FOOD. would be my Christmas in a nutshell. My mom claims she scaled back this year, but the leftovers she sent home with me have been enough to feed me AND Mr. Sass for lunch and dinner all week.

    2. I asked for a 2017 calendar for my desk. I got one with beautiful landscape pictures – and I love that one happens to be in the State Park where we got engaged. Mr. Sass also made me a wine rack & coffee mug holder for the kitchen as a total surprise and he did such a great job. I loved being surprised, especially because now I can see all my coffee mugs instead of them being shoved away in a cabinet.

    3. Lots of 2017 goals! But, some big ones are to complete every running workout for my spring half marathon training program & snag a new PR. We’re also figuring out a budget & a way to pay off the house in TWO YEARS, which would be kind of incredible. Plus finally reaching out to brands about collaborating – which I have no idea how to do, so I’ll take any advice if you’ve got some.

    I love the TV sitting on the console versus mounted on the wall. You could frame it in though by hanging some pics around it on the wall?

    Reply to Jessie @ The Acquired Sass
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Jessie!

      Lol SO MUCH FOOD always. BUT the leftovers are the best and I make sure to eat them all before the New Years!! haha

      Awwwww so glad you got the calendar! I love the coffee rack!!

      LOVE those goals. I know you’re super smart and strong willed and can do anything!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Parker

    That holiday box from Kyle’s mom!! Adorable!

    Reply to Parker
  • Lauren @ Following the Path of Life

    Good morning, Taralynn!

    It looks like you had an absolutely wonderful Christmas! And all your coffee is reminding me that I need to go make a cup….:) I like to use my eggnog as coffee creamer for a treat.
    It’s nice to see Becca back on your blog! That’s so wonderful that you were able to spend Christmas together!
    Hehe–my pup Zip loves to open presents, too. He’s so delicate — he tears off the tiniest pieces of wrapping paper!

    1. Christmas was white, quiet, and “our” first

    2. Ooo…just picking one is hard! Maybe…my new fuzzy fox blanket, or chocolate tea, or a Dr. Seuss mug that says, “Why blend in when you were born to stand out?”

    3. I don’t know if I would definitely call them “resolutions” because I know how flexible life actually needs to be, but some of my goals are to run a half marathon in June, use my new planner diligently (to try to smooth out the craziness of my to-do lists), and stress less by relying on God more.

    Have a wonderful New Year!

    Reply to Lauren @ Following the Path of Life
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Morning Lauren!

      I hope your cup of coffee was extra good this morning 🙂 I’m still running on morning tea! I’m trying to drink tea before a workout and coffee after instead! I love trying new experiments. I tried eggnog in my lattes over Christmas and it was so good! I have some leftover and I may have to make some for a treat later!

      I love when dogs open up the gifts. It’s so cute!!

      Awwwww that mug sounds so cute! I love that quote.

      I think those are WONDERFUL goals!!! Very similar to mine.

      xo xo I can’t wait to hear about you New Years! xo

      Taralynn

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Hannah Jay

    You and Kyle are the perfect pair!

    Reply to Hannah Jay
  • Ambria

    Hey Taralynn!
    Hope your Christmas mass was as good as mine. Kids singing the closing song at the end had me in tears.. from laughing. soooo cute.
    1. Describe your Christmas in three four words! Funny- Thankful- Blessed and Exhausting… I think I fell asleep around the same time you did!
    2. What was your favorite gift you received? Toy Story Vans Shoes… seriously felt like a kid again 🙂
    3. Do you have any New Year Resolutions? More like post holiday resolutions! haha getting back on track with eating healthy…it’s so hard with all those little cookies and treats around!

    Question for you… Where did you buy your sofa? I love it and am in the market for one!

    Love your blog…this is my first time commenting but i’ve been reading it for years.

    Reply to Ambria
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Ambria!

      That sounds like the perfect Christmas!

      SO exhausting, but so perfect!

      That is an awesome gift!!

      Lol i feel ya!

      I bought it at Value Furniture about three years ago!

      Thanks for commenting and sharing your Christmas with me!! xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily Weir

    My Christmas in three words: Incredibly awkward Christmas. But that’s what happens when you have in-law family you barely know join in.

    My favorite gift: my husband got me an Apple Watch and I’m LOVING testing out all of the healthy tools. It tells me when to stand up when I’m at my desk all day, and even has a reminder to settle down and breath deeply for a minute.

    And for New Years Resolutions: I’m focusing on saying “no”. I felt so exhausted in 2016 from overextending myself, so I’m looking forward to taking this next year to do things I really want to do, and not out of obligation.

    Have a wonderful New Year in DC! I’m sure the city will be beautiful.

    Reply to Emily Weir
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Oh no!!! hahahahaha It’ll get less awkward as the times goes on! Hopefully?

      Love the Apple Watch! I’m always jealous of my mom’s.

      I think that is great and i need to do that sometimes too!!

      Thanks so much Emily!! xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Elisabeth

    Hi Taralynn!

    These lasagnas look amazing!

    1. Family – Food – Fun
    2. My sister offered me a little gardening kit with a cute plant, and said “This one should survive…”
    Definitely my favorite ^^
    3. I don’t make New Year Resolutions, I set some goals instead. For 2017, it’s : improving my running (I have a race in March), spending less money on unnecessary stuff, and deciding what to do with my life (my job has become a routine)

    Happy New Year to you!

    Reply to Elisabeth
  • Katy Lees

    I’d leave the to on the console table. You’ve got picture frames on the fireplace so it all balances out and looks better as it is now I think. Love it though. I’ve got a very similar white console table 🙂 x

    Reply to Katy Lees
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I just don’t think I’m going to leave picture frames on the fireplace. I want to do something cute up there! Still playing around with it 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brittany M.

    Good morning ☀️!

    I’m so glad you had a Merry Christmas!??

    My Christmas can be described in the words, relaxing, peaceful, and blessed!

    My favorite gift ? is a rose gold necklace my sister bought me!

    I haven’t made any specific resolutions, but I definitely have some in mind! I’m praying for a blessed 2017!

    Thanks for your post!

    Reply to Brittany M.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Brittany!

      Sounds like you had a perfect Christmas! I love rose gold, so she did well! I haven’t made any either, I just want to continue going down this road of happiness!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Melissa FitzGerald

    1. My Christmas was relaxing, delicious, and loving. Just the way it should be! 🙂

    2. My favorite gift I received was this blanket my mom made me. She made one for all 8 of her grandkids and was making me SO jealous with them in the days leading up to Christmas, showing me how she catered them to each kid’s hobbies, likes, etc. Then Christmas morning came, and I unwrapped one of my own–and of course, it’s double-sided and coffee themed! It’s so great!

    3. My New Year’s resolutions are pretty standard–get my diet in check and get back in the gym. 2016 was a really emotional year for me, and my eating got out of control. My goal is to be 100% paleo by the end of the year! I’m also resolving to get my finances in check.

    Reply to Melissa FitzGerald
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Sounds like it!

      That is the cutest idea ever!!I’d love to see a photo of that.

      I think finances and fitness are great goal/resolutions!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily

    Wow! Becca looks amazing

    Reply to Emily
  • Shanna

    My family used to do a big crab feed on Christmas Eve. I miss it so much. My grandpa passed away and extended families got too big so everyone went their separate ways. Maybe I’ll get it going again in the future.

    1. Chaotic, exhausting, fun, quick.
    2. Immersion blender so I can make butternut soup again. Haha
    3. I don’t make resolutions, I make goals. Most resolutions are forgotten by the end of January so I make goals that I can focus on the whole year. This year is basically about giving my life a makeover: lose weight, get out of debt, buy a new house…I have each goal planned out and what I want to accomplish by when so I can make progress and achieve them.

    So, the tv consule. I love it. I think the tv is too big for it so I love the idea of hanging it and putting pics on the console. Also happens to be my set up at home. Hah. My concern is whether the tv and mirror over the fireplace will be in competition.

    Reply to Shanna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Shanna!

      Yes a crab feast is always fun! Maybe you can do it in honor of your Grandpa and bring your family together.

      1. The typical Christmas 🙂
      2. OH YUM! How cool.
      3. Those are all great goals!!!

      lol I love the idea of mounting it too!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Alice

    Hey Taralynn!

    I’m so jealous that you were able to run outside on Christmas morning–I was in Minnesota and it was far too snowy for that! I’m hoping to do more running in the new year and get back to running longer distances. I’d love to train for and do another half marathon this year!

    Where are your favorite places to go (and to run, too, if there are any good trails) in the Charlotte area? I’m moving to Charlotte in May, for 6 months, and am on the lookout for things I absolutely must do while I live there.

    Reply to Alice
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I was pretty lucky! It was almost 70 degrees by the end of the day!

      You’ll have spring before you know it 😉

      OMG there are SOOOOOOO many great trails, My top faves are sugar creek, river walk, and four mile creek greenway.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bethany @Luluruns

    Loved this recap post, Christmas is my favorite holiday and it is so fun to see how other people (and fellow bloggers!) celebrate! So fun 🙂

    I’ve never had crab legs either-maybe I should try some?
    My favorite gift (aside from my boys) would have to be either my new ankle boots, workout pants, or perfume. My husband and family know me so well!
    Hope you are having a great week Taralynn!

    Reply to Bethany @Luluruns
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Bethany!

      I agree! Love it as well and i can’t wait to read all about your Christmas with the little one !

      You havnet?!?! OMG they’re so so so good!

      You got spoiled this year!!

      xo Have a great New Years!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Happy holidays, Taralynn! Your Christmas looks so fun. I wish my celebrations were as festive as yours! Oh, and my neighbourhood is SUPER hilly as well – so I understand you when you say that running in yours is super challenging.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Charmaine!

      It’s definitely a great thing to train with, but the hillllls killllls! My Christmas was great and I loved spending time with friends and family!

      xo Happy New Year!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Liuye

    Wow! I love this !
    I am prepare for 2017 ..thesedays I had been together with my parents , do some Spring-festival plan[do u know Spring festival?]
    And I am going to cut my hair. Buy gifts .make some cards..I can’t wait.
    Happy new year!!

    Reply to Liuye
  • Jayne

    It looks like you had an amazing Christmas! So nice to be with family and friends.

    Reply to Jayne
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    I recently just posted about my 2017 goals, actually! It’s to expand my YouTube channel and generate more gratitude and focus in health coaching others who struggle with binge eating.

    Also, your Christmas looks so splendid and holy crappie I think you’re really fast, especially doing that mile without music!

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
  • Jamie

    Would love to see a recipe for those avocado deviled eggs!

    Reply to Jamie

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