Long Run Saturday, Healthy Food & Thrifty Home Decor!

I’m a morning person. I generally can’t stay up and work late because my brain tends to shut off by 9 pm. I shocked myself last night by staying up until 1:30 am. I walked the dogs, fed them, and tucked them into their beds (dog mom). The alone time felt like the perfect opportunity to catch up on some projects. Having two dogs is a lot of work, I don’t know how mom’s with children do it. Power to all the mom’s out there. You ladies are rockstars.

Even though it was a late night, I was up involuntarily by 6 am. Three things woke me up today: the frigid temperature outside, the dogs barking at the neighbors, and this cup of coffee I’m sipping on right now.

It’s been such a strange week. One minute it’s warm, and the next minute I’m catching snowdrops in my coffee cup. There are only a few more days left of the cold temps, and then we are back to the 70’s! Thank goodness.
After bundling up this morning and walking the dogs, I came inside and made breakfast. I don’t plan on leaving my desk until my recap post is completed! My breakfast had fresh strawberries, cantaloupe, and scrambled eggs. The eggs have onion powder, garlic, black pepper, two yolks, and four egg whites!
My dad went out of town last week to help my uncle build a deck at the lake house. I stayed with my mom while he was out so that we could have girl time. I like spending time at my parent’s house because I can focus on work all day while the dogs run outside. I still don’t have my fence up at my house yet. My backyard isn’t big enough for them to run around in like nuts, but they’ll like hanging outside once it’s finished. There are a lot of animals lurking in the woods, so it’ll be pure entertainment for them.
My mom had a meeting Tuesday morning, so I drove her in and headed to Earth Fare to work on my laptop for an hour. I wanted coffee, but I had a run planned for the afternoon, so I stuck with some probiotic water and pineapple chunks. Anything to hydrate me. 
I had a long run the Saturday before, so I just wanted a light recovery run. The run in Waxhaw killed my quads (in a good way), and I could barely move my arms from my circuit workout. I love that my mom is a runner. I have a hard time slowing down my pace (I get bored), so it was great having her as a pacer. I ran behind her for the first 3 1/2 miles, and then pick up the pace for the rest of my run.

I love the running scenery out at my parents. I’m a huge advocate for finding new running routes. I don’t care about my three mile run routes, but anything longer needs to be fun and new. Meighan and I have been looking for new running routes every Saturday for our long run. It makes a big difference in our energy! We love the unknown, and it feels like an adventure.

As soon as I finished my run, I chugged water and headed to the cold pool. I tortured myself by slowly icing my ankles, my calves, my knees, and finally making my way to the quads. I don’t know how people can tolerate ice baths. OUCH!

After the run, we had falafels from Blue Apron, turned on Netflix, and fell asleep super early.

I made breakfast for my mom and me on Wednesday morning. My omelets had one yolk + four egg whites, one cup of spinach, and goat cheese. Blueberries and strawberries on the side!

How cute is this little butter holder? I found it at a thrift shop for 25 cents. My mom has little white accents in her new kitchen, so this fit perfectly. I will share more of my thrift finds in this post. If you want to see photos of the remodel, I posted this on Pinterest! My dad did it by himself in two months!

I made homemade dark chocolate coconut candies on Wednesday. I will post the recipe this week. They were a delicious treat to go with my afternoon cup of coffee. I’m a huge Almond Joy lover, or anything coconut related. I wanted to make the healthier version of my favorite coconut candies, and they turned out so yummy.

I took the boys (my pups) for a country walk later in the afternoon, and they loved it. Grumples is obsessed with farm animals. He likes to sit and the fence and just stare at them. Whenever I say the word “cow,” he goes nuts! Leo is starting to mimic him.

The dogs were so good on our walk, so I treated them with empty peanut butter jars as a reward. Training them to walk together with me has been a challenge, but we are getting somewhere. It’s so funny because all of my friends save their peanut butter jars for the pups. I love that it keeps them entertained for an hour.

Here is the video of them eating their peanut butter jars!

I decided to torture my mom and stink up the house with my brussels sprouts. I love them, but she won’t even look in their direction. I ate an entire bag of brussels sprouts with my ground turkey for dinner.

I chopped up some brussels sprouts and tossed them in olive oil, garlic powder, fresh organic parmesan cheese and baked them for 22 minutes at 400 degrees.
Eggs and bacon on Thursday morning! I had spinach and sweet potato added to my eggs too. Sweet potatoes and eggs were meant to go together.

I was hungry an hour later, so I made a protein shake. This shake had electrolyte water, frozen banana, half cup frozen strawberries, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, one scoop vanilla protein powder, and ice.
I did a light Thursday afternoon run with my mom. I’ve been trying to do more little runs during the week and save my legs for the Saturday long run. We were running different paces, so it was fun passing each other in the neighborhood. My mom has the most focused face when she’s running, so I always crack up when I see her.

We took the dogs out for a two-mile walk after our run. It was so beautiful out, and we couldn’t get enough of the weather.
For dinner, I had some leftover Panera Bread. I love going in there and building my salads. This salad had chicken, kale, onion, parmesan crisps, avocado, and green goddess dressing on the side. This salad inspired my grocery list for the week.
So I’m 26. So OLD, I know.

If it’s one thing my mom preaches to me every day, it’s to take care of my skin. My mom never tans her face, always wears sunscreen, and sticks to a nightly and morning routine. She doesn’t want me to start this routine later in life; she wants me to start now, so to make her happy, I have. And I don’t want wrinkles obviously.

My Routine

*I wash my face morning and night with age-defying face wash from Olay.
*When I finish washing my face, or after the shower, I hydrate and replenish my face with an anti-aging infusion spray.
*I rub an eye lifting serum around my eyes before I go to bed to prevent any aging. This helps with bags under the eyes and crows feet wrinkles.
*In the morning and at night, (after washing my face) I add a little anti-aging cream all over my face.  I do this about an hour before I put on makeup. I wear makeup maybe once a week. 🙂

This routine may seem like strange for a 26-year-old, who doesn’t even have a gray hair yet, but I want to start early and prevent wrinkles from coming in. It’s important for all ages to take care of their skin. My mom is in her mid-fifties, and she still looks so young, so I look up to her in the skin department. She started her skin routine at 30.

I headed home Friday after my dad came back to town. Grumples was looking for cows on the drive home!

Leo was happy to be back in his spot on the couch.

I spent some time adding more pieces to my house. I have a lot of work to do in the bedroom decor department. I think I want to go with a white and cream color scheme. I took down the green curtains the previous owners had up and added new sheer curtains. I love them and can’t wait to sleep with the windows open in the summer. I love watching sheer curtains blow in the wind. I am going to paint a new canvas to go above my bed this week.

I was inspired by this pin on my Pinterest board. It had a Blue Willow vase with pink flowers. When I saw the vase at Home Goods, I HAD to buy it and add pink flowers. It was honestly my lucky day because the flowers were all half off at Michaels!

I found all of these plates and cups for 25 cents a piece at a thrift shop! I want to use them for a brunch 🙂

I found these gorgoeus, plates, artwork, and more! I bought a lot of old photos and I’m going to redo the frames for my office. After washing all the plates and hanging some art up, I started on my Friday cleaning binge.
Have you ever had a weird afternoon craving for something sweet, but filling? I do pretty much every day. I wanted to experiment with a mug cake. I see them on the internet all the time, but the thought of microwaving weirded me out. I decided to try it because I was desperate for something sweet.

In a mug, I added 1/2 packet of blueberry oatmeal, 1/4 cup blueberries, one egg white, two tablespoons milk, one teaspoon olive oil, three tablespoons muffin mix, and two teaspoons of honey. I microwaved it for 45 seconds, and it came out perfectly! I prefer baked muffins, but this was ideal for a quick single serving. The blueberries were my favorite part.

The dogs were trying hard to steal a bite, but no luck!

Kyle and I decided to eat Chipotle were dinner on Friday night. We had been craving it all week, and cooking sounded awful because we were both tired.
I ordered a salad with half chicken and half steak. I added a little bit of white rice, hot salsa, guacamole, and a sprinkle of cheese. They have the best salad dressing!

Kyle and I decided to give “The Fall” a try. Finally, a new show we are addicted to watching! We were having a hard time trying to find a show that matched “The Killing.” I’m so excited to watch the next episode, but it would be a sin to do that without Kyle. I will just have to wait until Thursday.  
I’ve been looking forward to Saturday’s lately. Meighan and I have been sticking to our training plan, which consists of a long run on Saturday mornings. I’ve been trying to wake up super early to have coffee, hydrate, and experiment with different pre-run fuels. This Saturday, I’ll be bringing gel packs since we are upping our miles even more. Not only have we been increasing mileage, but we’ve been finding new routes with a lot of hills. Our half is going to be very hilly, so we want to be prepared. I have no doubt that I’ll be able to do it with her by my side. I honestly found a new love for running because of her, and she pushes me to do things I fear.
This was a pretty good pre-run fuel. I ate it three hours before my run, and I didn’t cramp up, or feel too sluggish towards the end at all. I had an english muffin with peanut butter, one hard boiled egg, and half of a banana. I chugged two glasses of water. One before my coffee and one after!

We found a new route to try! We love running through grogeous neighborhoods.
 Our route took us all around the Meyer’s Park Country Club.

The sun was out when we started the run, so I left my sweater in the car. Five minutes after we started running, the sun left us! I was freezing! The colder I felt, the harder I ran! The hills warmed us up, and I could finally feel my arms again. Our last mile was straight up a hill, so that didn’t feel great. I couldn’t wait to finish, so I tried to run it as fast as I could. Whenever I finish a run, I use up all the remaining energy I conserved.

We wanted to run ten-minute miles, so we stayed on track for the most part. We are running an intense route this Saturday, but it’s going to be a gorgeous one! We have eight miles planned.

 

 

I always try to take as many photos as I can while I’m running, but only ten out of thirty turn out clear!
My legs end up swelling after long runs, so I made a doctor’s appointment to get it checked out. Some serious and not-so-serious conditions could be causing the swelling. It could be low sodium, dehydration, or something else. I just want to rule some things out. Meighan was shocked at how swollen they got too! It wasn’t just in my head. They don’t hurt, but it’s a little frightening.

We were so zonked that we stopped on the sidewalk and just sat there stretching. Luckily, it was a remote neighborhood, and no one was there to judge how silly looked. We like to look at our times and elevation after our runs.
Saturday run done! YAY! 
Meighan and I picked up her friend, Sara, and Becca for lunch in Noda.

We decided to eat at The Crepe Cellar because they have the best french press coffee! That pot had no chance of survival.

I ordered the apple endive salad. It came with salmon, apples, pecans, greens, and a vinaigrette. I ordered fries on the side because they have the best!
We had so much fun having lunch and I need to visit Noda more often!

When Kyle got back from the gym, we both cleaned up and piled on the couch with the pups for a Netflix binge.
After two episodes deep, we got hungry! We decided to make our favorite, homemade chicken nuggets. I taught him how to do it and let him take over! He did such a great job 🙂 We experimented with buffalo flavored chicken nuggets, too. They turned out perfect! The buffalo chicken nuggets were coated in plain breadcrumbs (instead of the usual Italian bread crumbs) dipped in buffalo sauce, and then added to the baking sheet.

Find our chicken nugget recipe here! Kyle dipped his buffalo chicken nuggets in blue cheese dressing! I think they would be good (for people who like buffalo & blue cheese) wrapped in lettuce with blue cheese dressing. We made sweet potatoes for the side. It wasn’t a veggie kind of night.

Back to more episodes!

And then we woke up to this…

I took so many snow day photos! I put them all in a separate post because they would have flooded this one up. Check them out here!

Becca and I headed to the gym for an hour circuit! We had a GREAT sweat session. My back is still killing from all the deadlifts. We love Sunday’s at the gym because it’s empty. It was even more dead because of the snowstorm.  We turn into complete goofballs, and our dance sessions are my favorite.

The poor spring flowers looked cold! Good thing I put all of my flowers in the garage before the storm.


Kyle headed to the gym, so I decided to grab breakfast with Becca.
We headed to Plaza Midwood to have breakfast at Zada Janes. 

I hate when a promised thirty-minute wait turns into an hour for a table for two. We were hangry because of the gym. We finally got a table, but it was right next to the door. FREEEEZING. I was complaining in my head, and it was caused by the hangry-ness. Nothing worse than being hungry and cold at the same time.

I decided to treat myself with a skim cappuccino + one extra shot of espresso. Zada Janes usually brews light roast, and I knew I wouldn’t like it, so I played it safe with an expresso drink.

I ordered the big breakfast. It was 2 pm and the only thing I had eaten was a cup of coffee and half a banana. Since Becca doesn’t eat carbs, I ordered enough for the both of us. My breakfast had multigrain bread, a pancake, eggs, fresh fruit, and bacon.

The snow was gone by the time I got to Kyle’s. I wasn’t mad about it 🙂
 We decided to take the boys for a walk around the park. 
Leo does really well offleash. He stays by us and comes when we call him.
Now this is the spring weather I’ve been hoping for! 
After our hour walk, we had an early dinner. Leftover chicken nuggets 🙂 
Sundays <3
I made hot chocolate for dessert, and we got back to our show! We were in bed by 9 pm and exhausted from the day. I know a lot of people hate daylights savings time, but I love it. 
I was excited for Monday morning because I wanted to spend some time drinking coffee and editing the snow pictures! But the real excitement for Monday was because it was the Bachelor’s season finale! I made an omelet with turkey sausage on the side.

It’s been five weeks since I’ve been lampless. FINALLY, put a lightbulb in the dang thing, and I thought it deserved a picture. This is how I pat myself on the back for doing simple tasks 🙂

Finally bachelor night! I walked the dogs, fed them, air popped some popcorn, and then poured myself a glass of wine!
I seasoned my popcorn with garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and olive oil.
 This wine was so good! It’s Robert Mondavi heritage red blend. If I drink wine, I go for the blends. This is sold at most grocery store’s and it’s around eight dollars.

I had a facemask on my skin during the show!

I seriously cannot wait until Friday. I am getting my hair done (dyed dark) and eyebrows threaded! I tried to let the whole “lighter” hair grow on me, but I haven’t liked it. It doesn’t go with my skin tone, and I miss my dark hair.

FIVE THOUGHTS ON BACHELOR!
1. He chose the wrong girl but did Raven a favor. Vanessa was my pick on day one, but she got super annoying as the season went on. She complains a lot, and she and Nick will not work out. Do they even like each other? I guess the crying worked.
2. I couldn’t stand Corrine at the beginning of the season, but she slowly became my favorite.
3. Chris Harrison is annoying.
4. I never liked Nick, still, don’t like him. Why is he on DWTS. Just stop with him.
5. The “historical” thing annoyed me on the finale, and it was the most awkward moment I have ever seen on live television. I cringed the whole time, and it just gave me anxiety. Rachel will be a great bachelorette, but no more awkward surprises.

For lunch on Tuesday, I made a giant kale salad! It had goat cheese, strawberries, kale, arugula, baby spinach, candied nuts, dried blueberries, and a shallot dressing.
And for dinner, I made a salad with ten cups of chopped kale (so much kale), goat cheese, sweet and spicy peppers, pecans, cranberries, onions, and a red wine vinigrette. SO MUCH SALAD in one day.

OK, so by now you’re probably all wondering…GLUTEN?

Let me fill you in…

I went 4 1/2 months gluten free. At first, it went pretty well. Some of the bloating went down, the cramps decreased tremendously, and my energy levels were high. Placebo, maybe? But for the past few weeks, I had been feeling sluggish, retaining a ton of water, getting migraines, and so I asked my doctor if he thinks I should start eating gluten again. He recommended that I go gluten free to help with endo, but I started questioning it all. The crazy thing is that I started adding gluten gradually. It didn’t do anything to me. I’ve heard some horror stories from people who tried eating gluten again, but I feel a little better now that I’m eating it again. My doctor said there is no problem adding gluten back into my diet, and that it doesn’t work for everyone. But, no worries, I will still have gluten free recipes on the blog, but I’m trying to do what is best for my body. Right now, I’m frustrated, but I’ll figure it out someday!

Questions for you!

  1. Bachelor thoughts. GO!
  2. Did you do anything fun over the weekend?
  3. What is the coolest thing you’ve ever found at a thrift shop?

 

Comments

  • Casandra

    Is the red blend wine you had on the sweeter side or dry side? I’m normally a sweet drinker but am wanting to get away from that. I’m nervous to try red blends because I don’t want them to be too dry.

    Reply to Casandra
    • Taralynn McNitt

      They are like the perfect mix. I don’t like DRY wine, but red blend has a TINT of sweetness. Not a lot. Ease your way into it by mixing your sweet red with the red blend. I did this for a while!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Dorothy

    I don’t have endometriosis, but I do have a similar condition that was causing me to go into early menopause at 24. The only thing my doctors had to say was that they were sorry… so I looked into a “cure” on my own. I went gluten free, but also read a book called “Woman Code.” I followed that diet and it changed my life! I have more energy, better skin, and probably the best thing- a baby! Especially because before my doctors told me I’d never have kids. IDK if it was because of the diet from “Woman Code” or just a miracle, but I’m still following that diet today!

    Reply to Dorothy
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Menopause at 24? I’m so sorry to hear you had to deal with that! Great to know you had a great experience with a diet change. I’ll look into it!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Collun

    All of your food looks bright and yummy

    Reply to Collun
  • Queen

    Gorgeous path.

    Reply to Queen
  • Brittany

    For the swelling after running, I would try taking a turmeric supplement. Turmeric has a ton of great health benefits! Yesterday I ran 16 miles and made sure to take a turmeric supplement before I went to bed to help from any swelling. It is suppose to help with any type of inflammation AND heart burn! You can also just add more turmeric into your diet! 🙂

    Reply to Brittany
  • Laura

    Have you ever thought of splitting up these long recap posts into recapping a day or two, and posting more frequently? I like reading them but they can be difficult to follow when it’s recapping quite a few days. Plus I’d like to see you post more often!

    Reply to Laura
  • Caty

    Thank you for blogging

    Reply to Caty
  • Kate

    Do you like Asics?

    Reply to Kate
  • Sara

    I hated my body when I went gluten free. I gained so much weight!

    Reply to Sara
  • Melanie

    Did you meet meighan at a running club?

    Reply to Melanie
  • Sarajacklyn

    Love the bright running clothes. I can’t wait for your next recap!

    Reply to Sarajacklyn
  • Kate

    I was so pissed about the Bachelor. RAVEN!

    Reply to Kate
  • Sheylenne

    Try going dairy free!
    I went gluten free as that’s what I was told by my doctor would help my health problems and they actually got worse. Then I tried dairy free and it has made a world of difference! My doctor says sometimes it’s one or the other or both but it’s unfortunately a long process to try and figure out.
    There’s so many alternatives to dairy now that I don’t even miss it really. I feel a million times better and a lot of my health problems are starting to resolve!

    Reply to Sheylenne
  • Laur

    Such a weird question coming but…I love your blog and your running tips…how do you drink that much before a long run and not take a pit stop?

    Reply to Laur
  • Trina

    Hi Taralynn,
    After reading your blog for over a year there is one thing always consistent, your positivity! It’s crazy how it radiates through your blog. I was hoping you could do a updated post on the steps you’ve taken to find such happiness and your secrets to always maintain positive. It’s something I’m working on personally and you are someone who I admire that for! Xo

    Or just a reply to this comment would be much appreciated instead of an updated post 😉

    Reply to Trina
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Trina!! That means a lot to me. That is actually a GREAT idea for a blog post. I will totally add that to the list. But here are a couple of things for you now!!

      1. As hard as it sounds, you HAVE to get rid of any negetive peiople in your life. Find people that make you happy, share the same goals, and support EVERYTHING you do!
      2. Keep reaching for the stars. Don’t worry about what people are doing, saying, or how they live. LIVE YOUR LIFE and focus on YOU!
      3. I pray about everything. I know God has a path for me and it makes me happy knowing that I can give EVERYTHING to him.
      4. Keep pushing yourself to do things you never thought you could. <<<

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jason

    I saw you uptown!!!!!!

    Reply to Jason
  • Sharni

    That Strawberry Kale salad looks delicious!

    Sharni // http://www.agirlandgrey.com

    Reply to Sharni
  • Lindsey

    Love the blog! Keep it up. New reader here!

    Reply to Lindsey
  • Cate

    Meighan and Becca sound like great friends!

    Reply to Cate
  • Jenny B

    I love that your mom has encouraged you to start a good wrinkle prevention routine! She looks beautiful and so young! I started using a good moisturizer and wrinkle serum when I was about 24 and now I’m turning 32 next month and my skin looks like I’m still 26 years old. My tip that I think you will love is the Olay microdermabrasion and brush system. Omg it’s totally gotten rid of my larger pores. Also evens out old acne scars. I got it for Christmas, it’s around $40-$45. Check Ulta and use a coupon lol
    I also want to mention that I know exactly how horrible endometriosis is because I too suffer from it. I’ve had surgery, taken birth control continually. …still daily suffering. My doctor wants to start medicine to shut down my ovaries and put me into chemically induced menopause. I have all kinds of symptoms people don’t realize are from endo, it’s not just bad periods. I have deep infiltrating endo…..D.I.E. for short LOL! I went gluten free for 8 months and had the exact same results you did. At first I felt pretty good, less bloated and cranky. It wore off and I got sick of putting in the money and effort for nothing. I added it back and didn’t notice any changes really. I also quit coffee, no change. I would love to know more about what you deal with, how you treat flare ups, and how you keep your positive attitude. I know it’s very personal but I personally think you would help others by sharing your story. Everyone has different experiences with it and it is awesome to know we’re not alone. I have a friend who has it and never deals with pain, or gets a period. The only reason she found out is because she can’t get pregnant. I luckily had 2 children. It’s such a complicated disease and I feel for you girl.
    Take care! <3

    Reply to Jenny B
    • Taralynn McNitt

      She’s a huge advocate!

      So great to hear you’ve had incredible luck with taking care of your skin!

      I will make sure to check that out!!! Sounds awesome.

      It definitely is complicated and sometimes I feel like curling up in a ball with pain for two days just to stop worrying about the things that effect it! It’s definitely hard to talk about since I have no answers, but possibly one day!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kenzie

    Hi Taralynn, I’m sorry to hear eliminating gluten didn’t help 🙁 dietary issues are so difficult to pin down. I eliminated by trial and error for so long and finally spent the money to have a food sensitivity test (literally just a finger prick tests for response to 100+ foods) done. It was truly a game changer for me. I highly recommend it!

    That, and dairy gave me joint pain, migraines, acne, and bloating. I can see you love cheese as much as I do 😉 a food sensitivity test would test for your immune response to that, too.

    Just my experience! Hope it’s helpful

    Reply to Kenzie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Kenzie.

      I don’t necessarily think I have an allergy to anything. I have bad symptoms with ENDO so we were trying some different things out to help with symptoms like inflammation and cramping. I did just buy a book for foods that help with it.

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jeni

    You’re never too young for a beauty routine! Face masks are a great way to pamper yourself. TJ Maxx sells a lot of really nice ones, as well as some great moisturizers, for relatively cheap.

    Your thrift store finds are super cute. We both have the same taste in home decor!

    To answer your questions, I don’t watch the Bachelor but I did do some fun stuff over the weekend when I wasn’t working in the ER. 🙂 I organized this big fundraising event at my church and met up with a friend for coffee!

    My favorite find was at an estate sale– a former Miss Iowa was selling a bunch of her pageant stuff, and I got several pairs of designer shoes AND a couple of her dresses for about $50 total! Turns out we were the exact same shoe and dress size!

    Reply to Jeni
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I see them there all the time!:)

      So you must have good taste 😉 lol

      Sounds like you had a great & productive weekend!

      WOW! That is awesome & GO IOWA!! haha

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Amy

    I just went out and bought so much kale after this post! Thank you for inspiring me with all of your healthy eats.

    Reply to Amy
  • Casey

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for blogging! Thats all 🙂

    Reply to Casey
  • Amber

    This Bachelor season was one of the worst yet in my opinion. Nick has zero personality.

    That kale and strawberry salad that you made looks amazing! I love adding fruit to salads 🙂 I will definitely have to try it once strawberry season starts here!

    Reply to Amber
  • Jenn L

    Hi Taralynn!!
    I don’t watch the bachelor…or even tv for that matter 🙁
    It was a really relaxing and lazy weekend that was much welcomed after several months of basketball games and tournaments!
    I once found a Le Creuset pot in fantastic shape for $5!! I could hardly contain my excitement and felt like it was such a steal.

    Question….I noticed your dogs are always lounging on the furniture and bed. How do you keep everything so clean? I have two indoor boxers that get baths regularly but after just a couple nights sleeping on my bed you can see the dirt and hair!

    Reply to Jenn L
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Lazy weekends are great!

      Sounds gorgeous!

      Well, I’m SUPER LUCKY because they do not shed. They also get wipe downs everytime they come in from outside plays!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kaitlin

    I actually didn’t watch this season of The Bachelor! I recorded them on DVR but didn’t end up watching, I just wasn’t that interested in Nick! Have you watched Bachelor in Paradise?! Now that is a good show! I’m sure it will be back this summer and I can’t wait 🙂

    This past weekend my husband and I actually stopped at an antique shop right near our house. We found 6 silver spoons from the 1800s that had presidents’ faces on the top, like George Washington, and the names down the side. My husband is super into politics so he was so excited to find them haha I love finding little trinkets too.

    Love reading your recaps every week, awesome job with your training! I’ve tried getting into running but just don’t really like it so I give you major props for your dedication!

    Reply to Kaitlin
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Girl..yassss. I can’t wait for the new season.

      Oh wow!! Those are old and sound beautiful. My boyfriend loves politics too, so I know he would have been just as fascinated!

      Thanks for the kind words! I used to hate it until I got better and better at it!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Samantha

    YES! Everything you said about The Bachelor matched my thoughts exactly. Nick would have been much happier with Raven, but I think Raven will be much happier going on Bachelor in Paradise. (Also, I’m slightly selfish in that I’m so excited to see more of her!) Vanessa was my favorite in the beginning, but you said it best–the crying became too much to handle and I just had to roll my eyes. You’re on the bachelor! What did you expect??

    I’m also hoping we get to see Corrine on Bachelor in Paradise because I ended up really liking her too!

    I LOVE DWTS but I am so disappointed that Nick is going to be on it. Get off my TV already!

    Rachel is going to be an awesome bachelorette and I am so excited, but this Monday night gave me severe anxiety. I had to keep looking away it was so awful! What a rough way to start!

    Reply to Samantha
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Lol, I feel the same way! And you came on a U.S. SHOW!? You can’t expect the man to move to a new country!!

      I HOPE SHE GOES TOO!!!! I doubt she will, though. She may be a surprise guest.

      Lol girl, I just tweeted that yesterday. CORRINE SHOULD BE ON THE DWTS!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Melanie

    Hey Tara
    Love reading your blog
    When you mentioned the bloating
    I know you Include a lot of nuts in your meals and many gluten free meals might have hidden nut flours too and while healthy
    They can be little buggers for giving people
    Cramps bloating and gas
    I used to eat them all time and found that
    Smaller amounts helped me not have
    Those symptoms
    Just an idea 🙂
    I hope your doc can help you figure the swelling out
    Too
    All the best to you in your half marathon training 😊

    Reply to Melanie
  • Rachel

    Can I just say that Becca looks amazing? Her hard work is definitely paying off.

    Reply to Rachel
  • Angela

    I love all of your recap posts. I tried to start a blog a year ago, but it was so much work! I used to think it was easy, but I found myself spending over 20 hours on one post. Keep up the good work!

    Reply to Angela
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Angela!!

      Yes. Blogging can be very time consuming. I spend almost 12 hours on each recap post or blog post. There is a lot of backend work for sure! BUT I LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • MB

    Definitely make sure to get your legs(s) checked out. The swelling could be a sign of a DVT (blood clot) or something vascular. If your leg becomes red or hot go to the dr immediately. I suffered a DVT and it was very painful and scary. (It was caused by birth control). Good Luck!

    Reply to MB
  • Jen

    Hi Taralynn! I love your recap posts 🙂

    1. No Bachelor thoughts. Just not a fan of the show. The Fall however…I loved it!! I wish there were more episodes. It’s so dark and gritty. I needed a change of pace after finishing the series, so I started watching Great British Bakers which is adorable, addicting, and a breath of fresh air.

    2. My husband and I found a cute little Irish café in our area and had lunch there. It’s run by an Irish family. They sell tons of loose-leaf teas and typical Irish goods and have a great lunch menu. We also went to the movies to see Kong, because I love a good monster movie. It was so entertaining!

    3. I’m not a serious thrift shopper as we only have one or two stores in our area that have random store hours. Probably the best (most random) thing I ever found was a coffee recipe book. It’s loaded with at least 100 unique coffee recipes with gorgeous pictures of each beverage. It has everything from iced, hot, frozen, alcoholic, classic, etc. I use it constantly!

    Please send some southern sunshine up here to PA! We need to melt the 20 inches of snow we got two days ago 🙂

    Reply to Jen
  • Jess

    As someone mentioned in another comment, I highly recommend reading Woman Code by Alisa Vitti. Her protocol might help with your endo. The first third of the book is a difficult to get through, but once you get past that, there is a TON of great information. I know that I feel better whenever I incorporate the different foods throughout my cycle.

    This past weekend I got back from my trip to Florida on Saturday. My fiance took me to a nice dinner that night and Sunday was for relaxing 🙂

    I loveee thrift shopping! I found a cute wine rack a few years ago and that’s probably the coolest thing I’ve found so far.

    Reply to Jess
  • Baley

    I live for these recaps! Coffee and Taralynn’s blog for the win.

    Reply to Baley
  • C.

    Long time reader here!

    I wanted to stop and tell you how proud I am of you!

    You have been so great with your health and fitness. It’s truly inspiring and I cannot wait to see you finish this half. YOU WILL ROCK IT.

    Candice

    Reply to C.
  • Laura Carr

    Gluten is such a strange thing. My nutritionist had me do the FODMAP diet to figure my stomach issues out and for a long time we thought it was gluten. Turns out it was things IN the gluten products that contributed (too much fiber, inulin, occasional dairy) as well as certain fruits and vegetables that contributed to the crazy bloat and belly pain. I still can’t even look at your Brussels sprouts without feeling belly aches ha!

    Reply to Laura Carr
  • Vanessa

    Did you do anything fun over the weekend?
    Not much over the weekend, but this week is amazing! I am at my boyfriends place all week and can relax while he is at work. Then in the evenings we can hang out together. We went bouldering yesterday and I am soo sore now! 🙂

    What is the coolest thing you’ve ever found at a thrift shop?
    A really pretty red dress that is incredibly comfy but looks great and elegant

    Reply to Vanessa
  • Harriet

    Hi Taralynn, your week looked amazing with the snow fall. All your photos are amazing!
    we don’t get the US Bachelor in NZ, we do have our own version but it’s not as good.. I had the best birthday weekend with my friends at the beach it rained the hole time but the stormy sea view was amazing!!
    Thrift shops are amazing, the best find I had was a 1920’s silver bracelet with sapphire’s it was only $30 plus the thrift shop had its own coffee bar!! Have a great week

    Reply to Harriet
  • Amie

    I wish I had a running partner like Meighan!

    Reply to Amie
  • Amber (SC)

    Cringed when I saw the Bachaelor. I think Rachel’s season is gonna be a choreographed trainwreck. I really feel for her.

    Reply to Amber (SC)
  • Michelle

    Hello!
    I am glad to hear that you are listening to your body and got to have gluten back! I would give anything to have it back!

    1. My bachelor thoughts are the same as your #1. Now, I like Nick, but he and Vanessa will not work out. Totally agree. It is a ticking time bomb. I think Rachel was his best bet, but Raven was amazing too. I think they’re both better off though. Corinne grew on me, but, I’m still not a fan. She is definitely relatable.

    2. Over the weekend we pretty much just hung out at home. It was relaxing!

    3. I bought a bunch of cute tea cups at a thrift shop.

    Have a great week! Oh also, when will we get to see Becca’s blog?

    Reply to Michelle
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Michelle!

      I don’t know what he was thinking. He had some AMAZING girls on the show that could have been a perfect match for him. Sometimes I think the producers push towards their picks.

      Best way to spend the weekend.

      LOVE TEA CUPS!

      & YES!!! IT’s been live! Epilogue b!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Dani

    Your blog inspires me and makes me so happy!

    Reply to Dani
  • Phyllis

    Ok, what did your dad do to house? When I click link it goes to a kitchen. Did he completely redo your kitchen in two weeks? Or is that an inspiration pin? These are the things that keep me up at night!!! What board is your home improvements? I want to see what you are doing. I’m always amazed at the stuff you and your dad make!!

    Reply to Phyllis
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Phyllis!

      That is the kitchen he remodeled! I posted the before and afters on Pinterest:)

      I’m going to do a post at the end of the year with a before and after of my place! 😀

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    Stupid. The whole season. But like you said last time we pretty much have the exact same thoughts and comments on everything tv related sooo… I agree with you on every one of your points above haha

    Nope! Just a fun, lazy weekend. I needed it though I had so much to do around the house!

    I love going to thrift shops. I usually head towards the books and I also love looking for mugs and such as well! I’m hoping one day when I have a house I can thrift for furniture pieces to refurbish and either put in my house or sell. Just no room for that right now! I’m loving the placement of your table with the plates for your brunch idea… it looks so bright and airy and perfect! Can I come? Hahaha

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Sara

    I absolutely loved The Fall! It’s perfect because it’s just three seasons and it doesn’t feel dragged on! I totally agree with you about Vanessa! I loved her at first but she really got on my nerves throughout the show. She complains way too much!

    Reply to Sara
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It’s so good! There is a lot less going on with the FALL compared to The Killing! There was just NONSTOP!

      all she does is complain lol and then i start complaining about her complaining and it turns into a huge complaining circle! BRING BACK CORRINE!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    Check out the book Woman Code by Alissa Vitti. I’ve heard great things about it. Just started reading today & already learning a lot!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Lace

    I can’t wait to see what you do with your bedroom!

    Reply to Lace
  • Joy

    Not related to your questions, but The Fall came out in England a few years ago and it is EPIC! I can’t wait for you to experience it! Talk about cliff hangers and frustrating plots!!!! Gives the 50 shades of grey guy an excuse to actually do some good acting 😂 Have a lovely week!! X

    Reply to Joy
  • Brooklyn

    I have been craving salads SO much lately! Two in one day is perfectly fine I think 🙂

    I have been lampless all winter. I don’t know why I’ve been too lazy to go get the right bulb, but I miss my lamp. Thankfully it’s staying lighter earlier now though.

    It’s so nice how close you and your parents live to each other!

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

    Reply to Brooklyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes! Filling and nutritious.

      I went on a GIANT grocery salad ingredients binge! I’ll be eating salads for weeeeeeeeeks.

      Lol, it’s an easy task but I keep forgetting. Now, I need to get new lamps in there!

      I love only being twenty minutes from them! It’s great 🙂 Better than 1600 miles apart!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sara

    Hi.. I’m not sure if you already covered this prior but your dinner with ground turkey.. do you cook/season it a certain way? I made it sort of on the plain side once with a few simple spices and it was just okay.

    Reply to Sara
  • Mechela

    We went to see an old legendary blues artist (Taj Mahal) and went on a long run/walk that ended at our favorite food hall where we got schezuan dumplings and dan dan noodles. We wanted ice cream but it was too cold . The dumplings were perfect to warm us up. Then we run/walk all the way back 😛

    My mom is just like your mom abut skin care. I like to wash my face with coconut oil (it doesn’t clog poors like one would think!) Then use Thayers Rose Witch Hazel Toner and put eye cream on and use suncream during the day. Do you do an exfoliant as well? I love reading other peoples skin care routines.

    I am ready for this cold snap to leave!

    Reply to Mechela
  • Mallori

    1)I don’t watch the Bachelor (insert crying emoji)- all my friends do and I feel left out, maybe next season?
    2) I did some craft projects this weekend- painted mirror frames white and gold, set up my craft room table, and repotted my succulents for my spring centerpiece!
    3) I found my prom dress my junior year of high school (over ten years ago AHHH! Insert another crying emoji here too) It was AMAZING and it was $20!! It was black sequin sweetheart neckline, with different layers on the skirt. Hard to explain… but it fit like a glove and it was awesome an vintage look!

    **I thought I had a gluten allergy for the longest time. I did a cleanse that removed gluten, soy, and dairy out of my diet. It turns out I actually have a slight dairy allergy. I have always been a HUGE milk drinker (there isn’t a week that goes by where I dream of chugging a glass of milk..is that weird?) I can still eat cheese (in moderation), but the reason I am telling you this is because recently I went to the ER because I was having extreme stomach pain. It felt like my stomach was burning and on fire with a stabbing pain. I’ve never felt this pain before and I started freaking out because I thought it was my appendix. I found out that sometimes my stomach doesn’t produce enough good bacteria (probiotics)- so when I indulge in something I have a slight allergy to it can make my digestive system inflamed because I don’t have the good bacteria and only the bad in there. I started drinking a glass of the GoodBelly Probiotics (it’s delicious) and it has really helped, no more bloating, no more pain. I know you can also take probiotic supplements as well. Sorry I just wrote a novel, but knowing how awful stomach problems are I just wanted to reach out and give a little “possible” solution to help you out! … Oh, yeah… I’m not a doctor. Ha!

    Hope you have a great rest of your week, and enjoy your Saturday run!

    Reply to Mallori
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Only if you want to get addicted to an awful show!

      I have so many art projects to do. I NNEEED just to do them.

      WOW! SUCH A WIN FOR YOU!!

      Lol, thank you for all of that! & the swelling only comes during my time of the month, and the cramping is horrendous because of my endo. The doctor thought gluten would help all the inflammation and cramping. It did kind of help for sure, but not as much as I hoped for.

      I’m so glad you found out what your cause was!!!

      & thanks so much! IS IT SATURDAY YET?!!?

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Olivia

    Ok Bachelor thoughts. I had picked Vanessa in the beginning too but I also found her becoming annoying and I could see her being “bitchy” when not on camera. Also the fact that they don’t live in the same country and neither sounded like they wanted to move, just means they won’t work. I really liked Raven and I thought they would have an easier time creating a life together. But I do agree that she could use a good southern/country boy. Totally agree with you on Corrine. I also started the season with not liking Nick but for some reason he kind of grew on me. I’m not sure if it was the dorky quirks or if it just seemed like the lisp disappeared… Not a bad season but I’m super excited for Rachel’s season!!

    Reply to Olivia
    • Taralynn McNitt

      YES. I feel the same way about her. Just watching her reaction and comments during the interviews made me cringe. She needs to date Chris Soules!!!! COUNTRY BOYS!!!! Rachel’s season will be good!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Alyssa

    I took almost a month off of running, and now my right knee is killing me! I did a 5-mile run on the treadmill Sunday (due to rain), and my knee didn’t hurt at all. Tuesday I did 4 miles and the pain is back! I have a 10k in April, so I need to get used to running outside, but not sure what to do about the pain! I know you had knee issues before…any advice?

    Reply to Alyssa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Even when you take a month off, you need to EASE back into running, or you will injure yourself. Make sure to ice, get good running shoes, strength train, work your way up to those miles, stretch, make sure you’re eating the right fuels, and if it doesn’t get better, talk with your doctor!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessica

    I am with you girl, daylight savings is my friend. Finally it won’t be dark at 4pm!!!

    Jessica – hellojessicabrown.com

    Reply to Jessica
  • Hillary Danielle

    I love your recap posts! English muffins with peanut butter and a sliced apple on the side with my morning cup of coffee is always my go-to pre-workout fuel. When I run it definitely helps with my energy. Every time I hear you talk about running hills, I know the struggle. I started running just on the track at the local high school, then I finally moved (during track season) to running the half mile loop where my house is. It’s a good quarter mile that you’re running up hill. I always feel so slow when I run the hill, but when I move back to the track, or a flatter course overall, I realize how much it actually helps me with my endurance and speed. Good luck on the rest of your half marathon training! I planned to do a half marathon last year, and chickened out, so maybe this year I will commit to it!

    For the questions…

    I don’t watch the Bachelor, it has never intrigued me.

    I stayed around the house this past weekend, I did a Zumba workout on Saturday and then a 4 mile run on my treadmill on Sunday, other than that I was very unproductive, haha.

    I love thrifting, but I don’t know what I would consider the best thing I have found. I really wanted this MASSIVE clock I saw at one but there was no where for me to put it at my house, let alone for it to fit in my car.

    Reply to Hillary Danielle
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Hillary!

      Thanks so much 🙂 Hills really do help with endurance and they make you appreciate the downhill/flat trails so much more! I’ve chickened out for years! IF I CAN (HOPEFULLY) DO IT, SO CAN YOU!!!

      lol don’t start it now.

      Sounds like a great weekend!

      lol I always think about how useful a truck would be when I’m at the thrift store!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kristin

    I avoided bachelor this season because I wasn’t sure how much I would like it with nick. In the end all I watched was After the Final rose and I thought it was sooooo awkward. I mean, I hope they make it but it really didn’t seem like they even liked each other on the final rose!

    Reply to Kristin
  • Sam

    BECCA LOOKS AMAZING!! Of course you do as well (so gorgeous all the time!) but we don’t get to see as many pics of Becca, so its really incredible to see 🙂 Please show her this, i’m seriously inspired by the both of you! xoxo

    Reply to Sam
  • Beth

    I totally understand your frustration with the whole gluten thing. My doctor recommended that I stop eating gluten and dairy for a few months to help with chronic achilles tendonitis and also to help with my acne (mostly diary, not really gluten) and it has been so hard and I haven’t really noticed a difference with my tendon swelling. It’s such a crap shoot. I hope you find some answers and find relief!! Also, I cannot believe how amazing Becca looks! Has she seen a lot of her weight loss come from staying away from carbs? I’m so curious. Also, when is her blog going live?! I’m excited to read it!

    Reply to Beth
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Very frustrating. I also have an occasional flare up from AT! Stretching and swimming have helped a ton for me. Lots of rolling and massages! Her blog is live!!:) Epilogue b! She tries to keep her carbs down, but not in a restrictive way! She’s got the whole thing down.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Carrie this fit chick

    AMEN to your bachelor thoughts!! So disappointing… they don’t seem happy together.

    SO many photos and great eats, not even sure where to start, but YAY for Panera and Chipotle– had a dream with chipotle the other night, WEIRD. I’m such a morning person too– my brain shuts off at 4pm everyday, hah!

    Reply to Carrie this fit chick
  • Alexis Davis

    Thanks for the beauty routine!! I think you’re pretty awesome girl!!

    Reply to Alexis Davis
  • Molly

    I felt the same about about the Bachelor! I liked Vanessa on their first date but honestly she got so annoying at the end. She seriously was such a downer and was always complaining!! Raven was the complete opposite and I loved her and how positive she was. She deserves someone better than Nick. He chose wrong. I kinda which Raven was the next bachelorette because she would make an amazing one. But I am looking forward to Rachel’s season!

    Reply to Molly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Lol I felt the same way!

      She was TOOOOO sweet to him. I was mad that he let her say all of those things and then he shot her down. He should have stopped her. I agree! Raven would be adorable, but she may be toooooo nice (that southern girl) and she deserves someone amazing. Although….she did beat an ex with a stiletto! haha

      Rachel’s season will be so good!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Heather

    Hey Tara,
    Did you really eat 10 cups of kale for dinner at one time?!
    I’m sad to hear that gluten-free wasn’t the answer for your problems. That is frustrating. :/

    Reply to Heather
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I don’t do that often. BUT YES, I did that last night. I chopped up the kale and ate it. I have a strong stomach though! lol

      It’s frustrating, but I’m kind of happy about it.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mallory

    Bachelor Thoughts – Corrine is officially my favorite and I’m hoping she’s on Bachelor in Paradise…as well as Kristina. Nick and Vanessa have officially annoyed me! Like you said… do they even like each other?

    Side comment – you make running look so fun! So thank you for your pictures/posts. Do you edit your pictures or use some type of filter? They turn out so pretty and if it’s on an iPhone that’s awesome!

    Good luck with your training!

    Reply to Mallory
    • Taralynn McNitt

      ME TOO!! & when does this amazing show start??? HAHA, THEY DEF don’t like each other.

      Thanks, Mallory! Running has become a love of mine (I never thought I’d say that)

      & I take them on my phone and play with saturation/sharpness/brightness!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jaime

    1. I don’t watch it! lol
    2. I took my Little to a Harlem Globetrotters game and caught up with friends at a neighborhood bar!
    3. This brass alligator nutcracker. I’ve never used it to crack nuts but it’s a cute little thing for my fireplace mantel. Also a vintage globe, that’s in brown colors rather than green and red.

    Reply to Jaime
  • Sara

    Love your blog so much

    Reply to Sara
  • Liz

    Hey, since we started seeing Becca on your blog has she lost weight? She looks great!

    Reply to Liz
  • Gabrielle

    Girl, I love your lighter hair!!!! Mine is dark brown (and I have brown eyes and olive skin) and would LOVE to go lighter, but I’m too scared!

    Reply to Gabrielle
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you!:) But I liked it the first day and then haven’t fell in love with it. I need to get it cut and go back to the brunette! It turns reddish and light in the summer, so I don’t want it blonde/red LOL

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

    I’ve always wanted to make your chicken nuggets, but never got round to it. Thanks for the reminder!

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

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    I LOVE THRIFT SHOPS!

    I actually love them more than going to regular clothing stores, generally because a) I find better things there and b) it’s cheaper too! WIN-WIN, huh?

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
  • Mia

    Be careful about which types of peanut butter you give the dogs! http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/06/sugar-substitute-in-some-nut-butter-products-toxic-to-dogs/#.WMl7EVXyuM8

    Reply to Mia

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