Building, Baking, Reading, Fitness, & Food

Good Morning!

I need more than coffee to bring me back to life today. My brother is in town visiting for the holiday. We spent all day yesterday, touring breweries, and hopping all over the place (as you probably saw on my Instagram story.) Even though I didn’t drink, I still feel sluggish because of the heat. I think it was one of the hottest days in Charlotte. I’m sitting outside drinking coffee on the patio soaking up the last bit of breeze before the heat returns. We have another full day ahead of us, and I wanted to fit in a recap post! I will blog all about the breweries on the next recap ๐Ÿ™‚ This recap will be filled with some eats, workouts, and a couple of other little random things. I know a lot of people had to work today, so maybe you’ll enjoy this little reading material during a break ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you all have an amazing Fourth of July!ย 
That blanket lasted one minute before I realized how muggy it was. The only heat I want right now is coffee! The next two to three months are going to be brutal here, and this is when I wish Fall would return. Not going to lie, I totally watched a Christmas movie last night. Anyways…on to the recap!

Note: I’ll be going throughย June 150 Walking Challenge to see who hit 150 miles! Please don’t forget to tag me! I hit 154 for the month, and I am so proud! It’s crazy what you can accomplish just by getting out there and doing little walks throughout the day. I really enjoyed all of your posts and couldn’t be more proud!
I left the last recap post off on Tuesday morning. After blogging, I made scrambled eggs and headed to the gym for an hour body blast class. The body blast is basically circuit training, and holy moly was it tough! ย My arms were on fire when I left.ย 
For my post-workout recovery, I had water, Chocolate Muscle Milk mixed with almond milk, and a No Cow Bar.ย 
My dad and I spent the entire day building backyard furniture for my porch. They turned out incredible, and I’ll be posting a dedicated post for the entire project. Right now, I am looking for outdoor plants and a bbq grill.
We finished up later in the evening. I made salmon, a quinoa salad, and green beans for dinner.ย 
You can find my salmon & green bean recipe here! For the quinoa, I added two cups of cooked quinoa, 2 cups frozen peas, 2 cups chopped kale, 1/4 cup chopped green onion, garlic powder, aย drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, and low sodium soy sauce to a frying pan. I cooked until the peas were fully cooked and the kale was wilted.

I ended up falling asleep before The Bachelorette came on. To be honest, this season is boring. They need to change up the show and make them all live in one house together. Real World style. Oh, wait…that’s why Bachelor in Paradise is so much more entertaining. They already do that!
My dad and I spent Wednesday morning and afternoon building one more couchย and staining the other two. My dad isn’t the kind of person that is going to just build it for me. He makes me get the wood, measure, cut, drill, and do all the work. He wants me to know how to do everything, and I appreciate that about him.

We finished up around 6 pm. I headed straight to the pool with sparkling water (mixed with Truvia), and my book. I was so sucked into my book that I didn’t realize what time it was. Two hours had gone by, and I was still floating. I made scrambled eggs (not worthy of a photo) for dinner and fell asleep at 9 pm.ย 
My dad and I loaded his trailer up with the furniture we built and headed to my place to put it on my back porch. It looked so good :)! I still have to wait until the deck’s treated wood drys before staining/or painting it. The boys seemed to love it.
For lunch, I made a green apple and pineapple smoothie. It had one pineapple core, 1/2 green apple, 1/2 cup spinach, 1/2 frozen banana, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 1 scoop Orgain vanilla protein powder, and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk.

It felt so good to have the patio (almost) finished. I spent some time catching up on emails and then headed to the kitchen to make cinnamon banana oatmeal muffins to go with my afternoon cup of coffee. I needed coffee, or I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with Meighan during our intense boot camp class that evening.
ย We decided to walk 1.2 miles to boot camp since it was nice outside.

The boot camp was packed. We found a place where we could setup together. The class was intense, and I never fail to work up a sweat during them. The crazy part is how much stronger I felt this week compared to last week. I am excited to see how I feel in a month.
We walked the 1.2 miles back, and it was a struggle! It was a pretty one though ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
I made a grocery list for the week and stopped at the store on my way home from Meighan’s.
My grocery list had:
Unsweetened/Organic/No Salt Added Peanut butter
Strawberries, Pineapple, Banana
3 Dozen Organic Eggs
Multi-Colored Bell Pepper, Onion, Green Beans, Sweet Potatoes,ย Kale, Lettuce, Spinach, Cucumber
Chocolate & Vanilla Muscle Milk (for post workout)
2 Cartoons Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Plain Greek Yogurt
Applegate Smoked Turkey
Havarti Cheese
Flatout Wraps Multigrain
Chicken Breast, Ground Turkey
Dark Chocolate.
I had a late dinner before watching The Handmaid’s Tale with Kyle. I had a multigrain Flatout wrap with smoked turkey, bell pepper, cucumber, Havarti cheese, yellow mustard, and lettuce.
I spent Friday morning having coffee and finishing my book on the patio with the pups. After my coffee, Kyle and I took them on a super long walk before the heat. Ohhhhhhhh that book was so good.
I decided to make a batch of egg cups to keep in the fridge for the week. I added sauteed bell peppers to the eggs (5 whole large eggs, 12 egg whites), and baked them until they were lightly brown around the edges. I didn’t add much flavor because I just wanted to make them for a quick protein fix.
At noon, I met up with Meighan for a workout. I needed to get them all in before my brother came to town.
ย For lunch, I had Panera Bread. I wanted something quick. I had their Apple Fuji Salad with extra vegetables (kale, cucumber, spinach) and no feta. I wish they had goat cheese!ย 
A skim Cappuccino from Caribou! I always forget about how good their coffee drinks are.
I made a turkey wrap (same as earlier in the post) with strawberries for dinner. When I grocery shop, I like to buy things that I can eat for meals all week. I’m definitely OK wth repetitiveness.
I finally got around to getting a new living room rug! I scored an 8 x 10 rug at Target for only $170! If you are familiar with rug shopping, you know how frustrating or pricey it can get. Sometimes it’s better to wait until the right one comes along. Their outdoor section was 30% off, so I also scored a new outdoor rug. I really liked the blue one, but it did not match the couches. I’ll put it on the other side of the deck where the table and umbrella will be.ย 
I woke up super early on Saturday morning to have coffee, and relax before meeting up with Meighan again for another great class. I always need my hour to myself in the morning to wake up. Everyone in my family is the same way. I absolutely LOVED the Saturday morning circuit/conditioning class. I would take it every day if it were available.ย 
We probably burned 1000 calories in that one hour alone! It was nonstop strength and cardio. ย When I got home, I had my two egg cups, almond milk, and muscle milk. Perfect recovery! I knew Sunday was going to be a rest day for sure!
Oh, and how cute are these little cups and mugs? I got each one for twenty-five cents a piece at a thrift store. I also bought twenty picture frames. I am going to spray paint themย and add photos for the office. I can’t wait to start that project later on this week.ย 
I headed over to my parent’s house later Saturday to spend time with them and my brother. I packed my lunch (strawberries and my wrap) and sat by the pool with them.ย ย 
We all headed out for dinner later that evening. I was still a bit full from lunch, so I just ordered a house salad and hot green tea.ย 
I captured this rainbow on my way home from dinner. How gorgeous?ย 
Sunday morning, I had coffee, went on a long walk with Kyle and the pups, recouped, and headed out for a long day with the family! I will be blogging that adventure with my 4th of July fun this week!

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday! xo

Questions for you!

1. What is a good book you’ve read this summer?

2. What was the last DIY project you worked on?

3. Favorite Fourth of July treat?



  • Casandra Reyes

    What brand of peanut butter do you use?
    I’ve been trying to find a no added sugar one for a while but can never seem to find one which is crazy

    Reply to Casandra Reyes
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I change it up a lot!! I usually stick to a natural pb. I love the chunky peanut butter and sometimes get ones without added sugar or salts. I honestly would be satisfied with natural crunchy peanut butter from skippy/ or Jiff!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Maddy

    cute house!

    Reply to Maddy
  • Carly

    I loved the June 150 Challenge! Somehow miles seemed easier/more doable than a specific workout each day. It was also fun to see everyone’s posts for the challenge!

    I think it is so awesome that you and your dad were able to plan and build your backyard furniture together! It is SO cute!

    I just finished The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks… not new but I always love a good romance.

    I haven’t done too many DIY projects recently because we just moved (moving itself kind of felt like a project ha). But now that we are settled I have SO many I want to do! I also am about to be flooded with bachelorette and wedding DIY projects as a maid of honor, so I’m excited for that for sure!!

    Watermelon is my go to 4th of July food. But an ice cream cone is always a great treat too!

    Reply to Carly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Carly!!

      Yes, so lucky to have him:)

      I read that book!!! It was so good. I’m a sucker for Nicholas Sparks.

      Moving is definitely a project. xo xo

      Watermelon alllllllll summer long.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Nadia

    Loving all the muffins!

    Reply to Nadia
  • Katy

    Can’t wait to see your backyard post

    Reply to Katy
  • Anonymous

    Love your blog.

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Jen

    I just finished reading the Red Rising Trilogy and absolutely fell in love. The universe is so cool and I read all of them in less than two weeks because I couldn’t put them down!

    Reply to Jen
  • Caitlin

    I love when you post your shopping lists! Please keep doing that! I am at work/commuting for 12 hours a day, so I haven’t had any time to think about it. I literally just copied your list and am headed to the store! ๐Ÿ™‚ Question-do you drink cow milk? I am trying to decide if I should just switch to almond milk altogether instead of buying both.

    Reply to Caitlin
  • Quinn

    I have been eating the same wraps. Post your grocery list more often ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Quinn
  • Anonymous


    Reply to Anonymous
  • Tristan

    Everything We Keep was a great book! I just saw there is a sequel that just came out, “Everything We Left Behind”!

    Reply to Tristan
  • Cate

    Killin’ it girl.

    Reply to Cate
  • Dorothy

    I didn’t quite hit 150 miles in June, but I managed 113! Didn’t get to load all of them on Instagram, though. I think I’m too old for Instagram haha.

    My favorite summer read so far has been 1984. I’m reading Handmaid’s Tale right now, and After You is next.

    for DIY projects, I’m in the middle (stalled) of two right now: I’m refinishing an old writing desk, and doing a gallery wall going up my stairs. DIY projects for me are always done in little 30-minute snippets when I have free time.

    My favorite 4th of July treat is all the fruit pies. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Dorothy
  • Anonymous

    How long do you wokrout a day?

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Hey! Good job on all of your fitness strengths. I am from france!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Lindsey

    Can’t wait for your banana muffin recipe!

    Reply to Lindsey
  • Hilary

    Yay for DIY!

    Reply to Hilary
  • Haley

    Does Kyle do body fitness competitions? He is ripped

    Reply to Haley
    • Taralynn McNitt

      He does look good! ๐Ÿ™‚ He doesn’t. Kyle workout at the gym 6 times a week, and follows a very healthy diet. He does it for health ๐Ÿ˜€

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    Where did you get that blue dress in your snap chat

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Stacie

    LOL and sad face at your cracked phone in that photo!

    Reply to Stacie
  • Stephanie

    Currently reading Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire, the sequel to Beautiful Disaster. I read the first one in 3 days! Walking Disaster is the same story, but from a different perspective.

    The last DIY project I did was making a wreath for my door. I love sunflowers, so I did a sunflower theme with green, yellow, and brown colors on a twig wreath.

    My favorite treat for July 4 would probably have to be ice cream. I don’t usually do much for July 4, but last night went to a concert, so that was my treat!

    Reply to Stephanie
  • Niki

    I just love your blog. Hope you had a good 4th!

    Reply to Niki
  • Anonymous


    Are your dogs goldendoodles?

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Laura

    You’re inspiring me to get into classes!

    Reply to Laura
  • Susie @ Mile High Dreamers

    Those wraps look so yummy! I think that’s one of the things I miss most from my meat eating days – I LOVED turkey!

    Your furniture looks amazing and I think it’s awesome that your dad makes you do the building so that you learn. Those are such incredible skills to have and so useful in the future.

    I recently read the book Rose Under Fire (about a WWII female pilot who is imprisoned in Germany)- It was SO good, I highly recommend it.

    I’m the WORST at DIY projects. I’m trying to work on a gallery wall though. Ben and I have been living in our place for a while and we really need to get some photos up and make it seem more ‘ours’.

    My favorite 4th of July foods are the classics! Veggie burgers with that wonderful fake, processed American cheese (guilty pleasure for sure), fries, and something fruity and sparkly.

    Happy 4th!

    Reply to Susie @ Mile High Dreamers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Susie!

      I do love smoked turkey!:)

      I agree. Sometimes I just want to sit back and watch, but it’s better to be hands on and learn so I can do it myself one day!

      That sounds like an incredible book.

      I love gallery walls. I want to do that in the office ๐Ÿ™‚

      MMM! I did a veggie burger today for the 4th!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Shannen

    I’ve been wanting to read that book! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!
    I recently stained and recovered a chair I bought for $12 at a garage sale. It was a lot of work, but I absolutely love it! Your patio furniture look great! I may be stealing your idea for my patio!
    Happy 4th of July! ??

    Reply to Shannen
  • Ashton Jury

    Looks like a fun week, I love those flat out wraps, Trader Joe’s also has some that I love that are whole wheat made with olive oil.
    I have been listening to some great audio books, Harry Potter is always a favorite I also just downloaded Murder on the Orient Express read by Dan Stevens (he plays the beast in the newest Beauty and the Beast) I also just picked up a paperback of ‘It Was Me All Along’- by Andie Mitchell for my beach days and it is so good!!
    For a favorite snack I love making Patriotic Brownies which are a red velvet brownie recipe with Red/White & Blue M&M’s mixed in! They’re even better with a cream cheese frosting on top and more M&M’s to decorate with! Have a safe & Happy Fourth, and please let your family know I’m thankful for there service! <3

    Reply to Ashton Jury
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I wish I had a Trader Joe’s closer to my house! When I go, I end up grabbing everything ๐Ÿ™‚

      I read Andie’s book a couple years ago and LOVED it. Very relatable.

      mmmmmm I love brownies in the summer.

      I will pass that on! Thank you so much!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jen

    Your furniture looks beautiful! My dad used to do amazing carpentry. I love to have pieces he’s made in my house ๐Ÿ™‚

    The Kind Worth Killing (recommended by PBFingers on her blog) was soooooooo good!!

    Favorite treat on any summer holiday is potato chips, haha! I have sweet treats all the time but never have chips in the house or my husband eats them before I can.

    And DIY was hanging a gorgeous gallery wall in our living room.

    Reply to Jen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I bet the pieces are gorgeous! & THANK YOU!

      I’ve heard that book was so good!

      haha I feel the same way. I forget how good they are! Have you ever had dark chocolate covered potato chips? so good!!

      I want to do a gallery wall in the office!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lou

    The couches look awesome!

    Reply to Lou
  • Sharni

    Those outdoor couches look amazing! I recently read A Deadly Thaw and loved it.

    Sharni xo

    Reply to Sharni
  • Lauren

    Hi Taralynn! I noticed you didn’t share the banana oatmeal muffin recipe! Can I find it elsewhere on your blog?

    A recent good read for me was It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. A lot of the books I’ve seen you reading are on my summer reading list… The Perfect Stranger got pushed to the top when I saw you reading it!

    Reply to Lauren
  • Alison

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the boot camps. They changed my life!

    Reply to Alison
  • marti @fitwithheart

    i’m currently totally nerding out over brain and gut health so my current read is brain maker – so so good! i’ve TOTALLY been itching to do a new diy project and need some inspiration and a good idea! we have been in our house about 3 years and i feel like i need to get after it again! right when we moved in we did a bunch of painting and decorating..but i feel like i’m ready for something new! i sooo love your outdoor patio! I wish we could do something like that! i love all the snack foods on the fourth of july! and the cocktails! my mom used to always make fruit pizza, puppy chow, caramel corn – and you can’t forget the s’mores!

    Reply to marti @fitwithheart
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes, I need to stop getting that itch. I go from project to project!! & thank you! i’m happy with how it turned out!! I havnt had puppy chow in so long!!! Now I want it!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Demi

    this week I am reading ” you are a badass” and also “darling Greatly” they are both sooooo good and just what I have been needing!

    I am right in the thick of wedding planning so tons and tons of DIYS and I have an etsy shop so im always doing crafts! lol

    and my favorite treat would for sure be strawberry shortcake and homemade ice cream ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Demi
  • Brooke

    So happy you posted today! I got to read my fave blog at work!

    Reply to Brooke
  • Tala

    What thrift store did you get those mugs from? I’m obsessed!!

    Reply to Tala
  • Jessie @ The Acquired Sass

    Ah – pretty sure I totally fell off posting at the end of the walking challenge – but I ended with 172.66 miles, which I am so pleasantly surprised by!

    1. I just finished The Escape Artist by Diane Chamberlain, which was good, I’m headed to the library tonight to scoop up whatever catches my eye. I’ve been loving sitting & reading on the back porch.

    2. Umm, probably something wedding related. We made our seating chart, and pretty much everything else. Right now I’m working on gathering frames & other things to make a huge gallery wall in our living room! We’re doing a travel theme and incorporating maps & pics of all our travels together. I love it!

    3. I love angel food cake with fresh strawberries, blueberries & homemade whipped cream. Mmm. Or just a big ol’ bowl of watermelon!

    Reply to Jessie @ The Acquired Sass
    • Taralynn McNitt

      DAMN GIRL!!!!!!!!

      Is it weird that I absolutely love the smell of libraries?

      Oh, that is amazing. I can’t wait to see the progress! You better blog about it :D:D:D:D

      mmmmm my mom always makes that! Sometimes, she makes angel food cake with red hots. SO GOOD.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brooklyn

    Those blue mugs you got are so gorgeous!!

    I’ve never made egg cups (I only recently started liking eggs but still have issues with “eggy” foods) but the ones you made look really good, I think I’ll have to try to make something like those!

    I have been on a quinoa and frozen pea kick this past week. I love the crunch of the frozen peas.

    My grocery store finally just got Flatout wraps so I am so excited to try them!! I’ve heard such great things.

    That photo you took of the rainbow on your way home from dinner is stunning ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Brooklyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Brooklyn!

      I hear that a lot. I couldn’t live without eggs lol

      MMMM LOVE FROZEN PEAS. My dad and I use to eat them all the time while watching movies.

      ooooohhhh you’ll love them. A lot of people have a hard time finding them because they aren’t with the other tortillas and sometimes in the produce section.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cheyanne

    Everything looks so fun!! And those muffins look AMAZING! ๐Ÿ™‚


    Reply to Cheyanne
  • Hanah Miller

    I got an amazing grill off Amazon!

    Here is the link if you are interested

    Also for building post, will you post how to make it (dimensions, tools used, etc..)?

    Reply to Hanah Miller
  • Tammy

    Hey, why do you mix your muscle milk with almond milk?

    Reply to Tammy
  • Emily B

    I love The Selection series. It’s a young adult distopyian society type series but it is seriously so good. I am trying to read more this summer. I go through spurts where I read a lot and then hardly at all. Admittedly I am rereading the Harry Potter series for about the tenth time but I want to find some new books too! Any suggestions?!

    I would say just working on our baby’s nursery in general has been my latest project! He is due in mid August and we are so so so excited! And nervous as it’s baby #1 for us!

    Too many goodies! I love fresh watermelon and anything on the grill really!

    Reply to Emily B
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Sounds interesting!

      I have found myself making time to read more. It helps with stress and great after a long day. T.V. can be depressing lol

      I bet you are so so so excited & congrats to you!!!! I’m sure everything will go smooth!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lauren

    Where did you get the blue outdoor rug?

    Reply to Lauren
  • Ashley

    I’m thankful for your blog today! As I am one of the few who had to work today! you’re patio furniture looks fantastic ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Ashley
  • Missy

    I’m audible-ing A Handmaid’s Tale! May have to download Hulu so I can watch the series. Claire Danes narrates it and does a wonderful job!

    I’m reading-reading Hidden Figures; I work at NASA so I have been enjoying reading about our history and where we come from. It’s a part of history that is definitely glossed over in school and it has been eye opening.

    Reply to Missy
  • Richie

    Thanks for blogging today! I’m stuck in my little cubicle doing nothing! I hate that I’m here right now but afterwards I’m heading straight to the lake with friends for a cold beer.

    Reply to Richie
  • Meghan

    I am soo hoping one of my local targets has that rug or I can find it online! That’s the exact style I’ve been looking for! haha I haven’t had a chance to do any reading yet this summer, but my friend just mailed me a few books so I’ll be starting on them soon, can’t remember what their titles were though =[.

    This weekend I also worked on some DIY projects with my dad! I have a nook in my bedroom that has been a bit under-utilized, so at a rummage sale I picked up a little storage table, a mirror and an ottoman for a ‘getting ready’ type area. I painted the table and mirror so they would match my decor, the table had a weird floral stencil on it and the mirror just needed a little more pop to the color. I love doing DIY stuff, it’s so fun!

    My favorite 4th of July treat would have to be ice cream, or fruit pizza. Usually one of my sister in laws makes a fruit pizza with bananas, strawberries and blueberries so it looks festive. Unfortunately they live in a different state, and we won’t be able to make it up to see them this year with the Holiday being on a Tuesday. Thanks for giving me something fun to read while I’m at work today!

    Reply to Meghan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Definitely check Target store!!

      Ohhh def forward that one to me!

      Dads are always the best for DIY projects! & I agree so much fun! Sounds like you’re accomplishing a lot!

      I love fruit pizzas. I’m making one tomorrow and a broccoli salad! xo xo

      Hope your day when by fast!

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

    I finished Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn while ago. It’s definitely a good read if you’re into crime, mystery and thrillers!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Cassie

    Sounds like an awesome week Taralynn! Those classes sound so awesome! I’ve been going to a class and I love it! Also I absolutely love your back deck. It’s so cute! Have a fun day with your brother!

    Cassie’s Big Adventure

    Reply to Cassie
  • Mallory Patterson

    I just finished reading The Apartment by Danielle Steele – it’s amazing! My BF and I recently just bought a house so I just spent the week chalk painting our brown bathroom cabinets into a dark grey chalk paint color! I love reading your posts about home projects because I can relate easily ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a great week <3

    Reply to Mallory Patterson
  • Amina

    1. What is a good book youโ€™ve read this summer?
    Confess! So good.

    2. What was the last DIY project you worked on?
    Mom & I just ‘refurbished’ a random wood box for out chickens to lay eggs in.

    3. Favorite Fourth of July treat?
    Potato salad. ??

    Reply to Amina
  • Brandi

    I can’t wait to read your outdoor couch post!!

    Reply to Brandi

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