My body needs to catch up with my brain this morning. After my morning dog walks, I sat down with a cup of coffee and my planner. I started filling in some ideas and creating a new schedule for spring. I came up with so many fun ideas, and now I just want to accomplish all of them, like now! Obviously, that’s not realistic. Maybe you can relate to this. Have you ever wanted to do so many things in one day that you get so overwhelmed and end up doing absolutely nothing? I’ve done that before (like weekly), and that’s why I find it helpful to write “to-do lists,” and schedule out my projects each day. Otherwise, I just stand there like a lost puppy. I do the same when I go to the grocery store without a list. Moral of the story, make “to-do” lists.
One more thing before I dive deep into another weekly recap post.
I read a pretty interesting article by another blogger last week, and it had me thinking. I read that blogging recaps and “day in the life” types of posts are pretty much dead, and that to be a successful blogger you need strictly evergreen content shot with professional cameras. I’m not going to disagree with this statement fully, but I do think that if you take out the “fun” and “personal” posts, then you lose the connection you built with your readers and yourself as a blogger. Connecting with people on my recap posts brings me the most joy in blogging. I’m naturally introverted, but I never feel alone when I hop on to talk to people.
I started blogging before the internet became oversaturated, so I’ve seen the whole blogging world evolve. And it’s inspiring and exciting to witness! The one thing I’ve always told myself during this is that I will not crack under “blog perfection” or steer away from what this blog is all about. When I say “blog perfection” I mean the blogs where every photo is staged, shot with a professional camera, photographer, and so thought out that it takes months to write. (and hats off to the bloggers that do create that type of content, because it’s not easy, and so much effort is put into it.) That isn’t natural for me, and it’s not how I’ve built myself as a blogger. I’ve had people ask why I haven’t hired a team to work with me or write with me. Honestly, because I enjoy this, and it’s “Simply Taralynn.” Not “Simply Taralynn and the five interns she hired to write her posts for her.” It makes me cringe when I see successful bloggers use ghostwriters. And honestly? You guys would be like “Taralynn didn’t write this” after the first five sentences. I just don’t want to ever come to that. I could probably make a lot more money if I gave up the work and handed it to someone else, but I don’t want that. I want my photos and words to be a reflection of me, taken with the iPhone, with lots of comas in the wrong places, and overusing words. It’s just who I am. There is enough blog perfection out there already, and I don’t need to contribute to it. I’ve never even hired a single person to design my blog and make it a professional space. And if you think spending thousands on a blog design is going to make your blog succeed, that’s not true. It’s the content that people are connected to. My recap posts bring me so much joy, and if that makes me an “out of date” blogger, then so be it. And with me, you don’t have to #likeittoknowit, just ask and I’ll tell you where I got it.
This blog is about my lifestyle, my journey, my life, and I love connecting with readers on a real level. I would hate blogging if I couldn’t take the time to share my life, exciting experiences, and the weekly blog my recaps. Those are the most fun for me. And I think discontinuing a part of your blog that makes it fun because it doesn’t make you as much money is ungenuine (is that word?). So, I guess what I’m trying to say here is that you need to stick to your roots! Don’t read an article on the internet and let yourself get let down or caught up in it. If something makes you happy, or you’re succeeding at it, keep doing it. If you’re a blogger or a new blogger, do you. Don’t read articles on things that are “dead.” Half of the clothes in my closet are “dead,” but I’m still going to wear them. Doing the evergreen content, and sponsored posts with companies I love is fun too, and that is what allows me to keep posting the other stuff that I enjoy. If my blog was filled with only evergreen recipes, workouts, and sponsored posts, would you find yourself visiting as often? Honest question.
I know that was a lot, but it’s been something I’ve wanted to get off my chest for a while. You know what is a bit silly? Sometimes I get anxiety after publishing my thoughts. I get so nervous for the mean responses that follow. This is my blog, and I have to remember that I have the right to speak my mind (even if it’s not a popular opinion.)
After finishing up my recap post last Tuesday, I headed to the grocery store to grab some staples and ingredients to make recipes for the week. I had the Whole Food’s Granola bar recipe on my mind, and I’m still enjoying them!
When I got home, I did four miles with the dogs (together this time) around the neighborhood. The boys have been making extrememe progress to the point where I feel comfortable enough to walk them together now. It’s been amazing.
I threw a plate together for dinner (a typical dinner for me and I really need to change things up soon.) I had grilled chicken, sprouts, my go-to meal prep kale salad, a grilled turkey burger, and sweet potatoes.
I spent the rest of the night relaxing with tea and watching the second half of the Bachelor finale. I couldn’t believe Arie proposed at the end of the episode. The whole thing was awkward. But, I called it from day one that Becca would be the Bachelorette, and I’m pretty happy about it. She is super sweet and smart, and it’s going to be a good season.
I was up bright and early on Wednesday morning. It was time for me to retire my glasses and have an eye exam. I have to tell you guys something embarrassing. Want to know why you never see me in glasses on my blog? Well, (literally laughing out loud right now) I had them for nine years, broke them two years ago, and they’ve been taped together (like Chucky from Rugrats) for two years. I’ve just been making them work. I don’t know why I put off getting new glasses for so long, but they’ll be here next week. My priorities are just not in check.
When I got home, I got around to making the Whole Foods Granola bars from A Spicy Perspective, and they are spot on, out of this world, and so worth it! Check out that post here, and I promise these will not let you down.
The granola bars needed to chill for two hours in the fridge before slices, so it was the perfect time to grab lunch with Becca. This girl has been so busy lately, that I’m about to put her in handcuffs and make her slow down. But, she’s a boss woman, and I love seeing her succeed! It’s funny because now we literally have to pencil each other in. She checks her schedule to make sure she’s free, and I pretend to check mine.
Becaues I kidnapped her from work, we headed to Zoes kitchen, our favorte, for Greek salads. My salad had lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, chicken, and greek vinegrette. The salads are Zoe’s are always so fresh.
Oh, and one thing we did pencil in…our annual hike! (hike year one post here & hike year two post here) I’m honestly so excited.
When I got home from lunch, I decided to make a turkey and carrot chili with white beans to bring over for my parents. I kind of treat my parent’s the same way the Barefoot Contessa treats Jeffrey. They always get the aftermath, and I love getting their opinons.This recipe is so good and healthy to make and eat all week long. Check out the recipe here if you missed it.
If there is one thing I’m loving lately, it’s the Healthade Kombucha. It’s sooooooooooooooooooo good, and I like that it has a lot less sugar than the other brands. I’ve been drinking one a day. I love all the flavors, especially the Cayenne Cleanse. I’m going to the store today to restock!
I took the dogs over to my parent’s house on Wednesday night so we could all enjoy chili together, and my mom and I went out on a super long dog walk.
I headed home early on Thursday morning so I could work in my office and get some stuff done. I’ve been doing a lot of video content and podcast work that’ll be out this summer! Speaking of podcasts, I’m really excited about this new venture. One thing you might not know about me is that I love to talk and I hate awkward silences. I think it’s going to be a good one. I’m actually having my parent’s on my podcasts. I’m going to take 20 questions from readers to ask them. My paren’t are pretty funny, so I’m a little nervous about what they’ll share. You can leave your questions for my parents in the comments, or email them to me!
Late Wednesday morning, I grilled up some tofu kebabs for me to eat throughout the week! They were soooooooooooooooooo good, and that recipe is coming soon! Grilling outside in my cat sleepers was a real treat.
I was going to head out for a run in the afternoon, so I chose to go with oats for lunch. I had (because I’m lazy microwaved) oats topped with one tablespoon of almond butter, one tsp honey, one tablespoon walnuts, and 2 tbsps dried cranberries on top.
I chose not to run my neighborhood this time because the hills are always discouraging. I drove to a nearby neighborhood with barely any hills, and it was much easier! I need to step up my game when it gets warmer and run more than once a week. This once a week thing isn’t allowing any progress, but it’s all I feel like doing right now. I walk about six miles a day as my workout, and I’m OK with that for now.
I had been waiting for my Daily Harvest to arrive all week. After seeing people post about it, I was so so so so excited! But, now I’m having serious trust issues. You all know that I love kale, vegetables, fruits, smoothies, and weird things like wheatgrass and cayenne shots. So my tastebuds have a wide variety of interests.
I tried the first smoothie. It was a apple + greens. I used coconut milk to make it thicker, and added it to the blender.
Verdict: it tasted freezer burnt, bland, icy, and had zero flavor other than kale. I had to add one scoop of vanilla protein powder and half a banana to give it flavor. After adding in the extras, it was tolerable. If I didn’t doctor it up, I would have thrown it out.
Opinion: Maybe they should add plant based protein powders to give them a smoother texture and more flavor. With the cost of these smoothies, it would be more worth it to have some kind of flavor or protein substance added.
On Thursday afternoon, I decided to try the chai.
Did they honestly add dates? Because it tastes like ice, water, and cinnamon. It was so bitter and flavorless. Again, I had to add honey, more cinnamon and nutmeg and splash of vanilla protein powder to make it tolerable.
I hope they read this and consider adding plant based protein or an option to have it added. And when you do make the smoothies, they don’t fill the cup. Even after I add in all the extras it still doesn’t reach the top.
Later in the evening, I took Grumples and Leo for a super long walk. I think we ended up walking about an hour and a half. I had a Podcast (so embarrassing...Betches) on and it kept me distracted.
For dinner, I had a kale salad with chicken, tofu kebabs, and sunflower seeds. I also had a la croix on the side. About two hours later, I had Halo Top for dessert.
On Friday morning, I spent the day editing and writing the granola bar posts while listening to more podcasts. The more I listen to, the more inspired I feel about starting one. My goal is to do a podcast each week to include at the end of my recap posts. But this is me saying this before I even try or understand how much time and effort it’s going to take.
For breakfast, I had an egg and tofu kebab scramble! I also mixed in spicy hummus, and it was really really good. And Kombucha on the side 😀
They were tired after our afternoon walk 🙂 I know I post a lot of photos of my dogs, but they are my life and I just think they’re so cute!
The oatly milk I mentioned in the last reap post came in, so I had to make an afternoon decaf latte! It was perfection 🙂 I’ve been treating myself to an afternoon cappuccino after lunch everday.
Now, the good news! I don’t just walk a lot for my own benefit. I walk to exercise my dogs and keep them healthy. My vet made it clear that Grumples needed to lose at least ten pounds when I visited last summer. I cut back his food to one cup in the morning and one cup at night (he gets training treats while we walk/or during the day.) We walk three times a day (one mile in the morning/afternoon/night), and he loves it. He gets so excited when I grab the leash. Well, Grumples lost ten pounds! I’m so proud! It’s really up to me to keep him healthy, and if I’m not walking him, or feeding him the right amount, then it’s my fault. I want him around for so long, and a healthy weight is very important. I usually cut back his miles on the weekends because he’ll play at the park, or I’ll make sure he takes it easy and rests. Dogs need rest days too. All of his other vitals were great, his shots are now up to date, and we were ready to roll!
Friday night dinner (forgot about lent….whooooops) but I had kale, chicken, tofu kebabs, pumpkin seeds, and a La Croix.
Kyle came over Friday night, but we were both in work mode. We sat across from each other on our laptops working and would give an occasional smile at each other. Leo was on my lap, and Grumples was next to him. What a life.
I tried out the banana and greens smoothie on Saturday morning. I wanted to see what Kyle thought to make sure I wasn’t going insane. But, this smoothie wasn’t as bad as the others because it had banana to add sweetness. But still, Kyle’s face when I had him try it was priceless. I ended up adding protein powder to this one. I refuse to even share my speical link and code with you because I don’t want you to make the same mistake as I did. I’m not going to be responsible for the outcome of your order 🙂 If these were free for me, I’d still dodge them like the plague.
It was a rainy one Saturday, so I took advantage of that and did a closet clean out. I got rid of clothes, swaped out some winter ones for summer ones, and hung all the laundry up.
For lunch, I had an everything bagel, tofu egg scramble with spicy hummus, white rice, and avocado on top! DELICIOUS! The bagel was the best part!
I spent the rest of Saturday laying in bed watching Fixer Upper and scouting places to stay in Oahu.
We headed to training on Sunday morning to work with the boys. We went back to the basics and worked on their walking skills and really sharpened up their bad behavior. They were very responsive and we left feeling very good about this whole process!
If you want to read more about our training progress, check out my previous recap posts. When we hit the six-month mark, I’ll be doing a separate post with a big roundup. We are taking our dogs to Holland K9 Services! Check them out if you’re in the Charlotte/or surrounding area.
It continued to rain on Sunday, so I was excited to hop back in bed and do the same thing as I did on Saturday. Sometimes it’s good to cozy up and do absolutely nothing (while doing something.)
While I was in the kitchen talking to Kyle, I had the urge to make muffins.
I always write down the ingredients just in case it turns into something, and surprisingly these muffins turned out to be one of the best muffin recipes I’ve ever made. I’m actually so exicted to share the recipe with you!
I had planned on doing a post on Sunday night, but my parent’s stopped over to see us, and I was just too exhausted to get it done. I was more refreshed on Monday morning.
I couldnt’ let the rest of the Daily Harvest go to waste. I put the chia parfait in the fridge on Sunday night for a Monday morning breakfast.
This one wasn’t terrible. It just needed some honey. And for bing 460 calories with 60 grams of carbs, the 12g protein count was a let down. They should really consider adding a plant-based protein source to their items. It won’t leave you very full.
This one I could tolerate. I’ve been using it as a snack and eating it randomly throughout the day with protein powder mixed in.
I had a real breakfast later in the morning! Scrambled eggs with tofu kebabs and ginger lemon tea.
Now this is filling.
My little work buddy.
I was excited to try out the soup. I heard another blogger raving about it.
But this, this recipe right here did it for me. I headed to the website and canceled all of my orders. Unfortunately, I didn’t do it in time for the next shipment coming on Thursday (luckily, they’re all smoothies that can have protein added to them.) but this soup was pitiful and tasted like swamp water. I’d rather eat canned soup from the dollar store. Actually, that would taste much better than this. I felt bad, but this soup deserved a spot right down my food disposol.
This is just a waste of money, and I just think it’s better if you make your own smoothies, add them to a baggy in the freezer and DIY it yourself.
I was excited to try because when browsing their Instagram, there were no bad reviews. I’m actually thinking I’m insane. I did a little research and found this page, so that makes me feel a little better about it.
I spent the evening watching American Idol and putting this post together so I could write in the morning.
My dinner was so good! (thanks for the good background patio rug!)
I had tossed kale salad with grilled chicken, pears, avocado, a bagel, and green goddess dressing on top.
Just nope ^
Questions for you!
- Would you like to see less weekly recaps?
- Have you tried Daily Harvest? (would you like to see becca and i do a youtube taste test of the smoothies)
- What is one thing you’ve been putting off for a while?
P.S…I totally forgot to mention something really fun and exciting.
I’ve been doing research on cameras and equipment for the past two years. I love photography and want to dive deeper in. I took the plunge and bought some new camera equipment. I’ll be doing more *beginner style* photography blog posts in the near future. I’ll share what software/apps/equipment I use and hopefully inspire you to get behind the camera more! I’ll be doing an inside of my camera bag soon 🙂