Life Back to Normal: Tennis, Happy Pups, & Food at Home

My heart goes out to all of those who served and lost their lives for my freedom. I will forever be grateful, and you will never be forgotten. 

Good Morning, Everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend. It feels good to be back into my normal routine, especially back to writing my recap posts. I will be sharing my Hawaii adventures with you each week as well, so don’t worry! There was just too much going on in Hawaii to shove it all into a normal recap post. Before I try to tackle emails and other work tasks, I want to catch you all up on my week.

I’ve spent most of the week trying to ease back into the normal routine. 
I spent my last evening and last morning in Hawaii doing one thing I love most, playing tennis.

I joined an amazing tennis group out in Hawaii, and I’ve been having serious withdrawals since being back. I will write all about the group and “Tennicize” soon. If you love tennis and are planning a trip to the Big Island, it’s a must. It’s one of the most fun workouts, and I feel like my tennis increasingly improved each day.  
After playing tennis, I headed back to the house to pack up my bags, shower, and get ready for a super long trip back to the East Coast. I was sad about leaving Kona and O.J. They are the cutest duo ever, and I had so much fun with these two! If Grumples was better with cats, I’d have one (or two) by now.
After slowly drinking my LAST Kona coffee, I headed to the airport around 11 am. I love the Kona airport because you don’t have to spend your last hour looking out the window at the palm trees. The airport is outside with the palm trees.
My flight was a little delayed (45-minutes.) It was 1:30 by the time we took off. I planned on sleeping for the 5 1/2 hour flight to San Fransisco, but I got sucked into B.A. Paris’s book, The Break Down. Reading usually rests my eyes and allows me to sleep, but this book sucked me in, just like her last book! I’m counting down the days until June because her new book will be released.
We landed in San Fransisco at 9:45 pm (west coast time.) I had one of the quinoa salads I had brought, and then bought a bag of popcorn for the plane. Instead of finishing the book, I thought it would be smart to try to get some sleep. Sleeping would help me get back to the east coast time zone. I turned on the new Jumanji, and that didn’t help me sleep at all. It was hilarious, so I ended up watching the whole thing. After that movie, I turned on Notting Hill, one of my favorite classics, and that helped me finally fall asleep. 
I landed in D.C. at 7:00 am (east coast time.) It felt good to be on the East coast, but man was I tired! My final plane took off at 8:30 a.m. I had a cup of coffee, read a couple more chapters of my book, and then fell right back asleep. An hour later, I landed in Charlotte! Even though it was a really long travel time, I felt like it flew by because I watched movies, read, and slept most of the time. 
I was looking like a real struggle.

The first thing I did when I got off the plane was grabbing a green juice. I needed all the ginger in the world!

My juice had kale, celery, spinach, one green apple, ginger, lemon, and lime. Whenever I have a fresh juice made, I always ask if they can just do one apple instead of the two or three that they normally do.

I was SO excited to see my dogs. We spent about twenty minutes just sitting in the driveway cuddling. I missed them like crazy! They spent the weekdays out at my parent’s house, and Kyle picked them up on the weekends. They played outside all week while my dad worked on the backyard fireplace that he’s building.

My mom is the best.

She made my gluten free & vegan carrot cake recipe for one of her work meetings. She saved me a piece for when I got back. Reliving this cake again was pure heaven. I made some Sunshower Farm’s coffee from our coffee tour (details coming soon) and had a slice of carrot cake for breakfast. Don’t try to tell you can’t have cake for breakfast 😉
I hate admitting to this, but I sat on the couch after getting some work done on Wednesday morning, and instantly fell asleep. I took about three naps on Wednesday, and could not keep my eyes open for the life of me.

I ended up taking a cold shower, having another cup of coffee, and going for a walk to wake up a bit.
I made a trip to the grocery store to pick up some salad and salmon for dinner.

I seasoned my salmon with sesame oil, garlic, black pepper, lime, chopped onion, and sesame seeds. I baked the fillet at 375 for 13 minutes. I tossed my arugula salad in a lemon vinaigrette dressing and added avocado on top.

A healthy meal can always help the jetlag. 
I don’t know what the crazy is going on here, but this was all before 6 am.

I think my dad pulled his phone out because he wanted to take a photo of my mom in her new shirt I bought for her in Kona, and then we turned it into a circus scene.

When I got home, I had my favorite go-to! Coconut Milk yogurt mixed with Orgain Protein Powder. 
I had ordered all new dishes from Pottery Barn about three months ago.

It was all on backorder, but it arrived when I was away! Kyle unpackaged them all for me and ran them through the dishwasher so I wouldn’t have to do it when I got back. I was so excited to get rid of the other mismatched plates and replace them with these dishes.

I had a lot of people asking about them on my Insta Story.

I bought two sets of four condiment bowls (link here), two serving bowls (link here), and two of the 16-piece dinnerware sets (link here)

And I know, my wall is still not fixed ;/ But on a side note, my herbs are HUGE! I’ll do an update on those later. I had to take them all outside. 
After putting the dishes away, I made a grocery list and headed out to the store. I obviously had to live off more than just mustard and sparkling water all week.

I decided to get ingredients for a crockpot soup, smoothies, and salads. Eating healthy always helps reset the body after a long trip.

I chopped up watermelon, put grapes, kale, and cherries in containers, cooked up butternut squash, hardboiled eggs, chopped celery, and added a ton of ingredients to the crockpot for soup.

I also had a Blue Apron show up, so I knew what Kyle and I would be eating all weekend.

For lunch, I had a chocolate coffee smoothie.

It had one cup of cold brew coffee (frozen into ice cubes), one cup of cashew
For dinner, I had my homemade spicy chicken and vegetable soup and a side salad. I posted the recipe for the soup on my blog Monday! You can find that recipe here. My salad had arugula tossed in Primal Kitchen Honey Mustard, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado. 
I have been so attached to the dogs since being back. After our Thursday evening walk, we camped out in the living room and watched Southern Charm before bed.
I woke up at 5:30 am on Friday morning so I could take my dad to the V.A. for his appointments. I was exhausted!

When we got back, I took the boys for a quick walk and then headed to Waxhaw to go see Becca. My heart has been heavy for her because she lost her amazing little pup, Zade. I’m sure you guys have seen Zade on the blog before because he and Grumples used to play together. Zade passed away peacefully in Becca’s arms, and I couldn’t imagine the feelings she’s dealing with right now.

I just needed to go see her and try to take her out of the house to get her mind off the emptiness for a bit. 
We stopped in Monroe to have coffee at Alice Jules Coffeehouse. It’s connected to an antique shop, and we browsed around a bit. I ordered an almond milk latte with an extra shot of espresso. It tasted really good!

I’m sure eating is the last thing you want to do when you’re sad and grieving, but I wanted to make sure she got some food in her, so we went to Rippingtons in Waxhaw for lunch. It’s one of my favorite spots, and their salads are the best. I ordered a grilled salmon salad with lime vinaigrette dressing. Becca ordered the pecan crusted chicken, and I had that last time and can confirm it’s delicious.

After running some errands together, I dropped her off and gave her the biggest hug. We both cried a bit. Whenever I’d pull into her driveway, Zade used to put his paws up on my door because he wanted me to get out so he could say hello. He loved everyone. Losing a pet is the worst feeling.
Kyle and I headed to the tennis courts on Friday evening. I was excited to put all my hard work to the test! Sorry Kyle (I know you’re reading this.) But I beat him! Donnia, the tennis coach in Hawaii, was excited to hear the news!
Kyle and I caught up on The Handmaids Tale while having dinner. I didn’t dare and he didn’t dare watch it while I was away.

I had my delicious soup, ginger lemon tea, and a salad for dinner.
I woke up at 6 am on Saturday morning to get ready for a tennis clinic in Charlotte. It started pouring at 7 am, so it was canceled. I was a bit bummed, but I also needed to take some time to just relax. I had been go go go for a couple days.

I had a bowl of oatmeal and coffee for breakfast.  Kyle and I headed to Home Depot later in the afternoon, and Leo came with us. Kyle likes to meal prep his chicken out on the patio, and we ran out of gas for the grill. We are trying to introduce him to all kinds of new places and people. He was so good, and everyone stopped to pet him! I think he loved it.

Kyle was wearing the tank top I got him from Hawaii 🙂 
When I got back, I had fresh watermelon and eggs for lunch. The farmer’s market watermelon is so good right now!
Around three, we headed to the tennis courts to play again. We had some time to spare before my parent’s got there, so Kyle and I played first one to four. I won again…(sorry Kyle.)
My parent’s brought the rain with them when they arrived…
Kyle and I headed to Southpark Mall, later on, to look at some tennis shoes for him. I had a coconut milk latte while he browsed. 
For dinner on Saturday night, we made Blue Apron’s Shanghai Kung Pao Chicken but added a pound of ground turkey and two extra bell peppers. The sauces were so good, so we wanted the dish to last longer. I had a tossed salad and rice on the side with my chicken dish.

Kyle and I started watching Thirteen Reasons Why but hated the new season so stopped watching it and switched to Safe. It’s really good so far! If you’re looking for a new binge watch, that show is it!
Early on Sunday morning, we met my parents at the court to try again. It was sunny and perfect!

We played for about two and a half hours, and Kyle and I came out as winners.

Before we left, my dad challenged me to a singles match. We were tied 2/2, but he got me on the last game. My next goal is to beat my dad! He’s really good. 
My parents invited us over for barbeque after tennis. We picked up some burgers and headed that way! The pool sounded so good after playing for hours on the court. 
After eating my weight in chips and salsa, I had a turkey burger wrapped in lettuce with watermelon and baked beans on the side! 
Leo and Grumples played in the sprinkle for about thirty minutes. It was the FUNNIEST thing I’ve ever seen! Leo was LOVING it. I’ll have to upload the video soon.
When we got home, we took them on a mile walk, and then came in to watch our show and the basketball game! 
I had to screenshot this off Kyle’s snap! I love these dogs. 
On Monday morning, I met Meighan at the mall so we could walk. It was raining, so we decided to walk the mall to get our steps in.

On the way home, I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some essentials. 
For dinner, I had a tossed arugula salad, fresh fruit, paleo fried rice, and a chicken breast from whole foods that didn’t make the picture! 
I also cooked up the seared steak Blue Apron for Kyle, and put my half in the fridge for tonight’s dinner!

Questions for you!

  1. How was your weekend?
  2. What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
  3. What vegetable have you been eating on repeat lately?

Comments

  • Kailey

    I felt the same way about 13 reasons why but if you wait until like ep 5 it gets insanely intense and back to what season 1 was like. Safe is great I just started watching also!

    Reply to Kailey
  • Beatrice

    Aww your puppies were so happy to see you!

    Reply to Beatrice
  • Hannah

    Your dogs melt my heart!

    Reply to Hannah
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    Ever get completely and utterly stir-crazy on a plane when you can’t fall asleep or you’re too tired to focus on anything else?!

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I never get stir-crazy, I’ll just start to read a book or watch a movie if I can! i make sure to plan ahead with things to do so that does not happen!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Becca

    Looks like a lot of fun! Thr photos of the dogs in the sprinkler are hilarious.

    Reply to Becca
  • Natalija

    I’m so glad you had a wonderful holiday and came back home safely!I bet the dogs missed you so much and the photos of your meeting are so heart-warming!
    So sorry about Becca’s pup, it’s heartbreaking.I know the feeling very well,I remember it from years ago when my dogs passed away.
    I keep forgetting to ask if she has a blog. I’d like to express my condolences to her and send her some virtual hugs.
    The last book that I’ve read that I could not put down (and reread multiple times since) was a poem book called “Papers” by Hollie McNish. She’s a British poet and she’s awesome. You can check her out on youtube.
    My current vegetable on repeat is… okra! (I don’t have it raw,though,but mostly in Indian-inspired recipes).
    Thank you for yet another awesome blog! Best wishes from cloudy England.

    Reply to Natalija
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Natalija!

      I missed them like crazy too, and thank you for the kind words!

      You can send her a note on her instagram. @hel_and_garm

      That sounds like a great book and I’ll make sure to look it up!

      I don’t know why I never cook with Okra! I need to.

      xo xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    What green juice shop did you get that at

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Dani

    I’m impressed with your food prep and refrigerator! How do you decide what to buy?

    Reply to Dani
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Dani!

      I usually just make a list before heading to the grocery store with things I will eat throughout the week! I knew I wanted to make a crockpot soup and some tossed salads. I also LOVE to snack on fruit, so I made sure to add that in there! 😀 I think making a list is the best way to go about it.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sam

    Hows the weather in South Carolina right now?

    Reply to Sam
  • Anonymous

    Will you be running any half marathons?

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Ann

    Glad you had a wonderful time in Hawaii! My ❤️ goes out to Becca, it is the WORST feeling in the world, so empty. Love on your doggies so much, they are special!

    Reply to Ann
  • Cassie

    I noticed your sunscreen and wanted to ask your thoughts/opinion on that brand. Due to some health issues, I have started having horrible issues with my skin and products I use. Alba has been recommended by a few people (along with Goddess Garden & Blue Lizard), but I don’t know of anyone that uses it. Have you used it before? I’m currently avoiding the outdoors as much as possible right now, but it won’t last much longer. Thanks!

    Reply to Cassie
    • Becca

      Sorry to butt in here, but I just wanted to recommend Dr Jart, Avene, and La Roche Posay sunscreens. I have pretty sensitive skin and all three have worked well for me (and though they’re pricey, they last a while). Good luck! 🙂

      Reply to Becca
    • Taralynn McNitt

      The only sunscreen brand I’ve used was Alba because it’s natural and doesn’t cause breakouts or dry skin. When I wear sunscreen, I make sure to wash my face before and as soon as I’m out of the sun. I don’t let it sit on my skin for long periods of time. I also use IT cosmetics and it has 50 spf in it. Look into IT cosmetics! It’s amazing for skin issues.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Cassie

        Thank you!! I’m actually going to the nearest Ulta (65 miles away) this weekend to get color matched with IT cosmetics.

        Reply to Cassie
  • Anastasia

    It looks like you had such a wonderful week! I spy that Cappello’s cookie dough in your cart and I have been dying to try it. You’ll have to recap if you like it or not!!
    1. My family and I enjoyed such a nice and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I always feel incredibly blessed to live in a free country and I am so thankful for all the men and women who have (and are) serving our country.
    2. The book I am currently reading is “You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. I have been battling some personal issue like realizing self-worth and having self-love and this book has been amazing so far. I think it’s funny that we can easily list off the things we love and admire about other people but we have a hard time realizing our own strengths and lovable qualities.
    3. Although I love vegetables, there isn’t one I am eating on repeat lately. However, I CANT STOP eating watermelon. I crave it all day long and it is the perfect thing to cure my sweet tooth at night!

    I hope you have another wonderful week and I can’t wait to read about all your Hawaiian adventures!!

    Reply to Anastasia
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Anastasia,

      IT’S AMAZING! We usually chop off a little slice and put it in the oven and make two cookies when we have a sweet tooth! It’s pricy but lasts a really long time!

      Yes! What a great way to spend Memorial Day!

      I read that actually! it’s good!!!

      LOL MY MOM AND I WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT OUR WATERMELON OBSESSION LAST NIGHT!!

      xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Danielle

    I’m just curious, I don’t see much dairy on the blog anymore, did you make a conscious decision to eat less of it, or have you cut it out for the most part? I’ve been experimenting with going dairy free to see about the health and environmental benefits!

    Reply to Danielle
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Danielle!

      To be honest, my doctor told me to cut it out to help with my endometriosis. I don’t really talk about what I cut out on the blog because I don’t want to have people cut things out just because I did. I’d prefer them to talk with their doctors 😀 But, I cut it out back in September! I’ve had bits and pieces here and there.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kelli

    We had a long weekend and went rustic camping on Lake Superior, it was a little cold, but great!

    I’m working my way through the Crank trilogy by Ellen Hopkins. I finished Crank & the sequel, Glass in 2 weeks. I’m not on Fallout and I cannot put them down!

    Honestly, Celery and ranch dressing is a combo that I’m obsessed with lately. Not necessarily the most nutritious, but it’s yummy!

    Reply to Kelli
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kelli!

      That sounds like a blast!

      It’s always great to have a book you can’t put down! 😀

      HAHA so good! Have you ever made your own ranch? Sometimes I’ll do yogurt and the ranch packets mixed!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • P

    Where are your white shoes from?

    Reply to P
  • Norie

    How old are your dogs now? Do they stay with your parents when you’re gone?

    Reply to Norie
  • Erin

    I wish I was good at tennis! I can’t even hit the ball. Any tips?

    Reply to Erin
  • Betty

    Safe is AMAZING. I’m not really a binge watcher, but I watched it all in one day with my mom.
    My vegetable on repeat at the moment is brussel sprouts. I used to hate them, but recently someone baked them for me with a little drizzle of balsamic and they taste So good.
    My favourite book recently was One, No One and One hundred Thousand. It’s a pretty short book, but it was written by Luigi Pirandello over about a ten year period, and it’s based on the fact that everyone you meet has a different idea of who you are, and is all about identity! A really good, if difficult, read.

    Reply to Betty
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Betty!

      Ahhh it’s so good and if it weren’t for the NBA basketball game that Kyle had to watch, we would have finished it! lol

      I used to hate them too because I tried them when someone boiled them and it was AWFUL! I tried them again after someone baked them and became obsessed so I totally get it! I eat them on repeat too.

      That’s an amazing concept for a book. I’ll pick that one up! I think my boyfriend would like that one.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Karie

    I made your chocolate peanut butter vegan cookies yesterday and they were a hit! Can you make a lemon cookie?

    Reply to Karie
  • Walter

    What brand of tennis racket do you have?

    Reply to Walter
  • Anonymous

    We loved playing tennis with you Taralynn!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Susie

    You do a great job easing back back into your normal routine. Guess it helps that you do so well eating healthy and staying active while on vacation. Did you have any shave ice in Hawaii?
    Please upload the video of the dogs playing in the water – Leo looks like he is in heaven!

    Three day weekends are always nice, although I caught my family’s cold. I’m always the last one to get sick 🙁

    OMG, I just finished The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah and it was one of the best books I’ve read in very long time. Highly recommend. Oh, and I loved The Break Down, couldn’t put down that one either.

    I’ve been eating avocado on repeat. Oh wait, that’s a fruit lol! 😉

    Reply to Susie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Susie!

      It does really help to TRY to stay on your normal eating/waking up/workout routine when you’re away.

      I didn’t this year, but last year I did!

      I hope you feel better soon 🙁

      I’ll have to look that one up!! Great writer!!

      lol Avacod is green, so it’s a veggie haha

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sammy

    Have you made anything from the Magnolia Table cookbook yet?

    Reply to Sammy
  • Sara

    How do you get the confidence to play tennis with a new group? I’m often afraid to put myself out there.

    Reply to Sara
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I don’t think you’re alone with feeling that way! I’m definitely nervous the first time I try something new or meet people. I actually hate it! I hate the feeling of the unknown.

      You just have to tell yourself that after you go once, you’ll be excited to go twice. It’s like that first day of school feeling! I’d be so nervous a week before starting, and then on the second day, I couldn’t wait to go back.

      If you enjoy something, don’t let that fear hold you back! Never worry about what others think, stay confident, and go out and do the things you love! The more you put yourself in those situations, the easier it is to do it over and over again.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • N.S

    Condolences to your friend, losing a pet is such a hard thing to go through – you have to let yourself feel the pain and cry until you come through the grief – look to bright times ahead.
    Safe also has me hooked! It’s just got so many layers of secrets!
    I’ve read The Breakdown – it’s great, I loved the twist at the end.
    I’ve read two really good books in the past month – In a Cottage In a Woods by Cass Green and The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Whalen – both real page- Turner, keep you up late reading kind of books. 🙂

    Reply to N.S
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It’s so hard! I agree that letting the emotions take their course is the best way to grieve.

      Have you seen The Five? It reminds me of that show! I think it may even have the same writers or director. Something like that!

      Me too! Can’t wait for her next book.

      Thanks for those recommendations!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kristen

    Sounds like you had a great week! I had a fun holiday weekend with great friends, too many drinks, and great food! I am still on my weekend today (Tuesday) and am cleaning and meal prepping!

    I am hooked on mushrooms and corn right now!

    Also wanted to say I agree with you on 13 reasons why, I am 2 episodes in but I can’t seem to get into this season. The episodes are making me angry.

    Have a great week!

    Reply to Kristen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Sounds like YOU had an amazing week! 😀

      Bleh. CAN’T & WON’T do mushrooms lol But, being from Iowa? BRING ON ALL THE CORN!

      Yeah, same here! I just didn’t want to feel so “heavy” watching them.

      XO

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jen

    I enjoyed your Hawaii pics so much, but I’m glad you had a safe flight home and things are getting back to normal!

    The weekend was great! Did some running, hiking, church going, hanging out with friends and the hubby. We also explored a cute little area about 45 minutes from us that has tons of baked goods, home goods, infused olive oils, coffee, fresh meats and cheeses, flavored balsamic vinegars, jams, sauces, you name it. We’re stocked up 🙂

    Normally that answer would definitely be something in the thriller/creepy genre, but I actually sped through a book about screen actress Ava Gardner called “The Secret Conversations”. Not creepy, but very intriguing.

    Cauliflower! It’s a perfect base for creamy soups, which I agree, are not just for winter!

    Reply to Jen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks so much, Jen! I can’t wait to share more of the Hawaii trip!

      Yum! That sounds like an amazing spot!

      That does sound like a really good book! Creepy and thrillers are my types of books lol

      Yum!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Melanie

    How do you decide between having an almond milk or coconut milk coffee?

    Reply to Melanie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      If it’s a cold drink, I go with almond! If it’s hot, I go for coconut 🙂 Unless it’s barista style almond milk. But regular almond milk tastes watery when it’s heated past 170 degrees.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Krista

    love pottery barn!! we registered for a ton of dishware there for our wedding (separate pieces rather than a pack, to let guests choose exactly what they want to buy), but our favorite pieces so far have been the low bowls (sometimes called pasta bowls elsewhere, it’s like a plate/bowl hybrid)– perfect for messier dinners as well as more “buddha bowl”-type dinners that we just love!! We have the dishes in the lighter grey color 🙂

    It’s so hard losing a pet. When our first dog passed away and I was still living at home after college, it was devastating to come home from work and find that he had passed away. He’d had cancer but had held on for so long, and he was 12, which is the average age for labs to live, apparently. They buried him in the backyard under his favorite pear tree, and now my parents’ dog, a lab/great pyrenees mix, likes to hang out under that tree, just above where they buried the first.

    Reply to Krista
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes I agree! You can make some pretty awesome buddha bowls with their dishes! I loved the lighter gray as well.

      I am so sorry to hear about your sweet lab. That must have been/and still is so hard! What an incredible story about the lab and the pear tree 🙂 Almost sounds like it could be a cute children’s book about losing pets. <3

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenn

    BA Paris has a new book coming out? Yea!

    Reply to Jenn
  • Patricia

    So surprised no one likes the second season of 13 reasons why! I think it I liked it even more than the first? Some scenes had me bawling.

    Your beautiful Hawaii posts have made me try to convince my fiancé it should be our honeymoon destination lol….we’ll see if he agrees!

    Reply to Patricia
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I’m not sure why I didn’t like it. I think because it was so different than the first and the filming felt like an entirely different show. I didn’t watch it all the way through, so I can’t speak for the whole season!

      You should totally go to Hawaii!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Erin Hitchens

    I am watching SAFE right now and love it. 13 Reasons Why is also on my list.

    Reply to Erin Hitchens
  • Elisabeth

    How was your weekend?
    My weekend was quite relaxing. I went running on Saturday, then on Sunday I couldn’t go to the beach as I planned (too cloudy outside, and that’s where sunburns are the worst), so I stayed home instead and read book.

    What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
    The Department Q series, a serie of books by a Danish author, Jussi Adler-Olsen. It’s really dark sometimes, but really good! I read the first five books in less than a week!

    What vegetable have you been eating on repeat lately?
    Zucchinis! After a long winter and a rainy spring, it’s like summer is already here! I can’t wait to eat cherries too

    Reply to Elisabeth
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Ohhhh learned my sunburn lesson on a cloudy day in Hawaii. Burnt my butt to a crisp while surfing!

      Wow! Five books in a week?

      Yum! The best veggie ALL YEAR round for sure!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Allie

    Taralynn!! Where is your sectional from?! I LOVE IT… and just so happen to be going through the couch shopping madness.

    Reply to Allie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Allie!

      I bought it at Value City Furniture in Charlotte about four years ago!

      It was called the charcoal oasis sectional. They have similar ones, but not sure if they are the same!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Erin

    So for about a year now I try really hard to bring my own cup to coffee shops, and if I don’t have one I ask for no lid, no straw. Millions of straws are used every day and wreak havoc on the ocean and animals. I think with your coffee love and young following it would be awesome if you to promote the no straw life 🙂

    Reply to Erin
  • Susie | Mile High Dreamers

    So much love and healing sent for Becca. I had tears in my eyes when I was reading this because I know how devastating it is to lose our best furry friends. Zade was lucky to have an owner who cherished him the way she did!

    We had a great low key weekend with family and running the Bolder Boulder on Memorial Day. The best feeling was knowing I didn’t have to get up for work today since school is out!

    The last book I couldn’t put down was The Night The Lights Went Out. SO good! It’s a great summer by the pool read. But before that it was Behind Closed Doors (which I bought because of you haha) so now I’m buying The Break Down today!

    We’ve been eating TONS of asparagus lately! It’s been one of the veggies at our farmers market so we’ve been buying tons and eating it all week. SO YUMMY.

    Also, those silly puppy pics made my day. They’re so cute!

    Reply to Susie | Mile High Dreamers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Susie!

      I have to agree with you! He was very lucky 🙂 Becca was/is an amazing dog mom!

      Sounds like you had a great weekend and low key weekends are the best.

      OMG PLEASE let me know what you think of The Break Down!!! eeeek so excited you’re reading it.

      Yum!! I need to check out farmers market this week!

      Lol I took like 100000000 of Leo, but didn’t want to flood the blog with them haha

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Stephanie

    How was your weekend?
    I had a great weekend! On Saturday my husband and I walked a 2.5 mile trail around a local lake, and then went to a local thrift store since there was a huge sale over the weekend. Sunday I spent the day at the pool with my sister-in-law, and spent some time at home reading with my kitty. I adopted her in 5th grade, and I just turned 26 a few weeks ago, so she’s been with me for years! On Monday I got to go to Rocky Mountain National Park, about an hour and a half drive from me, and hike a 6 mile trail with my best friend of 20 years. After, we stopped by a local coffee spot that has a view of the mountains and enjoyed our drinks outside. It was a beautiful day!

    What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
    I was reading a book called “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. It’s so hard to put down, and I have definitely lost some sleep over it.

    What vegetable have you been eating on repeat lately?
    Sadly, I haven’t been able to eat many whole veggies lately. The last month or so I have had issues swallowing and throat pain when eating, so have been on super limited foods, and I miss my veggies. I’ve had tons of smoothies recently, and just bought a food processor. I have another month until the doctor can do an endoscopy to look down my throat, so I’m trying to find new recipes. If you have any great recipes for pureed veggies/soups, and smoothies that incorporate some veggies or protein, that would be awesome! I also would love to know how you get your smoothies to be so smooth. Mine always seem to come out with chunks of food that didn’t blend, or the taste/texture is off.

    Reply to Stephanie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Stephanie!

      Sounds like an amazing weekend! Such an active one!

      I’ll have to look into that book. Sounds interesting.

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’re dealing with some health issues 🙁

      With smoothies, it could be your blender? Try to freeze your fruits, use creamy liquids like almond milk or cashew milk, and blend on high! Spinach and kale can be hard to break down without a vitamix.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Nicole K.

    My weekend was great! We spent Saturday relaxing, Sunday at my sister-in-law’s graduation party and my niece’s 2nd birthday party, and yesterday was spent on the Des Moines river in a boat soaking up the sun! We floated about 10 miles before I was ready to get out and go home.

    I haven’t read a book in quite a long time, and actually can’t remember the last one I read. That needs to change though! I love reading and need to find the time to get into it again!

    Brussels sprouts! I’ve been eating them raw, chopped up with spring mix for salads! Love the extra crunch they give!

    By the way, I love your food containers that have the side lock lids – what brand are they!?

    Reply to Nicole K.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Nicole!

      Sounds like a great weekend! 🙂 I’m excited to head to Des Moines soon 🙂 Been a while since I’ve been back!

      It’s hard to sometimes get in the routine of reading. All it takes is one book, and a good chapter one!

      mmmmm LOVE BRUSSELS!:D

      I think those are just Rubbermaid!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Meghan Richer

    Glad you made it back safely! The long travel time is the one downside to going to Hawaii, it’s been about 10 years since I’ve gone but I’m currently trying to convice my husband that we should take our delayed honeymoon to Kona! He’s never been on a plane before though so he’s a little apprehensive to spending so many hours on one haha. My weekend was good but hot! It was about 95 all weekend in Wisconsin and humid ugh. the last book I couldn’t put down was The Girl on the Train-it was so good and I loved the twist at the end. I’ve been eating zucchini and asparagus non stop-they are so quick and easy to fry up in a skillet

    Reply to Meghan Richer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Meghan!

      Thanks so much 🙂

      Kona is a great place to go right now! The flights are AMAZING! People think that the island is dangerous because of the volcano, but that’s on the complete opposite side and it’s nowhere near Kona. You guys should definitely go! Flying to Hawaii was the first time I ever took a plane when I was a kid 🙂

      Wow 95 already? Did you guys even get a spring there! sheesh!

      That was a great book & movie!

      mmm I always forget about asparagus!

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

    It always feels so good to go back to our regular routines. I love travelling but I always feel so relieved when I get home, all cosy and snug, haha! My vegetable on repeat (for months now) is okra. I love it plain boiled! 🙂

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

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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