Latta Plantation Trail, The Summer Heat & Healthy Eats!

Good Morning and how the heck is it Monday already?

I woke up at 6 am so I could walk the dogs before the heat arrived. I’m already on coffee cup number two but feeling a bit unmotivated. Once I get my writing flow going, I’ll be good to go. Last week was filled with work projects, lots of cooking, tennis, and little adventures! I plan on taking it slow this week and working on a ton of writing. (While watching Wimbeldon, of course) I have about ten blog posts on my list to get done, and you guys suggested most of them!

Last Monday, I spent the morning working on my recap post (same thing I do every Monday morning!) After finishing that up, I walked the dogs and then headed to Queen City Grounds to start putting together the fun giveaway post with JonnyPops! If you guys haven’t entered the giveaway, you can do so here!

Coffee at 3 pm is not a good idea, and I’ve been slacking on my “one cup a day” rule, but I was so exhausted, and I really needed a pick-me-up to carry me through my workload. Sometimes you just have to be intuitive when it comes to coffee ๐Ÿ˜Š

I ordered an oat milk latte and had a coconut chocolate Pure Bliss bar for a snack. I know I mentioned this last week, but I’m so excited to have found a great working spot. Queen City Grounds is spacious, bright, has so many outlets (IMPORTANT), kind staff, and so many workstations. I’ve never been the type of person that enjoys working at a coffee shop because I’m easily distracted, but this place is ideal! Not to mention, they have the best-tasting coffee! I’m obsessed with their roast. I’ll be updating my Charlotte guide soon and this place is going on top!ย 
I was still working three hours later, and needed dinner! I was so hungry but didn’t want to pack up and leave my workload. If I’m on a roll, changing environments can throw me all off. I’m weird like that. Sometimes if I can’t get in the writing flow, I have to get up and move. It usually does the trick!

Luckily, they have a great menu with delicious local food. I ordered the “Figure Four.” It had arugula topped with prosciutto wrapped turkey breast, spinach, toasted pumpkin seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh Burrata, and fig-balsamic vinaigrette. It usually comes in a wrap, but all of their items can be made into salads. Everything was delicious!

I finished working at 8:45 pm, and headed home to catch up on the Bachelorette! I still think this season is a boring disaster. I’m looking forward to the last three episodes. They really need to remodel this whole show! The drama is way too artificial and forced.ย 
I’m sure you’ve seen these muffins popping up all over my Instagram. I made them last week too and shared the recipe! We can’t quit them…

The great thing about these muffins is that you can throw all the ingredients into a large bowl, pop them in the oven, and bam! They’re done. They are vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and have zero added sugars. We’ve made about six batches this week because they keep disappearing. ๐Ÿ˜ฎย I threw in the recipe again towards the bottom of this post.

I plan on making similar muffin this week with almond butter, lemons, and poppy seeds!

I ended up making these muffins at 6:30 am after walking the dogs early morning. Kyle said waking up to the smell of these made his entire day. ๐Ÿ˜€ย He was actually searching the fridge for them last night and disappointed that there weren’t any left. Guess I’ll have to make another batch today!

I’ve also really enjoyed seeing your photos from the batches you all have made!!ย 
I planned on going out and doing some exploring around Charlotte with Arielle on Tuesday afternoon. Before leaving the house, I had two eggs, brussels sprouts, and a side of guacamole. Arielle has been helping me out with the blog and life has been a lot easier with a second hand! She’s also in the process of remodeling her own blog, so I’ll make sure to share the link once it’s up and launched.ย 
Back in March, I went to Asheville with Meighan. I stopped at Trade and Lore for coffee but had no idea they had a location in Charlotte. It’s been on my list of places to try, so we made our way over to NoDa. The location was really neat! It was a giant upstairs with a lot of areas to sit, and the decor was very fun and bright.
I had oat milk mixed with coffee on “tap.” Not sure how I felt about it because the coffee was a bit fizzy. It tasted good, but the texture threw me off.ย 

I was definitely having one of those days…

I was standing at the crosswalk, and somehow my shoe came off. It fell off the curb, and I watched it fall onto the sewer bars. I thought it would stop rolling and land upright, but I literally slow-motion watched it fall into the sewer. “Did that really just happen?” It was actually really funny and weย couldn’t stop laughing. Luckily, Kyle didn’t live too far, so I stopped there and picked up another pair of shoes.ย 
Later in the afternoon, we stopped at Living Kitchen in Southpark. This was my first time trying out that location, and I actually really liked it in there. I have been on their veggie burger kicks and can’t get enough! I also ordered their carrot cake to go…(veggie burger details)

I spent the rest of the evening relaxing and catching up on writing work.ย 
My cramps were so bad on Wednesday that I felt like crawling into a hole and crying.

Sometimes sitting still makes it worse, so after breakfast, I headed out for a long dog walk!

Breakfast: frozen strawberries, chocolate protein powder (orgain), ice, cashew milk, oats, and turmeric powder.ย 
Grumples and I went two miles! It wasn’t extremely hot out yet, so he didn’t want to quit on me. I usually stay close just in case Grumples taps out. He wanted to keep going, so we walked until he was done.

We love crape myrtle season in Charlotte โ™ฅ๏ธย 
My lunch was so random, but carbs make my cramps worse (what I’ve learned.) I had some imitation crab meat (I’ve been obsessed with this stuff since I was a kid), apple chicken sausage, guacamole, and two fried eggs.ย 
For dinner, I had one fried egg with three extra egg whites, and an arugula salad with spicy Trader Joe’s salad toppers, white beans, crabmeat, and honey mustard vinaigrette dressing.ย 
Kyle is obsessed (as am I) with the Birch Benders paleo pancake mix. The cabinet has about six bags of it right now. He wanted them for dinner after the gym, so I made a big batch. I made extra so I could have one with coffee in the morning.

We mixed the pancake mix with peanut butter, protein powder, peanut butter, almond milk, and dark chocolate chips.ย 
I was feeling much better on Thursday morning, which was great because I had a big day of recipe developing with Arielle planned. I have a giant summer menu that I am trying to get through before fall arrives! I’d like to start doing fall recipes by September! ๐Ÿ™‚ Ahhhhhhh FALL! ๐Ÿย ๐Ÿ‚ย ๐Ÿƒ

I took my protein shake to go and headed to my house. My red solo cup had chocolate orgain protein powder, cashew milk, frozen banana, and ice.

Arielle and I stopped at Home Depot to pick up a board and spray paint so we could make a new photo backdrop for the summer recipes. After picking up all the groceries, we spent hours in the kitchen and I can’t wait to show you what we’ve made!ย 
I got uptown around 6 pm. Kyle wanted to go play tennis, so I had a quick green juice, put on my workout clothes, and headed over to the courts with him! We played best of seven…I won. Then we played best of three…I won. Sometimes, it pays off to drink your veggies! ๐Ÿ˜Šย 
I woke up with no motivation to work on Friday.

I needed to get out in nature and escape from the computer. I decided to go do something fun, and then hit the computer later in the day.

I had two eggs and two protein pancakes for breakfast! My protein pancakes had Bircher Bender mix with cashew milk and protein powder.ย 
Before heading out, I took both dogs for a mile walk around uptown.ย 
I stopped at Whole Foods for some snacks, green juice, and then Arielle and I headed to the Latta Plantation for a hike. It was about 95-degrees outside, but still a beautiful day.ย 

We passed maybe four people on the entire hike.ย 
It’s crazy to think that all of this land and beauty is just ten miles outside of the city. That is why I LOVE Charlotte. I don’t ever want to leave and I’ve never felt that way about a place.ย 
There are so many different trails and routes you can walk on the preserve. Meighan and I did our six-mile run here before our half marathon! It looked much different in the summer.
Next time, we are bringing out swimsuits! If it wasn’t as hot outside, I would have brought the dogs for a swim! I know they would have LOVED this spot. Kyle and I have walked the dogs here before when it was cooler, but I’d love to see them go for a swim!
I picked up Kahuna trail mix blend from the Whole Foods bulk and mixed in some of their agave sweetened sour gummy bears. No shame! The kahuna crunch has craisins, dried pineapple, cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts. I also picked up “kale it up” BluePrint green juice. I added two ginger shooters to the bottle to give it extra spice. I can never get enough ginger!

For those asking, this bottle is from Elemental! โคย I’m only slightly obsessed with it…
I thought it was so cool that there were so many blackberry bushes on the trails. This would be ideal on a good episode of Naked and Afraid!ย 
We headed to Queen City Grounds to get work done after hiking! I had an oat milk cappuccino ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
I was so excited to meet up with Becca around seven! I haven’t seen her in a while, but that’s because she’s kicking butt at work and………JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE! I’m so proud of her. I can’t wait until she’s all moved in so I can comeย to sit and have coffee with her on the porch.

We stopped for a drink at Amelies before walking around. I had a sparkling water with lemon juice. So refreshing since it was 90-degrees and humid.ย 
I got home around 9:00, and had a muffin baking request from Kyle! I wasn’t joking about these muffins…

I planned on making them anyway because I wanted to take one with me on Saturday for after tennis.ย 
Kyle and I took the boys out for a walk at 7 AM on Saturday morning. This is my favorite time of the day because the sun is gorgeous when it shines down on the front porches in the historic 4th ward.
I was so excited for Kyle to join me on Saturday morning with the tennis group! We played so well in doubles! I’m so used to playing against him, so it was fun being on his side for once! We were on the undefeated court, and left on top!ย 
We had some errands to run after playing tennis, so I was happy that I brought those delicious muffins with us!
I picked up some food at Whole Foods for lunch!

My bowl had a massaged kale salad, kale slaw, apple almond quinoa, and grilled chicken thighs.ย 
Grumples always gets grass allergies, so I have to give him medicated tea tree baths. He’s been itchy from allergies, so he was the lucky one getting the hose bath on Saturday afternoon! It was SO HOT OUT, so I bet the cold water felt good on his itchy skin. I’m taking him to the vet in the morning to get a medication for his allergies.ย 
I slathered sunscreen all over my face, and then we took off to head to my parent’s house for dinner! We bought steaks at Whole Foods and my parent’s made the delicious vegetables on the hibachi grill.ย 
My dad took this photo of me and I wasn’t going to post it because of how tired and not put-together I looked, but after a morning of dog walks, hours of tennis, errands, dog baths, cooking, and playing backyard games….this is me!!! Actually, this is how I look 90% of the time.ย 
And dinner was DELICIOUS!!!!

We had fresh fruit, a quinoa salad (recipe coming to the blog soon), and grilled steak. I don’t eat red meat often, but when my iron levels are low (they have been lately) it’s important for me to eat it. Iron supplements and plant-based iron doesn’t give my body the same effect.ย 
After dinner, we had my berries and cream coconut pretzel desert! YUMMY!!!ย 
We spent the evening playing bags (or cornhole), swimming, and relaxing! I bought my dad a perfect beer for the pool.
I was up at 6 AM with the dogs on Sunday morning. I had a lot of work to get done, so I wanted to get their walks in. Grumples and I went almost three miles! It was beautiful out.ย 
Grumples was so funny. I put him up on the porch at the Poplar Street cafe for a photo, and he just sat on the steps and refused to walk back with me. He loves to sit outside and people watch. We do this at my house a lot when it’s cooler outside.ย 
I had a message from Meighan commenting on my muffins on Instagram, so I had to make her and her boyfriend a batch! I knew she’d love them. I got a message from her this morning saying that they were demolished. Success ๐Ÿ™‚
They only take like thirty minutes to make and bake! That’s why I love them.ย I sent her the recipe so she could make them too!

I promise I’m done talking about these muffins for now, and I’ll have a new combo to start raving about!
Kyle and I started making his meals for the week on Sunday afternoon.

I LOVE cooking, and there is something so therapeutic about doing a meal prep. I’m also way faster at it ๐Ÿ™‚

I shared a bit about the process on my Instagram story yesterday and had so many questions.

Kyle eats this meal plan for a muscle building diet. If I were to eat this, I’d blow up like an elephant. Kyle eats this five days a week and then intuitively on the weekends to give his body a break.

Grocery List: 8 chicken breast, 2 pounds of turkey, white rice, 8 sweet potatoes, and whatever seasoning we choose for the chicken.

We usually change it up, and sometimes switch the proteins so it doesn’t get repetitive. We just added apple chicken sausage to change things up this week.ย 
Kyle will usually have a shake at 8 am, a meal at 11 am, meal at 2 pm, a meal at 6 pm before the gym, and a casein shake before bed. Casein protein is slow digesting so it helps with muscle recovery at night. This meal plan is great for saving money as well! We buy all organic food and it ends up costing around $70. That is only $4.60 a meal. A lot of people say they don’t have time to meal prep, but this actually only takes a little over an hour to make, and it saves him so much time during the week.ย 
I have to throw in a quick shoutout for these amazing dark chocolate bars from JoJo’s Chocolate! You all know I’ve been obsessed with JoJo’s for years! Well, they went me over a couple packages of their peanut butter delight and chocolate bark bars. They’re made with 70% dark chocolate and non-GMO casein (slow digesting protein designed to keep you fuller longer) protein. The nutrition facts are amazing…10g of carbs, 6g of protein and only 6g of sugar for the entire chocolate bar! These are perfect for the late-night cravings.ย 
I needed an afternoon pick-me-up to power through yesterday’s blog post! I really wanted to get my dessert bars up. Kyle and I walked down to Queen City Grounds so I could grab an oat milk latte. I also picked up a Lenny Boy Kombucha! They are so good, low in calorie, and low in sugar!

This ended up being the BEST oat milk iced latte I have ever had! The coffee did the trick because I finished my blog post, and stayed up organizing the photos for this post. I like to have all my photos in order so I can start writing on Monday morning.ย 
For dinner, I had leftover Whole Foods from Saturday! I had roasted veggies, kale salad, chicken breast, and some nut thin crackers!

Thank you all for stopping by to read today’s post! It always makes me happy to connect with you all during the week:) I hope you have a safe and fun 4th of July holiday! Eat a ton of desserts, lots of grilled food, and enjoy!

Questions for you!

  1. Do you find it hard to focus while working at a coffee shop?
  2. What keeps you coming back to read the weekly recap posts?
  3. What was the highlight of your weekend?

Comments

  • Anonymous

    Grumples is adorable!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Emily L.

    Your recap posts are my fave! Love seeing the food s you eat and the recipes you make! I immediately saved the recipe for those muffins and will be trying them this weekend! Do you feel chia seeds would be ok in place of ground flax?

    Reply to Emily L.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Emily!

      Thank you for the kind words!

      I haven’t made them with just chia seeds, but I know a lot of people use chia seeds as an egg replacement. I would imagine it would work fine!

      Taralynn

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bailey

    Where is Queen City Grounds? What neighborhood?

    Reply to Bailey
  • Adam

    Hey, Taralynn. My name is Adam and I’m one of the owners/co-founders of QCG. It makes me so happy to hear your feedback on our cafe’. We’ve put so much hard work into the physical space, and just as much effort into finding our ideal team. To read about and hear about people enjoying what we’re building makes me personally very proud.

    I hope to run into you some time when I’m running around the place! Keep up the great work ๐Ÿ˜‰
    -Adam

    Reply to Adam
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Adam!

      Thanks so much for reaching out. I can definitely tell how much work you put into creating the most amazing space, especially for people who work from home!

      You should be so proud of the place you’ve created, and the amazing staff you’ve hired. I think it’s definitely the friendliest coffee shop in Charlotte. I’ll always be a fan and I know a lot of my readers have stopped in and been pleased as well!

      Taralynn

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • LeeAnne

    I don’t think that I have ever commented before but there’s a first time for everything! I love reading your blog posts! Your lifestyle and healthy eating habits are really inspiring. I have followed you for quite some time and make it a habit of checking for new posts several times a week. Keep up the great work!

    Reply to LeeAnne
  • Jen

    Do you use the ground flaxseed as an egg replacement?

    Reply to Jen
  • Paige

    Ok, I thought I was crazy for thinking that gluten made my cramps worse. Maybe weโ€™re on to something!!

    Reply to Paige
    • Taralynn McNitt

      My gyno actually recommended that I stopped eating gluten for my endometriosis. My cramps have been the same, but my other symptoms have gone down! It’s all about trial and error!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Susie | Mile High Dreamers

    Haha I was dying over your shoe debacle. Sometimes things are just so ridiculous that you have to laugh at them! And I think meal prep is SO worth it because my life is ten billion times easier when I can just grab my stuff and go. If I don’t have stuff planned, I tend to either not eat enough, or snack too much.
    Ben and I LOVE working at coffee shops! We have so many small local ones here in Boulder, which I love. When I work at home I get easily distracted. Plus, it feels like we’re doing something special when we can grab a drink and a snack there too!
    I love all the good meal ideas in your recaps and hearing about your pups funny antics. You pack so much into one week that it gets my inspired to get going!
    This past weekend I was up in Keystone for an IB conference. It made me remember how much incredible stuff is in my own backyard! I think growing up in Colorado has made me forget to explore my OWN amazing state. We forget how fun the mountains are in summer since we go all winter for snowboarding. Ben and I are going up again soon!

    Reply to Susie | Mile High Dreamers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Susie!

      Lol, leave it to me for something like that to happen!

      I totally get that! If I don’t have prepared foods in the fridge I’m the same way!

      I always regret how much I pack into these recaps lol!!! But I’m glad they inspire you!

      You live in the most gorgeous state!! Hope to make it there soon!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Karie

    I tried out Queen City Grounds yesterday.

    Thank you for the recommendation. We ordered a round of oat milk lattes and their pastries!

    Reply to Karie
  • Chelse

    I had no idea that plantation was so close to Charlotte! Is there a house on it?

    Reply to Chelse
  • Hanna j

    Where is your pink shirt from?

    Reply to Hanna j
  • Amber

    Your recaps are so fun to read while I’m sitting at my desk job. You’ve inspired me to work towards my dream of building furniture and work for myself.

    Reply to Amber
  • Jessica

    I made the muffins this week and they are sooo good! They actually took about 40 minutes to cook though- my oven isn’t usually slow so I’m guessing it might have been because I didn’t have any flax seeds, or maybe my bananas were bigger? Still loved them though ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Jessica
  • Emily

    I love your blog more than any other blog I read because it is so natural. You don’t hire a photographer to take perfect photos- you take photos of you working out sweaty with no makeup and I LOVE IT. It’s such a breath of fresh air! I also love when you recommend a product it is not outrageously expensive. One thing I have noticed in the blogging world which blows my mind is people will link something they bought to wear and it’s hundreds of dollars…..no one can afford that haha. Everyone thinks you are so relatable and that’s what keeps us all coming back! Keep the recaps coming because everyone loves them!

    Reply to Emily
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Emily!

      Thank you so much for the kind words! You have no idea what that means to me. Sometimes I feel like I need to step it up, but it’s reminders like this to keep doing what I’m doing! Thank you for that.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jordan

    Actually, I sometimes find it hard to work at home! I think of all the projects I have to get done (like dishes, laundry, etc!) that I much prefer to go to a coffeeshop to work my blog because I don’t get so distracted! It’s so funny how different everyone is — but the trick is finding a place that works for you!

    I think what keeps me coming back to your blog is that it was the first one that caught my interest a few years ago and that you are always so genuine! I like seeing your transformation, love your photos, and really enjoy the inspiration/motivation that you provide. Thank you and keep doing what you have been doing (It’s great!).

    This weekend we went camping near a lake that used to be a quarry. It was full of really neat rock ledges, drop-offs, and a beautiful sand beach. We kayaked, snorkeled, and swam to beat the heat! It was beautiful and definitely a place we are planning on going back to!

    Enjoy the 4th and can’t wait to read about the recipes you are developing next!

    Reply to Jordan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I totally get that for sure! Lots of things happening around the home.

      Thank you so much!! I definitely will ๐Ÿ™‚

      What a fun weekend!!! Perfect summer activity!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cara

    We made the muffins again!

    Reply to Cara
  • Anonymous

    How old are you?

    Reply to Anonymous
  • NS

    I hope your blog post list includes how you and your dad made your patio furniture!! #fingerscrossed

    Also looking forward to trying out these magical muffins! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to NS
  • Kelli G.

    I find it hard to concentrate anywhere that isn’t quiet, I can’t even listen to music of any kind in the background while I’m doing homework. Apparently, I am super easily distracted!

    Honestly, I just like the little glimpse into someone else’s day/week. It encourages me to switch things up and make sure I’m not falling into a rut with my day-to-day routine.

    Reply to Kelli G.
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    Oh no, poor shoe! I’ve never had my shoes fall into a sewer, but I’m deathly afraid of my cell phone falling into a sewer as it falls out of my hand when I’m running! In terms of working and coffee shops, I would have to be working on low-key errands, such as answering emails, scheduling things in, but I cannot be working on, let’s say a test or essay! Blog posts are okay.

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
  • Anastasia

    All of your food pictures make me so hungry!! Everything always looks so delicious and beautiful!
    1. I find it kind of hard to focus at coffee shops unless I have headphones in and I am listening to my own music. I get so distracted people watching!
    2. I love reading your recap posts because you are so incredibly inspirational. You have inspired me since back in your Undressed Skeleton days! It’s fun to see what your everyday life is like (totally didn’t mean for that to sound creepy lol but you know what I mean!)
    3. The highlight of my weekend was a new guy in my life cooking me homemade bread, homemade pasta, and homemade pasta sauce…the key to my heart is definitely through food! Usually I do all the cooking so it was nice to be a little spoiled with such an incredible meal!

    Have a wonderful week!!! You are AMAZING!!!

    Reply to Anastasia
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much, Anastasia!

      I agree with the headphones part! That does help a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

      Hahahaha not creepy at all! ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

      Oh my! Sounds like he’s a keeper!!

      xo xo Have the best week!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Meghan

    I don’t do any work at coffee shops now, since I’m done with school and my work doesn’t really have any ‘work’ for me to take home, but when I was in school I worked at a coffee shop and would usually stay after my shift to do school work in the cafe area. I’m awful at home, I get so distracted by TV or magazines or feeling like I should clean something so the coffee shop was a good place to focus. I love reading your Monday recaps because they inspire me to make healthier choices and be more active. Plus I love reading about new products or foods you’re trying, you’re so honest with your opinions so it makes me more confident to try new things. The highlight of my weekend was kayaking on a new lake. I dragged my husband out of bed at like 7am so we could beat the heat and go. He wasn’t too thrilled at first but we ended up having a good time. Hope you have a good 4th of July!!

    Reply to Meghan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes, it took me a bit to figure out a routine that would allow me to focus at home! Coffee helps me! ๐Ÿ˜€

      I love that you went out and did something fun and adventurous! You go girl ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • stephanie

    Where did u get the floral denim shorts? so cute!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to stephanie
  • Lara

    Grumples is a cute dog!

    Reply to Lara
  • Hannah

    I LOVE to work/study in coffee shops! There are only a few in our small town, but I really favor one to study/read/work in now. The atmosphere is perfect, in my opinion; there are *just enough* distractions to let your mind wander aimlessly when it needs a mini break, but a calming and perfect place to focus when your mind is ready! I love it. Also: coffee.

    Real life can get monotonous; everyone knows it. Sometimes, it’s refreshing and SO motivating to read about what someone else is working on and accomplishing in their life! I know your life is not perfect (no one’s is), and reading about the ups and the downs that you share are really wonderful to see! Plus, you’re adorable, inspirational, just plain gorgeous, funny, adventurous, witty, creative, and caring! Who wouldn’t like to get a little uplifting reading done for the week from someone like you??

    My husband and I spent Saturday relaxing and hanging out with friends playing games and having a couple drinks (kombucha on tap for the first time in our small town! Woo!) And Sunday was relaxing and fun after church, time with my best girl friend, and good life talks. It was a fulfilling type of weekend, for sure!

    P.S: I am toggling between typing this comment and purchasing some of JoJo’s chocolate bars (*drooling.*)

    Reply to Hannah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Hannah!

      Lol exactly. When there is coffee…

      Wow THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THOSE SWEET AND KIND WORDS!! You have no idea how much that means! Thank you!!!

      That is so great that you had kombucha on tap in your town! We have them at the breweries here and it’s fun to visit them with the pup when it’s cooler out! Sounds like you had a great weekend!!

      omg….that chocolate is worth it! TASTES LIKE FUDGE!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brittany

    All of your photos make me want to visit Charlotte so bad! I love working in coffee shops ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to always go to coffee shops when I had a lot of studying to do back when I was in school, so I guess they are not very distracting for me haha

    Reply to Brittany
  • Hillary

    I love all of your food/coffee recommendations around Charlotte! I moved here recently and am always looking for new spots so thank u!!

    Reply to Hillary
  • Chelsea

    Wow your photos are so pretty!

    Reply to Chelsea
  • Gina

    Your blog is so relatable. Please never stop!

    Reply to Gina
  • Sara

    Your muffins are now a staple in my life!

    Reply to Sara
  • Krista

    I love your weekly recap posts! I love how genuine they are while getting a glimpse of what you eat throughout the week to give me ideas on what to make. I can’t eat around half of it, but the veggies and baked goods are always fun to see!

    The highlight of my weekend this past weekend was not doing anything productive, LOL. We went to the farmer’s market in Raleigh and spent the afternoon around the city, going to Living Kitchen for a late lunch and Remedy Diner for (vegan) chocolate peanut butter pie and sopapilla ‘cheesecake’. Their pie is basically heaven, and the ‘cheesecake’ was the richest fried bread pudding-y dessert, though my husband swears it was like cheesecake (I only had a bite from the edge). After a busy and stressful past few weeks, we are so happy and excited to just settle in and not have any deadlines.

    Reply to Krista
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Krista!

      Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad my blog can be a help with meal ideas!

      Hahaha I LOVE THAT! Those are the best kind of weekends.

      Sounds like you had a great weekend though! Living kitchen AND the farmers market? WIN.

      xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kelsey W.

    Hi Taralynn! I’ve never worked at a coffee shop before since my current job is mostly office-based, but sometimes I do work from home and I tend to have trouble focusing in my own space! I get comfy on the couch, maybe have the TV on, see a magazine I haven’t read yet haha it’s bad! I’m in the process of moving from my 1 bedroom apartment to our new 3 bedroom house so I will finally have a dedicated office to work out of! I’m sure having an office space will help ๐Ÿ™‚ I absolutely love your weekly recap posts. I enjoy seeing what meals you’ve whipped up that week, it’s a great motivation for me to clean up my meals and plan something healthy for dinner that night. I find you and your blog to be extremely relatable and I honestly find great comfort in reading your blog posts. Whenever I get the email notification that you posted something new, I tell my boyfriend “hold on, Taralynn has a new post, I gotta read it first” haha ๐Ÿ™‚ I just consider you a great role model for women our age and in a world full of Kardashians, you’re a breath of fresh air! The highlight of my weekend was that my boyfriend and I bought a couch for the new house and that’s something we’ve been looking for for a while. Isn’t it funny how as an adult you get excited about buying stuff like that? lol! I hope you have a great week! xo Kelsey

    Reply to Kelsey W.
    • Hannah

      We need to be able to โ™ฅ comments! Because I โ™ฅ the statemend, “In a world full of Kardashians, you’re a breath of fresh air.”

      Reply to Hannah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Sometimes I get like that at home, so I have to leave and change environments. Luckily, I’ve created a home routine to help me focus better!

      Congrats on your move! 3 bedrooms and a space of your own will be great for working at home ๐Ÿ™‚

      That honestly just lit up my whole day! Love that you read my blog and enjoy it! I find it so rewarding that I can connect with people all over!

      WOOOOO I want to get a new couch so bad but Kyle has a weird LOVE for my couch and doesn’t want me to get rid of it lol I think I get excited for the silliest things now!

      Have a great week and fun 4th!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Katie Meshko

    Girlllll, that coffee shop looks like what dreams are made of! I cant get over your shoe story! I would die hahaha
    Also that protein shake (along with EVERYTHING else) looks so delicious!!!! I’ve never worked at a coffee shop but id love to try!
    What keeps me coming back is because I love your pics, realness, and inspo! Always colorful and fun <3
    XO, Katie | http://www.meshkomoments.com

    Reply to Katie Meshko
    • Taralynn McNitt

      HAHAHAHA It was one of those things where it’s like “not surprised with the kind of day im having” so you have to just laugh it off!!

      Coffee shop working has been my staple lately!

      Thanks for the kindness, Katie!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Beverly

    I get distracted so easily it doesnโ€™t matter where I go to do schoolwork. But I like going to a coffee shop because then Iโ€™ll have caffeine easily without having to pack everything up. I wish I had a cute coffeshop like that where I live. Itโ€™s mostly jut Starbucks which is fine but a little boring.
    I LOVE your weekly recaps. Itโ€™s like reading a book but way more relatable. And definitely keeps me motivated to be more active and healthy the rest of the week!
    My weekend was full of work. Life in retail will do that. But I did finally clean out a bunch of stuff in my apartment that I didnโ€™t need. Plus! My sister is flying in from New Zealand and sheโ€™ll be here in the morning! So excited to see her so Iโ€™m kind of glad the weekend went by so fast!

    Reply to Beverly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Beverly!

      Yeah, I totally get that. We are so lucky to have all the coffee shop options here! Charlotte is just growing and growing!

      Thanks for the kind words! I love getting people’s opinions about my recaps so I know where to take them in the future! ๐Ÿ™‚

      A good clean out always feels good! Ahhhh how fun!! Enjoy your week!
      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Vanessa

    Do you find it hard to focus while working at a coffee shop?
    Usually I really need a quiet environment so I don’t work at a coffee shop. It sometimes is really good to do my readings or revisions for uni there though!

    What keeps you coming back to read the weekly recap posts?
    It always motivates me to start the week in a healthy way, but also to enjoy my life. Its a great combination ๐Ÿ™‚

    What was the highlight of your weekend?
    I spent the whole weekend with my boyfriend, and on Saturday his band had a gig so I was rocking in the front row!

    I have a question for you: Do you know where the readers of your blog are coming from? Is it mostly people from the US or from all around? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Vanessa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I can definitely understand that!

      ๐Ÿ™‚ That makes me smile!

      Wow how fun was that!? So cool that your boyfriend is in a band. You seem like a great support!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bri

    Oh no! I was smiling about you losing your shoe in the sewer. What are the chances?! Haha! Happy Monday, Taralynn!

    Reply to Bri
  • Mallory

    I’ve been reading your blog for many years now and I won’t ever stop! It’s usually the best part of my Monday ๐Ÿ™‚ But what made this post even better is seeing the Pooltime Ale. I work for Bell’s and it was something as small as this that made me happy!
    <3

    Reply to Mallory
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Awwww that makes me so happy! And put a big smile on my face! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I tried that and it was so delicious. My dad loved it!! A great pool time treat!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Katie

    I get so stinking distracted when I’m at a coffee shop. I think it’d be great to get out with my work, grab something drink and a snack and work. However, then I end up people watching and not being able to concentrate.

    Your weekly recaps are just the greatest. They are always so colorful, filled with yummy eats and of course, the puppies. Always the perfect distraction for my lunch break on a Monday.

    Question for you though about the muffins because with you raving about them so much, I feel like I absolutely need to make them. The only problem is that I am not a banana fan (I really want to be, but I just can’t). Is the banana flavor strong in the muffins?

    Reply to Katie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hahaha I find myself doing the same at certain coffee shops.

      Thanks for the kind words and I’m so happy you enjoy the pups as much as I do!!!!

      Ok…so yes! YOU CAN taste the bananas. The good thing is you can replace the bananas in this recipe for one cup of applesauce!!

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

    I get jealous every time you post the food you get from Living Kitchen! I wish Hong Kong had healthy options like this… grrr! ๐Ÿƒ

    The highlight of my weekend was pigging out in Seoul! Korea is amazing, and it gets more amazing every time I come. Their soups are so good and so healthy too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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

      It’s prettttttty delicious! I bet you have amazing food in Hong Kong that we’ll NEVER be able to get here!

      Wow what a fun and exciting weekend! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    I love Queen City Grounds! I live above in the apartments.

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Abby Glenn

    Love your weekly recaps! Thanks for sharing! Xo

    Reply to Abby Glenn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks so much for reading, Abby!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Danielle

        Hey Taralynn! Coffee shops are my favorite place to study during the school year, I have to have a bit of background noise when I’m working so it works out! I’ve been reading your blog since I was like 12 (I’m 20 now haha) and your recap posts are my favorite, I love how relatable and fun to read they are! The highlight of my weekend was just getting to spend some time with my boyfriend! Thank you for doing what you do, your blog is seriously the best! Hope you have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Reply to Danielle
        • Taralynn McNitt

          Hi, Danielle!

          Sounds like coffee shops are ideal for you! WOW! That is insane. 12??? Has it really been that long! lol

          Glad you had a great weekend with your boyfriend! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great 4th! xo

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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