The Weekly Recap Post: When September Begins ☕️

Good Morning!

I hope you all had a great labor day weekend. I cannot believe it’s already September! Now that we’re closer to Fall, the temperatures here in the south have been skyrocketing! Funny how that works. I’m holding out on the PSL’s until the 90-degree weather makes it’s way out.

Overall I had a pretty good week. I spent the week doing a lot of backend work and creating content for the upcoming months. I have a lot of little trips planned, so I want to make sure I’m all caught up before those start popping up. I’m super pumped about sharing the content I’ve created soon! It’s going to give you so many fall feels 😉

I spent a couple weeks working on the video and blog from my recent trip to Savannah. I didn’t finish it until late Friday, so I hope you got the chance to look over the photos and watch the video! If not, make sure to do so! I think it’ll have you packing for a trip to Savannah asap. 
On Monday, we started the morning off with our usual mile walk around the neighborhood before coming in for coffee. I love that this has become our morning routine and it’s my form of meditating before starting the day. When it gets cooler out, we’ll usually walk two miles in the morning and even more at night. These boys could walk for hours, which is so cool because I remember when Grumples would quit after five minutes outside. He’s really gotten himself into shape! He’s due for a shave down here, but I’m going to groom him myself for a fun little YouTube video! He actually enjoys it, which is really strange to me. 
For breakfast, I had a smoothie bowl with frozen mixed berries, vanilla plant protein, broccoli microgreens, ginger, spirulina, unsweetened cashew milk, cocao nibs, and cashew butter on top.

For lunch, I ended up having last week’s leftovers. I heated up chicken, turkey burger, and vegetables in a bowl.

When Kyle got home from work, we skipped the gym and headed out on a three-mile walk in the neighborhood together. It was so hot outside and a smoothie was the only thing that sounded appetizing for dinner. I just had my breakfast smoothie on repeat. 
After dinner, I decided to make some little donuts with the chocolate Swerve cake mix. The Swerve cake mix has zero added sugar, dairy and grain free, and low carb. I topped the donuts with a homemade frosting that consisted of protein powder, coconut oil, and swerve confectioner sugar. I had to go and order more boxes of this cake because it was so delicious and baked up so perfectly! 
These are pretty much the only two photos I took on Tuesday (for the recap!) This is pretty rare for me.

After working on projects all day, I headed to the gym with Kyle to walk the treadmill. I did some pretty dang fast powerwalking with alternating inclines. My legs were feeling it! For dinner, I had chopped spring mix salad with roasted veggies (cold), rice crackers, beyond burger, and honey mustard vinaigrette on top.

We watched the final episode of Sharp Objects before bed. The show was really good and artistically filmed.
I spent Wednesday morning uptown taking my dad to one of his appointment. When I got home, I walked the dogs and then got back to work. I made a yummy cappuccino to enjoy while working. I added a splash of nutmeg for spice. 
For a late lunch, I had roasted vegetables with grilled chicken.
I went to the gym to walk on Wednesday evening with Kyle. I didn’t want to go to the gym at all, but after I completed my walk, all the endorphins were high and I felt so good. If you’re ever feeling down or in a funk, just go for a walk and it’ll definitely help!

When I got back home, I made a smoothie and worked from bed while watching a movie. If you haven’t seen “I Feel Pretty”, you should! It’s cute and sends a great message that “confidence is everything.” 
My delicious smoothie bowl on Thursday morning 😊 I posted all the details and ingredients for this bowl on my Instagram post here! If you check out that post, leave a “🍓” comment so I know what sent you over there! 
My lunch salad was pretty good! I had chopped spring mix lettuce with chicken, veggies, chickpeas, avocado, sunflower seeds, and honey mustard vinaigrette on top. I love throwing the leftovers in a bowl and calling it a salad 😊 🥗 
We decided to stay in and relax instead of going to the gym on Thursday evening. We did fit in a walk outside with the dogs before it started to storm. I made six egg whites with leftover roasted vegetables for dinner. I had two of the chocolate frosted donuts for dessert 😊 🍩 
I spent ALL Friday catching up on laundry and finalizing the Savannah post! It didn’t go live until late in the evening. 
We headed to the grocery store to pick up some things to make homemade turkey meatballs, which was one of the best decisions ever.

If you’re looking for the turkey meatball and sauce recipe, check out this post! The only changes I made was using gluten-free breadcrumbs, and dairy-free parmesan (which tastes just like real parm.)

Instead of pasta, we had spiralized sweet potatoes! Now, this was delicious!

We stayed up late watching season two of Ozark! Kyle had been waiting all year for its return. 
I was up bright and early on Saturday. I walked the dogs, had coffee, and then got ready for my tennis group.

For breakfast, I had coconut milk yogurt mixed with chocolate protein powder, granola, and cashew butter on top. 
Tennis was so much fun! There was no sitting out for three hours straight, and I was having so much fun that I could have played for hours and hours. I stopped at Whole Foods on the way home to pick up meats and then got ready for the day.

Kyle and I rand some errands in the afternoon, and then took the boys out on a long walk.

I made myself a cappuccino, and then Kyle and I sat down to watch another episode of Ozark. 
For dinner, I had a kale and cabbage salad with grilled peaches, blueberries, butternut squash, and chicken (not pictured because it was still grilling.) 
I tried to add a heavy filter to a really bad photo, so this is what you get 😊 We walked the dogs for a quick couch break, and then went right back to watching Ozark! 
Later in the evening, we made chocolate mint smoothies. This had mint leaves, kale, banana, mint extract, vanilla plant protein, frozen avocado, cashew milk, and chocolate chips (I use Lily’s no added sugar vegan chocolate chips) on top. 
After having coffee and walking the dogs, I headed to Waxhaw to spend the day with Becca. She helped me take some cool photos for some upcoming campaigns, and then we went to one of our favorite breakfast spots, Stacks! I’ve been blogging about this place since moving to Charlotte four and a half years ago! I’ve always ordered the same thing, too. I get the garden omelet with all egg whites, no mushroom, fresh fruit, and oats on the side.

After breakfast, we headed to a consignment shop and I picked up some really cool outfits! I’ll share those as soon as they go through the washing machine. 
I got home and 6 pm and needed a cappuccino! I was excited to sit down and go through some of the photos she took. We had SO MUCH fun shooting and she’s one of the best photographers! 
I had the last three leftover meatballs for dinner with a side salad. Kyle and I watched another episode of Ozark and then I was out sleeping by 10 pm. 
We headed to the courts on Monday morning to play a couple of matches.

It was SO HOT OUTSIDE that I was dripping in sweat. I usually turn into a tomato face and rarely sweat, but my body was like “nope!”

We stopped at the grocery store to pick up some things to go along with our steaks for dinner.
For my lunch, I made roasted peaches (shared on my Instagram story!) to top coconut yogurt with! I will share the recipe in a post soon! 😊 I kind of want to make an apple version for the mountain trip coming up. 
For dinner, we made roasted potatoes seasoned with sesame oil, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, cumin, and ground mustard. They were perfect. I cooked them for about 45-minutes at 415 degrees.
I sauteed kale with sesame oil, gluten-free tamari, sesame seeds, and agave. I was in the mood for baked beans, so I cooked those up for a side too!

I made a delicious crockpot soup to eat throughout the week to take the “what’s for dinner” stress off. I have sooooo much to do this week, so dinner is the last thing I want to think about. Now, I just have to heat it up and I’m good to go! I’ll post the recipe on the blog because this chicken and vegetable chili is AMAZING! It’s light for the summer weather, but a warm transition for the upcoming fall months.

We finished the last episode of the second season on Monday night. Now, we’ll have to wait another year…

Questions for you!

  1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
  2. We are spending the weekend in the mountains with the dogs. Should I add another vlog to the blog?
  3. Have you ordered a PSL (pumpkin spiced latte) yet? (P.S. I usually order a tall almond milk pumpkin spiced latte with an extra shot of espresso and only one pump of the syrup to lighten it up!)

Comments

  • Nicole

    It’s kind of funny to read your blog that mentions “Ozark.” I am actually from the Ozarks and have lived in Missouri most of my life. I have been an avid reader of your blog for years! 🙂

    Reply to Nicole
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That is too funny! I think they actually filmed the movie in Georgia, which is strange! Why not film it in the actual Ozark! LOL

      As kids, we grew up visiting the Ozarks ALL the time! It wasn’t too far from where we lived in Iowa.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Susie

    The first thing I do upon waking is drink water and stretch.

    I have not had a PSL yet, but I have decorated my house with fall decor! I’ll have a PSL or two throughout the entire season just for the fun of it, but it’s not really my thing. However, I also LOVE the peppermint mocha lattes and will have one of those babies the first day out.

    Yes, another vlog please!

    I’m starting Ozark 2 this weekend! Have you been reading anything good lately?

    Reply to Susie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Susie!

      A great start to your morning!!

      Lol, you and me both! I agree that the PSL is just for the fun and fall tradition, but that peppermint mocha latte has my name ALL OVER IT! I usually get one twice a week in December!

      A vlog coming to you soon!!

      I started reading B.A. Paris’s new book but haven’t got around to finishing it because of all the projects I’ve been working on! I’ll most likely have time to finish it when the power goes out this weekend.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rebecca

    The first thing I do is always drink some warm lemon water and then let my fur babies outside.

    I live in Arizona and it’s still about 100F here so I have had an iced pumpkin spice. lol

    Reply to Rebecca
  • Meghan

    Hey Taralynn!

    For PSLs I order an Americano with a splash of almond milk and 1-2 pumps of pumpkin! I swear by it, tastes awesome and just like a latte!

    Quick question – what sort of espresso machine do you use to make your lattes?

    Reply to Meghan
  • Anonymous

    What milk you you use in your coffeee drinks? They look so frothy! I use almond milk in my k latte and it still seems pretty runny. Love your stuff!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Fan

    Your blog is one of my favorites!

    Reply to Fan
  • Becca

    I can’t remember if you said it or not but where is that purple sweater from in your main profile pic?

    Reply to Becca
  • Jessica

    I am absolutely in love with your smoothie bowls!!! They look sooooo good all the time! I have yet to dabble in them. Also I am obsessed with the Ozark!! It is my favorite also! love your blog as always!

    Reply to Jessica
  • Courtney

    I always check the weather and spend a few minutes looking at my calendar for the day. I’d like to start my day with a bit of reflecting and gratitude – hoping to start this soon!

    Another vlog would be awesome!

    I have totally ordered a pumpkin spice latte already (got one on the first day they were available). I’d love to make a homemade pumpkin spice syrup for the fall! That way I know what’s in it 🙂

    I would LOVE a post with photography tips! I am going on a trip in a month and am planning on bringing my Canon Rebel. I typically use my iPhone for pictures, but I am planning on bringing my big camera to try to snap some nice, high quality photos! Your blog photos are always so lovely – any tips you have would be amazingly helpful!

    Reply to Courtney
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Courtney!

      A great way to wake up for sure! I do a lot of the reflecting and setting goals for the day while walking.

      Glad you’re down for another!!

      I’m definitely making one!!:)

      Thanks, Courtney! I’ve been working on a photographer guide for non-professionals and I’ll make sure to have that out soon! My favorite tips would be to shoot with natural lighting as much as possible, take the same shot three times but a different angle each time, edit your lighting, saturation, and sharpness! 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily

    I currently have my fall decor in a box in my living room and I’m trying to fight the urge to decorate right now. I just moved to Florida from D.C. so it’ll be weird not experiencing a real fall. I’ll definitely miss the leaves changing and the cool weather, but my apartment will definitely be a fall lover’s paradise!

    Question, which do you prefer more for pasta, spaghetti squash or sweet potato spirals? I’ve tried to get into spaghetti squash but I just can’t. I still want a healthy alternative for pasta, I just don’t know what would be best!

    Reply to Emily
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Emily!

      Yes, definitely a change for sure!! When we visit Florida for Thanksgiving, it’s a weather shock! Just crank up the air and start decorating haha

      If you don’t like spaghetti squash, definitely try the sweet potato spirals! I was shocked at how good it was.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kesli

    Hi Taralynn!
    I look forward to reading your re-caps every week. I can’t wait for your fall posts too!
    1. I’ve been off of my regular schedule this summer, but usually the first thing I do when I wake up is play a podcast- it motivates me to actually get out of bed.
    2. I like seeing the vlogs from your trips!
    3. I wanted to like PSLs… I just don’t haha

    Reply to Kesli
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kesli!

      Thanks so much 🙂

      Love the idea of playing a podcast to motivate you! Great idea!

      I didn’t like them when they first came out, and they really aren’t THAT great. I think it’s the fall tradition that excites me for them. My favorite Starbucks drink is the peppermint mocha latte!!! now that I can get down with.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Leah

    I just moved to NC from WA, so the heat this time of year is a big change for me! I want my fall weather with sweaters and hot coffee! Do you have any recommendations for a newbie in NC. We are about an hour south of Raleigh. Also, you always have the simplest, yet delicious looking foods, you should consider writing a cookbook, even an ebook, I’d buy it for sure!

    Reply to Leah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Such a change for sure!

      I’ve actually never been to Raleigh other than the airport, but there are SO MANY places to visit in North Carolina & South Carolina! I’d look into the mountains like Asheville and Boone for that colder weather! You can bring out those fall sweaters!

      & thank you so much!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Meghan

    Ugh can’t imagine dealing with that heat you guys have, hope it cools down soon! I am ready for the wall weather as soon as September comes, thankfully in Wisco it’s been about 70 all week! The first thing I do when I get up is drink a glass of water and start the coffee pot. I used to instantly make breakfast, but I’ve recently been trying out intermittent fasting, and I find that starting my morning off with a big glass of water helps hold off the hunger until later in the morning (I get up around 4am, so I was eating for such a looongg time throughout the day.) I love the vlogs, keep em coming! I haven’t had a PSL yet, but I did get an iced pumpkin chai the other day!

    Reply to Meghan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Meghan!

      70-degrees sounds like a dream right now! I’m hoping it’s cooler in the mountains this weekend 😀

      That’s a great morning routine, especially hitting the coffee button! lol Getting up at 4 am and eating breakfast always throws me off! I totally get not eating until later.

      I saw someone order a pumpkin chai and it sounds amazing! I’m going to make an at-home recipe!

      Have a great week!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Dina

    What do you listen too while walking on the treadmill to not get bored?

    Reply to Dina
    • Taralynn McNitt

      The treadmill I use at the gym has a T.V. so I’ll flip channels 🙂 But if I’m out walking or on a treadmill that doesn’t have a T.V. I download a podcast !

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Haley

    Will you do another day in the life or weekly recap video? I enjoyed those!

    Reply to Haley
  • Jess

    How old is Grumples now?

    Reply to Jess
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    Do you prefer hot or cold brew coffee?

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
  • Sarah

    Hi! What kind of walking workouts do you do at the gym? I am getting so burnt out with running on the treadmill and want to incorporate walking into my workouts instead. Do you walk on inclines or speed walk etc? Thank you 🙂

    Reply to Sarah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I’ll always change it up with speed and incline! I’ll try to walk at a higher incline for one minute, go faster for the next minute, back to neutral for 30 seconds, increase speed for a minute, and keep changing it up each minute! I find that the time FLIES by when I do this! No exact pattern, but “different.” I shoot for 3-4 miles in a little over an hour.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Elsa

    What a great week! I vote yes to more vlogs. Your voice is oddly therapeutic.

    Reply to Elsa
  • Miriam

    Just wanted to stop by and say thank you for challenging me to find my own fitness happy and showing me that it comes in all sorts of forms! I love being on this journey, and you have inspired me so much!

    Reply to Miriam
  • Jenna

    I know it’s terrible, but the first thing I do when I wake up is check my phone. After that, I either get up to go to the bathroom or cuddle with one of the animals if they’re close by. Usually my boy cat is because he never wants me to get out of bed, he would rather cuddle all day.

    Yes for the vlog!

    No PSL yet! I’m in Florida and it’s still high 90’s so way too hot for that.

    Reply to Jenna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Jenna!

      I think SO MANY of us do it. I check the weather first thing lol I really try to keep my phone on airplane mode as much as possible. Leo usually lays on my head and tries to do anything to get me up for the walk lol Your cat sounds adorable! I wish I could have one, but Grumples does not like cats at all.

      I feel ya on the heat girl!

      xo have a great week!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Heather

    I am looking forward to your fall posts!

    Reply to Heather
  • Emily

    Girl, I’ve already had 2 PSLs since they came out! I live in Alabama so it’s still hot and muggy here too. But I can’t help it! I’m ready for fall! 🍁❤️

    Reply to Emily
  • Stephanie

    Where are your jean shorts from?

    Reply to Stephanie
  • Brooklyn Murtaugh

    A mountain weekend vlog sounds awesome! The mountains are the best, so calming and peaceful. And you know, stunning! Enjoy it!

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

    Reply to Brooklyn Murtaugh
  • Kelsey W.

    Hey Taralynn! I hope you had a nice holiday weekend 🙂 my boyfriend and I are addicted to Ozark too and have been binge watching all weekend! I plan on finishing it up tonight.

    The first thing I do when I wake up is feed my cat because the minute my alarm goes off, she’s meowing in my face haha! She knows it’s breakfast time 🙂 and at the same time, I throw a pot of coffee on. Speaking of coffee, I usually get the iced pumpkin coffee with almond milk from Dunkin since it’s also too hot here right now to order a hot one. I enjoy dairy-free lattes, but when I’m on a budget, the iced pumpkin coffee (technically sugary pumpkin syrup lol) hits the spot!

    Can you re-link the turkey meatball recipe? It didn’t show a hyperlink. Looks so good!

    xoxo Kelsey

    Reply to Kelsey W.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kelsey!

      It’s SO GOOD. Not crazy impressed with the ending, but glad they left it open for the next season.

      Hahaha that is so funny! My brother’s cats are like that when I visit!

      That sounds like a delicious and refreshing pumpkin drink for the HOT fall haha!

      I’ll make sure to fix that link! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

      Taralynn

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Heather

    Going to try the 1 pump of ps to lessen the calories. I was just telling my hubby this weekend that I wished they offered sugar free pumpkin spice at starbucks.

    Gotta brush my teeth as soon as I wake up!

    Enjoyed reading this post! Have a great week!

    Reply to Heather
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks so much, Heather!

      Enjoy that pumpkin spice latte! I always order the sugar free peppermint mocha from Starbucks in December which IM SO EXCITED FOR!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Andi

    It’s like you read my mind! I was going to ask how you order your PSL!

    Reply to Andi
  • Katie

    1. The first thing I do after I wake up is hit snooze 🙂 I’m trying to break myself of that habit though. I always try to do a couple quick sun salutations when I wake up to get the blood flowin and my day started right!
    2. Definitely add a vlog! They add so much to your travel posts.
    3. I am not a fan of the PSL! I love the smell, but I definitely do not like the taste. I love pumpkin everything else, though 🙂

    Reply to Katie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Lol I always hit the snooze when I have to do something important in the morning. If I wake up for coffee and walks, I’m up right away lol Great you have a morning routine to set you up for the day!

      Thanks so much! I think they’re a lot of fun!

      I never liked them years ago until they changed the recipe! Now I like them with coconut milk or almond milk : )

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Samantha Bunker

    Oh man, I’m so excited for Fall time! Unfortunately I live in Tucson so we will still be in the 90s until well into October. But I will take 90s over 100s any day!

    I haven’t ordered a PSL yet (mainly because it’s still so hot out) but I did make pumpkin spice doughnuts with a maple glaze over the weekend and I pulled out my front door Fall time wreath, so I figure that’s close enough?

    Enjoy your time in the mountains!

    Reply to Samantha Bunker
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Samantha!

      We will get those high temps here in the south too! lol Luckily, it’ll drop to 70’s in October!

      MMMMMM pumpkin donuts and baked goods are good ALL YEAR round!! Yes, it’s close enough!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Krista

    It’s weird about this super hot and humid weather lately: nothing really sounds good when it comes to dinnertime! I saw the peaches on your IG story– super excited for the blog/recipe about it!! I’m trying to soak up this whole peaches-being-in-season thing while burning away at my pumpkin spice bread candle 😛

    I actually haven’t had a PSL in years now– the PSL flavoring/syrup at Starbucks has sweetened condensed milk IN the flavoring/syrup, so it’s not vegan, and I’ve been dairy-free for about two years, so I basically desperately miss it. 🙁 The other seasonal flavors at Starbucks are usually vegan though, so I’m waiting for a gingerbread drink or something! My stomach just cannot do any kind of dairy– which is a major bummer, because there’s an ice cream place literally on a farm that my family loves to go to, and their soft serve is the bomb diggity. Also, that parmesan is awesome! If you’re on the hunt for other nondairy ‘cheeses’ and you haven’t tried the Violife vegan parmesan, it’s actually a triangular block and is brand new at Whole Foods. It’s perfect for grating over pasta or salad and is almost identical to a real block of parmesan in how it tastes and melts! It’s a little pricy, but it lasts forever.

    The first thing that I do when I wake up is scroll through Instagram to wake up. It’s a terrible habit, but I run/go to the gym before 6 am most weekdays, so that bright light from my phone gets me moving.

    Reply to Krista
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Krista!

      I agree! It’s been SO HOT! The only thing I want is fresh produce, fruity flavors and smoothies lol I crank up the air and drink coffee inside to put me in the fall spirits. I’m currently burning a merlot candle 😉

      I definitely get the stomach aches with dairy and gave it up as well. I’m going to have the psl with almond milk and just face the aftermath of the bloat lol I will try to come up with a recipe for the blog with my espresso machine.

      I have the Violife vegan parm in my fridge!! I have yet to try it, but so happy to hear it’s worth the purchase!

      I turn my phone to airplane mode in the morning! It keeps me from browsing!:)

      Have a wonderful week!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • M

    I have been reading your blog for a while and this is my first comment! I like your bright photos. 🙂 How many photos do you usually take for a post?

    1. I drink water and check the weather.
    2. I actually prefer more frequent shorter blog posts and I’m not into long videos.
    3. PSL isn’t a popular thing in my country, but I like to add cinnamon into my coffee. I always drink my coffee black.

    What projects are you working on?

    Reply to M
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Awww yay! Glad you’re commenting! I usually take at least 6-7 photos a day for the recaps!

      Haha I check the weather too!

      Good to know!

      I like my coffee black too, but I definitely don’t mind the seasonal latte treat!

      Work projects for the blog for the upcoming seasons! Some DIY for the home and recipes 😉

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

    I’m debating whether to watch Sharp Objects or not. I read the book first so I know what will happen, and I kind of regret that now because I’m always trying to find good shows to watch! Haha 🙂

    I’ve actually never ordered a pumpkin spice latte – is it really as good as everyone makes it out to be? 🙂

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

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

      Hi, Charmaine!

      It’s really good! You’ll like it! Even if you’ve read the book already.

      It’s pretty good, but it’s the fall tradition that makes it exciting!

      😃

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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