I’ve Missed You, Blog! Here’s What I’ve Been Up To…

On December 26th, I turn into the Grinch. I woke this morning, walked the dogs, and then had the urge to take down all the Christmas decorations. I’m not going to lie, after being so “extra” this Christmas and participating in Vlogmas; I needed a break from anything festive. I didn’t want to stare at a Christmas tree any longer. I’ve boxed up all of the Christmas decorations and they are already up in the attic. My floors are mopped, and the sparkles are no longer lingering on my floors. I feel relieved and happy to have less stuff crowding up my living room. I have a lot to get ready for this January, so I decided to get a head start on it all.

I have a few blog posts to write this week/weekend. Today, I’m sharing a few things from the week before Christmas and our trip to New Jersey. My New York trip and Christmas posts will be up soon. I need to break them all up so they don’t flood the blog. If you watched my final video of Vlogmas, you might have heard that I plan on blogging a ton in January. I am doing plant-based January and a no-spend challenge along with decluttering/organizing the house. I plan to do daily blogs as much as I can to talk about the plant-based recipes I tried, what I organized, and what I got rid of each day. I’ll try my best to put out my guidelines for the “no spend” challenge I’m doing before January! Now that I don’t have to film/edit videos, I can sit back and push out all the blogs. Goodness, I’ve missed this!!! 
One dish I know I’ll be eating a ton of this January are these vegan zucchini pizzas. They are super easy to make and a great filling dinner when I’m craving comfort food. I filmed the little tutorial in Vlogmas day 18, and it’s at the end of the gift guide. The Daiya mozzarella “cheese” melts and tastes the best.  
Most of my days are a blur because of how fast they were going. On Vlogmas day 19, I made my mom’s old-fashioned peanut brittle recipe. I had never attempted to make this by myself before because of how challenging it looked, but I nailed it, and I think I’m the new peanut brittle champ in the family! It was actually really fun, and I look forward to doing it for all the years to come! I’m hoping the video helps anyone else who is intimidated by peanut brittle! If this girl (the one who loves to just throw things into the oven) can do it, so can you!
On Wednesday, I had my favorite protein pancakes for breakfast. They had almond milk, Birch Blender paleo pancake mix, protein powder, and Christmas sprinkles! I headed to Grumple’s grooming appointment later in the afternoon and caught up on some work while he was getting shaved. I really don’t like taking my dogs to the groomers because in the past it used to take them almost seven hours and the dogs were always so stressed afterward. Recently, we found the most amazing groomer! It’s a giant van that has a grooming station, and she shaves them down in a little over one hour. The pups are always happy to see her, and they never act stressed when they get home. If you’re in the Charlotte area and need a good groomer, email me, and I’ll pass along her info! (Vlogmas Day 20)
Kyle had Friday and the weekend off before Christmas. We decided to take a spontaneous trip to see his Dad in New Jersey for a Christmas Dinner and then spend a day in NYC, so I could see it at Christmas time. We also wanted to meet up with one of his good friends, Ethan! When I agreed to do Vlogmas, I knew I wanted to take a trip to NYC towards the end to do something exciting before it all ended. Kyle’s sister lives close to the city in Hoboken, so we stayed at her place since she was out of town for Christmas.
We headed to the airport around 5 pm on Thursday night for our 7:30 pm flight! We made it through security by 6 pm, so we decided to stop at 1897 Market to have dinner before taking off. I ordered the salmon salad with a side of roasted carrots.

Our flight was delayed a few hours, so I spent some time editing and uploading a vlogmas video. I was kind of happy about the delay because I managed to get everything done so I could fall asleep as soon as we got to Jersey instead of staying up late uploading.

I was a bit stressed out and had way too much sugar from all the peanut brittle, and so my face was breaking out pretty bad. I ordered a green juice at Red Mango to fit in all the nutrients I could. My green juice had spinach, kale, celery, cucumber, lime, extra ginger, and extra lemon.
On Friday, we headed up to see Kyle’s Dad for a Christmas dinner. We stopped at the Vanilla Market on the way to grab a cup of coffee. The coffee was delicious!
We sat by the fire and exchanged some gifts while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, which is one of Kyle’s favorite Christmas movies. It was so nice to catch up with his dad and go through some really cool old family photos. I especially loved the baby ones of Kyle. 
We had the most amazing filet mignons for dinner! It couldn’t have been cooked anymore perfect. We had such a great time ❤️ 
We got back to Hoboken late, and I couldn’t wait to fall asleep.
I spent the morning editing my Vlogmas (priorities), and Kyle worked on a few of his projects for work. 
We headed into NYC on Saturday afternoon! I’m so so so so excited to share that post with you! We only had about 8 hours in the city, so I wanted to see as much as I could.

🚕 ♥️
I was up bright and early on Sunday morning. I wanted to get up and ready for the day because Kyle and I planned to walk around Central Park before heading to the airport.
We walked around the park and then had brunch at Loeb’s Boathouse. ♥️
Off to the airport!  
Around 4 pm, we split a steak salad while I worked on the computer before the flight. Kyle wanted to get to the airport super early because it was the biggest traveling day of the year and also the Eagles were playing. 
Goodbye, NY!!  
I had some of these Sweet Chili Pistachios on the plane. If you haven’t had this flavor yet, you have to try them!! 
We finally made it home around 9 pm! ♥️ We got a good nights sleep to get ready for Christmas Eve with the family!

Questions for You!

  1. Have you ever done a plant-based month?
  2. Are you interested in hearing about the “no-spend” challenge?
  3. How was your holiday?

 

Comments

  • Brittany

    What kind of laptop/ camera do you use? I’m in the market for a new laptop because I just got into grad school for OT and I can’t lug around my huge one anymore. I also LOVE your pictures and have decided I wanted to take up a photo hobby.

    Thanks, and love your blog!!

    Reply to Brittany
  • Sami

    Where is your maroon jacket from?

    Reply to Sami
  • Ashton Jury

    Your Vlogmas was fun but I’m glad you’re back on the blog! I can always look at it when I have downtime at work but the blogs are harder lol. I have never done a plant based month but I am starting Gluten Free and Keto in January. I have eczema and my doctor things it would be good to try going gluten free, and my sister in law is doing kept so we’ve decided to tackle it together, I liked whole 30 so I’m hoping it’ll be like that just MORE CHEESE! I can’t wait to read about your no spending challenge my goal is no starbucks next month… I got a new keurig and cold brew maker so I have no excuse! HAVE HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Reply to Ashton Jury
  • Lulu

    Looks like you had a great Christmas!

    Reply to Lulu
  • Miriam Coppess

    I love the idea of a “no spend” challenge! If you haven’t get, you should check out the Every Dollar app! It’s the budget app from Dave Ramsey, and it will definitely change your life for the better! So helpful!
    We’re trying the zucchini pizza boats this week! I can’t wait! Thank you!

    Reply to Miriam Coppess
  • Amanda

    Can you make a gluten and dairy free enchilada recipe?

    Reply to Amanda
  • Jackie

    I have never done plant-based challenges but I’d like to. Will you be blogging about it?

    Reply to Jackie
  • Sandy

    I’m also doing plant-based January! I can’t wait to read your daily blogs!

    Reply to Sandy
  • Heather

    Hey Taralynn!
    My husband and I have been plant based for almost 2 years and love it! We feel so much better after making the change. It can be a little harder to eat out at restaurants (which I guess no spend January would solve!), but it can take you to some more adventurous ones instead. I am very interested to hear about your no spend January too! We have been working the Dave Ramsey plan to pay off grad school loans. It would be motivating to see you manage your monthly spending! Happy New Year!

    Reply to Heather
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Heather!

      That is so awesome to hear 😃

      Luckily, our area is so filled with awesome vegan-friendly restaurants. But cooking at home is going to be the fun part!

      ♥️

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anastasia

    Aw, I always love your pictures! You have the BEST photography. And you and Kyle are so adorable!!!

    1. I think I am going to join you on the plant-based January! I always do a 10-day detox each month with a group of friends (which is basically just plant-based eating and no processed-foods!) but I think I will extend it out through the whole month. Goodness knows I could use it after all of the holiday sugar. Haha! I will take a small break for my birthday on the 10 though 🙂

    2. I would LOVE to hear about the no-spending challenge. I always think I need to buy something! Whether thats coffee, new running shoes, a sweater at Target…you get the point haha Can’t wait to read your tips and tricks!

    3. My holiday was amazing! Christmas is always my favorite time of the year. Your Vlogmas videos totally got me in the spirit even more! I have made your cinnamon rolls and peanut brittle from the blog the past 2 years and they are ALWAYS a hit!! <3

    Can't wait for all the blogging in January! xoxo

    Reply to Anastasia
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much, Anastasia! sooo sweet of you 💜

      Yay for January birthdays! 🍰 🎈 Glad you treat yourself!

      I’ll be posting all the details today on the no-spend challenge!

      Love that my recipes are a tradition in your holidays now!! xo xo xo

      Have a great New Year!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mel

    Happy New Year!

    Reply to Mel
  • Lacey

    I love NYC! Your pictures are so gorgeous!

    1.) I tried a plant based diet for one month after watching the Netflix documentary – What the Health. It wasn’t sustainable for me but I found some great recipes that I still try to incorporate.

    2.) I love the “no-spending” challenges! I like to read different opinions and tips/tricks on the best ways to save.

    Love your blog so much! Been following your journey for years! 🙂

    Reply to Lacey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Lacey!!

      That is awesome. I look forward to trying all the recipes 🙂

      The “no-spend” challenge is going to be so great, especially after the Holidays!

      Thanks for following along all these years! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lara

    Have you ever been to Austin?

    Reply to Lara
  • Anonymous

    Where will you be traveling in 2019?

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Kait

    I’m doing the no spend challenge with my husband this January.

    Reply to Kait
  • Lara

    Have you ever been to Austin?

    Reply to Lara
  • Heather

    You look so beautiful in that picture by radio city music hall. I’d love to hear more about your plant based month and the no spend challenge! I love doing little things like that to change things up and learn new things.

    Reply to Heather
  • Grace

    I can’t wait for your ny photos

    Reply to Grace
  • Abbey

    I took down all of my decorations too! Glad to hear I’m not the only one. I just like everything to be tidy so Christmas decorations always make things feel cluttered to me.
    I was vegan for almost a year! Its totally doable! Keep up with protein to help you feel satiated and you willbe all good. 🙂 good luck!

    Reply to Abbey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I love Christmas, but it feels so good to have a clean space.

      I know it totally doable and I actually love it. I’m looking forward to January! 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessie

    I’m looking forward to the plant-based recipes you try out and 25 days of blogging.

    Reply to Jessie
  • Rayna

    What was the brand of burritos you’ve been eating?

    Reply to Rayna
  • Alison

    Is that the same leopard jacket from your tjmaxx video from vlogmas??

    Reply to Alison
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It’s not. That one had a hood and was a bit too short! I’ve been wanting a leopard coat like that for a long time but wanted it long 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    What is plant basted January

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Bri

    Looks like you made some sweet memories. I am with ya and totally took down all decor on the 26th! Feels so good!!! Where did you get your burgundy coat?!?! I am looking for a nice winter one and that one looks perfect!

    Reply to Bri
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Feels good to have a fresh and clean house! 💜 I bought that coat at TJMAXX in Iowa! They have some pretty great deals on coats in there.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily H

    Something I think that would be interesting is if you focused on getting your healthier foods from places like Walmart/showed us ways we could save money and STILL eat healthy. I know you spend a lot on healthy food (and I do too so no judgment) but I think that would be a great way to incorporate both things you are planning on doing in January (saving + plant based)!! Or just let us know how much you spend and how that is divided up each meal. Obviously that could be too personal for you but it was just a thought! LOVE your blog!

    Reply to Emily H
  • Kristin

    It looks like you had an amazing time on your pre-Christmas trip!! I’m looking forward to your more frequent blogging next year!!

    I haven’t tried a plant-based month, my mother and father and law recently did plant based for a while, they aren’t as strict now but I’m definitely interested in trying more plant based meal options!!

    A huge YES to the no spending challenge!! Definitely needed after the holidays where I feel like spending just spirals out of control!

    Our Christmas was a great mix of relaxing and eventful! It’s funny you mentioned National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, I think last year was the first year I watched it all the way through and now it’s probably my favorite Christmas movie!! There’s a house about 30 minutes from us that decorates like the Griswold house and we drove by it this year, it was amazing!!! Look up Wadsworth Griswold House on Facebook!

    Reply to Kristin
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kristin!

      Thank you! Hope you had a great Christmas!

      Hopefully, I can bring some good recipes to the blog for you to try!

      I need it too! 😳

      That is toooooo cool!! and a lot of electricity!! hahaha

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Autumn

    I have not! I generally don’t eat too much meat as it is but I would like to do a plant-based month.
    I would LOVE to hear more about the no-spend challenge! That sounds like something I need! haha.

    My husband and I had a hectic holiday. We had 3 Christmases in 3 different states! It was good to see family though! You looked like you had an amazing time in New York! It’s always been a dream of mine to go there this time of year!

    Reply to Autumn
  • Brittany

    Love this! Sounds like you two had a great time 🙂 I haven’t been to New York for a long time, so I may need to revisit and see my grandparents in PA!

    Reply to Brittany
  • Susan

    I hope you took the opportunity to explore the streets of Hoboken while you stayed there. So many coffee shops, a great bakery and restaurants. You can catch a NJT train at the main terminal there and be in midtown, NYPenn , station in no time. Also, PATH light rail is available. Next time, save on taxis and use the subway. It’s one of the best ways to get a true taste of the city. Cheap and fast transportation!

    Reply to Susan
  • Brooklyn Murtaugh

    Merry Christmas!! It sounds like such a fun quick trip! I miss NYC, I haven’t been in 5 years. Much too long.
    I’m so glad that you found a great groomers for your dogs, it must be such a relief to you!

    I’m vegetarian but have never spent any significant time fully plant based. Can’t wait to see the recipes 🙂

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

    Reply to Brooklyn Murtaugh
  • Jenna

    I have not, I really enjoy chicken and steak so I’m not sure I could do it.

    Yes definitely interested in the no-spend challenge!! As well as the decluttering one.

    Christmas was amazing! I was so exhausted at the end of the day though. I was up from 730-1130 I was done.

    Reply to Jenna
  • ali

    Okay first, does that folder say ENGAGEMENT RING?! Is there something your not telling us!!!! 😀

    And second, where did you get your purple puffer coat. I lonve the longer style and the color.

    Happy new Year!

    Reply to ali
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It took me like thirty minutes to figure out what you were talking about lol That coffee table book says “management by hassling”

      That coat was from TJmaxx in Iowa!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Erica

    Merry Christmas Taralynn! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with your family & Kyle! I love your coat/red scarf combo! So cute!!!

    1. I have never done a plant-based month but I’ve been doing vegan lunches/dinner from time to time just to experiment so I’m excited to see all of your recipes!
    2. Yes, I am definitely interested in hearing about this challenge. I took a trip to Florida this December and spent a lot of money on Christmas gifts and food for the holidays so I am also going to try to limit my spending in the new year.
    3. My holiday was great. My family came to see me from five hours away. My favourite part of Christmas is spending time with family and having no plans. I absolutely love this time of year!! I drank a lot of wine and ate a lot of food but I have no regrets. Heading back to the gym in a few minutes here to get back on track.

    xoxo

    Reply to Erica
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much, Erica! Happy holidays to you as well! 💜

      I do the same as you now! That is why I am curious to do the full month!

      I think after December and the holidays it’s important to do a little “no spend” challenge! I’m looking forward to it.

      Sounds like you had an amazing Christmas and I love that!! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • lauren

    Hi! where is your leopard coat from???

    Reply to lauren
  • Eileen

    Would love to join in on the January no spend challenge! My 2019 focus is getting a handle on my debt and finances so this would be a great way to jump into the new year

    Reply to Eileen
  • Anna-Maria

    Seeing these pictures of NYC makes me miss it. Gotta say that you inspired me too into the no spending january. I cant wait to read about your list. I have been reading your blog ever since tumblr and anytime I need a push or inspiration I read something that you wrote and it helps a ton. Thank you for being so awesome!!(L)

    Reply to Anna-Maria
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Anna-Maria!

      New York is such an amazing place! I can see why you miss it.

      I’m so looking forward to no-spend January! Hoping to do it throughout the year. Thank you for the kind words and reading all of these years!! Means so much to me!!

      Hope you have a wonderful week! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Caroline

    Hi Taralynn! I’m a new reader so this is my first time commenting 🙂 Your trip looked so fun! I’ve never done a plant-based month. I’ve heard about all of the health benefits of eliminating meat, however, I’ve eaten meat my whole life and I really don’t know if I could give it up lol. And YES to the no spending. I seriously need to work on that, especially after Christmas because I went a little overboard!

    Also, I LOVE your hair curled!

    Reply to Caroline
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Caroline!

      Welcome to my blog! How exciting 😃

      I know it’s a huge thing to just give up for sure. Over the past year, I’ve cut a ton of meat out of my diet but still eat it occasionally, just not for every meal like I used to. I think it’ll be easier for me because I’ve done that for a while.

      I think we all go a little overboard around Christmas time 😆 The no-spend is going to be great!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Beth

    Woohoo thanks for trying out a vegan lifestyle! Don’t forget you have to eat bigger portions 😃 also, why aren’t you calling it Veganuary?!

    Reply to Beth
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    NYC looks amazing, Taralynn! Looks like you really enjoyed it, what a lovely trip for Christmas 🙂 My holidays were awesome, thank you – I gained 8lbs, yay! (I’m severely underweight and trying to gain, so that’s a really good thing!) ❤️

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

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

      Thank you, Charmaine! Congrats on your gain! That is amazing and I’m so proud of you. xo xo Keep up the positive mindset and lifestyle!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Holly Danielson

    Definitely want to hear about the no spending challenge and decluttering! Planning to do the same!

    Reply to Holly Danielson
  • Diane

    Happy holidays to you! I would love to hear about the “no-spend” challenge! I am also looking forward to following you as you do “plant-based” diet for a month, I have been thinking about doing the same thing! I love reading your posts and I wish you a very happy new year!

    Reply to Diane

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