Christmas Shopping, Wine Bar, & The Return of Running!

relaxing with puppy

Hey Everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend. I’m exhausted and already cuddled up with Grumples ready to watch my new favorite show, Empire. If you’re looking for a new binge worthy show, I highly recommend it! Since I’m plan on Christmas baking all day tomorrow and going out to pick up a few last minute gifts, I thought I’d throw in a recap post! I really like doing these, and it’s been a while.

walking the dog

The frustration with poison ivy has been real, and real miserable. This past week has been a little better and I’m finally in the healing stage. I haven’t been able to workout, the steroids haveย taken a toll on me and the itch is intolerable. The steroids just make me thirsty all the time, drying out my skin, and bloating me like a balloon. I finally ended the pack a couple days ago and I already feel better.

Since I wasn’t able to workout, I did a lot of casual walks with Grumples. We would go on them twice a day. Our walk Monday was a cold and rainy one. My doctor said to stick to walking, yoga, and weights.

For dinner on Monday night, I made a low calorie pita pizza! I love making these when I'm craving pizza for dinner. I just use a 60 calorie pita, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 cup pizza sauce, and turkey pepperonis. The entire pizza is under 200 calories. Sometimes I make two, but I had this one with a side salad.

For dinner on Monday night, I made a low calorie pita pizza! I love making these when I’m craving pizza for dinner. I just use a 60 calorie pita, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 cup pizza sauce, and turkey pepperonis. The entire pizza is under 200 calories. Sometimes I make two, but I had this one with a side salad.

"Mad About Plaid"

I played around with some of the goodies that General Mills sent me on Tuesday morning. It’s a “Mad About Plaid” party themed goody basket! It gave me the cutest ideas for gifts! It came with a couple of gorgeous moscow mule copper mugs from Pier One that make the cutest hot cocoa mugs, a really neat plaid bowl with a holiday design on the bottom, a mason jar full of pecans, Chex mix, a plaid table runner, and recipe cards. I love the idea of putting something like this together for the friends and family.

"Mad About Plaid"

The liquid flannel recipe looked amazing and I cannot wait to make it on Christmas eve for the family. I’m even going to add eggnog! The candied pecan Chex Mix also looks fantastic. I love anything candied! The Chex website has all the recipes and more.

walking the dog

Grumples and I headed out for a four mile walk once the rain cleared up. This guy lives for long walks and he has gotten so much better. ย I don’t even have to put his harness on him because he doesn’t pull anymore which makes our walks so much more enjoyable. The only thing I have to be careful of is when he decides to lunge at cars or people on bikes. We are still working on that…

breakfast yogurt cereal nuts

For lunch, I had two Greek yogurts with pecans, almonds, and Chex cereal.

lemonade and pineapple

Sometimes I get in drink moods where I need lemonade or something fizzy in my life. One of my favorites is the Hubert’s diet Lemonade. The strawberry one is my favorite and I get them at Earthfare. I bought some pineapple to eat on the way home!

smoked salmon California roll smoked salmon California rolle

I also picked up some smoked salmon California rolls for dinner. They’re my favorite.grumples

That night, Grumples slept almost six hours in the same exact position and I had to take a photo of it because it was hilarious. All four of his legs were straight up in the air…I don’t know how that was comfortable.

When I was done, I made a breakfast smoothie. It had one scoop of protein powder, 1 banana, frozen strawberries, peaches, 1 packet stevia, ice, and almond milk.

Wednesday morning, I woke up at five to meet a trainer at the gym. She and I did a workout that focused on abs and arms. My arms are still on fire from that.

When I was done, I made a breakfast smoothie. It had one scoop of protein powder, 1 banana, frozen strawberries, peaches, 1 packet stevia, ice, and almond milk.

morning coffee

Not gunna lie, I went back to bed for a couple more hours after showering off from the workout. I was exhausted and the antihistamine wasn’t helping. When I woke up around eight, I made coffee and then took my last final.

Coffee: Medium/Dark Roast with 2 Tablespoons light cream and 1/2 packet stevia!

For dinner, I made another pita pizza and a side salad. My salad had iceberg lettuce blend, croutons, Applegate turkey slices, avocado, sweet and spicy peppers, and Italian dressing.

For dinner, I made another pita pizza and a side salad. My salad had iceberg lettuce blend, croutons, Applegate turkey slices, avocado, sweet and spicy peppers, and Italian dressing.

Earthfare juiceย 1461979_956481417731768_1582988959_n

I spent twelve hours on Thursdayย packing packages for the shop. Right now, everything is 50% off and I’m making room for all the new items coming soon!

Simply Taralynn Collection 50% off

I actually really enjoy packaging everything; I find it very therapeutic.

simply taralynn collection

I spentย an hour at the post office because I wanted to make sure they’d all arrive in time for Christmas!

Uptown Charlotte NC

I left the post office around six and headed straight for Uptown for the Hornets game.

CHARLOTTE hornets Charlotte Hornets Basketball

I was hungry and exhausted, but proud of myself for making it on time! The traffic was soooooooo bad.


It hadn’t eaten muchย Thursday other than a couple pecans, a bowl of cereal, and coffee, so I split some bbq pork nachos and it was worth every bite! When I’m busy or working on school work, I forget to eat, and then the hunger hits me all of a sudden.

Charlotte nc hornets ice cream basketball game

Sugar free ice cream…yum ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t even know you get get sweets at an NBA game, but they have an entire restaurant just for sweets there.

They game was awesome and they ended up winning in overtime. I feel like they go into overtime every single time I go to a game.

Charlotte North Carolina Uptown CLT

The city was so Christmas-y, so we drove around looking at decorations for a bit.


I decided to take a breather on Friday and spend some time with my dad. I had my coffee, a bowl of cereal, and worked a little bit before heading over to my parents.


I took Tino and Grumples so they could run around in the backyard all day.

fort mill sc

That night, we went to Dom’sย school toย watch himย perform The Loin King The Musical and they were pretty good! They had some awesome singers and great little actors up there. The kids that played Timon and Pumba were my favorite.

Hakana Sushi Bar in Baxter Village

After the play,ย we treated ourselves to dinner at Hakana Sushi Bar in Baxter Village. It’s one of my favorite places. I started out with their house salad.

Hakana Sushi Bar in Baxter Villageย chicken lettuce wraps Hakana Sushi Bar in Baxter Village

We split the chicken lettuce wraps…guys, I ate mushrooms. I always ask them go light on the soy sauce and they always do!

Hakana Sushi Bar in Baxter Village

They have buy one get one sushi rolls. We split the Charlotte roll and the spicy tuna roll. Their spicy tuna roll isn’t as good as most restaurants, but their bagel roll and the Charlotte roll are my favorite.

cheerios and coffee breakfast bourbon country

I had been looking forward to Saturday ALL week.

I woke up, watched an episode of Empire, had my coffee and cereal, and then got ready for the day!

peppermint bark

My mom and I had a whole day planned. First, we baked peppermint bark! Tomorrow, I’m making my peppermint mocha bark to go along with my other Christmas goodies. I’m going to put together goodie baskets for friends and family.

starbucks premium outlets charlotte nc

We headed to the Outlets around ten to get our Christmas shopping done.

starbucks premium outlets charlotte nc

We ran into Mr. Ralph (my boyfriends dad) ย at Banana Republic and he treated my mom and I to delicious Starbucks drinks. My mom got the skinny peppermint mocha latte and I got their peach tea. I love Starbuck’s teas. It was also really cold out Saturday morning, so tea was perfect for keeping me warm!

premium outlets charlotte nc ย premium outlets charlotte nc

I felt really bad because the first two hours of Christmas shopping was a fail. I had managed to shop only for myself. I haven’t been shopping in a while because I’ve been so busy, so I got carried away! Whooooops. Treat yo self, right?

premium outlets charlotte nc

I wore my Golden Tote coat to keep me warm! My obsession with this coat is bad. I even wore it to bed the past three nights…

premium outlets charlotte nc ย premium outlets charlotte nc jcrew

J Crew had an awesome sweater sale. I bought a couple new sweaters for the cold months coming up!

premium outlets charlotte nc ย premium outlets charlotte nc

If you live in the Charlotte area, I highly recommend shopping at the Premium Outlets! They have so many stores and always great deals going on.

That’s my beautiful mama!

premium outlets charlotte nc

Plus all the Christmas decorations put me in the spirit even more!

Grapevine Wine Bar Fort Mill Baxter Village ย Grapevine Wine Bar Fort Mill Baxter Village

After we shopped, I decided to take my mom to the Grapevine Wine Bar in Baxter Village. It’s one of my favorite places to go and sometimes I’ll go sit and have a glass of wine by myself. It’s so cozy and the people who work there love to talk. It’s never too busy or crowded, so I bring my school books and read. My mom had never been there and she loves wine just as much as I do.

Grapevine Wine Bar Fort Mill Baxter Village

I had a Pinot Grigioย and my mom had a white Zinfandel.

12386671_956119307767979_514570684_nย Grapevine Wine Bar Fort Mill Baxter Village

I love Pinot Grigioย because it’s not too sweet and not too dry. Its juuuuuust right! (cute poison ivy on the wrist)

Grapevine Wine Bar Fort Mill Baxter Village

After five years of living states away from my parents, I’m so happy they decided to move down south. It’s so nice to be able to spend the day with my mom and make new traditions.

Grapevine Wine Bar Fort Mill Baxter Village

Our bartender made us up a “surprise” tray and everything was delicious. We had crackers, candied pecans, sharp cheddar cheese, brie, honey, dried cranberries, prosciutto, salami, sweet pickles, and sweet roasted red peppers. All of those snacks bring out the flavor in wine. They also have the best bread on the planet. I’ve never had a bread that compares. It comes out warm, cooked with herbs, and lightly sea salted.

Grapevine Wine Bar Fort Mill Baxter Village ย Grapevine Wine Bar Fort Mill Baxter Village

The atmosphere is also really fun in there with so much to look at. I love how crafty and earthy it is. I love their idea of making a backsplash out of wine corks.

Grapevine Wine Bar Fort Mill Baxter Village

Two beautiful ladies!

saturday night fireplace cowboys gameย antipasto

Later that night, I watchedย the Cowboys and Hornets game. I had an antipasto for dinner with a garlic knot. The antipasto had lettuce, provolone, salami, and homemade italian dressing. I also had way too many of Nick’s aunt’sย christmas cookies. Those little melt in your mouth lemon cookies are too good to be legal.

I went to bed at like three am Saturday night because I couldn’t stop watching Empire.

shopping finds: jcrew, bass & co

I woke up early this morning to take out the dogs and to get ready for Church. I decided to go through some of my shopping finds before! I’m obsessed with the new shoes I got at Bass & Co! That is literally my favorite place to buy shoes and 50% of my shoes are from there.

shopping finds: jcrew, bass & co

I also scored on all the new skirts. The Loft had a great sale! I got seven skirts for $70!

j crew sweaterย j crew sweater

It was cold this morning, so I wore my new J Crew winter sweatshirt with a diamond/pearl accent necklace.

j crew sweater

I paired it with a black jean skirt, black tights (couldn’t find my charcoal ones) and booties.

grumples car ride

After church, we picked up the dogs and headed to watch theย Panthers vs. Giants game.

tino car ride

The dogs love riding in the truck with the windows down!

coffee christmas time

I had my yogurt, water, and coffee before preparing myself for my first run in almost two weeks.

running ย running

I still hate running in weather below 60 degrees. My lungs were burning, but I still managed to finish four miles. I got slower towards the end because my legs were on fire from the hills. I’m still shocked I didn’t lose any progress after taking such a long break. I get scared/discouraged to run after stopping. I have to remember that it’s all in my head.

runkeeperMy pale legs and old running shoes were champs today!

Taco Bake Dipย guacamole

Phyllisย made taco dip for the game and homemade guacamole. The taco dip is so good and easy to make! You just top a layer of cream cheese with cooked beef flavored in a taco seasoning packet, salsa, cheese, and bake it for twenty minutes! You could easily make a healthier version with some simple swaps.

veggie tray

I love the veggies dipped in the taco dip and guacamole!

snacking football

After my run, I popped on the couch with my snacks and watched he Panthers kick butt! This has been one successful week and I’m so excited for Christmas!

Three questions for you!

  1. What did you do this weekend?
  2. Do you ever get discouraged after taking a workout break?
  3. Are any of you traveling this holiday season?

kitchen aid giveaway

Don’t forget to enter the KitchenAid Precision Press maker giveaway!
Winners announcedย Monday at Midnight!


  • Karen K

    I have taken a serious workout hiatus and I have yet to get back into it. I hope to soon but I am enjoying time with my husband and snuggling during this cold weather. Once I fall off though it takes me awhile to fully get back into it.
    I was hoping that we would travel this holiday but it didnt work out. I just have to remind myself that I am blessed with all I have even we aren’t together.

    Reply to Karen K
  • Emily

    I wouldn’t say I get discouraged per say, I get more determined. I think the most difficult for me is when I tweak my neck/upper back in Crossfit. I have to modify everything for a few weeks and it kills me inside. But, I would rather modify than quit entirely. It just inspires me to take care of myself better so the next time, I don’t get hurt haha!

    Reply to Emily
  • Emma

    What pita bread do you use for your pizzas?

    Reply to Emma
  • Misty

    This weekend in wisconsin we had decent weather for winter, so a lot of outside and farm chores were done! I do get discouraged if I get out of my routine but it is all in my head too! I have an all or nothing personality,really trying to work on that lol! Thankfully we are not traveling for christmas, we have a dairy farm so it is tough to be away from the farm for very long! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Reply to Misty
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Do you live on a farm? So cool! Would love to hear about your chores. (yes, i find farming interesting) ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emma

    What kind of pita bread do you use for your pizzas?

    Reply to Emma
  • Anonymous

    What kind of pita bread do you use for your pizzas?

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Jenny Evans

    Girl WHAT! Moscow mule mugs are the worst for hot beverages… copper conducts heat like crazy. How did you not burn yourself???

    Reply to Jenny Evans
  • Carlee

    You had a picture of the Kentucky bourbon book but didn’t mention it… Planning a trip? I’m from the Louisville area and the distilleries are great, even if you’re not super into bourbon! The drive through Lexington and seeing the fence lined street and horse farms is gorgeous too! We drove passed it all on our way to Asheville NC Sunday and then continued yesterday onto Charleston for the holidays!

    Reply to Carlee
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Not planning a trip, but would love to go there one day! That is one of my favorite magazines to pick up at Harris Teeter! You’re making me really want to visit!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Alli

    I am so glad to hear that you are feeling better! Poison ivy is no fun. I was on a heavy steroid a few weeks ago and it was so crazy how much it affected me and my mood. I was so irritable while I was taking it! My husband was on it a couple of years ago and experienced the same thing. It really is amazing how much a medication can affect your body.

    1. This past weekend my mom drove down to visit me (she lives about 4 hours away) and we did a ton of Christmas baking! it was really nice to get to spend time with her since I don’t see her as often as I’d like. ๐Ÿ™‚
    2. I absolutely get discouraged when I take a break from working out! Even after a couple of days it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. I find it so funny because my motivation is low but when I finally do make myself work out again it feels so good!
    3. We are visiting home for Christmas! My husband is a police officer and doesn’t usually get holidays off but managed to get the 23rd-26th off this year so we are taking as much advantage of it as possible and trying to see all of our family and friends while we are home – and fit in all of our traditions. ๐Ÿ™‚ It will be busy and exhausting, I’m sure, but so worth it!

    I really enjoy reading your blog – especially these recap posts! Hope you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

    Reply to Alli
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Alli! I agree. It really is crazy how it can affect us! Glad I’m off it!

      1. That is so nice that she came to visit you! I bet that was so much fun ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Thats how I am as well!

      3. That is so great that he got off work! :)Sounds like you guys are going to have a wonderful Christmas.

      xo xo & thank you so much!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brooklyn

    All of your food pics look so yummy!
    And I would love to go to that wine bar, I love wine ?

    I find I always get discouraged after a work out break. I’m just getting over the flu, but in not looking forward to probably dying during my first work out back ?

    Reply to Brooklyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Brooklyn! That wine bar is so much fun ๐Ÿ™‚

      I hope you’re feeling better soon! The flu is NO fun!

      Get better for the holidays!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kate

    Hi Taralynn,

    What vets do you take Grumples and Tino to? I am new to the Charlotte area and need a recommendation!

    Reply to Kate
  • Jen H.

    I love your long posts!!! You’ve been busy. It’s great to see you took some time for yourself to shop and be with your family.

    1. I work at a school so I am currently on Winter Break and have TWO full weeks off. I work three jobs (yes three) and am in grad school so having all this time off is killing me…I’m not use to it!! I busied myself by going to the gym everyday this weekend, visiting family, doing a little shopping today, and of course diving into a good book. I’m currently reading ‘The Invention of Wings’….ever read it?

    2. I absolutely get discouraged after taking a break from working out. I feel as if I’ve sunken into a spiral of bad eating paired with being too unmotivated to workout and its a bad combination. Once I finally muster up the courage to workout, even a short run, I instantly feel better about myself! I will admit, I’m currently in a funk…all of the Christmas parties and holiday baking is sure taking a toll on me. Part of me can’t wait for it to be over so I can get back into my workout and healthy eating routine. Ever feel like that?

    3. We spend Christmas with my aunt and uncle who live only an hour away….so yes I am traveling, if you can call an hour drive ‘traveling’. For NYE we are planning on going up to Wisconsin (I live in Illinois). It’s about a five hour trip so that will be my mini vacation for Winter Break!

    Happiest of holidays, Taralynn! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Jen H.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Jen! It’s always nice to do some things for yourself!

      1. Two weeks off is nice! ๐Ÿ™‚ Take advantage of it! Go get your nails done, hair done, make some coffee, drink some wine, and relax with friends! Go explore new places and little towns! Books are always a good idea! I’ve never read that, but I’m looking for a new book now that my semester is done.

      2. Boom! Me too. I’m currently in a funk as well! Not only was the poison ivy AWFUL, but the meds and lack of workouts have killed me + eating like crap! I am right there with you! I’m trying to make healthier choices at the holiday parties and eat tons of veggies and meat vs the breads and cookies, but it’s hard!

      3. That’ll be fun! Hopefully the weather stays nice for you guys during your trip. We are also making a 5-6 hour drive to D.C. to spend New Years with my brother!

      I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Zey

    1. This weekend my mom came up from Colorado Springs and spent the weekend with me in Denver. We had my boyfriend and his parents over for a pre-Christmas dinner. Lots of good food, it was a blast! On Sunday I went to brunch with my boyfriend and his friend who was home for the holidays.
    2. Absolutely! And I LOVE that you said the fear is all in your head because it really is and I always have to remind myself of that. Even if you’re rusty after a break, it only takes a few workouts to get back into it. It’s so easy to get discouraged though.
    3. I’ll be staying here but would like to travel somewhere soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love your recap posts! Keep them coming. Happy holidays, Taralynn!

    Reply to Zey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That sounds like a blast! I bet Denver is beautiful this time of year. It has finally started to get cold here, but it’s going to be 75 Christmas day! I bet having the family together was a blast and brunch is always fun!

      It really is! I tend to get in my own head while I’m working out all the time! Most things that keep us from reaching our goals are all in our heads ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Seems like you’re going to have a stressless and fun Christmas!!

      xo xo & thank you so much!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Katie Lynn Pote

    This weekend my husband and I hosted an Ugly Christmas Sweater get together. We made homemade sweet and sour chicken and had crackers with ghost pepper dip and tons of sweets. It was a lot of fun.

    I get extremely discoureged after a break. My dad passed away May 9th 2015 from diabetes and heart failure. Im only 24 so my dad is my best friend. I was really into working out and my health and then when my dad passed away I went back home for a month and havent really worked out since. I gained some of the weight back and am extremely self concious now but I am trying to get back to it. One day at a time. I’m just like you in the fact that I always tell myself “tomorrow will be the day..” And I need to stop doing that.
    Unfortunalty no traveling this Holiday. I will just be staying home with my husband and our dogs and cats. But we been doing our own little traditions to make the Holidays better (:

    Reply to Katie Lynn Pote
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That literally sounds like so much fun! I keep seeing ugly sweater parties pop up on my Facebook feed and i’m so jealous. I think next year, we will have to throw one too! I love the idea of making homemade sweet and sour chicken! YUM! Did you do that in a crockpot?

      I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. I can’t imagine how hard that was and how hard it still is. Keep hanging in there and just know he’s watching over you! You just have to give yourself a break and time to cope before you worry about working out or getting discouraged. Sometimes when I’m in a rut or not having a great day, I like to just put my headphones on and go for really long long walks. You could always try that!

      New traditions are always fun! You’ll be with the one you love!

      xo xo
      & Merry Christmas Katie Lynn!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Katie Lynn Pote

        Thank you so much for the kind words (:
        The homemade sweet and sour chicken was made on the stove top. We took a chicken breast and cut it up and fried them. Then we made the sauce which has white vinagar, sugar, pineapple juice, ketchup and corn starch. Mixed all that together and boiled it. Then we poured it over the chicken. It was delish. (:

        Reply to Katie Lynn Pote
  • Blair

    Hey Taralynn,

    I was just curious to know if it’s possible to get the taco dip recipe?

    I also look forward to your mocha peppermint bark too.

    Merry Christmas!!

    Reply to Blair
  • Emily B

    1. My husband and I traveled to see our “surrogate family” who live about 3.5 hours away. It’s a family of a couple who are quite a bit older than us and they have 3 boys. We became their adopted children of sorts when we lived in the same town. They are our best friends so we love to see them. The boys played tons of games while the ladies watched Christmas movies and did “grown up” coloring.
    2. On a regular weekly schedule I rarely go 3 days without working out. I am for 4-5 days a week. If I am on vacation then I don’t usually work out but I find getting back into the work out routine take just a day or two. The longest I’ve gone without a regular workout schedule was last December when I had my gallbladder removed, I really had to take it easy. I tried to do the elliptical 8 days after surgery and I was on it for 5 minutes and my whole body rebelled and I was in miserable pain all day. So I had to ease my way back into exercise with easy treadmill walking for about a week or so.
    3. Not this year! We moved back to my hometown in August and my parents still live here so we travel about 6 blocks for Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚ although we will go to see my husband’s family over New Year’s to celebrate Christmas with them!

    Stoked for the peppermint mocha bark recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
    Merry Christmas!

    Reply to Emily B
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Wow! That is so fun ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like you had a great weekend!

      Sounds like you went through some painful stuff there ๐Ÿ™ Glad you’re doing better!

      That is great:) & makes it less stressful!

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Melissa FitzGerald

    1. This weekend was full of some very necessary relaxation! My semester ended on Thursday, so I spent the weekend hanging out with some friends and catching up on all of the household chores I neglected during finals week. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. I get SO discouraged! I was in physical therapy about two years ago for some knee issues, and I had to stop working out for those 6 months because my doctor didn’t want my workouts to interfere with recovery. I’ve been out of therapy for over a year, but I’m so nervous to get back into my workout routine/embarrassed to be essentially “starting all over” with my 80-lb. weight loss!

    3. Nope! This is the first year ever I’m spending Christmas away from my family (couldn’t take off from work, boo). I’m a little sad, but my roommate’s going to take me to Chinatown and to a movie and show me what a Jewish Christmas is all about, so I’m looking forward to that!

    Reply to Melissa FitzGerald
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Mine ended as well ๐Ÿ™‚ I love relaxing weekends!~ & you deserved it!

      Seems like we all do :/ You shouldn’t be embarrassed at all. You can’t help injuries and you’re smart for listening to your doctor! You can do this ๐Ÿ™‚ Just take one day at a time!

      So sorry you couldn’t take off work ๐Ÿ™ I bet you and your roommate will have so much fun though! Chinatown sounds awesome!!

      Happy Holidays Melissa!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Carrie

    We were full of Christmas parties this weekend and tons of food! We live in New Mexico and the holidays bring out all the special food we make here… Definitely not fat free!! Although, there is nothing like traditional homemade new Mexican food can’t get it anywhere else!

    I am constantly discouraged when working out period. I really wish I could get into a good routine and not put the pressure to be the best and look the best right away! I have always wanted to run I need to get the courage to do it and start slow. I admire you and your running.

    We will head to my in laws for new years which is about 3 hours away! Otherwise you can’t beat being home for Christmas!!

    Reply to Carrie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That sounds like a fun weekend! Does fat free ever exist on Christmas lol?

      I always look at working out as increasing my strength and being strong and faster vs looking good. It helps! I pay attention to my progress when it comes to how much I’m working out. Running and I used to hate each other! You just have to slowly start doing it!

      That’ll be so much fun!!

      Merry Christmas!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessie @ The Acquired Sass

    1. Lots of hiking this weekend as well as a hangout with an old friend.
    2. Yes. Especially when it comes to lifting weights. Running is hard endurance wise, but not being able to lift weights that were once easy is very discouraging.
    3. Heading home to KY & then further south to visit some more family in Mississippi. It’s going to be quite the trip.

    Reply to Jessie @ The Acquired Sass
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hiking sounds like so much fun! I need to go soon!

      I’m always bad about doing weights! I don’t do it enough.

      That is going to be quite the trip, you’re right! But it’ll be fun ๐Ÿ™‚

      Merry Christmas Jessie!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Alyssa


    You are so beautiful and I love your natural look. I find it discouraging to see bloggers with tons and tons of makeup on. I like that I can see your flaws, freckles, and gorgeous REAL skin tone. Thank you for being you.


    Reply to Alyssa
  • Heather @ Polyglot Jot

    Looks like a great few days! I often get discouraged when I take a break from working out. But I’m almost always surprised at how quickly I eventually bounce back. The first workouts always the toughest!

    Reply to Heather @ Polyglot Jot
  • Maxi

    Sounds like a very fun week/weekend! Sorry to hear about your poison ivy, that must be no fun at all! I love the outlets in Charlotte- I moved back to MD with my family last year, but I lived in Charlotte for 3 years and it is such an incredible place to be!

    I am a competitive runner, and I still get nervous/scared to stop in the middle of a run if I feel like something needs stretching or if my breathing is off. But sometimes the quick rest is a nice “refresh” button and your body jumps back on track afterwards. I always have to remember that too! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Holidays!!

    Reply to Maxi
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It definitely was!

      The poison ivy was awful, but its FINALLY healing. I love MD, but LOVE Charlotte! It really is a great place to be! You’re going to have warm weather for Christmas though! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you for the tips! I hate taking a couple weeks off, but I bet it’s good for me!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Tara

    I get so discouraged after not running. I was hurt for 6 months and starting back was a HUGE challenge, but it was all in my head! I found a training plan, and it helped me get going again! You’re making me want to go shopping! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Tara
  • Melissa

    Hey Tara!

    I love these posts ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet they’re also fun for you to look back on! I do a few recap posts, and when I read back in a few months, I love remembering all the little things.

    I’m right with you being a fan of anything lemon & also wine! I made some non-traditional Christmas cookies that seriously remind me of a cloud. You should check them out ๐Ÿ™‚ They’re really simple!

    1. This weekend I flew up to Pittsburgh to surprise my best friend! She got engaged this weekend so I decided to go up and surprise her for the celebration.

    2. YES. Especially when you get off track :/ It’s hard once you lose that motivation for a bit. I’m currently trying to get back into the swing of things.

    3. My boyfriend and I are going to be traveling a lot this month. We leave from Florida to my moms in North Carolina on Wednesday, staying for a few days then driving up to Philly & New Jersey to see his family. After New Years, we’ll drive back to my moms & then head back to Florida.


    Reply to Melissa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey Melissa!

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I do love reminiscing on my week.

      Those lemon cookies really do look like a cloud! I bet they were so good. Thank you for sharing!

      1. That is seriously the sweetest thing ever! I bet she was excited to see you & congrats to your best friend! How exciting ๐Ÿ™‚
      2. Glad I’m not the only one! This cold weather is the worst…but I have a treadmill so no excuses lol
      3. That is A LOT of traveling! But it’ll be fun to document for your blog! What part of North Carolina? We are going to be going to D.C. for New Years! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lauren

    1. This weekend my fiance and I were busy with wonderful Christmas things! Friday we went to this street in our neighbourhood that goes all out when it comes to decorating for Christmas. We walked around with my brother and sister,and had hot chocolate. Saturday we went to our friends Christmas party in the afternoon, then my fiances work Christmas party. Sunday we went to my uncles house and did tree trimming and Christmas with all 40 members of my dads family.
    2. Always! I’ve had to take a workout break since last week due to an inner ear infection that’s given me some awful temporary vertigo and I can’t even stand for more than a few minutes! I worry I won’t be able to push as hard in Yoga, lift as heavy, or do as many pushups when I’m able to workout again
    3.Not for us! We are lucky enough to have both of our family’s in the same city

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Taralynn! Thank you for all of your blogging (I’ve been reading your blog for 5 years now!)


    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      1. I love Christmasy activities ๐Ÿ™‚ I remember going to a street that went all out for Christmas in Georgia! It’s so cool to see a neighborhood come together like that. & that is a whole lot of Christmas parties! Sounds like such a fun and merry weekend!

      2. Ugh. I hope you get better soon becuase that sound very painful!

      3. Thats the way I like it!

      Merry Christmas to you as well and thank you so much for reading all of these years! That means the world to me ๐Ÿ™‚

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily Weir

    Glad to see you’re finally on the mend from poison ivy! Looked like you had a nasty case of it. And your running times looked great for having taken a break, especially that first mile. I skipped my run this morning and opted for more sleep, but I’ve learned to just appreciate the breaks since I usually have better runs once I get back to it. Enjoy your holidays for your and Nick’s family! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Emily Weir
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Emily! That first mile was a shocker for me, but then the hills appeared lol. I don’t blame you as I’m not a morning runner! ๐Ÿ™‚ & I hope you have a great holiday as well! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • sarah

    I think you mean pinot grigio ๐Ÿ™‚ Pinot noir is a red wine, but all your pics above show you with a white

    Reply to sarah
  • Rachel

    I get super discouraged but I’m part of running groups on Facebook and they’re super encouraging and also a reminder that I learned from season runners is to take breaks! I’ve taken a week off and PR’d some times! Recently I started hitting 8-9 minute miles consistently. They always tell me it takes 6 weeks to START to lose any progress so hang in there if you have to take breaks! You’re doing amazing and so glad to hear you’re feeling better. I also hate running in the cold. So I cheat and do the treadmill on incline running to keep stamina. Right now I’m eating breakfast trying to get myself to go run in about an hour or two, wish me luck. I’ve been trying to take it easy on myself especially around the holidays. I like to do Yoga with Adriene (Adriane?) she’s awesome when I feel just blah. This weekend I ate too much Mexican food and drank a few margaritas but I figure I’ll just watch friends and hit the treadmill. I’m not traveling anywhere. Great deals on the sales! You should do some more posts about your outfits!

    Reply to Rachel
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I love that! I think I’m going to join a running group this spring! I’m glad to hear that it takes 6 weeks! I read somewhere that you have to run twice a week to keep progress so that has been stuck in my head lol

      I hate the cold and hate running on the treadmill, but always opt for the treadmill! Good luck on that run!!

      I love doing yoga videos and I’m still looking for a good gym that offers classes and yoga around me! (just for the winter) This weekend, I ate too much bad food as well! That is the beauty of the winter and the holidays! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I think the outfit posts are fun! I want to keep doing them.


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Katharine

    Love these recap posts! I used to make pita pizzas all the time with my roommates. They were quick, easy, and delicious!

    1. I graduated college this weekend! So that was super exciting. We also went out to celebrate!
    2. I usually just stick to workout classes and that’s probably because I know I will get discouraged if I give myself a break haha
    3. No traveling for me (except to my grandma’s an hour away). I’m lucky all my family and my boyfriend’s family live so close.

    Reply to Katharine
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks Katharine! I love doing them ๐Ÿ™‚

      Pita pizzas are so easy to make! & really help when you have those pizza cravings!

      1. Congrats on graduating!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
      2. I love workout classes and need to find a new place here to go! I miss my gym in ATL. I would go twice a day becuase it was so much fun!
      3. Sounds like you’re going to have a good Christmas! I think the traveling makes everything so stressful!

      Merry Christmas!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • nikita khara

    Since I’m a resident of the midwest I think it’s so funny/interesting that you don’t enjoy running in weather under 60. It’s crazy how fast you got used to the weather in the south. We’ve been having surprisingly warm weather here…it was just 40 degrees!! crazy, as I’m used to 0 degrees in December. I find running to be fine as long as the temp isn’t below 30 degrees, and the sidewalks aren’t icy ๐Ÿ˜›

    Reply to nikita khara
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It does sound pathetic! I never thought my body would think 50 degrees was cold, but for some reason my lungs burn if it’s below 60! I know I’ll get used to it! I remember when 35-40 degrees was warm! We’d wear t-shirts in Iowa at 40 degrees! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to run in below 30 ever again!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Hannah

    I wish we were friends! I would go to the wine bar all the time with you. That spread looks so good and Baxter Village sounds so lovely!

    Reply to Hannah
  • Alena

    I absolutely get discouraged when I stop working out! I am a runner too and I haven’t ran in about a month. It started off with a bad cold and then once I felt better I just haven’t gotten back into it. I had a dream the other night that I was running and I took it as a sign that I need to pick it back up.. And I will!! Xox

    Reply to Alena
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That happens to me! I just have to force myself to get out there and do the first run after the break and then I’m good to go! I don’t know what the “fear” comes from. Maybe the fact that I’ve built up so much progress and I’m afraid to see how much of it I lost! Who knows! I have no doubt you’ll be back at it soon! You just have to take the first step! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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