Labor Day Weekend & Stuff

Hey Everyone!

I’m totally sucked into this new show. I don’t know why I do this to myself. SMH. I like to watch movies in the kitchen while I cook or bake, so I decided to see what was on Amazon Prime. I saw a show called Red Oaks and decided to give it a shot. I just needed some background noise that wasn’t my upstairs neighbors (they currently have no chill.) I didn’t think this show was going to be anything special, but it turned into a serious binge-watch. I only planned on cutting up some fresh fruit to put into containers, but ended up meal prepping almost everything because I didn’t want to stop watching. Red Oaks doesn’t compare to The Night Of or anything like that, but it’s definitely worth the watch.

I just turned the show back on and now I get to end my night binge-watching and blogging.
I’m kind of glad I got all the cooking out of the way. The reason I’ve been getting into meal prepping is because I’m horrible at decision making. Surprise. Surprise. I never know what I want for dinner and by the time dinner rolls around, I have no groceries for the meal and I’m too hungry to go get anything. I’ll end up eating random things in the fridge or snacking for dinner. Keeping prepped food in my fridge takes away the pressure to make a decision and saves tons of time. I used to be so good at decision and now I literally flip coins.

Tonight I had ground turkey, brown rice and my chicken and vegetable stir-fry.
morning walk morning walkGrumples and I woke up at 6am for our walk. It’s BEAUTIFUL in the mornings and he can go four miles without stopping. It was about 62 degrees and breezy. I look forward to fall and winter because Grumples gets to be more active and it’s just too hot in the summer for him.
afternoon walk with grumples the goldendoodle afternoon walk with grumples the goldendoodle
After I finished up some afternoon work, I took Grumples to the park for a walk. I even grabbed a green juice to take with us for lunch. The vet said he needed to lose thirteen pounds, so he’s getting longer walks during the cool mornings and frequent short walks during the day. He’s already lost two pounds, which is a healthy rate. He’s supposed to be losing 1% of his bodyweight per week for the next thirteen weeks. I’m not cutting back on his food since it’s a healthy amount, but I’ve cut back on treats and increased his exercise. fort mill sc ann springs
Grumples acts like a human. He loves car rides and gets so excited when he sees horses or cows. Sometimes we leave my place just to take a drive and get out for a bit. He likes to stick his head out the window with his hair flying in the wind. fort mill sc
This is one of my favorite roads to run and bike on, especially when the sun is rising. food prep stir fry
This stir-fry had carrots, chicken, bell peppers, onion, olive oil and low sodium soy sauce. I cooked the chicken separately to prevent it from overcooking. The carrots take the longest to cook, so start with them first!

Stir-fry Recipefood prep
I made stir fry, cooked up some ground turkey, brown riced, boiled eggs, baked sweet potato, diced pineapple, and prepared some grapes.

I also bought Greek yogurt, dark chocolate, oatmeal, broccoli steam bags, mixed nuts, brussels sprouts, steak, spinach, bananas, ingredients to make juices and healthy baked goods.
whole wheat healthy maple pecan pumpkin muffins whole wheat healthy maple pecan pumpkin muffins
I made maple pecan pumpkin muffins this afternoon that are to die for. They are SUPER healthy and I’m so excited to share the recipe. They turned out so well. I was standing in the aisle at the grocery store and they had an entire pumpkin section. They had pumpkin everything. Almost every brand joined the pumpkin cult this season. The options were endless. Most of the items were cookies and sugary treats, so I decided to bake something on the healthier side.

I will make sure to share the recipe tomorrow! I need to blog about my weekend first 🙂

Rewinding back to Friday.

It was pouring all day Friday because of hurricane Hermine. I caught up on a lot of work and then did some cleaning around the place. Fridays are always my power cleaning days.
Rainy Friday Lunch Rainy Friday Lunch
I wasn’t feeling so great on Friday, so I was happy that it was raining because it forced me to chill inside all day.

For lunch I made a grilled over-easy eggs, cucumber, bell pepper, multigrain pita chips, guacamole and hummus. Friday Night Gym Date
I get cabin fever easily, so I met Becca at the gym for a Friday night session. Exercising helps with cramps and it’s always nice to have those endorphins pumping when you’re feeling irritable. Friday Night Gym Date Friday Night Gym Date
We both ran two miles on the treadmill for a warm up and then did an hour circuit. derpgym
Always goofing off 🙂

We love ending out workouts with a sauna session. zucchini pizzas
I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and picked up ingredients to make zucchini pizzas. I love making these when I’m craving pizza. saturday morning river walk
Kyle and I headed to the Riverwalk to do seven miles early Saturday morning. It felt like fall outside. It was chilly and the leaves were falling. It put me in the best mood ever.foxbrim

I did my facial routine after the workout! You can read all about my routine here 🙂
saturday morning lunchI made a quick lunch when I got back. I had eggs, pita chips, hummus, guacamole, cucumber, and bell pepper. I was trying to use up the last bit of the groceries.
grumples uptown charlotte nc go hawk eyes
It was HAWKEYE Football Saturday, so I converted Kyle 🙂 It was a win too! This Saturday is the big game against Iowa State! Charlotte NC 4th ward
We took Grumples for a little stroll in the park after the game. The sky was glowing and I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s funny how nature has a way of putting us in a good mood. It’s truly beautiful. football saturday dinner
We decided to cook dinner and relax on Saturday night. Kyle grilled up Jamaican Jerk chicken breast (for me) and a couple Jalapeño cheddar burgers. I made a quick side caesar salad to go with it all.
grilled Jamaican jerk chicken and saladIf I had to eat that chicken every night for the rest of my life…I wouldn’t even be mad about it. It was so delicious!treat for grumples
I’ve mentioned Grumples behavior issues in previous posts, but I just wanted to update you all. I feel like he isn’t even the same dog anymore. I never used to be able to take him on walks with large groups of people around, he’d lunge at cars and other dogs. He isn’t treat oriented and it was almost impossible to break his attention, which is really bad. I couldn’t even walk by people without him getting into a stalking position, like a cat that was about to pounce. It was the most frustrating thing in the world. It’s hard to explain to a person that my dog is so friendly when he’s barking his head off. He loves people and he loves other dogs, but the leash was making him aggressive.

Kyle has been working with him almost everyday and has so much patience with him. We traded in his leash and collar for the ROK Straps Leash and a Ruffwear Front Range Harness. The leash gives us more control and the harness makes it harder for him to lunge. It’s also more comfortable on him because it’s padded.

He’s been giving Grumples the confidence to walk without acting up and has changed his behavior tremendously. We decided (Kyle decided because I was hesitant) to walk him a couple miles uptown to grab coffee at Amelie’s French Bakery. We had given him several mini trial rounds and believed he was officially ready. He proved himself at the park and on the back roads.

Grumples walked by tons of people, cars, buses, bikes, segway, runners and didn’t do a single thing. He sat before crossing the street, he stayed on the right side while walking and didn’t try to walk ahead.  He didn’t pull, he didn’t lunge, he was perfect. I went in to grab coffee and he sat outside by a table with Kyle. He let people pet him, walk by him and he was the happiest dog in the world. I may have shed a tear because we hit an incredible milestone. This was not the same Grumples seven months ago.

He deserved the best reward. We always save the empty bottles of peanut butter for him to clean out. We were waiting to give this one to him for something special and I thought this moment was pretty special. He deserved this one without a doubt! He doesn’t get treats anymore because of his diet, so he was one lucky pup (Plus there wasn’t more than a tablespoon left in that container.)amelies fall flavors
The seasonal flavors have arrived at Amelies Bakery! We had a maple bacon, pumpkin pecan praline (holy deliciousness) and pecan pie. I also ordered a Le Sombre Chai. It’s my favorite caffeine treat (whenever I go for something sweet) and the perfect way to end a Saturday night. Uptown Charlotte NC
I met up with Becca early Sunday morning for a long uptown walk. The streets were empty and it felt like the city was all ours. The weekend weather couldn’t have been anymore perfect.
Tupelo Honey Breakfast uptown charlotte nc
After our four miles of walking, we decided to have breakfast at Tupelo Honey. I’ve had lunch and dinner there, but never breakfast. I’ve heard so many good things, so I was excited to give it a shot. Since the weather was so beautiful, and certainly wouldn’t last forever, we decided to have breakfast outside.Tupelo Honey Breakfast
I’ve been trying to lay off the Fall spirit until it gets cooler out, but the weekend weather made it really hard and now all I can think about is fall. Everywhere I go fall slaps me in the face. I’m trying not to rush off the summer so fast because I know I’ll be missing it around January. I sometimes wish our seasons would change every two months. Tupelo Honey Breakfast
Tupelo Honey isn’t a place I’d go if you’re looking for a super healthy breakfast. I was kind of sad when wheat toast and fresh fruit was missing from the menu, but at least eggs and bacon were still present. Tupelo Honey Breakfast
I ordered the Tupelo Genuine Country Breakfast. It came with two all-natural, farm fresh eggs, over easy, with apple cider smoked bacon, potato cracklins and kale. I tried really hard not to eat too many of the potatoes because they were extremely delicious and sinfully fried. I didn’t want that in my stomach before a workout. saturday gym time
We ran a couple of errands after breakfast and then headed to the gym for a workout. I did four miles on the treadmill and played around with the incline the entire time. saturday gym
We only did about thirty minutes of ab workouts and played around with the palates ball. no cow bars
I had one of my favorite bars after my workout.  No Cow Bars <3
Plaza Midwood Antique & thrift shopping Charlotte NC Plaza Midwood Antique & thrift shopping Charlotte NCPlaza Midwood Antique & thrift shopping Charlotte NC Plaza Midwood Antique & thrift shopping Charlotte NC
I headed back to shower and get ready for the day after the gym. Becca and I decided to visit some shops in Plaza Midwood. We love antique stores and thrift shops. Plaza Midwood Antique & thrift shopping Charlotte NC

Plaza Midwood has tons of little antique shops and unique stores. It’s definitely a hip neighborhood.
Plaza Midwood Antique & thrift shopping Charlotte NC Plaza Midwood Antique & thrift shopping Charlotte NC
I still like Waxhaw better for antiquing. The antiques and thrift shops in Plaza Midwood are way overpriced.
Plaza Midwood Antique & thrift shopping Charlotte NC IKEA CANDY
We headed to Ikea so I could pick up some organizing shelves for my closet and office. We decided to split a Greek yogurt soft serve ice cream cone! IKEA CANDY
We also tried some swedish candy. Very interesting.
I’ve never left Ikea without a new stuffed animal. You’re never too old…Bakersfield Charlotte NC
After our errands, we decided to grab dinner at Bakersfield with Kyle and his friend Steve. Bakersfield has the best salads, so I was happy. They also have great queso and guacamole. Bakersfield Charlotte North CAROLINA BAKERSFIELD CHARLOTTE NC
The Jonny has mixed greens, bacon, cotija cheese, hearts of palm, avocado, red onion, toasted almonds, and a side of buttermilk chive dressing.Menchies Charlotte nc
We walked next door to grab frozen yogurt for dessert! Treat yo self. I had the no sugar added vanilla with a couple of my favorite toppings. I like to add a small amount to hit the spot. Sunday Morning
I enjoyed my morning coffee Labor Day morning while the sun came up. I love the rays that shine through the windows. I wake up around 6:30 am on weekend mornings so I can reply to blog comments and watch the news.
Sunday Morning sunday morning
We decided to take Grumples for a couple miles uptown so he could get in a good workout before it go too hot outside.
Uptown Walk With Grumples

My boys <3
Uptown Walk With Grumples Uptown Walk With Grumples
I’m such a proud dog mom.
Uptown Walk With Grumples This is why mornings are the best part of the day.
Uptown Walk With Grumples Uptown Walk With Grumples
Grumples loves climbing the rocks! mr grumples the golden doodle
Happy boy!
Charlotte NC Leatherman Golf Charlotte NC
Becca and I headed to the driving range to hit some balls Monday afternoon. LEATHERMAN GOLF CHARLOTTE NC
It was such a beautiful day. COCO AND THE DIRECTOR
We had been wanting to try the new coffee shop in uptown, Coco & The Director. Coco And The Director Coffee Shop Charlotte North Carolina Coco And The Director Coffee Shop Charlotte North Carolina
This IS HANDS DOWN the coolest coffee shop I’ve ever been to. It’s huge…and they have so many options to choose from. Coco And The Director Coffee Shop Charlotte North Carolina
They have an upstairs, a gift shop, seating everywhere and a giant T.V. so you can watch the panthers games (just incase breweries aren’t your scene.)
Coco And The Director Coffee Shop Charlotte North Carolina Coco And The Director Coffee Shop Charlotte North Carolina
They have books to read, game boards to play, and places for you to work. They even have big tables for large groups. Coco And The Director Coffee Shop Charlotte North Carolina
Coco & the Director supports community artisans and locally sourced products and represent the best of Charlotte. That is how they get the “CO.” It comes from their favorite words like COffee, COmmunity, COnnection, COllaboration…Pretty clever 😉
Coco And The Director Coffee Shop Charlotte North Carolina COCOANDTHEDIRECTOR
I had a latte with coconut milk. It was rich and creamy, just the way I like it. I also ordered a Greek yogurt with mixed fruit n nut granola. The prices were VERY reasonable too.
I love this place so much and it’s now on the top of my favorite coffee spots in charlotte. COCO AND THE DIRECTOR COCO AND THE DIRECTOR CHARLOTTE NC
Love our coffee dates<3Protein pancakes
Kyle and I made banana egg protein pancakes for dinner. Protein pancakes
He made chocolate ones and I made plain. Protein pancakes
We used bananas, eggs, flapjacked, water, and protein powder.   Protein pancakes
Pancake perfection <3Protein pancakes
We added Melt spread and maple syrup on top. Protein pancakes
Whenever I get a sweet tooth at night, I have chocolate protein plus Bolthouse farms! It really does the trick. Chocolate almond milk works too.
cardio oatsI woke up early on Tuesday morning to have breakfast and coffee before spin class. I had low sugar apple cinnamon oatmeal and coffee. 
I love doing spin class once a week to take a break from running. It’s so much fun and I love that my studio incorporates weights and strength training during the ride. <a href=
This is the best post workout recovery drink I’ve ever had! It’s the Isopure Amino Supplement and Kyle has me hooked on it.
tropical berry protein shake Before I sat down to work, I made a delicious protein shake. tropical berry protein shake
It had 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, 1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder, 1 cup frozen raspberries, peaches and pineapples, 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk, 1 cup ice, 1 packet stevia stevia and 1/4 cup water.
afternoon walk afternoon walk
I was feeling really sore late in the afternoon, so I decided to go for a jog to loosen up the muscles. Look at those leaves! They’re falling fast 🙂
leftovers cashew milk latte
I had leftovers for dinner and a decaf cashew milk latte. I don’t really like almond milk when it’s hot, but cashew milk is creamy and tastes just like milk! leftovers
I caught up on Bachelor in Paradise and enjoyed the rest of my night! <3

Questions for you!

  1. What is one food product that you’d like to see “pumpkin flavored.”
  2. What did you do for Labor Day Weekend?
  3. What is your go-to breakfast before a cardio workout?
  4. Are you exited that football is back?


  • corbin

    Cute blog

    Reply to corbin
  • Roxanna

    I love the Isopure Aminos! The alpine punch is actually my least favorite flavor. The cherry lime is my favorite and the grape my second favorite – have you tried those?

    Reply to Roxanna
  • Taylor

    Hi Taralynn! My poor puppy also has to lose some weight. We took her to the vet and found out she needed to lose 8 lbs. She is a golden retriever who is 1.5 years old and weights 87 lbs. Our relatives have her sister who only weighs 60 lbs. We’re going to aim for about 10 as our goal. Anyway, the vet asked how we measure our food and we were using a scoop which we found can be inaccurate. They gave us a measuring cup and told us to start with that. I compared the scoop with the cup and we were giving her almost an extra half cup every day!!! Just by switching to a cup and measuring correctly, she has already lost a few lbs. I know you don’t want to give him any less food, but the vet also suggested giving a little bit less food and adding green beans to keep them full with less calories and our dog loves it! She seems more interested in eating now and absolutely loves green beans and is getting the weight off faster, but still at a healthy rate. Maybe something to consider!

    Reply to Taylor
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Taylor! So funny you should mention the green beans. I do that with Grumples 🙂 I cook up fresh green beans and add them to his food. 🙂 it’s so good for them and they are filling. He’s doing so well and has dropped some healthy pounds! Glad you’re doing the same! You’re such a good dog mom! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jane

    More photos of kyle please.

    Reply to Jane
  • Lauren @ Following the Path of Life

    Oh, wow…that is so exciting about Grumples!!! I am so happy for you about how well he’s doing — that truly is a major success! And what a blessing to have a guy like Kyle in your life who gets along so well with Grumples, too. 🙂

    1. Oooo….I can’t think of anything that isn’t already “pumkinized”…bread, cookies, oatmeal, cereal, cereal, ice cream…. Oh! Wait…pumpkin pretzels!!!!

    2. Completed some odd jobs around the house, serve d dinner at church, read A LOT in Tolkein’s Two Towers, and worked on our fence around the backyard.

    3. Oatmeal…always oatmeal. 🙂

    4. Hehe…I’m actually not much of a sports person. But if it means that I get to play “hostess” and come up with fun appetizer recipes for guests, then sure!

    Reply to Lauren @ Following the Path of Life
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Lauren!

      Loved your snaps of the pup this weekend. Such a cutie! I think he likes Grumples more than he likes me! Makes me so happy to see him that way. 🙂 Grumples really loves him!

      PUMPKIN PRETZELS! YES:) They have pumpkin coated pretzels, but imagine a soft pumpkin spice pretzel??

      Sounds like you had a heck of a weekend! Are you guys building a new fence?

      OATMEAL 🙂

      I love playing “hostess” every now and then too because I love an excuse to cook!!

      xo xo

      Hope you have a great week Lauren!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Joz

    Becca is looking AMAZING these days! So great you two can be there to support each other in your journey to health! I’ve heard about taking amigos after workouts, how do they work? Do they help with soreness? Have a wonderful Sunday!

    Reply to Joz
    • Taralynn McNitt

      She is looking UGHMAZZING! She’s working so hard and I couldn’t be more proud of her!

      I love that I have a friend that enjoys working out and eating healthy with me! She motivates me to keep going 🙂 The Aminos REALLLLLY help after a workout!!

      Hop you have a great week !

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mal

    You are so SO PRETTY!

    Reply to Mal
  • Leslie

    So happy for Grumples!

    You make me want to live in Charlotte so bad. My parents are moving to Hilton Head soon and I may have to stop in Charlotte on my way down.

    Thank you for always filling my day with happiness.

    Stay positive!

    Reply to Leslie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Leslie!

      Funny you should mention Hilton Head. My parents just took a trip down there over the weekend and fell in love. Now they’re talking about making the move! 😉 Would be cool to have a getaway so close to the beach.

      You should definitely shop in Charlotte. It’s a great place 🙂

      & thank you for the kind word!!

      xo xo Taralynn

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Liv

    Love the post as always…Grumples is the cutest fluffball I have EVER seen. ?
    Do you have any tips for keeping the food you meal prep fresh? I always try to prep fruits and stuff at the beginning of the week and they seem to go bad within a few days…also, how long does the stir fry/turkey/ rice last in the fridge? All week, or do you meal prep every three days or so?

    Also any tips on how to stay motivated to exercise with a busy college schedule? I may walk three miles a day back and forth to class, but still want to try weight lifting and all! I’m sure meal prepping is the answer to my bad meal plan eating habits, especially since I’m a commuter now..

    Thanks and have a fantastic week!

    Reply to Liv
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Liv!

      He truly is the best dog ever! Love him so much.

      I meal prep once a week when I can but the food seems to last a good seven days. It shouldn’t be going bad after a couple of days. Maybe start freezing it? You can just defrost it and have it for dinner. Have you checked the temps on your fridge to make sure they’re at the right setting?

      Walking three miles a day is great. Maybe try to fit in some cardio and weights 3-4 times a week. Maybe lay on the floor while you’re studying and do some leg lifts, lift dumbbells, and fit in some strength training while studying! I used to do that all the time back in school and I found that it helped. Meal prepping will definitely help if you stick to it as well!

      xo xo xo


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Liv

        Thanks for taking the time to answer, always love your tips!

        Reply to Liv
  • Brittany M.

    Hi Taralynn! I just want to try the pumpkin Cheerios! They look delicious! Labor Day weekend I worked but it was great because I was paid overtime pay! Unfortunately I haven’t done cardio in a while! It’s shameful! I’m excited for football season! It just ties into the whole fall theme! I have a few questions for you!

    What was your final turning point to engage in a healthy lifestyle?

    What keeps you motivated?

    Do you have any faith-based beliefs that guide your healthy living practices?

    What do you use to season ground turkey?

    It would be great to hear back from you. I know that you inspire so many people! I look forward to your posts! Have a great weekend!

    Reply to Brittany M.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Brittany!

      Those pumpkin cheerios are so good! Getting paid overtime is always a plus 🙂

      1. The way I feel when I eat healthy and workout makes everything worth it. I don’t feel like myself when I’m off the wagon. I see a lot of scary health issues with the food we eat, being overweight, and I just want to be the healthiest and happiest version of myself.

      2. I stay motivated by having FUN with my healthy lifestyle. I have a best friend that loves working out with me, I find it fun to make healthy recipes, I compete with myself when it comes to running, and to be 100% my readers keep me motivated. If I fall flat, start eating bad and load on some pounds, it doesn’t go unnoticed and that’s enough motivation to keep me going! Feeling the best in my own skin is what really motivates me.

      3. My mom used to always say that your body is a temple and god gives you one, so take care of it. That really does stick with me.

      4. Low sodium soy sauce and garlic powder.

      I hope you have the best weekend!

      xo xo

      & don’t work too hard!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessie @ The Acquired Sass

    1. Hmm, I feel like I’ve seen it all, but TJ’s had some delicious mini pumpkin ice cream sandwiches last year with like a pumpkin cookie & then pumpkin ice cream in the middle & they were SO good. I also go full on basic white girl, and gobble up anything pumpkin I can get my hands on. No shame.

    2. I headed back to KY to see my fam for Labor Day, it was my Dad’s b-day & my brother just got home from a summer long hike, so it was good to see him too.

    3. Umm, depending on how long I’m working out I’ll often workout on an empty stomach, mostly out of laziness. But I love either a banana or a HB egg. If it’s a long run on the weekends or a race I usually have overnight oats or regular oatmeal with some protein powder & greek yogurt, ’cause nothing worse than gnawing hunger while you workout.

    4. Meh. I’m excited that tailgates & tailgate food is back. Haha. But football doesn’t really do anything for me. College basketball on the other hand is my jam.

    Happy Friday & so glad to hear that Grumples is doing better. Having a pup that behaves well just makes doing fun things like taking them on walks, to the park, or even a restaurant so much easier & stress free!

    Also, I was hoping your site upgrade would have this as a feature, but I never get an email when you respond to a comment, nor do I get the option to opt in for an email response. I feel like you take a lot of time to respond, so I would hope that isn’t wasted on ppl who never check back to see a response.

    Reply to Jessie @ The Acquired Sass
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey Jessie!!

      No shame in your pumpkin game for sure! All of those foods just made my mouth water.

      Sounds like you had a great weekend and you are ALWAYS on the go. I love it. Seems like your brother is just as adventurous as you are.

      I agree with that. I just can’t workout on a hungry stomach. I love the banana for a quick source. How do you prepare your overnight oats! I’ve never done that because I hate the “sogginess” but maybe I’m doing mine all wrong!

      I agree. I have wanted to take him places and it’s hard when he acts up! He’s a part of the family and I want him to feel welcomed always.

      I will definitely look into that! It should be sending out notifications. I’ll let you know as soon as that is fixed & thank you for letting me know!

      I hope you had a great weekend and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

      xo xo


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Jessie @ The Acquired Sass

        I do 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/4-ish cup greek yogurt + half scoop protein powder, usually a TBS or 2 of PB2. I prep a whole week ahead when I make them, so the texture is definitely softer than normal oats, but I always top mine with almonds, chia seeds, walnuts or granola to give it some texture as I eat it.

        Oh, I’m glad that feature exists & I hope it’s up & running soon.

        Haha, and honestly, my brother makes me look tame by comparison.

        Reply to Jessie @ The Acquired Sass
  • Ashley

    Hi Taralynn,

    After reading about how Grumples used to be, it sounds exactly like my dog! He is so sweet when he is off leash, but the moment you put him on a leash he starts barking and lunging at every dog and some of the people who go by, it makes our walks pretty stressful. How did you and Kyle train this behavior out of Grumples? I would love to get back to a place where my pup and I can go on nice peaceful walks again.

    PS. your blog is amazing and I look forward to every new post!


    Reply to Ashley
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes, that is definitely how Grumples was.

      Kyle did tons of reading up on how to react with Grumples, how to walk with him, and how we can expose him to dogs and people. We’ve been doing a lot of ignoring, positive reinforcement and exposing him to more and more things. We make him do little things that he hates like walking over the sewers, going under and through things and getting him used to discipline and structure. I also do things around the house like making him randomly sit, not letting him beg, and walking him at least five times a day to get used to surroundings. It’s also all about my behavior and if I’m scared or get anxiety, he feels that. I have to be very calm, walk by people (do not avoid it otherwise he’ll think it’s a threat or bad) and just casually go about my walk. I have to hold him tight and expect him to lunge, but lately he hasn’t been. The harness and the leash have been a huge help with control. When he walks by someone and doesn’t react, he gets a pat on the head and sometimes a training treat. If he reacts, I do nothing. I just keep walking. With Grumples, it’s the adrenaline rush and the attention he seeks when he’s doing it. If I don’t give him any attention, he doesn’t do it. You have to work with your dog EVERYDAY and don’t get frustrated or impatient, just keep exposing and trying everything you can 🙂

      & THANK YOU SO MUCH. Your kind words mean so much to me.

      I hope you have a great weekend and good luck with you pup!

      xo Taralynn

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rebeckah

    1. I agree with other comments about loving to have a healthy pumpkin flavored ice cream! I have seen so many of your posts about Halo Top! Sadly, they don’t sell it in any stores around here 🙁
    2. For Labor day weekend, I spent lots of time with family! I just found out my brother and his wife are expecting 🙂 Also, watched lots and lots of football! College football is so exciting!
    3. My go-to breakfast before a workout is probably a banana or cereal!
    4. SO SO excited that football is back!! I am probably way more obsessed than a girl should be. I just love it. Plus, it’s one of my favorite things to do with my dad <3

    I always love your recap posts!! You are adorable and very motivational!

    Reply to Rebeckah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Rebeckah!

      Hopefully they can get Halo Top in more grocery stories. Your grocery store may be able to sell it if you talk to the manager!

      Congrats on being an aunt!!! so so so exciting.

      Sounds like you had a very fun weekend with the family watching football! Does it get any better than that?

      Love that you and your dad bond over football! So cute 🙂 More than a girl should be? GIRLLLLLLLLLLLL us ladies love football just as much as the next fellow 😉

      Thank you so much for the kind words & it makes my day when you stop to comment! xo


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Elise

    First of all, that jamaican jerk chicken looks absolutely delicious. I want the recipe for that and the pecan pumpkin muffins!

    Also, what is the weather like in Charlotte during the winter? I have always always always wanted to move to NC and I have to somehow convince my husband to love it just as much as me. He wants to live somewhere warm near the water. Your blog, along with Julie’s, make it seem like Charlotte would be perfect!

    Enjoy your weekend 🙂

    Reply to Elise
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Elise!

      The pecan muffins are going up this morning. 😀

      The weather bounces from 70 degrees to 20 degrees! It’s always changing up and I love it! So much better than the Iowa winters! We get snow maybe once or twice year and it melts about an hour later! It can get pretttttty cold, but it’s nice that we have winter and summer.

      Charlotte is perfect & I love Julie’s blog! She has some great Charlotte spots I want to try out.

      I hope you had a great weekend!



      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Melissa

    I love your recap posts <3 and that coffee shop is adorable. I really want to make my way back to Charlotte, I really loved the city when I was visiting for a night.

    xo, Melissa ||

    Reply to Melissa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Melissa!!

      I love that coffee shop so much! I can’t wait to go again this weekend.

      Make sure you do make it to Charlotte again. Let me know when you do and maybe we can grab coffee at coco & the director!



      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anna

    First off, you look beautiful as always, and also: Becca looks amazing!! I wish I had a friend in town to work out with and help keep me motivated like you guys do. That’s a great friendship!
    1. I would like to see pumpkin ice cream- but a healthy version! Maybe I will try to make one 🙂
    2. Labor Day weekend was all about family time, thankfully!
    3. I’m not a breakfast person, so something very small like a banana.
    4. Oh Lordy, I am not a football fan. I try so hard to like it. I think I just need someone to really sit down and explain it to me (without me wandering off out of boredom haha) and then I’d probably like it a lot more!

    Reply to Anna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Anna!

      Thank you so much. I am really lucky to have a friend that enjoys working out as much as I do. We love eating healthy and pushing each other to stay active. It’s the greatest!

      I’ve definitely had pumpkin ice cream and it’s to die for. Maybe Halo Top should come up with one like another commenter mentioned! That would be the greatest.

      Bananas are great pre-workout snacks.

      I think if you don’t know whats going on, it can definitely be boring! Adopt a team 🙂

      I hope you have a great weekend


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jocelyn

    Hi Taralynn,

    Amazing recap post! I am so happy to hear Grumples is doing better!! My dog Maple (goldendoodle as well) is currently having the same issues Grumples had. She will lunge, bark REALLY loudly at others dogs and humans when they start approaching her. It makes walks on the bike path and in crowded places really stressful and in some ways, makes me want to avoid walking her all together which I definitely DON’T want to do. Do you think the leash and harness were the one thing that helped or did you also do training with Grumples? I would LOVE your advice. Feel free to email me if that is easier.

    Reply to Jocelyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Jocelyn!

      Thank you so much 🙂 I can relate to that so much! I think the leash and the harness made me more confident to walk grumples because I had more control, so the less anxiety I had, the less anxiety he had. Lots of positive reinforcement with treats, putting him in new situations, making him do weird things that bothered him like walking over sewers! We wanted him to be more confident and now he gallops over them like nothing! It’s about my demeanor as well and if I’m scared, he senses that. I ignore him when he does something bad otherwise he gets an adrenaline rush. I give him a training treat or a pat not he head with a “good boy” if he does something right. Make your dog sit and watch people walk by her, bring her to parks to people observe, introduce her to dogs and people and try to get her socialized as much as you can.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Christina D

        Thanks for posting this! I was actually going to ask the same question, so I’m glad I read through the comments because you already answered it! I have a Golden Retriever named River and it sounds like he is EXACTLY like Grumbles. He is the most friendly dog 99% of the time and we can take him to peoples houses and dog parks and when he is off the leash is he is GREAT and so chill, but on walks when he is leashed he pulls me towards other dogs and barks/growls. Usually he is okay if he meets the dog, but most people are pulling their dog in the opposite direction when they see us- not coming over to meet him. I feel like we have done everything RIGHT in his training, which is why it’s so frustrating. It’s encouraging to know that you guys have had success because it inspires me to keep working with him!

        PS. Love your blog–I have been reading it for years!

        Reply to Christina D
        • Taralynn McNitt

          YES! work with him as much as you can! Grumples is not perfect yet, but he’s made so so so so many improvements. I definitely recommend trying a new leash and harness.

          & thank you so much for the kind words!


          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bailey

    You need to come visit colorado! The coffee shops are wonderful and so is the hiking.

    Reply to Bailey
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    Do you prefer grilled chicken breast or grilled chicken thighs? I see it a lot on your salads so I’m wondering!

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
  • Vanessa

    What is one food product that you’d like to see “pumpkin flavored.”
    Pumpkin flavor is really not a thing in Germany and all I’ve tried so far was a way to sweet pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. So anything that is less sweet and intense in taste would be good 😀

    What did you do for Labor Day Weekend?
    I was travelling all around the country to visit some friends. I’ll soon move to the UK so I wont get to see them for a while.

    What is your go-to breakfast before a cardio workout?
    When its only a short workout, I like a banana beforehand. For longer workouts I prefer oatmeal.

    Are you exited that football is back?
    Just as for pumpkin spice, football it not a thing in Germany at all. But soccer leagues also are starting again and I am totally into that. Hopefully my favourite team FC Schalke does well this year!

    Reply to Vanessa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      When I order a PSL at Starbucks I always ask them to do half of the pumpkin flavoring with skim. It’s way lighter and less sweet! I don’t like overly sweet coffee either.

      Traveling is always a blast! Glad you had the chance to visit with your friends 🙂

      Those are both my pre-workout faves! & somethings I have them together.

      So funny:) I know NOTHING about soccer lol.

      xo xo

      Have a great weekend Vanessa!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lauren

    I’m so happy for you that Grumples is behaving better. I think (male) dogs often respond better to men than women. My beagle also behaves better with my boyfriend than with me. I think I treat him too much as a baby. 😉 When I go to Ikea I always pick up this pig stuffed animal, but my boyfriend doesn’t want me to buy it. I think I’m going to sneak it into our cart one time. 😉 I always love your beautiful pictures, inspiring workouts and delicious meals in your recaps. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: you are a true inspiration!

    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Lauren!

      I agree with that. He listens to Kyle more than he listens to me and its partly my fault because I didn’t start disciplining him the way I should have. He thinks he can dominate me and be more of a person than a dog, but i’m finally getting my respect back with him by making a lot of changes.

      HAHAHA I bought one of those pigs b before, but Grumples tore it apart per usual. HE LOVES STUFFED ANIMALS!

      Thank you very much for the kind words. Means so much to me!

      I hope you have a great weekend!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kat

    Becca looks AMAZING. You both are too cute. Way to go Grumples! I wonder who loves Kyle more? You, or Grumples? 😉

    Reply to Kat
    • Taralynn McNitt

      She really does and i’m SO FREAKING PROUD OF HER. She’s so dedicated and all of that motivation and positivity is truly contagious. HAHA I wonder who Grumples loves more! Me or Kyle!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lyndsey

    Kyle is so supportive with Grumples. I remember how frustrated you were so I’m very happy for you. He seems like a very genuine and such a sweet guy. Could you should do a post about Kyle one day? I know it may be too soon so no pressure but I’d love to know more about him. He is becoming one of my favorite characters to read about on your blog.

    Have a great weekend Taralynn. I have my first 5k! Any tips?

    Reply to Lyndsey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Good Morning Lyndsey!

      The patience Kyle has with Grumples is amazing. He’s pretty great and I have definitely been learning from him. I think it’s so cute that you said he’s one of your favorite characters. That warms my heart.

      I hope you have a wonderful 5k! Just have so much fun with it, wake up extra early to relax, fuel, and hydrate, do some stretches the night before and don’t stress! You got this 🙂

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer Hola

    You’re the only one I know that can wear a plain t-shirt, no makeup, a pony tail and look like a supermodel. What are your secrets? I’m also your age, but I feel like it’s showing 🙁

    Reply to Jennifer Hola
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Lol thank you very much! I really have no secrets. I’m actually really bad at makeup, I HATE wearing it, and I wish I could! I doubt your age is showing, i bet you look beautiful!!!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Dana

    I’m actually allergic to pumpkin so I hate when everything is pumpkin! For labor day, I had a bunch of homework to do but I went home for the weekend from college. On Monday before I left to drive back to school, my family had a cookout which was fun! I kind of struggle with what to eat before a workout. I know that dairy doesn’t work for me so usually I’ll have banana and some cereal. Yes, I’m excited for football!

    Reply to Dana
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Dana!

      Allergic to pumpkin!? OH NO. 🙁

      Glad you had a break and went home. That is always nice. It’s so fun to hang with family and especially cookouts!

      I love doing oats or cheerios with almond milk! & bananas always.

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Chelsea Benner

    I was visiting my brother in Charlotte last weekend! He lives in Pineville. I love the light rail system! I live in Cincinnati and wish we had one! We took it to uptown and went to the 7th street public market & walked around downtown! We ate at Liberty , right outside Tupelo Honey.. So good! We went to olde mecklenburg brewery and Sycamore brewery( so many puppies there ?) Both were cool! Love the Charoltte area!

    Reply to Chelsea Benner
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Chelsea!

      Glad you had the chance to visit Charlotte!

      The 7th street public market is one of my favorite spots and I love how clean Uptown Charlotte is compared to a lot of other cities.

      I’ve always wanted to eat at Liberty! Glad to know it’s good:) I’ll make sure to try it out. Those are both GREAT breweries and I love when they do bootcamp and yoga nights.

      xo xo


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    To be honest, I’ve always been more of a Pecan Pie kinda girl rather than pumpkin… but this year I’m determined to try at least one thing that’s pumpkin flavored to see if I like it!

    State Fair (yes, again) on Saturday, Sunday was Family time and delivering stuff to my sister who just started school at the U of Minnesota, then Monday was cleaning alll day which I’m so happy about because I needed to catch up!

    I workout best with nothing in my stomach before a workout in the mornings… so nothing!

    YESSSSSS 🙂 🙂 I’m so excited my mom and I are driving down to Iowa to watch the WV Mountaineers play in November! (My mom’s from WV) P.s. Iowa State, not the Hawkeyes 😉

    Reply to Jennifer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Jennifer!

      I don’t blame you. Have you ever had PUMPKIN pecan pie? It’s so good.

      Love state fairs! I don’t blame you for going again. I love cleaning days and today is one of those for me!

      A lot of people can’t workout with food in their stomach! I get so hungry and tired. Funny how all bodies work differently.

      Lol I hope you enjoy the game! I’m a hawkeyes fan! 😀 IS are the rivals. & they play Iowa this weekend. Will be so much fun!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sara

    I’m so jealous of your weather! I’m in Orlando so we have absolutely no fall, unless you count going from 100 degrees to 90 fall that is!

    Reply to Sara
  • carlee

    I don’t know if there is anything pumpkin they haven’t come up with! Maybe pumpkin Halo Top?!
    Labor Day was spent in South Carolina at Seabrook Island right outside of Charleston! After having flights cancelled from Charlotte and having an unexpected drive to Charleston (I was MADDDD at your city Friday!!!!) the weekend weather couldn’t have been more perfect!
    I can’t eat before doing cardio..I cramp so bad and feel like I’m going to throw up the entire time. I’ve tried many times and many different thing and it ruins my workout every time!
    FOOOOTBALLLL!!!! SO EXCITED! GO Cards!!! Trying to be healthy about tailgating and always offering to bring a side dish so I know there is something healthy there. Or eat before going! Your recipes come in super handy this time of year!!

    Reply to carlee
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Carlee!

      YES PUMPKIN HALO TOP IS A GREAT IDEA! I hope they’re working on it.

      I’ve heard so many great things about sea brook island.

      LOL when flights get canceled its so frustrating. Weather ALWAYS STINKS:( Glad you had a great weekend though.

      Some people can’t eat and that is why everyone’s body is different! You have to do what is best for yourself.

      I love staying healthy during football season, even though its so hard. I try running before tailgates, eating bad foods in moderation, and always having healthy options around me!



      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mackenzie

    That coffee place- mmmm mmm I need to go to Charlotte just to try Coco & the Director. Do you like coconut milk lattes from Starbucks? I’ve never tried them, but have been tempted to. Also, you are such a good mama to Grumps. He will be a 100% healthy little thing in no time!
    – Pumpkin flavored: Almonds (I’m sure they exist, I just haven’t seen any!)
    – Labor Day weekend: Explored San Francisco with my best friend!
    – Go-to breakfast before cardio workout: Greek yogurt with 1 TBSP milled flax, 1 TBSP rolled oats, 1/2 cup strawberries
    – HECK YES- Bring on the football!!

    Reply to Mackenzie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Mackenzie!

      Yes. If you ever go to Charlotte make sure you stop at Coco & the Director!

      I don’t think they’re bad at all! I like the skim a tad better. Thank you so much for the kind words! I felt so bad riding out he was overweight, but I know I can get him into good health in no time!

      Pumpkin flavored almonds sound amazing (i need to google this) OK BLUE DIAMOND MAKES THEM! I am ordering them on Amazon today! wooooooo good thinking.

      AHHHHH I can’t wait to visit San Francisco!!!!

      I wish I could do dairy before a workout but it makes me cramp. I always do it afterwards! I had two cups of Greek yogurt after my workout yesterday.

      WOOO. Who is your team?!



      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Mackenzie

        WOOOHOO! Thanks for sharing that, going to order some right now!!

        Seriously- SanFran is da bomb. If you ever visit and need restaurant suggestions, I can give ya the hook ups.

        And that’s true- I know dairy does that to most people, but a good non-dairy option is always the oats, which you know all about!! If I am doing a run in the afternoon I love having a few handfuls of boom-chica-pop. The quick carbs are excellent. I also have ran all my PRs on a glazed donut or two before a race. I use that as an excuse to eat donuts before any big race 😉

        GO BROWNS (they are always horrible, but I still love them, hehe ). Have a great week, Tara!

        Reply to Mackenzie
  • Brooklyn

    Awe good for Grumples! He’s so cute 🙂
    Your weekend looked great! That Johnny salad looks so good.
    I had the most relaxed weekend, it was much needed.
    I’m weird, I can’t do pumpkin flavors, but I am SO excited that fall is here! The leaves falling everywhere and the crunching sounds are making me so so so happy 🙂

    Reply to Brooklyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi B!

      The Jonny salad is one of my faves. Relaxing weekends are the best! I like to go here and there for sure, but sometimes it’s nice to just stay put! I try to do that alt east once a month.

      Not weird at all. I never used to like pumpkin until five years ago. I used to hate it.

      I was hopping on the leaves during my run today to crunch them! 🙂 such a kid.

      xo Hope you have another great and relaxing weekend!



      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Hillary Danielle

    I really need to make those zucchini pizzas! I always forget til after I’m home from grocery shopping to grab one.

    Anyways, I’m not big on the whole “pumpkin” flavor thing, never really have been. I don’t even like pumpkin pie, whoops! Lol.
    Labor day I just hung out around the house, went outside and played with my dog Roadie to help burn up her puppy energy.
    My go-to breakfast before a cardio workout is usually one of two things. I either have an English muffin with PB2 and a cup of coffee, or a cereal (bran flakes or cheerios) with almond milk and a cup of coffee. I find those options tend to agree with me better, and give me the energy I need.
    I am excited for football! I love the NFL but also college, LET’S GO BUCKEYES!!! O-H…..I-O!

    Reply to Hillary Danielle
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Hillary!

      Zucchini pizzas are life changing. I make sure to bring lists to the grocery store because I always forget things if I don’t. I even take a photo of it before going because sometimes I forget it, but never do I forget my phone 😉

      Pumpkin pie isn’t my first choice. I don’t even really care for pie over all the other delicious desserts like cake, ice cream and cookies! BUT…I won’t say no to pie. I just like dessert, especially with coffee.

      Puppy weekends are the best!

      Those are great cardio breakfast. I ditched the PB because I was getting addicted to it. I’m craving it again! I didn’t really “ditch” it because I’ll eat it. I just don’t buy it for the place anymore!



      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Amanda @ The Kitcheneer

    I pretty much love chocolate flavored anything. But I’d love to see a pumpkin chocolate combo. Maybe as a healthy sub in a brownie or something? 😉
    So proud of Grumples too!!! Yay!
    I try not to run on anything heavy. Before our half marathon, we ate a banana and a pack of Justin’s almond butter. Plus some snacks for the road (trail mix and extra raisins for natural sugars)

    Reply to Amanda @ The Kitcheneer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey Amanda!

      I think pumpkin spice oreo balls would be fun!! You can have you chocolate and pumpkin!

      Thank you! I’m proud of him too.

      Those are great food choices! Congrats on the half!:)


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenny

    1. I really love pumpkin everything. I actually would love a vegan pumpkin-flavored protein powder!
    2. Ran some errands with the husband, which included browsing World Market that had an amazing fall coffee out for samples, and spent the rest of the time sleeping off jet lag!
    3. Usually a small serving of oatmeal or 1/2 a banana because they are easy to digest. Anything too heavy before working out makes me nauseous.
    4. Truthfully, I wish I was into football because it seems like such a fun activity and culture but I’ve never really gotten into watching it. I am excited for running in the fall weather and enjoying the season!

    Reply to Jenny
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Jenny!

      Have you tried adding pumpkin pure to your vegan protein shakes? I’ve done that couple times with my shakes and it’s pretty good!

      UGHHH LOVE WORLD MARKET! I need (WANT) to make a trip there this weekend.

      Oats and bananas are always a win.

      I love running in the fall too and I make sure to do it before the tailgates! xo

      Hope you have a great weekend.


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bethany

    What is one food product that you’d like to see “pumpkin flavored.”
    – I’m having a hard time thinking of something pumpkin flavored that doesn’t already exist! Maybe ice cream? (again, prob already exists)

    What did you do for Labor Day Weekend?
    – Big family cookout!

    What is your go-to breakfast before a cardio workout?
    – I have an obsession with peanut butter toast for breakfast… I get gluten free ‘rye style’ toast and switch it up with peanut butter or chai spice almond butter I found at the market at Atherton Mill! SO good!

    Are you exited that football is back?
    – Yes!! I’m a born and bred Patriots fan… but I support the Panthers now that I’ve lived in CLT for a few years! One of my must do’s this fall is to go to a Panther’s game!

    Reply to Bethany
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Bethany!

      Pumpkin spice ice cream does exist and I love getting it at the Waxhaw creamery. Now…they should make a healthy version and maybe I can get an ice cream maker to do so!

      ahhhh love family cookouts!

      I love peanut butter toast and I had to stop buying peanut butter because I was literally eating it by the spoonful. I’ll eat it, but I can’t keep it at my place anymore!!

      Chai Spice Almond Butter?!?! I’ll have to stop at the Atherton Mill to grab some this weekend. Thank you so much for the rec!

      I’m like you. I LOVE DETROIT LIONS but will support the Pathers since I live in the CLT!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Abby

    Hi Taralynn! Have you ever been to Denver? I’ve lived in Colorado all my life and Denver has some of the cutest coffee shops on the planet. There are mostly little local joints like Coco and the Director one you visited. I spend a good majority of my time in shops like these reading and journaling. I think you’d love it here!
    PS: Guess we will be rivals with the big Panthers Broncos game tonight! 😉

    Reply to Abby
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Abby!

      I’ve never been to Colorado but WOULD LOVE LOVE LOVE TO!

      I bet the coffee shops are amazing and especially in the cold winter months or breezy falls.

      If I ever go to Colorado, I’ll make sure to reach out to you for suggestions.

      & you got a win!!! congrats 🙂



      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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