Christmas Parades, Dog Beaches, & Venice.

I cannot believe it’s December already. I’ve doing so many Christmasy things and it’s only the 2nd of December. I’m proud of myself ๐Ÿ™‚ The beginning of the week was nuts, so it was nice to see my friends and relax. I went to theย Nutcracker performed by the Charlotte Ballet on Thursday and last night I did the Holiday Home Tour! I will be sharing all of the Christmas festivities soon! I need to first blog all about my second half of the Thanksgiving trip. This post is filled with so many fun photos and I hope you enjoy the read!ย 
Kyle’s mom took us to the Venice farmers market early Saturday morning. I was in heaven becauseย nothing makes me happier than a cute farmers market. picmonkey-collage
I had a green juice while browsing all the little tents. This Island Organics juice had ginger, lemon, apple, cucumber, celery, spinach and kale. This is almost the exact combo I do at home! Instead of celery, I usually add oranges. ย The juice was so smooth and fresh!
How delicious does this seafood paella look? It smelled so good!

After browsing the farmer’s market, we walked over to grab breakfast at Burgundy Square Cafe.
We walked past some really cute stores and restaurants along the way. The Croissant and Co looked so cute inside! We are going to try this place out the next time we are in Venice.ย  The breakfast at the Burgandy Square cafe was so good.ย 
I ordered a vegetable egg white omelet with wheat toast. The omelet was giant and stuffed full with veggies. That is my kind of breakfast!ย picmonkey-collage
We headed over to the Jetty by Nokomis beach after breakfast.
It was such a gorgeous day!picmonkey-collage
Kyle’s mom took us to the courts to kick our butts in tennis.ย 
I had so much fun playing tennis. I think Kyle and I are going to start playing together because Charlotte has great public courts. It’s also an amazing workout!ย  picmonkey-collage-3 ย picmonkey-collage-2ย I was zonked after the afternoon tennis and my afternoon coffee was calling.ย ย picmonkey-collage-4ย ย 
Leo was so cuddlypicmonkey-collage-3ย picmonkey-collage-5
And then Leo found someone else to lay on…
Later that night, we all got ready and headed to the beach to watch the drum circle.ย 
The drum circle is filled with drummers and people dancing while the sun goes down. It was really fun to watch! I shared it on my snapchat, but forgot to take actual photos!

So peaceful.
picmonkey-collage-6 ย ย ย 
I love watching the sun go down.ย 
We headed to downtown Venice to have dinner before the Christmas parade!ย  ย picmonkey-collage-7All of the palm trees were lit up. It was so pretty!ย picmonkey-collage
We had the best dinner at Cassariano Italian Eatery!ย 
I ordered the salmone ai ferri, which was grilled salmon with spinach in a lemon sauce. The salmon was cooked so perfectly. That was a dish I’ll never forget.ย 
Kyle had pollo scamorza e pomodoro, which is chicken scaloppini, smoked mozzarella and tomatoes. This dish was so good too!ย picmonkey-collage-2
We split some gelato after dinner!
picmonkey-collageI also ordered a little cappuccino:)
Christmas parade time!

picmonkey-collage-2ย We took Leo to the dog beach on Sunday morning after breakfast. Venice has the best dog beach I have ever seen!ย  img_1524ย I was really surprised at how brave he was, especially after going into the pool. He was very curious!ย  picmonkey-collage-3ย ย  ย  ย picmonkey-collage-4ย ย ย ย I had to get some Starbucks afterwards!ย 
Grumples hung out with Moe! ๐Ÿ™‚
ย ย ย Kyle and I heard a squeak and turned around to this! It was the cutest thing!ย ย 
We headed to Fin at Sharky’s for dinner. I was so sad because this was our last night there:(Processed with VSCO with c1 preset picmonkey-collage-5
We all took a walk along the pier.ย  ย  ย ย picmonkey-collage
We all started out with some appetizers. Crab cakes first ๐Ÿ™‚
And delicious calamari.
The bread was deadly. SO GOOD with all the fun little dips.ย 
I ordered a salad with grilled shrimp on top.ย 
My salad had strawberries, grilled shrimp, mixed greens, fried goat cheese, and roasted sunflowers seeds with a red wine vinaigrette. IT WAS SOOOOOOO tasty!!ย 
Kyle ordered the filet mignon sushi roll. It’s as good as it sounds.ย picmonkey-collage-2
We split ice cream again because…vacation.

Our trip to Florida couldn’t have been any more perfect. We can’t wait to get back there soon!ย 
We headed back to Charlotte at 8am and decided to drive all the way through.ย 
I grabbed some breakfast snacks at Starbucks.
Always my road trip go-to! Siggi’s yogurt + almonds!

We made it back to Charlotte around 7pm, took the pups for a walk, and rested up because it was about to be along week!

Questions for you!

  1. Did you get any fun deals during Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
  2. Have you done anything festive yet?

*enter current giveaways: $250 thredUP giveaway & Refreshinq Energizer Patch!*





  • Jess

    How fun!

    Reply to Jess
  • Autumn

    QUESTION–HOW with all the coffee you drink, do you keep your teeth so white?! I drink a TON of coffee and use whitening tooth paste and whitening strips–but Im thinking about going to get them professionally whitened. I just wanted to know if you had any secrets!?

    Reply to Autumn
  • Lauren

    I mean this in the sweetest way possible – i love that you both have a little gap in between your front teeth! it’s cute ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Lauren
  • Kim

    Silly question: where do you get your white tees/what brand are they? I’ve been searching for one that isn’t see-through/burnout style/wouldn’t need a layering tank to be worn in public, and I can’t find anything! Looks like yours might be perfect – and I love the fit as well (both the short and longer sleeve ones shown in this post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Kim
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Seriously. BEST WHITE TEES EVER….JCREW!!! They’re like 14.99 and they last forever! They’re soft and do not shrink. I also love the ralph lauren long sleeve ones!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kim

    OK, sillt question but where do you get your white t-shirts/what brand are they? I love the fit on you and I’ve been having the worst time trying to find plain white tees that aren’t see-through/need a tank top underneath to wear! Yours look great ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Kim
  • Veronica

    Nope! Did nothing on black Friday or Cyber Monday. I only spent the holdiay time with my kids and family- daughter in college and 4 more at home. We cooked, watched TV and just relaxed. It was a nice holiday and i’m looking forward to the next few weeks at home. I did make a roasted butternut squash with tyme and shaved parmesan for Thanksgiving. Watching my weight along with a few of my sibs, so we tried to be good while at the table. Still had some of the traditional dishes, but also good veggies. Overall, I didn’t do too bad. Love your blog- I literally have nothing in common with your life- I’m a married, 40-ish mom and live in a rural area, but I so enjoy your style and have tried multiple recipes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks and keep ’em coming!

    Reply to Veronica
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Spending time with family is the best:) Much better than fighting the shopping lines. Relaxing holidays are much needed and I’m sure your kids and family loved spending that time with you!

      That roasted butternut squash recipe sounds incredible! Thanksgiving can easily be made healthy and still taste good! That’s the beauty of it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you for the kind words about my blog! We may be totally different, but have more in common than you think ๐Ÿ˜‰ xo xo & thank you for stopping by to comment. Makes my day!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Carrie

    You and Kyle are too cute! Can you do a black g post about how you two met?

    Reply to Carrie
  • Hannah Jay

    You take the best photos. I can’t wait to hear all about the exciting news!

    Reply to Hannah Jay
  • Bethany @LuluRuns

    You and Kyle and too cute!! Love, love, love. I also cannot handle that picture of him walking with his mama. Gotta love a man who loves his mom. You have a winner there, girl!

    Landon, Benaiah and I have done a bunch of festive stuff already too! On Saturday, we went to my FAVORITE tree farm and we cut down our second Christmas tree together.
    I love the tree farm because they have horse drawn sleigh rides out to the trees that you can take, they breed golden retrievers and let them roam around the farm, and they have the most adorable ornaments. If you are ever in the Chicago area, you definitely have to check it out!

    Hope your week is going great Taralynn! Xo

    Reply to Bethany @LuluRuns
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I couldn’t agree more ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I saw your photo on Instagram and your snow looks so pretty! I went running in a T-Shirt today…haha

      That farm looked like a blast and your family is the cutest!!! I will definitely check it out if I’m ever in Chicago ๐Ÿ™‚

      xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mackenzie

    OK- between you & Kyle and the Pups, it’s a bit too much cuteness to handle. I’m so genuinely happy for you that you are so happy <3 And that vacay looked like a dream.

    – No deals (but I did go into TJs, which is always one big deal ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
    – I have been cooking a ton, making lots of Christmas cookies, and my husband and I cut down our very first live tree!!! You've inspired me to try to make my own creations in the kitchen, and I came up with a stuffed holiday squash. Here is the link if you are ever interested, although I'm sure you have pah-lenty of your own. ( )

    Hope you have a wonderful week, dear!!!!

    Reply to Mackenzie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Mackenzie!

      Thank you so much:) I’ve never been this happy in my entire life.


      You got a live tree? eeeek. I’m a fake tree person because I can’t handle the upkeep!! + I’m afraid Leo will eat it. HE LOVES PLANTS.

      I will definitely be checking out your recipe for stuffed holiday squash! Sounds so interested and festive! I love it ๐Ÿ™‚

      xo Have a great week & weekend! ox

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Teresa

    Your vacation looked incredible. My favorite time in Chicago is Christmas/Winter- but your post definitely made me miss my town’s farmers market on summer Saturday mornings.. there’s something so wonderful about looking forward to my weekly coffee/vegetable/sunflower run in the summers.

    My friends and I ventured out all night on black friday- it’s tradition. I only bought clothes & a lot of Christmas tree candles. Nothing I couldn’t have bought for the same price on a different day…

    You’re right about doing a handful of Christmas-y things so far! I have quite a bit of my shopping done & all decorating is done. My husband and I host an ugly sweater party every year and that’s coming up this weekend. Last weekend was our town’s Christmas parade & tree lighting. I also played in the snow yesterday as Chicago had their first one ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a great week!

    Reply to Teresa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Teresa!

      I love cold weather around Christmas, but Venice was so beautiful:) I could live there!

      Sounds like a fun thing to do with friends ๐Ÿ™‚

      Everyone has a lot of shopping done. I’m slacking!!! I’ll be going to an ugly sweater party on Friday and then another party on saturday! I love seeing ugly christmas party sweaters! I want to see snow soon ๐Ÿ™‚ Chicago is never lacking! We usually get ours in Feb!

      Have a great week!!!

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

    Just for the record, Taralynn, I love how relaxed you look in so many of these pictures. Many of the photos of you and Kyle truly look like they are just snapshots of your vacation, rather than pictures you wanted to post on a blog (not that the latter is a bad thing; the “snapshots” are just a little different than what I’ve seen before on your blog and they feel so inviting to readers!). I also really kind of liked the fact that you forgot to take pictures of the drum circle; I think that tells us just how immersed you were in your time there!

    Leo is ridiculously cute…the pictures of him on the beach and lying on top of you and Kyle are absolutely adorable. Also, I kind of have to giggle about the light-wrapped palm trees — it makes sense, but it’s not something I see very often!

    1. We just went to Kohls because Alexander had a one-day-only gift card for there. He couldn’t find anything, so he let me use it to get a Star Wars shirt (the first I’ve ever owned!!!), plus a shelf knick knack and some fuzzy socks for a gift exchange. That was about the extent of our Black Friday shopping….

    2. Yes!!! Festivities have definitely already started for us! The house is decorated, we started Advent last Sunday, the church has started their Advent series, and we started a puzzle (that goes along with the wintry holiday season, right?).

    Have a wonderful week, Taralynn! It sounds like you have a busy one planned!

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

      Hi Lauren!

      That means so much to me ๐Ÿ™‚ xo xo

      Leo is a heartbreaker…such a cutie and he knows it. I love seeing the palm trees lit up like that lol It reminded me of my childhood because they did that in Hawaii around christmas time. It’s definitely something you don’t get to see every christmas lol!

      You’re brave to even go out during Black Friday!

      Love how festive you’ve been! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will get on your level soon!!

      xo xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bethany

    I like to think I have a good amount of my shopping done, but I always take forever!!!

    This weekend my best friend and I did the Reindeer Run 5k in Charleston! We do NOT run… but somehow we miraculously ran 2.5 miles and walked the rest! Not much but we were so proud of ourselves!! Everyone was dressed up in Christmas themed costumes, including us!! It was SO fun! We do it every year ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Bethany
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Bethany!

      I haven’t even started…I’m always the last minute shopper.

      Nice job doing the run! ๐Ÿ™‚ That sounds like so much fun!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Delila

    This post gave me the chills because I finally got to see a side of you and Kyle that I haven’t seen before. You two are perfect for one another and I wish you so much happiness.

    Reply to Delila
  • Heather @ Polyglot Jot

    Beautiful pictures! What a great place to live and to visit! I love paella–how big is that pot in your photo? It looks huuuge but it might just be the perspective! I’ve been watching lots of christmas movies, have my apartment decorated, and drinking lots of festive hot chocolate!

    Reply to Heather @ Polyglot Jot
  • Jennifer

    I did! I went to Mall of America around 9 on Black Friday and got about 90% of my Christmas shopping done which I am super happy about. Did you find any great deals over the weekend?

    Yes! Mark and I went to Bentleyville in Duluth on Thursday. They have a great light display that you can walk through and see all different set-ups! So Christmas-y I love it. I love driving around and looking at lights too! I also helped a friend hang the lights on her house today so.. definitely getting in the spirit this year! It looks like you’re in full Christmas mode after your two recent events! Haha

    Reply to Jennifer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Jennifer!

      You’re already 90% done? I haven’t even started. I’ve been so busy with some things lately that I haven’t even had the chance to decorate. I’m usually the one to decorate the day after Thanksgiving. I’ll be doing it next week though!!!!

      I love how Christmasy you’ve been this week!!! I’m trying ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Shanna

    Watching your lions play ball. Close game! Beat those saints!
    1. No, but I spent plenty of money. Haha
    2. The house is decorated. last night we took a boat cruise to the North Pole. There’s a tree lighting, over a million lights and fireworks.
    I really want to go to Venice. How beautiful! And I am insanely jealous of Kyle’s sushi roll!

    Reply to Shanna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      They killed the Saints! The Lions are doing so well ๐Ÿ™‚

      A boat cruise to the North Pole? You just topped all of my Christmas festivities! Sounds incredible!

      That sushi roll was awesome!!! I was lucky enough to steal a bite ๐Ÿ™‚ You should put Venice on your list!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kelsey

    Happy Sunday! I personally hate being stuck in large crowds and lines in stores with my arms overflowing with clothes. I spent Black Friday walking through little boutique stores in Mystic, CT and it was perfect. I got great deals at Gap and Old Navy late night on Friday and luckily the stores were pretty empty of people. I’ve been wanting one of the CLT hats and got a great Cyber Monday deal one, I was so excited. When I was back home for Thanksgiving we went and cut down our Christmas tree and there’s truly nothing compared to walking out into the fields and cutting them down yourself. I’ve also covered every inch of my apartment in Christmas Lights and little decorations. I’m excited to walk around the neighborhoods and see all of the lights!

    Reply to Kelsey
  • Carly

    Venice looks like an awesome little town! I’ve officially added it to my ‘list of places I want to visit’! Any place with a great dog beach and delicious looking restaurants is an A+ in my book!

    On black Friday I joined REI and chose to get outside and do some hiking with Moose! I did find an awesome cyber Monday deal on Asics running shoes for $33 instead of 100! And 60% Christmas cards! Did you find any fun deals?

    I think its so cool that Venice had a Christmas parade, and that you went on a holiday home tour! I want to find one near me! So far my festivities have only been decorating our apartment and drinking gingerbread lattes! I’m planning on testing some holiday cookie recipes next week too!

    Reply to Carly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yup! Add it to the list :)Moose would LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

      I should have taken advantage of the cyber monday shoe sales but I was traveling all day ๐Ÿ™

      I still haven’t decorated my place…eeeek I need to soon! just so much going on ๐Ÿ™

      You’ll have to share the recipes with me!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Carly

        I love your holiday header on your site! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Also I just tried eggnog (the one you recommended) for the first time! OMG AMAZING… how have I lived so long without trying something SO delicious! I should really just buy/make anything that you like because we must have the same testbuds!

        Reply to Carly
        • Taralynn McNitt

          Thanks Carly!!!

          SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT!!!!!! Now you can come up with some fun eggnog recipes :):):) Gotta make up for all the years without it!

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Leah-Maria

    Hi ๐Ÿ™‚

    first of all, I really want to say that I love your blog! I really enjoy reading it. After all, I feel so much happiness and dedication in it and I always get motivated.

    I didn’t really intend to look for deals. But I got myself a new iPod for working out.
    I am in Germany and I already visited some Chrismas markets. I love the tradition of the Krampuses it’s so much fun watching shows. I just love the Christmas feeling all around and the smell of mulled wine. My mum also made a batch of cookies already.

    Wish you guys a nice Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Leah-Maria
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Leah-Maria!

      Thank you so much! That means the world to me ๐Ÿ™‚

      That is awesome! Music makes working out so much better. I bet you have the best Christmas markets over there in Germany! You just put me in some serious Christmas spirit!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sierra

    Hi Taralynn!
    I have read your blog for so long and never commented but I had to now. Venice is my hometown! I live in Atlanta now and miss it so much. Seeing your pictures from the Christmas parade and Sharky’s pier brought up so many childhood memories. Glad you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Sierra
  • Charmaine Ng

    The farmer’s market looks so awesome. I wish Hong Kong had enough large spaces for markets like that! For the meantime, I’ll live through your photos. And you and Kyle are such a cute couple!

    – Charmaine

    Reply to Charmaine Ng
  • Adrienne

    I am just loving your Venice trip! My husband and I love Cassarianos and go there for our date nights often! We were also at the xmas parade! Clearly Im excited lots of !!!!! here lol

    Leo is just adorable and so brave looking at the beach….our dog hates it so we dont go anymore.

    When you come back you have to hit Blue Bistro for breakfast/lunch and drive a lil south like 10 mins to englewood beach… great sharks teeth at manasota beach and very quiet. Also they do daily beach yoga its my favorite morning routine down here.

    Reply to Adrienne
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks Adrienne!

      Cassarianos is so good:) You need to try the salmon (if you haven’t already) when you go! I feel like I came at the perfect timing, or is it always that fun in Venice?!?! That Christmas parade was so fun!

      I’ll definitely add that to the list when I come back and we will be going back for sure and that yoga on the beach sounds amazing!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kelsey

    I’m about to move from Goldsboro, NC (don’t know if you have ever heard of it but it’s not the fun part of nc lol) to the Destin, FL area and I am SO excited!! Venice is far but looks beautiful none the less. Gorgeous couple!

    Reply to Kelsey
  • Anonymous

    I just love reading your blogs. Your photos, your stories, your outfits, your life!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Lynn @thenotdeadyetblog

    I spent Black Friday hiking, like I do every year, but I did score some great deals on climbing gear and beanie babies on Cyber Monday. Someone please explain to me how beanie babies are a thing again.

    Reply to Lynn @thenotdeadyetblog
  • Brooklyn

    You and Kyle are adorable together. I love the photo of you guys making a heart around the setting sun ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Brooklyn
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    Seafood Paella? I’ve never heard of it but I love seafood. Take me with you next time!

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty

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