Labor Day Weekend & Upcoming Travels

Good Morning!

Hope you all had great long weekends ? I’m about to head to the gym, but before I take off, it’s recap time! I booked my flight to L.A. about two months ago and forgot the correct date. I thought I was leaving Saturday, but nope! I leave for L.A. tomorrow. Tomorrow guys… I have nothing packed, but that’ll be my project after the gym!
Last Tuesday, I had lunch with Becca at Whole Foods. Our schedules have been completely clashing lately, so we try to take advantage of lunch breaks to catch up when we can. My plate had fresh fruit, fajita chicken, cauliflower rice, zucchini, garbanzo beans, red onion, smoked chicken, cucumber, and spinach. 
Later Tuesday evening, I headed out for a long walk with Meighan. The evening weather was flawless. I grabbed a raspberry tea at Coco & The Director before the walk and a strawberry lemon & passion fruit spritzer at Amelie’s afterward.

Kyle and I watched Bachelor in Paradise to end the evening 🙂 
On Wednesday afternoon, I headed to my workout class. We had a new instructor, and it was fun to switch things up! I did two miles on the treadmill before class to get my steps in. I try to get 12k-20k steps a day. I usually average about 15k steps. 
I wanted something quick for dinner on my way to Kyle’s. I just grabbed my favorite at Whole Foods. This plate had broccoli, squash, carrots, cauliflower rice, lettuce, cucumber, onion, and zucchini. I had a container of hot chicken with it. 
I worked on a few fall projects on Thursday 🙂 More about that soon…
My little blogging buddy was keeping me company. This was the best way to spend the rainy day.  
For dinner, I tried out the Daiya vegetable pizza. I was looking at pizzas at Whole Foods and this really kind man raved about it, so I told him I’d try it out 🙂 He was right, for being gluten free, vegan, and dairy free…it tasted pretty good! It didn’t have that “weird” vegan cheese taste. I’m not a vegan or becoming one, I just like to try new things! I have readers that are dairy free, gluten free, and vegan! I like to change things up and try out new products for them as well. It’s fun to report back!

I made scrambled eggs to have on the side. 2 eggs + 2 egg whites mixed with 1/2 cup of cauliflower rice, peas, and carrots!
Breakfast was not my strong suit last week. I’d have my coffee, a cup of Cheerios, a protein shake, and then eat lunch later afternoon. I have been making my own salad dressing lately, so there is a strong suit somewhere. I have been mixing balsamic, honey, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil together! It makes the perfect combo for sweet or savory salad. This salad had broccoli, romaine, cucumber, red onion, and grilled chicken.
I headed to a boot camp on Friday. Another new instructor! Lots of changes for September I suppose. I need to find shoes that are good for training and running. If you have any recommendations let me know, because we do a lot of running in these classes, and I have no idea which shoes to wear. These Nikes hurt the bottom of my feet the entire workout. 
I stopped at Fresh Market to pick up recipe ingredients, movie snacks, and post workout treats. On my way home, I had Cranberry & Sage turkey jerky (literally heading there later to buy some for tomorrow’s travel), Mango Habanero Kale chips (SO GOOD), fresh pineapple, and a Celsius energy water. Oh, and that kettle corn tastes just like state fair popcorn straight out of the kettle!
I spent the early evening making this delicious pasta salad 🙂 
We finally got a break in the rain, so Kyle and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and played a couple hours of tennis! We’ve been playing four to five days a week and just can’t get enough. 
We headed back to his place just before the rain hit! 
For dinner, I had a bowl of my pasta salad and ground turkey! For dessert, we had this Pascha organic chocolate bar. It was unbelievably delicious. It’s peanut free, wheat and gluten free, dairy and egg free, and soy free!
On Saturday morning, I headed to the gym with Meighan to do an hour circuit workout. We started with ten minutes on the Stairmaster, twenty minutes of arm weights, twenty minutes of leg workouts, and finished it up with another ten minutes on the Stairmaster. We also walked a mile there and a mile back! So, a perfect way to start Saturday!

I’ve been adding Pure Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides to my coffee, cereal, shakes, and sparkling water. You can’t taste it at all and it has so many wonderful health benefits. You can read more about it here! 
I picked up a black coffee on the way home from the gym because I was so tired, and needed it for energy! I had more fitness to be tackled. 
Kyle and I went to play doubles with my parents on Saturday afternoon.
We brought the dogs with us. It was the cutest thing ever because Grumples played “ball boy.” He ran for the balls near the net or off the court and brought them straight back to the bench. It’s almost like he knew what to do! We couldn’t stop laughing at it. If anyone were watching, they probably would have thought we trained him to do it. 
We played almost two hours of tennis and then headed back to my house to watch Dateline (per usual.) I made Applegate’s chicken nuggets and GoVeggie Carrot Sweet potato fries for dinner.
If you’re wondering how we keep out two hyper dogs occupied, we get them antlers. They are 100% antlers, no added preservatives or chemicals, hand selected, washed, cut, trimmed, sanded, odor free, and last forever! They clean the dog’s teeth and are from the U.S.A. They literally keep our dogs busy for hours! These aren’t the ones they eat or can destroy. We have antlers that Grumples has been working on for about two years. Best investment ever. They are called White Tail Naturals and we get them on Amazon.
It was 58 degrees Sunday morning! Kyle and I walked the pups around my neighborhood. For breakfast, I had pumpkin spiced Cheerios and my coffee with collagen. I also put the collagen in my cereal milk. With all of the activity I’ve been participating in, I want to make sure I’m taking care of my joints! I heard collagen is great for it.
Around noon, Kyle and I made waffles for lunch! We made a pumpkin spiced one and a peanut butter chocolate flavor! You can find those recipes here.
It’s a serious addiction, but we headed to a new park to play tennis. We wanted to work on serves and practice a few new things. My serves are getting pretty deadly; now I just need to get more consistent with them. And how cute is this bag that General Mills sent me?! I love it! 
More fun snacks we picked up on the way home! Brad’s Crunchy Kale & Matt’s Munchies! Both so good.
We stopped at Home Depot to pick up some mums for my pots and a couple of other items. I was so excited to bring out the fall flowers! When I get back from L.A., It’ll officially be fall! I will be able to add pumpkins.   
I emptied out my pots from the summer, rinsed them and replaced the half dead flowers with my new mums 🙂
It only took about forty-five minutes to finish up. I’m so happy with the weather lately because it’s cooler in the mornings and evenings. I finally get to sit outside. 
My pizza on Sunday night was gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and it didn’t taste too bad! I wasn’t a giant fan of the vegan cheese, but it could have been a lot worse.
We also tried the Simple Mills pizza crust for Kyle’s pizza, but we weren’t huge fans. They have the best muffin mixes, but this pizza was too different for us. I think we will stick to the Flatout pizza wraps next time. Although, the Rudi’s gluten free wraps weren’t bad! 
Fun treats for dessert! The dark chocolate Sun Cups are one of my favorites. We also tried the Dark Chocolate Dream bar, which was also tasty. Sometimes, I’ll eat the Sun Cups before or after a workout for a little energy treat. 
We played board games and sat outside on my back patio Sunday night. It felt very peaceful outside. The sounds of the bugs were therapeutic. 
I ended up in the same spot in the morning. I had my coffee out on the deck and enjoyed my morning with the pups. I treated myself to a little cream this morning after drinking my coffee black 80% of the week. 
My breakfast protein smoothie:
1 Tbsp Spirulina, 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder, 1 Scoop Collagen, 1 Scoop Maca Powder, 1 small frozen banana & 1 Cup Coconut Milk. 
The products I use:

Kapok Maca
Organic Spirulina (Kyle’s mom got me hooked)
Plant Protein Powder (I’ve learned that I simply prefer plant protein based on the taste and texture)
Collagen Peptides

Before I head to L.A., I’m going to pack these into morning portions to take with me. 

Yup, more tennis…

We met up with Kyle’s roommate and played for two hours. 
Headed to my parents for Labor Day fun!
Dark roast Iced coffee with coconut milk followed by sparkling water with stevia drink mix!
Dinner was delicious. I had a grilled turkey burger wrapped in lettuce, roasted vegetables, and veggie fries!
I’ve been LOVING turkey burgers lately. They’re so lean and full of protein. 
Pool time!!
Some of you were asking about my swim top! They don’t sell the same one anymore, but here is one almost just like it! & much much cheaper!

Well, I’m off to the gym, and then on to my busy day! Packing, errands, photography projects for the blog, and more!

Chat soon! xo xo

Questions for you!

  1. What did you do for Labor Day?
  2. Any L.A. recomendations?
  3. Any movie recomendations for the plane?


  • Anonymous

    Have fun in LA! Try urthcafe.

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Ryleigh

    Definitely recommend the Nike metcon 3s or the reebok nanos. A crossfit shoe is designed to be able to run and lift in so it should be perfect for a cross discipline HIIT class!

    Reply to Ryleigh
  • Yasmin

    First of all, eww @ LA NATIVE. So rude, unwelcoming, and totally a singular opinion. I am a CA native, with way too many friends who were born and raised in L.A – none who share that opinion. ANYWHO, I live in LA, and love giving recommendations to anyone visiting. If you want to explore museums: the broad in downtown is amazing, as well as LACMA, the getty, and the arts district has some great galleries, and has lots of IG photo opps ;-). Hiking is very popular out here, so if you want to get into that: Runyon Canyon is very popular, Wisdom tree hike, and Griffith observatory is perfect for hiking + incredible views + the observatory is kind of like an astronomy museum + more IG photo opps. Good eats: grand central market in downtown has everything, urth caffe in west hollywood, gracias madre is a yummy vegan mexican restaurant, toast is a good breakfast spot, il pastaio is a great italian spot, malibu cafe. If you want to shop: The grove is nice, plus it has the original farmers market, robertson blvd has tons of great stores, as well as melrose ave. If you want to grab a drink and enjoy some views: Perch in downtown, EP.LP in west hollywood, the highline in venice, the standard hotel west hollywood. If you want to have daytime fun: malibu wines has a safari, santa monica pier and promenade, manhattan beach is perfect for beach volleyball, riding bikes, and rollerblading. That’s my shortlist, hope you have a wonderful time out here 🙂

    Reply to Yasmin

    Ughh no offense but I’m soooo sick of out-of-towners moving to LA. Most of us LA natives are also tired of tourists. I sincerely wish you’d stay out of LA county and Laguna Beach. Go visit San Fran or better yet, a different state instead.

    Reply to LA NATIVE
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Dear, LA NATIVE.

      Whether you like it or not, I can’t wait to visit L.A.! I’m excited to visit my brother, who lives there as well. Do you realize that tourist spend money in your state? The state that is trillions of dollars in debt. Having tourist come spend money at local restaurants, take pictures of the beaches to spread the beauty of the state all over the world, and pay taxes while shopping keeps your state afloat? I have a feeling you must have a personal vendetta against me because I’ve never met anyone from California with that mindset. You don’t own the state, you don’t get to decide whether or not I visit, and I simply do not care. Now, if you would excuse me, I have to finish up some blogging! Excited to go explore today, flash my camera at all the pretty sites, and spend time with the ones I love! Maybe you should do the same, or at least grab a cup of coffee!



      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • LA NATIVE

        Rest assured, I have nothing against you personally. I actually like your blog. However, it doesn’t change the fact that I am sick of out-of-towners moving (and/or visiting) to LA, no matter who they are. I don’t care if you met anyone from here with that mindset, chances are you haven’t met any actual LA natives. We have enough exposure and certainly don’t need any new residents. It is my hometown and I am entitled to my opinion, as you are entitled to yours.

        Reply to LA NATIVE
        • Taralynn McNitt

          Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, as I am entitled to have an opinion about your opinion. What are you so sick of? I mean, you’re in the most visited state, one of the most gorgeous states, a state that is so welcoming to all people, and a state that is always encouraging people to visit. Maybe you should move to a state like Iowa, or Ohio. They aren’t visited that often, you may like it there.

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Eli LA NATIVE!

    That person is crazy! Enjoy California, Taralyn…

    If you need any recommendations, let me know!

    Reply to Eli LA NATIVE!
  • Anonymous

    how is la?

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Cute swim suit!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Jella

    You should try out KREATION Cafe while in LA. It´s so good and they have multiple spots now. I like going to the one in Santa Monica on Montana Ave. Check out their website. So good.
    And afterwards stroll through Montana Ave. Cute little shops.
    Have fun in LA!

    Reply to Jella
  • Danie

    Enjoy California!

    Reply to Danie
  • Ariel

    What a fun Labor Day weekend! I spent the weekend catching up on work and grading papers! I did grab some pizza with my husband 🙂

    Reply to Ariel
  • Mandy

    You should do more Instagram stories! I love following you and your voice.

    Reply to Mandy
  • Sara

    I switched to Brooks Launch 3s a few months ago and I’m obsessed! I think they’re super comfy (which i love about Adidas and Nikes usually) but they don’t injure my feet as much!
    Have a blast in L.A. and enjoy the weather:)

    Reply to Sara
  • Allison

    LA is so much fun! OC girl here! If you venture out of LA I second the suggestions for Laguna Beach, check out Top of the world gorgeous views etc and Crescent Bay beach it’s a nice little private piece of heaven! In LA the Getty Villa and Getty Museum are fun to check out, and not sure you like historical things but the Museum of Tolerance in my personal opinion is a must see! Enjoy your West Coast visit!

    Reply to Allison
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Oh, I will 100% go to Laguna Beach!!! I grew up watching all things LC! lol & thank you for the suggestions!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Tori

        If you haven’t gone to Laguna yet, you should head to The Montage for some lunch outside!! Gorgeous views! One of my favorite spots. Enjoy the rest of your trip in LA!

        Reply to Tori
      • LA NATIVE

        Ughh no offense but I’m sooo sick of out-of-towners moving to LA. The majority of us LA natives are also sick of tourists! Sincerely wish you guys would stay out of Los Angeles county and Laguna Beach. Go visit San Fran or better yet a different state instead!

        Reply to LA NATIVE
  • LJ

    That bag is adorable! What a wonderful gift from General Mills!

    Reply to LJ
  • Jane

    We went to L.A. last month and it was so hot! You are going at a better time.

    Reply to Jane
  • Jessie

    Are you auditioning for music or movies in L.A.?

    Reply to Jessie
  • Jamie

    You will never want to leave the west coast! The weather is perfect this week.

    Reply to Jamie
  • Harriet

    Great recap! I miss playing tennis/outdoor activities it’s been raining here for the last 20 days so cabin fever has set in. Just don’t watch the old movie IT on the plane was my worst mistake, it even freaked out the lovely old lady sitting next to me so I now stick to kids movies or comedies. Have a fantastic trip to LA !!

    Reply to Harriet
  • Celsey

    That swim top is adorable! Have fun in L.A.

    Reply to Celsey
  • Steph

    Why are you going to L.A.?

    Reply to Steph
  • Anonymous

    You should go to Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach and Pelican Hill in Newport. If you’d like more tips just DM me on IG at itanyyya. 🙂

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Susie @ Mile High Dreamers

    I highly suggest the Energy Boost line from Adidas! They’re crazy light, but super supportive too, and VERY stretchy on the top, so they don’t smoosh your feet. They’ve gotten me through 2 half marathon trainings, and all of my HIIT classes without foot or knee pain. I’m on my fourth pair now!

    I don’t know any places personally in L.A., but from the looks of Pinterest, they have some AMAZING food spots. Epic brunch anyone?

    Have so much fun!

    Reply to Susie @ Mile High Dreamers
  • Dana


    Reply to Dana
  • Amanda

    I love your blog but wish you would have bought your flowers from a local floral shop eater than Lowes!

    Reply to Amanda
  • Emily L.

    I played tennis all throughout high school. It is GREAT cardio and such a fun way to get a workout in! I am watching the US Open and itching to play again! Love that you and Kyle do this together! 🙂

    Reply to Emily L.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes! It’s so much fun. I’m scared because I’m bringing my racket to California to play with my brother…he was a tennis pro at our CC growng up.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Amani

    Hi There!
    So funny about the plane mix up! I did the same thing once when I was in Spain and trying to fly to Portugal. Definitely a moment of stress.
    1. For Labor day we took our pup and went for a hike in the redwoods near Santa Cruz. Much needed as we escaped the heat wave.
    2. There are a lot of fun food markets on the weekend that I would suggest checking out. It’s easy to be healthy since there are so many options!
    3. Current movie obsession: Nice Guys

    Hope you have fun on your trip!

    Reply to Amani
    • Taralynn McNitt

      The great thing about it is that I didn’t have time to shop for clothes, so I’m taking what I already have! 😀

      Sounds like a fun Labor Day! & always better spent with pups.

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Claudia

    I love your cute obsession with tennis! Also, I am vega and omg Daiya cheese is the best!

    Reply to Claudia
  • Jaime

    I saw you asked about shoes – I use Nike Free RN Flyknits. I’m not a big runner, but they’re great for training. Jumps, squats, weight training, circuit training, HIIT – they are my go-to for anything I do at the gym. I sometimes do sprints in them and they’re okay. They are the best sneaker I’ve ever worn – I just bought a new pair.

    Reply to Jaime
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hmmmm I may check them out! The Nikes (for fitness) seem to always bother my feet for some reason and I think it’s because they are so flat.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Dana

    Where do you purchase the Veggie Fries???

    Reply to Dana
  • Lena

    Hi Tara,
    I dont know where my comment from the last post went, but I just wanted you to know that it’s so great that you made the decision to buy a reusable coffee to-go cup! Thanks for making a small change for the environment, your dogs and all other livings beings will thank you 🙂
    Picture pretty please of that cup? 🙂

    Reply to Lena
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Lena!

      I bought a customized mug from Erin Condren! It wasnt here in time for me to take to Cali 🙁 But I’ll post it when I’m home.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lauren

    So glad that you’re finally making it out to LA! What area will you be in? I can send some more tailored recommendations depending on what neighborhood you’re staying in 🙂 In the meantime though:

    For food: Gracias Madre (great vegan/mexican restaurant), Jon and Vinny’s (so yummy, try their spicy fusilli and LA woman pizza), Granville, Pono Burgrer, Bottega Louie, Joan’s on Third, Coffee Commissary, McConnell’s ice cream. I’d make a reservation at Gracias Madre and Jon & Vinny’s if you decide to go there!

    For activities: Runyon Canyon is a great hike, Lake Hollywood Park for views of the Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory, Grand Central Market downtown, Escondito Falls or Point Dume in Malibu (followed by lunch at Malibu Seafood!), and you have to hit up a farmers market while you’re here (my favorite is the Studio City one on Sundays). If you end up going to Universal Studios, let me know as I work on the back lot here and can show you around 🙂

    I hope you have an amazing trip!

    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I will be near Hermosa/Manhattan Beach but all over the place with my brother.

      Thank you for the recommendations!!!!!

      I HAVE to try out Gracias Madre 😉

      & love all the hike recommendations.

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Whit

    That gym on Saturday looks cool! I just moved to Charlotte and work uptown (as the locals say) and I’m looking for a new place to join.

    Reply to Whit
  • Ashley P

    Have fun in LA. 😀 I live in Seal Beach which is just south of LA in Orange County, but not too far. It’s a super cute, small beach town and would be right up your alley (if you get a change to leave the city and explore.)

    Reply to Ashley P
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    Do your gym sessions usually leave you feeling drained come over energized at the end? I ask because it seems like this one did and hence why the coffee 🙂

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It really depends if I had pre-workout breakfast or not. I was very tired on Sunday and throughout the entire workout! I don’t think it had anything to do with the workout. I usually feel great after one! 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    What racket do you use

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Alaina

    I’ve heard and read so many great things about collagen. I agree that adding it to cereals, etc. is a good way to incorporate it. Does it thicken things like oatmeal similarly to chia or flax?

    Reply to Alaina
  • Shannen

    Grumbles at the tennis court made me laugh! Haha
    I would love to visit LA someday. I don’t think I’d want to live there (I’m not a city girl) but I’m looking forward to living vicariously through your blog post about it!
    Have a good trip!

    Reply to Shannen
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    I wish we had Labour Day here in Hong Kong. I could’ve done with an extra day off!
    Never been to L.A. before but it always seems like such a dream to visit!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Erin

    For labor day I just hung out with family and grilled and had some drinks! My boyfriend and I had a baby in June so it was nice to have my parents there to play with the baby while we could just hang out with my siblings. (Make sure you and Kyle are being super safe hahaaa)

    The only suggestion I have for LA is Disneyland which is nearby haha, happiest place on earth!! We live in Scottsdale, AZ so its only a 6 hour it drive to visit. Although San Diego is my favorite city in CA!

    I always re-watch my favorite movies on planes! Clueless, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked up… stuff like that 🙂

    Reply to Erin
  • Dorothy

    1. Labor day was a nice mix of socializing, resting, working, and chores!
    2. I’ve never been to LA! I’d love to go some day.
    3. If you like scary movies, you should watch “A Cure For Wellness” It’s really good! There aren’t jump scares or any cheap tricks in it, but it’s definitely “dreadful.” Kind of reminds me of that movie “The Witch” that came out last year.

    So looking for food advice: My husband mentioned to me today that he’s looking to mix up his lunches. He almost always brings a sandwich, carrots, and some sort of fruit to lunch. Do you think you could do a blog post for brown-bag lunch ideas? He does have access to a microwave. I eat mason jar salads every day and never get tired of them, but he’s not that big into salads. In fact, he’s not big into veggies. I feel like to get him to eat interesting, healthy brown-bag lunches I’d have to be pretty tricky!

    Reply to Dorothy
    • Taralynn McNitt

      SAME here 😀

      I watched A Cure for Wellness! SO WEIRD!!!!! I feel like they didn’t know where they were going with the story and it was a mess lol

      I think that would be a great idea for a post!:) My boyfriend packs chicken, sweet potatoes, and quinoa!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Danielle

    Have fun in LA! My old stomping ground!

    Try and book a food tour. They are so great. They give you so much history and you try great things. I loved the one downtown and one in little Tokyo.

    Zankou chicken is fast casual but delish. Don’t forget to have in-n-out!!! Get your burger protein and animal style!

    Reply to Danielle
  • Jessie

    Hi Taralynn,

    I am following your blog for years and love all your receipes 🙂

    Just want to say, you should be cautious with the antlers, dogs shouldn`t chew for to long on them. Because they are so hard, they can cause micro fractures in the teeth 🙁

    Have fun in L.A.

    Kind regards

    Reply to Jessie

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