As a 26-Year-Old…GOTCHA!!!
Good Morning! Welcome to my last blog post as a 26-year-old. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was celebrating my 26th birthday in the smoky mountains. Where does the time go? I was just talking to some of my friends from back home this morning about how fast time flies, and it is a bit scary. When you’re young, it feels like time is the slowest thing on earth (mainly the school hours between 8 am and 3 pm) As you get older, the time seems to go faster and faster. This is why it’s important to enjoy every moment, and never take a single second for granted. I’ve been blogging for seven and a half years, and I know some of you have been here since the beginning. I just wanted to say thank you for helping me grow and being there for me throughout the years. This space here has been a big blessing in my life. I appreciate every comment and every email from you all. I feel fortunate to be doing this.
Now, it’s recap post time ♥ Isn’t that what you’re here for?
I finally feel like we are on a great weather streak (Minus the 45-degree weather we’re getting today.) It’s been pretty mild here. I know 45 would be mild for most of you around the U.S.
On Monday morning, I spent about an hour sitting on the porch having my coffee. I was out there before the sun was up, and I loved hearing the birds chirp. It gave me this exciting feeling for spring. It’s funny that I’m always craving the next season. Can we just alternate between fall and spring all year round? That would be the life!
Speaking of spring. I have been doing some spring home DIY planning. Hint: PLANTS.
After finishing up Monday’s recap post, I took both dogs out for a three-mile walk. I’ve been working hard on their training. We FINALLY got heel down. Every time we stop, they sit. Even their paws are aligned with our feet. It’s the best. It makes walking so much more enjoyable. Grumples is still a bit more stubborn, but Leo has it down to a tee.
For breakfast, I had my lemon & ginger tea. I can’t get enough! Sometimes I’ll have my tea before coffee, but some mornings, I simply need my coffee. It’s been a month and a half since giving up ALL coffee after 9 am. I can’t even explain how much better I feel. I have less anxiety, fewer stomach aches, and I’m much calmer. I can sit in one spot and get stuff done instead of pacing around. I drink my tea about three times a day. This is the best coffee replacement. My use two lemon & ginger Yogi or Stash tea bags, the juice of a small lemon, and 1/2 tablespoon of ground ginger. I also feel like this has helped my skin and blemishes. I can confidently say I don’t have one single breakout on my face.
I also had my protein bowl. I’ve been having this for the past two weeks because it tastes like pudding. Sometimes I’ll make chocolate, and sometimes I’ll do vanilla. I mix plain unsweetened coconut milk yogurt (SoDelicious) with my plant-based protein powder (Vanilla Orgain or Chocolate Orgain) and top it with sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
For lunch, I had an omelet (1 yolk + 3 egg whites), sauteed brussels sprouts and zucchini.
I was so sore from my Sunday workout, so I ended up going for a long walk with the dogs and spending thirty-minutes on the driveway stretching. It felt so good!
I headed out to my parent’s house so we could watch The Bachelor together. My dad’s commentary is hilarious. For dinner, I tossed arugula with Tessemae’s Green Goddess dressing and sunflower seeds to go with a side of sauteed chicken. I added an onion and pepper seasoning to the top of the chicken.
Tuesday morning lemon & ginger tea! 🙂 It was 55-degrees when I woke up 🙂 I had a waffle with banana and then headed out for a dog walk. I couldn’t get enough of the weather!
Before heading home to get started on some work, I decided to do a backyard workout. It was a great workout! The only downfall was how muddy it was from the night before, and my dogs were running all over the place while I was working out. I had a white t-shirt on, but it’s now tye-died with red dirt pawprints. I love workouts that don’t require the gym, especially during flu season!
After my workout, I had my go-to protein bowl! This one had chocolate protein powder topped with the new peanut butter nature-valley granola. General Mills sent me a package to try along with some new cereal, and I almost fell over after the first bite. It was so good. Luckily, Kyle thought it was good too, so he ate it all before I could. It’s funny because Kyle has his own little cabinet here with all of his favorite foods like peanut butter, cereal, and stuff I don’t want in sight. Out of sight/out of mind!
I spent the afternoon working on the computer and roasting vegetables. I decided to make a giant batch to eat throughout the week. It only lasted like three days! I added the vegetables to almost every single meal. I blogged the entire process here! Check it out, even if you do not like vegetables.
On Wednesday morning, I made a giant vegetable omelet with my food prepped veggies. I stuffed one yolk + three egg white omelet with all the yummy meal prepped vegetables.
For dinner on Wednesday night, I cooked up some chicken with black pepper, broccoli, zucchini, and mixed it with roasted garlic pasta sauce. Homemade pasta sauce is always better, but if you don’t want to spend time making it, look for a “no added sugar” pasta sauce. This was such a delicious meal!
It was gorgeous out on Thursday morning. After walking the dogs and catching up on work, I did a thirty-minute yoga video on my back patio. The yoga studio in my gym is really small, and I’m not sure I want to be that close to people during flu season. I’ll be doing yoga at home for a while. There are so many great free yoga videos on YouTube. Sometimes being alone in the backyard with real nature sounds is better for relaxing the mind. I have a hard time getting into the zone when I’m surrounded by a ton of people in a tight space. I’m more concerned about falling over or bumping into the person next to me. Or, I’ll start focussing on someone’s sweat dripping, and I get totally grossed out. My focus is much better when I’m alone. I had my lemon ginger tea after yoga!
My go-to vanilla protein bowl for breakfast 🙂
For lunch, I had my leftover chicken, carrots, hummus, half of an RXBAR (I ate the other half in the morning with coffee.) I sometimes wish I didn’t have to explain myself when I only have half of a bar on my plate, but I don’t want people thinking that I just ate half because one was “too much.” I find myself explaining things a lot because I know I’ll get the questions. So again, I have to say this! Not everything I eat is on this blog! Please do not use this as a guide, or assume this is all I eat. You are only getting a glimpse into my real life. 🙂 I don’t want you thinking “oh, she only ate half, so I should only eat half.” Please know, I ATE THE WHOLE THING! I don’t want you comparing my lifestyle with yours. I just love giving ideas on some of the things I’m eating!
Afternoon tea, work, and cuddles! Sometimes I have to put Leo behind the baby gate while I’m working (currently doing that now) because all he wants to do is lay on top of me. It’s cute but annoying! Kyle calls him my minion.
For dinner, I had a cup of sauteed broccoli and a three-eggwhite omelet + one yolk.
I was hungry before bed, so I had a chocolate protein bowl topped with powdered peanut butter.
Their faces say it all. Grumples and Leo got the cutest box in the mail on Friday morning! How adorable are these bandanas that K9 Sport Sack sent them?! I think they look so handsome!
They also sent the boys some vegan dog treats, dog bowls to-go, and some fun toys! I also wanted to mention that starting in February, a portion of each month’s profit will be given to a different rescue shelter! It’s their “no dog left behind promise” 🙂 I love it.
I had to share something so fun I did on Friday. It was a fun project, and I can’t wait to make more! I drink a lot of Yogi tea. What I love about each tea bag is the words of wisdom on each strand. I found myself saving them because they were amazing reminders. I had some leftover tree stumps from making coasters this Christmas, so I thought it would be cool to collage them together and make a tea coaster out of them! That way they are all in one place and I can use it for my tea 🙂 I made another one this morning. The cool thing is that I used a top coat that made everything smooth like glass on top. What is cool is that you can do this with almost anything! If you have a photo or letter you don’t want to lose, add it to wood:) Kyle and I often write each other little love notes and letters. I think it would be fun to do a little project like this on a board with them.
I bought a fifteen piece pack of tree bark coasters on Amazon. They are perfect for projects! They come sanded and unfinished. I painted a white area and stuck the little pieces of paper to the paint. I had to cut some of them to make them fit.
I used high gloss varnish to coat them. I added one coat of the varnish every two hours! I wanted it thick as glass. I let it dry completely overnight, and that was it! 🙂
Here is the set I made for Kyle’s mom to go with the butterfly painting on Christmas. They are great little DIY gifts.
On Friday, I made a new avocado brownie recipe! My old avocado brownie recipe has been a favorite throughout the years, but I made one EVEN BETTER! This may be one of my favorite recipes for the blog! It’ll be up on Thursday! I’ve already made three batches since Friday. My parents came over and wanted to take a bunch home because they were so obsessed with them. Kyle went nuts for them! They’re gluten free, dairy free, low carb, grain free, no added sugars, and insanely delicious! I added sprinkles to the Sunday night batch to kick off my birthday week!
I cooked up the leftover veggies on Friday night to eat throughout the weekend. I pledged a while back to limit going out to dinner, and I’ve stuck to it. I like to go out a bit more in the summer, but I have loved the healthy at-home meals. This pan is filled with broccoli, garlic, peppers, onions, and carrots. I cooked up french green beans in a separate pan and combined them.
For my protein, I made beef and chicken burgers. I know it’s a random combo, but this is how I love to use up my groceries, and it was a perfect combo! I mixed the meat with garlic, pepper, and red chili sauce.
I browned the outsides of the burger in a pan with cooking spray and then finished them off in the oven at 375 degrees. Before I put them in the oven I sprinkled more garlic powder, onion powder, minced onion, and oregano on top!
Nothing better than a huge batch of vegetables! I just finished these up last night.
My Friday night dinner! I also made some oregano garlic rice for the side. How about these cat slippers? The are the WARMEST and most COMFORTABLE slippers ever!!! They’re the closest thing I’ll ever have to a cat. I wish my dogs liked cats because I’d have like ten! It’s hard enough keeping these away from the dogs.
On Saturday morning, I had a photoshoot planned or Kyle, the dogs, and I. I wanted to do something fun for my blog for a Valentine’s day post. Valentine’s day is one of my favorite holidays, and I want you guys to get to know Kyle better. He’s one of the most special, sweetest, kindest, most amazing person! I thought it would be fun to do a little Q&A with some photos. I wrote down all of the questions from my DM’s and my last recap post for us to answer. We are going to work on it together while we are out of town this weekend. If you had some questions, feel free to add them. And just a heads up, this post is going to be fun and light! Nothing personal or too deep.
This is why I don’t get ready often. HAHA! And YIKES! I need a trim. Winter does wonders to the hair…See the photo on the left? That’s what I look like 85% of the week. Frizzy and pale 🙂
After taking the photos, I had a lunch with the leftovers, and I worked and watched movies on the couch with Kyle while he worked. It was a very quiet and a chill afternoon.
For dinner, I made an orange glazed steak stir-fry.
I cooked up broccoli, shallots, garlic cloves, and sweet potatoes with olive oil until they were lightly browned. I then added steak, 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, two tablespoons gluten free soy sauce, 2 teaspoons red chili paste, and one teaspoon of sriracha. It turned out AMAZING!!!!!
I was so excited to make homemade yogurt on Sunday!
FAIL. BIG FAT FAIL.
On to the next batch……
Our dog trainer had to cancel, so we spent the morning working with the dogs.
I had a late breakfast on Sunday morning. It consisted of an omelet and a leftover burger. That reminds me! I need to make more of those burgers. They were so convenient. I’ll probably use ground turkey next time.
I headed to the gym around one on Sunday for an awesome workout! I was obsessed with this treadmill workout, and I’ll probably do this tonight, but for five rounds.
I finished the circuit rounds in the gym after stretching.
After the gym, I had a soup that my dad brought over, and it was probably the best soup I’ve ever had. I added in some of my leftover veggies and rice just to make the flavors last longer. I couldn’t get enough! It took me a while to build the trust back up with my dad and soups. When I was a kid, we’d have soup, love it, and then he’d tell us that it was venison. I hated venison as a kid, and mostly because I had to stare at the deer’s head on the wall while eating it. I was terrified. Now that I know he’s not hunting anymore, it really IS NOT venison in the soup.
My dad added sautéed peppers, sautéed onions, two cups cooked up Italian sausage, cut up carrots, chopped sweet potatoes, diced squash, two cans diced tomatoes, five cups low sodium beef broth, pepper, salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and a half cup of hot salsa mix to a crockpot on high for 4-6 hours.
I plan on making this, so look out for the whole recipe tutorial!
Second batch of avocado brownies for on Sunday night! I’m so excited for this recipe to go live on Thursday. I am going to spend the morning at the coffee shop working on the post. Treating myself to a birthday latte!
I even tested the leftover batter from the bowl to see if it worked in the mug, and it did! This is also microwave friendly!
Can’t live without my birthday sprinkles! If you are interested in all-natural rainbow sprinkles, check these out on Amazon! No artificial colors, or flavors. I just ordered these for a fun birthday cake post! I’m making a gluten free/dairy free/ no added sugar fun-fetti cake with them.
I ended the night with spaghetti squash, pasta sauce, and apple chicken sausages. I was so hungry that I forgot to take a photo!
My recap post didn’t go live yesterday morning because I put up a fun blog about periods and products! 🙂 Here is the coffee I had yesterday morning. I have been drinking this for the past week and I can’t get enough! IT’S SO GOOD! Here is the link for the Whole Beans and the link for the Ground Beans. I am going to start sharing which coffee brands I drink. I like to change it up a lot! I also highly recommend getting a coffee grinder! It makes your coffee super fresh, and it stores your beans. I have a really inexpensive one that I love! Here is the link if you’re interested.
Afternoon tea time 🙂
For my breakfast/lunch, I made an omelet stuffed with my leftover vegetables and spaghetti squash from the night before!
I love filling my omelets with spaghetti squash instead of cheese. I’ve been doing this for the past five years! It’s also really good with pasta sauce on top.
I also had apple chicken sauces, strawberries, oranges, and tea on the side!
Later in the afternoon after a three-mile dog walk, I made a protein bowl and some tea before heading to the grocery store to pick up some more coconut milk yogurt (after my fail.)
Later in the evening, I had some sparkling water with lemon drink mix, and a big bowl of spaghetti squash marinara before sitting down to watch The Bachelor!
I am loving the lighter evenings! It doesn’t get dark until 6 PM now:)
I hope you all have an amazing week! Make sure to check back on Thursday for the brownie recipe! You won’t want to miss it! 😀 I’m ready to go pack up my stuff, head uptown, walk the dogs, go to the gym with Kyle, and enjoy my last day as a 26-year-old.
Questions for you!
- Do you like Valentines Day?
- Are you terrified of getting the flu? (I am)
- How many times do you go out to eat per month?