Good Morning and how the heck is it Monday already?
I woke up at 6 am so I could walk the dogs before the heat arrived. I’m already on coffee cup number two but feeling a bit unmotivated. Once I get my writing flow going, I’ll be good to go. Last week was filled with work projects, lots of cooking, tennis, and little adventures! I plan on taking it slow this week and working on a ton of writing. (While watching Wimbledon, of course) I have about ten blog posts on my list to get done, and you guys suggested most of them!
Last Monday, I spent the morning working on my recap post (the same thing I do every Monday morning!) After finishing that up, I walked the dogs and then headed to Queen City Grounds to start putting together the fun giveaway post with JonnyPops! If you guys haven’t entered the giveaway, you can do so here!
Coffee at 3 pm is not a good idea, and I’ve been slacking on my “one cup a day” rule, but I was so exhausted, and I really needed a pick-me-up to carry me through my workload. Sometimes you have to be intuitive when it comes to coffee. 😊
I ordered an oat milk latte and had a coconut chocolate Pure Bliss bar for a snack. I know I mentioned this last week, but I’m so excited to have found a great working spot. Queen City Grounds is spacious, bright, has so many outlets (IMPORTANT), kind staff, and so many workstations. I’ve never been the type of person that enjoys working at a coffee shop because I’m easily distracted, but this place is ideal! Not to mention, they have the best-tasting coffee! I’m obsessed with their roast. I’ll be updating my Charlotte guide soon, and this place is going on top!
I was still working three hours later and needed dinner! I was so hungry but didn’t want to pack up and leave my workload. If I’m on a roll, changing environments can throw me all off. I’m weird like that. Sometimes if I can’t get in the writing flow, I have to get up and move. It usually does the trick!
Luckily, they have a great menu with delicious local food. I ordered the “Figure Four.” It had arugula topped with prosciutto-wrapped turkey breast, spinach, toasted pumpkin seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh Burrata, and fig-balsamic vinaigrette. It usually comes in a wrap, but all of their items can be made into salads. Everything was delicious!
I finished working at 8:45 pm and headed home to catch up on the Bachelorette! I still think this season is a boring disaster. I’m looking forward to the last three episodes. They really need to remodel this whole show! The drama is way too artificial and forced.
I’m sure you’ve seen these muffins popping up all over my Instagram. I made them last week, too, and shared the recipe! We can’t quit them…
The great thing about these muffins is that you can throw all the ingredients into a large bowl, pop them in the oven, and bam! They’re done. They are vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and have zero added sugars. We’ve made about six batches this week because they keep disappearing. 😮 I threw in the recipe again towards the bottom of this post.
I plan on making a similar muffin this week with almond butter, lemons, and poppy seeds!
I ended up making these muffins at 6:30 am after walking the dogs early morning. Kyle said waking up to the smell of these made his entire day. 😀 He was actually searching the fridge for them last night and disappointed that there weren’t any left. Guess I’ll have to make another batch today!
I’ve also really enjoyed seeing your photos from the batches you all have made!!
I planned on going out and doing some exploring around Charlotte with Arielle on Tuesday afternoon. Before leaving the house, I had two eggs, brussels sprouts, and a side of guacamole. Arielle has been helping me out with the blog, and life has been a lot easier with a second hand! She’s also in the process of remodeling her own blog, so I’ll make sure to share the link once it’s up and launched.
Back in March, I went to Asheville with Meighan. I stopped at Trade and Lore for coffee but had no idea they had a location in Charlotte. It’s been on my list of places to try, so we made our way over to NoDa. The location was really neat! It was a giant upstairs with many areas to sit, and the decor was very fun and bright.
I had oat milk mixed with coffee on “tap.” Not sure how I felt about it because the coffee was a bit fizzy. It tasted good, but the texture threw me off. I was definitely having one of those days…
I was standing at the crosswalk, and somehow my shoe came off. It fell off the curb, and I watched it fall onto the sewer bars. I thought it would stop rolling and land upright, but I literally slow-motion watched it fall into the sewer. “Did that really just happen?” It was actually hilarious, and we couldn’t stop laughing. Luckily, Kyle didn’t live too far, so I stopped there and picked up another pair of shoes.
Later in the afternoon, we stopped at Living Kitchen in Southpark. This was my first time trying out that location, and I actually really liked it in there. I have been on their veggie burger kicks and can’t get enough! I also ordered their carrot cake to go…(veggie burger details)
I spent the rest of the evening relaxing and catching up on writing work.
My cramps were so bad on Wednesday that I felt like crawling into a hole and crying.
Sometimes sitting still makes it worse, so after breakfast, I headed out for a long dog walk!
Breakfast: frozen strawberries, chocolate protein powder (organic), ice, cashew milk, oats, and turmeric powder.
Grumples and I went two miles! It wasn’t scorching out yet, so he didn’t want to quit on me. I usually stay close just in case Grumples taps out. He wanted to keep going, so we walked until he was done.
We love crape myrtle season in Charlotte. ♥️
My lunch was so random, but carbs make my cramps worse (what I’ve learned.) I had some imitation crab meat (I’ve been obsessed with this stuff since I was a kid), apple chicken sausage, guacamole, and two fried eggs.
For dinner, I had one fried egg with three extra egg whites and an arugula salad with spicy Trader Joe’s salad toppers, white beans, crabmeat, and honey mustard vinaigrette dressing.
Kyle is obsessed (as am I) with the Birch Benders paleo pancake mix. The cabinet has about six bags of it right now. He wanted them for dinner after the gym, so I made a big batch. I made extra so that I could have one with coffee in the morning.
We mixed the pancake mix with peanut butter, protein powder, peanut butter, almond milk, and dark chocolate chips.
I felt much better on Thursday morning, which was great because I had a big day of recipe development with Arielle planned. I have a giant summer menu that I am trying to get through before fall arrives! I want to start doing fall recipes by September! 🙂 Ahhhhhhh, FALL! 🍁 🍂 🍃
I took my protein shake to go and headed to my house. My red solo cup had chocolate Orgain protein powder, cashew milk, frozen banana, and ice.
Arielle and I stopped at Home Depot to pick up a board and spray paint so we could make a new photo backdrop for the summer recipes. After picking up all the groceries, we spent hours in the kitchen, and I can’t wait to show you what we’ve made!
I got uptown around 6 pm. Kyle wanted to play tennis, so I had a quick green juice, put on my workout clothes, and headed over to the courts with him! We played best of seven…I won. Then we played best of three…I won. Sometimes, it pays off to drink your veggies! 😊
I woke up with no motivation to work on Friday.
I needed to get out in nature and escape from the computer. I decided to do something fun and then hit the computer later in the day.
I had two eggs and two protein pancakes for breakfast! My protein pancakes had Bircher Bender mix with cashew milk and protein powder.
Before heading out, I took both dogs for a mile walk around uptown.
I stopped at Whole Foods for some snacks, green juice, and then Arielle and I headed to the Latta Plantation for a hike. It was about 95-degrees outside, but still a beautiful day. We passed maybe four people on the entire hike.
It’s crazy to think that all of this land and beauty is just ten miles outside of the city. That is why I LOVE Charlotte. I don’t ever want to leave, and I’ve never felt that way about a place.
There are so many different trails and routes you can walk on the preserve. Meighan and I did our six-mile run here before our half marathon! It looked much different in the summer.
Next time, we are bringing out swimsuits! If it weren’t as hot outside, I would have brought the dogs for a swim! I know they would have LOVED this spot. Kyle and I have walked the dogs here before when it was cooler, but I’d love to see them go for a swim!
I picked up Kahuna trail mix blend from the Whole Foods bulk and mixed in some of their agaves-sweetened sour gummy bears. No shame! The kahuna crunch has craisins, dried pineapple, cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts. I also picked up “kale it up” BluePrint green juice. I added two ginger shooters to the bottle to give it extra spice. I can never get enough ginger!
For those asking, this bottle is from Elemental! ❤ I’m only slightly obsessed with it…
I thought it was so cool that there were so many blackberry bushes on the trails. This would be ideal on a good episode of Naked and Afraid!
We headed to Queen City Grounds to get work done after hiking! I had an oat milk cappuccino 🙂
I was so excited to meet up with Becca around seven! I haven’t seen her in a while, but that’s because she’s kicking butt at work and………I JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE! I’m so proud of her. I can’t wait until she’s all moved in so I can come to sit and have coffee with her on the porch.
We stopped for a drink at Amelie’s before walking around. I had sparkling water with lemon juice. So refreshing since it was 90-degrees and humid.
I got home around 9:00 and had a muffin baking request from Kyle! I wasn’t joking about these muffins…
I planned on making them anyway because I wanted to take one with me on Saturday for after tennis.
Kyle and I took the boys out for a walk at 7 AM on Saturday. This is my favorite time of the day because the sun is gorgeous when it shines down on the front porches in the historic 4th ward.
I was so excited for Kyle to join me on Saturday morning with the tennis group! We played so well in doubles! I’m so used to playing against him, so it was fun being on his side for once! We were on the undefeated court and left on top!
We had some errands to run after playing tennis, so I was happy that I brought those delicious muffins with us!
I picked up some food at Whole Foods for lunch!
My bowl had a massaged kale salad, kale slaw, apple almond quinoa, and grilled chicken thighs.
Grumples always get grass allergies, so I have to give him medicated tea tree baths. He’s been itchy from allergies, so he was the lucky one getting the hose bath on Saturday afternoon! It was SO HOT OUT, so I bet the cold water felt good on his itchy skin. I’m taking him to the vet in the morning to get medication for his allergies.
I slathered sunscreen all over my face, and then we took off to head to my parent’s house for dinner! We bought steaks at Whole Foods, and my parent’s made the delicious vegetables on the hibachi grill.
My dad took this photo of me, and I wasn’t going to post it because of how tired and not put-together I looked, but after a morning of dog walks, hours of tennis, errands, dog baths, cooking, and playing backyard games….this is me!!! Actually, this is how I look 90% of the time.
And dinner was DELICIOUS!!!!
We had fresh fruit, a quinoa salad (recipe coming to the blog soon), and grilled steak. I don’t eat red meat often, but when my iron levels are low (lately), I need to eat them. Iron supplements and plant-based iron doesn’t give my body the same effect.
After dinner, we had my berries and cream coconut pretzel dessert! YUMMY!!!
We spent the evening playing bags (or cornhole), swimming, and relaxing! I bought my dad a perfect beer for the pool.
I was up at 6 AM with the dogs on Sunday morning. I had a lot of work to get done, so I wanted to get their walks in. Grumples and I went almost three miles! It was beautiful out.
Grumples was so funny. I put him up on the porch at the Poplar Street Cafe for a photo, and he just sat on the steps and refused to walk back with me. He loves to sit outside, and people watch. We do this at my house a lot when it’s cooler outside.
I had a message from Meighan commenting on my muffins on Instagram, so I had to make her and her boyfriend a batch! I knew she’d love them. I got a message from her this morning saying that they were demolished. Success 🙂
They only take like thirty minutes to make and bake! That’s why I love them. I sent her the recipe so she could make them too!
I promise I’m done talking about these muffins for now, and I’ll have a new combo to start raving about!
Kyle and I started making his meals for the week on Sunday afternoon.
I LOVE cooking, and there is something so therapeutic about doing meal prep. I’m also way faster at it 🙂
I shared a bit about the process on my Instagram story yesterday and had so many questions.
Kyle eats this meal plan for a muscle-building diet. If I were to eat this, I’d blow up like an elephant. Kyle eats this five days a week and then intuitively on the weekends to give his body a break.
Grocery List: 8 chicken breast, 2 pounds of turkey, white rice, 8 sweet potatoes, and whatever seasoning we choose for the chicken.
We usually change it up and sometimes switch the proteins so it doesn’t get repetitive. We just added apple chicken sausage to change things up this week.
Kyle will usually have a shake at 8 am, a meal at 11 am, a meal at 2 pm, a meal at 6 pm before the gym, and casein shake before bed. Casein protein is slow digesting, so it helps with muscle recovery at night. This meal plan is great for saving money as well! We buy all organic food, and it ends up costing around $70. That is only $4.60 a meal. Many people say they don’t have time for meal prep, but this actually only takes a little over an hour to make, and it saves him so much time during the week.
I have to throw in a quick shoutout for these amazing dark chocolate bars from JoJo’s Chocolate! You all know I’ve been obsessed with JoJo’s for years! Well, they went me over a couple of packages of their peanut butter delight and chocolate bark bars. They’re made with 70% dark chocolate and non-GMO casein (slow digesting protein designed to keep you fuller longer) protein. The nutrition facts are amazing…10g of carbs, 6g of protein, and only 6g of sugar for the entire chocolate bar! These are perfect for late-night cravings.
I needed an afternoon pick-me-up to power through yesterday’s blog post! I really wanted to get my dessert bars up. Kyle and I walked down to Queen City Grounds so that I could grab an oat milk latte. I also picked up a Lenny Boy Kombucha! They are so good, low in calories, and low in sugar!
This ended up being the BEST oat milk iced latte I have ever had! The coffee did the trick because I finished my blog post and stayed up organizing the photos for this post. I like to have all my photos in order so I can start writing on Monday morning.
For dinner, I had leftover Whole Foods from Saturday! I had roasted veggies, kale salad, chicken breast, and some nut thin crackers!
Thank you all for stopping by to read today’s post! It always makes me happy to connect with you all during the week:) I hope you have a safe and fun 4th of July holiday! Eat a ton of desserts, lots of grilled food, and enjoy!
Questions for you!
- Do you find it hard to focus while working at a coffee shop?
- What keeps you coming back to read the weekly recap posts?
- What was the highlight of your weekend?