Surprise Visits, A Meal-Prepped Week, & Some DIY Fun!

Hey, Everyone!

It’s been a slow start entering the blog world this morning. I was up early walking the dogs, having coffee and enjoying the morning with my favorite company. I mentioned on Friday that I had some fun plans for the weekend, but I couldn’t say much because Kyle had no idea his mom, and one of his best friends, were surprising him with a visit for his 30th birthday!

I didn’t even think I’d have time to put together a recap, but somehow I managed to get it done. Let’s get to it before I have to take off again!
This week’s meals were all about the meal prep I put together on Sunday! The video and post will be up this week for all the details ๐Ÿ˜Š

I plan on putting another meal prep together on Wednesday because this made my life so much easier when it came to choosing what to have for dinner. I loved that I could just grab a container out of the fridge, heat it up, and eat it up. I didn’t have to cook or figure out which random ingredients I’d throw in a bowl with eggs on top.

My meal prep wasn’t for a “dieting” purpose. It as just to make my meals a bit more convenient. I definitely had other snacks with meals sometimes like a handful of nuts, a power bar, or the random dark chocolate in the freezer. Please don’t use my meals as a guide to “diet.” That’s never a good idea ๐Ÿ˜ย Just eat what works for you.ย 

I started Monday off with my meal prepped breakfast, and a four-mile walk around the neighborhood after writing my recap post. It was gorgeous outside, and a great excuse to listen to a podcast and walk.

I took the dogs over to my parent’s house Monday afternoon to run around in the backyard. After they were a muddy mess, my dad and I gave them front yard hose baths. They love them! I’m sure the cold water feels amazing in the summer heat.

(Dad, if you’re reading this morning, clean your windows! ๐Ÿ˜‚)

For lunch, I had my meal prep with blueberry SoDeliciousย coconut milk yogurt.ย 
I skipped the gym on Monday so I could stay in and watch the Bachelorette Finale. I wasn’t too invested in this season, so after eating dinner, I went upstairs and fell asleep. It was 9:30 pm by the time I passed out so I had to wait to see who she picked in the morning.

I used to be such a night owl, but now I’m in bed before ten and up before six.
On Tuesday morning, I started with my coffee, my meal prep, and got to work!

Leo was a real character on Tuesday…

I had my meal prep for lunch with herb goddess dressing. I was a little hungry around 4 pm, and so I made a smoothie with frozen strawberries, almond milk, vanilla protein powder, and cashew butter on top.
I headed to the gym with Kyle in the evening to walk on the treadmill. I love walking at a fast pace on an incline while watching the nightly news to pass the time.ย 
I spent the evening working on my Biltmore travel blog. Leo was pretty invested in my dinner…๐Ÿ˜‚
Another morning of walks and easy meal prepped breakfast!

ย I had my meal prepped (p.s. don’t count how many times I say “meal prepped” in this post) lunch and finished up my travel blog and video from my trip to The Biltmore Estate. ย 
After walking on the treadmillย at the gym on Wednesday night, I made Kyle’s favorite chocolate hazelnut protein balls (tutorial in this video), and played around with the new donut recipe!
ย I finished frosting the donuts and shooting photos of them on Thursday morning! I had my meal prep as well ๐Ÿ˜Š

I had been wanting to do something about the entryway for a while. I had a temporary hallway table there, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I finally tackled theย table project, and already have a post written about it. It’ll go live this week!ย 
Swerve Sweetie sent me some of their dessert mixes to try, and I’m LOVING them!!!

We tried out these chocolate chip cookies on Thursday!

These are their ketogenic, gluten free, grain free, sugar free, and low carb cookies.ย 
I was shocked byย how amazing they turned out! We couldn’t get enough. They lasted two days…(barely)
Crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle!
The only way to get them sitting together nicely.
On Thursday night, I did a homemade charcoal mask (coconut oil, activated charcoal powder, pureed mint leaves), and a 24-hour hair hydrating mask! I used avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, rosemary essential oil, and coconut oil. I wrapped it up in a shower cap and kept it in overnight and during the morning. My hair felt so soft after rinsing it out!ย 
I had breakfast before getting started on my donut recipe post ๐Ÿ˜Šย ๐Ÿฉย after Friday morning’s dog walk.

I wanted to quickly get the blog up before heading to the grocery store and doing the finale last-minute grocery shopping before picking up Kyle’s mom from the airport. I couldn’t really get things ready before they arrived because Kyle would have figured it out.
I picked up Kyle’s mom from the airport around 4:30 pm. Luckily, we made it back to my house before the traffic got too bad. We didn’t want Kyle to get home from work before us!

Kyle’s mom brought me this Elderberry Honey Tonic! It’s so delicious. She has it every morning and it’s really good for immune health. I tried it with frozen strawberries and water blended. Yum! It’s good by itself as well. I’m excited to start adding it to my smoothies.
We decided to stay in and have a relaxing night watching Dateline on Friday night (the usual.) I made baked salmon, rice, and a big salad for dinner!
I was so hungry, and this definitely hit the spot! (seconds, please!)
Leo woke me up at 5 am on Saturday. I’m glad he did because it was gorgeous outside, and the perfect temperature for a long walk. After taking Leo and Grumples two-miles, I made a protein shake. I woke up so hungry and I’ll go for a smoothie before coffee when that happens. It had frozen strawberries, camu powder, flaxseeds, almond milk, elderberry, acai, pumpkin seed protein, and ginger powder.ย 
Around eleven, I made a giant breakfast while Kyle was at the gym. His friend flew in from New Jersey to surprise him for his 30th! ๐Ÿ˜

He was so excited when he saw him! ๐Ÿ’œ

I made Kyle’s favorite protein pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, and a sausage and pepper hash.
I had my last coconut milk yogurt with fresh fruit, almonds and sunflower seeds. I was still full from my smoothie, and I wanted to save room for a big dinner!

I left my phone behind and we spent the rest of the day out doing some pretty fun things! It was nice to disconnect for a bit.ย 
Later in the evening, we had dinner reservations at Chima, a Brazilian Steakhouse that we’ve been wanting to try for a while now!

It was so hot outside, and my hair fell flat in the first three minutes. Oh, well ๐Ÿ˜”ย I’m just giving up on my mess of a hair until I figure out what I want to do. I think I’m going to get it cut to my shoulders and let it naturally get back to its original color. It needs some rehab. Pulling it back on walks and playing tennis with it in ponytails causes it to break, even with those ribbon hair tyes.ย 
At least they all look good!
My parent’s and a couple of other friends met us out for dinner. I loved the food a Chima, but boy was I stuffed!!!! We were all rolling out of there…
The cinnamon pineapple was amazing and so unique! Other than the fillets, this was one of my favorites.

We all sat on the couch in our food comas when we got home.
On Sunday morning, I helped Kyle with his meal prep for the week. We knocked it out in about an hour.ย 
I was really excited about Sunday afternoon because I signed Kyle’s mom, my mom, and I up for a workshop at Andersruff. I knew she’d love this place. We stopped at Sunflour Baking Co for lattes and treats to take with us before heading to our workshop.

I figured a class like this would be a great escape while Kyle hung out with his friends.ย 
I picked seed bars and they are too tasty! These saved me last year when we spent three hours at the dealership when Kyle was getting his jeep. I’ve had a love for them ever since!ย 
I am going to do a separate post with all of my photos and the whole tutorial separate from this blog. I can’t wait to share the whole experience with you all. I made a fall themed lazy susan for my table. It’s in my blog props closet for now because I’m not jumping into the fall decor just yet.

I also brought a homemade juice I made before leaving the house. It had two zucchinis, one large cucumber, three lemons, one apple, 3 inches of ginger, spinach, arugula, and kale. I also mixed in the elderberry tonic.ย 
My mom and I are already planning going back in November to make Christmas ones! We had so much fun smile, and that post will be up soon!
We didn’t wait to cook anything or go anywhere for dinner since that’s what we are doing tonight, so we stopped at Chopt to get dinner. Kyle’s mom doesn’t have a Chopt down in Florida, so she loved the whole experience!ย 
We had dinner and watched a couple movies the rest of the evening. โค๏ธ

Now, I’m off to get my tires changed, and then ready for another evening of fun!
I hope you all had an amazing weekend ๐Ÿ’œ

Questions for you!

  1. What kind of Fall DIY crafts would you like to see on my blog? (i’m doing wreaths next week)
  2. Do you like planning surprises or being surprised?
  3. What is your favorite recipe to make for company?


  • Jessica

    Let me just say this post almost took me broke. I ended up buying the Elderberry honey and something else from the Mickelberry website and I’m checking out now to see their products.

    Reply to Jessica
  • Ashley

    1. I am so excited for the DIY fall wreath! It’s my favorite season and I’m excited for new decorations!
    2. Planning for sure.. the only surprise I liked was my engagement!
    3. I love make a healthy buffalo chicken dip with our favorite chips, and for brunch shasuska!

    Reply to Ashley
  • Peggy

    Where did you get the reusable smoothie glasses with lids and straw? I love them!

    Reply to Peggy
  • Susie @ Mile High Dreamers

    Awww you’re such a good girlfriend! It looks like Kyle had a wonderful birthday (Happy Birthday Kyle!). You guys are getting pretty masterful at the meal prep.
    Also, I need to try that hair mask. I’ve been really into the whole scalp care thing and I’ve heard that ACV is so good for it!
    I want to see cute but easy ways to decorate around your house! I have a super small house but I LOVE FALL so I need some great ideas to get in the fall mood.
    I love both! Actually… I suck at both haha. I’m the worst at keeping surprises under wraps because I get too excited, and being surprised gives me anxiety. But I like the idea of it all haha.
    I like to make epic brunches when people come over! Pancakes, waffles hash browns, mimosas, fruit… Nobody’s mad about that!

    Reply to Susie @ Mile High Dreamers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Susie!

      Kyle was the meal prep OG! lol

      Becca and I are going to do some fall crafts this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

      Can’t go wrong with epic breakfasts!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Audrie

    I’m new to your blog and I love it so far!

    What camera are you using?

    Reply to Audrie
  • Kelsey

    Your dress is pretty!

    Thanks for sharing your week with us.

    Have a great day.


    Reply to Kelsey
  • Sara

    Your week looked great and I look forward to seeing your meal prep video.

    I am more of a surprise-r because I hate being in the spotlight.

    Reply to Sara
  • Witney

    Where did you get your backboard on your bed?

    Reply to Witney
  • Brooklyn Murtaugh

    I love how you always seem close with your boyfriend’s family. I’m the same way. It makes life so much better when you truly all love each other.

    I cannot wait to see your blog post with your lazy susan!!

    Reply to Brooklyn Murtaugh
  • Hannah

    Your salmon recipe is the best! When will you publish a cookbook?

    Reply to Hannah
  • Rachel

    I’m pretty hard to surprise, so it happens pretty rarely. I do love being surprised, though. Planning surprises is fun too! It was super sweet of you to plan this for Kyle.

    Reply to Rachel
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes, it’s always nice for sure! But, I’m like you! I always figure it out, or know something is up!

      Kyle loves his family and it stinks we live so far away, so I knew he’d LOVE seeing his mom! Plus, she’s so great for coming to see us!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Caitlyn

    That’s so cool that your parents have met! I have been with my boyfriend for over 3 years and MY parents still won’t meet his. It’s been really rough. I’ve been brainstorming ways to make it happen and it’s hard not to carry any grudge towards my own parents about it. On that note, I would rather throw surprises, instead of be surprised (I think I am too insecure to get surprised). I don’t have a favorite recipe to make for guests yet, but I should get working on finding one.

    Reply to Caitlyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes it was very nice!

      I’m sorry you’re dealing with that. Maybe they’ll come around soon, especially if you express how much it would mean to you!

      I like to do the surprising too!

      Luckily, the internet is filled with them! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cate

    What’s your favorite protein? Your overalls are adorable!

    Reply to Cate
  • Julia

    Will you be traveling soon?

    Reply to Julia
  • Raya

    What’s your favorite kind of coffee? like what do you look for?

    Reply to Raya
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I love to buy Sumatra coffee, a medium roast or dark, and whole beans!

      But if I’m visiting a place, I’ll try their signature coffee as long as it’s whole bean ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ashley

    Hi Taralynn!

    I had a similar struggle going on with my hair recently. It was just a mess of split ends and breakage. I actually just had it cut to my shoulders and it is so much healthier! I highly recommend it. I can also totally relate to your struggle of breakage caused by having your hair up all the time. I am either working out or in nursing school, so my hair is always up! My new stylist recommended these hair ties, even over the ribbon ones because the coil shape grabs the hair at different areas instead of the strain being concentrated to one spot. She swears by them! I have really liked them and they do a great job holding my hair up without tugging or breaking it.

    Looking forward to the meal prep blog to prep for school starting back up next week!

    Reply to Ashley
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks for the recommendation!! Definitely going to get my hair cut soon!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Ashely

        So cool you could spend time with Kyleโ€™s mom. Sheโ€™s so pretty!

        I think you have gorgeous hair. I know you mentioned going back to your natural color, but you look so good with blond highlights. I would keep it long and must take a couple inches off. Regardless, youโ€™ll look great!

        Reply to Ashely
        • Taralynn McNitt

          She’s so fun! & yes very ver pretty!

          The only reason I want to let my hair go back to it’s natural is that it’s so dry and damaged from the color and sun from summer! I’m just going to get it cut shorter and let it grow out while getting regular trims lol I call it hair rehab ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Krista

    I love the idea of meal-prepping! I’d forgotten I’d tried it a while back when my husband was on a business trip, but had messed up on the pesto with spaghetti squash, so it tasted almost fishy.. lol. Not sure what happened there.

    I have to say that I love being surprised, because it’s relatively uncommon that my husband can surprise me, and my parents aren’t much for surprising. My husband updates things in my car (he loves working on his track car, so mine is a piece of cake!) though, so that’s always a nice (though not as exciting, lol) surprise. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My favorite recipe to make for company, honestly, is just about anything sweet. Funfetti cookies are amazing and fluffy, and everyone, hands-down, loves them, though there’s a protein gingerbread cookie recipe we made alongside those for a cookie party last Christmas that was a hit too. My family loved the (vegan!) chocolate cake I made last time we were there for Christmas, probably because it was based on one of those that uses hot water. I made it on Christmas morning and had to stuff it into a big tupperware container because we were going up a couple of states away that afternoon to go skiing, so we wouldn’t have time to eat it before leaving and just brought it with us! In terms of savory food, though, I think lentil curries are pretty legit, at least in my circle. We love anything spicy, but curry holds a special place in our hearts!

    Reply to Krista
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Krista!

      lol that is funny! Hopefully, my tutorial can help!

      Your husband sounds like a keeper!!

      OHHH yes! Why are funfetti flavored anything so dang good? Sounds like you’re a pretty good cook/baker! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Hannah Brooke

    1. I love fall wreaths, I canโ€™t wait to see what you have in store!!

    2. Planning for sure. I HATE surprises lol. When my husband proposed to me I was like when did you do this?!!

    3. Vegan Mac and cheese or banana bread!

    Also, when are you going to share all the new things youโ€™re working on with Ariel/your road trip?!

    Reply to Hannah Brooke
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Can’t wait to share!!

      Hahahaha that is too funny!!

      ohhh yum. What kind of vegan mac do you make??

      I’m planning a pretty large road trip next spring ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Dana

    Where did you get those overalls? Adorable!

    Reply to Dana
  • Alaina

    I would love to see some Christmas DIY projects for the home!

    Also, which podcasts do you enjoy? I’ve read a few recommendations but always looking for more!

    Reply to Alaina
  • Nicole K.

    I LOVE anything fall! Home decor? I’m excited for the wreath post!
    I really like planning surprises. The look on the person’s face is the best part!
    Something really simple & filling – mostly pasta recipes.

    Reply to Nicole K.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I can’t wait to share it! So much fun to do ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

      I think so too! The look was so priceless and he was so happy!

      Pasta is always a good idea!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cassie

    Did you ask Kyle’s mom and friend to come down? Did he like the surprise?

    Reply to Cassie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Cassie!

      Kyle’s mom and I had planned for her to surprise him for his birthday for the past five months lol, and when his other friend asked if we were doing anything for his birthday, he mentioned flying down, and it all just worked out ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Taralynn McNitt

    It’s up on the blog now! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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