Thrifty Finds, Fall Touches, Mum Goals, & Tasty Eats!

I blinked and all of a sudden September was gone, and October was here. I’ve never felt a month go by as fast. The weather surely felt like October this morning when I got up to walk the dogs. I almost ran back in the house for a sweater. 😊 
I hope you all had an amazing week! I took some time to step back from social media this weekend, and it felt really good. I caught myself a couple of times on the app but spent 90% less time on my phone. It felt really good to just be in the moment and not take the time to post a story, reply to comments, or see what everyone else is up to. I did miss it a bit though 😉 I’ll be on FULL-FORCE this weekend because Kyle and I are heading to Iowa for my cousin’s wedding. I haven’t been home in five years. Since my parents moved down to South Carolina, and my brother lives all the way out in L.A., I haven’t found the excuse to go, but now we’ll all be back at the home base, and I’m pretty excited about it. I’m mostly looking forward to showing Kyle around my hometown. He drove me around the places he grew up, and now it’s my turn.

Before I got started with my recap post this morning, I blended up a super super super smoothie! It had 1/2 banana, matcha, moringa, maca, spirulina, wheatgrass, barley grass, pumpkin seed powder (protein), cocoa nibs, cashew milk, and a pear.

Now, let’s go back to Monday! 
My morning breakfast while blogging last week’s recap post: 1/2 banana, chocolate orgain protein powder, blackberries, cashew milk, and creamy peanut butter on top!

For dinner, I had leftover gluten-free vegan mac and cheese, eggs scrambled with roasted vegetables, and butternut squash! 
I wanted to find some cute blazers to wear with boyfriend jeans and boots for fall. I thought it would be fun to find some at Goodwill or other thrift stores. I ended finding this one, and thought it was pretty cute! I cut out the shoulder pads and sewed on a new button. It was really fun trying to find pieces that were inspired by Pinterest at Goodwill. I’m going to go out and try to find a new one today! 
I got around to filming a makeup tutorial on Tuesday afternoon! It’ll be up on my channel soon 😊 
I filmed a “day in the life” video from Tuesday! This lunch is in the video. 😊

Around 3 pm, Leo and I hopped in the car to grab cappuccinos and pupuccinos before his vet appointment. Leo had a tiny blood blister looking growth on his stomach. Over the past couple of months, it’s grown and turned into a deep maroon color. We were hoping it was a blister, but it was only getting worse. His vet wants to put him under to remove the spot and the cells around it to make sure it’s benign. The reason for removing the cells around it while he’s under is that if it is positive melanoma, then she can remove it then and there. His little operation will be the weekend we get back, so we’re praying he’ll be fine! 
For dinner, I had leftover zucchini pizzas (how to is in the video above), and a hot chocolate for dessert! 
I headed to Hobby Lobby to pick up some fall decor for my fireplace mantel, and few little floral pieces for the jars. I loved these little herb pictures at Hobby Lobby! I wanted to get them but had no idea where I’d put them. 

The fall touch 🎃
I also picked up cute scarecrows to put with the mums.
After the gym on Wednesday night, I had leftover zucchini pizzas and a tossed salad.
On Thursday, I made delicious no-bake, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and sugar-free pumpkin pie protein balls! You can find the recipe here!
I also made homemade chili spice falafels! I’ll post that recipe this week. THEY WERE SO GOOOOOOOD!!!!! I added the falafel to a salad with roasted acorn squash for lunch.
For dinner, I had a zucchini pizza, falafel, and acorn squash. 
On Friday night, I made my dad gluten and dairy free carrot cake cupcakes! (HIS REQUEST) And they turned out incredible!! I’ll be posting that recipe ASAP. 
We played some backyard games and hung out with my parent’s to celebrate my dad’s birthday. For dinner, I had sweet corn, a salad with herb goddess dressing, and sweet potatoes. 
I haded to tennis on Saturday morning and played nonstop for three and a half hours. I WAS ZONKED! I brought my pumpkin pie protein balls and a Honeycrisp apple to refuel on my way home. 
I was so tired, so I stopped at Starbucks to grab a double almond milk cappuccino to wake me up. This has been my go-to lately. 
I showered off and then headed to the mall with Kyle. He needed to pick up his suit that was getting tailored, and I wanted to find a cute jacket. I ended up finding the cutest camel jacket! I can’t wait to bring it on the weekend trip because it’s going to be chilly in Iowa. 
For dinner, I made roasted carrots, salmon, and couscous. 
I still love my veggie tots from Dr. Praeger’s! 
For dessert, I had one of my carrot cake cupcakes with a cappuccino while Kyle and I watched a movie. 
I headed out for a day of shopping with Becca. We spent two hours walking around the mall, and the only thing we bought was delicious salads at Zoe’s! We love going here together.

We were talking about how fast life changes and it’s crazy to think back about where we were three years ago. Want to know the craziness of it all? Four hours later, I get a text message from her with a picture of her hand. It had a ring on it…GUYS, MY BEST FRIEND IS ENGAGED! TALK ABOUT HOW FAST THINGS CHANGE!! I’m so happy for her, and her fiance (omg…can’t believe I’m saying that) is one of the best guys! I love that they’ve found each other and I’m so excited to start wedding planning with her! She deserves the best! 
When I got back from the mall with Becca, I made crustless pumpkin pie muffins! I changed up the recipe a bit and left out the flaxseeds. I added way more spices and 1 cup of protein powder!

I spent the evening organizing my closet and getting some things packed for the weekend.

Questions for you!

  1. What’s your favorite thrifty find?
  2. How far are you from your hometown?
  3. Have you ever been to Iowa?


  • Lace

    When are you going to Iowa? Will you do a meetup? I love your blog!

    Reply to Lace
  • Kelsey

    Thank you for the daily inspiration!

    Reply to Kelsey
  • Maximiliane

    1. Most of my favorite clothes are actually second-hand! I found a really fantastic cotton maxi tank dress that looks like Kim Kardashian would wear it, a like-new Kate Spade little black dress, a bit of a risque jumpsuit that I have to get tailored and want to make a bit more wearable, as well as an emerald green jumpsuit that when somebody walks the legs open up. I’ve been really lucky I guess 🙂
    2. I’m still in my hometown but hope to move sometime soon.
    3. I have been to Iowa but it was a part of a longer trip, so I can barely remember it all.

    I love all of your new videos! Are you planning on running more of a youtube channel? A morning or evening routine would be great to see!

    Reply to Maximiliane
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Maximiliane!

      Wow! Sounds like you found some pretty awesome pieces!

      Nothing better than feeling like home though! 😊 I’m sure you’ll adapt to wherever you live!

      I feel like I haven’t been back in so long that I hardly remember it!

      I’m just having fun with doing videos right now, so who knows! 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lara

    Your fall decor has inspired me to work on my front porch this weekend!

    Reply to Lara
  • Julie

    Love the jacket that you found at Goodwill! Seeing it makes me want to stop by my local store to see what treasures they might have gotten in lately. My favorite find was a pair of Eddie Bauer pants that I got for $4, and they still had the original $50 price tag on them. My husband is from Burlington, Iowa, so we go back every summer for Steamboat Days. Have fun on your hometown visit! Congrats to Becca!

    Reply to Julie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Julie!

      Thank you 😃

      It’s always fun to stop in and see what’s there! Ohhhh always nice when they have the tags on them!! Ahhh how cool! We used to go to Burlington a lot!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    Did you change your air filters?

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Where is the camel coat from

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Hannah

    What town are you from in Iowa?

    Reply to Hannah
  • Danielle

    First off, I can’t wait for your makeup tutorial and your falafel recipe. Oh, and your carrot cake cupcakes!

    Second, I have never been to Iowa but plan on it!

    Third, can you please film a home tour?

    Reply to Danielle
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Danielle!

      I’m excited to share 😊 I’m about 90% done editing the makeup tutorial. And the full recipe will be live today!

      Iowa is great and I hope to visit more often!

      Ohhhh a home tour would be fun!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mackenzie

    Aww congrats to Becca! How exciting 🙂 My husband just went to Des Moines for a work trip last week and loved it. He said it was so charming & just a great vibe- he keeps saying we need to go back, so I’m hoping we can go back together soon! All these eats are making my mouth water per usual- I just got an acorn squash and wasn’t sure what I was gonna do with it, but just roasting sounds like a great idea. And that blazer is soooo chic!! Love it. Have a great time at the wedding, girl!

    Reply to Mackenzie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Mackenzie!

      Yes, so exciting! That is so great to hear. I haven’t been to Des Moines in so long! My mom and I used to go up almost every weekend.

      Roasted acorn squash is amazing!!!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessica

    Where did you find the coconut turmeric wraps from your Instagram story yesterday?

    Reply to Jessica
  • Beatrice

    My dog just had a spot removed last month and turns out it was melanoma. I’m glad you’re taking the steps as a responsible dog owner to remove it.

    Reply to Beatrice
  • J.

    I actually live in Des Moines! You must check out the farmer’s market on Saturday.

    Reply to J.
  • Alex

    Hey Taralynn! As you stated in your post, so much has changed! I recently found your blog again after many years. My friend and I would visit your old tumblr almost everyday for fitness/lifestyle inspiration when we were in college lol
    I love your new blog. Congrats to your friend and I hope all goes well for Leo.

    Reply to Alex
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Alex!

      So glad you’ve found my blog again!

      Crazy how fast goes for sure! & thank you! i’m so excited for her!

      xo xo thank you for the sweet wishes for Leo!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Heather

        Hey girl! I live in Minneapolis, but I half of my relatives live in the Des Moines area. What a fun city! If you have time, check out West End Architectural Salvage. It’s downtown and it is a fun mix of antiques and salvaged pieces for your home. Plus, it has a cute little coffee shop! I think you would really like it! Hope you have fun in Iowa! 🙂

        Reply to Heather
  • Emily

    Where do you board your dogs when you guys are away?

    Reply to Emily
    • Taralynn McNitt

      We don’t. My parents will usually watch them if we are gone, but since they are also going on the trip, we have a friend staying with them this weekend 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Meghan

    October definitely came quick and it totally brought the fall weather along with it! My favorite thrifty find was a little leather ottoman that I got for my bedroom, and I later saw one for sale at an antique shop for $70! I scored mine for $10!! I am about 4 hours away from my hometown, I don’t get there very much either because like you, my parents moved away from there too so I have very limited family left in the area. I have never been to Iowa, but I’ve been near the Wisco/Iowa border once or twice haha. Have a great weekend!

    Reply to Meghan
  • Samantha Bunker

    My favorite thrift store finds are usually furniture or decor! I’m too impatient to wade through all the clothing racks (although I’m sure I’m missing out!) so I usually stick to the furniture section and the random isles. I have found so many cute decor items that I re-purpose and they end up looking like they came from Hobby Lobby! Recently I found a cute table lamp for $2!

    I’m pretty far away from my hometown so I don’t get the chance to go back very often but both my husband and I are from there so when we do get to go back it’s so much fun!

    I’ve actually never been to Iowa even though I’m from Illinois!

    Reply to Samantha Bunker
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Samantha!

      I like looking through those aisles too, espiecally to refurbish the frames! Hobby Lobby is the BEST!!!

      So nice that you guys are from the same place! Makes it easier during the holidays im sure!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lauren

    I am in love with all your fall decor! It is sooo cute!!

    Congrats to Becca!!! I feel like I know her haha!

    Will we see a ring in the future for you too? 🙂

    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Lauren!!

      Yes, I’m so excited for her!!!! I had to share because I feel like my readers have grown with her as well the past couple of years!

      lol, I’ve always thought it was such a weird question to get. I don’t know the answer to that and it’ll probably be far in the future. Kyle and I have always taken things really slow and we are happy with the way our life is right now. I’m just more excited for Becca and so pumped to plan her special day!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Anon

        It’s really not a weird question. You have been dating for 2+ years, live together, and are at an age where many people seriously discuss engagement and marriage…

        Reply to Anon
        • Taralynn McNitt

          It may not be a weird question, but I personally feel weird/uncomfortable when I get asked it. I think all relationships are different. There’s no magic time frame that says you have to get married after dating 2+ years. We both love and enjoy life right now and don’t feel any pressure to get married just because “many people” do so. Kyle and I discuss a lot of things, but it’s between the two of us. My blog probably comes off as if Kyle and I don’t talk about things, spend time together, or have a normal relationship, but that’s because I try to keep that part of my life as vague as possible.

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lily

    Oh how I wish it was getting cooler here in Houston but it isn’t lol it still feels like summer. Houston, TX is my hometown and I’ve been living here all my life. I too have blazers that I have bought from the thrift store, blazers are my favorite, I have probably about 8 now.
    I have never been to Iowa.
    I totally love your pink sweater!!

    Reply to Lily
  • Jen

    1. What’s your favorite thrifty find?
    Items for DIY Halloween costumes 🙂

    2. How far are you from your hometown?
    Only about 30 miles. It’s a completely different atmosphere though; I moved from the country to the city. But I love being close enough that I can go back on the weekends to visit.

    3. Have you ever been to Iowa?
    I haven’t. Have you ever been to Pennsylvania? 🙂

    Reply to Jen
  • Lindsay R

    Where did you get your new camel jacket? I love it!

    Reply to Lindsay R
  • Miriam

    1. My all time favorite pink knee length rain coat is from the Salvation Army!
    2. I’m about 20 minutes away from my hometown. I also work there so I’m there a lot.
    3. I went to Iowa for the first time last summer! My boyfriend’s mom grew up there, and her parents still own a farm there. It was beautiful!

    Reply to Miriam
  • Harriet

    Fantastic recap post! Congrats to Becca! Your fall decor looks awesome. My favourite thrift store find was a 1920 rolling pin for $10, I use it for table decor at parties. I am currently based for work in my in my home town, which is awesome. Would you ever move back to your home town? Have not been to Iowa or the USA yet, but planning to go to the Crossfit games in Wisconsin next year. Hope you have a fantastic weekend and a great trip to Iowa!

    Reply to Harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Harriet!

      Thanks so much! & yes so excited for Becca!

      That is awesome you get to be so close!

      I don’t ever see me moving back only because I’ve been spoiled with the Carolinas. You’ll have a blast in Wisconsin!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rachel

    Your mums are seriously goals.

    I am from Fairfield! Where are you from?

    Reply to Rachel
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Your meals look so healthy and yummy! I’d love to try the zucchini pizza – never heard of anything quite like it! 🙂 I actually live in my hometown (or home-city?), Hong Kong, and after a trip to Europe last week, I gotta say there’s no place else I’d rather be! 😀

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Liz

    I love that blazer! Very cute. I always get so overwhelmed looking through all of the racks at Goodwill. There are so many clothes! I have a couple cute blazers from H&M. Great for dressing up jeans or pairing with dresses! My office is pretty cold so I always need something. Speaking of jackets, the camel jacket is so cute!

    The hot chocolate looks so good! Perfect for fall.

    I have been obsessed with mums lately! I went to home depot this weekend and am planning on picking some up. So pretty!

    Reply to Liz
  • Susie @ Mile High Dreamers

    AHHHHHH I’m SO EXCITED for Becca! How crazy that you guys had that conversation and the hours later he put a ring on it. YESSSSS for wedding planning!
    I always feel so inspired by your home decor and then I was to decorate my own house. But then I remember my house in TINY and I have nothing to decorate haha. Maybe I’ll Google ‘how to decorate a small house’ after this 🙂 (cuz you KNOW someone on Pinterest has figured it out!).
    My favorite thrifty find was a KILLER pair of designer booties in a thrift shop. Brand new and only $30 (originally almost $200). Still one of my favorite pairs of shoes!
    I’m about 20 minutes from my hometown haha.
    Never been to Iowa! Excited to see some of the places you post though.
    And I’m thinking about Leo, I hope he’s okay!

    Reply to Susie @ Mile High Dreamers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I know!!!!! I literally screamed when she sent me the text! SO EXCITING!!

      Ohhh that’d be a fun blog post! I bet there are some awesome Pinterest tips for that!!

      Wow what a snag!

      & thank you! I’m hoping it’s nothing but a benign spot!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Robin

    What will you be for Halloween this year>

    Reply to Robin
  • Carrie

    1. Love that blazer you found. Best thrifty find for me was a khaki jacket that I wore a million times!
    2. I’m 1200 miles from my home town, it will always have my heart.
    3. I live in Nebraska right on the Missouri River so I can look at Iowa everyday
    across the river. Lol 😄
    Enjoy your trip to Iowa!

    Reply to Carrie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Carrie! 😊

      Good thing there are airplanes! I can’t believe my parents are driving back lol Kyle and I were like NOPE!

      Hahahaha thats too funny!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ann

    My thrifty finds usually come from Goodwill, I shop there a lot, love getting that deal, especially when the price tag is still attached! I am only about 1.5 hours away from our hometown…close, but just far enough so we don’t have to deal with the dramas! 🤭. Never been to Iowa but have a wonderful time!

    Reply to Ann
  • Jenn

    I’m a pretty good couponer. Nothing like those extreme couponers but I like a good deal. A year ago I found a coupon for $.50 off a cup of yogurt. My store doubles and the yogurt was $1 so free yogurt!

    I’m only about 45 mins from home.

    I’ve never been but my husband was out there earlier this year for work. Brought back the cutest tee shirt for the kid.

    Reply to Jenn
  • Annie

    I can’t wait to see your recap of your trip to Iowa! I hope you time it right to enjoy one of our 4-5 nice fall days before we go straight to winter haha

    Reply to Annie
  • Brooklyn Murtaugh

    I love your fall decor! Especially your front door mat. I’m thinking about watching Hocus Pocus later today!

    I cannot wait for your falafel recipe! Mmmm falafel’s are so delicious.

    Reply to Brooklyn Murtaugh
  • Jenna

    My favorite thrifty find…. oh, just the other day I found not one, not two, but THREE Scentsy wax warmers all for under $20!
    I still live in my hometown (:
    Never been to Iowa!

    Reply to Jenna
  • Emily

    My favorite thrifty find when it comes to clothes is an Easter dress I found the other year for $1!! And for fall/Halloween decor, I found this wooden painted “BOO” sign I’ve finally just put up! LOVE your thrift finds!

    I live in my hometown…so close! Never been to Iowa but would love to visit!!

    Reply to Emily
  • Krista

    Love your flowers + fall decor!! That’s so exciting that you’ll get to show him around your old stomping grounds! I love doing that with my husband each visit to my parents’ house, because we used to drive all around the area growing up for different reasons, so it’s fun telling all of the stories from each place. I’m arouuund 9 hours (with minimal traffic) away, driving, from my parents’ house/where I grew up, but with NYC traffic, it can take a little longer, depending. Flights would be infinitely more expensive than driving though because Norfolk’s airport is always pricier, so we always drive. It’s cool though. because we get to stop in fun places along the way then!

    My favorite thrifty finds would have to be all of the clothes I get on thredup! I’ve been growing my closet for a while (went through a minimalist sort of phase for several years), and I just love finding quality and brand name clothes that will last a long time and that are in like-new condition.

    I’ve actually never been to Iowa, but funnily enough, over four years ago when I’d applied for what’s now my job, I’d also applied for jobs in Iowa and Texas. I’d read a lot about the different areas and just loved what I’d read (admittedly Texas was guy-related– yikes–, while Iowa was more of a start-over thing!), so I’d applied but heard back from this one sooner, and took it. I love North Carolina, but I’m always curious to travel out west in some capacity!

    Reply to Krista
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Krista!

      I’m really excited to go back and visit. It’s been so long! I can’t wait for all the nostalgia feels.

      Wait, you live in Norfolk? I was born there! My dad was Navy. I bet the drive to NYC is gorgeous during fall.

      Yes, thredup is an amazing place! I love shopping with them. Speaking of, I need to use up some of my credits! Thanks for the reminder and letting my type out loud lol

      The west is gorgeous, but I do love the eastcoast!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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