Christmas Living Room Tour, Ice Skating, & Giving Back!

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Can you believe it’s December already? If you haven’t heard, I’m participating in Vlogmas this year. If you don’t know what Vlgomas is, no worries! I didn’t know what it was until I had a few people asking me if I’d participate. Well, it’s just video vlogging every day in December leading up to Christmas. This is my cup of tea, and I’m enjoying it so far! If you haven’t checked out my videos yet, make sure to do so! Grab a cup of coffee or tea, and start watching. Not only will they bring my recaps to life, but they’ll show you some things that you won’t find here. They’ll also put you in the holiday spirit!
This week was filled with so many fun and exciting things. My Tuesday had the best start because my new couch finally arrived! β™₯️ Even though it looks open and free right now, I have covers all over it, so the dogs don’t scratch it with their nails. I had been looking for a light sectional like this for so long, and I finally found it. This wasn’t the original one I was going to buy when I went into the furniture store, but after seeing it, I fell in love with it. When I saw that it was 50% less expensive than the first one, I fell even more in love with it. Of course, I spent the rest of my day having coffee and working on my couch.
Later on Tuesday evening, I headed to the gym with Kyle! I just did a light three mile was at a slight incline while listening to a podcast (Off The Vine With Kaitlyn Bristowe.) Yes, I like junkieΒ podcast and reality television shows. No worries, I love Dateline too. For dinner, I had a bowl of spinach and arugula with garlic tahini, some cheddar crackers (the ones from day two vlogmas video) some avocado, and chive Kite Hill cream cheese.
After spending the day working on Wednesday, I put up all the Christmas tree decorations (also on Vlogmas day one video!) After decorating, I made a salad with crab smart (I know it’s weird that I like this), avocado, spinach, arugula, sweet potatoes (well what was left of them), quinoa, and a honey mustard vinaigrette. I finished up watching The Princess Switch on Netflix while I had dinner. If you’re looking for a cheesy and cute Christmas movie, that’s one to add to the list.

While Leo was getting groomed on Thursday afternoon, my friend, Caitlin, and I decided to ice skate at the Winter Wonderland rink at Southpark Mall. We had a blast, but next time, I’m bringing my own skates! It was almost impossible to skate in these clunkers.
When I got home, I had some bagels halves with avocado, kite hill, and a fried egg on top. I also cooked some quinoa in with my eggs.

I was excited to start Friday morning with some festive protein pancakes. It’s vlogmas, so you have to go festive or go home! I made some of my favorite protein pancakes, but a Christmas tree eggnog version! The tutorial can be found in my Vlogmas Day one video! 😊

On Friday afternoon, Caitlin and I headed to Anders Ruff workshop! My friend, Meighan and I went last March, and that’s when I became obsessed with this place! Our instructor was telling me that I could host a workshop with readers as a meet and greet sometime if I wanted to. If you live close to the Charlotte area and would be interested, let me know! That may be fun. Β 
This workshop was such a fun way to kick off the holiday season! Caitlin made a boho pedestal, and I made a Merry Christmas porch sign. (this is the best photo of me)I was so excited to try out Haymaker in Uptown Charlotte. I had walked by this place so many times, and it’s been on my bucket list for a while.
Please, if you’re ever in the area, stop in there! You will not regret it at all. The service, the food, the atmosphere, and simply everything was exquisite! I started with a glass of La Puerta Malbec. We ordered an heirloom lettuce salad to start. It had shaved fennel, sunflower seeds, farmstead cheese, crispy farro, and a citrus herb dressing. Fresh and perfect.

For my dinner, I had aΒ Grilled NY Strip withΒ heirloom fall squash, harukei turnips, mushrooms, and salsa verde. We also had fingerling potatoes and roasted carrots for our extra small plates. We were rolling out of there by the time we were done!Β 

This was one of the greatest nights and the best way to kick off Christmas!
On Saturday morning, I headed to play tennis with the group. Unfortunately, we got rained out after 45-minutes! I decided to use up the extra three hours and go shopping for all of the Christmas decor for the house. For my snack, I had a gingerbread RXBAR!
On my Vlogmas Day two video, I’m giving you guys the whole downstairs tour and taking you guys along on my holiday shopping so make sure to tune in! Look how cute those pillows are!!Β 
I decided to put my porch sign inside because it looks so cute next to the tree.
πŸŽ„Β β™₯️
I had a light lunch. My salad had butter lettuce (which I love lately) my crab smart, avocado, quinoa, and some of my FAVORITE plant snacks!Β 
I decided to finally sit down for the first time all day and enjoy my favorite at-home dairy-free peppermint mocha latte!Β 
For dinner, Kyle and I had green beans with butternut squash and homemade chicken nuggets! (our faveeeee!!!) Β 
For dessert, I had gluten & dairy free oreo ball! We made these for the blog, so that recipe will be up soon. I’ll also be doing a video for them for Vlogmas!Β On Sunday morning, I had a strawberry protein shake for breakfast! It had strawberries, almond milk, ice, and protein powder.
I was excited to pull out my 6-year-old favorite Christmas shirt! I was meeting up with Becca for a fun day together.Β 
We decided to try out Lights Cafe in Ballantyne! It’s been on our list for a while, and it’s the perfect half-way point between the houses. I mentioned this before, but Becca and I now live 50-minutes away from each other. It stinks, but we’re making that long distance relationship work. πŸ˜‚We split some avocado taste that left our lips ON FIRE! Despite the burn, it was really good. Becca ordered a dark roast pour over, and I had a cashew almond cappuccino. What do we think of this place? We loved it!Β 
One thing I was excited for was our plan to shop from the donation’s list and drop off some much-needed supplies at the humane society. If this is something you’re interested in doing, go to your local shelter’s website, print off their list of needs, and just drop off a few things. Even if it’s just your old towels, some detergent, or food. EVERY SMALL AMOUNT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE β™₯️

We had so much fun seeing the sweet animals, and I’m going to see what I can do about adopting a cat! I’m nervous because of the dogs, but goodness do I love cats, and this sweet baby would be such a great fit.
After leaving the shelter, we headed to Akahana sushi bar for lunch. We started with big house salads and then ordered some sushi rolls. I had the spicy tuna and the surf n turf. We love this place because they do BOGO sushi rolls. Plus, they have the best ginger dressing.Β 
We had such a fun day, and I feel so full of all the fun activities I did last week! Now, I’m getting ready to head out and get a few things for the bathroom and bedroom for that holiday tour tomorrow! Don’t forget to check out Vlogmas, enter the giveaways, and leave a comment over there with a β™₯️ πŸŽ„! Again, thank you all for reading today’s blog, and always being so kind to me! Hope you have a great start to your December!

Questions for you!

  1. Do you have a holiday recipe you want me to try? Email it to me! I want to recreate a recipe of yours for Vlogmas.
  2. Do you have cats and dogs?
  3. Are you in the holiday spirit yet?






  • Aly

    Hi Tarlynn,

    I would love to come to one of your meetups. I’m in Raleigh and would happily make the drive!

    Reply to Aly
  • Erin

    You are a pretty good ice skater

    Reply to Erin
  • Jay

    I’m just loving your vlogmas

    Reply to Jay
  • Sara

    What’s vlogmas?

    Reply to Sara
  • Nicole

    We always make a carrot and parsnip mash. I am drooling just thinking about it! Something we only make on holidays just boiled well, mashed with a bit of butter, salt and pepper. So delicious.
    My mom USED to make a sweet potato mash with brown sugar and pecans too that was to die for… no idea why she stopped that!

    Reply to Nicole
  • Lina

    You’re awesome for going to the shelter and giving back! Have you considered possibly volunteering at the animal shelters once a week? When I was more on a freelance schedule I had that flexibility to volunteer more often and it was what I looked forward to the most.

    Reply to Lina
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Lina! I really don’t have that much free time during the week. I’m usually creating content or working on the back end 10 + 12 hours a day. I’d love to volunteer there may be in the summer when things slow down πŸ™‚ Until then, donating is going to be something I do regularly πŸ™‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Jen

        A lot of your vlogmas has been you shopping, doing crafts and decorating. Could you not squeeze in two hours in your day to volunteer?

        Reply to Jen
        • Taralynn McNitt

          Hi, Jen. I don’t spend everyday crafting, shopping, and decorating. I’m doing that for content creation for blog/vlogmas, which is how I make a living. After all of that, it’s hours of editing.

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Josie

    Your vlogmas is better than most YouTubers with million + subs. Bravo bravo!

    Reply to Josie
  • Emily

    I seriously love your videos (especially the music you pick to go with it)

    Reply to Emily
  • Susie

    Your couch, Christmas tree, sign and all look so great! Have you ever made a Christmas wreath? Your fall one came out so pretty. πŸ™‚

    Aww, such a cute kitty! I’m of the mind that every girls needs a cat of her own, but I understand your hesitation. I have a male dog (yorkie mix) and a female cat and she barely tolerates him but I catch them sharing the same blanket often and I melt. Maybe you can try fostering a cat first? That way if it doesn’t work out with the dogs you can send the cat off to it’s new home.

    Looking forward to watching your vlogmas tonight!

    Reply to Susie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I don’t think I have the heart to foster anything without keeping it forever lol It’s dangerous!

      I hope you enjoy my Vlogmas!!!! xo xo xo

      ohhhh a Christmas wreath may be a good vlogmas video!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Heather

    I always love watching vlogmas for my fave youtube channels. cant wait to check out yours! What camera do you use for your blog pictures? I’m sure youve answered this before but your photos look really nice and sharp! I love sitting on the couch in the evening with a hot festive beverage and enjoying vlogmas!

    Reply to Heather
  • Jen

    1. Do you have a holiday recipe you want me to try?
    Anything peppermint- cannot get enough peppermint this year! Or maybe a gingerbread spice “healthy” hot cocoa?

    2. Do you have cats and dogs?
    Two cats who think they are dogs πŸ™‚

    3. Are you in the holiday spirit yet?
    I’m in the holiday spirit starting November 1 πŸ˜€ I know that annoys some people so I try to keep it to myself until Thanksgiving. Speaking of which, I’m loving Vlogmas! I imagine that’s a lot of much work for you, but I’m really enjoying it (and the giveaways!)

    I also add imitation crab to my salads! I was on a kick for months where I had a crab/avocado salad almost every day.

    Reply to Jen
  • Anonymous

    Love your place!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Cait

    I’m loving your Vlogmas so far!

    Reply to Cait
  • Katie

    1. Do you have a green bean casserole recipe that doesn’t contain the “cream of” crappy soup mix?
    2. I have two Chihuahuas, so they’re basically like cats…
    3. Getting there! My baby is 7 months old, so it’s even more magical experiencing the holidays with him!

    After you say “it’s vlogmas” what is the song that plays? I keep obsessively replaying that part to listen to the song…I would love to hear the whole thing!

    Reply to Katie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I don’t! lol But I may be able to come up with one! πŸ˜‰

      hahaha yes.

      awwww I bet! What a special time! πŸ’œ

      The song is by Loving Caliber and its called Christmas in my heart!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kara

    OMG YES adopt a cat! I would love seeing him/her on your blog!

    Love all the couch pillows (and the new couch) but what do you do with them when you need the space on the couch? This always keeps me from buying cute pillows. I can’t stand them being on the floor, oh the struggle lol

    Reply to Kara
  • Amanda

    Hi Taralynn! Great post, as always πŸ™‚ Where did you get your purse?

    Reply to Amanda
  • Erica

    I hope you are able to adopt the cat!!

    I adopted a very skittish cat from a local shelter, it took some time but now she and my dog get along great πŸ™‚ I think it just takes time for them to bond, with lots of patience it will be worth it! It took 3 months for my cat to let me touch her and now she is crawling into my arms whenever I am sitting on the couch or at the table. Adopted animals always have so much love to give πŸ™‚

    Also loving vlogmas! A lot of inspiration for my own decorating πŸ™‚

    Reply to Erica
  • Amy jade

    YouTube is such a good fit for you! I’m addicted to cleaning and decorating videos and would love to see a cleaning video from you as you sometimes mention epic cleaning that you do.

    Reply to Amy jade
  • Zoe

    Every year for as long as I can remember, my mom makes shepherd’s pie! & My favorite dessert is our peanut butter blossoms.

    When we moved into our new house, some cats kinda came with it (country living, lol) and at first I wasn’t happy about it. But eventually all the cats disappeared except one. And I LOVED her. But she disappeared a few weeks ago and hasn’t been back. πŸ™

    YES. Personally I love Thanksgiving & I like to get through that before diving into Christmas….but we put up our Christmas decor & started playing Christmas music this weekend & it makes me feel so happy!

    Reply to Zoe
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Peanut butter blossoms….YUM!!!!

      oh nooooo πŸ˜” maybe she’s just exploring and she’ll be back soon!!

      Love that you’re getting festive and into the Christmas spirit!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jane

    You’re so cute!

    Reply to Jane
  • Katie

    Your living room looks awesome & I love that Christmas sign that you made! SOOO cute! <3
    XO Katie |

    Reply to Katie
  • Anonymous

    Have you ever seen the show the goldbergs? You look just like the actress who plays the daughter!!
    For real!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Kam

    I love that you visited the shelter! Great post as always.

    Reply to Kam
  • Anonymous

    GET A CAT!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Jamenson

    Holy shizzzz! I’m loving your Vlogmas so far!

    Reply to Jamenson
  • Amber O.

    Love your Vlogmas videos so far! It is really fun to see a different side of things. I have 2 crazy dogs and they will chase after anything that runs. We live in the mountains so they’ll try to run after anything from bunnies to deer!
    We hunted for the perfect Christmas tree the day before Thanksgiving and the entire house is decorated. Now to finish gift shopping!! Haha

    Reply to Amber O.
  • Natalija

    Hi Taralynn, I simply cannot describe just how much I’m looking forward to your Christmas related posts every year! There’s some magic in them for me and I just get so much inspiration and immediately move on to my own holiday season related preparations. And just how cute were those festive protein pancakes! Your living room looks so,so gorgeous with all those Christmas decorations. Cannot wait for more festive posts! Have a lovely month!

    Reply to Natalija
  • Carly T

    I LOVE your couch, it looks great!

    I have a dog, Moose!

    I am defiantly in the holiday spirit! I’ve got the tree up, decorations up and christmas shopping done! I LOVE your christmas decor!

    Reply to Carly T
  • Lyric Madden

    I have been eyeballing the Anders Ruff workshop for a while now. I live in Fort Mill, and would love a meet and greet where we make some awesome home dΓ©cor at the same time~! My birthday is at the end of the month, and I have been trying to find a cool place I’ve never tried before for a birthday dinner. Haymaker just may be the place.

    Reply to Lyric Madden
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Don’t hesitate! Do it for sure πŸ’œ I am thinking about doing it in February!

      Seriously Haymaker will not disappoint! The Christmas market is right across the street so you can make it a trip!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anastasia

    Taralynn I am LOVING vlogmas! It is so fun to see your recap posts come to life!!

    After watching your videos I am getting more into the Christmas spirit. I am still in school and finals are next week so it has been a bit of a struggle to be merry and bright! Haha!

    Keep up the amazing content — I can’t wait for that oreo ball recipe!


    Reply to Anastasia
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much, Anastasia!!!!

      I’m so happy that you’re getting into the holiday spirit! That’s what I love about doing the videos!!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenna

    I think one of my favorite Christmas foods is Watergate salad! So yummy!

    I have two cats & 1 dog. They “fight play” but otherwise they get along just fine <3

    Have been in the holiday spirit since a few days before Thanksgiving!

    LOVE your house and the way it's decorated!

    Reply to Jenna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      omg! LOVE watergate salad!! Maybe I’ll make a dairy-free version this year!

      I think it’s so cute when dogs and cats play! When I was watching Kona in Hawaii, I’d find them cuddling together and my heart melted!

      β™₯️ thank you so much!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Carter

    You have got to adopt that sweet little kitten! I absolutely adore cats and used to have them, but my husband is severely allergic to them and has been really wanting a golden doodle actually. You look like you had such a fun and Christmas filled week!

    Reply to Carter
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I love her so much!!! I just really worry about the aggressiveness of Grumples and the cat! It scares me a little. We are seriously talking about it!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessica Nuttall

    Yes! I would love to see a healthier version of my favorite Christmas coffee cake!

    I have one dog & two cats. My husband is a cat person and I’m a dog person lol. With our little terrier, we had zero problems – they played together, slept together, ate together…it was great! With our German Shepherd mix, its definitely harder, as he’s very reactive to the cats running & playing. We do our best to keep everyone calm, but its an on-going thing for us. We’ve made it work, but we will always have to monitor them!

    Yes! I have been working on finishing up (hah, and still starting) Christmas presents and I can’t wait! I love this season!

    Reply to Jessica Nuttall
    • Taralynn McNitt

      ohhhhhhh sounds like something I’d love! I’ll start looking for a recipe for healthy coffee cake to review! Is there one in particular that you’d recommend?

      Sounds like what Grumples would be like!

      I love the season too! I’m going to be doing the Christmas shopping soon!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sam

    I always love following along with every recap post! I absolutely love your new couch, it looks beautiful and fits the space perfectly! πŸ™‚

    Reply to Sam
  • Brooke

    It sounds like a lot of fun you have been having. I also have been loving your vlogs. The music is cute and fun, and goes along so nicely with the photographs and video clips.

    For the questions, I have a cat who is part demon. I love her to death though and couldn’t ever part with her. She knows how to use the system of smuggling after a moment of her attitude. I hope to get a dog in the future to complete my little family.
    I haven’t fully gotten into the Holiday spirit, but your vlogs have been changing that. πŸ™‚

    Reply to Brooke
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks so much, Brooke!!

      AHAHAHA my brother’s cat is part demon too. Maybe she’s just missing a dog πŸ˜‰

      Maybe today’s will help! Holiday room tour coming soon! xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    I love the Christmas decor in your home, Taralynn! Getting all the festive feels looking at your photos. πŸ™‚ Those Christmas-themed protein pancakes look super cute too! It’s the little things in life. πŸ™‚ ❀️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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