My Birthday Week + Super Bowl + Give Me All The Tissues!

It’s been a week filled with ups and downs. As I sit and write this post, I don’t even know if I’m going to make it to the end. I’m hoping you’re reading this on February 4th. If so, I managed to pull through. I’m on multiple medications so if my blog is more incoherent than usual, I apologize. I’m not feeling myself today, but after getting numerous comments and private messages from people telling me that they missed my recap posts, I felt the urge and motivation to get one up.
I’m taking back to last weekend. Becca and I got together to coffee and a bite to eat at one of our new favorites spots, Lights Juicery & Cafe. I ordered their cashew coconut cappuccino, avocado toast, and their kale caesar salad. Note to self, next time order like ten of these salads for the week! The kale salad was unbelievable. If I could taste my food right now, I’d probably have Kyle pick me up one on his way home from work, but since I can’t taste anything at the moment, I’ll stick to Airborne and peanut butter toast. 
While Becca and I were at lunch, we went over the timeline for our podcast that we’re launching in the spring. We planned a few things to get ready for it! We finally came up with a name, which was probably the hardest part. We are super excited to get things rolling. After podcast talk, we talked about some of her wedding plans and all about her big day! She also got me the cutest bag filled with meaningful gifts for my birthday 😊 Such a great afternoon!
When I got home, I finished laundry and putting the sheets back on the bed, but Leo had his own plans for the sheets.

Kyle and I made Hawaiian pizza with Trader Joe’s cauliflower crust, which I wasn’t a big fan of. I felt like it had a super cauliflower taste/texture, but I could have cooked it wrong! The toppings and sauce were tasty, so it was all worth it. While we ate dinner, we watched a couple of the Fyre Festival documentaries and then caught up on True Detective! Both great 😃
Kyle surprised me with a new juicer for my birthday. I wasn’t expecting it at all, but when I came home Saturday evening, he was setting it up. It’s a pretty badass juicer! I’ve been a juicing machine this past week. The first juice I made had celery, cucumber, ginger, apple, lemon, apple, melon, and kale. I wanted to make this one a little sweeter just to get Kyle to drink it. I can drink mine without the fruit, but it’s hard to get him to drink juice even if it’s straight up fruit. He’s not a big fan of vegetables unless it’s peppers and onions mixed with chicken inside a tortilla with extra sour cream.
A little later in the afternoon, I met up with Caitlin and another friend to have a drink and some food at Suffolk Punch. Suffolk Punch is such a cool spot in Southend. They have really good coffee drinks and if it weren’t past five, I probably would have had one! I also brought Caitlin a container of the cookies I made on Sunday because I didn’t want to keep so many in the house! Kyle and I couldn’t stop eating them.

I ended Sunday night with a hot bubble bath and went to bed early!
I started my Monday morning off with a dog walk and a green juice! I’m putting this juicer to work. This one had lime, celery, cucumber, ginger, lemon, and a small apple. Yum! 
I made a big batch of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi and rainbow carrots to keep in the fridge for meals. I like adding it to my salad or eating it as a side. I can’t wait to go back this week and restock!

After the gym on Monday night, I made a salad topped with the cauliflower knocci and carrots! I had the sweet potato crackers on the side because those are also a great Trader Joe’s find. I’m going to be doing another meal prep video for my YouTube channel, and I’m thinking of having all the ingredients come from Trader Joes! Do you guys have one near you?

And like most Mondays, I spent the evening on the couch with a facemask watching The Bachelor while working on emails.

On Tuesday morning, I had a mango, kale, apple, cucumber, lemon, celery, ginger, and carrot juice! This one was by far my favorite 😊
After finishing a few projects I was working on, I decided to put together my little Valentine’s day wreath. I had this wreath leftover and sitting in the craft closet for over a year! I glued on the poms (combed out with a cat brush) and tied a bow with the letover ribbon from my Fall DIY wreath! I think it turned out pretty stinkin’ cute! 
I also made some banana oat muffins that turned out incredible! That recipe will be going up soon. 
When I got home from the gym on Tuesday, Kyle and I had some Daiya pizza, which is surprisingly his favorite, and some butternut squash crinkled fries.
Wednesday went by so fast. I made coffee and then got to work on shooting some recipes and products.  
For breakfast, I had a smoothie bowl. It had a banana, almond milk, ice, protein powder, and topped with cacao nibs, fig, and peanuts. 
For dinner, I had more leftover Daiya pizza and this side salad. The salad had avocado, sweet potato crackers, spring mix, and balsamic dressing.
I had plans to get my hair cut on Thursday (my birthday) but thirty minutes before my appointment, I couldn’t find my keys. I had left them at the gym the night before! I brought them with me because they have my gym pass attached, but Kyle drove, so I walked out without them. I was so sad because I had to cancel my appointment, but luckily, I get to do it this week!

Apparently, it was NOT my week last week. 

Kyle came home early from work and brought me this gorgeous bouquet for my birthday, which brightened up my day!
We headed out to my parent’s house because my parents wanted to make me dinner. My mom said that my dad hung up the decorations and I thought that was so cute and special. We had the best night ever! We grilled veggies and played with the dogs in the yard. They made my 28th birthday special! 
I was starting to feel a bit under the weather when Friday rolled around.

I was supposed to hop on a plane and head to L.A. in the afternoon, but my flight got canceled because of the weather in Chicago. Instead of re-booking, I decided just to cancel the trip because I wasn’t feeling too well. This trip was planned months ago, but since I just saw my brother in Colorado, I didn’t feel too bad about staying behind. Plus, it was the best decision because I had no idea what was yet to come…
Kyle and I had leftover vegetables from my birthday dinner and Carla Lee’s Nut Tacos for dinner! I was not expecting these tacos to be so dang good, but now they are all I want! We spent Friday night watching True Detective and then went to bed early because we planned on waking up and taking Leo for a hike at Crowder’s mountain. 
The hiking plans went out the window when I realized that it was more than “not feeling good” on Friday night. I couldn’t breathe out of either nostril, my head was pounding, my throat was on fire, I was weak, and on top of all of that, I started my period. I was starting to doubt “28.”

I tried to get in tons of nutrients for breakfast. I had a kale, turmeric, carrot, papaya, ginger, cucumber, lemon, and celery juice for breakfast. That didn’t help. Juice wasn’t going to help this.

I spent the entire weekend resting, which is so hard for me to do! I love to be on the go or do things around the house. When I’m capable of just sitting in one place, you know something wrong.

I finally felt a little better on Sunday and had some protein oats to get some food in me. I was honestly feeling so much better!
We decided that we’d go to my parent’s house to watch the Super Bowl game. They ordered pizza hut, made wings, and I made some Vietnamese spring rolls! These were delicious. Some had smoked salmon in them and some made without the salmon. The dipping sauce was gluten-free Thai peanut sauce, which was great with these. These would be great for meal prep!

That window of feeling better was just a tease because by the time Sunday night rolled around I was getting sicker and sicker. Today has been the worst, and I’m hoping this is the finale! If it gets any worse, I’ll be going straight to the doctor tomorrow. It’s going to be in the upper 70’s tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed that I feel better! I’d love to get out of this house and walk a trail. Now, it’s time for me to get back to my tissues and cough syrup!

Questions for you!

  1. Did you do anything for the Superbowl?
  2. Do you live near a Trader Joe’s?
  3. Now that I’m 28, what kind of blogs would you like to see from me? (I feel like I’m at such a weird and confusing age, but maybe we all feel like that.)


  • Meghan

    Hey Taralynn – do you have a recipe for those spring rolls! I’d totally be interested.

    Let me know!

    Reply to Meghan
  • Bali

    Feel better!

    Reply to Bali
  • Megan

    A Trader Joe’s meal prep would be AMAZING! I don’t have one close, but when I am nearby, I stock up! Recently, I tried the cashew fiesta dip. It is delicious and I definitely recommend if you haven’t had it before. Feel better!

    Reply to Megan
  • Megan

    Aw girl – being sick is always crummy, but on/around your b-day is the worst! I’m sorry that you had to cancel your trip! I had a recent flight cancelled and it was SO stressful trying to figure out how to get to my destination (I was at an “in between” stop for a layover). I hope you are feeling much better by now <3

    Loving all the new juice recipes – YUM! What proportions do you use? Have a wonderful Friday and weekend – hopefully you have more energy 🙂 And have faith…28 will get better – it's two even numbers, so it has to be good, right? 😉

    Reply to Megan
  • Pritha

    UGHHH! feel better!!!! my whole family hasthe flu- including my 1 year old daughter and 3 year old son. it’s been really hard here so i get your pain.

    Happy birthday! Just think- it can only go up from here! 😉

    Reply to Pritha
  • emy

    I hope you feel better soon, I would have gone to the doc by know!!

    Happy belated birthday!

    Your photos look amazing, especially the flowers one!

    Reply to emy
  • Rachel

    You’re 28? Girl, you look 14! Happy birthday!

    Reply to Rachel
  • Amy

    Happy birthday!

    Reply to Amy
  • Natalija

    Thank you so much for this post and I really hope you feel better soon! Happy birthday and best wishes from England!

    Reply to Natalija
  • Andi

    Feel better!

    Reply to Andi
  • Shelly

    I also turned 28 this year!

    Reply to Shelly
  • Holly Danielson

    Where did you get those Nut Tacos? And what are the crackers that you paired with your salad? Hope you’re feeling better!

    Reply to Holly Danielson
  • Anonymous

    I live a few blocks away from a Trader Joe’s. The cauliflower pizza that has cheese on it, for some strange reason, is way better than the plain crust. I buy their pizza sauce, add a little more cheese and some veggies. I also cook it a little longer than suggested…it’s great. Happy birthday, hope you feel better!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • avi

    feel better taralynn

    Reply to avi
  • D

    When are you going to Disney?

    Reply to D
  • Danielle

    When are you going to Disney?

    Reply to Danielle
  • Melanie

    Happy birthday!!

    Reply to Melanie
  • EJ

    I can relate to you so much right now! I also came down with something brutal Friday night and it’s still kicking my butt! And I started my period in the middle of it as well. Hope you feel better soon!

    Reply to EJ
  • Alyssa Connolly

    Hope you are feeling better!

    Reply to Alyssa Connolly
  • Brittany

    Oh no!!! I’m sorry to hear that you aren’t feeling well 🙁

    Besides getting sick, it looks like you had a fun birthday with those you love 🙂 Love all of the photos and I love your new Apple Watch & band! I have an apple watch but recently switched to an Android phone.. so I have no idea what to do with my Apple Watch. I saw that Apple lets you trade in old devices, so maybe I will do that? I just hate feeling like I am wasting things :/

    That being said, I am debating on buying the Fitbit Versa.. so we will see!

    Anyway, hope you feel better soon! Definitely head to the doctors if you still aren’t feeling well today!

    Reply to Brittany
  • Viv

    What is your favorite coffee? I want to start buying Whole Beans.

    Reply to Viv
  • Leslie

    What are those slimy things on your plate at Suffolk Punch?

    Reply to Leslie
  • Ashton Jury

    Happy belated Birthday! I LOVE TRADER JOES! They’re all over Southern California. So we’re definitely lucky. I would love to see a meal prep that is all Trader Joe’s, however I am a meat person so I hope you’ll make some meat options! 🙂 Are you going to keep up the plant based life? I think it’s fun do here and there but find it hard when you live with or are married to someone that isn’t in to it. You’re lucky Kyle likes all that stuff my hubs would not tough a cauliflower crust if I tried! I’m getting him to try keto though so that’s gun! I love seeing recipes and all your trips/outdoor adventures.

    Reply to Ashton Jury
  • Jessie

    Feel better!!!

    Reply to Jessie
  • Anonymous

    An engagement blog would be awesome 😉

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Katie

    I loveeeee that wreath!!! It’s so cute. I hope you had a great Birthday girl!!! <3
    XO, Katie |

    Reply to Katie
  • Lauren

    We have the same birthday! I turned 27 on Thursday so I’m a year behind you! I love the way your blog is now….I find that a lot of bloggers don’t have relate-able lives to me so I have always connected to yours. A lot of bloggers our age are turning into “mommy bloggers” which is great, but I don’t have kids yet. I relate closely to your blog and think you are doing great! Happy Birthday to us & Justin Timberlake haha

    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Ahhh Happy Birthday, Lauren!

      & thank you so much! 😊 Even when I have kids, not sure I’m going to turn into a “mommy blogger” just because I think it’s the kid’s choice to be featured all over the internet. I don’t think it’s really fair. But that’s not for a while!! I love that you mentioned JT!!!! hahahaha ♥️

      Have a great week!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Amber

    Happy birthday!! Also hope you’re feeling better. This has been a tough season in life, so it has been really helpful to see how you balance life when you aren’t feeling well. I love the lifestyle feel of your blog!
    I’m turning 26 this week and a trip to Trader Joe’s is all planned out! It would be awesome to see your meal prep. I always struggle with veggies and meal prep. I’ll roast a huge batch but when I heat them up later in the week they get hard and weird. Haven’t figured out how to avoid that yet!

    Reply to Amber
  • Jennifer

    We have 2 Trader Joe’s here in Orlando and they both are great. Orlando is lucky to have access to so many great grocery stores.
    Of course, we have Publix which is the absolute best! We also have Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Lucky’s Market, Earthfare, Chamberlain’s, and I think we are getting a Sprouts. We also have the 3 big warehouse clubs Sams, Costsco, and BJ’s. Along with wonderful farmer’s markets. The next time that you are here at Disney you should check out the Winter Garden or Winter Park farmer’s markets on Saturdays. They both have incredible products.

    I just tried a new seasoning from Trader Joes called Everything but the Bagel. It has all the seasonings from an Everything bagel and it is wonderful sprinkled on roasted potatoes or even salmon. I think you would like it!

    Happy Birthday!

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Sarah

    Happy Birthday Girl! Oh man I made spring rolls this weekend too, they were awesome! I learned in a cooking class a few weeks ago – we made our own sauce too that I think you’d love! Made some “clean” substitutions – Almond Butter, Coconut Amino’s, lime juice, honey and Cayenne with red pepper flakes. Sweet, nutty, salty, spicy DELICIOUS!

    I don’t really follow any other blogs, but 28 was a pretty “sh*t or get off the pot” year for me. I learned to say no, stick up for myself, care less what other people thought about me, and take myself more seriously. I quite my job of 9 years that was making me miserable, and that terrifying shift opened SO many doors for me. I think 28-30 you just learn so much about yourself. It’s fun, I promise! (turning 30 soon here!)

    Hope you feel better quickly!

    Reply to Sarah
  • Julie

    Happy Birthday! Hope you are feeling better today. How was the cauliflower gnocchi? I got some but I haven’t tried it yet. I don’t shop at Trader Joe’s very often, but I feel like they have a lot of little treasures that I just don’t know about. I think a meal prep from there would be great!

    Reply to Julie
  • Emily

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday! 😊 sure hate you’ve been feeling bad. Praying you get better soon!!

    Reply to Emily
  • Jenna

    We went to a potluck at the church for the superbowl and it was so boring. I was rooting for the Rams so it turned out horrible for me. But the potluck was fun.

    I think the closest Trader Joes to me is in Orlando, so about an hour away. We JUST got an Earth Fare and that’s about 20 min away from me. But I love it so far.

    I like what you’re putting out on the blog just fine. I would love to see a skincare/makeup products blog. Like what products you use on a daily basis. That could be fun!

    Hope you start feeling better! I was up from 1-4am this morning with stuffy nose and sneezing. But I have really bad year long allergies – can’t seem to find anything to get them under control.

    Reply to Jenna
  • Jen

    Happy 28th Birthday Taralynn!! I hope it’s a year full of happiness and new adventures! 🙂 That said – I’m sorry it started out with you being sick. Hope you’re getting to feeling better now. Keep doing what you’re doing with the blog, as long as it remains fun for YOU! Love your Christmas YouTube’s, healthy recipes and your recap Blog posts. You have done a tremendous job over the years! Enjoy every moment at your age – it goes way too fast!

    Reply to Jen
  • Jessica

    1. I had to work the super bowl! I was bummed but it was a good night.
    2. Yes! And love Trader Joe’s!
    3. 28 … I’m ten yes older than you and I find pieces of your blog sooo relatable.You are at an age where I think we expect something to shift. Guess what? Things shift naturally with time but you just keep sharing about you and your passions. That’s why we love reading your blog.
    4. I hope you go in! It sounds like you need antibiotics. ❤️

    Reply to Jessica
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Jessica!

      It was a pretty boring Superbowl, so you didn’t miss much! 🏈

      yay! I wish I had one closer! But it’s worth the 30-minute drive!

      Thank you for those kind words!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sky

    When did you get an Apple Watch? Aren’t you doing the no-spend challenge?

    Reply to Sky
  • Chelsea

    I love all of your blogs! They keep me motivated and make my days brighter.

    Reply to Chelsea
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Happy birthday, Taralynn! Looks like you had a great one, full of healthy home cooking as well! 🙂 And I WISH I lived near a Trader Joe’s! ❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Zoe

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and love your content! We don’t have trader joes here in Australia (very jealous- it sounds amazing!), but I love your daily eats and meal prep/recipe posts all the same. I’m glad you’re feeling better, its always so hard to stop and recover from such a bad sickness- but it shows that your time off helped it get out of your system!

    p.s I feel like even though everyone LOVES your content and recap posts, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if other factors prevented you from writing them (a.k.a getting sick). Hope you continue to feel better!

    Reply to Zoe
  • Rocío

    I hope that u start to get better soon!!! Greetings from Chile

    Reply to Rocío
  • Beverly

    I love your blog! And I don’t think you turning 28 should change anything about it! I’ll be 28 next month so I find your blog so relatable. It’s also helping me plan a trip to Savannah (just as a side note)! 🙂
    I wish there was a Trader Joe’s near me. I hear all sorts of good things about it! The closest one is two hours away. Even the Whole Foods is more than an hour from me. Downside of living in a small town.
    Also, don’t care so much for NFL so I was studying for a microbiology test while it was on.

    Reply to Beverly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Beverly!

      You’re going to LOVE Savannah!!!!

      I totally get the small town living! It makes you appreciate stores like that even more! 😉

      You made the right decision!! xo xo good luck on that microbiology test!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Zoe

    Your blogs should reflect you. I feel like if I told you what I want to see it would take away from part of the reason I like reading your blog. 🙂 Just do you.

    No Trader Joe’s for me. 🙁

    Superbowl… I checked the score at one point, but that’s about it. Lol we finished painting our dining room. Not big football fans over here.

    Reply to Zoe
  • Brooklyn Murtaugh

    I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve been sick on and off for 3 weeks but the last few days it’s so much worse. That’s what I get for working with children haha.
    I love fresh spring rolls <3

    Reply to Brooklyn Murtaugh
  • Rayna

    I just turned 28! I agree with you that it’s a weird age because most of my friends are either married or have kids. I’d love to see a skincare routine from you! Your skin is glowing.

    Reply to Rayna
  • Amanda

    Will you be posting your Colorado trip soon?

    Reply to Amanda
  • Ainsley

    Do you like the leather apple watch band? I have been thinking of getting one, I am just worried about how it will stand up to sweat at the gym. Happy (late) Birthday and hope you feel better soon!

    Reply to Ainsley
  • Emma

    Oh man, leaving the keys at the gym! I have to take mine to sign in too and we’ve definitely had to make an early morning gym trip so I could drive to work. 😹 Our gym has key hooks, so now we put our keys on the same hook and it’s helped me a lot.

    We do have a Trader Joe’s ~20 minutes away and did a small trip this weekend. I got some frozen cherries and we have their green dragon sauce that I’ve been eating on everything, escpecially egg white!

    I hope you’re feeling better soon!

    Reply to Emma
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes! I’m going to have to remember to put it on the same hook! It was the first time I ever forgot, but hoping I don’t do it again!!

      Yum!!!! That sounds amazing.

      & THANK YOU! Feeling a bit better today!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenn

    I live near two! One I like better than the other because it’s in a bigger location and the aisles are wider, ha! Feel better. When I am super congested I love my Netipot, once in the morning after I wake up and another at least an hour before bed. It’s weird to use and it’s kinda gross seeing all that gunk come out my nose but it helps!

    Reply to Jenn
  • Anonymous

    The flowers are beautiful! Happy birthday!

    Reply to Anonymous

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