4th of July Recap, The Candle Bar, & Our Favorite Guest!

lifestyle blog, home decor, fashion, food, smoothie, gluten free, dairy free, green juice, healthy living, lifestyle, fun, life, relationships, home decor, family, candle making, healthy food, Charlotte nc, family, 4th off July

Welcome to the weekly recap blog post 


Last week went by way too fast. It was filled with family visits, fun 4th of July celebrations, running, so much good food, and time spent with one of our favorites, Kyle’s mom! lifestyle blog, home decor, fashion, food, smoothie, gluten free, dairy free, green juice, healthy living, lifestyle, fun, life, relationships, home decor, family, candle making, healthy food, Charlotte nc, family, 4th off July
We’re finally hitting that spot in the summer where I’m already over the heat, and I’ll be counting down the days until it gets a bit cooler around here. It’s not so much the heat that bothers me, but the humidity. There are 77 more days until Fall, but for the South, that means 77 more days until it “might” escape the 90’s. It’s just too hot to be outside doing anything unless it involves water. Do you know how people get grumpy when they’re hungry? I get cranky when I’m overheated. Ok, enough complaining from me! Time to get to the weekly recap 😊 running fitness 5k summer weight loss be Healthy run weight burn It running training three miles simply taralynn running plan
Now that my foot has completely healed, I can finally get back out and start running again. When I got back from my trip, I cut open my toe after tripping on the sidewalk, and could hardly walk on it. It healed fast, which was great because I didn’t want to backpedal my running progress.

Even though it was miserably hot and humid, I managed to fit in three miles (had to stop a few times to cool down.) I’ve struggled waking up early to run, but that’s because I don’t go to bed early enough, and I don’t get everything laid out the night before like I’m supposed to be doing. It’s the small things I need to make myself do to reach goals. I think starting Wednesday; I’m going to work harder at waking up earlier to run. vegan food, salad, kale, homemade dressing, avocado, veganaise, chickpeas, dinner, gluten free, dairy free, low Calorie, low carb, summer eats, recap blog, healthy living lifestyle
I spent all of Monday working on last week’s recap blog and my Lake Tahoe post and video. When I’m preoccupied with blogging, I don’t take as many photos during the day, or take the time to put meals together. I’ll usually get through the day snacking on yogurt, popcorn, or eating leftovers from the containers.

When dinner rolled around, I was so hungry! I decided to make a delicious salad with sauteed tofu on top. Lately, I’ve been mixing veganaise with avocados to make the perfect creamy dressing. It adds all the extra flavor to kale. I also topped this salad with pieces of O’doughs gluten-free everything bagels, cranberries, and roasted chickpeas.onyx coffee simply taralynn trying reviews roasters coffee in the morning drip coffee healthy smoothie, gluten free, dairy free, plant based, mango, blackberries, almond milk, granola, peanut butter
I was so excited to wake up and reply to comments from on Tuesday morning. After working so hard on something you enjoy doing, being able to connect with readers and hear their feedback is so much fun. People always ask me how I find the time to reply to my blog comments, and I tell them that if connecting and engaging with your readers is important  to you, you’ll find the time to do it. One of my favorite parts about blogging is connecting with people. That engagement is something I value and love. Seeing familiar faces in the comments, or knowing so much about a reader is what motivates me to take the time to chat with commenters. I usually do this first thing in the morning with my coffee, and maybe a few before bed 😊

Speaking of chatting with readers, I had someone recommend Onyx coffee, so I had to order a bag and try it out. I’m feeling pretty thankful for that person because it was delicious. 😃

Breakfast smoothie: frozen blackberries, frozen mango, almond milk, spinach, vanilla protein powder, and crumbled up protein balls on top!
vegan food, Vegan plant based salad, kale, homemade dressing, avocado, veganaise, chickpeas, dinner, gluten free, dairy free, low Calorie, low carb, summer eats, recap blog, healthy living lifestyle

For dinner on Tuesday night, I made crispy tofu with roasted green beans and rainbow carrots. I guess I was on a tofu kick last week. After dinner, I treated myself to some vanilla ice cream I had hiding in the freezer that I made a couple of nights before. running fitness 5k summer weight loss be Healthy run weight burn It running training three miles simply taralynn running plan
I had a long day planned for Wednesday. I needed to finish up some emails and blog work up until noon, and then I was out on a mission to power clean the house, get ready for the 4th of July, and redecorate the guest bedroom.

When I’m under stress (and dealing with the worst cramps), I do lean on exercise to help ease my anxiety or hyper-ness. Before I could do anything, I wanted to make sure to fit in a good workout. I headed out on a four-mile run, stopped a few times to catch my breath, and then walked a mile back to the house. Running in shorts has gotten so easier now that you all introduced me to Body Glide! These are the New Balance shorts I found at TjMaxx that I LOVE to run in.
granola, healthy, dairy free, parfait, ginger, blueberries, yogurt, food, breakfast, post run workoutAfter running and showering off, I made a ginger & granola parfait from Purple Carrot, and then hopped on the computer for a few hours.
home remodel, room, makeover, cozy home decor, cozy guest bedroom, cozy bedroom, xo xo, soft pink room
The rest of the day, I organized and scrubbed the house from head to toe! I added some new bedding, mirrors, lamp shades, curtains, and other decorative items to the guest room to give it a well-deserved refresh. I’m going to share more details in a separate blog soon! I wish you all could see it in person because it’s so much cozier than the pictures.
handmaids tail, relax, home, bota boxed wine, cab, relax WednesdayI finally finished the housework around 6 pm. Kyle and I headed to the grocery store to grab some things for the bbq, dinner, and the house! When we got home, we hurried to the couch to relax and watch Handmaids Tale.
dinner, seafood, gluten free, egg rolls, chili sauce, rice, green beans, dinner, gluten free, dairy free, what to eat, summer nights, healthy living lifestyle blogFor dinner, I roasted salmon in the oven, steamed rice, cooked up some green beans, and baked gluten free chicken spring rolls from Feel Good Foods. This meal hit the spot because I had been in the mood for salmon for several days.
backyard, 4th of July, fun, celebrate, pool, backyard goals, pie,
vegan broccoli salad with figs tahini dairy free gluten free healthy recipes summer saladvegan broccoli salad with figs tahini dairy free gluten free healthy recipes summer saladOn Thursday morning, I spent time baking a healthy apple pie (which was AMAZING) and throwing together a broccoli salad to bring over to my parent’s 4th of July bbq. This time, I added gluten-free pasta to the broccoli salad, and it was a hit. 4th of July, party food, summer food, bbq, backyard, celebration, food, lifestyle, salads, salsa, dairy free, gluten free, delicious
Kyle and I headed to my parent’s house around 1 pm to celebrate the 4th! I was excited because my aunt and uncle were visiting and I hadn’t seen them in a while. We had quite the smorgasbord of food! We had salads, dips, roasted veggies, fresh fruit, grilled chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, and so much more.
4th of July, party food, summer food, bbq, backyard, celebration, food, lifestyle, salads, salsa, dairy free, gluten free, deliciousbackyard, 4th of July, fun, celebrate, pool, backyard goals, pie,After stuffing our bellies, Kyle and I played cornhole with my dad and uncle. Unfortunately, our winning streak was over when they beat us. Oh, well. We’ll get them next time.
4th of July, party food, summer food, bbq, backyard, celebration, food, lifestyle, salads, salsa, dairy free, gluten free, deliciousThe fourth of July celebrations were so fun, but I was so ready to get home, shower, and crawl into bed! morning grind, lifestyle blogger, coffee on the road, yeti pink
I woke up at 6:00 am on Friday so I could make a cup of coffee and drive to the airport to pick up Kyle’s mom! I was so excited because we hadn’t seen her in so long. Kyle had to work in the morning, so I didn’t mind heading to the airport early 😊 akahana, fort mill, chicken lettuce wraps, sushi, gluten free, dairy free, dining out, Charlotte nc movies and sushi date night
Later in the afternoon, the three of us headed to Akahana sushi for dinner! I ordered my favorite, the gluten-free chicken lettuce wraps without mushroom, and a ginger salad on the side.

After dinner, we stopped by a few neighborhoods to take a look because Kyle and I are going to be moving in the Spring! I love my place now, but we need to get a bigger backyard for the dogs. We have been looking all over to get a feel for where we want to move, and we think we have a pretty good idea 😊 Spring is going to roll around fast, so I’ll keep you all updated on the process once we get closer to making a move! toy story 4
We headed to the movies later in the evening to see Toy Story 4. I realized how emotional and hormonal I am because I cried at every little thing, even when it wasn’t sad. It was an adorable movie, but I was sad some of the characters didn’t play a more prominent role, and I wasn’t a fan of the ending. But, you’ll have to see for yourself! I would say it’s worth the watch for sure. purple carrot, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, plant based, vegetarian, dinner night, tomatoes, green beans, roasted fingerling potatoes, honey mustard dressing, how to cook, purple carrot meal plan real review, spinach salad
We all got a little hungry around 8 pm, so I hurried up and threw together one of the Purple Carrot meals. This jumbo spinach salad had roasted fingerling potatoes, honey mustard vinaigrette, blistered tomatoes, mung beans, green beans, walnuts, and cucumbers! It hit the spot.

All of us were so tired, (especially Kyle’s mom who had been up since 2 am for her flight!) so we turned on a Dateline and headed to bed at 9 pm! running fitness 5k summer weight loss be Healthy run weight burn It running training three miles simply taralynn running plan
I had the best sleep on Friday night and was up and ready to go for my run on Saturday morning. I figured since I wasn’t going to meet with the tennis group that I’d get a run in instead. I did three miles in the humidity, sweat every ounce of water in my body, but felt so great when it was all over.

By the way, I finally got around to purchasing new bras that have a pocket designated for the cellphone in the back. I’ve been struggling with holding my phone or tucking my phone in the front of my bra. It always falls out or my arm cramps up from holding it. These bras are a gamechanger! They are super cheap but with incredible quality, and the phone doesn’t move at all while running. I stopped mid-run because I thought I lost my phone (& yes I was still listening to music with headphones while I thought this) I’m just so used to stressing over it always falling out of place while I run. I can’t believe I didn’t get these sooner! You can find them on Amazon heregranola, healthy, dairy free, parfait, ginger, blueberries, yogurt, food, breakfast, post run workout
After showering off, I had my ginger & granola parfait from Purple Carrot and sat down to have coffee with Kyles mom. Charlotte North Carolina, be more kindCharlotte nc, coffee shop, breakfast, brunch, Lincoln haberdashery, blt desserts, coffee, oat milkCharlotte nc, coffee shop, breakfast, brunch, Lincoln haberdashery, blt desserts, coffee, oat milk
We had fun plans for the afternoon! After getting ready for the day, Kyle and I took our mom’s to grab a coffee and a bite to eat at Lincoln Haberdashery before heading to a candle pouring class at the Candle Bar in Southend. I had an oat milk cappuccino and decided to skip out on lunch because I wanted to save room for dinner at another favorite spot of mine. Plus, I was still full from my parfait! the candle bar, southend, Charlotte nc, candle making, how to make a candle, date night in Charlotte nc,the candle bar, southend, Charlotte nc, candle making, how to make a candle, date night in Charlotte nc,the candle bar, southend, Charlotte nc, candle making, how to make a candle, date night in Charlotte nc,the candle bar, southend, Charlotte nc, candle making, how to make a candle, date night in Charlotte nc,the candle bar, southend, Charlotte nc, candle making, how to make a candle, date night in Charlotte nc,
I signed us all up for a candle pouring class at 3 pm at The Candle Bar in Southend Charlotte. This is a place I had wanted to go for a long time. If you haven’t noticed, I love going to artsy classes like Anders Ruff & Painting with a Twist. I need to pay attention o the workshop events in Charlotte because that is the type of thing I enjoy doing, and so does Kyle! We’d choose that over going to a bar or concert any day.

So here’s what I thought about the class…

If you’re looking for something to do to escape the heat, it may be a good option. I just left feeling a little disappointed because those other workshops I took really set the bar high. This class lasted about 30-minutes (maybe less), had about four steps, and I went in thinking it was going to be much better. The music was blasting so you couldn’t hear anything, the instructor was a super young girl that acted like she didn’t want to be there, and I didn’t learn too much about making a candle because it wasn’t very hands on. You don’t even get to melt the wax or learn how it’s done. All you do is pick a holder, stick the wicks into the bottom, and pour your scents and wax into the holder. You even have to wait three hours to come back and pick up your candle. And when we came back three hours later, it wasn’t even ready. I’m glad we did it, and it was fun to have something to do, but I will say it was a bit overrated. If you want a fun workshop in Charlotte, I will stick to Anders Ruff!

But…I have been watching YouTube tutorials on candle making, and I’m going to be doing it at home when I get some free time because that looked like fun! Charlotte nc, haymaker, dinner spot, favorite place to eat in Charlotte, farm to table, food to eat, healthy eatingCharlotte nc, haymaker, dinner spot, favorite place to eat in Charlotte, farm to table, food to eat, healthy eating
The best part of the night was going to Haymaker for dinner. This is one of my favorite places in Charlotte to eat. The food is farm to table, and the service is phenomenal. I ate there with Caitlin during Vlogmas Day one, and I have been dying to get back there ever since. When people ask me where to go when in Charlotte, this is always my first pick.

I started with the heirloom lettuce salad with shaved fennel, sunflower seeds, watermelon radishes, and citrus herb dressing. It’s such a light and fresh salad, perfect before a meal. For my meal, I had their NC halibut with roasted corn and peach salad with a side of roasted carrots. I could have eaten ten more plates of this dish because it was outstanding. The flavors were unreal, and each bite got better and better. Kyle’s mom is now a fan of this place too!

We ended the evening with delicious espresso shots and dark chocolate. Charlotte nc, clt, romare bearden park
After dinner, we headed back to the Candle Bar to pick up the candles. We also did some shopping, and I picked up a new shirt because it was way too hot to be walking around Charlotte wearing a winter sweater! 😆

Shorts // Top

We spent the evening watching Up (makes me cry every time) and enjoying homemade peanut butter vanilla ice cream. I’ll be posting the gluten-free // dairy-free s’mores ice cream recipe this week!
For breakfast on Sunday morning, I had a delicious green smoothie! It had a frozen banana, frozen mango, water, amazing grass greens, vanilla protein powder, spinach, and topped with granola and Rxbar nut butter. tupelo honey Charlotte nc
We stopped at Tupelo Honey for lunch, but since I was still full from my smoothie, I decided just to have a coffee. I’ll never say no to a cup of coffee.
southpark mall, Charlotte ncWe had about an hour to spare, so we stopped at Southpark mall for a bit. We wanted to do everything to keep Kyles mom from going back home 😢 Wish she could have stayed longer!

I fell in love when these earrings at Loft and had to get them. The beaded tassel earrings are so fun, but it’s hard to find a pair that are light enough to wear, and these were light! I’m so excited to wear these in Miami.

I spent the rest of the evening cuddled up in bed with my laptop (staying out of the heat), working on my California vlog, and enjoying a cappuccino ❤️

Kyle and I ended the night with all the leftovers and caught up on Big Little Lies (also, totally predicted the last episode!)


Questions for you!

  1. What did you do to celebrate the 4th of July?
  2. Are you sticking to your summer goals?
  3. Would you like to see a candle tutorial on my YouTube Channel (ps new video tomorrow!!)

 

 

Comments

  • Kelly

    Where are your glasses from? So cute!

    Reply to Kelly
  • Bri

    Hi Taralynn!

    First off I wanted to say I love your blog! We are actually moving to Charlotte at the end of the year for my husband’s job but I was just curious – is there a reason you are waiting until the spring to move? Does it have something to do with the housing market? Thanks in advance for any insight!

    Also, so excited to hit all the places you talk about in your blog! Hope you’re having a great week.

    xoxo
    Bri

    Reply to Bri
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Bri!

      It’s just a timeline we set for ourselves and it helps give us more time with saving more. Homes tend to go on the market more in the spring here! 🙂

      You’re going to love the Charlotte area!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kristi Bennett

    1.What did you do to celebrate the 4th of July? We had family over for a quick visit- Wednesday to Thursday. We made yummy food, the kids made friendship bracelets, and then we ended the night with fireworks and homemade ice cream.
    2.Are you sticking to your summer goals? Yes, I am coming up on 10 months of eating keto.
    3.Would you like to see a candle tutorial on my YouTube Channel (ps new video tomorrow!!) Of course, I love your video tutorials!

    Reply to Kristi Bennett
  • Jess

    Get married already!

    Reply to Jess
  • Katie Meshko

    Awhhhh this all looks like SO much fun! Your parents pool looks AWESOME!! We went to a family cookout on the 4th, ate some yummy food, and swam. It was great 🙂 Have a great week!!

    XO, Katie | http://www.meshkomoments.com

    Reply to Katie Meshko
  • Susan

    I love running in running tights with pockets on the side. My phone Always stays in Place 🙂

    Reply to Susan
  • Breeanna

    I was invited to a couple different parties on the Fourth, but my husband got really sick early in the morning and I would have felt terrible leaving him alone. So, we stayed home and I made some veggie pasta salad and watched Stranger Things. I did get to take a little neighborhood walk and see some of the fireworks, though!

    This summer has been pretty weird so far! The gym that I have been going to for 5 years permanently closed its doors without any notice to its members. I had to wrestle with the billing company to cancel my membership (even though the gym no longer existed!) and so I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments. I’ve been doing lots of at-home workouts and more outdoor running and rollerblading. It’s important to me to stick to my workout routines until I find a new gym.

    Yes! I’m a sucker for a great candle, so I think it’d be fun!

    Reply to Breeanna
  • Hannah

    Your hair looks great blonde. I was team brunette when you said you were going to dye it but I’m loving the lightness for summer.

    Reply to Hannah
  • Ashley

    The idea of making candles seems so cool so I’d love to see your video! I also wanted to tell you about this company called the shop forward. They have a bunch of cute shirts I think you’d like, especially the ones that say dog mom on them. All the proceeds go to different organizations and charities. Just thought I’d share!

    Reply to Ashley
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Seems like you had a lovely July 4th! Thanks for sharing your day with us, Taralynn! 💕✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Lacie

    Your moms are adorable!

    Reply to Lacie
  • Kristen C

    Sounds like you had such a fun weekend!
    I went out with friends night of July 3, then on the 4th I felt a bad cold coming on so I stayed in (my A/C out of the Midwest IL heat) and watches the Office all day!

    I feel like I’m sort of sticking to my summer goals. I have been working out about 3x a week & trying to eat better during the week, but it’s so hard for me sometimes !

    As always, I’m obsessed with your blog! Been following for years <3

    Reply to Kristen C
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kristen!

      Watching the Office all day sounds like my kind of day! 😆 Hope you’re feeling better!

      Keep up all the good work!! xo x0 & thank you for the kind words!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kelsie

    You should check out Skillpop classes! I’ve taken a few in Raleigh, and they’re super fun and interactive.
    Love your recaps!

    Reply to Kelsie
  • Amber O.

    Your guest room is adorable! How exciting that you’re moving soon too 🤗
    For the 4th I made your frozen berry dessert (it was a hit!)
    My goals are going well this summer, I have 16 more pounds lose to be at a healthy weight/BMI and your blog definitely helps me stay on track! My husband and I are going to Disneyland in August so that’s also keeping us motivated!
    Hope your foot continues to heal!

    Reply to Amber O.
  • Tess

    Love the striped sweater you’re wearing? Where’s it from?

    Reply to Tess
  • Sara

    I agree about the Candle Bar. We went in there a few weeks ago with my grandmother and left disappointed. Their ultimate goal is to get you in there to buy their local products.

    Reply to Sara
  • Brittany

    What a fun weekend!! Also, I think it is so funny that you are sick of the heat.. because I am craving it here in Portland😂However, I did go down to Anaheim (CA) this past weekend and finally got some nice sunshine 🙂

    Anywho! Happy to see that you enjoyed this past holiday weekend!

    Reply to Brittany
  • Kelsie

    You should check out Skillpop classes! I’ve taken a few in Raleigh, and they are so fun. I love the variety of topics too.
    Love your recap posts!!

    Reply to Kelsie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Just checked it out! I’ll have to sign up for a class 😊 Which ones have you taken??

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Meg

        Do you think you’ll ever leave the Carolinas? It seems like you dont enjoy the weather too much. Wheres your dream destination to live!?

        Reply to Meg
        • Taralynn McNitt

          I don’t think I’ll ever leave the Carolinas. I for sure don’t like the humidity, but that doesn’t change my opinion about LOVING where I live. My dream destination would definitely be the Charleston area, which could definitely be an option later down the road.

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    For the 4th, I was in Southport! They had fun events all week long. The street dance was super fun, and I love how decked out the whole town was! Unfortunately the fireworks did get rained out at night, but we were still able to go to a community gathering/block party which was fun!

    To be quite honest, I didn’t set any summer goals other than to soak in every ounce of warm weather, no matter how hot it gets! I get quick to complain, but with cold weather 9 months out of the year in MN, I have to learn to love the 90 degree humidity lol Summer is my favorite season!

    Yes for a candle tutorial! I love your vlogs 🙂

    Reply to Jennifer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Jennifer!

      Sorry the fireworks got rained out 😞 Sounds like you made the best of it and had a blast!

      In your case, I would TOTALLY be soaking up that summer sun!! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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