Sticking to my weekend goals, hiking trails & a backyard bbq!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Before I begin this weekend recap, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your kind words and feedback from my Friday post. It was a last-minute decision to get that out there, and I’m so glad I did. Sometimes I’m not sure how people will receive my message or if I’ll be able to make sense of it all, but it turns out most of you could relate with what stage I’m at in my life. I love this supportive community! It makes me happy when you share your stories with me, and I love how comfortable you feel with being open on this platform. You’re not just sharing the struggles with me, but other readers who visit here as well. You are all so amazing! โ™ฅ๏ธ And again, thank you!

Now, time for the recap! ๐Ÿ˜Šย 
On Friday, I made a goal to get outside and be active atleast three times this weekend. I really wanted to jump back into my trail walks, more tennis, and connecting with nature. Since Kyle was still sick, we didn’t get around to playing tennis, so I just doubled up my trail walks, which was so much fun.

For breakfast on Saturday morning, I had a bowl of coconut yogurt mixed with vanilla & greens Vega protein powder, crumbled granola, blueberries, strawberries, coconut, and honey. It was delicious, and the perfect fuel before heading out on a trail walk.ย trail walking, masons trail, masons bend, trail morning, fitness, walking, South Carolina
One of the things I’m exciting most about moving is the fact that we are on the river. Our neighborhood has miles of private trails, kayak launches, and it’s own fitness center. I now have no excuse because I don’t even have to get into the car to get out and be a little more active. The dogs are going to LOVE this trail.

My mom and I decided to hike the trail together on Saturday afternoon.ย trail walking, masons trail, masons bend, trail morning, fitness, walking, South Carolina
It was a long trail walk because we stopped a few times to enjoy the water, chatted with some new neighbors, and walked through the house. After working out, I realized how important those endorphins were, and I loved every minute of them. This was the walk that helped me kickstart my new chapter.

After showering off, I made some arugula and avocado salad with a side of chicken pad thai. This reminds me, I need to get my pad thai recipe up soon. I did a tofu pad thai, but the chicken and brown rice noodle pad thai is where it’s at ๐Ÿ˜‹ Here is that recipe if you’re interested.

While I ate dinner, Kyle and I started watching Wrinkles the clown documentary. I thought it was going to be good, but it was one of the worst documentaries we’ve ever watched. It showed a scary preview (which sparked our interest), and then the entire show was kids prank calling the clown, and then at the end, you realize it was an actor playing the clown the whole time. Just a waste of time! After that, we started watching the Hillary Clinton documentary because I’m always so fascinated by the lives of politicians.ย trail walking, masons trail, masons bend, trail morning, fitness, walking, South Carolina
And who says you can’t make the same trail twice in 24-hours? I guess you guys will have to get used to this one ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Becca and I used to walk together ALL the time back in the day, and since we don’t live close anymore, it’s been hard. We decided we are going to try to get together and walk at least once a week. We chose to walk the trails at 9 am on Sunday to get the endorphins flowing early in the day!
trail walking, masons trail, masons bend, trail morning, fitness, walking, South Carolina
We did a nice 4-mile walk, and it felt great! The start of the trail was super cold, but it was almost 60-degrees when we finished!trail walking, masons trail, masons bend, trail morning, fitness, walking, South Carolina
I had some leftover pad Thai for breakfast (the egg was already eaten before the photo!) and took a quick power nap before we headed to my parent’s house to enjoy the fantastic weather. I’ve been cutting back on my afternoon coffee more, and it’s been tough ๐Ÿ˜‚
spring bbq, springtime, turkey jalapeรฑo burgers, sweet corn, aioli, healthy food, turkey lettuce wraps, on the grill, gluten freeI made some turkey burgers, and my parents made delicious grilled sweet corn, caesar salad, and sweet potatoes. I have to pick my blog recipe game back up because these turkey burgers were fantastic. I added honey, jalapenos, chives, gluten-free soy sauce, and all kinds of spices inside.
spring bbq, springtime, turkey jalapeรฑo burgers, sweet corn, aioli, healthy food, turkey lettuce wraps, on the grill, gluten freeWe played outside with the dogs all afternoon, whooped my parents butts in cornhole (I got my first four bags in a row!), and relaxed on the patio for a while. This is the weather I’ve been longing for! I do love the coziness of winter, but after Christmas, I’m ready for the warmer temps.ย spring bbq, springtime, turkey jalapeรฑo burgers, sweet corn, aioli, healthy food, turkey lettuce wraps, on the grill, gluten free
Leo is the master frisbee catcher! โ™ฅ๏ธ I’m so happy we will be able to give him the backyard of his little frisbee dreams in 46 days! Eek! When we got home, I showered, turned on American Idol, and fell asleep before anyone auditioned! I was zonked.
House update!

There’s still so much to be done on the house, but it’s starting to look like home! This week they are going to finish the trim, inside painting, the tiles, and by the end of the week, our countertops and driveway will be done!

I am going to be heading to the local nursery this week to pick up my trees for the side of the house. I know when they landscape they’ll add nice trees, but I want gardenias and camellias to show through the side windows. I’m so so so so excited to get outside and garden all summer long. Don’t forget to follow Cottage Story on Instagram to stay up to date on all of the home-build changes!

I hope you all had an amazing week! I’ll be sharing a few recipes this week and also a blog post from my trip to see the Depot at Gibson Mill! It’s one of the coolest antique stores, and I have a ton of photos to share. Now, time for me to lace up my shoes and go out for a walk in this 68-degree weather! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Questions for you!

  1. I told you I was going to ask you this! How did YOU stay active this weekend?
  2. What are your spring goals?
  3. Are you ready for the Bachelor finale tonight?!


  • Katie

    Aw girl we all love and appreciate you too! Love your recap posts. Your weekend looked like so much fun and the house looks like it’s coming along great!! I am obsessed with the tile in the photo – so pretty!! One of my big Spring goals is to D E C L U T T E R! lol it’s much needed :p

    XO, Katie |

    Reply to Katie
  • Ashton Jury

    Girl! You need to get an inflatable kayak since you’ll be so close to the river! I bought one from amazon on prime day for $50 and love it! It doesn’t take up a lot of space in my tiny garage and we use it in bay near Long Beach, California all the time! Definitely plan on more hiking for my spring goals, and just eating out less. trying to be better about budgeting my groceries and buying things that I can use for more than one recipe. Though its supposed to rain all week here in California, so I’ll be making soup. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Ashton Jury
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I’m too scared to do an inflatable lol! My luck I’ll be alone and it’ll pop. The river has a lot of sticks and rocks. We are steps away from the water so we are going to get some lightweight kayaks that we can hang up in our garage and get a roller to wheel them down to the launch! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Love your spring goals!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily B

    The weather this weekend was wonderful here in Indiana! My husband and I just got a new griddle for outside and it is fantastic! We have been making all kind of food on it from pancakes and eggs to tacos! Activity wise I went on a ton of mini walks with our dog (sheโ€™s got arthritis in her back leg so her walks are short!) and yesterday ( through I know that doesnโ€™t count as a weekend) I took a short run around the neighborhood. It felt good at the time but now Iโ€™m kind of regretting it.. running on pavement is killer on my legs and feet ๐Ÿ™ I canโ€™t wait to visit some trails here soon! So much easier on the joints. Youโ€™re so lucky to have trails new your new home!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Emily B
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Emily!

      So happy you had great weather! ๐Ÿ˜Š Sounds like you made some delicious meals to go with that weather!

      Love that you’re getting out and walking! It inspires me to do the same ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessie

    I want to do so many fun hikes when itโ€™s warm .
    Please post that turkey burger recipe I need a good one.
    I walked at a local park this weekend.

    Reply to Jessie
  • Amanda

    I love following along with your house, Iโ€™m looking forward to some gardening advice! One of my spring goals is to work on the exterior of my house and Iโ€™d love beginner and budget friendly tips!

    I just discovered your blog and instagram and I love it!

    Reply to Amanda
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I plan on blogging ALL of my gardening!! ๐Ÿ˜Š I’m thinking about doing a Friday gardening series this summer! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      & thank you so much!! I’m so happy you found me!

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

    So jealous of the great outdoors you have where you live! Looks like you had a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Sami

    I love your jeans! Where are they from?

    Reply to Sami
  • Breeanna

    The house is looking great, and I love the trail photos! I would love to visit some trails in the south. This weekend, it was 65 degrees in Chicago, so I did some trail hiking, too. We have a few that have a bit of an incline that make it a good leg workout. It was a small taste of spring.

    I think this spring, I just want to spend as much time outside as possible. I feel like I am stuck in an office on the most beautiful days, so I want to do more outdoor workouts or even just take more evening walks.

    I actually don’t watch the Bachelor but I just started watching Love is Blind and as cheesy as it is, I can see why people are hooked!

    Reply to Breeanna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Oh, girl! I binged that entire season!!! ๐Ÿ˜†

      65 in Chicago?!!? Where was that when I lived there! I love that you took advantage of it and got out on the trails!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • marcella

    your house is looking amazing!!
    -this weekend I ran 8 miles with my running group yesterday (I got in a slight fender bender last Wednesday so I was happy to finally exercise again – it definitely makes me more sane lol)
    -my spring goals are to pay off more of my student loan I’m aiming to pay off by the end of this year, and not spend too much on new clothes for spring ๐Ÿ™‚
    -I don’t watch the Bachelor BUT I did watch the Love is Blind reunion last week.. I wish there was another season haha

    Reply to marcella
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Marcella!

      Thank you so much ๐Ÿ˜Š

      8 miles? Nice work!! Glad you’re doing ok after the FB, always scary!

      Spring clothes shopping is a hard one of avoid. I’m trying to do the same!

      haha yes, that was a great show! I binged the whole thing!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Harriet

    Awesome recap, also thank you for being so open with the Friday post, truly inspirational. The new area you are going to live in sounds amazing with all the trails and water activities you can do, I bet the dogs will love it. I was extremaly active this weekend, with training for the big hike next month, i knocked out a total of 16km in the forest with my dogs. My “autumn” goals are, 1) to complete a 19.4 km up mountian hike, 2) start my first of three IVF egg freezing rounds, and 3) start the process of getting my scuba diving licence. we dont get the usa bachelor over here, though we have our own bachelorette on at the moment an honestly i have completely given up on it, totaly the worse one to date. Have a great week!

    Reply to Harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Harriet!

      โ™ฅ๏ธ thanks for those kind words! You are always so sweet. Sounds like you had a pretty intense weekend! Good luck on your IVF and I’ll be thinking of you! Make sure to stay rested!! xo

      I feel ya on that! Bring on Claire already.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Madeline

    1. I told you I was going to ask you this! How did YOU stay active this weekend? 2.5 mile trail walk x1, neighborhood walk x1, and an arm workout with my new (heavier) weights!

    2. What are your spring goals? Since I’m newly pregnant, my goals are to be active when I feel like it, eat healthy, whole foods when I feel like it and give myself grace for the times I don’t feel like doing either.

    3. Are you ready for the Bachelor finale tonight?! YES! Except it’s going to be a cliffhanger until tomorrow. That’s how the show rolls.

    Reply to Madeline
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You go, girl!

      Congrats on pregnancy!! Your goals are absolutely perfect. Take care of yourself!

      UHHH you’re so right. My other guilty pleasure show is on tomorrow night…how will I ever choose? ๐Ÿคญ

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Melissa

    We live about 45min from the bay of fundy so one of our favourite weekend activities is to drive down and walk one of the trails by the water or just walk a beach. So that’s what we did this weekend too! Can’t go wrong with a walk outside.
    I thing my main goal even for the year, (but spring always feel a like a refresh) is to finish projects I’ve wanted to start around the house. I’m so bad for coming up with ideas and not following through! So making a list and just getting her done will be my goal. You’re always very helpful motivation actually lol, seeing your house projects gives me the kick in the butt to do mine too

    Reply to Melissa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Melissa!

      Wow that is so fun. There’s something about a walk outside that feels so good!

      Hahaha I’ve been here with not following through on projects! Kyle always makes fun of me for it haha So…trust me, I only share the finished ones ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Chandler

    I read your blog post on Friday! I loved it and appreciated your honesty. It’s been a tough time for me too fitness wise. I’ve had some health struggles the last year, but things are finally turning a corner, so I’m hoping to hop back on track once I’m more healed! I went to the gym and went on a long walk outside this weekend. It was in the high 50’s in MN! Whoop whoop! Spring goals are to finish my house (we moved in a year ago and still haven’t fully set everything up) and to eat more veggies. I AM SO READY FOR THE BACHELOR TONIGHT. CANNOT WAIT. Hope you have a great week!

    Reply to Chandler
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks so much, Chandler!

      Love hearing that things are turning around for you ๐Ÿ˜Š We all go through crazy life phases, but it always feels good when things start to align. Love that you had some great weather to enjoy this weekend. YOU GUYS DESERVE IT!

      ohhhhh you’ll have to come back and tell me your thoughts on Bachelor after tonight!!!

      p.s. i move into my house over 3 years ago and it’s still not finished lol

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Chandler

        Also, forgot to tell you that I saw The Invisible Man! It was so good and definitely more suspenseful than scary. I loved it!! I will let you know my thoughts on Wednesday after it’s all over about The Bachelor ๐Ÿ™‚

        Reply to Chandler
        • Taralynn McNitt

          YAY!!! I’m so happy you went to go see it!!!

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
          • Chandler

            I feel like we need a whole blog post to talk about The Bachelor finale lol. It was so bad. Peter’s mom is a NUT. She was so rude and unsupportive. I was honestly appalled at her behavior. Hannah Ann did not deserve how everything went down and I feel really bad for her. I loved how she stood up for herself though. I thought Madi handled everything really gracefully with Peter’s mom and she remained so calm and composed. I don’t think she and Peter will last though. The whole thing was just kind of a disaster. I’m super excited for Clare’s season now to get some older people in though! What did you think?

            Reply to Chandler
            • Taralynn McNitt

              YOU’RE TELLING ME!

              I’ve never seen anything worse than Peter’s mom on the Bachelor. LIKE EVER! Madi & Hannah need to run for the hills!! Peter will forever be imprisoned by his family and it’s sad. He’s like the modern-day Disney princess.

              Now, bring on Claire and men over the age of 28!!!!! lol

              Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lauren

    Hi Taralynn,

    That hiking trail looks beautiful!! i went hiking for the first time this past summer in southern California and i fell in love! I live in Florida so there aren’t too many hiking trails ๐Ÿ™

    I went kayaking for the first time ever this weekend! I loved it sooo much and that was an awesome way to get exercise in…..I am SOOO sore!

    My Spring goal is to go through each cabinet and room in my house and keep/toss/donate. I hate clutter and useless items so i love going through everything each year. It honestly usually takes me until mid-summer to go through everything but this way I have an organized home for end of summer/fall/holidays!

    I am so ready for the finale! Except I hate how they make it two nights….doesn’t Chris Harrison know we have lives?! I am sick of Peter and the girls this season. Ready for a new start lol

    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Lauren!

      Ohhh no. Do you have any beaches to walk? That’s my favorite part of Florida! Wish we lived closer to one!

      OMG how fun! I LOVE LOVE LOVE kayaking! I can’t wait to get my own!!

      That is a big project but feels so good when it’s over with! Good luck on that!!

      SAME!! haha don’t they know I have commitments to other trashy reality shows? haha

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kristin

    Knocked out two runs this weekend and lots of house cleaning (does that count? lol)

    Oh man. I feel like I’m ready for the Bachelor finale just to get it over with lol. I read spoilers and even those are ever changing! Who is your pick?

    Reply to Kristin
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I’m a true believer that CLEANING IS EXERCISE!

      Haha you’re so bad. You can’t read the spoilers!! hahaha Ohhhh I think Hannah is Peter’s best choice. She seems to actually align with him.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Kristin

        Hahaha, it makes it so fun to see what is going to happen throughout the season! I feel like he’s not into Hannah Ann but she is definitely the safer choice! I can’t wait to see how tonight plays out!

        Reply to Kristin
  • Jennifer

    If friday counts as the weekend, I did do a 30 minute walk/run! Saturday I went to a friends house and her daughter created a hula hoop competition for us.. that got us outside! It was 60 degrees here which felt like summer ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    Spring goals – be active/exercise 3 days/week, spend more time outside, and plant flowers and a cherry tomato plant on my balcony!

    Yaaaaas. Always!

    Reply to Jennifer

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