Week Three Social Distancing: Cooking, Workouts, & Home Update

Well, we’ve made it to week three of social distancing.

As someone who naturally loves staying home and can easily say “no” quickly to invites, I’m officially stir crazy. The secluded trails and tennis helped a bit, but like most of you, I’m ready to wake up from this bad dream. I know this too shall pass. I hope you’re all staying safe and getting through this uneasy time. And as I promised, even though my recaps are a little uninteresting, I will continue to share my week ♥️

Seas the day! ♥️

One thing I’ve been loving is taking my dogs for an early morning stroll, sitting down with my coffee, and getting a slow start to my morning. I mean, what’s the rush? If anything, these past few weeks have taught me to be more still. I used to get antsy and want to drive here or drive there just to distract myself, but I’ve learned to get up and do productive things like fold the laundry, sweep the porch, unload the dishes, you know…actual responsibilities.
Since we’re back in the upper 70’s smoothies have been making their way back into my life again. I usually stick to frozen fruits like bananas, mango, blueberries, pineapple, strawberries, and raspberries. I add a vanilla plant-based protein powder, cashew or almond milk, and blend! I love topping it with granola, honey, and coconut flakes. 😋 
Monday night tacos were one of my favorite parts of the week!

These corn tortillas were filled with chicken, taco seasoning, jalapenos, black beans, onions, tomatoes, dairy-free cheese, black pepper, fresh lime, and topped with a garlic aioli sauce. I’ve been experimenting with recipes this week because once I get moved into the new home, I want to start filming recipe videos for YouTube as well as putting together recipe print outs to go along with it. It’s been a project I’ve been working on, and I cannot wait to get started. I’m hoping to have the first video go live in early June! The good thing about this extra time at home is working on projects I’ve been putting off. 
I had these tacos for lunch on Tuesday as well. I made Kyle’s with the flour tortillas and used corn tortillas for mine. 😋 
Something I really miss is seeing Becca 😢 We haven’t seen each other since March 1st. We decided to do FaceTime workouts together a few times a week, and I actually loved it! I think we’ll be doing this even when this social distancing is lifted. We are going to be doing a leg day today! Let me know if you’d like me to keep sharing what we do.
Another recipe you can look forward to is honey & spiced salmon! 😋 All of you salmon lovers are going to have to try this one out! I had baked broccoli and potatoes on the side. I bought a giant bag of broccoli a few weeks ago, and it’s lasted me a long time. I think I’ll make a mini broccoli salad for lunch today.

I spent Wednesday putting together the travel blog for Malibu! If you haven’t seen that one yet, make sure to check it out! I have a few more blogs from California ,and then I’ll be all caught up on the road trip down the coast series. 
On Thursday morning, I spent the day outside with the dogs while we had several home inspections. It’s such a weird time to be selling your home because you have to be out of your house and away from inspectors, but there’s literally nowhere to go since we’re all social distancing, so outside it was!
Breakfast called for another smoothie bowl (PS I always share my smoothie recipes on my Instagram throughout the week, so make sure to follow me over there! 😊) And for lunch, I had leftover potatoes, avocado with everything but the bagel seasoning, and a fried egg.
It had been a while since I made zucchini pizzas, which is unfortunate, because they are SO DARN GOOD! Even vegetable haters would love these. I bake the zucchini for about 15-minutes at 425, then add the sauce, vegan cheese, and bake for another ten minutes. I finished it off with some vegan parmesan, and it hit the spot!

These two caused some trouble on Friday night.

Kyle and I headed to the grocery store to pick up my parent’s groceries. When we got back, we took them out to the bathroom, and Grumples darted deep into the woods behind my house. He must have saw a bunny and he snapped out of the leash. It was the scariest thing because it was pitch black outside and he took off so fast that I would never be able to catch up, especially since I was wearing flip flops. Well, just our luck, Leo got out of his leash and took off into the woods to run after Grumples. After screaming as loud as I could for them, they finally both ran back. Grumples must have sprained his leg because he’s limping and refuses to walk more than a foot. Losing them is honestly my worse nightmare, and even though they were safe and in bed sleeping with us, I couldn’t fall asleep because my adrenaline was so high. I had the “what if’s” playing in my head over and over. I’m soo blessed because in 18 more days, these boys are going to have a FENCED in backyard! No chasing bunnies into the deep dark woods. I’ve had Grumples for nine years, and he’s NEVER run away, so it was definitely a shock.

I made some impromptu banana nut muffins on Friday night (before the dog fiasco!) and HOLY MOLY were they delicious!!!!! I was going to make my banana brownies but didn’t have any cocoa powder left, so these delicious muffins were created instead.
I kept them in the fridge and we ate them up in two-days. They’re perfect for morning coffee or a late-night sweet tooth. 
This is the new Saturday night in. 
I treated myself to some crab legs on Saturday night while we watched Ozark. Since our grocery store is always out of meat, crab legs it is! 😊
I decided to try Kristin Ess signature gloss and toner because my hair has been looking so copper! This always happens, but it was looking especially red because of the blonde I had in my hair last summer. I had so many people messaging me about how it worked, and I was super happy with the results!
Kristin ess tonerI have the type of hair that holds onto hair dye so fast that it can go completely black just by dying it brown. I didn’t want to dye my hair, just tone it down a bit, and it did exactly what I wanted! I love how light my hair is, just not the red tones. I will say that leaving it in longer helps! I ordered the box from Target online and it shipped in two days. Worth giving it a shot! 
On Sunday morning, Kyle and I watched Ozark while drinking coffee. I had a cinnamon raisin toast with peanut butter and strawberry jelly 😋

Of course, I have to update you on my wildflowers! 😊 I took out the ranunculus and transferred them to a different pot so I could plant some seeds in their place. It’s funny because three days later, I had baby sprouts coming up! And today (I’ll have to share a photo on Instagram later) they are almost taller than the other sprouts that are 20-days old! I’ve had a lot of people asking where I get my seeds from so I am going to write a blog post this week about all the places I find my seeds and some fun seeding ideas for the summer. Just looking at photos of flowers puts me in a good mood, so I’m hoping it’ll do the same for others in that blog post. 
Look at that thickness! 😊 I’m going to try to transplant these into the ground when we move.  
Look at the baby sprouts that were planted in three days! They’re in the middle. 
Later in the afternoon, Kyle and I headed to the tennis courts for a few hours to hit the ball around. It was a much-needed tennis session. It’s the little things like this that make things feel normal. 
After tennis, I had protein yogurt (protein powder mixed with coconut milk yogurt) topped with honey, coconut, and granola!

One thing I have to share is this Fresh Craving’s cashew queso! I don’t know how they did it, but it tastes like that jalapeno melted cheese you get at baseball games all over your nachos! It’s the BEST vegan cheese I have ever had. I found it at my local grocery store, but their store locator may help on their site. Ahhhh, I can’t wait for you all to try it and report back! IT’S SO GOOD!!!
I did a little recipe testing last night for dinner, which meant delicious air-fried rice wraps and egg rolls! I filled some with chicken, guacamole, kite hill, and fried them in the air fryer. I also topped them with the Fresh Cravings Cashew Queso! MMM dinner was so delicious, and of course, we watched American Idol to end the night!
And now, a house update!

We close in 18 days…I can’t believe it. 😝 I made an update on my Instagram yesterday with my thoughts, but this is just a crazy time to be going through this.

There is still so much to do before we move in, which is nuts. They have to do the landscaping, finish the exterior painting and siding, finish our trim, have a few mistakes taken care of, and then in eleven days we go through and do a blue tape inspection and mark everything that looks “off.”  I’m a bit stressed and nervous, but crossing my fingers, it all works out. I wish I could say everything as been a pleasant expereince, but I’d be lying. I’m crossing my fingers everything gets resolved, and after we move in, I’ll do more of a sit-down video and chat a bit about the process. I’ll share things we did wrong and things we did right, along with what we wish we would have known and what we’ll do next time.

We have some projects we can’t wait to get done. The fencing company is coming on our closing day to install the fence for the backyard (yay, no runaway pups!) doors will be painted (garage and front door), we will have a carpet runner for our stairs installed, our piano delivered, cabinet hardware being replaced, all new lights and fans installed (we didn’t purchase from the builder) and our couches being delivered! This is why we are taking an entire week to slowly move in since there will be a lot of hub bub going around the house. And after the first week, you’ll be able to find me in the garden! 🌺

I’m excited to share the home with all the changes! ♥️ I’m really leaning towards painting the brick white. I think it’ll look cleaner.
Leo was excited to see his new backyard and he can’t wait for all the wrestling matches with Grumples! Make sure to follow my home’s Instagram for all the latest updates for the next 18 days before we move in! 😊


Questions for you

  1. What have the past few weeks taught you?
  2. What have you been cooking at home?
  3. Have you finished any projects you’ve been putting off?

A big shoutout to all the front line workers and everyone else going into work to keep this country and world afloat. You all are amazing and I’m keeping you in my prayers 🙏

Comments

  • Cam

    What neighborhood are you moving to?

    Reply to Cam
  • Freshi

    Hey Taralynn,

    such a great idea with the zucchini pizzas! I actually tried them the day after I read this blog post and they turned out delicious! Wanted to let you know!! I also used eggplant! 🙂

    Reply to Freshi
  • Anna

    These past weeks have thought me to slow down and enjoy moments and patience. A lot of patience with people with myself.
    I have started working out, I always thought I don’t have time etc well now I see that it doesn’t take much at all to work out.
    Your house looks great! Always happy to read your posts , looking forward to the next one.
    Take care and I wish you all the best.

    Reply to Anna
  • Harriet

    Great recap, there is nothing worse then having your dogs run off at night, so happy they came back to you. the seedlings are growing so fast. have you planted any statice flower seeds? they have amazing colours and are great to turn into dried flowers. Your move in date is coming up so fast and dogs are going to love having a big yard to run around in.
    The past few weeks have taught me to slow down and stop sweating the small stuff.
    We have finally finished our interior painting (I put the interior off for two weeks and painted the exterior), so now once our lockdown is lifted we will get the wood floors polished, new carpet down and the new gas fire place put in then the interior is finally completed, but I have been thinking about extending my master bedroom next summer 🤦🏻‍♀️.
    I have been baking so much lately, today was plan bread and fruit bread, yesterday was choc chip cookies and Monday was blueberry muffins.
    Hope you have a great week!

    Reply to Harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Harriet!

      Yes, it was very scary!

      I will have to look into those! I’m just starting out with seeds for the first time 😃

      I bet your place is looking so great!!!

      ♥️

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Livie

    Your house looks beautiful! What an exciting time for you!

    If you have an HOA, make sure they allow wildflowers. Mine made me pull mine out. I guess they were too “invasive.” They can be super picky about what you can plant and any outside modifications like painting doors a different color, etc…

    Anyhow, can’t wait to see all the touches to your new home!

    Reply to Livie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Livie!

      I have an hoa now and understand how it works 😊 I made sure to do non-invasive as well as local to the environment. Our neighborhood is on the river and surrounded by trails that are filled with wildflowers, so all is good!

      Thanks!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessie

    How much cocoa powder do you add to your banana muffins when you make the other recipe? Is there a place to go to print the recipe off ? I have been doing so much baking lately and love new recipes thanks for keeping up the blogs it makes me smile during all these depressing days , I work in healthcare so times have been rough lately

    Reply to Jessie
  • Maureen

    Hi Taralynn!

    Your and Kyle’s new home looks amazing- loving the floors and especially in the laundry room! I’m sending up a prayer for a smooth transition for you two & the pups!

    The past few weeks have taught me to SLOW DOWN and appreciate what I have!
    I’ve been trying a few new recipes, but mostly we’ve been enjoying a lot of air-fried veggies and potatoes. I also made my husband’s family recipe for pasta sauce (an all-day affair), so we have a nice stockpile of it in our freezer now. =)

    So far I have re-organized my kitchen and a lot of my workspace. We have camping gear all around our house so I’m putting that all in one place, and next is a declutter/re-organization of my bedroom closet (to make room for some of my quarantine-induced online shopping). =)

    Thanks for the updates on your flowers! They help make my day, and I appreciate the joy it brings you to check on your flowers. (I have begun taking little walks around my yard during stretch breaks from work and I’m noticing things like where the sun is brightest in my yard in a way I haven’t before.)

    Have a great week!

    Reply to Maureen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Maureen!

      Thank you so much! 💜 appreciate that.

      The air fryer has been a savior during this time! 😊 You can never have too much pasta sauce, especially when it’s homemade!!

      Love that you’re getting all the decluttering and organizing done! SO therapeutic!

      Keep staying optimistic and positive during this time 💜 xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily

    Yummm, Banana mini muffins with with coffee sound amazing!
    I have been making a smoothie with a banana, cinnamon, oats, plain greek yogurt, unsweetened almond milk, agave, and ice. Super good.
    My husband and I purchased our first home about a year ago and we are finally getting a little extra time to work on extending our garden (all my seedlings won’t fit anymore) and making raised flower beds.

    Reply to Emily
  • Jenny

    So glad your pups are safe!

    What have the past few weeks taught you?
    We have so much. We are so fortunate to have everything we need and more. Our health really is most important- without it, nothing we have or do matters. We need to keep prioritizing it and being grateful for all we have instead of always seeking more to make us happy.

    Reading your blog I have learned that I know 0 about gardening and we maybe eat too much meat. I’m a little afraid to cook more than very basic vegetable side dishes (like roasting a simple side of brussel sprouts or getting a premix bag of salad or slaw and serving it alongside meat). I would like to eat more fruits and vegetables, possibly make smoothies for breakfast a regular thing, and learn how to spice them and enjoy them with chicken and fish in our tacos- and now I am really looking forward to learning about how to do that this summer by watching some of your videos and then going to the grocery store to try some new ways to eat fruits and veggies and feature them in our diets.

    What have you been cooking at home?
    Every few days we switch up the meals a little and then eat on repeat 2 or 3 times to stretch the freshest ingredients, the veggies and fruits, and the meat. We’ve eaten a variety of pastas, lentils, naan and rice, quesadillas with various fillings, and lots of cocoa/tea as comfort drinks along with beer and wine a few times a week for sanity. We’ve been eating more carbs and more processed food than usual due to the schedule, the stress, and the grocery stock at times.

    Have you finished any projects you’ve been putting off?
    No, we both work at the hospital full-time so days off have been excessively self-indulgent (reading, movie and tv watching, and some cleaning and meal prep each day) and then I try to check in with a couple friends each day off and each of our families a few times weekly. Things do not feel a lot different from normal right now most days except we can’t hit up trader joe’s or the wine shop on our day off easily to restock.

    As always, still enjoying a peek into your week- now more than ever 🙂

    Reply to Jenny
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Jenny! ♥️

      Love what you said! It’s so true and a great reminder for us all.

      I think it’s a great thing to work toward. I would say I eat meat once a day and sometimes not at all. I love filling up on giant salads that have other sources of protein and tons of fresh produce. I cut out pork/beef from my diet completely and that has helped me cut back as well. It took a while before I realized that “meat” didn’t make the meal and that it was the piles of veggies or potatoes! 😊 I can’t wait to start the videos!!

      I feel ya on eating more processed foods during this time but I think most of us have been doing it as well.

      Thank you for everything you do and I hope you’re staying safe during work! xo xo xo You’re amazing!!

      xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Milena

    Hi Taralnynn!

    I have to say that your home looks amazing! <3 Can't wait to see the final result 🙂

    What I've learnt in the past few weeks is to stay and home and enjoy it. I am always out&about and it costs me to stay home, so I've discovered that it's actually nice to do things inside and with no rush. But of course I hope we will be able to go out soon!

    For the last couple of weekends I've been doing pancakes, the really first time in my life. I've never cooked a lot in my life before, so this is also new 🙂 I did different pancakes and my favorites are with blueberry!

    Stay safe and big hugs!

    Reply to Milena
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Milena! ♥️

      Thank you so much!!

      We share the same feelings on that, girl!

      Ohhh welcome to pancake club! They’re so easy to make and so delicious!! My favorite is with blueberries too!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily

    I’m so glad you’re still doing recaps! They help make things feel more normal and your posts are always so bright and fun to read! I hope I can build a house like yours someday! 🙂 Take care! 🙂

    Reply to Emily
  • Tracey Powers

    Hi Taralynn. I love reading your blog posts. Your food looks so healthy and delicious. It motivates me to eat better and get my life back on track – ha! I ‘ve gained 10 lbs. since this coronavirus mess has started. I started eating better and exercising yesterday and it felt so good to be in control. I absolutely LOVE your house. You have great taste! We are looking to build next year, and I would really love to hear all of your ‘lessons learned’ and tips for going through the process of building. Thanks for sharing your recap with us, and for being a bright spot during a dark time!

    Reply to Tracey Powers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Tracey!

      Thanks so much, and girl, don’t be hard on yourself! I think we’ve all added some extra cushion during this time. Snacks have never been tastier!

      I can’t wait to do my moving / building posts once we get in there!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kristin

    OMG I’ve been craving everything banana, chocolate and peanut butter right now! I need to try those muffins! I made oatmeal bars with it all last night lol.

    It just feels like a good stuck at home treat!

    I managed to knock out a ton of projects this weekend. Bedside tables, fixing a table for my boys, figuring out some rug situations. Trying to just get what I can done!

    Reply to Kristin
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    I love that you’re using your time so productively – you’re such an inspiration! We’re not under lockdown here in Hong Kong so I still have to go to work every day – unfortunately! ❤️✨

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

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Ashton Jury

    I’ve definitely gotten better at ‘Using what I have’ instead of just running to the store. I’ve been trying new recipes I ordered cookbooks from Molly Yeh, Half baked Harvest and preordered Joanna Gaines new one for inspiration. The other night I grilled salmon with bok choy but wanted something else too so I used some rice I had cooked in my fridge and mixed it with dry tempura batter, spicy mayo and a little miso paste and made rice cakes! They turned out so good! Can’t wait for you to get in your new kitchen and start filming! I love the blog, but I also love all your cooking/vlogmas videos! Hope everything works out for your home and it all goes smoothly!

    Reply to Ashton Jury
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Ashton!

      I love love love Molly Yeh! She’s seriously a doll and I’m so happy she has her own FN show!

      That salmon meal sounds amazing! 😋

      ♥️ thank you so much!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenn

    We had a month in between moving out of our apartment into our house. Best thing ever. We were able to really clean the place before we moved in our stuff, have the rugs cleaned (previous home owners had a dog), have the cable set up, and move in some of our breakable stuff before moving in every else.

    Reply to Jenn
  • Brooklyn

    That must have been so scary when the boys ran off! That happened to me once while dog sitting, and it was terrifying! I hope Grumples is okay.

    Okay that queso looks amazing! Yum. All of your food from this week looks delicious. Now I’m craving tacos.

    http://Www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

    Reply to Brooklyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Brooklyn!! ♥️

      Omg, I couldn’t imagine that happening while dog sitting. I think that’d be even scarier! Grumps is doing much better today so looks like it was just a little sprain.

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Abbey

    Hi Taralynn!

    Thanks so much for keeping up with your recaps! Its nice hearing how other people are going through this time.

    Also that is so awesome that your tennis courts are open! Ours have been closed, along with all other parks and walking trails, for weeks. Going to parks and tennis courts are probably the things I miss doing the most right now.

    Oh my gosh we have been cooking so much! I’ve made homemade pasta, and all kinds of other things from scratch. I also made a batch of your carrot and apple blender muffins the other day – delish! I think I might make the blackberry protein muffins today, as we need yummy snacks around here.

    You didn’t ask, but the most fun thing we have done here since we’ve been in isolation is get our kids a trampoline! They go on it for hours everyday! It was a bit of a splurge, but it has been well worth it.

    Good luck with your house!!

    Reply to Abbey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Abbey!

      Thanks for stopping by to read! xo 😃

      I love that our courts have stayed open, especially since it’s a great activity where you can practice SD and get out of the house. We have park rules that no more than 3 people at a time, but luckily the courts in our town are almost always empty.

      Yummy, I love homemade pasta! I’ve been wanting to get the attachment for my mixer!

      OMG! Such a blast. I don’t think I could have lived as a kid without my trampoline!!! It’s the best!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Danielle

    First off, just want to say thank you for continuing to do your recaps…reading them is seriously the highlight of my Monday! The past few weeks have taught me about my anxiety, I normally am go, go, go and keep super busy to cope which has become increasingly difficult with being home 24/7, so I am working on learning other (probably healthier) ways to handle it. I’ve been trying all sorts of new recipes and bringing back some old ones my mom used to make when I was a kid which has been fun! I’ve finally gotten around to making decorations for my kindergarten classroom in preparation for my first year of teaching for next year! Hope you have a fantastic week! Congrats on your new home! 🙂

    Reply to Danielle
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Danielle!

      Thank you for stopping by to read and comment!! That is a highlight for me!!

      It’s definitely a high anxiety time, and not an easy thing if you already deal with anxiety. I’m glad you’re being optimistic ♥️ Keep doing whats best for you! What an amazing thing to look forward to!!! Congrats on becoming a teacher!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    The past few weeks have taught me to slow down, but to also extra appreciate my freedom. I’ve learned to make do with what I have which has already saved me money, and I will actually start to appreciate hugs and physical touch (I’m not a hugger lol)

    I’ve made SO MANY recipes from Half Baked Harvest’s blog/cookbook. Highly highly checking her out! She posts a new recipe everyday on stories which I enjoy watching.

    Yes! I took a weaving class with my cousin in March 2019. I’m finally trying to finish it up after all this time also just the organizing and cleaning that I’ve always pushed off.

    I think the brick would look good white. You could also be bold and possibly go black! I’m so excited for you to get into your new house!!

    Reply to Jennifer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes to all of those things!

      I love following HBH ♥️

      That is an awesome hobby! It’s a great one to have when teaching yourself to slow down!

      ♥️ Thanks so much

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Laura

    Does your new community have an HOA? We have to go through so many approvals to do any kind of exterior changes, even minor ones.

    Reply to Laura
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes, we do, but they’re very good at letting you do things as long as the changes look good. Our neighborhood is filled with bright colored doors and colored garages 😊 Plus we are able to get those approvals already 😃

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • debbie in alaska

    I vote yes on whitewashing the brick. The house is beautiful.

    Reply to debbie in alaska
  • Sara

    We had the weirdest closing on our home refinance. Our state is in the midst of a stay at home order but luckily the title company is still considered essential (or we could have lost our great interest rate). No one was allowed to come but us. We got to the title company and they opened the door a crack and handed us our package of paperwork to sign in our car! Fully masked and gloved she handed us pens and stated that she didn’t want them back. Well, we slunk back to our car and signed. Afterward we went back and handed her back the papers. She took them holding them out in front of her, turned, and closed the door. I understand the precaution but buy did we feel like lepers. It was really strange but felt good to be over with. Hope your closing goes smoothly.

    Reply to Sara
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Sara!

      What a crazy closing seems to have taken the excitement of it all away…yikes! I hope the moving in the process has made up for that!! Congrats on your new home.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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