Week Four Social Distancing: Nature Walks, Big Salads, & Easter!

Thank you all for stopping by today’s recap blog! I hope you had a wonderful Easter despite everything going on in the world right now. I am on my third cup of coffee, and it’s only 8:00 am. We woke up to the loudest wind and rain hitting the upstairs windows followed by our Alexa tornado alarm going off downstairs. It was around 5:00 am, and we decided to take the dogs into the lower hallway until it passed. We live next to the woods and have giant trees all around that would cause incredible damage if oneย were to fall on the house. It’s much safer to stay downstairs, so despite how tired we were, we hunkered down until the violent storms passed. We lost power for a few hours, but it’s back now, and the sun has managed to come out. I’m all for spring storms, but not when the winds are reaching 70 mph.

It looks like we’re going into our fifth week of social distancing. Weirdly, this whole situation is starting to feel “normal.” I am tired of the repetitiveness, though. Luckily, in eleven days, we’ll be moving into our new house. It’ll be a much-needed distraction and change of pace. My recap post is kind of a blur since everything is starting to blend and feel the same. I’m going to share a couple of things I did this week, along with some meals I ate. I wish it were more interesting, but I’ll make sure to make the moving blog much better. I’m packing up my closet today, and dreading that project!ย 
I spent most of Monday working on things for the home sell and recipe creating for the blog. I’m in the process of filming/editing flat lay videos for recipes, and boy is it work. I can see why people hire freelancers for that.

This entire week, I’ve been enjoying a HUGE salad filled with all the delicious toppings. I seriously cannot get enough. It has romaine, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, sunflower seeds, sprouts, avocado, and a garlic cashew dip from Fresh Cravings (remember the cashew cheese I’m obsessed with? well, their garlic dip is just as amazing.) After lunch, I take a long walk and call a friend and chat. It’s been nice catching up because it feels like forever.
And of course, I have to update you on the wildflowers. They are THRIVING! I’m curious to see what happens since they are so crowded ๐Ÿ˜‚ , To be honest, I thought only a few sprouts would come up, especially after reading the “nothing sprouted” reviews. I thought about transporting a few into the new yard, but I’ll have to do more research.

On Monday night, I had a slice of Udi’s gluten-free bread toasted with Kite Hill cream cheese, avocado, everything but the bagel seasoning, and smoked salmon. It was delicious! We finished a few episodes of Ozark and headed to bed pretty early.

I needed to get out of the house on Tuesday, so a nature walk it was. There’s a garden in my town that I’m obsessed with, and the flowers are stunning, especially in the spring. I think it’s a hidden gem since it’s rarely flooded with people, and when I mention it, people seem surprised to have never heard of it before. I love taking my camera and Leo out on nature walks. The top is from Anthropologie ๐Ÿ˜Š
I was proud of this bee shot. ๐Ÿย 
This is such a dream spot. This is the beauty I needed!ย 
Leo had a blast, especially since we had the gardens to ourselves.ย 
Awwww, that face!ย 
This break has reminded me to spend time doing things that make me happy, like photography. I take a lot of photos for the blog, but I have a deeper love for photography when it comes to nature and capturing other people.ย 
After breakfast on Wednesday (strawberries, almonds, pineapple, honey & coconut), I got on a video call with Becca for our mini workout! We did a massive leg workout, and I’m still feeling it right now! I’m going to record this leg workout for YouTube soon. It’s nice because you are literally on the floor the entire time! It’s perfect for doing while watching T.V.ย 
I had the same salad for my lunch! I had it every day, and I got some new lettuce yesterday, so I’ll be eating it again this week! No shame in the salad game.

I had THE BEST baked corn tortilla taco on Wednesday night. IT WAS SO GOOD!!! I had a lot of messages asking for the recipe, so I made sure to blog it and share it on Friday. You can get the recipe here! I made a bunch, and they’re in the freezer now for whenever I want one. I pop it into the air fryer, and it comes out crispy and delicious. I topped it with homemade guacamole and cashew queso dip.

Fast-forward to Friday because I was so busy on Thursday that I didn’t blog anything!

Kyle and I grabbed an iced coffee from Starbucks drive-thru and headed to the house to check out the landscaping. I’m so excited to start adding new trees, flowering bushes, flowers, and prettier things int the garden. I’ve been reading everything about cottage style gardens, and I can’t wait to transform the space.
Friday late lunch/early dinner (i ended up warming up a baked taco later in the evening) was another jumbo salad but with an onion vinaigrette on top this time along with bell peppers.

We were so bored on Friday night that we drove by to “see the house at night.” It was pretty cool seeing it so lit up! We only live a few miles from the build, so it’s hard to contain ourselves when it comes to driving by.
Saturday morning breakfast was Udi’s gluten-free toast with vegan butter and strawberry jam. I also had an egg and Applegate maple chicken sausage on the side ๐Ÿ˜‹
Saturday night, we had cauliflower tortilla pizzas with pizza sauce and Followed Your Heart vegan cheese. ๐Ÿ˜‹ And I also had shishito peppers on the side.
We had dinner with my mom and dad for Easter. I made gluten-free/vegan lemon sugar cookies with lemon zest on top! They were so good. We played cornhole in the backyard while the dogs ran around.

****Disclaimer*****

After spending four weeks isolating and social distancing, we chose to spend Easter together. My mom, my dad, and my Fiance. We haven’t had any symptoms for over four weeks, took our temperatures, and felt comfortable having Easter dinner together. You may not agree with it, but it was ultimately our decision. We weren’t out in a large group, attending a big mass, standing in line at Home Depot, or doing anything with strangers. It was our small family that has not been exposed to the virus and have all been isolating. You don’t have to agree with it, but it was our family decision that we all felt comfortable with. If you don’t think it’s safe to see your family, then don’t. It’s been weeks that I’ve all felt great, and we will continue staying away from outside people. Now if you see me out in a large group, go ahead and send all the hateful comments and SD police my way, but we felt completely comfortable having dinner just the four of us.ย 
My mom made homemade dinner rolls. She used this recipe here, and they were a hit around the table!

I made avocado & smoked salmon deviled eggs, and I’ll share that recipe this week! They are so delicious and the perfect party appetizer.ย 
I also made an incredible brussels sprouts salad that I’ll be sharing as well this week (most likely tomorrow on the blog!)ย 
Easter dinner was incredible! ๐Ÿ’œ We watched church on T.V. and relaxed the rest of the day.

I hope you all have a great week, and I’m excited to share the moving countdown during the next few days! ๐Ÿ˜Š We have our blue tape walkthrough on Friday, so crossing my fingers that goes well. xo


Questions for you!

  1. Did you cook anything good for Easter?
  2. Have you been able to get out on walks?
  3. Which should I share first, the deviled egg recipe or the brussels sprout salad?

Comments

  • Lily

    All your food always looks amazing!

    Is it allowed to see your family now in your area? I wish it was in mine ๐Ÿ™ still not allowed to visit others that donโ€™t live in your house.

    Excited for your new house!

    Reply to Lily
  • Emma

    We hadnโ€™t made it to easter planning before the shelter in place order happened. The family weโ€™d celebrated with in previous years has moved since last easter. Since we like to lift, our gym is closed, and we donโ€™t have tons of weights at home weโ€™ve been trying to be better at fueling our bodies for their needs and not overeating.

    We decided that we wouldnโ€™t do a ton this year, in favor of our budget and health (only fur babies, no humans). It ended up feeling more like a holiday than I expected. Phone calls to family, nice weather, etc. We ended up having some delicious BLTs and fruit for dinner, along with homemade coffee ice cream and frozen chocolate dipped strawberries. Compared to previous years we planned and did way less, but I was really happy with how well it turned out.

    Iโ€™m very excited to see your house move! Reading your blog has been a much needed source of routine for me so Iโ€™m extremely happy you’re still blogging. ๐Ÿ’›

    Reply to Emma
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Emma!

      It’s such a strange time but seems like you’re on top of your health and making the best of it!โ™ฅ๏ธ Glad you had a good weekend and thank you for stopping by to read!! xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Tara B

    Your food always looks so good!!

    Iโ€™ve been quarantined but I do go check in on my grandparents. We sit outside and I sit 6 feet away. I think itโ€™s great that you saw your family on Easter and were able to spend that time together!

    Reply to Tara B
  • Courtney

    Entered.

    But have to say, I definitely do not agree with you seeing your parents. Despite it being the best thing for you guys, it is not what the CDC recommends. We are all distancing for the greater of the people, not just for ourselves. I live 10 minutes from my brother who is getting stationed to Alaska next month, and we still didn’t see each other, as much it hurt my heart not to. We’re doing what our country is asking of us to do.

    Reply to Courtney
  • Chelsea

    Your Easter dinner looks so delicious!! Those rolls definitely look heavenly…YUM!

    We have been going out of plenty of runs and walks in our neighborhood. We live in a very walkable area in Arkansas so people are still getting outside, which is a huge blessing! I think I would lose it if we weren’t allowed to go outside. The fresh air makes ALL the difference with this craziness going on.

    Definitely the deviled egg recipe! Those are my favorites!!

    Also–random but where do you get your cashew queso?? I’ve been looking everywhere at all the grocery stores and can’t find a good one.

    Enjoy your day, Taralynn!!

    Reply to Chelsea
    • Taralynn McNitt

      โ™ฅ๏ธ Thanks, Chelsea!

      Glad you’re getting out! Deviled eggs are so good! They never get old!

      I get it at Publix! But you can also et it at Walmart. If you type your zip code into their store locator you’ll be able to find it in your area! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kelsey C

    Happy Easter, Taralynn

    Reply to Kelsey C
  • Milena

    Hi Taralynn!

    I’m glad you could spend Easter with you parents! My parents are in Poland and I couldn’t travel this year to see them, but I hope this craziness will be over soon and I will be able to travel in summer!

    For the first time in my life I made a cake! I made tiramisu for Easter and I was super proud of myself ๐Ÿ™‚ I know it’s not a difficult cake to prepare, it’s just the fact that I actually did it and it turned out very tasty ๐Ÿ™‚

    i was thinking to try doing your tacos recipe but I don’t have oven in my kitchen at this moment ๐Ÿ™ But I will try as soon as I have one!

    I couldn’t go out for walks because the police is literally everywhere here in Barcelona. We can’t go to the parks, we can’t go anywhere. Even alone and being far away from other people… I can’t wait to go out and visit all my favorite parks, especially now with all the flowers. You would love them as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a nice week, big hug!

    Reply to Milena
  • Heather

    We had dinner with our in-laws and live in SC as well. It’s not a hot spot down here and I don’t believe people understand what it’s like down here. It’s not a violation in SC to see family members.

    Reply to Heather
  • Julia

    Entered. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. I actually didn’t cook anything special. Usually I’m with family around this time of year. The Easter holidays felt so different – far from family (without my mom’s company and yummy food). ๐Ÿ™ I hope you had nice holidays!

    2. Yes, I’ve been able to get out on walks. However, I really enjoy doing pilates every day. It instantly lifts my mood.

    3. Please share the brussels sprouts salad recipe first. Can’t wait!!

    Stay safe!
    Love
    Julia

    Reply to Julia
  • Maureen

    Hi Taralynn,

    1. My husband and I were in charge of baked ham and bread (to soak up pasta sauce from homemade gnocci) for dinner at his parents’ house. I agree that you do what you’re comfortable with, and we had also been symptom-free for weeks and agreed to celebrate together. We also delivered leftovers to his brother’s doorstep.

    2. My state is still sheltering in place, so I’m only doing a 1-2 mile run around my neighborhood every other day, otherwise I go to my backyard to be outside.

    3. Brussels sprout salad, please!

    Your park looks amazing! Good luck with your move!!

    Reply to Maureen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Maureen!

      That sounds like the most delicious meal for Easter!! Glad you had a great dinner!

      It’s an amazing time to get outside (at least here in the south!) glad you’re taking advantage of it!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Madeline

    Did you cook anything good for Easter? Nope! A local restaurant offered an Easter meal to go so we did that instead. Ham, mac and cheese, green beans, cornbread and pie. We had to reheat on Sunday so it still felt like I “cooked” haha It was delicious without being too stressful.

    Have you been able to get out on walks? Yep! Walk my pup every day after work. Cold weather = 1-2 miles, Warmer/Sunny weather = 3-4.

    Which should I share first, the deviled egg recipe or the brussels sprout salad? Brussels sprouts salad.

    Reply to Madeline
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Wow that is awesome! That’s why I can’t wait to move, to be closer to the best restaurants! I bet it was delicious!

      Glad you’re getting out there on walks!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Brussels Sprouts for the win!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lauren

    Entered!
    I love your recaps! They’re such a good start to the week!
    We ended up ordering sushi for Easter dinner! We’d been cooking all week and we decided to support a local restaurant in our area!
    I’ve been working from home these past few weeks and I really make an effort to get out during my lunch break. It’s hard to get out sometimes but the feeling of being outside in the fresh air is always worth it!
    I can’t decide! I would vote for the brussels salad recipe ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love watching the flowers grow!! It’s encouraging me to up my gardening game! Wishing you all the best for your big move!!

    Reply to Lauren
  • Manda

    Hi Taralynn,

    I love your post ( as usual!). Sorry you were getting a few nasty comments, it was 100% your decision to make and it sounds like you and your family put a lot of thought behind it. We had a small Easter spread at home and Zoomed with my parents, we wanted to see them but as Dad is a mail carrier we thought it best to celebrate virtually. I can not wait for this to be over so I can give everyone in my family a great big hug!

    Good luck with your move!

    Reply to Manda
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Manda!

      I love that you were being safe with your family! ๐Ÿ˜Š With your dad being a carrier, that makes so much sense! With both my parents being retired, they aren’t around anyone.

      I’m extremely excited for it all to be over as well!

      xo xo thanks so much! have an amazing week!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily

    Where are your jeans from?

    Reply to Emily
  • harriet

    Sounds like you had a fun easter with your family (100% your decision), we kinda did the same thing with my grandmother, she wanted morning tea with chocolate in the garden. your house looks incredible at night all lit up, you will be moving in before you know it. Getting out into nature is so good, especially at this time, and your photos are amazing! loved the bee one. I have been walking my dogs 8kms a day, its so nice just to get out side into the warm sun. For easter dinner we cooked a roast lamb followed by chocolate for dessert. I love Brussel sprouts but the deviled eggs sound incredible. Hope you have a great week!

    Reply to harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Harriet! โ™ฅ๏ธ

      Your grandmother sounds like the coolest person! I want to have tea with her! lol

      So happy you had an amazing week and Easter Weekend!

      xo xo as always, thanks for stopping by!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sara

    Those lemon cookies look divine!

    Reply to Sara
  • Miriam

    So many beautiful pictures! Our walks have kept us and our dog sane these last couple of weeks. Your house is GORGEOUS, and I am so excited for you. We are moving into a new home (new to us) the same weekend you are moving! I pray everything goes smoothly for you, and that you have a blast settling in to your new home.

    Reply to Miriam
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Congrats on your new home, Miriam! Hoping things go smoothly for you as well! How exciting.

      Glad you’re getting out on the dog walks! โ™ฅ๏ธ I bet your pup loves it!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cate

    Do you eat ham?

    Reply to Cate
  • Jennifer

    I cooked a frozen pizza ๐Ÿ˜‚ I tried making muffins but our oven started smoking and smelled like it was burning (๐Ÿค”) so I had to take them out early so it was a flop. The muffins weren’t burnt though! Lol

    I’ve been on a few. It showed 6 inches here yesterday so no walks yesterday for me!

    Share the deviled eggs! I was craving some this weekend ๐Ÿ˜‹

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Kate

    I saw my family too!

    I cannot wait for your Brussels sprouts salad!

    Reply to Kate
  • Nikki Alden

    Entered!

    Reply to Nikki Alden
  • Abbey

    That salad looks BOMB! I am getting ready for my lunch salad now, a thai quinoa salad with greens and sliced turkey.

    We have been maintaining our social distancing, which is hard. But I think its great that many people are taking it seriously and just being responsible with how they are choosing to spend time with loved ones. So I’m glad you got to have Easter with your family.

    We actually have been having my in-laws come visit, but its through our dining room window. It sounds funny, but its really fun. We set up chairs and wine for them to hang out outside and we all have a little cocktail party! We are being extra cautious because I am pregnant (so just sparkling water for me!), and we have 3 little kids. So everyone agrees that this works for now. ๐Ÿ™‚ So yeah just mentioning it because everyone is finding ways to make this work best for their families!

    Thanks for another recap! Hugs!

    Reply to Abbey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Abbey!

      Sounds like you’re doing what’s best for you and your family! Glad you’re being extra cautious especially with the little one on the way!

      Thai quinoa sounds amazing!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Breeanna

    The photos of the garden are so gorgeous! I’d love to get out for a hike, but unfortunately, the forest preserves here have been packed. It’s a little concerning that no one seems to be paying attention. I have done some walks in the neighborhood, though.

    This is the first Easter I’ve ever spent away from my family. but I attempted to make a whole dinner to celebrate, even though it was just my husband and me. I made roasted chicken, skin-on mashed potatoes, garlic green beans, roasted carrots, and broccoli, and I also made homemade paleo lemon bars.

    I understand wanting to be with your family. We did not celebrate because we usually have it at my grandma’s house, and she is more vulnerable. However, I have gone to my parents’ house a few times since they are also working from home. I haven’t hugged them or gotten close to them or touched any of their surfaces, and I always wear a homemade mask when I go, but I know that it’s a really difficult decision to make when trying to keep everyone’s safety in mind. I think you were very rational in your choice, though!

    Brussels sprouts salad sounds good to me!

    Reply to Breeanna
  • Jessanne

    People just like to have something to criticize others about! Good luck on your move, Taralynn!

    Reply to Jessanne
  • Kelly

    We made homemade cinnamon rolls for Easter breakfast and they were AMAZING! besides that we did an egg hunt for our son and went for a long walk. If it makes you feel better, while we were on our walk, we passed a house that had about 10 cars parked on the street in front of it. We heard a ton of chatter in their closed garage….so you getting together with your parents is definitely not a big deal at all when you compare it to THAT. LOL!

    Reply to Kelly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kelly!

      Oh, we saw SO MANY gatherings around our house. I didn’t realize I would have so many nasty comments about having dinner with my mom and dad. Crazy crazy.

      I’m glad you had an amazing Easter!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kristen

    We spent Easter with our in laws too. No one is putting anyone in danger by eating together and enjoying a meal . Blessings to you!

    Reply to Kristen
  • Lauren

    Hi Taralynn,

    Thank you for still keeping up with your recaps during all this! It gives me something to look forward too on Monday ๐Ÿ™‚ we went to my parents house for Easter too after not seeing them for 2 weeks! I completely agree it is up to each family – and there were 4 of us too not 10! Honestly, we went in their pool too and hung out (at a distance) and I truly feel like it helped my mental health! Anyway – I am so excited for you to move in your house, so soon!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Lauren!

      Thank you for stopping by to read and your positivity! Glad you had a great Easter! & I’m sure seeing your parents after all of this time was nice! I definitely think it helped my mental health as well.

      xo xo have an amazing week!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kelly

    We had dinner with our parents this weekend and it was nice to see them. I understand the worry from people but it’s not like you went out in public and spread your germs everywhere. It’s your family and your decision.

    Reply to Kelly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Again, it’s really up to family on how they want to handle it. We’ve been isolating for a very long time and we made the decision to see each other and I feel comfortable with that. You won’t find me out in public, hanging out at grocery stores without a mask, or standing in a line at home depot (as many people are.) We’ve been very careful, and we were all comfortable with our decision. I could understand people getting upset if I was out in a large group, but it was my mom and dad.

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

    I love that you’re spending time outdoors! Hope you’re staying safe and hanging in there! โค๏ธโœจ

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

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Lina

    Hope you had a lovely Easter! It was my first one away from my family because of social distancing and coronavirus. What made you choose to go to your parents for Easter instead of staying away to protect them? I struggled with that decision so much but did what was safest for my parents.

    I made a traditional easter breakfast spread, albeit much smaller in quantity and went for a walk around a park.

    Brussels please

    Reply to Lina
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Lina!

      We decided a month ago that we were going to have Easter dinner together. My parents have isolated themselves for more than three weeks and so have we. We checked temperatures and have been completely fine for more than four weeks. We are not in a “hot spot” area and felt comfortable to make the decision to see each other. It comes down to what you and your family decide is best. Now, if it were a few weeks back we would not have done it, but at this time, we feel that it was safe and you just have to decide for yourself.

      It sounds like a great breakfast, and I’ll have the Brussels salad recipe up soon!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Sami

        I am glad you got to see your parents on Easter! I walk past my parents house and they will come visit me out on their porch for a little bit so thatโ€™s nice. I am married and have 4 kids so we stay pretty busy around here! We do need to take care of our mental health too and sometimes that means seeing the ones we love! And you did it safely.. I am so ready for stuff to start opening up!!

        Reply to Sami

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