I dyed my own hair, planting peonies, and a whole lot of cooking!

Good Afternoon, everyone! I just finished eating a warm bowl of chili, and now I’m trying to find the motivation to write this blog. The weather is gloomy, and all I feel like doing is making a cup of tea and watching romantic movies for the rest of the day. Sometimes, it takes me about two hours to write one sentence, and today is one of those days. Yesterday was our last sunny day for a while, and there were a few things I needed to finish up outside. I think the amount of yardwork has me completely worn out today.

Last week was spent doing things around the house like decorating our bedroom, planting some flowers, cooking delicious food, walking around the neighborhood trails, and spending a lot of time in the backyard with the pups! And just like I’ve been doing for the past ten years, I’ve captured it all, so let’s get started with today’s recap post. 
Monday night called for teriyaki chicken drummies, homemade guacamole, brussels sprouts, spinach, squash, roasted red potatoes, and homemade lemonade! I used my mini lemon squeezer and add the juice to a glass with water and stevia. I’ve been addicted to that combo lately.

This is how every morning has started since moving into the new house. ♥️

The dogs have also gotten into their new morning routine of playing around in the yard. We have a flock of wild turkeys behind the woods and they always talk back and forth with each other. Once the dogs are over the turkeys talks we play with the bubbles until they’re ready to come inside. 
On Tuesday, I made my broccoli salad and a jalapeno kale salad to eat throughout the day. I had a sweet neighbor drop off some kale, broccoli, and other delicious vegetables from a subscription box. I’ll never turn down veggies!

I also made my batch of homemade granola to bring over to our new next-door neighbors. I was so happy they finally moved in! We met them back in February when we went to check up on the build and we truly adore them. So far, it seems like we live in a neighborhood with some of the nicest people! 
I finally decided to do it. I haven’t used a box hair dye since 2013. That was the time I completely destroyed my hair and it took so long to get back to normal. This time, I did a lot of research on which brands were the best and I decided to use Natural Instincts Clairol. It’s not a permanent dye, but I read non-permanent is less harmful. I used the color Dark Warm Brown, left it on for fifteen minutes, and I LOVED how it turned out! I will for sure use this again.

I feel more like “me” with the dark hair. Even though my hair grows in dark like this, the sun makes it look brassy, and with my blonde hair from last summer coming through, it doesn’t help. I absolutely LOVE my hair color now. Even though I love going to the salon, this was about $90 cheaper! 😆 This hair dye actually made my hair feel glossier.

My neighbors packed away their coffee maker, so I brought them fresh coffee in the morning to go with the homemade granola. You can’t go without coffee on a big move-in day ♥️
I spent the rest of the day recipe testing for a new gluten-free banana bread recipe. I’m pretty sure I have it 100% now. I also tried it in muffin form, and those were actually even better than the banana bread. They rose SO HIGH and had more of a cake texture. 😋 I love having banana bread around with coffee. Now, I’m impatiently waiting for the next round of bananas to turn brown.
On Thursday, I decided to pick up WhichWich after grabbing a few things for the bedroom makeover. I haven’t had WW since living in Iowa and I forgot how good it was. I had their lettuce wrap filled with turkey and all the veggies. 😋

Dinner called for pad thai from Spice Kitchen followed by peppermint tea and American Idol. A few of the days were cold last week and I contemplated turning on the heat! Now, of course, it’s back in the upper 80’s. 
We made some serious progress with the bedroom! I’m so in love with how it turned out 😃 If you missed the bedroom makeover, check it out here!

I started my Saturday morning with coffee, a bowl of my protein yogurt and homemade granola, and then headed straight out to start planting my peonies. I didn’t get to put my peonies in the ground this year because of how late in the season it was, but I’ll be planting mine this fall. They were so pricey to purchase matured but totally worth it.
I put in a little fence to keep Grumples from peeing on them. This is his “pee” area, so now he goes to the holly bushes instead 😂 I also have some purple roses, gladiolus, and dahlias next to the pionies.

While my mom and I spent all day planting, Kyle and my dad finished up a huge backyard project. It was so hot out, but it always feels good to be finished. Kyle’s hat is so funny, but I’m glad he’s wearing one! The sun is brutal here.
After getting cleaned up, we headed to the amenity center to pick up food from Bleu Barn Bistro food truck. I think it’s so incredibly cool that our neighborhood has food trucks set up multiple times a week. We will totally be buying food from them to support local when we can! I ordered the chicken tacos, and WOW WOW WOW! They were amazing. Kyle had their chicken burger and said it was pretty awesome! I think tomorrow is some kind of Lobster truck, and you better believe I’ll be heading down there!
Sunday was all about relaxing! I had my morning smoothie bowl (strawberries, protein powder, cashew milk, coconut, and granola) and did a little gardening maintenance.
Kyle’s mom bought us this adorable hummingbird feeder! I love it 😊 I do need to hang it higher though so the birds will actually come!
I finished a new season of 90-day fiance (can’t stop, won’t stop) before heading to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for dinner. One snack I’ve been living off of lately has been the chocolate rice cakes with peanut butter! 😋 
Even though it was so hot outside, chili sounded so good. I made my sweet potato and turkey chili recipe and it’s always a hit. The one thing I love about chili is that it gets better and better each time you heat it up and eat it.

Since this entire week is going to be rainy, I think I’ll finally get around to doing a few more things inside (like blogging the recipes created or getting on top of the wedding plans) Our rug for the living room still hasn’t arrived 😞 but I’m hoping it’s here by tomorrow! Anyways…I hope you have a fantastic week and are doing well wherever you may be! ♥️

Questions for you!

  1. Did you cook anything good this weekend?
  2. Which home projects have you been putting off the longest?
  3. Have you ever dyed your own hair?


  • Leighann

    I love how your hair turned out!! It looks great! I’m just getting ready to get mine more blonde tomorrow, yours looked so god last summer but you look good in any color☺️ Love this post do do all your posts-I always make sure I sit down with a coffee (or iced coffee now that is hot) and relax while I read 🖤🖤

    Reply to Leighann
  • Melissa G

    umm, I like Kyle’s sunhat. i think you should totally get the same exact one and add a super cute scarf to it. lol. I love your blog and IG’s , thank you so much for sharing a piece of your world with us. Your home is beautiful and I think it’s amazing that your neighbors are so sweet, that sounds magical exchaning treats with each other.

    Reply to Melissa G
  • Hannah

    I’ve just sat and read through 3 weeks worth of your blogs (I haven’t had time to catch up until now!) and I’m so so happy for you guys in your new house! I’ve been reading your blog for years (maybe 8?!) and it’s so amazing to see everything change and grow with you. You’re also giving me serious garden envy and I now want to go to the garden centre asap…!

    My boyfriend and I made a vegan roast dinner on Sunday with homemade Yorkshire puddings (first time making them and they turned out amazing!) and the whole thing was such a good meal!

    We moved into our new rented home last October and said from the beginning we wanted to paint the bedroom to replace a dark yellow wall. After months of saying it we finally did it 2 weeks ago and it’s made the biggest difference!

    Yep! I used to do it a little when I was a young teenager, but then I moved onto doing it at a salon and it always turned out SO much better, so I won’t touch it now haha.

    Reply to Hannah
  • Janna English

    Your banana bread looks amazing. Hope you post this recipe soon. Love, Love, Love your hair color. It looks so pretty on you.

    Reply to Janna English
  • Emily

    Your neighbors sound awesome!

    Reply to Emily
  • KT

    Do you have a go to measurement for how you brew your coffee with the Chemex? I haven’t been able to figure mine out & I really want to!

    Also, loving the house updates! It’s beautiful & I love seeing the process.

    Reply to KT
  • Jenny

    Hi Taralynn-
    You cooking looks awesome- looking forward to the recipes! Especially the banana bread- I’ve never tried making it and would be curious to attempt it this summer.

    We made a tasty hash for the first time this weekend with onion, sweet potatoes and some leftover meat topped with fried slightly runny eggs. It was pretty perfect and full of protein.

    Since we moved into our home recently we did a lot of projects and have been enjoying not doing anything. We have been procrastinating on setting anything up on the deck. We are equal parts afraid to choose a carpet, furniture, grill etc. and also covid disrupted in person shopping so it made it extra scary to try to decorate. We should at least set our little table and chairs from the last place out there but havent done so yet.

    I have not dyed my hair in years– after a blonde attempt made it neon colorful and took years to really get out (lots of dye jobs to coverup that would fade and reveal my blunder for years after) I leave coloring to the professionals now!


    Reply to Jenny
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Jenny!

      Once you start making it, it’s hard to stop!

      Ohhh that has sounds so good! 😋 I havn’t made a hash in a while.

      I feel ya on that! It’s definitely a strange time to be moving into a home.

      Lol ive done some messed up things to my hair before! I think we all have 😂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Breeanna

    Over the weekend, I made three batches of muffins -lemon, banana-walnut, and strawberry-banana- and they were all gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, grain-free, and refined-sugar free! I’m only on Week 2 of an elimination diet and cannot wait to have chocolate again, but these help to combat the sweet tooth. Tonight, I’m making homemade black bean burgers.

    I’m embarrassed to say that I still have two unpacked boxes from when I moved into my apartment almost three years ago. It’s a super-small space and we have no storage. To avoid clutter, I’ve just kept them in the bedroom closet, but I really think I should prooooobably get around to those soon.

    Yes, I’ve dyed my own hair plenty of times. Since I’ve been working from home and haven’t had to go into the office, I dyed it all green and blue. It’s fun!

    Can’t wait for the banana bread/muffin recipe, and keep the flower photos coming!

    Reply to Breeanna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      YUM!!! Those all soound so good!!!! & i love blackbean burgeers.

      We use a guest room for boxes too lol. I think EVERYONE does that.

      Those sound like fun colors! woo!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jaime

    Did you cook anything good this weekend?
    I randomly made freezer vegan burritos! So amazing and easy to pop in and out of the freezer for a snack 🙂
    Which home projects have you been putting off the longest?
    We need to repaint our chimney… And we are both avoiding it haha!
    Have you ever dyed your own hair?
    Oohhh yes, usually every 2-3 years I decide to dye it at home. I feel the same as you and love my hair a little darker – glad I’m not the only one who isn’t a fan of natural highlights from the sun lol. I always buy the color “mahogany brown” by L’Oreal Paris when I do it.

    Reply to Jaime
  • Lauren

    Hey Taralynn! Love peonies, they’re gorgeous!
    I was wondering if you were still planning on writing a follow-up post about your Target incident ?

    Reply to Lauren
  • Patricia

    Bringing over coffee and granola? Such southern hospitality…can I be your neighbor lol? The new house is beautiful 🙂

    Reply to Patricia
  • Ashton Jury

    I also made chili, but mine was more meaty with spicy sausage, beef and beans. I also made cornbread muffins. We don’t have a wish with here, but I am obsessed with Jersey Mikes sub in a tub its so good! I have been putting off painting my bathroom…ugh. I luckily have never had to dye my own hair, I’m lucky enough to have a best friend whose a trained hairstylist and now bartender lol

    Can’t wait for you to share your gluten free banana bread!

    Reply to Ashton Jury
    • Taralynn McNitt

      YUM! cornbread muffins with chili is the perfect combo!

      My mom has been doing the bathroom painting and it’s tough! So many things to paint around. BUT YOU GOT THIS!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Eileen Artinger

    We made our favorite salmon dinner! It’s salmon pan cooked with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon. Then we make pasta with olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon and fresh parsley! It’s so simple but sooo good.

    Reply to Eileen Artinger
  • Lina

    Your home is coming together so beautifully, thank you for the updates! Lately we’ve been cooking chicken shawarma and it’s so delicious.

    One question, I noticed you started adding protein powder into your food again after giving it up post Whole30. What made you decide to start using it again? I always struggle whether it’s good for me or not.

    Reply to Lina
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you! 😊

      Chicken Shawarma is so good. I get it at a spot here in my town! 😋

      I only use protein when I’m being more active than usual and need quicker recovery. Since I’ve been outside working on strenuous projects for hours at a time my body just feels like it needs it! I only use a plant-based protein powder with good ingredients. 💜

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Madeline

    Did you cook anything good this weekend? Yes! I made this recipe I found on Pinterest and LOVED it. https://www.eatwell101.com/garlic-butter-chicken-bites-with-lemon-zucchini-noodles It didn’t take much time at all and it’s easy to make adjustments (chop zucchini if you don’t have a spiralizer). Highly recommend.

    Which home projects have you been putting off the longest? Buying furniture for the baby’s nursery.

    Have you ever dyed your own hair? Yes, and I hated it. Will never do it again! HA

    Reply to Madeline
  • Katie

    Looks like a great week!! Your hair turned out so good girl and I love that your neighborhood does that. Taco truck? Yes please! I made some pork carnitas tacos this week & they came out pretty good 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your week!

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

    Reply to Katie
  • Jen

    Hi Taralynn, tou look more “You” if that makes sense? Great job on the hair color! Glad you’re enjoying your new home! Have fun!!!

    Reply to Jen
  • Anne

    Your house is looking really nice! I’m also glad to see you’re using clear hummingbird liquid. I make my own from sugar and water since the dyed store bought stuff is terrible for them. Just a note on peonies, they do attract ants so keep a watch out for them. When I planted mine, I read not to plant them near my home. Just an FYI! 🙂

    Reply to Anne
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much 💜 I saw a recipe for a DIY liquid and will try that when this one runs out.

      I heard that the ants are good for peonies! 😃 They devour the more harmful insects 😃 But glad they’re away from doors and windows!

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

    Your new hair looks great! I think you look gorgeous with dark or light hair! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Karla Walsh

    Your new home is so beautiful and great job on your new ‘do! I’d be so nervous I’d turn my hair purple or something. 🙂

    Looking forward to checking out your banana bread recipe! If you don’t want to wait for them to turn brown naturally, you can roast them in your oven (skin on, then peel) until brown. It should take < 20 minutes and really brings out their natural sugars!

    Reply to Karla Walsh
  • Miriam Green

    I baked your oatmeal cream pies this week, and they are amazing!! Thank you x 100.
    We just moved as well and the next project we’re going to tackle is making the patio cute and cozy.
    I haven’t died my hair, but I remember using that “Sun In” crap in high school to make it even blonder and it fried my hair. We’ve come a long way in hair care haha 🙂

    Reply to Miriam Green
  • Sarah

    Long time lurker, first-time commenter. I find your post like a breath of fresh air. They always make me smile.

    I had to write because you mentioned you watch 90-day fiance. I a big fan and watch all the spin-offs. Do you have a favorite repeat cast member? I adore Darcey.

    Reply to Sarah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Sarah!

      I’m so happy you stopped by and took the time to comment. I love getting to know everyone who reads here 😊

      I have just gotten into it, so I’d say I like Darcey too!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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