The past four weeks: recipes, home decor, exercise, & summer fun

Happy Friday!

I know it’s been a while since coming on here and writing an actual recap blog, but sometimes you just need a break (even from the things that you love.) I enjoy blogging and sharing pieces of my life with you all, but now and then, I get the “burnout.” Breaks help me get inspired and motivated. That refreshed feeling when you return is the best. With that being said, I’m so happy to be back writing a recap blog today! I have to warn you; it’s going to be a long one. I’m talking about three weeks’ worth of photos shoved into one post! Here’s what I’ve been up to…(i can’t promise it’s in order)


I’ve been baking cookies weekly, and my cozy gluten-free & dairy-free chocolate chip cookie recipe has been my go-to.ย 
A few weeks ago, one of my good friends launched a fitness YouTube channel. We went out in the rain to shoot her trailer, and it was so much fun. If you’re looking for good workouts to do at home, I highly recommend going and following her. She’s a talented instructor, and her videos are perfect for wherever you are! They are also easy to follow along to no matter what your fitness level is. Emily Eskew Fitness <— go follow ๐Ÿ˜Šย After our rainy day filming, we headed to Spice for a delicious lunch. It’s so nice to have restaurants open up here again.

We split the vegetable and tofu pad thai, ahi tuna rolls, and a salmon salad. It was so good! Spice has quickly become one of my favorite restaurants this past year. The pad thai is so delicious, and I think I may make it for dinner tonight!

One thing I’ve loved the past few weeks is the weather and sitting on my back porch. I’m out there for my morning coffee, my meals, typing, and currently sitting out here right now writing this recap blog.

Every Saturday, I’ve been going to our neighborhood boot camp classes. THEY ARE SO TOUGH, but I always feel good after completing them. I took this photo after showering off from the bootcamp. I enjoyed my coffee and blackberry toast while the dogs played.ย 
Saturday night pizza!

First off, finding out that Publix sold the Capello’s almond crust pizza was the highlight of our Saturday. Kyle and I are so in love with it. We sat out on the porch for dinner while the dogs ran around. The backyard was the best part about moving to this house. โ™ฅ๏ธ

I bought these rocking chairs for the front porch but set them out here before we found a table. The chairs are from Wayfair! It’s a 3-piece set, so it comes with the cushions and the mini table. The rug is also from Wayfair.

The rug is too small for the back porch, but it’s now on the front with the rocking chairs. I found this Martha Stewart set at Home Goods (I went in there for a pan) and fell in love! It was exactly what we were waiting for our patio. We’ve loved our dinner nights out here.

And if you live in the south, you know how hot and humid it can be. The Kichler fan above our table has been our hero. Not only do I love how it looks, but it makes sitting outside so much more enjoyable.
Becca and I LOVE Greek food. We had to try out The Greek Grill when we were hanging out a few weeks ago. It is AMAZING!!! We ordered their Greek salads and Greek-style fries. If you’re ever in Fort Mill, SC…it’s a must.ย 
When we were in Miami, we enjoyed sipping frosรฉ by the pool. I thought it would be a fun idea to make our own in my ice cream maker. Sure enough, it worked, and it was so tasty and refreshing. I am going to do a designated blog post on four frosรฉ flavors for summer. I’m telling you, it was so so so easy and delicious! Make sure to order an ice cream maker to prepare yourself for when my blog post is live! You’re going to love it!

We sat out on the patio for several hours, just enjoying the perfect weather. We are having such a beautiful spring!ย 
For dinner, I made Capello’s fettuccini pasta with vegan butter, garlic, and pepper. I had leftover Greek salad on the side. ๐Ÿ˜‹ย 
Peonies in the morning โ™ฅ๏ธย 
I got dressed and ready to head to the Gibson Mill for the day.

I did a blog post on my raised garden bed from the old potato crate I bought there. I can just get lost at the Gibson Mill!ย 

We had Napa at Kingsley for lunch. This spot is another one of my favorites near the new house. I always get their grilled salmon with potatoes ๐Ÿ˜‹

Espresso with a raspberry lemon mouse for dessert. ๐Ÿ˜‹
After lunch, I picked up some plants to start my raised garden bed at Lowes. ย  ย 
My white hydrangeas are finally blooming! ๐Ÿ’œ
We had a crockpot enchilada night, which I’m not a big fan of. I added chicken breast, enchilada sauce, canned green chiles, garlic, chili powder, black pepper, cumin, onion powder, rice, bell peppers, onions, and olive oil to a crockpot and heated on high for five hours. I used my gluten-free wraps and added guacamole on top! It was delicious and so good to eat all week long.
Becca and I had a Saturday morning coffee and walk date in Waxhaw. We shopped around some antique stores and then grabbed coffee at The Corner Bakehouse Coffee Co. The coffee was really good, and I loved how cute the outside was. The cat was my favorite part. I’m a huge cat lover but can’t have one because of the dogs, but I love it when I’m able to get my cat fix. Have you ever been to a cat cafe? That’s on my list of things to do.ย 
Later that afternoon we met up with some neighbors to play cornhole. I brought some fun rose to-go cups to help stay cool in the crazy heat.ย 
We almost always have food trucks in the neighborhood, so Kyle and I made Maryland crab cakes that evening with diet coke out on the patio.ย 
Last Monday, I finally made a trip to Trader Joes after months. I grabbed all of my favorites!

I was so excited to have their salmon in the air fryer again for lunch salads. I was hooked on this all winter! Now, I’m back on my salmon salad game.
It was the perfect day to set up the dog’s pool out in the yard. If you don’t have a pool for your dogs yet, you may want to get on that! THEY LOVE it. They love jumping in and out for the mini balls. It’s a great way for them to get exercise while staying cool.ย 
Look at his face! He’s so happy.
We get them the XXL dog pool size. It’s sturdy and made out of material that is nearly impossible to rip.
Our neighbors had us over for pasta night that evening, so I made toasted ciabatta bread with my parmesan garlic dipping sauce and a caesar salad.ย 
Back on my salmon salad kick!

I season my salmon with everything but the bagel seasoning, garlic powder, onion salt, black pepper, honey, avocado oil, and air fry it at 400 for ten minutes. It comes out perfect each time.

On our neighborhood trails, we have a huge rock that overlooks the river. Thousands of people see this rock while floating, and unfortunately, it gets vandalized a lot. We saw that someone painted the confederate flag on it, so Becca and I packed up a bag of paint, hiked down to the rock, and spent the afternoon painting over it with a kind message.
It was well worth the sunburn, and I think it turned out pretty darn cute. It’s better to message for people to see while floating than a stupid racist rock.ย 
That evening, Kyle and I picked up food from Sabor Latin Street Grill. It had so much cilantro in it that it was kind of hard to eat. It was no Chipotle…ย 
These past few weeks, I’ve managed to fit in five-mile walks each day. The trails in our neighborhood make it go by so quickly, and I’ve enjoyed walking with my neighbor. After my evening trail walk, I had cauliflower gnocchi, rainbow carrots, and a salad outside for dinner.ย 
I was out of coffee (i rarely let that happen) last week and took myself on a little morning date to grab a coffee at Knowledge perk and a stop at the Wilsons Nursery to pick up some red, white, and blue petunias for my 4th of July project. ย 
I could spend hours in Wilsons. โ™ฅ๏ธ

That evening, I went out on my 5-mile walk with Kyle. The trails always take my breath away with their beauty, especially during sunset. ย 
I had gluten-free cinnamon raisin french toast for breakfast with fresh berries. I cannot get enough raspberries lately, and I’m excited for my raspberry bush to start producing!
Back on that salmon salad for lunch kick! I told you I can not get enough. ย 
I’ve been enjoying protein pancakes lately, too.

These have 1/2 banana, 1 egg, 2 tbsp gluten-free flour, one scoop vanilla plant-based protein powder, blueberries, sea salt, and 1/4 tsp baking powder! You just cook them like regular pancakes and add butter and syrup! ๐Ÿ˜‹

If protein pancakes aren’t for you, try out my fluffy gluten-free pancakes! They are such a hit.ย 

We made gluten-free breaded chicken in the air fryer last Friday and watched Alone. I’m loving that show so far! We are on the season where they’re in the Arctic.
I got my butt kicked on Saturday morning during boot camp. Just when I think it’ll get easier, it doesn’t. Goodness, it was tough, but I always feel proud when it’s over. I had a blueberry protein shake when I got home to help with recovery.ย 
We headed to my parent’s house on Saturday for some pool time and burgers.

I SO needed the pool after Saturday morning’s boot camp. I think it was the toughest class yet. ย 
On Sunday, I started a fun stencil project that I cannot wait to blog about! I’ve been loving all the DIY going on around here lately.ย 
Kyle and I ended our Sunday with dinner at Taco Molino (i ordered to chicken tostadas) and ice cream.

If you made it this far into the blog post, nice job! โ™ฅ๏ธ

Now, I’m off to go edit this week’s cleaning video and then grab some groceries for tomorrow’s adventure. We are going on my friend, Emily’s, wine bus! It was supposed to be back in March, but we’re finally getting to do it. ๐Ÿ˜

Questions for you!

  1. Have you been fitting in daily walks?
  2. What spot to you spend most of your time at your house?
  3. Favorite fruit right now?


  • Ellie

    I’ve just discovered you and your blog posts are insane! I have only read three but they are so wonderfully long and detailed… I’ll keep reading and find out if that’s the norm or the exception! In answer to your question, I also would love to visit a cat cafe – I hear they are big in Japan!

    Reply to Ellie
  • Sami

    Do you have a picture of your house floor plan? We are building again soon and I love to see different plans.

    Reply to Sami

    Hi Taralynn! Love the long post!!

    How do you cook your capellos pasta without it turning into a gluey mess? I keep trying and every single time, it doesn’t work! ๐Ÿ™

    I have wanted to get more walk in, I was doing good in the spring but then it got really hot really fast and out trails are LOADED with ticks right now so its hard. I’ve been walking around the neighborhood though which is better then nothing!

    I have a papasan chair from pier one that I have been spending all of my time in! It’s just the best chair for any situation; you can sit up and work, relax and read. anything.

    I am currently loving champagne mangos! I had them for the first time 2 years ago in Mexico and could not get enough. I am constantly buying them and can eat them in a day or so!

    Enjoy the rest of your week! Hope you had an AMAZING fathers day weekend!

    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks for stopping by to read, Brianna!

      Don’t overcook it! I found out that even ten seconds longer than the directions will cause it to be like that.

      Yes, it got hot fast here too! My early morning walks are what have been saving me!

      Ahhhh that chair sounds like the perfect spot!!

      I’ve never heard of champagne mangos!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kristen

    Missed your recap blogs! I live in a small box condo in the suburbs or Chicago so at the moment my bed is my favorite spot ๐Ÿคฃ but my boyfriend and I talk about getting a house with a nice backyard and setting it up nice and cozy!
    I love watermelon right now!! I could eat a whole watermelon myself!

    Also the salmon salads look so good! What kind of dressing do you use? I have an Apple thyme vinaigrette that might be good? I am making salmon for dinner tonight and I think I will buy extra to make a salad tomorrow!!!!

    Reply to Kristen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I used to live in the Chicago Burbs & totally get it!

      AHHH my mom and I DOWNED watermelon on Saturday night!

      I use Marie’s greek or onion dressing! SO GOOOD!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Madeline

    Have you been fitting in daily walks? Yes! My dog doesn’t let me forget or slack off.

    What spot to you spend most of your time at your house? Probably the front/back porch, depending on where the sun is.

    Favorite fruit right now? All of them… but if I HAD to pick, it would be peaches/nectarines

    Reply to Madeline
  • Kelsey W.

    Yessss recap, it felt so good to sit on the deck and read this!! ๐Ÿ˜€ I love your Home Goods disclaimer that you were only in there for a pan lol! Happens to us all!! My favorite spot at my house is definitely the deck in the mornings bc its shadyย and has all my bird feeders hanging from it, covered patio in the afternoons when it gets hot andย + all my flowers are in the boxes around the patio, and then the deck again in the evenings because it has the perfect sunset view! Basically, outside all the time if the weather isnt too hot and humid. My favorite fruits right now are blueberries and kiwi! I hope you have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo Kelsey

    Reply to Kelsey W.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kelsey! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      So happy you stopped by! It’s so hard to go to HomeGoods without finding things you DON’T (but actually do) Need!!! lol

      Your deck sounds like a dream spot, especially for coffee! I’m loving kiwi right now too!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Harriet

    Awesome big recap, I must say itโ€™s nice to have your recaps back, the last four weeks have gone past in a blur. The rock You and Becca painted is amazing, people are going to smile every time they float past it. I havenโ€™t been getting in many walks, of late as my beautiful dog Mia passed away and itโ€™s been a bit hard not having her around, I will start getting back into my walking routine this week with my young dog Austin. Those chocolate chip cookies are the best I have been making them on repeat, and my nana put in a special order for them as she loves them so much. I just purchased a air fryer, after seeing all our salmon photo I am super excited to try salmon in it later this week. I am currently spending a lot of time in my grandads rocking chair beside the fire reading (got to love winter). My favourite fruit right now is tangelos mainly because my tree is full of fruit! Hope you have a great week!
    Favorite fruit right now?

    Reply to Harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Harriet! โ™ฅ๏ธ

      I’m so so sorry to hear about Mia ๐Ÿ˜” That makes my heart so heavy for you. Hug Austin so tight!

      I’m so happy your nana loves those ๐Ÿช cookies & I’m truly looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the salmon/air fryer.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Nicole K.

    Iโ€™ve been trying to get better about walking, but itโ€™s SO humid here in Iowa right now which makes it hard since Iโ€™m usually pushing the kiddo in the stroller.

    Our front porch! I love sitting on the porch swing.

    Favorite fruit is probably either nectarine or banana! Iโ€™ve been having one of each a day for a few weeks now, lol. Banana in my morning cereal and nectarine for a pre dinner snack!

    Reply to Nicole K.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Nicole!

      Humid in Iowa before SC? Wow! Hopefully, you get some cool air soon!!

      Ahhh nothing better than front porch sitting.

      I also love banana in cereal!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rachel

    I love your style, where do you buy your clothes? x

    Reply to Rachel
  • Ruth

    Hi from someone still in lockdown in the UK.

    I’m curious about how much you are getting out and about – have all restrictions been lifted in SC? The news we hear is that USA’s number of infections is continuing to rise. Are you required to wear a face mask when outside?

    Non-essential shops opened again here last week. Pubs, bars, restaurants and gyms are all still closed.

    Reply to Ruth
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Ruth.

      Restrictions are lifted in SC and have been for a long time. You are not required to wear a face mask (some places, yes) and social distancing is still ‘encouraged’ but it’s different in all states.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ashton Jury

    I spend a good amount of time in the kitchen (Always cooking or baking lol) or up in our den. The Den came with tons of shelves and we’ve added so many books and a little TV so I love being in there on my computer streaming music through the TV and either reading or checking out pinterest. I have to say my favorite fruit right now is Nectarines! White or Yellow. I live near the beach, and we haven’t been walking lately, but I plan to step it up! Also love that you were back at Trader Joes, I’m obsessed with them and there salmon too! Though I’m scared to cook that cauliflower gnocchi, any suggestions?

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

    All the fresh food is making me hungry!! Thanks for sharing!! โค๏ธโœจ

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Lauren

    Hi Taralynn,

    Iโ€™ve missed your recaps!! I am mealy pregnant so I have been slacking on my daily walks, ima, literally so exhausted! But I was walking over an hour everyday before and I loved it! I just refurnished my patio (thanks Wayfair!) so I am loving my time out there when itโ€™s not 100 degrees! And right now I am obsessed with blueberries!

    Reply to Lauren
  • Cassie

    I loved this! I was wondering when you would put a recap up haha. They’re super inspiring but I get it! Sometimes you just need a break to recharge and refocus. Glad you took the time for you bbe.
    And yes! I’ve been mostly getting in daily walks. I finally live in a quiet neighborhood where I can do this but I try to get at least a decent walk in early before it gets too hot and then MAYBE a second later in the day.
    I spend most of my time in my kitchen/living area. I get cozy in my big chair to either work on client stuff or blog stuff. they take up my time equally lol.
    And actually strawberries and big ol bloobs are my fav right now. I bought a cantelope and I keep forgetting about it…. So while I have the reminder, I’m going to cut it now haha.

    Reply to Cassie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Cassie!

      & Thank you!! It was a much-needed break!

      Nothin better than a quiet neighborhood for walks! So peaceful.

      Hahaha I get like that with cantaloupes too! I forget to cut them.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ariel LaVenture

    Love the recap, Taralynn! Your posts always inspire me to try new things, especially since Iโ€™m not a big fan of cooking…your protein pancakes look doable ๐Ÿคฉ I also think itโ€™s wonderful you and Becca painted over that rock with such a beautiful message. โค๏ธ
    Have a great rest of your week!

    Reply to Ariel LaVenture
  • Karishma

    Loved this recap post. Do you still live in North Carolina?

    Reply to Karishma

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