Good morning, and happy February!
It has felt like Spring here! Sunny weather puts me in the best mood, and I love getting outside to enjoy it. I spent all yesterday cleaning out the back garden beds and working on the vegetable garden project. We are finally digging up the area to add the rocks, stepping stones, and edging this weekend. I love seeing it all come together. We ordered stunning light stone pebbles that will arrive tomorrow, and I’m so excited. I can’t wait to share photos once it’s all finished.
I have still been on my Peloton kick, and each time I ride, I get better and better outputs or PR mileage. I’m so proud of myself for finally sticking with it. I know I’ve said this before, but having a good workout available in my home where I don’t have to go anywhere, makes it so much more realistic for me to stick to. I love the instructors, and since there are new classes each day, I feel like they talk to you about things in real time. I have caught the Peloton bug, and I’m already looking forward to my ride later. A few nights ago, I hit my first ten miles in 30 minutes, and my output was the highest for a 30-minute class! I don’t try to PR every time. Otherwise, I would burn myself out, but when it does happen, I get so excited.
I realized I didn’t take a lot of food pictures the past few weeks, but that is because most of my meals have consisted of eggs, avocado, toast, or whatever is easiest to make quickly. I need another trip to Trader Joe’s soon to step up my meal game.
I finally tried the TikTok viral 2-ingredient bagels. I used all-purpose gluten-free flour with Greek yogurt (but also added baking powder & sea salt), and they were surprisingly good. You have to slice and toast them to get them to taste more like a bagel, but I was pleasantly surprised. I flavored a few with cinnamon sugar, everything but the bagel, and blueberry.
If you have a little crawler, I can’t recommend this crab toy enough! It plays a thrilling song while crawling fast everywhere, and Bugs is OBSESSED. He eventually does catch the crab, and he’ll hold it with one hand while its little legs are kicking around. It’s the funniest thing ever!
I finally started doing some indoor seeds. There are a lot of seeds I’ll have to wait to plant into the beds directly or later in the season, but I got a headstart on a few. It’s wild to see them all sprouting up, and it will be so rewarding this summer, knowing most of my vegetables came from seeds. I bought so many varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce. Good weather means walks to the park! This is his favorite thing to do, and mine!
My tulips and hyacinths are thriving with this weather! In a few weeks, they’ll be blooming!
One thing I started doing was filling a bag with water and pees and taping it to the high chair. It keeps Bugs entertained for about thirty minutes, which gives me time to fold laundry or clean up the kitchen. He loves smashing the pees or pinching them to see if he can pick them up.
One of my good friends/neighbor has a little boy a few months younger than Bugs, and it’s so cute seeing them together. Crazy to think they’ll be running around this park later this year. Time is going by way too fast.
He’s in the I’m going to jump out of your arms, wiggle worm, what can I climb on, how can I flop myself stage. He’s so strong, and it makes me worried about when he can start walking. He loves the thrill.
We’ve been eating this three-ingredient dessert almost every night. We add chocolate to peanuts and top them with sea salt! And we keep them in the freezer. It’s so good!
Early morning sourdough making! I do this a few times weekly, and it’s my absolute favorite. I love when the house smells like a bakery, and scoring the loaves is therapeutic. More park walks! It was 75 degrees a few days ago. Leo loves joining us! He’s such a good boy.
Because the weather has been so warm here, and I’ve been craving all the salads!
I made my oatmeal cream pies with pink frosting and sprinkles for Valentine’s Day.
The best sunsets. I love sitting outside after bathtime with kombucha and my family!
And if you missed it, we now have a couch dog! Tux can’t wait to fly up onto the couch. It’s so cute watching him cuddle up, and it makes me so happy knowing he’s content and comfortable. It took a few times to teach him to get up there, but now he’s unstoppable.
He has furry babysitters.
Last Thursday, I went on a Galentine’s date night with some of my neighbors. Right now, I’m still in that awkward postpartum stage where nothing fits from pre-baby or after-baby. I throw on whatever I can find and pray it works, so please don’t judge my outfits for the next few months lol I refuse to buy clothing right now, and if I’m not going anywhere that requires pants, I’m in my leggings all day.
We headed uptown to La Belle Helene. I’ve been there for brunch before, but never dinner. I love the glamorous aesthetic of this restaurant, and it was the perfect place for a Galentine’s day dinner.
I started the evening with a Supernova mocktail. It had house lemonade, butterfly pea tea, elderflower, and lavender. The cocktail version of this drink comes with gin. I was in love with the sour lemon and fruity flavors. I want to make this at home!
For my hors d’oeuvres, I had the ratatouille (totally threw me off that it was cold, not sure I’m a fan) and the arugula salade, which was amazing! The salad had the most delicious champagne vinaigrette, local chevre, and radishes. It put me on an arugua kick this past week.
We also split the Pommes Frites with garlic aioli. The frites went on the top five BEST FRIES I’ve ever had. You do not want to miss out on these.
For my entree, I ordered the boeuf bourguignon. I typically would go with a salmon, but when I saw it being delivered to another table, I just had to have it. It had braised short ribs (PERFECTLY cooked), red wine, pearl onions, mushrooms, and marble potatoes.
The waitress convinced me to give the mushrooms a chance. I did, and still, absolutely despise them. I’m proud of myself for putting on my big girl pants and trying them, but they are still a NO; aside from the mushrooms, the meal was incredible!
You don’t treat yourself to a meal like that and then skip out on dessert, especially at a French restaurant. I ordered the Creme Brulee Au Miel. It had a honey chantilly, honeycomb, raspberry, and vanilla bean. ummmmm AMAZING. YUM. 10/10! It was so light, refreshing, and not overly sweet. This was such an incredible meal and a wonderful experience.
In the morning, I needed to stop at Costco, but since we had some time to kill before it opened, Bugs and I headed to Humblecup for the most delicious oat milk cappucinno.
I love my little coffee date! It’s important to start them young. My little seedlings after four days. I am so so so excited. I’ll do an updated photo of them on Instagram today. They are THRIVING right now. I have them in our front music/reading room where the sun hits them.
My little wiggle worm. I can’t wait until he’s at the age where he can get his little stationary bike and cycle next to me.
Trader Joe’s salmon in the air fryer with baby potatoes! This is such a quick dinner, and I need to run to Trader Joe’s to go get more!
The hyacinths are all up!
Same breakfast, different day.
Bugs is at the stage where he scream laughs, and it’s the best!
I made 500 + Valentine’s day brownies on Superbowl Sunday for Kyle’s work. I never want to look at a brownie ever again! lol But it was fun!
That evening, we made Philly cheesesteaks and watched the game! It was a sad loss for the Eagles, but such a great season. I embarrassingly fell asleep on the couch ten minutes into the game.
I do have to brag about these delicious pretzels my friend, Samantha, dropped up before the game. Those are some Auntie Anne level pretzels.
I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE BLOOMING! I also have them all coming up in my larger garden bed. We have rain all day today, so they’ll love it.
Healthy chocolate chip cookies!
I feel like my rides during the evening are so much better, which makes no sense since I’m EXHAUSTED at the end of the day. Maybe it’s because my body has fuel in it, and I need a good release after momming all day long.
The best post-ride treat! We have blossoms on the trees! I love that spring comes so early in the south. Valentine’s day loaves! I’m still absolutely obsessed with my bread-making. For Valentine’s Day, I made the most delicious arugula salad. I’m putting this recipe up this weekend! It’s so easy to make, and I cannot stop eating it. We also had chicken cordon bleu and roasted mini potatoes. We ended our Valentine’s Day with a chocolate caramel cheesecake. I’m not a big cheesecake gal, but this one was very good! Anything from the Publix Bakery is amazing.
Questions for you!
- Do you celebrate Galentines Day each year?
- Are you getting spring temps?
- Have you ever tried a viral TikTok recipe?
It’s probably the angle of the picture – but please be mindful to keep mulch away from the base of trees. Mulch volcanos can kill trees over time so just an FYI. Sorry if you already know this.
Taralynn McNitt says
Hi, Cecily! Yes, I do try to do this with the other trees. We are actually taking this tree out in the fall and replacing it with something smaller since it’s an oak tree and so close to our house 🙂 I’ll make sure to dip the mulch at the base 🙂
Hi! No galentine’s celebration for me this year but your evening sounded like a blast.
Just curious if you are drinking alcohol these days? I’m trying to drink less/more mindfully myself but that espresso martini looks amazing! 🙂
Taralynn McNitt says
I don’t drink, just putting my health first at the moment 🙂 I drink a lot of Kombucha! I haven’t had alcohol in a very very very long time, and I feel really good. There are so many fun mocktails available that I like.
Is there something wrong with me that the first thing I thought on your Galentines outfit was “she always look chic and pulled together!”? 🙂
Taralynn McNitt says
OMG lol I texted like three people asking if it was ok to wear khakis in February lol
I thought the same! Great outfit ♡
What she said! ⬆️ you look great!
I have known about La Belle Helene, but live too far away. This makes me want to take a trip to Charlotte just to go there.
Taralynn McNitt says
It is a fun experience!
I don’t know if it counts, but we regularly go to the Chinese restaurant with my mom on Valentine’s day. But most of the time it’s me, a bath and sweets 🛀 🍬
We had very cold days last week, but it’s getting better, I can go outside with just a sweater!
I tried a couple times a recipe my mom calls “tiktok pasta” : you bake Feta with cherry tomatoes and oil and herbs, and then you put the pasta in, and it’s awesome! I’m waiting for tomato season!!
Taralynn McNitt says
That totally counts, and I love that you spend Valentine’s Day with your mom. My mom always had a big Valentine’s day package for me when I was a kid, and we’d make sugar cookies.
Ohhhh yes!! I made that tiktok pasta a lot a few years ago. I added in cavatelli, shrimp, and spinach!
Love the recap posts and seeing all the food pics!
How does your couch hold up with the pups on it? We have a Great Dane and a new rescue poodle (I’ve appreciated your Tux tips in other comments!). We never used to let the Dane on the couch but then gave in when our sweet rescue pup wanted to cuddle. However, it’s only been a few weeks and the couch is destroyed! Not sure how to prevent that or what type of couch is dog-proof haha
Taralynn McNitt says
Thanks so much! We have kept our couches covered with a king-size throw blanket tucked into the cushions since we bought it. We take them off to clean them every two weeks,or when guest are over. Keeping them covered makes them look sloppy, BUT it has saved our couches from the dogs or even coffee spills. I would keep them covered.
DORALY JACOBO says
I love that you are getting warm weather where you live! We are awaiting a snow storm where I live and I am longing for the sun! What plants do you recommend for shade areas? My front yard is shaded most of the day. I currently have hostas but I would love something else! Thanks!
Taralynn McNitt says