Friday Favorites /// Zenni Optical + Food & Drank + more

>>> I'm linking up with Heather over at Life In Leggings for Friday Favorites.


A woman came into the coffee shop awhile back and she had on the coolest glasses! I asked her where she got them and she told me Zenni Optical. She even gave me the product number off of them and I went straight home and ordered these babies.

I was a little worried ordering from Zenni since there were mixed reviews online, but the entire process was so easy. The glasses came within three weeks and the quality is great! These frames were only $9.95, but I had to add $19.95 for high index lenses (heeeello terrible eyesight!) and an extra charge of $9.95 because my pupillary distance didn't match these frames. In the end, I had an awesome pair of glasses for $40 - you can't beat that!

Here is a link to their refer a friend program. If you purchase frames through that link you'll get $5 off and I'll get $5 credit to my account. I highly recommend Zenni and actually ordered this pair last night. If you have any questions about my experience just let me know!


I'm still loving packing Waves' lunches and we are still loving the Yumbox lunchbox. To make packing lunch easier, I make a big pot of pasta and sauce on Monday and then use that for the main part of her lunch during the week. She only goes to school Tuesday-Thursday so it stays good. In the treat compartment I put a gummy vitamin, gummy probiotic, and a couple of marshmallows.

The Chobani yogurt tubes fit perfectly in the dairy compartment, by the way. The white cubes in the bottom left corner is plain tofu which she loves for some reason.


Waves is super into those dig diamond kits (I recommend this one - it's big and has a lot of crystals in it). She bought this Dig Emerald one for $5 at Target the other day that said you had a 1 in 28 chance of getting a real emerald and I'll be damned if she didn't get one! It is that tiny little green chip haha but she was so excited!


I have super thick hair and Waves' hair is really curly and it's always such a pain to brush. While the wet brush does a great job on its own - seriously you have to get one - this curly creme conditioner is INCREDIBLE! I found out about it because my sister uses on her kids hair and I tried some while I was at her place one day. It makes my hair super soft and so easy to brush through. I picked mine up at Wal-Mart for ~$5.


When I'm working at the coffee shop, I stick to black coffee or cold brew. But I was at Target the other day and the signage for the iced coconut milk mocha macchiato got to me.. so I got one with half the amount of syrups added. And it was amazing.


Aldi has these latching tupperware sets for $4 right now and they are AWESOME! They hold so much food and save space in the fridge. It's great to keep a bunch of washed and prepped fruits and vegetables in for whenever Waves wants a snack. I used it on our road trip to Florida so that we could make subs and have snack and wouldn't have to stop at any restaurants.

As you can see, my life revolves around food and drinks 😜 Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

St. Petersburg, Florida



We took a trip to St. Petersburg during Waves' spring break and we loved it. None of us had been to this area before but we loved the laid back vibe, great restaurants, and how close it was to Tampa (which we actually didn't end up visiting because there was so much in St. Pete). And the reason we chose the St. Pete area? Well, I heard there was a Frida Kahlo exhibit at The Dali Museum and there is a beach nearby.. sooo.. it just made sense 😜


We booked this Airbnb (here's my referral link) and since it was the first time I'd used Airbnb I was pretty nervous. Everything was super smooth though and the place was great. It was very clean, bright, and the fridge and microwave was great to have. There's no stove/oven here, but there is one one of the other two rentals on the property. It's three little rentals all connected and that was actually really nice since the people next to us also had a four year old daughter so they were able to play together in the fenced in yard.

It had this amazing fenced in yard with all kinds of fruit trees, a grill, huge patio tables, and little teeny tiny lizards running around which Waves loved. It was also half a block away from the main strip so there were a ton of shops, restaurants, grocery stores, and bakeries within a two minute walk.

And it was literally a two or three minute walk to Upham Beach which was beautiful and never crowded. Don't let the few negative reviews on Trip Advisor steer you away from this beach.. it was really a great beach. White, powdery sand and a TON of shells. Waves was in heaven since finding cool shells was the #1 thing she wanted to do.


Seriously.. look how many shells! It was like this up and down the entire shore. It was crazy!



A stop by The Dali Museum was a must, of course. It is a little pricey to get in, but SO WORTH IT! I still can't believe that I was able to see so many of Frida Kahlo's original paintings, drawings, journals, and personal photos. It was really incredible. 

And while I 'd always enjoyed Dali's work, I'd never been able to see it up close and I was blown away, you guys. The detail in his smaller paintings and the scale of his larger works was just amazing. I was worried about how Waves would do here and they actually had a scavenger hunt for kids. They had to find certain paintings and check them off their list and when they found them all they got a prize. This kept her busy for a bit, although we didn't get to stay as long as we'd like to or do the audio tour since she got bored pretty quickly. But she had a great time and got to see some great artwork!


Outside in the garden they have this huge tree with ribbons hanging off the branches and everyone ties their wristband to it when they are ready to leave. It was pretty neat. They also had some small mazes which you can see right behind the tree up there. 

Also, the cafe in the museum serves some awesome coffee from Kahwa Coffee and their magdalenas are incredible! If they have them there, get one! I didn't order food, but did get Waves a turkey wrap from the kids menu there and it looked really good and she ate most of it. Prices are really reasonable too.


One of the best things we did was take a ride on this Dolphin Racer Speedboat. Captain Dalton led our trip and he was awesome! He was really funny, answered everyone's questions, and told us a lot about dolphins and history about St. Petersburg which was cool.

So basically, we rode around and whenever someone spotted some dolphins, he would make waves in the water that the dolphins liked to play in. It was crazy! The yellow part in the picture up there is the very back of the boat so you can see just how close they were to us! I didn't zoom in at all for that photo!

We were out on the water for about an hour and a half and it flew by. I highly recommend this trip. It was just too neat! And if you end up at the Dali Museum, there was a little booth by the entrance that had brochures and things for area attractions. Dolphin Racer has a mini brochure there that has a $2 off coupon for the ride. 👍 Check out the video I took during our trip:




Here are some of our favorite restaurants near the Airbnb we stayed at:

La Casa del Pane - An Italian bakery that serves awesome Americanos. Their chocolate pastry, plain croissant, and cheese pastry are really good! We stopped by here every morning for coffee and something sweet before heading to the beach.

Barracuda Deli Cafe - Greg said the Cuban sandwich was one of the best he's had and they made some delicious veggie enchiladas for me. They also have great 2/$5 margaritas in a few different flavors. Super nice people working here and a nice vibe.

Nori Thai and Sushi - We had some amaaaazing food here one night. We went here twice during our stay and got takeout both times. I went with the pad thai with tofu - level 4 hot and it was good. Crazy spicy and huge portions. Loved it. Greg went with the spicy basil shrimp and chicken and said it was great. Springs rolls were also awesome.

1200 Chophouse - We stopped by here because Greg really wanted steak. This is a cute little spot with fantastic service. This place is called "carnivore's paradise" and being vegetarian I was worried I wouldn't find anything to eat, but they made me a great house salad and baked potato with butter and sour cream. They went out of their way for me for sure and I really appreciated it. Great place!

That's all I've got right now, but if I think of anything else I'll be sure to add it to the post. We mostly hung out at the beach and ate a lot of food which is the perfect vacation if you ask me 😜

Meal Planning + Magdalenas


We just got back from an amazing week long vacation in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was beautiful there and we got to do and see so many neat things (Dali Museum! Frida Kahlo! Dolphins!). I'm going to make a post about it soon and share some of the photos.

Now it's time to get back into our groove here which includes meal planning. Here's what's on the menu for this week:

Monday » I made a batch of Mexican quinoa in the Instant Pot earlier today. Waves and I will have that for dinner and Greg is thawing out some sort of fish to have, so I'll make some veggies to go on the side for him.

Tuesday » Italian Wonderpot. I make this all the time and it's a hit! So easy to make and delicious.

Wednesday » Leftovers. The above recipe makes a huge amount.

Thursday » Instant Pot vegan lentil chili. I'm not sure how this will go over with Greg and Waves, but I won't know until I try it 😬

Friday » Leftovers. And if the above recipe isn't something we like, then I'll pick up a frozen pizza and make a salad 😜

Something I'm wanting to make this week >>> We had these incredible magdalenas at the Dali Museum last week, so I'm going to try my hand at making some. This is the first recipe I came across for them and most recipes look pretty similar so we will see how it turns out.

Have a great week!

What I'm Loving


Waves loooves to draw, paint, cut out paper/glue it together, color.. just creating and she will happily do it all day long. I made a little "art studio" for her in the corner of the living room. It has a table, chair, shelves and buckets full of supplies and some hooks and string with clothespins for her to hang up whatever artwork she wants to. She did this drawing yesterday and it's just so sweet to look at. I love it.



Wal-Mart Online Grocery Pickup. Oooh man.. I love this service! I'm planning on writing an entire post about it, but wanted to mention it here because it's seriously made my week. I'm able to create a meal plan, write a list of ingredients I need, then go to the app and select everything I need. I get to see exactly how much it will be AND no impulse buying which makes it amazing for keeping our budget in line.

All you do is place your order and select the time slot you'd like to pick up your groceries in. They send you a message when your order is ready and you can either call or check-in on the app letting them know you're on your way. When you get there, park in a numbered pick-up spot, and call the number on the parking sign letting them know what number spot you're in and your name and they bring out your order and load it up in your car. It's seriously the best!

Here's my referral link where you get $10 off your first grocery purchase of $50 or more and then I'll get $10 off groceries too 👍




Instant Pot Baked Potatoes. Baked potatoes that taste like they were baked in the oven.. but really only took 20 minutes in the Instant Pot? Yes, plz 🙌 I mix my potatoes with avocado, salt, pepper, and hot sauce and they are amazing.



This answer from Steak over at steak talk:

Anonymous: Steak, can guys take a hint ?

Overall I think it’s super selfish to assume anyone can take a hint because your are assuming that your wants needs and thoughts are prioritized in someone else’s brain over theirs + daily life and stress. If you want something, ask for it. Ain’t nobody got time for these games.




The Tennessee Aquarium. We renewed our membership and spent a day there last weekend. This picture is at the lake sturgeon touch tank that Waves loves to stop and hang out at.





VHS Collection - Ghost





This stuff is amaaaaaaaaaazing! It's like a mix of kinetic sand and play-doh without the horrifying mess. Waves played with it for over an hour and a half and I will totally admit that I played with it for just as long.. probably longer 😂 I love this stuff! Check out videos of it on YouTube or Instagram to see just how awesome it really is.


That's all I've got for now. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Full Day of IIFYM Meals


1 » Protein waffle. 1 scoop of Optimum Nutrition double rich chocolate protein powder, 1 egg, and 1/4 tsp baking powder all mixed together then add water to desired consistency. Then I put it into my waffle maker for 4 minutes. I bought this cheapie waffle maker at Target and love it. It makes great waffles and nothing ever sticks to the plates so it's super easy to clean. Love it!

2 » Tofu and veggie stir-fry. I use the Wildwood high protein tofu and add broccoli, peas, green bell peppers, and carrots, then mixed with Island Teriyaki sauce.

3 » Half of a Lenny & Larry's birthday cake cookie. One of the GNC stores here had these on clearance for 95 cents, so check your local store if you like these! They also had the mini snickerdoodle ones on clearance and I liked that flavor waaay more than the birthday cake.

4 » Iced lapsang souchong tea with a bit of agave. I just needed something different than water for a bit.

5 » Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and bananas with chia and hemp seeds.

6 » Taaaacoooooos!! I had three of these.. crunchy taco shell filled with vegetarian fat-free refried beans, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, and topped with Cholula.

7 » Chocolate chip cookie dough Halo Top. This flavor was pretty good, but peanut butter is still my all-time favorite.

I ended the day with these macros:
1,546 calories /// 128g protein /// 159g carbs /// 48g fat

Meal Plan


nachooooos 🙌

Monday » This Indian-spiced roasted vegetables and lentils recipe has always been a hit over here. Waves loooves (with ketchup, let's be real here) and I might make a salad to go along with it.

Tuesday » I'm going to try out this recipe for Almost 5 Ingredient Pizza Pie if I can find some cheap spaghetti squash. I haven't decided if I'll use real sausage for it and just eat around it.. or make a separate one without it for me. If I can't find spaghetti squash, then I'll make tacos. Crunchy shells, vegetarian refried beans, shredded lettuce, and this pico recipe.

Wednesday » Pizza night! I grab pre-made dough from the Publix bakery and we all make our own pizzas. Then Waves picks a movie for us to watch together. I guarantee it will be Storks for the third week in a row. And I will cry at the ending for the third week in a row.

Thursday » You guys have got to make this slow cooker butter chicken recipe. It's great because you throw everything in the crockpot and you're done. Greg asked me to make it twice last week since he liked it so much. This one is a winner 👍

Friday » You can have whateeeever you liiike 🎵😜 Leftovers (probably) for Greg, mac n' cheese (probably) for Waves, and I'll usually make nachos - tortilla chips, shredded cheese, Beyond Meat beefy crumbles (seasoned with chili powder and cumin), random veggies, and Greek yogurt on the side then topped with way more Cholula than I should ever be using.

Have you made any good recipes lately? I still haven't made much in my Instant Pot so I'm going to try a couple of new recipes for it next week. Have a great week!

Weekend


I knew the weekend was going to be good when it started with lunch from Cashew. I got spicy chickpea tacos with cilantro-lime slaw and guacamole, chips with cashew cheese, and pinto beans. Like, stop. This place is hands-down the best vegan restaurant I've ever been to. If you're in Chattanooga you have to eat there. I bought Waves a little heart shaped sprinkle doughnut and put it in her carseat before I picked her up from preschool. When she realized what it was she put her hands up to her cheeks and said, "I... I just don't know what to say. Thanks!" 😂


On Saturday, I worked and it was so busy. I had some espresso during a break in the rush to make sure I could keep going 😬 Doesn't that looks so good? I could go for another right now.


I hurried up and got ready after work and we headed downtown. There are tons of neat little art installations in quite a few alleys around downtown Chattanooga. We stopped at Community Pie for a beer and then headed to our next destination...


...to see Dave Chappelle! We were so excited to see his stand up act and it didn't disappoint. It was very heavy on the political stuff, of course, and was hilarious. His opener, Donnell Rawlings (aka Ashy Larry from Chappelle's Show 😜) was great too. 


We went to Flying Squirrel after the show. I ended up with the falafel again and a Laphroaig, as usual. Greg's sister and her husband were with us, so we talked for a couple of hours and then headed home. 


The next morning Waves and I didn't get up until 9:30am 😳 When we got up I made some scrambled egg whites with mushrooms, green bell peppers, spinach, and cherry tomatoes with pepper and Cholula. I've noticed that with IIFYM.. I noticed a trend of not eating as many fruits and vegetables as I should. So now I load up on veggies with egg whites, veggies in pasta sauce with spiraled zucchini, or lots of fruit in my oatmeal. 

I'm going to end this post with a few songs I've been liking lately. Every time a song I like comes on at the coffee shop I make a note of it. By the way, the Future Generations radio station on Spotify is great if you work at a coffee shop. Sometimes I blank on what to play, so that's my go-to.

What I'm Loving


Taco Town in Hixson, Tennessee » We went to eat at Taco Town the other day and it was so good! They didn't have any vegetarian options besides a cheese quesadilla, so I asked if it would be possible to order something with beans instead of meat. The waitress was so sweet and they made me these amazing bean, veggie, and cheese enchiladas with salsa verde. YUM! Greg got the tacos and said they were really good too! If you're in the area, definitely give it a try.


Peanut Butter Cup Halo Top » Okay. So far I've tried mint chip, birthday cake, vanilla, and s'mores and I've got to say.. this one is my new favorite! It's so, so good! S'mores was amazing as well.. but this one is 👌

KidzLabs Crystal Mining Kit » I bought this crystal mining kit as a Christmas gift for Waves and she loved it. She got really into gems again when we went to the Tellus Museum and they had a bunch of these kits in the gift shop so I bought her another smaller one for like $3. These things keep her so busy and they are a lot of fun for us parents too :] She asked for help and I got so into it that she was finally like.. "um, mom.. can I have a turn now?" 😬😂 If you're looking for a good gift for a 4 1/2+ year old then this is it!


How Jen Does It - YouTube Channel » Guys, I got so sucked into this woman's YouTube channel the other day. It's her giving cleaning tips, grocery hauls, day in the life, budgeting, and my favorite (and I'm not totally sure why 😂) - following her around while she cleans her entire house from top to bottom. There's something about this channel, man. Whenever I need some motivation to clean my place, I'll just watch like.. half of one of her videos and I'm ready to get it done!

Have a great week guys :]

Weekend of Food

We had such a fun weekend! I'm a pretty big introvert and homebody, but I actually made it out on both Saturday and Sunday night. After work on Saturday, I hurried up and got ready and we dropped Waves off at our friend's house. We were all going out together and Waves loves playing with their little girl so we decided to share a babysitter which worked out great. Waves was so excited and kept saying it was her first slumber party even though we were back home before 10:30pm.. we can't hang long anymore 😬

We went out to Flying Squirrel where I had a surprisingly good falafel. I'm usually not a huge fan of the food, but go there because they have the best drinks. I ended up getting my favorite - Laphroaig 10 year. I'm a big fan of lapsong suchong tea because I love its smokiness (it makes great iced tea too!) and someone told me if I liked that then I'd enjoy smoky scotch. At the time, I didn't know that was a thing so I researched it a bit, ordered Laphroaig, and it has been my go-to ever since. So, if you like smoky teas then I bet you'd enjoy it too!


After dinner and drinks we headed to The Coin-Op where we played some pinball. Creature is my favorite pinball game ever. It's the only pinball game I actually know all of the rules to which makes it a blast to play.

We played a few games and talked for awhile, then we ended the night at a new brewery that opened up down the street called Oddstory. We all had a drink while we talked for another hour or so. I ordered their Belgian Blonde and it was fantastic! After that we called it a night and headed back to pick up Waves. She was knocked out and made it all the way home and into bed without waking up.

On Sunday, we met up with another couple of friends that have a little girl Waves' age. We met up at The Pizza Place on Signal Mountain and I have to say.. it was the best pizza I've had since moving to Chattanooga. I definitely recommend it! If you happen to be local and planning a visit just know that it is cash or check only.

They have some arcade type games there (including pinball 😜) so it was nice to be able to let the girls play close by while we all talked. My macros definitely took a hit since I finished off a 12" pizza by myself pretty much. Waves had two slices and I took care of the rest.

It's back to counting and weighing today though because we just booked a vacation to the Tampa/St. Pete Beach area! I can't wait. We are normally just plan it last minute kind of people so to actually have something already planned and to be able to look forward to it is really nice. And there will be a Frida Kahlo exhibit at The Dali Museum while we are there and I am so, so excited!

I'm headed to go through all the stuff in our bedroom and throw out/donate a bunch of stuff. It is looong overdue and I'm in the mood to get it done. Have a great week!

A Little Bit About Me


Since this blog is new, I wanted to tell you all a little bit about myself so things make sense when I blog about them. I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee with my husband, Greg, and our 4 year old daughter, Waves (nickname).

My degree is in graphic design and I still freelance occasionally. We were living in Knoxville (where I was born & raised) when I quit my design job right before I had my daughter and I became a stay-at-home-mom. We ended up moving to Chattanooga in 2014 for my husband's job.

I have been working at a coffee roasters in Chattanooga since November 2015. I started out as a barista and I now do a little marketing, designing, and am a part-time barista. I really love coffee and making drinks because it's so much fun and the customers are fantastic, so I'm behind the counter three days a week.

I used to have a blog called Working Out & Eating In where I wrote about food and workouts, but I wanted to blog about way more than just that so I closed it and started this one up. I noticed that I still seem to gravitate towards posting about food, but now I can include some other different posts like family things, my hobbies (painting, thrifting, coffee), and my daily life. I really miss blogs where you just got to see someone else's day and not only informational posts.. and that's what I'd love for this blog to be like.

So there's a little bit about me! Thanks for reading the blog and I hope you enjoy it 😀

.................................................................................

Yesterday was a super busy day at work since we had a lot of orders to fill. My coworker roasted while I bagged up coffee, made 200+ quick brews (check these out.. they're so neat!), picked up our milk order, and filled coffee/quick brew orders.

After I picked Waves up from preschool, she asked if we could go to the thrift store to spend some of her chore money. So we headed there, but she didn't find anything she wanted so we went to the Dollar Tree instead. Halloween is definitely my favorite time to visit stores, but man.. Valentine's is up there for sure. I love all the pink and red and hearts.. LOVE. IT.

She ended up getting a cute little mailbox to put Valentine's cards in and these little balloon-type things that inflate when you hit them. Have you guys seen these? She first watched them on one of those crazy surprise egg type videos - and I'm just gonna say it real quick.. if I hear CookieSwirlC's voice one more time I might lose my shit - and now she wants them all the time.



Waves and I have been loving zucchini "noodles" with marinara sauce (I add beyond beef crumbles to mine). I have to recommend the spiralizer that I picked up at Aldi. It was like $4 and works amazingly well. One side makes thin noodles and the other makes thicker ones. The picture up there is from the thinner side.

This morning was pretty awesome because I was able to score tickets for the Dave Chappelle show here in February! I really didn't think I'd be able to get any because I knew it was going to sell out super fast, but somehow I did. I can't wait for the show!

Waves and I went grocery shopping today and just a head's up that Earth Fare has 25% off all supplements this weekend. I was able to get a multivitamin and these probiotic gummies and save $6 in the process which was nice.

Okay.. I need to get moving and do some laundry, clean up a bit, and then we are headed outside to play because it is 65* here today 😳 We are definitely going to enjoy it! Hope you have a great day!

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