Thirteen Things Thursday

Hey, hey!

Happy OCTOBER 1ST to you! Also, happy THURSDAY! The weekend feels so close, I can just taste it”¦ if that’s something you can taste? Do people say that? I have no idea, but I’m excited that the weekend is just around the corner because we’re going to Newport, which is our FAVORITE WEEKEND OF THE WHOLE ENTIRE YEAR. Seriously. Mal and I look forward to it so much. We love everything about Newport””including all of its wonderful memories””and we always have a great time there.

Last year with my sweet boy…


Anyway, let tell you about our Wednesday. On Thursday. It was a nice combination of low-key and busy. I have about, uh, thirteen things to share (so I can give this post a catchy title). Let’s start at the beginning…

1. I woke up with quads ON FIRE (like Alicia Keys sings about). I did the workout below on Tuesday night and, whoa, it kicked my butt. I am so not in CrossFit shape anymore. The 50 pistols destroyed my quads, but, truthfully, I kind of loved it. I know… I have a CrossFit problem. I’m okay with it.

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2. I ate a big ol’ piece of Peanut Butter & Pumpkin-Stuffed French Toast for breakfast. And it totally rocked my world. (Do people say that about food? Yes?) I can’t wait to share this recipe with you guys. It’s a WINNER for sure!


3. I also drank a VIA Instant Pumpkin Spice Latte with breakfast. I don’t usually like instant coffee, but this flavor definitely changed my mind. Mmm… pumpkin spice. I actually drank another one mid-morning because I liked it so much!

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4. Related: Apparently, I’ve been living under a rock because I just heard about the Toasted Graham Latte from Starbucks. Anyone tried it? Any good? I need details! It sounds incredible.

5. Quinn, Murphy, and I read about 20 books together. We (Quinn and I) also learned some new body parts. He knows the usuals, but we added “elbow” and “cheeks” to the mix.

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6. After our epic book-reading session, we cleaned the house for a special visitor who is arriving later this afternoon. The Swiffering “mission” is one of Quinn’s favorites. He actually cries if he can’t do it! Haha!

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7. Quinn wore his “new” Jack & Janie hooded raincoat (via thredUP) for the first time. I’m so happy with this purchase because 1) it’s adorable (there are little frogs on the inside); 2) it’s in great shape and high-quality; and 3) it fits Quinn now, but there’s room to grow, so he’ll likely wear it a ton. I’m telling ya, thredUP is awe-some for kid’s clothing!

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8. Quinn and I went to the library where he especially liked returning books.

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9. We also picked out new books and played with the toys at the library. It was the perfect rainy day activity.

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10. Another perfect rainy day activity was baking oatmeal chocolate chip cookies while Quinn napped. I used this recipe, but reduced the sugar and butter.

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11. Also, during Quinn’s nap, I did some window shopping online. I’m in the market for a new tote bag since the one I currently own is seriously well-loved (i.e. baby boogers, pouch stains, overall nastiness). I found this tote as well as this one. They’re from the same brand and cost the same amount ($48), and they look like they’ll hold up quite well. I found them on, so maybe I’ll pop into the store and see if I can check them out in person.

12. And, finally, during nap time, I started to organize my office. I took some measurements for some shelving that I want to put in the closet, and I searched online for a print/art/something to hang on the wall over the cabinet. I want something sort of big and horizontal, but I’m not sure what. I kind of like the idea of a girly motivational piece, kind of like the Holstee Manifesto, which I actually already own, but I want something simpler/with not as many words. Does that make sense? Honestly, I feel like when I see it (whatever it is), I’ll know it’s the right piece.

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13. I made one of my favorite super easy recipes for dinner and it was just as delicious as I remembered! Why don’t I make it more often?


Albion Fit Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who entered to win a $100 gift card to Albion Fit! Here is your winner:

Jovan B.

Congrats, Jovan! Please email me at to claim your prize.

***If you’re interested in purchasing something from Albion Fit, you can save 15% off your order with code carrotsncake15 now through October 10, 2015.***

Questions of the Day

Any suggestions for what I should hang in my office?

Thoughts on instant coffee? Yay or nay? 

Have you tried the Toasted Graham Latte from Starbucks? Do I need to try it? 

P.S. Be sure to enter my Choice Hotels giveaway! I’ll pick a winner next week!



  1. I tried the toaster graham latte and it was disappointing. You will get an occasion taste of cinnamon but that’s it. It’s just missing something. Don’t waste your money on it

    1. @Alison:

      same – it was not good, unfortunately. it had no flavor and I actually took the lid off to see if they gave me plain steamed milk. don’t waste your $ on this one.

  2. Ahhh I love Newport! I grew up right outside of Newport and am getting married there in April…so beautiful. Have a WONDERFUL weekend!

  3. I am loving ThredUp to buy my 5 month old twins lots of clothes! I also found the app Kidizen, which is suuuuuuper addicting and has great stuff. You should check it out. I’m sorry in advance 😉

  4. The Toasted Graham Latte was not my favorite. It tasted very “fake flavor-y” to me. If you’re going for a fall flavored latte, the tried and true pumpkin spice is still best in my opinion (until peppermint mochas are back!)

  5. I have the Street Level Reversible Faux Leather Tote & Wristlet in Cognac and Aqua and I love it! I would definitely recommend it! It’s a great every day tote.

  6. The oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are the ones my mom made when we were little. It is my favorite cookie because of the memories!

  7. I liked the toasted graham latte a lot! It’s definitely more of a subtly sweet flavor unlike a lot of their other lattes, but I liked that about it. I’m going to try just a coffee with that flavor next and see how I like it to compare.

    I’m not a big instant coffee person, but probably just because it’s just so easy to make a real cup (at work and now at home we have single cup brewers). I just prefer the whole coffee-making process. But the Starbucks instant packets are actually really good!

    I think a long horizontal print would look great in your office, or I would suggest two side by side coordinating prints or maybe one of those metal wall art pieces (something viney or with scrolls?) from somewhere like Pier 1.

  8. I like the canvas tote in the blue color! How do you decide how much to reduce butter and sugar in a recipe? I am always afraid I will ruin whatever I’m making! Have a great weekend!!

    1. I just feel it out based on the recipe. You can kind of tell by how the batter looks if it’s legit cookie dough or not, ya know? I just make sure it tastes good and sticks together! 🙂

  9. The toasted graham latte is amazing! I loved it!! The last drink tasted like the bottom of a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch!

    I’ve never really tried I instant coffee as a drink. But I’ve had it to make coffee protein shakes and like it that way!

  10. Hubby and I have been trying to pick out paint colors for our new house, and I like the soft yellow color in your office! I’ll have to keep that in mind. Sorry I don’t have any ideas for artwork though. But it looks like its coming together very nicely!

  11. I recently (finally) bought a new tote bag and I bought a FEED bag. I love it! I recommend it. It doesn’t have as much ‘structure’ as the one I bought is burlap/cloth, but it fits a lot and works great. Plus it’s reversible (though having the burlap on the inside is a bit itchy on the shoulder).

  12. I love crossfit WODs like that – deceptively simple but definitely leave you sore the next day! We did “Jennifer” last night:
    26 min AMRAP
    10 pull-ups
    15 KB swings
    20 box jumps
    … Talk about feeling sore!

  13. I actually have the vegan tote (the reversible one) and love it! I get so many compliments on it and I actually use it as my work bag and transition to a diaper bag on weekends 🙂

  14. I totally own the reversible tote you were looking at. I love it! It’s been my favorite “diaper bag” so far. Love that it’s reversible too and love that it comes with a little clutch too, which I often use separately when we get to have date night!

  15. Is Quinn ready for a job? I have to “Swiff” our entire house at least once a week, I’d love a little helper!! 🙂

    I might need to try out that PSL! It would be a nice at home treat on a lazy Sunday AM!

    PS I can’t believe how much he’s grown from your last trip to Newport! Time flies!

  16. I’ll “third” a recommendation on the reversible vegan tote w/wristlet. I have the black/cognac combo but use it primarily as a black “leather” tote and I love it! I also like the magnetic clasp–just enough to keep it from staying open wide but very easy to just pull open when needed.

  17. You and Q should totally rock stripes when you are in Newport, and then the same picture! It could become a yearly tradition 🙂

  18. If you get that faux leather bag, please review it! My sis is a vegetarian and won’t wear any leather products so I was thinking of it as a Christmas gift for her. Thanks!

  19. I don’t know if you all have ever heard of Thirty-One Gifts, but they have some AWESOME tote bags for fairly inexpensive!!!!! I am obsessed and that is all I buy now!!!! Check it out! The fashion games or Townsfair Reversible Tote I think would be right up your alley, but there are several others as well! 🙂

  20. I have the first tote you listed in black and reversible to the metallic gray. While I LOVE it, it’s not very structured. It falls over a lot depending on how much stuff I have inside of it and it all just floats around. The canvas bag looks more structured if that is important to you!

  21. Toasted graham latte–I wouldn’t waste your money. I’m obsessed with just about everything on the menu at Starbucks and this one literally tasted like stale plastic to me. Not that I’ve tasted stale plastic, but you know…

  22. Hello! I love your blog–read it every day 🙂
    I just wanted to let you know that I do custom art work since you are looking for a new piece in your office. You can go here to check it out:

    P.S. Quinn is so funny-I love watching him and Murphy together.

  23. My husband and I are headed to Newport on Tuesday to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniv. Be sure to tell us all the fun things you did and I will check them out while we are there 🙂

  24. I tried the toasted graham latte iced with soy but forgot to ask for only 2 pumps of syrup. It was too sweet for me but I think I wouldn’t have liked it better with less syrup. I also think a pump or two in iced coffee would be better! I’m not 100% sold on it but I think I’ll try again.

  25. Dang! Get it girl, I can’t do pistols fast enough to do them in a workout!! Maybe one day. Looks like a great rainy day, I’ll have to try that instant coffee.

  26. Hey Tina. Love your blog. Thought I’d add my two cents about a great place to find artwork. If you live near a Home Sense (I think they’re called the same thing in the US) check them out. I get a lot of very unique art pieces of all kinds there at super reasonable prices and people are always complimenting me on them or asking about them.

  27. My nephew was obsessed with the vacuum when he was that age, too funny! What a cute little helper! Also, I have that leather tote in black/tan and love it! I use it all the time. There are no inside compartments but it does have a cute little zipper pouch attached that is nice. I use it as like a weekend back or when I need a big purse for the park or something. But that canvas one looks awesome, I may have to check into that one.

  28. Quinn’s picture with the rain coat and holding the juicy juice is so freaking adorable. He should be in commercials ~~

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