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Weekend: Car Shopping, Restaurant Week and Brunch

Hi there. I hope everyone had a good Monday. If you had the day off I hope you enjoyed it!


First things first, I took this girl into the vet this morning and she received a CLEAN bill of health. I am so grateful. The lump on her belly is, in fact, a lipoma (fatty deposit). She got a full work over and our vet was so pleased with her overall health for her age. Just yesterday my sweet girl ran two and a half miles with me. I was bragging about her to the vet! Here’s to many more years of happy and healthy Sullie.

Now, onto the weekend.


Sooo…I’m car shopping. Blah. I mean, it’s always semi-exciting to upgrade but once you pay off a car it’s hard to take on a car payment again. I’m to the point with my car that it’s not worth it to put more money into repairs. I have always owned cars but I’m considering a compact SUV this time because I want to have Sullie out of the back seat of my car. It’s a constant battle of hair and dirt. On the other hand, I’m also considering a Prius because I’m on the go so much.

Any feedback/experience for me? I’m pretty much between a Nissan Rouge or Toyota Prius at this point and leaning towards the Rouge. Would love to hear from anyone that drives one.


I needed a night out after car shopping. No fun! It was FREEZING in Charlotte over the weekend so I had to bundle up for being out on a car lot and driving around town. I rarely wear hats but it was a necessity! (Check out the Sullie photo bomb…she’s like, “Mommy, stay home with me.”)


The original plan was to go to George’s Brasserie but we arrived to discover it was restaurant week and there was a two hour wait to be seated. The car was already valeted so we checked to see if Brio had any availability since it was in the same development. They were also on a long wait but had seats available at the open kitchen bar so we snagged those.


I ended up taking advantage of the restaurant week menu. Three courses for $30. I started out with the Caprese Salad.


And then shared two different entrees from the restaurant week menu. The first was veal marsala with roasted veggies. It’s been a long time since I’ve had veal and this was awesome.


And the second was sea scallops with a warm farro with asparagus, veggies and a light sauce. Both entrees were delicious and it was great to taste both.


And I love that Brio does the mini dessert thing. I got this little peanut butter pie in a shot glass. Perfect portion to finish off the meal!


I taught yoga on Sunday morning. My friend Leslie Ann drove in from Greensboro to take class and meet up for a brainstorming brunch after. She’s a fellow fitness pro and blogger and we have tons of ideas to bounce off of each other. Our brunch was full of professional and personal chatter and I can’t wait to share some of the things we discussed soon! (Hint: they involve workshops and retreats!)

We had brunch at Nolen Kitchen where I ordered a Greek omelet with olives, spinach, tomatoes, feta and egg whites. Mixed greens, fruit and toast on the side.


I spent Sunday afternoon baking…including two batches of these amazing flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.


After baking I took Sullie for that quick run then hit up a hot yoga class. I needed to do a big Sunday shopping trip so I stopped in Whole Foods after class. I drank this green juice while I shopped.


And finally…Sunday dinner was a big, healthy salad with spinach, kale, tomatoes, carrots, dried cranberries, pepitas, goat cheese and a Trader Joe’s salmon burger with a homemade honey mustard vinaigrette.

Have a wonderful week!

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • noreen gallo January 20, 2014, 9:52 pm

    Glad the puppy is fine! 🙂

  • hillary | nutrition nut on the run January 20, 2014, 9:58 pm

    You look great in the hat 🙂

    & those flour less cookies looks divine!

  • elizabeth January 20, 2014, 10:09 pm

    I loved my Prius, but it wasn’t the right car for Montana and 4 dogs. Hope to get a Prius again someday. I don’t know what a Nissan Rouge is, will have to look it up. I thought you just got a new Honda last year, or was that a loaner?

  • nikki January 20, 2014, 10:13 pm

    From one golden mom to another…..happy Sullie news!

  • TJ Pettit January 20, 2014, 10:15 pm

    I just bought a prius v which I love. I put at least 25,000 miles on my car each year so the awesome gas mileage is definitely a plus for me. I love it! It’s longer than a normal prius so more room for the dog. My husband plays stand up bass and it fits with plenty of extra space. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. 🙂

  • Callie January 20, 2014, 10:24 pm

    So excited for the possibility of future yoga retreats and workshops! Definitely going to make those PB cookies soon too!

  • Christian January 20, 2014, 10:29 pm

    I drive a Honda CR-V (it’s an 08) but I LOVE it. It served me well during college and still serves me well – only have about 50,000 miles on it and driving it for 5 years. I haven’t had any problems with it whatsoever…knock on wood! Hope you find the perfect car 🙂

  • Julie January 20, 2014, 10:33 pm

    Glad sullie is ok!!
    I have an SUV (Honda crv) and love having an SUV…would never go back to a car! I love the up high feeling and being from the north and all of this snow we are getting it’s great! Also, recently buying a house it makes trips to Home Depot and little DIY projects so much easier! Love the idea of a retreat!!

  • Jill January 20, 2014, 10:51 pm

    I drive a Rogue and love it! I had one for about 12 months and hit a deer, I ended up getting another because it is such a great car. I have had mine now for almost 3 years. I too have a dog, she just hops in the back cargo area and loves looking out the back window. I drive from NC to FL a lot and it gets great highway gas mileage. All around awesome car! Good luck with your car shopping, it’s one of my least favorite things to do 🙂

  • Susan January 20, 2014, 11:38 pm

    I LOVE my Prius — I bought it two years ago (a 2012) and will buy another one in the future! Best decision ever!

  • Karen January 21, 2014, 5:15 am

    I have an ’05 Honda CRV with 180k miles on it and it’s still getting the job done. I love it and love driving an SUV. I don’t want to go back to a car now. But, I keep my dog in the backseat. I drive a lot and am nervous of how aggressive drivers are, at least here in NJ. I’ve been rear ended twice and I just can’t risk that with my dog in the back. I got a “dog hammock” on Amazon to keep the dog and hair contained and it works great! It wasn’t expensive either and it’s easy to wash.

  • Courtney January 21, 2014, 6:42 am

    I drive a Prius, and I have a 6 year old son, 2 German Shepherds and a 9 week old Golden Retriever puppy. I can fit 3 of those 4 beings in the car at any given time. My husband does have a CRV and we use that for long family trips, but for day-to-day driving and such, my Prius is fine. It kills me seeing people driving around in SUVs when there’s only one person in them… it would certainly be more convenient every now and again, but not worth it in the long run, IMO.

  • Anne January 21, 2014, 7:42 am

    Prius are so confortable and I really like that it’s a silent car and ecologic, of course. It’s weird that you would also like a SUV (and not an hybrid one…), it’s a different environmental option, that’s for sure…

  • Hannah January 21, 2014, 9:13 am

    i have a rogue and a puppy. i love it but he always ends up in the front seat. but a good amount of room for him and people.. i got mine used (2011) and its great.

  • Mary-Heather January 21, 2014, 11:36 am

    I have a Nissan Murano (which is very similar to the Rogue, just slightly bigger – we were initially looking at the Rogues but they felt less roomy inside than our PT Cruiser) and I will say that if the Rogue’s trunk has a similar design as the Murano it’s very high, and would be quite a leap up and down if you want Sullie to get in and out of that space (rather than the back seat). We have a great big dog too, Charlie, and even though he’s big and very fit it just seems like a huge jump, and one that would probably be tough on his joints, especially as he ages. (We’ve never had him get in that back space – our PT is the “Charliemobile.”)

  • Allison January 21, 2014, 12:13 pm

    Completely random question: Do you ever get fur-mama guilt? I have a golden as well and am usually in and out of the house frequently like you and I feel so guilty leaving him alone! Although he seems to do just fine…

    Have you ever taken Sullie to doggie day care? Or had a dog walker? Just curious! Thanks!

    • tara January 23, 2014, 12:55 pm

      i have a cat and i totally get the guilt thing you are talking about !!!!
      on the weekends my kitty is so happy when i’m there is playful, etc but when monday rolls around i swear he gets sad and just sits by the door when i’m getting ready like NO MOM – Dont go ! He will roll and show me his belly etc and try all these cut poses to keep me there. maybe its all in my head that he wants me there but i really feel like its true. I’m often gone for 12 hours and now in the winter i feel bad that its so dark and the curtains are closed and he’s there all alone all day : (
      i totally think its normal and maybe with a dog a dog walker would be a great idea ! even just once a week or so. i’m sure our furry babies get lonely and bored! My mom says the best thing about having someone clean her house every other week (lucky her) is that her pets get extra exercise and love from her cleaning person. maybe i need to look into that : )

  • Jordan Lynn // Life Between Lattes January 21, 2014, 1:36 pm

    Glad Sullie is okay!

  • Sarah January 21, 2014, 1:58 pm

    Love love love my Prius! I drive around town all week long and rarely fill up on gas, it’s so nice!! It’s also a great, reliable, roomy car – and easy to park! I went from a 4Runner to my Prius and have never looked back!

  • Amy January 21, 2014, 2:36 pm

    I’m considering embarking on car shopping myself (dreading it) so I found these comments very helpful. I’m thinking about a Subaru. So glad your sweet pup is healthy and happy 🙂

  • heidi January 21, 2014, 4:47 pm

    So happy that your doggy is okay!!

    I have a Nissan Murano and love it! My bestie has the Rogue and loves it as well! Both are very roomy, but yet not too large that they’re difficult to drive. I have always bought Nissans in general (I owned an Altima previously) and have had great experiences.

  • She Rocks Fitness January 21, 2014, 4:48 pm

    You guys are having such a cold winter…Yuck! I’m with you on car shopping, but I honestly LOVE my Mini Countryman. Kala has to sit in the backseat like a person, but I can also put the seats down, so she can lay down too. I only do that for long trips. So glad to here Sullie is healthy. WAHOO!

  • Jackie January 21, 2014, 5:04 pm

    So glad to hear Sullie’s good results-she looks like such a sweetie!

  • Holly January 21, 2014, 5:10 pm

    We have a Honda Fit and so far it’s been a great and like some other people said, you have room to put seats down and fit larger items in the back. For Sullie, why not put a sheet down on the seat? That’s what we do for Lulu so hair/dirt have not been a problem. Just wash the sheet occasionally.

  • Trish January 21, 2014, 5:20 pm

    I agree – couldn’t u just put a sheet or blanket down for Sullie? that sounds so American/wasteful/consumery to get a bigger car because you don’t like the dirt or dog hair in the back seat.

  • Logan Stewart January 21, 2014, 5:47 pm

    Love my Prius 🙂 doesn’t accelerate a ton (like, fast) but a great car.

  • Heather @ girlyeverafter January 21, 2014, 7:20 pm

    I traded my subaru outback for a prius v this past august and I LOVE it! I also have a golden so I feel ya on the hair and dirt. To remedy that I invested in a car hammock from Orvis and it’s the BEST! Car shopping is daunting, but you’ll find your fit! Good luck!

  • Hayley January 21, 2014, 8:17 pm

    You always seem to order exactly what I would at restaurants – YUM to all of it.

  • Erin January 21, 2014, 8:40 pm

    I have had a Rogue for almost 6 years now and love it! Good visibility, not big and clunky like other SUVs (feels more like driving a car instead of a truck), and it’s been very reliable. I take it on long trips all the time and it’s a comfortable ride. My boxer doesn’t have any trouble getting in or out of it. Very highly recommended.

  • Steph January 22, 2014, 12:06 am

    I have an 09 Rouge and 3 dogs so it is a perfect car for them but I would like something that gets better gas mileage. I am actually thinking of trading it in for a Hybrid (Maybe Prius) or diesel (Audi A3) in the next year. It has been a very good car for me and my Nissan dealership has treated me well but my partner has a Hybrid and the gas savings are crazy, especially since I live in Canada and our gas is way more expensive.

  • Cat January 22, 2014, 12:24 am

    I have a Rogue and I would recommend it. It’s aesthetically appealing, which was a plus for me…no more ugly cars for me! I’m a trainer and put a TON of equipment in the cargo area for training outdoors (yay California). Like, you I’m always running around and feel the Rogue is pretty zippy. I never have issues parking it. My dog is usually with me as well, so plenty of room for all. If I could do it again, I’d probably get the upgrade with leather seats, though.

  • Jennifer D. January 22, 2014, 10:26 am

    I made those flourless PB cookies as a Christmas treat for my dad (who has celiac) and OMG I will literally never make another PB cookie recipe again. Seriously phenomenal, thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

  • Austin January 22, 2014, 10:34 am

    I highly recommend a Prius. I get 50-55 MPG in mine (a 2012 model). It is a great car if you are always on the go. The hatchback is one of the best features becuase there is just so much room in the trunk compared to a normal car. I think Sullie could fit back there. It is also really nice because you can lay down the back seat with serious ease (press of a button) if Sullie needs more room. Then Sullie can have more space AND dog hair won’t get on the actual seats! I can’t say enough about my Prius, I already have well over 35K miles on it and have owned it just a little over a year.

  • Chelsea Bishop January 22, 2014, 11:54 am

    I have a Nissan Murano and I LOOOOVE it. It’s a little bigger than the Rouge, the trunk is bigger which was the deciding factoring being back and forth from college. I just got a golden:))) and she loves riding in the car with me. she likes being in the back seat but she’s comfy in the trunk for long drives as well.

  • Jen January 22, 2014, 4:22 pm

    So glad Sullie is okay!!! 🙂 Ugh, your car woes make me so happy that I live in NYC! LOL. I lived in upstate new york for years though and my cars were constantly sucking my bank account dry! Those scallops look so delicious!

  • LAQ January 22, 2014, 4:54 pm

    “Sundried tomatoes? Mixed greens?” (Waiter’s head explodes…)

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