Monday, July 9, 2018

Family Vacation to Black Butte Ranch

We hadn’t visited Black Butte Ranch (BBR) since 2015 when Quinn was just a year old, so we were more than ready to return to one of our favorite vacation spots ever.

BBR is truly a special place and one we look forward to visiting again and again, especially now that Quinn is older. There’s so much to do! I really could go on and on about how much we love the ranch, but instead I’ll cut to the chance and show you highlights from our family vacation!

POOL TIME – Seriously, it was a highlight for Quinn for sure. He literally spent 3 hours one day floating around and playing in the water without getting out a single time. We visited the pool just about every day, and Qman could not get enough of it!

Family get-togethers and playing “Fetch” with our son – Another Quinn favorite! 🙂 He and Mal played for quite awhile one night at a family barbecue.

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But, really, it was great catching up with family after all of these years!

Riding around in the family’s golf cart – One of my favorite memories from the whole trip was taking it for a spin with Mal and Quinn while listening to music. It was such a nice night and we all smiled the whole way to the general store and back!

Another fun memory was showing up in style to a family get-together! 🙂

Our July 4th celebration – BBR does it up right for the 4th!

Running an impromptu July 4th road race with my sister-in-law! We decided to run in the night before (while drinking wine), and we made it all 3.5 miles around the ranch without stopping! I was pretty impressed with us! 🙂

Quinn adapting well and eating, which was a huge step for us! Usually, when he travels, Quinn goes on “hunger strikes” and wants to go home the whole time. We finally made some progress with our family adventures – family even comments on how flexible and well-behaved he was and he ATE a ton. He also discovered a new love for apple slices with peanut butter! 🙂

A bike adventure around the ranch with the whole family – It was quite the memorable time! Haha!

It was so nice exploring all of the beautiful sights and sounds of the ranch!

Morning bike rides to get iced coffee… and popcorn! I really enjoyed the active lifestyle at the ranch. Mal and I barely “worked out” on vacation, we surpassed our daily step goal everyday because we never stopped moving!

I wore the long-sleeve top below on ton on vacation – I’m so glad Mal “made” me buy it! 🙂

Quality time, shenanigans, and everything else – Basically, just enjoying time away from “real life.” It was soooooo nice to disconnect and just focus on family and fun!

Question of the Day

Were you on vacation last week? If you had to pick just one memory, what would it be? 

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Dear Mark: Japan and Meat, Circadian-Friendly Nightlights, Barefoot Hiking Tips

Instant Pot Garlic Honey Chicken

Heyyyyy, meal prep fans!

I have an awesome shredded chicken recipe to add to your regular rotation, and it couldn’t be easier to make. Seriously. It calls for just 5 ingredients (+ salt and pepper), which you just throw into your Instant Pot (or crockpot), and then set it and forget it! It’s so simple and turns out so well!

Plus, shredded chicken is so incredibly versatile when it comes to building well-balance meals. I especially love this recipe with broccoli, cauliflower rice, and chunks avocado on top. Mmm! But, of course, the options are endless! I hope you guys love this recipe as much as we go!

Instant Pot Garlic Honey Chicken


  • 1.5 pounds chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1-2 tbsp minced garlic
  • salt + pepper to taste


  1. Combine ingredients in an Instant Pot (crockpot would work too).

  2. Seal Instant Pot and cook for 23 minutes.

  3. Release steal and remove breasts from Instant Pot.

  4. Shred chicken with a fork.

  5. Add additional sauce from Instant Pot if desired.

Macros per serving P 25 C 19 F 4

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Two Cute Alligators

Here’s our final few memories from BHI 2018. We had such a great trip with near-perfect weather and some great times by the shore. The zinc-covered cousins had a great time playing alligators in the water and boating on the (very mild) waves of Bald Head’s south beach. It’s an ideal place to take kids because the surf is so calm. It was like a lake at times!

I promise he had way more fun floating in this orange slice than he lets off!

On Thursday night my parents babysat the kiddos while the four of us had a nice date night on the harbor.


During the hour-long wait for our table, I had a (virgin) jalapeno margarita.

And we had a lovely dinner on the upper deck of MoJo’s.

Hushpuppies with cinnamon butter and a panzanella and shrimp salad for me!

Goodnight kisses for the sleeping kids <3

Breakfasts have been simple bowls of fruit, yogurt, and/or cereal.

And for lunch I had this havarti dill + avocado + red pepper + pickle sandwich two days in a row!

I think baby B went through a big growth spurt this week (or maybe I was just fueling him well with chips and ice cream!) because I feel so much more pregnant than when I arrived.

We spent our final day on the beach all day under blue skies and sunshine. (Well, under the Beach Bubs!) I got in a nice hour-long walk in the morning.

And we ate our final meal – blackened mahi with rice, guac, peppers, and sour cream and salsa.

Beach weeks are my favorite kind of vacation, and we soaked up every minute.

from Kath Eats Real Food