Road Trip Buddy Hello

My little road trip buddy says hello!

up close vizsla

Sadie and I headed to St. Petersburg after breakfast this morning and I’m now blogging from my parents’ kitchen. 

I have an appointment with a potential freelance client in Tampa tomorrow and since Ryan is golfing with a coworker after work today and won’t be home until around 8 p.m., I figured I’d knock out some driving today and spend the night at my parents’ house.

They live within 25 minutes of my meeting… quite a bit better than the two hours from our house in Ocala! I’d much rather drive two hours in two days than four hours in one day, especially since I really struggle to stay awake in the car for some reason. Highway hypnosis, that’s for sure.


(I am loving the Sonia Kashuk teal, black and white bag that I got at the Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet event last month! It’s the perfect size for a quick overnight trip. For those who asked, you may find the bag at Target, though it looks like it’s currently sold out online.)


On the way home from the gym this morning, Ryan and I stopped by Tas-T-O’s to get some doughnuts for my family since they are still raving about them after their first visit to Ocala. We actually tried to pick up an éclair for my dad (his favorite) last weekend to bring with us when we surprised him for his birthday, but they were already sold out at 7:30 a.m. You gotta get there early!

Thankfully 6:30 a.m. was early enough to nab some goodies!

tas-t-os ocala

I’ve received a few tweets from several of you guys who happen to drive through Ocala en route to another part of Florida (Why don’t you ever stay!?), and Tas-T-O’s is definitely worth a little side trip if you happen to be driving through before 10 a.m. (They close everyday by noon and seem to only have cake doughnuts left after 10 a.m. Bleh.)


I arrived in St. Pete a little before lunchtime and got some work done in a nice, empty house before fixing myself a plate of food around noon.

peanut butter and jelly carrots grapes

I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Ezekiel bread with a side of fresh grapes, baby carrots and a few almond crunch squares.


The almond crunches weren’t that good, but the grapes were perfectly sweet and crisp.

My peanut butter lovin’ puppy didn’t leave my side until the peanut butter and jelly sandwich was completely gone.


I appreciate her commitment to eyeing my sandwich without even blinking. She got a bite, of course, since I’m a sucker. Plus, she deserved a reward for winning a non-existent staring contest with a sandwich.

Plans for the rest of the day include working for a few more hours before hopefully taking Sadie to the dog park around 5:30 p.m. and going out to dinner this evening!


  1. says

    Oh my goodness, I totally know what you mean about the highway hypnosis! It doesn’t matter what time of day it is for me.. if I’m driving on the highway for an extended period of time, I get really really tired! One of my tricks is to crank Glee songs the whoooole way and sing along. And when I can’t sing any more… crunch on carrot sticks!


  2. says

    I might have to check out Tas-T-O’s, its not too far off the 75! haha although usually the hubby drives the last leg of the trip., Once we hit Valdosta I don’t pay attention to much until we hit Tampa and get all excited like a kid that we almost at our destination. Sadly Ocala is usually missed :(


  3. LJ says

    That is the BEST picture of Sadie EVER. I didn’t even read the rest because I had to tell you that immediately…. back to reading :o)


  4. says

    aww I love going to see my parents. I haven’t in a long time. I love how you take Sadie with you! So cute!! Your donuts look so good… not like the typical commercially type! Mmm!! I wish you luck tomorrow :) And I love your bag!!


  5. Melissa says

    This is a very random question but I’ve been meaning to ask for a while. Do you like living in Ocala? Prior to moving you mentioned your excitement for the new adventure. Also noting that you and Ryan were homebodies and looking forward to “small town living.” Is this still the case? Your recent writing begs to differ.

    I would love to read a very candid blog post, or “update” if you will, regarding your move to Ocala, working from home, etc. I think your experiences and thoughts could provide helpful information to your readers who may be considering making the same career changes, etc.

    I love reading your blog, though sometimes I feel frustrated (especially in recent months) that things are constantly sugar coated or redundant.

    I hope this comment does not read as offensive; that is not my intention.


    • says

      hi melissa! i have to be careful about some of the things i say on the blog because certain people read it (such as ryan’s coworkers) who may read into posts that say something disheartening about ocala. i definitely have a lot i’d love to share and hope to at some point. i do want to be open on the blog, but also have to be smart about what gets posted and what should be kept to myself. i hope this makes sense!


      • Melissa says

        Those reasonings are valid and 100% understandable. I credit you for having a public blog as many things can easily be misinterpreted.

        Good luck with the freelance project today and TGIF!


  6. Jane says

    Julie do you ever think you rely on your parents too much? I mean at 27 years old it seems like you still eat them out of house and home, use them as airport parking or dog sitting etc. not trying to be critical but it just seems these poor parents put you through school etc and probably want their kids to be more independent


    • Maia says

      If you don’t have anything nice to say… you really shouldn’t say anything. What do you gain from making her feel bad?


    • says

      i am very close to my family and asure you my parents would say something if they felt like i was taking advantage of them – that wouldn’t fly in our house, i promise. in my family, we want to be there for each other and do things for each other to help each other whenever possible. as far as eating their food when i’m at their house, i’m pretty sure they’d freak out if i didn’t eat or if i wrote them a check for groceries. just like when we have guests come visit us, we plan on feeding them and letting them eat our food. my parents always encourage me to come visit and want me to bring sadie whenever possible. (my mom asks to watch her even when we don’t need a dog sitter!) i hope this helps alleviate your concerns a little bit, as i hope to always be close to my parents and visit them regularly.


      • says

        That seems like such a ridiculous comment. Are you suppose to buy groceries and label them in your parents fridge, pay them to stay at there house, pay them to watch, what is essentially, their grandchild? … I don’t visit my own mom all that often because she lives 1000 miles away but we visit my husbands parents all the time and they get offended when I ask if I can have a glass of juice let alone eat food, they are constantly reminding me to help myself to anything, they always offer to watch our dogs simply because they love them, always want us to visit as much as possible and stay with them … Isn’t that what every family is? I’m so confused by that statement.


        • Macrae says

          I love how close Julie is with her family! It shows us the family oriented person she is! I love my family and as a 28 year old have no problem visiting them multiple times a month :)


    • Pia says

      I have that same bag and I love it! It really is perfect for an over night or weekend trip. I love the little bags that Velcro to the sides. Good Luck with your appointment!


  7. says

    i saw that bag at target a few weeks back, and i knew it looked familiar! i saw it in a bunch of photos from those of you ladies that went to the Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet. i love it too – very cute! and i love that thick layer of peanut butter you have on that pb&j… i always pile it on thick! yum!


  8. says

    Good luck with the freelance client! Love the photos of Sadie. I’m sad to see the almond crunch bars weren’t great, they look just like a recipe I made recently from Cooking Light. I’ll pass along the recipe when I post it, because I think it’s right up your alley!


  9. Nicole G says

    Driving is definitely sleep-inducing! I struggle with it while driving during any hours of darkness!

    Hope your appointment goes well tomorrow! Your travel bag is really cute! I saw matching cosmetic bags in several sizes over the weekend at Target! Very cute!


  10. says

    I try soooooo hard every night (and morning when I eat breakfast at home) not to feed my dogs any of my food and I cave every single time. They are both so good at the sad pathetic puppy eyes, it breaks me heart and they get a little treat. Spoiled rotten children!

    Now I’m craving a pb&j sandwhich like crazy!


  11. says

    Awwww! That picture of sadie is so darn cute! I totally feel ya on highway hypnosis. I usually listen to BPM on XM Radio, Avicii Radio on Pandora or Young the Giant Radio on Pandora. I like listening to techno it reminds me of running and dancing!


  12. says

    I agree, grapes are AMAZING this week! I hope this continues for the next week or two until I’m sick of them :)
    I like BPM/Electric area in the car, just veg out and drive away…
    Lastly, I was just in Target and cant believe I didn’t snag that bag. I will be returning!


  13. says

    I’ve actually tried the Pumpkin clusters of that same brand before- they were “mehh” but I was starving in an airport and it was the only clean eats I could find to satisfy me till dinner, hah! They just lacked some flavaflav.

    And YES! Highway hypnosis- I definitely suffer. I get it from my mom… she fell asleep while my dad drove her mom… on their first date!! But hey, 29 years later and they are still happy little clams, so I guess it’s not as bad as some “diseases” ;)


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