January Austin Eats Roundup!🍦

Hey friends!! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! I have some long posts in the queue, with nearly each one recapping each month from this last half-year. Wow.. that is crazy to say. Last year felt like the longest year ever… and now this one is flying. Do you feel the same? I am going to save the Christmas post for July so I can do a proper “Christmas in July” post. And between the throwbacks, I’m going to try to add in some more recent happenings.

Wrapping up last year, DJ and I were craving some good froyo, so we stopped by Culver’s on December 30th and grabbed some.

On December 31st, New Years Eve, I stopped by the grocery store to restock the fridge and decided to pick up a TIME magazine I spotted at the checkout. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a magazine, but this seemed like the one to have given what a wild, ~unprecedented~ year we had.  I’m sorry- I know everyone probably never wants to hear that word again.

What better way to ring in the New Year than with Via 313?! I made us some side salads to go with them, because you know, health.

On January 1st, DJ and I decided to order from a restaurant my mom recommended – Flower Child. You will quickly see- this was not the last time we ordered from here! It prides itself on being a health-conscious restaurant, which is nice & all- but their food is soooooo goooood. Our favorites include their corn with quinoa, broccoli, and mashed potatoes. It will be a restaurant we miss a ton for sure.

It was so good we ordered it the next day too!

On January 3rd, I headed to my mom and Pete’s to finish up another clinical rotation. This was a lot shorter than the fall semester rotation, but I was excited to spend this time with them again. I look back at what a blessing this time was I able to spend there. It was certainly frustrating not being able to find these rotations in Austin, but I wouldn’t trade the memories in Keller/Fort Worth for the world. Plus I had the BEST preceptors there, so I can’t imagine it having gone any other way. This rotation in January was Ob/GYN- I learned so much. Oh, and my sister, Halston, was still there too since Christmas! Right before she left, my family surprised me with the sweetest set up-I don’t deserve them!! My birthday was a week later, but Hal wanted to make sure she was there to celebrate. They ordered dinner from one of our favorite restaurants in town, Devivo Brothers, had a balloon, a card and some AWESOME vegan desserts (the little roses in the second picture are all various delicious vegan cheesecakes!).

On January 8th, I decided to run to a nearby Starbucks during my lunch break. I ordered the Kale Portobello Mushroom Sous Vide Egg Bites – but they accidentally made the Everything Bagel ones which I discovered are even better than the Kale ones!! What a happy mistake.

And a Misto was in tow, naturally.

That weekend, on January 9th, my mom, Pete, DJ and I went to Redrock Canyon in Southlake for my birthday dinner. Everything was phenomenal!!

And you better believe we still had room for Andy’s!! It really is the best Frozen Custard- hands down.

That night I opened up birthday gifts at home from mom and Pete <3

My mom even included her famous chocolate chip vegan cookies that are OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. These did not last long!

January 11th we had delicious salmon, salad, peas and rice while watching The Bachelor.

On my birthday, January 13th, my mom made me the most delicious breakfast of egg whites, vegan mozz, a pear balsamic (I think? I have to double check on that!), fresh sprouts from her garden and zucchini bread. Not a bad way to enter into a late-20s crisis! 😉

I returned home that evening after wrapping up clinicals and DJ greeted me with this gorgeous bouquet! For my birthday dinner all I wanted was… you can probably guess it… Flower Child!! It also only seemed right- some Flower Child to go with my Flowers.

Oh, also– I just think this is the coolest thing- Deej got me a kit where you burn the candle down and then plant daisies in the candle as a plantar. I had no problem burning down the candle…. but I have zero, I mean ZERO, green thumb and somehow I could not get the dang Daisies to grow. Hahah. I joke that I can only keep humans alive, not plants.

He also got me a Basil kit- but I am saving that for our new home so I can make fresh caprese with DJ <3

And that wraps up an amazing 27th birthday!! I just had a moment where I thought, “Wait, it was 27, right?”. You know you’re getting older when… *laughs nervously*  On January 15th, DJ and I had a date night out. Walking over to the restaurant we passed by Yeti and saw this sign and found it too funny. When people ask where we’re from around here we always say Ohio, because there is definitely a negative connotation about the annoying Californians invading Texas. We just happened to move directly from California, but we aren’t *technically* from there, lol!We had a giftcard to Swift’s Attic in downtown Austin. We had been once before and loved it!! They shut down for a while, so we were excited to see they were back up and running.

We tried several dishes- and nothing disappointed. Their menu rotates frequently, and everything is deee-lish!

January 17th we ordered Postmates- I clearly was not in the mood to cook in January lol. I thought this note was so sweet our Postmates driver put in our order.

I started my final clinical rotation for the FNP program around January 18th. I was at the same clinical site as the previous summer, so I felt like I jumped right back into the groove. On January 21st, DJ and I were craving burgers, so we drove down the road to try Arlo’s Vegan Food truck.

YOU GUYS. This was maybe the best vegan burger I have ever had. Prior to this, Hopdoddy’s was easily my favorite- but this actually was even better (did not know that was possible). DJ was very impressed. You would not know they were vegan. We didn’t care for their mac n’cheese, but the tater tots and sweet potato fries were perf.

Holy moly, we really ate our way through Austin in January, huh? That evening our second stomach (aka the dessert stomach) called out for some ice cream. We walked down South Congress to Amy’s– a famous spot in Austin for some ‘scream. We were debating between trying Amy’s or Jeni’s (fairly new to SoCo and a chain). Since Amy’s is the classic local spot, we went there first.

We put in our order (it was a hard decision since they have so much to choose from!), and then we just waited while enjoying the neon night on South Congress.

I see why people love this ice cream! WOW. I loveeed their strawberry ice cream. And they do not skimp out on the topping! (psst- must get the cookie dough).

January 22nd, the sweet tooth was still out in rare not-so-rare form, so we decided no time like the present to get Jeni’s to compare the two back-to-back.

I had their Brambleberry crisp, and actually didn’t love it. DJ thought it was really good though. He opted for the salted peanut butter with chocolate flecks- now that was jam-packed flavor!!! DJ said Jeni’s was the clear winner, but I actually preferred Amy’s, since I just love being able to mix toppings into my ice cream. But Jeni’s is pretty darn high quality ice cream for sure.

On January 23rd, my mom-in-law and I were chatting, and she said they were getting True Food Kitchen takeout for dinner in Chicago, and it sounded so good! We said how fun it’d be if we ordered True Food take out too, kinda like sharing dinner from afar. It is one of those restaurants I crave for sureee. I love their butternut squash pizza especially.

And that wraps up our January!! It sure was a tasty one and a great start to the year!

Question for you: 

  • What are you looking forward to this summer?

San Antonio Staycation :)

Hey hey!!! How is it going? So, how do you feel about a Christmas in June post? I know July is usually the whole thing, but I am so excited to share this post, so why not just start these festivities early!!

I am zipping us all the way back to December. DJ and I were desperately craving a break from the books, clinicals, studies, etc. We found a day that worked for both of us and decided to do a quick staycation in San Antonio, an hour down the road. DJ has never seen San Antonio at Christmas either, so this was a must before we moved!

I did my nails for the first time since probably that prior May(?), and it felt goood to have some color on them. Any other runners have scars all over their hands from falling? Just me? Oops, haha. 

I also put on some of my favorite earrings from Rach! They go with everything, and they have become my “go-tos”.

And let the adventure begin! Also, if you want to explore prior San Antonio adventures- you can head here and here 🙂 

For starters, we checked into the Westin downtown. We had some Orbitz points to use up, so we were excited it worked out to use it for this hotel. We were super amazed with all the precautions taken too. Who knew self cleaning buttons even existed?!

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Even the remote was protected!

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After dropping our suitcases off we headed out to walk around the city. DJ was the tour guide, even though I had been there more than he had – look, I can’t do directions for nothin’. I get all sweaty when someone gives me directions in “Compass”.

This little area (I’m sure it has a name?!) is probably my favorite place to walk around. It has such a vibrant and energetic vibe. (More vibrant and more energetic in the non-pandemic era, of course).

The architecture around the city is just stunning too!

And finally, what we came here for— the Riverwalk!

We walked the entire Riverwalk before heading back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. I was so eager for it to get dark for DJ to see it lit up with the Christmas lights over the water!

Our view outside the hotel was pretty amazing at sunset. 

We were in awe of the beauty of this hotel!

And there is no possible way to capture the glowing, festive lights in all their glory through a picture, but it is a sight to see!

We went to boudro’s for dinner, of course! It was delicious- I have recapped it once before and the lighting wasn’t great for pics, so I’ll leave those out this time.

After a restful night’s sleep, we went to Ostra for one last meal on the Riverwalk. I first went here with my mom and sister and remembered their food being so yummy.

And it did not disappoint this time either! I had one sip of their coffee, and it was glorious. It was soo good I had to ask the waiter what they used. And guess what it was…Not just your average coffee, nope. Peet’s! Of courseee I loved it.

DJ ordered their waffle & berries & I ordered their lox croissant. My mouth is actually watering writing about it- this brunch was mighty tasty.

And would it be a San Antonio trip without a visit to The Alamo? 

We opted out of the tour this time, but DJ was glad to see it from afar.

And that’s a wrap on our little staycation!

Question for you:

  • How the heck are ya?! Been a minute. 

Ummm I don’t think I can do my signature anymore?! I hear it’s Cheugy.

Oy to the veyyyy, LOL. 

I Passed!

Hey all!  I am so happy to share with you I graduated and passed my boards to become an advanced practice nurse- specifically a family nurse practitioner.  Thank you all so much for your encouragement through these last few years of grad school (and just in general!). I have to be a bit sappy here because it is just one of those milestones, ya know? I think about how much support I had throughout the program– from DJ and our family, friends (including y’all), other students, professors–and I’m feeling extremely thankful. I had many chats with God throughout this thing that sounded like, “Is this really what I’m supposed to be doing?”, and I had a heavy dose of imposter syndrome. Being at the end of it, I could not be more sure this path was the right decision, and while I know this will be a challenging transition, I could not be more excited.  

I am now deep into my endocrine specialty program already (and loving it). It wraps up in August when I’ll be heading back to OH to join DJ. 

I hope you all are well!! Sending so much love. 

Mackenzie, MSN, FNP-BC (had to!) 

Magnolia Farms!!

Hey all! I interrupt our catch-up posts from last year with a very recent post from our trip to Magnolia Farms in Waco, TX. I figured since I’m so behind, I’ll start doing a mix of recent posts and catch-up past posts- because I am really darn excited to share some of our recent happenings!

Oh real quick- for some reason my last post did not show up in the Reader, so hopefully it will this time. E-mail subscribers did get the post I believe- if not, let me know so I can work it out 🙂 

Anyyywhoo- enough house keeping bizzness!

Soo full disclosure- I know about Chip and Joanna Gaines, but I really haven’t really watched their show (I think I have seen one episode?)… I know we need to change that– but regardless- this experience was AWESOME, even as someone who isn’t well-versed in Fixer Upper world. I so admire the empire they have built in Waco. Now, if you are like my Mom or my friend Rachel, and are obsessed, I hope you enjoy this post a little extra. 

My mom and I met up on April 5th in the parking lot of Magnolia Table restaurant to get some brunch. While driving into Waco, you are greeted my multiple billboards with quotes from Joanna or Chip- it’s adorable. (Of course, no pics- because safety first 😉 – but still wanted to share!). Waco is a perfect middle point between Austin and Fort Worth too – about 1.5 hours both ways, so it worked out perfectly for a spontaneous day trip for us.

I knew I would like this place from the sign alone!

They do take reservations, but they were pretty booked up, so we were happy to see they still took walk-ins. We met at around 10:30 am, had a 45 minute wait (we just chit-chatted it up in the car) and then were seated.

Before walking in, we were greeted by this gorgeous, almost Venetian-style exterior! 

Once seated we were able to absorb the cute details around the restaurant more closely.

We first ordered lattes. We held off grabbing Starbucks during our wait since we knew we would want to grab some coffee from their coffee bar in the restaurant!

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Annnd holyyy latte goodness- they were absolutely heavenly. I actually ended up ordering a second because it was so stinking delicious.

I had two main things I wanted to try on their menu: The biscuit with strawberry butter & their tater tots!

Nothing disappointed- DELISH. There is nothing these people don’t do to excellence, huh?

Quick pic outside after brunch.

Then we drove a little down the road to the Silos! Kinda hard to miss!

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My mom has been before, but I was wide-eyed trying to soak it all in. There is a large stretch of lawn with relaxing lounge chairs, and I think that is what surprised me the most- just how chill the whole vibe was. I think I expected it to be a hustle-bustle tourist feel, but it felt more like hanging out in a backyard.

First, we ventured into their Seed & Supply shop.

This little shop had so many cute little garden gadgets. Our favorite was a sprout pencil that you can actually plant!

On our way out, we noticed this green house too.

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After walking out and turning to our right (with the wide green space on our left) there was a long line of food trucks that would satisfy any craving! Most people were in line for the Sweet Iced Tea.

After passing the food trucks, we noticed a whole new part to the Silos that were not even built when my mom was last here a couple years ago! First, there is this super cute baseball field with an actual concession stands in the background. That is one thing- the attention to detail in this place is just incredible. We were saying you could go back several times and notice something different every time.

You can probably spot the church past the outfield. We walked over to check it out.

We found a sign explaining its history. I think it is so cool and special they preserved this.

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After, we walked over to their new shops that each had a “theme”. If you caught my last post- I am all about a theme!

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It had notebooks, paints, etc. I could have done some damage ($$) in there, but thankfully I had restraint this time. Next time- no promises.

Where to next?

Their home store, of course!! There are two “big” home stores on site- the first is more furniture and the second is more home decor/kitchen items/smaller home goods.

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On our way out of the two stores we grabbed Kettle Corn for my sis, Halston- she loves Kettle Corn & she was going to be in Fort Worth that week to visit my mom.

After finishing up our tour of the Silos, we had one final stop – The Bakery. We were not about to pass it up! We had about an hour wait, but it was so worth it. 

I took the pic below once I got home since I took the goodies home to share with DJ- we had a lemon cupcake, a cinnamon roll, a brownie cookie & a chocolate chip cookie. I use past tense emphatically because they did not last long. I think my favorite was the cinnamon roll & DJ’s was the brownie cookie- but they all were phenomenal!!

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Although at this point we were “coffeed out” <–(shhhh, I know I shouldn’t say that, but it’s true)… we still wanted to stop in their coffee shop to see what it was all about!

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The smell of roasting coffee made its way outside before you even stepped foot into the shop- mmmm. The shop is as cute as you’d expect, but my favorite part was seeing Baylor students working away on homework assignments here. Can you imagine, just having access to this awesome place to hangout and study whenever you want?! There are even little study lamps on the tables.

And that is Magnolia for ya!!! Like I mentioned earlier, I really do think you could come back here multiple times and notice something different. It is just too cool. Hope you all enjoyed this tour 🙂

Question for you:

  • Have you seen Fixer Upper?

Hamilton Pool & Hamilton Musical!

**I apologize if you get this post to your e-mail twice! I was having some technology issues, but I think we have them sorted now!**

Good evening, friends! I am sitting here on a Friday night with the screen door open, letting the live music and cool air of an Austin weekend drift in as I enjoy some ice cream and have my own Fleetwood Mac radio playing in the background. It’s pure bliss. I am in a good groove with my studies and am finding some time in the evenings to give my mind a rest.

Hope y’all don’t mind some Christmas throwbacks, since I’m jumping back in around that time! The first couple weeks of December I spent studying for class and boards as much as possible. December 4th DJ and I ordered a little pre-lit mini Christmas tree from Walmart for this year. We usually like to do the whole cut a tree down and such– but we were nervous about bringing in a live tree in Texas (so many bugs!) & we also don’t have a ton of space for one anyway, so this was perfect!

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I loved how this downtown building was lit up in red and green. 

On one of our walks we noticed this little guy chillin’ along Lady Bird lake.

I noticed one of the trees along my normal running trail was suddenly decorated with ornaments! Too cute.

December 8th DJ and I decided to go for a walk around UT’s campus for a break from the studies since it was a gorgeous day & we knew it wouldn’t be very busy.

December 11th I went on a walk when it was drizzling outside a little bit. I think the trail is just beautiful at these times (and I have it to myself when it’s raining out 🙂 )!

December 12th the bright blue skies were back!

The turtles couldn’t resist some sun bathing too.

Around this time, I was on a kick with this wrap featured below- it is so good, but I know the ingredients might sound like an interesting mix- it includes a veggie wrap, sundried tomatoes, hummus, dolmas and marinated mushrooms- delicious!

December 15th I tried out this new brand of pizza- seriously one of my favorite vegan pizzas I have had yet! Corn on pizza is fantastic. 

December 16th I changed up my running direction and went over a bridge providing a postcard view of the city. 

Later that day I met up with my friend, Alana, to chat and walk around Mueller park. It was really nice to meet up with her- I always love our convos. Actually- she is the last friend I saw in Austin prior to quarantine! We stopped into Halcyon to get some tea to accompany us on our walk. It was my first time in Mueller (besides picking up Colleen’s for brunch), but it would not my last- it is so nice to walk around with many awesome shops and the park itself is lovely. I need to take DJ back there before we move! It reminds me a lot of downtown Palo Alto 🙂 

That evening I made the quesadillas out of the But I Could Never Go Vegan cookbook- and they were easily the best recipe we have had out of there yet. We were blown away by how good these were!! 

December 17th we decided to go to Hamilton Pool Preserve to explore. We tried going one other time, but after driving the near hour to get there we realized you had to have a reservation. Whoops! We made our reservation this time, easy peasy. I think there were so many openings because it was freezing. We still had so much fun exploring though, and the cold was actually refreshing. Like free cryotherapy.

We grabbed some coffee at the gas station on the way prior to arriving. I will give Peet’s free advertising any day of the week.

I thought this little walking stick station was adorable. 

Not to be a stickler… but there weren’t any sticks in there, soooo I don’t think people followed the directions 😉 . Anyone ? Anyone? *Crickets* … Sorry. Cringey jokes are kinda my schtick. Ok ok I’m done. 

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It was stunning!!

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On our way home we decided to stop at Pennybacker bridge since DJ had not yet been! (I had been once before with Amy– DJ’s twin and my SIL 🙂 ). 

And I am allllll about a good theme, so I deemed this day a “Hamilton” themed day. We had wanted to see the Hamilton musical for a while, so we did a little free Disney plus trial so we could watch it. 

It was incredible! I understand what all the hype was about!!

December 18th we went for a nice walk along lady bird and saw another type of bird. I think I am seeing where it got the inspiration for its name. Also super random- but occasionally I will see a flock of parakeets (yes, GREEN parakeets). When I first told DJ, I think he questioned my eyesight, but it’s a thing here! I’ll keep a look out, hopefully I can snag a pic of them before we move. 

The next evening, on December 19th, we took a night walk around the city and enjoyed the festive buildings and lit up roads.

Questions for you:

  • What is your favorite movie/musical/play?
  • Any weekend plans?

Wrapping up last fall!

Hey all! How are youuu?! It’s a beautiful day here in Austin- quite the contrast from the snowpocolypse just a month ago.

I sit here with one month left in my masters program. How wild is that? I think I mentioned in my last post I am doing a specialty certificate over the summer in endocrinology- so I have a clinical rotation with that… but as long as I pass my boards in a couple months I will officially be a family nurse practitioner 🙂 

I needed a little break from the books today, so I decided to hop on here. I have had this post sitting in drafts for about a month, so figured about time to publish it. It’s the second part to our Fall of last year. Hope you enjoy! 

Continuing from last post.. 

On most Saturdays while I was staying there for my clinical rotation, my mom would whip up either protein pancakes or protein waffles, and gosh they were good! Such a treat to start off the weekend.

We also spent some time chatting away out on their serene patio on weekends with the outdoor heater and candle votives. It was nice to sit in total quietness too. When living in the city, you get so used to the white noise of cars driving by, doors slamming, planes overhead, etc… so just being able to sit in the quiet evenings with only crickets out was really refreshing. 

By the end of my time there, I had established a go-to five mile running/walking trail. I would often mindlessly put on my running shoes and clear my head out there after long clinical days. 

The weekend of October 23rd, my mom and Pete had to go out of town, but DJ was able to make it out for the weekend that Saturday! I was so ecstatic we could spend time together. That evening we shared a margherita pizza, some wine and watched Married at First Sight. I corrupt him with my horrible reality TV shows, but I’m really not sorry for it.

October 24th we spent the day working on our respective assignments, went for a walk together in the afternoon, then in the evening went to downtown Roanoke for dinner. DJ ordered one of their burgers, and I thought the little stamped logo was a cool touch!

I ordered their salmon, are you surprised? Hah- it was tasty tasty. We also split their hummus & pita which was pretttty spectacular.

We chose this spot since it was an outdoor venue & it was a nice brisk evening! About an hour after arriving, some live music started. They played all 80s classics. We enjoyed it for a while, but when it started getting a little crowded, we bounced.

We did make a pit stop on our way home to our favorite custard spot- Andy’s!!

At the end of the rotation, I got together the final docs for clinical. I was SO sad to leave this clinical- My preceptor and the whole staff was just awesome, and I loved spending time learning in that clinic.

The day before I left, I had one last wonderful run in Keller for this stay. We also ordered from FnG for dinner- you guys, such a hidden gem in TX! A MUST if you are ever in Keller.

The morning before heading back to Austin, I packed up my bags, had some Kashi cereal and, of course, said a (midwest) goodbye to my mom. (Pete had left earlier that morning). 

Ooh! And she sent me home with some yummy candy corn cocoa. She knows me well. I know candy corn gets a bad rap, but I am always going to defend it!

Deej and I were on a walk around Ladybird Lake that week when we spotted these birds. I am pretty sure they are cormorants, which struck me as quite ironic considering I had just finished up The Guest List, which mentioned them– Or perhaps this was just a case of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon!

I was craving a burger and shake that weekend. So, naturally, we ordered Hopdoddy’s with one of the best vegan burgers in town and a shake. I say *one* of the best… because we discovered an even better one a couple months later. Stay tuned. Oh, the suspense!

I also arrived home to this box from the Boston Athletic Association!

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Even better though…later that day my brother sent me this sweet picture of our nephew with the blanket we sent him <3 I am obsessed. Counting down the days until we can meet him.

More colorful Austin in the fall!

I was feelin’ extra anxious around this time (combo of school, the world, etc.), and I remember there was one day that was particularly beautiful lending a sense of calm. I texted Tammy, one of my friends from the Bay Area with the video below, and said it felt like a “Bay Day”.  Gosh, I really miss California sometimes. I love love Austin, but sometimes it feels like I left part of my heart in those mountains and that chaotically beautiful city. I also know, when we leave Austin, I’ll say I left a part of me at Lady Bird Lake and in this dazzlingly, eclectically vibrant city. We really are going to try to make the most of our time here before we move. Sorry to be so sappy (I can’t help it) & when big life transitions are about to happen I get super reflective and in all the feeeels.

November 6th, DJ and I ordered takeout from Grizzelda’s!

This food. I don’t have the worddds. Probably my favorite Tex Mex we’ve had yet. 

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It was all just too darn good. And the margarita’s we ordered were really fun! 

More Austin in the fall..

All through November I worked on the rest of my peds/perinatal courses and began studying for boards. Ohh. And get this. I went 11 days without coffee. Yes, 11! I stopped cold turkey because I was at about 4 cups a day which was about on par with my undergrad days & I needed to stop the madness. So I replaced my coffee with about 2 cups of matcha and honey per day. It was a tealightful alternative. The first day was awful though- seriously one of the worst days of my life, not even being dramatic this time. I had a horrendous headache and a feeling of serious impending doom. It resolved the next day though, thankfully. 

As much as I loved the matcha, it was kindaaa the sleepiest, most unproductive 11 days ever, so I added back in my one cup of coffee a day which made all the difference. I don’t think I was ever more productive than that 12th day with that single cup of jo’. I planned on sticking to one cup of coffee and one cup of matcha indefinitely….. but fast forward to present day and I’m at about 3 cups a day of coffee again. Whoops! I’m going to try to cut back again this month, but no promises. 

November 25th, I tried my hand at homemade cranberry sauce for the first time. It actually turned out great!  This is the recipe I used- I don’t recommend adding any extra orange zest- does not need it!

We went to my mom and Pete’s for a wonderful thanksgiving meal <3 It was simpler than other years, just the four of us, and we broke tradition without the bird. But our alternative was awesome! The guys had filets, my mom made us a delicious salmon and we had some asparagus, butternut squash, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and bread. It was perfect! 

We ended Thanksgiving by chatting the evening away out on the porch. 

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And of course, we enjoyed delish waffles in the AM! We added leftover cranberry sauce to our waffles, and it was an excellent decision.

It was a day of mostly working on school work for me and DJ, but there is such a warmth and coziness in the living room that made working on our respective assignments more relaxing than usual. 

I think this says it all!

Also I was not able to let a few days go by there without hitting the trail.

And-house rules- Gotta order sushi at least once when we’re all together too!

The last day, my mom made this tasty potato poblano soup. She sent us home with some, so we were spoiled by her cooking even a few days after returning to Austin!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Question for you:

  • Which cities do you have an emotional attachment to?

We’re Moving! (Again)

Hi, everyone!! Just wanted to hop on here and share some news. This summer we will be moving to….

or shall I say back to…

Northeast OH-IO!!

Ohio is where DJ and I both grew up, and it’s where we met and started dating in high school. It’s been a while since we’ve lived there though- 10 years for DJ and 9 years for me. From Ohio we went to Indiana for college, then from Indiana we moved out to California. When we moved to California, I remember us both saying we couldn’t imagine moving back to the midwest, and at the time we believed that because we were so excited for a new adventure. But something in us has changed over the years, and we just feel drawn back. We have nieces and nephews lives we want to be more involved in, a lot of family and friends in Ohio, and we just miss it. It is home.

Right now, our plan is for this to be our *final* move for a long while, unless God has other plans, and we couldn’t be more excited. We are so grateful for the absolutely incredible years we have had living in California and Texas and would not trade them for the world. We still plan on traveling as much as possible too, and of course, making trips back to Texas to visit my mom and Pete. Being farther from them is easily the hardest part about this next move.

For now, we are focused on finishing up school while soaking up these months in Austin, and then will be hitting the road! DJ has a job lined up- mine is still TBD. I probably will try to take my boards as soon as I graduate and then will start applying as I finish up my endocrinology specialty certificate this summer. We still don’t know exactly where we will be living- but we know it’ll be Cleveland/Akron area.

We can’t wait to re-explore our hometown, and we just look forward to finding some stability ☺️. Guess I better also get back in the habit of saying pop instead of soda 😜

Reminiscing about this past fall!

Hey, friends. How are you doing? This weather here in Austin is just W-I-L-D. We have been extremely grateful to still have our power on, but it has been a mess in most of the city and Texas at large. I really hope you all are safe out there. It’s scary and devastating how low the temps were getting while many were without heat, water supplies is now on boil alert and pipes have been bursting. Praying this resolves so soon (temps are on the rise, finally!) and everyone stays safe as possible in the meantime. Some websites I think are helpful are included here (even though I may be a bit late getting this out):

For information about warming centers

For food, water and gas in Austin

Other ways to help

My clinicals have been cancelled this week, so I was able to catch up on some school assignments and had a second to pop on here.

I am continuing recaps on through this past fall. It won’t take long because I was in a pretty busy, yet monotonous, schedule of clinicals and school work. I reflect on this past Autumn so fondly though. I treasure that time with my mom and Pete, and it was a few months I won’t forget! I want to record a few of the fun details so I don’t forget them.

The typical day looked like:

  • 0630- Wake up & have breakfast (usually oatmeal with berries & pb & coffee (at least 2 cups)) get ready for the day while listening to the Cribsiders podcast, spend time reading my Bible
  • 0720/0730- Leave the house and call my friend, Clair. We talked almost every day during this past fall since we were on the same schedule. I loved that.
  • 0830- Get to clinical and spend the day learning alll about pediatrics (so fun- one of my favorite rotations!). (I also had a Starbucks run squeezed in at lunch time. The baristas knew my order by heart by the end of the rotation, haha- I miss them now!).
  • 1700: Wrap up the day and head back home, listen to podcasts on the way home
  • 1745: Go for a run/walk
  • 1900: Dinner (usually one of my massive chopped salads or something my mom prepared- I was spoiled by her cookin’!)
  • 1930-about 2300: Work on homework/logging clinical cases/read to fall asleep

Then do it all again the next day!

I had a couple days off during the week to pour into my school work which was much needed. It was probably the most assignment heavy semester we had yet. I look back and my head was just spinning with deadlines. It helped that I enjoyed the content (peds and perinatal).

On the Monday after the race, September 14th, I scheduled the day off so I could be sore in peace. 

On September 19th, we decided to pick up some sushi from Kroger. Sushi is an essential meal whenever my mom and I are together. This was so delicious & fresh- the sushi chefs were right there making it. We enjoyed every bite!

September 20th our sweet nephew, Will, was born! He arrived earlier than we had anticipated, but he is healthy and was cared for so well. We are so thankful & cannot wait to meet him. It hurts my heart we still haven’t, but we are looking forward to meeting him this year!

The week of September 20th I drove back to Austin for my “on campus intensive” that had gone virtual. It was so nice to be back with DJ for a few days, but gosh, that was a stressful week! The schedule was jam-packed & we had things like mock interviews in front of our peers- no thank you! Some fun highlights were seeing my friends (I was so sad we couldn’t be in person to hangout!) and learning to suture (I have some work to do, but  it’s so much fun, and I look forward to getting better at this!). 

I headed back to Keller the weekend after OCI to keep up with clinicals and my mom made this delicious zucchini, quinoa and beets salad. YUM

Throughout my time there, one of my favorite breakfasts my mom cooked was this egg white frittata with lemongrass balsamic, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers and spinach. 

Here is a “driving to clinical” picture. I thought it was so pretty with the birds along the power lines/~stop lights~ and the moon still hanging around.

On October 2nd, my mom and I went out on the town! We found an outdoor patio in Keller at Keller Tavern that had live music. It was a relaxing and beautiful evening & the music was great! We felt nice & safe sitting with plenty of distance from everyone else.

We ordered their sweet potato tots- these are oh so sweet, but oh so addictive!!! 

At the end of the night, we let out our friend’s dogs since they were out of town. I think you will all appreciate how large they are!! I think they are taller than me! They are the sweetest things. Apollo (the black and white blurry one, lol!) was Jade’s best friend <3

On October 3rd, I was working on school work from home. My mom also was working from home, so about noon we split a pizza. It’s those little things and memories that just are really so special, ya know?

On October 9th DJ drove to Keller to hang with us for the weekend. I was practically ready to go to sleep by the time he arrived around 9:30 pm, but when he arrived, I got a second wind and decided we should have an impromptu date night! I knew he would love the chill, outdoor space at Keller Tavern.

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And of course, I made sure we ordered the sweet potato tots again! Déjà vu!

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The next day, October 10th, my mom made these classic sandwiches from my childhood for the guys. Here is the recipe!

I don’t eat meat often anymore, but I tried a bite, and they were as tasty as I remembered! So so good!

DJ’s bday was October 6th, so we wanted to make sure to celebrate big time while he was here! We headed to Fort Worth for an unforgettable meal.

The restaurant we tried is called rise (recommended by my preceptor!). They are well known for their soufflés. If you have been around here for a while, you know soufflés are basically our obsession. We discovered them originally at Cafe Jacqueline (a magical experience) and then tried making them at home a couple times thereafter. Austin does not have anywhere that offers actual soufflés (that we could find), but Fort Worth has this gem! 

We sat out on their gorgeous patio and started with their fluffy bread served prior to the meal. 

OK, so one dish we were told we have to try is their marshmallow soup, and goodness gracious, it lived up to the hype. 

We tried a variety of so many different soufflés, I couldn’t even tell you which was the favorite- every single one was spectacular. We each ordered a savory one for our main and a sweet one for dessert.

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Oh, believe it or not, we still had room to enjoy some classic dirt when we came home.

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I only had a little bit of my clinical rotation left after this. I will recap that next!

Stay safe and warm, y’all <3

Question for you:

  • Any songs you are loving lately? I need to revamp my playlist!

The Virtual Boston Marathon Event!

Hello all! Welp- I just had about a third of this post written and then it disappeared. *Stay calm, stay calm*.

Anyway! After the awesome Baustin weekend, I packed up and got ready to head to Fort Worth for my pediatric rotation. It was such a blessing I was able to stay with my mom and Pete, even though it was tough being away from DJ for those months. We tried to see each other every couple of weeks. We were apart for about a quarter of the year- not fun, but I am so thankful he has been so stinkin’ supportive.

The last meal I had in Austin before heading out was takeout Lucky Robot sushi. I had a hankerin’ for their Tiger eye roll. Yum!!

In the morning I had avocado toast with beets and an egg before hitting the road. Sounds like an odd combo, I suppose it is, but I think it’s pretty tasty!

My mom and Pete have been working hard on making home renovations this year, and I just adore this ostrich art in the guest bathroom. I’m borderline obsessed. If it ever goes missing they’ll know where to find it, lol.

While I was there I was so spoiled by my mom’s cooking!

In the evenings after clinical, I would unwind by going for a walk or run in the nearby neighborhoods and trails. It was so relaxing.

More delicious eats!

And I must have been feeling some type of way because these memes were in my camera roll, ha!

Around this time I discovered one of my mackncheeeesy posts had been featured on Cosmopolitan’s website! (The pic is missing from the post since my IG is now deactivated, but at least I have a screen shot for memory sake, lol!). 

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So now onto the actual Boston race!

Also real quick- how cute are these Boston themed nail decals and necklace from my mom in law <3! I used the stickers but am saving the nail wraps for hopefully the in-person race later this year. 

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 For the virtual race, we were given a window of time we could choose to complete the race. We had to download an app to track our run, and they also had all kinds of fun things in there like your bib and such.

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I ran the race on September 13th, so the night before I was ready to get my carb load on. We looked for Italian restaurants in the area with outdoor seating and my mom suggested Ristorante Mulino. We could not have chose a better pre-race meal! This focaccia definitely gave me my carby fix!

The calamari was great too!

For my main pasta dish I had their truffle mushroom ravioli. It was heavenly.

Every single dish was exquisite!

When the mosquitoes started biting we wrapped up the meal and ordered some tiramisu to go. It was really really good tiramisu!

Although I always have the intention of getting a good night’s sleep the night before the race, I always have a tough time with all the adrenaline! We woke up around 5:30. I had oatmeal and coffee, and felt ready to go!

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I saved my water from the “expo” to have before the race too 🙂

My mom mapped out the Trinity Trail in Fort Worth for me on her bike a week prior. It was a GREAT trail! Since I had no idea where I was going she biked the entire race with me. It was really special. My mom has been to every marathon I’ve run, and it was extra special we could do *the* one together. I think this was the highlight of the race going virtual- we would not have been able to do this together if the race had gone on per usual. 

They provided a start and finish line in the toolkit, so that is where we got these print outs!

It was a gorgeous morning!

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I ran in the Nike Vaporfly Next% for the marathon! They were a surprise gift from my in laws <3 I could not believe it because they were nearly impossible to find! They were SO fast. It is like running on a cloud. It really does almost feel like they are practically running for you!

Every couple of miles my mom would zoom ahead of me and write a message in chalk on the sidewalk for me to see as I ran by. It really felt like I had the whole family there cheering me on!! It was too thoughtful and too cool. These are just a couple of them out of many. <3

For my fellow office lovers…

This is what the tracker looked like inside the app! I thought it was so fun that it mapped it out as though you were running the actual Boston trail. My pace was way slower than my qualifying race, but I was just happy to finish it.

Halfway there!

I had an awesome group cheering me on! Two of our family friends came out with signs too!

They would all surprise me at multiple different parts of the trail 🙂

I felt really good until about mile 20, which is usually how it goes. The last 6 miles were rough. Now, here comes the worst part. My app shut down at 25 miles. Yup, totally shut off. I reopened it and it was back at zero. I was panicked beyond panicked and was trying so hard to not let the water works start. It was my worst nightmare. I forgot to bring my backup watch with me to Fort Worth too, so I thought I was out of luck unless they accepted my mileage from my general health app on my phone. Luckily, my mom had also been tracking on her phone, so I contacted Boston’s customer service and explained the situation. They responded really quickly and said it would be no problem, accepting my mom’s mileage as proof. I was so grateful to them for being understanding and grateful to my mom for also tracking the mileage! I actually talked to some other runners who also said they had issues with the app too, so that made me feel better that it was likely not something I did and rather a tech glitch.

Made it!!

Aren’t they all just the best?

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This really felt like the pinnacle of my running career. It all started when I was about 9 years old running with my Aunt Terry along the upper peninsula in Michigan (I would also go on to run my first half marathon with my Aunt in 8th grade <3). 

When that love for running began, my dad would take me to the local high school tracks and I would just run around the track for as long as I was allowed. Then came cross country and track. A couple of days before the Virtual Boston race, I found this picture with my Dad…

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This was taken when I was in 7th grade after a cross-country meet. He was always so supportive of my running. I felt like stumbling upon this photo so close to this race, THE race, held so much meaning. With a few miles left in the race my mom said how proud he would have been. That meant the world. 

I am overwhelmed with gratitude to DJ, my friends and family that have been so supportive over these years. I thank God for them all. I also never thought I would actually qualify for Boston, so I am extremely grateful for this opportunity- even if it all looked differently than I ever thought it would. I cannot imagine a better alternative to the actual Boston race 🙂 

After, we grabbed a quick lunch at Doc B’s on their patio in downtown Fort Worth. Everything was SO good- but you must try the crispy jalapeno potatoes if you ever go!

And that is a wrap on the Boston festivities 🙂 We will see what it looks like later this year-right now it looks like there may be a chance for a race in the fall. Fingers crossed! 

Thanks for sharing in this special memory with me!!

New Year, New Friday Favorites!

Hey all! It’s 2021! YAYY- happy happy New Year! I know some people say it’s just another day, but I feel extra optimistic this time around that the future is brighter (although it may the third cup of coffee talking, idk). I start back up with my clinicals on Monday, so I am trying to get as much blogging done as possible today. The weekend is dedicated to more intensive review, but for now I am giving myself this block of time to dive into these posts. I have been having just a blast working on recaps. I also realize this may be the last Friday Fav I can do for a while, so I want to take advantage! Enjoy! 

  1. Kitsch Women’s Hair Coils. I was so unsure about hair coils when they became a thing a few years ago. They looked like hard non-malleable, uncomfortable plastic. However, once I started using them I never returned to the original hair ties. They keep your hair in place, are comfortable and don’t rip hair out the same way the original hair ties do. Highly recommend!

2.  New Jeans. I have the hardest time finding jeans I like, so when I find a pair that works, I wear them for years and years. This is one of my favorite pairs I have found in a long time, so I bought two pairs in “Indigo Atlas” and “Black Squared”. My mom recently asked where I got them so she could get a pair too! I love love love. Oh, and just another note- they soften up quite a bit when you wash them, especially the Indigo Atlas pair!

3. The Guest List. I actually read this book months ago, but I don’t think it ever made it onto the blog, and it should have! It’s an easy read that keeps you guessing the whole time with so many twists!

4. But I Could Never Go Vegan! While we don’t eat totally vegan, we do love trying vegan recipes and eating plant-based food. Recently we have started picking out a couple recipes per week to try from this cookbook, and we have overall loved them! The premise uses an ‘excuse’ per chapter of why someone wouldn’t go vegan, and then makes recipes that would counter that excuse. For example, one excuse is “But I could never give up cheese!” and then the whole chapter is “Cheesy” vegan dishes. Pretty fun, and it forced me out of a cooking rut.

5. The Curbsiders Internal Medicine Podcast. With graduation around the corner, I have been inhaling as much clinical knowledge as possible. This is by far the best podcast I have come across yet- I try to listen to at least two episodes per day and keep notes on my phone as I listen. If you are a medical professional seeking out a solid medical podcast, I highly recommend this!

6. Veggie Lover’s Sweet Earth Pizza. Oh. my. goodness. I think this is my favorite vegan pizza I have ever had! Funnily enough, we discovered this pizza at a CVS of all places. I think they sell them at Target and probably other grocery stores too though.

7. 2021 Planner. Ahhh, I lovee a fresh planner! DJ finds it funny I still use a paper planner, but I just have to write everything out. Anyone else?!

8. Edamame Pasta!!! My Aunt Terry recommended this to us and we love it! I think it’s one of the best pasta substitutes we have tried, and it’s really high in protein. Yum!

9. Nite Swim by The Band Perry. DJ actually discovered this song and knew I would love it. I have it on. repeat. !

10. Schitt’s Creek. We are late to the party, but we are finally watching through Schitt’s Creek! I started it earlier in the year, but I prefer watching comedies with someone else, so I waited for when DJ and I could watch together. The first couple episodes are so-so, but then it gets really good. 

What are you loving lately? 

**Disclaimer: There are Amazon affiliate links in this post. All ideas and opinions are my own. I may receive a small compensation if you choose to purchase the products linked**.