Valentine’s Day on Top of a Mountain

Hello, hello! Happy Thursday (maybe Friday) to you all! I am sitting here all cuddled up in my the coziest of all blankets and do not intend to get off the couch all day. I always say that, but I go stir crazy after a couple hours. (edited in note: I put in a good three couch potato hours…better than normal!).

Anyways, I have some updates, that you probably saw a sneak peak of if you follow me on Instagram!

This past week has been crazy busy & stressful- but oh so GOOOD! February 7th I started my day with some delicious yogurt toast and a protein bar (no cow).


I’m pretty peeved because No Cow just changed their formula, and I do. not. like. it *toddler stomping feet*. I am clinging to the last few of the old ones I have, but they are quite evasive now. Has anyone tried the new formula? What are your thoughts?


I LOVE THE GRIT! It’s what made it perfect with a cup of joe. Ah, No Cow, breaking my heart.

At about 10 am, I met my sweet, fellow nurse, friend from Church, Kim for some coffee in Campbell. Barefoot Coffee is some of my favorite around.


She’s too stinking cute!


We had such wonderful & much needed conversation (& venting). It’s so nice to talk to someone who just “gets it”. I am very thankful for her ❤

The rest of the night I spent prepping for my interview. Unfortunately, that night my laptop stopped working. Good timing for an upcoming online interview, huh?

That meant February 8th I went straight to the Genius Bar, praying to God that this was a salvageable issue.


While my computer was being worked on, I trotted down Santana Row to try to get some fresh air to calm my nerves.


Thankfully, it was an easy fix! We are back in business, baby!

I scrounged up what little was left of the day to meal prep for the weekend, prepped for the interview, and focus on staying calm stocked up on more brown paper bags.

I had a hard time focusing with three days of work staring me in the face. Lemme just say, in nurse world 2 days vs. 3 days is a tremendous difference. Friday, the 9th– Sunday the 11th were some of the most challenging shifts I’ve had, acuity wise and emotionally.

Every morning feeeelz….

…. Hopefully we can get both eyes open by the time we pull into the hospital.


I kept it together for the most part and can see how much I have grown in one year. I would have fallen apart at the seams last year with this assignment. Still, when Monday rolled around, it all hit me. By it all, I mean the emotional toll of everything….. My patient’s stories, their cases, their families…. it all fell on me in what felt like a single moment. I was on a run and just started sobbing. I let myself feel for the first time since starting that stretch of days. I was honored that God entrusted me with each of them for the weekend, but needless to say, I was exhausted and depleted in every way.

Monday, the 12th, was not a lick productive.

I did get a quick trot in though.


I spent the evening reading with our TV fireplace flickering, and Halo Top in hand trying to distract myself from my nerves.


February 14th. I woke up early to get ready for my 9:45 am interview via Zoom. It went well, I think! This is a distance based program and our number one choice (probably)… but the chances of getting in are slim. I don’t quite have the experience that others applying for the program have (It’s a doctorate program). I do have a chance of their MSN program hopefully. A few hours later I found out from Vanderbilt that I was accepted into their MSN program! WOOHOO! I was accepted into two/three of the programs, now I’m just waiting for this one last decision… the suspense is real! I should know by end of February/early March.

After the interview, I ran for a while, then jotted to the mall to find something to wear as I realized I had nothing for Valentine’s Day! I found this on sale. Wooohoo!

Deej gave me this sweet rose ❤


Nooow time for our Valentine’s Extravaganza!!! DJ and I haven’t had a date or much time together since San Diego. We decided to splurge a little to celebrate Vday, the interview being over, and now getting into one of the big schools I was pulling for. We decided not get on another gifts or anything and just have a stellar dinner.

Someone at DJ’s work suggested the Mountain Winery Valentine’s Day dinner. We don’t usually do much on Valentine’s Day, maybe make some make your own pizzas, last year I did a race in Sausalito… I don’t really get the point of Valentine’s day… because isn’t the day to celebrate love your anniversary? It’s kind of a double anniversary? But I’m still for any excuse for chocolate, dinner out, and a chance to brag on my amazing man!

I went to Mountain Winery once with Rachel over a year ago. It’s absolutely gorgeous. The views are breathtaking.

They host concerts in the summers in their stunning outdoor pavilion.


We were greeted in an indoor heated tent with a rose with our table number and a glass of Rose.


The best part? The cheeeese!!!!


It was a fantastic cheese bar- with crackers, figs, nuts, fruit, and every type of cheese imaginable.


Round One..


After about a half an hour of mingling, we were taken on a tour of the estate. It was fascinating, but freezing! I kept thinking to myself, “Roses are red, my lips are blue, if we don’t go inside soon I’m going to LOSE IT”. Ok, I am a bit dramatic when I’m cold, but I was shivering something fierce!

It was totally worth it, especially for the views!


We then snaked to our florally decorated table. Somehow we ended up with Table 1 and were in a nice exclusive corner table.


We started with some clementine and pesto (or something like that) for a palate cleanser. The seemingly incompatible flavors actually worked very well.


To start, we had scallop three ways. These included citrus scallop ceviche with avocado, seared french scallop tartar with crispy kale, and grilled scallop over mango puree with mizuna salad. Our favorite was the mango purreed…. mmm mm!


We then had for the second course butter wedge lettuce with medley carots, roasted beets, whipped goat cheese, with blood orange and herb vinaigrette. It was accompanied by Sauvignon blanc- our favorite of the wine tastings.


The third course presented with sea bass with basted shrimp, lentils, braised leeks, and rainbow chard with a lemon beurre blanc reduction. I want to cry because I want this again right now. It was too good.


The fourth course consisted of steak duzelles on a bed of smashed fingerling golds with creamy blue cheese, charred veggies, and chanterelle wine reduction. I gave deej my steak, but the rest of the dish was fabulous.


And to top it off, we were given an intermezzo of limoncello with ginger cream and deconstructed strawberry shortcake with red velvet sponge, champagne lime sorbet, and strawberry reduction. It was all tremendous.


It may be my favorite Valentine’s Day we have ever had together. I’m so thankful for my valentine. ❤


Each couple was gifted a bottle each to take home too.


I woke up early this morning, the 15th, to go to work to get my annual TB test blood work done. I’m actually a smidgeon nervous for the results because I have cared for TB patients quite a bit this year (of course proper isolation in place), but I can’t help feel a tiny bit on edge. Especially with how stinking sick I’ve been this year. I’m sure it’s fine. It’s fine, right? Cool it, Mack, your hypochondriac is showing. I’ll know for sure in about three days to settle my little paranoid mind.

I spent the day cleaning, answering e-mails, texts (gosh, I’ve been bad bad bad with the texting lately), and other misc. items on the to-do list. I had a great big salad with a bean burger & some green alkaline juice for lunch while watching Winter Games. It hit the spot.


Right now I’m eating sushi and going to tie up loose ends for my project. We have our last class next week! Almost. there. One more month until graduation!


Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!

xo ❤



56 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day on Top of a Mountain

  1. Welcome back after such a long time. Missed you very much. Loved this blog roo. No, I dont follow you on instagram. So I missed your blogs more. How do I follow you?
    Anyhow you are my inspiration as a blogger. That is enough for me. Stay blessed lovely one. Keep blogging too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shireen… wow.. I cannot tell you how much this comment means to me. I always get so excited when I see your name pop up in my feed!This lifted my spirits and my heart. If you scroll to the bottom of a post my instagram should be at the very bottom! Wow.. I still can’t tell you how much your sweet words mean ❤ Thank you or taking the time to encourage my heart. Bless you and sending all my love.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Will do! I guess we have some kind of a connection. I feel exactly the same way. Whenever I feel my blogs are getting too long or so, I think of yours, and remember how much I love them. 🙂 I’ve a lot to learn from you and your style. Stay blessed my lovely one.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post, Mack! I’ll be following you on Twitter now. Lol. Your Valentine’s Day looked amazing! We spent it watching Game of Thrones. It was perfect! Ha ha! My boyfriend just passed the NCLEX. We’re going out of town and cleaning up the house. I think we’re going to Austin or San Antonio, I’m not sure yet. Take care, Mack and don’t work too hard!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa!!! Hi! Thank you so much ❤ I will definitely follow you back! I am still getting a hang of the whole twitter thing… it's so confusing to me. Hahah. I just whoooped out loud about your bf passing the NCLEX!!!!! YAYAYAYY!!! OH MY GOODNESS! CONGRATS TO HIM! That is so exciting. I am so honored to have known about his journey from when he began… this is so cool. Keep us posted where you end up going!!! I looove San Antonio.. Austin is still on the bucket list! Have a perfect rest of your weekend, Lisa!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are so stinkin’ beautiful! I get really dramatic when I’m cold too, so I would’ve been chanting right along with you! That meal – holy moly. The attention to detail and all of the creativity. What an awesome celebration! We don’t do much for Valentine’s either. We call it the Hallmark holiday. 😉 I swear I get nervous every time I get my TB skin test!! The first year they reassured me that unless I’ve traveled to a third world country, I would be fine. I had just come back from Costa Rica and had traveled in South Africa a few years prior to that, ha! But I’ve always been negative, and you will be too! Congrats on the acceptance. Can’t wait to hear where you choose. Have a great Friday, dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh 😭 you are too kind to me ❤️❤️ that makes me feel better about not being so dramatic. I had an episode in college where I had to walk back from DJ’s dorm to mine in the fall.. it wasn’t even winter yet… and I cried the whole way back. We now refer to the unbearable cold as “crying cold”. Haha…. aka anything under 65. Oh my gooodnesssss… the Hallmark holiday ! That is PERFECT. Ahhhhh the tb test is so scary!! Haha way to ease your nerves huh? I just keep holding my breath… only a couple more days and I’m in the clear (it’s the blood test one not the skin). Hope you are having a TREMENDOUS weekend, love! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahahaha “crying cold”, yes!! In high school marching band, when it got so cold that I couldn’t play my piccolo, my eyes would automatically water. Like crying was the only
        option, lol. Oh gosh, I’ve never had the TB blood test. That stinks! I never like waiting long for the results, *but* I’m sure you’re fine. Thank you, doll! I hope yours has been amazing too! 💖

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahah! That is LITERALLY crying cold. No control. You played piccolo ?! How fun! Hehe … we will find out soon! Only good thing is if I’m in isolation I’ll have plenty of time to catch up on blogging 😅

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Once again congrats on getting into the program at Vanderbilt!! I’m so excited for you girlfriend ❤
    Your Valentine's Day date sounds amazing! I love how you opted for a fancy schmancy dinner. Plus that dress is fabulous and looks amazing on you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, thank you, Maureen!!! I am just shocked and in disbelief! Your support means so much. Haha this dinner will suffice for about 10 more date nights. Thank you so much for the kind words. Hope you are having a perfect weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. IT DID ❤️❤️ that’s happened to me before. Glad WordPress is getting it together. Aw, thank you sooo much. I’m anxiously waiting this answer and this made me feel so much better.


  5. Hey Mackenzie! Funny story: I actually discovered your blog last fall while Googling NoCow bars. It brought me to one of your posts where you had packed a bar as a snack, haha. I started reading through a bunch of your posts, subscribed, and you’re honestly one of my favorite blogs now. Figured it was time I introduced myself! 🙂
    About the new formula – I’ve tried carrot cake, raspberry truffle, blueberry cobbler, and lemon meringue. I’m so not impressed. 😦 The bars are “creamy” like they wanted them to be, but at the same time, they’re weirdly sandy – in a different way than the grit of the old bars. Plus the lemon flavor is sooo subtle now, like there’s barely any lemon taste. I’ve been trying to figure out what my new go-to vegan protein bar will be! So sad haha.
    Glad you had such a great VDay and huge congrats on the acceptance!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh my stinking goodness. Girlfriend, you just made my DAY!!!! Thank you so much for commenting. Annnd I am honored you found me through a No Cow search….. but YESSS you nailed the description of the new bars . UGH! No worries— I will be VERY vocal about our thoughts, lol, I am determined to get back to our roots.. cause right now i’m no NO Cow. Hope you are having a great weekend, Lauren. So honored by this comment too. You made my whole entire weekend! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You look stunning, & that date night seems like a dream! So happy to hear things are progressing positively for you but sorry you had such a rough 3 days of work! Happy weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my goodness what a fabulous Valentine’s Day!!! Love, love, love your dress and that dinner just seemed so magical! Wow!!! That dessert plate!!!! Sorry it was freezing for a bit but seems worth it. And so special you were table #1 as you two should be table #1!!!! Love you both!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mom ❤ ❤ We will have to all go to Mountain winery sometime. The views are like grandview.. but an even more relaxed atmosphere!! SO worth it. You are too sweet. LOVE YOU! ❤


  8. You are soooo pretty and you guys make such a cute couple!!! All of the food looks soooo yummy!!! Scallops three ways? Sign me up!! And CONGRATS on getting accepted into the programs,.. especially Vanderbilt!! You are so smart!! I secretly hope you choose Vandy. 🙂 Have a great weekend girlfriend!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww!!! THANK YOU, Taylor ❤ I will officially be making a decision early March. SUCH a huge decision. I have one last school I'm waiting for.. it's highly competitive so my hopes aren't super high. If I get in we will probably stay since it allows flexibility to do school mostly online, with travel once a semester to the school, BUT if not then Vandy is calling our name! Regardless… we have to visit soon! Hope you are having an awesome weekend! XOXO

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, beauty!!! I will for sure. Ah, such big decisions coming soon! I will probably know in about two weeks. IF we are in Nashville, I’ll totally need some recommendations (particularly for food of course, but a little bit of everything else too!)


  9. You are so strong to be able to take care of the patients and hold yourself together through their stories. ♡ I hope you get into that 3rd program you’re waiting to hear from! You really deserve it! & I love the new dress you bought, it looks lovely!
    The views were so beautiful but sorry you had to stand through the cold! The table settings were so cute with the flower petals everywhere. Clementine & pesto? So interesting!
    The sea bass looks scrumptious. I wish my man was a veggie/pesc so I could get an extra steak ahaha. Lucky DJ!
    I’m sure you don’t have TB lol but I am a hypochondriac too… so I’d also be nervous lol. That green juice looks tasty & so does the sushi! Yum!
    I’m so happy you guys had an amazing Valentine’s date! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey girl!! Oh my goodness- thank you so much for your sweet words. I don’t always feel strong, but my faith and family carry me. Thank you for the sweet words- that dress was a lucky steal, I have a grand total of like 45 minutes to find something haha. LOL… well if you are ever around you can TOTALLY have my filet 😉 hahaha… I will know about the TB in a couple days. My heart is racing every time I think about it. I’ll definitely letchy’all know… especially if I’m in isolation… bahah. Hope you are having a great weekend !! XO


  10. You have a graduation from your nursing classes at work? Wasn’t DJ in law school last year but now he works for the Giants? OMG I promise I read everything in detail but sometimes my mind wanders off with the food pictures and then my memory of things that are important and thoughtful are covered with creamy toast and fresh coffee from ritzy North American cafes! 😉

    Congrats on your MSN-NP (OMG I’m missing a letter but I saw your twitter post ((bad friend who misses letters)) ) Can you paragraph in a paragraph? (Bad English teacher too hahaaha!)

    But really I’m so proud of you and your jogging and good grades and eating habits! You and my other bestest nursing friend inspire me to go on when I’m stressed and I’m not exactly saving any lives here! I’m impressed by all your hard work and striving for excellence! Cheers to you and can’t wait to see what you decide to do in your bright future! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey girl!!!! Ok … it is SUPER confusing and honestly you have it down better than most of my closest friends hahah. I am in a residency program for one year … so I’m a working nurse but have classes and orientation to integrate me into being a nurse with high training. So it’s graduation from that (a ton of outside classes, online modules, etc.) . And you nailed it with DJ!! I am VERY impressed and never expect anyone to keep it all straight haha. Bahahah you crack me up! It’s FNP, but nearly the same thing (family nurse practitioner). Thanks always for your encouragement . Sending you so much love! ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so excited I was able to keep up! Hahahaha! I’m glad you’re getting paid while working! That’s the life! Do you keep working then after you graduate? Vanderbilt sounds great and I’ve heard there’s some great folks in Tennessee! OMG it’s in Tennessee right? HAhahaha! (OK – I just googled it…um I say, go there!!!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aww well it means so much . So I will stay on at least for a bit until I figure out the school situation then maybe part time until clinicals start taking over haha. Girl, I’m SO torn. We love it here but the opportunity for Nashville is so tempting!!!!


  11. You make glamourous seem so effortless! Caught a glimpse of your dress on Insta and thought it & You looked fabulous! and to find out through the post that you pick it up on the day of! Amazing!

    Glad your week had such wonderful highlights! Hopefully those outweighed the stress and the tears! And again, congratulations on Vanderbilt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AWww!!! Ju Lyn!!!! What a sweet compliment ❤ Goodness, you are too nice to me! Thank you, thank you! Per usual your comment made my whole day. ❤ I will definitely keep ya posted on what the final decision is. Eeek! Only a couple weeks away. Have a great rest of your week!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Yay for couch potato days. We all need a bit of that sometimes.
    Congratulations on Vanderbilt! Fingers crossed on the third! The waiting is always hard. My youngest has applied to two specialized high schools in town. She was stressed that she might not make it in to either and felt great relief when the first sent her a letter of acceptance. She won’t hear back from the other one until sometime in March and will have to make a decision if she gets in to both.
    Your outfit for Valentine’s Day was stunning! And those views! And that food! I’m sure you all had a lovely time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amy!! ❤ Thank you so much!! I am anxiously ANXIOUSLY waiting on the third decision. I keep refreshing my e-mail every five minutes it feels like. Aww, I'm so glad she got in! If she's your daughter, I'm sure she is absolutely brilliant! Best of luck to her next decision too. Thanks for stopping by, I love your comments. I really feel like I'm just chatting with an old friend with you. XO

      Liked by 1 person

  13. My phone is being a $#%* so I’ll have to finish reading the rest of your post when I get in my laptop lol.
    But I did read that you got accepted into the MSN? program and I believe you shared that on IG too. I’m so happy for you, you are deserving it of all. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahah, oh my gosh, I swear my blog always breaks your technology! LOL. Thank you SO much, love. I am anxiously awaiting the last deecision. I can’t take the anticipation! Where we will be living this fall hinges on this decision!! AHH! Hope you are having a BEAUTIFUL week

      Liked by 1 person

  14. First off girl that dress!!! You are rocking it! We all deserve some lazy days!
    Ughh I HATE when companies change their products (Like Starbucks with their PSL, I admit to liking the fake pumpkin better then the real stuff…oops) but that is great they tweeted you back!
    Oh my lanta coffee roasters looks so flipping cute! and like my cup of coffee!
    Oh sweetie HUGE hugs! I can completely relate! My computer crashed in December (while I was in NH and girl the closest apple store is an hour and half away 😦 ) and again in January. Thankfully the second time I was able to go to the Genuis Bar and they were my heres! Seriously they need capes! I am so happy they were able to fix it! Santana Row is so cute!
    You look adorable in scrubs! Not sure if I have mentioned that!
    And second HUGE hugs. Runs are so incredibly cathartic. They allow me to be so vulnerable and feel the most who I am pounding the pavement, You are an amazing nurse and your patients are so incredibly lucky to have you as their nurse! You are one of the most compassionate humans I have the pleasure of knowing. You are the epitome of what nursing is. ❤
    GIRL YES to the Halo Top! 
AHHHH HUGE congrats! And girl you will get into that program! If not they are complete idiots because you are amazing!
    WHERE did you get that dress? It is gorgeous! 
Oh my gosh I LOVE you! You put my sentiments about Valentine’s Day into words perfectly! But I won’t turn down a chance for some Reeses! 🙂
    I NEED to go to this place! it looks incredible! I love how they did it up for Valentine’s Day.
    Scallops three ways! Oh my! Girl My mouth is watering right now!
    It looked amazing! And you guys are the cutest! Happy (much belated!) Valentine's Day!
    I have been obsessed with the Olympics! I hope you have a great week and weekend sweets! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Beauty!!! Thank you so much!! LOL… wait they changed it?!?! I didn’t even know! GASP!! That seems honestly cruel though. Us starbucks addicts sell out those PSLs for a reason! I thought of you when my computer crashed.. I was like what is going on?! How ironic! AGREED, they do need capes.

      I always adore seeing the pictures of your morning runs. Cathartic is theeee perfect word.

      Oh my gosh.. seriously… your words.. they mean everything to me. I cannot even tell you. Thank you thank you thank you. ❤ You have the true gift of encouragement, Katie!

      COME BACK!! Wait…. More than anywhere else.. I may need to take you here (to the winery)! They have wine tastings all day. It’s the best experience. Ugh, I miss youu! I need to get my butt into planning gear for an NYC trip NOW. Once I hear back from the last school I’ll be able to make some decisions (and find out if we will be in Nashville or still in Cali this fall).

      Hope your week has been tremendous. Thankful for ya, chica!


  15. Hi Mackenzie, I love when you can sit on the couch and just relax! Our 4 kids have other ideas though most of the time. I know you deserve it though with your job and the pressures you have. The yogurt toast looks so yummy. I love all the coffee shops you get to , I pass by a lot of cute shops a lot and often feel like stopping but my day does not usually allow it! Kim is gorgeous , and it is good to talk to someone who knows the trials you go through. The tv fireplace looks amazing! I am sure I can get it on ours too. Congrats on being accepted into 2 of the msn programs! Oh my gosh! Just look at how cute you look in that new red dress (its a 10 by the way) and the lovely rose you got from DJ. The shoes and earrings finish off the look. The mountain winery looks amazing! the outside is huge and I love the valentiney (is that a word?!) feel inside. Your table is set so pretty I love the petals and even the heart napkins shows a lot of thought by the restaurant. Another cute pic of you two! So nice to take home a complimentary bottle. Thank you for this Love-ly post Dear, hugs, Terri xo.


    1. Hi Terri!!! Thank you for stopping by. I don’t know how you do it all, but I give you MAJOR props. Many of my coworkers are moms with kids, and I just do not know how people have the energy to do it all. Kim is amazing, I met her at Church, and she has been an awesome shoulder to lean on through this year. EEK! It’s a 10?! Ah, thank you 🙂 Your comments are always so kind. I appreciate you tons, Terri! Hope you are having a beautiful week!


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