When CA and TX Collide!

Hi everyone- I accidentally had this post scheduled for release yesterday, and as soon as I realized it was published I took it down. Yesterday was set aside for remembrance of 9/11, and I did not want to post in reverence of the day. 

Continuing on through the end of July- the week of July 18th was mostly figuring out my road trip from TX to OH, including a stop in Nashville to see my friend Kels from college. I ran to the mall to get a couple new outfits for the trip/make exchanges & returns.

July 27th was my last day of clinical…forever! My emotions were as mixed as could be: sadness leaving my colleagues and patients from the office, excitement about starting a new chapter, sadness leaving Austin, elation about seeing DJ soon and being back in OH, relief in finishing the specialty, apprehension with no clear job lined– you get the picture.

I brought in bagels from Nervous Charlie’s and Starbucks for the office. Nervous Charlie’s bagels are really good- I did some looking around for the best bagels in Austin and these are near the top of the list for a reason!

July 28th, Sara (close friend from CA who you may remember would bring around the spunkiest dog named Foxy Lady!) flew in to visit. This year, she was diagnosed with and survived breast cancer. I have been in awe by her strength, grace, and outlook every step of the way. When planning her trip, it would be a month after she was entirely done with chemo. She has a friend in Houston too, so when she suggested coming to visit us both in a trip it was a no-brainer! More than anything I just couldn’t wait to give her a hug. It was excruciatingly hard being far from her during all her chemo treatments and the whole journey. I thank God for protecting her through it all and for this time together!

When she got in the car at the airport pickup we couldn’t talk fast enough –we were very excited to be actually catching up in person! We were so wrapped up in conversation that I took a few wrong turns and it took us an extra 30 mins to get back- whoooops.

For dinner we had some phenomenal Mexican food!! Matt’s El Rancho boasts they are the “best Mexican Food in the World”, and a la Elf‘s “World’s Best Cup of Coffee”… is this the best Mexican Food in the World? Welllll who knows- but I’d say it’s hands-down the best in Austin! But was I still tempted to congratulate them on having the World’s Best Mexican Food? Sure was.

For food- Sara ordered their fish tacos – I had a bite and seriously the best fish tacos I’ve ever tried. They literally melt in your mouth! I had their shrimp fajitas which were everything and more I could ask for in fajitas, but the fish tacos are where it’s at!

We savored our meals and time seemed to pass so quickly as we were engrossed in conversation. When we finally left, we realized the place was nearly cleared out- a stark contrast to the lack of an empty seats when we arrived.

We came back to the apartment, jammed to some throw back songs and then watched an episode of Are You the One on Netflix. Can’t get enough of that show!

On July 29th, it was time for some brunch! We went to 24-diner after the breakfast rush. Sara had been here once before when she visited Austin years ago. She raved about it, and naturally we had to go!

First- I loved the interior!

I ordered a magical cappuccino and egg white omelette with goat cheese & biscuits. Those biscuits… !

In the afternoon, we went to get our nails done at Enjoy Nails & Spa. It was a great nail salon and much needed R & R for us both!

We drove around Austin for a little bit looking for the Graffiti Park not realizing it was closed (but it does sound like something else is going to replace it soon). We then went back to the apartment to get ready for dinner.

Dinner was at Sway, another Austin favorite! The tables are communal, but it does seem most people just talk with the people in their own party (so if you don’t prefer to socialize, don’t let the communal tables scare you away!).

We shared their som tam salad to start which was the most refreshing, light, delicious start to the meal!

Sara ordered their thai basil eggplant, and sadly, didn’t love it. I tried some too and agreed with her it was a little too sweet. I think it all depends what you want- if you want a sweeter dish, this would be really tasty. But if you want something more savory- definitely try something else!

I ordered their green curry at the spiciest level, and it was one of my favorite thai dishes I’ve ever had! 

Once again, we shut down the place!

We spent the rest of the evening binge-watching Are You The One with some popcorn and ice cream. It was so nice & relaxing!

On July 30th, Silk Sonic released their new song Skate. We were immediately obsessed and played it every time we got into the car or when we were getting ready.

First adventure of the day, we went to brunch at a favorite of mine, South Congress Cafe.

We got mimosas and veryy tasty meals! I was craving another goat cheese omelette after the one the day before and Sara had some of their migas, which she said were amazing. Also if you go here, and you like potato pancakes, you must make sure to try these ones. YUM! After brunch, we walked around South Congress and shopped for a couple hours! We adored the sign at the Tiny Grocer grocery store. Naturally, the rest of the weekend we would break out in song at random songs singing the tune of Tiny Dancer with our new found lyrics.

When we got home, we relaxed for a bit, squeezed in another episode of Are You the One and then ordered pizza from Via 313. I decided to try their vegan pizza this time- it was good vegan pizza, for sure— but nothing beats their classic four cheese!

After pizza, we decided to hit up Rainey and went to Unbarlievable, a place made for millenials. They play the best music, and it’s overall a more tame crowd than on 6th. Oh, another fun little nugget about Unbarlievable- they have a slide inside. The whole vibe is really fun.

Then we walked over to 6th street (lovingly known as Dirty Sixth) to get some Voodoo Donuts. I have never been on 6th at night like that- it was … something to say the least, lol!

I had never had Voodoo donuts before (I know, a crime considering it was right down the road). I think I thought they wouldn’t be very good for some reason?… Maybe because I know them as having such extreme toppings and just saw it as a gimmick shop. Well, I was flat out wrong. These were incredible. I’m so bummed DJ never tried them, because he would have LOVED.

I had their maple cream, and mmmmm, so good.Sara had their Oreo one!! 

We did one more episode of AYTO, and then it was off to sleep. The next day, we met her friend from Houston halfway. It was a hard goodbye, but we packed amazing memories into those few days! <3

Alfred, Idlewood & Once Over Coffee!

Hi all! Cruising along on our coffee tour through June- On June 23rd I hit up a nearby Alfred. This was only about a half mile from our apartment, so I am really not sure why it took me so long to venture over there! It’s connected to a hotel, so I think it just wasn’t on my radar. BUT I was so excited to try it again because the last time I had tried it was in LA several years ago!

Decisions decisons!!! It alll sounded oh so delish…. I think I short-circuited overwhelmed by all I wanted to try and ended up just going with my usual (a cafe au lait).

It was very good! Since the shop is located in a hotel, there is a nice little seating area in the lobby. I grabbed a spot and camped out with my books, sipping my the coffee and prepared for my virtual endocrinology intensive.

It was actually a great place to get stuff done, and I wish I had taken advantage of it more while I lived there.

Before walking back, I stopped in the bathroom. Is this not the most unique bathroom wall you’ve seen? I’ve tried to figure out what these words are from, but I haven’t been able to after a quick search. Do you have any ideas?

June 24th our OCI began.. It was a scary one with high-pressure check-offs, but it was also one of my favorites from a learning perspective. We were sent in the mail different technology to spend the weekend wearing so we could understand how to better teach, but primarily, to empathize with our patients considering what this technology requires. I just thought it was the coolest thing our school did this- and it was invaluable – I learned a lot through that intensive and through the tools provided. (None of the equipment went to waste- it was all either given to someone/sent back to the school).

After the second day of the intensive, DJ arrived on June 25th! You can read all about weekend here if you’d like 🙂

In most evenings after clinicals I would go out for a walk/run around Austin to clear my head. I savored every one of these.

And now hopping into July! July 2nd I ventured into Idlewild Coffee shop. It is actually half skate shop and half coffee shop, so there isn’t anywhere to sit and hangout- it’s more coffee on the go.

It wasn’t my favorite coffee- it was okay- but pretty strong- you could tell it was high quality, but a little bit too strong for me. Some people love that, but it just was not my cup of tea… ahem, coffee.

On July 8th, I did find some of my favorite coffee in town from Once Over Coffee Bar. This was also the absolute perfect place to study!

I guess I’ll stop here, but there is lots more from Austin coming soon 🙂

Question for you! DJ and I recently started the The Umbrella Academy. We’re only an episode in, and it is so bizarre, but we have heard it is a really good show. Have you watched? What did you think of it if you did?

May 2021!

Heyyyy everyone!! I am writing you from Ohio!! It is very surreal (in the best way!) being back here. I spent the last couple days unpacking, but now that is all finished up. DJ already unpacked from the first leg of the move, so I just had to unload/organize what I brought with me in my car from TX. Phew, feels good to actually be done moving. We have a loooong list of things we have to do to get our townhouse furnished/put together (did I mention we bought a townhouse?). It’s so much fun figuring it all out and looking at home inspo. First up, we have to find some blinds because currently we have Christmas gift wrapping paper up on the windows, lol! I’m allowing myself a little time each day to catch up on the blog over the next couple weeks. I’m also using the next week to get settled/see friends and family, and then will start the job search- eeeek! Exciting, but oh so nerve-racking entering this whole new chapter. Anyway-I think I’ll be able to catch up on recaps very quickly. It’s been a whirlwind, so I’m looking forward to just reflecting on all the awesome memories from the last few months.

After returning from graduation, May 10th DJ and I went to one of our favorite quick food spots in town- Sweet Green.

I always get their super green goddess salad with added tofu and DJ likes their sun-dried tomato salad. 

All May 10th and 11th was dedicated to getting the apartment packed.

We took advantage of one last carry out order from Hopdoddy burger bar. I am going to miss those impossible burgers!

May 13th I had a meeting with a potential clinical preceptor for my endocrinology clinicals. It went well, and he agreed to precept me. It’s just wild writing this now that the rotation is already done- I know I keep using this word- but “whirlwind” is really the only way to describe it!!

I crammed for boards that whole week in between packing and meals too.

We went on a walk together the evening of May 15th, soaking up the views.


May 18th I took my boards, and after finding out I passed, I zipped to Cuvée coffee for a celebratory latte! This is my favorite cafe au lait in town.

That evening we met up with some friends at Aussie’s for a going away dinner for Deej since he was leaving that week.

May 19th was our final date night before DJ moved back to OH (or so we thought, I was really grateful he was able to come back for that weekend in June!).

We spent the day finalizing any remaining things to get ready for the move, then in the evening walked next door to our apartment complex to sip on some beers at Yeti’s Flagship store.

Their outdoor patio had been closed through the whole last year, so when they opened back up we said we had to try it before DJ left.

Where we were sitting we could see the bat monument at the end of South Congress.

After, went on a nice long walk through downtown and stopped at CAVA to try some delishhh mediterranean. People have described it as the Chipotle of Mediterranean food- and that’s exactly what it was like!

We ended the evening by enjoying the apartment rooftop while the sun set. 

May 20th, I frantically tried to catch up on my specialty courses since I was a solid week behind.

May 21st, my mom-in-law and Gordie helped us BIG time with our move. They drove all the way from Ohio to help out. We loaded everything up into a U-haul and then later that day drove to Pennybacker Bridge for some views. 

For dinner, we went to Jack Allen’s Kitchen. Look at the size of that country friend steak! I had their shrimp tacos which were really good too.

The morning of May 22nd was incredibly bittersweet. First, we had a wonderful breakfast together at Phoebe’s Diner.  A fun fact we learned at this breakfast thanks to Phoebe’s menu- “pork butt” is actually not the butt of the pig, but rather the shoulder.  Did y’all know this? Oh, the things you learn! Featured here is the delicious deep fried french toast.

Then it was time for them to start the road trip back to Ohio. I was so sad when they left, but I had a ton of catching up to do for my classes so thankfully that kept me busy and distracted.

I was left with the bare minimum to get through the summer so I could fit everything in my car to drive to OH. I kinda loved it though- I feel like the less “stuff” there is around, the clearer I think.

^I can’t remember the last time I actually wore my Uggs out of the apartment, but I wear them allll the time at home like slippers. Anyone else? lol

My sister-in-law, Amy, sent me this homesick Ohio candle as a graduation gift, and it was so timely. I lit this the first night DJ was gone, and it was really comforting knowing I’d be there in just a few months with him!

May 24th I started my clinicals for endocrinology!

For the summer, I decided to make one of my main goals to try as many coffee shops as possible on my days off. On May 28th, I went to my first stop of my Austin Coffee Tour, Houndstooth Coffee. It was great coffee, and even though it was pretty busy, there was plenty of seating. I worked through some lectures before heading home.

May 29th I decided to grab some sushi from Komé to enjoy while working on some projects. It was phenomenal sushi.

And that is all for May!

I’d love to know:

  • How is your August going so far?
  • Where do you like to look for home inspo? I’ve been using a lot of Pinterest lately but am wondering if there are other places I should look/shows I should watch/blogs I should follow?!

– Mackenzie

Walking Through March 2021!

Gooood morning!!! I am feeling particularly chipper today. I woke up at around 5:20, had some toast, went to Orange Theory at 6:15, unloaded the dishwasher, watched a lecture, had another breakfast, read my Bible then started to crash, so now at around 10:30 I am enjoying a second cup of coffee while writing this up. I have a few concrete assignments to get done today that I’m actually looking forward to. I love when there is a solid endpoint with written assignments vs. studying that feels far more nebulous. I’m saving all that for the rest of the weekend.

Now zipping on back to March.

March 3rd was a particularly beautiful evening for a walk. I saw this little tranquil crane enjoying the sunset as well.

I never get tired of all the different fun artwork all over Austin. I am always seeing something bright & new. I adored this little Greetings From Austin Postcard mural on the side of a building on S. 1st Street near Roadhouse Relics.

March 11th was my final clinical day for the FNP program. I really miss that office. I’m hoping to stop back to see everyone one more time before the move!

March 15th we grabbed some Summer Moon to start the day early and then went for a nice walk together along Lady Bird Lake.

Below is the Stevie Ray Vaughan memorial statue we pass every time we walk the trail.

It was a particularly crisp and beautiful morning that day.

March 16th had a more eerie feel than the previous day, but I relished it. I love cloudy weather, especially when I have a lot to get done. I feel like it gives me an “excuse” to not be outside, ha. DJ always says I would thrive in Seattle, particularly because I also LOVE rain and thunderstorms more than any type of weather. I’ve never been, but it’s on the list!

March 16th – March 18th DJ and I did a whole staycation in Austin! That deserves its own post, so I’ll share that next.

March 19th DJ and I picked up Sweet Green (the best!) and headed down for a picnic on the green space at Auditorium Shores. It was love at first bite, and I have lost count of how many times I have ordered salads from here since. My go-to is their Green Goddess with added tofu.

Watching the sunset from here was pretty spectacular as all the buildings lit up with a golden hue.

March 23rd I discovered DJ’s favorite flavor of Jeni’s at the store so was sure to snag some.

March 23rd we went for a night walk. I’ve enjoyed going for dusk/night walks and runs lately since it’s so darn hot during the day. I only walk in busy, well- lit areas- do not worry! 

March 27th we grabbed donuts from SH Donuts. We love this place, and the people who work there are sooo friendly. Oh, and their donuts are excellent.

After enjoying our donuts we walked around downtown around 7 am. We were loving our morning walks this month.

I also went on a jog after. I had an awesome run with a little bit of sugar high!

The evening of March 28th I made this vegan caprese salad over farro. I wasn’t sure how the “cheese” would turn out, but it wasn’t too bad! It was labor intensive to make, so I think I’ll probably just buy the vegan cheese next time, but it was overall a fun project and turned out yummy.

I remember around this time my actual courses were getting pretty stressful, my motivation was waning, and all I really wanted to do was focus on studying for boards, but we made it through!

March 31st we tried this delish Banza pizza. Gosh, this was REALLY good.

Something I loveeed doing through March was keeping our screen open throughout the day. It was the perfect mild temperatures, and it really did something for my mood. It’s a bit too hot much too hot to do this right now, but I took full advantage when I could!

And I will make sure to share about our Staycation next!

I’d love to know: 

  • Are you a morning bird or night owl? I am definitely an early bird, but my insomnia begs to differ.

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. 

Friday Favorites!

Happpy Friday!!! 

Oh wow, it has been a HOT minute since I have done a Friday Favorites post. I didn’t plan on writing one today,  but sometimes after that first cup of coffee you just don’t know what will happen! I am so excited to share some of my favorite things of late with y’all. Now that I am not 100% consumed with school (for now), I have some shows, podcasts, recipes, Christmas inspo., etc. I have been enjoying!

(P.S. I am listening to Taylor Swift’s new album as I write this, and I’m eager to hear your thoughts if you have listened. Folklore was one of my favorites of hers, so I am stoked for evermore). 

First up- my friend Rach sent me the most delicious and thoughtful advent calendar! It has vegan dark chocolate for each day of December! I look forward to my little heart shaped piece of chocolate every day 🙂 

Okay, so I guess there is a teeeny bit of school sprinkled in here. I have been studying for my boards a bit each day, and I LOVE using the Leik review. It’s been kinda *fun* to go through the intensive review, as everything is starting to really come together. I won’t be taking my boards until next spring, but I want to be prepared as possible for my final clinical rotations. If you are an FNP student, I definitely recommend this book for review! I actually wish I had studied it throughout the program coinciding with each unit-  so I recommend doing that if you are just starting out. This will not be my only source of review, but it is a great one to start with. (There are a couple minor typos/errors in the book I’ve found, but overall it’s solid).

Alright, if you have been around here for a while you probably know I have ice cream in some form nearly every day for dessert. Well, y’all, I had to give up the dairy pretty much all together (at least for now) due to some skin issues. I have seen a huge difference since cutting it out. I replaced my yasso fudge pops (from Target) and ice cream cones with these Fudge Bars from So Delicious (I found them at Whole Foods). They are a great alternative. But if you can have dairy- yasso is so yummy- I was on a kick of that for a while! 

New running shoes!!! I have been long overdue in replacing my running shoes (Since before Virtual Boston in September- eeeeek, don’t tell!). Brooks are my go-to shoes for year-round training. When I trained for Boston I ran in the Nike Zoom Fly 3 for the speed- they are ah-mazing, but in terms of sustainable training and support for the way I run and step, I am hesitant to veer away from Brooks ghost + inserts for the long term. Maybe one day I’ll officially transition over to the Nike running side, but there has been enough change in 2020 already, lol. (When I get to the actual Boston recap, I’ll talk about the magic that is Vaporfly Next % I wore for race day too). 

GreenPan Pans!! So we have been a kick of “healthifying” (not a word, but it works) our home environment (I am planning to do a whole post eventually on the why and the how), and the first thing that had to go were our old cooking pans. Also, we were due for a new pans since we haven’t replaced them in about five years since getting married. We looked into and read all about the healthiest pans, and decided to go with GreenPan. Another cheaper alternative we were close to getting were these pans that come in a variety of adorable colors. We went with GreenPan because they seemed to be a trusted brand in pretty much everything we read. Also the reviews on GreenLife were questionable- they had a high rating, but the recent ones were mostly negative- so we just played it safe and invested a bit more. Anyway, we absolutely love them. They are nonstick, cook evenly and quickly at low to medium heat and are extremely easy to clean. I’m usually a bit reckless with my cookware, but I’m going to try to take good care of these. 

Autumn is starting to show its face in Austin!!! The leaves here change later in the year, and here we are in December with it finally starting to feel somewhat like fall! 

Something that has really helped me get in the Christmas spirit is watching Taralynn McNitt’s Vlogmas. I just adore her Vlogmas she does each year, and they have added a real lightness to the heaviness of this year. She was actually my initial inspiration for blogging, and I’ve been following her blog since 2014. She is the realest, and just a breath of fresh air in the hyper-curated blogging space of full-time bloggers. If you want to check out her actual blog follow this link. You guys will love her (if you don’t already!). 

After many recommendations to watch the Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, we gave it a chance and oh my goodness- highly recommend. It is a heavier watch, but it is extremely well done and unlike anything you have seen before. That’s a bold statement- but it’s spellbinding, quirky, suspenseful.. and so much more!

And I would be remiss, devastated and heartbroken (anyone know the reference?), if I didn’t share these No-Bake Vegan Brownie Bites with you that are ohh sooo good! These were recommended by my sister-in-law, and I am just obsessed. I ate through my first batch so quickly, and I can’t wait to make them again. 

And last, but certainly not least, my Mom-in-law and my Aunt-in-law have a podcast that I just love called Ok Boomer! I try to listen as soon as they have drop an episode. They are witty, funny and it feels like you are just sitting having a conversation with them. I think a comment someone left in the reviews captured the essence of the podcast perfectly: “A fun and entertaining way to explore how another generation sees the world with a message to get out of your comfort zone and live life to the fullest”. Their goal is to take back the negative connotation of “Ok Boomer” to bridge all generations so we can all be “happily ok together”! And I say they do just that!

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What have you been 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**.

Paper planes, Colleen’s and Pizza! 🍕

Hey everyone! I am chillin’ here on a Saturday night with DJ sitting next to me. He is plugging away on school work with finals right around the corner. We have a bergamot and sandalwood candle burning from HEB. It has a unique, but wonderful, scent.

Lately, I have started studying for my boards, so I am chipping away at that a bit each day. I have also done a lot of “back burner” items since being back in ATX, some Christmas shopping and deep cleaning of the apartment. I start back up my clinicals in a few weeks (back in Fort Worth again), so I’ll be going back to stay with my mom and Pete (I am so thankful to be able to stay with them!!). This rotation is much shorter this time around. Then I will start a different rotation when I’m back in Austin. Wow that is wordy! Don’t worry, there’s no quiz later 😉

Anyway, picking up from the last post, after my final shift, I left New Orleans around 3 am after getting the car packed up. I tried to sleep, but it was not happening with how my body had totally flipped schedules. I figured why not just drive through the night. I started listening to Where the Crawdads Sing on audiobook for my drive- it was phenomenal!!! I would say it is a contender for one of my all time favorite “reads” (even though I listened). I heard they are making a movie of it soon- cannot wait!
When I was home and unpacking we noticed a piece of paper tumble onto our patio from above (please excuse the dirty windows). 

Here is the message inside the little airplane…

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We had a huge laugh about this and, of course, threw them back the connect 4 pieces.

After unpacking and taking a nap, I was quite hungry. My first meal I was craving back was Chilantro’s tofu bowl. 

It doesn’t look like much, but oh my, it is a delish dish! DJ enjoys their tacos.

When I was actually in New Orleans, the one food I craved the most that I didn’t ever have (since I was eating mostly non-perishables) was…. eggs!!!! Since my circadian rhythms were a bit thrown off, I woke up around 3 am wiiiide awake, and decided to have some avocado toast with an egg and an Easter frosted cookie. I forgot just how good avocado toast + an egg was. Magic. (Spoken like a true millennial).

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The first Sunday back I was thinking how nice ordering a brunch in would be. I stumbled upon a great brunch takeout spot called Colleen’s Kitchen! 

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We ordered a whole bunch of brunchy (say that 10 times fast) items from their cheesy grits to their chicken and waffles to their smoked salmon crackers and cranberry biscuits! It was a brunch if there ever was one! My mouth is watering just remembering it now.

That afternoon, I went through my mountain of mail and opened a couple super thoughtful gifts and cards sent from family and friends. My amazing family sent me this package of cake pops! This has extra special meaning since it is actually a cake pop shop owned by one of my high school teachers. They were the absolute best cake pops I have ever had! If you want to check out her shop visit this link 🙂

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 55d260ea-5dec-4a07-a649-f0696a7e33b2-819x1024.jpgAlso my dear blogging friend over at Cyranny’s Cove sent me this awesome and extremely thoughtful candle that has a diamond once it burns down. This warmed my heart sooo much. Oh and she also sent along a roll of toilet paper, which we all know has been like gold this year, hehe! Thank you again, Cyra! <3

Later that afternoon, DJ and I went and strolled along Lady Bird Lake. We now have an official walking path that is about 4 miles. We love taking that walk together whenever we have a chance. The views are beautiful and the wildlife always keeps us entertained!

A few days later we tried a new restaurant for us called Galaxy Cafe. DJ ordered their burger, and I tried their Galaxy buddha bowl with steamed kale, homemade lentils, brown rice pilaf, roasted sweet potatoes, mushrooms and a side of chile peanut vinaigrette with salmon. We will be ordering again!

Around this time I began my semester! I still had some time to put in before beginning clinicals to make it to my 14-day mark since New Orleans. 

Mid-May we realized it had been far too long since we had dug into some Via 313!!

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This stuff is soooo good! 

That night around dusk we went for a walk together around town. It was a lovely evening in ol’ Austin.

We saw this cute little heart lit up in one of the buildings downtown. I always kinda wonder how they coordinate this.

And I’ll end this post with one more walk around the lake 🙂

I’ll share a couple more highlights from this past summer in the next couple posts! Thanks for reading!

Question for you:

  • Any funny neighbor stories? 😅

An Austin Takeout Roundup!

Hey all! Thank you tons for the warm welcome back 🙂 I’ve gotta say, I felt a bit more myself since publishing that post! I had high hopes to get a bunch of posts done and be more present around here- and wellllllll, surprise, surprise…. that did not happen. But we did enjoy our time between semesters and started our new ones about two weeks ago. I am actually temporarily living in Fort Worth right now at my mom and Pete’s to complete a clinical rotation. I found out last Friday my placement was official, packed over the weekend, did the mini move on Monday, picked up my badge on Tuesday and started on Wednesday! I am aiming to finish up the rotation by the end of October to start my next one in November. I miss DJ sooo much, but he is going to stay here next weekend when I do the “Virtual” Boston Marathon, and I’m planning on visiting Austin the weekend after that.

A bit more about school…finding clinical placements are already tough, and during the pandemic, it’s been extra extra tough- so I’m thankful to have one at all, even if it means traveling some. This semester I am in pediatrics and obstetrics. I L-O-V-E my pediatrics rotation so far. I have been also so enjoying this time with my mom and Pete. I kinda feel like a teenager again- lol. I go into my room to study when not at clinicals and pop out when my mom says “dinner’s ready!” (I feel spoiled with her cooking!).

So continuing on in the recaps, we are now entering into late March (It’s comical how far behind I am, truly). This is a little hodge-podge variety post of some of the Austin restaurants we tried around that time. We first decided to try out some local BBQ, and Black’s BBQ is one of the favorites around. We tried a few different sides, and DJ tried some of their meats.

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Overall, it was yummy, solid BBQ for suree- but I think Terry Black’s is still our favorite we’ve had yet!

That Sunday we watched church. It’s interesting because now whenever talking with friends it’s either “listened to church” or “watched church” since ours hasn’t opened back up yet. I think of all things, I cannot wait for Church here to resume.

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On one of my walks that week I saw this… yikes! I have seen several snakes like this in the area. At first I thought it was fake- but nopeee.

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And it’s not Lady Bird Lake without spottin’ turtles. DJ and I crack up at this picture because the one turtle is just doing its own thing and chillin’ at the top of the log. It does not have a care in the world.

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More great eats! I think this was leftover BBQ with brown rice and veggies.

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That week I went on a walk down South Congress- one of the busiest places in Austin (usually). At this time it was absolutely vacant and kinda eerie. I don’t think any other point in time this picture would be possible.

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This picture below is from Joann’s, mentioned in one of my last posts- it is unheard of to see this place empty, and there was not a soul in sight.

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Later I made us some tortilla pizzas with vegan sausage- gosh these were good!

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Even though we are just inundated with seeing these types of signs all over now, I want to document them here and there- as we are currently living history.

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March 27th was my Mom’s birthday. If this was any other year, we would have certainly drove down to Forth Worth to celebrate. It was great to be able to at least Facetime with her for a little bit & celebrate from afar!

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To finish out our March, we ordered from Henbit. We tried their smokey broccoli, a Waygu burger for DJ, and I had my eye on their desserts with their famous monster cookie with chocolate chips, pecans, white sonoran wheat, lemon zest and their basque cheesecake.

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DJ loved the burger!

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This is one of the greatest cookies I’ve probably ever had. I wasn’t sure what to think of the lemon zest when I read it in the initial ingredients, but the addition made this cookie. I actually froze half of it, and enjoyed eating it frozen even more than warm.

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Contending for a first spot of all cheesecakes is this basque cheesecake. It looks burnt on top, which is intentional. Again, I was not at all sure what to expect with the flavoring, but it was exquisite. The creaminess and subtle burnt flavor blended well to create a beautiful dimension of flavor. Certainly, this is the most unique cheesecake we’ve tried and easily one of the best!

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Another breakfast kick I’ve been on is the avocado toast w/ EBTB seasoning & a side of grapefruit slices. I definitely go through phases with grapefruit.

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We also went through a phase with making different Thai dishes with a red curry base. I usually mixed tofu into mine and chicken into DJ’s. Mmm mmm.

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Aaand we are now strolling into April with a walk downtown.

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Later that day we decided to try out Chilantro, a Korean BBQ inspired restaurant that I’d been hearing a lot of buzz about. It has a flare of Mexican cuisine inspiration as well. Fun fact- it was actually on Shark Tank!

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The main thing we wanted to try were their Kimchi fries. They actually surpassed our expectations- they were insanely good. Dangerously good. And they had a nice little spice! I could actually go for some of these right now…

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DJ ordered some tacos, and I had their tofu bowl. The tofu is so good. This is something I crave from time to time. When I returned from New Orleans, it was the first thing I ordered.

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I think it was around this time that my clinicals were put on hold for the spring semester. We still had classes, but the learning is most important in the clinical setting. Thankfully, those hours were able to be made up. I am so full of gratitude that despite everything going on we have been able to continue in our respective programs. Just gotta keep trudging through until Spring 2021!

Question for you: 

  • Fall is in the air!!! What are you looking forward to most with this season coming up?

xo <3

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Friday Favorites: Shameless Series

Hello and welcome to the first unique installment of Friday Favorites: Shameless Series where I share my slightly embarrassing (& admittedly basic) obsessions with ya!

  1. This Coffee Mug. When I arrived in New Orleans, I realized I packed every essential kitchen utensil, except for the most essential… a coffee mug. So I went to a nearby Target to get my groceries and grabbed this one below. It is maybe the most basic thing I own (outside of this blog), but oh wow, oh boy, does it bring me joy!

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2. TikTok. UPDATE: Okay- when I originally published this post I included tiktok. Obviously a lot has changed since this post, and I have since deleted the app off my phone.

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3. Listen to Your Heart. My feelings are still pretty ambivalent with this show (much like the actual contestants’ feelings for one other). But overall, I’m livin’ for the dram’, livin’ for the music, and livin’ for the cringe-factor.

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4. Applesauce on the Go. I’m pretty sure these were created with toddlers in mind, but they are quick sugar and easy to eat when I have to scarf somethin’ down fast. I also stocked up on goldfish and currently have a mean craving for some gushers. Does this mean I’m regressing? It’s quite possible.

img_46575.  Dadsaysjokes on Insta. Contrary to popular belief in the day of TikTok, Instagram does still exist, and if you dust off the ol’ app from time to time, you may as well follow this gem of an account. Without a doubt, you will find some all-stair jokes 😉

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Do you have any shameless Friday Faves?

<3

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