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!!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cdfb36d6-47d4-472d-962b-f26a82fb2b18-887x1024.jpgFour cheese is my go-to, so I made sure to get that! On another pizza we ordered the Detroiter (DJ’s favorite). For the last za’ we experimented with half of the Cadillac which has gorgonzola, fig Preserves, parmesan, and balsamic glaze (my new favorite) and half of The 500 with pepperoni, jalapeno, and pineapple rings (probably not an order-again). 

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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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, friends!!! He has risen!!!

I hope you are having a beautiful day making memories with your family even though it may look a bit different than usual <3

I had a post scheduled to be released last night, but quickly sent it back to drafts (so, if you receive that e-mail but don’t find the post, that’s why). I wanted this post today to only point to Jesus. This morning I was listening to two worship songs on a loop. The first has been my favorite since I can remember- it is a classic, but never seems to lose the power of its words. The second one played a pivotal role in bringing me back to my faith when I was going through a lot of uncertainty and feeling lost. I hope you find encouragement, hope and peace through them this Sunday.

In Christ Alone

Reckless Love

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Don’t be alarmed, he said. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. (Mark 16:6) 

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Eye’ve got my Eyes on San Antonio!

Hi, everyone!! I am currently flying back from North Carolina after an on-campus intensive. A little update about this semester- it has been a game changer, in the best way.  I am in clinicals now, which means I am back with patients <3 I have doubted this decision to return to school many times, especially last semester, but I just kept praying, praying, praying and trusting that this truly what I’m supposed to be doing. And finally, it all feels like it’s coming together. I still struggle with some insecurity about my knowledge or experience, but I am reminded the purpose of this program is to fill in those gaps and provide us with what we need to know. Rather than the idea of being an FNP seeming so nebulous and intangible, it’s becoming more feasible. Prior to clinicals, I was worried about not retaining much of what we learned since it was so stinkin’ much, but it’s pretty cool to see how much of that knowledge comes forward when it’s called upon. My preceptor is absolutely brilliant, and I am learning so much from her. The MAs I work with could not be more wonderful. Last semester was grueling, but this semester feels like a weight is lifted; I have clear direction, motivation and assurance- I am feeling very thankful. My mom-in-law told me last semester (paraphrased) that throughout life often when it feels you are at your wits’ end is usually when you have a breakthrough/things turn up. That’s exactly what I’m experiencing, as is DJ. It’s busy as ever, but we’re both feeling reinvigorated. I do still have a tremendous amount of trepidation, nerves and amount to learn- but the accompanying emotional turmoil has lessened. Also, some exciting news- DJ sealed up his internship for this year. We will be apart for fourteen weeks since it’s in Ohio, which is going to be tough… but we are trying to see the bright-side: It’s a great opportunity for him, I have my heaviest amount of clinical hours during that time so I’ll be MIA anyway, he gets to explore a new city, and with the very little spare time I do have I can invest in friendships in Austin. It’ll just be another adventure for us both!

Okay, so I am posting one more post from 2019 (this one), and I’ve decided I’ll save my whole Christmas post for next Christmas season and release it at the beginning of December. I’ve never done that before, but maybe it’ll be a fun change of pace?!

Words, words, words… soo many words. And here are more words… but then pics will come soon too!

Sooooo story time (full disclosure, it’s a C+ story at best, read at your own risk of boredom):

I went to the ophthalmologist on December 17th for an annual eye exam (had my first floater…sad day). I had my appointment scheduled at 1 pm and was planning on meeting my mom for dinner in San Antonio in the late afternoon/evening (she was there for work). They said I would be just fine to drive after the appointment, so I didn’t rearrange my plans to drive straight to San Antonio immediately after. Well, it was more challenging than I would have thought. I was fine seeing a few feet in front of me/long-distance- I could read road signs easily, but I couldn’t make out anything on my phone, and even the car dashboard was hard to read. I went home and grabbed multiple sunglasses and somewhat blindly entered San Antonio into my GPS (Again, I was just fine seeing more than a couple feet in front of me, I just couldn’t read fine print). So I am driving and hear the ominous “ding ding” of the car maintenance alert on my dash. I had to squint furiously to make out what was the drama was. I figured out that it said my tire pressure was low, but my car doesn’t clarify which tire’s pressure is low, so time to go fill them all up. I found a gas station and pulled in. I could not read the meter for the life of me- it was just a black meter box with blurred numbers and letters. I walked into the gas station without running into the door (I know, I’m still surprised I didn’t too) and went up to the cashier with my double sunglasses on. Her face did not hide her confusion. I said to her, “I have a very odd request” which caused her to look at me even more… inquisitively. I explained the situation and offered to pay anyone a few bucks just to help me fill the darn tires up because I was helpless. One of the gas station employees helped me out, but when I turned on the car the alert was still on. I drove for a while longer, very cautiously, and the up-close blurriness slowly subsided. I tried one more gas station and this time I could make out the meter just enough to fill up my tires. But the dang alert light was still on my dashboard. I then took it to a car shop in San Antonio when I arrived, and they said it was probably just the alarm that needed to be reset since my tires were just fine (but they didn’t have that capability there). ANYWAY, I took the car in officially when I was back in Austin, and it was true, my light alert just needed to be reset… So I went through all that chaos for nothin’ ! LOL. Okay, D+ story at best. If you read that, bless you.

Anywho. After that fiasco, I met up with my mom at one of her malls she manages. We did some shoppin’, and I got the best deal ever on a Kate Spade purse. It was 60% off and I had a giftcard that covered it all with some left! My mom found some great deals on clothes too.

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After our successful shopping trip, we headed to our hotel for the evening. We stayed in the same one from the last time we were here!! As soon as we stepped through the lobby I had a rush of memories come back from the last trip. <3

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We dropped off our bags from shopping and took a quick view out the window before hitting the riverwalk!

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It is just magnificent at Christmas. There is no way to capture the beauty of the riverwalk in the photos.

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As we were looking for somewhere to eat we stumbled across a place that still had a happy hour going on- $3 glasses of wine. We stopped in for a glass at Lonestar Cafe while we had some wonderful conversation (mostly my mom encouraging me after an arduous few months). We also scoped the riverwalk for where we should eat.

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We decided on boudro’s. My mom remembered one of her coworkers actually recommended this. Wow, oh wow. This meal was one I will never forget. It’s one of those where every single bite was a flavor explosion.

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We sat out on their patio under a heater and were wrapped up in their cozy wool blankets. This was a moment where I felt like I could just relax for the first time in months. The setting was warm and seeing the Christmas lights on the riverwalk made it all that more magical.

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We decided to split three of their appetizers that were jumping off the page to us. First up, their seared scallops with white corn pozole (I don’t exactly know what pozole is, but it’s guuuud), red pepper vinaigrette and cilantro oil. I tried to savor every single little nibble!

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Next up were their wild mushrooms with grilled baked polenta, goat cheese, roma tomatoes and chipotle-thyme demi-glaze. Holy. Moly. Forever and always I have so mushroom for this dish in my life. So good. The polenta cakes were an excellent touch.

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And last… we went for a pretty uncharacteristic dish for us considering we do not regularly eat meat… but we could not resist a menu option as unique as this.. the all natural mesquite grilled Texas quail on pepper jack grits with fried parsley and jalapeno chips and chipotle demiglace. This was the winner. I didn’t think the other two dishes could be surpassed.. but woah…

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As we were munchin’, we had a little friend join us!!!

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He was so cute we could not stand it!!! Although he was a beggar!

My brother couldn’t help but point out on my insta story the irony that I posted our duck friend right after the quail. Whoops!

The riverwalk was hushed by the time we strolled back to our hotel. It was absolutely serene soaking with the quietness of the river and the brisk chill in the air. We both headed out in the morning. This was a quick and impromptu trip I will always treasure.

Questions for you:

  • Any good books you’re reading right now?
  • Did you watch the Oscars? I have them on while I’m editing this post, and these performances are captivating!

xo <3

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Lucky Robot & Trail of Lights!

Hey, everyone! In this post I am taking y’all on a culinary journey to Lucky Robot. This is a local restaurant on South Congress that I’m honored to be an ambassador for! This has been on our list of restaurants to try for a while, so I was ecstatic when they reached out.

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When we walked through the doors on December 15th we were immediately wowed by the eye-catching, electric and vibrant decor.

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We decided to sit outside since it was an absolutely beautiful day! It was nearly 80 in December. Whatt!

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Just a little background- they are the first sustainable sushi restaurant in all of Texas. They use the phrase Ichiban Dake to inspire all they do (it means “Only the best”). They put so much care and attention to every detail of their restaurant from the decor to the customer experience to the flavor to the presentation of each dish.

First, we started with peach blossom breeze which includes peach-infused sake, orange juice, cranberry juice and brut. It was light, refreshing and delicious!

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Of course, we have to have some edamame to start!

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We ordered their shrimp and pork dumplings with pork, shrimp, passion fruit ponzu and basil seeds. (Even though I don’t usually eat meat, for food shoots I do at least try each dish so I can appreciate the spread and give a fair assessment). These were great… the passion fruit was a wonderfully unique twist.

d6d39db9-02de-4619-b385-d1e3cb23fd3a82a8eba9-ff20-42f4-a03c-8eccd087d60aNext up were the steamed pork buns with spicy soy glaze, farm-to-table sunomono and cilantro.  They were extremely savory and packed with flavor. The bao itself was soft and pillowy as could be. DJ was particularly blown away by these, they were his favorite of everything we tried. We are starting a “must try” in Austin list with specific items from different restaurants, and this is going on it!640dbb78-f34f-4b76-ba02-a4d7f69798580066ed63-eadb-424e-adcd-8d1e8ebcda37Next up is my personal favorite- the veggiepillar with miso grilled eggplant, sesame, pickled cucumber and carrot, topped with avocado and serrano, yuzu miso sauce and sesame. Okay, this is seriously one of my favorite sushi rolls I have ever tried, and it doesn’t even have any fish. Phenomenal.eabdfd18-d347-48df-9ffb-a628eaaaa72c9b425252-2334-4a01-b8f3-06ca210786d7We also tried their famous Voltron with crab, avocado, pickled cucumber & carrot topped with tuna, salmon and amberjack that is served with sesame, spicy mayo and soy lemonglass glaze. It was delicious and had every fish you could ever dream in a roll- it was DJ’s favorite between the two, where I preferred the veggiepillar.cc4323bb-7098-4b9a-a208-ff4d6e7a7402Next up is the stunning king cebiche with big glory bay king salmon, tiger’s milk, serrano, purple sweet potato, shallot, persimmon and cilantro oil. The flavor was extremely delicate and you could tell how much attention went into this dish.5032eb2a-779e-461a-9f8f-1e13144d2c1e988ce4d4-ce98-431e-b582-510b3616b3efWhen we got home I went for an lovely run in the warm weather. After, we did some house chores, and then I worked on going through the pics a bit. We were pretty exhausted after such a busy weekend- but then had a second wind around 8:30. I saw that it was free admission to the Trail of Lights and since neither of us had classes the next day (what!) we decided to check them out.2f4c3a59-8baa-4c0c-b828-76bc132492b2839bf375-1544-4270-86e5-2acc31d6137fb99316f3-9e8e-44d7-8410-4c98ebb873e4We have heard a lot of hype around this event, but didn’t know what to expect. It was absolutely magical and magnificent. It helped get us in the Christmas spirit!58691701-281f-43b4-b58c-e277ebe9aaacCan you spot Texas on the globe?1928be52-72e5-4052-9b0b-d767f3e1d2e0e18171e4-43b7-46e7-b6da-036581501059832186cb-29c7-47b3-9155-a36ffcbf939cI was crackin’ up by the “Upside down” land. All the trees were literally upside down haha. How does that even work… ya there, gravity?9dbe9c20-3f26-45e0-9765-6234b5887ef3They had a variety of food trucks, a carousel and even a Ferris wheel!14880808-44c7-4250-80ad-bc1f253405ecb0a3afa4-5b4c-492f-b97e-a4420fc43340They even had a bat cave (Representing the bats on South Congress). I don’t know that I’ve discussed the whole bats on South Congress thing before… but I’ll make sure to discuss the whole situation behind them in a future post.2d9b0993-5d82-4924-8103-a3761ba027f1And to further the Christmas inspired lights, here is the North Pole!a3268256-bb80-4cf4-b557-bacdb447d038We even had the opportunity to go through Candyland!686d7de8-9c4e-46dc-ac93-01bfeed765fd4a86d51a-f5d9-4cdd-b0d4-abe1a932a7e3d68f1b3d-8417-4995-aef9-b8a304b5e8f2At the end of the trail there is even a live band playing an area to cook S’mores if you wish.30370549-5703-477b-877d-cc44d055c6fe5292d490-35c3-4262-b49c-78ff84d06465As we headed out we were in awe of the lights against the city skyline. Plus there was a massive moon that night, although I failed to capture it on camera.0bab99dd-10dc-468a-ba31-27a9ff864697Since we had sort of a “linner” at Lucky Robot, we grew hungry again by the time we finished the lights around 9. Since neither of us had to get up early the next day we decided to walk into town to grab some pizza.a9683439-4bbb-405e-9e18-5c96696beb87We went to Via 313 – another local favorite.800045f0-e3c7-4495-98ce-6615085aa8da36f16654-08f1-4ddd-864b-90e4b3a02f3cIt took a while to get our pizza (probably about 30 mins), so we enjoyed the quiet and warm setting and watched some ESPN in the meantime.88f8611a-dc9f-412e-8bc0-5f1bb14b0c04Finally around 11 pm we got our pizzas – the veggie for me and four cheese for DJ. The veggie was fine- but the four cheese was absolutely amazing!b1145553-a1d7-4c87-a80e-0f599f658ec0455838d7-a314-464d-9f37-945c32ae55acAnd I had to take a picture of the bathroom area- so cute.4f7041ba-3786-46af-8cbd-960449f562eeQuestions for you: 

  • Are you watching Bachelor? We must discuss.
  • Thoughts on the Grammys if you watched? I thought Alicia Keys did an incredible job…So full of grace. I loved Lizzo’s performance (of course) and Camila Cabello’s had me in tears. I still have about an hour left, but I will probably finish it tomorrow.

Before I end this post I just want to say we are absolutely devastated hearing about Kobe, his daughter and everyone else involved in the accident. Gosh, there really are no words… reminds us all to hug our loved ones a bit tighter and to never take a single moment for granted. <3 So many thoughts and prayers are with the Bryant family and all other families impacted.

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