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.
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.
Hello hello!! I woke up this AM and decided to put my to-do list on hold to do a little blogging with my coffee. I have an intensive next week- you may remember when I’d go to my school for them? They went virtual this year, but I am really excited (and nervous) for it. We’re going to be learning how to program pumps for diabetes, do check-offs with a standardized patient, present an endocrine topic to our peers (mine is titled The Impact of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals on Fertility) and attend various lectures. Oh, all of that to say, I have a long weekend to prepare for the intensive and think I can afford a few minutes to write this up 🙂 !
Now for a little February update! February was a weird, weird month… and if you ask anyone in Texas I’m sure they will immediately have flashbacks to our ice storm- I’ll be sure to discuss that whole fiasco and a half. February 6th I was notified we had a package, so I went down to the mail room and this Austin city candle was in the box. It didn’t have a sender on it or any messages, so it’s still a mystery who sent this candle! If you did, thank you!!!
Once we burned it down, we noticed a little foil wrapped something in the bottom. We handled it with gloves lol because, remember, we had no idea who this was from! But inside was a crisp $2 !! How fun.
February 12th we met up with some friends at Central Machine Works for the first time as a group since the previous year for a friend’s bday!! This place is awesome!! It has the most chill vibe.
Valentine’s Day we received the sweetest valentine’s from my niece and nephew <3 <3 I cannot say how excited we are to be living close to them and our other nephews and niece!!!
February 15th, we woke up to THIS!!! Whaaat!
I was planning on going to stock up on groceries that morning. As someone who grew up in OH, I was not afraid of no snow. Actually that’s a total lie- I totaled my car on black ice as a teenager, so it’s probably the thing I’m most nervous about with moving back. Anyway, here was my trial run. The problem with this massive snowfall in TX is it never happens, I mean never happens, so they didn’t have the normal snow trucks to salt the roads. I didn’t take that into account when I ventured out that day! I should have taken a hint when there was no one on South Congress that mayyybe I shouldn’t try driving on it? There were people skiing and snowboarding down it though!
There was also this guy in front of me, with the “Life is Good” tire cover. Am I surprised he was the only other one out on the road? Of course not. This is the type of person unfazed by anything. If we ever do have the anticipated zombie apocalypse, this is the guy I want on our side.
When I finally arrived at HEB (which took triple the usual time), they weren’t open!! This whole venture was clearly not my brightest moment.
The worst part of the not being able to stop at the grocery store… you might want to sit down for this one- I didn’t have any coffee left. Yes, I know. I ended up stopping by a Starbucks nearby on foot that was actually open, I think since it was attached to a hotel. I loaded up on four coffees that lasted a couple days and then kept doing that until I was able to make it back to the store. Never been so thankful for Starbucks in my whole life.
I headed home and we turned on our artificial fire, because same as a real one, right?
And then I had to get to food prepping with the little we had left in the fridge. I was actually quite amazed how much these groceries stretched. I made roasted potatoes, peas from a can (slaved over this one), cauliflower mashed potatoes, an eggplant parmesan (I give that name generously considering we had very little sauce left), seitan from vital gluten wheat powder, protein bars that were not good, but I ate them anyway, and lastly, our favorite- a mix of the leftover veggies, lentils and chickpeas we had mixed in with various Indian spices! We also had a little rice leftover so we added that to it and it was a delightful dinner.
Oh, I can’t forget these! I found a can of heart of palms that had been sitting around for a long time, and looked up creative ideas for them. When I found a recipe for heart of palm “crab cakes” I knew this what we had to go with! We actually had most ingredients on hand, and they were SO good. DJ was impressed how similarly they tasted to real crab cakes.
We stretched these meals until Friday when I ventured out to the store. I was craving vegetables like you wouldn’t believe.
I spent the week catching up on various school assignments. DJ did too- and actually his already virtual classes were entirely cancelled since some classmates lost power.
I do want to take a moment to say- I recognize we were incredibly blessed through all of this. We did have food, we didn’t lose our power, we had a roof over our heads- and it is truly heart breaking what happened to so many people. I don’t discount that at all, and it was really a traumatic week for so many. I pray this never happens again.
That Friday, February 19th, DJ and I went out to celebrate Valentine’s Day a week late. You know us, just makeshift celebrate everything on our own schedule, lol. I’d wanted to try Olive & June for a while, so I made us a reservation.
We sat out on their gorgeous patio. Everything was delizioso!! We shared their cheese boards (amazing, I loved the pickled veggies and the cheese was darn good)
We then had their beet salad that was one of my favorites ever ever- soo good! It actually may have been my favorite part of the meal.
I had their seared gulf snapper- it was flavorful as can be!
DJ had their cacio e pepe. It was really tasty!! Butttt there is actually an even better cacio e pepe in town we tried a few weeks later- can’t wait to share that!!
We grabbed some desserts to go- so yummy.
February 21st we got brunch with a friend from Kerbey Lane Cafe. I genuinely forgot to take pictures, but take my word for it that this place had some GOOD food. An *ultimate* brunch spot.
Oh, just one more detail from the whole chaos of the snowstorm. Throughout the rest of the month we were also on a boil water warning. We boiled a whole bunch of water at once and then used every coffee mug that would fit in the fridge to store it.
For desserts throughout February I was loving these strawberry ice cream bars with a little PB and some chocolate chips.
And it had been far too long by the time February 26throlled back around since we had last ordered Flower Child! (Always have to get a side of that corn and quinoa).
And that wraps up our…interesting… February! I best get back to the grind. Have a great weekend, friends!!
I’d love to know:
Do you have any stories around dealing with wild weather?
Hey, everyone!! Hope you are having a lovely week. I wanted to quickly share my new favorite spot in town! Last Wednesday, June 9th, my mom was in town for work and we planned a dinner in town. We walked down to Café No Sé on South Congress. I believe this translates to Cafe “I Don’t Know” in Spanish, which would be representative of the eclectic style and choices of food of the Cafe! I’m not totally sure if that’s the origins, if anyone has any further insight I’d love to hear, lol- but that’s my theory. Anyway, I have wanted to try this restaurant for so long. It always looked adorable from the outside. Immediately upon walking in we were smitten with the overall aesthetic. It has an extremely clean and crisp modern feel while still being warm and homey.
I have to come back here to try out the coffee!! (& their pastries).
We ordered up their café spread with chickpea hummus, kamut & pine nut tabbouleh, and grilled laffa. Wow, that hummus was pretty spectacular and the grilled laffa was near impossible to put down.
We then tried out their greenhouse lettuces, avocado, goat cheese, kabocha squash, pickled cranberry, radish, sunflower seed cracker, and pomegranate vinaigrette. Easily my new favorite salad in town.
Now the octopus- *chef’s kiss*. My mom said it was one of the greatest dishes she has ever had- I may have to agree!!! It was phenomenal!
For dessert we tried their sweet tea ice cream. It tasted just like sweet tea-it was genuinely as though we were eating sweet tea.We then walked back down South Congress to the Bat Bridge. People were scattered all over the lawn and in kayaks, tour boats and along the bridge anxiously awaiting the grand bat flight. But, sadly, they never did take flight- Womp womp. Usually they take off a little before sundown, but it was 9:15 and still nothing. We ended up leaving, but we were glad my mom had the chance to see them once before.
Before going back to her hotel for the night, we hit up the tea station in the apartment. And that wraps up our wonderful evening!!
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 11thwe 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!
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?!
Even the remote was protected!
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.
Hey all! I am so happy to share with you I graduated and passed my boards to become an advanced practice nurse- specifically a family nurse practitioner. Thank you all so much for your encouragement through these last few years of grad school (and just in general!). I have to be a bit sappy here because it is just one of those milestones, ya know? I think about how much support I had throughout the program– from DJ and our family, friends (including y’all), other students, professors–and I’m feeling extremely thankful. I had many chats with God throughout this thing that sounded like, “Is this really what I’m supposed to be doing?”, and I had a heavy dose of imposter syndrome. Being at the end of it, I could not be more sure this path was the right decision, and while I know this will be a challenging transition, I could not be more excited.
I am now deep into my endocrine specialty program already (and loving it). It wraps up in August when I’ll be heading back to OH to join DJ.
Hey all! I interrupt our catch-up posts from last year with a very recent post from our trip to Magnolia Farms in Waco, TX. I figured since I’m so behind, I’ll start doing a mix of recent posts and catch-up past posts- because I am really darn excited to share some of our recent happenings!
Oh real quick- for some reason my last post did not show up in the Reader, so hopefully it will this time. E-mail subscribers did get the post I believe- if not, let me know so I can work it out 🙂
Anyyywhoo- enough house keeping bizzness!
Soo full disclosure- I know about Chip and Joanna Gaines, but I really haven’t really watched their show (I think I have seen one episode?)… I know we need to change that– but regardless- this experience was AWESOME, even as someone who isn’t well-versed in Fixer Upper world. I so admire the empire they have built in Waco. Now, if you are like my Mom or my friend Rachel, and are obsessed, I hope you enjoy this post a little extra.
My mom and I met up on April 5th in the parking lot of Magnolia Table restaurant to get some brunch. While driving into Waco, you are greeted my multiple billboards with quotes from Joanna or Chip- it’s adorable. (Of course, no pics- because safety first 😉 – but still wanted to share!). Waco is a perfect middle point between Austin and Fort Worth too – about 1.5 hours both ways, so it worked out perfectly for a spontaneous day trip for us.
I knew I would like this place from the sign alone!
They do take reservations, but they were pretty booked up, so we were happy to see they still took walk-ins. We met at around 10:30 am, had a 45 minute wait (we just chit-chatted it up in the car) and then were seated.
Before walking in, we were greeted by this gorgeous, almost Venetian-style exterior!
Once seated we were able to absorb the cute details around the restaurant more closely.
We first ordered lattes. We held off grabbing Starbucks during our wait since we knew we would want to grab some coffee from their coffee bar in the restaurant!
Annnd holyyy latte goodness- they were absolutely heavenly. I actually ended up ordering a second because it was so stinking delicious.
I had two main things I wanted to try on their menu: The biscuit with strawberry butter & their tater tots!
Nothing disappointed- DELISH. There is nothing these people don’t do to excellence, huh?
Quick pic outside after brunch.
Then we drove a little down the road to the Silos! Kinda hard to miss!
My mom has been before, but I was wide-eyed trying to soak it all in. There is a large stretch of lawn with relaxing lounge chairs, and I think that is what surprised me the most- just how chill the whole vibe was. I think I expected it to be a hustle-bustle tourist feel, but it felt more like hanging out in a backyard.
First, we ventured into their Seed & Supply shop.
This little shop had so many cute little garden gadgets. Our favorite was a sprout pencil that you can actually plant!
On our way out, we noticed this green house too.
After walking out and turning to our right (with the wide green space on our left) there was a long line of food trucks that would satisfy any craving! Most people were in line for the Sweet Iced Tea.
After passing the food trucks, we noticed a whole new part to the Silos that were not even built when my mom was last here a couple years ago! First, there is this super cute baseball field with an actual concession stands in the background. That is one thing- the attention to detail in this place is just incredible. We were saying you could go back several times and notice something different every time.
You can probably spot the church past the outfield. We walked over to check it out.
We found a sign explaining its history. I think it is so cool and special they preserved this.
After, we walked over to their new shops that each had a “theme”. If you caught my last post- I am all about a theme!
They had a fashion boutique, one specific to sports, one with luxurious bath-and-body works type items- but my absolute favorite… their bookstore shop!
It had notebooks, paints, etc. I could have done some damage ($$) in there, but thankfully I had restraint this time. Next time- no promises.
Where to next?
Their home store, of course!! There are two “big” home stores on site- the first is more furniture and the second is more home decor/kitchen items/smaller home goods.
On our way out of the two stores we grabbed Kettle Corn for my sis, Halston- she loves Kettle Corn & she was going to be in Fort Worth that week to visit my mom.
After finishing up our tour of the Silos, we had one final stop – The Bakery. We were not about to pass it up! We had about an hour wait, but it was so worth it.
I took the pic below once I got home since I took the goodies home to share with DJ- we had a lemon cupcake, a cinnamon roll, a brownie cookie & a chocolate chip cookie. I use past tense emphatically because they did not last long. I think my favorite was the cinnamon roll & DJ’s was the brownie cookie- but they all were phenomenal!!
Although at this point we were “coffeed out” <–(shhhh, I know I shouldn’t say that, but it’s true)… we still wanted to stop in their coffee shop to see what it was all about!
The smell of roasting coffee made its way outside before you even stepped foot into the shop- mmmm. The shop is as cute as you’d expect, but my favorite part was seeing Baylor students working away on homework assignments here. Can you imagine, just having access to this awesome place to hangout and study whenever you want?! There are even little study lamps on the tables.
And that is Magnolia for ya!!! Like I mentioned earlier, I really do think you could come back here multiple times and notice something different. It is just too cool. Hope you all enjoyed this tour 🙂
**I apologize if you get this post to your e-mail twice! I was having some technology issues, but I think we have them sorted now!**
Good evening, friends! I am sitting here on a Friday night with the screen door open, letting the live music and cool air of an Austin weekend drift in as I enjoy some ice cream and have my own Fleetwood Mac radio playing in the background. It’s pure bliss. I am in a good groove with my studies and am finding some time in the evenings to give my mind a rest.
Hope y’all don’t mind some Christmas throwbacks, since I’m jumping back in around that time! The first couple weeks of December I spent studying for class and boards as much as possible. December 4th DJ and I ordered a little pre-lit mini Christmas tree from Walmart for this year. We usually like to do the whole cut a tree down and such– but we were nervous about bringing in a live tree in Texas (so many bugs!) & we also don’t have a ton of space for one anyway, so this was perfect!
I loved how this downtown building was lit up in red and green.
On one of our walks we noticed this little guy chillin’ along Lady Bird lake.
I noticed one of the trees along my normal running trail was suddenly decorated with ornaments! Too cute.
December 8th DJ and I decided to go for a walk around UT’s campus for a break from the studies since it was a gorgeous day & we knew it wouldn’t be very busy.
December 11th I went on a walk when it was drizzling outside a little bit. I think the trail is just beautiful at these times (and I have it to myself when it’s raining out 🙂 )!
December 12th the bright blue skies were back!
The turtles couldn’t resist some sun bathing too.
Around this time, I was on a kick with this wrap featured below- it is so good, but I know the ingredients might sound like an interesting mix- it includes a veggie wrap, sundried tomatoes, hummus, dolmas and marinated mushrooms- delicious!
December 15th I tried out this new brand of pizza- seriously one of my favorite vegan pizzas I have had yet! Corn on pizza is fantastic.
December 16th I changed up my running direction and went over a bridge providing a postcard view of the city.
Later that day I met up with my friend, Alana, to chat and walk around Mueller park. It was really nice to meet up with her- I always love our convos. Actually- she is the last friend I saw in Austin prior to quarantine! We stopped into Halcyon to get some tea to accompany us on our walk. It was my first time in Mueller (besides picking up Colleen’s for brunch), but it would not my last- it is so nice to walk around with many awesome shops and the park itself is lovely. I need to take DJ back there before we move! It reminds me a lot of downtown Palo Alto 🙂
That evening I made the quesadillas out of the But I Could Never Go Vegan cookbook- and they were easily the best recipe we have had out of there yet. We were blown away by how good these were!!
December 17thwe decided to go to Hamilton Pool Preserve to explore. We tried going one other time, but after driving the near hour to get there we realized you had to have a reservation. Whoops! We made our reservation this time, easy peasy. I think there were so many openings because it was freezing. We still had so much fun exploring though, and the cold was actually refreshing. Like free cryotherapy.
We grabbed some coffee at the gas station on the way prior to arriving. I will give Peet’s free advertising any day of the week.
I thought this little walking stick station was adorable.
Not to be a stickler… but there weren’t any sticks in there, soooo I don’t think people followed the directions 😉 . Anyone ? Anyone? *Crickets* … Sorry. Cringey jokes are kinda my schtick. Ok ok I’m done.
And I am allllll about a good theme, so I deemed this day a “Hamilton” themed day. We had wanted to see the Hamilton musical for a while, so we did a little free Disney plus trial so we could watch it.
It was incredible! I understand what all the hype was about!!
December 18th we went for a nice walk along lady bird and saw another type of bird. I think I am seeing where it got the inspiration for its name. Also super random- but occasionally I will see a flock of parakeets (yes, GREEN parakeets). When I first told DJ, I think he questioned my eyesight, but it’s a thing here! I’ll keep a look out, hopefully I can snag a pic of them before we move.
The next evening, on December 19th, we took a night walk around the city and enjoyed the festive buildings and lit up roads.
Hey all! How are youuu?! It’s a beautiful day here in Austin- quite the contrast from the snowpocolypse just a month ago.
I sit here with one month left in my masters program. How wild is that? I think I mentioned in my last post I am doing a specialty certificate over the summer in endocrinology- so I have a clinical rotation with that… but as long as I pass my boards in a couple months I will officially be a family nurse practitioner 🙂
I needed a little break from the books today, so I decided to hop on here. I have had this post sitting in drafts for about a month, so figured about time to publish it. It’s the second part to our Fall of last year. Hope you enjoy!
On most Saturdays while I was staying there for my clinical rotation, my mom would whip up either protein pancakes or protein waffles, and gosh they were good! Such a treat to start off the weekend.
We also spent some time chatting away out on their serene patio on weekends with the outdoor heater and candle votives. It was nice to sit in total quietness too. When living in the city, you get so used to the white noise of cars driving by, doors slamming, planes overhead, etc… so just being able to sit in the quiet evenings with only crickets out was really refreshing.
By the end of my time there, I had established a go-to five mile running/walking trail. I would often mindlessly put on my running shoes and clear my head out there after long clinical days.
The weekend of October 23rd, my mom and Pete had to go out of town, but DJ was able to make it out for the weekend that Saturday! I was so ecstatic we could spend time together. That evening we shared a margherita pizza, some wine and watched Married at First Sight. I corrupt him with my horrible reality TV shows, but I’m really not sorry for it.
October 24thwe spent the day working on our respective assignments, went for a walk together in the afternoon, then in the evening went to downtown Roanoke for dinner. DJ ordered one of their burgers, and I thought the little stamped logo was a cool touch!
I ordered their salmon, are you surprised? Hah- it was tasty tasty. We also split their hummus & pita which was pretttty spectacular.
We chose this spot since it was an outdoor venue & it was a nice brisk evening! About an hour after arriving, some live music started. They played all 80s classics. We enjoyed it for a while, but when it started getting a little crowded, we bounced.
We did make a pit stop on our way home to our favorite custard spot- Andy’s!!
At the end of the rotation, I got together the final docs for clinical. I was SO sad to leave this clinical- My preceptor and the whole staff was just awesome, and I loved spending time learning in that clinic.
The day before I left, I had one last wonderful run in Keller for this stay. We also ordered from FnG for dinner- you guys, such a hidden gem in TX! A MUST if you are ever in Keller.
The morning before heading back to Austin, I packed up my bags, had some Kashi cereal and, of course, said a (midwest) goodbye to my mom. (Pete had left earlier that morning).
Ooh! And she sent me home with some yummy candy corn cocoa. She knows me well. I know candy corn gets a bad rap, but I am always going to defend it!
Deej and I were on a walk around Ladybird Lake that week when we spotted these birds. I am pretty sure they are cormorants, which struck me as quite ironic considering I had just finished up The Guest List, which mentioned them– Or perhaps this was just a case of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon!
I was craving a burger and shake that weekend. So, naturally, we ordered Hopdoddy’s with one of the best vegan burgers in town and a shake. I say *one* of the best… because we discovered an even better one a couple months later. Stay tuned. Oh, the suspense!
I also arrived home to this box from the Boston Athletic Association!
Even better though…later that day my brother sent me this sweet picture of our nephew with the blanket we sent him <3 I am obsessed. Counting down the days until we can meet him.
More colorful Austin in the fall!
I was feelin’ extra anxious around this time (combo of school, the world, etc.), and I remember there was one day that was particularly beautiful lending a sense of calm. I texted Tammy, one of my friends from the Bay Area with the video below, and said it felt like a “Bay Day”. Gosh, I really miss California sometimes. I love love Austin, but sometimes it feels like I left part of my heart in those mountains and that chaotically beautiful city. I also know, when we leave Austin, I’ll say I left a part of me at Lady Bird Lake and in this dazzlingly, eclectically vibrant city. We really are going to try to make the most of our time here before we move. Sorry to be so sappy (I can’t help it) & when big life transitions are about to happen I get super reflective and in all the feeeels.
November 6th, DJ and I ordered takeout from Grizzelda’s!
This food. I don’t have the worddds. Probably my favorite Tex Mex we’ve had yet.
It was all just too darn good. And the margarita’s we ordered were really fun!
More Austin in the fall..
All through November I worked on the rest of my peds/perinatal courses and began studying for boards. Ohh. And get this. I went 11 days without coffee. Yes, 11! I stopped cold turkey because I was at about 4 cups a day which was about on par with my undergrad days & I needed to stop the madness. So I replaced my coffee with about 2 cups of matcha and honey per day. It was a tealightful alternative. The first day was awful though- seriously one of the worst days of my life, not even being dramatic this time. I had a horrendous headache and a feeling of serious impending doom. It resolved the next day though, thankfully.
As much as I loved the matcha, it was kindaaa the sleepiest, most unproductive 11 days ever, so I added back in my one cup of coffee a day which made all the difference. I don’t think I was ever more productive than that 12th day with that single cup of jo’. I planned on sticking to one cup of coffee and one cup of matcha indefinitely….. but fast forward to present day and I’m at about 3 cups a day of coffee again. Whoops! I’m going to try to cut back again this month, but no promises.
November 25th, I tried my hand at homemade cranberry sauce for the first time. It actually turned out great! This is the recipe I used- I don’t recommend adding any extra orange zest- does not need it!
We went to my mom and Pete’s for a wonderful thanksgiving meal <3 It was simpler than other years, just the four of us, and we broke tradition without the bird. But our alternative was awesome! The guys had filets, my mom made us a delicious salmon and we had some asparagus, butternut squash, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and bread. It was perfect!
We ended Thanksgiving by chatting the evening away out on the porch.
And of course, we enjoyed delish waffles in the AM! We added leftover cranberry sauce to our waffles, and it was an excellent decision.
It was a day of mostly working on school work for me and DJ, but there is such a warmth and coziness in the living room that made working on our respective assignments more relaxing than usual.
I think this says it all!
Also I was not able to let a few days go by there without hitting the trail.
And-house rules- Gotta order sushi at least once when we’re all together too!
The last day, my mom made this tasty potato poblano soup. She sent us home with some, so we were spoiled by her cooking even a few days after returning to Austin!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Question for you:
Which cities do you have an emotional attachment to?
Hi, everyone!! Just wanted to hop on here and share some news. This summer we will be moving to….
or shall I say back to…
Ohio is where DJ and I both grew up, and it’s where we met and started dating in high school. It’s been a while since we’ve lived there though- 10 years for DJ and 9 years for me. From Ohio we went to Indiana for college, then from Indiana we moved out to California. When we moved to California, I remember us both saying we couldn’t imagine moving back to the midwest, and at the time we believed that because we were so excited for a new adventure. But something in us has changed over the years, and we just feel drawn back. We have nieces and nephews lives we want to be more involved in, a lot of family and friends in Ohio, and we just miss it. It is home.
Right now, our plan is for this to be our *final* move for a long while, unless God has other plans, and we couldn’t be more excited. We are so grateful for the absolutely incredible years we have had living in California and Texas and would not trade them for the world. We still plan on traveling as much as possible too, and of course, making trips back to Texas to visit my mom and Pete. Being farther from them is easily the hardest part about this next move.
For now, we are focused on finishing up school while soaking up these months in Austin, and then will be hitting the road! DJ has a job lined up- mine is still TBD. I probably will try to take my boards as soon as I graduate and then will start applying as I finish up my endocrinology specialty certificate this summer. We still don’t know exactly where we will be living- but we know it’ll be Cleveland/Akron area.
We can’t wait to re-explore our hometown, and we just look forward to finding some stability ☺️. Guess I better also get back in the habit of saying pop instead of soda 😜