Friday Favorites #14

Hey hey!!! Oooook I know I am sorta a day late with this. BUT it is technically only 10 pm Pacific time, so it’s still friyay up in here. I am taking this Friday night to relax, blog, read, and eat homemade pizza! I realized I could probably make a Friday Faves that would also break up the upcoming update post. So hur we go! *Takes a big bite of pineapple pizza*…

  1. Skip The Sandwich. Speaking of my pizza, I am eating my pineapple pizza on one of these wraps.

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I would say I am definitely a wrap > sandwich person, so this just spoke to me!! I have  had a blast this past week eating these raw with hummus, grilling them up and using as croutons in salads, and of course, as a wrap! (Oh, and the pizza I am nomming down on now- oh yum!) .

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2. The Case for Christ. This has been on my “must read” list for a while. It’s the utmost important to know what we believe and why. Lately I have been having great conversations with friends about the basis of our faith – how can we trust the scriptures veracity? Why do we trust the specific books that make up the Bible? I have decided in this next year I want to really delve into these questions deeper. This book is blowing.my. mind. Highly recommend to absolutely anyone.

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3. Mrs. Dash Seasoning. Y’all!! This seasoning is next level. I have heard of it before, but was a bit of a skeptic about the “salt free”… gosh darn it’s fantastic.

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I particularly love using it for fish dishes! Below is trout with wild rice, roasted zucchini, and mixed greens that I’ve been eating on repeat this past week!

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4. Home Depot Carpet Cleaner Rental. I noticed a couple weeks ago that our carpets were getting dirty. It got to the point where I started looking up cleaning carpet services and gollllly- they are EXPENSIVE. Maureen informed me that you can rent a carpet cleaner from Home Depot- and boy, am I glad I did! It worked wonders on our carpets, although the guys at HD looked at me a bit strange because it’s heavy- and they definitely doubted my ability to get this thing in the car myself. But I did it (just not gracefully). haha.

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5. Scrubbing In Podcast. I listened to this podcast a while ago when it first came out and thought I was bored with it. I decided to give it a second chance, and I am allll in. I love Becca and Tanya together, their producers, and the general conversation. It’s also very clean which is refreshing compared to many podcasts out there right now.

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6. Rhythm- Carrot Sticks. Uhm, new snack obsession- *check*.

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7. Fab, Fit, Fun Towels! For a birthday gift, I received a few FFF boxes for this year. I was particularly excited in this fall box for it’s towels. They fit so well in our kitchen, and are so dang cute.

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8. Honey Maid Graham Crackers. I re-discovered my love for graham crackers in Ohio when my friend Clair and I nearly ate the whole box of her son’s crackers (sorry, not sorry). Goodness freaking gracious. I forgot the magic of these little gems, and I have fallen back in love.

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9. BIP. This goes without saying. You guys know I’m not missing a beat with this one. This season is particularly great!

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10. And this. I laughed so hard. SO TRUE.

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Any products/things/podcasts/shows/etc. that you are loving this week?!

xo <3

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Dog Surfing, Hot Yoga, & a Celeb Encounter

Now that we are totally caught up from the 5 full days Kelsey visited (yes those 6 posts were over the course of only 5 full days haha), I am excited to catch up on all the between. It will definitely take a few posts to get there, but life is about to get pretty monotonous with school starting (not mad one bit about it though!), so these should keep things fun for a bit.

When Kels left on August 1st, I spent the rest of the day catching up on laundry, squeezing in a run, eating leftovers, blogging a tiny bit and crashing early. I slept until late the next day- the longest I have slept in a while- I never like sleeping past 8 am, but I slept until 10 am this day. My body needed to catch up on the zero sleep from the week before.

On August 2nd-3rd, I opted to a be an antisocial hermit for a couple days. I went to the grocery store, went for a run outside, and published the first of my Michigan posts. I caught up on a ton of e-mails, took care of some housekeeping for grad school, and tried to catch up on other blogs best I could. Despite having a fridge full of groceries I was not in the mood to cook at all. I actually was feeling slightly under the weather. I decided Pho sounded like the perfect remedy! I ordered vegetarian pho from House of Pho and it was phOnomenal. I don’t think I’ve actually had Pho myself (just sampled it), but this will was just perfect.

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Saturday August 4th was a blast. For breakfast I had some delicious oatmeal with PB2, Fage, cinnamon, and shakeology vegan protein powder.

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I drove to Pacifica to meet with my sister-in-law, Amy, and her boyfriend for an event unlike any other- The World Dog Surfing Championship!!!!

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Parking was difficult to find, but we finally found some on a side hill. You can see the mass of people on the beach if you look closely.

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My pictures are a bit grainy, but it was fun to watch these dogs take on the waves!! The pups were actually surfing, and great at it too. They had competitions where they even had two dogs on one board. Only in CA, right? This dog below was my personal fave.

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There were so.many.dogs. on the beach too. I passed this nugget and couldn’t help but grab a picture. I mean, can ya stand it? Would ya Jus’ look at him?!!

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I still wasn’t feeling 100% the rest of the day so I tried to nap, caught up on some easy to-dos, then went to sleep early.

August 5th after church, I went for a long walk outside, and listened to a couple podcasts. I saw that someone left a full bag of bread on this sign, and it broke my heart to be honest.

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How can you just waste good carbs like that? So sad. Should be illegal. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.

August 6th, I woke up early to do Hot Yoga for the first time. I absolutely loved it! This past year and a half was a very stressful one as you all are probably well aware, and my body took a beating from how much running and cardio I did to cope with the stress. My knees are particularly hurting lately, so I’m trying to do more walks and am going to try to replace a couple runs a week with hot yoga. It’s pretty great and the instructor at the place I went to in SJ was amazing. Now that life is about to be more regimented, I am excited to incorporate this into my weekly routine.

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After, I swung into Trader Joe’s, and made baked Atlantic salmon, roasted veggies, and zucchini pizza boats for a couple days.

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In the evening I went over my friend, Sara’s, house to hangout and have a movie night.

August 7th, I did an Insanity workout, lifted some weights, and then did some house chores for the week.  In the evening, I met up with my friends Tammy and Dani (whom I haven’t seen in FOREVERRRR) to get happy hour at Jack Rose Libation house. Dani just moved back to CA, so we had every single reason to celebrate. I’ve missed her! You may remember her last from us all meeting up last year at Aqui.

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This place is just so dang good. They have such great food, drinks, a fun atmosphere, etc. You cannot go wrong. It’s a local favorite for sure! Dani tried their side of paradise with vodka, house made blackberry jam, fresh lemon, sparkling wine, and lemon verbena.

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Tam went for their summer wind with the botanist gin, foro amaro, venus aquavit, north coast peach berliner weisse, giffard pamplemousse liqueur, and lemon. .( I think!)

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I ordered a boring ole’ glass of white wine, not really picture worthy haha.

But you know what is picture worthy? And aware winning worthy? And just some of the best cheesy goodness I have ever had worthy?! THEIR PIZZA!!!

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We split their artichoke spinach pizza with well, you can guess it- artichoke, spinach, mozzarella, ricotta, green olives, fresh herbs, and grana padano. It was perfection. I hardly ever meet a pizza I don’t like, but this just took it up a few notches.

We also split the hummus plate with chickpeas, garlic, cumin, tahini, smoked paprika, hazelnuts, pizza bread, and veggies.

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After catching up for a looong time that felt like only two minutes, we stopped by Safeway to grab some mochi to share for dessert and settled in at Tammy’s for the premiere of Bachelor in Paradise!

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This summer I have blown up Tammy’s Instagram with mochi pictures, so we just had to try some. I have never had the ice cream type before (only the muffins you may remember). These were my/mo brand, and they were GREAT…. except for the matcha flavor that literally tasted like dill pickles. I am not exaggerating. When I took a bite, I was like, “y’all it taste like pickles”. They thought I maybe was being dramatic, but sure enough they agreed- somehow pickles must have found their way into the matcha batch. Haha.

While enjoying our mochi, we jammed to some new songs of Chris Lane’s before revving up BIP. I posted it to my story and then we glued ourselves to the TV for the night. Such a fun time.

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In the morning of August 8th, as I was getting my day started, I looked down at my phone and saw this….. (yes, I need to actually put a picture for my background, I know I know… I’m too indecisive to decide)…

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Chris Lane stinking A. WATCHED our video, B. COMMENTED on our video, and C. POSTED IT TO HIS OWN STORY. I had to pinch myself give or take ten times to make sure it was real life. This was such a big deal to us and really special because we actually bonded over Chris Lane’s music. The first time the three of us hung out was even at his concert.

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I guess I’ll wrap up here for now. Real quick though- August 8th is actually me and DJ’s anniversary! We weren’t planning on celebrating the actual day of since we had plans in the city for the next day, but with DJ getting off work early it seemed a perfect time to use up a gift-card we had been saving for a special occasion (thanks, Bro!). I will recap in the next post where we ate and what of course, but that requires a fresh page of it’s own 🙂

xo <3

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Kels and Kenz Take on the Bay: Part 5! Facebook & Instagram HQs

Happy Monday!!! Oxymoron? Nahhhh, I love the start of a week- plus there is usually a show I’m fully invested in on Monday nights- the mindless brain dessert after a long day; always a silver lining 😉 Right now that brain mush pie is Bachelor in Paradise.

Anway, shallll we continue on in our Kels and Kenz take the Bay series!

If ya missed um… here are…

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

That was all over the course of three days. Now I need a nap… JK JK…

I have been stoked to share this post with you all. On Monday July 30th, my good friend Tammy that y’all probably know well by know offered to give us a tour of Facebook & Instagram! DJ and I went to Facebook one time before for their Friday night happy hour, but seeing it during the day was an entirely different experience. I didn’t think I could be more amazed from the first go-around, but sure enough, I was!

Time to head on in!

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First, you check in and are given a badge. Everything is electronic, but there is still a friendly greeter to help orchestrate your entrance into Tech Disneyland.

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The creativity is everywhere. Put aside your preconceived notions of what a corporate office looks like!

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The HACK vending machine here has all kinds of electronic pieces you may need- like USB cables, electronics, chargers, etc. (I can’t think of techy necessities right now haha)

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In my last post from Fbook, I took a picture of the red bridge inspired by the Golden Gate at night, but I was able to capture it during the day this time!

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Can’t leave out the awesome game room & arcade!

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And get this…… all the employees do not have to pay a dime for the food across the campus. There is no way in heck I can include all the food options here, but basically they have everything you can imagine- a myriad of restaurants, desserts, snack carts, etc. etc. It’s INSANE. Obviously their employees work crazy hard, but Facebook makes sure they have the best environment to do so!

Tammy is such a phenomenal tour guide, and I wish I could share everything with you. But I will try to bring you along the tour best I can even though I can’t do as great a job!

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Burger Shack

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Famous Teddy’s Restaurant

Pictured below is a treehouse that employees can have meetings in. Not kidding. A treehouse.

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Smoked Meat Restaurant 

There is a pop-up shop that has something new in it all the time. Right now it has an edible cookie dough shop!

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Even the artwork on the buildings is fun..

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The design of Facebook’s campus was inspired by Disneyland,  and there are parts that are very evident of that! The Sweet Stop is one of them. I just love this storefront.

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We then went indoors to their actual office spaces, and immediately were just blown away.

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Sheryl Sandberg actually passed us at one point when we were walking through!!

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We stopped into a coffee shop called Saint Frank and had the greatest coffee I have ever had in my life. Kelsey and I both tried their almond macadamia latte, and goodness gracious- it was perfection. They have a location in San Francisco so if you are ever in the city I highly, highly recommend trying it out!

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When checking out I couldn’t resist these pastries, I asked for one of each to try expecting to have to pay for it. But no. FREE. FREE FREE FREE. Everything you want to eat is FREE! (I mean the employees are paying with their genius ideas, intelligence, loyalty, and hard work…. but stilll!)

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And they were yummmy!

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We headed up to the rooftop where there is a juice and smoothie shop called STRAW, made out of foliage constructed letters naturally.

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The rooftop is stunning, so beautifully decorated with flowers everywhere and planted trees.

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They even have these fun little hangout spots.

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Can’t forget the views…

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Maybe the highlight of the visit was seeing the famous Facebook foxes!!! Tammy has worked for Facebook for years, and has only seen the foxes one other time.

img_2278We were so excited, especially after she explained what a big deal it was to spot these little nuggets. There were two of them playing, chasing each other and climbing the trees.

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Time to go back into the building.

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We headed down into the far side of the building and passed through The Sugar Shack. We were about to eat lunch, but it was definitely tempting to try a slice of cake or one of these pastries. I don’t think I’d have willpower to work here. They call it the Facebook 15 for a reason. LOL.

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And now time to head to the Instagram headquarters! So just like Uber and Lyft, Facebook employees have the option to to use a service called On Demand. They can download the app on their phone and take these cars to get to another part of the campus (It’s a massive campus, and is on two separate sides of a road). They also have bicycles for employees too, hence the giant helmet rack in the first picture.

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Instagram time!

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The minute you walk in, there are the cutest photo ops & they have props too!

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Where-else but Facebook would they have a “Beyonce” chair, hehe!

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Time for lunch!! We went to a Mexican place and chowed down on some of the freshest most delicious tacos and a Mexican medley.

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Oh, and we grabbed some chocolate matcha cookies that were super scrumptious.

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For dessert x2, they had lemon meringue grahams that I want every day for the rest of my life.

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That wraps up our incredible tour of Facebook. Thank you again SO much, Tammy, for the tremendous, unforgettable experience. In the next post, I’ll be finishing up Kelsey’s trip here.

Questions for you!

  • Did anything surprise you about the HQ? 
  • Are you a lemon meringue fan? 

PS. Please check your spam! My comments are still going there. I promise I’m not a robot <3

xo <3

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Whirlwind of a Week

Well, ya’ll! I just want to take a moment and thank everyone for their sweet and kind words from our anniversary and wedding posts. (Also- I will finish the road trip eventually, promise!) RECAP time!

Thursday 8/4:

Thursday morning we came back from Monterey and spent the day unpacking, cleaning, and ordering DJ’s books for school. Thursday night I went hiking with one of the community groups I joined from church. It was a beautiful hike at Montavlo Arts Center in Saratoga. There is a gorgeous Renaissance style mansion that has a pavilion for concerts, plays, etc., but the surrounding mountain makes for excellent hiking. Out of all my hikes here so far, I have not gone out at dusk. From now on this is when I am going to do them. The cool, dusky air and the way the sunlight pierces the trees with the vibrant oranges and reds surrounding the mountains is enchanting. I did have one minor mishap though. This was my first time meeting any of the other hikers; I didn’t know anyone. Our conversation was smoothly flowing; I was meshing well, having a ball, and then WHAM. In typical Mackenzie-style (ew, third person), I fell (not gracefully whatsoever) and slid down part of the hiking hill. Score. It was easily the hardest fall I have ever had on a hike. (That says a lot considering falling is sort of my forte). Everyone was so sweet though and I was able to laugh it off. At least I made a memorable first impression 😉

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Friday:

Now that the house is stocked with groceries, I am like a kid in the candy store. There are so many recipes I have been saving, ideas I have, and new foods I want to try. It felt SO GOOD to be cooking again. I also think it made our apartment officially feel like home. Every time I go to the store I try to feed off of what we already have in the pantry to try and make sure nothing goes to waste. I know that those canned goods are fine until like 2090, but still, it feels good to use something up that’s just been sitting there! Lately I have been craving mussels. I saw in our pantry we had sundried tomatoes, tomato sauce, and artichoke hearts. I thought a Mediterranean mussel dish sounded just amazing with some garlic bread on the side- mmm mm. DJ is always up to try an original of mine, but I can never be 100% confident how it will turn out. It was delectable!

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Saturday:

DJ delved into his books most of the day and I volunteered in San Jose with another community group. It was one of those times that I was not obligated to go; part of me just wanted to stay at home and be lazy all day, but the other part of me nudged, nudged, nudged and said, “get up lazy butt”. I prayed about it and then realized it was sort of funny praying about if I should serve others- HELLOOO. Once I got there I was so glad that I did. I met a girl from the church and we instantly hit it off as friends. We were assigned to a water/pop station to hand out drinks, and for those four hours we talked, laughed, and served the most adorable kids in all the land. She is also in a very similar stage of life as I am. She recently left her job and does not know what she is doing next. I was able to share with her some of the things I have been learning, and she offered me encouragement as well. We made plans to go hiking and foodie-up Silicon Valley together. What perfect timing too considering that DJ is starting up school. GUYS! I HAVE A FRIEND :)! I have met a lot of great people through church, but this is the first person I have plans with outside of the church events. I left the service project feeling energized and excited. It reminded me of when I was in grade school and made a friend for the first time. Here I am at 22 years old, really going on 5. Nice to meet ya.

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For dinner we had leftover mussels and these yummy shrimp rice rolls with a homemade thai peanut sauce. Seafood for dayyyyyz.

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Sunday- Sunday we went back to the same church we have been going to. Starting off the day worshipping with other believers is the greatest thing. We then went to Living Spaces in Fremont to pick up our TV console for the bedroom and a headboard. I am itching to post photos, but I will hold off until it’s all done. I started to get hangry on the way home, so DJ told me to eat my “emergency Quest bar”. I always have either a Quest or No-Cow bar on hand because no one likes the wrath of a hungry stomach. After a nice run, I whipped up some delicious stiryfry. Stirfry is so easy, filling, and tasty. I made DJ’s with some chicken, and mine vegan with Boca crumbles. I decided to wrap them in some Nori Seaweed wraps. Sometimes cooking for two can be a challenge, especially with the improvisations, but I always like to find something creative to do with anything leftover. I used about three small chicken tenders for DJ’s stir-fry and then baked the rest to make simple shredded chicken for lunch sandwiches or a quick snack for a protein boost.

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I gave DJ a haircut for his back-to-school look. Cue the awwwws. Not sure why he let’s me touch his hair, I have way too much fun with it and get a little razor happy. But it ended up looking pretty good. This is how our typical haircuts go initially:


Monday- This was our actual anniversary, but as you know we celebrated it last Wednesday. With DJ’s orientation starting Tuesday we spent most of the day making sure everything was set to go. We went to Target and stood next to all the cute little mamas doing back to school shopping for their little tikes. I offered DJ my syringe highlighters, but he refused, so we got him some “normal” ones. (Syringe highlighter definition: highlighters that look like syringes. As an almost-nurse I think they are pretty dang awesome). For dinner we did –drum roll please- BLUE APRON!

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Have any of you done this? It’s pretty stinking fun. Basically they deliver you a box with tons of fresh ingredients, “knick knacks” that include any small dashes of things you may need, and an instructional sheet to make everything step by step with pictures. This is great for anyone that is beginning to cook as well because they are thoroughly descriptive in each step. Also- I think it would make an awesome date night idea. It has ideas for wine pairing with each meal too. In a few posts back I mentioned how we received all these coupons when we first arrived and one of them was for this food delivery service. I always have wanted to try it, but it seemed like a lot of money for just three meals. But with our first order, we received $40 off, how could I resist? The first recipe we tried was the Spicy Peperonata Pasta. I thought it seemed pretty romantic for an anniversary dinner ;). It was out of this world, and I’m not even a big pasta person (I know, sin). DJ said it tasted so “fancy”. I would go into an in-depth description of this, but I think you just have to try it for yourself! We have yet to try the curried catfish and quinoa bowls, so stay tuned! Sadly, we didn’t have our one-year cake topper, but my mom sent us a cheesecake factory giftcard to get some cheesecake in place of it. She knows us well, I do say! Anyone have a favorite there? I can never decide, Oreo is probably ours.

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Tuesday- Orientation day!!! I had a list up to my ears with things to do, but first and foremost, we had to get the hubs off for the day. I made him a parfait with Greek yogurt and then we said our goodbyes.

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It was so strange saying “bye” to him. Since we have been here we have done the majority of things together. Even when I would make trips to the store or what-not it wasn’t for extended periods. I am realizing that I am about to see my husband a whole lot less, and it’s hard! However, I am so thankful for the memories we shared this summer and know that the time we do have will be treasured. When he came home, I was an Anxious Anna to hear about the big first day! He said that it went well! I could tell he felt relieved just having that initial first day over with. I spent the day assembling our end tables for the guest room, running errands for things we forgot to pick up on our runs over the weekend, and making several returns. We did watch Bachelor in Paradise, ugh I really feel quite ashamed to admit it. Horrible show, terribly addictive. Don’t recommend it; we love it.

IMG_8194Wednesday- You know the book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? That was my Wednesday. Nothing went right.

  1. I woke up with a tremendous headache. It went away after chugging some water and coffee, but it always had that dull ache throughout the day.
  2. I missed my annual doctor’s appointment. I thought it was next Wednesday, but when I double-checked my calendar, I had that “oh no!” moment. It was an easy reschedule, but I hate doing that to anyone. I know that doctors have a tight schedule, and I never want to be the person to just not show up. I apologized profusely, and they were understanding about it.
  3. The sewage line in our apartment’s car garage broke. I went through four years of nursing school and nothing smelled worse than that. Nothing.
  4. DJ said he would like to get a bookshelf for all his law books soon. I thought it would be fun to surprise him and have one ready for him when he came home. I went to Target and spent a good chunk of time surveying my options and then chose one I thought would be perfect. It was the last one too- don’t you love it when that happens?! I lugged that incredibly heavy piece of furniture through the parking garage, up the elevator and into my house myself *wipes dirt off the shoulder*. I was pretty dang proud that I could do that considering my lack of upper arm strength. I excitedly got to work. I almost put it on my Snapchat story, but then I thought, “Nah, bookshelves are the easiest things to assemble, that would be silly”. What happens then? I break it. In the middle of assembling it, I had the weight distributed probably incorrectly and the whole thing collapsed. We are talking wood splinters flying across the room. I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry.
  5. I stubbed my toe. That’s enough to make a day bad in and of itself- can I get an AMEN?
  6. I called the nursing licensing board to see where my application was in the process of being approved. Long story short, after calling thirteen times and being on hold for twenty minutes, the lady talked to me more condescendingly and with more ambiguity than anyone I have ever met. I know that’s an extreme statement, but I have never felt more belittled. At this point in the day I just broke down. There I was sitting in the Target parking lot with my pathetically broken bookshelf that mirrored my emotions so perfectly in the backseat and sobbing. I say this not for pity, but because reflecting back it is HILARIOUS. I called my friend, Rachel, as I was running errands and as I recounted the day she laughed harder at each event I rattled off. That’s when I knew that it was just one of those comically bad days. Also, I know that in the grand scheme of things, the day wasn’t really that horrible. It simply is one that could have been worse, could have been better, and I count my blessings.

On a bright note, I whipped up one of the most refreshing lunch dishes! I am dying to share this because it is something that everyone will love with no scary ingredients 😉 I had leftover quinoa from a dish I made last week and through in some mango, pistachio, lime juice, and threw it on a bed of kale. (Wait, kale might be scary?) I missed DJ during the day and was glad to hear that he still is feeling pretty confident about the year to come. For dinner I took the leftovers from lunch and tossed it in some chicken for the carnivore hubby. He said it reminded him of ceviche, which is quite the compliment considering that is one of his favorite apps to order. All the fruit here is absolutely amazing. It just bursts with flavor. I’m not sure if it’s just because it’s summer or if it is always like that out here? In the midwest, the fruit only tastes extremely fresh in the summer. I just bought a pineapple that I cannot wait to carve up! For myself, I wanted some comfort food. I made my “famous refried dip” as we call it with lots of veggies.

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I ended the night with a Dreyer’s light mint chocolate chip ice cream cone. I have this theory that nothing tastes better after a good cry than mint chocolate chip ice cream. Next time you have a good tear drippin’, try it! (Not that I wish that on any of you?!).

Wishing you lots of stable furniture,

xo <3

Mack