Hey Strangers!

Hellloo! (echo: hello0o helloo hello). Anyone still reading this thing? Ha. I don’t truly know where to begin. Full disclaimer- the back-to-blogging nerves after being gone for three-ish months are in full force. The last few months have been really really challenging for a multitude of reasons. *Insert Taylor Swift’s Cruel Summer soundtrack in the background*. I know we aren’t alone in feeling this. In all seriousness, practically this whole year has been tough for everyone. And my heart goes out to all of you who are going through it too. We are just taking it day by day and counting our blessings. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to check in on us- it means so much that you’ve even noticed an absence and would take the time <3 I feel like I have soo much to discuss with y’all, and yet I don’t really know where to begin. Hmmm…one moment.. something feels a bit off….

**Turns on some background trash reality TV & grabs some ice cream**

Much better. Now it is time to blog!

So, the main things that have kept me from here are just lack of time with clinicals/school coupled with a lack of feeling creative. But right now we are between semesters and without something hanging over my head that I should be studying for the moment, I’m feeling that creativity creep back up, and I’m excited to jump in and try to write some posts.

And now I genuinely ask- how are you?

So without any real segue (those have never been my forte), let’s jump on in!

So let’s see. We are jumping all the way back to early March! And they say time travel isn’t possible. This post was around when we were finishing up our spring semester, so all these are highlights in between the studies! (All our times out on the town in this post were pre-lockdown). First, we started that weekend with some Kodiak Cakes… the pic is pre-syrup. Lotsa lotsa syrup 😉

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Fun fact: I often get teased (lovingly) for the way I say “syrup”. I say SEER-up instead of SIR-up. How do you pronounce it? Anyone else out there speak like me with a little extra emphaSEES on the wrong sylLABle?

That afternoon I went out on a beautiful walk and started seeing some spring blooms!

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It’s not quite the same as the California blooms, but I’ll take these pops of color! <3

That evening we had a dinner planned. We didn’t know it at the time, but DJ and I met up for what would our very last restaurant outing with friends for a long long time. We had about 1.5 miles to walk to the restaurant, but we don’t mind walking through the city one bit.

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We met up with our friends, Alana and Kyle, for some good eats and delicious wine at The Grove (a place highly recommended by my mom and Pete)! The interior here is so stunning.

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We sat out on their twinkling patio- a must if you ever go!

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We laughed because both us girls ordered the exact same dish (scallops) and both guys ordered the same dish (the Impossible burger).

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So thankful for that time with them! Can’t wait to meet up again.

The next day I made some super easy banana pancakes that were sooo dang good. Not sure why we don’t have these more often… especially considering how often our bananas get overripe. And then I throw them in the freezer. And then they never get used. Anyone else just have a lot of never-to-actually-be-used frozen bananas? Also, this is pre-lotsa lotsa SEERUP.

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I also baked some “zucchini” chocolate muffins from some random internet recipe that were so tragically bad I ended up throwing them all away. And I’m not picky, but oh wow, these were not great. Don’t trust all you read on the internet, kids… (even recipes).

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That week was my last food shoot for mackncheeeesy for a while <3. I have temporarily deactivated the account, but I’m thinking of maybe getting back soon. I do have a lot of good ordered-out eats to share!

Anyway- The food from Muro’s Pizza was delicious & the owners we met were so welcoming and friendly.

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You cannot go wrong here. Everything was super yummy, but our favorites were the artichoke dip and the pillowy fries (and the Topo Chico, which we had never had- but holy sparklin’ smokes that is some delish water!!

Now continuing through mid-March:

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Around this time I made us a TJ’s impossible burger + caprese salad (although this mozz. was different than the usual I get- but it still worked). One day we plan to do a side-by-side taste comparison of Impossible brand vs. Beyond vs. TJ’s.

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For myself I had my go-to stuffed sweet potato with Fage, jalapeños, avocado, beets and hummus. YUM

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That same day I went on a nice walk, and saw this gorgeous cascade of flowers outside the YETI store.

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To change things up for breakfast one day, I made toast with avocado and hummus & blackberries. I have been on a berry kick this entire summer. We can’t get enough of alll the raspberries/blackberries/strawberries!

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That afternoon I was craving a walk. It was a bit rainy out that day, but I was determined, and a little drizzle was not about to deter me that day. I grabbed an umbrella and hit Ladybird lake trail.

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It was actually so nice. I loved the calming mist and serene rain. Walking in the rain is so peaceful. I remember around this time listening ferociously to everything I could about the pandemic, but what I remember from this day the most is the sense of stillness and quiet.

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That evening I made a mix of Indian food, paratha and okra. The paratha from Trader Joe’s is my favorite. I just made my first trip back there in three months and restocked on a LOT of it, as well as the cauliflower gnocchi and some of their other snacks!

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Annnnd that’s a wrap 😉

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My rusty bloggin’ fingers love being back to this keyboard!

Question for you: 

  • Bringing it full circle- what do you think of T. Swift’s new surprise album?

xo <3

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Austin Beauty, Wildlife & Eats!

Hey all! Only a few posts until I’m all caught up! Maybe I’ll get the Christmas posts up in time for Christmas in July, haha. Okay getting straight into it- in between indulging in leftovers  and studying over the weekend, I took advantage of nice long walk out on the lake on December 4th. I was greeted by an array of wildlife!

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Oh, speaking of which, here are the swans…

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This was finals week, and my motivation was at an allll time low. It took everything in me to focus, and I think I was just entirely emotionally depleted by the time the final exam rolled around. I sent this meme to DJ during one point in the week which about summed it up.

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December 12th I took my final-final exam! I actually felt like I could physically breathe again when it was over. I have never been more proud of myself or my classmates for making it through a semester. We really did rely on one another to survive, and I think  that was the worst semester of the program (oh please, Dear Jesus, I pray).

December 13th Once DJ finished his last final, he came back, napped for several hours while I blogged and then we went on a walk outside together.

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It was the most beautiful evening we’ve seen thus far. I was happy we could experience this together. Definitely kicked off the break on a high note 💓

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On Saturday December 14th we had friends in town. We headed into town to go to brunch with them. It never gets old how convenient everything is within walking distance.

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It was a stunning morning.

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We met at the historic Driskill Hotel that has a restaurant right inside called 1886 Cafe and Bakery. We appreciated the historic car parked out front (That still has to apply for legal registration according to the sticker on the windshield!).

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The interior was just spectacular.

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I ordered their lady bird omelet with egg whites, spinach, peppers, tomato, onions, goat cheese, country potatoes and breakfast toast. Oh my, was this good! My favorite omelette ever is from Bill’s… but this is taking a very close second.

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DJ ordered their Hot-Fried chicken with serrano-buttermilk marinade, two eggs sunny-side up, housemade biscuit, and sausage gravy. He raved about it!

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We also took note of their gorgeous lobby before heading out.

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We dropped our friends off at the airport and were home by 2 pm. It was a wonderful morning.

After an awesome church service on December 15th, we had coffee with some new friends, Alana and her husband, Kyle. Alana is one of those rare friends where we just clicked instantly. She also blogs so I will link her blog here! Y’all will love it and her- she is one of the most genuine people I have ever met, and I can’t wait to hangout again 😊

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Anyway, we went to Brentwood Social House. This is one of the coolest little coffee shops I’ve ever been in, and I’ll definitely return to do some studying next semester. Immediately when we walked in we were hit with the aroma of roasting coffee beans and baking pastries.

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The boutiquey decor was adorable too.

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We enjoyed some great conversation over coffee and treats then headed home to get ready for a food shoot in the afternoon (where I go to a restaurant and take pics to promote them on social media). That’ll take a post of its own! Thanks for reading!!

Questions for you: 

  • Anyone still have their Christmas tree up?
  • What’s something you are looking forward to this week?

xo <3

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