Meeting another Blogger, Golden Boy Pizza & The Emporium!

Hi, everyone! I hope you had a nice weekend!

Jumping straight on into the recap…On May 29th and 30th, it was just study study, ya know the drill by now- but also, ya can’t get started without breakfast, right?! Breakfast time is one of my favorite parts of the whole day & I have been eating this one on repeat the last few weeks: an Avocado smoothie with PB toast & honey.

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On May 30th I went to the local coffee shop to grab a cafe au lait and studied with Smalls in our apartment community office/study room. In the afternoon was Boys and Girls club. The kids are done for the summer & it’s been a bit emotional coming to that realization. I can’t wait to get plugged back in once we’re settled in Austin!

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On May 31st I had a very lovely morning! I met up with a local blogger, Kalpana, from surreyfarms.net at Great Bear Coffee in Los Gatos.

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We have been friends in the blog-o-sphere for years but have never met up before. It was absolutely wonderful to meet her and have such deeply rich conversation for a couple hours- I felt like we could have talked all day! And the coffee was fantastic as a nice bonus 🙂 It was certainly the highlight of my week. If you want some mouth-wateringly, beautifully prepared and delicious recipes, gorgeous garden pictures, and heart-warming family adventures I highly recommend heading over to her blog! She is a true inspiration of mine <3

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In the afternoon I enjoyed a purple sweet potato with beets, artichoke hearts, hummus, and Fage.

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I studied all the rest of the day and then while walking through our complex I realized there was something going down…. A hoe-down to be exact!

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The management team had an entire western themed party going on for the complex complete with a petting zoo for the kiddos. I texted DJ to see if he wanted any food, but he had already had BBQ at the stadium for lunch. Still, so fun and a nice gesture for the apartment crew to put this on!

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DJ finally had an evening to breathe from work, and I hustled on school work so we could enjoy a Saturday evening together the following day.

On Saturday June 1st we both were productive during the day and then around 5:00 pm we headed to San Francisco. I read Smalls in the car on the way down up (I always want to say down for some reason?!) and actually made a huge dent in my chapter- it makes me optimistic that I’ll be productive on our road-trip to TX. So where was our foodie adventure for the evening you ask? Welllll, lemme telll youuuu! I’ve been on a serious pizza kick lately and have been on a mission to find the best!

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People swear by Golden Boy Pizza as the best in the city. The wait was about forty-five minutes, but finally we made it to the front to order. It’s a casual spot- you can technically eat inside, but it’s mostly standing room. People usually just take their pies to go.

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They are famous for their clam and garlic pizza, so we tried that and a few other flavors: DJ had their pepperoni and sausage, and I had their cheese and clam/garlic.

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We took our slices back to the car and blasted the heat while chowing down. This pizza was very good. DJ and I both prefer thin crusts, and this is more of a focaccia, but it worked! It wasn’t too dense or doughy- it was light, airy, and had a lovely crunch. The flavor of the clam and garlic was pretty tremendous and unique, but DJ preferred their meat-based slices. I don’t know that I would wait that long again for it- but I am so glad we finally tried it! I see why it has its popularity, but at the same time I’m not sure it’s 100% worth the hype.

After, we headed over to The Emporium to continue our date night. The Emporium is a massive arcade for adults. They have a live DJ, play a giant movie, and have countless of games that will make you nostalgic for the 80s and 90s.

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It was a blast!!! Probably one of my favorite things we have done in SF yet.

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DJ beat me at the basketball game, of course (hello, two time national basketball champion 😉 )…. but I held my own in ski ball, hehe.

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When I was going through our pics on the way home I realized we were photo bombed by a cartoon painting who weirdly had similar eyes to mine?!

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On June 2nd it was back to it! Smalls is almost too big for the treadmill reading/walking routine, but if the chapter is somewhere in the middle of the book I can balance him, ha!

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June 3rd, same same, mixed up with my new favorite snack of a purple sweet potato, artichoke hearts, hummus, and Fage– can ya tell I’m on a kick?

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I decided to make some homemade hummus with leftover tahini that evening. This is the best batch of homemade hummus I’ve made thus far, but I stilll don’t like it better than TJ’s quartet.

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I also made Shakshuka from TJ’s. I heard about Shakshuka from Kori’s blog, and when I saw TJ’s had an easy throw-together one I figured it’d be a great way to start it out!

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I served it with a couple eggs, brown rice, and naan bread. It was so stinkin’ yummy. This will be added to the lineup!

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On June 4th I started the day with the uszh, yoozh? usz? (however you spell the short of usual).

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In the afternoon, I threw together a little snack that I quite enjoyed of cauliflower mashed potatoes, tzatziki, artichoke hearts, beets, and chik’n tenders from Lightlife.

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My sister was flying in that night! Before she arrived I had some errands to quickly run at Santana Row.

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I marveled at this cozy sunset before heading to the stores.

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After a happy reunion with my sissy, we went back home, I whipped up some stuffed sweet potatoes with tofu, hummus, roasted veggies, and green goddess dressing for us both, and we caught up while eating out on the patio.

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I was initially planning on doing more school work, but I was so excited about my sister being here that I couldn’t think about focusing. Instead, I made DJ a big batch of his favorite chicken curry and naan that would be good for about three meals for the week.

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This feels like a good stopping point.

Questions for you:

  • Are you having any food cravings/stages right now?
  • Have you watched Chernobyl on HBO? I hear it’s the new GOT, and DJ and I both are considering starting it after we finish The OA.

xo <3

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Date Night, Nosh & Korean BBQ!

Hey, hey!! Time for a lil’ update, whaddya say?! You know how it goes.. mostly food with a little sprinklin’ of everything else. Hope you are all doing well & enjoying the transition into Spring!

On March 14th after Boys and Girls Club in the afternoon, I made some mahi mahi with Mrs. Dash seasoning, zucchini/squash, and rice for Deej and me.

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We decided to have an absolutely wonderful impromptu date night since the weekend was going to be busy with school work & wedding planning. Sometimes the most spontaneous decisions are the best! We walked to Main Street Cupertino and wondered into Rootstock, one of our favorite little spots.

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Even though we had already had dinner, we decided we still had room to nibble on a charcuterie board. DJ enjoyed some crisp Riesling & I enjoyed a glass of an “Interesting” red blend. Anything with the word “interesting” immediately grabs my attention. It was lovely whatever-the-heck it was! We savored every bite of the cheese board (we ordered a smoked gouda), the bread pieces were deliciously nutty & fruity, and DJ greatly enjoyed the prosciutto. As soon as they set it down I had to say with a straight face, “We are clearly on the prosciutto happiness”. I did get a liiiiiittle chuckle out of him 😉

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Inspired by our charcuterie platter, the next time I went to Trader Joe’s after this I stocked up on meats/cheeses like this for DJ to enjoy at home without breaking the bank. TJs has a really terrific meat tray for a reasonable price.

On March 15th, to shake off the cobwebs from studying, I enjoyed a long walk outside. I shared some of the flower bloom pics in my Friday Favorites post 🙂

March 16th I worked on my sister’s bridal shower invites, blogged, and did some school work during the day. In the afternoon, Deej and I took a walk around… guess where.. Main Street! It was just too darn pleasant outside to resist a little afternoon stroll.

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And this brings us to our first SomiSomi experience that I mentioned in my last post! Little did we know that stepping foot into this little ice cream shop would change our lives (not being dramatic)..that soft serve is a game changer

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In the evening, I made us some cod with roasted asparagus, rice and corn. Easy & delish. I put a little vegan butter & pink Himalayan sea salt all over the whole dish.

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On March 17th after church I whipped up some grilled cheese and some cream of turkey soup with some frozen turkey I defrosted for DJ. While he did graciously finish this up, he so sweetly confessed he is officially sick of turkey haha. Turkey.is.cancelled. (Isn’t that a term the cool kids are using these days?) He really is such a trooper; I promised I won’t feed it to him anymore till Thanksgiving! lol.

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Before running some errands I whipped up some avocado toast to tide me over; I was craving this gem of a snack.

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After a massive trip to TJ’s I was excited to have fresh veggies stocked in the fridge. I made my usual giant salad with Lightlife smart tenders for lunch, my faveee.

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For dinner I made us cod sandwiches with vegan garlic aioli from Sprouts and fresh rolls with gorgonzola crackers.

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On March 18th, I woke up with coffee, avocado smoothie, and protein cookies per usual (this has been on repeat for the last month).

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I shipped out the invites, worked on a few assignments, then took a walk outside. I realized I have been over-running lately (random pain twinges/heavy legs/water retention, etc.), so I have tried to replace some of my runs with a walk twice a week & I’ll tell ya I feel much better/more energized. I also have been trying to do more cross-training, and I can tell my body is positively responding to the variety. Intuitive exercise is so important, just like intuitive eating, but I’d say I struggle with it a bit since it’s how I cope with stress. I’m trying to be better to rest when needed & “read” my body for the type of exercise I should do that day,  if any at all. It has made ALL the difference!

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March 19th I whipped up this concoction for lunch of purple sweet potato, beets, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, hummus, and Fage. I’ve had this on repeat until I ran out of ingredients this week. It’s sooo stinkin’ yummy & satisfying!

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In the afternoon I decided to try out a new coffee shop near us, Nosh. I loved this decor! They even had a perfect study section with a sliding door. I took full advantage.

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I ordered a cafe au lait with almond milk, and was surprised how well they made it since it wasn’t even on the menu!

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In the afternoon I went for a run & loved the gloomy skies. The contrast between the gray skies and foliage was stunning.

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March 20th was a ho-hum day, but I did make DJ some of these Lavash wraps from Sprouts for lunch. He’s been lovin’ them!

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I took my first bath, in ages, that evening. Why don’t I do this more often?! I used the Green Coconut Bath Bomb from Kate, and it was heavenly. I put on a “chill hits” playlist from Spotify, read some Little Fires Everywhere, and, man, I have not appreciated the power of a bath! I understand the hype now!

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The baths were short lived though since on March 21st we didn’t have any hot water. The hot water was lost due to the repairs they are making on that second floor main line break…  I was just thankful we still had water after last time! I worked up a sweat running and immediately showered to try to tolerate the cold. It was frigid, but I was proud of myself for powering through it!

That evening I made a new dinner. This night I tried out the pre-marinated chicken shawarma with rice and tandoori naan for DJ.

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This was a winner!

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I had my salad with hummus, Lightlife smart tenders, hummus, and balsamic. Mmm mm! Of course, I had some naan on the side 🙂

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On Friday March 22nd we had a day, honayyy. I spoke too soon about being glad we still had water…. it was entirely turned off in our apartment again. Apparently in order to make the repairs they had to turn off all the water lines. Well, we were out for a few days again. They gave us shower vouchers for this community club across the street that has showers. We could only choose one day to shower (lol), so people were trading in the lobby of our apartment to get the day they wanted… one of those moments of, “Is this real life”? Haha. I know this is all going to be resolved soon, and we will definitely laugh about this for a while. I hope this doesn’t come off as ungrateful or as venting- I am sharing this because I honestly find the whole situation comical!. I know we are blessed & recognize even just taking a daily shower is a true luxury.

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I ended up going to my friend Sara’s for the day to shower instead, (also.. so that I’d have access to a working toilet-real talk). I parked out on her couch and worked on school work all day. It was a super productive day! Sometimes just being out of the house can harness that productivity since there aren’t as many other responsibilities vying for your attention at home.

Directly from Sara’s I drove to Milpitas area in the evening. DJ and I met up with the couple who will be the pastors of the church location in Austin at Gen Korean BBQ.

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The interior was an industrial feel, clean and modern. Luckily, we didn’t have a long wait since it was raining and us Californians melt in the rain.

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Although I don’t eat meat I enjoyed the marinated calamari & shrimp. DJ loved the bulgogli! I wouldn’t say it’s our first choice meal given the price, but it was a fun experience & it’s all you can eat. Do not go if you are a vegetarian though- they have very limited options in that regard.

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It was great chatting with the couple & getting to know them a bit better. They’re amazing individuals! It definitely provides some reassurance that we know people where we’ll be moving. The guys are already planning to watch some football games together & we all bonded over our love of Cracker Barrel– Apple butter anyone?! Gosh, I miss that place! It’s been a minute since a peg game has called me an “ignoramus”.

Saturday March 23rd I took a stroll in the morning with coffee in hand. On Saturdays that aren’t too busy this is one of my favorite ways to start off the weekend. It helps me clear my mind before diving into school work for the rest of the day.

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In the evening I made a charcuterie spread with the TJ’s goodies I told ya about, blistered shishito peppers and a mix of breads. I enjoyed the prosciutto peppers & one of my large salads with tons of chopped veggies, Lightlife smart tenders, lotsa hummus, and balsamic; I am on a kick!

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Sunday morning, on March 24th, we were greeted by this gorgeous sky on our way to church.

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Here was the cute little team spread for the day!! Love those mini parfaits.

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Sunday afternoon was a blast in SF…but I’ll save that for the next post 🙂

Questions for you:

  • Favorite type of cheese?
  • Any weekend plans?

xo <3

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Our Valentine’s Day!

This is gonna be a short & sweet (pun totally intended) post filling in the foodie gaps from the last update up to our Valentine’s Day! (I know y’all are probably sick of any and all Valentine’s Day chat by now, so thanks for tuning in anyway!).

Sunday February 10th, we both got up early and went to church. When I came home we were still super low on groceries, so I put together some canned butternut squash puree & a dollop of Fage mixed and heated up with mixed nuts, pumpkin butter and Ezekiel bread. It was surprisingly very satisfying! Ya never can know how those hodge-podge concoctions are gonna go, but it’s often when I discover my new favorite snacks!

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The afternoon was just working on school assignments & I think I squeezed a run in.

For dinner I was really getting down to the bare bones in the fridge- I needed some protein, so I whipped up some eggs, beans, and salsa & paired it with homemade pumpkin hummus that I defrosted from the freezer.

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February 11th I woke myself up with Fage, oatmeal, PB2, and mixed nuts. The thought of breakfast & coffee causes me to jump out of bed in the morning, haha. For this one, basically anything I could find in the cupboard I was throwing into that bowl.

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After doing a ton of schoolwork it was time to finally acquiesce to a full grocery trip. But I will say- TJ’s is the pretty much the adult equivalent of going to the park. On my way I grabbed some Starbucks cause I was feeling chilled to the bone that day! It was one of the colder days of this winter. *Cue the laughs from my midwest friends*

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Aaaaaaand here we are.

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For dinner I defrosted a pack of thanksgiving turkey and made turkey noodle soup for the Deej with some egg noodles I picked up. He enjoyed it even more than I expected! It served as a lunch throughout the week & he usually had it with a slice of lightly warmed buttered brioche.

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I had a salad full of the fresh veggies from TJ’s with hummus, Lightlife’s Savory “chick’n” tenders, and lotsa hummus. I like to cook the chik’n till it’s kinda crispy & it almost serves as a kind of crouton in the salads.

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February 12th I finally found and tried the Banh Mi Bowl recommended by the lovely Kate over at LiveintheNautical. Y’all this stuff is so guuud. I wasn’t as big a fan of the dressing, but the actual bowl itself was just delish & fresh! The tofu in it was sooo hearty & yummy.

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In the evening, I attended School of Leadership. This is a four-week course I’m taking through our Church, and WOW, it’s enlightening. I feel like I’m drinking wisdom from a fire hose. So much knowledge and practical application. I am just loving every second of it & have made some new friends through it. At this point in time there is only one week left- crazy how quickly it flew.

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On February 13th I gathered together all my Valentine’s I was making for Boys and Girls Club and paired them with a chocolate. The Valentine’s were 3D which I thought the third graders would like. After I made the Valentine’s I panicked because I realized the Snickers had nuts in them & I didn’t know if any of the kids had an allergy. I switched out any of the Snickers for another type of chocolate & left those for DJ since their his fave anyway!

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I was craving some of my “chick’n” so I made it with roasted beets, corn, and topped it off with tzatziki sauce from TJ’s (that tzatziki sauce is the bomb! I’ll include it in my FF).

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On February 14th I went to Boys and Girls Club in the afternoon. Holy hyperness… I thought they were sugar filled last week- oh man, you haven’t seen chaos till you’ve seen a third grade classroom on Valentine’s Day! LOL! It was so much fun. I came home to these gorgeous roses from DJ and yummy treats & cards from friends & family. <3 They are the bestt.

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This card was from DJ… he said each one of these dogs represented one of my moods. LOLOL.

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Oh, and this was from a friend at church! Tell me this isn’t the cutest little idea for a Valentine ya ever did see?!

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I made Deej a little box of some of our faves- our favorite candle, his favorite granola, and then made a little note saying “Will You Accept This Rosé?” As a play on the Bachelor. CHEESY, I KNOW!

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For dinner I made him heart shaped grilled cheese on our TJ’s brioche and tomato soup- his favorite weeknight meal. Just when ya didn’t think it could get cheesy-er 😉

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For my dinner I had my stuffed purple sweet potato with Fage, avocado, meatless crumbles, and almond vegan cheese. This is one of my personal favorite go-to winter meals.

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I also made a big ol’ batch of these cookies for dessert. I think I should have made them thicker because they were a bit too crumbly, but the flavor was wonderful!

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On the 15th I woke up at 4:30 am bright and early & could not fall back asleep; I was so excited for the weekend we had before us! I started the day with oatmeal, protein powder, blueberries, granola and stevia.

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After drilling my brain with school work, around 3:30 pm we left for SF for a staycation. I was feeling pretty sick, the cold that is going around definitely got me, but I was ignoring it. That’s my go-to when I’m not feeling good- just pretend it’s not there. That is NOT sound nursing advice, hah. I did stock up on Advil, Halls, & Vitamin C to take along. We stopped for gas on the way, and I captured this rainbow. I will share about the weekend in a separate post because it was fun, special & so very memorable. Can’t wait!

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Questions for you:

  • Favorite hodge-podge meals?
  • What is a staple in your home? (Truly can be anything- food, candle, cleaning supplies- anything at all!)

xo <3

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Friday Favorites #17!

Happy Friday, everyone!!! I was not planning on publishing a Friday Faves today, but I am having the worst time focusing on school this morning. It smells thick of smoke from the wildfires and my eyes are dry- it’s making it hard to read and absorb the info. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by Camp Fire (and the shooting). My stomach hurts thinking about everything going on 🙁 So scary, so awful. What’s happening to us, guys? *Sigh* I didn’t even plan on mentioning this, but my heart is breaking for the pain & loss being experienced by so many.

Anyways, Friday Favorites are always some of my favorite posts to post (Did that sentence even make sense?). Publishing one always brightens my spirits, and I hope it brightens yours as well! I’m currently enjoying an extra cup of pumpkin spiced joe (it’s a three cup of coffee type morning) and am excited to share some highlights before hitting the books again. Luckily, I have the whole weekend to just focus on a massive paper I have due soon. Alrighty ! Leggo!

  1. Apple Cider Donuts from Trader Joe’s. We haven’t been great this year about doing all the traditional autumn activities, but really, all ya need is an apple cider donut (or six) to call your fall a win!!!

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2. Brooks Ghost Runners  & Berry Inserts. This has been my go-to shoe/insert pairing for the last six(ish) years, maybe more! Before using this combo I had horrible shin splints. I have been fighting some serious knee pain recently, then realized I haven’t replaced my shoes in nearly five months. That’s far too long when you are marathon training. Since replacing them my knee already feels much better, but I’m gonna take it easy this week to try to let it heal up.

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3. TJ’s Lightlife Smart Tenders. Oh, how I love Lightlife. Their smart tenders are just insanely good, vegan, and super high in protein.

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I like dicing up the tenders, heating them up, and throwing them in my salads. For thanksgiving, I am going to eat these with gravy as my “turkey”. (Of course I’ll make a real turkey too for the meat eaters 😉 ).

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4. Dang, this is quickly becoming a TJ’s Friday Fave! Have y’all tried these pumpkin cranberry crisps yet?! OH man they are good! I like dipping them in greek yogurt for an afternoon snack. Mm mm. I may need to go grab some now!

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Okay, back, with crisps in hand! Onto the next one….

5. If you follow the bachelor, you have to read this exchange between Arie & Sean Lowe. Too funny.

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6. My sister asked me to be her maid of honor!!  After a lot of contemplation and ambivalence about my answer (jk jk), I said yes! I am so so excited. She asked me with this cute little scratch off  & a wine glass that had an inside joke engraved on it. Her wedding is next July 🙂

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Not a super high quality picture, but a high quality moment!

facetune_07-11-2018-18-50-23(PS. JUST in case anyone notices, I’m not wearing my ring in the pic because I was deep cleaning the apartment this day haha- there is zero trouble in paradise 😉 ). Although speaking of which- can you believe Kaitlyn and Shawn’s breakup (bachelor franchise reference)?! *insert shocked emoji*. Although I’m not alll that shocked. There were some signs. Okay, I need to move on. Hahah.

7. We are a bit late to the game with this one. But we are LOVING The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. We watched the first episode and weren’t sure how we felt, but after the second one we were glued to the series. I think we may binge it tonight depending how much work I get done to try to finish the ‘sodes. We have three left!

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8. This is an unusual Friday Fave- but this past week when checking out at my local Target I was chatting away with one of my favorite cashiers, and right before I left she threw a bunch of free goods into my shopping bag! I used up everything already except the lavender + sage soap (which I smells delightful and I’ll be opening it up today). I particularly loved the lemon sage lotion– yummy!  Shoutout to my local TarJay employees – y’all are the real MVPs!

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9. This. Just this.

img_1422-110. Ebates!!!

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Oh man, oh man! A few of you recommended signing up and installing this into my internet toolbar for cashback on purchases after my Savings September post. All I gotta say is….. what have I been doing my whole life?! This is incredible. It’s so easy, and I already am racking up cashback on things I already buy all the time. Thank you tons for the recommendation!!! If you want to sign up, click this link!

Questions for you:

  • Current favorite Trader Joe’s Product?
  • Any weekend plans?

xo <3

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**There are affiliated links in this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own**

A Foxy Pup, an Ice Cream Battle, & Recyclops!

Hi, Lovies!!! I don’t have a super eventful update— but as always, I want to reflect on the hum drum and find the highlights, you know, find those doggone silver linings (they are there, I promise!). First, I am SO excited to say I have officially submitted my first grad school application. It was a DOOZY. It’s (maybe) my first choice, but I am very confused about the whole decision. I’m applying to schools across the country (and many online schools that pair you with a nearby hospital). I just pray that God will make it clear where we should be. I love California; I love it so dearly, and I love our life here. But we also LOVE exploration  and when else will we have this flexibility to just get up and go (cough cough… kids…..), so who knows… but I don’t know that we can imagine leaving here yet. I don’t know! I guess we will see! Nothing will happen until next fall, so I’m hoping all things will just fall in place the way they should.

Just a little context, I’m sitting here this Sunday evening with my mint chocolate chip ice cream, a glass of cabernet sauvignon, and NYC Housewives playing on the laptop (Uhm, Aviva- take a chill pill girlfran’). I don’t have the GRE or November application deadline hanging over my head (although I have about three more coming up in November- March), but for today, we will relish in the moment. DJ has the World Series playing in the background, and things feel actually OK at this second.

I think we left off right after the GRE. I went back to work for a few days, and DJ headed to Ohio! I wish I could have went back, but work owns me. I am thankful he had such a fantastic weekend with his family, but I am honestly a bit jealous because I miss them all terribly.

On Saturday, October 21st, my dear fran Sara, (you may remember this chica from here, here, and here), stopped by to hangout and catch up while DJ was spending his last day in Ohio. We decided to go to Steins for an appetizer and a drink to catch up!

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The waiter brought us the cutest little mini beer mugs to try their featured sour flavor. It was cute, but wayyy too sour for our liking. Plus neither of us are big beer guys.

We tried a recommended featured cocktail with capurro pisco (not sure what that is), but it ruined the flavor. We were not fans of this cocktail. However, their beer garden cooler was delish and refreshing. Highly recommend if you end up finding yourself here.

Also, highly, HIGHLY recommend their truffle fries- TO. DIE. FOR. Perhaps the best truffle fries ever. I think the only other ones that contest were the ones in Santa Cruz.

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ANNNDDD Sara surprised me with Foxy Lady (that’s literally her name) (you may remember her from this post). I was ecstatic. I just love this pup so much.

Sara cracks me up when she has Foxy do her dance.

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When Foxy wants her tummy scratched in the hallway, she will not take no for an answer.

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Cutest little pumpkin <3

We hung out, laughed, had an aggressive battle with a Talenti gelato mint chocolate chip pint (if you follow me on Instagram @ __mackenzie.marie__ you probably saw) and chatted until about 11 pm.

We literally wrestled with a Talenti container for probably twenty minutes. We tried EVERYTHING from knives, to rubber twist jar openers, and finally rubber oven mitts….it was a scene. Beware the Talenti.

Anywho, It was such nice, much needed girl time!!!

On Sunday October 22nd, I woke up bright eyed and bushy, but realized I didn’t have yogurt for my toast. I panicked, but no worries- there is a Target just down the road. I picked up my coffee mug (didn’t even bother putting it in a tumbler) and headed to Target to snag some yog. I know all the workers, considering I stop by there nearly every day, so they didn’t blink at me showing up disheveled with my half finished cup of coffee and zombie affect. It happens more than I probably should admit. After I was all caffeinated, I zoomed to pick Deej from the airport!

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When we came home, DJ had to whip off to work for a couple hours. When he came home, we decided we were in the mood for some lunchy brunchy food. We have been wanting to try out the local Bob Evans (Aka Holder’s Country Inn). It received great reviews on Yelp, and it sounded like the perfect Sunday afternoon meal.

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I had their veggie scramble with egg whites, peppers, mushrooms, salsa, and avocado. Every ingredient was immensely fresh and satisfied the craving to a tee.

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DJ tried their pancakes… now, if you follow along, DJ is on the hunt for the best pancake. So far the best ones we have found in the area are Bobbie’s. They have yet to top the Bellagio’s from Las Vegas, or his mom’s (DUH!).

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He also had the country fried steak with eggs. Doesn’t get more Bob Evans-ey than this, folks.

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After we returned home, I decided to take advantage of the glorious day and go for a nice jog outside.

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The leaves are changing, the colors are vibrant, and the weather is finally cooling its jets (it has been ridiculously hot here). When I came back home I whipped up my new absolute favorite meal. I was going to wait until a Friday Faves, but I can’t. It’s too good!

My all time favorite potato is the sweet purple white potato (purple outside, white inside). It actually has more antioxidants than a regular orange sweet potato, and I swear tastes better. You can find different varieties- some have a white colored inside, and some have a vibrant purple.

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I stir fry together white onion, mushrooms, Lightlife tempeh, and eggplant with liquid aminos.

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Once it’s all caramelized and the sweet potato is cooked to tenderness, I stuff the tater! So easy, so absolutely delicious, satisfying, and high in protein/complex carbs.

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And the caprese salads are still going strong for DJ!

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He and I have not been able to do many of the “fall activities” this year ( cue melancholy soundtrack), but I have been listening to a plethora of crime podcasts, have eaten an embarrassing amount of candy corn, and we watched Cropsey together on Amazon prime over the course of a few days. SOooOOO sort of taking advantage, yah?

I even found this wine to accompany the documentary  because it seemed appropro. DJ always laughs at how excited I get about the “idea” of something.. I like things to be themed, anyone else feel meh?! Why just watch a crime documentary when you can watch a crime documentary with CRIME wine on the heels of listening to crime podcasts in the midst of Halloween hype?! PS. Documentary was tremendous.

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And I mean these socks are basically me after a couple shifts so… had to invest..

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We both worked Monday October 23rd, but the 24th I picked up my bridesmaid dress for the November wedding (EEEK!!!!), and then later in the day grabbed a massage (much needed). There was a $30 off coupon online for a super nice salon in Sunnyvale. I jumped on it, and enjoyed every stinking second of that massage.

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After the massage, I stopped by Safeway to pick up my Ice Cream (Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough….. it says limited edition but I’m convinced I am keeping them single-handedly in stock). I also stumbled upon this RXBar. Mint chocolate chip you say?!? Yesss sirrr-eeeee.

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I still prefer the Chocolate sea salt, but I see they now have pumpkin and maple. Uhm, yuhm. I need to hunt those down!

On Wednesday, the 25th, and Thursday the 26th, I buckled down on my application. I spent the full days slaving over that booger. It was in-stinking-tense. I definitely needed a break to clear my head… this called for an extra long run, which turned into an impromptu half marathon. #procrastinationnation.

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And on the heels of any long run, candy corn is EXTRA necessary.

Later in the day I stocked up on groceries for the next few days from Sprouts Farmers Market. This is one of my favorite grocery stores around.

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^^This is as close as I got to a pumpkin patch this year.

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In the evening, I decided I needed some sushh. It has been a hot minute!!! I went for my go-to sunset roll with unagi, ahi tuna, and lemon with a side of wakame salad and extra ginger.

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I worked Friday and Saturday. Friday morning was bad, bad, bad. BAD BADDDDD. First, I was out of coffeee (nough said, right?). I drove to work early so I could make a cup, and when I checked my phone, it said my time off request for the wedding the end of November was NOT approved. A few months ago I had a face to face conversation with my manager confirming that it wouldn’t be a problem. So now.. I panicked, the anxiety set in, I couldn’t see straight. I started bawling in the bathroom before my shift. I quickly messaged her explaining I had already bought the plane ticket and told the Bride I could be in the wedding based on our conversation. I spent the whole morning sick to my stomach, holding back tears, and gritting my teeth through my assignments. Halfway through the day she e-mailed back saying it was approved, she just had to go back and adjust the way it was formatted in our system. I have never been so relieved. I cried again— tears of relief. I was a MESS. I would not have made it through the morning without the support from my family who sent scripture and prayed over the situation when I frantically filled them in before the shift began. Thank you Jesus for answering that prayer. I still take deep breaths just thinking about it.

But on a much brighter note….. .on Saturday the 21st, DJ headed to his family’s for a costume party. I was bummin’ I missed it this year. You can check out the post from last year if you would like 😉 Our costumes were certainly something! Haha. This year DJ was Recyclops from the Office! He nailed it. The rest of the family’s costumes were amazing too. I wish I could have been there to see them in person!!

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Sunday (the 22nd) I accidentally slept in wayyyyy too late after working all weekend. Whoops. I can’t interact with anyone the day after working a few in a row and my body cannot physically function. I get in a fuzzy funk from the exhaustion and move the pace of a sloth. I decided to wake up my body with a run before finishing up my application.

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It was perfectly brisk, with cloudy skies, and the weather finally exuded those autumnal feelz <3 I love LOVE cloudy Sundays. Sundays in the fall are the ultimate relaxing day after Church, naps, football, and candles. A cloudy day just enhances the whole experience and I feel like “gives me permission” to be lazy.

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One of the houses along my run had a little garden out front and was growing butternut squash(es), squash? I think just squash. Can you say #GOALS?!

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I also saw this beautiful flower and couldn’t help but snag a picture. Is it weird that I thought of a Punnett square when I saw the unusual distribution of colors?! I will always be a bio nerd at heart.

For dinner, we tried the Daiya vegan Margherita pizza. Not only does DJ love the Vegan burgers, but now is on board with the vegan pizza. He said it was easily just as tasty as a regular one.

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And that’s a wrap! As I finish up this post, it’s actually morning now, I am sipping coffee, eating a protein bar and my toast, and for the first time in a LONG time I don’t have something hanging over my head for the day. I am gonna finish up my breakfast, go for a run, answer some blog comments, and read Harry Potter until my eyeballs fall out. Woohooo!!!!!

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xo <3

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Nutrient and Flavor-Packed Sweet Potato

Happy Tuesday! I finally have some time to post one of my all-time FAVORITE recipes!!! I went through a stage where I think I ate this every night for dinner for almost two weeks straight. AKA it is CRAVE-WORTHY and delicious with 20 g of protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, and it’s vegetarian! Also- it’s basically one giant multi-vitamin-all the health packed into one tasty meal! This recipe is written as a single servings, so for however many people you are feeding, just multiply it! And you know me, it’s ridiculously easy to make.

Grocery List

1 Sweet potato of choice (purple is my favorite)

1/2 C Meatless crumbles (Lightlife, Morning Star, Boca are all great brands)

1/4 C Daiya cheddar cheese shreds

1/4 C yogurt of choice (to keep entirely vegan do plain Silk yogurt). I personally like Chobani or Siggi’s!

1/3 Avocado, sliced (HINT: keep the pit inside the avocado to preserve freshness while you store the leftover)

Chives to top

Directions

  1. Bake the sweet potato:
    • Oven: Preheat oven to 400F, pierce sweet potato all around with a fork, bake about 45 minutes-1 hour.
    • Microwave: Pierce sweet potato and place in a microwave safe dish with 1/2 cup of water. Cook 6 minutes, then flip (with a fork, it will be incredibly hot) and cook for an additional six minutes.
    • While the sweet potato is baking, move to step 2
  2. In a small pan over medium heat, add meatless crumbles and cheese. **Cheese withstands high temperatures. Stir in the pan until meat is fully cooked- about 4 minutes.
  3. Cut your sweet potato in half and stuff with meatless crumbles/cheese mixture and top with yogurt/chives/avocado

THAT’S IT!

Nutrition

Calories: 389

Fat: 15.5 (great source of mono/polyunsaturated fats)

Carbs: 44

Fiber: 11.2g

Sugars: 7.3g

Protein: 20g

**Great source of vitamin A and iron

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ENJOY!

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My First Giveaway! Lightlife and Nasoya

Hey guys! Today I am teaming up with two of my all-time favorite veggie-based brands: Lightlife and Nasoya!

I love them for several reasons:

  • Their mission: “Our mission is making eating better accessible and deliciously easy, because the more people love our food, the more good we can do together.”
  • Their products are vegan or vegetarian and prepared in a healthy and sustainable manner.
  • You do your body a favor without sacrificing the flavor. They have a substitute for just about every meat product you can imagine! My personal favorites include smart bacon, ground crumbles, buffalo wings, tempeh, tofu vegetable dumplings, and smart dogs! I have never been disappointed!

In “light” of the Super Bowl happening on Sunday, I thought I would share some awesome Game Day Recipes with you all to keep you focused on the yard line and less focused on the waist line 😉 

Here are some links to the most epic game day recipes by Lightlife and Nasoya to kick off a healthy and delicious Super Bowl party:

Smart Dog Tater Tot Skewers

Sweet Potato Chili

Loaded Nachos

Tofu Vegetable Dumplings

Trust me- each and every one of these are going to blow your lucky game day socks off!!!

The best part- I’m giving away FREE product coupons! To enter, simply answer these two questions in the comment section on this post!

  1. What is your favorite part of the Super Bowl?
  2. Who are you cheering for?

**One very lucky winner will receive FREE product coupons for Lightlife and Nasoya products. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 years or older to enter and live in the United States. Giveaway begins 2/3/17 and ends 2/6/17. Winner chosen through randompicker.com. All winning entries are verified.**

I will randomly choose a winner on Monday! 

Good luck and happy Super Bowl weekend!

xo <3

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**This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own. I have been compensated for this post with a sample product and/or payment.**