First Days in Austin & Flying to Miami!

Hi everyone! Ok, now I am dipping into my back-logged post reserves. It’s 12 am, I’ve been studying since 7 am… and that’s pretty much how every day this week has gone, and I think this semester is going to go. It is a DOOZY. I do have my on campus intensives soon, so I’ll be traveling for those which I’m excited for – just a lot of prep until then. But, for now, I have a few posts on standby to share :). Hope you all are so well 💕❤️

So now our posts moving forward are all going to be from our time in Austin (well some Miami too). I am so stoked to recap the rest of the summer. It’s been probably the busiest few months I can remember, but all packed with fun (and only a couple moments of panic, hah).

Once we returned home from TJ’s, I whipped us up some Indian Food with their naan. I loveee TJ’s naan (both the fresh & the frozen). They have such a wide variety of options for vegan and vegetarians too (they have a Vegan Tikka Masala that is so yummy!).

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We spent the rest of the night unpacking and getting settled as much as we could.

The morning of July 4th I started the day with a slice of toast with yogurt, strawberries, salted cashews and a dash of stevia. I love the salty/sweet combo, especially with coffee.

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I spent the whole day studying. Kinda a bummer when it is a holiday — but gotta do what you gotta do, ya know? DJ was really understanding & he worked on getting organized/getting ready for his semester too.

In the evening we decided to go clear our heads and walk around outside. Basically upon stepping out our door we were in the audience of the Austin Symphony. Everyone was congregated to hear them play and witness the massive Fireworks display- there was an excitement and anticipation buzzing through the city, vendors lined the sidewalks and food trucks emanated smells of fair food that made us involuntarily salivate. The food truck scene is incredible here!

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We walked along a river and soaked up the views of the city. We even saw our first city rat that scurried past us on the trail. Eep!

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When walking back to find a place to stand and watch the fireworks, we were passing a set of porta potties, and I heard a mom tell her daughter in a scolding tone as they left one of them, “No more peeing till we get back to the hotel, that was traumatizing enough”. It cracked me up.

We found a spot on a bridge to watch and it was nice to turn off my tired brain for a couple moments and to share this moment with DJ. We haven’t had a Fourth of July together since we moved to California (ironically it was actually during our last move too!)- the last few summers he was at the baseball stadium for game nights and fireworks.

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On July 5th, we both went to a nearby Starbucks to crank out work all day. Since we didn’t have Wifi, we changed scenery between the lobby of our apartment and Starbucks. We had a gift card, so we figured we would use that up before venturing out to different local coffee shops.

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In the afternoon we made a Target Run to get a few things we needed like cleaning supplies, bowls to replace some we lost in the cooler, toilet paper, etc.

We found these bowls for .79 a piece & we love them!!! They are dishwasher and microwave safe too. Also, they are the perfect size. (My oatmeal doesn’t overflow, which is the ultimate test, amiright?!)

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For this meal I made a murasaki potato stuffed with roasted artichoke hearts, chik’n from Lightlife, and green goddess dressing from TJs.

July 6th was the same ol’ as the day before… but with one special highlight- we tried Cane’s for the first time! Now, this place is very hyped up. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone who doesn’t just rave about it. So naturally we had to try it out!

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We ordered a basic chicken tender basket with fries and their Texas Toast. DJ LOVED their chicken and we were both obsessed with their Texas Toast and fries… but maybe my favorite part… the sauce!!! That doggone Cane’s sauce- oh me, oh my.. so good!! Obviously, we get the hype (it 1000000% lives up to it) & we will be back. I have since found myself craving that Texas Toast & sauce combo– mmm mmmm!

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We took another evening walk that night.

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July 7th was the same ol’ too.

July 8th…nothing new- just study, study, study. I did have a pretty serious moment of panic this day though. I had to take my exam for class on the morning of the 10th before flying out for my sisters wedding that afternoon. Originally, the cable guys were supposed to come on the 8th to set up the Wifi, but then something came up and it looked like they wouldn’t be able to come until after we returned home. I needed that secure Wifi for my exam (public access Wifi can knock you off easily, plus it’s hard to focus in public). We worked it out that if they had a cancellation they would come on the 9th. I prayed hard there would be a cancellation, and luckily there was! I was so thankful…it all worked out as it always does!

Anyways- random non-segued transition- at TJ’s I saw this Fresh Texas Homegrown Okra I could not pass up. I don’t know what it was about this Okra, but gosh it was sooo tasty.

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For dinner one night I made us okra, eggs, and brown rice. Kinda an odd combo, but it worked!

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July 9th we started the day with some PB toast with honey and eggs. The movers came that morning too!

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Since I needed to crack down in the books, I headed to Starbucks while DJ helped get the movers going. Time to put in one last massive day of studying!

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Before heading home for the afternoon I grabbed DJ a protein chicken wrap from Starbucks.

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The rest of the evening was spent packing for Miami and unpacking a couple boxes here and there. In the morning of July 10th, first thing I did was take my exam. After an hour and a half I submitted the exam, and was thrilled to see my grade (we get them automatically because it’s electronically graded).

It set the day and trip off on a great note 🙂 It was such a relief to have that behind me! We finished getting our suitcases together and then left our scattered boxes to go to the airport.

Austin’s airport is awesome! It emulates the hip/happenin’ chill vibe of the actual city itself.

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I sniffed out some coffee from Ruta Maya and then sat down to start my next unit. Usually I give myself the rest of the day off from studying after an exam, but since we had my sister’s wedding festivities the entire weekend I couldn’t afford to take our travel day off too. Worth it though! Anticipating all the fun that was coming helped keep me motivated.

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Plane time!

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We arrived in Miami in the evening. We made a trip to the grocery store with my mom to get some snacks for the Bachelorette party the following day. Something that we were fascinated by was the way you get your groceries down… they have a system where you put your cart on an escalator and then just meet it at the bottom! Too funny.

 

 

When we got made it back to the Air Bnb we were staying at, DJ ordered a burger from Five Guys. He ordered a double, not realizing their standard burger is already a double so ended up with three patties. Lol. Safe to say he got his protein intake met for the day.

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I worked that evening on getting everything ready as much as I could for the Bachelorette party and then hit the hay.

In the morning, my mom, sister and I all worked out at the AirBnb together. Workouts are all the more fun with them by my side!

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Ahh- I’m so excited for the next post where I’ll recap the first half of Miami. Thanks for reading 🙂

Questions for you:

  • Do you like Raising Cane’s?
  • Do you have a favorite fast food “sauce”?

xo <3

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Take Us Out to the Ball Game!

Hi, Friends! Speaking of Friends… I started the TV series for the first time. They are taking it off Netflix in 2020, and my friend Sara has been begging me to watch it. So it’s now or never! I’ve tried once before- and couldn’t get halfway through the first episode. She said to give it five and then make a decision. I am on episode 2 and already liking it a bit more than the first time around. I love having something light and fluffy to watch in the background of working on case studies, other assignments, etc. because the school content/life feels pretty overwhelming right now. It creates a nice balance.  When life itself feels stressful I tend to enjoy comedies and baking shows (that’s specific) even more- and when life is feeling more day-to-day or easy going I crave more dramatic shows.

I’m already digressing, and I haven’t even begun the post, haha. So where were we? June 10th was back to reality. My sister and I hunkered down at Peets and enjoyed our coffee while I studied and she worked on her to-do list.

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We came home early and whipped up some chicken and cheese quesadillas for DJ.

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For ourselves, we enjoyed some roasted asparagus, a seafood blend from Trader Joe’s, and some cauliflower mashed potatoes. Plus, (not pictured) but my sister made some absolutely to-die-for lentil stew. I have to get the recipe from her to share it here.

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On the morning of July 11th we enjoyed acai bowls with lotsa cashews, PB, and strawberries.

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And off to studying we go! We went to Philz coffee this time. I have always been “anti-Philz” because their coffee literally makes me shake (and I’m loyal to ol’ Peets). But we wanted to have a change of pace and gave it a go. We actually loved it- and since we both got decaf we didn’t get the coffee jitters. It was quite delicious!

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I also love that they offer oat milk! This was my first time trying it, and this might be my favorite milk alternative. It’s so wonderfully creamy.

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In the evening, it was Bachelorette night! We wrapped up around 6 pm at Philz and headed home to make dinner. Halston’s good friend (and basically my other little sister), Marissa, moved to the area the week prior. Since she is a big Bachelor franchise fan too, she came by our apartment, and I made us all tacos (half regular/half vegan) with all the fixin’s to gear up for the show. Can you guess which is which? It was such a fun night! I’m on the edge of my seat for the finale tomorrow..

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On June 12th we worked at Starbucks for the day and then went to an impromptu SJ Giants game since we finished up everything we had set to do!

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We walked around scoping out where we’d want to eat. Decisions, decisions, decisions!

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We settled on Turkey Mike’s for food… usually the go-to.

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We even got featured on their Instagram page with all our yums in hand!

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Found our seats!

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We loved our veggie subs… but I always particularly look forward to the coleslaw and baked beans from the stadium.

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We then popped into the press box to say hi to DJ & I took him a hot dog..Naturally, I had to get a photo of it before giving it to him- haha. He’s a trooper.

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And now- for the star of the show- The ever-so famous San Jose Churro!!!

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These are a “must” try if you go to a game. People say these churros are better than Disney World’s. I have never actually tried a churro before (That I can remember?), so I didn’t know much what to expect.

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It was tasty! I don’t know that personally I would go out of my way to have one- I think I’d prefer just enjoying an ice cream cone or garlic fries, but if you do like churros- these are the ones to try!

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And last up on the list- Somi Somi! Halston wanted to save this place for her last stop before flying out the next morning.

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It did not disappoint! I am forever convinced this is the best ice cream treat you can ever have.

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On June 13th, I had to drop Halston off at the airport- talk about a sad morning! But it helped knowing I would see her again in a month 🙂 I started the morning with an acai bowl again.

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Then I went to Philz in the afternoon to study with Smalls. I guess I can’t honestly say I don’t like Philz anymore, hehe.

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In the afternoon I enjoyed some tilapia with asparagus and a murasaki potato with vegan butter and Fage.

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The next few days were just a ton of studying and packing. I’m still on my stuffed sweet potato kick as an afternoon snack with vegan cheese, boca crumbles, an unnatural amount of jalapeños and Fage.

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On June 16th I was able to make it outside for my traditional walk route. I will say I am so excited to find a new route here! There is a river right near us, so I think that will be the place to start looking for one.

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On June 17th, I worked hard all day on school work, and then since I hit a mental wall, I texted Tammy to see if she could come over to watch the Bachelorette! Right before, I ate a dinner of tilapia, murasaki potato and a ton of roasted veggies.

8ac74fe7-ff30-4f03-b9a2-fe339fd5fc81During a commercial break, we tried out some face masks Tammy bought over. We laughed pretty hard at how the mask refused to stay on my face, and every time I breathed the mask around my nostrils would flare in and out. bahah. But the face mask did feel amazing! Even the next day my skin felt silky smooth. They are called 111 Skin Rose Gold.I added an Amazon affiliate link here if you’re interested!

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June 18th, back to Philz I gooo.

e8be47ab-302d-43b4-a243-a43a3bc3f3adMidday for a change of scenery I went to our apartment conference room to study. 92f9e0aa-1a7e-43fc-a255-12580e9904c0

I think I forgot to mention this, but funny(ish) story- I was trying to use up everything in our fridge/pantry before the move. I had a chicken-based dish I wanted to make for DJ later in the week and just needed a couple chicken breasts. Since he was going to the store I asked if he could pick a pack up. He got a large, I mean massive, super-sized pack of chicken … a week and a half before the move, lol. I cracked up when I saw it, and he was like, “What? You said to pick up a pack of chicken!”. I soo appreciated his effort- he just went a bit above and beyond (with enough to feed an army), but it gave us a good chuckle … or shall I say cluckle . 🐔 Anyways, I had to get creative to use it up, so for dinner one evening I made him some chicken tacos instead of beef- same ingredients otherwise. I didn’t know if it’d throw the whole taco off, but he actually really enjoyed them!

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I was craving my garden bowl per usual. This is definitely my summer go-to.

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On June 19th I made BBQ chicken with rice and a wedge salad.

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Eating amongst the boxes.

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Time to get back to studying!
Questions for you:

  • Do you like the show Friends?
  • Best churro you have ever had?

xo <3

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Sister Time & Wine Country Part I!

Hey hey, long time no seeee!! Oh man, you know what’s tough? Sometimes the times in life when you need to write and process the most are the times that are the most chaotic and don’t allow much free time to do just that! (Don’t count how many times I used “time” in that sentence, or this one). But I’ve gotta say, at this moment, I’m actually enjoying the chaos. It’s incredibly stressful for sure, tears have been shed, and there are times I don’t feel like I can handle it all- but things are going much smoother than I could have ever imagined, and I feel like we are almost in the clear! We also have a lot of the really huge stressors behind us, so now much of that anxiety is getting replaced with excitement and anticipation! Also, although each day is go-go-go from super early morning till nearly midnight, the adrenaline from everything is working wonders. We officially move out on Sunday.

Currently….My brain is fried, I cannot do another lick of studying, so I am treating myself to just this one night to do a blog post!

We left off the evening my sister arrived. On June 5th, my Sis and I woke up early to get to work! Halston had tons of “to-dos” on her list for the wedding & of course, I had a bottomless pit of reading and studying and assignments. We started the day with avocado smoothies– Hal talked about them for weeks leading up to the trip since she got hooked on them last time she was here. We had one every day of her visit this time around- and now I can’t have one without missing her!

I took a midday break to post some items on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. I’m never using Craigslist again with the success we’ve had through Marketplace. I’m so stoked about it- it’s just so easy.

In the evening we whipped up some stuffed sweet potatoes again. We made ours each a bit differently, mine with extra tzatziki and beets and Hal’s with extra green goddess dressing from TJs. These also included tofu, roasted peppers and onions, artichoke hearts and hummus all stuffed in Murasaki potatoes. We chatted out on the balcony & enjoyed the momentary quiet from the studying/wedding details.

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On June 6th we went to Peets during the day to get shtuff done, and then came back in the late afternoon and worked out on the main apartment community deck. Smalls was soaking up the sun… I would have hated to disturb him..so I figured I should just let him be 😉

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We made massive salads in the evening with all ingredients in the fridge- mmm mmmm! Halston is all aboard the massive salad train too.

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Side note: DJ had a home-stand during the week she was here (where he leaves basically at 730 am-ish and doesn’t get home till 11ish); that’s why he isn’t around in any adventures, sadly. We missed him!

Anyway, we took an after-dinner walk around Main Street before I hit the books again.

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Aaand it was the same ol’ on June 7th. We were very productive through the week, but basically it was just study/eat/workout/study/eat.

To shake things up for dinner, we decided to try TJ’s Cauliflower Gnocchi! We didn’t add much seasoning to it because I wanted to get a feel for the base to see what I could jazz it up with next time.

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They were super yummy. I think next time I’d like to add some type of nice parmesan on top! A red sauce would work well too. We ate them with tilapia and roasted veggies from Chef Hal herself. Halston and I eat essentially the same type of diet, so it was fun to tag- team dinners throughout the week.

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I started packing that evening after getting to a stopping point I had planned for the week. We made sure to try to get a good night sleep because we woke up around 4:45 am on Saturday June 8th to get a workout in. And finally- after a long week of studying and wading through wedding logistics we were ready for a day of fun & relaxation! We scarfed down our coffee and avocado smoothies and headed out to celebrate my sister’s birthday in….. NAPA!

We headed from Cupertino to the Ferry Building in SF where our wine tour car would be picking us up. I booked us through Platypus Wine Tours again since it was such a phenomenal experience the first time around with Kelsey (and it’s very reasonably priced).

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The tour bus was scheduled to pick us up in front of the Ferry Building at 8:45 am, and we had about twenty minutes to spare after grabbing our Ferry tickets for the trip back…so naturally we had to grab some pics!

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When it was time to load up the car, we found ourselves surrounded by about 8 other people from all over the world- Denmark, France, Canada… It was fun to get to know them all throughout the trip. That’s something I so love about San Francisco- you meet people from truly everywhere and anywhere with the most fascinating lives and stories.

First stop first: Auburn James.

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This was a unlike any other winery experience we’ve had before. The whole tasting room vibe was supposed to make you feel like you were entering a home, and it really did feel like we were all just hanging out in a living room.

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We were given our tasting and then showed around the vineyards.

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The vineyards were beautiful! But it was HOT HOT HOT. Our Platypus tour guide did say they were a little bit worried about wildfires that day. I think we could have all done without that little tidbit of knowledge.. eep!

6486d0ac-f7b3-4bfa-b416-ea35be5d910f1d6c75ed-5548-4dd3-8a3f-97408f06db4a I wouldn’t say this winery is a must, but it was a lovely experience nonetheless. I think it was the most educational out of the four!

Second Stop: Hagafen. This was our favorite of the day for several reasons…

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Oh, and another bonus, they had games! We attempted a round of cornhole, but the wind kept catching our bags, so we didn’t do too hot.. meaning it was probably comical for any bystanders watching, haha.

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Before we knew it, it was lunch time! yaa buddy. They had vegetarian dishes for Hal & I. Platypus called before hand to make sure they accommodated any dietary restrictions. So kind! We enjoyed every nibble of our veggie sandwiches accompanied by hummus, pears, and a lentil salad that was to die for.

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And dessert were these sweet little strawberries and cream muffin bites.

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I’ll recap the second part of wine country in a separate post! Happy birthday again, Sista!

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Questions for you:

  • What do you call cornhole? I know it has a variety of names depending where you’re from.
  • What time of day do you prefer to workout?

xo <3

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