Hiking Through a Weekend in Keller, TX!

Heyyy, all! Thank you for the warm welcome back to Ohio!

I have been eager for a long time to write this post. One of my favorite weekends this summer was spent with my mom in Keller (Pete was missed!- he was back in OH working on a job during this time). When I arrived on June 4th, my mom had the most beautiful and colorful lunch set up for us! The spread consisted of an incredible avocado vegan chik’n salad, mixed fruit, a homemade vegan zucchini cake and hibiscus tea- yummm! I told her I needed that recipe for the zucchini cake, seriously some of the best cake I’ve ever tried.

I studied for an exam in the afternoon, and then we went to Golden Thai for dinner. WOW- this Thai was phenomenal!

My mom was dog-sitting a friend’s dog named Duke that weekend-he is a sweetie, and it was so much fun having him around!

The morning of June 5th we went to Orange Theory together and then followed it with a delish breakfast of avocado toast and fruit.I took an exam after breakfast and then we headed out for a hike. We did the Canyon Ridge hike in Fort Worth which was awesomeee. 

We thought it was pretty cool how this looked just like a natural doorway into the next part of the hike.

We even stumbled upon the Rest-A-While Shelter, which I think is just a great name for a pavilion in the middle of a long hike. Half the structure was no longer there, but hey, the invitation to rest-a-while remained.

If you’d like to read more about the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps, I have linked some information here.

It was no joke of a hike- I think it was about 6 miles roundtrip with a ton of elevation. We had wonderful views and great conversation.

After, we went to a Mexican restaurant, Mariachi’s, that had a… drumroll.. all vegan menu! We took full advantage.

We had to try multiple items- first up- chips and salsa, of course.

Next, we tried the pineapple burrito- this was my favorite of all we tried.

Next were the jackfruit tacos- which were certainly delicious, but the burrito had my heart.

Also on the side we tried the elote- this is also a must-order.

On our way home, we decided we were in much need for an afternoon pick-me-up. We kept our eyes out for a coffee shop and right off the highway was Black Rifle Coffee. We decided to give it a shot!

It was good coffee & gave us that burst of energy we needed!

Duke was so funny-he kept begging  incessantly for my coffee cup. Who knew dogs loved coffee so much.

Once I finished my coffee, I gave him the empty cup to see what he’d do with it, and he just took the sleeve and ran off, lol. Guess it wasn’t the coffee he was after, after all!

When we returned home, we cleaned up then started a new show together- The Circle. We were hooked after a couple episodes. In the evening, we walked around downtown Roanoke, love this place!

It ended up raining so we went back home a little early and watched The Circle while eating delicious leftovers for dinner.

Sunday, June 6th, we went to Summer Moon for some amazing vegan breakfast treats and coffees.

After Church, we went to HG Supply Co. This place was ah-may-zing. Next time we visit I said we have to bring the whole family here- I know they’d all love it.

We beat the brunch rush –these seats filled up very quickly after we arrived. I loved the industrial feel, and there were places to play corn hole and ESPN playing on most TVs. Super chill and relaxed with excellent food.

The hummus was really good, and I had to try the crab cake toast which did not disappoint.

Our favorite was the build-your-own bowl. We loaded up the veggies and had this insanely good dressing- I wish I knew what it was because I’d buy it by the bottle!

When we returned home we watched some more episodes of The Circle, and then it was time for me to head back to Austin.

On the way home I stopped by Buc-ee’s since I’d never been, and it’s pretty famous around TX. It’s basically a big convenience store with shopping, food and fun finds. It was busy busy; I probably picked the worst time to go, but it is a fun place if you have a few minutes to spare.

Then it was back to clinical the next day.

Question for you!  

  • Do you have any favorite hiking trails?

~Mackenzie

Wrapping up last fall!

Hey all! How are youuu?! It’s a beautiful day here in Austin- quite the contrast from the snowpocolypse just a month ago.

I sit here with one month left in my masters program. How wild is that? I think I mentioned in my last post I am doing a specialty certificate over the summer in endocrinology- so I have a clinical rotation with that… but as long as I pass my boards in a couple months I will officially be a family nurse practitioner 🙂 

I needed a little break from the books today, so I decided to hop on here. I have had this post sitting in drafts for about a month, so figured about time to publish it. It’s the second part to our Fall of last year. Hope you enjoy! 

Continuing from last post.. 

On most Saturdays while I was staying there for my clinical rotation, my mom would whip up either protein pancakes or protein waffles, and gosh they were good! Such a treat to start off the weekend.

We also spent some time chatting away out on their serene patio on weekends with the outdoor heater and candle votives. It was nice to sit in total quietness too. When living in the city, you get so used to the white noise of cars driving by, doors slamming, planes overhead, etc… so just being able to sit in the quiet evenings with only crickets out was really refreshing. 

By the end of my time there, I had established a go-to five mile running/walking trail. I would often mindlessly put on my running shoes and clear my head out there after long clinical days. 

The weekend of October 23rd, my mom and Pete had to go out of town, but DJ was able to make it out for the weekend that Saturday! I was so ecstatic we could spend time together. That evening we shared a margherita pizza, some wine and watched Married at First Sight. I corrupt him with my horrible reality TV shows, but I’m really not sorry for it.

October 24th we spent the day working on our respective assignments, went for a walk together in the afternoon, then in the evening went to downtown Roanoke for dinner. DJ ordered one of their burgers, and I thought the little stamped logo was a cool touch!

I ordered their salmon, are you surprised? Hah- it was tasty tasty. We also split their hummus & pita which was pretttty spectacular.

We chose this spot since it was an outdoor venue & it was a nice brisk evening! About an hour after arriving, some live music started. They played all 80s classics. We enjoyed it for a while, but when it started getting a little crowded, we bounced.

We did make a pit stop on our way home to our favorite custard spot- Andy’s!!

At the end of the rotation, I got together the final docs for clinical. I was SO sad to leave this clinical- My preceptor and the whole staff was just awesome, and I loved spending time learning in that clinic.

The day before I left, I had one last wonderful run in Keller for this stay. We also ordered from FnG for dinner- you guys, such a hidden gem in TX! A MUST if you are ever in Keller.

The morning before heading back to Austin, I packed up my bags, had some Kashi cereal and, of course, said a (midwest) goodbye to my mom. (Pete had left earlier that morning). 

Ooh! And she sent me home with some yummy candy corn cocoa. She knows me well. I know candy corn gets a bad rap, but I am always going to defend it!

Deej and I were on a walk around Ladybird Lake that week when we spotted these birds. I am pretty sure they are cormorants, which struck me as quite ironic considering I had just finished up The Guest List, which mentioned them– Or perhaps this was just a case of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon!

I was craving a burger and shake that weekend. So, naturally, we ordered Hopdoddy’s with one of the best vegan burgers in town and a shake. I say *one* of the best… because we discovered an even better one a couple months later. Stay tuned. Oh, the suspense!

I also arrived home to this box from the Boston Athletic Association!

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Even better though…later that day my brother sent me this sweet picture of our nephew with the blanket we sent him <3 I am obsessed. Counting down the days until we can meet him.

More colorful Austin in the fall!

I was feelin’ extra anxious around this time (combo of school, the world, etc.), and I remember there was one day that was particularly beautiful lending a sense of calm. I texted Tammy, one of my friends from the Bay Area with the video below, and said it felt like a “Bay Day”.  Gosh, I really miss California sometimes. I love love Austin, but sometimes it feels like I left part of my heart in those mountains and that chaotically beautiful city. I also know, when we leave Austin, I’ll say I left a part of me at Lady Bird Lake and in this dazzlingly, eclectically vibrant city. We really are going to try to make the most of our time here before we move. Sorry to be so sappy (I can’t help it) & when big life transitions are about to happen I get super reflective and in all the feeeels.

November 6th, DJ and I ordered takeout from Grizzelda’s!

This food. I don’t have the worddds. Probably my favorite Tex Mex we’ve had yet. 

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It was all just too darn good. And the margarita’s we ordered were really fun! 

More Austin in the fall..

All through November I worked on the rest of my peds/perinatal courses and began studying for boards. Ohh. And get this. I went 11 days without coffee. Yes, 11! I stopped cold turkey because I was at about 4 cups a day which was about on par with my undergrad days & I needed to stop the madness. So I replaced my coffee with about 2 cups of matcha and honey per day. It was a tealightful alternative. The first day was awful though- seriously one of the worst days of my life, not even being dramatic this time. I had a horrendous headache and a feeling of serious impending doom. It resolved the next day though, thankfully. 

As much as I loved the matcha, it was kindaaa the sleepiest, most unproductive 11 days ever, so I added back in my one cup of coffee a day which made all the difference. I don’t think I was ever more productive than that 12th day with that single cup of jo’. I planned on sticking to one cup of coffee and one cup of matcha indefinitely….. but fast forward to present day and I’m at about 3 cups a day of coffee again. Whoops! I’m going to try to cut back again this month, but no promises. 

November 25th, I tried my hand at homemade cranberry sauce for the first time. It actually turned out great!  This is the recipe I used- I don’t recommend adding any extra orange zest- does not need it!

We went to my mom and Pete’s for a wonderful thanksgiving meal <3 It was simpler than other years, just the four of us, and we broke tradition without the bird. But our alternative was awesome! The guys had filets, my mom made us a delicious salmon and we had some asparagus, butternut squash, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and bread. It was perfect! 

We ended Thanksgiving by chatting the evening away out on the porch. 

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And of course, we enjoyed delish waffles in the AM! We added leftover cranberry sauce to our waffles, and it was an excellent decision.

It was a day of mostly working on school work for me and DJ, but there is such a warmth and coziness in the living room that made working on our respective assignments more relaxing than usual. 

I think this says it all!

Also I was not able to let a few days go by there without hitting the trail.

And-house rules- Gotta order sushi at least once when we’re all together too!

The last day, my mom made this tasty potato poblano soup. She sent us home with some, so we were spoiled by her cooking even a few days after returning to Austin!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Question for you:

  • Which cities do you have an emotional attachment to?

Last Day in Texas- Part 3!

And sadly, we have arrived to our last day in Texas. We absolutely soaked up every second of it though! In the morning my mom took me on a little mom-daughter date to Summer Moon while DJ did his training run. This is a lovely little coffee shop that recently opened in Keller.

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Everything in this coffee shop is so cute.

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They have tons of vegan and gluten free options too!

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Whatever they put in “moon milk” is soooo darn delicious. One of the best lattes I have ever had! We only ordered the 1/4 moon, and it was plenty sweet. Their beans are wood-fired too, and you can definitely taste the difference.

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My mom and I split the vegan almond croissant (perfection) & the vegan pumpkin muffin. Their pastries are spectacular. We agreed we even liked this almond croissant more than Tartine’s (one that is hard to beat!).

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The coffee with the treats was absolutely wonderful. The pumpkin muffin was dense and yummmyyy. I loved having that time with my momma to catch up one-on-one too.

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Jadie lounging around..

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After DJ got back from his run, Pete cooked up Five Star hot dogs for the guys! These hot dogs are famous back from Cleveland. In fact, my mom and Pete have them shipped down to Texas from CLE… yes, that good!

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Our flight wasn’t until the evening, so we decided to make the most of the afternoon as possible! We went to downtown Roanoke, a brand new little area that sprung up within the last year. It is truly the definition of quaint and the boutiques are adorable!

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And anytime there is a candy shop, gotta pop in!

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This place was adorable.

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We even found some Harry Potter frogs & wands!!

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Since we still had some time before we had to leave for the airport we decided to try out Craft & Vine. This is a fun little taproom where you can find the most original craft beers and wines.

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You can walk by and see everything that is on tap and read all the info about each selection.

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We all opted to try their beer. They were all great flavors- they actually tasted like their descriptions (which I feel like is hard to come by in beer haha).

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And one last hurrah, gotta try Andy’s Frozen Custard before we leave!

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Pete had the Ozark turtle

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& DJ tried the triple chocolate concrete that I had a few big bites of. I forgot how amazing custard is. Wowwwza. Tast-eeee!

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Once we got home I had a hankerin’ for some real food, so I enjoyed some leftovers.

We made it to the airport on time, but then our flight got delayed about two hours. BUT we were stranded in the best terminal in all of DFW. We had plentiful restaurant options and plenty of room to set up shop (aka blog). By the time 9 rolled around we were hungry again (imagine!). Since we knew it would be a long night we decided to go to Reata in the airport. You may remember when we first went to Reata with my mom and Pete from this post from a few years ago. When we saw it, we just could not pass it up.

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DJ had their country fried steak

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& I had the veggie platter with rice- it was perfect for what I was craving.

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The flight back was great- easy peasy!

Questions for you:

  • This is an odd one- but do you have a favorite airport? I think DFW terminal D is now my favorite, hehe. DJ’s favorite airport is Indianapolis because it’s super easy and straight forward.
  • One thing you are excited for this coming week?

xo <3

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