Our Road Trip from CA to TX!

Hey all! How is everyone?

So we are FINALLY at our road trip post from CA to TX!

Early in the morning of July 1st, we ate some oatmeal in disposable bowls, wiped down our counters one last time, dropped our keys off and then headed out first thing. One spot we never hit while living in CA was the charming little beach town of Capitola, so we made sure to factor it into our road trip.

As soon as we pulled into the city limits we started seeing brightly colored homes with characteristic beach signs on front doors or in windows reading phrases like, “All you need is Love and a Beach” and “This Mermaid swims on Coffee”.

The city itself is surprisingly quite tiny! I always imagined it much larger in my mind- but the polly pocket size of the city added to its charm. We found a parking spot and roamed around the immediate area. We couldn’t go too far from DJ’s truck since we had a bunch of suit cases in the back. **PS. Take note of the cooler sticking out of the back- it’s important for a story later on**

45fb5c5f-4fe8-49e5-ae90-252c71a293310659dbd0-516b-4df3-87f8-d9234d95805f

Have you ever seen more zen seals?

b0dc5c96-28ef-4617-b18d-64eb7698e9ad62d66a00-3011-4ab7-9bd6-8c7d9edd13091ba34406-3633-4dc4-8960-3c30333b727ab89ab80d-58ad-4f88-aacf-176dfcf6a39f

Although it was a cloudy day, the colors of the beach homes popped against the somber skies.

8942d54f-a752-41f4-94c8-9e316dcc5e03

After enjoying Capitola and watching a swarm of lifeguards being trained in the water (I can’t imagine how chilly that water was!), we hopped back on the road.

8fede78a-2db8-405e-a6e6-38e36dbdcb5b

Next up: Palm Desert. We passed by an army of windmills on our way. It reminded me of Courtney’s road trip out– she mentioned how large and alarming they can be- and I totally agree! It’s a weird feeling being under such looming and massive structures that are moving nonetheless. Funnily enough, all I could see were antibodies when I looked at them- Smalls was causing my brain to compare everything to something patho related, lol. Here’s a link to antibodies so you can see what I’m talking about.

f7fa9b33-af75-470c-854d-fa60c63bf87d

We finally arrived to our hotel for the evening! Somehow I got it for an insane deal — compared to everything else around it was one of the more affordable options. When we arrived it turned out it was “villas”, but really was more of a hotel room- it was confusing, but made sense once we actually got in our room. Anyways, the views of the mountains all around were just spectacular. It was HOT though- the idea of what the “desert” feels like was 100% as scorching as it sounds.

56601d5a-ab26-4595-b831-01a164edc6118017c59c-7e02-457e-93f5-f223d15ebe9e132f254c-0f27-4f3f-9de1-f7d574dda49d

We spent a good chunk of time lugging in all our suitcases from the bed of the truck to the room. Once we dropped everything off we headed out to explore the grounds (but we had to be sure to be back in time for Bachelorette, of course 😉 ).

8de2d948-2e14-4f4e-86c5-7e55a65627ef4873b18d-3e6b-4681-b1c7-fb66949bbe718b69fa12-34fe-4a73-90b1-d4788dc09b7e00df94b6-9e89-4767-8e19-8e626aa4915709c6ffb1-2e3e-43f2-a34a-dbb55fb22cf9b5c94121-0f61-41c0-8c0d-90c012ab5593aacc20bf-1963-4688-aea4-75e806d9d5d664dfe6a8-18bb-4bf3-a07b-21247c54f9976a327280-84a1-4027-8dd6-23b12d809ce0

The grounds were so pretty & relaxing! Once we returned from our exploration we decided to just order some room service. I ordered a salad with added avocado (and I had a bunch of hummus to add too that I packed in our Freezer lunch bags for our roadtrip) and DJ opted for their chicken sandwich with the truffle fries that I kept stealing, naturally.

fd38159c-b50a-4325-ac82-4bf05bcc50a9e896e851-d876-4e3e-873c-163a158c8859

We watched The Bachelorette and enjoyed our food. I love travel nights like this. It reminded me of time we were in NYC and made sure to be back to the hotel in time for Bach. Now, if I was in NYC these days I don’t think I could sacrifice a second of exploring the city for any show (yes, even Bach!), but since we were there wasn’t too much going on around us that evening we didn’t feel like we were missing out.

That evening was rough when it came to sleep- there was this LOUD whirring noise that even kept DJ up (who can sleep through anything)… we ended up calling maintenance at around 12:30 am when we resolved we probably wouldn’t be able to sleep. They came by and basically said there was nothing they could do at the time- it was in the pipes above us. I put on my noise-cancelling headphones to try to sleep. DJ finally fell asleep, but I tossed and turned the whole night and had a gnawing pain in the side of my head the next day from where they dug into my head. Then, our toilet stopped flushing unless we pressed the flush with the strength of Samson or did the lift the lid and pull the chain method. It suddenly all made sense why our room was immensely discounted, haha. Minus the nocturnal hours, the stay was so nice!

When it was finally the morning of July 2nd I decided to shake off the cobwebs with a morning run and a ton of coffee. Really- what would we do without coffee? I was a new person after some endorphins & caffeine.

ad85f812-a45b-4d26-b72c-92bb21f6130de8999ae9-4baf-43a4-bca9-c56048c2aecfb64e597a-5faf-4454-9143-46be5e8d3591

We ate oatmeal and granola bars we had on us for breakfast and hit the road. Back to spending time with Smalls.

cc0c2e1d-b289-45cc-9443-bdf2bb1fb1b5-1

While passing through Phoenix we hopped off the highway- I needed more coffee desperately.

6a2e5d01-af68-457d-acf6-7b114f8a6400

But while on our quest for coffee we were greeted by an awesome surprise. Culver’s! We squealed out of nostalgic joy (DJ would probably argue he did not squeal, but I definitely did). We loved our Culver’s when we lived in Indiana. 

8f9f5432-95db-41df-a39c-b732ca392e5e

DJ ordered a brownie mixer, and I stole a couple bites. Also, if you go to Culver’s you must order their cheese curds too- that’s probably my favorite thing on their menu… my stomach was not feeling 100% otherwise I totally would have loaded up.

facetune_14-08-2019-23-42-19

Okay okay, still on our coffee quest. Luckily there was a Starbuck’s right across the parking lot!

e9e8448c-95ff-4df5-bf97-62eebb589d08

I ordered my go-to almond milk Misto and grabbed a Siggi’s yogurt for some protein to tie me over that hopefully wouldn’t aggravate my over-tired queasiness.  Goodness this yogurt is good! I have seen it sold all over the place, but haven’t tried it- it’s really dang good! I felt better instantly after eating it.

23dbfac0-41bd-424c-a34f-87b56bb3e59e42c23289-3f0c-48a2-b9a2-bf96193ade53

Back to the highway.

aedb2e38-42fc-4b0a-99ba-f034c4c7d7b5

New Mexico has a special place in our heart after our experience in Albuquerque on our way to CA from IN.

ec1125a9-fa08-4df1-8991-82c715c6b14a

While driving through New Mexico we saw a road runner statue on the side of the road. It tripped me out, because it looked so realistic at first, but was impossibly gargantuan.

c0a221d4-fa21-47e1-b643-d9e0be852762

The views driving through at dusk were breathtaking. I had to put Smalls on pause to soak them all up.

812ebb4d-302f-4ce6-83fe-4d0253be055d4b434f9a-91ab-46c2-8688-ece1ef483f85

And we finally made it to Texas! wooohoooo!

212d8c8d-3826-4edd-b7b2-fbbec90556c2

We stayed at the Doubletree in El Paso. When we checked in, we got these complimentary delicious cookies! So fun & a great little touch 🙂

82ac86ee-ad57-4d0b-9038-420e0d1aa0e8f35ecbba-44f8-4998-98ff-90a9b1733b9d

We were so hungry by this point. We ate through all our snacks we had packed in the car and were ready for some real food! We just went to The Fire Restaurant in the hotel since it was pretty late (around 9:30 pm). While waiting for our food we were feeling reflective and talked all about our time in CA and what we were looking forward to in Texas. Special convos <3

DJ ordered one of the greatest pastas we’ve ever tried. It was blackened shrimp penne with mushroom, green chile, sundried tomato and red chile cream. Who would have thought- just out of a hotel restaurant?! We have talked about this dish several times since.. I mean, wow– we were mind blown. I think it was mainly that red chile cream sauce- whatever the heck is in that… I neeeed that recipe.

42647404-e93a-4ae0-99ef-fe19f88658a2

Even though I ate DJ’s pasta as though it was my own (good thing it was a pretty generous portion), I also ordered the Fire FIT Vegan bowl with hominy cake, cabbage, tomato, onion, green chile, pickled radish, Guajillo broth, and cilantro. This was a phenomenal vegan meal! It had such a unique, wonderful flavor and it didn’t take long to eat every single bite.

03a5194e-257f-439b-867f-e6f7d850d707

After dinner we scurried out to catch the bottom of the 9th of the El Paso Chihuahuas (we just watched through the fence). It was fun to see a different minor league stadium & how they run a show!

75a52806-1743-4ae6-af10-b23e8fb83146

I think our little El Paso stint was our favorite part of the road trip. So fun! In the morning of July 3rd we hit the road super early (around 6 am). We stopped in a gas station, and I grabbed some coffee. This was such stinking good gas station coffee- it even had a beautiful layer of crema- like …WHAT?! (the picture below is straight black coffee- not a latte or anything- that is just the quality of the crema!). First a hotel restaurant (not even Italian restaurant) serving the best pasta ever and now a gas station serving insanely good coffee… I am having an existential foodie crisis.

1633e4dd-c7fd-4ff2-b45d-d086c61c2681

Back to the road… More studying with Smalls & more driving for DJ.

I offered tons of times to drive, but DJ insisted on driving so I could study. He’s the best <3 I made such a dent and felt good about the ground I had covered (mentally, and I guess literally with our move, hehe).

Sooo we did have a little mishap on the highway. Remember how our cooler was just barely sticking out of the bed of our truck? Well, it went FLYING out of the bed when we were on a wide open windy area in Texas.. I mean flying… we were actually warned at the gas station from the cashier that the wind was brutal and to be careful. We didn’t realize it was going to actually pick up our cooler! We only lost a couple items that were of any value (our Ninja bottles were the big thing and just some cheap dishes, along with the cooler itself). Luckily the cooler tumbled off to the side of the road, but we are just just so thankful nobody was behind us on the highway… that could have been real bad. The thought makes me shudder. There was nowhere to turn around to retrieve it, but I’m hoping it wouldn’t cause any issues being off the shoulder.

About 10 minutes before arriving we started seeing gray clouds, ominous harbingers. We crossed our fingers that it wouldn’t start to rain because we had all that luggage in the bed of the truck. But sure enough, while stuck in our first experience of Austin traffic, the rain came down in full force- buckets upon buckets. We were so close…. yet so far..

c14632c9-abe1-4fd1-9c66-2f7028793363

I will say despite knowing everything was getting soaked in the back I was still excited to see a thunderstorm. We hadn’t seen one in years, and I loveeeee a thunderstorm (at least the mild ones- not the actually dangerous ones, which I hear we may experience often here).

Finally we arrived, got our keys, checked in, and unloaded our sopping wet suitcases. It’s all good though- they aired out pretty well, and it wasn’t an issue. We had never seen our apartment in person (my mom helped scope them out for us when she was in town for business a few months ago). We were immediately excited upon walking in! This is perfect for the stage we’re in right now- annnd everyone was so friendly we interacted with while unloading our truck. I think that was the first thing we noticed here- everyone is so friendly!

After dropping our stuff off, we popped into Trader Joe’s for our first ever Texas grocery trip! It has a parking garage system where you get your ticket comped if you are under an hour- forces me to grocery shop real quick- and y’all know I treat TJ’s like a leisure stroll in the park, so this can be a challenge, hah. Also, you take an elevator to bring your groceries down in the cart. All these little things seemed so confusing at first, but are second nature now!

a003cd7d-ba24-4ced-9331-095552eab08f

Alrighty this is quite long so I’ll continue the rest in another post. All in all it was a wonderful, memorable road trip, even with the minor little glitches. Rest in peace, ol’ Igloo Cooler- thanks for helping preserve all our San Francisco leftovers over the years… you were real cool 😉 

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever lost anything valuable on a road trip/traveling?
  • Are you team room service or eat out on the town? Both?

xo <3

submark signature

**There is an affiliate link in this post, but all opinions and ideas are my own**

Advertisements

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.

6de63c9e-46be-4582-b4de-3aa747ef349e

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 😉

650a5695-1f0a-4215-bb42-53cbe328f715

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

5905ebd3-f0b6-4d07-beac-b3b5ec2352d7

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.

aa6bb5f5-95c4-4224-a031-f800d7a60ab8

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.

5b907b59-4f9b-46f8-bbc1-8bcc2dcf82ff

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.

892de060-5477-4088-9224-7fcff04a14ea

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).

524a80fa-2b69-406d-b2d8-ce518a41ab90

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!

937389f6-0a1d-40ff-a44c-39b426f02c8524e362ed-75a6-4d8f-b770-3fd56383861e

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.

892489fa-7d6b-4768-9f92-2e6dae757a83

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.

b71f3acc-a718-44e4-b8bf-4a1bc694a252-15d4bd94b-125c-4001-b714-7121a5aed794-1b4ab9f6f-c016-48d3-b92e-55e528bf6032

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

b39e0288-f593-42f2-a231-921c37f23544

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…

79958315-8b64-44fd-9d00-870a9b6b64827984b17b-a7ce-4be2-99f3-857097e1db7d-1b56c61ef-0057-4ac6-9cf7-781e152c02de-1The grounds were stunning! It was tucked in a valley surrounded by mountains all around. The little touches at every turn were a mixture of quaint, vibrant, and quirky! Also, the wine connoisseurs were extremely knowledgable and the wines were uniquely flavorful. We decided to start splitting tastings starting at this winery, so we did half sweeter wines (for my sis) and half drier (for myself).

4c35f200-a21d-4305-a6c9-3efbd252e985-12cf5897f-e84c-4c1a-a736-a0af29391413-16c326133-d997-45dc-800b-f1b8c7f048b9-1614dbd78-68b2-400d-9d5e-d1b80a0bf670-12736821e-d81e-4d06-b3c8-dcf3b7570077-1197939ed-b805-4ce5-b2c4-07c5113303df-1

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.

a53ee36a-3d7d-4bde-bcf8-8a2372cdc5a7-1

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.

37408bdc-64b6-4990-8c8f-b54581b37bee

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

0b488e50-dbde-4542-9344-59c8cbd5d3f7

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

a8a7db85-6b54-458c-8cbc-8a0e02d4e644

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

submark signature

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.

15c0a980-4efe-43f8-8816-5a75f9cecc2a

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!

8ab21b0d-d547-44e3-96c1-4543bc5b8e5c

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.

701c23e0-8c1b-47c8-afd4-b2360f5fd497-1a6d55d41-d886-4244-a580-61c36537bd6b-1

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

facetune_16-06-2019-09-26-08

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

3d0853d7-7c5b-4ac6-856f-0133b923932c-1

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!

4d64c3c0-6da1-46a3-a20a-bd92ed85ae20-1

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!

17f39893-b2ee-4eeb-aeac-ada5fbcb756d-1

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!

555715e8-b0a3-4cdd-ade6-e6bc45cd74ac29fa21f7-0618-4404-b928-7e4e6a3e00d7b8dcef63-c65c-406e-b1ba-5e63da7d0747

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.

fc4f89d0-4bf8-4974-9cd6-56a4d0958bde

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.

7ca21aec-a8fc-4dce-ae98-289c67675e23

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.

71f9b611-ef9b-4d1a-9f7d-39023637f1a6-1693da9e4-d691-4048-9291-1ef6a6b70487-1

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

f85dd546-38ff-4988-847b-5db46bbf084d-1

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

f4e2c72d-017a-4cd3-9618-8d6c7b3d706c

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?!

img_8315

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!

46e37ed4-7195-41c0-89fb-24902ff74b4c

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?

51f5c38f-cba7-4f02-8a2e-7930ac4a14e4

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.

b5e14b36-afef-4ed5-b51d-f6d2994d4ee8-1

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!

8091546d-ffda-4d93-b28c-f008a7262de9

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

ddd07ceb-117b-4f56-8b52-d26ae185db72-1

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

33e5c52b-d282-47bc-bfb6-a9b65f108122

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.

c4d31248-fc01-43f5-9390-6890f58ce3bd

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

9dce7195-9a45-461d-a94e-fc5ecea1fb34

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

f4b7cd05-f21d-43fa-90f4-6e3d354513aac6ab0052-edd1-4692-b5ec-acbd41e9bfa8

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.

8d5bfd7d-7880-47c6-8016-c291e5dfd13a

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.

1bb23077-22ee-4447-b90c-02aa39b3123f

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

submark signature.png

Nick’s Next Door & Homemade Wine!

Hi all! I am pleased to report I am feeling much better than when I wrote up my last post. The first couple weeks of the semester are always the most challenging, but I think I’ve found my groove and am relieved having a couple good grades under my belt. Thank you bunches for all your encouragement in the last post- it helped tons! Also, we have some logistics figured out about the move that also is a huge relief. I am gonna jump straight into recapping since I have quite a bit of ground to cover.

On May 24th I made an avocado toast with Everything But the Bagel seasoning from TJ’s. Gosh, I love that stuff! Sometimes I throw on some tabasco for a kick too.

a785d81a-7fbd-48fd-9598-8268d5347d58

I studied all morning and whipped up this omelette in the afternoon with tons of veggies, garlic powder, pink Himalayan sea salt, and wilted kale served with some green goddess dressing (from TJ’s too). This dressing goes deliciously with eggs!

182358f3-eb2c-470d-8d79-39e06a36a74e

But in the evening is where the real guuud eats come into play! As ya know that week was particularly emotionally draining for me. We had been saving a gift-card for a special occasion, and this was perfect timing. Even if it’s not a holiday, sometimes a much needed date night is an occasion of its own.

487fbf24-c566-4dda-94fc-d386d9a30c70

The restaurant we went was called Nick’s Next Door, a tucked away little spot in Los Gatos. This is considered a local favorite, and it became clear quickly as to why. We opted to sit out on the patio under the twinkle lights and were warmed by overhead heaters that created a cozy temp in the coolness of the evening.

0eb6daa9-a1be-452f-ba77-348552fb41465f706b4a-9468-44d9-8674-23087e80ba1b

We started the evening with some unique and wonderful wine- a white for DJ, red for myself.

a46d5a9b-1f45-4540-9abb-664ae48e6b79

Complimentary bread to start a meal is always a huge bonus in my book 🙂 It was served with a zesty marinara-type sauce.

83585097-79bc-4609-afe6-87748e216697

We also shared a couple appetizers. First up, their lobster spring rolls with sweet chili beurre blanc, Thai cabbage salad, and crushed roasted peanuts. These were refreshing! I will say the lobster was masked a tiny bit by the other flavors, but still tasty.

5a23de8b-e6b2-480e-86c2-e198f811233f7360e3f6-45d0-4d57-80fc-1c53e9364f23

Our personal favorite were the basil pesto croquettes. Gosh, these were stuffed with flavor!

7dc3ede5-5fec-4851-83a3-cf0722c88b392dfe02ce-c6ea-4483-8ede-e96a9d387d50

Oh oh! Wait, tying for first place in the appetizer department is the wild truffle mushroom soup. This is some of the best darn soup I have ever tried. You can see the truffle oil bubbling at the top. I thoroughly enjoyed dipping bread into it to sop it all up.

79fa0562-fe5d-4ef0-b159-6c9a524991f1

For my main course I had Nick’s on Main Salmon with lemon risotto, sautéed asparagus and fava beans topped with a Dungeness crab beurre blanc. WOW. wow. wow. Every bite was tremendous. Also, every time I have risotto I wonder why I don’t eat it every single day.

e991196a-a998-4020-a14c-12e0c7a0d0b7

DJ had their Pan Roasted Rib Eye Steak with bone marrow, crispy truffle fries, tarragon dusted roasted cauliflower. He loved the rib eye steak portion, I loved the cauliflower portion. Also, I tried a bit of the bone marrow- forever convinced it is one of the tastiest things you can eat on planet earth.

0571c22b-9e16-4a36-a67c-61b1a3c7343c

What a scrumptious meal! It was so nice to just chat and enjoy an evening out on the town without any distractions. One thing we discussed debated in our convo at dinner is whether you can like both the Office & Stand-up comedy. I don’t think it’s even a question- absolutely you can, and probably do, like both!!! I love stand up, and I love The Office. DJ thinks if you like The Office you have too dissimilar a sense of humor to like stand-up. Curious your thoughts!

The bill was brought out in The New Food Lover’s Companion book for you to sign along with countless other customers. We also met Nick himself. He came over and made sure we were comfortable- such a nice guy who is clearly beloved by the patrons!

f1dd4d68-4180-4faa-a142-b773c94ca164

For our signature in the book we posed our question, hah.

72fa74f4-42a0-4897-bff8-bd132a76155f1840f960-940b-4c9c-8b77-1c34a9157e08

Such a lovely evening <3 We were practically there till close & enjoyed every moment.

c3429f71-9c09-4702-ad05-0a3d897dba8a

On May 25th it was “back to school” for me. In the afternoon I made some grilled cheese & tomato soup for us.. an easy go-to.

cdc2a0dd-5ddd-4612-82a1-a02b129bf503

In the evening I made DJ a skirt steak with chimchurri sauce, roasted potatoes and an egg for that “steak and eggs” feel.

bfb0833e-7e1a-40f8-b389-44df98aeea74

I had the same thing, minus the steak- add a veggie burger.

Oh, and also exciting…after a little over four weeks and hours of prep/filtering/etc. our homemade wine was ready to be bottled! I have saved memorable wine bottles from the last couple years to use for the bottling (except the Cupcake- I just needed a fifth to store the last bit, hah).

4711be66-4684-48c0-be86-188539cf5aa9

Just for kicks, here are the posts that correspond with each bottle above:

Kieu Hoang

Cashmere- Black Magic

La Fantasia 

John’s Grill

When I eventually tried the wine for the first time I was a bit nervous- I was pretty sure I’d get sick or that it’d taste awful since I kinda messed up a couple steps, but it turned out sooo yummy & full bodied & delicious (and did not make us sick!).

I am super stoked about how it all went from the entire manual process to the actual wine itself. I would highly recommend this as a gift to anyone you know who likes vino! My only concern is how we will transport the bottles with us to TX.. I think maybe I could get one of those empty wine boxes from Trader Joe’s or something? We’ll see!

On May 26th I made rack of lamb for the first time. During my long study days making dinner is such a highlight of the long hours- it’s a fun creative outlet to break up the studying.

a1767174-94ce-4e25-8ec8-1de1915f1084

I served the lamb over a bed of brown jasmine rice with wilted spinach and a homemade tahini sauce. DJ loved it! At first he said it was way too much food for him that I plated, since I just gave him the whole thing haha. But whaddya know.. he ended up eating the entire thing minus maybe one single chop.

8b68bd08-988f-4f36-8792-41f4747d251d

May 27th, Memorial day, DJ had to work, and I had a ton of studying to get ready for my first exam. Since DJ didn’t really get to experience a relaxing Memorial Day I tried to prep a dinner that would give somewhat that holiday feel (burger, mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, a bread stick). I ordered it all from Applebee’s with a gift card & added a giant refreshing salad for myself that I topped with some vegan crumbles & green goddess dressing. Thank you to all who serve and your families for your service <3

85b0640a-7da9-4206-a316-05a049e221c83f65c98f-4c76-4004-890a-24d00660a896

On May 28th I started the day with toast with PB & honey. This has been on repeat the last few weeks paired with my avocado smoothie.

76b72f4d-83a7-490f-be41-08e5b84504b9

I then went to Peet’s to study the whole day away! It was very productive & was good for me to get a change of scenery to study.

c74afed7-bed2-4804-a5c5-0e33abe6b0ee

A refreshing snack I enjoyed that day was this açaí bowl. After I took the pic I decided to add some PB and chocolate chips to it- a great summer treat!

e59d8bc9-f942-4933-8b4c-fdf93aa8939d

For dinner I made DJ one of the go-tos: BBQ baked chicken with roasted potatoes, rice, and steamed spinach with some parm on top. I had my usual large salad to finish up the veggies going badly.

e8c302ae-e676-4080-a839-75c08a134ad8

May 29th I took my first exam. My head was pounding after the timed 90 minutes of adrenaline. I had a really hard time focusing the rest of the day. My headache nearly turned into a migraine, I started getting anxious about questions I convinced myself I missed and decided to just take the rest of the day off from school since I wasn’t going to be productive anyways. I worked on stuff for Hal’s wedding weekend and caught up on other things that have been on the back burner since school resumed. Like brushing my hair. Ok, I’ll wrap it up here- this is already quite lengthy! I’m particularly excited for my next post, so hopefully I can get that out sometime in the next week?..month? … year?!

Questions for you:

  • Do you like both the Office & Stand-Up?
  • How was your weekend?

xo <3

 

submark sig.png

One Big Rambling Post!

I started this post a few days ago, but haven’t had the chance to finish it until today- SOoOooo I woke up extra early to get this sun-of-a-gun done once and for all!

Hey y’all! This is my last official catch up post before going back to school tomorrow. I looked over the curriculum, and it looks really intense this semester. I know it will be okay, but I’m pretty anxious to just get started and get back in the groove of things. I have to remind myself these first weeks with “syllabus shock” are always overwhelming. So with a big deep breath I will get us all caught up. Sorry if I am MIA for a little bit here while I adjust back to the crazy study schedule, but know that I will blog and read your blogs whenever time allows. Gonna always need a study break, ya know? 😉

December 29th was a must needed restful Saturday. We did a whole lotta nothing, and it was great! I think I worked on some blogging & for dinner whipped us up some mahi mahi I had in the freezer with veggies for dinner. We watched our Arrested Development in the evening, of coursee.

December 30th we went to church in the morning, and we food was scarce in the apartment at this point since I still hadn’t been to the store since we left. I had some frozen bison taco meat for DJ I had before hand (thank goodness) & I made a hodge-podge for myself of eggs, squash, and hummus for lunch. It weirdly worked!

img_6816

I grabbed a See’s candy lollipop & headed to Trader Joe’s to get some real foood.

facetune_08-01-2019-23-15-51

And that brings us to NYE- December 31st!! Woohoo! Last year for NYE we were in Texas with my mom and Pete. (PS. WHAT was I thinking with that type of falsies? Someone should have given me a stern talking to, lol!!! What a stage I went through. Oy to the veyyy). Anywho- we just stayed in, and it was so fun & relaxing. I suggested we do that again this year and try to make soufflés since we’ve been talking about doing that together after going to Cafe Jacqueline. We got all our ingredients together and got to work while listening to our ole’ buddy, Frank Sinatra.

img_6783img_6784img_6785

While the soufflé was in the oven we enjoyed some yummy appetizers. Did I go overboard for just two people? Nahhhh, no such thing! Most everything is from TJ’s & I pulled out my homemade hummus. The artisanal bread was wonderful! I also made some roasted carrots & beets. I have never made my own roasted beets before, but it may become a staple- they crisped up so easily like chips & were just delicious!

img_6786img_6787

^^ Fun fact: That was all frozen cheese (half regular/half vegan) from when we went to wine country a few months ago. Cheese freezes very well. You just defrost it & it’s good to go. (Just don’t let it melt- I accidentally let the pepperjack/some of the vegan provolone go a tiny bit too long).

img_6788

I also saw these champagne gummies I could not help but resist! They were very tasty!

img_6781img_6789

So when we first took out our soufflé from the oven it hadn’t quite risen all the way, but I think it eliminated the “rise” after we let the cool air in. We cooked it a few minutes longer and it puffed up a bit more and the cheese got all yummy & caramelized on top! (but that’s why there is a divide in it- from when we tried to get a slice the first time around).

img_6790

The flavor was spot on- we tried to recreate the corn/ginger/garlic flavor, and it was pretty doggone close! Next time we are going to cook it a little longer & I think I’m going to whip my egg whites a bit more to give it more rise (isn’t that how it works?). It was still so light and airy, we enjoyed every little nibble!!! Once I perfect it I will share the recipe!

img_6817

We then plopped on the couch to watch the NYE show. This year looked frigid in the ole’ NYC.

img_6793

But ya cannot forget dessert. Believe it or not we still had room for this bad boy below.

img_6794

We saw this recipe on Tasty and when is a better time to recreate this monster than NYE? Here’s the thing though- we like every baked good we eat at home severely undercooked- practically asking for salmonella (what’s life without living on the edge). So all cookies, brownies, etc…must only be kissed by the oven! This meant it didn’t all “compact” the way it did in that video and really was just a big glob, but man, was it ever a good glob! SO rich, but goood. (I may or may not have had my slice with some double fudge brownie ice cream too).

^^ haha, it’s so obnoxious.

img_6795

Jan 1st was the last day off for DJ before he went back to work, so we just chilled at home, worked on Christmas “thank yous”, enjoyed leftovers throughout the day, and I went on a 12-mile run at some point. I also read a big chunk of The Hate You Give– I can’t wait to finish it- I could do a whole post on how it has challenged my perspectives & opened my eyes. Highly recommend this read to everyone.

The 2nd I spent nearly the entire day posting on Poshmark! LOVE Poshmark.

The 3rd I had a Facetime Dinner date with my best friend from Ohio, Rachel. MISS HER soooo much. My picture I took didn’t turn out, but she got one from her end!

img_6797

After, I went to Sara’s to hangout and catch up after our holidays. We had some tea and gabbed away for hours.

Friday, January 4th- January 5th were another two days of just getting things off the to-do list and ready for school and shipping Poshmark sales. In the evening I made these bacon wrapped scallops for DJ since our leftovers were getting low.

img_6818img_6798

He loved them! Definitely a two-thumbs-up recommendation!

Sunday, January 6th, we went early to church to help on the serving team (I’m so thankful I finally have a schedule that allows me to be a part of that again!). Since DJ “bumps out” (tears down the equipment, venue since it is a rental, etc.) after the 11:30 service we had some time between the two to grab some breakfast/brunch. We went to the table in Willow Glen that I’ve had my eye on for a while. I realized I kinda stalk restaurants- I’ll drive by a few times, look them up on YELP, go into a deep Google review dive, and then finally visit and introduce myself in person.

img_6799img_6804

Since it was raining outside & somewhat chilly their outdoor seating area was freed up. I had my winter coat on and they had heaters, so we agreed to go ahead and sit out there to weather the storm. The temperature was actually just fine with the heaters! We did walk through the inside of the restaurant to get there- loved the vibe and how it was decorated.

img_6800img_6801

The menu had such unique options & changes frequently! It was a bit on the pricier side, but it’s all seasonal locally sourced ingredients and everything was wonderful- the service, food, environment.

img_6802

The coffee was yummy- but could have been a bit hotter (but that’s what I say everywhere 😉 ).

img_6803

DJ tried their lemon ricotta pancakes and they were what lemony dreams were made of!! Sometimes when I order the lemon ricotta pancakes the “lemon” doesn’t quite come through, but the flavor was brilliant in these. Can you tell I snagged a few bites?

img_6805

I had their avocado, crab, and egg toast that was considered a “snack”. This was not your average avocado toast- it had Dungeness crab & trout roe on perfectly cooked toast (very slightly burnt). Mmm!

img_6807img_6808

Monday January 7th I met with my nurse friend Kim in the afternoon for coffee at Orchard Valley in Campbell. I am totally gonna have to come here to study! They had so many tables & it was nice n’ quiet.

img_6809

It was lovely to catch up with Kim, I always leave our conversations refreshed and encouraged.

img_6810

In the evening I made us Sriracha Shrimp Bowls with eggs & artisanal bread (still left from TJs!). It was a great combo, kinda reminded me of bibimbap!

img_6811

We plopped down to watch the train wreck that was the premiere of Colton’s season of The Bachelor. Lemme say, it easily could have been an hour, not three. I’m going to watch every second, but I am beyond tired of the virgin storyline, and quite frankly, I think some of the girls need to check themselves because a couple were downright disrespectful about it. I know I don’t usually get heated up in hurrr, but I could go off! First night favorites: Cassie and Katie. I thought Bri’s entrance was gold (although she looks a lot like Lauren Bushnell which…….. ehhh… that’s all I’ll say). I also didn’t mind Erika’s entrance! I liked that it was simple & a play on her name. Demi’s trouble, but I’m here for it. I’m surprised Jane & Erin got sent home. Would love to hear your thoughts!!

Going from reality TV back to reality, I told DJ something I wanted to try this year was one recipe per week of his request to get me out of my own cooking comfort zone. One of his favorite soups is cream of veg from the Dixie Stampede. I made it a long time ago (probably four years), and he requested it to be his recipe of the week. I made it on Tuesday the 8th, and it was crazy easy, but he kept raving about how much he loved it.

facetune_08-01-2019-23-11-19

Yesterday, the 9th, I started school. I don’t know why, but I was suffering from some severe anxiety that made it hard to even get through even a paragraph of reading. I thought I got it all under control after my residency ended, but it’s creeping back up. I think seeing the massive load of assignments we have this semester plus some big life changes (more on that to come) just felt overwhelming to think about (although it’s all great stress to have). And I know the anxiety is disproportional… I submitted an assignment and forgot to indent and space in a couple spots, and it nearly sent me into a full blown panic attack. I couldn’t stop thinking about it the rest of the day (It was a TWO point introduce yourself post). Coo-koo, I tell ya what! Maybe it’s hormones… is it a full moon?! I bet it’s a full moon. Nope, it’s not a full moon, I just checked. Scratch that. Hmm idk. I’m just gonna ride this wave out. I read some scripture in the evening which really helped put me at ease, and I already feel better refreshed this AM. Okay enough rambling- gotta get back to work. I get to see my third graders today too at B+G club that I haven’t seen since mid-December, so I have that to look forward to this afternoon!

Question for you:

  • Any recipes you’ve tried lately that you love?
  • Best book you’ve ever read? (I’m making my 2019 reading list now!)

xo <3

signature-1

Savings September In Review

Hey everyone! I have a little different type of  post today. As some of you may know DJ and I have an annual tradition of doing a lil’ something we call Savings September. We have noticed that summers tend to make a big ole’ dent in the spending arena, so every September we use to refocus, re-establish good habits, and look for ways to be smarter about spending, especially leading up to the holiday season. We don’t want this to be limited to September either- the goal is that by creating these conscientious, yet practical, habits we will be able to take what we have learned and apply it to each month thereafter.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to make a post initially; I never have in the past. However, this year was particularly successful, and a few of you have expressed interest in ways we have saved! SO without further adieu, here are some little easy tips and tricks that helped us save 42% of what we spent in August. Yes-42%!!! Something we predominately learn each time we do this is the little expenses and choices add up!

1.Limiting Eating Out.This one is probably not a big surprise that it’d be a saver & it didn’t mean we never ate out. Basically, we limited our eating out to either social hangouts with friends or date nights together. I tried to be diligent about prepping more and making sure there was something DJ and I could easily have for lunch rather than him buying lunch every day at work. This used to be a routine for us, but it definitely fell through the cracks through the summer. Feels good to be back in the swing!

 

2. Limiting Coffee Out. I definitely still had my Peet’s <3… but I used up old gift cards with a couple dollars sitting on them here and there at various coffee shops. I tried to only go to Peet’s once or twice a week when the school load was extra heavy and ordered a small most times.

3. Groceries. This is probably where we saved the most. I tried to use up every little thing we had in the pantry/freezer/fridge before going back to the store. I would create meals surrounding what we already had. For example, I knew we had fish in the freezer, so I would go get rice and a veggie to “fill in” a meal with what we needed to use up. I also tried to be attentive to making the wisest decision among choices. For instance, usually when I get tomatoes, I don’t pay too much mind to the couple cent difference between the Roma and the cherry tomatoes. But when you opt for the cheaper one and apply that mindset to every item you are buying over weeks, months, years it really adds up- especially on things that you don’t mind a slight difference. Oh, and buying the on sale in season fruits makes a HUGE difference too- and taste better!

img_5590

4. Skipping on the non-essentials. I loveee myself some carbonated bevies, especially “ICE” waters. But the thing is, they ain’t cheap when you buy them often! I always throw in a couple bottles when I’m at the store along with some gum from the cash register- but with how frequently I chew gum, it just isn’t a wise investment and a habit that needed some breaking. Rather than buying ICEs, we bought 3 large packs of Bubbly water for $10 and stopped buying gum entirely. I do have mints in need of freshening up my breath on the go though. Not only has this saved monetarily, but I no longer even crave the ICEs or gum. This doesn’t mean I won’t grab a pack here or there, but I don’t have the desire for a piece of gum every hour of the day.

5. Poshmark!!! I sold quite a bit on Poshmark this past month, and then had credit in my account available with the sales. I noticed I needed new face-wash, but my favorite face-wash that I discovered through Fab Fit Fun costs around $34. Ugh! That’s how they get you. I decided to check Poshmark to see if I could find some for cheaper. I negotiated for two bottles that would be about 1/2 of the price using the Poshmark credit. Score! It makes me wonder what other items I can find on there.

6. Being cognizant of saving electricity. I have a bad habit of keeping lights on going room to room (It drove my mom nuts growing up). We have both been extra diligent in making sure to turn lights off upon leaving a room and when we leave the house. It’s a great habit we have developed, and now it would bother me to keep them on and leave.

7. Buying in Bulk. At some point I noticed we were running low on some cleaning supplies, toilet paper and other essentials. I remembered I had received a coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond to get $20 off $80 spent. I bought all the stuff that we needed (including a couple fall candles-  autumn necessities 😉 ) all online. We are stocked up on tons of cleaning supplies, a new shower liner we desperately needed, dishwashing soap, and toilet paper for way cheaper if I had bought them at a regular grocery store. The delivery also came with 2 $60 gift-cards towards HelloFresh. Also, at Target you will sometimes see if you buy a certain number of items, you can get a $5 gift-card back. I always try to stock up on laundry detergent and household essentials when I see those promos going on. Right now if you get a flu shot at CVS affiliated with Target- you can also get a $5 giftcard to Target (just call before you go to make sure they are doing the promotion). But get yo flu shot, peopleeee!

img_5591

8. Using Cosmetics I already Have. I don’t know about you, but I have a bunch of little “samples” sitting around of makeup, shampoo, body wash, etc. Rather than just buying something new when I ran out of something, I gathered up all my samples and have been using everything up. Those little samples go a long way! Not only have I discovered some products I really like along the way, but I am clearing up space in the cabinet too. Oh! And I’ve started using olive oil to remove makeup- it works wonders and is so gentle- no more needing to buy makeup remover!

9. Having fun, restful weekends at home. I love to be busy and plan, plan, plan. But even seemingly cheap plans can become expensive, especially around here- you’ve got unexpected parking expenses, food, gas money, etc.. Not having a ton of weekend plans reminded me how important (and fun) just a weekend at home is for rest & rejuvenation. I also was able to get ahead on some school projects, so that always feels good! Oh, and DJ definitely needed the time to breathe now that the season has ended. I’m excited to plan some lax dates this month when we carve pumpkins, watch Halloween movies, make homemade wine together, practice baking soufflés, and have picnics with the lovely autumn weather!

10. Mint. This financial management app is incredible. It is super easy to use and understand. Being conscious of where every dollar goes, seeing our budget clearly, and having alerts when we are about to go over a set budget has been tremendously helpful in being good stewards of our money.

We also have some other just general saving tips that we have used for a couple years or gained over past Savings Septembers:

  • We love Groupon . This is where we get some restaurant deals & most of our hotel deals  (along with Orbitz to collect Orbitz bucks!)- always make sure to get points or rewards for your travels! It’s a free night in a hotel or a free plane ride eventually. I also have accounts with hotel.com & booking.com for when they have the cheapest comparative rates.
  • Installing Wikibuy into your Internet toolbar is a big saver! Every time you are about to make a purchase, Wikibuy will scour the internet for coupon codes, deals, promos, etc. and automatically apply it to your order if it finds one. You also get money back many times and can use that toward other purchases.
  • Sometimes I like to peruse Coupons.com before making a purchase to see if there are any coupons for something I may need too.
  • I have subscribe and save on Amazon for certain things we rebuy every few months- like shavers and Swiffer refills. This saves 5% for each purchase, and we would buy that stuff every couple months anyways- so why not save 5%?

As you can see, a lot of the savings do not come from really any novel ideas, but simply being conscious of each purchase. Hope this was somewhat helpful for someone! If you have any tips and tricks I’d LOVE to hear them too! Have a beautiful week, everyone 🙂

xo <3

submark

 

Recent Eats & Recent Things

Hey guys! I am in a fuuunk tonight and won’t be sleeping for like the sixth day in a row. We have new upstairs neighbors and they are making their presence known. They like to assemble furniture very late at night and don’t shy away from hammering and dropping and banging and anything else at 11 pm. OH, and they have a dog that incessantly barks all day long. I’m genuinely sick to my stomach about this situation. We stinking love our apartment, and this is gonna be a serious issue if it continues. A girl needs to sleep! I hope it calms down soon. I did talk to them once and they were aggressive (well the guy was nice, girl not so much) and denied that they were the ones causing the noise (although she greeted me at the door with a screw driver, lol!!!)….. come onn… I was super nice to them and told them I understand moving in is a loud process, but it’d be appreciated if it didn’t take place at 11 pm 🙁 Has anyone else had issues like this? I totally did NOT plan to go into a full on vent sesh.. but there ya have it.

I am gonna do a quick little catch up post of the in-betweens since our anniversary in the city 🙂

On August 10th, we drove back from SF, and I took a nice little walk around the neighborhood. I just love how the blooms change so frequently here- this massive purple tree really caught my eye.

 

 

 

img_2793

ohhh.. there they go….. *bang bang bang* like seriously how can someone make so much noise?! humph. I’m investing in noises cancelling headphones.

Back to the post… I am fuming right now.. can you tell?

On August 11th, we met with Alexandra, one of my dear friends from the residency program, and her husband Daniel, (from Denmark) for dinner at Eureka. It was such a blast and we really enjoyed hanging with them. Can’t wait for another chance to all get together. (Also, HIGHLY recommend Eureka’s sweet potato fries- yum!).

img_2792

STOMP, STOMP, STOMP. It’s like they are trying to be this loud. My gosh.

Anyyways, August 12th was church and then grabbing some “fill in” groceries from TJ’s for the day. I was honestly a bit tired from eating out which I didn’t know was even possible. I couldn’t wait to just eat at home and cook again! In order to save, I tried to plan our meals for the week around what we mostly had. The TJ’s trip basically was to stock up on just random little ingredients to make the full meals.

August 13th I whipped up some salmon with wild rice and roasted veggies for dinner. A favorite!

img_2789

August 14th was pretty uneventful, just house chores, knocking things off the to-do list and a beautiful run in the afternoon. These flowers were spectacular.

img_2788

DJ and I watched BIP in the evening. I stole his Oreos teheh. These mixed with Fairlife chocolate milk is an unreal combo.

img_2787

On August 15th, I read a bit and then sifted through grad school e-mails. I kept holding my breath every time I logged in- I was so irrationally nervous I wouldn’t be able to start for some unforeseeable reason or i’d be notified my acceptance was a mistake. #imposterssyndrome. It’s like I couldn’t believe I was actually in this program until the first day! And what is paranoia best solved by? Quesadillas with tomato soup, of course! I make mine vegan cheese and DJ’s with regular cheese.

img_2786

August 16th I had a weird medley of foods… I started the day with my go-to avocado and egg toast

img_2771

After snacking throughout the morning, I decided I wanted carbs… but I wanted veggies too. Solution? I put kale and hummus on a sandwich and it hit the spot. DJ thought it was disgusting hahah.

img_2785

Another snack kick I was on this particular week was Fage, peaches, and shakeology powder.

img_2784

August 17th, I made an acai bowl with oats, vegan chocolate chips, and peaches! I was just loving these TJ peaches.

img_2783

In the evening, I had a Dr. Praeger’s burger that had been sitting in my fridge for a while (SO GOOD), some wilted spinach, cauli rice, roasted sweet potato, and an egg. I felt like this was a very Kori-esque meal, and it was SO delicious!!

img_2782img_2781

STOMP, STOMP, STOMP.. it is 11:45. GO TO SLEEP! My gooodnesssss.

August 18th, I was so exhausted. It was one of those days where I was just so darn tired and hormonal and UGH. My girls get it! Nothing a cute cat can’t fix. I went to my friend Sara’s and we watched our show while I snuggled with this little fur baby.

img_2780

I had some leftover sweet potato and a veggie burger earlier on in the evening, but when around 9:30 pm rolled around I had a massive pizza craving (Like BAD). I ordered DJ and I some pies from Round Table. I had the baby pineapple with mushroom pizza and ordered DJ the large sausage. We rarely ever order pizza- I think we have maybe once in the past year, but gosh this hit the spot!

img_3479

In the morning of August 19th, I woke up with a sore throat. I decided to stay home from Church and watch the sermon online. DJ had to go to work this morning. The rest of the day I took it pretty easy just trying to recoup.

img_2349img_2779

August 20th, I felt a bit better when I woke up. I started the day with the standard avo & egg toast, and then went on a nice long walk to shake off the cobwebs.

img_2777img_2776

In the evening we watched Bachelor in Paradise, of course!

August 21-24th was just a whole lot of running errands, doing things on the to-do list like getting the oil changed, attending online orientation for school at 5 am (since I’m on pacific time lol), deep cleaning in the house, and some blogging in between while DJ worked a homestand.

August 25th I met up with my friend Alexandra for some scrumptious coffee from Voyager Craft Coffee. They have some of the best coffee- but it’s pricy, so I only go when meeting up with friends. It was a treat catching up with her and enjoying this coffee!

img_2760

In the afternoon I was craving something warm and comforting- I made up an oatmeal bowl with acai, cashews, and chocolate chips. Have y’all ever tried acai warmed in your oats?! It’s tasty!!

Ohhhh.. there goes the dog yapping. It is the yappiest little thing. hum bug.

img_2769

As we are trying to limit the groceries we buy and just use food from home (minus the pizza indulgence), I made DJ up these Special K Flatbreads we had in the freezer for breakfast. He loved them!

img_2770

We ran out of avocado, but determined to only use what we had in the fridge, I put some hummus on toast and egg over and called it breakfast. (Oh something I don’t picture but have nearly every day with breakfast is half or whole protein bar.. it keeps me full through the morning).

img_2765

August 26th I wrapped up all loose ends, got my ducks in a row with my books, finished laundry and read for pleasure for a bit because I was going to school the next day!! (and in undergrad the last thing I wanted to do was read for pleasure!).

August 27th was my first day of grad school! I started the day with a clear head by going to hot yoga around 7 am.

img_2758

I grabbed this new yoga mat at TJ Maxx for $7.99!! Way cheaper than anything I could even find on Amazon Prime.

img_2759

I made a turmeric latte at home to start the day and got started on the next 3.5 years of my life!

img_2768

I dedicated the rest of the day to school work. I am loving it, y’all! It’s a lot of work, a massive amount of reading, and a ton of discussion- but I have been anticipating this, and it feels great to be back in an academic setting.

My days basically are all the same now, which I love. I have missed routine! I haven’t had routine since 2016. I’ve been waking up around 8, have a massive breakfast, do some sort of workout whether it’s a run, insanity, or hot yoga, then work all day on school work, and then go on a walk to clear my head before cooking dinner. I then use the evenings to spend time with DJ, read, watch my guilty pleasure TV, and unwind with maybe a littttle bit more school work mixed in (Well… unwind best I can since the neighbors took over the apt. building, lol!).

img_2421

On repeat last week we had butterfly trout with roasted zucchini, forbidden rice, and greens.

img_2757-1

I changed it up a couple times with a veggie burger instead.

img_2756

The next couple posts I will recap our Labor Day! I am sooo psyched to share those.

Oh, one more thing! The month of September DJ, and I call “Saving September” every year. We go all out to try to save after a summer full of traveling and eating out. Basically we just keep to necessities- no eating out, no extra expenses (like those darn ICEs I am obsessed with), no shopping, etc. etc.  I always think it’s fun because it’s like a challenge to try to find new ways to make meals with what we have, get in better habits of not buying gum every time I’m at a checkout counter, forces us to just drink so much water that isn’t laden with chemicals, and get creative with clothes too! We put it off basically until this week because my parents were in town, but now we are all in 🙂 I’m eager to share how it goes!!

Also exciting- DJ is DONE with games until next season! That means his schedule goes back to a more 9-5 now. He’s super excited about that as am I.

Any meals/food items/etc. you have been loving lately?

xo <3

mack marie signature

Friday Fave…. nots? Friday Fails.

Hello all of ya positive optimistic lovely people! Today I am going to turn that smile upside down!!! Say what? Jk, jk. (kinda). I am embarking on a Friday Fave.. Nots, or rather, Friday Fails. Not only have I had a series of self inflicted unfortunate events as of late, but equally a series of.. humorous…events, and I feel I can’t keep these gems to myself- that’d be selfish. So allow my misfortune (all very silly – I recognize) entertain you for a brief moment. ** I hope you are not eating for this one **

  1. Dropping my keys…… in a gas station trash can… on accident. Yep, this happened. I was at a gas station last week and while throwing away empty water bottles and gum wrappers there went my keys. The moment I dropped them was a big ole’ “ohhhhh nooooo, that didn’t actually just happen, did it?”. I had to tip the whole giant trash can over, and shake it until my keys came to the surface. Y’all… I have done some not unpleasant things in my life as a nurse… and this was one of the nastiest things I have ever had to do. The worst best part? As I was getting in my car, the gas station cashier started chasing me (as I was now driving away in my car) yelling “What are you doing?!”. I was too mortified to explain… so I just zipped out of there. I think he thought I was stealing something out of it? Cause robbing a gas station trash can would be first on the list. Lesson learned: I cannot multi-task as well as I think.
  2.  Leaking leftovers. After our yummy vegan meal in the last post, I decided to take the leftovers to go. Wellllll, I discovered when I came home that my entire giant bag was saturated in their “special house sauce”. I tried washing the bag, but it was left a sad droopy version of itself. Sorry, bag. Lesson Learned: Sauce + Gravity= a sticky situation. Also, don’t put faux leather through the washing machine.

img_8078-13. Unapproved Carwash. DJ occasionally will get coupons from sponsors for the Giants and one of them was a free car wash. It was about twenty-five minutes away, but worth it if it’s free, right? I drove in allll the traffic (I even scored an extra 30 minutes for an accident), passed a legit wildfire on the side of the highway, and finally arrived to the car wash. I was unclear of how to proceed- go through the car wash or go to the cashier first? Naturally upon being given a 50/50 option, I chose the wrong one. I went through the car wash assuming it would be clear how to use the coupon, and when I arrived to the payment options- I pressed for “help”. “System down, please go inside” is what the prompt read. Well, with 3 other cars behind me I didn’t want to be that person holding up the line, so I proceeded forward into the car wash paying in full (the money slot still worked). When I went inside, the cashier wouldn’t hear my explanation for a single second, and basically shooed me out the door saying I had to use the coupon first. Better luck next time. Lesson Learned: Don’t drive through a wildfire for a car wash- it ain’t worth it!

4. Dis’ popcorn. Let me tell ya. It it no bueno. I am not picky when it comes to popcorn, but this… oh this…. be away with your protein infused self!img_8083-1

 Lesson Learned: Just stick to the Boom Chica & Smartfood.

5. When your oatmeal does this….

img_8082-1#Monday in a nutshell. They say don’t cry over spilled milk. But can you cry over spilled oats?! Lesson Learned: Watch out for the “wave” in microwave.

6. Broken Headphones.

img_8080-1

Yes, easy to replace- however I just bought these about a month ago (on sale from Amazon prime from a third party seller). Lesson Learned: Just buy the darn apple headphones, not the knockoffs!

7. K-Cup Shamed. Mmmmhmmm. At Trader Joe’s the cashier felt it his duty to remind me that it was more economically friendly to invest in the refillable K-cups at home, rather than buying actual K-cups. It is better, I acknowledge. I recycle, I try to take short showers (ok, that’s a stretch), I rarely use straws, but Trader Joe’s cashier, we can’t all be perfect. Just please scan my Reese’s peanut butter cups and let me live. Lesson Learned: You can always be more green. #conviction

img_8079-1

8. Dis’ Moroccan Oil Shampoo. NEVER AGAIN. This stuff made my hair so tangly, greasy and heavy. Never ever ever again. No wonder it was on sale for like $6 haha! Lesson Learned: A pretty package doesn’t mean it’s a good product.

img_8081-1

9. Beauty Fail. Confession time. This is actually a Flashback Friday Fave Not.. Remember those fake press on nails that I used for the wedding a couple weeks ago? Well have I got a story for you!! I haven’t told this to anyone yet; I think I was trying to block it out of my memory. While waiting in line to board my flight back, I was digging in my mess of a purse to find my boarding pass (Yes I realize non-mobile boarding passes are old school). Something goes flying and what do you know… it’s my nail… flying and then sliding under a suitcase of someone in front of me. I didn’t wanna be like, “Heyyyy, I dropped my fake nail under your suitcase, can you please move?”… So I waited until she moved a couple inches, watching her suitcase like a hawk, then snatched it before anyone could see. Although I’m pretty sure they couldn’t have cared less with it being 5 am. Lesson Learned: I am Murphy’s Law incarnate, and I need to get. it. together.

And this is where we meet our end. I am not going to list a number 10 because at the end of the day, the good always outweighs the bad…so I’ll leave a full 10 for my Friday Favorite posts. Life is gooood, and I feel cleansed, and I sound neurotic. Ahh. Have a wonderful day.

Xo <3

submark

Finding my [[ Center ]] & Fighting Self Care Guilt

Happy Friday Eve, everyone! I have been spending the last couple weeks finding my center per the title. *Cue the yoga mudra*. This sounds like some serious Californian crap, but ohhh well, it’s trueeee.

Leaving off from the last post, I entered into the next week determined to do some serious self care.

Self care is difficult for me because I tend to feel like I have to be dying on my sword, exhausted in every way before I allow myself to take a darn bubble bath. But that’s what these couple of months are for before diving back into the deep end in August. I am struggling though because if I’m rested, calm, and moving less than the pace of a tornado- am I doing something wrong?! The guilt has been knocking at the door… but I had to remind myself of the beautiful lesson I learned about seasons/transition times when I moved here, and I am going to soak up these next few weeks best I can. After all, I have to be rested before I can give my all, right?

My sister, Andi, and I chatted on the phone on Father’s Day reminiscing about our Dad and life in general. I told her how I’m feeling a bit strange not being busy busy busy. She said the awesome thing about these phases and seasons is that you are available- truly available for whatever God might have for you.

Case and point- I was on a run today and saw a debit card on the sidewalk. In all my busyness previously, I honestly may have just left it, not bothering myself with it. But since I had the time, I was able to run the card to the nearest Police Station- It felt good being able to just do something that I selfishly probably wouldn’t have if I was in one of my busy seasons. The police called back and said the man was incredibly grateful. I also feel like I’ve just been able to be there for my friends and family a bit more this last couple weeks. Usually, I just keep my phone on “Do not Disturb” because when I was at work I obviously couldn’t answer, and when I wasn’t at work I was running around getting ready for work or trying to sleep. It resulted in a endless games of phone tags and a full voicemail box. Now, I actually have my phone on and am able to chat with my friends and family who are going through some tough stuff right now. I’m so glad I can be there to just listen.

So what does this self care look like? Well first, I have allowed myself to sleep without an alarm (which is a challenge when usually I set an alarm even when I don’t need one). My body has been thanking me though- I am breathing easier and feel like my feet are actually on the ground. My circadian rhythm is resetting- and not only physically- but emotionally too.

I’m beginning to actually feel like myself again.

Second- I am cutting out the artificial sweetener drinks and sticking to water. I love those ICE drinks and Vitamin Water Zero- but I have decided to try to just drink pure water. I have noticed the difference in two things- bloating & energy. I love my flavored wa’ (pronounced wah), but time to hydrate the old fashioned way.

Next, this past year in nursing I have severely damaged my back, actually more than I realized. I am working on doing more stretching and some yoga to help it, but DJ suggested I get a massage. I decided Monday June 11th to get one at Elements Massage in Los Gatos with a coupon. Although the masseuse  talked the entire time and we ended up talking about her family’s medical issues, it was still enjoyable. A nurse is never really off duty ;). Haha.

img_6022

Monday during The Bachelor(ette) season is my favorite night of the week! I love that DJ watches with me because he has the most hilarious commentary. We took a nice lazy walk on Sunday night on Main Street and passed Rootstock Wine Bar. We decided we would hop in there the next night for a glass of wine before the Bachelorette.

img_6023img_6024img_6025

It’s pretty expensive, but sooo delish, and a nice date place every once in a while. They always have some of the best wine. I also love the whole ambiance- it’s rustic, yet chic, and comfortable. On some nights they have live music playing. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed our glass of wine before walking home to eat our Tollhouse  chocolate chip cookies and watch maybe the silliest shows on television. (Although.. it does look like it could win an Oscar next to the Proposal- ew, that show– awful. Do not even get me started!).

Tuesday morning, the 12th, I tried my first Orange Theory class!!! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I used the arm band for the first one, so I don’t think it was accurate- but it a fantastic workout. I don’t think I’ll stick to the courses because it’s very similar to Insanity (with the HITT routine) that I already do. But every once in a while with some friends it would be fun!

img_6026

Almost every night this last couple weeks (That DJ doesn’t have a game of course), Deej and I have been going on evening walks after dinner. This has been one of my favorite parts of the day. We used to take walks often when we lived in Indiana, but have just been so on the go since moving here. It’s been great to have that time together to chat, unwind, and reconnect.

img_6027

Wednesday, the 13th,  I did Insanity then realized a new Handmaid Tale episode was out on Hulu. To Peet’s we go with popcorn in tow!

img_6028img_6029

After, I rounded up our groceries for the week from TJ’s and did some meal prep the rest of the day. In afternoon I started the book, “Behind Closed Doors”. It’s a difficult read from a content perspective, but goodness I could not put it down. Has anyone read it?

Thursday morning, the 14th, I made the same avocado toast that I’ve been having every morning while enjoying it out on my balcony. It has a slice of seeded bread, 2 TBSP hummus, 1/2 avocado, and pink himalayan salt and pepper. I think I’ll be on this kick for a while.

img_5959

I went for a run, although somehow I think a sweat bee got caught in my mouth and stung me or something. I was okay, but it was a bit of a shock and hurt! I don’t even know how that happened, lol, but the bee season is in full swing right now. I then was proceeded to be chased by killer crows on the last rung of my run. They followed me about 1/4 mile even when I changed direction and then started flying in front of my face. It was so scary!!! I dove across four lanes of traffic and finally lost them. (A few days later, I heard on the radio this is a thing in Canada!). Mack vs. Nature- 0-2.

img_5958

I then caught up on e-mails, laundry, etc.

One of the meals I meal prepped for the week was salmon, broccoli, wild black rice, and ciabatta bread from Trader Joe’s! We gobbled this up for dinner.

img_6030

Friday I headed to my first Bar experience!! I had heard about Barre3 from Kori, and when my friend invited me to try The Bar Method, I jumped on it. I think there are some differences between those two- but generally the same idea.

img_5956

The boutique was immaculate, quiet, and adorably decorated.

img_5954img_5955

So my thoughts on bar: I’m such a cardio junkie- so this was a fantastic new challenge for me! I loved how much they focused on strength through micro-movements. It was a workout unlike anything I’d ever done before. I still don’t know that I can totally depart from my cardio- but I would love to incorporate the idea of focusing on such specific muscles into my normal workout regimen more. No wonder Kori & Kaci (Kori’s twin) have the most perfectly toned arms!!

The rest of the day Sara, my friend, and I went back to her house to binge watch our show & snack.

In the evening I headed to Harry Potter Night to watch the San Jose Giants play!

img_5946img_5945

They went alll out for this! When you enter the gates, they give you a ticket and sort you into a house. Despite the long debate DJ and I had in our kitchen about which house we would be in, I was sorted into Gryffindor! (The sorting hat at Warner Bros said Gryffindor too, sooooo).

img_5952img_5950

If I had to sort myself I think I’d be in Ravenclaw. Which house are you?!

They even sold Butterbeer from a local brewery (It was basically cream soda, mmm mm!).

img_5953img_5951img_6033img_5948

I just LOVE minor league games, especially at Muni. The food is irresistible and the environment is pure fun and excitement.

I recorded on video the House Race on broomsticks, and this poor little man ate it. I felt bad, but I couldn’t help from laughing.

Saturday morning, the 16th, I was craving a soft boiled egg over my toast. I went through FIVE eggs to try to get one that didn’t break right when I was taking off the shell. Well…..

img_5941img_6031

I overcooked it when I finally thought I had it right. Haha. What are your tricks for a perfect soft boiled egg that’s a bit runny?!

I ended up just going with a normal over medium fried egg.

img_5942

Yum, yum!

I went for a calming long walk, listened to a podcast, chatted on the phone, and then during my mid-stride bliss, I was pooped on by a bird. Not the first time this has happened, probably not the last. After taking a THOROUGH shower and washing all my clothes, I then got to work posting tons of things on Poshmark and Ebay that I’ve been wanting to post for a while.

img_5943

These are all the clothes I have left (minus workout clothes/pants that are in my dresser). I feel lighter having narrowed it down to clothes I actually wear (considering I wear the same like five outfits in rotation- ha). DJ had to work the weekend, but was home Saturday night for dinner.

img_5944

We improvised with the little bit of salmon we had left, rice, and them a tomato soup from trader Joe’s with tortilla strips.

img_5939

Sunday the 17th was Father’s Day. It was a hard day- just missing my Dad and DJ had to be at work so I did feel a bit lonely. I went on a long walk in the afternoon and called my step dad, Pete, and my grandpa which turned my mood right around. I’m so excited to see them in about a month! I continued to spend the rest of the day spring cleaning and posting to Ebay/Poshmark.

Monday the 18th- Wednesday the 20th I spent the days shopping. Ok, that probably sounds wonderful to most of you, but not for me! I hate shopping (especially when I need something). I get in the mood maybe once a year for like five minutes when I actually want to shop. This was not one of those times. I needed to find a dress for a wedding we have next weekend and also was hoping to find something to wear for fourth of July. I struck out everywhere, leaving each place empty handed.

img_6018

^ I mean, this is what I’m working with… (although the dress alone is pretty cute!).

I did enjoy seeing the massive gorgeous Anthropologie at Stanford Mall.

img_6020img_6017img_6019

Since I couldn’t find a single thing, to online shopping we go (I must clarify- I do LOVEEE online shopping! I’m still a female, ya know?).

Tuesday evening, the 19th, we headed to DJ’s Dad’s to celebrate Father’s Day and to say goodbye (They are moving back to Ohio). It was bittersweet, but I’m glad we had one last hurrah before we saw them go.

Yesterday morning the 20th, I had the best cosmetologist (in my book) at Limon Salon work some serious magic on my damaged hair (part 2)… part one is in the previous recap where she had to work my hair out of the awful highlights.

img_6014img_6013

Last evening, I made a big crockpot chicken and veggie slow cooked meal that made the house smell magical. I am going to try to make meals in the next couple weeks that we can freeze for when things pick up here soon.

img_6021

I’m now sitting at Peet’s (imagine that) and then heading to a work dinner with DJ’s coworkers tonight. Woohoo!

How are your weeks going? If you know how to make a soft boiled egg, please help your girl out!

xo <3

submark

Friday Favorites #12

Happpppyyyy of all Fridays!!!! How are ya? It was super easy to whip up a Friday Favorites this week because there are some things I am luh-ving. This might be my favorite FF yet.

  1. A clean Patio!! I took a day to deep scrub our patio, clean the rug, wash the cushions, etc. etc. It took a while, but I am psyched to use this for the summer. It’s my little happy “feng shui” place for reading, blogging, and morning devos.

Before…

img_3532

After… !

img_3551

2. Blue Apron. I used to use Blue Apron when we first moved here all the time. It became a bit too pricey without discount coupons, but they sent a “we miss you” coupon in an e-mail, so I whipped up those tostadas from the last post and this pasta for DJ to have when he returned from the games lateeee at night!

img_3525img_3526img_3527

3. Dolmas. Dolmas are stuffed grape leaves. I don’t know what the heck a grape leaf is (probably leaves of grapes), but I do know they are darn delicious. I could eat these suckers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I put them in sweet potatoes, eat them with tahini, and just by themselves with hummus.

img_3537img_3533

4. Green Goddess Salad Dressing from Trader Joe’s. Holy canoli ravioli. Looking for an epic salad dressing that isn’t loaded with crapola??… well, here you are, look no further. You’re welcome, don’t mention it.

img_3535img_3230

5. Nurse’s Week Gifts <3 The gifts below are from my sweet hubby for nurses week (last week, but you know I’m always behind on posting). This toilet paper roll is actually a study tool with real rhythms.. I am obsessed. I laughed sooo hard. Code Brown… lol.

img_3536img_3555

At work they had fun little things happening all week. I was able to sneak some of the cake & we were gifted water bottles & hats. I really felt the love & appreciation!!! And that cake was a nice & needed treat while working in the neuro close observation room.

img_3554

6. Summer Walks. It’s beginning to look a lot like summmmmer, everywhere you gooo!!! I love walks in the summer, and when I need to run errands I typically will walk to the store instead of drive. I usually call my grandma on my walks (she’s seriously one of my favorite people to just chat with… she cuts it to ya straight, is so wise, and always cracks me up!). But if Grandma is busy (which she is often because she has more of a social life than I do), then I’ll just listen to podcasts while soaking up the fresh air & sun.

img_3528img_3531img_3529img_3530

7. Wild Wild Country. HAVE YOU WATCHED THIS YET?! DJ and I are chipping away at it slowly since our schedules don’t line up, but the moment we have a free second we watch as much as possible. It is so good. So interesting, thought provoking, and your jaw will drop to the floor many a times. If you have watched it.. I would love to chat!

img_3552

8. When Breath Becomes Air. It won’t even do justice to say this is my favorite book I have ever read. It’s magnificent, a work of art, raw, and does not shy away from the difficulties of life and medicine. You will leave this book changed. The author is a surgeon who actually worked on the unit & hospital that I work for now, so it especially hit close to home. Many of my coworkers knew him personally and recommended this book to me. I have been harping my family this past week to read it… like sending nearly daily reminders. (y’all know who you are and I’m going to keep annoying you until you have read it).

img_3564

9. The Couple Next Door. On a very different literary note… I love reading thrillers and mystery books that keep you guessing and theorizing the whole time. This book had so many twists, turns, and definitely was not predictable at all. The writing itself was just okay, but the plot-line was spectacular. Highly recommend (after you’ve read the one above of course).

img_3477

10. Jergens Natural Glow. Recently Jergens came out with a face natural glow, and I nearly squealed with excitement in the Target isle. This stuff is amazing, it really does give a nice “glow”, I actually don’t even feel the need for any foundation or anything after using this and it doesn’t make me break out (I have very sensitive skin, so if it works for me it will work for you!).

img_3562

Have a good one!!

xo <3

mack marie signature