Our Family Is Growing

I’m giving our moms a heart attack as they read this title. NO- I’m not pregnant. Haha- sorry 😝. Don’t worry- I would not announce it on my blog before telling you guys 😘. But we do have a new addition to the family that I will be announcing later on. OH THE SUSPENSE.

First things first- I just want to say a TREMENDOUS thank you to Afrilly for the sweet, sweet words on her blog as well as Cyranny. Truly- I am blown away by the sincerity and kindness of this community. Also thank you to Theveggiecooker for her nomination for the One Lovely Blog award. I am beyond honored. At this time I don’t quite have the time to thoughtfully nominate others and respond to the award, but the nomination was incredibly appreciated.

Well, ya’ll ready for our hodge-podge of the last week and a half or so?

After the last post we had some zucchini leftover so we made zucchini pizzas, the more “normal” way. This is one of DJ’s favorites. I saved the inner parts that you scrape out for a recipe I share later on! I love that the grocery store has so many vegan options for the toppings. They have vegan pepperoni and vegan bacon.


I am on a new breakfast kick. I ate oatmeal for breakfast for about five years straight. I even carried a big ole’ thing of Quaker oats in my car with me when I traveled. They became famous among my friends and we called them the “Traveling Oats”. Anyway- the last few months I have been changing it up with fruit and granola parfaits, and now I am changing it up once again. I have been loving putting Siggi’s yogurt on Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread with homemade cinnamon apple chips. I wake up craving this. Siggi’s yogurt is awe-some. It has an insane amount of protein and is low fat. It is made with all wholesome ingredients and acts almost like a cream cheese. It’s perfect in the morning with a cuppa joe!


Now on to other happenings. It’s FALL!!! Finally. This time is dangerous for our pocket books if we are honest with ourselves (Ladies- can I get an AMEN?!). I can’t walk into a store without feeling wonderfully overwhelmed by the beautiful, beautiful madness. Oh the pumpkin everything, the candles, the smells, the foods, the SWEATER WEATHER.


Oh brother. One of my favorite parts is scanning the shelves at grocery stores for new fall foods. Kids have it good these days- look at these cereal options. (Side note: Pumpkin Spice Mini Wheats are revolutionary!)


DJ came home from class one day last week and I guiltily admitted that I made an impulsive buy. I saw this little pumpkin pillow while I was out and about and could not leave without. OH how I tried to resist. That’s a lie- I did not try very hard.


On Thursday of last week we were running low on groceries. I had to get real creative ya’ll because we were going to be gone for the weekend, and I didn’t want to restock groceries yet. I had the leftover inner portion of the zucchini from our zucchini pizzas, eggs, and some Palak’s Tikki Masala curry. I figured that eggplant is used as a base in a lot of Indian/Thai dishes, so why not give zucchini a go?! I also remembered the eggs that were on top of the dish DJ had at Oren’s, and decided that maybe I would throw those on top too. And  of course, alllll the spices. I also had some roti sitting in the freezer (because that’s normal for a basic American girl). I love making roti because it puffs up as you make it. And its fun to say “roe-tee”.


DJ said this was one of his favorites that I’ve made. He said we needed to make it a staple- A STAPLE! I laughed at how much he loved my scrap together meal.

On Friday through Sunday we spent time watching DJ’s sisters and some family friends’ children. (Four kids total). Since DJ was studying all weekend intensely for midterms, I joked that I went from a studying, unemployed, newlywed to a single mother of four overnight.

Friday night was an adventure around dinner time. I wasn’t quite familiar with how to use the stove and while I thought I turned on the oven I actually turned on the stove that was hidden by a cover on top of the stove. I turn around to put a pizza in and the stove is smoking. Look, when you are responsible for four children and can’t turn on an oven it takes a deep hit to your maternal confidence. The girls came by to help me out and showed me how to use it properly. By that point everyone was pretty hungry so waiting thirty plus minutes for the oven to preheat and to cook the pizza seemed out of the question. I threw together a few other random bites of anytizzers, stovetop chicken a la vodka pasta, and mahi mahi salad from the fridge for myself, and while not my proudest cooking endeavor at least everyone got fed- right?


Saturday was so.much.fun. I was still able to squeeze in studying here and there but spending that time with the girls gave me a new boost of energy and provided a much needed break from the books. Naturally, we went to LUSH first. Once again- the cult-like following of all things fall is everywhere. Their fall products are way too fun. I tried out the goth fairy and magic wand. Super obsessed with both. You really cannot go wrong here with any of their products.


Saturday night the girls did the sweetest thing for DJ and me. When I came inside from studying they said they had a surprise for us that night. Then we received a text that read, “To the Mr. and Mrs., tonight we have prepared a special night for the two of you. Tonight you will be enjoying a delicious dinner, music, and surprises! Please join us in the dining room at about 6:15. We hope to see you there soon!” Love the B.A.M girls (abbreviation for their names).

I actually teared up when I saw what they had set up for us. They had romantic music playing and made a bouquet (they actually made it with flowers they found outside), candles, the whole deal. They each played waitress and came out offering us either “Sparkling water” or “Citrus sparking water”. They proceeded to tell us that they would begin serving whenever we were ready. We were eager to see what they had prepared and they brought out a delicious fettuccini with homemade alfredo sauce with parmasean to sprinkle on top. I cannot explain how impressed I was with them. The food and service was superb!


For dessert they made an apple pie. Seriously, come on- do we have the greatest sisters or what?! DJ and I went back for seconds.


Later that night we may have had a tiny mishap with the dishwasher. There was no powder detergent and the packets of cascade were a bit too big. I, brilliantly, thought just a small dash of dishwasher soap would be a good idea. WARNING: do not try that at home. After about five minute of it going I hear the girls yelling- “It’s overflowing! It’s overflowing!” I look and soap suds are seeping out of the cracks, under, and around the darn dishwasher. Good going, Mack. #FakeMomFail .

Sunday one of the girls had a basketball tournament. It felt like a Starbucks kind of morning. I stopped by and picked up the girls their favorite double chocolate chip frappacinos and a chocolate croissant. I guess the Pokemon go is still going strong!


Speaking of Coffee: Today is national Coffee Day!!!!! BIG DEAL!!!!!! This is personally one of my favorite holidays. I hope you guys are all properly caffeinated. I am at a Pete’s and about three minutes ago I went to sit down and spilled my coffee all over the place. That is either a sign that I need more or have had too much? Luckily the lap top was spared but I so ungracefully, in very characteristic me-fashion, made a big ole’ mess. I’m really killing it this week aren’t I?

I have been camping out at Peet’s this whole week and know all the baristas by name now. They cheer me on as I take a million practice exams, memorize a million lab values, and drink way too much of their coffee.

I also used to be a barista so what better time to share some of my “artwork” than now?! Below are a few of my favorites.


Back to the week in review:

Sunday night when we got home, once again no groceries. And we were far too drained to go out and buy some. I did have some veggies leftover and of course eggs and roti. I made an western egg scramble in roti burritos with a side of sriracha hot sauce.


Monday was an essential grocery/cleaning day. I tried to study, but I couldn’t focus with so much on my to-do list. I knocked out the grocery shopping in the morning and cleaned all day, did some laundry, and prepared dinner. Also I did watch the Presidential Debate (just a day late on Hulu). I don’t want to get political, so I’ll keep my views to myself- you all get enough of that from other social media platforms.

Pumpkin nutmeg candle <3

Sprouts is hands-down my favorite grocery store. I don’t shop there for everything because it can be a bit expensive (not as expensive as Whole Foods), but I do love looking for specialty items. They have the best selection of pumpkin/fall foods. I told the cashier that I was going to limit myself to just one specialty pumpkin item each grocery trip. Jokes on me- As I was walking out of the store I saw the Harvest Pumpkin Tortilla Chips with Pumpkin Salsa. I walked right back up to the cashier and said I took back what I said about one pumpkin item per trip.


We also got our delivery of Graze this week! I have wanted to try this out for forever, well since the beginning of college, and I found a Groupon for it! Graze is excellent because it is perfectly custom designed to your snacking needs. They have a protein box, a calorie count box, a dessert box, etc. I have liked everything, but I definitely have some favorites:

  • Deconstructed Carrot Cake
  • Peachy Orchard
  • Sweet Rhubarb Jam
  • White Chocolate with Wild Blueberry Toast
  • Salted Caramel Fudge


This week I decided to try out a Mustard Char Glazed Salmon from my Fine Cooking magazines. It was ridiculously easy to make and had a flavor like nothing I have ever tried.


Our house has a LEEK!!!!!!!! 

This week we are in hard core study mode (per usual). I am rounding down the home stretch to my studying. I am hoping to take my NCLEX by late October. DJ has midterms on Friday.

Okay- time for the big unveiling. So DJ has been a bit down this week in the study blues, as I mentioned last post. I thought to myself- what can I do to cheer his up? LIGHTBULB, buy Spanky Tom! Buy a what?  Spanky Tom is our fish that we have talked about getting for years, since early college days. No idea where we got that name. Truly no clue. But I knew this was the time. What can cheer someone up more than a fish?! I threw in the study towel early and headed to PetSmart.

Side story: I do have a track record of spontaneously buying fish. When I got my first paycheck ever in high school, I decided that very day that I wanted to spend it on a little fish. I went to the store and looked for the ugliest fish I could find. I always want the ugliest pet because they are the least likely to get adopted. (Like my dream of adopting a three legged ugly dog from the pound and naming it Beans). I found a Black Moore with bulging eyeballs and named it Sunshine. I’m a fan of irony. Sunshine was the best darn fish to ever swim the planet. When Sunshine was about two years old my family went away for a vacation. I bought a “self releasing fish feeder”. FALSE. It did not release the food. Sunshine was in a dire state when I came home. It’s little gills were barely moving. I did what everyone does in a state of panic and horror: I googled. I tried everything. I changed the tank’s water, put my dear little sunshine in cold water, in warm water (I probably shocked her), I tried CPR on the dang fish, I fed it corn (not sure where I got that one), but poor Sunshine was lost to fishy heaven. I cried. At eighteen years old I cried over my dead pet fish. That really forced me to reevaluate my life.

Anyway- back to Spanky. I was giddy with excitement. DJ doesn’t quite share in my enthusiasm of buying ugly animals, so I decided to get a pretty Spanky. I spent about fifteen minutes staring at all the fish to see which one had the most spunk. I finally chose this precious little male Beta. It’s hard to tell in the picture but here is me and Spanky T’s first picture together.

When DJ got home this was our conversation:

Me: Guess what

DJ: What

Me: I bought Spanky Tom

DJ: *Laughing* did you really just go out and buy a fish again?

I walked over to show him the tank. Deej was pretty excited- at least it got a smile out of him! Our little family is growing! I told him I chose Spanky because he seemed the most energetic of all the fish. We both looked down at Spanky T just sitting in his barrel, barely moving, and DJ observed, “Yeah, looks like it”.😂

Now, is this not the photogenic fish you have ever seen?! ST loves the little barrel and that’s where he spends most of the time. It’s his favorite part of his tiny playground.


Sorry about the title mothers. Simply click bait. GET IT?!


For dinner I made Jennie O turkey burgers for Deej, a Morningstar Quinoa and Garlic Vegan burger for myself and homemade sweet potato fries with a homemade healthy cinnamon butter.


Tomorrow is Friday! Woohoo! That means date night. Especially after a torturous week leading up to midterms I am excited for DJ to have a night off studying (at at least mostly off).

Wishing you a swimmingly pleasant weekend,

xo <3


48 thoughts on “Our Family Is Growing

  1. Hey lovely!

    Thank you for the mention 🙂 You’re such a sweetheart!

    Congratulations for the adoption of Spanky Tom! I hope the happy fellow realizes his luck of being picked even if he isn’t ugly 😉

    Thanks for sharing your week, it is always a pleasure to read you, and the pictures are vibrant, as usual!

    Have a stunning week end!!


    1. Haha, I’ll let Spanky T know he should be quite excited 😉 And oh my goodness, thank you, Cyranny! That is all so kind of you to say. I hope your weekend is absolutely wonderful! <3

  2. What a fun post, Mack! Those little girls are so sweet…and so creative!!! And I love the story about Spanky Tom — I hope he continues to bring joy to your family!

    I hope your studying is going well; it sounds like you’re hitting the books hard! Are you enjoying getting back into it again after the refreshing break God gave you?

    Have a great day!

    1. Awww Lauren! So good to hear from you!! Those girls are seriously the sweetest and most thoughtful- they are beyond their years too. And yes, I cannot tell you how absolutely wonderful that break was. It was a much needed respite, but I do love getting back into studying my passion. I received word that my fingerprints were accepted by the state board the weekend my last friend left so the timing could not have been more perfect to begin studying again. Thank you so so much for asking. Have a wonderful weekend, girlie! Xo

  3. It sounds like you had a rough week! Haha but I love how you keep such a positive outlook. I need to go check out Lush again! I literally missed there Halloween items by like a day the last time I was there.

    1. Hey girl!!!! Haha- this week had its highs and lows, but the highs were certainly higher than the lows 😉 And yes- Go to lush! I just heard of lush this summer and am ob-stinking-sessed. I hear their Christmas selection is crazy amazing too- have you been there for that?! Have a great weekend, lovely! I can’t wait for another post from you! Xo

  4. Congrats on the new family member! Having just adopted another set of paws myself, I know the joy of bringing home a new baby. Here’s to years of enjoyment. Thank you for swinging by the “Ranch” and for the follow. We 💗 visitors especially ones with such a cool blog! Continued success on the blog and with mid-terms. 😉

    1. Awww thank you so much for stopping by! I cannot wait for the day that we can adopt a dog. We both want one so badly but life is a bit too all over the place right now. What kind do you have?! Thank you also for the well wishes! 💕

  5. I enjoyed all the food photos. Everything looks/sounds so yummy. But I’m reeeeally interested in that fishie-wishie. Is he a betta? I have a cobalt blue betta named Spot. He’s pretty handsome too and loves it when I come near to take his photo. I’d post one if I knew how in the comment section. (But, actually, I don’t think it ‘s possible. You’ll just have to take my word for it.) Hope the mid-terms go well. I remember those days!

    1. Hi Paula!!!! Yes! He is a betta!!! Spot certainly does sound handsome- cobalt blue! What a pretty color. Thanks for sharing, and for the encouragement. DJ should be home any second and I’m anxious to ask him how they went ! Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Haha- love our baby Spanky T. Glad you liked the food! I already have some amazing munchies to share for next week 🙂 I am taking my exam by the end of October if I get approved to test within the next couple weeks. It will be such a relief after waiting half a year to test! Thanks for asking. I hope you are having an absolutely wonderful weekend, Rhiannon! xo

  6. Such fun to read about your life, I love it. Can’t believe all the Halloween cereal in the states. Monsters turning green in milk ???? So glad you got a new fishy. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Awww thank you, Myra! Your comment made my day. Yes- seriously, can you believe the things they come up with ?! Certainly makes my grocery trips super entertaining! Thanks for stopping by- have a wonderful Sunday!

  7. Hi Kenz, Just have a minute to write cause I have appt. but enjoyed your blog and sorry about the dish washer but we have all done something like that; What a mess, huh—Sound like you are really getting more into cooking really special foods. I don’t know how you do it with study for exams too. Sounds like you are enjoying everything. Sorry I missed your call last night but we had company for evening and had not seen them in a while so could not talk as they had just arrived. we will catch up some time. I know how busy you are and love everything you are doing. God bless you and DJ Love you both very much. Gramma​

  8. The nomination was not a problem at all! Your blog cheers me up and I love how your personality shines through your posts. It was such an easy nomination. : )

    Quaker oats in your car? How does that even work? Do you bring a thermos of hot water to put the oats in? :p

    The candy bar puns that come out in fall always get me. Scaries, Coffin Crisp, ScAero…

    And that. Is the most perfect. Pumpkin pillow. I am totally on your side. The texture, the metallic, the way it fits right in with your other cushions..

    “I do have a track record of spontaneously buying fish.” – I LOVE THIS. It has made my day, honestly. Then you depressed me with your story of Sunshine : ( Here’s to many happy years for you, DJ, and Spanky T. <3 (If you put a mirror infront of him, he'll flare up and look even more gorgeous. I don't know if it stresses them out though, so do it sparingly <3)

    1. Haha yeah just get hot water from a gas station or throw them in some yogurt plain! And, Oh my goodness yessssss all those fall puns are the best ! I haven’t heard of coffin crisp but that is amazing 😂 THANK YOU for loving the pumpkin pillow as much as me.. Helps me justify buying it even more lol… And yes oh our poor Sunshine. I miss that dang fish every day – ok that might be a bit dramatic 😝 thank you for your well wishes ! Do you have any animals of your own?!

      1. Oooh, interesting! Maybe I too, still start storing oatmeal in my car… :p

        Yes! I have a… /dramatically/ laid back dog named Cricket. : ) She’s black like poor Sunshine. I have a post scheduled about her tomorrow. :3

  9. Mack, you are such a cutie! Congrats on getting ST 💖💖💖 I thought you were pregnant too.

    I love Siggi’s. Never thought about putting it on Ezekial bread, very interesting!!

    So many blessings to you, DJ and your whole family, and smiles,
    Debbie ☺

    1. Ahhh Debbie! I still get so excited when I see a comment from you. Those few weeks you were in Japan just seemed so long! Since Siggis has such a thick texture it reminds me almost of cream cheese and then with the dried apple and a touch of stevia it’s the perfect sweet and *almost* sour combo! Blessings to you, sweet friend <3 I finally have some time to sit down and catch up on everyone's updates. Can't wait to see what you are up to! <3

    1. You literally just made my day!!!!!! Yes– oh our dear Spanks <3 we miss him so! And he only lived a couple months! You can read about the sad, sad day here if you have it in you to read another post 😉 https://mackmarie.com/2016/11/03/an-emotional-roller-coaster-of-a-week-and-so-many-updates/
      Thank you SOO much for the sweet words- wow, that just brings a big smile to my face! So glad to have "met" you here and look forward to more conversations 🙂 Have a beautiful week!

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