Happy Birdd-Day

This day is a big deal day. I mean a BIGGGGGGGG deal! It is DJ’s Birthday!!!! This truly is one of my favorite “holidays” because it means my favorite person was born on this day! Thank you DJ for gracing the world with your presence, but also for allowing me to have dibs on you for my hubby. We love birthdays because it is an excuse to say “Happy Birrrrdday” over and over again. Who can spot the reference? Also- Happy Birthday to Amy (his twin sister!). Today DJ is happily spending his day meeting with friends and getting a few tasks done, while I am taking a tiny respite from studying to record some fun stuff from this past week!

We received this amazing Cheesecake Factory sampler from djs mom on Thursday! holy yum.

We made quite a dent! The caramel de leche was our favorite!

Thursday night I whipped up, yet another, Indian-fusion-esque type dinner. Who really knows what it is. But it was edible! It included okra, cauliflower, shrimp, a tikki masala sauce, every spice that I thought could possible compliment it, and some siggis yogurt. I accompanied it with some naan bread and a gigantic salad. This my friends, I call “everything but the kitchen sink”.


Friday we went to Lazy Dog on Main Street Cupertino. We were feeling tired after a long week of studying and what could sound better than going to a place called Lazy Dog? It was super relaxing and nice to just spend a nice long dinner together rather than the rushed ones that usually take place during the week. It’s hard to truly enjoy your food when you have six hours of studying still staring you in the face for the night!


I ordered their Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna. This was one of the  most original dishes of ahi I have ever tried. It makes my mouth water just reminiscing about it. It was served medium-rare on house-made cauliflower mash with roasted vegetables and a coconut curry cream sauce. It was also topped with some fresh cilantro. I tried to recreate the cauliflower mash, which I share later on! This dish was fish-alicious.


DJ went for their signature burger for which they are known for! He ravenously ate it up. Now, I don’t know if the boy was just really hungry, or if that was a sign that he hasn’t had something that good in that long! I may have been too afraid to inquire.


Also! I pulled out my first sweater for the season! This is one of my favorite fall colors- anything dark purple or maroon. The weather here is surprisingly perfect for the sweater life. I think I expected it to feel warm year round, but it still has a fall feel with the leaves falling and a crispness to the air.


Saturday I got up at the butt-crack of dawn to go on one last BIG hike with my hiking group. I absolutely love this group of people. If you wanna get to know people, go on a hike with them. Within seven miles hiking up a mountain you end up talking about pretty much anything and everything. One thing that surprised me was one guy who grew up here (in California) could not understand why someone could possibly enjoy a thunderstorm. Me and one other girl from the midwest tried to explain the ominous excitement, smells, and wonder of an awesome midwest thunderstorm. It was interesting to me that he had never experienced something like that.  We also came past the most beautiful dog I may have ever seen. It was a bright white husky with sky-blue eyes. I am not always one to run up and ask to pet a random dog, but I could not help myself with this one. The owner even let me get a picture with it. I told DJ that we need to get this type of dog and a Beans soon (three-legged dream dog from the pound). He personally prefers French Pitbulls and Chocolate Labs. We both also love Vishlas! We had a friend who had one and fell in love. Anyone own any of these types of dogs?


After an amazing hike, that my hips are still recovering from, we went to the Vine in Niles. This cute little town is quite a hike from our place in Cupertino. OH MY WORD- I did not intend that pun, I swear. I know I usually do intend allll the puns, but that one was not intended. Anyway, Niles is just the most darling little town with the strips full of unique boutiques, food trucks, and the luminous mountains cradling the whole surrounding area.


After that hike I needed a big ole cup of joe! I think my favorite part of this whole place was the fact that I had my coffee served in this mug.


HELLO to the most delicious sweet potato tots I ever did taste. They were served with a garam masala aioli. SO GOOD. I got them “for DJ” but ate half of them (or more than half) before I made it home. Like I said, it was a hike back- a good 50 minute drive is long enough to get hungry again.


I had a tasty, filling salmon salad with craisins, goat cheese, walnuts, and a honey curry vinaigrette over arugula.


SUNDAY! Oh Sunday was a much needed day. We are currently re-evaluating some choices and direction in our lives, but Sunday was just what we needed for some ease and clarity. I think right now DJ and I are realizing more than ever that our life “plans” on paper do not, and will not, always reflect reality. But that is okay. We are both at this point where we just want to be used by God, love others, and see how we can make a difference in the SV area each day. God has shut a lot of doors on our plans, but we are watching something unfold that we could not have designed ourselves. In the past, we have always filled our schedules and days with commitments and do not make ourselves available for anything that we have not designated important ourselves. But God, in His sovereignty, has shut many doors and we are finding ourselves available to do His work in a way we never have been. We are ecstatic to see what unravels, where this time of our lives takes us, and how he will use us. Our current situation can be described as this (….). The big ole’ dot, dot, dot. We have no idea how the next few years will unfold, but I think both of us could not be more excited to see how it will look.


So why was Sunday so great? First we attended Church, and if that can’t rejuvenate ya, I don’t know what can. After, we met with the Pastors from our church for lunch as this rustic, yet modern, place in San Jose called The Farmer’s Union. They provided a great deal of encouragement to us. They gave us soo much to think about as well and sparked some thought-provoking conversation between DJ and I throughout the week leading to some of the open-ended conclusions (oxymoron?) I mentioned above.


I have been fighting something of a cold this week and this Echinacea and Cranberry tea has been a lifesaver. I am a FIRM believer in herbal and vitamin supplements to prevent a cold. Load up the vitamin C, Echinacea, and Zinc to halt that nasty tickle in the throat from becoming a full on monster. But always talk to your healthcare provider before taking them 😉


Here are the Cauliflower mashed potatoes that I tried to recreate (inspiration from the Lazy Dog!). These were sooo simple and I have a feeling that I may be entering into a new food craze stage.


I also made these little Cauliflower wings with the leftover half of a head. I have the recipe posted here if you missed it 😉


The next night I used the leftover cauliflower mash and combined it with some curry hummus to try to achieve that Indian cauliflower taste. I added a Morningstar Garlic and Quinoa burger with some fresh basil for a super easy and delicious meal.


I had some kale that was about to go bad too, so I whipped up some kale chips to dip in the buffalo sauce too! Snacks for dayzzz.


Throughout the week I have been studying at Peet’s nearly everyday.

I have loved studying at this little coffee shop and am beginning to develop friendships with the baristas. They are the kindest folk. One day they came up to me and gave me a coupon for a free coffee. They also told me that I am overstudying. Now when essentially strangers are telling you this, it makes you wonder!


This is what “leave me alone I’m watching the game ” looks like One night during dinner I realized I had forgotten a couple things at the store. DJ, the sweet husband he is, ran out to grab them for me. He returned with this gem- edible cookie dough. Yes, all of your dreams have now come true. You can bake it or eat it straight out of the container if you wish. It is dairy and egg free too. We love our Pillsbury break-and-bakes, but I think we have a new favorite.


Yesterday I had a bit of a stomach ache. I think I have just had so much rolling around in this head of mine and have been drained by the studying. I stopped by and picked this up from the store. GOODBYE tummy-ache! Ginger is one of the greatest things to help with nausea and aid in digestion. Kombucha also has some terrific probiotics too. I am really going full blown nurse on ya’ll, this post aren’t I?


You didn’t think I wasn’t going forget a Fine Cooking recipe now did you?! This week I wanted to make something with meat. I make a lot of seafood naturally being pescatarian, but I felt that I haven’t tried my hand at a good meat dish in a while. I whipped up a Pork Tenderloin Provencal Tuesday night. I have never made pork, but was pleased with how it turned out. I accompanied it with rosemary roasted veggies and wild rice. It was surprisingly easy, and DJ said it was one of the best meals I have ever made. I think it would be an excellent meal for a Christmas eve dinner or special occasion! Tastes fancy without all the work 😉 .


Now for birthday festivities. I maybe should not post this, but I seriously can’t help myself. I LOVE the goofy cards for birthdays (or any occasion). I spend wayyy too much time looking at all of them and take more pride in the card than the gift usually. We have tons of fun with them in my family. I stay away from anything with the actual age on it though… One time I got my brother a “Happy 30th” birthday card, ready to make a big deal about the big 3-0. He actually was turning 31. They never let me live that one down. In fact the next year, I received the same card from him and he crossed out the thirty and wrote 20 (the age I was turning). Anywho, DJ LOVES animals, so I always make sure to get an animal one. This was this years pick. Like I said, maybe this is inappropriate? But I promise this is as PG-13 it will get around here.


We were planning on going out for a momentous pancake breakfast for his birthday, but he was meeting with a friend at 10 am, and decided last night he wanted to sleep in. I woke up early to figure something out, because everyone has to have a delicious birthday breakfast! I had some 90 calorie reduced fat pillsbury crescent rolls in the fridge and decided to try to make apple roll-ups. These are way healthier than a breakfast pastry and just as tasty. DJ couldn’t believe how relatively healthy they were.


He obviously liked them…img_1238

Last night I was having a moment of I NEED TO BAKE. Anyone else get that? The baking bug hits me hard in the fall. I load up on cans of pumpkin filling and end up just trying to create whatever I can, whenever I can. Baking is very therapeutic for me and since we were just eating leftovers last night, I decided to bake instead during my usual dinner prep time. I made a healthy pumpkin cheesecake with an oatmeal crust. This little guy is about 150 calories a slice and about 10 grams of protein. I am working on getting the recipe absolutely perfect, and then I will share it.


Tonight we are going to take it easy per DJ’s request. I think we are going to grab dinner somewhere local and then relax at home. I am going to try to squeeze in a bit more studying before the day wraps up. I am also attending a women’s conference this weekend and am incredibly excited for that!!!! DJ will be taking the weekend pretty easy. Sunday night is when we are actually celebrating his birthday with a nice night out.

Lastly, but most importantly, our thoughts and prayers fervently go out to all those affected by hurricane Matthew .

Wishing you an icing on the cake kind of day,

xo <3


38 thoughts on “Happy Birdd-Day

  1. I am literally drinking that exact kombucha as I read this! Also giiiiirl I wish I could get my hands on some of that edible cookie dough because DAMN! 🙂

    1. No way!! It’s amazing, right?! I try to limit the Kombucha to an “as needed” basis because they are pretty expensive, but they are soo good I want them all the time.

      And YESSSSSSS, the edible cookie dough is seriously the greatest invention. I can’t get over it. Come to Cali for the edible dough and the best hummus if you ever get a chance. xx

  2. Hi there Mack 🙂

    Nice recalling of your week…. My oh my, next time I’ll eat BEFORE reading your post!! 😛 I always end up having the munchies! Yum yum yum! DJ’s in business with you in the kitchen, that’s for sure 🙂 I loved the “Everything but the kitchen sink” recipe… I’ll remember that next time I improvise with what’s left in the fridge!

    G.R.E.A.T card… lol

    I hope you take time to rest a take a breath now and then… I hope you and DJ don’t burn yourselves up studying like that! Take good care, ok? 🙂

    A great week end to you two, and an Awesome Birrrrday to your lovely half 🙂


    1. Haha- I take that as the highest compliment! Since all we do is study and eat currently all my posts are just basically food 😉 At the end of the week we always have the strangest concotions from whatever is left in the fridge- some turn out great, some not so great!

      Glad you liked the card! I have way too much fun with that every occasion.

      Thank you for the well wishes, Cyranny! I hope you don’t have to work crazy weekend hours like last week, and have some plans to rest yourself! I will pass on the birrday wishes to DJ too 🙂 xx

  3. Happy birthday to your Mr! Great post again and as always I’m left salivating at the end with all the food pictures and recipes you share! On seeing the selfie with the dog and the surroundings you could have been the real life version of Game of Thrones with your dire wolf 😉 will echo other comments,it is possible to overstudy without realising it,so make sure you take plenty of breaks and “me time”,getting out the house away from it all etc so you don’t feel bogged down with study!

    1. Thank you, Stubbys! I am so so glad you enjoy the food pics!!! I’m learning this “cooking” thing, slowly but surely!

      Okay- that’s so funny you say that about Game of Thrones! I have never seen it but a couple people we were hiking with said the same thing, and then convinced me I need to watch the show. I’m such a netflix junkie, so that may be dangerous to start before the big exam- but after I will have to!!!!

      After all the encouragement to take some time off studying from everyone, I finally took today off!! Thanks for the wise words. I certainly do feel much more refreshed and think I will tackle the info better tomorrow with a clear head.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

  4. First of all: every. single. thing. you cook looks freaking delicious! Also, as always, I love you upbeat, humorous outlook on life. And that you are so open to God’s plan. I’m working so SO hard to be better at that and remembering He knows what’s best for us. I hope you’re feeling better and are able to take it a little easy on studying! At least you know all this school is absolutely going to pay off in the long run 🙂 I hope your husband has a wonderful birthday! XO

    1. Anna! Girl, you have the sweetest comments. I get so excited to see your name pop up. Thanks for the cooking encouragement- being freshly marriage every time I enter the kitchen it’s a new adventure (sometimes good, sometimes not so good 😉 ).

      I am learning more about my walk of faith in the past few months than I have in the last year combined. God is so faithful girlie, so excited to see what He continues to do in your life!

      I am actually taking today off studying! It’s the first full day off studying in over a month- much needed!! Thank you for your incredible encouragement, lovely <3 I hope your weekend is amazing! xo

  5. What Anna said! Everything you make always looks incredible! It sounds like you had a much better week this week, and happy belated birthday to DJ! (p.s. saw that cookie dough last time I was in Target… now I know I have to buy it) 😉

    1. Thanks girl!!!! This week was pretty easy-going for sure! I will send on those wishes to DJ- thanks so much! And GIIIIIIRL, you MUST! I just had a biggggg bite of it raw. I can’t get over the deliciousness…. please please get some ! xo

  6. Always such fun to read about your week. What a beautiful place to hike by the way. I love all the recipes too. Great going on the pork, looks so delicious. It must be quite a challenge to cook meat if you don’t eat it yourself. Have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Myra!!! I love your sweet comments- make my day. Thanks for the cooking encouragement! DJ is super honest about foods I make, and he said it was good so I’ll take his word for it 😉 I have a looong way to go in that “cooking meat” department. Recipe by recipe and day by day, right?! Have a wonderful rest of your weekend too. Hugs!

    1. I am so glad!!!! I have actually never been to southern california, but am dying to make a trip to LA soon!!! Thanks for stopping by- I generally try to keep it upbeat around here with a few more serious posts intertwined 😉 I hope you are having an absolutely lovely start to your week, Lisa!

  7. “Everything but the kitchen sink” made me laugh- I’ll be using that! 😉 Hiking is definitely something I’d love to get into. Sounds like a lot of fun. And happy belated birthday to your husband!

    1. Hehe, thanks Kat! I can’t take credit though- I think I saw it on an ice cream container one time or something- LOL. Hiking is seriously one of my favorite things, it’s so relaxing and invigorating. I will definitely pass on the words to DJ. Thank you for stopping by! I hope that you had a good start to your week, and I hope that I get to read all about it! 🙂 . xx

  8. Definitely going to try your egg + zucchini + roti random meal, especially since I have everything to make it already! Thanks for the idea!

  9. OMG I am in a food coma! Such scrumptious eats! I am glad you had a great week and got to celebrate DJ’s (happy belated to him!) in style! I adore huskies and actually want a klee kai which is a miniature version. There is something so wise about them. I hope you have a great weekend! <3

    1. I will pass that onto the boy! And I will absolutely have to check that pup out!!! I have never heard of them but they sound darn cute 😍 hope you are having a lovely weekend too, dear! 💕

      1. Oh my gosh they are the cutest! With my lifestyle right now it isn’t fair to get a dog, but some day! Thanks beauty! I did! I hope you did as well! <3

  10. Hi Mackenzie and D.J. We are so sorry that we did not know it was your B/ D D. J. and I have been meaning to ask when your B/D was. Must be in Oct. so please let me know the date, Happy Brthday Late. Sorry we missed sending a card. Sounds like you had a great B/D. Hope you enjoyed every minute of it. Glad you are able to get back running out side. Sure sounds like you have had some yummie food lately and lots of beautiful places to see and enjoy. You have been blessed already more than any young married couple that I have ever know. You both have been working very hard at keeping on track with your plans. God is blessing you so much. So glad that you have found a nine church and enjoying it. I am sure you will l be active in doing God’s work. That care of yourselves . We love you both and miss you but so happy that you are happy, Gramma and Grampa XXXOOO


    1. Hey Gramma! No problem on DJ’s bday. We have been so insanely busy lately we haven’t even celebrated properly yet! We had an amazing time with Aunt Terry and Uncle Pat- I will be making a post soon 🙂 Thank you for your encouragement. I miss you guys and love you both so much. I’ll give you a call this week! xo


  11. Mack! As usual I am taking like an hour to enjoy the blogs of yours I’ve missed. Man, you and DJ remind me so much of Johnny and I for some reason! Cannot wait for a double date one day (it’s gonna happen😉) you are such an evidently Christ-loving beautiful girl and I do see myself in you so much and your blogs are so professional, authentic and well-written girly. I don’t know if you’ve talked about it or have a blog post, but I know you said you’ve related to me in a lot of areas– I would love to talk for real with you finally! Do you have Facebook or anything?xo I pray that the Lord shines new and needed blessings on your day lovely.

    1. Cass!!! Aww I am so excited to see you here <3. I know you are so busy hun, and do not expect you to keep up on everything! But thank you a million for your sweet, sweet words. You just made my whole day. I truly feel that you are a kindred spirit. Even in the area of relationships- I always think how much you guys remind me of DJ and I. Thank God for them, right?! We will definitely make meeting up happen!!!! And I would absolutely LOVE to talk deeper with you- I will DM you on Instagram with my Facebook account. So thankful for you, sweet sister in Christ! Messaging you now.. <3

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