Life Lately: Skating into 2017 with a Few Laughs & Vegan Eats!

Well whaddya say? Time for an update?!? I haven’t done one in the New Year, so I probably should get on thatttt before it’s 2018.

First though- THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by the Birthday Meet & Greet! Ah, it was so fun making new friends, chatting with old ones, and hearing some super interesting birthday tales too! I hope you all had fun 🙂

Also- I have been a SLACKER lately on responding to blogging awards. Man oh man, I can’t tell you how much they mean to me. I have been meaning to sit down and respond to them, but I am a little big time behind now. I would love to do something special in the future though 😉 Wheels are turning! But for those I haven’t yet thanked yet:

Thank you to Chrissey, my sassy sista with the best taste in cupcakes over at UnabridgedSass and sweet, Diam, the ultimate travel bug, for their nomination for the Liebster Award!!!!

Thank you to the amazing Chiara, who will enthrall you with every post from travels to advice, for the Blogger Recognition Award!

Thank you Meg, who is a role model mother and an instant friend to anyone, for the nomination for the Mystery Blogger Award!

Lastly, thank you to the encouraging Hangry Runner, who genuinely shares her journey through fitness with a sprinkle of real life that all can relate to along the way, for the Versatile Blogger Award.

^^^GO check them out now… don’t even read the rest of this, their stuff is more interesting anyway! 😉

Also lastly, thank you to EVERYONE who left the sweetest, most encouraging words on one of my last posts. WOW. I can’t tell you how much you all lifted my spirits, helped me find new perspective, and encouraged me beyond words! I’m so thankful for you all.

Time for an update! 

SO. Let’s see here. Welp, I made a post last week about the Daniel Fast that DJ and I are doing with our Church. I ended up putting it back in drafts for now because I want to be able to link the recipes for all the meals with the post! So I promise that will be going back up soon 🙂 He is all in on it, 100%, I’m doing a modified version, and won’t chat too much about it, but if you are wondering why our diet looks slightly different (*cough cough*, no sushi), that is why!

Here is a quick little snapshot of the week’s eats!

The first week back from traveling I ran all around town to stock up on groceries, necessities, organized for the New Year, cleaned out house, watched football (DJ more than I), and wrote thank you cards!

We also finally took down our Christmas tree last Sunday :(. It was time. *Sigh* Also, our apartment has a regulation that it had to be down by last week, so I milked that time frame for all it was worth. Otherwise I would have tried to keep the critter alive until Christmas in July.


RIP, BB. I bet he was just pining to be with others like himself. I promise that is the first and last pun I will use this post! 😉


I have been applying for jobs, going to hiring events, working on 5 behavioral interview questions per day, and I even went shopping for big girl interview clothes.


Think I can fool them? I came home after this hiring event and put on the TV, which happened to have the news on. I started chopping vegetables up for dinner and I had a moment of epiphany.

I am my mother

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But in alllll seriousness,  I always said I would be honored to turn into you one day, Mother Dear

Reflecting, the event went well, but they had far too many candidates to do all the interviews in one day. They collected our resumes and said they would be giving calls back soon! *FINGERS CROSSED*.

Segue without a segue:  I’ve tried lifting more weights since the New Year! So far, I’ve lifted.. *thinks to self* one….two…….. TWICE for about 15 minutes, so…. progress, yah?


I also FINALLY ordered new running shoes and inserts. Yes, yes, I know you are supposed to swap them out every 300-500 miles, and I haven’t changed them since last May. Big whoops. Better late than never?! I HIGHLY recommend trying out these shoes if you have shin splints. However, everyone has a different step/stride/foot, so go to an expert at a running store to fit you for your personal needs! These little guys are Brook’s Ghosts with Berry Inserts. When I was in high school I had horrible shin splints to the point where I had bruises on my shin bone. It was painful to even walk. Once I started using these with the inserts, they went away and have not returned!


DJ also got me these for Christmas for cross training, and I am in love. They are Nike Zoom Elite 8. I love them for cross training because they offer tons of support, but are also pretty light!


Although coffee is not technically “DF” approved, I’m doing a modified version, and still having a cup each day as I go through behavioral questions. Especially in nursing, behavioral questions (situation, action, outcome/result) are HUGE in interviews. It’s been a good time for me to reflect on my previous clinical experiences, read through old clinical journals, and remind myself why I love this profession so dearly.

THIS IS NOT MY ULTRASOUND before anyone has a heart attack. Hahah. I won’t pull another “Our family is growing” on ya. But I did want to share this little peanut up here. One of my best friends since middle school, Clair, is pregnant and having this little bundle of joy in July. She calls me “Mo” so when I received a call from her a few months ago saying, “How do you feel about being Aunt Mo?” I was ecstatic. I asked her if I could share this with you all and she was happy to! She is having her big gender reveal on the 29th which I am devastated I won’t be able to make, but at the same time I am super sure it’s a boy, so I don’t think a reveal is entirely necessary 😉 I am ADAMANT that baby is a boy. What is your guess?!?


In light of how random and non-sequential this post is… next topic….

The rain here has been NON.STOP. I swear we take the bad weather with us wherever we go! But Cali needed it, so I guess it’s a good thing!! I also don’t mind rainy days, especially when I have a decent amount to work on inside… or when I want to be incredible lazy (so basically one end of the spectrum or the other). I savored working through my interview prep most of the week in Peet’s with a cafe au lait and the rain falling outside.




Time to dive right into this past weekend’s birthday recap! WOW. It was a lot of fun, but unconventional from usual bday celebrations (which traditionally include Indian food). I spent the morning enjoying a nice, long run outside in the SUNSHINE! It was the first time the sun shined in a couple weeks like that, so I took full advantage.

With the fast we had to get creative for a “birthday dinner” and also for the rest of the weekends festivities. BUT we figured it out— with a little fasting compromise 😉 I was a tiny teensy bit emotional, missing my friends and family from back home horribly, but I was thankful I had Deej by my side. My friends out here and I are planning on doing something big in February to celebrate a few of our birthdays after the fast is over!

First, we went to Santana Row in San Jose to walk around, peaked in a few stores, and ate dinner.

Real quick, I just have to mention this experience at Urban Outfitters. I’ve gotta say, I know I’m not always in on the latest and greatest styles- but some of these men’s clothes now-a-days confuse me…  Like this….

I call this one, “Pay 35 dollars for someone who accidentally used bleach in their laundry” Or “I wanna be tie-dye, but I’m not sure”


This is my next personal fave… now, you can actually purchase farmer Joe’s beat up overalls with a beat up hat, and it’s all the rage 😉 Don’t try this at home though kids, make sure you pay and arm and a leg for it… like this mannequin.

Oh wait, I lied, this is my personal favorite… the guy who borrowed his sister’s skinny jeans, and the giant GUESS logo on their shirt. Okay, okay.. I know that “GUESS” is a brand, I’m not that fashionably inept, but this man may confuse some old ladies out there… I can hear them now, *In cute Granny voice* “Johnny, what is it I am supposed to Guess? I’m gonna guess that you stole your sister’s pants and that your jacket is an interesting color green and two sizes too small”…..


OPE! We found the sister. Johnny should really give her the pants back, not a good look in public. Then again we do live in Cali where anything seems to go..


But in all reality- I’m sure whoever buys those clothes pull them off well! I don’t know the first thing about men’s fashion, so please do not be offended by my… bewildered evaluation, shall we say.

Next stop: VeggieGrill! Oh how I loved this place!


EVERYTHING on their menu is vegan. How great is that?! It *almost* fit into the Daniel Fast.

DJ ordered the Seoul Bowl with chargrilled veggie-“steak”, korean super grain + rice mix, gochujang sauce, carrots, house red onions, cabbage, arugula, scallions, sesame seeds. I had a bite and it was so good! Not sure it could pass as a real steak, but it certainly gave that savory meat flavor. DJ thoroughly enjoyed it!


We also shared “Buffalo Wings” served with celery and vegan ranch dressing. They were out of this world. I haven’t had a chicken wing since my freshman year of college and these really gave me a wing fix. SO GOOD.


For my salad, I ordered the Banh Mi with glazed tofu (although it came breaded, which I wasn’t expecting, but still tasty), chargrilled eggplant, carrots, white cabbage, cucumbers, daikon, fresh jalapenos, basil, cilantro, mint, and kale. I ordered the sauce on the side AND a “crab” cake which was also 100% vegan, but you could have fooled me! The thing I miss the most on the daniel fast is probably fish, so I was surprised (and excited) at how well this imitated it!


Ok… ok. Totally breaking all the fast rules here, but it is sorta birthday tradition to get one slice of cheesecake from cheesecake factory (I’ll add a day to the fast 😉 ). DJ did not indulge, just to clarify. I tried the white chocolate macademia nut for the first time and it was OUT of this world. Anyone have a favorite flavor? The one I still want to try desperately is the lemon meringue, but this night I was craving caramel (which is in the macademia nut). Any one have the lemon meringue? Worth it? I could talk Cheesecake Factory all day long ya’ll..


Friday night we had plans to go to a Comedy show in San Jose. We went to the location, walked in and up to our reserved seats, and people were sitting in them. Oh, here we go, I thought. Gotta’ give them the boot. I showed them our tickets and then realized our tickets were for Saturday night, not that night. With a few extra apologies thrown in for the inconvenience, we booked it out there, laughed about the mix-up, and watched Netflix the rest of the evening (We are moving through Dexter quite quickly!). We decided to give it a go again the next night for when the tickets were actually valid!


So, we’ve been wanting to go ice skating for a while, but when we tried to go in Union Square, it looked like it was “kids only” hour, so we vouched out of that. We had heard from a friend that Winter Lodge in Palo Alto was a great place to go, so we tried it out. Once again, SWARMED with youngins. Oh well, we were there, and we were determined to get our skating fix (ok, maybe it was more my skating fix, and DJ was just a trooper along for the ride).


^^Fun fact: The mirror in the guest room accidentally became a guest book, so we just kinda left it that way. Not sure what we’ll do when it’s all filled up- it’s an awfully large guest book to store. Ha!


We didn’t fall once. I can hardly believe it. If nothing else, the weekend was a success simply for that reason alone!

After skating, we walked around downtown PA for a little bit and worked up quite an appetite. We decided to try a place right on one of the downtown strips called Nola. I had heard of this place before from several others, and then another SF blogger, KB, did a write up on it. I noticed they had a vegan jumbalaya that appeared to be DF approved, so we decided to try it out!


(They have a huge mardigras party every year, hence all the beads)


I LOVED the ecclectic, cultural fusion that this place vibed. It is unlike any restaurant I have ever been to. It’s menu has just about anything you can imagine from chicken and waffles to gourmet skirt steak. You could classify it as mostly Cajun/New Orleans cuisine. It was fantastic. We will definitely be going back to explore more of their menu. Plus the service was OUTSTANDING.


We split their vegan jumbalaya with the sauce on the side and savored every nibble. This had roasted confetti cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and butternut squash, procini & button mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, crushed garlic, cajun spices, and scallion rice. We ordered the sauce on the side. It was perfect for a slightly chilly day and filled us right up, even with splitting it.


We also split their Garlic Sauteed Green Beans (they were ok- I think a bit al dante for our liking). We also split their steamed vegetables which were super yummy.


We headed back home for a short while to watch some football, then headed to Stage 4 Improv in San Jose. We actually had the date and time right this time 😉 Unfortunately, we were comparing it to Four Day Weekend in Fort Worth, so this didn’t really hold it’s own. But it did warrant a few giggles. Improv can be tricky too depending on the type of night the comedians are having… I would give the show a second chance, as they did receive five stars on Yelp!


Sunday I got sick, AGAIN (like the cold kind)

Tonight is BACHELOR! Ya’ll know where we will from 8-10 pm tonight. Except, I can’t wait till we can start up the tradition of wine, cookies and chocolate milk, and ice cream for bachelor nights again in about a week!

(I’m starting a new thing where I’m gonna include blog birthdays at the end of my recaps)

Blog Family Birthdays this Week: 

Lacey  on Jan. 11 (A little belated, but better late than never 😉 )

Kristin on Jan. 16 (I know you don’t have a blog Kristin, but I still wanted to say a BIG Happy Bday today!)

Happy MLK Jr. Day!

xo <3


102 thoughts on “Life Lately: Skating into 2017 with a Few Laughs & Vegan Eats!

  1. Ahhhh first off: happy Happy HAPPY belated birthday! I hope it was absolutely wonderful 🙂 this post was so perfect. I’m a big meat and dairy person so I could never go vegan, but daaaaang those vegan options at the restaurant looked AMAZING. As did all of the food in this post (per usual😉). Congrats to your friend on her baby! How exciting!! I’m so jealous of the cheesecake… I’m sad to say I’ve never been to Cheesecake Factory (I know crazy right?) ice skating looked soooo fun! You are literally the cutest couple ever. I hope you have a wonnnnderful week and that you land your dream job soon!

    1. Hey girl!!!!! Thank you SO much!!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post 🙂 I totally get that about not being able to give up meat/dairy (I couldn’t give up seafood and some dairy)– but it was insane how gooooood these options were! Especially the buffalo wings… I’ll be going back for those sometime soon! And I’ll pass on the congratulations to my friend <3 I am beyond excited… I just wish we didn't live so darn far away from her!

      And okkkkayyyy. The fact that you have not had cheesecake factory is NOT OKAY. Stop whatever you are doing right now, google the nearest location, and get their amazing bread to start, an appetizer (because their options are incredible), some yummy entree, and you MUST try a slice of their cheesecake (highly recommend dulce de leche, Oreo Dream Xtreme, white macademia, white chocolate raspberry, heck they are all good!)!!!!!!! Like this is giving me anxiety that you haven't been… it should be some kind of life passage or something…. go go go now! I expect a full report 😉 Hehe, but thank you again, Anna! I hope you have the BEST week and I will keep ya'll posted on the job front! Much love to you dear! xoxoxoxo

  2. I LOVED your evaluation of the men’s fashion, so funny! I honestly don’t get some of it today either. Some of those things (like cut off shorts or the splotchy sweatshirts) or things we tried to fix at home, or just did because we didn’t have money to purchase nice ones, haha.

    Also, you are so much more hardcore at running than me! At my best, I ran like 170 miles over the summer. And that wasn’t last summer, haha. But I think I have the excuse of getting married in 2016 that kept me a little preoccupied. Now I’m so out of shape and it sucks. Definitely getting back to it and your post is inspiring! I get shin splints horribly. What is the brand of those shoes + inserts? Oh and I feel ya with the weights. I’m starting to lift the weights at our gym and I can only do like 25 reps of 25 lbs. I feel so weak, but I guess you have to start somewhere! 😉

    1. Haha, I’m glad you enjoyed the retail parody!!! Glad you relate 😉 And hey, if you like to run you can call yourself a runner! Tis’ life, right?! We all go through those stages of running tons and not as much as we would like! And yes- planning a wedding is HUGE, so I totally get that!

      I’m so sorry you have to deal with shin splints- THE WORST. But the inserts are Superfeet! You can get them online (amazon is where I grab them) or go into a store like Fleet Feet (if they have those by you), but basically any running store should carry them. It might be a good idea to make sure the shoes are good for your feet too, I think that was a huge issue for me. We all have different ways of stepping, and put strain in different areas, so getting fit for that perfect shoe will help tons!

      Good luck, girlfriend! Keep me posted on that! And hey, I can’t even do 25 lbs. so I admire that big time! Haha. Have a great week, Courtney! <3

  3. Oh and I’ve heard SO MANY good things about VeggieGrill! I want to try it sometime, but sadly, I don’t think there’s one in Arizona, or at least not near me. 🙁

  4. So let’s start with the obvious HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Second, thanks for the shout-out. Third, you are completely on point with the assessment of the “fashion” these days. Or maybe I’m old fashioned…crap. Good insoles and shoes are SUCH a lifesaver with shin splints. I had them so bad they thought I had fractured both my shins. And one little piece of advise with behavioural interview questions: they will try to throw you off when you give your answer. Keep your cool and try to have at least two or three examples of each topic. I did an interview and felt like a complete idiot which is what the recruiters are going for to see how you act under pressure. If, and when, they start taking jabs, just take a deep breath and move to another example. Oh and how on earth do you make healthy food look sooooooooo yummy? And you’re going to have a new “nephew” judging from the thumbs up the little one is giving. Cheers

    1. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes 🙂 And… hahaha, hey, if you’re old fashioned, then so am I. DJ always says that I have “grandma like” tendencies, but I prefer to use the euphemism of “I have an old soul” 😉 lol. But seriously- it boggles my mind the clothing that is popping up now a days! What happened to jeans and a t-shirt?! And thank you TONS for the advice for the interview- that is so helpful to know. I’m doing a lot more prep this week so I will keep that in mind, and it’s just good to have a heads up. I appreciate you taking the time to share that with me! Oh the foood haha- you know it’s funny how the restrictions actually forced us to be super creative in the kitchen and come up with some new yums. I’m excited to share them soon! They are all SUPER easy.

      And last- yesssss, love that you are team blue too- I am convinced little baby is a boy! I will let you know in just about two weeks here!

      I seriously appreciate you taking time to read and comment!!! I hope you have the most wonderful week ahead.. also, is there any type of name or initial I can address you by?

      1. How can I not read such interesting posts? I would just for the food 😉
        Jeans and t-shirts are basically all I live in. None of this skinny jean almost tie-dye silliness. I mean I can’t even squeeze my calves into those things and if (big if) I was able to do them up, well what’s the next step over muffin top cause that would be happening.
        Besides being called a pain in the ass, I also go by Kristal. And I just had a total Monty python moment there (Tim the enchanter…anyone?)
        Have a good week and if you have any burning questions about that interview drop me a line anytime.

      2. HAHAH. See now, big calves are a sign of big strength! Especially for runners! And pshhhh muffin tops… I think you mean love handles! (Euphemisms for DAYS!).

        AHHHH I’ve never seen Monty Python, but I need to! Such a classic! I’ll have to watch then re-read this comment!!!

        And thank you so much, I’ll definitely let you know about the interview qs! I used your advice today and tried to think of at least two situations for each question and it really helped me brainstorm big time!

        Have SUCH a great week, Kristal!!!!

  5. When are you opening up your own bistro? Your food looks so delicious. Happy birthday again and good luck with all of your big girl activities-you rock the pant suit but maybe you should splotch on some bleach?

    1. Aunt J., you are the sweetest, that would be a DREAM. I’ve told DJ before, “Let’s just forget everything and open a restaurant!” haha. Maybe one day. Thank you so much for the encouraging words too– and hahah right?! I need some bleach to fit in with the cool kidz now! Hope you have a great week ahead!!! <3

  6. Oh my goodness! What a way to start 2017! I’m glad that despite the solemness and reflectiveness of your last post, 2017 is serving you well! I absolutely LOVE both of your shoes! I’m a huge shoe lover and as a runner and someone who loves to workout, shoes are sooo important. I’ve switched from this shoe to that because a shoe can seriously make the difference of an injury to a stellar performance! I’m on the progress of lifting weights too. I think I’ve been focusing on too much cardio (from all the media but also that I’m scared to go into that section of the gym where all the bulky guys are). Anyways, wish you the best of luck in 2017. Look! Despite all your worries and concerns, God has surrounded you with so much friends, family, love, joy, and of course food!!! Hope you had a great mlk day! Xo, Stephanie

    1. Awwwww thank you, Stephanie!!!! This week/weekend was definitely a big turn around. I think the rain may have put me in a bit of a funk as well. I am so affected emotionally by my surroundings for sure.

      What types of shoes do you use?!? I could talk shoes allll day- especially athletic shoes. I used to have this idea about NIkes not being great to actually workout in, but I don’t know where I got that idea. They are amazing! And I swear by the Brooke’s ghosts!

      AND YES- I feel ya on the intimidation from going to the weight room! I just laugh at myself with my 10 lb. dumbbells next to those macho guys… No thanks- I’ll lift some frozen peas when I get home. Now that we live in an apartment, I don’t have a huge excuse because the gym is pretty empty. But yes, I have focused far too much on cardio lately as well. I get a little bit of strength with insanity, but not really the same type. Time to be well rounded in that respect, right?! Good luck with all your training too! Please keep us posted on tips/tricks/and progress!

      Thank you for your positivity and encouragement always! So thankful for you here, Steph! Have SUCH a beautiful week ahead. Hope you can find some rest in the craziness of classes! xoxo

      1. Aww thanks Mack! This week has definitely been less stressful with doe days off to catch up. I’ve had my fair share of Nike and brooks. Apparently my favorite nike’s the Pegasus, are too neutral for my running form (I would recommend going to a running store to see how your foot probated while you run). So I tried brooks for a while but the brooks width was way too narrow for me. Like in the toe area. So I got a lot of bloody and fallen off toenails. Right now I’m wearing asics and I love them! The gel technology in them makes them super duper comfortable. And they’re wide enough and supportive enough so I’ve had no problems with running after these. Also, I learned that with running shoes, you have to give extra room in the front because when you run forward, your foot shifts forward too! Hope you have a great week! Xo, Stephanie

      2. I have heard the same thing about Pegasus- I think that’s the big thing about Nike’s is they are a pretty “general” type shoe for the avg. joe. So you are SO right- that’s where the experts can really help ya out. Asics offer AMAZING support- I used to wear them, but I think the few times I did they seemed heavy for some reason (but it definitely could have been the shoe) I know tons of people that LOVE them! Also that was years ago that I tried them, so I should try giving them another go just to see sometime! Hope you have SUCH a great week too, girl! Seriously appreciate the chats so much!

      3. And feel free to always ask me for any running questions! I’m so glad I have a cardio loving, Christ follower and shoe lover gal with me!

  7. Thank you so much for the mention, you derseve the nomination x! Wow your year seems to be starting off well ( hope that cold is better though) I was literally laughing out loud to your fashion reviews ahahah! Also that food looks amazing, really want to go there soon! Have a great day x -Chiara

    1. Aww thanks girl! The cold is a bit better for sure! Hoping tomorrow to be 100% ! So glad you enjoyed those fashion reviews 😉 If you have the chance to travel to the Bay area, you would love it! Let me know if you ever do 🙂 Have a great week, Chiara!!!!! xo

  8. sounds like life is treating you well 🙂 love the new sneaks and all those eats look so good. glad you had fun skating too!

  9. Great post as always!!!!! I’m a vegetarian so I love seeing new dishes!!! & you’re so welcome for the liesbter award, I love your blog and you have such an awesome spirit! May God continue to bless you beyond belief!!!!

    1. Aww I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, Diam!!! I am hoping to share some of these recipes/ideas soon”ish”!!! I love how creative we have had to be with the vegan meals, and actually found some we really enjoyed! Thank you for your sweet, sweet words! May God bless you too big time, dear! <3 Have such an amazing week!

  10. Heyyy!!! Holy cow all of that food looks delicious!! How has the job search been coming along? I will keep praying for you as you continue moving forward!

    Congrats on lifting! Progress for sure–it can be slow and painful but worth it in the end! Keep it up! Also those running shoes look awesome! Are they comfortable?

    1. The food (especially at the restaurant) was DELISH. I have no idea how they made it so good, but I’m pretty sure it defeated the purpose of the “fast” lol.

      Job stuff: Going well! I applied for a couple more today, prepping for the “biggee” in the beginning of February is coming along, and just kind of trying to take it day by day. I appreciate the prayers more than you know! It’ll be cool to see where God leads in just a month from now!

      And hahha, ohhhh brother, my lifting progress…. let’s just say I have a loooOOoong ways to go, but I do love how strong it makes me feel after (for the two times I did it) haha. Thanks for the encouragement though! Maybe I’ll up it to once every week rather than every two weeks hahha.

      And YES- I LOVE Brooke’s shoes! Everyone is so different with how they are fitted, these are pretty narrow, so they work for my feet while still offering support in all the places needed for my step. What type of shoes do you prefer for training? Ah, I could talk athletic shoes all day!! Hope all is well! I am so behind on reading up on blogs, but hoping to catch up soooon!

  11. HI again- I had to come back and look at the amazing food agains! Also I started visiting some of the bloggers you gave a S/O Lots of award winers and zest blogs here! Thanks!

  12. I love your big girl clothes, Mack! I hope the job hunt goes well. I’m really digging the big girl purse too! Congrats on your blogging awards! I’ve never ice skated in my life but it looks like you and DJ had fun. I love all of the pics too! I used to be a runner many moons ago! My knees can’t take it anymore so it’s now riding a bike and treadmill at the gym.

    1. Hahah thanks for liking the clothes 😉 Since I lived in scrubs throughout college for clinicals and worked as a coffee shop barista, I really had no reason for the professional attire. It took me far too long to put something together at the mall- but it got figured out! The purse was actually from a thrift store by my house! It’s a Kenneth Cole Reaction that I found for $20! I was pretty excited, and even more excited that you pointed it out!!! And hey- biking and walking are AMAZING alternatives. Because of how much I run, I’m convinced my legs are going to be shot by the time I’m thirty- yikes! Hope you are having a good week so far, I can’t believe it’s already going to be Wednesday!

      1. Nice!! I love finding treasures at thrift stores, especially when it comes to books and purses. I’ve found a Coach purse here and there at thrift stores. This week’s going by pretty fast! You’ll be ok at 30 😉 Now 35 might be a different story. Lol.

  13. hahaha I had to laugh out loud when I saw that “i am my mother” thing–I remember thinking that when I first got married and started my new job! So hilarious!
    Loving all of the delicious food and fun that you’ve been having! That vegan place sounds to die for! What did they make the chicken wings out of? I make a mean BBQ cauliflower wing!

    1. SO glad you can relate to that- I was hoping someone would!!!! I felt just like her in those work clothes with the news on and making dinner, haha. I think I even paused for a second at the realization. I have NO idea what the wings are made of (probably some kind of tofu product?) but they were insanely delicious. I LOVE cauliflower wings! I just started making them myself, but I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to try your recipe! Do you have a link?!

      1. Thank you for sharing, Heather!!! They actually look pretty similar to the ingredients for the ones I make, but still a different process, and these ones are 100% vegan! SO cool! I can’t wait to try & to try with barbeque sauce- GENIUS!!!!!! AHHH. DJ will love this too!

  14. Yyaayyy!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! It sounds like it was perfect. Now talking cheesecake– there are only two that I ever get there (because I’m usually so full I want something light). First is the Banana Creme because OMG YUMMY and the second is plaid ‘ol Vanilla Bean. I love how light and fresh they are!

    1. Thank ya, girlfriend! When is yours?! OoooOO those options sound fantastic! I have never tried either- Banana creme sounds to.die.for, and I don’t think I realized they even had vanilla bean, but it sounds especially light and tasty! I’d like to try all the flavors by some point- definitely on the bucket list! Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer! Hope allll is well with you!!! xo

      1. May 8th is my birthday! 🙂 So coming up soon! And you HAVE to try both of them. So delicious. Getting around to trying all of them is so hard since they have so many! And I finally got a post up 😉

      2. Woot woot !!!!!! May is a great month for a birthday!! My sister’s is in May and I was always jealous that the weather was generally nice for hers!!!! AHHHH I cannot wait to read your post! Going over now! Thanks for stopping by, love! Xoxo

    1. Hehe, I figured it might be kind of fun! Helps me remember the birthdays too 🙂 And YESSS, I am so glad you relate!!! It’s such a real thing. Too funny! Hope you are having an amazing week, dear! xo

    1. Aw, thank you beautiful!!!!!! Ahhhh you are the best! I hope your week has been amazing! I am SO SO behind on reading up on everyone’s blogs, but I want to the first chance I get! THANK YOU TONS for the blog nomination—– make my whole day! <3 xoxo

  15. Hooray for a wonderful birthday celebration! It isn’t even dawn yet here and I’m already hungry from all of your beautiful food pics. Yum! I love to see you skating! That is a long-time love of mine. My girls skate and I am a figure skating coach. : )

    1. NO WAY!!!!! That is too cool! I didn’t even realize that! I admire real ice skaters so much- it’s a beautiful sport! Thank you for stopping by, Marcia. I hope your week has been lovely!!!! <3

  16. YAYAY I finally get to read your post. I’ve seen it on my reader feed but I’m like she hasn’t posted in a while so it’s probaaaably long and therefore I need more time to be able to thoroughly read through it lol Happy Birthday AGAIN!!!! You and DJ might as well be professional skaters, not falling down once! #winning! Lol The clothes were hysterical- the overalls with just one overall strap, like what?!?! I’d love to know who these people are who decide what’s going to be “trending” for the year, absolutely blows my mind. Here are my quick little opinions: lemon meringue- MY FAVORITE at the cheesecake factory, I almost always get it and if I do happen to stray away, I literally feel regretful. Amanda Knox, ugh that poor girl, prior to watching this, all we really knew were what the tabloids were saying but there was so much back and forth and it was all totally misleading but after watching that and hearing the fine details, ugh, what a total nightmare it must’ve been for her. On a more lighter note; YAY to your friend’s baby! I love that some of my friends have babies so that even if I get the slightest bit of baby fever I can just go see theirs and get it out of my system 😉 And YAY to job interviews and starting that whole process (even though, I’m sure its not the most fun thing in the world) buttt YAY to new professional work clothes! YAY to those awesome sneakers, I’m a total Nike fan and love the ones DJ picked out, boy’s got good taste! And what am I missing….YAY to all that yummy food (per usual!) and lastly YAY to Petes Coffee- one of my favorite coffee shops in the city too! But booo to having to take down the tree…I can see people in my apartment were doing the same thing- there’s loads of pine needle trails towards all exits of the building lol. Okay I think I covered everything! Till next time…

    xo, JJ

    1. JJ- girl- you make my life with your comments 😂 and okay- if a girl who knows her fashion agrees with me on the men’s attire then I must not be too far off my rocker 😜AHHHHHH I want to try lemon meringue so bad! Okay, when this fast is over that’s the first thing I’m gonna do is get a slice of that! The Amanda Knox documentary was SO sad from so many angles- but makes you think for sure. And yes yes – I feel the same way with the baby fever! Once they start getting hysterical I’m just like, “peace- have fun byeee!” Haha. DJ is the shoe guy- he has awesome taste so he helps me out a bit 😉 that’s too funny about the pine needles all over the building!!! Hahahah. Ahhhhh you seriously are the best- thanks for reading my loooOOOOoong posts. I can’t wait to catch up over at your corner. 😚❤️

  17. Oh my Gosh Happy Belated beauty! I am glad it was such a fun week! First off (Watch your ear drums) Eeeek!! You. Went. Skating!!! Ahh so happy you went. And yay for not falling! (Though I do tell every one, the ice is your friend, the ice is your friend…Yeahhh anyway) I am glad you guys had fun. I think that my favorite part of this post.
    And oh my gosh the food! I am now so hungry!
    I loved your interview outfit. You are going to do amazing!
    And I completely agree with you about the fashion trends (nineties…WHy!?!?)
    I hope you have an amazing day and Birthday month! <3

    1. Hahahahah *watch your ear drums* 😂 YESSSS we love skating- well I guess I love it and DJ like it. I was so glad we were able to find somewhere to go! But I could have probably used a pointer or five from you!!! I will definitely keep you posted on the job hunt- two ish weeks till the BIG interview. But yessss I don’t get the clothes, especially men’s right now 😂 oh well.. keeps us entertained! I hope you are having such a good week, lovely! I am so very behind here with reading up on everyone’s blogs but I will the first chance I get. MWAH 😘

      1. I definitely might have squealed in the middle of a (VERY) quiet coffee shop when I saw your pics! I am sure you guys did amazing! Especially if you didn’t fall! Even I fall all the time🙈 you are going to do amazing! Sending you all the good vibes and prayers your way!
        Haha it definitely does. Nineties fashion needs to stay in that decade😂
        Thanks beauty I hope you are as well! And oh my gosh me as well! I feel like I am finally getting back into the groove of things and catching up with all of you! 💗💗😘😘

    1. Awwww McKenz!!!!!!! <3 You are the sweeetest !! Girlfriend, thank youuuu beyond words. It means so much that you'd take the time to stop by here and nominate me.. especially because I know you are one busy bee! 🐝 sending big hugs !!!! Xoxox 💕

  18. Love love love the Cheesecake Factory!! Happy late birthday!!!! I’m going to come over for dinner tonight so you can cook for me, okay?? 😉 Your food always looks phenomenal! I hope you have the best weekend!!

    1. Oh I WISHHHH you really could! I’d happily whip you up some tofu & rice, lol! TWO more days of this fast…. I want ice cream & wine so much, and DJ wants IN n’ OUT burger. Our eats next week will be probably comically unhealthy.And thank yaa!!! I hope yours is amazing too, girlfriend!!! xo

    1. OH my goodness!!! Thank you, thank you, sweet girl!!!!!! I appreciate it so much! Ahhhh! I’m so excited. I can’t wait to check out the other pretty ladies you nominated too- some awesome blogs you posted! Have a great weekend, lovely! xoxo

  19. I just saw your shout out even though i read this. Seriously i think my mind just hops over big details at random. Thx for the bday shout out! I was actually coming back to your blog post to see if u have an instagram!

    1. Oh my goodness- I didn’t even see this! I’m so sorry I’m just responding now! Awww of course!! I hope your birthday was wonderful. But yes yes I do!!! It’s mackenziebettinger !

  20. Your comments about the Urban Outfitters clothes are the best hahah. “Let’s pay $35 for a shirt someone accidentally washed with bleach” you had me cracking up!

    Oh, and Brooks Ghost shoes are the best!! I’m glad you had a great birthday and you look so nice in your interview clothes!

    1. Hahhah. So glad you liked that too 😉 YAY! Girl, yesssss, brook’s ghosts are amazing! Thank you for your sweet words, dear. Hope this week is amazing for you!

  21. Happy Birthday! That cheesecake looks delicious! I just can’t get over how good your blueberry pancakes look! I like your “big girl” clothes. You look very professional! I love Brooks! I used to wear the Glycerines, but those were the wrong ones. So, now I wear the Ravennas because I too get bad shin splints! I also got a bruise on my shin bone a couple of years ago. I didn’t know that was even a thing! But oh my it hurt!!!! I also wear those super feet insoles – mine are blue – and it’s like running on a cloud! So comfortable! LOL that shirt is hilarious! Who would wear that? I’m also confused about women’s clothing lately too. Some of the things I see I’m really not sure if it’s a top or a bottom! 🙂 I hope you have a great week!

    1. Thank you, girlfriend!!! So sorry I’m just responding now! The cheesecake was SO good. I’m craving it again. And the pancakes are SO easy- I want to make a recipe, but essentially they are 1/4 cup oats, 1 banana, and a dash of almond milk and vanilla in the food processor to get the fluffy batter then just in a pan for a couple minutes both sides! SO GOOD. I make them all the time! Ahhh! Yesss- Just love love Brooks shoes so much. I haven’t heard of those types- but I will have to look into them. I’m SO glad you were able to get shin splints under control too! They are the.worst.

      But Yesssss- women’s clothing has been so confusing lately. I think I’m a bit behind on the times, but I don’t have the energy to figure it all out. Hahaha. I hope you are having such a great week so far, love!!! xoxo Thank you for stopping by!

  22. A nice and long post. Thank you. And, better late than never, “joyeux anniversaire.” (Despite the appearance anniversaire does not mean anniversary but birthday. 🙂

    1. Aww thank you! I appreciate you hanging with me despite it’s longevity ! And thank youuuu for the birthday wishes! I love that- French? Such a beautiful language! Have such a great rest of your week!

  23. We just took down all our Christmas stuff this weekend too! I just love all those twinkly lights. It’s hard to take them down in the dreary-ness of winter. So I’m with you on leaving the tree up as long as possible. 😉

    I bet your Aunt Mo skills are on point and that you’re right about it being a boy! Such a bummer you can’t be at the party, though!

    HA! Your men’s fashion commentary was pretty funny! 😉

    1. Hahaha- I am SO glad we weren’t the only ones that took so long with the decor.

      And awwww Aunt Mo just sounds so good to me!! Hehe <3 <3 We find out in less than a week- her party is the 29th! I'm gonna try to Facetime in!

      Glad you enjoyed the commentary 😉 I hope to catch up soon with everything going on with you, SOON TO BE MAMA! So exciting!!!!!! xoxoxo

    1. I am SOOO sorry! I thought you were a girl for a while since the cover photo was the girl on the mountain! I’m sorry if I have ever referenced you as a girl! This is so embarrassing, but at least I figured I would fess up to it- right?!

      1. Ale you dont have to be sorry 🙂 Actually cover photo my sis had selected 😉 And remember in friendship there is no sorry nd no thanks 🙂

  24. If I missed it, and I probably did, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I’ve been a little off lately. This morning I was rockin’ Johnny’s sister’s look for about 20 minutes before I realized I hadn’t put on pants. Thank goodness I never leave the house! Although at our Walmart that look probably wouldn’t even get a reaction.

    1. Ahhhhh you crack me up!!! Lol. Thank you sooo much for the birthday wishes! I love belated bday wishes because it keeps the birthday going longer 😉 And you are sooo right- you probably wouldn’t get a reaction at Walmart, but you might turn up in one of those “People of Walmart” books. Hahha

      1. My greatest fear (aside from spiders) is that I already have shown up in one of those books!
        By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Let’s keep it going!

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