Crazy Wildfires & DJ’s Birthday Celebrations!

Happy Thursday, ya’ll (well, Thursday by the time anyone reads this- although it is currently Wednesday evening)! How’s it kickin’?

We said goodbye to one of my favorite charge nurses last week; I was super sad to see her go 🙁 (This send off banner was too funny not to share though!)


DJ’s birthday was October 6th!!! I can’t believe I am just shooting this post up now. Sheesh! Anywho, we had a gift card to Open Table that was put to phenomenal use at the local Forbes Mill in Los Gatos!


This sweet man.. I would usually not pull my phone out at places this nice to snap food pics, but he convinced me that it was just us two and it wasn’t a big deal…. I obliged pretty easily 😉

We started with the giant prawn cocktail. There is nothing better than a fresh shrimp/prawn appetizer. It’s easily our go-to!


We also tried their crab cakes! They were tasty, no denying it…yet a far cry from the cakes we had in Baltimore.


I also had their generously sized beets and macadamia crusted goat cheese salad. It was one of the best I have ever had,  and it’s so simple to throw together! I definitely will be recreating this at home.


DJ tried the ULTIMATE surf and turf with a combo of waygu and lobster tail. I sampled the waygu because it’s supposed to be the highest quality of meat, and I couldn’t let the opportunity pass….. butttt I had an aversion to the flavor. After not eating meat for about four years it didn’t do anything for me.


We also dabbled in a side of creamed spinach.. if it’s on the menu you know we are jumping on it! We absolutely loved it. I still think the creamed spinach from Ben and Jack’s in New York is the best of all time, but this is not far behind.


And I couldn’t pass up the epic, rave-worthy, award-winning scallops….. I think the only ones that contest are Farallon’s in San Francisco. Gosh, just the thought is making my mouth water all over the darn laptop. They were served over forbidden rice- a new obsession of mine officially. Has anyone had this magical grain?! It’s ah-may-zin!


I could go on for days and days about how amazing DJ is. He is a man of God, handsome, humble, hilarious, loyal as they come, my rock, courageous, intelligent, witty, intuitive, hard working, dedicated, and genuine. Those qualities just scratch the surface. I don’t know why God blessed me with such an incredible man, but I won’t argue with His provision 😉

The days are all kind of blurring together from the rest of the last few weeks. I do want to share of my favorite snap shots from random runs and of course, even more random pics of all the foooooodddd we’ve been scarfin’!


The fall blooms are just as gorgeous as the spring blooms!!! Even though we don’t have the leaves change like back in the good ol’ midwest, we still have the beautiful array of flowers to admire in this season.

Unfortunately, my autumn runs had to come to a quick halt when the wildfires started last week. It smelled pungent with smoke in the hospital (which is closer to the fires than our apartment is), and then eventually the air around our home was saturated with the unescapable burning scent. In the morning when we woke up our eyes itched, our throats scratched.. it was surreal. We just keep praying for everyone affected by these horrible fires. I truly hope the madness stops soon and mother earth cools her jets.

If you would like to help, please visit this link with multiple options you can contribute!

Back to the random food mess… I’m still on the egg kick for suure. (I put some of the leftover creamed spinach on a piece of toast and then the egg on top, good heavens).


I also have been CRAVING a Whole Foods trip. Since they have always been ugly pricey, I usually only go every once in a while. However, now that they are bought by Amazon their prices have gone down tremendously!


Using many of the ingredients from whole foods, I made a fall salad that I’m ridiculously obsessed now. I was inspired by Stein’s Beer Garden’s salad. It contains jicama, roasted butternut squash, quinoa, light craisins, and I use a homemade apple cider vinaigrette (with some apple cider, a touch of oil, and a touch of sugar).


I think ya’ll get the point. Haha.

Another thing I, and the rest of everyone, has been loving is spaghetti squash! Ugh, it is SO good. I have been mixing it with vegan butter, vegan meatless crumbles, and a touch of parmesan on top. So easy, so scrumptious. I know many of you out there have tremendous recipes for the spag-squa, please share em’ with me!


And I’ve been whipping up a lot of capreses for DJ. This is one of his favorite snacks and the heirloom tomatoes were on sale at Whole fuuds and, oh man, were they ever fresh!


I’ve been decompressing from the studying with lots and lots of running. I have been mixing in Insanity workouts, but as soon as the smoke settled and the air cleared I booked it back outside.


I’ll just slide in another picture of morning toast with dried apricots, chia seeds, oats, high protein plain greek yogurt, and stevia.


Something else I’ve been devouring lately is smoked salmon on pita with caramelized onions and a fried or poached egg. This has been hitting the spot and has been a great high protein/healthy “comfort food” during this super stressful time.


I took my GRE yesterday …

I crammed for about two and a half weeks in my time off work for the exam, and just didn’t score as well as I would have liked on the quantitative. Algebra and me do not exactly tango in the moonlight. Ask me to tell you the symptoms of Moya Moya or the proper medication to treat tuberculosis..we can chat. But I don’ t have the faintest idea what in the Westeros math has to do with it. It’s not even real math. Like I get 1+1=2… or me +math= disaster….. but I will be the first to admit I do not know how to solve “If Tommy had five oranges and Shelly had 12 and 2 were taken away and thrown at a cactus, why is the square root of the Eiffel tower a bag of potatoes?!”

*Deep breaths, deep breaths*

*It’s not about the problem, it’s about the procccessss*

I get that people study for a looong time for this, but only one of the schools I’m applying to out of five require it. I just don’t think it’s worth it to slave over the study material when majority of MSN-FNP admissions don’t require it, and the app deadline for the one that does is November 1st. (Which is actually great because then I don’t even have the option to retake it for now). Now I’m rambling. *clearing throat*. Oh well, que sera sera.

HOW ARE YOU?!?  I am jumping off the crazy train now, and heading to bed before an early morning wake up call. Muah!

Blog Birthdays:

Cassie at Cassie’s Cookery on October 17th. Sweet girl, Happy birthday. You have changed my life more than you know, and you inspire me every single day. I am SO beyond thankful for ya, sweet thang. You are strong, loyal, empathetic, lovely, beautiful, and full of God’s grace and goodness. You exude His love more than most I know. Our conversations are always close to my heart, and I love you to absolute pieces, sista! <3 I hope your birthday was beyond perfect and you know what a treasure and gift you are to this earth.

PS. Cassie has an amazing cookbook out! If you wanna check it out go HERE. I know I am getting my copy ASAP! 🙂

xo <3


46 thoughts on “Crazy Wildfires & DJ’s Birthday Celebrations!

  1. Bonne fête DJ! Bonne fête DJ 🙂 yeah, well. My French roots couldn’t help it… Sorry for being out of note 😉

    Always such a pleasure to read you, Gorgeous… and Ha! This time, I snacked before I watched out your post!

    Don’t worry too much about math… I know the feeling. I once called my Dad to ask him if he’d still love me if I failed a math class (I was an brilliant student……… a long time ago) and you know what? I have a great life even if I did fail that class…

    Sending you much much love from Freezingland 🙂

    1. I absolutely looooove the French language! Do NOT apologize. I think it’s mesmerizing!!! I will pass on the sweet wishes although I know I’ll butcher um! (Lol) Thank you for taking the time to read, Cyr!!! I have been itching to get over and read all your travel posts. I hate how much my time is sucked up by studying, but I’m saving it as my treat when I get these applications submitted 🙂 And yayy! You’ve learned to pre-fuel before these posts!! LOL.

      Awww! Thank you for sharing that with me, Cyranny. Math does not dictate our futures! Seriously- that makes me feel tons better. You’re the best <3

      Sending big big hugs and all my love ! XO

      1. Don’t worry the least bit about not having time to read, dear Mack 🙂 I know how busy your life is, and you are spending it making others’ lives better, so who could blame you for having little free time on hands?

        Muuuahhh Sunshine! 🙂 Hold on, and keep being the strong Lady you are!! 🙂 xx

  2. Happy birthday to DJ! It’s so lovely to read about the two of you; the love just radiates!

    And OMGGGGG ALL THAT FOOD LOOKS DELISH! I’ve been LIVING off quinoa recently it adds such nice texture to salads xx

    1. Thank you SOOO much, Mia <3 <3 Your comment just brought a big smile to my face. I will say since basically all we do is work and eat that's what this post ended up being hahah. Isn't quinoa the best?! XO

    1. GIRL- you are so kind. <3 I didn't have the courage to keep it up there, so I just showed DJ privately, but you caught it before I took it down. So thank you tons, sweet <3 And HOW HAVE YOU NEVER HAD CREAMED SPINACH. I was right about the sushi, right?!? Now you have got to get yourself some creamed spinach, girlfriend! It's the bomb dot com! XO

  3. Another yummy post! Love all that food. I love eggs so am so tickled by all those egg pics!
    Hope the fires cease and the smoke clears soon …

    Happy birthday, DJ!!!!

    Have a wonderful weekend …. hugs!

  4. Hi hi hi! Love this post. I have been LOVING spaghetti squash lately. Last weekend I roasted it and then added in broccoli sauteed in garlic, red pepper flakes, and other spices. Then I added in some parmesan and mozzarella on top! So good!

    Hope you have a wonderful day, Mackenzie!!!

    1. HEY GIRL! Can I just say– this comment made me smile biggg time! Also— side note: I was showing DJ your blog and he goes, “She is your twin”… I was like “I KNOW!”. The way you make the spag-squa sound phenommm. I will be trying that! Broiled mozzarella on anything is basically the greatest thing ever. YUM. Thanks for the idea! Hope you are having a perfect week, beauty! PS. Do you have an Instagram? I’d love to follow ya there if you do!

      1. Awww ❤️ we totally are twins. I feel like our writing styles/likes and dislikes are so similar!! Let me know if you try the spag squash recipe!! I have a personal Instagram – marinameow_ so follow me and I’ll follow back 🙂 hope you have the best Friday!

  5. My GOODNESS I have missed catching up on your blog!! It sounds like life has been keeping you quite busy! I hope those wild fires stop soon… that is so unbelievably scary. Happy late Birthday to your hubby! You two are the cutest couple, seriously. And all your food pics… you’re killin me, smalls! It’s noon here in ND and I am starving marvin. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend. XOXO

    1. I HAVE MISSED YOUUUUU!!! Hoow are you love?! Well I guess I just need to go by your place and find out! Thank you for the sweet safety & birthday wishes. I will definitely pass them on to Deej. Omgsh, you are too kind *crying emoji (definitely on my laptop so I can’t insert that here , but I would)*. I hope you got some super yummy eats for lunch, love! Thank you, thank you for stopping by. I hope all is more than well <3 XO

  6. So happy you got rid of your GRE! Algebra + me = I’d rather be an English teacher thank you! 😉 Anyways, if I start showing signs of Tuberculosis you’ll be the first to know. I def trust you! What a great restaurant and most importantly HAPPY BIRTHDAY DJ! So glad for God’s provision for you as well <3

    1. YAAASSS. YOU GET ME. Lol, I hope you never have those symptoms! But I can help ya out if you do (and hopefully one day I can actually prescribe ya meds for it!). I will send on the super sweet birthday wishes to the hubs. He will appreciate! XOXO

  7. AW Happy Birthday again to DJ!!!! I love that you guys ordered so much food, eating like kings and queens!!! That all looks so good. And speaking of food since we’re on the topic, spaghetti squash is truly an obsession!!!! Last fall/winter Andrew and I ate it so often because it was that good, we laid off of it in the summer but I’m ready to whip it up again. Also I’m so jelly that you’re still able to rock cute summer-y dresses over there!!! You look so gorg girlfriend!!! I am so sad by the wildfires that are consuming California…. I pray that it comes to an end soon, it’s so devastating. Happy that you two are safe and sound <3 <3 minus the bad air quality. Also ahhhh the GRE's I'm glad you got through it. I reaaaally hate the whole standardized tests to see if you could get into schools. It's really not a great depiction of someones capabilities. And girrrl, math is my worst enemy…. word problems, I just can't even be bothered by those, it might as well be in another language for goodness sake haha Hopefully that's the last time you'll have to endure those!!! Have a fabulous weekend sweets!!! <3

    xo, JJ

    1. THANKS, GIRLFRIEND ! I will pass on the sweet wishes to him! Oh my gosh, I cannot even say how good the food was. WAIT- I remember you posted an amazing spaghetti squash recipe- wasn’t it a pizza one or something?! If you still have the recipe would you be able to send it over! JJ— it’s so hot here I actually cannot stand it. Haha. I just want to go on my fall runs, but it’s seriously too hot to run outside. I feel like it’s not even real fall… but I guess it’s a good thing considering all I’ve done is study and fill out applications online all month. That makes me feel better that math isn’t your fave either!!! I agree it’s a totally different language. I learned Greek in high school and this is 10943908x harder! XOX

  8. Love the Bye Felicia sign, haha! Happy very belated birthday to DJ! He sounds like such an awesome guy! So sorry about the wildfires. I’ve been seeing news coverage and it’s crazy. I’m glad you got through the GRE! I’m not a math gal, either!!

    1. Hi, love!!! Hahah- isn’t that great!? She’s been on our unit for eleven years and that’s how we sent her off. LOL. Thanks so much- I’m ridiculously happy to be done with it, just wish it had gone a touch better. I figure wherever the Lord wants me will not be dictated by a sub par quantitative score.. right?! XOXO

  9. Girl the food looks amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! And the creamed spinach with egg piqued my interest. I need to know that recipe lol.
    And it sucks about the fires! We experienced fires over the summer over here too and our air quality was so hazardous. But you are much closer so I hope you’re all doing well!! Sending lots of love and light your way! xx and happy super belated birthday to DJ, I’m about to turn 25 as well lol

  10. That send off banner is so perfect. So perfect, in fact, that I kind of wish I had a reason to buy it… haha!

    Your dinner for DJ’s birthday looks so perfect! And yay for gift cards! That makes it even better!

    I’m glad to hear you’re keeping safe with all of the wildfires and they’re not threateningly close to where you are. So scary!

    1. Hehe- right?!?

      Gift cards are gifts from heaven. Gotta love um! It feels so good using one.

      Thanks, Chica! It’s been a nutty weather year year. Things are finally settling down. Hope you had a beautiful weekend, love!

  11. Such a delicious post!! Your birthday celebration looked scrumptious! And glad you’re past the GRE– Are you applying to local schools?? Hoping and praying it all works well with you demanding job and all you have going! Blessings Makenzie. xo

    1. Aw, thank you, Rhonda!!!!! It was truly delicious (And the fact that it was a gift made it extra tasty 😉 ). I am applying alll over! East coast, west coast, south, everywhere! Thank you for your prayers. I cannot tell you how much they mean to me. This little season has been pushing me to my limits in every way possible. Sending big hugs and blessings to you, dear friend. XO

  12. Bwahaha I just spat out my coffee when I saw that banner! That is amazing!
    And now I am drooling. Girl your food pics! Oh my lanta I am so hungry now! They look amazing! and those scales! You know how I feel about scallops! Delicious!
    And hun you guys do not take awkward pics. Cute yes. Awkward heck no! You guys are adores and happy birthday DJ!
    Your running pictures are giving me a major need to run! (I haven’t run in a couple weeks thanks to a chest cold then it proceeded to rain)
    Huge hugs. I am so glad you guys are safe, but that seriously stinks. Sending you guys so much prayers. I agree I hope Mother nature cools her jets soon too!
    Girl you are killing me with these food pics! Also if you ever decide you do not want to be a nurse, you have a career in taking pictures of food (yes it is a career one you would be amazing at!) Seriously all your food pics are divine!
    I LOVE spaghetti squash. I actually typically prefer that to pasta any day! SO yummy!
    Huge hugs. Math is a horrible no good ex-boyfriend I swear. And it NEEDS to stay an ex, alas it has that knack of creeping up when you least expect it too and torture you all over again! But hun I did have to chuckle over your Westeros reference.
    Huge hugs. You are going to get into your schools. and you are going to do amazing! You are a rockstar! And love we are all crazy ;p Huge hugs sweets! <3

    1. Hahaha- isn’t the banner great?! Scallops are bae <3 Seriously the BEST. Lol- thank youu, I was like… “we look like we don’t even like each other” hahah oh well. Oh no, not a darn chest cold- those are so annoying and painful!! I hope it’s better! Haha- I would LOVE to take pictures of food for a living. Wait… that’s actually a career? Ok.. I need to check this out. Spag squash is da bommmmb. Do you have a preference for how to prepare it? LOLOL- OMG, YESSSSSS (about the math)… bahahh, I have never heard it stated better.

      I KNEW YOU WOULD CATCH THE GOT REFERENCE!!! That makes me so happy.

      YOU are a rockstar.. I hope things are getting better <3

      Muahhh! Your comments made my morning <3

      1. It is! And girl yasss! I mean I might sell all my organs for scallops that is how flipping good they are!
        No you guys are the cutest!
        They are! So annoying especially because I couldn’t run or do yoga. Thus I have been a crazy insane person the last couple weeks. Thanks sweets! It is finally! took forever to kick!
        Yes it is! I know a couple! You would be AMAZING at it! Seriously you could put out a book and I would buy all the copies!
        It is! I stick it in the oven and let it do its thang and then I love serving it with an alfredo sauce or a pesto sauce. Sooo yummy now I want some!
        Hehe Is GoT back yet? I am having withdrawals!
        Awe Thanks beauty. YOU are a rockstar! Love you mucho beautY! I hope you have an amazing and fabulous weekend you deserve it! <3

      2. LOLLLL! I just actually laughed out loud because SO ACCURATE. That is no exaggeration. I would seriously give away my kidney for a scallop.. you might be the only other person who shares this love <3 we may need to get these tees.. . It may go against every thing we stand for from a fashion standpoint, but seriously.. might need um. Hahahha. I'm so glad you are feeling better now. Vitamin C for days.. Tis the season of coughs and colds! Oh my goodness.. pesto sauce sounds amazing with spaghetti squash– wait why haven't I done that!??!?!?! And DJ would adore the alfredo sauce (as would I, but that's totally his jam). Thank you for the suggestions! Girllllll I was just thinking about GOT because I used to eat these certain tollhouse cookies when we would watch, and having them tonight made me think of Jon Snow. Bahah. Ugh, I wish. I need it. I hope YOU had the most fabulous weekend and an even better weekend ahead. You are seriously an angel, K. Thankful for you always <3 <3 Andddd tis' the season to be thankful so I'm gonna have zero chill reminding you of that 😉 XO

      3. Bwahahaha right? Do NOT come between a girl and her scallops! I mean maybe coffee! Coffee might take the cake..But scallops are love and girl yassss we do! Those shirts are amazing!
        Bwahahaha I am sure we could totally make them look cute! And if not we are STILL rocking our love for scallops. I think a fashion disaster is the equivalent of selling a kidney…..Maybe??? Lol. ;p
        Yes I love my Vitamin C! Oh my gosh it is! Only downside I hate it!
        It is SOO yummy! Now I want spaghetti squash! Oh my Lanta now i WANT GOT! Why DO we have to wait?!?!
        Awe thanks beauty I did! I hope you had an incredible amazing weekend! Awe YOU Are the angel sweetheart! Aweeee Right backache sweetheart! Words do not even begin to describe how thankful I am for you (but definitely WAY more then a Java chip frappuccino ;P) So so SO much love to you beauty! <3

      4. AMEN To that! Bahahha Oh my gosh, now THAT is a quote “I think a fashion disaster is the equivalent of selling a kidney”….GIRL. Copyright that ish. MUAH! XO

      5. Oh my gosh I am sitting in Starbucks right now dying at your comments (and getting weird looks but whatever they only wish they were as cool as us! ;p ) Haha true! I just might and I will share the cred with my fellow kidney seller for a scallop partner in crime ;p <3

  13. I just had a chance to read through a few posts on your blog, and I just wanted to let you know that I think it’s great! I love how personable you are in your posts.
    All the food in this post looks incredible! You and your husband remind me of me and my boyfriend – we love to try everything, going to new restaurants, etc.
    Also, I love your sense of humor with that banner!!
    Can’t wait for more posts – thanks for finding me, I am so happy to have a new blogger friend! 🙂

    1. Hi, Jordan! Wow- your comment just made my day! Thank you so so much for your kind words <3 Girl, if you are ever in the area we will have to go on a double date. We love trying new foods always! I'm very thankful to have met you and look forward to staying in touch! XOXO

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