A Quite Ambiguous Life Update!

Hey y’all!! I haven’t done a hum-drum recap post since last year?! I’ve done our trip recaps, Friday Faves, and EVEN a recipe…. but not a recap. What. is . happening?!

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Yes, This is Us unleashed one of the most dramatic, tear-jerking episodes in probably history of television on Sunday. I think I need to see a therapist after that episode. But we won’t get into it. It’s so good, so heart-wrenching, so real…. it hits on a very visceral level for me.

Anywho, I want to document just some real quick recent happenings and answer everyone’s questions about, “What’s going on, what’s the school situation, what the lowwww down?”.

Once we came back from Texas (yes, I am going THAT far back), I worked January 2nd and had to take my first ever sick day the 3rd. Darn, I almost made it a full year without taking a sick day! The 4th and 5th I spent resting and worked through that next weekend. On that weekend, my sweet coworkers threw the sweetest surprise “potlock” for my birthday. It touched me to literal tears. They brought in all kinds of goodies & cupcakes. I’m so thankful for them.


On the 11th, we had our preliminary presentation and the research scientists seemed to love it! They gave us tremendous feedback, so now we just have to make a few adjustments and we’ll be all set. Our official presentation is March 21st. I will be prepping hard for it before then! PS. I love our cohort education days because we always get a flamin’ breakfast of croissants & coffee! One time we had smoked salmon with capers (my weakness)!


March 7-12th we worked hard so we could enjoy our vacation to San Diego January 13th-17th. Here are Part One, Part Two, and Part Three if ya missed um 😉

We’ve been craving comfort food lately as “winter” comes to an end (I feel embarrassed and rude saying that to my kindred midwesterners)….stay warm, friends. I empathize, I really do!

I have loved continuing to make cod. One of DJ’s favorite’s was a meal with cod, corn grits, asparagus, okra, and zucchini with marina/parm cheese. Now, it does not get more midwest than this folks (unless a casserole was involved 😉 ).


One of my current projects is reading through “must read” books list. So far I have read The Giver, The Lovely Bones, and Fahrenheit 451. Would love your suggestions too! I think next I’m going to read Wuthering Heights and The Book Thief. Lemme say though.. all those gosh darn stupid reality shows are vying for my serious attention on Monday nights, so tryna’ find that balance 😉

(I’m still making my way through the Harry Potter series, but have been falling asleep the second I hit the sheets lately!).

On the 27th, DJ’s twin sister (WHO JUST MOVED HERE!!!!!!), drove up to SJ to have some breakfast with us. I can’t explain how excited I am that she’s here. You might remember her from when she visited us here. (Scroll to end of the linked post).

Anywho, we had to take her to the infamous Bill’s. We just had one open within a mile of our apartment (EEEEKKKK!!!!!) I am freaking out.


What’s brunch without Bill’s Famous Mimosas?

DJ tried their country fried steak with biscuits and gravy.


I had my tried and true, go to athena greek omelette. Goat cheese on an omelette is GOLD.


Amy opted for probably one of my favorites on their menu- the Cinnamon Roll French Toast. Phenomenal.


Amy headed back to the city in the afternoon after hanging out at our apartment for a little bit. This was one of the first Saturdays in months, probably all year, that DJ and I were both 100% free. We spent the day lounging, napping, took a walk, and relaxed. It was absolute perfection. We kept saying how refreshing it was to have a full day like that. It doesn’t happen often- I actually can’t even remember our last day like that.

On Sunday the 28th, I finalllly had a Sunday off of work to go to Church (EVERYONE CHEERS!). Lemme say, it was SO nice being able to worship with my community in person and not be listening to a podcast sermon on Sunday.

After Church, I went to lunch with my girlfriend Tammy that you all know probably well my now, and her husband, Ben. (DJ couldn’t tag along, but I brought him home some grub!).

We went to Mendocino Farms in Campbell. This may be our new local joint. I am obsessed!!! There are so many phenomenal pesce/vegan options!!!


You order Panera style, and they give you a buzzer when food is ready.

I loved their farmhouse theme.


I was craving a great salad. I had their avocado & superfood ensalad with butter lettuce & romaine, curly kale, quinoa & millet, housemade superfood krunchies, black bean, roasted corn & jicama succotash, red onions, cilantro, Cotija cheese, grape tomatoes, avocado with chipotle vinaigrette. There are no words to describe how yum this was!


Even better yet… their sides.. the curried cous-cous and marinated beets were so savory. I am craving them again. I might just have to go in tomorrow to get more.


Tam had the Mary’s Chicken Salad with shaved, roasted Mary’s free range chicken breast with balsamic glaze drizzle, butter lettuce & romaine, nitrate-free applewood smoked bacon, crumbled blue cheese, avocado, grape tomatoes, red onions, hard boiled egg with mustard vinaigrette. Good mendocino heavens.


There was a Trader Joe’s plopped right next door, and this is where I had my epiphany that Trader Joe’s may be the greatest place on earth.THEY EVEN HAVE SUSHI!


I went for an amazing run after, and saw this cute little lemon tree.

img_7975Monday morning I made an omelette with my leftovers stuffed in!


For one of my birthday gifts, I received my first ever Fab Fit Fun box. This is allll over the place social media wise, but I’ve never pulled the trigger. I was thoroughly impressed with the box, and can’t wait to use the products. I’ll let you all know how they all work out.


I can tell you this add on fuzzy blanket is amazing. (Duh, what girl doesn’t like a comfy blanket?)


How stinking cute!

DJ is playing in a basketball league called the “Enginerds”. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but DJ was (is) a tremendous basketball player. He isn’t hanging up the shoes quite yet as he is playing in a local league every other Wednesday. I’m obsessed with the name of their team (so Bay area)- The Enginerds! Lol.


I have been thinking lately about doing a meal prep post about how I have been meal prepping for my twelve hour shifts! I never have really shared my prep days for work, but why not?! It took a while to get my routine down, but I think I finally have it figured out to stay full and stay nourished!


On January 30th, I had the unexpected couple of hours off as our unit was over-staffed. I instead was able to go to work at 11:30 am. I walked into the shining sun and gorgeous fountain. That never happens. What a glorious day that was!


Shall we chat Super Bowl on the the 4th?! Our unit was not about to neglect the celebrations. We had donuts, chips, and pizza galore. I worked extra extra extra hard to get my work done so I could catch a couple glimpses of the game. They were small glimpses, but I did get to watch JT do his THANG!


That extra extra extra hard (aka every single shift, lol) translated into this…


I’m glad Deej got to watch the game with his family though!

Yesterday, the 5th, I was able to squeeze in a gorgeous 10-miler. To be honest with y’all … doc says I need to chillll on the mileage. I’m trying, but struggling cause it’s the way I cope with my stress. My body isn’t handling it. I am going to try to incorporate more strength training & cross training > cardio.

Anywho.. these February blooms along my runs have been gorgeous. It is finally starting to warm up a bit again!


Post workout nibbles/appetizer before dinner of veggies straws, dried okra, mushrooms, hummus, and smoked salmon jerky.


Lately for dinners all I have wanted is warm comfort food due to the weather and perpetual ill feeling. Today after a great Insanity workout I was craving my giant refreshing salad with it being 72 degrees outside. I always love putting a veggie burger in my salad with hummus & some balsamic vinegar. MMmm mm!


Let’s talk future now. I have an interview February 14th for a doctorate program. Gosh, I want this so badly. I was accepted into a local program here, so that’s a possibility too (it’s a master’s program). I am waiting to hear back from one last school in Nashville. I’m not sure what this year holds for us.. it’s all a big ole’ question mark… we are just trusting God with it all. He has proved faithful time and time again. DJ is still loving his job in marketing for the SJ Giants, and will probably look into getting his masters next year. I am excited and hopeful to see how this year unravels! Lots of questions will be answered in this next two months, and I am hoping to share some fun (and definite) updates with you all.

xo <3


54 thoughts on “A Quite Ambiguous Life Update!

    1. Haha!! That’s too funny— I did too when I refreshed my page one time!!! I guess it can go both ways with this interview process, huh?! Hope you are so well, Amitav, and that your year is off to a blessed start.

  1. You must be the best nurse ever Mackenzie!! I swear you always find the good in everything and I LOVE it!
    Anyways…the brunch places near you look absolutely delightful. How fun that there’s so many to try out!
    I love DJ’s basketball team name. I’m an engineer so that’s awesome to me.

    Good luck with the interview <3 Sending prayers your way for it girlfriend!

  2. Holy moly what an incredible but busy last month you’ve had!! I so hope everything goes incredibly well with your interview & research project! I didn’t know DJ had a twin sis, so awesome! I adore being a twin. 🙂 All of that food – from your birthday spread to those delish meals out – look phenomenal. You have such sweet coworkers & no shortage of fabulous restaurants! That lemon tree is so pretty! Aldi didn’t have cod (womp womp), but I picked up flounder to bake this week. Mmmm. I’m so glad I was surprised by your post this morning! I hope you have an awesome day! XO

    1. This year is definitely off to a wild ride!!! I am SOOO relieved to have the interview behind me…. especially because it means I can get back to blog world 😉 WAITTTTT you and Kaci are twins?!?! I didn’t realize that (I mean makes total sense but wow!). I am sooo thankful for my coworkers.. they keep me afloat for sure. Hope you enjoyed that flounder and had the best valentine’s day!!! XO

      1. Yep, we’re twinsies! I’m all of two minutes younger. 😉 Thanks, doll! Looking forward to hearing more about your program and project!

  3. Okay,so your blog is officially one of my faves! Your posts are always so upbeat,fun,and filled with delicious eats. I seriously look forward to reading your updates soooo much!! ❤

  4. Hey there, MackQheunzzi! (you have to admit, this one would be a winner at Scrabble!!)

    Well that was some recap!! Where did you take your time-stretching machine? Do they deliver? And don’t tell me you don’t have one, because no one else I know is capable of making so much fit into just 24 hours a day!! LOL I think your only napping must take place in that elevator… And I wonder how you manage to look fabulous with so little rest?? I guess that’s just how incredible you are!

    In the “must read” section, I would recommend “For those I loved” from Martin Gray. This true story is possibly the best resilience lesson I ever had. Let me know if you read it 🙂

    As usual, your post was mouth watering, and of course I forgot to eat before reading it! Mouahahahahaha

    I’m sending you my warmest thoughts for the coming presentation, and for the interview!! I’m sure you’ll rock both, and I can’t wait to read the news!!

    Stay your gorgeous, bubbly and sunshiny self, dear you 🙂 And forward a nice “Hello” to DJ for me!!

    *Big hugs*

    1. CYRR!!! Phew, I just finished my interview yesterday which means I get to finally get back to blogging!! WOOHOO! You know, it’s quite impressive how you accurately spelled my name phonetically with sooo many extra letters (You are so right- remind me to never play scrabble against you! haha).

      LOL!!! Lately it’s funny because I have such a long to do list that sometimes I do something and then go to do that same thing and then am like, “wait I already did that?”. I’m losing my mind here! Hahah. (or is this just my response to distract you as I get into my time machine?!).

      Ahhh thank you for the suggestion!!! I am writing this down right now!

      Sending you so much love! Thank you always for stopping by and making my day! Keep being your encouraging, loving, hilarious, and genuine, beautiful souled self too!! XO

  5. Holy guac what incredible looking noms!!! Can I just say I don’t know how y’all work so freakin hard and go back to school! That’s so incredible to hear that you are so close to getting to present and feel so great about it! Happy Hump Day!

    1. Awww, thanks, girl!! You are so encouraging. It’s such a joy to see your comments here. Thank you for supporting me so sweetly! Hope you are having a tremendous week! (PS. I didn’t know you and Kori were twins?!?! How did I miss that. LOL. It’s not like you guys look exactly alike or anything?! 😉 ).

  6. Thank you for this update – it is always good to know what is going on with you!
    And as always, fabulous food pics – you have given me another great idea: French-toast cinnamon buns! (the last big faves from you were yogurt toast & French toasted croissants!)
    Holding my breath for you re the post-doc plans!

    1. Hi Ju Lyn!! Thank you so much. Ahhhh that sounds TREMENDOUS. I am not even a big cinnamon fan (well I mean who doesn’t like it? It’s just not my #1 go to usually)… but I could LIVE on this stuff. It’s insane. I look forward to seeing your creation! You have no idea how much you encourage me. I am back on my yogurt toast kick hehe, having it now. Hope you are having a beauuuutiful week! <3

      1. Actually, it’s funny that you are not a huge cinnamon fan because I don’t think I like over-cinnamoned goodies either. I am thinking of my favourite sticky buns from a little bakery called Simply Bread just across the park from me: just a little touch of the spice and oh so nice! I am going to get me some and French toast it!!!!

        Hope you are enjoying your slice of yogurt toast today!

  7. Ahhh Girl I am the worst! Happy Happy Birthday! I hope it was amazing! And your coworkers are so sweet! I am glad you were spoiled:)
    Yay girl! I KNEW you were going to nail this presentation! So proud of you and keep sending you all those positive vibes and prayers your way!
    Your food pics as always make me sooo hungry!
    Awe that is awesome! I am so happy you guys have family close by! Eeeek so exciting!
    Mendocino fairs looks so cute! YOU NEED to come to NY and I will take you to all the vegan restaurants! There are os many yummy ones!
    That blanket is LIFE! I LOVE cozy blankets!
    That picture of the fountain is giving me serious california envy!
    Also you make scrubs look so fashionable!
    Eeeekkk so proud and happy for you beauty! Also girl Nashville is on my list! If you move there you will have a guarantee maybe even permanent visitor! :p I am so excited for you sweets! SO many good things are headed your way! <3

    1. HEY GIRL!!!! Ahhhhh I do NEED to go to NYC. I’m dying to. It’s becoming unbearable how badly I want to. I am wrapped up in that blanket right now and I don’t think I’ll physically be able to get off the couch today. Hahah, you are sweet aboout the scrubs. Ahhhh yes! We would put a dent in Nashville together for sure. I’ll keep you posted. I’ll be making my decision beginning of March (either stay here or move to Nashville this fall)!

  8. Lovely life update 🙂 I’m glad you’re doing well and it’s so cute how much your co-workers love you! 🙂
    I hope you do well in your interview! 🙂 <3

    1. Thanks, girlfriend. Oooo your new thumbnail picture is stunning!! It’s such a relief to have the interview over with. Back to blog world finally 🙂 Hope you had a great week, love!

    1. Hi, Emily!! I will absolutely let you know.. and I’m always up for suggestions- do you have any all time favorites?! Thank you tons for stopping by!

  9. I love when I see your posts pop up in my reader! Yay for a life update! It sounds like you’ve been working hard and playing hard, as per usual!! I love your idea of reading “must read” books!!

    1. Aww, Allie, that means SO much! Hehe- it’s been already a wild ride to start off the year, but so much good too. I know you’re a big reader, so would love to hear your all time favorites and suggestions too!

  10. I’m reading through some classics this month. Just finished Pride and Prejudice and then Random Harvest (which I hadn’t heard of, but our library does “blind date with a book” in February and picked one that said Timeless Classic). I’ve picked up The Great Gatsby, A Color Purple, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. I don’t know how many I’ll make it through.
    I can’t wait to see where you will end up for schooling! 🙂

    1. Hi Amy!!! I neeeed to read Pride and Prejudice. I’ve tried a couple times and have a hard time getting past the first couple pages. I need to just buckle down and read it because I know people say it’s just the best! That blind date with a book sounds terrific!! What a great idea. I have The Picture of Dorian Gray as a written down “must read” on my kindle!! Keep me posted.. would love to hear more recommendations. I could chat books for days. Maybe one day we can start a blog book club thread! 🙂

      1. A blog book club thread sounds great. 🙂
        I am the same way with A Tale of Two Cities. I read the first 5 pages and then give up. I can see what you mean about the beginning of Pride and Prejudice, but it does get much better. The blind date with a book ended up being great. I couldn’t put it down and have finished it already.

      2. Yay!!

        & I’m glad you understand! I am going to try to read Pride and Prejudice next! I actually own it, I just have to buckle down. Hope you are having an awesome week, Amy! Wait.. it’s the weekend.. I’m mid “work week” as a nurse right now lol. It feels like a Tuesday to me!

    1. Awww!!! Thank you SO much, Miriam <3 haha. That makes me feel so good… you are such an amazing blogger & the fact that you take the time to stop by means the world. Hope you are having a restful weekend

      1. I hear there is supposedly a nor easter coming to southern California and it snowed in Sacramento earlier this week! What is happening?!?!

      2. Oh, I don’t know. The news said the storm system moved from east coast to central,then the west coast, and has brought as much as 13 inches of snow to central California and up to 5 inches of snow to the Southern California hills.
        I know it’s going to rain some more tomorrow!!
        I better warn my husband, because we’re redoing our patio cover and he is doing the demo. Thank you for heads up!!!

  11. I love your recaps! I always love seeing what you’ve been up to and your pictures are always beautiful! I wish I had a lemon tree near me, I would be stealing those things right now! 🙂 Hope your week is going good!

    1. Aww, thanks, Tara <3 Haha, I have thought about snagging a few plenty of times! I hope your week is going so well too. Can't wait to read your latest post! xo

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