Celebrations & A Half Moon Bay Day Trip :)

Hello all mack-mareaders (see what I did there?!). Right off the bat I want to say a heartfelt thank you for your response to my last post. I can’t tell you how encouraging this community is- you all have lifted my spirits through this grueling past year, and I am deeply thankful for each of you <3

Once again I have left myself with a good deal of catch up! Starting with us arriving back from Portland. You may remember the travel map DJ gifted me for Christmas…. we were able to add a Portland pin to it! Cause if you liked it then you shoulda put a pin on it. 


When we returned, we worked hard through the rest of the week then into that weekend (May 26-27), my last weekend on this unit :(. While I am SO excited to finally have my Sundays back with my Church family- I had developed another family. Our weekend crew was the same every weekend so we all grew super close. I especially had a special bond with my work moms. There were two ladies who took me under their wing, mentored me unofficially, and helped me figure out the next step when I thought I was at a dead end. I didn’t expect to get too emotional until the very last day, but as I was telling one of my work moms- Mia (I called her Momma Mia) we both started crying. Ah, I will miss them, I already do. We had a cute little weekend potluck that Sunday.


I spent the next few days catching up on house chores, laundry, etc. from our Portland trip and recapping the trip on the blog. On Wednesday I went to Trader Joe’s to stock up on goodies for my last day to take in to thank everyone for all their help this year. I seriously wish I had known about the magic of TJ for all these years….. they just have EVERYTHING. And we have cut down significantly on our shopping budget since shopping there!


And then June 1st… my last day came… <3 It was hard to believe this was the last time (for now) that I’d be walking through these doors.


When I came home, DJ was still at work, but this was waiting for me on the counter..


It warmed my heart- so thoughtful! He left the sweetest card and a compass path candle. He’s a good one, I’ll tell ya what….

Saturday, June 2nd, I woke up early to get some hair did. Guys.. my roots were SO bad. They have never been this bad before. I’d include a picture of the before but I think I’d scare you.

Needless to say… I was pretty excited once those sons of a guns were touched up. (For my blondies out there- I started doing balayage last year instead of highlights. It lasts way longer and looks more natural. Well, the last time I had my hair done before the cruise, my regular stylist wasn’t available so I took whoever was available- she insisted on re-highlighting my hair, but I recognized the roots way sooner and missed the natural balayage feel. <– That sentence was about as long of a run on as my roots were). What is your preference? Highlights? Balayage?



In the evening, my friend Sara came over to celebrate my completion of the program and starting this new journey with school. We pulled out all. the. snacks.


We watched a new show and paused intermittently to chat at times. Love girl time!

On Sunday the 3rd, we had an eventful day! DJ had a busy morning at the stadium and then we whipped down to Oracle for Game 2 of the Finals!


Goooo Cavs!!!! Our blatant support of the Cavs caused quite the ruckus. No worries friends & fam- we held down the fort.


After, we crossed over the Bay bridge into SF to get dinner with a couple of our friends.

I can’t actually remember crossing the Bay Bridge before, and oh myyyy was it ever beautiful all lit up!


The sun set added such a warmth to the evening. I had never been in SF on a weekday night (well, going into a weekday night), and the quietness of the city mixed with the setting sun and twinkling lights was almost romantic. It gave me a new appreciation for my already favorite city <3

It was an unforgettable day with great memories and friends.

On the following Monday the 4th, I was running errands near DJ’s stadium, and he said he was heading to lunch if I wanted to join. It was fun to have the freedom to pop in and even though I’d already eaten it was fun to just sit and recount the game with him spur of the moment.


DJ loved the habit burger and says their chocolate malts are one of his favorites.


In the evening, we watched Bachelorette together. Anyone watch? Any thoughts? I was excited for this season, but so far I feel like it’s a bit of a snooze fest (I guess they always are in the beginning, aren’t they?).

Tuesday the morning of the 5th,  I grabbed breakfast with my friend Danielle whom I haven’t seen in FOREVER.

We met in downtown San Jose on South First at Social Policy.


As I walked around, I found a new appreciation for downtown San Jose… it was looking extra colorful and bright this morning. It’s funny how sometimes we can forget to be a tourist in our own town. I’m going to make a more concerted effort to explore SJ this summer.


The line for SoPo was out the door even on a Tuesday morning. It was well worth the wait!


I had a cafe au lait with their house-made almond milk and their avocado smash (best avocado toast I’ve ever had).


I’m on an strong avocado kick right now.

The rest of the day I spent cleaning up my e-mails, making a giant to-do list for the summer, enjoying a nice run outside, then meal prepping.

Wednesday, oh our dear Wednesday, the 6th, we watched the Cavs lose in the Finals 🙁 But we had some spicy sriracha green beans from The Habit to help mitigate the pain.


Thursday, the 7th, I spent the day running, reading, blogging and sipping a cafe au lait at Peet’s while watching some Hulu… I may have also taken the popcorn with me in a ziplock container to Peet’s… people probably were slightly confused, but Peet’s is my second home after all.


Friday the 8th, I pulled the trigger on an idea I’ve had for a while. OK, this is so silly, but I have so many food pictures from this blog that I wanted to compile into one place. I figured why not create an Instagram where I can just store them (and use puns to my heart’s content)? I always want to post them on my personal insta, but I feel like I would just be spamming all my friends and fam.. This is going to be my little creative outlet (besides this blog of course).


Please leave your Instagram handle below so I can follow you there!

Saturday, the 9th, we went to Half Moon Bay for my first time (DJ had been once before).

It was chilly out- in the low 60s- and for me that’s winter, hence the winter jacket. Yes, I know, we have grown soft. Our midwest skins would be disappointed in us.

Half Moon Bay is a sleepy little beach town, so quiet, serene, and surprisingly full of history.


We walked along the beach for a while, then the coastal trail.


We wondered along downtown hand in hand, soaking up the lazy afternoon, peeking into family owned shops, and letting our conversations wonder aimlessly as we were.


With the bitter chill in the air (lol, I’m so dramatic), I was craving a hot coffee. We stopped by The Cafe Society, a quaint little coffee shop/jazz bar- how fun is that?! I grabbed an americano with steamed almond milk, then we headed back into the tundra. Baha.


The colors just popped, each storefront was lovingly decorated with intricate details.


We passed a Tom & Pete’s- I realized I’d seen this place before but couldn’t remember where exactly… then it hit me! It was the truck located at the pumpkin patch we went to a couple years ago.


We also noticed this Jail that was built in 1911. It looked like there was a tour going on. The jail pushed up against the mountains looked like something out of a storybook.


Before heading back, we were not about to miss an opportunity to go to Sam’s Chowder House!



I saw they had a seaweed salad on the menu, and it sounded just perfectly refreshing! Love my seaweed.


I opted to try their raw oyster bar- with 2 oysters, 2 clams, and 2 shrimp. When I ordered it DJ goes, “You don’t even like oysters”… and I longingly said, “But I wannnnt to like them”. And guess what! I really enjoyed these oysters! I actually enjoyed them even more then the clams, which says something, cause I love clams.


DJ of course had their lobster roll (their go-to menu item that is just insanely delicious), and I snuck more than a few bites.


Still convinced this is one of the best restaurants the Bay has to offer. If you want ridiculously fresh seafood- this is it.

Yesterday I was able to go back to Church for the first time in a while, and it was soooo nice. I then caught up with my friend Tammy after at Cafe San Jose.

I’m putting together a master summer bucket list for the SJ/SF/Oakland area- so if you have been PLEASE share with me your favorite place to eat, things to do, etc. (No worries, Kate, Capo’s is on the list hehe!).

Have a fabulous week, everyone 🙂

xo <3


46 thoughts on “Celebrations & A Half Moon Bay Day Trip :)

  1. That potluck celebration looks so good, & it’s always so bittersweet to leave the people you’ve grown close working with! But the memories & lessons learned will always be there.

    Alllll of your food sounds killer! I want to try one of everything on SoPo’s menu. I love that you ordered a café au lait. I feel like I’m one of the few who loves them. I *love* strong black coffee & lattes, but sometimes you just want frothy style coffee & not espresso.

    That photo of you & Dj bubdled up is adorable! The frozen tundra, babahaha. I hear you! I’m not a fan of chilly weather. Those photos you snapped, though are gorgeous!! The one taken at an angle of the bench would be amazing framed.

    The downtown area is precious! So so pretty.

    Hope you have a great day!

    1. Happppy Wednesday !! Ok- you are SO right– the memories and lessons are what I will absolutely be carrying with me <3

      Isn't SoPo amazing?! I need another excuse to go back. Love love love . I'm actually drinking a cafe au lait right now haha, except they didn't use as much milk as usual… sometimes they only use a little steamed almond and almond doesn't steam great so it goes quick (Oh well!).

      Yessss, thank you for understanding my cold blooded woes- wait is is warm blooded woes? I can't ever keep it straight.

      And thank you! I hope your week is going soooooo well 🙂

      1. SoPo looks so dreamy! Quaint, fun, & a place I’ll definitely need to visit one day. 🙂

        A café au lIt definitely needs the right ratio of milk, especially if it’s plant based!

        Hahahahaha I never know which it is either!

        Thank you! It’s been awesome, & I hope the same for you!

  2. Congrats on finishing your program!! When you love something, the last day is always bittersweet. And as long as I have everything straight, you’ll still be in the area so you can always see your work friends then.

    I’m dying at you wearing a winter coat when it’s 60 degrees. The past few times it’s been 60, I’ve had shorts on hahaha. Just shows how much the climate in a certain area changes your perception of a certain temperature.

    So can you teach me how to find the cutest spots? I’m convinced that you always go to the cutest little spots in a town and I’m jealous! Or maybe the bay/SF area is much cuter than anywhere I ever go haha.

    I hope your Monday was a good one 🙂

    1. Thank you, Maureen!! Oohhh bittersweet is truly the best word to describe this emotional rollercoaster right now. Thanks for sharing in all this with me- you have been so loyal and unwavering in your encouragement.

      Hahah, you know what’s funny… when we lived in Indiana there were a few winters during college that would be -30 with windchill, and those springs as soon as it was in the THIRTIES we thought it was warm out. We are pathetic now, lol!

      Teheh- SF does have a ton of little cutesy boutiquey towns. But maybe that’s just further motivation to visit?! I’m convinced every single town has their hidden gems though.

      Hope your week has been great too. Can’t wait to see what you’re up to! Did the press get there? I hope that big ole’ thing didn’t get lost in the mail haha.

      1. You’re welcome girl! You’re such a genuine person and I love following along.

        Omg that’s a total Midwest thing! I grew up in Chicago so when I moved to New Jersey got college people thought I was crazy when I wouldn’t wear a winter coat some days.

        I loved SF when I was younger and visited. Now I think I’d appreciate it even more. Definitely on my list of cities to visit.

        Not yet! Sometimes mail is slow so maybe tomorrow? I hope it didn’t get lost either because I’d feel so bad you went to the trouble of sending it!

      2. <3 <3 Ditto to you!

        Definitely would appreciate SF more now!!! If you ever do stop by, I'll give you the grand tour or at least some great local suggestions 😉

  3. What an epic several days! Seems like more often than not, change or something ending is always bittersweet, even if at times the change is going away from something that at times induced anxiety. Seems like as humans we sometimes crave that challenge even though in the moment we want to be anywhere else in the world, huh? #deepthoughts

    How fun to go exploring your own area! That is a great idea since it seems there is almost always more out there than we realize once we get stuck in a routine.

    Teee Jay’sssss is the best store! I LOVE all the pre-made noms and their frozen aisle. I know it’s probably a little healthier to make from scratch but if I can find some frozen meals and sides that I can just quickly cook and serve with a salad or veg, I’m all about that. My hubs and I rarely eat out so it’s important to us to still have a decently well-rounded homemade meal.

    I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather, but the funny thing is that my hubs and his dad LOVE to go backpacking in the winter. They are both hot natured and Eagle Scouts so they prefer the “elements”. I prefer 70s and up and shorts weather. bahaha….I have to say I feel proud of myself though because I have gone on several winter day hikes, one in particular being the day we got engaged (I’m pretty sure I was wearing 4 layers and it wasn’t even snowing lolz).

    Happy Tuesday! xo

    1. Oh my gosh, Kaci, I could not have said it better myself!! I seriously read that first paragraph three times, going “yes yes yes!”…. like to a T you described what I’ve been feeling and coping with. Thank you for empathizing <3 <3

      And exactly- it's like you know your favorite places, your go-tos, your routine, and sometimes you have to be super intentional to break out of them! I spent a good deal of yesterday finalizing my bucket list, so I'm psyched to knock some of it out.

      And the good news is with TJ's frozen meals often they are organic or somewhat resembling something healthy 😉 We are going to be cutting back big time this summer on eating out, but I'm excited to get the cooking juices flowing again.

      Oh my goodness- Eagle Scouts?! So admirable! You are surrounded by some phenomenal men… I admire them but I couldn't do that. Haha. And you go girl!!!! I bet those were some awesome memories- some may even say frozen in your mind 😉

      Have a greaaat rest of your week! <3

  4. Lol the intro to this post made me giggle! your hair looks incredible, I recently went with ‘baby lights’ rather than highlights and have noticed a noticeable difference in how long it has taken for my roots to show through!

    1. Thanks girl!!!! <3 Glad you get my sense of humor 😉 And ooooohhh I have never heard of baby lights, but will have to look into that! We have pretty similar color of hair, so thank you for that suggestion! XO

  5. Aww, that’s so sweet that DJ left you a card and a candle. So much better than flowers! There have been a few Habit Burgers that just opened up here in Vegas! Those burgers & green beans look fantastic, I’ll have to give the place a shot someday!

    That’s so cute that you brought popcorn to the cafe, lol! & you can follow my IG because it’s a foodie one, I don’t update it so much as I should: foodiecouple_lv is my handle 🙂

    The photos of the beach at Half Moom Bay are breathtaking. I’m from the midwest too, only been in the desert for 2 years but I really don’t think you’re being dramatic because I’d be in ice cube in 60 degree weather, especially by the water. You guys are brave souls for going out there!

    That’s awesome that you liked the oysters this time!! Maybe I’d like ’em if I had some real fresh ones, too. 😉 The lobster roll looks soooooo wonderful, yum!!!

    Best of luck on your new journey, Mackenzie! ♡

    1. Hi love!! Absolutely- the green beans are soo good and their veggie burger is great too. OOooohh going to follow you now! Yay!

      oh girl I seee you… all this food looks sooo yummy! SUSHI, yes please!

      Lol, thank you for understanding my cold-phobia. <3

      Yes — I think the key for oysters is to just have really really good ones. It was nice too because we only had two so if I didn't like them it wasn't a big deal rather than getting a full half shell or something.

      Thanks for your sweet words, Hunida!

  6. I so, so appreciate Peet’s being your second living room, that is awesome! I have been on a huge avocado toast kick myself recently, it is so good.

    All of your pictures are just gorgeous! Also, I love the name of your food insta and would definitely like to check out your eats @maketimewithpizzapullups

    1. LOL, ironic because I’m back at Peet’s watching Handsmaid tale yet again…. haha. I hate being just such a basic californian girl, but I love that darn toast. And thank you so much! I’m going to follow you now 🙂

  7. I’ve been on an avocado kick as well, which is probably good since it is good for breastfeeding. So I guess I *have* to eat them. 😉 Also, lobster rolls are my faaaaave.

    1. Yes, you absolutely have to!!! Tehe, i love that. And you HAVE to try these one day. I was researching some other lobster rolls in the bay area and have been spamming DJ with pictures. Soon we will have to try those soon too. Thanks for stopping by, Katy! SO happy for you and I just love that we are casually talking about your breastfeeding (ok that sounded weird, but you know what I meant!). Hope you are finding some time to rest and sleep, momma!

  8. “Cause if you liked it then you shoulda put a pin on it. ” I wonder how many of your readers – like me – totally sang that sentence in their heads. LOL!
    I was going to say – per usual – that your pics of food always look so amazing and make me so hungry. So OF COURSE I’m going to follow your new Insta!!
    And loved the Roots video clip. Ha, ha!!!

    1. Lol, I’m so glad you get my sense of humor!! <3 And yayyyy! So excited for you to follow along. Have a great rest of your week, Nicole XOXO

    1. Awww! SIJO! So good to hear from you. I hope you and your family are doing very well. Have a great week & great summer. SO good to see you back here, but I understand life gets busy!!

  9. Catching up on Mack posts and right off the bat I am keeled over laughing! Love you so much lady!
    Love that map!
    Huge hugs. I am so happy you found another family at the unit you worked int hat is the best! 
Girl TJ’s is life! I am obsessed with them!
    Awe huge hugs. It isn’t the end but the beginning and as you said for now! You will be back!
    Awe what a sweetheart TJ is! So sweet!
    GIRL I feel you with the roots! Root of all the hair problems! (Sorry couldn’t resist!) And Oh my lanta I LOVE it! I personally just bleach all my hairs..But I wish I could go for the more natural look. About three weeks after my hair is done, I start looking like a skunk only with the reverse stripes!
Don’t hate me, but uhhh basketball what is that? I guess go cavs? :p
    And girl yasss! Iw as so bummed because I did not get the bachelorette this past week on the flight home, but it is okay. I can’t decide whether Jordan has gots to go..Or to keep him because he is entertaining…But he still has gots to go!
    Ahhh I need to put San Jose on my list I LOVE those murals! So pretty!
    Ahhh what a perfect breakfast! I LOVE cafe au lait!
    Girl so am I! I think I ate avocados every day when I was in Cali!
    Spelling of which oh my avocados those bean look amazing!
    Haha I LOVE that! It is why Peet’s is so amazing it is home away from home!
    Girl I am OBSESSED with your new insta! Seriously obsessed! I love it so much! And it brightens mud ay and goes me such a great laugh!
    Oh my word! Half moon Bay looks like a dream! I am in love with your pictures and have just slobbered all over my computer (sorry tmi?) because it is so stunning! 
Oh my lanta that seafood looks ah-may-zing!
    Eeeek LOVE me a Summer bucket list and yassss girl! Seriously Sarah and I were JUST talking about that pizza! Sooo yummy! <3

    1. Hey girlllll! TJs is seriously life. I feel like I wasn’t living before.

      Bahaha… root of the hair problems.. but TRUTH. Haha, but your hair is soo pretty! I never ever have noticed this skunk hair you speak of 😉

      Haha- you can not know any basketball but if you say “Go Cavs” then all is forgiven!!

      I cannot believe Jordan lasted this long.

      And yess our Peet’s <3 <3 I hope you had your plenty of fill while you were on this coast!! Still so sad I couldn't come down to join- but at least we were sharing coffee together in a way! Tehe.

      Wait— you just made my day!! I'm so glad you like the new insta- it's so silly, but such a fun little creative outlet for my obnoxious number of food pics.

      I would say if you come back to SF (actually WHEN) you need to go to half moon bay for a half day- it's super close to the city too. This lobster roll is just insanity… like unfairly good!

      I have a friend visiting at the end of July and I will be taking her to Capo's! I am planning out our trip now 🙂 XO

  10. I’ve been thinking about balayage. My roots show up WAY too quickly. Love, love, love, the photos of Half Moon Bay.

    1. Ok I HIGHLY recommend it!!! It is still bright, but natural. I am obsessed with it- I doubt I’ll ever go back to highlights after it. Thank you for stopping by, Amy!

  11. you PACKED this post with so many photos! I love it! good thing I’m on my laptop LMAO
    San Jose looks super beautiful!!! I want to visit there too if I ever can, and SoPo looks great as well!!
    I also would love to visit Half Moon Bay, those views are gorgeous!!!

    1. Tehehe- oh girl, Buckle your seat belt. I am OVERWHELMED by the number of pictures I have for the next few posts. WARNING you big time if you dare try to read them lol! Thanks for stopping by though! San Jose is a fun little spot- I’m loving it the more I live here for sure. And Half Moon Bay is like a little dream land. Just love the coast- for the views and fresh seafood. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend <3

      1. I’m slowly making my way through them LOL so far I’ve enjoyed them all haha
        I have no idea how I’m going to fit all these amazing spots into my itinerary, I’ve already lost track of all the places I wanted to see lol

      2. Haha- the good news is you cannot go wrong. I feel like there are SO many gems at every little square inch that it’s truly impossible to hit it all (which stresses me out, baha). But it’s allll good (and the foods all good- which is all that matters, right?!)

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