Little bit of this, a little bit of that!

Hi, everyone!!! Before the holidays catapult into full force I am hoping to play a little catch up with the happenings from the last couple weeks. This is gonna be one heckuvah hodge-podge post. Oh, but before I forget- please check your Spam! My comments have been getting stuck there again. 🙁 Oh dear WP, all I do is love youuuu , why must you do this to me?!

Anyywho, November 6th after returning from Austin was a day full of school work. The days entirely devoted to school are such a blur! I don’t remember the day itself- but I do know I made trout with roasted zucchini and brown rice. Mmm mmm. Such an easy go-to meal. DJ had his leftover tacos per usual.


November 7th I went on a lovely seven mile run in the morning.


In the evening I made DJ bow-tie pasta with a garlic breadstick from TJ’s. Highly recommend- these are quickly becoming a favorite in our home! I had a repeat dinner of the night before.


Thursday November 8th, I enjoyed a nice run again, then finished up some discussion boards and went to Boys & Girls club in the afternoon. In the evening, since I was ahead of my schedule for school work for the week, I treated myself to a little in-home spa night!! I heard of this amazing face mask featured below from Maureen. (Also she just finished her first marathon this past weekend!! Woooohooo!).


Anyways, I think I could count on one hand the number of facials I have done in my life (okay maybe one finger- I’ve always been skeptical that they actually do anything), but this was so nice!


I poured myself a nice glass of wine in my San Jose Giants glass and plopped on the couch to catch up on blogs after taking off the face mask. The Aztec clay worked so well, and I truly feel that I felt a difference in the brightness and smoothness of my face. If you end up using this, I will say you need less than you think- a little goes a long way!


November 9th I took the day off from running and decided to go for a morning walk before getting started on my massive assignment for the semester. The trees finally are tryin’ to make it feel like fall. A for effort I say 😉


Our Friday was pretty uneventful- I worked on my huge paper & just chilled with DJ at home.

Saturday November 10th provided a little respite from the crazy studies!! I ran a fourteen-miler in the morning and then we went to the most epic annual holiday party hosted by our friend Nicole (one of DJ’s coworkers) and her family. You may remember it from last year!

All they ask is that you bring a nonperishable item- isn’t that a wonderful idea for a holiday party?


The decor, the food……. everything is just done up superbly. It is truly the party of the year. My pictures do not even display the half of it. There was an entire other room with hot food (the most delicious apple crepes I have ever had) and a mimosa bar outside on their stunning patio.


Peek the Rombauer crate 😉


For dessert, there were pumpkin crunch parfaits that I was like, “I am so stuffed, but I have to have one bite”… yeah, right! Good luck stopping after one bite of these little guys. Dessert stomach came in the clutch that day.


They also had these darling caramel apples. The creativity is just next level with everything. *cue Ciara’s Level Up*


Nicole’s family is so fun to be around and make you feel like one of their own. I had been looking forward to this party for months, and it was full of nothing but laughs, great convo and new friends. <3

The morning of November 11th DJ proposed we go to Toast before Church. Who am I to object?! Since DJ “bumps in” to help set up for church, we drove separately and met there. I squeezed in a run before and was starvin’ marvin’ by the time I arrived.

Snuck a shot of this cutie before he noticed. Shhhhhh.


This time I had to actually try their toast. I had the mushroom toast with whipped mascarpone and goat cheese, sautéed spinach, egg whites, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, a touch of marsala wine, & balsamic glaze all on sourdough toast. It was phenomenal!!! The savory creaminess and the cheese blends on the toasty sourdough was unbelievable ! (And actually totally feasible to recreate at home).


And like I said.. I was so hungry! I ordered a side of french toast to see if it was any good. I will say it was about average. Not worth ordering, but glad I gave it a go, so now I know. Didn’t mean to rhyme, but guess it was just the time!


Of course, DJ had to order the winning chocolate chip pancakes! He always lets me have a bite, bless him.


We went to church then had a nice nap in the afternoon with football on in the background. Sunday fall football naps are the best naps.

In the evening I was having a craving for some pizza! I made a vegan pizza on butternut squash from Trader Joe’s. I had high hopes for the butternut squash crust, but it missed the mark. I would say stick with the cauli crust. I think the butternut squash should have been more of a root veggie pizza maybe with hummus rather than a traditional marinara based pizza! (but of course, I still ate every little bite).


I topped it with their almond cheese- TJ’s almond mozzarella is some of my favorite! It is some of the best vegan cheese I think I’ve found.


DJ had leftover pasta, and then for dessert I made some overdue tollhouse cookies for us. We finished the Haunting of Hill House… It ended on a beautiful note! I heard on a podcast that Haunting of Hill House is the This is Us of horror… I felt like it was a pretty accurate description. hahah.


November 12th was back to the grind with school, but with the California fires weighing on my mind. This picture below was taken at 4:30 pm. The sun was blocked by all the smoke, and this is the eerie scene that resulted. It seriously felt somewhat apocalyptic.


I thought the air was better on November 13th, so I went on a nice walk in the morning before hitting the books.


There were some radiant blooms!!


Unfortunately, when I came home I had an awful headache and felt somewhat nauseous. I think I thought the smoke cleared too soon— quite literally. 🙁 Even being so close to everything going on it’s hard to wrap my head around- I just pray for everyone affected and that has lost their home or loved ones. It is devastating.

November 14th I started the day with some toast: pomegranate and Fage with a sprinkle of Shakeology protein powder on cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread. Mmm mmm! I am loving pomegranates lately – except for the fact that it looks like a crime scene when I’m cutting them up.


Since then we have been pretty much confined indoors. DJ kept insisting on going outside for his run, but I pulled the nurse card and wouldn’t let him. Usually you can see mountains in the background- but everywhere you looked was smoky. It is much better now though!


Oh, super random story- but kinda funny, I use my old mac laptop (barely operating) to do Insanity since that’s what I have it downloaded on… but when I brought it up from doing a workout it went haywire. It made an unnervingly LOUD buzzing noise (not the normal fan whir)– I actually thought it was going to blow up! I put it on the floor in the bathroom and called the Mac customer service hotline. I think the guy thought I was a nut when I led into the convo with, “I think my laptop is gonna blow up”….. It stopped whirring about two minutes into the phone call (of course)… so I just let it be. I don’t have anything seriously important on there, but I am just glad it didn’t self combust hahah.

Thursday the 15th- Saturday the 17th was full of Boys & Girls Club, studying, and working on my big assignment! I made a major dent, which is such a relief. I can’t wait to share my Sunday with you in San Francisco- but that is for another post 🙂

PS. If you are still looking for a yummy side dish/dish for any vegetarian/vegan friends I have one that I just love! I am making it this Thursday and thought it’d be fun to do a little link up with the recipe here.

Anywho- have the best Thanksgiving everyone 🙂

Questions for you:

  • Any go-to face masks you really like?
  • Favorite Thanksgiving recipe? Please share a link if ya have one!

xo <3


*There are affiliate links in this post, but all opinions are my own*

44 thoughts on “Little bit of this, a little bit of that!

  1. So much great stuff in this post! A “side” of French Toast is a great concept. I didn’t know that was a thing.

    I do love a good football nap but my 3 kids don’t believe in such things, so neither do I. 🙁

    1. Thanks, Ralph!! They had a “mini” portion of the menu where you could get some of their more popular dishes in small portions. Too fun!

      awwww, hahah, well I guess DJ and I better soak up our football naps while we can, huh?! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. That facemask is the best! I got it if you months ago and really like it! I love seeing all of your food pictures! I hope your Thanksgiving is amazing 🙂

    1. Hi, Allie!!! Doesn’t it work so well?! Thanks so much, girl 🙂 Hope yours is too! First one for sweet Sadie!!

    1. Hi, Kristin! Good to hear from you! Yeah, I had a pretty busy year last year and had to step away from being as active on my blog as usual. Hope you are well!

  3. I always muse that the food pictures are just as nice as the scenery pictures and this time we had you in a mask two times as well. You are a whirlwind every day Mackenzie!

    1. Aw, thank you, Linda!!! Hahah I agree- my life feels like a whirlwind usually- but I get anxious when it’s not 😉 Lol.

      1. Oh really?! Awesome!! Hope you enjoyed! Where in OH? I am originally from Cleveland area!

      2. Oh my goodness! I lived in Strongsville for 33 years! My boys are in Lakewood and North Ridgeville. Small world! Where were you?

      3. No way!!! too funny!! seriously such a small world- I lived in Parma and then moved to Richfield (closer to Akron area).

  4. I just recently finished The Haunting of Hill House not too long ago. One of my favorite new series of 2018! It was so incredibly good!

    You get to eat such amazing looking food treats! I have a sensitive stomach so I rarely get courageous enough to try new things to eat these days anymore, LoL. Halloween I love, but it bums me out too cause I can’t eat any of that fun candy.

    1. Isn’t it great?!

      Ahhh no poor thing! Hopefully you can still find some good treats that don’t hurt your stomach. <3

  5. I must admit, I sang your blog title in my best Michelle Branch singing voice hahaha! Anyone else?! Anyway, I’m glad to hear the air is improving…its so scary and sad to see even on TV.
    I haven’t tried the TJ’s almond cheese…Is it a block or shredded? I need to try some!

    1. Yessss!!! haha- that’s the song I had when writing it 😉

      Aw thank you, Heather <3

      It is shredded and SO good! It actually melts pretty well & I like the flavor too. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

  6. School days are a blur! Oh my word! That dinner looks so yummy though sweets! You are such a talented chef!
    Ahhh TJ’s for the win!
    I LOVE that clay! My cousin told me about it and I swear by it!
    Lol girl I LOVE your spa pics! You are the cutest!
    Gasps a walk instead f a run?!?! Are you feeling okay?;p Jk sweets we all need those days where we take a break and rest and heal!
    Not to throw shade at Mother Nature but this fall was dismal!
    I LOVE that idea! What a great idea for a party! And those decorations are goals! Oh my word!
    Bwahahaha I love the sneak attack photos! They always are the best!
    That toast sound divine!
    Bwahahaha I JUST laughed out loud. Thanks for the entertainment sweets! 
Side note: I find Great French toast much harder to find then greta pancakes. I think it is the creative factor is limited with French toast. Thoughts?
    Sigh..WHat is football again?!?! I am in mourning with my giants
    Gasps a fail from TJ’s!?!?! How?!?! HOW did this happen?!! The world has ended :p Lol
    I love your gigantic cookie!
    The fires are so heartbreaking. And that picture is truly eery I hope things have gotten better. Huge hugs <3
    Lol. Pomegrantes really do! I love them but Lordy are they messy!
    I just choked (but did not spit out) my coffee at you pulling the nurse card! I do not blame you sweets!
    Eeeek that is scary! Computers are the bang of my existence. But side note you can trade your old laptop in for credit with Apple. It is so worth it!
    I hope you had the best Thanksgiving beauty! <3

    1. Aw thanks so much <3 <3 LOL , I know -- it's literally hard for me to actually walk, especially when I walk my usual running path, but yess rest is so important during training!

      Oh I TOTALLY agree with you about french toast and pancakes. I feel like french toast is one of those things that are hard to get just right too - I can't stand when they are just overly fluffy to the point of where they are dry. There are a few places in SF that are supposed to have super yummy french toast dishes- so those are on our list! I'll letchya know 🙂

      Wait- I had no idea you can trade in your old laptop?!?! SOO good to know. I haven't done anything with it yet- so I'll have to take advantage of that. Thanks for letting me know!! xoxo

  7. Ahh! WP is so annoying with the spam– sorry that it is happening to you again! This post of yours also showed up really weird on the reader. It didn’t have your photo or name by it and the like and comment button were missing too?! What the heck?!

    Nicole’s party looks absolutely outstanding, wow wow wow!!! Everything looks so delicious and it’s all set out so pretty. I love the idea of having everyone bring a non-perishable item. ♡

    So so sad about the smokiness in the air. The sun photo does look really eerie & I’m sorry you became nauseous because of it, too. 🙁 I’m glad you didn’t let DJ inhale all of that and it’s so wonderful to that it’s clearing up over there now.

    Looking forward to reading abour your Sunday in SF. 😄

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know, Hunida!!! Ahhh it needs to get itself figured out. So frustrating!

      Anywho- Nicole’s family always throws the BEST parties & they are just too fun.

      The air is thankfully SO much better now- I will never take fresh air for granted again <3 Happy Sunday, love!

  8. I am so worried my laptop might try that with me at some point! I’ve backed up everything onto my hard drive (although I should update that soon) just in case as mine is probably due for an upgrade soon. I’m hoping it’ll last until the end of my master’s program at least and it looks likely but who knows!

    1. Ahhh yeah girl, just keep backing that thing up! I learned the hard way a few years back. And fingers crossed- I’m rooting for it!!

  9. That trout looks so good Mackenzie! I love the facial mask on you, and having a glass of wine with it is awesome. I am glad you had a positive experience with it. Yay I am glad you are experiencing fall, a far cry from back home , right? Wow the holiday parties are starting early! I am glad you had a great time with Nicole and her family and made new friends. Everything looks so yummy ! Toast is a great breakfast spot , I remember your last post from there. Great photo of the mystery man looking at the menu! That is an eerie scene with the sun partially blocked out. You have to feel for the people who lost their lives and their loved ones who grieve. Those are some pretty flowers you got to snap photos of, love them! It is good you pulled the nurse card on DJ. Better to wait than breathing in the smoke from the devastating fires. What a fun post, thanks for sharing, Terri xo.

  10. Sorry about all that smoke! I’ve seen photos, but I can’t even imagine. The sun does look very postapocalyptic. The holiday party looks like it was filled with lots of festivity and tons of yumminess! My daughter and I sometimes do the clay mask. I can never tell if they do anything, but it’s fun to have green faces for a bit. lol. I’m the piemaker at Thanksgiving. The banana pie seems to be the biggest hit. xx

    1. Thanks so much, Amy <3 Teheh- isn't it fun?! Ooo yum!!! I haven't had banana pie in forever- the thought is making my mouth water!

  11. Thank you for this post and yes here we are weeks later and sadly so many deaths from the fire, much prayer needed. On a happier note all that food from that party was amazing , absolutely loved those caramel apples, darling!! I have been crazy busy so just catching up on your blogs which is my fun treat for myself when I finish my work! Another great post and can’t wait to read more. Love, your Ohio Mom

    1. Yay!! Weren’t the apples so adorable? And yummy too!

      Can’t wait to see you a WEEK from today! Woohoo!

  12. I had forgotten about that clay mask I’ve also heard about it in the beauty community. I just don’t know where to find it in store lol.
    And all that food at the holiday party looks delish and what a beautiful home! Love that they had the non perishables as things to take there. Nice of them to think about that.
    Oh my I just had French toast today but those chocolate chip pancakes are calling my name!!!! I must make some tomorrow lol.

    1. They actually have it on Amazon!! I don’t do many face masks, so I’m not sure how it compares to others- but I did love this one. I need to use it again soon!

      I love that they host the party with a purpose behind it, makes it all the more about the spirit of giving and special too.

      The chocolate pancakes are my faveee. Hope you enjoyed some today 🙂 xo

      1. haha yeah probably can wait a while then 😉 I’m not even sure it’s that much better since I seriously have nothing to compare it to!

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