Our Valentine’s Day!

This is gonna be a short & sweet (pun totally intended) post filling in the foodie gaps from the last update up to our Valentine’s Day! (I know y’all are probably sick of any and all Valentine’s Day chat by now, so thanks for tuning in anyway!).

Sunday February 10th, we both got up early and went to church. When I came home we were still super low on groceries, so I put together some canned butternut squash puree & a dollop of Fage mixed and heated up with mixed nuts, pumpkin butter and Ezekiel bread. It was surprisingly very satisfying! Ya never can know how those hodge-podge concoctions are gonna go, but it’s often when I discover my new favorite snacks!


The afternoon was just working on school assignments & I think I squeezed a run in.

For dinner I was really getting down to the bare bones in the fridge- I needed some protein, so I whipped up some eggs, beans, and salsa & paired it with homemade pumpkin hummus that I defrosted from the freezer.


February 11th I woke myself up with Fage, oatmeal, PB2, and mixed nuts. The thought of breakfast & coffee causes me to jump out of bed in the morning, haha. For this one, basically anything I could find in the cupboard I was throwing into that bowl.


After doing a ton of schoolwork it was time to finally acquiesce to a full grocery trip. But I will say- TJ’s is the pretty much the adult equivalent of going to the park. On my way I grabbed some Starbucks cause I was feeling chilled to the bone that day! It was one of the colder days of this winter. *Cue the laughs from my midwest friends*


Aaaaaaand here we are.


For dinner I defrosted a pack of thanksgiving turkey and made turkey noodle soup for the Deej with some egg noodles I picked up. He enjoyed it even more than I expected! It served as a lunch throughout the week & he usually had it with a slice of lightly warmed buttered brioche.


I had a salad full of the fresh veggies from TJ’s with hummus, Lightlife’s Savory “chick’n” tenders, and lotsa hummus. I like to cook the chik’n till it’s kinda crispy & it almost serves as a kind of crouton in the salads.


February 12th I finally found and tried the Banh Mi Bowl recommended by the lovely Kate over at LiveintheNautical. Y’all this stuff is so guuud. I wasn’t as big a fan of the dressing, but the actual bowl itself was just delish & fresh! The tofu in it was sooo hearty & yummy.


In the evening, I attended School of Leadership. This is a four-week course I’m taking through our Church, and WOW, it’s enlightening. I feel like I’m drinking wisdom from a fire hose. So much knowledge and practical application. I am just loving every second of it & have made some new friends through it. At this point in time there is only one week left- crazy how quickly it flew.


On February 13th I gathered together all my Valentine’s I was making for Boys and Girls Club and paired them with a chocolate. The Valentine’s were 3D which I thought the third graders would like. After I made the Valentine’s I panicked because I realized the Snickers had nuts in them & I didn’t know if any of the kids had an allergy. I switched out any of the Snickers for another type of chocolate & left those for DJ since their his fave anyway!


I was craving some of my “chick’n” so I made it with roasted beets, corn, and topped it off with tzatziki sauce from TJ’s (that tzatziki sauce is the bomb! I’ll include it in my FF).


On February 14th I went to Boys and Girls Club in the afternoon. Holy hyperness… I thought they were sugar filled last week- oh man, you haven’t seen chaos till you’ve seen a third grade classroom on Valentine’s Day! LOL! It was so much fun. I came home to these gorgeous roses from DJ and yummy treats & cards from friends & family. <3 They are the bestt.


This card was from DJ… he said each one of these dogs represented one of my moods. LOLOL.


Oh, and this was from a friend at church! Tell me this isn’t the cutest little idea for a Valentine ya ever did see?!


I made Deej a little box of some of our faves- our favorite candle, his favorite granola, and then made a little note saying “Will You Accept This Rosé?” As a play on the Bachelor. CHEESY, I KNOW!


For dinner I made him heart shaped grilled cheese on our TJ’s brioche and tomato soup- his favorite weeknight meal. Just when ya didn’t think it could get cheesy-er 😉


For my dinner I had my stuffed purple sweet potato with Fage, avocado, meatless crumbles, and almond vegan cheese. This is one of my personal favorite go-to winter meals.


I also made a big ol’ batch of these cookies for dessert. I think I should have made them thicker because they were a bit too crumbly, but the flavor was wonderful!


On the 15th I woke up at 4:30 am bright and early & could not fall back asleep; I was so excited for the weekend we had before us! I started the day with oatmeal, protein powder, blueberries, granola and stevia.


After drilling my brain with school work, around 3:30 pm we left for SF for a staycation. I was feeling pretty sick, the cold that is going around definitely got me, but I was ignoring it. That’s my go-to when I’m not feeling good- just pretend it’s not there. That is NOT sound nursing advice, hah. I did stock up on Advil, Halls, & Vitamin C to take along. We stopped for gas on the way, and I captured this rainbow. I will share about the weekend in a separate post because it was fun, special & so very memorable. Can’t wait!


Questions for you:

  • Favorite hodge-podge meals?
  • What is a staple in your home? (Truly can be anything- food, candle, cleaning supplies- anything at all!)

xo <3


73 thoughts on “Our Valentine’s Day!

    1. Hehe – thank you 🙂 I am nearly back to 100%! Hope you all are staying safe with all that crazy weather!

  1. I was laughing at DJ’s card … your moods – how funny, and the roses he sent you are gorgeous. Your present was creative and tailor-made as well. It looks like your See’s candy addiction is out of the bag and no secret. I liked that Valentine’s Day See’s treat your friend from church sent to you. But the sweetest item in this post, is not the chocolate cookies you whipped up, but the heart-shaped grilled cheese you made for DJ. You two are a couple of romantics. 🙂

    1. Tehehe- He is such a hoot & knows me well 🙂 We can be a bit sappy toward one another at times. lol- the See’s candy addiction is apparently known by many now! I was soo excited about the lolli, I ate it nearly right away! So sweet and thoughtful from her! And glad you liked the grilled cheese 🙂 I had no idea if I would be able to pull them off, so I’m glad they came out alright! Thanks for stopping in, Linda!

      1. Sappy is good sometimes Mackenzie – you know each other like a book, so might as well use that to your advantage when giving a gift on such a sweetheart of a day.

    1. Hmm… well… by the the time they get there I think they might be overnight oats if you are okay with that?!? har-har (had to).

  2. That is so sweet of you the give the kiddos Valentine’s! Love the 3D ones and I bet they were a hit.

    You guys are stacked on the Valentine’s Day goodies! The See’s Valentine is adorable and those cookie look amazing… I’m going to be thinking about them all day I think. Love the little box you made DJ! I hope he enjoyed it.

    Kinda random but you did mention oatmeal in this post so it doesn’t feel that random haha. Anywho…I made some oatmeal for lunch yesterday and added a bunch of style to make it more Mackenzie style. So delish!

    1. Aww thanks, Maureen! They really enjoyed them 🙂 Hehe- the cookies were reallllly tasty! I wish I’d made them a bit thicker though, not so thin cause it made them a tiny bit crumbly.

      Hahah yes I did mention oatmeal I think!! I am so honored you called that “Mackenzie style”!! I just lovee how versatile oatmeal is– this reminds me I need to restock soon, so thanks for that reminder! Have such a great rest of your weekend, Maureen!!

  3. It’s crazy how wild kids can be on a holiday! My 6th graders were so hyper and sugar-filled the whole day on Valentine’s Day. One student came to me around 3rd period and told me her stomach hurt from all the candy she ate. I couldn’t believe how much sugar one small person could eat before 10 am!

    That tzatziki sounds delicious! It’s one of my favorite sauce so I may have to go pick it up at TJ’s and try it out! Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

    Your Valentine’s Day seemed super sweet {I tried with the puns lol}! I love that you made DJ the heart shaped grilled cheese. I hope he loved that and everything else you gave him!

    My favorite hodge podge meal is probably either a salad when I add a ton of toppings to it or burrito/taco bowls. I usually raid the cabinets/fridge when I make either of these and use whatever I have that would hopefully taste good on it!

    Some staples in our home are eggs {we both eat them everyday!}, kettle corn for snacks, and Lysol/Clorox wipes {I love the scent of them and they make it easy to do a quick clean up if needed!}.

    1. hahah I’m actually giggling out loud at the thought of all those sixth graders having access to candy before 10 am!! Oh boy, I bet the rest of the day was a “treat”.

      Hope you can try the tzatziki soon! I went through it wayyy too quick & definitely need to restock now.

      AWWW I loveeed the pun & he did- we agreed not to do anything for one another this year because we had a weekend planned in the city, but naturally we both broke our agreement. haha.

      Ohhhh yesss you cannot go wrong with a burrito bowl!!! Mmm mm! I don’t usually make them at home, but I need to start to, that sounds great!

      Ahhh when I asked about staples personally the Clorox wipes popped in my own head!! Have to have them on hand! I feel lost without them haha. Also which brand of kettle corn do you like? We also have eggs always- baking, scramblin’, hard boiled- never know how I’ll wanna use them! Thanks for stopping in & your comment, Em 🙂

      1. I’m not sure why a parent would give their kids candy in the morning so I’m thinking they must’ve been sneaky about it! Haha. I personally like the Boom Chicka Pop light kettle corn but John favors the brand American Farmer Skinny N Light kind. We tend to have both in at all times haha.

      2. haha, right?! Ohh I haven’t tried the American Farmer one- sounds really good though! I love trying different brand. Boom Chicka Kettle is one of my go-tos too!!

  4. Oh my goodness, I love all the cards you got for Valentine’s! How sweet! You are so loved. <3 And your gift to DJ was so creative with the wine, lol! Oh and how precious that you made all the kids their own Valentine's! I bet it just made their day, especially with the chocolate.

    1. Hi, Courtney! Thank you so much 🙂 We both said we wouldn’t get each other any gifts, but broke our agreement like we do every year lol. They definitely did not need any more sugar by the time I got there, but they never say no to chocolate haha. Thanks for stopping in, gf!! Have a great Sunday!

  5. I am not tired of hearing about your Valentine’s Day at all! I love this post! I really do think our greatest creativity can be brought out when we have to make do with what we have on hand. Sometimes those have been my favorite meals! I love your oatmeal and lunch/dinner bowl combos. So delicious! Dj’s gift and roses to you are so sweet! That card cracked me up, though. I have several sides to myself too!! Your cards + candy to the kids is so thoughtful! The rainbow is breathtaking, and I’m so excited to hear about your getaway!! I definitely follow the fake-it-don’t-acknowledge-it when it comes to colds. I had one a few weeks ago, and thankfully, it wasn’t horrible. But man I can’t stand them! I’m glad you were still able to enjoy yourself, though. You know me and my flavor combos 😉 I love “power bowls” when I can put together a mix of protein, roasted vegetables, a crunchy topping like tortilla chips or nuts, and a sauce. Also, stuffed sweet potatoes are my jam. I need to get some purple ones soon! Choosing one staple is hard, but I’ll definitely have to say peanut butter!

    1. Awww! I’m so glad you still enjoyed this post even though it was a bit belated 🙂 Yesss!! Me too! It’s fun to be forced to be creative like that, and I almost find it like a point of pride to see how far I can stretch the groceries before going back.

      hahah I’m so glad you are also in health care and still subscribe to the same line of thinking. I think we’ve seen worse so it’s like, “Not gonna let a little cold get me down!”. I am definitely feeling better now- hopefully we got it out of our system for the season- fingers crossed!

      YESS, I am with ya. PB is a must!! I think that and oatmeal.. i feel like I’m floundering when I don’t have oatmeal on hand haha. Thanks for stopping in, Kori 🙂

      1. Yes!! Nothing like running low on noms to spark a little creativity. 😉

        Exactly! I don’t take meds unless absolutely necessary. I try to “power through” but also give myself rest & plenty of fluids. I sure hope it’s all over for us both!

        We have three jars of pb + pb powder in the pantry & one opened jar in the fridge. No way will I let us run out of our beloved pb, ha!

      2. Totally! I hope we are in the clear too! haha that’s awesome- one time I Grouponed 6 LARGE pb2 containers that literally lasted us six months. It should have probably lasted us a year, but we go through it so quickly!

  6. The heart shaped grilled cheese is absolutely adorable!! May need to make it a V-day tradition!!! I love the Valentines box too and nice touch with the rose!!! That’s awesome you’re taking a leadership course right now! I love your analogy of drinking wisdom via a hose!!!! My staples involve rice and beans LOL

    1. hehe- I didn’t know if they would turn out how I envisioned so I was pretty relieved when I didn’t ruin them! Thanks so much, Shan – it was a fun day! Ahhh rice is a staple for us too & lately I’ve been on a refried bean kick. I have to be careful with that stuff because I could eat the whole can, haha. What kind of beans do you typically have on hand? Thanks for stopping in!!

  7. Aww, you guys are so cute! Such lovely gifts you gave each other. I once made my BF a Zombie apocalypse survival kit. I know, sounds romantic, right! haha, it’s just that he’s a huge fan of “The Walking Dead”. I filled a shoebox with his favorite drinks and snacks.
    Banh Mi actually means bread in Vietnamese. So when I think of Banh Mi, it’s usually a baguette filled with pork, mayo, sweet & sour carrots, cucumber and vietnamese sausage. Yum!!!

    1. hahah I LOVE that idea for a Valentine’s Day gift! I have seen the walking dead, so that is sooo thoughtful & fun too! I love unique gifts like that!

      I always thought of Banh Mi as a sandwich too! so I guess they mean it as more of a Banh Mi inspired type bowl with all the ingredients ? The regular sandwich sounds awesome though! I think my husband would especially love that. Thank you sooo much for stopping in, girl. Hope your week has kicked off to a great start 🙂

      1. You’re welcome beautiful! Always love reading your posts Mack! Indeed, here I think Banh Mi might even be a brand… The sandwich I described you can be found in District 13 in Paris, the Asian neighborhood. If I think of Paris I think of that Banh Mi Ba Le (literally translated as “dad hurry up sandwich” :p) xoxo sarah

      2. Ahhh I always learn so much from you!! Thank you for sharing that with me!! annnnd now I’m craving more Banh Mi- 😉 Have a great weekend 🙂

  8. My favorite Hodge Podge Meals are usually breakfast concoctions.

    The heart shaped grilled cheese was too cute! I will have to do that with my sweet man.

    Hope you are feeling better!

    1. YES! Mine usually are too- especially with oatmeal!

      Aw hope he enjoys the heart shaped grilled cheese 🙂 Glad you liked that idea!

      I am much much better now! Thank you tons. Hope your week is off to a great start.

  9. So much love!! I love getting to see all the hearts of Valentine’s Day! We almost always have cheese in the house so it’s probably a staple. One I should avoid a little more often. lol.

    1. Hahahha I feel ya on that!!! I swear nothing is better than some hummus, cheese and crackers. Mmmm mmm. I could live on it! <3

    1. Hehe, I loved it too! I love his sense of humor. And I 100% agree- cannot go wrong with a good grilled cheese 🙂 Have a great day, girl!

  10. Hi Mack, Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!!! I love this post. DJ’s card to you is so sweet — and how the faces of the dogs represent you. 🙂

    Also, how wonderful that you’re doing a Leadership course. It sounds like you’re getting a lot out of it. Good for you, Mack.

    I’ll email you tomorrow with resources on visualization, plus a meditation from a spiritual psychology facilitator that I think you’d enjoy!

    Have a wonderful rest of your week, Mack. Fantastic food (and Valentine’s!) update.

    1. thank you, Debbie!! Happy Belated Valentine’s Day to you tooo 🙂 DJ always has a way of making me laugh yet being so thoughtful & sweet at the same time!

      Thank you soo much— I am really enjoying the School of Leadership. It’s been so beneficial.

      Ahh I can’t wait to check my e-mail- thank you for sending them! Have such a great rest of your week & weekend too 🙂 Thankful for youuu!!

  11. Okay that turkey noodle soup looks absolutely fantastic, yum!! Those little Valentine’s you got your third graders are so cute, that was so sweet of you. <3 The See's Candies lolli thing was made for you lol! & your idea of "will you accept this rose?" was darn romantic. I know you love that show so that was clever as all heck, Mackenzie!!

    Cannot wait to read about your trip to SF. I hope ignoring your cold made it go away, hehe. <3

    1. He definitely enjoyed every bit !! 🙂

      haha right?!? I was like, wait, how does she know that I’m OBSESSED?! And then I remembered I basically tell everyone I come in contact with, lol.

      Aww thank youuuu – we agreed not to do any gifts this year, but of course we both cheated, ha!

      It totalllly made it go away 😉 I have a tiny lingering cough, but also not acknowledging that either. Have a great weekend, love!

  12. Catching up on all your posts! You are LITERALLY the cutest human!!! Heart-shaped grilled cheese?! So cute!!! Haha
    I am so glad you had a great week and a great Valentine’s day.
    Also, I always crave a huge salad after seeing your big dinner salads. I need to get a big bowl I can eat one out of!

    Favorite hodgepodge meal that I know you will LOVE: Sweet potato, vegetarian breakfast sausage, peanut butter, granola, and a drizzle of maple syrup….Heaven.

    That leadership course looks amazing!! I need to check it out! I love personal growth type things. So cool you were able to do this through your Church.

    Hmmmm staple in my home…paper towels!! I try to save the environment and recycle everything but I cannot give up my paper towels! I love cleaning too much to part with them and I really don’t want to clean the bathroom with a regular cloth. Hahahah

    Off to read your other posts!!

    1. Awwww!!! I’m glad you found the grilled cheese cute and not toooo cheesy 😉

      For my big dinner salads we call it my “trough” because I put basically every veggie in the fridge plus all my fixins in the giant bowl. (It’s actually a baking mixing bowl, lol).

      Oh. My . word. That combo sounds DELISH. I think I have all those ingredients too….. I’m gonna make that for breakfast sometime soon! YUM!. Thank you for sharing that!

      I have learned sooo much through SOL. They have three levels of it, so I’m thinking about doing the second one in a couple months. Just soo much wisdom!

      We have tried giving up paper towels before and just cannot do it- so I’m with ya on that one!! Thank you tons for stopping in, Anastasia!! xo

  13. The heart shaped grilled cheese is the cutest freaking thing ever!! It looks like you had the most amazing valentines ever and your roses are so pretty!! As always amazing post girl!! xxx

    1. Awwww glad you like them 🙂 I loved the roses- such a sweet surprise from him. I hope you’ve had a beautiful weekend, girlie.

  14. Its great to use those leftovers alright. You did great putting the hodge podge together! That is a great point the grocery store being the adult version of the park!! Lol, I wont laugh at you feeling cold. I know that cold is cold, a body gets climatised to cold and when it is 21 and sunny here it feels beautiful. Its how it is. I like the turkey noodle soup, looks so good. Love the Roses , DJ did good! A bunch
    of pink roses found their way here! Cute card too. Great idea with t he Valentines box , so personal to you both. Soups are a great staple for us. Take care, Terri xo.

    1. Happy Sunday, Terri! Thank you so much 🙂 It was a fun easy Valentine’s Day !

      It is sooo true how the body acclimates to wherever you live- I remember when 30 degrees felt like summer after a long winter when I lived in Indiana!

      Awww I’m glad some pink roses found you too 🙂

      Thanks for stopping in & soup is maybe the quintessential essential!!

      1. Yes it did look fun Mackenzie! Indiana can get cold too! Yes I am a big soup fan. Have I shared recipes yet? I replied to your e-mail with a Monday boost imaqe ! Take care Terri xo.

      2. Thank you, Terri!!! I don’t think I remember a soup recipe- would love to see it though! And thank youu! The image was sooo cute you sent! Where do you find those?!

      3. I can send some recipes but they are mostly meat based, You are welcome . I have a tumblr account where you can post and see images , I follow a lady whose account is called all things shabby and beautiful and she posts them. Or you can google Heather Stillufsen and go to images , she creates the images , they are so nice and inspirational! Happy Ash Wednesday , Terri xo.

      4. Dj loves soup and meat so I know he would love to try!! If you have any favorites and time to share I’d love to give it a go 🙂 and I’ll definitely have to look up those images! Tumbler is a foreign world to me- but so fun you found those super cute images there !!

      5. I will send on the soup recipes as soon as I get time Mackenzie! Yes , the images are cute and inspirational . Happy Thursday, Terri xo.

      6. Thank you 🤗 ohhh can’t wait to check it out! Always love your suggestions- thank you for thinking of me!

  15. Oooh Turkey noodle soup! Looks good! I love how great you are at coming up with new dishes with whatever you have in your fridge. I get creative with my meals but not THAT creative lol.
    That bouquet of roses is beautiful. I love how you made something for DJ too. We didn’t do anything. I’m not really big on it anymore but I did get a little bouquet in a Mason jar for my godmother. She loved it.
    I like the sound of your oatmeal, protein powder and blueberries bowl. I wasnt aware I could do that with protein powder lol. Again, you’re so creative with your meals. I’ll have to try that, at least without the oatmeal. Which kind do you usually get? I dont think I’ve ever had any oatmeal 🤣

    1. Haha, thanks, girl! DJ is officially sick of the turkey. I made cream of turkey with more of the frozen turkey this week, and he was o-ver-it! I promised him no more turkey till thanksgiving. I don’t think I’ll get such a big bird next time!

      Aw that mason jar sounds adorable! Love that.

      You’ve never had oatmeal?! AH! It’s my looOooOoove. I like instant oats more than old fashioned. Mmm mm!

      1. Lol his palate needs more variety I guess? 🤣🤣
        I guess because there’s an incredible amount of oats of different kinds and ways to eat it? Lol. I feel lost when I think of all of that and how it might taste. (Grainy? ) lol

      2. LOL , yep! poor thing.. I pawn off all our leftovers on him because he will literally eat anything. But I think I found his limit hahha.

        Oh girl, I could talk oats all. day. long. hahah. I guess it’s somewhat grainy, but if it’s cooked correctly it is more warm and cozy like soup almost! Gotta just try it sometime 🙂 I recommend mixing in some chocolate chips or fruit 😉 I always top mine off with stevia too! (sugar or brown sugar works great as well)

      3. hehe- just make sure not to use too much water if you make it in the microwave cause it will bubble over lol. I know from A LOT of experience 😉

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