Falafel’s Drive In & Mystery Spot!

Hey, everyone! I am writing this on absolutely zero brain power, so please excuse the typos (I’m sure there will be plenty). Imma be real– this last week or so has been a doozy. We officially move at the end of this month, and the pressure of school, the move, and trying to get everything aligned for my sister’s wedding is putting my body in a state of fight-or-flight. My heart is racing out of my chest every day, I’m not sleeping, my appetite is pretty suppressed.. I know everything will get done… it always does. I usually thrive off this type of stress, but I think the sleep-deprivation mixed with anticipation of receiving feedback for my first quiz and exam are just weighing on me. Once I get those back (they make up 20% of my entire grade) and have some (hopefully good?) grades under my belt I bet I’ll feel very relieved. So, yes, if you have any extra sanity lying around, please send it right my way 🥴

I just hit a wall tonight while reading my textbook, so I’ve decided since I won’t be able to sleep anyways, maybe some writing/reflection is just what I need to calm down. When I started blogging I realized the power of choosing to focus on all the positive. Also, everything that is happening is good great stress- I have to keep that in perspective. I wouldn’t change a thing that’s happening! And this stress does not even pale in comparison to what I was going through about a year ago- so I’ll take this ANY day over that phase of life! PLUS, I don’t have clinicals this summer- so this timing could not be more perfect. I’m very thankful. So let’s get on with the highlights, shall we?!

Let’s see, so May 13th one of the highlights of the day was enjoying this tofu curry with basmati rice and some whole wheat pita. I could eat this meal every day! It’s sooo satisfying.


I went on a nice walk in the evening after dinner. I am soaking up every moment of my walk route lately. It’s definitely going to be one of the things I miss the most. I have been living for that daily walk to clear my head and shake off the mental cobwebs! Even just a mile or two can really be just what I need to refocus.


On May 14th I finished getting everything together to start my semester. May 15th my term officially started. I will say I prefer the format of this semester over last’s, even though it’s going to be the most challenging yet, content-wise and workload. It’s less paper-based and more exam-based- which means less busy work through week, but overall way more time studying. I do love what I’m learning, which makes all the difference. This is my textbook that will basically become my third arm this summer. I put my fist in for reference, hah. How this will all be read in less than three months time is beyond me, but we’re gonna give it our best shot!


I worked most of the day on reading through orientation lectures, organizing my planner and starting on the first Module. Before making dinner I went for a walk and quite literally stopped to smell the roses 🙂


For dinner I decided to have a massive salad out of my trough with hummus, all the veggies, and some Lightlife “chicken” since I had my Indian meal for lunch.


On May 16th I studied all morning but had a nice afternoon respite by going to Boys and Girls Club. The rest of the day I read, read, and read some more! That’s basically been every day since I started the semester.

For dinner I made DJ some BBQ chicken with corn & rice. Such an easy midweek meal.


May 17th- Read. All. The. Pages. & Leftovers.

The 18th I started the day with some delicious oats, chocolate chips & an avocado smoothie. I joked when I posted this on my insta-story that all these competing patterns are quite dizzying.


May 19th– Lotsa reading and lectures. Oh! I do want to say I am so thankful for my professor I was assigned. He is easily one of the best profs I think I have ever had undergrad/grad school combined. These concepts are immensely challenging, but he explains them in a way that makes them much easier to understand and digest.

In the evening we watched GOT finale. I wasn’t thrilled with it along with most of the general population, but I am eager to watch the documentary! I think the fact that people were signing petitions is absurd and offensive- you can’t protest someone’s “art”, ya know? But I do wish it had ended differently.

May 20th–  I changed up my breakfast a bit and started the day with Crunchy PB toast with a touch of honey, grapefruit and coffee. 


May 21st I spotted these beauties while out on my walk.


And now, for some fun- DJ and I had a little impromptu date!

I am actually getting kind of sleepy now.. it’s about 11:30 pm.. I think I might try to finish this post in the morning and sleep now! Wish me luck!

7: 00 am: Ok, I am back… I actually slept! I knew blogging would help 🙂

Jumping right back in! I love Falafel, and in SJ there is a place called “Falafel’s Drive In“. It has raving reviews on YELP & has been on my bucket list for ages. Finally time to try it out!


It’s a fast-casual little joint where you order at the stand and then eat under the scaffolding.


We each ordered their two famous offerings: a falafel pita sandwich and a banana milkshake to split. And, of course, some hummus on the side for good measure.


It was easier to see the inside of the falafel after I took a few big bites in. d22a4972-807a-4aa7-800b-c94f09150944

Verdict: It was absolutely delicious! The flavor combo of the sweet, cool banana milkshake with the soft, spiced and flavorful falafel was epic. I probably wouldn’t order the shake on its own- it was more of an “icy” milkshake than creamy- but it was still a pretty tremendous combo. Their hot sauce is some of my favorite I’ve ever tried! It’s not super spicy (which usually would be a no-go for me), but the unique, sweet/spicy synergistic flavor blew me away! The hummus was fine- butttt I wouldn’t order it again with Oren’s right down the road!


On May 22nd, DJ had a day off so we decided to go to the beach in Santa Cruz to get some fresh air & get me out of the house. I still had to study most of the day, but I just read in the car and on the beach!

On our way to Santa Cruz we stopped at The Mystery Spot, a spot we have wanted to go for a while. Since we’ve moved here we’ve seen people with a bumper sticker proudly announcing they have, indeed, been to this popular spot. We knew we had to go before moving. And I wanted a bumper sticker too, darnit! Oops, My FOMO is showing.


So what is Mystery Spot? The description from their website sums it up very well:

The Mystery Spot is a gravitational anomaly located in the redwood forests just outside of Santa Cruz, California. It is a circular area of effect around 150 feet or 46 meters in diameter. Within the Mystery Spot you will be stunned as your perceptions of the laws of physics and gravity are questioned. But don’t take our word for it, come and decide for yourself!


It was wild! I know there is probably some explanation, but it was pretty trippy! For example, one of the things she did was roll a ball in what appeared downward on a plank, but it rolled back up (and she “proved” how the ball wasn’t altered or there weren’t any other gimmicks- although I’m pretty sure the entire thing is one large gimmick, lol). Definitely a fun thing for kids- it will blow their mind- but also fun for adults too!

For instance, in this picture, DJ feels like he is standing straight up, but it appears as though he’s leaning forward.


And here it looks like we should fall right off the table, but we didn’t feel unstable at all. Had to take the opportunity for the Titanic pose, of course.

5965f2f7-ea7b-4e01-b70e-9643671e75b7It was a fun experience, and only took about 45 mins total.59282dd6-d1d4-427f-9927-3971ef1f68d5

Also! Banana Slugs!!! These are the mascot of SC & it’s always exciting when you spot one.


PS. This place was Dad Jokes galore, so naturally that made me appreciate it all the more.


And we finally got our sticker!!! Woot woot.


Next up: The Beach!


I forgot our towels at home (where is my mind), so we swung into Walgreens and grabbed some. I did remember all the snacks though- you can bet I wouldn’t forget those 😉


It was too chilly to actually lie out, but even lying down in the sun on the sand all bundled up was still soooo relaxing. It was a great change of pace to knock out some reading.

Also, I decided to name my massive book “Smalls”…. 1. Because I love irony. 2. Because now I can say, “You’re killing me, Smalls” all summer long.


As we were leaving Santa Cruz I had a nostalgic moment thinking about how this was the first place we visited when we moved here. It was also one of the first places I fell in love with in California and has been our getaway when life gets stressful. It also has been where we have made amazing memories with our little sisters, Kelsey, Rachel, and Halston and Kevin. It felt all of a sudden full circle, and I was overcome by such thick emotion as we drove away for the last time.

Time to get back to reading. Thank you for taking time out of your day to stop in 🙂

Questions for you:

  • What is one positive thing going on in your life right now?

xo <3

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93 thoughts on “Falafel’s Drive In & Mystery Spot!

  1. Heyy there never posted a comment as you’re publishing a post haha
    Its okay to feel the way you’re feeling. You definitely got a lot on your plate right now. If I was in your shoes, I’d be the exact same way. I guess in that sense you and I are a lot alike. But believe me when I say this, you will do GREAT on everything and when it’s all over you’ll laugh at how much you’ve stressed. I know I do lol.
    Good for you for choosing to focus on the positive! I have a hard time doing that still. #progress haha
    Oh shit that textbook!!!!!!!!! What???!!! Oh my gosh you were not kidding on the workload. What are you studying towards?
    Protesting over a shows ending? Really? I cant believe people sometimes. Like I get that they’ve invested so much time in it, but that doesn’t excuse their behavior. It’s very rude. There was an author whose books I read last year and apparently she got death threats for the ending of her series. Like really? I think sometimes people are too demanding. As we’ve talked about before, does the ending really make the entire 8(?) Seasons not worth it? Lol
    Omg a mystery spot near SF?!! I think we have a place like that here in Oregon. I need to look it up..

    I’m back! And I found it super quick too! It’s called the Oregon vortex! Its 4 hours south from here which is why I’ve never been but I hope I can see it someday it just looks so cool!
    Omg the Santa Cruz Boardwalk looks soo cool! I want to go there! The weather is just starting to warm up here, I miss the beach!
    I love youuu!!! As I was reading the “smalls” joke I thought the same in my mind “you’re killing me smalls” haha
    I’m so glad that you went back for a little getaway and that it all felt full circle. You’re going to smash this semester and I already know that once the move is over, you’ll feel so relieved!

    1. Hahaha ok well you are still 100% caught up now!

      Thank you so much for saying that <3 This is so encouraging!!

      So I am studying to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. I am doing the Bachelor in Science to Doctorate route, so I still have a couple years left.

      I agreeee so rude! The death threats thing is just appalling. So many people in the spot light deal with that.. I’ll never understand.

      I think the seasons are worth it! I think the wait for almost two years for this ending is what made it worse- if you can watch straight through I think it will be much better!

      They have “mystery spots” all over- I bet Ciel would love it! Hope you can go to the Oregan Vortex soon!

      Ahh Santa Cruz is amazing. It’s only about 45 mins from San Jose so we definitely have enjoyed it.

      Teheh glad you caught the Sandlot reference 🙂

      Yes totally! I am actually already feeling better- I got my first grade back and got 100, so I’m pretty relieved (and also though it was a mistake because I was convinced I missed so many!) . Thanks for stopping in, girl <3

      1. I literally don’t remember what I said so I had to go back and see xD
        And you are so very welcome! We all need to be reminded that despite all the stress, everything will turn out okay. 🙂
        Ooohhh family nurse! 😀 I love it! I’m sure you’re gonna rock at your job, you probably already do! ;D
        I think I have watched more than ENOUGH shows’ endings to the point where disappointed doesn’t even begin how I’m feeling about them so over the years I’ve learned to lower my expectations with endings of any sort because they will never be what I hope them to be. Does that make sense? Also, for us to bitch about it, I feel like that sort of takes away from the authors/producers ‘art’. Like they enjoy it less because so many people are complaining, but in the end, it’s theirs, they’re happy to put it out there, and the whining I feel is just taking that joy away from them. Idk. Just my opinion I guess? LOL
        Ok, curious, and I’m sorry if I sound so ignorant, I’m not at all familiar with northern CA…How far is San Jose from SF? LOL North or south?
        YAsssssss! What did I say at the beginning of this comment? You’re gonna CRUSH IT! Smashed it, actually! LOL.

      2. <3 <3

        Thanks girl! A NP is similar to a physician’s assistant if you’ve heard of them, but working in a family practice setting allows me to treat patients from “ Cradle to grave”. I’m really excited about it, but have quite a ways to go!

        Yesss that totally makes sense and I feel the same way! It definitely takes away from the authors art- it’s so sad! Like if you are gonna be cruel about it, just don’t say anything!

        No ignorant at all! I have had the hardest time directionally living here – even DJ calls me out for sometimes saying “I’m going down to SF” and he goes, “you mean up!” lol. But SJ is about an hour south of SF!

        Aww you are the best! thank you thank you! Hope you had such a nice weekend!! xo

  2. Oh shoot, forgot to answer…one positive in my life right now… that’s a hard one because I havent been feeling super positive about some things but… I will say my motivation to get up this morning and work out and start a healthier lifestyle.. as of today (day 1) I’m fully committing lol. Making changes for the better. 😁

      1. I’m about a week in and I’m feeling really good! Been getting 30 to 60 min workouts every single day. Little to no soreness. All I need to work on is my sleep schedule. THAT is terrible still.. Even so, I’m still aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep and kind of succeeding lol

      2. Oh good! I am so glad to hear!! We are in the sameee boat with needing more sleep, hoping you can get more this week! I find setting a strict time setting up in the morning/going to bed at night helps- but it’s really hard to stick to.

      3. I agree. I have been doing kind of bad but as long as I’m getting 7 hours of sleep I should be fine and it’s a good start anyway 🙂

      4. Yes for sure!!! Now here I am about to take a nap after 4 hours last night 🤣

      5. Hope you have been having a good night sleep. I’ve been getting at least 7 hours each night consistently which is kinds shocking I’ve been able to keep this up this week

      6. That’s SO good! You go, girl! Woot wooot. I still have been a bit all over the place.. a bit of a night owl (so hoot hoot for me, lol), but I do still feel ok! I think when the adrenaline wears off it’ll be a different story, haha.

  3. I need to check out that falafel place sometime in the near future🤤

    I also love how you asked a question at the end of your blog. One positive thing in my life right now? Our new pup is responding really well to her training which is making all involved a lot happier!

    1. Yess! Hope you can try it sometime if you are ever in SJ! 🙂

      Aw yayyyy! That’s amazing! I bet that’s soo rewarding to see your pup learning and responding so well. Thanks for sharing, Tiffany !

  4. Good post! Gorgeous photos. Good luck with your big June- I’ll be thinking about you. Guess we get to go to Texas now! For years, there was a place called Mystery Hill near Lakeside- it was fun. Ok- I have to say absolutely NO to feeling all stressed. No No No. so I’ll be thinking about you for that, too. My positive- well everything, but specifically, I am happy to be getting back to life at the lake!

    1. Aww thank you!!!! <3 <3 This means so much. And yess please come visit us! We have to do a night out round two in a new city 🙂

      DJ was telling me Mystery Spot was JUST like that place in Lakeside- too funny!

      Thanks again for the encouragement & stopping in. Hope your week is off to a nice start 🙂

  5. Falafel drive in has been on Stevens Creek FOREVER!! A local favorite for sure! We love Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!!! Especially in the summer its such an awesome place to go multiple times! A great family outing. Oh my! Mystery Spot?? Is it still there?? It was so popular decades ago, didnt realize it is till in operation. Have to tkae my kids there 😀. Brought back some nostalic places, thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend Mackenzie.

    1. I knew it was a classic we just had to try before leaving! And wow did it live up to the hype! So tasty. I agree- Santa Cruz is soo wonderful! Hehe- yes, Mystery Spot is still up and operating, with cheesy dad jokes and all! Glad you enjoyed this, Kalpana 🙂 Thank you for stopping in & hope you had a nice weekend too!

  6. I loved to read this post!! You got to go some really awesome places and eat some really nice food. 😊😊 that falafel is just mouth-drooling. Best of luck with everything. Life really comes in waves. I am sure you will feel like you are more on the top of your game (sleeping-, studies-wise, etc..) xxx ❤️

    1. Awww thank you so much for stopping in! I’m glad you enjoyed this <3 I really appreciate your kind comment! Life definitely comes in waves & seasons for sure- even just after getting some sleep this past couple of days I feel way better! Hope you've had a nice start to the week!

  7. looks like lots of fun busy.that mystery spot place looks interesting. I’m guessing it is just a lot of optical illusions, but hey it still looks fun. falafel is something that I’ve never tired, but should. I need to find the right place to try it though. hopefully your semester goes smoothly and so does the move

    1. Yes alll so very busy but fun for sure! It definitely is optical illusions, but to the extreme- I’ve never seen anything quite like it!! I’m glad we made the time to go before moving.

      Falafel is soo tasty, almost like a comfort food!

      Thank you so much! This week is already off to a great start 🙂

  8. I never knew how you balanced everything in your life before Mackenzie and now with school, an impending move, a wedding where you have major input into organizing and now “Smalls” … you make me feel like a slug (just an ordinary one, not a banana one) … this looked like a fun place, the mystery spot … very interesting and you and DJ in your non-teetering Titanic post. I’m glad you got to have a little R&R as a palate cleanser to your schoolwork, packing and planning – OMG, how do you do it?

    1. I really don’t know how I’m doing it right now! Just taking it day by day- butttt I’m certainly glad you appreciate Smalls, haha 🙂 He’s gonna be my right hand man this entire summer. You certainly work hard yourself, so never would you be a slug (the banana kind or any other heheh- that gave me a chuckle!). Thank you for your comment. Hope your week is off to a nice start!

      1. Well, do this intense schoolwork and studying now while you are young Mackenzie … now you have the patience for it (even if Smalls is a little overwhelming to look at!) I have to regiment myself a little better … I tend to indulge myself too much sometimes and not get other things done that need my attention. I’m going to work on that character defect. 🙂 We had two days of beautiful coolish weather – tomorrow a stormy day. Hopefully just a garden variety storm, then it gets better again.

      2. Hehe- exactly! I figure especially before kids I better get this all outta the way!

        No, no- I don’t think it’s a character defect  It’s ok to embrace the moment a bit!

        And hoping the weather is turning up for you now mid week!

      3. Yes, I forgot about kids too – oh you’re so young, and you loved holding that baby at the shower a few weeks ago and will be a natural in the motherhood department. I held a baby one time and it spit up in my brand-new purse which was open and sitting on the couch next to me. My mom and I were visiting a friend of hers and she used to board babies for the Children’s Aid Society of Canada. She ended up adopting this little girl, but she handed her to me for some reason – I never babysat, had no siblings and never held a baby before. I said “what to I do – how do I hold it?” She said “you’re doing fine” and then … I handed her back and that was the end of any maternal feelings for me!

      4. Aww thank you so much, Linda- this comment warmed my heart more than you know!

        Also this story made me chuckle!! Hope you were able to clean up that purse without any trouble, teheh!

      5. I was cleaned up and usable again (and I was young, so not a good-quality bag). It was just spit-up milk but after seeing the horrified look on my face, the woman took my purse and cleaned it for me. 🙂

    1. Aww thanks, Diane! Trying to find that balance more than I did in undergrad (I had noooo life then). Hope your week is off to a nice start! 🙂

  9. Moving is so stressful! I remember splitting the time between studying for finals in college and dealing with moving. It’s hard but you’ll survive and it’ll be so worth it!

    Now that GOT has ended, do you like the ending more? At first I was like wait that’s how it’s ending? But as I got ready for bed, I feel like it ended the best way it could have. There’s also SO many like easter eggs throughout the show with how it would end. Making a petition is just childish and rude. Show creators can’t please everyone with a shows ending so people need to relax.

    The walks you take have the BEST scenery! So jealous that’s what you get to see on your daily walks.

    I love the Sandlot reference in yours textbooks name. Positive things going on in my life are moving soon to a bigger space even if moving will be stressful. Also a positive is getting denied from jobs I’m applying for since it means it’s not meant to be. At least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself during the job hunt!

    1. Yesss you are so right- it really is worth it! I absolutely love what I’m studying.. I think the stress comes from worrying that I’m compromising my learning for everything else going on! But it will allll be ok- thank you for that encouragement!

      So now that it has ended and there has been a ton of discussion about it, I think I do appreciate it a bit more, I still wish it ended differently, but I have come to a place of acceptance about it. I just hope they release new side series from it! And I agree- sooooo offensive, immature, and just plain rude. The cinematic effects were amazing alone. I think we were a bit spoiled for the first 7 seasons, but even the 8th season was better than most shows on TV.

      Aw, I’m definitely gonna miss these walks. Soaking them up while I can!

      Hehe- glad you caught the reference 🙂

      When are you guys moving?! And thanks for sharing this with me- I just love your perspective & it is so true- any closed doors are just paving the way for something better. Can’t wait to see where this takes you! Any company would be more than lucky to have you as part of their team!

      Thanks for stopping in, Maureen! Have a great week- & can’t wait to see where we both are in a few months- SO many changes coming! It’s comforting having you to chat about them with since you’re in the same boat <3

      1. I totally get what you mean. Buttt you’ll do amazing and don’t worry about compromising it at all – I know you’re not 🙂

        So I just saw an article that was titled something along the lines of “I rewatched season 1 and the ending of GOT makes total sense”. One of the people at my PT office said there were clues along the way so now I feel like I have to rewatch it all. I agree with you about being spoiled! It was just so intense and so many cliffhangers.

        Lol girl our live date keeps changing. Literally just yesterday it got pushed back again after we gave our landlord our 30 day notice Friday… We’re going to move at the end of the month to Alex’s parents house to save money for a month before we actually move. It’s been a process to say the least lol.

        Thank you SO much for the encouragement on the job hunt ❤️ It means so much to me. I agree it’s so comforting that someone else is in the same boat. Feel free to vent to me however much you need, Mackenzie!

      2. Thanks so much, Maureen- you say it with such confidence that it makes me believe it! <3

        Oh my gosh, I hadn’t even thought about rewatching it, but if I was going to rewatch any series this might be it! I bet you would watch it through an entirely different lens!

        Ahhh I HEAR you! That’s so smart to stay at Alex’s parents until you can move in…getting pieces to align can be really challenging with timing. Our moving company called yesterday and said they had to push back our pickup date to July 3rd. Our lease ends June 30th so now we either have to pay extra to stay three days or find a new moving company last minute- DJ is taking care of it all, but gosh it’s nuts trying to get it align!

        Aww of course! And thank youuuu- you’re the BEST! xo

      3. We are very lucky that his parents are gracious enough to let us move there for a while.

        Oh man that’s terrible! Weirdly enough, I heard my PT tell another patient that their moving company moved up their move in date a week before they moved. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that you guys can find a new company to come on the 30th! It’ll all work out ❤

      4. Thanks so much, it definitely will!– funnily enough the exact same thing happened to us…. our moving company had to move it up by 6 days. Now we are really in crunch mode, but it means all this is going to be over sooner than later… just a few super stressful weeks coming up. Hope you had a nice weekend, Maureen!

  10. Girl, I give you SO MUCH credit for managing school, a big move, AND your sister’s wedding all at once! You are seriously superwoman! I hope you get a few moments to breathe and soak in all the good that is happening to you! I know it’s gotta be crazy, but it’s all GOOD crazy 🙂

    I love that you take the time to go on a walk! Those are some of the most relaxing moments and must feel even more special since you are soaking in all the views before you move. I may have to start squeezing some walks into my schedule like I used to when we first moved back in the Fall.

    That textbook, oh man… I’m glad to hear you love what you’re learning! I hope that makes the extensive amount of reading a bit more enjoyable!

    The Mystery Spot sounds and looks so cool! I’m glad you were able to make it there and get your sticker 🙂

    One positive thing going on in my life is that I was spoiled yesterday with a beautiful bridal shower! I was overwhelmed with all the love from our bridal party and family!! Oh, and my sister is going to have her baby any day now and I’m am just on the edge of my seat waiting for a text saying it’s time!

    I hope you have a great week! 🙂

    1. Awww thank you, Em!! I actually am feeling so much better already at the start of this week just after getting a little sleep! It makes such a difference. Next time I start to get that overwhelmed I am just forcing myself to take a nap, lol! And yessss… good crazy- so true!

      Hope you get to enjoy some walks soon! I go through phases with them too- but when I am really deep in the walk routine they really are a highlight of my day! I also heard that “geniuses” in history all have in common that they took many walks, so I convince they make me smarter, lol!

      It definitely makes ALL the difference! Although the content is incredibly tedious. I will sometimes spending 15 minutes on a single page (when I have 200 to go for a single module), but it feels so crucial since that may become a patient I treat one day! I feel so empowered this semester, and I think the stress comes in that I don’t want to compromise the learning at all because it’s so important, ya know? But it’s all about prioritization. I think I am learning better how to juggle it all by the day!

      AWWW! You had your bridal shower!!! I can’t wait to read about it (if you posted about it!).

      And HOW awesome! I mean considering I am late to this comment she could have had her sweet baby by now. Congrats in advance! Eeek, so happy for youuu!!!!! Thanks for stopping in, Em! I always sooo love your comments.

      1. I love how dedicated you are to your studies!!! You’re so right that this is incredibly important because it will be a patient one day. Your motivation is amazing!

        Baby is not here yet but maybe by time you read this comment they will be! I am so eager and looking forward to holding a little one <3 You will hear all about it once they're here!

        I love reading your blog posts, Mackenzie!! 🙂

      2. Thanks, Em! ❤️

        Awwww I hope so too since a couple days have passed ☺️ can’t wait to hear!!

        Thank you thank you!! Reading this comment is a great start to my morning!

  11. Oh Mack! Your posts always bring so much joy. I love your style of writing.

    The flower pictures are all so pretty, literally nothing beats nature and walking! It’s the best way to feel refreshed and clear your mind!

    Ok Game Of Thrones… I don’t watch it but I completely agree with you about the petitions being offensive. I think it’s easy to forget sometimes that there are real people putting real work and passion into these projects, to have an uproar of people dissing their vision must be horrible! Was this the last ep of GOT ever? Also, have you watched any more of The OA yet?

    That mystery spot looks like so much fun. It reminds me of a place I’ve seen in Brighton (on social media) called the upside down house! Where everything is ‘upside down’ so your pictures look upside down… does that make sense? Anyway, kind of the same vibe! And yay for getting your bumper sticker! Also, I never heard of a banana slug before? Wow, they look so cool! Thanks for sharing!

    The beach looks lovely, I’m glad you got to take some time out to get out the house! And I love what you’ve called your book… so funny 😂😂

    What’s positive in my life right now? Great question! Well, I’ve just started a new job so I’m going to say that 😍 thanks for asking such a positivity inspiring question. Also, I hope this week is more peaceful for you ❤️

    1. Aw, and YOUR comments bring me so much joy! <3 This means the world. I always say my two favorite compliments are my cooking & writing! So thank you tons, love!

      I totally agree! Nothing like nature to just feel totally at ease!

      Yes yes yes—so awful about the petitions. It was the last episode ever of GOT, which is why I think it’s particularly controversial. But it’s a show, people- get a grip! Haha. And YESSSS!!!! We are in deep with the OA. We don’t have much free time right now, but are watching whenever we get a chance. It’s SO . GOOD.

      AHH I have heard of that place in Brighton!!! I want to visit that place some day!!! But it’s trippy for sure just like that (although maybe to a lesser extent?!).

      Tehe- glad you appreciate Smalls 😉

      Ahhh yay!! Congrats on the new job! I can’t wait to hear way more about it! So happy for you.Thanks for stopping in, J. xoxo

      1. Yay I am so happy I could bring you some joy (LOL). I love that your two favourite compliments to receive are on your cooking and writing but seriously, you are a great writer.

        Oh wow the last episode ever. Even though I don’t watch the show, I can’t imagine a world without people counting down until the next series or talking about it on social media. I do get the frustration but like you say, it’s a TV show. No need to insult someone. And what is signing a petition going to do exactly? The final episode happened, you can’t change that. Even if they refilmed it or whatever… it doesn’t take away that’s just not how the story ended lol… it just wouldn’t make sense. And yasssss, so happy to hear you are still watching. Let me know when you start season 2 because I haven’t watched that yet so maybe I’ll start at the same time as you!

        Omg wow really!? Such a small world (just thinking because Brighton isn’t like London or anything you know, so it’s cool you have heard of it). I only heard of it recently, so I’d love to visit too. I hope you do get the chance to visit also, I can’t remember, have you been to the UK yet?

        Thanks so much hun! Will feel you in on my next monthly post! You are welcome, have a great weekend Mack! x

      2. You are the sweetest in the world <3

        Totally! I could not agree more!!!

        I will definitely let you know when we start season 2! We haven’t been able to watch much lately- this summer has about zero free time. But I will definitely let you know- that’d be so fun to watch at the same time!

        I have never been to the UK, but I want to sooo badly!!!! Especially after reading all your amazing posts.

        Can’t wait to read <3 xox

      3. Aw thank you Mack, you are too kind!

        Yes please do, I have loads on my to watch list at the moment so it gives me a chance to watch all those before you start on season 2! Wouldn’t it!!! And hey if any time of the year has to be busy it’s Summer, when the sun is shining and glorious! Wintery rainy days are for netflix and TV!

        Oh no way! Ahhh you will visit I’m literally gonna write a whole ‘must visit’ tour guide just for you!!!!

  12. So sorry you’re so stressed with everything going on! I hope everything turns out okay and goes smoothly. Good luck with your move! I know time seemed to fly by when it came down to our move. Sending you all of my extra sanity. 😛 <3 Great pictures. I love all of the flowers! That drive-in looks so neat and the food looks so yummy! We have a drive in really close to where we live now and it would be cool to check it out sometime. The Mystery Spot looks so neat! I love all of your beach pictures. That boardwalk looks so awesome and like such a fun time. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Ashley! I actually am feeling soo much better after some sleep. Amazing how it can make all the difference!

      I so appreciate the extra sanity, lol!

      Hope you can check out that drive in soon- let me know if you do!

      The beach was such a perfect cure for the anxiety I was feeling. Thanks for stopping in, girl. Have a great week ahead!

  13. Ohhh girl I’m so sorry this summer is overwhelmingly stressful for you!! I honestly can’t even imagine! Sometimes, even though it can be amazingly empowering and helpful to tell yourself you can do it, other times it’s more healthy to just recognize how much you’re struggling. I’m glad you did that & I’m super glad blogging helped you work through the anxiety so you could sleep. <3 Also, I LOVE that you're still getting in a daily walk. When I'm super stressed, one of the first things to go is exercise & fresh air. Which kind of sucks because exercise is so good for helping with stress, but then I get stressed trying to fit it into my schedule, lol!
    What a lovely & relaxing beach day! Also, how crazy is that Mystery Spot?! That's insane! I wonder if the walls were tilted or something to create an optical illusion haha. I completely understand how you felt leaving the beach. I felt the same way when we left Sedona. It was full circle for us too. It's bittersweet for sure! <3

    1. Thanks so much, Courtney <3 I think sometimes just having a good cry, some mint chip followed by making a list and tackling what you need to is just fine! I think it’s emotional moving too… more than I expected & I just don’t have much time to sit and process the emotions. Maybe it’s a good thing, but at the same time, I think it may be setting me on edge a bit! But yes, blogging helps BIG time!!! So thankful for the community here <3

      AMEN to that! Just getting fresh air really makes ALL the difference!!

      They do something to create the optical illusion, but when you are in it it’s sooooo trippy- I even felt nauseated at one point- so crazy!

      AAWW yes exactly! You totally get it. Thanks so much always for your comments. I just chatting with ya!

      1. So true! I’m sure as a nurse you know that crying does indeed help relieve stress. <3 I could see how that would be so much harder because you hardly even have time to process the move! I mean, I've had a hard time myself with how emotional the move is and I've definitely had time to process the fact that we are leaving. So when you can't work through it…that's tough, girl!! Keep up the blogging when you have the chance, I'm sure that will help a LOT. <3

      2. Yes for sure <3

        Aw thank you tons for your understanding and encouragement, Courtney! It means so much!

  14. One positive thing in my life right now is that I am here! Back to blogging at WordPress and reconnecting with you!!

    Sleep deprivation is the worst. It makes every single thing in our lives 10x more difficult. I’m glad you got some sleep!

    love the Titanic pose! <3

    1. You being back in the blogosphere is a positive in my life too!! 🙂

      So true- sleep made allll the difference when I finally could find it! Thanks for stopping in!

  15. Sending you so much love and positivity and light! Stress can be rough (good or bad) and I feel your pain! We’re moving in about a month and between trying to sell the house and figure out the other million things-well, I lose my brain most days 🤯 I hope you’re getting better sleep and that your quiz and test went well!!

    1. Thank you soo much, Jess- that means tons <3 & you totally get it- it's actually comforting knowing I'm not alone in the chaos of this time. But I hope alll goes as smoothly for you as possible!! So soon we will both be all settled in our new homes! :)

  16. I am sorry to hear you’re feeling not too great at the moment and I am sending you love and positive vibes girl! I really hope things look up soon, ps. loved this post. The beach looks STUNNING xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Chloe!! <3 <3 that means tons- I do feel much better this week compared to last! Hope you had a beautiful weekend, love. xo

  17. Not even sure where to begin to comment, but hopefully you are feeling better now and that some things have settled a bit for you! You’ve definitely earned a fun getaway trip! You always seemed to have such a positivity attitude on things, how do you do that and what’s your secret!? I’m back in my apartment after almost a week spent for my sister’s wedding last Saturday! Exhaustion and an hour’s difference in time zone does have a little effect!

    Best luck on your moving as well, that drains a person completely and takes some time to recover, but it’s always so fun with organizing where your things will go! For me, it is, anyways! Haha. Your posts just brighten up my day and I love seeing your life experiences! 🙂 Another fun place to go, and it’s crazy how bright those slugs are! I’m pretty amazed by it, haha.

    1. Thank you soo much, Stephanie!!! It means tons that you took the time to read and leave such a thoughtful comment.

      You are too sweet- you know, with being positive I haven’t always been that way. I think blogging actually has helped a ton with finding a silver lining in anything and everything. Even the toughest parts of life I’ve been able to write and find the beauty in the darkest moments, which helps keep the rest in perspective!

      But yesss you are in a similar boat then!! How exciting about your sister- congratulations!!! I hope you’ve been able to recover since :)That exhaustion is going to be so real for us too this summer- don’t know what I’d do without coffee right about now!

      Thank you thank you! <3 I agree the organization side of moving is sooo great- I feel like it forces us to get back to the bare bones of what we need & it can be so cathartic & freeing!

      Your comment warmed my heart- thank you again for your encouragement and kind words. I can't even say how much it means to me! Have a great week ahead, Stephanie!

      1. That’s what I’m starting to learn. Thank YOU so much for blogging, and I’m thankful to have come across your blog all the way from Tennessee! I can definitely see how blogging has made such an impact on my mindset so far.

        Even if it’s not a moving process, I still feel as if I should just reorganize every year or so to clean the clutter and reroute. Where the time will come from is the question!

        Thank you! It was definitely a beautiful day, I’ll probably gush about it on here as well! Haha. And yes, coffee is my fuel! Wishing you lots of love and adventure for this summer. Enjoy your week as well, Mackenzie! 🙂

      2. Aw seriously you have no idea how much your sweet words mean!!! 💕❤️

        Hehe totally understand! It’s tough for sure.

        Yay!! I’m so glad to hear! Ah thank you tons, Stephanie! 🤗 same to you- can’t wait to read all about your summer adventures too!

    2. Oh and the slugs are too fun, right?! I was soo excited when I spotted my first one in real life- they really do look like little bananas when they stretch out on a tree hehe

  18. You and those dad jokes haha.

    I always enjoy reading your posts and I appreciate that you take the time to read and respond to mine. I know time is precious these days.

    1. Aw thank you so much, Ralph! This means a lot to me & so does you taking time to read too.

  19. HOW DID I MISS A POST?! Gosh, girl, you are really doing amazing things!! I can only imagine how stressful this time must be, but I know it will all lead you exactly where you need to go in order to help so many people. I appreciate your willingness to share the highs, lows, and worries. We all have them, and it’s refreshing to know we aren’t alone. YOU GOT THIS! Also, naming your textbook “Smalls” is brilliant.

    The falafel looks utterly incredible!! I so need to make some really soon. Pairing it with a banana milkshake sounds perfect. I’m with you on wanting a flavorful hot sauce with a kick. Anymore and it just ruins a meal for me.

    That Mystery Spot sounds positively fascinating! I love getting stickers too! I don’t know why, but it’s fun to me. 😉

    Returning to the very place that helped you to fall in love with CA sounds so heartwarming and calming. I hope it’s what your mind and heart needed to feel at peace. <3

    1. Aw WP has been funky lately & some of my posts aren’t turning up in the reader for some reason!!

      Thank you for being so so encouraging always, it’s seriously just what I needed to read today💕

      I wouldn’t usually go for a banana shake, but the way it paired was soo perfect- the heat with some sweet coolness! Mmm mmm!

      Hehe glad you get the joy of stickers too! 😆

      Aw it totally was ❤️ I think one of the hardest things about this present time is I don’t feel like I have time to really process all my emotions- and there are so many of them! Haha. Thanks for your sweet comment, Kori. Means the world!

      1. I’m so glad my comment could help in some way! We’re all here cheering you on, sweet girl.

        It does sound the perfect combo of sweet and heat!

        I just think stickers are so fun! I have a few binders and folders where I place them, and I just get some enjoyment out of it.

        It must feel like life is a rollercoaster right now, and I understand what you mean completely! Take deep breaths and give yourself grace in the chaos. <3

      2. You are the best!!! ❤️I needed to hear this – especially about giving myself grace! ❤️

  20. I have been so crazy busy I missed this post! Loved reading it and the roses are all so gorgeous! I am just laughing aloud at the “you’re killing me smalls” line as I say that all the time and now perfect for you! Also the Mystery Spot seems exactly like what they used to have at Prehistoric Forest up at Lakeside area, did you ever go there with DJ? If not ask him about it, so fun! Santa Cruz has good memories for us to as one of the first places we went to before we connected with you and DJ at the apartment with the U-Haul! Soak up all these last moments there in CA! Miss and love you both, your Ohio mom

    1. Aw so glad you enjoyed this post 😊 Tehe Smalls quite literally is killin’ me right now. Kinda feels like we’re barely keeping our heads above water but we’ll be settled in Austin before we know it!

      DJ said it was sooo similar to Prehistoric forest while we were there!! He said the experience was nearly identical! It was actually more fun than I even expected- really plays with your mind!

      Ahhhh yessss ❤️❤️SC does hold such great memories for us all ! Can’t believe we are not leaving .. in some ways feels like we’ve been here forever and others not long at all!

      Miss you and love you!

  21. Emotional times can overcome quickly. I see why you were overcome with such emotion!

    That book is soooooo big! I pray for you always!

    My positive… we are at the LakeHouse in Pennsylvania and I am getting to see lots of FAMILY! some here and some in Ohio. Yay for us!

    1. Thank you, Nancy! I felt so much better getting a couple grades back. It helped a ton! All about perspective, right ?!

      Thank you for your prayers! So appreciated!❤️

      Ahhhh that sounds soooo perfect! Truly nothing better than the lake and family . Enjoy enjoy! 🤗

  22. Best of luck with all the schooling and the move!! Those are both highly stressful things to be journeying through, but you got this!! I love falafel. We have a fast casual place called Zoe’s that my husband and I love to head to for lunch or dinner. It’s a chain so you may have some of them around. All those roses are so beautiful!! I’m not a fan of the smell of roses, but I sure do admire their beauty. Santa Cruz looks like a great place to visit and just let the stress melt away!! My positive is being on my Florida road trip making memories with my daughter, spending time with my family downin Gainesville and Naples, and feeling like I really have found my “tribe” during the time I spent with friends in Cocoa Beach. I hope that your summer is going wonderfully! xx

    1. Thank you, Amy! That means so much right now. The stress comes in waves and right now I’m in a pretty big one 🌊 this too shall pass!

      Zoe’s sounds absolutely amazing! I’m going to look into it!

      Yesss SC is the best place for de stressing for sure!

      Aw I’m so glad you are having a great time ❤️ I just smiled big time at you finding your tribe! That’s so exciting &

    2. A dog just jumped at me and I accidentally sent my comment too soon as I was walking 😆 but that’s so exciting & I’m so happy for you! Hope you have a beautiful summer too 🙂

  23. Aww sending you lots of hugs Mackenzie, you are going through a lot of htings and a lot of juggling right now, I hope things calm/have calmed down. That is quite the textbook! I am glad you slept in between writing this post young Lady!! Fallafels looks like a fun spot, Drive ins are becoming harder to find I think. Mystery spot looks so fun , it looks like you are falling! It does look like a cool day on the beach . I am glad you didn’t forget the snacks, priorites right? You will appreciate that day going to the ocean. We used to go when we lived in NY but are in the middle of the country now! You will always treasure the memories you have from that beach, I understand you being emotional . Positive : – Being there for our family , and enjoying the kids grow . Take care , happy Friday Mackenzie , hugs to you(again!) , Terri xo.

    1. Thank you so much, Terri! I so appreciate that ❤️ there is so much beauty in all this chaos, I just have to remind myself of that.

      Hehe sleep is usually the key to turning my mood around every time!

      I bet your kids would love Mystery Spot! They have similar places all over the county- I wonder if there are any near you?! Lol yes snacks are always a priority! 😋

      Aw thank you for your sweet affirming words always. And I adore that about being there for your family and kids. You are the type of mom I aspire to be! Thank you for stopping in and have a wonderful weekend ❤️

      1. I need to look for a place similar to mystery spot! You WILL be a wonderful Mom someday Mackenzie!! Have a nice weekend, take some relaxation time for yourself ! Hugs, Terri xo.

      2. Yay!! Awww thank you thank you <3 Hope you had a wonderful weekend too!

  24. Ahhh! I wish I had some sanity to send you at the time you wrote this. I hate being so behind & missing out on supporting you. 😭 I hope you’ve got your exams back & saw all the good grades! ♡ I love that you choose to look at the positives & highlights only when you write on the blog.

    I know you’ll miss your walking route but you will be finding a new one & maybe it’ll even be better. 🙂 You never know!!

    That textbook is crazy HUGE! You will finish as much of it as you need to though, I know you will. ♡ The roses are so gorgeous & I’m so glad you have an awesome prof. The right teachers always make a difference!

    I didn’t know people were petitioning against the GOT finale…what the heck? That’s so disrespectful to the writers.

    I am so happy you got a little sleep in & that blogging helped you. ♡

    I’ve never tried falafel. What does it taste like? I’m so curious!! The Mystery Spot is so cool, I would love to experience that & yay for finally getting the bumper sticker, hehe. 🙃

    The Santa Cruz boardwalk looks so colorful & fun! & I am cracking up about you naming the huge book, Smalls!! 😂

    1. Awww thank you so much, Hunida!! It doesn’t feel like you are behind at all!! I feel a zillion percent supported by ya, and seriously- even just taking a study break to read your blog gives my mind a break & helps me be more productive- so you are supporting me more than ya even realize!! <3 But also these comments could not be more supportive if ya tried.

      I just love that thought of finding a new walking route! You are so right on that. <3

      Yeah, that whole GOT protest thing was just nutttts. Glad all the craziness around it all has died down some.

      Ohh you would LOVE falafel- I'm actually shocked you haven't had it. It's basically a lightly fried ball of chickpeas usually served with hummus and different sauces. It's usually dairy free too I believe! I usually don't care for fried food in general, but the way falafels are fried is very light (some places even bake them) and it just adds the nicest crisp outside crunch with a nice light inside).

      haha- so glad you get the reference to Smalls 😉 He's been my side kick this last few weeks- literally... doesn't. leave. my. side. I might need a restraining order by the time summer ends. Thanks for reading, Hunida! Hope you are having the best weekend e'er! xo

      1. Aww yay! I am so happy that I could still be there for you somehow through all this stress & big change in your life. <3

        Yess!! Your new walking route will be so fun to find!! & I am glad to hear that GOT protest stuff has died down. I knew I was scared of jumping on that bandwagon for a good reason LOL.

        Oh my goshhh… the way you described falafel is making my mouth water & I am already FULL to the brim of food… mmmm!! I need to try it!!

        I love the Sandlot, 1-3. 😀 <3 I hope you can get that restraining order hahaha you deserve a break!!

        <3 <3 hope you had the best weekend, too!!

      2. I really hope you can try out some goooood falafel soon- I just know ya’d love it!


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