Decade Favorites! (And a couple throwback pics).

Happy New Years Eve, all! I have been feeling particularly nostalgic this year as we come to an end of a decade. It’s crazy to see all that has occurred in just ten years. I decided to compile a list of 10 favorites along with some throwback pictures from the start of the decade. It was extremely hard to narrow down, but DJ helped me decide on some fun categories to make it a bit more concise. I’d love if you’d share some of your decade favorites with me too!

1. Favorite Restaurant: Cafe Jacqueline.These soufflés were truly life changing. While it was hard to make a final decision in this category, our experience at Cafe Jacqueline for our anniversary was one of the most unique, delicious, romantic and phenomenal meals of our lives.

cafe jacqueline.jpg

2. Favorite Travel Destination: Bora Bora for our honeymoon. That was a trip to heaven and back.

3. Favorite Beauty Product: They’re Real Mascara. (I oscillated between this and Urban Decay Setting Spray). I usually use cheaper mascaras on the day-to-day, but for special occasions I whip out this winner.


4. Favorite Artist: Tim Cantor. I have never appreciated art as I should despite the “art appreciation” course I took in college. But something about Tim Cantor’s art resonated with me when I saw his exhibit the first time in San Diego. I’ve been obsessed ever since. When I look at his pieces I feel understood. I could do a whole post on this… but for now, I will include my favorite painting: Thieves of May. 

thieves of may.jpg

5. Favorite Team Accomplishment: Running a Marathon Together! DJ completed his first marathon, and I qualified for Boston in the same race. Talk about an event to remember.


6. Favorite challenge: completing the RN Residency Program. I think forever that will be one of the most challenging years of my life, but I’m immensely thankful for it. I don’t think I’ve ever grown so much in a single year. Below is a picture from our graduation day.

stanford residency.jpg

7. Favorite Day: Our Wedding.We were married in 2015, but we also began dating at the beginning of the decade on January 19, 2010. (Our first casual date was July 1, 2009). I’ll include a couple of throwback pics from those first few years, because, hey, why not!


My one and only <3

8. Favorite TV Show: Game of Thrones. If you know, you know. I still am not totally pleased with how it ended, but the journey was incredible. Succession is a contender for second though!

Game of thrones.jpg

9. Favorite Musical Artist: Ella Vos. I just adore her music. Here’s a link to one of my favorite songs. Florence and the Machine is a close second with Lana Del Rey third.

ella vos.jpg

10. Last, but not least: Favorite New Discovery: Trader Joe’s. I’d be remiss to leave out Trader Joe’s from any type of favorites compilation!

trader joes.png

This was tough to put together! There are a few other general favorites I would include like living in California, beginning this blog, the birth of my niece and nephew, the emergence of podcasts, the friends we have met and relationships we cannot imagine our lives without, memories with our family and the growth of our faith. This last ten years has been formative, and reflecting on all that has happened and can happen in ten years puts things in perspective and helps you count your blessings. Heck, most of what I’ve mentioned has happened in the past five! I would love to hear if you have any favorites that fit in any of these categories or just one of your own. Have a wonderful NYE <3 Sending all my wishes for the most blessed 2020…and next decade… for you all…

xo <3


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58 thoughts on “Decade Favorites! (And a couple throwback pics).

  1. How cool you and DJ have been together for this whole decade. Bora Bora sounds like an amazing honeymoon destination – lucky you! Trader Joe’s is my favorite discovery but also my least favorite. While I love the prices, I hate that I always impulsively buy at least 2 things every time I go in lol.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Oh my gosh, yesss I just went to TJs yesterday and I always leave with way more than I intended to. I’m excited to dig into some of the new finds today though! Hope you had a great NYE. Can’t wait to read how y’all rang it in!

      1. I’m nervous to go every week since I never know how much extra money I’ll spend lol. I hope you had a great NYE! Happy New Year 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness I loved all the pictures of you and DJ. These truly made my mom heart melt. What a decade you have had. I pray your next decade will bring more joy and beautiful memories than you can even begin to imagine! Here we all go in the next decade, Happy 2020!!! Love to you and DJ, your Ohio Mom

    1. Awww so glad you enjoyed this 🙂 I pray the same for your next decade too! Love you & miss you already!!! <3

    1. hahah I don’t know which one #5 is off the top of my head… but I’m guessing it’s the marathon!! Hope you had a great New Years, Ralph!

  3. I love this post so much!!! You have conquered some amazing things – school, your phenomenal marathon, maintaining your blog while furthering your education. I’m in constant aw of your strength & determination! I love how you categorized & summarized the last 10 years. The categories are perfect. Here’s to another fantastic 10 years! 🥳

    1. AW thank you, Kori!! You have no idea how much this means <3 I'm glad you enjoyed the categories too- that was DJ's idea, and definitely made it easier to narrow down! Thanks for reading and yessss, here's to another amazing decade for us all! :)

      1. You’re very welcome! Here’s to 2020 being the best one yet! My step-mom shared this quote by Anne Frank, “what a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days yet haven’t even happened yet.” Life just keeps getting better!

  4. What a great compilation of your last decade and my favorite of the bunch were the photos of you and DJ – the way you two looked at each other, back in the day … you were a beautiful bride Mackenzie and this upcoming year, you’ll celebrate your fifty wedding anniversary already – there will be many, many more to come. Bless you and best in 2020 and beyond!

    1. Thanks, Linda 🙂 I have thought about how I should share more throwback pics sometime- they are fun to go through and reflect on all that’s happened since then! I always love to see yours too.

      Thank you for your sweet words, and I wish you the most blessed 2020 as well. I’m thankful for our friendship that blossomed in 2019! <3

      1. I am so glad I scanned in all my photos in 2017 – I never would go to the bottom of the closet to dig out all the family, friends and travel albums, and now I can just look at them online and it is much nicer. However about 75% of the pictures need to be tweaked as the images are smaller or sideways so I just tweak as I need them – pictures from back in the day are great for our blogs … I have some vintage family ones that are in great shape for being almost 100 years old.

        I am thankful for our friendship as well Mackenzie and enjoy reading how you are juggling of all the items you have happening in your life. I am in awe and often wonder – was I even half that busy – how did I do it? Ah … youth!

      2. That’s such a great idea, and now those pictures can’t be destroyed over time since you have them safe and sound on the computer! I should do this with some old photos.

        <3 <3 You are too kind. I feel like there are people around me that juggle way more, but I guess I just hope all I'm doing pays off in the end! I guess we'll see. This year I'm going to work on trusting that process and questioning it all less! Have a beautiful weekend, friend!

      3. I have much confidence in you Mackenzie – you have ambition and drive and endless energy (must be the strong coffee). 🙂 Yes, do that with some of your vintage photos and put them on a flashdrive or put them somewhere like Shutterfly where you can store them for free and they don’t delete them. Enjoy the waning days before school returns with a vengeance.

    1. Thanks, Amanda! Happy New Years to youuuu!!! You certainly had an amazing one as well -this past year alone was YOUR year 🙂

  5. Happy New Year, Mackenzie!!!! I loved this decade list of favorites! And I love, love, love that wedding photo! What an amazing decade. I think one of my favorites for the decade was traveling overseas for the first time. I hope the next decade brings you tons more amazing memories!

    1. Happy New Year to you too, Amy!! 🙂 Awww I’m so glad you liked this and the photos <3 Where did you go when you traveled overseas for the first time? And I hope the same for youuu!

      1. Our first overseas was to Amsterdam and then the bullet train down to Paris. We loved it and it definitely started my travel bug!

      2. What a wonderful trip!! We are hoping to do some type of Europe trip in the next year or two- neither of us have been, and it’s number 1 on our travel list!!

  6. I loved reading this! Such a nice compilation of the decade! I just have to point out that my husband and I started dating January 20, 2011 which is almost exactly a year after you and DJ started dating 🙂

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year!!

    1. Thanks so much, Em! Ahhh we have practically the same anniversary! I felt so bad for DJ for a while because we had Christmas, then my bday on Jan. 13th, then our anniversary on the 19th then Valentines day Feb. 14th! Thankfully we have a new anniversary, but it’s still fun to acknowledge the 19th as it passes, lol! Thanks for sharing- and I hope you have a wonderful New Year too <3

      1. We were in the same boat since I have a December birthday! And then both his parents birthdays are in January It’s always a crazy few months. I told John we should still plan a date night or something for it as an excuse to get out, even though we have our wedding anniversary now!

      2. Yes it is! It’s still fun to acknowledge the date for sure 🙂 it’s one that holds such a special place, it’s almost sad that it’s the norm for it to just go to the wayside with the wedding anniversary date. So why not choose to still celebrate?! Have a great day, Em 🤗

  7. Wow, Mackenzie!! I’m not sure I could even pick favorites over the last 10 years. Cafe Jacqueline’s was so beautiful. I remember your post about it & cannot wait to visit one of these days… it must have been out of this world if you chose it over every other amazing place you’ve been to! Your favorite painting is gorgeous! & the throwback pics are melting my heart ♡ you two look sooo in love in all of them!!

    Many, many congratulations on all you’ve accomplished over the past decade! This was such a fun post!

    1. Awww I cannot wait for you to go! I hope you have as magical of an experience as we did when you do!! <3 And I'm glad you appreciate the Tim Cantor painting too- many just do not understand his work, but I'm obsessed with it. And we were definitely in that puppy love stage, but I love him even more now which I didn't know was possible (oh, soo cheesy, lol!).

      Thank you tons and tons <3 <3

      1. One day! 🙂 & I always can appreciate art, like I am amazed at the talent but do I understand the “meaning” behind everything? I don’t know…. lol. & I know exactly what you mean, that’s beautiful & I don’t care how cheesy. <3

      2. Exactly!! Like I know it’s definitely a talent I could never even dream of, but the appreciation on the level of the symbolism I definitely don’t always pick up on.

        Awww thank youuu for supporting the cheese <3

    1. Annna!!! Oh my goodness, brightens my day to hear from you! How are you?! Thank you for stopping in 🙂

  8. Trader Joe’s is iconic! I Can’t wait to see what they come out with this decade! I loved this review of the decade and how you categorized it! It was SO sweet, especially the pictures of you and DJ! I am so proud of all you have accomplished and I can not wait to see what the next ten years brings you sweets! So much love to you! Happy New year! <3

    1. I agree 😍 you were one of the people who definitely got me going there with all your yummy products you recommended! I’m so glad you enjoyed this 🥰 sending sooo much love to you- happy new year!! Xoxo

  9. Wow! It must have been a challenge to put this Best of … together – I love it! Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories from the decade past!

    Listening to Ella Vos now – thank you for the introduction … am adding her to Spotify. Thank you for sharing Thieves of May – it is so haunting, beautiful and heart-wrenching. (and on Tim Cantor’s site to look at some of his other work). Reading your posts is often an educational experience and opens my world up!

    You & DJ are an inspiration and joy – love that you play, eat, run together and continue to challenge each other!

    1. Wow thank you so much for your sweet comment, Ju Lyn!! ❤️ I feel the same about your blog being an educational and inspiring experience for me, so I’m honored you feel the same in return!

      Have a happy Sunday 😊

  10. That mascara looks amazing for volume! Bora Bora does look like heaven on Earth! I love the cute couple pics of you and DJ. That was a great accomplishment during the marathon. Trader Joe’s I definitely a great find. If a question! What was your favorite coffee for the last decade? Wishing you a lovely Wednesday as I look out at the snow , Terri xo

    1. Thanks, Terri! It does work pretty great. Aw glad you like the pics 🥰 Ohhh favorite coffee- definitely Peets! However recently I had one of the BEST lattes of my life from a place in Texas (pick up obviously)- but I guess that’s my favorite of this decade! How about you? Wishing you a lovely weekend – hopefully without snow! ❄️ ☀️

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