Friday Favorites!

Happpy Friday!!! 

Oh wow, it has been a HOT minute since I have done a Friday Favorites post. I didn’t plan on writing one today,  but sometimes after that first cup of coffee you just don’t know what will happen! I am so excited to share some of my favorite things of late with y’all. Now that I am not 100% consumed with school (for now), I have some shows, podcasts, recipes, Christmas inspo., etc. I have been enjoying!

(P.S. I am listening to Taylor Swift’s new album as I write this, and I’m eager to hear your thoughts if you have listened. Folklore was one of my favorites of hers, so I am stoked for evermore). 

First up- my friend Rach sent me the most delicious and thoughtful advent calendar! It has vegan dark chocolate for each day of December! I look forward to my little heart shaped piece of chocolate every day 🙂 

Okay, so I guess there is a teeeny bit of school sprinkled in here. I have been studying for my boards a bit each day, and I LOVE using the Leik review. It’s been kinda *fun* to go through the intensive review, as everything is starting to really come together. I won’t be taking my boards until next spring, but I want to be prepared as possible for my final clinical rotations. If you are an FNP student, I definitely recommend this book for review! I actually wish I had studied it throughout the program coinciding with each unit-  so I recommend doing that if you are just starting out. This will not be my only source of review, but it is a great one to start with. (There are a couple minor typos/errors in the book I’ve found, but overall it’s solid).

Alright, if you have been around here for a while you probably know I have ice cream in some form nearly every day for dessert. Well, y’all, I had to give up the dairy pretty much all together (at least for now) due to some skin issues. I have seen a huge difference since cutting it out. I replaced my yasso fudge pops (from Target) and ice cream cones with these Fudge Bars from So Delicious (I found them at Whole Foods). They are a great alternative. But if you can have dairy- yasso is so yummy- I was on a kick of that for a while! 

New running shoes!!! I have been long overdue in replacing my running shoes (Since before Virtual Boston in September- eeeeek, don’t tell!). Brooks are my go-to shoes for year-round training. When I trained for Boston I ran in the Nike Zoom Fly 3 for the speed- they are ah-mazing, but in terms of sustainable training and support for the way I run and step, I am hesitant to veer away from Brooks ghost + inserts for the long term. Maybe one day I’ll officially transition over to the Nike running side, but there has been enough change in 2020 already, lol. (When I get to the actual Boston recap, I’ll talk about the magic that is Vaporfly Next % I wore for race day too). 

GreenPan Pans!! So we have been a kick of “healthifying” (not a word, but it works) our home environment (I am planning to do a whole post eventually on the why and the how), and the first thing that had to go were our old cooking pans. Also, we were due for a new pans since we haven’t replaced them in about five years since getting married. We looked into and read all about the healthiest pans, and decided to go with GreenPan. Another cheaper alternative we were close to getting were these pans that come in a variety of adorable colors. We went with GreenPan because they seemed to be a trusted brand in pretty much everything we read. Also the reviews on GreenLife were questionable- they had a high rating, but the recent ones were mostly negative- so we just played it safe and invested a bit more. Anyway, we absolutely love them. They are nonstick, cook evenly and quickly at low to medium heat and are extremely easy to clean. I’m usually a bit reckless with my cookware, but I’m going to try to take good care of these. 

Autumn is starting to show its face in Austin!!! The leaves here change later in the year, and here we are in December with it finally starting to feel somewhat like fall! 

Something that has really helped me get in the Christmas spirit is watching Taralynn McNitt’s Vlogmas. I just adore her Vlogmas she does each year, and they have added a real lightness to the heaviness of this year. She was actually my initial inspiration for blogging, and I’ve been following her blog since 2014. She is the realest, and just a breath of fresh air in the hyper-curated blogging space of full-time bloggers. If you want to check out her actual blog follow this link. You guys will love her (if you don’t already!). 

After many recommendations to watch the Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, we gave it a chance and oh my goodness- highly recommend. It is a heavier watch, but it is extremely well done and unlike anything you have seen before. That’s a bold statement- but it’s spellbinding, quirky, suspenseful.. and so much more!

And I would be remiss, devastated and heartbroken (anyone know the reference?), if I didn’t share these No-Bake Vegan Brownie Bites with you that are ohh sooo good! These were recommended by my sister-in-law, and I am just obsessed. I ate through my first batch so quickly, and I can’t wait to make them again. 

And last, but certainly not least, my Mom-in-law and my Aunt-in-law have a podcast that I just love called Ok Boomer! I try to listen as soon as they have drop an episode. They are witty, funny and it feels like you are just sitting having a conversation with them. I think a comment someone left in the reviews captured the essence of the podcast perfectly: “A fun and entertaining way to explore how another generation sees the world with a message to get out of your comfort zone and live life to the fullest”. Their goal is to take back the negative connotation of “Ok Boomer” to bridge all generations so we can all be “happily ok together”! And I say they do just that!

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What have you been loving lately?

**Disclaimer: There are Amazon affiliate links in this post. All ideas and opinions are my own. I may receive a small compensation if you choose to purchase the products linked**.

31 thoughts on “Friday Favorites!

  1. So fun to have your Friday Favorites back!! Thank you! Do tell how you like Taylor Swift’s new album. We listened to the Folklore special on Disney+ and love love love that album so hoping new one just as good? And you are so kind to mention our OK Boomer Podcast. My sister and I have had a blast doing this podcast and we hope to bring a whole new fun season in 2021, finally almost 2021! Love, Your Ohio Boomer Mom

    1. Aw it was an easy one to include!! ☺️ I am enjoying the album the more I listen to it- first listen wasn’t really caring for it, but 2nd and 3rd listen I really am enjoying some songs! I haven’t watched the Folklore special! I need to do that still. And cannot wait to listen more to the pod in 2021 ☺️💕

  2. Your Friday favorites brightened my day!! 🙂

    I LOVE Taralynn’s vlogmas and I LOVE Brooks running shoes!!

    Good luck studying for your boards!!! Thanks for sharing this blog post today! <3

  3. Love the Friday favorites. So the first thing I loved, well, I loved it all, but the special highlights were: finding out that other people eat ice cream everyday, Queen’s Gambit- I was thinking of starting it tonight, so now I will for sure, and of course, your podcast recommendation! Woo hoo and thank you! You are ok!

    1. Awww thank you! So glad you enjoyed the post ☺️ You’ll have to let me know what you think of the Queen’s Gambit!

    1. Haha- I don’t know that I can claim the name of Swifty, since I only started liking some of her music with reputation- but her music has certainly grown on me! What are your thoughts on Evermore?! Thanks for stopping in, Natalie ☺️

      1. Hey Mackenzie I’ve got to say I listen more to Taylor Swift – don’t listen to Evermore much (but my brother does though – for whatever reason he seems to like Evermore quite a bit).


        P.S. The song that got me into Taylor Swift was Tim McGraw – and geez that was a while ago now!

      2. Oh I mean her new album! Have you listened yet? When you do I am eager to hear your thoughts!!

      3. Oh wow! I do recall that song and liking it! So I guess there were the occasion singles I have enjoyed over the years ☺️

  4. Eeeek! This makes my day! I love Friday Favorites, But I adore them from you! SO many favorites The Queen’s Gambit is SO good. That Advent Calendar sounds SO yummy! I am obsessed with my Advent Calendar! And they are such a nice surprise especially right now! Those fudge bars sound so yummy and YAY for new running shoes! That is the best feeling in the world! And I always feel like my runs are better! 🙂 Thanks for sharing such amazing favorites! Sending you so much love! <3

    1. Aw!! 🥰 I don’t know that I’ve done advent calendars in the past- they really are so fun!! I agree – new running shoes are the best!! Thank you for reading and stopping in ☺️

  5. The brownie bites look awesome and speaking of chocolate, I am sure the Advent calendar is equally delicious … what a thoughtful gift that is. I have not tried anything new lately. I like the skyline of ATX and the beautiful Fall colors that are reflected on the water. What a gorgeous city you live in Mackenzie.

    1. Yes it was so sweet of her!! Austin is so beautiful, especially now- I’m excited to share more pics as we go deeper into our “fall” here. Although it’s not nearly as pretty as a Midwest autumn!

      1. Very thoughtful. I would like the weather in Austin for sure – especially no snow. I agree Mackenzie. The Midwest autumns are beautiful and we savor the colors until the trees are bare.

      2. No snow has been nice! But yes, the gorgeous colors in the Midwest are hard to beat 😍 I do miss the seasons!

      3. See … I say I wouldn’t miss Winter, but I would miss the beauty of Spring and Fall for sure. Makes me think of this quote by Anne Bradstreet: “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”

      4. That’s a great quote! I have not heard it before- thanks for sharing with me!

      5. Also, I think I can vouch for its accuracy after living in the Bay Area and Texas- we don’t appreciate the nice weather quite as much as we used to. The seasons make you appreciative of those beautiful spring and summer days! I love how this quote relates it to life too. I’m remembering this one.

      6. Well, we often want greener pastures – I would love to have a daily walk in warm weather all year long, yet I guess I would concede that I’d miss the four seasons as well.

  6. I am OBSESSED with evermore! After first listening, I wasn’t sure how I felt. But then I kept listening and now it might be one of my favorites! It has been on repeat for me since the release. I think my favorite song might be champagne problems. The tune is so similar to All Too Well and New Year’s Day, two of my favorites, which I think makes me love it so much! The lyrics are incredibly sad but I still love it! Which is your favorite?! Do you believe the conspiracies going around that there will be a third album? I could talk about this album for daysss haha.

    Oooh I must check out those ice cream bars! I’ve been cutting out dairy as well due to stomach problems so these sound like a great replacement.

    Yesss Brooks Ghosts have been my go-to running shoes since day one! I’ve tried others along the way but always go back to my trusty Ghosts! I can’t wait to read your Boston recap!

    1. I felt the same way about Evermore! I enjoyed it the more I listened and appreciated the lyrics more too! Champagne problems is a beautiful tune and well done lyrically too. My favorite keeps changing, but I think long story short overall but no body no crime and gold rush are so catchy. Tis the damn season for lyrics might be my favorite ! I hope that’s true about the third album!

      Haha same- thanks for sharing your thoughts Em 🤩

  7. Friday Favorites are so much fun! I loved The Queen’s Gambit. We binge watched that one! I need to look for some new series since some of my favorites are taking a while to release their next seasons. I’m talking to you Ozark, Handmaid’s Tale, and Stranger Things. lol.

    1. It was so good!!! Hahah yes it’s tough when all the shows are aligned on the same schedule with gaps of time in between. We started Schitt’s Creek since it won all those awards this year. It’s pretty hilarious! We still have yet to watch the recent season of Ozark though 😯 we have to watch soon!

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