Our January Part 2: A Weekend with my Mom & Pete & Lotsa Local Eats!

Happy almost weekend!!

Jumping right into Part 2 of January!…Moose just keeps growing and growing.

And so does baby girl- her kicks are powerful as ever. I absolutely cherish every single movement <3

Moose man wasn’t feeling quite himself starting on Sunday, January 23rd. He didn’t have his normal energy, and when he started refusing his food we knew something was up.

I didn’t have any days off until later in the week, and neither did DJ to take him to the vet, so we did the chicken and rice routine for a couple days to see how he’d do. We also didn’t want to take him to the normal dog daycare since there are so many dogs, so we frantically reached out to a dog sitter, Marie, on Rover who we had chatted with before. She is amazing to work  with, knows dogs well and agreed to take Moose for the days we worked that week to make sure he was rested and cared for. We felt extremely relieved knowing he was in good hands and would get the rest he needed.

On January 24th, I woke up to this spectacular sunrise before work.

We had another intense snowfall while I was at work that day. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to drive my car home, so DJ met me at work and sussed out the situation. He said the roads were good enough, so he drove my car in front of me very slowly, while I trailed with his truck. We picked up Moose on the way home, and he was a little better, but still not 100%. We decided to give it one more day to see if he would fully recover since he was seeming more himself.

On Tuesday, the 25th, he was still not himself all the way and was still occasionally refusing food. I didn’t love the idea of not getting him checked out for another couple days and couldn’t gauge how urgent this was, so we called Vet ERs in the area to see if he could come in. We were cited wait times from 2-8 hours, and it was already 9:30 pm. We decided to do a virtual ER vet visit through Vet Triage for a flat rate of $50 just to see if we were ok to wait until Thursday to take him in. It was amazing service. The vet walked us through a step-by-step physical exam of Moose, asked us a bunch of questions and reassured us he was well enough to wait to go to the vet when I had off. He sent a follow up report with OTC meds to help Moose, tips and tricks to stimulate his appetite and warning signs to look for. It was the BEST service, and I highly recommend!!

A little more about Rover, we are so grateful we found this service! Marie sends a “Rover card” after each visit to let us know how everything went along with tons of pictures throughout the day!

Wednesday, January 26th, Moose really turned the corner and even played a bunch with the other dogs there. Here is the Rover card from that day:

On Thursday, January 27th, Moose was back to near 100%. I still took him into the vet to be safe- they didn’t find anything concerning, said his stool looked fine and he should continue to recover. Whew, what a week for our little guy. So so relieved he’s ok!

I spent the rest of the day cleaning the house, getting groceries and knocking out other things on the to-do list before my mom and Pete arrived on Friday! We hadn’t seen them since early August  (before I was even pregnant!), so to say I missed them would be an understatement.

Friday, January 28th, they flew in around noon. I met up with them and my Grandma Violet at Olive Garden for lunch. Nothing like OG’s never ending soup, salad and breadsticks!! I’d been craving this meal, so it really hit the spot.

It was so good to catch up with them all.

I headed back to the house to get some things done for work in the afternoon, and then they joined me after a few hours. They were so excited to finally meet Moose after the countless pictures and videos I have sent them, and I was able to give them a little tour of the townhouse.

In the evening, we went to The Rail near DJ’s work for dinner. I haven’t been here since we moved back, but it’s such a great local spot.

We started with these smoked gouda mac and cheese bites which were to die for and delicious, perfectly crisp brussels.

While they are primarily a burger spot, I have been on a massive salad kick lately and couldn’t resist their mandarin chicken salad. It was oh so yummy.

They also have some of the best shakes. DJ ordered a chocolate one with his burger and fries, so I was happy to steal a few sips.

Pete’s bday was on the 23rd, so for a little belated bday dessert after dinner, we stopped by to get his favorite baked goods in town from Gasoline Alley (which, fun fact, happens to be owned by Rachel’s extended family).

Pete particularly loves their Carrot Cake, Hummingbird Cake and double whipped cheesecake. They were out of the cheesecake, so we had their regular cheesecake which was still very good. My favorite of the three was actually the hummingbird cake – mmmm mmmm!

They also brought the sweetest gifts for baby girl. I teared up reading the words in the picture frame. 

My mom found this book, On the Night you Were Born, and it is so special. I highly recommend it you are looking for a wonderful baby book.

I have been reading various stories to baby girl every day since around 23 weeks. Each night my mom and Pete were here, either I or my mom read to her. My mom even got to feel baby kick over the weekend, which was so awesome <3

On the morning of Saturday, January 29th, my mom and I started the day with a session at Orange Theory.

Before leaving, my mom soaked up some Moose cuddles with her coffee. Can you tell she lives in Texas with the way she is bundled.. indoors? LOL! 
Orange theory was so fun, although I had to do it a bit modified. While pregnant, I can’t push myself like I usually do and have to pay close attention to make sure my heart rate doesn’t get too high, but it was still a great workout. I can’t wait to go back to it regularly eventually!

Pete and my mom told us to save up some projects for when they were here, and they helped us big time! While at Orange Theory, Pete worked on getting the crib assembled 💕. He did it so quickly & it makes me so happy every time I peak in the nursery seeing it there! He also measured for the wallpaper in the nursery and fixed our water tank to the guest room. My mom later helped me make some decorating decisions and scour the internet for the perfect pot for our snake plant, so it was a very productive weekend around the house! 

For lunch, I made sure to have the famous Five Star Hotdogs on hand for Pete- they are some of his favorite and they’re local. My mom whipped up the hot dogs in a cast iron pan for the guys, and she and I had some salad and yogurt. I can’t get enough of the greens lately!!! I’ve wanted salads at least once if not twice a day.

(Not pictured- all the hot dog fixin’s!).

After lunch, we went to a matinee of Redeeming Love. Redeeming Love is probably my favorite novel to date. When I saw the movie was coming to theaters while my mom and Pete were here, I knew we had to get it on the schedule! My mom actually recommended the book to me, and it’s one of her favorites as well.

I don’t think I had a dry eye for the whole two hours and 14 minutes. The movie had horrible critic reviews, but I’m telling you- this was so well done, and I loved how closely it mirrored the book. Were there cheesy moments? Sure there were, but it was still very good- I highly recommend. Actually funny note about said cheese- I mentioned later that day that I thought my “cheese-detection-meter” broke when I became pregnant. Everything just makes me emotional, and I tend to lean that something is sweet and moving rather than eye-roll cheesy. My mom said to be prepared that with having a baby it will now stay broken forever, lol!!

After the movie, we came back home, got ready for dinner and then headed out to Butcher and Sprout, a place DJ and I have had our eye on since moving here.

They have such a fun mocktail menu. I had their Lima Libre with La Croix, lime juice and soda water- this was so delicious and refreshing with a citrusy tang I was craving.

We started with an order of their truffle tots with shaved parmesan. They were delish! I do have to say the smoked gouda mac n’cheese bites still took the cake for best appetizer of the weekend, but these were certainly tasty.

Now in usual mom-daughter style, my mom and I chose two dishes to split. Since baby girl calls the shots these days, it’s always entertaining to see what she’ll have a hankerin’ for. And this night, it was a BLT. I don’t know that I have ever ordered a BLT off a menu in my life, but out of everything on the menu, that is what stood out to me!

My mom loves a BLT too, so it worked out. It was so good and exactly what I was hoping for. We also split their upstream burger with wild caught salmon, green cilantro, housemade slaw and sriracha aioli on a ginger butter banh mi bun. Also fantastic!!

The guys took a page out of our book & split their Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich and surf-and-turf burger, which they raved about.

I had to make sure to grab a pic with everyone before the weekend snuck by!

Sunday morning we were up bright and early to get to the 8:30 AM service at church.

This was our first time going to this specific church, and a new friend I met through blogging welcomed us so warmly to the service. After a great service (that I’m pretty sure baby had hiccups during!), we went to Blue Door Cafe, easily the best brunch spot in town.

We put our name on the wait list, and thankfully only had about a 30 min wait. It can be over two hours if you go during the rush, so we were happy with 30 mins!

Once seated, our stomachs growled while looking over the menu.

Since I have been weirdly obsessed with cottage cheese for the last few months, I couldn’t resist their whipped cottage cheese as a little starter. This was light, sweet and delicious and paired perfectly with their banana bread- which we all agreed was the best banana bread we have ever had.

DJ had their monte criso crepe with imported leoncini rosemary ham, melted comte gruyere, ohio maple syrup, & ohio maple dijon, which did not last long!

I opted for their avocado toast, which was not your average avocado toast. It was served with the most incredible multigrain toast, perfectly cooked eggs and a hearty serving of ripe avocado.

I can’t remember in particular what Pete had, but I know he loved it and ate every bite!

And my mom actually ordered my typical go-to, their egg white croissant with sundried tomato, avocado and egg whites on a croissant like you’ve never tasted before!

After a brunch to remember, we came home with full stomachs and sleepy eyes. I had the usual Sunday to-do list to knock out before the start of the work week. DJ had some work to do as well. While we worked on our respective projects, we had football playing in the background. My mom and Pete kept offering to help, but it made me so happy to see them comfortably relaxing in our living room, so I insisted they take the day to relax. For the countless number of times I have vegged on their couch having a relaxing Sunday afternoon, it made me smile to see them doing the same here.

Later that afternoon, we were all surprised we somehow found our appetites again after such a big brunch. I made a cheese and cracker tray for us to enjoy with the game for a pre-dinner snack.

For dinner, the guys had pizza and my mom and I had salads – real chicken for me while she enjoyed some vegan chicken on hers. And of course, I mixed cottage cheese mixed in. 

Then it was bright and early wake up calls on Monday January 31st– 3:30 AM for my mom and Pete to get to the airport and 4:30 AM for me to get to work. It was such a great and memorable weekend <3.

I, DJ and Moose (and baby girl too!) miss them tons already!!

Question for you:

  • What’s the best brunch spot in your town?



What a Hoppy Easter!!!!

Happy Friday!!!

How’s it going? I hope all your Easters were egg-cellent!

Hospital orientation ended yesterday (WHERE DID THE MONTH GO?!). All we have now is one more entrance exam next week. This coming weekend is going to be the busiest yet- I work Friday- Sunday with one eight and two twelves. Right now I am taking a quick break from the studies to whip out a post!

Before I jump into the recap I have something tragic to share………..

The legendary red salad bowl is no longer with us.


I realized that the “post 12-hour shift” time frame is very dangerous. Not only did I manage to break perhaps one of my most treasured belongings, but I also set a paper towel roll on fire, went to the store and realized I forgot my purse when about to check-out, and I used the word “one” instead of “won” incorrectly in my Friyay faves post. #Gotocollege.

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Does anyone else go into a hot panic when they find errors in their published posts?!? It happens to me every time!

BUT, in other news! I made the last Blue Apron meal in the delivery Friday, and it was out-of-this-world YUM! (PS. if you want a $30 discount off go to the bottom of my About page!).


Also, that same day DJ and I were egged!!!…………….

Tell me this just isn’t the most clever Easter gift of all time!


Has anyone had Cheryl’s cookies?! They are my favorite sugar/buttercream frosted cookies out there. It was the perfect treat after a long day. I also needed to carb up for a big run in the morning!


I mentioned in my post last week how I was going to attempt 22 miles to see if I can physically finish the Big Sur marathon on the 30th. I hadn’t been training too seriously considering I didn’t know if my work schedule would allow me to run it. But the race happens to fall on a weekend when I don’t work!

The training run actually went surprisingly okay! I am getting giddy about the actual race! DJ isn’t able to make it with work, so I was planning on driving there solo. Howeverrrrr, my mom called me yesterday to say that she is actually able to fly in! EEEK! This made me happy to near tears. I haven’t seen her since Christmas and to have that support for the marathon means the world.


And naturally, after those 22 miles, I have an abundance of blossoming flowers to share!!


Saturday evening I had the second portion of the Blue Apron meal. Since the baseball season started, DJ has been getting home later- more about midnight now. I spent the evening cleaning the house, doing laundry, and getting organized for the crazy week that was about to ensue. But I had Sunday to look forward to because………..


This Easter was quite unusual for DJ and I. We usually celebrate in Ohio, but for the first time we were here on our own with no family- just the two of us. I actually was pretty dang emotional (lol, what’s new). It all made me super nostalgic for Easters past- thinking of the Sunday services with my family, the far too competitive Easter-egg hunts I had with my sister over the years, having leisurely afternoon spring runs on those Ohio trails, and visiting DJ’s family in the afternoon (oh, and of course, devouring Mom L’s strawberry pretzel salad). I just missed everyone horribly- to a new level since I’ve moved out here. But I was thankful we had our Church family to spend some time with in the morning. That helped a ton. Our church had a fun photo booth, Boba tea, and the best people you could imagine worshipping our Lord and Savior <3


DJ went to Church to help set up at 5:00 am and I slept in a bit (Lord knows I needed it). After service DJ napped and I studied. It was raining outside, so it was the perfect day for naps and studies.

DJ has been fighting off allergies something horrible and wasn’t feeling pictures- but I still had to somehow document the Easter Sunday outfit, right?!


I was itching to cook, but I simply didn’t have time with how much work I had to do for the week to come. We decided to go out instead and make it a date night. We haven’t seen each other much at all lately and our date nights just happen when we can snatch them now.

We settled on Alexander’s Steakhouse. We had been holding out for a special occasion, and I’d say there is no more perfectly special occasion than celebrating our Lord’s triumphant victory. We needed this romantic, quiet dinner to catch up on the last weeks happenings and to just be together. It was lovely, and I’ve reflected on that dinner every time I start to miss him throughout the week.


Alexander’s is known for having some of the highest quality steak in the world called “Wagyu”. DJ didn’t try it this time, but it’s such delicate meat that they actually wrap it in linen. I found this hilarious.


THE BREAD! Once again—-sprinkled with sea salt. Those little croissant things were our favorite.


I decided to try a Himachi shot after scouring YELP for the “must haves”. It was good! It’s basically like taking a shot of sushi (no alcohol or anything- just fish and other stuff that I’m not sure… haha). I make it sound terribly appetizing, huh? I’m not sure I would go out of my way to order it again, but it was definitely worth the experience.


And whenever octopus is on the menu……..


This octopus was fantastic. But STILL, nothing tops Marco Prime’s spanish octopus in Florida. NOTHING.

We also tried their bone marrow after having that fantastic bone marrow at Orchard City Kitchen. If you’ve never tried bone marrow, you must. It is one of the most savory, umami flavors of all time.


DJ ordered a Filet that he gobbled up real quick, so I’ll assume it was pretty great.


I tried their featured seafood dish for the halibut.  MMMM mmm. So good.


And we cannot forget the sides….Lobster truffle Mac & Cheese and Creamed Spinach. That lobster truffle mac and cheese may be one of my top five favorite foods I have eaten in my WHOLE life.


Last, but certainly not least, we couldn’t walk away without dessert. We had their Matcha Cheesecake and, holy canoli, I must go back for more. DJ said he wasn’t going to have any because he was too full…. when he took his first bite he couldn’t stop. (JJ!!!!! We may need to stop in here for dessert when you visit!).


But wait, it doesn’t stop there….

They brought out complimentary chocolates because when you give people free chocolate you win their heart. That’s why Olive Garden is so successful- the Andes mints (ok, the breadsticks may have a touch to do with it too).


Oh, hello, complimentary cotton candy! I did not see this one coming. What is it with all the free cotton candy lately (reference to LA trip with my girls).


That concludes our Easter Sunday

OH..before I forget! My sister-in-law’s Corgi, Pool Noodle, is in a big contest and is in ninth place! (Maybe you remember Noodle from the Christmas post?!). Anyway- I thought to myself, “Who better to ask than my amazing blogging Fam?!” If you have a moment PLEASE help her win! This is a huge deal for her little fur baby!


How are you all? Anyone feeling taxed lately?

Counting down to the first free day when I can sit down and catch up on your blogs too

Blog Birthdays:

Happy birthday to the make-up queen Sarah from Sarah’s Cup of Beauty on April 21st!!!! I’m so thankful for you, lady! <3

xo <3