Weekend Recap: Tex-Mex, Football, & Blue Angels

Hello, Friends!

Hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was spent with family in Texas. It seems like I’ve been making lots of trips to Texas lately…

We watched the Astros win against the Dodgers on Friday night, then we woke up early Saturday morning to colder weather for the Texas Exes tailgate before the Baylor vs. Texas game, but more importantly, we ate BREAKFAST TACOS!


The tortillas were sub-par, so I ended up eating heaping forkfuls of egg, pico, salsa, and potato sans tortilla. The pico and the salsa were so great, and the fruit was fresh and made for a delicious breakfast. A cup of coffee later and we were ready for the game!


Zack, my mother-in-law, and I sat next to the Longhorn HellRaisers, and they gladly obliged when we asked to take a photo together. Guess it was good luck, because we had a Longhorn victory! Hook ’em!

The rest of Saturday was spent alternating between naps and more football on tv, Tex-Mex (for the love of tamales), and wrapped up with some baseball. Today we headed back to OKC, but we spent a good amount of time sitting in traffic in Fort Worth.

“OH MY GOSH THE BLUE ANGELS!” I yelled, jokingly. But then I quickly realized that the jet pilots really knew what they were doing and sure enough…the BLUE ANGELS were in town for an airshow this weekend! We pulled over to watch the conclusion of their show amongst hundreds of other spectators in their cars, and it was nothing short of magnificent and a complete, flawless display of badassery. I couldn’t get a single good photo, but this is the best I could do:

We are hoping to make the trip up to Chicago (maybe next year) to see their show through the city.

They were so, SO talented. HOW do these guys fly 40 feet from the ground, accelerate until barely visible, high into the sky, all within a few seconds and just a few feet away from other jets? And how do they have enough spacial recognition to choreograph the whole show? Just so cool, really. Just. cool.


We returned home to a COLD house, and Jax quickly figured out the greatness that is the space heater. Glad to be home- I’ve got a week of organic chemistry to tackle!

Hope your weekend was great, too 🙂



Twenties: Beer for Breakfast, but Only Because I Ate All of The Cookie Dough

You guys.

Today’s post is going to be some real life. Real, raw, unfiltered life.

Being in my twenties gives me a sense of deja vu. I feel like I’ve been here before, struggling to fit in and make friends…oh wait. I have been here before. It was in junior high, and I couldn’t find my way. I feel that today I am in a very similar situation, except without braces, about a foot taller, and also (thankfully) fully equipped with knowledge of how to apply mascara in desperate situations.

For clarification: I don’t live here, but I’m sure I’d fit in by The Bay 😉

One day a coworker straight up told me, “You don’t fit in here! You belong somewhere Earthy and outside, like Austin.” Although she used a nice tone of voice and many people would perceive this as “wow how rude”- I felt in that moment that I could exhale. Here I was in a town that is completely strange to me, living in a state that I would have never hand-picked for myself, sitting at a bright orange table in a taco fast food joint trying to convince myself that I was satisfied by the dry iceberg lettuce that I was chasing down with water amongst coworkers that read me like a book. I was trying SO HARD to just blend…just be my normal, nice self…and even that wasn’t enough. Homegirl was right; I don’t belong here, and that’s okay. I belong somewhere!

While this may sound like a rager of a pity party; it’s not. I’m really looking forward to finding the place, the job, the people, wherever that is, that I do belong to, and I hope they’re ready for me. Change is hard, and often we forget to discuss the gaps that get us to our destination. If there’s anything you get from my blog, I hope you know that you have found a very genuine, raw, unfiltered, vulnerable, girlboss that also stunt doubles for the struggle bus. Sometimes I’m rockin’ and rollin’ and other times I’m drinking beer for breakfast only because I ate all of the cookie dough the night before.

But if we don’t take time to talk through our struggles with our community, then we are wasting our time pretending that everything is alright. Life is peaks and valleys, people…and normally it’s the climb that makes it all worth it. But how do we help people up if we don’t acknowledge the beautiful (ugly?) reality of our struggle?

So here I am, acknowledging my struggle. I don’t fit in here, in this town. I’ve lived here for ten months, and I don’t have any close friends (yet)…but I’m even closer with my hometown friends because they’re truly the best. I just quit a job that I didn’t enjoy because sometimes people, as much as we love them, just suck so hard. I cried while I sat in line to get the oil in my car changed today. Today may look like a royal shitshow, but I’m going to make the most of the time while I am here, because bad days are all part of a really great life.

If you’re struggling to fit in wherever you are in life, know that you have a solidarity sister (it’s ya girl! hayyyy!). Also recognize that so much of life is fleeting, ever-changing. Take note of where you are, because better things are coming. If you are in a situation that feels all wrong to you, honor yourself with your decisions. Leave the job, ditch the boyfriend, buy a new puppy. Fuel your soul. You’re so much more than your current situation, and I can’t wait to see where you find your place.

Love y’all,


Weekend Recap + Mint Chocolate Smoothie

Happy Monday, Friends!

Hope you had a great weekend!

I drove to my hometown near Houston, TX for an impromptu visit this weekend. My dad was in the hospital fighting an unknown bacterial infection in his pinky bone. A couple surgeries and a lot of antibiotics later, the pinky is saved! Hopefully he will be released sometime this week, but infectious disease is keeping a close eye to ensure the infection is contained without spreading throughout his body.

He was in good spirits, especially after his Astros beat the Yankees to win the pennant! He cried real, happy tears. If you’ve been an Astros fan for your entire life, I’m sure you understand- so many feels.


View from Dad’s window- Houston has been through too much this year thanks to Hurricane Harvey. So proud to come from this strong, diverse, vibrant community.


I love the Texas Medical Center- I’ve been a patient here, I’ve worked here, and I’ve volunteered here. There’s no place like it. Truly.

We stopped by Pronto’s on Holcomb Blvd for chopped salad with salmon, one of my all time favorites by the med center. I also got a piece of tiramisu, and I highly recommend.

Then we popped over to a hometown football game to watch my cousin’s homecoming halftime show performance (how cute is she though?!). LOVE small-town football!

The next morning my sister and I went through old boxes of keepsakes in the garage that my parents stored from our childhood. My mom wanted us to go through everything and decide what to keep…still not sure why…but it was entertaining. I learned that I am not particularly a sentimental hoarder about most things, but I did fall victim to Barbie nostalgia. Not pictured: Scuba Barbie, Shaving Ken, and Dentist Barbie.

Then we found this quaint little spot right behind my old high school for lunch. WHY did places like this not exist ten years ago?! 421 Coffeehouse was fantastic.


If you ever find yourself in West Columbia, TX, stop by this place! Their chicken salad was divine.

I stopped by my older sister’s salon to wish her a happy birthday and updated her pricing board for her:

And then we drove back to Houston to hang out with Dad some more. Sunday morning we began the long drive back to Oklahoma City. Oh- CHECK OUT MY COPILOT:

Her name is Sophie. She’s 11 weeks old, loves to play fetch and cuddle, and I want to hold her every day. She’s my sister’s dog, and she did fantastic on her first long road trip!


This morning I caught up on some (much needed) sleep and managed to whip up a mint-chocolate chip smoothie. I actually used some vanilla pea protein from Trader Joe’s for this recipe that was VERY affordable (but not my very favorite taste). Honestly, you’ll appreciate this recipe much more if you use some sort of chocolate-flavored protein. Because of all the nutritious ingredients like frozen cauliflower and frozen avocado (fear not- these are tasteless additions, I promise!), I was quite full after this smoothie.

Mint Chocolate-Chip Smoothie

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Print

A creamy, nutritious chocolate chip smoothie full of healthy fats, veggies, and tasty goodness.


  • high speed blender
  • 1 C almond milk
  • 1 C frozen cauliflower
  • 1 small handful of fresh mint leaves, trust me…
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ C frozen avocado (you won’t taste this ingredient, and it adds rich, creamy texture with healthy fats, keeping you fuller longer!)
  • ½ C ice cubes
  • ¼ C deep dark chocolate chips OR raw cacao nibs
  • one-two hefty, violent shakes of the ground cinnamon bottle
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein. (!!!This would taste better with chocolate protein though!!!)


  1. Pour milk, protein and remaining ingredients into blender
  2. Blend on “high” until thick and rich texture is visible
  3. Pour and serve. I like to top with melted deep dark chocolate or cacao nibs. Enjoy!

Let me know what cha think if you give this smoothie a shot!

Cheers to a productive and great Monday! On the books for today: Organic chemistry, laundry, slow-cooker taco soup, banana bread, a 5k jog, and more organic chemistry.


The Scale Bitch

I’m here to talk to you about something so absurdly unimportant, but still I hope it somehow resonates with you.

The scale. And that bitch is everywhere from the bathroom floor to the bedroom, from the doctor’s office to the gym. *to the windowwww, to the wall, to the wall*

Three pounds down? You have an instant confidence boost, but just two pounds over? Now begins the self-shaming.
“I shouldn’t have had those four margaritas.” <- that’s actually probably true, Sandra, but you knew that before the negative self talk on the scale, now didn’t you?

If your scale has that kind of effect on you, dump the bitch. You heard me. Get rid of it and start fresh. You are so much more than whatever a cheap box on the floor says you weigh. And don’t get me started on fluctuations- if your dinner is too salty or carb-rich, you’ll weigh a bit more the next morning because salty meals make our bodies retain water. Your weight will fluctuate throughout the day, too, depending on diet, water intake, medications, or activity level (one-five pounds in a day, give or take, is COMPLETELY normal!).


I personally do not own a scale, even though I am an ulcerative colitis patient who experiences massive weight fluctuations at times. When I was diagnosed, I weighed 102 lb., which was far too low for me. In college before my diagnosis, my consistent weight hovered around 128-133 lb. Now my weight is even higher (140s?). I started weighing myself at the gym “I gained seven pounds!” and then I’d have to talk myself down, “Stacey, you can run several miles. You are strong. You are healthy. Don’t listen to the scale.” So rather than spending my own energy on the mental turmoil that I allowed a stupid scale to inflict on my psyche, I decided to just stop weighing myself altogether. Not for me. When I go to the doctor and the sweet nurse says, “140” or “146” I am thankful. I know what I can do. I know how strong I am. I know the crap that I’ve overcome, and all that means much more than a fickle little number on a scale. I try to focus how I feel, how I’m a focused little organic chemist of a grad student, what I’m working toward, what kind of great food I’m eating (salsa, always with a side of salsa), how great my jeans fit. So many non-scale victories!


FYI, if you’re wondering why we even use scales at all:
Doctors use body weight to determine if you fall within a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index), and chances are that if you’re a swole athlete (because muscle weighs more than fat), your BMI will be a little high because it measures excess weight, NOT excess body fat. BMI also doesn’t take age, sex, or ethnicity into proper account (source). Note: Healthy goals are vitally important, and I’ll touch on other ways to reach these in a post soon 🙂

The moral of the story is to refuse to allow a silly, fluctuating number to define any part of your worth. You are smart, you are kind, you are hard-working, you are a friend, a mother (or father!), a sister (or brother!). You are here, and every other physical sensation, including your weight, is ever-changing…but you are constant, now, present, powerful. You are worthy. Don’t allow your significance to yourself and the world to be compromised by a number. You are fearfully and wonderfully made! Go live your truth.

Hope your Thursday is a good one 🙂








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Dogs & Health

This post is dedicated to those dealing with autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases, cancers, the flu, or the common cold. I hope this lifts your spirits!

When I was in college (against my parents’ wishes) I rescued Jaxon.


Jaxon is some sort of maltese/poodle mix if I had to guess (Maltipoo?) and he’s deaf from being left alone outside for the first eleven weeks of his little life. The vet’s best guess is that grass mites actually ate his ear drums- poor, sweet guy! He’s been deaf ever since.
(side note: I’m certain there’s a special place in hell reserved for people who are mean to dogs)

Thankfully, my roommates were all on board to keep Jaxon, so we took turns feeding him nutrients via syringe depending on who was at the apartment from class. Before we knew it he was making his rounds to all the college parties, occasionally even sneaking into classes and workplaces. On more than one occasion I was walking him through West Campus when a complete stranger ran up to us, “Jaxon!!!!” He was quite popular.


In the Fall of 2012 when I became sick and was diagnosed with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, Jaxon slept on my face while I napped for hours at a time. He slept on my feet while I had symptomatic episodes from the toilet. He stuck his nose beneath the door when I locked myself in the bathroom. He knew I wasn’t feeling great, and he did his best to heal me.


And in a way, I really think Jaxon has succeeded in helping me heal.


Honestly, he’s Mister Independent most of the time. His favorite spot is alone on the back of the couch. But if he knows that I’m not feeling well he sleeps ON my face, and I swear I can hear his concern. When I was worried about symptoms, he was there to try to calm them, letting me pet his soft fur all through the night while he curled up into a tight ball by my stomach.


And now that I’m feeling much better he’s still careful to keep a watchful eye, making sure his people don’t wander too far:

Just knowing my little furballer was at home patiently waiting to greet me after doctor’s appointments, infusions, procedures, or just a regular day made all the difference in the world, and I’m confident that he’s a big reason why I’m able to be the positive patient that I am.



For more, here’s an uplifting article about how pets can improve your health. Do you have any experience with an animal helping you better manage your disease or condition? 

To find a pet rescue near you, click here! Hope you consider adopting whether or not you’re ill; pets have a way of changing your life for the better!

Keep moving forward 🙂 I’m rooting for you! (and so are your pets)



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Monday’s Suck Less with Coffee Chocolate Smoothie

Hi, Friends!

Hope you had a really great weekend! We drove to Dallas this weekend for the Red River Showdown: Texas vs. OU- a football rivalry we look forward to all year long. I actually didn’t take one.single.photo. this year- BLOG FAIL! But it was so fun….even though we lost. I loved visiting my sister who lives in Dallas, her boyfriend who gets deployed next week, and my in-laws. All of my favorite people!


I finally cleaned out the “office” room of our house, and now you get to see what kind of real life slobbery Zack patiently endures ^


It’s going to be much more when I get done with it, but for now it’s a clean space that Jaxon enjoys, and that’s enough!

Speaking of Jaxon:


He’s a great cheerleader, deaf fluff and all. Love his enthusiasm.

The real reason for today’s post: I’m going to give you a reason to enjoy Monday mornings, because I like a challenge and Mondays deserve love, too.

This thick, creamy smoothie was created with one of my favorite plant-based proteins, and if you’re a regular around here you know that’s Vega. This recipe has coffee and other goodness, making it a great way to kick-start your day with a boost. Try to fit as many nutritious ingredients as possible into your smoothies, just like you would a meal. Keep in mind that smoothies don’t trigger satiety cues from the brain the same way that food does though, meaning that it’s more difficult to get a sense of fullness from smoothies. They’re great for pre or post workout with a small meal, or as a snack, but make sure they’re thick and creamy if you’re eating them as a meal, that way you can actually sit down and eat them slowly. Also- strive for as much nutrition from your meals as possible, because real nutrition should come from real food, not protein shakes.

Morning Coffee Chocolate Smoothie

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A rich, coffee and chocolate smoothie perfect for breakfast.


  • high speed blender
  • 1/2 C almond milk
  • 1/2 C freshly-poured coffee
  • 1/2 C ice
  • 1 C frozen cauliflower
  • 1 handful of fresh kale
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp organic cashew buttah
  • dash of ground cinnamon
  • 1 scoop of Vega Clean Chocolate Protein


  • Pour milk, protein and remaining ingredients into blender
  • Blend on “high” until thick and rich texture is visible
  • Pour and serve. Top with melted deep dark chocolate, or homemade granola for added texture and fun!

If you have a tough time getting the consistency as thick and as creamy as you’d like, add more frozen fruits/veggies or ice. Try just a small handful at a time until it looks tasty. If it’s too solid, add a bit more liquid and blend it up again. Don’t be afraid to play with your smoothie though- a good one is worth the work, and usually all it takes is a few more seconds of your attention.


Tomorrow morning is a 5K jog, followed by one of these. Let me know if you give it a shot- tell me what you think! Hope your Monday is pretty good for a Monday 🙂

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Weekend in San Francisco

This past weekend Sydney, a close friend from high school, and I traveled to San Francisco to celebrate a wedding. We had zero plans after our plane landed, so we decided to take a drive across Golden Gate to Sausalito!

I actually thought Sausalito was a sleepy little harbor town in a quiet dreamland, but after breakfast the town started to come alive. We really loved walking around and exploring this place!

We found a coffee and breakfast nook called Cibo that I HIGHLY recommend if you’re ever in the Bay Area. I had a smoked salmon panini with black coffee that tasted nutty and strong, and the prices weren’t outrageous. I’d give them 5 stars!


Then we walked along the harbor, hitched a Lyft, and journeyed to Muir Woods, down and around switchbacks that our driver navigated at brisk, daring speeds growing faster as the curves got steeper, and Sydney and I both ended up carsick…


…But seeing this forest was well worth it!


These trees were sacred. I mean it. I felt so incredibly enchanted and peaceful walking through their cool shade, looking up high into the sky to see their leaves while tripping over their strong, gigantic root systems in my tiny shoes, laughing at myself. I thanked God for this magical experience.

Just as I was thinking, “I am so small and insignificant” I ran into my roommate from Houston, Christy (and the world suddenly felt even smaller)!!! I had NO IDEA that we were going to be in San Francisco the same weekend, and we had ZERO cell reception in Muir Woods, so we honestly couldn’t have planned our reunion any better than fate.


Remember when I said we had zero cell phone reception? That also means no Lyft or Uber…so after Muir Woods we called a (very expensive) taxi cab driver from the Muir Woods Visitor Center to take us back into Sausalito…where we ended up carsick (again).


But nothing a glass two glasses of California Pino Noir couldn’t fix.


Then we ferried back across The Bay for an affordable $12 and met Christy for dinner…


…after coffee and bookstores, of course.


They didn’t have Rupi Kaur’s new book that I was looking for, “The Sun and Her Flowers” *womp*


The next morning we slept in and enjoyed the sun beaming in through our AirBnB before taking a walk under the warm sun in the cool, windy air to breakfast.


We walked through a nice, beautiful neighborhood with large, manicured yards, which seems to be rare in SF. Sydney said these trees “looked like giant broccoli”- ha!


We went to Cafe Antigua in Japantown where I was pumped to drink this almond chai, and it was delightful. But I made the mistake of ordering a breakfast taco (sorry guys, the Texan in me strikes again), which I’m pretty sure made me violently symptomatic…or maybe it was the chai. Who knows!
The rest of the day was spent napping/recovering while Sydney bossed an economics exam.


Followed by ice cream from Cream


And then the wedding! So beautiful. This was my first time at a Muslim Palestinian wedding, and if I’m being honest- I have never felt more alive at a wedding reception before in my life! From hours of dancing to live drums and tambourines to the food-I loved every soul I met- the families were so hospitable and accommodating “be sure to dance all night long!” and celebrating Waleed and Amany until late at night was a real treat.


I got a pic with the King! Groom Waleed and I met while we were both working at a hospital in Houston. He was counting down the days until he and his roommate got to move back home to San Francisco, but in the meantime he adopted me as his little sister, and I am so thankful. I couldn’t be happier for he and his Bride- she is a true beauty inside and out. So much happiness!



The next morning we said “Goodbye!” to our sweet, little bnb and headed back to the airport.

I missed Zack (and Jaxon) A TON, so it was great to return home.

Until next time, California 🙂

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