Too Young to Drive a Buick, Why my Left Butt Cheek Hurts, and Other Random Updates

FOOD

A girl can eat a lot in a week.  And as seem to be par for the course, I have a week’s worth of food to update you on!

 

lunch with a co-worker at the Yardhouse last Wed resulted in a vegan Gardein and brown rice delight!

lunch with a co-worker at the Yardhouse last Wed resulted in a vegan Gardein and brown rice delight!

too tired for actual food on Thursday resulted in olives, bread, and wine as my meal of the day.

too tired for actual food on Thursday resulted in olives, bread, and wine as my meal of the day.

simple dinner of tofu, potatoes, green beans, and corn baked in a sage gravy and a side of sweet carrots

simple dinner of tofu, potatoes, green beans, and corn baked in a sage gravy and a side of sweet carrots

it's a green smoothie, but berries overpower kale in color!

it’s a green smoothie, but berries overpower kale in color!

tofu green curry out with D on Friday night!

tofu green curry out with D on Friday night!

my brother in law tailored their taco dinner on Saturday for my dietary habits.  Whole grain tortilla, black beans, rice, and veggies

my brother in law tailored their taco dinner on Saturday for my dietary habits. Whole grain tortilla, black beans, rice, and veggies

welcome to Wisconsin!!!  Pretzel rolls with root beer mustard.

welcome to Wisconsin!!! Pretzel rolls with root beer mustard.

FITNESS

Okay, so my new fitness band arrived!  After losing my FitBit, I’ve had my sights on the Microsoft Band for several months.  It’s back in stock, and I’m the proud new owner of one.  I love it.  It not only tracks all my fitness stats and constant heart rate, I also get text messages, emails, and can see when phone calls come in.  Yow.  I’m in love.

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My fav workout this past week was a 4 miler made up mostly of sprints.  It was a few days ago, I hadn’t slept in days (jet lag, D snoring, and a craptastic mattress), and in my complete stressed out nuttiness…D brought me coffee after work.  I was such a bundle of bad energy, that I thought I’d go for a slow run to try and regain some metal focus.  I hauled butt and loved it.

I will claim that 3 rounds of bowling yesterday were also exercise because it’s the only explanation I have for why my left butt cheek has been sore all day.

LIFE

Okay, so in my last blog post I was in sunny California.  I finally got back home to Virginia, and my jet lag kicked in.  Going to bed at 10pm felt silly, and for two nights, I got no more than 2 hours of sleep each night.

Really quickly, a note about last Sunday.  If you’re not yet aware (new reader) my youngest has severe nut allergies.  She had her first reaction from cross contamination.  I was in CA, and D took her to the hospital.  She was a trooper (called me so I could listen to her breathe, because apparently she was more worried about me than herself!).

my baby girl with a swollen mouth.  Her breathing was fine, and they treated and monitored her to be sure she was okay.  Poor baby.

my baby girl with a swollen mouth. Her breathing was fine, and they treated and monitored her to be sure she was okay. Poor baby.

My reprieve at home was brief though, as I hopped on a plane heading to Madison, WI at the crack of dawn on Saturday (4 am wake up time after only 4 hrs of sleep).  I had a 3 hr delay in Chicago, which is just silly.  I got to WI around noon, got my rental car, and drove into Milwaukee to visit family.  That’s the nice thing about working with a software company based in my home state – lots of free trips home.

A quick note about my rental car.  I walked up to the counter to check in as I awaited my luggage (nice thing about a smaller airport – rental cars on site!).  Anywho….the clerk informed me that I had my choice between a Buick Regal and a Chevy Equinox.  With a straight and sincere face, informed her that I was WAY too young to drive a Buick.

I spent just 24 hrs with family, but it was still nice.  I stayed with my sister and her family, and while we had planned to hit up a martini bar in her area, I was just too fried, so we opted for jammies and wine and catching up.

Saturday we hung out and then met up with my parents to go bowling!  No kidding, I can’t remember the last time I went bowling.  My brother in law thought it would be funny to spell my name wrong (I suspect he really didn’t know he was doing in – despite the MANY years we’ve been related – and tried to play if off as a joke).  I replied in kind by kicking his butt in two of three games.  And he has his own shoes and ball, so you know he’s near pro and all that.

names have been blacked out to protect the innocent.  On the left are me (in all the misspelled glory), and my niece and nephew.  On the right, is my sister on top and BIL on the bottom.

names have been blacked out to protect the innocent. On the left are me (in all the misspelled glory), and my niece and nephew. On the right, is my sister on top and BIL on the bottom.

It may have helped that I bowled with my niece and nephew in the bumper lanes.

And despite coming from a family that are die hard football and college basketball fans, I did not get that gene.  Every screen in the bowling alley, save one, was playing basketball.  Know what was on the other?  The only game I care about.  Soccer.  With my fav team.  CHELSEA.  So, the bartender switched the screen near our lane (much to my family’s dismay) to the Chelsea v Hull City game, and I got to actually watch my blues win.  So, in summary, I kicked butt in bowling (ish) and watched my fav team win.  Good times.  Beer may have helped.

Go Chelsea!!!

Go Chelsea!!!

After bowling, I had to hit the road back to Madison to check into my hotel and the conference.  And you know what happened as I was leaving a dinner?  IT WAS SNOWING.  I left Wisconsin for a reason many, many years ago, and the complete disregard for warm weather was a big motivating factor.  Someone tell these weather gods that it’s spring.

I seriously had to scrape my windows with a coffee cup lid.  I hate snow.

I seriously had to scrape my windows with a coffee cup lid. I hate snow.

I admit that after doing some required reading, I went to bed freakishly early.  Like 830pm early.  My hotel has a sleep number bed and I’m a BIG fan.  I slept like a baby for 10 hours.  I feel like a new woman!

The conference today was really good.  I always love coming to Epic – they have a great business philosophy and the most amazing work campus I have ever seen.  The sessions were informative, I got to see a lot of people I hadn’t in a long time, and overall – it was good times.

I’m now back in my hotel vacillating from reading about organizational behavior and government electronic surveillance.  So a mental health break to blog was totally warranted.

I leave you with miscellaneous pictures for the week!

First, the morning pictures!

I'm out of town, so R doesn't have to comb her hair apparently.

I’m out of town, so R doesn’t have to comb her hair apparently.

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Pics from the amazing Epic campus.  Lots of themed rooms and all local art.

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a ride able banana made of bottle caps.

a ride able banana made of bottle caps.

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YESSSSSS

YESSSSSS

conference room.  "one does not simply walk into mordor"...

conference room. “one does not simply walk into mordor”…

a happy place

a happy place

theirs is not bigger on the inside, but that's okay

theirs is not bigger on the inside, but that’s okay

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And finally, “others”.

what is it with cats and suitcases?  Ginny taking a nap as I unpack from one trip and try to pack for the other.

what is it with cats and suitcases? Ginny taking a nap as I unpack from one trip and try to pack for the other.

I realized that Bumble was sleeping on my bed as I tried to fold wash on Friday....and in the same pose as Ginny in the suitcase on the floor.

I realized that Bumble was sleeping on my bed as I tried to fold wash on Friday….and in the same pose as Ginny in the suitcase on the floor.

he sent me this Saturday morning.  Oh my gosh, I'm married to him!  He's SO CUTE!!!

he sent me this Saturday morning. Oh my gosh, I’m married to him! He’s SO CUTE!!!

 

 

Manicure or Tattoo?? Oh The Choices a Girl Must Make…

FOOD

Normally when I travel, D calls ahead to all the restaurants I’m going to (since it’s usually not my choice where we go!) to make sure I have some yummy vegan eats.  Well, last night I was lucky to have a colleague do that!  It was very nice, and VK called ahead to a few restaurants to be sure my veganism could be accommodated.

I was definitely not disappointed with my meal at JSIX.  They’re a farm to table restaurant (my fav kind), and the food was wonderful.  First was an appetizer of lemon hummus, marinated veggies (I want to eat those cucumbers ALL the time) and really dense pita.  I also had a pasta dish with mushroom ragu and eggplant, and a side of brussel sprouts because lets face it, I’m a total sucker for a good brussel sprout!

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I also had two different Bloody Mary’s since my last post.  One was very non-traditional and looked more like an entrée, and one was a standard spicy one.  Always my favorite!

made with pureed yellow tomatoes and horseradish, it was also topped with half a garden and toast.

made with pureed yellow tomatoes and horseradish, it was also topped with half a garden and toast.

normal, spicy, and delicious

normal, spicy, and delicious

FITNESS

I woke earlier than planned this morning when I was texted by a co-worker back in Virginia – who either forgot or ignored that he’s 3 hours ahead of me, and 7am for him is NOT an acceptable texting hour for me, but alas – it was too late and I was up.

I opted for an hour of gentle yoga this morning rather than anything grueling.  I’ve gotten some good workouts this weekend, and a whole ton of walking, so there was no guilt there!

LIFE

The conference is now over and it went well.  Some of the conversations I had were much more productive than others, and a few were downright disappointing, but overall, I did get what I needed from it.

Last night I went to dinner with one of my hosts, and aside from getting sidetracked (read….lost) on the way through a less than stellar part of town, had a great time.  Lot’s of talk of work, soccer, food, and family.

After doing all my required activities today, I decided to try and check out some of the city outside of the conference center and area where my hotel is.  I went to Ocean Beach and Mission Beach, went back to my hotel, and then walked up to Little Italy.

some crazy van full of stickers in Ocean Beach

some crazy van full of stickers in Ocean Beach

watching surfers

watching surfers

chillin out and enjoying the sun!

chillin out and enjoying the sun!

At some point during the day today, I decided I really want a new tattoo.  And in that though processes, started thinking that doing it today would be a good idea.  Thankfully I called D and we chatted a bit, and I decided a tattoo can wait until I get home, and got a pedicure instead.

So I have a few soon to be parting thoughts about San Diego.  It’s been an interesting trip for me for a few reasons.  Many, many years ago – I actually lived here.  In fact A, my oldest daughter, was born here.  I haven’t been here in 18 years, and to be honest – I was a dirt poor enlisted military girl, so I didn’t really know or see much of San Diego proper, even when I did live here.

And I noticed that I recognized nothing.  No familiarity, no sense of returning to a place I once called home.  That on it’s own made me a little sad

Okay, so first, a list of the things I like..

  • the weather.  I want to bottle up the 90 degree sunny days and take them home with me for all times.
  • walking everywhere!  One of my dreams is to be somewhere where I can walk or bike everywhere I want to go.  I’ve done a lot of walking and exploring, and I love that.
  • lots of runners!  Everywhere I looked, I saw runners and for some reason, that makes me really happy.
  • sunsets are pretty
  • people have been friendly to me everywhere I’ve gone
  • very diverse city and I find that a lot of fun

So now here’s what I don’t like…

  • its dirty, and in a lot of areas – smells horribly.
  • an incredibly large population of homeless.  And please let me explain – people being homeless don’t bother me.  I know many people who think that all homeless choose to be on the streets because their too lazy to work, etc.  That’s simply a bunch of BS.  Mental illness (and no infrastructure in our country to care for them), hard times, veterans, and sure – plenty of addicts.  But still…no one grows up wanting to be homeless.  What has bothered me since I got to San Diego is how people walk right over them like they’re not there.  That people in their expensive clothes and fancy handbags and fast cars, spare nothing for their fellow man and woman.  That I can be in a city where so many people have so much – and so many people have absolutely nothing.  It just seems….heartless.
  • while I’ve had good food, the veg scene just doesn’t exist.

So my verdict?  Okay to visit, but wouldn’t want to live here.  And tomorrow, I go home, and I’m SO happy about that.

 

 

When Did I Become a Fuddy Duddy?

FOOD

Okay, so one thing about California I could get used to is the food!  Of course I’m on East Coast time, so I was up at a ridiculously early time this morning.  What that did allow me though, was the chance to actually go out for breakfast.

I found my way to a place called Sol Cal Café not far from my hotel and the convention center, and I was totally thrilled.  All vegan and healthy place, I not only got a tour of their offerings from the gentleman that worked there, but I also had an incredible breakfast!  I may have also sampled two of their coconut milk based homemade ice creams, but that’s so okay….

They make cold pressed juices, and I opted for the Happy Roots (beet, lemon, ginger).  It was so good, and a fresh juice after traveling is just what I needed.  I also decided on their waffle breakfast.  Gluten free waffles with blackberries and coconut cream.  People, I’m telling you….ridiculous.  I want to eat this all the time.

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felt totally indulgent, but didn't sit heavy at all.

felt totally indulgent, but didn’t sit heavy at all.

Lunch was during the conference, and V and I walked a couple of blocks to a place called Mary Jane’s.  It was pretty much a diner (with terrible service), but my veggie chili was tasty.

super simple.  Black beans corn, tomatoes, and peppers.  Not fancy, but still good and not a huge serving, which was nice.

super simple. Black beans corn, tomatoes, and peppers. Not fancy, but still good and not a huge serving, which was nice.

Dinner was at Queenstown, which was a neat little place.  They put their wine in totally non-fancy water glasses, and that made me like them even more!  I was a bit surprised at their lack of flexibility to accommodate vegan eats on their menu, but totally made due.  An appetizer of a raw veggie plate and a meal of quinoa salad was more than enough to make me not hungry.

horrible lighting, so my apologies.  Carrots, broccoli rabe, jicama, pita, hummus, and a sauce I didn't eat because it had cheese.

horrible lighting, so my apologies. Carrots, broccoli rabe, jicama, pita, hummus, and a sauce I didn’t eat because it had cheese.

red and white quinoa with celery, carrot, cucumber, sunflower seeds, arugula, and an orange reduction.  Surprisingly good.

red and white quinoa with celery, carrot, cucumber, sunflower seeds, arugula, and an orange reduction. Surprisingly good.

FITNESS

I mentioned that stupid early wake up, so with time to kill I got my workout on.  Sunrise was pretty and I can’t complain about the weather!

LIFE

Well, it’s Saturday and I was technically at work all day, so there’s that.  I’m at a conference evaluating vendor IT solutions within the cardiac world.    It was a really good day in the sense that I got to see a lot of what’s out there and what companies are planning, but it was also a bit of a challenge because no one is really getting the long term vision and don’t have a real solid offering.  Someday it’ll be there, but not quite yet.  <insert sigh here>.

After the conference I went back to my hotel and immediately got quite restless.  It probably didn’t help that there’s an outdoor concert going on outside my window, and I think the entire hotel is vibrating.  At least it’s not country music….

I changed and pretty much left to walk around the city.  I wasn’t planned to meet up with my conference hosts until around 7, but I really didn’t want to listen to the thumbing electronic music, so off I went.  I walked through Little Italy and picked up a bottle of water and a newspaper and sat to read for a long time.  It was a really gorgeous evening, and while the news was depressing, it was still pretty fun.

It was then off for dinner and drinks, and back to my room because I’m still on East Coast time, and it’s WAY past my bed time!

Yet it will be about two hours before I can go to bed.  Why?  Hotel is still vibrating.  Concert is still rampaging outside (seriously, reminds me of my rave days!).  And what did I do?  Called the front desk like some old lady to ask when the concert would end.  11pm.  1 hour and 45 minutes.  And don’t think I won’t be watching the clock the whole time…and if they go past 11pm, I imagine I’ll be scowling out my hotel window at those “blasted kids”.  When did I become an old fuddy duddy?  Oh yeah.  Tonight, apparently.

sunset!  I'm a sucker for palm trees....

sunset! I’m a sucker for palm trees….

From Snow to Sun! (and maybe a little coke in between)

FOOD

It’s weird, but my favorite breakfast lately has been tofu, sweet potato, and sauerkraut.  It sounds strange, but it’s really good.  I start my sweet potato in the pressure cooker before I hop in the shower (15 min on high pressure, natural release) and it’s perfect and ready when I want to eat it.

breakfast of champions

breakfast of champions

I’ve had a few other really tasty meals, but of course AT&T ate my pictures with a hard reset, so what I have to share is the ones I may have posted on Facebook or Instagram!  I had Thai a day or two (of course), and smoothies and this awesome stir fry (I woke up at 3am and couldn’t sleep the other night, so decided to make elaborate school and work lunches….).  No pic of that, but it was cubed tofu and garlic sautéed in coconut oil, and then added red bell pepper, red onion, water chestnuts, and pineapple – topped with some coconut aminos (think soy sauce…).

tofu and carrots with a brown and wild rice blend with a Bangkok blend of spices.

tofu and carrots with a brown and wild rice blend with a Bangkok blend of spices.

from a little place called Hurley's....an unexpected find of cauliflower hot "wings"

from a little place called Hurley’s….an unexpected find of cauliflower hot “wings”

YESSS....Tofu Green Curry!

YESSS….Tofu Green Curry!

From Whole Foods in Charlottesville...vegan tofu scramble wrap with potatoes

From Whole Foods in Charlottesville…vegan tofu scramble wrap with potatoes

leftover curry soup with some extra cauliflower

leftover curry soup with some extra cauliflower

thrown together (but fabulous) red Thai Curry coconut, tofu, and veggie soup

thrown together (but fabulous) red Thai Curry coconut, tofu, and veggie soup

I’m an currently in San Diego and just finished up these amazing lettuce wrap tacos stuffed with black beans, roasted peppers, and cedar-plank grilled tofu and served with a cilantro sauce.  And a glass of white wine.  Feeling VERY California at the moment!

lettuce wraps!

lettuce wraps!

a vegan-friendly Bloody Mary at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport!  It was only 10 am their time, but I had already been awake 7 hours, so it was totally OK.

a vegan-friendly Bloody Mary at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport! It was only 10 am their time, but I had already been awake 7 hours, so it was totally OK.

FITNESS

Still loving my new gym!  Movie theaters in a gym are genius!  I’ve done elliptical,  dreadmills, and some bike workouts while watching flicks, as well as a few classes.  I’m addicted to Body Pump and Body Combat.  Oh, and this crazy ab class called CXWORX.  Glad it’s only a half hour – don’t think I could manage more than that!

LIFE

Travel, travel, travel!  It’s seriously been 2-3 weeks of constant movement, and most of it unplanned.  That has lead to quite a bit of chaos, but no worries – I thrive on chaos!  I was really aiming for 2015 to be the year of minimal travel, but that’s not happening!  I have many trips planned now through the end of May (Florida, Austin, Madison, and possibly Chicago).

I’m currently in San Diego for a conference that starts tomorrow (yes, working the weekend!  But hey….this is fun work).  A week ago I was in a snowy part of Virginia, and today I’m in the sunny harbor front of warm San Diego!

My oldest is in Atlanta at the moment.  Allow me to share with you a text thread we had yesterday….

A: “Hi!  I’m in the world of coke”

Me: “I hope to god you mean the soda….”

A: “Nope.  Since coming to Georgia I’ve joined the drug ring and have made good friends with the coke lord.  I won’t be coming back to Virginia.”

Me: “Well.  I have nothing to say to that.”

She’s almost 20, but dangerously close to being grounded ;)

M had a ring dance this past weekend, and D was playing in his new photo studio (in our garage) and took some pics of him.

my handsome boy!

my handsome boy!

I honestly can't explain this.  This is some wooden elephant that someone in D's family got from India a LONG time ago.  And of course we just moved so everything is in the garage, and I can picture D saying "hey, hold this elephant for a minute"....

I honestly can’t explain this. This is some wooden elephant that someone in D’s family got from India a LONG time ago. And of course we just moved so everything is in the garage, and I can picture D saying “hey, hold this elephant for a minute”….

And on the AT&T front, I’m still mad and doing what I can to fight the good fight.  I am getting the stupid used phone because I have no choice (it’s that or no phone).  I got a credit to my bill, but not enough to cover the $600 it would cost to buy a new one.  I did finally get a phone call from someone of import yesterday – only because they are in receipt of my BBB complaint (case # 27406174).  Wait until they’re forwarded my FCC complaint (ticket # 172216)!  Stay tuned to see if they actually do anything.

Until then, I’m going to share some random pics and am going to enjoy the sun here in California for a few days, some great conference activities, and try not to pine for my family, my home, and my bed!

love the 90's throwback!

love the 90’s throwback!

yeah, over this!  News flash...ITS NOT SUPPOSED TO SNOW WHERE I LIVE

yeah, over this! News flash…ITS NOT SUPPOSED TO SNOW WHERE I LIVE

today in San Diego.  MUCH better weather.

today in San Diego. MUCH better weather.

 

 

The Power of the Internet Compels You…

Okay, guess what.  Since this is my blog, I reserve the right to shake it up now and then.  Yes, I normally write about vegan eats, workouts, and my crazy life, but today – new programming.  People who know me know that I am quite outspoken and am not shy about expressing my opinion on anything that is important to me.  Due to recent experiences and a refusal to be taken advantage of by a large company, I have penned the blow letter (which D lovingly refers to as my AT&T Manifesto).

So…regular programming will resume, but for now I wanted to share, and if you’re so inclined….help this go viral.  I believe that individual voices matter, and, combined, we can make a difference.  Help me make a difference.

Much thanks – Crissie

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An Open Letter to AT&T, the American Cellphone Using Public, and ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN

 

Be aware that I have not changed any names or dates because there is no one innocent here. I use real names, real case numbers, and everything below is completely accurate. I wish this were a tall tale of fictional nightmares to tell around a campfire. Alas my friends, this is a true horror story of one girl being screwed by a big company.

 

March 10, 2015

 

My name is Christine and I’m here to tell you a horrible tale. This is a story not only specifically about the ridiculously terrible customer service AT&T has rendered to me recently, but a larger story about how we, the American people, are helpless to force them to change.

First, a brief (ish) history to set the stage….

In April of 2014, I made a big leap in terms of cell phones. I ditched my iPhone and went to a Windows OS. While a huge device (think 1980’s boom box on your shoulder), I absolutely loved my red Nokia 1520. It started conversations wherever I went, and everyone was fascinated. I immediately had issues sending and receiving text messages (though it took weeks to figure it out). We eventually found that it was because I had an iPhone previously, and everyone I knew had to delete and re-add me. A pain in the butt to be sure, but not AT&T’s fault at all.

Fast forward to mid-January of this year, 2015. My beloved phone was dropped and broke. I couldn’t receive calls, texts, or use it at all. And here is where the first nightmare began. It took nearly two weeks of calling (and not getting promised returned calls), attempting to get an upgrade to replace my phone (we were eligible). I took to social media (YAY TWITTER) and the @ATTCares contacted me, truly tried to help, but ultimately failed. AT&T refused to work with us, and in my frustration, we ended up just buying a replacement (had no choice really – which they counted on, I’m sure!). The red color was no longer available, and while I loved my large phone, I missed having something that could fit in my pocket. So I went with the HTC One M8 with Window’s OS on January 27th.

I often have issues sending texts (getting error messages), but have always assumed it was related to my original issue of jumping off the iPhone bandwagon (by the way, it’s a problem for everyone, and Apple is currently being sued because they make it extremely difficult to untie yourself from their iMessaging). Anyway, I digress….

I kept having the same issues I had been having for nearly a year, and didn’t think much of it. It was annoying, but not necessarily earth shattering. It wasn’t until the first couple of days of March I realized something was very wrong. My family was annoyed I wasn’t participating in group messages. I was annoyed that no one was responding to ones I sent. My kids weren’t getting the funny pictures I was sending them, and I was no longer getting my daily picture my husband takes of him and our little one (I travel for work on occasion, and it’s my lifeline back home). And work….I am IT Director in a very large organization, and you can imagine that it’s via text messages that we often communicate. I missed messages from my teams and my peers. I missed important meetings…..and eventually realized it was because I could not receive nor send any MMS messages. Try explaining to the boss that AT&T “ate your homework” and that’s why you weren’t at a critical meeting…

It may not seem like a big deal to a corporate giant like AT&T that I didn’t get my daily husband/daughter picture or that their cell service was compromising me professionally, but it’s a very big deal to me.

And here begins the true nightmare….

I was traveling, so my husband called the AT&T customer service line on 3/4/15. They were quite helpful, and referred him to the advanced technical help desk. I was in my hotel room, and Jessie called me to see if he could help. He was wonderful and tried a ton of tricks for nearly an hour, but with no luck. He created a case (#100640249 if you care) to escalate to the next team. I was told that this was going to the Urgent Care team and would get a call. They promised all would be fixed no later than 3/9/15.

I received a call from Kelli on 3/6/14 to discuss my case. I was asked to try a few things (switching SIM cards with other phones) to see if we could narrow down the problem. Good plan. When I got home from my travels, we did that. Messaging worked fine when my SIM was in my daughter’s phone, but with her SIM in my phone, it didn’t receive messages. Seems simple. It’s the device. Did I mention I work in IT? I know how to test, troubleshoot, and narrow down issues. I called the Urgent Care (by the way – here’s their number….606-925-4428….no one will EVER answer, but you can blow up their voicemail) and let them know the results of our tests. It was a weekend, so I understand why no one called me back until Monday.

On 3/9/15, I received a return call from Kelli, who said they could replace my phone with a used one. And here, my friends, is where the drama begins. I said no. I was not going to replace my brand new phone with a used one. I spend an average of $4200 per year on AT&T mobile services (5 lines and a few other devices), and the least they can do is replace my BRAND NEW PHONE with another NEW PHONE. Here is where I mistakenly believed that AT&T valued their customers. So back to Kelli and my demand for a brand shiny new phone to replace my broken brand shiny new phone. Yeah….she wasn’t authorized to do that. So, I asked for her supervisor and was given to Kelly Porter.

This is where it almost gets funny. Almost. At first she said that she can’t replace my phone because buyer’s remorse only covered 4 days, and because my new phone was activated on 1/27/15 and it was now 3/9/15, that I was SOL. Containing my simmering rage, I explained that this wasn’t buyer’s remorse (sad I had to explain that). I didn’t change my mind. My phone was defective and I needed a new one. (AT&T…if you’re listening…I hope you recorded these calls for “customer service” and circle back with your people on textbook examples of what NOT to do). Ms. Porter than proceeds to tell me that she has a hard time believing I just now noticed it was a problem, and can’t justify sending me a new phone – but under “Warranty Replacement” can give me a used one. This is the line I drew. No used phone. That’s it. I’m not debating that my phone is defective. I’m not debating that they tried every trick in their book to help fix it. But at $4200 dollars a year and a 6 week old phone, I’d be damned to take a used one. And this, my readers, is where the battle began.

When Ms. Porter explained to me at 11:15 AM EST that she was not authorized to okay a new phone vs. a used one, I asked to speak to her boss. I was told her boss was in a meeting and would call me back. As of this writing, that was 35 hours ago. Guess who hasn’t returned my call?? I’ve called the above mentioned urgent care line FOUR times to leave messages. No return calls.

So, I took to social media once again. I tweeted “So @ATT is still screwing up my life. Gives me a bad phone and now won’t replace it w a new one. My $4200/yr doesn’t buy much”. Within minutes I had @ATTCares private messaging me to try and help. I explain the situation to Sabine, and guess what I found out? THIS IS A KNOWN ISSUE. Seriously…what the heck? I spent 5 days talking to the knuckleheads at AT&T and the help desk, advanced technical help desk, and urgent care desk, and none of them knew that this was a known problem? Good grief. So…I called AT&T again. Left a message, and nothing.

Meanwhile, I’m Googling the heck out of this, and low and behold….there are tons of reports of this issue. And, while I’m at it, TONS of complaints about how horrible the customer service is at AT&T. I hear ya people. I feel your pain.

So, I try looking up phone numbers to try and get someone, anyone, to talk to me. Guess what? There are none! In fact, if you try to contact the CEO (and good luck trying to find a number!), customer service routes the complaint to their legal team. http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/blog-post/1652416/complaint-at-t-ceo-result-legal-action if you don’t quite believe me. Really? Perhaps if AT&T took their customer service seriously and allowed free and open communications, they wouldn’t have to hide.

In a desperate attempt to get a live body on the phone, I called the main number again. A poor (but very nice) guy named Alex answered. He looked up my account, found the tons of notes, and confirmed that someone was supposed to call me, but didn’t (I already knew that, but that wasn’t his fault). To his credit, Alex really tried. In fact, he called me today to see if he could still help. Poor kid had a good heart, but was not empowered to actually give any customer service.

I asked him to forward me to the Executive Help Desk (I know there is one) or anyone in a leadership role. He wasn’t allowed. In fact, he told me that there are internal departments that don’t publish their phone numbers – even internally – so customers can’t make demands to talk to them. He felt for me – he really did – but ultimately was not allowed to provide the level of customer service that I needed.

Meanwhile, a man named Mark called me to let me know my case had been escalated to his department and that a manager would call me today. I believe he said he was from the Specialty Help Desk, but he was hard to understand. When I told him I didn’t have much faith anyone would call, he almost fell over himself promising I’d get a call today. Okay guys, its 830pm, and I’ve gotten nothing. Liars, the lot of them.

So back to social media I went. This time I said “Buckle up @ATT – I’m contacting the news, the FCC, the BBB, reddit, and anyone that will listen. Going viral w the worst cust serv ever”.

Back home, my husband was working his own magic….

Because he is wonderful (and sick to death of listening to me rant), he made a call. Being sweet as pie, explained to the customer service rep that he “lost” the phone number for the executive team, and needed to return a call. Guess what he got? The office of the president. Yes, it turns out they DO have the numbers, but won’t give them out (cowards). I guess my plea to be treated fairly wasn’t at all powerful, but my sweet husband made it happen by being nice and fibbing. I’ll need to remember this for the future! (And there’s a lifelong lesson here…you get more bees with sugar than logic…).

He got Betty. Betty, per my husband, was awesome. Listened to everything, was appropriately horrified on our behalf, assigned an Office of the President case number (CM20150310_100815356), and promised they will fix this in the next few days.

Time will tell, and if they do manage one epic service recovery, I’ll let you know.

In the end, this is ALL about giving me a new phone versus a used phone. Anyone else see how ridiculous this is??

So here are my main arguments/thoughts (and thanks for sticking with all my rambling)

  • I’d be fired if I gave customer service the way AT&T does
  • don’t call your staff Customer Service if they’re not allowed to actually provide customer service….
  • In the end, there are only two real players in the market – AT&T and Verizon (sure Sprint, T-Mobile and others try, but can’t really compete). So ultimately – we are stuck with however they want to treat us because in the end, we really have NO CHOICE.
  • Despite spending a small fortune, they honestly don’t care because they know you won’t leave them.
  • We have oligopolies in the cell phone market because there is no competition (we won’t get into why, but a simple search will tell you). There is no competition so they create their own market structure. Dumb or dumber….you pick the lesser of evils. And make no mistake – based on my experiences (and thousands like me if you just Google it), they know we have no choices and it’s either put up with their crap or go without.
  • They have some people who truly want to help (Jessie and Alex and Sabine at @ATTCares wanted to…but weren’t empowered to. That’s a leadership failure of massive proportions). Betty seems to want to, but again, time will tell on that one. Kelli and Kelly and Mark…not so much.
  • The head of their customer service division should be fired (and hey AT&T….I’m not cheap, but I could totally turn this hell you’ve created around – and you should very much want to change. Who better than a wronged customer to identify where you need to focus?!?)

 

So do me a favor. Speak up!!! Share this letter to anyone and everyone. Retweet it, up vote it on Reddit, post it on Facebook, send it to your Congressman, and send it to your local news. Anything to force a change…because they won’t unless we do!

 

Can I Get Paid for Eating Olives?

FOOD

This weekend has been good on the eats front!  It’s been mostly home cooked meals other than some Thai soup this evening on my way home from taking A back to school.

I made a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies because they're D's fav.  I've not had any, but they're almost gone, so I imagine they're tasty!

I made a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies because they’re D’s fav. I’ve not had any, but they’re almost gone, so I imagine they’re tasty!

Red Thai Curry lentils made in my Instant Pot!  So yummy and spicy.

Red Thai Curry lentils made in my Instant Pot! So yummy and spicy.

salad with a tofu-based "Cesar" dressing & some roasted maple butternut squash.

salad with a tofu-based “Cesar” dressing & some roasted maple butternut squash.

green smoothie!!  Coconut milk, banana, cocoa nibs, vanilla, pineapple, strawberry, mango, and spinach.

green smoothie!! Coconut milk, banana, cocoa nibs, vanilla, pineapple, strawberry, mango, and spinach.

Sunday breakfast!  Baked sweet potatoes, baked marinated tofu, and olives.

Sunday breakfast! Baked sweet potatoes, baked marinated tofu, and olives.

A quick note about olives.  I really like green olives.  I would go through phases where I would eat tons of them.  It’s honestly been awhile – at least until the Bloody Mary and Board Games day.  Since then, I’ve been noshing on them quite often, and when D saw me put them on my plate, his response was “you used to eat olives like it was your job!!”.  I almost fell over laughing.  Can I get paid for eating olives??

BAS of romaine, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and red bell pepper.  Topped with the tofu dressing from Thursday night.

BAS of romaine, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and red bell pepper. Topped with the tofu dressing from Thursday night.

today's breakfast!  Baked sweet potato (yes, I'm on a kick...it takes 15 minutes in my pressure cooker), sauerkraut (don't judge), and tofu cubes sauteed in coconut oil with some coconut aminos added at the end.

today’s breakfast! Baked sweet potato (yes, I’m on a kick…it takes 15 minutes in my pressure cooker), sauerkraut (don’t judge), and tofu cubes sauteed in coconut oil with some coconut aminos added at the end.

Thai coconut soup with tofu.

Thai coconut soup with tofu.

FITNESS

Well, we got snowed in.  AGAIN.  Ugh.  I did workouts at home (kickboxing), but I really want to head to the gym.

I was hoping to go to hot yoga yesterday, but it just didn’t work out.  I had a conference call in the morning, and then spent the afternoon with D before he took off for the week (work trip), so decided it was OK to have a rest day!

LIFE

It was nice having A home for a long weekend.  She came home Wednesday in advance of the storms.  We knew classes would be canceled, so did that rather than risk her not being able to come home at all.

One of her oldest friends who still lives in our area came over Thursday and spent the night, which was nice.

M had friends in and out all weekend too.  So my house became a revolving door of teenagers from Thursday through today.  It’s a good think I like them all!

Other than that, it’s been a pretty simple weekend.  I went to Whole Foods yesterday, cleaned, hung out with family, and worked for the most part.

D has a go-live out of town, so he’s gone for the next week.  Then next weekend A goes on a spring break trip and the following week I go to San Diego, home for 3 days, then off to Wisconsin!

Hello March…it’s going to be so busy I probably will be saying goodbye before I know it!

Until then….cats….

fireplace kitties!  I was lying between them, but when I got up, they didn't even budge.

fireplace kitties! I was lying between them, but when I got up, they didn’t even budge.

I don't exactly know how Ginny got up there (top of the fireplace), but she enjoyed her perch.

I don’t exactly know how Ginny got up there (top of the fireplace), but she enjoyed her perch.

Board Game Victory! Savoring It While I Can….

FOOD

I honestly can’t recall everything I ate this week, but it’s been pretty typical fare.  Here’s what I have pics of!

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I made black bean and sweet potato chili with corn bread for our bloody mary and board game lunch!

I made black bean and sweet potato chili (in the pressure cooker!) with corn bread for our bloody Mary and board game lunch!

the beginning of the Bloody Mary Bar!  Most of the condiments weren't out yet.

the beginning of the Bloody Mary Bar! Most of the condiments weren’t out yet.

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tofu green curry.  It was only OK.  Not from one of my two usual places.

tofu green curry. It was only OK. Not from one of my two usual places.

veggie pizza

veggie pizza

veggie pho.  Also only "ok".

veggie pho. Also only “ok”.

caramel apple bars.  Smelled wonderful, but couldn't try them because of the apple allergy.  I did, however, have some of the leftover caramel!

caramel apple bars. Smelled wonderful, but couldn’t try them because of the apple allergy. I did, however, have some of the leftover caramel!

snow day breakfast of oats with banana, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup.

snow day breakfast of oats with banana, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup.

FITNESS

It was so nice to get back to the gym after the thaw.  I did two new classes and really enjoyed them both.

BodyPump is a barbell class that combines weight training and some cardio.  It was really awesome, and I love that they have this class really early in the morning most days.

Mixxedfit is the other one.  Best way to describe it is a hip hop dance class on boot camp steroids.  They make a point of not liking to be compared to the “other” dance class….which I assume means Zumba.  I suppose it could mean Jazzercise, but I’m not sure that’s actually a thing anymore!  Anyway…big movements, intense on the cardio side, and incorporates non-dance moves like squats.  Overall, it was fun and so challenging I honestly wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish it.  I’m sure I also looked completely ridiculous.

Otherwise I did runs and circuits.

LIFE

This past week has been a bit difficult and I’m frankly incredibly exhausted.  Hopefully things will even out soon.

On Sunday KP and NS came over for Bloody Mary’s, board games, and girl time.  We mostly just sat at the kitchen table and talked and drank our Bloody Mary’s and mimosas and ate lunch.  We did play two games though.  One is called the table cube which isn’t actually a game per se, but a deck of cards with questions that encourages conversation.  I do have to say that we got the card no vegan wants to get (and all 3 of us are)….which animal would you leave off the ark?!  It was actually kind of funny.  Ticks and mosquitos were chosen!

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We also played Sorry and R joined us for that.  For once, I actually won.  I don’t win games often!  I think I grounded R a few times for bumping me off the board (or showing KP and NS how they could bump me off).  It didn’t work though.  She called my bluff.

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It snowed again last night, so we’re all home today, even D.  I went up to A’s school yesterday to bring her home for a long weekend.  She was already planning on coming home, but we were worried with the impending storm, that we wouldn’t be able to.  Problem solved!

Hope you’re all staying dry and warm, wherever you are!

Bumble and Ginny sharing some sunshine!  They're definitely hanging out more, which is cool to see.

Bumble and Ginny sharing some sunshine! They’re definitely hanging out more, which is cool to see.

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a girl and her kitty!

a girl and her kitty!

 

Beware the Flamethrower

FOOD

We have spent several days cooped up due to Snowmageddon 2015, so the first part of the week were throw together meals of what I had on hand.

an Instant Pot meal (which is a pressure cooker for those who don't know) of tofu, cabbage, yukon potatoes, onion, ginger, garlic, and tamari.  Really, really yummy.

an Instant Pot meal (which is a pressure cooker for those who don’t know) of tofu, cabbage, Yukon potatoes, carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, and tamari. Really, really yummy.

green smoothies!  Kale, banana, coconut milk, clementine, and chia seeds.

green smoothies! Kale, banana, coconut milk, clementine, and chia seeds.

mushroom rice over romaine

mushroom rice over romaine

The mushroom rice was inspired by JL Goes Vegan’s book Vegan Pressure Cooking, which is a family favorite!

more tofu/veggie fun with some leftover cornbread from the weekend.

more tofu/veggie fun with some leftover cornbread from the weekend.

On Wednesday D and I had to leave the house for a doctor’s appointment, so we decided since we were out, we’d go out to lunch.  We went to a local place that makes really great veggie burgers and, totally hungry, I ordered The Flamethrower.  Replete with pickled jalapenos, onions cooked in hot pepper sauce, fresh peppers, and extra pepper sauce.  It was awesome.  And I hurt ALL day after.  Seriously…beware the flamethrower….

I didn’t eat the rest of the day.  Never.  Again.  (Maybe…)

Today I went out to lunch with AC and HF.  Yardhouse has a Gardein menu, so it was the Orange Peel Chick’n with brown rice for me!  And a white ale.

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spaghetti squash in the pressure cooker - perfect in 3 minutes!

spaghetti squash in the pressure cooker – perfect in 3 minutes!

spaghetti squash stir fry!

spaghetti squash stir fry!

FITNESS

We were literally snowed and iced in most of the week, so there was a drop off in my gym going fun for a few days.  I did some workouts at home – mostly kickboxing.

Today I was back in the gym for Zumba and some running on the treadmill.

As an FYI, we’re breaking records for cold in Virginia right now.  Like record’s from the 1890’s.  And I saw a guy run past my house yesterday in shorts and a knit cap.  Idiot.

LIFE

I have literally been working from home all week.  Kids had off Monday for President’s day, and every other day this week their school has been canceled because of the weather.  It only snowed one night, but since we have no resources here to clean it, the roads have been nothing but ice.  Cold temps and bursting pipes are a problem around here, so in we mostly stayed.

The benefit of working from home is pajamas all day.  My neighbor stopped by a couple times this week, and I swear I started feeling self conscious about my jammie and sweatshirt attire.  The downside of working from home is it’s easy to sit in front of a computer and not move for a good 15 hours.  I will say I got a TON done.

D had a follow-up procedure on Wednesday to see if he’s healing from his Crohn’s flare in Nov/Dec.  On the down side, we had to brave some really treacherous roads.  On the plus side, hardly anyone else did, so he was seen on time and there was hardly anyone in the hospital waiting room.  So I set up my Surface Pro 3 and worked!

Oh!  and D took me to the movies.  I love the movies but rarely have time to go anymore.  However, he knew how much I wanted to see The Kingsman (I’m sorry, but Colin Firth and Mark Strong are amazing), and it didn’t disappoint.  Best movie I’ve seen in a LONG time.

HF is in town, so she and AC and I got together for a quick lunch.  Otherwise it’s been as much family time as possible.

OH!!!  M GOT HIS UNIVERSITY ACCEPTANCE LETTER TODAY.  Yay :)

Hope your week has been warm and cozy, and that you have a great weekend!

my favorite "office" spot this week.  Lying in front of the fire.

my favorite “office” spot this week. Lying in front of the fire.

Bumble all snuggled in a blanket on the couch

Bumble all snuggled in a blanket on the couch

nice thing about working in IT...I can work anywhere.  Especially in a quiet and empty hospital waiting room.  And forgive my crazy blocking out.  Work files ;)

nice thing about working in IT…I can work anywhere. Especially in a quiet and empty hospital waiting room. And forgive my crazy blocking out. Work files ;)

 

 

New House, New Rules

FOOD

So two weeks have gone by, and I’m still loving the Instant Pot and playing in my new kitchen.  Breakfasts have consisted of smoothies and oats, lunches are whatever I have leftover, and dinners have ranged from tacos to soups!  All told, lots of good stuff.

my typical breakfast drink!

my typical breakfast drink!

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made a batch of homemade soy yogurt that was really good - my best yet!  Very tart, just how I love it.

made a batch of homemade soy yogurt that was really good – my best yet! Very tart, just how I love it.

broccoli soup

broccoli soup

tofu and potato taco salad

tofu and potato taco salad

curry with lettuce and yogurt

curry with lettuce and yogurt

another taco salad

another taco salad

red lentil soup and quinoa salad

red lentil soup and quinoa salad

leftover soup

leftover soup

leftover taco salad

leftover taco salad.  I love tacos in all forms!

my sister's black bean soup and some cornbread

my sister’s black bean soup and some cornbread

The weather has been mostly cold (other than a random 70 degree day), so I’ve been all about spicy food and soups.  Nothing better on a cold day than soup!

FITNESS

This is one area that I have to say has really picked up!  I joined a new gym, and have been going almost every day.  I’m still a YMCA member (can’t beat it for families), but I was really looking for an environment that was a bit more inspired.

I downloaded a free week pass to a gym near me, and found out my employer gets a discount, so after a week, I joined.

They have Les Mills classes there, and I’ve taken two of those so far – Insanity and CXWORX.  I’ve also done Zumba, various cardio machines, and TRX.

Probably my favorite thing is they have a completely blacked out theater room where they play movies while you workout.  It’s amazing how quickly an hour on an elliptical or treadmill goes when you’re watching a flick.

LIFE

It’s been such a busy couple of weeks!  We’re pretty much completely moved out of the old house and into the new one!  D has instituted a “new house, new rules” philosophy that I love.  For the first time, there’s basically no junk food in the house, everyone is more or less picking up after themselves regularly, and we’re all living healthier and happier!  Well, except for R and D actually getting sick last week (bronchitis and sinus infections).  But that’s not related to the new rules (I HOPE!) ;)

D had the audio people in to install the new TV and speakers, so that’s been fun.

My custom spice rack came and is mounted!  Up-cycled wine barrels, and it looks absolutely beautiful.


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The kids have had friends over often, and we had AC and JC over for an evening of drinks and snacks too.

M had his regional competition this past weekend, and his play came in 3rd!  They don’t advance to State, but it’s the farthest his school has ever gone and I’m incredibly proud of him.  My friend HF came to see it too, which was a very cool added bonus.

A came home for a weekend and brought a friend of hers, which was nice.  Her friend is from Atlanta, and they’re going to her house for spring break next month.

Oh, and D’s birthday was Friday and of course Valentine’s day was Saturday.  We went out to dinner for his birthday, and were traveling to see the play on Saturday.  We did snuggle up and watch a movie when we got home though, so that was sweet.  Fortunately, we’re not the type of couple who really needs a reminder to love each other, so it was a day for us, just like any other.

the three of us at Maninno's for D's bday.  M was out of town for his play and A was up at school.

the three of us at Maninno’s for D’s bday. M was out of town for his play and A was up at school.

I had brunch with NS yesterday and we’ve planned a Bloody Mary and board game day for next weekend!

Other than that, work work work!

Morning Picture Time!

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Other picture time!

the view from my hotel balcony on a work trip last week.

the view from my hotel balcony on a work trip last week.

Ginny

Ginny

sunshine kitty

sunshine kitty

Bumble deciding to join us at the head of the table for dinner one night...

Bumble deciding to join us at the head of the table for dinner one night…

and when Derek made her move because that's his seat....she sat in the chair that R's friend had been in!

and when Derek made her move because that’s his seat….she sat in the chair that R’s friend had been in!

GOAL CHECK-IN

  • food has been great and wine has been minimal, so that’s good!
  • dining out has been limited too, with the exception of my work trip – which involved eating out, and it wasn’t overly healthy.
  • doing great on the fitness goals.  Lots of running and new variety too!  My new membership gets three free hours with a trainer who is teaching me how to use the stuff in the gym.
  • blogging consistently – massive fail
  • meditate daily – massive fail (as in not at all since I’ve moved)
  • slowing down – I think that’s going to be impossible.  The more I try, the more I fail.

I Drank the Kool Aid (oh, and a recipe too!)

FOOD

I have to say, the Instant Pot is pretty cool.  I’ve seen several bloggers write about it, and after several months, decided I needed to have one.  It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and dutch oven all in one.  I’ve used it at least 4 times since I got it this weekend.  Aside from the week’s worth of steel oats I made, I used it to make basmati rice (in about 4 minutes!), stew, a pot of beans, and a new dish too (keep reading for recipe)!  It’s official.  I’ve drunk the pressure cooker kool aid.

Sunday night I made tofurky, roasted carrots, basmati rice, and mushroom gravy.

I love that the family gets so excited for Tofurky night!  It was so good, and there were no leftovers!

I love that the family gets so excited for Tofurky night! It was so good, and there were no leftovers!

Monday and Tuesday were nearly identical green smoothies for breakfast (though they’re purple!).

water, pineapple, orange, banana, spinach, and frozen berry blend.

water, pineapple, orange, banana, spinach, and frozen berry blend.

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Monday afternoon was broccoli soup, and dinner was a veggie burger on corn tortillas with ketchup, mustard, and cabbage.

3 mason jars (2 cups each) of creamy broccoli soup.

3 mason jars (2 cups each) of creamy broccoli soup.

I love the cabbage for crunch. Yummy and quick meal.

I love the cabbage for crunch. Yummy and quick meal.

Lunch today was leftover soup, and dinner was fun in the Instant Pot!  You can use a regular pressure cooker too.

all my ingredients, ready to go!

all my ingredients, ready to go!

Crissie’s Pressure Cooker Lentils, Rice, & Cauliflower Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger root (I use the jarred ginger rather than mincing fresh root – reduce to 1/4 tsp if you use ground)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder (I used hot curry)
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  •  1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup brown rice, rinsed
  • 3 1/2 cups water or veggie broth (I used Better than Bullion veggie base)
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

  • use the saute feature of your electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot (for a stove top pressure cooker, use medium heat) and cook the onion and garlic in a little bit of broth or water until translucent.
  • add ginger, cumin, curry powder, and mustard seed.  Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  • add lentils, rice, and water or broth and close the cooker.
  • Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.  Quick release.
  • Add cauliflower, remaining 1/2 cup of water, and salt.  No need to stir.
  • Close the cooker and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Let it naturally release.
  • Stir and eat!
topped with cabbage for crunch!  A one pot meal that's filling and healthy.

topped with cabbage for crunch! A one pot meal that’s filling and healthy.

FITNESS

Sunday I went for a run in my new neighborhood!  I did a nice 4 miler that included a loop around a local park.  It was really nice.

Today I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill and checked out a new piece of equipment – a cross trainer.

LIFE

It’s been a really good couple of days.  Sunday was tea, organizing the new house, chilling by the fire, grocery shopping, booking the spring break trip for me, R, M and one of M’s best friends (D has a big project and can’t take off, so M’s friend is coming instead) and Yahtzee!  R and I had a rematch and she won.  Then we all played, and M won.  I came in dead last.

D getting quite serious about his scores

D getting quite serious about his scores

Ginny showing us all what it means to nap in front of the fire place!

Ginny showing us all what it means to nap in front of the fire place!

and how to stretch out an nap on R's bed

and how to stretch out an nap on R’s bed

and how to nap with blankets pulled up to her head (she naps a lot!)

and how to nap with blankets pulled up to her head (she naps a lot!)

some chai tea

some chai tea

and me hanging by the fire

and me hanging by the fire

Then it was back to normal!  Work, school, and life!

Monday #morningpicture

Monday #morningpicture

Tuesday #morningpicture!

Tuesday #morningpicture!

GOAL CHECK-IN

  • all my grub has been healthy and balanced.  Woo hoo!
  • I snacked on some pretzels and hummus, but otherwise no gluten
  • haven’t gone out to eat the past few days (and not too often the past week, other than the vegan meet-up)
  • exercised twice since Sunday!
  • been planning meals and prepping in advance.  Soup, pre-shredded cabbage, diced up fruits and veggies, big pot of curry, etc.
  • no weekday wine.  Had two glasses on Sunday while cooking and playing Yahtzee.
  • have not meditated at all since moving
  • haven’t slowed down any – in fact, I think my pace has picked up.  Too much going on, and I’ve had no real down time in weeks.  It’s starting to show with hives coming back, so I need to work on that.