Strawberries For Days

FOOD

On Saturday morning, A and I went strawberry picking.  And pretty much everything has revolved around it since!

the strawberry haul!  And a spicy/sweet jam from the farm too.

the strawberry haul! And a spicy/sweet jam from the farm too.

strawberry balsamic vinaigrette!

strawberry balsamic vinaigrette!

really yummy salad dressing.  Olive oil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard.

really yummy salad dressing. Olive oil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard.

one of the most amazing snacks ever.  Mix cream cheese with spicy jam/jelly, and dip in pretzels.  Holy cow.  Been a long time fav of D and me.

one of the most amazing snacks ever. Mix cream cheese with spicy jam/jelly, and dip in pretzels. Holy cow. Been a long time fav of D and me.

of course ya gotta make some home made strawberry shortcake!

of course ya gotta make some home made strawberry shortcake!

this freaked D out....just the act f cooking strawberries

this freaked D out….just the act of cooking strawberries

but it made a yummy strawberry syrup for pancakes!  It's fairly thick, so good for toast too.

but it made a yummy strawberry syrup for pancakes! It’s fairly thick, so good for toast too.

speaking of pancakes....perhaps I tried to make too big a batch in that pitcher (it was A's birthday breakfast!)

speaking of pancakes….perhaps I tried to make too big a batch in that pitcher (it was A’s birthday breakfast!)

breakfast stuff

breakfast stuff

in non strawberry related news, made a new mac no cheese dish from a new cookbook.  Made with sweet potato!

in non strawberry related news, made a new mac no cheese dish from a new cookbook. Made with sweet potato!

A's birthday dinner on Sunday!  Tofurky, grilled veggies, and the strawberry shortcake.

A’s birthday dinner on Sunday! Tofurky, grilled veggies, and the strawberry shortcake.

not food, but a totally refreshing pitcher to keep outside on a hot day!  1 lemon and 2 limes sliced in a half gallon pitcher of ice water.  Refilled 4 times, but never had to switch out the fruit - it kept on flavoring the water.

not food, but a totally refreshing pitcher to keep outside on a hot day! 1 lemon and 2 limes sliced in a half gallon pitcher of ice water. Refilled 4 times, but never had to switch out the fruit – it kept on flavoring the water.

I did have one food fail, though I take no immediate blame :)  I wanted a fresh loaf of bread, and it came out hard as a rock.  I think my bread machine may be dying.  It’s old though, so maybe it’s a natural death.  The last several loaves I’ve made in it weren’t great – but if I use the Kitchen Aid and bake it in the oven, no problem.

FITNESS

This is my favorite time of year to run.  I know it’s hot, but considering how much I hate being cold, it really doesn’t bother me.  It is getting to the point where I’ll have to be better about wearing water belts though!

Sunday’s run in particular had me very hot and sweaty!  It got up to almost 90, but it was still only in the high 70’s/low 80’s when I went.  There was a light breeze, so it was actually very enjoyable.

I find that it’s when I STOP running that I become a sweat bomb.  Or perhaps that’s just when I notice it.

That’s when the pool comes in totally handy though :)

Other than that, it’s been mostly body weight workouts.

LIFE

I had one of those perfect weekends.  The one’s where the weather is perfect, the company is amazing, there’s things to do (but not TOO much), and things are just glorious.  It was the first really hot weekend, the first weekend our pool was open, and I seriously can’t complain.

Friday night, D and I went out.  We don’t go out all that often (honestly, we can have fun in a paper bag, so we’ve never needed “date nights” or things like that), so it was really nice.  We went to an Italian place, had a couple drinks and appetizers, and just hung out.  Talked about life, the future, politics, sports (I know…baseball was on and he loves baseball), and nothing in particular.

hanging out Friday night at Carrabbas!

hanging out Friday night at Carrabbas!

Saturday was all about food!  It started with A and I going strawberry picking, then she went to spend the day with her boyfriend, and I hit up the farmer’s market circuit…then came home, popped in headphones, and made stuff!

WP_20150516_002

A in the strawberry field.  Or is it a patch??

A in the strawberry field. Or is it a patch??

so many strawberries!

so many strawberries!

R had a couple friends over to swim and play video games, and then just as they left, M had friends over to do the same!

tweens in the pool

tweens in the pool

Yesterday was A’s 20th birthday!  So crazy that my little girl is 20.  After birthday breakfast, it was time for some pool fun.  Then she was off with one of her oldest friends for an afternoon of antique shops (yes, they love antiquing), and then home for her requested dinner and presents.  She got a new stereo with a turn table – so excited.  Some records too (Beatle’s Yellow Submarine, Pink Floyd – that was D, and The Clash – that was me!).

We received a package this weekend (coffee order), and each time I walked past it, one of the cats was in it.

Ginny got there first...

Ginny got there first…

but as soon as she left, Bumble jumped in.

but as soon as she left, Bumble jumped in.

While she was gone, I pretty much spent the entire day outside either in a lounge chair reading, or in a pool floatie listening to my iPod audio book.  As soon as D got back from running errands, he popped in the pool with a book and floated around too!

InstagramCapture_ca559134-25a1-466a-8725-0e2d39a03dc2

Today was business as usual, though perhaps a bit pink.  See, for all my outdoor glory, I forgot to wear sunscreen.  I’m crispy.  Even the insides of my ears are burned!

It probably was comical that I had picked out an outfit for today with a pink top.  It was almost like wearing camouflage!

Otherwise, today was a pretty good day too.  After work and school, M had a bunch of friends over to swim and watch TV.  A’s boyfriend came over for a bit too, and everyone had a relaxing evening.  Everyone except R, who isn’t feeling well.  She has a low grade fever, and I’m worried she’s catching the same allergy-induced sinus garbage I had two weeks ago.  I hope not – and that it was just too much sun and not enough hydration – but we shall see in the next day or so.

Until then, morningpictures!

Friday!

Today!

today :)

Friday

My Kid is Part Penguin

FOOD

Okay, two weeks of eats.  I seriously can’t believe it’s been two weeks!  Needless to say…tons of good meals!

this dish was called am fog from this yummy place called Clementine's in Harrisonburg.  It represented the farm these mushrooms were grown on the mountain across the way.  On a risotto with asparagus, and I was in heaven!

this dish was called am fog from this yummy place called Clementine’s in Harrisonburg. It represented the farm these mushrooms were grown on the mountain across the way. On a risotto with asparagus, and I was in heaven!

vegan breakfast wrap from Yorgo's Bageldashery in Norfolk.  One of my very fav places.

vegan breakfast wrap from Yorgo’s Bageldashery in Norfolk. One of my very fav places.

Last Friday I made mushroom ragout with polenta and tofu.  This ragout dish is one of my favorites – takes about 2 1/2 hours, but is so worth it.

ragout ingredients.  Mushroom, carrots, bell peppers, celery.  So simple.

ragout ingredients. Mushroom, carrots, bell peppers, celery. So simple.

cook until juices run clear, add about 1 1/2 cups broth, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

cook until juices run clear, add about 1 1/2 cups broth, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

also made stuffed mushroom caps.  Vegan cream cheese, garlic, spices, and breadcrumbs.

also made stuffed mushroom caps. Vegan cream cheese, garlic, spices, and breadcrumbs.

pan cooking some seasoned tofu cutlets.

pan cooking some seasoned tofu cutlets.

not a great pic by any means, but it was still very good.

not a great pic by any means, but it was still very good.

so good, I ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day!

so good, I ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day!

my mother's day breakfast!  D is so cute...he doesn't know how to feed me (he tries, he really does), so he woke up early and drove out to Yorgo's for to buy breakfast!  And that's love right there, because we live a good 20-25 minutes away :)

my mother’s day breakfast! D is so cute…he doesn’t know how to feed me (he tries, he really does), so he woke up early and drove out to Yorgo’s for to buy breakfast! And that’s love right there, because we live a good 20-25 minutes away :)

Typical daily drinks.  Green juices and smoothies!

WP_20150509_001 WP_20150511_001 WP_20150511_002

Monday I decided to make Indian food.  Started the naan dough before work, and even got to use up some of my homemade soy yogurt.

using the mortar and pestle that D got for me at the Luray caverns last year.

using the mortar and pestle that D got for me at the Luray caverns last year.

homemade yogurt!  I let it incubate a long time because I love my yogurt tangy.  Perfect for curries.

homemade yogurt! I let it incubate a long time because I love my yogurt tangy. Perfect for curries.

homemade garlic naan.  Made 15 pieces.  I ate one, and there were none left after dinner.

homemade garlic naan. Made 15 pieces. I ate one, and there were none left after dinner.

dinner!  Herbed basmati rice, adzuki beans, potato curry, and cauliflower.

dinner! Herbed basmati rice, adzuki beans, potato curry, and cauliflower.

Makes this bowl of oatmeal seem boring….

InstagramCapture_b604a3c9-6ce9-4c29-9fb5-c9bba248b3d4

Tonight was dinner on the grill.  Eggplant, red onion, and bell pepper rings tossed in olive oil and then grilled – and then tossed again in hot sauce, tamari, and rice vinegar.  Served on a lavash with lettuce leaves, Dijon mustard, and balsamic vinegar.  Oh, and a side of grilled asparagus.  SO GOOD.

before the grill....

before the grill….

after (they shrink so much!).

after (they shrink so much!).

tonight's eats

tonight’s eats

Other miscellaneous foods from the past two weeks….

another grill night - veggie burgers and mixed veggies (potatoes and broccoli I think).

another grill night – veggie burgers and mixed veggies (potatoes and broccoli I think).

you know I need at least one tofu green curry....

you know I need at least one tofu green curry….this was my Mother’s Day dinner (after drying off from Ana)

another great breakfast from Yorgo's!  I love having meetings down there in the morning.  Tofu, vegan cheese, and tempeh bacon on an everything bagel.

another great breakfast from Yorgo’s! I love having meetings down there in the morning. Tofu “egg”, vegan cheese, and tempeh bacon on an everything bagel.

linguine with tons of fresh garlic, olive oil, and mixed veggies.

linguine with tons of fresh garlic, olive oil, and mixed veggies.

don't judge.  Realized I was out of hot dog buns after the Tofurky kielbasa was cooking.  So I cut it and stacked in on a hamburger bun!

don’t judge. Realized I was out of hot dog buns after the Tofurky kielbasa was cooking. So I cut it and stacked in on a hamburger bun!

tofu teriyaki

tofu teriyaki

edamame

edamame

 

FITNESS

Quite literally, the only workouts the past two weeks have been runs.  It’s all I’ve had time for.  Luckily, I’m pretty much okay with that!

LIFE

You know, I think time is a tricky thing.  It goes by so quickly when you’re not paying attention!  Two weeks is a long time between posts, and I’m sorry.  Between D working nights, me getting a ridiculous sinus/ear infection (completely lost my hearing in my left ear for almost 2 days – freaked me right the heck out), a last minute work trip, and regular life….it’s remarkable how fast the time flies.

Mother’s day was nice – though we should have checked the weather for that whole “tropical storm” thing.  Alas, we went to the theme park anyway, managed to get one roller coaster down – before the sky opened up and the storms hit!  Seriously though, it was still a great time.

me and D when the kids went for round 2 on the Griffon

me and D when the kids went for round 2 on the Griffon

all of us drenched.  Cracks me up how unamused A is, and that R's nose is flaring so much.  They're clearly annoyed at the rain.

all of us drenched. Cracks me up how unamused A is, and that R’s nose is flaring so much. They’re clearly annoyed at the rain and even more annoyed that we stopped for a selfie.

Miscellaneous pics…

hello mountains!!  One of the things I love about Virginia.  We have it all - beaches, mountains, forests, cities, swamps (okay, I don't like swamps, but we have them), and everything in between.

hello mountains!! One of the things I love about Virginia. We have it all – beaches, mountains, forests, cities, swamps (okay, I don’t like swamps, but we have them), and everything in between.

rub da belly!!!

rub da belly!!!

no words other than Ginny doesn't look so much like a kitty anymore

no words other than Ginny doesn’t look so much like a kitty anymore

the girls in the front window when I left yesterday

the girls in the front window when I left yesterday

Love 80's music.  Okay...not music like Whitney Houston or Tiffany...but fun stuff, like Roxy Music.

Love 80’s music. Okay…not music like Whitney Houston or Tiffany…but fun stuff, like Roxy Music.

still my favorite room in the house!

still my favorite room in the house!

Probably the most fun thing is the pool was opened on Monday.  It was supposed to be last Friday, but the pool people had a truck breakdown, and we didn’t get done.

So Monday it was this green jello-looking thing, and by today, my family (NOT me), actually went in.

me Tuesday evening lying in one of the lounge chairs and reading.  It was almost 90 and perfect.

me Tuesday evening lying in one of the lounge chairs and reading. It was almost 90 and perfect.

yesterday R spent over an hour cleaning the pool.  Kid is desperate to get it ready.

yesterday R spent over an hour cleaning the pool. Kid is desperate to get it ready.

D, M, and A all jumped in this evening wearing their clothes.  Keep in mind it was in the 60's.

D, M, and A all jumped in this evening wearing their clothes. Keep in mind it was in the 60’s.

WP_20150514_006 WP_20150514_007

this is me....on the chair with a hot cup of tea and a blanket.  While they swam.

this is me….on the chair with a hot cup of tea, new cookbook, and a blanket. While they swam.

she couldn't wait anymore.....

she couldn’t wait anymore…..

WP_20150514_010

I want you all to keep in mind that our pool is not heated.  And that water was in the pool ALL WINTER LONG.  And R swam for about 20 minutes before I made her get out for fear of hypothermia…..

She is clearly part penguin.

And finally, the morning pictures!

V__5CFB V__AA3A InstagramCapture_25185a37-e57a-45d6-854c-9c6eee1888e7 InstagramCapture_69deb442-6b52-4d1b-ad9d-14ae207abb65 InstagramCapture_6a518806-5d0f-47de-8a44-5e255553ca99 InstagramCapture_3ec79eaf-f47a-43ff-93fe-77675d54f6ff

okay, this was today's, and it's freaking me out how grown up R looks....

okay, this was today’s, and it’s freaking me out how grown up R looks….

 

Forgetting Not Everyone Eats Like Me

FOOD

Okay, so while people I meet don’t always eat like me (and I get that), it’s definitely worth trying.  I eat really good food (and mostly REAL food, not processed crap).  And if you ever meet me, you’ll know I’m not a starving vegan!

Before I get to the week’s food, the reason for my title has to do with a little neighborhood girl.  Incredibly sweet kid who’s a friend to my youngest, but I was reminded the hard way last night that most kids don’t eat like mine.  (new neighborhood, and new great friends – but most of the friends my kids’ have had since they were little eat here often).  I was not prepared.

Mine eat a lot of fresh fruits,veggies, and smoothies – and yes, we have some junk too (I mean really…who doesn’t love a bag of tortilla chips and spicy salsa?!?!), but I’m not used to kids who refuse food.  R had a friend come over last night, and I realized quickly when she wouldn’t eat dinner, that this little girl isn’t used to food like we eat it.

And no, I didn’t try to serve her crazy grub.  It was a typical dinner in my house – salad (with tons of do-it-yourself toppings and dressings, because we all have different tastes), maple roasted sweet potatoes, soup, and Tofurky.  Okay, I realize most kids may not grow up with tofu as a staple, but it is really yummy.  So I felt horrible when she wouldn’t even try anything – and asked for mac and cheese or chips.

simple salad with romaine, scallions, tomato, cucumber, and red bell pepper.   All other toppings were served ala carte.

simple salad with romaine, scallions, tomato, cucumber, and red bell pepper. All other toppings were served ala carte.  See those red onions in the top….pickled with lime juice.  Mainly just for me….

our fav sweet potatoes - roasted with olive oil and pure maple syrup.  SO GOOD.

our fav sweet potatoes – roasted with olive oil and pure maple syrup. SO GOOD.

for the more adult palate (this was mostly for me, A, and her friend M...who I've known since she was little and grew up eating in my house!)

soup for the more adult palate (this was mostly for me, A, and her friend M…who I’ve known since she was little and who grew up eating in my house!).

sliced Tofurky.  My omni family is always thrilled for this....which is why I thought it would be OK for a new young one.

sliced Tofurky. My omni family is always thrilled for this….which is why I thought it would be OK for a new young one.

We accommodated her, but it was strange.  Even my food allergy little one was trying to convince her to try things.  Alas.  Wasn’t going to happen.

This morning, she did eat the pancakes and watermelon I served.  But not the smoothie (coconut water, apple, banana, and strawberry – seriously tasty).  I’m sorry, but smoothies are the most brilliant thing ever as a parent.  I usually put kale or spinach in it, and my kids leave for school with most of their fruit and veggie servings in for the day.  Seriously, no down side there.

who wouldn't love to drink this??

who wouldn’t love to drink this??

first watermelon of the season!!!

first watermelon of the season!!!

Okay, on to pictures of some of the week’s other eats!

coconut water, pineapple, banana, grapefruit,  and spinach.

coconut water, pineapple, banana, grapefruit, and spinach.

made more than I anticipated!

made more than I anticipated!

mostly the same smoothie (I have to finish up those grapefruit!), but added some kale and Vega powder.

mostly the same smoothie (I have to finish up those grapefruit!), but added some kale and Vega powder.

WP_20150501_002

decided to do a full day of smoothies.  Blueberry and coconut, two of pineapple/kale/ginger, and a savory one of bok choy, cucumber, jalapeno, miso, and tahini.  I felt so good by the end of this day!  (Thursday).

decided to do a full day of smoothies. Blueberry and coconut, two of pineapple/kale/ginger, and a savory one of bok choy, cucumber, jalapeno, miso, and tahini. I felt so good by the end of this day! (Thursday).

a flatbread wrap with a hummus base and tons of veggies, like sliced cuc, red pepper, and spinach.

a flat-bread wrap with a hummus base and tons of veggies, like sliced cuc, red pepper, and spinach.

spicy tofu soup!  One of my fav quick meals.  We had some nasty chilly and wet weather this week, so it was perfect.

spicy tofu soup! One of my fav quick meals. We had some nasty chilly and wet weather this week, so it was perfect.

meal out.  Not the best, but an eggplant and fresh tomato sauce over pasta.

dining meal out. Not the best nutritionally, but an eggplant and fresh tomato sauce over pasta.  It was tasty :)

This afternoon I made some snack bars.  They’re sweet and yummy and full of great energy.

after mixed up and chilled.

after mixed up and chilled.

bars of snacks ready for the week!

bars of snacks ready for the week!

wrapped individually and ready to take on the road (I'm on a work trip this week) and in lunches for the young ones.

wrapped individually and ready to take on the road (I’m on a work trip this week) and in lunches for the young ones.

FITNESS

This week has honestly been crazy.

Exams, D working nights, the kids having friends over like it’s a revolving door, work, and nearing the end of the school year….it was amazing I did anything at all!

The best was today though.  I went for a run this morning through the neighborhood.  The sky’s dried up and it was this great in-between temperature.  A t-shirt was enough, but I never overheated.  I know those days are dwindling as summer gets here (and that is NOT a complaint….I love summer), but it’ll be one of the last weekends where I can run at 10am and it not be too hot and humid.

LIFE

It’s been a good, if not hectic week.  Nothing new there!

With D on nights, it’s been a bit crazy.  He does so much (especially in the mornings), that I found I had to rearrange my early meetings to accommodate.  As a result, I even had a #morningpicture with me in it!  My oldest, A, took R to school on Friday, but was having none of the daily selfie tradition.

InstagramCapture_1a440314-29c5-4486-a7ba-896e995e1480

WP_20150429_002

okay, this was taken right before R’s orchestra concert this week. It was SO good.

V__34C3 InstagramCapture_a0dc0e02-6d72-40f7-a9cb-b0847d7379cf InstagramCapture_05426564-56b4-4449-b5af-eea5bde89f5d

okay, so this isn't a morningpicuture...it was taken before D went to work tonight...but it's still so bloody cute.

okay, so this isn’t a morningpicuture…it was taken before D went to work tonight…but it’s still so bloody cute.

My son is about to graduate from high school in a few weeks.  He’s been very active in drama (and if you read previous posts, he’s quite amazing…and that’s NOT just mamma’s pride talking), and this weekend is his last high school performance.  He was in the Addams’s Family musical as the straight laced dad of the normal boy that falls in love with Wednesday.  The entire cast has done a great job, and even though he plans to be an English teacher (and we all know how often we change majors, so we’ll see how that plays out), I still hope he plans to stay active in theater in college.  He’s really good!

S and R at the show last night!

S and R at the show last night!

standing in line to get an autograph from Lurch.  Seriously, he was hilarious.

standing in line to get an autograph from Lurch. Seriously, he was hilarious.

WP_20150501_012

pics with Lurch!

pics with Lurch!

autographs from Fester

autographs from Fester.  He was ridiculously good.  I love that I’ve known most of these kids for years.

WP_20150501_015

getting Lucas' dad's pic (aka Mal Beineke...aka my son M!)

getting Lucas’ dad’s autograph (aka Mal Beineke…aka my son M!)

a proud sister on the far right with M!

a proud sister on the far right with M!

So yeah.  That’s been my week.  I leave you with miscellaneous pics….

what, you're reading???  Seriously, just snuggle me instead....

what, you’re reading??? Seriously, just snuggle me instead….she started out ON the book…

Ginny is the most non-catlike cat ever.  She loves to lie upside down.  We call it her flop.  Ginny flops....

Ginny is the most non-catlike cat ever. She loves to lie upside down. We call it her flop. Ginny flops….

oh what, the cabinet is open?!  Clearly that's meant for me...

oh what, the cabinet is open?! Clearly that’s meant for me to explore…

snugly baby.

snugly baby.

last, but not least....my oldest with her (recent) boyfriend J.  Nice kid.  Time will tell...

last, but not least….my oldest with her (recent) boyfriend J. Nice kid. Time will tell…

 

 

Some Soccer with a Side of Hit and Run

FOOD

Surprisingly, I only actually made one smoothie this week.  The other mornings I hit up a smoothie place and bought them instead.  Lazy, yes….

coconut water, banana, spinach, grapefruit, and grapes.

coconut water, banana, spinach, grapefruit, and grapes.

I made a big batch of chickpea and cauliflower curry in the rice cooker, so that was lunch for a few days.  Super easy – 1 cup brown rice, 1 can coconut milk, 1 cup water, 1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained), any frozen veggies you may have lying around, 1 tbsp ginger, and 2 tbsp red Thai curry powder.  Mix it all in the rice cooker, add half a head of chopped cauliflower on top (don’t mix it in), and cook on the brown rice setting.  Stir gently when it’s done – not too enthusiastically or you’ll mash the cauliflower.

WP_20150423_004

Friday night was a girls vegan pizza evening!  N, K, and I made pizza, drank wine, and hung out.

pesto, beet, apple, and KP's homemade vegan sausage.  Other things too, like the arugula that was put on it after it cooked.

pesto, beet, apple, and KP’s homemade vegan sausage. Other things too, like the arugula that was put on it after it cooked.

the other pizza.  Red sauce, zucchini, mushrooms, and more by the time it was put together.

the other pizza. Red sauce, zucchini, mushrooms, and more by the time it was put together.

FITNESS

Most days were runs, except for Wednesday.  My eldest and I went to a body combat class at the gym.  It was exhausting and exhilarating, and while tender for a few days, was completely excellent.

LIFE

It’s been a busy week, but a good one.  This weekend has been especially whirlwind, but that’s okay.

Friday afternoon AC and I met up for happy hour at a brand new place in Norfolk called Torch Bistro.  Cute place.  Then it was off to NS’ house for pizza and wine.  While I was there for the night, M had a LAN party.  Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like….Local Area Network.  Essentially, all of his friends come over, bring their own computers, and they get networked together and they play games.  Benefit of having IT parents :)

hard at work making pizzas!  I rolled out the dough, so my part was over.

hard at work making pizzas! I rolled out the dough, so my part was over.

NS, me, and KP

NS, me, and KP

requested snacks for M's party.  Tons of Yerba Mate tea's and hippie snacks from Whole Foods.

requested snacks for M’s party. Tons of Yerba Mate tea’s and hippie snacks from Whole Foods.

When I got home Saturday (I spent the night at NS’ house), it was cleaning and reading.  It was a gross day, so good for both activities.

The 80/20 Burger Bar in Norfolk put a Facebook invite out there for the Chelsea v. Arsenal game today at 11am.  So D, AC, JC, and I met up at 11 and watched the game.  It was a very fun time, and it ended 0-0.  Doesn’t sound exciting, but it was – first half was massively frenetic, one of my favorite players got hauled off to the hospital with a suspected head injury, and in the end, all Chelsea had to do to hold on to the top spot was to not lose.

picked this up for D to prepare!  He isn't a soccer nut like me, but he was going to represent Chelsea anyway!

picked this up for D to prepare! He isn’t a soccer nut like me, but he was going to represent Chelsea anyway!

us before heading out.  It was an Arsenal heavy crowd, but that's okay.  We're better :)

us before heading out. It was an Arsenal heavy crowd, but that’s okay. We’re better :)

After the game, D and I went out to the parking lot and he noticed that someone hit the back corner of my van.  And after a quick look….that car had still parked next to us!  The back left bumper area was all scraped up, and the front right of this Subaru had my van’s paint all over it!  What kind of idiot hits a car and then parks next to it??

I went back into 80/20 and proceeded to ask everyone there if they drove a silver Subaru outback.  No takers.  We had to call the police, who logged it as a hit and run.

The rest of the afternoon was spent grocery shopping and now making dinner!  Quite frankly, I’m exhausted and hoping to sneak off to bed around 8 :)

And I leave you with this week’s morning pictures and cats!

V__218A V__AB4F V__80B0 V__28FB InstagramCapture_6da82a1d-2730-4d2f-94f8-b5e68cd5669f

sort of close together....so exciting that Bumble seems to be liking Ginny more...

sort of close together….so exciting that Bumble seems to be liking Ginny more…

sunshine kitties sharing a stair!

sunshine kitties sharing a stair!

no sense of the "hey, I'm trying to read here" from this one.  Personal space?  No such thing....

no sense of the “hey, I’m trying to read here” from this one. Personal space? No such thing….

InstagramCapture_eb5b7056-76d6-4c08-a513-6de23904db38

Black Thumb, Be Gone!!!

FOOD

Okay, so the most exciting this of the past few days is the ability to eat food.  Seriously, the evil belly demon reside in me through the weekend.  TMI?  Maybe.  But it’s really just to explain the lack of food pics!

Sunday I had the best green juice.  Earthy and cleansing, and was a great dose of nutrients and energy.  And helped clean out my fridge, so that’s cool!

romaine, spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, and lemon.

romaine, spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, and lemon.

WP_20150418_002 WP_20150418_003

I made tofu/potato tacos by request on Sunday – which made awesome leftovers at work on Monday!

tofu and potato mixture on rice and topped with lettuce.  So good!

tofu and potato mixture on rice and topped with lettuce. So good!

Sunday night was a really great meal that I was happy to eat.  Snobby joes (lentil sloppy Joe’s from Veganomicon), mac no cheese, and roasted asparagus.  It’s been interesting trying to make meals that R can eat now that she has braces!

InstagramCapture_62edca81-e4ce-44da-9064-da4f671569da

Yesterday and today I cheated (ish) on the smoothie front and went to Tropical Smoothie cafe.  My favorite is Pomegranate Plunge with no sweetener and the spinach and kale super pack.

FITNESS

All runs, every day.  Well, maybe not EVERY day!  Sunday and today, and that’s almost like it was every day ;)

Tomorrow is body combat with A.  Should be interesting.  Stay tuned.

LIFE

Oh, the weekend I’ve had.

I planted my first ever garden!!!  I’ve historically had a black thumb – where I kill every plant I’ve ever had.  My motto used to be “dead plants give room character”, so it should be interesting.  I’m the bad vegan who loves nature, but doesn’t want it on me.  So…another “stay tuned” moment.  Will either be a life altering summer, or one where I give up on nurturing anything (other than my children, of course)….

before we actually put plants and seeds in it!

before we actually put plants and seeds in it!

Although…I couldn’t figure out how to turn the water on to my hose.  Seriously, I crawled all over the house and the garage to find it.  D skyped me from DC and we have no clue.  Checking in with the neighbors (and feeling like idiots), before calling a plumber.  Honestly, pitfall of buying a house in the winter.  Knowing how to turn crap back on when it gets warm again!

really, can't get it to work.   What's wrong here!?!

really, can’t get it to work. What’s wrong here!?!

D was up in DC for the weekend – mainly to get Cherry Blossom pics for me, but they were all gone – so it was me and the kids.  That was fun, because we all played in the dirt and pretended to be farmers.

Here’s what we have planted….

  • roma tomatoes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • red bell peppers
  • hot peppers
  • eggplant
  • zucchini
  • cucumber
  • bib lettuce
  • spinach
  • onions
  • carrots
  • beets
  • radishes
  • pumpkins

Now that I see the list, I think I bit off more than I can chew…..

Aside from that, I got a great deal on a patio set for the screened in porch.  Bought it as Sears, picked it up, and proceeded to spend 2 hours putting it together.  Just me, a glass of wine, and a freaking allen wrench.  I think my fingertips are still shredded after a love seat, two chairs, and a table.  Truth be told, when I’m home, I rarely leave this porch!

built the table first so I had a place to put my drink....

built the table first so I had a place to put my drink….

right after finishing!

right after finishing!

me hanging out in the rain and not caring because it's a screened in porch!

me hanging out in the rain and not caring because it’s a screened in porch!

Otherwise, I have my two morning pictures, which are always on Twitter and Instagram.  I love how R actually smiles showing her teeth now that she has braces!

V__5AFD InstagramCapture_f302f96a-b512-48df-adc5-565d71819e93

 

 

 

The Battle Bra

FOOD

Well, I don’t have a lot of food to share with you the past two days.  Mainly because my insides wanted to be on my outside (meaning I think I had food poisoning or else I angered some digestive deity somewhere).

Some type of time bomb went off around 8 pm on Tuesday and didn’t leave until sometime this afternoon.  As a result, I haven’t had much beyond water and tea.

my one meal.  Tomato soup with some corn and peas.  This was breakfast and lunch today.

my one meal. Tomato soup with some corn and peas. This was breakfast and lunch today.

FITNESS

Funny thing is I had a great run on Tuesday before the belly bomb went off.  I have not done squat (or any squats) since.

I thought I was feeling okay enough yesterday to go for a run, so I got into my workout gear.  That good feeling didn’t last long, and while I was changing into pajamas, D came in.  Apparently he’s never noticed my sports bra today since he remarked that it looked like some type of battle bra.  So now that’s what they will always be called.  It sounds cooler :)

LIFE

Tuesday night was mainly spent curled up in a ball of discomfort while reading.  Nothing fun to report there.

Wednesday was work and then catching up with a friend afterwards.  She and I don’t spend nearly enough time together, but when we do, it’s like no time has passed at all.  And that’s really cool.

D and R's Wednesday morning picture!

D and R’s Wednesday morning picture!

Thursday was an early morning work meeting, and it was bring my daughter to work day!  I am part of a project to build a revolutionary new school in my region, and we had a meeting yesterday downtown.  It was at 830, but since R had an appt at 1030, I brought her with me (I checked first).

mommy n me at the downtime library to build a new school!

mommy n me at the downtime library to build a new school!

So – I got to have a mommy and me picture!  Notice she’s actually showing her teeth in her smile?  That’s because I told her she had to…since it would be her last morning picture before braces!

So yes – her 1030 appt was with the orthodontist.  And, being the strange child she is, was totally excited for it.  No fear nor apprehension of any kind.  The process was painless, and she spent the entire afternoon exclaiming “braces are so neat!”.

in the chair and ready to go!

in the chair and ready to go!

getting prepped

getting prepped

all done!  She gets the bottom teeth done in June.

all done! She gets the bottom teeth done in June.

Then we went to the movies to see Insurgent.

And while today she is still happy she did it, the mouth soreness has kicked in.  I never had braces, but my sister did, and I seem to remember a lot of meals through straws….

today's morning picture!  She got a ton of compliments today.  No teasing (thankfully).

today’s morning picture! She got a ton of compliments today. No teasing (thankfully).

Otherwise, D is up in DC this weekend to see and take pics of the Cherry Blossoms peak (and possibly take in a Nat’s game!), and I have a houseful of kids (A and her friend from school are here).

As for me, it’s bedtime :)

my blogging partner in crime!  Ginny crawled into my lap at the desk right before I started this post.

my blogging partner in crime! Ginny crawled into my lap at the desk right before I started this post.

Oh Spring, How I Love/Hate You

FOOD

So last week Wednesday was national empanada day!  I wasn’t able to celebrate properly, so we had a delayed feast this weekend.  I made empanadas, rice and beans, a cabbage salad, and a spicy green sauce.  Not a hungry belly left!

Crissie’s Attempt to Recreate the Epcot Mexican Slaw

Ingredients

  • 1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 roma tomato, diced small
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or sweetener of choice – I used raw sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  • mix everything together!
  • let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to meld flavors
rolled out and cut dough circles, ready to go!

rolled out and cut dough circles, ready to go!

ready to bake

ready to bake

ingredients ready for the beans

ingredients ready for the beans

spicy green sauce ingredients before....

spicy green sauce ingredients before….

...and after!

…and after!

DINNER!  As a side note, D fell in love with the slaw at Epcot, and while I didn't recreate it exactly, I think it was pretty close...and was well received!

DINNER! As a side note, D fell in love with the slaw at Epcot, and while I didn’t recreate it exactly, I think it was pretty close…and was well received!

For breakfast yesterday, I may have gone a bit overboard on my smoothie, and ended up with two to-go cups!  Lasted me half the day, so that was totally awesome.

WP_20150413_001

Last night D and I went to run errands (IE – buying chaise lounges for the pool!) and we went out for Japanese food.  After miso, yakisoba, edamame, and a veggie roll, I was beyond stuffed.

D thinks miso looks like brains....

D thinks miso looks like brains….

WP_20150413_004 WP_20150413_005

Perhaps because I had such a big dinner, I haven’t had much of an appetite today.  A simple stir fry of tofu, red onion, garlic, bell pepper, and coconut aminos has been enough so far.

FITNESS

I actually went to yoga on Sunday.  I haven’t gone to a physical class since LC and I went in January to her studio.  It’s not that I don’t love it and miss it – because both are true – but I think I’ve been a bit depressed about it.  Here’s what I mean…

I really want to be a yoga teacher.  Like, a lot.  I’ve had this goal for years, and had finally committed to doing it.  I spent the year socking money away, and was going to start my 9 month teacher training this past December.  I was all set and excited and ready to go!

And then life got in the way.  I had to take a serious look at if I could actually fit it into my life at this point, and the sad (but honest) answer was no.  I went into a soft of yoga funk after that, and couldn’t bring myself to hit the studio.  And then we bought a house, moved, and had all sorts of other things come up, so it started to be easy to not go.  I’d log into Yogaglo and do some classes at home (or in the hotel), or do some simple sequences on my own, but hadn’t actually hit the studio.

It was time.

Unfortunately, I didn’t go to my normal studio and went to one I used to go to.  I did that because 1 – they had a class at a time that suited my schedule better, and 2 – I think I have some trepidation of going to the studio where I failed to start yoga teacher training.

Bad move.  I really disliked the class.  A lot.  It didn’t feel balanced, and the instructor yelled out quite loudly.  And talked about herself a lot.  Basically, the class was not my speed, and I’m actually sorry I went.  I didn’t want my first day back on the mat in a studio to be a bad experience.  One the plus side, I think I’m ready to head back to my home studio.

Today was a muggy run between the storms.  Thankfully it felt better than my run on Saturday, though my pace was a bit slower.  Funny how that works :)

LIFE

Spring has sprung, the air is green, and I am sneezing at EVERYTHING.

I always get excited for Spring.  It marks the end of Winter (and I HATE winter….I hate being cold more than almost anything else) and is a signal that days are going to get longer and warmer.

And then I start to see the pollen, and everything gets a thick covering of green.  I throw open the windows to welcome in the warm air and light and revel in the day – and then spend the evening scrubbing the table tops and floors to make the green sheen go away.

And I sneeze.  All the time.

I can’t wear contacts because my eyes burn and occasionally swell shut.  Forget mascara!

And I am reminded that the only season I really need is summer.  Things bloom without trying to kill me, the days are really warm and sunny, and there are no coating of green hell powder over everything.

So come on Spring, you’ve outlived your welcome.  Bring on summer.

In the mean time, some random extra pics from the past week!

WP_20150405_09_04_01_Pro WP_20150405_12_01_27_Pro

this one followed M around

this one followed M around

WP_20150407_13_18_33_Pro WP_20150407_16_11_28_Pro WP_20150408_18_31_57_Pro

the #morningpictures are back!!

the #morningpictures are back!!

a girl and her lazy cat (that would be me and Bumble)

a girl and her lazy cat (that would be me and Bumble)

WP_20150407_21_07_04_Pro

yeeessss.....

yeeessss…..

 

Craving Boring

Okay, so I hope that this is the last long absence between blogs.  I’ve had a lot of personal issues going on – that I’m not going to go into detail over – but needless to say, my energies have been focused elsewhere.  I think about blogging often, and I’ve missed it.  As things are hopefully stabling out here, my posting will go back to being much more consistent.  Thanks for sticking with me!

FOOD

Well, two weeks of eats have been more than I can probably document, but I sure am going to try!  Most of these have been on the road (as I’ve done a ton of traveling the past week).

if you have people in your life who struggle to think that a vegan meal can be hearty, comforting, and tasty - this is the book for you!  TONS of family favorites come out of this tome in our house.

if you have people in your life who struggle to think that a vegan meal can be hearty, comforting, and tasty – this is the book for you! TONS of family favorites come out of this tome in our house.

here are all the ingredients stacked up for one of those!  A delicious chili mac.

here are all the ingredients stacked up for one of those! A delicious chili mac.

 

not much leftover after this meal!

not much leftover after this meal!

sweet potato and chickpea salad

sweet potato and chickpea salad

thai soup

thai soup

oatmeal (only bfast food you can ever get while traveling!)

oatmeal (only bfast food you can ever get while traveling!)

WP_20150331_001 WP_20150331_002 WP_20150331_004

one of my fav meals.  Lentils, pita, hummus, olives, couscous, and tabbouleh

one of my fav meals. Lentils, pita, hummus, olives, couscous, and tabbouleh

fakin BBQ chicken breast and a roasted corn salad

fakin BBQ chicken breast and a roasted corn salad

strawberry margarita!

strawberry margarita!

part of yesterday's breakfast - hopefully the last meal on the road for a long time!  Began with a Lumi juice of lemon, beet, celery, and parsley

part of yesterday’s breakfast – hopefully the last meal on the road for a long time! Began with a Lumi juice of lemon, beet, celery, and parsley

followed by vegan and gluten-free buckwheat pancakes with berries

followed by vegan and gluten-free buckwheat pancakes with berries

and finally, last night's dinner.  Grilled portabella mushrooms and a teriyaki ramen and broccoli salad.

and finally, last night’s dinner. Grilled portabella mushrooms and a teriyaki ramen and broccoli salad.

FITNESS

I went for a run last night and it was just brutal.  I struggled through the entire thing, and that was a very demoralizing feeling.  I do feel like my fitness levels have dropped the past few months, and it’s time to focus on rebuilding base mileage and strength.  It sounds weird, but I’m really looking forward to it!  I have a lot of fitness related resources around me, so taking advantage of them shouldn’t be difficult for me as long as I make the time!

LIFE

The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of chaos, fear, sadness, stress, but with some happy times thrown in too.  To but it bluntly, it’s been highly overwhelming.  I don’t often put myself at the top of my to-do list, but that’s something I want to work on.  Something that I need to work on.  I need to understand that I can be there for others without sacrificing my own well being.  So yeah, new goal for me!

We took a short trip this past week to Florida, which was mostly wonderful.  It was a break (mentally and physically) I didn’t realize I needed.  I will admit that I had some guilt too in going, but I’m mostly over that.  I didn’t take too many pictures (D did that!), but I know that R and M had a great time, and that was the whole point anyway!

WP_20150408_003 WP_20150408_002 WP_20150408_001 WP_20150407_002 WP_20150406_021 WP_20150406_020 WP_20150406_018 WP_20150406_006 InstagramCapture_1e7ddc46-cb8d-4e5a-a126-94f6b1bfcfba

Today is my first full day back home.  I’m doing meal planning, grocery shopping, garden planning (planting next weekend!), laundry, organizing, and a few other things I need to get done.  And through it all, I’m so excited to do something routine and mundane!  Yes, I’m craving boring!  Not sure how long that will last, but for now, that’s my plan.  I’m all “excited” out!.

So, I hope your Sunday is exactly what you want it to be!

Swinging in the Rain (and a stir fry recipe!)

FOOD

A few highlights from my week (and a recipe if you keep going!).

roasted asparagus with sea salt and lemon.  Simple, but amazing.

roasted asparagus with sea salt and lemon. Simple, but amazing.

on of my very favorite soups - ginger carrot.

on of my very favorite soups – ginger carrot.

I normally prefer to make my own juices, but its been so hectic lately, that this was better than no juice at all!

I normally prefer to make my own juices, but its been so hectic lately, that this was better than no juice at all!

WP_20150326_008

my go-to lately (mainly because I have only frozen berries left!). 1 cup vanilla coconut milk, 4 cups kale, 1 banana, 1/2 c frozen mixed berries, 2 tbsp brown rice protein powder, 1 tbsp cocoa nibs, and a splash of vanilla.

my go-to lately (mainly because I have only frozen berries left!). 1 cup vanilla coconut milk, 4 cups kale, 1 banana, 1/2 c frozen mixed berries, 2 tbsp brown rice protein powder, 1 tbsp cocoa nibs, and a splash of vanilla.

simple and clean.  Quinoa, pinto beans, corn, green beans, and a bit of hot sauce.

simple and clean. Quinoa, pinto beans, corn, green beans, and a bit of hot sauce.

Tofurky kielbasa with mustard and sauerkraut.

Tofurky kielbasa with mustard and sauerkraut.

AC and I went out to dinner at a restaurant in Norfolk called Supper Southern Morsels and it was totally amazing.  I had a salad and a Gardein Jambalaya that was ridiculous.  It’s a cute place, and I can’t wait to go back when it’s warm out since they have rooftop dining!

WP_20150328_001 WP_20150328_002

we ended up at Bardo's after dinner for dessert and a drink. No vegan desserts, but spring rolls worked nicely!

we ended up at Bardo’s after dinner for dessert and a drink. No vegan desserts, but spring rolls worked nicely!

I had a great tofu scramble burrito at Harrison’s Cafe too!

WP_20150325_005 WP_20150325_006

Friday night it was just me and R (D was at M’s rehearsal to take pictures of everything and head shots of the actors), so after doing some summer clothes shopping, we stopped at Moe’s to bring home for dinner.

life is too short to skip the shell!

life is too short to skip the shell!

But onto the fun stuff!  I finally went grocery shopping today and whipped up this stir fry for dinner tonight.  D and I have both had a craving for it, and this time, I actually wrote down what I did!  Feel free to mix up the veggies used – that’s the nice thing about stir fry!

Crissie’s Sweet & Sour Tofu Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large can of cubed pineapple in juice (keep the juice)
  • 1/2 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into large wedges
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into large squares
  • 1 small can diced water chestnuts
  • 1 small can bamboo shoots
  • 1 can bean sprouts (or use fresh)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp mirin (or regular white vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce/tamari
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste

Directions

  • In a very large pan or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add tofu, and stir until starting to brown on all sides.
  • Add garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add red onion and bell pepper and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Sprinkle a few shakes of red pepper flakes. I did about 3 shakes since my young one doesn’t like super spicy.
  • Meanwhile, pour the pineapple juice into a measuring cup.  Add enough water or veggie broth to make 1 1/2 cups.  Add in the ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, and corn starch.  Mix well and set aside.
  • Add the broccoli and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and pineapple.  Stir well.
  • Add the liquid and bring the heat to high until it starts to boil.  Once it boils, turn down to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes, until sauce thickens.
  • Add bean sprouts and heat through.
  • Salt and extra soy sauce at the table for everyone to adjust to taste.

We ate ours over brown rice, and it was awesome.  This made about 8 servings.

everything ready to go!

everything ready to go!

the dinner table (complete with chop sticks for everyone!)

the dinner table (complete with chop sticks for everyone!)

a close up of the finished dish.

a close up of the finished dish.

It was a huge hit, and definitely something that will go in the regular rotation.

FITNESS

Today was the first day in weeks that I’ve been able to hit the gym.  I’ve gotten in runs and some body weight workouts at home, but I did miss my gym.

Today I went and spent 75 minutes doing cardio. My gym has a cinema room, and today’s feature was Avatar!  I love that movie.  Anyway, I hopped on the elliptical and watched the last half hour of the movie.

Then it was into the main room for 45 minutes on the treadmill.  I normally really hate treadmills (that whole “I feel like a hamster” thing), but I’m not dealing well with the cold.  So, 45 minutes of running in place it was!

I have to say I love my new Microsoft Band.  It not only keeps constant track of my heart rate, but I can also download workouts to it.  Every time I need to do the next exercise (or bump up the speed or incline), it vibrates on my wrist and displays the next activity.  Oh, and it also does texts, emails, sleep tracker, weather, and any number of other things.  Yeah, it was worth the wait.

LIFE

It is SO nice to be back home.  Traveling is fun, and I do enjoy it, but lately its been a bit too much.  When my young one goes to the nurses office complaining of a stomach ache – and then tells the nurse that she misses her mom – I know that enough is enough, and I’m glad the crazy work travels are over for now.

One thing that always brighten’s my day is D’s morning picture with R.  He takes them every day – and I do post them most days on Instagram.  When I travel, they’re even more important to me.  Love seeing these every day!

WP_20150324_08_23_57_Pro

she's loving her Lifeguard hoodie from San Diego!

she’s loving her Lifeguard hoodie from San Diego!

I’ve been sad that the weather got cold here again.  It’s crazy – normally by this time we’re in full blown allergy hell (not that I miss that) and it’s consistently warm.  Having weather in the 40’s the past few days has really sucked.

One evening this week, R and I went for a walk to a local park and hung out.  It was fun.  We chatted, hung out on the swings, and then commented on all the front doors on the houses we walked past on the way home.  Long story, but I’ve noticed that there’s a high propensity of red doors in Virginia, and we were sort of counting.  And that led to commentary on if we thought someone’s door matched their house well or not.  Still, it was fun.

wee one on the swing

wee one on the swing

swing selfie!

swing selfie!  In the rain, no less!

Last night I went out with AC.  I swear, I think it’s been going on 2 months since I’ve seen her.  We had dinner, caught up, and started plotting our next girls trip to somewhere warm and fun.

Today was sleeping WAY in (like, until 11.  Which is something I never do, so that was exciting).  Then it was meal planning, the gym, grocery shopping, errand running, and the cooking!  Now it’s time to chill, read, and get ready for the week ahead.

Cheers!

 

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.

WP_20150318_018

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.

WP_20150320_08_28_48_Pro WP_20150319_08_30_14_Pro WP_20150318_08_25_01_Pro

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

WP_20150323_011

a ride able banana made of bottle caps.

a ride able banana made of bottle caps.

WP_20150323_009

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

WP_20150323_003

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!!!