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!!!

 

 

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!

WP_20150315_010 WP_20150315_011 WP_20150315_012

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.

WP_20150314_001

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

_______________________________________________________________________

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.