Tag Archives: Running

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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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

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

LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go Chelsea!!!

Go Chelsea!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

I leave you with miscellaneous pictures for the week!

First, the morning pictures!

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

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

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

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a ride able banana made of bottle caps.

a ride able banana made of bottle caps.

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YESSSSSS

YESSSSSS

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

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

a happy place

a happy place

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

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

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And finally, “others”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

When Did I Become a Fuddy Duddy?

FOOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FITNESS

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

LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

sunset! I’m a sucker for palm trees….

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

FOOD

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

breakfast of champions

breakfast of champions

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

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

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

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

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

YESSS....Tofu Green Curry!

YESSS….Tofu Green Curry!

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

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

leftover curry soup with some extra cauliflower

leftover curry soup with some extra cauliflower

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

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

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

lettuce wraps!

lettuce wraps!

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

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

FITNESS

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

LIFE

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

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

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

A: “Hi!  I’m in the world of coke”

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

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

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

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

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

my handsome boy!

my handsome boy!

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

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

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

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

love the 90's throwback!

love the 90’s throwback!

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

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

today in San Diego.  MUCH better weather.

today in San Diego. MUCH better weather.

 

 

Board Game Victory! Savoring It While I Can….

FOOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

veggie pizza

veggie pizza

veggie pho.  Also only "ok".

veggie pho. Also only “ok”.

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

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

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

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

FITNESS

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

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

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

Otherwise I did runs and circuits.

LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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a girl and her kitty!

a girl and her kitty!

 

Beware the Flamethrower

FOOD

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

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

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

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

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

mushroom rice over romaine

mushroom rice over romaine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spaghetti squash stir fry!

spaghetti squash stir fry!

FITNESS

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

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

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

LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bumble all snuggled in a blanket on the couch

Bumble all snuggled in a blanket on the couch

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

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

 

 

New House, New Rules

FOOD

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

my typical breakfast drink!

my typical breakfast drink!

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

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

broccoli soup

broccoli soup

tofu and potato taco salad

tofu and potato taco salad

curry with lettuce and yogurt

curry with lettuce and yogurt

another taco salad

another taco salad

red lentil soup and quinoa salad

red lentil soup and quinoa salad

leftover soup

leftover soup

leftover taco salad

leftover taco salad.  I love tacos in all forms!

my sister's black bean soup and some cornbread

my sister’s black bean soup and some cornbread

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

FITNESS

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

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

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

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

LIFE

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other than that, work work work!

Morning Picture Time!

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Other picture time!

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

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

Ginny

Ginny

sunshine kitty

sunshine kitty

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

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

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

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

GOAL CHECK-IN

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

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

FOOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

all my ingredients, ready to go!

all my ingredients, ready to go!

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

FITNESS

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

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

LIFE

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

D getting quite serious about his scores

D getting quite serious about his scores

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

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

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

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

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

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

some chai tea

some chai tea

and me hanging by the fire

and me hanging by the fire

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

Monday #morningpicture

Monday #morningpicture

Tuesday #morningpicture!

Tuesday #morningpicture!

GOAL CHECK-IN

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

 

 

 

Moving and Not Moving

FOOD

Despite going from living at one house and trying to empty it of all food, and moving to the new house and the realization that I have no staples anymore, it’s still been a great food week.

My breakfasts have been green smoothies and then Irish oatmeal in the latter part of the morning.

my standard smoothie - water, banana, mixed frozen fruit, and greens.

my standard smoothie – water, banana, mixed frozen fruit, and greens.

I had this every morning on my way to work

I had this every morning on my way to work

Once I get to work, it’s been heating up and eating the Irish oats with blueberries.

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This morning, I used my new Instant Pot (click here to learn more!) to make Irish oats with blueberries, banana, vanilla and cinnamon.  Ate some today, and have enough leftovers for half the work week!

I love the Instant Pot.  This took me 10 minutes total.

I love the Instant Pot. This took me 10 minutes total.

Lunches have been soups and salads mostly.  Quick and easy and can keep them in my fridge at work.

a BAS topped with a black bean chipotle veggie burger

a BAS topped with a black bean chipotle veggie burger

Lentil soup from Whole Foods

Lentil soup from Whole Foods

a HH soup of white beans, kale, and quino

a HH soup of white beans, kale, and quino

chickpeas, carrots, onions, garlic, and kale in a red Thai curry broth over quinoa

chickpeas, carrots, onions, garlic, and kale in a red Thai curry broth over quinoa

Dinners have been simple too.  Dishes with tofu, beans, rice, and various veggie and salad portions as well.

mostly BAS's like this one with veggies, quinoa, and cubed tofu

mostly BAS’s like this one with veggies, quinoa, and cubed tofu

Last night was our vegan drinks meet up and I did have a slice of vegan pizza and some garlic knots.  It was tasty, but I didn’t go overboard, which was nice.

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FITNESS

This has definitely been lacking.  I think I posted about the flu going around, well that turned into my youngest getting pneumonia too.  I did yoga at home, but that was pretty much it.  Well, unless you count packing and hauling boxes all over.  Otherwise I wasn’t really moving while I was moving!

Yesterday was my first outdoor run in a few weeks.  It was ridiculously cold, but still felt good.  My hope today is to finally go for a run in my new neighborhood!  D has been scouting out some routes for me, which is incredibly cute.

LIFE

Well, it’s been busy, but very rewarding too.  The contractors finished the walls last Friday, and the movers brought our stuff on Sunday.  So, it’s officially been one week since we started staying in the new house!  There are still things to do – like curtains, lamps, and the electronic hook ups (D has some monstrous project being installed on Wednesday with a new TV, speakers (which will include recesessed ones in the ceiling), which will more or less complete things.  We also want to pick up bar stools and collect and hang art work, but all the big things are done.

a couple new paintings!  Yes, we're cat people.

a couple new paintings! Yes, we’re cat people.

Many of our neighbors have stopped by to welcome us to the neighborhood, which has been incredibly nice.  I’ve never experienced this before, so I’m definitely digging on it.

Last night was Vegan Drinks at the new Cogan’s location in Norfolk.  We had a big crowd and it was a ton of fun.  Of course, had to snap a pic with NS and KP!

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In other news, my son won first place in a theater competition this past weekend!  It was for a 30 minute 2-person show, where it was mostly M performing a monologue to the audience.  It’s the first time his school has ever placed, much less won!  He goes to a regional competition to perform again in two weeks.  So proud of him!

M and his teacher (and the trophy!)

M and his teacher (and the trophy!)

R was finally well enough to go back to school this past week.  What a crazy time for her to be so sick and moving (no, we didn’t let her actually move anything).  I do have a collection of morning pictures to share though!

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And one where she kicked my butt at Yahtzee.  Twice.  Brat child.

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GOAL CHECK-IN

  • my goals for eating habits are going well.  Less processed foods and eating out, and more of eating balanced whole foods.  I can definitely feel a difference, though I haven’t weighed myself yet.
  • gluten – I haven’t been gluten-free, but I have been gluten-lite.  It’s harder than I thought while moving, but I’ve been able to stick to having gluten containing foods only 2-3 per week total.
  • meal planning – even though I haven’t done much grocery shopping, this is still going very well.  I plan everything for the next day based on what I have at home, and it’s been quite the key to eating well for me.
  • workouts – fail.  I mean really fail.  I’ve only run twice in two weeks and no hot yoga at all.
  • blog consistently – fail.  I haven’t blogged in two weeks!  It’s easy for me to say I’ve just been too busy with move and life and work, but still.  I could’ve found some time at least.  Same with the workouts.
  • wine habit – going great.  I recognized a couple weeks ago that it was a habit, and I needed to replace it with a healthy one.  So instead of grabbing a glass or two of wine every night, I’m drinking herbal tea.  I have a groovy new tea kettle, stocked up on lots of different teas, and every time I think I want a glass of wine, I drink tea.  I thought about just not having anything, but after reading the Power of Habit, realized it would be easier to just swap the habit.  So I still have a glass with me in the evenings, but it’s filled with something good for me.
  • reaching out when I need help.  I have also been doing this.  I have two other friends who happen to be working on ditching their nightly alcohol habits, and I wouldn’t have even known that if I hadn’t started talking to them about mine.

GIVEAWAY WINNER

A big congratulations to Andrea!  She’s the winner of the Best Green Smoothies on the Planet!  giveaway!!!

Would You Like a New House With That Flu?

FOOD

So my goal in the next week and a half is to buy no groceries if at all possible and eat what I have in the house.  I have a tendency to over-shop and then forget I have six bags of lentils, eight bags of rice, etc.  You get the point.  So it should be no problem whipping up some awesome healthy eats without spending a dime on groceries.

Why, do you ask, am I doing this?  Two reasons.  I have too much food lying around – more than my family will ever eat if I don’t stop grocery shopping.

Also – I don’t want to move it all to the new house.  Oh wait, what did I say there?  WE BOUGHT A NEW HOUSE.  More on that below ;)

So my eats this week have been oatmeal for breakfast (out of the old fashioned oats, and this week I’ll tackle the Irish oats!  Saving the best for last!).  Smoothies of course.  Lentils soups (I wasn’t kidding when I said I had 6 bags).

blueberry and banana oats.

blueberry and banana oats

lentil soup for days!  Been nice though because I can put almost anything in it, and it's been so cold, that soup is perfect.

lentil soup for days! Been nice though because I can put almost anything in it, and it’s been so cold, that soup is perfect.

FITNESS

Since my last real post, I’ve gone on a few runs and did yoga at home.

However, I’ve been doing a lot of moving – packing boxes, loading them into my minivan, and taking them to the new house or the storage unit and unloading them from the van.  So in essence…I’m doing weight lifting!  I can feel it in my arms to be sure :)

LIFE

D and I closed on a new house this past Monday.  I am a highly superstitious person, and don’t like to talk about some things until it’s a “done deal”, which is why I haven’t posted about it before now.  D and I actually decided last spring that we wanted to buy a new house.  We’ve decided to stay in VA for at least another 7-10 years (so R can finish school) before we even think of leaving, so we decided now was a good time to buy that dream home with a pool.

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We wanted to wait until after summer to start looking because we had too much going on (I was in go-live hell, my parent’s came to visit, lots of work travel), so we looked a bit online, but started working with a relator in late September.  And we found our dream home in late October, made an offer, and there ya go.  We all agreed (sellers and us) to put off closing until after the holidays were over, but now it’s done, and it’s our house!  Oh, and it’s only a mile and a half from where we live now.  Same school district, which was important.

vegan foodie packing....

vegan foodie packing….

left the room for a minute to get the packing tape and found Ginny up here.  She's been having way too much fun in this...

left the room for a minute to get the packing tape and found Ginny up here. She’s been having way too much fun in this…

new house = new dishes!  HF helped me pick out the perfect ones.  Here's the first batch running through my new dishwasher!

new house = new dishes! HF helped me pick out the perfect ones. Here’s the first batch running through my new dishwasher!

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The only thing that isn’t perfect about the house is the wallpaper.  Kitchen, dining room, eat-in kitchen, and all 3 bathrooms are wall paper.  We have a contractor starting on Monday to get rid of it all and paint most of the house.  Then, it’ll be really perfect.  Death to wallpaper!  Oh, we’ll have before and after pics to share because I don’t think anyone will believe me about how crazy it is until it’s gone….

I’m also having a custom wall mountable wine rack made out of a wine barrel!  So excited.  Spice snobbery can be proudly displayed on my kitchen wall!  And it’s an up cycled Napa valley wine barrel.  See.  Dream home :)

Anyway, the hope is we’ll start living in the home around the very end of this month.  So I do apologize for the lack of posts this week, it’s been a bit hectic around here!

In other news, I’ve been sick and so has the young one, so that’s put some damper on the week.  We both appear to be on the upswing though, so that’s good news.

Monday's morning picture where R still felt good (though I was home sick).

Monday’s morning picture where R still felt good (though I was home sick).

Wednesday's morning picture where R and I were pathetically snuggled in bed as D was getting ready for work.

Wednesday’s morning picture where R and I were pathetically snuggled in bed as D was getting ready for work.

Wednesday afternoon, R decided to work on her Python coding.  Proud IT mama right here!

Wednesday afternoon, R decided to work on her Python coding. Proud IT mama right here!

just because she's ridiculously cute

just because she’s ridiculously cute

they're starting to finally get along!  Sleep on the same bed - just not too close.  Even playing somewhat together.  They've graduated to frenemies.  Only took a year and a half...

they’re starting to finally get along! Sleep on the same bed – just not too close. Even playing somewhat together. They’ve graduated to frenemies. Only took a year and a half…

poor sicko hasn't slept well most this week.  Face mask kept the sun out of her eyes so she could nap.  Worked wonders.  And this is today's morning picture :(

poor sicko hasn’t slept well most this week. Face mask kept the sun out of her eyes so she could nap. Worked wonders. And this is today’s morning picture :(

So thanks for your patience, and more to come.  Also, if you haven’t already, please enter my giveaway – you have nothing to lose and perhaps a new smoothie book to gain!  Here’s the link, and thanks for playing ;)