Tag Archives: Running

I’m Too Old to go to Camp, But Not Too Old for a Casino!

FOOD

Well, for the most part, food has been great.  It’s always a challenge when traveling, but I try to make due the best I can.

can't go wrong with fresh green juice!

can’t go wrong with fresh green juice!

There’s always my favorite of turning everything into a taco….

from Tortilla West

from Tortilla West

homemade refried beans and citrus tofu

homemade refried beans and citrus tofu

spicy mango and tofu tacos!

spicy mango and tofu tacos!

Soups and salads are always make a happy meal…

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And of course when getting a great meal when dining out (as D and I did on Friday), can’t help but take pics :)  Mad props to Burton’s Grill in Virginia Beach for really going above and beyond to make me something vegan and delicious.

mixed vegetable risotto - vegan of course

mixed vegetable risotto – vegan of course

lovely roasted beet salad with caramelized onions and a light dressing

lovely roasted beet salad with caramelized onions and a light dressing

FITNESS

For the past few weeks, most of my fitness has been running.  Some at-home yoga via YogaGlo, but my schedule has been too chaotic to get to classes.

Hopefully that will change somewhat soon, at least a little bit.  I do miss the classes.

LIFE

Well, it’s been busy, but also wonderful.  The chaos of the past few months is still there, but not nearly as overwhelmingly so.

M is still working as a Junior Counselor at an away camp, and loving it.  It’s weird not having him around  – he’s been gone for just over a month, and has another two weeks left.  We did get to see him twice though, because R was a first-time camper this past week!

So we dropped R off on Sunday of last week, and then D and I took a couple of days to go away together.  Without children.  For the first time in 12 years.  It was only for two days, but since it’s not something we’ve ever had before, it was like a honeymoon!

We had an absolutely amazing time in Dover, Delaware at the Dover Downs Casino.  D tried his hand at Craps, but it was too confusing.  I played some Blackjack, but we both ended up spending the weekend playing a came called Spanish 21.  Similar to blackjack, but there are non 10 cards in the deck, and there are a few different rules – but it was a blast and we did well.  By the end of our mini-vacation, we had doubled our money!  Now I really want to learn how to play poker….

getting to the casino!

selfie at the casino!

night 1 winnings :)

night 1 winnings :)

Yesterday we went to pick R up from camp.  She had a blast and very much wants to go back next year, this time for two weeks.  She earned her levels in several areas (swimming, of course), but the biggest surprise was rifflery.  I’m not a fan of guns and won’t allow them in my house, but she apparently is quite a natural.  She shot a spoon 4 times in a row!  Crazy.  There’s a total of 18 activities at the camp (things like sailing, alpine tower, drama, arts & crafts, archery, rifflery, etc).  I will say  having a son who has gone three years in a row and now my youngest – camp (at least this one) is a life changing and very positive experience.  I wish I were young enough to go here!  And I’m so glad my kids get to be a part of it.

Of course we got to see M again, and that was awesome.  So many people came up to us to tell us how amazing M is (like we don’t already know!), and I can’t express how proud I am of him.  He’s already said he wants to work there every summer for as long as he’s able (aka – until he graduates from college).

A had a girlfriend from university take the train down for a few days, so they were incredibly busy.  They spent most of their time at the beach or watching movies.  And now A is gearing up to start her new job this week!

So this weekend is mainly about relaxing, cleaning up the house, doing laundry, shopping, bulk cooking for the week, and working out.  It’s nice to have a day that’s totally normal :)

Until then…some camp pics!

our last #morningpicture for the week as she's being dropped off at camp

our last #morningpicture for the week as she’s being dropped off at camp

our first #morningpicture that was taken as soon as we saw her on pick-up day!

our first #morningpicture that was taken as soon as we saw her on pick-up day!

M is the junior counselor in the middle.  This is his cabin from last week

M is the junior counselor on the left. This is his cabin from last week

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R is in the purple shirt - clearly excited as they made a volcano on the beach

R is in the purple shirt – clearly excited as they made a volcano on the beach

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pool time.  R in the middle in the black suit

pool time. R in the middle in the black suit

goofy girl in the hat!

goofy girl in the hat!

foam sword fight.  M is in blue

foam sword fight. M is in blue

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M leading his activity - which is drama

M leading his activity – which is drama

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R in purple in the front with her friend F!

R in purple in the front with her friend F!

M doing some crazy dance

M doing some crazy dance

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M dressed up as two-faced for their production of batman!

M dressed up as two-faced for their production of batman!

Ginny clearly missed R when she was away!

Ginny clearly missed R when she was away!

Bomb Threats, Good Food, Sweating, and the Supreme Court. Been a Wild Few Days!

FOOD

D grilled dinner last night, and we had corn, broccoli, and Tofuky kielbasa with all the trimmings!  I skipped the broccoli (mainly because it’s one of R’s favorite things in the world and she ate mine!) but definitely enjoyed the rest.

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This morning was a creamy green smoothie of coconut water, mango, avocado, hemp seeds, spinach, and frozen pineapple.

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Lunch was one of my simple faves – carrot and ginger soup!

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And dinner was a toasty sammich on sprouted grain bread, Daiya chive and onion cream cheese, sliced tomatoes, avocados, cucumber, and red onion.

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FITNESS

Stop the presses, I actually went for a run today.  I was feeling well enough to go for a short run – so only two miles – but darn if it didn’t feel awesome!  I have a new audio book to enjoy, it was nice and warm, and felt great to be out in the late sunshine.  I didn’t have quite the energy I normally do, but I really needed to lace up and sweat!

LIFE

So I think I mentioned that D and I usually go to Busch Gardens every year on our anniversary – without kids – and spend the day.  This year we just couldn’t with our work schedules, so we planned for the weekend.  I still wasn’t feeling well enough for that yesterday, but that ended up being a good thing.  A bomb threat was called in, and they evacuated much of the park, and kept the England area closed for quite some time.  For once, I’m glad we didn’t go!

R started day camp today, and had a great time.  Therefore, the morning pics are back!!

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On the whiny news front, I’m going to complain about the Supreme Court today.  I know the religiously minded conservatives think this is a win, and I even understand why.  And I get it, not just from a religious perspective, but from from the standpoint of a business owner not wanting to do something they morally disagree with.  However, I disagree overall because I feel it’s yet another attack on women’s rights (a frighteningly growing trend) and equality of healthcare.  I don’t know many religious people who don’t believe in birth control anymore, so maybe I just don’t get it after all.  I personally think it’s a cop out to try and not have to spend any money on employees.  All that aside, everyone should be scared.  We mock other countries – like Islamic nations – who’s religious law is the only law.  Where girls are married off young, honor killings are OK, and people can be executed for choosing a different faith.  Part of the foundation of our country is the freedom from that, but the more we let some people’s religious values govern the laws of the land, the slipperier the slope we will be on.  I find it inherently wrong for anyone’s religious views (doesn’t matter the religion) to play a role legally.  And once we allow things like this, it has the potential of opening Pandora’s box.  And that’s scary to me.

On the exciting news front (and a much lighter subject!), I’ve been given three books by publishers to review for the blog!  Two are something I’ve never come across before, and the other will be more along the lines of the traditional giveaway.  I’m really excited, and have been spending as much free time in the kitchen as possible to get research done!  Stay tuned!  Made something totally unique this evening and loved it.  I have high hopes!

So with that, I’m going to go do dishes and then drag my nearly recovered butt to bed.  Hope you all had a great Monday, and will have a wonderful week ahead!

And just because it made me giggle…

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Barely Controlled Chaos

Okay, so this is clearly going to be a normal narrative instead of the breakout.  Once again, too much time has passed (sigh).  Three weeks, though I think about doing a “quick post” every day.  And then realize I have so much I want to say, that “quick” isn’t going to happen – so nothing happens.

The good news is that the project I keep talking about sucking up all my time is nearing it’s end.  The last big go-live was this past Saturday – and it was the biggest so far.  It’s crazy and busy and totally wonderful.  This is what I love most about my job.  I spend months – sometimes years – bringing something from an idea into reality.  Watching people use it, solving their problems, and making a positive impact on patient’s lives in the process is the most amazing experience.  It’s crazy, there are meltdowns and issues and successes, and it’s certainly impossible to please everyone – but it’s totally my element and I totally thrive on it.

So I worked Saturday night to Sunday morning (9pm – 8am) and then immediately went to NS’s house.  She was hosting our vegan meetup group for a Bunch Ado About Nothing party.  Bloody Mary’s, Mimosa’s, and excellent grub.  My contribution was the spicy vodka!  I worked all night and wasn’t able to make any food, but someone has to supply the booze.  I was planning to nap for a bit, then party with the crew, but ended up just staying up, partying with the crew, then going home.  It was one of the more chaotic days in recent history, but totally awesome.  I managed to stay mostly coherent despite lack of sleep, so that was a bonus.

I’ve also been all over the state in the past 3 months doing one go-live or another, so that involved a lot of traveling.  This most recent trip to the DC area I did combine with some much-needed days of fun.  I took my girls with me and we spent a day in DC, a day in Philly, and a day in NYC.  Back to DC, work, then back home.  A whirlwind mini-vacation, but oh so worth it.

Aside from work stuff is trying to spend as much time doing things to balance my life.  Cooking, yoga, running, working on personal projects, reading, and spending time with my family.

My son is working as a junior counselor at an away camp this summer, and I took him last Thursday.  He’s doing great and totally loving it.  I’ve always seen M as someone who naturally shines in anything that involves helping people.  He’s passionate about social justice, helping people, and is just an overall amazing kid – he’s caring and sweet and funny as hell.  I think his latest is wanting to be an actor – which is totally cool because he rocks at it.  Personally, I’ve always pictured him as a teacher or social worker!  My parents want him to be an engineer, because as my mom once put it “building bridges helps people.”  I suppose she has a point there too.

My oldest seems a little lost this summer, and I feel for her.  She’s struggled to find a job (home from University), misses her friends, and is bored stiff.  She’s now planning on volunteering all summer, which I think will be good for her.

R has graduated to middle school!  That is crazy to me.  She’s totally nervous about 6th grade and going into the biggest middle school in our state, but I think she’s going to be great.  I wish she had as much confidence in her as D and I do!

For those that don’t already know, I’m a major soccer fan.  And as a bit of trivia for all the haters who think the “arrogant US” created our own word for their “football” – here’s a bit of trivia.  We didn’t.  It was a British term when they shortened what they called Association Football to soccer (to differentiate from other footballs, such as Rugby).  It was prevalent in British writing for a long time, and it’s where we got the word.  We kept using it, and as soon as we did – they stopped.  It slowly disappeared from their sports writing, and now the rest of the world thinks we just like doing things differently, when in fact it wasn’t us.  Just saying – bugs me.  For more deets, read here.

To that end, we’ve been glued to every game we can.  Watched England vs. Italy in New York, the USA vs. Ghana game in DC, and last night’s game in bed with my husband and girls (I had been awake for almost 40 hrs, and just couldn’t hit up a pub to watch it).  Talk about a nail biter.

So now I will just leave you with some pics.  Certainly not all of the last three weeks, but a few ;)

so the date was wrong - it was actually the 14th, but it was still SO cool.  The very first one, and I got to see some blogging peeps from NYC!

so the date was wrong – it was actually the 14th, but it was still SO cool. The very first one, and I got to see some blogging peeps from NYC!

it's like a food truck, but for cute clothes and accessories.  In Philly (apparently common in NYC too).  R got a cool Lego bracelet.

it’s like a food truck, but for cute clothes and accessories. In Philly (apparently common in NYC too). R got a cool Lego bracelet.

I never, ever get tired of seeing this, or anything in DC.  So far, my fav town ever.

I never, ever get tired of seeing this, or anything in DC. So far, my fav town ever.

Tonks' final resting place.  A beautiful urn that R picked out, engraved with her words of farewell.

Tonks’ final resting place. A beautiful urn that R picked out, engraved with her words of farewell.

THE LIBERTY BELL!!!  My youngest has been obsessed with it for a few years, so we just had to go when in Philly.  It was cool, though smaller than I was expecting.

THE LIBERTY BELL!!! My youngest has been obsessed with it for a few years, so we just had to go when in Philly. It was cool, though smaller than I was expecting.

spent the one day in NYC in at the Chelsea Market area.  My favorite so far in NYC (in my 3 trips...which isn't much and I've seen less than is actually there!)

spent the one day in NYC in at the Chelsea Market area. My favorite so far in NYC (in my 3 trips…which isn’t much and I’ve seen less than is actually there!)

019 (Small)

Highline park.  It's an old elevated railway that has been reclaimed by nature and is now a nurtured green space in the city.  It was totally amazing and glad friends recommended it.

Highline park. It’s an old elevated railway that has been reclaimed by nature and is now a nurtured green space in the city. It was totally amazing and glad friends recommended it.

Highline

Highline

Highline - old tracks with some plants breaking through.  Nature always finds a way!

Highline – old tracks with some plants breaking through. Nature always finds a way!

Highline

Highline

pizza monster in DC

pizza monster in DC

me and my girls!

me and my girls!

R on a hot day, trekking around DC

R on a hot day, trekking around DC

the view from the Jefferson Memorial.

the view from the Jefferson Memorial.

R getting really into the USA vs. Ghana game in Chinatown (DC).  When Clint Dempsey got his nose broken and blood was everywhere, she was hooked :)

R getting really into the USA vs. Ghana game in Chinatown (DC). When Clint Dempsey got his nose broken and blood was everywhere, she was hooked :)

never get tired of seeing signs in two languages

never get tired of seeing signs in two languages

BAS!!!!

BAS!!!!

a to-go green smoothie

a to-go green smoothie

Whole Foods!

Whole Foods!

veggie soup with some spiralized zucchini

veggie soup with some spiralized zucchini

Histology humor.  Took a pic of this in the gross room at 2 am the other day.  The gross room is where they put all the surgically removed body parts onto slides.  We've started calling it the disgusting room....

Histology humor. Took a pic of this in the gross room at 2 am the other day. The gross room is where they put all the surgically removed body parts onto slides. We’ve started calling it the disgusting room….

Bloody Mary partay!!!

Bloody Mary partay!!!

mine, NS's, and KP's Bloody Mary's at the vegan meet up yesterday

mine, NS’s, and KP’s Bloody Mary’s at the vegan meet up yesterday

So in a nutshell, my life, especially for the past seven months, has been barely controlled chaos.  I can’t complain, because I do love it in some ways, but I can honestly say, I’m looking forward to life evening out soon.

Roller Coaster Week of Goodbyes & Celebrations

FOOD

The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity.  As such, meals have been quick and easy; mostly wraps, salads, and smoothies.

I’m still totally excited that D has started a daily smoothie habit!!  His choice Friday was a green smoothie (with kale, no less) that just blew me away!

I didn’t have a chance to take many pics, unfortunately, but here’s what I did manage to snap!

Not all smoothies need to be green, and this was the perfect pre-workout smoothie of flax milk, banana, vanilla, cinnamon, and a dash of maple syrup.

Not all smoothies need to be green, and this was the perfect pre-workout smoothie of flax milk, banana, vanilla, cinnamon, and a dash of maple syrup.

This is from the ever trusty Whole Foods salad bar.  Tons of traditional stuff like lettuce, onion, pepper, tomato, etc, but then topped with dolmades, quinoa, and Brazilian rice.  No dressing needed with all those fun flavors

This is from the ever trusty Whole Foods salad bar. Tons of traditional stuff like lettuce, onion, pepper, tomato, etc, but then topped with dolmades, quinoa, and Brazilian rice. No dressing needed with all those fun flavors

 

FITNESS

Well, getting laced up and back on the road has been more challenging than I thought!  I suppose it takes a little longer to recover after surgery than I anticipated, but at least I can get started again.

This week was punctuated by short runs (and I mean short – like 2 miles) and hot yoga.  In fact, I took my eldest to her first ever hot yoga class!  She did great, and claims she really loved it and wants to do it again.  We’ll see though, because I saw the look on her face during class, and “love” isn’t the expression she was conveying :)

LIFE

This has been an incredibly long and somewhat sad week.  Having just gotten home from a work trip on Tuesday, I noticed that one of the kitties really wasn’t moving or eating.  I brought it up with D, and turns out Tonks had been acting like that for a couple of days.

Ginny and Tonks are rescue kitties we were lucky enough to bring into our lives last July. They had been discovered in a fast food garbage bin, and were destined to be part of our family.  R took responsibility for them, and they were very attached to her (and she to them).  We learned back in October that both were positive for the Feline Leukemia virus, likely gotten from their mother when born, so of course we had discussions about needing to cherish every day, because the virus, while it may stay dormant, can also make them very sick.

Well, that day had come for little Tonks Tuesday afternoon.  And just shy of what we guess is their first birthday, her little body just couldn’t stay healthy anymore.  We spent a few hours with her at the vet to say goodbye, including taking her outside in the sunshine.  R is devastated, and we’re all quite sad.  She was the quiet and gentle one, but if there was a bowl, box, or hat lying around, we’d find her in it.  Our motto for her has been “if she fits, she sits!”  Here are the last pictures I will be able to post of little Tonks.

R sitting with Tonks out in the sunshine.

R sitting with Tonks out in the sunshine.

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On a happier note, last night was M’s theater award show (think the Tony’s, but for high school drama).  My son was in several performances this year, and won an award for one of the categories he was nominated for!  Here’s a proud family pic.

Order from left to right: A, M, D, me, R

Order from left to right: A, M, D, me, R

Today happens to be M’s 17th birthday!  Wow, how times flies.  It’ll be a fun family day, and I know we’re all looking forward to it.

So it’s been quite the roller coaster week.  Losing Tonks, but then moving to a celebration of my son.  It reflects the ups and downs of life – just happening all in one week!

So I hope you all have a great week!

On The Road Again!

FOOD

Well, this is going to be more about me eating on the road!  I left Saturday in the early afternoon for a work trip.  Thankfully, I’m home MUCH earlier than planned (Tuesday vs. Friday!).

I brought a bunch of bananas and oranges with me for hotel breakfast.  Other than that, my meals were out and about town.  I don’t have pics of all, but here are the highlights.

I had a roasted tomato stuffed with a small diced ratatouille with a balsamic glaze.  That was awesome.

I had many salads, soups (both a cold gazpacho and a warm tomato veggie), sammiches, and even Indian one night!

gazpacho soup with a grilled veggie and hummus panini at the post-event brunch with HF.

gazpacho soup with a grilled veggie and hummus panini at the post-event brunch with HF.

tomato and veggie soup

tomato and veggie soup

a mangotini at the Indian restaurant!

a mangotini at the Indian restaurant!

At home, D made Tofurky spaghetti last night, so yay for him!

FITNESS

Sunday was the Run Like a Girl 4-miler with HF!  It was a great time, and we gabbed the entire way (naturally).  I will say that unlike my area, Richmond is really hilly, and my legs were definitely feeling it!

HF and me before the race!

HF and me before the race!

I did my #5adaymeditate on Saturday, but truly forgot on Sunday and yesterday.  That’s bummed me out, but I’m back home and able to use my meditation cushions and get back to it!

LIFE

It has been a good few days.  I left in the early afternoon on Saturday, checked into my hotel, and then went to the Food & Wine fest at Busch Gardens!  It was very nice.  I walked around, had some wine, read a book, and in general had a relaxing evening.

walking into England and the new London Rocks! show.

walking into England and the new London Rocks! show.

Go-live was Saturday night, and that went very well.  Then it was up early on Sunday to drive up to Richmond and meet HF.  We did the event then went to brunch after.  I was back in my hotel by 130 or so, cleaned up, checked in on my team, and went back to Busch Gardens for a repeat of Saturday!

part of the festival is fun food facts from around the world.  This was one of my favorites!

part of the festival is fun food facts from around the world. This was one of my favorites!

Monday was at the hospital all day and then an early dinner and back to my hotel room.  Today was early meetings, and then came home!  I have one more work trip coming up in 2 weeks, so since the project went so well up there, I didn’t feel that I needed to stay all week long this time.  I miss my family, and would much rather be home with them!

As for tonight, I imagine it’ll involve laundry, cleaning, cooking, and hopefully some yoga or boxing!

Vegan Family Challenge Week 2!

Okay, so it’s been 13 days.  What the heck?  It’s not like I haven’t been home, but where does the time go!?!?

FOOD

Family vegan week 2 was also very great.  Lots of Tofurky sammiches, hummus and veggie pita’s, green smoothies, tempeh breakfast sammiches, and LOTS AND LOTS of mac no cheese!  Also lots of permanent changes that I’m totally thrilled about.

I also had a great dinner from AE on last Saturday night.  It was nice to get out (she lives about 2 blocks away), so it was a perfect evening with her and her beautiful little girls!

AE made a wonderful spinach and roast squash salad and roasted broccoli, and I contributed the mac no cheese!

AE made a wonderful spinach and roast squash salad and roasted broccoli, and I contributed the mac no cheese!

I’ll be doing a recap later – in the words of my husband and kids – about what they thought of the 2 week vegan challenge!  So stay tuned for that!  Until then, pictures!

a monster green smoothie!  One new development is that D now has a daily smoothie habit - which thrill me to NO end!

a monster green smoothie! One new development is that D now has a daily smoothie habit – which thrill me to NO end!

Went to lunch with my oldest, and had Tofu Green Curry!  Always a fav.

Went to lunch with my oldest, and had Tofu Green Curry! Always a fav.

Sunday morning, jammies, green smoothie, and reading a yoga book.  Yep.  Perfect.

Sunday morning, jammies, green smoothie, and reading a yoga book. Yep. Perfect.

A yummy pita sammich stuffed with grilled tofu, dijon mustard, and tons of crisp veggies.

A yummy pita sammich stuffed with grilled tofu, dijon mustard, and tons of crisp veggies.

Moe's taco salad!  Proof that there are some yummy vegan options out there when there's no time to make anything yourself.

Moe’s taco salad! Proof that there are some yummy vegan options out there when there’s no time to make anything yourself.

Cajun tofu, fettuccine alfredo, and green beans

Cajun tofu, fettuccine alfredo, and green beans

nothin sexier than watching your man make tofu!

nothin sexier than watching your man make tofu!

M's fav - the tempeh "sausage" and hasbrown breakfast sammich

M’s fav – the tempeh “sausage” and hasbrown breakfast sammich

more green smoothies!

more green smoothies!

a green smoothie theif

a green smoothie theif

my fav use for the old egg slicer.  Makes the perfect silken tofu pieces for tofu eggless salad

my fav use for the old egg slicer. Makes the perfect silken tofu pieces for tofu eggless salad

FITNESS

I’ve been doing lots and lots of yoga – being careful not to push my body past what it can do, and to mostly avoided twists and inversions due to the nature of my surgery.

However, as of my Thursday post-op appointment, I am now fully cleared to run again!  And what better way to kick that fun back off than with a race event??  Tomorrow, HF and I are going to participate in the Run Like a Girl 4 miler event in Richmond.  This organization was formed, originally, to raise funds and awareness for ovarian cancer.  And while that is still the primary focus, it has expanded to include all female specific cancers.  This is a topic very close to both HF and I, so we’re both looking forward to it.

LIFE

Well, it’s been a wonky couple of weeks.  While I have been mostly home recovering, I’ve also been working a ton (which is good – I’d have gone stir crazy if I were home and bored!).

D spent last weekend on the mountains taking pictures (will have to post some soon, because they are wonderful).  He went to the second highest point in Virginia to take shots of the meteor shower, and then spent several hours under the mountains in the Luray Caverns taking pics of those!  I’m definitely a huge fan of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so I absolutely love these.

I went to a Meditation Essentials class at my yoga studio.  I’ve wanted to learn to meditate for a very long time – I know how wonderful it is for the body and brain – but never really knew how to get started.  This was a perfect class, and I have since started my own #5adaymeditate challenge for the next month.  I know I need to start small, but also need to be consistent or I won’t ever progress.  I’m happy to say that taking just 5 minutes a day to do this has been great.  I’m shocked by how much good only 5 minutes does.  I’ll eventually up the time, but for now, it’s about establishing a regular practice and using the tools I’ve learned to silence the constant swirling thoughts in my head.

I am heading out of town this afternoon for a week of work in Williamsburg, VA.  I can’t say I’m not excited, but that’s where my fav theme park, Busch Gardens, is – and it also happens to be the Food and Wine festival!  So we all know where I’ll be hanging out when not working!

And of course I’m making the short trip up to Richmond in the morning to meet up with HF for our run and to hang out for a bit.  I’m looking forward to that too, I haven’t seen her in a few months.

So I’ll leave you with a few pics of the last two weeks, and will hopefully write again soon!

Tonks deciding that the top of my dehydrator is the perfect place to nap.

Tonks deciding that the top of my dehydrator is the perfect place to nap.

R loves to set up a "bed" on the floor and sleep there.

R loves to set up a “bed” on the floor and sleep there.

A making some fresh OJ

A making some fresh OJ

Bumble always lies on my back if I'm lying on my stomach.  Here I'm trying to read, but couldn't resist a little selfie with her on my shoulder.

Bumble always lies on my back if I’m lying on my stomach. Here I’m trying to read, but couldn’t resist a little selfie with her on my shoulder.

morning picture!

morning picture!

these two kill me.  Sammie and Ginny are best friends.

these two kill me. Sammie and Ginny are best friends.

Ginny totally in attack mode one morning.  No toes were safe....

Ginny totally in attack mode one morning. No toes were safe….

Family Vegan Week 1!!!

FOOD

Well I have to say, this has been a fun food week – at least for me!  We’re nearing the end of the first week of the family vegan challenge, and so far, so good.  We’ve still had some struggles with my youngest, but she’s getting better.

We’ve had lots of morning smoothies, french toast, breakfast tacos, and other fun things in the mornings.  Lunches have mostly been wraps (bean and guac, BBQ lettuce, corn, tomato, and bean) and sammiches (tofu eggless salad, hummus and veggie), with sides of fruit and pasta salad.  Dinners have varied from pumpkin chili, baked chimichangas, tortilla soup, and Boca chickn patties.

Here are a few pics of what I managed to snap!

Cinnamon french toast topped with blackberry jelly!

Cinnamon french toast topped with blackberry jelly!

tofu eggless salad!  This is one of my fav sammiches, and was quite a hit with the family.

tofu eggless salad! This is one of my fav sammiches, and was quite a hit with the family.

pasta salad and fruit to round out the eggless salad sammich lunch

pasta salad and fruit to round out the eggless salad sammich lunch

my fav snack time - sitting outside in the heat, reading, eating oranges.  I did need to hose off my hands after though, before going inside and making everything sticky!

my fav snack time – sitting outside in the heat, reading, eating oranges. I did need to hose off my hands after though, before going inside and making everything sticky!

Pumpkin chili and sweet corn bread

Pumpkin chili and sweet corn bread

green smoothies!  Getting the entire clan on this bandwagon :)

green smoothies! Getting the entire clan on this bandwagon :)

Mexican Fiesta night!  Baked chimichangas, spanish rice, and salad with a cilantro-lime dressing.

Mexican Fiesta night! Baked chimichangas, Spanish rice, and salad with a cilantro-lime dressing.

Breakfast tacos with tofu scramble, brown rice, Daiya cheddar shreds, hot sauce, and avocado.

Breakfast tacos with tofu scramble, brown rice, Daiya cheddar shreds, hot sauce, and avocado.

BAS with romaine, shredded carrots, cucumbers, and tomato is a cilantro-lime dressing.  I ate this for two days!

BAS with romaine, shredded carrots, cucumbers, and tomato is a cilantro-lime dressing. I ate this for two days!

FITNESS

Well, I’m on a hiatus from any high impact activity for at least two weeks.  I had a minor surgical procedure yesterday, and depending on how my two week post-op appt goes, I’ll either be cleared to run and box again, or not.  In the mean time, I’m allowed to do yoga starting Monday (as long as I’m feeling OK), so that’s good!

As far as the past week has gone, it’s been yoga, running, and one day boxing.

LIFE

It’s been a good week, and slightly less hectic than normal.  With R’s neck injury, she’s off swim team for two weeks to heal, and that has certainly lessened up the running around.  A is now home for the summer too, so she can help relieve the burden too.

I worked from home a few days to be with R, was in the office a couple days, and then down in NC for one.  All good days!  We’re heading into go-lives starting tonight though, with no break until June 6th.  We’re bringing up 6 sites on our new systems in 3 weeks.  Completely crazy, but we’ll get through it.

Today is A’s birthday!!!  She’s NINETEEN.  Totally crazy.  We have a few surprises planned for her, so I’m not going to spill anything just yet.

The first vegan week has more or less gone well.  R was hiding the fact that she wasn’t eating though, so D and I had to have a long talk with her.  With her nut allergies, she’s honestly afraid of new things – and we’ve quite frankly, allowed her to be.  However, her throwing away food because she refused to eat anything new (which is what she did with the BBQ wrap), is completely unacceptable.  Her eating habits need a MAJOR overhaul, so we did some working together on that mid-week.  I took her to Whole Foods with me and let her pick out some foods that looked good to her.  I forget that when I first went veg, it took some time to get away from the meat replacements – and maybe that was some of her struggle.  While a Chic-kn Boca Burger isn’t as healthy as I’d like, it’s a good transition food, and is worth it if it helps rebuild her taste buds.  D has lost a few pounds, and since he’s skinny to begin with, I need to increase his calories – he’s finding himself hungry more often than before.  He had a few cheese and Doritos cravings, but I was incredibly proud of him.  Change as an adult can be difficult – he even skipped the office pizza lunch in favor of the hummus and veggie sammich!  M is also doing great – but also needs more calories.  At almost 17, he eats way more than I do!  A takes to this way of eating more naturally than the rest, though she also has grown to depend on quick meals (like Ramen) up at college, so getting away from boxed food is a challenge for her.

So there’s our recap of week 1!

R and I went to play Sorry and had a small cat invasion....

R and I went to play Sorry and had a small cat invasion….

Our Clan’s Vegan Adventure Begins!

FOOD

Oh, it’s good to be home!  My Mother’s Day meals consisted of a hummus breakfast sammich, unimpressive pizza, and a kid made dinner!

toast with hummus, romaine lettuce, cucumber slices, tomato slices, and a bit of dijon mustard.

toast with hummus, romaine lettuce, cucumber slices, tomato slices, and a bit of Dijon mustard.

very bland pizza and mimosa's w D down at the beach for lunch.

very bland pizza and mimosa’s w D down at the beach for lunch.

spicy pasta & lemon-herbed potatoes, made by my three kids!  Not pictured is the carrot cake :)

spicy pasta & lemon-herbed potatoes, made by my three kids! Not pictured is the carrot cake :)

And today marks Day 1 of my entire clan going vegan for two weeks!  I’m so proud of them.  Had a little bump with my youngest (as in, claiming she’s full and not eating because she fears new things), but otherwise, all is well.

Breakfast was strawberry pancakes and fruit smoothies.  I really liked these, though apparently M doesn’t really like strawberries (and for some strange reason, I didn’t know that!).

strawberry pancakes!  I didn't feel the need to put any syrup on mine, as they were flavorful enough on their own.

strawberry pancakes! I didn’t feel the need to put any syrup on mine, as they were flavorful enough on their own.

Lunch was a white bean, guacamole, and veggie wrap with a side of fruit and a blueberry/yogurt muffin.  The wrap is what R didn’t eat (and tried to hide by throwing away….brat child).

this is a pic of R's plate.  M had grapes, D had strawberry and grapes, and A had strawberry and grapes as their fruits.

this is a pic of R’s plate. M had grapes, D had strawberry and grapes, and A had strawberry and grapes as their fruits.

Dinner was tofu, veggie, and pineapple stir fry.

forgot to take a pic in the bowl, so here it is in the pan!  Tofu, pineapple, bell pepper, and broccoli over brown rice.

forgot to take a pic in the bowl, so here it is in the pan! Tofu, pineapple, bell pepper, and broccoli over brown rice.

All snacks were fruits and veggies!

snack time, relaxing in the lovely hot day!

snack time, relaxing in the lovely warm day!

So for Day 1….success (ish).

FITNESS

My Mother’s Day run wasn’t so awesome.  I went not long after waking up, and hadn’t eaten since lunch on Saturday.  Not smart – first half felt fine, second half felt like I was running through pea soup.  Stupid, and I know it.

Today’s run was much better!  It was after pancakes, and I felt I could keep going.  I should have known though – pancakes have been my secret energy food since a ~70 mile bike ride with my Dad one day when I was a kid!

Tomorrow the plan is boxing (if I’m home in time – I have to go to NC for work), or yoga if I’m NOT home in time.

LIFE

All told, very nice few days.  After my run yesterday, I had a hair appt.  I tend to only get my hair cut every 1-2 years, and it was time.  My last haircut was in Feb of 2013 – and it was really short.  I get bored with short hair though (mainly because I can’t handle the maintenance of regular hair cuts), so I have a tendency to let it grow for a long time after that.  It was time to clean it up a bit and thin it out (I have crazy thick hair), so in I went.  On the down side, I find most people can’t really handle curly hair, so I get gun shy on letting people touch it.  On the up side, my hair is pretty much never damaged (I credit all the fruits and veggies), so I can let it go for a long time without it looking horrible.

I tried out a new salon down at the beach, so D came with me to take pics on the boardwalk while I got my hair done.  After, we walked around a bit and then grabbed a late lunch.

a totally perfect day to be by the water.  Near 90 and sunny!

a totally perfect day to be by the water. Near 90 and sunny!

Last night was pretty quiet.  The kids were busy in the kitchen most of the evening, and I read and watched a little TV.  D took a nap, and all told, the evening was REALLY relaxing.

he'll probably kill me if he sees this, but he looks so darned cute when he sleeps :)

he’ll probably kill me if he sees this, but he looks so darned cute when he sleeps :)

 

 

I’m Very Good at Irish Diplomacy

FOOD

Most of my meals while up in DC area were salads from Wegman’s and snacks of fruits (I was working, after all), but I had a few other things too.  Obviously I felt the need to dedicate an entire blog post to one specific meal, so I won’t go into that one again here.

Of course I had to do Thai one day.  It’s my mission to try tofu green curry in as many places as physically possible!

spring rolls were amazingly fresh, though I did not like the dipping sauce.

spring rolls were amazingly fresh, though I did not like the dipping sauce.

thumbs up on their green curry!  Love it with tons of eggplant and bell peppers

thumbs up on their green curry! Love it with tons of eggplant and bell peppers

I did hit up a pizza joint one evening that had vegan pies, so I was in total heaven!

the place was called Brix, and the pizza was awesome (had it for breakfast several days too!)

the place was called Brix, and the pizza was awesome (had it for breakfast several days too!)

I went to make dinner last night, and found my house empty of my normal fresh foods.  I ended up making some Egyptian street food that got totally gobbled up!  Lentils, brown rice, and pasta in a spiced tomato sauce.  Good stuff!

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My first breakfast since getting home though, has been my favorite!  A simple green smoothie, but I was so happy!  More than a week since my last one, and I think I was starting to feel cranky :)

coconut water, banana, mixed frozen fruit, kale, and a scoop of Garden of Life protein powder.  In bed, of course!

coconut water, banana, mixed frozen fruit, kale, and a scoop of Garden of Life protein powder. In bed, of course!

FITNESS

While up in Northern VA, went to a yoga class in Fairfax, and did a few classes on YogaGlo too.

My plan was to go on a group ride if I was up early enough (group meets at 730), but I wasn’t going to set an alarm.  I was not up in time!  I dressed in running clothes, but ended up missing it due to storms and the rest of my family (except the young one), being out and about, so I ended up doing a vigorous Ashtanga yoga class online (YogaGlo, of course) instead.

LIFE

Well, I can honestly say it’s good to be home!  My week away was a good week (both professionally and I did get to have fun too!), but it’s always nice to come home.

The project went live well, so that’s always good.  I got to see LS, which was really nice, and have dinner with HT and her hubby one night too!  We went to this little town called Occoquan one night for dinner and some shopping.  It quite honestly reminds me of the little mountain towns in the Shenandoah – but happens to be about 15 minutes from downtown DC!  It was so neat to step into this quite little place in the midst of the big city.

saw this mug in a little Irish shop in Occoquan.  I didn't get it because we have a ridiculous over-supply of coffee mugs already, but I loved it.

saw this mug in a little Irish shop in Occoquan. I didn’t get it because we have a ridiculous over-supply of coffee mugs already, but I loved it.

I spent some time in the city visiting the Capitol Building and the Library of Congress.  I’m always in awe when I’m up there – I think it’s one of my very favorite cities ever; rich in history, beautiful, and never boring.

neat walkway near the judiciary center

neat walkway near the judiciary center

Capitol Building!  Wish they'd have let me into where the "work" gets done so I could give them all my advice ;)  No one ever asks me for my opinion!

Capitol Building! Wish they’d have let me into where the “work” gets done so I could give them all my advice ;) No one ever asks me for my opinion!

the tunnel between the Capitol and the Jefferson building (one of the library of congress buildings - and by far the prettiest)

the tunnel between the Capitol and the Jefferson building (one of the library of congress buildings – and by far the prettiest)

China town.  This never gets old.

China town. This never gets old.

love all the signs in two languages

love all the signs in two languages

LOVE that they have such a successful bike share in DC.  Neat way to get around!

LOVE that they have such a successful bike share in DC. Neat way to get around!

On the way home yesterday, I picked up A from college!  She’s home for the summer – and already I’ve hardly seen her (she’s back to spending all her time in the bat cave…aka, her room).  Typical I suppose!

Ginny clearly didn't miss me, just my suitcase.  As an FYI, all 3 cats slept on it yesterday at some point.  Made unpacking challenging.

Ginny clearly didn’t miss me, just my suitcase. As an FYI, all 3 cats slept on it yesterday at some point. Made unpacking challenging.

I will say, it’s wonderful to be back in my bed.  I woke up at 630 to feed Sammie and let her out, then fell back asleep until 930!  That’s so unlike me, but I’m not complaining.  I normally sleep like crap.

M’s last performance (he’s in a play that opened last weekend) is tonight, and then it’ll be the cast party.  D is there taking pictures.

R pulled a muscle in her neck, so is pretty miserable.  It’ll be 2 weeks before she can swim, and that’s going to make her crazy.  She’s mostly lying still and watching Myth Busters.

So that’s as brief of a recap as I can manage for the events of the last week!

On a totally different note…and will be the subject of future posts…for a Mother’s Day gift, my entire family is going vegan!  I’m SOOOO excited.  I spent today ridding the house of all non-vegan things.  My fridge and pantry look so pretty :)

Stay tuned for more on that!

 

Calm in My Chaos

FOOD

I’m sure you’d believe me when I tell you I can’t remember what I’ve eaten the past few days!  The reason is mostly due to a lack of a picture history :)

I can tell you that today I had a green smoothie for breakfast, tofu and veggie stewp for lunch, and a simple green salad for dinner.

spinach, coconut water, mixed frozen fruit, and a banana.

spinach, coconut water, mixed frozen fruit, and a banana.

not soupy enough to be a soup, but it's quinoa, tofu, green beans, carrots, onion, garlic, and tomatoes in a spicy veggie broth.

not soupy enough to be a soup, but it’s quinoa, tofu, green beans, carrots, onion, garlic, and tomatoes in a spicy veggie broth.

I’m excited to do 3 days of juicing starting mid-week this coming week.  I can tell you true, that I need the reset, and am very much looking forward to it.  Too much command center crap and store bought salads lately!  I have a week before traveling for work ramps up again for a month, so it’s definitely good timing!

Additionally, I’m excited to say that my entire family is going to do the 13 day Happy Herbivore 3 day cleanse + 10 day reboot!  We’re starting Mother’s Day – which happens to be the day after I get home from my work trip and A gets home from her Freshman year in college!  Here’s a link to it if interested.

FITNESS

I finally got some yoga in today!  I haven’t used my YogaGlo account in a few weeks, so it was a nice way to get it in while staying at home!  I’ve gone on two runs and to two kickboxing sessions the past few days, and my upper body is SORE.  The last 9 Round workout involved lots of punching, burpees, and push ups.  Ouch.  In a good way, of course.

LIFE

Well, I’m excited to say that I had an entire weekend OFF!  No kidding, I did no work whatsoever!  It was quite nice.

And…I got a new phone!  After 7 years, I have left the iPhone family and jumped ship to a Window’s phone.  I guess it’s jumping back because that’s what I had before iPhone’s came out!  D has had one for a while now, and I was due for something new.  I honestly love it, and D has been having some phone envy :)

D went to DC for a photography weekend.  He left around lunch on Friday and is due home tonight around 1030 or so.  I’m excited to see what’s he come up with – our walls are in desperate need of some art!  Most importantly, he had a really great time, so I’m happy for that.  And he gets to see our eldest for dinner on his way home!

one of the pics D sent me this weekend.  He spent a lot of time at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday, and I thought this pic was kind of funny.  Seeing the two old men, clearly here to visit someone important to them - take a break to check their phones...cracks me up.

one of the pics D sent me this weekend. He spent a lot of time at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday, and I thought this pic was kind of funny. Seeing the two old men, clearly here to visit someone important to them – take a break to check their phones…cracks me up.

Friday night was pretty quiet, which was nice.  Saturday morning R’s friend came over, and I took the girls to Busch Garden’s for the day!  Her friend had only been once before, and she was 3 or so, so it was quite a treat.  Plenty of rides, sunshine, and fun.  They both fell asleep on the drive home.  N spent the night, and the girls played and goofed off all of last night and half of today.

My day today was spent mostly doing wash and getting things ready for the week.  I did some writing and binge watching of my new favorite show, Lost Girl.  First three seasons on Netflix if you’re interested!  It’s right up my alley, werewolves, vampires, and fae private detectives in a snarky crime/comedy thing.  Don’t judge…it’s a fun show, and I love finding something new.

This week looks to be a relatively stable one.  Only one planned late night, lots of catching up at work for it not being a go-live week, but still – should be pretty routine, which is nice!  So still, it was a busy weekend, but in the chaotic way that makes me feel relaxed.  That makes sense, right?

Tonks' new favorite nap spot is the window in my bathroom...

Tonks’ new favorite nap spot is the window in my bathroom…